Monday, May 31, 2010

Hello World

Blogs have to start somewhere, and here we are... the beginning.

I'm kicking off this blog for a number of reasons: First, my daughter recently asked me if she could start a blog and I wanted to gain some hands-on experience so I'd be able to help her along the way. Second, I enjoy writing and look forward to having an outlet for creative expression. Third, I'm really getting serious about pool lately and feel it's something that's going to 'stick' with me a while, so it'll give me something interesting and ever-evolving to write about and something (hopefully) interesting to read about. We'll see how it goes, eh?

A quick intro to me: I'm a divorced father of two wonderful children. My background is quite diverse: I started out my adult life as a Reactor Operator on submarines in the US Navy. Needless to say, my nuclear physics background gives me a good understanding of the physics of elastic scattering reactions. After leaving the Navy, I morphed into a Software Engineer and enjoyed that work for many years. I'm still in the software field, but working more with intellectual property (patents) these days. I'm also a published author and inventor. Yes, you can search for me on Amazon and at the US Patent Office. I'm sure more details about me will trickle out over time.

About my pool: right now, I best describe it as "chaotic". I have bursts of brilliance scattered amongst bouts of bungling. Yeah, yeah, you may say "everyone does that" but I'm not so sure that everyone does it as much as I do, to the extremes that I do, or for the reasons (or lack of reasons) that I do... I'll let you be the judge over time. My goal, of course, is to reduce this volatility in my game over time and I'm sure I'll have a few articles in the future on the subject. I consider myself a strong average player... nothing horribly exceptional at this point. I play both 8-ball and 9-ball in the APA where I'm a skill level 4. I qualified for and played in the 8-Ball Classic at the 2010 APA Singles Nationals earlier this year and placed 33rd.

Honestly, I haven't been playing very long... only about a year and a half... yet I've studied the game a lot during that period of time. My execution skills - especially consistent execution skills are lagging behind my knowledge which can be very frustrating. I'm painfully aware that I'm playing against people who've been shooting pool consistently for five, ten, twenty or more years and those folks are now internally 'wired' for sinking a given shot much better than I am. I'm putting in a lot of practice to make up this ground as quickly as possible. Most people think I've been playing longer than I have... and many people think I'm a higher SL than I really am, and I take both of those comments/observations as meaning I'm headed in the right direction.

About this blog: Given that I'm actively learning and improving, this blog will chronicle trials and travails along my journey to pool godliness (or wherever I ultimately end up along the way). I'll be commenting about books (I'm a huge reader), magazines, techniques, and so on as well as occasionally venting my frustrations and/or cheering my successes. I have no doubt it's going to be an interesting ride for me, and am hoping I can articulate it in a manner that makes it interesting and useful to others as well.

I credit the name of this blog to Ron Worley, one of my mentors. One of the training techniques that he's passed along to me is playing games of 8-ball or 9-ball (or whatever) that he calls KBCC games in which only kicks, banks, caroms or combos are considered legal shots.