George Harrison recorded this song in 1997 - a year before his death.
I could listen to it all day and sometimes do!
May not know who you are
May not have even wondered
How you got this far
Any Road by George Harrison
Two Fridays ago I got up at 4:00 like I do 360 or so times a year, took Daisy and Baxter for a walk like I do 360 or so times a year, left the house at 5:30 and drove to West Des Moines to teach at the St. Francis Chess Club like I do 40 Fridays a year. 39 of these Fridays I’d head to work after chess club but this particular Friday I did what I only do once a year which to head 200+ miles northwest to Okoboji, Iowa to direct the Okoboji Open chess tournament for my friends Jodene Kruse and Sam Smith and hang out with a bunch of great people for a weekend.
After filling up my Chevy Spark at the Kum & Go, I went to the Burger King for a
breakfast of Hash Brown bites and ground-free coffee.
I’m always nervous before a long trip and wanted to make sure my car was ready. I got new tires last month and arranged to have my car’s oil changed at the LOFXpress in Ames, Iowa during my work lunch time the week of my trip. I had gone to the LOFXpress once before and was very impressed with how I got my oil changed in 15 minutes and I didn’t even have to get out of my car. I wasn’t so lucky on my second visit. Even though there was no one in front of me I had to get out of my car and go to the lobby where I waited and waited. Then the technician called me over and showed me an air filter that needed replacing, a cabin filter that needed replacing, and manual transmission fluid that needed replacing. I patiently explained that I wanted an oil change and really didn’t have time for all this replacing since I was on a lunch break. I was ushered back to the lobby where I waited and waited some more. Eventually my oil change was done and it was time to pay. The cashier explained all the replacing I had refused and asked me if I had any questions. I asked how long I been there and the cashier told me 50 minutes and I said we must have different ideas about what ‘Xpress’ meant. The cashier told me they were very thorough and then asked me if I wanted to join their loyalty program. I told him there wasn’t any point in me joining since I had no intention on being a loyal customer and that they should rename the business to UpsellXpress. My car ran fine the rest of the week and I wasn’t too concerned about the LOFXpress upsell warnings as I made my way to Okoboji.
Welcome to Cylinder! I took a picture at the corner of Main and Parallel streets.
Maybe someday I'll figure out what Parallel St. is parallel to.
After an interminable wait during which I fell asleep and was woken up by the honking horns of the cars behind me and the screaming of the person holding the Slow/Stop sign in front of me I finally got past the traffic and made my now annual pilgrimage to the sleepy town of Cylinder (population 88) at 12:30, a half hour after the post office closed.
The skyline of downtown Cylinder changed drastically in 2016 with the new 5 bay fire department and the Rack Shack giving way to 'Haack's Nest'.
I arrived at the Arrowwood resort in Okoboji at 1:30. I wanted to arrive early was so I could get a nap and be rested for the Okoboji Blitz tournament. I embarrassed myself in last year’s blitz with an 0-5 performance and a 12th place finish which could have been worse if there were more than 12 people since I finished dead last and at least 2 points behind everyone else. My poor play is on me but I didn’t help myself by being up for 18 hours before the 10:30 blitz tournament without a nap and having an 18,000 calorie meal of an egg bacon cheeseburger, a plate of Rueben bites, and two Mountain Dews at the Rack Shack for lunch. I wanted to play in the blitz this year but wanted to give myself the best chance at success so I made sure to arrive early, get a nap, and not be filled up with thousand of calories worth of eggs, cheese, and meat. Unfortunately even though I was told I could get an early check in my room wasn’t ready so I went into the tournament room to hang out.
The big tournament room was all set with 25 tables. This year’s crowd wasn’t going to be very big so there was no rearranging needed on my part. I set up my computer and puttered around until Jodene and the players started arriving around 2:30. At 4 the Arrowwood called Kathy to let me know my room was ready! Kathy sent me an email but by that point it was too late to get a nap since players were arriving and there were entry fees to reconcile, questions to answer, and late arrivals to put into the computer. I had an odd number of players and was going to press Sam into service to be a house player but one player called to tell me he was stuck in traffic and needed a first round bye so I was back to even numbers. I paired the round and the 2016 Okoboji Open was underway...