Thursday, December 27, 2018

A Truffle PSA

I suspect that whomever left this sack of truffles on the conference table just outside my office believed they were making a kind gesture toward their colleagues. Unfortunately, this was a gross miscalculation and upon discovering such, I felt the need to report about it.

Earlier in the day I saw a colleague go over and indulge, I thought nothing of it, other than, FUCK! I want one too! However, I was good, I resisted.

Jump to a few hours later, I return from lunch and what is better after a meal that a little something sweet (Note, the answer is nothing, if you didn't get that correct, you might need to go back and read the textbook)?

I mosied over to the table, just steps from my work space, and reached for one, popped it into my mouth, and let the chocolate sit there to melt only slightly helping it along with slight pressure from the roof of my mouth. I found this brief ritual most enjoyable, the taste receptors on my tongue were in communication with the receptors in my brain and before I knew it, before I have even walked all the way back into my office, I did an about face and had another. It wasn't long before I considered a third, but I knew I had to be strong, so thus far, I have resisted - I ask for your good wishes that I can remain strong as I know that as much initial delight a third would strike up in the mouth, everywhere south of the mouth would send messages of regret as soon as they could.

Some tips to manage your life in the presence of a similar box of truffles:

Travel with a trusted friend who is in possession of a dart and an alcohol swab. Inform your friend that the moment you reach for a third truffle, to quickly wipe the dart with the alcohol swab and throw it right at your cheek. In addition to the friend you travel with being trusted, it's a definite bonus if they are really good at darts and even more if they have a car nearby in the case you need urgent care.

If you are alone and have a box of these truffles, take one (or two) out, place it (or them) on a plate (a napkin will also do). Place the remaining contents of the box of truffles down the food disposal, get the water running, then turn on the food disposal unit for at least enough time to destroy all of the truffles. Once disposed of, enjoy the two remaining truffles before going about your day.

I believe both of these tips are of great use, but you you have alternate suggestions, feel free to let me know.

Monday, September 25, 2017

NFL Today

I avoided talking about this for as long as I can, so I am going to use my space here to put this out.


I am saying this to every one of you who has claimed that you are done with the NFL, that you will never watch an NFL game...blah, blah, blah.

I'll tell you how I know this is just reaction bullshit, because I have many times been guilty of the same bullshit.

If at any point, your team gets on a hot streak, or makes the post season, you will be right back there.

Look, there is a way bigger problem in this world we live in, and in the U.S.A., if your big cause is banning football because you think they are too un-patriotic, you might want to open your eyes and really look at some of the things that really need attention.

For the record, here's how I feel about the knee thing. If you are part of a team, a team that represents an American sports tradition, one that young kids watch and idolize players, and perhaps aspire to be a part of - then it is your responsibility to do the right thing, set a good example, and show respect for all of the above mentioned.

Yes, you have the right to feel the way that you do, but the NFL platform is not yours to use to convey your feelings, we the fans pay a price, a premium price, and we have an expectation that you will represent yourself as a professional athlete deserving of that price.

I will stop there.

Updated much later in day:
I completely overlooked the idea that all of this NFL bullshit is a diversionary tactic by the powers that be to get your mind off of the ridiculous and extremely dangerous Graham/Cassady rewrite of he health care act/bill. (Thank you Nancy for the reminder)

Monday, September 18, 2017

Award Shows

After about my millionth rant on how long, drawn out, and boring awards show have become (except for the Country Music Awards - who actually know how to produce an entertainment show), a dear friend of mine gave me fantastic advice that I will pass on to you..."then don't watch them!"

You know what, I haven't watched nor have I complained about an awards show since.

I've seen about a dozen (at least, might be more) rants about last night's Emmy awards show. I didn't see it, but I've heard enough of the after-talk to know it was political and negative toward the Orange guy in the White House.

I've heard that some people are upset with Stephen Colbert. Now I completely support your right to not like Colbert, to not agree with Colbert, but if I am throwing out the benefit of the doubt here, I'd have to say that going into it, you had to know who he is - right?

You all know that Stephen Colbert has been excessively political and critical of the current administration. You have to know that Stephen Colbert was hired by the network knowing who Stephen Colbert is and as such, intentionally chose to make the show a political forum. You had to know that going in - how could you not?

Now despite the fact that I happen to agree with most of Stephen Colbert's sentiments, I chose not to watch because if I were going to watch the Emmy's, I'd want it to revolve only around the awards, and the craft of making television. That said, I made a conscious choice to not watch because it knew what the show was going to be.

So my advice to all of you who don't want politics, news, causes, or anything else mixed in with your awards shows - just don't watch, you all have the freedom to make that choice.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Last Couple of Hours in Montreal (Update on Emotions)

I feel that it is important after my last post here to let you all know that as I prepare to travel back home, I did shake the blues enough to truly enjoy the enjoyable. Wednesday I took a day trip up to Quebec City and Montmorency Falls, it's pretty hard to stand that close to such a waterfall and not realize that I was here for a reason, that I had much to be grateful for, and that all that I was kind of blue about worked out pretty okay.

Yesterday I took a tour of the Olympic park here in Montreal, where the 1976 summer games took place and was in the stadium where the Montreal Expos played. I had no idea just how moving that tour would be and it made me realize once again, how perspective is so relevant. From one perspective, I was simply wandering grounds with impressive buildings, from the perspective I had though, I was standing on the same ground where the Olynpics were held, where records were broken, where Nadia Comenici (sp.) and Bruce Jenner made history. Where a younger Greg Lougannis and so many others began their careers on that world stage. I was in a ballpark that housed a team that gave us the late Gary Carter and so many others.

I've left so many sports behind for various reasons, but growing up, sports was a significant part of my life and being in that place was emotional, inspiring and wonderful!

I ate a lot!

I'll catch up soon.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Good Morning Montreal (Trying to Shake the Blues)

It's early, I've showered, dressed, ate the included hotel breakfast and am now in my room with a cup of coffee finalizing the Itinerary I've put together for the start of the day.

Most of the plans involve food but there's an initial stop at a place that promises (according to a local) "amazing views of downtown Montreal and the mountains over on the south bank." Then a stroll through what I expect to be a pretty, yet hipster-y neighborhood. All the rest involves food - but by the time I get through this itinerary and make it back to base, I will have walked somewhere between 6 and 7 miles; I don't know for sure because Google insists on feeding me kilometers because I am in Canada and I don't do so great with Metric.

As for the blues I was speaking of yesterday, hard to shake them. I can't not think about wishing my kiddo was here with me.

I do have a full day planned for tomorrow, taking a day trip to Quebec city and something or other, includes a boat me being on a boat, perhaps that will help shake it.

I got pics, I'll share them later. Until then...

Monday, July 10, 2017

I Shouldn't be this Unhappy Right Now (But I Am)

Here I am in Montreal, starting week 2 of a 2 week, well deserved vacation, and I am just shy of miserable. Just 4 days ago I was sitting on a bench in front of a Cheesecake Factory in the middle of a suburb and was happier in that moment that I had been in a very long time. I guess it's all a matter of perspective, circumstance, and perhaps some emotion.

Last week I spent 4 days in Chicago, a city I have been to and know that I like. Plus, someone very special to me lives in a suburb north of there and getting to see her in person again, well, it just made me really happy.

I picked Montreal for this week because I have heard so much about it, and it's a place I had never been. I was stoked at the prospect of going and a part of me is still stoked to be here, but there''s this darn hole that got made as a result of what I can't label anything but selfish absent-mindedness by my daughter's mother.

Kiddo's mom and I split years ago, but it's always been amicable, kiddo always comes first and we've always made sure to put kiddo's needs first. If either of us are planning to be away or anything, we let each other know out of courtesy and to be sure the other is watching over kiddo.

Now look, kiddo isn't so much of a kiddo anymore, she turns 19 in 2 weeks - but she's always going to be my little girl, you know? I plan myself this 2 week vacation, I haven't had a vacation in a while, I book the trips, then do the right thing by letting kiddo's mom know that I will be away and then she drops it on me that she was going to be away for a portion of that time as well.

Again, kiddo isn't a baby, I know she will be fine, but had I known, I might have either planned my vacation differently so that at least one of her parents was close by, or I might have brought kiddo to Montreal, which would have been awesome, because she's got more than a 2 word vocab in French.

I just feel awful that my kiddo is home and I am here.

I need to plan some stuff for the next few days so that I can keep busy and try to see some of the things that are special about this city. I did go out and eat poutine, I don't like it!

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Compensating for Blurring the Lines

This here (on the right) is the Sunny Side Up & Coffee Shoppe. It was also the location I chose for breakfast this morning (technically yesterday morning as it is past midnight when I write this) - it had lots of good Yelp reviews and was a short walk from my hotel.

About a block or two away, there was a mattress store on the corner and just out front, one of those bus stop alcoves, under which, a homeless man was sleeping.

I simply couldn't resit a joke, which didn't come from a cruel place, but understandable could have been perceived as mean. I looked down at him then up at the mattress store just 2 or 3 feet away and said out loud, "So close, yet so far."

Now before you think the absolute worst of me, first, I can assure you with 100% certainty he was not in hearing distance. I went along for my breakfast, filled my belly, then I brought him a nice hot meal as well.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Barside Comic: The Joy of being Hacky

I stopped by Miller's Pub last night after an old friend had recommended I do. Legend has it that this establishment was the inspiration for an episode of MASH; plus, there is a pretty rich history since the it has been around for as long as it has.

The place has clearly had some renovation done over the years but there is still a rustic charm and the decor did speak a story of history; though I often wonder how much of the decor of places like these tell a fully true story and how much is either given poetic license or is completely fabricated.

I guess all of that is part of the charm of such a place, lots of stories and despite how accurate or true, most are interesting enough to listen to or read.

I sat at the bar, ordered a beer, and decided I would also stay for dinner. It seemed to me that fish & chips was the appropriate thing to order at such a place and so I did. I chatted it up first with my neighbors to the right of me and then noticed that of all baseball games to be playing on a TV in a bar in Chicago, they were showing the Boston Red Sox against the Texas Rangers. I grew up a Yankee fan and moved to Red Sox Country just about two decades ago, it's fun rooting for the arch enemy in the arch enemy's home town. But here I am in World Champion Cubbies and the AL team White Sox and the only game they got going is the damn Red Sox, I can't get away from them! LOL!

I look up at the screen at one point and see this guy with the word "ODOR" on his jersey. I don't watch a lot of baseball anymore, so I was unfamiliar with him. I was stunned to think though that this guy has a name like "ODOR" and gets every lucky break to make it to the big leagues and be on national television and he decides to wear that name proud.

This is where I got chatty with the neighbors to my left, a group of younger folks just nursing their drinks, sharing an app and discussing where they were going next.

I began to make every hacky joke about the name ODOR I could come up with, pausing strategically in between. I don't recall the entire barrage, but here are some of them and the interaction:

Me: I can see the headlines now if they lose the game because of him, "ODOR stinks up the game with an crucial base running error in the bottom of the ninth."

Them: Laughing

Me: Or if he ends up winning the game, "Ah, the Sweet Smell or rather, ODOR, of Success!"

Them, "Oh, you are funny!" as they laugh through that and build my confidence.

Me: If their kid is not behaving, then they are a bad ODOR!

Them: "How do you think of these?" still laughing as if they mean it.

At this point, let's face it, it's already getting old. There were a few more that I can't even recall but they were just okay. This is where anyone should stop - take the acclaim for them thinking you are some kind of quick witted comedic genius despite the hackiness of it all...but me, I needed to stretch this out a bit and make it a little uncomfortable; this for me was the real fun.

Me: "If I were him, I'd name my first kid Pleasant, just to give them a positive head start."

I knew I was on my way to accomplishing my goal by the reaction to this one, there were three of them, two looked at each other and then over to the third, the third got the joke and explained it, then they all started laughing. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect outcome because the one guy that got the joke did the work of lulling the other two into a false sense of security and into believing I was still funnier than I was hacky.

I paused for a little longer, partly because I need to to come up with the right joke to deliver but also because it had to be the right amount of pause to break back into the discomfort zone. I was pretty much out of stuff but the group was two dudes and one girl. I knew if I could come up with something that the dudes would instinctively laugh at but the girl might either laugh to just go along with it or just go quiet...but either way, clearly express that they were uncomfortable - I knew if I could pull this off, my job was done.

Me: Do you think that Mrs. ODOR has a pet name for her chooch?

My strategy here was to delve into a potentially uncomfortable area and also get the two dudes to start impulsively coming up with those pet names which would really make it extra uncomfortable for all of them.

The two dudes sure enough started laughing hard while the girl just sighed and said, "Really?" while make the exact face you would imagine.

I felt my job was done, I finished my beer, paid my tab, them wandered out of Miller's Pub and out into the city.

Dusting off the Blog

Back when I started this blog, blogging was the thing. As a result, I've made a number of friends, many of whom I remain in touch with after more than a dozen years. In that light, how can I not say that blogging was worth every second I put into it?

It was also really nice to have a space to just talk and not have anyone else be able to censor me. To talk in a longer form than the current wave of social media really expects.

I am not here to say now that I am dusting off the blog as I consider spending a little more time here to open up in a longer form about whatever.

I don't know that anyone comes here anymore, but I expect to come by more often than I have in the last couple of years...not daily or anything like that, but I want to have this place that I can come to when I want.

I hope that some of you will join me.


Saturday, May 14, 2016

A Eulogy for Mary Marco

On Thursday I mentioned to someone that I love very much how I was asked to do this and that I was a little nervous about the responsibility and wanting to say something meaningful. She told me, “You shouldn't be nervous because I know you will speak from your heart and everyone will feel that.” I hope that you find what I say meaningful but I will promise you this, especially you Rob, Heather and Denny – every word I say and every second I speak will come from the heart.

Human nature is a funny thing, you see someone in a wheelchair and the first thing you see is the chair, not the person in the chair; and typically, your first thoughts are why and your first interaction has this awkwardness to it as a reflection of those thoughts.
It wasn’t long after the first time I met Mary that I realized how well she understood this common behavior. So much so, that she had a clever distraction - one that altered the landscape of that first interaction with her – that distraction had a name - Mandy.

Who here remembers Mandy?

Mandy was a service dog, a very special service dog. You know how it goes when you see someone with a dog, the attention gets focused initially on the dog and the next interaction is with the person holding the dog, like magic, the wheelchair disappears, at least for a little while. Certainly for a long enough period for Mary to work her infectious and unique charm on you…that Mary charm.

Mary was okay with breaking the rules of service dogs, typically it’s frowned upon for people to fuss over a service dog like they would with any other dog, but Mary let it happen and Mandy considered it part of her job.

I was always convinced that Mandy knew that this was unusual and not covered in the service dog training program but she was loyal to Mary. Mandy also knew how to keep it, and Mary, in check – she knew just how much to give back to visitors and when to reign it in. It was always pretty incredible to witness the bond between Mandy and Mary; they are together again.

Earlier this past week, I was driving up route 126 and stopped at a red light at the intersection of route 30. If you are familiar with that intersection, you know that it is somewhat menacing and infamously treacherous. As I came to my stop and was observing the intersection activity, I spotted a blind woman with a walking stick, all alone, waiting to cross route 30. My heartbeat rapidly increased as I felt this immediate sense of concern and I thought, should stop my car right where it is and run over to help this woman cross the street? It was one of those moments where everything kind of slows down around you except your thoughts and your heart rate. I noticed the light turn green, and as usual, a car or two had to speed past to make the light and add unfortunate credibility to both adjectives I used earlier about this intersection. I saw the woman do a little move with her walking stick and just cross the street as if it was no big deal.

I was relieved, then all I could hear were the car horns, and that other stuff you here from drivers behind you. As I moved on, the next thought I had was whether I had prejudged that blind woman’s ability based on my perception of her disability. It haunted me for a few minutes. The reason I bring up this story is because one of the things Mary leaves us with are the lessons she learned about overcoming obstacles and the lessons she taught us about how much one can do, and that how much one is able to do should not be judged by anything other than their shear will and desire to do it.

Mary fought her share of battles, most would see the wheelchair and were at least able to have some sense, maybe, of the physical challenges and the battles she had to fight to ensure that she had the necessary accommodations to physically get through life. I’d for one vote to put her picture next to the word persistence in the dictionary. Mary was also a champion for all who demand and deserve equal access and when something was not right, especially for those who didn’t feel confident enough to demand for themselves, whether or not it affected her personally, she spoke up, she was willing to stir the pot and she got results. AS I write this, it reminds me of the last time I saw Mary, right here in this church on the day that Denny was baptized. At that time, the lift we had that goes up into our church hall had not been in the best condition and of all people for it to not work for, I didn’t want it to be Mary – mostly because she’s family at St. Andrew’s but also, I couldn’t be certain that she wouldn’t rat us out J.

I should probably mention how I know Mary, I work at MassBay Community College, not too far from here, at the Framingham Campus. Mary was a student there from the fall of 2005 until she achieved her dream of graduating in the spring of 2013.
Mary was given the honor of being the student commencement speaker and I’ll share with you one of the stories she told. Math was her nemesis, but she was as determined as anyone to win yet another of so many battles, to her, this was just another can’t that she knew she could…she did!

Mary would sometimes spend a few hours at a time working with our math specialists, after she was done, she would give them candy. In her words, “after two hours of teaching me math, I figured they deserved a treat!” I remember her doing this, she would often slip me a piece of candy , which is pretty cool because I didn’t have to sit through two hours of math to earn it…I guess she liked me J.

It’s important to recognize that Mary was so grateful to all who gave her the love, the respect, the help and honored her dignity not as someone with a disability but as someone.

In her commencement speech, Mary revealed that she had a number of learning disabilities growing up and this was during a time when such disabilities weren’t recognized publically, there were no learning specialists, no Americans with Disabilities Act; in fact, she spoke of being ridiculed and ignored. During that speech, Mary mentioned how people would call her “stupid”, then she looked out at the large commencement crowd and with a pride that beamed so bright it could light up the entire town, she said, in that gritty, I’ve lived this life voice that was recognizable from anywhere within hearing range, “I proved them wrong”…the crowd applauded.

It’s almost serendipitous that we here at St. Andrew’s are amid construction to make our facility more accessible to all people. I ask that you take this with you when you leave here, it may seem obvious but we all need a reminder every once in a while, especially in the times we are living in right now. When you look out into a crowd of people, see just that, a crowd of people. Mary was a constant reminder of that, I saw her share her heart with countless numbers of students in the years she spent at MassBay. Mary was a fellow student, a mother figure, an ambassador, a woman of faith and a friend to all.

I’ll close with the words Mary closed her commencement speech with and suggest that Rob and Heather play back that speech for young Denny down the road, where he can hear his grandmother say “If you want something, really bad enough, you can accomplish your goal with hard work and determination. Don’t let anybody tell you you can’t do it, just say you can do it…and do it.”

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Charity Work

I thought I would come out of retirement for a moment because a blog post is the best way I can tell you about a number of projects I am working on over the next few months and to ask you all for your good thoughts, prayers (if that is something you do) and if possible, lend a hand with a donation to one or more of these causes:

On April 9th, I will be participating in "Walk Away Homelessness" for an organization called Family Promise Metrowest. Family Promise has a very unique and wonderful approach to how it helps homeless or near homeless families.

Please click the link below for my Family Promise fundraising page to learn more about the organization, the event and to make a donation.


On April 30th, I will once again walk for the ALS Association's "Walk to Defeat ALS". I participated in the Boston walk back in October of 2015 and learned that they do an event in Worcester in April. One again I am walking in honor of my dear friend's brother, Francis Farrell.

I've done a number of such events, I have to say that October event moved me to tears, it was so emotional and not all of it was sad, much of it was inspiring and I had to do this event again.

If you would kindly check out my ALSA Walk to Defeat ALS fundraiser page by clicking the link below, and if so moved, every donation helps.


On May 1st, just one day after the Walk to Defeat ALS, I make my return to Project Bread's "Walk for Hunger". In past years, the Walk for Hunger has been 20 miles - I did that walk 5 times and raised well over $5,000 thanks to your generosity. Quite a few years have passed since my last time and I am ready to take on the challenge again. This year, due to road construction, they have shortened the walk to 10 miles, but the cause is the same - it is a wonderful event. Please see my Walk for Hunger fundraiser page by clicking on the link below.


On May 7th, I will be participating in a Habitat for Humanity project. There is no fundraiser page here, I'll be helping to build a house for a family, I've done it once before about 10 years or so ago, it was an amazing experience.

I simply as for your good thoughts.

Thank you all for taking the time to read this and pitching in, any way you can.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

On Grieving

Someone shared this with me earlier today, I had to share it as well...

Someone on reddit wrote the following heartfelt plea online:

“My friend just died. I don’t know what to do.”

A lot of people responded. Then there’s one old guy’s incredible comment that stood out from the rest that just might change the way we approach life and death:

“Alright, here goes. I’m old. What that means is that I’ve survived (so far) and a lot of people I’ve known and loved did not. I’ve lost friends, best friends, acquaintances, co-workers, grandparents, mom, relatives, teachers, mentors, students, neighbors, and a host of other folks. I have no children, and I can’t imagine the pain it must be to lose a child. But here’s my two cents.

I wish I could say you get used to people dying. I never did. I don’t want to. It tears a hole through me every time someone I love dies, no matter the circumstances. But I don’t want it to ‘not matter’. I don’t want it to be something that just passes. My scars are a testament to the love and the relationship that I had for and with that person. And if the scar is deep, so was the love. So be it. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are a testament that I can love deeply and live deeply and be cut, or even gouged, and that I can heal and continue to live and continue to love. And the scar tissue is stronger than the original flesh ever was. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are only ugly to people who can’t see.

As for grief, you’ll find it comes in waves. When the ship is first wrecked, you’re drowning, with wreckage all around you. Everything floating around you reminds you of the beauty and the magnificence of the ship that was, and is no more. And all you can do is float. You find some piece of the wreckage and you hang on for a while. Maybe it’s some physical thing. Maybe it’s a happy memory or a photograph. Maybe it’s a person who is also floating. For a while, all you can do is float. Stay alive.

In the beginning, the waves are 100 feet tall and crash over you without mercy. They come 10 seconds apart and don’t even give you time to catch your breath. All you can do is hang on and float. After a while, maybe weeks, maybe months, you’ll find the waves are still 100 feet tall, but they come further apart. When they come, they still crash all over you and wipe you out. But in between, you can breathe, you can function. You never know what’s going to trigger the grief. It might be a song, a picture, a street intersection, the smell of a cup of coffee. It can be just about anything…and the waves come crashing. But in between waves, there is life.

Somewhere down the line, and it’s different for everybody, you find the waves are only 80 feet tall, or 50 feet tall. And while they still come, they come further apart. You can see them coming. An anniversary, a birthday, or Christmas, or landing at O’Hare. You can see it coming, for the most part, and prepare yourself. And when it washes over you, you know that somehow you will, again, come out the other side. Soaking wet, sputtering, still hanging on to some tiny piece of the wreckage, but you’ll come out.

Take it from an old guy. The waves never stop coming, and somehow you don’t really want them to. But you learn that you’ll survive them. And other waves will come. And you’ll survive them too. If you’re lucky, you’ll have lots of scars from lots of loves. And lots of shipwrecks.”
UPDATE: 11/30 - I unintentionally forgot to include the link to the original post. I manually typed it here because in the original post, it was presented as a graphic with white letters on a black background and can't be read by screen readers. For the original post CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Where's the Fun?

As I close in on 3,000 posts and more than 11 years into this blog - I have recently found myself reflecting on its life and future.

I hate to say that I am closing it down or even to say I won't be posting...I do still love this place and I am especially grateful to all who've read it over the years.

I do recently find it hard to get to and when I miss a day or more, I begin to feel guilty. I know, it's silly to feel that way, but I do.

I just don't know, but I think it's only fair to at least say there is a chance that there will be longer gaps and fewer posts, and I know that could eventually mean that some, or even all of you who do so kindly come to this place will eventually stop.

I can't express my gratitude adequately enough - I've shared a lot here, perhaps more than I should have sometimes.

This isn't goodbye, it's just I have no idea at all...I may show up tomorrow and just go in a posting frenzy...maybe I shouldn't say anything and just do whatever feels right when it feels right....

Can you tell that I am thinking out loud?

Feel free to chime in on comments...for now, I am going to bed.

I love you all, especially the radioactive one!

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Firepits are Good

My Saturday was filled...then I faded!

I "slept in", Saturday, which to me is anytime after 5:30 am (I got up around 8).

I had a bunch of materials left over from the bath remodel that I wanted to return for a refund, it was a workout just getting it all into the car from upstairs, but I got it done. I had tickets to a pancake breakfast fundraiser, my plan was to hit the breakfast, then head to the tile shop to take care of business.

At the breakfast, I ended up bumping in to a number of people I know, so it was nice. I brought a deck of cards to try out a new trick I have been working on, I went to perform it for a friend and the two grand kids of a colleague - of course they kept screwing it up - but I was able to improvise and do a different truck that wowed them.

The tile shop return netted me back about $650! On the way back, I stopped for a froyo and got a call from my friend Ameesh - who was planning to go walking and asked if I was interested, Despite getting a good upper body workout loading the car and then later unloading, I knew I could use a good walk.

We did a 6+ mile loop and went back to his place. Next thing I knew there was a firepit going, his wife made some apps and we sampled some Ace Pumpkin Cider (super delicious), Nitro Stout (pictured above, also yu,,y) and a Red Wine that they had picked up (I didn't think that was all that good).

Later, other friends came by to hang for a while - I was planning to go see the Road Dawgs later than nigiht...I got home around 6:30, maybe 7...I sat on the couch for a bit and ended up passing out. By the time I woke up I was feeling I decided to stay in. I got so much sleep, I woke up at 5:30 this morning and couldn't get back to sleep!

An Evening With Gilbert Gottfried

Friday night I saw comedian Gilbert Gottfried live. I had seen Gilbert once before and it was the only time I ever laughed so hard at a comedy show that I nearly pee'd my pants and stopped breathing. He's not for everyone, it's a very unconventional comedy act, but for me, it's just so damn funny!

It was either the late 1980's or early 1990's when I first saw him perform, until Friday night...and once again, nearly stopped breathing with laughter.

Cooler this time, he was very accessible at the end of the show - he greeted his fans (sure, he was selling merch too) but he is so different off stage, very quiet, humble and gracious.

Here are some pics...most taken by my friend Joel:

Gilbert checking out the crowd before show - I took this pic

Me and Gilbert - taken by Joel
Here are some shots Joel took during the show:

Finally, here's an artsy post-show shot, taken by Joel:

Thursday, November 05, 2015

The Short and Tall of It

On the left, the shortest of all my colleagues, 4 foot something (also 93 years of age and still works full time). On the right, the tallest of all my colleagues, 6 feet 10 inches.

This is a spectacular photograph.