Archive for October, 2008
Trisha and I took a long weekend and spent three wonderful days visiting my family in Toledo. The visit included a Friday night football game, a spa session, two rounds of golf, a great early Thanksgiving feast, and a hike along Swan Creek. In addition to the slide show snippets here, there are three albums of photos in my Picasa Web Albums: one of the girls playing in the fall leaves, our walk along the creek, and a miscellaneous collection of Bailey the dog, football, golf and our return flight to Seattle. I even managed to squeeze in a quick nine holes of golf Monday afternoon after the nine-hour trip home.
My Ghin handicap index went to 14.6 with this week’s update; the lowest ever. Maybe I should stop playing now. The bad part is to keep it there I have to consistently shoot scores in the low 80’s… Not a likely development. Still, I’m happy to be at this point given that I was at 19.0 at the end of July; a year ago at this time my handicap was 16.2.
We saw the first dusting of snow on Mt. Si this morning. The overnight temperature at the house was only in the upper 30’s but the snow level was somewhere around 3700 feet so the mountain’s 4100-ft peak got a sprinkle of white. At lower elevations though it was a glorious sunny fall day.
I love fall golf… and why not! After several weeks of so-so golf I shot a devine 79 today; my second-best score ever. Four hours walking the Mt. Si course on a cool fall afternoon would have been fun in any case but a one-over par 37 on the back nine surely added to the experience. That included a birdie 2 on the 17th hole where my tee shot ended up just four inches from a hole-in-one.
Through a friend I got a chance to play the TPC Snoqualmie Ridge course today. It has been the setting of the Boeing Classic Champions’ Tour event for the past several years as well as an LPGA tournament. From the blue tees it’s one of the tougher courses in the area with a 137 slope rating. After a shaky triple bogey eight on the first hole I settled down to play bogey golf over the next eight holes for a respectable 48 on the front nine finishing with a birdie 2 on the 180-yard par three ninth. After that, let’s just say things didn’t go so well and I ended up shooting well over 100. Nonetheless, it was a lovely fall day and great fun playing a very challenging PGA-level course in a spectacular setting.
Our long-time friend and colleague, George Greenia, dropped by for a short stay and we decided to take advantage of the lovely fall day to visit the Pacific Rim Bonsai Collection. The gardens feature dozens of spectacular plants, some of them creating fantastic miniature landscapes. Of course, spending time with the esteemed professor Greenia is a treat onto itself, especially since he has recieved the Cross of Isabel the Catholic from the government of Spain for his research in the area of Spanish pilgrimages.
We were among the very first visitors on the opening day of the Lucy exhibit at the Pacific Science Center. We were surprised and ultimately delighted with the historical background about Ethiopia and the excellent explanations of the anthropological techniques involved in dating the fossils and determining Lucy’s bipedalism. The bones themselves were absolutely stunning. It’s been thirty-plus years since I sat in the classroom listening to lectures on physical anthropology but I’ve never lost interest in the area and seeing the Lucy fossils up close was a thrilling experience.
We’ve had rain every day for the past eight days and last night’s forecast included references to snow in the mountain passes for the first time this fall. Then this morning there was a hint of frost on the grass. Fall here always includes some stunning days, however. Yesterday after work I played nine holes of golf and the combination of the cool, clear air and the rays of the setting sun illuminating the rocky west face of Mount Si made for a stroll that was both exhilarating and relaxing at the same time. Oh, and I shot a 41: that’s always good for the spirit as well.
Just now as I’m writing this a big, fat raccoon waddled past the kitchen window checking to see, no doubt, if Trisha had left any of the bird feeders out for the night.