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Careening down the road of life.

It’s a question everyone has asked: why is it that when we get older, time goes by so much faster? In fact, it’s almost cliché.

On January 26, 2007, my son will be three years old. Three years can’t have gone by that fast! Time bends mysteriously these days. Quantitatively, three years still seems like a long time to me. But the speed at which I live through that quantity is constantly accelerating — pedal to the metal. This all started back when I was three years old, just like Brendan. I wanted to grow up — the faster the better. So does he.

My wife or I said to him they other day, in passing, not to grow up too fast (or something of that nature.) He became very upset.

“Why I can’t grow up? I want to grow up!”

We felt so bad!

“Of course you can grow up! Mommy and Daddy want you to grow up!”

Just not so fast. Every parent knows what I’m talking about. I can remember my perception of time while growing up, and three years would be approximately the equivalent of forever. A year was consider too long to think about. Months dragged on, especially the one between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and the one leading up to your birthday. Weekends were even (mercifully, during the school year) long — except those prior to a report or project being due. Summers as a kid were always longer than they are now, too. Summer used to be so long that when you went back to school in the Fall, you’d almost forgotten what it was like. I now swear that Labor Day is observed the first Monday after Memorial Day.

I often like to put time in perspective of four-year blocks. That’s the time I spent in high school, and to this day I can remember being a freshman and thinking, “Holy crap! I can’t believe I still have four years of school before I’m done with all this!” At the end of it all, it seemed like those four years, though wonderful, were an eternity. From that point forward, time moved into the left lane and floored it.

The great four years of college went twice as fast as high school. By the time I learned how to stop pissing time away, I woke up and was 30. Does anybody know what I was doing during my 20’s anyway?

Welcome to 2007. Because of Brendan’s January birthday, reflection on time, his age and mine, is inevitable. I will be 37 this year; he will be 3. We’ll move through the next year together — at the same time. But, his time will pass slow, while for me, 2008 is knocking on the door.

So, I present for your consideration this twisted joke of human nature. For most, starting around the age of 3, we dream of being grown-ups — banging the dashboard impatiently, begging time to go ever faster through childood. Before you know it time responds, it’s then we start looking around desperately searching for the brakes. I haven’t found them over the last three years, so I am now trying to bring the blurry scenery of this ride into focus and take in every beautiful detail. I only hope that somehow Brendan will beat the odds and not step on his accelerator quite so hard.

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iPod Discovery

iPodSo, I have finally discovered the wonder of the iPod. Actually, it was back in late August, early September that I made the discovery. I always wondered what the big deal was about the iPod — not the big deal about what a digital music player was — this I knew already.I had a D-Link MP3 player about 5 years ago (with a whole 32 MB on it) — it was a piece of garbage but it had no moving parts and played back music while I exercised. A little more recently, I had a Rio “Sport” MP3 player (did WMA, too) that was anything but usable for sport. It repeatedly fell out of it’s plastic case when I jogged, and I ended up using duct tape to hold it in place. Nothing ruins your jog like dragging your MP3 by your ear bud and having to stop to snap its plastic halves back together … literally.

Based on these past experiences with digital music players, I could never justify shelling out the bucks for the iPod. Also working against it was that I would only consider disk-less players since I used them primarily during exercise. And though the iPod Mini was disk-less, I jsut couldn’t get past paying that much money for a digital music player.

So about 6 months ago, I started hearing more noise about the iPod Nano and its smaller counterpart the Shuffle. And was finally swayed by a bunch of marketing hype. Yup. Hype got my money … well that is, Apple and Nike. They blew me away with the whole Nike+iPod gimmick. Now you could have a digital music player that could also speak wirelessly to a digital pedometer stuck in the sole of your shoe. I did realize immediately that this meant you had to buy an iPod Nano, buy the 2 piece Nike gizmo that connected to the iPod and went in your shoe and, oh yeah, you had to buy a pair of Nike shoes to hold one half of said gizmo. I’ll reserve the remainder of my Nike+iPod diatribe for a future post, but, really, marketing hype aside, this is one very cool system and it actually works … provided you meet the minimum equipment requirements.

Once I finally got my hands on the iPod Nano, I could immediately tell the difference between it and the other excuses for digital music players I had owned. It is far superior. Now I finally understand what all the rage is about. My only complaint is that two weeks after I bought my black 4GB Nano, Apple launched the “new” Nano. I could care less about the color choices with the new Nano, but I could have had 8GB for what I paid for 4GB or still bought 4GB for a heck of a lot cheaper which would have left me more money to blow on the all that iPod or Nike+ hype … or rather accessories … that are now must haves.

Left Behind With Daddy

“See? Look out there, Mom, that’s my plane; it’s an L-1011 ’cause it’s got the two big engines — one on each wing!

“That’s nice Max. You will remember to tell your Daddy I said ‘Hello,’ right?”

“Yeah! — I won’t forget already!”

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Death of an American Town

It was always the perfect little American town. Dave and I had some of our best child hood memories set here. Didn’t get to see Dave much these days, but when we were younger we were like brothers, or better yet, inseparable best-friends, rather than cousins. We lived five minutes from each other back then and could always be found playing soccer in someone’s back yard or football in the street. The times we liked best, though, were coming here, to Claverack, and visiting Gram and Gramp.

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Why We Go This Way?

?Ok, the reasoning behind Why We Go This Way?

My son is 2½ and firmly entrenched in the repeated-question stage of life. What we doin? Where we goin? Where Mommy? What you doin? Why? As all parents know, Why?, is usually repeated incessantly and can follow the answer to any question — forever. Whenever we drive a different direction to a place familiar to him, his favorite question is “Why we go this way?” One time trying to answer this question, it really hit me just how strange many of life’s experiences appear through 2-year old eyes.

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A Fall Day

Waiting for the curtain.November 5, 2005 — Last year my wife and I took my son to see the Zucchini Brothers, a band that performs music for kids.   He was a little young (21 months) for the whole experience, but it was fun nonetheless to expose him to it and see the look on his face as he saw his first-ever live artistic performace.

After all the anticipation, the curtain went up, he lasted a few songs and was done.  We had anticipated as such and my wife had packed a picnic lunch for us eat somewhere on the way back home.   This truly turned out to be the highlight of the day.

It was late fall, perfect temperature — the kind of day that smells of your childhood.   We had our peanut butter and jelly sandwhiches, potatoe chips and milk (soda for Mommy and Daddy) on the grounds of the Vanderbilt Mansion (officially a national park, I guess.)   At least that’s what we did when we weren’t catching leaves, climbing trees and just running around.

Waiting for Falling Leaves

Something about that day made it an instant perfect day in my memory.   Now the cool, crisp smell of Fall will forever remind me of my son’s childhood.

Catching Leaves

Hello world!

So, here we go.  Going to give this blogging thing a try.  Figured I’d start by editing the default post they give, but may as well leave the title and say hello to the rest of the planet.