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Which is Heavier?

When I was a very young boy one of my mentors asked me, “Which is heavier, a pound of lead or a pound of feathers?”

I was about eight years old and that question required a little bit of thought. I knew from watching Road Runner cartoons that whenever the coyote is carrying a case of Acme lead off of a cliff he falls faster than the lead so that it lands on top of him after he hits the ground. This made me think that lead must be lighter than a coyote. Continue reading Which is Heavier?

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The Betrayal of Old Age

Mount Moriah cemetery in Deadwood south Dakota.

Thirty some years ago, anytime I would wake up with the bed-spins meant that I had spent the night before “socializing with friends”, reaching new extremes of bad behavior that are much more unacceptable now than they were back then. Today, in my sixties, when I lie in bed and the first thing I notice in the morning is that it hurts to move my head it means an ear infection. Because of this infection during the last couple of days, standing upright and walking a straight line has been an approximation at best. It’s really brought back some fond memories of the good old days. Think of it as a hangover without the upset stomach.

Here's a much better way to think of old age. This shirt is available in my store
Here’s a much better way to think of old age. This shirt is available in my store

Maybe the worst part of growing old is having to take pleasure in the little things. I could probably go off on a tangent about size not mattering. But in most cases it does and that’s fodder for another post. What I mean here is small things like appreciating an ache or pain that has gone away.

You may have noticed that I haven’t written much lately. Well a person doesn’t reel much like writing when they hurt. A couple of weeks ago I fell on a patch of ice. It seems that I’m making this into an annual event. Last year it resulted in a mild concussion, this year a cracked rib. But the point is its been hurting to take a deep breath or twist or reach for something for weeks. I noticed the last couple of days it hasn’t been hurting as much to do those things. When you appreciate a pain that has gone away, or even notice that it’s gone away, you know you are getting old. But now maybe I’ll be writing more.

I’ll bet most of you can agree that having a thirty year old mindset inside a sixty year old body feels like a betrayal. We still want to do the things we did “back then” but find an afternoon nap much more appealing. Maybe a nice walk around the block to enjoy this mid-February thaw will get the blood moving again… and stretch those sore ribs.

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We Interrupt Our Regular Broadcast

I know you may be anxiously awaiting the next installment of my family vacation. But anyone who knows me and knows that I spent a decade and half as a broadcaster, also knows that I’m gonna have a few things to say about recent events in Virginia. I don’t want to disappoint.

This was a workplace shooting

When I first heard of the shooting I assumed it was some screwball TV viewer who had fixated on a journalist they saw everyday and felt the reporter had wronged them. Something like that would not have been hard to believe. After all since the seventies the technology has existed to allow even small stations to produce live interviews and stand-ups from anywhere. During thousands of these live shots everyday, journalists are hanging their butt out there in the wind, unprotected. This killing was a terrible thing.

But the reality of this incident is that was only another in a long line of workplace shootings. It could have just as easily happened in the newsroom or the business office as anywhere else out in the field. The biggest difference I see happening this time is that someone with a gun has finally done something to piss off an industry that can actually incite the public about gun violence and gun control. The folks at home listen to broadcasters and believe what they say is true. What I fear is broadcasters will do the wrong thing for the right reason.

We need crazy people control

If you’ve read this blog for any length of time you probably know how I feel about gun control. If not, read it now, I’ll wait right here for you. If you’re in a hurry here it is in a nutshell. Guns don’t kill people, crazy people kill people. Just take a look at the recent theater and school shootings. Do you think those guys were right minded when they did that? We need to outlaw crazy. Insanity is not a defense! Its an offense.

There’s no excuse for allowing crazy people to get near a gun anymore. The crazies are easy to spot. The guy today had been dumping his crap to Twitter and Facebook for years. All we have to do is monitor social media feeds and look for certain keywords. The tools for this are already in place! Do you hear me NSA?

In addition, we need to not be afraid to react to signs of crazy. Today’s shooter had faxed a TWENTY-THREE PAGE MANIFESTO to an ABC newsroom. The news director there should have seen this and called 911 immediately. If they didn’t arrest the sender for terroristic threats they could have gotten him for endangering the rain forest because of his over-use of paper

But I’m betting that this will create another outcry for gun control. Hillary has already twittered politically opportunistic words to that effect instead of just offering words of support to victims family at an emotionally trying time. What a surprise that is!

We don’t need gun control! We need crazy people control. Please, will someone smarter than me figure out how to see these nut jobs ahead of time, control them and put an end to gun violence.

I promise tomorrow to continue the vacation story.

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All I Wanted Was a Cheese Burger Combo

Its been awhile since I had stopped to eat in this particular fast food joint. You know the one, it’s commercials have the gorgeous redhead talking about buns. Most times I just go through the drive-thru and I’m on my way. but I needed to get away and clear my head this particular afternoon so I ate-in. It was the usual combo order where they set out an empty tray and hand you an empty paper cup just to give you something to do while you wait for food. With cup in hand I turn toward where the eight choice, push button soda fountain used to be. It’s not there. Same corner with the same condiments and straws and cup lids and plastic forks – but no sodas! Continue reading All I Wanted Was a Cheese Burger Combo

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What’d He Say?

Years ago there was a movie directed by Orson Wells called “Citizen Kane“. It was about a reporter talking to everyone connected to a publishing tycoon in an attempt to discover the meaning of the tycoon’s last words. The movie started with the death of the wealthy man after he says the one word: ‘Rosebud’. No spoilers here, it’s a classic movie, you should see it for yourself.

Through out history when someone of note died, if he had said something great or not so great during his last days, they were quoted and remembered. Books have been written dedicated to the last uttered words of famous people.

Another great man died this week. He was not a tycoon, he was an actor. However his most famous character inspired thousands of young people, me included, to be interested in computers and technology. In my youth I could not miss an episode of Star Trek with Mr. Spock played by Leonard Nimoy. Continue reading What’d He Say?

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My Latest Role Model

Don’t be scared. I’m not changing this to a review site. But my newest favorite show (at least until they screw up next episode) is Backstrom which premiered last night on Fox. He’s a Portland detective that just gets the job done.  It’s much like the old series House without the medical techno-babble, angst, and one-ups-manship. Caution: you may have to think. The main character the true role model I try to be: Take me as I am or get out of my way. Occasionally changing the ‘or’ to ‘and’.  And I’m in lust with the French girl character.

Now excuse me while I pack so I can go find out why all my favorite shows lately are set in Portland.