Caption this pic!

I took this picture last week when our cats thought they weren’t being observed. They look to me like they’ve been taken over by some sort of malevolent overlord whose desire for world domination knows no bounds, but that’s all I’ve got.

For the life of me, I can’t think of a clever caption, so I thought I’d put it to you. Let me know what YOU’VE got in the comments.

I’m too cheap to offer a cash prize for the best one. But if you insist on some sort of reward, you can always subscribe to my FREE newsletter. Take a look at the latest one here.




New name, new look

By now, you’ve noticed. I’ve updated my corner of the internet.

I made the change on the spur of the moment today. Not only that, but in a fit of unusual creativity I came up with a decent name for this space, “My Front Stoop.” Seemed like a no-brainer. After all, I’ve mentioned enjoying a hot cup of coffee on the stoop so much it was obvious even to me.

Anyway, below is a link to my latest newsletter. Just click on the screenshot below. If you’ve subscribed, you can probably expect the next one to show up in your inbox on Tuesday.

Screenshot (21)


My newsletter

I’ve started putting together a newsletter. You can find (and subscribe!) to it here.

Since I generally work weekends, my newslettering effort will likely include links to NPR stories and interviews that you may have missed while you were out having fun and I was stuck in the studio doing radio newscasts. It will also include at least one of the week’s top news stories, other things I find interesting from around the internet, and of course, the latest post from this blog (in case you haven’t been paying attention to it).

My grandiose plan is to make it a weekly thing, but you and I both know I’m just not that organized. It will probably end up being more of a “when I feel like putting it together” thing.

Please subscribe. One more email in your inbox won’t kill you. And besides, you probably won’t even notice it. I’ve already said I will likely NOT live up to my goal of issuing it weekly. And, on the off chance you do run across it, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve appeased a fellow traveler before summarily deleting it without so much as a glance.

How’s that for a pessimistic plea for attention?

Birthday fishing fail

How is it that the kids on YouTube make hooking fish look so easy?

I watched several of their videos Monday morning as I was getting my gear together for my birthday fishing excursion.

After watching them pull fish after fish out of the water, I was certain I would finally get the angling monkey off my back, that I would be able to tell my friends that I caught a birthday fish or two and show my wife that her husband is not a complete incompetent.

I remain, however, true to form.

The first bonehead thing I did when I arrived at the public lake about 45 minutes from my house explains why I decided to keep a spare pole handy. After picking what looked like a nice spot to set up shop, I tangled the line in the new rod and reel I bought last week as a birthday present to myself.

I grew so frustrated trying to fix it, that I eventually banished it to the trunk of my car and fetched the spare from where I left it the last time I failed at fishing – on the ledge in my car’s back window.

I then promptly moved on to the next setback – losing one of my new jigs.

I bid it goodbye not long after I actually started fishing. On one of my first casts, the jig I bought just that morning snapped off the end of my line, went sailing over the water in a high arc, and landed in the lake with a plop.

The sound of it hitting the water startled me. And as I watched each succeeding ripple form on the lake’s surface as the jig sank to the bottom, I figured out what went so terribly wrong. I forgot to release my line by opening the bail on my spinning reel.

Lesson learned?

Not immediately. I lost another new jig in similar fashion.

The next couple of hours I spent lakeside proved disappointingly uneventful. While I eventually got my act together enough to at least throw a line into the water without losing my lure, the fish weren’t buying me as a serious angler. It was as if they had taken one look at me, chuckled to themselves, and then decided it would be too embarrassing to end up my hook.

In the end, only a few tiny salamanders in the shallows at my feet showed any interest in what I was offering. One even started to crawl up my line when I left it dangling in front of them, but then thought better of it and went on its way.

The hard truth is, I would have been better off booting up Pokémon Go on my phone. At least then, I could have looked forward to the satisfaction of catching something, even if Pokémon are just cartoon characters in a video game.

But then, catching a Magikarp on my phone isn’t quite the same as the reality of pulling a big, fat, largemouth bass out of the water.

For that, I need a rod and reel.

If only I could use a Poke ball.

Star Trek: Delayed?

I’ve waited this long, so I guess I can wait a while longer.

Seems like CBS All Access is preparing fans for another delay in the upcoming incarnation of “Star Trek.” The following link includes a statement from CBS and some casting news.

‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Delayed Again, Casts James Frain

If my wife reads this, she will probably sigh heavily – not because she’s looking forward to the new series, but over the fact that I actually thought the show important enough to post about it.

I’m not quite sure how it happened, but I am the only “Star Trek” fan at my house. I’ve tried to interest my wife over the years, and frankly, the kids have been a disappointment.

Our big dog Rodney doesn’t even show the proper enthusiasm.

And the cats? They’d sooner whine about the food than be caught watching “Star Trek” with me.

I have no one to talk to but you, so tell me what you think about the likely delay in the comments.

The Car Accident

This is my wife’s account of what happened Monday evening when our son had his first car accident.

I concede it was probably a good thing for everyone involved that I didn’t show up at the scene. Judging by my wife’s version of what happened, I would have made an odd sight, made all the more bizarre by the flashing lights of a police car.

But I maintain that I would have eventually found a pair of pants and am shocked and embarrassed that my wife went out in public WITHOUT A JACKET.

Just So You Know

the-crashI have a confession.

While I am quite happy to have my son home from college for a few weeks during the holidays for the simple pleasure of having him close, I’m also appreciating a side benefit.

I have an additional chauffeur for my very busy, always doing something but not old enough to drive herself 15-year old daughter.

Such was the case on Monday evening when she needed a ride home from school at 5:30.

My husband, who had to get up and go to work shortly after midnight, was getting ready to go to bed, and I was still at my office on a conference call.

Thus, my 18-year old son was dispatched to get his sister, and I was able to get home without any worries.

Or so I thought.

I had just walked in the door and taken off my coat when Giles came running down the…

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