see the blue centerlight pop


reading links
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Reading Links are arranged top to bottom from shortest to longest reads. Short reads will take you perhaps a minute or two. Trenta reads will be more than 15 minutes. The in-between lengths are Tall, Grande, and Venti.

« T A L L »
Coffee and qahwa: How a drink for Arab mystics went global
The best coffee bean is still known as Arabica, but it’s come a long way from the Muslim mystics who treasured it centuries ago, to the chains that line our high streets.
EU Embraces ‘Suspended Coffee’: Pay It Forward With A Cup Of Joe
A customer pays in advance for a person who cannot afford a cup of coffee.
James Rhodes: ‘Find what you love and let it kill you’
My life as a concert pianist can be frustrating, lonely, demoralising and exhausting. But is it worth it? Yes, without a shadow of a doubt.
« G R A N D E »
Where do female gymnasts go after the Olympics are over?
Japanese Whisky
The finest single malt in the world is no longer from Scotland.
« V E N T I »
Why Your Supermarket Only Sells 5 Kinds of Apples
A year later, both Thurlow and the tree died, but the grafts thrived, and a few years later, they bore the first juicy, green Fletcher Sweet apples the world had seen in years.
« T R E N T A »
The Man Who Pierced the Sky
When Felix Baumgartner set out to make a living by stunt jumping—from cliffs, buildings, and bridges—the young Austrian had no idea where it would take him: to a pressurized capsule nearly 24 miles above New Mexico, last October 14, preparing to free-fall farther than any man in history, and at supersonic speed.



TAR34 results

I missed this one, but I hear it was a match for the (new) ages. In particular, the hill-hill one pocket set was worth the price of admission alone. Here are the results:

27-23, Shane Van Boening
11-10, Efren Reyes
27-19, Shane Van Boening

I have heard rumblings the match will be made available for viewing on demand later on the the year, after TAR irons out the last few wrinkles for its on-demand video set up.

The winner of this match, Shane Van Boening, has the option to play the winner of TAR33, Alex Pagulayan. I have not heard confirmation of a match between these two, but I would like to see it happen.



World 10-Ball Championships in Norway


The WPA wish to inform you that the World 10-Ball Championship will not take place at the scheduled dates of 8-15 June. Unfortunately the organisers, New Boy Promotions, were unable to secure the event and it was decided that in the best interest of everyone we postpone the event to a later period. Mr. MacConnell, Chairman of New Boy Promotions has apologised and said he regrets not being able to accomplish what he set out to achieve, and said that he was still confident of staging this event, but would require more time to secure the sponsorship and that most likely it would be necessary to move the event to another country because of advertising restraints that exist in his original country of choice, Norway. If there any further developments we will make known to all.


As was the World 8-Ball Championships in Dubai. Well, technically, the World 8-Ball Championships was “postponed”.

Due to unforeseen circumstances that have arisen with the local promoter, The World Pool-Billiard Association has been forced to postpone the staging of the 2013 World 8-ball Championship, which had been scheduled from May 6-11, 2013 in Dubai.

After having previously held the event in the emirate of Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates over seven of the last eight years, the World 8-ball Championship was to be held this May at Dubai’s World Trade Center with a new promoter. However, the local promoter encountered funding problems, thus forcing the WPA to withdraw its sanctioning. Without the sanction, the event has been cancelled on the scheduled dates.

The WPA regrets having to cancel the event, especially since we had previously published a press release stating the tournament would move forward. However, after having recently encountering funding issues with several other promoters, the WPA holds as its highest priority the protection of its players.

Despite this setback, the WPA is actively trying to find new dates for the World 8-ball Championship sometime later this year. We ask all interested parties for patience and understanding in this trying time. Overall, the WPA remains committed to creating as many playing and earning opportunities as possible for players from around the globe.




1000 words

This past weekend, I got a last-minute “Hey, do you want to go to a tournament?” message. Off I went. Here are some random photographs of non-pool related items from our trip:

how... cute? This very short handrail made us laugh. There has to be some rule dictating a handrail for every stair, literally. Otherwise, why put this here?
economical... ...with one great luxury Out hotel was very — economical. The bathroom did show glimpses of faded glory. Note the Art Deco toilet and (rotary!) wall phone which allows one to do business while doing business.
clever Out of soap at your establishment’s bathroom? This pool room did a clever fix: buy a bottle of body wash. Not only is it effective, it wows your lady customers with its soothing, highbrow scent.


carpe momento

I went 2-2 in the tournament, which was fine by me. Up until that morning, I had still been on a liquid diet because of food poisoning, so when I tired after two matches on the winner’s side, I was not angry or displeased, merely content. After I was knocked out completely from the tournament, I sat down at the bar with a friend (also KO’d from tournament) and together, we had a fun time drinking a little beer and chatting with the friendly and funny bartender. As we were having our fun, a dude walked up and ordered a beer. He turned to me and sniffed, “You don’t look like you enjoy playing pool.”

Cue the record-scratch.

I turned to this fellow and considered the situation.

This was the dude who knocked me to the loser’s side by the score of 7-1. I had been my usual, hard-fighting, intense self as I struggled against strange equipment, increasingly hot and humid temperatures, my own fatigue, and trying not to barf. It had been a — difficult — match for me. In spite of it all, I had maintained composure and indeed, I had shaken this dude’s hand TWICE(!!), so now, I wanted to know, why THE F#CK did he want to spoil the good time I was having? I was out of the tournament already, he was still in it, and yet, he was somehow dissatisfied with this state of affairs and figured he would spread his dissatisfaction.

The statement by which he addressed me was an interesting one. It was NOT a question asking whether I enjoyed playing pool (which would have been much friendlier), it was a STATEMENT declaring his belief that I did not enjoy pool. I felt he was baiting me to go on the defensive and declare, unequivocally, that I did, indeed, enjoy playing pool. He was setting the stage for argument.

However, I had grown old and complacent and had no desire to argue with someone who had so obviously already made up his mind regarding me and my relationship to pool. I could have said a dozen astute, witty, cutting, sarcastic things, but I gave this dude the benefit of the doubt — perhaps he did not intend to be assholic. In any case, I recognized instantly that this was a Teachable Moment and I could Do The Right Thing. Instead of being my usual caustic self, I told the truth.

“When I play, my first thought is to break even. That’s real tough to do in this tournament. It’s hard work.”

Because of unexpected costs, this tournament went overbudget for me. If I had beaten this dude, I would have been in the money and life would have been a little easier for my wallet. But, it didn’t happen and I did not begrudge him his victory — sometimes, that’s just how tournaments go.

If I thought being honest and candid would accomplish — something — I was extremely mistaken. This dude snorted with the barest of eyerolls and said, “Work? You call it work? See? You DON’T enjoy playing.”

I looked at him neutrally for a moment and noted he was quite young, or at least young enough not to know that one may enjoy one’s hard work, be it for a living or for a hobby. I thought of all the long bus miles, the longer walked miles, the hours I put into this game, the grinding of piss-ant tournaments to pay for those hours, the eating of many, many packages of ramen and other inferior foods to raise a stake for bigger tournaments and action. I looked at this young dude and felt just a little sad and very tired that he would never know how much I loved this game, and even if I were to tell him, he would not believe me, because he had already made up his mind that I did not.

I had my suspicions as to how he came to his conclusion. Likely, it had to do with my intense, non-socializing, non-standard, non-super-friendly-ladylike behavior at the table. I had played almost exclusively in silence with all my focus on the table. The game was all that existed for me once the match began. It is all that ever exists for me once a match begins.

I understand society is not yet at a point where it is acceptable for a woman to behave as a man does in competition. It is also not yet at a point where people believe me when I take a moment to light a lamp in the depths of my black, black heart and speak honestly. So, I said f#ck it and got back into character.

“Okay. You know what I DO enjoy? Beating the SH#T out of people.”

“Oh. On the table? Or…?”


I turned away. The teachable moment was gone. I was back to my assholic self, this dude was his assholic self, and the world of pool and its tradition of men giving women sh#t for no reason other than it’s what all the “cool” kids do continued spinning into oblivion.



another Grumpy Cat magnet raffle

Once again, a raffle for you, my sometimes-entertained reader. The last time I did this raffle, it took a while to fill up (even though it was free, dangnabbit!). Of course, that was before my, uh, sudden uptick in notoriety. Now that there are every-so-slightly more of you, let’s try this again! As always, I ship internationally, so your prize will track you down no matter where you are.

I can see what you're doing and I disapprove. Mr. Grumps is hand-sewn and will stick (grumpily) to your fridge or whiteboard. He is about the size of an iPhone and stuffed with malcontent.
How This Works
Pick one number from 1-46 and list your choice in the comments section below. Please make sure your number hasn’t already been chosen by someone else.
Once all numbers have been chosen, the next Mega Millions drawing will determine our winner. Whoever picks the Mega number will win Mr. Grumps.
This is a free raffle, but your donations are appreciated. Everyone has a chance to own my insomnia-induced handicrafts. Donations go towards table time.

I will update this list as often as I can (when I have Intarweb Access). Please check the comments to make sure your pick isn’t taken. Your email address may not make it past the spam filter, check to make sure I update the list with your name.

  • 1. Mary Ann
  • 2. *
  • 3. steve
  • 4. Brian in VA
  • 5. Zack
  • 6. Mary Ann
  • 7. Stacy
  • 8. *
  • 9. Ali
  • 10. *
  • 11. Erik
  • 12. Hidy Ho
  • 13. Rick
  • 14. Heath
  • 15. Mary Ann
  • 16. Timberly
  • 17. Ali
  • 18. Timberly
  • 19. Brian in VA
  • 20. Adam
  • 21. Adam
  • 22. Chris
  • 23. Hidy Ho
  • 24. Stacy
  • 25. steve
  • 26. Erik
  • 27. Zack
  • 28. *
  • 29. Hidy Ho
  • 30. Adam
  • 31. steve
  • 32. Erik
  • 33. Adam
  • 34. Chris
  • 35. Stacy
  • 36. Brian in VA
  • 37. matthew
  • 38. *
  • 39. *
  • 40. Zack
  • 41. matthew
  • 42. matthew
  • 43. Chris
  • 44. Timberly
  • 45. *
  • 46. Ali

* If these numbers are picked, we will have no winner and the same numbers will roll over to the next draw.


I will be raffling off a variety of handicrafts in the coming weeks/months, so stick around. 🙂

let's fill up the raffle!

22 Replies to “see the blue centerlight pop”

  1. Hi!

    Loved the Felix article; I’ve been following his exploits ever since I saw a magazine article in now defunct publication seems like 10 years ago. I was traveling and in an airport bar when he made the leap and it was quite amazing.

    You hit the nail on the head with the butthead who said you didn’t enjoy pool. He’s too young to understand true enjoyment vs momentary pleasure. Most are about that enlightened. Hugs to you for trying to take the high road.

    May I have 19?

    1. The Baumgartner article is just such a great read. 🙂 Makes me want to skydive… again. 😉

      I left this out of my rant, but I’ll put it here: After the dude got knocked out of the tournament (he had lost after being on the hill and his opponent at 1!), my friend deadpanned, “He doesn’t look like he’s enjoying pool right now.” You gotta love how every time I try to take the high road, it backfires spectacularly. And yet, I still try to do it from time to time, when I’m feeling sprightly.

  2. I’ll go with 6…Weston’s age. He always brings me good luck and happiness. 🙂 Thanks for the entertaining reads!!

  3. As soon as I read “You don’t look like you enjoy playing pool.” I heard a record sratch in my head prior to reading your next line.

    Put me down for number 14 please.

Comments are closed.