Back at the Screencaps command center
Let me start this morning by asking the old salty road dog salesmen of the Screencaps world how you guys stay awake on these drives across America. There I was Monday driving my wife and her coworker across Indiana and all I could think about was a nap.
Do you guys drink Red Bull? Gallons of coffee? Listen to riveting podcasts? Make calls to your golfing buddies?
In my 20s, I would make the drive from Wilkes-Barre, PA after finishing my newspaper shift at around 1 a.m. and travel all night back to Dayton. Those were some lonely eight-hour drives at 3 or 4 a.m. in the middle of nowhere Pennsylvania when you don’t see another car for a half-hour. Now I sit here and can’t believe some of you suits do this for a living.
Don’t get me started on the truck drivers who deserve every single dollar they make at that job. Not only do they have to deal with the rigors of the road and the terrible food, they also have to deal with the Turnpike credit card machines that don’t work. Sunday, I was next to a trucker who was so fed up with the woman ahead of him having trouble with the machine that he pulled out his own credit card and approached the toll booth to pay the bill so she’d get out of the way.
If this week’s quick trip taught me anything, it’s that I’ve officially reached the point in my life where life on the road no longer has the mystery and romance it once held for me. Now, I wouldn’t say ‘no’ if my wife said she’s ready for a trip across Montana, over to Mike & Cindy Ts in Idaho and then all the way to the Pacific Ocean. But around here, I’ll happily stick with the 2-to-4-hour quick hitter trips with as little stress, and toll booths, as possible.
And bonus points if there’s a patio with a view at the end of the road.
Aaron H. would like to clarify his email to cyclists
Just read the screencaps from Saturday morning and would like to respond. It was not my intention to say that all cyclists are bad, and felt I expressed that in my initial email. Tommy from Texarkana seems like a good dude who I could sit down and have a conversation/beers with over a topic we might not agree on, and still be able to shake hands and go our separate ways afterwards.
I’m not against cyclists and he was completely right when he said there are bad eggs that ruin it for the rest of the bunch. It’s no different for so many other groups in our country, sadly – I was not aiming the email at the ones who do it right. He mentioned he goes through the stop signs if nobody is around – no issues with that, I’d do the same thing.
Maybe he would like to come to Iowa and observe how many cyclists don’t stop at a stop sign, even when there are cars stopped from all 4 directions, waiting for their turn to go. He might start to feel my frustration.
Or he can come drive the 5 miles to the neighboring town, where a freshly asphalted bike trail runs parallel to the 2-lane highway and see how many cyclists decide to go on the highway instead. Maybe it’s an Iowa cyclist thing, but it has run its course here and people are starting to lash back at the cyclists and this is why they get the bad name around here.
And yes, I was referring to giving a little to get a little when it comes to the respect piece. I don’t ride, but feel like I’m able to see their side of things for the most part. It seems like cyclists think they are entitled to whatever they want to do and rules don’t apply to them. Again, could be an Iowa thing, could be that Tommy is just that good of a dude thing, could be a combo of both. Either way, I’m not calling for a cycling boycott – get outside and off your phone doing anything nowadays – but it does seem like it’s an issue that could be improved upon.
PS – I’m getting married this weekend and our reception is in our shed. Praying the rain holds off so I can get a fresh mow in Thursday night and have our guests talking about how straight the lines look when they arrive Saturday. Thanks again, I think Screencap nation has got me hooked.
Selling the family land
• A different Aaron H. writes:
Hey Joe, family has decided to sell the family land. 125 ac in Carter County, KY near I-64. 80 ac is flat, the rest is hilly up to the ridge, kind of like the OSU Horseshoe. Small crick, small pond, prime for running livestock, building a homestead or hunting. Street access.
The comps are few and far between. I’d love to hear your readers’ thoughts.
In one pic, the tiny white speck is my car, and there’s another 5ac beyond that.
I’ve tracked quite a bit of athlete real estate in my time, but it hasn’t been in Carter County, KY. Anyone have a guestimate on what it’s worth?
• Jon U. writes:
Glad to hear you’re enjoying your visit to Chicago. Just got back from a week-long trip with friends and my wife to Great Exuma, Bahamas.
Amazing water, snorkeling and beaches!
I came back to an overgrown lawn and constant rain today…
Guys being guys on a golf trip
• Adam D’s golf trip is officially in the books and it sounds like you guys did a great job with recommendations. Adam writes:
You called it on Saturday. We got 14 rainy holes in at Horton Smith Golf Course before lightning did us in at 2pm. We headed over to a local sports bar for some food and adult beverages. One of the veterans of multiple golf trips, including one to Scotland. Introduced the group to a drink called Fescue Rescue, for the readers out there wanting to know what that is. 1/2 Ginger Beer, 1/3 lemonade, the rest Jameson Whiskey.
After a couple hours of drinking those led to the picture of us at the bar with our legs crossed. In the background of the photo you can see the tornado warning on the tv’s, thankfully that was south of us. Once one of us fell backwards heading to the bathroom it was time to head back to our rental homes. We had two DDs to drive everyone home. The two single guys went out to hear some live music and meet some local ladies that night. The rest of us just spent time at the house sharing war stories of past golf outings. We were glad that the bad weather was on Saturday when we were playing the lesser of all the courses.
Sunday morning was a cool crisp morning almost like a British Open morning would feel. We were up early and headed to Buffalo Ridge Golf Course for the finale! Team 1 had already wrapped up the Ryder cup format. This was just a play for quota and some side bets that were made the day before at the bar. 50 degrees and overcast at tee time. We all just spent time on the putting greens and driving range enjoying the course before tee time.
We got a group photo before we teed off for the morning. They had buffalo heads for the big tee boxes! There were even live Buffalo grazing around the course. The views were breath taking from any point on the course. The fairways were green as a john deere tracker! Greens were tournament level speed even after the amount of rain from the day before. Every hole was unique in hole placement, sand traps, and views.
The front nine lulls you in with its beauty and forgiveness in the roughs. On hole five, Buffalo Ridge serves you a Bison Hot Dog with your greens fees. You start to feel like this course isn’t so tough, then you drive by the club house under a tunnel into another world, the back nine! The back nine is just a challenge from every level. Lots of water to intimidate your tee shots, your second shot and sometimes your third shot of the par 5s.
As if you didn’t start to feel defeated on the 18th hole that the course hadn’t won, the pin placement was on a ledge that was so extreme. If a ball wasn’t put within three inches of the cup, it was rejected and sent 30 feet back down the hill to the front of the green. One guy actually had that 30 foot put to make at the start and hit the ball 29 feet and 6 inches only to watch it roll all the back down to his feet. Just a devastation to watch helplessly as your ball comes back to your feet after a good putt.
This trip was full of lots of laughs, drinks, golf and experiences that will last a lifetime! So glad to be able to experience this trip with these guys! They all come from different backgrounds and different situations. But the love of golf and guy stuff has brought us together. This feels like the beginning of something special that can potentially last for years and years! Every course we played was fun and challenging in its own way. Two things that stood out to me on this trip. One I need to practice a lot more at golf. Two, playing golf with some amazing dudes is a whole lot of fun! Thank you again for the inspiration.
• Beau in Toledo sent this in:
• Indy Daryl writes:
I know we have talked in the past about how slow boxwoods are to grow and how awesome lavender plants are. Just wanted to say, through pictures, that there is definitely hope and reason to be excited in the future! Have a great night
Thank you for the comparison, Daryl. I have like 7 or 8 boxwoods that I planted last year that I’d like to see grow into a 3-foot hedge. Looks like I have just a few years go go before that’s happening.
The death of adult softball observations
• Chris A. writes:
First off, due to the community you have created and fostered, I got motivated and cleaned out my embarrassing garage, bought new shelves and an awesome Milwaukee rolling workbench/tool chest, reorganized everything, and now have a garage I can fit one car into. The other side of the garage is where my John Deere lawn tractor sits, and I am not letting it sit outside under some flimsy canvas cover when it could be safe and dry in the garage. Wednesday is my mowing league night since my golf league is Thursday night, which I think is an acceptable excuse. My wife asked why I was doing the lawn on Wednesday now, and I said it was because I won’t have to do it Friday-Sunday. “Ooooh, right!”
The softball question is what has prompted me to write. I worked for a major hospitality company for 35 years. When I started at the HQ building of this company, there were 3,000 employees working at HQ and surrounding satellite offices, and an in-house, 24-team co-ed softball league that involved players throughout the organizational structure. The company’s in-house gym facility ran the league, with full support and lots of financial backing from the company. Most teams had cheering sections from the departments that the teams represented, like Tax, Accounting, HR and IT. And these were fully stocked teams, with 15 people or more on each roster. The end of season tournament was an all-day event that everyone would attend, even if your team didn’t qualify for the tournament (the top 6 teams from the two divisions made it in). Seven years ago, the last year I worked for this company, the company could barely scrape together 6 teams for the league, and those teams were one head cold or child care emergency from forfeiting a game.
Why the decline? The first reason is that not as many men play baseball anymore growing up. There’s soccer and lacrosse in the spring now, and that’s where a lot of guys play now. Soccer and lacrosse players cannot play softball without looking silly, which is kryptonite to a 25-year old on a co-ed team with women players who are a lot better than them due to the explosion in girls’ and women softball programs.
The second reason is lack of time. Our games used to start at 6:00pm to get two games in before dark. 6:00 seems like the time to order dinner at your desk because you got to work at 9:30am (don’t get me started on this subject: I’m a 7:30am start time guy).
The third is changing demographics. The office is now composed of a variety of men and women from different countries and backgrounds, some of whom have never seen a softball, let alone played it.
The fourth reason is people working from home. No camaraderie in the office equals none outside the office. And who wants to fight rush hour traffic to play softball at a field close to your office’s location when you don’t even live near the office?
The final reason is company support. Companies do not want to be seen favoring one sport or type of activity over another, in the interests of “fairness” and “inclusion”, and the leadership just doesn’t need another bat for someone to beat them with when someone complains about company culture. Nap space and free meals are fine because everyone sleeps and eats. Softball is actively played by, what, 5% of the population?
So yeah, as a community institution, softball is going the way of Elks Lodges, Owls Nests, VFW halls and spaghetti dinners at the firehouse. It’s all a consequence of “Bowling Alone”, to coin the title of a recent book. It’s been replaced by meeting for coffee or going to the latest brewpub after work. Different, and maybe better, maybe not. But everything is different than it was 30 years ago.
Sorry for the length of this email. My friends tell me I talk too much. My wife labels it “verbal diarrhea.”
Those are some very interesting observations on the death of adult softball. Now I’m starting to think about how people who work from home are finding camaraderie. I guess softball players are now the Crossfit community.
Steve E. in Gresham, OR is ready to make the switch
• I just told my wife on our road trip that one of the biggest trends I’m noticing has to do with men switching to battery-powered mowers. Steve E. in Oregon is ready to make the switch, but he has questions for the vets:
As a loyal TNML member, without starting a Holy War on lawn mower types, I would like to get some advice from experienced members on an electric lawn mower.
My yard is only about ~300 sq feet, so I don’t need anything huge, but what I’d like to get is a battery powered one that will do the job, and has decent batter life. I’ve been looking around at reviews, but I’d like to get some advice from TNML members that have actual experience with them.
I know Jess in Alabama is about to wring my neck for not having an electric mower edition of Screencaps ready for Steve E. to reference. Now I have to go through the email inbox search function to dig up the reviews that have been sent in.
It’s amazing how quick consumer shifts occur in one season. A year-ago, I barely received any emails on battery-powered mowers. Now I’m receiving at least a few each week.
And I’m still interested to know your thoughts on battery-powered mowers and masculinity. Is there a testosterone drop-off when you fire up that battery mower?
And with that, let’s get the day rolling. I figured today’s Screencaps would be all over the place, but that typically breeds a massive surge in emails. Here I thought some of you would disappear this week as vacations crank up. It’s not happening. It’s Tuesday and you guys are on full email tilt right now.
Now, go out there and drive those hundreds of miles to sell, sell, sell. I’ll be right here in the HQ keeping an eye on the world while you keep your eyes on the road.