I called a friend/summer neighbor yesterday to reconnect as the long Vermont winter has turned the corner and is inching toward spring. Brian and I email occasionally but hearing the voice (and in his case, the laughter) is good tonic and well worth the effort. The words of my late friend Gordon Witteveen loom large with me: "If you don't work at relationships they soon go away." So I try to pick up the phone when the odds are good that the recipient will be relatively available. Sunday afternoo
I am fortunate to be able to spend a few months each year on a small island in the lower Bay of Fundy in eastern Canada. (Some would say I'm "lucky", but luck has nothing to do with it.)
Our home is almost at the northern tip of this 9 mile x 3 mile island, which narrows down to a 50 yard-wide peninsula topped by the Head Harbour Lightstation, a scenic lighthouse with 270 degree views of the surrounding bays. The lighthouse is a popular destination for tourists, lighthouse aficionados (of w
It's been a tough year or so for my 60-ish friends.
Last Thanksgiving long-time TurfNet member and one of my best personal friends, Jerry Coldiron, left us way too soon, at 60, of cardiac arrest.
Shortly after Valentine's Day it was an 18-year stalwart on our TurfNet hockey team, Tom Morris CGCS (ret), at 61. They thought it was the flu but turned out to be spinal meningitis, source unknown, four days soup to nuts. Went to bed and didn't wake up. Again, way too young.
We just arr
It's Sunday morning, 6:00 AM, Father's Day.
Even though the last round of the US Open will tee off at Shinnecock shortly, I'm not going to carry on about the brown greens that were broadcast around the world yesterday. I do feel sorry for Jon Jennings and his staff who have busted their humps for two years only to have it go to shit at the last minute... at the USGA's behest, I'm fairly sure. I guess they didn't learn anything from the wind-whipped forest fire on the greens there in 2004.
A few years back my wife and I attended the annual dinner meeting of the Passamaquoddy Yacht Club, of which we were new members. Sounds kind of snooty, doesn't it? Ahhh, names often belie the true nature of things.
The Passamaquoddy Yacht Club is half sailing organization and half social club. Its locale is a triangle of ports (Eastport and Lubec, Maine, and Campobello Island, New Brunswick, Canada, where our summer place is located) near the entrance to Passamaquoddy Bay, off the Bay of Fu
Laying the framework for this story requires a bit of background, so bear with me...
About three weeks ago Team TurfNet was headed for Niagara Falls, Ontario, for our 20th appearance at the Golf Course Hockey Challenge. For those unfamiliar, the GCHC is a 2-day event every January that pits 12 teams of superintendents, assistants and suppliers against one another in (usually) good-natured but serious men's-league caliber hockey. With three common threads among players -- playing hockey, wor
Yesterday was Valentine's Day, that Hallmark-perpetuated day of roses, chocolates and mushy greeting cards that gives a nice uptick to the mid-February economy. Sounds kind of cynical, doesn't it?
But no! I went whole-hog yesterday with a $6.99 greeting card (Hallmark, nothing but the best), a dozen roses, a warm cinnamon bun from the bakery, and date night by a roaring fireplace at a favorite "country French" restaurant nearby. All good, voluntary, enjoyable and meaningful.
The Golf Industry Show is a few weeks away and I thought it time to assess the event in advance, at least in my mind's eye from my perch in the cheap seats. For what that's worth.
Nobody I've spoken with is anything more than underwhelmed with San Antonio as host city. Bad memories of travel experiences three years ago -- both to and from the iced-over state of Texas -- still linger
I never made it at all. My Monday afternoon flight was waylaid and the best the airlines could do was ge
After writing a monthly column in our now-retired print newsletter (TurfNet Monthly, for those not around then) for 17 or 18 years, I sort of ran out of things of import to say on a regular basis. No sense contributing to more milquetoast, editorial drivel or fill-up-space pontification... there's plenty of that elsewhere.
Occasionally something starts the gears whirring and prompts me to sit down and write. Yesterday was one of those occasions.
I finally caught up by phone with an ol
Back in the day when Daughter B was in the college application mode, envelopes in the mail were opened with a combination of anticipation, excitement and trepidation. Unlike many of her peers who threw a dozen or more applications against the wall hoping that at least one of choice would stick, she had applied to a mere four or five.
When the letter arrived from Middlebury College here in Vermont, the opening yielded a somewhat confusing result: "We are pleased to offer you a place in the
No, not the 15 Minutes of Fame. I'm talking about the 15 minutes that create discipline in a young employee, camaraderie in a crew, a few moments of bonding with the staff for a superintendent or other supervisor.
It's the 15 minutes before work starts at the beginning of the day.
The time around the coffeepot when the games last night get reviewed, balls get busted, shit gets shot. A few moments of relaxation and anticipation before the horn sounds and the mower parade heads out.
I don't get inspired by life events too much anymore to pick up the pen and scribe a column for the "Cheap Seats" but I can't let my Monday past go without comment. It was a day (morning, actually) of irritation, resignation, conflicting feelings, awe, pride and wonderment. It was my day in court.
The story starts about six weeks ago when I received an envelope in the mail from the United States District Court, District of Vermont, with JUROR SUMMONS showing through the window. Ah, shit,
Couldn't resist sharing my Forum post...
Gotta tell you about my day so far (it's only noon now)...
Woke up at 3:00AM as is about the norm these days, squirmed for an hour then got up at 4:00 to peruse the "news" (as it were) and surf some online guitar lessons. Made my pot of coffee but must not have pushed the pot all the way back in to open up the no-drip thingy. So the coffee and grounds backed up all over the counter and down into the innards of the coffee pot (a problem wit
My parents used to drill into my siblings and me, "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything." I've taken that a step further lately with the adage, "If I don't have something meaningful to say, don't say anything." -- hence my hiatus from the Cheap Seats blog of late. But I'm back.
I was reading a book over the Easter weekend entitled When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi. Not my usual reading fare (I lean toward murder mysteries, legal and police procedurals), but w
Here's one from the TurfNet Archives, a reflection I wrote back in December of 1997 during the era when I still pretended to be a golfer... before the "four hours of frustration and embarrassment" got the best of me and I parked my sticks forever. Memory tells me it was after a trip to Alabama to visit with David Pursell and family to view the early plans for what would become Farmlinks. I can't recall the name of the golf course we played that day, but reading this again reminded me that aside
Father of the Bride is undoubtedly the best gig to have on wedding day: all pride and no pressure. August 1 of this year was one of the two proudest days of my life, as I walked Daughter A down the aisle at Old North Church (of "one if by land, two if by sea" fame) in Boston. The other proudest day was when I did the same with Daughter B in Vermont, back in October, 2013.
Prouder than my own wedding... births of the girls... graduations... starting TurfNet*? Yes. I'll explain in a bit.
This is a career case study of two individuals in very different circumstances but with one thing in common: they know what they want out of life and career.
Those of you who have hung around TurfNet for any length of time either know or know of John Colo. Passionate golf course superintendent, long-time TurfNet member who organized and orchestrated the around-the-world "Where's TurfNet" banner campaign a few years back, twin brother of a golf course superintendent (Jim, at Naples National
I didn't make it to GIS this year, a victim of two powers greater than I -- the weather and the airlines -- who consorted and conspired to befoul and befuddle my life yet again.
No, this will not be another travel rant. I have given up, raised the white flag; can't and won't fight it any more. But a word or two of explanation might be in order.
In nutshell, I arrived at Burlington (VT) airport on Monday afternoon full of expectation of another week of camaraderie and the latest in go
Reading Paul MacCormack's recent blog post about the concept of intention got me thinking... as good blog posts do. In this case, it prompted me to think of the popular concepts of luck and good fortune, and how each may or may not be related to intention.
I come from a long line of wordsmiths (writers, editors, a photojournalist, newspaper people, even a dictionary editor) who instilled in me a love of language and its various nuances. My maternal grandmother, an author of children's first
Good blog post last week, Dave. Resonated with a lot of people (over 18,000 as I write this), and I'm sure it was therapeutic for you.
Dave, we need to talk.
As we get older we look back on our lives and tend to remember the defining moments: the first girlfriend, first car, first garage band, sports triumphs (and losses), graduations, jobs, marriage and divorce, kids, dogs, grandkids, granddogs, and yes -- the death of friends and loved ones. You get the picture.
In many ways our
A favorite conversational topic of mine among my graying peers is whether or not they have a Bucket List, and if so, what's on it. I ask because I'm interested in them (the person), but also because I don't have one (Bucket List), and wonder if I might be missing something.
How can one not have a Bucket List? I touched on this in a post about a year ago, but in review, I have already checked off the major bullet points that would populate most lists:
I've been happily married to m
Here's a holiday chuckle for you:
It's no secret that I really, really don't like to travel. I don't mind being elsewhere (although home is always the best place), I just don't like the process of getting there and back. And every trip, it seems, has a story. This one has a Real Slap-Me-Upside-the-Head WTF Moment in it.
I'm not one of those who fixate on frequent flyer miles, affinity programs and all that. The LAST thing I want is a free ticket anywhere, although on second thought
I listened for years (albeit with one ear) to the adulation of the MacIntosh devotees, singing the praises of the computing system on which most of the software applications I used wouldn't work.
Every three years or so when my PC died (or was on life support), I would briefly toy with the idea of taking that plunge. But nah, couldn't justify the 3x cost compared to a PC, not to mention the learning curve and aforementioned software incompatibilities.
Not that I was ever a huge fan of M
I had fun last week. That's not an ENTIRELY unusual situation, but it was notable because it happened outside my traditional milieu.
I have worked at home for 20 years now and I like it -- to a fault sometimes -- in that I almost have to be pried loose to get me away from here (particularly if there are airports involved... but that's a whole 'nother conversation).
What's not to like? Get up when I want (usually 5-ish), work the morning in my shorts or flannel PJ bottoms and a T-shir
I'm back. Not baaaaaack... just back, from my self-imposed six-month-or-so sabbatical-of-sorts. 'Sabbatical' meaning no new projects or learning curves for awhile, sleep in (past 5:00) on occasion, take a couple hours to read a book or an afternoon snooze if the spirit moves. Take a few deep breaths... look around, regain one's bearings... hopefully emerge renewed and refreshed.
I have long said that our society should allow everyone a sabbatical at some point in their life. From Wikipedi