What the Family Learned this Week

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Signs, Signs, Everywhere There's Signs.

By Dalan Granat

Maybe it's just that I'm getting older, but the all the signs out in the world have started getting a little odd for my taste.  It used to be that a sign was simple. It simply conveyed information. Most signs would offer instructions, assistance, or warning; While others would simply be trying to sell you something.

Well, we as a population must have started to turned a blind eye to all those signs out there because in order to now attract our attention signs in the world have gotten weird.

I first noticed this a few weeks ago when my wife and I were at an Italian restaurant downtown.  I got up to use the restroom and was immediately perplexed.  As I approached the corner where the bathrooms were located I suddenly realized this was one of those "cute" places where the labeling of the bathrooms was not very straightforward.  One door had a picture of two tomatoes. The other had a picture of what appeared to be a large cucumber.  I had to quickly try to ascertain which door was the women's bathroom and which one was the men's. Or did it even matter here?

In that brief moment I had to make the mental argument that the cucumber was most likely representing the men's room (Don't ask me why) But one could make a pretty solid argument that two tomatoes might also represent a men's room.  I choose the cucumber room but decided, these signs are getting really whacky.

Here are just a few I've encountered in the last few days. Most of them raise way more questions than answers. Which I think should be the exact opposite purpose of most signs.

Don't you dare buy me any regular flannel shirts. For me to wear a flannel it must be EPIC!  Is that really a word you would ever use to describe a flannel? Or are they simply trying to "jazz up" an item that in all actuality is not really that neat? Who am I kidding? Those shirts look Epic!

Here's another great warning sign. Max height 7' 6". That would normally make a lot of sense if this wasn't an open-air outside parking lot. Why have people drive under a sign with a height requirement only to park in an area that doesn't really need one? All I could think is that this sign was left over from a previous plan (or eventual plan?) for the parking lot to have multiple levels.  But it is strange, right? 

Okay. The contents of this garbage could potentially be infectious. You can decide for yourself. Take a chance.  Live on the edge, Mister. But it's pretty typical of a sign found in a doctor's office to not be 100% sure about anything--Even the status of its own waste.

This next pair of stop signs crack me up. It shows that the oddness of signs is spreading over into graffiti, and that people can now use something as ubiquitous as a stop sign to make a quasi-political statement.

This first one we encountered on our trip to Portland last Fall.  It says "Stop Monsanto" which we got a kick out of because once you start learning a little bit about the evil empire that is Monsanto and their GMO's that are terrorizing the entire food industry, you'll want them stopped too (although they did give us "Adventures Thru Inner-Space" ride at Disneyland--so points for fun childhood memories).  We also thought it reflected well the type of people that live in Portland.  Health loving, clean eating, stop-sign vandalizing hippies.

Now it's funny to contrast that with the similar political statement that popped up in my very own neighborhood lately.

Yes it's the same concept with the complete opposite message. This time "Stop Vegans".  I'm not sure why this particular vandal has a problem with vegans, but these two stop signs seem to wonderfully reflect the current red state/blue state dynamic.

Seriously people, keep your eyes peeled. You'll start to notice that signs that at first glance appear normal, in fact are super strange.

Let me know what else you find out there. I'd love to discover some more. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Just Keep Swimming……….

Well a couple of weeks ago Merritt got the chance to swim in her first swim meet and I went with her. We had to travel 2 hours in a bus, leaving at 5:30 in the morning to arrive at a big dome filled with 2 large pools, loud music, and a strong chlorine smell!!! I learned quickly (no shocker) that I was overdressed. I did not heed the warnings that my feet would get wet...and my clothes..etc etc. So after about 6 hours the bottom of my black polyester (that fabric really held on to that water) jumpsuit was soaked about halfway up my calves. But enough about me I am just trying to fill some space.

So back to the swim meet. I have never seen Merritt swim and she blew me away with her great form and speed. (and I can totally brag because this is a family blog) She didn't get disqualified in any of her events...which is fairly common...especially for a first timer.
She was confident and rocked it out!! Her coach asked me if she was clumsy on land because lots of great swimmers apparently trip and fall down a lot!! Plus her coach said Merritt was a great swimmer.

So Merritt and I were both out of our comfort zones as I was hanging with a bunch of adults I didn't know who wore tevas and t-shirts...I know the horror...and Merritt walked right up to her starting block and just kept swimming and swimming.

So the moral of this (not my best) post is sometimes a lot of good can come from trying new things. But I still will not be wearing any water friendly shoes to the next meet.  Just maybe shorter pants!