Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Big Reef, Big Teeth

The skindiving overlord with our name has quite a Net presence. I'll pick a few citations for posts.

You can get a sense from his great-white-shark dives (in combo with Rodney Fox). Pix and descriptions here.

Not surprisingly, you get free wine, beer, or sodas when you decide to swim amongst the vicious fishes. However, they could use more comforting details; they claim a 100% last-season success rate photographing sharks between 10 and 17 feet. They also state "Expeditions led by Rodney Fox have had a 94% success rate over 30 years." I choose to assume that means that six of 100 folk do not see sharks and not something more nefarious.

Mike himself looks like a jolly enough guy (and is likely to have all his limbs). You can see him and click through to various dive summaries here.

Note: There was no copyright claim on the image.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Tug on the Memory

After a week Downeast, blogging renews.

We were above Acadia in Maine and now I am stuck with trying to recall the name of a fascinating fellow I met there nearly 40 years ago, one with a Ball family connection. If anyone knows of him, please relay the information.

A friend had spent the summer as nanny to a family in snooty Seal Harbor. Well, my fellow was not snooty, as I discovered when I drove from Cambridge, Massachusetts, to bring her back to town. She did not care much for most townspeople. Not only were they wealthy, but they had the New England arrogance of demanding deference.

However, she had run into and was befriended by a retired physician with many jokes and quirks. He was a genealogist and historian, but his most memorable trait had to do with his tugboat. He had built his own tiny steam tug, which he used to right sailboats of the clumsy rich kids after they (frequently) capsized them. It amused him greatly to be the savior of the spoiled boys and girls.

He invited us to his porch on the harbor for drinks and we had a jolly afternoon, just the pinkos and the old doc. Eventually, he asked my last name again. Hearing Ball, he asked where the family came to America and when. It turned out that one of his greatgrandmothers was also a Ball, descended from the same John Ball who landed in Virginia in the early 17th century.

He and I were both pleased to find out that we were direct cousins.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Worshipping Mike

I am understandably prejudiced for anyone named Michael Ball. However, for a real fan memoir head over to My Michael Ball Year.

This very pleasant Dutch fellow followed the singer about on and off during 1999. The site even has pictures with and without his idol.

As a bit of insight into a true fan's mind, you can see that even an initial non-meeting is cause for joy:
I saw that they were selling Michael Ball Merchandise so I bought every item.

The concert was just great. I am not going into detail, but for my first Michael Ball concert it was stunning. After the show we all waited for Michael to show up. Everyone came out the Stagedoor, (Tom Jones included), but there was no Michael. It started to rain and after 90 minutes only a few people were left to see Michael come out. I took some photos and after that I left for my hotel. I was very tired but I couldn’t sleep because my head was full of wonderful memories.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Black and White Ball

The Drama Store offers a series of zines and art on paper by Mike Ball.

The store is an online one, based in Richmond, Virginia. It represents many artists. Purchases take a PayPal account.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Marriage of Mikes

Like the proverbial complementary couple, Mike Ball and Mike D'Epagnier swap and share as brokers with Mutual Asset Advisors in Denver, Colorado. A 2001 Registered Rep article covers their interaction.

Mike Ball is the big-picture guy and his partner is the small-details one, they say. As the article puts it:
D'Epagnier says. "He wants to know what the completed picture - the finished product - is going to look like in five years."

"I don't want to be bothered by details," Ball says. "I learned early in this business that if you're not good at something, find someone who is."

D'Epagnier is good at details.

"If we were the movie, `Pirates of Silicon Valley,' I'd be Paul Allen and Mike [Ball] would be Steve Jobs," D'Epagnier says.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Holding Husker Record

They must have been prodigies. The 1983 North Platte, Nebraska, high school 400-meter relay team still holds the school record.

The team was:
  • Darin Hill
  • Mike Ball
  • Ty Johansen
  • Rob Zarkowski
The still-standing record is 43.1 seconds.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


Much to my surprise, there is a Mike Ball who rides to the hounds. In North Carolina, at Yadkin Valley Hounds, you can wear a red jacket without anyone snickering.

Mike must be pretty good. He and Sunni McKnight placed first in the recent (July 24th) Division 1 — Fast time rides.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Gen-Y Free Association

Emily quotes Mike Ball fairly extensively on her site. We learn a bit about her, but little about Mike other than his memorable comments, including:
  • "is that an umbrella?" pointing to chrissy's drink, "is that to keep the sun out?"
  • "oops! can't step on the ming rug. wait! we don't have one of those. those don't even exist do they? ming vase! we don't have one of those either."
  • "i want to suck on your leg" (i don't even know the context of this)
There's also a picture of much of Mike here.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Jag-ged Repairs

If you are in the U.K., you can turn to Mike Ball to restore your Jaguar or Austin Healey. His Beacon Garage is in Gringley on the Hill, Doncaster, South Yorkshire.

It's family up and down. His dad had the garage. Now Mike runs it with a daughter, son and six staff.

It started as just a petrol stop. Dad grew it into restoration and sales businesses. Mike's son gets dirty. His daughter runs the business office.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Brassy Meathead

I can't figure out why, but Donald Adamek has - among many other pages - info on the University of Michigan tuba players. One is Michael Ball, a.k.a. Meathead.

You can see him in uniform here.

He was a senior. So he can assume he's taken his mouthpiece elsewhere.

His hometown was Tecumseh, Michigan.

Monday, August 01, 2005

We're In Kansas, Toto

In Topeka, M.Ball Construction, Inc. has been building homes for the past decade. Check out Mike's credentials here.

He also does trim carpentry and makes furniture. As a former framing carpenter in the summers, I appreciate his being able to do the fine work as well as the heavy lifting.