Tag Archives: me

WireLESS Days

Just a heads up. I haven’t forgotten about this blog. The wireless on my computer is on the fritz, so I’m living in a mostly Internetless world these days. I still have my iPhone. (Posting from it.)

This situation is interesting and refreshing. General observations.

1) Having an iPhone is crutial, but my tolerance for it’s capabilities is limited. It is good for reading email, Twittering, and passive web browsing. It falls short as an efficient way to read news and blogs. And I can’t do research or collaborative wordprocessing on it.

2) Not having the daily temptation to “keep up” with RSS feeds, managing my inbox, updating my groups in TweetDeck, etc. feels awesome. The time freed up by not having to do these things is enlightening as to (1) what I need a computer for and (2) what I think I need a computer for. Less than I thought!!

3) Although I’ve grown to dislike texting and instant messaging because they are pesky and often abused for idle entertainment between people with nothing better to do, not having a computer to iChat makes me realize the subtle scheduling “lubrication” that IMing provides. Deciding dinner is easier when I’ve kicked around a few ideas via AIM than when I’m already at the grocery store.

Hopefully the wireless will be resolved soon. I’ve got a few good posts I’d like to write.

Follow Up on Friending vs Following

The first time I joined Twitter I followed way too many people that I didn’t know and businesses that I wasn’t interested in. This led to me being overwhelmed with five to ten tweets every minute! This made Twitter too unidirectional for me. I couldn’t keep up nor did I care to keep up.

In my previous post I mentioned that one of Twitter’s advantages is that a user can follow another user without first having to be accepted. That is one of the advantages of Twitter that gives it such potential.

On three occasions this weekend I’ve heard celebrities profess how great Twitter is for them because it allows them to speak directly to their fans. These are the celebs that have hundreds of thousands of followers. They tweet and we receive. No PR interference. No media misquoting. No interference. Thus we see the usefulness of Twitter on the large scale.

What about the rest of us? What I have to say is rarely (if ever) funny, informative or interesting beyond my close circle of friends. I tweet simply because I can. Because I like to create little things, and Twitter allows me, as a busy person, to feel like I’m adding to the web. It’s that simple. I don’t care if I’m followed. It’s just me, and maybe you. But mostly me. That is why I have made a point to, with a few exceptions, follow only those people who I have met in “real life.” At least their uninteresting tweets may fall within my universe from time-to-time.

What does that say of the difference between me following someone and me friending them? My following people on Twitter who I know would accept my friend request on Facebook lessens the difference. And thus, we see both a further similarity and another difference between twitter and Facebook. As a non-celebrity I live a small life, both offline and online. I don’t need to be followed by non-friends. I don’t need to follow them. Thus my Twitter universe is roughly equal to my Facebook universe. They’re both at a place where I can be invested without feeling overwhelmed. They are both a two-way conversation between me and my followers/friends.

The celebrity Twitter experience is far different. It’s simply a megaphone for them. They have headphones to hear what others are tweeting, but hundreds of thousands of followers create too much static to be heard. It’s like I experienced with my first Twitter account. It made me give up because I was looking at it wrong.

There’s a lot to think about here. Pretty interesting. A big future for both companies.

Advice to Myself

I posted this on a blog I wrote back in 2005 titled, “The Idle Hour.”

Sleep.
Don’t eat too healthy.
Sing in the shower.
Have fun, but work hard and don’t mix the two.
Raise your hand.
Ask questions.
Remember names.
Watch a TV show religiously.
Read books and magazines.
Stay clean.
Take a big risk from time to time.
Don’t forget how good home is.
Learn to depend on others, but don’t trust everyone.
Be moved by music.
Love someone.
Be foolish.
Don’t be fake.

Let’s see how I’m doing now, nearly four years later.

I rarely get the recommended amount of sleep, which, depending on source, varies. But I don’t feel tired and I seem to function well during the day.

I definitely don’t eat too healthy. Back when I wrote this I was downing about two burritos, four PopTarts, five cans of Diet Pepsi, countless cups of coffee, and a healthy amount of junk food – daily. Needless to say I gained a little weight. Not too much, but enough so that I didn’t fit into a pair of pants I bought in college. An odd feeling, but being young, it didn’t slow me down. I eat better now. I haven’t succumbed to the protein rich (enjoyment low) diets that some of my male friends endure for bigger muscles. (Really, how much muscle does it take to read and type!). It’s all about moderation.

I sign in the shower, but my true source of creative movement relief is dancing in the car while driving. Just give me XM channel 20 (Top 20 pop songs) and pump up the volume. I honestly think I might have some moves to show off that people would want to see. However, put me on the floor of a dance club and I will stand there frozen. I believe this is a comfort zone issue!

I have fun and I work hard. That’s pretty much how you have to approach law school if you want to survive.

I have not raised my hand enough in the past few years. It’s intimidating and often opens a can of worms. To my knowledge no one has died from raising their hand to date. I’m making a concerted effort to speak more in my classes this semester because my class sizes are smaller (six to 15 students) and the silence kills me.

Ask questions. Ditto.

I’m still horrible at remembering names. I need to work on this. I can meet someone, go through introductions, and then literally immediately forget what they said. It’s a “being present” issue, I believe. My mind is actually ahead of the moment in time thinking of something about which to converse. Definitely need to work on this.

I watch a lot of TV shows religulously. This has never been a problem and never will be. However, and this is a contradictory statement, TV is very take it or leave it for me. Not necessarily because I don’t care to see a show, but because there are so many ways to time shifting my shows.

I read a lot for school, which I don’t count as reading. Reading, for me, is more like reading something I got from Amazon or an actual bookstore. Reading, for me, is something of which I don’t do enough.

I’m clean. Except, now, I don’t like washing my jeans. Ever. It’s just not right to wash denim. Otherwise, I’m very clean and organized.

I don’t take enough big risks. This is partly tied to decisions. I need to develop a personalized approach to dealing with difficult problems more efficiently. Then take the risks without regret. I’m specifically thinking about the company I need to get off the ground with my sister. It’s been put off for too long.

Home is amazing. I have not forgotten. Nor will I ever. Traverse City is home. It’s both the same and very different every time I return. (This reminds me of the Benjamin Button quote.)

I think I have learned to depend on others. This line from above is my least favorite. It makes me seem like I was wronged at the time by someone or something. Perhaps I felt that way because of the chaos at work at the time. But honestly, no one has ever really ruined my trust in them. The best thing I can take out of this is, perhaps, that I need to develop a tougher skin.

I am more moved by music than ever before. I’m green, uninformed and at timed aloof to trends in music. However, it can be powerful, funny, fun, happy, rad, etc. You name it…

Love someone. Love someone. Love someone.

Someone close to me said recently that I’m too serious. It was seconded by another person. So, perhaps I have some work to do on being foolish, letting loose, and enjoying the present for what it is. I suppose my worrying negates any foolishness points gained by car dancing.

Don’t be fake. This is something that comes with age. Although I will say this. That the pressure to assimilate sways. As a teenager I wanted to fit in (to an extent – I was not desperate for attention). To be the same was not something that concerned me. I wanted to do well. To be good. Now, however, assimilation means, for example, not writing a blog entry that will hinder my job prospects should a prospective employer read it. I hate that. To me that is censorship of my expression. It is a harsh reality of the life I am currently in pursuit of. Somehow, there has to be a balance between not being fake and not screwing myself over. I’m not there yet, so mark this one down as still working.

Early Morning Rounds

I haven’t had the opportunity to play an early morning round of golf in a long time, but boy do I miss it. There is just something about the chill in the air, the uninterrupted dew on the fairways and greens, and the empty course waiting to be played that makes for a peaceful morning. Dodging the mowers can be tricky, but fun.

My penchant for early morning rounds likely developed during my junior golfing days. At the young age of ten or eleven I started competing in nine-hole tournaments at local golf courses. The courses donated (I presume) early morning course time to the Traverse City Junior Golf Association for us to compete. And compete we did, once a week through the summer. There were usually about eight or ten tournaments, which worked out to one per week. Just enough to establish a competitive season without being too great a burden on our parents, who got us to the course at obscenely early hours.

Later, high school golf tryouts started at 6am and ran all week. Needless to say, it was a very tiring week. High school tournaments were usually played early, too. And there were always too many pranks to be played and fun to be had to get to bed early.

So, through all of this nostalgic wandering is the reason I like playing early in the morning. It gives me a reason to think back on my childhood when I had trouble falling asleep because I was so exciting and nervous about the next mornings nine-hole tournament. That feeling never went away, and to this day, I still get butterflies in my stomach when I tee up my Titleist on the first tee and take those stiff practice swings.

One Shot to Impress

Imagine that you are in the following situations with only one swing – one shot – a single attempt to impress. What shot do you hit?

Your significant other is watching you hit balls on the range for the first time?
Driver

You’re on the first tee with your potential boss. He just duffed it.
Modest 2 iron

Tiger Woods, strolling by casually, is watching. He needs a pro-am partner.
Smooth 6 iron.

You are leading by one at THE PLAYERS Championship teeing off on 18.
Hard driver.

Your golf pro starts hitting balls next to you on the range.
Smooth 7 iron.

Your best ball partner shows up after you talked up your (rusty) game all week at the office.
Hit the putting green!

Phil Mickelson shows up at the practice green next to you and starts hitting flop shots.
A higher flop shot!

You’re having a chipping contest with your dad in the back yard.
Low sand wedge.

It’s interesting to think of when you want to impress, show off skill, or ensure a solid shot. What would you do in these situations? Do you have any good ones of your own?

Why Golf is the Best of All Games

In a letter written to Owen Fiss by philosopher John Rawls about a conversation he had with Harry Kalven, Rawls highlights six reasons why baseball is the best of all games. Here are the reasons offered and why golf may just be a better game.

First: “The rules of the game are in equilibrium.”

This is a difficult point to dispute in favor of golf because of the increased distance and performance provided by high tech golf equipment. Whereas in baseball, a wooden bat and leather ball are standard year-to-year and decade-to-decade. The advancement of golf equipment is out-pacing many of the courses (for professionals).

Second: “The game does not give unusual preference or advantage to special physical types.”

With the steroid controversy looming over Major League Baseball, there seems to be some concern that “bigger IS better.” Power is becoming a dominating factor in both baseball and golf, however, for golf pure power is less of an advantage than in baseball. Power in golf is only one element of moving the ball from point A to point B. Directional control is equally important, and much harder to master.

Thus, the game of golf gives less of an advantage to special physical types, although it does favor power.

Third: “The game uses all parts of the body.”

I’ve heard people all my life tell me that golf is not a sport. People have their reasons for saying this, including that there isn’t enough movement, no physical contact, and rarely do golfers break a sweat unless the temperature is high.

Golf is the most athletic of games. The ability to strike a golf ball solidly is almost as or as difficult as hitting a baseball thrown by a pitcher at 90 MPH. Only when the golf swing is viewed in slow motion do you realize just how involved every part of the body is. Look at a professional players’ impact position. It’s very athletic looking.

Fourth: “All plays of the game are open to view.”

Baseball is a clear winner in this category. No matter if you are watching golf on TV or live in person, you will not see every shot on the course or even every shot of a single player.

The suspense in golf is built shot by shot over four days until the Sunday roars weigh heavy on the players walking the course. Nothing is in view, and that is part of the excitement.

Fifth: “Baseball is the only game where scoring is not done with the ball, and this has the remarkable effect of concentrating the excitement of plays at different points of the field at the same time.”

Every player’s ball has the potential to change the outcome of the tournament. Unlike basketball or football, the focus isn’t on a single ball. Like baseball, there are multiple points of focus that may or may not be simultaneously altering the outcome of the competition.

Sixth: “There is the factor of time, the use of which is a central part of any game. Baseball shares with tennis the idea that time never runs out, as it does in basketball and football and soccer.”

Like baseball, there is no factor of time in golf. In certain golf formats, E.g., matchplay, time can be a strategic tool. In both baseball and golf the viewer and players know what marks the end, but don’t necessarily know when it will come. The advantage of the lack of time is that more focus is placed on the actual play than on working against time.

Two great games.

Me the Fan of Golf

The World Golf Championship Accenture Match Play is this week. Match play, for those of you who don’t know, is essentially heads up golf. Instead of trying to shoot the lowest score, golfers go head-to-head. The winner of the match moves on. Think March Madness college basketball format.

I filled out a bracket and selected Tiger Woods to win the entire tournament. He did so in 2004 and 2005, but has come up short in the last few years. You can follow my selections and comments on the tournament at my Yugflog golf blog.

Yugflog, by the way, is “Golf Guy” spelled backwards. Now you know.

History and Hiatus

I’m at that point with Savechris.com where I want to delete everything and start over. I’ve been blogging for a few years now, as you’ll read below. I’ve never been able to stay on point or be happy with any one for very long. Deleting and starting over is easy with a tumble-log because most of the content is unoriginal.

With that said, here is a brief history of my blogs. I won’t be blogging for awhile.

Misconceptions

I’ve had several blogs over the years, none of which has stuck around that long. I started on Google’s Blogger with a blog titled, “Misconceptions.” It was a personal blog that was not focused on any particular topic. The only thing it did was accentuate how weird I can be from time to time. Some of the posts from that blog were adapted for a blog I wrote for Ruckus Network. I wrote under the alias Cyclops, a cartoon character developed by the production team. That didn’t last very long, either.

Yugflog.com

After ceasing blogging on “Misconceptions,” I purchased Yugflog.com, which I still own. Yugflog is “golf guy” spelled backwards. I started blogging about my personal endeavors on Yugflog, and did so off an on for nearly a year before turning it into the all golf blog that it is now. The thing is, I’m not crazy about blogging about only golf and thus my posting is sporadic at best.

SaveChris.com

I purchased Savechris.com during the summer of 2006 before I started law school. I wasn’t completely sold on going to law school at the time, so I bought Savechris.com thinking I would enact a “get rich quick scheme.” Thus, the “Save Chris” in Savechris.com was not initially meant to be “Stuff that Chris Saves,” but rather, “Save Chris from Law School.”

Preparing for My iPhone

I ordered an iPhone and it should arrive on Friday. I’ve been working feverishly (relatively speaking – it is holiday break) to prepare my sync-able data for the iPhone.

I beefed up my Address Book, which included downloading v-cards from LinkedIn and categorizing people in groups – high school, college, law school, Ruckus, K12, and family.

I also exported my bookmarks from FireFox, my preferred browser, trimmed them down to the most used, and imported them into Safari.

It’s not clear how the iPhone mail.app works, so I haven’t done much with my email.

What excites me most about the iPhone is the compactness of it. Not only is the device itself slim, but it will eliminate the need for me to carry a cell phone, camera, iPod, and laptop.

I’m very excited, and again, as with the Wii, horribly delinquent with my technology purchase.

Wii for Me

I got a Wii for Christmas. It has reignited my long-lost passion for video games. The only reason for this is the high level of interactivity. It is impossible to not be immersed in the game you’re playing. Even bowling is incredible.

Yes, these comments are stale – the Wii came out over one year ago. But, this is my first chance to play and, well, I’m a believer.

I own the following games:

  • Super Mario Galaxy – Fun and frustrating.
  • Tiger Woods 2008 – My current favorite, although even on the hardest setting it’s still pretty easy for me.
  • Wii Sports and Wii Play – Bowling and Tennis are a couple family favorites. A little different than sitting around a table playing cards. Nice to break a sweat.

Law School Is Half Over

The end of my Evidence final came at 11:28am today. I am now chronologically halfway done with law school. (I think I’m a bit ahead credits-wise.) So, time to review my life.

Making the decision to go to law school was one of the hardest choices of my life. It didn’t seem like it at the time, but when I look at the time-line of my application process, it spans years and takes a few pit stops.

I took two years off after graduating from the University of Michigan in 2004. During those years I worked for two start-ups. The first, Ruckus, was a blast and forever changed my expectations for what I want out of a job – both good and bad. I was able to be creative and had very few limitations, but the down side of that was semi-chaos that left me anxious and beat at the end of the day. The second was K12, a start-up that was further along. It was more “corporate,” but still had a newness to it.

It wasn’t a complete coincidence that both Ruckus and K12 were education related. Ruckus provided digital entertainment to college kids (a slogan I’ll never forget) and K12 is a virtual curriculum. The people that helped me into those companies felt strongly about the importance of education and expanding education.

I can’t say with certainty what 1.5 years of law school has given me. There have been plenty of highs and lows. I’ve been to China to study, something I never took the time to do in undergrad. The coursework is becoming more interesting and application of it comes with more ease.

What I still lack is the notion of how to bring together prior experience, my undergrad studies and what I’m learning in law school. And then, once it’s together is some loose metaphysical ball secured with mental twine and spare post-it notes, how to apply it.

I look forward to figuring that out. Meanwhile, I have a month-long break before I start in on Law School: Part Deux.

Movies I Saw in 2007

My top seven movies of 2007:

1. 30 Days of Night
2. No Country for Old Men
3. Superbad
4. Juno
5. Grindhouse
6. The Darjeeling Limited
7. Stardust

Update: Let me explain my selections. I don’t really like horror movies. I was surprised by “30 Days of Night.” It scared me and thoroughly entertained me. As far as walking out of the theater having been entertained, that movie left me satisfied. I would not watch it again, however.

“No Country for Old Men” was very well done. I loved the use of silence throughout the movie. It made me feel ashamed to be digging through my Skittles at times. (Yeah, I was that guy.)

“Superbad” and “Juno,” both featuring Michael Cera among many other amazing actors, are two movies I would like to own. I could re-watch both of them today, next week, or in a year and know I would still like them.

“Grindhouse” and “The Darjeeling Limited” are stylistically significant movies that came out of 2007. Neither was broad enough to come close to being my favorite movie of the year, but each was well done and deserved the anticipation they received.

“Stardust” was interesting and fun, and thus, is on my list.

Chronological list of movies I watched in 2007:

1. Smokin’ Aces
2. Music and Lyrics
3. The Number 23
4. Reno 911!: Miami
5. Grindhouse
6. Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters
7. Distrubia
8. Fracture
9. Waitress
10. Spider-Man 3
11. Knocked Up
12. Evan Almighty
13. Live Free or Die Hard
14. Ratatouille
15. License to Wed
16. Transformers
17. I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry
18. Stardust
19. Superbad
20. Halloween
21. Into the Wild
22. The Darjeeling Limited
23. Lars and the Real Girl
24. 30 Days of Night
25. Dan in Real Life
26. No Country for Old Men
27. The Mist
28. Juno

I also rented 57 movies on Netflix.

A Few Things About Me

A few things to note about this picture*:

(1) It was taken in my one-bedroom apartment in Rosselyn, VA. I paid way too much for the apartment.

(2) You can see golf clubs in the picture. I like to golf.

(3) The University of Michigan hat you can see, I no longer have.

(4) I’ve had that TV since my freshman year in college. I still use it.

(5) It was difficult to glue eyes on the wooden man. In fact, they fell off shortly thereafter. Sad, I know.

(6) The out-of-focus picture is of my hometown.
*Update 2009: Picture of wooden artist doll.

Roundup: Beaver Meadows GC – Part 2

Yesterday, I sped to the golf course as soon as my Evidence class ended at 2:30pm. I grabbed my phone and wallet off the car dashboard, slipped on my golf shoes without even a thought of tying them, and hurried into the clubhouse to pay my twilight fee – twenty-two bucks for all the golf I want and ten bucks for a cart. I don’t usually take a cart, but rain was imminent and I didn’t want to get stranded on the outer-reaches of the course without my umbrella, which was thoughtfully left in the closet at home.

Expecting the rain to shorten my round to nine holes or less and wanting to play the back nine for the fist time ever, I started on the tenth hole. The tenth hole was a par-5 with a slight dogleg right. I striped a driver down the center of the fairway with a slight fade. For not warming up on the range, it was a fluke shot. I laughed, and ran back to the gas cart and sped off.

Beaver Meadows is at best a mediocre golf course. It’s draw, for me, is its availability. On fall weekday afternoons there may be ten other people on the entire course besides me. It allows me to play one, two or as many as eight balls on each hole.

The front nine is boring, relatively unimaginative and open. Open is OK, if there is some definition to the holes. The only hole that catches my eye is the eighth hole, which is a par four with a right-to-left sloping fairway. The green is relatively large and has a closely mowed collection area to the front right. It’s bunkered on the left and back.

Playing the back nine was refreshing after having made several semi-loops around the front nine. The back nine was more wooded, which doesn’t make a golf course unless, like me, you grew up in Northern Lower Michigan and you’re used to courses cut through forests. The trees provided some definition, and gave me an idea of what type of shot to hit. More importantly, they challenged me to not hit certain types of shots, lest I wish my speeding golf ball meet a heavily wooded peril accentuated with that distinctive Titleist on bark click.

I birdied the fourteenth hole, an uphill dogleg right par-4 that measured 430 yards, by hitting a fade driver and an eight iron to ten feet. The putt, a slippery left-to-right breaker, made more difficult by the recently punched greens, poured in the front left of the cup. That was the best execution of three consecutive shots I’ve hit all year.

After fighting the wind, avoiding the rain, and trudging through thousands of fallen leaves, I completed sixteen holes. I skipped six and seven on the front to get around a slow walking couple. I flushed two two-irons of the tee on the ninth hole (my 18th). It was a strong finish to a fun round on a late fall day.