AWT is on the Record

Happy New Year one and all. ‘Tis the last Tuesday of 2009 and for the first time ever, AWT is publishing our fearlessly feckless 20 predictions for 2010. It’s quite scary committing your thoughts to public record but if you have something to say, you may as well say it. The scope of these forecasts will be both personal and global, micro and macro. Some will be tongue-in-cheek, others are not. (I will decide at year end which is which!) If you’d like, we can reconvene at year end 2010 with the scorecard and put me to task. You ready? Lets get going.

  • 2010 will be better than 2009 but only at the margin. We are nowhere close to being done with the jobs recession. Want a better economy? Raise confidence. It is a simple equation but a complicated task.
  • Learning about the sex life of our politicians, celebrities and sports figures will explode into a major industry. Why? “Enquiring” minds want to know and…it sells.
  • Guantanamo Bay will not close in 2010 especially if we are led to believe that prisoners released from there were involved with the terrorist plot on NWA Flight 253.
  • Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Nancy Bachman, Joe Lieberman, Deval Patrick and Sarah Palin will continue to suck. A further prediction, this is the year that Sarah Palin’s tank runs dry and everyone begins to see her for the fraud that she is.
  • There will be further schisms between the North and the South, the red and the blue. If we are not careful, we could see the end of another “empire” in future years.
  • 2010 will take us another step closer to a cure for cancer and the Kanzius Machine will play a part in its cure.
  • Magazines will rise again (428 closings in 2009!) and on-demand television will flourish. Apple’s new tablet computer will drive this but it will mostly be because people will continue to want home entertainment as a way to save money.
  • MTV will come to its senses and cancel Jersey Shore. Oh wait, MTV comes to its senses?? I may have to rethink this one.
  • The stock market will lose value in 2010 but companies who grow their market share in a bad economy will flourish.
  • We will not hear from Octomom, Balloon Boy and Levi Johnson ever again. I wish that the same fate could be conferred on Glenn Beck, Charlie Sheen and Bernie Madoff.
  • Personally, I will end this retirement experiment and find gainful employment looking around corners which I do better than most, this prediction stuff notwithstanding.
  • Iron Man 2 will be as bad as Oceans 12. Maybe worse.
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt will become a household name.
  • President Obama will enjoy a surge in popularity that his administration will squander.
  • The New Orleans Saints will win the Super Bowl. They deserve it. They have played impeccably on both sides of the ball and the city sure could use the boost.
  • Tiger Woods will play in the 2010 Masters. It’s what he lives for (well, that…and you know). AND he will get divorced.
  • Interest in Twitter will fade like a Tim Wakefield knuckle ball. It’s a one dimensional technology that is crying the emperor has no clothes. Don’t waste anymore of your time with it.
  • The album will die – even online. Artists will release songs more often and on the internet. Free music will be the order of the day since there is no money to be made on music sales to the consumer. It will take awhile but you will see it begin to happen in 2010.
  • I am taking Spain in the 2010 World Cup. They play with precision, heart and discipline. If the Italian squad learned discipline, they would be my pick. But alas
  • Eliot Spitzer will rise again. He may have messed up but he’s done a lot of things right since then and you just can’t hold down someone who is as intelligent and ambitious as him.  The same fate does not await Mark Sanford.

And there you have it…20 fearless predictions/forecasts for your final AWT of 2009. Thank you for visiting and offering your opinions. It’s best when there is a dialogue. I wish you great things in 2010, good health and good cheer, prosperity and hope. It is a new decade that we get to write the blueprint for. Lets make it amazing! All the best.

Aye Wonder.

And so should you!

wonder1Another Tuesday, another installment of Aye Wonder Tuesday. Can you take it? We’re running out of Tuesdays in 2009 but there is no shortage of news to talk about. The health care reform bill is making me ill as is Joe Lieberman. I am still confused by the entire climate change issue. The Tiger Woods saga is becoming folkloric. When will this decade end? It’s the decade of bad decisions. That’s what I am calling it, it’s not catchy but it does sum up everything.

Joe Lieberman you’re up first.

☞Joe Lieberman has leaped from #3 to #2 on my 5 least favorite public officials list. (Nancy Pelosi is and always will be #1) Lieberman has once again held the Democrats hostage over a bill that he alone had the ability to stop. The short version of Lieberman’s discretion is this: he wants to remove the Medicare buy-in option for people aged 55-64 that was attached to the new health care bill. I am not saying it was a good idea or a bad one but Lieberman came out in favor of this 3 months ago. It is symptomatic of why things never get done in Washington. Blame the President but the real blame belongs in Congress. By the time a concept goes through the legislative process, it is tagged with more earmarks and appropriations rendering the bill infective at birth. Lieberman recognizes that his vote is vote 60 and as a result can get what ever he wants and played his trump card at the appropriate time. How much longer will the people of Connecticut continue to reelect  this democrat/republican/independent pretender?

☞Music, we need music. Since we are at the end of the year, let me introduce you to my favorite song of 2009. Phoenix’ 1901 is what a rock song with a pop overcoat is all about these days, a little synth, a little jangle guitar and a hook that keeps on giving. It is bright and shiny and it’s from France. Have a listen to AWT’s song of the year.

☞Speaking of music, are you enjoying the upbeat song a day posting? They are moral boosters. Be sure to listen.

☞As mistress #14 steps out of the shadows, Tiger Woods has a new problem. His Canadian doctor is now under FBI investigation for providing athletes with performance-enhancing drugs/treatments. According to the New York Times, the doctor made four visits to Woods’ Florida home after Tiger’s knee surgery. Guaranteed the punters are putting 2+2 together to equal 5.

☞More and more people are questioning the climate crisis issue’s validity after thousands of emails were found showing that scientists were fudging data to convince the public and the media. The claim now is that we should just “trust them” because the scientists perpetrated this hoax to get everyone motivated for the inevitable. Admittedly, I don’t know what to think. Will we stop recycling? No. Will we continue to be more observant about waste and our impact in a macro world? Yes. Will ever believe Al Gore again? I never said I did in the first place.

☞This is an age old complaint but there is NOTHING good to watch on television. Now that Californication, Mad Men, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Entourage have completed their season’s runs, there is nothing to watch. Do you have anything that you would recommend these days?

☞If you live in Boston, there’s a new restaurant you will want to try. Ken Oringer’s newest offering is a wonderful Italian enoteca on Shawmut Avenue in the South End called Coppa. Personally, I love eating like this, a little salumi, some antipasti, a little pasta, a little red wine. It reminds me of another favorite place, Mario Battali’s Lupa in NYC. Coppa is a charming hole-in-the-wall with amazing eats and the height of creativity on the drinks side. Take a look. Get ye to Coppa.

☞Speaking of food, one of the things that I have been doing much more often is cooking. I love to cook and bake. (Who’d a thunk it?) One of the things that got me cooking again is the “light bulb is on” recognition that cooking has a huge knowledge base. I always enjoy a task when I can study, then practice and the final scorecard is the end result. The end results have varied from great to not-so-great but fixing the not-so-greats is the best thing about cooking. We should be so lucky with other things.

☞The AWT quote of the week is from the elder statesman of good advice:

Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.
~Benjamin Franklin

So goes another AWT. I hope that this one finds you in good spirit and good health as the holiday season envelops us all.

Aye Wonder. Yes. I do.

What about you?

The Education of a Coach – David Halberstram
Life of Pi – Yann Martel
Between the Bridge and the River – Craig Ferguson
The United States of Europe – T.R. Reid
Under the Banner of Heaven – Jon Krakauer

It’s a college town which keeps it vibrant
Because its history stretches back to the early 1600’s
I can walk everywhere
You can see the Atlantic Ocean
Politics is considered a major sport


Orange juice
Diet Coke
(didn’t need the last one but seemed a good idea at the time)

Tiger Woods
Bill Clinton
Nelson Mandela
Dalai Lama
Kate Beckinsale

Everyone who journeys to Scotland for golf, whether for the 1st time or the 50th time, is keen on playing the Old Course in St. Andrews. And who can blame them. It is the ultimate golf destination for the golf aficionado. This is the home of golf and a place where you can play a circuit that has regularly hosted the (British) Open Championship since Tom Kidd won there in 1873. Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus and James Braid have each won the Open twice in St Andrews. Palmer won two Open Championships in a row but a life regret was that neither win took place at the Old Course. Bobby Jones won there as an amateur in 1927 and remarked later:

“…although I have played it many, many times, its charm for me increases with every round. The more I study the Old Course, the more I love it, and the more I love it, the more I study it.”

This is the charm of the Old Course. The average golfer can walk in the footsteps of the great and near great. While you cannot take a swing at a 95 mile an hour fastball at Yankee Stadium or volley for serve at Wimbledon,  the Old Course is open to the rich and poor, men and women, young and old. It is one of the reasons why everyone wants to play there at least once.  For first time players, there is nothing like the feeling that washes over you as you stand on the first tee preparing to strike your inaugural shot on the Old Course. (Oddly, professionals will tell you that they feel the same “giddiness,” awe and sense of history.)

Since Scotland is all about the democratization of golf, the administrators of the Old Course (The Links Trust) implemented a system that gives everyone a fair and equitable opportunity to get a tee time. While your chances improve if you are local St Andrean, a member of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club (or another club in town), a resident of the county or serving at the military base in neighboring Leuchars, everyone is subject to a lottery of sorts. If for example, you submit your group’s name on the first Wednesday in September for the previous year you wish to play, that grouping goes in a bucket for a drawing at near year end. Also, there is a daily lottery, or ballot, for next day play. You submit your request by 2 P.M. the day before play. If you are a single or twosome, get up early to visit the starter. He will tell you if there’s any chance of playing. Your odds are very good but likely will require a wait. A quick note, don’t bother trying to grease the skids with the starters. It’s more likely to set you back. If money is no object and you positively must play the Old Course, call the Old Course Experience. They will get you on the course but prepare for great expense. Lastly, your concierge or General Manager sometimes has slots that he or she may be able to help you with but prepare for a hit or miss experience.

Good luck in your quest to play the Old Course. If you arrive in Scotland with a flexible itinerary, there is a good chance that you can get a slot. If you don’t…there are seven other courses in town and 65 other championship courses within an hour ride. Try again the next day.

As always, if you have specific questions just ask them here in the comments section. And be sure to check the Golf in Scotland page above for more information.





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