Saturday, April 30, 2011

Friday P'ball - 4/29/2011

Eleven players were in action according to Stevo's comprehensive report. Mike, Gary, Bob T, Jan, Ralph, Johnny, Carol, Peter, Peter P, Anne and Steve.

Short on time. So, I can't reproduce Steve's report. But, the weather was fine and the competition was fierce.

Thanks to Stevie Wonder for taking on the p'ball duties.

Spike (Roving reporter - CT)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Never-say-die-day. Tuesday, 4/26/11

The photo above is not posted just to demonstrate Mighty Spidy's p'ball form. It is to show the blue, rain free sky that appeared shortly after 4 p'ballers elected to leave due to wet courts and drizzly conditions. You must have more faith in the UPG Weather Arrangers! That's why they get the big bucks. Let's see. Gary was on site first; he contemplated the conditions then drove off. Ralph appeared, but didn't get out of his car and off he went. Peter P came, saw, drove off, but never left the park and returned. Carol and Johnny arrived. Johnny walked down to the court, gabbed a little and left. In the mean time, Mike, Steve, Peter P, Sharon and yon writer-of-sorts began playing on the wet (but, not slippery) courts. The drizzle stopped almost immediately, a breeze arrived on schedule, the sun peeked through the clouds and the courts began to dry as they always do in such conditions. We played for 2-1/2 hours.
Spidy was very busy as can be readily seen in the collage above. The play of the day is shown bottom right where he served from the prone position.

Above Top L is Stevie Wonder; on the R is Cupcake. Below: Pete P with a magnetic knee.

NOTE: Mr Stevie Wonder will be taking care of the equipment for the next 3 or 4 sessions, but I'll send out the notice for Friday, April 29th. Stay tuned. Spike.

Friday, April 22, 2011

P'ball - Thursday, April, 21, 2011 - Weather-driven

The courts were puddle-laden when we arrived at 9:30AM. But, our de-watering crew aptly led by the UPG's 2011 version of The American Gothic duo got one court dried out in short order. We started playing on that court while the rest of the troops worked on the other. As ordered, a slight breeze arrived, and the sun showed its face. In about 15 minutes both courts were in use by these players: Sharon (Cupcake) & Gary A (Too-Tall), both shown above, Steve, Jan, Gary, Pete P, Johnny and this scribe. It turned out be be a beautiful day, so we kept blasting away for just over two hours. Stevie Wonder was on fire and some of his opponents have minor flesh wounds to prove it. We'll be back in action next week. Spike.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Pickleball Report - Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ten players were on hand for today's games and we had a nice day. Warm, sunny and just enough of a breeze to keep it interesting. Players: Anne, Jan, Gary A, Steve, Joanie, Johnny, Carol, Peter P, Sharon and yon editor. There was much discussion about our 4/18/11 visit to  Keowee  Keys and the great time we had. We also played pickleball for 2-1/2 hours and had a good time at it, as we always do.

Watching the weather for Thursday and Friday. Both have chances for showers. Will consult with our weather team and plan accordingly. The team (actually, weather arrangers) have been 90% correct 50% of the time. Spike

Keowee Keys Day - Monday, April 18. 2011

We seven (Jan, Gary, Peter, Anne, Joanie, Sharon and Ron) motored to Keowee Keys and arrived at 9:45AM - 15 minutes ahead of schedule even though your's truly managed to get turned around a few times en route (but, only once on the return trip)! The P'ballers at KK were about as prepared for our visit as any group could be. They have two nice tennis courts marked for pickleball as seen in the photos below. Benches, iced water and other drinks right there at the courts, a nearby gazebo for spectators, and players to cool their heels, 'facilities' within easy walking distance, and a bunch of p'ballers raring and ready to go. Dick Stone and Richard Webster introduced us to their players that numbered about 10 and we got under way. For a while the men played on one court and the women on the other and some hot matches followed. D and R kept things moving, shifting players around, setting up matches. We took a lunch break at a pavilion all of 200 feet from the courts where an exceptional lunch awaited us: deli sandwiches with choice of trimmings, chips, coolers filled with cold beverages including some kind of carbonated barley drink, assorted, home-made cookies, lemon bars, chocolate cake and brownies. We waddled back to the courts, where we started playing mixed doubles on both courts. More good games. A little breeze perked up, but had almost no impact on the matches. Beautiful, warm weather all day.

Above: Jan (Madonna). Below: Dick Stone.    
                                  Below: Sharon (Cupcake) and Joanie (Joanie de Arc) team up.
Notice the gazebo in the background and the faint pickleball lines on the courts. The lines were very easy to see while playing.
Below: Roger J.

Below: Players and spectators watch the action.

Below: Gary and Peter.

Above: Joanie serves.

That's the report for this fun day with our pickleball pals from Keowee Keys. We played for four hours including a lunch break. Everyone was pretty tuckered out when we quit at 2:00PM. What a way to spend the day. We thank all of the players and other folks who helped set things up and kept things going. The coolers were always full, the balls were always shagged, the food and dessert were much appreciated and the competition was stiff. First class.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Friday Foursome - April 15, 2011

Steve reports:

Hi Ron,

Well Ron, I guess it was just the 4 of us. Me, Mike, Gary A and Anne. Believe it or not nobody wanted to quit. We went for almost 3 hours and kept rotating and no one even sat down to take a break. It was a lot of fun. Lot of good games and a lot of exciting volleys.

This is Stevie Wonder reporting the pickleball news for Friday, April 15th.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thursday P'balls Session - April 14, 2011

It was an off day, so we were short on p'ballers. Little wind for a change, so we found that we had to 're-learn' how to play under calm conditions. We played for 2-1/2 hours and had plenty of fun in the process and logged a bunch of matches including a few notable comebacks. There are no pictures to document this session because the UPG photographer and assistants were always busy playing on the courts.

Players: Steve, Ralph, Anne, Jan, Pete P, Sharon and Ron.

Note: In the unlikely event that you read this before next week - we will be playing Pickleball on Friday, April 15, 2011 starting at 9:30 AM. Spike

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

April 12, 2011 - Wind again! Pickleball

OK. This is all we are going to say about the ever present wind on the UPG Pickleball courts. Just wanted to let you know about the conditions - so, we brought our professional grade anemometer along, set it up and within seconds it blew away and was last seen near the visitors dugout on the baseball field 200 yards away. End of topic. Seven players were on hand: Mike, Steve, Gary, Jan, Bob T, Sharon and Ron. We played doubles on one court and Canadian Doubles on the other. For whatever reason, some players didn't stay all that long. So the day ended with four players pounding out several fine doubles matches. Fun to play and fun to watch.                                                        That' Bob T below.
Of note: We were visited by a not-very-healthy female black widow spider. Sharon tried to move it to a safe place without any luck. But, none other than Spidy himself came to the rescue, retrieved the egg-laden arachnid and gently moved her off the court. You go Spidy!
Spidy above; Stevie Wonder below.
Below: Gary demonstrating one of his finest moves.
Please note - for the record - that Mr. Steve (Stevie) Wonder delivered an exceptional batch of Toll House cookies to the troops, as he vowed to do after some pressure was applied. So, he is back in our good graces and he will be allowed to bring another batch in the immediate future.

Still looking (or, listening) to hear from those of you who plan to attend the Lake Keowee pickleball gathering. Scheduled for Monday, April 18th, with a rain date of Tuesday, April 19th. We'll work the transportation details. We need to hear from you pronto, or sooner.

We are watching the weather. Depending on the forecast and the success of the UPG Weather Arrangers, our next p'ball session could be scheduled for either Thursday or Friday and will most probably be in the AM. Keep your eyes peeled for your Pickleball Schedule announcement. Spike

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Friday Pickleball - April 8, 2011

Sixteen players were on the scene today including Bob T who finally returned from Florida after an extensive leave of absence. He was armed with a new paddle, but didn't use it during the matches. Welcome back. The entire lineup: Mike, Steve, Johnny, Joanie, Lynne, Gary, Gary A, Peter, Peter P (Pete), Bob H, Jan, Anne, Ralph, Bob T, Sharon and Ron. The weather: Windy as usual, partly cloudy in the 70s.
We played for 3 hours and had some real battles. But, with so many players there was plenty of down time as indicated in the photo below. Even Spidy sat down and Ralph smiled*. Two rare events.
We rarely report scores of matches - but, an anonymous UPG roving reporter 2nd class - wired in the the following story which has been slightly revised by the editor. Ralph (Rocky) and Gary A (Too Tall) were playing Stevie Wonder and Jan (Madonna). Rocky and Too Tall were being unmercifully flogged and fell behind 8-1. But, the Mutt & Jeff duo rallied behind some strong playing, great pickleball strategy, considerable fan support and a few bad line calls and took the win 11-8! *That's why Rocky is smiling in the photo above and that is also why he savored the moment when he got home by indulging in two glasses of Merlot. Good show. Please note that the 3 nicknames: Rocky, Too Tall and Madonna are entirely the creation of Ralph (now Rocky).

Stayed tuned for information about an upcoming visit and Pickleball session with our friends at Keowee Keys. The date for the visit is Monday, April 18, with a rain date of Tuesday, April 19.  Spike

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Pickleball - April 5, 2011

It promised to be one of our windier days, but instead, we had a stiff breeze, semi-strong winds and some bluster (nothing to do with the weather, though). Players present: Ralph (shown above R) Gary A (above L), Mike, Joanie, Anne, Peter P, Steve, Sharon and Ron. Jan also happened by for a short visit. Stevie Wonder was back in full force apparently making a full recovery from recent surgery. Gary A was also back about 97% recovered from his recent surgical procedure.
The 'breezes' did require some advance planning especially when serving or trying for lobs. But, the weather event, added some spice to the matches of which there were many.
Above: Dutchess lets go with a serve.
 We UPGers played for about 2 hours and enjoyed the matches almost as much as we enjoy throwing barbs around. If you play with this group - it's best if you have thick skin! Fun as usual.
Special note: We are trying to arrange (with Dick Stone) a pickleball get-together at Keowee Keys. Details to follow. And, Smoke, of the Lake Lure, NC crowd advises that his crew is planning a different pickleball tournament setup for this year's Olympiad so all contestants - win or lose - will be able to play more matches. Stay tuned. Spike

Sunday, April 3, 2011

April Fools Day - Fri, P'ball - 2011

No pictures today. We had a bright day and plenty of wind. Eight showed: Mike, Bob H, Johnny, Carol, Ralph, Jan, Sharon & Ron. With eight players, the courts were always full and the folding chairs mostly empty, especially when they were being blown across the courts. But, as always, we managed to play hard and fast and had fun doing it. Otherwise, there is not much to report. No one has fallen lately, or tried to jump over the net. So, we'll see how it goes next week.  Watching the weather. We may be playing Wednesday instead of Tue. Stay tuned. Spike