Saturday, February 20, 2016

The death of ApacheDug: keep your britches on, it’ll get here soon enough


A couple nights ago, I was sitting up pretty late and doing some online searches for the obituary of a woman I hardly knew, a 51 year old postal worker named Carol.  (She’d lived in my building, and I was recently told by someone here that she died this past November.) 

I happened upon her final resting place, a cemetery in West Virginia.  They had a nice website with various pictures of their grounds, and then I did a double-take: in one of the photos, I saw a headstone with my name on it.  It’s not like I have an unusual name or anything, but to see that unexpectedly… it sent a real shiver up my spine.  

(Hmm… sadly enough, he died at age 60.  Being 54, that sure hit close to home.)

Not to be morbid, but it got me to thinking about my own death, and how I’d like it to be handled.  So I did what any other person in my situation would do—I began scouring the internet for headstones with my name on them!  Here’s some of ‘em.


He only lived to 60, but seeing “Father” makes me feel he was loved & missed.  And he certainly lived through some interesting years in American history.


Private Douglas Morris, served in the 340th Infantry.  That’s WWI, I hope his 20 years following the war were good ones.


       1941 – 2003, died before his 62nd birthday



I really liked this one;  Doug died a week short of his 25th birthday, but was a “woodsmen” with a timber-shaped headstone.  Only the good die young.


Two more young ones, 20 & 15 years old.  No disrespect, but I sure hope my final resting place doesn’t look like either of these.…


Hmm… maybe a mausoleum is the way to go.  This has a Hollywood feel to it, I wonder what that symbol is between the dates?  Ulp--54 years old, like me!


Doug was 27 years old & looks like a casualty of the Vietnam War… if I was born 20 years earlier, this might’ve been me.


This Doug lived through the Civil War, Spanish American War & WWI; 63 years old.


Here we go, my namesake died at the ripe old age of 94!  Hmm, I wonder where his wife Callie is..

dm12 dm13


Okay, I know what you’re thinking;  it’s one thing to see your name on a headstone, but aren’t there any out there with the same middle initial as well?  Because seeing THAT would be even stranger.

Say no more…


This is my favorite one of them all; it’s big, bold—has that cool ‘M’ in the corner and of course, the same middle initial as mine.  It gives me a strange feeling for sure…


Impressive, a Master Sergeant in WWII.  62 years old, why is it that I’ve only found one Douglas Morris that’s lived past that age?


Good for him.  Douglas E. Morris was a veteran who lived to 84 years old.


This one is a tie with my favorite;  it has class & style.  And my full name.  59 years old… sigh!


Another father, another Douglas E. Morris that only made it to 62.  I hope his years were good ones… with a wife named Elsie, I’d like to imagine they were.

Well, that’s it—I actually have a couple more, but I think I’m starting to get numb at seeing my name on these stones.  It has been giving me a lot to think about though, and in all seriousness I’m warming more & more (no pun intended) to the idea of being cremated.  I think I need to start looking at urns…

Friday, February 5, 2016

The Domino Effect: It helps keep things in perspective


It’s not a good time to call me if it’s a Thursday night; for as long as I can remember, that’s when I do my weekly kitchen-bathroom scrubdown.  (And I’m talking down on the floor, on my hands & knees--none of those sissy-ass Swiffer mops for me!) 

So last night after cleaning both rooms, and putting everything back in place—the kitchen stool & wastecan, the bathroom rugs and my digital scales in just the right spot, I banged them down a little too hard & saw “Err” flash on it’s readout window, followed by “2.5”.  Ulp! Friday morning is my weekly weigh-in, I’ve gotta make sure those numbers are right on the money!  I ran into my kitchen and got the sack of Domino Sugar I’d purchased earlier in the week, I hadn’t opened it yet so I knew it was precisely 4 lbs.

(By the way, just mention you have a 4 lb bag of sugar in the house and it always seems to get a reaction from people.  “What are you doing with a big sack of sugar?  I thought you were trying to lose weight!” or “Oh, we don’t keep sugar in our house”  or “What do you need with all that sugar, do you do a lot of baking??”  No, and it’s not like I sit on my couch with an open sack and a spoon either—I like a teaspoon in my morning coffee and I add 1/4 cup to the gallon of iced tea I brew twice a week.)  

 Anyway, where was I… oh yeah, calibrating my digital scales.  I turned them on again, waited until I saw 0.0 then plunked down that sugar and saw they were right as rain.

So of course this morning was my weekly weigh-in, which I’ve been doing since the start of last summer.  I’d lost 1.8 lbs since last Friday and as of today, exactly 32 pounds. 

Truth be told, I didn’t do a whoopee-dance or anything.  I thought about the last 7-8 months and the nightly exercising & healthier diet I’ve committed myself to, and felt a little bummed that I still have a ways to go to hit that 50 pound mark.  After all this effort, it still seems so far off, and frankly I’m pooped.  I still feel fat as ever too.  I’ve been in weight-races & weight-challenges since 2003, and my latest Diary of a Fat Man chapter is my 5th chart in 4 years.  But then again, I’ve never come close to these results, not even by half.  A couple hours ago I tried on the pair of pants I wore a year ago on my last day in the office, and was surprised at how big they were now around my waist.  That helps!

What’s really brought this in better perspective though is that sugar.  I just hoisted that same sack down from the cupboard to sweeten a fresh pitcher of tea, and two thoughts occurred to me;  this is a hefty little thing, and since June I’ve lost the equivalent of eight of these from my body.  Eight!  That’s something.  Smile