I’ve been learning lots of interesting things lately, and just haven’t had a chance to share them with you.

I learned that the Godawful hip-hop/techno/rap music that plays in the locker rooms at my gym is downloaded from the Corporate Office, and the gym has no discretion as to what gets played. This is good, because it means I’m not going to hate and resent the folks working behind the counter. On the other hand, it effectively removes all hope that I could get it changed.

I learned that the wife and I made a good choice when we bought our minivan. All four of us were in the car toodling into town on I-84, in the rain, on Saturday when I looked up and realized that traffic was stopped in front of us. I slammed on the brakes, then immediately looked in my rearview mirror to see a large pickup truck behind me, slamming on HIS brakes. So, I did a delicate braking tango that was intended to keep me from hitting the guy in front of me while at the same time getting as close to his rear bumper as possible to give the guy behind me every chance to come to a stop. No one hit anyone else, and we stayed in our lane. I can only thank the fact that we specifically got the all-wheel drive version of the Sienna, with awesome anti-lock brakes. It was exciting, though. Especially for the kids.

I learned why one of the corners on the back of my recliner is getting destroyed. Well, we knew it was one of the cats, but we couldn’t figure out how it could do so much damage in a relatively short time. Well, what we didn’t know was that at about 5:00 am, Shadow just starts tearing the holy hell out of it. So, we’re going to have to cover it with something suitably disposable.

We learned that Best Bath makes some awesome tub and shower surrounds, that are incredibly well-made, and priced accordingly. And we learned that the Kohler Cimarron toilet has an oversized flap valve and a 2-1/8″ diameter glazed trapway, so that you can apparently fill the toilet bowl with everything up to and including a dead body, and it will still flush. If it works as advertised, I will burn our plunger in a small ceremony in our driveway. It will be very tasteful, I assure you.

And my wife learned that clothes shopping for a young female person is a hellish experience. While the boy and I were picking out Naruto action figures, she was sprinting from ‘juniors’ to ‘misses’ to ‘womens’ trying to find something that would fit our daughter, AND that she would consent to have touching her body. I can only assume that this will get worse, not better, before she heads off to college.