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Fifty Is The New Twenty

I did a little travel last week. Time away from home with the most important people in my life is good for my soul. I love driving and seeing the countryside go by. But I learned something too.

What Sauvignon Blanc looks like before it goes to the store. (image by Agne27, CCby SA 3.0)

I recognized that being in my fifties has its privileges and burdens. That’s not so different than any other age. So, in the way that so many have declared so many things the new something else, I am declaring that fifty is the new twenty.

There came a time in the trip where a bottle of wine was just what an unremarkable hotel room needed. I stopped by a grocery, grabbed a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and headed for the check out lanes. The self check out scanner line was short. I scanned the bottle, the price came up on the screen, followed by a prompt to show my identification to the cashier.

Now, I think I already established that I’m a bit older. No one is going to mistake me for a twenty-one year old. I understand the liability issues that force stores to confirm that every one who buys a bottle of wine is over twenty-one; I just happen to believe there is room for common sense in that confirmation process. Read the rest of this entry »

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A Guy Walks In To A Bar

Don’t start anything in here (image by Querren, CCbySA3.0)

I’m a guy. In fact, I’m a guy who has been known to walk in to a bar.

A guy walks in to a bar. He is carrying jumper cables. The bartender says “hey man, don’t start anything in here.”

“A guy walks in to a bar” is the start of so many good jokes. The guy walks in and the joke lies in his interaction with the bartender. When the guy in the joke changes into a group of stereotypical characters or even an animal, walking in to a bar is still what makes the magic happen.

Ebola walks into a bar. Bartender says “we don’t serve infections viruses in here”. Ebola says “you’re a lousy host”. Read the rest of this entry »


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 »


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 »


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