Tag Archives: World Record

Old Dog? Meet New Tricks. New Tricks? Meet Old Dog.

I want to learn to do something new.

Not just because I’m getting older and I’m afeared all the brain cells that I so assiduously trained as a young dude are withering away under the assault of daily habit and a contracting sphere of interest. Although, admittedly, that is part of it.

No, dudes, the thing of it is, the reason behind this burgeoning interest in the new is I feel like I’m rather stagnating. I look at Hyper Lad and I see a kid that thinks nothing of popping in a new video game and then learning on the go, improving his game play and immersing himself in a new world. He picked up a saxophone in sixth grade and never looked back.

I see my wife, known to me as She Who Must Be Moving Forward, who decided one day to participate in a triathlon and started training, never looking back. Now she’s completed not only several half Iron Man distance races (covering a combined 70.3 miles), but also an actual Iron Man distance event (covering 140.6 miles). Her job also forces her to keep learning new stuff every day. It’s called professional development and it’s mandatory.

I envy them both.

I, on a third hand, seem to continue doing the same things over and over again. I’m back in a classroom teaching, which is a slight variation on my last time on this side of the desk. I continue to write, which only involves a refinement on what I’ve learned previously and — hopefully — building on it to get better.

I want something completely new and different.

I think I’m going to try and learn a musical instrument. I’ve said it before, I know. This time I think I mean it.

See, when Zippy the College Boy went Down Under last summer, he accidentally participated in a world record. He and his cabinmates in Rustic Pathways happened upon the world’s largest ukelele play in. They wanted to participate, so Zippy the College Boy, purchased a rather inexpensive ukelele.

Said ukelele now sits on top of my filing cabinet. Staring at me. Mute. Accusing. And begging to be played.

I believe I might actually attempt to assuage it’s mute plea for meaning. All I have to do now is find an online site that will help me to learn the instrument. I’ve been assured by some folks that the ukelele is one of the easiest string instruments you can learn go play.

It will have to be. A large part of playing a musical instrument is keeping in rhythm. That is difficult for me as — I have been assured many, many times — I have no rhythm.

Still, I think it’s a risk I’m going to have to take. I feel the urge to do, rather than consume.

The way I see it, as long as I don’t get the urge to strip naked and run around the airport, I should probably listen to those urges while I still can.

I’ll let you know how it goes. If you’re lucky, or unlucky, depending on how you interprete it, I might even be able to upload a video of me playing. Sorry in advance.

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Freaky Friday: Ow!

by Richard

Unless you’re up really, really, really early and are really, really, really bored, by the time you read this today, I’ll probably be completely knocked out, spread out on an operating table and having people poke around inside me with sharp, metal instruments.

Yep, I’m in surgery today. I’m having my right shoulder operated on by a — hopefully — skilled surgeon who isn’t looking to find the final payment for his Maserati in my shoulder. (Just kidding, doc.)

My shoulder has been giving me a lot of pain for the last couple of years and, like the idiot dude I am, I tried to tough it out. Eventually, it got so bad I couldn’t sleep for all that long before the pain woke me up and demanded I find a comfortable position. No, not that one. Not that other one, either. Nope. Not even that one.

You see my dilemma.

So, anyway, I’m in surgery today. And when I get out, later today with any luck, I’ll have my right arm strapped to my belly to make sure I don’t do anything stupid. Well, more stupid than normal.

Which will make a severe impact on my ability to type and, thereby, communicate with you via the blog. I’ll have something up on Saturday just to let you know I’m all right. I know how you worry.

Which is a rather long-winded way of saying updating might get a little sparse here for a bit. Unless I can talk Barry out of his seclusion high in his mountain cabin where he’s been subsisting on roast squirrel and roadside possum for the last several months. He’s up there trying to grow a world-record beard. And something about body odor or something. I wasn’t paying too much attention.

Still, I’ll be back as often as I can. Please keep checking in.

And wish me luck. (Not that I need it, doc.)

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Zipping Around

by Richard

Today normally would be a big day in our household. It’s the day we celebrate Zippy the Monkey Boy’s bursting out into the world. Yeah, his birthday.

Sixteen years ago, Zippy the Monkey Boy came spitting out of his mother like a watermelon seed on its way to a world-record distance. Apparently, when She Who Must Push Now was giving birth to the little dude, and we said “Don’t push so hard now” she heard only “PUSH HARD NOW” and bore down like you wouldn’t believe.

Fortunately, our doctor at the time had some experience with playing infield on a semi-pro baseball team and made a nice shoestring catch.

Now, I said it normally would be a big day here. And that’s true. But, for the second year in a row, Zippy the Monkey Boy chose slimy fish and mollusks over his family for his birthday. He’s away at the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s MarineQuest camp during his birthday.

Since he’s not around, we’ll have to content ourselves with pretending. I’ve already started teasing his little brother, Hyper Lad, and I’m planning to really irritate his mother when she comes home. It’ll be just like he’s still here.

I kid. I kid.

Sort of.

It’s amazing, really. Zippy the Monkey Boy used to be the sort of little dude who couldn’t take any sort of teasing without getting angry and stomping away upstairs to yell and scream at, well, anything in his way.

He’s grown into a mature young dude who knows how to get what he wants and to want what he should. Which makes his occasional teenage lapses back into teenager-hood all the more jarring.

Still, we’re wishing the little dude well on his birthday. We miss you, Zippy, and we love you.

Enjoy your time away because the day is coming, in about a week, when I’ll pick you up and force you into your very own college road trip. A week away from family and friends with only your worst nightmare — me — for company.

This should be interesting. But not as interesting as the last 16 years.

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