The Trip to Atlanta ContinuesFrom the last post, I am safely in Des Moines. Aida got in last night and we went to the check-in stopfor her race and had dinner. Early to bed.

Day 2

Today is all about getting Aida ready for the race. We met friends (another couple with the wife racing and the husband being supportive), drove around looking at the course. Aida turned in her bike and swam some in the lake. Then we met more friends, had dinner, got to the actually house we are staying in, met more friends, hung out until very early, and everyone went to bed.

Day 3 – Race Day

Up early getting everyone to the starting line. Watched a bunch of the race (cheering all of our friends running), After the finish (Aida got a PR), we got everyone back to house with stops to get bikes and gear. Showered, ordered dinner (I drove to pick it up— Canes), they all went out and got in the hot tub wasor sit by the fire pit. I said goodbye to everyone and went to bed because—

Day 4

andUp at 4am to head towards the first charge of the day. Had enough juice to get to a Chevy dealer. First issue of the trip: couldn’t figure out how to pay— no clear app and wouldn’t accept my card. Might have been able to hang out until they opened; but I chose to drive with the power left to a more “normal” stop. Made it and filled up— but it was closer than any sane person would be comfortable. Lesson— be careful about the type of stop you plan on.

At the next stop (a Walmart), I had to wait for the first time; but no for long. Tried to get a Popeyes sandwich while I waited; but could’t get any service. Weird.

Made it into St. Louis and had a good stop, then headed out towards Atlanta with my next stop ready in Apple maps. Super easy now to find the stop and have it load into Maps.

Stopped at a nice, very cheap Motel 8 and crashed.

Day 5

Up early and headed to the first stop. Funny enough, the address wasn’t correct; but I was directed to the Circle K where I now sit and all is well. Learning a bunch.

I’m watching what I eat— sort of. I get just a sandwich and no fries or drink.

Since there is nobody in line, I’m charging to 100% (only supposed to charge to 83% so others can get started). Going a little further than normal (161 miles) to the next stop at Walmart. I wonder if I’ll have to wait again?

OK… no waiting there and I’m at another Walmart in Alabama. Not only that, but I’ve already found the next stop between here and Atlanta and that is a Walmart as well. The final charge (if I head to my mom’s first in Greensboro, GA) is in Covington. That would be late tonight, if I try. Or I can get a hotel. Either way, definitely enjoying this style of travel! Everyone that I meet filling up seems to feel the same.

Day 1 of my trip from MN to Atlanta in an EV. With all of the negative press about cross-country travel in EV’s, I’ve really been focusing on preparation and mind-set. I have a growing number of EV apps that allow me to pay and find. The searching / planning apps all tie to Apple Maps (and Google, of course). The payment apps are easy to get and use. When I get to a new type of charger, I download the app and off I go!

How Did I Get Here?

I’m a perfect candidate for an EV. There normally isn’t much driving in my life. Winters in MN for me are pretty much me looking out the window and waiting for April while I code and read SciFi. When the beloved CT 200H failed, I went straight to the Toyota Dealer for their best deal. That turned out to be a leased BZ4X. Thank the great EV god that EV’s are failing the big push. Now people that can get deals and subsidies, we can switch over because we want to.

Before the switch, I happily agreed to spend a month and a half in Atlanta helping my nephew get to a slew of AJGA (golf) tournaments. His family has a house there for a base (they live in the Philippines), so there will be lots of day trips and bag carrying. And lots of practicing between competitive rounds. The new car should easily be up to the task.

Getting there will be fun for me. I have my laptop with me to code on while charging. I plan on driving 120 to 150 miles, with a charger in mind. If I stop earlier for a pit stop, I can hit an app, and charge earlier. Then start again. Put the charger on maps and stop earlier if I feel like it.

This pace would be very difficult for most people. My wife would never be able to stomach all the longer stops. She really doesn’t like the travel— she likes the arrival. With all that she has going, un-enjoyed travel needs to be efficient. When the kids were young and work was consuming, I was in that boat too.

But with semi-retirement and the ability to work anywhere with my laptop, I have traded earning money for maximizing time and freedom. Serious about chathat. I don’t have a lot of money; but I also don’t need a lot. So taking an hour to energize the car every couple of hours is actually kind of awesome!

chDay 1

I’m meeting my wife in Des Moines (239 miles from home). She has a hotel room as she gets ready for her half iron man in a couple of days. I started a few hours early because I didn’t know what to expect.

My planned stop was 179 miles from the stop. This car has a range up to 240 without too much air conditioning. I was watching the miles left with the amount in the tank to see how accurate the estimated miles was and it did really well. I could have easily made it to the planned stop; but as I was rolling into a rest stop, I hit the Toyota “find an EV charger” app and went straight there. Super easy. I was at 46% left at that point. Already had the payment app on the phone and it was charging in just a couple of minutes.

Took just 50 minutes to get me to 96%. I would have stopped earlier but there was nobody waiting and I was on the phone with my dad. And I was coding happily.

Just as I was finishing a nice, young couple showed up in their Rivian. This is their 3rd year of travel. They gave me great advice about patience and enjoyment. I think this will be a thing. Nice people enjoying nice people.

When I got to the hotel, I searched the closest charging station (fast charge) and was there in 3 minutes. Had to pull down the Shell EV app; but was charging in 5 minutes. Done to 91% in 45 minutes (again, nobody waited). While I was there, a guy came by and asked bunch of questions that I was happy to answer.

So a really great first day! :)

I’m sure that tomorrow will offer new challenges.

How many times a round do we find ourselves unable to relax before a shot? How many times does this ruin the sequence? We don’t finish our back-swing before we start down or we are nowhere near the angles needed to bring the club down on the ball smoothly. I think of this (in any form) as a lurch.

When we are not relaxed and primed, we will not likely like the swing, the feel of the swing, or the result of the swing. We know this. We can repeat this to ourselves before, during, and after our round. But we can’t put “relaxed” and “tempo” first at the exact time when they are needed— when it is time to make a swing under pressure.

Let’s first look at forms of pressure— from least to most.

  1. When first learning something new in a golf swing’s sequence, we have little pressure and can easily stay relaxed. We expect to have issues grooving a new sequence or position. If, over time, we believe we are not making the appropriate progress with the new sequence, we can start applying just the smallest amount of pressure on ourselves. Not a bad thing in itself; but if we can’t talk ourselves down, we are eventually likely to abandon the effort. Over time, this may even affect our approach to learning and practice.

  2. Moving from learning to practice and drills, we encounter our first, very natural, form of pressure. We expect more in this phase— but it is still nowhere near muscle memory. So our expectations are nowhere near reality in the beginning. We need to remember that the sequence worked when we focused on exclusively and will take time to make second nature. Maybe lots of time.

  3. This can be a particularly bad time on the actual course. If you don’t commit to the new sequence you can undermine the changes making them take longer. If you do commit to the new sequence, you may be in for a long day as large portions of your swings are all mixed up with old and new. Over time, the percentage of shots will naturally use the new sequence. Still, every once in a while, the old sequence sneaks in. At some point, the new sequence in fully ingrained. Your practice sessions and your play on the course both comfortably use the new sequence without having to even think about it.

  4. Until you find some pressure greater than a round of golf with you friends. Enter the lurch in its full glory. This could happen when you are trying to impress someone, or playing in a small tournament, or a big tournament, or a super-difficult shot, or too much money on the line, or trying to break 90 for the first time.

So let’s take a few stabs at limiting our lurches that are based on pressure:

Stab #1. Alleviate the pressure. There is lots of good golf writing on this; but my favorite approach is to re-think the situation. Is this putt to win your first tournament? Walk through a quick “what’s the worst thing that happens” exercise. You don’t win the tournament. With you growing skill, another chance will quickly follow. You would get a chance to practice good sportsmanship. Now put your best stroke on the ball.

Stab #2. Grow your perspective. Let’s go back to the “putt to win the tournament” scenario above. In that time and space, you are totally locked in to the importance of the moment, the fear of failure, the immediacy of the hole, the ball, your shaking hands, and your heart racing. Take a step back. Look at your opponent. He’s shaking almost as much as you (maybe just inside). This moment means just as much to him / her. Look around the green, and around the course. See everyone playing their own rounds? This moment for you is just one of the many moments happening all around the course. It is important. Very important. But not critical. Enjoy your moment.

Stab #3. Make yourself get used to pressure. Pros bet massive amounts of money when they aren’t playing tournaments to keep themselves accustomed to pressure. If you want to be able to handle tournament pressure, then play more tournaments. You’ll get better with that kind of pressure. Bet with your friends (but not too much). Play 2-ball worst ball when you are practicing. Get used to handling the pressure.

Of course, for many of us, we simply aren’t good enough to find ourselves needing to handle tournament pressure. We just need to remember to relax, don’t take on too much, and swing smooth. Lurching can’t happen if you relax and swing smooth.

But if you are anything like me, that only lasts three or four holes. Then I start swinging harder… relaxed and smooth be damned.

Let’s start the ramble with the pros and cons of being an aging golfer.


  1. Loss of swing speed. One of the cool things that the Champions Tour is doing is showing their swing speeds… it is awesome to watch them getting slower the same way we are!

  2. Body issues. Any timing issues and my shoulders hurt. Try and move the right shoulder under the ball and my back hurts. My hands and wrists are way weaker— so losing speed there and a bad hit hurts. Both of my ankles routinely refuse to hold my weight on the follow-through… looks pretty funny, I’m sure, when a foot literally drops to the ground.

  3. Hand / eye coordination is fleeting. It’s no secret that older golfers routinely suffer the “yips” or at the very least lose confidence in speed and the strike on the ball. With diminished speed comes less ability to count on the proper amount of spin.

  4. Our priorities change. We tend to be way less aggressive. This can really affect how low an older golfer can go. They can still play very well! They just can’t dominate. We tend to move towards appreciating consistency over distance… because we have to. But we miss mightily really sending a drive or fairway wood.


  1. We have more time. For the most part, our kids are gone, our jobs have started to wind down. We can actually find the time to practice… :)

  2. We’ve been playing for a long time. We know way more about the game, our swings, what to focus on.

It is kind of amazing to watch my golf game “crystalize” as I get older. With more time to work on the game, and enough aches and pains to not want to hit thousands of balls at the range, I’m “stuck” working on my short game way more… :)

Plus, I simply can’t swing as hard.

Nathan Skateboarding

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