Reflections on Life, The Universe, and Even More Olympics

People probably would have hated Alice Cooper if he wrote a follow up to “School’s Out” entitled “School’s Back In Session.” I guess that would have been like Crosby, Stills, and Nash writing a song about how the establishment was just super.

This past week was one of my busiest in recent memory, due in large part to the fact that my entire client base returned from their summer vacation on the same day, and were once again ready to engage their respective projects with great zeal. Coupled with the fact that I am unable to work any time a US Olympian is on my screen during prime time as a matter of principle, this week resulted in some late night emailing and not a lot of blogging. Throughout the week I had about a thousand different thoughts that I had hoped to weave into a blog post. However, most of those have gone to wherever my lost thoughts go. I think it’s also where a lot of my socks end up, which is why I prefer to wear flip flops. Regardless, here’s a few things that have been bouncing around in my head this week…

– One week from Tuesday, I will return to Indianapolis for the first time in several years to attend GenCon. For the uninitiated, GenCon is a massive gathering of just about every type of gamer on the planet, with a focus on board games, collectible card games, miniature gamers, and more recently, video games. I’m not saying it’s out and out a nerd convention, but if a massive earthquake hits Indianapolis next week, NASA is not going to make it to Mars in the next 50 years or so. During this convention, I will meet new people, study them briefly, and then figure out the best way to destroy them in whatever game we happen to be playing. After all, it’s always fun to meet new people, but it’s even more fun to beat them down with extreme prejudice.

– In less than 24 hours, the NFL Preseason will begin. According to the talking heads, my beloved Minnesota Vikings have about as much chance of having a successful season as I do of qualifying for the 2016 Olympics in rhythmic gymnastics. At the moment I really don’t care, because I’m just stoked that football is almost back. Once the season gets rolling though, I fully expect the Vikings to shock the world and make a run at the Super Bowl. After all, they have one of the most inexperienced quarterbacks in the league playing in a division against 3 teams that are all predicted to make the playoffs this year. What could possibly go wrong? To the Vikings, I say to hell with the haters. You go, do your thing, and win the Super Bowl for the people of Minnesota. Meanwhile, I’ll start practicing my ribbon twirling, and will look forward to standing on the podium in Rio with a gold medal around my neck.

Tangent: Do they even have rhythmic gymnastics for men? I don’t think I’d do well if I have to wear a leotard. That seems like it’d ride up in the crotch quite a bit.

– As I write this, the United States currently leads the overall medal count (54) and the gold medal count (26), with the Chinese close behind and the host Great Britain in a distant third. However, it is worth noting that a combined US/UK team would be standing at 40 gold medals and 73 overall medals, which would absolutely crush the Chinese. Seems to me like the British should have tried a little harder in the American Revolution if they wanted to be on top of the mountain. Lincoln once stated that, “a house divided against itself cannot stand.” In this case, he was wrong. This house divided stands just fine, but it’s all on this side of the Atlantic.

– Lately I’ve been listening to A Prairie Home Companion a lot while I’m at work. As a native son of the Midwest, I’ve been listening to the show as long as I can remember. One of my earliest memories is a road trip that we took from Wisconsin to New York / New England. Even though I was no older than 4 years old, I still remember listening to A Prairie Home Companion as we drove across the amber waves of grain. 28 years later, I’m still convinced that there is no better storyteller in our lifetime than Garrison Keillor. The magical voyage to Lake Wobegon that he conjures up for the audience each week is something that would take me forever to do, and even if I could, I would never in a thousand years be able to do it like he can. The reason I bring this up now is because of some rumors that Mr. Keillor will finally retire for good in 2013. While I realize that he has retired in the past, it feels like the next one will be the last time. I don’t so much lament the thought of his retirement, because he’s certainly earned his rest, and the good people at NPR have created an online archive of the show that dates all the way back to 1985. My fear is that, once Mr. Keillor retires, it will mark the passage of an art form that is simply not practiced by enough people these days. In the Information Age, it feels like anything that cannot be said in 144 characters is not worth saying at all. I’m not exactly sure when the world decided that it didn’t have time to listen to stories anymore, but I think it’s a real shame. Maybe if we all just took a step back and listened for a moment, we’d realize that there were still things worth hearing that can’t be conveyed in a minute’s time. At work, I’m constantly guilty of this… perhaps even more so than most of my co-workers. Often I find that I blast from one item to the next, and will become irritated if someone or something slows my progress. I understand that there will always be deadlines that need to be met, but I’ve decided there also needs to time to take a step back and listen to a story once in a while. That’s why, no matter when Mr. Keillor decides to retire, I’ll always make time to visit a place where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average.

Per the norm, I’ll end today’s post with yet another haiku:

Football tomorrow,
Indianapolis soon.
Yeah, it’s Andy time.

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