April in Augusta
turbotodd 100000388Y Visits (2557)
My thoughts and prayers go out to the Italian people after a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck L'Aquila, Italy, east of Rome overnight.
The quake has left at least 92 dead, and some 40,000 to 50,000 people homeless, according to reports from The New York Times.
There's nothing funny about earthquakes, having experienced three myself, two of those in Asia.
After last year's quake in Beijing, which I experienced on the 20th floor of IBM's Pacific Century Tower, I've been forced to reassess the relationship of my feet to the ground. (And the joke around the IBM watercooler is "Don't travel to Asia with Turbo").
It's a most unsettling feeling, an earthquake. If you can't depend on the ground, what can you depend on?
Here's a link to the Italian Red Cross, where online contributions for the earthquake relief in the Abruzzo region of Italy can be made.
Speaking of shaky ground, it appears the sun has set on the rumored IBM/Sun deal.
C:NET is reporting that Sun won't be acquired by IBM after all, with the Sun board apparently split on the deal.
Me, I had no dog in that fight, although I likely would have been knee deep in any Web integration that would have transpired between the two companies.
I guess I can now move beyond the night sweats that that looming deal was causing me as I tried to imagine what an ibmsun.com world would look like?
Finally, this first full week of April presents a sporting fan's buffet.
Today is the official opening day for Major League Baseball.
Tonight, Michigan State plays UNC for the men's Final Four college basketball championship.
And, my favorite sporting event of the year, bar none, The Masters golf tournament opening round begins on Thursday.
For those of you with iPhones, IBM has a special treat in store for this year's Superbowl of golf.
The Masters Tournament iPhone application will let you get the best of the Masters while on the go.
Finally, somebody's thinking about those business travelers who might also be golf fans. Hello!!!!
The iPhone app includes live, streaming video from Amen Corner, player interviews, course flyovers, and, as always, the live leaderboard.
As for handicapping this year's tournament, one can never rule out Tiger Woods, especially since he came roaring back for a win at the Arnold Palmer International.
But Geoff Ogilvy's putter has been white hot, and the lightning fast greens of Augusta demand nerves of steel (Ogilvy had a 95.10% conversion on putts inside 10 feet at the recent WGC-Accenture World Golf Championship, three full percentage points ahead of Stewart Cink).
However, there is a new variable this year not typically seen in August in April: cold weather.
Current forecasts have the temperature as low as 43 degrees F on Wednesday, and 54 degrees for Thursday's opening round.
Between the cold weather, the longer course, and the ridiculously fast greens -- well, keep that iPhone app turned on and tuned in.
Things could change by the minute at this year's Masters!