Hot Club News

Lately, despite the raging Coronavirus crisis, regular players might have noticed a recrudescence of activity on our pétanque field. I have spotted a lot of newcomers, mainly women, and although I have not met them all, I more than welcome their friendly invasion.

From left to right, Elaine Andrian, Ann Krilanovich, Wanda Porcella, Cristine Cragg, Abby Danielson, Lalena Porro Goard

No club or organization is ever complete without a fair representation of the fair sex. After all, they represent half the population of the entire world and they have more than proved their mettle. I am pretty sure that our progressive president-elect is going to include a fair number of women in his cabinet and I applaud this initiative. Keep in mind that our new vice-president is a woman who might someday get the top job.

Christine Cragg

Our club increased membership is due mainly to the tireless activity of Christine Cragg our president. She has been in charge of our organization for many years (I forgot how many) and I have had the pleasure to closely work with her for 7 long years as the club secretary. I vouch for her.

Few people realize how much time and effort is needed to run our club. The job is demanding and often unappreciated. As a result, few people ever postulate for that position. But Christine has been doing this for years, and like a good wine, she is improving with age. She gets my unending support for her dedication.

It is important to remember that we all have been rookies… In a school, in an organization, in the military. It is always a stressful period that we have all experienced. As club members, our job is to quickly incorporate the newcomers in all our activities and make them feel welcome.

I know that in any discipline anybody always wants to compete with better players, but every beginner should be given a chance to improve his/her skills. I will play with any of them anytime and I urge you to do the same thing.

So, by the way, who are these women? Christine has sent us a list accompanied by names, but since every face is now covered with a mask, I would not recognize my own mother.

The accompanying photo might help, but the only unmistakable person is Ann Krilanovich. Her white mane (and her enthusiasm) stands out and she cannot be unnoticed. It might also be helpful if all the newcomers would personally introduce themselves (or wear a name tag) to some curmudgeons. Their bark is worse than their bite.

Happy Turkey Day to all!


 PS: Please look at my latest collection of pictures… and subscribe to my blog. I will treat you kindlier if you do. For best viewing, use Full Screen.

Thank you.

It’s not the situation dummy…

“It’s not the situation… it’s your reaction to the situation.” Bob Conklin

I am fighting the impulse to write anything else about our overthrown cult leader. He has amply demonstrated that he is a “superbrat” incapable to control his worst impulses, and bite my tongue, I won’t say another word about it. I just shudder thinking that this was the man who for 4 long years was at the helm of a nuclear-armed country.

Instead, I will turn my attention to something that concerns us all… The Covid-19 vaccines. Manna from Heaven we are told. They are suddenly popping up like mushrooms after the rain and everybody is eagerly awaiting their distribution. But when are we going to get them? Before Christmas? I doubt it.

Lately, Santa Claus has been extremely busy, but I have the feeling that in this crisis, he is a tad overwhelmed. His transportation fleet is obsolete, and he needs to modernize it. My spies are telling me though that he has been in touch with Jeff who has promised to help. How? I don’t know, but as an Amazon Prime customer, I know how efficient they are, and I totally trust that outfit.

But does it mean that after I get my shot, I am suddenly immune and free to kiss anybody? I trust science but I don’t think that I would be that bold. I might not smooch anybody for at least another year… And how long would that immunity last? And if you have been tested positive, will that injection help? I also understand that both Pfizer and Moderna require a second shot… This whole thing is not as easy as it sounds…

The powers that be are not helpful. They diddle with the problem… Power is like a drug… It is difficult to let go of cold turkey and when you do, you often experience severe withdrawal symptoms as witnessed in Washington today. Letting go requires uncommon willpower, and few people have the backbone to do this successfully.

At the end of WWII, after Germany had been defeated, the losers wisely cooperated with the Allies… They understood that this was the only way to go back to normal as quickly as possible. But it seems that this lesson has been spectacularly wasted on some…

“It’s not the situation… it’s your reaction to the situation.”

A general is in charge of the vaccine’s distribution. It is both good and bad. Good because he has authority over a vast number of people, but bad because some generals have been known to be mule-headed. If he falters in any way, he has to be flexible enough to recognize it and immediately change course. Some generals are not programmed to do so.

In the meantime, don’t let your guard down. Thanksgiving or Christmas family gatherings are not compulsory. It is better to stay home and celebrate the holidays with your pet, rather than endangering more lives for a few brief moments of felicity.

“He that fights and runs away, may turn and fight another day; but he that is in battle slain, will never rise to fight again.” Tacitus


Everybody needs toys

Regardless of age, everybody craves toys. Men, women, children… even pets want them, and their masters are glad to oblige. Some pets are even be seen strutting with diamond-studded collars… A small price to pay in my opinion, for their undying loyalty.

When you cannot afford toys, you create them. Kids are especially good at that. To them, anything can become “un jouet”. It just takes a little imagination, and with them, there is never a shortage of creative juices. Any box can become an “igrushka” and tins cans can easily morph into 5G phones.

The holidays are approaching, and maybe because of the pandemic, toys are big this season. All kinds of toys. Educational toys, tinker toys, boy toys, sex toys… And Amazon will be pleased to deliver, sometimes with drones.

Of course, there are toys and TOYS. Some are cheap, and some are unimaginably costly. Our ex-president, who I understand is fond of glitzy real estate, will probably want a Golden Monopoly set.

“This is one of the costliest versions of the popular Monopoly board game and estimated to be worth $2 million. It is made of 18-carat gold and encrusted with jewels. It is the brainchild of San Francisco jewelry designer Sidney Mobell who created it in 1988.”

 Joe Biden on the other hand is longing to recover a piece of real estate that the previous tenant refuses to vacate. Like many citizens, I wonder if on Christmas Eve Santa will finally grant him his wish. A real cliffhanger!

Toys are important because one should never lose the desire to play. Once you become a “responsible adult” you often lose that magic and you become a certified dullard. Kids realize who you are and never bother to invite you to play. I am personally very proud to say that kids seek my company. They consider me one of them and treat me as such.

It is said that good things come in small packages, and for Christmas, many people would be thrilled to get a little present from Moderna or Pfizer. It would be a real shot in the arm for a suffering nation.

Now, a third company (Astra-Zeneca) is also on the cusp to introduce its own vaccine. Soon there will be a surplus of that magic elixir and the world will return to normal: strikes, protests, and general mayhem.

It is said that He who dies with the most toys wins. Everybody likes to win, but personally, I could do with fewer toys and let somebody else grab that prize.

In closing, I would like to leave you with this final thought:

“The simplest toy, one which even the youngest child can operate, is called a grandparent.” Sam Levenson