We meet then, appropriately, via an interruption. My son and I were standing in the line to register for a day at Windrock Bike Park, a hardscrabble collection of steep descents and unpleasant terrain just west of Oak Ridge, Tennessee. It was our first visit to the place and we had no idea what we’d be seeing or riding. All we knew was that there was a no-entry-fee race being held in the afternoon, and that there was some sort of youth division.
“Should I race?” John asked, leaning close to me so I could hear him over the conversational madness of the queue. This was also the line for Windrock’s ATV and SxS trails, so we were very close to a lot of very loud people. They were also very fat. I can say that because I, too, am overweight — but I was between fifty to a hundred pounds short of the average off-roader in our vicinity, regardless of gender.
“Well, John,” I said, loud enough for him to hear me but no louder, “we have no idea what the race course will be. It might be a lot of really steep and rocky stuff, which you don’t like riding. Or it might be ten big jumps in a row, and you’ll be the only kid to clear them.”
“HE AIN’T GONNA BE THE ONLY ONE, BUDDY.”
I’ve always been into Cadillacs, and that means I’ve always been into Cadillac toys and scale models. Recently my friend in Texas, Jayson Coombes, bought this brand-new release by BoS (short for Best of Show) after I told him about it, ha ha. He was nice enough to take some pictures of it and text them to me.
As you can see, it’s a finely detailed model. I have a few BoS Models myself, including a 1972 Coupe de Ville and 1968 Thunderbird four-door Landau, and the quality is high.
If you haven’t heard, Kentucky was (and still is, due to contested results) the site of one of the nation’s most closely watched and contested elections this week. The incumbent, Republican Matt Bevin, won his seat in 2015 in a bit of a landslide, considering that his predecessor was a Democrat. The state was deeply in debt at the time, with teacher pension programs that were underfunded and in danger of collapsing, due to a failure of previous governors and general assemblies to properly fund the retirement system. Bevin ran on a promise to fix the system, and passed a bill that was designed to do just that—but the Kentucky Supreme Court overturned it.
Bevin made a mistake—well, it was a mistake in the sense that it prevented his certain re-election in a state that voted 65-35 for Donald Trump in 2016. He attacked the teachers in Kentucky, likening them to “thugs.” He blamed sexual abuse and shootings on them. When they called out sick en masse to protest him at the statehouse, he said they just wanted a day off.
So what did the teachers do? Well, they did they always do—they indoctrinated the children.
We interrupt this extremely sporadic program to bring you a commercial message. Vox Day and Castalia Press are reissuing the Junior Classics of 1918:
The purpose of The Junior Classics is to provide, in ten volumes containing about five thousand pages, a classified collection of tales, stories, and poems, both ancient and modern, suitable for boys and girls of from six to sixteen years of age.
If you know of, or are related to, a child who is primarily consuming kidlit and capeshit, this would be an outstanding antidote. As of right now the Indiegogo campaign has reached 1200% of its original goal.
With a few thousand books in my house, I have enough of the source materials to not “need” this set, but I’m likely to get it anyway. You might want to take a look as well. The campaign is here and while it isn’t cheap, to the best of my knowledge Vox has fulfilled or refunded every single one of his campaigns to date. So it’s a better shot than the last Kickstarter I funded, to be certain!
If you’re not in the habit of following the convulsions of “new media” — if, in other words, you have a real and potentially fulfilling life — then you’ve missed a lot of drama in the past week. The G/O Media (previously GMG, previously Univision, previously Gawker Media) site Deadspin went through an extraordinary series of self-flagellations when Barry Petchesky, who succeeded Megan Greenwell, was fired for deliberately defying the “stick to sports” mandate of its new owners. Several of the site’s writers quit shortly afterwards in “solidarity”. A 53-year-old freelancer agreed to work for the site and was immediately bullied into quitting by an online mob. Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy gloated at the collapse of his rivals.
It’s not for me to say who is wrong or right here, although I have my personal opinions on the subject. I’d rather focus on something that is, to me at least, more interesting: the idea of perpetual adolescence in the workplace, and the social structures which have evolved to enable that idea.
Two Sundays ago I attended the twice-a-year model car/promo/kit swap meet and show in Countryside, IL, in suburban Chicagoland. As usual, I brought plenty of cash. As usual, I spent a lot of it. I got several nice Cadillac promos. One of them was this dark red 1966 Cadillac Coupe de Ville promo, which I got from my buddy Jim Smith. And all was well-until last night.
Many of my readers are already Gustin members. I’ve had some good luck with their stuff over the years, although the sizing can be a bit tricky. My “Japan Shine” blue jeans are far and away the best denim pants I’ve ever owned or encountered.
Gustin’s doing $15 Made In The USA knit hats for the winter. If you’re not already a Gustin member, joining with my total sellout referral link gives you a five dollar credit. I get five bucks as well. So it’s a ten dollar hat.
But wait, there’s more. Comment below, even if you don’t buy a hat. I’ll pick a random comment, probably by using the last two digits of the S&P or something like that, and I’ll give the winner a sixty-dollar Dearborn Denim credit from my last referral spree. And if I get enough referral credits to take some of the sting out of the purchase, I’ll use them to buy the Horween #8 L3 jacket. Everybody wins.
Well, it was winding down. There was no doubt about it. As we entered October here in the Midwest, things were cooling off, leaves were changing, and the car shows were dwindling. And so it was that on Sunday, October sixth, I headed about thirty miles north to the Hy-Vee supermarket in Clinton, IA, to attend the final local show of 2019.
As I was passing through the small river town of Port Byron, it appreared that Magnum was following me. I figured the car might be on its way to the same show as me, but I saw no Ferraris on arrival.
Being a parent nowadays is a constant battle of holding onto and trying to instill the best of your Generation X values in a world that is doing everything possible to rip them away. No, I don’t believe all the things that I believed in 1996, but some things just remain true, no matter what.
Here’s a great example. My daughter, Regan, is playing soccer this season on a pretty decent club team for a second year. I don’t talk about my daughter’s soccer anywhere near as much as I talk about my son’s, and that’s because she isn’t 1/100th as serious about it. She quit for a year when she was seven, but started again because she likes going to soccer camp in the summer and playing the fun games that they play. More than anything, she likes the social aspect of the game, and, of course, she has fun when they win.
She’s scored approximately 3 goals in the last three seasons combined. The most significant event that’s happened during this fall soccer season, according to her, is her acquisition of a pale blue, 40-ounce, wide-mouth Hydro Flask (sksksksk). God, I just linked to Vox. Anyway.
Of the nine girls on her team (they play 7-on-7), she is no better than sixth-best, and possibly as low as ninth, depending on the day and her motivation. She plays the fifty percent that is required by the club, but not a minute more, as the coach (rightfully) opts to play girls who are more skilled, focused, and intense about the game, and she doesn’t mind. But yesterday, she had a bit of a moment.
She was marking a girl on a throw-in, and this girl was easily half a head taller than Regan, if not more. The bigger girl, sensing that the slightly-too-concerned-with-her-hair girl guarding her might be an easy mark, shoved her hard and called for the ball. Something snapped inside of Regan, and you could see the look on her face change as she lowered her shoulder and charged directly into the other girl’s abdomen, knocking her off balance and almost off the pitch. I think the referee was too shocked to call anything. All of the parents gasped in unison, and then laughed and cheered for her.
That night, over a chocolate chip cookie, Regan informed me that “It’s fun to shove people!” and that she couldn’t wait for the next game to do it some more.
Girls need these moments.
They need to be able to compete on fair and equal ground with other girls in athletics. They need the chance to take leadership roles that will translate from the pitch to the boardroom. They deserve the opportunity to create healthy, active habits that they will carry through their lives, regardless if they ever play a sport past high school. They deserve to know what it’s like to have the chance to win championships, to hold the trophy high above their ahead and celebrate a victory into the small hours of the morning.
Unfortunately, there are a group of science deniers who seem to think that it’s fair to rob girls of these opportunities.