Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Nearly groundhog's day

Sometimes these blog entries are more like weather reports. The unreal winter of 2011-2012 continues. Yesterday it was 48 in St Paul, the day before 41. That's usually too warm for January, but maybe it's just make-up for last year's very snowy winter. It's now February and while it's still above freezing - 34 now, it still feels like late fall or maybe early spring. There was no tennis with the geezers today. Dr. Bill was giving his one-man stand up impersonation of Mark Twain at a matinee in Bloomington, so we played tennis yesterday instead.

Today I took a walk around my favorite city lake to see if there were any animals or strange happenings to get into a photo.  No animals of note, and no odd occurrences to report today, but it was still nice to be out and about.

It was still misty from a morning fog that refused to burn off. The tree below stands next to the lake.  The mostly puddled lake surface is in the background.

Even in a year when the temperatures are near record highs for winter, it is possible to ice fish in St Paul. This guy was very much at home, walking on frozen water on Lake Como.  He's braver or, at least, more foolhardy, than I am.

After our geezer tennis session yesterday, we discussed the current topic of grunting (screaming) in professional tennis. The recently completed Australian Open Tennis Tournament featured two of the loudest grunters (screamers) in women's tennis in the finals. Victoria Azarenka beat Maria Sharapova 6-3, 6-0 in the finals. Sharapova's grunt (scream) has been measured at 101 decibels (a lion's roar is 110 decibels). Azarenka's is equivalent. Martina Navratilova, other pros, and many fans have labeled the grunts (screams) as a form of cheating. Others defend the practice as just an incidental part of the game.  I found a scientific paper on-line that measures the effect of the noises and concludes that the grunts (screams) cause significant delay in response time of the receiver of the shot, and are indeed affecting the game.

So I'm agreeing with Martina and the others in hoping that the rules of tennis can be applied and obeyed by the grunters (screamers) so that this activity can be removed from competitive tennis courts.


Santini said...

Great photo of the tree at Lake Como. (I assume.) It's hard to avoid the weather report syndrome, when so much of our blogging is about stuff we do outside.

Be careful with that walking on water stuff.

I see you at least mentioned animals. I didn't check the photo blog site that organizes theme day until today -- too late to give you a heads up. Sorry about that.

Retired Professor said...

A groundhog is an animal.