You need to flip over first thing this morning to our Rural Pioneer (TM) website where Oilman2 has a dandy article worth a read: “Transhumanism, Robots, AI and Hopium.  Then go read his piece on tax burdens on working Americans. “Our American Burden” ought to raise your BP a few points.  OM2’s a great writer and we enjoy his contributions.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, it’s been a while since we had us a simple chit-chat about the leisurely pace of life here in the Outback of East Textus (sic).  But seeing as there is no economic news to speak of, why not?  Markets hitting new all-time-highs is not economic news to us because we have been telling people for a year and a half it was coming. Let’s start with the ‘home nine-hold golf course” for openers.

We have been experiencing one of the nicest weather-years ever – our own climatological inconvenient “trute.”

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Our ‘groundskeeper’ has a minor surgery coming up, so we haven’t been able to get as much golf site work done as we’d have liked.

Still, when I went out Thursday to play “lawn boy” I took a pass at the first hole and I love the look of it.  Check this out:  This is the view from what will be the first tee:

About 160 yards down the middle (the property is about 600 yards wide) but as you can see, the “fairway” is not exactly fair.

I’m starting to ponder what kind of a green to put in down in this area.

The view (telephoto on, please) from the middle of the fairway back up to the first tee, looks like this:

A close inspection of “the rough” says it’s a bit too rough, even for Texas Rural Golf Rules.  These are the rules that among other things, requires at least one “snake gun” per player, and not more than two beers per hole per player, unless you’re a house guest and we’re shooting 18-holes of “Last One Standing.”

Another reason we will be “getting after” the rough is that we still have goat weed in places, and the one thing that grows marvelously in East Texas is grass.  Especially in a good, wet year.  Local hay farmers may get four cuttings this year.

By the way, since we are going to put this ol’ joint on the market here’s what the front looks like: This on 29-acres….

Park-like setting, we like to think.  At least when I don’t have the trash out for pick-up.  Or so says the delusional ‘lawn boy’ to keep himself motivated to sweat for a couple of hours.

Golf – Re-imagined

Although the body may be working, driving a riding mower is not exactly high brain-load work.  So I’ve come up with a number of improvements to Golf – the business model.

One of the problems I see with having our own course is that mowing it would be a beast.  Or a coyote, couple of possums, or whatever….

Thursday’s big EPIPHANY while whacking down the fairway was that once we get this sucker built out, it will be a nappy maintenance problem.  How to resolve that?

And Suddenly the Inventor Appeared (It’s really a book about TRIZ, the Theory of Inventive Problem Solving)!

Ideally, when done, we would have a couple of golf carts so people wouldn’t have to walk.  Big on lazy, we is…

Bingo!  I looked at the problem differently.  I could adapt a lawn tractor trailer to carry 2 to 4 sets of clubs.  Then everyone goes around the course on?

A lawn tractor (mowing as you go)!!!

Price check:  $450-$600 for a serviceable used on on Craigslist.  Golf cart prices?  $1,500 and up.  Batteries need a charger and that’s extra….

What’s more, there might be enough 12-volt power on the lawn tractor to run a small fridge…that translates extra cold beer.  A light rack (LED, home welding project) would let us shoot Night Golf and with helmets on to protect from dead-fall, Storm Golf.

Play a round (spring and fall) per day, and two people aboard 52-inch mowers, would mow 100″ inches per day – call it 8.3 feet.  That’s for 9-holes.  Play in reverse and now you’ve got 16 1/2 feet of fairway.  Tomorrow’s 18 will press it out to 33 feet…and playing four days a week makes for a mowed course that way.

Only about half the time, in good weather, would the course  be played in both directions.  Still, that means almost 50 feet of fairway mowing playing 18-holes, three-days a week.  Toss in another 33-feet, so now we’re up to 84 feet, call it, of “mow-as-you-go” golf.

No, this is not going to be a 6,300 yard monster course.  I figure 1,500 – 2,000 yards.  When done, it should measure about 11-acres of fairways…between our “tree farm” trees, of course.  This won’t be an uptown deal since we don’t have lebensraum course width, or prettified greens.  It will take real skill to play, though.

That comes from our understanding of the golf edict: “Drive for Show, Putt for Dough.”

Watched “The Morris’s on Amazon last night – story of the great golf evolution in Scotland…made me want to go saddle up for an hour or two a day to get this project moving along faster.

Fortunately, it was dark.

Guest Room turns to Home Gym

The back half of the guest room now features that Gold’s Gym that Elaine and I recently put together:

Pardon the mess here, but once I get the rack built for the free weights and kettle balls, Elaine ought to enjoy the heck out of it.

I’m doing 50-reps a day on  the lats, butterflies, leg extensions, presses, and so forth.  Toss in half to 3/4-mile on the treadmill and I should feel pretty good.  Hasn’t happened yet.

Not that it matters to the doctor, of course.  I’m sure when I go in for the next blood draw they’ll be trying to get me on another statin.  With residual foot pain (plantar fasciitis) from the last statin adventure, I’m inclined to stick to my own wellness management program except when a need a pill for pain or infection…

Cat Tales

Just about every pet owner is delusional (including us) in that we think our pets are pretty smart.

About a month ago, Elaine had just used the shower off the MBR and in walks Zeus the Cat.  A couple of perfunctory ‘meows‘ and into the shower he goes, lapping up the water.

Well, don’t you know:  Elaine got suckered in by this…took the shower wand off its holder and turned on a fast drip.  Z was in cat heaven.

Fully five minutes later, Zeus wandered out of the shower much happier.  Drink, paw at the water, sniff, drink more….

There is something about this cat – and I think he may be addicted to negative ions (which are released by falling water – he LOVES falling or moving water of any kind.

Here’s the problem:

Now when he comes in at 5 AM (to have coffee with me, I thought…) he chomps down some dry food and heads immediately for the…care to guess?

If I am not fast enough coming to turn on the shower for him he begins with a soft meow… if he’s thirsty, the volume cranks up cranks up quickly.

He’s figured that either Elaine will get up and turn on the water, or I will stopping messing about in the kitchen and come turn on ‘the spring’ for him.

Thursday morning there was a new behavior:  Now, once he is done with the water-drinking, he lays down next to his private ‘river’ in the shower and goes to sleep.

For now, I’m letting this go as “cute” but one of these mornings….well, you know what I’m thinking.  Slide doors closed, turn on a lot more than a drip…  Maybe when fall rains show up…

Cruelty to animals?  Make room for the PETA protesters…

Cat Psychology note: I’ve notice that when Zeus begs (or shakes) he always does this with his left paw.

My sense is this cat is left-handed…and since lefties are pretty good at math, I’ve set out a couple of derivative equations for him to solve before I feed him again.

Elaine’s more a pass/fail pet owner and she’s never flunked one, as far as I know.

Seriously, if you want to train a cat, clickers seem to work better than words…possibly because they might be able to count clicks and associate a numeric with a reward.  Maybe we can learn something about Catificial Intelligence?

Write when you get rich.  the lawn boy has a string trimmer on hot standby…