20th Annual Penn State Track and Field/XC Reunion

And SAVE THE DATE! The Executive Committee meeting of the Officers of the Group convened and chose the dates for the 2022 Reunion and Coach Groves Golf Tournament. This will be the 20th anniversary of the formulation of this whole shebang, and you better SAVE THE DATE!! So set aside May 13th and 14th, 2022. (Each year will alternate between May and August) We will be going all out for this event and you won't want to miss it. Adult beverages, camaraderie with old and new friends, mediocre golf, AND LIVE MUSIC FROM PROFESSIONALS! Stay tuned...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

It's Official! New Physicist Ordained: And Swine Flu Update

Brian Boyer is now The Official Physicist of PSU Track Alumni Golf. He will be formally presented to the group at the upcoming Reunion and Golf Tourney. He replaces Stephen Hawking after his recent hospitalization in Great Britain for a respiratory infection. Our prayers will be with Stephen to make a full recovery.

I will call the recent pandemic Swine Flu, although the current administration wishes to rename it Man-Manipulated But Not Transferred By Porcine Consumption Flu (MMBNTBPC Flu) because it may make someone feel sad to call it Swine Flu, as it has been called for the last 100 years. The CDC and Homeland Security have combined to offer the pictured innoculation for Americans scared out of their minds by persistent news reports telling us "The Sky is Falling". Meanwhile the concern for the 36,000 Americans killed by the "normal" flu every year garner no mention from anyone. Remember, my point is (and I do have one!), get your "regular" flu shot every year. Epidemiologists have speculated that there has been only one death of a Mexican citizen here in America , because our innoculations provide some protection from the current strain containing human, bird and pig viral RNA. Be wary of the quickly formulated swine flu vaccine to come. In 1976, there was one death from a similar flu but 500 cases of paralysis from the hastily made vaccine, several of which were permanent.

*No children were sickened in the formation of this post.


"I am the Lorax, I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues"
Dr. Seuss

After we're finished with them next month, the won't have any branches either...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Preparations Finalized for Reunion

  1. Meet and Greet Friday night- 7:00PM until ? (We used to go paint the town red after our get-together, but now we can only manage pink, although some still try!). This will be at the Hampton Inn meeting room. Coach Groves will be there (provided he remembers!). Pizza, snacks, beer, soda, water and this year appetizers from Damon's will be available. A donation raffle to support the expansion of our group's efforts will be held. All who donate will receive a signed photo of Coach Groves and a chance at some other great prizes. I also have a complementary prize package for everyone almost as good as the Academy Awards gives (yeah, right!). And we can all sign a big poster for Coach. Should be a good time.
  2. Saturday Family/Friends activities: Noon or so? Tours of the All-Sports Museum, a trip to the Creamery and a Mt. Nittany climb for a picnic lunch are in order for those not golfing.
  3. The 8th Annual Coach Groves Golf Tourney gets under way at 1:00Pm at The Elks Club following lunch at the Hampton Inn. Remember, great prizes are up for grabs, including "Mike" and "Barney" as well as "Horace". Four par-3 holes have a wonderful prize for a hole-in-one, with a $10,000 prize on the 18th hole.
  4. The Post-Tournament Celebration is held at the Shisler's residence in Stormstown, north of State College (near the Arctic circle) following the golf tourney. This is near Julian Pike for distance runners who remember. Maps will be made available for first-time Arctic explorers. (Remember, Polar Bear livers are toxic.) They assure me they are prepared for what we may bring. Food, fun, frolic will be available. A presentation of skin care products from "Under Your Skin" will allow spouses and metrosexuals to avoid the testosterone driven excesses of the rest of us in the pool room. (Just kidding, a family friendly atmosphere permeates all!) Awards and accolades will be presented.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Penn Relays, Again (not Meat Loaf)

An all-out effort will be made next year to entice ALL of the 1985 4 X 800 Penn Relays Record Holders to attend our Reunion and Golf Outing. The record will be 25 years old and although the record may last 50 years, maybe the four of them won't! (Just kidding guys! In 50 years maybe you won't be able to golf is all I meant.)

2009 Penn Relays Highlights:
  1. Fawn Dorr 57.76 400M Hurdles for a victory!
  2. Women's DMR 11:25.72 - Fourth
  3. Karlee McQuillen 169' 8" SecondJavelin
  4. Gayle Hunter 20' 3.75" Second Long Jump
  5. John Vellenoweth 16' 6.75" First Pole Vault
  6. Tanner Evak 225' 6" First Javelin
  7. Matt Lincoln ran the opening leg of the DMR for Canada (2:56 for 3/4 mile) in their photo- finish Second place to Kenya.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Milestone Reached!

One thousand visitors in one month! We are now one year old here at Penn State Track and Field Alumni Golf! We are well on our way to world domination. Never mind that 1/4 of the visits are from me tinkering with the site. Pay no attention to the idiot behind the curtain.

Thanks to all who visit the site, especially those of you who visit daily. Those who don't, bookmark the site and come back periodically (or even often!). Also, visit the Google Ads that appear on the site. Tailor-made for our unique tastes, clicking on these ads generates moolah for our group. Several of the gifts in this year's gift bags come from these ads. But I'm not allowed to click on them as "lead web-site idiot", so its up to you guys (and girls).

Update: PSU finished 4th in the 4 X 800 at Penn, despite a spirited attempt at stealing the race. Our predictions on the time were right on! The record will stand into its 25th year.

Friday, April 24, 2009

An All-American Company

Remember now, Steve Shisler ran on that great Penn Relays 4 X 800 squad which still holds the record at 7:11.17 (!) And yet, when we inquire into it, Beth (Stever) Shisler is the real All-American in the family. (No offense Steve!) In their pursuit of the American Dream, the Shislers have started their own company, Under Your Skin, and will introduce skin-care products to those spouses who wish to avoid the testosterone-crazed reminisces of us morons (and idiot officers!) at The Post-Tourney Celebration. Those on the fence on attending our reunion activities can rest assured everyone will have something they will enjoy at the weekend's activities.

Choices of tours of the All-Sports Museum, the Berkey Creamery and a "hike" to the top of Mt. Nittany (if my daughter can do it, so can you!) for a picnic lunch on Saturday will keep your spouse or children active and safe while you deforest the links at The Elks Club in the shadow of Mt. Nittany. (Not really in the shadow, but close enough.) There really are no excuses; you know it and I know it. Give in and join us in time to enjoy the comaraderie and friendship of teammates and Coach Groves himself.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Music at its best! The Sixties were a Hoot!

I was young, but I do remember this. This is for Greg Fredericks, Bill Whittaker, and Ken Brinker. Possibly even Coach Groves, but I don't think so. How inebriated or high must you be for this to make sense? No matter the answer, I think it beats rap any day.

Joe Cocker at Woodstock!

And its been 24 years since PSU ran 7:11.17 in the 4X800 at the Penn Relays! Happy anniversary guys!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Penn Relays Means Cheesesteaks

The Penn Relays have started! PSU's freshman decathlete Anya Uzoh is in second place after the first day's competition. With several days until the penultimate Saturday relays, maybe there is time for a culinary treat in a Amoroso roll! Last weekend in Philly, I took the kids for a tour of South Philly and Chinatown. I ended up having a Geno's Cheesesteak and cheese fries because the line at Pat's was longer. My favorite is still Jim's on South Street(the original one is over near Penn), but they are all good. Cheez Wiz may be nature's most perfect food* Be sure to return to vote in the next poll on what is your favorite Philly Cheesesteak.

Update: Anya finished in third place in the decathlon.

*Bacon is really the most perfect food.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Anonymous Benefactor

An unsolicited parcel arrived on the doorstep yesterday. With no return address, and no other markings being present, Homeland Security (my dog Spot Moskiewitz) sprung into action! Despite his growling and general uptight demeanor, I opened the box anyway. Inside was 500 blue "Penn State Track Alumni Golf 2009" tees for use at our Tournament on May 30.

Whoever our benefactor is, Thank You! You can rest assured we will use them to slice and hook our way through the tournament without resorting to scavenging the tee boxes for suitable "not broken too much" specimens. I will henceforth deem our benefactor, "Deep Turf". May he/she be blessed with straight and long shots forever more. (Except on the closest to the pin hole, I'd like to win that one.)

"Quote of the Week"

"You miss 100% of the shots you never take"

Wayne Gretzky

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Queensbury Rules As Applied By Coach Groves

For Use at the 8th Annual Coach Groves Golf Tournament (especially the Fifth "Bird-House" Hole at the Elks Club)

Rule 1—To be a fair stand-up boxing match in a 24-foot ring, or as near that size as practicable.

Rule 2—No wrestling or hugging allowed.

Rule 3—The rounds to be of three minutes’ duration, and one minute’s time between rounds.

Rule 4—If either man falls through weakness or otherwise, he must get up unassisted, 10 seconds to be allowed him to do so, the other man meanwhile to return to his corner, and when the fallen man is on his legs the round is to be resumed and continued until the three minutes have expired. If one man fails to come to the scratch in the 10 seconds allowed, it shall be in the power of the referee to give his award in favour of the other man.

Rule 5—A man hanging on the ropes in a helpless state, with his toes off the ground, shall be considered down.

Rule 6—No seconds or any other person to be allowed in the ring during the rounds.

Rule 7—Should the contest be stopped by any unavoidable interference, the referee to name the time and place as soon as possible for finishing the contest; so that the match must be won and lost, unless the backers of both men agree to draw the stakes.

Rule 8—The gloves to be fair-sized boxing gloves of the best quality and new.

Rule 9—Should a glove burst, or come off, it must be replaced to the referee’s satisfaction.

Rule 10—A man on one knee is considered down and if struck is entitled to the stakes.

Rule 11—No shoes or boots with springs allowed.

Rule 12—The contest in all other respects to be governed by revised rules of the London Prize Ring. See London Prize Ring rules.

Rule 13-- Any disputes of the rules shall be judged by Coach Groves or a representative of the group appointed by Coach Groves. Those disputing the rules shall be belittled and impugned by the whole group and shall forfeit all rights and privileges bestowed by The Keeper of the Beer.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Hole-In-One Madness: Part 2

This great green surrounded by a bunker is in the shape of the continent of Africa with Madagascar off to the right as an island of rough. Hitting a hole-in-one here would net you a cool $1,000,000! Trouble is, its about a 600 yard par 3. Don't worry its mostly 600 yards DOWN to the hole! It is a 310 yard shot horizontally, so many of us are out of the running!

In order to tee off, you must take a helicopter ride to the top of a mountain. The balls take 30 seconds or so to hit the ground. (Our divot tools, "Mike" and "Barney" would come in handy if you actually hit the green!)

Check out Padraig Harrington and his friend as they attempt the $1,000,000 shot. Maybe we should hold our tourney here next year. I'll see if Munya Maraire can hook us up!

Or you can just come to our very own Golf Tourney and receive $10,000 for a hole-in-one on the 18th at The Elks Club. It's only about 180 yards and a golf cart ride to tee off!

Hat-tip to fellow LMTC teammates Mark Haywood and IT Czar Jeff Sanden for alerting me to this great Extreme par 3.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Summer of Malmo: The Movie

Finally, it's available for the Big Screen!*

* Celebrity voices impersonated. No animals were harmed in the making of this movie.

And just in time for Easter, Episode 2!**

** Product placement/endorsement accomplished absolutely nothing in this episode.

Episode 3: The Final Summary!***

*** All proceeds from the films will be donated to Golf Courses throughout Happy Valley!

The Penn State Track House

I don't know how Coach Groves would have felt about "The Track House", but I can imagine. His disdain for athletes living in Fraternity Houses was legendary, ask Don Ziter, Gary Black, Steve Black, Mark Hawkins, Jim Close and Glenn Chumley... The Track House is sort of a Fraternity for the team without any obligations for "charities and good works". (Just kidding guys! I'm sure charity is your middle name.) :)

The mondo indoor track is nice, and the hat-tip to Coach Groves and Horace Ashenfelter III is great. Now if any of you guys can golf, us old guys would relish the opportunity! If you can't golf, stop by at the Hampton Inn for the Reunion evening on Friday May 29 at 7:00PM, or give Coach Groves a greeting here. Golfing will give you a chance at $10,000, vacations, a set of golf clubs, and most of all "Horace" the golden putter! Special student rates have recently been instituted by the idiot officers of the group! Any questions? Just give me a shout, dfbaskwill@cs.com

Thanks to Flo Track for featuring PSU!

Uncle Leo is Dead

Not Really! Just in the movie The Outlaw Josey Wales. Actor Len Lesser has always been one of my favorites. He was in Kelley's Heroes, Cool Hand Luke as well as Everybody Loves Raymond. His Uncle Leo in Seinfeld is probably his best work, The only actor in a higher proportion of great works is John Cazale. John appeared in only 6 movies, all of which were nominated for Best Picture, and 3 of which won!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

"Champions aren't made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have
deep inside them -- a desire, a dream, a vision."

Muhammad Ali

Two of the Three Greatest Movies Ever Made!

Christian Hanson, son of Dave Hanson, of the Slap Shot trio of the Hanson Brothers, scored his first goal in the NHL for the Toronto Maple Leafs against the Philadelphia Flyers last night!

And.... Clark Haley's Augusta National Club Selection Guide returns!

NCAA Madness (Almost) Success

My 4th place in the largest ever PSU Track Alumni NCAA Pool run by Ken Cooper, and my 15th place in the much larger Ace-of-Spades Pool prove that the dispassionate use of statistics and computer analysis is a viable choice in prognostication.* But still, several ahead of me went with uniform colors and the like to make their choices.

*No money was involved in any of my pools, which I regret.

Monday, April 6, 2009

More Physics and Applied Science

As science approaches The Singuarity, we are left with less and less to discover (or rediscover!). Recently, computers were used to rediscover what had taken man hundreds of years to deduce. The computer redid it in less than a day! Soon, we won't need Physicists at all!

And real scientists have finally figured out why scratching feels so good when you itch! Let's hope no Bailout Funds were utilized in the study of this phenomenon.*

AND MORE SCIENCE! Why a bacon sandwich is so good! Bailout Money is OK to study bacon.*

AND 11:45am on Tuesday is the most stressful time of the work week! (I personally hate Wednesdays at 11:45am more!)

Addendum: Chaka Wallace will miss this year's tourney because of work, but is already confirming for next year's blast! And the Harry Groves Memorial Cup has been upgraded to accommodate many future winning foursomes (or fivesomes!) Photos may soon be available for those not able to see it for themselves in May.

*Arbitrary reference to the Bailouts was a cheap shot.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Great Performance (Slow but Great)

Gary Black, seen here dressed as Michael Jackson at a 1983 Halloween Party, ran a 10-miler today in 90:20, despite running with artificial hips, (and a distinct lack of adequate training). He previously ran a 7:10 mile at the Reunion "Track Meet" at the Big Ten Championships. These records are pending, but he promises better times are ahead. What is your sorry excuse?

The Michael Jackson costume came in third, as he wasn't white enough to rival Michael, he was hanging around with people above the age of 13, and he forgot the glove!

Gary will be making an effort to repeat his performance as champion at the Harry Groves Golf Tournament. Remember, golf is the only sport where we all get to dress like Michael Jackson, donning our one glove (with or without glitter!).

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A Bicycle Built for Two

When Harry Smith proposed the latest poll question, I figured everyone would guess correctly that he and his wife Nan are tooling around the "Flatlands of Ohio" on their bicycle built for two. He even supplied all the poll answers, which I readily accepted except for the last one! He originally had the last entry as "Mark Heckel and Mike Valenti", which I figured would get me killed quickly. He immediately offered the alternative, "Marion Jones and C J Hunter" which probably isn't any better, considering 'Roid Rage and such. I will concede that everyone in my family got a chuckle out of the whole thing.

I actually received two votes, which disgusts me, as I haven't been on a bike since 1985. Marion and C J garnered a tie with Artie Gilkes and Rebecca Donaghue, an accolade they probably do not seek. Steve and Beth Shisler also snagged two votes, which gave me the idea of posting the photos of Rebecca and Beth on this post. Beth holds the record for most requested and clicked on photo on our lame blog, but Rebecca is catching up fast. (I give the readers, what they want!) That's Harry in the background leering at Beth. And that's Rebecca unfurling a Terrible Towell at The Dead Sea!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Stay Safe Out There

In a review of triathlon related deaths, cardiologist Dr. Kevin Harris has noted that sudden death is twice as likely during a triathlon as during a marathon. I had two good friends die in triathlons in the past 2 years, 2 of the 15 cited in the study. Bob Potts, York PA, died at a triathlon at the Jersey Shore last year and Dr. Mike Conte died this past year at a triathlon in Allentown PA. Barb Black will be running in the first annual Bob Potts Marathon on the Heritage Rail Trail in York on the day after our golf outing.

The critical factor in the whole phenomenon appears to be the swimming event, (or possibly knowing me!). In particular, it is the coldness of the water and its effect on the heart. Advice is to train in the same kind of water that you will compete in, not just in a pool. All but 2 of the deaths were during the swimming phase, and most involved oceans or lakes. Also, never enter an event that doesn't have defibrillators on hand. Many of the deaths are due to arrhythmias and can be readily treated.

Addendum: Doug Kent, Juris clan member of the Yanomamo Tribe, and Hunter Backenstose, 18 year-old son of Tim Backenstose, Yanomamo Chieftan will be golfing with the rest of us nuts in May. Let's hope they bring clothes.
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