The Word Is Out!!

Club 34 is no longer a secret!!  With the recent additions of Rene Kahn and Donna Dawalabee, just about every local Scrabble player in Orange County comes to the IHOP on a Tuesday afternoon and night!!  I am not mentioning the ones who come from San Diego, San Clemente, Riverside, Santa Clarita, Tuscon and Los Angeles.  27 and 13 came to its hallowed halls for another day of scrabbling.  Our attendance numbers are coming back to pre-holiday ones and its only going to get better.

Club 34 was very happy to welcome two new additions to its family.  Sheila and Zach Bulthuis found us on the internet and I am so glad they did.  A young couple from Fountain Valley, Zach is a practicing attorney and Sheila manages stuff but Im not quite sure what at this point.  They have been playing Scrabble with each other for years and now want to branch out to other people. I have a feeling that they will become regular players at Club 34 in the future.  With their additions as well as Helen Cooper and Holly Derheim, Club 34 has become much younger and certainly much more attractive in recent weeks.

With all the new additions recently, I want to reiterate how important it is to continue with the ‘voluntary’ donations’.  All of these $$ are used for advertising costs to cover the local newspapers, the Meetup Site, as well as to provide for lottery tickets, IHOP gift cards and other awards given throughout the year.  Even though I have a fairly large Mercedes payment every month, these $$ are not used for that. And I certainly dont take out a salary to run this club!!  LOL…

Because we have alot of new  members, I want to remind all of you to please use the facilities at the IHOP.  The food and beverage there are improving so eat, drink and be merry on Tuesday afternoon and evening.  After all, we are one of the few FREE clubs throughout the world so lets continue to  make the IHOP very happy.

I also want to remind all of you to stay home if you are feeling ill.  Most of you have taken heed of this.  Jeff Polan did just that by staying away yesterday.  However, I feel that one of our members had just too many sniffles last night and it is my medical opinion and I have the right to a medical opinion he should have stayed home.  Are you listening RS??  We are experiencing a serious flu epidemic in this country and state so we have to take every precaution to be safe!!  That includes washing your hands frequently, covering your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough and keeping your equipment, mainly tile bags and tiles as clean as possible!!

As long as we are speaking of health issues, Club 34 wishes Barbara Creighton a speedy recovery after her surgery this week.  We also learned that Pat Reed has finally returned home after a 2 week hospital stay.  We hope to see both of them back at Club 34 shortly.

This next item of business is directed to my 2 co-directors.  And you know who you are!!  LOL.  Since one of them was ill yesterday, it doesnt take a genius to figure out who I am speaking to.  When two new players make their inaugural appearance at Club 34 and in this case it was husband and wife. DO NOT pair them for any of the games!!!  A few years ago when I was ill and could not attend, a VIP( very important person) showed up for the first time all the way from Los Angeles and he was asked to sit out the first game because he picked the ‘bad’ card.  It doesnt matter.  I would hope that my co-directors pay attention to this and make changes when  necessary.  It doesnt take a whole lot of common sense to follow this idea…

Next item of business….  I certainly encourage all of you to eat and drink but if you have a glass of water or soft drink or a cup of coffee on the playing surface, be VERY careful..  Place said glass as far away from the clock and board and tiles as possible.  Be very aware.  A disaster happened yesterday and it was in one of my games no less…  No Im not the guilty party!!

I am going to make another little tweak in how we do things.  When you report to the playroom, come to my desk and report that you are here so I can fill out a score sheet for you.  With the growing size of Club 34, mistakes are made and not found out til pairings are made for game #1.  So stop by and say hello..

As you all will recall, I stated a few weeks back that I would give some instruction and talk about the rules of the game in my weekly Blog…  So here goes another pearl of wisdom.  Two weeks ago I told everyone “learn all the two and three letter words”!!  That is the first thing you should do when learning the words..  Now I want to tell all of you how important it is to balance your rack.  Dont always make the highest scoring play; not if your rack balance is awful.  Try to keep an equal number of vowels and consonants when you make a play.  The object of the game of Scrabble is to bingo early and bingo often.  You get 50 extra points when you bingo.  You want to score more points than your opponent and score as many points per turn as you can.  Try to stay away from the 7 or 10 point plays.  Aim for 20 or more per turn..   But sometimes that isnt possible if you want to maintain good rack balance. This is why you see the expert players score more than 400 points per game.  And average 2 or 3 bingos per game.  So that is what you need to strive for as your Scrabble game evolves.

Rule IV.B.1.  How to Draw Tiles.   Hold the bag so the opening is above eye level and look away from the bag… Never hold tiles in one hand while drawing tiles with the other.  Always open the drawing hand before drawing.  Place tiles either onto your rack or preferably face down on the table and then onto your rack….

 

See all of you next week!!\

 

David Poder, Director

 

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