Crash the Board

One late afternoon, when I arrived home, I noticed something lying in our driveway. It was not the fallen autumn leaves that needed to be swept, that caught my attention, but something more strange.

It was a dead bird.

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My son was actually the first one to see it and pointed it out to me. As we looked at it closely we have concluded that it was a robin. It also looked healthy and well nourished, so we wondered what caused its demise. Its feathers did not look ruffled so it was unlikely that it was attacked by a predatory bird, like hawk, which abound in our area.

Then like detective Sherlock Holmes and his friend Dr. Watson, we looked at the evidences available to us and formulated a theory of what caused the poor bird’s death. We could have done an autopsy but there was no need for that.

We looked at the dead bird’s body location and its relation to the other surrounding structures. The hard driveway pavement. The soft grass lawn. The nearby garage. Our big oak tree. And the fiberglass basketball goal.

The bird was lying right underneath the basketball goal. And there was some smudge in the fiberglass.

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Here is our conclusion: it was a clear sunny day; the robin was flying spiritedly heading to our oak tree; the bird mistakenly looked through the clear fiberglass and flew directly into it; the robin fell to the hard pavement and died.

That, or Dwight Howard swatted it down from its flight.

We know that skyscrapers have caused several birds to crashed to their death when they fly smack into the glass windows. The wind turbines that we erected to generate energy has caused many winged wild life deaths as well. On the reverse side, there are several reported airplane accidents, especially small aircrafts, crashing down when they hit a flock of birds. I suppose that still is unfortunate on the part of the birds.

I like my basketball goal though. I am not going to take it down. It has given me and my son so many hours of fun playing on it. But to this poor creature, it caused its death. Life can be cruel at times, I guess.

In basketball, there is a term “crash the board,” which means to get the rebound, or the act of rebounding the ball. This little birdie gave that term a whole new meaning.

I will remember and will pay respect to this poor soul, every time I play and crash the board.

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(*all photos taken with iPhone)

All in Love is Fair

Nobody said that life would be fair. And anyone who still believe that it is, would be rudely disappointed.

“Life is so unfair.” That’s what I heard my wife said, a few days ago. Here’s the story behind it.

I was on-call that day. It was an extra-ordinarily busy call for me. In fact, I have not had such a “toxic” call for a while. And it was not even a full moon. Maybe the dark stars aligned in their orbits or there were a couple of full moons in some other planets. Whatever the reason was, it was busy.

During one stretch of my call, I had 4 ICU admissions in a matter of 2 hours. Having very sick patients coming at the same time was bad enough, but them presenting simultaneously on 2 different hospitals I cover that were few miles apart was almost impossible to deal with. Good thing I had reliable medical residents that helped me took care of our critically ill patients. And to cap the night, two more ICU admissions came later that night.

I came home past 1 o’clock in the morning. (I usually come home 5 or 6 PM, even if I am on-call.) I was glad to see that the porch and driveway lights were on, when I pulled up in our garage. It was a nice feeling to come home, and know that you were expected.

My wife was already in bed but I was delightfully surprised that she was still awake, waiting for me all along. She even told me that my son also stayed up almost up to midnight, waiting for me. It was really a wonderful feeling to come home, even though I know that I was still on-call, and my beeper can go off anytime, and there was a possibility that I could still be called back to the hospital.

My fatigue melted away and not too long after, I was snoring in bed. Perhaps my beeper went off one or two more times after I slept, but I was able to deal with those calls without the need to return to the hospital.

Later on that morning, when the sun was already up, as I was preparing to go back to work, after a short night of sleep, that was when my wife blurted out, tongue-in-cheek: “Life is so unfair.”

Apparently after I came home, and was soon fast asleep, she stayed awake, unable to fall asleep. Can you imagine her sad plight? She waited that long for me, and when I came, I fell asleep so readily while she was kept awake by my snoring. Sure, that I agree was “unfair.” But I really appreciated that she stayed up for me, for I know she did it out of love. And I know that her ‘life is unfair’ statement, is an expression of endearment.

Life is so unfair

Last weekend, I woke up early and went out for my morning run. It was nice to get out and run as the sun was just peeking above the horizon. The spring air was fresh and crisp, the birds were singing, and the neighborhood was still snoring. After half an hour, I returned home to find out that I locked myself out. I did not carry a key, and I did not leave the front door of our house unlocked.

I knew that my wife and kids were still sleeping, so I did not knock or ring the doorbell. I dare not be told again that “life is so unfair.” Besides, it was a beautiful morning, not so cold outside (read: a little above freezing) and the sun was shining, so I just sat there in the front bench of our house and enjoyed my quiet moment. Or should I say “enjoy” the moment of my stupidity of locking myself out!

After a while, my wife and kids woke up eventually. As my wife opened the front door to let the sunshine in and to see where I’ve been, she was surprised how happy and smiling I was, to enter back our house. She initially thought that I just had a good run or perhaps I had a funny incident while I was out. Only later that she learned that I locked myself out and that I was sitting in our bench for almost half an hour.

I don’t think my wife would really mind if I wake her up a little early if I rang the doorbell, but I’m sure she appreciated that I did not. Yes, life can be unfair, but like in Stevie Wonder’s song……”all in love is fair.”

(*image from here)