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This Is A Golf Ball!

Does this fall under the heading of blogging humor?

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I always like the “behind-the-scenes” of movies and TV. The true fundamentals of how they do it. Do you remember the lion at the beginning of some movies?

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This is Leon the Lion. Some MGM executive came up with the roaring idea to have Leon become their signature beginning of each movie. This picture taken in 1928 shows the behind-the-scenes.

It took Leon one take to step on on those crates, look in the camera, and roar. I wonder how they found the production staff willing to film Leon. That roaring lion that is still used in movies was a well executed plan.

Recently I decided to get back into golf. I took a lesson last week and also played a round. I told the pro that I would understand if he started the lesson out with, “this is a golf ball“. Starting out with the fundamentals. The first lesson was using only one club and was about the details like stance, elbow positioning and even how I finished the shot.

Admittedly, I was a bit sore the next day. Using body parts I had not used in a while!

So in discussing the fundamentals of fitness, we start out by remembering the kid who calls from his bedroom, “Hey Grandma, how about another grape soda?”.  I wonder what the script said for that actor. Do you think “need young actor who looks out of shape“?

That is why I perked up when a saw a study/article in the American Heart Association Journal (Here) titled Impact of Healthy Lifestyle Factors on Life Expectancies in the US Population.

Condensed down, the authors simplified how to prolong your life expectancy by more than a decade? Their basic suggestions to a behind-the-scenes look to extending your life? Following these five healthy habits: never smoke, maintain a healthy body-mass index, keep up moderate to vigorous exercise, don’t drink too much alcohol, and eat a healthy diet.

According to the study, if you follow these five lifestyle recommendations at age 50, compared with not adhering to any of them, women pick up an additional 14 years of life expectancy, while men live an additional 12.2 years. How about that!

The simple fundamentals of extending life…follow a healthy lifestyle. And maybe not be a camera man for a roaring lion?

 

For pic o’ day… we all need encouragement!

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I am Golfing Today

I am posting this picture because I relate to it. I haven’t golfed in 12 years. I am sure other golfers are saying, “Are you serious?”, as I swing my clubs. Should I keep score by counting lost golf balls?

Golfing

 

I am posting the following story that was sent to me. Good for a Friday blog and it made me laugh. I think we could all learn a lesson from this farmer!

A DEA officer stopped at our farm yesterday, he said “I need to inspect your farm for illegal growing drugs”  

I said, “Okay, but don’t go in that field over there.”  

The DEA officer verbally exploded saying, “Mister, I have the authority of the Federal Government with me!” Reaching into his rear pants pocket, the arrogant officer removed his badge and shoved it in my face. “See this badge?! This badge means I am allowed to go wherever I wish…On any Land!!! No questions asked or answers given!! Have I made myself clear?…do you understand?!!” 

I nodded politely, apologized, and went about my chores.  A short time later, I heard loud screams, looked up, and saw the DEA officer running for his life, being chased by my big old mean bull…With every step, the bull was gaining ground on the officer, and it seemed likely that he’d sure enough get gored before he reached safety.  The officer was clearly terrified.  

I threw down my tools, rant to the fence and yelled at the top of my lungs “Your Badge, show him your BADGE!!!” 

 

And, for our Friday Pic O’…Sometimes, you you come to a fork in the road and you just have to take it. I hope you have a fantastic weekend!

 

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Right Intention, Wrong Idea

Since they call it Hump Day, this pic o’ seemed liked a good start to the blog:

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And for today, I thought I would just mention a bad idea with good intentions.

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Because I like to stay positive in the blog, I will state positively that this was a bad idea! Even worse than a password of 12345.

I was reminded of this while watching the Masters this past weekend. At one point during the tournament, a ball rolled under the tree and I thought, “Wouldn’t it be great to have a camera find your ball for you?”.

In 1950, B. F. Goodrich, the company known for its automobile tires, thought that it had come up with a great idea to help erratic golfers. Its engineers developed the prototype of an atomic golf ball. The ball, with a radioactive core, would be easy to locate with a Geiger counter. (Here’s a copy of the story from an old Popular Mechanics Magazine article)

As it turned out, this experimental ball was abandoned. I wonder why?

And for pic o’ day, a bit more golf:

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Calvin Peete’s Lesson

Former professional golfer Calvin Peete passed away last week at the age of 71. Legacy.com listed the details of his life in his obituary.

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Peete won 12 tournaments on the PGA tour and was known specifically for his accuracy. He was also on two Ryder Cup teams.

I am writing about him in the blog because, more impressive than his skills in golf was his tenacity to overcome and to compete.

He was born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1943. He began to make money for his family by picking beans and corn in the fields of Florida. He eventually bought a station wagon to sell vegetables to migrant workers.

Initially, he had no interest in golf because he didn’t like being out in the hot sun. Then, he became interested when he learned how much money golfers were making. He began playing at age 24. Within six months he was shooting in the 80’s and a year later he was regularly shooting under par.

As a kid, he had fallen out of a tree and broken his left arm. As a result, he could not fully extend it because it had never properly been set . So, on his swings, he had to compensate. That caused him to swing differently than other golfers. He practiced and developed a repeatable swing that regularly put him in the fairway.

He didn’t look at his left arm as a limitation. Instead, he viewed it as a benefit. He said that, “Some of the players drive farther than I do, but I’m always in the fairway and they’re sometimes in the trees”.

He was known for his positive attitude on the tour. As he put it when discussing golf, “I love this game”, he said in a NY Times profile. “You’re out in the fresh air and you can meet good people, like the President of the United States. I once played a round of golf with President Ford, and you have a chance to make $400,000 a year”.

Calvin Peete is a reminder of tenacity; not being effected by something that others would view as a hindrance or an excuse; and, most importantly, the consistency of just staying in the fairway. The fundamentals of life!

And for pic o’ day… another crazy cat.

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A Golfer’s Hole in 3

From the  Virginia Lawyers Weekly comes a case report about a golfer in Fairfax. It could be titled The case of  the golfer who falsely celebrated.

A charity sponsored a golf tournament that included a special $5,000 prize for anyone that shot a hole-in-one on the 13th hole. Based on the tournament rules, anyone that was over the age of 50 was entitled to play from the forward tees instead of the longer distance men’s tee box.

The golfer first hit a ball from the men’s tees,  that landed on the green. He then stepped up to the forward tees, where he was entitled to shoot, and scored a hole-in-one. He then began celebrating his $5,000 prize until his celebration was cut short when he was told that he had not won the prize, because of his original shot from the men’s tee box that did not go in the hole. He argued. They did not change their mind. He sued the charity for his claim of $5,000.

The defense retained Scott King, the current head coach of the George Mason University golf team and former head coach at William and Mary. King is also a longtime golf teacher and a 19-year member of the Professional Golfer’s Association. He was easily qualified to give court testimony as an expert on the hole-in-one claim.

King testified that under the rules of golf, the golfer’s score should have been scored as a “3”. First, the shot from the men’s tee box. Then, when he elected to shoot from the forward tee, he should have been assessed a penalty stroke. Finally, the ball that went into the hole on that shot then counted as stroke three. The court returned a verdict for the charity and against the golfer. For the golfer… it was strike three!

DID YOU KNOW that Florida law forbids rats to leave the ships that are docked in Tampa Bay? I know… what is that?

And for pic  o’ day, I am posting two pictures that I took yesterday. It’s a duck sitting on top of a BWW that was sitting in our office parking lot. Craziness!

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The Sports Memorabilia Lawsuit

The collection of sports memorabilia is a divider. Either you completely understand it or you are flumuxed by the concept that someone would actually pay for an autograph or something game worn.  There is no in-between. You can’t be like Homer Simpson watching an NFL football game while waving a pennant that simply says “Football”.

To some, this blog might be as interesting as if I wrote about the word “underground” as being the only word that begins and ends with the letters “und”. See, not that interesting.  Or the reminder that you can spell “racecar” or “level” starting at the beginning or end.

If sports autographs just don’t excite you, I still hope you stick through this seemingly “more book than blog”. It does finish with a lawsuit story.

In 1999, Frank Deford wrote a Sports Illustrated article titled, “The Ring Leader“. In it, he describes NBA player Bill Russell as the greatest team player of all time.  In the article, Deford tells about the time that one of Russell’s teammates asked him to sign an autograph. Russell might have been known as a team player, but he refused to sign his autograph for a teammate. As he has told many, “I’m sorry, I don’t give autographs”.

Bill Russell has signed a few autographs for charity. Now, his autograph carries a high value because of the few items out there that he has truly signed. Normally, he will just offer to shake hands when he declines to sign.

Years ago, I was a volunteer with the Bruce Smith celebrity golf tournament. I helped coordinate the various players to be picked up from the airport for the charity event. We would bring them to a central location, where they would then be given their introductory packets that would describe the events for the weekend.

When we brought these players/celebrities back to the hotel, we would take them to a table. There, we had placed several items such as footballs, large and small helmets, photographs and even golf balls. We would ask them to autograph items before we handed them their hotel keys. That provided some items for selling, to help raise money for the charity.

The purpose of the tournament was to raise money for the Bruce Smith Foundation. At the time, he was still a player with the Buffalo Bills, so many of his teammates came to help his foundation. There were also many players past and present that came. Those included such names as O.J. Simpson, Dan Marino and Marcus Allen. In fact, O.J. threatened to punch the driver that I had lined up to take him back to the airport. Would you imagine that Simpson might have a temper?

I could regale you with story after story about sports autographs. I personally collect items and have some things hanging in our office. I am interested in old baseball player autographs that specifically include contracts.

For instance, we have a framed contract that Reggie Jackson signed. It was his rookie contract with the Oakland A’s and includes the executives of the A’s. Another contract is one that Tom Seaver signed with Topps, where he was paid one dollar to use his likeness for his rookie card. See, I can get carried away with stories. I guess those items are only worth what someone is willing to pay for them.

I write this blog about autographs because of an article at Golf.com titled “See You in Court, Tiger! Woods Slapped with Trial Subpoena“.

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Tiger was scheduled to be in Miami-Dade Circuit Court after being subpoened to testify. A business called Gotta Have it Golf is suing Woods for 1.75 million, claiming that he failed to provide them with an agreed amount of autographed memorabilia for them to sell.

There is some history for Woods with this business. In 1997, he joined Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus in a suit against them to stop that business in the unauthorized sale of their images in signatures. So, it would be curious that Woods then followed up by signing an agreement to sign items for them. This just shows again the value of a signature to some people… while others just shake their head and wonder why!

DID YOU KNOW that two dogs were among the survivors of the Titanic? (thought this better be a short one!)

And for pic o’ day, you may feel like you lost track of time. So… a timely pic o’

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National Kidney Foundation Golf Tournament

I’m on vacation but thought I’d give you a bit of video.  On Tuesday, we had the Kidney Foundation Golf Tournament.  I hope you’ll take a gander.  Maybe it will even encourage you to want to be a part of the Foundation in fighting kidney disease, or want to be one of the sponsors or players next year.

The rain held up and we had 23 teams of four golfers participating.  Anyway, we even put some piano music to it even though I’ve never seen a piano on the golf course.  Maybe a look at the greens will give you an escape if you are stuck inside.

 

What is Real?

     At the conclusion of the Masters Golf tournament, CBS went to the “cabin” for the green jacket presentation for the winner, Phil Mickelson.  Jim Nance, experienced announcer, stepped next to the Masters chairman, Billy Payne, and humbly bowed his head, as though he had never been on TV before.  Was I really watching an awards presentation to the winner?

     The absolute emotional impact of Mickelson hugging his wife as he came off the 18th tee was somewhat lessened in my eyes, as CBS replayed that hug about 5 times, while Nance provided his astute observation in pointing out that we should “see the tears”. I think I felt a bit of a lump in the throat, until Nance decided to ruin the moment with his observation as though we were a radio and not a TV audience. Of course, this is the same Nance that testified in his 2009 divorce that his wife had lost such interest in him that she would not even allow him to hang his self portrait in their family home.  I wonder if he testified about such a trauma with his golf whisper voice.  

     The theme of this blog is the discussion of what is real. Some topics grip me, A short blog is just a glimpse of my thoughts.(even a blog too long, like this one!) In the alternative, if I had to write on “Dancing with the Stars”, I would have a difficult time mustering a whole lot of pathos.

     I see that an unauthorized biography of Oprah Winfrey is coming out. It suggests, with sources, that Oprah is not the “real” person that we see on TV. That suggestion comes from such nuggets as claims that she really wasn’t poor as a kid but merely has claimed that, since such claims make her seem more real. Her relationship with Steadman is allegedly all  for show too. I’ll let you read the attachment for more on that if such claims have not yet made it to the local gossip column or on Entertainment Tonight,  yet.  

     That huge wandering introduction brings me to the meat of this blog. It relates to the recent Miners who were killed in a West Virginia mine explosion. (story) If you read public statements from Massey or see it’s officers on TV, explaining about the rescue efforts and how sorry they are, it makes you think that they might care. In fact, days after the explosion, I began to see stories pop up about Massey and all the good things that they did for charity and community. Do their words and actions match with their past conduct? What is real here?

     Since January 2009, the US Government has ordered that Massey mine to be closed on 61 occasions.(Bloomberg) The closings related to the mine ventilation violations, the very issue in these recent deaths. Prior to this tragedy, Inspectors repeatedly stated that the mine created “significant risks“. In the past year, Massey has been fined over 900K for violations. Despite these fines, they have appealed them and shown a propensity for continuing to operate the same way. A jury argument would be that they are repeatedly putting profits over safety.

     Not surprisingly, Massey’s PR department is in full swing by saying that  “the safety of our members has been and will continue to be our top priority every day”.  The statement went on to include that they would, “work in every way possible to ensure that a similar incident doesn’t happen again.” The Canada article that I am attaching also paints a picture of the CEO of Massey as combative with inspectors, lawyers and even his maid. Again, What is real?

     The saying of “What’s good for business is good for America”, has been attributed to President Calvin Coolidge. The thought behind this is the “trickle down” theory that all would benefit. After looking at lip service versus reality in the Massey mine explosion, as well as their past; perhaps it should be re-stated as “What’s good for America is good for Americans”, and maybe allowing a big business to skate by on press releases and promises is, at some point, going to generate enough publicity to make safety a real priority. What’s next, the Massey CEO,  crying during an interview on Oprah?

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