I am so glad that the words “either” and “or” are in our vocabulary. Nothing can identify choice better than these two words.


I either watch too many movies, or I have a too-active imagination.


Earlier today, Patti and I went to Starbucks for coffee and a little breakfast. After we picked up our drinks and took a seat, we looked around at fellow Starbucks aficionados. Inside, there were seats for about 15 people. ¬†Of those in their seats, about five had their computers open to God-knows-what. Unless you were so rude as to hover over their shoulder and look at what they are doing, you wouldn’t know.

Oh, wait, that point-of-view doesn’t take into account the latest news sweeping our country. These individuals could be working, surfing the Web, or they could be some NSA employee hacking the content of the other computer users sitting comfortably in their seats — all the while the users not knowing whether their files are being hacked or not. Too many movies and too much unbridled imagination to prove this wrong.

I’ll never take a computer to Starbucks any more — even though I have nothing for anyone to hack.

But, after a few minutes, a young man came into the store. He was wearing a black suit and was as broad as he was tall — not a marathoner by any means. He had a white earpiece that started in his left ear and disappeared down his collar — much like you might see on a Secret Serviceperson. He moved to every corner of the store and just looked at the store from those vantage points.

He finally ordered a coffee and, once he picked it up, he placed it on a table. He returned to his car parked outside the store. When he returned to the coffee shop a few moments later, he no longer had the earpiece.

Either I have watched too many movies or have too active an imagination. For a moment, the earpiece didn’t look like anyone’s hands-free phone remote. So, I’m thinking a President is about to come in and order and this guy’s the Secret Service front man. Or, a Kardashian was getting ready to come in and order. Heck, it could have been a front man for Sandra Bullock or Matthew McConaghy, who have been known to spend time in the Austin area. It was just a bit unusual to see that kind of earpiece; especially since he did not have the appearance of anyone who exercised to stay in shape.

Well, part of “either” and “or” that we face every day can be either very exciting OR the very boring and not-unusual-at-all. I guess we want something very unusual to happen when we see something unusual, but when the guy returned without his earpiece, he took his coffee, set up his computer and then blended in with the other customers. Nothing at all distinguishable about him.

So, Patti and I finished our coffee and left. But as we were leaving, I could not shake the following song from my mind. Enjoy! By the way, where can I get a gig that pays me to slap my leg?


Tomorrow, it’s off to chemo and to see what the latest CT scan shows. Thank you all for your prayers and messages of well-being. God bless you all.

Friday, we had a visit from an air conditioning repairman. His name was Dan Thomas. Since he was younger than me (no gray hair) I resisted the urge to ask him if he was related to Marlo.

Dan did an assessment of our AC needs and then he, Patti and I sat down at the table for him to let us know what needed to be done and what the tab would run us.

When I meet with people like Dan who have very specialized talents, I will ask questions like the following: What is the most unusual service call you’ve made? Have you done work for any celebrities? Part of this is to get to know the person a little better, but over the years, I have found these folks have great stories to tell.

Recently, Patti and I were interviewing movers in Austin in preparation for our move from Austin to Chicago a year ago March. One mover we interviewed told us that he had moved Sandra Bullock’s stuff once. He said that she was very active in the move, took charge herself and did not pass the effort off to an underling. The mover said that she was very nice to them, brought them great food during the breaks, was very personable to them and paid attention to the entire effort from start to finish. He said the crew was impressed and amazed at how much attention she gave them on the move.

So, Patti and I hear stories like this often.

Dan’s story was a little different. He told us about some of his interesting assignments, and, as evidence, he recalled a service call he made in San Angelo, Texas before he moved to Dallas.

Dan got a call to go to a doctor’s house to find out why the AC was not working. When he got to the house, the doctor met him. Dan introduced himself. The doctor said his name was Dr. Alan Whozits.

As the doctor showed him around the AC compressor and other pieces of the AC machinery, Dan said, “Alan, what about …?

Before he could finish, as Dan recalls, the doctor said, “Dan, please call me DOCTOR Alan. I’ve gone through all the education, I’ve worked on hundreds if not thousands of patients and I deserve the ‘doctor’ designation.”

He didn’t skip a beat: “Well, DOCTOR Alan, you can call me DOCTOR Dan because I’m the guy who has had countless calls fixing air conditioners just like yours. And I’m the guy who’s gonna fix yours.”

Dan said that after that day, Alan always used him for his work and they became good friends. Dan didn’t say whether Alan was his doctor there.

As Dan was telling this story, I just smiled and smiled.

See, we don’t need Robin Williams or the Saturday Night Live crew for our humor, it comes to us from all sources, many times our spouses, our kids, pets, relatives and friends. But the bottom line, if it helps us to laugh, it helps to live life to its fullest.

Thank you, Dan!