Hey Corrigan man!

When did the world become such a place that we had to check and double check everyone else's work? I just realized the other day that everywhere I go I spend part of the time either wondering if the person did something right or full on checking their work. Here are some examples:

- Pharmacy – The grocery store pharmacy up the street is infamous in our house for screw ups. Expired medicine. Wrong medicine. Wrong prices. Missing prescriptions. Just yesterday when Jen came home with 5 scripts I dutifully handed them over, insisted that they check if they had each item and waited. They came back and told me one of the items they didn’t have (after saying they did) and then they left one of the items off. I know…change pharmacies, but why can’t they just get it right?

- Grocery store – Jen rushes to get into position when checking out at the grocery store so she can see the screen as each thing scans. EVERY time she catches something.

- Didn’t you used to go to the mechanic and trust that the guy did the work he said he was doing and that it was correct? Nowadays you have to get the old part that they took off the car to make sure they did it.

- Drive thrus – Jen won’t let me drive more than 100 yards from the restaurant until she checks that everything is there. Good thing we don’t do it that often, but I’d say that almost 80% of the time I have to hoof it back into the store to fix something.

Feel free to add your own in the comments. I’d be interested to hear them.

Larry update - #653

While I’m doing health updates let’s take a spin by Larry shall we?

Dad is doing….ok. He’s tired and blood counts are hanging in there. Each doctor seems to have a little different opinion, but none of them are more than we’ve heard before really. None of us really expect him to suddenly start playing softball again or running marathons, but another long stint of “Florida 2009” would be good. He never complains when I talk to him, but I expect he doesn’t want anyone to worry about him. For all of you that visit or check in with him, keep it coming. I suspect the Quad City Times and the NFL are only keeping him from being bored part of the day.

Jen the Lion hearted

Sorry to have disappeared again for another week. I promise I have a good excuse. Jen was in the hospital. She was lucky enough to catch an ambulance ride with some Pasco County Paramedic that she keeps going on and on about. If it isn’t Larry around here, it’s Jen. On a more serious note, she did end up what they are classifying as a heart attack due to a very rare heart condition. Takotsubo – look it up, or click the link. You never want to experience something that starts out somewhere in the first paragraph, “If the patient survives the initial presentation…” She spent most of the week here in Pepin Heart Hospital and is resting at home now. More later…I’m just tired. Plus…I’m going to go hang out with her. She scared the heck out of us.

Seat and re-seat walk into a room…

Sorry I haven’t checked in for a while. The weather here has finally recovered from the freeze ray that was aimed at the country a week or so ago. I’ve been out and about enjoying the sunshine.

I’ll write to you today about one of the most popular topics. Home improvement. A few weeks ago I got tired of my office and in one of those rare quiet moments sitting here I hatched a plan. “Hatched” and “plan” were probably not as accurate as they seemed at the time. More like, “I would be kind of cool” and “I think I’ll take a saw to that”. This two part plan consisted of A) Building a window seat by the window facing the pool, and B) Making cushions for it because it will be oh so much simpler and cheaper to do that won’t it? Enough typing, here’s the project as it unfolded.

DSCN4072Prepped and ready to go


Somewhat out of order, but it makes more sense this way.


Maybe I should buy a third one? Back to Ikea.




and this is where we are…waiting for cushions. That is a whole other story to tell.

COPS – Re-ducks (of course it’s on purpose)

So 48 hours after I mention that the TV show COPS should show an episode where the bad guy gets away, what do you think happens? Granted the guy crashes his own car into a fence and leaves his drivers license behind, but WHAM…he escaped. Lo and behold the officer was left wandering around talking into his radio. The only thing that could have been better was if the camera man saw him lurking behind a tree and got a shot of the culprit in the “Shhh…don’t rat me out” mode.

I sure wish I knew what it felt like to have Ed McMahons people knock at my door and give me that big old check. I’ll let you know if it works.

Attention Teenagers! NO is a complete sentence!

Today I’m giving out free lessons in life to teenagers. Since Sara is unlikely to read this I hopefully won’t be the victim of my own genius.

1. – Practice this in front of the mirror until you have perfected it and you can reduce being grounded or having (insert favorite thing here) taken away from you by like 87%, ready? Stare straight ahead. Don’t smirk, grimace, roll your eyes, or shift your weight. Don’t sigh, grunt, flail, or otherwise make a movement that might be interpreted as any thing other than complete attention to what is being said to you. If you can pull this off you can also get a really cool job guarding the Queen later in life.

2. – Here is the list of responses to your parents that are acceptable.

- Yes

- OK

- No problem

- Sure, I can do that

3. – Under no circumstances should you let your parents find out the things that are most important to you or they will become weapons to be used against you. Example: You say something rude and your dad says, “Give me that iPod.” Looks straight ahead using your skills from #1, choose any answer from #2. Pretend like it isn’t a big deal or you are gonna lose that iPod every time you even breathe incorrectly.

4. – I once read a rule of thumb that said, “If you think you have seen a mouse, you have.” This rule applies to any story you might have concocted that you think will avoid some form of trouble. If you think they are on to you. They are. In fact…since teenagers are intellectually incapable of putting together a really good, believable story you might as well come clean at the first sign of unraveling.

Example: “Hi honey did you fun at the movies?”

Wrong answer: “Yeah it was fun, we had a great time!”

Right answer: “Ok, ok, (using both #1 and #2) We stole a car and took the neighbor kid hostage”

The right answer avoids days of interrogation and allows your friends to get a jump on a good lawyer.

You’re welcome.

Bad boys, bad boys…

I was watching an episode of COPS the other night and I thought of a good way they could refresh this show a bit. How about they show some of the chases where the people get away? I’m curious if anyone who runs from the cops ever gets away. I think it’s probably best to keep the message in front of our kids that if you run away, you will get caught, but I still want to see the fat cop and the cameraman running after some teen and rounding a corner, going “What? Where did he go? The they can walk around frustrated for a while talking into their radios, “You see him? No I don’t see him…Wanna go get a donut?” Same with “America’s funniest, silly, out of control, car chases” Some of those people have to get away don’t they? Lastly….don’t these people ever watch these shows? They do the same dumb thing the last 5,000 criminals did in the last 5,000 episodes. You cannot hide under a car. Oh…don’t forget to take your shirt off. Lie to the cops, that always makes them feel better about catching you. You are a true criminal if the first thing you do is lie about it. Oh, and COPS? Don’t bother asking them “Why did you run?” They’re criminals…that’s why they ran. This question just makes you look dumb too.

Get a job…

I’m writing this entry for historical purposes. You can read it at your boredom peril, but I got kind of irked the other day when Sara said I had a boring job. Someday she can read this and think the same thing, but I didn’t just plop myself down at this desk and decide this is what I was going to do.

It occurred to me while I was out walking today that I was a couple of months shy of 10 years at my current company and this got me thinking about jobs. I had also been talking to Jen earlier about jobs and she made the comment that she thinks I’ve done every job imaginable. Obviously this isn’t true but this is my list….Sara and Sam…start looking at the want ads, your time is near.

Newspaper delivery boy – 1979 to 1984 – I wrote about this a while back but I sure learned that people counted on me to perform my job and called me right up when I screwed up.

Fry cook and ice cream boy – 1985 Summer? – I learned how to make change. This is a skill that isn’t taught anymore. I learned customer service and sure had some good times flirting with the girls that worked at the Dairy K.

Detasseling corn - Some summer as a teen - This is one of the worst jobs in the world. Get up at 5:00 am, get on a bus that takes you to the middle of nowhere in a corn field. From there you proceed to walk up and down rows of corn in the mud or dirt, pulling tassels from corn. All. Day. Long. In the middle of summer. If you didn’t do a good job they just fired you at the end of the day.

Information desk – 1986 – I learned that jobs can be boring and that a Dominos pizza took me a couple of hours to earn. No toppings.

Bartender – Summer of 1988? – I learned that people drink for a lot of reasons and that the movie “Cocktail” was a joke. I also learned how to make ice cream drinks and about tips.

Retail sales – Winter break 1988? – I learned about men’s suits. I don’t think I had ever worn one, but I sold the shit out of cardigans that year. It was the 80’s you know.

Jack of all trades – every summer – 1987 – 1990 – I mowed every blade of grass the Village of Orion owned for many summers. I filled pot holes. I fought storm debris with a chain saw. I helped clean various sewer plant operations. I built sidewalks. I painted that “historic damn bandshell” at least once. I picked up junk during clean up week. I drove a road grader. I was a meter reader. This is the best job I think I ever had.

Medical courier – 1990 to 1991 – I learned that if you have the right job you get the best parking places. I took this job to get the “Golden ticket” parking sticker that came along with it.

Psychiatric technician – 1991 -  I learned that there were people in the world with a lot of problems that were worse than mine and that the people who care for them are the most patient, understanding people I have ever met. I picked up some of it. I sadly also had to learn about psychiatric drugs, passive restraint, and sometimes death.

Computer Operator – 1991 – This was a filler job that got me hooked on computers. I learned a thing or two about the newspaper business at the Quad City Times. The time at this job would serve me well later.

Blackjack dealer – 1991 – I learned that being a psych tech and a bartender was pretty much the same thing as a blackjack dealer, only with cards and for more money. I learned more about tips.

Casino floor person – 1993 – I learned about managing people and that knowing someone's name and greeting them was gold.

Pit manager (Pit boss) – 1994 to 1998 – I figured out that most people just wanted something for free and would do a lot of things to get it. I learned what it was like to work on holidays, weekends and nights. I saw the worst of people for the most part, but wouldn’t trade my time with the people I worked with for anything in the world.

Table games shift manager – 1998 – 1999 – Despite all of the things I’ve just written about casino work, I had a blast at this job. Eventually like most jobs where there is money, booze and nightlife, you grow out of it or become a slave to it. I decided to quit one day and did.

Unemployed – 4 months (I think) from November 1999 to March of 2000. The only time in my life since age 12 that I didn’t have some form of job. I learned to relax first and then I realized how much being a part of something was important to me.

Call center technical support – 2000 – I learned that starting over is tough.

Call center team leader – 2001 – By this time I had learned a new business and was learning new things.

Call center manager – 2003 – I learned that I was good at this new business and had a good team to help me do it. I figured out that having a good team was pretty key to success.

Sr. Business Analyst – I learned that it wasn’t all about having a bigger and better job and being important. I learned that it was more important to do the right thing for my family. I proposed that I help find a new call center manager and that I would work from home in Tampa, FL and help raise my kids. So far, so good.


So I’ve decided that Sam is afflicted with a bad case of DKDC. This is the ‘ought 10’ equivalent of ADHD. I’ve also decided that there are probably more kids diagnosed with ADHD that actually have DKDC. Since I just made this up I should probably let you in on what it means. It stands for “Don’t know, don’t care”. See it isn’t that the kids are distracted and unable to concentrate, it’s that they could give a shit. Whenever I try to get Sam moving from one place to another he dawdles and does a thousand things in between. Pet the dog, pick up a toy, talk about something completely off topic. His attention level hasn’t been reduced it’s just that he doesn’t know why I want him to hurry and even if he knew, he wouldn’t care. His set of priorities are different. I have to get from point A to point B in X amount of time. Since he is already at point A, doesn’t care about point B and doesn’t tell time yet, he thinks he’s pretty much all set. There is no amount of drugs I could give him that would make him care. I could probably give him something that would make him care even less and then I could just drag him around…but that just makes the game different. I’m giving him until age 6 to grow out of DKDC, but since I also see so many adults afflicted with it, the odds are not in my favor. Whatever….

Larry update – home again.

Larry is back home in the warm confines of 1101 13th ave. He went home yesterday and seemed to be doing much better, or as much of that as I can determine on the phone. My mom tells me it’s hard to get out of him how he’s feeling, but she isn’t very good at deciphering either. Actually…she’s pretty good at it when it counts. I think I’ll put Mom down for another save by getting him to the hospital. Thanks Mom.

Back to our regularly scheduled programming…whatever that is.

Larry update – I’ve lost count

Dad is still in the hospital today waiting to see if he is healed enough to get home maybe tomorrow. I don’t know why he would be in too terrible of a hurry to get home. It’s cold there. Tim is visiting him today and keeping him company. That’s code for they are both going to sit around and watch football all day. Thanks for all the good wishes and to those who have visited. I think that it’s tougher on him in the hospital when he doesn’t feel too bad. It’s easier to be somewhat bored. More soon.

Larry update - #4

My dad had some minor surgery this morning to seal the leak in his lung that wasn’t healing by itself. He is back in his room and theoretically he could be at home as early as tomorrow. I think, and hope, they can put it off until Monday or so. I know this is a crappy update, but I wanted to put something up here in case anyone was looking. I’ve talked to him after his surgery and he is doing fine. He sounded a little tired, but hey, who wouldn’t be.

Larry update - #3

I’ve talked to my dad a few times over the last day or two and he is doing fine. He is resting restlessly (can you do that?) at Trinity West in Rock Island. He sounds like his usual self and there hasn’t been any drama for 48 hours. He wants me to pass along a message. “If they say they are going to put a chest tube in you…get ready because it’s gonna hurt like hell” Good advice…I guess. I probably would have rather been surprised, but oh well. It’s likely that he will be home in a day or two. If I was a betting man I think maybe Wednesday.

Larry update #2

Dad is sitting in surgical ICU waiting for a room to open up on the 7th floor at Trinity West. They changed the chest tube he had in earlier and is doing better still. I haven’t talked to him yet, but I will update you again once I do. It seems like the majority of the drama has passed and he is already looking forward to leaving the hospital.

Larry update

One of the problems with hijacking this blog for my own stuff is that the people who turn to this spot for news on my dad don’t find it here very often. Now this is also a good thing when there is nothing to tell, but this morning there is some news to tell.

Yesterday my dad began to have some trouble breathing and eventually this led to an ambulance ride to Trinity West. He was eventually diagnosed with a collapsed lung and had a chest tube inserted to get it fixed. Assuming that people with collapsed lungs get some pretty good relief from the insertion of a chest tube I’m hoping he is doing much better this morning. I have yet to talk to my Mom and will update here when I know more.

For those of you that stop by here and didn’t know why I call this blog “We Love Larry”, now you do. He had a long, arduous trip through a series of medical issues in 2009 and I use this blog to update my family and his friends about how things are going.

Stuff that Sam says…

Inspired by a site or twitter feed that has been spreading for a while, “Shit my dad says” I’m going to give you a few Sam’isms from the last few weeks. He’s much less profane that the guy in “Stuff” my dad says, but he’s just as funny. Here are some things that Sam has come up with, mostly out of his own brain or silent contemplation….or TV.

- Dad. You know what you shouldn’t send in the mail? Time bombs.

- I really hurt my back. That was very not interesting.

- (Reading a sign) Open 24 hours…hey dad, that place is open 24 hours! What’s an hour?

- (Randomly – quoting something he saw on TV, oh and loudly in public) – BUTT SCRATCHER! BUTT SCRATCHER?

- I have to pee! Oh wait, do we have donuts?