The Mountainstroh Culture

This week the Manchild started his summer college course, Communications 101.  I was bummed on Monday.  I wanted him to have an instructor lead course, and get the ‘feel’ of a going to college.  However, he received an email Monday explaining that his class had been converted to an online course.  CRAP!  However, the  best news of the week is that he scored 88% on his first test.  Great job pal!

I was more interested in his  discussion board question of the week.  It asked, what do you carry with you that helps define you and makes you a part of a certain culture.  Being the kid he is, he came up with his Kindle fire.  Making him part of the internet connected teenage culture.  I started thinking of all the components that define me.

I am writing this post just after Michelle and I introduced the Manchild for the first time to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off!  My buddy Dave and I saw this when it first came out.  And we LOVED it!  Tonight, almost 30 years later, two children of the 80s and a 16 year old laughed their asses off.  Michelle and I knew all the lines and were biting our tongues not to say them before they came on the movie.

Most of my favorite movies of all time came out in the 80s.  Top Gun, Die Hard, Sword and the Sorcerer, Beast Master, Excalibur, Breakfast Club, Conan, were all movies I first saw way back when.  I use the lines whenever I can, and watch them as much as possible.  “Yippee Ki Yay ____ _____” can fit almost any situation, as can “Negative Ghost Rider the pattern is full!”  And who hasn’t used the classic Clonan line “to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and to hear the lamentations of the women” at a business meeting.  I  didn’t have the hair or the fashion, but in my movies I am a child of the 80s.

As with the music I still love! I was in Seattle working in the 90s, but I can’t tell the difference between Nirvana, Pearl Jam or Alice in Chains.  Grunge just passed me by (much to the dismay of my wife!)  But Journey, Van Halen, John Parr, Phil Collins, they all keep me going when the legs are tired.  I will be 85, pedaling uphill and still singing “Naughty Naughty at the top of my lungs!

Free thinking Science teacher!  I graduated WSU to be a teacher in math and science.  Sadly, with the job market at the time, I never landed a job in my major.  But as you have read here time and again, I will believe anything that is logical or has proof.  Expect me to give you blind faith (Except for my Cougs (more later)) and I will shake my head and smile that smile people know so well.  It’s easy to think there is a reason things happen, to know it was just chance is harder to understand, but it is the truth.

I could do post after post on just this, but for my purposes here, I LOVE scientific break throughs and reports.  COSMOS was third in my TV priority list only after Walking Dead and Game of Thrones.  The “Ex Science Teacher” in me comes out quite frequently.  In fact, people seek me out to explain things to them!

One of my proudest accomplishments is instilling this in both Mathmajor and Manchild.  Mathmajor is now an Under Grad research assistant in Western Washington University.  Manchild has adopted my views so much, he annoys his mom almost as much as I used to.  I did tell him to tone it down around his maternal grandparents though.

Very old-time super hero comic book fan! I was raised on Marvel and DC comics.  The poor Manchild gets drug to every stinking superhero movie that comes out!  I know the origins, powers, secret identities and weaknesses of almost every one of them.

The Cowboy! Even though I can’t ride a horse or shoot a six gun worth a damn, I am a cowboy at heart.  My mom and dad had country and western playing from the time I can remember.  My dad started me westerns when I was old enough for chapter books.  John Wayne and Clint Eastwood were early role models for me.  When I start getting really mad, from somewhere down deep inside a drawl makes itself heard.  It surprises me sometimes.

WSU Cougar.  Only someone who graduated from Washington State University will understand the magic and love only a Coug can understand.

Finally, there is the guy y’all have come to know most often.  The adventure outdoorsman.  There is no place I am happier than outside, at the ocean, the mountains, a river, lake, waterfall or glacier.  Fresh air, animals, wind in my face and sights to see, I am a happy man.  The biggest smiles you will ever see are those taken at a place I had to bust my ass to get.  Cycling, climbing, or hiking, the more remote the happier I am.

My favorite celebration.  Wine at Denali Base Camp.
My favorite celebration. Wine at Denali Base Camp.

After letting this all pour out, I am damn glad I did not have his assignment.  No one thing I carry reflects all that is me.  Plus I am not sure there are enough, Free thinking, stuck in the 80s, super hero loving, adventure seeking Cougar cowboys in the world to make a culture,  but that is the only way I can describe me.

And my to my pride (and maybe to their concern) the two boys are a lot like their dad!  Lord help em!

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