Saved by chaperone

Yesterday afternoon at work, I took a walk up to the prairie to check out where we burned a couple of weeks ago. New grasses are already growing in. On the way up, I picked up a piece of trash, a white sticker (like a mailing label) with “Saved by chaperone” written in green marker.

What on earth does that mean? We’ve had a few thousand school kids come through the park in the last six weeks and presumably this was left behind by one of them. Sometimes the kids wear name tags. I’m picturing a fifth-grader walking around with a “Saved by chaperone” stuck to his tee shirt. When he got home, would his parents learn from this label that he was rescued from certain doom by the heroic parent of somebody else’s kid? Did the parents of the kids who didn’t make it get a sticker in the mail that said “Lost by chaperone (sorry)”? Now, without this label affixed to the child, the parents will never know just how exciting the field trip was.

Bumper stickers

Riding my bicycle back from the gym this evening I passed a parked car with a collection of ethnic pride bumper stickers. One was the cross of St. Andrew with the tag, “Got kilt?” I thought that was very funny. Less funny was “Thank God I’m Ukrainian.” It’s not very clever and is a little bigoted– like saying, “Thank God I’m not black. They got a raw deal with slavery and all those times I called the cops.” Next time I go past I’ll see what the other stickers say.

A righteous win

Tonight was a rare win for the Yankees in that it was a close game where they got a key hit and managed to back up their pitchers’ efforts. Joe Girardi went Italian on Italian with the home plate umpire and was ejected after throwing his hat and kicking dirt, Billy Martin-style. Even though the season is early, Boston is too good a team to have to catch up to and the other teams in the East are a lot stronger than in the past.

On my bike again

I rode about thirty miles on my bike today, riding out to Coralville and then North Liberty and back via the Coralville Reservoir Dam. I took a number of breaks but I still ran out of steam on the way back. It took about five and half hours. I’m beat.

The reservoir and the rivers are pretty high. The bike trails are underwater in a couple of places near the river and the reservoir is only a few feet from cresting the spillway. There are always vultures circling around the dam. Mysterious birds, they are. They never make noise and I rarely see them on the ground. They’re always high up where you can barely make out any features. A couple were perching on a radio tower near the dam. I wonder what they were waiting for.

Pedal, Fatboy, pedal!

This was “Bicycle Your Fat Ass to Work Week” so got up early this morning and did it. Turned out to be a great day for riding to work. I still get a kick out of the “Speed Limit: 50” sign which mocks me from the top of the hill I’m crawling up. In fact, I think that’s where I lost my concentration and ran my bike off the road last year.

I had a good head wind on the way home, so I just took it slow and steady and it wasn’t too bad.

Juno

“Juno” was really good. I was surprised; even though it was nominated for best film, I didn’t figure it to be in the same weight class as “No Country For Old Men” and “Let There Be Blood”. It was not as schmaltzy as I expected, but it was a sweet film. The soundtrack was excellent, too.

What I didn’t like was something I don’t like in a lot of films: the teenagers were way too sure of themselves, and somehow much savvier about life than is normal. Teenagers aren’t just adults without responsibility; they are children with adult pretensions. Screen writers are notorious for mishandling children and teenagers. I wonder if they write them to be the way they wish they were themselves.

So far I’ve seen four of this year’s five best picture nominees. “Michael Clayton” was okay. Hollywood loves George Clooney and anything associated with him. It’s the only reason I can think of why his movies (like “Good Night and Good Luck” and “Syriana”) keep getting nominated for anything. I’m not too interested in “Atonement” but I’ll take a crack at it some time.

I recently also watched “The Kite Runner” and “Walk Hard”, both worth seeing. I’d like to read “The Kite Runner” after seeing the film. “The Kite Runner” had a lot of this very obvious setting up horrible tragedy with great triumph and contentment, in a way that “Walk Hard” poked fun at.

May Day

I figure I ought to write something here.

The Yankees have been overwhelmingly mediocre. Is that possible? Maybe they’re just bad. So far I’m not impressed with Joe Girardi’s handling of his personnel. They’ve made some bad roster moves.

Stephen Colbert is hilarious. He showed some clips tonight of right-wing talking heads decrying Barack Obama church membership. “Good Catholics like me and O’Reilly and Hannity,” he said, as I paraphrase, “Know we should leave when something bad is happening at our chuch.”

That’s about it for now.