Saturday, July 31, 2021

Hit The Trifecta Today...



 ...and kept it in the fairways again...for the 3rd week in a row.

May not sound like much, but to a duffer like me that's the difference between an enjoyable round and one where you wonder why you even bothered.

Managed to snag one par...


...and several bogeys along the way, with only one "3 putt" green.



Perfect weather, too...bright sunshine and high 50's when I started, mid 60's when I holed out on 9.



Tempting to unretire my Callaway supersoft golf balls for a round and see if I score a little better with some added distance.


Progress on the pool continues...


...as they finish up the fencing today...


...which gives us a markedly improved view from the lower patio...

before...


...and after


The gas heater line passed inspection and the heater is now working...water temp is a welcoming 86 degrees.

Last things on the list are the 4 lamp posts around the perimeter, and then the final landscaping.




Lately we've been watching "The Last Tycoon"...


...an Amazon series loosely based on F. Scott Fitzgerald's last (unfinished) novel.

Set in the 1930's, it's basically a roman a clef  soap opera revolving around the movie industry, something Fitzgerald had gotten involved in as a screenwriter in an attempt to revive his flagging career.

Kelsey Grammer is outstanding as movie mogul Pat Brady, a thinly disguised Louis B. Mayer.



And his co-star Matt Bomer is excellent as  "the boy wonder" Monroe Stahr, Brady's right hand whiz kid...in real life, Irving Thalberg...


...a legendary movie producer who partnered with Mayer.

Thalberg revolutionized the business of movie making, melding art with popular taste in a way that invariably made money.

Indeed, almost everything he touched turned into a hit, including classics like The Hunchback Of Notre Dame, The Big Parade, Mutiny On The Bounty, A Night At The Opera, Grand Hotel, and many, many others.

The Last Tycoon's Monroe Stahr / Irving Thalberg aptly illustrates that "boy wonder" talent, demanding the best from his workers and ultimately producing an Oscar winning movie, albeit at enormous personal cost.



And when I say the series is "loosely based" on the novel...


...that's with a capital Loose, because the Amazon series has Pat Brady and Monroe Stahr hobnobbing with Mayer and Thalberg, the real life people they're supposed to represent.

Kind of a Twilight Zone thing I guess...



No matter; the series is actually pretty good in its own right, with great acting, crisp story lines and sharp dialogue.

Plus it has fabulous art deco scenery; very classy and elegant, a true visual treat.

Sadly, the series was dropped after only one season, probably because Bezos in Swahili means "butthead" (no really; look it up).

And you can tell the writers and staff did not expect to be canceled.

How?

By all the cliffhangers they wrote into the last episode...


...which shall now forever be filed under "guess we'll never know, will we?"

Even so, the 9 episodes that do exist are worth a look.

Enjoy.

And don't say I never did nuthin' for ya.


I don't want to rush you or anything, but hey...would you look at the time?



Might just be enough sand left in your hourglass to race through the parting shots department...just remember to keep your hands where we can see them.

Larry mentioned the water levels were up a bit at the lake...



...and also that he  had a visitor...a northern water snake ...thankfully non-poisonous here in Michigan


had an early morning visitor to the bird feeders this week...



...speaking of which, we had 'em lined up and waiting...that's a fowl situation right there



our lonely hibiscus threw a dinner party and invited some friends...that's a joke, son...these are "dinner plate" hibiscus, so throwing a "dinner party" plays on the...ah, forget it..


we've got one opened up in the courtyard, too


from I Chronicles 4...a worthy prayer from Jabez (who verse 9 says "was more honourable than his brethren") which God deigned to grant



every writer's dilemma



We're in the homestretch of summer here in Michigan; 2/3rds of our best summer weather is in the rearview now...so what are you waiting for?



later, mcm fans...

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Saturday, July 24, 2021

Two Weeks In A Row...

 

...and holding my own on the links.

We'll see how long this lasts, but once again I managed to keep my gutta percha in the fairways...


...and finished with the same ball.

Calamity Jane and I were mostly on the same page today, with two "1 putt" greens and only one "3 putt"...




...so along the way I managed a birdie, par and a couple of bogeys.


The other 5 holes?

Well...my usual mix of double, triple and <ahem> bogeys.

Hit my driving iron 130 yards off the tee, my mashie 100 yards from the fairway, and my niblick 60 yards around the greens.

I know all you non-hickory golfers who've never even seen a gutta percha...


...much less hit one, are laughing uncontrollably right now, but that's ok.

Today was exactly what I always hope for whenever I tee it up...a little solitude, a little exercise and a delightful stroll through the countryside.


In the "slow but steady rarely wins the race but can eventually get stuff done" department...


...we now have cement around the pool...and of course Karen went to work decorating the area rapidamente.



This has afforded me a new command center view...

she's always working...



...but she does sit down once in a while.

The inspector has been by to approve the electrical work, and the gas line for the heater is being run today.

Next week the fence should go up, then the lamp posts around the pool.

Progress.


The Olympics started this week...


...about which I care not a whit...



...but it does make me think of the greatest Olympian of all time, the incomparable Jim Thorpe...








...who won both the Pentathlon and the Decathlon, setting new world records, at the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm, Sweden.

King Gustav V reportedly told him, "You, sir, are the greatest athlete in the world!" to which JT replied, "Thanks, King."

Sadly, a year later he was stripped of his medals by the IOC because it was discovered he had played semi-pro baseball for 2 summers while he was attending tiny Carlisle College.

His "salary"?

$2 per day for expenses...so $60 per month.

That was a common practice amongst athletes at the time, but JT was naive enough to use his real name.

To their credit, the 2nd and 3rd place finishers refused to accept his medals, understanding intuitively they'd been soundly trounced by a far superior athlete.

The fact he'd accepted a few dollars for playing summer baseball was irrelevant.

There were many protests against this outrageous ruling, and it was commonly felt Thorpe's Native American ethnicity was at least part of the reason for the punitive action taken against him.

In the "too little too late" department, the jackwagons at the IOC finally returned his medals to his family in 1983...almost 30 years after JT died.

Like all fascist bureaucrats, they demonstrated a stunning level of tone deafness, congratulating themselves for their enlightened decision.

Juan Antonio Samaranch, president of the IOC at the time was quoted as saying:

“On behalf of the Olympic movement I should like to say how happy we are on this unique occasion to pay tribute to a man whose name is famous in the history of Olympism.”

Let's see...the IOC waited 70 years to correct a wrong they perpetrated...and Juan is "happy"?

How about horrified it ever happened?

How about mortified it took so long correct it?

How about deeply remorseful for destroying a man's legacy?

Heck, how about even a simple "I'm sorry" ?

It is for people like that the term "dumbass" was coined.

Rest in peace, Jim Thorpe...


...the greatest athlete in the world.


This week's parting shots are heavy on the botanical, with just a touch of the zoological and a tip o' the hat to the political thrown in for good measure...to wit:

an escapee from Meijer Gardens




first - and only - sunflower of the summer




first hibiscus in bloom




big and ugly and dead




almost stepped on him while watering the flowers




this year's corn crop...might have to visit the farmer's market




who would have guessed elephant ears would get so big?




pelosi, schumer, mcconnel, graham...




gorgeous black eyed susans this summer



Don't look now, but in another week it will be August...



later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

In the "so convenient you can't stand it" department, you can purchase my books here and on Amazon.com!

Get your paperback books here:



Get your ebooks here: