Since I mentioned my beard

Because I suspect you’re dying to know why I trimmed my beard after I mentioned giving it a buzz cut yesterday, take note of the weather at my house – it was 76 degrees this afternoon.

It’s early in the year, but with temperatures this warm, trimming my beard simply seemed like the right thing to do. I now look more like my social media profile pictures than I have in months.  

When I say I trimmed my beard, I mean most of it. I left my mustache and chin alone, but the rest of the hair on my face is now so short as to be negligible.

I should probably suck it up and shave, but here’s the thing – spring may SEEM to be taking hold, but trusting the weather this time of year would be like trusting our big dog Rodney not to bark maniacally when it’s time for a walk.

Better safe than sorry.

A little stubble for the time being seems like the right idea. After all, there are still several more weeks of winter on the calendar.

By the way, don’t tell my wife I wrote about my beard. She already thinks I’m too obsessed with it.

This will just confirm her suspicions.

Since I mentioned my beard

Searching the stars paid off

I was just trying to decide whether I should write a post explaining why I trimmed my beard to almost nothing today when my phone started receiving alerts.

The first was from the New York Times. Not long after I started reading about the discovery of SEVEN EARTH-SIZED PLANETS, my phone buzzed again.

This time the alert was from NPR, where I make radio. Here’s a link to the NPR story based on findings published in the science journal Nature. And here’s a short video NASA posted to Twitter.

Days like today make me jealous of my newsroom colleagues. While I’m on my day off, avoiding house work and trying to figure out how to start a silly post about my beard, they get to wrap themselves in the sort of story that has eager space nerds gushing.

Searching the stars paid off

My wife’s birthday (or, my boss watches out for me)

Before I left work today, I stopped by my supervisor’s newsroom desk.

For some reason, the conversation turned to my wife’s birthday.

When I mentioned that it’s this week, he gave me a concerned side-eye and asked, “Did you take the day off?”


My wife’s birthday (or, my boss watches out for me)

For crying out loud, it’s February!

This time of year, I should still be wearing a winter coat to walk our big dog Rodney. Maybe even some gloves to keep my fingers toasty, topped off with a knit cap – or as we call them here in West Virginia, a toboggan.

Not today.

Shortly after I got home from work, I changed into some clothes more suitable for the weather. Here’s what I wore:

  • a decrepit pair of tennis shoes that I’ve had for years. They used to be a nice, bright white.
  • the black socks I wore to work (I know, I should have stripped them off because … tennis shoes. I was too lazy).
  • an olive-colored pair of shorts.
  •  a sky blue button-down shirt with the sleeves rolled up (I’ve been wearing it since I left for work this morning. I starched it myself yesterday evening.)


  • My dark blue Washington Nationals baseball cap.

My phone says it’s 66 degrees outside.

The skies today are as blue as my shirt and the sun is bright. But it’s near the end of February. There should at least still be a chill in the air.

If the weather remains this way, I might have to break out my blue Crocs to wear with my black socks.

Don’t tell my wife. She’d just be embarrassed.

For crying out loud, it’s February!

Since Donald Trump took office

The last time I posted here, it was Donald Trump’s Inauguration Day.

Since then, a lot has happened that has galvanized Trump’s opponents, cheered his supporters and kept newsrooms like mine on their toes. The new administration doesn’t seem to want to give journalists any downtime.

So what’s an overwhelmed journo to do when he needs to take a break?

If you’re me, you watch TV.  And, I’m not talking cable news. There are a ton of good dramas out there that have nothing to do with the White House.

For example, I just finished “The Night Manager,” the mini-series based on the novel John le Carre published more than 20 years ago. Hugh Laurie, late of “House” fame, is fabulous as rogue arms dealer, Richard Onslow Roper. I fist pumped when he finally got his comeuppance following twists and turns that take viewers from Cairo, to Switzerland, England, Spain, Turkey, and back to Cairo for the finale.

Besides “The Night Manager,” I’m also watching “Black Sails,” the pirate epic that started its final season a few weeks ago, and “Goliath,” with Billy Bob Thornton as a boozy lawyer who is presumably on a path toward redemption.

I’m also streaming “Emerald City.” A co-worker recommended it to me last weekend and I immediately thought it might be a good show to watch with my 15-year-old daughter.

“Emerald City” is an interesting take on Dorothy’s adventures in the land of Oz, but unlike “The Night Manager,” I’m not quite sold on it.

My problem has to do with the German Shepherd Dog that plays Toto. I really want the show-runners to give him something more to do. Instead, it’s as if he’s not even there.

Here’s an idea – let Toto be a dog and bark at a stranger once in awhile!

Is that too much to ask?

And is it too much to ask for my wife NOT to read this post?

She already thinks I waste too much time watching TV. The last thing I need is for her to know exactly how much.

Since Donald Trump took office

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.

Star Trek: Delayed?

You be the judge: Munch or Flintstone

Two things strike me each time I stroll by this tree when I’m out and about with our big dog Rodney –  either an Expressionist artist in the mold of The Scream painter Edvard Munch has moved into the neighborhood or a cave man has.

Naturally, I’m pulling for the Stone Age theory. It would be nice to have a Fred Flintstone type around to deflect attention away from me.

Anyway, I usually stop for a moment to marvel at how the tree sap has formed a unique image.

I’d linger longer but Dino  Rodney usually has other business he needs to care of.




You be the judge: Munch or Flintstone