Archives for December 2016

Leaving The Hotel California

Less than 24 hours from now I’ll leave Hotel California and be on my way back to Texas.

It has been a pretty damn good trip, but I am starting to crawl out of my skin with anticipation and thoughts about what needs to be done to secure the future I am working on for the family.

Can’t do the work here in California, has to be done in Texas and though I know I should just relax and enjoy the moments here it is hard.

I am not a fan of long goodbyes.

I do better when I just go.

Pull the bandage off in one giant swoop and not in parts and pieces.


Blinded By…

There is not as much support for my having taken this challenge on as I would like and more than a few people have questioned me.

I suspect we silently look at the other as being blinded by ignorance/passion or whatever other descriptive words you wish to use.

It frustrates and angers me to get the sort of push back I have gotten and I wonder if they have any idea what their behavior sets off inside my head.

I wonder if they understand that attacking me only makes me more determined to prove them wrong and to do what it takes to move vision to reality.

Part of me takes a deep breath and asks if it is possible they are right and another says “maybe” and reminds me it is impossible to find out without walking through the door.

No risk, no reward.

I tell the kids I understand their concerns and that they have been heard but that doesn’t mean I am going to shift gears.

Can’t stop now, can’t not go the distance and find out for certain if the dream I dreamed is possible.

If I can make this happen the way I think it is going to be good for all of us. Less stress, more opportunity makes me more relaxed and a better father.

So I asked them to trust me when I say I have their best interests in mind and remind myself they can’t be expected to understand or see things the way I do.

Can’t screw an old head on young shoulders.

To the others I say get out of my way or risk an unpleasant encounter because I cannot not do this.

2017- Possibility Meets Opportunity

I suspect people will loosen up as time goes by and I am given more opportunity to show what I am doing and what I have done.

But ultimately things won’t really get easier until they can see firsthand what I am talking about and experience the benefits of the change.

That is a hard road to hoe and doing it the way we have chosen to roll has really made it harder, but I can’t go back in time.

Can’t do it differently, can only go down this road and play out the hand.

So I remind the kids about the importance of maintaining a positive attitude and why I think 2017 will be a year in which possibility turns into opportunity.

Off We Go

Time to go where Fire Meets Water and revisit some moments and memories.

The intersection between their lives turned their worlds upside down and inside out. It forced them to reconsider all they once knew as true and made them question all they thought they were as individuals.

Had they lived during the age of magic they wouldn’t have questioned any of these things. They would have accepted the things their hearts knew as truth even when their heads questioned them.

But they didn’t grow up during the age of magic so they relied upon what they knew to be true…science.


Those who dare to be more, to have more and to do more have to accept the burden of walking through the fallow fields as well as the green. The only way to get to the other side is to go through.

And once you accept that you survived the moments that you thought would stop you in your tracks and understand how to read the map upon the scars, well then you are on your way, aren’t you.

Happy New Year

Daughter Stumps Father: Hard Questions

I am rarely at a loss for words and even if I don’t know the real answer to a question I am fast on my feet and easily capable of providing something that sounds like it might be right.

But there was a moment in time in which my daughter caught me with a question that I didn’t have the foggiest idea how to answer.

It wasn’t something I had ever thought about having to discuss in the sort of detail she wanted so I punted.

You probably should ask your mother.”

P.S. If you want specific details click on the link above and then come back to read the rest of the post.

We’ll wait.

Daughter Stumps Father: Hard Questions

I thought about it because my darling girl asked me today to share the hardest question she ever asked me and I decided I didn’t feel like having that particular talk with her.

Don’t mistake that to mean I haven’t or won’t talk to her about boys because I have and I will.

But I am certain the “halfway through 7th grader can’t wait to be older” would be horrified if I told her exactly what she said when she was 6.5.

So I redirected the conversation and asked how many boys she is talking to on the school chat and how many she interacts with on Instgram and Snapchat.

“Dad, were you listening to me talk to Kathy?”

I shook my head no and asked why.

“Because I gave her advice for how to deal with Dylan. Are you sure you weren’t listening?”

I smiled and told her no but she said she didn’t believe me.

“You hear everything, even when you don’t look like you are listening, you usually are.”

“Dad has superpowers and super hearing. Don’t forget that.”

She rolled her eyes at me, gave me a hug and asked me to leave her room.

“I want to have girl time with my friends. You can go now.”

Things Are Different Now

Girl time doesn’t mean that she had friends over because in the modern world technology means you can have friends over via Facetime or any number of other video chatting services.

I hadn’t gotten out of the room before the giggling started and muted voices called after me, “Ask her about James” followed by my daughter telling her friend to hush because I might actually ask.

His name is one I haven’t heard before which makes me wonder if maybe there is something to him, at least in her eyes.

I made a point not to react, nor did I ask her about him later. Better to make a mental note to follow up later on.

Too much attention to these things might cause her to shy away, just as no attention might make it awkward later on.


I have worked hard to make sure she knows she can ask me questions about anything and have promised to be honest with my answers, and I have been.

But there are moments now where it feels like I am winging it more than ever. That is not a bad thing, just a part of how it goes.

Still if you asked my darling girl, she would tell you it is because things are different now.

All Things In Their Time

I used the quote to prove to my daughter that some things never change.

She sort of rolled her eyes at me, but smiled and I smiled back.

It is a little game she and I sometimes play. She likes to tease me about being old and I like to pretend to fall asleep while she does it because you know us old men need our naps.


One of the other old men in my group of old friends called the other day to catch up and to ask a favor.

“Do you want to beat up a 17-year-old boy for me? If I see him I think I might have to run him over with my car..”

“Is death too good for him or will a simple beating with rubber hoses and hammers work?”

He laughed and told me to just wait.

“One day your daughter will have a boyfriend and you’ll be subject to all sorts of fun. She’ll have you on the roller coaster. Heart break to happiness to heart break to happiness and it won’t just be her because her mom will use that as an opportunity to practice her future mother-in-law skills.”

I laughed and told him all things in their time.

“You think you have control, but hormones don’t care what parents think.”

I said he was right because I remember what it was like to be the kid with raging hormones but I figure there is plenty to worry about without being concerned about dating.

The unofficial rule is that it can’t start before 16 but that is sort of a fast and loose decision that was made without any real thought.

Can’t say yet whether it will be enforced or if it will need to be. I just know that as of this moment in time, I still have time and I am going to take advantage of it.

643 Ways To Cook Your Mother-In-Law

There probably are more than 643 ways to cook your mother-in-law but I cannot share nor recommend any of them.

Not because I can’t bring myself to write them down or cut and paste them into existence but because this blog doesn’t promote cannibalism, murder or serious mayhem.

Minor mayhem maybe, but major or serious…not usually.

However we do like to air our the archives and share posts that not everyone has had the privilege of reading and or commenting upon them.

  1. The Hijinks & Shenanigans Of Angry Lost Lovers
  2. If Your Son Wasn’t A Jerk
  3. Please Give Me A Second Chance
  4. The 867 Finest Recipes For Cooking Your Cat
  5. Unfriending Proves People Hate You
  6. Does Your Past Dictate Your Future?
  7. You Won’t Become Smarter But You Might Be Sexier
  8. Sometimes You Run Towards Danger

So there you have a tiny sample of some of the sorts of content you find here.

Ten thousand posts or so and counting. Might update this a bit later with some more original stuff for you to read but figured an update with links for those who have never been exposed is better than none.

Just Click Your Heels

It is a traveling day here at the Shack.

Got a quick trip to take and I am a mixture of nerves and excitement. Feels strange to be leaving home to go home.

But I am excited to see my family and looking forward to playing with the dog.

Yeah, I mentioned the dog specifically because I speak with everyone else by telephone or Facetime and that furball doesn’t always respond when I am on camera.

He did lick the phone the other day, but I can’t say it is because he saw my face and heard my voice.

Had he smelled me I would be certain, but that didn’t happen and that is cool. I don’t think I am ready for smells via Internet.

What Part Am I Playing Today

Having made the big move for the job without the family has ensured that I get time to explore some of my roles more intently than I might otherwise do.

That is because when you go from living with people to not living with anyone you find yourself with an enormous amount of time to just sit around and think.

It is a double edged sword because it doesn’t take long for you to start to miss the chaos and confusion that comes along with the rest of the family.

And because you cannot help but think about how fast time goes and that your children don’t stop growing when you are not around.

My oldest is turning 16 this month which means it won’t be all that long before he is out of the house.

Doesn’t matter whether it happens at 18 or 21 because the reality is the bulk of our time living together has passed.

That is a bittersweet thought.

If I have done a decent job raising him he’ll go off and become a productive and self-sufficient member of society.

That is the goal and the hope.


My youngest is 12.5 and racing towards 13 as fast as she can go which I guess means we are around the halfway mark.

That is so damn surreal to me.

Go back 13 years and I have a toddler roaming around and negotiations about whether we are going to try for more than one more kid.

Go forward the same and I’ll be 60.

Sixty freaking years old and my kids will be in their twenties. I might even be a grandfather by then, though I am not pushing for that.

Let them have kids when they are married and ready.


So today I move back from playing the part of working stiff who traveled abroad to try and provide for his family to dad with kids in pocket.

That is pretty damn cool.

Just Click Your Heels

Can’t make like Dorothy and just click my heels so I have to finish packing in a moment because my flight is in about four hours.

I am hopeful it is an easy trip and that we don’t get stuck on the tarmac or in security.

Hopeful it is easy to sleep and if not, well I finally bought a kindle and have loaded it with a ton of books.

I still prefer a book in hand, but this is an acceptable compromise for travel, certainly easier than the five or six books I would otherwise lug around.


Got to run now folks, see you on the other side.

When Did Gen X Become Old?