Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing up is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing. —Phyllis Diller
Shoveling through digital tons of information seems to be the modern equivalent of going into work on a Monday morning and finding your inbox stacked five feet high. I have a feeling only government offices still use actual inboxes, given their penchant for wasting paper, but most everyone going to work today is going to find one of their first tasks to be shoveling their way through the detritus whether that be actual bottles left from consumed beverages or mountains of information that were blissfully ignored. Perhaps, like me, you have plenty of both.
I think one of the first things needing to be removed from the pile and set to the side is the fact that Canadian driver James Hinchcliffe won the pole position for the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500. I know most of the people reading this couldn’t care less about the 500, but what makes this story worth shoveling out of the pile is that one year ago today, the day after qualifying, Hinchcliff crashed into Turn 3, right here in my backyard, and nearly bled to death. With head and spinal cord injuries, it is amazing that he is even driving a golf cart, let alone rounding the 2.5-mile oval at speeds averaging 230.760 miles per hour. The strength and determination required to pull off this kind of comeback should be inspiring for a Monday morning.
Apparently the Billboard Music Awards were last night. I didn’t watch them, but if we’re shoveling we probably want to include this in the save pile somewhere. I can’t say anything authoritative, since I was sound asleep through most of it, but Billboard has posted their choices for 10 best performances of the night. Apparently Madonna did a tribute to Prince, Celine Dion sang in tribute to her late husband, René Angélil, and Britney Spears performed a tribute to herself. Or something like that. I do know that you should probably avoid the comments section of any performance you might see. The trolls were out in force last night and spread their hate and nonsense across the whole show.
Did you know that the used sneaker market nets over $1 billion annually? WTF? I thought it was strange when a “vintage” sneaker store popped up in a local mall a couple of years ago, but the number of people collecting limited release shoes has grown into a full-fledged part of the fashion industry. Does it make a lick of sense? Not really, but it does make for great conversation. Oh, and before you go shoveling your old sneakers out of your closet, one of the conditions to keeping the prices on these shoes stupidly high is that they’ve not actually been worn. Business Insider has a great piece on the industry. People who spend this much on shoes they can’t wear have no room to be making fun of geeks who buy toys they’ll never play with.
For those of you who enjoy shoveling politics, especially if you are my age or older, you’re going to either love or hate or love to hate this next one: The US is getting cozy again with Vietnam. Let that sink in a minute. During his visit there yesterday, President Obama announced the lifting of a decades-old arms embargo to the island nation where so many thousands of troops died in the one war the United States unquestionably lost. There’s a good, or at least understandable, reason for the move, though: China’s getting feisty in the region. While the President denies such reasoning on an official basis, Vietnam has been rather public in its concern regarding how China has been throwing its weight around in the South China Sea. Specifically, with island bases encroaching ever closer, China could send planes from one of those islands and bomb Hanoi in less than an hour. Vietnam is scared and we’ve seen this before. Be concerned.
Finally, today is #WorldTurtleDay. In the never-ending stream of special days and tributes, this is one that doesn’t annoy us quite as much. I mean, who can get angry about a turtle. In fact, I’m guessing a lot of us resemble turtles with the pace we’re moving today. These are some of the longest-living creatures on the planet, though. If moving a little (or a lot) slower is the key to a happy and longer life, then maybe we should start paying attention to the lessons they have to teach. Turtles are incredibly cool, even if they aren’t mutant teenagers chomping down on pizza.
Most of what I’m seeing this morning deserves to be shoveled right into the dumpster. There is an incredible amount of meaningless noise that serves no other purpose than to be a distraction. Shoveling to bulk out of the way is our best hope of sorting out what’s really important. I won’t say that it will make your Monday any better. Some of what I’m seeing rather sucks if one is deep in the stock market or heavily involved in retail. Still, just getting rid of the piles of stuff at least creates the illusion that you’re doing work or something like that.
With all that comes at you today, just keep shoveling and try to not throw out your back in the process.