Friday, June 25, 2010

A Good Shower Story.

As a matter of course, I tend to get up with Calli in the mornings because I'm a morning person (my wife is not), Andrea puts in the lion's share of time at parenting, and deserves to sleep in, and it give me time to read Blogs as I feed her. I won't wake Andrea unless I need to to go to work, and then, not until the last minute.

The other day, Andrea was still sleeping, but a shower had become a non-negotiable necessity. So I bring Calli into the bathroom with some toys, shut the door, and hop in. I've done this before, and I figure that it'll be fine. However, when I'm, almost done rinsing my hair, she starts crying. Not a physical-trauma wail, or a frustrated-and-fed-up complaint, somewhere in the middle. When I pulled open the curtain, I didn't see her, and there's no way a 20+ pound child should be able to hide in a 6x5 space! Turns out, she had pulled herself up on the tub, on the faucet-end, behind the outer-curtain, and was getting showered-on on the front half of her head. No wonder she was giving a confused/upset cry! She was unresponsive to my verbal comforts, so my shower got cut short, and she learned she could survive such a trauma. I'm sure that it was the first of hundreds of half-showers.

When I told this story to my co-workers, I finished with “I bet when you got up this morning, I'll bet you said to your self 'Gee, I sure hope someone at work has a good shower story.' You're welcome.

Last week, I did something kinda stupid. I read something about Obama that flew in the face of my beliefs, and I knee-jerked and let everyone know what a disappointment he was. I didn't do any digging of my own, and didn't even read the articles referenced in the Blog I read.

As it happens, the solution that Norway offered was a chemical that wasn't approved by the American Food & Drug Administration. This seems like a right-flimsy excuse to me for his “Thanks, but no thanks.” Granted, he's under a lot of pressure, and whatever he does will have the Conservative members of American media crawling up his ass to do Tae Bo. Is there any reason he couldn't call the FDA to get 'all hands on deck' to comb through the testing other nations have done, to see if what they'd be using was better or worse than what they've been using?

Another instance in the saga has Obama directing these offers to BP. Now THAT makes sense, except he has publicly taken responsibility to deal with this.

Some theorists have said that he has let the leak go on so he can reinforce his platform on off-shore drilling, or going to cleaner energy. Here's the rub: he could have used this tragedy politically if it had lasted only a week, or a day!

It could be argued that a Canadian has no place bitching about American politics, but a cursory observation will show what affects Washington has on the world. More tangibly, if Il Nino/a affected our climate here in the Great Lakes region, it's easy to imagine that this will have it's ramifications too.

In conclusion, sorry to all. I'm not an Obama-hater, but I'm a little more cautious with my affections. After all, GitMo's still open.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My First Father's Day.

My first father's day was fantastic! Calli got me a beautiful key chain locket with her picture of her in it (I spent Sunday showing it off to everyone at work. Well, mostly the ladies, 'cause the guys see it and think “Yup. That's a kid alright”). Andrea got me Slash's new CD, and a book: “The Secrets of the Freemasons” by Pat Morgan The book is great, and timely, as I finished another book the day before. It gives away more than I thought they would, considering it's written more like a recruitment pamphlet than a conspiracy revelation. The CD is FREAKIN' AWSOME! It features a bunch of guest vocalists (kinda like Santana did), like Ian Ashbury (of The Cult), Chris Cornell, Fergy (not a fan, but these songs are freaking steller!), Ozzy, Alice Cooper, Cyprus Hill, M Shadows from Avenged Sevenfold, etc. Slash shows a fantastic versatility without losing his particular flavor that makes him so distinctive. Look at me, gushing like a 12-year-old!

When I got home, Andrea had Veal Parmesan ready for dinner with garlic bread – TREATS!! and black forest cake. Does it get any better?

Normally, I don't like to get attention because it happens to be that time of year (I'd rather get attention for being a clever smart-ass!), but this was different. With all of the focus on fatherhood, it struck me that I'm part of a bigger institution. There are a few words in the language (or any other language) that trigger a lot of sentiment, or baggage as the case may be. Many of the Blogs I've read focus on the hero's that raised us, but there's a few stories of regret too.

Most of the time, it's an absolute delight to spend time with my little girl, but sometimes, she's having a bad day, sometimes I am, but I still spend the time with her, because I don't want to be another cat's-in-the-cradle story. Also, odds are that she will grow up to date men who are a lot like me, and I find that mighty sobering! She's always easy to love, but not always easy to spend time with, so I drink it in when she's all smiles and giggles, and rock and soothe her when she's in an exhausted tizzy. Like every other relationship, she will test my patience, and a view of the bigger picture will serve me well to keep it all in context.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Word To Your Papa.

Like a lot of people of my generation, I have two dads, and not in a “Fabulous” sort of way. For most of my life, I've considered my step-dad to be my Father.

'Papa' came into our lives when I was eight and my sister was six. He was a friend-of-a-friend of my mom's, and one night after the divorce, we were at a Friday night social gathering, and he talked my mom into taking a ride on his motorcycle, as she had never ridden one before. Slick move, since 28 years later, they're still together.

He had a rough go of it, too. The benefit of informally adopting kids that age is that he got to miss the diaper years. He also missed some key formative years, so he had some somewhat developed little people to go along with his new girlfriend.

There were some glitches, but at the end of the day, he did a marvelous job. As a father, he always (well, usually) had the patience needed to deal with us as kids. He was fond of taking any opportunity to teach us something, not in a lecturing sort of way, but more questioning, like “what do you see here that's relevant,” or “how do you suppose that happened.”

Not that he didn't lecture, but it was a form of discipline. He wasn't inclined to physical punishment, but I seem to recall lectures that could last 3-4 hours. He claims that I'm exaggerating the time, but that's how I remember it.

Of all the fond memories, it's the every-day ones that warm my heart. Summer nights at the fire pit. Autumn wood-cutting sessions. Rubber band fights. Teasing, teasing, and more teasing. Taking guns to the dump to make the cans dance. Board game nights. Inappropriate jokes. I could go on....

When I got married, he honored me by being my best man, and when I have a son, I'll get to fulfill my life-long ambition of naming him after his grandpa.

So today, love and gratitude to my Papa, and a hearty “Cheers!” to all the men who understand that they are practicing the noblest of professions: Parenthood.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Be Here Now!

Just a note to say, "here is something that everyone needs to read about the oil spill." Seriously, I was an Obama fan until I read this...

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Who's Awsome..?

The job I had to do at work today was a little boring, so I did an informal survey. I asked anyone who was there what kind of bumper sticker I could put on the car to make our kids not want to borrow it, looking for the maximum “I can't be seen it THAT” factor.

My contribution came from Comic Book Guy on The Simpsons (who are, by the way, older than a lot of the people I work with. Now, THAT'S a sobering thought.) “My other car's the Millennium Falcon.” If I find it, I'm totally getting it!

Along the same lines, “My other car's a pair of boots” and “My other car's a piece of shit too.” Someone suggested “My other car's a 10-speed.” Funny, but without the embarrassing factor.

Another good one with some embarrassment potential is “Stay back, or you'll be in phaser range.”

An honorable mention goes to “Stay back of my poo-throwing monkeys will get you,” but I think teens would be fine with this message.

One mother suggested something that alluded that their parents had had sex in the car. What that led to was our winner: “Viagra saved our marriage.”

Now I'd like to hear your suggestions, what kind of bumper sticker would discourage kids from asking for the car?

It seems that the awards abound, and this is an especially unique honor!
Steven Tremp created an award, and I am a first-generation recipient of the Awsomous Maximus Award! Oh My, Oh My (fanning self). It is a prerequisite for the Meat & Potatoes Award, for veteran Bloggers who have weathered a few storms. If I can get a pre-qualifier for such an honor after about 10 months of Blogging, well slap-my-ass, I'm flattered and humbled. Thanks Steven!

I have a few nominations for the Awsomous Maximus, focusing on newer Blogs that show great promise! Many awards have floated around lately, so many have been nominated for other awards, but they are none-the-less deserving!

Ella's Edge gives consistent offerings from her life, her family, and her home town, with a lot of honesty and charm.

Mommy Loves Stiletto's is a riot, but not for the faint of heart. If you're uncomfortable with your naughtiness and that of others, skip this one.

Celebrating her first Tartaversary today, Confessions of a Watery Tart is another fun one with a mischievous wink. For the ladies, there are plenty of Beefcake pics, for everyone , there's some fine writing, and insights into the craft.

About 14 months old, Ramblings of a Domestic Goddess really hit her stride this year, and posts thematically DAILY! That's right, she's that hardcore!

Less than a year old, Mithril Wisdom offers helpful reviews on all things geeky, and other insights.

There it is, Live Long and Be Awsome! And don't forget to leave some bumper sticker ideas :)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

She Weebles and She Wobbles...

As always, thanks for all of the comments! Blogger seems to be having quite the glitch issues, with comments being eaten, repeated, etc. By and large, they provide a solid service, though, and every now and then, there's gonna be some trouble.
My story (when I get the time to devote) is on the last days of Atlantis. Has anyone seen anything like this around? I'd hate to regurgitate someone else's work. And there are no elves, they just don't fit, and it's hard to do something unique with elves. Having said that, Heather Bear did just that with “Blood & Iron” and “Whiskey & Water.”

On the domestic side, today was a damn exciting day, Calli has stood on her own for the first time! She's been pulling herself up on anything that'll hold her weight & stay still for a few weeks now, and she's finally ventured to let go! It was only for 2-5 seconds, but we squealed none the less. For one instance, Andrea was phoning a friend, and Calli stood just in time for the answering machine to kick-in. “Ooooh! OOOH! She's STANDING!!! She's standing ON HER OWN! call me back.” Michelle must have been laughing her ass off!

Bet I can guess what the seasoned parents are saying: “You're in for it now.” Yeah, that makes sense. We spend a year striving to get them to walk and talk, then 15 years telling them th sit down and shut up.

Andrea said that she hopes that we're this excited about our future children hitting these landmarks. Well, yeah, but it won't be the same. There will never be another first. Such a raw deal for the others, but I'm sure that it will be special in it's own way.

If ya'll are interested, my lovely wife has started a Blog to document her healthy lifestyle journey. Feel free to stop by Motherhood and Other Controversies and show some love!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Well, lookit the gig brains on me! I was half way through my shift yesterday, and I thought, “did I put up a picture of the Versatility Award?” And, I forgot to space-out my paragraphs, leaving a big block of words that can be a little hard on the eyes. In my defense, I'd spent a couple hours with it already, and was a little eager to get it done, but here it is:

Thanks for your patience! Have a great day!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Versatility Award.

The night before last, I had a dream that I was in the Millennium Falcon, and I was hiding from Imperial troops. Apparently, the innards of the Falcon are made of plywood, I would've thought that a space craft would be made of sturdier stuff. What did you think I was going to reveal? Grow UP!
Now I'm getting really big-headed; I've received the Versatile Logger Award. Back in the day (last August) when I pondered my title, I tacked on the “...Other Common Terrors” to give myself license to write about whatever I pleased (work-venting came to mind). Then, with the A-Z Challenge, I got the chance to address a lot of things that wouldn't normally fit. Now, it seems that I've got a reputation, but you should see the glob I got this from; Inanimateness versatiles circles around me! (Sure, “versatiles” can be a verb. Shakespeare made up words too!)
So the rules are this: 1) Thank the person who gave you the award. (Thanks Inanimateness! You ROCK!) 2) Share 7 things about yourself. 3) Pass the award along to 15 Loggers you've recently discovered and you think are awesome. (I'll be flexible on this, 'cause 15 is a lot.) 4) Let your nominees know you've honored them. (I'm awful at this, since by the time I've added my links, I want to go relax..
So, my 7 things:
1.My work-in-progress is an Epic Fantasy, but I don't read a lot of fantasy, because reading 3-7+ books in a row of the same story is a bit much for me.
2.I like to cook, but haven't done a lot lately. That'll change when Andrea goes back to work.
3.I once tried to make Beef Wellington, for Andrea's birthday. It tasted great, but looked like it had been put on the plate from across the room :)
4.We're currently trying to sleep-train Calli. She isn't happy, and sounds just rabid.
5.I love winged-back chairs. Pretty trivial, but when you Blog, whatever surprises you have left are secrets for a reason.
6.I like to capitalize “Blog” and “Blogger,” because I think that they're proper titles.
7.Despite my last post, I think that psychology is fascinating, and we should continue to strive to learn what makes us tick.
So now to nominate some Bloggers, and I've decided to focus on the Writing Blogs that I've discovered, as they're all pretty recent.

Steven Tremp
Alex Cavanaugh
Hart Johnson
B. Miller
Coming Down the Mountain
Feel of Something New
Heim Binas Fiction
Michelle Emrath
Spunk on a Stick
The Alliterative Allomorph
The Quintessentially Questionable Query Experiment
Culture Served Raw(more journalistic, and a great read!)
These are all great writing Blogs, and I hope you enjoy them.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Yet Another Disorder...

I was listening to a Podcast the other day, when I heard of Oppositional Defiant Disorder. I'm so glad I heard of this before it was applied to someone I knew, so I could get through my “Are you f***ing kidding?” stage.
The short version is that ODD is when kids & teens are – wait for it – defiant to their elders. Another term I've heard used to describe this behavior is “Individuation;” when children begin to develop their own identities apart from their elders. I guess it became a “Disorder” when it got destructive.
Now, I'm no expert in psychiatry, but I know that it's a “Soft Science,” whereas there's more questions then answers, and it's a young science; less than 150 years old in it's current form. When we've only spent a few generations trying to understand the mind, it's pretty bold to start presenting “answers.” This is especially true with mental illnesses. Having said that, I've had several loved ones with such issues, and it isn't complete blarney. I may be a little biased, but I trust these people to honestly tell the difference between a serious problem and a character flaw.
At the same time, it's quite possible that the psychiatric community, in their efforts to understand behaviors, may be a little too eager to diagnose. When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
And consider this: the pharmaceutical industry is a business. Businesses need to make money – nothing wrong with that in principle, but the main method is creating a need or want in the consumers, and it isn't unreasonable to suggest that such need-creation gets out of hand with this industry (and many others).
Here is a questionnaire from a private school that specializes on ODD:

1. Wants to be alone more than with other children of the same age.

2. Complains of dizziness or headaches.

3. Doesn't participate in activities that were previously enjoyable.

4. Argues or is verbally disrespectful.

5. Is more fearful than other children of the same age.

6. Cuts school or is truant.

7. Cooperates with rules and expectations.

8. Has difficulty completing assignments or completes them carelessly.

9. Complains or whines that things are unfair.

10. Experiences trouble with her/his bowels, such as constipation or diarrhea.

11. Gets into physical fights with peers or family members.

12. Worries and/or can't get certain ideas out of his/her mind.

13. Steals or lies.

14. Is fidgety, restless, or hyperactive.

15. Seems anxious or nervous.

It seems that #2 and #10 address a medical concern (and #7 is a control question), the other questions could be chalked-up to someone just being maladjusted.
I learned some more from
Sufferers of ODD may have abnormal amounts of neurotransmitters.
Family history of mood disorders, mental disorders, inconsistent discipline
2% to 16% of children and teens have ODD. Begins around age 8.
Prevention: “Providing a nurturing, supportive & consistent home environment with a balance of love and discipline” may prevent defiant episodes.
Now here's where the wonder of Bog Conversation kicks in; is anyone familiar enough with mental disorders to give some insights? Am I talking out my ignorance with this one, or is the medical community trying to hang a title on youthful rebellion so they can medicate it?
A few years ago, Tom Cruise caused a stir when he said that Depression could be treated with vitamins & exercise. I don't agree that all cases are that simple, but I'd bet a few could come leaps & bounds with such a treatment. I deffinitely want to hear what people think on this one...