Friday, December 31, 2010

An Alabama Christmas

We went up to the in-laws the other weekend to do the CFO's family Christmas.  We surprised the CFO's parents with a new computer.  I put it up after they went to bed.  I woke up to William telling the CFO's parents "Mommy and Daddy didn't bring any computer."  We have to keep the Triplets in the dark on anything we want to be a surprise as they LOVE telling secrets. It runs in the family, some members of the family.  Not that they are loose lipped but that they love surprising people.  So much so that they talk about the impending surprise... a lot:)

I am the kind of person that drives that kind of person crazy.  Some people like to build suspense about an impending surprise.  They want you (me) to be curious about what it is.  Ask questions about it.  Ponder the possibilities.  Weigh your options. You know, get all geeked up about it.  I, on the other hand like surprises to be... well... surprises.  So I don't inquire, ponder, ask, or do anything that may encroach on the forthcoming surprise.  As an added bonus it drives the surpriser nuts:)  

But an Alabama Christmas would not be complete without a little gun play!  The in-laws watched the Triplets and their three cousins while the CFO, my brother in law and sister in law went to the "old place" to shoot.  I had my Mossberg 500 Persuader shotgun and my brother in law his new Judge.  A pistol that shoots a .45 AND a .410 shotgun shell... I am all over it!  Yes, the CFO loved it too!


I am no more humble than my talents require.
Oscar Levant (1906 - 1972)

If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government --and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws.
Edward Abbey

Al

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Who makes the decisions at a Wedding?

After having been in a few weddings I have learned one eternal truth... When it comes to decisons reguarding a wedding it is up to the Bride. It is her day.  Not the groom's, not her mother's, not her mother in law's, her's.  I know it does not always work that way but the CFO and I see it that way and if we are involved or attending a wedding we do our best to be sure it works that way.  So what if it is snowing, in the 30's, with a gale force wind.  If the Bride wants to get married outside she is getting married outside!

I discussed this fact with my daughter the night before the wedding during her bath time.  She wanted to wear a white dress we had borrowed from a friend.  But the dress was whiter than the Bride's, a no-no.  If you have read this blog in the past then you know that she is a bit strong willed:)  Here is how our discussion went:  Keep in mind this is after extensive negotiating by both me and the CFO.

Daddy: "Don't you want to wear the pretty black dress?"
Addison: "NO! I want to wear the white dress"
Daddy: "Who makes the decisions about a wedding?"
Addison: "I don't know"
Daddy: "The Bride does"
Addison: "Oh"
Daddy: "Who is the bride tomorrow?"
Addison: "Miss Owlison"
Daddy: "So who makes the decisions about what people wear to the wedding?"
Addison: "Miss Owlison... but I want to wear the white dress!"
Daddy: "When you get married do you want to make the decisions or do you want a four year old flower girl to make the decisions?"
Addison: "I want to make the decisions"
Daddy: "So who is going to decide what you wear tomorrow... you or Miss Owlison?"
Addison: "Miss Owlison"
Daddy: "So will you wear the black dress please?"
Addison: "Yes Daddy"

To be fair it was the CFO and I making the call but that is just because Miss Owlison is too nice/smart/afraid to stand in the gap between what my little princess and what she wants.  I do it for sport:)  

She was as pretty as a picture...


She later negotiated wearing the slippers at the reception into the deal:)


If you can't go around it, over it, or through it, you had better negotiate with it.
Ashleigh Brilliant

Marriage: love, honor, and negotiate.
Joe Moore

Al

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Happy Birthday to the CFO!

To the CFO...

If I could change what's been done before
The Triplets and I would kiss you more
I have few regrets through our years
The ones I have may bring me tears
But in our future I pledge my will
Until our vows I do fulfill

I love you,

Al

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The second most memorable wedding

If I have attended your wedding please do not take this personally.  The most memorable was of course, mine.  It was not just because the CFO became my Bride but we also had three tornado warnings that day.  One cut our reception short and one stopped the after-party in our suite back at the hotel.  Keep in mind these are "Alabama Tornado Warnings" and they take them seriously.  Like leave the reception and go to the basement of the Police Station seriously.  So ours is #1.

The #2 spot has been taken by one of the CFO's best friends, Owlison.  No, that is not her real name but if you know her then you know who it is.  Owlison's wedding is #2 for several reasons that I will discuss below.  Please do not try to surpass this as this is something that just happens, you cannot plan for it.  It is like AFV.  If it is planned then I think it doesn't count.  Here are the reasons, in no particular order.  In the spirit of full disclosure, Owlison also reads this blog.
  1. Getting married December 26th.  Not only getting married on 12/26, the day after Christmas but deciding on that day on 12/20/2010.  Yep, less than a week.  No, it was not a shotgun wedding, although if it was I have a great shotgun we could have used.  The original date was in April I believe but because of the new house the couple is building they (she) decided to move the date up.  Why and how would a house move the day up you ask.  Well, it seems that their construction workers are very good at their job.  So good in fact that the closing date got moved up so far it was going to be before the wedding.  
  2. Driving eight hours on Christmas Day to get to the wedding.  Nuff said:)
  3. It was quite chilly.  When I say quite chilly I mean that it was an outside wedding, it was on the water, it was 34 degrees, and there was a 30 mph breeze blowing.  
  4. It was the first wedding that the Triplets were in.  Addison was the flower girl and the boys ring bearers.  Addison did a great job.  The boys, however, bugged out back to the van because of the slight chill in the air, sissys:)  So I ended up being the ring bearer and the videographer.  
  5. One of my many gadgets came in handy.  In other weddings I have been in the rings on the ring bearer's pillow were fake ones and the best man actually had the real things.  Not so in this wedding.  The real rings were tied on the pillow.  So when it came time for the rings they needed to untie them.  Not such an easy task with numb hands.  Luckily I had my Mini Leatherman (the best groomsman gift, from Bebe's wedding).  It quickly cut the ribbon and it was game on!  
We had a GREAT time and she was/is a beautiful bride!  Her husband looked good too:)

There's no point in being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes.
Doctor Who

Love one another and you will be happy.  It's as simple and as difficult as that.  
Michael Leunig

Al

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Wanna snuggle?

It seems so nice doesn't it... snuggling up with your precious little four year old.  It's 2am and it's cold in the house so it tugs at your heart strings when one of the Triplets comes crawling in the bed describing the latest bad dream.  Your heart goes out to them and you bring them in close to snuggle.  Nothing like a little 200,000 BTU heater next to you on a cold winter's night to put a smile on your face.

But why is it that as soon as you fall asleep that cute little four year old seems to morph into a creature with four elbows and six knees that continuously poke and prod you.  You find yourself in a bad dream...   you have been abducted by aliens and they are poking and prodding you looking for a place to put their space probe.  Just then you are jolted awake by a shot to the kidneys, crotch or some other sensitive area.  Oh, it's not a bad dream, just a four year old... or two... or three:)

It has yet to be proven that intelligence has any survival value.
Arthur C. Clarke

Most people do not consider dawn to be an attractive experience - unless they are still up.  
Ellen Goodman

Al

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

God loves a cheerful giver

And the Triplets were more than happy to give me and Mimi the stomach flu! :)  It hit me about 3am Monday morning and Mimi got it right after lunch on Monday.  I was down for the count.  Luckily the Triplets survived Monday.... pretty much on their own.

In the morning I fixed coffee for the CFO and put bowls out for the Triplets and fell asleep on the couch.  I woke up a little later, turned on PBS and the Triplets ate cereal (whatever kind they wanted) till lunch time.  I was in and out much of the time.  I served them lunch ala cart in the TV room; turkey and crackers.  We napped from 2-5 and I went back down for the count at 8:30pm.  Let's just say that I have never felt worse than I did on Monday.  Even my most ambitious College adventures did not compare.

We also had a few times where the Triplets "gambled and lost" (as my my college roomates Herge and Bullard would say) so I also got to be on clean up duty.  All in all the house and the Triplets did not look all that bad all things considered.

Merry Christmas!


It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues.
Abraham Lincoln

1 Cross + 3 Nails = 4given
Grandma Jack


Al

Monday, December 20, 2010

The trip home

I had started writing this cute post about how we celebrated Christmas with the in-laws this past weekend.  I will still finish it and post it later this week but I had a more interesting subject "come up" on the way home last night, twice.

Addison frequently says "I don't feel very well" which is soon followed up by "can I sleep in your bed?"  Nice try...  So needless to say there is a bit of crying wolf associated with my little princess.  On the way home (10pm) we dropped the CFO off at her office to pick up her car as we had picked her up from work to head out of town on Friday.  I was getting ready to leave the parking lot when I heard "Daddy, I'm gonna get siurrrraaaaaaaakkk.....   I hit the interior lights to see the second stream of vomit coming out of Addison.  I moved quickly to catch 3-6 with a blanket.  I flagged down the CFO before she left and upon her advice I covered Addison up for the short ride home where we could handle the clean up a bit better.

Right in front of our house Jackson said the same thing to which I said "cover up with your blanket."  To which he said "NO!" and pulled it off of him just in time for his dinner to end up all over him.  Needless to say I was not happy with his disobedience so I cleaned him up with.... you guessed it, his blanket.  I know it was a bit mean as he really was sick but blankets are A LOT easier to clean than car seats.

So after two showers, the CFO getting the stuff out of the van and me cleaning the car seats it was midnight.  I finally got the first load of blankets in the wash.  I waited up on the first load to finish so I could get the car seat covers in before I headed to bed.  Not exactly a great evening but it could have been worse.



Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful.
Buddha 

Al

Friday, December 17, 2010

I had the wrong words to that song

Ever sung a song for years and then you had that ah-ha moment where you realized that you were singing the wrong words?  I started thinking about this because a very good friend of mine posted on Facebook that he finally learned the right words to "Pour Some Sugar on Me" thanks to the Sing-Off.

The Triplets have been singing a lot lately because of all the Christmas productions as their day out program and at Church.  The other day I did a double take....  They were singing "go tell it on the mountain."

Go, tell it on the mountain,
Over the hills and everywhere
Go, tell it on the mountain,
That Jesus Christ is FOUR

They now perform this song regularly and on demand to the pleasure of many:)   Here is their picture with Santa from Jennymo Designs.


He's simply got the instinct for being unhappy highly developed.
Saki (1870 - 1916)

Some days there won't be a song in your heart.  Sing anyway.  
Emory Austin

Al

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Voice recognition software

Voice recognition software is a great idea... if you happen to be in the cone of silence!  Unfortunately for me I am perpetually in the funnel of noise to the third power.  Here is an example of a normal call to a company with the ever so helpful voice recognition software:
  • Company: "Please say your account number"
  • Me: "two, zero, five,.."
  • Company: "I'm sorry, I didn't understand your entry, please say your account number"
  • Me: louder this time "TWO, ZERO, FIVE, ..."
  • Company: "I'm sorry, I didn't understand your entry, please say your account number"
  • Me: louder this time "TWO, ZERO, FIVE, ..."
  • Company: "I'm sorry I'm having a hard time understanding you, please wait while I connect you to a customer service agent"
  • click... click.... click....
  • Company: "To better expedite your call please say the number that best represents what you are calling about.  One for billing questions, two for service questions, three for new service..."
  • Me: "Two"
  • Company: "I'm sorry, I didn't understand your entry, please say the number that best represents...."
At this point I start yelling alternating between "OPERATOR" and "REPRESENTATIVE".  I usually get to someone.  How about a first menu that lets you choose between voice recognition and key inputs.  Something like "if you are in a vacuum of silence and you speak the Queen's English please say one to use our Voice unrecognition service."

Why is it that the more technology we invent to make life easier and give us more free time the more frustrated we are and the less free time we have?

The other weekend we did Breakfast with Santa at Church.  Good thing the CFO is detail oriented.  The kids got out clean and with some great keepsakes.  


Remember that as a teenager you are at the last stage of your life when you will be happy to hear that the phone is for you.
Fran Lebowitz 

Why can we remember the tiniest detail that has happened to us, and not remember how many times we have told it to the same person.
Fran├žois de la Rochefoucauld

Al

Monday, December 13, 2010

Back in the saddle again

Well, I got another call from a friend last week asking if I was interested in doing some contract (temporary) recruiting work through March.  Being that I have SO much spare time and I just sit around watching Soap Operas and eating bon-bons I said yes.

The real reason is that it will allow us to save some money.  Not only will I be earning money but I also seem to spend less when I am working.  It seems that when I have more time on my hands I am real good at turning my wants into needs.  You know...  I "want" a headset for my video game.... then I "need" one because I can play without disturbing anyone else, while Roomba is cleaning, while the CFO is watching her shows on the laptop, without hearing the chat from other players, etc...   But then I "really need" the wireless surround sound one to the tune of $250.   No, I did not buy it.  I got an open box deal on a corded one, that the CFO tripped on, for $20.

This time I am going to try and balance work and life a bit better. Wish me luck:)

I never know how much of what I say is true.
Bette Midler 

Nothing will work unless you do.
Maya Angelou

Al

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Never underestimate a four year old

Anyone who has had or been around kids knows not to underestimate them.  No, I am not talking about their strength.  They are right at crotch level so it is a dangerous time to be a Dad.  No, I am also not talking about how they repeat things they shouldn't at the precise time it would be most embarrassing. I am talking about what you expect them to do.

The other day Addison surprised me, well, they all did.  The trio were upstairs playing while I was cleaning up after breakfast.  I hear the usual "DADDY!!!!" yell from upstairs.  I get to the bottom of the stairs to see Addison looking down at me.  "Yes mam" I reply.  She says "Daddy, will you help me fix my bed?"  I start at her... "will you help me fix my bed, please?"  To which I reply "yes mam."  To my amazement it wasn't broken but rather un-made.  It seems that Mimi had shown them how to make their beds and she wanted to do it.  The boys quickly also made their beds.  Now they make their beds each morning.  How long does this last?


Sanity calms, but madness is more interesting.

John Russell

Al

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

What do you want for breakfast?

I like giving the Triplets choices:
  • Where do you want to go today?
  • How many "upgrades" do you want?
  • What do you want for breakfast?
I usually get the normal choices from them for breakfast but William surprised me this morning.
  • Dad: "William, what kind of cereal would you like for breakfast?"
  • William: "I want the cereal with strawberry cuss words"
At first I was a little hesitant to ask just what those cuss words were.  I quickly took an inventory of the situations I have recently been in to assess the linguistic damage I had done.  I came up with nada.  That is not to say I am perfect with my word choices as in one of my many previous lives I saw cursing as an art form of sorts.

So I stilled myself and asked:
  • Dad: "William, what kind of cuss words?"
  • William: "Strawberry cuss words"
I still could not figure out what "strawberry cuss words" were.  They sometimes come home their day out program with new adjectives or nouns, depending their usage.  At least I think that is what they are.  I barely passed my 7th grade English class when we learned how to diagram sentences.  The one thing I did learn is routinely trampled today... when to use "well" vs "good".

Then it hit me.... "clusters."

Man has to suffer. When he has no real afflictions, he invents some.
Jose Marti

Some men storm imaginary Alps all their lives, and die in the foothills cursing difficulties which do not exist.
Edgar Watson Howe

Al

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Go big or go home

I love that saying.  It personifies guys.  As the movie (which is awesome) Inception says "mussn't be afraid to dream a little bigger darling."  Right now I carry a Coast V2 flashlight.  It throws a nice 110 lumens that will outshine almost any other flashlight people carry.  It is great but it only throws a focused beam and only at 110 lumens.  So when you are looking for something in a car it can be a bit much.

So I have started looking around at other options.  I think I have a winner with the Coast T7.  It throws up to 200 lumens but also has a low setting of just 30 lumens.  It also has a speed focus that lets you have a focused beam (that will reach 689ft) or a dispersed beam.  The only downside is that I already look like a Batman wanna-be with all the stuff I carry and carrying a larger flashlight will only add to this.  But why only carry 110 lumens when you can have 200? :)

So I ordered the T7 and after carrying in for a few days I now know why I like my V2.  It doesn't pull my shorts down and it doesn't look like a police baton on my waist.  So the CFO is getting the T7 to carry in her purse.  But I guess that is only fitting as she has a 357 and I have a 9mm:)

Here are a few more pics from the Christmas Parade:

Everyone thought the low 40's were a bit chilly:)


Normally this is not something you want to see.... but luckily it was just the beginning  of the parade!


Yes!  All the Police cars and fire engines used their sirens!


I once wanted to become an atheist, but I gave up - they have no holidays.

Henny Youngman

Orphans, dead parents, lonely children at Christmas, morose spoken word recordings, everything you love about the holidays. Move the turkey over so you can fit your head in the oven.
April Winchell

Al

Monday, December 6, 2010

Rewind... Halloween

I think/hope that I may have started another family tradition.  This past year the Triplets (with a little help from their Old Man) put together triplet scarecrows.  Of course, being a man, I totally forgot to take a picture of them!  Luckily the CFO asked if I got a picture of them and luckily we had not dismantled them yet.  So, right before decorating for Christmas we put up a little Halloween again for a photo op.





If bad decorating was a hanging offense, there'd be bodies hanging from every tree! 
Sylvester Stallone 

Our modern society is engaged in polishing and decorating the cage in which man is kept imprisoned.
Swami Nirmalananda

Al

Friday, December 3, 2010

Who is that knucklehead in shorts?

Since moving to Alabama we have talked about making it to Athens' Christmas Parade.  Well, we finally made it.  As one friend observed....yes, we drove four hours in one day to watch a parade:)  But not just any parade, it was about an hour and a half parade!  Not kidding.  There were two "breaks" in the parade to allow the parade participants to disperse without holding up everyone else.

To be fair, while some of the floats in the parade were awesome others were... well... let's just say it's the thought that counts:)  But some were just plain advertising with one string of lights on it.  Not kidding, there was a truck from a nationally known retail leader with just one string of Christmas lights on it.  Seriously?  But hey, the kids LOVED it!

On to the knucklehead, me.  Yes, it is once again Winter and I am still in shorts.  My general rule is that is if the high is above 30 degrees the shorts are a go.  Partly because I just do not like long pants.  This goes way back to my High School days.  Partly because I carry so much stuff that I need the cargo shorts and partly because I just like sticking it to "the man."  :)  Hey, I am a SAHD so I can thumb my nose at the man anytime I want.  I actually think I am not just entitled to do so but it is down right required of me.  Plus, at Church we are always talking about living in such a way to make people wonder what makes us different.  Maybe that is my new response to all the looks/questions I get about wearing shorts when it is cold.... "Hey, don't you know that it is cold buddy?"  "Yeah, but I love Jesus."  On second thought while very funny maybe it sends the wrong message.

We got home around 11pm and it was midnight before the CFO and I got to bed after clearing out the van, starting laundry, washing the sippy cups/dishes, and getting the Triplets' lunch ready for Friday.  Was it worth it?  Ya sure ya betcha!!  Memories are way better than sleep:)

Here is one of the coolest pics that the CFO took at the parade... with no editing.


Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.
Mark Twain

The smaller the mind the greater the conceit.
Aesop

Al

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The easiest time picking out a tree ever!

Traditionally we pick out and put up our Christmas Tree the weekend after Thanksgiving.  Sunday we headed to Lowe's to pick out a tree.  I steeled myself for the challenge.  You know how it goes.... what do you think of this one?  Oh no, there is a hole in this one.  Untie this one then that one.  Shake it open. That is too tall or too short.  No, it is too dry.  Too fat or too small.  On and on it goes until we find the "right" one, we give up to try another day or we settle.

But not this year, no sir!  As we walked into Lowe's I was prepared for the worst.  We are a bit picky when it comes to Christmas Trees.  Well, we are just picky in general:)  We like Nobels.  Not the people, the tree Nobel Fir.  Not that we don't like Nobility as I don't know any but I just don't see the need for it these days.  But I digress:)  Much to our surprise another family is standing in front of the Christmas Trees looking at two awesome looking Nobel Firs.  Not just Nobel Firs but 8 ft Nobel Firs!  One was skinny and one was .... well... husky:)

They were doing the Christmas Tree dance.  The one where they all take turns holding each tree while the others stand back and the holders spin the tree.  The CFO asked "would you like us to hold the trees so you all can look at them at the same time.  They were a bit bewildered but said thank you.  Luckily for us they chose the larger one and we took the smaller one.  I have no idea how long they had been there to find those two trees but they were both great.  We were done inside two minutes after getting out of the van!

BTW.... War Eagle!



Is sloppiness in speech caused by ignorance or apathy? I don't know and I don't care.
William Safire

When I played pro football, I never set out to hurt anyone deliberately - unless it was, you know, important, like a league game or something
Dick Butkus

Al

Friday, November 26, 2010

I am thankful I am not shopping

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE shopping and spending money, just ask the CFO:)  But it seems that Black Friday deals are not as great or awe inspiring as the use to be, thanks to technology.  Most items are already at rock-bottom prices if you know where to look thanks to Google and the like.  Now I know you can get Zhu Zhu Pets for $4 at Wal Mart but other than a few really good deals.

If you are already looking to buy something then you can probably find it cheaper today than other days but I don't know that it was worth staying up till midnight or getting up at 3am for, but hey, that is just me.  Not to mention you can get a lot of this stuff online anyway.  I know, I know, some people just love the thrill of the hunt.  You know what I like better?  Staying at home in our warm, dry house, eating bacon and eggs with a good cup of coffee while buying Talladega Nights for $1.99 from Amazon with free shipping.  But hey, that is just me:)

If you were not feeling all that thankful this Thanksgiving just watch the news.  I PROMISE someone else has it worse than you.  I for one am thankful for all the stuff that frustrates me.  You know...
  • family - nuff said:)
  • taxes - a job
  • traffic - a car
  • weight - food to eat
  • dirt/dust - all the stuff I clean
  • yardwork - a house
The list could go on and on.  So for at least one day out of the year I try to look at the bright side of all the stuff that makes me crazy.  But that was yesterday... now I need to deal with my crazy family as we complain about "wealth redistribution", 280 traffic, how fit we use to be and wonder when I will find the time for all my house work and get the flower beds weeded.


Illusion is the first of all pleasures.

Oscar Wilde

The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts.  No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving.  
H.U. Westermayer

Al

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Biking

We got the Triplets bikes for their Birthday.  Well, everyone got them bikes for their birthday.  Bikes are not cheap!  My best friend growing up, the Marine Doc, bought them their new helmets.  I always laugh about how safety conscious we/I am now compared to when I was a kid riding in the "gunner" spot of a station wagon down the highway.

The CFO had the idea to take the Triplets to the culdesac at the end of our street to let them ride some.  The only challenge is that it is at the bottom of a hill.  We made it down and back up with little issues.  The only real challenge was that I was holding/pushing two at once and they had to ride close to each other without running into me, each other or stretching me out too far.

Next up, learning to ride without training wheels.  Maybe in the Spring when I can find a nice hill with a gradual slope.  I taught my self at a neighbors house in his yard.  I want to wait till they want to do it.




For instance, the bicycle is the most efficient machine ever created:  Converting calories into gas, a bicycle gets the equivalent of three thousand miles per gallon.  
Bill Strickland

I'm lazy. But it's the lazy people who invented the wheel and the bicycle because they didn't like walking or carrying things. 
Lech Walesa 

Al

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

An update on the rewards (bribery)

A while back we started rewarding (bribing) the Triplets with chocolate milk if they stay in their beds at night.  It usually works.  I have upped the ante by also offering toaster strudels if the ALL stay in their beds at night.  This has been a rare occurrence.

Last night I got home late from celebrating Nuke Doc's Birthday.  We saw Inception and it is LONG, a great movie but LONG.  When I got home the CFO said "I have something you need to see.  I thought ugh-oh.  See, I dropped the Triplets off at the CFO's work at 4:30 pm and she had the evening with them while I hung out with Nuke Doc and another friend, the Toolman.  Since she had them, or I should say they had her, to herself/themselves I was a bit nervous about what I was going to see.

William was dead asleep in our front hallway.  It seems he had gotten out of bed and upon noticing that the CFO was still awake he decided to just wait her out.  Needless to say, he spent the rest of the night in our bed.  I then woke up sandwiched between the boys this morning.  I just keep reminding myself that there will come a day when they don't want to spend time with us.

One of the indictments of civilizations is that happiness and intelligence are so rarely found in the same person.

William Feather

Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday
Proverb

Al

Monday, November 22, 2010

What to do, what to do

So here I sit with "nothing" to do.  Luckily for me there is a dirty messy house and a yard that needs tending to not to mention my little trio running around me.  BTW, I started writing this at a little before 7am and just finished it a little after 8:20am.  I don't think I will have a hard time staying busy:)

Always gotta keep busy or the voices start telling me to do wild things. 
Steve Brown 

Al

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The sweetest prayer

The Triplets usually thank God for things like Oreos, their blankets and the like.  Or if they pray "for" something is is related to helping someone or a group of people that we have talked about.  The other night when we were saying prayers Jackson said one of the sweetest and simplest prayers:

Please let everyone know the truth of God's love.

Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one's weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.
Mahatma Gandhi

Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.
Saint Augustine

Al

Thursday, November 18, 2010

One more day

Tomorrow is the last day of my contract recruiting position.  Now if I can only remember all the stuff I have wanted to blog about over the last month I will have a lot to write about:)

Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.
Mark Twain

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.
Maria Robinson

Al

Friday, November 12, 2010

The final stretch

I am in the final stretch of my contract recruiting position.  It ends Friday, 11/19.  Like most things I am a bit sad and a bit sanguine about 11/20.  I will miss the thrill of the hunt (recruiting is hunting), the excitement of success in hiring someone and the interaction with other adults not to mention the money:)  But I am looking forward to "using" the 30 hours a week I spent working.  I cherish my time with the kids more already.  I also have a crispy new Black Ops game staring at me just begging me to come play:)

I look forward to being a full time SAHD again but I also look forward to being a recruiter again.

Mistakes are a part of being human. Appreciate your mistakes for what they are: precious life lessons that can only be learned the hard way. Unless it's a fatal mistake, which, at least, others can learn from.
Al Franken

Al

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The CFO rocks yet again!

Anyone who knows anything about marriage knows it is (should be) a partnership.  In any good partnership there is give and take.  So in our partnership I have been taking time away from cleaning because of my contract recruiting position.  This past weekend the CFO gave.... big time!  This past weekend she (we) hosted her parents, her aunt and her grandmother.  She also cleaned the basement (no small task), washed the sheets from the guest beds (also remade the beds with the clean sheets), and cleaned all the hard wood floors but I somehow woke up Monday with no laundry to do.  She had washed and folded everything!!!

OK, I know that sounds good but the best is yet to come...  We have a PS3.  A year ago I was debating whether to buy the Xbox or the PS3.  At the time there was no comparison.  With WiFi and a blue ray the PS3 won hands down.  But now I have since realized that all my friends have Xboxes.  That is an issue as when you play online PS3s do not play with Xboxes.  I guess it is OK to be prejudice in cyberspace:)  As I have been making a little extra money for the family I have been looking at Xbox bundles.  The CFO and I talked about it last tonight.  I will let you be the judge of how great of a wife/partner she is..... her last comment before heading to bed was "it (buying an Xbox) only makes sense if we buy a bigger TV for the living room."

Nothing will work unless you do. 
Maya Angelou 

Al

Monday, November 8, 2010

Holding each other accountable or tattling?

William: "Daddy! .....  Daddy! ....  Daddy!" from upstairs
Daddy: "Yes sir, William"
William: "Jackson got out of the time out spot you put him in!"
Daddy: "He put himself there buddy, he was not in time out"
William: "Oh."

I don't want them to be tattle tails but I do want them to hold each other accountable.  Just another line that constantly moves:)

It is dangerous to be sincere unless you are also stupid.
George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer.
Will Rogers (1879 - 1935)

Al

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween recycling

When we got home from trick or treating we were almost out of candy to give to the people coming to our house.  What to do?  You got it!  Go through the Triplet's candy and give out what they can't eat, hard candy and the like!

Our last trick or treaters just wanted directions out of the neighborhood:)

Hope you had a GREAT Halloween!

Al

A grandmother pretends she doesn't know who you are on Halloween.
Erma Bombeck

Hold on, man.  We don't go anywhere with "scary," "spooky," "haunted," or "forbidden" in the title.
Shaggy

Al

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Week three of working "outside the home" but from home

I have been carving out about 25 hours a week so far.  I have watched no TV, my new video game is still shrink wrapped, the house is not too dirty, the clothes are clean, the sheets are clean, the bed is made, luckily the grass has not grown much and the Triplets are not watching much more TV.  On the downside the basement is a MESS!  The CFO is taking a day off of work to clean it up for our Halloween party this weekend.

Did I mention .... the CFO Rocks!

Sometimes people are layered like that. There's something totally different underneath than what's on the surface. But sometimes, there's a third, even deeper level, and that one is the same as the top surface one. Like with pie.
Joss Whedon, Zack Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen, and Jed Whedon, Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog, 2008

A man's best fortune, or his worst, is his wife.
Thomas Fuller

Try praising your wife, even if it does frighten her at first.
Billy Sunday

Al

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

If it works in politics it might work here

It is funny when you listen to people give political speeches, in political ads, or any type of political rhetoric there is usually mention of the "American Way."  Well, from where I sit it seems the "American Way" includes kickbacks, subsidies, and bribes.  So I figured I would give it a try at home.  Oh, I'm sorry, we call it "rewarding good behavior.:)

In an effort to reclaim our bed I am "rewarding" the Triplets with a tall glass of chocolate milk in the morning if they stay in their beds from when they go to sleep till it is light outside.  Yes, I will change it some when it stays dark late, maybe I will teach them to tell time:)  Of course that could backfire when we try to get them to bed early.  So far it has worked 2 out of 3 nights.  Jackson gave up his chocolate milk last night but I think he might make a different choice tonight as he was most unhappy watching his siblings enjoy their chocolaty treats this morning.


There is no nonsense so arrant that it cannot be made the creed of the vast majority by adequate governmental action.

Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970)

In the last few years, the very idea of telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth is dredged up only as a final resort when the alternative options of deception, threat and bribery have all been exhausted. 
Michael Musto 

Al

Saturday, October 16, 2010

One week down, almost

After Friday I have 22 hrs and 45 minutes of real "work" done.  Keep in mind I still have Saturday and Sunday, depending on when the Agency I am working through ends their weeks.  Things don't seem to be too bad.  I still need to fold some laundry and get it put away and clean some but all in all everything seems OK.

So where did those 22 hours come from?  We did not leave the house two days last week so I could get some housework done while the Triplets played.  No naps for me, I usually got a nap in when they nap.  No TV,  movies or video games.  I have the newly released Medal of Honor game staring at me from the mantle still in its shrink-wrap.  The yard still looks OK though I have not weeded or mowed.  The house is pretty clean but not as clean as we like it.  And finally, about 5 or more of those work hours have come off of my sleep.

But there has been some good that has come out of this so far.  I am much more focused during my "free time."  I also enjoy my time more when I play with the Triplets.  Not that I didn't enjoy it before but it seems a bit more special now.  Finally I am reminded of what a gift it is that I am able to stay at home with the kids.  It is truly a luxury that many are not allowed or not able to do.

One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important.
Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970)

Al

Friday, October 15, 2010

A caviot to the rant

One dear friend mentioned how it is frustrating that everyone seems to "require" a degree these days but she has gotten those jobs when she networked and got an interview.  So I wanted to add a little to my rant.

I can handle it when someone does met one or two of the criteria because I am flexible.  But lets say here is the criteria:
  • Bachelors Degree
  • a minimum of 1-3 years of retail experience
  • local candidates only
  • legally allowed to work in the US for any employer
Here is an example of someone that makes you want to call a candidate and ask them if they can read:
  • Has a "certification" in management
  • Worked for and/or ran a lawn service for five years
  • Lives two states away
  • Requires sponsorship to work in the US
I am all for being flexible but it would be like if you go into the Gap asking for jeans and they brought you a pair of shorts or a jacket.

Have fun and laugh at something today,

Al

A rant on Candidates

If you are wondering where I am getting the time/energy for this little rant it is because I have just finished my second Monster of the day at 11:45pm on Thursday.  The website for the company I am contracting with just gave me this message:  "This site is either undergoing maintenance or is experiencing technical difficulties. Please try again later.    Thank you."  I feel like they just broke up with me by saying "it is me, not you"  :)  lol

Back to my rant...  I have jumped back into a world that few people get to see... the other side of the application.  I know it is a pain and painful to look for a job, apply for a job, and interview with a company. You know why?  Because people are IDIOTS!  The position I am recruiting for clearly states that they want candidates with a 4 year Bachelors degree.  I get High School students and people with a BA from a two year Community College, I think they mean B.S.  :)

Hey, I have been on the other side of the table but like I always say, hate the game, not the player:)  PLEASE, PLEASE only apply for the position you are qualified for and that you WANT!  I cannot tell you how many people are "willing" to take a job.  Wow!  Thanks for doing me the favor of filling a position where you will make everyone else unhappy as you bemoan about how you really want to be a (insert other job) but you took this job to pay the bills.  Not to mention we then have to train you, fix your mistakes then backfill your position when you find another job that is "in your major."

If I sound angry it is because I am channeling the younger me.  I have learned how to laugh at this.  It is part of the job.  But it is also the reason you don't get a response every time you apply for a job.  It is also the reason that it is not easy to apply with many companies much less get an interview.  They want to see how bad you want to work with them.  Unfair?  Yes.  But you know what's fair......   it comes to town once a year:)

P.S. I got 3hrs and 15 mins of "work" in today.


Given a choice between two theories, take the one which is funnier.
Blore's Razor

Resume: a written exaggeration of only the good things a person has done in the past, as well as a wish list of the qualities a person would like to have. 
Bo Bennett 

If you call failures experiments, you can put them in your resume and claim them as achievements. 
Mason Cooley 


Al

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Days two and three

Day two was another stay at home day.  We played outside and I did some dusting, vacuuming and of course laundry.  I also got three hours of work in with my day ending at 11:30pm.

Day three the Triplets went to their day out program and for extended care so I could get in six and a half hours of work.  No housework other than what Roomba did for me and the normal SAHD stuff.  In addition to some system issues that come with any new position I had one great interview, sourced a few new candidates and did some cold calling dealing with the usual somewhat annoyed people:)

Choppy hoey diggy,
Bob Pollard

Al

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Work, day one

On day one of my contract position I squeaked out a measly three hours and eight minutes of "real" work.  Keep in mind this is addition to the Triplets, washing, folding and putting away the laundry, and all the normal cooking, cleaning and other SAHD stuff.  

Back to the grind, I won't even tell you how much money I am loosing by posting this:)

Nobody got anywhere in the world by simply being content.
Louis L'Amour (1908 - 1988)

Al

Saturday, October 9, 2010

No more slacking

It seems that the days of me slacking are coming to an end, at least for a while.  I am helping a friend out at one of my previous employers with some part time (20-40 hours) contract recruiting.  She is helping me out by paying me:)  The challenge as I see it right now is carving out 20+ hours out of my somewhat busy week.

Let's see... The first to go is my time when the Triplets are at their day out program.  They go three days a week and I can put them in extended care to give me about 18 hours a week.  Now, let's see what I do that is non-productive that can be shelved for the next six weeks.  No watching TV, movies, playing the PS3 (this SUCKS because I have the new Medal of Honor pre-ordered and coming in the mail next week), limited blogging, no reading other blogs, and no FaceBook.  If I do all that and give up a bit of sleep I should be able to carve out about two hours a night plus have interviews scheduled throughout the day and weekends.  See how much slacking I have been doing!

I would not want to keep this up forever but for a month and a half I can do anything.  Back before kids I use to go into work around 6 or 6:30 and work till 7pm only to come home and do about two hours of work.  I would also go in most Saturdays for a little while.  Did I mention I was a workaholic?  Now I just need to get back up to speed on the software they use.  Oh yeah, and stock up on sleep:)

The men who really believe in themselves are all in lunatic asylums.
G. K. Chesterton (1874 - 1936)

All things are difficult before they are easy. 
Thomas Fuller 

Al

Thursday, October 7, 2010

No whining allowed

I always get onto the kids for whining but it seems we get away with it as adults a lot.  One case in point is a post from a part time SAHD.

If this kind of complaining was about something more "manly" like work, sports, drinking, etc... the response from other men would be one of the following: turn your skirt around, suck it up Sally, or some other remark to make him fell like he is acting like a girl.  Hey!  Men suck it up buddy.  Forget all this drum beating, emotion sharing, man scaping, metrosexual mess that society has us believing.  We dudes do what it takes to get IT done and we don't whine or cry about it.

On the other hand... what if there is only one woman in a business meeting?  Be sure you have read the article and maybe a few of the comments so you get the full value of my sarcasm here:)  During the meeting the "boss" stops every time he says "you guys" to add "and lady."  This is of course after he makes several comments about not having many women attend meetings and how "special" it is to have a lady in the room.

My point?  SAHDs need to take the high road and let their results speak for themselves.  I guess us guys are getting a taste of what women have had to deal with in business for a long time..... We need to keep our mouths shut and do a better job to be seen as equals.  I am OK with that, are you?  If not, go to work and leave the child rearing to the women, you sissy:)


The secret of life is to appreciate the pleasure of being terribly, terribly deceived.
Oscar Wilde

Old age ain't no place for sissies.
Henry Louis Mencken

Al

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

They say it's your Birthday...

The Triplets love them some Birthday parties!  But who doesn't?  OK, maybe some of us are not big on our own Birthday party, but attending other parties is great.  Of course you have to like a bit of somewhat organized chaos, like I do, to really appreciate them.  I not so secretly like it when kids flip out, their head's pop off, come unhinged and you can actually hear the seams of their universe being torn in two.  You know, a good old temper tantrum, and you can usually count on at least one at a Birthday party.

I know that enjoying a fit pitchin' by a youngster is more than a bit twisted, but I have always appreciated people losing their cool, even when it was directed at me.  Keep in mind that I only like(d) it when I am not emotionally invested in the situation.  That is one of the reasons I loved traveling for work back when I chose to work "outside the home."  People freak out on a regular basis at airports.... "what do you mean delayed!!  I don't care about the storm, get me to ...."   This also rang true when I worked in various customer service rolls.  I saw it as a competition.  If they got me riled up they won.

Fortunately, for everyone else, there were no temper tantrums at our latest Birthday bonanza.  Our friends, the Kiddie Lung Doc, always throw a great party with fun things for the kids to do.  Not to mention the awesome strawberry cake!



  

Think twice before you speak, and then you may be able to say something more insulting than if you spoke right out at once.
Evan Esar (1899 - 1995), Esar's Comic Dictionary

I hope that when I die, people say about me, 'Boy, that guy sure owed me a lot of money.'
Jack Handey (1949 - ), Deep Thoughts

Al

Friday, October 1, 2010

Changing seasons

I love the Fall but I do not like the challenges it brings with it... what to dress the Triplets in.  In the mornings it is cool but it heats up to the high 70s/80s.  Add to that being outside playing in the sun and it gets warm.  So I am going with my favorite look... long sleeves and shorts.  I see it as the perfect blend.  It helps keep your core warm and your legs get the most warmth from movement so they don't heat up in shorts.

It also means their backbacks get a bit heavier as they need to have extra clothes for cool and warm weather.  It is also a good time for me to rotate the extra clothes I keep in the van, my backpack and our go-bag.  I feel bad taking up to three outfits out of the rotation but I choose the CFO's least favorites.

Autumn, the year's last, loveliest smile.
William Cullen Bryant

Al

Thursday, September 30, 2010

To go or not to go, that is the question

Thanks in no small part to family and friends we have the opportunity to go see the last launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery.  We would also loop in a trip to Disney as they are reasonably close to each other.  That is the good news.  The bad news?  The launch is scheduled for 11/1 so we would miss Halloween traveling, it is VERY spendy, and it is twelve hours away.

So we need to make a decision.  Go or no go?  Let's look at each choice in more detail....

Go flight:
  • Twelve hour drive did I mention we have four year old Triplets?
  • Once in a lifetime chance to see the last launch of the Discovery
  • Large crowds and long lines
  • Disney
No go:
  • Trick or treating with the Triplets
  • We host our annual Small Group Halloween party
  • Save the money we would have spent
Normally I am all up for the challenge of long lines, spending money, lots of traffic, cranky kids, and large crowds but with it butting up against Halloween I am torn.  If you ask the kids they want to go trick or treating.  Recently we are more and more convicted that we need to use our money more wisely.  You know, the way God would want us to spend it.  Which makes my soul feel good but the rest of me (the fleshy part) feels no bueno.  

So we pray.

Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the drug store, but that's just peanuts to space.
Douglas Adams 

That intelligent creatures exist in outerspace is proven by the fact that they have not contacted us.
Loesje 

Al

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Love the sarcasm

If you have read my blog then you know I love sarcasm.  I found this post the other day and would like to share it with you.  It is titled Over Protective Mothers.


Sweater, n.:  garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly.  
Ambrose Bierce

Al

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The two hour breakfast

Jackson is the TOD (triplet of the day) so he got to choose breakfast.  He chose pancakes, but just any pancakes but blueberry pancakes.  But wait, there's more... he wanted Mickey Mouse blueberry pancakes.  No problem, well, almost no problem.  We only have one Mickey Mouse pancake form so I was/am limited on how many I can make at one time...  one.  I just finished, seriously.

I despise the pleasure of pleasing people that I despise.
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (1689 - 1762)

Al

Monday, September 27, 2010

Being green

I am no Al Gore but I try to be "green" when I can.  Unfortunately I do not have a private jet to fly around saving the planet but I try to reduce my carbon footprint when possible, where possible and when affordable.  BTW, do we REALLY think we are "saving" the planet?  Let's be honest, we are trying to save US, the humans.  As George Carlin would say "the earth can shake us off like a bad case of fleas."  The planet will eventually heal itself, it has time, we do not.

Back to trying to be green like Al Gore minus the jet and the beard.  Packing the Triplets' lunch for their day out program got me thinking... a rare thing these days... well, OK just rare:)  I use 6-9 plastic bags each day for their lunch that end up in a landfill.  I have read where people use organic cotton bags for food but then they would need to be washed which uses water and electricity at a minimum.  BTW where do we get off that using electricity is good like in electric cars?  Most electricity comes from coal plus in those cool eco cars you have batteries which will end up where?... in a landfill!  Back to my point.  Or I could use containers but they also need to be washed and they might have BPA in them.  Luckily the Triplets' got their smarts from the CFO so they have plenty to spare but I want to limit the loss of brain cells where possible.

Don't report me but we actually drink tap water...ooooooo!  I know, how radical.  Sometimes even unfiltered.  That's right, sometimes I even run with scissors and drink milk past the expiration date.  Don't try to stop me, I will only take you down with me.  We do use some bottled water but primarily to keep in the van for when we need it on the road.

Now to the affordable part.  I switched their sippy cups a while back to BPA free stainless steel insulated sippy cups, to the tune of $12 a pop!  So I spent $72 plus tax just for each of them to have two cups, one for water and one for milk.  Did I mention that I am already sending four of them back for warranty repairs?  It seems that been green is not always kid proof.

Time to go burn some fossil fuel!

There is a sufficiency in the world for man's need but not for man's greed.  
Mohandas K. Gandhi

Al

Saturday, September 25, 2010

What kind of Man are you anyway?

A recent post on Daddyshome Blog got me thinking what does it mean to be a "man" these days.  That also begs the question of what it means to be a "woman" but I am not touching that one with your ten foot pole.  It seems that there are a lot of different schools of thought from which to form a definition of what a man should be/do.

Biblical - Don't even try throwing Timothy 5:8 at me.  If you do try to use that verse you first need to define "provide."  The word provide shows up 101 times in the NIV according to BibleGateway.com.  Looking at those verses it does not seem that "provide" means go to work and make money.  But hey, that's just me.  If you want to get Biblical on my why don't you try focusing on Ephesians 6:4.  I see way too many Dads exasperating their children and I don't see any Religious "Leaders" doing sermons on that.  I have to admit I am also guilty of it from time but then I try not to throw too many stones, I am too busy worrying about my glass house:)  Also, does anyone consider that the only "true" view of what God really wants a man to be is in Genesis before the fall?  The rest of what the bible says about the relationship between men and women is because of the fall and thus, in my mind is not what God "really" wants of us.  BTW, you either take EVERYTHING in the Bible literally or EVERYTHING is in context.  You choose which way you want it before you start throwing verses my way:)

Personal Experience - Many if not all of us develop our definitions of what "should be" from our experiences. For instance if you are a fan of Mr. Mom, ala 1983, then you probably envision SAHDs as flannel wearing, beard growing, slobs using 220, 221, whatever it takes to get it done.  Or maybe you have read about or met men that do stay at home but don't like it.  

Worldly - Whether we admit it or not this is why most of us scoff at SAHDs.  People always like looking at the 50's and previous decades as the ideal to be lived up to.  Of course you don't want to look past 1920 or women couldn't vote.  You do still think women should vote right?

Here is a little sarcasm on the subject.  OK, more than a little:) - I mean wanting them to be barefoot, pregnant, in the kitchen making pies is one thing but they should be equal to men on somethings right?  Oh, I get it... they can vote but only if they vote the way their "man" tells them to.  I mean, we don't want them thinking for themselves.  If they start doing that they might start getting crazy ideas in their heads like that they can talk in Church.  If they start that foolishness they may start wanting to do a man's job.  Being a secretary or waitress is one thing but do we really want women to start getting advanced degrees?  Sure they can be a teacher and teach boys and girls but we wouldn't want them thinking they can teach men things.  If they started doing things like that who would watch the rug rats while we are out with "the boys" and making all those great decisions like what country to invade next.

Don't even get me started about what to call us SAHDs (Stay at Home Dads).  I know some guys get all sensitive about wanting to be called something else but that sounds a bit like whining to me like how you have to say "do you work outside the home" to women.  I am OK with saying I don't work.  I am a SAHD and proud of it.  But in case someone wants another acronym I propose "THE Man" with "THE" standing for Tactical Home Engineer.  If someone doesn't like what we SAHDs do then they can just go pound sand.  I think it is a far worse sin to be a workaholic and ignore your family while justifying it as "providing" for your family.  If someone thinks being a SAHD is sad, a sin, don't respect it or think someone that does it is not being a man then I only have one thing to say...... jealousy is such an ugly thing ;)

Jealousy is the tribute mediocrity pays to genius.
Fulton J. Sheen

My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard.  Mother would come out and say, "You're tearing up the grass."  "We're not raising grass," Dad would reply.  "We're raising boys."  
Harmon Killebrew

He didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.  
Clarence Budington Kelland

Al

Friday, September 24, 2010

The McWane Birthday party

A big THANK YOU to all of our friends at the McWane Science Center for a GREAT Birthday party last weekend!  Of course we went with the animal option for the kids.  There was a Madagascar hissing cockroach, a spotted gecko, a Malaysian leaf frog and a chinchilla.

 


 


Another big THANK YOU to all of our friends a Publix for not one but two awesome cakes!



The Triplets loved blowing out their candles.




After all the fun in the party room everyone played in the McWane Center until about three or so.  The Triplets love the touch tank.  Yes, that is a shark:)


It's never too early to panic.
Unknown author, provided by Kelly Netherton

It is better to wear out than to rust out.
Bishop Richard Cumberland

The only person to get all their work done by Friday was Robin Crusoe.
Author unknown

Al

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Kids say the darndest things

I taught one of our children's classes at Church last night.  I really like interacting with the youth at our Church for two reasons.  One, I get a glimpse of what I am in for with the Triplets.  Secondly, I get a chance to listen to them.  It seems I learn more about myself than they learn during our time together.  Hopefully they get something good out of it too:)

Last night we were talking about respect and how you don't have to like someone to respect them.  I asked them for examples of people that they do not always like but they need to always respect.  I got some expected general answers like parents, teachers, coaches, etc...  They also mentioned some specific names but one kid took the cake when he turned to me and said "my Mom doesn't like you."  I laughed out loud.  He tried to continue/explain but he was quickly interrupted by the barrage of others' answers.  I told him that that is OK and we moved on.

I was actually a little excited at the news as it is a running joke with the CFO that "everyone likes Al".  I now had more solid proof that just is not so:)  There is actually someone we are friends with that says they don't like me just because everyone else does.  Jealousy is such an ugly thing:)  But with a wife like the CFO, great kids like the Triplets and the "cush" job of being a SAHD who wouldn't be jealous?

There is always more misery among the lower classes than there is humanity in the higher.
Victor Hugo (1802 - 1885)

Jealousy is all the fun you think they had.
Erica Jong

Al

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Someone got overlooked when they handed out cake


We are not sure how it happened but unfortunately Jackson got overlooked when the cake was handed out.  When I took this picture I wondered why he was sad and I did not find out till we got ready to leave and he asked for cake.  Don't worry, he has gotten more than his fill since then.  We also told him to be sure and tell us when he wants/needs something.  But I still feel terrible about it.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The third time is the charm

Saturday we had the third and final Birthday party for the Triplets.  This was the Big One at the McWane Science Center.  When we entered the Science Center we were greeted by William.....


In addition to being a finalist in the Birmingham Parent Cover Kids contest the Triplets are in the latest edition of the McWane Center's magazine, Eureka.  Well, all but Jackson.  He was a bit more interested in playing than having his picture taken during the photo shoot.

I would have the pasted the whole cover but it seems that my all in one printer/scanner is on it's last leg.  So all I can get is a partial scan till our new one comes in.

If you haven't already, don't forget to vote for them!

I have no use for people who throw their weight around as celebrities, or for those who fawn over you just because you are famous. 
Walt Disney

A very quiet and tasteful way to be famous is to have a famous relative. Then you can not only be nothing, you can do nothing too.
P. J. O'Rourke

Al

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Birthday, take two

The CFO takes the Triplets' Birthday off each year so we can have a day of fun.  She even gave me another Birthday gift by letting me sleep in till nine!  She rocks.  When I got up everyone was fed, bathed and dressed.  More rockage.  We soon took the Triplets to the basement to show them their bikes.  To say they were excited was an understatement.  Of course I had to explain to Jackson that the spiders on his bike were Spider-Man stickers which meant he did in fact have a Spider-Man bike.

We quickly realized that our number one rule even applies on Birthdays.  After a few meltdowns, temper tantrums and wrecks we headed to IHOP for lunch.  After lunch we went to the kiddie casino, Chuck E. Cheese.  They even have a game that is almost just like a slot machine including a lever you pull.  "The Man" starts his indoctrination early.  It is always interesting "teaching" them to play each game.  My favorite is Skee Ball.  Of course it is a bit challenging getting them to roll the ball verses throwing it.  Over the next two hours or so we blew through 200 tokens having fun and earning enough tickets for our trio to each get a package of pop rocks and their own cotton candy.  Let the sugar rush ensue.

After a good nap back at the house we headed to Publix to pick up some dinner and get them a small ice cream cake.


All in all we had a great day.  One celebration more to go....

Times have not become more violent. They have just become more televised.
Marilyn Manson 

Al

Monday, September 13, 2010

Your awesomeness is only surpassed by your humility

A little while back one of the CFO's friends from College visited with her family.  Her teenage daughter and I have a very brief but funny conversation.

Teenager: I am awesome!
Me: Your awesomeness is only surpassed by your humility.
Teenager: Huh?

To be humble to superiors is duty, to equals courtesy, to inferiors nobleness.
Benjamin Franklin

Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.
Albert Einstein

Al

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Entitlement

I saw an article yesterday that made me think of the entitlement that we all feel from time to time.  Whether that be as parents, Americans, Christians, or whatever label we or other people put on us.  Here is the article for you to read: Message to parents getting louder: No screaming babies allowed!

First, some observations...
The article, like many articles or news reports, it is written to incite a reaction from the reader.
The sign that the restaurant posted saying “Screaming Children Will NOT Be Tolerated!” is seen as being anti-child rather that pro-quiet. If it said "Cussing Will NOT Be Tolerated!" would people that regularly use profanity feel discriminated against?
The restaurant in NY that banned strollers was also seen as anti-child rather that pro-safety and pro-service as a bunch of strollers could block the space between the tables.  If they banned parking bicycles in the restaurant would bikers get mad?

I see more and more that everyone wants everyone else to conform to what they want.  If someone smokes they want to smoke everywhere.  If someone doesn't smoke they don't want people to smoke anywhere.  Parents want to let their kids act any way they want and go anywhere they want with them.  People that are child free want kids not to be seen or heard.  What happened to voting with your feet by going somewhere else?

It also seems that everyone wants proprietors to cater to them also.  It seems eating and drinking establishments must have the following sections:
Child free
Smoke free
Cell phone free
Casual clothes free
Tattoo free
etc....

How about a "complaining free" section?  I suggest one simple sign for every public place "Use common sense or choose somewhere else to eat."  I know common sense is uncommon these days but let me suggest some initial common sense rules:
  • If your child is screaming and you cannot calm them down in less that a minute or so then take them outside.  
  • If your cell phone rings, answer it and go outside or away from others to talk.
  • When talking on a cell phone use a "normal voice" (under 70db). 
  • If you are unable or unwilling to talk under 70db then text them.  
  • At meals your child needs to stay in their seat.
  • If they do not stay in their seat then take them to the car.  
  • If your child makes a mess then you clean it up.
I have three four year olds and try to follow these rules.  Yes, it means that I sometimes eat my food at home rather than at the restaurant.  Yes, it means that I need to be "inconvenienced" by my children but guess what.... I chose to have kids.

If people don't start using common sense then Congress will legislate it.  Oh, wait, they already do, they tell restaurants what they can fry food in rather than letting us choose where to eat.

OK, I am off the soap box, for now:)

No one asked me to be an actor, so no one owed me. There was no entitlement. 
James Earl Jones 

I don't have a sense of entitlement or that I deserve this. You'd be surprised at the lack of competition between nominees - I think a lot of it's imposed from the outside. Can I have my champagne now?
Cate Blanchett

Al

Friday, September 10, 2010

Birthday, take one

Just like last year we are having a Birthday extravaganza that involves multiple parties.  Take one was at Mimi and Granddaddy's on Labor Day.  A lot of the in-laws made it for the last minute party.  The CFO and Uncle Tommy fired up Granddaddy's new grill to cook steaks for the adults while Granddaddy cooked hamburgers and hot dogs on his old grill for the kids.  Everyone had a great time and the Triplets came away with some cool toys like a Bat Cave, a baseball set, a boxing set, a cool frog game (even me and the CFO like to play) and books.


Now I just need to finish getting those bikes put together:)


Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.  
Chili Davis

Thanks to modern medical advances such as antibiotics, nasal spray, and Diet Coke, it has become routine for people in the civilized world to pass the age of 40, sometimes more than once.  
Dave Barry

Al

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Birthday alert

We are less than a week away from the Triplets' fourth Birthday!  We are giving them bicycles for their Birthday.  But being a man you know that I can't do things the easy way:)  

Addison's wish is easy.  She wants an Ariel (Little Mermaid) bicycle.  Thankfully there is a Disney Princess bike that has Ariel on it.  Jackson wants a Spider-Man bike.  There is one that is for sale many places but it is two pieces of sheet metal welded together and it received very poor reviews.  The biggest challenge was that William wanted a Batman bike.  There was one for sale earlier in the year but I dragged my feet and now, no bike.  There is a "Dark Knight" one that is the same as the Spider-Man one.  What to do?.....

I came up with the great idea of buying the boys two bikes that I could "transform" into Batman and Spider-Man bikes.  By "transform" I mean remove all the stickers and purchase replacement Batman and Spider-Man stickers.  But for some reason that sounded too simple so when reading about the bikes I saw where the wheel bearings in the bikes rarely had much grease in them so they did not spin very well.  Upon delivery of the bikes I noticed that this was true and the pedals did not spin freely.  No problem, buy new pedals and repack the bearings!

True to form I have taken an easy task, buying bikes for the kids, and made it morph into a project that requires additional purchases of stickers, bike tools and a bike stand.  I love being a guy:)

We confess our little faults to persuade people that we have no large ones.
Francois de La Rochefoucauld (1613 - 1680)

Men don’t want anything they get too easy. But on the other hand, men lose interest quickly.
Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire

Al