The Inside Rail

I’ll miss, I’ll miss, I’ll miss…

I broke my neck.

Well, that sounds cooler than saying I’ve got an “acutely herniated C6-C7” disc in my neck.

Acupuncture, massage, two methylprednisone dose packs, corticosteroid injection, chiropractor, rest – nothing. Doctor’s visits, X-rays, MRI, CT scan – at least a diagnosis.

“See that there, it’s either bone or disc lying on your nerve,” Dr. Rush Fisher said as I squinted at what looked like a black jellybean in a cloud of smoke on a computer screen. “That’s what’s causing your pain.”

“How did it happen?” I asked.

British Humour

Good to know the American presidential race is attracting attention in England. I often read Kim Bailey’s entertaining blog,, which always includes a joke.

Here’s his joke from a few days ago. It’s an old one, with a lot of variations, but I like this one. 

Pain in the Neck

Out of network. Pre-approved. Co-pay. X-ray. CT scan. MRI. Acutely herniated. C6-C7. Hot mess. Radiculopathy. Severe compression. Christiana Spine Center. Finger extensions weak. Pre-existing condition. Nerve root. Rate your pain. Multilevel degenerative spondylosis. Disc osteophyte complexes. Severe neural foraminal encroachment. Epidural injection. Metaxalone. Gabapentin. Hydrocodone. Diclofenac. Medral dose pack. Numbness. Disc replacement? Fusion? Surgery postponed. Insurance. Insurance. Insurance.  … Read more

Corn-fed, grand stamp, snaffle-mouthed…

A friend of mine once asked me if I ever sold a horse. I said, “Of course.” Then, he said, “Then I don’t trust you.”

With that in mind, I just perused the Tattersalls Ireland Ascot catalogue, scheduled for Feb. 23, and read the comments on the pedigree pages. Classic lines produced by the owners or trainers of the horses, they make you want to hitch the trailer and go to the sale. Now, I wonder which ones we can trust?

Polling a 7-year-old

Confused about the presidential election? Don’t be alarmed, ashamed or abashed – the candidates seem confused, too. I look for logic from Miles, 7, on most things. Yes, even the presidential election. He’s watched several debates and has formed strong opinions.

Here’s some of his thoughts, questions and stances after watching the most recent Republican debate.

Winter Wonderland: Surviving Jonas

Jonas – 1. Sean – 0.

It began Friday, we knew it was coming. We filled the cars with gas. Filled two cans of diesel fuel for the tractor. Found the snow shovel. Stacked hay on the wagon next to the fence, so we could kick bales into the field, like footballs from a tee. Bought an inflatable mattress for the tack room, in case the help stayed (hilarious). Stocked the kitchen with bread, milk, eggs, cereal, frozen pizzas, beer. Annie planned a meal for every night, frozen pizzas were the last resort.

Motivational Speaker

I’ve watched a few races with Charlie LoPresti over the years.

Here Comes Ben winning the Forego, after we went searching the Saratoga backside looking for the new guy “Lowpresstee” and found him sitting on a tack trunk talking to his mother on his cell phone. Successful Dan finishing second in the Whitney, I had grabbed LoPresti by the arm to tell him he had flipped in the paddock chute, I’ve never seen despair like that. Turallure winning the Bernard Baruch, we walked out of the grandstand and along Nelson Avenue, LoPresti saying, “Man, I really like this place.” And then all the wins by Wise Dan, the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita when I went to shake his hand and he bear-hugged me like a son coming home from the war.

Winners come from the cold

Winter has come. Late. Fast. First set at a little after 7, the light starts to come through the window of the guest room. A glean of frost covers everything, fence rails, grass, roofs, tree limbs in the distance. Cars roll down the country road, commuters going to the office, they don’t notice the frost, don’t care about the ground, temperature means nothing to men in ties.


Happy New Year. My first resolution went up in smoke as I missed writing January 1-3. Ah well, if you’re going to break your resolutions, you might as well do it early. Write more, write better is on the list of resolutions. I think it was on there last year, too. I did neither. We’ll see about this year.