Golf is a difficult game. Ask anyone who has played it or tried to.  I am talking about golf as a physical competitive sport.  If you are to compare golf to, say, bowling there is just no comparison.  A perfect score in bowling is 300.  Most professional bowlers have rolled  perfect games many times.  What is a perfect game in golf?  I have never heard any reference to such a concept, but one might say an 18 would be a perfect score.  Realistically though, that is absurd.  So let's say a score of all eagles would be a perfect game.  Still entirely unrealistically.  So let's move on and define a perfect golf game as a round of all birdies.  Not quite so unrealistic, but never accomplished by professional golfers.  For many years Al Geiberger was known as Mr. 59.  Referring to the fact that in a sanctioned tournament he shot a 59.  Since that time there have been other professionals who have shot the same score.  I don't know what par was on the course that Al shot his 59, but if it was 72, he was 13 under par.  Five shots short of the mythical all birdies score.  If par was less that 72, you get the picture.

 Ok, no arguments, golf is a difficult game.  That is only half the story.  Besides a devilishly difficult game, the sadistic Scots had to devise the rules of golf, and since there have been just a few changes to improve the situation some.  The rules make golf doubly difficult.  In bowling, you can't slide past the foul line.  That is about it.  Oh yes, only two reracks per game!!!

 The idea for this spiel came from a recent game where a player was assessed a penalty stroke for an infraction he (?) incurred.  It was terribly windy. His ball was on the green and he stood ready to put and put his club on the green behind the ball – known as grounding the club – then maybe to reconsider his intended line or to get his balance after being moved by a strong blast, he walked away from the ball and in the mean time the wind blew his ball a small distance.  He was deemed to have taken one stroke.  Now the rules of golf are so charitable that an official approached the golfer and informed him that his score is one stroke higher than he thought it was.  Had he not been approached by the nice official, and had submitted a wrong score, he would have been sent to jail for an undetermined period of time.

I don't know of all the ridiculous circumstances that have occurred because of these crazy rules, but here are a few.

A glfer, I think it was Graham Marsh hit his ball into a trap and had what the pros call a fried egg lie.  A rule of golf is that you can't ground your club when in a trap.  Why that is I don't know but some Scotsman thought it a good idea.  Well Marsh made a mighty swing and didn't get the ball out of the trap. In disgust he swung his club and hit the sand.  Oops, grounding the club.  One shot penalty.  Roberto Di (?), the Argentinian golfer won a tournament, well for a time. After completing a round the golfer must go into the scoring tent and review his card, and I think, but am not sure, the card of the other player he was playing with.  He signed a card that was incorrect.  There went the championship and the tournament.  Please tell me what that has to do with golf.

One of Paul Azingers claim to fame was his attempt to improve his footing.  If a player is in a sand trap the recommended practice is to wiggle your feet back and forth to get a good firm stance in the sand.  That wiggling is OK. Paul was in some shallow water trying to address his ball on the course. The slippery pebbles he was standing on bothered him and he began using his spikes like a rake to move the pebbles.  I kind TV viewer saw his actions and called the officials and told them of what he thought was an infraction.  Poor Paul was penalized a stroke.  I suppose there might be a defense of this rule, but golf being as rough as it is, the rules ought to bend in the other direction.

Occasionally they do.  After a very hard rain, the course can be almost unplayable.  Officials can invoke the "lift, clean, and place" rule, for a ball in the fairway.  Isn't that nice of them? A hunk of mud on the ball can be cleaned off, and the ball placed on a nice tuft of grass to improve the lie.  If, however, it rains pretty hard, but not to cause the officials to invoke the "lift, etc." rule and you hit your ball in the fairway and find when you get to it that it has a big chunk of mud on it.  Tough luck.  Is that golf?

A good golf shot from the fairway involves hitting the ball first and then taking a divot.  The divot should be replaced, but some divots are so shallow that there is not enough sod to allow it to be replaced.  In which case sometimes sand is poured in the divot.  If your ball should end up in the divot, you have no remedy available.  Just bite the bullet and hope for clean contact.

This is wild fantasy.  I would love to have the PGA come to me with the charge to review the rules of golf and make any changes that would improve the game. Would I have a field day!!!

CBS 60 Minutes

I was out playing Heartland Strategy last night and couldn't watch 60 Minutes like I wanted to do, and I don't have a VCR so couldn't tape it.  However, the part that interested me, I ran across today, and if you missed it here it is:

Don't read it if it may upset you!!!!!


Things are all relative.  Tonight I got a call from Barbara. She was at a gas station and couldn't get the nozzle in her car to fill it with gas.  I suggested she go into the station and ask the attendant to help. Her reply was that they are just there to take your money and sell donuts.  Anyway she trying that solution was better than I driving quite a ways to solve her problem, so she said she would give it a try.  I almost immediately got another call from her. We think we know what it is she saId.  The attendant thinks I am using the diesel nozzle.  I am not taking credit for that either, refer  to my  last post. 


This is more or less a test.  I see occasionally, a car that is hard to describe, and one I can't figure out its type or manufacturer.  Maybe one of this readership knows what I am going to describe here.  The cars (maybe its just one) the color is always sorta cream, and could be the only one in town, or they only used the one color.

 Anyway, it is BIG. Probably at least two feet longer that a regular sized sedan.  The body style must be a station wagon, but could possibly be classified as a hearse!!!!  It is not minivan, or a, SUV, nor a big sedan.  The back end doesn't have the dip that flows into a trunk area, typical of a sedan.  The back end seems to slope down ever so slightly to finally end up like a station wagons rear end.  The sloping down may add some aerodynamic effect, it could surely use some because from its size it can't get much more than 15 mpg.  The wheels are as big as those on a  large pickup truck.

Do you know what I am describing?

Salman Rushdie

Barbara's big day has come and gone.  She shared an hour with a young scholar giving talks on Salman Rushdie.  The young gal (looked to be a high school senior) gave a book report on a novel by Salman Rushdie, and Barbara gave (not so much a book report) as a general evaluation of the book "Satanic Verses" and the repercusions it generated.  afterwords.  I told Barbara she way outshone the other presenter.  Her response was, I guess it is my age that gave my presentation more authenticity.  Whatever, she came across as one who really knew what she was talking about, and included with no questions asked a forthright exposition of the gospel and its response to Rushdie's secularism.  Rushdie didn't attend the presentation, but spoke that evening, and Barbara got an autographed book from Rushdie, and gave him a copy of her speach.

I was proud of my daughter, and wondered where it came from.  Not me for sure.


Since being alone, I have gotten into the habit of listening to the band Jim plays with on my free Saturday nights.  My dancing friends who have come to the hall where he plays, say that this band is the best in the area.  I of course agree, but don't hear many others. Just country western bands, and Jim's band is certainly not country western.  It plays mostly rock and roll songs, and the music is very danceable.

 There are three men who all play guitar, and do must of the vocal work.  The lady keyboardist solos on a couple of numbers.  Jim solos on maybe a half a dozen songs.  Songs that are Greek to me.  Have you heard of "La Grange"?  Jim's one big number is his drum solo on "Wipe Out".  Last night for some reason the leader decided to play a polka.  Something they have never done before. (All the members of the band play in another band, the B Tones and then play just about all polkas for Pulaski Days etc.)

Well last Sat they played "Just Because".  The leader who plays base guitar, put down his guitar and soloed on his trumpet.  Jim joined with the other members on the vocal portion of the rendition, then the leader said, "it yours Jim", and he whistled one complete 8 bar section.  It was outstanding.  The odd part of it all is that I have never heard Jim whistle around the house or knew that he could whistle.  He keeps his talents hidden under a bushel I guess.

 Now I am going to suggest that he talks the band into including "Big Noise of Winnetka" in its repertoire.  In case you don't know that is a number that features drumming and whistleing.  I use to see one of the big bands do this number many moons ago and the guy, who whistled also played with his drum sticks on the base violin, while the bassist fingered the tune.


I so admired Emily's fancy layout that I thought I should try to spruce mine also.  Being somewhat computer illiterate it took me a minute or two to figure out where to go to get the job done , you now have this newest theme.

 I bet Emily is a fan of Paula Creamer, whose trademark color is pink.


Most of you know that one of my favorite blogs is "Baghdad Burning".  In her latest blog she mentions that her blog has been chosen as the best blog on Middle East and African issues. She was awarded "Bloggie" by the academy that issuses such things.  Secondly, her book "Baghdad Burning" was placed on the short list for the Samuel Johnson award for excellence in the non fiction category.

Now, I have gotten letters from Senator Levin, Representative Ehlers, Pres. Bush, and lastly an email from Riverbend, and I cherish the last the most!!! Of course getting a letter from a 25 yr old girl might have something to do with it all.