Wednesday, January 13, 2021

A vignette at the park

I went to Burchfield Park to run. I haven't run for weeks due to icy conditions but today was warm enough to make most of the ice rotten enough for the lugs on the soles of my running shoes to punch in and grab...or so I hoped.

Getting out of the truck, I saw and heard a man giving two girls (mid-twenties) the benefit of his opinion.

I dithered about, gathering my things and I moved my keys and wallet to my fanny pack.

Yup, sure enough, the man...maybe in his mid-forties...was landing on them with both feet. Based on his short, declarative sentences, crisp diction and energetic delivery I assumed he had learned his persuasive speaking skills in boot-camp.

If body-language was any indication, this is the first time the girls had encountered this mode of motivational speaking.

It transpired that they accused him of disturbing the wildlife when he was walking his thirty-pound dog though the 540 acre park.

I am not without a heart.

After watching him flay the two Karen-larvae for the better part of two minutes, I butted in. He was not getting any satisfaction from them because nobody had ever instructed them on the Three Acceptable Answers: "Yes Sir!", "No Sir!" and "No excuse, Sir!"

"Australian Shepherd? What a beautiful dog." I said.

He turned toward me and the girls fled the scene. It turned out that they could move at a right-smart clip considering their flaccid posture

The man's son was in the military. The dog was his son's. Herding dogs like Border Collies and Australian Shepherds need lots of exercise. The man looked like he could effortlessly knock-out eight-minute miles as long as as anybody might want

He was pissed off because SOMEBODY had been posting signs suggesting that dogs were not allowed outside of the parking lots. He suspected mountain bikers or Karens like the ones he had been educating.

I commiserated. I have dogs. The county works hard to get as much use out of the park, for as many different people as possible.

People are becoming as crazy as shit-house rats. Covid, elections, riots. People need to be able to get outside.

I don't think I calmed him down. He did caution me about icy trails.

I did give him a brain-teaser to share with his son.

Farmer Bigelow Green lives 21 miles from Mason, Michigan. He starts walking toward it at a steady three miles-per-hour.

His beautiful Australian Shepherd joins him but runs at a rate of ten miles-per-hour. It quickly out-paced him and arrives at the store that always gave him a soft-serve ice-cream cone when Farmer Green was there.

Since Farmer Green was not there yet, the dog spun around and ran back to Farmer Green at precisely ten miles-per-hour.

Back-and-forth. Back-and-forth. Each time the trip was shorter.

How far did the Australian Shepherd run before he got his ice cream cone?

You made it way too hard.

The dog ran at exactly ten miles-per-hour the entire problem.

It took Farmer Bigelow Green exactly seven hours to traverse the 21 miles at his steady three miles-per-hour.

Traveling at ten miles-per-hour for seven hours means that the Australian Shepherd ran seventy miles to earn his ice cream cone.

For my part, I knocked out my two-mile run and averaged 12:40 minute-miles. The trails were icy. I did not fall.


  1. Thanks, Joe, for helping me boost my 'Dad' creds. I gave the farmer's dog problem to my 2 teenage girls (separately of course), and their initial reaction was the same - "I'd need a huge piece of paper to figure that out!". When I provided the simple answer, their reaction was the same - they groaned and said they'd expected something a lot more complicated. One had focused on the names, expecting a trick question like "What was the store owner's name?"

    Of course, they eagerly followed me in to see me ask my wife the problem, and get the same response.

    1. There WAS a joke buried in the name. Bigelow Green is long-hand for Big Green. The forty-ish year-old man had been in the Army and his son still was.

  2. Good one, and simple, if one 'thinks'...

  3. Here's one for your pleasure.

    You have a LP (long play) record. It spins at 33 1/3 rpm. There are exactly 5 songs on one side of the record. (Ignore the other side for now.) Each of the five songs last exactly 3 minutes and 20 seconds. There is a 3 second pause between each song and there is a 5 five second lead in to the first song and a 5 second lead out to the last one.

    Question: How many groves are on that side of the record?

    Answer: One.

    It starts at the outer edge and spirals in to the center.

  4. Crap - fat fingers - "grooves"


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