Joe's New Jersey Racquetball: Blog from 2009
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2009 Blogs

12/22/09 Happy Holidays!
Sure things will start getting crazy tomorrow, so wanted to wish everyone a nice and safe Holiday Season. Looking forward to next week when everyone returns back to normal except me. I get a couple of days to work on some stuff at Home. I want to finish up my stringing app and get at least something out there. A couple of smaller programs that could be helpful and expand a couple of Shareware pages on my site. Also have a League starting up in less than a month, so a lot of work...well doesn't feel like work. Just need to focus on one thing and knock it out.

House Damaged12/04/09 Close Call
About 4:30 AM Tuesday, we woke up to a thunderous crash and a branch a couple of feet long at the foot of our bed. A tree fell on the house. Everyone was ok and the damage to the house was minimal--I guess. Been a disorienting couple of days and tomorrow we celebrate's Matt's birthday. So haven't had too much focus or time for projects. Any way things are getting back to normal now and glad Insurance is most likely going to cover all the damage.

Truly feel beyond lucky a couple of feet either way and my family would have gotten hurt. So thank God the worst of it is just money, time, and material things. First thought was to check on the boys and reassure them that everything is ok.

Matt's First Birthday12/01/09 Matt's First Birthday!
Looking back it seems like it went by so fast. My little baby boy is one year's old and already causing trouble. I can tell he's very smart. Just needs to be shown something once before he's off trying it. He's not walking but he can pour on the jets crawling like nobody's business. Taunts and other big brother actions from Jason make him a tough little kid.

Loves his Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and whenever I need him to sit still to get into a car seat or calm him down before a bottle my iPhone has two episodes at the ready. He just watches, mesmerized, his Mickey, so he should be insane when we take him to Disney in about two years.

My wife, Karen, said that he's not a baby anymore and that maybe we should just keep having babies. The incredulous look I shot at her was enough of an answer. Hope she was kidding. She better be kidding! Guess I'm next on the 28th. Happy Birthday Matt, love you.

11/25/09 "Hitting the Anvil"
Life Lesson from Chris Gardner's Book. Anyway pushed pretty hard the past couple of weeks between programming and stringing into the early morning hours. Don't know where the energy comes from maybe it's all the caffennie, but it doesn't feel like work and I think that's the best reason I can come up with. We're almost a month out from my first racquetball league in a while and I want some new things ready. Glad I got the account setup down and the individually pieces that make it up are getting better. Problem is switching tracks and keeping up the momentum.

Last time, I wrote about pushing myself harder. That continued last week against Don Odgers from the League. I wanted every shot that I can get a racquet on to put more and more pressure on him. He's just too fast and has too much endurance, so my only chance to level the field is blast everything with purpose and get him out of position or commiting early. Think it was working we had a margin of only a few points. My body is having trouble keeping up that pace...for now.

I believe, there's a conscious decision that caps our performance and I'm sick and tired of hitting that ceiling. So I've been making a few cracks and maybe even peeked on the other side. I like what I saw and I'm going to keep on hitting it! I actually love hitting it!!

Happy Thanksgiving.

11/07/09 "Speed Kills Peaches"
This was something an old friend used to say when we played Car Wars when someone went too fast, rolled a hazzard, and one of several bad things happened to their car. I was usually the one going too fast trying to get away from Otto with his car's ram-plate.

Anyway played Don last night and stepped it up a few notches. Until both Alex, who was watching, and Don said that I either lost weight or been training or something...I wish both were true, but it was more of a mental decision to go outside where I was comfortable. To really drive myself and see how long I can sustain it. Answer is not long, but the effort paid off in the short term.

Been comfortable with a lot of things in my life and the problem is I'm being comfortable with a lot of things that are uncomfortable like my job for starters, my limited racquetball time, and accepting what comes in for my business. So not looking to red-line and have problems. Just looking to get the Car out of park and make some progress in the important areas of my life.

10/13/09 OK. I'm blogging, I'm blogging (1/3)
Ever read something and feel like it was meant for you? Well that's the feeling I got when I looked at Mike's blog this afternoon and was ordered to blog. Been a stressful few days to say the least. Matt, my youngest, was vomitting his bottle and had diaherra a lot last week. It got to the point we took him to the ER on Friday night just to get an IV and some fluids. In the midst of all, Matt got to see his first firework show from the Rutgers Home Coming.

Thankfully with soy based formula, some pedialyte, and rice cereal. Matt got over whatever bug he had and is back to his normal inquisitive not sleeping self. I'm doing so-so and thankfully not as bad as he was.

Jason Hillsborough 200910/13/09 Jason and Indoor (2/3)
It's not easy for Jason going from the center of attention to not. So Saturday, despite everything going on with Matt, we spent a day together (thanks to my Mother-in-Law). We went to Wendy's for lunch, saw Toy Story in 3D, and played a few scant minutes of racquetball at Hillsborough. Wendy's was cool we sat inside and talked. He sat through Toy Story 1 and he wanted to go play Racquetball when the second half started. Didn't have to twist my arm.

He napped on the way over to Hillsborough and we walked inside to find we only had about twenty minutes before the place closed. So we didn't bother changing or anything and just played the fifteen minutes. Jason was very mature when the employee said they were closing, but I really wanted to squeeze everything out of it. A couple of on-lookers said stop taking pictures and play which we already did. His concept of racquetball, thus far, is to hit the ball to the front wall which is good and then try to catch it before I do. He's throwing himself on his knees to get the ball and running full tilt. So probably not too long before he beats me.

Anyway mostly just tapped the ball to the front wall so Jason can try to get it, but I did do a "monster" shots as he called it. It brought me back to my own childhood when my Dad hit a baseball in a park that seemed to go on forever. Anyway took Jason to a toy store on the way home to get something. It was a very special day for both of us.

10/13/09 New Jersey State Doubles (3/3)
State Doubles was a very good event, but I was no where near the top of my game. It kind of pissed my off that I configured my life this way. It was another slap upside the head to start going after my dreams before I waste even more time. Love racquetball and wish I had more time to play it. Only way to do that is to succeed at Business and stop wasting chances.

Before I get into what happened, I wanted to share what I heard from Ruben Gonzalez in the locker room on Sunday after he won the Open with Eric Mueller. Seen Ruben play with just about anyone and win and what he said is probably the reason. From what I remember, he's always watching his opponents and partner. If his partner isn't doing too well then he considers his partner as another opponent to worry about and has to either hit around, cover, or kick it up a notch to win. It was an interesting point and it hit a cord from what happened on Saturday.

First round in Men's Cs was like a brown out. I looked over at my partner, Tina, and she was not there against our opponents Justine and her partner. I really couldn't explain it and I couldn't get an answer about what was wrong from Tina. I took a lot of risks and really pushed the second game, but I ain't Ruben. Think we could have won that match if we showed up to play. I was ready to play, but had no consistency so it was a painful straight games.

To be continued. I'm out of time.

09/25/09 "Be Still."
Been reading Chris Gardner's book "Start Where You Are". I got interested in the book after watching "In Pursuit of Happyness" on Cable. I loved the movie and all the hardships Chris endured to keep his son with him, being part of the working homeless, and still going after his dream. Anyway after watching it, I got some new resolve for my own dreams and making sure to do the best for my family. I'm drifting a bit here, so in his book he mentions a children's book "Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak and how the main character, Max, shouted to some wild monsters to "Be Still!" and they stopped. Chris also mentioned the Bible but Jason is a little young for that yet. Jason loves the story and it might help him be a little more still at times.

It's taking me a lot longer to get to the point here. I wrote on my Facebook wall that I was pumped for State Doubles tomorrow, but during tonight's games I thought about Chris' Life Lesson and to "Be Still." As I've written in the past, anxiety normally takes a pretty firm grip and I start racing thoughts in my head and get rigid and tight and then lose. "Be Still." Seems like a great concept here. Much better than the stock market thing from a couple of weeks ago.

Dr. James Loehr author of "The New Mental Toughness Training for Sports" wrote that there's two parts to us. The performer self and the real self. The performer self reassures the real self that everything is ok that there's nothing to freak out about. Well...sounds very similar to Max telling all the monsters to "Be Still" doesn't it? Anyway a lot of things in my life can benefit from just that one life lesson alone. We'll see how it goes tomorrow. The goal is just to play my best and have fun in the pursuit of winning with my partner, Tina.

09/23/09 Friday's Racquetball Story
My old friend, Alex, wanted a racquetball story so he can make it through LSATs. It's also been a while since I had a chance to blog. So here goes. With State Doubles being a week away I wasn't getting any Doubles practice and it's been a long time since I played with my partner, Tina. So I asked One Lee if he wanted to play Doubles with me against Don and Matt...I knew he would say Yes. We've been playing rec' Doubles probably since we started playing racquetball like seven or eight years ago. People often say or write about knowing what your partner is going to do...Well with One, I don't even think about it anymore.

A lot of Matt's serves where giving One Lee trouble at first. Matt hits pretty hard and low and he can pretty much kill anything you leave up for him. So we took some damage early on with bad returns, think One Lee was adjusting his timing and trying to get a racquet on it. We lost the first game pretty decisively. Later, I joked with Matt on Facebook that it was just a warm up.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say both Don and Matt pulled back on their second game. It may not be true, but that's the feeling I got. Nothing like that feeling going through your head. I was pretty angry at being patronized, sad that I wasn't playing my best, and very scared that I was going to hurt my knee since I left my brace at home by accident.

Second game, we served a lot and I was serving to Don. Don doesn't have many weaknesses but his backhand is probably the most glaring one. So a lot of easy lobs and stuff that's waist high would add up. Sometimes he ripped one for a winner, but in the long run it was a winning strategy for us. At lot of One Lee's serves to Matt were gobbled up, but some that went to the middle of the court gave us some chances. We eventually won the second game, but I didn't feel like our opponents gave it their all.

09/23/09 Dollar Menu Class
Four students showed up from the eight that signed up. Gotta admit four was better than six. I felt like I did a better job and used Diane's (co-worker) advice to step out of the court to teach stuff since there was less of an echo. Anyway we had Kate, Kimja, Oliver, and Pratin. I trimed a lot of stuff out from the original class and kept it to a double sided sheet of paper instead of a booklet.

I focused mostly on forehand/backhand mechanics, serve, return, and some strategy. I think they all got something useful out of it. One of them, Oliver, asked me about the Busch Ladder and he might show up on Friday to play. So it was good. My instruction on footwork was very poor and it's something I need to work on. There was three righties and one lefty, so became very hard to explain things to the right handers.

09/13/09 Buy Low. Sell High...In Racquetball???
Don't know why I sold I stock that was going pretty well for me a couple of days ago. I guess I was very afraid it was going to drop off...well it didn't it and it kept going. Could have more than doubled my investment. Anyway it wasn't a lot of shares and the stock was under $1.00 when I bought it. So I gained some, but I obviously missed out. It got me thinking on Friday. If I did that during a trade that was going well...where else am I pulling back? Well lots of areas esp. Racquetball.

So I started a different approach to the games I played Friday night based on that timeless stock wisdom of buying low and selling high. I bought low (low risk) on a lot of serves. I did mostly lobs, half lobs, and tried to paint the sidewall with the ball on almost every serve. It worked a majority of the time. I often had a great return on my investment. I can see why Jason Mannino almost always lobs. Even though I like drive serves (high risk) they usually get me in more trouble than they are worth.

Anyway also caught myself during the rallies thinking about the payoff of the shot I'm going to hit. Is it time to sell or do I wait for a better time? Sometimes I played it patiently and others the pay off was pretty obvious. So next time your on the court...think about what your getting for your serve, return, or rally shots. It might get you thinking in the right direction. It may not be hundreds or thousands of dollars, but it might give you a point and in racquetball that's a pretty good return on your investment.

09/03/09 The Light of Learned LaTell Clark
I went to the memorial service for Learned LaTell Clark last night and so did a lot of his family and friends. After some prayer his Sister and others spoke in front of the group about LaTell. From his childhood to just before his death he cared and helped people. Glenn, one of the speakers, told us how LaTell helped him go to college by getting one of two Racquetball Scholorships. People read poetry, sang, and shed tears for LaTell.

After the service, they had some his artifacts and pictures from when he was a baby to later in life. Racquetball took up one of the tables and he wrote an article back in 1994 for Racquetball magazine. It was a special evening and my only regret is I didn't take more time to get to know LaTell better and not waste those opportunties in pursuit of a $6.00 plastic trophy. Someone said he died with next to nothing, I would say he died and gave his family and friends everything.

08/26/09 Pushing More
Starting to focus more on walking correctly than favoring the foot. After almost three weeks post-surgery I think I'm doing pretty well. The numbness I felt has gotten better--thank God. I use the surigical shoe when driving and been wearing Crocs with an Ace bandage to help keep flexible.

Friday I can wear sneakers again and plan on taking short walks and then see what happens with Racquetball on next Friday. If things go well then slowly start to rev that up to normal. After almost a month of limited activity there's going to be a signifficant loss of endurance. Also will need to stretch all the time and ask my wife to break up any scar tissue when she thinks I'm ready.

08/24/09 Remembering Latell, Learned L. Clark
Jon Panno announced on Facebook that Learned L. Clark passed away over the weekend. God, I remember Latell at my first Fran Davis' camp reminding people to trust in what Fran and the others were teaching. To illustrate that trust he had people fold their arms and fall backward so he could catch them. I was pretty much shy about the whole thing and wasn't asked to go up. Things have changed since then.

For years afterward I would see him at Tournaments and he would always say, "Hey Champ." or "Do you feel like a Champion today?" After a while, I joked around you know the answer to that. I remember him telling me how he lost part of his foot at a Club because of something they didn't resolve. I also remember playing against him at Hillsborough in Doubles--I think it was Hillsborough. Anyway Latell was a great guy and it's sad to read today he's just gone. He was always someone I made a point talking to at a tourney. Whenever he talked racquetball to someone...I would just listen. Always felt better before a match or losing lost some of its sting after our little banter. Rest in Peace Latell.

08/21/09 The End of Quick Improvements.
Looking for another project to finish on the site and not coming up with anything really easy anymore. In order to move things forward I need to finish the profiles and the member area. I cringe at the labor involved and how many one hour sessions will be needed to chip away at it, but that's also the cool part.

08/21/09 Foot's Better. Confirmed Two Weeks to Go! On track for State Doubles!
Gave Tina a chance to back out and find someone else to play State Doubles with, she didn't accept which is cool. Got my stitches removed and was granted limited driving priviledges. Nothing like driving a car with a damn clown shoe on, but was able to do some light errands around town. So one more week of the "shoe" then I can wear regular shoes and hopefully back to Racquetball in time for State Doubles.

Need to get another Meanstreak as a backup. Think I'm going to skip stringing this time around, since I want them to be a little looser than normal. Off to play some Mario Kart over WiFi with my best friend, Otto.

Matt 8 Months08/20/09 Matt's First Introduction to Racquetball.
Been about six months since I posted any pictures of my youngest, Matt. When Jason was about six months we did a similar picture when I first got Sponsored by Head. Time flies and I'm disappointed that I haven't scheduled more time on the court with Jason just seems something always comes up on the weekend. Just need to pick a day and stick to it.

It's pretty amazing how different my boys are. Jason is a manaic, likes to be creative with words, is pretty strong and tall for his age, and can sleep through a bomb blast. Matt, only eight months, seems to be calmer, shorter for his age, more focused into what he's doing, pretty easy going, and wakes up from a pin drop.

Anyway I love my boys and it's awesome to see them grow up. Matt started crawling yesterday and just wanted to get the news out there.He's holding my new Head Meanstreak 175.

08/20/09 One...Damn...Two Weeks to Racquetball?
Just did the math and it might be two weeks, 9/4, before I hit the courts again. *sigh* A couple of things concern me about my foot surgery. Some of my toes are slightly bruised and there's a numbness and tingling to one of my toes where the cut was made. My wife says it'll go away once it heals and I just want to wear regular shoes and drive again.

It'll be almost a month out before New Jersey State Doubles, so hopefully get all the stitches out tomorrow, can drive a car, and walk in regular shoes. Was out for a couple of weeks from work...which I didn't mind, but I do mind racquetball and hope I can play 100% soon. Anything less is unacceptable. Once I'm back on the courts it'll be drill, stretch, and get as much court time with Tina and solo as possible. I wrote on Mike Grab's wall if he wanted to play Men's with me. I remember I hurt myself the last time I played three divisions without training for it. So need to take it easy and prepare.

08/11/09 Foot Surgery Recovery.
Not being able to walk well is starting to drive me crazy. Taking care of my two boys last night really strained my foot, but been managing without any pain medication except for the Motrin I'm taking for swelling, which also hasn't been that bad. Overall the surgery wasn't as bad as I thought...I still have no idea what's under the bandages or when I can return to work, driving, and racquetball.

It was funny to lay down on the operating room table and have the lights start moving. Then I was out and woke up to a bandaged foot. The nurse was right the worst part was the damn IV. Anyway brainstorming something to work on from bed. Not much on TV to watch.

08/07/09 Foot Surgery Today.
Something grew on my foot since the fevers I had back in June. I'm believe a medicine I was taking at the time was the cause of the fevers and maybe my little friend too. Anyway getting a local and the whole procedure should take about twenty minutes. It'll be about a week before I can go back to work. Two weeks before I can drive. Four weeks before racquetball. I was supposed to go over to Hillsborough to practice with Tina last week and I cancelled. Why practice only to have to start over again?

So wish my luck and hope I can hit the courts and be 100% by the time the season starts. Anyway tired, hungry, and thirsty and still have about four more hours.

08/04/09 One Down...ELOCalc Lite Shareware Application
Was a little impatient with my company's release of its first shareware application called ELOCalc Lite. There's a couple of things I wanted to play with Code Signing in Visual Studio, an End User License Agreement (EULA), and deploying the application on the web. The last one took some last minute tweaking, but I manged to get it to work.

Not really expecting the World to lead a path to my door with money in hand or anything. It's an ok application and as I wrote it's just to test a couple of things out and see how they work for people. Doesn't make much sense to go all in when you're just learning to play the game. So look forward to more shareware releases from my company.

07/27/09 A Familiar Death Trap
There's one too many plates spinning in the air and I'm starting to run around to keep them all going. Been there more times than I care to admit in my life. Can't add more plates, can't look for support to spin plates, and eventually just get burned out. So it's time to cut some loses on some projects and revisit them later. Couple of plates in the air:

(Only going into the top three)

ELOCalc Lite is my first shareware application and it's at the highest point on my priority list. I invested a good deal of money into my company to purchase the software pieces I need to develop software. So each day that goes by is another day I'm not working on converting that investment into a good one. So the application is done and just need the support pages online.

Enchanted Quill Press, LLC Logo and Site. My company paid Whatshakin Advertising for a new company logo. Now I need a web site that rates up there with the logo. I wasted years on a very basic page, I recently stepped it up, but now it needs to go all the way. So it's hard to get a shareware app out the door when it's not totally cut out yet. Does the site drive sales or does the product? We'll find out soon enough. Gotta start small, gotta start now, and gotta start some where.

League...I would love to run another league, but running it as I've done in the past would mean dropping all the other plates including the ones I need to keep going for my family, etc. A couple of guys from Woodbridge offered to help me out, but there's a lot of stuff I wanted to automate for years. Still going to see how it goes need to get some interest going again.

07/17/09 Drilling is Great, but not Enough.
I've been drilling about three days per week. Basically start off with ceiling returns and DTL shots on fore/backhand. I do about two sets of 25 before my lunch hour is over. I've noticed in all of my games a significant improvement on most of my ceiling shots and passes. I won two out of four games against a long-term rival, but Friday exposed another big problem with my game. My stamina.

Most of the shots I hit on Friday were not going where I wanted them. My speed dropped off significantly and I was pretty much playing tired. So while I'm glad my shots have improved my overall cardio hasn't. I remember my old instructor saying to do "court suicides" and I never did them. Might be time to suck it up and do a couple after I'm warmed up.

07/14/09 Joe's New Jersey Tennis?
Slowly being converted to the dark side by EA Grand Slam Tennis and the sad part is I like it. I'm almost to the point of contemplating my first tennis racquet purchase in over ten years. It's a fun game on the Wii and my best friend, Otto, and I have been playing Wii Tennis until we drop every time he comes over. So it's just a matter of time before I break down and step on a Tennis court again.

Let's not go nuts here. I'm still playing Racquetball tomorrow and Friday! Think there's a lot more tension built into Tennis scoring than Racquetball. Only the receiver in Racquetball has to worry about Game and Match points. In Tennis both people can be at risk. I'm not hanging up my goggles anytime soon, but I won't have a complete breakdown if my boys want to take Tennis seriously.

Anyway if Tennis games on a Wii can convert an old die hard like me then I'm sure a Racquetball game can help convert more people to play or try the Sport. I haven't started developing a lot of other stuff on my plate right now.

DTL Drills07/09/09 Drills and more Drills.
Been drilling during lunch at work three days a week. Basically I take about a third of the court and place a marker at the front wall. I stand in the back court in line with the marker. I score a point if I can hit a fore/backhand DTL (Down the Line) between myself and the sidewall. It can't touch me, the sidewall, or the backwall. I've been doing this about a racquet length from the backwall.

After I was sick, I couldn't hit anything and it took me a long time to do even twenty-five shots on each side. Today I finished two sets of 25 on each side and two sets of DTL ceiling returns in about half-an-hour. Some of my shots are still bouncing to center court and during an actual game that's fatal. The drill forces me to keep the ball between me and wall and out of reach of my opponent.

Got the new Head Meansreak 175 Racquet and it's really perfect. At first, I was concerned about the weight, but when I really ramp up my swing speed the result is pretty amazing. Can't wait to finish my drills and start playing some people. I still have a couple of more weeks of drilling and want to focus on cross-court shots next. Then pinches and losing a good deal of weight.


07/02/09 So are you Good?
Got asked that yesterday afternoon and I always find it kind of a funny question. Let's see am I good compared to Cliff Swain? No! Jason Mannino? No! Aimee Ruiz? No. Jon Panno. So So, but mostly No. Some rookie off the shelf? Yes. Most people I play with. Yes and No. I think it's mostly a loaded question to gauge a person's arrogance. So people should ask are you any good compared to me? There's only one way to find out.

Drilling has been going well and today I get to try out my new Head Meanstreak 175. Feels great and I can't wait to hit the ball at lunch. Have a great and safe Independence Day!

ELO Calc Lite Copyright 2009 by Enchanted Quill Press LLC07/01/09 ELO Calc Lite Started!
Started work on Enchanted Quill Press LLC's first freeware application. The hardest part is stopping myself from adding new features. Basically want to learn about deploying Visual Studio Applications, get feedback and support questions from users, and write the dreaded EULA (End User License Agreement). So want to keep it simple and functional, but better than my online ELO Calculator. I also have something planned for the online version for group admins. The Access database that runs a lot of league data is pretty big, ELO is just a small piece and a great place to start. If you want to be part of the beta test please email me or contact me via the links at the top of the the page.

Naturally would like to develop Standard and Professional editions of the ELO Calculator under a shareware license, but need to get my feet wet and develop a Windows application and see how it all works.

06/22/09 Joe's Racquet Stringing Site Slow-Go!
I developed the first application for my Racquet Stringing Site and I can't even launch it because the rest of the site isn't even close to being done. I've sent out a couple of racquets with service tags that people can't look up yet. I prety much have the layout I want. Now just need to break it down into PHP, do some copywriting, and get a couple of graphics. Of course, things are still taking shape so letting the swatches dry a bit before I paint the whole wall.

06/22/09 Back to Basics
I sneak a couple of drills in before I start playing with the guys on Friday nights and phew have I rusted! So now that I'm feeling better from whatever knocked me out. Just plan on going to the gym and hitting a few just Ceiling Returns and Down the Lines (DTL) on forehand and backhand during lunch. I read one of Manny's new blog posts and it kind of mirrors some advice Alex gave me. Play a ceiling game against some opponents so you can run around and build up some endurance.

I used to do a couple of hundred drills on each side and they were a lot crisper. Now the ball is on the wrong side of me, hits the sidewall, goes cross court, skips. It's just a good old mess. Also going to dig out my old Ab Works and see if it still works.

06/17/09 Other Racquetball Blogs
On occassion, I reference another person's blog. So decided to make a pernament page to those blogs. Some are fun to read, others informational, but they are all racquetball.

06/12/09 Feeling much Better
Still have a lot of aches and I feel cold all the time, but so far no fever. Pretty sure I'm missing racquetball tonight. After doing nothing for five days, think I have a lot more rebuilding to do. I had some pretty high fevers the past couple of days like 104.7 and 105.1. My vision was blurry at 105 and I thought I was on my way to checking out, but now I'm starting to feel better. Hopefully whatever bug or problem it was is done. Thing that sucks most, besides being sick, is being home for a week and not being able to work on my projects.

06/10/09 First Day Back
Been having high fevers since Sunday, but finally getting some relief today. Doctors did not have a real solid answer and I'd rather not celebrate until 24 hours have past, but as of this morning I've been in the 98's and that's a welcome sign of relief. Yesterday everything was blurry at one point and that's when I went to the ER. My wife kept me company, but even when they discharged me my temp was still climbing from 100 even after three IV liquid Motrin or something. So went out for Lunch, Ice Cream, and drank more fluids. Still drinking fluids as I write this.

I did an Internet search and see some of the symptoms I had could be dehyrdation. Let's see Racquetball Friday, BBQ on Saturday, fever started on Sunday. Well it's better than the general bronchitis or virus answers I get from the Doctors I've seen. My Primary Doctor has yet to call me back after leaving him two messages yesterday before calling 911. Well he's so fired! I pretty much called in a state of panic at 105 and he didn't bother calling me back. I think I show more concern over my computers and racquets.

Going back to bed to rest. Just missed the computer pretty bad and wanted to update people here.

06/05/09 The Return of One Lee!
Was great to have my old friend One Lee on the courts again tonight. He took what seemed like an eternity off due to an injury. Alex, Don, and Matt also came down for some Friday Racquetball. We took turns playing Matt in Singles and the rest of played cut-throat. Courts were hot which I don't think Matt was used to. He played pretty close games against Alex and Don and we ran out of time during our game. So it was great to have some new blood.

Don is going to put in the paper work for a Head Collegiate Sponsorship which I'm in definte approval of. Don's a pretty good and strong player who can pretty much get to everything. Good luck Don. Matt was a subject of some discussion since he played B's at Hillsborough. Alex and I played A's. We were thinking he should have won B, but maybe just maybe Alex and I don't belong in A's. Anyway can see the Wipeout results.

06/04/09 Racquet Service History Coming!
Sorry for the lapse, I've been working on a new site for Racquet Stringing and a really cool benefit for my customers. I wrote about it on LinkedIn already so the Cat's kind of out of the bag. It's an online racquet history for my cusomters. When I finish a customer's racquet I assign it a Service Tag number. He or she can go online and look at all the stringing history in one place. I eventually want to integrate it into my racquet stringing database. All that's left is to make it make it pretty and write out a couple of pages.

This kind of jumped in front of groups when a new stringing customer gave me a racquet with a stringer's sticker on it. Basically it had the tension, date, and string used. My first thought was I can make that better...Hell I can make that a lot better! I believe I did, so give me a few days to move everything else in place. I hope my customers find it very useful.

05/27/09 Four Away from First Place! Grrrrr. 3rd.
Last night was a recreational doubles tourney at Hillsborough. I can honestly say there's little or no distinction between a regular tournament and a recreational one. Not much difference between playing for fun and a tourney either. Each has a game plan and an execution of that game plan.

It was great to play with Tina, my partner, and do some damage. I didn't start loosening up until late in the matches, but Tina was right up front hitting her down the line kills and just taking a lot of easy points that I hope to have set her up on. She's a lot more comfortable up front and I like to use hard passes and ceiling shots to force weak returns for her to take advantage of.

Jacob and his Son won first place which I thought was cool. Of course, I reflect on playing with Jason and Matthew when they get older. Well...that time will probably be pretty brief. I hope they develop into good rivals and doubles partners. Think Jacob's son had to study for a Science exam and I told Jacob he had his priorities right. Racquetball should come before school. <jk>.

During one of the matches Sue told me that I'll be going on the court with three women. I answered kind of plainly, "I don't see sex on the court." I've lost my share of matches to Women, so I make it a point not to underestimate anyone. Something switches off when you think you can win. Also I don't want to be patronized on the court, so I make sure not to patronize anyone either.

Once the last game comes around everyone is usually pretty tired or hurt. One match against John and Mark kind of proved the last paragraph. Mark was obviously very hurt, but he didn't quit on his partner. John was doing a great job of moving to the ball, but my focus was to end it quick. A lot of my serves went to the middle or even on Mark's side by accident and we replayed them. I hit one shot where the ball made a cracking sound (been a while) it kind of just died. Would have loved to see the MPH on that one!

Anyway it was a great night of Doubles and just goes to show in robins every point is critical. Good job Tina thanks for being my partner.

05/19/09 What to Break Next?
Have all the code for my Player Groups, but introducing something new means that something old has to break. Player Profiles is one of the oldest pieces on the site and in order to move the member area forward it needs to get overhauled. Groups also fits into the player profiles so can help group players by Club, State, etc. Just wish I could knock it out instead of this piece by piece stuff.

05/18/09 Wipe Out. I'll shoot first Mike.
Been watching Mike's blog to see if he'll write out our Doubles Debut. I went through a bunch of my old tournament journal pages and they all need to be redone. I added some stat tracking just to see what kind of traffic, if any, they get. I miss writing tournament journals, but they take too much time to write, but might as well go over it now.

First my personal props to Wayne, the Weapon, Storch and his partner Mario for taking Open Doubles. Gloria should have saved us all the trouble and gave them the trophy. All kidding aside, but the robin needed a heavier team to take them on. Cory and Kevin from Hillsborough got 2nd. Congrats to them too. I don't have details for Open Singles, but A's was interesting.

My old friend, Alex Rtishchev, took 3rd in A's at his first tourney. He's been working up to this event for like two years. Glad he worked hard and it almost paid off. Sue from Hillsborough took 2nd place in A's. Before that she took 1st in B's. So congratulations. I was pretty much, as Gloria put it, a cellar dweller, but I played hard and my knee held up. So already working on losing thirty pounds and getting back into tournament shape.

B's had a great turn-out of fifteen players. With my Doubles Partner, Tina Davitt, in the mix along Mike Grab and Matt Pazos. I don't know for some reason I keep playing A's. I was way out of shape for A, maybe even B. But it was fun.

Now the point Mike has been waiting to read...we did ok for our first time out. By Sunday my arm was garbage and it seemed like every other time I hit the ball it would either go into the sidewall or just hit the floor. Mike was playing hurt, but had some good shots. Think as a team, we need to calm down, just play the game, and leave some shots for the other partner. A rushed shot up front is very different from a prepared shot from the back.

Thought Mike was Mr. Cool and Collected but he had his moments when missing a shot. Overall I would play with him again, but I'm never playing three divisions that's what helped me earn my knee brace last time. One mixed division with Tina and one with Mike.

There's a Doubles Only Recreational tournament shaping up for Tuesday 5/26 at Hillsborough. I signed up with Tina, should be fun. It was great to see everyone at Hillsborough and have a good time playing Racquetball. Joe Camiolo took some pictures on Sunday. I'll post the link when they are ready. Joe and Gloria saw me with my knee brace on and asked me if I was in the Club. I was like club? What club? The surgery club. I said, "Oh no, no way." That's one club I don't want to join.

Gloria had the best looking trophies I've ever seen. It was basically some airbrushed surf board mounted with the usual engraving. She said it took her almost a month to find. Anyway it was very cool. Sue also said she'll remember our match the most, she got me 15-14, but it took a very long time. She's a very tough player and limits her risks on a lot of shots. She came back from behind to win and whatever I tried to close out the match didn't work. It was a great game.

05/14/09 Daddy has a New Pair of Shoes!
It's been months of suffering with bad Basketball shoes and even worse Tennis shoes on the courts. Slipping and feeling like a locomotive trying to get started on the tracks when moving to the ball. My Head Super Sonic Mid Shoes arrived today--just in time for Wipeout. Not much time to break them in, but it's better than nothing.

A couple of friends of mine are attending Wipe-out. Alex Rtischev in A's and Mike Grab probably playing B's or A's and playing as my Open Doubles Partner. My goal for Saturday...survival and walk back to my car under my own power with my knee in one piece. Goal for Sunday, bring whatever is left and not to disappoint Mike. My Head Amp 185's are ready with new string, clothes are all set, but not going to be used to having a noon start time.

Jason 4th Birthday05/13/09 Jason Turns Four!
He never ceases to amaze me with what he comes up with and to think he's four years old already makes me realize how fast time does go. Matt is almost six months and that was really a blink. Jason is still into his Batman, Cars, Transformers, and Spiderman. He even wanted to play this Hot Rod game on Wii and finally starting to give it a chance.

Want to hit the courts again with him soon. Maybe after I recover from the Wipeout Tourney this weekend. Still very stubborn sometimes and always trying to bend stuff to his will instead of seeing how another idea can work. He can eventually take correction and is always a very funny and compassionate boy.

He likes to win and he unfortunately likes to tell the other person (mostly his brother) that he lost. It'll be a wake up call when Matt can actually hold his own in the car seat race.

The funniest thing Jason does is tell me to work on my Cashflow. Wisdom truly comes from the mouths of babes. Happy Birthday Jason, I love you.

05/07/09 Committed to Racquetball Flash Game
So this is how it all started. Leo Vasquez posted on MNP about some Racquetball Game for the Macintosh from the 1900's...1987...that he wanted to play. Frusturated I posted that I would develop a Flash game! Control Freak answered that it would be too hard for an Amatuer to do all the physics, etc. I'm not looking to make the next Madden of Racquetball just something to get the old gears turning and put onto a couple of sites to help promote the sport. The full RPG version...well that would be more Commericial. Like all things, my Company and I need to proove ourselves.

For a long time, I was developing games on the Commodore 64, then under DOS, and even some Direct 3D Programming with Visual Basic. It wasn't anything great but it was a lot of fun. Now older and hopefully wiser, I can take a different approach and see what happens. Racquetball needs a Flash game even one that kinda sucks.

So step 1 is going to be develop the main loop of the game, look for keyboard input, and move and animate a simple rectangle. Step 2 is to see what kind of graphics I can use in the Flash file and from what sources. Probably be bitmaps that always face forward or something. Step 3, introduce the court and the ball. Step 4, move and scale all the assets around the court and establish boundaries so they can't leave. Step 5-100, get the ball bouncing and moving correctly. Step 101-??? would be collison detection which has always been my downfall.

I don't want to get distracted here and stop working on my member area, but it would be fun to actually use Flash for something cool.

05/06/09 Game Plan for Wipe Out Tourney
All signed up and a little over a week away. Yeah I'm a little nervous about my knee and my overall conditioning. My game plan is nice and slow. I want to be very deliberate with my serves and shots and conserve all the energy I can. I think with round robins you need to dispatch your opponent as quickly as possible. So you can either move on to the next opponent or rest. Also with all the rain recently, playing a slow and deliberate game is required for damp and slick courts.

Mike Grab is going to be my Open Doubles Partner. He's been a good friend despite the fact we Instant message or use Facebook for a majority of our communication. It'll be interesting to see how we do and what we write about the experience. Of course my partner, Tina Davitt, still gets first dibs on all tournaments but she's not into Open Doubles. She came up with our nickname, D&D.

04/27/09 Almost Letting People Back In.
Need to code a few more things before existing users can reset their passwords and regain access to the Member Area. Not going to email everyone who had an account at this time. Made the mistake of not having any toys for people to play with once they logged in. So far the classes I built for databases and forms are holding up, but already looking into Version 2.0.

04/27/09 Friday Racquetball!
Starting to get more people to show up on a Friday night over at Cook/Douglas. It's good to see Alex, Don, One, and some other guys show up. I haven't been practicing as much as I should for the upcoming tournament at Hillsborough, but been hitting with the radar gun during my Head Demos and I'm hitting 105, 107, and even 108 MPH pretty consistently. It's also right on target. So overall conditioning is my goal. Doesn't matter how hard I hit...if I can't move or have to sit on the floor after a long rally.

04/15/09 No Ball Playing in the House! Unless it's Racquetball!
Ok, I may have taken Gloria's advice about training Jason a little too seriously. Jason got a goodie bag at his Day Care that included this giant balloon. So he's playing with it...well mostly trying to attack me with it. Then I get the bright idea to break out the racquets. It was fun and Matt just watched from his exer-saucer. We didn't knock over too many things and probably take him out in the yard next. No pics my house is too much of a mess. Once he gets better at it, I'll keep getting smaller balloons then the sponge balls then real racquetballs!

04/12/09 Where's Panno?
The link to Jon Panno's Pannoramic View is no longer working and Aimee's blog is on blogspot? So did Jon hang up his blog? I doubt it. Anyway been playing phone tag, So it'll be cool to catch up and I'm curious to see what's up and if he needs help getting back to blogging. Played very hard on Friday and was feeling the knee slip like one of those action movies where one rattling bolt holds everything together. So 100%, I know I'm not, but still going for next month's wipeout.

04/12/09 Member Area Improvements
Need to provide a mechanism to help people get their user accounts back in order. So using phpMailer I plan on developing a reset password feature and reorganizing the sidebar. It's been a slow month for racquets, so working on getting other areas of the site improved. The Member area is pretty much the foundation for everything else, so that needs to be squared up.

04/05/09 "I love it when a plan comes together!"
Coding my Comments Section piece by agonizing piece would have been impossible without a plan. So I'm glad I was able to lay everything out, make a little progress each day, and go by the numbers until it was done. A lot of people are probably saying why not use something pre-built and move on. Well...I love programming, been into programming for a very long time. I also have a strong dislike for using other people's property...just makes it really hard to sell something that's not your's. Sure there's plenty of code out there or sites that do it better, but here. It's almost all mine. I used one function from a forum that displays the date in "Facebook" (3 days ago) time.

Next step, as I wrote on my main page, is to get some users making contributions and see what happens. I've been wanting to make some software to use EQP's code signing certificate for a while now. I also want to expand my stringing section and create a database for my stringing business that I can hopefully sell. Lastly want to expand the ELO Calculator so users can save data for up to ten people without retyping. With maybe small fees for additional features or more space.

04/04/09 Back to Normal!
I wanted to play at Rutgers and Hillsborough last night for more than socializing. I wanted to turn the dial up to near 100% and see what happens to the knee. Good news is nothing happened and I played pretty well. There's still a lot of things I need to address with my game and my weight before May 16th (Hillsborough's Wipeout
Round Robin), but I can attack those. It just feels really good to push myself on the court and not break down. I'll always use the knee brace, it gives me a lot of confidence and support.

I skipped State Singles because I need to put some serious training in to make sure my knee or other parts don't break down. Playing once a week is not going to get me a trophy in B's or C's. Not drilling, stretching, or training isn't going to help either. So by next year, I hope to have improved in those areas. Wii Fit has been great for Karen and me. Karen logs about thirty to sixty minutes a day on it. I've been working on balance, yoga, and strength training. Yeah it may not be as good as hitting the gym, but it's better than nothing and those minutes add up.

04/01/09 Almost Got It.
Added my comments code to one of my articles today just to see how it works and after a couple of adjustments it works better than I expected. There's a couple of more tweaks to get rid of some seams and need to double check a lot of possible security problems, but overall it's just about done.

Of course, once it's in place. I need to notify a bunch of people that they can use their accounts for something useful. It's been a pretty good project and I can't wait to wrap it up and move on the next member area project. Happy four months Matt!

03/31/09 Catch Up.
Alex has been a great friend past couple of weeks and coming down on Fridays and just beating me silly. After each game, I feel my anger at losing building and building. I even played twice last week to which One Lee commented Alex is doing his job. I definitely need a goal to get back full force into Racquetball. I've been pushing my knee lately and it's been taking it with the brace of course. Think that's a pernament addition to my equipment...well maybe I can lose more weight. So many thanks Alex and you'd better not let up on me. One Lee has been giving me tips as well. So nice to have your support guys.

One Lee and I often talk about work and I told him about my business plans, etc. He gave me some great advice, he told me I'm a little too cozy and I'd better trade sleep for work on my projects. Resting in the comfort zone is not going to get me to where I want to be either in Business or in Racquetball. I know one way to get real un-cozy, but I'm not looking for that much uncomfort right now. It would be interesting to see what happens. Would I curl up in the fetal position or do I attack the problem? Would love to say attack the problem, but my self-esteem is still a little too fragile. It's better but I really need to develop and believe in a plan to get some strong armor around it.

One example, Enchanted Quill Press LLC made over three hundred dollars this quarter, which doubles the previous quarter. I tell my wife and all she says she made close to two hundred in one evening at her job in a pretty sarcastic tone (she was pretty tired from Matt), but that one still smarts a bit. I don't see her doing anything else on top of her regular income. So there!

I'm really pushing to finish one of my projects before jumping into something else. Just don't have the time to really crush it. There's more projects in my head than I could even list, but I need to focus on the projects that develop this site, develop the member area, and build its infrastructure.

03/20/09 Racquets, Racquets, and More Racquets!
Restringing has been very good lately and I would like to thank my friends: Alex, Dave, Joel, Pat, and Rich for making it possible. I really do like stringing, it's something I can focus on and get lost in watching the pattern come together. I also like hearing the good and sometimes bad feedback (thanks Monokill) and trying to help my customers/friends. Not sure I can or want to do it full-time. Since there's only so many racquetball customers I can reach every month, but it's a good step toward my goals. I still love programming and writing much more, but stringing is bringing in more business cashflow than both of those combined and so far it's been a great year! So more racquets please.

Working on the design of a Racquetball Stringing Database to help manage customers, inventory, work, and cashflow. It's going to be written in Access which I have over ten years of experience with. I thought about a PHP/MySQL version, but I don't want my customer data out there without making certain I'm doing all I can to protect it. Plus I've started most of my web projects in Access so I can go back and shape things without the major rework that happens in MySQL/PHP.

03/20/09 Blocked on Self-Esteem Article
Think I bit off more than I can chew. It's a really big subject and I'm not going to cover it in one 450 word article. There's also different aspects of self-esteem that I wanted to cover, so it's going to be a series of articles. I believe, I can draw upon my struggle with self-esteem and offer some good advice. I've been reading an old book on Copywriting and been trying to focus more on headlines and writing copy that helps sell an idea, a product, a service, etc. So will be looking to improve my headlines and polish up my writing.

03/12/09 Almost Done.
Submitted a series of comments to my local database this morning using the classes I developed a couple of months ago. It's a cool feeling of accomplishment to see the pieces fall into place and work as they should. Now just need some window dressing and other stuff to finish it off. I hope it helps develop the site and racquetball.

03/04/09 Brrrrr and back to the Drawing board.
Happy Birthday to my wife, Karen, today. I'm basically home today because the fan motor on my heating system broke down last night. I'm still waiting for the guy to show up and it's been all day. It's probably like 50 or lower in my computer area. So I can barely feel my fingers. Anyway things took a bad turn today with my objects for my comments section. I need to rework the form class I developed so it does less work and works better with other classes.

03/02/09 Sharper, but not sharp enough.
Played about three games on Friday night. Two cut-throats and I think one game with Alex Rtishchev. Known Alex for a long time and it's good to catch up both on and off the court with him. He gives me the run down from Busch and what's going on with the ladder over there. Ajay stop dodging Alex and play him for the ladder! During the cut-throat games I dominated a lot of third shots and turned them into pinches. It wasn't totally on the mark, but it was deliberate and it was working.

I remember Alex being on the right side returning serve near the safety zone. I served it right to him, he couldn't really get a racquet on it and I finished the third shot off with a pinch to the right corner. It felt graceful like something I could watch on instant replay all day.

Did better vs. Alex in Singles, but not enough to win. My shots weren't sharp enough and he can still out hit and run me. So I'm still pretty far from my objective of getting back to Tournaments. I'm also on the second night of my CPAP (Constant Positive Airway Pressure) therapy and I think it's making a difference in my life already. Still not getting eight hours due to the boys and stuff around the house, but it's better quality sleep. I haven't been ripping it off my face, asleep, like I did the first time.

02/22/09 A New Lease on the Knee.
I was so happy playing on Friday. I used my brace with my orthodics and the instability of my knee was almost gone. I was also spared the discomfort when the knee gave out. So I went after everything. I know, I'm not fastest guy out there, but for the months after my injury…there were turtles faster than me and I hated playing. It was such a great feeling to be able to run and get to shots that I would have let go.

I laughed with my friends again and could really enjoy racquetball. I'm still fat and there's still a problem with my knee, but I'm glad I can support the knee, be near pain free, and really enjoy racquetball again. Thanks to my wife who really helped me get back on track when I first got hurt.

02/20/09 Nothing Left but Projects
Can write about things up to a point then it becomes time to just kncok some projects out. Think I'm there, I've planned and thought about my class objects and other stuff and when there's nothing left to plan or write about...It's just time to start coding. A lot of stuff on my site is up to that point where a little work is not going to make a big difference. So time to clear the desk and start coding.

One of my coding projects is to help another league get off the ground. I want to run another league, but don't have time for all the paperwork, so one of the goals for the system is to eliminate as much of it as possible. With an SSL certificate I can do a lot more securely. So since all the lights are green might as well get it out of park and go.

Looking forward to playing tonight with an old friend, Erik Lopez, and just hitting the ball around. Also have a student that I'm giving lessons to once a week (thanks Gloria), so hope to develop his skills. I know, I can't get him to Open level or anything, but I can give him the basics and some mechanics that have helped me. He's 21 and pretty fast so with the right skillset, he should be beating me soon.

02/10/09 Aimee Ruiz Blogs from the 2009 National Doubles
A bunch of people are going from Jersey as noted on the NJAR site. Pretty sure I'm the guy she's writing about unless someone else has a racquetball blog that zapped her twice. Anyway I wanted to publicly apologize to Aimee for those comments. I thought back to one of the first meetings of the (...) and they were discussing something about awards. I remember Gloria chimed in just give all the awards to Aimee. First thought, why? Well I know why now. She's a great player and has represented the U.S. National Team, won more titles than I can remember and still has the heart to come down to play at Rutgers not once but twice. She also helps as VP to (...), helps run tournaments, and offers to write about her tournaments despite what a lowly racquetball troll unfairly writes about it.

Anyway good luck Aimee and keep on writing. Just keep it all in one place, so your site rankings don't start over each time. Sorry...I'll be quiet.

Matt at 2 months02/01/09 Matthew Turns Two Months!
Past two months have gone by pretty quick and adjusting to two kids has been pretty rough on everyone, but it's all good in the end. Matt's starting to smile at me and wants to stand and be walked around the house just like his brother. Yeah some tough financial times are ahead and having two boys in day care is going to be the worst of it...I hope.

What does Matt like to do? Burp mostly, but he likes to ride in his swing and watch the birds and other animals spin around. He's starting to pack on the pounds. At Church, I saw another Dad holding his son while he slept. Just at that toddler stage and I thought back to when Jason was that age. Not exactly a baby and not exactly a little boy. Funny to see my relationship with Jason changing and how much he can do for himself. Don't get too old too fast Matt. Let Daddy enjoy you for a while.

01/31/09 Framework Almost Done
The problem with mapping something out, there's parts of the map that need more mapping. There's about seven classes or objects that make up the comments section. I basically wanted the framework to avoid a lot of the repetitive code I need to write for my applications. As I work on the objects, I can use them to build more and more features. I'm starting to test different parts and see where it breaks down. If it breaks? Guess what? More Mapping.

I thought on more than one occasion I was wasting my time on a framework that it'll be better and faster to do everything by hand, but I really enjoy object oriented programming and having those objects do all the work with very little code drove me forward. Once the framework is done and tested, I'll probably port it to ASP and ASP.NET, which are other web programming languages.

01/31/09 Catch Up
The past two weeks have been pretty busy, so not sure where to be begin. Might as well start with whatever is on my mind:

  • Out of the NJAR.
  • Another Sleep Study.
  • Battle for the #1 Racquetball Blog.

Out of the NJAR
Got an email that the NJAR wants to look for another web-master. After missing another meeting, I told my wife...I'm probably going to get fired. Her first thought was from Rutgers, I said no, the Racquetball Thing. Oh, well you're just too busy. I sat on the email for a while. No sense getting angry over an outcome that was eventually going to happen anyway. One way or the other.

Some good things did happen. I had my name mentioned on Ray Davis' Racquetball Roundtable and in Racquetball Magazine which was pretty cool. Hopefully not my fifteen minutes of Fame. It was also great to see New Jersey Racquetball get bigger and more organized than I ever remembered before. There's been some bad stuff of course. I felt creatively hand-cuffed and there was a limit to what I could write about the NJAR before causing problems. In short, I lost my edge and there was nothing left to write about.

I emailed my farewells to the group and to Jon. I do plan to keep playing tournaments, but I'm far too busy to be part of the State Organization at this time. I have a lot of things to do and fix. Another part, that kind of hurt, I really thought of some of them as good friends, but as my involvement started to wane so did their friendship and that's personally ok. Better to know now and not when I really needed to depend on them.

Another Sleep Study.
The name is wrong...they should call it "Attempt to Sleep Study". Had two nights. One night was without a CPAP in a hot room with some massive pillows. I asked for another pillow and they didn't have any. The next night, I saw much thinner pillows and also brought my own from home, so felt that was kind of BS. Also the room was much cooler the second night, guess my complaints and eval the next morning resolved that. Slept better with the CPAP on my own pillow. It's a different machine from what I have at home and I'll need a humidifier without question.

I go back in a couple of weeks to go over the results. Need to drop weight and use the CPAP. Dropping the weight can probably be handled by dropping soda from my diet.

Battle for the #1 Racquetball Blog on Google
For a while, I had the #1 Racquetball Blog on Google. Now the Racquetball Blog is in the #1 spot for "Racquetball Blog" and my site is still #1 for "Racquetball Blogs" on Google. I like that he writes about Racquetball with the professionalism it deserves. I normally write about anything but racquetball. So for a while, I just thought about letting him have #1 without much of a fight, but now that the chain is off from the NJAR. Maybe I'll need to keep him on his toes. After all, if we don't have rivals...we get comfortable. I was so comfortable that I didn't even know I was in the top spot.

01/13/09 "Run Forest! Run!!"
Walked to the Rutgers Student Center on Busch Campus yesterday for lunch, yes walked. Pretty risky since it freezing and the paths were pretty icy. After the walk, I felt pretty good and when walking back to my car to go home. I did something I haven't done since I got hurt at State Doubles...I sprinted. Pretty much as hard and as fast as I could. Surprised I was still walking afterward and how out of breath I was. This morning, I feel the knee a little and keep thinking what a dumb move it probably was, but...

Lately I've been playing very tentative and not having much fun. Thinking one step is going to cause me pain or have my knee give out leads to some pretty boring racquetball. So in a way, I'm glad I pushed my limits and survived. Playing tonight with my brace and I hope I play near normal. If I can't get to 100% then I won't look forward to playing.

01/08/09 Harsh Welcome
I went to the courts on Tuesday thinking I would just hit a few and try to get all the kinks out...Well that was the plan until a student (Matt) asked me to play. After losing the first two games, the idea of justing hitting around went out the window. I was getting pretty pissed that some kid with a two handed backhand was beating me and giving me so much trouble. Guess what it comes down to is that I'm still afraid to fire the jets and get to the ball, but I'm moving a lot better and just need to get over it and push.

I was hammering my head pretty good with a lot of negative self-talk, lack of confidence, etc. Pretty much on the ropes after each dumb shot. It wasn't until I yelled at myself to start seeing his weaknesses, to start getting a weak return, to take advantage of him being deep in the court that I started to get more points and eventually won a game. It also took a few games to get all the rust off and start hitting some better shots. My arm was also a little too rested and I was hitting the ball pretty reckless and hard. Bought some new sneakers for work and didn't have my orthodics and pounded the crap out of my feet.

So being out of practice, sleep-deprived, and loaded up on caffennie sure made me quite the mess out there. I'd better get my act together before the Racquetball class next month.

01/01/09 Happy New Year!
Always some house keeping the start of a new year. Basically moving all my stuff from the previous year and updating all the pages. Wish I had more done on my new comments module for my site, but everything is coming together according to plan. It's easy to just put something together and throw it out there, it's more difficult to develop a plan and build a system that can be expanded upon in the future. There's often a heavy price to pay for shortcuts. There's also often a heavy price to pay for being second with an idea. Safe to say I'm not first with this idea, so might as well take my time.

Back to the framework, one of the systems I want in place is the forms framework. I want to make easy to build new features on my site and make sure they are developed as secure as possible. Also with my programming I'd rather take more time and make sure everything is mapped out on paper, documents, and even flowcharts. In school, a long time ago, documentation was an after-thought. Nowadays developing the system before coding is key. Case and point, I'm still using the same 2.0 framework for this site and can still add new features as easily as day one. So definitely want to continue building upon this solid foundation.

The comments section framework actually provides something for members to use on my site. When logged in, people can comment on articles, blog postings, and other areas of the site. The idea is to develop another framework that I can use to develop new tools and increase the community and services I can offer. Yeah it's easy to call it another Facebook, but not planning on sharing pictures or having quotes about what I'm doing right now. The ultimate focus is to develop relationships for racquetball and have fun doing it.


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