Thanksgiving, Thursday, November 25, 2021 (Court Day #438)

Our 6-month-old corgi puppy Pepper had her spay surgery yesterday. My wife was up early and rustling around while the dog was whimpering, so I was awake shortly before 6:30 a.m.—an hour or so earlier than I’ve been waking up lately.

Last week . . . little did she know what was coming!

I was at Brommer Park a few minutes before 9 a.m. and there were about a dozen cars already in the lot. A rarity, two tennis players were there, occupying our four temporary net spaces. The four permanent pickleball courts were full.

I played in a game with Joe Macdonald. I didn’t recognize him—he recognized me—but after talking I figured it out. He is the middle school athletic director from the Bay Area who had emailed me back in September and we ended up playing one rather rotten game together at Brommer—we both had played poorly. I’m sure he was as unimpressed with me at the time as I had been with him! Today, we both played so much better in games we played together. Such a difference!

Joe’s formal school portrait.

I was hoping to weasel my way into a game with David (Asian, DDS), Cameron (young, red hair), and Shawnte. Instead, the court ended up me and Shawnte against Joe and Mark G. I played very well. Joe later said, “You were on fire. I don’t know if you made any mistakes.” Shawnte and I won 11-1, if I recall correctly. Joe got to see me warmed up and focused on this visit to Santa Cruz.

There was a game where I was partnered with Larry Y. I told Larry before we started, “In this game, your goal is to not hit any shots outside of the sidelines.” He liked that idea, having something to work on. As it was, he only hit one ball that landed to the left or right of the court . . . to his credit, I also had one shot that did the same. Larry did well controlling his shots.

Game of the Day

The game of the day was Shawnte and me against David and Cameron. That was the game that I was really hoping to get. It was a blast. We lost, but this one was mostly Shawnte not me. (I don’t typically throw partners under the bus, but this game was very un-Shawnte like, he’s a good player and a great guy.) I made maybe three errors the entire game.

David and I also played a game against Shawnte and Cameron. I played well in that game too. Fun stuff. I almost had a backhanded ATP past Cameron, but it sailed a few inches too long.

I noticed that David used a couple spin serves on me. That’s the current definition of a spin serve, that is, tossing the ball with spin then hitting the ball out of the air. He did get me on one of them—my return dropped about foot short of the net! But the next time I was ready.

Hits to the Chest

Of particular note, Cameron managed to hit me in the chest or upper paddle arm three times! He apologized, but heck, it’s part of the game. I don’t consider those unforced errors on my part, he saw an opening and attacked. But it does make me wonder if I need to keep my paddle up higher. I remember 4+ years ago Jerry Louis was holding a workshop and we were playing at the net and he smacked me in the chest with the ball: “If I see your paddle down, I’m going to take advantage.”


There were two guys from Berkeley, Will and Sean. It was Sean’s very first time playing pickleball. That was the only game that I opted to play left-handed today.

There was a family that came. Mom, dad, and four daughters (or so it seemed)—teens and early 20s maybe. They were obviously relatively new to the game. They spent the time on a court playing among themselves, but later, I saw the dad and one daughter in a game with Will and Sean.

At about a quarter to 1 p.m., the courts were in use, a group was waiting and it was looking difficult to get into games from there on out.

My tennis elbow is doing surprisingly well. Where I can feel it is when I straighten my right arm—like when locking my elbow. It hurts more on the inside my elbow than on the top of my forearm. As typical, I iced both the inside and outside of my elbow when I got home.

The view on my way out.

Number of days on a court: 438
Number of total hours: 2,148

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