Butterfly Online

January 28, 2014

15 Days a Slave

We're done!!! After 15 days of seemingly non-stop work, I finished the page layouts and photo work for Volume 14 of Tim Boggan's History of U.S. Table Tennis. (Mal Anderson does most of the photo scanning and supplies about half the photos. I do a lot of fixes on the photo.) It's 465 pages with 962 photos - a new record. I put it all in PDF format, and uploaded it to the printer yesterday afternoon. Now I'm exhausted - for weeks I've been running back and forth between this, coaching, and zillions of other stuff that constantly comes up (mostly involving table tennis or writing). At 11:30 PM last night Tim left for home in New York.

Yesterday we mostly were inputting corrections, doing pre-press work, creating the book flyer and ad, and updating the online page. I also did some coaching, and tutored two of our junior players in English and math at the club for an hour.

I celebrated last night by seeing the movie "I, Frankenstein." (I've already seen most of the good ones out there.) I think most would agree it was somewhat of a dumb movie with cheesy special effects, but it had its moments. Spoiler alert - since it took place in modern-day times, and much of the battling was over possession of Victor Frankenstein's notes, which kept changing hands as the two groups kept stealing it from the other, I wanted to scream at them, "Just make some photocopies and hide the backups!!!"

And now I get to attack the growing list of items on my todo list, which have accumulated like snow over the past two weeks.

Early Round Matches at Tournaments

Many players start slowly in tournaments, and start out with some bad early-round losses before getting their game together. Often they are playing these early matches against weaker players to not lose, rather than to win, and can't get loose enough to play well. So why not look at these matches as if they were a final, and convince yourself you've battled round by round to get there, and that this is the match you've been waiting to play all your life? Then go out there and be a gladiator! Once you learn to do that type of thinking, you can get your game going a lot earlier in tournaments.

Another thing that would help - instead of just warming up, play practice matches or play points with someone, and imagine those as the most important matches or points you've ever played. This will get yourself into tournament mode.

For me (back when I was still playing tournaments regularly), there was nothing better than playing a first-round match against some player who could push me, but couldn't beat me if I played my level - and so I would pretend he was the favorite, and go out there ready to do battle, and push myself to pull off an "upset." Not only would I consistently win those matches, but they would get my game going.

Pros and Cons of 3rd and 5th Ball Offensive Style

Here's the article from Table Tennis Master.

Jun Mizutani: "I can beat the Chinese"

Here's the article and video (4:30).

Wall Street Financiers Play Ping Pong for Charity

Here's the article, which includes a picture. "NEW YORK—Dozens of Wall Street financiers competed at the 6th Annual Tournament of the Champions Pong table tennis tournament in Grand Central Terminal Friday. The five-hour event drew hundreds of spectators throughout the day. The Ping-Pong matches, however, weren’t about winning. Each team paid $3,500 to participate. The money goes to the youth mentoring organization Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York, a nonprofit that serves children in need of adult role models."

Governor Chris Christie Wins Challenge With 13-Year-Old

Here's the article and video (3:05) as the New Jersey governor challenges a boy at a Boys and Girls Club. Other (living) governors who play include former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (here's a 17-sec video), former Arkansas Governors Mike Huckabee and Bill Clinton, Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, and Delaware Governor Jack Markell, who I've coached a few times, and has a USATT rating of 1223.

The Schwarzenegger Closed

Here's the draw sheet, care of Table Tennis Nation, with 16 Schwarzenegger characters ranging from The Terminator and Kindergarten Cop, to Conan and The Governator. Which of these characters would win? (They put a lot of time into this!)

Percussion Pong

Here's a hilarious video (1:50) that features two comic musician table tennis players, and two superstars - Jean-Philippe Gatien (1993 World Men's Singles Champion, zillions of other titles as former world #1) and Patrick Chila (Bronze Medalist in Men's Doubles with Gatien at 2000 Olympics and four-time French Men's Singles Champion). Both Gatien and Chila are lefties; Gatien's on the left at the start. Not sure who the other two musician comic players are, though they seem to be able to play.

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Re: January 28, 2014

The group that plays with Gatien-Chila is called Fills Monkey and these two guys are Yann Coste and Sebastien Rambaud. They do some good drum-based improvs... like this one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-zfwVS3YpE

Very cool about Jack Markell! I wonder - are there any other governors, or other high level officials (like White House staff, Supreme Court, federal judges, ambassadors etc) who have an actual USATT rating? or might he be the only one?

Larry Hodges's picture

Re: January 28, 2014

I don't know offhand of any top officials with USATT ratings, other than Jack Markell. There are a number of celebrities who have ratings, such as Will Shortz and Judah Friedlander.

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