Monday, July 31, 2006

Bengals Camp

The Bengals opened their training camp in Georgetown this weekend. Head coach Marvin Lewis brought in Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino to provide a motivational speech to the players.

From the Dayton Daily News:

University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino gave the Cincinnati Bengals an ego-building pep talk at midfield before Sunday's practice at training camp. The players applauded Pitino in the 90-degree heat, and head coach Marvin Lewis thanked him with a handshake.

Pitino, a former NBA head coach for the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks, leaned on a friend — Celtics legend Bill Russell — for his theme.

Russell is considered sports' greatest team player because he won back-to-back NCAA championships for the University of San Francisco, an Olympic Gold Medal and 11 NBA titles.

"I just talked about a team ego, something Bill Russell talked to my Celtic team about," Pitino said. "It's great to have an ego as long as the ego is about team. All the statistics in the world are meaningless unless you win a championship. That's when statistics are truly valuable. We talked about how to impact your teammates. That's what ego is all about. The individual ego is not important. The team ego is what's important."

Pitino was invited to camp by Ray "Rock" Oliver, the Bengals assistant strength and conditioning coach who worked with Pitino at the University of Kentucky. Pitino's son, Ryan, 16, is serving as a Bengals' ball boy during training camp.

Josh, Chad, and Matthew were also there, but were not asked to address the team.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Myrtle Beach Fun

This morning I was browsing through my photo file and ran across this one of Mom and Dad. The photo was taken at Myrtle Beach a couple of years ago at Tiki Jim's. Sharon, Melody, Michelle, Matthew and I ordinarily meet them for a June week at the beach each year. We were not able to go this year and missed out on the fun.

In addition to the beach, restaurants, water park, Imax theatre, shopping, and Pelicans baseball, Sharon and I usually attend a concert or two during the vacation week. Over the years we have heard some excellent artists at the Myrtle Beach House of Blues and Alabama Theatre. A few of our favorite concerts were Diamond Rio, Little River Band, and Peter Frampton. We are looking forward to the trip next year.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Colonel's Choice Dixieland Band

Matt, Michelle, Dad, and Shelby

Matthew, Michelle and their friend Shelby went with me to Ecton Park Tuesday evening to hear Colonel's Choice Dixieland Band. Michelle and Matthew were proud of their trombone blowing grandpa.

Other musicians making up the group included Tim Lake (banjo), Dan Brock (trumpet), Big Bill McGinnis (clarinet and sax), Mean Gene Witt (keyboard), Dangerous Doug White (drums) and Bob Hackett (bass). Tunes played included Bill Bailey, Tin Roof Blues, Tenderly, Sweet Georgia Brown, What's New, When The Saints Go Marching In, and many others.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

This Should Be A Fun Day!

August 13, 2006 should be a fun day for Matthew and me. We are going to get up early, have a little breakfast at Bob Evans, and then have church in the Bengalsmobile on our way to Kentucky Speedway. The IRL Pro Series WAMZ 100 race begins at 12:30 and is followed by the IRL IndyCar Meijer Indy 300.

Matt at Bengals Opening Day 2005

Following our day at the race track we will head on up to Paul Brown Stadium for the Cincinnati Bengals-Washington Redskins preseason game starting at 8:00. We should arrive in Cincy in plenty of time to fire up the grill for some ribs and brats and to throw the football around a little bit before the game.

This will be a fun day that my son and I will enjoy together. It doesn't get much better than this.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Colonel's Choice In Concert Tonight

I think I'll take Michelle and Matthew to Lexington's Ecton Park tonight to hear Grandpa play dixieland music. He plays with Colonel's Choice, one of the best dixieland bands in Kentucky. The concert is free and starts at 7:00. If you go, be sure to bring a lawn chair. I'll probably record the concert on video to add to my collection of local jazz dvds.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Melody Must Be Having Fun at GSP

We assume daughter Melody is having a good time on her five week stay at the Governor's Scholar Program at Centre College. We must "assume", because we are not hearing much from her! She did call me ten days ago and talked for about a minute telling me that she was having fun, but that she couldn't talk long because she and her friends were getting ready to throw frisbee.

Each day I visit the Centre College GSP Photo Album to see if I can find a picture of Melody. I was happy to find one of her this morning.

I see that she (on the right) looks happy. I am pleased with the friends she is choosing (not a 250 pound middle linebacker or 6'9" power forward without a shirt so as to display tatoos).

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Cold, Snowy, & Fun Road Trip

The Sunday after Thanksgiving in Cleveland will probably be cold and snowy. Kim Harrod, Steve Garth, Matthew Hall and I don't care...we have our tickets in hand for the Bengals vs Browns clash at Cleveland Stadium (located near Lake Erie). We will be going up that weekend to visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH, spend the night in Cleveland, go to the stadium Sunday morning, have Chef Steve (of Giuseppe's) grill us up some fine tailgate food, and then go to the big game. It doesn't get much better than that.

I must decide which Bengals jersey to wear. I know I'll receive some verbal abuse from the Dog Pound (a section of the stadium reserved for rowdy Browns fans), so I'm trying to decide which of my Bengals jerseys would provoke the least amount of abuse. I can choose between my Palmer, Rudi Johnson, or one of my personalized jerseys.

Matthew will need to choose between his autographed Palmer, Rudi Johnson, Chad Johnson, or Justin Smith jerseys. Kim and Steve are most likely not going to wear a coat or jersey...they like to take their shirts off and paint their faces orange. Since the Browns' colors are orange too, they may avoid the verbal abuse...that is, if they elect not to wave their "Browns Stink" stadium signs.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Anticipating Bengals Training Camp

Bengals training camp in Georgetown, KY starts Saturday, 7/29/06. Matthew, Michelle, Steve, Josh, and I are pumped up and ready to get an early look at the 2006 Bengals. Check out the camp schedule and join us there!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Professional Union Fellowship

Yesterday I attended the Lexington Musicians Association's annual fish fry held in Lexington. The organization is affiliated with the AFL-CIO's American Federation of Musicians. It is a great time to meet with other professional musicians in a relaxed non-working setting.

I have attended this event most every year over the past 32 years and always enjoy it. Many of Central Kentucky's finest musicians were there. Dave Anderson, Clyde "Godfather" Gilpin, Reed Harrod, Joel Lovan, Andrew "I'll Read Your Lips" McGrannahan, Carroll Hall, "Mean" Gene Witt, "Big" Bill McGinnis, David Elliot, Merilee Elliot, Ken Schubert, "Jumping" Joe McGrannahan, Freddy Moore, Doyle "The Lip" Rambo, Larry Sherman, and Forrest Dean were among the many musicans in attendance.

I remember the first union fish fry I attended. I was sixteen years old and had just joined the union. Lexington sax legend Duke Madison was at the meeting. I remember him coming over to me and welcoming me to the organization. Other great musicians at my first one included clarinetist Paul Thatcher and trumpeter Pete Conley. We all miss Duke, Paul and Pete, and know how much joy they brought to music fans in this area.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

July 4th Means Clarinet Time For Me

I look forward to the Fourth of July holiday each year, not because of the fireworks, but because I get a chance to play my clarinet. Other than occasional dixieland and Octoberfest gigs, my jobs are primarily playing sax. The Lexington German Band and Lexington Concert Band gigs each 7/4 give me the opportunity of getting in some work on the clarinet. The polka music is always fun and a challenge for clarinet players. Today's gigs were very enjoyable due to the many fine musicians that played. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to perform with Dave Henderson, Dave Webster, Dwana Eberlein, Dad, The McGrannahans, Joel Lovan, Robert Griffin, Wayne Collier, Connie Rhodes, Kevin Dennison, David Hummel, and many more.

Between gigs I hung out with Uncle Sam

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Porsche Gig

A few days ago I played a gig for the Porsche dealership in Lexington. They were unveiling the new Porsche 911 Turbo. I browsed the lot to check out all the various models and found the one that I would like.

The Gorgeous 2006 Porsche Carrera S Cabriolet

The $99,415 Sticker

When I play at Giuseppe's, they give me a complimentary dinner.

When I play at Caproni's, they give me a complimentary dinner.

It only goes to reason that when I play at Porsche, they should give me a complimentary car!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Governor's Scholar Melody Hall at Centre College

Melody is enjoying herself at Centre College as a Kentucky Governor's Scholar. The program sends outstanding high school seniors to Danville for five weeks of intellectual and social exploration. The Governor's Scholars Program mixes a busy academic schedule in the sciences, mathematics and humanities with a full enrichment and residential-life experience. The subject matter ranges from cultural anthropology to physical science to non-traditional subjects. Urban myths ("alligators in the sewers"), Ukrainian dance, puppet-making and Japanese children's games have been among the creative offerings taught at the GSP.

Governor's Scholar Melody Hall (red shirt)

We are excited about this great opportunity for Melody, but are also anxious for her to return home. She has been away much of this summer at Bluegrass Christian Church Camp with church friends, Myrtle Beach with Grandma and Grandpa Hall, on the farm with her cousins, and now at GSP. We miss her!