Saturday, June 6, 2009

Is it Summer Yet?

A strange day at the Landwehr Compound. Random news factoids and points of minimal interest to cover, so if you're in the mood for cohesive thought, I'll have to say you're out of luck.

Ben's last game was this morning at 10:00. I'd love to say he went out with a splash, but it sounded a bit more like a convertible Fiat tumbling down a canyon wall, leaking fluids and landing top down. Graceful it was not. It's always fun to watch, but when you lose 5-1, it takes the "funness" down a level.

On the upside, Ben played at an intense level after his initial slow start. It seemed like the first 7 minutes of the game he was still with Sponge Bob and Patrick on the couch, where he was 30 minutes prior to game time. (The story of getting him dressed and ready for each practice and game is one I'll save for later. Suffice it to say that it's like trying to motivate and dress Jello.) Once they got a couple goals scored against them, and he moved from defense to forward, he seemed to kick it up a notch, so to speak.

In any case, his team had a great year finishing with a record something like 5-3-1. The important thing is that they improved significantly from last fall. Winning isn't the only thing, but it sure beats the other option.

When we got home from soccer, we'd learned that our neighbors' boy had his bike stolen. It was laying on the side of the house, sometimes for days on end, and it seems some jerk took off with it. Now, having had this done to me once, literally in front of my eyes, I can say that NOTHING bugs me more than thievery. I cover a lot of ground in the neighborhood walking the dog and such, and I promise if I see some 15 year old punk riding this kids bike, I'm going to chase him down and make him publicly humiliate himself by returning it and apologizing to this boy. (Note that this boy is one of two kids in a single parent home, which makes it an even crueler crime.)

Now I also know from past experience, that a stolen bike will only happen once to a kid. They learn quick and will (or should) lock it every time they get off it from that day forward. I can distinctly remember my older brother giving me the lecture after mine was stolen.

On the lighter side, speaking of bikes, I made the big purchase myself today. I got a Trek 4300 Disc, which means it has disc brakes. More bike than I'd intended to purchase, but when the salesman said he'd take $75.00 off the price , it was only about $80 more than I would have spent for the other model.

Do I really need a bike with disc brakes? Probably not. But I figured it was a $25000.00 savings from the Harley Davidson I'd really like. Besides, I'm a Renaissance man who is of the thought that if we've got the technology, why not take advantage of it. (Is that what a renaissance man is in 2009? Hmmmm...)

14 years ago when I bought my last bike, I was Renaissance-ian when I got a bike with a shock. Now they're almost standard on all bikes.

I bought a ton of accessories to go with it too. The clerk asked me if I would like them all mounted for me. Now there was a day when asked that question I would have said, "Nah, I'll take care of it." But I'm at the age where if some kid clerk asks me if he can save me a little work, I'm all over that. So, they put everything on it for me, except the computer.

The computer I got came with directions in, I kid you not, 12 different languages. These are: Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portugese, Dutch, Polish, Netherlands (Didn't know that was a language), Cestina (Wha?), and Magyar (Wha again?). What, no Swahili? My goodness, I know we're a global economy and all that but my goodness.

In any case, I've given up trying to program the computer using the English instructions. I figure it might be easier to learn Portugese and try those. Seriously. They have 3-D diagrams showing you the buttons you have to push to get the thing to do certain functions, but when I look at those things for some reasons it's like palm reading. I just don't see it. I have the same issue with assembling furniture. If it's a 3D diagram, rather than words, I should just return it to the store. When they ask why, I would just have to say the guy I bought it for is an idiot.

As it goes, I wanted to say so much more, but will have to defer it to another day, another post, because I'm...Blogging Off.

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