Biff Rambles On About … Resisting a Rest, Just Walking a Ways, Alleviating Leaves, and Heartfelt Work Instructions

Biff Hiking #4

 

In my continuing efforts to get back into the habit of writing regularly, I decided the easiest path to take was one of my patented rambling posts.

I am all about the path of least resistance.

This philosophy of life was handed to me when I was a wide-eyed freshman in college, taking my first class in basic electronics.  My professor at the time assured all of us hay-chewing rubes that electricity always takes the path of least resistance.

That point was not lost on me and so I said, “I tell you whut.  If’n that there’s good nuff fer ‘lectricity, then it’s good nuff fer me, too.”

[It’s important to note that I said this with a Mississippi accent, for that was where I was living at the time.  I have since escaped and have adopted a Texan accent to attempt to blend in with the natives here.]

So that is why tonight I am choosing to write one of these here rambling posts rather than something that takes effort or research or something important to say.  So please bear with me until I get back into the groove of writing.

Or find something important to say.

But that might be quite a wait.  I recommend just going with this post for now in as much as it is the path of least resistance at the moment.

 


 

It has been a relatively quiet week here in Biffville (population:  atrophying).

Last weekend I participated in a 5K charity walk-a-thon.

It wasn’t my idea.  I mean, I love to walk as much as the next person, but as soon as someone puts a number on it, it suddenly seems daunting.   An example to prove my point:

Dialog #1:

Bob:  Let’s go for a walk!

Jane:  Yes!  Let’s!  That sounds like fun!

Dialog #2:

Bob:  Let’s go for a 5K walk!

Jane:  Are you on crack?  That’s like walking to Albuquerque!

(Bob and Jane appear through the courtesy of United Artists.)

Sometimes these events are even called “fun runs”.  This is laughable.  The people who call them that do not seem to realize that “fun run” is an oxymoron.  The two words are mutually exclusive.  They fall under a corollary of Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle:

You can have fun, or you can run, but not both.

So some of your wiser event coordinators get around this by calling them “walks for charity”.   I have suggested that they call them “Schlepping for Shekels”, but my suggestion was ignored by the committee.

So … yeah … I walked 5 kilometers last weekend.  It’s not nearly as impressive as it sounds.  It turns out that 5K is only about 3 miles, which your average human can walk in about an hour (less, if being chased by dogs).

My forefathers used to walk that far to get from the front porch to the outhouse.  With wild dogs to incentivize them to pick up the pace.

I, on the other hand, only walk that far over the course of, say, 3 or 4 days.  And without wild dogs to encourage me.

My forefathers would be quite ashamed of me.


 

The day after walking a 5K I decided that I could no longer put off raking up the front yard.  It seems that, while I was away for Thanksgiving, every tree in my neighborhood shed their leaves spontaneously.  Some sort of arboreal alopecia, apparently.

So I returned to find my yard covered in a blanket of brown leaves about 6 inches thick.  Frustratingly, very few of them were from MY tree.  Most of them were from neighbor’s trees as far as three blocks away.  But when the city is handing out citations for unraked lawns, they don’t give a fig where the leaves are from.   (Ironically, there were also a few fig leaves in the mix in my yard.  Heaven knows where those came from!)

So, yes, a mere day after walking 5 kilometers (I like to mention this a lot in case any of you missed it), I had to get out and rake up about 17 trees worth of leaves.  Actually, I didn’t rake them up.  I put the bag attachment on the mower and “vacuumed” them up, mulching them at the same time.  The leaves were so thick that I had to stop every 4 or 5 feet and empty the bag into the 30-gallon paper lawn bags that the city insists we put our yard waste into.

Before it was all said and done, I’d filled up twenty of those suckers!  For the math-impaired, that is 600 gallons of mulched leaves!  I’m not sure why we measure yard waste in gallons, but there you go.  Probably for the same reason we measure charity walks in “K”.

I think we should measure yard waste in square yards (it only makes sense), and, just to make it more interesting, we should measure charity walks in furlongs.  Tell me THAT wouldn’t make charity walks more exciting!  Especially if there was a straightaway just after the last turn.  Just don’t break a leg while walking it.


 

The week since then has been quiet in comparison.  My walking has dropped from the “kilo” down into the “centi” range.  The yard has not needed to be re-raked.

Work has been both highly stressful and unbearably dull.  How’s THAT for a paradox?  It’s the only place in the world where you can fall asleep while clutching your heart.  And even then they just say you died of boredom.  It makes the worker’s compensation investigation go much smoother.

“Oh, no,” say the company representatives to the Worker’s Comp investigators.  “He most certainly did NOT die of work related stress.  He died of self-inflicted boredom.  We believe his heart was simply too unmotivated to continue to beat on its own.”

And then, on the “Recommendations” page of the Worker’s Comp investigator’s PowerPoint report are two bullet points that read:

  • Implement on-line course for annual employee certification in how to perform CPR on themselves in the event of Boredom and Apathy Related Medical Incidents and Events (BARMIE)
  • Periodically send out cryptic emails implying that workforce reductions may be in the offing.

 

Now THAT will certainly get your heart pumping!  Never underestimate the effect that fear has on the workforce.    Remember:

A scared employee is a productive employee.


 

Okay, that’s enough rambling for one post.  If I make this much longer, I’ll soon have written about 5,000 words.   And that will be like a 5K charity read-a-thon.

And nobody wants that.

 

 

 

 

19 comments

    • Yes, Carol Anne, I did indeed have fun. 🙂

      Why, it seems like just a year ago that I was doing that. Actually, I guess it was almost a year ago.

      Sorry for the late reply. 😦 I just recently realized that WP does not always notify me when I get comments and so I discovered that I have missed replying to a lot of them. I’m trying to remedy that situation.

      Thank you for dropping by!

      Like

  1. And here was me thinking that America was the land of the free! But they make you tidy your lawn?!
    Perhaps all your neighbours had ‘tidied their’s and dumped the leaves on your lawn so as not to fork out for the bags?

    Like

    • Yes, they do. The “land of the free” is a relative term meaning that they won’t goosestep on us with hobnailed boots if we don’t kowtow to their decrees. They have found fines to be much more effective (and enriching). But I’ll still take it over the alternative.

      (Sorry for the late reply. See my comments to Carol Anne above.)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. 600 gallons of yard waste. Cities have too much time on their hands if they are going to cite you for mulching your ‘waste’ into the lawn rather than filling bags. Is it a coincidence that the words ‘city and ‘cite’ look so much alike? You’d be appalled with what we get away with here in lovely, cosmopolitan Cornville (population 1200 and change.) Oh, we run rampant with lawn atrocities. We’ve lived here for over thirty years and a 20-gallon yard bag has never appeared. Neither has the lawn police!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hiya, Linda! I hope you’re doing great.

      Yes, cities generally have too much time on their hand, and far too much power to go along with it. They tend to get ordinance-happy when the tax dollars are rolling in.

      I suppose that, technically, they don’t care what we do with our yard waste, as long as it doesn’t lay around on the ground looking like what it actually is. We’re free to mulch it up and put it back on our lawns ourselves if we want. However, in this case, I had so many leaves that, even after mulching them up, they would have completely buried the grass in brown mulch. That would have killed my grass.

      So, the City benevolently offers to pick it up for us (using our tax dollars) as long as it is packaged up neatly in 30-gallon yard waste bags (which we have to purchase ourselves). Generally, I’m okay with this, because if they didn’t do that, people would just dump their yard waste down the storm drains, and that threatens our water supply. Things get crazy when there are a couple of million people generating yard waste!

      So I’m quite jealous of your ability to let your yards become verdant and lush and natural! I think I would prefer that over having to keep them manicured in a most unnatural way. Unfortunately, I’m not much of a country boy and probably wouldn’t survive more than a week outside of the city limits! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’d do just fine in the country. It would just take you a little while to let loose. All of those city rules would take a bit of time to shake, I would think. I am the one who wouldn’t do very well in the city. I really like the city for about 3 days. After that, I pine for my pines. That was pretty awful, wasn’t it? Heh heh

        I have to go to Boston on Thursday (almost 5 hours away) and I am not looking forward to it. Too much concrete. I love the energy of it though…for about five minutes and then my introverted mind wants to explode. But then there are the museums…. Can you tell I’m conflicted?

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I honestly feel like that some days at work. Not EVERY day, thankfully. But there are just those days when we question our whole existence and if what we’re doing has any effect on anything at all. Luckily, those feelings are usually relatively fleeting. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ha ha! I guess nothing on the internet can be “owned” for very long. Everything seems becomes public domain shortly after posting it on the internet. Anyway, I’m glad you enjoyed the acronym! It took me a few minutes to come up with.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. while I was whiling away my weekend in therapy from all the appliances, then running around tonight in the downpour ( in San Diego, a steady rain is as close to Armageddon as a Californian gets) trying to prop up drenched Christmas inflatables.. I commend your leaf-exertions. Wow.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sounds like a fun night! Nothing like rain in southern CA to signal the apparent end of the world. 🙂

      I remember one time when I was a kid and we were living in San Diego. This was some time in the late 60s. But it actually snowed! Not much. Just some tiny flakes falling out of the sky and melting on contact with anything. But it was pretty cool. Of course, that was back when housing was actually affordable there, so obviously it was a crazy time.

      Good luck with the inflatables!

      Like

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