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Viewing Blog: His Master's Voice, Most Recent at Top
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Author Hank Nuwer and Dogzilla on their appointed rounds on the road and in Waldron, Indiana.
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1. Sweet Bull of Youth

Trying My Hand at Rodeo Riding Seemed Like a Great Way to Deal with My Midlife Crisis. That’s What I Told the Surgeon By Hank Nuwer

After my marriage of two decades blew up, I chucked my living room furniture and put in a gym complete with treadmill, metallic torture contraptions, and pancake stacks of Olympic free weights.

Careerwise, things hadn’t changed much with the divorce. With four books out on hazing and a college teaching position I loved, I was, at 58, still moving up the career stepladder. In fact, I was looking forward, on successive days, to delivering a keynote address to the U.S. Department of Education in Washington and appearing on the NBC Today Show.

So what could be bad? Well, nothing and everything. That’s the beauty of an abandonment crisis at any age. It strikes hard, tears the roof off your comfortable digs, plants a pitchfork inside your soul.

My colleagues in the small journalism department at Franklin College and IUPUI where I teach seemed to sense my restlessness. One—owner of a Miata convertible--suggested that I buy a small sportscar.

But I’m an old-boy deep down, tweed sportscoats notwithstanding, and I like my repainted ‘88 Dodge Dakota just fine. My grandfathers owned farms, and at age four I herded cows and winced as my grandfather Josef wrestled a ring into a bull’s nose. I nixed the convertible, but caved in and assented when Cleo Sutherland, my 26-year-old weightlifting partner, suggested I accompany him to a rodeo to ride a live, twisting Brahma bull.

“Eight seconds, Hank,” he said one night at his father’s restaurant in Fairland as we scarfed 25-cent tacos. “That’s how long you got to stay on.”

Muscular and bald, Cleo resembles a young Ken Kesey. He’s been riding bulls for months and even paid tuition to attend a bull-riding school, leaving with an armload of videos of himself perched like a pickle atop one snorting ton of hamburger.

He was just goading me. Later, in the emergency room, he admitted he’d never really expected me to say “OK,” but that’s the word that came out of my mouth.

Two days later, I found myself in Cleo’s red rig, a Dale Earnhardt memorial license plate on the front bumper, and Waylon Jennings’s voice boiling out the speaker as we bolted down an Indiana back road: “I’ve always been crazy but it’s kept me from going insane,” sang Waylon, and who was I to argue?

Dale and Waylon were dead, after all, and I was a healthy old cuss attempting a new adventure.

Leaving 67 in Portland, Indiana, for Ohio, I phoned my platonic friend Thelma, thinking that because she was pretty and 38 and sported a new tattoo on her shoulder that somehow she’d understand. Lord knows I hadn’t told anyone at Franklin or IUPUI what I was sneaking off to do as an alternative ride for that Miata.

“You’re cell phone is cracking up,” she said. “It must be. I just heard you say you’re in Ohio on your way to a rodeo.”

Getting no reassurance from Thelma, I hung up. Cleo pulled his rig into the pickup-filled parking lot at Mack Arena in Celina, Ohio.

Cleo threw on his spurs. He was dressed Stetson to boots in wrangler chic. I had no western wear in my closet and made do with hiking boots and a short-sleeved shirt, looking more ready to tangle with student term papers than to cowboy up on a raging bull.

We skirted an ambulance at the entrance and entered, paying our admission fees and an additional $15 to ride a bull. I paused to read, then sign, a release form.

Cleo had all his equipment, but I needed to buy and borrow all mine, because his head only reaches my shoulder. What I needed first was a glove. At a combination souvenir stand, coffee shop, and dry goods store, I encountered a pear-shaped man in a pearl-buttoned shirt. He added my $25 to the fistful of dollars he held in one paw.

“You righty or lefty?” he asked, and I held up my right.

“Only one?” I asked as he pushed a deer-hide glove at me.

“They don’t come in pairs,” he said.

I remembered that Cleo said I would have to keep one hand in the air. Touching the bull or grabbing the rope with the free hand was prohibited.

I inquired about a protective leather vest and a braided rope and winced at the prices the hawker quoted me. Cleo came up behind me. “Wait until a rider your size finishes a ride, and then ask him for his.”

We pushed past men in bleachers who were tearing beers off piles of six-packs. At that point there was an intermission, and music started blaring and high school girls marched into the middle of the arena to line dance. When that ended, all the men took off their hats, and the crowd sang “God Bless America.”

The announcer delivered a patriotic speech, and the bull riding restarted. Most riders were thrown well before the eight seconds were up. Those who managed to stay the eight before getting tossed or leaping free earned cash prizes. The crowd was appreciative, and applauded every performer.

Most riders were small and far more wiry than my broad build. Finally, one good-sized rider hopped on his bull, but was thrown roughly after five or six seconds. Two rodeo clowns in flapping, baggy clothing chased away his bull while he dusted himself clean.

He came out of the arena, and Cleo and I stalked him. I made my request for his equipment. He sized me up and spit.

“You fellers first timers here?”

We nodded.

“Your girlfriends know you’re here?”

Cleo’s love life has been about as bad as mine.

“That’s good,” he said. “Sooner or later you always get hurt, and your old lady would be telling you not to come no more. Mine never comes.”

I laugh aloud, thinking about a famous line author Ernest Hemingway penned in A Dangerous Summer, a true-life story of bullfighting. “Pamplona is no place to bring your wife,” he wrote.

He told us a bit about himself. He drove semis during the week and lived in New Castle, Indiana. He came here every week. I pulled on his vest. He had a gut, and it hung loosely on me. “If you like riding, you can buy your own,” he said.

He broke off a chunk of resin and showed me how to put some in the center of my glove and work it up and down the rope to make the surface of the glove as sticky as possible. “Don’t push up and down,” he said. “Do it real vigorous like you’re jerking off.”

I did my best Portnoy impression. I wanted any edge over the bull I could get.

The money events were over, and we novices were up. We found an older female spectator who seemed cooperative. We gave her Cleo’s video camera, asking her to film our rides.

Cleo’s turn came first. He nodded, and his gate opened. He had a good five-second ride, but then slipped off to the right. For a second, he was attached to the bull by the rope, but then the weighted part broke free, and he tumbled onto the soft-packed arena dirt. Had he hung up, he would have been dragged. Still, he paid a price for the mistake. The bull swung its hips past him and a flashing hoof caught him in the meat of his leg. He’d be taking home a big bruise.

A couple more contestants went. I was last, and the crowd was no longer a crowd. Cleo limped up and handed me his rope. He and a teenager helped me get settled in the pen.

Unfortunately, there were no more smaller bulls for me as an amateur, and I drew a beast. The bull was big and mostly white. The announcer said his name, but I didn’t catch it. The other bulls had creative names such as Nasty Boy. He pushed back his huge flat head and looked at me with one big white eyeball. I spread my legs wide over him and rested the heels of my boots on each of the two gate panels. He tried to dig me in the fleshy part of my leg with one horn.

“Don’t let him get you,” the kid said. I put my leg out of reach.

The two tied down my rope, and had me pull—hard.

“Make sure it’s tight,” said Cleo. “Harder.”

The kid agreed. “It has to be tight.”

I had on a Hofstra baseball cap. I handed it to Cleo.

“What about them specs?” he asked.

“I’m blind without them.”

“They could get crushed,” said Cleo. I jerked them off and handed them to him.

The thought clearly went through my head that I ought to be afraid, but I was too busy taking care of ticking off the details of things to be done.

Cleo backed up on the gate.

“When you hit the ground, get up and run like mad for a fence,” he said. “Don’t lay there or you might take a horn.”

“You ready?” the kid asked. I raised my left hand and held it high as the announcer blasted “My Sherona” by the Knack over the speakers. It's an awful song, and I never liked it.

I gave the head nod and the gate peeled open into the arena. I was sitting on a one-ton powder keg, and he exploded. I kept my eyes on his head just visible over his broad hump. He gave a big kick with his back feet.

I have had some nice sporting thrills but weathering that first leap equals any of them. My bull made a short run, and to my horror, I felt my knees slipping away from his shoulder. I was off balance and sliding backward toward his hind end.

He gave a second explosive buck, and I let go of the rope. I felt my body being launched straight up, way up.

When I awoke it was in an ambulance, and a female EMT was holding my hand and talking soothingly to me.

I tried to sit up and sank down. My back felt like it was broken. My first thought was of Christopher Reeve and his paralysis. Reeve’s dad, F.D., had been a poet and contributed back in the 1970s to a literary magazine I edited. I remember talking to F.D on the phone and learning that Christopher had been awarded the part of Superman.

“Don’t move,” the EMT told me. “We’ll soon be at the hospital. You were the last ride. I thought for once I’d get to go home early.”

“Is my back broken?”

“I don’t think so. A bunch of cowboys tried to hold you down. You threw them all off and were gasping for air.”

At the hospital aides transferred me to a gurney. Cleo was in the waiting room. He’d followed the ambulance. The video camera was in his hands.

“You want to see your ride?”

It was short and horrible. On the way down it looked as if my free hand were coming down like a hammer, and I drove my left elbow into my ribs. My legs and chest hit the ground. I crumpled, rolled once, and was still. The tape stopped there.

“You scared the lady,” Cleo said. “She stopped filming.”

“Did you see me fall?” I asked.

“I went and killed Hank—that’s what I thought,” said Cleo.

“I didn’t do what you told me,” I said. “I didn’t keep my knees dug into his shoulder.”

A doctor came into the room and separated us. He ordered several CAT scans and a ton of X-rays. He came in with a sheet of film. “The good news is that you don’t have a head injury,” he said. “Your head is pretty cut up, and I thought you might have one. But the bad news is that you’ve broken seven ribs, and some of them are broken right off.”

The medical team released me at 6 a.m. that Sunday. I left with Cleo, my arms bulging with pain killers and a breathing device.

The next day I taught my classes and then I drove to the airport in Indianapolis, and a wheelchair dumped me at a gate where Thelma was waiting for me. My keynote address for the U.S. Department of Education was on Tuesday, and Thelma was assisting me with video and sound.

The talk went well, but foolishly I took my friend Thelma on a walking tour of Washington because it was her first time to the Capitol. After our walk, I headed to the Reagan airfield and flew to New York alone.

A psychologist friend met me at the Essex House, and after a dinner I couldn’t eat because of the pain, she brought plastic garbage bags and filled them with ice. She wrapped me in them and left, mumbling that she hoped I didn’t die like John Belushi, while police searched New York for her as a mystery lady.

When my alarm rang at 5 a.m., I awakened, climbed out of a wet bed, and went downstairs where a limo whisked me off to the Today Show. The makeup lady recoiled when she saw the cuts and bruises on my head, but she managed to cover up most of the debris. On set, interviewer Matt Lauer was waiting for me, and I chatted with him about hazing for three-minutes.

A limo took me to the airport. I flew back to Indianapolis and tried to meet my afternoon classes at Franklin College. A secretary and a fellow professor intercepted me. My chest, the left side, was swollen to three times its normal size, engorged apparently with blood. They made me check into the local hospital.

I had internal hemorrhaging. I stayed inert in the critical care ward the better part of four days. My entire department came to visit. The highlight was when my editing class showed up en masse. “We weren’t going to let you cut class,” said the spokesperson for the group. I could have hugged them all. Maybe I would have if I knew I wouldn’t scream in pain.

I’m back in my school office as I write. My ribs are little better, and I seem to be living on a diet of pain killers and muscle relaxants. But today I’m less sore than yesterday, and the purple bruises are fading to yellow. I’m behind on my grading, and that leaves little time for self pity.

My colleagues seem to have taken my departure from sanity in good spirits. I’ve heard every conceivable bad pun on “bull.” A homemade poster depicting a butt getting speared by a horn now hangs from my door. “We missed you, Hank, but too bad the bull didn’t,” it reads.

I received dozens of notes from the college president to the campus janitors. My two grown sons were ticked off at me, and each recited the same speech about thinking about consequences I’d harangued them with as they grew up.

In addition, I can’t tell you how many times a student or prof has come up and asked what I was thinking when I agreed to ride a bull, and maybe out of self protection I have been trying to come up with an intellectual rationalization to justify my irresponsible behavior.

But so far I haven’t devised one.

“So what’s next? Running ahead of the bulls at Pamplona?” a colleague asked me.

My hands gently moved over my rib cage. “I think I’d better quit while I’m behind,” I said.

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2. Beer Chicken Restaurant Review, Magdalena (Lima), Peru 5 stars out of 5 Muy Bueno

Food Review: Beer Chicken Restaurant During my 11 days in Lima in June, my friend Ana and I ate in many colorful cafes and restaurants. But when I go back July 31, I know my favorite place to revisit will be the Beer & Chicken restaurant owned by Jaime Ugaz and @Claudia Poblete who were kind enough to sit down with us and enjoy a meal of beer-marinated rotisserie chicken, fries, ample side vegetables and a killer house Chablis. The chicken falls off the bones, and when we were finished eating, there was nothing left but bones. It was exceptionally tasty and tender. The dessert choices were many but we elected to split a crème brulee, and it was a brilliant choice. Every morsel that went down into our mouths was lamented, because we wanted the dining experience to last forever. Beer and Chicken is located in the upscale Lima, Peru section known as Magdalena. There is parking on the property, but also on the nearby steep streets. The ambiance is comfortable with lots of wood backdrop, especially along the spacious bar, and tiled walls that I found quite attractive. The service was exceptional. Our waiter was always in sight, keeping one eye on our needs, whether it was to refill a glass of white wine or bring an additional vegetable side dish. The prices were reasonable for all the food. Come with a hearty appetite if you happen to live in or visit Lima, Peru. I had chicken in several restaurants on my visit. This was one meal I enjoyed and will never forget. — with Claudia Poblete and Ana Bay.

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Greetings from a road warrior lately. Looking forward to speaking to up to 500 people in Georgia this week at a conference where I am keynote speaker. Then it is off to St. Olaf's College to take a creative writing class. So far things have not gone well. I'll only have limited email access in Georgia, or none, and two late student papers I am supposed to critique have still not come. I have a ton of work to do while on the road, but learned the school does not have a way for me to get mail, and I had to ask professional and personal contacts to ignore the address I'd given them in Minnesota. Instructions from the instructor indicated we were to send three stories. Big Mistake on My Part. We were only supposed to send one, and I have some egg on my face and frustration. But I hope things will get much better despite the embarrassing start. I hope to learn tons in this, my first ever creative writing class.

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March 15th. It's the Feast of St. Joseph, my middle name, and I used to collect holy pictures of old St. Joe that the Catholic nuns gave me in school. You know, collect them like baseball or football cards?St. Joseph. Starting Carpenter for the Cheeses of Nazareth. Bangs nails left and planes boards right. Drives an 03 BC donkey. Bethrothed to a lady named Mary. One child.And then Mickey Mantle came along and I changed my collection.Well, in all seriousness I'm bummed this morning. Another Polish buddy named Jan is either in an induced coma and in a vegetative state or was taken off Life Support. Two different friends who had visited his hospital in Calif. had differing takes after their discussions with the family. What happened is that Jan's doctors inserted a Pacemaker and his body violently rejected it, throwing it into shock and giving him a stroke, clots on the brain. Yeah, very sad and grim. Jan is a great guy, a crime book writer, and was a good guy to know Back in the Day.On a more pleasant note, I'm looking forward to hitting my home gym at 5:15 a.m. with my dog Dogzilla. Except for snicky licking me when I have the bench press up in the air at 260 pounds, he's great company.Well, thank you and have a great day. No, this wasn't as exciting as some blog entries I've written but stay tuned. Maybe tomorrow I'll discover New Zealand or invent a cure for nose-hair proliferation.Oh, and here's a flash. Encyclopedia Britannica books in print are no more. Yep, the company's web site says it is now 100 percent online. The old saying was "Brittanica rules the waves." Well, now, "Britannica waives the rules."Encyclopedia Britannica was strted in 1768.Yep, you could look that up and doublecheck me.) The Hankster

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A skydiving adventure: slude show by a colleague of my jump from a plane.  Link

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Knucklingdown to write in this heat has been difficult. The house simply holds heat andrefuses to give it up. It was 104 earlier this week and 97 when I elected totake advantage of an opportunity to drive a racecar. Now this opportunity wasnever to take place. But there too lies a story.
Everynow and then I pause before a TV in a restaurant or bar when a stockcar race isrolling. What especially grabs me are the views of the track from the driver'svideo cam, showing a blur of track, a blockade of cars, and then a view of openstretch if the driver negotiates the tricky, sometimes nasty driving techniquesof those blocking his or her way.
Sowhen an opportunity came to sign up for a stockcar racing lesson I delayed not.My paperwork arrived, along with instructions for my 15-lap ride, which Idutifully read.
"DearHank. Congratulations. You're going racing with Drivetech Racing School. We arethe most realistic racing experience in the country, where passing isencouraged and speeds can exceed 150 mph!!!"
Rightfrom the get go on July 23 I had obstacles. I had planned on arriving an hourearly to check the track conditions. However, Lucas Oil Field in Speedway sitson sprawling acreage in Clermont, Indiana, off Exit 16A on Interstate 65, whichhappened to be closed both north and south this day, although the highwayfathers decided not to note both exits were closed. One had to visit both exitsto ascertain this truth.
So20 minutes before my appointment, I was already in a car speeding--my own, asit turned out--through an alternate way I had called up on the GPS on my phone.
Iran into three men getting out their cars ahead of me. Turned out they kneweach other and had been drag racers for years, using the lesson to upgrade tostockcar racing.
"Areyou a racer?" one asked.
"Professor,"I said.
Hejust looked at me.
"Justa novice doing something on his bucket list."
Theysmiled. "Like that Internet site bucketlist," said one.
"Yes,like that."
"Idon't mean to be nosy, but you're not dying, are you?"
Ilaughed. He looked relieved.
Wereceived directions to a media room but found a class full in session."This is the 3 o'clock session," said a man in a black polo."You're early."
Iwanted to hold up my letter which said to be twenty minutes early, but whyargue?
Iwent out with the trio and we took the stairs to the grandstand, viewing thecars racing on the track with pro driver

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Knuckling down to write in this heat has been difficult. Thehouse simply holds heat and refuses to give it up. It was 104 earlier this weekand 97 when I elected to take advantage of an opportunity to drive a racecar.Now this opportunity was never to take place. But there too lies a story.
Every now and then I pause before a TV in a restaurant orbar when a stockcar race is rolling. What especially grabs me are the views ofthe track from the driver's video cam, showing a blur of track,  a blockade of cars, and then a view ofopen stretch if the driver negotiates the tricky, sometimes nasty blockingtechniques of those blocking his or her way.
So when an opportunity came to sign up for a stockcar racinglesson I delayed not. My paperwork arrived, along with instructions for my15-lap ride, which I dutifully read.
"Dear Hank. Congratulations. You're going racing withDrivetech Racing School. We are the most realistic racing experience in thecountry, where passing is encouraged and speeds can exceed 150 mph!!!"
Right from the get go on July 23 I had obstacles. I hadplanned on arriving an hour early to check the track conditions. However, LucasOil Field in Speedway sits on sprawling acreage in Clermont, Indiana, off Exit16A on Interstate 65, which happened to be closed both north and south thisday, although the highway fathers decided not to note both exits were closed.One had to visit both exits to ascertain this truth.
So 20 minutes before my appointment, I was already in a carspeeding--my own, as it turned out--through an alternate way I had called up onthe GPS on my phone.
I ran into three men getting out their cars ahead of me.Turned out they knew each other and had been drag racers for years, using thelesson to upgrade to stockcar racing.
"Are you a racer?" on asked.
"Professor," I said.
He just looked at me.
"Just a novice doing something on his bucketlist."
They smiled. "Like that Internet site (http://bucketlist.org/),"said one.
"Yes, like that."
"I don't mean to be nosy, but you're not dying, areyou?"
I laughed.  Helooked relieved.
We received directions to a media room but found a classfull in session. "This is the 3 o'clock session," said a man in ablack polo. "You're early."
I wanted to hold up my letter which said to be twentyminutes early, but why argue?
I went out with the trio and we took the stairs to thegrandstand, viewing the cars racing on the track with pro drivers and drivers fromthe 2 a.m. class, wondering which vehicle each of us might be assigned.
The temperature was only 97, but the concrete seemed to makethe temps well up in the 100s. I clutched the two bottles of Gatorade my sonhad urged me to bring and took a few big swallows. The other three likewise hadcoolers and hauled out Gatorade bottles of their own.
At four we went back and found seven more men in front ofthe media room door. Most were in their twenties and built pretty much like probaseball players,  lean and strong,most definitely athletes.
One was 64 going on 65 and muscular, wearing a three-quartersleeve blue baseball shirt to ward off sunburn. He stood out from the others asall waited for the class to begin. He looked like the grandfather of all theseathletic men.
Yes, that guy would be me. Quite quickly it turned out thatten out of the eleven had done some racing, some even had raced st

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8. Loved my first skyjump from Greensburg Skydive

And of course I am going back!!!

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9. Indianapolis Monthly meetings

Whew, not much sleep and a huge day. Had a great last photo critique, and the instructor really (in a positive way) tore into my photos and offered great, memorable suggestions for improvement. I'm glad I took the IUPUI photo class. Then had a great catchup with old friend Dave Westol, although I forgot to get decaf instead of regular dark roast and was still abuzz at 1 a.m. Just enough time to run Dogzilla and do my weights, shower, and put on a sport jacket. Breakfast has to be a boiled egg or two on the run. Huge curriculum meetings for Franklin College journalism because of industry changes. I agree. We need to make the changes. Meetings are downtown at Indy Monthly in our Statehouse digs. We'll all go to lunch. Salad as usual for me on this diet.

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10. Hectic week

Running off to gym for weights and abs. Just about have shaken cold, though residual cough requires syrup. Writing and cleaning by day, last IUPUI photo class in evening, coffee with good friend Dave Westol at 9 pm at Starbucks in Carmel.

Tomorrow, journalism and dean meetings for school all day, dentist on the 29th, and a jump from the plane on the 30th.

Hopefully, there will be a July One blog, LOL.

I mean those parachutes open nearly 100 percent of the time, right?

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11. Skyjump countdown

Ready for my first jump

a) a few pounds overweight from what I want, but strong in all limbs and heart.
b) wearing sweatpants and tee and light running shoes. They might want a jumpsuit. Fine.
c) Glasses taped and eye roped to ears.
d) attending safety session first -- will listen and ask questions
e) Plan to be in the moment all moments from plane board to retrieval.
f) Taking my buddy Ray in case I turn an ankle upon landing.

Now just getting rid of this cold and concentrating on jump

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12. Monday Photo assignment

Hoping I feel better today and this cold lets up to allow me to take pictures of some small architectural detail. Luckily I snapped two pictures Thursday while working at school. I should have snapped more. I took one of the column top and one with a student posed alongside one. Definitely not my best work.

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13. RIP Nick Charles, one of the good guys

During my sportswriting phase as a writer (1978-1993), I interviewed so many athletes, broadcasters and coaches. Broadcaster and commentator Nick Charles was a really smart, pleasant man to talk with. I'm so sorry to read he passed away.

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14. Summer Cold

Sniffle, blech, hawwwwwwk. Yep, summer cold and this a busy, productive time of year, too. My old karaoke partner Tara and her boyfriend had invited me for a cookout, and I really had looked forward to catching up with them and their friends. I even had bought a nice bottle of wine for the community pitch-in. But at seven last night I just had to concede that I'd only be spreading germs and slept ten hours straight. Nothing worse than trying to open those cold packets in the morning when your nose runs, eyes water, and you spend three minutes prying the things open. Hope your day beats the heck out of mine. .)

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15. Clearing out the Time Traps

I'm writing a lesson plan draft for my summer class. It is a good refresher for me as well, especially cleaning out electronic files and organizing them.

Perhaps the most useful management skill is time management.

To save time, I've included some tips from reference books I went out to Borders and the library to get.
Your questions are in brackets.

First up is Hyrum W. Smith, a CEO.
His theory is the more productive one is, the more inner peace one feels. [Do you agree?]

1) Ultimately, a life in which you fail to control time becomes a life out of control.
2) He ties together one's governing values with time. It's a way to use time to make sure you get personal fulfillment in business and personal life.
[Make a list of your personal real core values as they apply to you and your productivity in school and/or the workforce. ]
3) What are the timewasters in your life that can contribute to a less-than-in-control you? [List? (If it is personal, list but don't send, guys)]
4) Like it or not, our behavior tells others what we seem to value and believe--even if we say it isn't the real us. [Your take?]
5) He says time management has to be grounded in reality. Where do we find ourselves falling short on goals because we unrealistically took on more projects than we had time to finish or failed to realize that our accepting of a challenge outside our skill set was going to take way more time than we had budgeted? [List--and gents, I am doing this one right along with you. I like it a lot]
OK, now we shift to time management expert Jeff Davidson.
He lists a danger sign that your time management is out of control. I'd plead guilty as charged to number one.
1) You find yourself taking work home and slaving during so-called free, family or recovery time, so you never seem to get totally refreshed. [comments?
2) He asks you to make a 24-hour honest "time trap" chart. How much time goes toward the non-traps--your work, stuff in line with your values like a sig. other or family, this assignment so you graduate--and then the traps whatever they are--checking email too often, texting, social media, TV, games, chitchat, daydreaming, whatever. [Evaluate your PAST 24-hours only honestly. Is it typical or atypical of your daily time management. Boy, did I get upset on this one. Because I ordered an interlibrary loan book that I only "sorta" needed, I wasted more than an eighth tank of gas and three hours at FC yesterday afternoon--and stopped on impulse at Kroger's and spent $40 something on things I "sorta" might need. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. [How about you?]

3) [Come up with a written plan to change behaviors related ONLY to time management. Take some time here to process and push yourself. How are you at saying NO to requests, anyway?]
4) Come up with a dollar figure for your time. Say $20 an hour or whatever. Fine yourself an approximate amount for time you wasted the last 365 days. [Total? ]
5) Have you ever tried to evaluate the quality of your sleep? Anything your doing to disturb that sleep? A drink before bedtime? Heavy meal or midnite snack? Wasted time in front of video or the tube? Again, list all but send only non-personal stuff--that goes for all this assignment]
6) Look at your home work space. Imagine you are an efficiency expert. List the things that expert would ding you for and praise you for. [List carefully and offer commentary]
7) Evaluate your computer and paper files. [Shambles or organized?
8) [Establish a game plan for returning texts, email, phone calls?]
9) Multitasking often leads to lots of balls in the air and unfinished tasks. [How many projects now unfinished did you abandon to take on something else? List. Your thoughts?]

10) Simplify your life. [What can you thin out of your house and closet now to reduce clutter and stop you from say handling a bill three times before paying or redoing an assignment for a class?]
11) [Write me time saving tips of yo

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16. Bats out this morning

One of the pleasures of dogwalking Dogzilla is looking up to see the diving, swooping bats of Waldron. They were wonderful to view just now.

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17. What to do on weekend

Wanting just to do something on my own to think about the structure of the book I am writing. Probably will be the grounds of the Indianapolis Museum of Art. The IMA building is beautiful, but it doesn't have as many exciting additions and creative shows that it had in the 90s when Bret was curator--I think so, anyway, but it is still one of my favorite "go think" places!

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18. Report on the Oceans: This has to be addressed to avoid Dead Seas everywhere

I wrote about this for an encyclopedia in 2001. No nation listens.

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19. Truer words never spoken

My friend Darnell just wrote this: "Loss is the change we least know how to adapt to, particularly in tragic situations." He always has the right words for the right situation.

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20. Off to Louisville

This quote has had special meaning this week: “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience by which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.” Eleanor Roosevelt. I'll need to read her biography soon. I've read her husband's, not hers. Off to Kentucky to work.

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21. VIDEO CLIP: Working as a conference speaker at the University of Louisville

Staying at an historic Louisiana establishment called the Brown Hotel. Had time for a coffee break last night and listened to soothing piano music in a lovely setting. Took an hour for my second workout of day in hotel gym late last night. Off to the University in a bad thunderstorm momentarily. This was my room.

This hotel is famous for the HOT BROWN sandwich.

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22. Bailing out Dogzilla: Video

Loved Louisville, the drive along Fourth Street through the historical district reminds me of Fort Wayne's historic district.

Maybe I will go there July 4 back to the bridge.

All sessions at the University of Louisville were stimulating, and I loved working with the three panelists representing Greek Life, Cadet Life, and Athletics. Grabbing a quick bite of cod and tomato and then off to bail out Dogzilla from the kennel and grab a weight session with him as my spotter. I had a gym available for two days at the Brown Hotel and haven't lost any momentum. Took one break today and watched John Sayles in Coming out of the Ice, the story of 40 year Gulag prisoner Victor Herman. It gripped my heart and still has not let it go.

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23. Monday morning

Goood morning. Slept in an extra hour. Dogzilla will knock me down at the door unless I have a food dish in hand. Going to see if my flowers survived a denting thunderstorm. Hope to be writing by 9 a.m. At the school library for an interlibrary loan pickup by three, the school gym for lower body by 3:10, and in Carmel by 5:45 p.m. for the beginning photo class I'm taking at IUPUI branch. What's your day like?

Ouch: severe hail and thunderstorm warning up. I'll need to put Mazda in front of garage and move weights to protect it from hail. There goes my morning coffee chance.

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24. Dark as night at 8 a.m. Video

Hail, hail.

Luckily I got the weights moved and car in the garage without damage. Trusty Rusty took the full hit, but he's so dented who'd notice? .)

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25. Video: Dogzilla cuts loose post-storm

VIDEO: Dogzilla needed a run after being cooped up in yesterday's hailstorm. I'm feeling pretty Dadlike happy with Father's Day messages from both my wonderful boys--now men.

South Beach Diet update. Hardest part of my diet so far I managed to resist last evening. My instructor in the IUPUI photography class I took let us out a half hour late because he was helping us, and there is only one more class next week. I already had my three meals and a sack and drove by a Carmel Indian restaurant and pulled in front of the door. "You will go over your 1500 calories," I told myself. I opened the door. Now I could smell the food. Oh crap. I got out of the car, went to the door of the restaurant, turned around, came back and drove home. Temptation Number One DEFEATED. Hoo-rah. I am going to win that bet with Jim Brown over who has lost the most weight. I know it now.

We have to turn in some pix for critiques to our instructor Greg next week. I am going to turn in these portraits of friends for critique. I have so much to learn about taking photos, but I am motivated.

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