Krazy TT

October 23, 2013

Knee Update

I gave a 1.5 hour coaching session yesterday, but could only hobble around, and ended up doing multiball or serve practice for over half the session. As I blogged on Monday, I injured the right knee on Saturday. So I've had to cancel all my coaching tonight - three hours. (Every other week I have four hours on Wednesday nights, but this was an "off" Wednesday.) Coach Raghu is subbing for one of the hours, while the other two are taking the week off. (One is having arm problems and could use the rest.)

Coaching is one of those professions where you HAVE to stay healthy or you run into serious problems. Some remember all the back problems I had in 2011; I overcame that with a lot of stretching and specialized weight training. Then, other than a cold or two, I was healthy for two years. A few weeks ago I had to take most of a week off with arm problems. And now this.

For most of our 21 years, MDTTC had cement floors. This has no give, and so led to knee problems for me (and others) during the late 90s and early 2000s. Then, about 6-7 years ago, we went to the soft red flooring that's so popular at professional clubs and major tournaments. Since then I've had no knee problems until now. This injury wasn't because of the floor, however; I just put weight on it wrong.

Lefties at the 2013 LIEBHERR Men's World Cup

The Men's World Cup starts in three days, Oct. 25-27 in Verviers, Belgium. Here's an interesting tidbit: of the 20 players participating, 40% are lefties. (That's eight of them for the math challenged.) According to Wikipedia, about 12% of men and 10% of women are lefties. So here's my challenge to readers: Who can first name the eight lefties among the 20 players? (And no, I can't; I don't know all these players.)

Fantasy Table Tennis

Yesterday I listed the numerous table tennis excerpts from my upcoming novel, "Sorcerers in Space." Here's an article I wrote in 2009 that was published in Fantasy Magazine, "The Table Tennis Fantasy Tour." It gave a rundown of some of the fantasy table tennis in movies, TV, and books, such as movies "Forrest Gump," "Balls of Fury," "A Matter of Life and Death," and "You Can't Cheat an Honest Man"; TV shows "Gary Shandling's Show," "Ping-Pong Club," and "Get Smart," and the fantasy novel "Robot Adept" - as well as my own short story "Ping-Pong Ambition."

ITTF Trick Shot Competition

Because of recent arm problems, and now a knee injury, plus the inconvenience of not having a video camera (I was going to borrow one), and simply being too busy on other issues, I haven't been able to put together a video for the ITTF Trick Shot Competition, alas. The deadline is Friday, Oct. 25. I had two tentatively planned. But doing one now is mostly pointless as the online voting has gone on for weeks, and there's no way I can catch up.

For the first trick, I was going to stand 60 feet directly to the side of the table. I'd then do a high, sidespin serve that hits the table and jumps sideways so it hits both sides of the table, a legal serve (other than the fact that I would be standing in front of the extension of the end-line). I can do this either tomahawk style or pendulum style, but I get more distance with the tomahawk, with the ball curving to the left. I can do this serve pretty well over half the time. But it doesn't end there - I was going to prop up a ping-pong paddle on some books on the left side of the table, and try to hit it so the ball would bounce back to the right-hand-side of the table. But it doesn't end there either - I was going to try to make it land in a cup. (I'd put water at the bottom of the cup so it wouldn't bounce out.) I wonder how many tries it would have taken to get this done? One thing that would make it easier is that the big-breaking serve I do would always hit on the far left side of the table on the second bounce, so that's where I'd prop up the ping-pong paddle, angled just right.

For the second trick, I was going to push a table up against a wall, with the net parallel to it. I'd stand to the side of the table on the far side, with two balls in my hand. I'd then look up and blow one of the balls up in the air so it balances in the air - a trick I've done for years. Then, without being able to look down, I'd drop the other ball on the table and smack it against the far side of the table so it bounces up against the wall and back, and smacking the ball I'm balancing in the air.

Pretty good tricks if I could do them!!!

Table Tennis Charity Foundation

You can donate to this charity. "Our MISSION is to Raise Awareness of the THERAPEUTIC Value that Playing Table Tennis has for MENTAL HEALTH and BRAIN FITNESS! Our VISION is to Integrate Ping Pong Programs (as an educational & structured activity) for Senior Living Communities, Rehabilitation/Medical Facilities, AND our School Systems! And, as a 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization, We Utilize the Brain-Stimulating Sport of Table Tennis to Raise Money for Charity Partners Who Directly Benefit Those Facing Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Depression and Mild to Moderate Intellectual Challenges."

Interesting Table and Exhibition

Here's a picture of Mike Meier doing a behind-the-back shot in an exhibition.

Krazy Table Tennis

Here's a 1920s table tennis set - and yes, it's called "Krazy Table Tennis."

Fiery Table Tennis

That's a lot of fire.

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October 1, 2013

USATT Taking Over U.S. Government

With the U.S. government shutting down, there's a huge power vacuum. So USATT is stepping in to save the day. Obamacare will now distribute health insurance and a wide variety of ping-pong products. Social Security now means that if you are 65 or older, you no longer have to pay membership at your ping-pong club. And the NSA will no longer spy on Americans; they are now secretly taping the Chinese National Team as they train.

Mike Babuin, chair of the USATT Board of Directors, has been sworn in as the new U.S. President. CEO Mike Cavanaugh has been sworn in as Vice President.

The rest of the USATT Board of Directors replaces congress as the Legislative Branch of the U.S. government. They are Anne Cribbs, Peter Scudner, Jim Kahler, Kagin Lee, Edward Levy, Attila Malek, and Han Xiao.

USATT pro bono lawyer Dennis Taylor has been sworn in as the new Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

The President's Cabinet has 15 departments - and by a strange coincidence, there are 15 USATT Committees. Effective immediately:

  • Agriculture Department will be taken over by the USATT Editorial Committee, chaired by Jim McQueen. A lot of what the Agriculture Department does is sending out written info to farmers. First release will be instructions on the growing of table tennis sponge, a highly lucrative crop whose street value is higher than crack cocaine.
  • Commerce Department will be taken over by the USATT Marketing and Fund Raising Committee, chaired by Jim Kahler. The dollar bill will be replaced by the ping-pong ball, the new international monetary standard.
  • Defense Department will be taken over by the USATT High Performance Committee, chaired by Carl Danner. The current secret plans to invade Syria, Iran, and North Korea have been shelved; instead, we will invade China and kidnap Zhang Jike, Ma Long, Wang Hao, and Xu Xin and make them practice partners for the U.S. Team.  
  • Education Department will be taken over by the USATT Junior Committee, chaired by Rajul Sheth. We'll finally get table tennis into the schools by executive order.
  • Energy Department will be taken over by the USATT Coaching Committee, chaired by Federico Bassetti. (It takes a lot of energy to coach!) With Big Oil now dominating the coaching committee, all coaches will be required to wear logos signifying which oil company controls them, i.e. ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron, PetroChina, etc.
  • Health and Human Services will be taken over by the USATT Ethics and Grievance Committee, chaired by Jim Coombe. First step will be to bring back speed glue, right?
  • Homeland Security will be taken over by the USATT Hardbat Committee, chaired by Alberto Prieto. Hardbat people have a lot of experience defending their game.
  • Housing and Urban Development will be taken over by the USATT League Committee, chaired by David Del Vecchio. New housing law: all houses must contain a ping-pong table.
  • Interior Department will be taken over by the USATT Club Committee, chaired by Attila Malek. First act will be to declare the U.S. one big ping-pong club. The U.S. has an area of 3.794 million square miles, or about 4 x 10^14 square feet. Assuming 40'x20' courts, that's enough room for 132,213,312,000 ping-pong courts.
  • Labor Department will be taken over by the USATT Compensation Committee, chaired by Mike Babuin. Henceforth all government payments shall be made in ping-pong balls.
  • State Department will be taken over by the USATT Nominating and Governance Committee, chaired by Bob Fox. Why? Because Bob's been the USATT Team Manager at about 10,000 international events, and so has traveled the world and personally knows all seven billion people on earth.
  • Transportation Department will be taken over by the USATT Tournament Committee, chaired by Larry Rose. You have to travel to tournaments. Plans are coming for bullet trains to connect all the major tournament cities.  
  • Treasury Department will be taken over by the USATT Audit Committee, chaired by Peter Scudner. First act will be to look into how a sheet of table tennis sponge can cost $80. Second act will be to sell enough sheets of $80 sponge to raise the money to import the 132,213,312,000 ping-pong tables and nets from China needed for the Interior Department's plan to turn the U.S. into a ping-pong club (see above). Third act will be to raise the debt ceiling to one zillion ping-pong balls (see Commerce Department above) so that we never have to deal with it again.
  • Veterans Affairs will be taken over by the USATT Seniors Committee, chaired by Gregg Robertshaw. Everyone over age 50 must now use long pips.
  • Attorney General will be taken over by the USATT Officials and Rules Committee, chaired by Roman Tinyszin. Congress shall be red-carded.

Oh, and since they have nothing else to do, the U.S. government is taking over USATT. I'll let readers decide who is now in charge of each USATT function. (It's times like this that I have to bite my tongue and not write my views on this whole government shutdown. This is a table tennis blog, not a political blog, and so I'll restrain myself.)

Arm Problems

My arm is still bothering me. I have a 90-minute coaching session scheduled today which I was going to cancel. However, the student agreed to do 90 minutes of multiball and serve practice, so I'm going to go ahead and do the session. I'm 90% that I'm going to have to cancel my three hours of private coaching on Wednesday. I'm pretty sure the arm will be fine by the weekend.

2014 USA Junior & Cadet Team Trials

Here's info on the Trials, to be held at the USA Nationals in December.

Make Your Serves More Effective

Here's the article from Table Tennis Master.

The Amazing Block of Kenta Matsudaira

Here's the video (1:50). He's world #18. Note how his normal block has good topspin.

Krazy Table Tennis

Someone just sold a 1920s Krazy Table Tennis set! For just £49.99 (that's $81.15) they got net and brackets, 4 original branded balls, 6 different and really strange shaped wooden bats, and instructions.
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