RIP, R. L. Burnside

Just got word from RL Burnside’s label, Fat Possum, that the late blooming blues musician passed away today in Memphis at the age of 81. Going from a hardscrabble life as a sharecropper and fisherman, he recorded for the first time in 1968 but didn’t make it into the public eye until his 1996 collaboration with the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. A great bluesman and a great voice.

Catching up; golf introduction

There’s something about business travel, even to a location with high-speed Internet, that makes it challenging to keep to a normal posting schedule. In our case here, the specific issues were:

  1. A game of golf, my first ever, played on a partly rainy day on Tuesday
  2. A bad cold that started arriving yesterday

I do not think that (b) is connected, at least not directly, to (a). I rode in a four passenger vehicle on Monday with a woman who was in the throes of a bad cold, and so far my symptoms (coughing, aching head, congestion) seem consistent with hers. Still, I’m pretty sure that the golf game didn’t help my resistance.

My first round of golf, a full 18 holes, did two things. It opened a door into a world of male competition (our foursome and our competitors were all men) that I had not previously witnessed directly, and it made me aware how out of shape I am, at least from an upper-body perspective. I think my shoulders have stopped aching. Regarding the former, I will not disclose my score. It wouldn’t be a useful number, because we played best ball off the tee (we all played to the hole from the ball that went furthest on the drive), and because we all agreed to hold our scoring to eight strokes a hole max, so as not to inhibit the progress of a game. There were a few par threes, owing to the best ball rule, where I broke that eight-stroke ceiling and actually landed the ball in the hole on five or six strokes, but the rest of my scorecard is a wall of eights.

The good news is that I have nowhere to go but up. Heh.

Funny postlude: we were discussing career paths over an after dinner drink last night, and I prefaced a statement with the clause “Having spent most of my childhood and teenage years in a library…” The presales engineer who gave me the most pointers snorted, then asked, “Really? You didn’t spend them on the golf course?” Zing.