Showing posts from May, 2014

I believe in you

My oldest son can recite every word to Sir-Mix-a-Lot's Big Butts anytime it comes on the radio. He starts out kind of quiet, unsure he is hitting all the right words in rhythm. By the end, though, he is blurting out "little in the middle but she got much back" like a boss. He has also mastered Coolio's Gangsta's Paradise and Regulate by Warren G. Add in the fact that he has no interest in Miley Cyrus or Beiber and I am one proud Dad.

I heard the song "I believe in you" by Don Williams last week, and it took me back in time. Something about his smooth yet gravely tone reminds me of my Grandpa Slusher, and I was suddenly in a blue and gray two tone Chevy Van riding down Mohler Road in Goshen, listening to my father's father belt out "Friends in Low Places" when Garth was just an up and comer. That was a moment I never forgot, probably the only moment in my life I remember connecting with that man.

As Don told me he "liked to think of Go…

New Facebook friends

I remember when John-Michael was in kindergarten. His teacher's name was Miss Marsantile, and one day he told me he did not like her at all. When I asked why, he informed me that it was because "she keeps calling me John, and I told her that's not my name." His name (John-Michael David) is a combination of my birth father (John Michael) and Dad's (Michael David) names, and he has always been very proud of that.

Yesterday, I received a Facebook friend request from my son, John Slusher. He had a page before, under his full name, but said he forgot the password. While that may be true, a part of me believes he would much rather set up his own account, where I had set his old one up for him. I took a glance through his friends list to make sure there were no creepers or thugs, and smiled a little that I am the only adult on it. Glad he thinks enough of Tiffany and I that we can be considered friends.

A couple minutes later a new notification came down. Friend request…

Terrible, how could anyone actually eat that?

Through the years my pallet has changed quite a bit. From seafood to Chinese cuisine, there are a lot of foods I would never try when I was younger that are in my regular rotation now. Yet some things never change.

I don't like chocolate. Now, I don't mean all chocolate. I enjoy me some Reese Cups, and I have never been one to turn down a Little Debbie Fudge Round. But the dark, bitter chocolate that most people consider decadent doesn't sit well on my pallet. It is one of very few foods I don't like. Growing up, my Dad used to say my sister and brother were very picky, but I was easy to shop for. I like everything, with a few exceptions.

Every time I order a salad at a restaurant, I always say to the server that "cucumber should not even be on the table where my salad was made" (although I love pickles, go figure). I am not a fan of cantaloupe either,as I think that is a texture deal more than anything.  And don't even get me started on this Italian thin…

A (great) change in Operations

Several years ago, while working on a project in Kentucky with my mentor, he paid me quite a compliment. He told me if Belfor (where I was employed at that time) opened an office in Louisville, that I should apply to be the General Manager. I remember being a little taken aback by his statement, even telling him I was no where near qualified to be in that position. He smiled and said "I think you are, Mike." And while I wasn't sure TG was right, it is a moment I never forgot.

Don't get me wrong, I have been in that role before. But a Fuddruckers that did 20,000 a week in Westerville, Ohio is not even in the same universe as a full service restoration company that would break 20 million a year. Looking back, I know I was not ready then.

Recently at Mammoth, we have had to face a serious time of transition. The other project manager, who has been with my boss since the company was in it's infancy, decided to pursue his passion and left about a month ago. And simult…

Getting paid to follow the passion

My job is very rewarding. Everyday, I get to help people whose lives have been interrupted by some type of disaster. Some days, its a little inconvenient for them, when my crews are cleaning the walls of their home or our fans are on, drying the carpet. Other days, it requires a bit more finesse as memories and momentos went up in flames or, even worse, lives were lost.

It is in these moments that the profession hooked me and I perfected my craft. I have received commendations from higher ups, endorsement letters from happy clients, and even had a competitor tell me that "they won't even try to sell a claim if I am going to be involved." All very welcome accolades, as I truly enjoy being Mike the fire guy. It's a passion. But not the passion.

Every few days I sit down and share my thoughts and stories with all of you. Some days "all of you" amounts to a dozen reads, other days there are hundreds. And I am ok with either. I have always said this blog is for …

Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part

Lats night I had the pleasure of going to Tanner's school for a program. It was the famous Ohioan open house. Each student in the 4th grade prepared a presentation and dressed up like their celebrity of choice. And, oh the variety. In his class alone I saw 3 Elizabeth Blackwell's, 2 LeBron James, and one each of Thomas Edison, Annie Oakley, Woody Hayes, and Jack Hannah. And my son, being the Red's fan I have raised him to be, chose Johnny Bench as his famous Ohioan.

Each Student had to do a book as part of their project. A 10 page story of their person's life, the books were on their desks for people to read as the kids answered questions. And each one had a dedication. I opened Tanner's to see what he had written. "Dedicated to my big brother Ben for helping me with this project." Proud Dad moment right there. I love the relationship all three boys have with each other, with me, and with the woman who helps me raise them every day.

Originally, Tiffany an…


I am not a twitter guy. Never have been. Not that I have any issue or fundamental belief that as to why I should not use it, but who would want to follow me? I write this blog, have a facebook, am the owner of a growing linked in account and, as unlikely as it may sound, real life friends. Why press my luck by asking people to associate with me in yet another cyber world.

My lack of a twitter handle means I also do not regularly participate in hashtags. I get how it works, you # something and it makes that appear in twitter feed aimed at that topic. But I have never felt the need to #Awesome McAwesomesauce whenever someone says my name (btw that is what Siri calls me, and you should too:). Sure I could have hashtagged Matchbox Car when Ralph picked up the first rental for the trip out west. Or #growing up too fast when John-Michael went to prom. Maybe even #broke when we signed the boys up for their summer camps. But I refrained, knowing that the only people who would have read my twe…

MercyMe - Bring The Rain

Lots of negativity over the last 24 hours. Ex wife telling me it is my job to fix her broken relationship with John-Michael. People at work frustrated over little things. Financial issues popping up out of the blue. Yet, this song plays in my head.

 Day # 428. Bring the Rain. It is good to be me!

Grandparents, BD Mongolian Grill, and The Cincinnati Reds

If you know me you know I am a sports guy. I have been a NASCAR fan since the Intimidator drove the yellow and blue Wrangler car, and still cheer the 88 on every weekend. I have been a long suffering Bengals fan, and am finally able to show my face after years of futility. I live and die with the Buckeyes, and don't give a damn for the whole state of michigan. But if you cut me open, you will see that I bleed Cincinnati Red.

My Mamaw used to ask me to watch games with her when I was a kid. Pete Rose and Johnny Bench would be on her little black and white set, but I would be paying more attention to my Hot Wheels than the legends on TV. When I got a little older I paid a little closer attention, thanks to my Uncle Ronnie Mason, and became a fanatic after my Mom married my Dad in 1986. I never missed a chance to listen to Marty Brennaman and Joe Nuxhall call a game. I would put my radio under my pillow at night and tune in long after my scheduled bedtime. I heard Barry Larkin make h…

No offense to a 4th grade teacher

I am not sure I am a fan of my son's teacher. Don't get me wrong, Tanner is excelling in school for the most part, and I have always been a fan of Gahanna's educational system. However, I also am not afraid to call a spade a spade. When I felt the school did not handle the bullying situation, I did not stay quiet. When the bus ran very very late with no explanation on a very cold day, there was a phone call made. And now, after months of feeling like she has blinders on, I am ready to let her have it with 3 weeks to go in the school year.

Tanner is a numbers savant. He is great with figures and shapes and dates and stats. It is nothing for him to tell you what day of the week your birthday falls on in 2036. Or who led all left handed pitchers in walks in 1972 after the all star break but before the trading deadline. Or for him to remember what day, time, and mile marker it was 9 months ago when we last heard Cowboys and Angels on the radio. His ability with numbers can and…

At least Tanner didn't call the SWAT team

I will never forget the day the SWAT team came to our house. I was 13, and we had recently moved into a subdivision in the Day Heights area of Milford, Ohio. Our house was cool, so much nicer than the one in Lynchburg and the apartment we had just moved out of. My Mom had married Mike the summer before, and life for all of us was beginning to take a monumental turn for the better that continues to this day.

When we lived in that brick house on Day Circle, I took the bus home everyday. I was always the first home in the afternoon, with Angelia coming about 30 minutes later, then my Mom a few minutes after that. One particular day, when I got to the back garage door, the one we used to come in after school, I thought I heard something inside. I listened carefully and began to panic as I was sure someone was in the house.

Off to the neighbor's I went. In a full panic by the time she opened the door, I told Mrs. Braun what was going on and she said we should call the police. Our small…