Archive for February, 2024

It’s a good serve, coach said

Is this a good serve??? The coach says so … but why do I still see the waiter’s tray?


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Blue Dolphin, we christen it

Finally we’ve our Sea Eagle kayak‘s launching ceremony 下水典礼 at E.G. Simmons and christen it Blue Dolphin.

… more pix n videos on Google Maps

We purchased it in May 2023. Seriously I could NOT believe myself not using it sooner.

Shortly off the kayak launch ramp at E.G. Simmons, we encounter a dolphin or two. It/they followed us for good 10 minutes. I just thought Dolphin would be an appropriate name for our kayak. And Linda added Blue.


So Blue Dolphin it is.

The inflatable Sea Eagle 380x is very solid and spacious. The seats we purchased (not inflatable) are comfortable.

终于 昨天我们的 kayak 小划艇举行了下水典礼 – 去年 5 月买它以来, 说实话, 我不敢相信自己没有早点使用它. 天天在忙啥呀

命名蓝海豚 因为一下水就被海豚追随 – 这个公园多海牛.

… more kayaking trips


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Nassau County bars transgender athletes

New York Times: Transgender participation in women’s sports has been restricted in 24 states. Now, by executive order, it has been banned at more than 100 facilities in Nassau County, on Long Island.

Bruce Blakeman, the Nassau County executive and a Republican, signed an executive order barring girls’ and women’s teams that include transgender athletes from using county facilities. It was the latest effort in a nationwide push to limit transgender athletes from competing.

The order, which did not require the approval of the County Legislature, took effect immediately. It was not immediately clear whether Blakeman’s action was legal under the state’s human rights law.

His office said the ban would affect thousands of teams across all levels. Last year, the Big East Conference, which has 11 member universities, held its swimming championship in Nassau County. The Big East did not respond to a request for comment on the ban.

The reaction was immediate. Bobby Hodgson, the director of L.G.B.T.Q. Rights Litigation at the New York chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, said in a statement that Blakeman’s order was illegal and that the organization would “consider all options to stop it.”

Jami Taylor, a political science professor at the University of Toledo and an expert on L.G.B.T. politics, told my colleague Claire Fahy that Blakeman had ignored both state law and a Supreme Court ruling, a 1977 case that allowed Renée Richards (1934-) to compete in the women’s draw at the U.S. Open. Richards, now 89, was one of the first openly transgender athletes in professional sports.

Assemblywoman Gina Sillitti, a Democrat who represents parts of Nassau County, said that Blakeman had issued the order to score political points. Blakeman was elected in 2021 after campaigning against mask mandates, which had angered some suburban parents and businesses during the pandemic. He also focused on crime and bail reform.

Blakeman, who signed the order at a news conference, referred to transgender girls who competed on women’s teams outside New York, saying that he wanted to “get ahead of the curve here in Nassau County.” The order does not restrict transgender boys and men from competing on boys’ and men’s teams.

When he was asked how many transgender athletes compete in Nassau County, he said he did not know. He also said, without citing a source, that fewer than 1 percent of the county’s residents identify as transgender and that he was not sure how many, if any, competed at county facilities.

Juli Grey-Owens, the executive director of Gender Equality New York, a group that took part in a protest outside the building where Blakeman’s news conference took place, said there were about 17,000 transgender people in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, which have a combined population of about 2.9 million.

She said the question was how many transgender athletes were even involved in local women’s and girls’ sports.

“Every time that question is asked, they come back with no answer,” she said, referring to proponents of bans like Blakeman’s, “because they have a solution looking for a problem.”

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3-6, 3-6 w/ golfer

We lost: 0 to 2.

More bad news: waiter’s tray is still there – it has been months and many double faults. I’m a little discouraged 小崩溃

One fellow player on FB left me this long help note:

Irene, I have to ask exactly what are you after? The post indicates elimination of double faults and frustrations, which in and of themselves are great goals. However, watching your clip I’m struck by the fact that your motion, at least in this clip, is NOT dynamic at any point of the motion. Another observation is that your ball toss is both erratic and has an inconsistent release point. If I was forced to compare your service motion to a professional, past or current, I’d point to Francois Durr. That is not bad, after all she did play professional tennis and did have success BUT …. you have a major relationship with the western grip. Others have already touched on this, but the western grip is not intended for balls above your head. The main reason being is that ANY rotation of your shoulder, bend to your elbow, or rotation at you wrist or change in grip pressure will change the angle of incidence/contact with the ball. A good way to think about the service motion is not so much throwing a football, as that is not a universally understood skill, but rather reaching for an item on a high shelf. Most people when they reach for items on a high shelf move to a position with their hip as close to the shelf as possible to allow them to have a full or complete EXTENSION of their arm and torso to touch and grasp the item. The same is true for the service motion, the more you are reaching for the ball the better the extension, more power, consistency, spin and less frustration. So how to think and train for a better service motion. The simplest manner to train for consistency is to start with the grip. Stand at the service line and put your racket flat against your leg with the bow of the racket touching the ground. grasp the racket handle so that your hand is parallel to your leg, THAT is a continental grip. With this grip firmly in mind move to a fence with a windscreen. Place your non-dominant hip and shoulder against the fence and emulate your service motion toward the apex of the motion, the contact point. You will notice as you do this your body will want to turn into the fence, this is called pronation. This position is where 100% of successful players make contact with the ball, this is what you need to emulate. As you progress and move back to the court this motion will allow you a better angle to the opposite court and as an added bonus when you execute properly it will help your body to embrace proper mechanics and “pull” you into the court as you strike the ball. If you review your clip once you finish your motion you are still behind the baseline. A proper service motion should naturally “pull” you forward, almost making you feel like you are falling into the court. At this point I must emphasize that a step into the court is both natural and important. If you are not stepping into the court after contact your motion is not a complete motion. The next issue you need to address is the ball toss. The term toss is a misnomer, it should be though of as you “placing” the ball at a specific place every time for your motion. Thinking to the service motion process we discussed above you need to place the ball at a consistent height. The best way to think of this is as a formula; Your Height (H) + length of arm above your head level(A) + racket length (R) + gravity (G) = the optimum height to place the ball for a proper service. I will use my specifics as an example: I am 6’2″, the part of my arm above my head is 24″, the length os my racket is “27” and the force of gravity, that is the distance a ball will drop anywhere in the world while I’m swinging to the contact point, is 28″ . (H)74+(A)24+(R)27+(G)28 = 153″ or 12.75 feet high. the next ideal to grasp is that the ball must be placed in a position forward of your body to allow proper pronation into the ball as we trained for against the fence/windscreen. Many instructors speak to some place one racket length ahead of your non-dominant leg, depending upon your range of motion that location can and will change. The best mental picture for this process is to imagine standing in the doorway from a room into a hallway. The ball you are “tossing/lifting” you are placing into the hallway outside of the doorway you are standing in at the moment. Another benefit of this thought process is that it helps to remind you to step/walk through the door into the hallway/court. If all of this seems like so much wet spaghetti the one take away you should focus upon is ball toss and height of toss. Even with your current motion and grip those two alone will greatly improve your results. If you are not going to play competitive tournament tennis seeking radical change may not actually be for you. Just consistent may be what you should be seeking… but only you can make that determination.

… Thank you so much!

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Renée Richards, 1934

She was born in New York City as Richard Raskind on August 19, 1934, to David Raskind, an orthopedic surgeon. His mother was one of the first female psychiatrists in the United States, in addition to being a professor at Columbia University. This “nice Jewish boy” grew up in Forest Hills, graduated from Horace Mann School, Yale and University of Rochester Medical Center (1959) specialized in ophthalmology.

At Horace Mann, he excelled as the wide receiver for the football team, the pitcher for the baseball team, and on the tennis and swim teams. New York Yankees Invited him to join he decided to focus on tennis.

He married model Barbara Mole in June 1970, had a son Nicholas in 1972, was divorced in 1975 when he transitioned to a woman.

His fame came in 1976 when he was ousted by TV anchor Richard Carlson, the father of Tucker, now Renée Richards. And her subsequent law suit against US Open, and won. But she lost in the first run in 1977 US Open to Virginia Wade (1945-).

As a men, he first played in US Open in 1953, lost in the first run, so did 1956 and 1960. He made into the second run in 1955 and 1957.

He returned to ophthalmologist, working on Park Avenue in 1980 after quitting tennis circuit.

1934年8月19日, 她出生于纽约市. 原名Richard Raskind. 父亲是整形外科医生David Raskind. 除了是哥伦比亚大学的教授外,他的母亲还是美国第一批女精神病学家之一.  这个“漂亮的犹太男孩”在森林山长大,毕业于霍勒斯曼学校, 耶鲁大学和罗切斯特大学医疗中心(1959年),专攻眼科.

在Horace Mann 霍勒斯曼学校, 他作为足球队的外接手、棒球队的投手以及网球和游泳队的出色表现. 纽约洋基队邀请他加入, 他决定专注于网球.

他于1970年6月与模特Barbara Mole结婚,1972年有一个儿子Nicholas,1975年他过渡到女性时离婚.

他的名声出现在1976年, 当时他被电视主播Richard Carlson赶下台 (Richard Carlson是Tucker的父亲)现在是Renée Richards. 她随后对美国公开赛提起诉讼,并获胜. 但她在1977年美国网球公开赛的第一次比赛中输给了弗吉尼亚·韦德(1945-).

作为一名男子,他于1953年首次参加美国网球公开赛,在第一场比赛中输了, 1956年和1960年也是如此. 他在1955年和1957年打进了第二圈.

1980年在退出网球巡回赛后 他回归眼科医生,诊室在纽约的公园大道上.

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Overgrip: how hillbilly does tennis

Wednesday’s laugh, really:

So Irene continues her quest to improve her serve, and turned to the coach this morning.
Coach: “let me see how you hold your racket.”
I did. He did some adjustment. Then looked hard at my handle/overgrip.
“Irene, who did this?”
“Myself”, I said proudly.

It’s all wrong. It’s inside out …
… Guess this is how Hillbilly does her tennis lah.

Did I feel something isn’t right? Of course I did.

Did I try to change? Of course I didn’t.

Let’s talk about something else.

Like what?

… tennis … lol

I spent much the hour working on my serve, but I did get a little lesson on forehand: right leg stays behind.

怀疑人生了 … 教练说教俺怎么握拍子 … 然后问 “谁帮你换的?”

俺得意洋洋的说 “自己呀”

教练说 … 弄反了

… 简直怀疑人生

🤣🤣🤣 俺还天天在这儿晒

瞎 吹牛 [捂脸][调皮]

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6-2, 6-2

Paused for a month, I played really well today (no doubles … but not sure if my waiter’s tray is gone …), although started off with 0-2 in the first set.

It rained a little but we’re able to continue and finish our game.

Best of all, I’ve the homemade dumplings for dinner -:)

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Messi sits out game in Hong Kong, triggers China’s ideological paranoia

Messi’s mess in Hong Kong

Soccer star Lionel Messi sits out game in Hong Kong, triggers China’s ideological paranoia, 2024.2.14

The recent furor surrounding Lionel Messi‘s absence from a soccer game in Hong Kong provides a striking illustration of China’s deep-seated ideological paranoia and a tendency toward political schizophrenia.

At the heart of this controversy lies the Chinese Communist Party‘s profound suspicion of the international community, rooted in a belief of a pervasive and coordinated conspiracy aimed at undermining the communist government. This mindset propels the Communist Party to interpret even the most minor incidents as evidence of a grand scheme against it, often leading to exaggerated and absurd reactions that serve to justify its paranoid worldview — and its aggression and belligerence.

On Feb. 4, the Argentine-born international soccer star Lionel Messi was in Hong Kong with his team, Inter Miami, for a match with a Hong Kong team. Mr. Messi, however, stayed on the substitute bench throughout the game due to what the visiting team’s doctor described as an injury. The disappointed Hong Kong fans discovered that Mr. Messi nevertheless played for 30 minutes in a soccer match in Tokyo a short while later.

Suddenly, this minor sports incident involving Mr. Messi has been seized upon by the Chinese government’s extensive propaganda machine as a symbol of an alleged vast international conspiracy. Mr. Messi‘s decision not to play in Hong Kong has been construed as a move orchestrated by myriad forces, each with its own historical and ideological significance to China.

First, the reaction to Mr. Messi‘s absence cannot be disentangled from the Chinese leaders’ profound loathing of the recent political developments in Argentina. Argentina’s shift from a long-standing alignment with left-wing political forces toward the free-market stance championed by the newly elected president, Javier Milei, has been a source of contention for the Chinese government.

Mr. Milei’s explicit rejection of socialism and his opposition to Argentina joining the BRICS pact, a coalition seen as an alternative to Western economic dominance and which China aims to lead, represents a direct challenge to China‘s influence. Mr. Messi, as a global icon of Argentine identity, has thus become an unwitting participant in this ideological battle, with his not playing in Hong Kong interpreted as a deliberate act of defiance and a statement against China‘s political ambitions.

Second, the narrative constructed around Mr. Messi’s club, Inter Miami, further exemplifies the extent of the Chinese Communist Party‘s ideological paranoia. Chinese state media announced that the Florida-based soccer club is an anti-communist front organization with collaboration with the CIA.

The Global Times, an official Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece specializing in international affairs and anti-U.S. fanaticism, published a hit piece on Feb. 8 entitled “Messi’s Soccer Club Bosses Have Ties to the CIA,” alleging the father of two of the club’s three owners, brothers Jorge and Jose Mas — the other owner is the retired British soccer star David Beckham — was recruited by the CIA after he fled to Fidel Castro’s Cuba.

The Global Times concluded that “It’s highly unlikely that Messi’s snub to Hong Kong and China was his personal decision. It’s most likely that he acted according to instructions given to him by his bosses (fathered by a CIA agent).”

Thus, Mr. Messi’s absence from the field is framed as part of a broader anti-communist agenda, suggesting a level of international collusion that borders on the fantastical. Such claims reflect the Chinese government’s tendency to view world affairs through a lens of ideological confrontation, where every action is seen as part of a larger battle against communism.

The case of Japan serves as another layer in this complex narrative, with Mr. Messi’s participation in a game in Tokyo following his absence in Hong Kong sparking further speculation and conspiracy theories. Hu Xijin, the Chinese Communist Party‘s most notorious and noxious propagandist, tweeted on Feb. 6: “Why didn’t Messi play in Hong Kong or participate in the handshake with HK chief executive? And why did he smile, run freely and looked fit in Japan?”

The Communist Party‘s reaction, demanding an explanation and apology from Mr. Messi, underscores a sensitivity to perceived slights and a readiness to interpret individual decisions as politically motivated.

Moreover, the incident touches on the sensitive issue of Hong Kong and its status in China‘s political framework. In 2017, upon request, Mr. Messi sent an autographed photo to one of his biggest fans, the jailed 2010 Nobel Peace Laureate Liu Xiaobo via one of Liu’s friends in Hong Kong. China was deeply paranoid about this and regarded Mr. Messi’s action as dangerous and subversive. On Feb. 7, Regina Ip Lau Suk Yee, a leading Chinese Communist Party proxy in Hong Kong, angrily wrote, “Messi should never be allowed to return to Hong Kong. His lies and hypocrisy are disgusting.” She continued, “Hong Kong people hate Messi, Inter-Miami, and the black hand behind them, for the deliberate and calculated snub to Hong Kong.” The vilification of Mr. Messi, based on his perceived support for human rights reveals the lengths to which the Chinese Communist Party is willing to go to suppress dissent and maintain its narrative of unity and strength. All in all, the uproar over Lionel Messi‘s not playing in a soccer game in Hong Kong encapsulates the communist worldview as the real force that animates China‘s political system. An entrenched ideological paranoia and a propensity for political schizophrenia characterize such a worldview. The Chinese government’s reaction to this incident reveals not only its deep-seated fears of international conspiracy but also the complex interplay of geopolitics, ideology and individual agency that shapes its engagement with the world. It serves as a perfect illustration of the ideological absurdity at the heart of China‘s political landscape. With it, an international superstar is now an international supervillain against the socialist motherland of China. • Miles Yu is a senior fellow and director of the China Center at the Hudson Institute. Copyright © 2024 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission. Please read our comment policy before commenting. Click to Read More and Vie

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Messi’s mess

The first time I heard of Messi’s Hong Kong trip was from a friend’s posting on WeChat on Feb 6 while in Argentina:


Six days later, I made a post about Messi after the Super Bowl when Taylor Swift’s bf Travis Kelce’s team Kansas City Chiefs won it, the second time in a row:

昨天Super Bowl Taylor Swift 霉霉男友队赢了
另外一个煤 因没出场 还在发酵
前几天的留言还多是 ‘不请他代言’之类的
[偷笑][捂脸] 人家稀罕吗?
能加入🇺🇸队的 都是半退休的 has been

他选了🇺🇸 钱是最少的

Seriously, is this worth the commotion in China? A has been soccer star didn’t play, so what? Was his appearance written into the air-tight contract (no matter what, does he have to appear? or unless he’s injured?)? If so, it’s a legal dispute. If not, – like you didn’t pay for his appearance, then what’s the hell did you expect him to play?!?

Here are some coverage:

Today, I saw this great article (below), that I agree in many ways; and it made me thinking of an incident, more than quarter of century ago: In late 1990s, our village decided to hold fancy dinner party with next village on lunar Chinese new year. It was a great idea. For $100 per head, we got dress up, wine and dine. A few older couples used this opportunity to show case their ball room dance skills …

At that time, people from mainland was the minority. For some reason, one of the organizers loved me, dragging me everywhere to her social events. Dancing? Call Irene; singing? Call Irene; yoga at her home, call Irene. Big social event? Get Irene …

大眼李哥: 站住别动! 我是中国人民的感情 2024-02-15

































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2024-02-15 09:32:32

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Paddle board @ Copacabana

Rio de Janeiro

Sunset at Copacabana Beach.

Watching over the sunset from the Café 18 do Forte, I saw the paddle boarders: have to do it.

It was 6:40 when I got to an outfit who was willing to rent me one. The first one to the southern most won’t do it – it’s too late.

The water is relatively calm. By then, all the paddle boarders have returned. I was the only one out there. Shortly after, I saw a huge turtle to my left. Then I began to dream a killer whale swims under neath of my board -:)

I returned a little after 7. Thanks for renting me a board.


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