Archive for the ‘Hobbies’ Category

Upcoming Events: Vendimia 2016

August 2, 2016

Click on the Google Calendar link above to add my event to your calendar if you happen to be in the area of Andalusia this coming September.  I have been spending so much time talking about Jerez de la Frontera, Spain that I haven’t had the chance to properly invite you.

IMG_20160629_124236I know that it is a bit of short notice but this is one of the last events of the official 2016 calendar of events for the City of Jerez.  Vendimia is the grape harvest festival and generally folks make a pretty big deal about it here in Spain according to the board of tourism for Andalucia.  The most important Vendimia festival in Spain is right here in Jerez so if you want to meet me directly after the Blessing of the Grapes, then we can can watch the Stomping of the Grapes together.

It should go without saying that we are going to be sipping on something and only those legally allowed to drink can imbibe.  Anyway it will be a really good time.


Motorcycle Grand Prix in Jerez: For the Free!

February 19, 2015

Xerez is serious about wine, horses, and motorcycles.  The ancient city was founded by the Phoenicians and became synonymous with the type of wine that the chalky soil and the palomino grapes produced.  Sherry will always be special in Jerez but the city also became famous for the fabulous dancing horses.  You may add to that rich legacy a modern twist, because Jerez de la Frontera also has Moto X, or motorcycle Grand Prix races at a magnificent track.  The test runs and many qualifying events are free in Jerez, because they can afford to stoke the action until the world Grand Prix makes their annual trek here, completely taking over the city every Spring.  I brought the whole family.  How cool is that?

If you come to Jerez, or if you are just planning a trip to Spain check the schedule of events for Motorcycle Grand Prix because you don’t want to miss out on a thrilling, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.  If you have ever wondered, “where do they do that at?” then look no further than Spain for producing the best motorcyclists in the world.  The current world and two-time defending champion is Marc Márquez from Cervera, Spain. (A feat he achieved despite merely being born in the year 1993.)  Now I know that some American cities, like Washington DC think that they might know a little something about bikes because of the subculture but let me warn you that it is nothing like Jerez.

Everybody here lives with the motorcycle racing whether they like it or not because at least one event is held on cordoned-off city streets.  I can’t say that I have been a lifelong enthusiast of motorcycle racing, but if I grew up here I might have had the chance to become one.  (You will notice that several of the rotundas of Jerez are racing themed from a giant motorcyclist pumping his fist to an even bigger Michelin Man holding a motorcycle helmet.)  As soon as you pull up to the parking lot of the stadium you are able to hear powerful bikes roaring down the track.  The backdrop in my video doesn’t really do it justice, but if you haven’t ever been to one of these race tracks then you might be surprised at the sheer size of it.  The track was definitely reminiscent of video games that I have played in the past, but when observing the motorcycles make those broad, leaning turns you really feel the forces that enrich the experience.  The bonus was the fact that this great family fun experience was totally free.  Again, qualifying events are for the free.  It was a little too loud for my son, so we cut the trip short.  I managed one good shot, though.

NCAA College Football 2014 to Madden 25: The Last Great Video Game Cheating Experience in American Football

December 16, 2014

When it comes to video games, I like to cheat as much as possible.

I’m glad that we got that out of the way because now I can fully disclose the greatest video game cheating experience of all time.  Of course, I am referring to the practice of “creating players” in NCAA College Football series of games and later drafting them into corresponding John Madden NFL selections.  This whole crazy idea was initially made possible to entice buyers of one football game to purchase yet another similar game.  The owners of the two most successful football video game franchises in history Electronic Arts, or EA Sports, has made a ton of money despite pedaling what is essentially the same product year after year.

I have purchased every single one of these EA Sports football games in one form or another for over twenty-five years and I’m not even complaining now.  If anything, I am only mad because my favorite kind of cheating in American football gaming has recently been discontinued.  The problem is a conundrum that seems to get more complex the more one delves into it.  (The topic of the National Football League, the NFL Players Association, NCAA, and Electronic Arts all making insane money from video games that college players are expressively prohibited from doing comes to mind and is worth yet another post, at a later date.)  For now, the EA Sports game NCAA College Football has been discontinued and the last version available is from 2014, while Madden NFL boasts a reference to 2015 in its most current iteration.

Perhaps the pairing of the two games was caught in the wake of the ongoing filibuster over the licensing agreements of some massively bureaucratic leviathans but there is still fun to be had as long as the servers from EA Sports are running for last year’s commemorative Madden NFL title: Madden NFL 25.  As far as I know, this is where the mythical Toy Land really does exist.  Please don’t mind the college athletes, or rather their alleged likenesses, that may or may not have even been exploited over the years lest you be invited to “never return, again.”  Video games have gotten increasingly intricate over the years and the virtual characters have been developed with amazing detail.  One of the quirks in the details still gives savvy players of both Madden 25 and NCAA College Football 2014 franchises unlimited access to husband virtual characters from high school all the way to the pros.

In the college series of football games not only is it possible to create individual characters to play in the game, but entire teams of players at entirely made-up schools can be added according whim.  All of it is cheating, any way slice it but what really made this special was the invention of the internet.  You see EA Sports decided many years ago that they were committed to the concepts of online gaming and with that commitment came revolutionary ideas like “saving/exporting draft classes” and teams, much like the contacts on your phone after you upgrade to the latest model.  If all of this seems excessive for video games I would invite you to check out the sales receipts and remind you that ordinary people are eventually the one’s that have to put in the work to really make this fail-safe way to cheat pop off.

The most ambitious of cheats is far from ordinary though and has only been enacted by the most dedicated cheaters.  For the first time, ever, I will allow you a glimpse into this fantasy land of American football video games and invite you to experience it.  Believe it or not, almost the entire lexicon of mythical and real high school teams has existed for some time in the “Create a Team” option of EA Sports.  I have personally recreated rosters, but a quick search for school names in their menu reveals that there are plenty of folks out there willing to do the same thing.  Now with all of these rosters available it is easy to superimpose or simply project entire high school leagues onto college conferences.  This creates a virtual world of fictionalized players, within a virtual world, and it pretty much turns into the movie Inception after that.  You have to keep in mind that in order to achieve true greatness in this cheat, you have to play a lot of video games.

I, personally, never skimp on the playing hours because I like to know each and every one of the maximum 300 virtual players that can be saved in each draft class.   I control a myriad of teams using the PlayStation 3 as a medium where my computer generated interests compete for ultimate supremacy in my terribly warped mind.  For instance, in my virtual world Howard University typically replaces Purdue University in the Big Ten conference which can never happen in real life.  DeMatha also has a team on my console that has never lost a game (455-0 in thirty-five seasons) in the prestigious South Eastern Conference because I don’t really need Vanderbilt to stand in the way of my dreams.  Now there is a whole lot of knowledge penned-up in my dome about football video games from playing thirteen hours a day since I put away the Atari XE and started rocking with Sega back in 1988.

I played all of those video games for you.  I invented and coached those virtual, fake players so you didn’t have to.  You are welcome on both counts.

This helps the cheating in two ways that work to augment each other.  First, in-depth knowledge of the fake player is gained.  Secondly, the performance of created fake players and pre-existing virtual characters in both video games can be maximized, and thus predicted easily.

Now it is just a matter of access to the highly coveted online game servers that allow everything to come together.  If you dare, reply with your PlayStation user name and I will send you a personal invitation to play video games with me.

Only the serious need to apply.  Send a direct friendship request to DICooper on the PlayStation Network and I will send you a link to begin in the 2018 Season of my online football league so that you can judge the insanity for yourself.

Tinkerbell’s Return: No More Kook

August 12, 2013

Tinkerbell’s Return: No More Kook

Kookboxx Surfboards is over.

Yeah, let that sink in for a little while.

This was us back in Virginia Beach when he started this whole Duct Tape Invitational thing with VANS.

Dandini & Joel

This was us back in Virginia Beach when he started this whole Duct Tape Invitational thing with VANS.

Kookboxx finished. I could get into the whole story on here right now, but I’m not.

I just got off the phone with Mama Denise and she really broke it down, but there are some lingering issues that need to clear before the whole story gets out.  All you need to know right now is that the boys aren’t really doing Kookboxx anymore. I spoke with Joel earlier this morning so I knew that he was serious.  I was honestly in a state of shock when he told me, but after he explained it made perfect sense.  Sometimes you just have to move on and make a better way.  It doesn’t always make sense to dwell on the past when you already have momentum and you can keep on pushing. I’m not wearing anymore t-shirts, even though the logo was fresh.

As a matter of fact, this is the last time that I will use the Kookboxx name in a sentence.  I can’t now, anyway…  I’m rocking with the best.  You are still rocking with the best.

So yeah, kids.  That’s how it just went down.

Ducks Are Down

August 12, 2012

Well the ducks at the pond in South Weezy are certainly down.

Chunky or Die

September 1, 2011

Breakwater is Chunky

I have been in a quiet exile of my own choosing for quite some time now and I’m writing to you today from that secluded space in order to relate my thoughts to you. It is not my intention to give anything else away because I, quite frankly, can’t afford to anymore. It came to my attention a little over two years ago that what I was writing would probably be able to be used against me for a significant amount of time. I thought of trying to sensor myself and take it back, but truthfully there is no such thing in cyberspace.

I had a good run of solid posts and very little readership to console myself. I spent the last year or so reading other people’s confessionary blogs and I was even jealous of their popularity. It got me to ponder the double-edged sword of writing enough titillating blog features to increase the page hit counts and yet still be able to maintain an employable persona and the salary that comes with it.

Eventually the old blog petered out when I came back from Mexico. I was flush with new catch phrases that would never catch on and I had probably just ‘jumped the shark’ by showing my ass in Tulum. Really there was nothing left for me to do at that point. My usual topics all seemed boring: relationships, surfing, travel, flowers, culture, and the DeMatha Stags.

I had plenty of inspiration and I never stopped following my interests but I didn’t get the feeling that anybody cared to read about it anymore. Not much has changed since I got that feeling except for the fact that I realize now that the blog was more for me than it could ever be for a potential reader. The Chronicles of Six is my public record and without it, I have no tangible means of ridiculing myself.

So, I’m re-launching. Oh I’ll still write for the magazines that some of you have found me in and, travel permitting, I will still try and hold down my Stags. Although I must admit, I’m going to have to be a lot more cryptic this time around because I’m old and the good Lord knows that I shouldn’t be doing this sort of stuff.  The picture that Damien Baskette took is a reminder of such endeavors because the wave being surfed is Breakwater in Venice and if it is that chunky then you really don’t have much hope of surviving the close-out that will rapidly ensue.

I’m going to ride this blog for as many moments as it gives me and then I’m going to plow through the face and pray.

Check for me.

Stags Early Release: Sunday Couch Potato

November 8, 2009

The DeMatha Stags won yesterday.  They didn’t win big.  They didn’t win fancy.  They just won. 

The final score was DeMatha 10 – 7 over Bishop McNamara.  Marcus Coker scored the Stags’ only touchdown after Michael Branthover put us on the board.  A 10 – 0 record overall is a great way to close the regular season but now we need two more wins for a championship.

Alley Baggett is sporting some red and white ensemble, and all she’s missing is the true blue.  In other news Saint John’s College didn’t make the playoffs and Gonzaga is in.  This means that the first round is set for DeMatha versus Gonzaga.  I’m thinking that a thorough trouncing would be sufficient revenge for our loss in the soccer finals this year.


Contemplation Tuesday: Kodokan Edition

November 3, 2009

Above is a statue of Jigoro Kano, the founder of the modern sport of judo that stands at the Kodokan Judo Institute in Japan.  The art of judo had already been around for hundreds of years and was the unofficial basis for feudal system in Japan, as it was practiced by the educated elite.  One of these days I hope to study at Kodokan before I am too old to get any benefit from it.  That is all.

Monday Contemplation: November 2, 2009 Edition

November 2, 2009

My life can be sort of lonely sometimes.  The New York Yankees now have a 3 – 1 lead in the World Series, though, so I guess I shouldn’t be complaining.  I had a dream last night that I had super powers of flight and nobody could stop me from running the world. 

None of that has anything to do with the sport of judo.

Sunday Morning Couch Potato: Cookie Monster Edition

September 20, 2009

The New York Football Giants go up against the Dallas Cowboys on the road.  Shout outs to Natalie Hopkinson-McGann for making it through another year as of yesterday.  Happy Birthday on that note!  Also shout outs to Thomas and Toy for celebrating a another year of marriage this weekend.  Their actual wedding date is tomorrow, you know like the Earth Wind & Fire song, but we’re including them in on this anyway.  I love the fact that my friends have restored my faith in the American family as a viable entity.  When brothers eventually make the decision to settle it down it is nice to know that they have a decent chance at making it stick, even though the statistics may say otherwise.  I’m all over the place this morning.  Kind of like the cookies all over this young lady and my friends Rudy, Natalie, Tom & Toy celebrating all over the country.  I hope that you are out there having as much fun as the girl appears to be having, and I already know that my clique is getting it in.  Don’t just sit here staring at the picture because I’m pretty sure no cookie crumbs are going to mysteriously move out of the way.  Nam, nam, nam, mmm.  Good.