Hello, pétanque maniacs,

I am too busy to write anything about the Select Triples that took place on June 8 in Marin County, but instead, I will let my pictures do the talking… and they are much more eloquent than I am.

PS: in this album, the 5 last pictures (the winners) were taken by Christine Cragg, who forwarded them to me.

Have fun!

1st place: Tom, Mone, Kham
2n place: Kevin, Ashley, Peter
3rd place: Chan, DeAngelo, Suzie

Consolante :
1st place: Ted, Joe, Mark
2nd place: Mike, Erin, Holly


The fight at the Lamorinda Corral

Yesterday, we traveled to the distant Lamorinda Pétanque Club in Contra Costa County to participate in and document this Select Triples, FPUSA-sanctioned tournament. My wife was competing, while I tried to document the event with pictures.

Janice, By Vang, Kham

We rose around 6:30 am, to arrive on time in Lafayette. Fortunately, the Sunday morning traffic was light, making the usually arduous journey feel like a breeze.

I hadn’t been to Lafayette in a while and was pleasantly surprised by the appearance and condition of the courts. The reception committee was similarly friendly and well-organized.

Fourteen teams had registered to play. Although there could have been more participants, the event felt intimate and welcoming.

Before I delve into details, I must mention that the weather was unseasonably cold for June and I was glad to have brought my Siberian-proof jacket.

Upon the invitation of Antoine and Sebastien Lofaro, Tamara agreed to join their team and compete in the tournament. She was hired to be the pointer and intimidate the enemy with her accuracy.

Tournaments can be nerve-wracking affairs and the key to success is remaining cool under pressure. It is not a given.
It also requires a cohesive team where each member knows exactly what to do and when to do it. By Vang, Janice Bissonnette, and Kham Chounlamany exemplified such a team, superbly cool and confident, with an exceptional shooter to back them up. Although I wasn’t specifically rooting for them, I couldn’t help but applaud their impressive moves, especially Kham’s who is the epitome of the perfect shooter.

Then midstream, I encountered technical difficulties. My camera suddenly stopped working properly, leaving me stranded and frustrated. Capturing great photos requires precise timing, as the perfect shot lasts only a fraction of a second. Without a reliable camera, it’s sometimes better to withdraw than to continue struggling.

So, after witnessing the acrimonious defeat of the Lofaro’s formation against Michelle Dang’s team for the 3rd place in the Concours, we went home. Since I couldn’t take any more pictures, we didn’t stay for the presentation of medals and monetary rewards and left. Sorry about that.


1st place: By Vang, Janice Bissonnette, Kham Chounlamany
2nd place: Tom Lee, Yor Lee, Suzie Lee
3rd place: Michelle Dang, Chan Xiong, Mone Lee


PS: Some of my photos are OK, especially on full screen.

Limited-Term Residence Permit

Few people ever consider that we all hold a “limited-term residence permit” for this planet. Even with “contacts,” obtaining a “permanent resident” permit is impossible—and perhaps that’s for the best.

Most of us don’t think about it until we’re confronted with the unexpected passing of a friend. How could this happen? This person was part of our lives, and we liked it that way. But he too, only held a “limited-term residence permit,” and we forgot it.

Life is not a long, quiet river. It is a meandering stream, prone to unexpected turbulence. In many ways, life resembles whitewater kayaking. Sometimes the stream is calm, allowing for relaxation, but other times you must paddle like crazy to stay afloat.

No one knows what the future holds, or how long we will live, until lightning strikes close to home. Then, your mortality comes into sharper focus. That long-forgotten reality, your earthly “residence permit,” slowly emerges from the fog and becomes more visible. We seldom think about it, but each time we lose a friend, we also lose a part of our own lives.

Your lifespan often depends on luck, or events happening on the other side of the planet. It would help if you had both luck and drive to propel you forward.

However, there is no need to worry excessively about this. Que sera, sera! No amount of worrying or crying will help. Yes, you could stop drinking, smoking, and overindulging yourself, but would it be worth living the rest of your life like a cloistered monk? No matter what, life goes on.

We will miss our friends, all of them, and like for special pets, there will always be a warm place in our hearts for them.

Farewell, Jean-Claude, we all have been lucky to know you. 💔