Sunday, August 7, 2011

Birthday wishes for a lazy day

  I’ve been waiting all week to find out whether this blog had managed to beat out the semi-inactive www.chessvine.com as the Chess Journalists of America’s best chess blog of 2011 (we were the only 2 entries). I had been planning on writing a final blog post on the CJA saga either praising the judges wisdom or mentioning their short sightedness. The revised timeline said notifications would be sent out on August 1st, but since I didn’t receive any notification on Monday, I looked at the timeline on the awards website and that schedule said notifications would be sent out on the 5th. I waited and waited all day Friday and received no notification. On Saturday, I emailed the awards chairperson and he emailed back to tell me that while all the ballots had been counted, he had been in the hospital for 4 days and wouldn’t be able to finish the committee report until sometime next week. I was sorry he was in the hospital, but happy that the ballots had been counted since badgering the hospital-bedridden awards chairman would probably not help my chances.

  Having my celebration or day of rage postponed by the CJA, I decided to think of something happy, like what I might want for my birthday (it’s 2 months away from tomorrow). I would have liked air conditioning in my car for the 50+ mile commute to Des Moines the past couple of weeks, but I don’t want to have to pay for an air conditioned car the other 50 weeks of the year. But after a great deal of thought, I’ve come up with a pair of gift ideas.

  When Kathy and I went to the JC Penney 3 weeks ago to get me a new belt and a pair of shoes (they were so worn out they couldn’t have lasted till my birthday), we were following a large family into the mall where the store is located. All of a sudden the entire family stopped and started examining the back of the mother’s jeans, which seemed to be wet. Kathy and I went into the mall while the family talked loudly among themselves, but as we were paying for the shoes and belt (and all the other stuff that is inevitably bought whenever we make a rare trip to JC Penny because it is on sale) we saw the family in the next checkout counter. The mother was holding a very large handbag behind her back to shield prying eyes from the unknown indiscretion that had occurred somewhere between the journey to the mall and the parking lot. I wanted to use my amazing iPod to capture the scene on video but it would have been too noticeable and I like my teeth attached to my jaw, but if I had one of those cool pocket video cameras, I could have taped everything and possibly been a viral hit without anyone noticing.

  The pocket video camera also would have come in handy last night when Kathy and I went to the local Redbox to rent “Unknown”. I had gone on the internet and reserved the copy, but when we got to the actual box we got stuck behind a lady who didn’t know what she wanted and was reading review after review after review. The pocket cam would have been great to record this but I would have had to dub some sound to match her repeated attempts to sound out the infrequent multi-syllable words in the review. I’ve also seen a lot of family feuds at the Redbox as an entire family tried to decide on what movie will be shown on the family TV at the trailer park. Recording these and placing them on a web site could pay for the pocket cam in no time at all.

  Whenever a Rogaine commercial is on TV this time of the year, my son Ben makes a joke about getting me some for my birthday. I don’t mind having lost a lot of my hair until somebody tells me that I look old because I don’t have any hair. Once some guy who had a full head of graying hair asked me how could he be older than me? Now this fellow had nice hair, but in MY opinion, he also had a creased and wrinkled face, skinny little arms, and a little pot belly just perfect for resting his hands on. When I got together with this fellow, I asked a third party who looked older and he said I looked older and he didn’t even have to think twice. I asked why and was told, ‘you don’t have any hair’. At work a couple of weeks ago, a guy I only talk on the phone with asked me how old I was and was surprised that I was 50 because he said I only sounded 40. But a fellow at the chess club asked me how old I was and when I said 50, he was in shock because he said I looked 60.

  I’m not really that concerned with how much hair I have or don’t have or how old people think I look, but I’m thinking maybe it is time to do something about being hair-challenged. I haven’t seen very many Rogaine commercials on TV lately and I doubt it works anyway since I don’t know of anyone who has successfully used it. I was at a book store a couple of weeks ago and saw a copy of “Natural Cures ‘THEY’ Don’t Want You To Know About” by Kevin Trudeau, the noted infomercialist. There was no useful information about hair growth in that book, but there was an old leatherbound book behind a display case called ‘Ancient Remedies’. I asked to look at the book and there was an easy remedy for hair regrowth from Ancient China.



No doubt this remedy was lost to the ages when beagles fell out of favor with an ancient emperor.