Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A lesson from Danny Diliberto

Golden1 Danny Diliberto is currently on tour, as the rock band type would say.
I play straight pool more often than not. It's my favorite game, actually. I like 8 ball next, then 1 pocket and the rest are outta the money, so they whatever.

I found out on that Danny Diliberto was going to be in a local pool hall giving some lessons, and I was going to be in the area.... so I stopped in

Going into the lesson I was thinking that I'd learn how to pick apart a rack and with the new found pattern play, break past my current 43 ball high run.
When Danny and I started the session he asked what game did I want to focus on. My response was the favorite... 14.1

He broke (a nearly perfect 2 balls out of the rack to the rail, back to original position break) amazingly... then we went back and forth about 2 or 3 innings.
I missed a couple of easy shots. I mean EASY easy shots... such as straight in, from inches away... bobble. Or I'd slice it into a diamond. Terrible misses. I felt like I was just learning to play.

After 2 or 3 misses I learned the most important part of the entire hour.
I said to Danny "Some days your on, some day's your not. Today, I'm completely off"
His response "You know the pros don't have on and off days. You know why? Because they've learned not to let themselves have an off day. When they're off, they slow down and find out why... and 15 minutes later... they're on. They don't give themselves excuses."

To some, this might not be a little gem stone in the coal mine... but for me, it spoke loudly.

The rest of the lesson was pretty casual, I could tell that Danny was tired from being on the road and giving lesson after lesson.
When I'd miss he'd move the balls back to their original position and say "again"... miss "again"... miss "again" until I got the shot right... position perfect. Then we'd move on.

Every time before I'd get down on a shot he was absolutely sure to remind me of a few things... a few things that we all have to remind ourselves from time to time...

Picture the shot in your mind before you even step into it... visualization.
Decide exactly what's going to happen, get down on the shot... watch the balls do exactly what they're supposed to before you even move a muscle.... take your practice strokes, pause to ensure everything is absolutely perfect... and follow through.

Follow through follow through follow the fuck through.
That was my issue.
main issue anyway

So I learned that I need to pay attention and focus on the table, not anything else.

So now I'm going to go polish the gems I just found... and go put it into a collage of artifacts that no one else cares about, but in the end... it might mean something to someone.

But at least it'll be fun getting there :)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A cat has 32 muscles in each ear.

During the summer each individual city/county has their own little "Taste of insert city name here"
Friday night I went to the local-est (that's a word, but don't look it up) one to me and I didn't taste any food, or drink any beer. Or play any pool.

But they had a couple of live bands there... one of which was very good.
I'm not a big fan of live music in bars and small venues... often times they're using concert speakers for a place that has signs on the wall "max capacity 110 "

It's too loud for such a small space... so I avoid karaoke (read: cock-a-rocky) nights and live band nights at bars and such. Usually they play songs from the classic rock genre that everyone knows, and only 40+ year old people actually get up and wiggle to the beat. Not a bad thing, but it seems that 9/10 cover bands... I could write a set list and be accurate on at least 5 songs. (not including which order the songs are played)

This band was outside in a little park setting... which has nothing to do with why they were a good band.
When I first got to the place they were playing some obscure music I've never heard before... didn't really sound like my slice of pie so I ignored it. The next song, and every song after that, I enjoyed very much.

They were playing Pink Floyd... all music from the same genre, but there's something about Pink Floyd that's a little more difficult than "Bad to the Bone" or "Hotel California"

I was only there for about an hour... and all they played was Floyd. I felt like I was at a live show from 20 years ago... spread out on a grassy knoll enjoying the acidic sounds of the night sky.
It was a beautiful thing...

The band was in tune... they were a tight group... changes were smooth... notes were hit... timing was right... and I'm tellin' you the voice was Syd Barrett in some other guy's throat, I swear.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Work is the curse of the drinking classes.

Legal I work the late shift... scheduled to leave an hour before we close. Often times since it's late, there's me and 1 or 2 other people... so I stick around for an hour or so to help out.
Because of this, and playing league, people have found out my dark secret... and it spread like wild fire here in this casual work place I call hell.

So this most recent independence day eve there was a bit of a get together at a local bar with a bunch of the folk from my hell.

The bar had 2 unmanaged bar box tables and I was called out to play.
The guy (for this, aka Chris Rock) I was pitted up against knew I played, and he's been calling me out for a few weeks... if not a month or 2 now.

So we get enough change for 4 games... We flip, I break, come up dry.


~~~~~~~~ Please hold ~~~~~~~~~~~

Before I continue this part... I need to point something out. I was talking about good pool halls and bad pool halls with someone about 6 months ago. He said something that kinda stuck with me...

"I go to [insert pool hall here] to play pool and drink, I go here to drink and play pool. Only a player can know what I mean."

Well... I arrived at this gathering to drink.

~~~~~~~~ Thanks for waiting ~~~~~~~


So I'm a shot and a pitcher in the bag when I break the first rack. I easily miss the next 15 or so shots, and lose the first game. Then the 2nd game is a loss and I'm racking the 3rd... this is about the time that I realize I should probably win at least once.

So I set the beer down, decide to actually examine the house stick I'm playing with (Turns out it's 3 ounces heavier than I'm used to, but the tip has a great shape to it... so I keep it)
Since the tip is decent I realize that every time I had been attempted to draw the ball, and it just stops dead.... it's a heavier cue ball. Duh... beer influenced this delay of discovery for sure.

The 3rd game comes down to my 1 ball and the 8 ball... Chris Rock had 3 left, I think... I miss but safe him, he misses... I win.
I noticed there were a couple people analyzing the shots and discussing it between each other... when I saw them my VERY first thought was Abercrombie & Finch. Well, Abercrombie was telling Finch something... it almost looked like they were watching us to see if we would be good to gamble against, but it could have been nothing. The juke was too loud to really hear what they were saying anyway.
4th game... I win again.

So we're tied 2x2 and we're outta coins. We call it good and we'll play some other day.

....... 4 drinks later.......

The people discussing our game decide they want to play. The game is doubles... 8 ball... bar rules.
They wanted to play for drinks. I tell them that we just got a fresh pitcher... so let's play a rack and if the pitcher is empty when the 8 ball drops, we'll play for drinks. They agreed.

So I end up breaking, 2 solids fall, I make one and play an iffy safe... Abercrombie comes up, swings and a miss... Chris Rock takes a shot, misses... then Fitch comes up, runs the table.

Everyone claps... we decided not to play doubles for drinks.

Then we just drank a lot and drove it off.

The rematch will happen, one day.




Random side note, I was getting gas yesterday and pulled around this brigade of cops arresting a biker. No idea what he did but that's not the point.

The point is that he is 1 man... and they needed 10 cops. Maybe he robbed a doughnut shop?

1 bike, 10 cops... why?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Down with the fancy!

FountainI started this blog with high hopes.
Not sure what exactly that means, but in an effort to achieve said hopes... I've tried to make long/interesting blogs.

I realize that I've succeeded in only one of those 2 things.

And it wasn't very interesting along the way.

So as they say... less is more.
Park + SkylineWell, I don'Skyline from a farris Wheelt really care... but I'm posting less....... words.. that is. Blue Sky + Fountain

This past weekend I went to the The Taste of Chicago.
It was good. I had food, and beer. Then water next to a fountain.

I also rode a tall wheel like contraption.

Here's pictures. Yey


    Another Fountain