The Point of Pride

June 26th, 2016

Ezra and Sara in their pride shirts, 2016

Shortly after the Orlando massacre, my family and I were headed for a local shopping mall and, as we often do, were discussing recent events on the way.  We arrived and parked and proceeded to get out of our minivan in the parking lot near a chain department store.  The area is not as upscale as some other parts of the Bay Area and the store is known more for lower prices than for its appeal to educated professionals.  In short, while still relatively liberal (it was, after all, still the San Francisco Bay Area), it was an area where one might run into a homophobe.

Getting out of the car and walking through the parking lot, I continued talking loudly about the terrorist attack at the Pulse nightclub in Florida and its effect on the LGBTQ community.  My oldest began trying to get me to quiet down and stop talking about it.  He said that one day, I would end up getting shot if I kept talking that way.  He was worried that some homophobic terrorist would take offense at what I was saying and respond with lethal force.

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Time To Go Shopping!

June 1st, 2016


Ever since having kids, I’ve been a fan of Old Navy.  They have good children’s clothes at affordable prices — a big help when you have three active kids who are continuously outgrowing and wearing out their clothes.  But that’s not the only reason I shop at Old Navy, especially this time of year.

Recently, we were on holiday and found ourselves in need of some new pants (sans holes) for Ezra, my youngest, as well as a couple other small items.  The only viable option we had available was Wal-Mart.  Normally, I don’t shop at the retail giant because I have some serious issues with the way they run their business, but sometimes, evil becomes a necessary evil.

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As Long As They’re Healthy…

June 1st, 2016

Children holding handsFor most parents-to-be, once they find out they’re going to have a child, the biggest concern is that the child is healthy.  Sure, there may be a preference for one gender or the other, but there are so many other far more terrifying possibilities to worry about that no one in their right mind really gets upset about having a boy instead of a girl or vice versa.

But even if there are complications or issues, parents generally don’t say “Oh, my kid’s not perfect, so I’m going to toss him in the dumpster and start over”.  And if they did, they would be prosecuted, jailed, and vilified.  I know plenty of people who face challenges far more significant than trying to get their kids to eat broccoli — and it seems they love their kids even more for it.  Challenges that include dyslexia, autism, and even DIPG, a rare form of childhood brain cancer with a 0% survival rate.  Zero percent.  And I’ve known two sets of parents whose children have lost or will lose their battle with the disease.

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De-facing the Book

October 20th, 2015

No_Face_logoSo, for a full month, I was off Facebook.

Over the last decade or so, Facebook has managed to become an integral part of our society.  Facebook pages are nearly as important as, if not more important than a company’s website.  A Facebook account has become the single account used to access many other websites, rather than a site-specific account and password.  It is our address book and is trying hard to replace e-mail as our primary means of electronic communication and interaction.

So the notion of not using the site for nearly a month seems ludicrous, even for someone like me who, while not in danger of being called addicted, did use the site fairly heavily.  So how did that go?

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The Joys Of Being A Celiac Dad

August 23rd, 2015

FlatwareThere’s more to being the father of a kid with celiac disease than being annoying at restaurants and crying in grocery stores.  There’s a lot of freaking out about the presence of gluten and cross-contamination as well.  And sometimes, it involves washing dishes.  Lots of dishes.

Last night, I went to the silverware drawer to get some forks and knives for dinner.  I pulled out a knife and realized that it was covered with Nutella.  “Who put a dirty knife back in the drawer?” I called out.  “It’s covered with food!”

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Riding In Cars With Friends

August 19th, 2015

seat beltJust about the number one job of any parent is to keep our kids safe.  We teach them not to take candy from strangers, we tell them to stay away from drugs and cigarettes, and we make sure they wear a helmet when riding a bicycle and a seat belt when riding in the car.

But we can’t be with them every moment of every day — sometimes we just have to let go and trust in what we’ve taught them and in the competence and responsibility of those to whom we entrust them.  Whether they’re in the watchful care of a teacher, a fellow parent, or a family member, we have to believe that that person will work as hard as you do to keep them safe — or at least as hard as they do for their own kids.  But what if that’s not enough?

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Crazy in Labor

August 15th, 2015
Source: Facebook/WOTE

Source: Facebook/WOTE

Having a baby is a crazy time in anyone’s life.  Whether it’s your first child and you don’t know what you’ve gotten yourself into or your third and it’s all been-there-done-that, it’s surely going to be a crazy, hectic time.  And yet, many of us manage to fit in some wild stuff in between labor pains.  There are the usual things like not getting any medication to help with the pain (you put me in that much pain and I’d be breaking into the prison pharmacy if I had to) or eating a hearty meal only to throw it up shortly thereafter.

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Yes, Moms Really Are Hotter

August 10th, 2015
Source: YouTube

Source: YouTube

By far, the most attractive quality in a woman, as far as I’m concerned, is confidence.  Add competence to that and there’s no way simple physical beauty can compete.

With that in mind, I’ve always felt that moms — women who have their act together and are raising their kids with love and care — are more far attractive than those “barely legal teens” you hear so much about on the internet.  And, based on a new video from Joseph Gordon-Levitt and the Gregory Brothers, it sounds like I’m not alone in that assessment.

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The Supermarket Blues

June 29th, 2015

SadCupcakeIt doesn’t happen every time, but it happens often enough.  There I am, six feet tall, and built like a tank, with a full beard and one lobotomy-covering American-flag headband away from a recurring role on Duck Dynasty, standing in the grocery store aisle crying like a baby.  It’s not because mommy won’t buy me Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs but because I won’t buy them for my daughter.  Or, more accurately, because I can’t buy them for my daughter. Read the rest of this entry »

The WiFi Treasure Hunt

June 6th, 2015

787337_96637039_400x300I have a friend who owns a vacation home near Lake Tahoe and, being pretty much the most generous person in the world, he lets us stay there when he’s not using it.  We took advantage of the long Memorial Day weekend and went up for a quick break.  We weren’t expecting great weather so we planned on just hanging out, enjoying the views, and relaxing quietly. We drove up on Saturday and after unloading the car and putting groceries away, the kids started in on a game of Monopoly.  That kept them busy for a while — long enough for me to learn that my laptop’s hard drive had died.  It also kept them away from their tablets long enough that they didn’t think to ask for the WiFi password until bedtime.  With a promise that they would get the password in the morning, they quickly turned in for the night.

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