INSIDE VOICE #6: Uncomfortably Close

After MPR read the headline, the 9 year old immediately asks:

“Hey Google, what’s third degree murder?”




On Sept 11, 2001, a dozen years into the militarization of local police departments, I was working for a startup an old skyscraper on the north end of the Chicago Loop. The CEO survived the Bosnian civil war prior to immigrating.

We sat stunned watching the live coverage. I can still remember him dismissively observing, as he walked out of the room:

“It’s not a war, get back to work.”

Instead, we all went home.

One by one, over the next two weeks, we took better jobs.

If I was a DINK today, leaving Chicago in the driver’s seat of a U-Haul seeking balance – fully aware I could live anywhere – I might keep driving and try my luck in Absaroka.


In the Days After I’m predicting more regionalism and while I’ve personally noticed an increased sensitivity to out of state license plates, I did not expect this:


Turns out I’m the reason there’s only sliced and shredded cheese in the house:

“I feel like, if I buy you blocks of cheese you’re just going to eat them like a woodchipper.”



An Ongoing List of the Unexpected Global Pandemic Impacts to a Homebrewer’s Supply Chain

  • Kegerator’s CO2 tanks unable to get refilled.
  • Preferred yeast strains out of stock.
  • Fewer neighbors are swinging by to have growlers refilled.
  • Mistaken for an end-of-days survivalist while pushing four 5-gallon jugs of water through the grocery store aisles.


Jen says to the oldest child:

“If you turn that broken plastic toolshed into a chicken coop, we can have chickens.”

…a couple hours later he comes to me all excited…

“The internet says you should start with 2-3 more chickens then you want to end up with.”

The neighbor around the block has four chickens.

I asked them how many conversations about death they’ve had with her kids.

Smiling cautiously,they reply:

“All four made it through the winter.”