Happy birthday dad!


My mom and dad were in Toronto for a doctor’s appointment last Thursday, and my dad’s 70th birthday was on the Friday, so my sister told them to stay an extra day and she’d make dinner for them. Unbeknownst to my dad, we had arranged a session at an indoor golf simulator for him and me him and I he and I the two of us for that afternoon, and also for Gail and the boys to come into the city (ooooh, the city) to join us for dinner. I took a vacation day and planned on taking the train in but managed to miss it, so I had to drive down (turns out that caused a lot more problems than I originally thought — more on that later). Dad and I played 18 holes (well, 17 — we ran out of time and didn’t want to pay for another 15 minutes just to play one more hole) at Spyglass. We both shot in double digits on the first hole, but then we kind of figured out what we needed to do, and did much better the rest of the way. I even had two pars.

I think there was something wrong with the simulator, though. At one point the display got so slow that I asked the guy about it, and he said he’d never seen it like that, so he moved us over to another machine. (When he rebooted it, I saw that the computer running the booth was running Windows XP Home.) The other booth was a little better, but still not great, and there was still something wrong with the ball sensor as well — sometimes. While playing the back nine, I don’t think I had a drive (i.e. with the driver, off the tee) go further than about 170 yards. I’m no John Daly, but if I hit my driver properly, I can hit the ball over 200 yards. I had some drives where I felt like I hit it pretty well, and the ball went 160 yards. I can hit my 6-iron 160 yards pretty consistently, so there was definitely something wrong. We still had fun though.

After golf, we walked back to my sister’s place where she and my mom were getting dinner ready. Trudy had bought a bunch of Scottish food for the party — several different types of meat pies, mushy peas, British crisps (marmite (?) and prawn cocktail flavours), and even some haggis. She’s a vegetarian, but she said she had more meat in her fridge for this party than ever before. Gail and the boys were a little late because Gail was on a long-running conference call at work, but they got there just in time for Trudy’s “70 Years of George Perrow” video show, containing lots of pictures of dad, many of which I had never seen before. She did a great job with that, but eventually it was time to get the kids home to bed.

Gail and I were both going to leave at the same time (since we both drove down, we had to drive home seperately), but we had a problem. Gail was parked in Trudy’s reserved spot in the parking lot, but I was on the road. When we got to my car, I found that some idiot had parked behind me, partially blocking a driveway, and not even two inches off my rear bumper. There was a little more space in front of me, but not enough to get out, so I was trapped. Gail took the boys home while I stayed to figure out what to do.

I called the police and talked to the parking enforcement guy, who said there was nothing they could do, since there was no way to prove who got there first. I thought about calling a towing company to get them to move the guy enough that I could get out and then putting his car back, but since it wasn’t my car they were moving (and therefore there was nobody to sign a waiver) I doubt any towing company would do it. I waited for half an hour and the guy didn’t move, so I put a nice note on his windshield (where I skillfully avoided use of the word “asshole”, though that was the first word that came to mind), asking him to give me a call when he left so that I could also leave. After another half an hour, we figured he wasn’t going to call (or at least wasn’t going to leave), so I crashed on Trudy’s couch.

The next morning, he still hadn’t left, but with my dad guiding me, I managed to get out anyway. This made me feel a little silly, since I could have left the night before, but I guess it was no big deal really. When I left, my dad took the note off of the other guy’s windshield, so he doesn’t have any idea that his lousy parking job caused any problems at all. So, Mr. red two-door Sunfire with Ontario licence plate ARJS 015, the best I can do now is to call you a jerk on my blog. Not exactly satisfying, but it’ll have to do.

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