Category Archives: Life Journal

Las Vegas: Off The Strip

I’ve been going to Las Vegas on a regular basis for almost 30 years. Up until the last few years, I spent nearly all of my time on The Strip. There is so much to do on that stretch of road that you can easily overlook the fact that Las Vegas is a major metropolitan area with over 2 million residents. Considering this reality, I figured there had to be plenty of things to do that were not on The Strip. I was certain that those who make their home in Vegas don’t spend all their time under the lights and at the tables.

The Bellagio and Caesar's Palace on The Strip in Las Vegas

So over the last few years, I’ve researched and explored food, coffee, and recreation options that aren’t on Las Vegas Boulevard. As of 2023, here’s a collection of some of the best places I’ve found that are worth the trip off The Strip.

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Behind the Scenes at a PGA Tour Event

Last year, I signed up as a volunteer for the US Open, which is being held at The Los Angeles Country Club. I’ve been wanting to attend a US Open for some time, and this seemed like a good opportunity given how close it is to home.

When the USGA sent out their request for volunteers, I figured, why not? The cost for the volunteer package was on par with the cost for tickets. Plus, it guaranteed access without having to go through the ticket lottery, which is more challenging than usual this year. Tickets are in limited supply due to capacity constraints at LACC.

The rub is that I had never volunteered at a professional golf tournament. Given the importance of the event, I figured I should get some experience before showing up. For my first assignment, I volunteered at a local LPGA event, which turned out to be a great experience. For my second assignment, I decided to volunteer at The Genesis Invitational, the PGA Tour event held at The Riviera Country Club.

The sign for the PGA Genesis Invitational from behind
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A moment of self-importance

2022 SCGA Tournament of Club Champions towel

At the end of last year, I got the opportunity to play in the SCGA Tournament of Club Champions. As the name implies, it’s an annual event held by the SCGA that is open to those who win their golf club’s club championship. I’m still unsure how I happened to win the Sterling Hills Club Championship. It’s a 36-hole event, and I was mired solidly in the middle of the pack after the first 27 holes. Over the last 9, the putter came alive, I made a few shots, and lo-and-behold, I was told that I won by one stroke. Little did I know how important that last birdie putt on 18 would be.

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Blog housekeeping – RSS feed

rss feed icon

When I originally set up this blog up over 10 years ago, I syndicated the feed through Feedburner. It seemed like a safe thing to do, and at the time, all of the top blogs were using the service. However, it’s a Google product, and given Google’s penchant for sun-setting (i.e. killing) services, there was always an inherent risk to relying on it.

For years now, I’ve been hearing about the imminent demise of Feedburner, but I’ve basically ignored the chatter. I continued to have the RSS icon at the top right of the header point to the syndicated feedburner URL. So even though the service is still active and working, albeit with reduced features, I’ve decided it’s time to make a change.

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2023 Fitness goals

I’ve tracked my fitness goals every year since I started blogging. This year is no different. Here’s a look at my fitness goals for 2022, and a look forward at what’s in store for 2023.

I have a firm belief in the adage that you get what you measure, which is why I like to do this exercise. If I’m measuring and tracking my fitness activities, then there’s a good chance the results will follow.

If you’ve followed my goals from previous years, you ‘ll remember that I like to focus on three areas – working out, physical activity, and diet. I’m going to do the same this year.

Let’s get started.

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My 2023 reading list

Welcome to the 10th edition of my annual reading list.

The list is a curated selection of titles from my want-to-read list, which has 231 books on it according to Goodreads. Since I read about 30 books a year (which is how many I read last year and how many I plan to read this year), narrowing the list can be a challenge. It’s especially challenging since I add about as many books to my list as I read. I added 37 books last year, so the list grew by a few titles from 2022.

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A memory rekindled

A bit of misfortune struck our house recently. I was working in my home office when I heard a popping noise come from the family room where Lisa was watching television, followed by the words, “Something’s wrong with the television. The screen is blank, and nothing is happening when I hit the power button.” In other words, I’d received my cue to come take a look.

My initial reaction was it’s time for a new television. We really like the current set, but it is six years old. A new television would be a nice upgrade, but I wasn’t particularly excited about spending a thousand dollars or more around the holidays for a replacement.

I was just about ready to trash the old television and pull the trigger on a new one when a fond memory of me, my dad, and a washing machine hit me.

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