I am the King of Self Sabotage

impian201503

One of my resolutions: to break 90 on average. My outing in Impian Golf and Country could have really turned out to be one of the best games I’ve had ever, especially the back nine. However, I am the king of self sabotage.

I started the day quite badly, my recent hot driver turned out to be a piece of crap after all as my familiar duck hooks and push far right shots started to come back. It was as if that driving streak I had in Bangi was a distant dream. So – if the driver start to suck, something else needs to come in play. Even when I drove ok, on the first hole for instance, my approach was just horrendous. Chunk, fat, thin etc. Only after I hit my par on the sixth hole that I started playing well. The double bogey on the eight was a self sabotage, I was trying to drive across the river, which required about a 250 meter carry. I just thought I was good. I was not. But after that, the back nine, I was +1 over 5 holes. But on the par 5 5th, I missed a 3 foot for birdie and from there, everything sort of crashed down. I needed a bogey to get to 89 in the final hole and I double bogeyed after a 3 putt. I 3 putted twice on the last 3 holes that cost me the sub-90 round.

As for the course – Impian is in good conditions, but the greens are really bamboozling. I really cannot putt well there. Ah well.

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Stats So Far

Well, February has concluded and it’s probably a good time to see how things are going in the golf game.

Overall, I’ve been reasonably OK – my drives has returned, but my iron shots are still crappy (partly due to my inherent retardation and also the change of clubs). But my chipping and pitching has just been AWFUL. If not for my drives, I would probably average around 98 or 99 per game.

Instead here is the overall stats:

overallstatsfeb2

It has not been terrible. 92.5 after 6 games with a 93-95-90-97-94-86 needs to be looked at from a more optimistic perspective. The first three games were in tough conditions in KRTU and KRPM, while the 97-94 were quite bad scores even for Seri Selangor and KGNS mickey mouse course. If I wanted to break 90 on average, I better start playing more in friendly courses like Bangi.

In more details, the breakdown as follows:detailstatsfeb2

Averaging over 4 pars per round is pretty normal, a bulk of it really coming from the par 3s. Bad performance overall on par 4s really show that I can’t hit my approaches properly. I can hit it from the tee well enough, but really struggle from the fairway/rough.  Another weakness is the low GIRs, which obviously puts a whole lot of pressure on my chips and short game which, well, usually comes up short.

Here’s hoping for a better March.

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Hacker Guide To Breaking 90

bangicard

 

It seems easy for some golfers, but somehow after hacking this game for what seemed like an eternity (it has only been 11 years), I am still struggling to break 90 regularly. Of all the games I’ve played this year, I finally managed to get that done on the (admittedly) easy going course called Bangi, by scoring 86. Here’s a hackers guide to get it done.

1) Go for everything

This might sound counter-intuitive as Butch Harmon and Leadbetter and all these losers will say, “You gotta manage the course, don’t go for it if you think you can’t.” That’s horse$hit. As Master Yoda would say, “Do or do not. There is no try.”. Every Par 5 in this game I went for 2. On the front 9 3rd, I whacked a 3 wood to the green and the toughest green on earth to putt. 3 putting for par was the best I could do. Admittedly, Hole 8 was almost impossible to go for 2. Hole 13, went for 2 and ended up greenside and just bladed my chip too far for birdie. Hole 17, also went for 2 and ended up greenside again but again, chipping was retarded. The point is, forget about course management – GO FOR IT!

2) Drive like a machine

Due to retarded short game inherent in all hackers, our only hope of survival, we need to drive like a king. Which was precisely what happened. I was blasting the ball like a machine, and only had one bad drive the whole round, the par 4 six, where my drive skittered right, ricochet off the 150m marker and into the bunker.

3) Luck, luck, luck

Again, par 4 six hole, if my drive did not ricochet off the 150 marker, it would have ended up dead in the woods and survivability would have gone from 20% to – 50%. Sometimes, luck is all you need to keep the round going.

4) Go for 1 on if you have a chance

Related to point 1), this is a more extreme case. In Bangi, there are plenty of holes where you can actually blast one on if you are feeling it. Hole 10, I launched it around 20 meters from the green, so near that I had to apologise to the group in front, who just said, “Good shot!”. However, after they saw me chunk my chip and blade my third to a bogey, they just shook their heads and left. Ahhh – the delusions hackers have. Hole 16 is another drivable par 4. I missed mine right, but a friend of mine was left with only 30 meters to the green. Hole 18 is definitely drivable, it’s an elevated teebox and if you had the balls to challenge the bunkers you can go for one on. I was around again, 20 meters from the green.

Hole 1, challenge the trees on the right and you can also one on. And if you are great, even hole 9, you can put it to around 40 meters to the green, which was precisely what my partner did.

But the one hole you MUST go for one on in Bangi is Hole 4 in Putrajaya Nine. This is an elevated tee off to around 270 meters to the green but challenging a large pond fronting the green. Usually people will play safe and play to the fairway to the left, but it didn’t make sense since the drop zone is only around 80 meters from the green. I did go for it and the ball stayed in the air for an eternity before splashing down around 1 meter short of the green. In fact, it hit the stone wall fronting the green and bounded back.

5) Momentum counts

We had a partnership going on, and we played the back nine first. We were 4 – 1 down in the first five holes and the other team was just gloating around us. The sixth hole, I stuck my second on the green around 10 feet but tricky downhill. The other guy, putted around 25 feet from the fringe and dunked in his birdie. They were so confident of winning his partner did not putt out and they were saying 5 – 1 down is too big a hole to dig from. My partner was going for par. I putted, and ridiculously went in for a birdie to tie the first ball and we won the second ball. From there, we went on a tear, from 4 – 1 down, to win 4 straight and won 5 – 4 on front nine, and carried over to the back nine and won 11 – 7 overall, outscoring them 10 – 3 after that unlikely birdie. Play for something, and get the momentum.

In all likelihood, if you are a hacker, you have a retarded short game, like me, so don’t bother about it. Avoid bunkers like the plague. I only hit one bunker (the lucky shot) and the rest was either fairway or rough. We just don’t have the capability of hitting chips, bunkershots or flops that other low handicapers can do. But if you drive like a demi-god, it will cover your flaws. This is the only route to breaking 90, if you continue to suck at short game and putting – like me.

Obviously, the lower handicapers will shake their heads and say, we need to improve the short game, but where do we have time or the discipline to do so? If we had short game, we won’t be hackers!!

Frankly, it’s a lot more satisfying blasting the ball to smithereens and watch it dissolve into the horizon and sunset, isn’t it?

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The End of Golf Entertainment

Over the years, we’ve been graced with the presence of amazing golf from not just Tiger Woods, but a host of other golf celebrities coming down the funnel that has been opened up by the man himself.

Unfortunately, we are seeing the closing of the funnel, as Tiger struggles to cobble together a game resembling golf, and along with him, the relevance of PGA. Make no mistake – PGA needs a top player in US. There is where the market is. Rory is a good golfer, but he’s all there is. He plays well, but frankly, I don’t even bother watching him. He lacks the inherent charisma. To be honest, I would prefer to watch Sergio Garcia or even Bubba Watson compared to him. Sure, they are a-holes but so was Tiger in his prime.

The problem with PGA is that it is becoming irrelevant. It always has been, actually. Golf is a game better played than watched. The problem is always that non-golfers won’t watch golf. It’s like cricket. Nobody watches cricket except players. Whereas for football it’s different. There is a sense of attachment to the team, to the position and travails of the team. You see oversized, fat, obese flers walking around the mamak at midnight gobbling 2 maggie goreng and wearing the jersey for Wayne Rooney. That’s why universally, 98% of the people who watch football, can’t actually play football. In fact, they can’t play anything at all, except maybe PS2 and computer games. But that’s fine, because football is simple and watchable and more importantly, there is a time limit of 90 minutes to it so at least we can confirm with our wives we’ll be back home to clean our son’s crap from the toilet.

Golf is too variable and we have 100s of golfers all around the golf course. TV can’t just follow one person, so most of the time, we spend watching players we don’t give a crap about. Only Tiger had managed to transcend that and create an attachment with worldwide viewers. With him gone, the entertainment disappears. Tiger is bigger than golf, and nobody will be able to carry the game as well as he did for a good part of two decades. I mean, some may not say it, but 5 years from now, golf will return to oblivion in which it was dragged out by a black-thai-chinese-malaysian-spanish mixed guy who wears red every Sunday and pummels his competitors mercilessly into the ground. Post-woods, the game will need to identify his successor. What sort of successor?

1) Anti-establishment – Woods was a misnomer. As someone said, the world became upside down when the best golfer was a black and the best rapper was a white (Eminem). At a time when every player in golf was white, Tiger came and just drove the white supremacy down the toilet where it should have always been. Fuzzy Zoeller, unaware that his racism would cause so much of a stir is best remembered by making a joke about collards and fried chicken when it came to Woods.

2) He was damn good – Woods was an extremely good golfer. Augusta chip. Driving the greens. Hitting it further than any human being at that time. Recovery shots. Amazing putts. He was golf’s first and only mega-celebrity.

3) He was honest to God, arrogant – Woods was more than proud. He was arrogant. We needed people to step on others. Golf was filled with nice guys who were a-holes in the private lives. Woods made it known that he was an a-hole and proud of it. His fist pumps and celebrations wasn’t designed to just look good for TV, it was driving into your heart, and saying, “God, you suck so bad, why do you even bother to show up?”. I mean, how often have we emulated his pointing to his putt as it goes in, or him slamming down his driver in disgust?

4) He was raw – his emotions, his life, even his caddie for the most part – they were raw. He didn’t have the upbringing of uppity class jackasses like David Love the Third. He ‘seemed’ from the ghetto (he wasn’t, but seeming is good enough). Golf had too long been inaccessible to the public – the old guard liked that, but obviously it does not sell.

That’s why when he is struggling now, everyone has a type of schadenfreude. Yet, everyone knows that if he doesn’t recover, the game ends with him. There is no one else to carry the 4 things that drive up golf and make people who don’t play golf, watch.

The end of Tiger Woods means the End of Golf. It might sound prefunctory to say that when we have a bunch of young studs coming out – but the truth is, golf as a game was elevated due to Woods. Without him, it’s just a game not even worthy of mention in the Olympics. Golfers are fine with that of course, because our addiction in the game comes from playing, not from watching. But for the game to be globally accepted? It needs someone like Tiger. Without him, golf is consigned back to obscurity the way Cricket or lawn bowl is.

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The Big Miss

Since I’ve resolved to add a post every week, there will be times I have absolutely nothing to write about except nonsense.

A few weeks back I played in KGNS – a note: they have closed down one of the championship 9…not for good, but for maintenance. They are revamping the greens and bunkers. So the schedule is that it will be closed till maybe June, and then the next championship 9 will be revamped. This leaves us to play 1 championship 9 before hopping over to play one of the mickey mouse course.

We opted to play the 1st and 3rd, because there were more par 5s. I am a pretty decent driver of the ball, but we have one guy who is closing on to 60 years old and he hits it an absolute mile. He’s a former national cager, hockey trainee, badminton…basically his hand eye coordination is perfect. The par 5 7th on the back nine, he absolutely murdered the ball. For our sixer match, he and I were partnered and we played like absolute buffoons, going down dormie 3. For a sixer, you understand, we got whipped in the first 3 holes.

So there he was around 230 meters to the green, and I was in the jungle on the left for my second shot. He absolutely gunned his 3 wood to about 10 feet from the hole to set up an eagle putt downhill. For me, I hit an absolute perfect 9 iron for my 3rd shot, in the trees that dunked to about 4 feet from the hole, uphill putt.

We were already down 3 and you know what we were thinking:

1) I sink a birdie = 1 fringe

2) He sinks his eagle = 6 fringes

3) Both of us par or better = 1 fringe

We could literally turn from zeros to heros and save the game and win everything even if we lost the game.

He putts, and was too cautious, to about 4 feet. He yells out in frustration and in recognition of his stupidity.

He is still away. He misses his birdie putt. 3 putt from 10 feet. He is probably feeling like the biggest moron alive.

I hit my putt too hard, didn’t catch the break and remained stunned as my birdie went away.

From 8 fringes, we just got 1, i.e both of us made par.

You can bet, we never heard the end of this from the other team all the way through lunch.

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So…what the heck are glutes?

OK, I can bet my final dollar that this week, the word ‘glutes’ have been searched on google more times than the combination at all points of history since the internet began. Because, Tiger withdrew from Torrey Pines tournament, saying, he couldn’t activate his glutes.

It gave me a thought, well, actually two:

1) Tiger Woods is really, actually a robot. I’ve suspected as much. When you need to activate something, you are generally lumped as a machine. In this case, a machine that cannot activate its glutes.

2) Glutes. This generally means Ass. It sounds better than saying, I can’t activate my ass. Which is sure to generate a heck more ridicule and laughter than it is now. I don’t care what some of the health experts say, who support Tiger’s activating glutes statement: It’s just bollocks.

And I mean it in a serious way. This is the joker that went through the same course on a broken kneecap (I think) and couldn’t swing his club properly and still won the major. Of course, he was paired in the final round with Rocco Mediate, who, as much as he sounds like a pornstar, he’s actually not. He resembles a little chihuahua who happens to play lucky and reasonable golf. By any stretch of imagination, probably like a trishaw next to Tiger’s ferarri.

But he won it. And now you’re saying he’s quiting because he has pain in the ass? Come on, Tiger, let not your legacy be remembered for you quiting your final tournament because you could not activate your ass. It’s a horrifyingly humiliating end to the greatest golfer of all time. Whatever you need to do to activate your glutes, do so.

At least now I can make a new excuse for my common first hole screw ups: “Ai ya, sure hook one, because I cannot activate my glutes lah.”, and sure to be met by a stunned response of my flightmates at my amazing knowledge of golf gluteness.

I mean what does an activated ass look like anyway?

Are these activated glutes?

    

Now, I don’t know about Tiger, I think these are seriously activated glutes. I mean – sheesh. Definitely activated.

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Weighing in on Tiger

You know that this is coming.

Of all the biggest fan of Tiger’s, Gilagolf is the biggest. I mean if it wasn’t for this guy, I wouldn’t even have picked up the club 12 years ago and started my lifelong spiral into this mega time-wasting, money-hogging, life-destroying game called golf. It’s because of this black guy in the red shirt on Sunday, killing everyone who dared to challenge him. He was Michael Jordan of golf and after years on top, the game unfortunately still needs him badly. Badly.

You would think by now, someone would have stepped up to the plate. But has anyone replaced Michael Jordan? Nope. Likewise, I hate to say it and sound like the biased fanboy I obviously am – noone has replaced Tiger. Sure, you got a slew of jokers exchanging number 1 ranking, the latest being this Irish boywonder with a beautiful swing – but he has a personality of a cardboard.

Tiger? Boy, he sucked at the Phoenix open. He hit like seriously crap shots. I mean these are shots, I am hitting. At the risk of being ridiculed, I know what he’s going through. There was once that the thought of chipping completely sent me into an epilepsy. I was retarded at chipping. To a point I would putt from 30 meters in. To a point where if I had a go for a Par 5 in two, I would rather lay up to a 100 meters for a full sand wedge as opposed to anything resembling a pitch or a chip. I don’t know. It was just a time when my neurons refused to work, and my chip would be a duff, shank, skull, or anything.

I have somewhat recovered (this was late last year), but I am still struggling with bad chips. It’s not so much of technique but a mental retardation. I just know what I am supposed to do but cannot execute. Then I will second guess myself and turn into a baboon trying to hump an iguana. While getting tasered at the same time. I think Tiger is pretty close to a tasered baboon humping an iguana, so I gotta say this, he’s really got to get his act together for next week.

My wife has her take on this. She hardly has any opinions on this game of golf except that the sunblock I use, according to her, stink up my wardrobe. And that I am stupid to always forget I have tees and coins in my pocket before I dump my pants into the washing machine. Anyway, her take is simple: Tiger needs to sleep with other women. With many women. Because the women drove his game, gave him the alpha male confidence that he can take on anyone and be entitled to be a bad-ass. Once he lost all those pornstars, he’s just like all of us. One woman man. And often, the woman will berate us for spending too much time on the golf course. To be honest, his current girlfriend is pretty hot herself but I guess Tiger would prefer a few rather than one. So, according to my wife, for Tiger to get back his game, he needs to get back his pornstars. Go Porn!

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The Before Trilogy and random thoughts

I’ll be honest, I’m a bimbo movie go-er. That means, my preference is always going to movies or watching movies to be mind numbed. Case in point – Godzilla, The Equalizer, John Wick, Edge of Tomorrow… the movie needs to be a) Lots of killing b) Super big special effects c) Not much thinking involved.

However, every once in a while, some inspired thing called ‘time’ shows up at my door and I find that I have some good movies, like really good movies to crunch through. I was on my way to Japan (I can’t sleep on flights) and managed to watch two good ones – the first was the One Hundred Foot Journey – excellent. But the second – Boyhood – was just amazing. Google ‘Boyhood’ and you will understand what so special about this movie.

Anyway, I became very curious of the director Richard Linklater and found that he directed other movies – and some of them I’ve heard before but never got to watch–the Before trilogy. It’s three movies – Before Sunrise, Before Sunset and Before Midnight that followed the lives of two people, separated by 9 years each movie. The thing about it, like Boyhood, it’s actually real-time. Meaning, it’s REALLY 9 years between the movies and not just the word “9 years later” and then makeup to make the actors look older or younger. It’s ridiculous.

It helps to have Ethan Hawke who is a very underated actor to be honest. I think he’s up there with Christian Bale but just never got the breaks. And Julie Delphy, who is of course, this amazing French actress who can really act (watch the scene in Before Midnight in the hotel room and you will understand).

Anyway, I won’t go into the movies, but if you have the time, watch the Before Sunrise, Sunset and Midnight in sequence. You won’t regret it.

It doesn’t have much drama or plot…just a LOT of talking. I mean, I never knew conversation could be so enjoyable to watch, but it is. There is like a sequence of 20 minutes of long takes of both of them (Celine and Jesse in the movie), just talking. Why is it interesting? Well, for anyone who had ever gone on any relationship – this really reflects a little of what we go through.

Awkward talking in the beginning – natural flow of conversation after a while. I recall in my college years, when you know, we were starting to move from oogling girls, to getting to know them – there were exactly those times when I was just walking and talking with a girl, exchanging ideas, philosophies, opinions. In Australia, there were plenty. Most of them were just very close friends who remain close till today, but one or two were actually people I would develop a deeper relationship with…and of course, one of them happened to be my wife today. We would go on long walks and talks, similar to the movie, and I guess that’s why it’s so relatable and watchable. It was like having our own lives being played out on screen. The mundane, yet interesting subjects we would so randomly touch on. The jokes that didn’t work. The transitionary vision of people and things.

The last is actually very vivid in the scene in Before Sunrise, where Jesse and Celine asks direction from two guys at the bridge in Vienna. They start talking and the guys invite them for a play that night, and we all think, well, that’s part of the plot. They would go to the play and have fun with the locals and develop some drama. But only….no. As the movie meander on, no other appearance from the guys at the bridge and they did not go to the play, instead hanging out alone playing pinball at a random bar. Only in the morning did Jesse passingly joked: “You know what – we didn’t go to that play.”

It’s just genius. Because that’s how we are at life. Everything and everyone is somewhat transitionary, especially if two people are in love…they forget others, not out of selfishness, but out of nature. Victor Hugo, the dude who wrote Les Mis said: “Loving is almost a substitute for thinking. Love is a burning forgetfulness of all other things.”

Sometimes, my literary side comes up, amidst all the rants on golf and hacking courses. If you have time to waste and want to watch 3 movies before you get married, or just got married, or having some issues with the other half – watch these 3 movies. Love isn’t so much of a feeling, after a while; it’s more of a decision and a lot of work. But I think to many of us, it’s worth it.

Best scenes of the movies:

a) Before Sunrise – the part where both of them pretended to be talking to their best friends over the phone (they were actually pretend-calling each other across the table) about their feelings for the other person. Genius. I should have used that as my go-to ‘kau-lui’ move in college!

b) Before Sunset – the apartment scene, I guess, when Julie Delphy (Celine) played the song about Ethan Hawke (Jesse) on the guitar about the previous meeting 9 years back. It was written by her actually and it’s actually a good waltz!

c) Before Midnight - by far, the final argument scene in the hotel room. It’s so real. It’s like me and my wife battering each other verbally before calling a truce, then battering again, then calling a truce and finally me trying to crack a joke to solve everything. Modus Operandi!

OK, have a great week and Happy hacking!

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And so, the season begins

The PGA season began last week – and some news worthy stuff was how Martin Kaymer lost a 10 stroke lead in the final round of the Abu Dhabi tournament. Yes. A 10 stroke lead. That’s like a football equivalent to leading by 5 goals and then losing 6-5. That’s a basketball equivalent of leading 60 points at the half and then losing by 1. This is a collapse of monumental proportion, but then again we know Martin Kaymer is not that great a player. I covered it well here at this link: Martin Kaymer cannot draw.

Another notable is that Robert Allenby got kidnapped after he got cut in Hawaii and beaten. I frankly don’t think its a coincidence. Robert Allenby has a reputation of being a major a-hole, and he probably pissed off a few locals in the bar and probably had a beer too many. He once wanted to fight with fellow Aussie Geoff Ogilvy for what he thought was a sarcastic tweet. Yes, he’s not 15 years old, he’s a lot older than that. Probably more than a few people had thought if anyone deserved to be kidnapped and whacked up, it would have been him.

Finally – golf this week. I played in my old haunt, Rahman Putra and shot an amazing 96. Yes, I am being sarcastic, and likely Allenby will take offense. I didn’t play too bad actually. I was banging my drives like a king. The problem was the rough was just ridiculously difficult to play. I had two holes where I saw the ball land but had to declare lost ball because I just couldn’t find it. It was extremely thick.

However, at least I got my birdie at the 10th. It’s the reachable par 5, where a long drive leaves you around 210. My 3 wood was good, but right, so it went into the bunker, where using my new Titleist Wedge, I got it out to 5 feet and I sank it. Unfortunately that was the only highlight as I sleepwalked with only 3 pars and a few lost balls to a yawning 96. Still, sometimes you take the positives and there were heaps of it, like finally a consistent driving round. The greens were very, very slow even by Rahman Putra’s standard, and I had around 4 -5 3 putts to compliment my great game all round. Again, sarcasm.

So my resolution of shooting below 90 average for 2015 is still quite a distance away after a 93 – 96 score to start the year!

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Resolution Quick Check

New_Year_ResolutionIn keeping up with my resolution of one post a week, here is one, in the final hour of the week.

1) Score an average of 89.9. Well, we had our first game in – of all places – KRTU. As you would know me, this is not a course that I fancy at all. However, despite a downpour the day before, the course has actually improved a bit, in that it no longer represent a swamp in Florida. You can actually PLAY. I shot a respectable 44 on the front nine, but completely got overwhelmed with lousy tee offs for a 49 in my back nine. So, 93, 4 shots off my resolution. It’s just the first game. Many more to go.

2) Play Proper Golf. As in no cheats or bad drops. Not bad. The only one I had was when my ball was nestled between some roots and I requested for a free drop. Otherwise, the closest I came to breaking this resolution was when I hit one shot that I saw land, bounce but when I went there, we could not find it at all. The hole was soggy and bad, and it probably went deep into the soil. I could have dropped and asked for free drop, but its obviously a lost ball. +2. Another instance was when I was teeing off, and just as I was on my downswing, the ball Fell off the tee. I still managed to whacked it, but only around 120 – 150 meters into the jungle. Play as it lies, no freebies.

3) Learn German. Ich Spechen ein wenig und verstehe ein wenig. German is considered one of the easiest language to learn but the problem is you can’t learn it with Google Translate. Google gives a literal translation, whereas German grammar is different from English. For instance, if we asked, What time it is please, Google translate gives Wie Spat Ist es bitte? However, this is broken German as the correct way to say it is Wie Viel uhr ist es bitte? In English, it means “How many clock is it please”? Or Was machen sie? It means what are you doing, but literal translation is “what doing you?”. Darn, it’s hard! Scheisse !(which means sh*t)

4)Write an article per week – here it is.

5) Cut down the swear words – I just say it now in German instead.

6) Play KLGCC – Nicht.

7) Use my golf membership properly – Nicht.My regular foursome has abandoned me. They now have their regular group and only have me as their 3rd option if the first two cant make it, and one of their grandmother opts not to play.

8) Lower my weight to 72. Um, no. Not yet.

9) Read a book in top 10 – Not yet.

10) Go to top 10 places before I die – not yet. As in not yet gone to the place, not, not yet die.

11) Play Wasteland 2 – bought it, and playing it, to the detriment of my business. Will be writing about it soon.

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