Happy Birthday Dad…

Today is my fathers birthday. He would have been 70 today. I say would have been because he passed away just over 2 years ago, losing a battle to cancer. I miss him everyday, but there are really three days where it hits me the hardest.  Today (his birthday), my birthday and the day he passed from this life to the next.

My relationship with my dad went through many changes. There were times I hated him, there were times we just didn’t see eye to eye. There were times (many of them) where he was my best friend. Father, friend, coach, advisor and role model he wore many hats and fit into many different roles. As I reflect today (as I do many days about our relationship) I am pleased to think of the good times. I also think of the lessons he has taught me both while he was alive and after he passed (yes, we never stop learning from our parents) and how they have helped shape me into the man, husband and father I am today.





I hope and pray that I set as good an example as a father myself, and that I wear many hats as well as and in some cases, better than he did.

Another Important reminder, Don’t make this a habit.

I originally posted this on LinkedIn

I am not always punctual, and even this morning, I totally missed a call, from someone who wants to help me find my next employment opportunity. I was fortunate to know this person well enough for her to realize this is not a common occurrence for me. I try to be as punctual as possible.  After having a child, being on time to anything is a monumental challenge.

While stewing on missing that morning call, I was reminded of an article I read a while ago.  The article was  pretty easy to find and has made the rounds on social media a number of times.  I wanted to post it again, here you go.


I saw this one as well, which holds similar sentiment.



Like it says in both articles, there are times where you are going to run late, but this is meant for that person we all know, the one you ~know~ can’t be on time to anything, to save their lives.

Just another friendly reminder.



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When you read the word LOSS it has so many connotations and meanings it is really hard to really wrap your head around.  I hate that my first post of 2016 has to be about loss, but I have really been impacted by it in the past week.

Over the last four years, my entire world has changed so much with the addition of my son to both my and New Mom’s lives.  But this post is about loss, not gain right?  Yes. but watching my little guy has allowed me to observe the world through an infants/toddlers eyes.

As I noted in the opening of this post, loss has so many meanings when you just say the word. if you were to play word association games with a group, you will likely get a lot of different responses to ‘loss’. The other night new Mom brought the little guy home from nana’s house and after a while he was playing and stopped, looked at me, gasped audibly and said in a panic “I left my blankey at nana’s!” this was not true, we actually unpacked it and put it in his room, but he did not know this. the situation quickly turned to near hysterics with cries of ‘I lost my blankey’ from a panicked young guy. after some soothing and assuring that the blankey was indeed fine and in our home, I got to thinking about what loss means as a toddler or infant. This made me realize that loss is a lesson we never stop learning throughout our lives.

When you are an infant or toddler. Loss is generally exactly as I just described it. You realize that something is amiss or gone and have a panic attack about it (trust me, this will continue throughout our lives, just see me if I can’t find my phone!).  The situation is usually quickly resolved through deflection or locating the missing object. And then often (but not always) forgotten as other distractions are presented. It really is our first lesson in loss.

As we get older, we get into school and loss starts to occur in other ways. Sometimes you lose a friend because they are going to another class and made other friends, or for whatever reason, they move away. This loss sticks with you longer. You are reminded of the loss over and over when your friend isn’t there to be able to play with you.  As we advance in school we learn of love, having our first crush, first girlfriend/boyfriend and often those relationships run their course, resulting in lost loves, never an easy lesson. We love and lose again, but never forget our first real heartbreak.

Advance a few more years and you start to experience your first true loss with the passing of extended family members. Hopefully you had great experiences with grandparents, Aunts and Uncles, ect. I myself only had three surviving grandparents when I was born and was 35 when I lost my final one (Grandfather on my Dad’s side).  This loss is profound, and has a much deeper impact. Time always wins and the lesson loss teaches you is that of mortality.

Then as time moves on, we start to lose friends, other loved ones. If you are fortunate, you will not be impacted by tragedy, and the losses will be from natural causes. Our understanding of loss is there, but sometimes accepting it can be  harder. I lost my own father a couple years ago and I still struggle with the void that is left behind. That is a loss I still feel the most of all.

I noted experiencing loss in the past week. I lost a very dear friend after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. His name is Richard. I knew him through the Ohio State Alumni Club of Orange County. Both he and his wife Peg made me feel welcome here in California when I first got here and became involved with the club. I felt very close to them both. When I was informed that he had cancer, I was absolutely crushed, like being punched in the stomach. It was very hard. He had battled this very deadly cancer for well over a year and every time we saw him at an event was a blessing.  We found out a short time ago that he took a bad turn after thanksgiving and was being admitted to hospice care. He passed away over the weekend.  The loss I feel is very deep, as this was a very religious man who was a great friend, husband, father and grandfather. The type of man who sets the bar high for other men to aspire to.

The final type of loss I will talk about is the loss we experience when someone (not related to us) that we idolize or respect passes on. The day after Richard passed on, one my (and many others) musical icons, David Bowie passed away. This loss is very different. Its a strange feeling, when one of your idols passes on. When we lift these individual to a higher level. We hang on their every word, treat what they say or write as gospel. when we lose one of these heroes, we take it pretty hard.  It feels like a part of that era of our life has left , even if our outlook has changed.

Loss will never stop teaching us lessons, and unfortunately I was in class this week.

Then there are ‘those’ days


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I am sure I am a lot like most parents, we love the hell out of our kids, most of the time.

I would move heaven and earth for my little guy. I would take a bullet, jump in front of a moving object, rush into a burning building to save him.


…there are those times. The times when I want to see if it is not too late to leave him in front of a hospital or fire station (I checked, it is too late). Every parent has those moments.  Whether it be the tantrum in Target where you just want to leave the little one screaming on the floor and walk off (can’t do that either, and DON’T try) or the kid that makes your heart stop because they were there one second, gone the next (trust me, it is that quick and the scariest moment(s) imaginable, until you find him in the middle of a clothes rack or wandering through the toy section). It drives us (parents) out of our heads.

My personal favorite, and the one that drives me from zero to crazy in the shortest amount of time is this phrase: ‘not you dada.’  I hear this DAILY! the little guy has a clear sense of what dad does and what mom does. At least when we are both present. When it is just me, there is no issue, I am able to do everything, but when we are both here, it is all new mom, all the time. Drives me crazy that I am cannot:

Take him to the restroom

Put him in his car seat

Take him out of his car seat

Brush his teeth (or monitor him)

Dress him.

Those times I feel like an extra, not a participant and it drives me absolutely crazy. Completely out of my head.  I have to admit, I don’t take it very well. I want to be a part , to contribute, and when this occurs, I definitely feel excluded and out of the loop. I try to not let it get to me, but it is a hell of a lot easier said than done.

I love my little guy, and would do anything and everything to keep him safe, even if I am not allowed to put his shoes on, because “momma do it” and I just want to lose my mind.

UPDATE: 1/14/2016

I got a bit of traction on this post and a few people reached out to me to provide some feed back. The overwhelming message is that I will be dealing with “no, momma do it” throughout my entire life. I was even told of some good friends 15 year old son who came into the kitchen at 6:30am and asked my friend where his mom was. This friend explained that she was still sleeping and he replied, ‘OK, but where is she?’. His reply again was ‘she is sleeping, in bed, what can I help you with this morning?’ The sons response was ‘nothing, I will go get her’ and off he went.  Definitely a shaking my head moment.

Once upon a time, I used to run


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I really, really like to run. Really I do, I promise that is not a lie.


…if you were to see my training log, you would see that I have not run more than three miles or more in a very long time, nor have I run more than twice in a week for the past three months.

So if I really (really) like to run, what’s my damage?

I wish I had an answer that involved an injury, or a prolonged illness that has me incapacitated or living in a decontamination chamber.  Unfortunately the truth is not quite that exciting.  I really have no excuse nor reason as to the drought I have been going through. If anything, I should be running more than I have been in a long while.

I have been unemployed for the past couple months. I spend a good portion of every day in front of the computer, and when I am not looking for new employment, I am watching our little man. I am very appreciative of the time that I have been spending with him during this transition and I know I will miss it once I am working again.  This post is not about the time I AM spending wit my son, it is about the time I am NOT spending on the pavement.

So as I just said, I have been unemployed for a couple months. It is starting to get a little old. I am ready to go back to work. When you are unemployed, you tell yourself ‘I am going to workout twice a day, run so many miles, etc.’ but the reality sets in. you find your day fills up quite quickly. Your priorities change and your good intentions of becoming an elite athlete go by the wayside. Another amazing thing happens when you are unemployed, you feel like you would have loads of free time, but it disappears at an alarming rate, and not on mundane things. On actual things that need to be completed.

I have gotten so bad that replacing my running shoes ( I am LONNNNGGGGGG overdue) has taken a backseat. Partially because of the cost involved (I have expensive tastes in running shoes) partially because I have not been making the time to run, so why am I going to spend the money to have a perfectly good pair of running shoes sit in the corner, taking up space?

Part of this is nothing but pure, unadulterated laziness. I should be getting up, lacing up my shoes and getting out for at least 3 miles every morning. As any runner will tell you, you have to keep doing it, your stamina will drop off so quickly. I can barely get a mile in before stopping to walk. that is completely unacceptable, I user to be able to go much further before stopping. BUUUUUUTTTTtttt, I haven’t been doing that. The weather being colder has definitely been a factor as well (and any runner will tell you, unless it is dangerously cold, that is about the LAMEST excuse (not a reason) in the world). I enjoy being comfy in my bed in the morning, when I should be out there hitting the trails.

SO I feel the pull to get out there, but my lazy behind just would rather stay in bed. I will make an effort to get out there to finish 2015 with a some sort of effort. If I can do this, maybe I will find a way to justify the purchase of a new pair of shoes!


We will see…

Another example of why it is so difficult to be a parent.



Today the entire Los Angeles Unified School District made the very difficult decision to close EVERY school today due to a credible terrorist threat.  In light of what happened not too long ago in San Bernardino, I am sure they were erring on the side of caution. and I applaud that.

As part of the collective, I wanted to know as much as possible and when San Bernardino was unfolding before our eyes throughout the day, I wanted to watch the news, to hear the latest. Our little guy kept asking “dada, what happened? Did someone get hurt?”

How do you explain something like that to a three and a half year old? I turned it off and told my little guy; “Yes, people got hurt and the police and paramedics are there to help those who got hurt.”  I even asked my pastor how do you tell a three and a half year old that evil like ISIS exists?

When I saw this:


I know I am not alone. I thought this was a great response to the events of today.  Every parent is different, but I am happy to have read this perspective. I hope you do as well.

When I fall off the horse…

…I sure do it right!

I have a confession to make, I love writing.  I absolutely love it. I love putting thoughts and feelings into text. I really enjoy updating this site.

So why has it been so sporadic this year?

I have a million excuses but no real reason. Lack of time, lack of motivation, lack of content. All of those are very lame excuses and not reasons.  As some of you know, I have battled depression off and on over the past decade, and when I am down, I am really down. I don’t want to do anything, write, run, spend time with people, nothing.  I am sure that has something to do with my lack of content, but that can’t be the only contributing reason.

Writers block?  Yup, there have been more times than I care to admit that I have sat at the keyboard with a million things to write about and can’t get a damned word out!

So what is a writer who loves to write but doesn’t seem to make to the time to do it to do? (yup, that was as hard to write as it was to read!).

Get back on the horse. Just hope it does not buck me off again!

The best memory you ever tasted


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I was headed out to lunch with one of my best work friends and we were talking about different foods we liked, and Greek food came up. She was talking about a place she went to that was very delicious. I mentioned a local Greek chain and we both agreed while good for a Greek chain, it was not the best Greek food we have ever had.

This brought our conversation to the entire point of this post. I told her about the best Gyro I have ever eaten. Originally being from Columbus Ohio, I spent more than my fair share of time on the campus of the greatest University in the world, The Ohio State University (Start eye rolling now, as that statement will bring a lot of contention). On campus there were two little Greek take outs called Greek Village. They had cheap but delicious Greek food and 99 cent Gyros (yup, NINETY-NINE CENTS(this was the late 80’s). I will never forget how good those Gyros tasted to me, whether after record shopping at Singing Dog records or Magnolia Thunderpussy (both GREAT shops) or after a late night of drinking at the local bars (Purity, Mean Mr. Mustards, Travel agency), you HAD to stop and get a Gyro.

I love Gyros. I order them when I am in a Greek place almost every time guaranteed. but they will never taste as good as my memories of those delicious Gyros from Greek Village. if I were to have one today, I am certain I would be disappointed, as those sub-dollar Greek treats are probably not as good as I remember them to be, but I have elevated to a near mythical level in my memories.

We all have a place like that in our minds. maybe a local pizza shop that has closed down. Maybe a specialty from your home town (I am thinking Skyline Chili, Cincinnati). We all have that special moment, we have all had that ‘perfect’ slice of pizza, the greatest mac and cheese we have ever had, been to the best fish and chips shop in the entire UK (ok, maybe not everyone has that memory, but I will never forget the fish and chips I had at a shop across from Maine Road in Manchester before Seeing City play Portsmouth).  We all have had that taste nirvana, where we convince ourselves that whatever it is we are eating at that moment is the pinnacle of taste, and there will never be a better as long as we live.

I would like to hear what your magical item, that ‘best (XXX) I ever had’ was. Please feel free to comment.

Potty trained (that was easy)



I am blessed.

I am blessed.

I am blessed. I have to remind myself of that sometimes when being a parent is at its most challenging (and believe me, there have been MANY of those moments recently(that is for another post)).

Why is it that I say this? Because my wife, Newmom is awesome. She is a great friend, a great partner and a wonderful mother to our little man. One of things that she has done with him is go at her own schedule and pace. It has made a HUGE difference. I can say that something that every parent has to hear is ‘oh my, your little one is still (wearing diapers, using a pacifier, breastfeeding, uses a bottle)?’ There is a palpable pressure to get these things done when everyone else expects you to have completed them.  Everyone has an opinion, everyone has advice. There are so many books, sites and other resources that dictate what the ‘experts’ recommend…

…screw all of them.

Yup, I said it. Every situation is different. That is one thing Newmom learned early on and honestly could care less about what all of the expected timeframes were. She also didn’t care if someone said “Your little guy is still (fill in the blank); she has gone at her own pace and knew exactly when she wanted to reach each milestone.  I feel that because she went with what and how she felt, achieving these milestones was made so much easier.

Don’t get me wrong, there have been challenges. Weaning him off breastfeeding to bottles had some very difficult moments, for everyone in the house. For some of the other milestones…

…I am blessed. Our little guy has gone through changes pretty easily. I know other parents that have had a rough time and I feel badly because for us it was relatively painless.  I thought for certain that weaning off a pacifier was going to be rough, but newmom did it in days (while I was away on business no less, THANK YOU NEWMOM!). Weaning off of bottles had its challenges, but the experience did not lead newmom and I straight to the liquor cabinet. Then came the big one I had been dreading, potty training.

Newmom started when she felt it was time, even hearing from friends ‘when is he going to be potty trained?’. she had a plan ready, that we would spend an entire weekend at the apartment and get him out of diapers over that weekend.  We had a few accidents that weekend, but sure enough, by Sunday night, he pretty much nailed it! he took to it very well, staying dry overnight. He still wears pull ups to bed, but it has been some time now and I can count on one hand how many times they have been wet in the morning. He will get up in the middle of the night to get us to take him to the bathroom.

There have been accidents. the good news is none of them were due to time running out as we frantically searched for a suitable bathroom. A number of them are due to him not wanting to stop playing with his cousins. maybe he felt like he could hold it a little longer. Maybe he just didn’t care. But overall my fears of potty training, while well founded, were eased as we went through the weekend. I felt like I needed the ‘easy button’ from staples.

Have I mentioned that I am blessed?