Nov 1 2016

Nicest thing I ever did

One day I was walking down the hall at work and a woman I knew from another department was walking down the hall the other way toward the public hallway that crossed the entire hospital. Just as I was about to enter my department, I turned and saw, a two-foot long piece of toilet paper hanging from the waistband of her skirt. Just hanging down, perfectly straight.

Normally in these situations I freeze and stupidly watch the oncoming train wreck in in slow motion, but this time I sprung into action.

“Britney–you have something on the back of your skirt!”

Needless to say Britney was quite happy to have only been seen by one person in a security-locked hallway instead of THE ENTIRE HOSPITAL.

But, it’s not like we became fast friends after that or anything. In fact later she would become one of Those Users who make it onto The List.

Nonetheless, I’m still glad to have saved someone from a fate that pretty much ensures you have to quit your job, change your name, go off-grid, and move to Malawi.

Jan 17 2016


Now, I’m definitely not in the army, nor have I ever been (three semesters of ROTC doesn’t count). I don’t wear fatigues to work, either, just slacks and Hawaiian shirts. The other day I was wearing this one:

There are a lot of children where I work. That’s not a pejorative–I work at a children’s hospital, so seeing children literally everywhere I go is pretty normal. The other morning I was walking through the hall and a little guy, probably about six, sees me and excitedly (and quite mistakenly) yells:



May 20 2013

What do we do when a horse bucks us off?

My friend The Dread Pirate Rob has a passel of small children. One day the three year old fell down and hurt himself. Rob comforted him and also used the opportunity as a teaching moment, encouraging him to pick himself back up instead of just crying and waiting for help.

“What do we do when a horse bucks us off?”

His son answered quickly and decidedly.

“Shoot it!”

Dec 24 2012

Steve Jobs story

While I was looking for the email address of one of our missionaries, I found this this anecdote about Steve Jobs.

Nov 28 2011

Cravings, pt. 2

So, previously I mentioned that I had another cravings story, but I have been informed that I do not, under pain of…pain or something worse.

Aug 25 2011

Ace Days: Military

I used to work for the late Tom Runge of Ace R/C.

Since Ace was a small company, you often got pulled off of your regular job to help do any number of things like driving people to the airport or unloading heavy boxes of catalogs. One day I was helping Tom and several older guys unload a semi. As we were doing it, I looked around and came to a realization.

“Am I the only one here who was never in the military?” I asked.

“I wasn’t in the military,” Tom said with a smile. “I was in the Air Force.”

Jan 15 2010

The Truth

A few years ago my daughter, Ally, who was seven at the time, came back to my office.

“Dad, I want you to tell me the truth,” she said seriously.

It’s always scary when one of your kids says that.

“OK,” I said.

“There’s no Santa Claus, is there?”

I took a deep breath and told the truth.


“There’s no Easter Bunny either, is there? Tell me the truth.”


Of course then I had to explain everything, and I asked her not to spoil it for all the other kids. As far as I know she never did. A year later she and I overheard someone asking their small child if she was excited about Santa coming. Ally looked at me and gave me a knowing smile and a cheezy wink.


A couple of weeks ago my friend’s four year old daughter came home from preschool.

“My teacher said there’s no Santa Claus,” she said.

My friend shifted uncomfortably, hoping to avoid the imminent conversation.

Then his daughter said, with an air of finality:

“She’s not going to get any presents!”

Nov 25 2009

Cake or death

Once, Heather and the girls went out of town for Thanksgiving; I was stuck at home because I had to work. But before Heather left, she made a chocolate cake. So I had cake for breakfast that first day. When I came home for lunch, I didn’t feel like cooking, so I had chocolate cake for lunch, too. After I got home from work, why cook for just one person? So I had chocolate cake for dinner.

After that, Heather wouldn’t leave without making sure someone would feed me.

Oct 17 2009

Alms for the poor

Back in the 60s my grampa, my dad, and my uncle used to drive to Kansas City to stay in an apartment and work all week, then drive back home to southern Missouri on the weekends. Dad said when they got back to the apartment, my uncle would get out an old can and say, in his most pitiful voice:

“Alms, alms for the poor!”

Dad and Grampa would laugh and throw change in his can.

Dad said they thought it was pretty funny–until the end of the month when my uncle had an extra $20.

Oct 15 2009

Overheard: 11 year old male

“I hope no girls find me attractive when I’m in high school. I’m going to be a geek like my big brother; no girls try to date him.”