Saturday, March 29, 2008

What's In the Bag?

Somebody asked me what kind of golf clubs I have...I said, "How long do you have?" I decided to go out on the back porch and take some pics of my clubs...I guess the money that I have invested kind of snuck up on me. Time for some "golf geek" stuff.

When it comes to golf clubs, I'm a mutt. I'm not entirely loyal to any one brand, but I have found Taylormade to be a great company when it comes to customer service. Nike's customer service is almost non-existent (bastards).

Here's the laundry list:

Nike Sasquatch Driver, 10 degree, with a Fujikura stiff shaft (Banzai Speeder line, Extreme Edition...don't know the specifics, but it rocks).

Nike Sasquatch 3 wood with Mitsubishi stiff flex "Diamante" shaft. This thing is more forgiving than my Chaplain, but the shaft is pretty pathetic---stock Nike junk (it's not a REAL Diamante shaft; Mitsubishi licensed Nike to make their stuff...bad move). The cool part is that I can hit a draw with this sucker and get tons of roll out of it. It would probably be easier to work the ball with a better of these days...

Taylormade 320 irons with Rifle steel shafts in stiff flex. Normal lie, and 8 through P are D +1 weighted (thanks to Gawfer for telling me about the importance of swing weight). If you look closely, you can see the marks from a vice; they got re-bent for me, which is a bad move with casted irons. Oh yeah, almost forgot, the TM guy was amazing! My boss was pissed that he didn't get to go see the guy when he came here. Life goes on.

Taylormade Rossa Lambeau 7 putter with center shaft. I never knew how much a center shafted putter helped until I tried it! The special insert on the face gives tremendous feel. (yes, that's dog hair on the rug...sorry). Putters are just something that you have to mess around with and discover...some wise dude told me that one time (name rhymes with Rob).

Nike CPR hybrid 1 iron...I used to think that a 1 iron was unnecessary and dangerous; I was wrong. I can hit that club out of lies that I can't even think about with a fairway wood, and hit it LONG.

Titleist Vokey Design, Spin Milled, "Oil Can" wedges in 56 and 60 degrees. These wedges are actually designed to rust. The more rust that builds up, the more abrasive the club face becomes, and the more spin you can impart on the ball. Great feel too, but I'm still trying to master how they work with a full swing. I love them for pitching and chipping though. This is why the old guys will always rule...they have mastered the short game.

Ogio Grom stand bag. I love this golf bag! It works great for walking or riding, and has some great features. The stand mechanism is tougher than nails, and the straps are actually comfortable. The 'Woode' club arrangement system has been a big seller for Ogio for years now, and I can see why; it just works great.

Nike One Black, and One Platinum balls. Some people think that the choice of golf ball is not important...I don't think that they could be more wrong. I've used cheap golf balls before, and was amazed when I used high end ones...they really do perform better, and give you much greater control around the greens. They also allow you to "shape" your shots, and get some decent movement on the ball. I wouldn't recommend the high end balls for players that are struggling with a slice or hook...they spin more and will REALLY slice or hook.

Oh yeah; the monkey's name is Mojo; he helps me at times with club choice and shot selection.

I used to use some "knockoff" clubs, and thought that they were fine. How wrong I was. There's really no substitute for name brand golf equipment. This is one of the areas where the money that has been dumped into research and development has truly paid off; name brand clubs are head and shoulders above the cheap stuff.

I'm still a "weekend golfer," but I've broken into the 80's (at times) and have surpassed 90% of the other weekenders. In other words, I'm a legend in my own mind!

What's in your bag?

Friday, March 28, 2008


This is an Obi that my wife made with "washi paper." This is a traditional Japanese art form, and she took a class that helped her a bit. I thought it was pretty neat. I saw some similar ones for sale at the concessions area of the PX for about 80 bucks a pop. My wife spent about four bucks on materials...capitalism is cool.

Week In Review

This has been an interesting week. It began normal enough, with me still nursing sore ribs.

Tuesday was spent at the hospital with my wife having surgery on her wrist. She's got some bitchin' new titanium hardware to get scanned at the airports! She's recovering well, and hopped up on high horsepower pain killers.

Bob got his picture taken at the obstacle course on Camp Hansen, and some of the Marines that were in the area thought it was a pretty neat idea...after they realized that I wasn't nuts.

Thursday included a "class" at the theater on our government credit card (used for travel). After 90 minutes, the only new information that I had in my possession was that B of A is going away, and Citibank will be the new provider. That was an hour and a half of my life that was wasted, and I'll never get it back. How nice. Knowing that, I wonder if Citi's stock will go up?

Today we had company PT. My ribs told me that I should have just gone to the gym and taken a leisurely ride on the bike. I decided to go on the run...I don't recommend that to anyone. As one of my past mentors was fond of saying, "There's a fine line between hard and stupid."

Tomorrow, I have a wedding to attend, and some Bob roaming to do. Sunday is up in the air.

How was your week?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

More Bob

More Bob? I don't know if you'll see more Bob here or not.

What I do know is that Bob now has his own blog. You can check out all of his adventures at Chronicles of Bob.

In fact, we intend to do some "roaming" today. Who knows where we'll end up?

Bob's latest picture is courtesy of RND at Maybe It's a Mango. RND is a pretty sharp guy, and I think his blog will be something to watch.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Iraq War Anniversary

Well, the anniversary of our invasion of Iraq has arrived, and the earth is still turning, the sun still rose, and the birds are still singing. What a shock.

It would seem that the "hordes" of protesters haven't had much effect yet, and I doubt that they will. Of course, it IS possible that the President will emerge from the White House, see a few hippies with poorly worded protest signs, and say, "You're right hippies; I think we'll go ahead and give up in Iraq." I'm not going to bet in favor of that though; it just doesn't seem likely.

Five years ago, I was crossing the border from Kuwait into Iraq as a member of an infantry platoon with 1st Marine Division...what a great time that was. This anniversary brings back memories, both good and bad, that I hadn't thought much about since, well, probably this time last year. Yes, there are indeed some good memories from that time, most of which revolve around coming home.

I had read that there were going to be massive protests here in Okinawa by various left-wing groups, but it just hasn't happened. Thankfully, when protesters do materialize here in Okinawa, they're very courteous and polite. I'm not going to lose any sleep over protesters, since there's always one group or another protesting something.

It's odd how a date that marks the anniversary of a significant event in our history is often used by some as a political tool...kind of like a couple of former Presidents at a famous funeral a couple of years ago...

Monday, March 17, 2008

Where's Bob?

Should be pretty easy to tell where Bob is in this one...

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Chronicles of Bob

This is Bob. I'm going to do the "roaming gnome" thing with Bob. I think I'll post pictures of Bob in various spots here in Okinawa, and those that have been here can guess where he's at...

If I take any trips anywhere, Bob will go along...unless he ends up being too damned tall (quite possible; he's a tall sumbitch).

UPDATE: Since the idea of documenting Bob's travels here in Okinawa seems to have struck a chord with certain people, I've decided to give Bob his own blog. You can see his humble beginnings here.

Why You Being Vicious?

I'm on day seven of not smoking....and hating the hell out of it. I'm ready to choke my wife, my children, my dog, the neighbors, my van (not sure how to choke a van, but I can probably figure it out), and just about anyone that strays into my view.

This situation reminds me of a story...from when I was a Drill Instructor at Parris Island....

Once upon a time, I was a new DI working for a Senior Drill Instructor (SDI) that had a bit of a speech impediment. He was unable to pronounce the "B" sound..."b"s came out as "v"s. Hence the word "vicious."

My boss would often come out of the "DI Hut," and say something along the lines of "I don't know why recruits is vein' vicious..." and then go away. The recruits would get all jazzed, talking about how "the Senior said we're vicious...we ROCK dude!" I, of course would torture them...I mean train them...for speaking in such a familiar way about the SDI.

It wasn't until very late in the training cycle that I finally clued them in that "vicious" was "bitches."

Buncha vicious....hehehehehe

Nectar of the Gods

Huevos Con Chorizo is one of my favorite dishes....I first tried it as a punk teenager when I went camping with some other punk teenagers. I've been hooked ever since.

If you've never tried it, you're truly missing out on a wonderful culinary experience. Go buy some chorizo, fry it up (after pulling it out of the crap that it's packaged in), and mix in some eggs.

Chorizo is like gravy; you can't go wrong with it.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Just for S & G's

This doesn't really pertain to anything, but I found it endlessly amusing...

Does Your Job Suck?

Your job probably doesn't suck as bad as these folks' jobs...

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Lockdown Lifted...Sort of

The "lockdown" here in Okinawa (see previous post) has been reduced. Civilians and dependents (family of military members) now have absolutely no restrictions, and can go out in town as they please.

Military personnel can now enjoy off-base liberty until 2200 each night. A curfew is in effect from 2200-0500 each night. In addition, military personnel are not allowed to consume alcohol at off base establishments (with the exception of those residing in off base quarters).

This is a huge improvement, but still a bit restrictive, since many of us enjoy having a cold one at many of the local restaurants and Karaoke bars.

I'll take what I can get though.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

"Lockdown" Continues in Okinawa

The U.S. Marine that was accused of raping a 14 year old Okinawan girl has been released uncharged.

In my book, he's still a creep, since he admitted to holding her down and forcibly kissing her. No word on what else might have taken place, or whether or not either of them has a history of this type of behavior.

In the meantime, U.S. forces in Okinawa are still restricted to base (including family members). This "period of reflection," as it is being called, will be reevaluated by the Commanding General on Monday. No word about the likelihood of the restrictions being lifted.

If I were a betting man, I would guess that the overall restriction will be lifted, but that a curfew of some sort will remain in place.

There is a huge outcry among those that would blame the Marine Corps for this whole mess, while they ignore the fact that other branches have had serious incidents here as well. One look at the USAF DUI rate here would be enough...

As far as the local populace, the average Okinawans don't seem all that excited about any of this. Many business owners are in a huff over the loss of business that the restrictions are causing, but that's about it. A minority of anti-Americans here are almost pissing themselves with glee over the current situation, but that's to be expected. The usual crowds are still gathering, with the same poorly written signs, outside the gates of a few bases.

The Japanese media is spinning this the way one would expect the media to spin it: "All of the woes in Japan are the fault of America." I guess they can't be bothered to report that teenage girls are much more likely to be assaulted by an Okinawan than by an American.

I still think that Okinawa is a great place with a very low crime rate. It's a shame that a few bad apples (from both Okinawa and America) are doing their best to spoil it for the rest of us.

As far as being restricted to base, it's an inconvenience, nothing more. I miss my favorite restaurants in town, but I can wait...