Friday, March 8, 2013

Things I've Learned - Part 1

1) Heavy metal is dangerous driving music. People screaming loudly with crashing instruments sounds like a great way to keep a driver conscious, but it also pushes the gas pedal closer to the floor. Twenty minutes before I arrived at my first hotel, I switched to metal music. Ten minutes before I arrived at my first hotel, I was pulled over for speeding. Audio books make great road trip companions, on the other hand. A calm voice narrating a gripping tale or amusing story is just interesting enough to keep a mind active, but not distracting enough to affect driving.

2) Small children can hack past basic OS security. The only thing kids like better than playing with grown-ups is playing with grown-up toys. In certain cases, breaking the toy isn't the most damaging thing that can happen. Case in point,
Deep Thoughts, by Xander: "Once upon a time there was a world called birthday world every day it is your birthday. You can go to the bakery and make your own cakes. It was a really cool world. Shh don't tell any body Earth does not know. It was an ordinarily day on earth and a space ship was about to launch. The space ship was going out of earth to space. The person that was flying the spaceship named was Alex. He landed on birth day planet and he saw this little girl named Trillian. She was an orphan her parents are still alive looking for their little girl. Alex came up to Trillian and said "Where are your parents?" Trillian said she does not have any parents. Trillian looked sad at Alex. Alex said "We will find you parents.""
This has been Deep Thoughts, by Xander.
My laptop is highly coveted for being new to the house, and called "bad" because it lacks games. I'm just thankful the thing still works after he was done with it. This disturbs me because, for all the villainy Microsoft has been accused of, a ten-year-old could get around it and code SkyNet before the next season of My Little Pony starts. Uh oh-
Deep Thoughts, by Lily: "I like Ryan. Ryan is so so nice and so so funny. Ryan is cool. I think Ryan is the best. Now is the best thing ever. Ryan, Marsha is nice."
This has been Deep Thoughts, by Lily.
That was a six-year-old. Kids today are learning about as fast as velociraptors. My smartphone, on the other hand, has defeated every single kid in the house, and that uses pattern recognition. Simpler than the one advertised for Windows 8, but at least it keeps elementary school kids off my desktop.

Stretching isn't smart. It's vital. I've worked a lot of desk jobs, so I know how to get a full day's work done without getting out of a chair. There is a solar system of difference between sitting at a desk for hours at a stretch and sitting in a car seat, especially the driver's seat. With a desk, you can shift your weight, the position of your legs, and change the view in front of you all at the slightest whim. If you're driving and you try to do any of these things, several hundred pounds of metal and plastic moving at speeds no land animal can match react in ways that might send it it spinning into a mountain or off a cliff. No TPS report ever carried that much stress, so I avoid it however I can. This means fifteen minutes of stretching minimum before I start a big drive. Mostly leg stretches, but some push-ups and upper body stretching as well.

I hate waking up, my muscles hate it more, and stretching is like ripping the band-aid off: it gets the whole thing overwith fast. It doesn't prevent my muscles from getting travel sore, but it takes the worst out of it, allowing me to focus on not doing anything stupid while I'm directing over a million joules of kinetic energy. Because I'm nice like that.

Size does not matter. Since I've been at the Endre house, I've been cut, stomped on, threatened with stabbing and burning, and have acquired a collection of bruises and headaches. No, this isn't racial profiling or the local chapter of Fight Club. I'm being abused by children. A 23-month-old boy discovered the fun of the Flying Tackle, and takes special delight in smothering my head with his body. He's only 27 pounds of baby fat and manic smiles, so this is more fun than anything. His older sister, on the other hand, is fluent in two languages - sass and punches. 40+ pounds of sadistic muscle and detailed files on human anatomy, she's the one that has done actual damage. It's only slightly humbling that I'm getting my butt handed to me by people a fraction of my size, though, which proves another thing I've learned...

Beer helps everything. Want to break the ice? Ask strangers about the local breweries. Did the food you ordered not taste as good as it looked? Wash it down with a cold one. Are your muscles and/ or ego sore after hours upon hours of driving/ juvenile abuse? Beer not only numbs the pain, it also has carbs (and in some cases, citrus and other nutritious additives) that the body needs to heal.

Now I open the floor to you, gentle readers: What have you learned since Ryan left Indy? Has he made any observations or insights that brought new knowledge to your life? Any tips for future boarders on the proper care and treatment of Ryan? Leave a comment and share the wealth!

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