Why I’ve Not Written Much Lately

I certainly have nothing cogent to add to the already ridiculous political discussion on Facebook. No sense in joining that shit show. So in addition to recusing myself from the cacophony that is Facebook politics, here’s my list of ten other reasons I’ve not written much lately.

1. Winter’s here and it’s hard to type when wearing mittens.

2. My give-a-shit meter is pegged.

3. Lamenting the dreaded holiday season in writing makes me seem like a non-McDuck Scrooge.

4. Because I’m cold all the time, my brain functions more slowly.

(Now this requires a brief explanation. As a rough approximation, for many chemical reactions happening at around room temperature, the rate of reaction doubles for every 10°C rise in temperature. Therefore, it stands to reason that there would be a commensurate reduction in rate for similar drops in temperature. It is winter. I am cold. My brain is also cold. Therefore, my brain chemistry is slowed and there exists a reduction in brain function sufficient to inhibit writing. QED.)

5. See reason #2.

6. I’ve been unusually busy at work. (This one’s actually true. I’ve been unexpectedly busy this year during the weeks when it’s usually slow. I suspect that’s just probably procrastination and piss-poor prior planning on my part.)

7. Supporting Emmett during his recovery from a recent muscular injury and upset tummy took up much of my attention. (He’s fine now, thanks for asking.)

8. I was busy binge watching a season and a half of “Daredevil,” the entire season of “Luke Cage,” both on Netflix, and the “Star Trek: TOS” marathon on BBC America. Priorities, people. Priorities.

9. Wild horses kept me away.

10. See reason #2.

Things I’m Keeping in Mind Today

1. In spite of the political flame throwing, Facebook is still fun.

2. Regardless of who wins, we’ll all be OK.

3. “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D” notwithstanding, the Three Laws of Thermodynamics still apply.

4. Exercise still sucks.

5. News hasn’t been news for years.

benedict-cumberbatch-filming-doctor-strange-set-pictures6. Benedict Cumberbatch is a tremendous actor.

7. So is Tilda Swinton.

8. I’m the worst political pundit ever. I’m not making any political predictions because I’ve been surprised at every turn.


9. Life cereal is a gift from whatever gods there may be.

10. Emmett, the family Dachshund, is still a jackass.


Yes, he’s wearing a bow tie.

Some Quick Thoughts

You’d never think it from my Facebook feed or from the previous sixty years of my life, but I started exercising about six weeks ago. Witnessing recent illnesses in the family as well as my own shortcomings in controlling diabetes made it a priority.

Two things happened that are worthy of note.

  1. A little encouragement goes a long way.

I was out for a run (no, no one was chasing me) a couple weeks ago in really hot, humid weather. I probably shouldn’t have been out vigorously exercising on such a scorcher particularly since I was just starting my exercise program after having been sedentary for… well, a really, really long time.  Like years.  Anyway, I was running along Hoadly Road and a bicyclist passed me going the other way. “Good job! Keep it up!” he shouted to me as he whizzed past.

Just that little bit of anonymous encouragement made me lengthen my stride, improve my posture and run a tad faster. I was surprised at the immediate effect that it had on my run and my dedication to keep it up. That bicyclist will never know the impact that his five little words had on me.

My point? Never underestimate the power of kind words of encouragement. You never know whose life you might be improving. (Especially kids.)



Sidebar: I bought myself a Fitbit. It’s a surprisingly good motivational tool.


  1. Vigorous exercise improves depression better than any pill I’ve taken.

I’ve taken ‘em all over the years. Exercise works wonders. I hate it, I truly hate exercise, but you know what? It freakin’ works.


My one comment about the Clinton email decision by FBI Director James Comey.

I think I’ll notify my government bosses at the U.S. Department of Transportation that I’ve set up my own email server and will no longer use government email for my daily business interactions.

I wonder how long I’ll still have a job?



My one comment about the presidential election.

Abstention is now an option.


Gun control.

Mine are. Controlled. Yours should be too.



Guest Blog – Evil Twin of the Sub Divine -or- Chernobyl on a Bun

by Beth Geyer

SubDivineFromHellAllow me to introduce you to this little asshole. I’d apologize in advance for the language but it’s already too late for that and I refuse to use the backspace.

My family’s pizza shop had this magical oven-toasted sub aptly named the Sub Divine. It was a glorious gold standard for hot subs everywhere. I miss it and every now and then I crave it so much that I replicate it at home. Usually with rousing success. I have, after all, 14 yrs experience making them.

I dropped the ball today, though. As I type this, my nose is still running and I’m positive I’m working through a mild stroke. Bear with me.

I looooooove spicy food. Love it. Always have. But I knew that if I substituted the shredded cheddar for habenero cheese, I better tread lightly. I thought I sliced it up thin enough for both pieces of bread (I had no sub buns) that I could avoid feeling like I was biting on Satan’s hairy undercarriage but failed spectacularly. In the picture you’ll see the delicious sandwich before I wrapped it in foil and baked it. Do not be fooled by it’s innocent look; I still can’t feel the roof of my mouth.


The lovely & talented Beth.

I knew after the first bite that something was wrong. The pain was almost immediate and was soon followed by shaking. I breathed through each bite like I was in labor and powered through half of it with sheer will and the power of prayer. I’d spent too much time creating this masterpiece to give up like a little bitch.

Alas, after half of the sandwich disappeared, so did my will to live. It was me or the sandwich and I chose me.

My tongue isn’t currently working properly and after blowing my nose and washing my face with cold water, I was able to stumble outside for fresh air, mumbling “Nothing about me feels good about any of that”.

This mofo ended up just being a bunch of toppings encased wall-to-wall in pure hatred.

I couldn’t even tell you if it was good or not. I *think* I tasted banana peppers and pepperoni at first but it was short-lived. After that, all I could taste was hell fire and every mistake I’ve ever made in my life.

Probably the worst part of all of this is the fact that I’ll have to relive the pain all over again tomorrow.

Look at that sandwich…..it was a simpler time and I was but a 35 yr old girl full of hope and wonder. Now Satan himself is holding a Fight Club meeting in my stomach and no one is the winner.

The lovely and talented Beth Geyer posted this on Facebook today and it had me laughing.  Well done, Beth!

Cool Pictures That I’m In or That I Took – “Long Time, No Post” Edition

Here’s another in a series of posts I’m going to make when I find some of these treasures. Some will be captioned, others will not. The only criteria for posting in this series is that:

a.) I’m in the photo or…

b.) … I took the photo.


From a few years ago when Nate and Garrett and I went to the Potomac Nationals game. They got to run the bases afterwards and this was taken shortly thereafter. Fun night!


I took this at the STEM Symposium this year. Tom was checking out one of Turner-Fairbank’s connected vehicles that was on display.


Fun selfie from nephew Andy’s graduation from the Army’s CGSS, which I presume means “Command and General Staff School,” but I don’t really keep up with such things anymore. To my left, Emily, Andy’s spousal unit; Andy himself; my sister and Andy’s mom, B.J.; and in the back, Andy’s’ Dad, Michael and stepmom, Brenda. ‘Twas a nice graduation conducted in the typical Army fashion.


Me in a Marine Corps uniform on the set of “House of Cards” season four.  It was a tense moment.

(A couple of these have already been on Facebook.  Yeah, this is a lazy man’s post today.)

From the Shameless Self Promotion Department

“There’s no promotion like shameless self promotion.”
                — Col. Rich Breen

Here’s the latest from Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center and the Federal Highway Administration. I didn’t have much to do with the production of this beyond some advice and assistance, but my colleague and friend,Taylor Lochrane, did!

Please watch this if nothing else so the number of views impresses. Taylor and his team did an OUTSTANDING job on this video, particularly the use of drone footage. And by viewing this, we’ll encourage more great stuff like this.

Well done to the team and to the Saxton Lab at the Office of Operations R&D and all the labs at TFHRC for the cool research that’s happening today.



Dan’s Ten Rules for Critical Thinking on the Internet

Feel free to add your own rules in the comments below.  


1.  One statistic can never tell the whole story.

2.  A meme does not constitute an argument.  It is an advertisement for a particular point of view.

3.  Do not agree or disagree with anything based solely on Rule 1 or Rule 2.

4.  Always seek and cite multiple original sources.

5.  Life is not simple and cannot be boiled down to a catchphrase.

6.  Exception to rule #5:  “Life’s a bitch and then you die.”

7.  Strive to be fair in your thought process.  “We can never hope to be objective we can only hope to be fair.”  (I am paraphrasing and I don’t recall the original source of this quote.)

8.  Read “How to Lie with Statistics” by Darrel Huff.

9.  Freely allow facts to get in the way of your preconceived notions.

10.  Be willing to change your mind in the presence of a winning argument.