Showing posts from July, 2012

A Warehouse

My oldest dog is nearing the end of his life; in fact, it could happen within a few weeks or even days. He is 16 years old, which is old for a dog. He has trouble walking, his hearing and sight are both bad, he seems scared and helpless when alone and is often incontinent. His co-owner is the real owner and she just can't quite deal with putting him down yet, although she knows that is rapidly becoming the best and most appropriate course of action. I think it is past time but I won't push the issue.

There is a parallel between old people and old dogs. Many elderly humans reach a point in their lives when they have trouble walking, seeing and hearing, are afraid and helpless and are, well, incontinent. We put down dogs but what should we do with the humans? I am NOT advocating treating elderly humans the same way we treat elderly dogs, although that issue has been discussed and people like Dr. Kevorkian practiced a version of that choice with some of his patients. Laws were l…


My Horoscope one day earlier this week. Aquarius and damn proud.

The time for peace and reflection is fast approaching. Because you have no problem interacting with people, the confidence you posses in life and yourself will increase and lead you to obtain new insights. Now is the ideal time to develop these insights and to allow your ideas to mature into concrete plans for the future.

Random ANSWERS About Random Stuff

Questions usually demand answers and that process is a pretty good way to think through some things. I (and others) do actually think about some of the random things I mentioned in my previous post, so I decided to answer the questions. And I don’t really have anything else to talk about today. There are a few blog post ideas in my head and my computer, but they can wait a few days.

Road rage is a horrible thing; and it is difficult to not get wrapped up in it regardless how much I try not to. Driving as ridiculously as the complete moronic jerks I encounter on a daily basis in the DC area is not a good thing, but it happens sometimes anyway.

I need new lunch places.

I like living in climates with a variety of hot and cold and all the interesting things that come with that.

If I ever find an answer to my relationship questions, I’ll let you know. I have never and will never understand why something so simple is so complicated.

Had a convertible for a month once; it was a contest prize…

Random Questions About Random Stuff

Do you ever engage in road rage?

Do you go to the same two or three places for lunch every day, not because you really like them but because they are convenient?

Do you whine about hot weather in summer and cold weather in winter? Ever consider moving to San Diego?

Do you wonder how relationships can start so well then end in arguments and hurt feelings?

Have you ever owned a convertible? Wanted to? Driven one with the top down?

What's odd about this sentence: Mick Jagger is 69 years old today.

Do you like your name? Have you ever considered changing it from the one your parents gave you to one you like better?

Are you afraid of getting old? What number do you use to define old?

Do you practice the same religion you grew up with?

How many languages do you speak? If one, do you wish you spoke more?

Do you ever think about stuff like this?

Keep Trying


I Wouldn’t Want To Be a Dark Knight This Week

A cynic might think the events surrounding the opening of the new Batman movie are part of a publicity campaign. They are not, of course, but The Dark Knight Rises is in the news for many reasons that have nothing to do with the movie.

Early in the week, that radio jackass Rush ranted about the movie’s bad guy Bane. He claimed the character was intentionally named Bane as a political move to paint Romney's association with Bain Capital in a bad light. “There’s now discussion out there as to whether or not this was purposeful, and whether or not it will influence voters ... the audience is going to be huge, a lot of people are going to see the movie. And it's a lot of brain-dead people ... entertainment, the pop culture crowd. And they're going to hear 'Bane' in the movie, and they are going to associate Bain.” Even a simple Google search would show that the Bane character got his name in the early 1990s, long before any controversy with Bain; and he is not a corpor…

Celebrating A Life

A few weeks ago I wrote about a work friend’s emotional struggles dealing with his Mother’s deteriorating health and how we often aren’t prepared for the death of a loved one. His Mother died a few days ago and of course he is devastated, even though he knew the end was coming in days rather than months or years.

This friend has a great sense of humor and it was tough watching him go through this situation. He is also very private and I am grateful to be among the few who knew what was going on.

One of the things that is cool about all of this is to see who is ‘there for you’ in times like these. Word did get out over the past few days, flowers were sent from various parts of the company and emails shared the news in various waves. Some people knew, some were shocked, all were supportive.

The service tonight was only open to family and close friends of his Mother. Earlier I texted him to say I was thinking of him and hoped he got through the night OK. A few minutes ago I got a return …


I spent the little free time I had today thinking how lucky I am that I have the friends I have, especially a few select close friends. I am a lucky man. That’s all for tonight. Those thoughts pretty much fill my head. And my heart.

That Car Ad

I have said for a long time that advertisers miss the mark by ignoring people who are over 50. Research says we have more money than everybody else and we're not afraid to spend it.

Some details: There are 78 million American baby boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964 (current ages 48 to 66). A Business 2 Community article says boomers control more than 50% of discretionary spending and buy 40% of all technology products in America. Over 90% of them/us use online search engines and email and 70% buy online.

If adult diapers and assisted living facilities are on the boomer spending product list, they are likely for our parents, not for us.

Fifty-plus car buyers spent $87 billion in 2010 versus $70 billion by those under fifty.

So how do we react to commercials clearly aimed at boomers?

Here is the one that led me to write this post:

Toyota is clearly targeting 50+ buyers. I have to admit the Venza appeals to me. It looks good, it has some of the benefits of an SUV as well as …

Both Right Both Wrong

Yesterday I watched an interview with Romney in which he said the President should apologize for things he said about Romney outsourcing jobs. So the ad below quotes sources for claims that Obama is making about Romney. Does that mean Romney wants all of those entities to apologize too? Apologize for telling the truth?

The Romney campaign make all kinds of claims too, many of which are contradicted by facts, including charges that Obama spent more than previous Presidents. The article says that according to Marketwatch, “our president has actually been tighter with a buck than any United States president since Dwight D. Eisenhower.” Yes, the budget went up 17.9% during Obama’s first year in office. Why? Because the first year of any incoming President works off the budget set by the previous administration and passed by Congress. That budget was already in effect during Obama’s first months in office. Obama’s four budgets: down 1.8%, up 4.3%, up 0.7% and down 1.3%. Click here to read …

Those Three Little Words

It's been on my mind a lot lately ... those three little words that pack so much power, that often change the course of a life. Three simple words that might be thought of a lot but are sometimes hard to say.

And those words are: Let it go.

Often the context in which those words are spoken involves letting go of a past practice or an old idea or method of doing something. I’ve heard it at work from time to time. I sometimes have a certain way of doing things that is less relevant than it was in the past and I’m encouraged to ‘let it go’, to not worry about it or to spend less time doing that particular thing because it is not as important as it used to be.

As we get older, we are sometimes forced to let certain ideas and attitudes go. Sometimes that is a good thing and sometimes it is not. We might grieve over the loss of certain beliefs or other aspects of life we have held or lived with for many years.

I am about to let go a wife. Again. I am on the verge of letting go the whole…


Happy Friday the 13th!

Do you have triskaidekaphobia? That's a the fear of the number thirteen. If so, you might not want to read the rest of this post, at least not tomorrow.

I'm not especially superstitious, so one year I challenged all this 13 phobia. I was the afternoon DJ at a Baltimore radio station at the time and I tried a little experiment on the way to work. At 1:13 I filled my car fuel tank with 13 gallons of gas. As I pumped the gas I notice that the numbers on my license plate added up to 13 - I'm not kidding about any of this. At 3:13 that day I told this story on the air. Nothing bad happened.


My hometown is New Orleans, LA. Spelled that way, it's 13 characters long, including the comma (but not the spaces).

The big city I currently live near has 13 letters when spelled in similar fashion: Washington, DC.

The nearest small town too: Middletown, MD.

Even more?

I just discovered the next part as I was writing this post:

One of my best friends in L…


People tell me things they'd never tell anyone else. It happens all the time. Although I have mixed feelings about that sometimes, I mostly like it and I am happy that people trust me. Some of what they tell me is very personal. It is often told in confidence and I'm pretty good at keeping things confidential. Here is what I can't figure out: why me? Do they trust me? Am I a good listener? Am I the only person in the room that day? I really don't know.

Some random examples:

A work friend recently told me he was probably going to quit and move back to the town he lived in before moving here for this job. He did have good reasons, personal reasons that really didn't have anything to do with the job. He had no hesitation revealing his thoughts to me, even though he knew I might have to break that confidence at some point if I thought it would interfere with our business operation.

A female friend once gave me an explanation about why size matters sometimes. She and I …

Our Government In Action Inaction

Before you read the illustration below, let me point out that I am not against Republicans.  But I am against this crap, no matter who does it.  Why doesn't Congress spend their time on fixing education, poverty, crumbling infrastructure, dependence on foreign energy, etc.? And if they don't like the health care act, fix the parts the people who elected them don't like ... don't scrap the whole thing and start over just because the health insurance lobby and misguided talk show hosts say so.

Another One Died

Actor Ernest Borgnine died today at age 95.

Boomers probably know him best for his role in the television series McHale’s Navy. He also played in TV’s Airwolf in the 1980s. Famous movie roles include Marty, The Dirty Dozen, The Poseidon Adventure and many others. He still had some acting roles into his 90s, including a character in the last episode of E-R in 2009.

OK, for those who believe celebrity deaths happen in 3’s, who is next?

Assorted Observations About Commercials

Best line I heard in a commercial this week: “a greasy bag of deep fried easy.” Great line but I don’t remember the product. Not good.

The old Charmin commercials with Mr. Whipple saying “don’t squeeze the Charmin” were odd but funny. The animated commercials with bears using Charmin are just stupid. Although they do answer the question “does a bear shoot (tv commercials) in the woods?”

Why do car dealer commercials use screaming announcers? Does that make you want to buy from them? And scripts list a bunch of boring prices that you know are only for one car on the lot. Does that work? Many dealers talk about being number 1 in sales; does that really provide an incentive for you to shop there? Or they use generic lines like “lowest prices”… nearly any dealer has the lowest price if you do your research and you’re a good negotiator.

The best ads for any product play to some emotion or need. Some are tense  …

Some are funny …

Neither of those scream at you and neither use generic verbia…

Proud to be …

Today is July 4th, a day we celebrate the beginning in 1776 of what is now the United States of America. We started with 13 states and now connect 50 states and a few territories. We are a complicated country, with a delicate balance of rules and freedom, three branches of federal government that provide checks and balances for sometimes competing interests, all serving as an umbrella for 50 separate states. Each state is unique but has similar bodies of government and law. Complicated but it usually works.

Some positive things that connect us are a belief that we can achieve anything, that we are fair and just, that each of us has individual rights and our government protects those rights, that any individual can be born into poverty yet die rich.

Some negative things that seem to set us apart from citizens of other countries are that we are loud, arrogant, self-centered and believe our way of life is the only way of life.

All of that is probably true.

Are we perfect? No. Is our way…

Andy Died

Every boomer knows this guy. We grew up watching him on television in the role of the sheriff of the fictitious town of Mayberry, modeled after the real town of Mt Airy, North Carolina where actor Andy Griffith was born. His character was a role model for nice guys and fatherhood, while the town provided a glimpse of the simple life in small town America.

Gen Xers might recognize Andy more from his role as Matlock, a big-city lawyer with small town roots, values and attitude. Andy Griffith’s career spanned the decades from the 1950s into the 2000s, as stand-up comic, story-teller, singer, actor (playing both good guys and bad) and producer to his more recent cameo appearance in Brad Paisley’s 2008 video for “Waiting On A Woman.”

Andy lived the later years of his life in another small North Carolina town called Manteo, located across the bridge from the popular Outer Banks beach resort, not far from the site of his first acting jobs in an on-going tourist-season play about Sir Walte…

Doing Without

No power, no computer, no lights, no hot water, no refrigerator, no air conditioner, no television, no elevators, nothing resembling normal. That's a slice of life when severe weather tramples infrastructure.

We are used to a functioning electrical system in our homes and work places. A bad storm can interrupt what we're used to in ways that range from nuisance to dangerous.

No flushing toilets, no way to keep a perishable lunch from spoiling, no traffic lights at a busy intersection, no way to pump gas.

Those severe storms last Friday night in the Washington DC area blew through in less than two hours but as I write this exactly 72 hours later, a couple hundred thousand people in the area are still without power, more than 100 intersections still don’t have functioning signals, many businesses are still closed and at least 22 people have died.

We take for granted that a light will come on when we flip the switch and there will be safe dinner or a cold beer in the refrigerator…

Believe this ...