Your first hole-in-one

Getting your first hole in one

They say that getting your first hole-in-one is a life-changing experience, but it’s a feeling that has yet eluded me. Janet got a hole-in-one on a 30-yard pitch-and-putt in England a few years back, but it’s quite another thing to get a hole-in-one on a par 72 course.

I got a glimpse of this yesterday when I came with 18 inches of a hole-in-one on a par 3, 143 yard hole. Janet and I just joined a second country club, and as first-timers, the members always check you out, it’s only natural. Their golf course is great fun, but challenging, with narrow fairways, high changes in elevation, giant bunkers and small greens, a humbling experience all-around.

Their signature hole is the 9th, a tight uphill hole with the green adjacent to the clubhouse where everyone can see your shot. Here is the hole:

After the first 8 holes plagued with triple bogies, I knew that we were being watched. I made a point of dropping my ball at the tee box to show that I didn’t need any stinking tee, and using my trusty six-iron, I hit a one in a hundred shot that Tiger Woods would have been satisfied with. It was perfection, a hit shot that dented the green just a few inches from the pin! BTW, these Callaway Big Bertha irons are amazing, the best I’ve ever used, perfect for a beginner like me.

After my lucky shot, folks lined-up on the veranda to see if Janet’s was a crack shot, and I made the mistake of telling her, too much stress for a beginner:

Henderson Country club

She made a valiant effort, but dribbled her shot . . .

As a brand-new member I wondered if anyone would mention my shot, which is a common occurrence at this club because they have many outstanding golfers. I made it clear that I’m a beginner, but it was nice to get a glimpse of glory, and even though today was not my day, I now have a taste for a hole-in-one, and I’ll surely be working on my short game.

Google job interview tips

Google wants to interview me!

I just got an invitation to interview for a job at Google Inc. Evidently, I’m among the “best and the brightest”, cool:

“I was extremely impressed with your skills and background.

I wanted to contact you to see if you were interested in exploring some career opportunities here with us at Google.

We are looking for the best and the brightest, and we are hiring for a number of positions all over the country and even the world.”

I hear that Google is one of the best places to work in the world. CNN says that Google is the best place to work in the whole world:

“Shooting straight to the top in its first appearance on our list, the Best Company to Work For in America sets the standard for Silicon Valley and beyond. . .

Our new No. 1 sets the standard for Silicon Valley: free meals, swimming spa, and free doctors onsite. Engineers can spend 20% of time on independent projects.

No wonder Google gets 1,300 résumés a day.”

The food at Google’s 11 cafeterias on its Mountain View, Calif., campus is not only fabulous, it’s free.

“It’s a typical Wednesday morning breakfast in Slice Café: house-baked spelt bread french toast drizzled with ginger Infused maple syrup and topped with caramelized pinata apples, served with hot coconut-masala muesli, coco-berry granola and crimson gold heirloom apples.”

Google has one of the world’s hardest job interviews, and the ability to over-generalize and simplify complex concepts with analogies is a critical skill for any Guru, a skill highly-prized by Google.

Check-out the Google job interview questions where job candidates must explain computer concepts to a hypothetical 8 year-old:

Q: “Explain a database in three sentences to your eight-year-old nephew.”

I’m flattered . . . .

Barak the magic Negro?

After Don Imus was canned for his offensive “nappy” comments, you would think that radio personalities would get the message.

I wasn’t even sure what “nappy” meant, and I had to look it up of the Internet. This is a dog nappy:

Why are people not mad at Rush?

Now I see that everyone’s favorite ultra-conservative Rush Limbaugh has just released the song “Barak the Magic Negro”, no kidding:

Click here to listen to song Barak the Magic Negro (warning: Offensive content)

IMHO, this is way more offensive and Imus, but evidently other people don’t think so . . .

DNA may make Indians lose special status

The discovery of an ancient US inhabitant of non-Indian origins has posed a real threat to the rights of Native Americans. Dubbed Kennewick Man, the fossil skull dates to at least 5,000 years ago, and he has distinct non-Indian features.

Without Reservation

The problem started when the Native Americans demanded the skull for burial, and were refused because the skull was clearly not related to today’s Native Americans:

“In February 2004 the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that a cultural link between the tribes and the skeleton was not met, opening the door for more scientific study.”

Scientists have concluded that the Native Americans may have been a more diverse group that originally thought and when proof is discovered that some Native Americans are from European descent, the doors will open for all Americans to start their own reservations and casinos.

Gourmet dog food

Our spoiled Yorkie eats only Chef Michael’s dog food:

At about $1 for 3 ounces, that’s a cost of over $5 a pound for dog food!

Also, this new people/petfood website offers foods for both man and beast, crossover chow for dog livers who want to dine with Fido!

“The very same plant that makes food for humans makes Dick Van Patten’s Natural Balance® Eatables™ For Dogs! Eatables™ is a complete and balanced premium dog food which contains a superior mixture of the finest meats, as well as fresh vegetables and premium ingredients your dog will love.”

In some foreign countries (Europe) you can take Fido to dinner, and it’s also becoming popular in California, where posh Rodeo Drive eateries allow Fido to dine with you in the patio area.

Horseback riding in Central Park

Horseback riding in Central Park is a real treat!

In sad news, this article reports that the Claremont Stable is closing after 115 years of operation:
“Claremont Riding Academy on the Upper West Side, a national historical site and the oldest continuously operated stable in the country, is closing down for lack of business, employees said last night.”

Opened in 1892, the Claremont provided me and Janet for many a pleasant afternoon of riding in Central Park. Nestled on the upper west side on 89th near Columbus, I have no doubt that the real estate is worth millions, and this factors into the closing decision:

It was at the Claremont that Janet and I discovered that horses could understand traffic signals and guide their riders the long block to Central Park. It was part of this observation that led us to develop the “Guide Horse Foundation”. We love taking our horses to NYC:

The Claremont stable is amazing, with a tiny riding area inside, a multi-levels where the horses would be sent up-and-down on large ramps.

We will miss those great afternoons, running-down joggers in Central Park from horseback. . .

Creative Segway Kiosks

The segway has evolved from a gyro toy into a legitimate utility vehicle despite the $6k price tag and the mega-nerd reputation.

We see that the segway folks are going to great lengths to find uses for these silly things. Most folks don’t know that a segway can clip along at over 15 MPH, and the new Gen-3 Segways have removed the problem of steering by allowing leaning to indicate a turn (the Gen-2 models have a turkey left-side hand steering contraption).

Segway for Sports

Segway golf is becoming popular, but it’s not much help standing through 18 holes:

Segway Kiosks are also a new fad as they take-up only a small space and they are mobile:

It’s a true story that President Bush fell off a Segway, and in fairness, they can be difficult to learn at first:

The military is also exploring the Segway technology, most likely because of the Macho reputation of Segway users.

And let’s not forget that it was the rednecks who invented the Segway idea:

Learning the long golf drive

I want a long drive!

Underneath all of my fat is an athlete waiting to be discovered, and I’ve been surprising myself with a strong long drives. It’s happens rarely, but occasionally I get in-sync and send a rocket ball flying the length of 3 football fields down the fairway. It’s got to be a rush putting for an eagle on a 517 yard hole, but you need to be able to consoistently drive 250 yards!

Faldo’s swing

Craig Stadler, a fellow my size and age who can play some serious golf. Craig shows in his video lessons how 95% of a power swing comes from the legs, and it’s true.

I went first-class and signed-up for drive training by Brad Clayton, a would-renowned PGA instructor. He runs the Golf Zone in Oxford, and here is one of his lessons online, and his testimonials. He is also a golf expert in USA Today.

Brad Clayton, PGA Professional

Brad has totally dismantled my swing, changing my grip, stance, backswing and follow-through. But he know what he’s doing, and Janet and I have been practicing religiously, seeking the day when we can send a long golf drive into the next county.

I have a long way to go, but with dedication and practice I should be able to start driving like a pro, even if I five putt . . .

Foreign hatred and the tragedy at Virginia Tech

The tragedy at Virginia Tech ranks as the second largest foreign suicide terrorist attack in US history, right behind 911.

In the wake of yesterday’s brutal murders of 32 students by a South Korean national, Americans suggest the need to reexamine our open-door policy to foreign visitors from nations that do not like the USA. As the facts unfold, we will see that this was not the work of an isolated student, it was a well-planned attack by a foreign alien who prepared a vest with over 100 rounds of ammo.

For whatever the reasons, it’s a reality that millions of foreigners hate America and yet I wonder why they flock to American Universities and come here to work in America.

Some people are saying that the USA no longer has the luxury of trying to separate the “good” foreigners from the “bad guys” and nobody can deny that these tragic murders would not have occurred if we did not allow foreign students into American universities.

The students react to campus terrorism

Vanderbilt University notes that terrorism has changed student visas, and that student visas are a great way for terrorists to enter the USA:

“Most Americans have the perception that at least some of the Sept. 11 terrorists took advantage of laws that allow foreign students to study in the United States. Understandably, many see this as a loophole that needs to be closed quickly and tightly.”