Friday, August 31, 2007



A mortgage company does not consider "An awesome fantasy football team that will hopefully win me two hundred bucks" an asset.

Nor do they think having the number one overall draft pick for a fantasy football team an asset.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Family History

When I blog, I usually write a post in a Word document the first thing in the morning, somewhere between 5:30 and 7:00am. Then, I get to work, do a spell check, copy and paste and then post.

Recently my mornings have been occupied with something else.

A month ago I went to the doctor for a physical. Everything checked out okay except for my blood work. It seems that my Cholesterol and glucose are a little high. Nothing too alarming and nothing that some quickly prescribed pills could not fix. The doctor told me there are two ways to fix the high scores on my blood work. Diet/exercise or medication. I refused the prescription. I decided to try the diet and exercise route first. The doctor did not really like my approach. He tried to convince me I needed meds.

During the consultation, besides the normal check-up he also covered my family history.

“Is there a history of Cancer?” he asked.


“Is there a family history of heart disease?”


“Is there a history of high blood pressure?”


“Does diabetes run in the family?”

“Well it does not really run, it more or less saunters.” I replied.


“Well there is one case of adult onset diabetes in my family. That’s not really running. It's more like a liesurely stroll.”

The doctor gave me a puzzling look and the told me that with the family history I have I really should consider the meds. I told him I would give the diet and exercise a try for three months and then I would reconsider. He again talked about family history.

"With the history of heart disease and diabetes in your family, I really think that medication might..."

“Look Doc.” I said cutting him off. “All of my grandparents lived into their 80s.”

“Well, that really does not mean much when it comes to…”

I cut him off again. “If you are going to use family history against me, I am going to use it against you.”

I have to follow up with him at the end of October.

My blog posts have not been that great as of late because in an effort to prove the doctor wrong, I now use my prime blogging time for exercise. Every morning somewhere between 5:30 and 7:00 I go out for a run.

Okay it is not really a run it is more of a saunter.

Monday, August 27, 2007

At the Table

My mom made tacos for dinner. Besides the cheese, meat, tomatoes, lettuce, sour cream, black olives etc. etc. she also prepared both hard shell corn tortilla and soft shell flour tortillas.

Lauren and I used to make tacos all the time but we always use the soft shell flour tortillas. Lauren reached across the table and grabbed one of the hard corn tortilla.

Holding the tortilla up she innocently said, "Man, I haven't had a hard one in such a long time."

I looked up at my father who was stifling a laugh and I started cracking up.

"Lauren, we live with my parents. It is difficult to find the alone time." I said.

My dad, now laughing said to Lauren, "Would you like for your mother-in-law and I to go for a walk."

Friday, August 24, 2007

Mad Men

Anybody else watching the show Mad Men on AMC?

I find it fascinating. The show is unique and charming and the cast is awesome.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


I don’t know if it is me, and my family, or if other people have their own personal colors for household items. Growing up, my siblings and I all had our own drinking cups. Plastic cups with our names written on them with magic marker. We were responsible for our cups at all times. We had to clean them and put them away. It helped reduce the amount of dishes that needed to be cleaned at the end of the day. It also gave my mom the ability to reprimand anyone who left their cups on the kitchen table, coffee table or end tables or anywhere else around the house. The plastic drinking cups at that time were only produced in 4 colors, Red, Orange, Blue and Green. With nine kids some of us shared the same colors but that is where the magic markers came in. I remember having a blue cup.

My mom did the same thing with socks. We all had socks with colored stripes at the top and we each were assigned a color; Red, Blue, Green, and Black. They were the standard colors at that time. My mom would write our initials on the toes of the socks so she could seperate them for laundry and so she could reprimand the person who left their socks on the kitchen table, coffee table or end table or anywhere else around the house. I remember having black striped socks.

Toothbrushes were something else entirely. I vaguely remember that we all kept our toothbrushes in our rooms. There were two reasons for this. One, so there would be no confusion as to whose brush was whose. And two, I don’t think anyone of us trusted the rest to not drop our toothbrush in the toilet. I remember my toothbrush was blue. I always got a blue toothbrush.

I still, at 37 and having a smaller family, get a blue toothbrush. The blue one in the cup on the sink is my toothbrush. The other color, whatever it may be, is Lauren’s. A few months ago we bought new toothbrushes for the family. They were out of blue so I picked up dark purple and white one and Lauren picked up a light green one. Now every morning when I go to brush my teeth, I have to stop and think about which brush is mine. It is very confusing not having a blue toothbrush.

What color is your toothbrush?

Monday, August 20, 2007

Appearing Nightly

Wyatt is 14 months (and some change) old. For his entire life, his mother has been the one to put him and tuck him into bed. During those 14 plus month I have had the responsibility to put Maxfield to bed. There have been some exceptions to this, but for the most part it is an accurate statement.

Last week, for various reasons, Lauren and I decided to switch it up. I now have the responsibility and pleasure of putting Wyatt to bed. As part of Lauren’s routine with Wyatt, she would sing to him before laying him down in his crib. Lauren has a nice voice and she knows the words to thousands of songs. I, on the other hand, do not.

I think I have posted here before that the only song I know all the words to is the ABC’s song. Wyatt is not a big fan of the ABC’s. (I know you are thinking that maybe he is not a fan of my voice but continue reading). I know parts of songs and on the first few nights I tried a medley of different artists. I mixed Pink Floyd, Ben Folds, Peter Gabriel and Dire Straits into, what I considered, a wonderful tune. Wyatt did not care for it.

The next couple of nights, I searched the recesses of my brain for a song in which I knew all the lyrics. I was happy to discover that I know all the lyrics to two other songs. They both happen to be Barry Manilow songs. "I Can't Smile Without You" and "I Write the Songs". I don’t have the voice to sing Barry Manilow the right way. So, I sing the songs to Wyatt as if I were a lounge singer out in Vegas. Picture Bill Murray from the old Saturday Night Live skits.

You know I can’t smile without you. (How is everybody tonight?)
I can’t smile with out you.
I can’t laugh, and I can’t sing
I’m finding it hard to do anything.
(Hey where are you from?)
You know I feel sad, when you’re sad. (Anyone sad out there tonight?)
I feel glad when you’re glad. (Here’s to being glad).
If you only knew what I’m going through. I just can’t smile without you.
You came along just like a song (Back on June 11th I remember it like it was just last year) and brightened my day. (and your mother’s.)
Who’d’ve believe you were part of a dream,
Now it all seems, like years away
. (Okay, really only a year ago.)

Thanks. Thank you really. I’m here all week.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

What would you do?

Your'e significant other holds up a chocolate chip cookie brownie, (the piece is about 3 inches wide by 3 inches across and about 2 1/2 inches deep. It is filled with Marshmallow, chocolate chunks, caramel and nuts) and she asks you, "Do you want this brownie?"

But just as she asks the question the brownie slips from her hands and onto a dirty kitchen floor, do you still eat it?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Choo Choo

Maxfield is addicted to trains. Like all good addicts he has “dealer”. The dealer is Lauren’s Uncle Fred, who is a train enthusiast, and sends Max all types of train videos, toys and pictures. Recently Uncle Fred sent Max information about Strasburg Pennsylvania.

Lauren and I reviewed the information and decided traveling to Strasburg (Lancaster PA, "Amish Country") would make a great long weekend. Let me tell you, taking Maxfield to Strasburg was like taking a crack head to a Crack Convention. We went to places like the Choo Choo Barn, The Rail Road Museum of Pennsylvania and the Toy Train Museum.

They have two stores in Strasburg, seriously two, that sell nothing but Thomas the Tank Engine Stuff. Thankfully Max is not really into Thomas. He likes the fact that Thomas and friends are trains but does not really get into the different characters. Which is great for me because I don’t have to remember all of their different names (that space in my brain is reserved for knowing all the alter ego’s of every member of the Justice League).

There were many highlights to the trip but there were two that stood out for me. One is that we stayed in the Caboose Motel. We slept in an actual caboose. The place was not really that nice, somewhat of an old tourist trap kind of place, but Maxfield loved the fact that we stayed in a caboose.

The other highlight was riding the Strasburg Rail Road. We boarded a historic early 1900’s steam train that took us through the beautiful countryside. Max could barely contain his excitement. He moved back and forth on the train trying to look out the open windows. Every now and then Wyatt would try to climb up to peer out and Max would try to push Wyatt out of the way. I was a little paranoid that one of them would fall out of the open car.

Lauren could see that I was stressing and urged me to relax. “Bill, relax. It’s not like Max is going to push Wyatt out the window.”

“Lauren, their brothers,” I said. “And if I were on this train with my brothers I am sure one of us would have been pushed out the window.”

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


The other day, on lunch hour, I stopped by the 7-11 to pick up some lottery tickets. As I was waiting for the cashier to ring up all the people in front of me, I decided to check the lottery tickets in my wallet, against the past numbers they had posted on the wall. I have a George Costanza type wallet and I wanted to lighten it up a bit.

I pulled out the tickets and I started to compare them to the posted numbers. I spread the tickets on the counter in front of me. I picked up a ticket looked at the date and number and then I would compare it to the poster board. Not a winner. I crumpled the ticket and went to the next one. I looked at the ticket, looked up at the board. Not a winner.

I was standing in the checkout line and people were lining up behind me getting their sandwiches and what not. Some were looking at the “lunch specials” board right next to the lottery board. I decided to let people go ahead of me because I was going to be a few minutes checking the numbers. Every so often the clerk behind the counter would stand in my line of view to get someone a hotdog.

I looked at the sixth ticket, craned my neck to see past the clerk, not a winner. I crumpled the ticket and picked up the next one. As I squinted to see the board on the wall my eyes were drawn to the poster next to it.

“Holy crap!” I exclaimed as I stood there holding a ticket. A smile came across my face.

The clerk heard me and his attention was drawn to my hand. “Did you win? How much?”

The people behind me looked in my direction noticing my excitement.

“What?” I said as I turned away from the board. “No. But I just noticed that you guys have Pork Roll dogs.” I pointed to the advertisement on the wall. “I’ll take one.”

Hot Dog shaped Pork Roll served in a bun is almost like winning the lottery.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Miracle of Life

We always hear about the miracle of life when it comes to people conceiving and giving birth. But why does the consideration of the miracle of life stop there?

I think the following are also miracles of life.

The fact that a one year old can fall down a flight of steps without barely batting an eye. A miracle for him and his parents because they did not die of a heart attack when it happened.

A three year old can ask "why" a hundred times to one simple explanation as to why he cannot ride his bike in the street. Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? I think it is a miracle of life, that the father, after hearing "why" for the hundredth time, just doesn't let the kid ride his bike in the street.

Another Miracle of life is proven in the fact that a child CAN live on nothing but chicken and apple juice. Screw the vegetables.

That a 37 year old man, his wife and two little kids can live with his parents for 4 months, and his parents have not dug a 6 foot hole in their backyard (yet)for the 37 year old man to be buried in is a miracle of life.

What "Miracle of Life" stories do you have in the same vain?

For Fun

Lauren and I were enjoying a romantic dinner the night of our anniversary. We were nestled in a dim lit corner booth, out of the way of the normal hustle and bustle of the restaurant. We were enjoying our food and drinks and our quiet conversation when a woman approached our table.

“How are you tonight?” She asked.

“Great.” I responded.

“How is everything?” The woman asked.

“Good.” Lauren said.

The woman stood there for a moment not saying anything and then she turned away as if she was leaving.

“Are you the manager?” I asked, stopping her.

“Yes. Why is there something wrong?”

“Oh. No. Everything is great. I just wasn’t sure if you were just a random patron looking for a food suggestion or something.”

The woman smiled and nodded and then went on to another table. Since she was not wearing a nametag and she did not introduce herself as the manager she could have been just some strange person who liked to check on other diners. The thought of this piqued my interest and I may, just for fun, go to random restaurants and check on the patrons.

Friday, August 10, 2007

From the mouths of kids

With his upper lip covered in pink lemonade from the glass he just guzzled down, Maxfield turns to me and says, "Look Dad, I have a moustache just like MaMa (Momo9)."

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The Thing

At a birthday party on Saturday there was an older boy, Nick, about 8 years old, who was great at playing with and entertaining the younger kids. Max had one of the things pictured above, and Max would blow on it and the older boy acted as if the force of the thing knocked him over. Max laughed and laughed. They continued this for a while until Nick moved on to something else.

Max then aimed the thing at the other kids. They were not interested in playing. I had to step in to steer Max away from annoying the other people. Lauren heard me correcting Max and asked me from the other room, “What was he doing?”

“He was blowing on the…uhh. The thing.”

“What?” Lauren asked.

“You know the thing that you blow on?” I knew it didn’t sound right as soon as I said it. “You know it gets bigger when you blow on it?” I looked around at the other parents in the room to see if they were looking at me funny.


“The thing. Uh, I don’t know, the thing you blow on and it gets longer…Forget it.”

FYI if you are ever in this situation the thing is called a "BlowOut".

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Saturday we attended a birthday party for the 2-year-old daughter of friends of ours. There were about 10 kids there under the age of 5. Besides the hosts of the party, most of the adults that attended I have only met once or twice in the past. So I did my best at PDP (Public Displays of Parenting), making sure Max took turns, did not push other kids and that he said “please” and “thank you” when appropriate.

I say PDP because sometimes I do not enforce certain rules at home. I know, I know, I am supposed to be consistent with parenting and teaching my children how to behave, but sometimes I don’t necessarily agree with the common rules of parenting. And sometimes, the punishment for an infraction of my rules may not be appropriate to do in front of strangers. And the reaction of my kid, to some of the punishments, may not be appropriate for a party type of atmosphere. Really, I do not think that other people at a party want to hear Maxfield screaming at the top of his lungs for 5 minutes while he sits in time out. It could put a damper on the festivities.

Anyway, Max was doing pretty well playing with the other kids at the party. At one point, while Max was playing with some Lego blocks another boy tried to grab some of the pieces from Max. There were a dozen or so other Lego blocks strewn on the floor that the boy could have played with but he wanted the ones in Max’s hands. Max pulled the blocks away from the boy and gave him a stern “No.” I watched as the other boy tried again to grab the blocks from Max. The other boy’s father was talking to someone else and did not see the incident. Max raised his voice and said “NO”.

Max’s elevated volume drew the boy’s father’s attention. The boy’s father only saw Max pulling the toys away. He did not see the boy grabbing at Max. In my opinion the other kid was wrong and this is where and I tried to intercede with PDP.

“Maxfield.” I said. “You should share.”

He looked up at me, and in a very reasonable tone said, “But Dad, I don’t want to.” He then made a motion with his arms as if to show me all the other blocks on the floor.

I thought for a second and realized he made a very good point. I tried to convince the other little boy that the other blocks were there for him to play with. The boy moved on to go and play with other toys.

While driving home from the party I mentioned the incident to Lauren, “What is sharing?” I asked. “It seems to me to be an abstract concept and that is difficult to teach. I agreed with Max that he shouldn’t have to share those blocks.”

Lauren responded, “It is nicety. A courtesy. A social skill that he needs to learn.”

“I get that. But it is not something that is appropriate in every circumstance. It is difficult to explain, in that situation, that he does not need to share.”

“But he should learn to share.” She said.

“But the way I look at it, if a total stranger came up to me and tried to take my car, I shouldn’t have to share. What if one of the fathers at that party wanted me to share YOU? Should I share?” I said trying to make my point.

The look Lauren gave me, made her point.

This parenting thing is tough.

Thursday, August 02, 2007


I have been playing with the different settings on my camera. I do not know what any of the settings are supossed to do. Every now and then I am surprised.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


I know that Maxfield is only 3, well 3 years and 5 months to be exact, but I am starting to become concerned about his future education. He is already showing signs that he may not do very well in school. I am trying to come to terms with the fact that he may not get an academic scholarship. I don’t know how he will get good grades in basic elementary school classes.

Take Math for instance. He knows his numbers. He can count but when it comes to simple addition and subtraction he seems to just not get it as evidenced by this very common conversation in our house.

“Dad, can I have a cookie?”

“Sure Max. But just one.”

He reaches into the cookie jar and pulls out two Oreos and places one in each hand.

“Max, I said just one.”

“I only have one.” He says holding up his left hand.

“No you have two.” I say pointing to his right hand.

“No I only have one.” He says holding up his right hand. “And I only have one here.” Again with the left hand held up.

“But Max, one plus one equals two, and I said you could only have one.”

“NO! I only have one here and one here. That is only one.”

He is having trouble with basic math, so I was thinking that maybe he will excel in English class. But then I started to think what English consists of, Reading Comprehension, Sentence Structure. Punctuation, Grammar, and I know I suck at these, so he does not have much hope.

Take Reading Comprehension for example. I have to read the same book to him 4 or 5 times a night.

“….and the little red caboose saved the train. The end.”

“Read it again Daddy.”

“But I just read it. Let’s read another book.”

“No. Read Little Read Caboose again.”

I don’t think he comprehends the story.

His English and Math skills are lacking, maybe he will take an interest in History. History is not so much about remembering dates but more about learning about how events have shaped us as mankind. Dates are important because, what has happened before, shapes the future. I don’t think Max understands this.

“Daddy can I play with my trains?”

“Sure. Where are they?”

“Mommy took them away.”


“Because I hit Wyatt.”

“Well then no you cannot play with your trains.”


“Because you have to learn not to hit Wyatt.”

“But that was before. I want to play with my trains now.”

I don’t think he gets history.

I think I am going to have to start working on his athletic abilities in hopes of him getting a scholarship.