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Just rewards

If you've stopped by here once or twice, you know that I travel extensively for my job.  And while that might not mean that I'm traveling across the ocean to Europe or Japan, I'm on the road a LOT.

About the only thing that makes it bearable is that I have the opportunity to collect, keep and redeem my frequent flier and hotel patron miles or points.  I suppose that's the saving grace for most road warriors, though I seldom want to travel very far for leisure.

That said, I've had some interesting experiences in redeeming some of the points I've accumulated over time with various hotel chains and airlines.  Here's a quick sampling of what I've experienced.

DELTA SKYMILES

This is probably my favorite, as I fly Delta just about exclusively (where I start in Lexington, Kentucky, Delta is my best option for booking travel to nearly anywhere).  And I have a Delta Skymiles American Express credit card which I use for all of my business-related travel expenses.…

Merry Christmas....we can still say that, can't we?

Well, we're at Christmas 2011 plus 2 days.  Kentucky is experiencing heavy rain, and has been off and on for a few days.  Not exactly conducive to the holiday spirit, but we didn't find it a damper at all.  In fact, my wife and I commented to each other that this may have been the best Christmas we've had in a long time!

We're really fortunate, in that we have a healthy and growing family, we each have our health, we're both employed (or, as employed as we wish to be, anyway!), and life's pretty good, overall!  As I mentioned in my last post, we all could stand to stop and think about how well off we are a bit more often.

That said, it's been a busy few days, as one would expect.  Despite this, my wife and I managed some recreation by taking in a couple of recently released movies.  Our first choice was "Sherlock Holmes:  A Game of Shadows."  This is the sequel to the popular (if not critically acclaimed) release of a couple of years ago featuring…

Here and there

Just back from a nice long weekend trip to Colorado, where my wife and I visited our daughter and her family.  The centerpiece of the weekend was our six-year-old granddaughter's performance in "The Nutcracker."  She was one of the Ginger Snaps who emerge from underneath the skirt of a woman during the second act and, from all appearances, performed her role quite well!

We were delayed a couple of hours leaving the Denver area Monday, not because of the snow that the area was receiving, but because of an aircraft mechanical issue.  Glad that we weren't traveling today, as that same area will be the recipient of six to nine inches of fresh snow.  Great for the ski resorts that dot the mountains outside of Denver, but not so great for the average commuter and certainly not for air travelers.

One of the things I took note of during our extended wait in the Denver airport was a woman who took the opportunity of some downtime (she was apparently flying in from one locatio…

Tis the season

Well, just about all of the shopping is finished.  Presents are wrapped and placed under our tree.  Christmas cards were addressed and mailed over a week ago.  My sales team is hosting holiday parties for just about all of our major customers during this week and next.

Yep, looks like we're just about ready for our annual celebration.

This is always a time that tests one's patience and frays one's nerves, if we allow that to happen.  My wife and I always set a budget and nearly always realize there's someone or something that we neglected to identify.  And there's always a relative or two that just swears they're not buying gifts for anyone this year, only to catch us by surprise nearer to the holiday.

We're very fortunate that these are "problems" by any stretch of the imagination.

Yet in the past few years we've found small ways to share our abundance and add to our holiday joy.  A couple of years ago, I found about a local organization that…

Randomness

No coherent theme for today's post (honestly, is there ever, really, ONE theme for this thing?).  So I'll scatter some thoughts in no particular order.

Herman Cain, we hardly knew ye.  But, then, I'm a man.

President Obama was asked by a reporter about whether the White House has or had a policy of appeasement with regard to terrorists and potential enemies abroad.  Paraphrasing, his response was something along the lines of "You'd need to ask Osama bin Ladin."  Well done, sir.

Thank you, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, for signing Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals to a ten year contract worth as much as the GNP of many countries.  My Cincinnati Reds automatically surge to the "contender" list in the National League Central Division as a result.  I don't have the precise statistics handy to add, but I saw Pujols' length-of-career stats against the Reds for his 11 year tenure with the Cardinals.  During that eleven years Albert played r…

Interesting filmed entertainment

On another business trip, this time to Tucson, Arizona for organizational meetings through Friday morning.  So, last night, I had the opportunity to see an in-flight movie for the first time in a while.

I had a number of choices but settled on "Larry Crowne," the Tom Hanks written/produced/directed story of a man who is laid off from his second career in mid-life (his first career having been the Navy).  Hanks almost always plays a nice guy, and this is no exception.  The film features a varied cast of supporting players who were well chosen, but the most obvious good choice was Julia Roberts as a frustrated junior-college teacher (a close second was George Takei, of Star Trek Mr. Sulu fame).  Just a little over an hour and a half, a mostly light entertainment with a pleasant message about the possibilities presented by a major event like being laid off from a job.

Then, in the ultimate irony, I arose early this morning (two hours earlier here in Arizona than at home) and fo…

Off and running

I simply cannot believe that next Thursday is Thanksgiving.....can you?

I suppose it's a byproduct of age, but I now marvel at how quickly time seems to pass, compared to, say, thirty years ago.  Simply amazing.

But, despite that, we're off and running with our preparations for the Christmas season.  I have all of my time off requests in for work, and we've already done about 60% of our Christmas shopping.  However, before you start throwing things at your computer screen, note that we started a tradition in our family several years ago of buying a variety of gift cards.  This began because our daughter and her family live in Colorado, and since we're not with them frequently, we had less of an idea of what to get them, so the gift card idea became a pretty practical solution to the gift-giving dilemma.  Plus they're easier to ship than larger presents, and we normally ship their holiday gifts to them.

In fact, I bought about half of what we're giving for Chris…

The cut-off point

Had a conversation with my son-in-law a couple days ago regarding his interest in discontinuing cable TV service.  His argument is pretty sound....they can get network TV over-the-air, and most everything else they watch is available either through a streaming service or via DVD.

In my totally unbiased and non-expert opinion, this is an admirable and worthwhile objective.  Unfortunately, though, there are a lot of reasons why I question whether it will work.

Easy to look at your cable bill and then need to reattach your eyebrows to your forehead.  I don't know anyone who doesn't pay what appears to be an obscene amount in order to receive what Bruce Springsteen called "57 Channels and Nothing On."  Why, even my mother-in-law, who lives in a very small town in western Kentucky and has no pay channels, no DVR box, no high-definition service or anything "extra" pays a ridiculous sum each month for so-so channel reception.

So, you have to ask yourself, what'…

Andy Rooney would be proud

When I heard that just-retired CBS and "60 Minutes" commentator Andrew Rooney died last week, I was certainly saddened, but also glad that I got to hear some of his commentaries over the years that he appeared on and I watched "60 Minutes."

On Monday I host a conference call of my direct reports and one of my folks made a venting comment and then apologized for being such a "curmudgeon" today.  Well, I couldn't help but take that ball and run with it, and then the rest of the call became a complaint forum, as I asked each of my team members what was bothering them that day.  Mostly about work, of course, but some other extraneous comments were heard about sports, household things and the like.  And then I shared a couple of my favorite Rooneyisms.

One concerned the worth of the cotton that used to always come stuffed in the top of any kind of medication bottle.  I saw a clip of Andy with that commentary, saying, "So do they expect us to put it b…

Up to here

Tomorrow is election day in Kentucky, and I, for one, will be most glad when the current campaign is over.  Not because it's been a contentious race.  Not because there has been lots of mudslining.  Both are true, but I actually enjoy some political news here and there and Kentucky's down-and-dirty brand of politics is entertaining, to say the least.  And all of Kentucky's statewide offices, governor on down, are at stake in this election.

No, it's the robocalls that I will be happy to have gone.  This phenomenon hit Kentucky a few years ago, and now it seems that candidates from all parties for all offices are resorting to these calls.  They're annoying, not informative and disruptive to normal life, particularly if you work at home as I do.

What I don't get is how these are permitted, even if you're on the statewide telemarketing no-call list, as we are.  This warrants some investigation......

I have a good friend who makes a point of collecting signs tha…

So much to say

Not really, but at least I thought of a catchy title this time around.....

Greetings from Birmingham, Alabama this evening where a very pleasant fall evening is settling onto what I believe is pretty much the centerpoint of the state of Alabama.  Nice folks here, and I always enjoy my visits here.  I'm here on business until sometime Thursday.

Had a very memorable barbecue meal at a local restaurant chain called Full Moon Bar-B-Q.  Outstanding.  Pulled pork and sliced beef brisket, with baked beans and vinegar coleslaw and a toasted bun.  AND two "Half-Moon" cookies.  Wow.  Check it out if you like tasty barbecue and find yourself in the area!

Speaking of food, my wife and I visited a Wendy's in our home area on Saturday, in order to try the new "Dave's Hot and Juicy Cheeseburgers" (sans cheese for me, thanks).  Don't bother.  Wendy's has taken an above average hamburger and apparently diminished the quality and perhaps the size of the beef patt…

Can you hear me now?

If you've visited here at all during baseball season, you know that I am an avid (some might say rabid, even) Cincinnati Reds baseball fan.  By virtue of that and some related factors, I am NOT a fan of manager Tony LaRussa and the St. Louis Cardinals.  The exception is Albert Pujols, who is simply one of the best baseball players I've had the chance to see in person.  Like him?  Not really, but I certainly respect and appreciate the way he plays the game.

So you can imagine my grin this morning after LaRussa outmanaged himself last night, costing his team a win and giving the Texas Rangers a 3-2 lead in the World Series.

With LaRussa, when something goes wrong it appears there's always a story, an explanation, a reason, but, of course, never an EXCUSE.  Remember, LaRussa is a lawyer by training, should there be any questions about his ability to explain things to the media and by extension the public.

So, in last night's game, after I had to turn it off to go to sleep…

Kitty boy

We lost a family member yesterday.

No, my wife, our kids, their spouses and our four grandchildren are all fine.

I'm referring to our cat, Forbin, whom we had to let go due to what our vet described as a ruptured mammary gland that had become cancerous.

Forbin's story is a very interesting one.  Our son had just moved into an apartment, first time living on his own (except for student-specific housing) and in a quest for companionship, rescued Forbin from the local animal shelter.  He had been told that Forbin was due to be euthanized the following day, so luck was certainly on Forbin's side that day.

We didn't see this cat very much for the first year or better that our son had him, as he wasn't living with us.  But we heard stories of how he would walk around our son's head while he was asleep in bed, or beg for cold cuts when our son was making a sandwich, or just generally act a little weird.

Then our son got a dog, Rigby, who has previously been noted in t…

Mental floss

Things that have been working to escape my brain recently….
Can someone explain to me the fascination and devotion that many women have to boots?I was seated on a plane recently next to a woman wearing what looked like well-worn cowboy (or cowgirl, in her case, I suppose) boots that were a suedelike texture.Woman across the aisle commented, and my seatmate (to whom I had not spoken a word) went on about how they were her favorite, and that she just lived in these boots, and wouldn’t even think of wearing another pair.
Separate example:I just hired someone in another state, and she appeared for both days of our training wearing boots.Compared to my seatmate above, though, this gal was wearing dress boots.I didn’t think much of it until she mentioned how she so much preferred wearing boots to heels because it was easier on her knees (past injury, from what she mentioned).How?These appeared to have heels that were comparable in height to a pair of high-heeled women’s shoes.
On a similar not…

The good with the bad

Well, friends, I've made some progress on the honey-do list that I mentioned a few posts ago.  I have now painted my office, our downstairs hallways and, as of yesterday, our master bedroom.  What's left on that painting list?  The kitchen and our living room, which are adjoined by a vaulted ceiling.  That will require some help, so it may be a little while before we get around to that.  But my wife and I are both pleased with the results so far, considering we moved into a slightly different color palette than before (more tan than beige this time) and are using a lower-gloss ("matte" is what the Sherwin-Williams can says) finish and a different, more durable paint product.

That said, I don't know anyone in my vicinity who's pleased with the results posted by Kentucky's woeful football team so far.  They are 2-4 so far, having barely won the two games over foes who normally would be easy to beat, and only one of the four losses was a competitive game.  L…

He's out

Did you see where New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced yesterday that he will NOT run for the Republican nomination for President?  This guy has been saying this for quite a while, but no one seemed to believe him.  Hope they will now.

One related aspect of this story was that several political commentators noted that they felt Christie, who is a large man, was unfit to be President because he has a weight issue.  As a larger-than-average person that offended me somewhat, but I suppose that it's the job of these commentators to find something to mention, point out, identify or otherwise flog to make their point.  Like Governor Christie, my size has never prevented me from accomplishing anything I set out to do, personally or professionally, and the statements some made that being overweight is a signal of a lack of discipline is actually a not-so-subtle form of bigotry.  And we have enough of that already directed at our sitting President.

So Christie will not be running. …

The Gulf Coast

Happy Friday from Biloxi, Mississippi, where I've been attending an industry function since Tuesday afternoon.  If you're a little rusty with geography, Biloxi is on the Gulf of Mexico and was directly in the path of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated this region a little more than six years ago.

This is my first trip to this area, and, I must say, I'm kind of astounded by what I've seen just driving around.  Some of the folks who are regular visitors to the area have mentioned how many large buildings, particularly the casino/hotels (I'm staying in one of them and writing from there right now), were severely damaged but quickly restored.  Yet when I drove around a bit Tuesday afternoon upon arriving the first thing I noticed near the Gulfport (neighboring community) airport was that the roof was still damaged at a National Guard building.  Then, driving along the beach highway to Biloxi, you see new construction alternated with ruined homes and structures surroun…

What I know (or think, anyway)......

On another business trip (first of four consecutive weeks of travel, which will bring the recent total to eight out of nine weeks) and I had some time to commit some stray thoughts to this blog.

I'm actually in Richmond, Virginia today.  Arrived here yesterday afternoon, and leave around lunchtime tomorrow.  This appears to be a pretty nice city; the former capital and in the northernmost of the Confederate States.  I have visited her pretty regularly in the past two years and I like what I've experienced.

My Cincinnati Reds are merely playing out the string, as they're out of contention with little to play for, a lot of guys hurt and fans are turning most of their attention elsewhere.  My son and I made one last trip to Great American Ball Park Saturday night, mostly for Johnny Bench night.  This event commemorated a statue outside the ballpark depicting the Reds' Hall of Fame catcher ("baseball's greatest catcher," we were reminded repeatedly during the…

The view from the cheap seats

Since so much of my comments here are observational, I thought today's title to be appropriate.  I also considered something else, but realized that journalist David Brinkley beat me to it as the title of one of his memoirs:  "Everyone is entitled to my opinion."

True, true.

OK, first, let's touch on sports.  This is one of my favorite times of the year, as the baseball season is winding down to reveal who will play in the post-season (and confirms what I've known for months, that my Cincinnati Reds will not be playing any meaningful games from here on out), and both the college and professional football seasons are getting underway.  Great time of year to be a sports fan.

Not so great, though, if you're a fan of high-quality professional football, as most of the games that I've watched have involved some pretty sloppy play.  This is undoubtedly owing to the NFL lockout that prevented teams from having "off-season" workouts, mini-camps and abbre…

Working on my act and taking it on the road

Well, sort of.....just back from a very quick business trip to Charlotte, where my supervisor and I interviewed candidates for a vacant position on my team.  And this morning I decided to move outside of the environs of my home office and am writing from a nearby bakery/coffee shop, soaking up that nice, strong, FREE Wi-Fi.

Weather is an interesting thing, isn't it?  How often do we get what we really want?  Here in central Kentucky, we've been approaching drought conditions for a while (though not nearly the extent that many parts of Texas and elsewhere have experienced), so now with the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee parked over our region, it's rained pretty much continuously since last Sunday.  We live on high ground in the city, so flooding really isn't an issue for us.  But it certainly is for those closer to creeks and streams, and there have been many reports of flood damage in our area.  Be careful what you wish for, as you just might get it.

The whole coffee …

Monday, Monday

Sitting in my office on this sunny Monday morning, thankful that only a handful of friends and acquaintances were caught up in Hurricane Irene's path.  That said, I hope the same for you.

Is it me, or was there a LOT of news coverage paid to this impending/occuring/passing disaster?  I suppose after Katrina, no one will ignore or take lightly a natural force like a hurricane again, but when the major networks have their weeknight anchors on duty on a Sunday afternoon and Matt Lauer is working on the Today set at 5:00 AM on a Saturday, you know it's a big deal.  Made bigger by its impact on New York, Washington, Boston and Philadelphia, to be sure.

The hurricane also had some effect on my Cincinnati Reds.  Their opponents this week (tonight through Thursday afternoon, when my son and I will be in attendance) are the Philadelphia Phillies, who postponed their Saturday and Sunday games due to the weather and spent the weekend hanging out in Cincinnati.  So while the Reds played a…

Work to do

In addition to the work that my employer pays me to do, it appears I have a few things pending here at the ranch.

For instance, my wife and I have been talking about painting our home's interior for some time, as the last go-round for the main level was about eight years ago.  Thankfully, our trim is in pretty good shape, and I am usually able to resist getting handprints on the ceilings, so they're OK, but that leaves the walls.  To be fair, I stripped the wallpaper from the kitchen walls within the last two years and painted what was newly exposed, and the upstairs bedrooms have been painted within the last eighteen months as well.  But the downstairs, where we do virtually all of our living, is looking, well, lived-in.  So we're about to start the painting process.

I'm in pretty good practice, as I helped our son repaint the main level of his house in anticipation of the arrival of his son in May.  So I should be able to get right into the swing of things.  And we e…

Musings

Well, well, well, here we are again, friends.  Nice to see you......and to be seen, after a fashion.

Traveled to a conference in Destin, Florida earlier this week.  I'm always a bit taken aback by "tourist" towns like Destin, as it's not at all uncommon to see folks who own all or part of a vacation home there side-by-side with folks who scraped together a few bucks to take their kids to the beach for the weekend.  And their dwellings fit that description, too, as you'll see tower upon tower of high-rise, ocean view condos alongside run-down, no-name motels.  One thing's for sure....the ocean doesn't discriminate, you have to want it to find the means to be there.  But the food was good, as I am a great lover of all things seafood and pretty much insist on getting fresh seafood when I'm at or near the water.  And it didn't disappoint.

I'm so relieved that Rick Perry has officially entered the Republican presidential campaign, as now the fur is…

Off the road again

Finally....a whole week where overnight travel won't be necessary.  I'm plenty busy when I'm in my office, but it's a little less hectic and the chaos is a bit more under control.  Good thing, too, since I will now have to plan on working another five or ten years, what with S&P downgrading the U.S. government's credit rating and what that will do to my (and millions of others') 401K plans....

That said, I should mention briefly why I'm so happy not to be traveling.....last week I spent three pretty full days on the road, going from Lexington to Louisville to Birmingham, AL to Knoxville, TN and back again.  All by car....my trusty Honda Pilot, which is most comfortable for long-distance travels.  Didn't see much bad weather, except excessive heat in the areas south of our home base.  Lots of road construction, owing to the warm weather and the ease of paving in the heat.

Long trip, but a productive one, so I'm back in the saddle here at the ranc…

Suck it up

Not really, but more in the "can you believe it?" sense.

Just ran across a feature item on a news site that indicated that Spanx, the folks who make slimming garments (these were called "girdles" and such when I was a kid) are now rolling out a line of shape wear that ladies can wear to the gym.

Take a minute to digest that.

Now, the main reason we exercise, in any form, is to look and feel good.  So this Spanx line makes you look good WHEN YOU GO TO DO SOMETHING THAT'S DESIGNED TO MAKE YOU LOOK AND FEEL GOOD?

So why exercise?

Then there were associated articles about the percentage of women who wear makeup when they visit the gym.  It's a lot higher than I would have expected.

This is all an interesting coincidence, as my wife and I took a good walk last night to a local frozen yogurt store, reasoning that we would walk better and further if given the proper incentive.  As luck would have it, we pass by a large workout facility on our way to and from this …

Going for the bronze

Greetings from steamy Richmond, Virginia, where the high temperature today will reach 101 degrees. No escape from the heat and humidity throughout the Southeast, so it would seem.

On my trip here I took special note of what seemed to be a higher than usual percentage of folks who had submitted themselves to artificial tanning. How do I know this? They're a different shade of "tan" than the farmer's tan adorning my forearms and neck these days (from golf, not farming), a little more orange. Why do people, and not just women, do this to themselves? I suppose my own level of vanity is manageable enough that this would nevr occur to me.

Speaking to tanning, let me now turn squarely to someone who was humorously referred to as "the world's saddest tangerine," House Speaker John Boehner. This man apparently circled August 2 as the target date for his moment in the sun, so to speak, and, instead, we have been subjected to the worst display of political bri…

A pirate looks at 51

Sorry, borrowed the title from an old Jimmy Buffett song I always liked, though he referred to a different point in life than I'm facing.

I turn 51 on Wednesday, and, no, I'm not looking for an avalanche of birthday greetings and such.  Last year I turned 50 kind of quietly, spending the day traveling for business and the evening with a pizza in a hotel room in a suburb of Charlotte, North Carolina.  We'd already had a celebration of the family birthdays while our daughter and her family were in for a visit, and my wife and I enjoyed a getaway the weekend just before, so the bigger celebrations had already occurred.

And I did what I was supposed to do, as I recently completed the two things I really didn't want to do...I had a physical, which included a prostate examination, and a colonoscopy.  In my mind, as long as I completed these before my 50th year was up, I wasn't untimely in doing so.  And both tests turned out normal, which is exactly what I wanted.  Proba…

Post vacation ramblings

Good morning, one and all.  Back from a little more than a week's vacation and have a few items to share.

My first comments will be about the visit just concluded by our daughter and her family.  I just want to go on record as saying that our grandchildren are growing up far too fast, and we really see this when our two Colorado-based grandkids come to visit.  It had only been six months since they and their mom last came to Kentucky, but they are both so different in that space of time.  Regardless, we had a great time with them here and enjoyed a lot of wonderful time with them and our son's family (also two kids).

If you're either a NASCAR fan or a Kentucky resident, you have now heard (and perhaps experienced) the mess that occurred in Sparta, Kentucky Saturday evening, in which the Kentucky Speedway, having begged for the opportunity to host a real live NASCAR event, blew it completely by screwing up parking for some 20,000 carloads of race fans.  From all accounts on…

The week that was...

Happy Independence Day to all. Big milestone in our family, as tomorrow my wonderful wife and I will celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary!

Had a kind of hectic week (or a little more, actually) leading up to today. Our daughter and her family arrived in Lexington for a visit on the 24th, the same day that my wife concluded her full-time employment AND the day of my dreaded colonoscopy (and what you have heard is true....the prep is far worse than the procedure). Fun with them Friday night and when they returned Sunday afternoon (went to another part of Kentucky to see my son-in-law's relatives), continuing through Monday night. Family dinners and some good clean fun in the backyard, which we transformed with a kiddie slide, plastic bowling and golf sets and some other stuff.

Then Tuesday I headed out for a business trip to Little Rock, Arkansas and Memphis, Tennessee. Since I work at home it would have been challenging for everyone had I attempted to work in my office shushin…

The road less traveled

Back from another brief business trip, again to the Nashville area.  And instead of my usual pattern, I overnighted in Bowling Green, a city a bit less than an hour north of the metro Nashville area, so that I could join a friend and take in a baseball game (nice ballpark in Bowling Green, by the way).

Then I did something very different from my usual travel patterns.  I had noticed on several recent trips to Nashville that the I-65 corridor between Elizabethtown (where I merge onto this highway) and the "cave area" of Kentucky (home of Mammoth Cave and other natural attractions) is rife with extensive construction due to lane additions to accommodate the massive amount of traffic on this road.  My friend from the Elizabethtown area explained that this has been in the "ten-year plan" for about twenty years, but, no matter, when it's completed, it will be much safer and better able to accommodate all of the cars and trucks zooming north and south.

Anyway, I saw …

Dad fantasies

As you likely remember, our son and his wife recently became the proud parents of a bouncing baby boy.  So now that he is the father of a son, I expect him to go through some of the same stuff I have in being his stepfather.  The interesting thing is that for every real experience we share, it creates a mental image of something else that I either wish I could do or would like to do with him.

To wit:

My beloved Cincinnati Reds (as with most every major league baseball team) operate a "dream week" fantasy camp, allowing regular guys like me the chance to spend a week playing baseball as though he were a member of the Reds.  I love baseball very much and still regret that I didn't get to play more organized ball when I was a kid.  Not that I was that good, I just loved it and still do.

Anyway, for the last twenty years or so I've had this recurring dream that I got to go to the Reds' fantasy camp, but in the last five or more, that dream has included my son going w…

I got nothing....

With apologies to a friend of mine who once uttered the title phrase to me after a day of outdoor painting in extreme heat....

But it kind of fits today.  I don't have any great travel stories to tell, no famous people I've met.  The new grandson is growing and doing well, parents and big sister are adjusting to life as a family of four, so that's all good.

But me?  Well, I said it earlier.  I got nothing.

Oh, I've been fighting a respiratory infection or something that's caused me to cough and blow quite a bit, but I think I've just about overcome it.  My wife wanted me to go to the doctor for it after spending a tough weekend a couple of weekends ago, but I felt I was making progress and declined to go.  After all, I was going for a physical the following Friday (6/3) and if I wasn't better by then, well, I'd already be at the doctor's office, so why go twice?

Pragmatism seldom trumps a spouse who's tired of someone coughing incessantly.  I wa…

Not sure where to start...

Wow, a great deal of stuff has appeared in the media over the past week or more that deserves comment....

First of all, what's Sarah Palin got up her sleeve?  Crashing the "Rolling Thunder" biker rally in Washington (the organizers were very specific in saying that Palin was NOT invited), visiting the National Archives (what, to check to see if the Constitution is still there?), then on to New York for dinner with the Trumps and on to New Hampshire.  And at each stop she effectively tweaks the collective nose of the press by saying she still isn't sure if she's running for president in 2012.

Suppose the GOP isn't all that happy with the choices it's seeing....a well-heeled Iowa Republican fundraiser apparently had dinner last night with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in an effort to persuade him to mount a campaign in 2012.

I wish 'em luck.

Luck also to Jim Tressel, who completed one of the longest and most blatantly hypocritical stints at the he…