Category Archives: It’s My Life

Where was I When JFK was Shot? Not Sure.

I was in kindergarten when JFK was killed. I vaguely remember Dad telling me the news, but it didn’t quite register. Another vague memory: Dad was watching TV, and I was in the dining room, when Oswald was shot. Is that the way it happened? I’m not sure. Fuzziness reigns.

My clearest memories are of the funeral, particularly of the horse-drawn casket. The TV guys talked about the funeral occurring in Washington, and made references to the Potomac River. Being somewhat of a geography nerd even in kindergarten, I knew that Washington State was in the far northwest, and that the northwest part of the state had rivers. I assumed the Potomac River was one of them.

Why the funeral was occurring in Washington State, I had no idea, but it obviously was, according to the guys on TV. At some point in my young life, I learned about Washington DC and had to reorient everything in my mind.

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Do We All Feel Safer Now?


A few minutes ago, I went through the carry-on bag I used for our trip to Miami this week. I use the bag frequently for various needs. As I looked in the bottom of one zipped pocket, I about had a coronary.

There was this 4.5-inch (closed), all metal box cutter. The weapon of choice on 9/11. I had no idea it was there, or when I stuck it in the bag.

The box cutter went through security TWICE. With me standing right there, beltless and shoeless.

By all appearances, I am not in jail wearing an orange jumpsuit.

Do we all feel safer now?

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No Place for Conversation

Okay, there was a guy standing at the urinal talking on his cellphone via a bluetooth earpiece. Sounded like he was talking to his wife.

When it’s just me and another guy in the restroom, and I hear the other guy say “honey,” I get very nervous.

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The Birthday Racket


As part of the parasitic 47%, I signed up for the Birthday Club at various restaurant websites. My birthday is next week. I currently have received, by email, certificates for:

  • Free medium concrete mixer at Culver’s.
  • Free bowl at Flattop Grill. (Must buy a 2nd.)
  • Free dessert at Biaggi’s.
  • Free dessert at Smokey Bones.
  • Free “Creation” at Cold Stone Creamery. (Must buy a 2nd.)
  • Free meal at Wings Etc.
  • Free burger at Red Robin.

Most expire on October 30, which doesn’t give me much time. If I truly wanted to take advantage of the system, I would give each restaurant a different birthday, to scatter them throughout the year. But that’s just one more thing for which I would have to answer in heaven, and my list is long enough.

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The Plural Curse

“Tootsie Roll’s.” I saw it written that way on TV this morning. I don’t like starting my day in a grumpy mood, but sometimes I am overtaken by forces beyond my control.

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Our Annual Pilgrimage

My annual cherry ice cream cone.

My annual cherry ice cream cone.

For the record: Pam and I went to the Van Wert County Fair on Sunday, September 1, 2013.

As best we can figure, it’s the 27th or 28th straight year for us. We’ve been married 24 years. While dating, we discovered that we’d both grown up (at least during my first 9 years when I lived in Indiana) attending the Van Wert fair. So it made a logical date for us.

Yesterday, we left right after church. It was a hazy, humid day that threatened rain. The place seemed like a relative ghost town when we arrived. We always start at the same place: Rager’s (not run by the Optimist club). A sausage sandwich and a ham and cheese sandwich for me (because I was hungry), and only the latter for Pam. Followed quickly by a funnel cake.

I texted my cousin Mike to let him know we were at the fair. He said he and his two kids had a beef show in 10 minutes. So we headed over to the show barn and watched Austin and Whitney show their steers. This was a first for me. There was a lot of bellowing from not-totally-happy steers.

Then we walked through the commercial building (nobody at the Merkle Electric booth), and then got another funnel cake. Time to leave. I headed for the roasted pecans and walnuts (one medium bag of each) while Pam went to the cotton candy trailer, where she was delighted to find that they not offered a Monster cotton candy bag. Which she bought, of course.

And then our last stop: the cherry ice cream truck. A $2 cone for each of us.

Everything is always in the same place, year after a year. In a world that’s constantly in flux, it’s nice to come to a place anchored in time.

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Fraud at the Dessert Counter


See that cupcake? I bought it from the dessert case at Fresh Market. It beckoned to me, this huge lump of diverse calories which Pam and I could split.

You may notice the chocolate chips embedded in the frosting. WRONG. In what ranks as one of the most egregious acts of culinary fraud ever perpetrated, those chocolate chips turned out to be raisins.

Yes, raisins! What depraved sicko puts raisins on cupcakes?

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Seriously, is This Necessary?


We’re talking a Honda Accord. Yes, I was down to fumes. But still.

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Jordi’s New Favorite Place


He’s quickly wearing out the box tops. And he certainly doesn’t look comfortable.

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Celebrity Trash

A guilty pleasure of mine is reading celebrity junk news in “People” and “Us” magazines. But I subscribe to neither. For that, I rely on visits to the doctor, dentist, and hairdresser. So I was severely disappointed this morning when I had a doctor’s appointment, and the waiting room had nothing but medical, travel, and women’s magazines. I may need to change doctors.

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