Things that crossed my mind while thinking about my last year in the fourties. Hey, at least it's leap year so I get 366 until the half century mark.
1) At my 40th, I remember telling Ralph. "We've spent the first 40 thinking we are immortal. We need to figure out in the next 40 how to make that happen."
2) I'm sure we all remember when we thought 49 was old. Now that I'm there and staring at 50 I don't feel bad at all. I haven't been to the gym in a while but need to get back there (we haven't had any snow so there has been no point in getting into shape to ride sleds). And I have been really thinking about wanting to run a 5K. Then I stop and say to myself "why in the hell would you want to do that?" I'd probably tear an ACL or do something that wouldn't let me play golf for the rest of the year. To hell with that. I'm still going to get back in the gym, but not going to race anyone. Unless it's the Malta boys for who gets to 50 first. In that case, I win.
3) I do need to get back in shape. By blood pressure was up this year at my annual physical. First time ever. No history of it in my family. Though I'm high strung, I don't want to be one of those guys who has a heart attack at 54. I'm 5'8" and weigh 163. In decent shape but could be better. Just need to get rid of the HBP and I'll be fine.
4) I've been blessed with tremendous great health. I think I've mentioned this once before but in the last 20 years I've only missed one day of work because of illness. One. Back when I was a lad in my 30's, there were a lot of late nights in the summer. Never missed the bell once. Never called in sick because I was out too late the night before. As a matter of fact, I was never late. Not once. Lucky I suppose.
5) Here's a thought for a blog summit. I turn 50 next year. How about you all get your country asses to Bozeman the week of February 8th and we have a symposium or whatever? You can all rent a snow coach and go through Yellowstone. Seeing it's splendor in the winter is unmatched. I've rode through it twice on snowmobiles and been through it many times in the summer. There is no comparison which is better. And you cannot believe the snow that YNP gets. Feet and feet of it. It is totally awesome. I'll buy the hotel rooms for the night of my 50th celebration. Deal? Good. Glad we cleared that up. Boxer, Moi, Pam, Troll, Chickory, Karl and you BK. You have one year's notice. Get your collective shit together and make a plan.
6) Or we could go to Hawaii in March, which is what I'm going to do as well. Just sayin.
7) I had coffee with my "adopted" brother Leo this morning. He is brilliant beyond words. Growing up working for his family is the best thing that ever happened to me. We talked for two hours and only quit because he had a five hour drive to get back to the Center of The Universe. He is one of the few people I know that could have been anything he wanted to be. A doctor, an engineer etc. Just so smart. Well spoken and humble. He taught me so much growing up. And taught me a lot today. As usual.
8) Bought $20 worth of lottery tickets today. It's over $300 million dollars. Ralph is in for half. "Quick picked" 9 tickets and picked the other six numbers. My Dad's, brother Bill and my birth month and day. I did that playing roulette in Phoenix and won on Bill's number.
*rubs a rabbit's foot and sacrifices a chicken.
9) Making a plan to go to Cooperstown this summer. For those of you who may not know, Cooperstown NY, is the location of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Hallowed ground to say the least. I've been there once with my sister LP. It was great but for reasons I won't get into here, our tour was cut short. Ralph is going with me this time. It will probably take us two days to go through it. I'm fine with that.
10) A story about that. Way back in the long ago, Jimmy and I said we would get tattoos of our baseball team's on our left ankle. We were going to do it together. Jimmy jumped the gun and got his without me. He showed up at the LBOH (Lonely Bachelors and Oppressed Husband's weekend) with his new ink. I was a little upset he had done it without me. "We had a pact!" "I had to do it Chipper. Kim (his wife) gave me the green light and I didn't want her to change her mind." Jimmy has five tattoos now. You can't see any of them if you are a student in his class. Five! He has enough to be a carney for God sakes! He could be running the tilt-o-whirl at the Mulesbreath County Fair in Arkansas.
11) Back to the story. So Jimmy (only two tattoos at the time, or maybe three. Honestly, I don't have my "Jimmy's tattoos" scoreboard handy) and I meet in Billings for Ralph's 38th birthday. Ralph says "My wife is out of town. We need to do something that I can say 'you weren't here so I couldn't ask permission'". Before I could stop myself I said "Let's get tattoos!" Ralph "That's a great idea." Now we still had to play golf, and go to an arena football game. Shoey had to do his laundry that night so he couldn't make the arena football game. I guess there weren't any laundromats open on Sunday in Billings, a town of over 100,000 people. Probably not Shoey. Anyway, it was a Saturday. I was hoping the novelty of the idea might have worn off by the next morning. It didn't. Jimmy, who was in support 100% of the idea, was up the next morning calling tattoo shops until he found one open on a Sunday. To end this long story (is it "to" or "too" I'm always confused on that) Ralph and I had our tattoos etched into our skin. I don't regret it. I'll like it when we line our ankles up to have our picture taken on the front steps of the BBHOF with our ink. Ralph cried like a little girl when he got his. No surprises there. Hey Ghoulies, if you don't like that last statement, start your own blog. You can call it "How Chip let me tie him in the alumni wrestling tournament." I like the sounds of that. Make sure I can be a contributor. Oh, and keep your fingers crossed for the lottery. Love ya!!
Pause. Sorry. I'm laughing so hard at those last few sentences I can hardly type.
12) Hoping my broker gets me on the list for the Facebook IPO. Wait. What do I care? I'm winning the lottery in a few hours.
13) Going to take a golf vacation in March. Thinking St. George, Utah. Can play some golf, go to Zion National Park. Zion is spectacular. And it's small enough that you can ride a bike through the entire thing. Of course, I'll need to get into shape before that. Don't want my last words to be "Really God? You're gonna let me die in Utah?! Whatta a gyp!"
14) I caught up with all of you tonight. Didn't post a comment on any but did read all of your splendid posts. So glad to be a part of this bunch. 49. Half way to death. I'll say the same thing next year. When I get to meet you all.