Monday, August 04, 2008

Brutal Bitter, Ron Paul & Baseball

Twice a year TMOTT (Triangle Mothers of Twins and Triplets) rents out a massive building at the NC State Fairgrounds, and members can participate in the clothing and equipment sale. The place is filled with all kind of kids' gear that accumulates in the first few years of modern life -- onesies, pajamas, shirts, pants, coats, strollers, car seats, bottles, big wheels, toys, souvenir messy diapers from embarrassing potty-training incidents. Ok, so maybe not everything. But the piles of things that people sell were massive.

Amy normally goes to the sale as a buyer as we have stocked the boys' closet with some really good buys over the years. I'm sure the day will come when the kids will demand that everything be brand new, hip, fashionable and name-brand. Until then we have no qualms about second-hand.

This year Amy decided to be a seller as well and spent the better part of last week compiling, sorting, pricing, tagging, organizing, etc. three years worth of boys' clothes that had accumulated. As a seller you also have to work the sale -- either in an 8-hour shift supervising one of the areas or in a 4-hour shift setting up all the racks and tables for the sale.

So Friday I took a vacation day to help at the sale (spouses can sub for the wives if they volunteer for the 4-hour setup). I arrived Friday morning bright and early only to be handed the keys to a Budget rental truck so I could drive it to a storage facility where all the metal clothing racks were stored. I must admit I was dreading this setup work and after my last experience driving a U-Haul (where I got a 26-foot truck stuck behind a line of impatient cars at the solid waste disposal site only to then drive over a pole) my stomach quickly sank even further.

But driving the truck and the whole setup ended up being much easier and more fun than I thought. I got to meet two interesting people. First was a mom of identical twin girls that was wearing a Rogue Brutal Bitter t-shirt -- one of my absolute favorite beers. She explained that back in the days before kids when she played on a traveling ice hockey team (!) she and her husband had developed a pallet for craft beers. And second was a University of Georgia grad with a Ron Paul sticker on his truck. He hailed from Macon, Georgia which was the site one of the funnier episodes many years ago that deserves its own blog post someday. I bonded with the guy immediately as he was the only other guy there and had three small kids himself that provided him with adventure. (I didn't show him my Obama sticker on my car though.)

The whole experience was another one of those where the things you dread in your mind end up being really pleasant experiences. Maybe I should be more positive......


Amy sold most of the clothes and bought some things for the boys & Tess for winter. It's hard to believe how big the kids are getting when you look at the sizes they are about to be in. Where did the time go?

Finally I stumbled onto a great column over the weekend - Non-Prospect Diary. On Bob Edwards' weekend show on NPR a sportswriter recommended it as it is written by Dirk Hayhurst, a minor league relief pitcher for the AAA affiliate of the Padres. The guy is a great writer and his posts focus on his observations living the life of a minor leaguer -- from how fans' impressions of people change once the uniform is put on to the daily grind of traveling in buses, staying in cheap hotels, and pursuing the major league dream. A couple of recommended posts -- Gorillas are Cool and the Offeseason job.
One gentleman is larger than the rest. I call him Hammer Pants because of what he wears: baggy, American flag print, Hammer Pants.

Hammer Pants is freakishly bigger than any man ought to be, like something out of a cartoon. It seems as if he tried to cut his shirt sleeves off but missed, because all that remains is a thin strip of fabric and collar.

Chest hair, arm hair and back hair all are there to be seen, beads of sweat dangling off each follicle, eagerly awaiting their chance to slather over any equipment I may want to use.

Watching Hammer Pants ride the exercise bike is like watching a bear ride a unicycle. Hammer Pants probably could bench my car. He's pretty impressive, if only a tad scary. Yet, I'll bet no one showed up last night to watch him take a whiz.

Have a good week everybody. Cheers!

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