Monday, February 19, 2007

Hammer Heads: An Eye for the Ladies

One good thing about being old is that, even if you're not mechanically inclined, you've had so many cars with so many problems that you develop a kind of sixth sense about car trouble. Otherwise, I might never had made it down to the Ladies Spirit Tour 2007 season opener at Hammer Heads Billiard Lounge in Holiday, FL today (Sunday, Feb. 18th)

After readying myself, a time consuming chore in and of itself, I kissed Uppy (the former Sarah Uppington-Smythe of the New England Uppington Smythes) and ventured out to the carport and our not yet one-year-owned previously used Toyota Rav4. It's been a good car for us, not even a hiccup since the day we brought it home. But, today, it was unresponsive to the twist of the key. Old hand that I am, I didn't panic - I reached for the hood release, gave it a yank, climbed out of my formerly reliable steed and raised the hood. I glanced at the battery and there it was - corrosion... on the ground side. I fetched a pair of pliers from the shed along with an assortment of files and returned but found the nuts on the terminal clamp stubborn and uncooperative. Undaunted, I started hammering on the clamp with the pliers, producing a chalky greenish white drizzle. Returning to the driver's seat, I again turned the key and was blessed with the sweet sound of engine music. I really am a genius, I said to myself. It took a mere ten minutes for me to disconnect the clamp, clean it and the terminal with my assorted files, and reconnect them. At last, I was ready to start out.

I arrived at Hammer Heads in plenty of time. I immediately caught up on Saturday's action. I learned that scintillating Az personality Pool Hall Maven, a/k/a "Amazin' Trace" and her traveling partner Shanna "The Red Tide" Lewis had suffered two losses on the opening day and were out of the tournament. Cheer up, fans, because as I was leaving late Sunday afternoon both were tearing up the opposition in the 2nd Chance tournament. Since they had both decided to stay around to support their fellow players, I figured the least I could do was stick around, too. So, I did.

I saw Rachael Abbink eliminate last year's Spirit Tour Player of the Year Debbie "High Altitude" Schjodt. Schjodt had previously been knocked over to the loser's side by the always tough Jeannie Seaver. Seaver went on to defeat Miynki Sakai to advance to the hot seat match where she would meet Bonnie Coats who won a nail biter against local favorite and tour standout Tracie Hines. Sakai was later dealt her second loss by Tamara Rademaker.

With her back up against it, Tracie Hines next faced Abbink, the potentially dangerous player who had eliminated Schjodt. Though Hines went on to win the match 7-1 it was not without it's drama. Up 3-0, she was racking the balls for the fourth game when she caught her nail on something and started shaking it like it was on fire. I caught up with her after the match, congratulated her on her victory, and asked about the nail. "It really hurt," she admitted. "Did it affect the outcome of the match?" I asked. "No," she replied. "I don't think so."

About then, I had to leave as I knew Uppy would be serving up Ravioli Lasagna at 4 PM sharp. It's an interesting recipe she got from Real Simple. You spread some sauce on the bottom of a lasagna pan, then lay down a layer of large frozen Ravioli. (We bought a 3 lb. bag of Celentano Cheese Ravioli for that purpose.) On top of that you spread a package of frozen spinach, then another layer of ravioli. You top that with the remaining sauce and mozzarella, cover with foil and bake at 350 for a half hour, then uncovered for another 10-15 minutes. It was great and as I was downing it and watching the Daytona 500 on the tube, I thought to myself, "It's been a very good day."

When I find out the final results of the tournament, I'll post them. Meanwhile, I'm looking forward to catching the girls at Hammer Heads again on April 28-29, and at Capone's in Spring Hill on September 8-9 and November 3-4. Check out their site at

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