Monday, December 29, 2008

The Boston Globe's Year in Pictures... always worth a look. Moving, wrenching, funny and poignant, the pictures are often worth more than a thousand words.




This one really caught me this year:

Sunday, December 28, 2008


So, I am reading the New York Times today when I came across an article that borrowed from one of my signature lines. Op ed columnist Bob Herbert wrote THIS ARTICLE about the state of things in America and the obvious solution: Stop Being Stupid.

It's been more than a catchphrase of mine, more like a mantra when it's time to make a decision. For more than 10 years, I have uttered a simple directive: Don't be Stupid. It rolls off the tongue more easily than "So is your FACE!" from a grade-schooler in a schoolyard war of words. Granted, it's not the exact same thing, but I'll leave the hair-splitting to you, my readers, to determine if the New York Times owes me an apology and a check. And, given the TRACK RECORD of the Times on issues of plagiarism, I am going to start checking the mailbox.

Additionally, in a Fish-as-Zeitgeist moment, Clint Eastwood uses another of my great catchphrases in his new movie Gran Torino. In the action-packed trailer on television today, one of our greatest living actors says to the bad guys, as only Clint can: "Get Off My Lawn!" Sure, I didn't invent it, but for the past three years, I am thinking I'm one oof the few people out there using it...until now. Welcome too the party, Johnny-Clint-Lately. I'll be looking for that thank you note and royalty check from you when the movie debuts.

Mrs. Fish... playing with her favorite Christmas present: Guitar Hero--World Tour. She is a rock queen of the highest order. Right now she is jamming to Say Yeah by the Hushpuppies, then into CCR's Up Around the Bend. Encore: No Sleep 'til Brooklyn--The Beastie Boys!!!!!!

She is teh roxxor, to be sure.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Had a fantastic Christmas. I spent it at home with my family but missed my larger family who went to my brother's house for the holiday. With the dog, the options were pretty much have him in the crate howling or running around the house having accidents, so we went with Option C: Stay home and celebrate with just our little brood. It was a good time. Still, it wuld have been nice to see the rest of the family.

Little Fish's favorite gift was, obviously, her puppy. He has been a peach. He's a bundle of energy one minute, then a total PHLUMPH the next. Just like a perfect puppy should be. I continue to be amazed by how well and how quickly he has fit in with us, and how amazingly well Little Fish has cared for him. She has been getting up early in the morning to let him out, doesn't complain about the poopage factor, and has pretty much been with him since he came through our door.

Mrs. Fish got a jewelry armoire and a couple of oooo-la-la tops that look great on her. For once, assembly of a piece of furniture went smoothly, thanks to directions in English and a good amount of time allocated to putting it together.

My favorite gift was a Garmin 305 heartrate monitor/GPS/everything-but-the-kitchen-sink. It basically tracks your workouts and maps where you went--nice when I get a greenlight to get started again, in about a month and a half. For now, I have started lifting weights again.

The best part of Christmas was watching my daughter sing at church. It was her last year with the kid's pageant, and she had a solo again. She has grown so much, and her voice has begun to mature. She is singing from her lungs and diaphragm, rather than her nose and her voice is beautiful, like her Mama's....and very much unlike her father's. Thank God.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Times Are Tough

...all over, apparently.

Humpty Dumpty's Painting....

Last night I was laying in bed with Mrs. Fish and the dog started to growl and bark. It wasn't sustained or anything, just a periodic, intermittent affair. It was weird, but I thought the cats were probably visiting him in his cage, which always makes him bark. They have a habit of stopping by to say hello, shaking their tails at him from a safe distance and then, when he barks, tearing out of the room just in case he is after them.

So anyway, this went on for about 10 minutes and I decided that was enough. I went in to move the cats out and/or tell him to lie down. Only, there were no cats. Weird. So I told him to lie down, which he did. Five minutes later, I'm lying back down in my bed when I hear a TREMENDOUS CRASH!!!!!!! Murphy's cage is rattling and it sounds like he is in an all out war with something.

I go tearing out of the room to discover that a painting we had hung outside of Little Fish's room, a 4' x 5' framed and glassed piece, had broken loose and fallen to the floor. I really think Murphy was making all that noise because he heard or sensed it giving way (the anchor that attaches the wire to the frame broke). Smart puppy, and I'm glad he was there to "protect" us, especially Little Fish.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Just a Day

Got up this morning around 6.15 and hit the ground running. Grabbed a cup of coffee and a shower and got dressed. It's casual Friday and while that's cause for celebration for about 90% of America, it actually causes me a modicum of anxiety.

It's sloppy outside, a mixture of rain and sleet and freezing gush, so jeans would seem de rigueur. But what if a client should need to see me? Then a jacket and tie would seem appropriate, at the very least. I've solved this one by keeping a pressed and starched shirt with a jacket and tie at the office. Still, a higher standard generally applies to the sales guy, so I opted for a pair of upscale cotton cargo pants and a ribbed turtleneck, finishing it off with a pair of cool Skechers...nice outfit, all-in-all. Still, a wardrobe update is coming soon, I suspect, with a lot of my business clothes getting a little worn around the edges and my casual wardrobe pretty much nonexistant.

I dashed out the door where I spent the better part of the morning on the phone, trying in vain to reach a handful of people who are too busy to answer their phones or return their calls. Sigh. At least no one was rude or hung up on

Lunch was an improvement; the people in the office took me out to lunch and we went to the Peachtree Diner where I ordered breakfast for lunch. Absolutely awesome. Steak and eggs with homefries and toast...and a big old pancake on top. NOICE!

After that, I went to Little Fish's Holiday Concert at school. I got a little choked up seeing my daughter up there singing away. She makes me so proud, and I am blessed to have a good kid like her. She sings beautifully (so glad she got Mrs. Fish's voice and not mine). She is also singing in the church pageant for Christmas Eve this year, and has received a solo once again.

I went back to work, finished out some calls and paperwork, then took off for vacation. I'm out until the 26th and am really looking forward to having some time off. My brain is a littled cooked, quite frankly.

I finished out the day by going out to an overpriced dinner at Ruby Tuesday's and coming home to open a Christmas present. Mrs. Fish gave me a BEAUTIFUL photo of Little Fish that I have loved forever. It was taken at a friend's wedding, but I thought it was gone forever. Mrs. Fish found it, blew it up, had an expert doctor it up a bit and swatch it in Sepia tones. I LOVE IT!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow

We got a shot of an icy mess on my birthday, but apparently we're in for a blast tonight and into tomorrow. I, for one, wouldn't mind a work-from-home day, and Little Fish has already laid out her pajamas for lounging around the house tomorrow. Needless to say, Murphy is perplexed but amused by all the white stuff.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

It was just a quiet night at home with Mrs. Fish and Little Fish. I had a great time--nice and relaxing. Mrs. Fish made pasta and chocolate orange cake...mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

I got a cool orange sweater and Little Fish made the most amazing PowerPoint ever. Life is pretty amazing somedays, and yesterday was one of them.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Getting Ready for the Holidays

This weekend I've spent a lot of my time busting my hump to get ready for the holidays. Cleaning the house, battening down the hatches on the deck, putting up lights out front, shopping with Little Fish to get the right gift for the new puppy, and all that jazz. It feels really good to be getting this much done.

Some years are harder because of seasonal affective stuff, and the shorter days bring me down. That being said, this year has been really good. I'm not exactly sure what the difference is, but I'm glad I feel as good as I do.

The smell of the Christmas tree behind me is filling up the house. Little Fish made cookies today, too, which adds to the wonderful smells of the holidays. I love it.

Ankle Rx

The official diagnosis is a torn ligament. Not sprained. Torn. It could have been a lot worse, according to the doc. The bottom line is another two months of no running, then start testing it a bit. If it's okay, great. If it's not, or if I continue to have recurring injuries, I'll probably be looking at surgery. On the plus side, I am allowed to ride my bike, so it's time to warm up the drainer.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Murphy's First Snow Storm...

Perhaps not a storm, but when you're as small as he is, it seems like a SQUALL!

In his Penn State gear:


It's Murphy's first day home! Here he is, with Little Fish.

They've been pretty much inseparable since Murphy got home...

Friday, December 05, 2008

The Fish Family Dog Comes Home Tonight

Little Fish, as you can imagine, is absolutely over-the-moon ecstatic. Meet Murphy:

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The Fish Family Dog....

...will not look like this.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

It Seems....

...the Fish Family is getting a dog.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

I'll leave you with three thoughts.

First, my friend Kurt put this one out, but it bears repeating:

Second, you'll just have to CLICK HERE and trust me.

Third, I'll leave you with my brother's Thanksgiving poem, which pretty much sums it all up.

We had turkey
We had guests
But we couldn't tell the difference.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Dear Dell: I Hope You Recorded This Call for Training Purposes

So I called Dell looking for information and pricing on a laptop, which I have been needing for work.

Automated Hal, Female version: Blah, blah, blah, blah, Please press 2 to be connected to sales. Press 2.

Non-descript white-sounding woman: Hello.
Me: I'd like to get some pricing information on laptops.
Non-descript white-sounding woman: Sir, this is tech support.
Me: Oh. Well I pressed two because I wanted sales.
Non-descript white-sounding woman: Sir, this is tech support.
Me: Okay. Can you transfer me to sales, please?
Non-descript white-sounding woman: Just one moment, sir.

[Boop, boop, beep, boop]

Me: Yes, I am trying to get some sales information.
Disinterested, disinvested-sounding African American guy: This is not the right department. I'll transfer you.
Me: Wha....???

[Beep, boop, beep, beep]

Indian gentleman: Hello, how can I help you today?
Me: I'd like to get some pricing information on laptops.
Indian gentleman: Oh sir. They have given you the wrong department. I will be happy to assist you by transferring your call to the appropriate department.
Me: But I've been transferred twice already. Can you please make sure I get to someone who can help me with sal....

[Beep, boop, beep, beep]

Me: Thanks.

[Line rings twice, then goes dead.]

Me: The next sound you hear will be Dell losing a customer.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Disturbing News...My Former Employer

So, my former employer, WITF, is not immune to the effects of an economy going south. As a not-for-profit they are perhaps a bit more susceptible to the ups and downs of the economy, and a recession hits them especially hard. The President put this up on the website by way of explanation:

A Message from WITF to our Community
From Kathleen Pavelko, President and CEO

I want to tell you about some important and painful steps WITF has taken to respond to the financial and economic crisis that has now spread world-wide. We’ve responded in our programming, through Smart Talk on TV and the new Radio Smart Talk.

But WITF must also respond as a prudently operated non-profit business.

Although WITF’s revenues were “at budget” through the end of September, the situation has changed with startling rapidity. We reviewed our FY09 budget and concluded that we would face a $526,000 deficit by June 30th if we did not take action to protect the programs and services which are our mission and reason for being. Prudent management and meeting our financial obligations requires us to take action, especially when the economic picture is so uncertain.

Therefore, we developed a new FY09 budget with the goals to:
• Keep our programs and services to you foremost in our minds
• Implement the consequences as humanely as possible.

The plan was reviewed and approved by the Executive Committee of the board. That plan includes $526,000 in cuts in operations and personnel expenditures between January 1 and June 30th. The operations cuts were made in training, travel, dues, subscriptions, maintenance, consultants and hospitality. The difficult decisions involved personnel, which could not be avoided with a deficit of this size.

Virtually all overtime has been eliminated and part time positions will be unfilled or eliminated. One full-time position will go to part time, at the employee’s request. Five full-time positions that are currently empty will not be filled.

There will be 5 full-time layoffs, which was the most difficult decision of all because it affects people who are our friends as well as our colleagues. But every person affected will receive a generous severance package and continued health benefits through COBRA. The layoffs will be effective January 1st.

In addition, all WITF staff members will share in the effort to continue our programs and services by the following:

Health care premiums will increase for all staff members by 50%. The impact on staff will vary according to the health plan they select. All non-union staff, including senior staff and the CEO, will take 56 hours of unpaid leave between December 1 and June 30th. By design, the impact of unpaid time will be largest for those at the higher end of the salary scale and smallest for those at the lower end of the salary scale. We are hoping that members of the union will be willing to join their colleagues in making this a shared sacrifice to protect our mission and service to the community.

In addition to this unpaid time off, the senior VPs will accept a 5% reduction in their salaries from January through June. In addition to the unpaid time off, as the CEO, I will take a 10% reduction in my salary in the same period.

WITF has made these decisions with regret but with the certainty that these steps are necessary and in the best interests of our public service. The recession we are experiencing may not end with this fiscal year and further difficulties lie ahead. Therefore, delay or denial of the financial situation is out of the question.

I am deeply grateful to our staff for facing this challenge squarely, and for the personal sacrifice they will be making to protect our programs and services. We are all in this together, which is what will get us through these difficult times and the times to come.

WITF is your public media organization and your place for trusted information and thoughtful discussion. I welcome your comments on this or any other matter related to our service.

I realize there is more the story, but I won't get into all of that here. Suffiece it to say that my thoughts and prayers are with you, my friends.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Team Terri

I have a friend, Terri, who is battling cancer. Somewhere along the line, we ended up encouraging each other through the craziness that a diagnosis brings. I've been looking for and found some inspirational stuff to send her lately, and it occurred to me that she might not be the only person who might enjoy it.

Here's today's offering: What is Your Best?

Yesterday's can be FOUND HERE.

And one of my favorites...


I Have Seen the future...

...and I tremble...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Went for a Walk

Got up early to go out for a walk this morning. Huge pillow-shaped flakes were falling in the light of the streetlamps. It was beautiful.

No bunniez, though. They're waiting for me to start running again, to give me a sporting chance. Or maybe they were camouflaged...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Ankle

Don't misunderstand me. I'm not whining because my ankle hurts. I'm whining because I want to run and bike, and I can't. Which makes me cranky. Very cranky.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Seven Random Things....

There's been a rash of Give Us Random Things About You Tags, so I am just going to get to it before I get tagged. Following here, seven random things about Fish:

1. I actually enjoy daydreaming. There's a side of me that could watch dust motes in sunlight all day. Give me a cup of tea and ray of sunshine, let me blow on a long-forgotten windowsill and you wouldn't see me for the better part of the morning...

2. I like Angry-chick-rock. The angrier the better. Pink, Alannis Morissette,even Carrie Underwood. There's just something fun about a chica who is looking to tear your heart out while singing to you about it. I blame Carly Simon for all of this. You may or may not agree--get your own list.

3. I like watching and studying people. There are two places I excel. One is the bathroom. There is (or should be) a higher set of social mores in place here, and it's often odd to me when people break them. Which stall or urinal to use given a set of parameters (e.g. given three urinals, one of them kid-sized, always go to the outside, normal-adult-sized one first), should you talk or not (please don't, unless you know me, in which case a brief and unenthiusiastic "hi" will be tolerated and returned. A conversation is out of the question, and please don't look at me--eyes STRAIGHT AHEAD), use warm water AND SOAP when you're done (and, it's okay to talk now). Oh, and please, please, please LEAVE THE CELL PHONE OUT OF THE BATHROOM!
Second, I am good at driving and traffic. If you pay attention, you get to know who is going to go where, and why, who is lost, who's a total jerk, and who's just generally clueless. The absolute worst drivers on the road? Moms in minivans...on cell phones. Listen, women can multitask just about anything. My wife can paint her toes, talk on the phone, boot up a computer, balance the checkbook and comb Little Fish's hair at the same time (she would call that a slow morning), but even she acknowledges this is one are women should NOT attempt to multitask.

4. Bad grammar and punctuation bother me. A lot. I make corrections in books. This includes library books. I feel someone else should know how it should have read. I also correct my magazines. Triathlete Magazine has a lot of mistakes. I'm thinking about making corrections and mailing them back to the editors with my business card.

5. Fall is my favorite season. It used to be Spring, but as I get older, I think it's Fall. There is something about when the air turns crisp, the smell of the trees and fireplaces that warms my heart. And, the food of fall is better than Spring. Soup, stew, chili and turkey with stuffing. Just try to top those. See what I mean?

6. I miss my cat, Eddie. He passed away almost a year ago, and I still miss him. It's strange, but he used to sit with me and watch sports (he was a big Philadelphia fan, tolerated the Red Sox and completely disagreed with me about the DH making arguments it was good for baseball), follow me around the house and curl up at my feet at the end of the day. Some days I still look for him. Charlotte and Phineas McLovin are great cats in their way, and I adore them, but they're not my Eddie.

7. I need to update my Life List. I found one I had made a couple of years ago. Somewhere along the lines I accomplished a bunch of them (triathlon, new job, start writing again), and some of the others (own a BMW???) no longer seem important. Weird the perspective time brings, no?

7a. My ankle is still sore and stiff. I am an idjuct. That is all.

So, what's your list?

Saturday, November 15, 2008


I must have rolled it pretty badly, because it is STILL hurting. I went for a run thinking it was feeling better. Oh no, my friends. Not the case at all. So, I'm back to just rolling it and stretching it. Stupid ankles...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

21st Century Koan...

So this guy was arguing with one of his "mates" about whether the he should ride his Look 595 with SRAM Red (a bike that costs more than my first car...and my second...combined) daily. Or, should he not ride it as often to "save" it. Here is my answer:

So, in essence, you're asking me if you should ride a Look 595 as a commuter. Before I (re)found my bicycle, I was hopelessly addicted to flyfishing, poring over information like a Deadhead with the newest edition of High Times. I could not read enough or learn enough. I found an author I really enjoyed, named John Geirach, who wrote extensively about his relationship with his best "mate" A.K. Best.

The thing about flyfishing is that it's not dissimilar to cycling in the amount of time, effort and, yes, money one can drop into it. John one day asked A.K., in effect: "If you couldn't fish with the most finely crafted, tightly honed, perfectly made gear in the world, would you continue to fish?" A.K. said that he would not, then returned the question. John said if it were punishable by death, and all the rods were burned, and barbed wire were strung along the streams, he'd grab a pitchfork and some wire cutters and fish by moonlight. That's kind of where you and CS are.

To your question. Should you be riding a Look 595, fully swept with SRAM and all the requisite "bling" to make it a work of art on your around-the-town commute? Should you respect that work of art, recognizing that its very being should be preserved for the long-term, protecting it from the horrors that can befall it in the outside world?

Or, should you recognize that the function of a bike defines its purpose, and that if you fail to use it for its purpose, you relegate its very soul to a realm of less than what it is, in effect destroying its essence by neutering it?

Is that what you are asking? If so, then the answer is MU!

Monday, November 03, 2008


Pumpkin Chase!
I realized I never posted race results. Little Fish and I ran The Great Pumpkin Chase Mile in 9.45. Less than ten minutes for Little Fish = AWESOME! This was out first official race together and I had a great time.

Little Fish made out like a bandit at the raffle after the race. She won a stuffed pumpkin and a bunch of other stuff. I just waited and waited, then finally got called, scoring the one thing I wanted: and extra Pumpkin Chase Shirt (I think they're nice).

The 'Rents
Went home to see my parents this weekend. I am happy to say Mom is doing well. She just keeps on kicking, which is good.

We were coming out of the restaurant, all five of us, and my mom and dad were holding hands. I thought it was cool that they still do that after more than 40 years together.

Yeah, I am still sick. Ankle is FINALLY starting to feel better, but the cold has kicked up to full strength. Home today with TheraFlu and a warm blanket. Other than that, there's not much to but rest and wait it out. I do feel better than yesterday, which is something.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Little Fish is Such a Nerd

Halloween 2008: Chocolate for the Nerds

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Fat Cyclist

Some of you may read Fat Cyclist, a blog started by an average guy looking to become a little more than average through the joys of cycling. His wife was diagnosed with multiple cancers, and at this point she is in the final stages of brain cancer, as he states in this post: Getting the Ending Right.

As the cancer eats away at her, more quickly now, Elden had A Chance to Talk with his wife when she became, remarkably, lucid. He siezed upon the moment to say all the things he wanted to say to his beloved wife, while she was the person he knew, loved, and adored. And then he offered this...
More important than the talk about our shift in focus — from fighting the cancer in her body to fighting the symptoms coming from the cancer in her brain — I got an opportunity I expect billions and billions of people have wished for: Having thought I had missed my last opportunity to tell Susan all the things I want to, I suddenly had a new opportunity drop into my lap.

A second chance.

And you can bet I did not pass it up.

Susan’s still herself today. She got up with me and helped get the kids ready for school, just like any ordinary day.

But ordinary now feels so amazingly extraordinary.

Now, I don’t consider this a “call to action” blog (though, honestly, could now be any further from its original purpose of being a cycling lifestyle / comedy / weight-loss blog?).

But I’m going to make an exception today. I’m going to tell you to put yourself in my shoes.

Think for a moment about the person you care most about. Now think about what you’d wish you could have said if that person were taken away from you. Now think about how glad you would be if you were given a second chance to say those things.

And then go say them.

I've nothing to add today, save that I love you...

Two Years--It's Official

I got my CT scan results back. Here's what they looked like:

Obviously, you can see from these results that I am CLEAN. Now I start going back one time per year. How will I ever manage the decrease in my barium intake? So, how do I feel?

Sending a mad shout out to my friend Terri BunnyRunner who keeps fighting the good fight!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Little Fish and I are Chasing the Great Pumpkin

A couple of weeks ago, Little Fish and I signed up for The Fifteenth Annual Great Pumpkin Chase, a one-mile fun run. She runs Cross Country with her Fifth Grade team and we signed up through them. This is the very first official race that Little Fish and I are doing together. Right now it's about 50 degrees and raining sideways, but we've been looking forward to it since we signed up. I'm thinking she'll want to go when she rises.

Of course, we signed up before I turned my ankle. But, I have rested, iced and wrapped it for a week, and it feels solid enough to run on, now. The swelling has gone down and the bruising is almost gone, so we'll wrap it tight and see how it goes.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Go Phillies!

Tonight the Phils go against the Tampa Bay (ne' Devil) Rays in Game 1 of the World Series. Go Phillies!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Ankle Still Hurts

So I had to put it on ice at work yesterday. It felt good in the morning (as it does today) but being on my feet had it swelling by the afternoon. Not working out is making me snarky. I guess it's time to do some more upper body and core work, because running and cycling seem to be out for a bit.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Rolled My Ankle

I was running over to a neighbor's house and rolled my ankle. Badly. I've been applying ice and taking ibuprofen all day, trying to keep the swelling down. It hurts. Like, a lot. I've been hobbled, but not by Kathy Bates. It looks like I have a couple of days of not running. Or anything else.

Thankfully, Dr. Little Fish has been taking care of me.


So the Philadelphia Executioner takes down another one. Amazing. Bernard Hopkins, 104years old, beats Kelly Pavlick decisively. I saw the fight and it wasn't even close.

The Phillies are going to the World Series.

The Red Sox are down 3 games to 1 and losing 7-0 in the bottom of the seventh inning. They come back, improbably, to win. The venue shifts to Tropicana Field where the Rays have PWNED my beloved SAWKS all year. The Sox seem not to remember, because they won, again, last night 4-2 to force a deciding, winner-take-all Game 7.

Penn State continues to rise up the national rankings and is now Number 3. They faced Michigan yesterday, by whom they have been thumped for 9 (count 'em) straight games. Nine losses. Zero wins. At halftime, they were losing again. Somebody must have said SOMETHING (and probably quite loudly) to them at halftime, because the team that came out of the locker room played like their hair was on fire, scoring 32 unanswered points. Final score: Meatchicken: 17, PSU: 46. We are Penn State!

So, sports-wise, it's been an awfully good weekend in the Fish house, thus far. GO SAWKS!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Hopkins V. Pavlick

Okay, let me start by saying I am a Bernard "The Executioner" Hopkins fan. He has handled his business with grit and style, and always puts on an amazing fight. That being said, I think he has bitten off more than he can chew in facing the wrecking machine that is Kelly Pavlick. Pavlick is is on a mission to not only become Number One, but to systematically and totally destroy everyone in his path (funny, though, we said the same thing about Joe Calzaghe. Granted, he is moving up in weight to face Hopkins, but I don't see how Bernard, at 41, is going to win, much less keep his string of "never-been-knocked-out" fights intact.

There was an interesting article on Sports Illustrated about the fight. The article says: of three things could happen in another non-title fight [for Pavlick] against a legend who's almost 44 years old: 1) Pavlik loses and becomes a completely unmarketable guy with a belt, 2) Pavlik wins a Calzaghe-like decision which proves that, in his prime, he's still only as good as Bernard, who is past his prime, 3) Pavlik dominates Bernard, which the public will not see as a testimony to how good he is, but rather just as proof that it is definitely time for Bernard to stop boxing.

For the record, I'm picking Pavlick in eight....but I'm cheering for Hopkins.

Monday, October 13, 2008

"So, for whom do you cheer if the Phillies play the Red S...

SHUT UP!!!!!!!! Don't jinx it!!!!!!

As the Irish say, "We'll blow up that bridge when we come to it."

Sunday, October 12, 2008

"That's an Odd Choice"

I have been watching the League Championship Series on the telly and an unfortunate byproduct of such viewing is sitting through commercials. As a former ad-guy, perhaps I cast a more critical eye at the attempts to separate me from my dollars than the average slack-jawed, mouth-breathing American consumer. Perhaps.

One of the commercials that has been sticking me like a trident in my eyes (the third point goes in my mind's eye, stabbing the now-bloodied chakra that used to reside in the middle of my forehead) is the Direct TV ad featuring the little girl from Poltergeist. It's not so much the unimaginative content that gets me as the recurring frequency with which this little girl appears to tell me, "They're back..."

Unfortunately, that tag line is exactly what I don't want to hear, because it seems like every time I look up she's sitting there, in front of the television, right before the ghostly hand reaches out of it (I for one can't wait to watch the World Series with Little Fish--that moment's going to be a peach) and tries to grab little CaroleAnn and bring her into the next life.

So I mentioned the ad to Mrs. Fish. "That's an odd choice," she says.
"I know, she's so annoying," I reply. "And she's on every single commercial break."
"No. I meant because she's dead."
"Yeah, she died shortly after making Poltergeist. I forget what from. Odd that they're using her in a commercial."

DO YOU THINK???? What is wrong with people? Who in the Direct TV marketing department decided THIS is going to be our spokesperson/deliverer of the message? Suddenly the slack-jawed troglodytic masses seem to be on a higher road than I, former-ad-man and guilty-by-association purveyor of totally bizarre choices. I'm so sorry, America, for the thoughtless decisions my brothers and sisters of marketing continue to inflict upon you. If they had bleach for the brain, I'd use it in an attempt to unsee and unlearn what I now know. The commercial has gone beyond annoying.

But wait. There's more. How did CaroleAnn die? For that information, I went to the trusty-rusty Google and clicked on the site for Heather O'Rourke. You may want to stop reading here, because it just gets worse. She died from an obstructed bowel, which, I am certain, is a terrible way to go, and especially so at such a young age. I found out how she left us by clicking on the Heather O'Rourke fan site, one of the odder (read as creepier) sites I have ever visited.

From this site, you can click on Find-A-Grave and find out where Heather is buried (LA, really close to Mel Torme and in the same vault as Truman Capote), see items for bid on e-bay (Heather Rourke's First Barbie ad--Buy It Now for $15.00!), or visit the forum to learn important things that people want to know about her (did she like ABBA? How tall was she?) and do other things like read poems dedicated to Heather. I could go on and on, but really, what could I possibly say that isn't better said better by this...

Saturday, October 11, 2008

I Don't Have Cable

This could be the year. My two favorite teams in baseball are the Phillies and the Red Sox. This could be the year they play each other (I almost don't want to type this) in know what? I'm not going to say it. The Phillies have been on Fox (Phox?)for the National League Championship Series and the Red Sox have been, inexplicably, on TBS for the American League Championship Series. Are you telling me someone decided it would be good for baseball to put the ALCS on a little know channel in the boondocks of cable television?

Let's get this straight. It's not that I can't afford cable, it's just that I think it's stupid to pay for television. The only time I really regret the decision is in July when the Tour de France is on Versus. Until now. I feel like half my dream has been banished to a veritable barbarian hinterland.

Then I remembered that on clear nights, I have been able to get WEEI out of Boston, the voice of Red Sox Nation. No such luck! But, I did find a station out of Chicago, WMVP, which was broadcasting the game as an ESPN affiliate. So I hunkered down next to the radio, grabbed a book and harkened back to a fabulous era of radio and baseball.

When I was a kid, my Uncle Charlie used to listen to every Phillies game on a tiny transistor radio, smoking Pall Mall's in the kitchen while my brother and I shucked corn. It was a fun way to follow a game, drifting lazily in and out of the game (conversely, last night's Dice-K nailbiter did not allow for much drifting) and I was right back there last night. There's a side of me that wishes it were reversed, so I could catch the incomparable Harry Kalas on radio.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Blood Results

My blood is clean -- reports were negative!

I also went for my two-year CT Scan today. I simply love the taste of Barium in the morning. Now they're flavoring it with orange, so it tastes like orange chalk. "I ask you," in the incredulous voice of Lane Meyers, "which is worse? To drink a chalk-flavored drink, or to drink a chalk-flavored drink that is masked with crappy orange flavor to try to make you forget about the chalk-flavored drink?"

Answer: I'm not sure it matters. It's the difference between


Either way, it fails. But (not to mention the DRE), if the worst thing I have to complain about is the horrible taste of barium (and the DRE), I'm still ahead of the game.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


So, I went for a ride on some dirt trails and through a construction area near my house the other day. Dirt is fun. I had forgotten just how much fun dirt can be--switchbacks, ducking branches, single track and ruts, wildflowers, washouts, and PUDDLES!!! So I took a look at dirt-friendly bikes. I think I want one of these....

....anybody have $5Grrrr laying around?

Welcome to SOXTOBER!

I said it before and I'll say it again: Jon Lester PWNS yer FACE!!!!!!

Now, a moment of silence for my beloved Eagles...


I had my two year checkup this week with my urologist. It's hard to believe that I was diagnosed with cancer more than two years ago. So far, everything is great. I also visited the dermatologist last week and he removed two spots and "as a precaution" is getting them biopsied.

If I pass the two year milestone, I get to go down to once a year checkups. The rest of the tests are scheduled for Thursday morning, so I'll probably know where all of this stands next week. They've been slow in the past with tests, so it may be a little longer.

One of the things about testicular cancer is that it is very unlikely to come back. So I have that going for me, which is nice...

A reminder--October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Check 'em out.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Let's face it, animal attacks are fascinating. You may remember my last post related to this subject, a lion attacking a woman. For those of you who have forgotten, you can find that cinematic masterwork by CLICKING HERE. Now, I give you a Great White Shark, attacking a jogger on a beach. Watch at your own discretion....

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Man's Life: Dispatches from Dangerous Places by Mark Jenkins

Some of you may remember my review of Mark Jenkins' The Hard Way, a book I absolutely LOVED! I am happy to report that A Man's Life: Dispatches from Dangerous Places continues those impressions, and that Mark Jenkins is quickly solidifying his place as one of my favorite authors.

Jenkins tells of his adventures on India's Road of Blood, dodging that deadliest of all creatures, Indian drivers. He takes us exploring ice caves in Greenland, and with him on his jaunts into war-torn Afghanistan, along a forgotten trail in the Wakhan, connecting Afghanistan and China. He introduces us to his childhood friends as well as his heroes (remember when we had those?), especially Antoine de Saint-Exupery, he of The Little Prince fame, who also wrote books about his adventures of flying as a pilot in the period surrounding the two World Wars (I've added Wind, Sand and Stars and Flight to Arras to my list, based on Jenkins' recommendation). And, just when you think the man can't sit still, Jenkins goes to a meditation class, and while he fidgets (believe me, I understand) he learns the deeper mystery of being still, especially in one's mind, and that in many ways his adventures have been a form of meditation all along.

The thing I like about Jenkins is he is not a reckless adventurer, like those imbecile numbskulls we see on television who attempt simply stupid tasks for the camera. What emerges from all of Jenkins' writings is his love of the places he visits, and the respect he has for the people he meets (Indian drivers notwithstanding). He learns things from his travels, from the people, and he conveys them in a language that is at once frank yet poetic in its masculinity.

Jenkins' writing reminds me of the desire for adventure that beats in the hearts of all men, in my heart, a desire that cannot be squashed by the 9-to-5 life of cubicle land and the dull, dim glow of fluorescent lights. He tells us to find adventure wherever we are, to seek it out, and that adventure is even better when it's shared with a really good traveling companion. Lastly, we are served the final course, a strong message that our lives here have a finite beginning and end, but that a life lived with adventure, defined by our relationship to the people we meet, is a life well lived.

Last year, I told you to get The Hard Way for the men in your life. This year, get them A Man's Life. And, go make some time to get out...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Little Fish on the RUN!!!!

My daughter, Little Fish, decided that she was going to go out for cross country for the fifth grade squad this year. This is something of a stretch for her, as she is more of the artsy-fartsy, creative-genius-type. I was really glad to hear she was looking into competing in a sport, and cross country, with its penchant for building self-reliance and the ability to build focus seemed like an awesome choice for her.

This weekend was her VERY FIRST RACE--the PAN-RAM Invitational.

We got to the venue at about 8.45 am (for a 10.00 start) and got her squared away with registration. Then we did the official pinning of the number -- GO 90!!!

Typical of cross country events, they also had a walking of the 1.3 mile course so the kids knew where to run. It was a nice course around the CD East ballfields.

Coach B. had the kids stretch out (MY HAMMIES!)...

...and then led them in a little pep talk.

Moments later they lined up on the lawn...

....and BANG! they're off...

Little Fish running the course...

...powering through....

...and FINISHING!!!!

Cool down...

And the obligatory TEAM PIX!

To say that I am proud of my daughter is an understatement. Her first race was a 1.3 miler and she had an (unofficial) time of 13:15. Way to GOOOOOOO Little FISH!!!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Friday, September 12, 2008


When I was a kid, I used to love reading about Big Foot, the Loch Ness Monster and of course the Jersey Devil. Those early fascinations have continued to the present day, and I have added to my list, aliens, Yetis, and the goat-sucking pig-dog of the southwest, the Chupacabra. Well, it seems someone has seen one, and got it on tape. I have to admit, the first time I saw the alleged Chupacabra turn its head, I got a little freaked out...too cool:

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Weird Meeting...

I went to visit a new potential client today. When I told the receptionist who I was, she got a funny look on her face, then said, "Ummmmmmmm, he no longer works here." Then this guy pokes his head out of a back office and comes forward to introduce himself as "Bill" and asks what we're there for.

I tell him and and he says, "Ummmmmmmm, he no longer works here."

Yeah, I kind of got that. So they offer to try to track down the President for me (cool) but no one can find him. Okkkkkaaaaaaayyyyy...So as I'm talking to Bill and the receptionist, this dusty old guy sort of materializes beside me. Like, one second he's not there, then the next second he is there. It was really kind of spooky.

So I introduce myself and my company. Turns out he's "Harry-the-Musty-Controller". I would have guessed disheveled lawn ornament, but okay. "So, what are you guys, like, headhunters," he asks.

I explain that I actually find the jobs for my headhunters to put the people into the positions. "Oh," he replies. I turn to say something to Bill and Harry-the-Crusty-Controller just as quickly disappears. I honestly don't know how big people do that, but when I turned back, there was no sign of him.

The whole thing was odd and would have been uncomfortable had I not been so totally amused by the entire process. I got the impression that my contact had been terminated and it was in a very public, obvious and embarrassing way, so much so that even the secretary knew what was going on. I still wonder what he could have done that was so bad that he got fired, while Harry-the-Dusty-Controller kept his...

Little Fish is on the Run!!!

So, my daughter signed up for Middle School Cross Country. She set her first goal to be able to run around the track twice (half-mile) and today she did it. She was so proud of herself, but not nearly as proud as I was of her. Next weekend she has her first race. Go Little FISH!!!!!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Team Fish 2008!

I wanted to take a moment to thank all of those who made the LiveSTRONG Challenge such a HUGE success this year. Together, we raised over $4,000, part of Philadelphia's nearly $3,000,000 total!

Team Fish or Cut Bait 2009 is:
Mrs. Fish and Little Fish -- I couldn't have done any of this without you! No words can describe riding in and hearing your cheers for me, know we've come two years TOGETHER August 14, 2006. I love you!
Pat Duffield -- Rider! "I'm glad my bruzher Pat is here!"
Kurt Enck -- Rider! Semper Fidelis.
Mike Haws -- Rider! No hills next year!
Matt Purdue -- Missing Wingman. Next year!
Mom and Dad -- I missed you this year, but will be looking for you at the finish line next year. Keep fighting, Mom!
The Schmidts -- Thank you for everything, from Day 1 to this
Anthony Schroder -- For Susan Schroder who was one tough cookie. Thanks for the strength she lent me.
Brad Smith -- Love to you and Y and the family.
John Erno -- A huge thank you, brother.
Amy Beamer -- For Philip Beamer. Thanks for being with me, my friend.
Karen Collum -- Thank you for everything. I rode proudly for Tim.
Mila Burgess -- I was proud to ride for your Dad
Joe Laubach -- Thank you, my friend and brother
Mark Hays -- And Little MAH. Wookie riders rule.
The Weigles -- Thanks for your toughness, and your strength
The Kiehls -- Thanks, C&L. It meant so much to have you with me.
Mary Moscarello -- M&M, of the fighting Moscarellos: you rock!
The Kieffs -- Thank you so much for being part of this with me, from that first day to this one.
Lisa and Joe -- I thought of you more than once out there. Thanks for your strength.
James Newman -- Dude!!! Thanks so much for supporting me...
Elizabeth Schindler -- Thanks so much, volleyball (O Captain, My Captain) girl!
Jenny -- For your brother and for your mom. I would LOVE to have you ride with us next year!
Eric Martin -- I had no quit in me
George and Da Behrs -- I would love to have a Behr to ride with the Fishes next year...
Greg Woods -- For John Woods. Thanks so much, brother.
Leigh Wheeler -- Thanks, Oregon!!! I was proud to have you with me.
Neil Davies -- It was an honor to ride for William Mills
Kathy Carnes -- For Donald, who remains with us in so many ways
Bill Moore -- Phew. That was a close shave. Thanks for your incredible support, and for the squirrel.
Bob Devlin -- Score one for the Old Guys.
Sara and the Maschos -- Not a band. Thank you so much for supporting me once again.
Melody Brown -- For Mickey Davis. I felt his strength and his love of riding out there.
Christopher Bathke -- It was my distinct honor to have you on the team, and to ride for Janice Carter
Aoife and Otto Hammersmith -- I'm still seeing Otto in the mask, chasing me up the hills. Eek!
Kristen Schulltz -- Thank you for your amazing spirit and kindness
Amy Lennon -- Thank you so incredibly much for being part of the team
Lisa Mowery -- If we survived Idearc, I can certainly get through a 100 mile bike ride: Easy-peasy
Brad Morgan -- I'm thinking you need to get your butt on your scooter for next year. Just sayin'...
John "Mahler" Gesselberty -- Mahler's tears cure cancer. Too bad Mahler has never cried.
Terri Doyle -- It was my honor to ride for Christine "Lucy" Rusher, and for you, BUNNY, who continue to be an inspiration and a source of strength to so many, including me. Keep fighting!
Tim Bellows -- For William Owen and William L. Bellows, Jr.
Timothy Bechen -- Thank you so much for supporting me this year
The LOML Marotos -- For Louise Longstreth and for Joe Matthews, and for mouthwateringness everywhere.
James Dunn...It's just a short step from sprint tris to century rides, you know?
Cdaddy Glatz -- For Jay. I thought of him a lot as I rode through the wooded sections, knowing he would have been off-trail in those areas.
Beth Reed -- Thank you so much for supporting me again, my Irish friend.
Janet Lemon -- When life gives you Lemons, make Snapdragens. The world needs more Snapdragens. Thanks for being with us, again.
Julie Keen -- Thank you for kicking me off this year!
Arsiyanti Ardie -- It was so incredible to have Yantilicious on Team Fish. Keep fighting your fight, sister!
Kacy Englebrook -- Thanks for the shaving tips! You soooo need to join us in 2009!
Delfin Hernandez -- thank you so much for your kind support
The Iowa Chapter of Team Fish -- A huge "Thank You, Baby!!!" Granted, it was a close shave in some spots. Your support means the world to me.

It's inevitable that I've forgotten someone. If it's you, PLEASE accept my apologies, then PM me, e-mail me or send a carrier pigeon/letter-bomb to let me know so I can put you up here. Thanks again, Team Fish.

Planning for 2009 has already begun! Wanna fight?

How to Kill Someone With a Carrot

Little Fish is in a movie with her friend...awfully funny, in my opinion.

Busy, Busy, Busy....

Sorry it's been a while, but it's the first weeks of school for (not so) Little Fish as she heads off to fourth grade. I'm not sure when I got so old, only that I am. Here she goes on the first day...

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Pictures from the Event

Gearing's a triathlon habit. Lay everything out so you know what you have and you don't forget anything. Gear it up, then lay it down again. Then gear it up again.

Don't forget your BUTNZ. I got a lot of laughs from the one my friend Dianne gave me for my 40th birthday: "I've Survived Damned Near Everything!"

Welcome to the event....



Team Fish!!!

L-to-R: Rob "FishrCutB8" Duffield, Iron Mike Haws, Kurt "Oorah" Enck (Not pictured: my brother Pat who rode straight to the showers--smart move!) The little moppet in front of us is Mike's son (and my nephew) Nick.

My Number One Fan moves into the you, Little Fish!!!!!