Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Severe Weather Alert in Atlanta

I came to Atlanta in last October. So this is the first winter in Atlanta for me. It will be freezing rain after midnight today. It may be very difficult to drive to my office due to frozen road in the morning. But I can walk to my office because it takes only 10 minutes by walk. Anyway I really hate cold weather.

Monday, January 29, 2007

firehills is back to Atlanta


University of Phoenix Stadium

Firehills in Morro Bay

Palm Desert, California (Next to Palm Springs)

Firehills was away from Atlanta for two weeks to Los Angeles, California and Phoenix, Arizona for lo---ng business trip. I left Atlanta on Jan 15 for Los Angeles, staying Super 8 Motel in downtown, visiting my clients, attending trade show at Los Angeles Convention Center. I also visited my clients in Temecula, Morro Bay and Palm Springs. I have played golf in Palm Springs before but I have never visited other cities when I have stayed in Los Angeles in 1999.

Then I flyed to Phoenix, Arizona for the first time. Before trade show at the Phoenix University Stadium (Cardinals Stadium), I visited my client in Sedona, 100 miles north of Phoenix. I never been to Grand Canyon but I realized the earth was like this.

At the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, I had to wait there for more than six hours because the starter of the jet engine was out of order and it's replacement or parts was sent from Los Angeles or San Diego by FedEx or something.

Anyway, I arrived at my apartment at around 9pm. It was a long day.

I went to Hard Rock Cafe in downtown Phoenix for my music experience during my business trip for two weeks. Oh, I also went to Karaoke bar in downtown Los Angeles, but it was terrible. Phoenix is one of the best places to play golf but I didn't of course. I had no time to play. Ummm.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Mystery Valley Golf Club 2nd Day

I went to Mystery Valley Golf Club again. I arrived before 8am, and got the first tee time at 8am. I was asked at pro-shop whether I was a resident of Dekalb or not. I said no. Play fee was $30 today. Yesterday's was resident rate, I think. He also asked my first name and input it in computer so that he could recognize me next time. This course has very god yardage guide book. I bought it because this would be my home courses with Sugar Creek Golf & Tennis.

Today, my shots was not as good as yesterday's. But I marked 47 with 19 putts at front nine and 43 with 16 putts at back nine. Putting was improved very much today without 4 putts.

Biggest difference of golf in the U.S. and Japan is playing time. We finished 18th hole in within 3 and half hour. In Japan, if 4 sum, it would take at least more than 5 hours. 1 to 1 and half hour drive, and 5 hour round in Japan and it costs $200 at weekend! I must stay in the U.S. to play golf.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Mystery Valley Golf Club

I went to Korean/Japanese restaurant, Hanwoori in N.Peachtree Rd for an new year dinner party and went to sing songs in Karaoke, where I left 3am!. But as I am real golf nuts I woke up at 7:30am this morning and went to Mystery Valley Golf Club in Lithonia, Georgia. It takes about 30 minutes from my apartment in Sandy Springs. This course is owned by Dekalb County. Mr.Lee told me this course was one of the best municipal golf courses in Atlanta. I arrived at around 8:30am. It was a sunny and warm day. After 1 hour waiting I checked in, play fee was only $24 by walking.

This is really nice course. Very walkable because it is near from a hole to the next teeing ground. Not so flat, course layout is good. We started from white tee, 6329 yards, par 72. I made good many shots and putts with 43 at front nine. But I made 4 putts on very difficult green of 10th. After that my shots and putts became worse with 53. I made 4 putts twice and 3 putts three times. I don't remember my 24 puts for 9 holes. Anyway, this course is good, and I will be back tomorrow morning to beat these greens.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Van Morrison at Silver Spurs Arena, Kissimmee, Florida

On Jan 2, I went to Silver Arena in Kissimmee, Florida. Yes! Van Morrison's concert. I arrived at around 6pm, way before opening time at 7:30pm. There were about 100 people there but the gate was closed. Around 7pm the gate was opened and I went straight to the shop, got CD "Live at Austin City Limits Festival"($20) and T-shirt($30) with a free cap. After that I had a beer and hot dog. Audience is almost more than 40 year old. I could not find any Japanese or Asian people there. I was at 110 J 2 at floor, but seats way behind me were vacant and 70% occupancy at 2nd floor.

At 7:30pm as scheduled, the Band started to play. Then Van Morrison appeared with saxophone playing "Domino". I remember following songs only. So please let me know whole set.

1. Domino
3. Bright Side of the Road
5. Days Like This

During 6th song Van Morrison introduced the band members. It seemed same as "Live at Austin" If it was so, Tony Fitzgibbon (Violin), John Allair (Hammond Organ), Ned Edwards (Electric Guitar), John Platania (Electric Guitar), Cindy Cashdollar (Steel Guitar), David Hayes (Bass), Neil Wilkinson (Drums), Crawford Bell (Backing Vocal, Acoustic Guitar, Trumpet), Karen Hammil (Backing Vocal), Janeen Daly (Backing Vocal).

9. Back on Top

Van Morrison started to play acoustic guitar from 15th song.

17. I Can't Stop Loving You
20. Wild Night
21. Brown Eyed Girl
22. Gloria

Last 3 songs were same as "Live at Austin". Van Morrison didn't talk much. Except introduction of the band members, he said "Thank you" only 3 times as I remember.

He was great. He was singing and singing 22 songs, with no rest at all.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Jan 2, 2007 in Kissimmee, Florida

I woke up at 6am on Jan 2 and went to Eagle Pines in Walt Disney World Resort. Other candidates were、Eagle Creek Golf Club, Harmony Golf Preserve(designed by Johnny Miller), Metrowest Golf Club(designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr.), The Villas of Grand Cypress Golf Club (designed by Jack Niklaus). Eagle Pine was designed by Pete Dye.

I got 7:29am tee time for the first party. At this moment I was alone, but I started with 2 singles finally. I paid $163.94 including yardage book. I didn't need yardage book because GPS navigator was supplied with cart. After having a cup of coffee, I was asked by caddie-master to go to 18th green. I didn't understand why, but after arriving 18th green he told me to decide today's pin placement of 18th green. Wow! I was a first player for the day, so I had a right to decide pin placement. At the tournament pin placement of final round is always way back of the green, so I decided. But he told me to change 1 yard inside. Above picture is the certificate of my decision of the pin placement of 18th green on Jan 2, 2007. My score? It was 43 and 44, total 87, best score of Florida tour. Tee was Crest, 6309 yards, par 72. At 18th, I pushed my driver shot to the right, I pushed 4 iron shot to the right again, and I couldn't find my ball, triple bogey at the 18th. Ah!

After 3 and half hours rounds I went to Kennedy Space Center. Second place for just sightseeing in Florida.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Jan 1, 2007 in Kissimmee, Florida

On New Year's Day, I arrived Falcon's Fire Golf Club at 6:30am. I can't believe my tenacity even if I do say so. Golf Travel Annual-2007 Travel Planning Guide says there are hundreds of fine golf courses in Orland or Kissimmee. (*)are there.

【10 Places you gatta see in the Sunshine State】
1. Walt Disney World*
2. Westin Innisbrook Resort
3. Grand Cypress Resort*
4. Doral Golf Resort
5. World Woods (Pine Barrens Course)
6. World Golf Village
7. Arnold Palmer International
8. TPC at Sawgrass
9. The Breakers, Palm Beach
10. Ocean Hammock Resort

What's Cool Beyond the Mouse
【5 Best Stay-And-Play in Florida】
1. Walt Disney World Resort*
2. Bay Hill Club & Lodge
3. Grand Cypress Resort*
4. Westin Innisbrook Resort
5. Doral Golf Resort
【5 Local Favorites TO Play】
1. Championsgate (National)*
2. Falcon's Fire*
3. Celebration Golf Club*
4. Shingle Creek*
5. Eagle Pines*

【Top 10 Places to Play】
1. Miami Beach Golf Club
2. Crandon Park Golf
3. Victoria Hills
4. Orange County National
5. Doral Golf Resort
6. Innisbrook Golf Resort
7. Ocean Hammock, Palm Coast
8. Osprey Ridge
9. New Course, Grand Cypress Resort*
10. Shingle Creek Golf Club*

Yes, Falcon's Fire, which was designed by Rees Jones. Play fee was $123.05( Water and bunkers are beautifully placed so neighbors like this course. It took just 10 minutes from Motel 6 in Kissimmmee. Golf Courses in Florida are very flat so they are very easy to play for average golfers like me. It means easy to play, not easy to make good scores. Cart has GPS navigator, no 90 degrees rule. I like to walk in golf courses but it is difficult to walk here.

I teed off at 7:15am alone from blue tees, 6473 yards. This course didn't expect first player would be firehills on this New Year's Day. When I play alone, I don't feel any pressure to be seen by other people, so usually I can make good shots. I made 43 on front nine. And it was good up to 12th hole. It started raining. I hate rain. After that, terrible! back nine was 51, total 94, which was very average score for me.

After having a breakfast/lunch at McDonald's near Motel 6, I visited my customer. This was a business. They were working even on New Year's Day. Then I went to Walt Disney World's Epcot for the first time, where my customer has a store. I was surprised to see security check at the entrance, which was almost same as at the airport. I didn't need to get off my shoes off. I asked a young man at the gate why you wanted my fingerprint. He told me it was to secure my ticket for my own use only.
I don't know the truth.

My family in Japan asked me to buy cell phone straps. American people usually don't have cell phone straps like in Japan. It was so hard to find them, but I finally found them at the shop in front of Canadian pavilion.

I went to Seito Sushi again for dinner on New Year's Day.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Dec 31, 2006 in Kissimmee, Florida

On Dec 31, I went to Celebration Golf Club designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. and Jr. in Celebration, Florida. Celebration is a small town which was developed by Disney. It took only 10 minutes from the motel I stayed in. I booked 7:04am tee time yesterday and started from gold tee, 6,336 yards, par 72 alone, by electric cart with GPS navigation. Play fee was $116.63 including tax.

I struggled at front nine, with 50 strokes (23 putts!) but improved very much at back nine with 42 strokes (1 birdie, 14 putts). I finished in 3 hours and 15 minutes. This is very nice course, and I like Robert Trent Jones' designed courses. Even after 1 round it was 10 am, so I moved to another course.

Next was Championsgate. It took about 15 minutes from Celebration. This course was designed by Greg Norman with links style course (The International) and American style course (The National). I started at 11:30am on The National, blue tee, 6,427 yards, par 72. I played with a father and son, and a guy from Austria. This was a kind of competition between America, Austria and Japan. I made 46 on front nine but 55 on back nine. 1st place was a father, 2nd was his son or me?

I wanted to go to see the countdown in Walt Disney World but I was tired for 2 rounds, so I went back to Celebration and went to Seito Sushi for dinner again.

After coming back to Motel 6 in Kissimmee, I listened to Van Morrison, drinking Atlanta's Sweet Water IPA and California's Turning Leaf Cabernet, and new years eve went on. I was alone in Motel 6 in Kissimmee, Florida.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Dec 30, 2006 in Kissimmee, Florida

At 6:30 I left Atlanta for Kissimmee, Florida. 300 miles on only I75 South, total of more than 400 mile drive. I had rests several times because I became so sleepy. I entered into State of Florida at around 10am and got off I-75 to Welcome Center. It was cloudy but almost 80 degrees. Finally I arrived a motel in Kissimmee at around 4pm, almost 10 hours drive! Motel 6 in Kissimmee was terrible. No Internet connection, no refrigerator, no Microwave and no breakfast. It was the first time for me in such Motel 6 in the U.S. But it was fully booked (I had a reservation). I had to go to Ramada Hotel'ss business center to print out Van Morrison's e-ticket of because I forgot to bring it.

I went to Seito Sushi in Celebration for dinner. It was real nice. I sat down at the counter. I talked with the chef who was Japanese and his name was Shinji. He told me that it was the first time to talk with a Japanese (it was me) for these three years. It was because most Japanese people came here in a group and sat down at the table.

When I came back to the motel, I had nothing to do because of no Internet connection. So I listened to Van Morrison and read Johnny Rogan's "Van Morrison" to prepare his live in Kissimmee on Jan 2.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Happy New Year!

I have been in Kissimmee, Florida from Dec 30 to Jan 2. Sorry to be late. I will post my life in Florida in a few days.

Today I introduce The River, Atlanta's classic rock hits FM, which is on 97.1MHz, no DJ, no introduction of the name of songs on air and no commercials more than 50 minutes an hour. You can hear by streaming as well.

Songs on air in the morning on Dec 24 were as follows:

7:25 a.m. Cocaine
Eric Clapton - tour dates rate it | hear it
ringtone | CD
7:19 a.m. Tiny Dancer
Elton John - tour dates rate it | hear it
ringtone | CD
Looking for an ad you heard?
7:10 a.m. Fame
David Bowie rate it | hear it
ringtone | CD
7:05 a.m. Turn The Page
Bob Seger - tour dates rate it | hear it
ringtone | CD
7:01 a.m. Lola
Kinks rate it | hear it
ringtone | CD
6:57 a.m. Good Times Roll
Cars rate it | hear it
ringtone | CD
6:53 a.m. Already Gone
Eagles rate it | hear it
ringtone | CD
6:48 a.m. Gold Dust Woman
Fleetwood Mac rate it | hear it
ringtone | CD
Looking for an ad you heard?
6:40 a.m. Born To Run
Bruce Springsteen rate it | hear it
ringtone | CD
6:36 a.m. School's Out
Alice Cooper rate it | hear it
ringtone | CD
6:32 a.m. Urgent
Foreigner - tour dates rate it | hear it
ringtone | CD
6:29 a.m. Brown Eyed Girl
Van Morrison - tour dates rate it | hear it
ringtone | CD
6:24 a.m. Peace Of Mind
Boston rate it | hear it
ringtone | CD
6:21 a.m. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Elton John - tour dates rate it | hear it
ringtone | CD
Looking for an ad you heard?
6:10 a.m. Sweet Home Alabama
Lynyrd Skynyrd - tour dates rate it | hear it
ringtone | CD
6:05 a.m. Southern Cross
Crosby, Stills & Nash rate it | hear it
ringtone | CD
6:02 a.m. Live And Let Die
Paul McCartney rate it | hear it
ringtone | CD
5:58 a.m. Beast Of Burden
Rolling Stones rate it | hear it
ringtone | CD
5:54 a.m. Dream Weaver
Gary Wright - tour dates rate it | hear it
ringtone | CD
5:51 a.m. I Won't Back Down
Tom Petty rate it | hear it
ringtone | CD
Looking for an ad you heard?
5:42 a.m. Behind Blue Eyes
Who - tour dates rate it | hear it
ringtone | CD
5:34 a.m. Paradise By The Dashboard Light
Meatloaf - tour dates rate it | hear it
ringtone | CD
5:31 a.m. Have You Ever Seen The Rain
Creedence Clearwater Revival