All posts by ReasonablySober

Music for the tortured soul

I love me a good list, so I went through my iTunes and picked out the country tunes I’d liked at one point or another. I came up with a list of 184. The vast majority were from the late 80s-early 90s. The stuff my folks played when I was younger and I grew up on. Then there’s a gap you get a handful of songs from the late 90s, stragglers that got through my wall of alt-rock. Include a band like the Dixie Chicks in this group. Then another big gap and you get to the poppish ‘country’ I started to like in the late 2000s. Ryan Adams, The Wreckers, Dustin Kensrue, Taylor Swift.

So from that list of 184 I decided I was gonna narrow it down to my top ten country tunes of all time. I made another list and went through the 184, taking any song I could conceivably see being near my Top 10. Well ho-ly-shit I wound up with 30 and they were all so awesome I decided that my top ten would be expanded by 20 tracks.

I did, however, rank ’em.

If you know anything about these tunes, you’ll probably notice a distinct theme…

1 – George Strait – I can still make Cheyanne
2 – Tracy Lawrence – Texas Tornado
3 – Keith Whitley – I’m over you
4 – Garth Brooks – The dance
5 – Little Texas – White might have been
6 – McBride & the Ride – Sacred Ground
7 – Garth Brooks – What she’s doing now
8 – Dixie Chicks – You were mine
9 – Diamond Rio – You’re gone
10 – Keith Whitley – When you say nothing at all
11 – Alan Jackson – Gone crazy
12 – Taylor Swift – Tim McGraw
13 – Tim McGraw – Don’t take the girl
14 – Trisha Yearwood – She’s in love with the boy
15 – Vince Gill – Whenever you come around
16 – Tim McGraw – It’s your love
17 – The Wreckers – Lay me down
18 – Little Texas – My love
19 – Ryan Adams – Wonderwall
20 – Sawyer Brown – All these years
21 – The Wreckers – Tennessee
22 – John Michael Montgomery – How was I to know
23 – Jow Diffie – Night to remember
24 – Vince Gill – Trying to get over you
25 – Clint Black – Still holding on
26 – Patty Loveless – You don’t even know who I am
27 – Ty Herndon – A man holding on to a woman letting go
28 – The Wreckers – The good kind
29 – Shania Twain – The woman in me
30 – Toby Keith – You shouldn’t kiss me like this

By my count, eight of the top ten are about a relationship that’s done. 20 of the thirty. It’s music for the broken-hearted, no joke.

That said, it’s so fucking good. I haven’t listened to the majority of these tunes in many years and giving this PL a listen now it’s easy to see why I loved them all in the first place.

Someone actually sent me a email with this one line, and he was serious

Futility

“Is there a better day of the year than opening night for the Bucks?”

So, I thought about it…sure.

• NFL Draft
• NBA Draft
• Opening Day for MLB
• Every NFL Sunday
• NBA Trade Deadline
• Opening day for Free Agency
• NFL Combine week
• Senior Bowl
• New Years Bowl Games
• NCAA Football’s National Championship Game
• Every day of the NCAA Tourney
• Sunday at the Masters, US Open, British Open, PGA
• Kentucky Derby or any of the other two provided there’s a shot a Triple Crown
• MLB Draft
• MLB Trade deadline
• Friday
• Christmas
• Thanksgiving
• Any holiday that gets me a day off
• Halloween
• Any Tuesday in which a good new movie arrives for rental
• Any Thursday with a new episode of Supernatural
• Men’s Final at the Open and Wimbledon
• Any day I get Ciciones Cajun pasta
• Any day I get to cook for someone

I don’t know. Those are just off the top of my head.

We interupt your regularly scheduled blog

So I was balls deep into a blog about the last five days and it was going well. I’ll have it done tomorrow.

But I ran into a thread on PCs vs Macs and to my dying day I’ll defend the motherfuck out of my favorite little machines.

Here was what the instigator said:

its a trend to get a mac… i see so many people with them and all they use them for is word processing and surfing the internet. if you have the money, why not? but you can easily do that stuff with a PC for 1/2 the price.

My reply:

I’ve seen that excuse for ten years. That buying a mac is a trendy thing to do. At what point does it stop being a trend? As for the reason people wouldn’t go with a PC, I think most would prefer not having to worry about malware, spyware and viruses killing their machine.

His reply:

being a fashion statement is not an excuse, its just something ive simply observed. why spend an extra $1000 for a prettier screen if you’re going to be doing the same things. as for the malware, spyware and viruses, i’ve had a few problems on my pc with them, but it’s never anything i couldn’t fix. i take care of my computers… as for the general population, maybe they don’t.

every single future project moving forward will be intel base required. this includes the later versions of Xcode (which i primarily use for apps)… i know there are work arounds, but if you’ve ever done any app programming, you’d know certificate issues and approval from the apple store can be a real pain… having a tinkered with copy of xcode just complicates things tremendously more.

anyways my main point wasn’t to compare the older macs with the newer one, it was to simply state that macs are VERY expensive and to the average person, you can handle all your needs on a pc for half the price.

and another person jumped on…

Just look the price of any macbook… It’s a fashion statement.

And this is what killed my blog writing for tonight. This reply:

I’ve made similar posts here in the past, but I own two Macs and three PCs. Two still work as well as the day I bought them and the other three won’t boot. I can let you guess which work and which don’t.

So I ask you, what was the better investment?

Was it the Alienware laptop, the Dell laptop, the do-it-yourself PC that gave me a good six months before going to ****?

Or was it the two Macs that do everything I need and still do it as well as the day they were bought?

I’m not an idiot when it comes to computers. I worked three years as a PC repairman and computer technician while in college. In that time I must have taken a look at 120 PCs. I never looked at a single Mac. I also work as a web developer and have to do testing on a PC every day.

The bottom line is if you buy a Mac and don’t drop it you should have it for a decade or more. That’s without having to buy Norton or McAfee or download constant security patches or worry that the attachment you receive or the website you visit is going to destroy your computer.

You’re paying extra for the knowledge that your OS is light years better than what’s available on a PC, it’s more secure, more stable, less prone to depreciation and simply works more logically. But if Windows blows your skirt up, you can even dual boot.

To be honest I don’t know why the general public would waste their money on a PC. Gaming I guess? I don’t know about that.

I’m a geek. And it’s 1:42 am. Time to pop in an episode of something awesome and get in bed.

There’s a light inside my head, flickering, but almost dead

1 – First of all, that fucking moon deserved it.

Frankly, it was a ticking time bomb and you don’t screw around with diplomacy or threat level dossiers with the Moon hanging over our heads. It’s been trying to gain our flank for a millennia but you never know when disaster could strike. It could happen at any time. Obama saw a threat and fired the first shot; lets see if the Moon bothers us ever again.

Also, you right wingers that thought the President was weak? screw countries, he took on an entire heavenly body.

2 – If you’re of the faint of heart, skip to number three. But on Sunday I made the most delicious sandwich…a grilled PB&J with BACON. The smokey, the sweet….yum.

2b – Then I went to the gym :/

3 – It’s weird how one person can make the same phrase repeat in your head every time you see or think about ’em. Every time I see the current OOMA or she finds her way into my thought process, all I can think is, “She’s so fucking cute”. Just those four words. Sometimes I even have to shake my head. She’s just sooo….fucking….cute.

4 – The mom continues to impress.

There I am in 4th place, and there she is in 2nd. She’s also dominating in the percentage correctly picked. 76.32 is tops in our league of 92 people.

I shudder to think what she’d do in Vegas.

5 – Party this weekend. It’s EC’s homecoming and Wausau homies are coming over for some shenanigans. I’m offering up a quick sorry to those that are certain to receive drunk texts.

6 – I’ve been on a serious West Wing kick lately and while I love the show, it’s also a little depressing. All of these politicians are idealized versions of what we all want to see in our representatives. They’re thoughtful, intelligent and driven to make our country a better place. I can’t say that about the people we elect in the real world. Obama was nice change from the brainless hack we had in there for the last eight years, but I’m gonna need to see some results soon. Health care would be a great start.

But seriously, wouldn’t you like to see someone that can give you chills? Someone that can inspire?

Wouldn’t you like to see someone like Texas congressman Matt Santos? Check out this speech (supposed to be one of concession at the National Democratic Convention but winds up being something totally different).

Fuck.

Tell me that doesn’t give you some serious goose bumps.

7 – Now, maybe you aren’t a big sports fan. Maybe you don’t know anything about basketball.

But trust me when I say this is the most fucked up shot chart I’ve ever seen.

It was from last night’s Bucks game. They’re gonna be so god damn bad this season.

The masochist in me can’t wait to see it.

8 – So Rush Limbaugh wants to buy an NFL team and the Players Union is outraged. Even the owner of the Colts came out against it.

“I, myself, couldn’t even consider voting for him,” Irsay said at today’s NFL owners meetings. “When there are comments that have been made that are inappropriate, incendiary and insensitive… our words do damage, and it’s something we don’t need.”

I agree(d).

Now……I’m not entirely sure.

I was listening to the radio and heard a take on it that made me reconsider. It was pointed out that almost 500 NFL players have been cited for serious offenses since 2000. Drug use, gun charges, drunk driving, battery, spousal abuse…you name it. Yet all these guys get second chances and now they’re the same people that are taking the moral high ground against Limbaugh.

I don’t mind it if someone wants to voice their opinion and I’m certainly no fan of Limbaugh, but I can’t stomach hypocrisy. So the Players Union won’t support Rush’s bid, but they’ll welcome felons into their league? The owners don’t want him in their brethren but they’ll sign a defensive end that killed a woman or a cornerback that paralyzed another man via gunshot?

It’s bullshit.

9 – I hate it when someone asks me to critique a design and I can’t offer up any suggestions. Ben asked me for my thoughts on a logo he put together and all I could say was, “I like it. Great job”.

But the fact is he’s the best graphic designer I’ve ever worked with and he does phenomenal stuff.

10 – This blog is running a little long, I know. But in my family, someone who uses one word to say something when they could have used ten just isn’t trying hard enough.

God dammit, one more

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091001/ap_on_sc/us_sci_before_lucy

Do you ever get those moments when your brain is trying to wrap your head around everything you’re reading or hearing and you have to step back and say, “Wait, hold up”.

That was me a few paragraphs into the above link.

They throw out this stat that human evolution started a million years before currently accepted science, and it’s treated more like a byline than anything.

Seriously, hold up a sec. We’re talking about a jump of almost 25% of human existence in a single yahoo article.

I’m turning the computer off for the night. This is too much to get my head around at 3:03 in the morning.

Her eyes, shades on the darkside, neutralize every man in sight

Quick hitters today:

1 – For the first time in a while I’ve got new music to digest.

AFI – Crash Love
Paramore – Brand New Eyes
Breaking Benjamin – Dear Agony
Three Days Grace – Life Starts Now

Early returns make me think they’re all winners. I’ll say more once I get through my 4th and 5th listens.

2 – I shouldn’t have even come to work today. I’ve been totally useless to SP. My accomplishments have been:

• Got the guest list in order for tonight

• Debated the Milwaukee Bucks at RealGM.com for a good two hours

• Picked up the latest AFI and TDG.

• Figured out what food I’d be providing later

• wrote most of this blog

3 – OGT’s.

At what point do you sort of start to feel guilty about who you’re dating? In high school it’d happen if you were a senior dating the super hot freshman or sophomore. In college it was calling your layup at bar-time and getting her out of your place before your boys woke up the next morning. Is there an equivalent now when you become a young professional?

3b – If this goes bad what’ll hurt most is probably the notion that I’ll have to get my coffee somewhere else in the morning.

3c – I should have thought this through long ago.

4 – Crash Love is the surprise of the year. Like I keep looking at the iPod to make sure I’m actually listening to AFI. It’s remarkable.

5 – My mom is funny. Year in and year out she straight dominates an NFL pick ’em pool myself, her and about 120 other family and friends are in. She might win $600 over the course of a year.

So when I got a phone call at 9:30 last night I knew it was gonna be her. I had just nailed 14/15 games on the day, only losing my lowest pick. I was in 4th place on the week and depending on tonight’s game I could either be 2nd or 4th on the week.

If the Vikes win I’m in the money.
If the Pack wins I’m happy as shit for the week and likely longer.

6 – Another question was posed this weekend. What do you think is better: a great TV show or a great movie.

I didn’t even think it was a question. Great TV easily.

Look, I love Casablanca. But if it’s Bogie for 90 minutes or President Josiah Bartlett for 100 hours, I’m going with The West Wing.

I loved Se7en, but give me four seasons of Battlestar Galactica.

Here is what someone else had to say on the subject:

Anyway, both have their own strengths. I would personally prefer comedy, and since I think it is generally more effectively designed for a TV format, I would say I prefer TV–I definitely spend a lot more time watching shows than movies simply because there is a lot more entertainment out there. And in the last decade general movie quality has been relatively weak, while TV quality has been outstanding. TV is kicking the crap out of film right now.

I think the general rule with lots of things–but with TV in particular–is that over time, things go to greater extremes. There isn’t as much on now that’s just kind of “meh”. Like things like Friends, or That 70’s Show where you’re like “this isn’t terrible, but ultimately…meh”. Most things now are either total dogs**t, or really damn good. And if you avoid the dogs**t, you’ll see what’s so great about a lot of TV now. It’s diverse (not stupid diverse–I mean real diversity–formats, styles, approaches), it’s smart, and it’s more boundless than ever. We are in a golden age of television. So as an over all question, it’s debatable. Right now, I think it’s definitely TV.

Good call. I love my TV dramas. Not CSI or ER or Law & Order. I’m talking long arches, the ones that take years to wrap up. The ones with twists out of left field, characters being killed off, stories that make you think and trigger emotion. The best movies can do that, but not all. The best dramas can invoke those thoughts dozens of times over the course their runs.

7 – Speaking of good drama, last night before I fell asleep I watched what is one of the greatest episodes of TV in the last ten years.

It’s the second to last episode of season 4 of The West Wing. It’s called Commencement.

Let me set the scene:

– The President’s daughter just graduated from Georgetown and she’s set to tour Europe with her lame French boyfriend for the summer
– They’re celebrating at a DC night club before they fly away
– The President, the NSA and the Joint Chiefs had a middle-eastern diplomat killed a year earlier because he had ties to a terrorist cell
– A reporter has figured it out and is now questioning the Press Secretary. Not wanting to call it, “That time we killed the brown dude”, they refer to it as the “Mudross Research Project”.
– Everything else isn’t exactly important for the sake of the following video (though it is fucking awesome when Mary Louise Parker asks, “Donna, are you in love with Josh”…all the more reason to watch the show!)

How it was done is something I don’t know if I’ll ever see on TV again. Everything about it was perfect. The soundtrack, the camera work, the dialogue, the shifting between characters…it was all awesome. When you see the reaction and then the closing credits, no joke, you’ll get chills.

I cut it up and dropped it on youtube:

8 – 12:18 am…

This one hurts. It isn’t the loss. It isn’t because I thought this one could have necessarily been ours. It’s not even because we stopped AD cold. It’s because Favre won it and he didn’t even have to work for it.

I would have to watch the game again, but it appeared as if the Packers were able to stop Peterson with their front seven, sometimes six. Give the line and the linebackers credit, they stayed true to their gaps and didn’t make many mistakes tackling.

But my god…the defensive playcalling on obvious passing downs. How, in the name of everything holy, can you only rush three against a guy that’s been in the league for nearly two decades. Give this guy time to throw and of course he’s going to pick you apart.

Yes, the DBs had some mental errors. But any defense is gonna give up big passing plays when the QB has time to bake a cake in the pocket. Favre never once in looked uncomfortable. It was rare that he was forced to give up the ball early. For fuck’s sake, if he’s picking you apart when you’re dropping eight, could it really hurt to rush five or six? Whatever happened to the exotic schemes we saw against Cutler? What we saw tonight was the Bob Sanders defense all over again, and it just leaves me feeling disgusted.

Second, not all the sacks were on the offensive line. That unit on the left side obviously didn’t play well, but Rodgers has got to learn to GET RID OF THE FUCKING BALL. The safety is entirely on him. So were at least three of the other sacks. Against line like that, he’s got to have that clock in his head ticking. 1, 2, 3, get rid of the ball or fucking run with it. Again, without watching it a second time I don’t know how much the play calling had to do with this. But if Rodgers doesn’t have an easy checkdown on every throw, namely to the TE, something is seriously wrong.

The Packers offense is obviously at its best when Rodgers can take a couple steps and deliver a quick strike. Make him roll out, maybe. But if he’s gotta take a 5 or 7 step drop he’s gonna get killed. The line can’t block that long and Rodgers holds the ball too often.

This game could have been different. Lee drops a TD that turns out to be a death sentence. Rodgers throws a terrible INT deep in their territory. The fumble.

This is a game that I think looks worse than it really was and it was for the eye popping plays. The sacks, the big strikes by Favre. Lost in the shuffle was the fact that the Packers ran the ball when they attempted it. Rodgers had a good completion percentage and yards per attempt. They stopped AD cold.

Despite the defensive scheme and the sacks, this game was still relatively close.

9 – Good turnout here, though.

I’m surprised we didn’t get complaints from the neighbors but it was a good time.

Getting the food and making it was a pain in the ass. Only now is it dawning on me that I paid $91 for food and drinks tonight. There are a lot of leftovers but unless I want to live at the gym this week I’m not sure how much I want to indulge on cream cheese, Mayo, beef, sour cream and Velveeta.

9b – I liked the compliments on got on my place. Everyone that came through mentioned how great it looked. Glad to know the hard work didn’t go unnoticed.

9c – Neither did the food. “Fucking amazing” was the term I most often heard.

*

Let’s see how long this lasts

I’m shutting myself out of my favorite websites, at least during work hours. Today I blocked the following domains:

Realgm
Facebook
Twitter
ESPN
Sports Illustrated
Football’s Future
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal
Brewerfan.net
Deadspin

Those nine sites take up a shameful portion of my day. If they aren’t available, my hope is my focus gets funneled back into my job.

Yes, I can unblock them whenever I wish. But this is about staying focused and productive at work and I’m gonna at least try to take away my avenues for slacking.

Editor’s note: it lasted about a day

There’s a feeling I get when I look to the West

Question was posed to me a couple days ago and I didn’t sit down to think about it until tonight.

The world is coming to an end and it’s just you and your spouse left. You can save 80 minutes of music (one CD). What do you chose?

Here was my list (when in doubt I usually went with the shorter tunes):

Led Zeppelin – Stairway to Heaven (8:01)
Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah (6:53)
Al Green – I’m Still In Love With You (3:03)
Alicia Keys – Fallin (3:30)
Bob Marley – Redemption Song (3:49)
Bruce Springsteen – I’m on Fire (2:42)
The Descendants – Silly Girl (live version) (2:09)
Diana Ross & The Supremes – You Keep Me Hangin’ On (3:15)
Massive Attack – Angel (6:19)
The Doors – Break On Through (2:26)
Eminem – Lose Yourself (5:26)
George Straight – I can still make Cheyenne (4:11)
Guns N’ Roses – Welcome to the Jungle (4:33)
Jimi Hendrix – All Along the Watchtower (3:59)
Kelly Clarkson – Since U Been Gone (3:09)
Norah Jones – Come Away With Me (3:18)
Otis Redding – (Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay (2:42)
Patsy Cline – Crazy (2:44)
Warren G – Regulate (4:09)
Yeah yeah yeah’s – Maps (3:40)

1:19:58

Again there were SERIOUS trade-offs. Lots of tunes I wanted on here, but if they got over 4:30 in length I knew they would be costing a couple shorter songs their spots. In the end I wanted variety instead of the best of the best (which might have only been 8-10 songs).

The first two were the only absolute, stone cold locks. I knew I wanted Stairway and Hallelujah the moment I sat down to figure this out.

The rest is a mixed bag. Certainly not a representation of the best music ever, but then again I’m not an expert on music either. I’ve also got time restraints. Sorry Beethoven.

I tried to get a mix of genres.

– I chose Since U Been Gone over Billy Jean (pop)

– Welcome to the Jungle over Smells like Teen Spirit (honestly, time was the determining factor here)

– The Doors got in because of the instruments and the length of Break on Through.

– George and Patsy help out the country side.

– Warren and Eminem for hip-hop, thought I could have gone with EPMD or Mob Deep.

– Massive Attack, despite the length, had to be on there. Electronica, trippy, big time sound.

– I needed something punk. I thought Dead Kennedys but I don’t know if they have the influence. The Descendants do. They invented pop-punk. When you hear The Ataris, Green Day, Paramore, New Found Glory and countless other four-chord wonders singing about teenage years and lost love, thank The Descendants. Silly Girl works for this list.

– Alicia Keys, her pipes and her piano needed inclusion.

– Jimi had to show what a guitar is capable of.

I’m satisfied.

The Four Happiest Girls to Ever Be Arrested

are found here.

Five actresses and a cameraman from the CW show “The Vampire Diaries” were arrested and charged after police said the actresses were dangling off a Georgia overpass and flashing drivers.

Several drivers called 911 on Aug. 22 to report seeing the young women flashing drivers on I-75 from the side of the Rumble Road overpass just north of Macon.

The women told Monroe County authorities they were just filming for the show.

I have a long, shameless history of watching whatever the CW churns out.

First it was Smallville. Then One Tree Hill. Then Supernatural. Then Reaper. I’ve resisted checking out The Vampire Diaries and The Beautiful Life. Both just look too god damn stupid.

But alright, I’m sold. I’ll be tuning in next week.

F.U.C.K.E.D

1 – After the Packer game today I was almost despondent. For a month people have been singing their praises and talking up their talent. They were one of the NFC’s best and a good shot to make it to the Super Bowl. No lie, I ate it up. I bought right in.

But after a troubling performance against the Bears and a devastating loss at home to the Bengals, the Packers have been exposed as frauds.

Personally, I was numb. It was like I’d just witnessed a car crash and didn’t know how to act. This happens when you live and die with your favorite teams.

That lasted about an hour, because I soon after went through something much worse:

The Shanks.

Don’t bother to look it up in the Urban Dictionary; none of the definitions work or do it justice. I’ll help you out.

Shanks (nown): A soulless, unforgiving motherfuck that toys with your emotions, kills your spirit and demolishes your will. It will show up unexpectedly, stay as long as it wishes and is nearly impossible to defeat. If you have The Shanks, you know almost instantly, and it’s like your guts have been ripped out from your insides.

Let me paint the picture, set the scene if you will…

Before the Packer game was over I’d chalked it up to a loss. Even as they recovered the on-side kick I didn’t bother watching the final minute. I was already putting on the golf shoes. Ben decided he’d go with. We got to Princeton Valley and got a large bucket of balls to hit before our rounds.

At first, everything was fine. I pulled out the lob wedge and launched a few pretty balls at the green 75 yards away. Then I hit some with the pitching wedge and again, everything was alright. I grabbed the nine-iron, and all of the sudden everything went to shit.

*ting!*

I hit it and my worst nightmare started. The ball (that little dimpled son of a bitch) instead of going straight sliced a hard right. Picture a perfect golf shot as going at a 90 degree angle. This ball went to about 15 degrees. It was so bad that someone hitting up the range from me had to glance my way with a “What the fuck” kind of look.

OK. One shot like that isn’t the end of the world. It’s the second that lets you know whether you’re fine or if you’re in for one of the worst stretches of golf in your life.

Unfortunately for me it was the latter.

There were about forty balls left in that bucket. I would estimate that 80% were shanks that all did the exact same thing. The other 20% were a mix of dubs and chunks. My swing that had done me so well for the last three months was boned.

The Shanks are a funny thing. No one really knows where they come from. You can be going along fine and out of no-where they show up. Nothing you do can get rid of them. Golf is a tough sport, and the golf swing is a complex thing. There are so many moving parts and things to factor in to get that ball to do what you want it to. Swing tempo, foot placement, grip, how far you bring the club back, where your elbows are, follow through…every swing is different but the end goal is the same. Hit that little fucker up the fairway and keep it out of the hazards.

So when you factor all the things that go into the swing and how tough it is to do anything consistently, it really is remarkable to watch shot after shot do the exact same thing. It didn’t matter which club I used, how hard I swung, where I kept my feet or hands or arms…every shot took a hard right at that same 15 degree angle.

My brother was next to me analyzing my swing.

“You’re not staying down on the ball”
“You’re coming up to soon”
“You’re babying the ball”
“Look where your feet are”

Unfortunately for someone who’s never had the shanks, he didn’t know that the real problem isn’t physical, it’s mental. I’ve had them once before and it makes for a miserable stretch of golf. You can try anything and everything, but if your head isn’t right you’re never getting your swing back. If he knew the shanks, he would have stopped with the golf instruction and bought me a shot instead. I’m not positive, but a theory of mine is there are only a few sure ways to get rid of the shanks

1) hard drugs
2) copious amounts of hard liquor
3) frequent carnal knowledge
4) death of a loved one

Those are the only four cures as far as I can tell.

I got to work on #2 before we even teed off on hole number one and was legally drunk by hole number two.

Fortunately for myself, the driver is immune to the shanks. If you’re driving the ball wrong, it’s a physical malady. Today my driver was the only reason I didn’t put up a complete monster. Hell, I actually drove the ball as well as I have for most of the summer. 300+, typically right down the middle. On most holes I had a 60 yard pitch with the sand-wedge to the green and there’s little chance to shank that shot.

On holes I had to bring out any other iron? Again, I’ll set the table…

On #2 I crushed my drive, dead center down the middle of the fairway. I probably out-drove Ben, another big hitter, by 40 yards. All I had to get to the dance was about 110, a soft pitching wedge. Ben was texting someone while I swung. I took my shot, Ben looked up from his phone and asked, “Where’d you go?”. I pointed directly to his right at someone’s yard. Ben just put his head down and walked ahead. That’s the other thing with the shanks; if you have it the other golfers in your party act like you have the H1N1 virus or the Bubonic plague. They don’t want to catch it.

So that’s how my round went.

Driver and lob wedge were great.
4-PW = embarrassment.

Only two questions linger.

1) How long will the shanks stick around?
and
2) What brought them on in the first place?

It’s always something mental with the shanks. Guilt, sorrow, anger…take your pick. Might even be karma or some kind of god telling me that I fucked up in some way recently.

Oh well. Tomorrow is new day and a new 18 holes.

2) Ben and I got some stuff for the grill after the round. I picked up a bottle of Bloody Mary mix. The grill went on as soon as I got home and the vodka came out of the freezer.

“You’re making a drink already?”, Ben said.
“It’s not a drink, it’s a Bloody Mary. It’s Sunday” I said.
Ben, laughing, “I love how you rationalize that”.

3) Speaking of drinks, my new favorite is the John Daly. My homey Brian of Wausau learned me a couple months ago.

Pour a generous portion of vodka into a tall glass. My preference of late is Sobieski.

Add 1 1/2 tbs of ice tea mix.

Top with lemonade and stir/shake.

Drink many.

4) I can honestly say that one positive from today’s tough loss is I’ll be more productive at work than I have been in months.

Typically I’ll scour the net for any and everything related to the Packers and the NFL. After a loss as bad as today’s I’m gonna avoid sports news like the plague. What’s tough on me should be great for my company.

5)Let August of 2009 be known as the Cautionary Tale of the Green Bay Packers.

It shall forever serve as a reminder that the pre-season means total and complete dick. The Packers were unstoppable in three meaningless games. Two games into the regular season and they look like dogshit.

Moral of the story: don’t tune in to the NFL until September.

6) Twitter has claimed its first Packer victim. After today’s humiliating loss, linebacker Nick Barnett popped off to fans, telling them to, “KISS MY ASS”. He also questioned the coaching staff and their rotations. An hour later he come back on with an apology.

You can bet that the Packers will begin imposing Twitter restrictions on their players, and it’s about time.

7) OGTs

Not much of anything to be honest. This weekend was good and all but it was more like hanging out with a pal and nothing else. Eh, whatever.

8) Almost four years ago I made my last trip to Stout to party. Because I’d crashed the night before I woke up needing new clothes. I drove to a Maurices and bought what I would later consider to be the ugliest shorts I’d ever worn. I don’t know what I was thinking.

I didn’t wear them again after that night, until three weeks ago.

I was at home and looking through my old closet to see if there were any old clothes worth salvaging before they were set to go to St. Vinnies. I saw the old shorts and thought one thing: golfing.

Golfing is the one occasion you have to wear the ugliest checkered patterns and colors and not only look acceptable, but awesome.

So now those old and ugly shorts are a staple. If I’m golfing and they’re clean (and I usually wash them after every time on the course) I’m wearing ’em.

9) On a blog I like the subject of tipping came up. This is one of those things that fascinate me, how people can have such passionate and polar opposite views. Some people are steadfast in 15% being the absolute maximum and only if the service is extraordinary. Some don’t tip at all and will rationalize it in any way possible. Many people can’t bring themselves to give an extra buck if it means the difference between looking cheap and looking generous.

Here’s my take…

Over-tip. Always. 20% or more, for that matter. It’s $15, give them $4. $20, give them $6. If you only have one or two at a bar after work give a 50% tip. If you’re at a bar you regular, go 50%. Expect free drinks down the line. If you’re with a group of people or a date and you’ve racked up a big bar bill, go nuts and give a 25-40% tip.

Big tips will never screw you over. In the end it’s just a matter of a few bucks but the service you get the next time and the way you look to the people around you more than make up for the cash you fork over.