Saturday, July 04, 2020

What's in the Bag?

I have been watching more golf videos.  Between that, practice and tips, my swing is starting to improve and be a little more consistent.  Caleb mentioned yesterday that he noticed I was not finishing my swing.  I will have to take more time to consider end position.  Shifting my weight forward helped a ton and I did not top a ball the entire round.

As I am still a gear junkie, I am constantly thinking about what is in the bag.

(1) Putter - Ping Sigma G Anser Platinum (35")
(2) 58° - Spalding Utility Wedge (?)
(3) 49° - Callaway Rogue AW (35")
(4) 44° - Callaway Rogue PW (35.75")
(5) 39° - Callaway Rogue 9 (36")
(6) 34.5° - Callaway Rogue 8 (36.625")
(7) 30° - Callaway Rogue 7 (37.25")
(8) 26° - Callaway Rogue 6 (37.625")
(9) 23° - Callaway Rogue 5 (38.25")
(10) 20.5° - Callaway Rogue 4 (38.875")
(11) 19° - Callaway Rogue Hybrid 3 (40.5")
(12) 10.5° - Titleist TS2 Driver (45.5")

I had been actively on the lookout for some new wedges and I may follow through on that.  If I got serious, I would go into Golf Galaxy or PGA Superstore for a wedge fitting.  On the complete opposite end of the scale, I would grab a few from Play It Again Sports to smack the ball around with.  I would like to fill the gap between my 49° and my 58° wedges.

On the other end of my bag, I would like to incorporate a fairway wood.  I really enjoy my hybrid and I am making some progress with the driver.  The gap between 10.5° and 19°  I would likely fill with:

TS2 - 3 Wood 15° 43" - $299
Ping 410 - 3 Wood 14.5° (Adjustable +/- 1.5°) 43" - $259
Cobra  Speedzone - 3 Wood (Adjustable 13° to 16°) - 43.25" - $279
Callaway Rogue - 3 Wood 13.5° (43") - $199

At this end of the bag, I would definitely need to spend some time in the simulator to see what club feels the best.  In the meantime, I might just throw my old Triumph 3 wood in the bag to see how often I swing it during a round.

I can do whatever I want, but the rules of golf state that a player can only carry 14 clubs.  Players all have a putter, driver, 2-3 (hybrid/fairway/long irons)  6 irons (4-9), 3-4 wedges.  The obvious trade off is whether to carry 4 wedges or 3 clubs between the driver and the 4 iron.  Down the road, it will be a fun little problem to consider.

I will get a pair of golf shoes and a new bag at some point as well.

Aeris 300XT

Because I dive infrequently, it feels like I have to relearn how to assemble my scuba gear and use my computer every time.  


Assembling my gear is relatively easy and I usually just watch a youtube video as a refresher.  The thing that gets me every time is which way the yoke faces.  The knob is on my right side and O-ring faces the diver.  Attaching my regulator leaves my gauge and primary regulator on my right side and my BCD hose on my left side.

Aeris 300XT

The Aeris 300XT has lots of bells and whistles, but my primary usage is turning it on and monitoring my dive time, max depth and water temperature.


SURF MAIN - Surface Interval or time since activation, dive number, operating mode (normal or technical)

ALT 1 - Max Depth, elapsed dive time

ALT 2 - Time of Day, temperature, altitude level

ALT 3 - Only if Nitrox

FLY/DESAT - Fly Time / Desat Time

PLAN - Complicated

LOG - Last 24 Dives

SET - Set Operating Mode, Gas, Alarm, Utilities, Time

HIST - History

History 1:  56 hours, 27 dives
History 2:  88 feet max depth, 9:59 longest dive time?
History 3:  61 degrees F lowest temperature at Altitude L2

ID - SN Identification 

R1B (Firmware Level)
01139 (Serial Number)

Enters Power Saver Mode after 10 minutes of no button clicks

New Equipment

I have considered getting a wrist computer for traveling.  Then I could leave my regulator at home and just travel with my mask, snorkel, fins and computer.  Currently I travel with only mask and regulator, but since switching to a Safe Second Inflator, I would have to bring my BCD along to have a secondary air supply

Tuesday, June 30, 2020


After all of our summer plans were scuttled in an effort to support community health, we did a staycation to Durango.

Thursday - Drive to Salida, check into the Amigo Motor Lodge (great little accommodations), dinner at Moonlight Pizza and Brewpub, walked along creek

Friday - Went for a run in Salida, checked out the Salida Gun Shop which had new Colt Pythons available for $1500, breakfast from McDonald's, drive towards Durango (stopped at several job sites), stopped in Pagosa Springs and had lunch at Ramone's (Mexican), checked into Residence Inn, walked to Dinner at the Dandelion Cafe

Saturday - Went for a run in Durango, drove through Mesa Verde National Park, drove to Purgatory, "panned for gems", stopped at Honeyville for samples, stopped at Subway for lunch, walked through train museum in town, picked up dinner from Siam Sizzler

Sunday - Went for a run in Durango, went on veterans raft float putting in at 9th street and getting out at Santa Rita park, lunch at Grassburger, looked into ziplining, played disc golf at Fort Lewis College, picked up Indian food for dinner

Monday - Went for a walk in Durango, drove to Joyful Journey Hot Springs (north of Saguache), lunch at Simple Eatery in Buena Vista, drove home

Rafting and the Mesa Verde were certainly the highlights of the trip.  We did play basketball and tennis, but did not go fishing.  The accommodations were nice and it was fun to travel with another family.  The girls enjoyed going to the pool and I only had to get in once.  I tried to swim a few laps, but it is tough on an 11 yard pool.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Titleist TS2

I ended up making good on my decision to pick up a new driver.  We were out running errands and while the family was at Barnes and Noble, I stopped by Golf Galaxy to find my desired driver on sale.  I talked briefly with the sales person to make sure I had the more forgiving driver, with a standard flex shaft and 10.5 degrees of loft.  I elected to have it re-gripped with the CP2 Pro Midsize Grip.  It came with a head cover as well.

Swinging it today reinforced my decision.  Aside from one hit when I got underneath the ball, it felt as good as I remembered.  I do not have a long drive, but it felt good in the hand and was remarkably consistent.  I brought my old driver out with me just for grins and the distance was comparable, but the feel was much better.

Three generations of drivers pictured.  My original purchased used in 1994.  My upgrade purchased around 2001-2002 and my new driver.  I knew the head was bigger.  I did not realize how much bigger until I placed them side to side.

My gold accoutrements are nearly complete.  I would like to get some golf shoes.  If I work on my short game more, I will likely get a set of wedges.  I think I will forego getting a new bag.

In terms of wedges I am currently playing
Callaway Rogue PW 44 deg
Callaway Rogue AW 49 deg
Spalding Pro Series Utility Wedge 58 deg

As a tester, I might just grab a sand wedge to fill out my existing wedges.  Leaning towards a Titleist Vokey Design SM8 Wedge 54 deg, F grind with 14 deg of bounce ($159).  Alternatively Callaway Jaws MD5 54 deg, W grind with 12 deg of bounce and a steel shaft ($159).

Thursday, June 04, 2020

Relaxing of Social Distancing Day 81

My local community has started to open up without a reported uptick in illness.  Of course the news cycle is now dominated by the tragic killing of George Floyd on May 25, 2020.  I am hesitant to use the term murder as that is a legal judgement.  It is unfortunately easy for me to ignore the ills of society from the confines of privilege.  

The transition to summer has my kids moving from remote learning to remote summer programs.  They are learning Adobe Illustrator and my older one still takes Zoom voice lessons.  Relaxing of social distancing also means the kids are playing with the neighbors again as well as small group play dates with families we know well.  

Without live all day camps, the kids are getting more creative.  We have acquired a badminton net and an inflatable pool over the last few weeks.  Both have been a big hit.  We even set up a table tennis net on our dining room table.  That has been surprisingly fun.  The old standbys still include Youtube surfing and Roblox.

My wife and I are still employed and working remotely.  I have been really busy, but that is the ebb and flow of my project cycles.  My wife's work has been steadier and she has bore more of the burden of feeding the kids and running the household.

We have been carrying out more frequently from the restaurants that survived the economic trials of the past few months.  We have picked up as well as taken advantage of meal delivery services like Uber Eats and Grub Hub.  I understand that live seating is available, but I have not missed the live dining out experience.

We still have not done any live non-grocery shopping and Home Depot.  I have been calling Bicycle Shack weekly to get my daughter a new bicycle for her birthday, but their inventory trickles in slow and disappears fast.

It is amazing how few products are still made in the United States.  Our supply lines have become efficient to the point that they are no longer resilient to minor bumps, much less major disruptions.  The dependence on overseas manufacturing have led to a tremendous increase in US quality of living.  Mobile devices are commonplace.  Clothing is so cheap, it can be discarded several times a season.

Livestock and agriculture are a weird anomaly.  The consolidation in the industry has led to driving down wages and working conditions.  The result is jobs that are only attractive to immigrants (legal and illegal).  Those same individuals are working without health care or paid time off resulting in a petri dish of disease.  The distribution of meats and vegetables are even more odd.  I see reports of farmers spoiling crops, dumping milk and not being able to send their livestock to slaughter houses.

As social distancing relaxes, I expect people to drive more and raise gasoline prices.  People will start flying again.  The environment may suffer as fossil fuel consumption rises, but oilfield jobs should come back as it becomes economically viable to extract oil from United States soil.

Friday, May 01, 2020

Social Distancing Day 46

It is hard to believe that it has been over 6 weeks of social distancing in Colorado.  The nation continues to suffer with tragic loss of life compounded by financial insecurity.  Over 30 million Americans have filed for unemployment.  For those who had health care through their employer, they have lost health care as well.  Some families who could have worked are struggling to find child care as schools and camps have been canceled.

Just as a rising tide raises all ships, an ebbing tide exposes all the jagged rocks below the surface of great societies.  $2.5 trillion have been printed and pumped into the US economy.  The federal government purchased 77 million barrels of American-made crude on March 19, while energy companies furloughed workers.  That oil would have negative value on April 20 as the world is awash in oil with the pandemic freezing consumption and producers unwilling to turn off the spigot as future production may not be as robust.  Bail out after bail out to select industries and large corporations improves their balance sheets and will allow the stock market to recover some time in the future.  It does nothing for GDP. 

I have been asking myself what the new normal looks like.  Shaking hands will seem as odd as checking your firearms at the door.  Shared resources such as swimming pools, gyms and trampoline parks will be seen as hot beds of germs as nefarious as the bath houses of San Francisco in the 1980's.  Individuals will again be doing their own hair and nails.  Spectator sports, concerts and theater will no longer be viewed in person but streamed live.  The fate of public and private education has yet to be decided.

A person's home will truly become their castle.  There will be grain stores to survive the long winter.  There will be fortifications, as police and fire may not be fully funded.  There will be tools and building materials on hand, whether that be a lathe or a 3D printer to keep everything in the home running.  There will be tutors (operating remotely) for the children.  First aid and primary care will be provided in the home (the doctor will only be called for emergency care).  Organized religion will be replaced by some icons and the family book of worship.

My own life has changed little.  My wife and I are still employed and working remotely.  My kids are old enough to manage their classwork without assistance.  I have gym equipment at home.  I do miss the social support network provided by 12 step groups.  I watch a lot more television.  I eat more.

We have carried out food (4) times in 6 weeks.  Pizza from Mossino's  Pizzaria, Arvada Villa Italia, Tokyo Joe's an Dunkin Donuts.  I do not know when we will go to a buffet.  We still get DIY meal kits from the likes of Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, etc.  We have been more thoughtful about shopping.  We go to King Soopers or the Buckley Commissary once a week.  We go to Costco once a week.  We have an accurate accounting of food in the house.

We have made the house more habitable.  Typically we would leave the house for work or entertainment.  Over the past 6 weeks, we have set up (4) "home offices."  We have played badminton in the backyard, we have gone on bike rides on the trails, we have played catch.  The kitchen is organized, office supplies are organized, our possessions are being pruned to the essentials while the remainder is sold or donated to the community.  We are in the market for an air hockey table.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Tool Storage

Husky 46 in. W 9-Drawer, Deep Tool Chest Mobile Workbench in Gloss Black with Hardwood Top

46 in. W 9-Drawer, Deep Tool Chest Mobile Workbench in Gloss Black with Hardwood Top


I think I am going to finally break down and get some descent tool storage.  This has not been an issue the past decade as I have slowly accumulated tools, but used them fairly infrequently.  My tools are stored in the garage and the basement and currently occupy 2 plastic totes (power tools and items), 2 soft tool bags (hammer, pliers, wrenches, screwdrivers) and 1 metal tool box (materials, fasteners, misc).  Finding them is not too difficult as I am the only one that uses them and I can troll through my containers to find what I need.

By storing them all in one place, I will free up storage inside the house and have a dedicated work space.  If I continue to do home projects, this will be a huge help.  I considered mechanics tool boxes, but do not have that much stuff.  I also considered work benches without drawers, but am really not saving that much money.

Maybe I will put this on my Father's Day wishlist.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Social Distancing Day 12

Well the world has certainly changed in a week.  The United States now has the highest rate of Covid-10 infections in the world.  Governors have worked closely with public health officials to lay out a consistent message.  Meanwhile the Federal government has continued to muzzle the CDC to ensure that no blame falls on the current administration.  At days end, it still comes down to individuals taking responsibility for their communities and minimizing the risk of transmission by tried and true methods of social distancing and frequent hand washing.

With universities out for the remainder of the year and hiring frozen, an unfortunate demographic of 18-24 year old men and women are caught with no place to be.  Travel home come in close contact with family members who may have pre-existing conditions or otherwise at risk of viral infection.  Go on spring break to the beaches or mountains.  Become social isolated shut-ins.

Our household had a somber spring break.  Rather than the cacophony of cousins romping about Florida, we stayed put.  We went on walks in open spaces and did crafts indoors.  We dusted off video games and board games.

Personally, I have found a way to be productive working remotely.  I have been able to exercise regularly with carefully curated gym equipment accumulated over the years.  We have stocked grocery stores and have been eating at home rather than eating out a few times per week.

It is hard to say what will become of the businesses and restaurants we frequent.  How long can owners pay their staffs in the absence of revenue?  Will monthly subscriptions like gym memberships end?