Thursday, March 06, 2008

A public thanking, an Arrow of Light, an ACL update

At some point back in October I stumbled across another blogger (thanks to Universal Hub, where Adam picked up one of his entries). I actually knew him. He lives here in my town and he is an assistant scout master for our town's cub scout pack. Or is it cub master? Cub master sounds like he needs a whip and chair and a funny mustache. The image kind of makes me giggle. I don't exactly know what he's called so I'll entertain the image of him in a 3-ring circus rounding up wild boy cubs, wearing weird pants and a top hat... (yes, I have an over-active imagination).

Jay and I worked on the cub scout haunted hallway last year to great success. It was a pleasure getting to know him through the scouts and through his blog... where he lets it all out where the kids can't hear him. He swears, rants about stupid idiots who can't drive in the snow, shares those priceless Dad Moments™ that one should never forget, and talks about his gun hobby.

Most especially entertaining to me was the post-Halloween Pumpkin Shoot at the range where he goes... everyone brought their Jack-o'-lanterns and had at it... that was awesome. Perhaps I'll get to a shooting range with him someday... I've always wanted to do that (I have a short list of things I'd really like to do and shooting is one of them).

He linked to me the other day and I owe him a thanks of sorts.

I usually hover at 40 hits a day, sometimes lower if y'all know I'm out of town. When I update, folks using RSS feeds come over and my hits go to about 60 the day I update. Well, yesterday's update combined with Jay's link over here skyrocketed my readership for that day to over 100. I must say I was kind of shocked and surprised. When I checked the traffic sources, 40 of my hits were right off his blog. No other mention of this journal anywhere in the last 7 years has resulted in that many visitors from a source.

Me and JaySo, thank you Jay. I return the favor.

A good deal of my readership is nothing like Jay.

Most of you are not conservative, not gun owners and a goodly chunk of you are, well ... not straight.

Which is interesting.

This journal seems to attract an interesting mix of folk instead of just one thread of philosophy. This is something I pride myself on. It's kind of a place where gay nurses of both genders, liberal lawyers, folk musicians, christian environmentalists, parents and non-parents, and gun nut dads and moms (yes, there is a gun nut mom who visits here) can come and read and point and laugh at me as I go through my daily drudgery.

Knowing full well that most of what I blog about is rarely specific to a single world view. For instance, dear, darling Maria, a lesbian mom blogger way out west, recently peed her pants in the doctor's office. I pooped my pants while sneezing. Together, we share our shame and laugh at ourselves. And you can laugh with us (or at us. Or towards us).

Maybe one or two of my six or so regular readers will come visit you, Jay. Hopefully they'll find your observations entertaining even if they don't agree. And if they do agree, hell yeah, a new blog for them.

And, if you're here via Jay's recommendation -- welcome. Nice to see you. Pull up a chair for some cowboy coffee You'll want to get around to patting that dog who is breathing heavily on your leg, pining for your attention. Hope you enjoy your visit.

I won't be seeing Jay too much in person now unless it is actually planned, or the boy scouts do something with the cub scouts.

Arrow of LightOn Sunday, Geoff finished cub scouts and bridged over to boy scouts.

It was a nice ceremony, and there were a few things that they did this year that they haven't done in the bridging ceremony in the past.

First, it is usually done on the same day as the Blue and Gold banquet. We eat, then go into the auditorium and do the ceremony. That didn't happen this year, the ceremony was held as a solo event. Which was nice because it only took and hour instead of like 3. It was also a little sad in a way because the younger cubs weren't there to see the older ones bridge. I always liked sitting there and watching the bigger kids, boys we've known for a few years through full pack events, complete their journey and go over. While I liked the smaller event, I wish there were some more little ones there. There were some... like Jay's son or siblings of the boys who were bridging... but there should have been more. My suggestion would be that they make it like a pack meeting, where the parents of the younger cubs don't have to sit through it if they don't want to... but the dens come with their den mothers and fathers, and watch the proceedings.

Another thing they did was the boys got to shoot an arrow at a target. Kind of like a little symbolic arrow of light of their own shooting. We went outside, and it was a beautiful late winter kind of afternoon with no wind, warm sun, lots of snow. Perfect day. The boys were jacked up and excited about doing this. Everything was perfect until one of the other boys jokingly said directly to Geoffrey, "if you don't hit the target, you don't get your arrow of light!"

Thanks. Jerk. Geoff takes EVERYthing literally... and this boy KNOWS this. He LOVES doing shit like this to Geoff and I just want to smack him upside the head and ask him what the hell is his problem.

Geoff knew he wasn't going to hit it. So we had to spend a lot of time convincing him that they were indeed going to give him the arrow of light, that if he missed it's no big deal. Oy veh. When will he learn to take a joke? Never! And when will this other kid learn to keep his pie hole shut. Probably never.

So while we're dealing with Drama Geoff, one boy hit the target and the arrow bounced off. Another shot it (come to think of it, they're twin brothers... heh) and the arrow hit and stuck true. Everyone cheered like mad.

Considering that out of 15 boys those were the only ones who got close.

I thought the target was a little small and a little far away... I expected one of those humongous round targets filled with hay standing on a stand like we used to shoot at in high school gym class. I could hit that. Geoff could hit that.

Most of the boys either haven't shot bow and arrow before, or if they have it's been quite a long time. Geoff did it last summer... and while he got good distance, it took an arc off to the left. He eventually got it through his pointed little head that life was not over and he wasn't made of fail. About 2 years ago something like this would have ruined our day, our weekend, his life... but he managed to get past it and continue with the ceremony without doing a total nose dive into hysteria.

Maturity may be coming to him day by day, year by year, by golly.

When they handed out the badge for the arrow of light, they hand it to the parents, so we got to stand up with Geoff and receive it. It's a nice gesture, recognizing how much parents do to make sure this all happens and the boys complete their programs. That gave me warm fuzzies.

Then, the boys walk over a bridge and are welcomed to the boy scouts by the troop members. Most of the boys ROCKETED across the bridge so I didn't get a picture of anyone crossing. They should have been instructed that it isn't a race, Speedy Gonzalez. Slow need to run. But in my heart of hearts I know why they ran. No, they weren't in a big hurry to become a boy scout... they're kind of embarrassed about doing this and just wanna get it over with. So I can't begrudge them.

Anyway -- the whole thing took less than 90 minutes... which surprised me. I thought we'd be there for days. It was over and done with, and tonight Geoff has his first boy scout meeting. Which has him completely pumped. "Mom, did you get the numbers for my uniform? Mom, why haven't you removed all the old stuff from my uniform. I'm not a cub scout anymore. Mom, did you fill out the application? Mom? Mom? Mom? Why are you drinking straight out of the giant bottle of wine and hiding under the bed? MOM!"


So I need to take a little jaunt over to the Scout Shop this morning and get all that jazz. It feels like yesterday when I bought him his blue shirt and his cub scout kerchief and slider. Wow. Tempus Fugit.

On the Jessica front, thank you for your kind words and your prayers. Keri, thank you for praying the rosary for her. Thank you all for advice and support. Elizabeth, I love that you liked this kind of injury to what your dogs have gone through, and then pondered the fact that the day after getting fixed your dog wanted to run and jump and play. Humans aren't quite as resilient, I think. And I doubt Jess will want to run and jump and play immediately after... if surgery is the final decision.

Her knee is in an immobilizer. She is comfortable when it is on and can walk about really well. When she takes it off, the knee hurts. She has a hard time with stairs, and getting up into the bus is a real challenge, so I drove her to school yesterday and Doug drove her today.

She got to ride the elevator in her school yesterday. Five Times! She was most excited about that. As only a 15 year old could be "Dude! I got to ride the elevator in the school!" Made of awesome.

Best thing is, yesterday she wore her "I do all my own stunts" t-shirt, which I found deliciously ironic. She got to her English class and her teacher took one look at her and busted up laughing.

"I bet you sure do!" she said, upon seeing Jess trundle into the classroom with her leg all immobilized. Nice.

Alright -- I gotta jet. Boy scout shop and work await. More later.

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