Monday, February 25, 2008

Thoughts for a Sunday night.

As I sit here, watching "The Outer Limits" on Sci-Fi, the crap rattling through my head is enough to choke a horse.

Rain delayed the NASCAR race until later this (Monday) morning at 10 AM. So much for southern California sunshine.

The OSCARs were handed out earlier tonight. "No Country For Old Men" won a few. I haven't gone to a movie in over a year. It's too damn expensive. I gotta save my bucks for bowling.

Speaking of bowling, big tournament next month. The USBC Masters.

And that brings me to another subject, sort of. As an organization such as the USBC, it's almost useless. The honor awards suck. The enforcement of the rules suck. Their promotion of the sport sucks. And they want more money!


So they can approve (?) equipment, such as bowling balls. What's funny is that I have, in my arsenal, an almost illegal ball. It's a Roto-Grip SD-73 Classic. What makes it illegal is that, if the design of the ball (internal weight block and coverstock) were to be submitted today, the USBC would disallow it. However, it was submitted and approved by the ABC (before it folded) and "grandfathered" in. But, that's only part of it. When I drilled the ball, I balanced it out (on a highly accurate scale) and put the holes where it would do the best job for me. This course of action almost puts the ball in the "illegal" status. It has my required side and top weights. If you look at the drilling pattern, you'd ask, "Why the hell did he do it that way?" The answer is simple: It gets me a lot of strikes that I normally wouldn't get on the same hit. It's drilled for a heavy oil pattern, and it works like a champ. I've already recorded three unsanctioned 300 games in the four months that I've had it. It has, also, got me seven unsanctioned and two sanctioned 700 series. It has increased my overall average to over 215 (up from 205).

Of course, maintaining a high average in these days is easy. It's all due to the lane conditions. Most centers want to increase business, so they oil the lanes to make it easier to get high scores. It's a form of cheating. So, where is the USBC in all of this? They approve the lanes for sanctioning. That says a lot about the USBC enforcing their rules.

Of course, the centers are somewhat to blame for all of this too. They don't look at bowling as a sport; they look at it as entertainment and recreation. Both QubicaAMF (AMF Bowling, Inc.) and Brunswick (Brunswick Recreation Centers) are to blame for getting it started. And most of the independents have followed in their footsteps.

Here's how to tell a sport center from an entertainment center. Is the decor brightly painted? Does the seating look plush and comfortible, with plenty of tables nearby? Are there special effects lighting fixtures and large speakers hanging from the ceiling? Does the menu suggest "open play" and parties? If you answered "yes" to any of the questions, it's an entertainment center with bowling as a sidelight or an after-thought.

My center is being remodeled. The building needs to be replaced more than fixed up. We're getting new carpeting. New furniture. New score screens. We've already got a new $100,000 snack bar (called "the Cafe'") and a new $14,000 lane machine. Four years ago, the company spent $250,000 for a new roof. The damn thing leaks. The walls (red brick construction) leak too, especially in the pinsetter area. The builders did a wonderful job of sealing up the place. Every time it rains, I'll have about an inch or two of water on the shop floor.

Last summer, four out of ten of our air conditioning units had to be replaced. If I want air conditioning in the shop area, I have to open the shop's outside door. We don't have any toilet facilities for the mechanics either. No sink, no nothing. We do have a fridge that was salvaged from a closed center, and a microwave for our food; however, the general manager gets upset when we bring in our own lunches. Tough stuff! I'm not going to pay good money for over-priced crap, even if I get a discount. There's a 7/Eleven across the street that's actually cheaper and better. Plus, they have damn good coffee.

EEch! Coffee's cold, so enough for now.

By the way: Please don't use the comments section for your spam. I want real comments, not some crap. Thank you.

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