About Steve Maughan

Steve is originally from the UK but now lives in Florida with his wife (Stephanie) and two daughters (Evangeline 9 and Pippa 5). When he not working he’s often developing his chess engine Monarch. He holds a MA and MEng. in Manufacturing Engineering and Management from Cambridge University.
Author Archive | Steve Maughan

New Federal Government Golf Rules

President BHO has recently appointed a Golf Czar and major rule changes in the game of golf will become effective in November 2010. This is only a preview as the complete rule book (expect 2000 pages) is being rewritten as we speak. Here are a few of the changes.

Golfers with handicaps:
– below 10 will have their green fees increased by 35%.
– between 11 and 18 will see no increase in green fees.
– above 18 will get a $20 check each time they play.

The term “gimme” will be changed to “entitlement”and will be used as follows:
-handicaps below 10, no entitlements.
-handicaps from 11 to 17, entitlements for putter length putts.
-handicaps above 18, if your ball is on green, no need to putt, just pick it up.

These entitlements are intended to bring about fairness and, most importantly, equality in scoring. In addition, a Player will be limited to a maximum of one birdie or six pars in any given 18-hole round. Any excess must be given to those fellow players who have not yet scored a birdie or par. Only after all players have received a birdie or par from the player actually making the birdie or par, can that player begin to count his pars and birdies again. The current USGA handicap system will be used for the above purposes, but the term ‘net score’ will be available only for scoring those players with handicaps of 18 and above.

This is intended to ‘redistribute’ the success of winning by making sure that in every competition, the above 18 handicap players will post only ‘net score’ against every other player’s gross score. These new Rules are intended to CHANGE the game of golf.

Golf must be about Fairness. It should have nothing to do with ability, hard work, practice, and responsibility. This is the “Right thing to do”.

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Evie’s Gymnastics

Evie just loves her gymnastics. So much so it’s hard for her to walk across an open floor without doing a cartwheel (Oh to have the energy of an eight year old)!  Today was the Little Gym’s 2010 Fall Festival.  As part of the event Evie and her fellow Jets (the display team) demonstrated their skills.  you can see the video of Evie below.  Look out for a guest appearance by Pippa close to the end!

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Reagan’s Commentary on the Politics of 2010

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Grandma’s First Cheerleading Lesson

We took this while in the UK this summer.  Evie was amazed that Grandma had never learnt how to be a cheerleader.  She decided to show Grandma what she’d been missing and coaxed her into taking her first cheerleading lesson.  Stephanie and Pippa come along for the ride.  I thought Grandma did remarkably well at following along – see what you think

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How (and not when) will the Euro Collapse?

The Euro in under immense stress and the crisis in Greece is only the start.  Spain, Portugal and Ireland will no doubt follow.  The key problem is clearly government spending.  It’s far too high and is racking up debt at an unsustainable rate.  The day of reckoning is fast approaching.  This is becoming clear to commentators and the first forecasts of the Euro’s collapse are starting to be reported – such as here:

Economists Predict Currency Breakup

The next question to ask, and it’s a big one, is how will the Euro collapse?  The creators of the Euro zone, in their wisdom, didn’t create an exit path should a country need to leave the Euro (a Titanic mistake).  And it would seem that there is no natural exit path.  Let’s look at a hopefully hypothetical scenarios for Greece.  Suppose that Greece defaults, or is about to default, and their Eurozone bedfellows decide they will no longer foot the bill for the Greek debt.  Greece is then effectively pushed out of the Euro by the other Eurozone countries.  What does the Greek government do?  No doubt it would start to print money – let’s say for nostalgic reasons they start to print Drachmas.  The first problem would be the legitimacy of the new currency.  What is it backed by?  Clearly there is little if anything backing it.  Which leads to the second problem – the exchange rate.  What would be the exchange rate between Euros and Drachmas?  All of the Greek savings are in Euros and who would want a currency which, on day one, is clearly weaker than the Euro?  Nobody. At this point in the logical progression the size of the problem becomes crystal clear.  Nobody will want a weak currency and the only way it can be introduced is by force.  The Greek government would need to impose draconian measures forcibly converting citizens’ savings into the new currency.  The riots we have seen on the streets of Athens will be nothing compared to the civil unrest which would undoubtedly follow.  The new currency would fall in value, the debt will remain in Euros (i.e. increase in value), the price of foreign good will increase (i.e. inflation) and real widespread poverty will ensue.

Is there an alternative?  First, this scenario is real and the Eurozone countries may recognize the potential contagious impact on their own economies.  This may lead them to the conclusion that no matter how bitter the pill they are better off sticking together.  In this scenario Germany would have to continue to back its weaker neighbors.  The Euro would fall in value against the US dollar and Yen and the misery would be spread across the Euro zone.  As grim as it sound this scenario is quite possible.  European integration is primarily a political project and there are many politicians who will fight to the end to keep the Euro and the European dream alive.

The final scenario would be for Germany to leave the Euro.  There would still be problems establishing the legitimacy of the new currency but it is likely that this could be navigated.  Fundamentally, the new Deutsche Mark would be in demand and the German government would not need to impose any form of enforced currency conversion.  Clearly the Euro without Germany would be weaker still and would surely fall in value. No doubt Germany would be blamed for the problems which would follow (higher inflation) for the countries still in the Euro.  One key point would be the debt of countries still in the Euro (such as Greece) would still be in Euros – so the debt will diminish as the currency devalues.

If I had to guess, I’d say the last scenario is the most likely.  It’s not a bright outlook but seems to be the lesser of the evils.

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2nd Grade Flag Football

Evie has been trying her hand at “Flag Football”.  For those uninitiated, this is a form of American football without the rough bits.  Which makes it ideal for kids.  Somewhat surprisingly girls and boys play this sport together.  Well tonight was their last match so I thought I’d take some snaps for the photo album.  Here’s a link to the pictures:

http://www.dropbox.com/gallery/112833/2/2010/05?h=c34077

You can download any you’d like to print out.

I’ve also make a short video – hope you enjoy it!

Champion Regards!

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Make Mine Freedom

This is a must watch.  The principles in this cartoon haven’t changed.  Remember the context of what was happening at that time.  Over the pond in Europe, 1948 was the start of the post-war welfare states.  In many ways many of today’s problems can be traced back to these ponzi schemes (entitlement programs).

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Evangeline & Pippa Playing in the Pool

It’s starting to get *hot* in central Florida.  Pippa has just finished her swimming lessons and is enjoying her new aquatic skills.  In this clip she does her best to keep up with her older sister!

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Are You Inspired?

I’ve collected a selection of quotes that have inspired me:

http://www.stevemaughan.com/miscellaneous/inspirational-quotes/

..hopefully they’ll inspire *YOU*!

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4Rivers Barbecue & Luigino’s

I’ve just posted a couple of reviews of two of my favorite Orlando eateries – 4Rivers Barbecue and Luigino’s – take a look and let me know what you think!

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