Progress is not linear.
It comes in fits and starts.
Two steps forward, one step back...
Over the past couple of weeks,
my challenge matches have been mostly victorious.
Occasionally, I have a "learning experience".
It is said that we
learn more from our setbacks
than we do from our successes.
I try to learn from all experiences,
Last week it all came together...
I have been planning
major improvements for some time.
For starters, I have wanted to
reduce the clanging noises
created by the metal hangars
for the bridges and rack.
What a racket they make!
So I removed the bridge hangars entirely.
And store the bridges on the wall.
What a relief!
The rack hangar
was a more interesting challenge.
First of all, I needed a way to store
both the wood rack, and the Sardo rack,
and to keep noise to a minimum.
This was accomplished with a custom
Fast Mikie design which works very well.
See photo below.
(click to BIGGIFY)
The inside of the wood rack area
is lined with rubber,
which deadens all sound.
The brackets for the Sardo rack
are also lined with rubber.
The entire unit is attached using existing holes
that were for the old metal rack hanger.
This way the table remains completely unmodified
and can be fully restored to original.
Now, for the piece d'resistance!
My ever-growing library of pool books & DVDs
was stored under the pool table, on the floor,
but it was constantly getting disorganized,
and was a bear to vacuum around the mess.
So my solution was to design another
Fast Mikie exclusive.
(click to BIGGIFY)
These shelves are completely detatched
from the pool table itself,
and hang suspended from the major
cross-beams on the Gold Crown IV.
There are no screws or nails anywhere.
Nothing has been done to defile the table.
Notice that pool racks are used as shelf supports!
One shelf on each side gives perfect balance.
The shelf shown holds my instructional books.
The shelf on the other side holds
fiction, biographies, DVDs, other trophies, etc.
All the woodwork was done by friend Walter Lilly.
Let me know if you want to contact him...
The trophies shown include:
APA 8 and 9-ball team Division 1st.
2004 California US Amateur championships (undefeated)
2005 APA Masters Division Triple Play MVP (undefeated)
Victory has a sweet and lingering aftertaste.
Sleep is peaceful
after a battle well fought and won.
And the morning after brings
increased strength and confidence.
I could get addicted to this...
Today was a challenge match
in preparation for the US Amateurs.
The format is both 8-ball and 9-ball.
Winner of the lag calls the game,
or gets to break first.
I lost the lag, he chose the break.
I chose 8-ball.
That first game of 8-ball was a killer.
We played more consecutive safeties
than I can remember ever playing.
El Maestro was watching,
and he said it was 27 safeties,
and he could be right.
It felt like a hundred.
My head was completely gone,
because on one safety,
I hit the 8-ball first,
Of course, that's about the stupidest
thing I could do,
because it gives up ball-in-hand.
I don't even remember who won that game.
I was just happy it finally ended.
I did go on to win the match 7-3.
But I need a lot more practice!
Brunswick Centennial vs. Aramith Super Pro
With nothing better to do on a Sunday,
I wandered into my local billiard supply store
(Billiards and Barstools)
and bought myself a new set of balls.
I had been using the Aramith Super Pro balls,
and the "measles" cue ball
for the last couple of years.
Needless to say, they have been
getting pretty banged up and grungy
and were way overdue for a serious cleaning.
But even a day without my balls
would leave me feeling like something
And, I've been wondering if
there is any difference
between the Aramith and Brunswick product.
So, before I started playing with
my new Brunswick balls,
I completely vacuumed the table,
and cleaned it with Quick-Clean.
Then I got down to weighing each ball
and found that eight balls weigh 169 grams each
seven balls weigh 168 grams each
and one ball was 167 grams.
Not exactly the kind of quality control
I would have expected!
Next, I got down to some shooting.
The Brunswick balls seemed heavier,
more sluggish than the Aramiths,
but that could just be an illusion.
"Feelings" are not very scientific.
Maybe I was just looking for a difference.
Was it the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle?
And isn't that what the Principle is all about?
What I do know is that
the Centennials have richer colors,
especially the 7-ball...
but, again, that's a personal opinion
and nothing scientific.
Something I did notice that was interesting:
The numbers on the Brunswicks stripes are in the white
but the numbers on the Aramith stripes are in the color.
On to the micrometer test...
The Brunswicks seem a smidge fatter.
A "smidge" is not exactly measurable
using my micrometer,
but it's significant,
especially considering that I'm
measuring dirty Aramiths.
I'll have to redo this test
after I get the Aramiths cleaned.