Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

REDIRECT ALERT! (Scroll down past this mess if you're trying to read an archived post. Thanks. No, really, thanks.)

Due to my inability to control my temper and complacently accept continued silliness with not-quite-as-reliable-as-it-ought-to-be Blogger/Blogspot, your beloved Possumblog will now waddle across the Information Dirt Road and park its prehensile tail at http://possumblog.mu.nu.

This site will remain in place as a backup in case Munuvia gets hit by a bus or something, but I don't think they have as much trouble with this as some places do. ::cough::blogspot::cough:: So click here and adjust your links. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's one of those things.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Back at it.

Last evening was the official kick-off of the spring soccer season. Catherine’s coach still hasn’t called, but Boy’s did, and Middle Girl has already been practicing off-and-on for a while now.

Her practices have been a bit catch-as-catch-can; since they weren’t mandatory, sometimes it would only be one other girl and her and the coach. Last night they were all back and ready to rumble, and it was nice to see them all again. Although a bit strange, too--I am always so antisocial as well as bad with names that it took me a second or two to remember everyone’s mom or dad’s name. Oh well, maybe they’re used to me by now.

I set up my folding chair at the top of the hill by the walkway where I could see both his field and Rebecca’s, bundled up as best I could and read my newest issue of Automobile magazine. I didn’t think it was going to be so cold--it was downright temperate when we left the house, but an hour in and it was cold. Thank goodness the wind wasn’t blowing.

Jonathan is going to be on the same team he was before, which is rather disappointing seeing that it’s still the same batch of little miscreants. He got awfully excited at first though--they had a skills session for the kids on all the teams in the club, and a little girl he knows from school was there. After that part of practice was over, he came running up the hill, “DAD! DAD! Megan’s gonna be on MY team!”

“Huh?! Buddy, are you sure about that? You’re going to have a co-ed team?!”

“YEAH! And Megan’s gonna be on MY team!”

Then he had to go pee. He got back out and his coach had gotten his team together for the rest of practice, and sadly, I was right. “Bud, I hate to disappoint you, but you’re team is the same as it was--the first part of practice was for kids from all the teams, and Megan was just here for that. She’s not going to be on your team.” “Oh.” Poor little fellow. But he trotted on back down the hill and practiced anyway.

I retook my chair and read some more, and once again tried to figure out why Robert Cumberford thinks it necessary for him to talk down to his readers. There was an article about the Detroit Auto Show, in which he offered his short takes on the styling of the various prototypes. One description in particular jumped out when he wrote something like, ‘this design is a “cartoon” (go look up the definition) of a blahblah’ whatever car it was. Now then, Bobster, I know what the definition of “cartoon” is when speaking of art--it’s a full-size rough sketch or model. But you know, I wouldn’t presume that everyone knows that, and so if I were going to go ahead and use the word anyway, I think I would be a bit less snotty about it and just explain in what sense I meant it.

And while where on the subject of overweening silliness, I still say the BMW iDrive concept is wonderful as long as the car is stationary. But the idea of having to click through more than one option to turn the radio or heater on while underway is ridiculous. Sometimes, a purpose-built tool is better than something that combines all the functions in one, no matter how cool the interface might look, or how smoothly the knobs turn. A Swiss Army knife is one of those things everyone thinks is just the ultimate in function--I mean, it has a knife, fork and spoon built right in! And they’re so pretty and shiny! But if you’ve ever actually USED one, you quickly realize that you can’t use the knife and fork at the same time. And the handle is too big for comfort. And the metal, while very hard and shiny, is brittle and apt to pop off a blade end or a tine with little provocation. I’m sure there are probably a few of you out there who have a Bimmer with this knob, and probably even one or two of you who just LOVE it--if so, I’d love to hear your experience with it.

My own prejudice against such nonsense was the touch screen computer in my mother’s 1986 Riviera that (aside from the car itself being an overall steaming pile of crap) relied on similar menu-searching for climate control and the radio and other such items.

Look down, find right icon, touch screen.
Look up to keep from rear ending someone.
Look down, make sure you pushed right button, look for next one.
Look up to keep from, etc.

But it’s still easier just to turn on a radio knob.

Anyway, enough of that garbage--Boy finished up his practice and got himself a Ring Pop from the concession stand, after having to endure a multitude of good-natured inquiries from the staff about the number of girlfriends he has. He loudly assured everyone that it was HIS Ring Pop, and he was going to eat it all by himself.

We went back down and he sat in my chair and we watched Rebecca’s team play, and they finally finished up a bit after 8. Home, homework, baths, to bed.

One practice down, a jillion to go.

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