Quinns Have Them? McCormacks Have Them? Bergs Have Them??? What the Heck Are They???

Sandi Quinn Speaks:  Meet Bosco! Bosco is pretty much a nightly visitor to get a drink from our bird bath and the reason I have to bring in my 7 bird feeders every night. He/she is not practicing the quarantine rules at all! Sandi and Stan Live in NC

Peter and Ericka Now Tell Their “Bear Story” Click:


ANOTHER Bear Story For You, this time by Stan McCormack!! 

I go back 10 years, back to 2010 for this story.  At that time Lois and I lived in Calabogie, ON which is north of Ottawa.  We lived in our son’s Ski Chalet. I have given you a winter pic on the left; after all, it is a Ski Chalet.

On the evening of July 4th, 2010 at 23:15, Lois sat up cautiously in her bed and asked: “Did you hear that?” Normally I would respond in the negative and suggest that we go back to sleep. However; I too had heard something, and that something sounded like someone walking on our veranda?? I quickly dressed, thinking it may be someone at the door. I was correct; it was someone at our door!! It was a Black Bear and he was directly in front of the door!! As I flicked on the outside light and jarred the door, the Bear was frightened to the extent that he/she moved quickly to the opposite end of the veranda and upon reaching the edge, kept on moving into the dense wood.
However; our story does not end here. The next morning with the benefit of daylight, we observed that the Bear had torn 3 Trim Boards off the garage in his search for food. Not only that, he chewed and clawed the door frame.
No doubt the Bears in this area are desperately short of food as the refuse site “dump”, has been closed. It was their personal supply of food!!
We removed all garbage from our garage and cleaned the floor with javex so as to remove any odor pleasing to the bear.
Notwithstanding our cleaning, notwithstanding that 7 nights have passed and no garbage has been placed in the garage >> this evening at 22:15 July 11th, our Black Friend returns. Lois and I were each at our computers when we heard him on the veranda!! I made some noise and as I opened the door, he took off in the same direction.
Thinking that our neighbor had children up for the weekend, I thought the responsible thing to do was to alert them that the Bear was on the prowl!! It turned out that no children were present but rather it was A Girl’s Weekend! They thanked me and wanted me to stay for a drink!! As I told them, had I been 30 years younger I would have accepted!! They seemed to be having a great time and I do hope the Bear Threat did not dampen their spirits!!

Stan: Recording our History! 2010 07 11 22:45.

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“Take Me Out To The Ball Game”!! Earl Takes The Girls To A Ball Game!!

Earl and I have been encouraging others to “Tell Us A Story”!!  Each of us, in fact anyone who has a Story, please send it along.  We will do our part to “lighten the Pandemic”!! 

This light story by Earl regarding the Ball Game took place in 2017.  Be sure and locate the link at the bottom of article BECAUSE the link will take you to a story by Earl >> written in 2004.

Click here to begin: https://theshuffler.net/2017/08/06/earl-ball-speaks-i-took-my-girl-friends-to-the-ball-game/   To make it easier for you, I will also provide  the link to the 2nd story: https://theshuffler.net/2013/10/12/the-good-ole-hockey-game-to-night-in-tampa/

Stan for Stan and Earl



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Former CNSA President Gary Pipher Shares A Story!!

Earl and Stan Have Been Reaching Out For Stories from Shufflers, Stories That our Followers Can Read, Stories that our Followers Can Enjoy!! Shuffler Gary Pipher has reached back 35 years plus to share with us an interesting segment of his interesting life. 

“A few days in the life of an old shuffler” Gary Takes Us To Tibet!!

Stan McCormack has asked me on numerous occasions to put together a few lines for the rejuvenated blog, either from growing up as a young lad in a rural community in Ontario, or from some of my work related travels over my 35 plus years of globetrotting in the exploration and mining sector. Since my days as a young lad were so many years ago, I tend to have forgotten much from those days. (ha ha I wonder why)
I have been retired for the lesser period of time and I will use that as my excuse not to write anything about my youth and nothing about “Oldtimers Remorse”. The Oxford dictionary describes “remorse” as: someone who feels remorseful has usually done something that he or she now feels guilty about. My guilt is only that I should have retired sooner and began playing shuffleboard when I was about 20 and maybe by now and I mean maybe, I could have competed with the likes of Earl Ball and some of the other greats from the game of shuffleboard I came up against when I wintered in Florida.
One of my sojourns I will tell you about, was a project which I was to set up for the United Nations in Lhasa Tibet, high in the Himalayan Mountains. The project was that I would set up, train and install geothermal drilling equipment for the City of Lhasa to provide electrical energy. Our company had manufactured the equipment in Orillia Ontario Canada, and I accepted it as a challenge to set up the project in Tibet. Hell: I had no Idea where I was going or what I was doing but I enthusiastically accepted the challenge.
The truck with two trailer loads of drilling equipment was shipped to the port of Shanghai where it was off loaded from the ship and driven overland to the Xizang Autonomous Region of China or better known as Tibet. I don’t recall the distance in miles, but it took several months for the truck and trailer loads to arrive. The roads were narrow and there were many small bridges to cross along the route, bridges that would not support the heavy equipment. The trailers had to be off-loaded and driven over such bridges in smaller loads, one at a time. I met up with the equipment convoy in Sichuan and travelled with it for several days before I hooked a ride on an old cargo plane that was going back to Beijing.
The UN project had little chance of getting off the ground before the bad weather of the Himalayas set in for the season. Accordingly I flew from Beijing China back to Canada via Vancouver and the UN project was put on hold until I returned the following year. I went back in May of the next year and because of the severe fog conditions on the Tibetan Plateau at that time of year, there was always a chance the flight would turn back and try another day. My first attempt was just that, and I had to stay over in Chaing Dao China and wait for another few days until a clear report was given for landing in Lhasa. The conditions in this region of China in the late 80’s were still very much behind anywhere in North America and accommodations were almost nonexistent for foreigners. I will not attempt to give you the details of this portion of the trip to Lhasa but I can tell you it was anything but pleasant. Each day I would hire a car from my so-called hotel and be at the little airport every morning by 4:00 am and by chance be lucky enough to grab a flight. Low and behold on my second day of trying I was issued a boarding pass and was all set to fly again. But the Chinese Military had different ideas and they commandeered my seat on the plane for a soldier and his duffle bag. I played their game and pushed my way to my assigned seat and finally the soldier relented but was not happy and threw his duffle bag out in the aisle way of the aircraft. The bag stayed there for the next 4 or 5 hours of the flight and anyone moving up or down the aisle had to step over it. They didn’t appear to be concerned in the least about the hazard in the aisle. We finally arrived at our destination and my next challenge was to find transportation into Lhasa a distance of about 20 miles or so over roads that were nothing more than trails hanging over the edge of the mountain with deep gorges below. I managed to catch a ride on a little old bus along with many of the local Tibetans and made the best of a bad situation. Because I was stranded for the three days and I had no way of letting them know of my arrival time; I was on my own.
If you have ever been in a foreign land and unable to communicate and not sure where to go, it gives you an awful empty feeling in the gut. I managed to get into Lhasa and found accommodations and enjoyed a decent meal that night; what it was “I have no idea”. It filled the hollow spot and the accommodations were adequate. Since the elevation of Lhasa was 12,000 ft it never took much effort for me to run short of breath if I tried to walk any distance.
The following day I found a local with an old jalopy that I could hire by the day and this old guy hung around me like a bad smell for the next few days to grab a few easy dollars from this “foreigner”.
The engineer in charge of the project was able speak a few words of English and that made my job a little easier when there was at least someone who I could converse with. I was never sure what he translated and passed on to the workers, but we finally managed to get the project started. I mentioned earlier that Lhasa was at 12,000 ft and we were expected to set up the program at an elevation somewhat higher than that. Of course, I had difficulty breathing so they brought me an old bladder looking thing that contained oxygen. Whenever I began feeling dizzy or exhausted, I would take a suck on the tube from the bladder of oxygen and rest a few minutes before continuing. Things got better after a week or so and I found I was needing the oxygen boost less and less every day but hardly considered myself anywhere as good as the weakest Tibetan labourer on the job site. I will try to add a few more lines to this story another day and possibly include a few photos as well.

Stan Speaks: The two links below take you to basically the same story SAVE AND EXCEPT, Gary has some great pix which allows you to  better relate  to the conditions he experienced. THANK YOU GARY FOR THIS FINE REPORT!!

This narrative by Gary Pipher   Gary Continues



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Ian Reiher of Australia Gives Us A Comprehensive Report

Stan and Earl:  Good of you to come out of retirement to keep us all informed at this amazing and difficult time in the history of the World.

Both Marj and I are very fortunate to be living in Coolangatta, being well retired and living in an area close to the coast which has a mild sub tropical climate and up to date virus wise a very low infection rate. The worst we have had were days of heavy smoke when the bush fires were on earlier this year.

Back in the farm country in some of the ‘fertile’ valleys they have had up to nine years of drought with heavy winds often causing dust storms taking away a lot of the top soil this was followed by fires early this year that burnt out what little grazing they had and in many cases their homes, sheds and equipment as well as the shade trees, livestock and wildlife. To make matters worse when the rain eventually came in February/ March it came in feet rather than points and inches and caused in some areas devastating floods. Now these country areas are like everywhere and everyone else in Australia having to deal with the effects of battling the Corona Virus crisis.

Malcolm Fraser one of our former Prime Ministers who was in power during one of our economic crisis was noted as saying ‘Life was never meant to be easy’.

As regards Shuffleboard, we started 2020 all ‘bright eyed and bushy tailed’ after spending the last twelve months or so getting things ready for hosting the 39th World Championship, we had a number of contracts and other arrangements in place all ready to go in August.

Then the first ‘cloud’ appeared in early March, the virus we had read about had arrived, as advised by the Government we introduced a number of ‘hygiene’ measures for players to adopt, by about the 10th March further measures were recommended and we we started to became worried for both the local Shuffleboard and the International. By mid March the measures had become regulations and the talk was they would be in place for at least six months which brought us up to September. As a result after many discussions with President Myrna we had no alternative but to ‘pull the plug’ and cancel the event which we did on the 19th March. On the 20th March we suspended all play at our courts until further notice.

It was certainly the right decision to make as the current position is Australia’s borders are closed to International visitors, the borders of many of our States are closed to interstate visitors, all the venues we were going to use for the tournament are closed most businesses also are closed with the exception of food and medical supplies. All citizens are expected to stay at home and only go out for essential supplies and some exercise. People over 70 are requested to stay at home and have other younger people bring them supplies. People who have the virus or who have been in contact with an infected person must self isolate for 14 days under the threat of massive fines or jail. Australians returning from overseas are put into enforced isolation for 14 days the moment they arrive.

For those interested in financial matters due to the efforts of our Management Committee we have fortunately been able to cancel the various arrangements we had made for the International without a loss to the Club so we are now in a strong position to get Shuffleboard going again when the time arrives.

The bright spot here in Coolangatta is we are now in the second month of autumn and sitting out on the balcony in lovely sunny weather and breathing in sea air from the Coral sea doesn’t seem to be too bad a way of being quarantined.

I hope Stan that you are well and being well looked after in your lovely retirement accommodation.

The attached photo is of our very lonely Elanora courts, not a person in sight.

With kindest regards. Ian

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Former ISA President, Former Brazilian President, Michael Zellner Speaks:

Dear Stan and Earl, I have not been avoiding you nor your request. In a time when we especially need positivity I am afraid anything I will say about the current status of Shuffleboard in Brazil will be disheartening.
Since my departure from Brazil and return to the US in 2014 and the change of direction taken by my co-founding partner Dr. Luiz Pimentel who since my departure dedicates his time to Golf and is competing on the professional circuit in Rio de Janeiro, the Presidency of the Brazilian Shuffleboard Association fell upon our youngest member Bernar Borges. Membership that was once near 75 members in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro is now down to a handful of members only in Rio de Janeiro. Bernar was advised by myself and Dr. Pimentel in 2016 to not host the ISA World Championship in 2017 due to insufficient planning and organizational support, lack of Brazilian players and most important insufficient funds with an unstable Brazilian economy.

Against our advice he proceeded and I will admit Bernar did the best job possible to host the event given those conditions. International travelers felt warm and I am so go glad enjoyed the 2017 ISA championship even with minimal amenities provided. That is what mattered most. In the end, and after doing all the work himself he was roughly $12,000 usd over budget and went to the ISA for additional funds since the Brazilian Association account balance was totally negative. As you can imagine that was embarrassing and not received well at all. In reality, No new growth has occurred and the Brazilian Shuffleboard Association budget is still negative. There are no players left from Sao Paulo. Unfortunately this is the reality despite Bernar’s exhaustive efforts. Brazil was not participating in ISA Championships in Vienna nor Australia and I doubt there will be sufficient players to form a team to travel to Texas in 2021 and apparently the new ISA rules no longer qualify me to compete on the Brazilian Team.

On a brighter side:
In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth and it is written that he rested on the 7th day.
It was on this 7th day in 1996 that Michael Zellner took it upon himself to built the first Shuffleboard Court in Brazil. lol

After retiring from the US Air Force in 1993, I accepted a job assignment at the US Embassy and moved with my family to Sao Paulo, Brazil. I left the Embassy In 1996 to become an English as a Foreign Language Professor at the University of Sao Paulo. This is where the story really begins. My wife and I constructed a mountaintop Chalet in a newly formed private community on the border of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. It was there that Shuffleboard in Brazil started. Next to the community pool was a fairly level grass lot that when I asked to use a portion of it for sports was approved.

I then travelled north to Seminole, Florida where I stopped into a place called, “Allen R. Shuffleboard” to get some guidance. I was immediately sold 4 cues, a set of disks, a bag of siliconed beads and the old man at the counter, whom I later discovered was the King of Shuffleboard- Sam Allen, tossed in a book titled “Shuffle-board Those Capricious Disks by Floyd Swem circa 1980 aka the bible. I followed it as best any total amateur could. Back in Brazil the neighbors were strangely watching me and mumbling to each other in Portuguese as I made the wooden frame and hand mixed cement that I later tossed into the frame and leveled it out with a horizontal board. Nobody dared ask the “Gringo” what he was up to. After it dried, I painted it solid green and added yellow lines just like they were in the book. After they dried, I began shooting disks from one side to the other to amuse myself for a few weeks. One day a tall lanky Brazilian man in his early 50’s stood in a distance watching intently as I did my routine disk shooting. He came forward and surprisingly asked me in perfect English, “Gringo what the hell are you doing?” From that point on Dr. Luiz Pimentel and I became the best of friends. I handed him a cue and we started shoving disks still trying to get some true idea of the game from the Shuffleboard bible laid out on the table. We agreed to meet on weekends to play the game which naturally attracted other curious neighbors and we had started something.

In the meantime, I had written to the ISA and found out that the 17th International World Tournament was to be held in Hendersonville, North Carolina in 1997 and I requested permission to bring some players and myself from Brazil. Dr. Pimentel and I threw together a rag tag group and officially registered it as the Associacao Brasileira de Shuffleboard known in english as the Brazilian Shuffleboard Association. John Barnett- ISA President was esthetic and immediately approved. We arrived and were given trainers and competed with kitchen helpers, parking attendants and anyone available in a special category known as the B-Division of the ISA. Michael Zellner who had the most hours of experience was elected the President of this newly formed Brazilian group and his faithful sidekick Dr. Luiz Pimentel became his sturdy VP. Together I promoted the sport in my home city of Sao Paulo and Luiz did the same in Rio De Janeiro.

(Pix by Stan: Eat your heart out!!) Together we grew the members to over 50 in 4 years and proudly hosted the Brazilian Shuffleboard inaugural in 2002 with exotic carnival dancers, open bars and lavish menus. Participants stated, “This will go down in history as the Inaugural of all Inaugurals in Shuffleboard.” Shuffleboard was truly on its way up in Brazil. In 2008, I stepped down as Brazilian President to become the ISA President and Dr. Pimentel took over the reigns. He stepped down in 2015 and Bernar Borges became the President. Brazilian shuffleboard teams have proudly competed in ISA World Tournaments from 1997 to 2018 achieving the Silver Medal in the Mens Division in St. Cloud, Florida.

Michael R. Zellner
1st Brazilian President:

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The Quinns, Stan and Sandy Share With Us.

We Hear From Sandi and Stan Quinn!!!

Hello Earl & Stan, Spring has sprung in Hendersonville a little too early and I’m afraid it’s going to be a hot summer. All of the flowering trees and shrubs are in beautiful bloom and daffodils blooming everywhere. Spring and Autumn are the most beautiful times here in the NC mountains! As Lynda reported, shuffleboard and all other activities at the Club and Whitman Center have come to a halt, not knowing when to begin again. Although, an unidentified source told me that Harold went in to clean the courts recently . . we love our Harold! Normally, 6 to 12 players play all winter on the indoor courts at Halfway Tree. They are not heated but everyone bundles up and enjoys 3 to 4 hours of play out of the wind, rain, etc. Unfortunately, that has come to a halt also. 😢 There are several who have returned to H’ville for the summer, like the Lovelands, the Letts, the Luneaus and perhaps more, and it’s terrible that we can’t get together with them to welcome them back. Emails, the phone and FB will have to do for now. It’s a little scary to venture out to the grocery store but we’re going to have to tomorrow. We will wear masks and try to be careful. Stan keeps telling me, “If I get this thing, I’m a goner!” The whole thing is scary & unsettling. S. Korea declared an ‘all clear’ and then it resurfaced . . how are we going to know when it’s really safe to go back to normal??! I really hope we can salvage most of our summer shuffle schedule . . we have so much fun. In the meantime, take care & God’s blessings to ALL, Sandi


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What Do You Do On A “Normal” Day?? Please Share With Us!!

Greetings From Sunny Florida from Earl Ball!! 

Below, Earl has given us an example of an Avid Shuffler’s Life >> when there is No Shuffling!!  Earl and I INVITE YOU TO SHARE WHAT YOU ARE DOING >> WHETHER OR NOT YOUR LIFE HAS BEEN DISTURBED TO THE SAME EXTENT!!!  Put quite simply “Please Share Your Story With Our On-Line Audience”!!  Please send to earlballzhills@gmail.com  or Stanistheman_200@yahoo.com 

Cindy  Wood Ironing Earl Speaks:  Hi Stan, The pix are of Cindy Wood, my significant other. Pic on the left, as a Shuffler, pic on the righ > Ironing because she hasn’t got much to do. You know things are slow when you start Ironing. Cindy is a Central District St. Am and has qualified for the Central District ” St Am Masters” the last 3 years. She is an avid shuffler, playing many tournaments and local events.
I’ve always wondered why people can’t remember what day it is, now I’m losing track. A normal week is up at 4 or 5 in the morning on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday to go to a tournament. Wednesday is catch up day if the tournament isn’t still going on. Saturday morning and Sunday morning are also catchup times so I can play a local event on Saturday and Sunday afternoon. On most days I visit my mother-in-law who lives in assisted living. Life generally is a blur.
Boy are the days and weeks long now!

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