Recently Read Books

  • A Delicate Truth- John Le Carre (fiction)
  • Perfect - Rachel Joyce (Fiction)
  • The Expats - Chris Pavone (Fiction)
  • 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)

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Recent News

If you have read this blog before you probably can tell  that I enjoy the news.  I enjoy the serious news, the political news, the sports news, the hard hitting news, the financial news.  I especially enjoy the weird stuff that is in the news every day.  Here are a few recent beauties:

Hatch Act vs. Mann Act. In the Salt Lake Tribune  a couple of days ago, there was a story about one political candidate for office in Millcreek, Utah (suburban Salt Lake City) filing a complaint against another candidate for violation of the federal law called the “Hatch Act”. I had thought that the Hatch Act concerned the prohibition of taking people across straight lines for sexual purposes. After reading the article, I realized I had mixed up the Hatch Act with the “Mann Act”. The Mann Act‘s primary purpose was to address prostitution and immorality across state lines. It appears to me that Hatch Act prohibits politicians from crossing state lines to screw the public. Wait, maybe I am still mixed up.

The Dog has always been such a little darling. Yahoo News. "A pit bull is on probation after ripping the bumper off a police car and chewing the tires on three other cars flat as two other dogs barked and wagged their tails, local media reported Friday.The brown and white mixed breed named Winston spent two weeks locked up in the Chattannooga, Tennessee animal shelter after the bizarre attack was captured on a police surveillance camera. His owners said they had no clue why he went wild that day, chewing through two fences and attacking four different cars. He'd never shown any aggression before that day, owner Nancy Emerling told the Chattanooga Times Free Press."

Swan Lake by Dwarfs. I read a story today about a theme park in China called the Little People's Kingdom of dwarfs. Dwarfs perform in fairytale costumes for tourists. The park, near Kunming city in Yunnan province, employs 108 dwarfs from across China, who twice daily gather on an artificial hillside to dance and sing for tourists. Tourists can watch skits, sentimental group dances and acrobatics. The show's centerpiece, a rendition of Swan Lake, sees performers both male and female dressed in pink tutus and pretending to be little swans. The owner of the theme park said he had "always wanted to do good for society". Some people do good by funding projects to eliminate disease or provide health care and education to orphans. Until I read this article I never considered how humanitarian it might be to put dwarfs in pink costumes to perform Swan Lake.

Rip Torn.  Actor Rip Torn pleaded not guilty to burglary and firearms charges in connection with his arrest in January for allegedly breaking into a bank because he was drunk and thought it was his home. Connecticut cops said the veteran actor was so intoxicated on Jan. 29 that he broke into the bank that night with a loaded gun thinking it was his Salisbury home. Oh so he was trying to break into his own house with a loaded gun. I wonder if his house has ATM in front and a sign on top that says “Bank?. If so I could see how he could get mistake the bank for his house.

Bobcat.  You got check out this link. A bobcat goes into a house and gets comfy on the sofa.

Oh Joe. Here is another one from Huffington Post. We are all aware of Vice President Biden’s statement a couple of weeks ago that the passage of healthcare was a big f***ing deal. Well whether you were in favor of passage or opposed to passage of the bill, it was a big f***ing deal. But only Joe would say so on national TV. Yesterday or the day before, the President gave a speech at a community college where Mrs. Biden teaches. She was introduced the president and as he thanked her for the introduction,  he also thanked her for “putting up with Joe”. I thought it was pretty good.

Family Values. I have to mention the recent news about the expenditure of $2,000 at a lesbian bondage club in California by the Republican Natiional Committee.  I don't why I like this story so much but I just love it. I don't know if its because of the lesbian component of the story, the bondage component or the Republican component.  It might be the image that is in my head of two old white guys (like me) sitting in dark business suits in a lesbian bondage bar being served drinks by topless waitresses while they discuss family values.  Beautiful.

Well it its 5:00 a.m. and I need to get ready for work.

Friday, March 26, 2010

This Week

I will be in Salt Lake this weekend. This week is Ironwood Country Club’s Women’s Member Guest Tournament (“Quail Run”) and the Lovely Sharon is playing with her dear friend Jean from Salt Lake. I always try to stay in Salt Lake during these kinds of events so that the Ladies can have a fun golf and party week without me crashing it. Jean and Sharon are good friends and have played in many golf tournaments together. Jean is a sweet, beautiful woman who is a terrific golfer. She has had some health issues which she seems to be overcoming. She arrived at Ironwood on Monday. They played golf at Mission Hills on Tuesday, dinner at the club Tuesday night, golf at Ironwood Wednesday, a ladies party Wednesday night, golf Thursday, ladies party Thursday night, and golf today. I have not heard if they have another party tonight, but it would be hard to believe they wouldn’t. Tomorrow is shopping at the Street Fair. These ladies may need a vacation next week to rest up after this week.

As it turns out this is a cold week and weekend in Salt Lake. Yesterday, I played Hidden Valley with pals Steve R., Steve B. and Doug. It was not too cold when we started but by the back nine it was cold and the wind was blowing so it was very cold. By the time we arrived at the 18th hole it was arctic and we played like it was arctic. We had three 8’s and a 9 on the par five 18th hole. We were all glad to finish the round. However, I have not played with these three fellows since last autumn and what a treat it was to play a game I love with long time, dear friends.

After golf I hurried home to watch two games in the NCAA Sweet Sixteen. The NCAA basketball tournament is one of the great sporting events in the world. My favorite sporting event s in order of preference are: The Masters, NCAA March Madness, US Open (Golf), British Open, and the Ryder Cup.

I decided to work at home today and avoid the rain and snow of the commute to downtown Salt Lake. With the internet, I can work anywhere.

I had heated up left over pizza for breakfast and a glass of water. Probably not your classic breakfast but it sufficed.

Tonight it is the 30th birthday party of Sharon and my son Shawn. The party will be held in downtown Salt Lake. Shawn hold’s a special place in my heart. Before I dated Sharon, I was friends with her sons Shawn and Nick. I played golf with them and liked and admired them. After I started dating Sharon, a number of her girl friends encouraged her not to go out with me. One night after a men’s golf tournament, I was talking to a friend and Shawn was standing by me. I was fed up with the girl friends’ interference and I said that I was not going out with Sharon anymore. After I said this, Shawn grabbed my arm and told me not to give up on his mother. I really appreciated his comments and support. Shawn and Nick feel like my sons just as Son Alex is my son.

OK a total change of pace. Here is a recent article I read in The Huffington Post:

BOULDER, Colo. A woman gardening wearing only a yellow thong and pink gloves has brought neighborhood complaints and new rules from a housing authority in Colorado. Boulder Housing Partners plans to amend its rules so that tenants cover up when they're outside. Several passers-by told Boulder police earlier this week that 52-year-old Catharine Pierce was topless while tending to her yard. Last year, she was threatened with eviction for gardening wearing only pasties and a thong. Police responding to Wednesday's reports decided Pierce wasn't breaking any laws. Robert Pierce said he'll fight changes that would keep his wife from gardening outside topless, which is legal under state and city law.

I need to do some yard work this weekend if it doesn’t snow. I am thinking of wearing a thong and no shirt.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Golf Course Architects

I have always been interested in golf course architects and learning what courses they designed and playing courses they have designed. I am a fan of Alister MacKenzie (Cypress Point, Pasa Tiempo, Augusta, The Valley Club in Montecito and Green Hills Country Club); Tom Doak (Pacific Dunes); Robert Trent Jones, Jr.; Desmond Muirhead; and Tom Fasio. A good website is Tom Doak’s I have read a number of books about golf course architects and the building of specific golf courses from the time the property was acquired to the opening of the course. I am very interested in who designed a course that I am playing. When you play a Pete Dye course you pretty much know who designed it. Desmond Muirhead was the original designer of Ironwood’s South Course, the Dinah Shore Course at Mission hills, and with Jack Nicklaus, Muirfield Village. Before he died, I corresponded with Mr. Muirhead and he sent me a list of all of the courses he designed.

Donald Ross is regarded as one of the great architects and is the creator of numerous renowned courses. I have played Pinehurst Number 2 but I don’t believe I have played any other Donald Ross courses. Pinehurst No 2 is a gem.

One of the greats is A.W. Tillinghast. A list of some of his most not worthy courses is at,28242,1682923-1,00.html.

A couple of weeks ago, the Lovely Sharon and I played the Ojai Resort and Spa golf course. This was one of those old time feeling golf courses that I just love. A course that was built at a time when there were limited earth moving machines and as a result, the course was laid out over the natural terrain that God created. The course is not as long as most of the modern courses (6,300 yards), but it is challenging, beautiful and well worth playing. There are several holes with elevated tees that call for tee shots over ravines or off cliffs. Designed and built in 1923 or so under the direction of George C. Thomas, Jr. and William P. Bell, the course was hailed as "a marvel of golfing architecture." The 16th hole is a downhill par three about 200 yards long. When I first walked to the tee, and looked down at the hole, I actually laughed at loud. The green was at the end of a peninsula. On the right side was the cart path and then out of bounds. On the left side was a 20 foot drop off to the 17th cart path. It was straight down to the cart path so if you missed left by much you had no shot and likely could not even find your ball.. Behind the green was a drop off and in front of the green there were about a dozen bunkers. As a bad golfer standing on the tee looking down at the green it absolutely looked like there was no way I was going to get on the green with my tee shot. I played the hole twice over two days and did not in fact get on the green with my tee ball. On the first day I was just short of the green on the left side about two feet from going down the drop off and on the second day I hit the ball straight at the pin but came up short in one of the bunkers. It really is a terrific hole.

The next photo is Ojai No.5 an elevated par 4.

After learning that the course was designed by George Thomas and Billy Bell Senior, I reviewed information about George Thomas. Mr. Thomas is known as one of the great golf course architects from the 1920’s, which is often referred to as the “Golden Age” of golf course design. He was born in Philadelphia. He moved to California to pursue his great hobby of growing roses. In 1924 he wrote a book entitled “Roses for All American Climates.” Mr. Thomas also wrote "Golf Architecture in America" (1927). which is still regarded today as among the most fascinating books on course design.

However, for the golf fans, it is not his knowledge and skill with roses that creates our interests about Mr. Thomas, it is genius designing golf courses. His courses include the Ojai course, White Marsh Valley, Philadelphia, PA (1908), La Cumbre, Santa Barbara, CA (1920), Los Angeles CC-North, Los Angeles, CA (1921), Griffith Park-Harding, Los Angeles, CA (1926), Bel-Air, Los Angeles, CA (1927) Riviera, Pacific Palisades, CA (1927). Some of his courses are no longer around and some of have been significantly modified. Apparently, the Riviera Country Club (where the PGA plays the LA Open) has had the fewest changes from Mr. Thomas’s original work. If you recall Riviera, its 10th hole is a downhill 310 yard par 4 that gives the pro’s fits.

There is a book about Mr. Thomas entitled “The Captain: George C. Thomas, Jr. and his Golf Architecture”.

If any of you have a favorite course or a favorite golf course architect, I would be interested to hear about it.

Friday, March 19, 2010


I have not posted for awhile. Last week the Lovely Sharon and I spent a couple of days at the Ojai Resort and a couple of days in Santa Barbara. The weather was beautiful, we had a wonderful time. So I was away from the computer. Here are some random thoughts that have been rattling around my head. There is no connection between these thoughts and the mere fact they all exist simultaneously in my brain is fairly scarey.

Last week the Lovely Sharon and I stayed two nights at the Fess Parker Hotel in Santa Barbara. Yesterday, Fess Parker passed away at age 85. Coincidence?

I love the looks of the Pelican. Here is a photo of one I took on the Santa Barbara Pier.

Have you noticed that after couples have been together for awhile, their names seem to fit together? Scott and Tanya (my brother-in-law and sister); Ray and Kay (California friends); Art and Ione (my parents); Gordon and Linda (Utah friends). These names almost seem to be a single name that covers both people. Think about other famous couples names, it’s the same deal: Bill and Hillary; Saddam and Hamida, Fidel and Maria, Adolf and Eva.   Utah folks you are aware of Brigham and Sally and Jane, and Nancy and Amy and Mary and Linda and Lilly Beth and Sarah and Patricia etc.

John Edwards’ mistress, Rielle Hunter just did an interview and photo spread in GQ Magazine. She has announced that she finds the photos of her contained in the magazine to be repulsive and is shocked, shocked I say, of how revealing they are. For heck sake Rielle, you were not wearing pants when they took some of the photos. I repeat, you were not wearing pants, you were posing for pictures and there was a photographer with a camera in the room where you were not wearing pants. It should not come as a surprise to you that photos taken while you were not wearing pants will look like you are not wearing pants. After the photos came out, John Edward’s estranged wife Elizabeth announced she was disgusted by the pantless photos. However, when John Edwards saw the photos of Rielle without pants his response was “Cool”. Ok, I made up the last sentence.

Here is a good story I read yesterday: FALL RIVER, Mass. - A former Massachusetts dentist is accused of putting paper clips in patients’ mouths during root canals, then billing Medicaid for the stainless steel posts he should have used. The state attorney general announced Tuesday that a grand jury indicted former Fall River dentist Michael Clair last week. The charges include assault and battery, larceny, submitting false claims to Medicaid, and illegally prescribing drugs. You know that when the dental patients sue the dentist, and there is no doubt that they will, the public will blast the patients' lawyers for running up the cost of healthcare with frivolous lawsuits. Maybe this dentist was not a cheater at all, maybe he was like former TV hero Macgyver who used normal household products to escape from danger or to save the world. Perfect, he should use the Macgyver defense in his criminal trial.

Wednesday night I had a very nice dinner with dear friends Bruce and Barbara. The food was good and so was the conversation. We talked of history and politics for a couple of hours. I think Bruce and I might take the pony express trail from Vernon, Utah to Callao, Utah later this year. This is about an 80 mile dirt road through desolate country. There is an old stone pony express stop still standing, you pass through Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge, and you end up in Nevada. Part of this road is the old Lincoln Highway. I took this road a few years ago and have wanted to go back again.

Last week I took a shower, put on clean boxer shorts and walked to the sink to brush my teeth.  The Lovely Sharon, was still lounging in bed.  She watched me brush my teeth and asked me to walk back to the bed.  She looked at me, asked me to turn around and then informed me my boxer shorts were on backwards.  Hey it was dark when I put them on.

There is a fellow who reads this blog who works at SeaWorld in San Diego. I have never met him. His name is Mike. I extend my greetings to Mike from SeaWorld. I can kind of imagine Mike when he introduces himself to people saying, “My name is Mike and I work with the fishes.” You have to imagine a Jacques Cousteau accent as Mike says this.   Ok say it out loud with me using your very best phony, Jacques Cousteau, French accent: “My name is Mike and I work with de fishes”. Very good. Ok, one more request, the next time you are on a bus or are sitting next to a stranger at a movie. Turn to that stranger, raising your eyebrows, scratch your face, look directly into the eyes of such stranger and in your best phony, Jacques Cousteau, French accent: say “My name is Mike and I work with de fishes”. I bet two things will happen: (i) you will get an odd look from the stranger; and (ii) the stranger will leave. Try it out, it will be fun.

A couple of weeks ago I was given a book by my friend Norm. "The Age of Gold: The California Gold Rush and the New American Dream" by H.W. Brands. I finished it Wednesday night. It is a terrific read and I highly recommend it. As a result of reading this book I just ordered a two volume set about Leland Stanford. Norm asked me not to mention his name in this blog.  So I won't.

I ran into friend Greg from Chicago last night at dinner.  He  threatened to quit reading this blog if I did not mention him.  Actually his threat was fairly mild from someone from Chicago.  Usually threats from Chicago involve fish in mail boxes. broken bones, or cement boots. So hello to Greg and by the way Greg, that six inch diameter purple growth on your neck is barely noticeable.

Best wishes to all.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I love the News

Here are a few interesting items from the news. I did not make them up. I read them and must admit that I just had to talk about them:

Caulk Butt Injections

Associated Press – from 3/19/201 Huffington Post. Six women in New Jersey are recovering after they received buttocks-enhancement injections containing silicone used to caulk bathtubs. State health officials say the women, from Essex County, apparently underwent cosmetic procedures from unlicensed providers. Instead of medical-grade silicone, the women received a diluted version of nonmedical-grade silicone.

So now these women having bathtub caulk in their butt. How would you get it out? Can you imagine ladies discussing cosmetic procedures?

“ Your bottom looks fantastic, who is your plastic surgeon?”

“Oh, I don’t have a plastic surgeon. My toilet was broken and since the plumber was at the house already, I had him do a little cosmetic work.”

I suppose the next thing would be for men to buy plaster of paris instead of viagra.

Doggie Diner

CNN- 3/9/10 - At the Han River Dog Meat Restaurant in central Guangzhou, diners can choose from a long list of menu items, including dog soup, dog steak, dog with tofu and more. In the kitchen, the chef chops up meat for dog hot pot, one of the more popular dishes. Most customers like it spicy. "Dog meat is good for your health and metabolism," explains Li, hostess who declined to give her first name. "In the summer it helps you sweat." Eating dog meat is a long-standing culinary tradition not just in China, but also Korea. Cat meat can be found on the menu in China, Vietnam and even parts of South America.

Oh so it helps with metabolism. Instead of Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig or the South Beach Diet you could go on the poodle diet. You eat a couple of dogs and you start responding to high pitched whistles. I suppose instead of urinals the restaurant has fire hydrants. Apparently there is a movement in China to ban eating dogs. For heaven’s sake I hope they stop eating cats and dogs, this article was horrifying.

Rush Limbaugh Could be Moving

Right wing comedian Rush Limbaugh has said that if health care passes he will leave the country. Boy wouldn’t that make me sad. I hope Dick Cheney makes the same threat.

The Wife’s breast Milk Cheese

New York Post 3/9/10- This Chelsea restaurant has gone from brasserie to brassiere. Chef Daniel Angerer is letting diners at Klee Brasserie munch on cheese made from his wife's breast milk. "It tastes like cow's-milk cheese, kind of sweet," he told The Post. The flavor depends on what the cheese is served with -- Angerer recommends a Riesling -- and "what the mother eats," said Angerer, who once bested Bobby Flay on TV's "Iron Chef." Breast milk doesn't curdle well due to its low protein content, so a little moo juice has to be added to round out the texture, Angerer said.

Look at this guy’s picture. He looks like someone who would make cheese out of his wife’s breast milk.

I am really not sure what I can add to this story. But I suppose if you were in China you could order the breast milk cheese, a nice red zinfandel and a wire haired fox terrior.

Topless Tobogganing

On February 22, 2010, 14,000 people in Germany gathered to watch topless women and naked men ride toboggans down a hillside..

Sarah Palin

The Week Magazine 3/8/2010 - Sarah Palin has shed new light on her much-mocked decision to scrawl 'crib notes' on her hand before addressing the National Tea Party Convention. "Somebody sent me the other day Isaiah 49:16," Palin told an Ohio Right to Life fundraiser crowd on March 5. "In that passage, [God] says, I wrote your name on the palm of my hand to remember you. And I'm, like, okay, I'm in good company."

So Palin equates her actions to God’s actions. I sure as heck hope she doesn’t curse us with a plague of locust.

If you need a laugh, read the news.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Bud Cave

In a number of essays written on this blog I have referred to the Bud Cave. It is more than a home office, it is place like no other. It has good natural light, comfortable furniture, and computers and printers. It has favorite paintings and photos on the walls. When the Lovely Sharon is out of town, it is my place of comfort, my place for emotional warmth, my domain. Sharon and I have discussions about the Bud Cave and we have differences of opinion as to how the Bud Cave should look and what may be in the Bud Cave. As she encourages me (“encourages” may not be the proper word) to straighten up the Bud Cave, I politely tell her she rules the house but I rule the Bud Cave.

I have a “books to read” pile sitting on the floor of the Bud Cave near my desk. The “books to read” pile always seems to be about the same size, around 10 books. When I read one or two, I seem to buy two or three more, so the pile remains about the same height sitting on the floor. Current members of the “books to read” pile include a book on Buddhism, a book about the California Gold Rush given to me by my friend Norm, a book entitled “Too Big to Save” (about the US financial system), a biography of JP Morgan, a book about the House of Medici (and the Italian Renaissance), the “Wilderness Warrior ( a book about Teddy Roosevelt), a book about better eating habits, a book entitled, “How Rome Fell”, a book published in 1908 entitled “Salt Lake City Past and Present” and book entitled “A History of Iraq. A book about St Thomas More is also a current member of the pile. I did have two books about St Thomas More but I finished one on Friday. I also had a book about corruption in Chicago politics lent to me by my friend Dick, a former Illinois State Senator, but I started reading that book yesterday so it has been moved from the “books to read” pile to the table next to my leather chair.

The “books to read” pile drives the Lovely Sharon crazy. I think it is part of her Catholic or mid-western upbringing. I am not exactly sure which of those factors causes her to go crazy with me piling books on the floor, but one of them certainly does. In the eyes of the Lovely Sharon to have a pile of books on the floor is essentially a mortal sin. It represents heretical behavior that in earlier times would result in burning at the stake or beheading at the Tower of London. I think she would be more comfortable if the Bud Cave looked like the sleeping quarters of St. Francis of Assisi (I used to have a book about St. Francis in the “books to read” pile but I finally read it and transferred it to the read books section of my coffee room). I think Sharon would like me to have, as did St. Francis, a simple hard wooden chair with a straight back sitting next to a small oak writing table. On this spartan table would be a candle and quill pens in a tin cup. A couple of leather bound hand written books with Latin text would be neatly sitting on the desk. If Sharon had her way, there would be nothing on the floor, the Bud Cave would have a monastistic appearance, and it would be well dusted. There would be total order in the Bud Cave at all times. For me, I believe if man was not supposed to create piles of books, God would not have invented the floor or wall-to-wall carpeting.

The Lovely Sharon has the same view about golf clubs leaning against the wall in the Bud Cave as she does about piles of books. Last summer I had about ten golf clubs leaning against the wall in the Bud Cave. Persimmon drivers and fairway woods, a hickory shafted putter that was a first prize trophy from a couples golf tournament, a couple of other putters and a couple of wedges from my set of Hogan blades. When I looked at these clubs leaning against the walls it made me feel like I was amongst old friends. One day she said these clubs made the Bud Cave look sloppy and accordingly I moved them to a storage room. With these golf clubs removed from the Bud Cave it was like the empty nest syndrome of parents whose children have all left home. The room felt bare, lonely, something definitely missing. Several days later I arrived home from work and descended into the Bud Cave. To my absolute delight, the Lovely Sharon had retrieved five of the banned golf clubs from storage and they were again leaning against the wall in their old familiar place. She no doubt knew that I was missing these beloved clubs. Life was back to normal, the universe was set right.

When Sharon is in Utah, I love it when she enters the Bud Cave, sits on a sofa and watches TV while I sit reading in my leather chair. When that occurs, I don’t care what she watches; she can turn off the manly movie I am watching for one of her home makeover shows. The Bud Cave and the Lovely Sharon, my two favorite things in life.

Today as I sit at my desk writing this essay, I look around the Bud Cave. I see my leather chair, a recliner, two sofas, a big screen TV, golf clubs against the wall and my “books to read pile”. I can see the Neighbor’s Dog through the window behind my desk. He can see me as well and he no doubt is waiting for me to bring him two doggie treats. His look of forlorn makes me feel guilty to even finish this writing before bringing him his treats.

This is my modern day Walden Pond. This is my place for thought, for writing, for music, for entertainment, for reading. My place to create enthusiasm for life and enthusiasm for life is essential to each of us. Maybe Henry David Thoreau said it best when he wrote “None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm.” The Bud Cave, and all things in it, makes me enthusiastic for life.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

March Golf

I played my first Hidden Valley CC nine holes of the year today. I have not played Hidden Valley since the end of October. The conditions were much different than the green grass, blue sky and warm temperatures rounds I have been playing at Ironwood CC in Palm Desert. I had some extra time this afternoon so I gathered up golf clubs that had been in storage since last spring. Not my usual set which is down in Palm Desert, but old friends none the less. I put them in my Utah golf bag, found an old glove and threw in a half a dozen used golf balls. I was kind of excited when I drove into the parking lot which was about half filled with cars. As I drove in I saw a line of golfers on the practice range. All young skinny guys with red golf bags booming drives. Yep, the University of Utah Golf Team was at Hidden Valley today. When I got out of my car I realized I was parked next to the University of Utah Golf coach. I introduced myself to him and told him I was a U of U graduate. He gave me a Utah golf hat and a University of Utah tee shirt. Very nice.

When I entered the pro shop, the pro told me I could tee off the front nine if I did it immediately so I hustled to the first tee without warming up. It was about 48 degrees with about a 15 mile per hour wind so the wind-chill was pretty cold. The sky was steel gray and the grass was brown. The trees were bare, the leaves having fallen last autumn. The wind had blown sticks onto a number of the holes. I played a couple of balls, scratching them around the course, some good, some bad.. As I looked around the course from hole to hole I saw friends who I have not seen since autumn playing while wearing stocking caps, wind coats and a few with gloves on both hands. As I looked around the course I could see a couple of new fairways bunkers that had been cut into the course. Nothing stays the same, change is constant. Surprisingly, the greens were fairly quick. Sometimes it was hard to spot the ball on the brown fairway grass.

It was cold, windy and not particularly pretty, but my, how nice it was to be on the Hidden Valley course again, amongst old friends.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Sexual Politics

Don’t you just love politics? In todays on-line news there were the following stories:

From the Huffington Post 3/2/2010. Louisiana-born porn star Stormy Daniels who was flirting with a run for the U.S. Senate from her home state will announce "very soon" whether she's really going to make the 2010 race against incumbent David Vitter, her political spokesman says. Stormy Daniels has had little to say about the race since summer. She continues to promote her adult entertainment ventures and personal appearances online.

From the Daily Caller 3/2/2010. Manhattan Madam” Kristin Davis is taking aim at another house of ill repute: the Executive Mansion in Albany. Davis, whose prostitution ring supplied hookers to former Gov. Eliot Spitzer and thousands of other powerful johns, officially jumped into the governor’s race yesterday. “I am the only candidate who is not part of the corrupt and dysfunctional system of New York State politics,” the buxom blond declared in announcing her independent bid.

You know the economy is bad when the hookers and porn stars are running for office. You know that our opinion about our current political leaders, Democrats and Republicans, are bottom of the barrel low when hookers and porn stars look like acceptable alternatives by comparison. What if the entire congress was made up of people from the adult entertainment industry? Would that be better or worse than we have now? Political conventions would certainly have a different flair to them. Back room deals would mean something entirely different than the cigar smoking old white men back room scenario that we currently have.

You might have situations like “I can’t vote on funding the war in Iraq, I have to film a scene with the Senator from Kentucky”. That could save us billions of dollars. The Senators could be doing to each other what the entire government has been doing to us for years.

Remember the Nebraska Healthcare deal - This is from the Washington Post 1/15/2010. It was a single paragraph, added at the last minute on Page 2,129 of the Senate's mammoth health-care bill: a promise that the federal government would pay forever for extra poor people to join Medicaid in Nebraska. And it triggered a swift, partisan backlash. The rebellion against the $100 million promise has spread to nearly one third of the nation's attorneys general, including two Democrats. Meanwhile, the Nebraskan whose state would get the help -- Sen. Ben Nelson, a conservative Democrat who was the crucial 60th vote for the bill -- says he never asked for the favor to get his vote and wants it to go away.

Arguably it would not be a lot different for Senator Madam to line up entertainment for her fellow Senators, than to line up Medicaid payments for the citizens of Nebraska.

We have seen a paradigm shift in the last few years. It used to be the sex scandals were all related to Democrats - John Kennedy, Bill Clinton, Elliot Spenser, Wilbur Mills etc, and all the money scandals were related to Republicans. Now the Republican are butting in on the Democrats sex scandal franchise:

David Bruce Vitter is the junior United States Senator from Louisiana and a member of the Republican Party. Formerly a member of the United States House of Representatives, first elected in 1999, representing the suburban Louisiana's 1st congressional district, Vitter was elected to the Senate in 2004. Vitter posits himself as a staunch political conservative. In July 2007, Vitter was identified as a client of "D.C. Madam" Deborah Jeane Palfrey's prostitution service in Washington, D.C. Vitter is running for reelection to his Senate seat in 2010.

Larry Craig, the wide spreader Republican from Idaho arrested in the Minneapolis airport men’s room.

Gay former Congressmen Mark Foley who had the Page incident.

While the Republicans are getting into the sex scandals the Democrats are making a run at the financial scandals.

Congressmen Charlie Rangel tax evasion.

Former Illinois Governor Blagojevich – pay to play

Former Congressmen William Jefferson - $90,000 in cash in the freezer of his home.

I suppose all in all, I would rather our trusted leaders have sex scandals than money scandals. It is more fun to talk about and it does not come out of our own pocket as much. Plus it is always nice to watch them cry on television after they find religion and family values.

Tiger Woods might fit in perfectly in the U.S. Congress