July 28th tournament

Let me start by paying tribute to the dedicated people who cleaned the field Saturday afternoon: Christine Cragg, Claudie Chourré, Helga Facchini, Antoine Lofaro, Charlie Davantes and Sabine Mattei.
Thank you very much to every one of you!
When you see any of these people, buy them a drink (or a lollipop) and give them 3 bonus points next time you play against them.

Back to the tournament.

Sunday was a mild day, bordering on the cool side. It was a little chilly in the morning and fair (with pesky gusts of wind) in the afternoon.
Registration closed at 9:30 a.m. meaning that people who lived outside the Bay Area had to get up pretty early to be there on time.
I am particularly thinking of the people from the Fresno Pétanque Club. It takes about three hours to come to Marin by car. This means that these people had probably to get up at 5:00 a.m. to be to the field on time.
This is what I call dedication to the game.

In the morning, warm coffee and croissants were available.

Forty-five (45) players, fifteen select triplettes registered to play. They were as follows:

  1. Alain Marchand, Alain Efron, Evelyne Marchand
  2. Charles Davantes, Helga Facchini, Liv Kraft
  3. Henry Wessel, Dan Velasco, Calvert Barron
  4. Bernard Passmar, J.M. Poulnot, Tamara Efron
  5. By Vang, May Lee, Thomas Moua
  6. Alain Gusella, Hendrik Idzerda, Minnette Etallaz
  7. Steve Jones, Wolfgang Kurz, Christine Jones
  8. George Zolinsky, Bill Hansen, Christine Cragg
  9. Jean Claude Etallaz, J.C. Bunand, Sabine Matei
  10. Etienne Rijkheer, Kevin Evoy, Carolina Jones
  11. Frosty Sabo, Colette Van Der Meulen, Marcy Mallette
  12. Paul Yang, Jer Thao, Chong Xiong
  13. Patrick Vaslet, Hans Kurz, Holly Sammons
  14. Barbara Hall, Erin McTaggart, Narin Garrett
  15. Fue Vang, Nicolas Yang, Michel Yang

Three 13 points games (not timed) were played before lunch. In my opinion it is too much.
My team finished its third game at 1:30 p.m. (we were starved) and we had to restart playing shortly after that.
We need to start playing earlier (logistically difficult for some people) or strictly enforce a time limit for each pre-concours game.

After lunch, 8 teams qualified for the Concours and 7 teams for the Consolante.

After a successful morning run, my team was eliminated shortly after lunch and this gave me a chance to take a few pictures.
Unfortunately it is extremely difficult to use a long lens in a shaded environment. The photos you will see are the best I could produce under these conditions.
(Your comments are always welcome).

At the end of day (around 5:00 p.m.) the final results were as follows:


1st   Place:  Patrick Vaslet, Hans Kurz, Holly Sammons –  $ 96.00 ($32 ea)

IMG_2336 - Version 2 2nd  Place:  Paul Yang, Jer Thao, Chong Xiong –  $ 69.00 ($23 ea)
3rd   Place:  By Vang, May Lee, Thomas Moua – $42.00 ($14 ea)

As you can see, the Fresno club did extremely well (2nd and 3rd place) and Paul Yang’s team lost to Sonoma only by a hair (12/13). Absolutely nothing to be ashamed of and thank you all for making such a long trip to play with us.


1st Place:  Frosty Sabo, Marcy Mallette, Colette Van Der Meulen$14.00 ea
2nd Place: Bernard Passmar, J.M. Poulnot, Tamara Efron – $10.00 ea

Another great pétanque day.

Thank you Pétanque Marinière and thank you all for coming to play in Marin’s sandbox.


PS: To look at pictures of this event, turn the sound on, click on the “Home” link at the top of the page, and click again on “My photos” located on the right side of the page.



MoneyMoney is a funny thing.
It doesn’t smell good, it doesn’t taste good and it is dirty; but everybody is madly in love with it and some people will not hesitate to kill for it.

But once they get it, they are not really sure what to do with it.
For money, if not properly nurtured will evaporate like water on a hot rock.
In order to bear fruits, money needs to be transplanted into a fertile environment and carefully looked after.

And for this, you need a specialist because the average Joe knows absolutely nothing about growing this kind of potatoes.
Invest in stocks, invest in bonds your friends will tell you… but what kinds of animals are those, and how reliable are they?
The answer: they are totally unreliable!
These animals have a mind of their own and like a skittish herd of buffaloes they can panic, stampede and fall off a cliff.

The money agribusiness has become (on purpose I believe) extremely complicated and very few people (even bankers) understand fully how it works.
The average guy therefore, if he comes across some serious money, has no choice but to put himself in the hands of a financial handler… and buy a prayer rug.
Because there are no guarantees says the moneyman. You can make money, but you can also lose your shirt.
Always nice to hear…

You have to trust the moneyman, even when knowing very little about him.
It is almost like giving your savings to a guy you met in a strip joint.

Once the financial institution has swallowed and digested your hard-earned moola, you receive monthly statements.
They are very long, very detailed and almost totally incomprehensible.
It is difficult to figure out if you are making or if you are losing money, because things are never what they seem.
You can have money on paper but if you try to cash it, things might be different.
Don’t ask me why.

Money is like manure; you need to spread it around or it smells. J. Paul Getty

I didn’t want my bedroom to stink so I took my money from under my mattress and wheeled it to a bank.
I have a “diversified” (sounds reassuring) portfolio to prevent catastrophes, but once in a while, after perusing a statement I wonder if my ship’s watertight compartments are tight enough and if there are enough life jackets aboard to accommodate all the passengers.

The captain said so, but what else would he say?


The phone whisperer

A few days ago I experienced the heavenly pleasure of spending some time in the close vicinity of a phone whisperer.
Sitting barely three feet away, I could not even catch three words of his conversation, and not for lack of trying.

And yes, the whisperer was a man!
Not one of this macho dude who has to trumpet his accomplishments to the world… no, a delightfully quiet man with a low, bedroom voice.
If I had not sworn allegiance to the opposite sex a long time ago, I could have easily fallen in love with this gentleman.
And I don’t use the term “gentleman” lightly, because a man speaking so considerately has to be a gentleman… or a hit man.

Annoying woman in a cafe on her cell phoneNowadays, you cannot avoid coming in close contact with people seemingly talking to themselves. They walk and they talk. They sit and they talk. They sleep and they talk. They are so busy talking that they totally lost notion of space and time.
No need for truth serum anymore. Give an addict a cell phone and he’ll spill the beans instantly.

And don’t get me started with women… They can be as loud (if not more) than men.
And when given a phone, they instantly shatter the fairytale image that we men have of them. They are not the quiet demure little things that we thought they were; they are Cell Women, “give me no lip” Amazons.

I don’t mind people constantly pleasuring themselves with their toy, but they should have the decency to do it discreetly. If they had any breeding at all they would go the bathroom or the macadam to indulge themselves.

My mother in Paris waited a very long time to get a phone line.
When she finally got it, she became so excited that she could not help but shout whenever calling me in California.
She probably figured that she had to speak loudly to be heard from somebody residing six thousand miles away.

Fifty years later, some people still seem to think that they need to shout to be heard.
Or maybe it has to with some kind of exhibitionism… Look at me, I have a cell phone…

Ladies and gentlemen, I beg you, when in a public place refrain from using your goddamn contraption. If you absolutely must, step outside to avoid being a public nuisance and incur the well-deserved (and sometimes violent) wrath of everybody around you.

Dominus vobiscum!