Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween 'Spirit' Day - P'ball 10/29/2010

OK. Here we go. First off. Please note that photos 3 & 4 below are rated PG 13. This day represented our 3rd Freaky Friday. The theme of this most festive of all days in October - being Halloween 'Spirit' day. As you will see. Players: Lynne, Steve, Peter, Gary, John, Sharon and Ron. Not playing, but present for the event was Jan. We had 66% participation in the costume/theme contest which is an all time world's record for the Timmons Park contingent of the UPG. At first it seemed that Ace (4th picture below) had 1st place in the bag; then Gary showed up facing everyone, walked by and displayed what looked like flesh on his north end. He moved into 1st place handily, dropping Ace to 2nd. Then, The Spinmaster happened by @ his patriotic best and moved into second place in the voting pushing hapless Ace to 3rd. Gary & The Spinmaster are pictured in the coveted opening picture of this episode.
Above: L-R: Spike, Peter, Cupcake, Ace, I don't know & The Spinmaster.

Above: Same crew as above except Gary and his plastic butt is pictured Unbeknownst to Gary, he is being groped by Cupcake and Ace. Dashing Jan (on R) stands innocently by.

Except for the forced group pictures above - everyone steered clear of Gary.

Above: The competition was too tough for Ace who would have 3rd place in the costume competition, if there was a 3rd place - which there wasn't. So, she didn't.
We also played pickleball. Bright and breezy. W/ 7 players - only one of whom wanted to play cutthroat - we limited play to one court. Played for 2-1/2 hours and had a good time doing it.
We'll be closely watching the weather next week for more exciting pickleball events. Check your email.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Windyball - Tue. 10/26/2010

Well, the courts were very puddled when we arrived and as each player showed up, they took to the squeegees and brooms and pushed the water off the courts in about 15 minutes. The strong, swirling wind finished the job for us as we played under cloudy skies. Top photo: Ray serving. He had one of his better outings and made many fine shots. Consequently, he turned up in the winners circle more than a few times. Photo directly above taken by Catherine: Spike (in blue) and Stevie Wonder firing on Peter and his unseen partner. Below: Through the net. Mr. Wonder & Cupcake.
Seven players were present: Ray, Steve (Stevie Wonder), Catherine, Peter, Lynne (Ace), Sharon (Cupcake) & Ron (Spike). Below: Catherine the Great does a little soft-shoe after drilling a return.
With only 7 players we played doubles on one court and when we were able to rustle up enough volunteers, we played cutthroat (Canadian Doubles) on the other court. We didn't get much rest, plus we had to fight the squirrelly winds the whole time. But, we played on and had a great time doing it.
Above: Cupcake is about to deliver a bullet. Below: Peter serves, while Ace awaits a return.
Below: Ace serving a hot one.

Pay attention to this part and watch your E-mail. We will be playing on Friday, 10/29/10. Actually, it is officially designated as Freaky Friday and will have its very own theme. It is no coincidence that the date is just 2 days before Halloween - if you are getting my drift!!! Watch for an important notification. Not reading your E-mail, not remembering, having a headache, or any other flimsy excuses will not be accepted - so, don't even think about pulling any of those clunkers out of your hat.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

FridayBall - but with a 'P' - 10/22/10

Gary-no-nickname gets top billing today, because the UPG Athletic Prowess Judging Crew (APJC) ranked him as the hottest player of the day (or, at least for several matches). Gary-n-n was as hot as a firecracker. Everyone else was tied for 2nd place.
Players in action: Gary, Bob T, Johnny, John, Peter, Steve, Ray, Joanie, Catherine, Sharon & yon Editor. A story-book day greeted us and we took full advantage of it. About 65 degrees, sunny with a just-right breeze. Lots of very good games followed. Folks are playing the net more and more each week. That makes for some exciting volleys and more than a few 'player-strikes' (mostly with the ball). There was one match where the ball was kept alive for 20 or more hits - most at the net - but, the actual number can't be confirmed because both of our camera crews were taking a coffee break. Another record not broken!
As already mentioned, Catherine was on site. She was kind enough to take several photos including some of yon Editor (below L).
Looks like we'll be playing P'ball on Tue the 26th. But, always check your e-mail before galloping down to Timmons. ALSO: We will be celebrating another episode of FREAKY FRIDAY on October 29th, which just happens to be a few days before Halloween. You will receive a formal notification. But, be thinking about the day, the trophies (on back order), the glory of getting top billing, endorsements, photo shoots, fan clubs. It's beyond comprehension.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Not-so-unlucky-13 (players, that is) - Oct 19, 2010

Thirteen players were on the courts and enjoyed the sparkling, 80 degree day and some fine P'ball to boot. Stevie Wonder returned from a cruise claiming he gained 5 pounds, but he looked as svelte as ever and dashed around the court like a gazelle. Ralph was back in town too - none the worse for the wear. His game was hot. Players: Johnny, Carol, Mike, Steve, Peter, Lynne, Joanie, Charley, John, Bob T., Ralph, Sharon & Ron. As always we had scads of matches with the usual excitement and occasional debates about line calls. A few big 'almost-comebacks' were reported with considerable glee. Above: Peter and Bob T protect the 'kitchen'. Below: Cupcake is adorned with a tie-dyed shirt that she has had since 1973 when she was 9. Or, something like that. Will re-check the numbers!
Above: Fiery action everywhere - so much so, that The Shadow appeared on the scene to take photos.
Below: The courts are full of P'ballers and the balls are sailing. Another day of fun in the sun.
Other news: Spidy-the-long will be leaving us for a while. But, promises he will be back - ready to play in a week or so. He has generously left a 2-hour, hi-fi recording (at 86 decibels) of he himself saying: "I got", "You got" - so players will know when and when not to hit the ball - even in his absence. Bob Buckeye Hoppy suffered a calf injury while recklessly deadheading flowers at home. The injury is not expected to be 'career-ending'. He will be returning to P'ball soon but will not be at his customary 65 percent for another several sessions. Yuk, yuk.
See you on Friday.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Blustery P'ball - Friday, Oct. 15, 2010

Nine players were in action on this blustery, bright day: Bob T, Mike, Jan, Gary, Johnny, Lynne, Pete, Sharon & Ron. We even had a young man named Elliott who, after watching for a while, took at turn @ P'ball. It was very windy, and took considerable effort to keep balls in play. At least two hats blew off - one tumbling across the courts. Gary re-attached his and secured it with the hat cord, shirking the suggestion that he use duct tape.
We had tons of fun as we always do and plenty of exciting games as well. We are slowly getting into the swing of afternoon play. Photos attached for your viewing pleasure.

Looks like we are going to have a nice string of excellent P'ball weather, so watch for schedule announcements.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Exceptional P'ball - October 12, 2010

L-R 1st row: Spike, Cupcake, Joanie, Lash, Jan & Ace (w/ Bridgett).
L-R 2nd row: Gary, Bob T, Hoot, Peter & Spidy.

Today was the 1st day on our 'Winter Schedule'. We started play at 1:00PM instead of 9:00AM. The temperature rose to 80 degrees and the only shady spot was @ the southeast corner of the court where you can see some of the troops lounging in the picture below. The photo above will appear as a permanent fixture on the BLOG, replacing an out-of-date one. If some of those people in the photograph exercised a little more patience, the photographer might have managed to take another shot from a different vantage point, that would have eliminated some of the shadowing. Maybe next time.

Present: Joanie and Bob T who have been out of action - working and traveling - welcome back; Peter, Mike, Johnny, Carol, Jan, Gary (still recovering from a broken collar bone), Sharon & Ron. Lynne, a little under the weather, and mascot Bridgett came for a visit.
Playing later in the day didn't inhibit the playing intensity. There were a number of exceptional games - many w/ hot action at the net. If there was such a rating as "the game of the day", which there isn't and never will be - it would probably be the game where partners Spidy and Jan played against Gary and Peter. The match was a beauty to watch, with lots of fine footwork, shot-placement and teamwork. Good show.
GOWER PARK NEWS: It looks like we may not get into Gower Park until late this winter or early spring. The Park & Recreation Dept needs to do some lighting improvements. This action will involve the use of heavy equipment on the courts, which could damage the new surface.
KEOWEE KEYS P'BALL INVITATION: I have been in contact w/Richard Stone and have advised that we UPGers would prefer to play on Saturday - not on Thursday nights. The courts are only available to the Keowee Keys p'ballers part of the day on Saturdays. Richard is working on some other arrangements and will keep us apprised.
Stay tuned.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Hatchet buried - P'ball - Friday, 10/08/10

Below: Spidy points to the specially engraved trophy he presented to The Spinmaster as sort of a peace offering gesture in response of the 'spirited debate' that was referenced in the BLOG entry for October 5, 2010. Then, we got into p'ball, which is the reason everyone showed up wearing shorts and carrying funny-colored paddles. Eleven were present: Carol, Johnny, John, Mike, Peter, Ray, Charley, Jan, Bob H, Sharon & Ron. We had fine weather, just enough of a breeze and lots of good matches.
This coming week (beginning on Tuesday, October 12th), we will switch over to our Fall/Winter/Spring mode and begin our play at 1:00PM. And, as always, we will play until the last players drops or until we are driven out by darkness. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

'Spirited Debate' P'ball - Oct, 5, 2010

We had 10 players on hand: Spidy, Stevie Wonder, The Spinmaster, Hoot, Lash, Ray, Charley, Jan, Cupcake & Spike. Chilly at first, with a breeze. Warmed up nicely, but the breeze stayed with us. We had lots of good-old-fashioned p'ball matches and everyone stayed upright which is one of our goals. We are missing some of our core players: Some are travelling, one or two are on the injured list, the others are unaccounted for. Looking forward to their return. Above: Lash serves one toward Hoot and Charley. Below: Stevie Wonder hits a return while The Spinmaster stands by.
Above: Ray (the day's snappiest dresser) sends the ball for a swift ride. Below: Spidy is about to pound a forehander.

Above: There was some question about who should take the shot. Spike won out, seconded by Spidy. Below: Charley awaits a shot by Lash.
OK. The 'Spirited Debate' thing. It seems that there was a question about rules; the most vocal participants had exactly opposite views on the subject. The duo subsequently became rather vocal while adamantly trying to make their points. Their partners in the match, wisely slipped some distance away, while the foursome on the other court enjoyed the passionate vigor of the exchange. Peace was soon restored and we got back to p'ball again. All very exciting, though. The UPG's first officially recognized bru-ha-ha!
We'll be playing again on Friday AM. Stay tuned for the E-mail announcement.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

P'Ball Report - Friday, 10/01/ 2010

We started with wet courts. Even without The Spinmaster to guide us, the courts were dried and operational in near-record time of 14 minutes, 14.578 seconds (but, who's counting?).

Eight players showed up for fun in the sun, coolish temps and a light breeze: Spidy, The Spinmaster, Stevie Wonder, Pete, Hoot, Charley, Cupcake and Spike.
With eight players, we all kept busy playing. Rotated players and courts. Many fine games. Some of us were able to use the wind as an excuse for marginal shots. Other players competed for other lame (pun intended), excuses to account for their occasional, unacceptable play, including various aches and pains. For the record: Sore shoulder, bum knees, impaired vision, dandruff, sun in your eyes are already taken! Come up with something original.
We'll be playing this coming week depending on the weather. Watch for related important E-mails.