Monday, May 27, 2013

The Evil Pool

Right off the bat I should apologize. This post has nothing to do about fish, and yes I chose the title to make you think it did.  Let's be honest; you wouldn't have read it if I hadn't done that.

And with that out of the way I feel free to explain how incredibly difficult snooker is. Yes, I know your first response: "what the hell is snooker???" Snooker is a variation of pool played in the UK on an enormous table with slightly smaller balls and pockets with curved entrances. Right off the bat you should realize that a much larger table with smaller balls makes this game quite a bit more difficult. And no the pockets are not proportionally larger. I had assumed the game would be certainly harder than pool, but upon seeing the table I wasn't sure how to take the rounded pocket bumpers. Are rounded bumpers easier than the normal straight and pointy bumpers of pool? Rounder seems softer and easier, doesn't it?

I wasn't sure until we started playing. But the more we played the more I became convinced that rounded bumpers were significantly harder. Every ball that was hit near a pocket but touched the bumper was rejected. Even the ones I was sure were going in, and no not just my shots; everyone's shots. I expected a good number of these shots to simply tick the bumper and drop right in.  Instead when they touched the bumper, they'd be violently slapped away from the pocket as if a miniature Dikembe Mutombo (very miniature) were filming a commercial on our table and we were the poor suckers slated to get rejected.

Finally by the end of the night I had to take a ball and roll it along the bumper to see how much deviation would be tolerated. The answer was virtually none. If the ball hits the bumper it will be rejected at least 95% of the time. Only if it just barely brushes the bumper does it still go in. And don't forget the table is 12 feet long. These rounded bumpers are to pool as a 13 foot Dikembe Mutombo would be to basketball; slapping just about any and all of your shots right out of the sky and high up into the stands, leaving you looking like a complete incompetent fool who has no business playing this game. You might even find yourself weeping in the corner.

And so after a couple hours of play, I had concluded that snooker is an evil version of pool. The game takes forever, is impossibly and unnecessarily difficult, and you even have to do math in your head! I'm not sure what's wrong with the English, but it is certainly something significant.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Sunburns and Scales

It's been an incredibly nice spell out here in the PacNW over the past week or so. And the fish are feeling it too. I spent some time on Sunday working on my tan and trying to learn a little about carp. So far I continue to be a bit confused and frustrated but at least fish still come to hand. The fish themselves seem to be going crazy in full spawn, or maybe they're just loving the turn of sunshine like I am. And I'm also now sporting a nice pinkish hue to my skin, another sign that summer is nigh!