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Game Night

I just wrote about the change in season and it’s very much on my mind and last night was a perfect example of what I like.: Perfect for game night.

ImageMy wife has been away traveling for two weeks (with a little respite last weekend) and just returned yesterday afternoon. Because she’s been gone so long, it felt much better to sit and play a board game rather than get sucked into a movie. Moreover, Harry picked the perfect game.

When I was a kid, I lived (most of the time) with my grandparents. My youngest aunt, Kim, was only eight years older than me, so she was in the house for many of those years. She was also a wholeheartedly devoted runner who still holds a  records in Delaware for her age group for 10K, 15K, 20K, 10 mile and Half-Marathon. I’m waxing on about her a little because she passed away a couple of years ago following an accident that caused serious brain damage, so there’s no fear of her reading this and getting an inflated ego.

I brought up Kim’s memory because she once got a Marathon board game from Runners, World. It’s a great game in part because of its simplicity. Basically, you set your pace to one of five speeds and then draw cards that indicate how many spaces you can go. Being a marathon, the road is littered with obstacles, thirst and injuries that will limit your pace, causing more damaging impact the faster your pace was set when you hit it.

This game is so old and targeted at such a specific audience that I really wonder how many surviving copies there still are.

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Posted by on October 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Heat, Drought and Fireworks

Our little hometown newpaper had a note from the fire-chief that I thought was both amusing and a bit scary. It’s been 100+ degrees for about as long as I can remember here. And I’m not sure that it’s rained at all since March. So, the ground is dry, the ponds and creeks have turned to dirt (they were mud for a while, but that dried up) and just about every piece of vegetation dried up and turned to kindling.

Naturally, it makes sense to remind people that Colorado is on fire and things aren’t going well because the midwest (at least) has dried up and is on its way to becoming a desert, so perhaps now if not the best times to light any fires that aren’t very carefully controlled.

Oh, but wait – it’s July 1 tomorrow – and that means the fourth of July is only a couple days away. Let me check the forecast… huh, 100 degrees or hotter every day and 0% chance of precipitation. Have I mentioned that we’re in Kansas? So the worst thing in the world you can do is have the government make a suggestion to the people. That leaves our poor fire-chief in a tight spot for counseling caution when setting off fireworks.

He was very vague and didn’t say not to do anything. He just said, “Considering how hot and dry it’s been, it might be a good idea to aim your twirling firey whizz poppers over water. And keep a fire extinguisher on hand. And a bucket of water. And a hose. And… well, call me as soon as things get even slightly out of control. Please.”

 

I have my fingers crossed. Our house backs up to some woods that all look like they could spontaneously combust just from the heat – even without and added flame or spark.

 

Have a fun 4th of July to all my American friends. And please cross your fingers for us if you’re from elsewhere and just watching the show.Image

 
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Posted by on July 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Still hot

My son wanted to roast marshmallows this morning.

Outside.

On an open fire.

I’ve mentioned that it’s been 100+ degrees for as long as I can remember – and zero rain. We’re living in a state that might as well be a tinderbox. And he wants to have a fire.

Well, I’ve been reading ‘The Happiness Project’ – a book which I have to say is OK, but at least half of my interest in it comes from my amazement over the author’s life. It’s primarily a handbook on happiness punctuated with personal vignettes illustrating how the author puts the rules she proposes to work in her own life. 

My amusement comes from rules like ’embrace failure’ which she provides examples for that remind the reader of what a perfect life she has and how much yours sucks. Failure in her life is exemplified by not getting a regular column in The Washington Post or New Yorker or something and only being the #5 most awesome blog in the world.

Examples of failure in most people’s lives are more like,’fired from job and left by spouse / girlfriend / S.O. on same day that you were diagnosed with cancer. – Oh, and I don’t have a nationally syndicated column in the world’s best newspapers either.’

She’s also a bit sad because being beautiful, smart and rich sometimes leaves you with no need to have direction in her life. 

 

Hey – I didn’t mean to pan this book or anything. Actually, there’s a lot of pretty decent advice in there. And most of it is at least putatively grounded in solid research (I admit to being too lazy to look that up myself). In fact, I wouldn’t be making this blog at all if it wasn’t for her suggestion to do it.

But, why am I talking about this book at all? Because the author also references another work on parenting that I thought was interesting. The advice she passes along can be boiled down to – ‘Take it easy. Stop saying NO to everything and get behind your child’s ideas rather than obstructing them.’ That sounds obvious, but how many of us actually do that? It’s so much more likely that we say, ‘No, we’re not doing that’ than, ‘well, why not start a campfire and roast marshmallows in the scorching heat while risking starting a wildfire that could engulf the entire midwest?’

And you know what? It was fun. It wasn’t that hot early in the morning. And keeping a bucket of water next to the fire made me feel much more in control of the situation and at least somewhat ameliorated the risk of catastrophe. 

All in all, being amore agreeable person helped us both enjoy our day a little more.

 
 

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