Archive for the ‘Nick’ Category

One of the most memorable nights out of 2017 was our trip down Montlake to watch a Huskies softball practice.

Last night we did it again.  Not the same — it was a game and our group was much larger — but it was every bit the fun.

Our collection of Laurelhurst Lionettes arrived at the stadium about forty minutes early to watch practice from our infield seats.  That turned out to be fortuitous.  The crowd was so scant that the Husky marketing crew picked Reese and her teammates McKenna Couch and Sadie Howard to be the Foul Ball Crew.  They also randomly picked Finn to be the Guest Junior Announcer.

Finn did an excellent job as Vin Scully in his PA debut (he mucked up one name, but I digress).  The Huskies won 2-1 (more) on an eighth inning home run by Julia DePonte.  It came none too soon.  It was freezing cold, and had the game gone on any longer I suspect we would have left.

Afterwards our crew of sixteen hit UVillage for dinner.  Half our crew dined at The Ram.  The rest of us bared the hour wait and repeated last year’s trip to Din Tai Fung.

All and all a fantastic night out.

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Whistler 2018

For the second year in three, the fam did a quick winter vacation in Whistler.  (2016.)  It was considerably colder this trip than last.  Sunday it was so cold that the kids only last two runs before packing it in.  Temperatures at the top of Blackcomb, which was closed, were reported at -40 F.  It warmed up some over the next few days, but not a lot.  Overall a great trip, though, and one we’re keen to make an annual endeavor.

A few photos:

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Another January 1, another Alki polar bear plunge.  This year Reese opted out, so it was just me, Finn and probably seven hundred or so other warm-blooded souls.

A few photos:

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As a fairly present parent/coach, I have ample opportunities to watch the neighborhood kids accomplish great things.

Today was another such occasion.

The event was the 2017 Pineapple Classic, a 5k-or-so obstacle run that raises money for leukemia and lymphoma research.

But this was no ordinary morning.

It was raining.  And snowing.  And it was about 35 degrees.

And still, the four dads, Finn, Reese and five of their friends ran that race.  Complaints were minimal, fears were left in the dust.

A morning none of us will soon forget.

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In 2011 I first published my list of my top twenty-five favorite golf courses.  I’ve updated it a few times since then, the last time in 2014.  Now that I’m back from a week of playing golf on east- and north coasts of Ireland, I thought it appropriate to update it again.

Northern Ireland’s visually stunning Ardglass debuted no. 2 on my list.

Of the nine courses I played on this trip, seven made the list:

  1. Cruden Bay (Cruden Bay, Scotland). If there’s a more fun course on the planet I’d love to know what it is.
  2. NEW Ardglass (Downpatrick, Northern Ireland).  As visually stunning as any course I’ve ever seen.
  3. North Berwick (West)(North Berwick, Scotland). Back nine is the most enjoyable nine holes I’ve ever played.
  4. NEW Royal County Down (Newcastle, Northern Ireland.  As of this writing, Golf Digest has it ranked no. 1 in the world.
  5. Prestwick (Prestwick, Scotland.) Very eccentric and about as historic as it gets.
  6. Royal Dornoch (Dornoch, Scotland.). Other-worldly.
  7. NEW The Island (Donabate, Ireland).   A hidden gem located just outside Dublin.
  8. Muirfield (East Lothian, Scotland) Probably the strongest course I’ve played (Portstewart a close second).
  9. Turnberry (Ayshire, Scotland.) Has the beauty and course quality, but lacks Cruden Bay and North Berwick’s fun factor.
  10. Bandon Dunes (Bandon, OR). Probably not as great as its Pacific Dunes sibling, but considerably more enjoyable.
  11. St. Andrews (Old)(St. Andrews, Scotland.) Makes my top ten because it is the Old Course, but truth be told its true greatness escaped me.
  12. Tobacco Road (Sanford, NC).  As visually stimulating as any course I can remember, I consider it the Prestwick of the South.
  13. Chambers Bay (Tacoma, WA). Too bad I can only afford to play it once a year max.
  14. Los Angeles CC (North) (Los Angeles, CA). Played LACC in November 2013 for the first time since 1993. (More.) Every bit as great as I remembered.
  15. Pacific Dunes (Bandon, OR). The best course I’d ever played until I went to Scotland.
  16. NEW Royal Portrush (Portrush, Northern Ireland).  No. 16 is the toughest par 3 I’ve ever seen.
  17. NEW Castlerock (Mussenden)(Coleraine, Northern Ireland).  Not objectively “great,” but an excellent everyday course.
  18. NEW County Louth (Baltray, Ireland).  Ditto what I said about Castlerock.
  19. Gamble Sands (Brewster, WA).  Voted Best New Course of 2014 by Golf Digest.
  20. Pinehurst No. 2 (Pinehurst, NC).   Only course I’ve ever played that didn’t have rough.
  21. Royal Aberdeen (Aberdeen, Scotland.) Not as memorable as many of the other Scottish courses, but I remember it enough to know it was outstanding.
  22. NEW Portmarnock (Dublin, Ireland).  First “official” course on our 2017 Ireland trip.
  23. Pine Needles (Southern Pines, NC).  Site of three U.S. Women’s Opens and the perfect and prototypical Southern pine-filled course.
  24. The Valley Club at Montecito. (Montecito, CA.)  Course is very good, but the upper-crust vibe is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. (More.)
  25. The Dormie Club (West End, NC).  Right up there with Muirfield and Portstewart in the “big boy” golf course category.

Knocked off the list: Royal Oaks CC (Vancouver, WA); Musashigaoka (near Tokyo, Japan); Bel Air (Los Angeles, CA); Victoria CC (Victoria, BC); Bandon Trails (Bandon, OR); Old MacDonald (Bandon, OR) and Predator Ridge (Kelowna, BC).

When the likes of Bel Air and Old MacDonald fall out of my top 25, and Portstewart and Royal Dublin never made it, you know I’ve lived a pretty charmed life.

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Another year, another Glendale Invitational.

We didn’t do much this year.  Our Friday round of 38 points had us dead last in our flight.  Our Saturday 72 was good enough to get us back to the middle of the pack — and save us a good deal of money we looked certain to lose after about the fourth hole.

We did manage to finish third in the horse race — good for about $60/each.  And, of course, we were able to kill it in the matching shirts department:

After our disasterous 38-point performance on Friday (I shot a cool 82 sporting a 5 handicap)


Saturday’s 72-point total saved us a lot of money (I shot 76).

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Another year. another Greenspan Cup in the books.  This was the 20th annual edition of the tournament I founded in 1998.  I went 5-0 this year.  Good, but not good enough for my Seattle Team.  We lost a close one — 15 1/2 — 14 1/2.

A few photos:

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