The panels and gloves are off!

Spring Break gone, first trial of the year in two weeks and this weekend the end of winter Pool finale which
I’ve qualified for twice with a first and a third. Saturday then, and like myself a few others have also qualified
more than once and I believe we will be playing 22 players in the final which will give quite a few “byes” as
the competition unfolds.

Normally we play 16 with double elimination and in order to get in the money you need to win your first three
games. Game four decides one finalist while the loser meets the top player from the loser’s side of the tree.
The winner from the one loss each group is now in the final and also racks the first game. If the unbeaten
player wins this game its all over. If the one loss player wins it then goes to a coin toss for the last frame
and first and second are decided.

With trials only two weeks away I’ve decided to do some intensive pool practice this week and after three
days I’ve now played 34 frames from my planned 50. The competition tables at the Hollywood are about 6″
shorter than our home table so angles change very slightly as does impact speed and the required cue ball
control. Just banged in another 6 this morning so I might even make 70 before the comp starts.

Now Friday, temps well up and Mother Nature is on the cusp ready to let the trees out of hibernation. Every
day just a tinge more green. Tulips and daffs bursting forth and the clematis going mad already! We have
Monday off so time to rebuild the gazebo and start some clean up. My trials practice loses a few days as I’m
off to Denver, Wed-Sat like last year. Its a good trip with a lot of driving and variety.

The day begins with frame count at 43. Quick 10 go in the book and then the epic of unloading bus, trailer
and the will it ? won’t it ritual of peering in the trailer. Bus back in its berth, trailer on the Cadi and now the
reveal……… gasp! ….. shock! …… disbelief! the Beemer is still standing….. that makes me very happy.

It is still upright !

Saturday, slept well, showered and ready for action. Frame count up at 58 so a little more this morning on
the home table and then try for a quick 4 pre game frames at the Hollywood to adjust to their tables and all
the differences…. lets hope it helps. Strange thing about pool is you can “be on it” one day and it all goes to
plan, but you end up beating yourself by scratching on the 8 while another day other people knock blacks in
when they shouldn’t and scratch when they have a clear advantage! I think my worst session was 2 years
ago, …… first game lost the coin toss, racked the balls, chalked the cue but the opposition ran the table on
me and I never played a shot!!  Game two went well and with a 5 ball advantage took the black and the cue
ball came back to a center pocket and went in from an impossible angle…… net result FIRST OUT !!

Well pool came and went, I played well, obviously not well enough……. so come back strong when it all
starts again in October.

Now time to move on with other things including getting ready for the first trials of the year. However, my
plans for today won’t work as its started raining already and has a 90% prob for rain all day! Not what I had
in mind but I could refresh the carbs and get fresh fuel mixed ready for some action. Today’s big plan was
move the wood pile in front of the house, put up the Gazebo and clean up a load of fallen branches.

Leftover wood to move

Reserve pile needs to be moved

Need to restack the “Great Wall”

Monday morning sunny at cold at 17F and 1/2″ of fresh snow!   Eventually it warms up and we get the Gaz
up in no time flat! The winter log piles outside the front of the house have been moved and there looks to
be enough for 2015!! Well of course the system that has been working for the last couple of years will stay
and I’ll be restocking again come September October.

Gazebo back up in no time flat!

Restacked for 2015

Just like last month when I thought we were heading for 2 days skiing over Spring Break which became a
few days in  AZ for bike week the same change of plans is now screwing things up on work and play as my
Denver trip with the school bus is NEXT week and not this! That means I WON’T be going to San Ysidro
next weekend which is very annoying as I had a great couple of rides there last year with low score on Day
1 with 4, and a zero card on Day 2.  Of course sleeping in the car is not desirable but once in a while I’ll
endure it but with increasing age the need to get up in the middle of the night (especially after a load of
beer) is not easy when you are in a sleeping bag on an air mattress and frantically looking for flashlights
and door handles!!!

Time to go down to the stables and tell the team about San Ysidro…. I know they won’t be pleased with my
decision but they will be out in the sunshine soon.

The boys are not happy!!

Well you lot, the die seems to be cast, but I’ll be at the next one for sure and I’ll be more determined than
ever so LOOK out.