Frisbee Literature

Sometimes frisbee crosses over into my hobbies. This week it filled up my reading time.

I have spent a lot of time over the past two years searching the local libraries for literature about frisbee, with disc golf/ultimate in particular. The findings have been scarce. There was one book: Ultimate Techniques and Tactics. It was written by James Parinella and Eric Zaslow, two great players. It is almost written for an advanced level of ultimate players, because it goes straight into how to make your game better and doesn’t bother too much with the simple concepts. I did gain information from this book, but the point is that I needed something else to help me understand frisbee and its history first. The search continued.

My mother works at a school library, and I get the opportunity to sort through the deleted books occasionally. That is where I obtained a book that seemed, by appearance to be from the beginning of ultimate’s creation. It is titled: Frisbee. No surprise there! This book by Stancil E. Johnson looks to have been released in 1975, only nine years after the creation of ultimate! This is a very interesting read because it has a lot of out to date drawings and information since this amazing sport has evolved so much. Even so, it helped me to learn a lot more about the history of ultimate and the creation of its organizations as well as about the origins of Folf, which is now known to us all as disc golf.

I still was missing a piece of literature that almost every established sport has. A memoir or an autobiography from a former/present frisbee player, whether it be ultimate or disc golf. There seemed to none in sight… until a few weeks ago, when I once again typed in “frisbee” in the library catalog search. The first book to pop up was titled Ultimate Glory and written by David Gessner. I opened the webpage and placed a hold. While doing so, I noticed the status of the book was “on order” so I wondered how recent the book was written. It turns out it was published in 2017! So not only was I getting the content I had been searching for, I was also getting a book written in the here and now!

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I would give Ultimate Glory, which I just finished last night, a 5/5 stars considering it is the only book of its kind so far. There are no other frisbee memoirs to compare it to so it deserves the best possible rating. It is suitable for young adults on up. Parents might want to monitor if their children read it because the language is not always appropriate and there are frequent drug references. Although this is to be expected since the book is written by an apparently somewhat atheistic man about his unwise college/twenties behavior that took place during a decade of drug experimentation. I would recommend the book to anyone who is a fan of flatball and wants to learn more about the gritty beginnings and the past decades of elite frisbee competition. This book can serve as an inspiration to play more or just throw more plastic than you do now.

Even if you are a skeptic of the sport, give it a chance. There are plenty of books out there that can help you decide if you should take it seriously. I’m biased obviously, but I feel that you should at least hear me out. Ultimate is in contention to be an Olympic sport, you should at least know how it works.

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EMG Installation: Firsthand Experience

firstlook.jpg
This is right after we opened the case for the first time.

My father recently purchased me a used guitar. It was in “okay” condition. It made noise, and when it was in tune it sounded like a guitar. It was apparent from the start that all three pickups were different. We could not tell from the outside or from our googling which pickup was the original or if any of them were stock. On top of this, the switch only worked in certain positions and the tone/volume control knobs were worn and grimy.

fretboard
There were little Saturns on the fret board instead of dots!

 

It needed some work and some TLC. My father and I opened it up and found that the neck pickup’s left screw hole was broken and the previous owner had just taped it the screw to the pickup. The other two pickups appeared to be in fine condition, but they took up so much space inside the body that the pick guard was sort of hunched up around the middle pickup. They were forcing the pick guard to bend.

My dad and I discussed the next step. I mentioned how I loved the guitar in its current state but I would like to get a pickup to replace the broken/taped one at the neck. After some online browsing my father decided that he would just buy a set of three new pickups. I was excited by his decision and when he said that he had bought a set of EMG’s I readily agreed. That being said, this was the first custom guitar my father and I had attempted, so we did not realize until the day afterward that the pickups he had ordered were active instead of passive.

brokenpickup
You can see how the hole for the screw on this pickup has been taped and not very well.

Up until this point we had no idea there were different types of pickups, we just thought there were different brands. After more googling on our part we discovered active pickups require a battery to be included in the inside of the guitar. Passive pickups do not have to be charged by a battery. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise though, because the active pickups allowed for easier setup and less soldering. Also, they just give a guitar such a slicker appearance.

 

After completion of installation I still have some static I have to deal with and the pick guard is still a little hunched. The switch didn’t fit in the original slot because it was too long, so we ended up drilling two new holes but they don’t stand out because the pick guard is black. I am proud of the job my father and I did and I hope this post encourages other guitar players to try their hand at customization. It makes the guitar much more valuable to the player if they have worked on it personally.

lastlook
This was after the pickup replacement and the addition of fresh control knobs. I wanted red ones but have not come across any yet.

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