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A Superhero Uniform Redesign

I woke last night after a dream brought me to a revelation. A revelation so important that I took a moment to make a note so I wouldn’t forget the details.

The standard superhero uniform is due for a redesign.

Status Quo In Superhero Fashion

The superhero uniform is designed to stand out, be practical and identifiable. It accomplishes those goals, with varying levels of success.

Can’t we do better than this? (public domain)

Seeing someone in tights, boots, a cape and panties makes them stand out in a crowd. Standing out is important when taking on a career as a super crime fighter. The visibility and attention provided by the “tights and panties” mode of dress tends to prevent crimes by alerting evil types that they’ll surely be caught if they get out of line.

Practicality is the weak spot of the current hero dress code. Boots are a smart choice; you never know where you’re going to have to walk when you’re protecting innocent citizens. Tights make heroes hard to grab during a fight, but are prone to snagging and they lack pockets. And whatever gains are made by tights being hard to grab are lost by the cape. Capes provide a grip point and are a hassle in tight spaces or any time the superhero isn’t facing into the wind. Read the rest of this entry »

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Growing Pains

Maybe soon I will be (image via Icanhazcheezeburger.com)

Some time ago…well, I’m 52 so…a very long time ago, I used to gripe to my mother about being in pain. I didn’t have a good reason for it, but my arm or my leg hurt. Mom just dismissed my complaints as growing pains.

Growing pains were a very appealing explanation to eight year old me. I wanted to grow, but it was hard to know when I actually was growing. I wanted results. We tried the marks on the door frame thing to track my increasing height. Unfortunately, when we moved to a new town those marks didn’t move with us. That made those growing pains the only readily available (if inaccurate) sign I had that I was growing.

As I got older, I still had parts that hurt. I could connect those pains with injuries – I’d fallen off a bike, twisted something when I was horse-playing with friends. When I worked in policing I could remember why things were sore. My shoulder was sore from helping carry a 450 lb man down some stairs. My hip was tender after being hit by a thrown television. A lot of things were sore when I was hit by a car. Read the rest of this entry »


I Was Supposed To Share My Diet Coke With Ibrahim

Today, I dropped by one of my favorite pizza joints for lunch. Pizza is one of my most important food groups. It serves as the pinnacle of my personal food pyramid. I grabbed a bottle of Diet Coke to go along with my two slices of cheesy goodness.

It was there, in the pizza joint, I realized that I had a Coke problem.

I Have A (Diet) Coke Problem

And so I sat there, enjoying my pizza and contemplating the words on the side of my Diet Coke bottle – “Share a Diet Coke With Ibrahim”. I’ve seen these  “Share A Coke” messages a lot on Coke products this summer; the promotion just seems weird. As a result, I’ve tended to reach for Pepsi. Unfortunately, this particular pizza place didn’t offer that option.

So there I sat, with a Diet Coke problem. Read the rest of this entry »


Paying $1200 For A Compliment

I was on a live television show when I learned that I have a bald spot.

The show wasn’t about me or my hair. I was on a panel, being interviewed about a serious topic. I remember looking at the monitor at one point and thinking “that shot from behind the panel isn’t helping that guy in the blue jacket.” Then I looked down at my sleeve and remembered I had on a blue jacket.

After the show, I asked several friends why they didn’t tell me I was getting a bald spot on the back of my head. They were all surprised that I didn’t know and wondered how I missed something so obvious.

I learn a lot from unexpected sources, but not everything.

I’m Like A Kindergarten Teacher, But Not

Some of them will always talk like they’re in class. (public domain)

For twenty-four years of my career, my specialty was crisis negotiation.

As you might guess, a critical part of talking to hostage takers and suicidal people is using a very calm voice, no matter what is happening around you. I got good at sounding calm. I can’t say that I was always placid inside, but you’d have been hard pressed to hear it in my voice when I was working.

And the people I negotiated with often said things like “you’re nice to talk to”, “you’re kind of soothing” or, the best compliment I ever got –  “if I didn’t want to kill you, I’d want to have a beer with you.” I became very confident about how my voice fit the job I loved. Read the rest of this entry »


How To Save A Wet iPhone

Cases protect our iPhones from impact and software helps us find them when they get lost. But there is one enemy that it is nearly impossible to protect our phones from – water. Taking Apple’s masterpiece for a quick dip can turn it from the repository of your life’s information to a very well designed paperweight.

How To Dry Your Phone

There are no life ring apps that keep an iPhone afloat (image by Kalle Id CCbySA3.0)

If your iPhone does go for a swim, all is not lost. You might be able to revive it with some fast action. Remember, seconds count. Panic is your enemy. Every moment you spend mourning your loss is a moment that the evil water spends strangling your phone to death. Because panic will be working against you, let me give you some very simple instructions to remember. Read the rest of this entry »


Yellow Card, Red Card. Life Gets Less Hard

Like so many of us here in the United States, I know so little about soccer. I’m not even sure why our country is the only one which calls the game soccer. Sure, we have a completely different game that we call football, but perhaps we could have compromised on this name thing since all the other cool kids have settled on what to call the sport.

Face it. Most of you don’t really know if he’s got a peg leg or not. (image by jasonwhat ccbysa 2.0)

Despite our indifference to the sport at any other time, the nation becomes obsessed with soccer when the World Cup tournament starts. We really have no idea if cutting Landon Donovan hurt or helped the US team. The truth is that most of us forgot he existed after the last World Cup. For all we know, the man has a pirate style peg leg now and is no longer much of a ummmmm…whatever position he played. But during this period where soccer is in fashion, we’ll debate such matters as if we had the knowledge to do so.

I find myself thinking more about the game, even as I laugh at us for our quadrennial interest in it. I’ve advocated that we adapt soccer’s tradition of exchanging jerseys with an opponent after a match so we can use it in every day life . What better way to let someone know you appreciate their efforts than by giving them your shirt and wearing theirs around?

And that’s not the only idea I’m taking from soccer. Read the rest of this entry »


The World Cup Jersey Swap

I don’t know much about the sport, but this seems a silly thing to do (image by MPF cc by sa 3.0)

For the next month, teams representing thirty-two nations will battle for futbol supremacy in the FIFA World Cup. Whenever the World Cup comes around, people like me become soccer fans for the first time since our kids played in the league down at the rec center.

There is one big difference between kid league soccer and World Cup games. When the kid games end, all the players get a juice box and orange slices.  After a World Cup game, the players take off their jerseys and swap them with players from the other team. This is a really nice gesture of respect and a great way to get a cool jersey as a memento. Read the rest of this entry »


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