Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Wednesday Wrap: Pacers Win! More Manchester, etc.

Closing notes to a beautiful fall day:

-Holy Cow! Pacers win their opening game over the Wizards. New coach (Jim O'Brien) batting 1.000.

-William Manchester, in Goodbye, Darkness, not so lucky. Batting 0 for 2 in trying to lose his virginity. And now he's on the troop ship heading out of San Diego for the sunny, war torn skies of the Pacific, more particularly, Guadalcanal. A young, skinny Marine who has yet to make love to or kill another human being. Things are bound to change. (That would be some sixty-five years ago for those of you keeping track.)

-Netflix movie time: a honey of a tale: Heavenly Creatures. A couple of teenage girls getting close and having a whale of a hard time making things ok in 1953 and 1954 New Zealand. Great movie. Gets a five from me.

-reminder: Senior Games start at 10 tomorrow morning.

Wednesday: Senior Games, Debt and War, etc.

Thursday Senior Game:

The weather is so lovely, and is expected to remain so, that Thursday should again be devoted to a game or two out at the golf course. Thursday Senior Game: 10 am tomorrow, 9 holes and open. Bring a friend... And for those interested, an additional nine holes of good, clean fun.

Notes to start a Thursday:

-NBA season started last night. Kinda sneaked up on me. Are the Pacers competitive?
-Larry Hembree's article from last week is all about economics and more specifically about our growing debt. He uses the $9 trillion figure - current debt. And that for the most part does not include the expected $2 trillion cost of the Iraq War. Did somebody just say 'that unnecessary war'? Hey, when one of the people that works for you is found to be irresponsible in his or her spending, you take away that person's buying privileges, you cancel the credit card and take away the check book. What's so hard about that? Way past time for us employers to have a talk with our errant employees.

Time to get off online, do a little more reading (the Manchester recollections/memoir), explore some more with the new camera, and then head to the golf course. Sun's rising nicely.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Tuesday Wrap: Mukasey

-from the NYTimes via dKos: an op-ed suggesting we vote no on Mukasey as new AG because he believes the president is above the law. See dKos link to read more commentary and the fact that the leading Democratic presidential contenders are already saying no to Mukasey. Good for them...

-tomorrow looks like another lovely day. Come on over and enjoy part of it at the golf course...

Dave Wininger Loses Bet, Leads Team to Scramble Win

The Tuesday Afternoon Scramble:

Dave Wininger, after watching his four teammates miss a five foot putt on #6, saw his own roll off to the right and announced to anybody who might be listening that you just don't win when you miss your birdie on that hole. Dave was so sure that that would be the case again that he did something he rarely does: he made a bet. I was listening and I took him up on the bet, not that I was sure that we would win but that we still had a good shot at it. Four under at the time, three holes to go; the plan: birdie the last three and come in at seven under. That would win for sure. Darn if we didn't miss seven. But we did get eight and nine when my putter became golden and rolled in a couple of long ones, one from off the green on #9. That turned out to be more than enough as the other two teams came in at -4 and -3. Dave, always gracious, took his betting loss in stride and very quietly pocketed his winning share of the purse. The results:

1. Dave Wininger, Mike Bird, Larry Hembree, Mark Jones, Don Nolan (-6)
2. Mark Jeffers, Doug Denson, Lee Wininger, George Templin (-4)
3. Mike Kidwell, Tyler Kidwell, Curt Johnson, Joe Doyle (-3)

Tuesday: French Revolution, Blackwater

picture: Alleyway colors and stairs in downtown Bloomington.

Notes to get a day started:

-started the day with William Manchester starting his journey of recollection. First stop is Honolulu, then the Philippines.

-from the NYTimes (via Eric), an op-ed that gives an historical parallel to the war on terror of these last several years: the French Revolution, the Jacobins and the Reign of Terror. Not nice.

-from WAPO, a story that suggest the thugs from Blackwater may have been given immunity for their testimony on the most recent Blackwater rampage. What a crock...

Gotta stop. Breakfast and then the golf course... Hoping for a scramble this afternoon - the sun dropped below the tree line about 5:15 pm yesterday. Cool followed.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Monday Wrap: Movie time,

-Netflix movie this evening: The Great Happiness Space. A strange and maybe even sad documentary about Japanese host boys, who, it seems, for the most part host Japanese host girls. Yes, it is a foreign movie and yes it had subtitles. Held our interest but in the end I gave it a rating of just three. Disturbing...

-started a new book that the library got for me: Goodbye, Darkness, a Memoir of the Pacific War, by William Manchester. It was recommended by Ken Burns and The War. It's Manchester's account of his time in The War, one that was written thirty years after the fact. Barely into it; looks engrossing... The Crossing will have to wait a little bit as will Licensed to Kill, Hired Guns in the War on Terror by Robert Young Pelton, a book I ordered from for Eric along with a book on Blackwater.

-something to ponder and maybe live by:

"Life is unfair." but "What goes around, comes around." Go figure.

Golf with the boys, Jack and Jack and Ken and Rex, was good today. Diane warmed me up with three holes before I joined them for their back nine. They were very generous. More good golf weather tomorrow.

BTW, did you catch American Masters on PBS tonight? Good ol' Charles Schulz. A good one.

Monday Notes:

Pictures: a backwoodsey view of the Lost River where we did a lot of fishing the first few years here in southern Indiana; and posh and elegance from a balcony at the French Lick Resort.

I'm back home. From Judy Garland and the Wizard of Oz: There's no place like home. (So what is the name of the Judy character in that movie?)

Other items:

-golf course is still there - good. I haven't lifted a club or even thought about hitting a ball since leaving. It will be very good to play today - I expect a fresh game and an equally fresh attitude.
-Diane reports that she and her sister did a lot of golfing in spite of the miserable weather during the last several days. That weather system for the most part stayed to the west of where I roamed (me and the antelope).
-stopped at Sam's on the way home yesterday afternoon and bought that camera I've had my eye on for several months, an Olympus E-410.
-did note that the Colts won easily yesterday afternoon; and that the Red Sox completed the sweep of the Rockies to win the World Series that in my mind was destined for the Cubbies.
-Bloomington, where I stayed the last few days and nights, is lovely. Did find in my wanderings that the mornings are for the older folk, the evenings for the younger. Probably true in any college town.

So it goes. World turns as it has for a very long time. Think about it...

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sunday Funnies: The Crossing

Dogs are barking, day is breaking, time for me to go out and find some breakfast. Did want to note that I'm still in touch with the important stuff, like the Red Sox going up 3-0 with a win in the mountains last night; and the Hoosiers loss to Wisconsin (I actually watched part of that ball game sitting in a near empty sports bar and nursing a glass of dark beer). But I'm also in touch with the unreality of it all, something reinforced by Cormac McCarthy and his book, The Crossing, which I have with me and spend the quieter moments of the day reading. In recent pages, a man loses his father and then his son and then spends the rest of his life seeking meaning and understanding, to no avail. Earlier pages: a boy and a wolf do come to an understanding but then are separated by an intentional gunshot. I know not where Cormac is leading me though he has captured my attention. Expect it will all come together in the end; then, maybe it won't.

So it goes.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Saturday Notes:

Saturday Scramble and Skins: I won't be there today but I imagine Diane would throw in some of her quarters just so you all wouldn't feel as if the day were wasted not taking away, or at least having the chance to take away, a Mikey quarter or two. I'll be thinking of you though; hope one of you gets a hole-in-one just for fun.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Friday Follies: Around and About

Up from the south and now with access to a computer and the internet once again. After a walk along the Ohio River early this morning, I sat and drank coffee and read for about an hour on the deck of the Riverboat Inn in Madison. Overlooking the Ohio River, it also peered out at a bridge that connected Indiana with Kentucky. So, river traffic though none then, was slower by far than the cars and trucks that moved across the bridge. In my current state of mind, my preference would be for the less rapid of the two. Did remind me of my days in the Navy when we steamed all over the Far East: Japan, Okinawa, Korea, Philippines, Hong Kong, Vietnam. Something very peaceful about the water, about standing and watching the water slip by. Remember Sidhartha, and the river, and the Om?

I see from the weather map that Loogootee has had a little weather this morning and maybe continuing on into the afternoon. No rain where I am though the skies are cloudy. Good for walking about.

Off again to do some foot stomping adventuring...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Other Neverland... least for the moment in in Madison in the southeastern corner of the state. Arrived here about two hours ago after driving up from Clarksville with a stopover at Hanover College (Danielle had a passing interest in this beautifully set place of higher education). Madison itself is a lovely town with lots of historic areas and buildings - so far, it's all historic to me. Right now I'm in the public library using an available computer - with a time limit - fifteen minutes and I'm down to ten.

After leaving yesterday around noon, I drifted over to our old home place on the Lost River - still a lovely and remote neck of the woods. A deer scampered away as I walked towards the cabin, probably one of Diane's friends of several years ago.

Once on the road again, I stopped in at the French Lick Resort just for a change of pace, like from backwoodsey to elegant and posh. Also stopped in at their new sports center out behind, or maybe to the side of the main building. Very empty yesterday with the overcast and the cool. One of the pros was out in the enclosed range hitting golf balls and doing a pretty good job of hitting a particular spot so that the ball came back to him; miss the spot and the ball goes awry. Complimented him on his sharpshooting - he said he didn't have to walk all that far if he was accurate enough.

Okay, need to get back outside and do some more wandering around here in this lovely town. I'm on the river so I get to watch river traffic tonight if I so desire.

And yes it's nice being away and having other neverlands to go to...

Thursday AM and no boss

Dad (Mike) has taken a hiatus from his golf haven to explore some other neverland for a few days. As it turns out the weather here attracts only the insistent golfer, thus no senior happening this morn. The radar shows clouds swirling all about...figure out that forecast! As I mowed the greens this morning the gusty winds were coming from the northeast (a nor'easter!), very unusual. Misting now on our only two golfers, Mom and my auntie Vicki.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Notes to get a day started: Higazy,

Some old news but worth a hoot or two: The Abdallah Higazy Story: Oops, we got the wrong guy and yes we kinda forced him to confess so that his family back in Egypt would not be tortured or imprisoned. Our FBI gets a doofus award and yes should be investigated and held accountable for their overzealousness, right? Right. So, the next time we have a national emergency, a scare, will somebody please stand up and say that we have a constitution and we intend to follow the laws of the land, please? Hey, that wouldn't be a bad thing for someone to say just about right now, would it?

The internet, is sluggish this morning, taking forever. Wonder if the broadband has slowed down? Being on dial-up is such a bummer. Guess I'll head on over to the golf course and take a hike. If you haven't looked, it's overcast and cool this morning.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

More early '70's happenings...

I did get something to eat and I did wander over to the golf course where it is still wet, still raining and still cool. As I walked about, my mind wandered too, back to the early '70's and to why the break from the corporate and suburban life of Orange County, California (where fires are making thousands flee their homes as we speak). I recall now three seminal moments or events and I'm not sure of their chronological order: a family wedding back in South Bend which put us in touch with a multitude of relatives all full of the joie de vie and a closeness that only happens among family members; a business trip to Rochester NY from which I returned via my uncle's place in Greenwich Village which, as a community, is about as opposite as one could get from the one we lived in in Tustin, CA; and the reading of a book, one that made me think and question and ponder - The Greening of America.

The consequence of that convergence was the decision to change the way we were living, to stop supporting a way of life that had ceased to have meaning to us, to radically change direction and go down some unknown road in the pursuit of, well, we really weren't sure what it was we were looking for, just the need to change maybe.

Change happened. Just ask Diane, or Miki, or Marty. Miki and Marty, our two older children, nine and eight at the time of the change. The younger ones, Eric and Danielle, were not yet five.

(Going back home. Still wet, still raining, still cold.)

Tuesday rain brings...

...a bit of a respite from the normal things we've been doing these past several months. The rain started mid day yesterday while we were still on the course. That would be Jack Lents, Jack Butcher, Ken Hudson and Morris Cornelius and the 16th hole of the day had just been won by JL with a shot that came to rest about two foot the other side of the pin. Wasn't raining all that hard and in years past the round probably would have been finished. But it was agreed that the play should end and that we should get ourselves off the course and into drier surroundings. Accounts were totaled, debts paid, and guys wandered off. Ray Shaw, who was across several fairways playing #3 when we decided to call it a day, straggled in with raindrops falling from his hat and his jacket, wondered why we didn't finish, the rain not being all that substantial. Told him we didn't know but that we might have melted with the watery skies, like the wicked witch of the west (east?) in the land of oz. Ray assured me that that group definitely would not have melted in that little bit of rain. Meaning, hmmm, we're not bad enough? Or maybe too good by half...

-Colts won last night. Listened to some of it on the radio. Should have gone up to Eric's. Oh well...

-and speaking of the Colts, did you know that their owner last year purchased the 'scroll' on which Jack Kerouac wrote On The Road? From NPR, more on the real story of the making of the book that somehow defined the Beat Generation. I remember reading it but not when; was much more impressed and affected by Ken Keasey's writings. Did buy into the idea of somehow getting a bus and traveling around the country. We did it with a '67 Ford station wagon with a rack on top piled high with camping gear. There was even a spell there where we dragged a small trailer around with us, our worldly belongings contained therein. California, Oregon, Washington, across the country to Virginia and then back to California where we stayed for the winter and then back on the road the following spring. Back east for a year. And then...

Gotta go and eat a little something, then maybe to the golf course. Rain's about to end. More stories of past shenanigans later.

Monday, October 22, 2007

While it's raining... Polls, Valerie, etc.

-just voted in three different polls at dKos, a decidedly progressive Democratic blog, on job approvals for Reid and Pelosi and then on current favorite for Democratic presidential candidate. On the first two, I joined with the majority in saying that I did not approve of the way they were doing their jobs, but get this: 82% did not approve of Reid's performance, 81% did not approve of Pelosi's. Wow! And that's with just about 10000 votes counted. On the third poll, much divergence with Edwards getting 31%, Dodd 22%, Obama 16%, Clinton 9%. Go Hillary... BTW, how's your favorite doing?

-played with Butcher, Lents, Cornelius and Ken Hudson this morning, for quarters. The keeping-my-head-still trick worked well, at least most of the time. Significant improvement. Moral of the story: keep your eye on the ball, or the naked lady under the ball.

-rain now though will go back out here directly and mow the tee boxes.

-snark from dKos:

Remember this from last week?

The U.S. military believes it has dealt devastating and perhaps irreversible blows to al-Qaeda in Iraq in recent months, leading some generals to advocate a declaration of victory over the group, which the Bush administration has long described as the most lethal U.S. adversary in Iraq.

But there's always that big dark cloud around any tiny silver lining in Iraq. WaPo reports that part today:

Gen. David H. Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker have concluded that Shiite extremists pose a rising threat to the U.S. effort in Iraq, as the relative influence of Sunni insurgent groups such as al-Qaeda in Iraq has diminished drastically because of ongoing U.S. operations.

Who could have predicted that? It's as if the U.S. is bogged down in the middle of a sectarian civil war in Iraq.

-more on Valerie Plame from Larry Johnson, formerly of the CIA and the State Department , and btw, the 60 Minutes segment was terrific. Larry fills in some of Plame's history that she cannot talk about because of her muzzlement on national security grounds...

Okay, heading back out into the fray, if you can call a small nine hole golf course just outside a small southern Indiana town the 'fray'. Oh well, I just did.

Notes to get a day started

The World:

-From WAPO: Kurds kill Turks, Americans kill Iraqis. Death on the move picking up souls whose lives have been arrested for unknown crimes. Dispatched to some better place or to no place - we just don't know though each of us will find out eventually, or not.


-Red Sox beat the Indians in a 7th game which was great for seven innings, and head to World Series to face Rockies. Would have been fun to see the underdog Cleveland team advance. Daisuke Matsuzaka and Hideki Okajima - two guys from Japan, make super contributions on the mound. Cool.
-Houston loses to Tennessee but not after a 4th quarter that was everything a sports guy could ask for. A guy named Bironas kicks a record setting 8th field goal to give the Titans the win after the Texans had stormed back with 29 points in the 4th quarter to take a one point lead with less than a minute to play. Alas, that was way too much time. Fun to watch. I bet Tennessee did it on purpose just to give the fans in Houston a treat. Of course, most of them had already left after three quarters with their guys down, 32-7. Never give up. Never.
-Patriots' Moss looking super. Of course, I saw the highlights several times yesterday afternoon and he was still making those nifty catches for touchdowns over and over and over, time after time after time. He and Brady are clicking.
-Colts tonight. Has it been a long time since they last played, or what? Go Blue.

Weather, etc:

-Sunny and cool and nice. Time to go play golf. Which reminds me: kept my head absolutely still and my eyes on the ball (or a spot just this side of the ball) during my swing yesterday and actually hit the ball cleanly. Having to wear the glasses all the time is a bummer but I do like to see the far things.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Sunday Wrap:

Pictures: Karry's reclining wood lady;
a patch of red;
hands with something the wind blew in.

Care to guess whose hands?

Sunday Funnies: Books


-finish The Book Thief. Supposed to be a book for teens but I found it exceptional and highly recommend it to any and all. Story narrated by Death and follows the doings of a young girl as she goes from being a nine year old waif to a fourteen year old lover and hater of words and all the things those words have wrought. Set in a small town near Munich and Dachau (13.1 miles from Munich) from 1939 to 1943, we are invited to see The War from the perspective of a German neighborhood which looks very much like our own neighborhood. Chilling and touching, horrific and delightful, life as love and life as the prelude to death, a book that will touch you over and over and over. And yes it is a love story, actually several love stories, with a setting as horrific as one could imagine.

-firedoglake has a blog on Valerie Plame and her new book, Fair Game. Tonight 60 Minutes also has a segment with Valerie. You remember Valerie, the CIA undercover agent outed in a fit of hissy by the gang of bushites. Coincidental costs of the outing? Well, for starters, from an interview with Katie Couric via ThinkProgress:

PLAME: I can tell you all the intelligence services in the world were running my name through their databases to see did anyone by this name come in the country? When? Do we know anything about it? Where did she stay? Who did she see?

Things are lovely at the golf course. Eric is in the clubhouse now, I'll be there this afternoon. Come on out and say hello and head out for a round of golf. It's good for you in so many ways and it also keeps you out of mischief, at least for a few hours.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Saturday Wrap: Football Woes, Wie,

-Irish waxed by Trojans, 38-0. Player of the game for the Irish - the punter. TV announcer says "not rubbing it in..." Wouldn't surprise me if that was the first time ever a punter was so celebrated. Irish are indeed woeful.
-Hoosiers hand one to the Nittany Lions. Too many turnovers in this one that reads like the Hoosiers could have won easily.
-Boilermakers win. Hurray.
-Nancy Lopez wants to give Michelle Wie a hug:

It's the mental pressure that Michelle Wie has had to endure that has been really tough. She may have the golf game like a 20 year old, but her mind's still young. For her to have to deal with the press and the she was this great player and often times I would just cringe because I just wanted to take her into a room and hug her and tell her everything's going to be alright. You're young; Just concentrate on having fun.
The way I've been playing, though not because of any mental pressure that I'm aware of, I need to find a Nancy to take me into a room and hug me... Hmmm, that doesn't sound just right. Anyway, we all know it's my new glasses. Dang things.

World turns. More and more news items on Blackwater, that Crusader force fighting the infidel around the world. Worth watching them and reducing them to gate guards at gypsum plants. This is a start - report that says they are to be eased out of Iraq.

Catching up on Larry's Stories

On Thursday, Diane slipped me that single page of the Loogootee Tribune, the one that contains Larry's stories about this and that. I faithfully carried it around with me for two days, from home to work and then back again, tucking it within the pages of The Book Thief. My expectations were that there would come a minute or two somewhere that would allow me to slip into Larry's world and enjoy a bit of a walk into the past. He had even given me a heads up a week ago about his intentions to write a story of some devilish thing that he has been reluctant to write about.

So, after I see him again this morning, and after I take the big mower home and cut the grass, and after I return to the golf course and take over from Diane, and just minutes before the start of the ND-SC ball game, then I get to read his story. And it was worth the wait; in fact, it probably aged well during that unexpectedly long waiting period. In any case, a good story and a good telling of one of those times in our growing up that each of us has probably experienced where we were faced with a choice and, well, go read it. Find out a bit about the Larry man as a boy.

Souerdike Team Tastes Sweet Victory Again...

In an error filled and extremely low scoring affair, the Souerdike team managed to steal a win on the cards this morning out at Lakeview. The results:

1. Wayne Souerdike, Ryan Wininger, Tony Wease, Kevin Byron (-2)
2. Larry Hembree, Lee Wininger, Curt Johnson (-2)
3. Mike Bird, Joe Allen, Karry Stoll (-1)

Sharpshooters: Karry Stoll, Kevin Byron, Mike Bird, Tony Wease

Friday, October 19, 2007

Friday Wrap: Blackwater, Patagonia

-Good program on Blackwater and other mercenaries tonight on PBS - the Bill Moyers' Journal. Did you realize that there are more mercenaries in Iraq now that US Military? 180000 to 170000. Makes me wonder what was the extent of mercenaries or extra military personnel in Vietnam. Makes me wonder if the American people would be more enraged if they realized that our government was paying for 350000 military type people in Iraq and that more than half of those were being paid three and four times as much as our men and women in uniform.

-Geography question of the day? Where is Patagonia? And I don't mean the catalog...

Saturday Scramble

Reminder: Tomorrow's Manager's Scramble will start at 9 am. Skins match follows.

Friday Follies

At the golf course where it continues to be windy and a bit cooler than yesterday - sweatshirt and long pants kind of morning. Eric and Lucas out mowing; Ian in the clubhouse with a dvd - Transformers.

News to curl your toes or straighten your hair:

-from tpm: Mukasey - president can break some laws. Hmmm, I guess he believes some are above the law in this country. Bull honkey, Mikey says.

-from the nytimes: Islamist militants doing bad stuff to keep Bhutto out of power in Pakistan. El stupidos...

That's enough for the moment.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

News, Mostly Bad: Waterboarding, SCHIP, FISA

At least on the surface:

-new AG nominee fails to say waterboarding is torture. In that case, Mr. Mukasey, lets put you on a waterboard and see how long it takes you to declare it torture. My vote on confirmation of this guy is now a resounding NO! We are definitely better than this...
-House vote fails to override SCHIP veto. Confirmed: President and Republicans against child health care. You know that the same guys continue to fund death and destruction in Iraq at a cost over the last five years ten times the amount requested for this new bill. I say throw them out of office and keep them out for another fifty years. We are definitely better than this.

A bit of good news:

-Senator Chris Dodd will put hold on FISA bill that would allow criminals to go scott free. In a letter to Senate Majority Leader, Dodd states that he is placing the hold because the bill "...would provide for retroactive amnesty for telecom giants that were complicit in the Bush Administration’s assault on the United States Constitution...." Bully for Dodd!

Very windy out here at the golf course. Continue to really enjoy The Book Thief. The bombing of Munich and surrounding area has started, meaning the Allies have started the counter attack on the Nazi war machine. One of the unique things about this book: Death is the narrator; he has plenty of business.

Wife Hammers Husband to Win Golf Game...

Well, she, along with Morris Cornelius and Dale DeLong's scramble win, combined for the win. The results of the match play event this morning with Diane Bird's Team being listed first:

1. Diane Bird beats husband Mike in singles match, 4 and 2.
2. Morris Cornelius and Dale DeLong beat Leroy Streepy and Joe Gray in a scramble match, 2 and 1.
3. Herb Roach and Clyde Wake defeated by John Chapman and Ray Shaw in a scramble match, 2 and 1.

Match and prize money to Diane Bird, Morris Cornelius, Dale DeLong, Herb Roach and Clyde Wake.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Wednesday Wrap: Movie! Grandson Sighting, Senior Golf Games

-The Lives of Others, one of Diane's selections, foreign with subtitles, set in East Berlin in the mid '80's. Starts out like you would expect something from East Germany in the mid '80's: gray, drab, slow, stifling, bureaucratic, not pretty in any sense. But hang in there, it turns into a great story and a great movie. Look for the good man. Gets a five from each of us.

-Eric had his boys, Lucas and Ian, each growing rapidly, at the golf course this afternoon. Lucas mowed the tee boxes; Ian roughed up the greens with a mat; Eric mowed the greens for the first time since they were aerated. Nice.

-Senior Golf Games set for 9am tomorrow, weather permitting.

-World turns in spite of the mess we've made of it...

Notes on a Wednesday Morning

At the golf course; spent my early morning get-the-sleep-out-of-my-eyes time reading some more of The Book Thief. Now I am in gear and about ready to go out on the golf course where Eric is finishing up his green work. A couple of golfers are out there, campers.

From the NYT:

Lifers as Teenagers Seeking a Second Chance. The first paragraph:

In December, the United Nations took up a resolution calling for the abolition of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for children and young teenagers. The vote was 185 to 1, with the United States the lone dissenter.

Can you believe that? Are we just being contrary? Or is there something seriously wrong here? Of course, we also have the SCHIP brouhaha (expanded funding for children's medical insurance) going on right now, where, they say over at dKos, pressure on Republicans against the bill has been unrelenting. That's a good sign, right? Yes.

Gotta go. More about children later - The Book Thief, if you remember, is the story of a young girl in Munich during WWII.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Jeffers, Downey and Strange Win

Mark Jeffers, Steven Downey and David Strange fired a six under and then asked for a good draw of the cards to win the Tuesday Scramble earlier today. Buck Holland, going for a fourth straight win, had to settle for second place finish in spite of a chip in for eagle on #8. The results:

1. Mark Jeffers, Steven Downey, David Strange (-6)
2. Terry Butcher, Greg Potts, Buck Holland, Joe Doyle (-6)
3. Tyler Kidwell, Doug Denson, Tony Wease, Mark Jones (-5)
3. Dave Wininger, Lee Wininger, Curt Johnson, Don Nolan (-5)
5. Mike Kidwell, Mike Bird, Tom McAtee, George Templin (-4)

Everybody has stories

Played golf with Jack and Morris and Rex this morning. We mostly had fun and in the end Rex left a buck and a quarter richer, Jack and I a quarter poorer. Morris ended up suffering the biggest indignity by passing out a total of five quarters. But while we slapped at the ball, we also did a little catching up.

For instance, Jack told of his current reading, the story of Bevo Francis, a name that made a little wiggle way back in the far corridors of my memory bank. Remember him? He twice scored a hundred points in a basketball game back in the early '50's. Played ball at a tiny college in Ohio: Rio Grande. From a review at

The story centers around Bevo Francis, who scored 116 points in a game, and Rio Grande College & the journey the basketball team took from its band-box of a gym to some of the biggest arenas in the country. It also shows how the NCAA stood in judgment of the small school and ultimately did a masterful job in erasing the records set by Francis and the team from the collegiate books.


Then there is Morris telling of his visit with a doctor yesterday over in Vincennes (I think). Not all that unusual for Morris to be visiting a doctor but this one is also a writer of all sorts of opinions on everything including the kitchen sink. Morris was intrigued and went to his website and did some reading up on the stories this guy tells. (I can't find the website, thought Morris said it was a blog, A Jew from NYC, the Bronx; had trouble with drugs; self educated; married to a Thai woman (like Earl Woods was).


And Rex? No stories from Rex this morning; he was far too busy gathering quarters.

We did meet the missing Jack Lents, he who was scheduled to be the fourth in the group - something came up and he called me shortly after I crawled out of bed this morning to see if I could stand in for him (why of course!). He met us at #9 tee box as we were getting ready to tee off on our last hole; he and his motorcycle and his black leather jacket and his tennis shoes. Tennis shoes? Yes, tennis shoes. He does have black leather boots; maybe they're a struggle to get on and off, especially if you're just heading up the road a piece. He wanted to know if I had won him any money...


Gotta go. Scramble at Lakeview this afternoon. Starts at 4:15.

Notes to Get a Day Started: Rockies, Verizon

-Rockies win, head to World Series (wish it were the Cubbies...)
-Verizon admits to having released data without court order, hundreds of times. So, did some thugs in brown shirts show up at their door and say turn it over or else? Probably something like that. Feather or two to Quest for saying no (and paying the consequences apparently...) Look here:

Verizon also disclosed that the FBI, using administrative subpoenas, sought information identifying not just a person making a call, but all the people that customer called, as well as the people those people called. Verizon does not keep data on this "two-generation community of interest" for customers, but the request highlights the broad reach of the government's quest for data.

Rememer that if you go out to the sixth circle, you get about everybody in the world. Isn't that how that goes? Jeesh. Big Brother is here.

Gotta go. Playing with the boys at Lakeview this morning. Eric has completed his aerating of the greens. Hurray!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Monday Wrap: Jack Nicholson and Fetch

-Netflix movie: Chinatown with Jack Nicholson, 1974. Excellent but all the bad guys won. Not a happy ending. Super excellent score/music - I loved it, continually surprised me. Jack Nicholson doesn't make bad movies, does he?

-we watched the end of Chinatown while dinner was cooking (baked chicken breast with tomato, potato parts, broccoli, red wine). The ending was a real bummer but that feeling was overtaken in spades by the last five minutes of Fetch, a lively and fun kids program on pbskids. Made us laugh out loud. Thanks, Fetch. (Watched pbskids on wsiu out of carbondale, channel 16 on our antenna. That station provides pbs programming not only on local time but also west coast time - 16.1 and 16.2, both hdtv. And that's why we were able to watch a late afternoon kids program well after the evening hour had arrived.)

-Frontline tomorrow night has more on Chaney and his constitution wrecking shenanigans.

More Lakeview - Washington Golf Challenge Results

Alternate Shot Results:

(WCC players listed first, LGC second in each match)

Stiles and Dick Smith defeat Bird and Souerdike.
Johnson and Brochin defeat Chapman and Ken Hudson
Summers and Steimel halve their match with Rex Hudson and Roach
Dinkens and Joyce halve their match with Byron and Wallace
Gingerich and Doyle lose to Lents and Gray
Neil Smith and Lancaster halve their match with Shaw and Elliott
Bledsoe and Dayton defeat Strange and Streepy

Totals Alternate Shot
WCC 4.5 LGC 2.5

Singles Matches

Stiles loses to Bird
Dick Smith defeats Souerdike
Johnson loses to Chapman
Brochin loses to Ken Hudson
Summers loses to Rex Hudson
Steimel loses to Roach
Dinkens defeats Byron
Joyce defeats Wallace
Gingerich defeats Byron
Doyle loses to Gray
Neil Smith defeats Shaw
Lancaster loses to Elliott
Bledsoe ties Strange
Dayton defeats Streepy

Total Singles Matches
WCC 6.5 LGC 7.5

Total All Matches
WCC 20.5 LGC 14.5

Trophy resides in Washington for the year.

Congrats to the Washington squad and thanks to all who participated.

Washington Completes Sweep of Lakeview

Pictures: The Washington Country Club squad and two of the stars, Charlie Bledsoe and Dick Smith.

In the first golf challenge between the two courses, Washington Country Club completed its sweep of the competition by winning the Alternate Shot and Singles matches played today at the Washington Country Club by a score of 11 to 10. That gave the boys from the west a final score of 20.5 to the 14.5 for the boys from the east. More details to follow.

Monday Morning: Challenge,

Picture: The road west...

Monday morning and down to Washington for the conclusion of the Lakeview - Washington Golf Challenge. Lakeview Boys need to rally to overcome their 9.5 to 4.5 deficit. Plenty of points to be got today, 21 in all as there are 7 points in the Alternate Shot and then 14 points in the Singles matches. No excuses, you easterners; get the job done, one shot at a time.

So what's up with IU's basketball coach?

South Florida is #2 in the nation in college football; Colorado Rockies one win away from going to their first world series. That's the up side of the upside down world of athletics right now. Leading the down side: the Irish of Notre Dame. Of course there's the NO Saints and the Chicago Bears, teams that duked it out for a chance to play the Colts in the last Super Bowl; they're way down to start the season.

Michelle Wie did have something going for her yesterday; she had a round of 71, one under for the day. Good for her.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sunday Wrap: Lorena, The Cabin, Gods and Monsters

Pictures: Saturday's Fog and Diane's new wheels.

Ochoa wins easily at Samsung World Championship for seventh win of year (she won six times last year - pretty good two years). Michelle Wie escapes last place finishing at 18 over, 36 strokes behind the winner.

Dinner at the Cabin last night. Pizza followed by rhubarb pie ala mode. Yummy. Curt Johnson was there with his wife Julie and others (Julie was treating Curt since he lost everything but his shirt at the golf course earlier in the day). And on the way out, stopped and got an update on Phillip Poirier who used to work for us when he was finishing up high school. That update would be from his father, Dr. James, my very own family physician, who no doubt saw me eating all that rich and hard-on-the-artery food. I tried to look my thinest and liveliest as I walked towards his table. Brittany, Jim and Wilma's granddaughter, made sure we were treated like royalty while there.

At the course today, a small group from Loughmillers including Mike Guinn and Ward Smith. No Karry Stoll this weekend.

Movie tonight: Gods and Monsters. Took each of us a long time to decide this one was worth watching; and then it turned out just super. Great ending... Give it a four.

Reminder to the Lakeview Challenge squad: we travel down to Washington Country Club for Part 2 of the Lakeview-Washington Golf Challenge. Play begins at 9 am.

Sunday Funnies: Ladies golf, a new read, and the War

Ladies Golf

-got to watch a bit of it yesterday afternoon waiting for the Irish-BC game to come on. Not a whisper about Michelle Wie that I heard. She again has opened terribly and was in 20th place. That would be 20 out of 20, dead last at +19. Ron Sirak at makes a strong case for why Michelle shouldn't have been there. I agree. More background on Michelle here.
-Suzann Petersen and Lorena Ochoa tied at the top going into the final day of play at -12.


Am reading a book Diane has just finished, one which she often interrupted me in whatever important thing I was engaged in doing so as to share a pearl of wisdom. The book: The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak. Set in Hitler times in Munich. Excellent so far, eighty some pages in.

War and Ugliness and Responsibility

Frank Rich in the NYTimes today:

The first paragraph:

“BUSH lies” doesn’t cut it anymore. It’s time to confront the darker reality that we are lying to ourselves.

The last paragraph:

Our humanity has been compromised by those who use Gestapo tactics in our war. The longer we stand idly by while they do so, the more we resemble those “good Germans” who professed ignorance of their own Gestapo. It’s up to us to wake up our somnambulant Congress to challenge administration policy every day. Let the war’s last supporters filibuster all night if they want to. There is nothing left to lose except whatever remains of our country’s good name.

Go read what's in between, it will make your skin crawl.

Gotta stop. The weather is lovely. No Colts today. Go Golf, you know that's good for you. We also have two Netflix movies waiting for us: Gods and Monsters, and Chinatown. And a good book started. My cup is full.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Saturday Wrap: Football and new cars

College football:
-our neighbor to the south, Kentucky, beats #1 LSU in 3 OT's. Wow!
-Irish lose again. Oh boy...
-South Florida wins big!

New Car
-Diane went down to Jasper and picked up her new car this afternoon, a Toyota Yaris. Nifty.

Bird, Wininger and Byron Win Scramble

Mike Bird, Lee Wininger and Kevin Byron birdied all the even holes in today's Manager's Scramble, and that was just enough to take the prize. The results:

1. Mike Bird, Lee Wininger, Kevin Byron (-4)
2. Trenton Kidwell, Larry Hembree, Curt Johnson (-3)
3. Tyler Kidwell, Tony Wease, Joe Allen, Joe Doyle (-2)

Sharpshooters: Mike Bird, Mike Bird, Trenton Kidwell, Tyler Kidwell

Skins/JQ Match:
Players: Larry Hembree, Curt Johnson, Mike Bird
Skins: Mike Bird: #2, #4 and #7 (all birdies)
Johnnie's Quaters: Mike Bird (10)

Comment: Who is this Mike Bird guy? Big showoff...

Friday, October 12, 2007

Friday Wrap: Football Experts, Eric and his greens

Picture: Sand on #6.

More Follies:

-Irish have zero chance to beat #4 Boston College according to the experts. I agree but wouldn't it be great if the Irish did to the BC team what they did to the Irish two times (1993, 2002) over the last thirteen years, knock them out of the race for the title? (But don't forget, Mikey doesn't really care about the Irish this year. Bunch of losers, if you ask me. And, darn it, it shouldn't be so...)

-Helped Eric aerate several greens today. Greens might be a little rough for a few days but you know it will make them better in a very short time.

-World turns. Or so they say. Scramblers - see you tomorrow at 9am.

Friday Follies

At the golf course and it's cool; supposed to be even cooler tomorrow morning. So, We'll start the Manager's Scramble at 9am.

Heading out on the course. I see from the NYTimes that Al Gore and a UN Panel have won the Nobel Prize for Peace. Congrats to the Gore man.

Be back with more later...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Thursday Wrap: Nixon Resigns

Finished The Final Days this evening. Yup, Nixon resigned and Gerald Ford became president. I wonder now if I had read this way back in the spring of 1977; maybe I just purchased it and put it on the shelf, waiting for a more appropriate time to read it. In any case, it was 'good stuff' going back to that time and reading about the last days of the Nixon presidency. A couple of items:

-Len Garment said after the release of the first tapes that it was a violation of the American People's right not to know. Interesting comment and one that I agree with - I did not read the tapes, was not interested in reading the tapes. And the same was true of a more recent release of the private goings-on of a president, that being Bill Clinton, who also found a private part of his life exposed to the public view. This was an even greater outrage as far as I am concerned as it dealt entirely with a person's private life. With Nixon, the tapes had to do with the operation of our government and in the end the revelation of a crime, or a multiplicity of crimes, committed by Nixon and his band of crooks.

-Late in his final days, Nixon bemoaned the fact that peace in the Middle East remained elusive and that it was supposed to be one of the three things his administration would be remembered for. He did not, and neither did the authors, reveal what the other two were or might have been. Certainly the war in Vietnam was not a shining moment for Nixon any way you look at it. The normalizing of relations with China? I don't know...

-Do I remember rightly that Nixon is now considered one of the worst presidents ever? He's certainly in the bottom five in my book. Just recently, Alan Greenspan called him one of the smartest men (presidents?) he dealt with in his long career (Clinton was the other one he mentioned).

-Nixon - modern day tragic figure? Well, he certainly was flawed.

-I remember watching most of the Sam Ervin hearings in the summer of 1973 - riveting stuff. Missed most of the drama of the final days as we were on the road heading back west (Seattle area) after spending a year in South Bend. We traveled at a most leisurely pace, leaving South Bend in late May or early June and finally moving back into our Bellevue house some time in early September.

Thursday's Match Ends in Tie

The game: Foursomes - Alternate Shot.
The Results: Souerdike Team ties Bird Team
The particulars:
Match 1: Wayne Souerdike and Jack Butcher (S Team) lose to Mike Bird and Junior Byron (B Team), 3 and 2.
Match 2: Ken Hudson and John Chapman (S Team) beat Rex Hudson and Morris Cornelius (B Team), 1-0.
Match 3: Richard Barber and Joe Gray (S Team) beat Dale DeLong and Clyde Wake (B Team), 1-0
Match Four (Singles): Diane Bird (B Team) beats Pam Byron (S Team), 3 and 2.

Note to get a day started: Armenian Genocide Resolution

-Congress hearing about the 1915 Turkish-Armenian War and will probably pass a resolution to call it what it was: genocide. White House urging caution (don't do it!) because of current need for good relations with Turkey. Hmmm, if you don't like the way things are, well, just say they aren't that way; no body will know the difference or say anything if they do. Defending the 'head-in-sand-tell-it-like-it-isn't': our own Dan Burton:

"This is crazy," remarked Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.), who once shot a watermelon as part of his probes of Bill Clinton. "We're in the middle of two wars and we've got troops over there that are at risk, and we're talking about kicking the one ally that's helping us over there in the face."

I hadn't heard about Burton shooting watermelons. Intrepid investigator of I don't know what.

Guess that will have to do to get things started. Time to get moseying over to the golf course...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Wednesday Wrap: WCC Scorecard, Movie

Pictures of Washington Country Club scorecard from years ago.

Movie time at the Bird House this afternoon: the movie: Innocent Voices. A movie about the innocents caught in the civil war in El Salvador back in the '80's. Foreign film, has subtitles. Very moving; brought a grown man to tears, tears of grief for the lost children. As one of the reviewers says, it is not a feel good movie. It is horrendously sad. Rate it a five for displaying the terrible price the innocents pay for men doing their war thing (yet another reminder fo the stupidity of war).

More on the war here and the part that America played in contributing to the violence and then the hugh role the UN played in bringing the madness to a close. Bravo to the UN.

Thursday Senior Golf Games

Reminder: we play a nine hole game starting at 9 am tomorrow; additional nine for those who want to stay or join us at 11 am.

Pairings for Lakeview-Washington Golf Challenge Part 2

Pairings for the Lakeview - Washington Golf Challenge, Part 2, to be played at Washington Country Club on Monday, October 15, starting at 9 am. Format: first nine holes: Alternate Shot; second nine holes: Individual match play. All play is straight up this time, no handicap. Reminder: this is a match play format and all scoring is done by the hole with each hole being worth one point, each match one point. Total points available: seven points for the Alternate Shot (one point per match); fourteen points for the Individual Match Play (one for each match); twenty-one points total. Current score: Washington 9.5 points; Lakeview 4.5 points.



Stiles, Phil 8

Bird, Mike 4

Smith, Dick 12

Souerdike, Wayne 4

Johnson, Leo 14

Chapman, John 14

Brochin, Mark 14

Hudson, Ken 14

Summers, Bill 12

Hudson, Rex 14

Steimel, Jim 12

Roach, Herb 14

Dinkens, Larry 12

Byron, Jr 4

Joyce, Bill 20

Wallace, Vic 22

Gingerich, Dave 12

Lents, Jack 14

Doyle, Tom 36

Gray, Joe 28

Neil Smith 18

Shaw, Ray 20

Lancaster, Ron 18

Elliott, Bob 26

Bledsoe, Charles 24

Strange, Dave 20

Dayton, Mike 20

Streepy, Leroy 22

Wednesday Notes

Just back from the dentist and now at the golf course where it is windy and cool and cloudy - what a change.


-go to dKos for a cool penguin joke... reminds me of the 'painted stones of the '70's' which my brother (and others too I am sure) referred to as 'just f**king rocks'.
-in The Final Days, it's August 6th and Washington is in turmoil. Just three days till Nixon resigns, family members worried he is going to off himself. Goldwater mad as hell (others too). Not a peep from the Democrats who are laying low and watching the Republicans shoot themselves. I wonder now how Nixon resurrects himself after all is said and done; will have to do some more reading - might be a good winter project, finding and reading several books on Nixon, Watergate, the '70's...

Going out; be back later.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Carrico, Jeffers, Holland and Wininger Get Lucky

They had a measly two birdies to show for their efforts through five holes but that changed in a hurry when Short Jeffers chipped one in for eagle on their sixth hole. Having found a bit of magic there at #6, they continued the fun by rolling in longish putts, by Jeffers on #7 and #8, and then wrapped it all up on #9 with Cam Carrico doing the honors by rolling in a fifteen foot putt. The results:

1. Short Jeffers, Lee Wininger, Buck Holland, Cam Carrico (-7)
2. Dave Wininger, Mike Bird, Jim Murphy (-6)
3. Tyler Kidwell, Doug Denson, George Templin (-5)
3. Terry Butcher, Greg Potts, Tony Wease, Don Nolan (-5)
5. Mike Kidwell, Trenton Kidwell, Curt Johnson (-3)

Tuesday Notes: Lakeview-Washington Challenge

-The second part of the Lakeview-Washington Golf Challenge takes place at the Washington Country Club next Monday at 9 am. Format: first nine holes: alternate shot; second nine holes: individual play. Expect to post the pairings later today. Play at Washington will be straight up, no handicapping.

-Comment on yesterday's play: I think the Washington players did a great job of adjusting to the conditions at Lakeview and doing what was necessary to win. And, if you didn't notice, it was a resounding win anyway you looked at it, both in the scramble and in the best ball. I did hear a couple of the Washington players (including Charlie Bledsoe) say that their play was exceptional. But I also heard of comebacks after rough starts. I know that Dave and Charlie, the two paired with Bob Elliott an myself, kept making shots that kept them in the game or gave them a point (i.e., after Bob, myself and Charlie had dropped our tee shots into the creek alongside #2, Dave refused to join us and put his shot up to the left of the green - eventual par and point to them guys; Charlie also made a tying sliding downhill putt on #4 and a super chip on #6 that gave Dave a routine five foot putt for the point). And it wasn't that we didn't have our share of grand moments either: Bob Elliott's tee shot on #3 the first time almost went in and gave him a 13" putt for birdie; and my own five iron shot on #10 that that gave me a 24" putt for net eagle which did nothing but tie Charlie who had got himself a par and a net eagle. What does a guy have to do around here to get a point from these guys?! Hey, it was fun, lots of fun; and we look forward to Day Two next Monday.

-Am sure there are lots of shots and recoveries and also some ugly moments that took place yesterday. Got one to share? Put it in the comments.

World turns. Heading to the golf course. Eric has things started.

Tuesday Men's Scramble

Reminder: Getting dark earlier (happens every year about this time). Making up teams at 4:15 this afternoon. Start two minutes later.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Washington Routs Lakeview on Day 1

The Washington Country Club's squad of fourteen golfers came east, graciously accepted the welcomes of the Lakeview Golf Course crew, and then went out and did a number on them. In the two seven point matches, the boys from the West took 4.5 points in the Scramble and 5 points in the Best Ball. The results:



Best Ball




Dinkens, Larry 12




Joyce, Bill 20


Byron, Jr 4

Shaw, Ray 20


Dayton, Mike 20



Smith, Dick 12


Streepy, Leroy 22



Roach, Herb 14


Stiles, Phil 8



Johnson, Leo 14


Souerdike, Wayne 4



Wallace, Vic 22


Lancaster, Ron 18



Doyle, Tom 36


Chapman, John 14




Gray, Joe 28


Summers, Bill 12




Steimel, Jim 12


Lents, Jack 14



Hudson, Rex 14


Bledsoe, Charles 24




Gingerich, Dave 12


Elliott, Bob 26



Bird, Mike 4


Neil Smith 18




Brochin, Mark 14


Strange, Dave 20

Hudson, Ken 14



Best Ball