Professionally, I eluded to a couple of recent changes with my life earlier. In December of last year, we started sharing office space with a construction company that was just starting to make some real progress. The owners are aggressive and entrepreneurial in their thought processes, and they seemed to be doing some good things locally (in-state) as well as out of state - they have an office in Hawaii as well as here.
On July 1st I started full time with them in a Project Management type of position, and so far, I must say it has been good for me. It's great to still be in real estate, and equally great to not be in the day to day operations as a loan guy. If you've been out of your home in the last 2 months you know why I say that - the mortgage lending crunch has been wicked and in the last 2 weeks has only intensified from there. I still consult with buyers on financing options and strategies, but my real work day is filled with getting subdivision projects rolling into a full marketing situation. I am satisfied with this - I feel like WAY more of my skill set is being used, and I am certainly happy taking a salary/bonus structure. I plan to retain my licensing in the state for lending, but I am happy to not have that be my main focus right now.
Okay, so that's the business stuff. Now on to more interesting things:
Some time ago, we bought tickets to see Tony Bennett at Deer Valley. We figured that we would be the youngest ones there (turned out to be not entirely the case), but I figured it would be a great opportunity to see Bennett live for quite possibly one of the last times. He's old, and there are no guarantees in life. Ask Ray Brown. Actually, you can't. He died taking a nap in a hotel 2 hours before a concert.
Anyway, the Deer Valley venue is one of those "pack a picnic, and BYOB" sort of venues, and so we were running around after having spent too much time at the driving range in the morning. One of the stops was the
Now, ordinarily, she would be flattered by this situation - it happens from time to time at bars and clubs we have been to. But we were in a hurry and I was getting exponentially cranky by the second. So I told her to simply go to the car, and I would buy our wine and be out in a minute. The clerk overheard this quick conversation and politely informed us that this was not going to help. *I* would not be served in that store, that day, at any time, unless ThatOneWife came back to the store with her ID.
The clerk lady was an African American, a black person, or whatever we are supposed to refer to them as, and it was ALL I COULD DO to not say something snide like, "Do we all look alike to you?"
I thought better about that and grabbed the wine to put it back on the shelf. She quickly said, oh, we'll put it away, don't worry...
Bet your ass you will. And I walked out.
Like I said, if we hadn't been about an hour behind where we wanted to be, it would have been funny.
But, like most things, it all worked out, we packed up a couple of bottles from our home rack and loaded up the cooler and set off to Deer Valley.
The concert itself was pretty good, though the Deer Valley Music Festival does have a flaw. The Uber-rich local residents (I say Uber-rich, because the Merely Affluent aren't allowed to live there - this is the local enclave of Richistan, after all) have managed to force the festival to shut the thing down at 9:45 PM, no matter what. This means that there isn't much time for three wild encores and such. Obviously, the solution is to boot out the Utah Symphony, who starts the show, in Boston Pops fashion by coming out to play four or five light selections that nobody really cares about or wants to hear. By the time they are cleared off the stage, and the feature artist is ready to go, there just isn't that much time left for them to put on a really great show.
So, Bennett came out and did a great job of the stuff he did - he sounded GREAT, and it was a good show, for what it was. I had beefs with the sound dude, who ran the snare drum with some Paul Bunyan compression that only allowed a "crack" through the filter, and sounded out of line with the rest of the drum kit. And he also pinched a lot of the wide frequencies out of the bass as well. Perhaps he was concerned about getting sound all the way to the back. But it shouldn't have been a problem. But, outdoor venues are tricky for sound, so I'll cut him some slack.
He sang his 12 or so songs, and politely waved to the audience and left the stage. The band stayed back, ready for an encore, and then, about a minute later, they put their axes down and left the stage and the lights came up. All done, go home.
Here is a picture of the general venue. You'll notice my "almost 21 year old wife" in the lower right of the picture. I'm sure you will agree she is both hot, young, and sexy.
The stage was located to the left of this picture, down the hill. It really is a great venue. They just need to fix the time problem. A few weeks ago, they had the same thing happen at the Jewel concert there. She started to play an encore and a venue manager walked out onto the stage and whispered in her ear that she was done. She protested to the stage manager, who whispered again in her ear, and she promptly announced that the show was over and left the stage. Bummer.
Okay, so we're finished with the concert review. On to the last item: golf.
We elected to stay in Park City overnite and play golf at the Homestead early the next morning. We had booked a pretty early tee time in order to beat the heat, and not chew into the bulk of the day. Needless to say, after copious libations the night before, the alarm was AWFULLY early the next morning.
We rolled out of bed, groggy and a bit stiff. Tee time was 7:05, and we hurried to get there, stopping for a quick bite and cup of coffee on the way. Neither of us had played Homestead before, but we have heard many good things about the course. And those good things were borne out as well, as the course is one of those where no matter where you stand, you can only see the hole you are playing for the most part. The course was curvy with lots of doglegs both left and right, and a few forced layup holes. The greens were glassy fast and undulating as well. It took me about 6 holes to begin to loosen up, because we didn't get there in time to hit any balls before we were out on the first tee. I bogeyed or double bogeyed everything in the first six, and then started to put some par holes together.
I ended up with an 86 - nothing to really write home about, but I figure there were LOTS of 3-puts due to the early hour. I would also say that I would attribute about three extra strokes to the fact that when you can't see around the corner of a course you've never played before, you may not know exactly where to hit the ball. The last five holes play out of the mountains and into the flat of the highland meadow, and we were consequently buffeted by some pretty gnarly winds. I know I hit at least two or three screaming good second shots (a 7 iron - which was ALL OVER the stick - and a 9 iron in particular) that should have hit the green hole-high, but were grabbed by the wind and thrown down five yards short of the green. All in all, with the way things were stacked against us, escaping with an 86 is okay with me.
At the time, I was bummed because I had, in the previous couple of weeks, played a couple of 9 hole rounds at 1 and 4 over par. I was happy with those, but the course is way easier and the greens slower.
All in all, a good weekend, lots of fun with family visiting from out of town, and lots of good food and drink.
Next time, I'll not take so much of your time, and I'll be posting a lot more regularly.