With this being “National Play Week” – a week during which we have no idea when the “right days off” are, Elaine and I decided out of the blue to head over to the guest room/gym/video mecca last night.
Up comes the trusty old WII and “Resort Sports” and in no time (armed with a martini) we were going at it. I’ve written before that Wii and the numchucks and balance board are get ways to keep young…
Then an odd thing happened.
Somewhere around the 10-th game, I was doing what turned out to be a picked-up spare when my feet began to slide as I released the button on the controller. I was working on my sliding form to the toe line.
It was a moment one of those martial arts movies. Flying through the air…. Time s l o w e d d o w n…
As reality got syrupy I had enough time to rationalize what had gone wrong:
The gym/guest room has engineered wood floors over concrete. Which means they are slippery. Not dangerously so, until – in the heat of competition I had slipped off the shoes to nail those long slides that looked so cool when the late Don Carter did them…
“Low friction co-efficient!” Yes, now what? Idly, I notice the floor is approaching faster now…
I was only a third of the way down – so lots of time to think. “Hmmm…let’s see here: Old people are supposed to roll and distribute the impact around..taught but roll some….”
By this time, my left elbow was already kissing the floor…time for mid-fall corrections was closing..
Elaine – mouth agape – told me later is was like watching someone slide into Home Plate in baseball. I seemed to have good form all the way down, but she saw the elbow and then the left wrist get a good smack and knew it would result in pain.
Having been a “gym rat” (which is why she looks 25% younger than her “manufacturing date code” suggests) “RICE!!!” was her immediate response. “Rub! Ice! Compression! Elevate!”
“Well, THAT was sure fun, huh dear?” I was a bit hurt – not bad though – and nothing slows down Mr. Glib.
I let her do the rubbing on the elbow and wrist. “Hey! Take it easy…that hurts like hell!”
“Yeah…it’s supposed to…”
Great. As usual, she was right.
This morning, the wrist isn’t too bad. Only the very pointy end of the elbow hurts (likely a small bone bruise). And the rest of my “RICE” treatment went well – over the protestations of Mrs. Gym.
“Ice means ice. Not another Martini…” Damn spoil-sport.
We didn’t disagree on the compression part, but there wasn’t anything long and “ligamenty” involved.
And Elevate? I figured getting off the floor would be a good move…
Later, over a bowl of comfort food (Chinese egg noodles in broth) and the latest episode of Blacklist from the comfort of the recliner, I vowed that I would just have to face the fact that never-again should I be doing those grand 3-foot slides to an imaginary toe-line while bowling in stocking feet on a slippery floor.
You know what this is a sign of? And this is the reality-check:
This morning my reaction times were still good (.23 to .28 seconds, not bad for age 69). Blood pressure and pulse are fine. But that real fine sense of balance? I was a bit tired – maybe that was it? And besides, I’ve had equally “Oops!” moments in my 50’s, 40’s, and 30’s, too. Slipped and banged myself on the sailboat back in the day several times…wet decks, balance….
Regardless, at some point aging means minor adjustments lest – in some future “bowl-off” in our 80’s, one of us will bust a hip or something really dumb.
I did notice one small change in my thinking from this. Now, when I walk into a room, I hear one word loudly in my head:
Still Playing House
One of the reasons we live in a double-wide in the woods is so we can do anything we want to the house. No permits, just build and roll with it.
As a result, each room has a “theme” to it. Its akin to walking onto movie sets. A work of art in progress, it’s coming along.
Before the bowling tourney, we came up with a good use for the “problem room” also known as the “Northwest room.”
Here’s the “decorating problem” – it’s a passthrough room. You go from the media/living space and Elaine’s office and door to the wildlife viewing room north to the studio through this room. It’s about 13-feet long and about 9 or 10-feet wide. Useless size.
It has a nice painting on one wall, mirror on the other along with an outside window. Comfy reading chair with light over the left shoulder. A storage closet, too, for things like overflow studio gear and the vacuum cleaners and rug rake.
Until yesterday, the room didn’t have a theme. L9ooks good, but like a method actor, it wasn’t clear “What’s my motivation in here?” In our world, each room in a house should have an “activity focus.” Reason which drives theme which drives execution.
Activity Focused Homes
Most people’s homes are little more than “standard boxes.” There’s a cook room (kitchen), a “sit room” (living room, with TV) and a sleep room. Then there’s the “body maintenance room.”
That is some boring shit. We’re different. We like rooms that have function-focus” to them. Except for this room didn’t have one.
Today? It has a “focus” – it will be the “Game Room!”
First addition? Why, a game table, of course. Found one on Amazon that looks like a “real deal.” For $110 on Amazon, check out this Classic 2-in-1 Solid Wood Traditional Chessboard Gaming Table.
I love to make things in the shop, don’t get me wrong. But, I can’t make a solid wood table and finish it for anything less than $150 in materials! Let me at it! (More when it comes in and we put it together)
With the room now having a focus, the rest is falling into place quickly. What else would fit in a Vegas-meets-cabin in the woods room?
Don’t look now, but I’m shopping for a couple of slot machines.
We have some solid wood chairs that will “work” with the table and I even decided to splurge an picked out a Trademark Poker Casino 6-Deck Automatic Card Shuffler. In for a penny, in for a pound… Monoply, Scrabble? All will live in here. Elaine might even teach me Canasta, though I’m more a strip poker fan, lol.
By the way, if you want a million dollar idea?? You know how you can buy plug-in USB controls for video car racing games and flying simulators? Yokes, wheels, brakes and all that?
Why isn’t there a USB “gambling machine?” Where you could have a USB slot-arm and seven or eight buttons in front of a PC so you could get more into your video poker, know what I mean? Like when you’re sitting at the bar in a casino…yeah, that’s the ticket!
If you go off and do this, send me a unit to test – that’s all I ask.
High Level View
Just like my office is set up for “activities” (ham radio current, ham radio vintage, electronics and test gear bench, office/writing station) so too the shop is divided into “activity spaces.” Woodworking, metalworking, welding and cutting (outside area), mechanical, beginnings of the jewelry-making station, and tool storage…
The house has a fun “South Seas” dining area (after Trader Vic’s), kitchen rework in the wings, E’s office, media area, recording studio, and now game room. Two body maintenance rooms and two sleeping units. In the other building the gym/guest room are places for video game, workout equipment, another writing station and E’s art area (paint, pastel, air brush and so on). All the stuff people dream of..
Somewhere, we find room for over a thousand books, and between the wildlife viewing room and the media room, no problem getting comfortable for that. In cooler months, a chaise on the screen porch…
The thing I wanted to pass on is that we’re starting with what we like to do and from there, the rooms get created to fit the notions. Usually, people just “buy a box” and move into it.
That’s OK…but it doesn’t really feed the self-realization part of life. The way I figure it, the reason for learning to do everything you can in this life is so that if there is and Afterlife, you will have a huge inventory of things to do and skills you’ll bring with you.
Unless you really like the 24-7 Gregorian chant station and only like harps, of course.
Have a marvelous Fourth and have fun….safely. If you run out of things to do? Trying Playing House…
(“I am not Don Carter, I am not Don Carter, I am not Don Carter…”)
Write when you get rich,