A Sign I Have Too Much Time on My Hands

A Sign I Have Too Much Time on My Hands

Do you know the distance from my house to the South Pole? Of course, you don’t. But I do. That’s because I recently erected a giant sign pole complete with weather vane in my front yard that displays the direction and distance to several far-flung places, including the South Pole. How far is it from our house here on Camano Island, Washington to say, Cape Town, South Africa? Glad you asked: 10,199 miles southeast. Distance to Pitcairn Island? 5,022 miles almost due south. Moscow, Russia? I have no idea. But I can see Russia from my back door, so no matter.

For years, I’ve been fascinated by those rustic towering poles with signs pointing to remote locales like Timbuktu (yes, that’s an actual place). Maybe it’s the wanderlust in me or my long-held interest in maps. Or perhaps I’ve read too many National Geographic articles about the lost tribes of Borneo. Whatever the reason, I decided to plant one of these (poles, not Borneans) in our yard as a fun conversation piece. Prior to this project, the only thing quirky about our house was my wife’s husband.

I asked my wife if she’d be okay if I built one of these and gave it a prominent location on our front yard. To my amazement, she did not protest in the slightest. Even when she woke from her nap, and I asked her again, she was still moderately amenable. She had just two conditions: first, I had to promise to not do a sloppy job. Second, I could not try to conscript her assistance with this fool’s errand. Deal, I said, knowing all too well there was no way I would live up to the second condition. Continue reading “A Sign I Have Too Much Time on My Hands” »

Is your self-esteem a little too positive? Why not try golf?

Is your self-esteem a little too positive? Why not try golf?

When I’m feeling a little too good about myself – a little too self-assured – nothing brings me back down to earth, to my normal state of self-loathing and despair, like five hours of nonstop futility and embarrassment. No, I’m not talking about the time I spent writing last week’s blog article (although I can see why you might have jumped to that conclusion).  I’m talking about golf.

Nothing reminds me of how inadequate I am like spending half a day in nature, searching in vain for tee shots gone terribly awry, in pursuit of lost golf balls hidden like buried treasure deep in the woods. Which leads me to this poignant ethical question:

If you lose your tee shot in the woods and in the process of looking for your lost ball find another ball, which your golfing partner does not notice, how many yards closer to the fairway can you move your new ball to improve your lie?

Continue reading “Is your self-esteem a little too positive? Why not try golf?” »