high-minded drivel

high-minded (adjective) - refined; cultured; particularly civilized. drivel (noun) - senseless talk; nonsense.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Various forms of aggression

Tonight's blog post is coming from the couch rather than the coffee shop.  Sunday Night Baseball with Joe Morgan is on, Twins vs. Angels.  Don't really know whether these two teams are doing well this season.  I do know that the Angels are sometimes called the Halos, which is funny.  The Twins, to my knowledge, do not have a cool nickname, but it would be awesome if they had a pair of real twins playing for them.  You see twins in the NBA, but not so much in baseball it seems.  This is likely connected to the old basketball adage "You can't teach height."  That is, height usually provides an immediate advantage in basketball, so it is more likely that you would find twins who are both tall and therefore effective on the basketball court than it would be to find twins who both happen to be great at baseball.  The same would hold true for the sport of thumb wrestling.

Today I played in my first ever soccer game, which was quite enjoyable.  I have no skill whatsoever, but I can run pretty well, and occasionally get in the way of the right people.  I found that I play soccer like I play basketball, which isn't a huge surprise given my basketball background.  You know, constantly going offense to defense rather than maintaining one position.  Running all over the field rather than staying in one area.  Dunking.

Despite my newfound enthusiasm for a "natural" approach to physical activity (namely, barefooting), I found that shin guards are a good piece of equipment to have, even if not necessary.  I didn't suffer some terrible shin injury to come to this conclusion.  Rather, it was by avoiding shin injury that I came to this conclusion.  You see, being without shin guards initially, I tended to shy away from all the kicking and battling for the ball.  Because I didn't want to get kicked in the shins.  That would hurt.  But after getting some shin guards, courtesy of Courtney, I had no hesitation going after the ball.  Shin guards are so useful that I may wear them to work tomorrow under my dress pants.  Someone forgot to close the bottom drawer on the filing cabinet?  No problem.  I've got my shin guards on.  I can walk around with abandon!  If someone did want to take the "natural" approach to soccer and not wear shin guards, I suppose the equivalent to walking around in your bare feet to get them toughened up for barefoot running would be something like this.

As a quick aside, this guy could take some lessons.  Doesn't he know that you kick the tree down?  At 0:50 I actually thought he was going to lose the fight.

I'm about halfway through the first phase of the transition to barefoot running.  Per some of the advice I read online, I'm taking it slow, so for the first three months I'm just walking barefoot as much as possible.  People don't give questioning looks as much as you would expect, although thus far my barefoot walks have pretty much been on campus or on side streets while wearing my backpack.  One lady I passed did have a questioning look when I passed her yesterday, and I think it was because I was carrying groceries rather than my backpack.  When you're walking along with a plastic bag of goods on one side and a case of Sapporo under the other arm, it starts to become more clear that you aren't just on a one-time jaunt to let your feet air out.  You've made a lifestyle choice.

Another lifestyle choice I've made is to carry my above-mentioned backpack to work in lieu of a briefcase or "shoulder bag," even though those are the more standard carrying devices for workers in dress shirts and ties.  Perhaps this gives the impression that I'm trying to be "alternative," or not professional, but it's just pure logic.  Carrying things in a backpack is a good way to carry things.  Isn't that what nature teaches us?  Where do many animals carry their young?  On their back!  Not hanging on one side, creating balance issues and slapping against their leg with every step.  There have been numerous mornings walking to work when I've rehearsed my arguments for wearing my backpack, just hoping for somebody to make a critical comment.  Before they knew it, they would be engaged in a heated debate, and they would lose.  This is probably the best way to go to work in the morning - looking for confrontation.  This rebellious-but-logical mindset has not yet extended to other idiotic elements of the professional office environment, like ties.  Ties are really, truly, nothing more than peacock feathers.  In fact, my annoyance over this issue prompted me to look for a tie that had a picture of a peacock, just so I could wear it and make a statement.

To clarify, the intended statement would not be "I have such poor fashion sense that I actually purchased this peacock tie thinking that it would help me attract a mate."

My barefoot walk home from the grocery store was following a trip to the store to pick up ingredients to make pizza.  The banana pepper plant that Nate and I put in the backyard is crazy, producing so many banana peppers that we're at the point of trying to come up with creative ideas to use them (hence the pizza).  The plant is on the verge of being out of control.  We actually had to add a support stake this week because the plant fell over from the weight of all the banana peppers on it.  We planted a tomato plant and a green pepper plant at the same time as the banana pepper plant, and for the first month or so it looked like the tomato plant would clearly be the dominant producer.  It had daily measurable growth, and before long was over seven feet tall.  It is one of those plants that is supposed to produce tomatoes after 60 days.  It has sort of lived up to that promise (I had the 60th day marked on my calendar) in that has a good number of tomatoes on it now, but they are all still green.  I guess the promise to "produce tomatoes in 60 days" becomes a matter of interpretation.  Should the tomatoes be edible in 60 days, or just visible on the plant?  Anyway, the point is that the tomato plant talked the talk, but the banana pepper plant walked the walk.  It was like one of those races between ketchup, mustard, and relish that they show on the jumbo-tron at baseball games.  The ketchup starts out real fast, and gets a big lead, but then the mustard comes back, jockeys for position, and finally passes the ketchup for the win.  In this illustration the green pepper plant would be the relish.

To be fair to the tomato plant, I should note the possibility that I sabotaged its growth by pruning it.  I said that the banana pepper plant is on the verge of being out of control, but the tomato plant truly was out of control.  It was growing all over the place and getting bigger and bigger, and one time I saw a bunny get too close, allowing the tomato plant to suck it in and consume it.  This was the last straw, and so I cut off a significant portion of the growth, removed the bunny carcass, and issued the tomato plant a yellow card.  It is my understanding that this is actually supposed to help the tomato plant in its intended purpose (producing tomatoes) by allowing nutrients to be focused on budding tomatoes rather than on extraneous growing tendrils.  But my gardening knowledge is limited, so maybe I didn't cut the right places, or maybe I cut too much.  Just as Fitzy admits in retrospect that he and the rest of Costello's gang were too harsh with Captain Queenan, I acknowledge that I may have been too harsh with the tomato plant.

I want someone to challenge me on this.  Just once.  I'll kick them right in the shins.

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