Saturday, August 25, 2007

Country Club Golf

Had an interesting golf experience last week. Thursday, someone else was paying and we played at a very nice, private country club in Charlotte. I saw an ad posted saying membership was $400/month! The clubhouse was gigantic. The men's locker room was larger than my house, had several plasma TVs going, a wall of cologne's and aftershaves, a staff that included a shoe shine guy and bathroom attendant, and full lockers just like in the movies. The course was in immaculate condition. Drink carts, ranger, the whole deal. Today, I golfed at a small course, only 9 holes, drinks are facuts coming out of the ground, 50% grass, 50% dirt, you get the idea. So, I got the idea for a top 10 list.

Top 10 Ways you know the course you are playing will never host a PGA event:

1. You can pay for your round with a $20 bill and get several dollars change back.

2. You are wearing jeans and a polo shirt and you're the nicest dressed person there.

In fact, the dress code doesn't appear to even require a shirt. Mullets are strongly recommended.

3. Hole diagrams? What are those?

4. Lunch at the turn : corndog, crackers, and root beer - $2.

5. Tee times are not an option, schedule books are for those other guys. Just come whenever you want and tee off.

6. Yard markers? What are you, a pansy? Just hit the ball!

7. It takes a full swing of the putter to make a 15 yard putt because the greens are so slow.

8. You can drive by the course for 2 years and never actually know that its a golf course.

9. They let you walk 18 on the weekend

10. The ranger actually tells you to slow down and have a good time instead of rushing you along.

Also, the ranger isn't really an employee, its just an old guy in a cart who likes to drive around and watch people golf.

Starship Enterprise Putter

So, I had the privilege to play golf on Thursday for work. It was put together by a two companies that we are working with, we currently use them as technology consultants on a couple projects and they have some software they want us to buy as well. So they brought us and a couple others up to Charlotte for a 2 hour technology briefing and demo and then off to the course for a round of golf, on their tab of course. Anyway, we played best ball and my team tied for second with a 69. However, it was a 4 man team (well, 3 men and a woman in the case of my team), but 3 out of 4 of us aren't making an appearance on the PGA Tour anytime soon, if you know what I mean. We all had handicaps above 20. But our A player had a handicap below 5. He made his own clubs. Knew all the golf lingo. And, he had a starship enterprise putter. That's right, pictures are above. That's how you know you are arrived in the golf world. I've seen it all on the golf course now. Seriously folks, it was the starship enterprise. Apparently, from what I hear from him, it has the lowest moment of inertia of any putter. That makes it extremely forgiving. But it's the nerdiest thing you can carry in your bag. It even had the Star Trek emblem and NCC-1701 on the grip! It was a trip, although by hole 4, I was already tired of all the beam me up Scotty jokes.

Tech Support

I'm getting tired of Technical Support not actually wanting to offer me technical support. First, let me note that I am a computer technician, so when I call for tech help, its not because the power is out and I can't get my computer to turn on. Basically, I had a call in with McAfee earlier in the week with their SpamKiller add on for Groupshield and then another call with permissions problems on my Goodlink server. Both techs kept offering me knowledge base articles that they were confident would fix my problem. Now, I'm not against knowledge base articles, I'd be lost without them most of the time, especially the MS ones. But we (my company) pays a lot of money for the "gold" support yearly from these places, I'm not interested in milling through a complicated knowledge base article by myself. We pay for tech support so you can walk us through it. It's bad enough that I had to go to college just to learn Indian so that I can communicate with tech support, I'm sure as heck not going to just have someone give me a useless knowledge base article and say "call if you need help". No, I already called because I needed help. The Goodlink tech must have offered me 3 different articles, and he would have probably offered more if I hadn't told him after the 3rd time that he wasn't getting me off the phone until we solved the issue and he was going to walk me through it whether he liked it or not. Of course, I got that typical, "there's no need to get angry sir" speech. I hope I'm not the only one out there who's gotten that. I would hate to see what some of these companies have listed for me in the databases. It just gripes me, if I wanted to read the manual or a knowledge base article, I would have read the manual, but I didn't, I paid my yearly maintenance contract and I want support. Grrrr.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Pool

Jeni and I just got back from the neighborhood pool. We've lived in this subdivision for just over 2 years now (25 months) and today was our first trip to the pool. I figure, based on the percentage of our homeowners dues that go toward keeping the pool around times 2 years worth of dues, it probably cost us about $100/person in HOA dues to make the trip, especially since we took the shrub lined walkway (landscaping makes up a large percentage of the dues too). However, since its our first trip to the pool in a while, we were also pretty pasty white. Even after I took my white t-shirt off, all the other people at the pool area probably still thought I had it on. I'm also shockingly out of shape. After we got in the water, we decided to swim to the other end. 30 minutes later, I gave up about 3/4 of the way there and walked to the end, out of breath and out of energy. A couple minutes later, determined, I tried to swim back. I almost made it 60% of the way there before deciding that floating back made much more sense, given that proceeding any further and Jeni would be carrying me home. I was exhausted. We floated around a while, and then retreated back to our beach towels. I don't think I could ever be a swimmer. It seems like an awful lot of work to go 100 yards and back. And its dangerous. It's a lot easier to drown that it is to take a walk in the park. All in all, I'm glad to have my feet back on solid ground and be back in front of a computer. Home sweet home. Some people were just not meant to be fish.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Don't grow up to be cowboys

When I was a kid, there was a song I remember, "mamas, don't let your kids grow up to be cowboys" Kenny Rogers, I think? Anyway, I would just like to say, mama's, don't let your kids grow up to be email administrators. Notice the time this was posted, 4:30 am. Yep, had to get up to work on issue at 4:00 am, after having gone to bed at 1 am. Ironically, one of the other guys was already working on the issue when I got up. Still, email is the most important thing in the world to some people and we have to keep it going. Once you learn how it all works, the "magic" is gone and its just annoying. So, kids, don't grow up to be email administrators. Now, back to bed.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Season Tickets

One of the best days of the year happened last night. When we got home, there was a large envelope in the mail from the Clemson Athletic Department. That's right, the season tickets had arrived. It's like Christmas in August. There are few feelings like opening up that envelope and pulling out a sheet of fresh tickets to see your favorite team. The initial seconds are spent looking over the new years ticket designs. Then, the hope of a new season. You haven't lost a single game yet. There's still hope. This could be the year. Even if you know deep down it isn't, the season is still fresh, it's new, everyone still has a chance. You can hear the crowd, smell that distinctive tailgate smell as you walk through the parking lots, you see your star player sprinting to the end zone untouched in your mind's eye. Holding those tickets for the first time, hope springs eternal and the realization hits you that football season is once again at hand. Oh, wonderous day. Go Tigers!!!

Friday, August 10, 2007


Barry did it. He hit 756. He's the new home run king. But that's not what this post is about. I've been hearing several reporters and talking heads saying how this is the greatest sports moments of all time. They are saying how this is one of the most hallowed records in American sports. Well, make up your mind. Jeni and I already watched that record be broken, back on July 4th. The Nathans's Hot Dog Eating Contest. I will include a couple quotes from that broadcast. "world wide celebrity acclaim just seconds away", "this would be the greatest moment in the history of American sports if Joey Chestnet can bring the belt home", he may have changed the course of this nation with that, he has righted the course with that victory", "a true American hero". Really? I haven't heard anyone call Barry a true American hero. Has Barry righted the course of history? I don't think so. He's helped us doubt the achievements of our superstar athletes if anything. What Joey Chestnut did was legendary. 66 hot dogs in 12 minutes. It took Barry 22 years to hit 756 home runs. 22 years! You can do a lot of things if you have 22 years to achieve them. I'm starting to believe the announcers, maybe Chestnut does own the greatest moment in the history of American sports. Seriously, what is the competition? The 1980 "Miracle on Ice" gold medal win. Ali vs. Frazier. The shot heard around the world. Jesse Owens winning 4 gold medals in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. Super Bowl III. 66 hot dogs in 12 minutes. All those other achievements pale in comparison to 66 hot dogs. Congratulations Barry, you are now the answer to a trivia question, you hold a record that every respectable sports fan knows the answer to. But what Chestnut did -- epic.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Jon McLaughlin and Mat Kearney

Jeni and I won concert tickets to see Jon McLaughlin and Mat Kearney last Friday night. Two guys who can't spell their first name properly, but are immensely talented. The above video is of Jon, Jeni wasn't excited about seeing him in concert, but was very glad she went. He is amazing live. You have to watch the video, the speed of his hands is pretty incredible. During the concert, he easily played every key. Imagine listening to like 45 minutes of the above, its no wonder he was sweating and out of breath the whole time. Mat was good and I recommend you see him as well, but I'd wanted to see him in concert for about 2 years now and he hadn't played near me. When he finally did, I was almost too hyped and it didn't meet my expectations. Plus, I don't think he was happy to be playing Greenville, SC in a wings joint in a 'private' concert for a radio station. It was good, I just think that 2 years of expectations building couldn't have been met by anyone. But watch the above video, particularly after the 3 minute mark until the end, wow.