Jun 07

So, those in charge of the City of Scottsbluff have closed the only truly public outdoor pool in Scottsbluff.  The Splash Arena has been closed, and a “shortage of lifeguards” is cited as the reason.

 

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For those not familiar with the Westmoor Pool, it’s not really a swimming pool.  The Westmoor Pool is a kiddie park with some water.  The Westmoor Pool is a crowded and loud wading pool with water tainted by the urine of hundreds of toddlers.  I do not like the Westmoor pool.  But I love how the dude in the video is asking patrons not to come right at opening.  I love how he is asking people to wait until about 3:30 pm to come to the pool, you know, to distribute the pool load.  Apparently Mr. Mader has never been to one of the outdoor Scottsbluff pools in the late afternoon… you know, when the evening thunderstorms are starting to roll in.  I have been at our pools during those times, and it is a joy to watch the lifeguards.

If there are dark clouds on the horizon, the lifeguards’ attention all turn to the skies.  You can see the giddy excitement on their faces, I’m sure imagining a short shift and planning what they are going to do with the remainder of their day since they know work will end early… yet again.  If there are dark clouds on the horizon (which, on many, many evenings in the panhandle of Nebraska, there are), you best be watching out for your own kid’s safety, because the attention of the lifeguards won’t leave the sky until that first flash of lightening in the 30 mile distance is sighted, the whistles blow, and you get to go home with no refund or complimentary pass for a later time.  Yeah, let’s encourage people to go to the pool at a time when they are going to get screwed by the weather.  Brilliant!

Of course, there are other options given by the representative of the city.  The City of Gering has a nice public outdoor pool.  The only issue with that is that the residents of Gering HATE the residents of Scottsbluff.  If all of a sudden the Gering pool is at capacity because of an influx of Scottsbluff residents, there will be blood.  Gering residents would rather have their pool blown up by Islamic fundamentalists than let the residents of Scottsbluff pollute it with their “north-of-the-river” disease.

The video also mentions the YMCA Trails West pool, which is a private pool and is not available to the public… unless you want to rent it… for $75 an hour… with a two hour minimum… not exactly an affordable option for most folks.

The last option offered up by the brain trust at the City of Scottsbluff is the Scotts Bluff Country Club pool.

Seriously?

They’re gonna make me give my opinion on country clubs?

Okay, here we go…

You have to be a member of the Scotts Bluff Country Club to use the pool at the Scotts Bluff Country Club.  Most residents of the City of Scottsbluff and surrounding area cannot afford a membership to the Scotts Bluff Country Club.  Most of the people who frequent public pools (myself included) are exactly the kinds of people who country club members are trying to avoid by joining a country club!  People with money join country clubs to hang out with other people who make a similar amount of money.  People do not join country clubs to hang out with the kind of people they may run into if they are forced into a trip to Walmart.  Successful business owners join country clubs so they are assured they will not run into one of the low-paid employees they have to deal with during the work week.  Lawyers and politicians join country clubs so they are guaranteed they will not run into much of the “common trash” they represent.  The fact that a representative of the City of Scottsbluff would list the Scotts Bluff Country Club pool as a viable option for the swimming needs of anyone other than the elite of Scotts Bluff County makes me realize how out of touch some people are.  The elite already use the country club pool.  The elite wouldn’t be caught dead (or have their children caught dead) at a public pool.  Mentioning the Scotts Bluff Country Club pool in a PR piece that attemptes to give alternatives to a frustrated general population may actually have an opposite effect.  Many patrons who will not get to use the public pools as much as they would like have just been reminded that, up on the hill, there is a place where the local financial elite have their own pool… and we’re not welcome to use it.  Thanks for the reminder, City of Scottsbluff…

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Apr 09

We have a local YMCA here in Scottsbluff, NE.  I didn’t have access to a Y growing up in rural Montana.  In fact, the Y here is the first one I had ever been to.  I had heard of the YMCA as a kid, and I thought of the Y as kind of a place where a fellow who was down on his luck could get a cheap (or even free) room until he got back on his feet.  Apparently, this isn’t what the modern YMCA offers (at least not in the USA).

Scottsbluff has a country club for the wealthy.
country club
The Scotts Bluff Country Club is the kind of place where the rich can go to get away from the common filth of society (you know, the rest of us) and surround themselves with fellow rich people with whom to golf and dine and talk about what rich people talk about.  I’m not rich, so I don’t know exactly what they talk about, but I’m assuming they talk about money… and how much those of us without a lot of money suck.  At least, that’s what I’d talk about if I was rich.

The YMCA here in Scottsbluff is kind of like a country club for the middle class.  Oh sure, they have some sort of reduced-rate program for those at a lower income level, they just don’t advertise it very prominently… and they don’t really tell you what it is.  I guess you have to go in and ask so they can look down at you to convince you that you really don’t belong at the Scottsbluff Family YMCA.

My family has a membership to the Y; not because we can afford it, but because it is a benefit my employer offers.  Hell, it’s almost $500 a year for a family membership.  I don’t know if I could afford that on my own.  Not only do they get you on the membership fees, they charge for everything extra that the Y provides.  Want to have your kid play t-ball?  Only $12 if you are a member.  How about you and the wife doing the co-ed volleyball?  Only $15 per person… if you are members.  Yeah, I grew up thinking the Y was a place where those without a lot of money could socialize and get fit.  I was wrong.  The Y is a country club for those who can’t quite afford the real country club.

I go to our YMCA almost daily.  I have done this for a few years now.  I go and I get on an elliptical and I sweat and breath really heavy for about 30 minutes.  I started doing this in an attempt to control my blood pressure and to lose a little weight. I burn 500 to 600 calories and get my heart rate up to around 170 beats per minute almost every day.  I have not lost a single pound, and my blood pressure was 170/130 when medical people put me on blood pressure medication a few weeks ago.  So, it looks like I go to the Y for nothing.  Well, nothing except to see all of the skinny people and steroid-heads walk around looking at themselves in the multitude of mirrors that surround the circuit room.  I hate these people.  With a passion.  Here I am, sweating my ass off (in theory, not in reality) and bringing myself to the verge of a heart attack almost every day for the past three years in an attempt to squeeze a couple more years out of my miserable existence, and I’m surrounded by skinny people in their designer work-out gear

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skinny
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and steroid-filled muscle-heads in their… well, their muscles and crap!

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Roid-head.

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Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of fatties like me sweating at the Y as well, but why in the hell would I waste time looking at them.

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fat
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If I wanted to look at a fattie all day, I could stay home and look in the mirror.  No, I want to create the most severe case on envy imaginable.  I want to look at the people who I will never resemble.  I want to make myself feel as worthless and insignificant as possible.  After all, hate is what drives me, so the more hate I harbor, the worse I feel, and the more I feel like I’m accomplishing what I was put on this earth to do… whatever that is.

Man, if being surrounded by the fit middle-class at the YMCA can make me feel this crappy, imagine what being surrounded by the snotty rich at the actual country club would make me feel like?  Especially if I was in a position where the rich snotties could really talk down to me?  Maybe like a dishwasher… or a janitorial position? Yeah, that’s it.

Some rich doctor would run into me in the hall and he’d be all like, “Boy, there appears to be a toilet clogged in the men’s room.  Get on it, post-haste.  Cheerio!”

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snotty.

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And I, of course, would get right on Dr. Snotty’s clogged toilet!

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Future?.

And the hate would grow!

Man, I wonder if they are hiring?  I put my current level of mid-life-crisis misery on par with about the 5th ring of hell.  A servitude-type position at the country club could move me all the way up to the 9th ring, and the crisis could be complete!

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