Sunday, May 29, 2005

golfing at LaVerendrye, Carman and Kingswood

LaVerendrye Golff Course is in LaBroquerie, very close to Steinbach. We decided to take advantage of their special - all you can golf for one green fee.

The course is fairly wide open and is a perfect place to fine tune your drives. Some of my highlights included paring number 4, a par 4 with water in front. You normally would have to try to wedge on the green after your second shot near the water. I decided to try a five-iron after my drive landed about 170 yards to the hole. The five-iron landed a few feet from the green. During my first round, I also tried to make the green on my second shot but it landed in the water.

During my second round, I managed to birdie the 715-yard par 6. It wasn't playing quite that long, but still getting par or birdie is an accomplishment for me on such a long hole. It truly requires a nice drive and two solid 3-wood shots to set up a wedge shot to the green.

I mostly played with a Top-Flite Tour ball.

Later on, I switched to the Titleist Pro V.

Both balls feel similar. The Top-Flite Tour is equal to or better than the Top Flite Strata in terms of feel and distance. The Titleist Pro V is quite possibly the most famous ball in the world, since it is played by so many pros. Unfortunately, it's not meant for the average player since they don't usually have a fast enough swing speed. For me, however, the Pro V is among the best-feeling and longest-hitting balls that I have ever played. I have been able to hit the ball about 280 yards, but distance is not the main reason people play this ball. It's main appeal lies in the ability to bite the green and spin. This is a part of my game that I hope to improve this year. By and large, I have played my approach shots with the wedge poorly. I've left many shots short, taking divots that were too deep. I shot 99 and 93, breaking 100 for the first time this year.

Carman golf course is about an hour from home and is another favorite of mine. It's deceiving because of all the planted trees. Time and time again,I ended up behind a tree. The groups in front of us were really slow. So slow, in fact, that we ended up playing holes 2 and 3 a second time, to create a huge gap between us. Along the way, we encountered the geriatric group that was slowing everyone down. I've never seen such a slow moving threesome. Fortunately, they let us play through. I improved on the back 9 but careless playing resulted in me not breaking 100.

Kingswood is another fine semi-private course and it is located about twenty minutes drive from home. The forecast called for 70% chance of rain but the most we had was a very light sprinkle near the end of the round. The only bad thing about the round was the tournament in front of us. Waiting over twenty minutes to play is just no fun. I tend to score the worst when I'm waiting and the best when there's no waiting. A lot of my bad habits crept into the game. If it hit a good drive, I messed up the next shot. Number 16 is a tough par 4 due to its length adn the fact that you need to sail the ball about 230 yards to clear the water, if you choose the straightest path to the hole. I felt tired and lazy and simply didn't care too much about how I scored. We enjoyed playing Kingswood, though, since it has a combination of tough, tree-lined holes and a few easy ones. It also has a lot of bridges crossing the La Salle River, making walking the course quite a chore.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Islamic Extremism May Save Western Civilization

Islamic Extremism May Save Western Civilization
By Mark Glenn, Media Monitors Network, 18 April 2003

It would shock and probably offend most Americans to learn the truth that the reason they are here, their power, their affluence and position in the world is directly because of the Islamic religion and the Arab culture. That’s right, the very "ragheads" and "Hajis" (as Limbaugh, Liddy, and some of the others often call them) that the US is now fighting are directly responsible for the preeminence and power of not just the United States, but of the entire Western world in general.

Besides the fact that Western Civilization began in the area of the Fertile Crescent, also known as Mesopotamia (present day Iraq), it is as well an historical fact beyond dispute that it was the learning and sophistication of the Arab culture that led to many of the scientific developments that would later make Europe the cradle of science, learning, and advancement. After the institutionalization of the Islamic religion throughout the Mediterranean region, the extent of Arab learning and culture was such that European Kings, Christian Kings, would send their sons and daughters to be educated in Moslem places such as Cordova and Toledo. Christian Crusaders coming back from the Middle East told of the richness of Arab culture, leading to Europeans’ desire for Arab goods, which in turn led to trade routes between Europe and the Middle East. The resulting wealth created from that trade with the Arabs led to the ascendancy of power for European city-states such as Venice and Florence, which became the birthplaces of the Renaissance in Europe. Arab advancements in navigation, from the Astrolabe to the compass to the fast sailing ship known as the Caravel made possible the arrival in the New World of the Europeans. Let’s not forget, Spain and Portugal, those two powers who held a virtual monopoly on exploration in the New World for quite a while, were, for 700 years, held by the Arabs.

What will gall Americans even more, especially those who call themselves Christian, is the idea that it may be the Arab and Muslim culture that will be not only the birthplace of Western Civilization, but the savior of it as well.

As evidenced by the nightly news right now, there is a war going on. Superficially, it is about things like "terrorism" and "freedom." There are some who go a step further and blame oil and banking, not to mention "lebensraum" for Israel. And while all these things do play a part, some greater than others, the real war here is between two world views.

During the debates that took place in the UN between the internationalist cabal led by France, Germany, Russia, Belgium, and China on one side and the nationalists led by the United States, Great Britain, (and behind the scenes, Israel,) there was this "tossing around" of phrases in coded language. The nationalist crowd, represented in the debates by Colin Powell, spoke of "Old Europe" in a castigating attempt to portray those opposing the war against Iraq as somehow backwards in their thinking, as opposed to those in the New World, who were enlightened and were here to save all humanity against dangerous men and dangerous ideas. And although we know that the reasons for the internationalist crowd opposing the war against Iraq had little to do with anything other than protecting their own business interests as well as staving off US hegemony in the world in favor of internationalist hegemony, it did illustrate that there is, at least on the part of the "coalition of the willing" a desire to do away with that ethos held by the Old World (meaning the Middle-East) that serves as an obstacle in building that New World Order that Bush the Elder discussed more than a decade ago, even if it means seeing the US leading it rather than the UN.

To the "New World," and by default the New World Order, the Arab/Muslim world is backwards in its values. It prohibits abortion and birth control. They have large families, as opposed to the West, where the average family has only 2 children. It prohibits usury banking, to which the West credits its own economic superiority. Theirs is a "closed" society (read into this no sodomy, pornography, gay lifestyle, et al) Theirs is a "cruel" society (read into this-they do not have people on death row for 20 years) And finally, they will not play the game the way the market wants it played, meaning, they want a just price for their only real source of wealth, their oil, instead of giving it away to the West for a fraction of its worth. In other words, the picture that has just been painted here is, the Muslim world is now what the Christian world once was and should be.

One can already hear the roar coming out of the mouths of many who have not been thinking of this in a critical way, particularly those well-paid mouthpieces on TV and radio masquerading themselves as Christians. "The religion of Mohammed is better than the religion of Jesus Christ?!" No, rather, what is meant here is that the religion of Islam resembles Christianity more than does the Christianity of the West today, because the Christianity of the West today isn’t Christianity at all, but a watered-down amalgamation of New Ageism mixed with certain common spiritual attributes that, although called Christian, can be found in almost every known religion. Through decades of destructive influence and propaganda through media and academia, mainstream Christianity in the West has been reduced to one remaining commandment, vague and hard to pin-point which is "be nice."

The fact of the matter is, putting aside all the other reasons surrounding this war that were enumerated at the beginning of this essay, what exists in the Middle East, or in The Old World, as some would call it, is a culture that is still devoted to principles concerning basic moral values, values that have not yet surrendered to the corrupting influence of Western media or Western money. Within the last 50 years, every culture has fallen before this corrupting power that seeks to enslave all men in such a way that the individual is reduced to the value of what he produces and what he consumes, and in pursuit of that method, the individuals behind this program have quietly but decisively removed every obstacle in their way, be it religion, culture, morals, tradition, or world view, through the methods of media, academia, and finance; that is, except the culture encapsulated in the Islamic/Arabic World.

By the description "Arabic/Islamic," it should not be understood as solely a "Muslim" thing. The culture existing in the Arab world is held by both Christian and Muslim alike. There are millions of Christians, who have in essence the same culture with their Muslim counterparts in much the same way as most Americans, regardless of religion, have the same culture. It is those Christians and Muslims alike who reject these "modern" notions such as abortion, birth control, sodomy, pornography, usury banking, and "market value" of services and resources. They still view the family, the traditional family, with all its traditional roles, as the most important building block of their society, and they take very seriously anything that threatens it. They recognize the value of their children, and how dangerous the moral relativism of the West has become, threatening the stability of society directly. They recognize that if their children and society as a whole are subjected to ideas that promote moral decay for an extended period of time, what will eventually and unavoidably be produced is national decay.

One should consider the fact that the New World Order has used and is using all its resources and influence to emasculate and neutralize all opposition to its agenda in the world. The Catholic Church, once a political power to be feared by presidents and prime ministers the world over, has been rendered obsolete. Through mouthpieces such as John Paul II, the New World Order has been openly embraced, and if at times the church gets a little rambunctious and steps out of line, well, the NWO crowd merely runs new stories revealing allegations of pedophilia and abuse. The mainstream Protestant groups, led by influential people on the television and radio, may talk of the dangers of the NWO and the secularization of the West, yet still openly embrace Bush when he pushes through various pieces of legislation that rob us of our freedoms under the guise of protection from terrorism, as well as the practice of conveniently "forgetting" about Bush’s caving in to the pro-abortion lobby in various instances. So, with the exception of a few pockets of token resistance, there is no one left standing in the way of the NWO except the Arab/Muslim World.

If by some miracle the Arab/Muslim world is victorious against this onslaught, and the secular/atheistic influence of the NWO agenda is reduced to such a level as to allow the Christian West to regain its foothold where it once stood, it will be necessary to credit the religion of Islam and the Arab world for not buckling under in the face of extermination. And it will be we, the Christian West and Western Civilization, who will be the beneficiaries of "Islamic Extremism."

Mark Glenn is an American and former high school teacher turned writer/commentator.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

film review - The Revenge of the Sith


It's kind of sad to see this series come to an end on the big screen. Some loose ends were tied up.

The animation was dizzying and dazzling. We finally understand why Anakin moved to the Dark Side. Also, we see how the Clones end up as bad guys. So much of it, if you think about it, doesn't make sense. Take the early scene with the star ships duking it out cannon to cannon like how it was in the old old days. One-man fighters, which clearly look like x-wing and tie-fighter, fly seemingly random in clouds around the ships. The volley of fire is so intense that none of it looks like a discernable battle.

Anakin is portrayed as a brooding young man, desperate to exercise his judgement and earn the respect of the established but less naturally talented Jedis.

We also see the "origin" of the Empire's Chancellor, the scraggly looking guy in the cloak who wields lighting-type power to zap his foes! Natalie Portman was absolutely useless.

Hayden Christensen was grim but seemingly flat, not complex enough. The relationship between the two just didn't have the fire that you would expect. He looked too short to become Darth Vader, until you consider that Vader's legs are mechanical.

Natalie Portman was absolutely useless. I didn't buy the romace between her and Christensen, although he was better this time around.

R2D2 is once again, herioc beyond what we saw in the first few films. Watch him toast a couple of bad bots.

General Grevious has a few organs but is mostly metal skeleton and reminded me of the Terminator.

I found this film very enjoyable, but I can see some people disliking it. It is better than Episodes 1 and 2, IMHO.

Friday, May 13, 2005

film review - Crash

Crash 5/5

Take a few seemingly unrelated stories of people in Los Angeles getting through the drudgery of daily life with the crutch of racial stereotypes and unsettling domestic discourse, then intertwine them, and you have the basis for this brilliant, highly engrossing film.

The major acting roles are superb. I never noticed Ryan Phillipe before but he impressed me as a cop with a conscience. Matt Dillion was very convincing as a thuggish, lonely cop with home problems that have shaped his views on race relations. Then there is the Persian shop keeper, a stranger in a strange land, frightened, angry and numbed by the crime that has affected his family. There are several other known actors in this film, some of whom provide among their best performances, but the lesser known folks also shine. No one is made to seem one-dimensional and none of the scenes are wasted.

There was one riveting scene that almost brought tears to my eyes involving our Persian shopkeeper where he goes over the edge, desensitized by the vacuum of crime and his feeling like a victim, due to his own foolish prejudices.

Rapper Ludicriss plays one of the carjackers, but in his first scene, he and his partner (whose significance we learn later on in the film) are seemingly innocent, intelligent and harmless guys, out for a night outside their home area and feeling like victims in the white neighborhood. The film doesn't hestitate to play the race card, showing what many of us feel but are sometimes too ashamed to admit.

Crash, not to be confused with the David Cronenberg 1996 film of the same name, is one of the best films that I have seen this year. It's directed and co-written by Canadian Paul Haggis, writer of the Oscar juggernaut Million Dollar Baby. Great debut for this first-time director.

Understanding of conflicts grew

Here's an interesting article from today's Winnipeg Free Press.

Understanding of conflicts grew

Fri May 13 2005

By Shahina Siddiqui
AT a two-week Summer Institute program entitled Education and Democracy in a Global Context at the University of Manitoba last year, Palestinian educators from private and public schools came to share the challenges of teaching under occupation.

How, these educators were asked, can they teach peace when their students face violence and persecution every day? How do they foster hope and forgiveness in children who have known nothing but hopelessness?

They were also asked why the Palestinians were committing suicide attacks and what do they teach their students about this? Do they reject violence and how do they cha
mpion peace?

The 60-plus students who attended these sessions conducted by experts in conflict resolution, peace studies and education in conflict areas (who had come from Canada, United States, Israel and Palestine) benefited from this enriching experience and, I am sure, grew in their understanding of conflicts and occupation and the toll it takes on children and teachers alike.

Harold Buchwald's column of April 12, Intimidation finds a campus home portrayed the program in a negative light. The Summer Institute was a noble venture that was co-sponsored by the Arthur Mauro Centre For Peace and Justice. They must be commended for their moral integrity and encouraged to stay the course by bringing to Manitoba many more such programs dealing with conflict from around the world.

It is only by listening to people who live under conflict that we can begin to actualize peace and put a human face to their suffering.
I was blessed to have had the privilege of hosting a Palestinian delegate and could not help but notice how they wanted to walk everywhere no matter how far they had to go and so I asked why? And the response just broke my heart: "We have never walked so freely, there are no check points. We can go anywhere we want. This is amazing"

Contrary to Mr. Buchwald's indictment of the program, what I, and others witnessed at that forum was an emotionally charged attack on the Israeli professor for presenting her research into Israeli textbooks that she contends are racist towards Palestinians and Arabs. She provided evidence from these textbooks that supported her findings.

The fact that she is from a military family of Israeli intellectuals, and that she had lost her 14-year-old daughter to a suicide bomber made her presentation even more courageous and powerful. However, I could not help but hang my head in shame and disbelief at the insults and verbal abuse that were hurled her way.

She was accused of being a self-hating Jew, her ancestry was questioned and her right to speak attacked, all because she dared to critique Israel -- a country she obviously loves. This brave woman weathered it all with quiet dignity and conviction of faith.

There was no press coverage of this undignified and hateful attempt to silence an honest academic. The first rule of academic integrity is that we champion the truth even if it be against our kin.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Manitoba Golf Courses

Updated June 30, 2009.

Today's Winnipeg Free Press featured a special section called the Manitoba Golf Guide 2005. There are over 120 courses in Manitoba and with several affordable ones being close to the city, Winnipeg is truly the golfer's paradise in Canada.

Arnason's Golf Course (9 holes, public)
(204) 269-4623, 1799 Waverley

Ashern Golf & Country Club (9 holes)
(204) 786-3137, Ashern

Assiniboine Golf Course
(204) 988-9313, 2045 Ness Avenue

Beaches Golf Course (18 holes)
(204) 754-8789, Grand Beach

Beausejour Golf Course (9 holes)
(204) 268-2010

Sands Beach & Golf Resort
(204) 268-3364, First St. S Beausejour

Bel Acres
(204) 632-8341, Sturgeon Road, Box 32, RR #2 (4.8km/3mi. n. off perimeter on Sturgeon Road)

Binscarth Golf Course (9 holes)

Birtle Riverside Golf Club Inc. (9 holes)
(204) 842-5364, Birtle

Boissevain Golf Club (9 holes)
(204) 534-2365, Boissevain


Brandon Community Recreation & Sports Centre (18 holes)
(204) 729-2177,34th St. McDonald Ave., Brandon

North Pines (9 holes)
(204) 729-2177

Sunnyside Golf Club (18 holes)
(204) 728-2374

Deer Ridge Golf Course (9 holes)
(204) 726-1545

Glen Lea Golf Club (18 holes)
(204) 728-9090

Bridges Golf Course
(204) 735-3000, Starbuck, 16 Km west of Perimeter on Hwy # 2

Breezy Bend Country Club
(204) 895-7205, 7620 Roblin Blvd.

Carman Golf Club
(204) 745-2366, 90 Km SW on Hwy 3

Cartwright Town & Country Golf Club (9 holes)
(204) 529-2260

Clear Lake Golf Course (18 holes)
(204) 848-4653

Cottonwood Golf Course
(204) 1/800/409-7274, Highway 1 East (30 Minutes)

Crescent Drive Golf Course (9 holes, City-run public)
(204) 986-5911, 781 Crescent Drive

Cromer Golf Course (9 holes)
(204) 556-2248

Dauphin Golf Club (18 holes)
(204) 638-9400

Delahunt Golf & Country Club
(204) 723-2502, Treherne

Deloraine Golf & Country Club (9 holes)
(204) 747-2411

Elkhorn Golf & Country Club (9 holes)
(204) 848-2802, Oranole

Elmhurst Golf & Country Club (18 holes, private)
(204) 224-2244, (Hwy. 59 N. on Hwy. 213-Garven Rd.) Slope: 123

Emerson Golf & Country Club (9 holes)
(204) 373-2329

Fisher Branch Golf & Country Club (9 holes)
(204) 372-6855

Falcon Lake Golf Course
1/204/349-2554, Highway 1 East (75 Minutes)

Gimli Golf & Country Club (9 holes)
(204) 642-8310

Gilbert Plains Country Club (18 holes)
(204) 548-2118

Gladstone Golf & Country Club (9 holes)
(204) 385-2998

Glenboro Golf & Country Club (9 holes)
(204) 827-2856

Glendale Golf & Country Club (18 holes, private)
(204) 832-1306, 400 Augier Avenue Slope: 128

Grand Pines
Highway 59, 1 km north of Highway 11 between Grand and Victoria Beaches

Gull Harbour
1-800-267-6700, Highway 8 North (2 Hours)

Halcrow Lake Golf & Country Club (9 holes)
(204) 623-7541, The Pas

Hamiota Golf Club (9 holes)
(204) 764-2341

Harbour View Golf Course (9 holes, city-run public)
(204) 222-2751, 1867 Springfield Rd

Hartney Golf Course (9 holes)
(204) 858-2358

Holiday Hills Golf Course (9 holes)
(204) 747-2500

Holiday Mountain (9 holes)
(204) 242-2172, La Riviere

Inwood Golf & Country Club (18 holes)
(204) 278-3536

John Blumberg Golf Course (18 holes, city-run public)
(204) 986-3490, 4540 Portage Ave. Slope: 114

Kildonan Park Golf Course (18 holes, city-run public)
(204) 986-5679, 2021 Main St. Slope: 102

Killarney Lakeside Golf Club (18 holes)
(204) 523-8277

Kingswood Golf & Country Club (18 holes)
(204) 736-4079

Lake of the Sandhills
Buffalo Point
(204) 437-4653

Lakeside Golf Club (9 holes)
(204) 759-2002

Larters at St. Andrews

La Verendrye Golf Course
La Broquerie
(204)424-5046 Slope: 116

Links at the Lake (Pelican Beach)
(204) 92-LINKS

Lorette Golf Course
(204) 878-2172

Lundar Golf & Country Club (9 holes)
(204) 762-5877

Manitou Town & Country Golf Club (9 holes)
(204) 242-2287

Mars Sandhills Resort
East of junction of Highway 317 and 59
$25 7 days a week/ $20 for seniors
(204) 265-6444

The Meadows At East St. Paul G.C.

McCreary Golf & Country Golf Club (9 holes)
(204) 835-2711

MacGregor Town & Country Golf Club (9 holes)
(204) 685-2585

Melita Golf Club (9 holes)
(204) 522-3820

Miniota Golf Course (9 holes)
(204) 567-3639

Minnedosa Golf Course
(18 holes)
(204) 867-3151

Minnewasta Golf and Country Club

Neepawa Golf & Country Club (18 holes)
(204) 476-5711 Slope: 126

Netley Creek Golf and Country Club
25 minutes north of Winnipeg on Highway 8
(204) 738-4653

Niakwa Country Club (18 holes, Private)
(204) 256-7326, 620 Niakwa Rd Slope: 124

Northenaire Golf Course
(204) 642-7776, Gimli

Oakgrove Golf Course
Highway 59 South, east on Oakgrove Rd. 10 Min. from the S. Perimeter

Oakwood Golf Course
St. Anne, 20 min. from Wpg on #1 Highway, 6 miles wast of Highway #12

Oakview Golf & Country Club, Altona (9 holes, public)
204) 327-5590, Box 972 Altona Rd.

Pinawa Golf Club
(204)753-2294 Slope: 128

Pine Ridge Golf & Country Club (18 holes, private)
(204) 222-6477, Garven Rd&Pine Ridge Rd

The Players Course ( 9 holes, public)
(204) 697-4976, (.25 mi. w. on Inkster off Metro Route 90, n. of airport)

Phantom Lake Golf Club (9 holes)
(204) 688-5555, Flin Flon

Pilot Mound Town & Country Club (9 holes)
(204) 825-2766

Pine Falls Golf Club (9 holes)
(204) 367-8463

Pleasant Valley Golf Club (18 holes)
(204) 537-2487, Belmont

Portage Golf Course (18 holes)

Reston Golf Course (9 holes)
(204) 877-3511

Ridgewood South Golf Course (9 holes)
(204) 326-6225

River Oaks Golf Course (18 holes, public)
(204) 261-4653, 117 Edgewater Dr., (off Waverley St., 5km s. of perimeter Hwy.)

Riverdale Golf & Country Club
(204) 328-7122, Rivers

Riverview Golf & Country Club (9 holes)
(204) 746-2027

Roblin Golf & Country Club (9 holes)
(204) 937-4774

Roland Golf Club (9 holes)
(204) 343-2409

Rossburn Lakeside Golf (9 holes)
(204) 859-2391

Rossmere Country Club (18 holes, semi-private)
(204) 988-1530, NE-Watt & Leighton

Russell Golf Club (9 holes)
(204) 773-2969

Sandhills Golf & Country Club
(204) 834-2325, Carberry

Sandy Hook Golf Club (18 holes)
(204) 389-5466

Sandy Lake Golf Course (9 holes)
(204) 585-5227

Selkirk Golf & Country Club (18 holes)
(204) 482-2050

Shilo Golf Club (18 holes)
(204) 765-2128

Southwood Golf & Country Club (18 holes, private)
(204) 269-7867, 101 Markham Rd

St. Boniface Golf Club, (18 holes, sem-private)
100 Youville St.(204)233-4276

St Charles Country Club (27 holes, private)
(204) 889-4444, 100 Country Club Blvd.

Selkirk Golf and Country Club

Snow Lake Golf Club (9 holes)
(204) 358-2744

Souris & Glenwood Community Golf Course (9 holes)
(204) 483-2956

South Interlake Golf and Country Club
15 minutes from the Perimeter on Highway 6
(866) 496-7549

Southport Golf Course (9 holes)
(204) 428-3336

Steinbach Fly-In Club
(204) 320-4653

Swan River Golf Course (9 holes)
(204) 734-3935

Teulon Golf & Country Club (18 holes)
(204) 886-4653

Thompson Golf Club (9 holes)
(204) 677-3250

Transcona Golf Club
(204) 222-6171,2120 Dugald Rd.

Valleyview Golf Club (9 holes)
(204) 826-2075

Victoria Beach Golf Club (9 holes)
(204) 756-2435

Virden Wellview Golf Club (9 holes)
(204) 748-1721

Tuxedo Golf & Teaching Centre
(18 holes, semi-private)
(204) 888-2867, 400 Shaftesbury Blvd.

Waskada Golf Club (6 holes)
(204) 673-2543

Whitewater Centenial Park Golf Course
(204) 769-2404, Elgin

Wildewood Club (9 holes, private)
(204) 474-1389, 761 North Drive

Windsor Park Golf Course (18 holes, city-run public)
(204) 986-3006, 10 Des Meurons

Winkler Golf Club
May special $15 Mon- Thursday/ $10 on Fridays
(204) 325-7582

Winnipegosis Golf Club (9 holes)

golf - Teulon May 5, 2005

Teulon is located north of Winnipeg, straight up Route 90, which turns into Highway 7. Being less than an hour away from the city, they get a lot of golfers from the city.

I shot 104, Norm 105 and Ken something close to 120. Ken had a 16 on the last hole. We all had three pars and I am happy to say that I pared two par 5s. On both holes, I followed up long drives with pretty good 3-wood shots. Another triumph, one-putting holes 3, 4 and 5. This is something that I have rarely done. The low points were actually on the par 3s. We typically shot 5 or worse on the par 3s. Take away a few horrible shots and I would have broken 100.

It was a really nice day, with virtually no mosquitoes around and no one in back or in front of us - just the way I like it.

On one par 5, I noticed a culvert in the middle of the fairway with minnows swimming it the ditch. There was no pond of water for hundreds of yards in any direction, so it was amazing to see these fish out in the middle of nowhere.

review - Old Boy

Old Boy 4/5

Finally, another film with an edge to it!

Old Boy
is being remade by Hollywood and I suspect it will be successful. You wonder why this seemingly ordinary guy was locked up in solitary confinement for exactly 15 years...

After being released from an apartment-styled lockup, our hero finds himself being handed a call phone and book in order for his captor to provide him with clues to his captor's identity. Along the way, he falls in love with a beautiful young chef who takes in this seemingly homeless stranger, who agrees to help him figure out the mystery of his captor and imprisonment.

The answer will disturb some people, but if you enjoy suprises that cross moral boundaries, you may enjoy this subtitled Japanese psychological thriller. It's more than just an ultra-violent, raw revenge film. And you'll learn a new use for the ordinary household hammer.

film - Kingdom of Heaven


I felt Kingdom of Heaven was short on character development for an overly long film. Orlando Bloom plays our protagonist, but he absolutely does not have the prescence to play a convincing leader.

There are too many far-fetched moments. He becomes a credible swordsman after the briefest of lessons from daddy. With virtually no training, he's a leader of men and a brilliant military strategist at the same time. There are other hard to believe moments, but I won't spill the beans.

Remember how convincing Clive Owen was in the recent King Arthur film? Orlando Bloom is a flyweight wimp in comparison who can't carry a film. He was all right, though, in the scenes where his character was portrayed as being pensive and principled. His dialogue was too cheesy, unfortunately.

Years ago, the action would have been impressive. Today, however, with so many sword and sandal epics being made, the fighting scenes seem ordinary. Thankfully, though, the computer animation is not intrusive.

The supporing cast were really good, including Jeremy Irons as the king's right hand man Tiberius, Liam Neeson as Godfrey, Ghassan Massoud as Saladin, and bad guys Guy de Lusignan and Reynald played by Martin Csokas and Brendan Gleeson.

The real question is, how much of this film was accurate and how much was inoffensive Disneyfied-fiction? Despite the mountain of gore, the inoffensive script has gutted the film of any true pulse.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

first golfing rounds of the year

Well, the weather warmed up a few weeks ago enough for my intrepid friends and I to make our way out for some golf.

John Blumberg, Friday, April 15.
Triniman: 112
Norm: 110
Ken: 109
Bob: 103

No great scores, but not bad considering it was the first game of the year for most of us. It was a almost a perfect day, with just a tad too much wind on some holes. On the trecherous # 14, I teed off with a five -iron and landed short of the elevated green in three shots. I ended up with a six. The course was also very crowded that day, which was no surprise since it had only been open for a week and a lot of people wanted to play. I putted aggressively and sank a few 8-footers that I would normally leave short. I lost two balls, one in the fairway, in a large puddle of water. The other was my tee shot from the second hole. It was slicing to the right and was carried away big time by the wind across the road to the soccess complex parking lot. That was a new Strata and I was so tempted to look for it on my way out. I'm disappointed by the lack of photos of this course on the 'Net.

Netley Creek, Friday, April 22.
Triniman 112

Netley Creek is a challenging course that is close to Winnipeg. It's about 25 minutes away from work, between highway 8 and 9, in Petersfield. The front nine was closed and the tempertature was only 7 celcius. Consquently, we were the only ones on the course for both rounds on the back 9. I wore a sweater and a jacket and felt totally comfortable. At no time did anyone feel cold. The 10th hole is a par 5. You tee off to a narrow opening, and uddenly you are in a valley with a creek in front of you and the elevated green about 150 yards awawy. During my second attempt at this hole, I managed to put a three wood shot over the creek and onto the fairway. It might have made the green, but it clipped a tree on the way there. With the rough composed of tons of dried up long grass, we usually found our errant balls, and many others.

I think I found about 30 balls that day. Most I wouldn't play, though. I can't wait to go back when all 18 holes are in play. The people who run the course are very friendly, in fact, I was treated to some free coffee in between our rounds. Never pass up this course on a 7 degree celcius day!

Scotswood Links, Elm Creek, Sunday, April 24.

For $22, this is quite possibly the least expensive course to play near Winnipeg. And, it one of the courses that we have played a lot over the years. The first few greens were in terrible shape. They were full of huge dead spots and the grass was long. This isn't oen of best kept courses around but it will get significantly better once the grass has had time to recover. Dwayne had a bad round. He was playing with PureSpin clubs, which have really thick graphite shafts. Mike was playing with his new set of Taylor Made clubs. This is the type of course where you assume you can break 90 but if you try to hard, you make mistakes that drive up your score quickly. It's deceptive and that's what I like about it. The clubhouse food is also reasonably priced and tasty.

Established in 1986, Scotswood attracts people from all over Manitoba. The challenging 18-hole course is affordable, has a driving range, practice green, Pro Shop & licensed restaurant. Men's & Ladies' nights are popular & teams compete weekly for 'top spot' in the league. Tournaments, power carts, & dinner can all be booked in advance. For more information, call 1 (204) 436-2600, or 1-888-600-GOLF (4653)

Overall, I have begun to putt with the intent of not leaving the ball short. My wedge shots around the greens have been really poor. I have definitely tried to let the irons fall by themselves, rather than force them down. The end result has been that I have been unexpectedly taking divots with the irons and leaving my shots short. It still feels better than, though, than trying to swing aggressively. And, my new Sun Mountain Speed Cart IV has worked out very well. It's fun to use and I look forward to a lot of walking this summer.

website page counter