Friday, May 26, 2006

Praise the Lord ... and (By)pass the Ibuprofen?

The worst thing about running a marathon is the Day After … and then the next two days after that. So, the last thing I wanted to read 24 hours after finishing Sunday’s Cleveland Marathon was that my salvation – those one or two or six tablets of Advil – could kill me.

Alas, better runners have fared worse. Legend has it that the Greek soldier Pheidippides, the first guy to run what we now call a marathon, dropped dead immediately after the feat. I’m guessing NSAIDs weren’t around during his day, for better or for worse. Maybe he had to deal with a 30-mph-headwind as 1,700 of us did between miles 20 to 24 along Lake Erie. Trust me, that would do it.

Anyway, it’s Friday now, and I’m feeling much better going into the Memorial Day Weekend. There’s no running in store for the next four days, although the sod for my new lawn is finally being delivered on Tuesday. My quads and calves are ready for the 3,400-square-foot challenge. I’m just wondering how to break the bad news about Advil to my lower back.

Have a great long weekend everybody! And remember our soldiers, past and present.

— Thomas Skernivitz, Managing Editor

Monday, May 22, 2006

It's a Gas?

We don't talk much about sports anymore around here. The water-cooler chatter these days has to do with gas prices.
"Will prices reach $3 a gallon?"
"What will prices be next year at this time?"
"Are you still planning on purchasing that Toyota Prius?"
Last year Golfdom covered rising fuel costs extensively online and in the magazine. Back then superintendents and other industry people were making plans on how to deal with rising prices. Well, it's a year later folks, and we'd like to know how you're dealing with almost three bucks a gallon (in some regions of the country it's more).
Let us know by posting your blog here.
By the way, here's to using more PGR's to cut back on mowing. And here's to taking the bus.

-- Larry Aylward, editor in chief

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Let's Talk NBA Basketball

Here in Cleveland, where it's raining for what seems like the 17th day in a row, our LeBron-led Cavaliers have the Detroit Pistons sputtering like a '74 Ford Pinto. The Cavs topped the Pistons last night in D-town to take a three games to two series lead. The Cavs have won three straight after losing the first two games. It's back to Cleveland for game 6, where the Cavs can close out the Eastern Conference's best team.

Anybody out there think the Cavs have a chance?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

TOCA Conference

As some of you may know, there is an association dedicated to people who write about grass. The Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA) has been around since 1990 and is comprised of more than 200 editors, writers, publishers, photographers, public relations/advertising practitioners and other green industry leaders.
Probably the top perk about being a member of TOCA is the group's annual meeting and the opportunity to stray from the well-worn trade show path. Instead of landing in the same ol' ports — Orlando, New Orleans, Chicago, San Diego — the TOCA circuit the last three years has stopped in the likes of Charleston, S.C., Seattle and Memphis, Tenn. Next May we're headed to Savannah.
This month TOCA members trekked to Napa, Calif., for the chance to participate in educational sessions, rekindle relationships, and make no mistake about it, sample some of the best wine in the world.
The meeting couldn't have gone better, and executive director Den Gardner, administrative assistants Chris and LaVonne Moore and the group's board of directors deserve plenty of accolades.
On Golfdom's part, there was good reason to raise the glass in toast. The magazine was well represented at TOCA's awards ceremony, taking home several first-place honors:
  • Best page design (over two pages) — "OSHA is Watching You," Golfdom Art Director Carrie Parkhill;

Parkhill and Aylward each added a runner-up award to cap off a great first week of May. We're already looking forward to Savannah.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The Dirt on Blogs

Irony leaches from my freshly tilled yard.

It’s not often that I get to play golf course superintendent, but that’s what I did over the weekend. Last Friday I finally turned over my dead lawn – six months after having doused it with Roundup.

On Saturday, with my wife and 10-week-old boy watching from the front porch, I spent several monotonous hours pushing around all the uneven soil with what the Home Depot guys told me was a “lute rake.” I endured while pretending to be Marshall Bossard and the boys, going back and forth, from my driveway to neighbor’s driveway, for what seemed like a country mile combined. The rake did the job, although I would have preferred an ATV, some chain-link fence and a few boulders.

To my glee, the smoothed yard looked so good on Sunday that my wife suggested keeping it dirt. I celebrated by jogging 20 miles — in preparation of the May 21 Cleveland Marathon and more importantly, to even out the soreness between my upper and lower bodies.

With the dawn of a new work week, I was back to my full-time gig as a journalist, which is where the irony comes into play. This is my first blog posting in over 20 years as a journalist. And in the process of writing this, I find myself again going back and forth in a cloud of dust.

Blogs aren’t necessarily bad; I read them occasionally, especially if they’re specific to a particular interest of mine (Cleveland Indians, publishing, running, wine, etc.). Unfortunately, I have a hard time getting past the fact that bloggers are too often considered journalists, and anyone with a computer can blog these days. I’m guessing you’d feel the same way if you saw me walking toward one of your greens with a lute rake.

Of course, the staff of Golfdom promises only the best. The best of exactly what, then again, is anyone’s idea. As editor in chief Larry Aylward mentions below in the blog-christening item, some posts might enlighten, some might entertain, some might rant, and some might just shoot the breeze. If you’d like to reciprocate, more power to you. That’s the primary intent. And right about now, I could use some good advice on how to turn my beautiful plot of dirt into an even more picturesque lawn.

--Thomas Skernivitz, Managing Editor

Cast Your Vote

Get out and vote! If I had the gumption to not only order an absentee ballot — I'm leaving for San Francisco any minute — but drop it back in the mail before last night's deadline, you've got no reason to stop by the nearest poll. (Of course, I may miss my plane if I'm not outta here in a minute.) Good luck!
— Tom Skernivitz, Managing Editor

Monday, May 01, 2006

A Day Without Immigrants

Today, immigrants from across the country are boycotting work, school and shopping to show how much they matter to their cities and communities. Rallies and marches are also part of a "Day Without Immigrants." A few hours ago, I glanced out my office window to see a long line of people parading on a downtown Cleveland street to bring attention to immigrants and their plight.

What are your views on the immigration issue? Did any of your golf course employees not show up for work today to support the immigrants' cause?

--Larry Aylward, Editor in Chief