The Masters app is on, I’m dialed in and the sun is out
I don’t have some incredible monologue this morning. I can report that I did find more envelopes last night during a baseball cleat and bat run for the kids, but I didn’t address the envelopes. I got in the recliner, watched The Masked Singer with the kids, and then it was lights out.
My plan is to work a full day and address TNML envelopes until the sun goes down. Then I’ll probably get back in the recliner and close my eyes as the birds chirp during the ESPN Masters replay. I couldn’t ask for a better work-life than that.
Someone wrote to me saying how I was up working early in the morning the other day and up late. That’s the nature of this business at times. Remember, when the golf season officially-officially begins, my lifestyle changes. I’ll give you guys 125% during the offseason, but once that weather changes, I really like to treat myself and the family to no-stress days of relaxation.
Quickly, let’s get to a Screencaps first.
Tom H. from Fort Wayne stopped by my house Wednesday afternoon to drop off maple syrup straight out of trees on his property. Now I don’t want too many readers stopping by because there has to be a Screencaps-life balance, but it was nice to chat with Tom for a few minutes before he and his wife headed to their Pennsylvania cabin.
My next meetings will be with Jon F. & Beau in Toledo at the bars of their choice.
Here’s Tom’s syrup process:
Early on a Saturday, I start boiling the sap to remove water. I just continually add sap to my boiling pan and water evaporates, leaving the sugar behind. The raw sap contains about 2-3% sugar, but maple syrup contains about 65% sugar, so it takes a great deal of time to turn 160 gallons of sap into syrup. I boil all day Saturday and bottle it after testing the sugar content using a hydrometer. Very scientific, and you can’t drink too much beer during the day or you won’t be able to test accurately!
On guys getting together for guy trips
• Adam D., a great member of TNML, writes:
Inspired by Screencaps 8 of us men are about to embark on a guy’s golf trip to Springfield/Branson, Mo in May. We are planning to play 1 round on Friday, 2 on Saturday and 1 on Sunday and the drive home.
We have the houses rented out and we are all very excited! We wouldn’t have been planning this with all the other SC community sharing their stories of amazing golf trips. My question is what types of games does the community play with teams of 4 or 2?
We all want to play our own balls and want more than just scramble games. This could be the start of some beautiful trips and maybe one day head to Put-in-Bay for your tournament!
This is an excellent question for the golf trip experts who read Screencaps.
8 guys, four rounds and they want to play their own balls, but it sounds like they want some fair action to make things interesting.
On new homeowner mistakes
• Ken S. in North Augusta, SC writes:
Reading about the homeowners hacking down their lilac bushes. Sorta sad.
Having made multiple landscaping mistakes over the years, I can offer a few tips, the first three which are all variations on the same theme:
1 – Don’t plant a bush you like where the driveway meets the street. Eventually, it will block the view of oncoming traffic, and you’ll have to prune it back dramatically, or even remove it.
2 – Plant trees farther apart than you think you should. They WILL fill in, creating nice shade.
3 – Plant bushes/hedges farther from the house than you want. They, too, will grow, which makes it hard to maintain alongside the house, and creating mildew/painting problems in the future.
4 – Find a good garden center, and get advice from there…then act on that advice. This makes a big difference in the long run.
Final thought, on a different topic: Got my email telling me that my TNML sticker was in the mail! Getting pumped for the season!
Thanks for the regular dose of normalcy.
Great point on No. 3. Someone planted a weeping cherry up on our house before we purchased this place and it had to be constantly pruned back in the spring — until it died. I loved that tree and the shade. Yes, another one is going in this year.
• Guy G. writes:
I’ve been a homeowner a bunch of times. The amount of houses I’ve owned in my life is a bit absurd. Before the 08 crash, I flipped houses south of Wilmington, NC. Very fun…right up until the crash. Very not fun at that point.
What I have found, now that I’m in the house that I will never leave, is that it takes years of watching the vegetation before cutting. There is a wooded section in front of our house, that is about an acre or so. Up until 2 years ago, I wanted to slash all the over-growth out, and open it up for the trees to grow more. But, as I sat having coffee one morning on the front porch, I watched deer move through it, turkey nested against a few trees, and many rabbits moving around from the brush, to my lawn and back again.
It was then that I decided, as a conservationist and hunter, that I had to preserve this area. Until June, the whole thing looks dead and awful. It greens up until October, but the real greatness of this area is that the birds and wildlife have a place to lay low. I won’t hunt this area, making it a small preserve for them to take a break, and live their lives. (and get fat!!)
Just because it may not look good in the winter, take time to really study the plant life on the property. Sit out on Saturday morning with your coffee, and find out what is really going on.
• Wayne W. in Saint Augustine, FL writes:
One thing I’ve learned after buying a second house is when you get the inspection done, be on-site to check things the inspector won’t. 2 examples are Venetian blinds and shutoff valves for sinks and toilets.
After moving into my current house I had to buy all new blinds because most of them no longer worked, and I had a lot of windows. Also, if you live somewhere where hard water is a problem making sure all of the shut-off valves will still turn. You may find many of them frozen stiff. 1 more item I can think of: open and close every window in the house to make sure they work, and/or the ballast doesn’t fall out.
Windows aren’t cheap. If the house has a screen porch make sure the screen is still good and secure. That’s all I can think of at the moment.
Windows! Seems so simple, yet what an expense. And good entry doors. Speaking of which, I need a new front door. The whole unit. There goes a few thousand dollars of vacation money.
• Chris B. writes:
1) You’re going to need a lot more stuff and have a lot more expenses than you think. Hoard your cash. Put as little down as you can get away with and let inflation do the work.
2) Your payment will go up in the second year, especially if you buy new construction. The initial tax is on the empty lot and is reassessed when the house is built.
3) That first mower can come from secondary sources like the flea markets etc. You don’t need the $5,000 tractor to play in the TNML.
4) Find a good versatile handyman who can handle your minor jobs. A lot of jurisdictions don’t require licenses and permits if the job is under a fixed amount. Love that guy and feed him and cultivate that relationship so when you call he’ll answer.
5) Congratulations – you’re on the right financial path.
On K-9s of America
• Meet Ma-Ma. Officer Louie tells me, “She has more energy than a nuclear reactor and is a drug finding machine.”
Now, Ma-Ma is not a Border Patrol Beagle finding illegal meats being brought into the U.S., but you’re darn right I have a soft spot for the hard-working police dogs out there who just want to go to work and sniff out drugs.
It’s one thing to post dogs just laying around a family room being pets. It’s another to post these machines on the clock.
Let me know if there’s a police dog out there I need to know about. And someone let me know if police still have Bloodhounds on staff.
On the beauty of the Instant Pot
• Paul B. in Naples, FL writes:
Something that hits straight to my heart. I absolutely love my instant pot. I love it so much that this weekend, as I was making a delicious chicken and gravy with egg noodles dish, I thought to myself “what would I do if my instant pot broke and I had to go without you?” You name it and I’ve made it in there. You can take frozen shrimp right out of the freezer and put it in the instant pot for one minute and voila! It’s fantastic. My favorite dish to make is probably Chicken Cacciatore.
On free dirt
• Beau in Toledo writes:
Yeah, I’m thinkin’ the responders are #TNML Members
Hey ladies, never forget that we can always find a spot for free dirt. And it’s not just dirt. Yesterday, someone hauled off a pile of rotten firewood from our neighborhood.
On the ‘Poopy Diaper Bet’ amongst grown men
• It’s Thursday at the Masters, let’s get crazy today fellas.
Matt W. writes:
I’ve been dragging my feet to write this thing out – b/c to be honest, not sure if you could use it in SC, but I know you’d probably appreciate it … and after seeing the note this morning about Djibouti, I decided to give it a shot writing this thing out.
Quick background about me – Navy pilot, 19 years in – 1 more to go (its getting harder and harder with the bureaucracy … remember when the Left used to hate the military?! Should tell you something about the state of things), 5 “cruises” … deployments – 4.5 years of my life on aircraft carriers…
So I was stationed in Japan and we were on cruise in the Pacific babysitting China, Russia, North Korea – if they did anything stupid, like China try and take back Taiwan – sadly, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Chinese tried it before the next presidential election, but I digress… we pull into Singapore for a port call.
I would describe a port call, at least in a Naval Aviator’s description, of “living like a millionaire 4 days at a time” … been stuck on the boat for a month plus, brow comes down and you’re ready to go – nicest hotel, best food, great drink, among other things – you just hope to not be a “bottle rocket” the first night where you get so hammered partying that you’re hangover lasts the next 3 days and ruins the rest of the port call.
So we’re at one of the Swissotel in Singapore, having some cocktails up at the bar at the top, when we over hear a discussion amongst two of the Carrier Air Wing “Intelligence” Officers (each squadron has on INTEL O). I’m sad to say I can’t remember the exact bet, but it was something overtly obvious that the one guy was wrong … think “the sky is blue … no its green”, “if it has beans, its stew not a chili … no chili not only has beans, but it also has spaghetti and cinnamon” … but the bet they wagered to decide on said argument was “a poopy diaper”.
Here the rest of us are trying to enjoy our “Singapore Slings” (gotta do at least one when you’re in Singapore), looking at each other if a “poopy diaper bet” did in fact, involve a “poopy diaper”. Now mind you, these INTEL Os are junior officers, Lieutenant Junior Grades (O-2 for the military readers), mid 20-year-olds.
Come to find out, they did indeed mean, strapping on a set of Depends and taking a ‘grumper’…
So the first wager is decided and the loser is dumbfounded he lost, again the wager was something along the lines of so obvious, we were floored even further after realizing the wager that had been placed … then the loser goes for double or nothing!
He loses that one as well, and a negotiation ensued … after much deliberation, what was decided was that instead of having to defecate in two different adult diapers, the loser would do it once … while talking to a hot girl.
So after a quick run to the nearest pharmacy, said loser, puts on a pair of adult diapers, approaches the gorgeous bartender at the bar at the Swissotel, asks where the group should go out tonight … as she begins to answer, you see the loser grimace like only one can as a grown man purposely pooping himself, wearing an adult diaper, at a high-end bar in Singapore. The stench hits us about the same time as it hits the bartender… she attempts to hold her breath as she excused herself from said individual and walks away, as he lowers his head in defeat, and disgust … waddles past our group as he says he doesn’t think he can bring himself up to joining the party tonight post-shower, since he’s so disgusted with himself….
My buddies and I’s lives were forever changed that night with the introduction of the ‘poopy diaper’ … you think a gentlemanly wager of $50/$100 on a stupid argument, if a man brings a “poopy diaper” to the table – you know he’s serious, and to be honest, I don’t have the balls make a bet where I willingly sh$t myself…
Always a pleasure and can’t agree more with getting off the Internet (outside of SC) and social media.
And with that, I have no choice but to end Screencaps. Where do we even go after that craziness?
Let’s try to clear the mind and get out there to attack another great day across this great country. Get that Masters app loaded (not sure why the sound isn’t working on the Holes 4, 5 and 6 channel) and try to do at least an hour of work today.