Thursday, April 12, 2007

Various & Sundry Items Of Little Interest, Except For The Thing About Urb (Which Is Really, Really Cool)

Some of you were under the mistaken impression that End Of Lunch Hour Theater was just the beginning of an ongoing series. Nope. It was just a way to kill five minutes of my time. Sorry!

I've got a number of things to write about, but probably won't get to them until this weekend. Right now, I'm looking at a busy two days here at Marketing Messages. I've got three voice talents coming today - one to record in Spanish and another in Mandarin Chinese - as well as a whole bunch of Vietnamese voice files to edit, so this may be my last posting until next Tuesday, since I'm taking Monday off.

The reason I'm taking Monday off is because of the Boston Marathon. This might lead you to ask a question: Am I running in it? I'll answer that with two questions of my own: Is The Pope a bear? Does Catholicism take a shit in the woods?

I'm lucky to be able to run down to first base these days without having a heart attack. No, I am most definitely NOT running in the marathon. The reason I take the day off is because, going to and from work, I have to cross the marathon route. This always costs me an extra hour of commuting on the day of the marathon. I've decided to just stay home, instead of cursing as I wait in my car for a break in the runners long enough for the cop on duty to wave some of us across Commonwealth Avenue.

(Actually, come to think of it, I did the same thing last year. You could read all about the exciting adventures MY WIFE and I had at the same time a year ago!)

Meanwhile, one of my softball teams is supposed to be having its first practice of the season this Sunday. Since the forecast calls for snow today and more snow on Sunday, I'm thinking that this may not happen. I can't say that I'd be terribly disappointed if the practice was postponed. Even though I've lost enough weight to be ready to go, I'm still not really ready. I've done almost no exercise. A few series of squats, some lightweight curls, some half-hearted push ups - that's about it. An extra week before a real workout would be a good thing.

Also, my friend Urb is doing something very interesting this Sunday and I'd like to see it. You may recall my writing about my semi-career as a candlepin bowler. If you have an extraordinary memory, you may recall a picture I used as illustration concerning my "leg kick."

That picture is of Urb - John Kafalas - as a youngster. Now, I have never met Urb, but by using his picture in that piece, I picqued his curiosity. See, he somehow found out that I had used his picture, so he wrote to me. He and I have come to have some very pleasant correspondence and he seems to be a really nice guy.

Urb actually competed in some decent professional tournaments as a youngster. He was - and appears to still be - a step above my own level as a bowler. Anyway, he appeared on TV many years ago in one of the professional candlepin bowling shows which were ubiquitous in the New England area. Since that time, he pretty much gave up the game and moved to a place - Arizona, if I remember - where the game is utterly non-existent.

While out west, he worked on his tenpin game - big balls, for you New Englanders and Eastern Canadians. He became proficient and actually cashed in a minor tournament. Now he has moved back to this area and - God, I love this - he has worked on his candlepin game and...

He won a roll-off and will be once again appearing on TV, some 30+ years after his initial appearance. That is SO cool, I can't even put into words the level of coolness this reaches. The taping is this Sunday at Woburn Bowladrome and, if it rains or snows or my softball practice is in any other wise cancelled, I'll be there to cheer him on as he makes his triumphant comeback.

Well, my first talent just walked through the door for her recording session, so I've got to go. See you soon!


Melinda said...

Wow that is one hell of a position - I'd probably end up flat on the floor if I tried to bowl like that! Then again, I'm a terrible bowler (might be due to the excessive amounts of beer imbibed during nights at the alley) and probably would be lucky to knock even one of those candlepins down.

btw - went back and reread your post about smoking weed while bowling and the ensuring comment all about bongs from that sony ericsson guy - laughed my ass off all over again!

No wonder I read your blog everyday - it's entertaining, funny, and you can learn new and interesting things about illegal substances :)

Urbie said...

Thanks, Sul. Ya, it's been almost 32 years since my last TV appearance back in '75. That was on a Channel 7 juniors show called Candlepin Champs, which was hosted by Dana Hersey, who wasn't one of the more memorable TV personalities in Boston history, but did do a few things for Ch. 38 for awhile. I lost that 2-string match on a lob call that my dad, to this day, claims was wrong (but I don't -- I have a tendency to hoist one every so often). Anyhow, who knows how I'll do on the show -- but I don't really care that much. Just being on in the first place is the main thing!

Unknown said...

I've never heard of candlepin. I used to watch Bowling for Dollars as a kid. I really liked that show.

James Cooper said...

I've always been impressed by the technique used by professional bowlers. I've never gotten past the "roll it as hard as I can straight at the pins" technique, so pro-bowlers have me easily impressed. Particularly when they get those impossible splits.

endangered coffee said...

Dana Hersey not one of the more memorable TV personalities in Boston history, Urbie? He may not be Don Gillis, but good god man, the Movie Loft!

By the way, has anyone else watched the Channel 38 news at 9:30? Is it my imagination, or are they actually using the old Movie Loft set?

Suldog said...

For those who care - I will be going to the Woburn Bowladrome (as will MY WIFE) this Sunday, to watch Urbie compete. Come on down and cheer him on!

Melinda said...

email address:

Thanks again for the heads-up about Sharfa...

Lisa Johnson said...

I hope you're enjoying your day off! I am! Well, my day off... : )

Anonymous said...

Former Candlepinner here- from W. Roxbury originally... Yes, Big League Bowling alleys!!
Was a member of their very first kid's league, in 1970-71. Still have my trophy too!! BTW- While were on the subject of candlepins- Isn't it the nearest thing to an impossible task there?? The very idea that anyone would DREAM of being able to possibly do the ULTIMATE Impossible- 12 strikes in Candlepins!


Think of it tho-

You could wager the collective wealth of all of the billionaires against this being even remotely achieveable-

12 straight strikes in Candlepin bowling-

The ULTIMATE act in exercise of sports futility- and have the safest bet in Man's history- as all who have tried candlepins will attest! :)


Dennis Robart