4th of July 2008: Fireworks, Family and Poppy in the Sprinkler

Sun, 13 July 2008

For the fourth of July, we had some good times at Conesus Lake. Much of the Rzepkowski clan came into town to enjoy the Ring of Fire on the 3rd. Wendy and Ian even drove up from South Carolina, and with them came both of my grandmas and Barb Polasik, my grandma’s cousin from Virginia, who is just a terrific lady.

A Flame Lit for Lefty
At dusk we started off the fireworks show by writing messages to grandpa on a Chinese lantern. We had a lighting ceremony with some prayers and then sent it off into the sky. We expected it to go thousands of feet into the sky and see its way to heaven. Instead it went about 100 feet, then came down like the Hindenburg. It was still very touching, and beautiful.

Neal with Chinese Lantern
Uncle Neal lights the Chinese lantern. If you look closely you can read the messages to Lefty

Ian also brought with him about $300 worth of fireworks that we lit off at the end of the dock, adding our own personal show to the thousands of crazies trying to outdo each other.

Fireworks at the lake
One of the many fireworks shot off at the lake

The children’s ahhs tell the whole story

On the 4th we made a HUGE breakfast of Belgian waffles and egg casserole. Then, Ian, Dad, Mike and me went to Livingston Country Club for a round of golf. I was on my way to my goal of breaking 100 for the first time. But, at hole 15 my stamina went out the door, and I had 7’s and 8’s for the rest of the round, leaving me with a 111. Luckily we are all in the high-scoring club so that was good enough for second place.

Golf at Livingston Country Club
Dad “executes” a 60 ft. putt while Ian provides the typical hi-jinx

Th rest of the weekend we had great weather, so we took the kids swimming in the not-so-warm water and went on a nice long boat ride. There was plenty of drinking and fishing to keep us occupied too. As is our tradition, we topped it off with our yearly family photo in the Old Navy flag tees.


At Nana and Poppy’s House
After our trip to the lake we went to Nana and Poppy’s house for some more relaxation and Mush for dinner. It was hotter than blazes on that Sunday, so the kids convinced Poppy that they should all go in the sprinkler. That set us up for some ideal photos of grace and beauty in action. Have a look:

Poppy and Mason in the Sprinkler
Poppy and Mason having fun in the sprinkler

Poppy and the kids in the sprinkler
Grace in action: Poppy and the kids jump through the sprinkler

Happy 4th of July everyone!

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Good Business, Golf at the Administaff Pro-Am

Wed, 17 October 2007

Last week I had the good fortune to be invited to Houston, TX for job board strategy meetings with CareerBuilder and a little primo golf at the Adminstaff Small Business Classic Pro-Am. This was a trip of firsts for me, and I enjoyed every bit of it.

The experience really began for me 2 weeks prior when I was invited to attend. I was quaking in my boots at the thought of putting my golf game on display in front of pros, and even **eek** a gallery. But, I accepted the challenge anyways with a high handicap of 25 and the thought that this is a once in a lifetime experience. I’m not one to back down from this sort of thing, even if I’m scared sh!tless.

So, October 10 I flew to Houston for the first time. I’ve been to Dallas and Austin before, and was struck both times by how different Texas is from Western NY. Laid back, friendly and warm vs. high-strung, reserved, and always a bit nippy – to me Texas is a foreign country, but a beautiful one. I got in at around 8pm and took a cab to a dinner at Perry’s Steakhouse and Grille. There I met with the team from CareerBuilder and a few other staffing firm clients like Kelly Services, Select Remedy, and Volt. The highlight may have been the gigantic bone-in NY Strip that I’m still digesting to this day.

Thursday morning was a whirlwind. Up at 5:30am and to the Augusta Pines Golf Club by 7:00am.

Augusta Pines Golf Club, Houston, TX
Arriving at Augusta Pines Golf Club at 7:00am

I registered, got my rental clubs and RAN to the practice range for only 3 minutes of swings. Let me just say I didn’t straighten out my game within 3 minutes. We found that we were paired with R.W. Eaks so it was off to the 8th hole for the shotgun start of stroke play. This being only the second tournament I’ve ever played in, I barely understood how this was all going to work.

We briefly shook hands with R.W. and his caddie “Johnny Mac” who were both very personable guys. Then it was crunch time. I was shaking so much on the first tee that I could barely see the ball. And when I swung the ball ended up going no more than 20 yards – ouch. Luckily the other guys on my team at least got the ball down the fairway. The good news is that in however this scoring works, we could get no higher than par. If we were shooting above par on the hole, or the extra strokes given because of handicaps didn’t keep us in contention for birdie, we could just pick up the ball and let the other guys play it out. If none of the amateurs got birdie, but RW did, then we could take the pro’s score.

R.W. Eaks’s sweet golf swing
R.W. Eaks’s sweet golf swing

Well, I didn’t have enough good shots on the first 5 holes to even be putting :( however, slowly I could feel my nerves subsiding and some semblance of a swing return. By the 8th hole I was hitting some shots and taking some putts. The great news was that we had some excellent golfers on our team, especially Michael Morrow from Kelly. At the turn we were in a tie for 3rd place in the tournament!

Leaderboard at the Administaff Pro-Am
Proof that we were on the leaderboard

On the back 9 I actually managed to have the best score on 2 of the holes to help contribute. This was a great moral victory and therefore made the entire day perfectly enjoyable. We ended up the tournament at -19 in 4th place. No trophy, but a very respectable finish. I picked up some great tips from Johnny Mac, and got to see how effortless a tour pro makes this sport.

During the afternoon, I had more meetings with the CareerBuilder, then in the evening we had a real treat. We were able to attend the player’s dinner. Johnny Bench spoke as well as Roger Clemens, who had just returned from NY after getting ousted from the ALDS. Arnold Palmer also was a central figure. He’s the spokesperson for Administaff these days, and while he is getting on in years, he’s a very inspirational person to listen to.

Arnold Palmer at the players’ dinner
Arnold Palmer speaks at the players’ dinner

To top off the Texas evening they brought in a live, unplugged country music show featuring Pat Green and Jack Ingram. I’m no country music connoisseur, but I’m going to become one. Their music was awesome!

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Daybreak Golf at Genesee Valley

Fri, 10 August 2007

Genesee Valley South Course Map

There’s nothing like Friday morning crack o’ dawn golf at Genesee Valley. Today the North course was closed due to an impending 9am tournament, so we were directed to the South Course. It was Marc, Kevin, Mike and me playing the front 9. We’ve never played that course before and it was not at all impressive. The fairway was in rough shape. It is just a good thing that I rarely hit the ball from the fairway. Any chips from there were hitting off of rock hard, sandy soil. That meant with my brutal short cgame, that I was flying the green with consistency. The rough was much better though. I played well from about 130 yards out, sticking the ball within 10 feet of the cup 3 times. Plus, my putts were rolling much better. I have this online video by Gary Player to thank for the simple putting advice. Put the label of the ball to the back and stare at it. Listen for the ball to roll into the cup instead of watching it. While my drives weren’t very accurate, I ended up with my best round of the summer at 47.

Hole 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Total
Par 4 4 3 3 4 4 4 4 4 34
Kris 6 5 7 3 4 5 6 4 7 47

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Tuesday Morning Golf at Victor Hills

Tue, 31 July 2007

Victor Hills North Course Layout

True to its name Victor Hills is indeed hilly, and for me treacherous. This morning Dad Agosti, Matt Agosti, and I played the front nine of the North Course. This was a tune up for the big pre-marriage golf game to take place this Friday. Matt, who is getting married on Saturday will be looking to calm his nerves with 18 more on the same course. We’ll be joined by Adam Agosti and Don Watters, the father of the bride. Today we all had our struggles. For me, it was a game that deteriorated as the course wore on. I started strong and finished weak save for a 25 yard chip that landed 2 feet from the cup on 18. Alas, the scores don’t lie.

Hole 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Total
Par 5 3 4 4 4 4 4 3 5 36
Dad A 7 5 6 6 6 6 6 5 6 53
Matt A 10 3 7 6 6 7 5 5 9 58
Kris 8 4 6 5 7 5 10 6 7 58

Friday is another day and another chance to try and tame the beast of a course. The good news is we’ll be on carts, thus removing one excuse, and adding to the possibilities of other excuses to come. My personal favorite – cart whiplash.

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Friday Morning Golf at Old Hickory

Fri, 27 July 2007

Old Hickory Golf Course

As close to weekly as possible, I try to get up at the crack of dawn on Friday before work and play 9 holes of golf. It’s always a different crew. Today, it was just my my dad and I. We slept at my parents’ lake house and then played Old Hickory Golf Club in Livonia, NY. We were on by 6am (15 minutes before anyone else was even there) and off by 8:15. Here’s how we scored:

Hole 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Total
Par 5 3 4 4 4 5 3 4 4 36
Dad 4 3 6 7 5 7 7 6 4 49
Kris 5 5 6 5 5 7 4 7 6 50

Overall I’m happy with my round. I didn’t lose any balls and kept the 7’s to a minimum. My goal has been to break 100, so I’m on pace. I just lose way too many shots around the green. I’m happy to take the loss to my Dad as he managed 3 pars. Anyone that does that deserves the win.

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from kaboodle

This is my Life as a 37 year old husband and father of two and my Work as Executive Director of Marketing at Bennett International Group in Mconough, GA relocating from home in Rochester, NY.
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