Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

We won our last semi final match almost 2 weeks ago and have been hanging out waiting for the finals to start this wedn April 27th.  Excited to get it started!  Yesterday we only had morning training so Brett and I took Herc for a little trip down to Perea (or what we think is Perea Beach) for a little walk.  It was not all that hot outside but Herc didn't care all that much.  He loves the sand and ocean...but not in the way you would think.  He was eating the sand and drinking the sea water every chance he got!  

So today, Easter Sunday, I woke up to the Easter Bunny leaving us lots of little chocolate treats and a picture of himself :)  Also, we finally got to open up the card my left for us while she was on her trip here visiting.  Here are some pic's of yesterdays trip.

Today we are heading to a friends house out in the country to eat lamb and relax.  The weather is finally starting to get really nice and our friend Panos has a bunch of dogs for Herc to play with.  I'm excited to see him interact with other pups.  More pic's to come of course.

Mom's Easter card

The red poppy's outside our house are so pretty

Herc loves the Poppy's too

Trying to jump out the car window on the way to Perea

Local fisherman

Herc sighting 

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Black Keys - Howlin' For You

My best friend back home recommended I pick up this album cuz you can listen to it from top to bottom and enjoy.  Damn was he right!  These guys F'ing rock!  Check out The Black Keys if you haven't already.  


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Semi finals - Game 1 vs Paok

Last night we played the first match in a best of 3 series with our cross town rivals.  This season we have beaten them twice 3-0 and lost once 2-3.  Our gym was full of our fans, family and friends all singing and cheering us on.  

Game 1 was all Paok.  They didn't do anything special but we started off the match with a lot of mistakes.  I think we were all trying to calm our nerves and score 2 points with one ball...impossible to do.  They gained a big lead on us and we could not respond.  

Game 2 we found our groove and settled our nerves.  Started passing the ball and keeping the pressure on Paok with our service and strong side out game.  We won the set 25-20 or something like that.

Game 3 we took a 13-7 lead and seemed like we were on cruise control.  Then we got stuck in one rotation and could not side out of the life of us.  Turned into a 16-14 game and then they just kept going with it.  They took the set and our confidence.  But the nice thing about playoffs is a 3-2 win and has nothing to do with points so we knew we could still win the match.

Game 4 was back and 4th but we turned it on again and ended up moving threw the set fairly easy with some strong service, defense, hitting percentages, etc...We won the set and had to focus on the 5th set.

Game 5 we know could go either way.  The team with the most focus and least amount of mistakes is going to win.  We started out the set with a 2 point lead and switched sides at 8-7.  As we got to the other side our setter, Kostas Prousalis, found his groove from the service line and rallied us to a huge lead...Big enough to relax a bit.  Then we were stuck in Row 1 again and they started to rally back scoring 2 straight points.  A time out by our coach lead to a service error from Paok and game over.  

In my opinion Paok has over achieved their expectations this season and is playing free.  This makes any team dangerous to play agains because they don't have any pressure to win.  They played like it last night but I hope that our team can remained focused for the second match at their gym on Saturday night.  Keep your fingers crossed Iraklis fans!  

Here are some photos and video highlights of the match last night:

Pame HPA!!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The ART of Camouflage

Camouflage Art by Liu Bolin. 

My last post reminded me of how maybe it is possible to BLEND in.  Inspired by how some animals can blend into their environment Liu Bolin from China uses camouflage principles to create amazing contemporary art.

The tractor pic blows my mind how well he can blend in!

The Power of Camouflage

I think its crazy how some animals and insects have the ability to blend in to their surroundings.  Here are some examples I came across while browsing the internet.  

Peringuey viper

Common baron caterpillar

Pygmy seahorse

Mossy leaf-tailed gecko


Tawny frogmouth


Katydid - two of them!


Stick insect


Sometimes I wish I could do the same.  

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Its been a while since I've posted much about volleyball.  To be honest after our lose in the cup finals I went into internet hibernation.  Yeah, we lost the cup 1-3 in front of a lot of our fans and supporters.  I/We did not play our best volleyball and folded when ever we had chances.  It was a hard match to swallow.  Since then we have played our last 3 regular season matches.  We had to face the then #2 team in the league Panathanikos at home in Thessaloniki.  We knew it was important to bounce back from the embarrassing lose and get a W and maintain the 1st position in the league standings.  We came out on fire and never looked back winning the match 3-0.  We still had plenty of fans in attendance which was nice to know that some of them were still with us.

The second to last match was against Paok at their gym.  Their gym is only 5 minutes away and they were not allowed to have fans due to our last meeting when they were throwing explosives and bottles at our team.  Still our team came out flat in the first set and we lost pretty easy.  The 2nd and 3rd set were all ours as we looked like the team that we can be.  In the 4th set we also played at a really nice pace and looked like we had the match in control until they got a couple serving runs on us and took the lead.  We weren't able to turn it around and they beat us.  In the 5th set they were in control most of the set but we came back to 13-13 only to lose 13-15.  It was hard to swallow as it was the first time Paok had beaten Iraklis in 7 years.  Of course none of us knew that until the news papers mentioned it the next day.

Our last match was with Alexandropolis.  We only had to win 1 point from the match but came out with some aggression and won the match easy 3-0.  It was a nice win for us as well as a good chance for some of they guys that don't get to play us much to get in.

Now we are in the semi finals vs Paok as we finished the reg season in 1st place and they finished 4th.  The other semi's is between Olympiacos and Panathanikos.  First round is best 2 of 3 as the finals will be the best 3 of 5.  I'm excited to get this going and have another shot at winning something here in Greece. It has been a long season and our team has worked so hard every day that we deserve to reach our goal of the Championship at the end of the season!

The final league standings:

Some shots from the Iraklis vs Panathanikos match as well

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Lionel Messi

This post is for my buddy Rodrigo Quiroga.  Messi scores two goals with 1 ball.  Baller!

Please feel free to comment below