So I was researching the cost of a shark cage and, according to this, an aluminum one that gets rented to film crews cost $100,000.

That one is probably made to order and extra expensive and all that so I’m guessing, and this number is ex rectum, that a regular run-of-the-mill shark cage would cost somewhere around $20,000.

With that in mind, I imagined a website called “Bob’s Discount Shark Cages” and that he would sell shark cages for $5,000.

My response to that thought experiment was not “hey, what a discount! That’s practically an arbitrage opportunity!” but “what in the heck would be wrong with that shark cage?”

This thought experiment came to me as I was driving home from the rock climbing gym after the first time I used the auto-belay.

Who made this auto-belay? I thought to myself. I was told that they were good for up to 400 pounds. I’d kinda like them to be good up to 500, but that’s me being a worrywart, I’m sure. But who made them? I hope it wasn’t Bob’s Discount Auto-Belays.

So I went back to the gym tonight. I still haven’t made it all the way up the wall to honk one of the little squeezy horns. I made it up half way, then froze up, then, instead of jumping off and riding the auto-belay down, I climbed all the way back down the wall.

I needed to figure this out. What the heck is going on in my head? Well, I played all of the negative ninny tapes (you know the ones: “you’re the fattest person in this gym”, “look at that 6 year old… they went all the way up the wall in about a minute, never stopping, then they just jumped down”, “everyone here has a physique somewhere between ‘tattooed seven year-old’ and ‘Greek statue'”, so on and so forth) and I let them play out and fizzle (despite them being pretty much true, after you get past the parts where they contradicted each other) and realize that I still didn’t know how to let go and jump.

So I got back up on the wall and I only climbed up six feet and then I jumped.

I grabbed the belay line so tightly that I ripped out about a dozen beard hairs. Didn’t feel a thing.

Then I did it again.

Then I did it again.

So, this weekend, the plan includes buying pony-tail rubber bands. Well, and recuperating. My arms feel like they’ve been holding onto a rope for dear life.

So… what’s on your docket?

(Image is “Play” by Clare Briggs. Used with permission of the Briggs estate.)

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Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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22 thoughts on “Weekend!

  1. Garibaldi days! A friend of ours lives there, so we will spend the weekend drinking sans driving, eating, GnR cover band listening and having fun.

    And shark cages? Meh, you need a Faraday cage, or better, a Faraday suit, like this guy is wearing:


  2. Gaming Saturday evening, hanging out with P & N &c on Sunday evening, other than that a lot of resting and maybe some sleeping.

    I can’t wait till work is no longer the kind of chaotic that makes me sleep for 3 hours the minute I get home every night.


    • I found a whole bunch of prices for shark cage *TOURS*.

      But what if I wanted to buy a shark cage itself?

      The shark cage people are seriously cutting themselves off at the knees by not having a larger web presence.


      • I could see all *kinds* of liability issues if you just mail someone a shark cage and don’t provide any training.

        I’m imagining someone typing a review, thinking “okay, well, in school we learned that you should always be polite and find something good to say if you’re going to say something bad, so, here goes…”

        Cage was not difficult to transport. The part where you attach the hook was easy to access. I liked that there was a phone app I could use to check in where I planned to dive. The instructions did not indicate the proper method of securing the door and a shark was able to enter the cage. 3/5 stars.


  3. Look at you! Go, JB!!!

    Hopefully I will be having this baby this weekend. I’m so done being pregnant, even though I technically have 9 days left until the due date. I’m going to a Hillsboro Hops baseball game tonight with co-workers. That’s all I’m committing to, just in case… Keep your fingers crossed!


  4. I too have joined a gym and must repress my self-doubt at fellow gymgoers whose physiques are of superior quality to my own. I tell myself, I’m going to look like them one day. And the truth is, a great many of them do look like me right now anyway. Getting a workout buddy to go with me would be pretty useful motiviation, but one thing at a time.


    • The milestone I most recently reached: exercising without friends but not cheating.

      We jog after work every day. I do the thing where I jog a half mile by alternating jogging and walking for a full mile. Well, the first time I was left to my own devices, I jogged somewhere between .25 of the mile and .3 of it.

      The second time, I was mostly pretty good, but I only ran all the way to the lightpost rather than all the way to the part of the fence that has the trees behind it.

      Thursday (this last Thursday!) was the *FIRST* time that, left to my own devices, I ran the full half a mile without cutting a corner here or there.

      I keep trying to remember that it’s better to have a process than a milestone.

      You reach a milestone and you feel good for a second but then it’s behind you and you’ve just got another milestone waaaay ahead of you. If you have a process, you can succeed every day and feel good that you’re following the process.

      I keep trying.

      Keep at it, Burt. We’ll get there.


  5. Even though it’s going to be DEATH HOT, a friend of mine (who lives about 5 hours away) and I are meeting up at a midway point, where there are good bookstores, and a yarn shop (we both knit) and other desirable things. And so I am going to get a much needed day away from my little town and especially away from reading about Environmental Law and worrying if I will know enough more about it than my students come August 21.


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