Sunday, October 31, 2004

Jennifer Zajac Places 5th at Mackinac Island Marathon

Jennifer Zajac, the better half of M.P.C. President Joe Zajac, ran in the 5.7 mile - 2004 Mackinac Island Great Turtle Trail Run 1/2 Marathon this weekend and placed 5th in her age group (105th overall out of 2100 runners!) Not too shabby. Perhaps we can pay off her sports contract and lure her into playing for the Michigan Petanque Club. no doubt the Zajac team would out point/shoot the rest of us.

Halloween - TURTLE POWER !

Halloween Sunday's Games were officiated many times by the Turtle. Long May It Reign! The day's games were attended by Don, Dan, Joe, Cyrille, and Jeff. The pointing was quite good, so tight in fact, that Dan (official measurer for "close boules") called for Joe's "Turtle" actually his Obut Keychain Boule Measurer about 700 times! (or something like that) The club has also noticed a very large bee/wasp nest high up in the tree canopy which may or may not need to be removed come the Spring. All in all, it was decent weather, not too cold, and many fun games played. See you all next week!

NOTE: Club Member Ken (Team LaChance) will be in Germany for all or part of this week. What will Team-Z (Joe) do to keep himself at his practiced best? Posted by Hello

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Il fait du vent pour Petanque!

It was very windy for Petanque playing today in Wyandotte. Don and I played four games, with each of us winning two. it was a bit surreal, because hundreds of leaves would sweep across the piste, as the boules and cochon remained in place, giving a slight "underwater" effect to things. We felt that the distraction of the windy day was extra points for "playing under duress of the weather." Otherwise, it was a beautiful day, with hardly a cloud in the sky, and a warmth that, I think, exceeded 70 degrees. Lucky.

Trick or Treat - See you tomorrow!

Halloween Petanque Meet This Sunday

As you can see by the photo below, some of us are really getting into the Halloween spirit for boule. Perhaps a little too much! Nonetheless, try to wear some kind of hat, costume to get the club into the holiday spirit. I bought a load of sugar-laden candy for us to ingest, which should combat the chill that may fall over our Royal oak piste on Sunday.

Looking forward to seeing many of you there...

Don improves his boule pointing by literally delving into what it means to be a cochon Posted by Hello

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

There is nothing in the rules against the use of nightvision goggles to play Petanque in the middle of the night... Posted by Hello

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Some of our club members will be flying down to their Florida homes for the season, to play Petanque 3 and 4 times a week in 80 degree weather. We wish you many good points. Remember the rest of us, here in the North, scraping ice off our cars, and dreaming of that perfect carreau. Posted by Hello

Winter doesn't scare the Michigan Petanque Club

This Sunday's meet had a nice turn-out. Present were members: Michel, Camille, Thierry, Dan, Marcel, Cyrille, Joe, Romain, and Jeff. Four games were played, and since there was still plenty of light, a final fifth match was played. And then as one of the matches was still going on, Dan, Cyrille, and Jeff played a 3-Way every player for themself match. An interesting variation on the game, though still leaving me in last place.

Michel, Jeannette and Camille are off for Florida, to bask in the warmth of 85 degree days, playing Petanque along oceanside pistes, three and four times a week.

While the rest of us scramble for lock de-icers, windshield scrapers, snow shovels, and perhaps a Deus Ex Machina solution for winter-time Petanque... Stay tuned...

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Heated Boule Experiment Goes Haywire. Posted by Hello

Friday, October 22, 2004

Team Z Obut Accused of Using Night Vision Goggles

Kenneth Chance (Team LaChance Integrale) wrote:

Mr. Widen, in the interest of accurate and complete news disclosure, I felt you had to be made aware of the following report which came in from a competing news source.

Team LaChance gave Team Z Obut a sporting chance this week with days of notice that there would be a match on Friday. The time of the match was pre-arranged with plenty of notice. But when Team LaChance promptly reached the piste, where was Team Z Obut? Nowhere to be seen. Monsieur Chance even had to call the tardy Joe Zajac's house, and his wife had to coax him out the door to face his opponent. When he got to the piste - where were the boules? There was chat, re-parking the truck, setting up, drinking half a beer...clearly there was something going on. Time was ticking by, but no play!

Mr. Zajac, of Team Z Obut, in talking about the past week, then revealed his underhanded strategy - he had been practicing after nightfall until such times as 9:30pm...Very clever. Since Mr. Zajac had repeatedly failed to beat his opponent in the light of day, he had devised a way to make use of environmental factors to do the work for him. Someone interviewed at the match speculated as well, "Team Z Obut wants to play after dark because he is worried about people seeing him lose again. After dark, anyone can claim a victory."

The game was spirited until nightfall with Team LaChance leading 8-7. But then perhaps Mr. Zajac's night practicing, but most probably his night vision goggles, took hold, and Z Obut finished the match 13-8. It was so dark that Mr. Chance even was observed mistakenly picking up Mr. Zajac's boules following rounds of throws. Even with such an advantage, Team Z Obut was only scoring 1 point per round of throws. Perhaps Mr. Zajac was sweating under his night vision headset causing it to fog over from time to time. Given the recent series of punishing losses, he can hardly be blamed for his nervousness!

Evidently, Mr. Zajac figured out that the only way to beat the indomitable LaChance is by virtually blindfolding him, with the fall of night. We are not sure whether to include this match as the opener in the latest 9 game series. Mr. Chance commented that he does not mind giving his opponent a handicap, especially after the result in the last two best of nine rounds. This newspaper reminds readers that these ended with 5 games to 3 and 5 games to 2 in favor of Team LaChance Integrale. The Petanque council commented that will need a couple of days to deliberate concerning the validity of last night's match."

Team Z Obut Begrudgingly Gets The Job Done!


Team Z Obut (NYSE: TZO), News Release 10-22-2004

Team Z Obut begrudgingly gets the job done!

ROCHESTER, Michigan, October 22 – The night was dark. Team LeChance was already concerned just upon arrival at such a late time, and Team Z Obut is nowhere in sight. Is Team Z Obut (NYSE: TZO) trying to play against LeChance’s trouble under low-light conditions? We may never know.

But TZO came out with a vengeance never before seen during this increasingly heated rivalry. TZO started the game with a few commanding points, but then faltered due to the guilt of the freshly inflicted wound on the otherwise friendly member team. Team LeChance takes advantage and responds with a few more points to bring the game to a seemingly competitive score.

It was not to be however, Team Z opened the flood gates to be sure the previous week’s rhetoric about tournament play would not be repeated. Everyone has to learn some lessons sometime, unfortunately for Team LeChance, tonight was the night!” Zajac replied.

In the end, both teams vowed to return to the piste next week to test LeChance’s assumptions once again.

For more information about Team Z Obut, visit the website at

SOURCE: Team Z Obut

CONTACT: Joe Zajac, +1-248-601-2002,

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Team-Z suggests games were thrown to instill confidence...

Joe Zajac responded:

The missing pieces of the puzzle:

After the event Zajac commented "I didn't want to have to say this, but you can't kick a good guy when they're down. I'm lucky to be able to play so often and with such a wide variety and great group of players, when he (Ken) gets to play just a couple of games, I feel, as the President of the Michigan Petanque Club, I must instill the feeling of pure confidence in the troops! I had to be the bigger man! Without the support, how can you expect the troops to perform in the piste? Its a fine line I walk every day, but that's what I've been entrusted to do!"

God speed Kenneth Chance!

Innate Skill of Team LaChance Affronts Team-Z

Ken Chance (Lead of Team LaChance) writes:

The latest best of nine series in Rochester ended with yet another humiliating defeat, for Team Z Obut. All we in the reporting staff can recommend to the humbled Obut team is "Get some new boules." This evenings round HAD to hurt.

Team LaChance Integrale (Ken Chance) showed up out of form, even delirious, and in no time Team Z Obut (Joe Zajac) had amassed a commanding 12-4 lead. The thronging Petanque crowds seemed to lose interest in the match, and most of them departed to the concessions to get a beer.

But when they returned, Voila!, Team LaChance Integrale had pulled out an unexpected surprise victory coming from far behind to score 12-13.

And we are sorry to report that the evening did not improve for Mr. Zajac. In the seventh, but final, game of the best of nine series, Team Z Obut slinked away with a 13-9 loss. When asked later what had happened, JZ's only comment was, "We need to think about banning Mr. LaChance from the sport! He comes here with no practice, and still insults the teams on the court with these gauche affronts." But of course, one man's gauche is another man's droit! And Mr. LaChance was carried off of the piste on the shoulders of his adoring public....

End of report.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Frozen Cyrille Shoots with Boules up his Sleeves Posted by Hello

Marley Decides to Point Posted by Hello

Magic Dan makes points appear out of thin air Posted by Hello

Brrrrrrr Polar Bears vs. Eskimos

It was quite chilly at the Royal Oak piste, with the temperature dipping down to about 40 degrees at best. Cyrille, Dan, Don, Joe, and Jeff were present, wearing all assortments of gloves, hats, and in my case, long-johns.

After dreaming of hot cups of cocoa, heated boules and hands, and how easy our Florida/California clubs have it weather-wise, we broke up into 2 teams (2/3) and played about 4 or 5 games.

As the day progressed, we all warmed up and our playing was measurably improved.

We had the additional services of Marley, Joe's boule-playing, squirrel chasing dog who ensured warm hands with each pet of his fur coat.

At the end of the day we left for warmer destinations, but determinted to return for next week, which supposedly will be much better weather.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Yet another website for information...

I've been working on building a website for our Club, which is now linked with Joe's site and this Blogsite.

Just Click into: and you'll have everything...

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Tournament Held - Results Posted

It didn't seem as chilly at the Royal Oak piste as last weekend, but perhaps that was because I wore my new baggy boule outfit instead of my usual baggy shorts. I selected a really ugly bright red/blue (ala' Harlem Globetrotters) ensemble, but then thought how distracting it'd be for the other members and 86'ed it for my fleecy leisure-wear 2-piece. Enough of that...

Ten of us were present, and we broke up into four teams, with each playing the others to the result:

1st: Dan, Cyrille, and Jimmy (3 straight wins)
2nd: Michel and Jeff (2 wins + 5 points)
3rd: Joe and Jeannette (1 win + 11 points)
4th: Camille, Thierry, and Don (24 points)

I was fortunate in being teamed with Michel, who "saved the game" numerous times with his excellent pointing and shooting. They are learning experiences quite valuable to my future playing strategy.

Thierry was playing quite a good series of games with his new INOX boules. I'm glad he's able to play and get familiar with the heft of his new 720gram friends. I watched him point and save quite a few ends today.

Of course the toughest match (and ultimately our downfall) came when Michel and I played the Dan, Cyrille & Jimmy trio. They were leading 12 to 5 and it was constantly Michel taking back the point (to keep them from 13) when by chance, the tide turned, and we had the chance at making 4 points from a displaced "enemy" boule. But alas, Jimmy kept a cool head and pointed to 13 to take the match.

Adieu for now, and see you all next week.

Elections Held Posted by Hello

Elections Held

Today we held the official elections of the Board of Directors for the Michigan Petanque Club.

After the tournament (details in a following entry) the ten members present submitted votes (along with votes from non-present members) and Joe Zajac has been elected to be President of the Club. Vice-President is Jeff Widen, and Club Secretary is Don Tait.

In the next few weeks, we will be registering the club with the Federation of Petanque, USA and shortly thereafter any members who need FPUSA Membership cards can obtain them by submitting $15 to Joe, Jeff or Don. (The Membership cards are to be renewed annually. The $15 fee paid in 2004 will count for 2005 as well.)

We will soon be presenting drafts of the Club's By-Laws and Constitution (papers, I've been told, that are rarely, if ever, read by anyone). We will all vote as to their details, and after everyone is awakened, we can continue on as a unified Club.

We will also like to discuss times when club meets are most appropriate (for example: perhaps starting at Noon, or 1pm is better for us instead of 2pm). A Club Holiday party seems appropriate to celebrate our comradery. We should discuss where and when.

Let me wholeheartedly welcome our new President, Joe, to his position. I've heard he rules with an Iron Boule.

Group Shot  Posted by Hello

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Jeff practicing petanque near the Louvre Posted by Hello

Petanque Educational DVD

Many of you may not know this, but I'm a bit of a computer nerd. My latest series of gadgets include a video editing system coupled with a DVD-writer. I've decided to video all aspects of Petanque and convert the many clips into an amateur instructional video which (besides sending to my parents in New York so they can see what the sport is about) can perhaps be used in festival/tournament displays to increase interest in Petanque and club membership. Or decrease interest after seeing some of my horrible shots!

Besides throwing my boules several hundred times in order to get a decent selection of good carreau and pointing shots, the DVD will also include the basics: from creating the circle - measuring - how the scoring works - and various boules throws.

Saturday served dual purpose of shooting clips for this video as well as getting in some needed practice. Let me tell you right now, if you've seen the Marco Foyot video, then it will be easy to tell the difference! FOYOT I'm not! More like Jacques Tati !

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Tournament des Boules Nouveaux

Ken Chance, our Rochester Correspondent writes:

Well, the best of nine "Tournament des Boules Nouveaux" concluded last night in Rochester.

Played over two weeks in honor of the new Integrale Inox Pointer Boules bought by Ken Chance, the tournment got off to a marvelous start, with a 13-4 victory for the new boules. But the first night ended up with the boules trailing "Team Z Obut" (Joe Zajac) who came back with indomitable shooting in the next two rounds with 13-12 and 13-11 victories.

A week later, the next set of three games saw the tide turn slightly with Team Integrale LaChance scoring 13-8, 13-12 in the first two mathces, but losing the final game 8-13. This left both contestants with 3 victories, a piece. But last night, the long anticipated and much hyped final set of three games brought the best of nine series to a close. Integrale LaChance, pointing brilliantly, handed Team Z a set of punishing defeats 13-6, 13-2, and 13-3. (Statistics keepers will note that Team Z Obut's point total would not total to win a single round.) Leader of Team Z, Joe Zajac, declined comment after the round saying only that Team LaChance should be investigated for performance enhancing Petanque drugs. The Petanque hooligans in the stands went wild....

Monday, October 04, 2004

Sunday, October 03, 2004

A Cool Day for Some Hot Petanque Playing

The second tournament of the Michigan Petanque Club was quite a hot competition in more ways than I expected. The morning chill was in the air as early arrivals tossed their boules about the terrain to get a "feel" for the gravel grip. May I add, Joe levelled the surface beautifully with his Petanque-Rake (Patent-Pending). Only a few hearty souls dared to wear t-shirts, most of us wishing we wore warmer coats. Thierry came by to weigh and size up our boules before making a purchase of a professional set of his own. Purchase them soon Thierry, the snow can fall anytime!

The tournament opened with twelve players: Dan, Gerard, Marcel, and Roland forming Pool-1; Michel, Jeannette, Cyrille, and Joe forming Pool-2; and Camille, Gregory, Jeff, and Don in Pool-3.

For me, my best game was against Don, which had us neck and neck (12/12) to the last end where Don took the 13. Taking a loss isn't exactly considered a "best game" - but the competition was thrilling.

From the first pool, Marcel took 1st place with a clean sweep - 3 victories. Next was Roland, getting 1 victory (plus 17 points) - just squeezing by Dan who also had 1 victory but 13 points.

The second pool had Cyrille with 2 victories (plus 10 points) as lead, with his father, Michel coming second with 2 victories (plus 5 points).

The Third Pool (with yours truly ranking lowest) had Gregory first with 2 victories (plus 8) and Don with 2 victories (plus 7)

With Marcel, Roland, Michel, Cyrille, Gregory, and Don off to further conquests, the "losers" played against the losers to see who was the "ultimate losers"

We divided into two teams of four and three (Eric arrived to play) - so eight boules per team
were tossed (16 boules on the terrain, quite a sight). As it turned out, I was among the losers of the losers, with three games played (and three games LOST!)

The final was played among the champions, the rankings were as follows:

1st Place: Michel (4 victories + 12 points)
2nd Place: Roland (4 victories + 6 points)
3rd Place: Marcel (3 victories + 9 points)
4th Place: Cyrille (2 victories + 33 points)
5th Place: Gregory (2 victories + 26 points)
6th Place: Don (29 points)

Afterwards, we all broke up into teams of 3 vs. 3 and played a final game. I lucked out, getting matched up with Roland (excellent shooter) and Jeannette (excellent pointer) - so they pretty much carried me along as we FANNIED the (nameless) Opposing team...

I would like to add, special thanks to Marcel for the abundant and delicious croissants, and Michel for the generous prizes.

The Club will become soon become official (registered) as sufficient signatures have been collected to send off to the Federation Petanque U.S.A. (FPUSA) We will eventually need to collect dues from members in order to have the Michigan Petanque Club paid up with FPUSA [$10 per for the license, plus possible another $10 for a combined Club registration - we'll work out the numbers later] and a vote will be held on Sunday's usual meeting to select the President of the Club. to the VOTE...

I will not go into the choices of interesting candidates for the position, but would suggest to voting members that we look for a neutral, dedicated, and energetic person for the job.

We're ultimately here to consistently play Petanque among our skilled players; while bringing in new players; with the proposition of entertaining challenges from other Petanque clubs in friendly competition.

Currently, I've been constructing the By-Laws for the Club, and will be forming a draft for members to comment/edit/re-draft upon this Sunday. The By-Laws will of course be subordinate to the rules of FPUSA.

See you on the piste this Sunday. You may need to wear a warm hat.

ALSO: Let's consider a Holiday Party (perhaps at a French Restaurant)

(Photos will follow - shortly).

Biberon Posted by Hello

Friday, October 01, 2004


We're growing by leaps and bounds. Joe Zajac has generously registered the club at:

If you visit the site now, it'll still be Under Construction - but I suspect there will soon be all sorts of photos, bios, event calendars, and match score results.

What this also means, is that we expect Petanque to grow in Michigan (and perhaps even throughout the Upper Mid-West) and we'll have the technology to keep current with all those computer savvy boulisters.

Keep tuned.