It Started On Twitter

It started on Twitter with Kristen Cusato.

Kristen Cusato @kristencusato
So…I get the whole Monica thing. #billclinton

I love Kristen. She is talented, gorgeous and obviously witty. Her Tweet came after Bill Clinton’s speech at the Democratic National Convention.

I replied,

Geoff Fox @geofffox
@kristencusato Is the most charismatic person I ever met. Ever!

I guess that’s a big deal.

Kristen Cusato @kristencusato
@geofffox you met him? #wow

I’m sure I’ve told this story before. I, along with every other broadcast weatherperson, was invited to the Clinton White House for a dog-and-pony show about global warming. Al Gore gave his famous PowerPoint presentation. I think it was his first time presenting it.

I spent the day hanging with Craig Allen, Al Roker, and Irv Gikofsy (aka Mr. G.).

It was a long time ago. Al Roker had the first digital camera I’d ever seen.

If you ever get invited to the White House you should know this, the pastries served with coffee are killer! For hoarders the bathroom I used had paper towels beautifully embossed with four color printing. Take a few.

I went pre-9/11 and security was very thorough. I can only imagine now.

We saw the presentation, had the aforementioned pastries, followed by a presidential reception.

We stood single file quietly waiting our turn to shake hands with President Clinton and Vice President Gore. As we approached the president a female Marine officer took a card we’d filled out earlier. She handed the cards to another officer who turned and faced the president.

“Mr. President, Craig Allen”

Craig took a step forward and shook the president’s hand.

“Mr. President, Al Roker”

Al walked up. The president began the conversation. He’d seen Al doing the weather from the White House lawn earlier on Today. How cool is that to have the president as a viewer? I would have soiled my pants.

I was next. I walked forward and looked up. He was the most powerful man on the planet. He oozed that. He is also the most charismatic person I’ve ever met. I understand why Kristen swooned.

Whatever he and I said to each other is lost in time. Trust me, my words were short and inconsequential. His too.

There was one more in our group, Irv.

“Mr. President, Mr. G.”

Really? No full Gikofsky in the White House?

If you get invited to the White House, go.

The Procedure

If you’re just tuning in, I’ve spent the last five weeks with pain in my leg. Like most people I thought pain in my leg meant a problem in my leg.

See–that’s why we’re not doctors!

My pain is actually caused by a herniated disk pinching a nerve. The problem is in my spine!

For the last few weeks I’ve stayed home, mainly on the sofa on my side. This Friday will mark three weeks since I’ve worked.

Trust me, I wish I could work. I wish I could walk and sit without pain.

The first treatment for this ailment is no treatment! I stopped doing anything that might irritate it. In many cases the hernia retreats through benign neglect. It didn’t for me.

Today was step two. I went to the Shoreline Surgery Center in Guilford for a lumbar epidural steroid injection. The souvenir x-ray at the top of this entry shows the needle being inserted into my spine.

Sounds awful, doesn’t it? It was. For a moment the pain on a scale of one to ten was a sixteen!

What was very impressive was the staff I had contact with. They were confident in a way that implies competence! That was very reassuring–no small thing.

Just in case I was too loopy to say thanks while I was there, thanks. You guys were everything I could have hoped for.

It’s tough for me to go anywhere in Connecticut without being spotted. Today was no exception. A Facebook friend posted:

Just saw you in Guilford didn’t look to happy hope you are feeling better soon!!

She probably saw me on the way in, shuffling from side-to-side and trying to find a comfortable standing spot. I never did. I’m sure it wasn’t pretty to watch.

It will be a day or two before I know if the injection worked. If the hernia retreats (I’m sure this is a terrible way to describe what happens) I will be able to start physical therapy and try to prevent a recurrence. That’s the goal. Unfortunately this treatment only works around half the time.

I am hopeful.

You Can Turn a Screen Upside Down By Mistake… Like Me!


I’ve been spending a lot of time on my back and side which makes using a keyboard more difficult. This evening while attempting to type I slipped and randomly hit a combination of keys which turned my laptop screen upside down.

Yeah, I didn’t know you could do that either!

A few seconds hunting Google and problem solved… except I had to operate the mouse as a mirror image to make it work!

My family thought it was hysterical.

I Hoped It Would Look Better

I have been asked to shave tomorrow before I see the doctor. Sounds reasonable. Don’t want to look too scary.

It’s been more than a week since I last shaved. That’s the longest since I began shaving on a daily basis (around age 30).

My hope was it would look better than this!

Fantasy Season

My wife takes a dim view of fantasy sports . “Sports betting ,” she says immediately.  It’s a shame.  She’d be really good at it.

This football season I’m involved in two fantasy leagues, one at work and another run by some guys at the Record-Journal.

If you’ve never played here’s the very brief explanation.  Each team is made up of actual pro football players.  Their statistics are used to calculate your score.

All of a sudden you’re watching the NFL and rooting for individual performance and not teams. .. or the actual game!  Is that taking the sport out of sports? Probably.

Teams in both my leagues are chosen in a live draft where each team owner picks in order.  Nerve wracking! I spent both drafts second guessing my earlier choices.  I can’t imagine the pressure in leagues where the player draft its an auction and you have to be worried about choosing the right players at the right price.

Throughout the season I’ll decide which of my players play each week as I’m matched head-to-head against another team.

I am ill suited for sports, but I’m perfect for fantasy sports.  It’s nearly100% a number game.  I love math.  I love stats .

If you run into me this football season and I start talking about a breakout star on a distant team that’s out of contention you’ll know why.  I apologize in advance.

My Pain Has Taught Me a Few Things

I have learned a few things since being sidelined with back/leg pain.  Specifically,  it sucks! No one wants to do this research,  certainly not me, but I have no choice.  My pains have not gotten better.  In some cases they’re actually worse. I’m avoiding anything that brings pain.  Standing always leads to a prolonged period […]

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Alaska By Ship And Train

Still working on the photos from Alaska. Crazy, right? You’d think I’d be done by now. Here are two side projects that sort of turned up. A friend of Helaine’s has a son who loves trains. For him I compiled my best shots of the White Pass and Yukon Route, a narrow gauge railroad we […]

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Working On The Photos

Here’s the math: Approximately 6100 shot which lead to 165 making the final cut. That’s 2.7%. I took a lot of bad shots!

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Capable Trumps Superior

This will mark a sea change in electronics. For the first time I can remember capable will drive superior from the market. Times have changed.

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Isaac’s Ratty Remnants

“I was just hard-headed. I didn’t think it was going to happen again,’’ said Mr. Leslie, adding that he plans to move somewhere else.

As I said yesterday, “The Gulf of Mexico is beautiful. It is an idyllic location, but no one lives there without understanding the potential downside.” That’s important to note. It’s tough to have a plan that mitigates ‘hard-headed.’

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