high school

If you sit next to your date you can hold hands

When I was meditating this morning I remembered going on a first date with a girl in high school. We went to a nice restaurant — it had tablecloths and silverware — I don’t currently remember the name of, and sat across from each other at a small, round table.

After a very short while a young boy came up to us and asked, “Are you on a first date?”

My date and I looked at him and said, “Yes, we are.” I started to look around to see where the boy came from, but I couldn’t figure that out.

“It’s okay if you sit closer to each other,” he said.

“Really,” we replied, looking at each other and smiling with surprise.

So I got up and moved my chair around the table until my date and I sat next to each other. “Is that good,” I asked.

“Much better,” he said. “This way you can hold hands.” And then he left.

Wrong Thinking

Here’s a story about what I call “Wrong Thinking.”

Way back in high school when I was playing baseball, a pitcher named Catfish Hunter became the first baseball player to get paid over a million dollars a year. I thought that was crazy, in a bad way. One day I talked to my dad about it, and asked him why people like farmers and engineers who did more important work didn’t get paid like that.

He didn’t have a great answer at the time, and that thought kept on bothering me. These days I think a correct answer he could have given me goes like this: “Baseball is in the entertainment business, just like singers and actors. For whatever reason — some sort of supply and demand, and a need for entertainment — society is willing to pay those people a lot of money. So if the money bothers you, what you can do is make that money just like Catfish Hunter, and then give it away however you see fit.”

Pitching in high school

This is a picture of me as a pitcher in high school. I don’t want to say that we were poor growing up, but I wore a large outfielder’s glove while pitching because I was afraid to ask my dad for a new glove, and the shoe on my right foot — the one way up in the air — was cracked in the middle.

(Many thanks to Dwayne Heidtbrink for the photo way back when.)

Had a little problem getting to school

Back in the day, high school was boring for me, and probably even before my parents were separated I decided to take as many days off from school as I could. A few days ago when I was rearranging my furniture I ran across my high school yearbook, where I found several inscriptions like this one, alluding to the fact that I wasn’t there very often, but I made class interesting when I was there. ;)

“I’m embarrassed by my family” (the high school years)

Today I’m going to take a break from the technical stuff that I usually write about, and write about something from my past that may be important to other people: When I was young, especially when I was in high school, I was embarrassed by my family, and that had a HUGE effect on my feelings and behavior. In retrospect the way I dealt with it was dumb, but I wasn’t very mature and I dealt with it in the first way that occurred to me.

Steve Kerr on the shooting in Florida and our government

“Nothing has been done. It doesn't seem to matter to our government that children are being shot to death day after day in schools. It doesn't matter that people are being shot at a concert, at a movie theater. It's not enough, apparently, to move our leadership, our government, the people who are running this country to actually do anything. That's demoralizing.”

“But we can do something about it. We can vote people in who actually have the courage to protect people's lives, not just bow down to the NRA because they've financed their campaign for them. Hopefully we'll find enough people, first of all to vote, get people in, but hopefully we'll find enough people to actually help our citizens remain safe and focus on the real safety issues, not building some stupid wall for millions of dollars that has nothing to do with our safety, but actually protecting us from what truly is dangerous, which is maniacs with semi-automatic weapons just slaughtering our children. It's disgusting.”

~ Steve Kerr

Talkeetna, Alaska archaeological dig

This story on adn.com describes an archaeological dig in my adopted hometown of Talkeetna, Alaska.

A short blurb from the article: “For the past two weeks, a half dozen Talkeetna-area high school students with the Youth Conservation Corps led by archaeologists from the University of Alaska Museum of the North have methodically excavated what’s believed to be part of the old Nagley homestead next to the Walter Harper Ranger Station just off Talkeetna’s main drag. The Nagleys, merchants who owned the local trading post that still bears their name, lived in the area from the 1920s into the 1930s.”