Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Chris' Razor

The warm weather has finally come to northern Maine.  That means, of course, that we have replaced the runners on our dogsleds with wheels and put air conditioners in the windows of our igloos.  And, it's also the time of year to apply what I call "Chris' Summer Razor".  It was principle first verbalized by me about 20 years ago, and, sadly, every summer it seems to have proven itself to be true.

This razor, which I also considered calling "Chris' Theorum of Summer", "Chris' Law of Summer" and "Chris' View of the Way It Always Seems To Be Every Damn Summer" is as follows: "The people one would least like to see in scantily clad in warm weather are the ones most likely to be." It's uncanny.

This principle of truth first came to me in a college classroom.  I was taking an early evening family sociology class one summer.  It was held in a classroom with many windows overlooking a busy thoroughfare in the town in which I was living.  The class, needless to say, was less than gripping, but I needed to get it under my belt in order to graduate on time.  As the professor droned on and on, my attention drifted out the window to the sidewalk outside, where a number of people were passing by, enjoying a rather warm summer evening.  (Aww, was HOT.  Who am I kidding?  And the classroom had no AC.)  Now maybe I was a little resentful of them, since they were out there making the most of a nice night while I was in the academic equivalent of Dachau, but I couldn't help noticing that many were walking around shirtless, in biker shorts, or in other states of less than fully-clothedness.  (The shirtless were all men I believe, though the boob situation for some might make one wonder.)

Almost to a person, the people who I would least want to see scantily-clad were the ones who were.  The 300-lb woman with greasy hair and cigarette-brand tattoos?  Belly shirt and short-shorts.  Her significant other, the pale, scrawny dude with the Fu Manchu mustache and the kind of smile that only meth can give you?  No shirt, skin-tight Levis.  Meanwhile, Miss Tall, Blonde and Ravishing?  Long-sleeved OP t-shirt, windpants and a sun hat.  It's as if I was sitting there mentally voting on who should be allowed to let it all hang out, and then the opposite occurred.

I snapped out of my reverie when the instructor made mention of Occam's Razor, a principle which states that we should tend towards simpler theories until we can trade some simplicity for increased explanatory power.  (I only know this today through the power of Google.)  It led my ever-wandering mind to develop a principle based on my observations out the window.  "Chris' Razor" was hatched, and I think it was the only thing to come out of that class that I have actually used in real life.

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I am not exactly George Clooney myself.  Far from it.  I'm no ogre either, but I could stand to lose a few pounds and tone up the rest of them.  That said, I do not go out in public wearing six square inches of clothing.  An appropriately-sized t-shirt and a pair of baggy cargo shorts are about as light as my summerwear gets.  I have given my friends permission to shoot me in the kneecaps without fear of prosecution if I am ever seen on a public street with my current physique sans shirt.

So, if your idea of a healthy breakfast is a dozen donuts and a bottle of Mountain Dew, then good for you.  If you are occasionally mistaken for actor Steve Buschemi of Boardwalk Empire fame, who am I to pass judgement?  However, for those of us who need to look at you throughout the day, do us a favor: cover up for Pete's sake!

Monday, June 27, 2011

So, goes.

There are few things more intimidating than a blank page.  Until a few seconds ago, this was one.  Everything has to start somewhere, and this is the start of a blog that may or may not become something.  We'll see.

Three things inspired me to start a blog.  First, a bolt of lightning struck me on a clear blue day and an angel appeared from a cloud, saying: "Composeth thine blog for the edification of the masses to thine thoughts and opinions, and thou shalt thus edify said masses.  For thou art the savior of the written word in this Internet age."  And I fell down on my knees in fear, replying "Sure, why not?"

Okay, not really.  The other two things are legit though.

I have been told for years by those who have read it that my writing has a "flair" (whatever that means), and that I ought to write more widely.   The biggest proponent of my writing was a dear friend with whom I corresponded for many years, and who passed away last fall.  I think he's haunting me to write now.  Either that or the Hamburger Helper I had for dinner is not settling well.

The other is that I have read other blogs by guys like me and realized that the same kind of dribble coming out of their minds and onto the screen is swirling around in my own melon.  My brain is always "on", and as a means of maintaining sanity over the years, has developed a tendency to find the lighter side of almost everything.  I don't have the solution to all the world's problems (yet), or some kind of agenda to put forth.  Heck, I am still trying to figure out how to program the remote to the TV.  It just seems to me that someone out there might be entertained by the occasional pouring out of the contents of my head.

At this point, I have no followers.  I have told no one about this blog.  I haven't even thought about how or to whom I will publicize it.  The important thing is, it exists.  I've started, and there's one post in the books.  The hardest part is over.  From here, I don't know how often I will post, or what I will post about.  I have a vague plan to make this a place for lighthearted observations on things that make an impact on me and maybe you as well.   I am sure that this blog will take a more definite shape as time goes on.  Right now, it's a lump of clay, and I'm cool with that.

Stop by often and let me know what you think...unless you are a spammer, in which case you can go take a nosedive into a woodchipper. Now, I wonder if there's any of that Hamburger Helper left in the fridge?