Daily Archives: January 5, 2009


The Author

The Author

Golf has been on my mind quite a bit recently, displacing some things I usually think about, like, “I really should go on a diet”, and “Mm, wouldn’t a cheeseburger be delicious right now?”  The reason golf has forced its way into my frontal lobe is Bryan Fryklund’s new book, The Golf Fanatic’s Guide To Hawaii.  (In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that Bryan is my son-in-law, and that my daughter Jen Reeder took the photos that adorn practically every page of the book.)

While Bryan was writing the text,  I offered a few suggestions.  He wisely ignored them, and the result is a terrific book that is drawing a lot of attention from the media and from golf fanatics at large.  I have thoughtfully supplied a link to his blog in case you want to learn more.  You’re welcome.

Personally, I do not qualify as a golf fanatic, mostly because I am not a good golfer.  That is not false modesty — I have many witnesses who can testify to the truth of that statement.  In the right frame of mind, though, golf can be fun.  I find it helps if at least one of my playing partners is as lousy as I am.

On one occasion years ago, I was fortunate enough to be playing with an acquaintance — let’s call him Tim (since that’s his name) — who was new to the game.  He’s probably a lot better now, but back then, by the end of a round Tim would be hoarse from yelling “fore!”  He hit the ball a long way, but rarely straight — he was Strong and Wrong, you might say.

Tim lined up a tee shot and gave the ball a prodigious whack.  It immediately headed right.  Way right.  It soared over trees, out of bounds and out of sight.  We all stared off in the general direction this mammoth blast had gone.  Our playing partner, Nick LeRose, finally broke the silence.  “That ball,” he remarked, “landed in the yard of someone who doesn’t even know he lives near a golf course.”

If you have a favorite golf story, feel free to share it here.  Oh, and do yourself a favor — check out Bryan’s book.


Could this wave run your hair dryer?

Could this wave run your hair dryer?

The prospect of using ocean waves to generate electricity is, uh, currently under study.  According to yesterday’s Ventura County Star (1/4/09), a company in Washington state has applied to the feds for a permit to explore an area a few miles off the Ventura coast for that purpose.  The general idea is to employ what’s called an “oscillating water column”:  The motion of the waves pushes air back and forth in the column, spinning a turbine that generates electricity.  Presumably the electricity would get  from there to shore by a very long extension cord.

The company estimates that the Ventura site could supply up to 100 megawatts, which I would think is enough to operate every television in the county during “Dancing With The Stars”.  So, what are the possible drawbacks to such a project?  For one thing, it would mean that one more *!#*&! platform would be installed off the coast of SoCal — another navigational hazard for drunk power boaters.

Expense might be another deterrent.  Greys Harbor Ocean Energy President Burton Hamner supplied figures that suggest the Ventura site could cost in the neighborhood of $500 million.  That used to be considered a lot of money, but in 2009 dollars is merely the player payroll of the New York Yankees.  Hey — if we could get an infielder and a relief pitcher to defer salary, we might have enough money to light a stadium.  And while we’re there, let’s do the wave!