Saturday, October 29, 2011

Treating Tricks

It has finally arrived. Today is the 5th and final Saturday of October 2011. If you are not - as I am - an alumni of the University of Colorado and a fan of the Buffaloes - then you are forgiven for not recognizing that this has been the longest October EVER on the Front Range. CU's "Welcome To The PAC-12 As We Kick Your B*lls Thru The Top Of Your Head Tour" arrives in Tempe, Arizona today. So far this month the Buffs have been brutalized by teams from California, Washington (two separate occasions) and Oregon (FYI - if anyone asks, "Who would win in a battle between a Duck and a Buffalo?" recognize it as a trick question and run away like the wind).

Today presents an opportunity for annihilation in the desert. In two weeks, when the Missus and I go to Colorado for a few days, Rob and Jess are bopping down to Boulder so that the four of us can watch the Buffs play Arizona. Just to be prepared, I am contacting the NCAA Clearingouse on Monday to confirm just how much eligibility I have left. Forget sitting in the stands, by November's second Saturday I may get to see some playing time. Did I fail to mention that between this Saturday and that Saturday USC comes to town? Depending on what harm SC inflicts upon the Buffs' already dangerously-depleted roster, all four of us may get to play against U of A. Even Jess - and she is a CSU alum.

The last time Margaret and I were in Boulder to watch a football game was a decade ago. We flew out there in 2001 for Homecoming. That year was the year in which the Buffs won their only BIG XII Championship in football (I have the t-shirt to prove it). On the Friday of Homecoming weekend, we participated in a genuinely silly Homecoming activity: we raced tricycles down the street. Someone - I know not who - took a picture of us while we engaged in competition. I know I am biased but does not my wife have kick-ass tricycle-riding form?


Pictures do not lie. She crushed me pretty good that afternoon. Given that the opporunity at a rematch shall never likely present itself, her undefeated streak will last pretty much forever.

Snow is actually in the forecast here in the State of Concrete Gardens this afternoon and tonight. Snow. In October. That sound you hear is Suz laughing at her mom and me as she packs her life up in preparation for her impending move to Houston, Texas. According to Wikipedia:

Snow is extremely unusual in Houston. Light snow has fallen approximately 35 times since 1895, more recently on December 4, 2009 and February 23, 2010. Freezing rain, also known as ice storms, are slightly less rare. The most recent ice storms occurred in 1997 and 2007 as well as on February 4, 2011. These storms can be very disruptive since road crews are not equipped to handle such rare events (and motorists are entirely unfamiliar with ice). When ice occurs, road and schools are usually closed."

I am quite confident that in spite of the weatherdudes' prognostications, we the people of the State of Concrete Gardens will come through this unexpected White Halloween just fine. It ought to add a little excitement to the trick or treating festivities on Monday. If we get measurable snow in our particular part of heaven, then I am going to gather up enough of it to make into 100 or so snowballs, which I will then store until Monday night in the freezer in my garage (I shall have to relocate a severed head or two but they should fit). On Monday, I shall have them at my disposal for crowd control in the event that any of the costumed beggars get unruly. "OCCUPY FRONT PORCH!" shall not be permitted at my house.

Poor segue perhaps - as I delve for a moment into something I rarely discuss here or anywhere else for that matter (which might seem odd considering I majored in Political Science at CU). While I am not as intrigued or impressed by the Occupy Wall Street movement and its progeny as either my brother Bill or my nephew Patrick (two of the smartest human beans I know by the way so perhaps my absence of enthusiasm is reflective of my abundance of ignorance?), it nevertheless really chaps my hide (see, I'm learning to talk Texan!) to hear one of the most intellectually dishonest attacks upon it and those participating in it, which is that it and they are "Un-American".

For historical accuracy, it is worth noting that people spilled blood for the right of citizens of these United States to peacefully assemble for a multitude of purposes - including protest - since before those of us who occupied this continent were in fact citizens of these United States. Do not feel compelled to trust me on this point. Simply lift your dragging knuckles from the pavement long enough to type the name "Crispus Attucks" into your computer's search engine. I shall give you a hint in the likely event you know not what awaits you when you click "ENTER". Ready? It ain't a menu item at Popeye's or KFC.

I have never been called upon to pick up a weapon and man a post or to serve in the Armed Forces of these United States whether in peace time or during a time of war. Scott Thomas Olsen has. Olsen is a veteran of the Iraq War. Olsen was seriously injured earlier this week while participating in the "OCCUPY OAKLAND" protest when he was apparently struck in the head by a tear gas canister. I know not what his politics are. I know not what he was doing at the moment or two immediately before he was injured. To me, it matters not. He most assuredly is not "un-American".

Finally, courtesy of Professor Peabody, one more brief trip in the WABAC Machine is in order. It is timely given (a) what this weekend is; and (b) my female adult-offspring's upcoming change of postal codes. This time last year Margaret, Suz, Joe and I were in Washington D.C. with Lynne and Gidg. Gidg and I ran in the Marine Corps 10K, which is part of the Corps' Marathon weekend. I was beyond happy to have had a chance to show my bride, my daughter and my father-in-law a place that is among my favorite places anywhere. While we were at the World War II Memorial I took a picture of the three of them, bathed in sunlight:


Had Rob been with us - and in the frame as well - then the shot would have been perfect, irrespective of my limitations as a bug who shutters. Under the circumstances, it was as close to perfect as it - or I - could get.

And at day's end, I shall take that every time.

-AK

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