Spam and Sports

Something strange is going on with my website. Over the last four and a half years, the site comments are hit with spam on a daily basis. About 100 spam comments per day are quarantined by software I installed and I empty the spam comments regularly. Over the last four days, I’ve only been hit by two spammers. I’m not complaining – just wondering what happened to the spam.

We had a busy weekend with sporting events – both as participants and spectators. On Saturday morning, I played in a pickleball tournament. We started out with a round robin split into two groups. The group I was in had 12 players. The round robin results determined seeding to form the teams. Number one was paired with number 12, I was number two and was paired with the 11 place finisher and so on down the line. It was a fun tournament but I didn’t take home any prizes. Our results were 9-11, 9 -11, 10-11 and 11-4. We lost three close games and only won once. By number of points scored, we were the number two team, but it was number of games won that determined the results.

Our friends Howard and Sara Graff invited us to join them Saturday afternoon to check out the PGA Phoenix Open golf tournament. Howard somehow managed to get four free tickets and a parking pass. The Phoenix Open has the highest spectator attendance of any PGA event. The weekly attendance this year was over 655,000 and more than 218,000 were there on Saturday.

Crowds of this size made the logistics of getting in and out of there a little tough. We parked in lot 8 and rode a shuttle through bumper to bumper traffic. The tickets Howard had were for a penthouse skybox on the 18th green. We were guests of a law firm, Tiffany and Bosco. I’m not sure how that happened, but it was the place to be. They had an open bar and hot hors d’oeuvres plus sandwiches and snacks.

Great tickets!

I don’t really follow professional golf and have only played on rare occasions – company scramble tournaments mostly – back in my working days. We had a nice view of the 18th green and I recognized a few of the golfers.

Phil Mickelson on the 18th green

Another view of the 18th green from the Tiffany and Bosco skybox

Golf originated in Scotland in the 15th century. While we enjoyed the food and drink and the tournament, for me, the fun part was the atmosphere and people watching. We saw some guys that took golf’s Scottish heritage to heart.

These guys celebrated golf’s Scottish heritage

On Sunday morning, Donna headed out on her bicycle. She discovered a good route that avoided car traffic to the west side of Mesa, then got on a paved bike path into Tempe. She met up with her friend Beth Welch – we used to ride with Beth when we lived here and rode with the Phoenix Metro Bicycle Club. They rode to Singh Farms where they spent a few hours chatting. They ran into Howard and Sara Graff there. Her roundtrip ride was about 38 miles.

While Donna was out, I prepared babyback ribs with a dry rub so I could smoke them Memphis-style. I love cooking ribs this way on the Traeger wood pellet fired smoker/grill. I have the process for babyback ribs down by now and they are so good.

Memphis style babyback ribs

Donna made a potato salad and baked jalapeno poppers – this was our Superbowl meal. We enjoyed the game with a great meal.

Babyback ribs, potato salad and baked jalapeno poppers

Last night Donna prepared a new recipe, Chicken Lombardy. She pounded boneless chicken breasts, dredged them in flour, and sauteed them. Then she placed them in a casserole dish, covered them with sauteed mushrooms and cheeses, and a sauce made with chicken broth and marsala wine. This recipe is definitely a keeper.

Chicken Lombardy with brown basmati rice and spinach

The daily high temperature has been in the upper 70s and the forecast calls for 80 to 83 degrees for the rest of the week. That’s why we winter in Arizona!

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