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I have been thinking about deterioration. Buildings fall apart, cars rust and slip a gear, memory goes to shit, inflation claws at currency valuation, range of body motion becomes more and more an effort in futility. In a word, bleak. Reversing (hah) these effects or even arresting the pace of erosion is reserved for the compulsive, the optimistic or the foolhardy. Having recently joined the “Y” puts me in the latter category apparently.

Hoping that wisdom – whatever I have ever possessed – is my secret weapon in this crusade for a return to virility or at least vitality I now take all my jump shots within 8 feet of the basket. No fool this man. Of course I use the descriptor “jump” shot in the loosest possible manner. At my peak elevation a highly dexterous individual might be able to slip a sheet of fine onion skin typing paper (do they still make that stuff?) between my sneaker and the hardwood; no joke! I was the person who first inspired the racial slur “white men can’t jump”

Today I was slouching down the hall of the metro Y past the gleaming racquetball courts where lithe, sweaty and mobile athletes were leaping, sliding and swatting like I could only dream of. When next I looked up I was across from the open door to the spinning class where the masses were warming up their thighs and calves and all their breathing organs to the bold beat of electronic music. Pausing to gaze casually at the lithe women in head-to-toe spandex I accidentally caught the eye of an old dude perched high on a “bike” in his own garish jersey, the kind with a million unreadable logos and swirls and bottle pockets. He quickly motioned for me to enter and grab a bike. What was I thinking?

Despite the continued low temps here in Rochester I have been unable to resist jump starting the roadster and zipping about a bit. If I can’t zip on the basketball court surely my car could be my stand-in… or that’s what my foolish age-arrested ego keeps telling me. Recently I have been zipping out to the country to consult with my friend George who is looking for a fellow schemer to devise a plan to liquidate some inventory that has reluctantly fallen into his hands. Being a former salesperson I believe that if I can get a sports car to put the brakes on my deterioration I may still be able to use my vast reservoir of wisdom to concoct a winning marketing plan. The early stages of the project have been fun but the real test comes later but the effort has now been set in motion and isn’t that just wonderful! To further confuse the dark forces conspiring to diminish my mental and physical acuity I have another, more auspicious idea percolating. If you heard the term urban residential developer you might envision the likes of Donald Trump. I can say with certainty that my devolution process has not progressed to the state of that bloated blowhard with the reactionary views and the absurdly comic comb-over.

No, my urban developer idea is far more modest. Imagine a house(s) that fit into existing city blocks of available lots with lots of design character, environmental awareness and modest size. In my life I have designed and built a small house that most agree was pretty awesome. Even in my most self-critical moments that project comes out smelling pretty good. In this new half-baked project I imagine partnering with other professionals – a realtor, an architect, maybe a financial person – who are equally passionate about design integrity and the urban experience. It all could just fit together like a 1,000 piece puzzle. When I get done with my workout regimen  at the Y think I can still sling a hammer and saw like the lanky lumber lad  I once was. And yes, I do appreciate dear reader that you have not asked the obvious questions about how all this will be financed, because on this subject I am clueless. Who said hope was not a strategy?

All these things have me in the frame of mind where I ponder the imponderable. For example, is it better to nap or to build? To read or watch? To drink or to think?  Ah, what the hell, I’ll do some of it all!