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Sunday, September 13, 2009


It's me again.

Summer slipped away in the blink of an eye. Mostly because I was busy as shit at work but also because I've been spending too much time wrapping my head around the world of social networking over at places like facebook and twitter.

Also I've started blogging around at Dadcentric and writing about music again over at Shockhound.

So until I can get back into the routine of some sort of regular posting, let's take a look back on what has happened on or around September 13 the last few years.

In 2005, there was frogs, hub cap sized turtles and my quest to stimulate my stay-at-home-dad mind with books. 2006 I was talking about bodily fluids and in 2007 I had to start putting the sniff test into action. Finally, last year I was giddy over my son playing football.

Just a month later, I would shed my stay-at-home-dad status and rejoin the working world after landing at job at All About Beer Magazine.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

They're Back!

A few years ago we had a couple of Carolina wrens build a nest in our shed. I startled the chicks one day and they all scattered about.

I thought I had chased them away.

But a little research told me that they mate for life and are territorial. So I wasn't that surprised to find another clutch of eggs a few months later.

Last year they got an early start laying eggs in mid-April.

So I was surprised to not see my little wrens around this year. They were noticeably absent year both in song and sight. I had discovered one nest by a bush out our front door but that turned out to be a robin's nest. It turns out that they too are monogamous.

Then I discovered a nest outside my bathroom window but the bird's call was distinctly cardinal.

I couldn't help but wonder what happened to my wrens.

And then today, just a short while ago, my son went to get his bike out of the shed and said a bird darted out at him.

Sure enough, my wrens have returned...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Extreme Parenting

My foray into extreme parenting began way back when I turned my sons on to DEVO.

And then there was the tattoos.

Add many hours of watching Rocket Power and Disney's Recess surely could earn me a trophy worthy of the mantel for my parenting skills.

Last summer there was those heat wave days we spent getting to know the Wildboyz which some said led to a lapse in judgement on my part.

And of course I can't forget the mad cred I got for having a Chest Pains song used in an episode of Rob & Big.

Now my boys are all about Nitro Circus.

I can't fault them for being fascinated by these daredevils.

I myself grew up on Evel Knievel and his many attempts to jump his motorcycle over things so it wasn't a surprise to walk out back the other day and see my boys launching their bike off of a ramp trying to get their old mini BMX bike to jump the creek in our back yard.

Nope. I wasn't surprised at all.

[Nitro Circus airs Sundays at 10pm on MTV... but they show reruns during the day!]

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Who Got Da Funk?

There are two different bus stops I use to catch the Number 10 DATA bus into work. One just has a bench and it out in the open on the sidewalk, the other is covered and can offer shelter from the wind and rain.

Recently it was pouring out so I got a ride to the stop that was covered.

I was standing there just looking at the sheets of rain coming down, sideways at times, when I looked down and spotted something. Always in the habit of carrying my camera around I snapped a picture of it. I wasn't sure what it was but upon closer inspection I deducted it was exactly what I thought it was: poop.

Clearly, someone had to go so bad that they squatted on the edge of the bench and took a dump. Looks like they use a combo of a stick and sliding off the edge to wipe themselves.

I still had a good ten minutes before the bus came and now all I could smell was the nasty stench of human poo.

Then I looked down behind me and saw some on the sidewalk where I was standing.

"Fuck!" I said and started noticing it everywhere.

I took a quick look at my shoes and was quickly relieved to find that I hadn't stepped in it. The thought of shitting on a bus with poo wafting up my face made me gag.

And cough.

God it stunk.

Then I walked out into the rain and rubbed my shoes in the swollen gutter just in case; I had a vision of sitting at my desk at work smelling nothing but this smell all day.


I was reminded of the time I worked as a bellman at Washington Duke Inn, a hotel right across from Duke's West Campus and just down the road from Duke Hospital. These two facts are important to note because it meant that two kinds of people stayed at the hotel - Duke douchebags and rich people in need of care at the hospital.

One fateful day I was unloading leather bags out of a high-priced sports car when I saw an elderly man approaching me. He sported a grimace on his face as he walked my way. I lifted a bag out of the trunk and turned to put it on the luggage cart.

He walked between me and the car.

I turned around to find a shit patty sitting right in front of me.

"Where'd the fu..?" I was about to drop the F-bomb in front of some guest.

In a matter of seconds you could smell the diarrhea.

"Damn!" I said.

I told the guest to hold on so that I could go get a maintenance man to clear it up.

As I walked toward the double doors to enter the hotel I notice two more poo patties on my way.

"Motherfucker," I said under my breath.

And then I opened the double doors...

And saw one in the doorway and then two more in the lobby. Apparently he got the elevator as well.

Needless to say, I spent the rest of the day inhaling disinfectant fumes and the unbearable essence of poo.

Back the the bus stop.

So later that day on my walk to the bus stop I got caught in a downpour and had to run the last five minutes to the bus depot arriving soak to the bone. It was as if I just jumped into the shower with all my clothes on and jumped back out.

My shoes squished as I sat down on the bus.

The rain must have unleashed all that lives in my shoes because ever since then all I can smell is the funk.

The shoe funk.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Order Here

It's been one crazy weekend after another up in the joint.

So until I can process the visit by Dan Esptein, my weekend in Northern Virginia on business when I got snowed in and was force to hang with MVS or the 80 degree weekend here in NC and the family's Eno River hike (and now were bracing for 40s and rain again), I offer you up this photo.

[Galaxy Hut in Claredon, Virginia; February 2009]

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Off To The Races

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"I'm ready," said Cole.

"He's ready!!" said the neighborhood kids in unison.

My wife came in from outside.

"He's ready Greg!" she said.

"Okay great," I said. "Cole is ready."

"Quick," she said. "Come take off his training wheels... he's ready to ride a two-wheeler!"

I dropped everything and dashed outside.

Tools where handed to me.

"Wrench," I said.

I felt like a hunky doctor on a popular TV show.

I removed the training wheels safely and checked the tires to make sure that they were inflated to the correct pressure.

Cole saddled up as his friends looked on.

But the backyard proved to be too muddy so we moved our bodies to the front yard. The kids cleaned up all the pine cones just in case so Cole wouldn't fall on them. And then mom gave him a push and he was off, turning around half way down the front yard to see if she was still holding on.

He saw that she was not.

"Again, again!" said everyone.

But the front yard was proving to be too small; it didn't offer up the space he needed especially if he wanted to turn around. So we all walked up to the street and BAM! off he went.

I remembered when Spencer got race fever and demanded that his training wheels be removed. Spencer was 4 at the time, Cole is now 5 and a half.

Now Cole is officially part of the crew, the posse, the OBC.

It's moments like this (and this one and that one) that are the true rewards of parenthood and being a dad.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Dear Blog

I'm sorry I have neglected you over the recent months.

I know you don't like the fact that I have been spending most of my time with that instant gratification whore Facebook.

I apologize for forgetting your birthday a few weeks back. I was reminded of this yesterday when I got into a discussion with a co-worker about her husband's upcoming vasectomy procedure and it occurred to me that I needed to stop in and say hello again.

It's not that there hasn't been plenty to write about, I mean the bus ride is still full of surprises especially when Shoe Shine gets on (because everybody seems to know Shoe Shine), and researching and writing about beer has yet to bore me.

It's just that by the time I get home and do the dinner with family and homework with the kids, I don't have much left in terms of thinking capacity and energy to jump on and crank out blog posts.

But things should start to pick up again as I feel like I have finally gotten past the transition from being a stay-at-home dad to a 9-t0-5 working stiff...

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Rock You Like A Hurricane

A couple of months ago, I spent the day at the the local hockey arena chasing down a story.

Here it is.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Sound Of Cracking Ice

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What do you do with your kids when it is like 20 degrees arctic out?

Why you go for a walk.

Our outdoor adventure started in the backyard, where the boys marveled at the ice they were finding everywhere. We spent a good portion of our early morning foray into the wonders of a frigid Mother Nature trying to figure out how thick the ice was in the creek in our backyard.

It was thick enough for the boys to stand on but began to crack when I stepped on it.

"Let's go to the lake!" said Spencer.
"And see if it is frozen."

Curious myself, I agreed to take the five minute walk over to Clark Lake but only after we retreated inside for a spell to warm up.

About an hour later, we once again bundled up to make the hike; it wasn't far by any means but shoot if wasn't freakin' cold out.

On the way the boys were thinking about all the things they could do on a frozen lake like ice skate and play hockey. It didn't matter that they didn't have skates or sticks but such is the joy of young minds.

My wife assured us all that it indeed would not be frozen, that the lake was "too deep" to freeze.

She was soon proved wrong when we walked up and saw the entire lake frozen over.

My and the boys started throwing rocks on the ice and the sound of the rocks hitting the frozen water made this odd reverberation noise.

We all just looked at each other with open eyes - it was a sound they had never heard before and one I hadn't heard in many, many years myself.

It was all we could do to get them to not run out there on the ice.

So I set out to prove a point.

I walked over to the edge of the lake and grabbed the branch of a tree and put the weight of one foot on the ice.


I put two feet on there and stomped with one... and the sound of ice cracking began to bellow out through the air. There's really no other word to chose and that one is poor at best.

Once my foot broke through the ice to make a hole to the water, the acoustics changed and from underneath the ice came an even eerie, inexplicable sound.

At that moment we saw a blue heron fly over the lake.


On the walk back we saw couple of blue birds.

"Freaky," said Cole.
"They are like brown but then when they fly away blue," he said.
"That's weird Dad!"

We went back again today, but the weather had warmed enough that the lake wasn't totally frozen.

We still threw rocks on to the frozen section and listened for that odd sound.

Like a long, steel coil unraveling is the best I can come up with to describe it.

Today was a good day.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Yum, Yum, Yum


I'm no chef but I like to cook.

This Christmas I got a Thai cookbook, but not just any Thai cookbook - I got the quick & easy thai.

So Sunday night I dove in and made yellow curry chicken with potatoes.


Total ingredients? 8

Coconut milk, yellow curry paste, chicken, chicken broth, potatoes, onion, fish sauce and brown sugar.

Doubly awesome.

Leftovers anyone?

[9 if you include the basil...]

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