Search This Blog

Thursday, July 29, 2010

That Smell

I don't know about you, but certain smells conjure up specific memories for me.

And if anything conjures up the past and all those things that made me who I am today - bmx, skateboarding, punk rock - it is the smell of a new pair of Vans.

This week, I passed on the smell of new Vans to my oldest son.

At some point in the near future, I'll introduce him to the pungent smell of Rector pads.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday Foto

crashed_car, originally uploaded by greg.barbera.

I took this picture with my phone a few months ago. My boys and I had gone back to one of our favorite spots - Bolin Creek - from when they were in preschool.

We used to hang out at the park there and walk the bike path up to a spot where you could climb down to the creek's bank. We'd often skip rocks here (and keep and eye out for snakes).

The last time we went I saw this faux Hot Wheels car wedge between some rocks, clearly washed up and jammed in there from heavy rains. I wonder what the story is behind this little lost car?

Sunday, July 18, 2010


I don't know why or how it came to be, but the word pantalones has become a term of exclamation with my kids.

If somebody rides by on a Harley or passes the car in a monster truck, they yell out, "Pantalones!"

I'm still unsure of whether it is a term of endearment or a something you say to jone on somebody.

Either way, it's something that deserves to be exclaimed during momentous moments.

Yes, I just said "momentous moments."


Saturday, July 17, 2010

That Guy

A couple of weeks ago I picked up a new camera.

I was finding myself in a pinch at work more and more for the need for a simple photo that didn't require paying a professional photographer. I needed a cheap, utilitarian point-and-shoot that I could carry around and put to use when duty called.

And besides, I think I can take a decent photo.

I was surprised to find just what a digital camera can do these days, especially one as affordable as this handy little Sony.

Face Detection? A Smile recognition function? An "easy" mode?

WTF? This thing does everything but wipe my ass... and it comes with a 96-page manual (as a pdf file of course).

I took it out to lunch one day to experiment with the settings and modes and basically just try to familiarize myself with the thing. I snapped a picture of my lunch. My co-worker looked at me as I readied the camera by my plate and said, "You're not going to be that guy."

"What guy?" I said.

"The guy who takes a picture of everything he eats," said my co-worker.

I laughed.

"Oh, that guy," I said.

That guy.


Friday, July 16, 2010


Two summers ago, against my better judgement, I let my kids entertain themselves with TV programming for the adult set.

Parenting is difficult enough but can be made more difficult when you have friends like this.

So it is with great pleasure that I share this moment of bliss - my boys filming me giving the creator of Wildboyz and director of Jackass 3-D a mamba. A white mamba at that...

Monday, July 05, 2010

I Drive In Silence

I had just bought a new car. Okay, not new, but used, and was on the Interstate. The windows were up and the radio was off.

In the silence I listened for sounds.

The sound of mechanical problems, the sounds of an airplane chasing you, pretty much any sound.

And smells too. Like oil, transmission fluid, all that good stuff.

Buying a ten year old car can be nerve-racking to say the least but making sure it is up to snuff is a must. My brother thinks I'm delusional and paranoid. But I invested in a AAA card none the less. It's been a few weeks now and the Subaru Forester is doing just fine. It survived a five hour trek to Maryland and is slated for another lengthy haul to South Carolina next weekend. On the way to Maryland, the boys watched a DVD for the better part of the drive... so I drove in silence once again.

The return trip had them sleeping for a a better part of it, and again, I drove in silence.

My dad used to drive in silence. And it used to drive me bat shit crazy. "Turn on the radio at least," I'd think to myself. "Talk radio even," I'd think. Just give me some static to counterbalance all the quietness that enveloped the car. These were the days before Walkman and iPod my friends.

I remember feeling liberated when I got my first Walkman because it meant silence-free road trips, even if it was only a radio version and I had to scan for local rock stations in central Pennsylvania or the Jersey Shore when all I really wanted was some Minor Threat.

And yet now I have become one of them now.

One of the silent drivers...