Sunday, August 30, 2009

We're #2; FINAL DCA Rankings

Our score from last weekend not only held against the leaders, but set the table for a VERY intriguing Championship weekend.

Below are the final season rankings, and the order of appearance for the semis finals which take place in Rochester NY, next Saturday evening. Never before have we been in such a position to make Drum Corps history.

There is no doubt we are traveling East with the BEST MN Brass ever. but now it is up to us. My goal this year was never to win, but to put out the best performance possible, having no regrets, and walking off the field with my head held high. The bonus here, is, the dream my become a reality.

My flight leaves Thursday morning, details from DCA are here.


*** Final Regular Season Rankings for All-Age Corps
**** DCA/DCI All-Age Corps - Based on Newest Score ****

Open Class:
01 (04) - 95.025 (2) - Buccaneers
02 (01) - 93.638 (3) - Minnesota Brass, Inc.
03 (05) - 93.563 (1) - Hurricanes
04 (02) - 92.900 (1) - Empire Statesmen
05 (03) - 92.150 (2) - Caballeros
06 (09) - 89.525 (8) - Renegades
07 (07) - 88.150 (1) - Brigadiers
08 (06) - 88.013 (1) - Bushwackers
09 (08) - 84.088 (3) - Kilties
10 (10) - 82.788 (5) - CorpsVets
11 (11) - 82.350 (5) - Alliance
12 (12) - 80.838 (5) - Music City Legend
13 (13) - 76.650 (2) - Crusaders

Class A:
01 (01) - 81.988 (3) - Govenaires
02 (02) - 79.225 (2) - Grenadiers
03 (03) - 77.300 (2) - Fusion Core
04 (04) - 75.888 (7) - Carolina Gold
05 (05) - 75.650 (3) - Vigilantes
06 (06) - 71.613 (2) - White Sabers
07 (07) - 71.138 (8) - SoCal Dream
08 (08) - 68.438 (5) - Sun Devils
09 (09) - 64.525 (6) - Sunrisers
10 (10) - 64.475 (3) - Lakeshoremen
11 (11) - 63.175 (8) - Kingsmen
12 (12) - 60.438 (4) - Excelsior
13 (13) - 57.200 (2) - Shenandoah Sound


(1) = 08/29/2009 - Bridgeport, CT (DCA)
(2) = 08/29/2009 - Reading, PA (DCA)
(3) = 08/23/2009 - St Peter, MN (DCA)
(4) = 08/22/2009 - Norwich, NY (DCA)
(5) = 08/22/2009 - Rockmart, GA (DCA)
(6) = 08/22/2009 - Secaucus, NJ (DCA)
(7) = 08/15/2009 - Toms River, NJ (DCA)
(8) = 08/29/2009 - Morgan Hills, CA (DCA)

- - - - - -

Championship Prelims Order of Appearance
2009 DCA Championship Preliminary Contest - September 5.

Order of appearance:

Class A:
1. Shenandoah Sound

2. Excelsior

3. Lakeshoremen

4. Sunrisers

5. Sun Devils

6. White Sabers

7. Vigilantes

8. Carolina Gold

9. Fusion Core

10. Grenadiers

11. Govenaires

Open Class:
1. Crusaders

2. Music City Legend

3. Alliance

4. CorpsVets

5. Kilties

6. Brigadiers

7. Bushwackers

8. Renegades

9. Caballeros

10. Empire Statesmen

11. Hurricanes

12. Minnesota Brass, Inc.

13. Buccaneers

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Lion Rests

Sen. Edward Kennedy passes:
"We've lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism and perseverance will live on in our hearts forever," a family statement said. "We thank everyone who gave him care and support over this last year, and everyone who stood with him for so many years in his tireless march for progress toward justice."
The President shares:
"An important chapter in our history has come to an end. Our country has lost a great leader, who picked up the torch of his fallen brothers and became the greatest United States Senator of our time."
The Senator was born in Boston on February 22, 1932; he was 77.


Monday, August 24, 2009

In the Hunt

GREAT weekend. here are the rankings based on most recent scores. City and dates in () are the most recent show for each corp:
Open Class:
1 - 93.638 Minnesota Brass (St Peter, MN 8/23)
2 - 92.638 Empire Statesmen (Norwich, NY 8/22)
3 - 92.125 Caballeros (Secaucus, NJ 8/22)
4 - 91.975 Buccaneers (Cicero, NY 8/15)
5 - 91.263 Hurricanes (Toms River, NJ 8/15)
6 - 89.050 Bushwackers (Secaucus, NJ 8/22)
7 - 88.150 Brigadiers (Norwich, NY 8/22)
8 - 84.088 Kilties (St Peter, MN 8/23)
9 - 83.463 Renegades (Dublin, CA 7/19)
10- 82.788 CorpsVets (Rockmart, GA 8/22)
11- 82.350 Alliance (Rockmart, GA 8/22)
12- 80.838 Music City Legend (Rockmart, GA 8/22)
13- 75.950 Crusaders (Norwich, NY 8/22)
I'm back to work today. With the final push of the season on, and things gearing up at work, Centrisity will continue to be on its Summer siesta. But that will change soon, there is MUCH to talk about.

For those still wanting to catch a final glimpse of the BEST Drum Corps to EVER come out of the state of Minnesota, you still have a few chances.

Final Wednesday (8/26) at Sears Outlet center near Industrial Blvd (2700 Winter Street)

Champlin Park High School on Saturday Evening (8/29) for the District 11 preview show.

FINAL Minnesota rehearsal on Sunday (8/30) at the Blaine National Sports Center.

Details to follow!


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Sounds of Minnesota

HUGE show this evening. FINAL competitive performance in the Twin Cities

Sounds of Minnesota

DCA Drum and Bugle Field Show and Competition

August 22, 2009
7:00 PM Rain or Shine
Ettinger Field, South Saint Paul High School
South Saint Paul, MN 55075

You know where I'll be!


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Last of the Fifth! *UPDATE*LOCATION CHANGE*

Rehearsal location has changed!!!

THANKS to the Minnesota Vikings, Minnesota Brass, Inc will be at METRODOME from 6 - 10:00 this evening. You can park in the upper lot on the East side of the dome. This is along the 11th street side. Enter through the security door on the Southeast side by the tunnel.

Full show performances will still take place at 8:30 and 9:45.

What a GREAT thing to do on this icky rainy Summer day then come indoors and watch the BEST drum Corps Minnesota has ever had to offer

- - - -

Today, at 49, I begin the end of my 5th decade of existence. It has been a heck of a ride so far, with many more years to come.

YOU can help me celebrate by stopping down to Minnesota Brass rehearsal, this evening. Full show performances will take place at 8:30 and 9:45. With only one Wednesday left, time is running out to see this championship caliber organization. Rehearsals are at the old Sears Outlet Store; 2700 Winter Street, Minneapolis.

Also, this weekend is the Minnesota swing and the final competitive performances of the corps prior to World Championships. GREAT seats are still available.

Aug. 22 - Sounds of Minnesota; South St. Paul
Aug. 23 - Drum Corps EXPO; St. Peter, MN

Here's a little something to get you in the mood, a TV ad for Championships:

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Untying the Knot!

An excellent article in the Sunday Strib got me thinking. Something that I hadn't heard in the debate, maybe due to the droning of the astro turf groups' attempts to prohibit healthy dialogue. But the Strib was able to find folks with genuine concerns. One person in particular had an amazing observation:
"I'm frustrated with the system and I want reform," she said. "It's just not this reform that I want."

Instead of rushing to create a public insurance option, Schwarz said the government should find a way to separate health care insurance from being tied to your employer -- what she considers "the first and greatest mistake in the evolution of health care America." Consumers, she argued, should be able to shop for coverage like they shop for car insurance or a TV, not forced to accept whatever their employer will provide.

"Everyone is afraid they're just one pink slip away from losing their health care," she said. "If my husband were to lose his job or his life, me and my kids would be left in the lurch."
Now I understand that eliminated pools, open enrollment periods, and other necessary requirements to address pre-existing conditions may be a hindrance to the separation of Health Insurance from Employers, but this really makes sense.

Has this issue been out there before, cause I don't, recall seeing it being addressed by either side.

Thoughts? (comments involved more in monster poking and not debate will be briskly deleted!)


Monday, August 17, 2009

Competition Intensifies

The Spread is closing and the top 4 DCA corps are in a battle for their competitive lives. In Scranton, 2 weeks ago, the top 4 corps were separated by almost 4 points. Now that spread has closed to less then 2 ( 1.887 )

Here are the latest rankings from the weekend

Open Class:
01 (01) - 91.975 (1) - Buccaneers
02 (02) - 91.263 (3) - Hurricanes
03 (04) - 90.163 (3) - Caballeros
04 (05) - 90.088 (2) - Minnesota Brass
^^^ The Contenders ^^^

05 (03) - 88.938 (1) - Empire Statesmen
06 (07) - 85.150 (3) - Bushwackers
07 (08) - 84.313 (1) - Brigadiers
08 (06) - 83.463 (6) - Renegades
09 (09) - 79.988 (5) - CorpsVets
10 (10) - 78.000 (5) - Music City Legend
11 (11) - 77.913 (5) - Alliance
12 (13) - 76.463 (2) - Kilties
13 (12) - 72.625 (1) - Crusaders

Class A:
01 (04) - 75.888 (3) - Carolina Gold
02 (02) - 75.300 (1) - Grenadiers
03 (06) - 74.600 (2) - Govenaires
04 (01) - 74.075 (4) - Fusion Core
05 (03) - 71.138 (6) - SoCal Dream
06 (05) - 70.413 (1) - White Sabers
07 (10) - 63.900 (1) - Sunrisers
08 (07) - 63.175 (6) - Kingsmen
09 (08) - 63.100 (5) - Sun Devils
10 (09) - 59.700 (5) - Lakeshoremen
11 (12) - 56.238 (1) - Excelsior
12 (11) - 55.950 (5) - Shenandoah Sound


(1) = 08/15/2009 - Cicero, NY (DCA)
(2) = 08/15/2009 - Racine, WI (DCA)
(3) = 08/15/2009 - Toms River, NJ (DCA)
(4) = 08/08/2009 - Kingston, NY (DCA)
(5) = 08/01/2009 - Antioch, TN (DCA)
(6) = 07/19/2009 - Dublin, CA (DCI)

This weekend is HUGE and your FINAL chance to see Drum Corps in Minnesota, INCLUDING the potential world champion and the GREATEST drum corps to ever come out of the state.

Aug. 22 - Sounds of Minnesota; South St. Paul
Aug. 23 - Drum Corps EXPO; St. Peter, MN

Friday, August 14, 2009

Alienating the True Dissenters

I have legitimate concerns about the current version of the Health Insurance reform package. I am not sold on a public option, I have reservations on current funding mechanisms, and I am not convinced that mandatory coverage will resolve the emergency room backlogs.

I was hoping to watch some of the Town Halls and observe the sincerity of our congress members. But we are being denied that. Legitimate dissent, and the need for open dialogue is being denied. Faux outrage and organized shout downs are preventing those who truly want answers from obtaining them.

Leaked memos (PDF)show the true intention of these immature individuals:
* Artificially Inflate Your Numbers: "Spread out in the hall and try to be in the front half. The objective is to put the Rep on the defensive with your questions and follow-up. The Rep should be made to feel that a majority, and if not, a significant portion of at least the audience, opposes the socialist agenda of Washington."

* Be Disruptive Early And Often: "You need to rock-the-boat early in the Rep's presentation, Watch for an opportunity to yell out and challenge the Rep's statements early."

* Try To "Rattle Him," Not Have An Intelligent Debate: "The goal is to rattle him, get him off his prepared script and agenda. If he says something outrageous, stand up and shout out and sit right back down. Look for these opportunities before he even takes questions."
Artificially inflate numbers, Be Disruptive, Rattle Him; is this really how we have civil debate in this country.

The administration is making a sincere effort to legitimately engage the populous. These are NOT controlled environments with hand picked participants and staff at the door monitoring special guest lists like the prior administration. These are open door public opportunities that are being hi-Jacked by a roving group of disruptors.

Yes, there is legitimate concern, outrage, and emotion out there. But what we are seeing in Town Halls over the country are organized tactics consistent with the memos and messages being pushed by a select few. They are diluting the voice of those of us who have legitimate questions and concerns. We want to work towards compromise as we all agree something needs to be done. But there are those who just want the spotlight, the headlines, and the attention.

They'll get it all right, but at the cost of credibility which will stifle their voice in the end. Soon the proponents of reform will move on while showing they made a concerted effort to include everyone in the debate. But without true counter proposals being offered, and compromise on the table, they will simply approve the bill as is. THAT, should concern everyone. Unfortunately, the opposition is to short sighted to see that.

Sad, really!


Toons via MStreeter, Savannah Now

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sgt. Tom, Retired!

As of last Friday, my son has completed his service with the United States Marine Corps. He currently is attending Engineering classes in Southern California. I hope he will find some time in his busy schedule to come home and visit his family.

The Sargent's 5 years in the service included time on the Iwo Jima and a deploy to the Al Asad airbase in the Anbar Province of Iraq.

I thank the lord for his safe return, and honor Sgt Tom's commitment and dedication to country. He now moves on to the next chapter in his life.

Semper Fi.

Next, my soon to be senior in high school, enlisting in the Air Force. Then the following year my youngest boy will sign up with the US Navy; like his grand father and Great Grand Father.

I honor and support their decision to serve or country.

Proud Marine Dad!

Saturday, August 08, 2009

DCI Finals - 2009; Blue Devils 13th Title

CONGRATULATIONS on #13, BD (Oh and the Alma mater sneaking by Phantom, while knocking on Boston's door; FCO)

08 August 2009
DCI World Class Finals
Indianapolis, IN

01. 99.05 - BD
02. 97.50 - Crown
03. 97.20 - Garfield
04. 96.15 - Cavies
05. 95.65 - SCV
06. 93.15 - Bluecoats
07. 90.70 - Boston
08. 90.05 - Blue Stars
09. 89.90 - Phantom
10. 87.75 - Glassmen
11. 86.45 - Blue Knights
12. 85.10 - Troopers

Friday, August 07, 2009

DCI Semi-Finals 2009

Troopers in, Colts out. Bittersweet for me as a young man who I watched grow up as his parents marched Brass was marching Colts this year.

In 1986, Troopers made finals with the same score, an 85.9, the irony, The 27th Lancers were 13th, with the same scores as Colts, an 85.6

- - - - - - -

01 98.400 BD
02 97.500 Crown
03 97.200 Garfield
04 96.050 Cavies
05 95.900 SCV
06 93.550 Bluecoats
07 91.200 Boston
08 90.650 Phantom
09 90.400 Blue Stars
10 87.950 Glassmen
11 87.550 Blue Knights
12 85.900 Troopers


13 85.600 Colts
14 83.750 The Academy
15 82.400 Madison
16 81.650 Crossmen
17 80.450 Spirit

DCI Quarter Finals 2009

Drum Corps International (DCI) is the governing body of Junior Drum and Bugle Corps. They have a youth focus and a specific age limit. These performers can march up until their 22nd birthday. With that, they can tour all season long, rehearsal 8 - 10 hours a day. They can get pretty darn clean come the end of the season, which is this weekend.

Last night was Quarterfinals with the top 17 advancing to this evening's semi finals. Tonight the top 12 finalists will be determined.
06 August 2009
DCI World Class Quarterfinal
Indianapolis, IN

01. 97.95 - Blue Devils
02. 96.10 - Carolina Crown
03. 96.05 - Holy Name Cadets
04. 95.85 - The Cavaliers
05. 95.50 - Santa Clara Vanguard
06. 92.65 - Bluecoats
07. 90.70 - Phantom Regiment
08. 90.35 - Boston Crusaders
09. 89.95 - Blue Stars
10. 87.75 - Glassmen
11. 87.00 - Blue Knights
12. 86.05 - Troopers
13. 85.15 - Colts
14. 83.90 - The Academy
15. 83.50 - Madison Scouts
16. 81.90 - Crossmen
17. 80.70 - Spirit

---- Top 17 Corps Advance to Semifinal on Friday ----

18. 79.65 - Mandarins
19. 79.05 - Pacific Crest
20. 78.75 - Jersey Surf
21. 75.75 - Pioneer
22. 73.95 - Cascades
I belong to an all age corps, governed by Drum Corps Associates. Our nationals are Labor Day weekend in Rochester NY. We still have time to get better!

MN Brass, Inc - 1978, 79, 86-92, 94-96, 98, 99, 2001, 2003, 2009
Blue Stars - 1980
Govenaires - 2005
Pride of Drum Corps All Stars - Orange Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Sotomayor Confirmed

via CNN:
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Senate on Thursday confirmed Judge Sonia Sotomayor's Supreme Court nomination by a 68-31 vote, making her the first Hispanic on the high court.

Sotomayor's confirmation also makes the 55-year-old federal appeals court judge the 111th person to sit on the Supreme Court, and the third female justice.

Nine Republicans joined a unanimous Democratic caucus in supporting her nomination.

The confirmation was read out by Sen. Al Franken, D-Minnesota.
That's right,our very own Senator Allan Franken presided over the vote with the following statement in announcing the results.

From a DFL press release:
“Today’s historic confirmation of Justice Sotomayor is a victory for the rule of law and a blow against right-wing judicial activism. Justice Sotomayor’s experience in law and in life has spanned tumultuous decades, and her time spent in the federal court system exceeds that of any other justice in over a century. Her grasp of legal doctrine and her passion for the law justify her bipartisan confirmation and will make her a superb voice for a more just society on our nation’s top court. I am proud to see her seated on the Supreme Court.”

Marionette Me

Wednesday, August 05, 2009


via Donklephant:
As this health care debate continues, what I find puzzling is how people seem completely fine with private insurance companies denying care because they might lose money, but if the government would ever suggest rationing, well, it’s time for a revolt!

Take the case of Shelly Andrews-Buta, who was denied treatment for brain cancer because…wait for it…she went beyond the number of tumors that a certain piece of technology was allowed to operate on.
Please, read the rest, and the accompanying story on Shelly.

Another great source I have found on this debate was a very popular Frontline episode, Sick Around the World. It was one of the first shows that caught my eye and made a sincere effort to compare and contrast the various public options other countries are using. They all have their successes and failures, no different than our current private system, and the public options being proposed.

Educate yourself, go beyond the spin and the talking points.


Monday, August 03, 2009

Back from Scranton, Back to Work

What an amazing and productive weekend. Almost 40 hours on a bus was well worth the day in PA and the performance in the evening. We are right in the mix, as we had hoped. With 5 weeks to go before Nationals there is much we can do to to keep getting better.

Scores from the evening:

1. 88.963 Buccaneers
2. 86.863 Hurricanes
3. 85.925 MN Brass Inc
4. 85.050 Caballeros
5. 83.850 Empire Statesmen
6. 78.150 Bushwackers

And the reviews are in:
Minnesota Brass Inc. (54B/23D/10P/23CG) took to the field with their program "Nocturne." They feature several tasty small ensemble solos throughout the show. Their first big hit was welcomed by the crowd. "My Immortal" was a unique treatment that sets them aside from the other corps who have played it. The drum line was as good (if not better) than they've ever been. The color guard performed very well and was well integrated into the overall visual program. This is the strongest brass line they've ever had from top-to-bottom. What stands out this year is the visual program. Much more velocity and precision. Also the use of simultaneous responsibility and body movement should help them reach the top.
And then this same reviewer shares how HE thought the corps should have finished:
Here's how I scored the corps:

1. MN Brass Inc 92.238
1. Buccaneers 92.238
3. Caballeros 88.900
4. Hurricanes 87.688
5. Empire Statesmen 85.500
6. Bushwackers 74.725

Drum Major - Bush
Color Guard - Bush
Honor Guard - Hurcs
Visual - Bucs
Perc - Bucs & MBI (tie)
Brass - MBI

Why? Bucs perform like robots. Albeit very talented robots, but there is a lack of emotion in an emotionally overwhelming book. In Wildwood I could feel passion. Last night I felt nothing. Minnesota Brass has it all over them in that department. Hurricanes were alot of fun to watch, but their hornline lacks control from over-performing, much in the same way Cabs drumline does. And no, I didn't feel Hurcs had the best guard of the evening. Bucs guard was SOLID. And Bush performed the hell out of their show. Minnesota's guard was highly underrated as well. In truth, I thought the Hurcs guard had a slightly off night. Things weren't as crisp as usual. I mean no disrespect to anyone, and sorry if your feelings are hurt, but I have to call 'em like I see 'em.
This was the first time the DCA judges had seen us all year, and that, in itself creates, adjudicating challenges. But in reality, the scores and numbers are for the crowd. We just want to be the best we can be for the love of the activity. Hopefully that means a top 3 finish, but as long as we lay down the best product we possibly can, numbers don't really mean anything.

And then there was the proud Daddy moment of the weekend where I got a quick shot of me with my two youngest boys who were along for the trip to be in the honor guard. They weren't a big fan of the long bus ride (23 1/2 hours out and about 20 hours back), but both said they would do it again. In two weeks we are off to Milwaukee, but that will be a driving trip and a bit more mobility available.

Rehearsal on Wednesday, and an off weekend coming up. It will give me a chance to catch up on the Health Care debate, and other political issues that have taken a back seat over the past week.