It is amazing how much snot the human body can produce. Nasal passages in particular. No matter how many times I blow my nose, sneeze, sneeze an especially sloppy sneeze in the presence of a stunning young lady on the Metro or sniffle there’s more where that came from.
#1 Dateline: The National Mall, Washington DC
So, I was spinning my six year old nephew around by the ankles, right. It’s kind of a neat effect. Like a fancy camera view from a Spike Lee joint. He’s yelling and laughing and the Capitol Building and the Museum of Natural History and the Washington Monument and the Smithsonian Castle are whizzing by. And he yells, stop!
Maybe he was feeling nauseous. Or the blood pressure was rising in his head. I was going pretty fast. But you know, you respect people when they’ve had enough. Then it dawned on me. How does one safely return a child to earth whilst in the midst of spinning them around by the ankles?
I could let go, I thought. But unlike in a house there’s no soft cushy couch for me to lob him across the room at. I’m pretty accurate some of the time, but when I’m not the wall and the floor are always there to stop any forward momentum. I did the only thing I could do. I decelerated. Slowly as to not give him the bends. Powered down. I didn’t realize that this was going to be the tricky part.
Have you, by the way, heard the discussion about the condition of the National Mall? How the lawn is non existent in some spots and patchy in others? Well, I can attest to that. And so can my nephew. For some reason he didn’t put his arms out to protect his head. So in effect the back of his head acted as the brake, slowly grinding to a halt against the dry, dusty hard packed 90 degree baked ground. Sparks flying. Quite unfortunate, really.
Finally, he’s laying there on the ground. In a small amount of pain. One of his big brothers walks over. To help, let’s assume. And he’s like, “Are you okay?” And the youngest is still on the ground.
Meanwhile, I’m still standing there because I’m dizzy as hell. And I’m like, “Sorry, J-Man. I would help you but I’m kind of really dizzy right now. Why the heck didn’t you put your arms out or something? How about a little self preservation, huh?”
“Then I would have hurt my arms?”
Personally, I’d choose to protect my brain but that’s because I have experience in these things. You can put a cast on an ulna.
So, uncles. Keep this in mind when tossing, lobbing, throwing, launching or spinning your nieces and nephews. There is some inherent danger in defying gravity. Not to you, really, which is the good news. But still.
#2 Swine Flu
Really? The current strain is a combination of human, avian and pig flu. Here’s an interesting tidbit that I learned a while ago and will probably mis-state. Pigs are to viruses and bacteria what the Ben & Jerry’s factor in Burlington Vermont is to ice cream. In goes standard ingredients and materials and out comes something wild and wacky. They are genetic fun factories for pestilence. They’re like living mad scientist labs when it comes to mutating viruses and bacteria. (Ancient cultures had/have prohibitions against eating pork for a reason.)
So, a pig catches human and bird flu and then it’s turned into a virulent trinity of flu, a human catches it and then Mexico is, in essence, shut down and a pandemic is conceivable.
I’m all out of shape. I went mountain biking over the weekend. I am ridiculously out of shape. I know you probably don’t care about this minutiae. Did I spell that right? But that’s okay. We don’t talk because we have something important to say. We talk because we can and because someone may listen.
So, I went to Schaefer Farms out in Germantown. I like it out there. It’s clean and green and slightly rural even though it’s only, like, 20 minutes from DC on the way to Frederick.
Oh wait. Question. You know those displays you see at parks? Made out of wood with a map and park info posted in or on them? How come giant bees and wasps like them so much? My goodness it’s like being on Fear Factor. How quickly can you memorize this map before a bee the size of a cola can runs you off.
Anyway, the trails to a mountain biker might as well be flat. There aren’t any really tough climbs or long climbs. And when there are elevation increases it winds gently upward, relatively speaking.
And I was struggling the whoooole freaking time. First ride of the year but dang. Yet another reason to lose weight. Imagine riding or jogging and carrying one of those large bags of dog food the whole time. Or a sack of potatoes. That’s what it’s like. ‘Cause that’s what it is. So there’s no way around it. I have to get on the treadmill and/or elliptical machine. That’s the only way to get my cardiovascular system accustomed to the idea of aerobic-type exercise. The only way to improve enough to have my legs recharge while riding. Right now it’s all a drawn out experiment in oxygen deprivation.
Here’s a thought you never want to have when exercising. I’m 37 years old. Three years short of 40. I’m going to seriously have to start considering retiring from my hobby of mountain biking. It’s so strenuous that you can’t take it for granted, y’know. Maybe I just have to be … well, maybe I just can’t let myself get this out of shape. One must avoid what I call EVS, Exploding Ventricle Syndrome, or SAD, Spontaneous Aortic Detachment.
Good thing I didn’t go to Wakefield or (lord help me) Patapsco. Or Fountainhead. Yikes! This is how sucky I was (sorry but it’s probably in metric units):
But it was beautiful out. It’s so green out here. Unbelievably green. In its way it’s as pretty as all of the white, pink, red and purple blossoms and even the trees that were red, white and green. All shades and hues of vivid green around you.
Totally worth the violent sneezing fit.
Holy crap it’s almost 11:30pm. I was supposed to do stuff tonight. But I could go for some bed.