Tag Archives: babblings

Friday Foolishness – Football Edition

Today’s Music: Snooks Eaglin – Sleepwalk
Days Til Spring: 44
(a note on today’s music – I absolutely love this song. I hope you do to. Special thanks to Nick Spitzer of American Routes on NPR for finally giving me the name!)

Weather Terrorist.

Well, here we are again. Another week, wasted at work…
Fortunately, I had the blogosphere to keep me company.
Sandylikeabeach posted a beautiful Happy Birthday message to her dad.
Merilee Mitchell alerted me to some sad goings on in a beautiful spot in the desert
Apparently, someone gave Eric Murtaugh room to do a guest post,
and Alex Autin made me talk like Steve Irwin. Fortunately, it wasn’t out loud.

You guys, and everyone else, are part of what I look forward to every week!

Last week, Guapola wanted to know about you and the State of the Union.
Here’s what you said (Commments in italics are mine)
it’s time to invest in a decent Blu-ray & enjoy my starwars boxset! Kanerva 🙂
(Ah, Star Wars. Another heart warming story of the relationship between citizens and the government…)
of the state of the crapper in my BR that is clogged again and useless lizziec
(An excellent political metaphor, lizziecracked!)
‘tics is a four-letter word, but politicians are too stupid to spell it. Red.
(I think they can only spell words with the letter “$” in it, Red…)
that they opposing party does not deserve a televised response time.
(Sometimes, I’m not sure the party in power deserves the television time.)
of sleeping through it.
That I had something more important to do in the other room. Like the dishes.
(Which is why, my fellow Americans, in the next election, I promise you, a dishwasher in every house!)
We have better writers on WordPress. – The Hobbler
(And you are one of them, Hobbler!)
being Canadian, I have to ask, What is the state of the union?
(Being American, I have to answer, not that good.)
What State of the Union?
(Are you Canadian too?)
That I damn well better start working for Obama again. The alternatives suck
(I really hope we don’t find out how badly they really do suck come November!)
alcohol can make anything entertaining. theworldaccordingtoscarp
(Entertaining. Or sad. So very, very sad…)
I try not to think too much. It hurts…
(They make a pill for that! Several, in fact…)
that I should watch it but got highlights from comedians on Twitter instead.
(That and The Daily Show are where I get most of my news from!)
The States of America, for this country is not United. – Rich Crete
(Dude, you are totally killing my buzz)
I’ve never heard of a state called ‘The Union’. Are there 51 states now? GingrSnaap
(Yes, it’s where the Veggies from VeggieTales live.)
American TV ran out of programming. Thank God for the Canadian channels. John Phillips
(What, you don’t love the Kardashians?!?)
State of the Union? Was there a State of the Union? Alex Autin….things I LOVE!
(In name only, Alex…)
There was a State of Union?? I think I slept through it. TEXT
(As did several senators, I believe…)
i LOVE Boehner’s new shade of orange barkinginthedark
(It’s like he’s diseased and irradiated!)

However, it seemed many of you just watched the event to Marvel at the size of Obama’s ears.
Hey, there are worse ways to spend an evening, I suppose…
And for those keeping track, there were 2 votes for BBRRRAAAIIINNNSSSSS!!! Thanks for keeping the dream alive!

This week (keeping with our topical polls of late), we turn our eyes to that game of games, the Superbowl!

Vote early, vote often! Poll closes next Thursday at 1159 pm.
See you next week. And to keep you busy until then, 2 things you’ve probably all seen before, but are still fun:
Matrix Ping Pong!!!

and Bill Murrays speech from the end of Groundhog Day.

Have a good weekend, see you ’round the bend…

A Literary Limerick – Chamber of Secrets

Today’s Music: Iggy Pop – Lust For Life
Days til Spring: 70

I got nothing. Rather, I have all sorts of stuff, I just haven’t written any of it down.
Fortunately, JK Rowling was kind enough to string out a well known series into 7 books and 8 movies.
So while I try and write up Ernie’s visit, or learning to scuba dive, or how beer does not in fact go with everything (don’t pour it into your chicken soup. Trust me.), I can at least – with minimal effort (really, minimal) – continue with my limericky retelling of the Harry Potter saga.

You’re welcome.

Everyone said that it was a secret
But Harry’s interest was piqued
Guilderoy was no help –
At his own shadow he yelped.

But with a phoenix, the basilisk was beated.

If you’ve managed to read this far, feel free to gack in the comments. You’ve earned it!

Friday Foolishness – Classic Dance Edition

Today’s Music: Clint Black – Good Run of Bad Luck (because I wasn’t going to use The Hokey Pokey.)
Days Til Spring: 74

Welcome once again to the Friday Foolishness. the holidays have ended, we’ve settled back into our routines, and I’m here to help you start your weekend hootenany and jamboree with a little bit of harmless idiocy.

Last week, we asked about your Plans for the New Year.
Here’s what you had to say, in Other (comments in italics are mine).
BRAAAAAIIINNNNSSSS! -I want in on it. – Flame
(Done. The flesh eating minions will be contacting you shortly with your…welcome packet)
Buy the Jennifer Aniston doll for self, but leave it for Santa
(Please tell me it will be new in the packaging. Or accompanied with a bagful of Sani-wipes)
new house. basement and backyard already full of bodies – Miss R.
(If you run them through a woodchipper, they take much less space, Miss R. Trust me.)
Great Googly Moogly!! Screw last year where are the last 4 ? – lizzecracked
(If I knew that, lizziecracked, I’d know why I keep getting those letters from the Canadian border patrol…)
to break all my resolutions by morning, January 1 (John Phillips)
(But isn’t that a resolution in itself, John?)
I plan to discover the meaning of life or the meaning of Life cereal. Lindaver
(For a follow up, could you find me a life of meaning, Linda?)
I’ll take advantage of every opportunity that comes my way!
(Well said, and amen!)
(See that folks – if you leave your name in your Other answer, you get a linkback!!!)

And the winner this week is
What? WHAT??!? Where did last year go?!?
I feel your pain on that score. I really do…

But no point in dwelling on the past!
Because it’s Friday, and that means
Brand! New! Poll!!!
As always, the poll will close next Thursday, just before midnight. And if you like, please leave ID in your other comment. So we know who to blame thank.

The poll closes at midnight, next Thursday

And, to keep you busy until then, I leave you with this…
(This one’s for you, H.E. Ellis.)

A Literary Limerick – Sorcerer’s (Philosopher’s) Stone

Today’s Music: The Eels – Hey Man
Days ’til Spring: 76
Today’s Question: Why the hell is there a nail clipper in the pocket of my ski jacket?!?

Alright folks, I got nothing. I was going to go with the first naked bar dance, but I actually need to write that down before I post it. Be patient.
So instead, as a way to separate the weak from the strong (read that as the sane from the not), you’re getting a Harry Potter limerick.

Remember, I’m doing this for your own good.
Because it certainly isn’t for mine.

Don’t worry, I’ve left you an amusing video at the bottom as brain bleach.

*If Warner Brothers, JK Rowling, or Bloomsbury have an issue with this for some bizzarro copyright reason, let me know and I”ll take it down. Really, you’d be doing the world a favor…

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
A young boy with a scar on his head
His parents, both sadly were dead
When he reached age eleven,
thought he’d been admitted to heaven

But had to fight the “2 headed” teacher instead.

You’re welcome.

An Adventure – Learning to Climb – Part The Second

Today’s Music: James Brown – I Feel Good

In a previous post, I talked about learning to climb and my first trips up the face. Here are two more climbs that show some of what I love about it.
I’m trying to convey some of the excitement, you know, like in a great travelogue.
Hope you enjoy it.

There’s a climb at the Gunks called High Exposure
It’s 2 pitches (sections of climb). The first pitch starts up a lovely section of rock to the Grand Traverse Ledge, a gap in the rock that goes a long way across the face, parallel to the earth.

You go straight up, then follow the Grand Traverse Ledge to the right, where it opens up – it’s a  beautiful spot that looks over the surrounding area.

A beautiful spot to catch some sun.

Once you get up to the Grand traverse ledge, you pause a while, check your gear, have some water, and get ready to start the 2nd pitch.
You find some great holds and shimmy up just a bit to a small roof.

Something wonderful is about to happen...

Writing this, years after I first did this climb, my heart is beating faster as I try to describe what happened next to me.
I made it up to a smaller ledge beneath the roof in the above picture. I got into position for “The Move” – the specific pattern of motion to beat the crux (hardest part) of the climb.
I made it to the edge of the ledge and stopped, facing out into space.
I held my arms over my head. I was told by everyone we’d met at the base and on the ledge that there was a massive hold – bomber, as it’s called. I was told I wouldn’t be able to see it because of the positioning, but if I just reached over my head, it would be obvious.
They were all right. It was.
So there I am, feet on a solid base of rock. Head sticking out 200 feet over nothing. My hands in a deathgrip on the rock behind me.

To complete the move, lean forward, hold on to the rock, spin around, then just start climbing.
Climbing – no problem. I’d already made it up ~200 feet. Holding on to the rock? Also no problem. Did I mention the death grip.
Here’s the problem: Spin. Around.
Because during that moment, both of your feet are in motion, and for just a fraction of a second, you just have one (deathgrip) hand on the rock. While hanging face first over 200 feet of air.
I couldn’t do it. Fred was encouraging me. The other guys on the ledge were encouraging me. It’s The Move, what High Exposure is known for. It’s also where the climb gets it’s name – for the moment of that move, you are high and exposed.
So there I am, deathgrip, leaning forward, and frozen. Can’t get myself to commit an make the damn turn.

Do what now you say?

2 guys were rappelling down a few yards over and saw me. They stopped, seeing the trouble I was having, and probably hearing me ask Fred exactly how far out of his mind he was.
“Dude” called the first. “You’ve got it”.
“C’mon” chimed in the second. “You’re halfway there. Just step out”.
I thought about this for a second, feeling the moisture starting to build on my hands. I reached for more chalk (one hand at a time) from the small bag hanging at my waist.
“Fellas” I yelled back, “You’re both out of your minds. Who the hell does this?!?”
They laughed.
“Dude” said the first (must have been a surfer). “I went through the same thing my first time out. You’ll be fine”.
I took a deep breath and looked at the guys. I looked out over the forests surrounding the cliff. I even looked straight down.
I think my last thought was that this would be a great story if I made it, and a great eulogy if I didn’t.
I took a deep breath, and looked at the rock I was standing on.
Plant my foot and pivot
Take one hand off the hold
Swing my other foot around
Grab back on and roll my other hand

That’s it. Three seconds later, I’m firmly and securely glued to the face about 7 feet above the crux. The rappellers, the guys on the ledge, Fred all cheering me on.

That’s what I love most about climbing. It’s not the harness (really, it isn’t!), not the bragging rights (well, it is a little). It’s the discovery of what this – 2 arms, 2 legs, torso and brain can do. It is the most full body sport I’ve ever tried. And every time I go, it. is. amazing. Even a half-assed day just doing easy pitches is a phenomenally well spent day.
And it’s being part of a small exclusive club that knows something that non-members won’t ever know. Until they try it.

On another trip with Fred, we did Slightly Roddy. 30 feet up, then climb out along a crack in the roof about 10 – 15 feet, hanging parallel to the earth.

Fred tries first. Gets up to the roof, starts climbing out
“You got me?” he calls.
I confirm that I’ve got almost no slack in the rope. He makes it out about 8 feet, working his way along the crack. He pauses. He curses. And off he comes.
He drops about 8 feet – length of the rope to the anchor, plus the two feet that I pop into the air catching his wieght.
We’re both laughing ourselves silly as I settle down and lower him to the ground.
Then it’s my turn.
I shoot right up the face – after all, I’ve done this a few times now.. Then I get to the roof.
There’s a crack, maybe an inch, inch and a half wide. The move is to pull your legs up, frog style, and jam in the tips of your toes. fingers are extended into the crack and “crimped”, so that the pressure on finger tips and second knuckle keeps your from swinging down head first.
A little further out, the crack widens. So in goes the whole fist.

So there I am, contorting myself like a tied up duck waiting for roasting, tensing every muscle I own to stay attached to this slab of rock, and my toes. Start. To Slip.

I’m a kid from the burbs. Sure, I’ve looked for adventures, learned to sail. I know how to ski and my roadtrips used to be legendary. But this? Never ever would have expected myself to be in this position, clinging to tons of Granite, from the bottom. At the mercy of the capricious rock.
And it’s funny.
So I start laughing. Hard. And harder. And Fred starts laughing.
Fortunately, I still had enough functioning brain to realize that if the feet went and the hands didn’t, I’d suffer an impromptu amputation.
So I managed to gasp “Fred! Coming off!”
He laughed back that he had me and down I swung, lowered gently to the ground.

We each tried it 3 more times before we were exhausted.
On the way back home, we stopped at the New Paltz distributor for a beer.
Because we earned it.

Sometimes you drink the beer, sometimes the beer drinks you...