Friday, May 30, 2008

not that I buy it

Your Gemstone Says...

You are simply joyful. You find it easy to have peace of mind.

You tend to think positive thoughts. It's easy to control where your mind goes.

You have great mental powers and self discipline.

You are able to dream big. You definitely aren't afraid of failure.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

erring on the side of boredom

I am getting better. Little by little I can tell. The whole sick thing is slowly getting beaten back. It's a boring process though.

Today makes the 1 year anniversary of when I bought the bike I'm riding now. When I bought it, they said bring it back in a year for a free tune up, so they have it now for that reason.

I had a goal. I wanted to show up, after a year, with the odometer reading over 3,000 miles. I got as far as 2,969 before I got sick and didn't finish off the last 31 miles. I wanted to bring it in and show the guys I bought it from that I'd really been riding the thing. It wasn't just a toy that sat in the garage. Well, I suppose 2,969 miles would have the same effect. It'd just be a little more impressive if the first number was a 3. I know people who ride 5,000 miles in a year, so 3,000 doesn't make me a cycling god or anything. It'd just be a nice bigger round number.

The thing is, when I brought the bike back to the shop, none of the people who were there when I bought it were around. I have a feeling the actual guy I bought it from doesn't work there any more. I'm not sure about the other folks. I hadn't been there in about 7 months. Someone else opened a bike shop very close to the house, and I've gotten to know those guys a little, but I still remember the guys at the shop where I bought the bike. I wanted to tell them how much fun I'm having with it...but alas...

I walked it in and said I need my annual tune up. Some fresh faced kid asked if I bought it there. It was like I'd never been in the store before, which took some of the disappointment out of not reaching the 3,000 mile mark. Nobody in that store would give a damn anyway. Well, to be honest, if the guy I bought it from was there, he wouldn't either. He'd just act like he did.

Anyway, I need to get back to that store and get the bike back, now that they're done tuning it up, and I'm anxious. I'm anxious to get the bike back...anxious to get on it again...and yet, I don't know what the hurry is. I know I'm feeling better, but I don't want to feel worse again. I know, if I get the bike back and ride this weekend, and then get worse again, it'll be a month or more before I hear the end of that bonehead move...and besides, I really want to just be healthy again.

So I guess I'll get the bike back...and stare at it for another week...yawn.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Edwina's insides were a rocky place where my seed could find no purchase

Last Friday we were at home, discussing what fun we could have while dad's being an absolute couch potato because he doesn't feel like doing squat. We had to get past suggestions like....we could play baseball. He could play second base. No, not the position...the bag. That and, we could plant him in the yard and see if dogs will pee on him. Once we got that out of the way, we got to...we could rent National Treasure 2. Well, since we were a day late and a Blockbuster short on that plan and all the copies were gone, we watched some TV movie with John Goodman in it. I guess it was the combination in my head....Nicholas Cage and John Goodman that brought it to the forefront. I pointed to the screen and said..."He was in Raising Arizona."

The youngster..."What?"
"Raising Arizona...the movie."
"What's that?"

Oh you have to be kidding...the youngster had never seen????? but I thought about it and...yeah, that's probably true. I'm guessing we never rented it while he was alive, and I don't remember seeing it on TV. I had a mission. How could I let this young man go through life without seeing Raising Arizona, one of the funniest movies ever.

I went to Blockbuster on Saturday and found a copy. All proud of myself, I brought it home. That night I put it in the DVD player. Somewhere around when Nathan Arizona is pitching unpainted furniture, the youngster looked at me and asked..."Does it start to pick up soon?"

"Pick up?? This is great stuff! What do you mean pick up?"

We got through the convenience store robbery for huggies. After Edwina picked up H.I. and they grabbed the huggies from the middle of the street, the youngster looked at me and asked, "Can we turn it off now? I don't think it's getting any better."

Well, if the huggies scene doesn't get it for you, I'm guessin' the lone biker of the apocalypse probably won't fare any better. Fine.

I was so disappointed. Here I thought I was sharing something really great from my past, and it was met with a yawn. I suppose I should get used to it. The generation gap was bound to make its presence known sooner or later, and some things I think are really cool won't be met with the same enthusiasm. It just hit me like a slap in the face though. Raising Arizona...boring. Who'da thunkit?


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

the relapse

I so hate feeling like this.

I guess I have to 'fess up and say the wife was right. No it's not the first time and I know it's far from the last. NO, I shouldn't have gone bike riding last Wednesday. NO, I shouldn't push myself like that. Yes, my body needs a little time to recover after being sick or it's going to rebel...and so it did.

Either that, or it just gave me a day or two break between attacks...whatever.

Friday saw the cold/flu symptoms come back, mostly in a head cold version which I didn't have much of in the beginning of the week, but I did all weekend, and still do to some extent. I spent most of the weekend not doing much. With the youngster's help, we got some yard work done. We grilled burgers on Memorial Day. We socialized with the neighbors, and I did my best to not act like a sick party pooper. Other than that, I did a lot of resting.

I'm losing my patience with the whole sick thing, and so is the wife. On my account, I just want to be done with it and feel "normal" again, and be able to do things and not feel like shit. Her problem is...I try to be fairly self sufficient when I'm sick. I can make canned soup, and clean up after myself and sleep, and not make things worse. I'm not making them better either though. I'm just not much for helping out with all the other stuff I normally do around the house...and she wants that back, and I don't blame her. I want that back too.


Friday, May 23, 2008

please remember them, for keeping this country what it is

Over the coming three day weekend, please remember those men and women who have given everything they had in the cause of making this country what it is.

For those of you who make your indignation known at the current administration, remember who gave you that ability, and the privelege of living in a country where you are free to do so.

Too many people take for granted their ability to protest and criticize, and go, and do, and strive to make their lives the best they can, and don't comprehend the sacrifices many have made because they know how precious that gift is. Freedom is a prize worth fighting for when circumstances demand it, and they do, more often than people would like to think.

Over the years I have made my positions on many issues known through my little rest stop on the information highway. I don't expect everyone to agree with me. In fact, I'd be surprised if anyone agreed with everything I said. I don't know that the world is ready for more than one of me, or would want it even if it was. I know this though. I have fought for your ability to disagree, even vehemently. If I had to do it all over again, I'd again choose to fight that fight.

This weekend, I remember those who gave up far more than I did in that fight. I hope you join me.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

vacation days that aren't really

I took a vacation day yesterday, because it was Senior Graduating breakfast day at the youngster's school, and the rest of the student body had the day off. It started off with something I wanted to do, but that's about where that theme ended.

I got up early and rode a little over 20 miles. Coming off being sick, I didn't think pushing 40 or 50 miles was all too smart, but I wanted to get out and do something, so I argued with myself, and debated with the wife, and between us we came up with about 24 miles, the wife still pushing for stopping at 20, but hey, I came down from 30.

Then, the youngster and I got haircuts. He needed one worse than I ever will, but I got a few snipped as well. Then we had lunch, and got to his 12:30 appt. for an eye exam, which included new contacts and glasses (cha-ching). After that was yard work, followed by a run to the post office to pick up his ADD meds, followed by dinner prep, and before I blinked, we were clearing off the dinner plates and the day off was gone.

It didn't really hit me until I came to work today and people asked me how "vacation" was...and I had to smile a little. I'm not complaining, mind you. There was a bunch of stuff that really needed to get done, and I grabbed the opportunity to do it. It was still a bit humorous though.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

for my last trick, watch me pull a rabbit out of my...

Tis the season for season finales. I’m not that much of a TV watcher, and for most of these cases, I don’t even know the consequences of what I’m seeing. For the past few evenings though, the wife has been diligent in catching the season finale of all her shows…and it may not be over yet. I don’t think CSI:Peoria has done theirs, and if not, I’m sure we’ll be tuned in. All I know is the wife spends the last 5 minutes of every hour with her jaw on the floor, followed by…”They can’t do that.”

Oh yes dear, I think they just did….whatever it was they just did.


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

back at it

Well, after a few days of puny-ness, I'm back. OK, maybe not completely, but I'm back enough.

I've spent the majority of the last several days on the couch. Most of that was over the weekend, so at least there was something worthwhile on TV. yesterday was the only day I was subjected to normal weekday television (around a viewing of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix), and I gotta do people who are home during the day watch that crap? Somebody must, or it wouldn't be on, but there are a ton of TV judges doing small claims stuff on TV, and it's bad stuff. I tried to leave it on, because I like a little background noise when I nap. I finally gave up and took silence instead. Anybody ever see this Judge Alex stooge? That's bad TV at its worst, and what sent me for the power button on the remote. Then after I watched the movie, I left the TV on and drifted in and out. Somewhere in there I caught a piece of something with a celebrity jury. I looked, and didn't recognize any of the I suppose they're "in between" movies, or table waiting jobs. I drifted back out before I figured out what they were deliberating about.

Work may have it's down side, but at least it's not daytime TV.


Friday, May 16, 2008

I be sick

Feeling like crap, so I don't have a whole lot to say...have a great weekend, all ye who tread here.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

biking for fun

Something I used to do before I got into bicycling lots of miles, but have gotten away from, is bicycling for the fun of it. You know...what most normal people do. Take the bike out of the garage and leisurely pedal around the neighborhood...stop and talk to people...take in Mother a two wheeled version of the Sunday drive.

I wanted to do that last night...just cuz I miss it Well, my old bike bit the dust a while ago, because it was just taking up space, so all I have is the road bike. It's kind of comical, if you're not riding "seriously" because with those pedals, you still have to wear the bike I thought, "What the hell". I got out there in shorts and a t-shirt, and bike shoes, and pedaled around the neighborhood, like I used to...and it was fun. It wasn't strenuous or anything, just fun. Friends looked at me a little strange when I'd stop to say "hi", when they heard the little click when I got off those pedals, but other than that, it was just nice to spend an hour cruising the neighborhood like the old days.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

the prime mover, part II

first, it hit me as I did a search for the post I'll refer to in a minute...I've been writing this blog thing for a long time now. Damn.

A bit over two years ago, I wrote a little thing I called the prime mover. The gist of it was that it always seems people say...we have to get together, or we have to go do this or that, but unless someone picks up the ball and starts to make things happen, nothing ever does. It's just a bunch of words. If someone does bother to start the ball be the prime mover that gets the inertia going in a direction...any direction, everyone seems quite happy to join in. It's the getting things started that seems to be the problem. Being the driving force behind making things happen is what people shy away from and when they do, there's no driving force...and nothing happens.

I'm there with this whole bicycling thing. I started a little over a year ago, and damn, it's taken over a fair chunk of my life. That's not a bad thing. I'm a whole lot healthier than I was when I started.

When I started though, there was this friend who wanted to do it with me...and so we did. We started going on longer and longer rides, and trying to go faster and faster doing we could get ready for the MS Bike ride last fall. Then he had business trips, or vacations, or whatever, and lots of excuses why he couldn't go this weekend, but call him next, and so on. Next thing you know, I called him one Friday and he asked how far I was going now. When I said 30 miles, he said he'd work on catching up to me and when he did, he'd be back. Well, that never happened.

Last fall the youngster said he wanted to start, so I backed off my regimen, so I could start slow with him. This past weekend he wasn't feeling well, so I went on my own and rode 55 miles (OK, 54.9, but who's counting). I did it partially for the workout and partially to prove to myself that I still can go 50 miles. Normally with the youngster, and/or the one other neighbor that rides with me most of the time, we're doing about 30-40 miles for now, and we're somewhere between 17 and 20 miles an hour most of the way. When the youngster balks, I have leverage though. He wanted to do this. I bought him a bike to do this. By God, he's getting up and riding. There is no "I'll catch up to you" option.

The thing is, now I have other people coming out of the woodwork...including the guy who started with me last year, and they all want to start riding. They all want me to call them when I go, and they all want to start slow. Well, c'mon people. Can you not get together without me? You know each other. You're all starting at about the same place, physically. I don't want to do 15 mile rides at 12 miles an hour now. I'm over that...twice. I, too, need the workout and I, too, want to see less of me when I look in the mirror. I, too, want the needle to hit a lower number on the scalet han alst week, and that won't happen for me doing 15 miles on a Saturday morning and not even breaking a sweat. I could maybe get you people together after I get back from my ride, but you really don't need me to do that. I ride every Saturday morning like clockwork, unless it rains, somewhere around 7:30 or 8:00. You don't need a phone call for that. You know it's happening, and you know how far and fast I plan on going. I make a terrible nag, and if you're motivated, you know what to do. Be there if you want a piece of that. In the meantime, can't one of you step up to the plate and start calling people on Fridays and do your own Saturday morning thing, and when you work it up to 40 miles and can go at a decent pace, call me then? Can someone else start that ball rolling? I'd love to have more people to ride with, and I'd love to see everyone I know get healthier and live long, happy lives, but more than that, I'd love one of you people to grab the rest of you people by the...whatever, and catch me...if you really want to. I know you can. I'm not that fast.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

the scavenger hunt from hell

I do the grocery shopping for stately Lumberyard Manor. I have for years. I'm not sure where that started, why or when. It just sort-of evolved that way.

I know the grocery store inside and out. I know where everything we use is. Grocery stores aren't all the same, I know. If I go to another chain, I'm lost, but I know MY grocery store. Before I go, we make a list as a family. My rule is, if you want it, put it on the list. I'll get the stuff on the list if it's at all possible. I will come home with things that aren't on the list too, but if you want to make sure it comes home with me, make sure it's on my list, or come along for the ride.

Mom-in law was in town this weekend, and mom-in-law is a baker. We were apparently out of toothpicks, so she put toothpicks on my list. The wife saw this recipe in a book. It called for putting those little friend onion thingies you always see on green bean casseroles, on mashed potatoes. She wanted to try that, so it went on the list. I was grilling Fillet Mignon for Mother's Day dinner, so the wife wanted Bearnaise Sauce, which can be made from scratch, but I'm not Betty Crocker...I know there's a mix. On the list. There was plenty of other stuff on the list, but those were some of the items that were out of the ordinary. Off I went to the store.

Well, I know where most stuff is...all the stuff we normally get. Toothpicks threw me. I went to the baking aisle, figuring that had to be the place. I was staring at everything between the birthday candles and cupcake wrapper thingies, and baking powder, and baking soda, and baking everything toothpicks. What the hell. Gotta be here somewhere. I made a second pass, and a third. No toothpicks. Damn! Where else could they be? I thought, well, they're toothpicks...maybe by the dental stuff. I went for the toothpaste and toothbrushes...but toothpicks. Then I did the thing no man does. I asked....and got led down the paper products the paper plates and napkins. Toothpicks. Who knew? Next those fried onion things. I tried the snack aisle, the veggies, canned and fresh, nuts, and sunflower seeds. I tried the frozen stuff, where the onion rings are. I even tried the ethnic foods by the chow mien noodles, thinking maybe "crunchy things you throw on food" are grouped together. Again, I gave up and had to ask. Those turned out to be in one of the places I looked (by the canned green beans), but obviously not hard enough in the one little spot on the bottom shelf. Bearnaise Sauce...I got this one. I know where the damn sauces are. If not there, they have all the marinade stuff down the condiments aisle (another amazing concept...condom-mints, combining fresh breath and...a topic for another day), so I'm hitting the sauce aisle Bearnaise Sauce. They got every other kind of sauce known to man, but no Bearnaise. Thoughts start creeping in like, "Maybe it's supposed to be here (because it really is supposed to be here, since here's where I'm looking), and they're just out." Nothing with the marinade stuff, where next? Soups, maybe? Again, I threw up the white flag and asked...the same lady as the first two times...who now thinks I'm the male equivalent of a bimbo (bimbum perhaps?). She tries to sound sympathetic, "Oh I know all the other sauces are over there, and I don't know why we put the Bearnaise Sauce over here, but this is where it is..."

I know now though.

I came home and the wife looked at her watch and asked where I'd been. I told her the story, and she laughed...with me, not at me. Riiiiiight.


Monday, May 12, 2008

who says you have to be able to putt?

Despite a putter that couldn't do squat, even on the one and only playoff hole, Sergio Garcia managed to stand firm in a wind that had everyone else backing off, until the guy that wouldn't leave the top of the leaderboard despit all the prognostications to the contrary, Paul Goydos bogeyed his way into a playoff with Sergio. From there Goydos managed to put his golf ball in the same place where several of mine rest...the waters around the 17th green at Sawgrass. Garcia put on one hell of a performance from tee to green, just about everywhere. If he could have gotten a little help from his putter, he would have blown the field away. As it was, he relied on the wind to do most of that, and put himself in a position where even his putter couldn't wrestle the win away from him. He could miss a four footer and still win. Congrats on a great performance, el Nińo, the 2008 Players Champion.


the farmer tan

I've heard it called by several names. Some call it the golfer tan, but it's most popular name is the farmer tan. That's where you spend a fair amount of time outdoors, but you always have a shirt and pants or shorts on, so your arms and possibly your legs, as well as everything from the neck up, are tan. Your torso is pretty much pale. The tan you have is not the product of beach time, or poolside time. It's the product of doing things outdoors...fully clothed.

One thing I've never heard it called is a bike or cyclist tan....although, I'm right there and bike riding is the reason. I spend a couple of hours every weekend out in the sun, and everything not covered by bike shorts and a jersey is pretty much tan. Well, almost everything, and that's the surprise I got this weekend, and the subject of the day's musings.

I wear gloves when I ride, and along with my pale torso, comes pale hands. I hadn't really noticed. didn't notice at all, really..until this weekend when I went out to watch some of the Players golf tournament. Saturday afternoon I went out with a friend. We sat on the hill at 17 and watched a few groups play through. then we visited a tent and had a few beers. Then we spent about an hour or two in the stands around 18. When I got home, I realized I was burned in two places. One made perfect sense. Right above my knees was a bit pink from sitting in those stands all that time. (OK, that was just plain stupid.) Doh! The other...was the backs of my hands. Once I thought about it, that made sense too, but I can't remember that ever happening before. It's because of those gloves. I got in the shower after being at the tournament all day and YOW!

Now, understand that I didn't exactly lobster out. I wasn't completely irresponsible and stupid. I burned a little, but it will turn tan with the week, so it's not that big a deal. It was just a bit of a shock under the warm shower water when I reached for the soap and...ouch.


Friday, May 09, 2008

the 5th major

Once again it's Players week, and once again the debate is out there. Is it, or is it not the 5th major?

The answer is a resounding "NO!"

I wish it was. I wish lots of things that aren't happening. Lots of people around here wish it was. Most of the people in J'ville that have any interest in golf wish it was, but when you bring in the harsh light of, it's not. At least not yet.

Players kind-of think of it as one. The ones who win it really want it to be one. Some of them that haven't refer to it as one. Ernie Els did yesterday, after triple bogey-ing 17, but caught himself. A reporter caught him leaving after his round and asked him about it and he said they should blow up that hole. Then he said something like..When you're one under going into a hole and you leave two over at a major..uuuuhhh...a tournament like this....

Still, when the tournament is going on and it can't find front page space on, you haven't arrived yet. That's who controls what's a major and what's not. It's not necessarily ESPN alone, but it is the media. They call things majors and that leads the fans to thinking that way, or it might be the other way around, but in either case...there is no official knighting of a tournament that're a major now. It's a perception thing. For now, the PGA TOUR can promote it as one. the players can think of it as one, but until the media and the fans believe it's one, the Players will be the biggest tournament NOT to be a major.


Thursday, May 08, 2008

would you believe....

Yeah, maybe you'd actually believe I was getting the Players trophy if I was in a golf shirt instead of a tie.
Then again, even in a golf shirt, if you saw my game, this would be a real hard sell. Maybe if I could perfect that Jedi mind trick thing Obi Wan does when he waves his hand. "Photoshop had nothing to do with this picture. Everything is as it seems."


I'm shocked! Shocked to find....

I was listening to my usual on the way to work...sports talk. On Thursdays they bring in this trivia dude who does trivia contests in several establishments around town, and he tries to stump the talent...with varying degrees of success.

This morning, the first question was....what is the number 1 romance movie of all time?

Well, the talking heads had fun with it for a while, throwing around names like Love Story, Brokebutt Mountain and Fatal Attraction. In the end though, I was surprised at the real answer. I consider myself somewhat romantic, but not very. Yet, Casablanca, which is one of my favorite movies ever, if not my singular favorite movie ever (and it must be viewed in black and white...that colorized stuff ain't the shit) came out on top. The thing is, if I was answering that question, I probably would have popped out an answer like Love Story, with the famous sappy line, "Love means never having to say you're sorry." Casablanca, though it's my favorite movie, wouldn't have come to mind as the best romantic movie. Maybe it's a sign. Maybe there's hope for me yet.


Wednesday, May 07, 2008

psssst - Don't hire Barry Bonds. Pass it on.

You go conspiracy theorists!

The baseball players' union is in a tizzy over the lack of offers from any major league team for the services of one Barry Bonds, alleged home run king. The argument is, stats like his don't ride the pine, and somebody has to be doing something illegal to keep him at home, sitting on his...ummm...needle.

Ummmm. No, they don't.

Baseball, like any other sport, lots of movies and monster truck rallies, is part of the entertainment business. People have to want to pay to see the product you put out there. Frankly, nobody wants to shell out money to put Barry Bonds on a baseball field, because nobody thinks people will pay to come see him play. I know I wouldn't. The guy's a melon headed fake. I don't care what you can prove or not prove in his game of shadows. I, and many like me, are convinced he's lying when he says he never knowingly took steroids. The court of law may or may not be able to prove it, but the court of public opinion has already ruled. Next, the guy's an asshole. In fact, he's a bigger asshole than he is a fake. Being an asshole costs dearly in the public relations department, no matter how much assholes think it shouldn't. Third, the guy has a bum knee. Fourth, he's probably going to jail on perjury charges sometime soon. Despite his assholiness, he used to help teams win games. Even that part's not a given anymore, so what do you have in Barry Bonds that you want? You have a public relations/clubhouse nightmare that could, maybe, hopefully, sorta, almost make your team marginally better until he probably goes to jail.

Put all that together and NO, Barry's not exactly a cost effective draw to put butts in seats at your baseball park, so why is everyone surprised when clubs aren't lining up for his services? It's not a conspiracy. It's common freakin' sense.

Memo to the players union - let the guy just fade into obscurity, where he belongs. If you keep lobbing his oversized mug at us, we're going to keep knocking it out of the park.

Memo to the owners - note I didn't go with the "Owners have scruples" argument. I know better than to try to slide that one past anybody.


Tuesday, May 06, 2008

stupid is as stupid does

I suppose, if you're stupid enough to pull a gun on someone to take their wallet and cell phone, and you're stupid enough to do that to the Steelers first round draft pick, you're also stupid enough to do it before he signs a big time contract and actually has something worth stealing.


r e s p e c t

It's tournament week! For those that don't know of which I speak, it's the annual party known as The Players, where the best golfers in the world (except the very best one, this year) come to my backyard and play. It's a great week to watch golf, shorts and spaghetti straps, and party.

Part of this deal though is work. I work well within the crowd zone for the tournament, and therefore have to be shuttled in from a satellite parking lot. Part of that deal, since getting to your car to eat is a monumental task, is an arrangement by which we can eat, breakfast and lunch, in the tent where the tournament volunteers eat. The food is good, and it's cheap...about $2 for a decent bacon, egg and cheese sandwich and hashbrowns for breakfast, or burger for lunch. I bring my lunch most days, so I'm not scarfing down burgers every day, but I will hit breakfast. Yummmmm!

Part of that deal though, is knowing that it ain't our tent. The tent is there for a reason and that reason isn't me. It's run by the tournament volunteers. They have volunteers who cook the food. They have volunteers who stock and run the place. It's their thing. There's a sign...a very large the entrance that says "Working Volunteers ONLY from 6:00 to 8:30 a.m. and from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. I can understand that. They have to get in and get out to do whatever it is they do, and others, like me or volunteers that aren't actually working at the time, don't need to be crowding the lines. Therefore I'll wait my turn.

I came in this morning and one of my co-workers is sitting at his desk with a plate full of breakfast, and I asked him about the sign and he said, "Yeah, I know. I went and figured if they don't stop me, I'll just go through."

Now, do people just not understand? Why go chompin' on the hand that's literally feeding you? This is a privilege. It's good food, and it's cheap, and it's within walking distance, and it smells delicious as you walk up from the shuttle bus to the office. It's a nice perk. Do you want to screw that up? It's not our show. We're just piggy backing on it. Someone's being nice to you and you're slapping them in the face. It's not a matter of whether someone will stand up and stop you. It's a matter of respecting the people it's there for. It's also a matter of next year having them say...yeah, we've been nice to you, but some people keep abusing the privilege, so we're not throwing it out there anymore.

I didn't make a huge stink, but I made it obvious that I'll be waiting until 8:30...when they say they'll let us use their stuff.

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Monday, May 05, 2008

glowing like the metal on the edge of a knife

There's a commercial for the GoPhone on TV now that features Meat Loaf and a kid who looks a lot like him. I assume it's his son. The youngster loves the commercial, but knew absolutely nothing about Mr. Loaf, the Bat Out Of Hell Album or Paradise By the Dashboard Light, which is the song you get snippets of in the commercial.

Me...hell..I remember every little thing as if it happened only yesterday.

Yet, how do you explain the appeal of Meat Loaf to a 14 year old today? You got this very large, sweaty, unattractive, crazy looking dude who calls himself Meat Loaf. Then you try to explain the song. I mean, we're well past the gazinta talk, so sex isn't all that much of an issue anymore, but some parts of the song are classic and yet they have no relevance for today's 14 year old. I explained that it's a very long only get a tiny taste on the commercial, and it's pretty funny. I explained the gist of the story. We watched the You Tube version. First he was sure it's not the same song...because it goes through several transitions. I ended up trying to explain the Phil Rizzuto/baseball segment and getting to first base, second base, being a little intentionally vague but getting the idea across and...stop right there, before you go any further. The whole base system, and its euphemisms, is apparently antiquated. I was just being confusing, and more humorous than I expected to be.

Still it was fun...going back and checking out a little Meat Loaf..and sharing a piece of my youth with a growing up youngster.


Friday, May 02, 2008

College football and the BCS

All the big time college conference commissioners and other muckity mucks got together this week in South Florida to down some cocktails and play golf under the guise of working on improving the Bowl Championship Series. As most of us expected, the drinks got drank. The tee boxes were never lonely and college football remained unchanged. Some...OK pretty much anybody who actually likes college football, and doesn't view it as a money tree, were hoping the BCS would take some kind of step toward becoming a playoff system, but that didn't happen. Nothing really happened.

The classic excuse for not changing it came from Fox Sports President Ed Goren....

"Five teams go back to campus as champions. If you go into a different system, you have one winner and everyone else goes home a loser."

Well shit, Ed...isn't that the point of competition? Isn't trying to win the game a big objective in college football? How about this? How about if we make it so nobody goes home a loser. How about if every school fields a football team, but they don't play anybody. That way nobody has to go through the humiliation of losing, and everyone finishes the season undefeated. The football players can just walk around campus, date cheerleaders and skip classes like they do now. We'll just give them Saturdays off as well. Everybody can be a winner..except the companies that broadcast college footb...oh wait...that's you.

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sputtering out of the gate

Got an e-mail about a week ago from the captains of the bike team for this year's MS ride. They wanted to start training rides, and would hold the first one May 3rd...details to follow.

This week, another e-mail. We'll leave at 7:00 from the Jax Beach pier, go south about 15 miles, turn around and come home. Anyone planning to be there let us know, so we get a head count and know who to expect.

I jumped right on it. The youngster and I will be there. Should we bring ride refreshments, snacks, anything? I got an e-mail back last night. I'm the only one who responded. I can still go to the beach and ride with the captains, but if I'd rather save the gas and ride at home....that's OK too.

At first I was a bit surprised. I was the only one interested? These people are trying to help you get ready for the ride, and nobody's interested? Then I thought about it. It's the beginning of May. The MS Society has a kickoff ride to start people training, and it's not until the end of June. Maybe nobody's feeling the need quite yet. A lot of people don't start until August for a September ride, and end up paying the price, but they never really learn. Six months later, all they remember is...I didn't start training until August and I still finished.

I guess my story is different because I'm not training for one ride. I am, but I'm doing this for more than just that ride. I'm doing this for my health, and so I'll be around when the youngster brings his kids around the house. I'm doing it because I don't want to hear Mr. My Doctor using words like "diabetes" around me. I also honestly do it because I enjoy it. Just as honestly, I probably wouldn't do it if I didn't like it as much as I do. I've never been one to exercise just to exercise. I have to like what I'm doing.

Then there are the charity the MS Ride and the Katie Ride. I do those to help the cause as much as anything. There are plenty of rides around that go those same distances that don't involve fund raising, and I could do those. They don't give me the same sense of satisfaction though, as helping others while I'm doing something fun. I get a far bigger sense of accomplishment when I finish a really hard ride, and help people at the same there's a selfish aspect. It makes me feel better about me. I'm not apologizing for that though. (Sometimes I think the word "selfish" gets a bad rap. Being selfish about some stuff isn't necessarily a bad thing.) I'm glad it makes me feel better about me. I want more people to feel better about themselves the same way, and maybe together we'll make this world a better place.


Thursday, May 01, 2008

Mario Kart

Now, I'm officially hooked.

Mario Kart for the Wii is awesome! You get an honest to goodness (albeit a bit small) steering wheel that the controller fits into, and you use it like a wheel, accelerate/brake using buttons on the controller, but they integrate themselves into the wheel. You turn the wheel and the car/motorcycle on the screen turns..all wireless....and it's highly addictive.

I'm to the point now where I just look at the wheel, sitting on the coffee table (or wherever it is), and if I don't have at least an hour to waste, I keep moving...because if I pick it up, I'll be there a while. Then, after about an hour, I have to make myself put it down and go do something more constructive. That game is a blast!

This one definitely gets the Lumberyard seal of approval.

p.s. added 5/5 - we got a few more steering wheels so we can have family team races, and we can all race for the same team. This thing is a blast!