The blog days of August

The blogging world slows down in the summer. Some bloggers take a vacation. Some try to rediscover the real world. I, on the other hand, have just been slacking. It’s not my fault though. I blame society, because society is convenient to blame for everything, with its constant breakdowns. But mostly I blame this intellectually stifling season called summer.

It’s harder to get motivated to write in summer.

First of all, it tends to get hot and it’s harder to think when you’re hot. My best ideas leak out through my sweat glands in summer. Then, all I’m left with are horrible images of an old man perspiring. When the humidity hits, I start thinking again. I start thinking about the mechanics of breathing. I start thinking about how sweating like a pig is supposed to cool a body down. Lying science!

I can't do my work.

I can’t do my work.

The boys want to be outside, running around like maniacs who laugh in the face of the heat index, instead of staying cooped up in the house where I can easily hear and see the funny things they say and do. They become totally selfish and don’t care at all about their responsibility to give me good blog material.

Since between one and two of the children are too young to be outside, running around like unsupervised maniacs, I find myself always outside running around like a supervising maniac, preventing kids from changing neighborhoods like the wind. I can’t type while jogging, let alone at a full sprint. We might be outside until dark, which is practically tomorrow in summer.

As Captain Oates famously said, "I am just going outside and may be some time." It should be noted that Capt. Oates was never seen again, and it wasn't even hot weather.

As Captain Oates famously said, “I am just going outside and may be some time.” It should be noted that Capt. Oates was never seen again, and it wasn’t even hot weather.

Then they want to stay up late, because, hey, there’s no school in the morning and it’s still kind of light outside. This leaves me hardly any time at all for a muse-provoking scotch on the rocks, because, hey, there is work in the morning and it’s going to take me two hours to fall asleep in this heat. Kids tend to supply zero writing prompts when they are standing between you and a quiet nightcap.

This makes me grumpy. When you are hot, sticky, and grumpy, it is the perfect time to write – if you are due to fire off another angry letter to the electric company. When you are grumpy, you tend to lash out at people, which is just what the utilities need and expect. Unfortunately, utilities probably make up a minority of your blog audience. So you should probably just go to bed and stew in your own juices until you fall asleep, as figuratively as you can manage.

All of this not thinking and not writing leads to large gaps between blog posts. This is not the end of the world because your audience is outside playing and getting heat stroke too.  The real problem comes when you get frustrated and give up on the thinking altogether because you figure you can still do the  writing without it. That only ever leads to a third-rate blog post.

And I hope you enjoyed it.

Get ready for the best bike ride ever! . . . Um, is anybody getting ready?

The last day of August, one week before Labor Day officially shuts down summer, what better time to go for your first family bike ride of the year?

Bike riding is a fun way to enjoy family time together while getting valuable exercise. There’s hardly a happier, healthier activity for a family than riding bikes, so naturally we ignored the bikes collecting rust in the garage through the meat of summer. Happy and healthy sounds like a great combination for tomorrow, when we might have more time.

Tomorrow came on August 31. The more enterprising parent had disentangled the bikes from the garage before I got home from work. A few minutes for me to change clothes, then all we had to do was jump on and go.

If not for the tire issue.

No problem. I’ll just plug the $15 Target clearance air compressor into the car and we’ll inflate those tires in a snap.

There’s no snap, or any other noise. The air compressor’s dead. Fortunately, I have a newer, better, cheaper, $10 Target clearance compressor in the house. This one blows up half a tire before it follows its colleague to air compressor Valhalla.

On to the manual pump, purchased in the ‘90s, when both it and I were much less worn out. It’s good exercise though, pumping up four tires with a leaky pump. It’s a healthy sweat.

Ready at last. Where’s the trailer for the little boys?

Ah. Folded up in the basement. But it’s easy to set up, once you get it lugged up the stairs.

Oh good. Two more flat tires. Sorry, pump. I know you’re too old for this.

Okay, got the tires inflated and the hitch hooked up to my bike. Let’s go.

Where are the boys?

Playing down the street.

Big Man needs a new diaper. Buster should go potty.

Buster doesn’t want to go potty. He needs a drink. Every boy needs a drink. And maybe a snack.

That was refreshing. Let’s go.

Buster still doesn’t want to go potty. Let’s have debate with him about it.

Buster sits on the pot for some time. He says he pottied, but nobody heard any tinkling. It’s getting late; he must be trusted. Let’s go.

Get your helmet, Big Brother. Where is it? How should I know?

Helmet found. Little boys inserted into trailer and buttoned up. Let’s go.

Yes, Mommy, you’re right. You probably should change your flip-flops for some sort of real shoe. No, I don’t know which ones would be best.

Found your biking shoes? Great. I had to take Big Man out the trailer. He got tired of waiting and started to cry. I’ll put him back in now. No, he’ll be fine once we start moving. Let’s go.

Wait. I should probably lock up the house. Better safe than sorry. Be right back.

Okay, house is locked. Everybody’s on wheels; let’s go.

Who says he needs to go potty?

I think we did pretty good. After all, we were able to put it off until August 31.

sleepy bikers

Well, at least nobody missed their bed times because they were out too late biking.