May 25, 2007 10:30 AM That's my USGA handicap issued today.
The lowest my golf handicap ever was when I was playing a lot of golf was 11.4. I've already played nine rounds so far this year, almost double what I played last year. Every time I've set foot on the course, I've either shut my cell phone off or left it in the car. I can't even begin to tell you how much more relaxing it is to play golf when you don't have to worry about being interrupted 30 times a round.
So yeah, playing a bit more relaxed and a bit smarter out on the course has me down almost two strokes better than I ever was shooting.
Oh, and my 81 on St. Andrews was used in my HCP calculation. How many people can say that?
Well, better cut this short. I still have some things to finish up this morning before I hit the road for the North.
Have a good weekend everybody!
And Speaking Of The Designer...
May 22, 2007 1:13 AM
I just couldn't resist posting this.
You look at those eyes and tell me they aren't the greatest.
Summer, Summer, Summer Time
May 22, 2007 1:09 AM
I'm sure everybody who lives in Minnesota (or any other part of the world fairly far north) has something that reminds them that summer is just around the corner. While most who know me may think that the golf course might be what ushers it in for me, it's actually not. Hell, I've played golf in anything but summer conditions. I hit a ball out of the snow a couple months ago.
Summer for me is defined by one short, simple moment: When the bow chain is finally unhooked and the boat manages to slide itself off the trailer for the first time, ready to float on the water, with months to soak up the lakes, rivers, and sun ahead of it.
Last weekend I managed to find time to go retrieve the boat from winter storage. The guys at the boat yard did a fabulous job cleaning up all the muck on the fiberglass from sitting in the Mississippi River all last year, and it looks like it's in great shape. they managed to break one of the trailer chains, but after I was repeatedly stubborn about accepting it and tried to tear the defective part off one of their showroom boats with my bare hands, they actually helped and replaced the entire trailer chain with a spare.
On Friday, I'll depart for Northern Minnesota where that first moment of summer will happen on Bay Lake just outside of Brainerd. In addition to the boat, I'll also have a great golf course, plenty of beer, and some amazing bottles of wine with me as well.
But I'm bringing something else with me too: The Designer.
Last Saturday, she and I managed to catch up with my sister and a few of her friends as they were chaperoning a high school prom and went bar hopping afterwords. It was the first "meeting" of any family, and The Designer received very glowing reviews. Word spreads quickly too...My Mom and Dad both heard about it.
So she'll get the rest of the family in a matter of days. With every other relationship I've ever been in, I've always been hestitant to cross my "Worlds". If you don't know what I mean by Worlds, watch WAY more Seinfeld. The Designer will manage more than fine I'm sure, as her and my sister got along the other night as if they'd known each other for years. There was even some risque dancing amongst the girls, and they both managed to clutz it up and spill beer separately.
The Designer's favorite vacation is one she takes every year with her family. They all rent a cabin up North and spend several days doing absolutely nothing.
Regardless of the crossing with the Family World, that's what we get to do this weekend. Read books, drink wine, play golf, boat, swim, and sit at the end of the dock and watch the sunset. No agenda, no laptop, just the freedom to do whatever we decide.
Summer is almost here, and for the first time ever it will be with more than one World in my Universe simultaneously.
Four days away...
I'm New Here
May 17, 2007 1:40 PM
Last spring, I picked up a great album called "A River Ain't Too Much To Love" by Bill Callahan. The first song I heard off this album was "I'm New Here." I was driving home late one night from the gym listening to The Current. I remember that drive because occassionally when driving home from 494, I'd take the 34th Ave. exit past the Humphrey Terminal at MSP International, and just chill out for 15 minutes or so in a parking lot directly across from the end of runway 30L. I found it a little relaxing to just sit there and watch those huge planes rumble out of Minneapolis for all parts of the World.
There's a few lines in the song that caught my attention. The first is the opening line of the song: "I did not become someone different, I did not want to be." The second is the repeated chorus: "No matter how far wrong you've gone, you can always turn around." The last is the one that's been stirring in my head for a while: "I'm new here, and I forget."
I think you could take the song literally as a guy in a new place, the whole fish out of water thing. But what if you think about it as a reflection of the inside of a person? Here's why I ask...
A few nights ago, I realized something strange that's been happening slowly. Maybe it's just time and distance, but I think it might be something more than that.
I'm literally forgetting the last three years of my life. I'm not forgetting all the big things, like places I've been, things I've done, etc. But I'm forgetting what those years were like. It's slow, but each day I forget more and more. I can't recall all the little small things that I always pay attention to.
Maybe it's my mind's way of ridding itself of what (in retrospect) was a pretty dark period of life. Things are so different, so much more fun, and just all-in-all so good that while in the past I had to constantly convince myself that it was the case, now it actually is.
The best part, I actually like it. What's done is done, and what happened happened. There's nothing I can do about it now, except to soak in everything life now has to offer going forward.
I'm new here, and I forget.
Trust Instinct To The End, Though You Cannot Render Any Reason
May 15, 2007 2:42 PM A few weekends ago I caught an autobiography on Gary Player. He's an amazing guy, and lives his life by the ten commandments listed below. The title of this post is the one in particular that caught my attention.
Change is the price of survival
Everything in business is negotiable except quality
A promise made is a debt incurred
For all we take in life we must pay
Persistence and common sense are more important than intelligence
The fox fears not the man who boasts by night, but the man who rises early in the morning
Accept the advice of the man who loves you, though you like it not at present
Trust instinct to the end, though you cannot render any reason
The heights of great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but that while their companions slept were toiling upward in the night
There is no substitute for personal contact
Accident & Emergency
May 15, 2007 12:28 PM
So come on Give me the worst and then again I'm feeling braver than I've ever been From the skull down to the feet All out for blood and sweat and meat And for
Accident and emergency To terrorists, catastrophe Drop this agony, and misery Give me accident and emergency
So what happens when you lose everything You just carry on, and with a grin Sing, for all that your life has to bring And just get yourself back into the ring Knock us out
For accident and emergency To terrorists, catastrophe Drop this agony, and misery Hold on for accident and emergency
'Cause if you never lose How you gonna know when you won And if it's never dark How you gonna know the sun When it shines You've got to let it shine
May 7, 2007 5:57 PM First off, I've been told I'm not actually allowed to call her The Architect, as she doesn't officially carry an architect's certification. I'm a little bummed about that because it eliminates a few very amusing Seinfeld references, but hey, life could be worse. Henceforth, she'll be known as The Designer.
OK, now that we have that out of the way...
If you don't know what I mean when I say Wahoo Moment, go back to May 2006 and scroll down.
Saturday The Designer and I had a whirlwind day together which included her first trip down the Minneapolis Light Rail, Minnehaha Park, lunch downtown, a Kentucky Derby party, and dinner at my favorite restaurant in town. All of it was extremely fun, and I just generally enjoyed spending the day with her. In fact, I would be hard-pressed to think of a way to make the day any better, except for getting caught momentarily in the rain.
But my mini-moment would happen right before I dropped her off after dinner. We were driving down Hennepin Avenue and the fatigue of the day was setting in on the both of us. A song called Rainbowarriors came on Sirius, and her and I made a few sarcastic remarks about the song title, but it just played somewhat quietly in the background. It's not techno really, but has an upbeat yet strangely melodramatic (if that's the right word) sound to it.
In a moment of quietness, driving down the street surrounded by the city lights, Sirius on in the background, The Designer leaned her tired head over on my shoulder, looked up at me briefly (with the world's most amazing eyes) and didn't say a single word.
May 6, 2007 11:46 PM There's no feeling in this world that's worse than watching somebody else in pain. This past weekend, for the second time in my life, I would be forced to call 9-1-1 from a golf course.
It started innocently enough. Myself, Rod, Robb, and one of Robb's friends named Brent all took Friday off and decided to take advantage of the spring rate at the best golf course in the Metro Area - Troy Burne in Hudson, Wisconsin.
We teed off around 9:00 in the morning. The course was in fabulous shape, and despite the recent rain, the greens were rolling like billiard tables, fast and true. I didn't particularly play all that well, but was having fun none-the-less. I was hitting the ball pretty crisp, but Troy Burne makes you earn every stroke. A few wayward shots and the scores would balloon on certain holes. Three-putts became a common theme as we did our tour.
The trouble all started and ended in a brief moment on what would be our 16th hole (we started on 10, so it was actually the 7th hole.) Troy Burne is what's known as an ampitheater design, where the holes generally sit lower than the surrounding terrain, making it very accomodating for tournament spectators, and sure enough, Troy Burne hosts its share of tournaments. Having this design, each side of the holes is generally flanked by a hill down on to the fairway.
We all hit pretty good tee shots into the fairway. I killed a 3-wood dead straight and Rod managed to bend a drive long over a series of bunkers on the right side of the fairway. We jumped in the cart and headed off down the cartpath. As we got close to where our drives came to rest, I followed a series of tracks in the grass left by prior carts down one of these hills onto the fairway.
It had started raining as we were putting out on the hole before, leaving the grass just wet enough. As we were going down the hill, I noticed a very large rutt in the ground near the bottom of this hill. I didn't want to hit it going very fast, as we surely would have damaged the cart somehow. This was a pretty good-sized bump we were about to take on. As I tapped on the brakes of the cart, it sent us spinning around. Instead of hitting the rutt head-on, we would hit it at a 90-degree angle. The minute we did, the cart flipped onto its side, sending Rod and I tumbling.
Rod was on the lower side and hit the ground between the roof and seat of the cart. I came down (I think) right on top of him and ended up with my head near the front of the cart. I jumped up after the cart finish sliding and Rod was unconscious. After about 15-20 seconds, he came to, groaning. Robb and Brent rushed over and helped me push the cart up which Rod was partially trapped under.
Rod was clearly out of it, seeing stars, and his short-term memory was gone. He was complaining of pain in his shoulder and his back, but the thing all of us was most concerned about was a concussion. The way he came down, he seemed like he might have bashed his head against the ground or the cart.
We decided Rod needed medical attention, but he didn't want to move. Our only option was to dial 9-1-1 and have an ambulance come. They would show up about 10 minutes later and immobilize Rod before taking him to the emergency room at the local hospital.
I got a hold of his wife Jill and she met us at the E.R. Robb and Brent had other obligations that day, but I stayed with Jill in the E.R. for several hours waiting to hear what Rod's status was.
The final verdict from the doc was a broken shoulder, but all his head scans came back clean. I made it out with nothing more than a scraped up leg and a bruise on my hip.
A freak accident has left him with a broken shoulder, and that sucks. You take those carts down those hills 50 times a round, and nothing ever happens. But throw in a little rain and a bump, and you end up with somebody in the E.R. It may sound funny that a golf cart put somebody in the hospital, and if you do think it's funny, fuck off. He has a broken shoulder, and there's nothing to laugh at about that.
May 3, 2007 4:45 PM
I sent an email to The Architect earlier today whining about how my day at work would be much like cat herding. Her response was this:
Have you ever really tried to herd cats? Has anyone? I imagine that it would be hella hard. Where to they get herded to and from? How much do you think a cat herder would make? More than a shepherd? Would they call it a catherd? And how would you pronounce that? So many important things to ponder!!! This is going to be a GREAT afternoon!
Well, click play Architect. Your questions have been answered.
Lots more to say about The Architect, but that will have to wait for another day. :-)
My Trip Ends...Hopefully
May 2, 2007 11:55 AM
Well, here I sit at gate 27C in Glasgow International Airport. It's not even 5:00 in the morning yet. I stumbled my way into a cab outside of Rob's parent's house in the Jordan Hill neighborhood of Glasgow at about 3:55 in the morning. A quick trip with a chatty cabbie, smooth checkin, and a seemingly quick trip through security and here I am. My first flight to Amsterdam departs in about 45 minutes. Something tells me I'm going to be a bit tired on these flights. Hopefully I can knock out.
And hopefully I don't have a repeat of my Heathrow experience. Going through Amsterdam Schipol Airport on the way to Stockholm was a breeze, so I'm hoping it's roughly the same on the return. Heathrow, I know I've said this before, but, fuck you.
The last two days in Scotland were spent zipping around Glasgow, but no extra rounds of golf were played. Rob had a bunch of last-minute errands to run for his parents, and I had the one work task I was given as a condition of flying home from Scotland on the work dime. I had to get Rob's remote Internet access working so when he's away for extended periods of time he can work.
I managed to get that done, he got his errands done, and so last night we just chilled out. The night before we went out to eat and I got blasted on a bottle of red wine and paired it up with an authentic Habana (Cuban) Romeo et Julieta cigar. It was good then, but the next morning I paid dearly for both. Ugh. I feel OK today though outside of being pretty damn tired.
Believe it or not, that's about all I've got. I can just barely make out the sun trying to crack itself through the clouds here now. Weather should be good for flying with good visibilities, but it is a bit gusty. Should be no problem.
Fingers crossed through security. After two weeks abroad, I'm ready to head home. When I land, lunch with the parents, dinner with a date.
See ya later Europe. It was definitely a good time!
As the plane started rumbling down the runway, all of a sudden the captain pulled the power back to idle and took the next highspeed taxiway. The plane went back to an empty gate and the captain got on the horn to notify everyone that the airpseed indicator was malfunctioning. After about 30-45 minutes of ground and maintenance crew going on and off the plane, the captain said it was straightened out and we'd be on for departure. I saw the fuel truck roll up to top us off, and I'm seriously hoping it was to allow for a higher cruise speed, cause were almost an hour late now.
my connection in Amsterdam is 50 minutes. If I'm an hour late, the plane to Minneapolis will take off before I even land. Sonofabitch.
I guess we'll see. The captain did say we'd be making most of it up. How on such a short flight I'm not sure, unless dispatch authorized DIRECT-TO and we don't have to fly a proper STAR approach.
I'm the world's greatest traffic sprinter. We landed about 25-30 minutes late and did have a quick taxi to a gate right off the runway. The purser on the flight said all connections would be "realized" except for a flight to Prague, and the connection to Minneapolis would not be held, so anybody on that flight would need to hurry. I was the only one connecting on that flight.
Cue up the theme song from Chariots of Fire (better used in my opinion during the race scene in Mr. Mom) and imagine me with my laptop bag running through one of the world's busiest airports. I dashed and I weaved, and I made it to that gate. It cost me a full Diet Coke that dropped out of my bag. Man down. No time to go back for it. Acceptable loss.
Another trip through security and I'm on my way home halfway through the last leg of my epic journey. Hopefully my luggage had just as spirited of a trip across the tarmac as I did through a few terminals. I guess I'll find out in a few hours.
Oh, of the six flights and one train ride, three flights had mechanical problems, one fogged in, and the train stopped for 20 minutes to fix the brakes. Only two aircraft, from Amsterdam to Stockholm and this final one to Minneapolis pushed on-time. And I still managed it all. Wow. Bad Luck 0, Good Luck 1 I guess.
I shouldn't speak to soon though. Maybe the US will try to deport me.
As predicted, my bags didn't enjoy the same Barry Sanders-like juking through the terminal as I did, and missed my flight. I told Rob to not be surprised if I ended up on the later flight back with him because of security, but instead my bags rode back with him. I was very nice to the luggage attendant at MSP, and shortly before 6:00 that evening, about 3 hours after the later flight landed, my bags would be hand-delivered by Northwest Airlines. Bitch all you want about NWA, but they got me where I needed to go, the flight attendants were sweethearts to me, and they delivered my bags right to my door. By far the best airline in my entire voyage was Northwest.
My epic journey comes to an end. Ahhhh, it's good to be home.
This is the word barf of a guy named Bob (Ethics major turned Software Engineer) who lives in Minneapolis.
Email me. Buy some photo gallery prints. Do whatever.