No matter what room I waltz into, I always believe myself to be at least as smart as any other person in the room. And while it may seem sort of arrogant, in most cases, I typically beleive myself to be smarter than anyone else in the room.
Perhaps it's embedded in the DNA, or it's the heredity angle all over again, but I've been this way ever since I realized starting in junior high and going forward that I could read exhaustive data I was definately interested in, and then retain just about all of that data forever.
Why is it that I know that the four WWII-era Iowa-class battleships displaced 46,000 tons sans the bulky ammo, but with the full compliment of sailors on board? Why? Because I consumed all of that in 1970 or somewhere thereabouts.
My Wilkes-Barre version of a grandfather used to brag about having a photographic memory. And true to form, my grandmother would quickly tell him to put a sock in it, while usually advising him that he never once laid a "clip to the lip" on anyone. Did he have some sort of weird knack? Got me. But from what she said, I'm fairly certain that he never really did pop anyone in the mouth.
Anyway, despite my self-perceived intellectual superiority, there is one day every year when I put that aside while paddling with my river mentor, Kayak Dude. If there's a more spot-on, reasoned, seasoned and methodical mind than his, I want to meet the owner of that brilliant mind.
He is measured, while I can be mercurial. He plans, even schemes, while I tend to react. He's an adult, while I can be anyhing but. And with RiverFest 2010 but days away, I guess I'll have to check my utter brilliance at the door when the paddles get to hitting the water.
Thanks entirely to KD, my grandson Gage (one week shy of his 3rd birthday) participated in this event in 2004. That was the year of the monsoon. And since then, my grandson Zach has two such trips under his belt ('08 & '09), and he's still a few weeks shy of his 7th birthday.
After this upcoming trip, I think Zach can make a legitimate argument for River Rat status being bestowed upon him. In addition, my nephew Mason (my dearly departed brother's only kid) has one such Susquehanna River adventure under his belt ('07).
But this year, unlike any other year, we've got this family flotilla thing developing.
First of all, KD has invited Zach aboard the U.S.S. Dude for a third time. And the plan all along was for Mason to paddle alongside us, but in his own rented kayak for the first time. And now I've learned that Mason's mom--my brother's widow--has also rented a kayak, as has her new beau. So other than having the pint-sized rodents along, this trip is as close to being a family affair as it will ever get. And I'm kind of jazzed about that.
Plus, Jen had a helluva time trying to a rent a triple or a tandem. She called all three of the advertised outfiters, as well as a kayak and canoe dealer here in Wilkes-Barre.
Finally, one of the outfitters affiliated with this event called her back and suggested that she rent a couple of single-seat kayaks, which she did. And while doing his business, he told her that almost all of the boats are spoken for. So, this year's event sounds like it's going to be well-attended. That is, at least the attendance in the middle of the river sounds as if it'll be on the uptick.
And with that, "Ramming speed, captain!"
I've got this budding Beer Summit breaking out. I think.
First of all, a partisan NEPA blogger and myself have agreed to get together after the paddling and the like has come to an end on Saturday. So, just for the hell of it, I called this other-worldly blogger from Plains and asked him if he wanted in. And he wants in.
So, I figure the next logical step is to ask the other local bloggers, readers and commenters if they'd also like to get togther on Saturday, swill a few beers, spin a few tunes and brainstorm so long as it doesn't hurt too much.
If anyone is up for this impromptu happening, let me know. The time and location are both still up in the air, but the city has been decided upon. And being that I love adventures, being that I absolutely love to go where practically no one has ever thought of going before, I'm thinking I should invite none other than WILK's Steve Corbett with the understanding that we are not going to be drinking any wheat germ and tofu ale, or praying at the alter of The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, or any of those other 60s drugged-out fu>k-ups.
Meet the bloggers, Steve. I promise, it won't hurt.
But I won't send that electronic pulse unless the participants are all good with that. I mean, if he actually showed up in all of his multi-shouting splendor, we wouldn't be able to hear the jukebox over him. Either way, if you want in, let me know.
As my petty, vindictive and physically abusive step-dad used to always remind me of, I'm all ears.