Weighing In

Like my Mother before me, I weigh myself every day. And I do it on her scale, one of the stand up ones with the weights you balance, like in a doctor’s office. It also has the height stick attached but I gave up measuring with that because putting on shoes to offset losing inches causes a weight gain. I prefer to stand by my height as frozen on my driver’s license for 58 years. Between December 13, 2021, and January 16, 2022, I gained 7.5 pounds. What in the heck happened for that insidious creep? Did I just call myself an insidious creep? It does not really matter why I added the 7.5 pounds so I will tell you why: the holidays, the snowstorm, losing my running partner to knee surgery, and losing my two walking partners just because I do not understand women. The good news is that losing weight is one of the signs of dying at my age. So I am presuming gaining weight is a sign of living. Or maybe a sign of a tumor or tape worm. But more importantly, logging my weight has worked and I can take immediate corrective action. I have to stop bragging about the ice cream smoothies I consume every day and have implemented the following change: I am no longer adding fruit and nuts to that milkshake. Those items are chock full of calories. Next I am going to publish my daily weight in the place where my follower count should be, thereby exerting extra public pressure on myself. My wife is in Virginia for a week but will probably want to participate in this competition when she returns. If she returns.



I am close to some amazing people who identify on the autism spectrum, a catchall term that appears to cover a variety of different conditions. Dr. Wiki Pedia tells me that symptoms include: “impairment in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication, and the presence of restricted interests and repetitive behavior.” I should have memorized that a long time ago because I get bogged down in examples when trying to explain to genuinely interested people what a vague umbrella term actually means when applied to individuals I know and love. Everyone is unique with their own special talents and challenges. Linking the word spectrum with symptoms identified above suggests that everyone qualifies for the autism spectrum. Most people require no special accommodations but I can make a case for universal inclusivity. I certainly have impairments in social interaction and verbal and nonverbal communication. After all, I am hiding behind this computer using an assumed name. No wait, I use my real name. That was a big mistake. My brother Kevin used the pseudonym O.B. Counter and we were often mistaken for twins or for each other, so I often get confused about who I am. My posts also demonstrate my restricted interests (myself) and repetitive behavior (constantly repeating myself). I just stay tucked away on the spectrum where no one sees me weighing myself every day and writing the result down. If the government was handing out money to everyone on the autism spectrum, I think we could all dig up plenty of evidence to qualify. Which reminds me that I want to write about this again tomorrow.

Brave and Bold

Misfortune favors the the cowardly. I assume that is a logical deduction if you accept the old Roman quote “Fortune favors the brave” which Matt Damon utters while promoting cryptocurrency in television advertisements. What about the “wishy-washy” like me? What favors me? Back in 445 BC, the Greek historian Herodotus developed a proverb that modern songwriters translate as “Only the Good Die Young.” I doubt anyone played such music at funerals for the Columbine killers. No one said it when Billy the Kid died. After Sheriff Pat Garrett was denied his $500 reward by the Governor for shooting the Kid, residents of Las Vegas and New Mexico raised $7,000 for Garrett. The inverse of “good dying young” suggests the bad die old and could explain why so many politicians live so long. Except Nelson Mandela died at 95. The middle-aged apparently go to Limbo but I will dance around trying to explain the rules of that destination because none of these sayings are based on science. Our motives are good when we are trying to comfort a relative or friend of someone who died young. But too often we use superficially appealing slogans just to sell things like cryptocurrency.

Peeves As Pets

I was eating breakfast while watching a local news show. The television was already on and I do not touch the Roku streaming remote unless an important sporting event is on another channel. Whenever I fool with the Roku television, it takes someone else an hour to find where I sent all the connections and channels. Just as well, because the anchor was putting bullet points on the screen of the five things that most annoy people. I raced for pencil and paper to write them down because I needed a Blog topic for the next day. I do not have the source but the anchor’s mother probably polled attendees at her Bridge Club luncheon because people come up with these lists without any scientific basis. It does not matter because I lost the list in the few hours before I was ready to draft my post. I did not need to test my memory because I can make up five peeves if I need to. I was pleased I remembered the first three. After adding two of my own, I found the list and edited the post to include seven peeves. You can speculate about which two I added. Any five make Bingo. You can add more because this is part of an infinitely long roster circulating the planet as the chain letter that refuses to die: (1) blocking a driveway with a parked car; (2) eating someone else’s food; (3) being passed by another driver who then slows down in front of you; (4) taking up more than one parking space; (5) entering an elevator before everyone exits; (6) not commenting on WordPress Blogs; and (7) wearing a mask while kissing.

Dubious Claims

A brewery in Missouri is named Dubious Claims. The term is cool enough to make it a suitable name for a book, a rock band, or a celebrity’s child. If I were Donald Trump’s attorney, I would characterize his lies as merely dubious claims. Of course, the delicious beauty of that argument is that such a defense is either a lie or a dubious claim, depending on where you sit on the political spectrum. An internet search for an example of a dubious claim directed me to “the world is flat.” So we are likely all doomed. In Reader’s Digest, Twitter’s @HenpeckedHal lists dubious claims his toddler made: only some lizards can read, his daycare allows swords, and he invented the thumbs-up and forgot how to eat carrots. Considering the context, those statements fit my definition of dubious claims. Some toddlers revise their dubious claims into truths as they grow up. Others turn into Republican and Democratic politicians, depending on which designation can best get them elected.

Wisdom on my Desk

I did my annual desk top cleaning because the mess was spilling on the floor and costing me interest and penalties on unpaid bills. One paper scrap says, “If I lick my plate in the middle of a forest, can anyone see me?” Was this a bright idea for a Blog or did I already use that line in a post? Is this string of floss discarded or still waiting to be used? Why are milkshake stains all over my grandson’s vaccination card? What are these two passwords for? A postcard reminder says Automatic Sprinkler is coming on May 25th of last year. I can safely toss that. Apparently I narrowed down my Superpower wish to either making people happy or making them laugh. I wonder who asked the question. I hope they are not waiting for my answer. AARP has sent me instructions to quit smoking, exercise more, and eat cruciferous vegetables. Where do they get off giving me advice? They know nothing about me. I have never smoked, routinely log 20,000 Fitbit steps per day, and love vegetables (although the word “cruciferous” is now giving me pause). I am not going to try Yoga and I do not get seven or more hours of sleep per night. So AARP says I have increased my risk of cancer by 43 percent. That is depressing but I am old enough that I can no longer be threatened with a short life span. The first note for my now clean desk: “Tell off AARP.” But I am adding the date of this Blog, so I will not forget what I am telling them off for. Look, I just ended the last sentence with two prepositions! I need to make a note to Blog about that.

Self Promotion

Jordan Babineaux is a retired Seattle Seahawk football player. In an interview on the Seattle University Alumni Blog, he answered a question about his current job title and responsibilities as a Seahawk broadcaster and ambassador for the team by adding, “I am also an international best selling author.” So we have quite a bit in common. We have degrees from Seattle University, I watched his games on television, and we are authors. I am only a local, non-selling author but he has sold copies of Pivot to Win in Canada and the United Kingdom. And he won some Amazon badges for being in the top 100 sellers in his category at certain times of the day. I was never good at earning badges. I was stuck as a First Class Boy Scout, never attaining Star, let alone Life or Eagle ranks. If I earned the Badge of Amazon, I would make publicists and interviewers identify me as an international best selling author. Tom Hanks does not say, “In addition to winning two Oscars, I was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.” Let the reporters do their jobs and give credibility to the accomplishments. If you self promote like me, you come off as stretching. I occasionally introduced speakers at business functions by reading their biographies. Some would modestly tweak me for laying it on thick when in fact they sent the script, knowing its purpose. At a senior management retreat, I once submitted a version of my obituary as a biography to be published in a booklet with bios from the thirty participants. A few outliers thought I was hysterical, a few appreciated my honesty (apparently accepting my projected incompetence at face value), but most were uncomfortable or just too bored to read those tedious documents.

Invention Alert

Someone needs to invent an alarm that goes off whenever a person attempts to remove the television remote control from the television room. Those living around a campfire do not need such a warning signal but I would buy several. My wife wanders around the house carrying the clicker, pointing it at me in a vain attempt to turn me off or change my channel. So far she has not progressed to stuffing it in her purse and taking it in the car with her. I do not mind her remote rambling but then she hides the device from our 18 year old grandson until he completes his homework. I wish a professional Hide ‘n Seek sport existed. She would be a Superstar and we would be rich. All Sports have specialty positions these days and she would be on the Hiding squad. She is so good at it that even she cannot find what she hides and her teammates on the Finding squad are beaten every time. I am not clever enough to do the actual inventing but I am an expert at telling others what they need to be doing. Please help because the Remote Hunts are powered by frustration and tend to leave a path of destruction in their wake.

Age 13

At the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Britain’s Sky Brown won a bronze medal in Skateboarding at age 13. Thirteen is the arbitrary age when you become a teenager. The milestone could have been duoteen if Sumerian mathematician Joe Number had picked that name instead of twelve. I cleaned my desk for the first time since the Tokyo Olympics because I was starting to be assessed interest and penalties for unpaid bills. The reminder I found to Blog about Sky Brown’s achievement contained only the cryptic words “picking berries and going to Wild Waves at that age.” The only berries I ever picked were from our garden and Wild Waves opened when I was age 30, so I have forgotten who I was going to quote. I was delivering newspapers with a wagon at age 13. Apparently Ted Cruz’s 13 year old daughter recently identified herself as bisexual on TikTok. Today’s age 13 seems way more complicated than playing with baseball cards. My mind is even messier than my desk but I will not be signing up for a surgical cleaning because hospitals are for people too weak to object to a colonoscopy or so sick that death looks good. Plus the surgeon will probably be a thirteen year old trying to set a Guinness World Record for being the youngest doctor ever sued for malpractice. At least my notes are better than the ones my wife writes on our calendar like: “11am.” She will not remember what that note means until we get a call wondering where we are with the dessert for Aunt Dell’s 90th birthday party. Then she apologizes and claims she had to rush me to the hospital for an emergency colonoscopy.

Answering the Door

Last Thursday morning, my neighbor Tek called and asked if I had heard or observed anything unusual around 2:30am because someone had been continually ringing the bell on his gate around that time. Overflowing recycle and yard waste bins were still on the street at the time because they were not emptied the previous week due to ice and snow on our hill. Around midnight, I had taken my bins back to the garage because a windstorm was coming. Tek said he called 911 because he was scared about someone ringing his doorbell so late. But no one came to investigate. Since his bins had indeed toppled over, was someone trying to contact him about that? Not likely in the middle of the night. Were the police doing some of the bell ringing? Hard to imagine them leaving after a 911 call without making phone or personal contact. Did the storm cause the to bell malfunction?

Next morning (Friday), my son Matt called and said he left his wallet on the bus and had been unable to recover it but would check lost and found again on Monday. I put a stop order on a check from me, he cancelled his bank cards, and then went online and requested a replacement driver’s license. Around 11pm that night, Matt left our home heading for his Condo. Five minutes later, I heard heavy knocking on the door. I assumed Matt forgot something although I knew he had his own key. The translucent glass near the door seemed to indicate a couple of people were on the porch. For some reason I opened the door. Two transit workers were returning Matt’s intact wallet with $120 cash still in it. They would not accept a reward.