Thursday, November 20, 2008

How Not to Advance One's Career

Sitting at my desk at the end of the day, I get a phone call from someone I used to work with, a semi-friend, who's now in a different department at my agency. A former boss of ours has an extra ticket to Saturday's FSU-Maryland football game -- the semi-friend knows I went to FSU law, and asks on the ex-boss' behalf if I'm interested. I immediately answer no, not because I wouldn't want to go, but because I leave town that morning for Thanksgiving in Florida with my family. Ah well, that's how it goes sometimes.

Half an hour later, I reflect on the conversation, and start laughing, realizing only then that I turned down a chance to sit for more than three hours, one-on-one, with one of the people whose name is being bandied about to head my agency.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Facebook is Evil

But I bet you already knew that.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

In the Presence of Genius

It's not every day that one finds one's self in the presence of genius, but I was on Friday, at my daughter's birthday celebration (I find it hard to call it a party when the attendees are five adults and two children, including the honoree). You see, when our friend Anna was served her cupcake, she ripped off the bottom half of the cupcake and put it on top of the frosting, in essence creating a frosting sandwich. She said the idea just came to her right then. To be witness to that spark of genius was an experience that only slightly surpassed the bliss of eating a cupcake in that fashion. Indeed, I plan never to eat a cupcake any other way ever again.

And how did I repay her brilliance? By having this exchange with her on Monday morning while I was walking the dogs and she was starting her walk to work, when she was only half awake.

"I realize that I should have carved my Halloween pumpkin into an ox."
"Why, is it something to do with a beer?"
"No, it's because that way my gourd can be an ox."

I fear that genius will never set foot in my house again.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Mugging Belated Update

My last post on the mugging was a couple of months ago, and I apologize for not keeping folks up to date on that front. The trial was scheduled for Thursday, October 2, and in the days leading up to it, I was very stressed. I worried that I would somehow screw up my testimony in a way that would let the actual assailants go free. On the Tuesday before the trial was to begin, I got a message informing me that the defendants pled guilty, meaning that there would be no trial. I was a bit surprised, but that surprise quickly turned to relief that I wouldn't have to testify. My anxiety level subsided immediately, and I've been a much more relaxed individual ever since.

In talking to the U.S. Attorney the following day, I learned that the church that was catty-corner from where the attack took place had a surveillance camera. It panned the area, so that it showed the initial bicycle incident, me talking with the attackers, and me getting up from the attack. So while it didn't have the actual attack, it served to help identify my attackers. So my concern over being unable to identify my attackers with sufficient certainty was for nothing.

Sentencing is scheduled for November 24, and the U.S. Attorney indicated that she expects sentences of roughly 2 years, where the maximum sentence is 3 years. The two defendants are 19, and have no adult criminal records.

As far as the aftermath, my health is pretty good, but not perfect. The feeling has not wholly returned in my teeth, and consequently, I expect I'll have a permanent loss of feeling in the three fron teeth on the upper left side (I put it at roughly 30% loss). While I'd have been happier with a complete recovery, all things considered, I really don't have any complaints. As I've posted before, it could have been much worse.

This was the year I left Blue Cross for a High Deductible Plan, so in that sense my timing couldn't have been worse, as all the medical bills are going to a high deductible. That being said, I'm eligible for a victims' restitution fund, so once the bills are all squared away (that's something still going on), I will be filing with the fund, and hopefully will be compensated for most if not all of my out-of-pocket expenses.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Another Year Has Flashed By

Yep, Emelia is two. So without further ado, here are some recent photos of her.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Just, wow. I'm a white male, and this isn't supposed to be my victory. I'm a liberal, and despite the McCain campaign's attempt to label Obama as a socialist, he's a centrist, not a progressive. But somehow his election mattered to me anyhow.

With Bush so unpopular and the economy so bad, given Obama's once-in-a-generation oratorical skill, and the most organized campaign I've ever witnessed, it should have been a walkover. But despite such advantages, and while the outcome seemed inevitable as poll after poll put Obama squarely ahead of McCain, it still was remarkably close. The anxiety over the possibility of a stolen election has faded to dust, and I am so amazingly relieved. And I find myself so incredibly moved by this outcome.

We will soon have a sane president again, after eight years of insanity.