Cold is depressing. I’m not originally from the midwest. I grew up in the moderate weather capital of anywhere, Palo Alto, California. I was a senior in high school before I touched snow for the first time. It was fun then. Now, not so much.We have almost six inches of ice piled up on the front lawn. It’s been there for awhile and it will be awhile until it’s gone. At least I don’t have to mow it. Be that as it may, cold is depressing. A couple of my girl friends and I are planning a trip to Alabama in March to play golf. The golf course Web site I got the phone number to make a tee time in Montgomery said their current temperature was 56º with an expected high of 63º that day. I prayed that Scotty would beam me 550 miles south. Cold is depressing. Lest you think I’m whining, even though this year is colder than I’ve ever experienced, I have lots to keep me busy: two separate photography classes each with a weekly assignment, volunteer opportunities with the local First Tee chapter, and physical therapy — I’m recovering from a broken collar bone after falling on the ice. Did I mention cold is depressing, and also painful? I have to remember the old Sufi proverb: This too shall pass. But damn it, cold is depressing.
I did, in fact, attend the USGA Rules of Golf seminar in Charleston, West Virginia this past weekend. Contrary to my earlier assertion, the men with whom I came in contact were anything but “snotty-nosed.” The water was another story.
Have you ever taken the time to figure out how to avoid food that has touched water from a specific source? It takes some effort, and total success is improbable. I made morning coffee in the hotel with bottled Dasani that I brought from Cincinnati. Breakfast Saturday was sliced melons and pastry, no reason for much water contact. Lunch consisted of fish and chips with a Pepsi in the can, no ice for me. Dinner was a steak with fries and canned green beans (the only veggie I had all weekend) from room service. My food choices were deliberate; but given a choice, not exactly what I would have eaten. I intentionally chose fried or grilled foods and whenever I was presented with items like lettuce or tomato, I got them away from the food I intended to eat as quickly as possible.
My point in mentioning all this that of the sixty or so attendees at the seminar, many drank coffee and/or tea most of both days, or used ice with soft drinks. The government agencies involved have stated the water is safe for everyone, except women who are pregnant or nursing. I’m not buying that. Either the water is safe for human consumption, or it’s not. Bureaucratic bullpucky today won’t make the cancer rate in the affected areas any smaller in five years.