Friday, September 21, 2018

recommendations, robots, randomness

I rarely use facebook, but keep an account.  Like I told Magnum, because of the nature of my work, prospective students and/or parents are more likely to spy facebook over Linkedin to check for any dirt. So I keep it for the purpose of nothing-to-see-here, and to avoid any hmmm-why-doesn't-she-have-a-facebook-what's-wrong-with-her?

I do follow a couple of groups, mainly P.E.O. and the bicycle commuter group, both of which are usually positive and helpful, unlike seemingly the entire rest of fbook.  But even they have their moments.

Recently, one of the bicycle commuters, who lives somewhere in Europe, said he was coming to the US for a temporary work assignment.  He was bringing his bicycle and wanted recommendations for a good bullet-proof vest to wear while commuting.


Was he joking?  He was joking, right?

Some assumed he was joking, others told him he was much more likely to get hit by a car than by a bullet. I, for one, ignored him (he's posted attention-drama-queen stuff before).  He claimed to not be joking.

So that went on to spark a conversation thread about some notions people from other countries had about the US that they felt seemed strange, but turned out to be true.  One person thought it was strange the way the national anthem is played/sung before sporting events.

That sparked an even more animated discussion about American school children pledging allegiance to the flag every morning of public school.

Admittedly, I find that kinda weird.  Last year, when I was working at that local public high school, I was a bit surprised to learn that schools still did that.  And it seemed strange that high school kids, stereotypically known for rebellion, robotically stood up each morning on cue and mumbled the Pledge of Allegiance.  As I dutifully stood and sometimes mumbled along, I couldn't help but feel I had a part in some dystopian novel.

I do however like the anthem before sporting events, but I'm not really big into watching sporting events.  My appreciation stems more from races I've done where the anthem is performed just before the start.  For one, it gets everyone to shut up so we can all hear the "Go!".

One local race I've enjoyed is the Rescue Run that happens "Rain, Snow, or 20 Below!" on New Years day each year, with proceeds going to the county search and rescue team.  That race is run partially in some boonies with the start at a different location than the finish, and there is no PA system at the start.  Instead of having some talented person sing the anthem, one of the race officials starts us off and all us race participants belt it out.  I strangely enjoy that part.

This past year, after I'd finished the race, I was hanging around because I'd won a medal and had to wait for the big presentation to receive what I'm sure is pure solid gold 😝.  It wasn't quite 20 below, but it was chilly, so I went to the snack area to get some warm beverage.

They were serving up animal crackers and hot Gatorade®️.  Believe me, it tastes better than it sounds, at least to me it did.  It was so surprisingly good that I've thought about it off and on for the past nine and a half months - every time I go to Costco and see those big jugs of animal crackers.

I broke down and bought one today - a big jug of animal crackers.

That's really what this whole post is about.  I bought a jug of animal crackers today at Costco.  But if I just said that, it would've been pretty dumb.

But I WOULD like to know others' thoughts on the playing of the national anthem before sporting events and the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance in US public schools... or animal crackers.


LL Cool Joe said...

I'm not into sport or the national anthem so I'm happy for them both to disappear. :D

As a Brit with a house in the States I have to be totally honest and say I'm much more careful on the roads in the US than the UK because if I got involved in some road rage I'm aware a great many Americans own a gun, especially in AZ. The fact that you can walk into Wal Mart and buy a gun does make me a little nervous not to get on the wrong side of people. Mind you here in the UK I'm very likely to get knifed to death. Sigh.

Chatty Crone said...

You know I am 100% for it and I would make everyone stand.

Hey animal cookies are not that bad in the realm of sweets.

ShadowRun300 said...

Hot Gatorade? Not sure I would like that. And I can’t remember the last time I bought animal crackers. Is it the combination of the two that you’re diggin’?
I am only a stalker on FB, and rarely post anything. But like you, feel like I should probably have an account. Makes me sad to think your FB friend feels the need to have a bullet proof vest when he comes to the US. :(

Abby said...

Joey, road rage is one of the reasons I don't like to drive. Too many crazies out there.

Chatty, until that discussion, I never really thought about how often the anthem is played - sports, all kinds of school events... I always stand.

SR300 - I'm not sure if it was because I was cold and post-race, but the hot gatorade was surprisingly good and refreshing, and I'm not typically a fan of gatorade. It wouldn't have been as good without the animal crackers, though!
Bullet-proof-vest man is paradoxically anti-helmet man (?).

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

I would not be upset if it went away.
I find it unnecessary.
But if it is played I will stand and listen.
I do not think it actually belongs in sports.
But you know the old timers will eat me alive for that.

Larz said...

I'm pretty hesitant about "required" displays of nationalism. No, that's too dainty. I'm against it.