Saturday, January 25, 2014

Cherry Silver 2014

Today my doubles partner Gerald Cervantes and I put on a handball tournament. Gerald wanted to organize a tournament together, and I agreed as long as it was the simplest tournament possible. The Cherry Silver tournament fits that description.

Everyone is placed either on the "Cherry" team or the "Silver" team. I think these colors are used because the University of New Mexico has cherry and silver as its colors. The tournament is doubles, which means there are four people on the court at all times, so it is kind of crowded compared to singles. All the players only play one match (two games to twenty one, and a possible tie breaker to eleven.) There is no ladder advancement, or elimination. The winning team wins more matches. Earl Badger is a retired surgeon that plays handball, and he creates the teams. This year, like all previous years I played in, the seeding was extremely well balanced. There were thirty two total players in the tournament, three of which have the last name "Stinar." This made sixteen teams of two, for eight matches of two-on-two. We started matches at 9:00, 10:30, and 12:00, finishing around 1:30.

The Silver team had five match victories, while the Cherry team only had three. Everyone on Silver team won a commemorative beer mug. We had a table setup at the athletic club to organize the tournament. The only picture I have of the entire event is of my girlfriend and I sitting at the table!

My match was EXTREMELY close. I played with Roger Zimmerman, against Carl White (the UNM handball coach, my old teacher) and Mike Linley (a UNM graduate student.) Carl and Mike beat us the first game 21/17, we beat them the second game 21/20, and we beat them the tie breaker about 11/2. I'm not positive about the scores, but I think those are close. I'm pretty sure the second game was 21/20.

Brian + Lyric Manning The Organizational Table

After the tournament, many of the participants headed over to the Edelweiss am Rio Grande German American Club for beer and food. We had sub sandwiches, potato salad, chips, and dessert for people to eat. With entry in the tournament came two beer coupons.

Gerald and his wife took care of the majority of the organization, other than seeding. I helped out with a few things, but this tournament would not have happened without him taking on most of the responsibilities. As long as Gerald was happy, I'm happy to co-organize the tournament again next year. Thanks to all the participants, and those that sponsored the tournament.

I wish I had more pictures! If anyone has any, please email me them and I'll update my blog post with more pictures.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Love Thy Neighborhood

I've been part of my neighborhood association 1 2 for the past four or so years. It's called the University Heights Association which is bounded by Central and Garfield from north to south, and from Girard to Yale from east to west. We needed content for our upcoming newsletter, so I figured I'd write an article about the last neighborhood cleanup, and after party, and include the article in my blog.

My favorite activities to do with the association are the neighborhood cleanups. During these, a number of neighbors walk through the streets and the alleyways to pick up gigantic old couches, refrigerators, mattresses, tires, chunks of concrete and other trash that students, bums, and other miscreants dump in our neighborhood. We usually have between one and three pickup truck crews roaming around, supporting the walking crews to haul away larger items. The cleanups occur after the semester ends in order to allow students time to move out.

Normally, the city provides a garbage truck for us to use as a place to get rid of the trash. This year, the city said they would not be providing this service (despite the high gross receipts tax, property taxes, and ever increasing bond issues, in Albuquerque.) So we used a portion of our association budget to rent a gigantic dumpster.

 The 80-foot dumpster was full by the end of the clean up. 

Three board members (I/ Brian Stinar, Augustine "Gus" Grace, and Andy Mattern) were part of a sub committee that wanted to organize a party after the neighborhood cleanup. Part of the condition everyone on the board agreed to for me accepting the Vice-President-ship was that the association would throw (at least) one fun party during my term. We wanted to make the after cleanup party super fun.

Gus owns the property between the church on Silver and Yale and Silver and Harvard. He envisioned food trucks, music, and beer. We made it happen. It was a complete success, with between 100 and 200 people attending.

I was in charge of providing home brew beer. We had about 17 gallons of beer bottled that I brewed. This, and minor logistical help were my main contributions. The amount of beer was perfect - we had about four bottles left over, and the donations covered the expenses and a few visits to food trucks.

 During the event we signed up new members to the neighborhood association.

I think the event was a complete success. My friend Efrain Grijalva coined the term "Love Thy Neighbrhood" when he helped with a previous year's cleanup. Thanks to my girlfriend, Lyric Hammonds for helping me give away beer at the event, Andy and Gus for helping organize the party, and the rest of the association for putting together the cleanup, and cleaning up tons of junk.