To all the girls Iíve loved before (and a few others),
Ah, itís that special time of the year.† People are in a better mood, food tastes better, the air is fresher, and crossword puzzles are easier.† Yes, itís time for the 2007 McPherson Beach Year in Review.
Featured in this yearís card is Mac's Game Room which holds the pool table, foosball table, dart board, videogames, 3 TVís, and most of my sports memorabilia.† Its biggest use, though, is for poker.† MGR hosts its own series of poker tournaments, various tournaments for others, and the occasional ďcashĒ game where we play for peanuts and lollipops.† We have continued to raise money for charities thru the MGR poker tournaments and are currently sitting at just under $10,000 donated to date.† New to MGR is the picture window along the back wall.† Iím quite happy with the decision to have that put in as it lets a lot of light in during the day and gives a great view of the pool area.
The McPherson Beach sand collection crossed the 200 beach mark in March when Mom & Dad brought back sand from Cape San Blas and Indian Pass Beach, FL.† The total number now stands at 222 beaches.
My brother Doug and his family moved from Jersey to GA in April.† They bought a house in a new subdivision about 15 minutes from Mac Beach.† The family dinners are a little bigger these days!† Itís good to have my parents and all my brothers and sisters living in town, except of course for my younger brother Dominic who remains detained in a Turkish prison.
I joined a co-ed volleyball team in Alpharetta for the summer league.† Not a single one of us knew each other before getting on the team.† Luckily, we turned out to be pretty good and stormed our way thru regular season and playoffs.† It was a perfect, undefeated season.† Until the championship game, that is, where we got swept in the best of 3 match.
I traveled to Chicago/South Bend Labor Day weekend to watch the Jackets take on Notre Dame.† Tech cruised to an easy victory giving me false hope of a great season.† What I didnít know at the time was that ND was horrible (sorry Jim, the truth hurts).†† I also learned that Atl traffic is nothing when compared to Chi.† We were in a traffic jam driving from Chi to South Bend at midnight!† I think I spent about 8 hours sitting in traffic over the weekend.†
I stayed a couple of extra nights to check out the local casinos and beaches.† I went one casino in Michigan City and then to the local beach.† As I left, I had the choice of following the main road back to the highway or taking the side road in search of other beaches.† In years past, Iíve spent quite a bit of time aimlessly driving around trying to find beaches Iíve never visited to add to my sand collection.† Sometimes I never find one and drive away thinking ďIím never doing this again!Ē.† So, of course, I took the side road in hopes of finding another beach.† I drove only about 5 or 10 minutes and spotted one of those brown national park signs.† I saw people who looked like they were heading to the beach so I pulled in.†† I parked my car and followed a trail out to the beach.† When I got to the beach, I saw one of the coolest things Iíve ever seen.† The name of this park/beach is Mt Baldy, which is a huge sand dune.† Iím talking ďthis canít possibly be all sandĒ huge.†† According to friends whoíve spent some time around the Great Lakes, these dunes are somewhat common up there but I still feel like I discovered something special.†
In April and October, I headed down to the Destin/Fort Walton Beach area for the Fuddpucker volleyball tournament.† In April, I didnít get on a team for the big weekend tournament but played in a blind draw doubles tournament on Friday.† My partner and & I did allright but didnít make it out of pool play.† In October, I got on a team with some friends and we, uh, we didnít do so well.† Now, weíre all pretty good players and we were playing on the lowest level possible.† That didnít stop us from getting whopped just about every game we played.† Oh well, given that all of us are in the prime physical shape of our lives (wink, wink), Iím sure weíll do better next year.† I followed both of these trips with a few successful days at the poker tables in Biloxi.
The Bamboo Lounge hosted its first Happy Hour in Nov. Guests enjoyed finger foods, adult beverages (yep, the bar is actually stocked, somewhat), top shelf root beer, and karaoke.† Good times were had by all and Happy Hour will be another addition to the Mac Beach list of events.
The year looked as if it was going to pass without an annual trip to Vegas.† In mid November, however, Delta came to the rescue in the form of a $138 round trip flight.† So my buddy Frank and I were off to Sin City for 3 nights at the not-so-fabulous Tropicana.† I won a few bucks at the poker tables, finally made my way to a Vegas hotspot (GhostBar, although it was Sunday and it was dead), and got a belly rub from a waitress.
After a few years of shopping and contemplation, I finally added some home theater style seating to the DSM Theater.† The seats are black leather with 2 stage recline and cupholders.† The middle row has 4 seats, the back row has 3, while the front row remains an old couch, for now.
Just a few weeks ago, my buddy Dave and I headed down to Tampa for the weekend.† We went to a Lightning hockey game, the Bucs-Falcons football game, spent a little time at the beach, and played poker every night.† On our last day there, I wanted to drive down to the Bradenton/Sarasota area since Iíve never been there before (again, mostly to get more sand).†† As we drove over the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, my car started going crazy.† Warning lights came on, it was overheating, power steering went out, etc.† Luckily, we made it off the bridge to a rest area.† Turns out a ďJohnson rodĒ fell off and the drive belt came off.† Well, 3.5 hours later we were off to the beach.† It was cold and nearly dark, but dammit, I was going to the beach!
Many of you will be shocked to know that Iím actually typing this on my new notebook PC.† The Commodore-Amiga Iíve been using since 1992 is finally being phased out.† I got even crazier last week and now have internet access in the house!† Also this year as usual, we had the Summer Kick Off Party, End of Summer Party, beach volleyball, and movie nights.
Happy New Year,
The McPherson Beach Staff (aka Dave)