Saturday, October 14, 2023

Learned Something This Week... a place I'd never been before:  the driving range.

Seems strange, but prior to this week I'd never gone to one.

I didn't care enough to bother in my misspent youth, and once I took up hickory golf, a driving range wasn't a possibility.

The golf balls are way too hard for original hickory clubs from 1920's and 30's.

Not that I didn't need the practice; the one part of my game that's remained as certain as the sunrise... a butt ugly slice.

My solution has been to give up on my woods, but for whatever reason, this year I resolved to deal with the problem...but how?

I finally decided to grab my hybrids and venture to the driving range.

True, they're not hickories, but they're shaped like woods...

...and I hoped I might learn something.

As it happened, wish granted.

While hitting one medium bucket of balls I changed my consistent slice into a straight drive, just by relaxing my grip a little and consciously rolling my wrists over sooner.

That eliminated the open club face that's the root cause of every slice.

Probably can't pronounce the patient cured yet...

1st day at Med school

..but I finally have a point of view on what the problem is and how to fix it.

Guess who's going to be visiting the driving range again?

It's an unhappy day here at the Castle Frankenstein...

hey, I know that guy

...and not just because it's Friday the 13th.

No, what's really got us in a blue funk is we closed our pool:

A sure sign summer fun's in the rearview and winter's on its way.


A shout out to #1 son who's about to enjoy yet another birthday:

Congrats on arriving at the perfect age; my advice is stay right there...I'd be your age forever if I could.

Love you, and have a wonderful day!

We've found our way back to Danish TV, having first been hooked by the excellent Danish series, Badehotellet...

...and are now enjoying another hit series, Carmen Curlers:

that's Rosalinde Mynster with Carmen Curlers in her hair; she played Fie in Badehotellet

This one's based on the true story of Arne Pedersen, a radio dealer from Jyderup...

...who decided in 1963 to mortgage everything, go in debt up to his eyeballs, and build a factory to produce electric hair curlers.

It was a do or die, "put it all on red" type of move...

...and the good money was definitely not on him.

He didn't invent the electric hair curler - that honor belongs to African American Solomon Harper in 1930 - but he did perfect it, mass produced it, gave it a cute name based on a movie...

...came up with a brilliant advertising slogan...

Arne, with one of his many admirers

"Become a New Woman in 10 minutes!"

...became fabulously wealthy...

Arne on top of his Rolls Royce, with his personal driver

...then sold it all to Clairol in 1969.

He moved to Switzerland for their favorable tax laws, then to Queensland, Australia where he ran a cattle farm.

He rarely gave interviews, but when asked why he did all this, he replied, "I had the money, I had the time, and I was bored."

So there you have it: the blueprint for success.

Next time you've got the scratch, the time, and nothing else going on, sell everything you own, start a company that becomes a worldwide sensation and retire a billionaire.

In the meantime, check out the Danish TV series, Carmen Curlers.

They definitely take some liberties with the truth -

(There's a repeating theme about Arne being bullied in his youth at a boarding school which never happened...

a young Arne at a vegetable oil plantation in Malaysia

...the beatings he endured came from his hot tempered father.)

- but they retain the story's wild entrepreneurial spirit, and they don't coddle our hero.

He's presented as a driven, almost manic personality who lets nothing - and no one - get in the way of his goals.

Of course there's the requisite gay subplot that advances the story not at all - Arne Pedersen would probably scratch his head in bewilderment, wondering "what's that doing here?"

Clearly its sole purpose is to virtue signal and appease.

Yet in spite of its failings, this series is very well acted with high production values and a whimsical sense of the 1960s that makes it irresistible.

Watch for those delightful moments when cast members break into choreographed dance moves, lending a dream like quality to the scene.

Plus the lead actor (Morton Hee Andersen)...

...really does resemble Arne.

Check it out on PBS Masterpiece as part of their "Walter Presents" international programming.

Speaking of whimsical, this poem was published in a 1930 edition of the Nebraska Star newspaper, and was quoted by the great Scottish preacher Alistair Begg in part 3 of his "Hard Pressed But Not Crushed" sermon series.

While the passage of years may have obscured the author's identity, its timeless message still rings true today:


I found him underneath a tree,
"And what is wrong?" quoth I.

"Are you so solemn seem to be
under this summer sky?

"The birds above you gaily sing,
the wild flowers brightly bloom.

"What is this awful horrid thing
which seems to seal your doom?

"Round you children romp and play,
the gentle breezes blow.

"Sad stranger!  Tell to me, I pray,
the burden of your woe!"

"I do not see the sunbeams dance,
nor hear the birds," said he.

"There's something faulty in my stance,
I can't get off the tee!

"All day I've shanked my mashie short;
my putts rim every cup!

"I'm doing something I should not!
I think I'm looking up."

"Poor man!" said I, "'tis very clear
no help for you appears.

"The woes you bear I tried to cure
myself for thirty years!

"And still my mashie shots I shank,
and still I slice the drive.

"And with the Dubs expect to rank
as long as I'm alive."

Though time all other griefs may cure,
all other hurts may mend,

The miseries of golf endure:
To them, there is no end.

On this cold and rainy October morning, let's paddleboard our way through Parting Shots...

ooh, that's gotta hurt

...shall we?

a nighttime visitor stopping by for a snack

could not have seen that coming

mr. squirrel munching acorns on my chair...hope he cleans up his mess

coming back from the driving range I spotted these guys in our neighbor's yard

sad but true

beautiful lakeside vista at Larry's cottage


The battle rages on between Israel and Hamas, so this one is worth a repeat:

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

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