Friendly health tip for the guy at Fred Meyer

As a journalist, I’m trained to notice even the most subtle sign that something is out of the ordinary.

An awkward glance.
A hesitant word.
A 65-year-old man reading Cosmopolitan…


To the man I saw reading this magazine while getting his blood pressure checked at Fred Meyer: I’m no doctor, but it’s possible your elevated blood pressure reading probably has nothing to do with that extra piece of bacon you ate this morning…

Out of sheer frustration, I made a meme

I don’t know why, but this always chaps me: Carts left within arm’s reach of the corral. Parked 100 yards away and it’s too far to walk? I get that. Or maybe you’re an old smoker and you only have so much air left in your oxygen tank? I understand. Or possibly you’re meeting your wife at home and don’t want to waste a single second because the kids are gone until tomorrow, and walking an extra 50 feet could mean the difference between another round of “naughty airport security pat-down” or the sound of teenagers whining about dinner?

I totally understand.

But this… THIS!

You’re so close! Why not go the extra mile?

So when I saw this in the parking lot yesterday, I had to work through it by taking a photo and dealing with it in my own way…


My rant is now officially over. Thank you for listening. And if this was you, let’s give another 10 percent and actually get that cart into the corral next time, huh? Because you’ll be the first one whining when your car gets dinged by a runaway cart.

Or runaway humor columnist…

Investigative journalism in action…

Only the trained eye of a journalist, or average five-year-old, could recognize this is a freshly painted street. It's what we do.
Only the trained eye of a journalist, or average five-year-old, could recognize this is a freshly painted street. It’s what we do.
They say the news never sleeps. At least, not while an editor is watching. As a journalist, I have a trained eye for recognizing even the most subtle signs of a brewing news story. Even if it has nothing to do with coffee.

A reluctant glance.

A quickly hidden document.

A misspoken word.

This morning as I entered the office parking lot, my investigative journalism instincts led me to suspected the city had secretly re-striped the street behind our office. How do I know this? It’s just something you feel in your gut. I can’t explain how or why. I just know I trust it. Unless it’s lunch time…

I’ve never, ever had too much coffee. Until now.

I hope to blink soon.
I hope to blink soon.
Not until settling into my spot here at the library, for what I hope is the last day of manuscript revisions, did I begin to suspect I may have had too much coffee this morning. My first clue was a remark from someone I was chatting with who, in mid-sentance, suddenly remarked: “Did you know you never blink?”

I laughed. “Of course I do. I’m blinking right now.”

“Um, no. You’re not. Seriously — can you blink?”

The problem began last night, when I stayed up until midnight working on the final draft, then was up again this morning at 5 a.m. for a walk with my wife. We drank coffee together at a small diner along the way, then came home to more coffee. Then another cup during my Thursday morning visit with my Mom — followed by a trip to the drive-thru at Dutch Bros for a large Carmelizer before arriving at the library. Continue reading I’ve never, ever had too much coffee. Until now.

From across the table…

Just to prove that I am actually at the library working on the final draft of my manuscript, and not sitting at the Beachcomber with a bottle of Dos Eques and a basket of hot wings, this is my current view from across the small table I am now sharing.


For some reason, I’m really craving some chicken fingers right now…

I was picked first! …for jury duty

image I just reported for jury duty a few minutes ago. My third time in two years. When I handed in my juror sheet to the registration desk, the women looked it over.

“Where did you park? We have free parking across the street.”

“I stole a car,” I replied.

“You know,” she said after giving me a long look, “if I had the power, I would totally excuse you.”

Did I miss a meeting?

Today, while conducting maintenance and inventory at our fire station, we discovered that the old “sleepers” quarters above the engine bay had been left unlocked. The room is always padlocked, so it has remained something of a mystery to our crew — until now.

Along with emergency supplies, water bottles, a dozen empty 55 gallon drums, dried food and bags of vegetable seeds, we found this:


It’s from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and labeled:

Oregon Emergency Management Services: Zombie Pandemic Preparedness

Um… did I miss a meeting?

Playing with fire

Our Operations Chief does a size-up as the fire breaches the roof.
Our Operations Chief does a size-up as the fire breaches the roof.
It was a beautiful evening for a fire. The kind when smoke builds and billows, rising straight up before expanding outward like a sound wave. The wind, which usually kicks up and carries the sound and salt of the sea this time of day, was calm. Almost as if it had settled in order to witness the spectacle of Man versus Fire. Continue reading Playing with fire

Higher standards for being a carnie

imageWhile walking through the carnival today, I saw this “help wanted” sign posted in the elephant ear booth. The sign makes it clear that the standards for this position are high. But don’t worry. For those with a blood alcohol above .30, there’s always The Scrambler or Squirrel Cages operator position.