May 4th-May 10th: resplenDENT times

The studying in earnest has begun. So far, my scores aren’t really increasing and I am looking at ways to change up strategies. And now for the rest of the week:

David has been a little under the weather some of the week, so I met up with Sonny and Kelson a few times this week for exercising. Sonny came up with a pretty good “prison workout” after doing some research, and I left SORE! It surprised me how much of a workout you can get with no weights and only household items. Perhaps the best was a tricep shredder that involved 2 people and one pair of (extra) pants. Person A, raising the pants legs over his head with his elbows bent, would then try to extend his arms all the way up, while Person B stood behind him, held the waist part of the pants and did triceps pushdowns simultaneously. I also went with Sonny to a local frisbee golf course and got some vitamin d that way. He showed me some new ways to throw, so Sawyer and Miller better be ready!

The only unfortunate side effect was that the soreness lasted longer than I anticipated and despite some stretching, I showed up still sore for “The Match: part 1.” It’s part 1 because we had such a good time, a day that will live in my hallowed golfing hall-of-memories forever, that we have a rematch coming up. We had some new people move into the ward, and I went around trying to meet them. One of the newbies is Bowen P. He is from Wyoming, won the golf high school AA state tournament there and then played his freshman year for BYU-Hawaii. After his mission, he transferred to BYU and missed making the team by 2 shots. So, he’s good. The teams were Dan R. and I vs. Bowen and Kelson L. We were at Spanish Oaks and playing a 2-man best ball scramble over 9 holes. After a few ties to start off, Bowen and Kelson got hot and were 3 up after 6. Now, the best that Dan and I could hope for was a tie. We won #7, and then won #8, an incredibly hard par 3, after I got lucky, blading an 8-iron that just made it over the water and finished 30 feet away, and the other team missed a 5-ft par putt. So it all came down to #9, which is a short par-4, that is only 317 yards long and plays slightly uphill. The green is nefarious, with multiple levels, and huge undulations. Not to mention its protected by some deep bunkers. Dan and Kelson both had poor drives, with Dan’s going into the water way to the right. Bowen launched his 30-yards right of the green, but over the water. I have been driving great, and felt confident in landing on the green or coming very close to it. Nope. The worst drive I’ve had in years, resulted in the ball being topped and rolling some 80 yards. I thought we had to have a birdie, so things weren’t looking good. Then, Dan hit by far the best shot of the day for him and the ball ended up 45 feet away, so we at least had a chance. I pitched it to 3 feet, and the stage was set for Bowen and Kelson. They were stymied and couldn’t go for the flag, but I was disheartened knowing that they only had to lob it onto the green and two-putt. Then the unthinkable happened! They were pitching through trees and over a bunker, but all they had to do was make sure they didn’t leave it short and end up in the bunker. And that’s exactly what happened. That was an impossible shot, given that the bunkers were so deep and their shot was great from there, but it left them an incredibly fast 45 foot double breaking putt downhill putt that had 10 feet of break. I thought we had the tie wrapped up, and then incredibly (after Kelson goes first and putts it off the green), Bowen sinks it, putter raised in triumph, and claimed the win. That was the first time I’ve played a match like that, a 2-man scramble, but we will be doing it again! Seriously one of the most fun rounds ever.

This was also the first time I’ve used my new putter, and as it will be around for probably the next 10 years, its worth showing. I ordered a super large grip, patterned after the Brazilian flag and had that put on. It performed quite admirably its first round. I love the balance and feel. 

Thursday, I traveled southwest to visit John Carlson. We meet up every few months to play some chess, but this time I went to Magna instead of having him visit Provo. The plan was to go looking for fossils, play chess, and have dinner. We played a few games, and then his dad left and acciDENTally hit the minivan as he backed out of the garage. He felt so bad, and the family has had some hard times, and I couldn’t rationalize filing anything due to those circumstances and the fact that the door was already broken. It’s something you don’t want to happen, and after doing a quick tour of the town with John and grabbing some food, I decided to head back to Provo. Not what I would call a successful visit, but definitely a memorable one.

I’m at the town’s library, where the statue of Mark Twain had a mask put on him.

Per tradition, ending my job meant that I compiled all of my financial stats for the last 10 months. I am proud to report that after excluding tithing and taxes (what I consider to be truly fixed expenses,) my savings rate was just over 75% of what I earned. (If I hadn’t paid about $1500 for law school expenses, the rate would be even higher). And now, here comes law school, which will destroy all those numbers. Finishing the calculations did make me stop and think about the fine line between spending more than is necessary and living your best life, and ponder how I have been walking it. The consensus (as Mark Twain said, never speak in the plural unless you are a head of state or have parasites!) was that I think I’ve been doing a good job, and am willing to spend a reasonable amount of money on what I think is important or will bring me joy, and which is beyond the bare necessities.

Saturday night, I purchased a one-month mutual (lds dating app) subscription and went live! The next 30 days should be interesting…

Sunday, we again had small groups to meet and partake of the sacrament. It is nice to have that back, and to see the restrictions loosening in Utah. Porter came over for some mashed potatoes and fried chicken, and it was nice to be able to talk with mom on Mother’s Day.

I love this quote from Eliza Snow (circa 1873) and agree with it completely:

“When you are filled with the Spirit of God, and the Holy Ghost rests upon you… do you have any trials? I do not think you do. For that satisfies and fills up every longing of the human heart, and fills up every vacuum. When I am filled with that spirit my soul is satisfied and I can say in good earnest, that the trifling things of the day do not seem to stand in my way at all. But just lest me  loose my hold of that spirit and power of the gospel, and partake of the spirit of the world, in the slightest degree, and trouble comes; there is something wrong. I am tried; and what will comfort me? You cannot impart comfort to me that will satisfy…Is it not our privilege to so live that we can have this constantly flowing into our souls?”

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