Mr. Sensitive

October 29, 2011


Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 14:13

This is freaking me out.  Katie too.

October 28, 2011

FSX Friday Update

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 17:28

We finally have something that looks somewhat like the beginning of an attempt to try and come up with a resolution to the Greek debt problem.  Is all the market gyration really about Greece?  In a word, yes.  If I have multitudinous words I can cite multitudinous market drivers, but the Greek problem is what is moving the market from a macro standpoint.  The company-specific crucifixions (NFLX, AMZN) and coronations (GOOG, CAT) will continue, but the ETFs and futures that shift the averages in one direction or another are being pushed and pulled by the news coming out of Europe.  The problem is not Greece itself.  Do-nothing pundits use the size of the Greek economy as a red herring, saying it’s smaller than California, it can go belly-up and it won’t kill the Euro or economic demand (it certainly won’t hurt supply—do the Greeks actually make or do anything?).  This is all true, but it’s beside the point—that’s what a red herring is, after all.  You make a provocative point that, for all its verity and profundity on a stand-alone basis, has little if any bearing on the issue being discussed.  Thus a clear statement of fact adds to confusion.  Of course the Greek economy is irrelevant.  The problem is Greek debt, specifically how much of it is sitting on the books of large financial institutions, institutions that appear sound so long as that Greek debt has some value but will become insolvent overnight if the debt is written off.  Greece is a domino; if it stood there by itself, you’d flick it over without a second thought.  But if Greece falls—without a credible backstop for the banks that hold its debt—the global financial system goes with it.  Banks are insolvent and can’t lend, not even to fund credit lines or support crucial foreign exchange spot and forward transactions.  With no credit available, global trade in goods and services can’t continue, and economies everywhere will seize up.  Hundreds of millions of people will be thrown out of work and there will be chaos.  That’s why you should care about Greece, and why a European (read: Franco-German) solution to Greece’s problems is so essential.  It appears that the time, effort, and expense being channeled into Greece is out of proportion to its stand-alone economic significance—and it is.  We don’t really care about Greece—we care about all the dominos lined up behind it.

Greece is also standing at the head of a second row of dominos, the other European sovereign debtors.  Countries like Spain, Ireland, Portugal and Italy that might otherwise be given some leeway by international creditors will be lumped in and thrown out right alongside Greece.  They won’t be able to roll over short-term debt so they won’t be able to service long-term debt and they will default as well.  It doesn’t matter that the second wave of default will be caused by self-fulfilling market panic; what matters is that the second wave will drown more victims than the first one.

The Family Stock Index scored a market-beating 4.5% gain this week, although nearly all of that came in a 500-point burst on Greek Thursday.  We are now up more than 14% for the month of October and 24% from the Oct. 4 low.  So far, at least, this is exactly what I predicted last week (unless it was the week before last that I made my prediction—I’m determined not to repeat myself, but I’m also determined to grow another four inches, and you see how well that’s working).  We are, however, undeniably and massively overbought.  Greece was a significant threat—a threat that was lessened at best, tabled at worst, and eliminated only in the rosiest dreams of Berlin bureaucrats—but it’s become even more significant as a distraction for the U.S. markets than as a threat.  Now that it’s diffused for the time being, we can focus on what really matters—the state of Kim Kardashian’s marriage.

Doesn’t look good, does it?  What I love about this—besides everything about it—is Kim telling Kris to get to work.  God, I hope that’s true.  Amazing.  Yeah, Kris, get to work!  Never mind that you’re an NBA player, and the NBA owners have locked out the NBA players so you can’t get to work.  Never mind that Kim has probably never done anything that anyone other than her sisters would consider work at any point in her genetically-engineered life.  Never mind that the entire misbegotten Kardashian coven is draining the vitality out the universe through some form of psychic vampirism and they should all be thrown in the nearest available bonfire immediately.  All of that is fine and dandy.  But you, Kris, need to get to work.  I love it so much.


  • Ruby (RBY) +16.9%.  Katie reports that her mother survived her annual dental cleaning, albeit only after multiple sorties and substantial sedation.  And still it was a close-run thing.  Again, we are talking about a cleaning, not any sort of procedure.  I shudder to think what my mental state would be if I had any such qualms about dentistry (not including moral reservations), as often as our dentist is all up in my mouth.  In fact, I think I can feel a new, inexplicable hole in one of my molars right now.
  • Lulu (LULU +15.6%) and Marisa (MOLX +10.2%).  There seems to have been a sort of cat population explosion in our neighborhood, with three other felines now in residence in the cul-de-sac alone and several others not far removed along PP Drive.  That Marisa is holding her own in the highly-competitive world of bird-murdering is a testament to tenacity.  That Lulu continues to spend all day sleeping in Brinky’s room is a testament to her obesity.
  • Winston (HWD) +15.3%.  Further reporting by Katie reveals that Mario is out of town at a conference related to whatever he does for a living—I continue to have no idea what that is and, vociferous protestations notwithstanding, neither does Katie.  Anyhow, Mario’s absence means Nicole is in charge of Winston, and the market seems to be betting on an increase in table scraps, if not still greater leniency.  Don’t feel like going outside in the cold for nighttime poopies, Winston?  Don’t worry about it.  My advice to Mario: if he has any shoes he didn’t take with him, he might want to take a good look inside before he sticks a foot in.
  • Katie (CATY) +14.4%.  Well, year-end has almost ended well.  Was I ever this stressed out about meetings and emails, audit reports and financial statements?  You know, I think I was.  What was up with that?
  • Zondro (ZQK +9.5%) and Icarus (FLOW +4.4%).  The dogs that don’t really hate other dogs really like other dogs—there’s not a lot of ambivalence in the dog world.  Wilson?  Nothing says ambivalent like unch, and Wilson (WILC) was unch on the week.  Also, he’s not a dog.
  • Dustin (DST +7.9%) and Lisa (LSI +7.3%).  Lisa’s new niece arrived this week.  Lisa loves nieces, and Dustin loves Lisa (and probably, also, nieces).  Do I really have to try any harder than that?  I say no.
  • Lee (MSTR) +7.8%.  Brinkley’s thrown his lot in with the book in the Book War, just as I knew he would.  That’s fine, effer.  You take your shot, I’ll take my shot, and we’ll see who walks away and who doesn’t.  Cruising doesn’t count as walking, just so you know.
  • Brinkley (BCO) +3.4%.  And his sisters taught him to climb the stairs.  But that’s okay; he can only do what he can do.  Until he can do more than he can do, I can handle him.


  • Nicole B. (NI) -1.7%.  It hadn’t occurred to me until today, but do you think that this Greek debt restructuring is going to mess up Nicole’s credit?  Food for thought, Justin.  As opposed to food for poop.
  • Reagan (REGN) -10.5%.  This week I had to have a discussion with Reagan that I would have titled—if I titled my conversations with Reagan—Ever Do Anything I Tell You.  Reagan has a lot of crazy thinking to do, and sometimes she gets borne away on a great wave of crazy thinking so that she doesn’t do ANY OF HER CHORES EVER.  A modified state of domestic affairs could well be negotiated between us—no chores, no allowance would be my opening and final position—but no chores, yes allowance is going to be a non-starter.  If you’re going to try and get out of doing anything that you’re supposed to do, ever, you should at least have the decency to fake illness or injury like Jenny does.


Name Ticker 10/28/2011 Change
Brinkley BCO $28.50 +0.95
Charlotte ICE $132.44 +5.93
Dustin DST $50.77 +3.72
Icarus FLOW $2.63 +0.11
Jenny LEN $17.05 +0.32
Justin WOLF $2.29 +0.07
Katie CATY $14.66 +1.84
Lee MSTR $143.36 +10.32
Legacy Lee LEE $0.71 +0.02
Lisa LSI $6.29 +0.43
Lucas LEI $1.78 -0.05
Lulu LULU $57.94 +7.84
Marcus MCS $12.46 +0.92
Mario T.E. PBY $11.40 +0.07
Mario T.Y. SUP $18.42 +0.13
Marisa MOLX $25.47 +2.35
Nicole B. NI $22.52 -0.38
Nicole L. COL $55.81 +0.65
Reagan REGN $55.66 -6.51
Ruby RBY $4.21 +0.61
Wilson WILC $5.72 unch
Winston HWD $12.52 +1.66
Zero FRZ $1.04 +0.05
Zondro ZQK $3.45 +0.30


October 25, 2011

Brinky Cup – Week 7

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 09:35

Tara put up a big number here in Week 7 of the NFL season, edging out Marcus and the light and dark Marios.  Maybe now that Jim Tressel is working in the NFL she’ll have more passion for the pro game and her Brinky Cup fortunes will be revived.  That’s assuming that you consider the Colts a professional football team, which I certainly don’t.  Ohio State isn’t going to play in the BCS Championship this year, true, but would the Buckeyes have given up 62 points to the Saints?  Remember, Colts fans, Jim Caldwell wasn’t good enough to keep his job coaching…Wake Forest.  If you’ve listened to Tony Dungy as a commentator lately, you realize quickly that he doesn’t know anything but platitudes.  That team never had a coach, it had Peyton Manning.  At the end of the year it may have Andrew Luck as well.  In the overall standings, it’s starting to look like different cup, same results.  Dark Mario had a relatively lackluster Week 7, finishing in third place, but Dark Lee had a lastlucker week and DM picked up three games.  If that wasn’t enough, regular Mario moved into a tie with me for second.  If Mario finishes one and two at the end of the season everyone else is getting a handicap in 2012.

Here are the complete Week 7 results:

  • 11-2 (1):  Tara
  • 10-3 (2):  Marcus, Mario the Younger
  • 9-4 (1):  Dark Mario
  • 8-5 (3):  Brinkley, Katie, Lee
  • 7-6 (2):  Jenny, Lee, LISA
  • 6-7 (3):  Dark Lee, Justin, Mario the Elder
  • 5-8 (3):  Charlotte, Jodi Ann, Reagan
  • 4-9 (1):  Ruby

Brinky Cup Standings (through 7 weeks):

Games Back
Dark Mario
Dark Lee 4
Mario T.Y. 4
Marcus 5
Lisa 5
Mario T.E. 6
Tara 8
Brinkley 9
Lee 10
Jodi Ann 10
Jenny 11
Charlotte 11
Reagan 13
Katie 15
Justin 15
Ruby 17

October 21, 2011

FSX Friday Update

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 17:12

To be honest, I expected hair-raising volatility from the markets this week as earnings and business outlooks poured in.  Instead, the markets were resolutely irresolute: earnings reports were emboldening and forecasts were surprising robust (Apple’s huge miss, its first in four years, notwithstanding), but all the sector- and company-specific exuberance was reliability capped by continued fretting and temporizing from Eurozone politicians.  Someone says yes, someone else says no; someone says now, someone else says later; someone says $2 trillion for stabilization, someone else says $ bupkiss.  I’m not sure what Merkel and Sarkozy are waiting for, but pretty soon they’re going to get what’s coming to them.  Greece couldn’t grow its way out of its fiscal chasm even if austerity measures weren’t being forced on it by international lenders, but as it is, the Greek economy is more likely to contract than to expand, and revenues available to service debt will contract along with it.  Default is inevitable.  Greece can’t service its existing debt and it can’t refinance that debt—but Germany and France can, if and when they recognize the necessity of doing so.  Here is the face of Germany’s continuing vacillation, everyone’s favorite spinster librarian/Bundeskantzler:

Angela Merkel is the person the Germans want the Greeks and the rest of the Mediterranean ne’er-do-wells to think of as they reconcile themselves to the Franco-German fiscal line.  Of course, the Greeks loudly complain that they are thinking of someone else:

But they’re lying.  They’re just being provocative to buy themselves time and keep the toga party going.  The person they really think of when Germany comes knocking at the budgetary door is this man

and the millions of Germans like him.  This is Wolfgang Schäuble, the German Finance Minister, and he’s not here for the party.  He and his friends think the party is too loud and too expensive and they would love to call the cops to shut it down.  The problem with the Eurozone right now is that they are the cops.  But they don’t want to be the cops because, well, you know.

So there are no cops, and the toga party is out of control.  Personally, I would favor a reimagined Eurozone that jettisons the peripheral economies (Spain, Portugal, Greece, Ireland, and even Italy) and pursues even greater unification within the Carolingian core (France, Germany, and the Low Countries).  A true, unified Frankish state at the heart of Europe would be the dynamic, stable economic power—right now—that the U.S. once expected broader Europe to become.  The Frankish Reich could partner with the U.S., China, and Japan to stabilize the non-core European states, but it would not have its own currency destabilized as a result of those countries’ profligacy.  Wolfie and Angie could call the cops—the IMF, JP Morgan, the Bank of China, whoever it is—and not have to worry about everyone bringing up, well, you know.

The Family Stock Index was nearly flat on the week, but it needed a massive 250-point Friday rally to get close to breakeven.  At 10,926, the FSX finished less than 0.2% below its closing level a week ago, and the advance/decline ratio of 10-to-14 further underlines the lack of direction we demonstrated this week.  Still, there’s a lot in motion behind the headline numbers, and I still expect another strong upside move before the year is out.


  • Jenny (LEN) +9.3%.  Jenny got in some trouble earlier this month for blowing a couple spelling tests and a vocabulary quiz—her mother, hall-of-fame yearbook editor that she is, won’t stand for that sort of tomfoolery—but she’s put together a string of As since then and may have even accepted the need to prepare for tests from time to time.  Jenny herself attributes her rise this week to the excellent otter she made from a small pumpkin:

This, frankly, is as plausible an investment thesis as any I’ve heard this week.

  • Lucas (LEI) +8.9%.  Lucas has been the best performer in the FSX for the first three weeks of the final quarter, racking up 41% in QTD gains after an astounding 80% move off the first-week lows.  What is the appropriate explanation?  Well, I must admit to some puzzlement.  Yes, the market sold Lucas heavily leading up to his fateful enrollment in middle school (down 20% in Q2 and 54% in Q3), so anything short of spontaneous combustion on the first day would have merited a rebound.  But Jenny again was quick with an explanation: “probably he ran for school secretary and won.”  Never mind that they probably have grade-level elections, and never mind that what in the world?  That explanation is so specific and so Jenny that it must be the case.  So there you have it: Lucas ran for school secretary and won.
  • Nicole B. (NI) +5.3%.  It occurs to me that I have quite possibly taken the wrong angle here.  I had been assuming that Justin needed to get his act together and bring home the (vegan) bacon, this being a man’s world and whatnot, but Nicole’s handsome investment profile—steady capital gains, substantial dividends, and low volatility—cannot but force me to reexamine my assumptions.  Yes, men are stronger, faster, smarter, and more creative than women, but are they prettier?  Sometimes.

Where was I going with this?  I’m not sure, exactly, but Justin’s probably planning to apply to another grad school to get his doctorate in dog-kissing, and Nicole’s prospects have to be better than that.  Better, but not as stellar as some.

  • Charlotte (ICE) +1.7%.  The Empress tells me that Charlotte can’t imagine how she will survive another Chicago winter without a bathtub.  Katie was bereft of ideas herself, and hypothermia seemed to be a real possibility.  But a late-week rally suggests that Charlotte has found a solution, or that the market is confident in her ability to do so.  But what could it be?  Hopefully I will come up with a suggestion by the end of the update.  I only have the one sister, after all.


  • Lee (MSTR) -2.0%.  The market’s initial reaction to my aggressive Book War plan is to sell me, a decision I respect.  Even if I somehow come in ahead of plan, there will be plenty of time—months rather than weeks—for bulls to build positions.  It’s going well so far, but I’m up 25% since early October, and it’s still very, very early.  Separately, the heavier selling in Legacy Lee (LEE -4.4%) suggests to me that the potential spinoff isn’t being well-received.  To which I say, respectfully: don’t tell me, or Legacy Me, what to do.
  • Reagan (REGN) -2.8%.  Reagan’s definitely going to be famous, but sometimes I’m afraid it might be more in a Richard-Simmons way than in a Barack-Obama way.
  • Wilson (WILC) -5.5%.  Wilson doesn’t want friends.  He wants peace and quiet in which to cultivate his inner darkness—he’s very like me in that way.  But Brinky wants to be friends, not just with Zondro and the cats, but with every living thing on Earth, and his take on friendship is that it involves a lot of mutual punching and hair-pulling.  Thus the risks, and the market losses, continue to mount for poor Wilson.
  • Zero (FRZ) -12.4%.  It’s an extreme solution, but we’ve all seen it work before, and on the ice plains of Hoth, no less.  So if it gets really chilly in Chicago this winter, Charlotte can simply wait for Zero to freeze first, cut open his belly, and sleep in him like he’s a Taun-Taun.  Be warned, though: he almost certainly smells better on the outside.
Name Ticker 10/21/2011 Change
Brinkley BCO $27.55 +0.31
Charlotte ICE $126.51 +2.06
Dustin DST $47.05 -0.59
Icarus FLOW $2.52 +0.04
Jenny LEN $16.73 +1.42
Justin WOLF $2.22 -0.12
Katie CATY $12.82 -0.24
Lee MSTR $133.04 -2.74
Legacy Lee LEE $0.69 -0.03
Lisa LSI $5.86 -0.08
Lucas LEI $1.83 +0.15
Lulu LULU $50.10 -4.14
Marcus MCS $11.54 -0.31
Mario T.E. PBY $11.33 +0.04
Mario T.Y. SUP $18.29 +0.51
Marisa MOLX $23.12 +0.34
Nicole B. NI $22.90 +1.15
Nicole L. COL $55.16 -0.42
Reagan REGN $62.17 -1.78
Ruby RBY $3.60 +0.10
Wilson WILC $5.72 -0.33
Winston HWD $10.86 -0.83
Zero FRZ $0.99 -0.14
Zondro ZQK $3.15 -0.13

Point-Counterpoint re: Pick Me Up

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 08:47

Me:  I tried to put you down for the nap that Your Eye-Rubbing Grumpy-Face desperately needs, and if I recall, you grunted a bit, then stood up, threw your pacifier on the floor, and started jumping up and down in your crib.  So it’s your fault that you’re tired, and it’s your fault that there’s fruit all over the floor, and I have to clean up the fruit, so I’m not going to pick you up right now.

Brinkley:  That is a strong argument indeed, Father, but I must respectfully make this rejoinder:  pick me up.

Me:  I’m cleaning up your mess and I’m not picking you up.

Brinkley:  Touché.  Yet I must wonder whether you’ve given full and measured consideration to pick me up.

Me:  I’m not picking you up.  And don’t bite my toe.

Brinkley:  Oh, Father, how easily your logic becomes muddled under stress.  Clearly you cannot not pick me up.  And just as clearly, you have a delicious toe.  I think there’s a little fruit crust on it, in fact.  For which, by the by, you are welcome.

Me:  Fine.  [Picking up the baby.]

Brinkley:  Excellent.  Now we need to solve this dilemma of how I am to eat your toe whilst you are holding me.  Clearly your flexibility is at issue.  Let’s work on that, shall we?

October 19, 2011

Happy Bath Baby

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 13:42

I’d hoped to parlay a bath into a nap and that’s a no-go so far.  Then he certainly did crap his pants about ten minutes after he got out of the bath.  But at least I got some photographic evidence that he doesn’t hate me all the time.

Morning Fruit Time

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 12:17

Brinkley is not the quickest on the uptake when it comes to the unimportant things in life (talking, walking, etc.) but he doesn’t miss a beat when sugary chow is up for grabs.  For example, he’s learned that Reagan has a cup of fruit for breakfast most mornings, and he plays up the wide-eyed innocent angle to great effect.

By Brinkley’s standards, Reagan is appropriately generous with her fruit.

But she’s awfully slow about getting her generosity into his face.

I really enjoy Morning Fruit Time; for a few minutes, at least, Brinkley will be berating someone other than me.

October 18, 2011

Book War – Timetable

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 15:35

The book is entirely in view now—well, not at this exact moment, because I’m in the dining room and the book is splayed out on the wall in my office, but you get the idea—so there’s nothing left to do but write the son-of-a-bitch.  The key is to maintain momentum.  What I want is held in strength against me, and much of it is hidden, so the circumstances clearly favor the defender.  I am setting myself an aggressive timetable for victory.  This week I will finish the biographical and technical sections on the Book Wall, and next week I will finish my detailed character templates, also for the Wall.  After that, the grind begins.  Beginning the week of 10/31 I will finish at least one chapter per week for seven weeks, wrapping up the first phase of the campaign on 12/18, the week before Christmas.  Then I will take the next two weeks off for the holidays.  The second phase of the campaign will begin on Monday, Jan. 2, and will take me through the next five chapters over five weeks.  Then I will take another week off (2/6-2/12), followed by five more on.  Finally, I will take one more seven-day break (3/19-3/25), before driving through the final five chapters during the five weeks ending April 29.  That means I will take six months to complete the first draft, which is about how long it took me to write Cupid thirteen years ago.  I will take two weeks away from the book after the first draft is finished, and then I will allow myself five more weeks to read and revise the first draft.  That will take me through to June 17, at which point the girls will presumably be out of school for the summer.  I will take the next two weeks off for my birthday, Father’s Day, and the Heroes Con in Charlotte (6/22-6/24).  After that, I will most likely have a nervous breakdown of some sort.  To defeat the book on schedule, I anticipate needing to write 4,000 to 5,000 words per week during the weeks I work on it.  That’s manageable, I believe, although it may mean I have less time and fewer words for Mr. Sensitive here.  Ah, well—c’est la guerre.

Brinky Cup – Week 6

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 12:57

On a certain level, I was pulling for Jodi Ann to win the picks again this week (a much lower level than the level on which I was pulling for myself or Dark myself to win).  Alas, Reagan put herself solidly between Jodi Ann and a Week 6 victory.  So did Lisa and Jenny, for that matter.  And Katie, and Tara, and all three Marios, and Dark Lee, and even Marcus (what a jerk).  But Charlotte, Brinky, Justin and Ruby all did the considerate thing and stunk it up respectfully.  In the overall standings, Reagan’s big week rockets her to within…9 games.  The 10-win weeks posted by Lisa and Mario the Elder were more productive, moving both of them to within 3 games of the lead, now held solely by Dark Mario.  Katie, Ruby, and Justin occupy the bottom three rungs on the Brinky Cup ladder.  Justin’s position seems even more tenuous, given that he was only eligible for half a Cup to begin with.  But perhaps my perspective is off in this case.  Half a championship is certainly an undesirable outcome, but half an abysmal failure may in fact be preferable to an entire abysmal failure.

Here are the complete Week 6 results:

  • 11-2 (1):  Reagan
  • 10-3 (2):  Lisa, Mario the Elder
  • 9-4 (3):  Jenny, Mario, Dark Mario
  • 8-5 (4):   Dark Lee, Katie, Marcus, Tara
  • 7-6 (2):  Jodi Ann, Lee
  • 6-7 (3):  Brinkley, Charlotte, Justin
  • 5-8 (1):  Ruby

We are now about 1/3 of the way through the season, and I want to remind all the preseason pickers that they can submit changes to their picks for any given week so long as they do so before that week’s games get underway.  Conversely, any of the current week-to-week pickers can submit picks for the remainder of the season at any point they get tired of being harassed for picks on Sunday.  This doesn’t apply to me or to Mario the Younger as both of us locked in preseason picks in addition to going week-to-week, darkly.  As it happens, we are about evenly split between week-to-week and preseason pickers.

  • Week-to-week pickers (7): Dark Lee, Dark Mario, Jenny, Brinkley, Reagan, Jodi Ann, Marcus
  • Preseason pickers (8): Lee, Mario the Younger, Mario the Elder, Ruby, Tara, Katie, Charlotte, Justin/Nicole

Brinky Cup Standings (through 6 weeks):

Games Back
Dark Mario
Dark Lee 1
Lisa 3
Mario T.E. 3
Mario T.Y. 5
Marcus 6
Jodi Ann 6
Charlotte 7
Brinkley 8
Reagan 9
Jenny 9
Lee 9
Tara 10
Justin 12
Ruby 12
Katie 14

October 17, 2011

What If The Door Frame Attacks Me?

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 14:54

I went to a dermatologist on Friday to see if he could tell me why my feet keep blistering and ulcerating (the answer: no) and he did a biopsy on my left big toe.  It was a nasty bit of business to watch, according to Katie–I don’t watch people doing terrible things to me as a matter of principle.  I had to get stitches to close the hole in my toe, and Katie asked the doctor at the time whether I would need to stay off my feet for the rest of the day (or longer, I suppose).  What she was getting at was, “is my husband going to be able to chase our fat, mean baby around the house this afternoon, or do I need to take off work to do it?”  The doctor explained that the site of the biopsy was a relatively static area of the skin relative to, say, the skin around a joint or a major muscle group, so I should be fine if I keep it clean and bandaged.  Then I posed the question, “Well, Doc, what if I tell you that I’m going to kick a wall, or a table, or the ground–pick any firm, immovable household obstruction that tickles your fancy–at least twice a day, pretty much as hard as I can?”  I didn’t ask him that, of course–I got the sense he was already contemplating having me sent to the psych ward based on his assessment of my fingernails.  Today I’ve kicked the kitchen cabinet, a chair, the front door, and finally, as I was stepping over the gate blocking Brinky in the family room, the door frame.  The last one was a doozy.  I was planning to exercise today, but now I can’t put on my tennis shoes again.  Blunt force trauma is bound to be against doctor’s orders.

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