My First Hearing Impaired Lifehack

A doctor has confirmed what my wife and I suspected. My hearing is somewhat compromised. I believe that’s what he said, but I’m not sure that I caught every word. But I did catch that the doctor and audiologist both used the word impairment. Looking back on my career, which included more exposure to explosives than most people have, I guess this was foreseeable.

I’m not a candidate for hearing aids (image via http://www.museumwaalsdorp.nl)

And we’ve already started making adaptations to help make this easier on us. My wife has been great about making sure she faces me when she speaks. And I’ve stopped trying to fill in the blanks when I miss a word or two; I ask questions to make sure that I understand.

I Heard Denial Was A River In Egypt…I Think That’s What They Said

I think saying that I have a hearing impairment is like saying that I’m an amputee because I pulled a muscle in my leg. I’d prefer saying that I miss a word here and there, but the medical folks have science and a cool graph to back them up on the impairment thing. So I’m denying my problem even as I make adjustments to accommodate it.

What makes it hard is that most of the time, I believe that I hear normally. But then we’ll be in a restaurant and my wife will ask “what’s the name of this song?” and I think “what song?”. It is in those moments that I realize there might be something to what the doctor said. Read the rest of this entry »


Dear Home Depot, Nice Job On Those Instructions

Dear Home Depot,

You haven’t asked, but I’m going to go on and just tell you this. I’m a smart guy. How smart? Well, certainly not rocket scientist smart…but I’m bright. I did just fine in school. Somewhere, there’s a sheepskin with my name on it. I’m even smart enough to know that a sheepskin isn’t really skin from a sheep.

Do you know who else is really bright? My wife. She has two degrees, so she understands better than I do that a sheepskin is just an expression for a diploma.

We’re bright people, bright enough to know that we don’t know everything. For instance, we don’t understand accounting. Nor do we get why Kanye West fascinates some folks. The average person is repulsed by an impolite hack, but Mr. West has become wealthy because he is rude and lacks talent. It defies explanation.

But Enough About Us, Lets Talk About You

Something else that we don’t understand is why it should take two well-educated people an entire afternoon to install a light fixture they purchased in your store, especially when both have handled similar tasks. With two of us involved, putting up your  Hampton Bay Faux Alabaster Glass Semi-Flush Nut Meg Finish light fixture should have taken ten minutes, at the most.

But the instructions included with the light were awful. Read the rest of this entry »


All About My Elbow

For about four weeks, I’ve been in pain. It’s not so bad as long as I don’t use my left arm. Unfortunately, (or perhaps fortunately) I’ve gotten used to having two arms and I rely on them both to get through my day.

After a few weeks of watching me grimace when I bent my elbow (something else I like doing), my wife asked me the same thing I’d have asked her if she were in the same condition.

Not my elbow. So far, mine is still inside my skin. (public domain)

“When are you going to call the doctor?”, she asked. And while that’s something you might expect someone who is hurting to do, I tend to wait a little before I dial-up the doctor.

“It’s just a strain”, I replied, “it’ll pass”.

“How’d you strain it?”

I couldn’t answer that, so I agreed to call the doctor “soon”.

I Didn’t Call The Doctor

“Soon” passed, I didn’t make an appointment and then my wife and I went on vacation. We had a great time, but I wish I’d gone to the doctor first. That would’ve kept me from pretending my elbow didn’t hurt during our journey. And at night, my mind drifted over what was happening inside my creaky old body. Do I have tendonitis? What is tendonitis anyhow? What if it is tennis elbow? Why would I have that if it were? What if I need an elbow replacement? Read the rest of this entry »


The Man Who Loved Chocolate Milk

Some of you may think that I do nothing but sit around and produce weird ideas to give myself something to write about. While it is true that I do that a lot, it isn’t all that I do.

But seriously, I do it a lot.

Mmmmmmm… (public domain)

Whenever I’m not doing that, I’m doing something else. One of my somethings else is hiking with my wife. We’ll throw stuff in a backpack, put on boots and spend the day getting lost in the woods. As we walk, we get time to talk, exercise and see really amazing stuff.

Sometimes, if we want an additional challenge, we will take Clif Bars out of our backpacks. We eat them as we walk and pretend that they taste good. I would like hiking more if I had Chicken Parmesan in my back pack. Since I never do, I rely on my wife and the amazing stuff we see to make hiking fun.

This week we are in Oregon, enjoying a part of the country that neither of us has visited before. And it was on a hike during this vacation that I saw something that redefined amazing for me. Read the rest of this entry »


I Want To Be A Sushi Chef

I retired from my police career in the fall of 2013. Twenty-eight years had passed since I showed up for my first day at the police academy. Those years took their toll on me, physically and emotionally. I’m proud of my career, yet I’m relieved that it is over.

And so I’ve settled into a life I never envisioned. I live quietly; cooking, exercising and writing fill my days. In the evening, I share dinner and laughs with my wife. I’ve got it good.

So, why couldn’t I? (image by katorisi CCbySA3.0)

Now and again, someone will ask “if you could, would you go back to The Job?”. There are parts of my career that I miss, but the short answer is no.

But that doesn’t mean that I don’t have ambition.

I Dream Of Sushi

While I’ll never wear a police uniform again there is a job that I’d jump at – sushi chef.  Read the rest of this entry »


Let’s Talk About Poop

You know, back in the day, people walked their dogs just as they do now. Also, back in the day, saying “back in the day” wasn’t an idiom. I’m not here to talk about idioms. I’m here to talk about poop.

Not just any poop, your dog’s poop. Yes your dog’s. No, not everyone’s dog’s poop, just your dog’s. Read the rest of this entry »


My One Act Play About The Statue Of Liberty

Kinda in New York. Kinda in New Jersey. A proud symbol of the nation either way you look at it. (image public domain)

This week, I read quite a bit about the one-hundred-thirtieth anniversary of the Statue Of Liberty’s arrival in New York. One of the things I learned is that the statue is sort of in New York and sort of in New Jersey. Liberty Island is part of New York, but the waters surrounding the island are part of New Jersey.

As I was trying to fall asleep last night, I thought about how important the statue is to us as Americans. I considered how my relatives saw Lady Liberty as they came to the United States and what that meant to them. And I wondered why nations don’t seem to give each other cool gifts like that anymore.

But where the statue ended up…sort of in New Jersey, sort of in New York, got my imagination running on the idea of the statue being an over-the-top housewarming gift that a couple didn’t really know what to do with.

I tossed and turned. Eventually I got the idea far enough along that I could get some sleep. And this morning, I wrote a play about the statue as that outrageous housewarming present.

To paraphrase an old Army recruiting slogan – “I write more off the wall stuff before noon than most people write all day.”

Behold, my one-act play.

“The Gift”. Read the rest of this entry »


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