Category: General


Memorandum on Mortality

The Main Event

On the morning of Tuesday, February 21, 2012, I thought I was having a heart attack.

I woke up at 6:30 A.M. feeling like a pissed-off construction worked was trying to break out of my ribcage with a jackhammer. At first, I thought I might simply be dehydrated, so I asked my wife if she wouldn’t mind getting the kids off to school, drank a large glass of water and laid back down for an hour or so.

When I got up finally, the pounding in my chest was still there, strong as ever. I went to the kitchen, poured myself a coffee, grabbed my laptop and went to work. I’m fortunate enough to work from my home office when I’m not travelling on business, so I plopped down at my desk and started reading through email.

At 10:30 A.M., four hours after waking-up with this Afro-Cuban pulse pounding away inside me, I sought out some advise from my mother-in-law, a registered nurse. My wife had been pleading with me to go to the emergency room for awhile and, eventually, I succumbed to her wishes. You see, I’m not big on doctors or hospitals. I never have been. I see so many people drag their kids into the hospital when they have a simple cold, and I’m always that guy saying, “They’re just going to tell you it’s a cold. You can prevent it or treat the symptoms, but you can’t cure it.” And most of the time I’m right.

This time I wasn’t.

By 11:00 A.M. I was lying on a gurney in the ER of my local hospital. I had myriad wires attached to my chest and one on the calf of each leg. A monitor just out of my line of sight sat to my left next to my wife.

The ER doc came in. She was great. She smiled a lot and spoke with a very soothing tone. As she introduced herself, she kept averting her eyes to the monitor. Her smile never broke, but it began to look a bit forced. Then, I heard one of the nurses whisper something to the doctor that sent a shudder through my already stressed nervous system:

“BP is 189 over 110 and he’s tachy.”

“Tachy.” I knew that term from watching the show ER all fifteen seasons it was on the air. It was a term used by the nurses on the show to describe heart attack patients. I know now that tachy is simply an abbreviation for tachycardia, which simply means “rapid heart beat,” but it scared the hell out of me at the time.

Holy crap, I’m having a heart attack.

Thirty minutes later, after a painful shot of blood thinner in the abdomen, a needle the size of a whaling harpoon stuck in my arm for blood and an IV inserted into my left hand (my constant companion for the following forty-eight hours), I was informed that I was going to be admitted. This was something that in my forty-one years on Earth had never before happened. I was going to spend the night in the hospital. This was no broken finger or twisted ankle, something they could throw an ace bandage on and send me home with a $45 ice pack and mild pain killers. This was serious shit. Shit they would have to monitor which made it all the more frightening.

I’m grateful I had a private room and that my loving spouse was with me the whole time, but it quickly started to feel like a prison cell. The staff was very kind and attentive, but I had a needle sticking our of my left hand, an O2 hose sticking out of my nose, numerous telemetry monitors stuck to my chest and wraps around my lower legs that would inflate and deflate to aid circulation in my lower extremities. As I tried to sleep, I was woken-up every couple of hours during the night so they could take my blood pressure, stick me with a needle to collect blood, do a “quick” EKG and check the sensitivity of my feet.

I felt like an eighty-year-old man. Most unpleasant.

In the end, I did not have a heart attack. My heart was in a state called “atrial fibrillation,” or “a-fib.” Essentially, the top two chambers of my heart—the atria—were taking tango lessons, pumping up and down the cardiac dance floor to a beat all their own, while the lower two chambers—the ventricles—work horses that they are, continued to keep blood moving through my circulatory system. The result was an uncomfortable pressure and “fluttering” in my chest. There was also the unfortunate possibility that, because the atria weren’t pumping correctly, a blood clot could form in the left atrium and get pushed into my blood stream, the likely outcome being a pulmonary embolism or a stroke.

Good times in the intensive care unit.

After two days of excellent if not exhausting care, my cardiologist decided to release me on my own recognizance. He said that I was still in a-fib, but it had stabilized. He was going to put me on medication for a month in the hopes that my heart would fall back into a sinus rhythm on its own. When I asked him what would happen if it didn’t, he said, “Well, then you’ll come back in here and we’ll use defibrillator paddles to shock it back into a sinus rhythm.”

I was sorry I asked.

 

The Cause

And what caused the a-fib in the first place? The best theory is that it was sleep apnea combined with job-related stress. I was diagnosed several years ago with this fairly common sleep disorder, but I’d lost a lot of weight and, when I did, I stopped snoring. In turn, I stopped using my Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine. My doctor, in no uncertain terms, informed me it was time to blow the dust off and start using it again.

You see, when you have obstructive sleep apnea, your airway is blocked multiple times a night as you sleep. This blockage doesn’t wake you completely, but it pulls you out of deeper, more restful levels of sleep. It also has more insidious effects that I wasn’t aware of until my doctor explained them to me in the hospital.

Humans are innately endowed with a physiological “fight or flight” response. This evolutionary holdover, when faced with danger, releases a cocktail of cortisol and adrenalin into your system. These so-called “stress hormones” prepare your body for extreme feats of physical exertion. Oxygen is diverted to your extremities, your heart rate quickens to supply oxygen to the muscles, you become more alert. Every time someone with sleep apnea stops breathing during the night, these hormones are released into your bloodstream and these reactions take place.

This isn’t really conducive to a good night’s sleep, obviously. It’s none too good for your cardiovascular system either. When your body is supposed to be down for maintenance, my body was ramped-up, my heart rate and blood pressure climbing because of the stress hormones. My body, overall, was simultaneously deprived of oxygen while needing more than normal. Not a great combination for long-term cardiac health.

My doctor postulated that the cumulative effects of this nocturnal stress finally threw my heart into a-fib. What’s more, it’s highly likely that I was in a-fib long before I really felt it on Tuesday morning. It was just subtle enough that I could dismiss it as indigestion or gas.

In other words, that whole “ticking time bomb” thing you read about in the newspaper or see on the evening news, I had one of those in the left side of my chest and, as such, this story might have had a very different ending.

 

The Aftermath

One of the real ironies of these events is that, Monday night, just as I was laying down to bed, I thought to myself, You know, I’m going to take a jog in the morning. It’s been too long since I had a decent run. I pulled out my running shoes and some warm sweats and went to bed.

Here’s the thing: If my doctor is right and I’d been in a-fib for some time already, I might have headed out for a morning jog along the sparsely travelled country road near my house and thrown a clot from my malfunctioning left atrium and dropped dead along the side of the road. It’s the classic “Guy Running to Get Healthy Drops Dead While Running to Get Healthy” headline.

Sure, it would have been cliché, but clichés become clichés once they happen enough times.

Prior to last week’s events, I’d already been reflecting on reaching “mid-life.” This week, “mid-life” might have ended up being age twenty for me.

I’ve felt mortality before, like when you have to put the break pedal through the floor of your car because the guy in front of you brakes suddenly on the interstate, or when your hand slips out of a hand-hold while rock climbing. But these are events, scary moments that causes your breath to catch in your chest, but from which you recover after a few minutes. Last week? That was the first time I’ve really looked at my body as something that can atrophy and eventually die with no event at all.

It gets a guy thinking.

Many of the things the twenty-year-old me wanted to accomplish have been done, and many not done. Same as everyone, I suppose. There’s a whole list of things I still want to do.

The key, I think, is to stop waiting for the right time to do the things that will fulfill you and make you happy. Time could run out in the next minute, the next year, the next decade. Who knows? I mean, last Tuesday I was planning to go for a jog and, instead, ended up in the ICU for two days.

What comes next? I haven’t figured that out yet, but I’m sure it will provide ample fodder for many future posts. For now, I’m happy to be convalescing at home where I can look out the window and feel the sun shining on my face. I can feel the cold wind and watch the snow melt across the yard. I’m happy to enjoy my time with my loving wife (who never left my side at the hospital), my beautiful and intelligent daughters, and my excellent family and friends. All simple things that, for a short time last week, I thought I’d never get to enjoy again. 

As of 4:30 P.M. CST today, my heart is back in sinus rhythm. That’s a good thing, but the question remains: What comes next? That’s yet to be decided, but I think being here, right now, in this moment, is a damn good start.

“It is never too late to become what you might have been.”  ~ George Eliot

I recently arrived at the half-way point in the human lifespan. While reaching this milestone hasn’t given me the desire to go buy a red sports car or have a lurid extra-marital affair, it has prompted a significant amount of thought and reflection.

A “Mid-life Review,” if you will.

I’m not obsessing about it, but I think it’s healthy to stop and consider the state of your life. Are you where you’d hoped you be by now? What have you done? What have you left undone? These are healthy questions to ask. They help you evaluate and make course corrections as needed.

As I go through this process, the word regret seems to cross my mind a lot. Regret is one of those words that’s considered bad, that to regret anything is bad.  People like to say, “I have no regrets. If I had it all to do over again, I wouldn’t change a thing.” When I hear that, another word crossed my mind: Bullshit.

People say things like this because they think that if they express regret about anything, about not pursuing dancing or taking that job they didn’t really want or not getting that college degree, they will somehow undo all the good things that their lives have produced, many of which were a result of the things they regret.

That too is bullshit.

The fact is that everyone regrets something. Very few of us make it through our lives without compromising on things that we really wanted for ourselves in order to serve an immediate need. You can compromise for all the right reasons, and still regret that you did, or rather that you had to.

Here are some of my regrets:

  • Changing My Major Freshman Year In College. I entered school as a music major. After a semester, I switched majors because I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to make a living as a musician. I saw people who were much better than me and I thought I’d never be as good as them. I was immature and stupid and I never should have given up on that.
  • Not Going After My Doctorate. I got married after getting my M.A. in Renaissance Literature. We actually moved to Champaign-Urbana so I could do post-graduate work with the goal of living the quiet life of a professor. I didn’t do this, opting instead to pursue a job in the business world. The money has been good, but I often wonder what might have been.
  • Losing Touch With Writing and Music. In the years after I got married, my core focus was building a career and  bringing home the bacon. I was very successful at this, but lost track of two passions that drove me during my adolescence: Writing and music. I’ve made huge strides in reconnecting with both in recent years, but I hate that I was so inactive during my twenties and most of my thirties.
  • Borrowing Money From a Relative to Start a Business. In the late nineties, my wife and I borrowed a lot money from her father to start a business. We had some success, but when the tech bubble burst, we had to shut it down. Her father got stuck holding the bag and I was never able to really even make a dent in the debt. It got taken care of eventually, but he’s behind because of some bad decisions we made.

There are more, but I don’t want to get too detailed. You get the idea.

The conventional response to these would be that, if I’d done anything different, taken any other path, I wouldn’t have all the good things in my life. I never would have met my wife and had my wonderful children. I wouldn’t have travelled to the places I’ve travelled, seen the things I’ve seen or enjoy the friendships I’ve made. It’s the “Everything happens for a reason” consolation.

Of course, no one can say with certainty that had I studied music through all fours years of college that I wouldn’t have met my wife in 1993 and spent the next eighteen years deliriously happy. Maybe I could have done all these things and ended up with roughly the same life I have today. Maybe even better. Then I would have been writing this saying, “I regret not pursuing a career in business. Who knows what a captain of industry I might have been?”

There’s no point denying that we regret decisions we’ve made and not made because, regardless, we’re going to have them. No matter what.

So as I sit her at my Mid-life Review, I’m wondering what to do with all this. I have left things undone. I have left certain paths that looked dangerous unexplored and taken the easier way. I’ve made bad decisions as well as good ones that didn’t work out the way I planned.

I think the only thing to do is to take a close look at these things I regret, decide which are really important and then do something about those. I’ll use them to chart my course from here forward and try to gain a little wisdom along the way. It feels like I may be a little too late for some of them, but as the saying goes, every day on this side of the dirt is a good day.

“Regret” is not a four letter word. “Quit” is.

 

Technorati Tags: ,,

You Can Go Home Again, But…

I haven’t posted in awhile, and here’s why…

I grew up in northern Illinois. I lived here twenty-nine years. It was my home and I’d never known anything or anyplace different. My friends were there, my family was there. I went to a small high school in a small town called Hampshire. I went to college in a small town called DeKalb at a big university called Northern Illinois University.

And then we moved away.

Seeking a change of scenery and a new life, my wife, my two daughters and I moved to a western suburb of St. Louis. There it was called “the boonies.” In the Chicago area, they’d call it “the near west side.” We went and bought a home, completely out of our element, swimming in the deep end of the pool without exemplary swimming skills. And we made it.

Through thick and through thin, in good times and bad, we made it on our own. We had a tremendous amount of pride in this accomplishment. We made good friends, great friends. We bought a modest house and made it our home.

Four months ago, we seriously considered an offer made by my father-in-law to buy his old house in rural DeKalb country. It was the house in which my wife lived while she was in high school. It was the house in which I’d met and become a part of her family. Our wedding reception, a party of historical significance by local measure, was held in a gigantic Morton shed on the property. This house has been in her family for four generations. It has tremendous history and a good deal of property. It was exactly what we’d been looking for and, as such, we decided to move away from the St. Louis area and go back home again.

It was the right decision.

Tonight my wife drove my daughter back to St. Peters to spend a week or so with her friends there. She was nervous about going back. It is the first time in nearly two months since she’d been back to the place where we’d become individuals and staked our own claim. She called me a short time ago to let me know the road she was on, that she was passing the Costco near our house, that my daughter was really excited to be back.

I didn’t think these things would affect me. I love this house. I love how close we are to family and that we get to see people we’re close to so often. But her call made me sad in a way that I haven’t been since the day I drove away from our home down south. It brought many memories back that hit me in a way I didn’t expect. I thought of friends I couldn’t easily see anymore, of things I couldn’t easily do anymore, of times that were long gone.

Don’t misunderstand, I don’t regret our decision for a moment. I love our new house. I thoroughly enjoy that I can sit on my back porch in the evening and listen to the crickets sing while a cool breeze washes over me like a wave on a hot day at the beach. I love that I can see my mother, my sister, my aunt, my father and mother-in-law, all my in-laws whenever I like, that we get to spend quality time together in the way my friends down in St. Peters could with their families.

But tonight I feel a little melancholy. It’s the first time I’ve really missed my home down south. The people that I was close to down there were easy to reach. A dinner with our friend Silvia was a five minute drive away. We could drop in at the taekwondo Dojang where we spend so much time with our kids and Master Brad Chapman whenever we liked. I had a band with guys I loved to play music with. There was so much there and there is so much here.

You can go home again, but time can be cruel, and so it has been. So many people that we knew and loved here were so excited when we announced we were moving back. We’ve seen virtually none of them. There are so many places we used to go when we lived here before. We’ve visited virtually none of them.

I know this will change. Eventually, this will feel like home, like someplace we’ve always been. I can still remember going through this same process when we moved to St. Peters in 1999. I think the difference is that I’m much older and wiser than I was then. When we moved away, we were running, trying to get someplace, anyplace different. This time it was a very carefully thought out decision, and it’s those types of decisions that can give you the most pause.

We made this move for all the right reasons. Perhaps that’s why on nights like tonight, it feels like we’ve given up more than we’ve gained.

Sometimes rationality is overrated. Time will tell.

I think I’ll slip out to my back deck, listen to the crickets sing, and consider the almost cliché axiom:  “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”

 You’ve read the books. You’ve downloaded the iPhone app. But do you have the 2011 “Bunny Suicides” calendar and organizer.

Yeah, you read that right. Andy Riley’s hysterical franchise on self-homicidal hasenpfeffer has followed in the large footsteps of Gary Larson and Scott Adams and published a book calendar and organizer for 2011 featuring many of my favorite moments in Leporidae suicidium, including:

  • The bunny sitting on a power drill pushing the On button with a stick
  • The bunny getting ready to ram a butcher knife attached to a remote control car into himself
  • The bunny throwing himself through the strings of an orchestra harp (while the harpist is still playing, of course)

I have a pretty black sense of humor, so this calendar will soon adorn my desk. I just thought I’d pass the good word around.

The Death of Manners

I’m not a prude. Anyone who knows me personally, especially my family, will attest to that. I have, however, noticed a disturbing trend in recent interactions with my fellow human beings. It all came to a head while shopping at the local grocery store yesterday.

One is hard-pressed to observe good manners in a grocery store anyway, but this was unusual even for that harsh environment. I was standing in the frozen food aisle looking for a bag of frozen peas for the shepherd’s pie I was going to make for dinner. As I scanned the shelves to see if the store actually carried “English peas” (I do so love Alton Brown and his attention to detail in his recipes), a woman pushing a cart walked in front of me, and then stopped.

When I was a child, I was taught that, should you need to step in front of someone who is clearly looking at something, you say, “Excuse me.” I don’t know how my parents got that to stick, but I do it to this very day. It would never occur to me to not excuse myself, no less stop directly in front of someone without a word said.

I opened my mouth to say something, and then decided to wait and see if she would eventually acknowledge what she’d done. Not having my stopwatch with me, I had to guess at the time that passed, but I would have to say it was a good ten to fifteen seconds, which is a veritable eternity in the grocery store. She eventually opened the freezer door, took a bag of frozen corn, tossed it nonchalantly into her cart and went on her way as if I’d never existed. That was the part that disturbed me the most:  She never even acknowledged I was there.

This is just one case, and an extreme one at that, but I think it calls out a disturbing trend in our society:  The death of common manners and courtesy.

Why God, Why?

Of course there’ve always been rude assholes in the world. It just seems like there are way more of them these days, and they’re coming in all shapes and sizes.

So what is causing this proliferation of pricks? I’ll leave it for the sociologists to publish the definitive paper (if you can ever wake them up at the party), but I’ll propose a few theories of my own:

Technology

The Internet. Wireless devices. Cellular telephones. What wondrous things these are. They bring the world together in ways my generation could never have dreamed when we were children. They’ve also created a preoccupation with a vast network of people that are everywhere but where you are.

It’s almost become a cliché, people walking around staring at a small, black device in their hand, oblivious to the turning and churning of the world around them. When you value the company of virtual people more than those immediately around you, courtesy dies. I often think of my teenaged daughter and her cell phone. She considers it extremely rude not to reply to every text message she gets, as if not sending an immediate reply would cause some lasting damage to the sender’s delicate self-confidence. However, as she taps away on the keyboard of her phone, she hears nary a word coming from my mouth and, of course, can’t understand why I’m irritated when I have to repeat myself. Look around you right now. I’ve got a ten-spot that someone nearby is interacting with a screen instead of the real, carbon-based beings physically near them.

Technology is a wondrous thing and enables us to do many things better than we used to, but it is absolutely a double-edged sword that will disembowel us all if we’re not careful.

Television

Like it or not, television is the predominant form of entertainment in this country. It is the bringer of information and the babysitter of children. Karl Marx would burst and aneurism to see that television has replaced religion as the opiate of the masses.

This is not going to be a bash on television as a concept. I watch some television and I don’t buy into the in-vogue idea that not watching television makes you somehow to superior to everyone else who does.

That being said, I think that the programming on most television stations is reminiscent of a poorly maintained cow pasture littered from fence line to fence line with steaming piles of bovine shit:  There might be a flower growing out there somewhere, but it’s going to be very hard to find and it’s certain your shoes are going to smell bad when everything is said and done.

The proliferation of so-called “reality TV,” an interesting idea at its inception, has rolled forward completely out of control. These days, for every drama or sitcom on the air, there’s a show about competitive baking, admonishing people for not dressing stylishly enough or, God help us, being a promiscuous drunk in New Jersey.

Interestingly, the worst that television has to offer appears to be the most popular. With the constant reinforcement that putting yourself first and others second is not only okay, but lands you a big-time television gig, what motivation is there to maintain simple respect for others? Answer:  None.

In the same way that television has desensitized a generation to images of violence, now it is slowly eroding our sense of courtesy and appropriate behavior.

And then, of course, there is the matter of television political pundits, but that’s for another article altogether.

Parenting

Is it just me, or does it seem that active parenting is becoming a lost art form?

I’m not saying that I am, by any means, a perfect parent, because I’m not. I don’t think such a thing has ever existed. I am, however, an active parent, probably much more so than my children care for. I’m involved in their daily lives. I care about what they do, where they are and with whom they’re spending time.

These don’t sound like extraordinary things for a parent to do, but as I meet the parents of my children’s friends, I’m astounded how unusual my parenting style seems to be these days. The idea that one of my teenaged children could be out until past midnight and that I would have no clue as to where they were is beyond me. I can’t even imagine it. Yet I keep encountering parents who are right there in that situation and, what’s worse, they don’t seem bothered by it. I keep hearing statements like, “Kids will be kids,” and “You have to let them learn for themselves.” While I agree in spirit with these sentiments, children are not supposed to learn about life and the cold, cruel world by themselves. The entire purpose of keeping them in your home until adulthood is to guide and teach them, even when they resist it with every fiber of their being.

With the combination of ubiquitous connections via technology, the wasteland of content on television and laissez-faire parenting style that seems to be evolving into the norm, it’s really no wonder that basic respect for other people is going the way of the mastodon.

What to Do?

This isn’t about opening the door for a lady, or keeping your napkin in your lap. This isn’t about laying your coat down over a mud puddle for your fair lass to cross or even insisting the other guy go first at the four-way intersection, even though it was your turn.

I’m talking about the kind of courtesy that comes from respect, pure and simple.

Wait staff in restaurants are always complimenting my children for their manners. Why? Because my wife and I require them to order food by saying, “May I please have…” as opposed to what I typically hear, “I’ll take the…” or “Gimme the…” These latter two examples are demands, where as the former is a request. What’s the difference? If you were addressing an indentured servant, then a command would be entirely appropriate-there would be no true expectation of respect. However, men and women working in restaurants are not indentured servants. They are people doing a difficult and tiring job and, in most cases, not making a lot of money doing it. The simple act of asking for your food (and yes, the word “please” is required) makes all the difference in that interaction. I’m fairly certain I’ve never been served food with spit mixed into the cream sauce.

Seeing as this seems to be such a rampant problem in our society, and I’m not big on bitching without proposing potential solutions, here are some tips that will facilitate more pleasant and respectful interactions:

  • Say “Please.” Say “Thank you.” A simple acknowledgement that someone has done something for you goes a long way. I consistently get smiles from waiters and waitresses because I will pause in a conversation at the table to thank them when they refill my water glass. Not only does it feel good to make someone else feel the same, I find that I get much better service from people. Courtesy should be a win-win for everyone involved.
  • Leave the cell phone in your pocket. I always have the cell phone with me. I will admit that. However, it’s important to note that FCC imposes no penalties on someone who opts not to answer their cell phone when it rings. All cellular plans have voicemail. If it’s important, they’ll leave a message. If they don’t leave a message, there’s always caller ID. You have options;  one of them should not be to disrupt other people’s lives with your phone. Sometimes I wish they never left the kitchen wall.
  • Say “Excuse me.” Let’s face it, we all get in each other’s way sometimes. Had the woman I introduced at the beginning of this article simply said, “Excuse me, I just need to grab something real quick,” I would have said, “No problem,” and you would likely not be reading this. It only takes a second to let someone else know that you know that they’re there, and it can make all the difference.
  • Remember, other people don’t care about your personal life. You personal life is just that:  Personal. Keep it that way. My family and I don’t want to hear about your most recent pregnancy scare. Nor do we care to listen to you say “Fuck” three hundred times in a four minute conversation with your step-brother. Have some decorum. If it’s not something you’d sit down and tell me one-on-one, then you should probably avoid yelling it into your cell phone in the middle of a restaurant.
  • The “Golden Rule.” ‘Nuff said.

In the end, there’s no great secret to bringing back manners and civility to our culture. Any time more than a few people choose to live in close proximity to each other, these things just start to make sense, or at least they should.

I have a challenge for you:  Try to incorporate one act of common courtesy into your routine each day. Start simply. Hold the door some someone coming into a building behind you, even if you have to stand there for a few extra seconds waiting for them to arrive. Tuck your suitcase under your table in the crowded airport bar instead of leaving it in the middle of the aisle. When someone yells, “Hold the elevator!” as the doors are closing, reach down and hit the button. You can tell him or her when they board that they should have said, “Please.”

It’s not hard. If we all start thinking outside of ourselves and remember that we’re all just ameba living together in this big blue petri dish, then things will start to take care of themselves. So please, remember your manners. If you can’t, contact me. I’ll help you remember them.

Technorati Tags: ,,

Welcome

I’m tempted to write a long, drawn-out introduction, of both myself and what this blog will be about, but I’m going to resist the temptation. I read a lot of blog posts like that and think it’s kind of pointless really. In time, I’m tell you these things through the posts I write and you’ll either like this blog or you won’t and will tune us both out accordingly.

Suffice it to say that I will endeavor to make the information you find here interesting. I have a lot of interests and passions. Over the years, I’ve setup different blogs for different interests and, frankly, I got tired of maintaining them. So, I’m consolidating everything here.

I’m a musician, a geek, a cook, a reader, a writer and a film buff. I’m a husband, a father, an uncle and a brother. I’m interested in discussing politics, but only with people willing to listen as much as they talk. I’m an atheist, but am always willing to discuss matters of faith.

This is not a site for punditry or bully pulpits. It is simply a place for me to share ideas and opinions and, hopefully, get some back from you.

So, there it is. This is by far the shortest introductory post I’ve written. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Now, let the games begin…

Digg This