My Old Buddy, Jeff Jackson

The fans were streaming toward the exit after another loss by the home team. I wasn’t paying attention to anyone in particular, just watching the wave of disappointed humanity go by. Then, without warning, it happened.

A man came out of the crowd. He yelled over all the other voices around us…

I haven’t seen you in forever, what’s up man? Read the rest of this entry »

Five Routine Minutes: Don’t Pick At Your Stitches

Back before Christmas, I had that surgery I’ve written so much about. It was good. I went in hurting, I came out completely pain-free.

I did end up with a giant bandage on the side of my neck, but that was a small price to pay for the relief. The bandage came with strict instructions – do not take the bandage off, do not get the bandage wet. They really didn’t mention why those things were so important. The instructions were very specific though, so I figured out that the consequence might be pretty severe. Read the rest of this entry »

Teaching Four Rules

The phone rang while I was home on Friday morning. It was my partner from work. I had a note to myself to call him, but he beat me to it. I made a note to kick my own butt after the call was over for allowing that to happen.

“How ya healin’? Did the surgery work?” I told him things were going well, that the surgery was like turning off a pain switch and having two weeks away from the office was a really nice side effect. “I owed you a call before you called me, man, today is big.” He admitted it sort of was.

Our job was to manage a shift of fifteen people. The manager who put us together expected me to fix my new partner. I didn’t really see the need. Read the rest of this entry »

2011 – The Year In Jolie

2011 was The Jolie’s first full year of travel. Wow, has she ever traveled. She’s been to the Arctic, she’s been to the Caribbean, and a bunch of places in between. Let’s review, shall we?

The Jolie ended 2010 and started 2011 in my home state of Maryland. She was in Baltimore as a guest of Wendi, whose food blog, Bon Appetit Hon, is a regular stop of mine.

Anyone who hosts The Jolie is a risk taker, Wendi proved she was no exception to the rule. Bringing The Jolie to work is always risky. She played Godzilla with a building model.

The Jolie tried to escape from Wendi by hiding in a beer stein.

Read the rest of this entry »

When I Am Rich: Cool Kim Jong Il Car

What a cool idea. (image via

I think it is only proper to start out by expressing my condolences to the Kim family in North Korea. What a bummer to have, in the midst of the holiday season, lost a patriarch and a fashion icon. A moment of silence, please.

Enough of that. I thought coverage of the funeral in North Korea was riveting. By riveting, I think I mean I saw a really cool idea. An idea that I will throw a ton of my blog profits into. I am really into that car with that giant, framed painting of Kim mounted on the roof. I’m going to get one. Not of him, of me.  I’ll probably get more than one, because I think it is such a cool thing.

Yeah, That Car

That cool car with the giant painting was the star of the funeral. How could a guy who had built such a cult of personality around himself miss out on the value of the giant painting car while he was alive? I will not miss the opportunity of riding around in my own such car. Read the rest of this entry »

That Little Hop At The End

Lou Reed. Schinitzer Concert Hall Portland, OR

Lou! (Image via Wikipedia)

I have a CD that starts with Lou Reed playing the introduction of one of his better known songs, Sweet Jane. He plays the bit of music as a bit of self-deprecating humor to show new bands how to build a career (as, in his words, he did) around three chords. He then reveals that the three chord introduction to Sweet Jane actually contains a subtle fourth chord and follows it by pointing out that “like a lot of other things in life, it’s that little hop at the end.”

I like the idea of “the little hop at the end”. To me, it gives a name to that little something extra that we all give to make something a special effort. I try to make it a point to thank people who give a hop, but this week I was thwarted in my efforts.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Book That Lives Under My Bed

I usually keep a book or two under my bed, within arms reach. Reading a bit before I go to sleep slows the race in my mind to a casual stroll and allows me a good nights’ sleep.

It seems weird that another person’s words would make the ones running through my mind take a break. Perhaps it wouldn’t work if people wrote books about things I’m supposed to do tomorrow or expressing concerns about my uncertain future. Thankfully, books about me are not among the more popular genres.

In The Interest Of Accuracy

“A book or two under my bed” is not completely accurate. If you were to look there, you’d usually find two books. One of those is just passing through.  It will be gone in a week or so. The other one lives there. Read the rest of this entry »

Five Routine Minutes: The Urine Sample Lady Does Not Like Jokes

The countdown is on. I check in for surgery at 4am this coming Tuesday. If all goes according to plan, by noon I will have a piece of donated bone and a titanium plate in my neck. I’ll get rid of some pain and some bone spurs that are injuring my spinal cord. All in all, I’m planning on Tuesday being a good day.

There is a lot of preparation that goes into doing surgery on someone’s spinal column. To speed the process, I got an appointment to go to the hospital this week and take care of some of the preliminary questions and tests.

Tuesday, 10 A.M.

I arrived for my pre-surgical appointment early. Sadly, that meant I had to sit in the waiting room and watch Dr. Phil. Dr. Phil is such a hack. I’m not sure why they felt that I deserved to suffer through that.

Read the rest of this entry »