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"Murphy was an optimist!"

Open letter to the designers of men’s restrooms February 26, 2010 6:35 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Of Interest
, 2comments

Dear designer, If you are going to install a mirror perpendicular to the urinal, that is such that a man clearly sees his side view in the reflection, please do not use a regular mirror. Instead use a carnival mirror that shrinks the size of our stomach and increases the size of other things. Thank you!


Still ticking February 14, 2010 2:21 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life
, 3comments

I’m not dead yet.


Happy Valentine’s Day February 14, 2010 2:09 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Cathy, Daily Life, Family, Holiday, Valentine's Day
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Cathy is my favorite.

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My Life as a Comedy – Sarah’s Car Accident February 13, 2010 1:07 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Cathy, Daily Life, Family, Of Being Dad
, 1 comment so far


To fully appreciate the events you are about to read, you must understand that Knoxville had a snow and ice storm over the weekend. The forecast was so certain that announcements on Thursday night declared all area schools closed for Friday, except Pellissippi State Community College where my oldest son attends. The snow came Friday afternoon and PTSCC closed early.

We are a seven person household with five children attending five different schools: pre-school, elementary, middle, high, and college. We have one functioning vehicle.


On Monday, schools delayed opening two hours due to icy roads. Normally, Sarah gets a ride to the high school with a neighbor who teaches at the high school. To protect identities, let’s call her Tonya. For the past decade, I have worked out of my basement, telecommuting to answer my client’s needs around the world. On this particular Monday, I actually had a rare onsite appointment from 8am to 5pm downtown. Before leaving, I asked Sarah, "Do you have a ride?" She replied, "I called last night and Tonya wasn’t there but they said she’d call back if she couldn’t give me a ride. She didn’t call back so I’m good." I left. At 9am, with 30 minutes left before Sarah’s 2 hour delayed pickup, Tonya’s husband called. To protect identities, let’s call him Randy. Randy explained that Tonya went to the high school early. I knew Cathy, my wife, was fighting a migraine and sleeping in so I called Sarah directly. Sarah explained her boy friend, let’s call him Zach, would drive her to school.


Cathy calls me a little amped, "Sarah and Tonya have been in an accident! Air bags went off and Sarah won’t call an ambulance because she’s waiting for the police. You’ve got to call Randy and tell him that Tonya’s been in an accident."


I stare into my half finished first cup of coffee trying to shake the fog out of my head and process what I’ve just heard, "Tonya. Sarah. Accident. Call Randy." That doesn’t make sense. Other thoughts: "The woman is always right" "Yes dear" "Want a happy life, keep a happy wife!" I call Randy and about the time his very confused question, "Tonya was in an accident?" hit my ear, I realized Cathy didn’t know Zach drove Sarah so I apologized to Randy for the confusion and called Cathy.

Enter Larry, Moe and Curly stage left

If Cathy could be sheepish over the phone, she pulled it off, "Whoops. I just told the elementary school they had a pregnant woman in a car accident in the parking lot and they needed to get her to a doctor." Later that night I apologize to Randy again who chuckles and asks, "Did you know I was in an accident today?" No way! Then he explains, "See, Tonya took my car in today and I drove hers. So when her principal, let’s call him Dr. Barlett, checked on her because he’d heard she’d been in an accident, probably from the elementary school, she just knew someone had seen her car in an accident, assumed it was her, she knew it had to be me, and called to see if I was okay." Cymbal crash.

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How long does it take for universal health care to destroy a society? February 12, 2010 7:33 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Health, Touchy Subjects
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Apparently, more than 40 years…

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Red car syndrome for my heart February 10, 2010 10:53 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life, Health
, 6comments

Over the weekend I was messing with my father-in-law’s blood pressure cuff and it came back with a reading of 216/119 for me. This put many people up in arms. When the cuff gave its reading, my inlaws and wife were staring at me like I was the walking dead. After HIPPA was broken and my numbers broadcast to the world, I committed to get back on blood pressure medicine. That hasn’t happen yet. Turns out the prescription which I ran out of 4, 5, or 6 months or more ago expired on January 29. Despite the tension in my chest, I cannot get a refill until I see the doctor. Let’s talk about that tension. Prior to the reading, the tension was there but I didn’t think about it. Now I feel like Fred Sanford. “Elizabeth I’m coming to ya!” How much tension? I just stretched and my ribs popped like cracking knuckles. Nothing has changed but perception. I’m fine but aware.


So you want to work for youself February 4, 2010 11:17 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Touchy Subjects
, 1 comment so far

The grass is always greener on the other side. If you dream of escaping Cubeville to work as a freelancer or consultant taking business calls from the beach, setting your own schedule, working in pajamas or nothing at all, and taking vacations whenever you want, I am here to warn you about the brown spots in that greener grass. The biggest brown spot will be cash flow. That 8 to 5 job which you view as a prison to escape provides something unknown to the self-employed…predictable income. For instance, I expected a full payment from one client last night; instead, I received a half payment today. That should be no big deal since another client was scheduled to deliver a full payment today but instead delivered a message that the payment should come tomorrow. These scenarios are why people recommend keeping 6 months of income in the bank. If you don’t have that, the greener grass is too dangerous. Stay in Cubeville! If you are venturing over here from Cubeville with that 6 month income in the bank, your exit plan from self-employment back to Cubeville better be well before that reserve hits zero. Exit plan? Don’t have one? Well, that’s for a different post, but if you don’t have an exit plan, you aren’t ready for self-employment.

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LOST Thought February 2, 2010 7:57 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Lost, Of Interest, TV / Movies
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For the record, I have thought for a long time that Season 1 was the middle of this story and not the first time that the main characters had been to the island. But there’s holes in that theory.

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