Tuesday, July 11, 2017

TAKING TIME

Our dog Scooter can never be accused of rushing into anything. On our twice-a-day walks he's not to be hurried. When he finds something by the side of the road that excites his olfactory senses, he'll make sure that every square inch of each fragrant mass of garbage gets worked over by his considerable proboscus.

For years I have engaged in the frustrating practice of trying to hurry him along, tugging on his leash to get him moving. I've tried bribes, coercion, treats, threats, trips to the vet and prison terms, all to no avail.

In short, he's not to be rushed.

After lo these many years I've come to the painful realization that my dog may be on to something. Think about it - why am I in such a rush to have him finish his sniffing and get back home? It's not as if I have a stack of appointments to attend to or a long "to do" list. Accordingly I've decided that I'm going to let him take his time strolling through the weeds looking for and appreciating the scent of the occasional fragrant piece of discarded garbage.

There's a lesson here for all of us. Let's start taking our time to appreciate the many wonderful things around us. Look up and appreciate the blue sky. Peer ahead at the mountains and trees. Enjoy the fragrance of the salt air by the seashore.

And make sure you take time to smell some garbage.

Readers, enjoy your day.

FREE STUFF

On previous West of Denver entries I've alluded to the fact that, on the spectrum from "Miser" to "Diamond Jim Brady" I lie somewhere near "Cheapskate" or "Skinflint". Luckily, I have lots of company.

Let's face it, most of us rarely pass up a bargain and, furthermore we're incapable of turning down most anything that's free. Even the great cartoonist Gary Larson of "The Far Side" got into the act with the following entry:



















If you are one who cannot turn down free (and you probably are) - take heart. I've heard that it's a genetically inherited characteristic. Accordingly, blame your parents.

Which brings me to the point of today's sermon. While driving around our small town I've seen signs by the side of the road for free items. Some of these have included...

Free Manure
Free Puppies
Free Lumber
Free Baby chicks
Free Firewood
Free Rocks

...among many other things. In these cases I always ponder "Hmmm, a free truck tire. How can I put that to good use?" or "there's a free toilet seat...should I replace the one we already have?"

Here's where the reality ("I don't need it") meets the  rationale ("but it's free.")

Recently I faced a dilemma of massive proportions. Our downtown merchants were giving free tattoos to anyone over age 18. This was to celebrate the start of the Race To Alaska (R2AK) for those in the know. Yes, one could receive an R2AK tattoo free of charge. Admittedly, the logo is pretty cool:








Please be sure that I'm not a fan of tattoos - but they're free. I hate pain - but they're free. My friends would laugh at me - but they're free. The wife would never look at me the same - but they're free.

After much ponderance including selecting the spot on my aged body upon which said tattoo would be inscribed, I decided against taking advantage of this free offer.

While driving home that evening I experienced a case of cheapskate's remorse and decided that next year I would take advantage of the offer and will have the R2AK logo tattooed on my right shoulder blade.

But only if they're still free.


Readers, enjoy your day.


For more information about Race to Alaska visit https://r2ak.com/