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Month: April 2016

No Easy Pass

While skimming Twitter earlier today, a story caught my eye regarding a New Jersey driver who’d managed to rack up $12,000 in fines by blowing through EZPass booths all over the East Coast on 200+ occasions.  Some of you may be thinking, “How’d he manage to do that?  How could he have gone through so many times and not been caught?”   I can testify that doing such a thing is rather easy to accomplish.  I know this not from my own experiences, but let’s just say I might have had a hand in a similar tale some 20 years ago. In the summer of 1990 if you were driving in and around New York City, EZPass signs suddenly sprang up overnight.  There…

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April 12th is always going to be a special day for me, almost as important as a birthday.  While everyone has a day where they were born, I’m not sure everyone has a day where they can point to and say, “That day, that’s the day I learned what it means to be alive.” Some parts of this piece appeared on in April of 2004.  It veers hard towards that triathlon audience at the very end, but no matter what it is you’re doing – running, walking, paddling, rowing, swimming – whatever it is that you’ve chosen to get up and do, this still applies.     If you’ve read my work before, you probably know I used to race bicycles. From…

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Making Sense of the Senseless

The news came in an email yesterday afternoon from Katie’s school, in the middle of the usual shambles of me trying to do far too many things at one time. I read the first few lines, and all of those things dropped away. I stared at the screen. Sounds stopped. My head went numb. “Earlier this morning, Mrs. Scallan passed away unexpectedly…” Nichole Scallan had been Katie’s first teacher at Chesterbrook Academy for Pre-Kindergarten back in 2010. She was a naturally funny woman with a voice and laugh that filled a room, and the necessary whimsical sense of presence and humor needed to manage a classroom of children just beginning to get used to a full-day away from home. She was a…

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Walking The High Wire

The essence of Parenthood in one scenario: Your daughter has a book report due for school tomorrow.  She has had one month to work on it.  She has finished reading the book (as of 11 minutes ago), but has done absolutely zero of the required prep for presenting to her class the following day. Your in-laws have called a Technical Support 911 request.  They have not used their DVD player since 2013, and cannot remember how to power it on and make it connect to the TV.  Normally, not an emergency.  However, they will be babysitting their three-year old granddaughter tomorrow.  They generally get her for 2-4 hours on the weekends, but this would be a full-work-day deal, 8+ hours.  If all…

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