I rode about 35 miles in south Dayton with my buddy Marc. Unfortunately, I had the additional task of replacing a flat tire during our journey back home.
I grew up in this place. I saw my first hockey game with my brother at Hara when I was seven years old; I played hockey in the big arena during my pre-teen years; I worked as the ‘Ice Patrol’ and ‘Concert Security’ during my teen years; I took my sons to Sesame Street on Ice during my young adulthood; I taught my sons how to drive a car in the parking lot during later years; I took my son to see a President speak to a select crowd; and most recently I attended Dayton Demonz/Demolition hockey games at the arena.
The Dayton Hara Arena & Exhibition Center Inc. will hold its last event on Aug. 27… The iconic venue brought sports, concerts, entertainment and special interest shows to the Miami Valley for more than 60 years, but ultimately could not overcome an internal legal battle that has spanned the last two decades, the release said.
Source: Hara Arena to close
I went on a 25-mile bike-ride with my buddy, Marc, to check out the new additions to the National Museum of the Air Force. It was beautiful weather and a great day for a ride. We even rode by the Riverscape fountains in downtown Dayton, which cast a slight rainbow (see second photo below).
You may have missed this story about the Lake Erie (Cleveland) Monsters making it to the finals of the American Hockey League. The Monsters are the AAA farm club for the Columbus Blue Jackets. According to my buddy, Scott, at least 1/3 of the Monster’s roster are future NHL players.
Another tournament director weighed in on the craziness of gender political correctness in tennis:
Equal Prize Money: It’s Not OK When The Men Bring In 4 Times More Than The Women
Source: Ion Tiriac on Equal Prize Money
March 27, 2016
This is rather ironic considering the result tumult around women’s versus men’s tennis… evidently Andy Murray complained that he had to serve a women’s tennis ball that happened to roll onto his court during his match. Even his comments are rather ironic:
The world No. 2 felt he was mistakenly given a women’s ball while serving on break point in the second set against Denis Istomin, leading to a brief but heated back and forth with chair umpire Mohamed Lahyani. “It’s unacceptable to have one of those balls,” a visibly upset Murray said after losing the point.
Oh, well. The PC Police tell me that everything is fine…
March 23, 2016
Politically correct people can deny facts all they want, but reality typically follows the money-trail. Here is a dose of reality for the critics of Ray Moore and Novak Djokovic… picked up by Sean Randall:
The Miami Open is selling tickets for the men’s and women’s final at DIFFERENT prices when the prize money for both events is equal.The cheapest Saturday WOMEN’S FINAL (which includes the men’s doubles final) ticket is listed at $69.The cheapest Sunday MEN’S FINAL (which includes the women’s doubles final) ticket is listed at $105.
The article ignores the additional important fact that in the major tennis tournaments (e.g., Wimbledon, US Open, etc.) the men play best of 5 sets whereas the women only play best of 3 sets.
Phase 3 is now complete. My buddy, Redman, showed up to help me mount the backboard, rim and net. I also planted sod around the concrete base. The combination of the solid pole filled with concrete and rebar, along with the glass backboard makes for very nice play.
April 24, 2016
Phase 2 of three phases of the solo installation was completed this weekend (Phase 3 is the installation of the glass backboard planned for next weekend). The large Spalding box was delivered on Friday (see first photo below), but the real work started at 7:00am on Saturday with a visit to Menards to buy the necessary building materials and to rent the delivery truck. It was a workout just picking up the nearly 1,000 pounds of concrete and loading them into the bed of the truck (see second photo below).
I enlarged the original hole to a full cube 2′ x 2′ x 2′ and I built a wooden form around the top of the hole (see third photo). I then constructed a tripod out of 2″x4″ wooden studs to ensure that the pole maintained level during the concrete pour (see fourth photo). After installing additional rebar in the base and center of the pole, I started mixing the first of 10 bags of Quickcrete (no crack recipe with chopped fiber). After 3 hours of mixing, pouring, and tamping concrete (including pouring concrete down the center of the pole using a make-shift funnel), I ended up with what you can see in the sixth photo below.
April 18, 2016
The basketball hoop & pole for our home court that I installed 22 years ago finally gave way (the 3″ diameter metal pole rusted-through). I’ve ordered a new in-ground pole and backboard, which requires that the previous concrete base be removed. As you can see from the first photo below, the metal pole snapped right at the base, and the grass has grown over most of the concrete.
Naturally, the first step, as shown in the second photo below, was to remove all of the soil around the concrete base. While it was challenging, I used a couple of 4′ long crowbars to help pry the 400 pounds of concrete out of the hole (see the third photo). The fun part was using some engineering skills to determine a reasonable way of getting the huge block of concrete into the wheelbarrow. As you can see from the fourth photo, I leveraged the technique that the Egyptians and Israelites used in building the pyramids — a slight incline plane. After all was said and done, I ended up with a hole just about ready for the new 4″ square pole. (Note: I did all of this work solo).
Breaking my back getting concrete out of the hole
Creative ramp (from old solid door) for rolling concrete into wheelbarow
I’ve got to admit that I like sports in April and May… It’s basketball and hockey playoff season and there are numerous games from which to choose just about every night. Check out the schedule of games below for a Wednesday night. You can watch exciting games from 7:00pm until 1:00am (of course, who would waste their time watching an NBA game before the 4th quarter?).
I recently attended the Dayton Demolition hockey game at Hara Arena and started pondering whether this could be the end of the 50 year old structure in Northwest Dayton. In the last 7 years, Dayton hockey fans have moved from the Dayton Bombers (1991-2009) to the Dayton Gems (2009-2012) to the Dayton Demonz (2012-2015) to the Dayton Demolition (2015-2016). Unfortunately, hockey gets next to zero news coverage in the Dayton area. I’m pretty certain that high school bowling gets more media mentions in the Dayton Daily News than professional hockey…
Hara Arena brings back many personal memories for me. I put on my Canadian Flyer skates and attempted my first strides on ice at the Hara rink more than 40 years ago. I scored 5 goals in one game at the Hara rink when I was 10 years old and won the Most Improved Player award. When I was 16 years old and playing in a men’s league game, I got into a fight at center ice against a 30 year old thug. During the blizzard of 1979, I spent the night at Hara playing hockey for 5 straight hours and subsisting on pretzels and soda pop… During my teenage years, I also worked at Hara doing jobs such as cleaning the ice surface and selling tickets during concerts (Deep Purple being the most memorable). I also took my sons during their youngster years to see Disney on-ice at Hara, and I gave my sons their remedial driving lessons in the Hara parking lot.
I suppose the ultimate irony is the fact that the Hara-owned Zamboni no longer works so they had to borrow the ice cleaning machine from the Wright State University, Nutter Center (see photo below). I still greatly enjoy the minor league hockey games at Hara and feel that it’s a super value for the dollar. However, with the run-down arena and the sparse turn-out of the 500 or so fans at the game, how much longer can this go on?
We made it back to the Quicken Loans Arena (that sounds as poetic as “Chico’s Bail Bonds Arena”) to watch the Cleveland Cavaliers dismantle the Brooklyn Nets. It’s pretty crazy that more than 20,000 fans pay top-dollar to watch the NBA equivalent of WWE wrestling. Nevertheless, we enjoyed the outing in Downtown Cleveland.