Thursday, June 18, 2009

The joys of condo living.

I love those green envelopes that come in the mail from my condo association. They're always full of such good cheer. Wednesday's missive was especially wonderful:
PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO FULLY READ THIS IMPORTANT NOTICE it said, underlined so that we wouldn't miss the 16-point type face.
"It has come to the attention of the Country Creek Board of Trustees (BOT) that person are entering the Country Creek pool compound during hours when the pool is not open."
On several occasions recently, sections of the fence surrounding the pool compound have been cut to gain access to the pool area. The nerve. Each time the fence is damaged by vandalism, the repairs cost the association money, which in turn, costs you [underlined] the homeowners/residents, money. [me]
Within the next two weeks, cameras will be installed around the pool compound to ensure its integrity.
We are fortunate to have a big beautiful pool and pool compound (there's compound again) to enjoy during the summer. However, the constant vandalism, necessary police action and costs associated with these problems, including insurance premiums, could cause the pool to be shut down permanently, as it could become too costly to operate. [This next part was underlined] We must do anything to risk losing this luxury privilege that we have.
We're fortunate, all right. So fortunate that we have a pool that people want to vandalize and break into. That's fortunate.
Egad again.
As the few remaining faithful readers will remember, I opposed the $28,000 that was spent last year to renovate the pool. The guy in charge of the association told me that the pool was "responsible for 30% of my home's value." One particular warm Sunday, I observed 6 residents at the pool in the afternoon. That isn't close to 3% of the residents. So, if someone wants to vandalize the pool, I say, go for it.
I took the time to fully read the notice.
Close the Goddamned pool and save us all the trouble of maintaining it and the cost of sending out notices and installing surveillance cameras. I haven't used it in 18 years and have no plans of using it in the future. Any possibility of using it vanished with last year's notice advising parents to make sure their toddlers were "wearing swim diapers." They had to close the pool and clean the water because some kid stained the pool. Not clean enough for me. Sure, I'm going in.
It isn't even water, although that's what it's called. Water doesn't contain chlorine and other chemicals, and it isn't treated and filtered and measured for pH and limited to times when it won't make your eyes burn. There's a difference between water and pool water.
If I have to explain it to you, it's probably too late.
A pool haiku (a poolku)
The stagnant water
is more damaging than the
vandalism is.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The plus side of disaster.

The plus side of crashing my bike and winding up with a giant hematoma is that I can show it off to the girls at the gym.
That's right.
Hike up the shorts and put it on display. In my best Stewie Griffin voice, "That's right. Crashed my bike. Didn't hurt much. Hit my head and got this." [hike up the shorts and listen to the gasps]
It's as good as a knife-fight scar or a gunshot wound, only better because there's a cool story attached to it.
Girls love a good battle scar story.
Follow up the story with the tag line, "It was pretty cool" and you have the makings of a legendary tale. If only I could parlay it into a nighttime sex romp or bawdy massage session.
Did I just use the word bawdy?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

When Bikes Attack.

If you think that's bad, you should see the road!
This is what happens when you bump into another rider and go down in a heap in the rain. For some perspective, that's my left upper thigh in the hip region, which took the brunt of a collision with someone known only as "Joey the Hat" for reasons too long to explain here.
Thinking we could outrun lightning (a thought that last goes back to Ben Franklin) we took off for home at the first sign.
The rain pelted us like a last call hooker and two of us (one of them me) touched shoulders and one of us (me) went down on the asphalt, hip first, then elbow, then shoulder and finally a snapping head (mine), whose helmet-covered orb smacked the road with more force than a Mike Tyson left hand. Thinking I was seeing my final day, I felt the impact and quickly got up, retrieved the bike (behind me by 5 feet) and scurried to the relative safety of the shoulder of the road.
Then, I waited for what I thought would be a dizzying feeling followed by a whirr and some mild panic, but it never happened. I rode the 3 miles home and wondered why a beer cooler could keep my head from cracking after a 6-foot fall at 18 miles per hour onto solid asphalt. Those SNELL specs are the shit.
So, let that be a lesson to those of you who choose to ride sans helmet. They're called accidents for a reason. Otherwise, they'd be called purposefulls or something else, because when you don't expect something to happen, it does. That's where the helmet comes in handy.
As much as I'd like to ride without one, I know that I can't trust either my fellow cyclists or the auto drivers to cooperate with my best wishes for a safe return.
Now, I'm left with the Crab Nebula on my left thigh and I'm limited to sleeping on my right side for a few days.
I only posted the photo to further gross you out and enhance the spirit of the story that ends with a new helmet and a fresh set of circumstances.
Yes, it hurts.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Catching up.

A week away from the world is nice. The morning newspaper is scanned like an Evelyn Wood course and what I'm left with are a couple of things that are blown so far out of proportion that they are impossible to ignore, even on vacation. Sarah Palin repeats on America like a bad tuna salad:
David Letterman quipped that the Palin family went to a Yankees game and "there was one awkward moment during the seventh-inning stretch: Her daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez."
That, says Palin, "crossed the line."
What really "crossed the line" was putting Sarah Palin in front of America as a vice-presidential candidate. That's crossing the line.
"It's quite a sad commentary on where we are a culture, as a society, to chuckle and laugh through comments such as he made the other night," Palin said.
She may believe that Letterman's comments were inappropriate, but how about the premise that what makes someone a legitimate political force is the fact that she's a MILF and looks nice in a skirt? Isn't that a "sad commentary on where we are as a culture?" I think so. McCain wouldn't have picked her as a running mate if she was a 200-pound Rhodes scholar. He picked a hottie from Alaska whose political experience was as a mayor of a town that is smaller than some VFWs, and is the Governor of a state with fewer people than the city of Los Angeles. That's sad, but what is sadder is that she won't go away. Go away, Sarah.
"He doesn't have to apologize to me, I would like to see him apologize to young women across the country for contributing to that thread in our culture that makes it sound like it's OK to talk about young girls in that way," Palin said. Maybe somebody should apologize to America for making it necessary for someone to look nice in order to gain society's acceptance? That's a start.
Meanwhile, Chastity Bono is having a sex-change operation that, we are told, will make her a man. The medical term, I believe, is an Addadicktome. The usual press release followed:
"Yes, it's true. After many years of consideration, Chastity has made the courageous decision to honor his true identity," Bragman said."He is proud of his decision and grateful for the support and respect that has already been shown by his loved ones. It is Chaz's hope that his choice to transition will open the hearts and minds of the public regarding this issue, just as his 'coming out' did nearly 20 years ago. We ask that the media respect Chaz's privacy during this long process as he will not be doing any interviews at this time."
We're supposed to respect "his" privacy, even though "he" felt it necessary to tell us what "he" was doing. Make up your "mind." Do you want privacy or not? If you truly wanted privacy, you would have just done the damned thing. As a celebrity, you're irrelevant and as a 40-year old you're not recognized by any marketing agency as necessary, so just do it and leave us alone. What you're really doing is drawing attention to yourself, and isn't that the point? I think the term is "Attention Whore."
Courageous? Now that she is irrelevant as a marketable adult, Chastity has made the decision to discover her inner penis. Nice. How does that reflect courage? I'd say it's more like a mental illness treated by a medical procedure, but I'm just guessing.
You're a woman and always will be. What you tell yourself you are is your choice. You can dress up a cat and call it an elephant if you want, but it will always be a cat.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Duck season. Rabbit season!

Back to reality. After a week off and four days of watching golf (five if you count today watching on TV) it's back to work and the drudgery of everyday life.
I chose not to return to Bulle Rock for today's final round for a few reasons. (1) Paula wasn't in contention. (2) It's hot, and I'm tired of being baked by the Sun. (3) After four days of 7am to 8pm traveling, I needed to refresh at home. (4) The final round is best enjoyed on TV.
Meanwhile, the cat seems to be relishing his new found freedom. He's been cooped-up here for the week, and a trip outdoors this morning brought back his primal instincts.
Shortly after leaving him outside for what I thought would be a nice breath of fresh air, he returned with a baby rabbit in his teeth. I saw him on the porch, but I disregarded what I thought I saw in his tiny teeth as he nonchalantly strolled in the house and deposited the little critter on my living room floor.
Not knowing if it was dead or merely unconscious, I quickly ran for a nearby box to scoop it up before the inevitable ptomaine or some Rabbit Flu set in. And yes, I cleaned the carpet.
The cat, to his credit, spent the ensuing minutes sniffing it and walking around in a circle, apparently proud of his accomplishment. I put the little guy in a box (shown) and unceremoniously pitched him into the common area for the birds to peck at. He's a baby - about 4 inches long - and it seems he never had a chance. As far as I know about such things, cats pounce on them and bite the back of their neck and sever some artery, quickly killing their prey.
What's odd is that, every morning, I come across an adult rabbit on the way to my car. Had I known, I'd have warned him (her?) that a killer cat could be on the prowl, and it might be wise to impose a curfew on his (her?) kids.
Ain't nature wonderful?