Saturday, October 03, 2009

Happy 10th Birthday to The Zoester!

Double digits!

I hope your day was made of awesome! Happy Birthday, kiddo!

Marathon Day

So, tomorrow (Sunday) is the marathon. Here's the deal: a while back, I hurt my foot. It's better now but not 100%. I've not been able to do long runs or much any real marathon training, which is a bit of a problem. (Understatement.) I really debated whether to pull out of the marathon, but ultimately decided to go ahead with it anyway.

I'll be mostly walking, not so much running, and I'm probably not going to be able to finish, but I'll be there at the start. My plan is to go for as long as my foot holds out. (Pete says this is not a plan, but hey, it's all I've got.) I have no idea what my pace will be or how far I'm going to go. I could limp off the course at mile 1 or still be trudging along 6 hours later. Who knows! Won't this be fun...

Anyway, to celebrate the fact that, injury aside, this year I'm actually healthy enough to be at the start -- which, for those of you who remember my health debacle from last year, is indeed something to celebrate -- we're going to be at Lucky's in Mendota post-marathon. I reckon we'll be there by 4 or so. If you're so inclined, stop on out! Have a beer, munch on some onion rings, and help us celebrate my DNF. Because in this case, it's not remotely about the journey, destination, or the finish. It's all about the start, baby. Yeah.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

How times have changed

A writer whose blog I follow recently wrote about how a question came up: would people's kids recognize an ashtray? She showed a picture of an ashtray to her 9-year-old daughter. Lo, the kid didn't know what it was.

So of course, I had to try this on my two. I asked the girls to look at this image, and asked them if they knew what it was. "Uh," Emma said blankly. "Is it a bowl?"

Morgan stared at it for a bit longer. "Oh, I know," she exclaimed. "It's a hot dog cooker!"

I almost spewed my coffee all over the laptop. "A hot dog cooker?" I said when I had recovered. "Why do you think it's a hot dog cooker?"

She explained how the notches along the sides are clearly for the sticks to rest on (duh, Mom), and you put the fire in the middle, and voila! Hot dog cooker. (That's pretty ingenious, now that I think about it. Maybe we should market this.) She wasn't quite sure how it would work lugging this thing to and from a campground, though, as it would be messy, heavy, and big. When she said that, I finally realized she thought it was much bigger its actual size, like campfire ring size. I explained that it's actually about the size of my palm. "Well, then, I don't know what it is," she said, and she and Emma said together: "What is it?"

I told them that it was an ashtray. They boggled over that much as you would boggle over any relic from the olden days , then went off to eat their breakfasts.

When I was a kid back in the dark ages of the 1970s, it seemed like everybody smoked. My parents didn't smoke, but they had ashtrays on hand because most of their friends smoked. Most of my extended family smoked. My grandfather smoked (and it killed him). It was everywhere. People's houses, restaurants, offices, airplanes. Today, things are different. I know a few smokers but they're the exception, not the norm, and they're not smoking in their houses. Restaurants and everywhere else are smoke free. And until this morning, my 10 year olds had no idea what an ashtray was. (Hot dog cooker. HEE.) It's cool how much things have shifted in a generation, but it's also a little bizarre. Or maybe that's just me turning into an old foogy. Back in my day...