Three Years Later

This doesn’t mark three years ago that my friend died, the number is now four. I tried writing something new about him but the words didn’t come this year. Sometimes it goes like that. This is a reprint of last year’s piece on this date.

Humor returns to the blog tomorrow.

Today, as every day, I miss Fred.


Three years ago today was a Friday. I’d slipped out-of-town for an over-night visit with my son at college. By the time I arrived, Fred had passed away back home.

Despite a heroic effort to contact me, I didn’t know we’d lost him until I read the news the next morning. I remember staring a lot that day. There were other things, but mostly there was staring.

That Saturday night, back home, I was still staring. I published what I felt that night, and then went to work at 4:30 a.m. Sunday, on no sleep, for my first shift without him. I wasn’t the only one sleepless and staring.

The staring returned this morning. I’m angry about the accident that cost his life months before he was to retire. I’m hurt for his family as they move on without him. I’m disappointed that I can’t call him to laugh about some of the stories we lived through and compare notes on how much being retired from The Job doesn’t suck.

But I’m also happy to have had the privilege to enjoy time with Fred. That’s the direction I hope the staring takes me today.

Things are better than they were three years ago. A lot of water has gone under the bridge. I’m stronger, healthier and smarter. I’ve even learned lessons because Freddy had to leave; I’d rather have stayed ignorant of those.

It is quiet today. I’ll take time to think about the stuff we saw and did. And about pulling each others bacon out of the fire on several occasions. And finding each other on SWAT calls and saying “I’ll see you when this is over”.

Life goes on, brother. It is good.

I’ll see you when this is over, but it’s gonna be a while.

Fortes Fortuna Juvat.

You are not the boss of me.


OK, by now, you’ve noticed that I haven’t written new stuff for you this week. Unfortunately, we’ve had a death in the family and that’s taking up my time and energy.
I shall return very soon.
Today I’m pointing you back at something I wrote in 2010 about one of my favorite bands, NRBQ, and one of my least favorite people. I like it because I can read it and see where I’ve improved as a writer. I also like that I am just as ridiculously immature as the day I wrote it.

Originally posted on Blurt:

No way

Getting along with people is something I am good at. There are not many people who I write off as someone I can’t find any value in knowing. Still, those people exist, and my reaction to one of them has left me questioning my maturity level.

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The Italian Cruise Ship Disaster: The One Fact No One Else Is Giving You.


Today, cruise ship captain Francesco Schettino was sentenced to sixteen years in prison for his role in the Costa Concordia disaster.
Never one to miss a potential writing prompt, I dashed this off around the time of the ship’s sinking. Sort of sinking. More of a tipping over, really.

Originally posted on Blurt:

English: Costa Concordia Polski: Statek pasaże...

I am an inquisitive person. I see things. I think about them. I ask questions. Things like the Costa Concordia disaster in Italy raise questions in my mind, and I am certain they do in yours.

  • How does a modern ship like that get off course?
  • Why would you wait to tell the passengers things aren’t going well?
  • I always heard the captain goes down with his ship. Why was Captain Francesco Schettino on one of the first lifeboats?
  • Do the rocks the ship hit feel a little guilty, even though this wasn’t their fault?

There are any number of websites you can visit for answers to those and other questions. There are even transcripts of the radio conversation between Captain Schettino (safe in his lifeboat) and the Italian Coast Guard as the captain sailed away from his sinking ship and its frightened passengers.

But you don’t come here for…

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Post Your Brian Williams Misrememberances Here.


So, Brian Williams of NBC forgot to remember that he was never in a military helicopter in Iraq that was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade. That poor man. There’s probably so many things that he mis-remembers.

I wrote a post at Long Awkward Pause where you and everyone can post encounters you think maybe you might mis-remember having with Brian Williams.

Isn’t he the guy that somehow messes up your sandwich at Subway even though you’re standing there watching him? Come on over and share the false truth about this pillar of journalistic integrity.

Originally posted on Long Awkward Pause:

Bert, lending Brian Williams some credibility. (image via

Anchorman. It’s a job title that implies a measure of stability and reliability.

It implies reliability, but in the game that now passes for broadcast journalism in the United States, we can no longer count on that being the case on any channel. Time after time, network after network, we find that the people who we count on to bring us truth are only loosely acquainted with it.

In the latest instance, NBC anchor Brian Williams has admitted that he “made a mistake” about the facts surrounding a helicopter ride he took with members of the US military. On more than one occasion since 2003, when the incident Williams has described didn’t occur, he has described how the helicopter he was in was hit by rocket-propelled grenades and forced down in the desert.

Not surprisingly, when you misremember enough on…

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Commemorating My Parents’ Anniversary

It has been a busy week around the Omawarisan home. We’ve been dealing with a hospitalized relative. That’s left us short on play time and me without much of a chance to write.

But it has also been an important week; my folks celebrated their fifty-fourth anniversary the other day. So, to let you know I’m still here and to celebrate my parents, I’m pointing you toward two pieces I wrote some time back.

My Mom Versus Reverend Moon tells the story of how the Moonies tried to recruit me into their cult during my freshman year at college. I’m still not certain that my mom was not involved in the Reverend’s demise.

You Don’t Become A Baseball Player By Putting On A Uniform relates some sage advice I got from my dad back when I played Little League Baseball. We both remember the story slightly differently. In the end, life validated his advice…as usual.

I’ll have fresh stuff written for next week.

Congrats Mom and Dad, and thank you!

You Don’t Know How I Feel – All About Windchill


Today’s masterpiece is ripped from today’s headlines.
Wind chill. “Feels like” temperatures. Are you going to let that yutz that does the weather on the local news tell you how you feel? No!
Rise up against the weatherman telling you how you feel. Click on through to Long Awkward Pause for more weather related rage.

Originally posted on Long Awkward Pause:

Wind chill, blows. (image public domain)

‘Tis the season. Not that season, it is the season of cold weather and colder weather.

Back in the day, there was only cold. There was a thermometer outside. The lower the temperature on that gauge, the more clothes you put on. If the trees were moving it was a cue to put another layer on to account for how the wind made you feel.

Not Anymore

That was then. This is now.

Now the local television news runs for at least two hours and the weather man has a lot of time to fill. And then there’s the internet and a round-the-clock television channel devoted to weather. Now even winter storms have names and their own specially designed ominous theme songs.

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An Odd Place To Buy A Christmas Tree

Today, my recycling program takes you back to another old Christmas themed post. I wrote this one back in 2010.

I think you’ll enjoy this one. It has all the elements of a really good holiday time – ice cream, hair salons, Christmas trees, a leopard and death.

Click here to learn about the oddest Christmas tree lot, ever.


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