Is big better?

“I like thinking big. If you’re going to be thinking anything, you might as well think big.” Donald Trump

Typical tacky Trump! But bigger, my voluminous fellow is not necessarily better.

Some people in America have a morbid fascination with size. Everything they lust for has to be BIG!

Size seems to be the primary motivation behind any decision making process. When going to a movie theater, they will purchase a popcorn container big enough to feed a small African village… and a sugary concoction the size of a beer keg.

Personally, I find it rather repugnant that some people cannot sit anywhere without shoving something into their mouth.

In a restaurant, they will order a steak the size of Texas. If they buy a car, it will be a monstrous urban assault vehicle more designed to maul than carrying people. If they date a girl, she will be required to have breasts the size of watermelons.
What is the matter with those lunatics?

When it comes to size, I always have the instinctive reaction of the caveman facing a saber-toothed tiger. I run for cover. Big scares me. Big is not friendly and it will ultimately hurt you.

Yet some people have got to have it. And businesses are only too happy to oblige. They will provide T-shirts the size of a bed sheet, triple-decker hamburgers, ten scoops ice cream portions, Brobdingnagian soft drink containers, sandwiches the size of your forearm… without forgetting the disgusting “all you can eat” menus.

I find that there is something rather morbid about somebody who is primarily attracted by size… Because size will eventually kill you.

If you keep wolfing these triple-deckers, drink these mammoth size Cokes, and keep fornicating with surgically endowed babes, you will meet your maker sooner than expected. And you’ll probably require a triple-decker casket. They have those too… for a big price.
Bigger is not better! It is ultimately dehumanizing and detrimental to your well-being and to your wallet.

In short

It is better to be small and smart than big and stupid!

A small guy

A hot day in Sonoma

France 4, Croatia 2

You might wonder why it took me so long to publish this little report.
First of all, we had to celebrate the win of the French national soccer team.

Then I had to call president Macron to congratulate him. Next, I had to give a buzz to POTUS to caution him about a certain fellow who spent most of his life in a KGB environment and whose IQ (or wiliness) is probably vastly superior to our man.

And thirdly, my cat went on a hot pursuit of a cheeky squirrel munching on our nectarines, and I spent a great deal of time tracking the wily beast. I finally recaptured her before she harmed anybody in our neighborhood.

Back to business.
To the utter delight of French fans worldwide, France beat Croatia 4-2 in the finals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Moscow.
For the second time in 20 years, France grabbed the title of World Champion.
As the poet said: “A coeur vaillant, rien d’impossible” (To a valiant heart, nothing is impossible). Vive la France!

Our friend Jean-Michel won’t stop bragging about this for the next 3 months… maybe even longer. Be prepared.

Yesterday in Sonoma, 15 triplettes (45 people) battled for the title and the glory of winning the 2018 Bastille Day tournament. I am not familiar will all the contestants and since no last names were printed, I am incapable of giving you the complete list of all the competitors. In the future though, it would be very helpful for outsiders to see the first and last name of every player.

The contest was advertised as a “mèlée” event and as luck would have it, I was paired off with “Le Facteur” and another French fellow called Jacques Perret.

Jean-Michel is undeniably an excellent pointer, but to be a great player, he absolutely needs to remain cool under fire. Regardless of what is happening on the field, a player has to keep a stiff upper lip and his feelings in check.
If not, it will affect his game and the performance of his partners. No matter how dire the situation, a contestant has to keep his mouth in check and his powder dry.

And as I always said, no game is ever lost until the last point has been homologated. You need to fight hard until the last cartridge has been spent.

Our team started well though, winning our two games in the morning and qualifying for the Concours.

At noon, decked in Bleu, Blanc, Rouge, Jean-Michel gave his traditional spirited rendition of “La Marseillaise”. He also warmly encouraged everybody to watch the French soccer team in action.

In the afternoon we won one more game, propelling us to the 1/4 finals.
Our 4th game against Ed Clay, George and Tamara was a hotly contested match that we achingly lost 11/13. I need to talk to my wife about this.

Our 5th game at the end of the day (for 3rd place in the Concours) did not fare so well. I believe that we lost 5-13.

Being kept busy on the field, I could not take a lot of pictures. I shot sporadically with my iPhone, my little Canon G7 and my Canon EOS T 2i. Some pictures turned out OK and some not.

I also want to thank Carlos Chavez (a fellow photographer) who took some rare pictures of myself. Tamara also managed to take a few good shots. Thank you both.

Linda, Ted, Debbie

Concours
1st place: Ted, Debbie K. & Linda
2nd place: Ed Clay, Tamara Efron, George

Consolante;
1st place: Johnathan Dalmau, John Morrison, Henry Wessel
2nd place: Mike Menefee, Joe La Torre, Steve D.

Thank you for your attention.

Alain

Watch the pictures… Some are very good.

The 2018 Commemorative Cup

The Commemorative Cup is a special tournament where people compete for glory instead of cash. The competitors fight for the privilege of having their names engraved on the cup… for eternity. Something worth fighting for.

Last Sunday turned out to be a sunny day with mild temperatures hovering around 74 degrees. It was an ideal weather for playing pétanque but inappropriate (because of the harsh light) for taking photographs.

Upon arriving on the field, I could not help but notice the yellow numbers identifying each playing areas. If you want to know, Mike O’Leary (a heck of a hard worker) did it.

The tournament was managed by Christine Cragg, and 20 mixed doublettes signed up to play.

As usual, 3 timed-games were played before lunch to determine who would compete in the Concours and who would play in the Consolante.

My partner (Tamara) and I did well in the morning, winning our 3 first games and qualifying (sigh…) for the Concours.

12 teams qualified for the Concours and 8 for the Consolante.

After lunch, things got a little stickier when we encountered Brendan and MaryAnn. I was secretly hoping to send him back to Machu Picchu, but it did not work that way. Brendan demolished us 13/5. Curse you, Red Baron!

After being eliminated from the Concours, I spent the rest of the day taking pictures with Sneaky Pete my small Canon camera. Unfortunately, my camera’s spare battery ran out of juice unexpectedly and I had to shoot the finals with my iPhone. It is not as convenient as a true camera, but I managed fairly well.

Sandra and Mark had a good run but were ultimately defeated 4/13 in the semi-finals by Brendan and MaryAnn.

In the finals, Brendan and MaryAnn faced Hans and Maggie. The game started well for Hans’ team with Maggie pointing well and Hans shooting extremely well.
But little by little the Great Brendini and Fair Maiden MaryAnn caught up with them, passed them and finally overpowered them 13/5.

I felt (a little) sorry for the losers but at the same time comforted by the fact that our team was eliminated by the same mighty ruffians who won the tournament.

The names that will be engraved on the Commemorative Cup are Brendan Cohen and MaryAnn Curley.

Brendan Cohen & MaryAnn Curley
Concours:

1st place: Brendan Cohen and MaryAnn Curley
2nd place: Hans Kurz and Maggie lane
3rd place: Patrick Vaslet and Shannon Bowman

Consolante:

1st place: Erin McTaggart and Mike
2nd place: Peter Wellington and Lynda Evans

Alain

Enjoy the (so-so) pictures.
My own (excellent) portrait was taken by Carlos Chavez.