Putting new technology to work for us at the bowling alley

If you read the headline above and came to the conclusion that I finally broke down and bought a new bowling ball, I apologize, but you are mistaken. I am still using my old purple ball that was made by some company. New bowling equipment doesn’t interest me. I’m still trying to figure out how to use the ball I already have!

Life at the lanes surely has changed since I started bowling, however. While some old geezers like me cling to the old school approach, nearly every bowler today has one new item in his possession. I’m talking of course, about a cell phone. What, pray tell, did we ever do before them?

Actually I do remember (somewhat) the days before communication became so much easier. If you wanted to get in contact with someone who was bowling, you called the bowling alley. The worker at the desk would then page you on an old PA system that was at best a little garbled. You would then go to the house phone to see if you needed to bring milk home after bowling. I still remember someone being paged one night and a bowler on the approach turned around, and repeating what he thought he heard asked, “George Jetson, telephone?”

Seriously, that’s what I thought I heard too!

Today though, we simply put on our bowling shoes, lay our cell phones on the table and get ready to bowl. There is no problem with a phone going off and disturbing a bowler ready to roll as each of these neat little gadgets have the ability to be put on vibrate. Instead of ringing, they just sit on the table and move around like they have an itch they can’t reach.

Cell phones also have the ability to receive text messages. You can even communicate with someone without actually talking to them. Who would have thought? The days of the rotary dial phones seem so long ago. Some of you may have to explain that to the younger members of your family.

I found out this week that all cell phones are not the same. My teammate has one that is apparently “smarter” than mine. During the middle of our spirited match, my buddy must have gotten bored as he searched his cell phone for bowling trivia. His phone gives him access to the internet. My “not so” smart phone can’t do that.

Using this new technology, he started asking us questions. For example, he asked if we knew what the letters AMF stood for. We got part of the correct answer of American Machine and Foundry. He then asked if we knew that originally when a bowler recorded a score of 111 in the seventh frame, he was bought a drink by the establishment proprietor. Somewhere in the deepest recesses of my mind that sounded vaguely familiar.

As my pal scrolled down his phone for further information on that score he found the words Advertiser-Tribune staring him in the face. He informed us that I had written a column about 111 in the seventh exactly two years ago. It was a little shocking to think that my stories are circulating out there in cyberspace, though I wasn’t all that surprised that I couldn’t fully remember writing what he started reading to us. Shucks, I can’t remember what I did two days ago let alone two years ago.

To think that my cell phone (well, not mine because I don’t have a “smar-ty-pants” one) can help one recall things is great. Maybe I should get a more intelligent phone as Jeff has been telling me to do for months.

With all due respect to the thermos – see me, ask me – the cell phone has to be considered one of the greatest inventions of mankind. If it can help us old timers with our memory loss it is new technology that will be very welcomed.

Now, if it could just throw the ball for me

We’ll start at the K of C Lanes this week as Jim Ruess threw a 627 to lead the 55 Plus League. Rick Hanna shot 575, Paul Gosche 531, Bob West 520, Bill Mizen 503, Bob Reinhart 486, Jim Donaldson 480, Paul Fey 478, Dave Murray 473, Dave Everhart 458, John Ferstler 452, Jim Ferstler 439 and Dan Coppes 430. In the Lady Knights League Theresa Hoerig had 438, Diane Bouillon 407, Carol Burmeister 398, Tammy Schalk 381 and Charlene Raubeson 380. Senior League scores included Doug Snyder 591, Herb Sendelbach 583, Joe Zirger 539, Steve Reser 526, Fred Reimer 522, Ken Ritzler 519, Rusty Latona 505 and Scott Kromer 505.

Carla Siebenaller rolled a 502, Diane Hoover 496, Brenda Rosier 493, Robyn Wight 489 and Robin Dickman 486 in the Alley Cats League. Sportsman League scores included Rich Yates Sr. 656, Jack Kramer 651, Jim Mason 650, Rich Yates Jr. 647, Scott Hartsel 638, Scott Ferguson 630, Ken Butturff Jr. 624, Dick Gabel 623, Tom Wilkinson 610 and Chris Johnson 610. In the Wednesday Morning League Rich Yates Jr. shot 640, Ed Wilson 635, Tyson Shope 635, Ken Lofton 632, Ron Mellott 615, Steve Norman 610, and Paul Landers 602. For the ladies Cheryl Radin-Norman had 469, Dianne Smith 442 and Sharon Dowdell 427.

Ben Hoyda had the pins flying in the Imperial-Majorette League as he fired a big 768 series. Steve Steinmetz Jr. had 579 and Bob Eaton 541. On the distaff side Deb Nominee shot 477, Dodi Gaietto 456 and Phyllis Hyde 443. In the Rocket League Tim Sturgill posted a 669, Tyson Shope 649, Pat McCarthy 557, Steve Barnes 557, Ed Conrad 547 and Virginia Vanover 449. Tim Sturgill also led the Twilight League shooting 646. Matt Clay had 641, Kevin Fitch 631, Rhonda Fitch 533 and Robin Brownell 397.

Al Stephenson is The Advertiser-Tribune’s bowling columnist.

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