February 26, 2018

Tip of the Week
Sound and Feet.

Friday Twos
Friday was a red-letter day for me for multiple reasons, and they all came in twos.

I had to do two "bad" things - I had my shoulder MRI, and I did my taxes. I meet with my doctor Twosday (smirk) at 1PM to go over the MRI results and find out if I have a torn rotator cuff - i.e. will I be out for weeks or months. (I'm already scheduled for physical therapy three times per week, one hour each time. I have session #2 today at 11AM.) Here's what an MRI machine looks like - I was in it for 30 minutes with my shoulder strapped down to immobilize it. As to taxes, someone's got to pay for Trump's golf outings. These two bad things happened on Friday the 23rd, where of course the two is all that keeps it from being Friday the 13th.

I finalized the entry form for the Maryland State Championships (June 2-3) and ordered 32 (two to the fifth) plaques - the latter is time consuming as you have to type in the text for each one, and each plaque has two lines. And then, after some emails, I had to start over with changes in events and time scheduling, and had to cancel the plaque order. Later today I will for the second time finalize the entry form (including events and scheduling), and for the second time order the plaques.

After hitting an even 200 pounds on Christmas, on Friday I hit 182 pounds. I've held steady since then, but expect to hit 180 within a week.

Due to the shoulder problems I've had to cancel all private coaching since last Twosday (smirk) but I'm still doing group sessions, and did group sessions on two days just after Friday - a two-hour session on Saturday, and two sessions on Sunday totaling five minutes short of two hundred minutes. For the beginning junior class, the focus was on two things: pushing and random drills. For the advanced juniors, the focus was also on two things: serve and attack, and good placement. 

On Friday night I saw two movies, "Annihilation" and "Call Me By Your Name." (I've already seen every other good movie out, and most of the bad ones too, including, of course, "Black Panther." I've now seen all nine Academy Award Nominees, liked six of them.) Regarding the movie "Annihilation," I not only read the book as well, but attended a writing workshop years ago by the author, Jeff VanderMeer. (Yes, the last name has two capitalized letters.) With MoviePass, I see most movies for free, other than the annual $105 cost, plus popcorn and Mr. Pibb. Alas, you can only see one free movie per day with MoviePass, so I paid for the second one - but it was worth it as I was celebrating the sale to Analog (see below). I guess some wealthy people can afford to see two movies a day - I wish I could go to two too. (Smirk.)

In my other world of science fiction writing, Friday was one of the best days I've ever had - I made two major sales, one to Galaxy's Edge (one of the big "pro" magazines), and another to . . . Analog!!! Analog is the "biggest" of the science fiction magazines in the English world. It's my first sale to them, something I've been trying to do for a while. They get about 1000 submissions per month, accept four. (Other stories are from "big-name" authors.) I also finalized two new stories over the weekend. Overall I've now sold 90 short stories, 25 of them to the big "pro" magazines, plus four novels. But table tennis still pays the bills!

Yahao Zhang Forehand Tips
Here's the video (1:33). Why isn't your forehand like this?

Forehand Topspin
Here's the article from Eli Baraty.

The BIG benefit of Watching Your Opponent
Here's the article by Tom Lodziak.

New from EmRatThich

ITTF World Team Cup
The 2018 World Team Cup finished yesterday in London. Here's the news page.

Help Fund Coaches for MDTTC Juniors at U.S. Nationals
Here's the funding page. So far they've raised $834. Can you help?

Capital Area Table Tennis League
The Capital Area Table Tennis League will be starting its next season soon. They currently have 17 teams signed up, and have room for one more. If you are in the Washington DC area (including Maryland and Northern Virginia) and would like to be on a team, or have a team ready to join, contact them at the Contact Us page.

USATT News Items
I've been away since Thursday, and USATT's been busy on their news page. Here are eight news items they've put up since. Perhaps most interesting is the last one, where USA's 17-year-old Kanak Jha, world #88, upsets world #7 Wong Chun Ting from Hong Kong at the World Team Cup.

Sid & Nandan Naresh
Here are two new articles on the junior stars from the Chicago area.

International Training Camp in Hjoerring, Denmark
Here's info, and here's the flyer. The camp is July 15-31, though you can attend for smaller time periods.

Amazing World Cup Point - Fan Zhendong vs Harimoto Tomokazu
Here's the video (30 sec).

LEGO Hulk Ping Pong vs Spiderman
Here's the video (11:52)! The actual table tennis starts at 1:10 and continues for 26 seconds.

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