Hey, snoring is the sign of a seasoned journalist

What may appear as sleeping to the untrained eye is actually the complex routine of a seasoned journalist focused on a Pulitzer … or possibly a Putziler.

Some of you may recognize the photo, which is from my About page. The truth is, every journalist has a routine. For example, I always write my column early in the morning.

The earlier the better.

That’s because, generally speaking, I’m not awake yet. Sure, I may be drinking coffee and typing, but if you were to monitor my brain activity, it would register somewhere between an earthworm and the average American watching The Bachelorette (and sadly, I am an average American). Admittedly, my brain doesn’t open for business until about 10 a.m. By then, I’ve been at the keyboard for three or four hours with no real memory of what I’ve been writing.

I assure my editor this unique quirk is the sign of a seasoned professional. And she assures me the reason we need to keep replacing my keyboard is because, at least once a month, she finds me face down drooling on the return key. That may be true, but I tend to do my best work under pressure. And there’s nothing like the pressure of trying to finish a column before saliva short-circuits your keyboard. Continue reading

This is what it looks like when bikers and flowers collide

image For three days each year, our little coastal town of 7,000 welcomes about 500 bikers and another 15,000 visitors to get crazy and celebrate… A flower.

A rhododendron, to be exact.

No one knows why.

But it’s been going on for 108 years and, for those three days, our town becomes an unlikely concotion of flower enthusiasts, Free Souls bikers and tourists all co-mingling over beers aand bacon-wrapped hot dogs. Think of it as “Sturgis meets Mardi Gras,” with a little Rose Festival thrown in. Personally, I think the bacon-wrapped hot dog is reason enough to celebrate, so I’m not going to suggest ending the festival anytime soon.

If you read Friday’s post, you know the festival kicks off with the arrival of the carnival — something that is always a bitter-sweet reminder of the loss of my best friend to cancer several years ago. As much as the festival reminds me of that loss, I also remember how much Jason loved this weekend each year, and some of the crazy things we did. Usually after a few beers.

Like when we dressed up as bikers and hung out with them at The Beachcomber. Continue reading

It might be time to take a stand on sitting

image You may want to stand up before reading this. That’s because, according to a recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, sitting increases your chances of premature death. And no, I’m not talking about accidentally sitting on a rattlesnake or Christian Bale’s car hood. I’m talking about the normal, everyday kind of sitting we all do — at work, in the car, at the end of a long day, while playing basketball — that a group of Toronto researchers says increases our chance of health “issues” that can lead to death.

I’m no doctor, but even I know death is a pretty serious health issue.

The report was based on analysis of 47 studies of sedentary behavior, particularly the act of sitting. “Our modern world is constructed to keep people sitting down — and it’s literally killing us,” said one researcher who now travels long distance only by Segway. “I used to take the metro but people kept offering me a seat. I think they were trying to kill me.” Continue reading