Time passages

“I hadn’t realized the time had crept up so quickly,” said a high school friend upon hearing the news of Brendan’s birth. It’s funny, because I’d been thinking about how time passes.

When I went to work Sept. 3, it was summer. We were having irritating thunderstorms, and the air was like soup. I already knew some of my summer plans weren’t going to come to fruition. I didn’t master my golf game — in fact, I only got out on the course once, and I hit some truly terrible shots. I didn’t get on the bike trail and work my way up to 50 miles.

When the three of us left the hospital Sept. 5, it was fall. The days were noticeably shorter. Now, I’m a little chilly when I stand outside with the dogs at 6 a.m. Summer seemed to end with one phone call and one rush-hour trip to the hospital.

And yet, it’s beautiful. The sky is the friendliest shade of blue these days, the air feels as fresh as it can in an urban area, and of course, we have a week-old son who is already starting to show an interest in the world around him.

Hearing from high school friends also makes you aware of time passing in other ways — years and years going by. The time between my 10th and 15th reunions seemed awfully brief.

But it’s easy to think in a different way and realize that things aren’t necessarily speeding by. Sure, summer came and went, but it felt like Jen was six months pregnant for eternity. It’s hard to believe I’ve been out of high school so long, but then I remember that these people keeping in touch with me now all knew me when I was basically an obnoxious nerd with straggly hair whose mother dressed him funny. In the 16 years since graduation, I’ve learned to channel my obnoxiousness and cut my hair. Also, nerdiness has come into vogue — as one fellow former geek said, if we’d come along a few years later, we could’ve been Weezer.

So on this day, I’ve honed my geekiness to a palatable or even chic version, and my wife and son can walk with me (OK, one’s in a stroller) on a beautiful day in the neighborhood.

The golf course and the bike trail can wait.

Random thoughts

Rare good read on Al Qaeda includes a distinction between which branches of Iran’s government control which security forces. It appears that some in Iran, loyal to a religious leader, have harbored Al Qaeda leaders (though their patience wore thin). But Khatami’s government did not. Not that most Americans will understand the distinction.

Funny sight on Fox Sports World’s MLS Wrap. They took highlights from a high-definition broadcast and squeezed them from wide-screen to regular screen. Hulking Chicago goalkeeper Zach Thornton lookeds like DaMarcus Beasley. DaMarcus Beasley looked like Olive Oyl.

The U.S. Open had a Phantom Menace feel to it. Juan Carlos Ferrero (Darth Maul) beat venerable U.S. great Andre Agassi (Qui-Gon), only to be sliced in half by Andy Roddick (Obi-Wan). I suppose that means Taylor Dent or James Blake will eventually grow up to be Darth Vader, or perhaps that Mandy Moore will dress like Carrie Fisher for the next major.

North Korea: Who cares, why bother?

Here’s the Dure Plan for Korea. Get out. Just get out. Bring the troops home, give them a parade and maybe send a few to relieve those poor reservists and National Guardspeople stuck in Iraq.

What could happen? Does anyone really think the North would just swoop down and invade? Yeah, right. One look around the prosperous South, and North Koreans would suddenly realize what a liar Kim Jong Be Illin’ really is.

Besides, China at this point isn’t going along for the ride.

And no, North Korea isn’t going to launch something nasty at the California coast. What exactly would they gain from that?

So forget it. The South doesn’t really want us there, and the North really doesn’t want us there.

My dad fought there more than 50 years ago. We’ve done our time. If Australia or some other country wants to take our place staring across the parallel, fine. But get us out.