It's been quiet here in the Cluttered Desk this week, and today you will have to forgive this somewhat meandering post. I have just returned from the 70th Annual WCI WCEC (conference) in Orlando, FL, and I am still trying to dig out from the onslaught of activity there. Therefore, this article is merely a hodgepodge of unrelated thoughts and topics, all wedged into one relatively pointless publication.

Now that I think about it, this article isn't that different from the others I've written, after all.

The Orlando conference was a blurred event for me. I spoke at 4 different sessions. 2 were blogger style panels, and I was the luncheon speaker for both the Regulators College and the National Judiciary College. I also gave an interview for in-house WCI-TV. I can only hope I said appropriate things to the right people. As long as when I spoke to the regulators I blamed all of the bad things in comp on the judges, and when I spoke to the judges blamed all the bad stuff on the regulators, I'm good to go.

If I got that backwards, I'm screwed. I probably should have played it safe and blamed all the bad things on David Depaolo.

The WCI-TV interview was interesting. Sponsored by Tower MSA Partners, most of the interviews were centered on the “Culture of Innovation” in workers' comp, a topic credited to an article appearing in this blog a few weeks ago. I did not see the interview aired during the conference, but caught it online afterwards (available below). I should note that the camera adds 10 pounds, and there were two cameras in the studio. I am therefore at least twenty pounds lighter than I appear in that video. My head looks like a basketball with a face painted on it. My neck appears to have taken the day off, as it is nowhere to be seen. I had gone golfing several days before, and forgot to take any bug repellant. The large red welt on what used to be my neck is from a particularly intense mosquito bite, and not some incurable fatal disease. Really.

Thank God I wore one of my more conservative ties.

In other news this week, we learned that a man working on his family's ranch in California found a 4 foot long Rattlesnake, and decided he wanted to take a “selfie” with it. He picked it up, and for some completely unforeseeable reason, the poisonous snake bit him in the hand. I do not know how we could have seen this coming. Perhaps the snake was concerned it would look fat, and that its neck would be missing. Either way, it happened, and doctors say the man may end up losing his hand as a result. I understand that the man is “embarrassed” by what he did, but his mother apparently does not intend to cut him a break. She said to one reporter, “I told him the news people had been calling, and he said ‘Mom, you better not’, and I said ‘I’m going to’. I’m going to teach him a real good lesson when he gets home. No mercy for him.”

Tough love for stumpy, it would seem.

Believe it or not, this moron isn't the only one who recently tried to take a selfie with a dangerous wild animal. Last month a woman from Mississippi, who was visiting Yellowstone National Park, stood in front of a large Bison to take a picture of herself with the beast. Then the Bison gave her a lift. And a flip. And a toss. The woman was quoted as saying “It was the most frightening experience I have been through in my life to date.” Personally I would think the most frightening experience she would have ever been through was recognizing that you have to be a complete imbecile to stand with your back to a 1 ton wild animal. That's the scary stuff, Mikey.

Apparently this is more common than one would have initially realized. The US Forest Service posted a warning earlier this year imploring people to not try and stand with bears to capture their last moments on this earth. Ok, they actually asked them to stop taking Bear selfies, but you get the idea.

Of course, when you think about it, taking selfies with bears is not much different from those people who continually post pictures of their food on Facebook before it is consumed. It is really the same concept, except in the case of #BearSelfies the food is the one taking the picture.

Well, isn't that special.

It is also interesting to note that while I was away in Orlando, a dead body was discovered behind our office building. Sarasota Police are investigating, but there is no word on whether the person may have died as a result of an attempted wild animal selfie.

Next week I'll catch up a bit on the activities of WCI, including my dinner with the history making New Mexico judge who ordered employers to pay for medical marijuana. Teaser alert – he also has a #BearSelfie that I will be publishing……

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