Weekly Wrap Up #2389

Thoughts for the week. Because thoughts posted on a Friday probably won’t be read and I can’t think of anything else to post on the Instagram. Even I’m tired of posting dog pictures.

– I finished “Suicide of the West”. I do recommend it. The author has an understanding of classical history that makes me wonder what classes I took in school. I vaguely remember learning something about the pilgrims and I think there was something about robber barons and Egyptians. Definitely pyramids. I remember pyramids. The libertarian in me mostly liked the book, but I’m probably not smart enough to know if I really do or not.cruise2

– After swearing I wouldn’t watch another one, I sat through most of the second Jack Reacher movie. Firstly, what the hell did Tom Cruise do to his face? There’s a weird Wayne Newton thing going on. Second, on what planet did someone think Tom Cruise would make a good Jack Reacher?

– Sticking with the movie theme, I finally watched “The Last Jedi”. Brace yourselves Star Wars geeks… it was unwatchable. Horrible. I’m out.

– On the golf front, I’ve spent approximately 83 hours at the range in the last few days. I’ve got the ball going in the air about 40% of the time. Only a few clubs have been thrown. To the ten year old having her first lesson, I apologize for the words you heard. Those are golf words and you’re going to have to learn them at some point.

– Here in Idaho we went from cold and wet to 100 degrees. To all the friends and family we convinced to move here… you actually believed me when I said we don’t have much heat until late August? <insert Dr Evil sinister laugh>

– Several hundred dollars in ice cream (don’t ask) sitting in the freezer is not conducive to the diet. If this is some sort of Zen/Buddhist/navy seal willpower thing, I’ve failed.

– I’ve been mountain biking with the hound quite a bit lately. It’s pretty hard to tire out a Vizsla when you can’t keep up with him (see ice cream note above). mtb dog

– I’m going down the vitamin/supplement road. I saw some stuff on YouTube, so it’s got to be legit. D, B12, apple cider vinegar. I chase it down with bourbon. Not sure which one is making me feel better.

– Been doing the time restricted feeding thing for a bit now. Down 10 pounds. If I could keep my feeding window from being mostly nachos I’d probably be able to ride uphill better. The downhill part is going well (something about mass + velocity).

– Mrs Troutdog and I officially cut the cable cord. Doing the streaming thing only. The interface sucks and I don’t have the patience to find anything to watch. The end result is that I rarely watch TV anymore. I’m not sure what I’m doing with my time now, but it’s not TV.

– I’m developing a serious love/hate relationship with old people. Some of them are the coolest patients and I could spend all day listening to their stories. Some of them are the nastiest human beings you can imagine. Generally, If they weren’t a nice person to begin with and managed to make it to 80+, there is no filter anymore. Don’t be one of those people.

Until next week (unless I win the lottery, turn pro on the senior PGA tour, get picked for Dancing with the Stars, or the zombie apocalypse)…

Dean Vernon Wormer: Here are your grade point averages. Mr. Kroger: two C’s, two D’s, and an F. That’s a 1.2. Congratulations, Kroger. You’re at the top of the Delta pledge class. Mr. Dorfman?

Flounder: [drunk] Hello!

Dean Vernon Wormer: 0.2… Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son.


A Good Walk, Ruined

I generally don’t think of myself as a quitter. Well, except for diets, workouts, resisting nachos, yardwork, and learning Spanish. I’ve lost count of the number of boxed sets of learn conversational Spanish CD’s I have in the closet. Every time I see a new ad advertising a new method of “learn  Spanish in your spare time”, I buy it. When I had a monster daily commute, why not make productive use of your time? Within a week I’d be back to listening to late ’80’s angry punk rock during the drive. Much better to stoke the road rage fire with. My commute is now approximately five minutes, so at best I might learn a word a day. Two complete sentences every year!

Which brings me back to quitting. Specifically, golf. I’ve quit golf before. Several decades ago we moved to Houston Texas. Lovely people, terrible climate, and not much to do except eat and play golf. I was exceptional at the eating part. I took up golf  and used it mostly as an excuse to eat at the clubhouse. When we left Texas I suddenly once again had access to more diverse outdoor things to do, and the golf clubs disappeared into the garage somewhere. plaid

Fast foreword a frighteningly long period of time and a buddy began pestering me to play again. Having reached an age where my mountain biking, skiing, and rock climbing probably isn’t as sustainable long term as it once was… golf seems like something I can do for much longer. Besides, once you reach a certain age you stop caring what people think about your plaid pants.

So, I began the journey once more – with results about the same as I had in back in Texas. When I started purchasing golf balls by the truckload because I was losing so many, I decided it was time for lessons. I cycled through several instructors without much success until just recently.

My first lesson with the new coach went so well I ran out and bought a ridiculously expensive push cart because I was going to start playing every day. During my second lesson he made a few more changes and for the first time ever I actually hit a golf ball correctly. Not just correctly, spectacularly well. Crushing it distances I didn’t think were possible. I went to bed that night dreaming of turning pro. Senior tour, here I come!

The next morning I went to the range to practice and reinforce my amazing new swing… and chunked an entire large bucket of balls about twenty feet in front of me. I literally could have thrown a ball further and straighter than I was hitting with the clubs. Less than 24 hours later the brand new swing was gone. Even the old swing was gone. Expletives were flying.

I actually walked back to the car and left the clubs on the range. I was going to drive away and be done with this horrible sport. I came to my senses enough to go grab the clubs, but I was definitely done. Fuck golf. It’s for old people anyway. I’m going back to mountain biking.

I stewed for a solid two weeks. Then with my tail between my legs, I snuck back to the range. Same result. I’ve never felt so helpless and uncoordinated in my life. I’m not a superstar athlete, but I’m at least semi-coordinated. How is it possible for me to be so bad at something? The thought of quitting again just bothered me. How can all those little old ladies whack it down the fairway with some success and I can’t?

I made emergency calls to every golf course near me and found an instructor with an open time the next morning. Within a half-hour he had me hitting at PGA pro quality again (in my head anyway). I went to the range the next day and – the swing was still there.

I’m proud of myself for not quitting. I’ve never played a sport that I simultaneously enjoyed and hated so much. I figure if I can persist with this, maybe that resolve will spill over tclubso dieting. Anyway, I’m headed back to the range today. If I can sustain two practice sessions in a row, I may actually attempt to play a round again. If not, look on craigslist for a complete set of golf equipment. The clubs will be cheap because most of them will be in two pieces.

Sandy:  I want you to kill all the gophers on the course!

Carl Spackler:  Check me if I’m wrong Sandy, but if I kill all the golfers, they’re gonna lock me up and throw away the key…

Sandy:  Gophers, ya great git! Not golfers! The little brown furry rodents!

Carl Spackler:  We can do that… we don’t even have to have a reason.


I May Have Restarted Winter

Much of the US is currently experiencing what experts like to call “winter”. Cold temperatures, wind, and frozen precipitation known as “snow”. Much of the northern hemisphere is engulfed in this same phenomenon. The 2018 Olympics may go down as the coldest on record. Here in the west we have not seen this same weather pgisstriattern. Locally we saw one snowstorm on Christmas day… and nothing since. After writing this, I’m preparing to go play golf. In FEBURARY. I may or may not wear shorts.

I am a little worried that I may have inadvertently restarted winter though. Yesterday I washed and cleaned the truck and we all know what happens when you wash the car. I also took my mountain bike in to the shop. I went for a ride the other day (in FEBURARY) and had a minor issue with the front brakes rubbing.

The bro at the shop seemed like a good guy. He had all the lingo down. “Hey bruther, how ya doing?” “Ah, that’s just righteous dude!” “Oh, such a buzzkill when you can’t get your flow on.” I think I understood most of it. He seemed genuinely sad for me that my ride wasn’t working. He put my bike up on the stand and starting giving it the once over. Like a doctor doing a proctology exam he pushed and measured, occasionally shaking his head and muttering to himself. Finally he looked up with sad puppy dog eyes and said, “bro, you’ve got some stuff we need to take care of”.

I am such a sucker. You do not want me negotiating anything for you. Apparently I have issues with my forks, fork seals, drive train, pistons, pads, badly designed first generation brakes, chain stretch… my eyes glazed over at that point. My aggressive, no nonsense response was “uhm, ok”.

I suspect the only original thing I’ll get back is my seat. The shop called shortly after I got home and said they’d have to order parts. It’ll be next week before it’s ready. Did I want to take advantage of the 12 month no interest financing plan?

Wait a week to hit the trails again? No problem. Check the weather to ensure we can still ride and… cold and active weather pattern is developing for next week.

If you’re not a fan of winter, I’m sorry. I may have jinxed this early spring for you. I guess I’ll get the ski gear ready to go. Will probably have to take stuff in to the shop for a tune up. Wonder how much that will cost me?