Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Posts Tagged ‘obama

Golf Gate

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Listen up, I’m not going to get all bent out of shape over what we’re apparently now referring to as “Golfgate.”

The background: President Obama hopped a plane (actually, Air Force One, but “hopping a plane” makes it sound a lot more casual, which is what I think he was intending, a casual weekend where he could chill out away from the limelight) down to Florida for a long weekend of golf while Michelle and the kids went out west to go skiing.

The President’s team kept the press away from what was essentially a private golf course, and hence were unable to take any pictures of his swing the entire weekend.

Then, out of nowhere, Golf Channel correspondent Tim Rosaforte Tweets the following: “The President is arriving at The Floridian range. Awaiting is Tiger Woods and club owner Jim Crane. Historic day in golf. Their first round.”

Tiger Woods was in the house, and he was going to play golf with President Obama!

I’m sure the rest of the world yawned, but in the world of golf, this was a pretty big deal.

Looking at the tick tock, this was 7:52 AM EST.

By the time the evening news rolled around, the media were trying to make it a big deal that they hadn’t been invited to the Tiger/Obama foursome, missing the point that that would have turned the foursome into an eightysome, which can be quite disturbing on the golf course.

And still most of the rest of the country yawned.

But in the golf world, we wanted more details.  Lots of them.  Rosaforte, get your — out on that golf course and tell us what’s going on!

What kind of clubs does the president play with? Did Tiger give any tips to the Prez to improve his game?  If so, what???  Did he treat the rules with some casualness, as apparently did President Clinton, or did he play it straight and take no mulligans or without kicking any balls out of the rough?

This is the leader of the free world, man, we want to know what his game is like, how he swings the club, how accurate he is on the approach!

Tiger kept his lips sealed until yesterday when, I guess, he’d already arrived out west for the Accenture Match Play Championship. During an interview, he finally gave it up: The President, he said, has a good short game (chipping and putting), and that if he kept it up (after he left the Presidency) he’d be “a pretty good stick.”

Whoa…well, a good short game, that’s always a good thing, of course.  I aspire to a better short game myself, and many of we amateurs do.

But Tiger left out sooo much one can’t help but be distracted by the absence of any commentary about the President’s driving off the tee or his play from the fairways.

Is he long off the tee? Is he a complete disaster with some crazy left hook? What??! And what about his irons? Mid-irons can tell you a lot about one’s game? Both about their ball flight and tolerance for risk, never mind their course management skills.   Course management equals strategy equals possible insight into what he might do about Iran’s nuclear situation!

And what about the pace of play?  Does he time himself racing around the course like the former Presidents Bush, playing as if on deadline (which I could never understand…isn’t it kind of the point in playing golf to take your time and relax???), or did he play at a pace such that he might get threatened by Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem for hovering too long over his putts??


I suspect Tiger may be holding out more of the details because someday, after finishing the chase after Nicklaus’ record for the most majors, he is going to write a book about his experience playing golf with “Mr. President.”

I guess we’ll just have to hurry up and wait — kind of like the White House press corps.

Written by turbotodd

February 20, 2013 at 3:31 pm

The Glorious Fourth

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Here’s hoping everyone had a Happy Independence Day (or for my Canadian friends, a Happy Canada Day this past Friday.)

As fate, and the Texas heatwave, would have it, the City of Austin cancelled its fireworks show this year. Allegedly, that was due to the extreme drought conditions, in fear that any stray sparks might catch the edges of Zilker Park on fire.

I fear it may have been due to a more Greece-like austerity measure.  In any case, it gave me an opportunity to have a nice, quiet 4th this go ’round, one which found me watching the movie “Independence Day” again fifteen years after it came out.

Can it really have been 1996 that that movie came out??  Man, did those aliens look dated fifteen years on?!

Yeah, it was either that, or tune in to CNN Headline News for the Caylee Anthony trial verdict watch (You can follow WFTV Channel 9 in Orlando on Twitter @CaseyAnthonyCh9 for the latest).

Speaking of Twitter, the 2012 presidential campaign already seems destined for over-social-media-fication.

As Leena Rao with TechCrunch observed in an Independence Day post, “The White House and the 2012 Obama campaign is on a Twitter rampage.”

The President will be hosting a Twitter Town Hall tomorrow (send questions to the #AskObama hashtag, and follow @Townhall for updates), and Vice President Joe Biden is now Tweeting from his new Twitter ID: @VP

Really?  Nobody ever claimed the @VP address before now?!

Let’s just hope nobody hacks POTUS or the Veep’s Twitter ID, the way someone did Fox News yesterday.

Early Monday morning, the @Foxnewspolitics Twitter ID was hacked and announced that “the President is dead.  A sad 4th of July, indeed.”

This was followed by several other Tweets providing alleged further details of the President’s supposed passing before Fox News was able to correct the situation and regain control of its account.

The U.S. Secret Service was also notified and is investigating the matter.  A splinter group from the online hacker vigilante group Anonymous, aptly named “Script Kiddies,” allegedly took credit for the hack.

It’s not clear whether the President’s super duper NSA-built BlackBerry will be up to the task of securely communicating to the masses via Twitter, but regardless, I fear we may soon see black hat social media tactics become a routine component of the new political campaign landscape.

If that happens, there will be soon be ample fireworks to go around for everyone.

Written by turbotodd

July 5, 2011 at 5:27 pm

Pull The Lever, Silly!

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Did I mention it’s a major election day here in the United States?



Well, I’m going to be watching very closely, both because it’s fun to watch and to listen to the talking heads on TV try to spin something six ways to Sunday.

But also because the social media have made following elections and their results (not to mention the campaigns themselves) more fun than ever.

I’ll be keeping an eye on some of The New York Times assets, including their “big boards.” They have one each for gubernatorial, Senate, and House races.  Look for the competitive races in the middle of each page.

I’m also going to be using the The New York Times iPad app, which includes touch friendly election maps that will allow you to zoom into results at the county and district levels.

Via Twitter, I’ll be keeping an eye on @fivethirtyeight and @nyt_elections.

The Huffington Post is already posting away on their home page (although the most recent headline was a little more sensational than is probably warranted, at least this early in the day).

If you like your news fair and balanced, Fox News even has a video telling you “how” to watch the election results. Thanks very much, Mr. Murdoch.

And if you’d like an international outside-in view, the U.K.’s Guardian is providing coverage as well.

Feel free to add your own social or mainstream media favorites in the comments below.  It’s going to be a long, fun night – break out the popcorn, Coca-Cola, and American flags, and watch our great democracy in action once again.

Written by turbotodd

November 2, 2010 at 8:16 pm

Man On The Moon

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My Google Wave beta invite finally appeared in my in-box last evening.

Just in time for President Obama to receive the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, and also just in time for NASA to complete its successful bombing mission of the moon around 6:30 E.S.T. this A.M.

In honor of the occasion (the moon bombing, not the Nobel), I wore the NASA T-shirt I bought at the NASA store in the Orlando airport and watched the “delivery” of the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) as it slammed into the bottom of a crater at 5,600 MPH.

According to The New York Times, the LCROSS excavated about 350 metric tons of the moon and left a hole 65 feet wide and 13 feet deep.

I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a pretty good Texas-size swimming pool to me.

Wait a minute, that’s it, that’s what this is all about!

NASA’s building a swimming pool for the astronauts, who will eventually be heading out from Moon Base 1 and who need a place to relax before they head further north to look for the little green men on Mars!

Now, if we could just find some water up there so we can fill up the swimmin’ hole.

I watched this whole thing unfold, of course, on television, just as I watched Armstrong step down the lunar ladder a couple days before my birthday in 1969.

And I have to say, after all the buildup, it was about as exciting as watching the Google Wave beta freeze up when I first tried to log on last night.

Fortunately, Google Wave unfroze itself…as for the moon, well, I’m not so sure that  Texas-size swimming pool now in Cabeus crater is going away anytime soon.

I don’t know about you, but I was expecting long plumes of smoke and an explosion of hydrogen and ice and…well, major stuff…shooting into outer space.

But no.  That little satellite sucker just disppeared into the Cabeus crater like the moon done gone and had wolfed down itself a midnight snack, never to be heard from again.

According to the Times’ account, though, NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter had already confirmed the presence of hydrogen deep within permanently shadowed craters near the Moon’s poles.

“There is hydrogen down in that crater, and we’re going to go dig some of it up,” Anthony Colaprete, the mission’s principal investigator, said.

Well, heck, why didn’t we just piggyback ourselves a Caterpillar backhoe on the LCROSS so we could not only get started looking for the H20 but also get a head start on digging out a foundation for MarsMoon Base 1.

If we’re gonna get to finding those little green men, we need to get a move on…I ain’t gettin’ any younger, and I was a very wee lad when Armstrong stepped on the Moon, and I hope to be around when we unearth (uh, “unMars”)  Marvin the Martian!

Of course, we have to prepare ourselves for the art of the possible.

What happens if, Heaven forbid, we don’t find any water on the moon?

Perhaps we can leverage some of that massive momentum behind Google Wave?

As the moon passes by, at just the precise orbital moment calculated with a new and very precise Google algorithm, we can swing the earth out of her orbit and send some of Google’s water crashing from the earth to the moon and into Cebeus crater, thereby filling up the lunar swimming pool and giving us enough water to get a boost on to Mars.

I can see it all.

The little green people impatiently wondering when the hell we’re going to figure out a way to come visit; the Coke machine outside the lunar base (sorry, Pepsi, Coke won the bidding war and is “it” on the moon); the Richard Branson, Virgin-sponsored Moon Buggy race track (packages available in limited packages for 2 for only $2M U.S.), the Google Moon Base Jamba Juice and Sushi Bar; Obama’s Nobel medal ensconced in glass outside White House Moon Base 1.

I saw it all in my “Flash Forward.”

Mission accomplished.

Written by turbotodd

October 9, 2009 at 2:21 pm

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