Zachary Lee Scott

Posted by Dutchman Sunday, November 27, 2011 0 comments

Zach graduates in 2012. For more than 17 years, this guy has made being a dad easy.

A can remember a day when he was one, where we laughed while chasing each other around the kitchen island on our knees.
A day when he said his first word, "doggee".
A day when all he could think about was throwing stones in the pond.
A day when he frosted cupcakes with Goofy at Disney World.
A day when he swam with a dolphin.
A day when he toured the Monterrey Aquarium.
A day when he passed his drivers test.
A day when he got his first car.
And all the other days in between that were good, or bad, or tough, or painful, or wonderful.

Soon he will be grown, and will head out on his own path through life. But, I will always have memories of a great kid.

Winter is Coming!

Posted by Dutchman Friday, November 18, 2011 0 comments

Its that time of year when all the leaves need to be raked. I'm not raking them. Hope a big wind comes and blows them into the neighbors yard.
Tyler made the high school basketball team. So, now each night will include taxi service to the practices, followed by AP History homework, AP Statistics homework, and Language Arts homework. We'll be lucky to squeeze in some time to eat.
The web cams at Winter Park and Copper Mountain show people skiing already. Wish we were there.

Photo Location

Posted by Dutchman Thursday, September 22, 2011 0 comments

Last fall, while cleaning out the garage, I found a box containing many of the old 35mm slides that I had taken back in the 1970 and 80s. I picked a few out and had them digitized at the local photo shop. One of them, I didn't remember that I even had, is the photo currently in the website heading (or here). I wrote about the location in this photo back in September of 2009. The story is here.
The photograph was taken above timberline on the Beartooth Plateau in Montana (Latitude: 45.055399 Longitude: -109.628137) . The distant peaks are to the southwest in Wyoming, bordering on Yellowstone National Park. You can see a little haze in the distance, which was caused by smoke from the forest fires that had just begun in Yellowstone. The year was 1988, famous for the fires that burned large areas of the park.
I am not in the photo, but my yellow Jansport backpack is there leaning against the rock near Tim Smith, a friend from Mt. Morris, Illinois. He, Teresa (eventually to become Tim's wife) and Mark and Phyllis were from Minneapolis. We had stopped for a lunch break, before carefully negotiating the scree slope heading down to the valley seen in shadow on the lower right of the photo. We camped by the first small lake you can see in the shadows. You can wear your arms out there, catching Cutthroat trout. There is a price to pay though, as it is need easy to get there. Watch out for Griz!

Colorado Report

Posted by Dutchman Thursday, August 18, 2011 0 comments

We made it to Estes Park around 5pm on Saturday, August 6. After checking in to the Inn on Fall River, we drove up to Horseshoe Park and then up Trail Ridge Road. Tyler got his first taste of mountain driving, including avoiding being pinched between a rock face on the right and an approaching car on the left. He didn't remember the steep climb to 12,200 feet from the last trip to Rocky Mountain National Park when he was 7 years old. In the evening he fished a little in the Fall River near our cabin.

Above timberline on Trail Ridge Road

Chipmunk at Rainbow Curve

Clark's Nutcracker

Sunday morning we went fishing at Sprague Lake. We heard a very upset sounding cow Elk bugling across the lake. She was apparently unhappy with a cow moose and calf on the other side, browsing in the willows. She led her band across the shallow lake in hot pursuit. I guess it was a territory issue.
Early morning Elk crossing

Sprague Lake and Hallett Peak
After fishing for a while, we drove up the old Fall River Road. It is gravel and has many switchbacks, some requiring you to jockey back and forth once, as the turn is to tight for a normal car's turning radius.
Near the upward end of Fall River Road.
On Monday, we got a sunrise start and headed over the the west side of the park and the Colorado River valley. We observed several herds of elk, some as near as 20 feet from our vehicle, as well as a coyote and red fox. Once over the pass we saw a number of moose and a few mule deer.
Elk grazing about timberline
We arrived in Winter Park in the late morning, and purchase tickets to ride the ski lift up to the Sunspot restaurant at the Ski area's summit. While there, Tyler became interested in the downhill mountain bikers, also riding the lift. He though it would be a lot of fun to ride down the mountain trails. No peddling, you know.
Sunspot, Winter Park
Tuesday, we left Winter Park, drove over Berthoud pass, through the Eisenhower tunnel and up to Copper Mountain Ski Area. We had a condo there, for the next 6 nights. Our friends from Leonard, Michigan were also staying there.
Ten Mile Creek and Taylor Crossing Condos
Tyler rented a mountain bike for 4 days and made about 15 runs down the trails of Copper Mountain with his friend Nino.

Tyler back at the base

View down to Interstate 70 from atop Copper Mountain

Coke break at the base

Tyler and Nino preparing to ride down

On Saturday the 13th, we drove down to Leadville to watch the Leadville Trail 100 Mountain Bike race. There were about 1800 riders who tortured themselves for 100 miles at elevations of 10 - 12 thousand feet.

Sunday, we turned in the moutain bike and packed up for the trip home on Monday. We detoured through Loves Park, Illinois, in order to see my parents. Tyler had not seen them for almost a year.

Colorado Bound

Posted by Dutchman Tuesday, August 2, 2011 0 comments

Baseball is over. Time now for a vacation. Tyler and I are headed for Colorado this Friday.We'll head for Estes Park first, to do a little fly fishing. We were last there in July of 2003. Tyler was only 7 then, so he doesn't remember much. We will spend a couple of days on the Fall and Big Thompson rivers and then cross over the divide to fish a little on the upper Colorado. Then we will drive to Copper Mountain Ski area, where we have a condo for a week. We have a friend who is there gearing up for the Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike race. We may do a little four wheeling near Vail. Should be fun. Can't wait to get out of the muggy heat here in Michigan.

End of the 2011 Season

Posted by Dutchman Monday, July 18, 2011 0 comments

Tyler's season ended yesterday with a bang. The final tournament played by the Oxford Rebels took place at Walled Lake Western High School. The "Battle of the Bats" started Friday evening with a game between the Rebels and a team from Salem Township High School. Tyler got 2 doubles and a walk, 2 RBIs and 3 runs. The Rebels won 13-1. The second game was Saturday at 10am and ended with a 5-1 Rebel win against the Troy Comanches. It was the first of two games played on Saturday in the 90+ degree heat.
That second game on Saturday was against the Macomb Inferno, a tough team that beat the Rebels in the first tournament back at the beginning of June. That was a well played close game that ended when the Rebels failed to get the 2 runs needed to even the score in the final inning. This time the score was tied at the bottom of the 6th inning at 3-3. Tyler lead off the inning with a single. He then stole 2nd base causing the catcher to overthrow and then advanced on the error to 3rd. Two batters later, he scored on a sacrifice, putting the Rebels up by 1 going into the seventh. The Inferno then replied with a run on a sacrifice fly, tying the game again. But, the lead off Rebel walked, was moved to 2nd base by a sacrifice bunt, and scored on a walk off single, ending the game with a 5-4 win.
The fourth game of the tournament was played on Sunday afternoon in 95 degree heat. Ironically, the team being played was the Lake Orion Heat. They were quickly baked, when the Rebels scored 14 runs in the first 2 innings, causing them to stand in the sun on the field for 40 minutes, while successive Rebel batters took turns hitting and staying hydrated in the shade of the dugout. The final score was 16-3.
Being the only undefeated team in the tournament led to a 1 seed in the final championship game against a team that had already played 2 close games that day. That final game against the Michigan Twisters was a barn burner. The Rebels started off with a 5 run inning, leading the players to think they might have another easy win. However, the Twisters came right back in the 2nd inning with 4 runs. The Rebels replied in the top of the 3rd with 2 more, stretching the score to 7-4. The Twisters then came right back with 5 runs and put the Rebels behind 9-7. Tyler got a double in the 4th inning, and an out of the park home run by his friend Jordan, scored 2 runs, evening the score at 9-9. The Twisters came back again in the 5th to lead 10-9. Then in the sixth inning, the Rebel wheels seemed to come off, when the Twisters scored an additional 4 runs, leaving the Rebels with 5 runs to make up with 2 at-bats left.
In the Rebel half of the 6th inning, they loaded the bases with 2 walks and a single. With one out, Tyler was up to bat. A pass ball lead to a run and with runners on 2nd and 3rd, Tyler pushed in another run and advanced to 2nd base. The next four Rebels each pushed in another run and the Rebels were back on top, covering the 5 run differential and starting the last inning with a 1 run lead.
Being the "home" team, all the Rebels needed to do was stop the Twisters from scoring a run. Our best "closer" entered the game, and struck out the first Twister batter, but then walked the next one. However, he caught the runner with a pick off move to first, and combined with our short stop to catch the runner at 2nd base. The Rebels were one out from winning the tournament. The next batter hit to the Rebel 3rd baseman and reached 1st base on an error. The Twisters had the winning run at the plate. With a 2 and 1 count, he hit a low line drive between our 1st and 2nd basemen, but Tyler raced in from his right field position and made the catch, ending the game with a win.
Couldn't have a better end to the season!

Goal Achieved and Exceeded

Posted by Dutchman Monday, March 21, 2011 0 comments

Tyler has been working on a goal since September of 2004. It was then, at the age of 8 that he was told he wasn't a good enough baseball player to continue on with his team. His team was reserved, according to the "dad" coaches, for the Oxford High School players of the future. The future has arrived. They were wrong.
Tyler's goal was to be chosen for his high school team. He played at age 9 and 10 in the local recreational league. He had boys on his team who were pretty good ball players. Others liked to pick flowers in the outfield and catch butterflies. It wasn't an issue. Only a few boys could hit the ball out there anyway. During those two years, Tyler played on a summer tournament team with a number of other boys who weren't "competitive baseball" material. He started taking batting lessons with an ex-professional player who runs a training facility.
When he was 11, Tyler finally played on a competitive (Federation) baseball team. Of course, it was formed out of other boys who were supposedly not that good. That spring, his team defeated the team of "future" high school players. The next year, they defeated them again. And again the third year, although by now, some of those future players weren't playing anymore.
Six years of work finally led up to last weeks high school tryouts. Twenty nine freshman tried out for the team. A few of those "future" players made it through the try out and were chosen for the 12-14 spots on the freshman team. But alas, Tyler did not make it. That is because he was one of the few freshman to make the Junior Varsity team. HA!

Ups and Downs of Winter

Posted by Dutchman Wednesday, January 26, 2011 0 comments

For my first present of winter (the week between Christmas and New Years) I received a $950 bill for brakes on Zach's car. I knew the brakes probably weren't sound, as shortly after purchasing the 2005 Taurus, I had to start replacing brake fluid. Also, upon braking at high speed, there was a definite thump/stutter coming from the brake pedal. I didn't feel too bad about this expenditure, as I now know that all four brakes are completely new and driving the car is safe for Zach.

Right now, Zach is enjoying driving back and forth to school. He gets to sleep in an extra 45 minutes or so, as the bus he used to take, went by the middle school first. Tyler has been riding with him for the last week or so. He kept riding the bus for a while after Zach started driving, as I wanted to give Zach some solo time before both of them were together.

Tyler was a starter on the freshman basketball team for a while, but then injured his back in a game three weeks ago. Apparently he twisted around, and when he straightened out, the T1 vertebrae didn't come along. He missed two and a half games while the local chiropractor made some adjustments. He was able to start practicing again the week before last, however, he lost his starting position. He still played a lot of minutes, but I think the coach is waiting to see how he does before moving him up. Then after last night's practice, he complained about back pain again. In a scrimmage, a larger player fouled him and they both ended up on the floor grappling for the ball. Tyler got the worst end of the deal. He complains that the coach doesn't call fouls, so players are encouraged to do a lot of things that wouldn't be allowed in a game. There is another player that has been sitting out also, as during a scrimmage, several of his front teeth were knocked in and are now loose. Basketball is not a "non-contact" sport.

Tyler had an altercation with a player from a rival basketball team. The kid was trash talking and pulling on his basketball shorts during the game. When the kid went for a layup on a fast break, Tyler caught up with and fouled him. The kid ended up in a sprawl on the floor and Tyler pointed at him and yelled "SIT DOWN". Of course that resulted in a technical foul. The story of this incident has now spread around the school. Last week, in his Algebra class he went up to sharpen his pencil, and the teacher said "sit down!". It took him a minute to detect that the teacher was teasing him. Anyway, you don't want to tug on Tyler's shorts.

Baseball practices started on weekends at the beginning of January. Tyler goes for two hours every Saturday afternoon and one hour on Sunday evening. He missed a couple of practices because of the back issue, but now has some type of sports practice every day of the week.

Zach is working out also. He sometimes stays after school to run on the track around the gym, and exercises on the BowFlex.

Zach had a problem with his Language Arts teacher at the end of the last trimester. A girl in the class, copied one of his short essays. They both received a "0" for the assignment, but the teacher never told Zach about it. He found out from the girl when she posted an apology on her Facebook page. She was allowed to make up the work, but because Zach never knew about it, he did not. I emailed the teacher about it, and he said he had posted the "0" on "Powerschool" along with an attached note. Powerschool is a third party web site where teachers can post grades, keeping parents informed. I rarely check it, as both Zach and Tyler get good grades. When I checked it in the past, there were often "0" grades entered, and when I yelled at the boys, they'd say, "the teacher put in the assignment but hasn't graded it yet". So, what good is a web site that is often inaccurate. I'm not too happy with a teacher who accuses a student of cheating, but only leaves a note on a website about it. The same teacher told the class one day "I'd like to tell your parents what I think of you, but if I did I'd get fired". He teaches Language Arts. I'm told that he has the students read silently at their desks 2 to 3 days a week, while he surfs the web.

Tyler was scheduled for the same teacher the last trimester. That has been remedied with a call to the school counselor and vice principal. You don't tug on my shorts either.

About Me

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I'm a middle aged divorced father living with my two sons. We like to canoe, bicycle, fish, camp, play baseball, and spend money when we want and where we want, without permission from anybody. HA!


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