This Week in Milford

December 13, 2017

As Vaganova Can Attest, There Is Basically No Risk Of Concussion From Skiing.

Filed under: Central City Cretins, lessons learned, premature baldness — timbuys @ 9:50 am


Panel 1: “Signs of trouble” is going to become my new euphemism for impending disaster.

[boss with grating accent]: ‘Hey TimP, how’s going der Mega Proposal due Friday to GiantCo?’

TimP: ‘Gee boss, the lead architect is out sick with stage 4 cancer of the everything, his wife just died and his daughter’s wedding in Tahiti is Saturday so he’s got that going on too. Meanwhile, our offshore support team is celebrating a week long major national holiday and are legally forbidden from working*, and our key relationship manager at the account just left us to join our competitor. Also, too, one of their subsidiaries just announced they’re suing us for breach of contract at Tiny Project where the long gone sales guy over promised and we under delivered.  So, you could say there are some Signs of Trouble.’

* The government will occasionally send state security officers to the offices to check that they are closed. No joke!

Panel 2: “What we mostly know about [tobacco and cancer, leaded gasoline, asbestos, etc.] for now is that we need to know more.” (emphasis added)

Panel 3: So, I am a big believer in not letting my fears determine my decisions. Too often in my life, and as I’ve observed in many other’s lives, some element of fear constrained me from reaching further than I could have. Conversely, even when I’ve taken risks and failed, I’ve always made my greatest strides when I’ve managed my fears and charged ahead.

Inspiring or insipid as that might sound, after living in my home for eleven years without it, I bought flood insurance three months before Hurricane Harvey hit and didn’t flood. The point being, I guess I could’ve saved $450 (although I’m happy that money will help to pay out claims to other insureds), but I was a lot more comfortable the night of landfall and the days that followed.

Had I been fearful of flooding? Sure.

Did I mitigate the risks underlying that fear? Yes.

Did I make the right decision?



  1. Let’s kick things off here.

    Comment by timbuys — December 13, 2017 @ 10:32 am

  2. So we have reached the Afterschool Special phase of the story: vague, nonthreatening bromides on a controversial subject. Stay In School, Kids!

    Comment by John S. Walters — December 13, 2017 @ 12:28 pm

  3. “Football, cycling, soccer….oh, yeah….and this too” as she punches him in the jaw

    Comment by franku2016 — December 13, 2017 @ 12:47 pm

  4. Considering that there probably isn’t a un-elevated home built anywhere prone to torrential rains that won’t flood in the right circumstances, you made the right decision. I did the same by buying one of the handful of renters insurance policies available that covered flood damage years before Hurricane Harvey hit.

    Sound advice today.

    Comment by billytheskink — December 13, 2017 @ 1:30 pm

  5. None of this has brought us one inch closer to a conclusion to this story.

    Comment by Philip — December 13, 2017 @ 1:59 pm

  6. timbuys, wonderful commentary. I too worry about floods, though for a different reason. I live near the Susquehanna River, which has two important distinctions. It is the longest non-navigable river in North America, and also one of the most flood prone. We had a beauty in 2011– an all time record crest– and I was concerned enough afterward (my neighbors and I were having nightmares about water) that I borrowed a transit and established that the crest had been 17 feet below my basement floor. A flood that much higher is unlikely, but so are a lot of weather events we’ve seen lately– including Harvey– and I too invested in flood insurance.

    And thank your for the shout-out on skiing.

    “Now Rick, what we mostly know about concussions right now is that we need to know more. So I want you to fling yourself right back into the game– your experience will help medical science better understand why so many forty five year old NFL vets piss their pants, assault their partners, and kill themselves. I’m only sorry those pantywaists moved the goal posts from the goal line to the back of the end zone back in ’74. We’ve have much more data now if they had just been aware of the risk but not afraid.”

    Comment by vaganova — December 13, 2017 @ 3:32 pm

  7. She sure does look like an adult Peppermint Patti without freckles in P3. But really, she’s the most sane person in this strip. Now get your candy ass out there and play football, Rick!

    Comment by Jive Turkey — December 13, 2017 @ 5:21 pm

  8. Kudos to timbuys for a well-deserved salute to vaganova. The latter’s observations on concussions are on point. Having ridden in the ambulance with my nephew after a nasty collision in HS baseball(and he STILL CAUGHT THE BALL), I can relate to vaganova’s, and of course, the other writers’ takes on the matter.

    It is plain to see in P2 that you can fry an egg on UG’s head after the diagnosis by our Heroine of the Hour(Jive Turkey, hate to beat it in the ground, but damn, Peppermint Patty and the candy-ass send-off was FUNNY). Guess UG will have to break that date with Sam Phillips down at Sun Records. And we could have had another Elvis. But nooooooooo, he’s got a football game this weekend, even if it is just a few days before Christmas. Hey UG, look at it this way, it’s a way for Santa to dump all the goodies on the football field even if you might get coal in your stocking at the end of the game. You’ve been a naughty boy in an outmoded plot and being punished for both. BTW, looks like the egg hatched on Ricardo’s head. Musta stuck his head in Dr. Gerstner’s incubator.


    “Sam, it’s his first album and pink and green might have worked in the ’50’s but, c’mon, this is the 21st century. Ever tried maroon and silver? Now THAT’LL pump album sales.”

    Comment by T. Drew Hardin — December 13, 2017 @ 7:13 pm

  9. I have to say… that is .. the hottest-looking doctor.. I’ve ever seen. She even changed her hairstyle mid-strip ( no pun intended!) and it looks amazing. If I had a doctor like that, I’d not only get examined more regularly I wouldnt bitch about rising health insurance costs. ( oh, not that I do, its just part of the humor) Who’da thunk I’d finally be in step with this storyline after all this time? More doctors office panels please!!

    Comment by robmize2013 — December 13, 2017 @ 7:41 pm

  10. Damn, this is a good crew. But I’m wondering if with this record-late non-conclusion to football, we’re going to skip basketball entirely and go on to baseball. We appear to be headed for ba-doop ba-doop ba-doop– six panels to “Meanwhile, the basketball season is off to a craptastic start…” I admit I am no fan of basketball, but I do have some regard for “the rhythm of the seasons.”

    Comment by vaganova — December 13, 2017 @ 11:00 pm

  11. Based on the next strip, I’m assuming we’re done with Joanne Gerstner, MD. It was a curious cameo, Of course it was one of Neal’s shoutouts to a sports media figure with ties to Detroit. As has been mentioned, real life Joanne Gerstner wrote a book with a sports neurologist, but Neal decided to make Joanne the doctor because he didn’t have any need to give a shout out to the doctor.

    I haven’t read the book and I’m not sure how it portrays the risks for youths involved in sport, so I’m a little unclear if Neal is attempting to give any voice to the opinions of the book in the way the interaction played out in these last three strips. I wouldn’t want my expert opinion to be be shoe horned into this strip because it would probably be oversimplified or somewhat distorted. I will give Joanne Gerstner the benefit of the doubt and assume that she presents neither an alarmist or apologist approach. As an educator of journalists, such bias should be something she’s attuned to.

    The heart of the matter is similar to Tim’s anecdote about assessing risk. It is tricky and individual’s assessment of risk can be easily swayed by expert opinion which may or may not be accurate or even applicable. Uncle Gary clinging to the Boston University study illustrates this. There is definite selection bias in this study. The only brains submitted were NFL players who experienced neurological issues. The authors of the study weren’t blind to this. They even pointed in out in their publication. But the attention grabbing headlines about the article take their toll and the limitations of the study are largely ignored especially when they don’t support the agenda of the sharer.

    I could go on and on, but let’s get back to the show.

    Comment by nedryerson — December 14, 2017 @ 5:59 am

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