Sunday, February 17, 2013

Burgers

Age has become less relevant lately. It used to be that knowing how old a person was you could assume certain things about them. How healthy they were was a big one, what music they liked, if they had living parents, what they might do for hobbies, and no doubt lots of other stuff. But us boomers and our infatuation with youth have kicked all that aside.

At first I was a bit nervous about sharing an office with someone substantially younger than me. As in, young enough to be my daughter, and depending on exactly when her birthday is, it could almost be in wedlock. But even though she loved music and knows everything about it, and I know almost nothing about music, with tastes that range between antediluvian and crustacean, we got along just fine. We happily argued about stuff and shared a quirky sense of humor. Then her term ended and my new roomie was even younger, just graduating university. We had fun sharing a project, and then I was the one leaving. I'd love to work with either again. Our ages were somehow not relevant to working together on a project, which you'd expect of professionals, but it wasn't a bar to us enjoying each other's company.

I have been very fortunate in being able to substantially increase my fitness starting from blob-itude in my late 40's. Many of the people I've come to know in the tri community are younger than me, but again, that doesn't matter. In the races you're only compared to people in your own age group. We're all trying to do the same thing, go faster. At the spin sessions I was often the oldest person there, though not always. I think that one particular couple is just older than me, and they are widely known in the tri community here as the best looking couple in triathlon. The indefatigable KF has really young taste in music, given that she is hanging around with high school kids. (She is a teacher.) She gets them to make up play lists for spin class, and I have to admit some of their choices are a mystery to me. Though I did like Tetris, and watching her dance on the bike to it was worth the price of admission.

Plus I've "met" many people through my blog, and they could be any age. Sometimes the photos can be deceiving. Blogger meet ups are so much fun, since you've come to know that person at least somewhat through their blog. It isn't like meeting a stranger, it's meeting a friend again, just the first time in person. A couple of my blog buddies on the East Coast were meeting up for coffee today at a particular bakery I've actually been to. Several times been to. I am quietly gnashing my teeth because it's an awesome bakery, in a beautiful part of the world, and I'd have loved to be there. Another posted in quick succession a pic of a chicken mole sauce and a west coast beach pic. I'm weak for both. Then there's a bunch of blogger buddies in the Boulder and Longmont area, all much younger than me. Golly, fitness much in Boulder? I was looking at the times for the Boulder 70.3, and I'd be hard pressed not to be last in my age group. Maybe next year I'll find out.

So how I got this word is that I attended a blogger meet up just before Christmas. I was the only guy there, and my buddy Leana was the only other person that I'd actually met before. It was lots of fun. I started following several new blogs out of that. One of them has recently emigrated to Canada and is waiting for her paperwork and wedding. In the meantime she does lots of workouts and blogs and tweets. She is very funny. There was a tweet exchange when she was back home visiting. She texted her mom to bring home "Five Guys". I couldn't resist. Twittered back "FIVE??!! Your mom?". Her reply nearly had me peeing myself, "burgers!" Only then I remembered there was a burger chain called Five Guys. I knew I had a word.

Burgers have somehow become the go to fast food snack. Originally, hamburger was considered a very  lower class food. It was almost dangerous to eat, given the rampant cost cutting in meat industry of 100 years ago, or so. Along the way unionization started to happen, and federal regulation, so meat packing became a respectable profession. As a side effect, commercial meat became safer to eat. Then Ray Kroc came along and figured out how to industrialize hamburgers. Actual taste was not a consideration. 

A couple hours down the road is a huge meat-packing plant. 4,000 cows a day killed huge. Perhaps you've heard of it, given it was the source of the largest meat recall in Canadian history. I've blogged about it a bit. I'm still not really eating commercial beef. The only exception was at OEB the other day, when I was really in the mood for a burger. It was very, very yummy. I somehow suspect they are not using the lowest cost food supplier, given the quality of their food. Other than that, if I'm eating a burger, it's bison from Olson's High Country bison, and I've BBQd them. 

In Europe there is a bit of a crisis because some of the "beef" has been shown to have horse meat in it. I don't think I've ever eaten horse, and I know many people would be nauseated at the thought. Still, in many of the adventure stories I read as a kid, you knew things were bad when they started talking about eating their horses. Or the dogs, for the arctic expeditions. It was with regret, but needs must.

Just west of town there are these cool looking animal overpasses. They have built actual bridges over highway 1 for the critters, and it turns out they are widely used. Humans are supposed to be the smartest of the animals currently on the planet, and I think it's incumbent on us to try to help the other critters cope with our growing footprint. There was a recent Facebook post about an owl that died because it ate a poisoned mouse. It was brilliantly written and I nearly cried. Poor owl. Yet millions upon millions of creatures die because humans want their space, or don't care about them, or care only because they're good eating. It doesn't matter to them a shark can't swim without their fins. Bastards. I can only hope we are not held to account for the creatures we've killed.

Before the book club today I was on the bike for a solid 1 hour workout, then a good stretching session afterward. I think this doing pigeon and some of the other hip opening yoga moves has been really good for me. I'm not getting the aches in my low back and butt that I was, and my pedal stroke feels smoother and stronger. 

However, I'm still not really feeling the race love. I know lots of people put in the training time because they love to race, and feel competitive. Even in the race for the middle of the age group pack, I'm not what you'd call competitive. I like training for itself. Often the blog writes itself while training, and parts of the novel have as well. 




2 comments:

  1. We get our beef from a relative's beef farm. Usually half a steer for us and half for another family member or friend - about once/18 months or so. Occassionally we'll buy extra ground beef from said relative. In better hunting years, we mix it 50/50 with venison my husband or son shoots. This year was not one of those years - drought left many dead before we ever got there. Husband and daughter took a coyote (pests) that was feeding on a doe that didn't make it. My husband says that I shape awful burgers - more like meatballs - so I bought a "press" (kind of a plastic mold thing). They still tend to be less than attractive, but taste wonderful when he makes them on the grill. But tonight we had turkey from another friend's farm - marinated in strips and put on grill. I did get a laugh out of the "Five Guys" comment. They just built one in Columbia, but I haven't been there yet.

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  2. We had a great coffee visit at the LaHave Bakery, Keith ;) I love that place - the history oozes from every nook and cranny - and the smell of fresh bread - and the display of yummy squares and treats!

    We buy beef at the store - I try not to think about the possibility of taint - but we don't eat a lot of red meat on average. And, as you know, I am giving up fast food for a year, so, hopefully, that diminishes the possibility of getting sick from bad beef.

    Loved the Five Guys comment!!!

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