Saturday, October 23, 2021

If Envy Was A Penny...

...I'd be rich...behold
 Hawaii, where a friend from work got to visit for free as a guest of some generous and well-to-do folks he met while playing tournament tennis.

That's the view from their's where they stayed...

...along with a view of the grounds...

...and one of the secluded beaches they enjoyed.

He's promised to send along some more pics soon.

If he does I'll share them, accompanied by some snide commentary ("oh yeah?  well at least in my pool I won't get eaten by a hammerhead shark!  Karen, can you fetch my inflatable ducky thingy?").

Note to self:  in my next life, learn to play tennis, not hickory golf.

But speaking of hickory golf, I attempted that par 3 course again with decidedly lackluster results.

In fact, the results were so lackluster there's been a complete... no pics today.

(ok, enough with the wild cheering...that's just rude.)

The only thing of interest (to me, anyway) was my tee shot on #3 that landed in a sand trap (not a shock since there are 3 of them surrounding the green).


Ergo, I had a chance to put into practice what I'd learned from watching several you tube videos.

According to the pros, there's quite a bit to stance, ball even with the front foot, weight forward, aim left of your target, 75% swing, hit the sand not the head hurt just thinking about it.

Thankfully I found one that simplified things for the average duffer.

It said this:

Take your stance so the spray of sand you're about to create will go where you want it to.

Sounds simple enough.

In other words, you don't have to twist yourself into a pretzel; use common sense and eyeball it like you would any other shot.

Then swing your sand wedge (or in my case, niblick) smoothly and firmly so you strike the sand, not the ball.

And waddyaknow?

That worked pretty well.

I blasted out of the sand trap and onto the green, almost like I knew what I was doing.

That's not to say I'm now an expert; far from it.

To that end, next spring there will be a couple of new greens in my backyard (bringing the total to 5), along with several sand traps where the grass is thin and patchy anyway.

2nd green

3rd green

...and here...

4th green

Karen says I'm just doing this so I'll have less lawn to mow, a benefit that I admit did not escape my notice.

By this time next year I hope to be rubbing my hands together with glee whenever I land in a sand trap...

...or at least not cursing under my breath like I do now.

Ok, you've suffered enough...time for some parting shots...

Larry's back at his cottage enjoying life at the lake...

...including wildlife like this pileated woodpecker...

...and this obviously terrified squirrel (Dorian Gray, according to Larry).

or any other kind for that matter

time to build some trick or treat bags...

...and almost time to drain the lagoon.

I thought cats didn't like water...?

Did you happen to see the train wreck that was CNN's town hall with JB?

At one point - due to an apparent brain freeze - he held this clenched fists pose so long I wondered if he'd become catatonic.

That was just one of many bizarro behaviors and wandering answers provided during this clown show.

An obviously uncomfortable Anderson Cooper acted as more of a nurse maid than moderator.

Many times Cooper had to prod his patient's failing memory and guide him back to the question JB was allegedly answering.

Not sure what the intent was of this town hall meeting for which no one was clamoring, but the result of it was this:

It's crystal clear the lights are on but nobody's home, and it sure ain't JB who's running the country.

I miss the days when we were a functioning constitutional republic.

later, mcm fans...

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Sunday, October 17, 2021

End Of Summer...


...blues...and it must be officially over now because we just closed the pool.

In spite of our late start (mid-July), we did get plenty of use out of it this season and of course we're looking forward to next year.

If only we didn't have to slog through winter first...

not me...I don't wear glasses like that

In spite of WKRP's misgivings... turns out turkeys can  fly...well, a little bit:

They're not the most graceful birds in the heavens, but that's a nice piece of aerial navigation right there, and it's repeated every morning around here.

Then it's off to another busy day of peacocking...

...and tearing up our yard, scrounging for food.

D@#!  turkeys...

Just a couple of weeks until the big day... we've begun decorating a little bit, starting with Big Frank:

had to replace a couple of lights inside

More to come...

It's a gorgeous fall day which means, sadly, we need to spend much of it taking down and storing away all our summer items...umbrellas, garden decor, the inflatable hot tub...

But before we do, let's tiptoe through the parting shots, shall we?

looks like his passenger lost a little weight

visited windmill island during fall fest

Karen attempting to catch the moon

not bad for machine made

Larry's back at his cottage for a couple of weeks

friends Rodger and Cathryn visiting from Alaska

the latest sales strategy in a tight market

the Mars Space Alien plants have taken over the garden

#1 son just had a birthday this past week...

...he's in his early 40's now...made me pause and give thanks for him, and for all my sons.

Psalms 127:4,5 says..."As arrows in the hand of a mighty man, so are children of the youth.

"Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them..."

I'm a happy man.

later, mcm fans...

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Wednesday, October 6, 2021

A Gloomy Day...

...when I played The Links at Rolling Meadows, an "executive" par 3 course.

This is an intimidating little course with narrow fairways, water hazards and sand traps on every hole, placing a premium on proper club selection and hitting good shots...if you hook or slice, over/under shoot, you're in trouble.

Plus it's in the middle of a condo complex, so you're definitely "on stage" when teeing off on a few of the holes.

Nerves, anyone?

Even so it was an enjoyable round, just about the perfect distance for my hickories.

Most holes are around 150 yards, a few in the 100 to 130 range.

That means I'm teeing off with my mid iron most of the time and my mashie for the rest.

Struggled a bit on the first 3 holes as I was near but not on the greens with my tee shots.

I then proceeded to botch short chips on each hole, and consequently considered throwing either my niblick or myself into one of the ubiquitous bodies of water.

Arriving at the 4th tee, I  a) let a young buck racing around the course on a golf cart play through, then  b) took a deep breath and pressed the reset button.

After a pause that refreshed...

no, I did not have a Coke...I just like retro ads like this one from 1929

...I managed to settle down and scattered 3 bogeys and 3 pars over the last 6 holes.

The most challenging hole for me was number 8...only 150 yards but it's fronted by water, so if you're short you're going to splash.

Thankfully I hit all of my mid iron and held the green.

A 2 putt netted a par, then repeated that trick on 9.

Along the way I bumped into some friendly folks who wanted to chat about my hickories, and I asked about life there at the condos.

It's a retirement community and Karen and I aren't quite there yet, but it's definitely an option we'll keep in mind for a few years hence.

And since it wasn't busy today, it only took me 45 minutes to walk 9...a delightful way to spend three quarters of an hour.

Gotta love hickory golf.

So...will I play this course again?

Well, if I thought I could do that I probably would, because it's certain if I go back I'll not only drop a few in the drink, but will also have to hit out of sand traps now and then.

This is one of those courses where losing a couple of balls per round and piling on the stroke count seems like a real possibility.

On the other hand, the course where I usually play has now officially closed for the year, so we'll see.

Desperate men, don'cha know...

Hard to believe we're already through the 1st week of October...have you started on your "October Movies" list yet?

I'm definitely not into cut and slash / demonic crap, so garbage like The Exorcist, Halloween, Scream, et al...they're out.

But classics are in so we'll cue up Frankenstein, Young Frankenstein, Nosferatu, Shadow of the Vampire, Something Wicked This Way Comes, It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown and Ghostbusters (original version), to name a few.

We also like movies that capture the colors and mood of autumn, unrelated to Halloween, so Friday Night Lights, Dead Poets Society, Rushmore, Hoosiers and a new favorite, October Sky are also on the list.

This is an autobiographical flick about Homer Hickam who grew up in a West Virginia coal mining town, and it stars Jake Gyllenhaal as high school senior Homer, the great Chris Cooper as his father...

...and Laura Dern as a dedicated teacher who encourages her students to dream big and escape the drudgery of life underground in the coal mines.

The key historical event and epicenter of the movie is the Soviet launch of the first man made satellite, Sputnik, on October 4th, 1957.

It's impossible to overstate the significance of that event, not only as a scientific achievement for mankind, but also as a sucker punch to the collective American psyche.

We were suddenly and forcefully reminded our biggest enemy was leading us in the "space race", a lead they would maintain for much of the next 10 years.

(It wasn't until our Apollo program that we finally caught up and then surpassed the Soviets when we became the first nation to land a man on the moon in July of 1969.)

This realization had a huge impact on almost every aspect of our culture.

Indeed, much of mid century modern decor was indelibly marked by this... space age and atomic design elements became ubiquitous almost overnight.

And for our group of high school heroes... literally changed their lives and altered their destinies.

This is truly a remarkable movie with outstanding acting from every principal character, totally convincing in every detail.

It's also one of the few "high school" movies where the actors playing the students actually appear to be in high school, not 20 somethings pretending to be 10 years younger.

And rather than delving into extracurricular fluff - racing hot cars, bedding conquests, fretting over clothing styles and popularity contests - it centers on the idea of education as a pathway to freedom of choice in their lives ahead.

Do yourself a favor and watch this movie.

Not only will you be entertained by fine acting and educated on a key point in history, you'll also be uplifted... a pervading sense of dedication to a worthy goal and the realization that hard work and commitment are the keys to success.

As we get out the cattle prod...

...and urge you into a brisk trot toward the exit, feel free to steal a glance or two at the parting shots...

teeing off the 9th hole on the Ryan P. Hare Memorial Hickory / Wiffle Golf Course

thank you, Nascar

don't even think about it

friendly welcome from a local retailer

and one from a friendly homeowner

showers on a sunny day

the ol' homestead in early autumn

mr. groundhog clearing the area before making a break for the bird feeder

another late season hold out

the tree creature from the arboreal nether regions makes his triumphant return

Ok, that's it...that's all I've got, so...

later, mcm fans...

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