14. Around the World in Eighty Rounds: Chasing a Golf Ball from Tierra del Fuego to the Land of the Midnight Sun

I was really excited to read this book after it was recommended to me by a co-worker. It was a really great idea for a travel book and I really enjoyed it for the most part. I figured I would like it for the golf stories, but really enjoyed it more for the travel stories. It made me realize once again that I need to get out there more instead of just reading about other places. It’s frustrating! Also, I had never really had as big a desire to travel to South America like I desired to see other places. Well, after reading this it is right up there with all the other places I have to go.

If you are a golfer, you should read this. If you like travel writing you should read this. If you like both, you should definitely read this!

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Thinks I Would Like To Do This Summer

Just a little list of the things I would like to accomplish this summer. These could all change by next week, but right now this is what I am thinking about. I really think this summer is going to be great. I usually have this attitude going  into summer and this one is no different with exception that I REALLY REALLY think this summer is going to awesome. I plan on working hard to make sure I am right. Last summer? Not so great. Good, but not great.There is a ton of room for improvement.

Ok, this is what I am going to do this summer:

– Pass the pre-qualifying test for the PGA. This should be no problem.

– Pass the PGA’s player ability test. I did it quite a few years ago, and with enough practice there is no reason I can’t do it again.

– I am going to concentrate more on my ball golf this summer, but that doesn’t mean I can’t also work hard on my Disc Golf. I want to be shooting near par consistently by the end of the summer. Being new to the game, I think I have a lot of room to improve my skills and I think I am capable of being pretty decent.

– I want to play in an official Disc Golf tourney just to see how I do and absorb some technique from the people who really know how to play.

– I read an article today that said Melbourne Australia is the capital of Southern Hemisphere golf. I will be researching a possible move there (or somewhere cool) this summer as I continue working toward becoming a golf pro. I would love to work down there (or somewhere cool) for even just this upcoming winter. A year of summer sounds pretty good.

– I will go to the lake A LOT! I think I went twice last summer and if you know me, that is just unacceptable.

– I will try to talk my dad into letting me keep the jet-ski over here this summer. It would get so much more use and I know it wants to go to the lake WAY more than it did last year as well.

– I am going to have a great time at Troy and Burl’s wedding. It will be fun to get back together and party with some friends I haven’t seen in a while, as well as with my current group of friends.

– I am going to keep working out and try to even notch it up a bit. I have been super active the last few months and my body is thanking me for it. It likes to have fun too!

– I want to meet some new people in Bend. I am really horrible at doing this but I would really like to try. Maybe I will join some sort of club or group to get myself out there.

– I am going to keep reading as much as possible. I will always be taking a book to the lake and since I will be going there a lot, I could get a lot of reading in this summer. Sounds good.

– I would like to repair a friendship, if even possible now, that I am not too interested in losing.

– I am going to make an effort to be incredibly nice and positive around anyone and everyone this summer. I think I do a pretty decent job of doing that right now, but I will be stepping it up in this area as well. That’s the kind of person I want to be for two reasons. One, it makes me feel good, and two, others just like being around people like that! This could even help with the meeting new friends things mentioned above.

– There is a quote from my favorite movie that I also just heard at a funeral (celebration of life) that is great. “Get busy living, or get busy dying”. Well, this summer I plan on getting super busy living!

Have a great summer everyone. It is almost here!

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I Think I Have a Plan

Thats right, I think I have a bit of a plan. I have wavered on this for years and I think I am finally going to give it a shot. I think this new goal will open up a ton of opportunities for me, and frankly, I need some new opportunities big time right now. I have been researching this a lot the last few weeks and I am actually pretty excited about it. When I had thought about doing this in the past, it was just something I thought I should probably do. Now, I want to do it!

Thats right, I am going to become a golf pro! There are so many more options here than just sitting behind a counter taking tee times and collecting money, which is what I had always pictures golf pros doing. Of course I would probably have to start there, but I wouldn’t be there long. Becoming a pro opens up opportunities to work in aspects of the golf industry. Being that golf has always been my favorite sport and activity, I feel it finally time to give this a shot. If it doesn’t work out, at least I tried it. One of things that has sparked my interest is the opportunities to work all over the world. Of course there are tons of jobs in the U.S. but there so many more outside the states. How fun would it be to work as a golf pro in New Zealand or Australia for a bit, or where golf came from, Great Britain and Ireland? Pretty cool!

I need something to work toward right now badly! I need a goal and something to occupy me mentally. This is going to be it. I am going to get the study materials to pass the qualifying test, pass the Player Ability Test in early June (I passed it in 2003 but it has since expired, but who cares, I want to take it again), register as an apprentice after I pass and then order the Level One materials and get started! I won’t be pulling a Ted either. I will be busting this out because the faster I get done the faster I can book my trip to Augusta and watch The Masters (the biggest perk to being a Class A PGA Professional)!

I’m excited!

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Active Rickey

I think I have recently discovered something about myself that should have been fairly obvious, but I had never fully realized. Being super active makes me happy. Pretty simple.  The past few weeks I have been keeping myself busy with all kinds of outdoor activities and it has felt awesome. I have been snowboarding, I tried skiing, disc golfed multiple times, played basketball, played ball golf, been hitting the gym and I have even been doing interval sprinting exercises a few times week. I have also been doing quite a bit of non physical activity, or activities that keep the brain working. I have been reading a ton, taking a class, taking a test next week and exploring new job and career options. I really haven’t been wasting a ton of time at all.

I think back to the past and the happiest times in my life have always coincided with periods of super activity. Two summer ago? Non stop golf, lake trips, bike riding, camping, a little traveling, etc…it never stopped. Great summer! If the last few weeks are any indication, as I have been as active as I have been in a long time, this summer is going to be one of the best. I plan on keeping it up and as the weather becomes even better, doing as much as I can squeeze in. I am a very able-bodied person in relatively good shape and it would be a waste to not take advantage of that. It is a waste of my time to not use the perfectly working body and brain I was lucky enough to be born with.  There are so many people out there less fortunate than me that are unable or too old to be out there doing stuff.

Maybe in the past I thought I was super active because I was in a good spot in life and happy. Though I really think the cause of the happiness is being active and not wasting any time.  Again, not a huge revelation and this should have been fairly apparent to me. But as many of you know, I have a tendency to overlook the painfully obvious sometimes. The thing that excites me the most about this new revelation, is that my activity level is my choice. I control it and because of that, I control my level of happiness. That is a pretty huge thing to have just realized.

So, if anyone is ever doing, well, just about anything, let me know. I am interested!

Eric

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13. Freakonomics

For some reason this was really hard to get through. The ideas and topics were interesting and it wasn’t super heavy, but I really had to force myself to finish it and I think I may know the answer. I couldn’t wait to read the book I had lined up next.  A book about golf and travel! I thought chapter about plane crashes was the most interesting. You never think about all the small stuff that can add up and snowball into a killer tragedy. It was interesting to know that it is often not a catastrophic error or mechanical failure that leads to a crash, but a collection of small details gone wrong. This book makes you think a little deeper into phenomena you are interested in finding the reason for. Which is a good thing to learn!

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2010 Book List

I think I am going to start posting little blurbs on all the books I read this year (I kinda stole this idea from someone but whatever). There is no goal, I just want to see how many books I read before Jan 1 2011. I have always been a big reader but recently have really gotten back into it big time. I have read quite a few so far and what follows is a list of these books (in no particular order because I don’t remember the order). There will be an individual post on every book here after.

1. Outliers – Malcolm Gladwell

I thought this was a pretty interesting book. It makes you think a little deeper when trying to come up with a reason something happens. Sometimes you find something deeper than the obvious.

2. Missing Links – Rick Reilly

This was a somewhat silly story about a group of golfers that play on what is the worst golf course in the country which is located right next to the most exclusive country club in the nation. Shenanigans ensue when a bet is made to see who can be the first one to play this ultra exclusive course. I really liked this story and busted it out in a day. I’m sure being a golfer helped with the enjoyment. I plan on reading some more Rick Reilly soon.

3. High Exposure – Davis Breashears

I really liked this book. It is the life story of David Breashears, a high altitude mountain climber and cinematographer. He has climbed and filmed on Everest multiple times and was there during the 1996 disaster on the summit. I was pretty intrigued by this event and his was a good take on what happened and why it happened. This is one of three books I have read dealing with this tragedy.

4. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll

I read this for now seemingly defunct Cascade Book Club. I had always figured I should read this so I was excited to bust it out. It didn’t take very long, as it is a very short book. I thought it was interesting and pretty weird, but didn’t really get into it much.

5. Into Thin Air – Jon Krakauer

I read this for the second time this year (for the first time last year) and enjoyed it just as much. Some people wonder how I can read books multiple times, but if you enjoy the medium of the written word as a way to convey a story, then it is no different than watching a movie multiple times. This book is just really good and being as interested as I am in the subject matter,  think it was AWESOME. You should read this book! I have become very familiar with the people involved in the 1996 Everest disaster and this is by far the best book about what happened to them. Very well written!

6. Stones Into School – Greg Mortenson

I really loved Three Cups of Tea so naturally I was going to like this book, as it was the continuation of the story of  Greg’s work furthering the cause of education, and specifically women’s education, in Afghanistan and Pakistan. A large portion of the book deals with the Central Asian Institute venturing into some of the most remote villages in Afghanistan to build schools. Reading this book makes one feel pretty lazy when you learn how much one person can accomplish with a LOT of hard work and determination.

7. No Shortcuts to the Top – Ed Veisturs
This is the story of Ed Veisturs’, America’s most accomplished high altitude mountaineer, journey to climb all 14 of the world’s 10, 000 meter peaks without the help of supplemental oxygen. It is very interesting to find out what it takes to accomplish this feat. The preparation it takes and the on mountain discipline he showed was amazing! Multiple times he would turn around hundreds of feet from the summit because it was becoming unsafe, thus rendering month long expeditions a loss. I liked his quote “Getting to the top is optional, but getting home is mandatory”. I’m sure his wife and kid’s appreciate this.

8. The Climb – Anatoli Boukreev

A lot of mountaineers think Jon Krakauer (Into Thin Air) threw Anatoli under the bus for his role as a guide on Everest during the 1996 disaster. This was his rebuttal of Jon’s interpretations of the events that led to the death of so many people. I thought it would be interesting to get the other side of the story. Amid all the confusion that took place while people were dying on the summit that year, it is impossible to tell who, if anyone, was at fault. My take after reading both books is, it is an incredibly dangerous endeavor climbing that high and in that harsh an environment, accidents are going to happen. It was no one’s fault.

9. Nemisis – Issac Asimov

Sometimes I like to read nerdy sci-fi books. I had never read an Asimov book and being that he is regarded as one of the best, I figured I would give this one a try. It was decent, but I am still a much bigger fan of Arthur C. Clarke. He is the man. I think I will give Asimov another try the next time I am feeling like a sci-fi book though.

10. Downtown Owl – Chuck Klosterman

I have always been a huge Chuck Klosterman fan, but I was pretty disappointed in his first attempt at a novel. This just never really went anywhere. There was some good Klosterman humor, but the subject matter of the novel, a high school in a small town in North Dakota, was just not interesting to me. His other non fiction, pop culture books are much much better. I hope he gives fiction another try though as I think he could write a great book!

11. Touching the Void – Joe Simpson

This is the story of a climber left for dead on the side of a high mountain in the Andes after he fell into a crevasse and breaking his leg. This story is absolutely amazing and Joe Simpson makes that Aaron Ralston guy, the guy who was trapped under a boulder and amputated his arm to escape, look like a pansy! He drug himself out of the crevasse, across miles of glacier and down the mountain with no food or shelter and in excruciating and debilitating pain. Crazy!

12. Who is your Caddy? – Rick Reilly

This book was really cool if you like golf. Reilly caddied for golfers, celebrities and spiritual leaders to get a better understanding of these people through golf and a better understanding of how hard caddying actually is. I love behind the scenes of sports books and this was one of the best I have read so far. Just a great idea for a book and very well executed!

13. Bonk – Mary Roach

Mary Roach is pretty funny and she tackles interesting subjects. This time she wrote about the science of sex and it was pretty freaking interesting.

Ok, this has gotten way to long and I am tired of typing. More books to come!

Eric

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Getting Started!

I wrote about trying to live healthier physically and mentally in my last post, and since I have done a pretty good job of doing that. I have worked out three of the last four days and have eaten a well three of the last four days. I love working out because it is good for you, especially, in the physical sense but also very good for you mentally.  I also put a pretty big dent in a book and plan on finishing it today. Reading is a great thing. You learn quite a bit about things you are interested in or things you didn’t even know you were interested in. It also takes your mind off things that may be bothering you or monopolizing your thoughts.

I did have one bad day this weekend on my quest to live a little better, but it was worth it! I went to Salem with Nicole and Lauranne to see our old friends Hartej, Morgan and their new kid Madden. He is a really cute kid and it was cool to see their new family doing so well!  Unfortunately they live in Monmouth, but they are trying to fix that. Thanks to Hartej for a really great breakfast. I thought I was going to have to choke down the avocado he put in the omelet (I didn’t want to make him feel bad by not eating it) but it was actually pretty tolerable.  

Nicole I decided we should probably swing by the Casino and play some poker while in the valley and we ended up playing until 5 in the morning! We also went to Paddington’s Pizza for lunch. Still, without a doubt, the best pizza I have ever eaten. It is amazing! If you ever are unlucky enough to have a reason to go to Salem, give it a try. It will make your trip a little bit better.

Well, this week is going to be pretty busy and I hope it goes by fast so I can do some serious snowboarding this weekend and possibly some disc golf Monday if it is warm. I have a lot more free time on my days off and in the evenings due to recent relationship developments, but that is not a bad thing. I plan on taking advantage of it.

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Blog is Back and I Mean it This Time!

I have been slacking with the blog updates to the point it is not even slacking anymore. I basically don’t even have a blog anymore and that makes me feel bad. It deserves my attention as much as anything else. I’m sorry!

Bunch of stuff has been happening the last 4 or so months since the last time I updated. I have been trying to figure out what I want to do the rest of my life, what I want out of the rest of my life and figuring out how I can make all that happen. I want to move from Bend, find work in a place I have never been, preferably overseas somewhere and try something totally new. I love Bend and all it great people and activities but it can even get stale. I think I will be here this summer and then take off for a bit.

I got back together with Colleen and then we broke up yet again. That tends to happen pretty frequently. This is the last time that is happening though. We would be better off as friends and hopefully that can happen. I am pretty good at remaining friends with my old girlfriends. She is a great girl and I hope she can someday find someone who can put up with all her on again/off again shit 🙂

I have been reading a lot, boarding a lot, trying to bike a lot and be more active in general. I want to stay healthy physically and mentally, but for some reason that is a challenge. Why is that a challenge? I guess there are too many people pulling me into unhealthy activities like drinking a lot, eating out a lot and hanging out being sedentary. I just have to become stronger at making sure I live my life the way I want to. It is hard but I am trying and have a huge desire to make it happen.

Well, I am at work and probably should keep this short. Updates will be coming more often. Adios!

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Some Ramblings

Not a lot going on here to talk about but I wanted to post something so here are few random things:

– Go Beavs. Civil War game may actually be for the Rose Bowl….for both teams…and I will be there!!

– Salem is a shit hole. I can’t say this enough. I can’t believe I spend 20 years total there. No redeaming qualities whatsoever.

– Pandora Internet Radio is one of the best things ever.

– I don’t like being unemployed, it has lost the luster it once had. I still enjoy being marginally employed though!

– There is too much travelling in the NBA. As a referee this drives me crazy!

– It is pretty tough to be very close but not as close as I would like to be…this applies to a few situations in my life presently.

– I can’t watch TV for more than a few minutes at a time without losing interest. This is a good thing. When I can sit and watch TV for hours, it means I have nothing on my mind and I do not like that!

– Im excited for OSU basketball. I think I am obligated to say this though…. I am really not excited at all.

– I’m going to try and do something cool here pretty soon.

– Signed onto MySpace the other day. It sucks!

– She is really fucking cool!

– I miss the excitement of doing something new, meeting new people and experiencing a new place. It has been way too long!

– If I don’t get out there and experience some new shit soon I am going to regret it BIG Time someday….and I think I will regret it more than the average person.

– I have this wierd feeling lately that I am running out of time but I will probably be alive for another 60 years. Although I think this sense of urgency is a good thing.

– I may not live another 60 years, 60 months or even 60 days so this sense of urgency is a positive feeling….I do plan on living for at least the next 60 minutes,  and I am positive I will survive the next 60 seconds.

– I made it!

– My mother, for the first time, let me know she wants me to have kids soon. Sorry mom!

– Im going to ride my bike down to Velvet soon. Not a big fan, but some of my friends are.

– Bowling tonight I hope.

– Tomorrow? More unemployment. Gonna try and not check facebook all day. Gonna get some stuff done! “Get busy living, or get busy dying”. I haven’t been busy with much of either lately, but tomorrow it will be living!

– Have a good evening!

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Smooth Transition

The last 24 hours marked a smooth transition for me from Summer to Winter. It was time I came to grips with the reality of summer being over. Yesterday I played golf at Widgi (summer) and earlier this morning I went snowboarding (winter). After my trip up to Bachelor this morning I can now say I am ready, bring on the snow!

PB110023

I went up with Troy and Burl to hike the Cone this morning at it was pretty fun. The last time I hiked the cone preseason it was miserable. Hiking through powder is not an enjoyable experience, I don’t care how hard core you are. Our first trip up today we went for the path less travelled and it was a bad idea. We were blazing a new trail through the snow so every step was way more work that it should have been. Not a fun start, but of course once the board was strapped on and I was heading downhill it was great. It felt so good and there was plenty of nice untracked snow to ride. The second trip up we took the main trampled route up the mountain so the going was much easier. We went a little higher this time and the riding was just as good. I don’t think I can honestly say the effort climbing is worth the 5 minutes of riding you get as a payoff though. I like ski lifts!PB110028

I did have a few mechanical issues. The sole of my boots are coming off and the right one fell off as I was hiking up the first time. Nothing a little duct tape can’t fix though. I may just keep them duct taped up all season. Why buy new ones?

PB110027

I am now pretty excited for the mountain to open, to get my pass and start riding! I know that each year I have this same feeling and two months into the season I am ready for summer again, but right now I am excited. Should be a good winter!

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