The sweet spot/The Red Line

Ever hit a golf ball, a softball, a hockey puck so clean you didn’t even feel the impact?

I have – right on the sweet spot. And it’s magic.

They tell me there’s a lot of physics behind the science of the sweet spot; stuff like inertia, momentum, velocity, et cetera. I was a chemistry guy in high school so I’ll have to take their word for it.

I’ve hit hundreds of golf shots off the toe or the hosel of the club or buzzed my hands to the bone on an inside pitch, but there’s something about getting it just right that makes all the wrong ones feel worth it.

Of course, this is February, not May, so the clubs and the bats will remain in storage for now, but Wednesday morning I realized one need not have a tool in hand to hit the sweet spot.

It’s Feb. 7. Two months ago, winter was barely beginning. Two months from now, winter will be over (God willing.) Right in the middle of it, Michigan Tech and the Houghton community celebrates Winter Carnival 2013.

I did a little roving reporting at the all-nighter Wednesday night looking for life’s sweet spots and found a few.

The snow fell steady and sparkling, just enough to make one feel like they’re inside a snow globe but not quickly enough to mess up the roads.

I’ve been to a few shivering all-nighters when I wanted to take one of those statue-styling irons and hold it to my face for warmth. But Wednesday, it was chilly enough to put a sting into your cheek and get your attention, but not so cold you couldn’t finish your free Library chili before Jack Frost took the leftovers.

Speaking of food, no recap of Winter Carnival would be complete without a discussion of food and beverages. My favorites are the shish kebabs from the Society of Women Engineers.

Don’t get me wrong: the words “Deep Fried Twinkie” put a shiver down my spine for all the right reasons. But that’s a feast for the young and those with better metabolisms than I. An SWE kebab is hot, tasty and will not make one hope there’s a cardiologist in the house.

Because I am old, another of my favorite All-Nighter pursuits is MTU Pep Band ice golf. I carded 2-2-2 on the first three holes. It might be the pinnacle of my entire golf career. I even touched the brim of my cap like Tiger and Phil after picking the ball out of the ‘cup.’

As the next few holes proved, the sweet spot can be fleeting. I think my next three scores were ‘?’, ‘X’ and ‘forget it.’

Then there’s the snow statues. They’re not sculptures. I?think the term sculpture might be a little too uppity for the U.P. But they’re not exactly ice, either.

The best ones judged today will be brilliantly ornate, but there’ll be winners for one-day jobs as well. It’s a chance for some art for everyone can make and enjoy.

The sweetest part of the whole evening was just seeing the whole community out enjoying itself in different ways. I hope you have the time to enjoy some of what Winter Carnival has to offer you – but keep your celebrations on the sweet spot.

Brandon Veale can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at