Saturday, January 29, 2011

13 on Friday - P'ball - 1/28/2011 AD

Thirteen troopers were on hand for another fun (and funny) day of P'ball, pot shots and general all around good time. Players: Ralph, Steve, Gary, Catherine, Gary A, Jan, Mike, Peter, Muriel, Joanie, Lynne, Sharon and the chronic Chronicler. Try saying that 3 times. Here's how it went:
  1. A beautiful Red tailed hawk flew low over the courts. Brightened an already nice day.
  2. A pair of turkey vultures circled above for several minutes. The general consensus was that the vultures seemed to be eyeing Stevie Wonder. No one can say for sure, but the scavengers flew off when Mr. Wonder started moving around. So, it's only a guess.
  3. At one point loads of players were lounging around and wouldn't take to the courts - totally ignoring repeated requests from the Chief of Staff. The courts were cooling down. Muriel took charge, on her own accord - rattled off an order to commence playing. Within seconds the courts were occupied, balls were flying, paddles were flailing; players were leaping, lunging, lobbing - but, none were loafing. Muriel has now been elevated to the position of: Interim, part-time, non-payed, 2nd in command  Court Coordinator, thrice removed. Congratz.
Above: Catherine the Great (assistant photographer) fires away as Ralph looks on. Below: UPGers make themselves right at home - spreading themselves and their wares at will. Foreground: Mr. Wonder is moving about trying, successfully, to discourage the vultures.
Above: Players hard at work. Top photo of Cupcake and Spike by Catherine the Grate, Grape Great.
Below: More action.
We stayed at it for almost 3 hours. Doubles, Canadian Doubles and a few singles matches. This week is the first time in a while that we played 3 times. The weather made us do it. See you next week. Spike

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thursday Ball Bashing - Jan.27, 2011

Another 'off' day @ P'ball- that is - not our usual Tuesday and Friday schedule. But, 7 players came out of the woodwork for another exciting day of ball bashing and ballbashing. In attendance: Ralph, Steve, Gary, Jan, Mike, Sharon & Ron. We are going to be playing again tomorrow, and I'm tuckered out - so, this BLURB will be short and sweet - like the Chief Blurbist.

It was a fine day, bright as can be with just enough breeze to push loose balls to one side of  the court for easy retrieval by our professional shagging staff. With only 7 players, there wasn't much time to goof off, but we managed somehow. Besides doubles, we played several singles matches; Spidy seems to have the corner on that particular market. At least when he plays your humble servant, that is. But, it's a great workout! See you on Friday, Jan 28th. Spike

Monday, January 24, 2011

Pickleball Report - off day. Monday, Jan 24, 2011

Possible gloomy weather on Tuesday forced a Monday session and that resulted in a smaller than usual turnout. But, it was a sparkling day and  seven players appeared - paddles in hand - ready to play. Present: Ralph, Mike, Jan, Bill, Peter, Sharon and Ron. We played doubles on one court, and either Canadian Doubles, or singles on the other. Folks were either on their game or off their game. No middle-of-the-roaders today, so there were a lot of blowouts. But, who cares? We played for over two hours and had a good time in the process. Looking for 2 more sessions this week. Watching the weather. Stay tuned.


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Logo (Or, loco) Day - Friday, Jan 21, 2011

This was another Freaky Friday event. The charge: Wear something featuring a favorite school, sport or almost any event for which p'ballers had, or could borrow attire. This was our third such event and the participation was an overwhelming 125%. As you can see above and below, many institutions were represented including the University of Adidas - where ever that is? Thirteen players were on hand to display their wears (< intentional play on words!!!) and to play pickleball: Gary, Gary A, Bill, Bob H, Steve, Jan, Anne, Joanie, Ralph, Peter, John, Sharon & Ron.
The UPG photographer remained very professional, even while shooting the front of Anne's, Joanie's, and Sharon's T-shirts. They are represented by these logos: The Red Sox/Celtics, Marathon & Colts. Who's who?
Above: Bob H w/ Ohio State duds. Who would have ever guessed? Ralph forehanding and determined. Bill's badge of honor for the wounds he collected on his first day playing P'ball (Wed, Jan 19). John ready for a backhand. ... Highlights for some: Cupcake and Jan defeated Gary-The-Long-and-Lean & Ralph The-Sturdy in a brilliantly executed match. Much gaiety (and/or merriment) followed the victory by the dynamic damsels. One of the UPG enforcers suggested a penalty for excessive celebration, but the  thought was stiffled quickly by the UPG Rules Committee. Anne (Pit Bull) was on her game - drilling the ball at will, and Stevie Wonder was as hot as a Chinese firecracker with a short fuse - and, twice as quick. And: We received a report from Kevin from the Rec. Dept. that the resurfacing and P'ball lining of the 5 courts at Gowers Park is still in the works. A few obstacles that were holding up the project have been resolved. No time frame yet, but things are looking up.

Watching the weather.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

P'ball - Wednesday, Jan 19, 2011 - Back @ Timmons

A Wednesday match caught some of our players with other obligations, but we still ended up with 9 players: Bill (a newbie), Joanie, Catherine, Steve, Mike, Ralph, Gary, Sharon & yon editor. It was good to see Ralph back in action. The courts were wet, but our maintenance division spiffed them up pronto. New guy Bill (also a GNHA hiker) joined us for his 1st try at P'ball and did well. Within the 1st half hour he took a digger - judged as a low-degree of difficulty (LDD) swan dive. None the worse for wear, he only garnered a 7.0 for the effort. Much room for improvement.
Above: Bill, looking like a seasoned p'ball veteran. Got his 1st win late in the day, partnered with Stevie Wonder. Below: Gazelle-like Joanie de arc lunges for a backhander.
Spidy was in action today, but still burdened with a cold. Under the circumstance - catching him in a debilitated state, and definitely out of sorts, I (Spike) cleverly challenged him to a singles match. It was the best idea I had all day. It went my way because I finally gained a sympathy point when he was leading 8-0. Spidy, clearly off his game battled back, and eventually, barely edged me by a scrawny 11-1 score.
Above: Spike and Ralph. Catherine-the-great took a bunch of pictures when she wasn't playing. This is one of them. She demanded copyright privileges. The editorial staff usually plagiarizes all documents and photos so it isn't familiar with the copyright symbol. But, for the record: this photo is copyrighted. So, duplicate it at your peril.

 The weather was exceptional, closing in on 60 degrees. So, we played for over two hours and had a good time as always. We'll be playing Friday @ Timmons. Watch for the notification.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Day of Rest - for some. Sunday, Jan. 16, 2011

Well, the icy conditions managed to keep we UPGers off the courts all week, but we finally broke out of the slump and played Sunday P'all. We even had to change venues, due to the icy park road at Timmons. Ended up at McPherson Park. Two minor problems: Some snow on the edge of the only available court; the other occupied by two rather good players involved in a game we later learned is called tennis and is played with fuzzy balls. If you want to make something of that little fact - go ahead!

We were armed with push brooms, a squeegee and Ace brought a shovel (Documented below). Ten players showed up: Mike, Steve, Jan, Lynne (Ace), Joanie, Sharon, Gary, Muriel, Gary A and this scribe. Temperature in the 40s. Nice. We cleaned up the courts in short order and after an hour the tennis players left, so we occupied that court immediately. Played, doubles as always, 1/2 a game of Canadian Doubles and one game of full-court singles.

We played for two hours. Spidy, usually one of the last to leave - left a little early because he had a nasty cold. Toughed it out, though. Ace gets kudos for scouting out Timmons and McPherson on Saturday. Her on-site reporting brought us to McPherson.

Any questions? Good. Stay tuned for the official announcement about our next session.

Remember: You can enlarge the pictures by clicking on them.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Bluster busters - P'ball - Friday, January 7, 2011

We have had much colder days. But, very blustery conditions and moderately cool temperatures (mid 40s)combined to cool everyone down. But, the action on the courts was hot. We had a good turnout of 12 players including a new kid on the block - Gary A. A former tennis player and long of reach. We warmed him up for about 15 minutes then rotated him into our regular killer matches. Gary A did a dandy job and went home with a few wins under his belt. Welcome.

The entire crew: Mike (Mighty Spidy), Joanie, Peter, Gary, Muriel, Gary A, Anne (Pit Bull), Bob H (Buckeye, Hoppy, Mr. Hopp, Bucky), Sharon (Cupcake), John (Spinmaster), Jan & Ron (Spike). Spidy gets much deserved credit for being the only one to wear shorts, on this brisk day while Pit Bull kept warm between games wrapped in a sleeping bag and Cupcake retired to the car. We had a bash as usual, and of course, the usual amount of banter. Enjoy the pictures below. Or, don't enjoy them. Your choice. Blow op the pictures by clicking on them. That's not an order - just a suggestion, so lighten up!

We here at UPG Doppler Systems are watching the weather carefully and are in direct contact with 3 of our weather satellites. You will be electronically apprised about our next P'ball session. Stay tuned.


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

2011 - Picklebowl - Tuesday, January 4th

This, our 1st session of 2011, was also our first 'bowl' event. Officially dubbed the Claussen Gherkin Upstate Picklebowl. The highlight of the event was the ceremonious unveiling of the Official Patch (shown below) as designed by the UPG with the blessing of the Claussen Pickle Company. Other products with the Logo will be available soon including, high tech sweat bands, athletic supporters, visors, pickleball paddle caddies, coolers, long-sleeved Ts, halter-tops and a very chic matching pen and pencil set in a handsome gift box - suitable for gift-giving. UPGers will get a substantial savings on all orders over $200.
We had 10 players in action: Jan, John, Bob H., Gary, Mike, Anne, Peter, Steve, Sharon & Ron. Once the opening festivities were over, we got into action and pounded the ball around for 2-1/2 hours. Many fine matches were held and we had a good time in the process. The weather was kind to us, too. About 50 degrees, a little breeze and sunny skies.
                                     Above: Stevie Wonder and Gary. Click, in the foreground.                                                 Below: Peter & Bob H. take on Jan & Steve.
                                                            Below: Spidy serving, and Jan.
Looking forward to more UPG action in 2011. Next time: Friday, January 7.

Condolences to our friend Ralph & his family.


Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Last Day - 12/31/2010 - Friday Pickleball

The Last Day of 2010 that is. And, a beauty it was. These ten players showed up to finish off a great year of Pickleball: Ralph, Gary, Muriel, Mike, Joanie, Bob H., Steve, Peter, Sharon & Yours til the kitchen sinks.

With 10 players we kept the courts very busy and there was little time for goofing off but enough time for some exceptional games and fast action. Two shutouts were duly recorded, but as luck would have it - there were a few big-comeback wins, too. Otherwise, we played out the year with enthusiasm and vigor. Above:  Gary lunges for shot. He was on fire the whole time and made his opponents pay dearly if they made the mistake of feeding him lobs that weren't quite high enough.
Above: Muriel takes a shot near the kitchen; In the background Ralph is poised like a steel spring ready to pounce on any shots that anyone mistakenly sends his way! Below: Joanie & Cupcake protect their side of the court. Opposite: Ralph - like a caged tiger -  waits for his prey to make a mistake.
So, this little blurb - meagre as it is -  marks the end of the 2010 UPG playing season chronicles. But, just ahead is the 2011 season which starts on Tuesday, January 4, 2011. See you then.

Happy New Year and Happy P'balling.