The Littlest Pfish (and Friend)


REMINDER - TRRA Membership Dues

Tomorrow is the last day to pay TRRA membership dues before the rates go up slightly for their fiscal year 2007.

To do so, go to the Membership Information page on the TRRA website and click on the membership category of your choice (most Paddlefish fall under the 'Boat and Facility' category). On the next screen, enter your UserID and Password and follow the steps for completing your renewal.

You can save yourself a few dollars if you do it today or tomorrow instead of later on, thus sparing more dosh for the consumption of your beverages of choice post-practice ;)

NOTE: Thanks to Kit for pointing out that when you're going through the Regatta Central Membership sign-up you should select 'Paddlefish' as your team - it's the only way TRRA can work out how many Pfish are bolstering their ranks (and for me to work out who to nag...!) :)

Indoor Paddling Regatta

From Ben Lau, coordinator of the 7th Annual Indoor Paddling Regatta:
The 7th Annual Indoor Paddling Regatta is 3.5 Weeks away on Saturday - March 24, 2007. So please:
  1. Get in Shape
  2. Fill in your registration forms and either email them back to me or mail them
  3. Please put down your weight so I can place you in the proper weight division. Same # of paddlers is every weight division of an age group.
  4. If you are coming as a team send the forms in one bundle - deadline is Monday - March 19, 2007
  5. Arrive at 9:00 AM to register
  6. Parking is tough in that area. Two Parking lots on Henry Street one block east of the PS1 school
  7. School address is 8 Henry Street. NY, NY 10038
  8. Plenty of restaurants in the area. We will only provide bottled water
  9. If you are in the NYC area we have two open practices at PS1 on Saturday - March 3 and 17 at PS1 from 9:30 to Noon
Please note: waivers and registration forms will be distributed via e-mail in the next weekly update.


South America photos

I'm back from Argentina! If you want to see photos and read tales, I have every delicious moment recorded in my travel blog.

I thought of my paddlefish amigos many, many times...especially as I paddled down the River Mendoza. You would have loved it!


Them crazy ergs...

So it's late February, you've seen the ice begin to crack and melt on the surface of the Allegheny, you're itching to get back in the boat, back on the water. But then, you wonder, how do I show to the world that I spent all of that grueling time indoors over the winter, slaving away on the ergs just to pull my 500 m split down by one second...

The answer, of course, is the ERDBA indoors in NYC next month. A great chance to give one last "hurrah!" to the paddle ergs - a great chance to get up close with some of your Eastern Seaboard Dragon Boat heroes... (ummmm.... not sure about that one, but the event is in a particularly small gym, forcing you to interact with all of those butt-sore, over-erged dragon boaters from other teams) and a great chance to prove to yourself what you're capable of before we bust a collective liver with all 20 of us in a boat.

So, this March,
adopt an erg needs your help, participate in the Indoors and give it that final lease of life it was dreaming of :)

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Look Your Best in the Boat

Just in time for camp: I have a brand new pair of unisex Typhoon 8 paddling shorts for sale. Black with red trim, similar if not identical to those bought by Jonathan in Florida. Size 34 waist. I would keep them for myself, but would have to give up beer for a year to make that happen. Please let me know if anyone is interested, or I'll ship them back to Hong Kong.

Ben is Leaving

At the meeting on Tuesday I announced my plans to move to Asheville, NC after the Pittsburgh festival in June. I have been thinking about moving on for years now and have struggled to find a time that is appropriate. I will be enjoying a plethora of white water rivers and streams and one of the biggest kayaking scenes in the country.

All things considered I think the team is in a good position now to continue to dominate the city and soon the world. I will never forget these past 5 years of Paddlefish and pre-fish and all of the great people who are and have been on the team.

The steering committee will be meeting soon to discuss what to do when I leave.

Thanks to everyone for making this team fun.



Thought for the Day

Wei Shi Wuyue Zong, Hanyi Wu Ru Long!

(Or: Don't replace your quilt with a thin one before eating dumplings during the Dragon Boat Festival.)

Got that? Talk amongst yourselves....


REMINDER: Team Meeting (February 20)

WHO: All Paddlefish

WHAT: Team Meeting

WHEN: Tuesday @ 7:30pm

WHERE: Washington's Landing Boathouse

WHY: To present the races that the Steering Committee has earmarked for 2007, and Ben's division of boat-categories for each festival. At the meeting, we will distribute a brief survey to determine your availability and interest in each of these races. This survey will also be distributed via e-mail.

HOW: This meeting will take place during the second half of our regularly scheduled practice. The workout will begin at the usual time, but will consist of only one 45-min block. You may choose between weights or erg, just be ready to meet by 7:30.

Trading Cards

Your communications chairperson had a snow day... all of my meetings, classes, and work were cancelled. Which means I goofed off all day and did something that I'm probably going to be embarrassed about tomorrow:

Pittsburgh Paddlefish Trading Cards

Yep, like baseball cards. You can see mine to the right, and Jonathan's here. It's easy -- to get started, all you need is a digital photo. This web site will practically make the card for you: http://bighugelabs.com/flickr/deck.php.

If you decide to make a card (and I hope you do!), just e-mail the finished product to me and I'll add it to the Flickr set. This is a great way for our fresh Pfish to get to know everyone.

P.S. I also set up an online photo pool for normal pictures (i.e., not trading cards!): http://www.flickr.com/photos/paddlefish. So far, I've only added Toronto '06 and the Polar Bear Swim, but stay tuned for more!


Tattoo Hoo Rah

How your fearless cap'n spent his Valentine's Day: gettin' inked!

You Go, Girl!

Laurie B. rocks the paddle erg, last week at Washington's Landing:


REMINDER: Volunteer Opportunity: Discover Pittsburgh 2007 (February 22)

Discover Pittsburgh is an annual event sponsored by PUMP (Pittsburgh Urban Magnet Project). It's an opportunity for young professionals to meet representatives from Pittsburgh's business, cultural, recreational, and educational communities. The Paddlefish plan to be there, front and center!

The event takes place on Thursday, February 22, 2007, 5:30-8:30 PM at Circuit Center & Ballroom (South Side Works). We'd like to have 2 people for each hour, so 6 total volunteers. If you are interested, please contact Jonathan at jjmayes (at) gmail dot com

Follow this link for more information about Discover Pittsburgh: http://www.pump.org/programs.jsp?pageId=0690200091781131723152527

Safety First

Because of the inclement weather scheduled for this evening, please use your judgment before leaving for practice this evening. Everyone can always just do three or four hundred pushups* at home instead of risking life and limb to get to Washington's Landing if the weather continues to get worse.

*The pushups are Bob's suggestion, not mine!


How Old Are You Now?

February 9, 2007
364 more days 'til grand masters...


Worthwhile Cause

As most of you know, the eldest son of Krist Sparta (tireless TRRA volunteer coordinator) has Hodgin's Disease. Take a look at this article from the Tribune Review http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_491704.html
The Fox Chapel Crew Club is organizing a biathalon fund raiser in honor of Alex. The collected monies will be donated to Gilda's Club and the Hillman Cancer Center. I would like to (no, not participate in the biathalon....) make a Paddlefish contribution towards the effort. I will find out details from Jesse Foglia (Fox Chapel coach)--who to make checks out to etc. and let everyone know. The biathalon is on March 24th, so I will be collecting money from now until March 22. Thanks in advance, anything you can contribute will be a help.


B B Birthdays!

Just when you were beginning to think everyone in the team was born in Nov/Dec...
We discovered the following lovely folks will have had their birthdays in Jan/Feb:

Jen W, Marie H, Kit, Kim, Ada and Laurie (anyone we missed?)

Which means it must be time to drink celebrate!
Friday, Feb 23
5:30 p.m. - LATE!
@ Kelly's Bar & Lounge in 'SLiberty :)
Come and hang out in the East End and help party-in another year for our Jan/Feb babies :)

Let's Get Ready to Rumble!

The ERDBA 7th Indoor Paddling Regatta is coming up fast -- Saturday, March 24!

You'll find logistical info in the e-mail update later this week. This little post is just a teaser, and a shout out to any Paddlefish who have competed in this event and have stories to share: I'm sure the fresher Pfish would love to read about it here on the blog or via a blurb in the weekly update (hint, hint...).

A trivia question for you loyal readers: how many medals did Paddlefish earn at the 2006 Indoor Paddling Regatta?


Yes, We Have Practice

Several folks have asked whether ergs would be available at Millvale for Saturday morning's practice, because of the Indoor Sprints happening at North Catholic High School.

We confirmed with Richard Butler that ergs will be available for us, so we'll see you at Millvale in the morning!

Volunteers are still needed for the Indoor Sprints, so if you have time available post-practice, your assistance would be greatly appreciated, even if you haven't formally signed up to volunteer. I will be on duty as a "volunteer coordinator" on Saturday afternoon, and I'm sure I'll be able to find something for you to do. :)

Information and directions can be found here: http://www.threeriversrowing.org/r-isprints.html .

Retreat, Retreat!

The planning has begun for the weekend at Moraine State Park from April 27 through April 29. This year we have five cabins in reserve for the Paddlefish Retreat at Moraine.

Marie H. and Jen will coordinate the food for Saturday lunch and dinner. In the past, we have had a picnic lunch after our Sunday morning workout before heading home. We are on our own for dinner on Friday evening and breakfast Saturday and Sunday morning. They will also coordinate the team members in each cabin and will adhere to any special requests for roommates. Cabins are heated with two bedrooms, a living-dining area and kitchen (stove and microwave but sparsely equipped). Each cabin can comfortably handle six.

Ben is the activities director and will enhance the weekend with excellent workouts Saturday and Sunday, while having a lot of fun on the water. The past couple years workouts have been in canoes.

If you are planning to attend, please give Mina your $30 for the weekend as soon as possible. The cabins were paid for in advance. So far the following people have made their reservations: Kathi and Bob R-D, Dick, Kate, Laurie B., Carolyn F., Frank (2), Judy L., Lisa, Mina, Rich, Marie U. All reservations should be made by April 1.

If you have any questions, please contact Jeanne.

P.S. Visit the blog archives (May 2006) for pictures and comments about last year's retreat.




Check the Team Pittsburgh blog for updates.

Happy February!

It may be the shortest month, but it's my current favorite... Library Lovers Month!

A few dragon boat-related things you can do at your library:
  • Surf the web for dragon boat sites.
  • Check out paddling or fitness-themed books.
  • Learn to speak Chinese.
  • Learn to cook dumplings.
  • Recruit new paddlers.
  • Use the online databases to search for dragon boats in newspaper articles, magazine stories, or fiction. I used NoveList to find the children's book pictured at right: One is a Drummer by Roseanne Thong.
Happy Library Lovin' to you all...