A viral video brings back an awesome moment…

I love the internet; it just brought back a great memory.

Several years ago while skiing in Park City, I went to Utah Olympic Park just outside of town and took a two-hour Nordic ski jumping class.  You could use your regular skis, had to have helmet (which I rented), there were four of us in the class and our coach was on the 1988 USA Olympic team (and was currently an Olympic coach).

Not bad for $40.

So they started us on a “5-meter jump” which was basically just a bump in the snow (the number of meters for a ski jump is from the lip of the jump to essentially the middle of the landing zone, so if you are hitting the landing on a 5-meter jump you are flying about 15 feet).  We then we moved to the 10-meter jump which was a real takeoff and landing but just pretty short.  Then we moved to the 20-meter jump (do you notice these keep DOUBLING??), and a recent viral video brought this all back to me.  I SO wish I had a GoPro at the time…

Here is a picture of me flying off the 20-meter jump (that’s actually the 40-meter jump behind it; DOUBLING again!); our coach said we were flying about 45 feet:

Not that impressive a photo, right?  So then it ALL comes back to me when I see this viral video of a 4th grade girl taking her first 20-meter leap on the exact same jump at Olympic Park (yeah, I know she is only in 4th grade but they have no fear of serious injury at that age!).  This is how it looked for me as well, and I’m pretty sure I said exactly the same things while up there:

She’s amazing, and I feel so lucky to know exactly how she felt.

Definitely before and during, and ESPECIALLY after. 🙂

Doing the right thing again.

It must be my time to find other people’s stuff that they have lost; my previous post on the iPod Touch I found in an aircraft seatback while flying from Washington DC to Florida is the most recent example before this one.

So I am headed to get some coffee at 10am and I see this in the middle of my street; I mean like right in the middle:

Looks like a wallet, though hey, it could be just empty.  Let’s see:

Whoops!  I’ll bet someone wants this one back!

So this was much easier than the last time: quick jump onto Facebook, find out that we have FIVE “friends” in common (when talking about friends on Facebook, the word “friends” screams out to me for air quotes, and sometimes actual quotes), send a quick message with my cell number, get a phone call back in no time, then the person came and picked it up at my house.  It’s amazing that the person got it back as they had dropped it while bicycle bar-hopping around downtown at 10pm the previous evening, and we have a lot of people who walk the streets in the early morning.  It sat there for 12 hours just waiting for someone to do the right thing.

And of course, just like last time, when asked what I wanted in exchange, I asked that this person just do something to help a stranger at their next opportunity.  Just pay it forward, to which the person wholeheartedly agreed.

I don’t offer this story to make people think I am some great person; big deal, I gave back a wallet.  I think returning a wallet to an owner is something every person I know would do as well, so I am just using this to make a point about doing for others, because sometimes your small efforts on your part can have big results for other people.  And not for the reasons you might think.

Our country seems to have become so divided and argumentative that we seem to seldom realize we are still all just human beings trying to get by in the world.  So what can a good deed do?  Aside from the deed itself, it can remind us that most people DO care about other people, even those with whom they might disagree.

We get to see that people care all the time with any BIG crisis, like a hurricane, or earthquake, or any other devastation that affects lots of people.  People volunteer their time, food, money and whatever they can to help when lots of people are in trouble.

But what about when ONE person is in trouble?  We don’t know when that might be because it often not obvious; there is seldom news footage of just one person having a really hard time in life, especially one who happens to cross our path.

So it seems simple: when given the chance to do good, take it.  When given the chance to do bad, steer away.  But pay attention, because the smallest efforts might end up being the most important.

Lecture over, and thanks for listening.

When a budget motel is just too damn expensive….

…try this one. Budget BUDGET!

Be hard on yourself.

I do stupid things sometimes. And not just things like in the photo below, where I have to put a ladder on top of my BED (isn’t the first rule of ladders “a stable surface”?) to install and remove my vent deflectors each year.  No problem so far, but it does make for a dicey task.

We all do stupid things, I suppose, though as someone who has not always been aware of the effect of my words and actions in the past I really try to keep close watch on that particular part of me (and have for the last ten years).  Whether it is just cracking jokes without realizing I have hurt someone’s feelings or letting my anxiety get the best of me so I am no longer trying to resolve the issue but rather just trying to get the discussion over so I can stop feeling uncomfortable.  I really do make the effort.

And yet at times I fail.  And I hate when I do.

So many people would say “come on, don’t be so hard on yourself”. I disagree; I think the best way to learn from mistakes is to BE hard on yourself. Not for a long time, not in a way that makes you think you are a bad person in general, but certainly enough to learn the lesson thereby reducing the chances of it happening again. We do tend to remember unpleasantness, and if the realization and evaluation of some of your own behavior is unpleasant then perhaps it is less likely to happen again.

So be hard on yourself.  Learn a lesson.  And maybe it will be the last time it need be learned, which will be better for you and especially for those around you.

Lecture over.

Learning about relationships from a public coffeeshop journal.

So this was in one of the public journals that is left on the tables in my local coffee shop.  Generally the journals get filled with a mix of good and bad art, “<insert name> was here” type of things and occasionally some bad poetry.  Imagine my surprise when I came across this:

I love the part about “you will never try to catch me in a net or touch my mermaid fin”.

Maybe we all need to know such things about those we love.

The Wonderful World of Park-N-Swap

So one thing you know you’ll get at Park-N-Swap is a lot of variety, but this blew even MY mind:

So all in this one photo are an ice axe, an electric drill, a dual-tone horn kit for a car and an, uh, body fluid cleanup kit?? Please not I did not gather these things together; they were sitting right next to one another.

That’s a lot of variety in two square feet.

And here are some of those keyfobs for people who like everyone to know what kind of car they drive when they are not near their car but DO have their keys. I expect to see “Porsche”, “BMW” or even “Camaro” from the more blue collar types, but I did not expect to see these:

If I could find a Yugo one, my world would be complete.

The first step is to adMITT I have a problem…

Okay, so I guess I really don’t see it as a problem.  I happen to like mitts, especially when it comes to cleaning.  Maybe it is all those years of baseball and softball, maybe it is my OCD, maybe I don’t like to get my hands dirty (did you know they sell boxes of 500 rubber gloves at Costco?); for whatever reason, I like me a good mitt.

So imagine my joy when I stumbled across a collection of cleaning mitts by Simply Human when perusing the weird stuff at a Ross store the other day.  Score!

So it includes a mitt for cleaning stainless steel, a mitt for cleaning glass and mirrors, and two mitts for general cleaning (one of which I am using for wood cleaners and one for general kitchen stuff).  All for only $9.99!  They are $19.99 at Amazon, but this is ROSS, man!

So here they are:

Yeah, so the two things on the left are my lint mitt (a winner!) and my, er, SHOWER GLOVES.  But those are just for efficiency.  Why clean with one hand when you can use two?!?

I adMITT, I have a problem.

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