I am actually an older parent and here are the signs

Do my kids need anything?
Me, on a good day, I feel like this…

So some people say you are only as old as you feel. If that’s true, I am very old.

Others say you are only as old as you want to be. They say age is a matter of perception.

I perceive cancer surgery scars, gallbladder surgery scars, and tail bone spine surgery scars as some of my battle scars of aging.

Anyway so there are a few signs you may be an older parent of young kids, based on my experience, here are the top six (I’m too tired to think of ten):

1. You have a whole bunch of prescription bottles in your medicine cabinet for various issues, physical and psychological….check

2. Servers in restaurants address your children starting with “Its so nice your gramma and grampa are taking you out today so they can spoil you….you want ice cream for dessert?”

3. It hurts to get out of bed. Physically, bones crack, tendons stretch, and dread encompasses all your thoughts about this new 16 hour day ahead, beginning with “I dont wanna brush my teeth!” and ending with “I dont wanna take a bath” or “I dont wanna go to bed!” and filled with “can I….can I…Why can’t I…..How come you never…..”

4. You hate them sometimes when they are brats, feeding off your exhaustion. You want to just tell them to fend for themselves. You want to eat the last bit of chocolate ice cream in front of them and tell them “Too bad…I am hungry. Eat your vegetables.”

5. Friends ask you why you waited so long to have kids.

6. You ask yourself why you waited so long to have kids.

There have always been poor predictions in this world my kids will live in

Rutherford B. Hayes, U.S. President – The telephone is a great invention but who would want to use it anyway?

Lord Kelvin – Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.

W.C. Heuper, National Cancer Institute – If excessive smoking actually plays a role in the production of lung cancer, it seems to be a minor one.

Spring 1962
Dick Rowe, executive in charge of evaluating new talent for the London office of Decca Records, re: signing The Beatles – Not to mince words, Mr. Epstein, but we don’t like your boys’ sound. Groups are out; four-piece groups with guitars particularly are finished.

June 26, 2004
Paul Bremer (after transitioning the govt from the US Coalition Provisional Authority to the Iraqi govt a day early to thwart planned terrorist attacks and before running onto a chopper so he wouldn’t be attacked on the way out) – I leave Iraq gladdened by what has been accomplished and confident your future is full of hope.

May 31, 2010
Tony Hayward, CEO of BP, when asked about the burden of 11 employees of BP dying from an explosion of an oil rig, as well as the big Gulf of Mexico leak, and his having to answer for it, given that he was CEO – I would like my life back.

The Olden Dayz
Mark Twain – Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it.

Some Parents Should Chillax – Very Bad Sports Parenting

Mean grizzly bears should back away from angry sports parents
Mean grizzly bears should back away from angry sports parents

So I’m observing my older sons soccer practice, and everyone there is mellow, but over on another field is a baseball game of little kids.

Here’s what I learned (based on parental reactions):

1. Jonny didn’t get enough field time “you prick” – said one parent to the coach.

2. Joshua sucks as catcher.

3. Cindy, the one girl on the team, needed to keep running to third “for Chrissake!”

4. The twins, Caleb and Isaac, aren’t going to get pizza after the game because they “didn’t give it their all, and I’m very disappointed in you….is that what we talked about in the car? Huh? Quitters?”

5. Bad call by the ref. I could do better than that…. – said every parent.

6. That one kid is too old to be on the team…”He’s too big…since when did they let sixteen year old’s play on the twelve year old team….that’s bullshit!”

7. Gaylen ducked when the ball came flying at him, preventing a concussion, but “could’ve got that one, bud!”

8. People swear ALOT. Even the guy with the ponytail and the tie dyed “Peace” tee shirt.

9. Tim’s dad missed a good play by his son because he was looking at something on his cellphone.

Some parents, man…..

Mn Twins game delayed for rain, but not my 5 year olds tee ball game.



So my four year old, who doesn’t have a contract and doesn’t receive a paycheck, had to play his scheduled tee ball game where everybody wins and no one gets out – last Saturday- in the rain….with a muddy wet field.

The “league” wouldn’t cancel it since it wasn’t a dangerous thunderstorm….

Cuz they care, I s’pose…..

My son already knows that as a competitive game, it’s bogus. He asks me why he can’t run to second base after a big hit where the fielder, another four year old on the opposite team, is caught facing away from the plate and watching a plane fly overhead. …they fly low cuz we have a field next to our international airport…MSP…hey…even I looked up to watch it!






It’s Free, Willy….Whales Don’t Have To Pay

please free this big fish thing
Its ALIVE!!!!!!!

So I am temporarily a stay at home dad (ie unemployed) and my wife is working in her successful career (she’s like that one song from the 1970’s “I am woman, hear me roar!”)

Anyway, she was roaring at me the other night to do the dishes, since I had been slacking.

So I went to do the dishes when my son came into the kitchen to ask me when I would be picking him up from school the next day.

Except I didn’t hear him properly.

He said: How close to three will you be tomorrow?


I heard: How close to Free Willy will you be tomorrow?


So I answered him.

I said: Well, Jack, I don’t plan on ever being close to Free Willy since one, he’s a whale, and two, he’s free and I doubt he would come to Minnesota as we live in a landlocked state, not including the Mississippi River…..however, I don’t think he’d even try to swim up that for obvious reasons not including salt water and not forgetting…well…I mean…do you realize he’d have to cross through the Panama Canal to get to the mouth of the Mississippi unless he took the long way, which I doubt he’d try and, of course, there is the Suez Canal….so…why did you want to know the answer to that question….isn’t it obvious?



Homekit By Apple Scares Me Because I Don’t Want My Garbage To Fight Back

Ambitious, but do we really want our toaster to call out "hey stupid, your bread is burning!"
Ambitious, but do we really want our toaster to call out “hey stupid, your bread is burning!”

So I hear about Apple Homekit from their presentation at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.

I immediately think of HAL from “2001: A Space Odyssey”, telling Dave not to turn him off.

Uh oh...or as Scooby Doo would say...Ruh roh....
Uh oh…or as Scooby Doo would say…Ruh roh….

I then move forward, albeit briefly, to “West World”, A movie about a robust robot amusement park where Yul Brenner kills a bunch of people and other robots kill people in the control center.

Where nothing could possibly go "worng"
Where nothing could possibly go “worng”

Then my mind wanders to the recent Johnny Depp film “Transcendence”, but then I laugh it off since computers will not be that ridiculous anytime ever.


There was a movie of the week I recall in the 1970’s called “Colossus: The Forbin Project” that I thought was scary. I was very young and my mom was feeding me candy and homemade oatmeal cookies, so I might have just been high wired, unlike like I am now.

1970's groovy computer goes bananas
1970’s groovy computer goes bananas

And as I look at my Tempur Pedic pillow, I wonder if it would someday be able to suffocate me in the middle of the night because I snore too much….or would my ResMed CPAP machine (for snoring) come to my defense and declare war against it.

Ahhh....good for the neck, unless it strangles me....
Ahhh….good for the neck, unless it strangles me….
CPAP machine and all attachments that are connected to your face to help you sleep...not intimidating at all
CPAP machine and all attachments that are connected to your face to help you sleep…not intimidating at all
The actual mask I have to wear....do I even have to explain the risks here?
The actual mask I have to wear….do I even have to explain the risks here?

Who would win in that battle?

And why did I just refer to two home objects as “who”?

My Son…The Tree

My Son....The Tree

So about 25 minutes (after the Big Bang, Hadean, Artrean and Proterozoic as well as the early Phanerozoic eras (ugh!)) into the “History Of The World” pageant held outside presented by the fifth graders at my sons school…he arrived on “stage” (stage defined as grassy knoll, alot like the one where the fourth shot that killed JFK came from, sans hill).

By my quick calculations thru my phone app, I figure he was on the stage for about 10 million years (20 minutes), I think….

He made it through what I call the Age of Aquarius (That was the soundtrack blasted for this part in the pageant – everyone loved it, including the older parents who remember the original song and mouthed the words).

Anyway, I am proud of him for being so stoic.



The first disappointment of getting a toy in the mail…

Not this Frenzy (Hitchcock movie from the seventies...although this was a good movie)
Not this Frenzy (Hitchcock movie from the seventies…although this was a good movie)
This Frenzy was a cheap toy.....his leg fell off and his arm did also......the bubble wrap it came in was more fun to play with
This Frenzy was a cheap toy…..his leg fell off and his arm did also……the bubble wrap it came in was more fun to play with



So of course, Dylan, age 4+, after watching a Transformers movie, wanted to get the Decepticon “Frenzy” and we looked it up and bought it online for him.

He was pumped, seeing the picture of the toy in action (it showed Frenzy jamming into Air Force One’s computers and thus jamming into the classified files of the Pentagon)…

He wanted to stay home from pre-school the day the toy was scheduled to arrive in the mail.

He was gonna use the ‘bad guy’ to get into my laptop and wreck it. A novel way, I suppose, having smeared chocolate all over the keyboards and stomped on it already.

So the toy comes in a little box, addressed to Dylan. We saw it sitting on the porch, hand delivered by the mailman. That only added to its mystique, cuz he knows normal mail gets put into the mailbox of our home.

He rips open the box in a frenzy (!!) of activity, and tears off the bubble wrap.  For a moment, he started having fun popping all the bubble wrap and forgot about the prize still in the box.

So I pulled it out of the box…the little Frenzy toy….and handed it to him. When he grabbed it, one of the Frenzy robotic arms fell off.

Then, as he attempted to make it turn into a boombox…which is what Frenzy does to hide from Earthlings…one of the robotic legs fell off.

He dropped it onto the porch and cried…then walked back into the house

I picked it up and brought it into the house. I threw it into one of the toy bins he has.

He was already back on his nook, playing the Basketball Stickman game he had bought (!?!) and downloaded from the Google Play store.

Note to self: Change the Google password so he can’t buy games anymore.

“My HD Color Nook Isnt Charged for me to play a game!” and other First World Problems Brought to my Attention by my Four Year Old son Dylan

Dylan vintage nook

Poor child…..he had to wait for his nook to charge back up before he could read an educational book play a Sega game on it.


It would be totally charged but he forgot to insert the charger plug into the nook before bedtime last night.


Rookie mistake for a four year old, I know….see…he was so upset  like a crack addict having to put the nook down last night and go to bed and have story time – using REAL BOOKS –  Dr Suess Cat In The Hat, etc. or maybe Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (sp?) or something like that (he died recently)….

Perhaps today will go better when he downloads more games from the play store books for first world children from the B&N website……


Well I have lower back pain and I found out why!!!

....on my back, knees first (ouch)
….he gets ready to jump on my back, knees first (ouch)….while I lie on the floor watching “Frozen” (again).

So observe the little boy in the photo, and note his posture…..Now…imagine that jumping on your back REPEATEDLY over a period of 4 and a half years while you are watching “family” movies (ie cartoons)…his knees jab right into my lower back.

See, he means no harm, so I merely absorb the pain, and ask him to stop doing it or he’ll have a timeout. His fear of that lasts only for the evening, as he is back in business jumping all over the place by the very next evening.

Anyway, now that I am no longer addicted to opiates, I am forced to deal with this back pain in my lower back, right hip and right leg…I cant even stand or walk longer than fifteen minutes….

So I guess I have a protruding disc, at L5-L6, and its smashed up against my sciatic nerve. Cortisone didnt help, so I’ll be getting a surgery for it.

If I end up crippled, I am blaming him. And he’ll have to sit around and watch MY movies!