Month: March 2010

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During the very start of the backswing, it is the initial shift of the body to the right side that defines whether or not the resulting downswing and eventual follow through are executed correctly.

It's a carefully intermixed chain of actions and reactions.

Moving back slowly but not too slowly, just before the body turns at the waist and the club is lifted back in a wide arc, the weight should be slanted slightly over to the right foot so that the recoil of the downswing delivers sufficient power to the ball.

It's a question of good balance, transfer of body energy at the right moment, and of course perfect timing.

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This is a pretty funny story which happened to me on the train this morning.

Sitting across from me was this guy curled up comfortably next to the window, sleeping and motionless, and having sweet dreams.

This huge woman whose wide-angle bottom didn't even fit between the walkway squeezed her way to our spot, took a couple huffs and a puff, and plopped down hard next to the sleeping guy.

Half of his body became smothered under the excessive mass of cytoplasm, the whole of his right arm and shoulder disappeared, and he was shaken awake as if from an awful nightmare.

He looked so confused with his wide eyes, freaked out for half a minute before he could make sense of what just happened.

He sat there being overly polite for a couple of stops, and our gazes would meet occasionally, me cracking a subtle smile. However, he was too grumpy to react.

Then he got up and sat next to me.

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I'm not usually the one to generalize, but my experiences are that it is more often than not very difficult if not impossible to communicate properly with women.

What for me is a crystal clear expression or a calculated and careful opinion is misunderstood in ways that I could never have imagined in advance.

Even being mentally prepared in advance for such potential difficulties is not enough to stave off all such dangers. These conversations sway and become entangled in ways that just do not make sense to me.

I've learned that listening well, minimizing verbal reactions and avoiding statements that could be misinterpreted as judgmental is often the best strategy to follow.

By adhering to this principle, please realize that the frustration can nag at you in ways that make this extremely uncomfortable to uphold, especially for the talkative and macho men types out there.

I fear for my life that women reading this carefully penned entry of mine will over react and become angry at me for writing such nonsense. Women are empathetic creatures, but when it comes to the opposite sex, they fail to understand why some male like me could feel this way in the first place. Or not?

Certainly, although communication is the buzzword these days, it remains an interesting and challenging activity with which we should all gain insight and human entertainment.

I'll keep on talking (carefully) and not say too much.

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Everyone has their favorite type of golf shot, and when you successfully execute this difficult shot, it gives you the most satisfying feeling imaginable. It's a rare shot and happens only once a month or a year.

Depending on your personality, you might jump up and down and shout with glee, take off your cap and fling it into the air. Or you might hold in the excitement and feel energized by walking tall as you follow the shot before the ball comes to rest, just knowing.

My favorite shot is a long four or three iron approach to the green, flying low and strong directly into the wind. The ball will rise ever so slightly but remain low enough that the head winds are ineffectual in holding back the powerful white flying arrow. It's a battle of wits, but you know that the ball is going to win hands down.

I have my own way of expressing the excitement that follows. Release the energy ever so slightly by spewing out a muffled yes, make a fist and pump back my arm, watching the descending arch in perfect line with the flag stick. Right down the smoke stack, and it is the movement of my eyes that have complete control over the ball, forcing it to follow the pre-defined path.

The first bounce hits the front of the green, skips about ten feet, and the back spin grabs the surface just right, so that the ball stops dead in its tracks for an easy birdie putt.

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Damn. I bashed in the left side of my car against that stupid light-pole while backing out of the parking spot. There was this huge bang and then sounds like a tin can getting crinkled flat. A huge dent, lots of scrapes and scratches, and the door won't open anymore from the outside.

Why didn't I see it? I mean it was right next to my back door when I got in the car, and I even remember thinking I should be careful while leaving such a precarious spot. Before getting distracted by the BBC news on the radio and then throwing the gear shift into reverse without thinking.

The guy said it's going to cost me at least a couple thousand euros to get fixed. Oh well, there goes my golfing trip to Scotland. Damn.

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The man standing next to me was wearing a fancy suit and carrying a leather briefcase in his right hand. He was waiting to take the same train that I was.

The next time I turned to look in his direction to see if the train was coming yet, he'd collapsed right then and there in front of me. A group of people attired in various kinds of uniforms was kneeling on the ground attending to him with urgent motions and concerned looks. Considering the gravity of the situation, they remained quite calm following closely a coordinated process of unwritten rules.

One tall skinny guy wearing a cap was talking into his porto-phone saying that they needed an ambulance right away. He walked right past me and was having some difficulty orienting himself so that he could provide the proper directions on how to get there. At the front of the train station, no better come in from the back, wait I'm on platform three next to the snack bar, so better come in from the side entrance and ...

The poor businessman was lying on the ground with his head tilted at an awkward angle on the leather suitcase, which served the purpose of a make-do pillow on the otherwise hard cement ground. He was motionless and his face was ashen like a wax-figure stricken cold by Medussa's gaze. The people who were bent over him were talking to him in muffled voices, assuring the waxen figure that everything was going to be alright.

I would say that this person was not much younger than I, at most five years. My first impression was that he seemed pretty healthy standing there next to me just a minute ago. Holding the leather briefcase so firmly in his right hand. The one moment glancing quickly at his wristwatch and then the next moment something cracking open reality and slapping him hard in the face.

Although I had been originally feeling pretty grumpy this morning having to go to work again, I think I'm feeling more thankful about life. Might as well enjoy life while I can.

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Shiskine4thGREEN.jpg

"The true (golf) pilgrim wanders off to the outlying, the more humble and obscure courses. For it is on those unsung courses, on a damp morning in April or a blustery afternoon towards the end of October, that you may look around at your friends, the pulsing light on the grey sea, the undulating fairway, the club in your still singing hands and the distant green, and know yourself in earthly heaven..."

Preferred Lies, A journey to the Heart of Golf
- Andrew Greig.

That's why within the month I'm planning a spiritual golfing trip to Scotland so that I can play Shiskine, Gigha, Prestwick and other fine courses in the area. Even if it means getting wet and having to play under gale-force conditions.

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The front nine was quite a display of supernaturally and (almost) perfectly consistent golfing gusto:

Par, par, par, par, par, double-bogey (oops), par, par, par = 38.

How did I manage keeping my cool after I choked the sixth hole? Hungry for the easy five foot birdie on the sixth to go one under, I rammed the sucker way past the hole and ended up four putting for a double-bogie. How was this possible?

Though I was boiling up inside and feeling very embarrassed at the same time, I laughed it off and remembered Hogan's insightful adage: "always treat the next hole like it is the first one of the day." This gave me strength and energized me with adrenalin, easily adding fifty yards to my next tee shot.

What a great relief it is for me to discover that I still have those secret powers inside of me.

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The cool, windy and grayish afternoon calls me onward. It's drizzling on my windshield but I do not care. I'm happy it's only raining, relieved that all the snow has disappeared for good.

When I turn into the main entrance I can see that the flag has been replaced to its natural spot on the seventeenth hole. No more winter greens! The car speeds up and I'm barreling up the hill to the clubhouse.

Winter greens are temporary roundish areas placed out somewhere in the fairway to allow the real greens relief from sub-freezing temperatures and excessive snow, making the holes significantly shorter but disproportionally more difficult. The new hole is slightly larger, and the putting surface area (2-3 meter radius) around it is very bumpy and as hard as concrete. No matter how good you are, your putts roll and bounce every which way. About 20% skill and 80% luck, so balls ending up within a club length are good.

This is the first day in three months that the winter greens are gone. The girl at the reception says that I can tee off in five minutes. I feel like bending over the counter and giving her a big kiss. I grab my bag of clubs and dash out to the first tee. The breath of fresh air gives me extra energy and inspiration. My drive with the three wood is a magnificent shot, down the middle of the fairway and a slight fade, on a hole which I normally flub up my pulling my ball into the left trees.

Nine holes were enough excitement for the day, no use over doing it. The afternoon was getting late and it was becoming slightly dark. Driving home, I went over every single shot in my mind, thinking up my strategy for the following tee time which would be tomorrow at twelve o'clock.

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I nearly cried my eyes out when I discovered that young Tommy Morris dies in the prime of his life, three time winner of the Open Championship and Champion of Scotland, the first modern professional golfer, only twenty-four years old.

In the middle of an important golf match he receives a telegram, and he rushes home by ship. But is too late, his young wife and newborn baby were dead from childbirth. The Young Tom becomes so broken-hearted that he dies four months later on Christmas Day.

I realized that I was nearing the end of "Tommy's Honour" by Kevin Cook and at the back of my mind wondered why. Could there be a sequel out there that I hadn't heard about? I'd go out and buy the book right away.

But alas, this was not to be. I'll have to go to St. Andrews someday and pay him tribute in person by visiting his grave.

Of course, after eighteen holes of golf first.

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Up until yesterday the Del-, Ins- and Home- keys on the upper right-hand corner were sticking alot, and it's been really bugging me since I purchased this fancy laptop more than a year ago.

Once I even brought it to a so-called expert computer repair shop. I was told that there was nothing to do about it. They even had the gall to suggest that I strike the keys more gently and at an increased perpendicular angle.

All of a sudden I'd had enough. Mustering up enough courage to grab my special screwdrivers, I became a madman, loosened the bottom of my laptop completely, pulled off the front cover, and dislocated the screen.

I looked around, blew some dust away, wiggled this and that. Then when I put the bottom and front covers back in place, I had a whim and reversed the sequence. I began with the left side and tightened the screws in only three-fourths of the way, and then I screwed the right side back tightly in place.

I couldn't believe it, but none of the keys stuck anymore. Now it feels like heaven when I type, and it's almost like I have a brand-new laptop all over again.

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Read this from beginning to end, and you then tell me with a straight face that it hasn't completely changed your life.

I believe it is high time that we stop dilly-dallying around, that we face the future for what it is, for what is was meant to be, and take the challenge.

for 0..3 -> $even, $odd {
    say "Even: $even \t Odd: $odd";
}

An appropriate theme song could be "Start of Something Beautiful" by Porcupine Tree (which just happened to be playing on Radioparadise twice while reading and then re-reading the link above on alternating even and odd days).

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Going to attend the 7th Dutch Perl Workshop tomorrow in Arnhem.

Cannot wait to get up bright and early for a fun and relaxing day dedicated to the fascinating world of Perl. Last year was a blast and with lots of interesting talks I look forward to the trip.

During the ninety minute drive east, I'm going to crank up my latest Porcupine Tree CD and prepare myself for the busy day of mental gymnastics.

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I was pleasantly surprised to discover the following exciting email in my inbox this morning.

Good Day,

My name is Robert and I'm a recruiter at Axelon Services Corporation, formerly known as Algomod Technologies Corporation. Our records show that you are an experienced professional with experience in Computer Repair. This experience is relevant to one of my current openings.

It is located in SALINAS, CA.

Field Technician
Salinas, CA
5+ Month Contract

I'll have to think about it first before jumping too quickly at this opportunity that could change my life.

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Information

This personal weblog was started way back on July 21, 2001 which means that it is 7-21-2001 old.

So far this blog contains no less than 2291 entries and as many as 1876 comments.

Important events

Graduated from Stanford 6-5-1979 ago.

Kiffin Rockwell was shot down and killed 9-23-1916 ago.

Believe it or not but I am 10-11-1957 young.

Began well-balanced and healthy life style 1-8-2013 ago.

My father passed away 10-20-2000 ago.

First met Thea in Balestrand, Norway 6-14-1980 ago.