Ryder Cup Matches, Day 3.


Bet you didn’t know that golf is interesting to watch.  It’s true.

In the latest installment of interesting golf, Team USA suffered an epic collapse at the hands, and golf clubs, of Team Europe.  After two days of getting their asses handed to them in team golf, the Euros put the hurt on the Americans in singles play, winning 8 of 12 matches to keep possession of the Ryder Cup for another two years.  Everything had to go right for Europe.  Either that, or everything had to go wrong for the Americans.  Seems both happened.  Here are the pictures…


Ryder Cup Matches, Day 2.

Saturday action…


Ryder Cup Matches, Day 1.

Whoa!  I can’t keep up.  Not by a long shot.

It’s Sunday, and am finally getting to posting some flicks from Friday.  This golf event is having it’s way with me, physically.  From shooting to editing, transmitting to my client and sleeping, I haven’t much time to eat.  So, the blog doesn’t get much love.  Alas, I have 15 minutes to log in and offer an update.


Ryder Cup, Thursday.

Well that about does it with the fooling around.

Today was the last day of smiles, autographs and mulligans.

The Ryder Cup Matches begin just after 7a, tomorrow.  Until then, enjoy the lighter side of Rory McIlroy’s day at Medinah…

It’s on.

But, before we dive willy-nilly into the deep end of insanity for the sake of competitive sports, or if you insist…competitive gaming, let us explore a bit of Ryder Cup history.

The 4 pound Ryder Cup trophy is a petite 17″ tall by 9″ wide.  It appears to be fashioned by hand, from some sort of lustery, gold-colored material.  It was made in 1927 and features handles.  The Cup was commissioned by Sam Ryder, an English bloke who made a living peddling seeds.  The golfing figure on the top of the Cup is modeled after Ryder’s friend, a former greenskeeper who never became Masters champion, named Abe Mitchell.

Wait, where have I heard a similar line before?

Ah, yes.  Carl Spackler.  The famous golfing docudrama about life at the country club.

Well, we have our own reality TV special beginning to brew in Medinah, IL, a suburb of Addison, IL, west of the Republic of Chicago, a few hours south of Canada.  If your still not familiar with Medinah Country Club, Google “headquarters 1 percent.”  Think white people, white hair and white shoes.

With that, imagery from practice days 1 and 2…

Dhoom, for the 3rd time.

It just keeps getting better and better.

So, I turn up to the studio yesterday morning to begin another thankless day of saving the world with pictures.  Seems a movie production has somehow rented a sizable piece of Earth.  This rental agreement calls for the closing of public parks, bridges, roads, the Chicago River and, apparently, my building.  I was just about to not care, until the Chicago Police barred me and anyone else with space in the building from using our parking garage.  “Err, officer, where would you have me leave my beautiful street machine?”  “There’s space a block away near the railroad tracks,” he offers.  Railroad tracks?  You know what goes down near railroad tracks?

We move on, and I learn that the Indians have come.  Not the American ones.  It’s a Bollywood mega-something, with stars and everything.  High budge, too.  Choppers, boats, Jet Ski’s, cop cars…Earth rental.  Looks pretty cool and provided some good viewing from the studio, 7 floors above the action.  So good was my location that someone with the movie production noticed the broadcast video camera a friend had set on a tripod near the window.  I was mostly snapping stills with a random iPhone video here and there, very much like the rest of the tenants with east-facing windows over the action.

My studio is in a private, 10-story concrete warehouse that was broken up and developed into individual office/studio units with a lobby security guard.  None of the spaces that I know of are store-front retail spaces.  That is to say, you wouldn’t enter the building without an appointment, and you wouldn’t knock on doors seeking goods or services.  So, imagine my surprise when suddenly, without notice, there was an extra human being among us.

“Uh…excuse me, do I know you?” I ask, as I look around the room to confirm I am still within the confines of my studio space.  I make it a rule to always know the answer to questions before I ask them.  Then, I thought to check the lease agreement to make sure I was still the lone renter on the contract.  This is how surprised and impressed I was at the display of balls this individual showed by walking into a lion’s den with two miserable photojournalists.  While I was in la-la-land contemplating it all, my colleague had immediately employed a physical response to the situation.  It was like watching 2 freight trains steam toward one another just moments before chaos.  Except, what was the situation?  Who was this uninvited guest, and how did he infiltrate the vault that is our lobby security ninja?  The answer: a movie PA with firm instructions to shutter the illegal video and still capture of the forthcoming motion picture, Dhoom 3.

Talk about Christmas in September.  I’m pretty sure I’ve already been warned or arrested for taking pictures in all the illegal places in this city.  Train depots, airports, street corners, meadows.  Alas, I was wrong.  Add my private photo studio to the list of unlawful places to freeze time.

In a quality, no shit moment, he says to me, “What you’re doing is illegal.”

Really?  Don’t look now, but you’re in my– wait.  What?  “It’s illegal for you to shoot video or pictures of our movie production,” he adds.

Listen buddy, I’m not sure what the rules are in Mumbai, but here in America, we have the right to do a lot of nice things- up to and including taking pictures in public places and, er, well.  Okay, so were not really allowed to take pictures in public places all the time, but SOMETIMES we are!  And I’m pretty sure that we’re ALWAYS allowed to take pictures in our private spaces, with a few exceptions that I’m not familiar with, like…uh…well, okay…maybe we’re not allowed to take pictures in private either.  What the hell do I know.  But it sure is funny to see and hear your demand that we delete our camera cards!  Where have I heard that one before?

With that, he called the Chicago Police on his walkie-talkie.  “Perfect!” I announce.  “One less thing for me to do.  Let’s get a professional law enforcement officer in here to delete some camera cards!”

A female officer with a white shirt (signifying greater importance/rank) came to the rescue.  “Yeah, they think you’re poaching off their production and need you to stop taking photos and video.”  I’m not sure what that means, but this lady is a professional and she represents the Chicago Police Department and their policies, so it’s gotta be solid.  With that, I felt like Jeffery Lebowski floating through space after a proper pistol-whipping.  I just returned from la-la-land!  Now were back again?

I invited her into the studio for a private chat where I offered, out of respect for her, to move the camera out of the view of the window.  She was cool with this offering, complimented my decorating, and went away.  I returned from la-la-land and went back to observing the drama outside the window.  Then an actor popped out from under the surface of the Chicago River on a BMW motorcycle, and just like that, back to la-la-land.

The Who?

Who the f**k are the Rascal Flatts?

This is how the questions present themselves in my mind…colorful language and all.  And this was the question of the day last Thursday when I learned about what I’d be working on the next night.  I asked Sue this question later in the day, likely word for word.  A country band, I learned.  “Country and western, or just country?” I ask.  This is usually when I lose her interest.

Unsatisfied, I turned to the WWW.  Turns out, they did the song: Life Is A Highway.  Oh, okay.  I know that one.  “Life is a highway, I wanna ride it all night long!”  Except, they didn’t do Life Is A Highway.  Tom Cochrane did Life Is A Highway 20 years ago.  These guys covered the song for a movie about cartoon cars that could talk.  So wait.  Who the f**k are the Rascal Flatts?  YouTube to the rescue.  Let’s see here…what Rascal Flatts song have I heard?  Better, what Rascal Flatts song has everybody heard?  Wow, 22 million views for…wait for it…Life Is A Highway.  Fail.  Next.  Okay, 12 million views for: What Hurts The Most.  Okay.  It’s on.

With that, I sat still for 3 minutes watching a 5 minute country music video that started with daddy/daughter drama the likes of which immediately and permanently damaged any confidence I had in dealing with my own daughters.  Female tears, female anger and female screaming.  Together, these things equal an elevation of the Mike Anzaldi Defense Readiness Condition.  That’s right.  The relative peace and quiet of DEFCON 5 was abandoned and replaced with the far more serious, DEFCON 4.  A level of readiness that is equal to 1 more…or 1 less, numerically speaking.  “You did this!  You made him leave!  I hate you!”  This was serious, and this was just the beginning.  All I could do was remind myself that this was a YouTube video and that I had nothing to do with this female’s behavior.

After all, I’m just trying to figure out who the f**k the Rascal Flatts are!  I’m nearly a minute into the song and there is no song yet.  Just before my mouse automagically Ouija-boards its way to the ‘make-it-stop!’ button, the music portion of the presentation begins.  So close, but now it’s beginning to look a bit more like a country music video.  A random dude with a guitar walking down the middle of a deserted highway.  Another random dude standing around moving his lips, but otherwise doing zero.  A third guy with a bass, hanging out in a vast, open field.  All symbolic of something that is quite beyond me.  Seems like a classic tale of love and loss, but I thought it best to check the YouTube comment section for the real story.

“In the beginning I had no idea what was going on but I cried anyways.” says YouTube user ImJustLaurel

Perhaps for different reasons, but me too, Laurel.  Me too.

So much for the YouTube community offering critical assistance.  My own observations indicate that the boyfriend shared some clouded vision of a future with the daughter.  The daughter, age 17, seduced by the boyfriend’s lame and unconvincing commitment, became drunk with the hope of a happily-ever-after-type situation.  The father and head-male-in-charge of all household affairs threatened the boyfriend with concrete shoes.  Shortly after, the boyfriend is killed at the wheel of an old Ford pick-up.  Whether stress caused the loss of vehicle control, or the old man planted a car bomb, the result is the same.  A daughter that’s super-fly pissed-off with dad’s policy initiatives.  To further muddle the picture, there is a scene of the daughter kneeling in front of the toilet in the bathroom.  Stress puke?  Morning sickness?  Bad corn dog?  Totally unexplained.

Here it is, in case you’re interested in solving for yourself:

Whatever the case, after all of this research, I have come to the conclusion that I have no idea who the f**k the Rascal Flatts are.  But this at least what they look like while playing a private party…