Friday, December 15, 2006

The Mysterious Tin Fu Club Meets Again

The Mysterious Tin Fu Club Meets Again.

The Tin Fu Club had a Holiday Gathering on Thursday, December 14th and a very diverse group met.

Check out some pictures of the 45 or so Tin Fu Clubbers

Friday, December 08, 2006

Bill Gates for President

Dilbert creator Scott Adams has jumped on the bandwagon to elect Bill Gates as president of the USA in 2008 citing his business success and charitable efforts.

(Hey, we've had worse)

What do you think? Ross Perot was a businessman as was Jimmy Carter, so it's not unheard of (though Steve Forbes never got more than a few percentage points)

Visit the Gates for President site and then vote in the Great Lakes Geek survey.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Office

I am a big fan of The Office. I was even given a Dwight K. Schrute bobblehead which sits atop one of my PCs.

Read Dwight’s blog

But it’s that other Office that can get confusing.

You won't be able to upgrade your Microsoft Office 2000 in January so you will miss out on the less expensive upgrade price.

Read about some strategies you might want to try to get the lastest office and spend the least.

Get your own Dwight Schrute Bobble Head

Monday, November 20, 2006

Very short stories from Wired Magazine

Last month’s Wired magazine (which I just got around to) has an outstanding section called Very Short Stories. It’s based on Hemingway’s six word story which Papa called his best work. Here it is:

For sale: baby shoes, never worn.

Brilliant! So Wired got 33 writers to come up with 6 word science fiction stories and some are just incredible.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Computer – Did we bring batteries? Computer?
By Eileen Gunn

Epitaph: Foolish humans, never escaped Earth.
By Vernor Vinge

Lie detector eyeglasses perfected: Civilization collapses
By Richard Powers

The baby’s blood type? Human, mostly.
By Orson Scott Card

Check it out:

Friday, November 17, 2006

OSU-Michigan or Six Sigma?

Former GE CEO Jack Welch spoke at Tri-C Corporate College this AM about quality and innovation. Throughout the day there will be classes on lean manufacturing, Six Sigma and other processes.

Welch began his presentation with an announcement of a special Six Sigma presentation to be held the next day (Saturday) at 3:30 PM that will go for about 3 hours (during the Ohio State-Michigan game). Moderator Les Vinney, CEO of Steris, countered that “Hopefully by halftime we’ll be able to attend.”

Welch said he didn’t know who would win the big game. “I went to Illinois – we can’t beat anyone.”

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Ohio State Buckeyes vs Michigan Wolverines

Here's a bunch of jokes trashing Michigan for this Saturday's big game. Feel free to replace Michigan with Pittsburgh Steelers in time for Sundays game. ;-)

Go Bucks and Go Browns!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Hidden Treasures

I also checked out the preview of the Hidden Treasures of the Diocese of Cleveland at Josaphat's Art Hall on 33rd. Not a lot of items there but it is such a cool place and the items were interesting. Check it out while you can - it's free.
More information.

Fabulous Cleveland Women

I spent much of the weekend at the Fabulous Food Show at the IX Center. had a booth and there were about 35,000 attendees!

The celebrity chefs get treated like rock stars.

We posted a bunch of pics on the site - Robin Swoboda (remember her? She'll have a new show this January on Fox 8) , Paula Deen, Bubba Baker, Carl Monday and more

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Absolutely Fabulous

The Fabulous Food Show is Friday-Sunday at the IX Center.

I’ll be in booth # 467 for a good chunk of the time though may be sampling some vino occasionally.

We ( are giving away over $35,000 in spices and seasonings from Durkees/Tone Brothers.

Also, some great raffle prizes from Dollar Bank (4 Tribe club seats with food!), Plant Magic (a holiday centerpiece), John Roberts Spas (Spa package) and more.

Stop by and say “Hi”

17 Seconds in Heaven?

Time is relative of course but 17 seconds isn’t very long (unless you are underwater or in terrible pain or…)

But Dr. Miles Jones of Net Doctor International told me that on average, we only have 17 seconds to explain our situation to our doctor before he or she takes over the conversation.

And then the whole visit is only 13 minutes including the greeting, checking the chart, small talk and writing up the new information.

That’s just one of the reasons that Dr. Jones is an advocate on on-line healthcare. For more, listen to the podcast from the Cleveland Clinic Medical Innovation Summit.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Oy Vey

I’ll admit that I don’t know any Hebrew (outside of a few characters used in mathematics) but I do get a kick out of a lot of the Yiddish terms I hear used. There’s a bunch of them here.

It's a really rich language and some words describe the situation better than any English counterpart I can come up with.

And I haven’t yet seen a Microsoft Zune. I’ve been happy with my Creative MuVo mp3 player that I've had forever.

What’s the connection?

Some Hebrew linguists (they are divided on this issue) say that the word “zune” is pretty darn close to the Hebrew vulgarity for the “f” word.

Microsoft says they are aware of the similarity in pronunciation
to the Hebrew zi-yun.

I think it’s bobbyemseh that Microsoft did this on purpose. Probably some alter cocker came up with this. Some people will kvetch about anything. Be a mensch, not a schmendrick.

Zie Ga Zink. ;-)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Bang a Gong

Yikes! The Bell of Free Speech has been Silenced as the Historic City Club of Cleveland Gong goes Missing.

Missy Toms just sent out this message.

City Club employees believe that the gong and gavel, which are valued at $4,000, were taken sometime between 6 p.m. on Friday, October 13, 2006, and 11 p.m. on Saturday, October 14, 2006. City Club officials are reviewing building security tapes in hopes that they will be able to determine what happened.

The gong was donated to The City Club by Dr. Louis Siegelstein, a City Club member. His family obtained the gong from what was then Shanghai, China in the 1930s. Since then, the gong has signaled the beginning and the closing of all City Club Forums and programs. It is heard every Friday on the live radio broadcasts of City Club Forums on WCLV-FM and on The City Club’s radio network, which includes more than 200 stations across the country. In addition, viewers see it every week on the WVIZ television broadcast of Friday Forums.

The City Club will not seek prosecution if the person returns the gong. Anyone with information about the gong is asked to call The City Club at 216.621.0082.

”The City Club gong is an immensely important artifact for The City Club and the city of Cleveland. It has become a symbol of free speech, ringing in historically significant speakers for many years, including several U.S. presidents and Cleveland mayors, Babe Ruth, and Rosa Parks,” says City Club executive director James Foster. “We hope that the person who took the gong will realize its value to our region and the nation. We welcome its return with no questions asked.”

Let' get that gong back!

Friday, September 29, 2006

Guns and Websites

We’ve all been to way too many business and/or tech presentations in some stuffy conference room. Yawn.

But the folks at Aztek Technology know how to do it up right.

They hosted a new technology presentation on Thursday September 28th that covered a lot of new and interesting technology. But what set this demonstration apart from others was the location and the after-meeting activities.

Aztek’s Kevin Latchford is a long-time member of the Beaver Creek Club in Amherst so the event was held in the clubhouse on their 500+ acre spread. After the presentation the attendees were taken out to use the extensive shooting facilities at the club. (That's Aztek's Stacie Baske in the photo)

Check it out

Friday, September 15, 2006

Larry Ellison in Cleveland?

Hard to imagine isn't it? Gary Baney, Founder and CEO of Boundless Flight thinks so. Gary is a kindred spirit to the Oracle founder. He works very hard and plays very hard and sees Cleveland as too often accepting comfort and mediocrity.

What do you think?

I did an audio interview with him and it’s the current show at It’s 16 minutes but worth the listen. I’m really interested in feedback from both the native Clevelanders and some of you transplants. Comment here or via the e-mail link on the Baney interview page.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Guy Kawasaki

I posted some details and pics from the Guy Kawasaki keynote address last night on
the Great Lakes Geek site

Chairs were set up on the stage of the State Theater so now I (and a bunch of other folks) can claim to have appeared on stage at the State.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Ah, End Users

I know it’s almost a cliché to talk about the “ignorant” end user. You know, the person searching for the “any key” or using the CD tray as a cup holder.

But this one was new (to me) and funny.

A help desk guy got an end user on the line and started walking through steps to try and troubleshoot. He asked her to go to My Computer and in a few moments, there she was with phone in hand. She did what she was told and went to “My Computer”

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Sudoku, Podcast... De-crapifier?

Look out Sudoku and Podcast. You may have been the most popular words for 2005 but there is a new kid in town.

A guy who was tired of uninstalling all the, uh, stuff on new Dell PCs created a script that would automatically remove it all.

He called it the Dell De-Crapifier and after hearing from Dell he has since renamed it the PC De-Crapifier.

Let's all conjugate together:
I de-crap
You de-crap
He/She/It de-craps

and so on. More details and a link.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Mike Douglas

Mike Douglas passed away this AM on his 81st birthday. He was a cool guy and way ahead of his time as a TV host. In the turbulent 60's this rather unhip guy was bringing people like John Lennon and Yoko Ono on his show.

We did an interview with him a few years ago. Check it out - some pictures too.

Health Care Shockers

I listened to Kaiser Permanente’s Patricia Kennedy Scott speak at the SmartBusinessLive luncheon on August 10th. “Our health care system, in my view, is fundamentally broken.”

The most amazing stat to me was that 90% of the healthcare dollars are spent on 10% of the population! Wow!

Read more and see some pics of the event at

Monday, July 24, 2006

Botanical Gardens 7-21-06

As I often say, if you can't find something fun to do in this city you really aren't trying. Even the weather cooperated last Friday night for the Young Professionals in the City event at the beautiful Cleveland Botanical Gardens.

Mayor Frank Jackson was very accessible and held an extended Q&A session with the several hundred in attendance.

I shot a few pics and so did Thomas Mulready.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Cleveland Cooks

You know those special recipes that have been your family's favorites for years? Maybe they were brought over from the "Old Country" by a relative. Maybe there's a unique or funny way that you always serve it. Or maybe it's just a tried and true recipe that always gets raves.

We've gathered these best recipes and assembled them all in one cookbook to show that Cleveland Cooks!

Cleveland Cooks cookbook cover with Moses Cleaveland

There are over 350 recipes from your neighbors and friends as well as local celebrities such as Dick Goddard, Wilma Smith, Romona Robinson, Lee Jordan, Al Roker, Stacey Bell, Sister Mary Assumpta, Mary Ann the Ghost Whisperer, Les Roberts, Food TV's Jack Hourigan, Hoolihan, SuperHost, Miss Barbara, George Nemeth, Thomas Mulready and many more.

Look for delicious recipes celebrating the diverse ethnic makeup of Cleveland - Hungarian, Jewish, Italian, Armenian and many more.

The cookbooks are available at many local summer fests and shows or you can order online.

Part of the proceeds from the book will benefit Computers Assisting People (CAP).

Get details at

Friday, June 09, 2006

Best Cut?

A lot of us in the tech world complain about the commodization of our products and services. It’s hard to attract and retain customers when price is the only differentiator.

Imagine a service such as haircuts - there doesn’t seem to be a way to differentiate and attract loyal customers and make decent margins. After all, a haircut is a haircut. But John DiJulius, has managed to do just that.

John is the president of John Robert's Salon and Spa, which has been selected one of the top 20 salons in America. I saw him speak at the SBL Live luncheon at the Forum yesterday.

Check out the details.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Irish Summerfest tickets

The Irish Summerfest is going to be at Classic Park in Eastlake this June. Not sure how they will handle the logistics - I always liked it at Euclid Park.

ClevelandWomen.Com and are sponsors of the event so we are holding a raffle for some 4-packs of free tickets.

Check it out - good luck.

Jim Beam, Jack Daniels and...

Wild Turkey?

My favorite bourbon is a brand called Rebel Yell and you can’t find it above the Mason Dixon line. My friends and I first tried it because we saw Keith Richards holding a bottle of it in a photo in the Rolling Stones Exile on Mainstreet album.

If it was good enough for Keef, we had to try it.

But I digress. Yesterday when heading down Forest Hills Blvd. I saw a – wild turkey! – near Forest Hills Park. Not a buzzard, not a goose but a real wild turkey. Then today coming home along Monticello, traffic was forced to stop as this (I assume there’s only one but who knows) wild turkey crossed the street at a leisurely pace.

Enough to drive a man to drink. ;-)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

CAAO Auction

If you don’t know about the Consortium of African American Organizations (CAAO), you should. You can hear a podcast interview with their Executive Director Connie Atkins on the Great Lakes Geek site.

One of their most interesting events is their annual executive auction which is going on now till Thursday May 11th at 11PM.

You bid on time donated by bigwigs from the Clinic, UH, Key Bank and other institutions that you probably would never get to schmooze with otherwise. Or go for a fun bid like watching a Cavs game with Dan Gilbert in his loge or shooting hoops with Eric Snow or getting a tour of the Rock Hall from Terry Stewart.

Connie told me that winning bidders have generated over $5 million (much more but many are private about giving out numbers) in new business from the relationships they made after winning a bid.

So if you don’t golf with Henry Meyer or belong to the same clubs as Dan Gilbert, here’s your chance to sit down with them.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Blame AC (not Austin Carr)

On the way to hear Dick Pogue speak at a Neosa event last night I saw a bumper sticker on a car on 24th and Payne that said “Who is John Galt?”

Of course, that’s the expression used in Ayn Rand’s classic “Atlas Shrugged.” Great to see something like that on a car instead of the usual “If you’re rich, I’m single” tripe.

Mr. Pogue gave kind of a history lesson starting before his arrival in town in 1957. One thing he said I had never considered before. We all know that in 1950 Cleveland was the 6th largest city with a million people. What I didn’t realize was that the proliferation and economy of air conditioning made it possible for a lot of our manufacturing jobs to move to the South and West. Before AC those climates were just too hot for a lot of the work that we did up here.

Of course there are numerous other reasons we started to slide but that’s one component that was new to me.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Wrong side of the tracks?

I just finished Crossing the Road to Entrepreneurship, the autobiography of Bart Wolstein who passed away just before it was published.

Wolstein made millions in real estate developlment - starting on the then undeveloped suburb of Twinsburg. He developed many similar outlying suburbs, got into big box stores likes Kmart and eventually shopping malls, hotels and country clubs.

Two things really jump out at me from the book. First is how relative “humble beginnings” can be. He was raised in the 1940’s on Taylor Road in Cleveland Heights. Even today, that is not exactly the inner city or a depressed area. In the ‘40’s, living in Cleveland Heights would certainly not be considered a hardship by most. Yet in the book he constantly talks about (and the title refers to) crossing Taylor Road. Eventually he did – ending up in Beachwood and Pepper Pike – but Cleveland Heights was certainly not the 3rd World in the ‘40s.

The second thing is how this multi-millionaire with all his connections and acclaim (he owned the Cleveland Force soccer team) always felt like an outsider and/or that he was being betrayed. He cites disloyalty and dishonesty from his closest partners and workers, in many of his business deals and just about everyone he ever dealt with except his wife Iris.

He felt he never was accepted in Cleveland’s inner circle and uses his rejected plans for a downtown arena, buying the Indians, a convention center, the Rock Hall and many more as evidence. In particular he was stung by his treatment by the board of Cleveland’s Jewish Federation. He tells of being silenced at a meeting when he didn’t want to increase his contribution and says “I kept quiet with tears in my eyes. It still hurts when I think about that moment.” He speaks of being ostracized by part of the community after that and the thread running throughout the book is that he never felt accepted or that he fit in.

On the surface you would have thought this guy had it made - tons of money, sports team ownership and so on. But you never really know what's inside someone's head I guess.

Monday, April 10, 2006

XP on a Mac?

In Tracy Kidder’s book called The Soul of the New Machine you can read how IBM, in its heyday, didn’t recognize what the market wanted. They owned the Big Iron world and pretty much ignored the minicomputer. This allowed DEC and Data General and others to change computing.

But IBM learned from this lesson. When they introduced their PC in 1981 they went with an industry standard architecture. This allowed for clone makers such as Compaq to spring up and for component manufacturers to get a piece of the pie. But this move also greatly expanded the pie so that everyone benefited. By using standard components and software, a consumer could shop around and find a variety of add-ons all at competing prices.

Apple didn’t get this. They claimed to produce the “computer for the rest of us” but by rigidly controlling not only the hardware but also the software, they doomed themselves to the 3% or so of the market they now hold.

Plus, “The rest of us” could not always afford Apple’s products because there were not alternatives and/or third party vendors producing goods for their stuff and hence the prices were always way above IBM clone prices.

Now after 30 years they might be catching on. With an Intel CPU inside and the ability to natively boot Windows XP, the Mac will finally be able to run the plethora of Windows software that is out there. Years ago there were always a few good apps – usually graphics apps – that only ran on a Mac. But in recent years, anything you can find on the Mac you can find many more choices (and usually less expensive choices!) in the Windows or open source world.

Is it too little too late? So far the voters in the Great Lakes Geek survey don’t really care that the Mac will be able to boot to XP. What do you think?

Sunday, April 02, 2006


I hate reading articles like in the April 2006 CIO magazine. (Only available in print for a month). This one’s called “Wi-Fight” and it’s about the struggles that cities that want to provide a public wi-fi network face from the telcom and cable providers.

What I really hate is that Cleveland, with our huge early progress in turning on dark fiber, is not even mentioned in the article. I hate it even more that both Dayton and Akron are mentioned and shown on the Wi-Fi America map that accompanies the article.

Now do you think if Akron were to get some great wi-fi technology and they decided to share it with surrounding cities, including Cleveland, do you think they would leave “Akron” out of the name and call it something generic like “Community?”

No way.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Aretha and Feelings

No, don't worry. Aretha Franklin isn't going to sing Feelings.

I attended an interesting presentation Thursday evening at the JCU Dolan Center. The Harvard Business School Club of Cleveland and the John Carroll University Entrepreneur Association brought in Dr. Richard E. Boyatzis for a keynote address. Though based at Weatherhead at case, Boyatzis was described as being better known in Barcelona and London than her in Cleveland - another hidden gem of the city.

The keynote was titled Resonant Leadership: Inspiring the Best in Us. Boyatzis launched into an MP3 of Aretha singing Respect. Then he started clapping and encouraged the audience to stand up and clap. He even jumped up on a front table and clapped along. I love the Queen of Soul but I started looking for the nearest escape route. I’m not into those touchy-feely interactive sessions.

But he soon got down to business. This guy really knows the brain. He said that when we stimulate the limbic system of the brain (like with music or smell) we retain better. Without a limbic stimulus, we have only 40% retention after 3 days. So hum along while you read this.

He spoke about leaders and what makes a great leader (they are not born). He got into the sacrifice of being a leader - the stress it causes - and what that does to our bodies.

One big eye opener for me was the role of feelings. He said that people get convinced of something by emotional arguments and only then does it get reinforced by rational arguments. It takes 8ms for the neurons to travel from the feeling center as compared to 40ms from the rational part of the brain. So feelings don’t just color our thoughts, they determine them.

History is full of examples of evil people using this to gain followers. Of course, good leaders use it too.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Free wi-fi?

Here’s an ethical question for you. Is it OK to regularly glom onto someone’s (company or individual) wireless Internet access without them knowing it?

That’s the latest poll question at the Great Lakes Geek site.

I see no problem in using a connection once or even twice in a crunch time situation, as long as you’re not sending/grabbing huge files and hogging all their bandwidth.

I know some would argue that since it’s out there in the ether and the people were too inept to secure their access, then it’s OK. I’m not so sure of that. Someone is paying for that access and to routinely use up some of their bandwidth doesn’t seem right.

I might be more forgiving if a company’s access was used rather than a family who just doesn’t know to secure their wi-fi. But still, I think the regular use of such access is wrong. What do you think? Let the Geek know.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

OneCleveland or OneCommunity?

I know that the OneCleveland is expanding to Akron and other venues outside of the traditional “Cleveland” geography but I wish they had kept the name OneCleveland.

Can you imagine if a project was developed, spearheaded, financed and brought to fruition in say Boston or Detroit and the name was changed to exclude the home city? It just wouldn’t happen.

I think I am sensitive to how Akron, Canton and beyond might feel but this was a Cleveland project and I think it dilutes the credit and prestige that Cleveland has earned. If Akron people and orgs had developed the project and we wanted to tap into it, I would expect to refer to OneAkron. I wouldn’t expect a name change.

OneCommunity sounds bland and amorphous to me and smacks of political correctness. How can we build an identity and civic pride if we bend in the wind like this?

So far visitors to the Great Lakes Geek site have felt the same way as 90% of voters say they do not like the new name.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Tiny, free utility

I found a tiny but useful utility you may be interested in.

It’s called TinyResMeter and you can download and run it for free.

TinyResMeter is a free utility that displays useful realtime system resource information (CPU speed, usage, RAM, processes, disk space, swapfile, etc) in a customizable format.

It’s not as pretty as the meters in Norton SystemWorks or other commercial programs but it is under 100k, doesn’t modify the registry and doesn’t add any new DLLs to your system.

The next version is supposed to have net connection speed info too.

Pretty slick

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Great quote about CAP in PD

There’s a great article about Garden Valley Neighborhood Center (on Kinsman) in the Plain Dealer this AM. Arts & Life F1 and F3. In the article, Garden Valley executive director Tinah Mischer is quoted as follows:

“I love that man,” Mischer sang out happily from her office recently, greeting Henry Birney of Computers Assisting People, a local non-profit. “They just gave us 17 new computers. They brought ‘em here and set ‘em up. For free. Do you hear me? I love them guys.”

That’s one of the main things that CAP, and super volunteers like Henry Birney, does – help community centers, schools and the like in needy, underserved areas with their technology so that the residents in the area have a safe, educational, productive place to be empowered by the technology that many of us take for granted.

Your support and interest in CAP has let our volunteers assist over 260 local non-profits like Garden Valley.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Kielbasa and a Strohs anyone?

I admit it. I am a big fan of the Milan Jacovich stories written by Cleveland Heights author Les Roberts. The stories of the tough private eye are good enough on their own but Roberts uses the city of Cleveland as the setting for his 13 Jacovich titles. So we are inundated with references to local streets, suburbs, restaurants, businesses and institutions.

It’s a blast to read about places you know so well and the streets you travel daily. The first 9 of the Jacovich series are now out in paperback and the final 4 will be out sometime in March. The first in the series is called Pepper Pike – start with that one and read them in order for the best experience.

Sometimes you take for granted the richness of the diverse cultures we have in this area. It reminds me of a business trip to Des Moines, Iowa a couple summers ago. It was so uniform – and boring. The closest I could find to an ethnic restaurant downtown was a national pizza chain.

The proudly Slovenian Milan Jacovich character is a refreshing reminder of what we have here in town.

Look for a special Lolly the Trolley tour this spring of some of Milan Jacovich’s haunts.

Read more about Les Roberts

Read more about the Milan Jacovich books

Listen to a podcast interview as the Great Lakes Geek speaks to Les Roberts

Friday, February 10, 2006

Lute Sr in Houston?

I have to admit I was surprised when I read my sister’s profile of Lute and Sue Harmon for I knew much of the story but was not aware that they left Cleveland in 1983 to start a magazine in Houston. They didn’t come back till 1991. Wow – where was I? I guess I didn’t pay attention much to the local journalism scene back then.

It’s interesting to wonder how Cleveland Mag and Cleveland itself would be different if they had not returned. For people with so much power – and buying ink by the barrel still gives you power – they are genuinely nice people who really care about this city.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Red Room Revolution News

The comprehensive business calendar that I am starting on the Great Lakes Geek site is starting to come together as more people and orgs discover it and send in their stuff.

Example - I think we are the first to publish the information on the next Red Room Revolution event. Check out the calendar. It will be Feb 23rd.

Also, the speakers bureau is starting to fill in nicely. The first 3 listed are definitely heavy hitters with international credentials and experience.

Let me know if you or someone should know should be listed. We're looking for a variety of expertise not just biz and tech. Have already had requests for a speaker on eBay and one for women's issues.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

I had a cheese sandwich for lunch

I've been dissing bloggers who write about stuff like the above title for years.
So, I deserve to be treated with equal disdain for the following post. But a lot of people have been wondering where the heck I have been and it’s not the kind of thing I want to send out in a broadcast e-mail.

So if you could care less about my recent health woes – and I don’t blame you – stop reading. Go find something more interesting – even the cheese sandwich stuff is probably a better read.

But for those of you who haven’t seen me around, here’s the last few months episodes of Marcus Welby MD rolled into a few paragraphs. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

I woke up December 12th, and couldn’t move my neck or left shoulder or arm and the fingers on the hand were either numb or tingling. When my doc heard “left arm” he sent me to the ER and I’ve been to several doctors since. They all diagnosed problems with discs C6 and C7 in the neck, pressing on the spinal cord. That’s what caused the problems with left shoulder/arms/hand. So basically, I have only been out of the house since 12/12 for doctors. Missed Christmas, work, my Vegas CES trip - everything. Been a looooong few weeks.

There was no cause of this – it just happened. The week before I was my usual active self – volleyball, lifting weights, carrying computers, walking Hogan, my 100 pound lab, and so on. No twinges or problems.

I have been able to do a lot of work from the home network but can only use the right hand, have to stop after about 20 minutes, etc but I am on 24 hour days because I can’t sleep much with the pain. Yeah they gave me some good drugs but they admit that when it’s nerves on the spine, they just don’t do much.

Actually pain is a pretty interesting thing. I know that the pains on my left side aren’t the normal warning signs – like a burn warning you to pull away from the fire. The damage is in the neck but there is pain on left – weird. But it’s something you can learn to live with. If you had told me in advance that I would have 6-8 weeks of constant pain from stuff pressing on my nerves and spine I would have said get me a gun. Sure there are good times and bad times – nights can be verrrrrry long sometimes but lots of people have it a lot worse than me so I’m not complaining.

Different docs tried all the non-surgery things and none worked so they sent me to the surgeon. But first they scared me telling me not to lift more than 10 pounds or get jostled or I could have some serious permanent problems (you don’t mess with the spinal cord). Yikes!

The spine surgeon said there is too much swelling still so he can't operate yet. I have to go back Feb 1st to be re-evaluated. The good news is he says with the large size of this problem, in the majority of cases the body will correct itself in 6-8 weeks without surgery. That would be great.

More good news is that they said with my age and otherwise great health, I should be 100% about 6 weeks after surgery- plenty of time to recover for sand volleyball this summer. And I do feel I can move the neck more (when I take the darn brace off) so maybe it is healing. I am lucky that I can do so much via e-mail, phone and web.

Yes it sucks that I have this and time has been dragging a lot but there is a light at the end of the tunnel and it’s not a permanent thing. Plus, look at the gas money I have saved since I can’t drive.

I am so psyched to get back and see people and do stuff. So if you wondered if I was blowing things off – I wasn’t. Just been out of commission for awhile.

And I don’t think I had one cheese sandwich for lunch this whole time.