Friday, July 29, 2005

Scofflaw Dad (or A Good Walk Spoiled)

Thanks to all those who e-mailed or posted with congratulations on the addition to our family. We're adjusting to life with baby and he's adjusting to us. So far, so good. I'm not going to go all kid-blogging crazy on you, but here are a couple of observations from a newbie parent:

- It's amazing what you can do with just one free hand (keep your mind out of the gutter Foot): making coffee, laundry, dishes, eating, reading, typing, etc. Although, I have not quite mastered the CTRL-ALT-DELETE maneuver required to log in to my lap top.

- Without getting into all the gory diaper changing details, let's just say that although the squirt gun is small, the range is impressive.

Anyway I really appreciate the kind words, speculation about Nathaniel's blogging career, and advice on parenting that I've received so far. Like this e-mail from Barbara (better known as Girl in Right):

Congrats on Nat the Junior!! There's nothing better than a little one who looks at the world with wide eyed enthusiasm.

And hey, if writing about "Blake" and his drug issues makes you feel better, well you just go right ahead and keep writing. I'm sure you never wanted to be on the Supreme Court, anyway. Or President. Of Nathaniel's Boy Scout Troop.

Sigh. So much potential. Poor Nat.

Gee thanks. Barbara's not the only one urging discretion. Sandy from the MAWB Squad has a list of new parenting advice including:

Disclosure: You might want to rethink public disclosure like this. There's no benefit to your child to know the complete truth about their parents youthful indiscretions until much, much later in life.

Sage advice indeed. But since I think I have a little time until Nathaniel is reading this blog (twelve to fourteen months I figure), I might as well take the opportunity to air a little more dirty laundry. In fact, just yesterday I had a run in with an officer of the law. My crime? Walking.

Yes, I was issued a citation for walking. Okay, it was just a warning, but still...walking?

It was a beautiful summer day here in the Twin Cities and I elected to take advantage of it by squeezing in a brisk constitutional. My wife and I usually walk every day, but she's still a little worn out from that whole giving birth thing and so I was solo. I needed to pick up photo paper and a new printer ink cartridge, so I decided to walk to a nearby Office Max. Part of my planned route would take me down a regional bike trail.

When I reached the entry point to the trail, I found it blocked off with yellow police tape and a sign advising that the paved trail would be closed for repairs for two days. Oh well, I figured, I'm not biking or blading so it shouldn't be a problem for me. I proceeded down the trail. I noticed a couple of roller bladers who did the same.

I soon reached a second police tape barrier indicating that the trail was closed. I blew past it as well, rounded a corner in the trail, and saw the roller bladers stopped by yet another construction sign and some sort of peace officer who appeared to be writing them a ticket. Now at this point, I could have turned tail and easily escaped notice. But I was curious to see what was going and sure that I wasn't doing anything wrong so I plowed ahead.

The officer in question worked for the Three Rivers Park District (formerly Hennepin Parks). He greeted me brusquely and asked what I thought I was doing. Walking, I replied. "What part of 'trail closed' don't you understand?" I attempted to explain that since I was on foot I assumed that I could get around any construction related closure. He wasn't buying it.

"You have valid ID on you?"

I handed him my drivers license. He continued to write out citations to the two roller blading ruffians. At this point, I thought that I might be getting a ticket. A freakin' ticket for walking down a closed trail? I was silently steaming and preparing my defense strategy. No holds would be barred. Every possible angle would be argued.

When he explained to the bladers that they were being issued warnings, I breathed a bit easier. But I was still I little peeved that I had to sit there and stew while he scribbled out my citation. Was it really necessary to go through the motions? Hadn't I already learned to respect the power and authority of the mighty Three Rivers Park District? Was this warning going on my permanent record?

I quietly pocketed my warning and continued on my journey, having to employ a detour on local railroad tracks in order to reach my destination. The rest of the trip went off without incident. When I arrived home I explained my encounter with the law to my wife.

"What did you get in trouble for?"

"Well, you see I was just walking..."

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