Monday, February 18, 2019 (Court Day #243)
On Sunday, as site coordinator I optimistically visited the Derby Park courts with three towels and a broom in tow. As I walked in, the black asphalt walkway in direct sunlight was still wet. I was thinking, “If this is wet . . . this is not good.” Partway up the path, Dave Allenbaugh checked in. “How are the courts looking?” A minute later, I opened the gate. “No way.” There was standing water on the courts. There would be no club play here today!
Sunday. When you can see clear reflections of the trees on the courts, that’s bad!
Today, I arrived at Brommer Park at 9:15. It was sunny and dry though somewhat chilly. I’d be playing left-handed again. Recovery from tennis elbow is slow going. It’s been six weeks since I’ve played right-handed on January 1, and while there is progress, I suspect it’s not even halfway to healing. I can still see this going six months or more.
John K (near) on a court with Wayne across the net at Brommer Park.
Today was a mix of good and bad. Good? Dean yelling across the courts from another game, “That was about the best backhand I’ve ever seen you do!” Partnering with an older man named Steve, he and I bested Janet and Jean 11-0. I was partnered with Kim against Carl and a male partner whom I don’t know well. Kim said, “It’s cool that you can do that [play left handed]. If I were to do that, I’d be a complete spaz.” And in one game, I made all my serves—that’s a first for me playing lefty. But later, I missed about 40% of my serves. I made shots that went completely wild. Early on, my game was rusty and poor, I so desperately wanted to switch to my right hand. It was frustrating.
I was done at 1:05. About a dozen players were still going, but after nearly four hours and losing my last three games with frustrating play, it was time to go.
I had a surprise when I got home. My back hurt! I’ve been playing so little, it harkened back to my early days of playing where my back would be fatigued and ache after a session. Only playing four times in nearly two months is taking its toll. The only other thing of note, was that I tweaked my right ankle a little bit once in the midst of a game, but it was not significant. That ankle is still recovering.
Thursday, February 21, 2019 (No Play)
So, the last month or so, I’ve been working diligently in my free time on a project. With incessant rain and my injured arm, I’ve had more free time—time that I would have otherwise spent on the courts! On March 21, 2017, about seven weeks after starting to play pickleball, I registered a domain name, pickleballforums.com. It had previously been registered by Chris Allen of The Pickleball Show, but being that it was free for the taking, he must have decided to let it go. I’ve sat on it for nearly two years. (As an aside, in recent months, there haven’t been any new podcast episodes of his show, so he’s either on a long break or has stopped producing them.)
I did some reading, picked a forum software package (phpBB), installed it, waded through hundreds of styles (appearance designs) and many dozens of extensions (additional feature sets) then settled on one style and a handful of extensions. I edited some php/HTML code and tried to bend the forums to my liking. I made a header image and an assortment of icons for each of the forums I’d opted for. I may still add or subtract a forum, but we’ll see. It may be a complete waste of time. But, heck, there are over 2,000,000 players in the USA and it’s growing and the game is expanding into countries where its never been played. I have no dreams of grandeur, but if I can get a sponsor, I can cover the hosting costs. As it stands now, I’ve sunk about $150 into it plus 50-100 hours of time. I enjoy learning new things and am a bit of a tech head. Heck, that’s how I ended up with a university degree in computer science.
So, here’s what the forums look like on a computer screen:
And on a mobile phone:
I let Dave Allenbaugh, the webmaster for the Santa Cruz Pickleball Club website, know about it and he offered to post a forum link on the club website, but he’d have to run it by the steering committee first. The committee happened to meet about a week ago but they are still discussing it.
This past Sunday, I let the cat out of the bag and emailed about 80 local players for whom I had email addresses. As of this moment, 15 people are registered, including myself. Only three people have posted . . . me, Dave, and Terry Long—in that order! (Terry said he registered and posted as a test.) People seem very sheepish to take the lead and post anything. It’s hard for me to work out any kinks with almost no one posting.
Beth Black thought the idea of an online forum was a great one and offered to help put some money toward it but I turned her down. Wayne also asked if I needed financial help. Nope. I’m not looking for money. If it’ll fly, it should survive with some income from banner ads. If not, then I’m just out what little I’ve put in.
Maybe next week, I’ll extend some further invitations. Eventually, I’ll share it’s existence on some of the Facebook pickleball groups. Facebook is very convenient for uploading photos, sharing video, and live streaming. But it’s hard to revisit topics. And topics quickly get lost in the never-ending stream of posts. With an online forum, things are organized and it’s fast to navigate to specific topics of interest.
I just hope it helps some players out there. Like may things, time will tell.
Number of days on a court: 243
Number of total hours: 670.5
To start at the beginning of this blog click on “1st Post” in the menu above.