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All the right words, in all the right places?

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The Bicycle Thread

All things bicycle here. This guy installed a Loud Bicycle. It's basically a car horn on a bike. Folks, don't be surprised if you hear a car horn and a bike is behind you. He also vlogged his ride via his helmet cam. LOOK AT ALL THOSE BICYCLISTS! You can hear him use the Loud Bicycle at around 05:54. I wondered if the drivers even noticed in time.  

nevets88

nevets88

 

Amazon - From nothing to ubiquitous 

I remember when Amazon just sold books, people thought it was a cute company, it's a giant now. A leviathan. It sells nearly everything, its cloud services has the tentacles of a thousand octopi, not everyone is aware just how huge AWS is. It makes TV shows and is getting into movies for goodness sake. Lately, I've been doing lots of price comparisons and Amazon's everyday prices are just so competitive. If you have Prime, which is pretty much free shipping and reduced price next day shipping (I make generous use of Prime's video, music, library, cloud and photo storage services), it practically can't be beaten.  I try to support local stores, tried to buy a Dremel attachment for example - the experience was some stores didn't have it, if it did, 30-40% more than Amazon. I just had Amazon next day ship it to me as the overnight delivery step up charge was $0. Went to buy some windshield wipers at Pep Boys, looked at Amazon - it's half the price. How do you compete with this? While I find the money saved to be very copacetic, it just troubles me what they might be doing I don't know about to keep prices low and its effect on future commerce.
 

nevets88

nevets88

 

The Cable Stayed Bridge

The cabled stayed bridge. When done right, it can really transform a skyline and especially look dramatic at night. Under certain conditions, it costs less to build and maintain than a suspension bridge, something to do with maximum road segment length. But it seems many of these projects are plagued with cost overruns. Rusted supports, salt water eating away. If they're supposed to save money, you wouldn't be able to tell based on news headlines. See eastern segment of the Bay Bridge. If you travel around the world and return home only to see none, you wonder where are my taxes going? Why isn't the infrastructure being updated? Of course it makes no sense to tear down an old bridge and put up a new one just for the sake of it, but NYC, for example, has some pretty old, ugly looking bridges that must cost a pretty penny to maintain. The pigeon droppings alone costs a substantial amount to clean. The Williamsburg. The Manhattan. They just look... old. The first cable stayed bridge in the US was built in Washington in the late 70s. Tampa has a stunning one. Boston's was finished 13 years ago. The one in Delaware is over 20 years old. Oakland has a new bridge to rival the GG. There are about 30 in the US. There are at least 60 in China alone and there are some stunning ones around the world. One of the bridges below is Calatrava's, but his projects tend to go over budget. The NYC metro area is finally getting two. There are currently two in existence, but they're pedestrian bridges, at Rockefeller University and the Intrepid, that's it. You have the new Goethels and the Tappan Zee replacement, which 44 fast tracked because the TPZ was literally falling apart with holes and way over its 50 year shelf life and built to bear a lighter load than it does now. I guess that's not uncommon, we wait until the last minute or an accident to do something. Who knows how much the final tally will be, but at least it's a sign we're updating our infrastructure. The new TPZ (The New NY Bridge? Hope it gets a more original name) has a pedestrian roadway, you'll finally be able to cross the Hudson on foot or bike from Nyack to Tarrytown. For 4 billion, there better be one. http://www.johnweeks.com/cablestay/index.html   The C&D Cooper River Bridge On a totally unrelated note since we're speaking about infrastructure:

nevets88

nevets88

 

Aimpoint Express, the Fickle Finger of Fate... Really?

NBC announcers flaunt their lack of curiosity like... peacocks. If I were interviewing someone for a job and asked for his/her opinion of the new programming language Beta, which has been available for years, and that person said, I don't know anything about it, I've always used Alpha and it's better in my opinion, for me, that would not represent the candidate well.  In the video, Peter Jacobsen says he tried Aimpoint Express and still hasn't figured it out. Miller then asks Gary Koch if he tried it and he says no, plumb bobbing would get the same result. Miller follows up with plumb bobbing is more accurate. David Feherty calls it The Fickle Finger of Fate, a disparaging moniker with the randomness it invokes, or maybe it's more for chuckles - Feherty seems like a smart guy and would figure out Aimpoint straight away. Listen, if you're going to knock something on national TV, at least take a detailed look into what you're dismissing. I'd have more respect for these statements if they were, I took a clinic, gave it a concerted effort to try it, I just don't get it. Maybe we don't know the inside politics. Maybe there's some friction between the media and the company behind Aimpoint. Maybe there's some kind of extenuating circumstances. But if this isn't the case, there's no excuse for all the announcers not to have taken a clinic (Aimpoint Express isn't hard to learn, kids learn it.) That's their job, to know golf, right? Putting is one of its aspects.

nevets88

nevets88

 

Practicing with video - tips that may hopefully help you

Some of this is obvious for experienced players, I'll list them anyway for the benefit of those starting out. Will add as I learn/discover more.   Duh, camera angles are very important. You probably know this already, but will mention it anyway. Always bring an alignment stick, which will make pointing your camera much easier. You may hit a cr@p shot, but video may redeem you by showing you you actually did what your instructor advised. That's a good thing, you're changing the picture. This should gave you encouragement, you'll eventually hit the ball more solid with the new piece. Everyone around you may be hitting more balls than you, it may seem video is slowing you down, but you're seeing what's actually happening versus guessing. By associating feel and real, you're actually making faster progress than those not using video. You don't have to be at a range to use video, practice your moves at home and video them. Even without a ball or club. Frequent shorter spurts of practice is much better than cramming. As per @billchao, work on one thing at a time. Usually there's a better angle for a specific piece. For shallowing, down the line, impact, face on. Review your swing in realtime, 30fps and high frame rate, 120/240+fps. You'll see different aspects of your swing.  Switch up the camera position often, don't stay with down the line or face on too long. You'll get caught up in one aspect of the swing perhaps to the detriment of another. There's also the posterior view. I'm pretty sure your range will frown upon you using a drone for overhead views. Review your swing on a big screen the night of or day after. You'll notice things you didn't see on the small screen. Use Analzyr (Mac) or Kinovea (PC). My preference is Analyzr as it's much simpler but feature rich. If your range has dividers that block the face on view, pull the mat back past the divider. If your stall is walled on both sides, you could try turning 45, 60 degrees to get a face on view, that's what I've been told, have yet to try this though, comment below if you got this to work (or not). If it's sunny and blistering hot, put a large towel over your head to review video, you'll look stupid, but you'll see the video better, save battery life and get respite from the sun. Get a tripod bag. Be prepared to say, no, I'm not going to hot yoga. It'll make life easier, trust me on this. When using an iPhone to record video, to save battery life, I turn off the GPS and turn on low power mode. When recording, I turn the screen brightness down - you're not watching the screen, so it doesn't matter. Yes, it's annoying you have to turn the screen brightness back up when viewing. Not sure how much this helps, but in theory it should save some battery consumption. Or you can painter's tape a portable power bank to your tripod and your phone will outlast you, no battery worries there. It shouldn't make manipulating the tripod any harder. I'd recommend a model that's at least 20,000mAh so you don't have to charge the bank as often.   You may forget one or two important things your instructor told you, no matter how many times you watched your lesson video, reviewed notes. When you're in the thick of practicing, not hard to do. Copy your lesson text and/or video to your phone so you can read/watch again when things get pear shaped. I use Evernote for text, Dropbox/OneDrive/Google Drive for video. Try and put all your lessons in the cloud so that they're easily accessible. It's the closest thing to having your pro with you without him/her physically/remotely being there You're going to have lots of video in storage and you'll probably delete them, don't delete them all, leave a couple of videos, preferably the last swings from the practice session, on your phone for quick reference. Learn how to clip videos to save space. A full swing, 240fps, on an iPhone, takes up about 15-30 megabytes, depending on how much ball flight you capture. Portrait mode is looked down on, but is better for down the line views, you don't have to set the camera as far back as landscape and you can see more of the ball flight if you hit it high. Heck, use portrait all the time, that's what all my instructors do, they know a thing or two.   To see if your shaft is pointing inside or outside the ball at A5 you can use a straight edge to superimpose over the display as opposed to a swing analysis app to draw lines, don't use a credit card or transit pass or anything important (duh), it's going to increase the chances of you losing it. Use a clubshaft as a straight edge, just superimpose it over your smartphone display. Or if you have a removable case, use that as a straight edge, or even the bottom of your hand made into a karate chop.   If you're hitting into the sun and you lose track of the ball and you're recording in high speed video from down the line, you'll be able to the start line and maybe some of the initial curvature depending on conditions. To see if you're hitting the ball fat, when videoing face on, if your mat is wet, you'll see the splash the water makes, it'll be especially obvious when you hit it fat. If it didn't rain, pour some water onto the mat. Same goes for when you make contact with the mat after hitting the ball.   To protect your smartphone while videoing yourself in the rain, trying using a rain cover provided with a bicycle smartphone mount. I use this from Morpheus Labs, it's a very snug fit, actually a bit of an effort to get on, but you can still use the touch screen, you'll have to press harder. The fingerprint scan won't work though and it'll widen your phone so your tripod mount will need to accommodate the extra width. If it protects the phone while cycling, which I found it does, pretty sure it's good enough for videoing your swing in the rain. You can use your bicycle smartphone mount as a portable kind of gorilla pod if there's something nearby to mount it to.   Zooming in is very handy. From down the line, I'll max out the zoom in and focus in on the ball, to see where on the club head the ball hits the face. You can see heel, toe, thin, fat better this way. Instead of using a heavy power bank, you could use a lipstick charger and a short cable, the lipstick is not heavy enough to pull the cable off your phone. Don't need tape, simpler.

nevets88

nevets88

 

American slang/idioms

Rewatching Band of Brothers, there's this scene where a CO says "Channel is socked in. No jump tonight!". Having seen BoB so many times, never bothered to look up "socked in". In context, knowing the situation, Operation Overlord, you just easily guessed D-Day was postponed because weather. But this time, I actually looked up "socked in". http://www.wordwizard.com/phpbb3/viewtopic.php?t=24601 OED https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/sock MW https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sock in Now maybe if I were an amateur pilot or airplane enthusiast, would have known this, but I'm usually pretty diligent in looking up things I don't know, especially now with smartphones, have a good dictionary on the home screen, but language is a big thing, slang/idioms constantly changing and expanding. Makes me wonder all the slang I don't know, even though born and raised in the US and watch a lot of tv and movies. Thank the gods for Urban Dictionary, I say.

nevets88

nevets88

 

Mutterer on the range

Ever have a mutterer a stall or two away from you? Usually a nattering nabob of negativism and with a mouth as foul as Nixon in his lost tapes. I've been there, when it's frustrating and nothing seems to work. But don't go emanating your black cloud towards others. Laughter is contagious and it goes the other way around too, dourness will tend to make other people dour. Do something different, change it up. Go out there and read how to practice better, try out different pros. But F this. F that. F me. JFC F me. F all is working. GD it S F F me. Not productive. Luckily, my concentration was good and I was focussed and tuned him out, but dude, lighten up. There are a lot of anal type As I'm very good at what I do so I must be pretty good at everything else at this range. This guy was no exception, must be a blast as a partner.

nevets88

nevets88

 

Driving in the UK from an American POV

Don't know the exact model of the car I rented, an Octavia 4 door sedan, rental guy (who looked and sounded like one of the assassins in a Jason Borne movie said it was equivalent to a VW Passat or Jetta. In stop and go traffic, the engine auto shuts off when at rest. Radio and A/C stay on. When you engage the shifter or clutch, turn the wheel, car auto turns on. In the US, I sometimes did this manually, shut off the car when I knew we were going to be at a complete rest for a bit. Great gas and environmentally friendly feature. I wonder about the wear and tear on the starter though. Car recovers from stall outs much quicker. If you let go of the clutch while the car is in gear, not as much lurch. Love the yellow and red lights on simultaneously to indicate green is coming. Road closures in London are crazy, plays havoc with GPS directions. The only step up to an automatic is 75 pounds a day, a Mercedes Benz, what a way to extract money. No thank you, please don't buy me a Mercedes Benz Janis. Rest stops (called Services) on the major highways have a motel, like a Days Inn, for example, attached to them. There's a dichotomy, between saving gas - manual transmission and people cruising around 80-85mph, some going much faster, on the fast lane on your motorways. To me, that's more an income distribution divide than a driving style one. The English countryside is beautiful. There is nothing like it in the US. The verdant greens and bucolic vistas are something. I've seen them before, but they're still breathtaking.

nevets88

nevets88

 

The New Tappan Zee Bridge

Not crazy about how it was named the Mario Cuomo Bridge (passed in wee hours in secret by his son), but official opening is tomorrow, in my mind, it'll be the new Tappan Zee Bridge. Maybe the Nyack - Tarrytown bridge?   http://www.newnybridge.com/ready-and-waiting-new-bridge-prepared-for-friday-nights-traffic-shift/    

nevets88

nevets88

 

Going from HD to 4K/HDR

4K/HDR is better than I thought it would be. Usually an earlier adopter regarding things tech so late to the 4K train, didn't think it would be that much of an improvement, but beginning to see more of a difference than when in the store, looking at different TVs. When you're at home, rewatching the shows you're used to seeing in HD, that's the better distinguisher. It helped that the new screen is bigger too, going to 65 from 50. Could have bought earlier, but saved a ton waiting a bit, got a decent deal, barely did any research and comparison shopping and got a decent set under $700, free shipping, no tax, was looking at sets costing $2K a year ago. Even the free economy shipping took only 2 days. Amazon Prime's show, Mozart in the Jungle, was the first UHD content I tried and the color and sharpness stood out although I could barely tell the difference between that and and The Expanse, which is HD on Amazon, dunno if upscaling is helping or my eyes suck. Upgraded Netflix to UHD, watched Dark, and it was more obvious than Mozart, the picture quality. The kicker was Planet Earth II, which is UHD. This is obviously the show to tax a tv's ability to the limit. Still assessing sports and output from the Bluray player. Guess there will be a movie that will eventually convince me to go Bluray 4K, The Last Jedi, but will have to see how the current Bluray library is, how well it upscales. So with dramas, it's a little better, but with science fiction, like The Expanse, with detailed ships and planetary details, you can really see the difference. Looking forward to what The Masters will be like. Even though trumotion is turned off, still seeing a little Soap Opera Effect. Going to take a bit to play with all the picture adjustments.

nevets88

nevets88

 

Diminutive physicality, prodigious length

Justin Thomas, Charles Howell, LeeMcCoy. How do they hit the ball so far? Yes, there's this video among others. You look at Bubba Watson, Dustin Johnson, Gary Woodland you'll go, oh, okay, I see why they bomb it. Intellectually, I know the answer - talent, maximizing impact conditions like angle of attack, lots of hard work and good info, but if someone who's relatively shorter and weighs less than his counterparts, although probably taller than the average male but not by that much, can drive the ball 300 yards on average, why do golfers who are intently trying having problems carrying 250? I have no answers, to me, it just reenforces how talent is a major differentiator. Otherwise, I have nothing. Thoughts?

nevets88

nevets88

 

Is golf an art?

Jimmy Walker on Charlie Rose, 13:52. Is golf an art? Yes.  https://charlierose.com/videos/28533 I agree. With all the technology and more technically oriented talk about the swing (you can listen to Walker get into technique in the middle of the interview), I must bang this into my head. Golf imho, is ultimately, a form of art. On the course, it's a flow, no?

nevets88

nevets88

 

Golftec (a bit of a plug) and feel ain't real

Golftec (disclaimer - don't know anyone working there) was something I never looked into, probably confirmation bias or the social media out there about the hard sell to buy lesson packages. After trying out its video setup, the benefits of having both face on and down the line views simultaneously was intriguing, and a screen where you can see yourself live although you still have to manipulate your head to see the screen, VR goggles not available yet but you can bet that will be a thing in the near future, could be useful for some I thought. Winter was a time where practice wound down, don't know anyone with a large relatively warm space (Hey buddy, you have so much photography/music studio loft space you could easily fit in a net there and we could practice during winter! Whadday think? ) where I could plop a net, and paying for a simulator when I wasn't using the simulator, just videoing myself, plus groups using simulators tend to be noisy, just didn't work - too limiting and expensive. Places w/simulators can be cramped spaces too, so you may not get a face on or down the line camera view. Practicing during the winter outdoors was getting more and more to be a drudge - it's one thing to swing, futzing with a camera when it's cold is the dealbreaker, even with touchscreen gloves. So finally the plunge into a 1/2 year practice plan was made. If you go 2-3 times a week, the cost per visit goes down considerably compared to simulators. What I didn't anticipate is that dual video cameras has been more beneficial than I imagined, the connect between what I'm doing and what really happens is much more immediate, even though I've been using video, "only" one camera - and I think I'm making better progress because of it and now that plunge is looking like a great deal. So if you're looking for a place to practice in the cold winter, take a gander into any company/facility with dual cameras and multiple locations. You might get in some considerable swing work done during the offseason.  Better at shallowing from A4 and better at knowing the whys because cameras because instructor with a big assist from cameras:  

nevets88

nevets88

 

Thoughts about backswing shortening

Is making a shorter backswing harder than a longer one? When coming back from not playing for awhile, the first noticeable thing on video is my backswing is longer. Both the big muscles and the small. Shoulders turn more and wrists hinge even more so. It seems like if you look at swings at your typical driving range, you have more swings going past parallel than not. PGA Tour and good amateurs less so these days because the "modern" swing you don't see the shaft go past parallel as much w/exception of driver, longer clubs. You'd think it'd be easier making a shorter backswing than a longer one, fewer moving parts but I think it's easier to make a longer one because a longer swing gives you more "time" to make a swing. Plus it feels more powerful because you're taking more of a windup.  A shorter backswing, I intellectually know its advantages, easier to shallow, less opportunity for things to go wrong, simpler, but human instinct seems to take precedence over what you're brain "knows" is "right". A shorter backswing is uncomfortable because you have less time to make the swing, it feels rushed if you're used to a longer backswing. Like you're trying to compress the pieces you want to implement in 1/2 the time. You hear so many times during a lesson that the shorter swing felt like a 1/2 swing or even 1/4 one. I guess you could write this same piece saying the exact opposite, but if I had to guess, more people, 60/40, maybe more, would say shorter is harder, especially as the club gets longer.

nevets88

nevets88

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