Armadillo by morning

Check out what I spied on my morning walk today.

Add this to the list of creatures that creep me out. I’m starting to think that anything short of a dog or cat and you can keep it. Do people start not liking things as they get older? (There are about 50 jokes there if anyone is inclined)


I don’t think in all my time here in Florida I have seen one of these alive. Usually they are something that Dr. G would have to explain to me from the middle of the road. (In my best Cliff Clavin voice: Interestingly these little guys get run over a lot because when you startle them they jump to bumper height.)

365 degrees

Well…one year ago today we were making our way to London as the final stop off on our way back to the states. You might not believe this but not a day goes by where someone in the family doesn’t mention some aspect of our trip. I have no doubt that this family will be up for another adventure as soon as life settles down just a little bit more.

Here are some references / memories that stay with us.

  • The Kubb set that we are waiting to use on a fall day, or when the temperature gets below 37 degrees. (Another nod)
  • Sam still calls hot dogs “polse”
  • We still call some things Norwegian food…some in a good way, some in a different way.
  • We lament our ability to walk down to the ocean / fjord or into the hills depending on what we feel like.
  • When the TV breaks we remember that we only watched TV huddled behind the laptop to catch our favorite shows for free.
  • Sam saw a commercial or something about the London Olympics in 2012 and asked if we were going.


I know my blog posts are down about 50% over last year, but stay tuned. We are inevitably setting off on another adventure. We are going to spend a little more time figuring out what it is.


So get this. I have a fear of the phone. It’s not an actual fear of the physical phone, it’s a very specific fear of the phone ringing any time, lets say, past 11:00 pm. There have been few times in my life that a phone call past that time of night has resulted in anything positive. No one has ever called me at 2:00 am to tell me they won the lottery or that they just got engaged, nothing like that. Imagine my condition when last night the phone rings at 12:02 am. I run around the house looking for the phone and here is what I get when I finally get the phone:

(Slurred) “Hello? Hello?”

Me: (Slurred for different reasons) “Hello”

“Is this 503-9961?”

That’s really as far as I need to go with this. First, my number is 421-0355. I don’t think I’ve ever had a wrong number that didn’t at least contain part of my phone number. Second…I give the lady credit. She did two things that people who dial wrong numbers rarely do. She said she was sorry. She also said goodbye and also said she was sorry for waking me up.

Swim, Swam, ….Zzzzzz

This post is mostly for the grandparents, but I’m sure my vast network of readers will find it cute.

Sam takes one nap per week. Why? You might ask. Well he actually doesn’t take any naps, but he goes to swimming lessons on Tuesdays. Like clockwork this kid falls asleep 15 minutes before we arrive at swimming. He recently has decided he doesn’t like swimming lessons. I think it is because every time he experiences his lesson he is waking up from a slumber and isn’t quite sure where he is until about halfway through.

The whole point of this little entry was the picture. I could take this same picture every week.


I saw 3 ships come sailing in…

Ok, so I only saw them sitting there like lumps in the water, but I saw them nonetheless.

This past weekend a group of ships labeled as “Tall ships” visited the Port of Tampa for the first time. “The Eagle” – the Coast Guard training ship, the “Capitan Miranda” – from Uruguay, and the “Gloria” from Columbia. We stood in a couple of decent lines to be able to wander the decks of two of the ships. The third ship fell victim to child indifference and hot humid weather.

The cool observation of the day occurred as I was watching an older gentleman make his way up the gangplank of the Gloria. As he hit the top step to board the ship, both officers that were there to greet everyone snapped to attention and saluted him. He was wearing some sailor related garb and I was inspired by these two guys who had no idea who this man might be, but if by chance he was one of them they were damn sure going to pay him respect. It took the old man a while to return the salute, but these guys were not about to drop their hands until he did. I’m sure it made his day.

Anyhow…here are a couple of pictures.

DSCN4453 DSCN4459

Ok…I only had one on my computer. The other is the gang jacking around in front of the “”Home of the Tampa Bay Lightning”

Here’s a stock photo of “The Eagle”


It just keeps flashing “12:00 a.m.” !!!

I was just wondering aloud the other day…”Where the hell am I going to get a VCR to copy these ancient video tapes to my computer?” I filed that question away until WHAM…the answer hit me right between the eyes. Apparently Goodwill is where old VCRs go to die.

Who is buying these things?


Now all I have to do is scrape up the $5.06 that each of these is going for.

Goodwill hunting…or rejecting

As I was checking to see if my local Goodwill store accepted books for donation I ran across some other more interesting things that they don’t accept. The list seems to have been built off of bad experiences with people donating the wrong things rather than just common sense. Here are some things that you CANNOT give to Goodwill.

- Ping pong tables / slate pool tables

- Swords

- Animals

- Chairs

  • Barber
  • Beautician
  • Dental

- Snack or Soda machines

- Urinals

- Swimming pools

- Ammunition

Ok…a few questions / comments.

I guess swimming pools and urinals are pretty much the same thing to a kid.

Chairs – You think they would take an electric chair?

Why wouldn’t you take a ping pong table? or a pool table. Heck, I would set those bad boys up in the Goodwill itself to have a little fun.

Feed me Seymour!

I wish I had a picture of this…but the other day I took Sam to McDonalds to get his once a month Chicken McNugget fix and I overheard this lady, get this…

Ordering a pizza, while standing in line at McDonalds, WHILE her kid was tugging at her purse begging for a candy bar. For a minute I thought she was going to get to the front of the line while she was talking to the pizza joint. I was watching intently to see how that was going to go down, but Pizza Hut was just too damn efficient that day.

I guess I’ll head out to Wal-Mart and go people watching there. People of Wal-Mart

Try not to be patient…

Sorry if this is way off topic or seems out of place…but Jen and I talk quite a bit about patient care and the state of our medical system in the U.S. for many reasons. Here is a writing from the guy just appointed to head Medicare and Medicaid. Maybe he can reverse the slide that patient care has seen over the last (insert time period here). This article hits home from one line you will read if you keep going. Of the time I spent with my father in the hospital, it hit me that maybe people weren’t paying him enough attention or doing things for my dad simply because they all called him “Lawrence”. I do not remember a single person who stopped to ask him what he would like to be called…it certainly wasn’t Lawrence, although he would never say anything. He was just 8/16/1940.

From Dr. Berwick

I freely admit to extremism in my opinion of what patient-centered care ought to mean. I find the extremism in a specific location: my own heart. I fear to become a patient. Partly, that fear comes from what I know about technical hazards and lack of reliability in care. But errors and unreliability are not the main reasons that I fear that inevitable day on which I will become a patient. For, in fighting them, I am aligned with the good hearts and fine skills of my technical caregivers, and I can use my own wit to stand guard against them.

What chills my bones is indignity. It is the loss of influence on what happens to me. It is the image of myself in a hospital gown, homogenized, anonymous, powerless, no longer myself. It is the sound of a young nurse calling me, "Donald," which is a name I never use—it’s "Don," or, for him or her, "Dr. Berwick." It is the voice of the doctor saying, "We think...," instead of, "I think...," and thereby placing that small verbal wedge between himself as a person and myself as a person. It is the clerk who tells my wife to leave my room, or me to leave hers, without asking if we want to be apart. Last month, a close friend called a clinic for her mammogram report and was told, "You have to come here; we don’t give that information out on the telephone." She said, "It’s OK, you can tell me." They said, "No, we can’t do that." Of course, they "can" do that. They choose not to, and their choice trumps hers: period. That’s what scares me: to be made helpless before my time, to be made ignorant when I want to know, to be made to sit when I wish to stand, to be alone when I need to hold my wife’s hand, to eat what I do not wish to eat, to be named what I do not wish to be named, to be told when I wish to be asked, to be awoken when I wish to sleep.

Call it patient-centeredness, but, I suggest, this is the core: it is that property of care that welcomes me to assert my humanity and my individuality. If we be healers, then I suggest that that is not a route to the point; it is the point.

- Dr. Donald Berwick

Happy 5th!!

Well another 4th of July is behind us and I have some observations to make. What other day of the year would we do the things we do on this holiday?

- Drink a lot of beer and then go handle explosives in the dark.

- Give the kids a lighter and some explosives and shoo them off into the road.

- Laugh when one of the fireworks bounces off a car or a neighbor.

those are the dumb things and I’m guilty of them also…

Why don’t we do the other things, other days of the year?

- Pull out the grills to the driveway and cook food for the neighbors.

- Grab our beach chairs and hang out while the kids play together.

- Block off the road and take back the streets!!! Ok…that one was just a random thought about my desire for world domination, or at least Hawk Hill Loop.

We had a good time on “the Loop” yesterday. Hope everyone had a good time in your world also.


Betwixt and betwine

I’ve been meaning to post this picture for a while now but keep forgetting. It might only be funny to our Swedish / Norwegian friends, but who knows? It’s quickly becoming one of my oldest and dumbest jokes when going to IKEA. So much so that I think I’ve said it and actually been overheard (which is my entire goal). I picture some guy telling his family that he learned a new Swedish word today.

So every time we go to IKEA I spy this box attached to the wall in the loading area and I pick out one of the family, nudge them and say, “Hey look…I guess that’s Swedish for “rope”…haha” At this point the designated family member will roll their eyes and I will have satisfied my urge to tell a bad joke. Anyhow, here’s the picture.


Nothing really…

So a buddy of mine got the new iPhone the other day and it got me thinking. I’ve seen hundred of people with iPhones and every one of them has been encased in plastic, silicone, titanium or other sorts of protection. I just think it’s funny that whenever they launch these phones they tout how thin and shiny the new phone is and the first thing people do is double the size with a case and cover up the new shiny phone with something. Why don’t they make it thicker and less breakable?

While I’m on the topic of how observant and smart I am, why can’t TV do SOME real life stuff that matches real life. Jen hates to watch television with me because I’m always pointing out something that doesn’t make sense and “ruining it for her”. Yeah, well maybe the people making these shows are the ones ruining it for her.


- It almost never rains in any television show. I know. I’m crazy. Who wants to watch a show where it’s raining?

- Kids rooms in shows drive me particularly nuts. Never anything on the floor. Clothes are always in the closet or put away. I never see a pile of paper, hair brushes, underwear (actual examples).

- Everyone picks up on the first ring, there is always cell coverage, and dropped calls never happen.

- People never get stuck in traffic or wait in lines.

- No one ever needs to hit the ATM, get gas, or go to the bathroom really.

Ok enough. I know why these things don’t happen in shows, and I know that this isn’t a 100% true, but fake like you mowed the lawn and were pissed when you ran out of gas halfway through the lawn like real life.