Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Kathy Griffin and My Dilemma.

Just when I thought there was literally no form of Trump bashing that was unacceptable in America, a Hollywood D-lister comes along and proves me wrong. Thanks to Kathy Griffin, I now know that holding up a bloody, beheaded image of someone who is a dead ringer for the President, is beyond the pale. I mean sure...there was that Bush head on a spike image in Game of Thrones a few years back, but that was clearly an artsy thing, and it was George W. Bush for crying out loud. This severed, beheaded Trump thing was different. It looked an awful lot like something ISIS would have produced, only with better lighting. Nevertheless, the reaction was swift and bipartisan, conservatives and liberals, united in their disdain for Griffin's gag. Good.

I will now attempt to give voice to a nagging concern I have about the current state of American politics. It's an observation that has been slow to develope, but over time has picked up steam up there in the vast empty spaces of my gray matter. Here goes:

I take a back seat to no one  when it comes to my frustration with the Vaudvillian dumpster fire that is the Trump presidency. I have written of my views of the man many times in this space. I take back none of it. But, most of you also know of my other bedrock political belief, which is a congenital distrust of establishment politicians. I believe that in America there exists a permanent class of oligarchs, a bipartisan gang of apparatchiks who have been made rich by government, and who have a vested interest in keeping and hoarding all the status in status quo. Who are some examples of these people? In no particular order...Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, John McCain, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Lindsey Graham, Diane Feinstein, Chuck Grassley, Dick Durbin. Everyone of these people, and others like them, are united by one thing...their white hot hatred of Donald Trump. This is the seed of the idea that is troubling me. As much of an unstable, embarrassment as Trump can be, he sure has all of the right enemies. Sure, it might be the broken clock theory at work matter how moronic someone might be, the law of averages says that at some point they will be right about something, after all, a broken clock is still right twice a day. I sure hope that's what it is. Otherwise, I am faced with the possibility that what unites all of these establishment gadflies is their fear that Trump is a threat to their privilege and power. Who is this unrefined outsider who thinks he can waltz in here and bust up our racket?? So, I've got to decide which is worse, having a tweeting, vulgar, narcissist in the White House, or perpetuating an oligharchy which has enriched itself lustily at the public trough while wracking up 20 trillion dollars worth of debt for the rest of us to deal with? Is the enemy of my enemy really my friend?

Of course, a third option is out there on the far edge of the table...the blood-sucking, establishmentarians and Donald Trump are equal disasters. In which case, we're screwed..and will the last person in Washington please turn out the lights on your way out?

Monday, May 29, 2017

A Fallen Star

This is a difficult image. It's hard for me to look at full on, eye to eye. And I'm not even a Tiger Woods fan.

When this story broke earlier today, I wasn't surprised. After all, Mr. Woods has been on a slow fade into oblivion since his spaceship of a life came crashing down to earth nine years ago, that fateful night in Florida, his crumbling body surpassed only by his crumbling reputation. Still, this picture still shocks.

In his prime, I didn't care for him. He was just too good. Funny how that happens in sports. We say  that we want excellence in our athletes, but what we mean is occasional excellence...not too much. The very best are always hated by at least as many people as love them. Tom Brady, Lebron James, Barry Bonds, Tiger Woods. Everyone of them has a legion of haters out there gleefully cheering every mistake, denigrating every accomplishment. Today, Google any story about this DUI arrest and you will see a comment section dominated by people positively giddy at his latest humiliation. But, when I read the story and then look into the eyes of this once great athlete, I am overcome by sadness.

Yes, yes...I know. Tiger Woods made a fortune selling a lie to the world. He carefully crafted a wholesome, family man image that allowed him to sell us everything from wristwatches to Buicks. His was the story of prodigy made good through tenacious competitiveness and a work ethic forged into his DNA by his USArmy officer father. Here was natural talent wed to hard work. How could he not be great? But, there was always around Tiger Woods an air of arrogance, an off putting cockiness vibe. It's why I always rooted for whoever he was paired with on Sunday. That was actually the only time I bothered to watch golf on see Tiger get beat. I wasn't alone. There were millions of us, and without Tiger those millions of eyeballs are watching something else on Sundays.

But even I had to admit that I had never seen anything like him before. I'm old enough to remember watching Jack play. He was great. I never watched Arnie, my favorite golfer, when he was in his prime. I saw a little of Gary Player, a lot of Tom Watson and Seve Ballesteros. They were all great. But none of them were Tiger woods great. Nobody hit the kinds of shots that Tiger hit. Nobody made as many clutch putts as Tiger Woods made. He was a phenomenon.

And now, it is all in pieces, his life seemingly ground into a fine dust, and his fall from grace has been as deep as his ascent had been steep. The four back surgeries have taken his game away, and his reckless personal behavior has destroyed his marriage. Now, his deshelved hair, unkempt beard and bulging, bloodshot eyes are plastered across every computer and television screen the world over, his epic disintegration laid bare.

I cannot take any pleasure from such a sight. I will not rejoice in such a thing. I can only pray that God will place someone in the man's life who can help him recover, help him pull himself out of the mire.

I am now a Tiger Woods fan.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Eternal Search

I've just spent the last hour and a half doing the same thing I do every year about this time. As soon as  the Memorial Day weekend comes around, something draws me to my computer, where I find myself Googling Mid-Coast Maine lake houses. I blame my wife. If I had never met her I would have had no reason to ever set foot in Maine. I could have avoided this obsessive compulsion to be there when warm weather arrives.

A couple of years ago I made the decision that buying a lake house in Maine was a stupid idea. Even if we lived there all summer, (which we would), it would still be a stupid idea because my kids and my future grandkids wouldn't be able to afford flying up every summer. They wouldn't be in a position to visit for a month at a time, like they do in the fevered dreams of my imagination. No, we decided that renting a place for a month every summer was a better plan. Last year it was a beautiful house on Hobbs Pond, this year it will be an even more beautiful place on Quantabacook Lake. And yet, every year, I search the listings. Maybe I'll find the place that has my name on it, the place that I can pass on to my family when I die. Every year, they will all gather there for a couple of weeks in the summer and sit around the fire at night telling stories about me. In this way, I will live on, never leaving their hearts and minds. It would be the Dunnevant family compound and we would all vote on an awesome name for the place. The Bush's have the Bush Compound in Kennebunkport with 24/7 secret service protection. We would have the Dunnevant Compound on Megunticook with major plumbing headaches and a really annoying caretaker. But would be ours.

But, it's just too far away. The trip from here to there is too long, hard and dangerous.

So, we rent a place every summer, which belongs to someone else, and is full of their memories. We Dunnevantize the place for a month and pretend that it's ours, and it actually works quite well. Then Memorial Day comes and I type in Mid-Coast Maine lake houses, obeying some primal urge within my heart which will not be denied.'s one, three bedrooms, two baths, on Frye Island in the middle of Sebago Lake accessible only by absolute steal at $475,000.


Friday, May 26, 2017

The Montana Special Election

Three quick observations about the special election in Montana last night:

1. Whenever the Democrats get around to actually winning one of these special elections, that will be the one which actually will be a referendum on Trump.

2. To all these Democrats complaining about the fact that 35% of the votes cast were early votes which couldn't be's a novel about we set up one day where everyone gets to vote, just one day. We can call it Election Day.

3. Republican candidate Greg Gianforte might be the first politician in history who when he says, I'll fight for you, actually means it literally.

I love reading all of the reaction to the body-slamming tango between Gianforte and the reporter. Many Republicans were reserving judgement pending a full accounting of the facts of the case, like what was said prior to the assault. Seriously? Does this mean that if the reporter actually said something really mean and nasty, it would make the assault by Gianforte...ok??

Reporter: Mr. Gianforte, I gotta say man...I think you are the sorriest excuse for a human being I've run across in my entire career covering politics. Think about that for a minute, dude. I cover politicians, and you, my friend are the lowest of that life form! Oh, and your wife is ugly and she smells like mothballs.

Oh, well sure. That explains it!! Damn reporter had it coming.

Full stop, people. I can't believe I'm actually writing this...but there is no circumstance on this planet that would justify any politician physically assaulting a reporter, no matter how obnoxious and moronic the reporter might be. This is non-negotiable. Part of the job of our worthless public officials is to subject themselves to obnoxious questions from the press. There's even something in that Bill of Rights thing about this, you can look it up. Beating reporters up isn't part of the process. I mean, it's perfectly fine to make them look stupid by exposing their biases, but not ok to like...choke them. Belittle them for their laziness and water carrying reliance on Democratic Party talking points? Absolutely. Punch them in the face? No.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Joe's Ice Cream. A Modern Fable.

Bob walks into his favorite ice cream store. The owner of the ice cream store, Joe, is behind the counter:

Bob: What's up, Joe?

Joe: Busy as a one-armed paper hanger, Bob. How's the family?

Bob: Couldn't be better. I'll take my usual.

Joe: Ok, so...I'm afraid I can't do that.

Bob: Wait, don't tell me you're out of macadamia nut truffle!!

Joe: No, not exactly. I've got plenty. It's just that you can't have that flavor anymore.

Bob: But...I love macadamia nut truffle.

Joe: Yeah, I know. You've been coming in my shop twice a week buying macadamia nut truffle for the past twenty years now, and, don't get me wrong, I really appreciate your business, but can't have that flavor anymore.

Bob: What do you mean, I can't have my favorite ice cream in the world?? Who died and put you in charge?

Joe: It's not me Bob, if it was up to me I'd sell you a gallon of the stuff. It's this new regulation from the Department of Health. Starting today, I can't serve macadamia nut truffle ice cream to anyone who has bought it for the last twenty years. Something about it being bad for your blood pressure or blood sugar, I forget which. Yeah, more macadamia nut truffle. But, you are allowed to buy anything in this freezer over here.

Bob: But, this freezer only has vanilla, chocolate and strawberry.

Joe:'s called "neapolitan."

Bob: I know what it's called, Joe!! I don't want "Neapolitan" I want macadamia nut truffle!

Joe: I'd love to help you Bob, but they'll shut me down if I sell you what you want. This is the law now, so if you want to get your ice cream from me, it has to be Neapolitan or nothing.

Bob: You're not the only ice cream store in town, Joe. I could always head over to The Creamery Crock down the street.

Joe: True. But they can't sell you any macadamia nut truffle either. Same regulation applies to them too. Were all the same now.

Bob: I can't believe this is happening.

Joe: Me neither.

Bob: Ok, well I guess I'll take a double scoop of this Neapolitan on a sugar cone, then.

Joe: Coming right up.

Bob: This is ridiculous...

Joe: Ok...that will be $7.37.

Bob: What?? You doubled the price??

Joe: I didn't double the price. This new regulation doubled my expenses. I had to buy a special new freezer, special new ergonomic scoops, and a couple new computer programs to handle the reporting requirements of the new regulation. That stuff adds up, man. I'm obsorbing some of the extra costs, but I'm forced to pass on some of them to you.

Bob: So, let me get this straight. All of a sudden, somebody at the Health Department decides that they know what kind of ice cream is right for me, takes away the ice cream that I love, then charges me twice as much for ice cream that I don't even want???

Joe: Sounds worse when you say it. But yeah, that's about the size of it.

Bob: You know what? I've got half a mind to just start making my own ice home...with one of those hand crank things.

Joe: I'm afraid that's the whole idea. The Health Department folks don't think much of the ice cream business, you know...all those calories, all that sugar. But, they can't just shut us all down. So they're doing the next best thing...driving us out of business little by little.

Bob: But, they know best, right?

Joe: That's what I'm told.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

A Good Boy.

I have one son, and tomorrow is his birthday. He will be 28 years old. I can hardly believe it. Many of you have never met him and only know him as the guy who argues with his Dad a lot on Facebook. Others reading this have known him since he was a baby. He's quite a kid, this son of mine. And incidentally, my daughter argues with me just as much as her brother does...just not on Facebook as much!

I hesitate calling him a good boy, since that makes him sound like a middle schooler. He's a grown man, I hate to admit, since that makes me kinda old. But the fact of the matter is, he is a good boy. He's whip smart, talented and funny. He has a good heart, a pure heart, in that there's lots of room in there for his fellow man. Four years ago when he was still in graduate school, on his 24th birthday, I wrote this...

The thing I’m most proud of in my boy is his ability to think for himself. Patrick will never be bullied into group-think. He thinks things through and comes to his own conclusions about difficult problems. He doesn’t believe a certain way just because his father does. He thinks. He researches things, listens to others and makes his own informed judgment. Sometimes we agree, sometimes we don’t, but I’m always proud of how he arrives at his views, through careful thought, without lazy reliance on  dogma. When his views aren’t popular, he has the courage to defend them. A father can’t ask for much more than that.

Yes, my son and I often disagree on issues great and small, especially, on Facebook. But whenever we go at it I am reminded that he learned his argumentative style from his father, so I suppose I should take it as a compliment. 

I'm very proud of my son. He's working his tail off in a city with a different time zone than mine. He has two jobs and is constantly taking on song writing and arranging assignments, all the while spending as much of his spare time as possible in volunteer music projects all over Nashville. Whenever we travel there his friends speak so fondly of him, clear confirmation to his parents that it's not just us, other people see it too. 

My son is a good boy.

A Day In The Life

Yesterday was one of those bad days right out of central casting, complete with rain and dark, low clouds. It was the sort of day one often experiences immediately after a trip away. The awfulness of this particular day centered around three things, giving it a weirdly organized morning, noon and night theme. So, if you were going to write about such a day, it would be rather easy to gather your thoughts. Here goes...

First of all, I have recently come to grips with all of the government mandated changes sweeping over my profession. With the help of my wife I have made peace with it, accepted it's inevitability, and attempted to move on with life. Despite this new acceptance, yesterday brought new revelations that make compliance even more difficult. Just when I thought I had reached the top of the bell curve of understanding, I find myself once again...scrambling up the edges of the thing. Now, a new strategy must be employed, a new, more logical explanation found to use when presenting this new reality to my clients. Yesterday was a jarring one. It felt like a setback to me. Most of my afternoon was spent dealing with this new information, trying to make sense of it. The time got away from me. Suddenly, I looked up and it was 5:00 and time to attend a memorial gathering at a friend's house who had recently lost his wife to cancer. I walked to my car in the parking lot through a misty rain.

My friend is my age. We are two months apart. His wife was Pam's age...and he had spent the past six months or so watching her die. As I drove out to their house I wondered how he would be holding up. He was struggling. He had aged since last I saw him. Who wouldn't have? He loved her in the same way that I try to love Pam, with absolute devotion and honor. Her loss seems to have cast him adrift. In other words, he looks exactly like I would look if I lost Pam. Nobody knows what to say at times like this. I certainly didn't. I mumbled something stupid and empty. He talked about her, struggling to keep his composure. Then, he leaned in close to me and whispered, "Die first..." The drive home was somber. The rain had picked up.

After sleep-walking through dinner, I settled into my library recliner and opened up my iPad. There on Facebook, my newsfeed was dominated by some guy I vaguely remember from years ago at Grove. He was a singer. Not a member of the church, but connected to it somehow. The guy had an incredible voice, and for some inexplicable reason had found his way onto my Facebook friends list. And now, after a very long and bruising day, this thirty-something year old man with a beautiful wife and a couple of kids had decided to announce to the world that he was gay....on Facebook. It was quite the spectacle, an Olympian effort of self pity. Since I came out earlier today, I've lost 134 friends on Facebook. What does that tell you, he pleaded at one point. Well, since he has over 4000 such Facebook friends, it tells me that he lost 3% of them. Not bad, actually. Then, the church where he is employed apparently informed him that he wouldn't be able to sing there any longer. His response was a drama-filled, I would cry but I'm all out of tears.

I read his posts and then scanned through the hundreds of responses. They had the effect of putting me a trance, unable to comprehend what kind of thought process was at play in his mind to lead him to think that coming out on Facebook was a good idea. Although I felt bad for him as a human being, I couldn't help but wonder what kind of day his wife and children were having. I wondered if they were out of tears too?

It was the perfect ending to a perfectly horrible day, a day that felt like something was crumbling around me.

But, today is a new day, and it owes yesterday nothing. On this day, I will move the ball down the field a few feet while grappling with change. My friend will wake up in the house that he and his wife built, without her in it. There will be a gaping hole in his heart where she used to be, but he will put one foot in front of the other and carry on. And my Facebook friend who can't quite decide if he's gay or merely bi-sexual, will, no doubt, be over-sharing his plight on social media.

This is what my world looks like today, May 24, in the year of our Lord, 2017.

Monday, May 22, 2017

All I Have Needed...

Great weekend. The Portara concert was wonderful. Everything went off without a hitch. So, today we make the 600 mile drive back home, back to our life in Short Pump.

The strangest thing happened to me in church yesterday. Patrick is a paid section leader in the choir at West End United Methodist church in Nashville. It meets in one of those old, stately buildings that feature grand stained glass windows and giant stone archways. There's that smell of furniture polish and musty carpeting so familiar to me from my childhood. The service at West End is highly liturgical, and the pulpit is hovered over by an imposing pipe organ, the kind that you feel in your chest at times. Towards the end of the service, the organ began blasting out the notes of Great is Thy Faithfulness, as the recessional. The congregation was invited to sing...all three verses.

...there is no shadow of turning with thee...

Music has a tendency, like smells, to evoke memories. As the words of this old hymn began ringing out in the great hall, a flood of them came to me...the musty taste of stale sugar cookies and kool-aid in cinderblock rooms during vacation bible school, the clink-clank of silverwear in the fellowship hall  while standing in line at a covered-dish supper.

...thou changeth not, thy compassions they fail not...

It had been so long since I had heard a crowd of people inside a church singing this old song from full-throated memory. It occurred to me that it had been one of mother's favorites. We kids would frequently hear her singing it while she did the dishes or ironed our shirts. thou hath been, thou forever wilt be...

I began to feel a sense of great loss for some reason. The memories stirred to life by this hymn felt ancient, yet stillborn. They came from a place I can never again go, a time that only occasionally comes to life in a photograph or in the lyric of a song.

...Great is thy faithfulness, Great is thy faithfulness. Morning by morning new mercies I see...

Then, suddenly my voice went silent. A tightness came to my throat. My mouth moved to form the words, but no words would come. My eyes became moist. It was as if I could actually see my mother standing at the sink, wearing her apron, humming the tune until she got to these words. It was at this moment when we could all hear her rich alto sing the words that I could not...

...all I have needed thy hands hath provided. Great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me.

The emotion startled me. Where had it come from, so powerful and intense? The second verse began and I quickly recovered, but when the chorus came back around, the heaviness in the throat returned. Once again, I couldn't form the words...

...all I have needed thy hands hath provided...

I don't pretend to understand the complexities of the human mind and the place that memory has in the heart of man. But, for me, music is often the catalyst. But, why this particular line, why these words? Perhaps because it perfectly reflected my mother's entire life on this earth.

...all I have needed thy hands hath provided...

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Please. Read. This.

The above link is my blog for today. It cannot be improved upon by anything I might add. She is one of my heros, and her commencement address is so profoundly wise and beautiful, I feel it my duty to insure that as many people as possible read it. Pour yourself some coffee, give yourself fifteen uninterrupted minutes and read this. You will not be disappointed.

You're welcomed.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Getting Pumped for The Escape

Ok, today has many fun things on the agenda. First thing for me will be an hour in the workout room of the hotel. Last night, I gorged myself on not one, but TWO ginormous kielbasas. They were almost  Blazing Saddles big, so much so that I almost felt compelled to say, Auf Wiedersehen, baby to the waitress when we left! Anyway, the damage has been done, so repair work must be done, which will include at least three miles on the treadmill.

Patrick and Sarah have a rehearsal planned this morning for their Portara concert on Sunday night, so they are tied up. We have been tasked with the huge job of securing lunch from the famed Hattie B's.
Apparently, there is no hope for actually getting a table, so plan B is for us to order our food at their website, then go pick it up from the place, then meet Patrick and Sarah at his apartment so we can eat it there. What in tarnation is up with this Hattie B place, anyway? I've never heard of a restaurant where actually getting a table is considered a bridge too far. This Nashville hot chicken is apparently all that and more. I'm told by my son to not even think about getting my chicken with the hot designation. He says that I'll have enough trouble with the medium, that hot is undoable. Hmmm....

Assuming we can secure our lunch without incedent, Patrick will then take us to visit the famous Nashville Parthenon, which somehow in our previous 38 trips down here, we've managed to miss. It is essentially a full-sized replica of the Greek original and contains an American knockoff of Athena herself.

So, after an afternoon of unabashed idol-worship, we will meet back up with Sarah for another fabulous dinner in this city of unlimited culinary choice. I forget which restaurant we decided on, but I'm sure it will be amazing. After dinner, the highlight of the day will feature the four of us paying $40 a head to be placed in a locked room with four complete strangers and tasked with solving a vexing puzzle all the while a gigantic clock tics overhead reminding us how much time we have left to either solve the puzzle of die in a hail of gunfire/ be boiled in a giant vat of acid/ or succumb to instant nuclear winter....metaphorically. The game is called Escape, and it's a thing. Sounds awesome to me, but I'm nervous we will get teamed up with some loser family from Arkansas on their first trip to the big city...look Ethyl, them steps actually move, you don't even have to climb!!!! Or even worse, we'll get the group of four social justice warriors in town for the George Soros "Resist symposium"...this game blows!! It's so patriarchal! Regardless, I am confident that we will prevail, despite whatever dead weight we are asked to carry. We are Dunnevant's, after all.

Friday, May 19, 2017


Thirty-three years ago today, I married the lovely and talented Miss Pamela Jean White. In doing so, I demonstrated legendary powers of salesmanship, punched way out of my weight class, got out over my skis, out-kicked my coverage, and any other sports analogy you can think of. Today, we will celebrate my "heist of the century" by driving 9 hours to Nashville to visit one of the two products of our union, our youngest, our only son, Patrick. Thirty-three years ago at about this time, I was playing full court basketball with my groomsmen, enduring epically offensive trash talk of the sort that isn't suitable for public airing. They were all so jealous of me, it wasn't even funny.

Of all the guys in the world, she picks YOU? She could have had anybody she wanted, and she picks YOU??

That's right, boys. She picked ME!!

Anyway, as the nine hour trip wears on, my back will start tightening up, my hamstrings will begin to throb. By the time we arrive at our hotel in East Nashville, I'll be so stiff and sore I might need assistance getting out of the car. However, I will be sustained during the journey by the thought of what will happen when we get there. As soon as we pull into that parking lot, my physical problems will vanish. I will have gazed at my adorable wife from across the console for over nine hours. The entire time, the anticipation will have been building, until finally, our hotel room awaits, and you know what that means...

Yep, we've got a reservation at Butchertown Hall, baby!!! Smoked meat and other delicious meats, is how Patrick described it. Driving nine hours for meat will be so worth it!!!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Getting Ready for Nashville

Today will be a day packed with trip preparation. I have a list of a dozen things that need to be done to get ready to leave for three days and nights in Nashville, Tennessee. We make a trip every spring to see our son, around the time of his birthday. It's such a fun city, with so many cool things to do and places to eat. But mostly, we get to hang out with him and his girlfriend, Sarah, who we love dearly. The highlight of the weekend will be a concert by a choir they are both in called the Portara Ensemble. We've heard them before and they are phenomenal, if you like that sort of thing...and by sort of thing I mean, gorgeous choral music performed by professionally trained musicians, who for no compensation rehearse for days in order to edify an entire room full of enraptured listeners free of charge. I rather think a love offering should be taken up at the end to give us freeloaders a chance to do the right thing, but that's just me.

So, a couple of days ago I texted my son and asked him to send us some ideas of what he wanted to do while we were in town. Part of the reason for this request is that our hotel is on one side of town, and his apartment is as far away from as it is possible to be while still being in Nashville. The reasons for this unhappy fact is a combination of several factors, primarily the fact that he lives in a weird part of town, and the hotels nearer to him are either sold out or three times as expensive as our Homewood Suites. Anyway, I thought it might make it easier to plan if we knew the locations of stuff, etc. etc... The next thing I know, he sends us a Google Doc, complete with web links to every activity and restaurant listed. He even had mapped out an itinerary...11:45-12:45 Saturday, lunch at any of the following six restaurants...

My son has slowly turned into his mother!

So, as a public service to any of you who might be interested in visiting Nashville anytime soon, here is a list of the restaurants which my soon to be 28 year old Millenial approves of, with the descriptors as they appear in the Google Doc:

Loveless Cafe (Southern breakfast)
The Pfunky Griddle (self-serve pancakes)
Hattie B's (hot chicken)
The Grilled Cheeserie (fancy grilled cheese)
Salt and Vine(lighter sandwiches and wine)
Taco Mamacita(fancy tacos)
The Harding House(at the Belle Meade Plantation)
Nomzilla (sushi)
Amerigo (Italian)
Adele's (seasonal, like Husk)
Butchertown Hall( smoked and other delicious meats) BING BING BING( we have a winner!!)
Virago (sushi)
Germantown Cafe( fine dining)

You're welcomed!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Trump News Update

Wonder what today will bring?

Yesterday was great. There was the Comey diaries and the tantalizing prospect that they might contain a smoking gun which might bring impeachment down on Trump's head. The entire Washington press corps let out a celebratory huzzah that could be heard all the way out in Arlington. But then, the wording of those diaries was weasley enough to call into question any definitive accusation, or was it???? Perhaps a congressional subpoena is in the offing. And how about that Mike Flynn nugget? Did Trump actually demand that Comey call off the dogs at the FBI, or did he simply ask, politely, that maybe he should consider it? Is there a difference between the two? Is this merely a distinction without a difference or is the actual language used important? Are there really tapes? Oh, and what about poor Seth Rich? Did he have contact with Wikileaks shortly before his mysterious murder? There's a laptop, apparently, and the D.C. Police have been asked to stand down on their whom?, the curious observer must ask. But that Sean Hannity is all in on the story, it's starting to fall apart. There's a financial advisor from Dallas involved  now(always a bad sign), and the family of Mr. Rich is furious at what they call fake news. The most popular word making the rounds yesterday was impeachment. 

My Trump-loving friends still insist that everything is under control, that their guy is still playing ten moves ahead, Jedi master four dimensional chess and has his enemies exactly where he wants them. The few who will admit that things aren't going all that well lay the blame on the dishonest media and the deep state, shadow government, being run by Obama loyalists throughout the bowels of government. It is these fifth columnists who are responsible for all the leaks designed to undermine public confidence in the Trump presidency.( If true, mission accomplished).

When people like me spoke of the importance of temperament back during the campaign, this is what we meant. It is possible for people with wildly different personality types to be successful in a great variety of efforts. Indeed, Donald Trump's skill set worked very well in the ego-driven world of real estate developement, and the creation of a dynamic brand. But those sorts of skills get dilluted in high profile, high pressure, heavily protocol-restrictive lines of work like...the Presidency. The problem for Trump is not that the job is changing him, the problem is that it hasn't changed him at all! He is going about his business exactly the same way he has for 70 years, seeking out headlines, reveling in controversy and chaos, and keeping even his closest advisors in the dark. His is the first ever ad hoc presidency, and we are about to discover if ad hoc works at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

If I were a bookmaker in Vegas, where would I place the over and under on how long Trump makes it before an impeachment attempt...a year? Two? Or maybe, one day he wakes up and decides that he's had it with being President and just quits. Knowing Trump's style, who among us actually thinks that a drama-filled resignation is at least a possibility with this guy? I do. Can you imagine the advance he would score from the tell-all book he would ghost write about it? It would make the Obama's 60 million look like chump change!

So, what will today bring? With Trump, literally anything is possible.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

A Silver Lining

This morning, I ask for your forbearance as I hash out a new idea, a new revelation, a possible silver lining to the terrifying black cloud hanging over my country...

Ok, now we've got a new "gate." You know...that nauseating suffix that the press always attaches to every new tempest in a teapot that happens in Washington, illustrating perfectly the fact that the press hasn't done its job since the 1970's. This one has been dubbed, blabbergate, and it concerns the allegation that Trump might have spilled some classified beans to the Russian foreign minister about some covert anti-terror operation. I say "might have" simply because I don't trust the objectivity of the Washington Post, or any other media organization when it comes to Trump. Their hatred of him is so visceral, so laid bare, their reporting is rendered suspect. However, does anyone who has been paying attention this past year, find this allegation hard to believe?? Actually, this is exactly the sort of thing I can imagine Trump doing, not out of malice or menace but out of his blustering, sand pounding narcissism. I have the best intelligence, I get the best intelligence every morning, it's incredible how much intelligence I get from the best spies in the world, frankly. I mean, just the other day they told me....

I read the news every morning. Occasionally, when I'm in a self-loathing mood, I'll watch cable news. I see a level of dysfunction that plows new ground every single day. Never in my lifetime has this country been governed at its highest level by such a collection of halfwits. The degree of incompetence on display, not just in the White House but in every other branch of this government, is staggering. And yet....

Almost every economic indicator is trending in a positive direction. The stock market is booming. Inflation is still MIA. Unemployment is down. These things have happened not because of Trump or anyone else in Washington, but in spite of them!! Herein lies the seed of a silver lining.

Suppose, just suppose for a minute, that despite the woeful inadequacy of our infantile leadership, the country prospers anyway? What would happen if after a couple of years of peace and prosperity under Donald Trump and the Seven Dwarfs, people suddenly realized that Washington DC isn't the fount of all blessings after all, that maybe, just maybe our Republic can thrive and prosper even with idiots at the helm? Finally, the cult of personality that has become the Presidency, the myth that has grown up around the notion of the professional politician, will be revealed in all of its emptiness. The power of the political class might be destroyed altogether, their ability to scare us into voting for them and against the other forever vanquished. Can you imagine how freeing that would be? The next time some politician says, "this country cannot afford four more years of ------!! The stakes are too high, the dangers too grave!!" ...we can all reply, "Oh yeah? Well, I got eight raises, took three European vacations, and bought a robot who cleans my house while Donald Trump was President and Paul Ryan was Speaker of the House. Shut up!!"

Once disabused of the idea of the supremacy of politics, people would be freed up to take care of their own problems, fix their own neighborhoods, their own schools. As long as the really smart creative people keep going into business and science, their brain power would sustain us. Sure, we would still have politicians, but they would be quarantined in Washington where they couldn't do any harm to anyone. And sure, there are flaws in this idea of a politician-free world. But who among us can't see the benefit to bringing the lot of them back down to Earth in the area of their towering self regard?

Donald Trump was President and the economy grew by 5% a year. That outcome is simply loaded with redemptive possibilities!!!

Monday, May 15, 2017

A Road Trip Anniversary

Shortened week ahead. The last of our spring travels will find us driving to Nashville this Friday to visit our son. This Friday happens to be our 33rd wedding anniversary. The fact that we will be spending 9 and a half hours of the day in a car is instructive, in that it tells the story of how marriage works...sometimes romance takes a back seat to the love you have for your kids. Would I love to be spending that day holed up in some mountain getaway somewhere, snuggled up with this girl??

Absolutely. But, we haven't seen Patrick in several months now, and that just won't do. So, we will spend nine and a half hours of alone time in the car weaving in and out of the herd of long haul truckers who call highway 81 home. While we flirt with death in a fiery crash of twisted metal, we'll  reminisce about all of the amazing years of our marriage. We'll remember the poverty of 1989-1992, after we decided that Pam needed to be a stay-at-home Mom. I can still taste the beans and franks Friday night dinners. We'll remember the exotic trips I started to win once some success arrived, and how strange and wonderful it felt to be frolicking in the Cayman Islands without children. But eventually, for reasons that still remain unclear, we started bringing them along. Scottsdale, Arizona. Monterey, California. Hawaii. Carribean cruises. Disney World.

We'll recall the scrambled chaos of the youth group years, the roughly ten year run I spent teaching and volunteering in the youth ministry at Grove Avenue. Our weekends became overrun with hormone-ravaged teenagers descending upon our house like a plague of locusts, devouring everything in their path. There were lock-ins, retreats, and summer camps. It was exhausting...and a non-stop thrill. For Pam it was like being room mother to a hundred kids. For me, it was more like being a part time Dad, part time social worker, and full time Crazy uncle, all rolled up in one. I loved every one of those kids, even helped a few along the way. But, even though, technically speaking, I was the one in the youth group ministry, it would have been impossible without Pam. All the girls wanted to grow up to be like her, all of the boys wanted to marry someone like her. Like everything else worthwhile that's happened over the past 33 years, it was very much a team effort.

Then, suddenly, the kids grew up, went away to college, then became adults in the far off lands of South Carolina and Tennessee. We don't see them for long stretches of the year. We found ourselves alone in a house which just a few days before was teaming with adolescents. Now it was just us. The transition took about a month. After being sad and lonely for a bit, we suddenly realized that having survived 25 years of raising children, we had been rewarded with...freedom.

Part of that freedom is being free to forego a romantic anniversary getaway in favor of a weekend in Nashville with our youngest. Can't wait.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Trump at Liberty...and other news.

President Trump will give the commencement address today to the 2017 graduating class at Liberty University. That's Donald J. Trump, builder of casinos, owner of strip clubs, grabber of pu**ies, and serial divorcée, giving a commencement speech at the school established by the founder of the Moral Majority, Jerry Falwell.

In other news...

Former President Barack Obama will give the keynote address at the sesquicentennial gala of the Daughters of the Confederacy, where he will lay a wreath at the tomb of the unknown Confederate.

Hillary Clinton has agreed to be the headline speaker at the Jefferson county Ruritan Club pancake breakfast fundraiser, where she has waived her normal $250,000 speaking fee in exchange for a promised love offering to reimburse her bus fair from Chappaqua.

Former President Bill Clinton has been chosen to give the opening speech at the Focus on the Family Marraige Vow Renewal conference in Colorado Springs.

Ken Hamm announced today that to mark the first anniversary of the grand opening of his Creationist Theme Park, Ark Encounter, he has issued an invitation to Bill Nye-The Science Guy , to be the master of ceremonies.

Elizabeth Warren's office today confirmed the news that the Senator from Massachusetts has agreed to be the headliner speaker at the upcoming annual meeting of the National Rifle Association in Lubbock, Texas.

And finally, Senator Bernie Sanders has agreed to make an address at the Hattiesburg, Mississippi Chamber of Commerce at their annual Horatio Alger fundraiser dinner.

Friday, May 12, 2017


Back during the salad days of my misspent youth, during the era of Soviet Communism, there was an arm of the Central Committee of the Communist party actually called...The Department of Agitation and Propoganda, which if nothing else, will be remembered as the most honest name for any political organization in history. It's where we get the modern term, agitprop, which can be defined as the widespread dissemination of political messages, especially through art and literature. For the old Soviets, everything was about politics, and the idea was to flood the zone with the gospel of communism 24/7, even if the subject at hand was no more political than a ham sandwich.

In modern America we have our own Department of Agitation and Propaganda. It's called, Hollywood. If you are a person of the left, and by that I mean a dedicated progressive, committed to the laundry list of liberal projects, your views on the political issues of the day are constantly validated and celebrated in the public realm. Television shows, movies, books, and especially late night television cheerleads your team and belittles the other side virtually 24/7. It must be a heady feeling, to always be on the same side as all of the good-looking celebrities who our culture worships. It must be an incredible comfort to always be reassured, consistently affirmed in your core beliefs. The spokespersons for your beliefs tend to all be popular and beloved, and unnaturally attractive. The spokespersons for my beliefs tend to be mostly dead guys. Surely, if all of the beautiful people agree with you, that's what really matters, right?

As a libertarian, small government guy, I must say...yes, I am jealous, and that jealousy does me no good whatsoever. Long ago, I became aware that my views on state power and the liberty of the individual were never going to have nearly the appeal of the nanny state handouts sold by the left. Those guys were pitching unlimited unemployment benefits, and handing out free cell phones at about the same time as I was preaching self-reliance and freedom from government, always a tough sale.

Am I bitter? Do I feel resentment every time I get lectured by a sit-com, beat over the head with the glories of the collective in movies, or routinely portrayed as an anti-science racist, misogynistic homophobe by the media if I'm unwilling to turn over the sovereignty of my country to the United Nations so we can better combat Global Warming? Well...yes, I suppose I am.

But, I'll get over it. No matter how long I live, Hollywood will always and forever be the Department of Agitation and Propaganda. The sooner I accept it and move on, the better.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

My Daughter's Birthday

I was not ready for this girl when she arrived into this world thirty years ago today. I thought I was, but nothing that I had done in my twenty nine years, one month and eight days on this earth had adequately prepared me to be a parent. Nevertheless, there she was, this tiny marvel looking up at me, changing my life forever.

I was probably the worst expectant father in the history of St. Mary's hospital's maternity ward. I walked the equivalent of a half marathon in the rooms and hallways, pacing back and forth, asking stupid questions and generally making a nuisance of myself. Pam, on the other hand, was the very picture of grace and composure, despite being in periodically excruciating pain.

Back in 1987, very few people knew what the sex of their unborn child was before the fact. Both Pam and I had the feeling that Kaitlin Elizabeth Dunnevant was going to be a boy. So, when she arrived, pink and healthy, I was releaved and grateful, but for the first few hours of her life...disappointed. I had mentally prepared for and really wanted...a son. What an idiot I was. Thankfully, all of that disappointment melted away the very first time I held her in my arms.

This little girl was the single greatest thing that had ever happened to me. Being a parent changed me in profound ways, and I felt the changes immediately. I loved my parents. I love my siblings, and I am in love with my wife. But I had no idea how much love would find it's way into my heart for my child. It's a different kind of love, one born of care, protection, and responsibility. Pam and I had actually created this little person and brought her into this dangerous world. Now, we had a protect her, to bring her up right, to provide. Not long after bringing her home, I was rocking her to sleep one night when it occurred to me that I would storm the gates of hell for this child. Thirty years later, nothing has changed.

So, on this special day, I would like to wish my first born, my one and only daughter, the happiest birthday. She has exceeded every single expectation I ever had for her. She is beautiful, smarter than me, nicer, kinder, more compassionate than me. Her grammar is so much better than mine. She took all of the best parts from her mother and me and combined them in a bright new person. She makes me proud every day, not just on her birthday. But, on her birthday...she gets a blogpost.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Off The Radar

I must confess that over the past two or three months the daily ebb and flow of politics has completely dropped off of my radar screen. Maybe it's the fact that baseball season has arrived, perhaps incredulity has set in, or maybe it's just Trump-Fatigue. But, for whatever reason, I have tuned it all out for the first time in the past forty years or so. This morning's headline that James Comey had been fired seemed like it should have been a big deal and that I should have read the story. But all it got out of me was a "...Huh..," then I hurried along to the box scores to read all about the latest bullpen collapse by the Nationals.

You see, I've been so consumed with transforming literally every aspect of my business, at such a cost and insane level of frustration, to comply with a regulation cooked up by a thousand government lawyers at the Depart of Labor, I haven't had a lot of spare time to keep up with anything else happening in Washington. While everyone else gets their shorts in a knot about the latest fascist outrage from the Trump administration, I'm busy dealing with leftover outrages from the Obama administration, whereby a gaggle of unelected bureaucrats have brought the full weight of the regulatory state down on my head. To comply with this new edict will cost me upwards of five figures in new computer software, higher costs and lost revenue...every year. Virtually none of these new edicts are in the best interests of my clients, since their costs will also go up. However, the vast regulatory regime in our nation's capital is positively ecstatic with this new regulation since it's power will dramatically increase.

So, by all means, wring your hands about the latest Trump news. Exhaust yourself screaming about Comey, the Russians stealing the election from Saint Hillary, and the horrors of the Obamacare tweek. Meanwhile, down here on the farm, I'm desperately trying to figure out how to comply with the latest command from on high, dutifully paying whatever it costs to do so. I don't have time to carry a sign and chant, "What do we want? Impeachment!! When do we want it? Now!!" I don't have time any longer to engage in social media debates about creeping fascism. Creeping bureaucracy has me completely engaged. By the time the workday is finally over and I have temporarily banished its anxiety from my mind, the last thing in the world I want is to read about more Washington dysfunction.

Thank God Almighty in heaven for baseball.

Monday, May 8, 2017

The Worst Thing I Saw This Weekend

I attended a minor league baseball game this past weekend. Towards the end of the game something truly terrible happened. This terrible thing was totally avoidable, an unforced error, and illustrates what is wrong with not only baseball, but indeed...the world.

Because this was a minor league baseball game, the names don't matter, which is a good thing since I don't know any of them. This was single A, and the only player on either team anyone had ever heard of was Tim Tebow. Nevertheless, there were 6,600 people in the stands on a chilly, rainy night. Most of the players not named Tebow were kids, 19-21 years of age. The starting pitcher for the visiting team was a skinny left-hander and he was dealing. He was cutting through the Columbia Fireflies lineup like a knife through hot butter. Although I only saw one pitch from him all night that broke into the 90's on the radar gun, he was mowing them down with an array of offspeed stuff. Then, something terrible happened. In the bottom of the ninth inning, with two men out and this skinny kid one out away from a no-hitter, his manager inexplicably walks out to the mound and takes the ball from him in favor of a relief pitcher. That's heard me correctly. This twenty year old kid is about to pitch the first no-hitter of his professional career and his manager removes him from the game. The reason? Apparently, the suits in the front office had put him on a pitch limit of 110 pitches. He had thrown...113.

I could go on for hours listing all of the things desperately wrong about this thing. Even if you're not a baseball fan, you can sense the raging stupidity on display. It is this sort of micromanaging, too clever by half nitwittery that is killing the world. Let some analytics guy a thousand miles away from the action literally rip the drama out of actual human achievement at the absolute worst possible time, and then call it progress. 

Sandy Koufax. Don Drysdale. Nolan Ryan. Steve Carlton. Tom Seaver. Greg Maddox. None of these guys had a pitch limit. Trying to imagine Walter Alston attempting to take the ball out of Koufax's hand, one out away from a no hitter, is truly hilarious, and unfathomable. But now a bunch of businessmen have decided that protecting their "investments" is more important than competition. This timid, bean-counting is the sort of thing that drains the life out of everything it touches. The trouble is, the bean-counters are taking over the world.

Heading back to the office this morning to check back in to my real life to see how it's been going while I've been away. Hope nothing terrible has happened in my absence....

Sunday, May 7, 2017

My Rocking Chair Moment

Last night, after a fun evening watching Columbia Fireflies baseball, we all settled down in our pajamas in Kaitlin and Jon's living room, Kaitlin and Pam on the loveseat, Jon and Jackson on the sofa, and me in the rocking chair, with Lucy nervously walking in circles around us all, on the lookout for God knows what. I was catching up on the big league scores on my iPad. All was peaceful, everyone was chilled. Then calamity and hilarity broke out at roughly the exact same time.

The rocking chair in question has been in the family for what seems like decades. It had been banished to somebody's attic at some point, but had been given a reprieve when Kaitlin was setting up house at grad school. I have sat in this chair without incident many times. But on this night, there I was, calmly checking the Nationals box score when I heard a disturbing cracking sound. Everything that followed was in slow motion.

As I began rocking back, the crack came, then an awareness that I seemed to be going farther back than seemed normal for a rocking chair. By the time I realized that I was about at the point where the laws of motion and gravity were about to kick in, it was too late. I remember thinking, I going to crash through the window behind me?? By the time everyone looked over in my direction, all they could see was the soles of my feet flying up in the air. It was one of those ass over tea kettle moments. I landed at the base of the dreaded window, solidly on my left hip, the chair good for nothing grander than kindling. The pain was excruciating. My loving family soon gathered around, staring down at me, spread-eagled amongst the splintered rocking chair, and all they could think to do...was laugh.

Sure, for about thirty seconds or so, they were concerned about my health status. But, as soon as they realized that there was no blood, and no broken bones, all decorum left the building. My daughter and my wife began a bout of hysterical, belly laughing...the kind that makes your face cramp up and tears fall down your face. Their eyes began to swell from all of the laughing. For a minute I thought they might suffocate themselves. Apparently, the sight of me flayed out on the floor in a pile of knarled wood was the single most hilarious thing that they had seen in years.

However, I must admit, after I had a handful of Advil in me to treat the throbbing pain in my hip, even I started in with the laughing. What is it, exactly, that is so hysterically funny about seeing someone flip over backwards in a rocking chair? Well, I don't know the answer to this question, except to say that despite all of our advancement as a society, we humans still love slapstick.

Yes, Trump is in the White House. Yes, global warming is killing the planet and we are all going to die because of corporate greed, and yes, Obamacare's repeal will result in widespread death, pestilence and destruction across the fruited plain....but, this is still funny!!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Gala

Ok, I have steadfastly refused all of the baubles that society throws at you for attaining a certain age. AARP has probably sent me a couple dozen congratulatory letters since I turned 55 years old, extolling the virtues of their parasitic lobbying organization. I have thrown all of them directly in the trash, all of them unopened. I have accepted no senior discounts for anything. I have never hit from the senior tees. No bluebird specials have been indulged. However...with the passage of enough years comes the roll of lovable curmudgeon, and I can assure you all...I am up for that challenge. In light of this truth, a few observations about the events of the past 24 hours...

Last night's Teacher of the Year Gala, held at the Columbia Convention Center, was fully funded by BMW, a big South Carolina employer who has chosen to engage the public by generously supporting K-12 education. The winner receives the use of a beautiful new car, which was displayed ostentatiously in the hall. There was an open bar, the attire was formal. Despite what was billed as a celebration of the 81 finest teachers(out of over 50,000)of 2017 throughout the State, I've seen more celebratory proceedings at a county board of supervisors meeting. Actually, that's a lie, since wild horses couldn't drag me to a board of supervisors meeting, so I have no first hand knowledge of what their meetings are like. But I have a working imagination and something tells me I'm not far off.

I loved meeting Kaitlin's principal. Seriously cool guy. The other people at our table were nice. But, once the proceedings began, it was like watching paint dry while wearing sandpaper underwear. I made three trips to the bathroom to prevent boredom-induced spontaneous combustion. There was a local news anchor personality with a sing song voice doing the MC honors. She did the very best she could with a program which seemed put together by the same committee that gave us C-SPAN. There was a very old heiress type who made a presentation. There was an interview conducted between some suit and last year's Teacher of the Year along with this year's Supervisior of the Year. This was done while we were finally allowed to eat, so the acoustics were horrible. Of course the Supervisor of the Year helped out by pointing his hand held mic at the back wall while speaking.

Then the featured speaker took the stage, and impressive man who held both a PhD in Medicine from Harvard Medical school as well as a Doctorate from MIT. Oh, and he was an astronaut. I assume that the point of his presentation was to highlight the fact that this amazingly accomplished man was a product of South Carolina public schools. Instead, there were pictures of weightless men and women floating around the inside of the Space Shuttle, and a slide that showed us just how tiny Earth is compared to the rest of the Universe....which was all great, but the dude didn't seem even slightly interested in the subject at hand, i.e.. the education of South Carolinian students by the capable people filling his audience.

Maybe I'm asking too much. But, if I had been in charge of planning this gala, there would have been loud music, at least one high school dance troop, couple of clowns, a paid comic, several blooper reels from past galas and somebody, anybody capable of inspiration.

...which I suppose is exactly why I'm never in charge of this sort of thing.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

An Eerie Dream

I had a crazy dream last night. It was one of those terribly realistic dreams where you remember every detail when you wake up. It felt like the dream ended precisely at the moment when my eyes opened and I was suddenly wide awake. It felt so real that I immediately grabbed my cell phone to check the news and confirm it to be true. I dreamed that Tiger Woods had killed himself.

To my great relief I discovered that it was just a dream. Tiger is alive and well. But, when I first woke up, I would have bet the house that he was dead.

In the dream, I was at my office when my phone rang. I let it go to voice mail since I was with a client at the time. But then it rang again...and again. Somebody was really trying to get in touch with me. So, I apologized to my client, explaining that I had to answer the call. As soon I picked up the phone, in that dream sequence sort of way, my client disappeared and the friend who was calling appeared at my office window to inform me that Tiger Woods had committed suicide and it was all over the news. I thanked him(?) for the heads up, then hung up and started searching the Internet. Sure enough, there were stories about Tiger's tragic end everywhere, including pictures of the paramedics at the scene. There was a huge story in Golf Digest. I read well written paragraphs, some adoring and some critical. I scanned through the comments sections of these stories and saw the same, some lamenting his loss, others talking about reaping what you sow. Everything I read felt so authentic.

I've never been a huge Tiger fan. He's great. Golf is more fun to watch when he's playing. But, I never much cared for him. He seemed too robotic, too cold blooded killer for my taste. Listening to his press interviews after his latest win always left me cold. It's like he expected to win, so what's the big deal? When he backed his Buick into that fire hydrant in 2009, I must admit to the uncharitable thought that ran through my mind...Maybe this will wipe that smugness off his face...a terrible thing to think at the time and a thought that I am ashamed to have had. Since that epic failure, times have been hard for Tiger. He just recently endured his eighth back surgery and in all likelihood is finished as a professional golfer. He will be lucky to be able to walk without pain, let alone swing a golf club. Add to this the loss of his marriage, and Tiger Woods is actually the sort of person where a suicide attempt would be believable, I suppose. But after this astonishingly real dream, I wish the man every success in the world.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, I'll be working from home this morning waiting on the Guirkin Man. Spring AC checkup scheduled and the upstairs unit not functioning properly...which is no dream. Trust me on this...if my wife has to endure even one night of no AC in 90 degree heat, my life will become a nightmare!!!

Monday, May 1, 2017


Short week. Headed to SC to see oldest receive award at fancy gala👩🏼‍🏫🎩. Much to do next 2 days.

Ten years from now, the above sentence will be what the written word will have devolved to thanks to Twitter and texting. Adjectives and adverbs will have been completely replaced with emojis by 2025. 😫

But seriously, this will be a short week. I will have two days of manic activity at the office so I can spend the rest of the week visiting with my daughter down in Columbia. Funny story. Last year, she won the Teacher of the Year award for her school, then followed that up with a TOY award for her district. Pam and I attended the awards banquet where that second honor was bestowed and it came as a shock to all of us. It was quite an honor to win such an award after only four years in the teacher business. A year has passed. Her duties as TOY have been quite extensive, and oddly, they have just begun. You see, in the education business, everything is counterintuitive. Educrats are a breed apart. Apparently, when you win a TOY award, your "term" lasts for three years. The first year you're essentially a TOY in training. This entails adding roughly three hours a day to your normal ten hour work day doing education-y things which have nothing to do with teaching. The second year, you actually serve as the TOY, which as far as I can tell involves making several unpaid speeches and serving on a dozen unpaid committees. Finally, year three arrives and with it the coveted title, Teacher of the Year Emeritas, another unpaid position, whereby you help train the poor sap who has been selected as that year's TOY. As you can see, this title is quite the honor, and quite the boon for the district central office since it's like they gain a new part time unpaid employee for three years! I say unpaid, when actually that isn't true. I am told that this weekend Kaitlin will finally receive her TOY stipend...a check for a thousand dollars, which by my rough calculations works out to about $3.14 an hour for the extra work she has inherited since her big "win." When she recently learned that she had fallen just short of being a finalist for State Teacher of the Year, screams of delight could be heard all the way up here in Short Pump!

Be this as it may, I am still super proud of my daughter and her husband, and am grateful to get the chance to spend a few days with them. Lucy will be coming with us. Since the awards gala will be held at a fancy hotel in downtown Columbia, the educrats are actually putting them up for the Pam and I will serve as dog sitters Wednesday night. Then on Thursday night, she has some other function to attend with Jon, so we will have a pizza and hang out with the dogs again. The rest of the weekend will be an educrat-free environment which will involve lots of fun stuff and good food.