Nothing but a group of random thoughts this week while I contemplate how old you should be before you stop thinking that doing something makes you more “grown up.”

At least, I felt that way when I actually stopped what I was doing — which wasn’t much at the time — and put on a pair of shoes when the tornado sirens sounded this week.

The question is: What was my true motivation?

Was it a safety move in case of the worst-case scenario and I was going to be picking up the pieces? Or was it to go outside and look at the storm?

One of those two happened. I’ll let you guess which one.

Next: This might have to be the year of the passport for me. First, I got my first real passport earlier this year. I’ve never had the need for one before, but — and I don’t want to jinx this — but before the year is out the plan is to have a stamp on the passport.

Oh no — is that another “grown up” thing?

Closer to home ,though, the Nebraska Passport program is up and running again. We had a talk about it at work the other day, and it looks like fun. You get a “passport” book (or app) that lists 70 destinations in the state.

The idea is to get to as many as possible and have your “passport” stamped. Road warriors who actually make it to all 70 get prizes and are entered for bigger drawings.

Lesser achievers can start getting prizes with as few as 10 stops.

If you plan to give it a try, think about going when you’re hungry and thirsty. A significant number of stops this year seem to be restaurants, breweries and wineries.

To be fair, there are a lot of museums, historical sites, parks and the shopping stops, as well.

According to the Nebraska Passport web site, 469 people made it all 70 stops last year.

It looks like 19 of them were from Hastings (they have names and hometowns listed). There was even one family of four who I know listed. Looks like they spent much of the year on a family quest.

The travel season is just from now through September, so you better get the car gassed up if you want to hit all 70.

Next: If this is the first weekend of May, it must be Kentucky Derby time.

Seems like it’s the one day of year everyone is a bit of a horse racing fan. Well, that and Belmont day if there is a horse with a chance of winning the Triple Crown that day.

It’s the Run for the Roses, since the winner is draped in a garland of more than 500 roses. My wife was wondering: “Why Roses?”

So, that got me wondering — and Googling, too. Seems way back in the 1800’s a big shot from the Derby (yes, the race is that old) was at a post-race party and saw a New York socialite handing out roses to the guests at this party.

He decided to follow his lead and present the winning horse of his race with the same flower.

At least that’s one version I read. I was hoping for something a little more off the wall, or related to Kentucky, but let’s go with that.

Speaking of the Derby, Sports Illustrated re-ran a story last year from years ago featuring late writer William Nack and his first-hand experience following Secretariat, the greatest race horse of all time (sorry, I’ll hear no arguments trying to convince me otherwise).

Ask me someday about the day I “met” Secretariat. Still probably the biggest athlete I’ve ever stood side-by-side with.

Next — and finally: A fellow media member tweeted an interesting thought after the storms of this week in Nebraska.

He was gently chiding those in the media that in one breath are telling people to immediately take shelter from the storms and don’t stick their heads back up until they sound the all clear.

While at the same time saying, “Send us your pictures from the storm so we can all see what you went out to see. Hmmm.

Well, at least I hope they wore shoes.


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