Thursday, June 05, 2008

Still Here

by shagonsports

Lots of exciting events in our lives the last several weeks and months…

My sister and her husband Stefan came over from Germany… Jayne was speaking at conference in Chi town (in the North Suburbs) so Mara and I went up for a visit… We had a wonderful dinner at Spovane’s, which is a great Italian Restaurant in the suburbs (the owner comes out and sings during dinner) and myself, Stefan and Mara spent the day at the Field Museum, which is right next to Soldier Field (I really do not like the upgrades to Soldier Field for a view of the columns standpoint)…

The field museum is a very interesting place… Lots of focus on the Indians of the Midwest (they were the first players of Lacrosse) but also on prehistoric times and the evolution of the earth for the last four billion years… Call me stupid but I did not know until that visit that humans and dinosaurs were not around together… Guess I based my knowledge before on the Flintstones and Ringo Star’s caveman movie…

We rode the train downtown, a bus from Union station to the museum and reverse on the trip back… Chicago has a nice public transportation system and the train was completely full on the return trip to the suburbs (it was rush hour)... I like the idea of rail but I do not like the idea that it would take me about two hours from the time I leave work until I walk in my front door at home… I am spoiled by my fifteen minute drive…

We had a wonderful family get together at my sister Rhonda’s and brother in law Kevin’s on Thursday and Friday… On Friday we had all three of my grandparents, my mom, my brother and his family, my Uncle Wally and Aunt Charla, my Mother in Law and my nephew Matt… We got our first ever picture of my mom with all of her kids and all of the kids spouses which was really cool…

My grandmother had another gathering for Jayne and Stefan on Sunday with more of the extended family including my cousin’s wife who grew up not far from where Stefan is from in Germany... After they left Henderson they went to Austin, TX and then returned home to Germany…

We also spent mother’s days with our families in Henderson… It was a nice event and we were able to get most of our family on both sides of the fence to spend the day at my Aunt Charla’s which really made it nice for all… My niece Annaleigh was Christened in church that Sunday and all three of my grandparents, my mother and my brother and his family was all in attendance as well as my brother in laws Mom and Dad… My sister Rhonda got up and sang to Annaleigh during the ceremony and she never took her eyes off of her… She loves to hear music…

The older I get the more important my family becomes… I am really blessed when it comes to family… We are as dysfunctional as all families with the difference being we have accepted it and in most cases do not let that get in our way…

Back on the Golfing Train

After 18 months away from the course (not counting the nine holes I played on Thanksgiving Day 2007) I am back in the saddle… How much did I miss playing golf??? Allot more then I realized once I got back out on the course…

I have been practicing off and on for about three weeks prior to going out on May 25th for my first round… I started out by triple bogeying three of the first four holes and then for the next nine holes I had seven pars and two bogeys… I ended up with 91… I hit my irons well but did not hit my driver or wedges very well…

On Memorial Day myself, Brad and Wayne played Fuzzy’s new course called Champions Point… What a nice track… Again I could not drive the ball but I hit my irons and wedges very well and ended up with shooting 86 (46, 40) and almost broke 40 on the back nine…

I played in my golf League for the first time the following Thursday and shot 42 which gotten me beaten pretty good in my match… Still had trouble driving the ball but my irons and wedges were pretty solid… Just really nice to be competing once again!!!

On Saturday May 31st I shot 82 (41, 41) at the toughest Metro course in Louisville… I hit my driver great, irons great but my chipping and putting were way off… I had four three putts and missed three other putts that you just have to make if you are going to score… Easily could have posted a 75 or 76 if the flat iron was not so unkind…

Next week I am heading to the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Alabama for a three day golfing adventure… Looking forward to a great summer back on the links…

The World of Sports Random Rants...

- Big Brown had an impressive victory in the Derby and Preakness and looks poised to win the Triple Crown… This has become one of the hardest trophies in sports to obtain and I think it has allot to do with the size of the Kentucky Derby Field… Greedy Churchill Downs should cut the field to 15 horses and get rid of the five that have no chance in the race but they will not do that because of financial implications… There have been some recent chances for a triple with Smarty Jones, Charismatic, Real Quiet and War Emblem but each failed in the 1.5 mile Belmont which also shakes out the pretenders… This sets up for a historic win and I for one and pulling hard for this horse…

- Charles Barkley had to pay a casino/strip club about $400,000 to settle a gambling marker… Charles stated he was done with gambling… I like Charles but he has set himself up for another news story when he gambles again in public which I predict to be really soon if not already…
- The Lakers and the Celtics are back in the NBA Finals… I am hoping to get to watch some of these games but the late start times are just killer… I only watched one full playoff game and many parts of others… The only reason I saw a full game was because I was out that night with some buddies from LA who wanted to watch the game… I really like the way Rajon Rondo is playing for the Celtics… With his improved shot, his defense and ability to distribute the ball I think he has answered the call nicely for the Celtics… The early knock on the Celtics was inexperience at the point which I think at this point is not an issue… Glad to see T Prince play well again for the Pistons… Look for him to be in LA before it is all said and done…
- Redbirds are hanging tough with the Cubs… Puljos is having a monster year and he is getting some help from the entire supporting cast around him… If their pitching can hold out then they have a chance although I predict they will finish second and out of the playoffs which to me is an amazing coaching job by Larussa… Cubs fan at work writes the number of games on my board each day that St Louis is behind…
- Red Wings won another Stanley Cup… If you have not watched Hockey in HD then you need to do that… It changes the game so much for the viewer… I am an HD snob now…
- Phil Mickelson will win the US Open…
- “Spygate” probably needs some more attention… It is part of the game to try and steal the other team’s signs in the field of play by coaches or players… It is another to do it electronically by using film or some other means… Maybe Charlie Weiss is not such a great offensive mind because apparently his offenses in New England made some significant adjustments at half time… When “The Giants Win the Pennant” moment occurred rumor is the Giants had someone in the centerfield scoreboard relaying the pitch calls to the dugout and the dugout to the batters in the box via a telephone line and binoculars… Filming or positioning someone in an area of a stadium for the sole purpose of stealing signs goes from gamesmanship to pure cheating…
- I am not sure if I am supposed to use the term Ryder Cup in my Blogs… None of the golf stores in Louisville
are allowed to sale anything that says, Ryder Cup on it so they are selling items that just simply say, “The Cup”… I am still working on and hoping to find some tickets to the event…
- I am not happy that Derrick Jasper left UK… I am hearing he wanted the opportunity to red shirt next year so he can get his knee healthy and Billy G said no… I do not blame the kid of leaving whether it is this reason of in fact he is homesick… I do believe this could be a “major” impact on next year’s team…
- UK and U of L made respectable showings again this year in baseball… The question now is can each team hold on to their coaches…
- Got a nice flash back a few weeks ago and got to play Willingham’s miniature golf in Henderson… It was a place I spent allot of time at as a child… It is nothing like it used to be but it will still fun to play it one more time… Probably will not be open long so give it shot soon if you are in Hendo…
- I heard a quote the other day that intrigued me… If Ted Williams took a pitch then the umpire would assume it was ball because Ted Williams would not take a strike…
- Congrats to the team Rubbersoul who won the first half of my Fantasy Golf League called “The Scuffletown Country Club…”

Kenny Perry

I have ridden Kenny like a rented mule in my fantasy golf league as has most everyone else recently… Kenny has really played well and I like that he is so focused because he wants to make the Ryder Cup Team… I do however completely disagree with him for not playing in the US Open but I understand his logic…

He would have to play in a US Open qualifier this week (36 holes in one day) vs. going to Memphis and prepare for this weeks tournament… Why is the number 9 all time money winners, fourth this year in Fed Ex Cup standings, fifth on the money list and in the top ten for Ryder Cup not already qualified for the US Open??? To quote John McEnroe, “Are you serious!!!”

It is the US Open Kenny!!! Win the thing and you are guaranteed a Ryder Cup… If he does not qualify for the Ryder Cup Team outright then I think his avoidance of the US Open will cost him a spot at being Captains pick… Why not skip the St Jude and get ready for the Open… Kenny does not like playing the British either so we will see what happens there…

Top Fives

I was talking to my cousin Chet about some items that we have in our top fives and I thought that would be a fun topic for discussion in future blogs… We discussed food in one of our takes and he also told me about a CD some guys made where each picked their favorite tear jerking song…
This week I am going with what I think are the five greatest home runs in MLB history… Here are my five:

1. Ruth’s called shot against the Cubs in the World Series at Wrigley Field… Since ESPN uncovered film footage to support this long told story this one tops the list for me…
2. Bobby Thompson’s home run to beat the Brooklyn in the deciding game three of the three game playoff for the NL crown… “The Giants, Win the Pennant, The Giants win the Pennant!!!”
3. Bill Mazeroski’s game seven home run to beat the mighty Yankees at Pittsburgh’s Forbes Field… There are
three really cool photos of that event or that day… One is a picture with the ball about half way to home plate which gets a great view of the scene and the players involved right before the hit… The next is of Yogi Berra with his back to the camera as the ball goes over the fence and the third is of people on top of a tall building looking into the stadium during the game…
4. Hank Aarons 715th career home run… Was a great moment for a little kid to watch…
5. Carlton Fisk’s extra inning home run to beat the Red’s in Fenway and send the series to a game seven… This is where Fisk is waving the ball fair and it hits the foul pole for the home run…

One other top five I thought about involves Music… Top five albums that people who like the music that I like to listen to probably have not heard:

1. The Clash, Sandinista… I had never listened to this one before until Flea from the Chili Peppers recommended it on a show I was watching… It has not left my CD player in a week…
2. Cake, Prolonging the Magic… Any Cake album is great but this one is my favorite…
3. Portishead, Live in New York… The music is great and the singer has a very distinct and dreamy voice…
4. Let’s Active… Self Titled… Guy plays all the instruments on this album…
5. Swimming Pool Q’s… Self Titled… Sting said at one time this was his favorite band…

Music

Went to see Elvis Costello a few weeks ago and it was excellent… I really like new bands Vampire Weekend and MGMT… MGMT sounds allot like Moby if you know who Moby is… The lyrics to MGMT songs are out there… The Clash Sandinista is a great record that I am listening to and I still am loving Kings of Leon… Sam Gibbs has informed me that Leon was Jesus middle name…