Friday, July 24, 2009

Just hit 41..

Wow another year by… seems just like yesterday I was leaving home with the world by the horns. :)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Hole In One!!!!

Played in July 4th Red White & Blue tournament. 6 Holes from each tee box. Hole # 6 had a front pin placement and a forward tee so it was playing about 153 from the white tee markers. Played an eight iron. It was a good swing and a decent looking flight. One of the guys in the group said good looking shot. I remarked as I was walking away from tee shot that I should have a kick in birdie putt. The green is protected by a bunker with hill behind on the front. It has large hills on the right side and the entire left of the hole is hazard wetland area. So we couldn't see the ball land. We ride up to the green and only see 3 balls. My partner in the 4ball tourney gets excited and starts yelling its in the hole! I walked up and there it was in the bottom of the cup!

Other great news as a side note. I also shot a 79! My new low for 18 holes. Had a 37 on the front what is my new low for 9 holes. Great day!!!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

New Low Round! Shot 81

Walked 18 holes with the heat index near the 110* mark yesterday. Shot an 81 from the blues (72.7 / 140). My best round yet. I had 2 bad swings all day one which was a 200 yard approach shot into the 12th green into the wind did not go so well for me and ended up OB by a foot. Putting really hurt as I had 5 birdie putts that I did not get to the hole but number six on 18 did go in.

Friday, June 5, 2009


Here is the reigning long drive champ at a PGA tour event hitting on the range.  Then getting on #18 tee box to hit some 400 yard bombs.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Shot 82

Sunday afternoon.  Went out with a couple of friends.  I had my laptop with me to do some work on the course while waiting to hit.  Course was sparsley populated and we were moving at a good pace.  Had 2 doubles on the front and a triple on 17 that probably kept me from getting into the 70's.  Putting was really good all day and had several good up and downs on the back.  

Played 6 extra holes with my daughter and she was having a great time.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Cool Shots of the Shuttle working on the Hubble

Finally someone is not afraid to say it. President Obama are you listening???

May 17, 2009

Honda Insight 1.3 IMA SE Hybrid

Honda Insight
Image :1 of 2

Much has been written about the Insight, Honda’s new low-priced hybrid. We’ve been told how much carbon dioxide it produces, how its dashboard encourages frugal driving by glowing green when you’re easy on the throttle and how it is the dawn of all things. The beginning of days.

So far, though, you have not been told what it’s like as a car; as a tool for moving you, your friends and your things from place to place.

So here goes. It’s terrible. Biblically terrible. Possibly the worst new car money can buy. It’s the first car I’ve ever considered crashing into a tree, on purpose, so I didn’t have to drive it any more.

The biggest problem, and it’s taken me a while to work this out, because all the other problems are so vast and so cancerous, is the gearbox. For reasons known only to itself, Honda has fitted the Insight with something called constantly variable transmission (CVT).

It doesn’t work. Put your foot down in a normal car and the revs climb in tandem with the speed. In a CVT car, the revs spool up quickly and then the speed rises to match them. It feels like the clutch is slipping. It feels horrid.

And the sound is worse. The Honda’s petrol engine is a much-shaved, built-for-economy, low-friction 1.3 that, at full chat, makes a noise worse than someone else’s crying baby on an airliner. It’s worse than the sound of your parachute failing to open. Really, to get an idea of how awful it is, you’d have to sit a dog on a ham slicer.

So you’re sitting there with the engine screaming its head off, and your ears bleeding, and you’re doing only 23mph because that’s about the top speed, and you’re thinking things can’t get any worse, and then they do because you run over a small piece of grit.

Because the Honda has two motors, one that runs on petrol and one that runs on batteries, it is more expensive to make than a car that has one. But since the whole point of this car is that it could be sold for less than Toyota’s Smugmobile, the engineers have plainly peeled the suspension components to the bone. The result is a ride that beggars belief.

There’s more. Normally, Hondas feel as though they have been screwed together by eye surgeons. This one, however, feels as if it’s been made from steel so thin, you could read through it. And the seats, finished in pleblon, are designed specifically, it seems, to ruin your skeleton. This is hairy-shirted eco-ism at its very worst.

However, as a result of all this, prices start at £15,490 — that’s £3,000 or so less than the cost of the Prius. But at least with the Toyota there is no indication that you’re driving a car with two motors. In the Insight you are constantly reminded, not only by the idiotic dashboard, which shows leaves growing on a tree when you ease off the throttle (pass the sick bucket), but by the noise and the ride and the seats. And also by the hybrid system Honda has fitted.

In a Prius the electric motor can, though almost never does, power the car on its own. In the Honda the electric motor is designed to “assist” the petrol engine, providing more get-up-and-go when the need arises. The net result is this: in a Prius the transformation from electricity to petrol is subtle. In the Honda there are all sorts of jerks and clunks.

And for what? For sure, you could get 60 or more mpg if you were careful. And that’s not bad for a spacious five-door hatchback. But for the same money

you could have a Golf diesel, which

will be even more economical. And hasn’t been built out of rice paper to keep costs down.

Of course, I am well aware that there are a great many people in the world who believe that the burning of fossil fuels will one day kill all the Dutch and that something must be done.

They will see the poor ride, the woeful performance, the awful noise and the spine-bending seats as a price worth paying. But what about the eco-cost of building the car in the first place?

Honda has produced a graph that seems to suggest that making the Insight is only marginally more energy-hungry than making a normal car. And that the slight difference is more than negated by the resultant fuel savings.

Hmmm. I would not accuse Honda of telling porkies. That would be foolish. But I cannot see how making a car with two motors costs the same in terms of resources as making a car with one.

The nickel for the battery has to come from somewhere. Canada, usually. It has to be shipped to Japan, not on a sailing boat, I presume. And then it must be converted, not in a tree house, into a battery, and then that battery must be transported, not on an ox cart, to the Insight production plant in Suzuka. And then the finished car has to be shipped, not by Thor Heyerdahl, to Britain, where it can be transported, not by wind, to the home of a man with a beard who thinks he’s doing the world a favour.

Why doesn’t he just buy a Range Rover, which is made from local components, just down the road? No, really — weird-beards buy locally produced meat and vegetables for eco-reasons. So why not apply the same logic to cars?

At this point you will probably dismiss what I’m saying as the rantings of a petrolhead, and think that I have my head in the sand.

That’s not true. While I have yet to be convinced that man’s 3% contribution to the planet’s greenhouse gases affects the climate, I do recognise that oil is a finite resource and that as it becomes more scarce, the political ramifications could well be dire. I therefore absolutely accept the urgent need for alternative fuels.

But let me be clear that hybrid cars are designed solely to milk the guilt genes of the smug and the foolish. And that pure electric cars, such as the G-Wiz and the Tesla, don’t work at all because they are just too inconvenient.

Since about 1917 the car industry has not had a technological revolution — unlike, say, the world of communications or film. There has never been a 3G moment at Peugeot nor a need to embrace DVD at Nissan. There has been no VHS/Betamax battle between Fiat and Renault.

Car makers, then, have had nearly a century to develop and hone the principles of suck, squeeze, bang, blow. And they have become very good at it.

But now comes the need to throw away the heart of the beast, the internal combustion engine, and start again. And, critically, the first of the new cars with their new power systems must be better than the last of the old ones. Or no one will buy them. That’s a tall order. That’s like dragging Didier Drogba onto a cricket pitch and expecting him to be better than Ian Botham.

And here’s the kicker. That’s exactly what Honda has done with its other eco-car, the Clarity. Instead of using a petrol engine to charge up the electric motor’s batteries, as happens on the Insight, the Clarity uses hydrogen: the most abundant gas in the universe.

The only waste product is water. The car feels like a car. And, best of all, the power it produces is so enormous, it can be used by day to get you to 120mph and by night to run all the electrical appliances in your house. This is not science fiction. There is a fleet of Claritys running around California right now.

There are problems to be overcome. Making hydrogen is a fuel-hungry process, and there is no infrastructure. But Alexander Fleming didn’t look at his mould and think, “Oh dear, no one will put that in their mouth”, and give up.

I would have hoped, therefore, that Honda had diverted every penny it had into making hydrogen work rather than stopping off on the way to make a half-arsed halfway house for fools and madmen.

The only hope I have is that there are enough fools and madmen out there who will buy an Insight to look sanctimonious outside the school gates. And that the cash this generates can be used to develop something a bit more constructive.

The Clarksometer

Honda Insight 1.3 IMA SE Hybrid

Engine 1399cc, four cylinders

Power 87bhp@5800rpm

Torque 89 lb ft @ 4500rpm

Transmission CVT

Fuel 64.2mpg (combined)

CO2 101g/km

Acceleration 0-62mph: 12.5sec

Top speed 113mph

Price £15,490

Road tax band B (£15 a year)

Clarkson's verdict

Good only for parting the smug from their money  

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Mens Matchplay Tournament

The club runs a tournament where a bracket is setup members are added and they compete via match play against each other.  You play using handicaps and once the pairings are announced you have two weeks to get your first match in.  This year I was suppose to start off playing a friend of mine Keenan but due to scheduling conflicts and his being busy on the weekends he ended up forfeiting our match.  I am now scheduled to take on Lew who won the entire thing last year.  I will update the posting as it goes along.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Cece starts Swim Team today

Its that time of year again when the pool gets cranked up and the kids with hardcore attitudes hit the water to begin early practice for the swim team.

Going to be tough on them today suppose to be in the low to mid 60's and the pool water hasn't really had much time to warm up yet.  Cece has been looking forward to this since the end of swim team last year.