Right now, here in Ohio, it’s about 92 and humid today. This got me thinking about pools. That in turn got me thinking about the first important lesson I ever got in a swim class…


Youth swimming was a big deal at the Strathmore subdivision’s pool. Whether you were a pollywog or a tadpole or a minnow determined whether you could use the intermediate pool or were relegated to the kiddie pool. The big, big pool was beyond all our dreams and was only for those who graduated into levels with exotic names like “beginner” and “advanced beginner.”

I was five and just trying to get myself from tadpole to minnow so I could flop around unhindered in the intermediate pool. No one ever pooped (hardly) in the intermediate pool. Once you’re past pooping indiscriminately, the thrill of swimming with poop kinda diminishes. To get away from the poop, one had to learn such difficult moves as holding onto the side of the pool and kicking and pushing off from the side of the pool –all real minnow material.

But standing between my minnow badge and me was the instructor, Scott. He was a high school guy with hair that looked the same dry as wet, and, in place of regulation swim trunks, he wore too brief cutoff denim shorts with extra fringe. All in all, he gave the impression more of someone who herded children into a windowless van than into the shallow end of the intermediate pool. Continue reading


Thoughts the day after a birthday: I am now old, and somebody in India knows I live in constant fear…


I had a birthday yesterday, my 49th. I’m about to age into a new demographic, and some spam outfit in India knows this. They also know I’m pretty much scared of my own shadow. Over the month leading up to my birthday, they have sent me over fifty pieces of spam to my account. I used to get notices that sexy girls named Gina had just seen my profile and wanted to “sexx with you, Chrisfay” I never had the heart to click on the link and tell Gina that she was barking up the wrong tree. I also never had the heart, or stupidity, to install spyware or malware or whatever would make my trusty laptop an agent of the darknet.

Now I get nothing but emails confirming my sexless nature; these people don’t even have the decency to offer me V1agr a as I am considered so old, so beyond help, that pills won’t even help me get laid. I am not happy that they assume I no longer want to get my wood working and would rather focus on woodworking. I have received three different notices of this:

wood copyBut the vast majority are fear-based. Your body is dying! Your neighborhood is going downhill! Your loyalty points are expiring! Continue reading