1. I’ll admit it: I watch a lot of golf. If I didn’t have the Golf Channel, I’d probably drink more wine, both being pleasant forms of anesthesia. Too, I play the game, and watching people who really know how to play somehow makes me hopeful. Nevertheless, I’m sick of listening to loudmouths on the tee box screaming inane things like “youdda man” or “gettinah hole” or—go figure—“mashed potatoes.”
I’m also sick of hearing the goon squads of players Matt Kuchar and Luke Donald filling the otherwise quiet stillness of a golf course with “Koooooo” and “Loooooo.” Who are they, and when did they decide diehard golf fans would tolerate their B.S.? The players smile, but are they really thinking, “What a bunch of dumb asses”? They won’t admit it in an interview but I promise you, that’s exactly what they’re thinking.
Amazingly, network golf commentators, particularly outspoken guys like David Feherty and Johnny Miller, stay mute. I assume the PGA’s executive director, Tim Finchem, has made it clear to them that the drunken gorillas are the next generation of golf fans, their ticket to selling ads and sponsorships. Nonetheless, rather than chasing Cialis users away from golf broadcasts altogether, why wouldn’t the networks consider turning off the sound on the tee boxes so we don’t have to listen to such asinine claptrap?
2. Yes, I’m going to Turkey. Yes, I’m going up in a hot air balloon, 1,000 feet over central Turkey. Yes, I’ve read that the United States plans to bomb Syria, 300 miles from where we’ll be staying. Yes, I’ve seen the reports of two hot air balloons crashing in Turkey and Egypt. Yes, I have a fear of heights. So, why, you ask, am I going to Turkey at this time and why am I getting in a hot air balloon? Why does Goofy stand up while Pluto remains on all fours? Why do people say they slept like a baby when babies only sleep a couple of hours? Why does lemonade have artificial flavoring and dishwashing soap uses real lemons? Why do drive-up ATMs have braille? Why do they call it “rush hour” when nobody is moving? Why isn’t there a speed of dark? That’s why.
3. It was 20 years ago this month that a small band of entrepreneurial people started up the magazine Twin Cities Business and the website where this blog is intermittently found. I was seriously rapt in the creation of this enterprise, the only thing I’ve ever done in 40 years of business that almost killed me. I’m happy and thrilled that the magazine and its extended digital brand has survived and thrived. I’m infinitely more happy that I managed an epiphany way back then, re-setting my methods and my priorities, thereby surviving to write and work another day. I know so many young people who struggle with serious stress from their jobs. They’re talented, conscientious, loyal people who don’t know what else to do but keep grinding, particularly when others don’t. I wish they knew it’s less about the situation and more about how they process it.
4. I used to smoke. Stupid. Heinous. Indefensible. Smelly. Nicotine addiction is a surprisingly frightening dependency and to attach it to toxic, poisonous smoke is nothing short of evil. We have the ciggie manufacturers to thank for that. They knew long ago: Quitting is nigh on impossible for many folks.
Fortunately, today there are lots of products that make it easier. The one I cannot get used to, however, is the e-cigarette. Stephen Dorff hawks them on TV. “I’m tired of being a walking ashtray,” he says, “and I’m tired of feeling guilty every time I light up.” As I watched the commercial I wondered why he didn’t say, “and I’m tired of worrying about that inevitable lung x-ray that pretty much guarantees an unthinkably horrible death.” The grizzled Stephen looks pretty cool using, I must say, but everyone else I’ve observed looks, well, lame. Bottom line, you’re still getting the nicotine, you’re still addicted, and you look really stupid sucking vapor out of a metal pipe. Why not just suck it up and quit?