Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Simplifying my life for free...

Every once in a while I get excited about some new technology or internet thing, and a lot of times I can do without.  For example, I love the Motorola Droid X phone, but could care less about Apple's iPhone.  I'm crazy about Twitter, but just can't get into Facebook.  About six months ago I stumbled upon Dropbox and it's undoubtedly simplified my life.  In a nutshell, I installed this free service on my computer at home, at work, and my phone. I can drag a picture or document from any of these devices and drop it in my Dropbox.  I can then pull up that same picture or document on all the devices.  How does that make my life more simple?  I was on my way to Cincinnati a few months ago and forgot an important document saved on my computer at home.  I called home and told my 13-year old daughter to go into my word documents and drag that file into my Dropbox.  Presto!  I instantly had the file in the Dropbox on my phone!  If you enjoy things that are simple and free, you might want to check it out: 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Catching up with Versailles alum Craig Stammen...

Fish Report caught up with 2002 Versailles alum and professional baseball pitcher Craig Stammen! After successful years in high school and college at the University of Dayton, Craig was drafted in the 2005 Major League Baseball Draft by the Washington Nationals. In May 2009 Craig made his first big league start and played for the Nationals for most of the 2009 and 2010 seasons. Craig started this season playing for the Nationals Triple A team, the Syracuse Chiefs, in Syracuse, NY. Fish Report got a chance to ask Craig a few questions recently and here's what he had to say:

F.R.  Thanks for talking with us Craig!  First question, how does a guy travel between Syracuse, Washington DC and all the cities you play in from night to night...with one suitcase or two?
C.S.   The travel is probably the hardest thing throughout the season. Going from hotel to hotel and then back to your apartment doesn't really seem like you get a break. I make sure that I have my car with me at our home city so that I can keep most of my stuff with me throughout the season, i.e. golf clubs. However, when we are on the road only one suitcase and small carry on type bag is all I need to get thru the road trips.

F.R.  We've noticed you have over 2,800 followers on Twitter, including Fish Report! Who are all these people and what are you tweeting about?
C.S.  That's a good question, because I probably don't know most of them. I'm guessing there is either a large amount of farmers from Darke, Mercer and Shelby counties on Twitter or there are just a few loyal Nats fans hitting up the Twitter universe! I do not really tweet much, but usually its about something sports related. Like everyone else I like keeping up to date on the Flyers, Irish and Bengals. So, if you have Twitter, follow me!!!!

F.R.  By the way, back home Versailles is off to a great start in baseball this spring! Do you keep in touch with the Tigers program at all?
C.S.  I wish I knew more about what was going on with their season. Every once in a while I will catch something on the internet about how they are doing. With the newly renovated baseball field, it should only help the program. Maybe Fish Report could give me more updates on Tigerball baseball!

F.R.  Back when you played in high school, where there any moments or games you'll never forget?
C.S.  There are several because we had a very close group of guys that had played together for a long time. We knew we were pretty good and I think that only made it more fun for all of us as we played our senior season only losing two games. Our best baseball of that season was actually played at the Russia Invitational, where we beat Russia and then St. Henry both in run rule games where we outscored them 31-1. Later in the season, in the sectional final, again at Russia, probably my most memorable moment from high school as an individual was a game winning 3 run homerun in the bottom of the 6th to give us a 3-0 win vs. Twin Valley South. Josh Bruns shut them down striking out 14 or 15 guys! As a pitcher now, you always remember your hits! I would mention my favorite basketball moment(s), but I'm afraid I would offend some of your readers!

F.R.  And our last question is for all the kids that want to play in the major leagues some day. What does it take to get there?
C.S.  I consider myself very lucky and blessed to have been able to make it to the major leagues. I'm not sure there is a blue print that if you follow it, you will get to play major league baseball. But, I do know that it has taken a great deal of hard work, help from great coaches along the way, a lot of luck, some divine intervention, and a personal commitment to never stop believing in yourself and realizing that anything you set your mind to can be accomplished.

Great stuff Craig! Thanks for talking with Fish Report and good luck this season!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Well done Russia...

The first track meet in Russia School history took place yesterday, April 18th, between the Russia and Houston Junior High girls and boys teams.  I'm sure that will be the answer to a trivia question many years down the road.  The Raiders won both meets and of course every event set a track record.  Fish Report was on hand to witness the historic night and would like to congratulate everyone who worked so hard to make a dream a reality.  In the past year I've witnessed the track being used for practice by sports teams and for exercise by community members.  Now it's hosted the first track meet.  Well done Russia!

Friday, April 15, 2011

High school softball is exciting...

If I ever had any doubts about high school girls softball being exciting, they were erased last night watching the Russia-Loramie girls game at Russia Park.  The game had a little hype before the first pitch.  For starters, it's an annual rivalry, and to top it off both teams were unbeaten in the early SCL schedule. Russia pitcher Katelyn Herron and Loramie pitcher Paige Ordean were brilliant, both pitching shutouts through 6 innings.  You might think a scoreless game couldn't be that exciting, but as the innings progressed, the drama intensified and you just knew the first team to get a break was probably going to win.  It happened for Loramie in the last inning.  After a Darian Rose double and Katelyn Turner walk, Pam Meyer hit a heroic two-run single that scored the only runs of the game.  Russia's Jessie Zumberger singled in the bottom of the 7th getting my hopes up the Raiders might hit a bomb and tie it up, but the rally stalled and the Redskins won Round 1.  I'm positive I'll be attending a few more softball games before the season it over.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Catching up with Russia Raider alum Brent Pleiman...

Fish Report recently caught up with Russia alum Brent Pleiman!  Brent played for the Raiders basketball team from 2002-2006.  Among his many high school accomplishments, he was a two-time Shelby County League Player of the Year, 1st Team All-Ohio, and still holds the Russia record for points in a single game with 46!  Brent went on to play college basketball and finished his successful career at Ohio Wesleyan in 2010. Fish Report got a chance to ask Brent five questions and here's what he had to say:

F.R.  Thanks for taking the time to talk to us Brent.  So tell us what you've been up to since you hung up the laces?
B.P.  Hey Fish Report, thanks for having me on and for the great coverage.  Currently, I live in Worthington, Ohio on the north side of Columbus with some friends from college.  I work in audit and tax for GBQ, which is regional accounting firm serving businesses all over Ohio.  My girlfriend, Shannon, is in college at OWU and will graduate in 2012.

F.R.  Since you finished your playing days at Ohio Wesleyan, do you play competitively or recreationally anymore?
B.P.  Yes, I am playing in a couple of Recreational Leagues with some college teammates.  We are currently 3-0 in the spring league.  It is pretty competitive as there are a lot of former basketball players along with some former Buckeye football players that make appearances from time to time.

F.R.  Living over in Columbus, do you get a chance to keep up with the program at Russia anymore or get to any of the games?
B.P.  Yes, I always follow them online to check out the score and try to make it back for a game or two when I can, but the college basketball schedule and studies kept me very busy.  I plan to make it to more games in the future since Jacob (brother) enters high school next year.

F.R.  Looking back at your years with the Raiders, what stands out as one of your best memories?
B.P.  There were a lot of good memories.  I always remember the fun we had playing in games but also the good times we had off the court.  I would have to say the best memories are playing in the regional’s at Oxford my senior year and winning the outright league title my Junior and Senior years as those titles came down to the last weekend of the season.

F.R.  Finally, do you have any advice for any of the younger players learning the game and trying to succeed?
B.P.  I think it is important to always be working on your fundamentals.  It is great to play a pickup game or open gym and that is very important to check your improvement, but working on individual fundamentals really makes the difference.  Be a student of the game as there is always more to learn.  For those who watched Butler play in the recent NCAA’s, they play hard nose solid defense and have role players and therefore, everyone is pulling together for one common goal...To win.  And always remember, whether you win or lose; you need to always go back to practice and work hard to get better.

Great advice Brent!  Thanks again for taking the time to talk to Fish Report and we hope to see you around Russia!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Tiger Woods watching...

I have never claimed to be a golf-watching fan and I've never thought I was a Tiger Woods fan.  For whatever reason though, whenever Tiger is in contention for a win on Sunday, I watch.  I don't really root for him or against him, but he's really the only reason I will watch a PGA event.  What's that all about?  I was the same before all of his personal problems and I'm the same afterward.  Call me crazy, but I'm certainly not alone.  During Masters weekend I heard friends talking about Tiger, Facebook and Twitter was buzzing about him, and Augusta sounded like a rock concert on TV whenever Tiger hit a nice shot.  Love him, hate him or even if you're impartial like me, people watch, no doubt about it.  I just wonder if those sponsors that cut ties with Tiger like AT&T, Accenture, Gillette and Gatorade are lining back up to put their name on his golf bag.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Russia track meet organizers will learn a lot...

I went to the Ft. Loramie Junior High Invitational track meet on Saturday and I'll give credit to those folks for a very well run meet.  Most notably the different events sped along without any delays that I was aware of.  A track invitational is already a long day, so keeping things moving is appreciated by everyone.  It made me realize what Russia will be experiencing for the first time when they host Junior High meets for Houston and Bradford later this month.  I'm sure those first couple of meets will provide a valuable learning experience for the Raiders and hopefully Russia will be hosting their own invitational in the near future.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

American Idol says America got it wrong...

Just finished watching American Idol this evening and it wasn't a good night for Pia Toscano.  Pia was one of my favorites, but was eliminated by 'America' who voted her out and reduced the contestants for the title down to eight.  I don't remember which judge said it, Jennifer Lopez or Steven Tyler, but they seemed to be in disbelief that Pia was going home before some of the other singers and told everyone "America got it wrong."  Ryan Seacrest then begged America to vote if we want to see our favorites make it to next week.  My opinion??  This show gets millions and millions and millions of votes every week...I think America pretty much sent home who they wanted.  Perhaps the judges got it wrong.  This season more than ever the judges seem too easy.  J-Lo, Steven and Randy Jackson seem to give all the singers all great remarks after every performance.  They certainly aren't giving America any help on who's the best in their eyes.  I never thought I would miss Simon Cowell leaving last season and his blunt opinions as a judge, but I do now.

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