Sunday, October 30, 2016

Orleans in Vegas - Hawaiian Invitational

2016 Hawaiian Invitational
1st squad scores
After a 2-week absence, I have returned. I missed October 16 due to a 7+ hour storm related power outage in my neighborhood. On October 23, I was in Las Vegas bowling my first Hawaiian Invitational.

The Hawaiian Invitational is an annual bowling tournament held at the Orleans Hotel. This is the same place where Liz Johnson won this summer's PWBA Las Vegas Open.

Like the Asian American Bowling Association (AABA) tournaments I bowl at 4th Street Bowl in San Jose and National Bowling Stadium in Reno, a participating bowler must be of Chinese or Japanese ancestry, or bowl in a Chinese or Japanese league.

In my long gone softball days, the big Asian tournament invitational hard core players attended was Sumitomo in Sacramento. I had informal invitations to come watch, but never got invited to play.

Of the Asian tournaments I bowl, the Hawaiian Invitational has the most participants (all 70 lanes at the Orleans are taken). Roster submissions begin early in the year, and payment (room, optional meal plan and tournament costs) must be paid in April, 6 months before the tournament date in October.

Above is a photo of my team's 1st squad scores. If you've ever bowled in leagues and tournaments, you'll notice scores are 4 games, rather than the usual 3. Overall, we didn't do badly, but total pins with handicap, was at least 500 pins from the top team scores.

For most bowlers, the best perk of the tournament is the doubles jackpot. You can choose anyone bowling the same squad time as a partner. The fee is only $3 per bowler with no limits on partners. Bowl well enough and a $6 team investment can result in over $1K prize money. Not to worry, the usual bracket and side pot bets are available too.

I had loads of fun. I consider these tournaments as reunions. It's great to see people you once bowled with in league or in other tournaments. Between squads, there's plenty of time to hit the casinos and slot machines, catch a movie in the hotel's multiplex cinema, or eat yourself silly at the buffet or any of the hundreds of nearby restaurants.

In the words of T-800 Model 101, "I'll be back."

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Bimmer Bumper Boo Boo

my car's boo boo
blog entry: January 3, 2016

Two Saturdays ago, I was on my way home from bowling practice. As I was about to make a right turn from King Drive to Skyline Boulevard in Daly City, a young woman (about 27) rear ended me. Fortunately, it was only a hard tap. My car didn't shake or jerk on impact.

blog entry: January 3, 2016

She initially offered to pay cash for the damage and asked me not to file insurance as I was the second person she hit.

I said no. Once she accepted that I would contact my insurance company, she said she'd text me her insurance information. True to her word, I got proof of insurance within 2 hours of the accident. I filed the claim over the phone shortly afterwards.

Because of urgent deadlines the following week at work, I wasn't able to get the car to the body shop until Thursday.

I am currently driving a 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport (same color as the photo below) as my loaner until the body work is completed. The Santa Fe isn't a bad car, but it's not mine. I miss my car's handling and acceleration. Most of all, I miss driving a manual transmission.

I called the body shop yesterday. They sounded pretty certain my car will be ready tomorrow. I certainly hope so.

source: Car Connection
2016 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport

Saturday, October 01, 2016

BMW Films - Return of The Driver

source: BMW Films
Clive Owen as The Driver
I bought my first BMW in 1998. I bought my third BMW in 2016 (see January 3, 2016 entry).

My first Clive Owen sighting was a 1999 neo-noir film called "Croupier".

Major crush on Clive. Big love for the BMW.

I couldn't have asked for a more perfect match when in 2001, BMW announced a film series called "The Hire". The driver for hire?  The ultra-cool Mr. Owen.

The films did not disappoint. A partial list of actors and directors:
Ray Liotta, Don Cheadle, Gary Oldham, John Frankenheimer, Ang Lee, Guy Ritchie and Wong Kar-Wai. 

This past week, BMW announced a new film to celebrate the 15th Anniversary of "The Hire". Clive Owen reprises his role as The Driver. The film debuts October 23, 2016.

If you haven't seen them, the films are great short stories that highlight why BMW's are ultimate driving machines. I've included 2 of my favorites from the series.

1. "Chosen". Clive's co-star is Ang Lee's son, Mason.

2. Probably the funniest and most popular in The Hire series, "Star".
Guy Ritchie directs his former wife in the title role.
When the camera closes in on The Driver's hand toggling the gearshift in neutral, Madonna's gonna be in for a memorable ride.