Friday, March 30, 2007

My Mounties Won the NIT!

My alma mater, West Virginia University, won the NIT tonight in NYC at Madison Square Garden by defeating Clemson 78-73!
It is the first time in 65 years that WVU won the NIT and was particularly memorable for me, as I was in the WVU Pep Band that traveled to the NIT in 1981 when WVU made it to the Final Four of the NIT.

A memory of Madison Square Garden in the 1981 tournament:
The crowd that came to see the tourney was decidedly non-partisan. There were few fans from any of the universities playing, so the crowd was pretty much rooting for any university that picqued their interest.

It is with this in mind, that makes my memory more sweet.

At the halftime buzzer of our last game (the consolation game), many people in the Garden started to rise from their seats and head to the exits for a break or food, etc...

At that moment, we launched into playing an arrangement of Earth Wind and Fire's "In The Stone". I noticed that most of the crowd stopped moving toward the exits and turned around to listen. By the end of the song, there wasn't a single person in the arena sitting! They were all on their feet and in the aisles, shouting their approval and giving us a standing ovation!

Still gives me chills- 26 years later.

Ruffing it Japanese style

We packed up the micro van and headed for the mountains of Kumamto prefecture for 2 glorious nights and 3 days of camping.
We rented a cedar cabin that was spartan, but nice and clean and quite well sealed. This agreed with the 3 females of our group because it precluded bugs from entering into the equation.
They don't like bugs!

The campground was nice- even the tent spaces had running water, a sink and electrical outlet. The campground also had a coin operated hot water shower, washing machine and running water toilets.

Waka said she could see going back there again, which is good news for the financially challenged (ie: me!).
It was a good time, although the hard floor and sleeping bags did nothing for me except keep me rolling around all night to keep from hurting in one place only.

The drive around Mt Aso ( an active volcano) was spectacular and the grilled food wasn't bad either! It actually reminded me of West Virginia a lot.....ahh.....fresh air, few people,and no traffic jams.

The return to the traffic congestion and stale air of Fukuoka was really quite a spirit deflater....

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Spring Break is upon me....

My heartfelt thanks to blogger for making picture posting possible for compu-retards like me.

This picture is proof that there are somethings in Japan worth savoring. Natto is not one of them.