Changeup, Chapter 23

"Joe, there's a lawyer here to see you."

Joe frowned. He didn't like lawyers.

"What about? Am I being sued?"

His receptionist, Kate, shrugged. "Not likely. Works for you in Legal."

Joe frowned further. He didn't know he had a Legal department, but it made sense.

"Send him in, I guess."

"She'll be right in", Kate said pointedly.

A tall, dour woman with permanently arched eyebrows tapped in loudly, her high heels leaving a staccato echo in the hall.

"Hi, I'm Joe."

"Annette Primrose, your General Counsel."

"Pleased to meet you, Annette. Have a seat."

"Ms. Primrose, thank you." She sat, but remained ramrod straight. Joe unconsciously slouched a bit more to balance it out.

"What's this about, Ms. Primrose?"

"You have to stop these stunts."

"What stunts?"

"You know perfectly well what stunts, Mr. -"

"Joe. Just Joe. So what do I have to stop doing?"

"Hmph. The lottery you hold before each game by randomly calling a seat number for a fan to throw out the first pitch, or to be the bat boy for the game."

"There's no harm in that, and the fans love it."

"What about letting the kids run around the bases after the games? If there were an injury, you would definitely be sued."

"For letting kids be kids? I doubt it."

"It's my job to protect you from lawsuits. These are things I see as a potential risk for our organization. It's my duty to advise you against these activities."

Joe stared for a moment, almost amused at the consternation Ms. Primrose felt over some Little Leaguers.

That's when the idea struck.

"I appreciate it, Ms. Primrose. But please don't have a heart attack when that risk gets a bit more potential."

Though hardly possible, Ms. Primrose's eyebrows arched higher as she sat up even straighter in her chair.

"And just what do you have planned?"

"Every Little Leaguer in the world dreams of playing on a major league field someday, Ms. Primrose. And starting tomorrow, they'll get that chance."

Before every home game, Joe let a local little league team play a game on his field. The leagues played on a rotating basis, so teams from all areas of town got a chance to play. Admission was, of course, free. And if you cared about baseball enough to show up early and watch the kids, you got to stay and watch the pros.

Attendance soared.


Telepathy Tacos

User: Aaahhh! The conference room PC is acting up!

Me: I'm sorry to hear that. What's it doing?

User: You'll have to see it yourself. I can't explain it.

Me: Okay, Where are you located?

User: I'm in (different town than me).

Me: Please give me the name of the PC so I can remote into it and take a look. This information is located
on the PC itself or on the desktop background.

User: I can't give that to you now. We're in a meeting. This is the conference room, remember? Just sit tight and I'll give it to you later.

Me: Oooookay.

*Later that afternoon*

Me: Hi, did you have a chance to grab the name of the PC in your conference room?

User: No, I forgot. Let me get back to you.

*The next morning*

Me: Hi! Did you have a chance to-

User: Look, I'm really busy. I'll get back to you.

*Two days later*

Me: Hi! Did-

User: I don't have time for this. Can't you just go around the corner and look for the stupid name of the stupid computer yourself?

Me: I'm sorry, I'm not at your location.

User: Well, has anyone else complained?

Me: No, yours is the only ticket I have for your office.

User: Then it's obviously not a problem, now is it?

Me: You tell me. You opened the ticket.

User: Oh, bother. Just close it.

Me: Sorry for the inconvenience.

*I close the ticket. Under notes, I put "User resolved issue by being persnickety and unavailable."*

Be honest...are you this user?

Immediately Delayed

Me: Reboot your computer and it'll work.

User: Are you sure? I just did.

Me: And the problem survived the reboot?

User: Yes, it came back shortly after.

Me: How long between when you rebooted and when the issue returned?

User: I rebooted Monday, and today is Thursday, so...

Me: Oh, just reboot.

Is it just me, or will most people do everything they can to avoid a reboot?

A Letter to My Daughter

Eliana, yesterday we were privileged to dedicate you to the Lord.

Your name means "God has answered".

When we were told we couldn't have kids, we prayed...and God answered.

When we thought we might lose you the night you were born, we prayed...and God answered.

The first Bible verse I ever memorized was Psalm 56:3 - "When I am afraid, I will trust in you."

We want to raise you secure in the knowledge that you can trust your Heavenly Father.

He's been there for us, and He'll be there for you, too.

We love you.

Changeup, Chapter 22

The room was dark, but the well-dressed elite within would have called it 'atmosphere'. A quiet piano plinked away tunelessly in the background.

The waiters wore tuxedos, but not as expensive as the tuxedos worn by the two men in the corner.

There were no prices on the menus. Prices didn't matter in places like this.

The older of the two men casually flipped his rotund wrist. There were no words and definitely no eye contact, but the waiter did as he was told. He opened the Le Chambertin and poured two glasses before he disappeared once more.

The older man never touched his glass. He leaned forward and trained his flint-speckled eyes on the younger man.


The younger man fidgeted nervously. He didn't know if he should ignore his as well, or if he should make sure to finish his glass of $1000 per bottle wine.

"I laughed at him at first, but Joe seems to know what he's doing. The things he's doing - they're working."

"Hogwash. He's a kid and his team is in last place. I have nothing to worry about. The league has nothing to worry about."

"Then you're not paying attention, Mr. Simpson."

"Enlighten me."

"Every home game this season has sold out."

"At $5 - $20 a ticket, that's not surprising. He's still not making as much as we are."

"Not on ticket sales. But the increased interest has created new fans. People love what he's doing. They can't keep merchandise in stock."

"Neither can we. Our Dominguez and Greenley jerseys have been selling out for years."

"And both of your stars are retiring this year."

"So he sells a few more jerseys than me next year. Again, why do I care?"

"Their endorsement deals are through the roof. And that's major money; corporate money. Long-term contracts."

"All right, you have a point. But when I win the World Series this year, again, I'll have all the endorsement deals I want."

"That's the point, Mr. Simpson. You won't win it again next year. You'll be stuck rebuilding the team for the next few years. You won't get the usual deals you've grown accustomed to. But that's still not your biggest worry."

Mr. Simpson frowned. He finally reached for his drink.

"He's getting the younger players at a fraction of the cost you are. He's hiring them all at league minimums. His payroll is the lowest in the league."

"Good. He'll never keep them that way."

"Wrong. They're signing extended contracts already. And the veterans are begging to renegotiate their contracts similarly."

"Why in the world would they do that, Mr. Finnigan?"

"He's splitting the team's profits with them. Across the board. For life."

Mr. Simpson's wine glass was empty.

Last Minute Weaponized Pizza Gamblers

I have no idea how to grill chicken. If you're having chicken at my place, you're a gambler.

My wife:  Did you check the chicken?
Me:  Yup!
Wife:  And?
Me:  It's still there.

Bananas don't make good weapons. They're too Dole.

There's no such thing as a free lunch. Unless someone gives you lunch for free.

When I'm in charge, we're not having the usual "Candy Dish By the Receptionist".  We're having the "Beef Jerky and Doritos Bucket By Ricky".

Chicken noodle soup is how you punish sick people.

If you order a last minute lunchtime meeting, you should also be required to order a last minute lunchtime pizza.

At some point you say to yourself, "Self - today is not getting any better. So we shall have a cookie instead."

Do you like food too?

Faith Like a Child

I was prepping Evan for PaPa's funeral. I blabbered on and on about heaven and Jesus. I'd never had to explain death and resurrection to a two-year old.

Evan waited until I was all done and then simply said, "He's happy!"

Kids get it better than we do.

Faith like a child.

That's what PaPa had. His faith was simple. His Jesus was enough.

He demonstrated love through his actions.

He was patient. He was kind. He always protected, always trusted, always persevered.

He sat through my Little League games and took me to garage sales and pawn shops. He watched my silly magic tricks over and over, shocked each time. He wrote me letters riddled with typos and one-liners ("If you turn that pitching machine on its side, will it throw you curveballs?").

He exemplified how to love your spouse. Unconditionally, respectfully, tenaciously.

He was generous. He never charged a church or a desperate person unable to pay. They received the same effort from him as those that could.

This is how he lived. These are his beliefs. We are his legacy.