I’m turning into Cliff Clavin.

The first couple of weeks at my new job were a little frustrating. I wasn’t getting a ton of work assigned to me, which wouldn’t be so bad if we weren’t expected to religiously track time. Working for an agency whose bread and butter is client hours, TobacCo is all about the time clock.

I learned the expectation is that we track 35 hours each week. I was averaging 12.

I mean, you can’t track work you aren’t doing, right? I jokingly wondered if Facebook might count as “personal development.” More likely personal regression, so I didn’t push the issue.

It’s a non-issue now anyway, because the tide has turned in a big way. My coworkers are getting used to having a copywriter to lean on now (they haven’t had a dedicated full-time writer in the past), and they’re leaning hard. In the past two weeks I have written about piano tuning, scaffolding, criminal defense law, liquid filling machines, guns, wire rope, braces pain, and waste oil heaters. If that sounds like a crazy eclectic mix, trust me: it is! That’s what happens when the company you work for designs websites for clients in every industry under the sun. I’m turning into a modern-day Cliff Clavin, full of random, useless knowledge (but minus the Bahston accent). I could probably kill it at trivia.

Last week, I tracked 34.98 hours. And there wasn’t a single Facebook hour in the bunch.

That, my friends, is progress.


I hope you aren’t getting sick of fall foliage pics yet. If so, this next section should come with a trigger warning.

Yesterday, Tara and I drove into Milwaukee to take advantage of some truly glorious weather. After last week’s bitter cold – we even had a few snow flurries on Monday – summer has returned with a vengeance. It was 77º yesterday. What?!

But the calendar doesn’t care about the thermometer. Our destination was the Seven Bridges Trail in Grant Park, where the fall foliage was at its absolute peak.

Even on the shore of Lake Michigan.

The Seven Bridges Trail drops down into a ravine and winds its way across – you guessed it – seven bridges. Presumably, anyway. I didn’t stop to count them; I was simply in awe of all those stunning colors.

My eyes hurt just looking at all the reds, oranges, and yellows. In the best way possible.

I promise I’ll stop posting all these great autumn colors. In another couple of weeks all the trees are going to be bare anyway, so the clock is ticking.

After killing a couple of hours in Grant Park, we went into the city. Checked out a vintage store Tara has been following on Instagram for years (never imagining we would one day actually visit). Ducked into a 120-year-old German restaurant in the Third Ward for cocktails and food. Wandered around the riverfront for a bit before driving home. Milwaukee is about an hour away, so we were back at a reasonable time.

So, if I’m Cliff Clavin, which TV character are you…and why?

51 thoughts on “I’m turning into Cliff Clavin.

  1. Anyone that cannot appreciate the color and drama in your pictures should be ousted from reading your blog. I have no idea about a TV character but I do have the Eagles song “Seven Bridges Road” on a loop in my head. Granted you’re not in Alabama but still…

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    1. We took a walk around the neighborhood this morning, and even though it’s another beautiful, sunny, warm day, the leaves were falling from the trees like crazy. I give them another week or two tops. Definitely enjoying it now.

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    1. OK, good! I know when I lived in places where fall colors were rare (or nonexistent…I’m looking at you, Hawaii), I appreciated seeing other peoples’ pics. At least I was able to live vicariously through them that way.

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  2. Glad you’re getting more work. I always feel vaguely guilty (even if it’s not my fault) if I don’t feel like I’m pulling my weight. I’ve never thought of myself as a TV character but possibly like Dorothy in “The Golden Girls” dealing with an opinionated mother and having quirky (but interesting) friends.

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  3. Great to hear work has picked up for you. Fall looks like it is progressing quite nicely there – great photos. Glad Tara got to that store – gotta be pretty cool to actually get somewhere you never figured you’d see in person. TV character? Off the top of my head I’ll go with Phil Dunphy from Modern Family. I don’t have kids, but everything else pretty much “aligns.”

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    1. Once, at work, for a teambuilding event, they had us take a quiz to determine what character we’d be in medieval times… Most of the group were either dark knights or white knights (that is, order givers), hardly any people to take the orders 😀 Not quite as good as tv characters, but it was quite telling (and fun!) 🙂

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  4. We’ve visited Seven Bridges! It’s beautiful. There are many lovely natural preserves up there. We spent a lot of time in Wisconsin walking those nature preserves to get out of the house when we were under lockdown in 2020.
    I’ll have to think about which TV character I am…if it’s Cheers, I’m more like Carla than Diane. 😂

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  5. Beautiful hiking! You must be at peak leaf peeping. We are on the decline here. The tv character is a tough one. Maybe Monica Geller, but not as loud. I’ve toned it down over the last 20 years.

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    1. It’s definitely at the peak now. The way the wind is blowing today and the leaves are constantly falling from the trees, it won’t be long before they’re bare. At least I feel like we’ve taken advantage and gotten out to see a lot of good colors in their prime!

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  6. I am a font of useless knowledge, so it’s Cliff for me as well. Though I do sit at a large number of bars, so there’s a little Norm in there as well.
    I never tire of foliage photos, especially from other parts of the country… so keep ‘em coming. They’re gorgeous!
    And I had Seven Bridges Road running through my head as well, but the CSN version.
    😉

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      1. I certainly can’t deny that! We saw them in concert once in Portland, and even though they’re all a bunch of old geezers now, their harmonies were still smooth as butter.

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  7. Well, at least you aren’t Cliff Clavin because you spend every night hanging out in a bar. Not that there’s anything wrong with that… oh, I’m mixing my shows.

    Love that you are writing about anything and everything. Makes it interesting, I’d bet. And the fall scenery and leaves are gorgeous!

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  8. Did you ever watch Bones? I can be a little like her character. It’s funny, I like tv, but as soon as I read your question my mind went blank and I was like TV, what’s TV, and I immediately tried to see if I was Diane or Lilith or Frasier…

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  9. You should totally do trivia night. That’s awesome. Sorry you were logging so few hours at the beginning. Surprised you didn’t mention it. And how is Tara liking her new job?
    Still loving the fall foliage. Gotta enjoy it while you can. There’s one deciduous tree out my desk window, and it’s still green! I guess fall comes later down here.

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    1. We started to get into trivia in Rapid City, but I wasn’t quite the fount of useless knowledge then that I am now. My favorite part was hanging out and drinking beer.

      Tara doesn’t start her new job until Oct. 31, so the verdict’s still out!

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  10. I think that would be so interesting to be able to write about a variety of topics. I don’t think I’d be very good at keeping track of my time spent, though… I have a bit of a wandering mind.

    Keep the fall pictures coming. We don’t get that where I live so I have to live vicariously through others. We also have a Seven Bridges walk here… very different from yours, more urban.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. You must be very self-assured to publicly compare yourself to Cliff Claven. You may never truly have the accent, but you could try for the ‘stache. A character doesn’t jump out at me, but I’ll tell you who I am NOT: Carla Tortelli. I guess I’d like to say I’m Maggie O’Connell from Northern Exposure, but alas, I am not. In my next life, perhaps…

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Your autumnal pictures are very much appreciated from across the pond. We’re not doing badly over here in the UK, for which I am grateful. But you’re still outdoing us, so keep on sharing!

    No idea who I’m like who’s on TV. I’d love to be the dowager Duchess in Downtown Abbey. Rich, sharp of tongue, and with an interesting past 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I’ll keep sharing as long as there are leaves on the trees. 🙂

      I’ve never seen Downton Abbey, but the Duchess sounds like an interesting character with some fun traits to aspire to.

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  13. Well, Cliff, I’m glad you asked this question. I’d say I’m EITHER Piper from Charmed [I will incinerate you if your piss me off] OR Phoebe from Friends [I do my own thing, speaking my own truth].

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      1. She was the witch who originally owned a bar then became a homebody who married Leo, a Whitelighter. She was played by Holly Marie Combs [long dark hair]. She kept the sisters centered but had little patience for fools. She could freeze time, but once time continued if the fools continued to bug her, she’d incinerate them. 🔥

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  14. Congratulations on filling your days with work and future trivia answers! Cliff was quite the character, wasn’t he? I do miss that show.
    I love the Fall Folliage and the selfie of TarMar is incredible; you guys exude happiness.

    How about Suzanne Sugarbaker from Designing Women. My accent is somewhat softer, but nevertheless…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this! I love Norm MacDonald. Wish I’d gotten to see him perform sometime. I did catch a few episodes of “The Middle” (my kids were fans) but never watched it regularly and, thus, didn’t see Norm’s guest role on there. Maybe someday I’ll binge it.

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  15. I’m living vicariously through your fall foliage pics since we get little to no fall color around here. Hmmm, what TV character am I? I’m probably a weird mixture of Sheldon and Bernadette from the Big Bang Theory.

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