Sunday, December 16, 2012

Jody's Whitesbog Photos

Jody's Whitesbog Photos - Thanks Jody! 




Thursday, October 18, 2012

Dick Russell on the State of the Striped Bass




DICK RUSSELL WRITES - 

STRIPED BASS: A GRIM UPDATE

In mid-August, the Cape Cod Times came out with a story headlined, "Infection attacking striped bass." The article cited the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries noting that "warming water temperatures might be causing an increase in the number of striped bass that have lesions from a viral or bacterial infection....The agency urged caution in handling fish because the disease can be transferred to humans through contact."

Yet, supposedly, according to "visual tests," this is not linked to the mycobacteriosis that has impacted upwards of 70 per cent of striped bass in the Chesapeake Bay, a disease that eventually kills them. I passed the article along to a longtime fishing friend, Jim White, who's probably the top charterboat fishing captain in Rhode Island. He responded:

The State of Mass. is trying to protect the commercial rod and reel fishery from totally collapsing. If people knew about this, nobody would buy or eat any. I recently got a call from the US Coast Guard, District-1, some Ensign. He said that he was told that I was some sort of EXPERT on Myco and wanted to know what I knew about it. I said, I'm no expert, but I do know a lot about it. He then asked me if I have seen fish recently with signs of Myco. I replied, Do you mean in the last ten or twelve years, or just last week?

He was silent. He then asked, what do you mean the last ten or twelve years, I said, that's how long this shit has been out there. Are you serious he asked? YES, I said.

I then asked him WHY was the USCG looking for information on MYCO? He said their office have and has received thousands of calls from anglers wanting to know what the red sores are. I said, REALLY?? I then asked him if the USCG was now going to look into it, he said, YES, we have to because of so many complaints. I said, well, you're about 12-years too late pal.

I offered to show the Commandant of the USCG, my Power Point Presentation on MYCO and anyone else there that would want to view it. He said he'd pass my offer on to higher ranking people. That was over a month ago and I havn't heard a thing yet. Don't expect to either.

Then, about three or four days later, Mark Gibson [of the Rhode Island fisheries agency] put out a request to the RISAA Group for any information on fish with red sores, photos if possible and to bring fish in to DEM if they would. I contacted Gibson and this is what I asked him. READY??? "Mark, is or has everyone there in DEM, been living under a rock for the last ten or twelve years??? This shit isn't new, what are you talking about??"

He answered me, "Yes Jim, we know and knew it was here, but it was never such a big deal before, now it is. He then said that the ASMFC [Atlantic State Marine Fisheries Commission] would now HAVE TO CONSIDER THE EFFECTS OF MYCO ON THE STOCK AND IN THE STOCK ASSESSMENT!!! I said, Oh, boy, only twelve dam years too late. What do you think that is going to do at this point with the stock falling   like a stone off the top of a mountain??? He said, they'd HAVE to address it at this point, along with OTHER DISEASES.

I picked up on that one really quick. I asked, WHAT OTHER DISEASES??? HIS RESPONSE?? I CAN'T TELL YOU AT THIS TIME. I just love this disclaimer! Don't worry, they are fine, but wear heavy gloves, use anti-bacterial soap, and seek medical attention IMMEDIATELY if you show signs of infection. YEAH RIGHT!!! NO PROBLEM AT ALL. Just follow everyone else off the cliff, get in line.

According to the article in the Cape Cod Times, a leading fisheries biologist in Virginia says "a lot more funding will be needed to research the connection between the striped bass and mycobacteriosis in northern waters." What I'm wondering about is why no connection is still being made between the infection and thinner striped bass due to a lack of food - specifically, menhaden, their time-honored food of choice in the Chesapeake region and along the coast. Earlier in August, the ASMFC agreed to move forward with new restrictions on the menhaden harvest - most of it taken by a single Virginia company, Omega Protein, which grinds the little baitfish up for fish meal and fish oil. But the governing commission ruled out slashing the catch by 75 percent, and said it MIGHT consider a 50 percent reduction after a public comment period. This is despite the fact that the menhaden stock is at its lowest point on record due to overfishing.

It's the same old story - study the problem, until it's too late. Which it pretty much is. Jim White gave me permission to post his subsequent comments, emailed to me after I asked him how the fishing was in Rhode Island this summer. He said:
HOW GOES THE FISHING THIS SUMMER??? 

Well, it would go better if there were some damn fish to catch! But there isn't~~ The fishing inside the [Narragansett] bay right now is as bad as it was in the late 1970's, maybe even a bit worse. There isn't a striped bass to be found anywhere, of any size, in any area, of the entire bay. 

Once in awhile, and RARELY, you come across a schoolie, ONE, after that, go home.
Our spring fishery used to run until about the first week of July. Then a   couple of years ago it went to the last week of June, then the third week of June, now its in the second week of June, and then for all practical purposes its OVER. 

Our fall fishery is NON-EXISTENT~ Its gone, done, over. Has been for YEARS now.
Ya know, I really believed that I would never see this happen again, guess I was either stupid or naive. 

I saw this coming about eight or nine years ago, when the so-called, "catch and release" FAD, started to deteriorate. And FAST!! 

Guys that came fishing for years, were now wanting to take fish home with them, ALL THE TIME. As the fish grew bigger, THEY ALL WANTED THEM, EVEN THE FLY FISHING GUYS. FRIGGING AMAZING!!!!! 

I'd try to tell them or explain to them, if you and everyone else does this, WE ARE GONNA RUN OUT OF FISH EVENTUALLY. 

No one paid too much attention to it then, BUT THEY ARENOW~~~!!!!!
Tried to tell them, I had already seen it, lived it, fought it, the same shit   was happening all over again. 

Only now it's worse, much worse. More people fishing, more tournaments than ever before, more boat owners, gear and electronics are a thousand times improved over what we used in the 70's and early 80's, there isn't much food for them, at least not menhaden, water quality is worse, and now we have DISEASE to deal with besides. IT DOESN'T GET TOO MUCH WORSE THAN THAT. 

Eventually, they will all say one more time, or once again, "Gee Jim, you were right We seem to have a problem with stripers." 

Yep, only this time, I don't believe that we are going to get as LUCKY as we did the last time. Just too many more issues at hand to deal with this time around, and no Claudine Schneider, or John Chaffee, or John Cole, hanging in the wings to help push things along. This time the fish are all on their own, with a Commission that is just as fucked up as it ever was. The same Commission that has bragged about doing it all themselves to help restore the striped bass, when in truth and reality, you and I brought them to the table kicking and screaming.

Talk about having the fox guard the hen house. More like Big Foot and Aliens in the hen house.

The vast majority of fish now being caught are from 20 to 50 or more lbs. No one reports seeing schools of school bass anymore. Very rarely. How long to do you think that will last?? Right now I'd say no more than one or two more years, at the top end. Even Block Island this summer has slowed WAY DOWN, and none of these assholes can see it for themselves.

They are back to saying, claiming, believing, that: the fish are someplace else, they are where the bait is, it's the water temperature, it's sun spots, it's the moon phase, they are two or three weeks behind, the tide is wrong, the wind is wrong, too many space shuttles went up, solar flares upset their migration, some unknown place is LOADED with them,

YOU KNOW THE EXCUSES. THEY NEVER END. THEY ONLY GET MORE WEIRD AS TIME GOES ON. PEOPLE ARE WILLING TO BLAME OR INVENT ALMOST ANYTHING EXCEPT, ADMIT THAT THEY ALL MADE A BIG MISTAKE.

ALL THE BEST PAL,
JIM

Dick Russell


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

More on Matt Wins Bronze in London




Browns Mills NJ native, takes bronze in 50-meter three-position rifle

Published: Monday, August 06, 2012, 8:47 PM     Updated: Monday, August 06, 2012, 9:02 PM
By Dave D'Alessandro/Star-Ledger Columnist 


LONDON — He’s won a few medals, and he’s flubbed a few more. Maybe Matt Emmons will be always respected for the former and infamous for the latter, but neither factoid says as much about him — neither is nearly as illuminating — as the way his opponents think about him.

We learned this after the Jersey guy tore open his soul Monday for everyone to examine, before earning a bronze medal in the 50-meter three-position rifle competition.

By now, you know his story — he’s the guy who fumbled two golden chances for medals at Athens and Beijing, and beat thyroid cancer — but you don’t watch sport shooting very often, so it’s hard to know the collateral damage it creates. It’s not like you can see it. This is not a game for men who traffic in Category 5 meltdowns — twitchy, shirt-tugging, dozen-tics-per-minute guys of fan-friendly vulnerability.
This sport is a quadrennial obscurity for most Americans. Even a great triumph, such as the one the Emmons experienced at the Royal Artillery Barracks, would merit a quick mention on NBC, and only as a homeopathic dose of some producer’s inner soldier fantasy.

That’s how we felt before Monday. And now we’re here to tell you we were dead wrong: This is the most mentally exhausting, nerve-wracking experience you’ll ever see — at least the way Emmons does it — and it’s more than an appreciation you get from his ability to hold a 14-pound gun for 90 minutes and blast a pinhole through a quarter-sized target 50 meters away time after time after time.
This time, he nearly suffered a fate worse than ’04, when his crossfire cost him a gold medal at Athens; and worse than ’08, when he bricked a deciding shot (yes, it’s a hoops term, use your imagination) that cost him another.

Lamentable failures, but old news. Or so it seemed during the three qualifying rounds of 40 shots each, as Emmons was solid during the prone position round, superb during the standing position series, and a straight shooter during the kneeling position set.

“He’s been pretty positive since 2008,” said his wife Katrina, the Czech Olympian who has three medals herself. “It’s just really tough when you have some — excuse my word — asses reminding you. Some of them on purpose, some of them making fun, which was not nice.

“He’s had to overcome that, and it was hard. Because it made him sad that people remember him more as (having) failed rather than a success.”

So now he was one shot away from a silver medal again, in the eight-man finals competition, which involve just 10 standing shots.

Just to clarify: Targets in the finals shrink. Now these shots are akin to hitting a bullseye the size of a dime from more than a half-football field away, and he had scored six 10’s in his seven previous shots.

Pure. Confident. It is a skill that requires inhuman concentration.

That’s when the Browns Mills product chose to remind us that the difference between calamity and serenity is about an inch, and largely influenced by a runaway heartbeat.

“I did everything I could to try to calm my body down,” Emmons said. “On the last shot, I was just shaking so much, I thought, ‘Okay, Matt — take your breaths, do your normal routine, and when you get on the target, start putting pressure on the trigger, and just keep going. Don’t hold up, don’t try to dress it up, just make it the best you can.’ ”

And with the memories of ’04 and ’08 swirling in the heads of everyone in the building, Emmons squeezed the trigger — very prematurely, it seemed — and the bullet pierced the target.

A gasp echoed throughout the hall as the board flashed a “7.6,” indicating it was a few inches southeast of the bullseye.
“I was jumpy,” he said. “I made a mistake.”

It was the worst shot — by far — of the Finals round.

Somehow, Emmons lived to tell about it, because he finished with 1271.3 points to 1271.0 for a Frenchman named Cyril Graff.

After 130 shots over five hours, Emmons earned his bronze by a decimal point. If Graff scored a 10.8 on his last shot instead of his 10.4, Emmons finishes fourth.

“Just to be on the podium is a special thing,” Jersey’s greatest marksman said. “The last four years have been tough. There’s been a lot of buildup, and I had the weight of the world on my shoulders — about how I was going to perform, how was I going to do on the last shot.”

He was gracious when that last shot brought bronze, just as he was when it brought heartbreak. This, however, cannot be expressed as well by scribbling strangers as it can by his peers, one of whom happened to set the Olympic record in this event Monday.

He is Niccolo Campriani, the splendid shooter from Italy who looks like an amiable corner grocer, who interjected an unsolicited remark that would make Emmons’ eyes moisten at the press conference.
“If I can comment here,” Campriani said in eloquent but heavily accented English. “It’s not how you win, but how you handle the loss that tells you whether you’re a champion or not.

“Matt is an unbelievable person. The way he managed Beijing, the way he was able to smile after 10 minutes, and that was the most impressive thing I ever saw on the shooting range. He is a model for me, he’s absolutely an inspiration, and I am really happy he is with me today, because he’s a great champion.”





Monday, August 6, 2012

Matt Emmons wins Bronze in London


Matt Emmons, of Browns Mills, NJ wins the bronze medal in shooting in London


London Olympics: Matt Emmons, a Browns Mills native, takes bronze in 50-meter three-position rifle

Published: Monday, August 06, 2012, 8:47 PM     Updated: Monday, August 06, 2012, 9:02 PM

LONDON — He’s won a few medals, and he’s flubbed a few more. Maybe Matt Emmons will be always respected for the former and infamous for the latter, but neither factoid says as much about him — neither is nearly as illuminating — as the way his opponents think about him.

We learned this after the Jersey guy tore open his soul Monday for everyone to examine, before earning a bronze medal in the 50-meter three-position rifle competition.

By now, you know his story — he’s the guy who fumbled two golden chances for medals at Athens and Beijing, and beat thyroid cancer — but you don’t watch sport shooting very often, so it’s hard to know the collateral damage it creates. It’s not like you can see it. This is not a game for men who traffic in Category 5 meltdowns — twitchy, shirt-tugging, dozen-tics-per-minute guys of fan-friendly vulnerability.

This sport is a quadrennial obscurity for most Americans. Even a great triumph, such as the one the Emmons experienced at the Royal Artillery Barracks, would merit a quick mention on NBC, and only as a homeopathic dose of some producer’s inner soldier fantasy.
That’s how we felt before Monday. And now we’re here to tell you we were dead wrong: This is the most mentally exhausting, nerve-wracking experience you’ll ever see — at least the way Emmons does it — and it’s more than an appreciation you get from his ability to hold a 14-pound gun for 90 minutes and blast a pinhole through a quarter-sized target 50 meters away time after time after time.

This time, he nearly suffered a fate worse than ’04, when his crossfire cost him a gold medal at Athens; and worse than ’08, when he bricked a deciding shot (yes, it’s a hoops term, use your imagination) that cost him another.

Lamentable failures, but old news. Or so it seemed during the three qualifying rounds of 40 shots each, as Emmons was solid during the prone position round, superb during the standing position series, and a straight shooter during the kneeling position set.

“He’s been pretty positive since 2008,” said his wife Katrina, the Czech Olympian who has three medals herself. “It’s just really tough when you have some — excuse my word — asses reminding you. Some of them on purpose, some of them making fun, which was not nice.
“He’s had to overcome that, and it was hard. Because it made him sad that people remember him more as (having) failed rather than a success.”

So now he was one shot away from a silver medal again, in the eight-man finals competition, which involve just 10 standing shots.

Just to clarify: Targets in the finals shrink. Now these shots are akin to hitting a bullseye the size of a dime from more than a half-football field away, and he had scored six 10’s in his seven previous shots.

Pure. Confident. It is a skill that requires inhuman concentration. 

That’s when the Browns Mills product chose to remind us that the difference between calamity and serenity is about an inch, and largely influenced by a runaway heartbeat.
“I did everything I could to try to calm my body down,” Emmons said. “On the last shot, I was just shaking so much, I thought, ‘Okay, Matt — take your breaths, do your normal routine, and when you get on the target, start putting pressure on the trigger, and just keep going. Don’t hold up, don’t try to dress it up, just make it the best you can.’ ”

And with the memories of ’04 and ’08 swirling in the heads of everyone in the building, Emmons squeezed the trigger — very prematurely, it seemed — and the bullet pierced the target.
A gasp echoed throughout the hall as the board flashed a “7.6,” indicating it was a few inches southeast of the bullseye.

“I was jumpy,” he said. “I made a mistake.”

It was the worst shot — by far — of the Finals round.

Somehow, Emmons lived to tell about it, because he finished with 1271.3 points to 1271.0 for a Frenchman named Cyril Graff.

After 130 shots over five hours, Emmons earned his bronze by a decimal point. If Graff scored a 10.8 on his last shot instead of his 10.4, Emmons finishes fourth.

“Just to be on the podium is a special thing,” Jersey’s greatest marksman said. “The last four years have been tough. There’s been a lot of buildup, and I had the weight of the world on my shoulders — about how I was going to perform, how was I going to do on the last shot.”

He was gracious when that last shot brought bronze, just as he was when it brought heartbreak. This, however, cannot be expressed as well by scribbling strangers as it can by his peers, one of whom happened to set the Olympic record in this event Monday.

He is Niccolo Campriani, the splendid shooter from Italy who looks like an amiable corner grocer, who interjected an unsolicited remark that would make Emmons’ eyes moisten at the press conference.

“If I can comment here,” Campriani said in eloquent but heavily accented English. “It’s not how you win, but how you handle the loss that tells you whether you’re a champion or not.

“Matt is an unbelievable person. The way he managed Beijing, the way he was able to smile after 10 minutes, and that was the most impressive thing I ever saw on the shooting range. He is a model for me, he’s absolutely an inspiration, and I am really happy he is with me today, because he’s a great champion.”

The room, filled with roughly 40 reporters from about two dozen countries, broke out in applause, as Emmons reached over with his right hand to affectionately rub his friend’s shoulder. Then he blinked back tears again.
He is 31, and there could be more Olympics. Regardless of what happens next, know this: Emmons never allowed failure to define him, and he’s eager to share his new mantra: “It’s winning a bronze, not losing a silver,” he said.

He might have pulled the trigger at the wrong moment, but it was good enough. It’s not golden, but it’s something close to it.

Dave D’Alessandro:ddalessandro@starledger.com




Matt Emmons‘ final shot of the Olympic 50-meter three-position rifle competition was terrible. Again. Only this time, he was thrilled.

After seeing gold medals — or any medal, for that matter — slip away with last-bullet debacles in Athens and Beijing, Emmons finally made his way to the Olympic medal stand in the three-position event Monday.

A score of 7.6 on his final shot might be dreadful for someone at the elite level, but good enough for Emmons to win bronze at the Royal Artillery Barracks, the fourth and final medal for USA Shooting at the London Games.

Emmons won a 50-meter prone rifle gold at Athens and silver in the event at Beijing, but he is best-known for his Olympic misfortunes.

He was the leader with one shot left in three-position at Athens in 2004, then somehow managed to shoot at the wrong target. In BeijingEmmons again led with one shot left. That time, the gun went off before he was aligned with the target.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Jimmy and his Dad


        Jimmy and his dad at the Stars & Stripes America's Cup compound, Freemantle, Australia, 1987.
[photo copyright. To use please contact billkelly3@gmail.com]


“I was supposed to have been a Jesuit priest
Or a Naval Academy grad
That was the way that my parents perceived me
Those were the plans that they had
But I couldn’t fit the part
Too dumb or too smart
Ain’t it funny how we all turned out
I guess we are the people our parents warned us about”

“We Are the People Our Parents Warned Us About”

We are all products of our environment, and the child-rearing environment of the early fifties was pretty straight-forward. Like most of the other war babies I know, I come from a fairly dysfunctional background. My parents worked for as far back as I can remember. I know that’s where my worth ethic came from. They were typical middle-class Southerners in most regards, but there were also inherited traits that set them apart.

My father was a man of simple rules, though he could be totally unpredictable. We were well-known along the Gulf Coast as a seafaring family, but when World War II broke out, my father joined the Air Corps. I guess we have a hidden flying gene in there among all that salt water. My mother was the visionary. She loved music, musicals, and anything that had to do with the arts. She had attended college for two years before the Great Depression sent her out into the workforce, where she stayed for nearly sixty years.

My father’s idea of my future was hinged to the past. He saw me working on a boat. My mother taught me to dream and expand my horizons beyond family traditions and my childhood surroundings. They sure as hell did some things that I loved them for and some things that really pissed me off, but I still love them and love to go back to Alabama to visit….

I had made it a habit of coming home whenever I bought a new plane. It had become a ritual and a good excuse to visit my folks and get the approval of my purchase from former Army Air Corps master sergeant J.D. Buffet. Dad and I had never really talked about his flying days. I was so enamored of the exploits of my grandfather that I forgot that my old man had had a few adventures of his own. All I really knew was that he had been a flight mechanic in the war and had worked on B-17’s in Maine, B-25’s in Africa, and C-47’s in India. Now that we were both older and I had become romantically involved with airplanes, it became a wonderful opportunity to stay in touch with my dad. He had ridden with me in every airplane I had owned, and there had been a lot of them…

One day we had come in from a grueling day of multiple takeoffs and landings on the Cumberland River and I was venting my frustration about crosswind when my dad casually said, “You should try one with a fire on board.” He proceeded to tell me a flying story that made my day of training look like an afternoon at the spa.

He had been flying over the Himalayas from his base in India on a test flight in an old C-47. There was just the pilot, co-pilot, and my dad. They were cruising along when suddenly a fire light came on, indicating that the heater in the plane was on fire. It was located in the lower nose compartment. My father donned a gas mask, grabbed a fire extinguisher, and went down below. He found the heater ablaze and the fuel line that fed from the main fuel tank to the heater spraying aviation fuel, which immediately burst into flames. He managed to put the fire out and close the fuel valve. He picked up the headset that was connected to the flight deck to report to the pilots that the fire was indeed out. There was no reply. He climbed back out of the belly and found no one flying the plane. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the pilot and copilot preparing to bail out. They had failed to inform my dad of their intentions. The master sergeant ordered the officers back to the controls, and when they landed he reported them to the commander of the base and they were grounded.

“You never told me that story,” I muttered in disbelief.

J.D. never got to ride in the Albatross. To put it in old Army Air Corps terms, shortly before I bought it, he was ground zero for a direct hit, a hit from which he would not recover.

In early 1995 my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. He knew something had been wrong but wasn’t sure what….After the initial shock and once the devastating news had settled in, my father and I talked. Our conversations were more personal than they ha ever been…By the time he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, we had fortunately already made our peace. We had made it passed those testosterone-produced clashes that seem to be rites of passage for fathers and sons. But he was a fighter and in the next breath would come out swinging, ready to “take the bull by the horns,” as he put it. He never talked about licking Alzheimer’s like it was some kind of opponent he was going to defeat. He knew his fate. He told me he just wanted to so a few things he had never gotten to do. He was going to study his options and let me know.

When tragedy of such proportions occurs, the only thing you can do is hope that there have been some good times. It’s hard to catch up. My parents had gotten to enjoy the fruits of my success. They went to shows, hung out backstage with my crew and band, and acted like that was unique, wonderful, and very small group of people known as the parents of successful rock stars. They had traveled the world together, hoping to cruise on through the last part of their lives in the comfort of their nest, called Homeport. But that was not to be.

My father always had a great sense of humor. I think that’s where mine comes from, so I think he would be most pleased if I told this little story. One day I got a call from him, asking me to come to Alabama…I didn’t know if he would ask me to go to Mars on mainland China…We were sitting at the end of the pier. Pies on the eastern shore of the bay were not just structures that jutted into the shallow waters. They were not just shelters from the near-tropical summer sun. They were wooden islands…My father had overseen the construction of a pier that ran from the house on the bluff for the length of four football fields. It was his signature upon the landscape of the eastern shore…Since his retirement, the pier had been his base of operations….We were looking out over the shallow waters of Mobile Bay, savoring the day and the unique taste of fresh fried oysters on buttered French bread with hot sauce and tarter sauce, which mad eup the sandwich that’s synonymous with the Gulf Coast – the oyster loaf…

He drained the last sip of his Barq’s (rootbeer) and stared out across the bay. “You know what I was just thinking about?”

“What?” These days that could be a loaded question.

“Remember when you got thrown out of the sailing club for leaving the race and sailing all the way across the bay?”

I only had to think a moment about that major event in my misspent youth. It had been the same kind of day as today.

“You bet I do,” I said with a laugh.

“I never told you, but that was about as proud as I ever was of you. I mean, being the first Buffet to get a college degree was good, don’t get me wrong, but that time you decided to light out on you own, that was a moment.” 

Tears came into my eyes. I started to drift back to that incredible day…

“You know why I chose to fly instead of go to sea?”

“Why?” I asked.

“Because it was what I wasn’t supposed to do. Looks like you have made a career out of that, doing what you’re not supposed to do. I’m proud of you, boy.” 

Today when I join him for his walks down the oyster-shelled driveway out towards old Highway 98 or down to the end of the pier, I think of the lines from a song that I wrote about a fictitious but favorite character of mine named Desdemona.

“Her heart is in the kitchen, but her soul is in the stars.” Change the pronoun, and you have my dad – J.D.

Jimmy Buffet – From “A Pirate Looks at Fifty” (Fawcett Crest, 1998)











Saturday, July 28, 2012

Matt Emmons Shoots for Gold at London 2012 Olympics


 Matt Emmons shoots for gold at London 2012 Olympics 



2012 Official Olympic Program 

Matt Emmons
Sport:
Birthdate:
4/5/1981
Birthplace:
Mount Holly, NJ
Hometown:
Brown Mills, NJ
Residence:
Colorado Springs, CO
Ht/Wt:
5'10" / 165 lbs

Late collapses

Matt Emmons knows too well what it is like to let a gold medal slip out of his hands. In Athens, he was in position to claim the 50m rifle three position gold medal with a massive lead over his competition. But when he fired his last shot, everything went wrong. Emmons accidentally shot at the wrong target and registered a score of zero. Emmons finished eighth. "All I had to do, for me anyway, was just hit the target -- hit the target -- and you win," he said. Then in 2008, he pulled the trigger too early in the same event, the rifle three prone event, registering an unimaginably low score of 4.4 and dropping from first to fourth.

Always positive

One would think a man who has watched two Olympic gold medals slip from his hands would be a little bitter. Most probably would. But not Emmons.

“Mistakes that I made in Athens, mistakes that I made in Beijing, those things are very visible,” he said. “I’ve been asked a ton of times about those situations; had it brought back up.  And it hurt a lot at the time.  Something you work so hard for, and then it doesn’t pan out.  And then people are asking me, ‘Well, why didn’t it work out?’  Well, it’s kind of a tough thing.

“But also, I look at those things as learning opportunities.  You know, life is long.  My shooting career is long.  Because I failed in one competition doesn’t mean that I’m a failure as an athlete.  So I want to keep going.  I want to learn, I want to get better, and so I just use those as building blocks.”

Still a winner

Emmons may have had some well-documented troubles in the three prone, but he still earned a silver medal in Beijing in the 50m rifle prone. Even in Athens, when he shot at the wrong target in the three position, Emmons earned a gold medal in the 50m rifle prone that should not be forgotten.

A golden lining

After shooting the wrong target in three prone in Athens, Emmons went to a beer garden near the range. Before he knew it, he had a visitor in Katerina Kurkova, a shooter for the Czech Republic. The two chatted, hit it off and then didn’t see each other for a while. But they stayed in touch and eventually they were married in the summer of 2007. Katerina now uses Emmons’ last name and still shoots for the Czech Republic. She won bronze in the 10m air rifle in Athens, gold in the same event in Beijing and silver in the 50m rifle three position in Beijing.

More than a marksman

Emmons is an avid golfer and played baseball in high school. He even pitched a perfect game in baseball when he was in high school in New Jersey. However, he gave up baseball later in high school to focus on shooting. He still golfs about one time per week, when he can.

Pulling the strings

Emmons plays the guitar and enjoys playing songs by Tom Petty, Bob Dylan and the Beatles. He started out on the instrument by purchasing an old electric guitar off of a friend and eventually switched to acoustic.  



OFFICIAL SCHEDULE FOR SHOOTING PROGRAMS 

Mon, July 30 9:00a
Qualification

Mon, July 30 12:15p
Final



Men's 50m Rifle, 3 Pos.
Mon, Aug 06 9:00a
Qualification

Mon, Aug 06 1:45p
Final



Mirror Lake Water Festival Canceled



Mirror Lake Water Festival Canceled

Because of weather.


Body Found in Lake


Posted: Thursday, July 19, 2012 5:30 am | Updated: 7:10 am, Thu Jul 19, 2012.
By Matt Chiappardi Staff writer | 
Posted on July 19, 2012


PEMBERTON TOWNSHIP — A day after crews pulled a body from Mirror Lake, authorities are still trying to figure out who the victim is and how he got there.

Authorities were able to determine that the body was male, but have not been able to make any other identification Wednesday.

How the man died or ended up in the lake, which stretches into Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, remained a mystery.

Police said they have no open homicide or missing-person cases that might explain why the body showed up in the lake Tuesday evening.

“It’s like trying to find a needle in a haystack,” said Lt. Ron Kreig, spokesman for the township Police Department.

The Burlington County Medical Examiner’s Office began performing an autopsy Wednesday, but the results were not immediately available.

The body was recovered Tuesday after two kayakers reported seeing what they thought was a head in the lake near a dam by Lakehurst Road about 8 p.m., police said.

But authorities soon realized it was an entire body floating in the water. It had been there for some time.

The state of decomposition made a quick identification impossible. Authorities were not even able to determine the gender Tuesday night, police said.

They also could not figure out how long the body had been there or where it came from.
The same questions remain for a different body found in the woods in the township in June.

In that case, two motorcycle riders found the corpse along a trail near Quail Run Road, but police were not able to identify it because it was in “an advanced state of decomposition.”

Authorities said Wednesday that the results of the autopsy in that case are still pending.

If either incident is confirmed to be a homicide, it would be the first this year in Burlington County.

It also would be the first in the township since 2009, when a 28-year-old man was shot and killed outside the Pine Village Motel on Lakehurst Road.

Matt Chiappardi: 609-871-8054;
email: mchiappardi@phillyBurbs.com; Twitter: @mattchiappardi


PEMBERTON TOWNSHIP — Authorities have been able to determine that the body recovered from Mirror Lake on Tuesday was a man, but the identity remained a mystery Wednesday.
How the man died and when he ended up in the lake that stretches all the way into Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst was also not known Wednesday.
That information may have to wait until an autopsy is completed by the Burlington County Medical Examiner's Office, authorities said.
Two kayakers reported seeing what they thought was a head in the lake near the dam by Lakehurst Road about 8 p.m., police said.
When authorities got to the lake, they found it was an entire body that had been in the water for some time.
The incident remained under investigation Wednesday by both police and the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office.
This is the second decomposed body in as many months found in the township.
On June 17, two motorcycle riders found a body along a trail in the woods near Quail Run Road. In that case too, authorities could not identify it because of the decomposition.
A cause of death has not yet been released in that case, but if either is confirmed to be a homicide it would be the first this year in Burlington County.
It also would be the first in the township since 2009, when a 28-year-old man was shot and killed outside of the Pine Village Motel on Lakehurst Road.
Authorities ID body found in southern NJ lake


The Associated Press

Published: Saturday, Jul. 21, 2012 - 12:19 pm
PEMBERTON TOWNSHIP, N.J. -- Authorities have identified a body found in a southern New Jersey lake this week
Pemberton Township police say the death of Victor Miller isn't considered suspicious. But they still aren't sure when the 37-year-old township resident died or how long he had been in Mirror Lake before he was found Tuesday night by two kayakers.
The Burlington County Medical Examiner's Office has ruled that Miller's death was an accidental drowning. They said there were no signs of foul play.
Further details have not been disclosed.


PEMBERTON TWP. — A body was found floating in Mirror Lake just off Clubhouse Road by a group of kayakers Tuesday night, police dispatch confirmed.
According preliminary reports, the unidentified body was found about 8:30 p.m. The exact location of the call was 170 Clubhouse Road.
Mirror Lake is on the Rancocas Creek in Burlington County and is used mostly for recreational purposes. The lake, owned by Pemberton Township, has a surface area of 215 acres. No additional information was released by police officials.


PEMBERTON TWP. — Police here Friday said they have identified the body found in Mirror Lake earlier this week as that of township resident Victor Miller, 37.
Miller’s body was discovered Tuesday about 8 p.m. by two kayakers near the beach dock by North Lakeshore Drive.

Police said foul play is not suspected in Miller’s death, which was ruled an accidental drowning by the Burlington County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Officials said they are still trying to determine when Miller died and how long his body had been in the water before it was discovered.

Police are asking anyone with information about the incident to call (609) 894-3308, or the confidential tip line at (609) 894-3352.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Sun Bank Leaves Browns Mills Historic Building



Sun Bank, which recently upgraded the entire property, has closed its Browns Mills branch and placed the historic building for sale. The former Kays Gift shop and a health clinic before that, the hundred year old building is in fine shape, and should be converted into a first class restaurant or bed and breakfast.

It is for sale for $900,000.00


"Let no man say"

"Let no man say and say with shame, that all was beauty here until you came."


Thursday, March 22, 2012

First Catch of the Season



Sarah's dad Sam takes the first catch of the season off the hook - a pickeral, from Mirror Lake, on South Lakeshore Drive, Browns Mills, New Jersey.

The Old Log Cabin on S. Lakeshore Dr Browns Mills

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Tara's Tavern Cookstown NJ




Tara's Tavern
1 Cookstown – New Egypt Road
North Hanover, New Jersey 08562

American Bar and Grill
(map)

Tara’s Tavern is a destination, not a place that you will just happen to stumble on unless you are out driving in the Jersey Pines in the middle of Burlington County near JBMDL – Joint Base McGuire Dix Lakehurst – the new name of the combined Fort Dix-McGuire AFB and Lakehurst Naval Air Station.

At the intersection just outside Cookstown, you can go to New Egypt, Browns Mills or Wrightstown, but anyplace else, well you can’t get there from here, unless you go through one of the places.

A former biker bar, the pool table and juke box are gone and in their place is a more refined, brass and glass tavern with a sophisticated yet low key air about it.

Tara Brunal, whose family once ran a spaghetti restaurant, knew what she wanted when she transformed this place, keeping only the mahogany paneling, putting in a small, horseshoe bar with plenty of TVs for the sports fanatics, and a row of big booths that separate the bar from the dining room, so you can bring the kids and not even know there’s a bar there.

When I first walked in it was nice to see a friendly and familiar fact – Howard Green, the former bartender at Clarke’s in Mt. Holly (now John & Molly’s), who happens to like good music and has brought some great live band that play late on some Friday and Saturday nights.

Both Tara’s father and husband are military men, and being so close to the base there’s a strong military presence about the place, and 15% discount for military personnel on food on Monday-Wednesday and Thursdays.

And the food is really good, though with a small kitchen there’s a limited menu, and not like a diner that has everything. Though the menu is small, there are inexpensive items for children and prices that are pretty steady averaging $8 for lunch and $11 (Cheese Ravioli with homemade vodka sauce) to $19.99 (16 ounce New York Sirloin), with nothing over $20.

Howey books the groups so you know they're good - 

Saturday, October 13
 The Steve Constantino Band

Saturday, October 20
 Karaoke

Saturday, October 27
 Billy Walton Band

Saturday, November 3
 BENT MUSHROOM

Saturday, November 10
 License to Chill  with Vini "Mad Dog" Lopez

Description License to Chill featuring Vini "Mad Dog" Lopez, former drummer for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band!! 10pm to 1am - DONT MISS THIS SHOW!!!


Cookstown Diner, Cookstown, NJ


Old Log Cabin Hunting Lodge


Old Log Cabin Hunting Lodge - South Lakeshore Drive, Browns Mills, NJ

Friday, January 20, 2012

Inda Godda Da Vinci


Da Vinci Rock Man

The discovery of a series of previously unknown drawings by Leonardo da Vinci have revealed that the famed artist/inventor/scientist was even more ahead of his time than anyone realized.

"We knew that da Vinci conceived ideas vastly ahead of his own time, including helicopters, tanks, calculators, solar power, and even the theory of plate tectonics," said da Vinci biographer Irwin Nicholl. "But who knew that list also included cellular phones, hair-metal rock ballads and the Rotisserie Barbeque Platinum 5000 series?"

The drawing titled "Vitruvian Rock Man" appears to be the crown jewel of the bunch.

http://www.headlineshirts.net/da-vinci-rock-man.html?gclid=CLnxo4Tl3q0CFUHc4Aoden7XmQ

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The White Dog of the Ojibway Pays a Visit


The White Dog of the Ojibway Pays a Visit

A women stood at the edge of the clearing pouring grain from one bark platter to another, and the loose chaff drifted off on the slight wind like smoke.

The old dog saw nothing of this, but his ear and nose supplied all that he needed to know; he could contain himself no longer and picked his way carefully own the hillside, for his shoulder still pained him. Halfway down he sneezed violently in an eddy of chaff. One of the boys by the fire looked up at the sound, his hands closing on a stone, but the women nearby spoke sharply, and he waited, watching intently.


The old dog limped out of the shadows and into the ring of firelight, confident, friendly, and sure of his welcome; his tail wagging his whole stern ingratiatingly, ears and limps laid back in his nightmarish grimace. There was a stunned silence – broken by a wail of terror from the smaller boy, who flung himself at his mother – and then a quick excited chatter from the Indians.

The old dog was rather offended and uncertain for a moment, but he made hopefully for the nearest boy, who retreated, nervously clutching his stone. But again the women rebuked her son, and at the sharpness of her tone the old dog stopped, crestfallen.

She laid down her basket then, and walked quickly across the ring of the firelight, stopping down to look more closely. She spoke some soft words of reassurance, then patted his head gently and smiled at him. The old dog leaned against her and whipped his tail against her black stockings, happy to be in contact with a human being again. She crouched down beside him to run her fingers lightly over his ears and back, and when he licked her fact appreciatively, she laughed.

At this, the two little boys drew nearer to the dog and the rest of the band gathered around. Soon the old dog was where he most loved to be – the center of attention among some human beings. He made the most of it and played to an appreciative audience; when one of the men tossed him a chunk of meat he sat up painfully on his hindquarters and begged for more, waving one paw in the air. This sent the Indians into paroxysms of laughter, and he had to repeat his performance time and time again, until he was tired and lay down, panting but happy.

The Indian women stroked him gently in reward, then ladled some of the meat from the pot onto the grass. The old dog limped towards it, but before he ate he looked up in the direction of the hillside where he had left his two companions.

A small stone rebounded from rock to rock, then rolled into the sudden silence that followed.

When a long-legged, blue-eyed cat appeared out of the darkness, paused, then filled the clearing with a strident plaintive voice before walking up to the dog and calmly taking a piece of meat from him, the Indians laughed until they were speechless and hiccupping. The two little boys rolled on the ground, kicking their heals in an abandonment of the mirth, while the cat chewed his meat unmoved; but this was the kind of behavior the bull terrier understood, and he joined in the fun. But he rolled so enthusiastically that the wounds reopened: when he got to his feet again his white coat was stained with blood.

All this time the young dog crouched on the hillside, motionless and watchful, although every driving, urgent nerve in his body fretted and strained at the delay. He watched the cat, well-fed and content, curl himself on the lap of one of the sleepy children by the fire; he heard the faint note of derision in some of the Indians’ voices as a little, bent, ancient crone addressed them in earnest and impassioned tones before hobbling over to the dog to examine his shoulder as he lay peacefully before the fire. She threw some cattails roots into a boiling pot of water, soaked some moss in the liquid, and pressed it against the dark gashes. The old dog did not move; only his tail beat slowly. When she had finished, she scooped some more meat onto a piece of birch bark and setit on the grass before the dog; and the silent watcher above licked his lips and sat up, but still he did not move from his place.


But when the fires began to burn low and the Indians made preparations for the night, and still his companions showed no signs of moving, the young dog grew restless. He skirted the camp, moving like a shadow throught he trees on the hill behind, until he came out upon the lake’s sure a quarter of a mile upwind of the camp. Then he barked sharply and imperatively several times.

The effect was like an alarm bell on the other two. The cat sprang from the arms of the sleepy little Indian boy and ran towards the old dog, who was already on his feet, blinking and peering around rather confusedly. The cat gave a guttural yowl, then deliberately ran ahead, looking back as he paused beyond the range of the firelight. The old dog shook himself resignedly and walked slowly after – reluctant to leave the warmth of the fire. The Indians watched impassively and silently and made no move to stop him. Only the women, who had first befriended him called out softly, in the tongue of her people, a farewell to the traveler.

The dog halted at the treeline beside the cat and looked back, but the commanding, summoning bark was heard again, and together the two passed out of sight and into the blackness of the night.

The night they became immortal, had they known or cared, for the ancient women had recognized the dog at once by his color and companion: he was the White Dog of the Ojibways, the virtuous White Dog of Omen, whose appearance heralds either disaster or good fortune. The Spirits had sent him, hungry and wounded to test tribal hospitality; and for benevolent proof to the skeptical they had chose a cat as his companion – for what mortal dog would suffer a cat to rob him of his meat? He had been made welcome, fed and succored: the omen would prove fortunate.

One stop on The Incredible Journey By Sheila Burnford

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Devil Went Down to the Jersey Pines

The Piney's "Air Tune"

Similar folk legends appear in widely divergent areas and cultures, as is apparent in the song, “The Devil went Down to Georgia,” by the Charlie Daniels Band.

As a southern-country rock group, the Charlie Daniels Band has created a popular song that seems to appeal to people in a high state of inebriation.

The song is especially appropriate for dancing in a wild frenzy, with a story line that leads to extended fiddle solos.

It begins, “The devil went down to Georgia. He was lookin’ for a soul to steal…He was willin’ to make a deal.”

With a chorus that goes, “Fire on the mountain, run boys run – the Devil’s in the house of the rising sun,” which leads into the fiddle solos.

The story line of the song is what’s interesting – a fiddler and the devil compete in a fiddle contest. The musical duel that ensues ends with the devil losing out to a better musician.

The song takes on a sociological tone when compared to the story of the “Air Tune” of the Jersey Pineys as reported in John McPhees’s “The Pine Barrens” (Ballentine Books, 1967).

McPhee wrote: “Pineys once made violins out of red maple from the swamps. Sam Giberson (1808-1884), known throughout the pines as Fiddler Sammy Buck, one night told a group of people that he thought he could beat any competitor both as a fiddler and as a dancer.” Buck went on to claim that, “I think that I could beat the Devil.”

As the story goes, Giberson met the Devil on the way home that night. McPhee relates the story that, “The Devil told him to play his violin, and while Giberson played the Devil danced. Then the Devil played the violin while Giberson danced….but the Devil played the violin more sweetly. Giberson conceded defeat. The Devili then said that he was going to take Giberson to hell unless he could play a tune that the Devil had never heard.”

“Out of the air, by Giberson’s account, a tune came to him – a beautiful theme that neither Giberson nor the Devil had ever heard. The Devil let him go. That is what Giberson told people on the following day and for the rest of his life. The tune is known in the Pine Barrens as Sammy Giberson’s Air Tune. No one, of course, knows how it goes, but the Air Tune is there, everywhere, just beyond hearing.”

McPhee goes on to note that, “Giberson drank a lot, like many of the fiddlers of his time,” which is probably the one similar strain that runs through the backwoods of Georgia and the Jersey Pines.