Mar 202017

Thanks to the ceaseless efforts of diligent safety advocates, the day-to-day threat of getting squished has gone steadily down my entire life.

I mean, there was something character-building about getting one of your fingers mashed in a car’s power window, wasn’t there? Now, most of the windows just meekly retreat if they meet the slightest resistance. And there was magic in slamming your fingers in the car door. I suppose that’s still possible, but it’s not like it used to be. My dad was restoring a ’67 Cadillac convertible one summer when I was about nine. I was out “helping” him, and managed to close the passenger door with my left hand whilst holding the side of the windshield frame with my right hand.

That was a special moment, looking up at my fingers being mashed between the windshield and that 300-lb. door and feeling that exquisite agony. It’s what I think of whenever I consider relativity. My fingers were probably in there a grand total of one second, but in my memory I looked at them for at least ten.

Cars are just as heavy as they ever were—even more so—but car doors don’t needlessly weigh several hundred pounds anymore.

My favorite was the garage door. I used to love hitting the button from the back of the garage and then seeing how closely I could cut it getting out. Sometimes I wouldn’t be in the mood and would begin walking briskly as soon as the descent began…but other times it was on, baby. I’d let it get a third down, then halfway down, then usually a little past before taking off and rolling under it, imagining that I was just narrowly escaping the certain death of the multi-ton door crushing me between itself and the concrete like a rotten peach.

Now, you cross that little laser beam, and the door just goes back up.

I suppose there is still some game in trying to get out between the closing door and the beam, but with the threat of bodily injury so remote, the experience just doesn’t have that spark anymore.

 Posted by at 10:47 am
Mar 162017

I love the Alabama Gulf Coast partially because I don’t have to leave home to get there. Where we stay is at the very bottom of my state—as far south as you can go in my state—but it’s still Alabama. We know our way around Gulf Shores well enough now for it to feel like home.

What I love most about it is that it’s so easy to find a peaceful beach experience. Food festivals, and live music, and beer, and all of those sorts of shenanigans are fantastic, but my sustained affection for them has waned considerably in the past several years. (Spirit still willing, blah blah blah.) Solution: stay in the Fort Morgan area. If/when you want the revelry, it isn’t far. But your default is a quiet drink, the surf, and good friends and family. (Well, quiet except for frequent copious laughter.)

Lea and I have rented condos in one of two complexes down Fort Morgan Road for decades. Now one of her sisters and her husband have purchased a house down there! And we got to borrow it for the weekend and the first part of this week. (Thanks guys! It was a blast!)

Our weather wasn’t great. It was pretty bad, actually. It rained most of the first two days, and then got colder as it cleared. But we got to hang on the beach a bit on the last afternoon. And really, it’s hard to complain. It may have been 12 years since we’ve had anything but great weather at the beach. (And hey, it was a lot nastier here while we were down there!)

The food was, as usual, fantastic. Our single best meal was at Doc’s. I also started trying the gumbo everywhere I went, after my pastor mentioned that was a favorite detail of his. The best gumbo I had was at The Original Oyster House.

Finally, Lea’s new van is a fine interstate vehicle, but the fuel mileage was disappointing. With the four of us and our stuff loaded, the compressor running, and the cruise set at 77, the ’14 Sienna returned 20 mpg. With most of 200K miles on it, that number was 22 in Lea’s ’04 Odyssey, and it was 24 when it was newer. I also prefer the handling of the Odyssey. The Sienna’s suspension is definitely tuned for ride comfort, which made it more than a little floaty in situations where the Odyssey was more tossable. Unambiguous positive for the Sienna: it’s much quieter.

Until next time, Gulf Shores. It’s never very long.

 Posted by at 6:49 pm
Mar 122017

We had our season-end, and program-end, celebration for Upward basketball and cheerleading yesterday. Kevin Davis of Kevin Davis Creations came in and did a fantastic job again for us this year. He is a funny fellow who relates well to children and loves God. He was also accommodating of our modest budget. I recommend him. […]

 Posted by at 7:54 am is using WP-Gravatar