Sunday, February 26, 2012

reading frenzy

I must be in the middle of one since I’ve already polished off 18 books so far this year . . .

Yeah, maybe a bit much.

And no, they were not all comics . . . just two dark horse omnibus collections in the total.

On the writing front . . . not so much.

Just can’t get in the mood. And yes I am fully aware that writing has absolutely nothing to do with “being in the mood” so please, no lectures.

On the tennis front I’m up to playing four times a week now and getting used to my new rackets. I’ve actually won 3 of the last 4 matches so something must be working for me.

My body is still pretty achy though, but I’ve not damaged myself so all is well . . . so far.

And our “huge” winter storm two days ago dropped maybe five centimeters of snow . . . big whoop. It’s been our only snowfall of any significance this entire winter.

Very odd.

So I’m off to tennis and gaming today. Two totally different activities, but both pretty enjoyable.

With regards to computers - yeah, most of you can tune out now - I’ve figured out that trying to run graphic intensive games while having my second monitor active kills my frame rates.

Just shows me that my “good” video card is in need of an upgrade. Still, when I turn off the second monitor things work just fine, so no real rush yet.

And Steam continues to be a source of pure evil, putting great games on for dirt cheap. Good thing I upgraded to a 1T hard drive this year.

Oh, and one last thing switching back to reading - Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files (the first novel, Storm Front) is really fun read.

If you are into the paranormal investigator type fiction.

Well, should get something to eat, do a few stretches, take some anti-pain meds and head off to the courts.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, February 19, 2012

it is just not fair

I’m not talking our lack of winter.

I’m not talking taxes.

I’m not even talking love, or war, or rigged slot machines.

I’m talking about my body wearing out and not recovering at all well as I approach age 50.

I will try hard not to turn today’s blog into a whine and cheese session, but I find it irritating that I’ve ramped up my tennis to four times a week from three and my body feels like it’s been hit by a truck and then run over by the same truck, several times.

I thought I was in pretty decent shape physically, but it would appear that I was very much mistaken.

Now I find this a bit sad since I see many people at the tennis club, older, some decades even, seemingly in no pain and playing pretty well.

Of course I have no idea how many pain killers they are on, and no, they don’t play nearly as hard as I do.

Which, I think, may be the kicker here.

I really give it my all when I’m out on the court. I mean, you are supposed to, aren’t you?

The last two weeks of doubles I’ve gotten the most points each time, but it would seem the price is wear and tear on my aging body.

It’s a mental challenge for me to come on to the courts and play at say 70 or 80 percent of my energy potential. It would likely stop my body from giving me pain for days afterwards, but I feel like I’m not really doing anything if I don’t serve hard and rush in to volley - or go for my shots and not fluff the ball back like a grandmother . . .

What to do?

On the plus side, my new rackets are working out great! No arm or elbow issues at all. Oh, the pain - where is it, you ask? Mostly back, ankles, neck and trunk. Yes, I do stretch once I’m warmed up.

Again with the pluses. The lighter rackets are only two grams lighter but way more headlight. I’m actually getting better ball control with my shots at the cost of power, but the next time I need to string the rackets I’m going for a much lower tension to help generate the extra oomph I want off the strings.

Well, today, and tomorrow, are tennis doubles days for me. I’ll be sucking on some Ibuprofen before I go and hoping I don’t “really” injure something vital on the courts. I do want to play until at least age 90.

Oh, and I got new lightweight tennis shoes too - but I’m going to burn out my old ones first.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, February 12, 2012

could this be snow

Well, I looked out this morning and, low and behold, there was snow on the ground. Okay, not the first time this year, but it seems like it and this winter is, at least in my mind, starting to wind down already.

Which brings me to the fact that I love indoor tennis.

Snow, rain, wind - who cares when you have a roof over your head.

And with my new Wilson BLX rackets I did pretty okay during my doubles match on Friday.

Okay, but not great.

With the reduction in power generated with the new rackets I was having a wee bit of trouble adjusting. It’s hard to play games and make a large adjustment to your swing strokes at the same time.

That said though, I came in at the center of the pack.

Not good, but not bad either. And the rackets, like I mentioned in my review last week, are sweet on the arm - no real strain at all.

Give me a few more months of tennis aerobics and matches and I may figure out how to really wield these BLXs.

And why the H has this blog become so damn boring and mundane of late, you ask?

Well, I’ve had to take self-censoring to a whole new level here in the last few months.

My offspring reads this.

Yah, now you know.

It’s really nice to see your offspring growing up, succeeding at life, exploring the world - it’s another to have them reading and then commenting to you about what you wrote on your blog.

So, what can one do?

Well, I could keep a personal journal in a locked notebook somewhere . . . but, yes, that would indeed be very lame.

So, I’ll continue to post mundane entries right here every Sunday and watch my already low visitor numbers plummet even more. When the stats hit 1 visit a week - well, at least I’ll know who it is.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, February 05, 2012

starting my new racket

Well, I’ve been searching for years, and it looks like my search has finally ended.

I’m talking about finding a suitable replacement for my old Max 200G tennis rackets.

And here it is: The Wilson BLX Blade Tour 93

So, how close are they to my old rackets? Well, the Wilsons are about 2 oz. lighter than the Dunlops, and 10 pts headlight as opposed to the Max 200Gs 4 pts. They have the same head size, though the Wilson is more oval shaped compared to the Dunlop’s more round shape. Same 27 inch length.

As far as power goes the Wilsons generates about 80% of what the Dunlop does on the same swing. All that extra weight in the Dunlop does make a difference pushing through the ball. On the ground strokes I need to swing a bit faster and harder to generate the same pace, but it is easier to do because of the Wilson’s lower weight and head light properties.

With regards to serves and overheads the Wilson is pretty sweet. Again, not as much power but I can swing faster and get pretty much the same result. But on the volleys is where the new Wilson really shines. Being lighter and much more head light it’s a dream to maneuver quickly and that helps on those fast paces balls.

How the hell McEnroe volleyed like he did with the Max 200G is almost unbelievable considering its heft.

The Wilson is fairly crisp too, but not harsh. The vibration dampening is what I really, really like about the Wilson and what made the Dunlop the best. Nothing I’ve ever played with has the shock dampening feel as the Max 200G, but the Wilson makes a good attempt. No matter how hard I swing the new Wilson racket upon contact with the ball there is no jarring vibrations even on a off center hit.

I’ve only had them a week but already I’m liking them a whole bunch. It’s taking some doing to get used to the lighter weight and lower power, but it’s the best substitute for the Max 200Gs I’ve found to date and I’ve tried probably ten or fifteen rackets. Most are just too stiff for me and too jarring on my joints. That’s the main reason I gave up on my Maxply McEnroe rackets. They were killing my elbow.

I’ve yet to play a match with the Wilsons, but I think I’m going to be happy.

So, the bottom line is I’ve finally found a decent replacement for my Dunlop museum pieces. Nothing really hits like a Dunlop Max 200G, but these Wilson BLX Blade Tour 93s are pretty close, less the power. Still a good trade off and almost, though not as good, vibration dampening abilities.

So, if you are like me, and want something that won’t kill your wrist and arm from vibration and hits sort of like the old style heavy rackets from the 80s, with a small head size, you should give these Wilson BLX Blade Tour 93 a try.

Oh, and one last comment. Now that I have to swing faster and work harder to make shots with the new Wilsons, I need to get in better physical shape . . .

. . . and that is not nearly as easy as it sounds.

Until next Sunday . . .