Some random thoughts on today's 11-mile walk. First of all , it was my birthday. I officially turned some age that made my youngest son say, "That's pretty old." My present from the gang of boys that I live with was pink boxing gloves - along with a series of kick-boxing classes that I have been wanting to take. In my humble opinion, there's no better cardio than that. So it was a great gift - hope the timing works out in such a way that I can really benefit from the class before "The Walk."
I have a number of things that are true constants on all of my walks at this point, like the fanny pack, my phone (in case of emergencies only, of course) and a water bottle. I absolutely love my pink stainless steel water bottle. I'm sure we could debate water bottles all day in terms of environmental and health-friendliness. The steel is a great option in a lot of ways. A draw-back is that its so darned heavy. Today, because the weather was in the 80's, I filled it with ice and the weight was definitely noticeable on my back. Something to think about. But my point was actually going to be that the real constant on my walks this year has been my beloved Red Sox hat - which is getting kind of disgusting. It is covered in sweat, has been rained on, dropped in the sand and is just plain dirty. I've got it at that really broken-in, comfy place where, to wash it is definitely going to change the way it fits and sits on my head. Any and all suggestions are welcome.
A final thought - has anyone else been affected by the fake cow phenomenon? I don't mean the public art sculptures like the ones installed in Chicago. I mean identical black and white, slightly shiny (so they must be made of some type of plastic) cows, placed in bucolic settings around high-end private homes set on lot sizes that are almost obscene if you're not actually going to farm them, essentially just "for show." In other words, simply to convey the essence of some idealized agrarian lifestyle. I was walking by the golf course today and 4 of these crazy things jumped out at me. Well , they didn't literally jump out at me. They're plastic after all and thus are perfectly stationary, which is what called my attention to them in the first place. I grew up around cows and while they can be quite docile and sedentary, they don't stand in synchronized poses without moving for very long. They're always swishing their tails or chewing or giving off some other subtle sign that they're alive.
I laughed out loud at the irony. My guess is, if the people who install the phony herds had any idea how much work cattle farming is, they'd lose their idealized notions about creating the appearance of a simplified life. My question became, at what point do you acquire a sufficient amount of capital to prioritize the purchase of artificial farm animals. Just given the sheer size, I'm certain the plasticized bovine weren't cheap. It reminded me of a book I recently read which I mentioned here in my profile. Its called "The Hole in Our Gospel." It talks about wealthy Christians in a time of great need in the world and it calls the values and priorities of some of America's wealthiest into question. You certainly don't have to be a Christian to recogize that we all have a certain humanitarian duty. People of all religions, and people with no religion at all, are all capable of compassion and regardless of how much money you have, you have to know that it is as important to give as to receive.
I just think that in a world full not only of poverty and disease, but also of war, famine, genocide, child trafficing, gender violence, natural disaster (I could go on and on), there must be better uses for our money than mock livestock. Kinda makes me want to convince the owners of the "copy-cows" to send them back to the factory and donate their refund to Susan G. Komen for the Cure or some other entity that is striving to make the world a better place.