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Archive for the ‘Golf’ Category

Yesterday I received an e-mail from my cousin in Arkansas. She keeps me informed of goings on and I appreciate her messages. She wrote that her husband and brother (another cousin) had gone to “the farm” at three a.m. on a deer hunting foray. The farm she mentioned is owned by her husband and he drives about a hundred miles at least once a week, sometimes more often, to see how things are going and to consult with his manager.

This year, his crops are soy beans and rice. At least one of the rice fields has been harvested but the soy beans were largely destroyed under a deluge of rain that extended over several days and inundated the crop land. Such is the fate of farmers. It’s a risky business.

The farm is large and meanders in and out of stands of woods. The crops are ringed by dirt roads that form a boundary between the woods and the crop land. And running through the crops are a series of smaller roads, small dikes, and irrigation canals. Water for the crops is diverted from creeks and streams that run through the woods by a series of diversion dams between the woods and the crops.

The woods are a convenient home for deer and smaller wildlife, and the crop lands are prime sources of food for them. When my cousin’s husband gave me a tour of the farm a couple of months ago, we saw several herds of deer browsing along the edges of the soybeans, which were still thriving at that time. The deer were easily visible from our ground-level position on the perimeter road, and had anyone had the inclination and a deer rifle, he could easily have shot one maybe two deer before they bolted.

But the accepted method of deer hunting is from a deer stand. For lack of a better description, a deer stand is like a small tree-house constructed on the trunk of a tree about 30 feet from the ground. A stand is really nothing more than a platform anchored to the tree with two by fours as braces.

Hunters access the stand by climbing a wooden ladder. Then, they wait for the deer to appear in their view. If the deer are near enough for a clear shot, then the hunter is likely to kill his limit in short order. If there are two hunters, both may kill their limit before the day is over.

On the day I visited, my cousin’s husband pointed out several strategically placed deer stands. Even from ground level, the crops spread out before me for well over a thousand yards. From the vantage point of one of the elevated stands, a hunter could see much further. A hunter with a high-powered deer rifle with a scope can score a hit easily from that distance.

As we drove around the farm and the woods, with my cousin’s husband explaining the intricacies of farming, I began to think about my own hunting days. I was young then, very young, and a part of the culture of the time and place. My favorite reading material was the Shooters Bible, at that time a flashy publication advertising every make of gun anyone could imagine.

I myself owned four guns, a .22 caliber plinking rifle, a .20 gauge shotgun for small birds and varmints, a .12 gauge shotgun once owned by my granddad for quail, pheasants, and rabbits, and a  bolt-action 7-millimeter Belgium Mauser. This latter gun is a mystery. I can’t remember how I came to have it in my possession. I just remember driving to a gravel pit with friends and shooting cans with it. This was one hell of a powerful rifle, literally blowing a can to smithereens.

Because of my background, I entered the military service quite familiar with guns. I was very accurate with the M-1 Carbine used then by the Air Force. I could easily hit the bull’s eye with regularity, and at one time I was asked to join the rifle team. I declined respectfully. Although I was a good shot, I didn’t want to spend my service time on a rifle range. Competition firing isn’t just a matter of picking up a gun and shooting it when your turn comes. Consistent accuracy takes a lot of practice to achieve. I was too undisciplined then.

After my service time ended, I never returned to the old home place except for brief visits and I never hunted again. It wasn’t that I suddenly became anti-gun. My life following my discharge from the service became filled with family, job, and various other sports, primarily baseball at first but eventually fast-pitch softball. I played in a city league for a few years and hung it up in favor of golf. That’s where my life stands at the present.

When I received my cousin’s e-mail, I wondered what I would do if her husband asked me to accompany him to the farm for deer hunting. I knew that I wouldn’t, so the only issue was how to say no gracefully. I finally settled on a straightforward and honest answer. “No, thanks, but I appreciate the invitation,” I would say simply without embellishment or excuse. If I were pressed further, I would add, “I don’t hunt anymore. It’s merely a matter of my personal preference, but I certainly don’t object to other people hunting,” I intend to avoid a never-ending series of excuses about guns and hunting. It’s counterproductive.

The truth of the matter is, a truth I will never tell my cousin, shooting a deer with a high-powered deer rifle is too easy. Where is the challenge? The process might be fair if the deer had a rifle, too. Besides, I am at a stage of economic independence that I don’t need to hunt to eat. Some people do, of course. Let them. Me, I just trot down to Safeway and browse the aisles, hunting for a can of SPAM.

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I’m watching the President’s Cup golf match televised from San Francisco’s Harding Park Golf Course. This magnificent example of San Francisco’s beauty winds around Lake Merced not too far from the main campus of San Francisco State University where, in a moment of insanity, I once enrolled.

The President’s Cup is a golfing match between a United States team of top professional golfers and a team referred to as the International team, meaning it’s players are from various countries around the world. At the moment, the U.S. team is leading, but the skill level of the international players could mean anything is possible before the fat golfer swings.

One of my disconcerting habits when I watch golf is a tendency to spend more time looking at the galleries than the action on the course. For me, that’s normal behavior. I can hear the announcers and commentators as they explain what’s happing but I am equally interested in spotting notables in the crowd. For example, I wonder if the Mayor of San Francisco is following his favorite golfer. He’s an amateur golfer himself, so I imagine he’s been there on and off, although he probably doesn’t spend a whole day in attendance. Maybe, and this is just a guess, he’ll show up on the last day when the trophies are handed out.

I also wonder if any members of San Francisco’s famed Cougar Class are lurking around, waiting for a chance to pounce on a healthy young golfing stud. A large proportion of the gallery consists of females, but it’s difficult if not impossible to separate a Cougar from the pack. Human Cougars ordinarily don’t wear signs or stripped blouses.

As I’ve watched and admired the golf swings of the world’s top golfers, a disconcerting thought occurred to me. Neither the U.S. team nor the International team has a single woman player on it. In this land of equality and freedom for all, you’d think PGA officials could at least acknowledge the existence of the women in our society. After all, the President is the President of women as well as men. Sure, the PGA has a ladies golfing division, which is appropriately called “Ladies Professional Golfer’s Association” because it has no male members. The LPGA has its own tour and tournaments, so women professional golfers haven’t been totally ignored.

Still, one would think a match so important that it is called “The Presidents Cup” would in some small way include women players as well as men. It’s only fair, and America is, after all, a land of fairness.

So, here’s my modest proposal. The Presidents Cup matches would consist of two divisions, The Presidents Cup for men and The First Ladies Cup for women. One advantage of a First Ladies Cup is that the ladies are, in general, more attractive than the men and they wear shorts, thus giving the galleries a look at some fine legs. Think of the number of Male Cougars that might suddenly develop an interest in golf.

This would be gender equality at its finest.

Update: A commentator just interviewed Condi Rice. Now that the weight of office is no longer on her shoulders, she looks quite relaxed.

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Today is a marvelous, stupendous, exciting, break-out-the champagne kind of day.

We have received over 500 hits on this site in a single day! And the day isn’t over yet.

You may say “So freakin’ what, dude? Get over it,” and you would have a valid point. We aren’t The Huffington Post here, or CNN, or Politico, or Fog City Journal.

We’re a tiny little blog site tucked away in a remote corner of Quadrant 10 in the Galaxy Sirius 4. On a good day, we’re lucky to receive five visitors and most of those are relatives who fully expect a spot in my will.

But, there is a downside to today’s success. Almost every one of those visitors was lured here by a link to a virtually naked Natalie Gulbis, a young and successful female golfer who is also very, very beautiful.

My comments were about her success as a professional golfer, although she has also shown herself to be an astute business woman in other fields, notably as a producer of calendars featuring herself. If you’ve got it, flaunt it, as the old saying goes.

So, although happy for our increased traffic, if only for a day, I wonder if the people who clicked on this site read the post or stopped at the link to Natalie’s picture.

I would be greatly disappointed to learn that Americans are interested only in square inches of skin. Life is more than unblemished skin. It’s about high ethical and moral standards as exemplified by our politicians.

At any rate, I’m tossing this together in a rush because my Internet connectivity has been slow or nonexistent for a couple of days and I figured I’d strike while the iron is hot, another old saying we like around here.

Which reminds me, I have a dictionary of cliches and I dream of crafting a post using one cliche after another.

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Here’s a picture of a very sexy woman. She was ranked among the world’s top 100 sexy women and she has her own calendar of sizzling poses.

Here’s a picture of a very successful woman. She’s worth millions, owns a mansion along a lake in Las Vegas, and has her own television show.

For my female readers, which one would you prefer to be?

For the men, which would you prefer to date?

While you’re contemplating your answer, I’ll let you in on a secret.

Both of these photos are of the same woman.

She’s 25-year old Sacramento native and top professional golfer Natalie Gulbis. She’s noted as one of the best women players on the LPGA Tour and one of the sexiest.

She could make it as one of the Girls Next Door, appear as a centerfold in Playboy and hobnob with Hugh Hefner aboard his private Bunny jet.

Instead, she prefers the hard work, discipline, and camaraderie of the golf course.

Yes, she cultivates her sexy image and says she enjoys it, but this gorgeous Arizona State golfing phenom obviously recognizes that her talents and interests lie with golf.

And in her primary role, she has been very successful. She’s won one LPGA major worth several million in earnings, and scored as high as fourth in quite a few others. In addition, she has endorsement contracts wirh most of the major golf manufacturers.

On the golf course, she consistently draws a healthy gallery, which always includes her father. He resembles a retired biker who hasn’t shed his biker image. But when he opens his mouth, he is articulate and knowledgeable about golf. He’s Natalie’s Number One Fan and her primary source of inspiration.

Yes, at the tender age of 25, a very mature Natalie Gulbis is a successful golfer and business woman who has many miles to go before she sleeps. She’s definitely a positive role model for the younger generation.

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Solitude
The house is quiet now that the hordes have departed. I’ve been thinking of a few pearls of wisdom some of them passed along. I’ll try to incorporate them in a post shortly.

Basic Brown
Willie made some cogent observations in his Chron column yesterday. Among other things, he said what I’ve said for months, namely that Obama is his own worst enemy. I’m convinced that Barack is on the edge of losing this election unless he begins to drive the discussion away from Iraq and toward the economy.

Let’s face it. He doesn’t look like a commander in chief. Yes, he looks presidential, but the two are horses of a different color. A stubborn prognathus jaw is required of a CIC. A President has to look, well, thoughtful, stately, Presidential. Barack meets the second spec, but needs a little surgery to create the appropriate pissed-off look of a well-rounded modern American head of state.

Firefox
I downloaded the latest edition of the Firefox browser a few days ago and it has been working well so far. The new one is Version 3.0.1, a much improved browser according to the hype. Previous editions were unstable and on several occasions, I removed the program to prevent computer lockups. If my latest download continues to work as it has for the past several days, the bugs that put the whammy on my machine are gone. Let’s hope…!

The latest version came with a new feature that I like, the ability to enlarge images on the ‘net with your mouse or pad. Most browsers permit type enlargement, but Firefox is the only browser I know about that will enlarge an image.

On my laptop, I can enlarge images by holding the Ctrl key down and clicking ++ several times to get a larger image. On my desktop, the feature works by holding down Ctrl and rolling the mouse scroll wheel.

I don’t know if this feature has any practical application unless you have a fetish for finding warts, pimples, and wrinkles on the faces of people you don’t like, which isn’t a bad idea come to think of of.

Are you into romance?
The Romance Writers of America (RWA) is holding its annual conference July 30-August 2, 2008, at the Marriott Hotel, 55 Fourth Street, San Francisco.

Holy Romance, Lover Man! Is that a suitable location for the flowering of love? I suppose so. An imaginative writer could cook up a plot involving love at first sight between a street denizen who turns out to be a member of Britain’s Royal family and an innocent maiden from Hays, Kansas. I just threw Hays in because there aren’t too many innocent maidens in SF.

Golf can be hazardous to your health
Poor ole Michelle Wie had another kiss of death planted on her Saturday. After playing three rounds of sub-par golf, which put her one stroke behind the leader in the LPGA State Farm Classic going into Sunday, LPGA officials discovered that she had  departed the “Signing” area after the completion of her Saturday round without signing her scorecard, an automatic disqualification.

What else could happen to this poor kid? I can’t think of anything, unless perhaps she gives birth on the 18th hole when she’s fifteen strokes ahead in the world’s most prestigious golf tournament. Birthing during a tournament is probably an automatic disqualification.

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We’ve been rather erratic about our postings lately as we prepare for upcoming earth shaking events.

Later today, an ark load of relatives will descend on us and then a couple days later, another load. I’m writing this on the fly because we have some preparatory activities left on our list, like a haircut and a full tank of gas.

I hope my credit card limit will permit me to fill up. If not, that kills the haircut, too. Our preferred hairstylist, a woman from Germany, a woman we’ve known for more than fifteen years, operates out of a tiny salon in an isolated area of the Western Hemisphere.

I like her because she gives me the skinny on politics and life in Germany while she clips and styles my hair and tells me I need a new hair piece.

Fortunately, I received my Stimulus check a couple of days ago. That should cover one tank, assuming the price of gas at the pump doesn’t increase before I leave home this morning.

I owe George my thanks for stimulating my economy, but a deep respect for honesty and integrity requires me to inform you, George, that the amount isn’t enough to swing my vote to John Boy. Sorry.

So, for the next three weeks, I will probably be even more erratic. My time on the couch in front of a television will vanish, and tech savvy husbands and wives will battle for a ‘net connection on my two available machines.

In a way, isolation from the exciting world of political journalism may be good for my soul–and my golf game.

Back again soon, I hope

Quickie Update

My German barber-political analyst provided me with two quick insights into the social and political situation in Germany, (1) Arabs are invading the country and taking jobs from Germans but the German politicians don’t care; (2) The Germans hate Bush (this said with a hint of venom in her voice.

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We all hide some episodes in our lives from others. My secret is about radio.

I never listen to talk radio. My aversion began a long time ago. As a bright and lively average American, I’d wake and immediately turn on the radio. Mostly, music was my preferred listening genre, but occasionally I’d catch a little conversation.

One morning, I happened to catch this God-awful raspy voice that grated on my ears like a deep-throated buzz saw. I mean. seriously, the speaker should never have been permitted to grace the airwaves of mellifluous Columbia School of Broadcasting graduates.

And then like a bolt out of the blue, it dawned on me. I knew this man. He was an utter lunatic. He also was the voice of Razorback Jack (remember Wolfman Jack?) the station’s country music DJ and Larry T. Worthington bringing big band sounds to the world one song at a time. Now, here he was doing a poor imitation of a talk-show host. What the hell was going on? Was this some damned one-man station operating out of a basement?

But that wasn’t the worst part. This horrible imitation of a human voice, which sounded vaguely like a computer-generated monotonic monster from Mars, was mine.

At the realization, I actually gagged. I’d never heard my own voice before, and the actual sound of it made me ill.

So, my real secret is that I was once a genuine radio talk show host. I still have some of the tapes laying around, and I sincerely hope that I can find them before I die so that no one will learn the truth about my halcyon days.

Those were crazy and maddening times. I’d schedule a guest for a recording session in the studio and ask a few prepared questions, which the guest always ignored. In fact, more than one apparently thought it was his/her own personal show and co-opted the mike. Once, I had to pull the plug on the recording console.

I’d usually work around this minor glitch by recording for an hour and a half and then cutting the most obnoxious fifteen minutes. After hearing my own voice, I realized that I should have cut my own part.

I learned some valuable lessons in my radio days. Even then, I figured, no one listened to radio on Saturday, with the possible exception of some drunks at the corner bar who always called to request their favorite country whine at the exact moment I cued a tape and fell asleep.

I also learned that on-air personalities could be, well, quirky. One guy who had a Filipino music show used to phone me when he had a hangover or a hot babe lined up and ask me to cover. For a couple of hours, I would be Johnny Maldonado, the Manila Music Man. True story.

Another one regularly rang me at midnight and ask me to cover because “this babe just called.” So I’d haul my buns out of bed and drive to the station, slip a tape on, and fall asleep on a cot in the manager’s office. The station manager slipped in one morning and caught me. My penance? I had to sit at the console and sleep while he used his cot for other purposes.

The radio game is different these days. More genteel, more refined. With one exceptions. I doubt very many listeners tune in to talk radio on Saturday.

Which explains why I didn’t listen to el Gavo and Ariana. Others more talented and energetic will cover all bases. I prefer the U.S. Open.

However, if Gav needs an emergency substitute, I may be available on short notice. Call my agent 24/7.

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