Thursday, November 22, 2012

Post Walk Against Hunger - Thanksgiving Dinner

It's Thanksgiving and things are the same as ever and things are wonderfully different.  As always the day started with Dear Son and Devoted Girlfriend going to the Run & Walk Against Hunger event.  Three things were different this year.  For one, the weather was nice.  Even early in the morning, it wasn't that cold and it wasn't windy at all.  For another, I was entered into the 5k Walk.  This is a sign that the knee replacement has made a big improvement in my mobility and quality of life.  And, finally, Friend Stephen came along on the Walk.   

Stephen may have been the reason that I finished with no problem.  Maybe not the only reason.  Since we had three things listed in the previous paragraph, let's see if I can list three reasons.  For symmetry.  One is Stephen.  He kept me talking all through the Walk and lifted my spirits, which took my mind off of the discomfort.   

Two is the scenery.  The Walk circumnavigated the Stockton Channel Promenade, and with the fine weather the view was nice.  Third is the fact that I was pretty close to ready to walk that far.  I've walked slightly more than two miles two or three times in the two months before the race.  No, I didn't walk the exact distance of the race, but I had a long weekend and the Wednesday before the race off, so I was nice and rested.  I was pretty much ready. 

There was stiffness after the Walk, and the muscles that hadn't been used much back when I was limping and not walking much started to complain at about the end of the first block.  That would be in the back of my calves (the right one especially) and the back muscles just above, or at the top of, my butt.  But then they loosened up a bit and only grumbled a bit from then on in. 

Come to think of it, I was never winded or even near it.  That's cool.  And, really, the calves and muscles around the knee were almost as grumpy while standing around in the cold before the Event.   

During the Event, I got to see the area in Weber Point and around the promenade again for the first time in awhile.  I used to walk the area fairly regularly, back when I was on the Water Quality Project, which wasn't about water quality.  But never mind that for now.    There were a couple of new memorial statues on the northern promenade, between City Hall and the old Visitor's Center, now closed.  I don't know what's in that little building now. 

There were new artsy benches at the end of the southern promenade, near Morelli Park, under I-5.  I almost didn't look up and see the cool mobiles on the poles in the landscaping near them.  Stephen saw them, though, and exclaimed. 

The big raft of water hyacinth in the souther fork of the downtown end of the channel is starting to blacken, I presume due to the cold.  The guys with the contract with the City to remove trash from the water took a shot at removing the floating plants, but I assume they concluded that it was outside of the scope of the contract.  They were at it for days before they gave up.  I'm guessing the City is waiting to see if the raft will eventually float back out if they mumble about being out of money long enough. 

It probably will.  This isn't the first raft that's wandered down the channel from the San Joaquin River.  I got to tell Stephen all about the channel's history with water hyacinth and its history with algae overgrowth.  I didn't get too technical with the algae explanation because most people aren't interested.  But I told him that the Water Quality Project did an experiment to produce the background information needed to design a system to keep the algae mats from forming during the summer.  And I told him that those lines of disturbed water indicated the location of the bubbler system that was eventually designed with the information we collected. 

His appreciation of the color of the fall leaves gave me an opening to talk about my time at GMI and the road trips to Frankenmuth for chicken dinners.  He asked and I confirmed that California didn't do Fall Color! the way that the states in the northeast of the country do.  There were other reminiscences about the GM coop college in Michigan and some talk of the SATs and the Campbell Strong Interest Inventory. 

He talked about writing and wanting to do YouTube videos and he asked if I was interested in fewer topics of study now that I'm older.  That answer was pretty much no.  It would be harder to go in a new career-type direction, but I'm still pretty much interested in a boatload of things.
There was some discussion of hats.  Some of the people running or walking come with Thanksgiving themed hats.  Most of them are some kind of stuffed turkey.  Devoted Girlfriend said she'd crochet turkey hats for all of us if he would really eat them.  I suggested a zombie turkey hat for him, since he really likes zombie stories, movies, and video games.  His eyes lit up.  Then he looked down and said 'maybe' sheepishly.  It was cute.

I offered to copy the turkey-plastered logo of next year's Event t-shirt, re-draw it as zombie turkeys, print it on iron-on paper, and iron it on a look-alike shirt.  Dear Son and Devoted Girlfriend said that wasn't possible.  The shirts only come out a few days before the event.  I think I should take that as a challenge.  Provided I remember it this time next year.  If I have the day before Thanksgiving off again, that's plenty of time.  Provided I'm mentally ready for it.

But, you know.  Mind like a steel sieve.  (Stephen says he's started to use the phrase.  Heh.)

On the way back to the car, Stephen was checking out people's porches.  He said he was writing a story with a homeless person who lived under someone's porch.  I told him to ask Dear Son, who used to sneak away from the summer recreation program at the park and go hang out with the panhandlers.  Son S-2 did as well.  He's the one who told the the stories of it later, when he was safely grown.  I just assumed that Dear Son was along with him.  He confirmed that as true when we got back to the car.

In the car, I talked about Dr.P, who introduced himself to one of the homeless guys that he was always driving past.  The guy said that the reason he was homeless was that he had an IQ of 152.  He was too intelligent to buy into the bullshit that the world expected you to buy to get along, but he wasn't intelligent enough to transcend the bullshit.

P came home and told his wife the story, seriously considering that that might be an accurate statement.  She said it was bullshit because 152 was her IQ and she had never had trouble finding a job and keeping it.  

I wrote the above at the dinner table after the Thanksgiving dinner plates had been cleared away at Devoted Girlfriend’s family’s place.  Dear Son was writing beside me.  One of Her cousins-in-law twitted him for using an ipad with a keyboard attached.  We were both sitting together writing along with the same basic equipment, but he was a younger guy, and a guy could give him a hard time and I’m an older woman that the family doesn’t know that well yet.  So I just typed along and DS got to twit him back. 

Then there was pie.  I think it’s good for a post to end with pie.  If this one didn’t end in pie, it would have to end when, after we drove home, I made DG take my picture holding up The Event T-Shirt and then posted the picture on Facebook.

Pie is better.

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