Friday, February 11, 2011

Hot Fun in the Summertime

When you've been buried beneath tons of snow that never entirely melts away before the next storm arrives and re-buries you, it helps to have something Spring- and Summer-ish to look forward to. This is where Teh 'Bride is especially useful1.Because the other day, she arranged our Big Summer Vacation2, viz, a seven-day stay at Tyler Place up at the tippy-top of the Great Concavity. Having this (and the RH Ranch vacation) booked gives us something to look forward to and get us past these Winter Doldrums.

The seven of you who have followed me through my various blogospheric permutations will remember that the H'berg Clan3 went to Tyler Place two years ago. You will recall that I played in the Staff (average age roughly 19) versus Guests (average age: none of your business, whippersnapper!) beer softball game and that I experienced both the agony (I hit into a double-play, which was particularly agonizing, because I didn't realize I was about to be doubled up until I had jogged lazily halfway to first; at which point I tried to put on the speed, and ended up injuring what at the time was my "good knee") and the ecstasy (I, as pitcher, had the only strikeout not just of our game, but of any game that whole summer) that is Beer Softball.

You will also recall that Teh Ecstasy, for me, was essentially a secret subset of the Teh Agony, because the kid I struck out was a Welshman (which I found out because his teammates chanted "Welllllshman! Wellllllshman!" after he struck out, which is such an odd and toothless ethnic slur that I didn't even include it in FN3, below) who had probably  just learned softball that summer; and even though the strikeout was written up in the next day's Tyler Place Daily News Leaflet as the Guests' Highlight of The Game, they attributed it to another Guest named Kevin. And so some of my own teammates were coming up to me and saying, "Hey, Kevin! Your strikeout made the news leaflet!" The only one who didn't say that was, well ... Kevin, who went to the editor of the news leaflet and demanded a retraction.

I also learned, back during that Summer of aught-nine vacation, that every year at Tyler Place, they have this triathlon competition they call "Duckman"4. It was started years and years ago by a guest and now it is traditional. You swim out around this island about 200 yards offshore in Lake Champlain; then you bike a few miles; then you run a few. (In other words, duh, a triathlon.) I didn't participate that first year because I didn't know about it and had already scheduled myself to go on a long bike ride that day, which I don't regret doing. But this year, I'm hoping to participate. It depends. I'd really like to because I have nowhere to swim (I don't belong to a health club) and I still don't own a real bike (even though I came back from Tyler P. two years ago vowing to get one, which — SURPRISE! — I never did) so this might be my only chance to experience a triathlon of any sort. I guess whether or not I do it will depend on whether I think I can swim out to that island and back (that's the big question; I don't care how long it takes; and I know I can run and bike for a few miles); and on whether there's some other event I want to do scheduled at the same time, like another long bike tour.

In any case, thanks to Teh 'Bride's hard work, we all have something to look forward to after this crappy Winter. In addition, Ian and I ordered the MLB package from DirecTV, so now we'll get to see all the Phillies games! Woo-hoo!1! Criff Ree!1! ("Phifer"? Who knew?)

Today I ran 6.17 miles in just under an hour for a 6.4 mph average. That seems to be about as fast as I'm able to go when I run in the dark under these winter conditions. I was running at what I thought was a faster pace two days ago (6.66 miles, believe it or not), until I tripped over yet another unseen small rogue pile of snow and face-planted. Luckily, this fall was nowhere near as bad as the last one and I escaped without injury. But that's the kinda thing that makes you slow down at every shadow you see up ahead: "Is that just a shadow ... or a patch of ice?" Plus, falling kinda takes the wind out of your sails. I ran the remaining three or so miles at a much slower pace. O, well.

I signed up for the same 15k I ran last year; it happens at the end of April. At the rate I'm going, I'd be happy to finish it within 5 minutes of the time I did it in last year.

This Demotivational Poster pretty much sums up my Winter Life this year.

Dr. Nic, incredibly, had no idea who The Inspector was. (Some people just gotz no Kulture.) Ian discovered the Pink Panther cartoons a couple of years ago (he's over them, now) ... so even he knew who The Inspector was. (He's essentially a cartoon version of Inspector Clouseau, though he's not given a name.) We caught Ian a few times humming the Inspector's theme (O, Henry Mancini! Who have you not captivated at one time or another?5):

1 That's right. I describe my loving distaff partner in terms of utility. (Jeremy Bentham would be so proud!) Sorry, Ladies, I'm spoken for!
Jeremy Hilary Bentham, Fud (i.e., PhD), depicted above in the Sea of Holes with four of his closest, and usefulest, friends.

2 Not to be confused with our Small Summer Vacation, here. This short one will be a mere five days' duration and therefore barely worth mentioning. What is worth mentioning is that RH Ranch also has beer softball, only at RHR you play against other drunken parents, not the staff. Beer softball is followed immediately by beer volleyball, which is a total girl sport, but I play it because for some reason, when they wheel the keg over to the volleyball sand pit, I can't help but follow it, even though it is merely a keg of Coors light. But even Coors in a keg has that keg-al magnetic pull to it.

3 That's "clan" with a "c", not a "k", because we're the good guys.

And if you think otherwise, you must be a stupid Dago Mexican Mick Polack Hebrew Chiropractor Tranny Hillbilly3a Unidentifiable Miscellaneous East Asian Menace Cavewhoo-wer Eternally Optimistic and Cloying Pollyanna [Ethnic Slur of Your Choice] person ... not that there's anything wrong with being a stupid person because I don't judge.

3a Jebus Aitch Chryslerbuilding, Cletus! "I Love Riding those Fat Bastards" as a blog post title? Do you enjoy being mocked? Have you ever even seen the film Deliverance, the most famous cinematic instance of a hillbilly riding a Fat Bastard and loving it?

These insults just write themselves, which kinda puts me outta a job, and I resent it.

4 In fact, Duckman happens every week during the Summer, since guests generally stay a week and each set of guests gets to participate in a Duckman tri. I just couldn't figure out a graceful way of saying that above. I might as well also mention here that the Staff v. Guests Beer Softball game happens every week, too, and back in aught-nine, we were there in late August ... so the Welshman I struck out actually had about three months to learn how to hit a softball.

Are you impressed now?

5 Answer: Dr. Nic.


  1. Good luck w/ the Duckman tri. I know all about being buried in snow, week after week ... it's been a brutal winter in Atlanta. HAHAHAHA!!! Kidding - it was 70 degrees last Sunday and we had all the doors and windows open. In the words of GQH "I'M SUCH A DICK!"

    LOL - I crack myself up sometimes.

    I do love the demotivational poster "Are you a beer?" That pretty much sums up my worklife for the past 3 months.

  2. @B'Og - We should start our own tri competition: Dickman.

    The three events:
    1. Douche-y comments
    2. N*ts@ck grooming (BYON - Bring Your Own N*ts@ck)
    3. Beer-guzzling

  3. I'm thinking you lug Morrissey up to the Dickman and ride that punk a$$ FTW...Hey you will probably podium in a recumbent catagory...

  4. The number of clickthroughs from the last post equaled the number of visits from (Trinidad & Tobago). Just sayin'...

    The Twins new fielder, Tsuyoshi um, Somethingorotherjapanesey, better live up to all the hype, or it's Brett Favre syndrome again.

  5. Pitchers and catchers. G considering a tri. All but the "I've fallen and I can get up" moment indicating the stars are in alignment for something special.That something won't be happening in Flushing though.

    Then again, I liked Cletus' transvestite bakes the best cupcake post title better. Not that I could research that well.

  6. How are you going to find out whether or not you can swim the distance?

    Could they make it a beer triathlon?

    I know, I know - I'm freaking brilliant.

  7. What's the Pink Panther?

    (I really wanted to add something about a gross sexual connotation but I far)

  8. Hey, for sometime when you can watch a video, here's a great song I forgot about until just now (Stan Rogers "White Collar Holler")

  9. G,
    I'm with you in being sick of snow "that reburies you," being behind last year in running fitness, and liking that version of the "Inspector" theme song.
    Good luck with the Duckman & 15K...although the "Dickman" version sounds more entertaining :).
    Run well, Ann