Reflections In A Mirror (While Shaving): #39

•The quantity and depth of my triteness is stunning.

•Hey! Where’d you get those great retro aviator sunglasses? Um…bought ‘em new 40 years ago. We’re not retro, just old.

•After many years of loving attention, I catch my mirror lying, on a daily basis.

•Can’t discuss politics anymore…I’m down to my last friend and I think he’s a commie.

•I don’t need therapy … faux sessions just as good. I throw a subject on the table, reject any responsibility and call it good.

I’m at session number 127 … just bought a new car with savings. The car, however, seems to need a little diagnostic work.

•I’ve never seen a line from a musical screaming “Bald! Bald! Gimme some Bald!” …Just gimme the freaking hair.

•My photo for ANC is not in real time but I like it because I’m forever frozen…well wait a minute that can’t be good. Selfie stick please.

•Want to have some fun? Buy 6-7 pairs of Levi’s from a thrift store. General size range ok. Try on in privacy of home. $2 to $7…you’ll be surprised what you keep.

•The V-neck portion is fine (it’s not like a turtleneck covering a turtle’s neck) but what the bottom half does to the stomach is sad. I guess it is crew neck or no neck. What?

•I’m writing for bite-size consumption to aid with digestion.

•I don’t think it helps to get on the scales and tilt and twist my head and squint at the number. The number stays the same but the lying mirror is entertained.

•Long explanation to a six-year old why we couldn’t sit on outdoor cushions because they were soiled by the birds, spiders and insects insecting … her reaction was just to wash the cushions and quit complaining about the critters. Silly little girl.

•Still trying to control the mouth when the mind tells it to speak.

•Maybe a word rodeo…

Chute #1- words with a chance of expressing a direct thought.

Chute #2 –all modifiers and qualifiers muddling up chute #1.

Chute $3 – all profanity, released with proper warning.

•Warning…Yippee ki yay #@%!

•My thoughts are getting a little hard to hold onto. Maybe the two second rule should apply.

•Let’s eliminate the 3 a.m. hour. The small inconvenience of re-designing all the clocks in the world would be worth eliminating the exaggerations and distortions 3 a.m. brings. A simple “Why did I say that?”- upon sidling up to 3 a.m. becomes “OMG, what have I done? I’ve ruined my life. I’ll never go out again” … just eliminate the hour.

Doug Mudford
is a lawyer and partner at Barr & Mudford, with an emphasis on serious personal injury. He may be reached at Barr & Mudford, 1824 Court St., Redding, (530) 243-8008, or
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34 Responses

  1. Avatar Eleanor Townsend says:

    SO good to see you here this morning, Doug. It has been an ‘unreal’ few days (due to very scary dog illness) and I needed your kind of reality. I agree with all of this, and especially, especially right now, the last one. Thanks for being here today!

    • Avatar Doug Mudford says:

      Good morning Eleanor.

      I wish your dog well. Four of the most influential beings in my life have been a dog and three cats…each living well past 15 years. They put such trust in us. Your dog is lucky to have someone who cares so much.

  2. Avatar Beverly Stafford says:

    Welcome back. It’s been a while. Doug’s own sound bites sans sound.

  3. Avatar Doug Mudford says:

    Hi Beverly…”sound bites sans sound”…I like that.

  4. Hal Johnson Hal Johnson says:

    It’s great to read your column again.

  5. Avatar Doug Mudford says:

    Thanks Hal…it was difficult to make the decision to submit columns again. We’ve all been dealing with so much darkness and seriousness in our lives that I wasn’t sure the nature of my column was appropriate.

  6. Adrienne Jacoby Adrienne Jacoby says:

    Chortle . . . chuckle . . . guffaw . . . . all can be expected to appear when reading Doug Mudford. Can’t help but wonder, though. Does any of this Doug Mudford ever show up in a courtroom.? One could only hope!!

    • Avatar Doug Mudford says:

      Thanks Adrienne

      That’s an interesting question…I don’t think I’ve ever been asked that before. My most successful trials, mediations and arbitrations have all involved elements of humor. The courtroom requires a balance between interjecting a comment that allows a little relief to serious circumstances and making an inappropriate comment that hurts my client…lucky so far.

      • Adrienne Jacoby Adrienne Jacoby says:

        I think you’re saying that the courtroom requires a balanced approach. Well, there you have it. I KNEW there was a reason why I never became a lawyer!! Glad you writing skews to the side of humor when you’re writing for us!!

        • Hal Johnson Hal Johnson says:

          I think an element of humor is important, even in a serious situation–*especially* in a serious situation. I think of departed Redding attorney Frank O’Connor, who would show up to murder trials wearing ugly, loud neckties.

          I’ll never forget the first time I met Frank, in 1994. My brother-in-law took me to a gathering at the Squire Room, where I sat next to Frank at the bar.

          “John tells me you were in the Army,” Frank said.
          “Yep,” I said.
          “F*ckin’ Army,” he said, with an evil little smile.
          I laughed. “Let me guess: you’re a Marine.”
          “No, I *was* a Marine.”
          I scoffed. “Bullshit. There is no such thing as an ex-Marine.”
          “Yeah, but I wasn’t a *real* Marine; I was a lawyer.”
          “Bullshit,” I said.
          He tried to stare me down. (Damn, he was good at it.) Then he chuckled. “Okay, I guess you got me there.”

          • Avatar Doug Mudford says:

            Thank you for the story about Frank. I liked him very much. Also I liked the reference to the Squire Room…when my wife and I met there for Friday night dates, it was a very good restaurant with a bar she was comfortable in when I ran late.

          • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

            I had a gig at Camp Pendleton for a few years. I worked with a Marine major who was also a Marine lawyer who most certainly was a real Marine—and the lawyers and water agency guys on the other side of the table knew it.

  7. Avatar Peggy Elwood says:

    Enjoyed the chuckle!

  8. Doug, it’s so good to have you back. Your columns never fail to make me smile, laugh and give me food for thought. I always hate it when your column runs out of bullets and it comes to an end, because I’m looking for more. (Loved the word rodeo. ) I agree with others that this is exactly what we need right now.

    Your Reflections photo is a keeper. (Photo credit Mike Burke.)

    Thank you, Doug. Please come back soon!

  9. Avatar Doug Mudford says:

    Hi Doni

    Thank you…Mike Burke’s photo reflects me better than my lying mirror.

  10. Avatar Candace C says:

    Love this column. As far as the bald thing? I have two words for you -Yul Brynner. The list goes on and on. Be kind to yourself, bald is sexy as (profanity warning) #@%!

  11. Avatar Beverly Stafford says:

    Two slogans regarding your word rodeo:

    You call them swear words; I call them sentence enhancers.

    Some days, the supply of curse words is insufficient to meet my demands.

    That second one is especially true now that I’m trying – most often unsuccessfully – to figure out what the Microsoft geniuses were thinking when they “upgraded” to Windows 10. Stuff that was so simple to do in Win7 is impossible in Win10.

  12. Avatar Doug Mudford says:

    Don’t get me started on the need for electronic upgrades…#@%!

  13. Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

    Hallelujah……it’s not just me losing my mind. 3:00 a.m.—the hour in which the voices in my head become a Greek chorus of doubts, regrets, anxieties, self-criticisms, and dread of the coming day. The hour in which I’m sure I will never sleep deeply again for the rest of my life. The hour in which I reportedly often bark “NO!” at my demons. Yeah, 3:00 a.m. can take a flying **** at a rolling donut. For about a third of the population, that hour is proof that there is no benevolent Gott in Himmel.

    But rather than getting rid of it….

    Apparently people used to sleep for about 4 hours, wake up for an hour or two. They would read, do a few chores, have sexy time with their partners, or whatever, then go back to sleep until morning. We didn’t start imposing 7-8 hours of non-interrupted sleep until the Industrial Revolution. The 3:00 a.m. hour of horrors is a by-product of ignoring the natural circadian cycle.

    From”Barnaby Rudge” by Charles Dickens (1840):

    “He knew this, even in the horror with which he started from HIS FIRST SLEEP, and threw up the window to dispel it by the presence of some object, beyond the room, which had not been, as it were, the witness of his dream.” (All-caps emphasis mine.)

    There you have it. We’re not designed to power through the 3:00 a.m. restlessness horrors. Don’t fight it. Wake up, chase the demons off, make some non-caffeinated tea, read a little, and wait for your second sleep to come.

    • Avatar Beverly Stafford says:

      Oh good. I’m not alone in this 3:00 AM business. Many countries indulge in afternoon siestas. Not the good ol’ U.S. with our puritan ethics. So civilized to go to work, have lunch, a nap, back to work. But no, when our circadian clock screams NAP, what do we do? Partake of caffeine to keep us moving. So as Steve submits, how about a 3:00 AM break from our long winter’s nap, a quiet fiesta – rather than a siesta – of tea and carbs and reading matter rather than watching the clock and ceiling and hating the world and ourselves due to being wide awake? But the workplace would have to agree to let us come to work at 10:30 AM rather than 8:00 AM. I’m so glad I’m retired and no longer have to punch a clock. But get-up time is still 4:30 or 5:00 or 6:00. Hard to break that habit.

      • Avatar Doug Mudford says:

        I thought about your comment this morning at 3:00 A.M. My partial solution is to insert ear buds and listen to audio tapes…mysteries…the sound helps drown out my thoughts. I’m on book 7 of the Jack Reacher series (the series is endless). Each book is long and exceptionally detailed…usually asleep in 1/2 hour.

    • Hal Johnson Hal Johnson says:

      Until five years ago, I worked on a two weeks on, two weeks off basis, with the two weeks on being away from home. Typically, my days would last fourteen hours two or three days a week, but only ten on the remaining days. After reading about how in days past it was common to divide sleep into two “shifts” at night, I decided to cease fighting the urge to nap at the end of my ten hour days.

      I liked how I felt after those nights. I’d sleep for a few hours, wake after four or five hours, play guitar, read, or write for a couple of hours, go back to sleep, and wake in time to be back at work by 5 a.m. I found that, even with fewer hours of sleep total, I felt better with the “first sleep-second sleep” routine.

      Now that I’m home all of the time, I often wake up at 3 a.m. (Strangely, about half the time when I look at my watch, it’s 3:07.) Usually, I’ll get up, let the dogs out, make a fire, write or read for an hour or two, then “nap” until it’s time to get up again.

  14. Avatar Doug Mudford says:

    Steve…you are so freaking smart it’s scary. Prior to your comment, I was disturbed about 3am…now I might stare at the ceiling with a .38 in my hand. 🙂

  15. R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

    Chuckle, chuckle. My photo for ANC makes me look like a crazy rube, I never dress like that anymore. I sort of like the anonymity it gives me. That’s why my Facebook avatar is Capt. Ahab played by Gregory Peck.

    Right now, for me, it’s impossible not to discuss politics, because every darned thing is political now. All of it. We’re part of reality TV show.

    I apologize in advance for the jokes I”ll make about bald people this year. It’s virtually the only edge I’ve got and it looks like I’m losing it!

    I never have shaved in the mirror. It’s the shower for me. I do it by feel.

  16. Avatar Doug Mudford says:

    Isn’t that the great thing about photos? When people tell me I don’t look anything like my ANC photo, I just ask what’s your point? R.V. If I could express political concepts like you do or Steve or Doni that’s all I’d ever write about. I just get pissed. So I stay away from that subject. Go easy on the bald guys… you may need a kind word someday and we’re very vindictive. The shower by feel is funny.

  17. Avatar Carolyn Dokter says:

    Enjoyed this so much! Chuckles are healing!

  18. Avatar Doug Mudford says:

    Thank you Carolyn…chuckles have gotten me through more bad situations than anger.

  19. I adore this thread.

    Thank you, Doug, for the Reflections that started it, and thank you, awesome ANC friends/subscribers for weaving this great conversation.