Jacksonville - this week.


Out on the Grounds

One quote comes to mind when I look at this photo; "He's a big, dumb animal, isn't he folks?" (Tommy Boy) Yep, that's Andy you see in the photo. Sometimes I wonder to myself why I ever helped him get hired at IDS. Then I wonder how his wonderful wife Pam can live with him day in and day out.

But, then I realize that he was born and raised in State College, PA and is a huge Penn State fan - even when he played football at Bucknell. Maybe he's not so bad.


In the Big House

I'm in the "Big House" today. What I mean to say is that today is my day doing stats on Ashe Stadium Court with Bill Macatee (pictured), Jim Courier and Tracy Austin. I'm actually writing this on my break. I have some fairly boring matches today: Kuznetsova, Jankovic and Djokovic. The Djokovic match should provide maybe a little entertainment.

Ashe stats is usually the worst assignment. One, because it's cramped - sort of like stuffing 7 people in a Chevy Geo. Two, because it's a tad more stressful since you're on headset with the graphics folks, writing hand stats, as well as passing notes to the commentators. Three, because if you screw up the score only a few million people see it. No pressure huh?

Enjoy the matches, I've got to run back to my position.


Unrelenting Tennis

Here was my schedule on Louis Armstrong Stadium today(photo):

Match 1: Ferrer v Vassallo Arguello
Match 2: Zhang v Kuznetsova
Match 3: Roitman v Murray
Match 4: Makarova v Chakvetadze
Match 5: Del Potro v Canas

What does all of that equal? Just shy of 12 hours of tennis, a full bladder and a tired brain. And it's only day number one. I have to admit that I made 4 scoring errors today - which I'm sure drops my ranking on the statisticians ranking list. But with the new stats program I'm not concerned just yet.

I'm hoping tomorrow is a better day for me.


Fastest Serve

Glyn Williams recorded the fastest serve of the day at the IBM Kids Day serve speed competition. The problem is that Glyn is almost 28. Glyn recorded a 101MPH serve during our testing this morning. Note the perfect form and his concentration on the ball. Also notice the "cute" wrist bands he has on. He definitely showed up prepared to break last year's record of 67.

Speaking of kids day, it was an absolute nightmare. Imagine a site full of 5-16 year olds, most of them screaming to the featured band Menudo. Yes, Menudo, the band made up of kids not older than 16. Weren't they popular 20 years ago?


US Open

I finally made it. Ray (see photo on left) and I drove from DC yesterday and arrived in Flushing around 12:30pm. Fortunately, that was just in time to make a run to Mamas - the best sandwich on the planet. Mamas makes their own mozzarella and they layer it on very thick. Along with the fresh meats, the pepper and mushroom mixture the put on is outstanding.

I didn't get any dinner, however, since we were here until 10:30pm. But I did make up for the missed dinner with a full breakfast this morning. I am currently stuffed!

So anyway, qualifying is under way and the main event is approaching. You know it's getting close when you see the kids day stage set up on Stadium Court.

The US Hopeless (as it's affectionately known by IDS'ers) will be another stellar event. Even if we are all worn out and already looking forward to going home. Only two and a half weeks to go for me!


Nandos here I come

I've just discovered that there is one Nandos in the USA. Funny that it happens to be in DC. Needless to say, after breakdown on Monday, I will be dining there. For those of you who don't know, Nandos has the best chicken on the planet, hands down. I've been to a Nandos in London, UK, Melbourne, Australia and I'll now be adding Washington DC.



A new world record

I would like to thank all of my supporters out there for helping me achieve a milestone. No, it is not age, grey hair or money. Yesterday, I received 22 visits on my blog far surpassing my previous record of 13 and my average of about 6. I have now tallied hits from the US, Canada, Australia (thanks Joanne), China, Chile, France and England.

I owe a lot of this success to two people; Erich Geisler and Glyn Williams. When I was bored at Wimbledon they were there for me keeping my attention focused on the wonderful world of the Internet blogs. When I succumbed to writers block, they were my inspiration for stupid and outrageous stories. When I thought having a blog was dumb and childish, they agreed but continued to support me in my endeavours. Thank you Glyn and Erich!

I am now the Michael Phelps of Internet Blogs. The Gold goes to Travis, Silver to the Aussies, and Bronze to the Chinese. But with great success comes great responsibility. I am now feeling to pressure to pump out quality blogs at a steady pace. But I'm not concerned, the US Open is only a week away and there will be plenty of good material for me to talk about there.


Back in the day

So far I've been good in Washington. I've been able to run a few miles each day on a canal that parallels the Potomac River. I've been thinking to myself what it would have looked like back in the day when mules would pull the barges along the canal.

Today I found out. I had to run a little faster to catch up to the boat, but I managed to catch up and grab a few photos from my phone. It appears as if they had a tour group in the boat, but the guys operating the mules and the boat were in their period garb.


That's my stapler

Milton Waddams from Office Space is in the house.

"And I said, I don't care if they lay me off either, because I told, I told Kemper that if they move my desk one more time, then, then I'm quitting, I'm going to quit. And, and I told Travis too, because they've moved my desk four times already this year, and I used to be over by the window, and I could see the squirrels, and they were married... But then, they switched from the Swingline to the Boston stapler, but I kept my Swingline stapler because it didn't bind up as much, and I kept the staples for the Swingline stapler and it's not okay because if they take my stapler then I'll, I'll, I'll set the building on fire... "


"The ratio of people to cake is too big."


DC day 1

It's day number 1 (for me) at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic. It is nice rolling into an event that all of the set up is complete. But, Kemper is running a tight ship here, no slacking allowed!

We do have a cast of characters here... Kemper - Dew Tour Master, Vern - My equipment is working Master, Ray - Fonts Coordinator, Director, Producer, Switcher Master, and ME - sitting around watching everyone else work Master.
It is noteworthy to mention that I was once the Project Manager of the Legg Mason, even though it was probably in 1997. Back then we were still using DOS, Telxon's, Small Seven Segments, and Small Matrix Boards. I was the ETS guy, the EDM guy and the PM all in one. But things were simpler then. I led a team of horses and covered wagons to get the equipment from Jacksonville, FL. I used the US Postal service to get the office to mail me the graphic files on a floppy disk. I used a land line to call the office if I had any problems since cell phones were for the "rich." I know this is a hard one to believe, but back then we even had a Democrat as President and a budget surplus of nearly 200 billion.



For my Father... Here it is! This picture was taken moments before I put the application into my backpack. Rest assured that I will not be using your tag to bag a deer.


Hunting Season

(photo: My Brother Todd)
Alas, hunting season is approaching. Even though the opening day of deer season is 3 months away, there are some tasks that need to be finalized over the next few weeks. One is purchase my license - COMPLETE, two is to send in my Doe License application - PENDING. The doe application process is somewhat tricky. I have to send in the license so that it doesn't arrive in Pennsylvania too early or too late. If it's too early, it will get sent back to me. If it's too late, I will likely not get a doe license. It's tricky, but not difficult. I have set a plan in place to mail the doe license on Friday, August 15 for it to arrive in PA on the following Monday - the day that out of state licenses are accepted.

Enter my Father. So far, I've had 3 emails and 2 calls reminding me that I need to remember to mail my doe license on Friday the 15th. This is a regular occurrence around this time of year. I speak to my father more in the first two weeks of August than I do over the next three months. This is part of the reason we like to call my father by the name of "dispatch." Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the calls from my father, I guess I wish that he would say "hey, how's your day?" instead of "hey, don't forget about your doe license."

The funny thing is that every time I've applied for my license I've received one. So there is no history that would cause these repeated phone calls. I did remind my father last night that I am 35 years old and have been living on my own for almost 17 years now. It is important to note that my father still mails the application for my Brother - Todd is now 42.

I guess we'll always be kids to my father. That's OK with me because I'm still a spoiled little brat. When I'm visiting home in Bellefonte, PA, I pretty much get what I want when I want. I usually walk in the door and my mother asks what I want for dinner each night. And my dad will even cook breakfast for me.

So dad, keep calling! At 35 years old it's not so bad being treated like a kid. Now, if I could only get my muscles and joints to respond like a kid.