Uncle and Aunt, Once Again!
Congratulations to Tim and Kate Rosok! Lauren’s sister gave birth to the couple’s first baby Sunday afternoon. Annika Elizabeth is now our eighth niece/nephew, joining Peyton, Emerson, Abigail, Hudson, Hadley, Owen, and Colton. Lauren was of course very sad she couldn’t be there, but she will fly back to Minneapolis soon enough. I will have to wait till Christmas to meet the trio of new babies from family and friends.

Second Wedding Anniversary Today
Two years ago from right now, there was snow on the ground in Minneapolis and we were amongst family and friends as Lauren and I exchanged wedding vows. Tonight, Lauren is preparing a special dinner and we will pop open the last remaining bottle of champagne from our wedding reception.

Company Golf Tournament
Sunday was the annual company golf tournament, best-ball style. As the D player on my team, little was expected out of me. And little is what they got! I had been out to the driving range a handful of times over the last few weeks to practice and was hitting the ball respectably. Once in a while I’d hit a booming drive that went perfectly straight, causing some of the others to claim “there’s no way this guy is a D player!” But on Sunday, whatever progress I had made in practices went straight out the window on a rare cool, damp afternoon.

Everyone was given 12 new golf balls to use at the tournament, plus six more as a gift in a fashionable Callaway leather pouch. I used all of them on the first 10-11 holes before breaking into some of my own I had just purchased. Not one of my drives would have been usable. Rather than going straight, high, or long, most of them shot directly to the right a few feet off the ground, narrowly missing one of the nice houses surrounding the fairway. I’m not talking about me slicing the ball, I mean it went directly right at a 60-degree angle right off the tee. By the final hole of the day, our team’s A player told me, “why don’t you just slow down and try bunting it down the fairway?” I slowed my swing down to the point where it felt like the ball would fall off the tee, and it wound up being a very solid drive, just beyond the green. So perhaps I was greatly overswinging everything all day.

I wasn’t even able to contribute too much on the short game. I had a couple decent putts and made one, but as a D player I was allowed to throw the ball and due to the 2″ of rain over the past 24 hours, the ball wasn’t rolling much and just stuck in the ground wherever I threw it.

Our team wound up with a 66, good for seventh place out of eight teams. The winning team took home iPads after a tie-breaking putt-off. Many other door prizes were given out. Someone had a chance for a $1000 putt. Some took home rangefinders and golf bags. I won a visor.

Poorly as I played, it was still a fun time out there and the weather was unbelievably comfortable. Not even sure I worked up a sweat! There was a fajita bar catered by Chuy’s afterwards as well, which was delicious. I will not give up on the golf game just yet, but I will definitely not step foot on a golf course again until I have had a real lesson.

Dog Training Is Difficult; Baxter Has Testicles Chopped Off
Every time we think we are making progress with Baxter, he reverts to his old ways very quickly. Lauren thought she had him trained to go ring a bell whenever he wanted to go outside and poop or pee, but that hasn’t stopped him from also going in the house quite often. And now he seems to just ring the bell to go outside and play. He is a beagle pup, and from what I have read they are a very difficult dog to train, ranked something like 72nd of the 74 most popular breeds. While loyal and smart, they have minimal attention spans and are easily distracted and super hyper, especially as youngsters as Baxter is.

Saturday we went to a low-price volunteer vet of some sort where the city of Austin basically paid to have Baxter neutered and implanted with a microchip. It was very sad when I arrived to pick him up; he was the last dog at the mobile unit and I could hear him howling as soon as I got out of the car. The volunteer vet told me he would be in pain for seven days and wouldn’t be able to do much running, jumping, climbing, etc. He would be nauseous and unable to eat like normal. He would be a little lethargic and not very playful. Sounded good to me, we could use the break! But not more than one minute after arriving home the little bastard was as hyper and energetic as ever, in no signs of pain whatsoever! He ran, jumped, played, ate, and did everything he was doing before. If having his testicles sliced off doesn’t slow him down, I guess nothing will… aside from slicing off his legs.

Having lived with Roscoe Domenichetti for a year, I thought I had this beagle thing down. But Roscoe of course was two years older than Baxter is now, and Sarah had taken him to obedience school. I think obedience school is definitely in the cards for Little Bax in the very near future.

Confusing Card Game Victory
Saturday, Lauren and her friend Kristin went on some sort of yarn version of a pub-crawl across Austin and the surrounding areas. I was invited over to hang out with Brian (Kristin’s husband) and some of his friends to do manly things that did not involve yarn. After making a run to Spec’s for scotch and bourbon, we played some sort of card game called Dominion. I won’t even try to get into the details of how this game works. Basically it was something medieval and involved fortresses and estates and thrones. There were four of us playing and every time it got to be my turn, I was like “Uh… so… um… what do I do?” And someone would have to explain it each time. As the game went on I started to understand it a little more… not fully, but enough to get by without asking for help each time. When the game had come to an end, it was time to count our green cards and see who was the winner. “I’m sure it’s between you and me for first,” Brian told his friend Mike. “We’ll just see how much of a gap there is between second and third.” Mike had 28 cards. Brian had 27. Spencer had 12. And then I’m like “I have 38.” Everyone looked puzzled. “No, no, count again.” I counted again. “Yep, 38.” Everyone was just kinda stunned and puzzled. There was about ten seconds of silence as everyone tried to rack their brains to figure out how I could have won that game. Even I didn’t have an answer.