Monday, September 22, 2014

big win in charlotte


well, that's more like it.

the steelers put on a great show in charlotte last night in front of a national audience.  they shut down superman and his supporting cast, and completely owned the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.  if the game is won in the trenches, then the steelers put on a clinic on winning last night, because they consistently won at the line.  it was a beautiful thing to watch, in part because the patient running on le'veon ball makes the work of the offensive line really count for something.


it was exquisitely beautiful to see bell wait for the hole, then hit that hole with conviction and power.  he is an excellent runner, with great vision, a great knack for making people miss him, and unbelievable patience.  however, the young man wouldn't have had the night he had if not for a group of men in front of him.


the offensive line was awesome.  with cody wallace filling in for ramon foster, and with the much-maligned marcus gilbert looking to atone for past sins, the line was awesome.  other than a few unforced errors, the line looked angry, determined, and powerful.  look at the hole in the picture above.  i believe that is the hole on bell's 81-yard scamper, which he will get a ton of credit for.  but there is no way he runs for 81 yards if these guys don't win these battles at the line.  just a great night for a unit that needed one.


what can be said about antonio brown?  he just consistently shows up, knows what to do, and makes super-human plays.  i could do without that touchdown dance, but i will never get tired of the way he finds open space when Ben is extending the play.  two touchdowns.  a ton of big catches. it just doesn't get old.


it was nice to see the big steelers crowd in charlotte last night.  after a rough start to this season, it seemed like i could only hear the naysayers, and they can be LOUD.  the negativity was getting a bit overwhelming for me, so it was great to see some shots of the crowd, even in the first half, and see lots of yellow towels waving.  steeler nation making me proud!


it was a huge win, which showed a great deal of heart for this team.  but it didn't come cheap.  ike broke his arm, and may be done.  word is that jarvis jones will probably need wrist surgery, and shazier's knee might not be something he can just come right back from.  so, we are going to need "the standard to be the standard," as mike tomlin is so fond of saying.  we are going to need spence and moats and blake and others to fill in the gap, and we need our leaders (i'm looking at you ben, troy, brett and antonio) to set the tone that there will not be any quit, no matter the adversity.  it's going to be a fun ride.

Monday, September 15, 2014

oh, atlanta



such a great song.  and very fitting at the moment.

her voice, though.  wow.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

random: the karate kid, cabbage, and baskahnia


--back in the spring, someone came to jackson's class and gave them all a small cabbage plant.  they were all to take them home and grow them and see who could grow the best cabbage.  jackson was pretty excited about this, and you can see that he grew a very nice cabbage this summer, as a result.


it is currently being turned into sour kraut, which is a disgusting process.  i voted for egg rolls, but i was voted down.  oh well, it is really great for the kids to see the growing process and how the earth can bring forth sustenance for us if we take care of it and nurture it.

--if you watched sunday's game, you will enjoy this:



--and if you are a steelers fan in pennsylvania, you will enjoy this:




--quinton's been cracking me up with his talking recently.
     northumberland christian school has been "balella (which is umbrella) christian school," and then "banana" christian school.
     lasagna is baskahnia.
     poison ivy is toison ivy.
     the yankees are the lankees.
     french fries are ench fries.
     tv is tease-bee.
   
--have a great tuesday!

Monday, September 08, 2014

a tale of two teams


"it was the best of times, it was the worst of times."  so wrote charles dickens.

he could have written the same thing if he was a beat reporter for the pittsburgh steelers after their by-the-skin-of-their-teeth win over the browns yesterday.

indeed there were great expectations for the steelers heading into this game, against a browns team that looked to be missing several key ingredients to be a real contender in the afc north.  and the best of times, that is, the first half, revealed that to be the case.  the steelers moved the ball almost at will.  leveon bell was superb in every aspect, while antonio brown looked every bit the superstar wide receiver/punt returner that he is, even with his kick to the face of the poor brownies punter.  it looked to me like he was trying to jump over him, and when he realized that he wasn't going to get over him, he tried to push off of him.  whatever his intent, he kicked him in the face, and probably earned himself a sore wrist for all of those zeroes he's going to be writing on that check to roger goodell.  there is some sort of symmetry in this, given that this game occurred only two days after james harrison officially retired as a steeler.


other than substantial fines, the only thing the steelers were racking up in the first half were points and yards.  they led 27-3 at halftime, and the brownies looked lost.

and then it was the worst of times.

the browns came out in the second half and looked like a completely different team.  they went no-huddle, and they came with a fury.  they ran to the right almost every time, a glaring pattern that the steelers are going to have to address, because they had so much success on that side of the line, that the play action passes were almost too easy, as the whole defense was over-compensating for the left side of the line.  something has to be done about that, and soon.

but the problem wasn't only the defense.  the offense looked like it gave up in the second half.  and i don't just mean bell and brown.  i mean the offensive line.  and the play callers.  it looked like they had already decided the game was over.  except it wasn't.  the browns came all the way back and tied it.

and i was a nervous wreck.  i was gasping and pacing and convulsing on the floor.  okay, okay, i wasn't really gasping.  but i couldn't believe how this was slipping away.

finally, in the end, the steelers got enough big plays to squeak by with a win.  there were 4 big heroes who get some credit for the squeaking.

1)  william gay.  on a defense that looked like no one could do anything (except maybe cam heyward), big play willie gay finally stepped up and delivered with some fire and passion.  made some huge stops which changed up field position and put the other players on this list in a good position to succeed.

2) ben roethlisberger.  as usual, ben is unflappable, and when the game is on the line, there is nobody i'd rather have engineering a drive than big ben.  he just doesn't get panicky, and he has a knack for the clutch play.  he demonstrated it again yesterday.
3) markus wheaton.  a second year reciever who had a disappointing rookie year (partly due to a broken pinky), surpassed his totals from last year in this one game yesterday.  but more than that, he came up with a huge play at the end of the game.  with only seconds left, and the steelers desperately trying to get into field goal range, the steelers lined up at the line of scrimmage.  ben didn't like the play call he had with the particular coverage that the browns appeared to be in, so he audibled to a different play, with the play clock almost down to zero, essentially changing wheaton's route.  wheaton was locked in, understood the change, and  ran the correct route to the middle of the field.  ben threw the pass before wheaton was even out of his route, so when wheaton turned his head to look back towards ben, the ball was already nearly upon him, and he made a great catch, and then got down quick so the steelers could get down and spike the ball with only 4 or 5 seconds left in the game.  great job by markus wheaton, since the defense was really focused on antonio brown in that situation.  he needed to come up big, and he did.  which set up the last guy.


4)  shawn suisham.  looked to me like he kicked a bit of a knuckleball through there, but it went through the uprights, which is all that matters, and the steelers walked off the field with great joy, holding a 1-0 record like bob cratchett holding a christmas turkey.

for now, at least, it is the best of times.  but it is a short chapter because now it is ravens week, and kick-off is only about 84 hours away.  here we go steelers!


Thursday, September 04, 2014

"room in my heart"
paper collage on stretched canvas (found papers, acrylic paint, glue)
august 2014
8" x 10"
gregory a. milinovich

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God.  
-Colossians 3:16

as i mentioned earlier, i was so blessed to be able to have some time back in my art room this weekend, and to use my creative energy to paint and glue bits of "garbage" together in ways that interest me and, somehow, inexplicably, feed my soul.  one of the results of that was the collage above, entitled "room in my heart," playing off the words of an old hymn.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

kicking the bucket list, 2014


we started off our summer with a bang back in may, and now that we have reached the unofficial end of summer, i thought i would share our summer bucket list with you.  i already shared it with you here, but now you can see that most of it has been crossed off.  we didn't quite get to everything, but we had a jam-packed summer, full of both crazy activity and rest, action and relaxation.  the list took us to danville, hazleton, new york city, elysburg, mifflinburg, and state college, to name a few.  it included making pottery, taking a nature hike, making a fort, building a lego version of our local courthouse, learning to braid, taking a paddle boat ride, and having a glow-in-the-dark egg hunt.  it got us to have ice cream for dinner, determine the best tasting root beer, play in the rain, make homemade orange juliuses and soft pretzels, go camping, see a new york yankees game, ride our bikes on a rail trail, see some awesome fireworks right outside beaver stadium, and go mini-golfing.  and that wasn't even everything!  it was fast, as always, but rich with great experiences and memories.  here are a few pics from the bucket list:


Monday, September 01, 2014

new collage: hoped in thy word

i was able to spend some time in my art room this weekend, for the first time in a long time.  part of the problem was that it had become an unmanageable mess in there, and i finally got the nerve to deal with it and get it cleaned and organized.  as soon as that was done, i was itching to make something!  i had a project already in the works, so i got right to it. 

a friend had given me a family bible that was from the 1800's, knowing that i use them for all sorts of things in my art, and the one condition was that i use the cover to make a collage dealing with hope.  

what you see below is a progression of about 11 or 12 pictures showing my process, from beginning to end.  i start by tearing and cutting and just loosely placing things on the "canvas" to see what composition is most pleasing to me.  once i find something i am generally happy with, i remove it all and get to the work of gluing it to the backing.  in this case, i used acrylic gel medium as my glue.  you'll see that i was also enjoying a cup of coffee as i worked!  

finally, the story on this collage is that every element i used (other then the glue, of course, and maybe a drop of coffee or two), was from inside the bible, whether it was the pages themselves, or things i found tucked away inside.  the title is a quote from psalm 119:74, "...i have hoped in thy word..."












"hoped in thy word"
paper collage (found papers, acrylic gel medium on hardcover book board)
august 2014
gregory a. milinovich