Friday, July 22, 2005

Of things Blue and Gold....

So as most of you know Lynn and I are Notre Dame alumni. We have just completed an annual ND ritual that ranks high on the list of many alumni.

The Notre Dame Football Ticket Lottery.

This process is very involved. Perhaps too involved in the eyes of observers, who I am sure just don't understand the need for all the fuss. It is just a football game. No, I say. It's Notre Dame Football. BIG Difference.

To say ND makes money off of this lottery is an understatement. I mean, how can they not? Your first step in becoming eligible is to become attend ND and graduate. Thus you just spent a ton on tuition. Second, once you are alumni you have to contribute to the ND Annual Fund in order to get the form that will allow you to enter the lottery. Making the contribution does not guarantee you will get tickets. This contribution is a minimum $50 for Young Alumni (those that have graduated within 7 years) and $100 for Alumni. Once that is taken care of you wait for the lottery form to show up in the mail sometime in April. At this point you pick the games you want to attend and how many tickets you want to buy. Note that there are limits on the number of tickets you can purchase per game. Single ticket prices this year were $56 dollars each. This, of course, is up from last year. Oh, and don’t forget the $15 mandatory service charge for each application. So once this is sent in you get to wait till mid July to get the results. Thankfully, we won tickets on all but one of the games we requested. Ironically, we can only attend one game this year (BYU) so we are helping out others in need with the tickets we will not be able to use. You can figure out that the cost of just getting a ticket can be high, but it is ND Football. You could say we are a bit obsessed.

Now can this possibly be worth it? Well in a word “Yes.” The people that we get to see and times we spend together there are certainly “priceless.” Win or lose, it is like one big party. ND does not have a Homecoming game anymore and has not for quite sometime? Why? Well, it is a moot point. So many alumni come to the games that there is not a need for one. You are bound to see someone you know in a chance meeting.

As of this writing there are 43 days left till kickoff against Pitt. Go Irish! Beat Panthers!

On another ND related note I have recently altered a trombone of mine in anticipation of next years ND Band Alumni Reunion. I know, I know, I am crazy and wacky but I should get good T.V. time, lol. I am including pictures below.

For those who care, this is a used Blessing B128 model I got at a music store. The trombone had been refurbished so I got it at a good price. The hardest part of this process was finding someone who would do a good job relacquering the bell. I had heard of, and seen, other trombones that had custom lacquer jobs but no one in the DFW area does this. Well, not without spray paint and some tape. So I asked around and after about a month heard that Brook Mays bought a respected music store in Abilene that was known for its refurbishment talent and had become their new Brook Mays Refurbishment Center. They also did custom lacquer jobs. SCORE!

After a few email exchanges I was set. Basically, I only wanted the bell of the horn relacquered. The original slide would serve as the ‘gold’ in the blue/gold motif I wanted. The bell had to be stripped of its original lacquer and then nickel plated. The nickel would allow the blue to show up better and not be tinted by the actual brass underneath the original lacquer. Once the nickel set in the blue lacquer was applied. This is just like the normal brass lacquer that is applied to horns, just, well, blue. With the nickel background the blue turns brighter. You take care of the blue lacquer just like you would on a normal horn so there is no hassle with maintenance. I am very pleased to say the least.

Note the mouthpiece. This is a 6 ½ AL Kelly Crystal Blue mouthpiece. It is made out of Lexan which is similar to the material that comprises bulletproof glass and safety eyeglass lenses. This also has the advantage of not conducting heat or cold. Pretty neat huh!

I have figured out how to put some permanent links on the sidebar to the left of this writing so be sure and check those out. It lists other blogs, ND related stuff and trombone related stuff.

  • ND Nation is a message board for ND Sport Fans, and not just football.
  • Blue Gray Sky Blog is another ND Football related link but with great writing and well thought out articles.
  • Jeff Squyres is a very good friend of mine from college and you can see how he is handling is computer related work and twin daughters at the same time.
  • nonchalantsavant post some rather interesting finds on the internet and will entertain you at the office while you are bored
  • The Phantom Professor caused quite a stir at a local university here in Dallas with her behind the scenes look at the state of academics and the mental state of her students. This is good writing and reading.
  • The Online Trombone Journal is the online haven for trombonists around the world.
  • I perform with the NDTC
  • GrooveBone is an internet radio station devoted to trombone performances and the music behind them.

I will list links for Lynn once she tells me what she would like (This is a hint).

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