Adventures of Andrew Lenz and a Yellow Ball

Month: October 2018 (Page 1 of 4)

“Berne” Shot!

Sunday, October 21, 2018 (Court Day #217)

After a lot of warm days, this overcast morning started in the low to mid-50s. It would burn off and get very pleasant.

It was an unusually light attended day at Derby Park, maxing out at a mere 25 players. With the Bay Area Senior Games one week away, Stuart figured that many tournament players were over at a Brommer Park instead. Not that we typically see the strongest players at Derby regardless. Once permanent courts went in at Brommer last year, the advanced players showed up less and less. It’s a shame for players like me who are pushing the skill level available for intermediate opponents. That’s not to say I don’t get challenged, I do. Bihg has very quick hands. Oleg is frequently the best player on a given day at Derby, like today. Grita provides good games. Nick (of Nick and Tammy) is catching on quickly with his strong tennis background. John P. keeps me honest, Karl is continuing to improve and gets some good shots in but you can catch him with some shots. The surprise of the day was playing against Art. The tournament wasn’t a fluke. Art played much better than I would think of him. He’s gotten a lot better. After the day wrapped up, Art mentioned that he’s planning to move to Mexico. That’s a bummer.

Oh, funny moment. Cameron and I were on one side of the net and were warming up with Bihg. Things were going normally until I decided to spin a dink sideways to my left to Cameron. As you’d expect, he was taken by surprise. We all laughed. We did more dinking then I did it again, but Cameron was ready this time! Bihg christened the shot a “Berne”—a twist on the naming of the Erne shot. Obviously, any time it occurred in a serious game, it’d be a mistake!


I was talking to John P. mid-morning about my paddle after a game. To demonstrate the delamination issue, I pinched the end of my paddle between my thumb and fingers and wiggled it back and forth and it’s made a bit of a crunching noise. Not good.

I received an email back from Barrett Kincheloe and he says that he’s completely switched from his Tempest Wave paddle to the Prince Response paddle with the thick grip. He says it has a “bigger and more consistent sweet spot.” The funny thing is that Paddletek makes the Prince paddles though an agreement, so it’s got the Prince name and maybe the Prince design tweaks but it’s a Paddletek paddle.


I’m really tempted. $148.00. Not cheap, but it’d get a lot of use.


Monday, October 22, 2018 (No Play)

Janet, the office manager for Paddletek got back to me first thing this morning and graciously offered to replace the paddle under warranty. But, she added:
“Please ship your paddle back to us when you receive the replacement so that I am able to submit it to the warranty department.”

At that, I sent a message via Facebook to Nanette who had responded to my post a couple of months ago in the Pickleball Forum and said I could keep my autographed paddle if I had it replaced under warranty adding that her husband is one of the co-owners.

Tonight, Nanette got back to me and said I could keep my paddle and she’d let Janet know that it was ok to do so. Great!


Tuesday, October 23, 2018 (No Play)

Today, I emailed back Janet to which she replied and said she was getting the replacement paddle shipped out.

Lucky me, I get to have a molar pulled out this afternoon. I am not looking forward to it. Typically, it’s at least four days of rest and no strenuous exercise afterward. No pickleball for a bit. I was given tickets to the Oakland Raiders game on Sunday and I’m taking my dad. I’ll be forced to rest that day. That’s probably good, or I would have been tempted to play.


Wednesday, October 24, 2018 (No Play)

Ouch. Remind me to try to not have any molars pulled out in the future.


Thursday, October 25, 2018 (No Play)

Scotts Valley had play tonight. My wife called and asked, “Aren’t you going to pickleball tonight?” “I don’t know. I haven’t decided yet.” Being on antibiotics and work demands just made me tired, so I ended up not going.

Dave Cox asked if I wanted to partner with him for the Templeton tournament. I checked and men’s doubles is on Saturday, November 10. The good news is that it starts at 10 a.m., which means we could just drive down early and not have to rent a place to sleep the night before. Now, if work necessities will just permit me the time off. It’s my call, but I need staffing to be covered.


Saturday, October 27, 2018 (No Play)

I noticed last night that my back was a little sore. What’s interesting is that I haven’t played pickleball since Sunday. Granted, it’s typically more sore after pickleball, but to have it sore at all having not played is curious.


Monday, October 29, 2018 (No Play)

I received another box today at work. A second replacement paddle. Oops. Being that I’m an honest guy, I let Paddletek know and they are sending a pickup tag for it.


Number of days on a court: 217
Number of total hours: 596

To start at the beginning of this blog click on “1st Post” in the menu above.

Bakersfield Visitor

Friday, October 19, 2018 (Court Day #216)

Being that I’d be working six days this week and staffing was ok for a change, I opted to take the morning off and play. I arrived at Brommer Park at 9:35 under sunny skies. It would be a beautiful day. A game was already underway.

Tom Sherwood, Christine (I think) and Terry Long. Tish on the nearside of the right court.

I played a number of games. My play was mixed. Pretty good, but I did make some boneheaded mistakes. Execution errors mostly. My shot selection was generally pretty good.

The game of the day was Eric and David against me and Ted/Theo. After an early very contested point, David exclaimed, “What kind of game did I get myself into?” Eric made an uncharacteristic number of errors and Ted went on a lobbing spree—at least half a dozen in the game—most of which resulted in a lost point. Ted knew it wasn’t working: “There I did it again. I can’t help myself.” I get it, I was popping up dinks randomly recently with no explanation. Play autopilot. Reprogramming is necessary. It was a good game—ok, Ted and I led the whole game. David is a good, consistent player. Sure, he made some errors, but, boy, solid player.

Eric resting his eyes, David Sewell from Bakersfield, and sweaty me. Ted B. took the photo for me and told us to take off our caps so our faces wouldn’t be in shadow.

I left at 12:30 to head to home then to work. This was a good day of play and an overall good day of my performance.


Between games, I noticed my paddle’s face was delaminating from the core. There are parts of your paddle that you never want to see!


I emailed Paddletek with photos of my Tempest Wave to see if they’d be willing to send me a replacement under warranty. I guess that would solve the autographs on the face versus santioning! I was listening to the Pickleball Kitchen podcast and Barrett Kincheloe—who is a Tempest Wave fan—and he bought a Prince paddle to test out. He’s a paddle nerd and tries a lot of paddles, but has always come back to the Tempest. This time though, he said he really likes the Prince and might just stick with it.

Number of days on a court: 216
Number of total hours: 592.5

To start at the beginning of this blog click on “1st Post” in the menu above.



Some Night Ball

Thursday, October 18, 2018 (Court Day #215)

Is it bad if one of your staff cuts himself pretty good and you are worried that you might have to take him to the doctor and miss part or all of pickleball? Yep, that was me today. Turned out his mom took him in and not even stitches were required. Excellent.

I haven’t played since Sunday’s tournament. My back has been sore, so I decided to take it easy.

I got to Skypark a few minutes before the 6:30 starting time. I had to leave work 5 minues before closing to pull it off.


Craig and Leah on the left. Plus Paul, Beth, Eddy and Lauren.

Sue and I played a game against Paul—who I met last week—and Eddy, We were losing 8-1 but made a game of it and lost 11-9 or 11-8.

The game of the night was Sharyl and me against Oleg and Beth Black. “This will be a tough one,” I told a smiling partner before the game. It was much closer than I was expecting. They did win, but by only two points, 11-9. Good game.

Mark Dettle had to leave early, so we all pulled down nets at 8:30 to head home.

My take away from tonight. I hit a slam into the net. My serving was very reliable. I hit two backhand drives into the net. I played pretty overall, but made some poorly executed shots. I hit a couple of high shots toward the net and my partner had to pay the price. Not good.

I will say, where others will duck or wince in the face of a slam, I’ll be right there ready to take it on. So I get a little credit there!

Number of days on a court: 215
Number of total hours: 589

To start at the beginning of this blog click on “1st Post” in the menu above.

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