Saturday, July 21, 2012

My First Rodeo - The Toughest Eight Seconds In Sports

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California Rodeo Salinas 2012
Professional Bull Riding

"So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do,
do everything for the glory of God
."  (1 Corinthians 10:31)
Salinas Rodeo brought out cowboys, cowgirls, hats, boots and belts of all shapes, sizes, ages and colors.  By 7pm the stadium was packed to cheer on home town favorite, Josh Daries of Salinas.

The announcer kicked off the night with a prayer
asking for God's blessing on all in and out of the arena. 

The color guard marched,
and Salinas native Jade Rede sang the National Anthem. 
Next, the toughest eight seconds in sports.
“Your Mama was a cow,” barrel man
Slim Garner yelled across the stadium.
If Slim is trying to get these bulls riled up,
it isn’t necessary;
they are already pretty hot and bothered. 
Wednesday July 18, 2012 brought Professional Bull riding to the Salinas Sports Complex.  Forty members of the PBR had an eight second job to do.  If they were successful in staying on one of the 1500 + pound bundle of pure muscle for a measly eight seconds (after it left the gate) they entered into a runoff for a $40,000 purse and secured a spot in the pro tour.
  How hard could it be?

Point made - and that is just the ride.  Riders who qualify and are selected for the PBR tour are responsible for all their expenses and arrangements, hotel accommodations, transportation to and from events and anything else that takes them to that moment when they sit down on one of those immense animals...
...affectionately named 'Pain Maker,'
'Road Kill,'  'White Knuckles,'
'Snot Rocket' or this cute guy, 'Wolf Pup'.

Who, by the way, are groomed lovingly by their stock contractor to buck them off.   'Hurricain', raised by Flying High Rodeo Co does his job quite well as Cord McCoy (Amazing Race 16 & 18) is unable to hold on. 

Why ride a bull?  I have no idea.  But if you did, what would you need?  Besides a lot of cojones (I read that in the Herald this morning), they need a bullrope and rosin. 
Bullrope is a thickly braided rope with a cowbell attached that it tied and tugged around the bulls belly.  You will see them on the ground after the rider falls off.  The cowbell acts as a weight so that the rope will fall off after the ride is over, or you are thrown from the bull, whichever comes first. 

Either way the dismount from your bull is not gentle.  You are either thrown or jump.  In both cases you could easily be kick, trampled, or gored. 

Resin is sticky and helps the rider grip the rope.  Which in this case might have been too sticky -

rider dragged after thrown off. 

What do you wear?  Well if you had any brains you would wear a helmet.  Some do some don’t.  Do cowboys look good riding a humongous beast with a cowboy hat?  Yes, but it never stays on, nor does it serve any purpose when your head hits the ground!

 My hat goes off to all those cowboys who were not afraid of donning a helmet.  Wear a helmet – I worry less and enjoy watching the ride more.  
 A vest is also worn which appears to be a bit heavier than the 1960’s Feelin’ Groovy Fringe Special.  So I approve of that. Chaps are primarily used as a fashion statement, and to keep dust off your pants.

 Of course cowboys always wear spurs,
but use with caution - bulls hate them.
 Besides that the most important item would be gloves,
and just for fun,  I would highly suggest a mouth guard. 

What are the rules? A qualified ride is 8 seconds. The clock starts when the bull’s shoulder or flank breaks the plane of the gate with rider on board.

The clock stops when the rider’s hand comes out of the rope, the rider touches the ground or the rider’s free arm touches the bull. Or the rider stays on for the full 8 agonizingly long seconds.  12 of the 40 did manage this.

Riders are scored if they stay on for the 8 seconds. 
Bulls such as 'Baby Brother' shown
above and below
receive a score regardless.

Four judges rate each rider and each bull on a scale of 1-25.  These points are added together and divided in half to reach a rider score and a bull score between 0-50.  Those numbers are then combined to reach a final ride score between 0 -100. The top twelve qualifiers do this all over again.

Josh Daries, 23, 165 pounds from Salinas was one of the original 12.  He qualified with the lowest score of 68.5 on his first ride.  First up in the second round he stayed on the mandatory eight seconds and scored 87.5.  One by one the other qualifiers were bucked off.

Ultimately it was 23 year old, 160 pound, Cody Ford of Oregon who has won over $260,000 in his five year career with the PBR that took home the top score, 89 and 90.5, for an overall of 179.50 points. 

It was a great night at the rodeo, perfect weather, enthusiastic crowd, resilient riders and thanks be to God, no injuries. 

Next year at the Rodeo Salinas I think I will learn about steer wrestling and tie down roping.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Carmel House and Garden Tour 2012 (Frank Lloyd Wright)

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For an interactive map from GPSmyCity 
for  Carmel please visit this site

Carmel House and Garden Tour 2012
(Frank Lloyd Wright)

Before visiting the Frank Lloyd Wright house on Carmel Point we visit Cornerstone Cottage and The Little House both north of Ocean Avenue.

Cornerstone Cottage
Block 27/Junipero and Third

The Cornerstone Cottage was built for Agnes Shorting in 1927 by the English architect, Frederick Bigland.  This home features a thick outer stucco siding, two kitchens,

two massive Carmel Stone fireplaces, 

  decorative diamond paned windows
 and a spiral staircase inside the turret. 

The current owners of Cornerstone originally met on Carmel Beach in 1961.  At that time this house was known as the Agnes Shorting House, to which one of them was currently living with an aunt.
Subsequently the Agnes Shorting House was sold to another owner.  In 1991 it came back on the market and the current owners jumped at the chance to make it their own once again.  They have lovingly restored this home and named it Cornerstone. 

The Little House
Guadalupe & 3rd

The Little House is a cabin built of logs; full round, half round,
or planed square, with bark or without,

 as siding, fencing, uprights or beams. 

In 1952, The Little House was owned by George C. Brainard.  His home was featured in the March issue of House Beautiful as a "versatile up-to-date log cabin".  Not too much has changed in 60 years. 
Notice the log fence and log decking has been updated,

but all the doors and windows and roof line
 remain in the same place. 

The current owner Sibyl Sides Johnson grew up in the Bay Area and holds a BA in Education and Fine Art.  After years in the classroom her goal to paint full time and live in her family's Carmel cottage has become a reality.  As a Plein Air Artist, Sibyl uses their renovated garage as a studio.

The Walker House
"Cabin on the Rocks"
Built by Frank Lloyd Wright
26336 Scenic Road

In 1918, Mr. and Mrs. Willis J. Walker, of San Francisco and Pebble Beach, purchased 216 acres of land for $150,000 from John Martin of Mission Ranch.

The 216 acres were bordered on the north side by Santa Lucia, the east by Hatton Fields, and the south by Carmel River.  The Walkers subdivided the land into what was called the Walker Track, and sold many of the lots. The ocean front acreage was deeded to Mrs. Walker's sister Clinton Della Walker.

"I want a house," Mrs. Clinton Della Walker she told architect Frank Lloyd Wright, "as durable as the rocks and as transparent as the waves."  Inspired by this request, Mr. Wright using an "organic design," spent five years working on and off on the Walker house, a "cabin on the rocks."*  It was finally completed in 1952.  

One of Carmel's most recognized modern homes, located on Carmel Point,
built on granite boulders with a triangular wedge  foundation, with Carmel Stone. From the south side this home looks like a ships prow cutting through the waves. 

Inverse stepped windows framed in "Cherokee-red"
painted steel enclose and surround the living room.

The main room is the large hexagonal shaped living room

with built in seats on three sides,
and tall floor to ceiling fireplace on the fourth wall designed
to burn wood stacked vertically against the back.

Walk around the fireplace to the room designated
as the "workplace", a Pullman type kitchen
with a view
In fact all rooms have an ocean view,
except the guest baths.
This 1,200 square foot cabin on the rocks (that includes the carport) has three full bathrooms.  Two, one off each of the guest bedroom have showers that can best be described as very tiny and in the shape of a trapezoid. 
For those mathematically inclined the measurement is as follows: 3 inch tiles (9 sq in), make a square out of the usable area at 8 tiles (2 ft) by 9 tiles (2 ft 3 in) or 72 tiles at 9 sq in each, 72 x 9 = 648 sq in divide by 144, number of square inches in a square foot = 4.5 square feet, and no elbow room.

Why this shape? Because, for some reason, Wright designed this house with no right angles.

This home is also the only house in complete public view within Carmel City limits on the ocean side and finally, it is topped with baked-enamel shingles of blue-green color to blend with sea and sky. Wait, it also has its own private beach!

Mrs. Walker was quite pleased with her cabin on the rocks.  When asked in an interview for the Carmel Spectator in 1956, how much the house cost to build, she said that she couldn't answer that because she didn't keep track.  But she did insure the house for $25,000 which she thought would be enough. 

Thank you Carmel Heritage Society for this wonderful event.  I look forward to next year and another glorious day touring the spectacular homes of Carmel-by-the-Sea.
*Carmel Pacific Spectator Journal September 1957