Monday, April 12, 2021

Three Beautiful Things 04/11/2021: Hideki Matsuyama Wins!, Money and Video Rentals, Take Out Family Dinner

1.  For those players chasing Hideki Matsuyama in the final round of the Masters today, a tall order lay before them. The course was windy and the greens quick. If Matsuyama shot even par on Sunday, the players right behind him would have to shoot 68 in order to tie him and go even lower to win the tournament outright.

If I remember correctly, when Matsuyama birdied 8 and 9, he was five strokes ahead at the turn and it looked like the back nine would be a coronation.

But, it was as if Lee Corso was on hand, issuing his signature warning: "Not so fast my friend."

Matsuyama's playing partner, Xander Schauffele, drained a birdie putt on 12 and Matsuyama bogeyed the hole. Then Schauffele birdied the next three holes, closing the gap between him and Matsuyama to two strokes with three holes to play.

On the 16th hole, Schauffele hit what he later said felt like a perfect 8 iron off the tee, but as his shot soared toward the green, a gust of wind buffeted it, it fell short of the green, and rolled into the hole's water hazard. Schauffele ended up with an ugly triple bogey and Matsuyama was once again comfortably ahead of the field.

Matsuyama had enough of a cushion that he could safely bogey 17 and 18 and still win the Masters by a single stroke over the astonishing 24 year old newcomer, Will Zalatoris, playing in his first Masters and leaving a memorable impression with his spirited, powerful, and deft play in all four rounds. 

Until today, no Japanese player had won one of the men's four major golf tournaments. Golf is an uber popular sport in Japan and, according to what I've read, Hideki Matsuyama's victory inspired jubilation across the country. Hideki Matsuyama said he hoped his success would inspire other Japanese golfers to follow his success with major victories of their own. 

2. I didn't watch the last couple of hours of the Masters very  closely because I was on a Zoom call with Bill and Diane. We kicked off our conversation with a discussion of money and how our own attitudes about and toward money had been affected by our parents, to be specific, and our families, to be more general. This topic is especially urgent to Diane right now because she is beginning to plan for retirement and she and Bill are making some improvements in their home. 

My life has slowed down considerably since moving to Kellogg and, it's turned out, at least for now, that retirement (combined with lying low for so much of the pandemic) has been much less financially stressful for me than my years working were. I don't care to get into the details right now. I realize the stress could return. But, since my life has been less financially demanding in the last four years or so, I've been more relaxed.  In one respect, I'm lucky. I have very few material desires -- I just don't spend much money on myself. Sometimes I wonder if I'm just being self-denying, but I'm not. I like taking trips on occasion. I like spending some money when I go other places. But, when I'm just here at home, most of what I do doesn't involve much money.

Our conversation shifted, after a while, to movies and the availability of movies in the age of streaming and dvd mail services. I expressed how much I miss video rental stores -- like Eugene's Flicks n Pics and Hollywood Video -- how I miss being able to go a short ways from home and would often find that these places had just the international, classic, current, or 10-20 year old movie I was looking for. We agreed that we sorely miss browsing titles in video stores. Browsing is often a fruitless and frustrating undertaking online, but was absorbing and often very fruitful in the video rental stores.

We became so absorbed in talking about movies that we watched a trailer of Last Orders and delighted in watching Ray Walston sing a number in Damn Yankees.

We covered a lot of ground and had a lot of fun together.

3. Christy and Riley have undertaken the task of in-home dog and dog owner training. The woman Christy and Riley work with is very busy on Sundays and today she couldn't come to Christy's house until after 5:30.

We decided a week ago that since Christy wasn't positive when Natalie would arrive, we would have take out pizza for tonight's family dinner.

So, from the new Domino's in town, Carol ordered a thin and crispy sausage and pepperoni, a Brooklyn style cheese, and a hand-thrown ham and pineapple pizza, three different styles of pizza with three different kinds of sauce, a parmesan garlic, a hearty marinara, and, I think, an Alfredo sauce.

It was really fun sampling these different styles of pizza and it made for a relaxing dinner.

We talked about a lot of stuff including family history, where people lived and live in Montgomery Gulch, the history of some other families in Kellogg, and got caught up on some of the events happening around town the last week or so. 

As much as I enjoy preparing food for family dinners and dining on the creations of Christy, Carol, and Paul, it was a fun departure this evening to let Domino's do the cooking and to gobble up slices of pizza. 

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