Archive for May, 2014
Ugh. I’m a troller. I guess that’s the first step of recovery, right? Admit what ails you and move on. I’ve gotten better over the past year at not wasting so much time engaging in debates with people who either don’t listen or don’t fight fair, but I’ve got a ways to go. This past week, I came across an image that sums it up pretty well.
I have to admit, I do get some enjoyment of debating the far right, exposing some of the lunacy that I see and watching the opposition back-pedal. I’ve engaged some rather famous people on Twitter ( Grover Norquist and Greg Guttfeld are two that come to mind ), and gotten direct responses in the form of text messages. I pushed the conservative button and they didn’t like it. Mission accomplished.
So exposing hypocrisy is a favorite past-time of mine. To a point. I’ve recently decided that it’s the responsibility of the Facebook page moderator to referee a fair fight, and to keep debates from digressing into personal attacks. I had to do this myself recently. A good friend I have on Facebook, Duane, whom I disagree with strongly on most issues, was misunderstood on a post that intended sarcasm, and he was exposed to a personal attack by another Facebook friend, a raging alcoholic, who attacked Duane when he didn’t know what he was talking about. I ‘unfriended’ him immediately and apologized to Duane for the behavior of this other guy. I didn’t think twice about it. Good riddance, Tom. It was embarrassing and there’s no place for it.
I had this one Facebook friend, Mark, who is perhaps the most passionate debater I’ve ever run across. Mark and I go back to high school and even though we didn’t hang out much together during those years, I think we both got some enjoyment out of sparring online. Mark’s a Tea Partier, thus limited in his weaponry of material to make a logical argument that can’t be refuted by pointing out the irony and hypocrisy of his assertions. He was an easy fish to fry as they say. He probably felt the same way about me as well. He probably thought he was roasting a liberal every time we sparred online.
But last week Mark failed miserably at moderating his page and I checked out. Some of his other friends are also raging Tea Party loons who engage in personal attacks. I’m not a big fan of that. In the past I’ve just ignored their comments, but this time I was baited into joining the debate, and then attacked by some raging idiot who doesn’t know up from down, and Mark did nothing. I’m out.
So it’s not that I don’t care for Mark, I do. He’s a good guy at heart. Terribly misguided by the partisan ‘News’ channels he watches, but none-the-less, if you needed someone to step in and do what’s right in a confrontation, Mark would be your guy. A sports fanatic with a pretty decent resume as a player himself, he’s a veritable encyclopedia of information about college football and sports in general.
It’s with some sadness that I had to disengage from the online sparring with Mark. It wasn’t as much about him as it was his inability to referee a fair, above the belt fight. I’m sure not everyone agrees with me on this, but just the same, this is my new policy. Control your ‘friends’ or else I’m out.
But such is the nature of the state of politics in the USA today. It’s horribly partisan and not very constructive. The Tea Party in particular seems like they don’t stand for anything in particular other than, “We want whatever is the opposite of what Obama wants.” I doubt that is going to sell very well in the mid-terms or the next election cycle. I’m thankful that it appears the Tea Party has been exposed for the extreme organization of hypocritical loons that it is and has no chance in the next election cycle. Republicans, moderates, may still win the day, but the party won’t be dominated by the Ted Cruz / Sarah Palin / Duck Dynasty crowd anymore, because enough time has passed that the general population doesn’t want any part of it. Thank God for that.
And speaking of God, isn’t it ironic that the flag waving fundamentalists are the ones calling you “Fucking commies, fucking socialists, fucking Nazis” on one post, and then posting about their personal relationship with God a few minutes later. I find that amusing more than anything.
In the mean time, I’ll continue to follow the words of Krugman and Reich. Sure they may have a liberal bias, but they also have PhD’s. Which is more than I can say for the Get right with God Duck Dynasty / Climate change deniers / NRA fanatic crowd. Does being right count for anything?
Have a good weekend.
It seems fitting that the last day of play at Colwood National Golf Course would be on the anniversary of my father’s passing, six years ago to the day. Colwood was an easy course, nestled in the heart of Portland’s industrial area, catering mostly to casual players who wanted to get a round of golf in and not spend a fortune. It became the course of choice for Jim Toner and I, whenever I’d visit from Seattle. I always enjoyed my visits to Portland, especially the trip over to Colwood for a round with Dad. It wasn’t fancy. It wasn’t impressive. The holes were fairly short, but not to the point of being a joke. It had its challenging holes as well. Since Dad and I didn’t talk too often on a very deep level, Colwood always represented to me a chance to hang out with Dad. For that reason alone, I loved Colwood.
In the 1980’s I had joined a golf league through my employer in the Seattle area, Boeing. I probably played 6 or 7 years and improved steadily. In High School I played on the golf team at Centennial and played JV my freshman and sophomore years, Varsity Junior and Senior years. I wasn’t great by any stretch, but I could occasionally break 80 at Glendoveer, which I’m sure made Dad extremely proud. He broke 80 a few times there, but it wasn’t that often, so he had a lot of respect for guys who could do that.
In the midst of my golf league years at Boeing, I started to take it a little more seriously and tried hard to get my handicap down. If I recall correctly, I got down to a handicap of 9 at my lowest point. And I was competitive in the league for a few years. I ended up winning the men’s first flight 2 of the years, playing against some pretty decent golfers. To make sure that isn’t over-stated, everyone gets to use their handicap, so I may have been playing for the club championship with my 9 handicap against a guy with a scratch handicap, but he had to give me 9 strokes. Anyway, golf was my thing for while there and it was fun.
On a trip to Portland, in the midst of playing a lot of golf, Dad and I took our usual jaunt over to Colwood for a round of 9 holes. I always liked playing well with Dad and then not saying much about it because that seemed to work the best. If you don’t brag about it, then he does, and it just feels that much better. On this particular day I got the putter going. Colwood is fairly short which means I could reach the greens in regulation ( I struggle to reach on par 4’s in the 400 yd range ). So I was getting on in 2 and on 2 of the first 6 holes I drained a long putt and was sitting at 2 under. I walked up the 7th fairway like “I do this all the time” and tried to contain my excitement. But Dad couldn’t contain his. I know he was trying not to jinx me, but at the same time he knew, my son is 2 under par with 3 holes to go and he knew a pretty good story was unfolding.
Then I parred 7 and 8. Was I capable of shooting a 34? Oh man, that would be a family record of some sort. The 9th hole was a short 419 yd. par 5, slightly up hill at the end. I hit a decent drive up the right side and had about 220 yds to go. My second shot I didn’t quite hit on the screws as they say, but it was straight, and about 50 yards short of the green. Up and down for a 33? That was on my mind for sure. Dad would have done cart-wheels.
I pulled out the wedge and hit a high shot a little longer than I wanted and left myself a tough down-hill putt for my birdie. Crap. Not where I wanted to be. As I straddled over my putt, I kept thinking “I’m going for it. Never up, never in”, so I hit it a little harder than I should have to make sure it had a chance and it rolled about 10 feet by. Yikes! Not a 3 putt on the last hole! Damnit!
Sure enough, I missed left on may par putt and took a bogey on 9, but still ended up with 35 for the day. Rounds under par are pretty rare for me, but this one was special because it was with Dad and I can tell you many years later, he could practically play the whole round back to me because it was still fresh in his mind. He probably remembers it better than I do.
And today is the last day of Colwood National. Sad in a way, but fitting that it’s on the same day that Dad passed away 6 years ago.