Thursday, May 22, 2008

I´ve always known I´d shoot my age someday, but I always thought that meant I´d live to 135. Today, however, I´ve accomplished it. I just didn´t know it would be on 9 holes.
We played the Platinum nine at Emerald Greens near Hastings, Minn. It wasn´t raining for the first Tuesday in two weeks, but the elements made up for it with wind. In that flat Minnesota farmland, where the only thing slowing it down is a barbed wire fence, the wind kicked up dust, fuss, and anything else. Even the birds were walking. My playing partner, Texan Ron, drawled "This isn't the worst it can do."
Platinum is the toughest and longest of the four nines at EG, with one hole at 632 yards from the blues. From the whites, the hole at 576 yards played hard, and then the fact I kept hitting it sideways really didn´t help. I don´t know whether I was lifting my head or setting up too far away or what, but I hit far too many shots off the toe.
After my drive on the big kahuna, I was right on the OB line, so whacked it toward the fairway. Grass slowed that shot down, and when I took my next shot--sure enough, away it went OB. Damn.
About the only thing that made the day any fun at all was my putting. If I could start my play on the greens, I´d have a great day. I sank 8 footers, 10 footers, even one long, twisty 30 footer; then on 9 I chipped, bounced off the flagstick with backspin that drove it right into the hole. (Of course, the swing before that I´d completely whiffed.)
So, swing thought for next week is: Keep your head still, stupid.

Thoughts about RVing with the gas price crunch: I've dreamed for years about retiring, then going on the road in a trailer or motorhome, playing golf at different places, visiting friends and families, seeing new places. Now, though, when they talk $6 a gallon gas, it gets a little trickier.

The chart at left shows how much it costs to drive 10,000 miles at different mpg and the new horrendous prices. Get 12 mpg, and with gas $3.89, it costs $3,241.67; at $5.99, almost $5,000. If you could travel at 20mpg, those same 10,000 miles would be a little less than $3,000. At that price, if your pension is $1,000 a month, one quarter of your income would be spent on fuel alone. So perhaps a little less travel will be called for.
Remember when you were a kid and left food on your plate, your mom would scold "Eat it. Don't you know children in India and China are starving?"

Well, we should have left those vittles on the plate: those children didn't starve. Instead, they grew up, and now they all want to drive one of their new status symbols. Which drives our gas price up.

Unfortunately, I cleaned my plate. So I'm looking at smaller trailers and smaller tow vehicles. The Casita 17' seems like an option, since it's got a 6'3" height, and that's exactly how tall I am.
Stay tuned.

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