When I see the likes of Alan Stern, Pete Skaggs, Tom Brown, Bruce Dambrosio and David Postal walk into our playroom, I know that I am in for a tough but exciting day and night. I can be fairly certain that my won-lost record for the day will suffer but i don’t care. I enjoy the competition, camaraderie and laughter I am about to experience!
Peter Skaggs, an old friend of mine and a fellow Kansas City native, hasnt been to the Club in over a year so I was quite surprised to see him yesterday. I thought he didn’t love me any more but maybe I was mistaken. He brings a certain demeanor to the Club that has been sorely lacking for quite some time. He plays the game, is very quiet as he goes about his business. We hope to see a lot more of him in the future.
Alan Stern on the other hand is quite a character. He’s fun loving, plays a very strong game of Scrabble and travels really long distances from his home above Los Angeles to the confines of Huntington Beach. More on his performance later.
Tom Brown has to be the nicest guy on the planet Earth. Since his inaugural appearance several months ago, he hasn’t missed a beat. He travels from Santa Monica to HB every Tuesday and stays the entire day and night.
I will try to be nice when I speak of my next member of Club 34 LOL.. David Postal spends alot of time traveling around the country but when in town finds his way to Club 34 often. With his biting and funny sarcastic approach, with his pungent satire of me personally, the way I run my Club and how I write my Blog, I can always expect some kind of remarks coming from him to me throughout the day. But I don’t mind. I actually find it amusing and know that it’s all in good fun. As a result however, I will be making some changes in my weekly Blog. More on this later.
Must I not forget Bruce Dambrosio. What can I say that hasn’t been said before. When I come into the playroom at 12:30, Bruce is already there. His adjudicator is set up ready to go, He is at his preferred spot. I know that he will always have my back regarding any rules questions that need to be addressed. And I always know that he will provide excellent competition. Bruce has been a faithful attendee of Club 34 and this also means the Friday sessions.
I was so happy to see 3 new but old players come back to Club 34. I already mentioned Pete Skaggs but lets not forget Carol Wilson and Francina Bailey. These 2 ladies appeared at Club 34 a few years ago and actually met there. They kept up their friendship through Words with Friends but decided to reappear yesterday for some live action. I certainly hope they return more often. Carol lives locally, is retired and that is all I got out of her. Francina is an RN that works at Wilmington Kaiser Hospital. When I told her of the new Friday sessions, she seemed very excited. I think Fridays may be more suitable to her schedule than Tuesdays, one of the main reasons I decided to pursue a Friday session that now plays out from 11-3 pm.
For the fifth time in the history of Club 34 it reached the 30 player plateau as 30 players were in attendance yesterday afternoon with 12 at night. With the continued growth of Club 34 comes the perpetual problems of noise and score keeping. Therefore, there will be some changes in how we do business and they will be heavily enforced. I know that I have mentioned these before, but I MEAN it this time.
I hope that when all of you see that I mean business, these problems will take care of themselves. I know that in the past some of you have called me “Der Fueher”, somewhat degrading but I don’t really care. As long as I get the job done and the Club runs smoothly, I don’t care.
In the past I have suggested to all members to wear ear plugs if the noise really bothers them. No one seems to follow this directive and as a matter of fact I was advised that some of you have tinnitus, a ringing in the ears, aggravated by the use of earplugs. Therefore, starting next Tuesday, I will impose a $1 fine on anyone who I deem to be making excessive noise. I will ask all of you to stop your clocks so that I can impose that fine on the guilty party. The only noise I want to hear is the verification and announcement of your scores during the game. When your game is over and you want to talk, go outside the room. I will ask all of you to close the doors of the playroom to drown out extraneous noise coming from the dining room. Mark Bennett gave me a $2 deposit when I announced our new noise infractions so he had some leeway over the next two games!!
You MUST turn off or turn to the vibrate or silence mode your cell phones when you enter the playroom. Those who don’t will be imposed a $1 penalty. There will be no exceptions. If any of you have ever been to the “Dr. Phil” show and I have 5 times, all cell phones are collected at the door and returned once the shows are done filming. I don’t want to go that far and hope that I never do.
Now for score keeping, I have been getting complaints from Amnon Meyers on a weekly basis about this matter. He cant read some of these score sheets or there are gross addition problems over and over again. I don’t know how many of you know Larry Rand but he runs a very effective tournament in Phoenix. He uses a very solid method to deal with this problem, otherwise known as the ‘Friend of the Director’ policy. He imposes a $1 fine for each participant for that game if the numbers dont match. Therefore, from now on, each player must make sure that the scores match and your additions are correct for your totals to date on all previous games BEFORE you turn in your score sheets to me. If there are mistakes, you will be imposed a $2 fine. I know this will make Amnon very happy. On the bright side of things, whoever turns in a flawless score sheet at the end of the session will get a $1 reward. That means no addition mistakes, no misspelling of opponent’s names, put first and last name of opponent on score sheet since there are multiple Toms, Davids and Najats LOL in Club 34. This also includes no crossing out of names or numbers on the score sheet. Flawless means flawless…. Turn in a pristine score card and you get $l.
I received a text from Holly Derheim yesterday. She informed me that she would not be returning because of work and family responsibilities. She has become the stepmother to 3 teenage children of her boyfriend Andres so she has alot of stuff on her plate. I was very sorry to hear this but then a bolt of lightening hit me as I was driving to the Club yesterday. I sent her a text to find out if her stepkids like to play Scrabble. She texted me back to say that they all love it so I invited them all to Club 34. I am hoping that they do, thus adding to my young division. She was to speak with them last night and let me know.
The new Club 34 sign appeared for the first time at the front counter of the IHOP yesterday. But as predicted, it was hard to see, Its blue background is the same as the IHOP lettering and its a bit too small. I therefore with make a bigger sign with a different background, perhaps white or yellow. Kim Peterson came up with a brilliant idea and if Hector approves, I will do this also. There are several windows to the IHOP restaurant promoting pancakes etc. But there are several windows vacant so I will ask Hector if I can put one or two windows to use with Club 34 posters. If he gives me the go ahead, I will ask the same company I just used to make me some additional posters or flyers promoting Club 34 and easily visible for all patrons of the IHOP.
Beth Byrne, one of our newest and brightest stars, is vacationing in Eygpt. She is having a great time, says hello to everyone, and will return next week. She sent me a selfie with her standing next to her newest and furriest BFF. How adorable she looked and what a family resemblance LOL..
Our next and first Club 34 Blankheads party is fast approaching. It will be on Oscar Sunday February 24 from 10 am to 4pm at Joanie Scafuto’s clubhouse. I will ask Joanie to put forth a map with directions and where to park once you get there. I will assign food and drinks to all players in the next week. We have 16 committed, 2 are tentative, but if they show, I need only 2 more. I will have divisions of 6 with a true Round Robin and KOTH(king of the hill). There maybe some small prizes given out for the winners. I haven’t thought about that yet but I will probably come up with something. I want at least 2 more people to sign up by next Tuesday. I have to turn in the signup sheet to Joanie by then so she can give to the property manager of Rancho del Rey Mobile Homes before February 24.
In closing I want to introduce some new innovations to my weekly Blog at the suggestion of Alan Stern and David Postal. I know that everyone loves reading this Blog but now I will include some outstanding achievements from the last session which was yesterday.
A new concept starts today. The up or down ladder is a brilliant idea straight from the desk of Alan Stern. Yesterday Peter Skaggs posted for the afternoon session the following scores: 346, 389, 423, and 430. Since Peter hadn’t been to Club 34 in a year, he was just getting warmed up in those first few games. No one fell victim to the down ladder which means simply declining scores from first to last game.
Elly Cienfuegos, one of our youngest players at the age of 92, comes to the Club every Tuesday afternoon for fun and conversation mostly. She doesn’t win a lot of games but she did win one yesterday. Maybe all that studying is finally paying off. Lorry Higgins again went 4-0 with an average of 413 and 7 bingos in the afternoon. If she keeps this up, she will advance to Div A next year. Gary Moss also went 4-0 in Div A with averages of 423 and 8 bingos.
But the player of the day has to be Alan Stern with averages of 435 and 8 bingos in the afternoon, 464 and 11 bingos at night. A total of 19 bingos, well done Alan!! Unfortunately though, I do seem to recall having a few 20 plus bingo sessions at Club 34. But this doesn’t take away from the excellent performance from a dear friend of mine who told me a long time ago that he stopped studying in 1983.
So there you have it. You should be seeing longer versions of the weekly Blog from now on sprinkled with Biographical sketches of new players from time to time.
David Poder, Director