Thursday, January 31

Chukkers

I try to put interesting and different subjects on my blog when I can, because there is always something to learn in this wonderful world of ours.

Today I went to a polo match. The polo fields are a stone’s throw away from my house. I bet I could hit a golf ball from my house to here.

Let’s learn a little about the Sport of Kings.

But first, an apology for the crappy photos. I had my point-n-shoot with me, which has a lag time of about 2 seconds, so when horses are running by and you are zoomed to the max, this is what you see. Oh well.

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Polo started in Persia, a long time ago. Like BC. There are 4 players on each team and a couple of referees. They toss up the ball and hit it down the field with their mallets (correct term) until they put it through the goal posts. Pretty basic. It plays pretty much like a soccer game except that they’re on horses.

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It was kind of cool, but a couple of horses came close to getting beaned on the noggin with the ball (correct term). No helmets for the horses, I wonder what the ASPCA would have to say about that.

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Okay, enough of that crap.

I won first place (net) in the eclectic tournament today! I shot a 98, which breaks down to a 66 net—WOW! Congratulations to ME!

Saturday, January 26

A Winter Saturday

We’re having a spot of winter weather here, it has been raining off and on and the ceiling is so low that the mountain has been obliterated.

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Here’s what it usually looks like:

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So we hunkered down to watch golf on TV. They’re playing at Torrey Pines, a few miles over the mountains at the coast. Looks like they’ve got the same weather over there.

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In fact, in the time it took to offload the photos and type this, the fog thickened and now they are airing play from yesterday, so I’ll blog for a bit. I played in fog like this when we lived on the central coast. Fog is bone-chilling and not fun to play golf in.

You can see a few of my elephants on the TV. I have collected them from all over the world. I have big ones, small ones, wood ones, glass ones, and they are scattered around the house. I am not a collector really, but with all our travels I thought I should collect something. Elephants are fairly easy to find all over the world (as opposed to dragons, for example) and it is fun to look for them in foreign lands.

As tournament coordinator, I have been working on the scorecards for our two-week tournament. I have to prepare the scorecards according to the players’ handicaps, check the scores from the first week, and prepare the prize money envelopes. It has been a fair amount of work, but I have learned a lot. My partner and I have the lead going into next week, but only by one stroke.

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I was to go to Road to California yesterday and meet Allie for lunch, who is teaching her Crazy Heart class there. I would do the rest of the show with Janice, my friend I golf with at PGA West. I drove about 45-50 minutes and when I stopped for gas, I had no credit card. Oops. I usually carry two but you can see card #2 on my desk in the above photo, as we are phasing that one out (screw you, American Airlines). Fortunately I had enough cash to get some gas, but barely enough to get home. It wasn’t enough to get to the convention center, which was still an hour and a half away. I was way out on I-10 and J had a doctor’s appointment, so he couldn’t rescue me. So I went home, and I found my credit card. But it was pouring down rain and if I set out again, I’d be four hours late. So I bailed. I was angry with myself for not checking my wallet.

But there was good news. Someone called to see the motorhome. After we learned the hard way last summer about bad people who flimflam unsuspecting motorhome sellers, we only show it together, and with one person remaining outside with a phone. It would be difficult (and potentially dangerous) for J to show it alone because I know more about the specs than he does. The people who came to look at it were very nice, and they said they really liked Rover. But they had a couple other rigs to look at and said they’d let us know. We told them about the eBay auction coming to a close, and they said they knew that because that’s where they saw it. So I am hopeful. My hunch is they’ll wait for the auction to get down to the final hours.

Well, that’s the week. Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, January 20

Pigpen

You remember that character from the Peanuts comic strip…the kid who had stuff swirling around him. That’s my world.

We have the motorhome up for sale and we’ve had a few hits—we even had a guy fly down from San Francisco to look at it. He made an offer, way less than we were asking. Way. We are soft on our price, but he wouldn’t budge on his laughably low offer. JJ is still considering calling him back and caving in just to be done with it. Meanwhile, answering calls and emails and showing it has kept us hopping.

The weather has been nothing short of…well, spectacular. I had the opportunity to play the beautiful and forgiving Greg Norman Course at PGA West last week. I played okay. Not great. My game has been less than stellar lately.

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They are playing the Humana Challenge here this weekend, and the joint is jumping. (Picture stolen from the internet. No cameras allowed.) We didn’t go this year—it’s fun, but easier to see on TV. Maybe we should go—they’ve got great pastrami sandwiches over there….

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We got our floors done. The flooring is some kind of stone; travertine I think. The house is 12 years old and the floor was looking bad from various mishaps and years of wear and tear. They sanded, polished and sealed, and it looks amazing. We had them do the patio tiles outside—they were encrusted with years of calcium and lime deposits from hosing them off. They used steel wool (and a big machine) to get the scale off and then they polished them. We keep saying, “I still can’t believe it.”

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But now there is a fine layer of dust everywhere. You can write your name in the dust on the wood blinds, and the pottery up on top of the kitchen cabinets looks like it has dandruff. Great. Looks like I’ll be cleaning for a while.

I finally got health insurance, my old one raised their premiums (triple) over the last two years and, because we were gone in December, we didn’t find out until we got home and then had to scramble to find a carrier. I was afraid I’d trip or break something in the two weeks I was uninsured, but now I can exhale. And get my annual checkups done. What a hassle. And if you don’t think it’s because of Obamacare, you’re on the wrong planet.

I also survived three weeks of being tournament captain for my golf club. This week and next is our team eclectic, and I have to handle it all by myself. But I am learning new stuff, which is always good.

No fiber content, there just aren’t enough hours in the day, and today is Sunday, which means I get to do the big Los Angeles Times Sunday Crossword, a special treat. That said, I’d better go make some coffee and get with it. Have a good week!

Sunday, January 13

Golf Stuff

I know this isn’t of much interest to you quilt mavens, but my golf friends will understand. I treated myself to a RocketBallz club from TaylorMade. Innit purdy? It’s a 5.
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It’s real easy to hit, too. I had a 5-wood (today’s woods are actually metal but some habits refuse to die, like calling the forward tees the ladies tees), but this is new technology.

See? It’s got this slot on the bottom. Some engineer figured out this helps the ball go farther. Hence the name RocketBallz, or RBZ. My golf-pals have been raving about these clubs.
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The strange thing is, it’s the same length as my Ping 3-wood (the  purple one below). The head is even larger, and I cannot hit that club off the grass to save my life. I have quit trying. I am continually perplexed by this. It’s like that quilter (Deb in Alaska I think) whose longarm machine would not quilt with blue thread.

But I carry it in my bag in case there might come a time I am facing a 135 yard par 3 uphill tee shot.
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Nothing like a new club to get you jazzed up about golfing (and clean your other clubs). I’m playing the Weiskopf Private at PGA West Thursday. Woohoo! (Big deal!) The Humana Challenge is being played there next week. The weather looks good.
Hoping for some good, long fairway shots. My putting has improved a lot. Well, last week anyway.

Wednesday, January 9

That’s Life

Just a Frank Sinatra song. No reason, it popped into my brain.

It has been over a week since I’ve posted and I feel the pull to blog, but I honestly don’t have a lot to blog about. We’ve been busy—getting back to life. It took a long time to get over jetlag after the last trip. Then we were swept up in holiday events before we had a chance to catch our breath.

I finished the last of my unpacking/putting away only just this week.

There has been a lot of housework, too. When you go away for six weeks it takes a lot to get up and running again. Lots of little stuff—it eats up several days each week for both of us.

We listed our motorhome in several places and have been responding to calls and emails about that. Mostly from dealers who want to offer us wholesale, but a few nibbles from real buyers. 

We’ve been catching up on the movies that came out while we were gone. We saw Lincoln yesterday and Skyfall last week—next week is Les Miz. We watch many movies on the tube but some things you just want to see on the big screen before they’re gone.

I’ve played a few rounds of golf—I’m definitely rusty, but it comes back quickly. My club is keeping me busy this month because it’s my turn to organize the games, teams, and scorecards. I thought I’d taken an easy month because two of the weeks are taken up by a tournament, but it turns out I have to coordinate that, too. Oops. Error on my part. There is a lot to do, I had no idea. But I’m learning, and I’m contributing, which is something I felt I needed to do.

With the days being so short the sun is barely up when we tee off at 7AM, and it’s fricken COLD. Last week it was in the 30s and we looked like kids stuffed in snowsuits out there with our mittens and earmuffs. Imagine a bunch of 60-somethings wearing all that gear trying to swing a club. But when the sun comes over the mountain it warms us and we begin to peel off layers.

And there is studio! As I’m getting all the scut-work done, I’ve finally got time to get in there and work on my zebras.

If you’ve read this far, here are a couple pictures of interesting creatures from Australia. Just for fun.

This is a Wallaby. It’s a smaller version of a kangaroo, same family. This guy is about knee high. Look how its hind feet are in the air—when it walks it balances on its forelegs and tail like a tripod, then the big hind legs come in front of the forelegs, the tail and forelegs come up, and it slowly inches forward, about a foot at a time.

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When it needs to go fast, that’s when it springs boing, boing on its hind legs, and hops. It’s pretty fast.

Here’s another creature—a kookaburra. Remember that song from grade school? Well, here are two of them. Odd little things, aren’t they, about the size of an owl. They are carnivorous.

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Thanks for reading. Now get back to work.