Monday, May 29, 2017

Strange...

...goings on this weekend...

Arrived at the links at my regular time of 6:45 when I'm usually all by my lonesome...but this time there was an old Model T sitting in the lot...
"Odd," I thought to myself as I went through my usual routine of putting on my golf shoes, grabbing my hickories...
...and hiking to the clubhouse to pay for 9.

It's the honor system this early in the morning, so I filled out the little sheet, put a fin in the envelope and dropped it in the slot.

"Gorgeous morning," I said aloud to no one as I hiked down the path to the first tee.

That's when he called to me.
"You ain't Bixler, but you'll do."

I looked behind me to see who he was talking to, but of course there was no one.

"Beg pardon?" I offered, slightly annoyed.

"Bixler was supposed to meet me here," he repeated, "but apparently he ain't coming."

Since there was no question involved, I waited silently.

"So how's about you and me play 9 together?" he asked.  "I hate to play alone."

I love to play alone, I thought as I heard myself answer, "Yeah, I guess."

"Great," he replied as he stuck out his hand.  "Deuce Mulligan."

I tried to stifle a laugh as I shook his proffered hand and told him my name.

"You've got the honors," he said, motioning for me to tee it up.

I'm not good, so wasn't wild about being watched while I flailed away with my spoon.  Predictably, things did not go well and I squibbed it off to one side.

"Tough breaks," Deuce offered as he stepped up to the tee.  Pulling a brassie out of his pencil bag, he fashioned a sand tee, placed his gutta percha on it, then expertly drove it 150 yards down the center of the fairway.

"Nice," I said without enthusiasm.  "I see you use hickories as well."

"What?" he asked, looking at me quizzically.

"Your clubs," I said, gesturing at his pencil bag, now hoisted over his shoulder.  "They're made of hickory."

He cocked his head to one side and stared at me like he was seeing me for the first time.
"What'd you think they were made of?" he asked.  "Bakelite?"

I shrugged as we started trudging toward our second shot.

"So, you a betting man by any chance?" he asked casually.  "What do you say we make it interesting for, oh I don't know...say five bucks a hole?"

I shook my head.
"It's a sure bet I never bet," I told him.  "Sorry."

He frowned and kept walking.

My journey to shot number two was considerably shorter than his, and the rest of the round pretty much followed this same pattern.  We strolled through the beautiful countryside chasing little white balls.
"Is that your Model T in the parking lot?" I asked him at the 4th tee.  I'd already sliced my drive into the adjoining fairway and hoped to change the subject to something that didn't involve golf.

"Yep," he allowed, as he nailed yet another drive right down the pike.  "But not for long...I'm gonna get me one of those new Model A Roadsters."

"New?" I laughed.

"You bet," he said, picking up his pencil bag of clubs.  "That '31 Deluxe Roadster is the berries."
Now it was my turn to stare as if seeing him for the first time.
"Well what year is your T?" I queried.

To my surprise he actually seemed embarrassed.

"It's already 8 years old," he admitted, "just an old '23 Tin Lizzie.
"But you wait and see," he continued earnestly.  "Me and Bix got big plans and I'll be back riding around in style in no time flat."

"By hustling on the links?" I asked pointedly, but he just smiled.

"There's worse ways to snag a samolean," he replied.

To my chagrin we were joined by two of his pals on the sixth.  They seemed to appear out of nowhere, as I turned around and suddenly they were just there.

"This here's Blinky and Lefty," Mulligan said, gesturing vaguely in their direction.

One of them wore an eye patch, the other was toting a bag full of left handed clubs.

"Hi Lefty," I said as I reached out to shake his hand.

"That's Lefty over there," he said, pointing to the guy with the eye patch.
"I'm Blinky."

"Of course you are," I mumbled.

By the time we reached the green, I was away as usual.
I chipped onto the green and did my usual four putt, while the others holed out in two apiece...well, all except for Lefty that is...he drained a 25 footer right in the center of the cup.

By the time we walked to the 7th tee our two ethereal tagalongs had apparently drifted back from whence they came and I saw them no more.

I thought about saying something to Deuce, but he was busy lighting up a Lucky Strike and I let it go.

When we were finally holing out on nine I was more than ready to be done.

"A little piece of heaven," Deuce said as he shook my hand.  "Don't give up, you'll get the hang of it eventually.  But that slice..."

He wagged his head back and forth.
"It's your grip...you gotta change it."
He illustrated as if holding a club in front of him.
"And ease off a little bit, Ace," he continued.  "When you're holding your clubs you look like you're trying to choke a boa constrictor to death.  Easy Does It," he concluded.

"Good advice," I replied as he smiled, winked, then turned and walked to his truck.

I followed him over to his Model T and watched as he placed his clubs in the pickup bed.  He adjusted a couple of levers on the steering column, then walked to the front and hand cranked it a few times.
When it roared to life I couldn't help but smile.

He climbed in, waved once, then lurched into gear and headed for the road.

I turned toward my truck but spotted his scorecard on the ground.  Picking it up I glanced at the 39 he carded, then turned back to where he was a second ago.

"Hey!  Deuce!" I yelled, but then stopped.

I looked left, then right...but all I could see was a drifting cloud of dust and an old dirt road.
life is better down that old dirt road...
Yessir...strange goings on this weekend...

later, mcm fans...

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Saturday, May 27, 2017

Finally...

...For Sale...and hopefully sold by the end of this holiday weekend...we've got better-than-asking-price offers, we really just need to choose the right one now and put this thing to bed.

It has been a ton of work, and much of it has fallen on Karen's shoulders.  Apparently I married Superwoman bc the transformation in our home has been amazing...not just over the last couple of months when an enormous amount of time and effort has been focused on decluttering...but over the last twelve years as she transformed our home from "what it was" to "what it is".

One example...the before and after of our backyard...here's what it was when we moved in:
...and here's what it is as I gaze out our kitchen window this morning:
All of that is Karen's doing...she designed each element, and labors over the freshening, maintenance, and caretaking of it constantly.

She even worked with the cement contractors when they were trying to figure the right angles for the slope of the cement to the drains to avoid puddles when it rains.

And that's just the outside...she repeated this same transformational magic throughout our home, picking the look, the decor, the materials, and rolling up her sleeves and getting it done for each room, whether she was functioning as the general contractor and overseeing the work or actually doing it herself.

So it's been rewarding to hear all the positive feedback from everyone walking through our home...all the superlatives bandied about by excited buyers about how beautifully and tastefully decorated every room is.

Thankfully the photographer did an excellent job capturing that and so ours has been listed as the hottest house on the market in our area right now.  Here are a few of what I think are the "money shots" that he took:
curb appeal...

love the hardwood and the "it's a wonderful life" staircase



this looks like a painting to me

he did a great job of capturing the cozy feel of the theater room


Karen's fingerprints are all over everything here, and it is really tough to move on...

But moving on we are, and in 5 years she'll have worked her same magic on the new place.  Should be exciting.

Took yesterday off from work and it was a very busy day...started it with the ancient Scottish ritual of self-humiliation via golf clubs...
looks like a water hazard...
...but unexpectedly hit a few decent shots along the way...and the owner of the course cruised by in his golf cart while I was flailing away on the 7th hole...said he loves my hickories and wants to get a picture sometime.  I said, "Well I'm Bobby Jones and that sounds wonderful.  Will there be royalties involved?"

Anyway, I was on the course all by my lonesome at 6:45 and back home by 8:30...just in time for Steve from Steve's Antique Auto to stop by and try to fix Mr. T in my garage.
Sadly, as the above picture shows, they ended up towing Mr. T back to Steve's garage and fixing him there...a distributor cap, points, condenser, plugs and $200 later, Mr. T is officially back on the road...stiff necked beast that he is.

Spent two hours getting ready for the open house, and the rest of the day we were out and about since our home was inundated by strangers after that.

We were exhausted by 10 pm and fell into bed before 11 for the first time in a thousand years.

Today we're headed out to Holland to check on our new digs...Chris starts work on that next week.

The rest of the day beckons, so...

later, mcm fans...

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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Ready...

...and Action!  Or in this case, no sale.

I took pictures of my Bolex Paillard P1 Zoom Reflex 8 mm movie camera with the idea I'd put it on ebay...I've been selling a number of things lately with some sucess, but this isn't going to join their ranks.

Checked around and for this high end 8 mm movie camera - Swiss made and much higher quality than anything that was made in the USA at that time - $50 is about the going rate on ebay.
And I get it...no one but the victims of "golden age thinking" syndrome - the fallacious idea that somehow days of yore were better than current times - would care a whit about the forgotten film format of 8 mm - or its primary tools - from 50 years ago.

Of course, I'm one of the leading voices of that particular victim demographic, so to me it has some actual value.

Give it away for $50?  Why they can kiss my big fat hairy fill in the blank however you want to before that happens.

So forget it...I'll hold onto it, if only for its sleek aesthetics, and hey, it still works...maybe I'll be inspired to create an 8 mm silent movie classic someday.
Act 1, Scene 1, Take 1...and...begin:  "it was a dark and stormy night...suddenly a shot rang out...meanwhile, back at the ranch...somewhere in the distance, the lonesome wail of a prairie coyote pining for his mate pierced the silence..."


So our unforgiving taskmaster - the need to list our house for sale - along with its merciless partner, the relentless forward march of time - continue to crack the whip on this seemingly unreachable goal.

Nothing on the walls!  Clear every flat surface!  Banish every lurking chunk of clutter to the outer darkness, or at least to a corner in the garage or a rented storage unit!

And why?  Because buyers are too unimaginative and stupid to see themselves living there unless every wall is a blank canvas, ready and waiting for them to splash the paint of their lives all over everything.

Any identifiable trace of your DNA must be wiped clean by the weary hand of decluttering.

And yet today I see listed for sale a home smaller than ours, and all they did was take pictures...oh, they might have passed a dust mop over a few articles, but this guy had as much of a museum in his finished basement as I did...memorabilia and vintage items galore...definitely has that lived in look...and their asking price?  $200,000

But I've already emptied the loft and basement...
...of every vintage toy, phone, radio, lighter, camera and TV...items ranging from the 1920's to the 1960's, with maybe just one or two slipped in from the 1970's, though that decade clearly owes the world an apology: Carter, disco, my first marriage...

On the plus side, Karen - with an assist from Mother Nature...has the backyard coming along very nicely...


Pictures happen this week with the house listed just before the holiday...

And since I feel the sting of the cat-o'-9-tails biting my backside, I must leave my winsome pastime and return to the heavy task at hand...

later, mcm fans...

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Sunday, May 14, 2017

A Pleasant Stroll...

...through the country...which is really quite a change for me.

In days of yore I definitely considered golf a good way to ruin an otherwise pleasant stroll through the county...
...but hickory golf - and quite possibly whatever maturity I might have accidentally stumbled upon due to the accumulation of years...has changed that now.

Played 9 holes this morning from about 7 am until 9, did not do especially well, but had a really good time.
On this course and at that time, I am all by my lonesome, so when I don't hit a good shot, I drop another ball and take another whack at it.

And I'm getting a little better.  If you're an actual golfer, do not read this next part as it will burn your eyeballs, but ex-pilot that I am I've developed a simple 1-2-3 checklist before each shot.

It's nothing major, just a routine that helps me think for a moment instead of mindlessly swinging away.

And it does feel good when the ball flies straight and long down the fairway.

When it doesn't happen like that - and right now, that's about half the time - it doesn't bother me.  I pick up my bag and enjoy a little more of that pleasant stroll through the beautiful scenery.

In keeping with the hickory tradition, I bought - and used today - a sand tee mold:
It's a cool little spring-loaded brass mold...you put slightly wet sand inside, the push the top button down to push the sand onto the ground...and that's what you use to tee up your ball instead of the (now) traditional wooden / plastic tee.

There's a tiny explosion of sand as you hit the ball, and it's part of what I'm loving about hickory golf.

Other than the spoon wood and putter I bought from K. Leonard, a hickory club maker in Canada, my other hickory clubs are from the 1920's / 1930's...and I often take time to contemplate what my predecessor was thinking, feeling, seeing, experiencing way back when he was swinging the exact same club I'm about to.

What kind of day was it?  Warm and sunny?  Cloudy and cool?  Was he with a group or playing by himself?  Did he enjoy the game or do it as social obligation?  Was he good or just a duffer like me?  And when he finished, did he climb in his Model T and motor back home?

Anyway, his spirit and mine commingled for a couple of relaxing hours this morning on the links.

Which is good, bc it's back to the real world now, where chaos continues to rule the day.
Our lives are currently dominated by sorting, discarding, packing and moving...but there is progress.


The 2017 version of our backyard paradise began taking shape this weekend, just in time bc we need to start showing this home by end of the coming week.  Hopefully the right buyer will walk through the door and fall in love with our little resort backyard the way we have.

Selling on ebay is going pretty well...unloading a few big ticket items which is definitely going to help in the days ahead...moving is expensive.

But enough whining for one blog entry...work to be done on this beautiful summer-like day.

later, mcm fans...

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Sunday, May 7, 2017

Chaos...

...and confusion...currently reigning supreme 'round these parts.

Those are the remains of some shelving units in the foreground...they were lined up in the back of the garage, groaning under the accumulated weight of our forgotten possessions until we mercilessly attacked them, skeletonizing and strewing their remains across the driveway.

The stuff they so faithfully supported all those years?  About a third has gone the way of all flotsam and jetsam, now resting peacefully in a landfill...a third has been donated, and a third is now packed away in anticipation of moving day.  I do have a few items for sale on ebay as well, with more to come in days ahead.

I surmise there is progress, but it doesn't look like it at the moment.

Mother Nature is grudgingly inching toward spring, as our backyard is beginning to evidence...

...but Ol' Man Winter hasn't gone quietly into the night...it was 34 degrees this morning.  Enough already!  Let's have some warmth!

However, like pro wrestling and the democrat primaries (RIP Bernie), the eventual outcome has been pre-determined, with Spring declared the ultimate winner.

Why even Rory Calhoun made an appearance this weekend...
...so you know a sustained stretch of good weather must be right around the corner...hope so anyway, bc we're opening the pool this week...just in time for the start of "skinny dip Sundays" season...

In all the haying through years of pack rat behavior I came across the full size VHS tapes I took while my guys were growing up and competing in sports.  Some of these tapes are more than 20 years old now - somehow they aged while I remained just as youthful as ever, pardon my self-delusion - and I made the monumental decision they are not making the journey to our new home.

So I put the word out to 3 of my sons who were the primary subjects of all that oxide coated tape - if you want them, come and get them - and today one of them is stopping by...said he would take any / all of them.

He has no idea what he's in for...I think I told them there are a few dozen tapes...

...it's more like dozens of dozens...I kept finding boxes of originals...apparently my boys were pretty busy from about age 9 through their early twenties playing football, basketball, baseball and track...and I dutifully videotaped it all.

Guess that's about it for this edition of the Atomic Monster Cafe...

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

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