Saturday, April 26, 2014

2014 USBC Women's Nationals, Reno Convention Center

This past week, I bowled my first USBC Women's National Tournament at the Reno Convention Center. Unlike the less than stellar accommodations in my first women's state tournament (Fresno) in 2012, this is the way tournaments should be done.

My teammates are all longtime bowlers: Kathy, my Monday night teammate, bowled juniors as a kid. She remains friends with many her teammates, who still bowl leagues and tournaments.

Then there's Jan and Wilma. Jan and Wilma bowl with my other Monday night teammate Mark on Thursday nights. Both have bowled for nearly as long as I've been alive.

The biggest highlight in attending this tournament was to see Jan get recognized for her 50th consecutive Women's National tournament (see article on

L to R: Lani, Jan, Wilma, Kathy
Unlike the National Bowling Stadium in downtown Reno, the lanes where we bowled were not a permanent part of the convention center.

For the first time this year in the USBC Women's Championships, bowlers were classified according to average. No handicap scoring was used. Our team bowled in the Emerald division (575-649 combined average). When Kathy and I bowled doubles, we were in Division 4 (290-319 combined average).

As a tournament participant (and being part of Jan's team certainly helped), Kathy and I got a $20 discount toward any purchase in the pro shop and gift store. I got a couple of towels and an ID tag for my 2-ball roller.

Kathy used her discount to buy a new Storm 3-ball roller bag for her son, who needs the bag to carry his bowling balls and shoes for a junior tournament next weekend in Orange County (southern California). He's competing for a spot in the Junior Gold Championship which will be held this July in Buffalo, New York.

It was very, very cool to see my name on the big scoreboard. During doubles, each bowler's home city was listed next to her name. I was never prouder to see "San Francisco, CA" next to mine. Only wish my series had been as big as my name on the scoreboard.

Because this was a weekday trip, Kathy got me a killer Groupon deal at the Grand Sierra Resort, which is near the Reno-Tahoe airport.

For $59, we got a 2-night stay with waived resort fee, free room wi-fi, and 2-day complimentary breakfast buffets for 2.

Like cruise ships, the Grand Sierra features amenities that make it possible that you'd never have to leave the hotel. Within the hotel there's a Starbucks, Johnny Rockets, Round Table Pizza, Port of Subs, a wedding chapel and a pool area called "The Beach".

My absolute favorite amenity: the 24-hour, 50 lane bowling center.

Grand Sierra's 24-hour, 50 lane bowling center

It's definitely my first choice on a future Reno trip -- when I'm not there to bowl in a tournament.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Mel Blanc

Mel in 1959, source: Wikipedia

This past Thursday (April 17) marked the 77th anniversary of my favorite web footed lisper, Daffy Duck. 

The voice of Daffy Duck, as well as hundreds of other cartoon characters is the late, great Mel Blanc.

Some of his best known Warner Brothers voices:
Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd, Pepé Le Pew, Sylvester the Cat, Tweety Bird, Foghorn Leghorn, Tasmanian Devil, Yosemite Sam, and eeebly, eebly, that's all folks, Porky Pig.

Until I read his Wikipedia biography, I didn't know Mr. Blanc was the original voice of Universal Studio's Woody Woodpecker, or that he was born in San Francisco.

Mr. Blanc later worked for Hanna Barbera and was the voice of Mr. Spacely from The Jetsons and more famously as Fred Flinstone's best friend, Barney Rubble.

I'll close with my favorite clips from Bugs Bunny-Daffy Duck-Elmer Fudd trilogy, "Rabbit Season, Duck Season" (thanks kenpoarniceguy1).

Friday, April 11, 2014

Former Major League Baseball MVP Larry Walker bowls a perfect game

Larry Walker's Thursday night league in West Palm Beach, Florida

As some have tweeted to former MLB MVP outfielder-with-a-cannon-arm-Canadian Larry Walker, (Twitter name: @Cdnmooselips33 ) strikes are a good thing. Carrying a pretty impressive league average of 196, Walker bowled his first perfect game during league last night at Verdes Tropicana Lanes in West Palm Beach, Florida.

This was Walker's second perfect game. His first? When he played first base for the Montreal Expos on July 28, 1991 when Dennis Martinez pitched a perfect game.

Most valuable player. Two perfect games in 2 sports. Wow.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Blast from the Past in Tweets

A phone app I installed last week - Timehop.

Short and sweet - a time capsule of my history in photo, videos and status updates (for me, that would be Tweets).

As shown in today's timehop, on this date 4 years ago, I was on my way back to San Francisco from a short visit to Columbus. My connection was in Detroit.

Other than what's been shared here, I haven't yet used the "Share This" feature. Maybe because I'm not quite comfortable with re-posting past status updates.

The free app is currently available for download on Google play (Android) and Apple's App Store.