Sunday, February 06, 2005

Bowling blog.

The season’s uncharacteristic warmth continued through the weekend. It was in the 50s on Saturday when we took a walk at the Spring Valley Nature Reserve. Parts of the smaller paved footpath still had some slushy ice, so we took the service road a ways, which was ice-free but marked by puddles that Ann needed to inspect closely. I don’t think the maintenance crew of the reserve salts the road or any of the paths, since that probably wouldn’t be good for the prairie plants. So you wait till it melts.

The prairie fields had been subdued by snow, some of which was still around. The fields that had been so alive last summer (see July 12, 2004), blowing in the wind and alight with fireflies, were still. Most of the visible tall grass, now brown, was lying down, and parts of the field were completely white, despite the partial thaw.

Then we went bowling. Lilly’s been bowling a few times, and has been asking to go again for a while. These days, you get the option of bowling with or without rails on the side; that is, kid’s bowling or grown-up bowling. One of these days, Lilly needs to bowl with a gutter, but it wasn’t yesterday. We got some rails. It was a new thing for me, too. I can’t remember exactly the last time I went bowling, but it has been several years, and maybe gutter rails hadn’t been invented yet.

There’s a technique to bowling with rails that’s different from ordinary bowling, but it took me a good many frames to realize that. As primitive as my bowling skills are, I still want to bowl toward the center, away from the gutter. Actually aiming for the gutter goes against the grain. But you can roll the ball toward the gutter, deflect it off the rail, and hit the pins solidly in the middle. It’s a different game, playing with rails.

Lilly picked a light ball, but it still was a bowling ball, so she would take it to the line and drop it, thud. In a lane with rails, even that technique gets you a few pins, though it’s hard to strike or even spare. Yuriko and I did better, of course, but nothing over the low 100s. Rails won’t make a mediocre bowler into a good one.


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