Wednesday, February 17, 2010
I'm calling this post "Survival" because everything I've got in mind to write fits that label. Let's start.
I have a pair of Adidas running shoes that I've had for almost four years. They're really comfortable and still in pretty good shape. I've taken them running / hiking / walking all over the west. In the process, the breathable material that covers the toe of the shoe started to wear in some spots. Some little slits started to form.
I tried to ignore the sad truth, but when I walked in the cold Idaho outside to the gym, the holes let in every draft of cold air. And when the feet aren't warm, the whole body feels cold.
SO ...I resolved to find a way to fix the holes. I had duct tape and super glue and ideas were already brewing for patching methods. I made sure the shoes were dry, then used the duct tape to seal the holes from the inside. Next, I attempted to bind the holes shut with super glue on the outside. It was ...an adventure. As soon as I applied the super glue, it started to steam ...or smoke. And I could feel it getting super hot in my hand. I had triggered a chemical reaction that wasn't slowing down. I just blew on it super fast to cool it down, fearing that if I didn't the whole operation would spontaneously burst into flames in my hand. The blowing worked. It staved off the heat enough to allow the glue to dry and end the reaction. I proceeded to patch all the holes. I'm happy to say, it worked. I've given the shoes a few weeks of testing (walking, running, and hiking) and they've held up with no sign of weakening. I'm a survivor, and so are my shoes.
The Dart was due for an oil change. I'd already pre-bought all the needed stuff to do it from Napa (I love Napa). Then I waited. I waited for a day that would be warm enough for me to get out and do dirty car work. That day came. It was Monday. I got too busy with other things to do the oil change. So yesterday the weather was pretty favorable, and I braved it. Little granules of snow were coming down, but it wasn't too frigid, so everything was good. I used an old shower curtain to lay on (and threw it away afterward). It took about 20 minutes. Our complex won't allow us to work on our vehicles in the parking lot, so I pulled out onto the street for the procedure. I've got new spark plugs to install, but realized I'll need a socket for that job that I don't have ...yet. The Dart and I? Yeah, we're survivors.
There's another survivor I want to mention. His name is Bear Grylls. In my book, he's got to be the coolest thing to happen to modern television. OK, I'm exaggerating, but he's pretty amazing. That's why I just couldn't believe my ears at the post office last week. Some kid was talking with his friend on his cell-phone. And he was dissing on Bear. I got to eavesdrop on his reasons for this ignorant stance, as he was speaking pretty loud.
This kid was a Survivor Man fan. No offense to any of you who are too, but I just don't understand why. The ONLY ONLY sole, singular, pathetic argument for Survivor Man being better than Bear Grylls is this: "Dude, Survivor Man's legit. I mean, you know he's really surviving on his own because he doesn't have a camera crew there to help him."
OK? And .........
I'm a little biased. I've only watched one episode of Survivor Man. To be honest, I wasn't impressed by the guy's tactics, his failures, and the annoyance of him having to man the camera. In the episode I saw, he was trying to start a fire. He eventually took one of his older video cameras and busted it open to get a magnifying glass from the lens to try and start a fire with. Really? C'mon man. And once he got the magnifying glass, he realized that where he had built his fire-pit was in a shaded area, and he needed sun. SO he tried starting a fire with it in a sunny spot that he could carry back to his fire-pit ...and failed.
I'll give him some credit ---he's managed to get out of some pretty tight situations. But so have a lot of ordinary everyday people. It doesn't mean they deserve a slot in Prime-time television. He's no Bear Grylls, and he never will be.
I don't care that Bear has a camera crew with him. All his tactics are real, useful, pretty impressive, and most often successful. And the way I see it, it's more of a challenge helping your camera man and yourself through all the situations you encounter.
Given all that, the main reason I choose Bear over that other dude is the entertainment factor. There's no comparison: Bear has the vibrant personality of a natural entertainer. Survivor Man is a bore. Maybe that's why I see Bear Grylls on TV all the time and Survivor Man ...well, never. Bear is a survivor. Don't hate on the Bear. With such a manly name, how could you?