Maybe I should move to the country and manage a petting zoo
by, January 6th, 2010 at 12:12 PM (1498 Views)
Yesterday I drove up to Alabama for lunch with my mom and aunt. It’s a pretty drive, past lots of farms, without much traffic—between towns I saw maybe one other car every couple minutes or so. Two of the little towns I pass though on the way to visit my folks are Ebro, famous locally for its dog track, and Vernon, which was featured in the documentary “Vernon, Florida” by Errol Morris . Between towns, I saw lots of little goats and calves, and the farm that a decade ago had emus now seems to be heavily invested in miniature horses. I wanted to bring home some of all of the above, or at least stop and pet them.
Actually, there used to be a menagerie just a few miles down the road from where I’m staying. It was called Patrones, and had goats and peacocks and bunny rabbits and one truly ginormous hog. You couldn’t pet the animals—they were shy—but for 50 cents you could buy a bag of popcorn to feed them. Admission was free—you could just walk in and wander about. It seemed like something straight out of Flannery O’Connor. I did worry about the pig’s quality of life. As far as I could tell it spent its days lying on its side and being scaled by the goats, who loved standing atop it.
After my four hours of driving to Alabama and back and a lunch of fried chicken, fried okra, and fried cornbread, I felt like I was beginning to turn into that hog. I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t kidnap any little goats to bring home with me. In any case, I was super ready for a workout. I made it back in time for the masters group’s evening workout at 5:30. Here’s what I did::
600 scy warmup
8 x 50 (25 build, 25 easy) @ :55
8 x 100 kick w/ fins @ 1:45, desc. 1-4 and 5-8 [1:24, 1:20, 1:14, 1:11, 1:30, 1:20, 1:17, 1:12]
4 x 200 pull @ 3:00 [2:45, 2:45, 2:40, 2:42]
2 x 400, 1st FR, 2nd IM, build both 400s by 100s
2 x 50 sprint FR [?, 30.6]
The air temp tonight was about 40 when we got in, and about 35 when we got out (steam rose off everyone’s body when they exited the pool), but the water temp was fine. It was fun swimming in the cold, and really great seeing the pool absolutely filled with swimmers on such a chilly evening. Between the kids team and masters and the visiting college team, all 20 lanes were filled.
When they first built this pool (about 4 years ago), I couldn’t believe they would really keep it open year round. This is an area without a deep competitive swimming tradition, and during the first winter I often found myself swimming all alone by or with just one other swimmer. Locals thought I was absolutely nuts for swimming outdoors in the winter, even when it was just in the 50s and sunny. So kudos to Panama City Beach for building this great facility and making it successful! All I could think when I saw the pool full of happy swimmers tonight was that Field of Dreams got it right—If you build it, they will come!