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2:42 p.m. - November 18, 2005
A Few Things I'll Never Do (Again)...
As I sit here and think about life at 40 (by the way, thanks for the well wishes, everyone, especially for my sister who surprised me when I got back from my haircut. IT IS BALLOON!) I started to reflect on the things that I have done with my life.

Iíve accomplished a lot in these years, and I still have plenty more to do. Heck, I have at least 21 Ĺ more years to get Kristin through college and on with her life. (Iím anticipating the four year plan. If I keep working here at the College then she and Katie can go to a GLCA school on a tuition exchange for eight semesters each, so Iím anticipating raising daughters who will attend Kenyon, Denison, or Albion.)

Iíve done a lot of things that normal people donít get to do, like:
ē Work as a DJ in radio.
ē Broadcast sporting events on the radio
ē Be a sportswriter for a newspaper.
ē Get an MBA totally paid for by an employer, who had to let you go a month before you graduated.
ē Lead a stats crew for a professional hockey franchise.
ē Do stats work for an NFL game.
ē Be on the ice and in the locker room for a championship celebration.
ē Drive to Alaska.
ē Work at your alma mater, a place you love.
ē Write some mindless drivel on the internet that people seem to like.
ē Adopt two wonderful daughters who share a birth mother (probably my most important accomplishment, besides marrying Liz.)

So thatís a pretty darn full plate oí good things, I would think.

I got to thinking about things that Iíll probably never do, or never do again. Now, Iím not going to be all pie in the sky, like ďIíll never be a teenage idolĒ, and Iíll never say never about ever being a rock-and-roll star, as it seems that more and more the geezers are rockiní like thereís no tomorrow.

But I thought of five things off the top of my head that Iíll probably never do, for better or worse.

Become a vegetarian - There is no way in h-e double hockey sticks that Iíll ever become a vegetarian. While I admire people who have made that choice for themselves and their family, Iíve got too much Hoosier Midwestern stock in me to abandon meat.

Sure, I need to eat healthier. Most of us do. And yes, itís my own damn fault that I heeded the siren call of Taco Bell today. (Much like how many on the Iron Chef cannot resist the call of the ice cream maker, I cannot resist when a Chili Cheese Burrito calls my name).

But I canít imagine ever giving up steak, or hamburgers, or chicken. Theyíre just too, too yummy.

Besides, I donít like many veggies. Ick! Thank goodness Katie takes after her mom, and is a broccoli (ďVile weed!Ē Ė Newman) eater. Sheíd never learn that from me.

Sing falsetto, like that guy in the Stylistics - I think many of you remember the Stylistics from the 70ís. Great soulful ballads like ďYou Make Me Feel Brand NewĒ, ďBetcha By Golly, WowĒ and ďYouíll Never Get to Heaven (If You Break My Heart)Ē. They had the moves, great songs, and one of the greatest voices in music.

Russell Thompkins, Jr. was his name, and his soaring falsetto was the signature sound. Close your eyes, and try to remember it. Breathtaking!

Recently, I went out and bought a collection of their best work, and of course, when those songs get into my iPod, I try my best to sing along.

Hah! I sound like a rusty gate crossed with a constipated cat when I try to reach those notes.

Face it, while I want to karaoke a lot of songs, I just canít see me ever subjecting anyone to Smed Sings the Stylistics.

Not even with a whole bottle of Wild Turkey in me.

Play baseball - I play softball. Not particularly well, but I play. Off an on, since high school, Iíve played. One thing that has happened is my right arm is basically mush.

I played baseball as a kid, but gave it up as I couldnít hit curveballs, and was a scrawny kid with no power. I had a good eye, and could bunt well, but my fielding was erratic and I was timed with a calendar when running the bases. So I kept the scorebook, no big deal.

When I first started playing softball, I played third base for a couple of seasons. My arm was never the strongest in the world, and sometimes I didnít warm up like I should have. Over time, my shoulder kept grinding, and now when I throw overhand it sounds like a popcorn popper.

Unlike softball, in baseball you canít hide a bad arm. I have a lot of friends who play in over-35 baseball leagues around, but I wonít be one of them. I still canít hit a curve, and Iím afraid that my arm would asplode if I tried to throw a baseball anymore.

So, Iíll just play my computer baseball game when I get in to the mood.

Run for a statewide or national office - If you know me, and then looked at my political party registration over the years, youíd be surprised. For many years I lived in an area where I had to declare as a Republican in the primary in order to make my voice heard in local elections. (Here in Indiana, you just register to vote, period, and donít declare a party until you walk into the polling place on primary day.)

In Boone County, the races for county commissioner and county council were always contentious, and they were always about how best to manage the inevitable growth that is spilling over from Indianapolis to that area. There were always two or three candidates running on disparate platforms even though they were all Republicans.

In that county, the Republicans win each county race about 70-30 in the general elections, so if you wanted to make sure you voted the right candidate in those local elections you had to vote in the primary.

But I could never, ever run as a Republican. Iím way out of step with the party zealots on many issues. (I donít think Rick Santorum and I will ever exchange Christmas cards, to be sure!) And the Democrats would look at my primary voting records and question if I was one of them.

And even if I could run as a Democrat, if I ran for the US House Iíd get clobbered in this district, and if I ran for the Statehouse Iíd lose about 58-42.

So if I ever get the political yen, Iíll stick to school board or maybe city council. Maybe.

Have a natural child - No, I donít need pity or sympathy for this. The fact of the matter is that Iím not going to have a child from my DNA.

Iím perfectly fine with that. I do not anticipate ever being in a situation where that would even be an option.

(Oh, I suppose that if something odd would happen in about 40 years or so, I could be a Tony Randall-type father, but thatís an infinitesimal chance!)

Besides, I have my hands full right now as it is!

So, there you have it. If I had a list Ė those are five things that would never get crossed off, well, unless Indianaís political tide changes dramatically in the next 40 years, and the way we work around here, it may be 400 years.

And Iím perfectly fine with all of that. Besides, like I said, thereís still a chance I can be a rock-and-roll star. Yeah, thatís the ticket!


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