BMEWS
 
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calendar   Thursday - May 21, 2015

Polar Vortex

Damn this climate shift stuff, whatever the cause.

I got up early, freezing. It’s 45 degrees out. It’s the first morning of the 3rd week of May.  This is just wrong, man.

So we started summer bowling league last night. And it’s dinky mini league as we expected, with about 6 teams. Who cares? We’re out to have fun. If we can.

The lane cleaning machine broke. Not broke down, but broke. So it’s flooding the lanes with oil. Pattern? No, we don get no steenkeen pattern. We had puddles.  But what could they do? They couldn’t cancel leagues. As it is, they shifted us down 4 lanes, so the very worst of the flooded lanes weren’t even used. We got the “dry” lanes, after they mopped up most of the oil puddles on the approaches. And what was left was nearly impossible to bowl on.

It was edge to edge out past 50 feet. Ordinarily an oil pattern is about 43 feet long, so that the last 17 feet of the 60 foot long lane is fairly clean and dry, and gives the balls a chance to grab on and do their thing. Not last night. A very short back end gives you minimal ball reaction, which means the balls won’t hook. Flooded lanes quickly lead to lots of carry-down, oil pushed down the lanes by everyone’s balls. And that “feathers” out the front edge of the oil, stretching the pattern further, but only where other balls have been thrown. So it makes the back end spotty, leaving some areas dry, and some oily. And what you get is kind of like driving your car around a corner too fast, slamming on the brakes, and having the anti-lock brakes come on, but only under 2 wheels instead of all 4. It’s very unpredictable.

So what started out as a humorous, let’s-make-the-best-of-this situation, quickly grew boring, and then frustrating. And then rather bothersome, because every single thing we’ve spent the past decade training ourselves to do, or to not do, was wrong. I threw 11 gutter balls last night. 11. Usually I throw less tha that for an entire season. Overall I had a 314 series, two games under 100. Low game was a 79. Finally, after the 8 of us had thrown 2.3 games each, enough oil had glommed onto our balls and been wiped off, and enough of the rest of it had been pushed around on the lanes, I found I could stand 8 boards to the right and utterly loft my strike ball towards the pocket, in hopes that it would arrive clean enough to dig in and carry through the rack. And it did, getting me marking again the last half of the 3rd game. But we lost that one too,

Right. Hope they get things fixed.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/21/2015 at 09:34 AM   
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calendar   Saturday - May 09, 2015

sank like a rock

8th Place finish, Fun League is over. Summer league starts the week after next.

Crivens, we got hammered these past 5 weeks. By the same team, over and over again. Grrr. Sand baggers. Ok, not really, but come on already. There’s a guy on Team X who has been a superb bowler for years. About a year and a half ago, he got very sick and was in the hospital for a very long time. When he got out, he’d lost a whole lot of weight and muscle strength. It’s been a long road back for him, and we’re all very glad at his recovery. However. Grump grump. Before his illness he had been a 240-250 average bowler. Like I said, real good. When he came back this season he had to relearn from the ground up, and threw from the 130s. Over the course of the year he got better, and is now back up to where he was before. And that’s really great. Except that his running average in the league is cumulative, so he hit the last weeks of the season with a 197 average and 30 weeks of low scoring inertia behind him. So he was his own ringer, casually bowling 40 over nearly every game, with just about no weekly change to his average. With everyone else also bowling their best, there was just no way we could overcome that. Especially when we had to give them handicap points!!

Early in the season we played Team X in the first rotation, and beat them 7-0. I think we may have faced them in the first position round, but I don’t recall how that came out. And we played Team X at the end of the last rotation. And they kicked our butts 0-7. And then we got smeared by another team in the position round, 0-7. And then the next rotation - which is a randomly generated pairings schedule - put us up against Team X again two weeks after that. And they slammed us 0-7. And then it was time for the finals, and of course we were up against Team X. We bowled our hands off, and went 2-5 in the semis. And then we got Team X again last night, and finally, FINALLY, the guy was off a little in the last game, which not only allowed us a win, but a big win, so we took overall wood, and split the points 3-4.  But all in all, we dropped from 5th place to 8th. And they floated up to 7th. So for a 35 week season, in a league of 13 teams, we played this one team 6 times.  This is what position rounds frequently do. I don’t like them.

I think a better way would be to have several scheduled rotations and no position rounds at all. Just play all the other teams in one order, then play all the other teams in another order, then play as many of the other teams as time remains in the third order. And then do the finals. No semi finals. The worst that can happen that way is that you play the same team 4 times.

I’m also a fan of the “mini league” idea of a split season, one that follows the school/college schedules. It’s a tough sell, because the prize money is cut into two chunks, but you get some cash back much sooner. But what I like most about it is the schedule. Day after Memorial Day to December 23rd, Fall season. January 2nd to mid-May, Spring season. June to the 3rd week in August, a shorter summer season for summer leagues. And that gives everybody time off for the holidays, time off when the kids get home from college, and another week off at the end of Summer. So those of us who can afford vacations can take them without feeling like we’re letting our teams down. And it’s nice to get a few weeks off from league, as much as we love it.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/09/2015 at 01:31 PM   
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calendar   Sunday - April 26, 2015

bizzy bee sunday

Dagnabbit we got skunked again at Fun League. This makes four weeks in a row that we’ve lost either all 7 or 5 of the 7. So we’re sinking like a rock. Hey, I’m bowling above average. And keeping my cool, and trying to be supportive when needed. Nothing I can do. The team is dissolving anyway; J can’t handle being in the same league as his ex, so he won’t be back next year. And while she dumped us like a hot potato in the fall to get away from him, now she’s fat and happy with her new team. So we’re left in the lurch, and find ourselves with only half a team in yet another league. I’m really getting tired of this crap.

OK, today is troffer day. Woo hoo. Time to collect all the tools here first. Flashlights, pliers, wire strippers, screwdrivers. Rope? Maybe. Two ladders ... I’ve hired the Mrs. to be my assistant for the day.  Duct tape? Yeah, always bring the duct tape. Vice Grips. Always want them around too.  Oy, I’m going to have to strap the ladders to the roof. Which means the nylon web straps will be singing, so I’ll try to do the twist thing this time to see if it stops them. 


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/26/2015 at 01:26 PM   
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calendar   Friday - March 13, 2015

hurry!

Aww crivens, it’s Friday!! I gotta get ready to go to bowling. Sheesh, I forgot all about it!


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/13/2015 at 08:16 PM   
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calendar   Saturday - March 07, 2015

Paging Maxwell Smart

Looks like I earned a couple quotes from good old Agent 86 tonight.

My team trampled, winning all 7. Mostly because I was on fire.

Would you believe a 900 series?

No, I didn’t think you would. Would you believe an 800 series with 2 perfect games?

No, I didn’t think that was going to go over. How about a 690 with only one open frame all night?

I believe it, because I threw it. 224, 236, 230. Game 3 went X 8-1 X X 6/ 9/ X X X XX7; if I’d made the mark in the 2nd frame, I would have had a 242, for a 702.

But alas, a mere 690.

“Missed it by that much.”

Still, it’s the best series I’ve ever thrown.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/07/2015 at 02:47 AM   
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calendar   Saturday - February 21, 2015

Bowling Sux

Damnation. Out bowled again. 2-5. Really strange conditions. We had the center pair of lanes, directly across from the front door. And it’s the coldest night of the season, a real record breaker out there. So for almost the first time ever, the alley wasn’t overly warm. I don’t want to get too into it, but the oil was just a frothy mess tonight. It wouldn’t stay put, floating around like it was on ice. Nearly instant breakdown, the edges went bone dry by the end of Game 1, and by the start of Game 3 the back end was frightfully over reactive. And down the middle, all the oil was mounded into two or three thin strips. Hit one and it was slide city, no ball reaction until the last foot or so. Miss one and it was like putting cleats on your ball; watch it catch, dig, and run away from the midlanes. So I guess it became power ball night, just slam the thing down range hard with a bit of spin on, and hope for the best. I came out 2 pins under average for my series for the night, and my last game was 25 over. So it was not a great night for me.

It was a worse night for our team. Or what’s left of it. Mr. Mopey, J, still pining for the ex. Dude, you guys weren’t married. You were just playing Brady Bunch while dating. And I’m sure you were even co-habbing it. And it was over early last summer. Move on already, jeesh. So tonight the ex was bowling in the lanes right next to us. “I dunno if I can take this. I probably won’t be back next year. I hope I can finish this year. I dunno. This is so hard for me.” Friggin great. We already got burned the past 3 weeks with our fill in 4th guy who shat on us. We got burned tonight for the Vacancy, because a vacancy is just a flat score, and never ever a real bowler who you can rely on, or who will pull a miracle out every once in a while. Like our opponents 4th bowler, who threw the best night of her life against us ( of course! ) Now we’ll be down to just the two of us, me and the wife? On this league too? That makes 3 ... 4 ... maybe 5 times this has happened? There aren’t any other leagues we can go to. Damnation, we aren’t anti-social. We have fun. We try to be fun. We’re not snobs. We’re not over competitive. We try so hard to suck it up when things go bad, and not sulk for more than a couple seconds. What more do you want? And yeah, we’re willing to buy the beer, or some wings, or a round of shots. Not every time, but often or more. Mopey J won’t even have a beer. Or a soda or a coffee either. He just sits there. So maybe it will be small loss if he evaporates. But gosh darn, I want an actual team. A team I can rely on. Rely on to actually show up. Every week. To actually bowl. Every week. To actually bowl halfway decently, at least half the time. To pay their dues. Every week. To be a bit social and outgoing. Is that so damn much to ask? 4 people, and we’re providing 2 of them? Horry clap. This sux.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 02/21/2015 at 09:18 AM   
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calendar   Saturday - February 14, 2015

Team Sisyphus

We Get Knocked Down, But We Get Up Again

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It’s been a month since my last bowling post. And with good reason. As you know, we’ve been the 3/4 team, being one bowler short all season. And we were managing, mostly. We’d hit a few bumps in the road, but had been on an upswing, enough to get ourselves back up to 4th place in the standings, and only 6 points out from the lead.

And then I got a call from the nice guy who owns the bowling alley, who is always on the lookout for new bowlers and ways to help out the leagues. “Hey, remember R? You know him from summer league and so on. He wants to get back into bowling, so how about we put him on your team? He’s got a 200+ average, and you guys get along, so what do you say?” A fourth bowler, for us? With a good average? And somebody we already know and like? Hell yeah, bring him aboard!

So the boss man gives us R. And forgets to mention it to his employee M, who not only runs Fun League but pretty much runs the front desk. Not a lady to cross swords with, ever. So the first night R shows up, she’s pissed at us, because we didn’t tell her. Us? What about your boss? Oy. Let’s hope she gets over it. So R shows up, late. But he called! “Hey, my new job, running late, I’m going to miss the first game. Put me down as absent.” Ok. So we write him in, rework the team averages for the handicap calculation, lose all our handicap and give it to our opponents, and then take the 10 pin absentee penalty. And then we get our butts kicked. R shows up for Game 2. “Hey, I haven’t bowled in 2 years, not sure how well I’ll do, I hear this new oil they have really messes with the patterns.” Sure R, do your best. And he rolls 40 under. And we get our butts kicked. Game 3 he almost came up to his average, and we almost won. But we didn’t, so we lost all 7 that week, 0-7.

Next week we get a phone call. “Yeah, I don’t know. This new job looks like it’s going to keep me late every Friday. I won’t be able to make the first game, ever. And I asked, but we’re not allowed to pre-bowl just one game. So put me down as absent for Game 1.” Sure R, work comes first, we understand. Grrr. So we take the absentee penalty, and we lose that one. R shows up for Game 2 and bowls 40 under. We lose. He bowls 15 over in Game 3 and we just barely win, so we go 2-5 for the night. We’re now sinking into 6th place.

Last week ... you guessed it; we get a phone call. “This job man, I tell ya. It’s not fair to you guys, so I’m going to pull out. Maybe I’ll bowl in the summer. Sorry.” He quits. Fine. Ok, let’s replace him on the team list with a vacancy, and maybe we can get some handicap points. “No no no”, says M, cranky as usual, “He should have called in advance. I’ll take him off for next week, but you’ll have to use his absentee score for tonight.” I can’t argue with that. So we do our best, but we’re playing the 2nd place team and they’re running hot, so we get utterly smeared in games 1 & 2. We did our best to rally, and bowled well enough so that we just lost Game 3, thus going 0-7. Again.

Last night, oh look, we’re down to 9th place. But it’s just the 3 of us again, and a vacancy. The boss man stops by, “Gee, sorry about R, I thought he’d work out.” Yeah, we’re sorry too, thanks for trying. And I threw 63 over in Game 1, and we won. And the Mrs threw 52 over in Game 3, and we won. And when we added everything up, we were 12 up in total pins, so we got wood, and went 5-2 for the night.

So we’re going to fight our way back, but the season is more than half over now, so it’s going to be a long uphill struggle. Just like Sisyphus. Nothing like a challenge to keep it interesting, right?


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 02/14/2015 at 04:01 PM   
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calendar   Saturday - January 17, 2015

Bowling Party

We had a total blast tonight at league. Sure, we won 2 games and the wood for 5 points out of 7, and I rolled in the 590s, but that’s not it. We got completely pished with the other team, and then got totally silly. Somehow we got involved in something like comic competitive drinking? Not sure, but they were teasing us because our pints of Blue Moon beer had orange slices on the rim, so there were masculine shots of Jim Beam sent around as a counter offensive, followed by shots of something else, followed by ... I’m not sure what. Did you know that Southern Comfort and lime juice is a drink? Kind of odd, and margarita-like, but effective. I seem to recall lots of shrieking and laughter, and something about somebody sitting down in someone else’s wet spot which made everyone else just lose it to the giggles for several minutes. So we had at least too much fun.

Went to the attached restaurant afterwards and had a big Reuben sandwich with fries and a couple cups of coffee, so the booze had plenty of time to burn off and get absorbed before we did any driving.  Pretty sure I went to bed soon after that. Memories seem to be a bit blurry.

One thing I do know, it’s 3:38am here, and I woke up fully dressed on the bed under a quilt. And ever so thirsty. And we had nothing to drink here, other than boring tap water and a bottle of her flavored seltzer stuff. Which has fizz, but really not much flavor. Or so I thought.

Fine. Time to MacGyver up my own soda then. I’d just read one of these “life hack” things this afternoon that said you can get more juice from a lemon if you cut it lengthwise, so I tried it. And then, since it’s 3am, I popped the seeds out and cut into the lemon fruit a whole bunch of times, running the knife tip just up to the skin. Oh yeah, I got the juice out all right. Poured it! So, juice of half a huge lemon into a glass with a pint of cold Adirondack Wildberry seltzer, add a heaping tablespoon of sugar. Stir. Drink. Crivens, this is nearly the real deal! Berry taste, citric acid punch, sugar, fizz. Pretty close; if I had a lime I’d be in business. Quite refreshing. Make myself up another pint and head back to bed. Smart Drew, he stops off at the bathroom, downs a couple of aspirin ahead of time, just in case.

Back to sleep.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/17/2015 at 08:26 AM   
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calendar   Saturday - January 10, 2015

Roling Along

Another night at Fun League, another 7 point smash for us.

Not bad for a team with a permanent vacancy.

I did Ok. Best game was a 224 in Game 2, pretty much a game of spares with a 4 bagger thrown in. Always best to close all the frames! And it coulda/woulda/shoulda been in the 240s, because I threw 8-0 in the 10th. Still having problems with the right corner. Game 1 was a 201, Game 3 came in in the 180s so I was just a hair under 600 again. I’m happy with that, given that I’m still carrying a 175 average. Teammate John threw a 266 in Game 1, which was 8 X in a row to open. Those are always great.

We took the first game by 25 and the second game by 12, so our margin was only 37 for the third game. For most of the game we watched them eat up our handicap and simply outbowl us. We figured if we could rally we could hold onto wood for 5, 2+2+1. Well, we rallied, they stumbled, and by the time I had finished my 10th their anchor could tie us if he threw a perfect 40 and our anchor threw only 4 or less. Our anchor struck twice, theirs opened, so we put Game 3 in the bag and said good night.

At the very least this moves us up one slot in the standings. Our opponents tonight were 1 place ahead of us, by a single point. We’ve reached that point in the season where the top teams have opened up a chasm 2 weeks wide over the lower teams. ( This is why I always push for 2 semester length “seasonettes” instead of 1 32 week endless season. ) We were the bottom team of the top chunk, with about 10 points separating the whole pack. We’ll move up a bit, sure, but we were the only two top teams playing each other last night, so the night was really just for widening the chasm.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/10/2015 at 09:46 AM   
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calendar   Saturday - January 03, 2015

Scoring Spike

A little bit of bowling blogging, which Rich K loves so well.

The Low Margin Line

I’ve been using a different throw for the past few weeks. Instead of trying for an “out and back” kind of hook that moves out lots of boards, I’m doing a “down and in” kind of toss that bellies out just a handful of boards. It takes a slow and low approach, with a gentle swing. This might sound like lazy bowling, but it isn’t; I have to concentrate fiercely - almost hypnotically - on keeping my shoulders square and loose, on swinging straight through and not “slanging” my arm around, on getting the finger snick at the end just so, and most importantly, totally zoning in on the dime-sized spot out on the arrows where I want my ball to go. And when all these pieces come together, it works.

It really works. My high games have spiked 20+ pins. I’ve been throwing at least one 220+ game a night. Last week I threw 2 games in the 230s. Last night I threw 223 for the first game. Ok, last night I also screwed the pooch in Game 2, wrenching my back a little and messing myself up, which resulted in a 116, which is a terrible score. I recovered in Game 3, throwing 10 over average, and we did manage to win Games 1 and 3 and to take wood, so we got 5 points for the night. But we should have had all 7, and it’s pretty much all my fault. But the regularity of the higher scores mean I’m getting better at being more precise, and doing it more frequently. Which is great, but now I have to analyze whether that’s wasted effort or not in terms of the big picture.

And that brings me to the title of this little post, because the truth is, the only real difference between my Game 1 and Game 2 was perhaps 1/2”. But it was 1/2” on every throw. A little wide, a tiny bit high, a bit flat, a tad inside or outside my mark ... yadda yadda. And what had been strike after strike after strike in Game 1 became a shit-pile of splits, crappy leaves, dead 10s, and other ugly yuck. Thankfully, I am glad to say that this didn’t upset me at all. No pouting or frustration. It was more of a “now, how is this happening?” thing. And I think the answer is that I’d rolled the line out in just 1 game (other bowlers may have been using that line or parts of it) and had to chase the oil around for a while. And when I did that, bam bam, I was back in business, though not quite as hot as I was to start. And this is why I’m calling it a low margin line. The throw works great, but it has to be exactly exact. Precisely precise. Every throw the same, with less than 1/4 of a board’s difference from one end of the 60 foot lane to the other. And I’m not yet that much of a machine.

So what I think might be better, is more of a cranker kind of philosophy for the throw: rev it up and slide it into an area, where it will bite hard and come back and cover the pocket angles, whether shallow and high from a late break, or broad and low from an early break or a wide throw out to the edge. And, dagnabit, that takes me right back to my never ending inability to put enough rev on the ball. I don’t know how people do it, I’ve been watching and asking for years. Bent wrist, under the ball, palm roll to the inside, finger snick, or somehow magically pull you thumb from the ball early and then do all the stuff I just mentioned, and somehow not have the ball dive bomb itself right off my hand into the approach so hard that it bounces out onto the lane like a friggin basketball. Because that’s what “get your thumb out” means to me - that ball is about to go somewhere, and go there hard, where it ain’t supposed to be. All I really want is to find a shot that works, and holds for a couple frames when the oil starts to shift, and will also work when the line is a board or two plus or minus. Fast or slow a touch. Some margin. You know what I mean.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/03/2015 at 07:35 AM   
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calendar   Saturday - October 25, 2014

Rolling Into First

When we got to the lanes last night for Fun League, we found ourselves 2 games out of first place, and tied for second with the team we were scheduled to play. So it was on! And while they bowled pretty well, they were held back by a high average “ringer” substitute who threw poorly all night. She came to the lanes with a 219 average, but only threw in the 170s. So that gave us a huge handicap, 110 pins, but we hardly needed it. We bowled great, and utterly stampeded our way through the first game, winning it by 234 pins. Game 2 was pretty similar, with us up 101 at the end. In other words, we held our own and then some, even without any handicap. The beers and the time were starting to take their toll in Game 3, as were the lane conditions. We were on the end pair, and for whatever reason those 2 lanes break down so quickly. So we couldn’t quite find our super groove, but they weren’t doing much better. In the end they squeaked by us by 16 pins for that win, but we had total wood by a mile. So we took 5 points to their 2. And that should both put us back into first, and probably knock them down to third or fourth for a week or two. Pretty cool. I threw a 585 series. Darn. I so want to get up into the 600s. Practice!


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 10/25/2014 at 01:44 PM   
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calendar   Friday - October 24, 2014

Me, FTW

Got my own comic.

Awesome.

previously



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Chris Muir rocks.


And tonight, of course, is Friday Fun League. After last week’s 7-0 win against Jeff’s high average team, we should be back in first place, or very very close to it. They brought in a new guy last week to fill their vacancy, and he had to roll for average. This can be a great strategic advantage if it’s done after the first 3 weeks, when all the other new folks are bowling to establish their averages. That is, if your new guy doesn’t bowl particularly well. His low average, determined after the games are bowled, can offset most of the higher averages from your better bowlers and result in your team giving away almost nothing in the way of handicap points. The problem for them was, their new guy, whom they thought was a 110 bowler, threw a high 400s series, giving him a 160+ average for the games rolled against us. So that worked entirely to our advantage. Plus we bowled pretty well ourselves. It was close though; one game we took by only a dozen pins.

Tonight we bowl team Los Pollos Hermanos. But this year we’re prepared, and can drop Walter White and Jesse Pinkman quotes on them left and right.

The Sam Elliot quote in the comic panel above is from The Big Lebowski, an oddball film that’s about bowling. Sort of. And nihilism. Sort of. And quotes. Mostly. “Smokey, this is not ‘Nam, it’s bowling. There are rules.”

See More Below The Fold

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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 10/24/2014 at 11:58 AM   
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calendar   Saturday - October 04, 2014

i hasta go now

I have to go help out family for a few days. Will be back Monday, but may be gone again from Tuesday. fun fun fun.

We did manage to win all 7 points at Fun League last night. Two guys on our opponents team were former teammates from years ago on Greed League, so that brought out my competitiveness. After being in a bit of a slump the past couple of weeks, I rolled a 222 in the first game, against Joe’s 225. He got me, but my paper average is now quite a bit lower than his, and with help from my current team and our massive 4 pin handicap, we managed a win. I threw something a bit above average in the second game, and we won that one too. And then the beer started flowing. By the third game we were all laughing and hanging out having fun, hardly bothering to bowl. But I pulled a 202 out of somewhere, and we took that one by 57 pins. Overall I threw a 599, just missing the 600 mark. Good enough. Came home, had something to eat, went to bed.

Raining and miserable here today. Eww ick.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 10/04/2014 at 02:07 PM   
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calendar   Monday - September 15, 2014

As You Like It: Out On the Lanes Again

Bowling blogging!  I know you’ve missed it. Rich K is even asking for it. So here you are.



Friday Fun League is up and running. Winter league has begun. And so have our problems. Once again, almost as usual, my team finds itself down a bowler. This is what happens in a couples league when the other half of your team breaks up. We kept him, and she went to another team. And we have a vacancy. The league as a whole is down about 4 teams this year too; from 16 to 12. That means we’re going to go through 3 full rotations this season, or almost 3 if they insist on doing a position round at the end of every rota. I hate position rounds; I think they’re a waste a time. Just do the Round Robin and be done with it.

We went 5-2 the first week, in a rather uncomfortable night. Because wouldn’t you just know it, we started off the season with him on our team, and her on our opponent’s team. Figures. And we’re in the middle, trying to make nice-nice with everybody. Whatever. Eye-roll. So we took the first game by a landslide, more than 100 pins ahead. And then we took the second game by a solid 55 pins or so. And then? And then we went to sleep or something. Or they were downing Red Bull and suddenly grew wings. Beats me, but they woke up and did some of the best bowling I’ve ever seen them do. She, who usually rolls in the 120s, starts whacking strike after strike after strike, and finishes with a 203. All last season, she only had 1, maybe 2 200+ games. Two others on that team rolled 40 or 50 over their averages too, and their anchor really delivered, throwing a scorching 247. We ... sucked. In the end not only did they win the third game, they ate up almost all our pin lead from the first two games. Thank goodness he on our side finished off with X, XX9, because when the final numbers were added up we held onto Total Wood by an anorexic 11 pins. And that gave us the extra point, so we avoided the 4-3 split score and held on for a 5-2 victory.

Going into the second week, the alley folks found a couple who were willing to join the league if they could bowl together. So M, who works the front desk and pretty much runs the place, asked him if he’d go to another team so they could replace him and our vacancy with this new couple. He wasn’t willing. Good. He’s part of our team, and we don’t want to lose him too.

So for Week 2 we played Team Bubbles. Bubbles is the nickname for one of their bowlers, a teeny tiny little woman with a giant personality. She’s a hoot. She isn’t the greatest bowler, but it’s fun to watch her plop the ball out on the lane and then stand there, hands on her hips, giving it the evil eye, demanding that the ball do what she wants it to. And spanking it when it misbehaves. Bad ball! Naughty ball! But alas, she had to work late, so she wasn’t there. Joe was there, back on that team after a year off. Joe - or “grampy” as my wife calls him because of his gray hair and beard (which makes me wonder if she calls me “Santa” behind my back! Although I don’t do the beard thing.) - Joe and I go way back. We’ve been bowling together or against each other on various leagues for the better part of a decade now. He was on our Greed League team last year, but he had to quit when he took a new job. So he was the sudden mid-season vacancy that sunk us. Well, Bob being absent 2/3 of the season didn’t help either, but that team dissolved, and now none of us are on Greed League any longer. Good riddance. But we had a good bunch of guys while it lasted. So Joe is back, and that inspired me to compete. Pity the lanes weren’t cooperating. OMG. The left lane was totally different. It was at least 4 boards off, ball reaction -wise, and the back end was muddy. The right lane was fine, typical house conditions. I wonder if the kid cleaning the lanes skipped our left one. Or maybe they rented it out before our league arrived, and about 20 games got rolled on it. That’s how it felt. Pushed flat and dirty. Not dried out, just ... ewww.

But back to me vs Joe. Looking at it mano a mano, I beat him in the first game. Not that I threw anything magical, but I beat my book average by 12. And he didn’t come close to his, and his book is 30 pins more than mine. Our team won by 65. For the first 7 frames it looked like we were losing. No matter how well we threw, and our him was rolling really well, we just couldn’t get ahead. And then somebody noticed that our vacancy bowler was hardly registering any score. On this league, a vacancy score is a 140, which means 14 pins per frame. Whoever entered the names and averages did it wrong, so our Vacancy had a 14 average instead of a 140. Ooops. Once we fixed that we were suddenly in the lead. I had some issues, leaving 3 opens and even tossing a gutter ball on a mark. Horry crap. That sux. I rallied, marked out the last half, and made my numbers. And our team did well enough to win it by a good margin.  I was down some in the second game. Joe didn’t bowl so great either, but he did better than me. So he got me in Game 2, but our team won that one handily, a big thanks to my wife, who was on the mark and made a really good score. In the third game the Bubble-less Team Bubbles seemed to lose their carbonation. They just went flat. All of them were well under average. We were all a bit over average. It wasn’t a very exciting match up, but we all had a good time socially, and we won Game 3 by a wide margin. So we won all three games, 7-0.

Going into the 3rd week we’re now 12-2, which should put us pretty close to first place. It’s a long, long season, so this doesn’t mean much. But we’re off to a good start.

I might have to buy a new pair of bowling shoes. The ones I have are stretched out and seem a whole size too big. Plus the heel cup is torn on the right one, which makes my starting step sloppy because my foot slides back instead of getting traction. My bowling bag isn’t doing too good either; the handle has come loose. But I think I can fix that with a couple of bolts and some washers.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 09/15/2014 at 04:20 PM   
Filed Under: • Bowling Blogging •  
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