Sunday, August 31, 2008

Brick by Brick, a Weekend Warrior Builds a Medieval Retirement Home

SNELLING, Calif. — Most days, the talk here among the farmers and almond growers along this stretch of two-lane blacktop 18 miles from the nearest on-ramp concerns heat units — as hot summer days are known — and the hull split that signals the approach of almond harvest season.

But there is also the Kasteel Noz, the turreted brick castle with two towers and a moat that Casper Noz, a 51-year-old contractor who was born in the Netherlands, has been obsessively building by himself almost completely by hand on weekends for the past 20 years.

Read the entire N.Y. Times article here.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Congratulations David!

With the 2008 Beijing Olympics well underway, the biggest sport in China is still upcoming...table tennis. Table tennis is China's national sport, and when I was actively competing I remember the estimate that there were approximately 2000 players who were equal to, or better than, our nation's best! They have a bit of depth to their team.

I had a number of coaches over the years for my Paralympic endeavors, including a number of Chinese ones prior to my competing in Seoul in 1988. My main coach in preparation for the Games in Barcelona in 1992 was David Zhuang. We worked together for many months, and he was a big help in my capturing the National Disabled Championship earlier that year, which assured me a spot on the U.S. Team.

An Olympian himself, David is an excellent coach as well (having been on the Chinese National Team) and became an U.S. citizen. I've very happy and proud to announce that while we only qualified one male table tennis athlete to the Olympics in Beijing -- that athlete is my former coach David Zhuang.

Here's a link to one of several videos of David on the NBC site. Please note that there may be a delay in downloading videos from NBC...their servers are getting hit *very* hard. Try again later if you're not able to succeed initially.

Here's another video in which he discusses his serve (having faced it in a tournament situation, I can attest to it's overwhelming power and the difficulty of returning his serves!).

Good luck David!!!!!