Sunday, June 19, 2011

Montreal Soccer Tourney

Exploding POWER

Great weather, a funky hotel (Aloft), a new age soccer facility (Terra Cotta Park), and 16 girls going the entire tournament undefeated - all made for a great weekend in Pointe Claire, QC. The girls (and parents) all had a great team building experience and managed to further develop their game over the course of the 3 matches.

Emma and Ciera Coach Heather relieves some post game stress
Marking the throw-in Emma holds her ground

The first match was a 2-2 tie against Lakeshore followed by a 3-0 win in the afternoon over Lachine. After a late night and an early rise we managed to pull off yet another 3-0 win Sunday morning against Ahuntsic. Alas, it just wasn't quite enough as only one team was destined to advance out of the pool (Lakeshore) and they managed to score 3 more goals than us over the 3 games.

All matches took place on synthetic surfaces in a new facility in Terra Cotta Park, Pointe Claire (west side of Montreal). Three fields and three levels of government funding for a mere $4.5 million dollars. Jokes aside it was a pretty sweet playing surface though the pitch we were on was a little busy having been lined for soccer, lacrosse, football, and rugby. It would explain some of the missed offside calls that's for sure.

Anyhow, all in all we had a great time and we're already looking forward to the next away tournament in Kingston/Syracuse/Toronto.... yeah, it's gonna be a busy summer.

High fives

Sunday, June 12, 2011

One nighter at Murphys Point

Underbelly of a watersnake

Finally a chance to camp but as it turned out only Sara and I were able to swing it. So while Emma shuffled off to a double-sleepover and mom slunk down to the basement to churn out report cards, Sara and I packed the tent and some grub and zoomed off to Murphys Point Provincial Park.

The weather forecast was sketchy but as it turned out it was more than adequate with the bulk of the rain falling during the night while we were snuggled up in our 3-man tent.

Sara catches another one Watersnake

Upon arrival, we set up camp and than walked over to the beach - me with my new comfy chair and Sara with her newly patched rubber dingy. We were only there a few minutes when Sara came walking back with her first watersnake of the season (and first of 4 on this trip). Good catch Sar.

Sara heads out for a paddle Green dragonfly

The mosquitoes seemed to come in waves but and mainly around our campsite. No worries though as the park was relatively deserted allowing us to wander down a couple of sites to one with more sun and breeze and far less bugs. The beach was also bug-free thanks to the dive-bombing dragonflies.

Kato the pesky 'coon

The animals kept us busy/entertained. Kato the raccoon (Sara named him) showed no fear as he zoomed in and out of our campsite looking for stray scraps or unattended babies. We scared him up a tree a few times but he would always come back looking for a bite of our yummy "Pete & Gus" sausage. It got a little tense when he walked to within 2 feet of me like he wanted to check my pockets. It was at that moment that Sara decided to yell, "He's got foam around his mouth Dad!". LOL Sara. I thought I couldn't jump any higher until later that evening as I was rummaging for my toothbrush I looked down with my headlamp to see 2 large June bugs crawling up my jacket only inches from my mouth. Now, those things are scary up close!

The other entertainer was Zig-Zag the snapping turtle (I named him) who we managed to save from certain death 3-4 times. The first time we spotted him on the road we stopped and I picked him up and carried him to the side that he appeared to be heading for. Moments later we drove by again that he was - smack in the middle of the road. This time I quickly moved him to the other side. A few laughs later and we found ourselves coming back down the road to find you know who hanging out on the pavement. Ok, enough already. This time as we approached he popped up like a Fred Flinstone car and his little legs just started motoring. It was hilarious. Luckily Sara managed to get it on video with her new iPod. Anyhow, we went to bed that night knowing that we would have made Ranger Rick proud.

Zigzag the snapping turtle Zigzag the snapping turtle

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Mountain Jam 2011

Mule with Hook Herrera, Luther and Cody Dickinson
Mule with Luther Dickinson (guitar), Cody Dickinson (electric washboard), Hook Herrera (harp)

Mountain Jam Festival VII
Hunter Mountain Ski Lodge
Catskills, NY
Google map
Festival schedule

This year was stellar. The bands rocked, the company rolled, and even the weather cooperated. The only thing missing was our pal Mic who was locked into a training gig with his new job. This year joining Glenn and I was Twiggy and Sue thanks to a small donation to the cause in the form of a wedding gift. ;)

New this year was an extra day of music allowing us to make it down a day earlier than about 90% of the gen pop crowd. It was a chilly evening so we opted to stick with the gigs inside Colonel's Hall - The London Souls, Soulive, and Big Gigantic. The London Souls rocked it hard followed by Eric Krasno who more than impressed with Soulive as they rolled through a jazz funk tribute to the Beatles.

Tash Neal from The London Souls

Friday's line-up was impressive. Tim Reynolds threw down and definitely impressed. For those of you not in the loop, Tim is the lead guitarist with the Dave Matthews Band. Eric Krasno sat in with Toubab Krewe and then later rejoined Soulive for an afternoon set. We also squeezed in a few songs by Chris Barron (The Spin Doctors) on the Awareness Stage.

Toubab Krewe with Eric Krasno Tim Reynolds

The evening headliner this year was not Gov't Mule but Warren Haynes with his solo project. Not bad at all though my preference is definitely with the heavier side he brings to MULE.

Warren Haynes Warren Haynes

Now for me, Friday's highlight was the Late Night Set with Lotus. Running non-stop from midnight to about 3:15am these guys know how to kick it. This was my third time seeing Lotus but this 3 hour face melt was definitely the first time that I was catching them in their element. Again, for those of you interested in what they're all about, cause instrumental electronic jam band just doesn't begin to describe, check them out here.

Lotus Lotus Lotus

Saturday was again something to get excited about. The Avett Brothers, Charlie Hunter, Zach Deputy, North Mississippi Allstars Duo, and of course Gov't Mule's one and only tour date of the year.

Charlie Hunter The Avett Brothers North Mississippi Allstars Duo North Mississippi Allstars Duo

Mule. What a night. Warren said things would get crazy and they did. The first set came out strong with Railroad Boy and ending with War Pigs. The second set was a mix of covers starting off with Floyd's Money and Have a Cigar starring Ron Holloway on sax and Matt Abts on vocals for Cigar. Then the Dickinson brothers stepped up on stage with Hook Herrara on harp for a couple of bluesy tracks. Sweet. Warren then calmed the crowd down a bit with a cover of the Stones' Angie before ending the evening with a few more Mule tracks. A great set for what will likely be their only gig for 2011.

Warren Haynes, Gov't Mule
Mule with Hook Herrera, Luther and Cody Dickinson Mule with Hook Herrera, Luther and Cody Dickinson

Top the night off with a Late Night Set with Umphrey's McGee and it just doesn't get a whole lot better than this. Joining Umph on their 3 hour tour was John Oates for a few tracks, Zach Deputy, and they even pulled off a switch between Ryan Stasik (bass) and the bass player from The New Deal who were also playing a Late Night Set over in Colonel's Hall. Well done.

Umphrey's McGee Umphrey's McGee

Sunday. Day 4 and still more on the menu. Grace Potter and the Nocturnals pulled off another high energy stage show which the crowd (and especially the males) absolutely loved. Finally headlining the night was Jim James' My Morning Jacket. This is one band that you have to see live. Jim was all over the stage, a rolling ball of energy creating a huge stage presence. Loved it.

Grace Potter Grace Potter
Carl Broemel, MMJ My Morning Jacket
Jim James, MMJ

Finally, I leave you with the people of Mountain Jam. Equally as entertaining as the bands themselves. Enjoy.

Burning bowls at MJ People of Mountain Jam Sun and Moon tat Enjoying Charlie Hunter Hooping at 3am Tailgating at MJ Twig and Sue People of Mountain Jam People of Mountain Jam People of Mountain Jam Zach Deputy and me People of Mountain Jam People of Mountain Jam Terry on another tour MJ crew
Glenn says "no to facebook"