Better, but still inconsistent

I played 18 with my buddy Ronnie this morning.  My goal was to break 95 today and I got close – shot 98 (47/51).  Other than the last hole (which I will get to), I played decent – better on the front 9 than on the back 9.  I had 5 pars along with a couple of putts which just lipped out but I also had 4 triple bogeys and 2 or 3 double bogeys.

As has been my problem the last couple of weeks, my wedge play just sucks.  I have a couple of Taylor-Made wedges (a 54 degree and a 58 degree) and I think I am going to go back to my stock Sand and Lob wedges and see if they help.  I think the heavier stock clubs would benefit me as it will be tougher to decelerate which is my real my nemsis.  Today on #17, a 500 yard par 5, I am 70 yards from the green in 2 and proceed to just miss my wedge shot leaving me 50 yards from the hole.  So I did it again, leaving it off the green by about 20 yards.  I decide to bump and run a 7 only to leave it on the fringe.  2 putt for a 7 – I effective took 5 shots from 70 yards out which is just abysmal.  I seem to do this on 2-3 holes each round and it just kills my score.  I did something similar on #7 where I was 130 out in the middle of the faiway and blocked it to the right of the green.  Then I bladed the chip shot across the green into the woods.  A punched 7 iron got me back across the green again where I 2 putted.  Triple bogey.  Bleh.

MacGregor Downs 18th HoleI didn’t l lose any balls today until #18 where I dumped it into the water.  #18 is a hole which just gets in my head.  It is long carry over water and if you tend to hit a fade (like me), it makes it even harder.  On the left is a picture of #18 but you can’t see the tee which is off to the left – you hit over the lake to a landing area to the right of bridge or the landing area in the middle of the picture.  From the blue tees, it is a 220+ carry to the landing area in the middle of the picture.  I have made that shot but not very many times.  Today I tried to take the conservative approach and go for the landing area near the bridge and just hooked it bad and it went in the water by the bridge.  So what do I do?  I hit my next shot from the drop area in the water too!  A nice Hybrid 3 got me to just off the green where I hit one of my better wedges of the day and two putter for another triple bogey.

Not sure when I will play next week, maybe Friday afternoon.


Got a few holes in Saturday evening

I like this time of the year when the days are getting longer.  Saturday evening I was able to go out and get a few holes in before it was dark.  I played #6-#9, #1, #5-#7 – 8 holes (#7 is behind my house).  I had planned on just playing #6-#8 and hitting a bunch of balls but of all the nerve, there was a late group coming up #6 when I was teeing off #7 so I just kept going.  Fortunately there is a quick bypass route from #1 to #5 which brings me back toward my house.  If there had been enough light I would have played #2-#4 but it was already questionable and by the time I got back to #7 it was for all practical purposes, already dark.

As I was the other day, I was up and down, a few good shots and some really bad ones.  On the positive side, my short game was better than it was the other day but there was no real pressure either.  I was hitting some of so-so balls I find in my yard so if I hit one in the woods, I didn’t even go look for it – just hit another one.  Lazy?  I guess so but the balls aren’t very good and they were in the woods or my yard when I found them.  I left 2 or 3 out on the course somewhere.  I finished with 3 out of 4 good holes (1, 5, and 7) with pars on all three of them.  I was really happy with #1 and #7 – on #1 I hit a wonderful hybrid 4 from about 185 out to about 20 feet from the pin.  On #7 I hit a great tee shot but it was a bit left and just clipped some branches which over hang the fairfay where it doglegs to the left knocking it down.  I was about 170 from the green and hit a beautiful drawing 5 iron to within 10 feet.  Of course I missed the birdie put but was still  happy with the approach.  It flew exactly as I hoped it would.

I am going to play 18 with my buddy Ronnie on Thursday, my goal is to break 95.  I need to hit my 3 wood off the tee more than I usually do – if I can do that I think I can keep it closer to the fairway.

Mushed my Phone

I am in a bit of a quandry because I mushed my phone, a Pantech Duo.  About a week ago I had two of my girls and one of their friends with me on a hike through the Haw River Basin.  The water was up a bit so it was a lot of stepping from rock to rock as we moved down stream and it was slicker than snot.  Keeping two 8 year olds and a 6 year old from falling in was a challenge and at one point, I lost my footing and fell in the river, landing on a large submerged rock.  Fortunately my fall was broken by my phone which was in my pocket!

It doesn’t work very well any more.  Actually, it turns on but the screen is cracked and it was full of water.  Fortunately I have an older Audiovox SMT 5600 (aka HTC Typhoon, an older Windows Mobile phone) which still works so I popped my SIMM card out and put it the old phone and was off an running.  I love the simplicity of changing GSM phones – I have some co-workers who swear by Verizon but the flexibility you get with GSM is a huge benefit plus my phone works pretty much anywhere on the planet which is nice since I have to travel internationally a couple times a  year.

So now what do I do?  I miss the keyboard from the Duo more than I thought I would and my old phone is very sloooooooow.  The phone I want (Sony-Ericsson Xperia X1) isn’t out yet and I don’t know if will be available from AT&T Wireless either.  Hmmm – I wonder if I can return my phone?  I can’t recall if we have insurance on our plans or not.

Swimmer Ids

Over the weekend I have spent a lot of time thinking about Swimmer Ids.  I need a fairly flexible solution because it seems that there are a number of schemes used by teams and each is slightly different.  At least, that is the case here in TSA country.

  1. Simple numeric sequence – each swimmer is assigned a number starting at some predetermined number and incrementing from their.  This is very simple and easy to implement.
  2. Gender numeric sequence – similar to the simple numeric sequence but there is two groups of numbers, each each with a gender prefix (B, G) to ensure they are unique.
  3. Alpha numeric sequence – similar to the gender numeric sequence except each age group and gender is assigned a letter as a prefix and the swimmers within that age group are sequenced.
  4. Numeric range (this is what our local team uses) – each age group and gender is assgined a range (e.g. 7-8 girls are numbered 800-899, 7-8 boys are numbered 700-799) and the swimmers within that range are numbered starting at the lower end of the range.
  5. USA Swimming Id – this is very simple as the Swimmer Id is constructed using a format defined by USA Swimming.

If there are other scenarios, I have not observed them in the 5 years which I have been going to swim meets.  To start with I will implement the simple id (which is already done since it can use the unique database id for each swimmer) and the numeric range (since that is what we use).  The alphanumeric range should work as well since I believe I can implement both using a “alpha-numeric” prefix for each age group.

Woo-hoo! Rock Band Hall of Fame!

Yesterday afternoon my son and I got inducted to the Rock Band Hall of Fame by completing the 8 song challenge in Moscow.  Rock Band was updated a few weeks ago to allow bands who play on medium to earn more fans.  Although my son usually plays on Hard, I usually play on medium and dabble here and there with hard.  For an 8 song set, there was no way I was playing on hard!  We did well, getting 5 stars on 6 of the 8 songs and 4 starts on the other two.  We unlocked the Hall of Fame achievement which allows you to use transparent instruments, my son got a guitar and I got a bass.

Age Verification

I also committed changes which add some additional checking for the swimmers age.  I had found that some parents had missed their child’s birthday resulting in it being set to the current date and making their child 0 years old.  I added a check to compare the swimmer’s age against the minimum and maximum age (ours is 3-18) to ensure a swimmer isn’t too young or too old at registration time.

Swimmer Auto-Registration Added

Today I committed new functionality which implements a new option called Auto-Register.  Setting Auto-Register to Yes on the Swim Team Options panel causes new swimmers added to the system to be automatically registered for the current season.  This saves a step which I found many people missed anyway.  By default, this option is enabled.

It has been about a month now the MacDolphins have been using this plugin in conjunction with WordPress and everything is going pretty well.  Next thing to implement is the Swimmer ID – we need those next week for the Swimmer Open House kickoff party!

Retro-Dashboard Admin Theme updated

The other day I committed some changes to my Retro-Dashboard admin theme.  There was a wierd situation which only showed up with IE7 and since I use IE7 as my primary browser, it got to the point where it was driving me nuts.  The main DIV (wp-wrap) would move up and down by about 10 pixels depending on the focus of the cursor.  After a lot of putzing around with CSS I figured out how to make it stop.  The lastest version now behaves the same with all browsers but there is more space between the menus and the body content on IE than there is on Firefox.

Golfing in the Rain

It was supposed to be nice this morning so I set up a tee time for myself and my friend Ronnie.  With our club now offering 7:30 AM tee times (as opposed to 9:00 AM), it makes it a whole lot easier for me to get out and play on a weekday morning.  Working for a west coast based company means that it is usually pretty quiet until about 11:30 or 12:00 anyway.

We got off right at 7:30 and I started well, bogies on the first 3 holes but hitting the ball pretty well.  At #4 we had to wait for the mowers to cut the greens and this continued on every hole until #9.  This was kind of annoying and it really slowed us down and took me out of my rhythm.  From then on I played pogo golf, up and down, some good holes and some bad holes.  It started raining while we were on the #5 tee even though the weather forecast said no rain until later in the day.  Wow – the forecast was wrong again!  It wasn’t too bad so we continued on playing.  Had an awesome tee shot on the hole behind my house (#7) but missed a short putt for par.  Ended up with a 52 on the front.  Again, my wedge play is my downfall and I continue to compound mistakes with a bad shot usually leading to another one.

On the back 9 it was raining pretty solid for the first 4 holes but after that it wasn’t too bad.  I had even more of a pogo round as I pushed a number of tee shots way to the right but also parred a couple of holes, including a nice par on #17 after an awful second shot.  A great 6-iron to the green from about 170 out allowed me to 2 putt for par.  I dumped two in the water on #18 to finish with another 52 for a total of 104 – same as I shot a Pine Needles last Friday.  Ronnie crushed me, he played well and shot 88.

I was pretty wet by the time I was done but it could have been worse, I could have been at work!  All in all, a good day, it was nice to get out but I really need to work on my chipping.  I am a chronic decelerator!

Rock Band on Hard is, well, hard!

Now that I have finished the Guitar tour on Medium I have started playing on hard from time to time.  I have only played a few songs on hard but I have played about a dozen on Hard Bass when playing the band world tour with my son.  Last night we got invited to Moscow for the Hall of Fame gig but with an 8 song set, we decided to wait until this weekend to play it.

So we played some other stuff and I alternated between Medium Bass and Hard Bass depending on the song.  We played a two song random set and I gambled and went with Hard and my son says “watch out, it will be Green Grass and High Tides” and sure enough, it was!  Off we went and I was doing okay until about 60% of the way in when the tempo really kicks up and the note strings are simply beyond my capability.  I ended up failing out which caused us to die since my son didn’t have any overdrive to save me.  After that I went back to Medium and we played a couple more songs which I hit 100% on which is pretty unual for me, even on medium.  I almost always make a mistake somewhere.

I have requested a replacement Rock Band guitar from EA, hopefully that will come this week.  The one we have now really makes my forearm hurt when I play it because you have to press the strum button so hard for it to register.