Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Pickleball Event - April 28, 2010

Thanks to Steve for scheduling today's event and to Lynn for sending out the announcement. Ten players were in action at Timmons Park including two new players (not new to the game - new to our group): Dick and Richard. Others: Bob T, Mike, Gary, Jan, Anne, Peter, Ray and Steve(ie Wonder).

Stevie Wonder advised your roving reporter that it was a beautiful day and that there were many excellent games.

Temporary duty
Alexadria, VA

Friday, April 23, 2010

Pickleball Extravaganza - April 23, 2010

There were 13 players today, probably due in part because of the quest for the $100 prize for the contest, that was undetermined, and that was never actually held. But, as you can see in the un-retouched photo above, presumably taken with a long lens, or perhaps a low-orbiting satellite - Bob H and Jan were awarded an actual, real - though larger than usual - $100 bill. Taxes prepaid by an anonymous benefactor. They won the cash handily by coming in 2nd place in a best-of-one series. Good show. Otherwise present and accounted for: Anne, Ralph, Jan, Joanie, Bob H, long-lost Bob S, Stevie Wonder, Ray, Peter, Johnny, Carole, Sharon and Ron.
Above: Social animals, taking advantage of the nice weather.
Below: Bob S back in action. Welcome.
We had many exciting games. It seems that Anne (Pit Bull) played in some of the fiercest matches and piled up a bunch of kill shots that left some of her opponents wandering around babbling incoherently. She and Stevie Wonder played the last game of the day against Ralph and this writer. It was a beauty of a game with some exceptional volleys, saves and hustle-plays. Anne made the winning point on a glorious play. 12-10.
Also: Steve has volunteered to take over the Pickleball scheduling for the next week or so, with the help of Lynn. So, pay attention to your emails. Don't leave Steve standing around the courts by himself.
And: We have had several players who are very interested in participating in the Lake Lure Pickleball Tournament to be held in late August. We'll keep you up-to-date.
See you soon.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Monday P'ball - April 19, 2010

A spectacular day. Not just the weather, either. Stupendous matches, awesome hustle-plays, mind-boggling, death-defying net volleys, earth-shattering overhand kill shots, breathtaking serves (some even, underhand), humongous, blistering backhands and several two-fisted double shunts. Players: John, Mike, Bob H, Stevie Wonder, Sharon & yon editor. Jan also showed up, but couldn't play due to a tennis injury (hopefully, a short-term thing). Above: John bit-the-bullet and paid double the usual bribe amount and thereby became the unanimous choice to this weeks 1st poster child.
Stevie Wonder, was on the scene after a lengthy hiatus. It only took a few games to get in the groove. Below: He lifts one from the deep.

Below: Some player will soon be wearing a pickleball that Spidy is about to deliver C.O.D.

What a ham. But, what about that shot through the net?

So, there you go. Even though we had only six players and one fan, we has a great time and a fistful of good matches. ALSO: cancel all of your appointments, for Friday. A few surprises are planned for that day, including a contest (details to be determined) where, one lucky players will win a $100 bill. This is NOT a joke. However, the event is limited to live players only. Imposters and folks with a heartbeat of 6 or under will be forcibly removed from the court and leaned against a tree. Weather permitting, we'll see you Friday. Check your email for official notifications!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Upstate Pickleball - April 16, 2010 - Timmons Park

Today was another great day and it was made even better because we were able to welcome two new players (Robin & James); Bob T made a showing and is in fine form; Muriel and Rebecca came out of the woodwork and we had a beautiful day to boot. Gary (above) made the cut and became today's poster boy after having paid a handsome fee for the privilege. Bob T, nursing a sore shoulder played his usual hard game. He also donated a half dozen new, white pickleballs. We will only use them when Jan is present, because the white ones are her favorites! Below: Bob T, Sharon, Muriel and Robin in action.

Robin and James have only been playing P'ball for a few months, but it doesn't show in their games. They played well and fit right in with our goofy crowd. Rebecca only played a few games, but she had fun doing it. She's full of laughs and pounded the ball like a real trooper. All and all it was a great day for playing pickleball and as always - we had many fine games. Below: Bob T and Rebecca in action.
Below: Sharon and Ray taking it to their opponents.
Below: Robin and James will have no problem getting into the groove with the Upstate Pickleball Group. Welcome.
Official tally: Nine. Already mostly listed above in various locations. Bob T, Rebecca, Gary, Muriel, James, Robin, Ray, Sharon & Ron. So, that's the blurb for today. We enjoyed ourselves, had a nice day and everyone walked away under their own power. We'll be at again next week. See you then.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Pickleball Happening - April 14, 2010

There are no photos today so this Blog effort will go quickly Here goes: There was at least one recent scheduling gaff, so we will end up playing 3 days this week, the next day being tomorrow (4/16/10). We had 6 players on the court under blue skies, moderate temperatures and occasional stiff breezes. Present: Johnny, John, Bob H, Ray, Gary and me (Ron). Players took turns working on Ray's game on the empty court. Then we worked Ray into the rotation and he started to make some real progress. Otherwise, we mixed it up and played for two hours and enjoyed the day - even with a minimal turnout. Looking forward to the match tomorrow and hope some of our long lost players can make it.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

P'Ball - It's a blast! 4/13/2010

It was a sparkling day, and we had a fine turnout with 13 warm bodies and that does not include the smiley in the center of the top photo. Players: Ralph, Bob H., Jan, Anne, Peter F., Mike, John, Johnny, Carol, Joanie, Gary, Sharon and yon editor of dubious writing prowess. Joanie earns the Cover Person honors in this issue. You can be placed in that position next time for a small advanced gratuity. Cash only, please! The games were fast and furious and we went at it for 2-1/2 hours. Almost everyone was still standing, or at least leaning, at the end of the session.
Anne (Pit Bull) returned from Florida after having visited with Upstate Pickleball Group founders Ken & Lynn. She had a great visit and a warm reception. It took a while to get in the groove, but after her first match Pit Bull came around and gave her competition a notable workout. As you can see from the photos above, folks were laying into the ball with full force. No sissy games for the UPG! Bob H brought a bunch of home-made Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins that were a big hit. In keeping with our classy ways - he even brought a little table so we could enjoy the yummies in a dignified manner. Above top L-R: Joanie/Spidy, Jan, Gary; center L-R: Ralph (away)/Peter, Anne/Peter F, Carol/John; bottom L-R Spidy (forward)/Buckeye, John, Peter. If anyone can make sense of the picture descriptions above, please advise by email, snail mail, pony express or courier as a soon as possible and enclose a non-refundable stipend in the amount of $5 (USD). Looks like we'll be playing on Thursday, April 15th. Stay tuned (AND: Friday, April 16th).

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Friday, April 9, 2010

Upstate Pickleball Group - April 9, 2010

When we arrived at the courts this AM, we had a little water to remove - deposited by last night's T-storms. But, we made short work of it, even though John wasn't there to supervise the project. We also had some serious wind to contend with (with which to contend?). And, pollen. More about that, later.
Present: Carol, Johnny, Peter, Bob H., Gary, Sharon and Ron. We elected to play on one court and shuffle players in, because there was no interest in playing Canadian Doubles. Which is just as well because we got a lot of gabbing time in. It was quieter today than usual; still trying to figure out why?
The wind offered up some challenges, but we laughed them off. In fact, some players used the wind to their advantage by lofting balls into the gusts thereby letting them land at some disagreeable spot for their opponent - sometimes even on the court.
Has anyone noticed the pollen in the last few weeks? Everything is coated with it, including the courts - in spite of the recent rain. Sharon discovered that, if you try to stop quickly while lunging forward, the body stops adequately, but the feet don't. She landed - not really daintily - on the deck and bummed her wrist. Or, she landed on her bum and decked her wrist. Or, something like that. Anyway, she is OK. We had fun today, but are missing some of our pals. Anne has an excuse, because she's in sunny Florida - probably visiting w/ Ken & Lynn at this very moment. And, that moment will depend on when you read this. Also: how about the collages that the UPG staff has been installing with gay abandon? You'll be collaged to death for the next six months or so. Finally, the Editor in Chief and his cronies will be fired, the production staff will be 're-assigned' and the old boring, captioned, single photos will re-appear just like in the good old days. So, keep the faith and we'll see you next week when we will once again change the starting time - this time to 9:30AM. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

UPG - April 6, 2010

We had a very nice day and a great turnout of our 1st morning session of the season. We were glad to see Bob Tidball who stopped by for a visit. He didn't play because he is nursing a tender shoulder. Hoping Bob makes a quick recovery and then shows up to shake up the troops with some of his blistering shots. Present and in full action mode: Gary, Jan, John, Johnny, Joanie, Carol, Mike, Anne, Bob H, Sharon, newbie: Ray (who learned some finer points of the game on the empty court while a foursome was battling it out on the other court) and this writer, who you may have noticed did not commit hari-kari as promised in the previous BLOG. But, don't give up - there is still hope! Above: Bob H and Johnny take on Carol and Gary. Below: Johnny prepares to hit the ball, but only its shadow shows.
Below: Spidy takes one deep and sends it back with vigor.
Below: Joanie fires a missile as John (Spinmaster) looks on. As always, we had lots of good games and most folks were glad that we are in the morning (not mourning) mode. It's a good way to beat the heat.

OK, so the formatting didn't come out as expected. But thanks to Lynn's assistance the staff did manage to create the collage below. That's Jan demonstrating her dexterity. She's got to work on the leaping-over-the-net move. This - her first attempt this decade - only garnered her a 4.2 out a possible 10.
Again, glad to see Bob T again, and welcome to Ray for his 1st try at P'ball. Hope to see another good turnout at our next session, that will probably take place on Friday, 4/9/10.

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Friday, April 2, 2010

'Hot' Pickleball Session - April 2, 2010

Above: Buckeye lifts one out of the corner and lets it fly with a smooth backhand.

It was the hottest day of the season with the temperature hovering right around 88 degrees. Luckily, we had some squirrely breezes that cooled things down a bit and helped account for more than a few balls that were somewhat off their mark. That's what a few players claimed, anyway.
Present and accounted for: Mike, Bob H, Johnny, Peter, Carol, Jan, John, Gary, Sharon & the person who one-finger-typed this BLOG. That would be 10 players for any bean counters who read this Blog.
The heat wore on us and some games seemed like they would never end. How many times can one say: "3, 4, 1" before people start dozing off? It turns out that saying it five times does the trick.
There were several blowouts and at least 3 matches where teams made big comebacks to utterly destroy the morale of their opponents. But, we had a swell day anyway, including some good-natured joshing. Above: Jan prepares to blast the little yellow pill toward Carol as Johnny looks on.
Below: Peter demonstrates some of his fanciest footwork!Below: Cupcake takes a crack at the ball, presumably with much needed and welcomed guidance from Spidy!

So, that's it folks. We will probably start playing in the morning starting next week. At some respectable hour like 9:00. Stay tuned.
Also: One picture that I planned to post disappeared (a picture of Gary-no-nick-name poaching a ball from Carol) when I made the mistake of trying to delete a line of text. The picture of Buckeye Bob was supposed to be the third picture, not the 'cover' picture. Apparently it is not possible to cut and paste text, so if one wants to change the location of text, it must be deleted then re-typed somewhere else. This 15-minute blurb has taken almost 2 hours and has worn this amateur, part-time Blogger, out. I'm going off to commit hari kari, or whatever it is that those Japanese folks do with those big knives - so I won't be there next week. It's been nice knowing you.
Spike (RIP)
Spidy: You had better show up and say something nice about me. I'd do the same for you, but I won't be available.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Pickleball - "Where it's at!" - 3/30/2010

Or, where is it at?

At Timmons Park on a sparkling day with eight players present - not necessarily at the same time.

Even though we had eight players, some left early and others arrived later and except for one monumental full-court singles match, we only occupied one court.

Present: Steve (after a several days hiatus), Anne, John, Mike, Bob H, Gary, Sharon & Ron.


Anne (Pit Bull) took a digger while moving back for a shot and ended up making a graceful, ballet-like fall and recovery. Brushed herself off, never lost her smile and continued the battle.

Buckeye Bob H was on fire. He drilled many a kill shot, frustrating the folks on the other side of the net. He made several notable hustle-plays as well. But, Buckeye never outwardly gloated. Or, did he? What about that wry smile? Hmmm.

John the Spinmaster, wore his opponents with his cunning (some would say: cruddy) drop shots.

Spidy & Gary were onto their games with their wicked serves and overhand smashes. More than one player wore a few of the shots on their person, when in fact, the real idea is to strike the ball with the paddle - not with the forehead.

Stevie Wonder, who finally came out of hiding, mumbled about being out of shape - for lack of playing. But, that didn't hold true in any of his matches. He played hard, his shots were mostly on target and, as is his custom - he maimed two players who were recipients of his signature overhand kill shot.

Cupcake, made some nice dashes for cross-court shots. Unfortunately, some of the return shots didn't actually land in the same court she was playing on - on the other hand, none went over the fence.

Yon author failed miserably at this session's photojournalistic duties as is probably already fairly evident, by the total lack of photographs. However, I did almost beat Spidy in a full-court singles match - loosing (or, being edged) by a score of 11-7.

We'll be playing on Friday 4/02/10. Hoping some some of our long-lost players can make it.