Thursday, April 18, 2024 (Court Day #647)

Today was the day of the SCPC volunteers round robin at Willowbrook Park. We were asked to get around 8:30 a.m. for a 9 a.m. start. Pam Rissmann messaged the whole SCPC board asking for someone to bring a couple of chairs and I volunteered. I picked them up at work—I’d forgotten to grab them yesterday—then drove out to Aptos. I had to park a bit down the road as a number of people were already there.

It was overcast with fog then partially sunny. It got oddly muggy as the morning went on.

Pam used an app on her phone to randomly assign us courts. Court #1 would be the premier court and Court #5 would be the bottom court. If you won, you’d move up and the partners would split, and if you lost, you’d move down a court and split. If you won at #1, you’d stay and if you lost at #5, you’d also stay.

I was assigned Court #2 to start—which I was happy about—along with three other players. My first partner would be Mike F. I don’t know Mike well, but I’ve seen him at Derby. He’s an Asian fellow maybe about five years older than me. Smiley guy, I like Mike.

Game #1 (Court #2)
Mike F. and I won against Ken and Alan. (I hadn’t met either of them before.) It was looking bad. We were down 0-6 but we came back to win 11-9 after Mike and I got warmed up—especially Mike! Mike and I moved to Court #1.

Game #2 (Court#1)
George and I won against Mike F. and Pam 11-3.

Game #3 (Court #1)
Trevor and I won 11-4 against Sean M. and George. After particularly nice play on my part—stretching out to reach a ball low over the middle at the net which I hit for a winner—Sean blurted out, “Damn, Andrew!”

Game #4 (Court #1)
Mike F. reappeared and he picked me to play with. He and I won 11-1 against Trevor and Ken. (Ken lives in Watsonville. Pam invited him in order to make the correct number of players. Ken, Barb, Pam, and John P. rotated in and out of the games.)

Game #5 (Court #1)
I was partnered with Sean M. and we won 10-7 against Mike F. and Rich. (The 15-minute time limit expired, so the team leading won.) As we walked off and got the waiting area, Trevor asked Sean, “Who won that game?” Sean replied, “Andrew.” (Thanks, Sean, for the compliment!)

That’s me in the gray shirt on the left. Making notes for this blog and responding to work email/texts!

Game #6 (Court #1)
This was my first loss. John P. and I played against Sean and Trevor and we lost 9-11. We had been leading, but they came back and pulled off a win. I can’t blame John entirely for the loss. I was starting to fatigue and I started to miss shots I was nailing earlier.

Towards the end of the session, as it got warmer, and as I got tired, my play wasn’t quite as noteworthy. It was a little bit frustrating.

Game #7 (Court #2)
Eric Schmidt and me won 11-8 against Mark Dettle and Rick Abend. Eric and I lost at least four rallies—at least 2-3 were serves—where the ball hit a strange dead strip on our side of the court. The ball would land then not bounce back up to the correct height. Eric mentioned it and I kind of just blew it off . . . until it happened to me! Nothing like experiencing something yourself to believe! Still, we won. Back to Court #1.

Game #8 (Court #1)
I lost with Trevor 4-11 against Eric and George. Eric and George were playing very well and I was fading some.

That was the end of the round robin. Pam had decided that there would be an exhibition match featuring those who would otherwise be playing on Court #1 after the 8th game. I would have been watching but Eric had to leave and George was nursing a torn labrum and decided to be done for the day. That meant that Trevor and I would be playing one more game.

Exhibition Match (Court #2)
Jackie had worked her way up from Court #5. I was paired with Rich against Jackie and Trevor.

Knowing about the dead strip on our side, before we started, I asked if we could switch ends at 6. Jackie agreed. We were also looking into the sun a bit, though it was still partially overcast.

Jackie hitting a drop shot to us.

Once this game got going, it was never in doubt.

Rich jumping following his popup shot after a volley from Trevor. And probably a Jackie slam coming!

Jackie and Trevor were targeting Rich and with me fading and missing some shots, there was no way he and I could to pull this one off.


It was 6-1 or 6-2 when we switched ends. We lost 11-4. I hit the ball three times into white tape, missed a dink, failed on a drop shot. It was not my best. Jackie was playing very well. (And I told her so afterward.)

It was a fun morning.

The volunteers. Left to right: (Back) Ted, Trevor, George, Alan, Mike, dunno, Sean, Barb, Val, Stan, Eric, Rich, Patty, Jose, Pam; (Front) Mark, Rick, John P., dunno, Mike F., me, Lester.

I iced my right knee when I got home before heading to work.

Second Session!

After work and a 5:15 p.m. board meeting, at 7:44 p.m., I was at a stoplight at Ocean Street about to enter the freeway when I gazed at the thermometer on my dashboard: 57°F. Larry Yien has been on me to meet and talk about classes. Larry’s going to be teaching some intermediate classes for in Scotts Valley during the week. I have a feeling he wants to know, more or less, what I cover in my classes for beginners.


I probably would’ve headed home after my board meeting at the Santa Cruz Art League, but I had told Larry that I would be in Scotts Valley tonight. I was pretty exhausted. I was awake for an hour and 45 minutes starting a few minutes after 5 a.m. so between that and the three hours of pickleball this morning, I’m beat. I’m also kind of hungry. I had lunch at noon and then had a banana at 4:45 p.m.


Yesterday, I had a virtual meeting video with my nutritionist. I think this was my third meeting with him. He’s a nice guy. The meeting was mostly a pep talk. I decided yesterday it was time to lose weight again. I lost 20 pounds last year and I gained back about 13 of them since November and the holidays. I want to be more healthy and also make it easier on my knees and other joints by being lighter.


When I arrived at Skypark, it was sunset in the clouds were pink. It was just on the verge of starting to get truly dark. It was 54° when I actually arrived at Skypark.

I made a circle to the parking lot which was completely full and I had to park down the block. Things were hopping tonight, but the sign-up board was not out. I was able to get into a game fairly quickly. Since I had arrived a few minutes before 8 p.m., a number of players were leaving about the time I arrived.


Almost immediately got into a game with David (of Minori fame) against two guys that I didn’t know. I think the two guys came from a tennis background. They had pretty good ball control skills, but one of them was at the net when his partner was serving . . . a sign of a rookie. David let them take that serve over. (I’m of a mind to let pain be a reminder in those cases, but later when I was receiving, I waved him back.) David and I found ourselves down, I think it was 0-6. It was my first game as well as David‘s first game but after we started warming up, we did better and ended up winning the game by 4 or 5 points.

They wanted to play again so we did and this time David and I won by a very significant margin. Still, not an easy game.

Matt & Paul

David and I moved on to playing with Matt and Paul who are doing a tournament together in a week. David and I got decimated in the first game. It was kind of depressing. I think we scored just 1 point! Then we played another and lost that one as well, 11–3. It was then that David said we should be more careful about our speedups. Both Matt and Paul have quick hands. The next game we managed to pull off a win by a couple of points. We played one more and lost by a couple points, but we had been leading. Those are fun, challenging games. Matt and Paul have gotten so much better. They’ve really reigned in their errors. If they keep it up, they’ll both be 4.0 players before too long. And David gets around the court like no ones business. He’s quick and dedicated to making the shot.

Matt has gotten me a couple of erne shots now. He’ll dink deep to my right side where I have to lean to get it and he’ll leap into action. I have work to do to keep him from taking advantage of that!


Larry had left before I got there, however, he’d forgotten his shoes. I called him asking at the shoes for his and they were. I carried the shoes in my car with intention of Larry picking them up from me tomorrow at work.

When we finished our last game at 9:20 p.m., all four temporary nets were still left up. Matt called over to a couple of guys exiting the gate, encouraging them to help take down a net, but they just ignored Matt and walked away. Rude. So the four of us took down the nets. We’ve all had a lot of practice, so it went fairly quickly. Still, it’s disappointing when no one else helps.

I iced my knee when I got home.

Friday, April 19, 2024 (No Play)

My knee is bothering me a little bit, but not too bad.

I ended up dropping Larry’s shoes off on his doorstep while I was walking our corgi Pepper with my son Nicholas. I didn’t know Larry lived that close to me until tonight. My wife Kristen asked what Larry’s last name was and it turns out she’s acquaintances with Larry and his wife Jacquie. Small world.

Pop Star Pickleball

Taylor Swift participated in some TikTok reel thing that’s going around and in the video, she shared a brief snippet of her playing pickleball:

As a Raiders fan, playing with a Kansas City Chiefs paddle is unforgivable, but it only makes sense since her boyfriend Travis plays the tight end position for them. Anyway, I don’t know how often the famous pop recording artist plays, but there you have it.

Saturday, April 20, 2024 (No Play)

As of this morning, I’ve lost three pounds since this past weekend.

Sitting and typing this, I can feel my right knee ache a little bit. It’s like a super mild bee sting. Like merely a 1 on a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being excruciating). But it’s there.

Number of days on a court: 647
Number of total hours: 2,785
Number of paid coaching hours: 24.5

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