Getting My Swing Back the Right Way Sunday, Jan 11 2015 

When I played golf this year, I was hitting drives off the tee close to 300 yards.  I played better, hit the ball further, and enjoyed the game more than ever.  You might say I was pretty happy with myself.

Then I met Lenny Mello. Certified by the Titleist Performance Institute, Lenny runs a program that helps guys like me play longer and better. As he explained to me, Titleist has a mission to keep people playing longer, so it created this training series for that purpose.

Sure, he has clients who are very young. He has female clients. But his bread-and-butter, he’ll tell you, is guys like me. At the headquarters of his business,  Pillar Health & Sport Performance, in the Louisville Tennis Club on Herr Lane, Lenny took me through a number of flexibility tests.

rs79LennyMelloLet’s just say I failed. At one point, Lenny said he’s not seen anyone whose movement was as restricted as mine. I got a report from those tests, I scored a 32. That’s low.

A typical “finding” – You have lost mobility and strength in the muscles that control the right shoulder blade and shoulder girdle.  This will lead to poor posture and limited range of motion in the right shoulder during your golf swing.

It’s natural for people to lose flexibility as we age. But you can do something about it. Lenny is one of 15,000 TPI-certified pros around the world, and he know what it’s going to take to improve my situation.

Now here’s the good news — Lenny says he can help me correct a lot of this and become a better golfer. We started a series of exercises on Friday designed to improve all the muscle groups that are inhibiting my golf swing.

And I think I can follow the plan and maybe even get back to playing racquetball. I’ll keep you posted.



Journal: Luke’s Three-Day Week; Homecoming with the Pikes Sunday, Nov 9 2014 

Our Journal:

LUKE: Entry for 11/6 thru 11/7. This week was a short week so my teachers see this and decide “We need to give them enough work for a 5 day week isntead of 3.” So I’ve been very busy with not only schoolwork but also this is a fairly important time for my game. This is because on midnight Monday the “season” ends and you can no longer climb up the competitive ladder for that season. I want to get the highest rank of diamond but I’m fairly far away so I have been very busy with that and schoolwork.

Diddle PikeComposite PIKEOtisHeeb WKUHomecoming

RICK: We had a big crowd in Bowling Green for Homecoming at WKU. By that, I mean we had a gang of my PiKA fraternity brothers converging on campus. We came with our graying hair, growing waistlines and either our 1st, 2nd or 3rd wives, girlfriends or just our selves. And we hung out, calling each other by nicknames earned in college — “Otis, my man!” —  and telling all of those not in on the jokes how crazy we were three decades ago.

We saw the new Pike house, a structure way cooler than the ramshackle place we remembered at 1366 College Street. Oddly, there was a composite photo from my freshman year on the wall, so we had to rush over and take pictures. As current students rushed by us in front of Diddle, we ate and drank at a tailgate party, stopping people we knew on the way in. We watched the Hilltoppers conquer UTEP in exciting fashion in a fancy, half-empty stadium.  I can’t understand what it is people in Bowling Green do that they don’t fill this wonderful place up 6 times a year.  And they sell beer at the games.

There were 35 of us at dinner in downtown Bowling Green. Conversations weren’t about what we’re doing with our lives, but what we did in our college lives. We talked about the dozens of brothers who didn’t make this trip, and what all those guys were doing. And we hugged each other, laughed and told stories on each other. We replayed embarrassing escapades I can’t imagine any of the current Pikes doing.

When I was pledging back in the fall of 1978, I remember being impressed by what some alumnus told me — enjoy your college years because it’s the only time in your life you can drink like an alcoholic and not be called one — and that the guys you’re living with in the fraternity will be in your life until you die. Truth.


Journal 18: Airbnb Praise and a League of Legends Win Monday, Nov 3 2014 


Journal for the whole weekend. Saturday in terms of actual stuff happening nothing really, mostly just playing games with people. Had a great diner and a lot of fun so for me a fun day though some might say I wasted my day.

Sunday I was supposed to play golf but I was told in the morning we had a tournament in my game (League of Legends) today. So I didn’t want to disappoint Dad, so I tried to find a replacement to no avail. I decided that I didn’t want to let my team down to where they couldn’t play just cause I couldn’t. So I had to tell Dad that I couldn’t go, but the first place prize was $100 and second was $50. It was a round of 16 single elimination style tournament and we felt pretty good about our chances. It was a long day, every game was very close so our teams mental state was getting pretty weak by the time we made it to the finals. The finals are a best of 5 which usually take quite a while since every game takes 20-50 min usually. Unfortunately we lost 3-1, putting up a good fight every game except for the second one where we got destroyed. We were all pretty bummed but $50 is pretty good and made me think that it was very worth not going to golf today.

RICK: I got back into my house today. My Airbnb guest Josh left to get back to Chicago. When I checked in, the place was spotless, as if no one had been there for two weeks. Also, I have to admit that staying with Paula was also a good experience, one of those relationship tests that I hoped would turn out well. It did. So much so that I’m not all that excited about going back home. Paula and I keep kidding each other about when I have to go back.

And I got an excellent review from my guest for the last two weeks. It said…”Rick was extremely helpful and accommodating. One of our employees stayed at this cottage and had a great time. Everything was perfect.”

So there you go. I’ve been getting a lot of Airbnb inquiries, and with Thanksgiving coming up, and if you need a nice place to put up those in-laws for a few days, I hope you’ll consider my place.

As for Luke’s post, I have to say that as a parent I don’t understand how the experience of playing video games in a quiet house trumps playing golf on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.

Day 16: Observations from the Upper Deck, Thoughts on Sleep Friday, Oct 31 2014 


Today I had to wake up at 5:30 instead of my usual 7 to retake a physics test. Now I bet you expect me to say it was awful, the worst thing ever.  Actually it was just as bad as waking up at 7. This goes into my ideas of sleep in general. My normal type of sleep schedule is stay up late, wake up late (similar to my Mom and brothers but opposite to Dad), though I’m different in that I wish I could wake up early even when I stay up late. This is because I like using all the time I have to its best use.  Sleeping to me doesn’t seem to be a good use of time compared with waking up and doing stuff. While I wish I could do that my body doesn’t really agree.  I sleep like a rock when I actually fall asleep but when I wake up I’m usually pretty awake. Sorry if that was confusing but just my general opinion that’s wrong because sleep is super important blah blah blah.


Points taken from my seat in the UPS Flight Deck on a glorious Thursday night. Florida State’s player’s are faster and more talented that Louisville’s. Jameis Winston is the best player to step foot in Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium this year. Florida State fans travel well. I talked to a few who, despite a 21-point deficit in the first half, expressed no doubt that their team would escape with a victory. Had the game gone on another quarter, Florida State would have won by a lot more than 42-31.

The Cards should have scored here on their first possession

The Cards should have scored here on their first possession

It’s never been more crowded in Section 6 than it was Thursday. And since we were expecting colder weather, we had all this gear with us. I wish they had made the rows a little wider, or that my seat wasn’t exactly at the mid-point between aisles. I talked to a Florida State fan who was exultant that he could go to a college football game and order an adult beverage.  But, the concession company really screwed up. Its credit card processing system went down at the worst possible time, forcing fans to come up with cash.

It may have been the best tailgating atmosphere I’ve ever seen. Our group had a scrumptious shrimp boil with crab legs, an homage to Winston’s troubles. We got to our seats right at kickoff.

Louisville played well, but not well enough to beat the best team in the country. Coach Bobby Petrino’s offensive genius reputation is waning. But this team is still good enough to beat Kentucky next month.

Day 15: Luke’s Moving Day and a Trip to Lexington Wednesday, Oct 29 2014 

Journal Day 15.


Today my mom left on a work trip til Sunday. What that means is since my parents are divorced means I stay at my Dad’s til Sunday instead of just this weekend. Another thing is Dad is renting his house to someone from airbnb so we get to stay at my Dad’s girlfriend’s house, which is new and interesting. Her house, by the way, is super cool and has some really comfy blankets and towels.


In Lexington, from the 28th floor

In Lexington, from the 28th floor

I went to Lexington today for work, and squeezed in a Rusty Satellite interview with Jonathan Miller, an attorney and former State Treasurer who has an office on the 28th floor of the city’s tallest building. I once lived here, and loved it, but visiting reminded me that I’m glad to live in Louisville. Miller was a great interview, and we talked about politics and his poker victories. In 2007, he was running for Lt. Governor while I was working on the campaign of Bruce Lunsford for Governor.

He had a photo of the Big Red Machine in his office. We talked about how nobody cares about the World Series, and he pointed to his favorite player of that time, Joe Morgan. Mine was Pete Rose, Charlie Hustle.

I ended up watching Game 7, and was glad to see the Giants win behind a great pitching performance from Madison Bumgarner, which I actually predicted on my podcast, which you can hear at

At the trade show I was working, I got to have a conversation with the Big O, Oscar Robertson, who has plenty of opinions about college sports.

Day 14: League of Legends and Watching the World Series Wednesday, Oct 29 2014 

Journal Day 14:


Today was just a blur to be honest. Every class was just a slog of a bunch of work or notes. Lots of rain so the walk home was quite crummy. My teachers were nice and didn’t hit me with a whole of homework. So when I got home I was able to play a lot of my favorite game League of Legends, a moba game. Basically it’s a 5v5 game where you fight to destroy the enemy base.


Game 7 is Wednesday

Game 7 is Wednesday

I was among the few Americans watching the World Series last night. Google “World Series TV Ratings” and you see a series of stories about how baseball can’t get its groove back, how the annual showcase of the game’s ratings are sliding, because Americans are more interested in football, or The Voice or have other things to do than watching teams from Kansas City and San Francisco blow each other out. There’s a Game 7 Wednesday after KC won 10-0 on Tuesday.

It wasn’t always like this. During my childhood the Series was a special event that everyone discussed. We knew about the Amazing Mets of ’69.  Those crazy Oakland A’s, the Big Red Machine, I remember them all, even the starting lineups. The Series was the only time all year that baseball games were on TV more than once a week.

We couldn’t get enough information about players like Pete Rose, Brooks Robinson, Catfish Hunter or even Cesar Geronimo. Can you name anyone on the Royals or Giants?

Game 7 is tonight, but I don’t imagine you are arranging your schedule around the game.

Journal: Bigness and Bowling Tuesday, Oct 28 2014 


Pretty quick one today. Basically all I want to talk about is something I saw on the askreddit subreddit on, basically the question is what can you just not wrap your head around? The answer that I agreed with the most is just how big space, the sun just everything out in the universe is. I went to this sort-of demonstration of how big space is. What it did was if the moon was a z pixel, how far away would everything be, then you would scroll to explore. To get to Uranus it took 27 minutes of straight scrolling. After Uranus it would take another 6,000 of those maps to get to something else. That’s just mind-boggling and to be honest our minds can’t really comprehend it. Link for demonstration: 


200GameWhen I was growing up in the South End, my Dad used to take me to Ken-Bowl on Southside Drive on Sundays to teach me how to bowl.

And if he could see me now, with my paltry 165 average, throwing a straight ball, I am certain he’d be disappointed. But, as the sign says out front on Ten Pin Lane, Fun is Bowling. I managed a 204 in one game tonight in my Monday night league. Mark keeps telling me I need to get a proper ball, drilled to fit me, and throw a hook, rather than throwing a pink alley ball straight at the head pin. He’s right, and perhaps I’ll get serious about it . . . next year. But then I’d probably really feel some pressure to score better, and I’m really only going to hang out with my buddies and drink beer.

The game is not as popular as it once was, and I’m old enough to remember some of the alleys where my Dad bowled that aren’t there anymore. Anybody remember Poplar Level Lanes, or Pee Wee Reese Lanes on Eastern Parkway, or even Parkmoor, over by U of L? I’ve seen the numbers in our league dwindle over the last decade, so much that we had to give up our 9:00 Monday league to join one that started at 6, because there weren’t enough teams to fill the late league.

I guess bowling isn’t that cool. I don’t think I know anyone, except my teammates, who bowls in a league anymore, but my parents were Friday night keglers for as long as I remember.  I spent many of my formative years in bowling alleys, bumming quarters for pinball and Cokes.

The Weekend: Games Played and Why I Pull Against UK Monday, Oct 27 2014 

The Weekend – 10/23-24, 2014


Journal Entry #12 So I’m gonna morph the weekend to 1 day here. This weekend a new game came out called Civilization Beyond Earth, a strategy game. So I played that with my friends most of the weekend. I also had work and a bunch of homework but that’s the normal. I love weekends but mine are usually not that interesting which makes this kinda hard. I am enjoying my game quite a bit I was super excited for it that I got it right at midnight when it was released.


I love weekends, too, and especially when they’re filled with golf, football and parties. I walked 18 with my friend Mark at Long Run Saturday morning, then watched UK’s game with Mississippi State at a party with Paula’s work friends at a spacious home in Glenmary. On Sunday, Paula and I spent the beautiful afternoon on a golf course in Shelbyville.

A beauty

A beauty

At the party, there was a discussion about the UK football program. I was having a hard time cheering for UK, not because of any UK-U of L thing. I finally figured it out. I like what Coach Mark Stoops is doing in turning around the program. I like their style of play and the young players he’s bringing along. I like the school. What I figured out was that I just can’t get with the fan-dom around UK. I don’t want hear their obnoxious fan base on the radio and in social media next week gloating about how great they are, so I end up pulling against them. Same thing with basketball. So that’s it.

If you listened to last week’s Rusty Satellite Show, you heard about the new app at Buckhead’s. I used it Sunday night to pay my bill. Our waitress seemed confused when I presented my phone, and at first started to walk off with it to the kitchen. Whoa, I said. Tish told me you should scan it at the table. She came back a few minutes later, and Paula found it amusing when I said “Your facial expressions are very entertaining,” as she completed the transaction.

Day 9: Meeting Some New Folks on Campus and a Bar; Frustrating Technology Thursday, Oct 23 2014 


I’ve learned to love Wednesdays — on most weeks that’s when I do my Rusty Satellite Show podcast.  Yesterday I met up with Sean Moth, the public address announcer at the University of Louisville, then drove over to the Buckhead’s on Bardstown Road to talk about beer with Tish Gainey. And I always learn something during our 12-minute interviews.

Moth, who’s from Colorado, gets to show up for work on a college campus in shorts and a t-shirt. That alone makes me jealous, but I’ve always been intrigued by announcers. For one game during my time at Tennessee, I got to announce a Vols basketball game. It was a blast. My only other experience with that was doing my son Josh’s football games when he was 12. I can see that Sean has a lot of fun with his duties, which extend way beyond football and basketball.

Then with Tish, I was introduced to this voluminous online app that goes into great detail about beer. I had no idea there was this much info available in one place. Regrettably, I wasn’t up to try one while I was there. But I really learned a lot about her, and beer.

Anyway, here’s the show, please give it a listen:


Today I’m gonna talk about technology. Ok so today my Internet went crazy and I couldn’t get on anything. This is why my entry from 10/23 is delayed since I couldn’t send it to my editor. (editor’s note: that’s a good one). I don’t think there are many things more frustrating than having technology problems that you can’t fix. I think its because we don’t really understand a lot of the technology around us so we don’t really understand why our technology isn’t working. Then when you don’t have something you always have it feels very frustrating. For me I have to now change everything I want to do to something else. So today instead of working on something with my friend and playing games, I watched some TV ( I literally never watch TV) and just did basically nothing important. Alright that’s my rant for the day.


Tish Gainey at Buckhead’s Mountain Grill


Sean Moth at U of L



Day 7: Monday Blahs and Rick Pitino’s Speech Tuesday, Oct 21 2014 

Journal, Day 7.
School was one of those Mondays that drag on quite a while but not much work. Though when I see it’s almost November I can’t really believe it. I’m not that normal in that I don’t really want to grow up but it’s a part of life and there is definitely some benefits to growing up like being able to do a lot more stuff and have fun doing more stuff. Other than homework and such nothing much happened .

I have plenty of opportunity to see public speakers. For two years, I witnessed how difficult it can be for people by teaching a public speaking class. So I know something about the topic.

It amazes me how bad some business people are at making simple speeches. They rely on notes and read their speech, they speak in monotones, and they rarely make eye contact with their audience. Rick Pitino, on the other hand, is among the best I’ve ever heard. At today’s Tipoff Luncheon at the Marriott, Pitino spent 15 minutes getting the crowd excited not only about his basketball team, but about being a part of the University of Louisville community.

Rick Pitino

Pitino gave a great speech

Pitino praised his counterpart, Jeff Walz, coach of the women’s team. He used humor to explain how it’s going to be facing his son Richard in the season’s first game, against Minnesota in Puerto Rico. He connected with every parent in the audience by talking about how hard it is to get his young players to listen. And he got everyone excited by talking about how well his players are doing on the court, how he’s looking forward to playing the toughest schedule in school history.  He even predicted the men’s football team will beat Florida State next Thursday, and that he was fired up for that.

I rarely Tweet anything, but when he made the Florida State comment, I put it up on Twitter. I did not expect the reaction. Kentucky Sports Radio re-tweeted it, and dozens of UK fans re-tweeted or commented on it, mostly with derisive words about Pitino. I learned a lot of folks carry hatred toward Rick around with them.

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