Reporting, Recording and Relaying - But Always Telling It As I See It

Monday, March 21, 2011

Support Our Disabled Veterans

Sitting on the couch in the lobby of my San Diego hotel, the young men looked like any other group of friends. They were laughing, talking and swearing. Some had their wives or girlfriends. A couple of small children rested in strollers.

But as I walked closer, on my way to have coffee, I saw a wheelchair and a walker. I saw scarred faces. One young man stood up on his two prosthetic legs and stretched his two prosthetic arms. Yet, they were laughing, talking and swearing.

I was in San Diego for a meeting, and pissed that the weather was not cooperating. They were here to receive Segways as part of the SEGSFORVETS program to provide this nimble personal transportation vehicle to Veterans who were disabled as a result of their duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Outside the hotel, a hulking Army Vet walked up to me with a cane. He looked about twenty-five and fully capable of kicking someone’s ass.

“This weather doesn’t bother me,” he said as he lit a cigarette, “I’m from Milwaukee.”

“What are you in town for?” I asked, though I already knew.


I asked him what happened and he told me that in December of 2005 he was hit with an IED south of Kirkuk, Iraq. His femur was shattered and they had to remove his large intestine. He spent two YEARS in Walter Reed Medical Center recovering. Much of that, I would assume, was to put his legs back together which were puffy and scarred with hundreds of lacerations, surely from the blast.

“Hey,” he stated flatly, “You win some, you lose some.”

Actually, he won and lost. He lost a hell of a lot…more than can be stated. He will win because he has the courage, fortitude and balls to have taken the worst the world can throw at him and plow ahead with conviction and bravery.

I shook his hand, thanked him for his service and wished him good luck. The price these men and women pay is not just on TV.

(There are lots of charities out there, I suggest They raise money, they buy Segways, they give them to Veterans who need them.)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Dave Has New Shoes - Reluctantly

As much as I willed the hole on the bottom (the sole?) of my shoe to self-seal through some sort of Vulcan mind trick, I knew a trip to the shoe store was inevitable. This filled me with dread in the same way, “Mr. President, Representative Boehner is on the phone,” probably fills Obama with dread.

There are few things I try to avoid as much as shopping. In fact, I don’t even view it as shopping. I view it as replacing - and replacing is usually a pain in the ass. To illustrate this, take the brakes on your car. You don’t “shop” for brakes, you “replace” brakes. And you only replace them when they go bad.

This view is diametrically opposed to that of my wife, who would have viewed this an a tremendous opportunity to not only “replace” the worn out shoes, but to add several additional pair of shoes to her Imelda Marco like collection.

Such it was that I found myself in the local shoe store. Since I “replace” and do not “shop” I walked briskly to the slip-on, black shoes that in my opinion go with everything I own. (This, so far, does not apply to shorts.) To further reduce my exposure to retail environs, I was at a self-service store. No waiting around with one shoe off while a clerk checks in back for your size. The down side to this is that you miss the opportunity to goof around with the foot measuring device while waiting for your shoes. And that foot measuring device is one complicated looking piece of equipment. It seems to have an inordinate amount of numbers and lines on it for such a simple task. It does look as if you could calculate the rate of fuel burn off for the space shuttle.

Just as I was getting frustrated looking over the vast number of choices (three), my neighbor strolled up with her two girls. She said they were “shopping” for “spring shoes.” At which point I said, “What the hell are spring shoes?” It was a women thing, I assume. My wife would have understood.

I made my decision based on one pair having something called “comfort gel for shock absorption.” This sounded really cool, like shoe Viagra. The little insert in the heel was even blue like Viagra. I really don’t see needing shock absorption, but who can say? Before I walked in there, I didn’t know there was such a thing as spring shoes.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Cosmos - I Don't Drink 'Em, But I Do Read 'Em.

In the April, 2011 issue of Cosmopolitan Magazine (“Cosmopolitan” is French for, “articles about things that will never happen to a guy”) there is a feature on the cover that caught my attention; “50 Ways to Seduce a Man (In a Minute or Less).” That title gives men too much credit since “hello” suffices.

Either way, I thought for sure the first one would be, “Honey, do you mind if I bring some of my girlfriends over so we can watch porn with you?” It was not. The ideas were, however, just as improbable. For instance, Patricia Taylor, (who has a PhD and contributes ten of the fifty suggestions) recommends “while you are out shopping together, graze your butt past his package indiscreetly but very purposefully.” The biggest problem with this isn’t the rubbing of a package, its assuming a universal truth about relationships doesn’t exist. That truth is that men and women abhor shopping together.

My wife and I don’t avoid shopping together because we don’t get along; we avoid shopping together because we know precisely HOW to get along. Shopping together usually (almost always) means that she shops while I stand around until she takes pity on me and we leave. If she is lucky, she can direct me to a bar and plop me on a barstool where I can remain contented for hours. There may not be a lot of rubbing packages, but there is a lot of me holding packages,

Even though great ideas abound in the article like “take an ice cube from his drink and slip it down your blouse, then ask him to find it,” make for good copy, they really don’t translate well into the real world. That usually translates into, “shit, I dropped that ice cube!”

So if, per chance, my wife rubbed against me while we were (or more likely weren’t) shopping, I would say, “whoops, let me get out of your way.” And let’s face it guys, “whoops, let me get out of your way” is the real key to happiness, which can lead to, “hello,” at which point, we are seduced.