Recently Read Books

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  • Perfect - Rachel Joyce (Fiction)
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  • An Event in Autumn - Henning Mankel (Fiction)
  • Winter in Madrid - C.J.Sansom (Fiction)
  • The Brothers - John Foster Dulles and Allen Dulles - non-fiction
  • LIfe Among Giants - Bill Roorbach (Novel)
  • Empty Mansions - Bill Dedman (non-fiction)
  • Woodrow Wilson (non fiction)
  • Lawrence in Arabia (Non-Fiction)
  • In Sunlight and In Shadow by Mark Helpren (Fiction)
  • Lesson in French - Hilary Reyl (fiction)
  • Unbroken- Laura Hillenbrand (Non-Fiction)
  • Venice, A New History- Thomas Madden - (Non- Fiction)
  • Life is a Gift - Tony Bennett Autobiography
  • The First Counsell - Brad Meltzer (Fiction)
  • Destiny of the Republic - President James Garfield non-fiction by Candice Millard
  • The Last Lion (volume III)- William Manchester and Paul Reid (non-fiction, Winston Churchill)
  • Yellowstone Autumn -W.D. Wetherell (non-fiction about turning 55 and fishing in Yellowstone)
  • Everybody was Young- (non-fiction Paris in the 1920's)
  • Scorpion - (non fiction US Supreme Court)
  • Supreme Power - Jeff Shesol (non-fiction)
  • Zero day by David Baldacci ( I read all of Baldacci's Books)
  • Northwest Angle - William Kent Krueger (fiction - I have read 5 or 6 books by this author)
  • Camelot's Court-Insider the Kennedy Whitehouse- Robert Dallek
  • Childe Hassam -Impressionist (a beautiful book of his paintings)

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Pefect Day

Yesterday, Steve, Doug and I played 18 holes at Hidden Valley Country Club here in Sandy, UT. It was a sunny, blue sky day, about 64 degrees. We teed off at just after 3:00 and finished at 6:00. No one holding us back, no one pushing us. When I arrived at the course, a fox was walking on the grass near the parking lot. About 20 feet behind the fox was a large deer who seemed to be following the fox to where ever the fox was going. A few other of our resident deer were grazing at the far end of the driving range. Seemingly unaware, or at least unconcerned, about range balls being launched in their direction. After all these years at HVCC it still thrills me to have the deer, fox and other critters share the course with us.

We played our normal games with some good holes and some not so good. The bets were small, no one won or lost enough to buy dinner; just enough to make you want to beat the other fellows. The course was in good shape, the pace of play could not have been better, the weather was great and my companions were a pleasure to be with.

A perfect day of golf.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Oh Please

I just read the headline of an online news service:

"Octomom gets a new tattoo."

This is not a joke., it was a real headline

I cannot believe that with our economic problems, global warming, swine flu, the war in Iraq, Dick Cheney (sorry but I just had to throw dick, or Dick if you prefer, in the list), pirates in Somalia and a whole hosts of real problems, the headline is that the Octomom gets a tattoo. Please, no more Octomom stories.

Whatever happened to real news like Paris Hilton and Britney Spears.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Home for the Weekend

It is springtime in Utah. I did not go down to Palm Desert this weekend so I am in Utah. Yesterday I played golf at Hidden Valley Country Club with my regular Thursday group (the Staker Group). I had not played at HVCC since October and it was nice to play with the boys. There is nothing quite like a regular buddy's golf group. The companionship, the insults, the bets. Sometimes, golf is secondary to the interaction with the boys. For men, love is expressed with insults and jokes. I am so blessed to have the men friends that I have. It was nice to be with the guys.

I ran into a number of HVCC friends yesterday that I had not seen since autumn. Oh my, it was wonderful to see them, give them a hug and warm hello. What is life without your family and friends.. The people who are happy to see you. The people who you are happy to see.. Those who make your life better. I am lucky.

I have a lot of yard to do to get ready for summer. Today, I picked up sticks in the back yard that had fallen over the winter. The grass is green and this week I cut the lawn for the first time this year. The water was running in the creek in our back yard.

This weekend I need to pay the bills, clean the house, run some errands and miss my wife ( she is still in Palm Desert). Although wives can be pains in the ###, when I am apart from mine, I miss her more than I can say. To hear her voice on the phone brings a brightness to my day. I am lucky to be part of her life and she part of mine.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Wild Boars and Amputated Fingers

I was in an airport Sunday waiting to fly back to Salt Lake after a weekend in Palm Desert with the Boys. (My wife was around a little and joined us for one round of golf and a couple of dinners). Anyway, I was looking for a magazine at the newsstand and grabbed a copy of the May 2009 issue of "Men's Journal". This is an outdoors type magzine. No, its not a "men's" magazine, so get your mind out of the gutter.

There were several good articles including one about actor Matthew McConaughey. However, there were two items that I still wonder about. On the last page was instruction on how to amputate your own frostbitten fingertips. There was another long article about how to catch and kill a wild boar by stabbing it in the heart with a knife.

How many people would find either of these two articles helpful useful information. Sometimes I wonder who the target audience for these articles is. Who reads these articles and says "Wow, what great information, I will have to clip these articles out and save them for future reference."

I don't think I would want to drive cross-country with a guy whose hobby is stabbing wild boar's in the heart. He is probably the same guy that would enjoy helpful hints on how to amputate his own frostbitten fingers.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Quick One #2

I was reading an issue of Golf Digest that came out prior to the Masters. The issue with Phil Mickelson on the cover. Like all issues, there were helpful tips inside. One tip was how to hit the 250 to 275 yard approach shot. Come on, how many guys are contemplating how to hit their 275 yard approach shot. This is like giving a guy a tip on how to make a rocket or how to saw open a skull prior to brain surgery.

I will tell you how I play my 275 yard approach shot: rescue club, nine iron and then chip on with a sand wedge.

I am looking for a new golf tip.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Palm Desert Golf Extravaganza, Year Three

Today is Saturday, day three of our third annual Palm Desert Golf Extravaganza. Gordon, Steve and I flew into Palm Springs on Wednesday.

On Thursday, the three of us, were hosted by Mike, the fourth member of our group, at Andalusia Country Club to play in a one-day, member with three guests, tournament. Andalusia is a beautiful club and course. I am lucky to get to play the course a couple of times a year with Mike. Who is always the most gracious of hosts. The tournament was 2 gross balls and 2 net balls. I won’t say where we finished in the standings but on one hole, our two best balls were double bogeys.

Not many players have to take a penalty drop on a par three out of rocks 30 yards in front of the tee, but I managed to do so. After the drop, I hit a nifty approach shot to 40 feet and three putted for a 6. I love to hear Johnny Miller analyze the pro's shots on TV. After this par three I analyzed my shots and concluded that I had hit the tee ball one groove low on the club face. Think about it, I was one groove from a perfect shot.

Andalusia provides nice plastic cups at its water stations throughout the course. These are sturdy, 16 ounce, high quality cups with the Analusia horse and rider logo embossed in black on the side. With the 24 cups he pocketed this year, Steve now has a full compliment of 300 of these Andalusia, logoed cups that he has snatched over the last three years. It is always nice to be invited to Steve’s lovely home in Salt Lake for dinner, and to be served a gourmet meal on linens with fine china, silver dinnerware and 16 ounce Andalusia plastic cups. Steve loves these cups. After three years of “collecting” these cups (that’s a nice word for it, kinda like someone collecting cash from a 7-11 cash register when the clerk is not looking), the Andalusia staff is on to him. When we finished our round of golf, the club beverage manager approached us and told Steve that the club was having a member party at the end of April and wondered if Steve could send down 100 cups or so from Salt Lake for use at the party. Steve said he would have to check with his wife but would get back to him.

All in all, it was great day of breakfast at the famous 1950’s dive, Keedy’s in Palm Desert; box lunches on the course; a buffet after golf; drinks at Mike’s house; and then because there was still time left, dinner and margarita's at a Mexican restaurant. Oh yes, the golf was a blast.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Quick Ones

I recently read a news story that reported the Canadian government funded a study that found the use of marijuana caused unsafe automobile driving.


I read a newspaper headline that stated.

"Many Homicide Victims Do Not Cooperate with the Police"


Monday, April 13, 2009

Some Favorite Things

I am big fan of lists. I make lists of, among other things, things to do, golf courses played, things to learn about, places to go, books to read and books read. Today, I have prepared a list of some of my favorite things:

Golf Course Architects:

Allister Mackensie -- Tom Doak
Tom Fasio -- Robert Trent Jones, Jr.
Desmond Muirhead -- David Kidd

Cameras Canon and Nikon


Golf ball dropping in the cup
The swish of a basketball through the net
Insults from my friends

Cities San Francisco, Palm Desert, London and Rome


Chicken grilling on the barbeque
Cut lawn
My wife’s neck

Things to Do

Golf with my wife
Golf with my friends
Taking photos
Surfing the Web


Delicate Arch
Standing on the 15th, 16th, and 17th tees of Cypress Point Golf Club
The Spanish Steps in Rome
Full Moon
The view of the Ironwood South Course from the Clubhouse Patio
Standing on the 18th tee of Ironwood South Course
My wife's smile

Church Buildings

Notre Dame in Montreal
Westminster Abbey in London
St. Francis of Assisi in La Quinta, CA

Piano Bar

Redwood Room at the Cliff Hotel in San Francisco

I would enjoy hearing from you about some of your favorite things. Click on the Comment button and give some of your favorite things.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A Time for Family

I am very lucky to have a wonderful heritage on my mother’s side as well on my father’s side. My mother’s last surviving brother past away this week at the age of 85. My mother‘s family grew up in a small town in Louisiana. My mother has big sister in Texas and she had five brothers. I was blessed to be part of this family. A family who loved each other. A family who loved music, politics and religion. My wife tells me that we should not discuss religion or politics at social gatherings. However, when I grew up, those were exactly the things you did talk about. I remember the ire I created in my uncle in 1972 when I put a “George McGovern for President” bumper sticker on his car.

My uncle was a World War II hero, serving as a radio operator and gunner in the Army Air Corp. He was shot down twice in the War. The second time was on his 50th mission. This was suppose to be his last mission and it was but for a different reason. He was captured and was a prisoner of war. A military honor guard was at the funeral. Taps were played softly and sweetly as we stood around his flag draped coffin.

Another of my uncles was also captured in the War. When I contemplate the service and sacrifice these men made, and the service of my own dear father, who served in the war, I truly agree with Tom Brokaw’s description of America’s Greatest Generation.

Funerals are times to honor the deceased but also to embrace your extended family; to hug again the beloved cousins from my youth, to recall adventures and times together. Today I thought fondly of the times we enjoyed each other’s company in public parks, in family homes, at Disneyland. The times spent together in Utah, California and Louisiana.

Some of my uncles wives (my aunts) who were also from Louisiana spoke Cajun French. I can still recall the aunts speaking French at family gatherings when I was boy. I never did know what these women were talking about.

As I looked at the several generations of family members today, I thought of the river of life we are all drifting down, ever faster as we get older. I recalled my boyhood, my teenage years, the birth of my own son and now look at my own drift to an older generation.

Friday, April 3, 2009


I arrived in Palm Desert yesterday afternoon from Salt Lake City. It was a nice 84 degrees when I arrived. On the flight down I thought about a number of things, each of which caused me to ask "Why"?

1. We have had seat belts in cars since the early 1960's. Almost 50 years. Why does the government require flight attendants to show us how to use our seat belts on the plane. Is there anyone on a plane who does not know what a seat belt is, or how it works? Have you ever heard someone on a plane ask "What the heck is this thing? What do I do with it?. A seat belt? What is it for, how does it work"?

2. Many convenience store have a tape measure attached to the inside of their entrance doors that indicates height to assist clerks figure out the height of the robber who just left the store with the till money and a donut. Seems like a good idea. However, these tape meassures start at 4 feet. Why? How many third graders, midgets or 90 year old grandma's rob convenience stores? "Well officer, she threatend me with an umbrella so I gave her the money and some prune juice. Based on the tape measuure there by the door I would guestimate that she was about 3 foot 11 inches tall. She was using a walker when she left with the money about 30 minutes ago. Oh there she is, she is still going through the parking lot."

3. Why does the person ahead of you at the bank drive thru never start their transaction until they are at the window? Why are they not prepared? Why isn't their deposit slip filled out? Why isn't their check endorsed before they arrive at the window? Why do they want to convert yen or Euro's to US Dollars at the drive thru? Why do they want to apply for a home loan at the drive thru? Why am I always behind them?

4. Why does the government require stores to post the following warning on their entrance doors? "This door must remain unlocked during business hours"? Is there really a chance that a merchant will have his front door locked during business hours? Does the merchant really need a written reminder to unlock the door? Can you imagine at the end of a day with no customers, the store manager slaps his forehead as it dawns on him that the reason there were no customers that day was because the door was lock. We need a sign.

5. I don't skin dive. The last time I was in an ocean was 9 or 10 years ago. However, when I am looking to buy a new watch why is one of my criteria the maximum underwater depth that the watch can withstand pressure. I recently almost bought a watch for the sole reason that it was good underwater for up to 300 meters. Wow, that is 1,000 feet. If I am 1,000 feet under the surface of the ocean. the current time is likely not my biggest problem.

6. I was at a Mexican restaurant in Indian Wells a few weeks ago. Why do two, 8 ounce margarita's cost more than one 16 ounce margarita.

These are just a few of my Why's. If you have any, leave me a comment by clicking on the comment button.