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Freak Balls

There is no greater thrill than hitting a freak ball, the shot that has no precedent, and defies repetition. I've struck four in as many decades. The first was in a national paddleball tournament at Flint, Mi. against the remarkable Paul Lawrence. We were neck-and-neck in the second game when I hit the ball, and [...]

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The Traits to Become #1

Genetic gift without which no one gets to a competitive #1. Inclination and time to practice long hours. An organized, analytical chess playing mind. A strong coach or role model is helpful but not necessary. The patience to walk away from drugs, alcohol, romance and secondary influences. A weak peer competition helps but isn't always [...]

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Title Scuttled

Atlas Shrugged was the biggest, most beautiful book and for ten years has been my standard. That's how long it took to write Advanced Racquetball, the sequel to my best selling Complete Book of Racquetball that promised, forty years ago, this sequel. It's 825 pages and covers every aspect of the game from sneaker to [...]

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Koehler Method in Hoboing and Survival

I didn't use the Koehler dog training method of graduating negative reinforcements until after I had been the ringmaster of a menagerie, and then, oddly enough, the technique was to train hobos and survivalists. I grew up managing my pet guinea pigs to mow the lawn, a tortoise to weed the garden, white mice on [...]

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Thank You Taxpayers

Your dollars financed my stride this morning beneath a "Criminal Operations" sign in the Santa Ana courthouse that initiated a cascade of mistakes and apologies by the California justice system. However, it began on 10-10-08 at the Irving Ranch Conservancy, a popular hiking area on the western lip of Los Angeles, that is signed "No [...]

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Old Cats Home

I thought I was a lion tamer taking on the volunteer job of counseling in an old folks home. Armed with a veterinary degree and psych tech certificate, I made my daily rounds. The first room belonged to Gloria, bedridden with a bad bowel for two decades, who always screamed as I entered, ‘Read to [...]

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Desperation

‘Let me see your hands!’ I thrust them out the Ford window, and in as speedily. It was on a dark desert highway lined by moonlit Ironwood and Palo Verde trees. I call this Desperation, California because it’s the center of authority for the southwest desert. A giant face loomed at the window.  He must [...]

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Grassroots Jungle Economy

Amazon bus companies offer triple-deckers that ply the Rio Amazon day and night to tributaries and branches and on to smaller navigable streams to open a million doors to adventure. Last week I was marooned in the river pueblo of Genaro Herrera that provided surprising economic lessons. Money, like smiles, expedites transactions. A hunchback in [...]

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Corruption and Fat in Peru

The two most salient features on the face of the Peru economic boom are corruption and fat. The Transparency International (http://www.transparency.org/research/cpi/overview) is a world index of the corruption of nations you may choose to live or do business in.  You may read all about it, except between the lines, as Peru businessmen point out, the [...]

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Traits of a 3rd World Boom Town

I don’t know enough about finance to comment on bears and bulls without making a fool of myself, however as a mobile and keen observer and with the help of the top expat businessmen of Iquitos, Peru will describe the characteristics of a boom in a jungle town. Iquitos is the largest city in the [...]

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