Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Trees, apples, and the distance between

When I was younger, oh so long ago, my father purchased an electric lawnmower. I think it may have been one of the earliest non-gasoline-powered mowers. It was a quietly humming Black & Decker that ran on an extremely long extension cord. My brother and I complained mightily about this contraption, deriding the choice and lamenting openly about the hassle of dealing with a 75' extension cord whilst doing laborious yard work. My opinion of my dad's poor decision making in lawn-care equipment was solidified when that mower died and he went right out and bought ANOTHER Black & Decker mower that ran on an extension cord. It was the silliest thing I think I ever saw him do.

So last weekend Steph & I had to acknowledge that we desperately needed a lawnmower. I'm on the liberal-tree-hugger side of the spectrum, so I didn't want a gas mower. Battery-powered mowers (at least the ones available in nearby stores) were all a bit more money than we wanted to spend. So I consulted the ever-trusty Consumer Reports (a purchasing habit I learned from my parents) and came up with...the Black & Decker corded electric mower. Which I now own. With a 75' extension cord.

While I was dealing with lawn-care and other home-owner-related things that used to be my dad's job, he was participating in the Colorado Democratic Party Convention. This is a fairly significant thing...up until the 2006 election my parents had both considered themselves Republican. One evening I asked my dad "So, what is it that the current Republican Party believes that you agree with?" I don't know if that was the exact conversation that changed his mind, but shortly after that he became a Democrat and is now to the point of being a delegate at the state convention. Not only that, but being an ALTERNATE delegate, which means showing up and hanging out all day waiting to see if anybody even cares that you're there. I was impressed, and I like to think that I contributed to one person's delegate-hood even if I couldn't actually go to the convention this year.

Life is funny sometimes.

Friday, May 2, 2008

A proud moment in daddyhood

While going through K1's backpack last weekend I found a project from Earth Day at school. It's a standard kindergarten worksheet: "I can help the earth by..." with a blank page underneath. His response was "Git red av bad on gas cars" Get rid of bad on gas cars. There is a large vehicle with flames coming off of it, that has apparently been 'sploded by the eco-terrorists (it says 'CABOOM' and there's a smiling guy saying 'YAAA!') Around it are the non-flaming good cars, including HOONDA, TODAYOODA, and SLG BAG (Honda, Toyota, Slug Bug) all with smiling people and their own "YAAA!"s.

I don't know where this started, but K1 developed an interest in fuel efficiency several months ago. While driving from the old apartment to the daycare, he would point out cars on the road and ask if they were a "bad on gas car" or not. Obviously we established that Honda and Toyota made more efficient cars than others, generally speaking. The Slug Bug thing came up literally once, about a month ago when we were out exploring our new neighborhood. His friend in the car with us did the "Slug Bug no tagbacks!" thing and K1 just said "Anthony, is that a bad on gas car?" It was an old diesel Beetle, so I told him it was not a bad on gas car. I guess that was enough that it stuck.

I will do my best to teach him that blowing up Hummers is probably not the way to accomplish his goals, but this is still a piece of kindergarten artwork we will be saving.