About Paul

A caffeine junky just trying make sense of it all.

The fog

Today is a foggy day here in Philadelphia. On the left you see my normal view of the invasion. On the right is that same invasion today. No less ominous surely, but man alive can that white wall bring you down.

Fog is a funny beast, it makes you think that the world doesn’t exist beyond it’s veil. that by walking through it you can watch world be created, and scenery destroyed as it passes out of view. A floating orb of self, a pathway through your day. Even in this connected world we live in where electronic signals reach out and bring data back from beyond the veil I am quite certain that everything is gone beyond that curtain. Anything else but this tiny little office is a myth. The people who come in from the veil must surely be fake, or plants.

These are the thoughts I think when i have too much time on my hands and coffee in my veins. Every single time we have a foggy day like this the same thought comes back to me, rushing in like the thick walls of clouds pressing in on my brain. Maybe you’ll remember this little vision the next time the world closes in around you.

Winning

This is a personal article.

I want to be fair to anyone who might read this, most of you are losers. I don’t mean that in the nasty sense, but rather in the context of this game. You are all competing for second place, you see I won already, 11 years ago. 11 years ago I asked a certain lady to “go out with me”, and she said “sure”. In fact I haven’t stopped moving since our first date.

Today is the 6th anniversary of the victory lap. 6 years ago today I married someone so different from me in many places, and so alike in all the right ones.  She complimented me in all the areas that I was lacking, and matched up in all of my strengths.

I’m a stone cold geek, I love sci fi, lord of the rings, she hits the dramas and chick flicks. I tell long puns and she hates them. I’m a coffee and beer guy she is tea and martinis. I’m tall, she’s short. Lots of differences, but the journey is fun.

Somewher along the way she became the mother of quite possibly the two coolest kids on the planet.

We work together, at the same company. Have for over 7 years, and some people still don’t put two and two together. We commute an hour each way together, and we love to eat. Hell right now we are even on a diet together. She is winning. I have no tips or tricks to make things work. We just try to work things out as we go, lots of communication.

So you all need to look for the 2nd best girl out there. Because this one is mine. 6 years ago today I married my best friend, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Family

I always knew while growing up that I wanted to have a family, just needed to find a lady crazy enough to stick with me. I found such a lady almost 12 years ago, and we married 6 years ago this May. writing those numbers almost seems surreal. Its been a long time of a good thing, through good times, and rough times we’ve been there for each other.

Our family started to grow 4 years ago with the addition of Paul Jr, and finally filled out completely just last year with Amber. It sounds sappy, it sounds ridiculous, but holding y two crazy kids in my arms, makes me feel complete. I know its a bit early in life to call this a win, and there are a lot of life left to work at but its going to be fun with this crew.

I think the most surprising part of being a father is sharing my particular brand of humor with the world. Look out people…

 

Fan Generation

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There is something special about baseball. Walking around the park with my daughter in my arms or my son on my shoulders we’re building memories. Are they going to remember the horrible 9-0 showing? Not hardly. Will they remember the green grass and crowd roar? Hopefully.

Passing fandom on the the next generation is a special and rewarding game where no one looses

Tired? Not Me

How do you judge your body’s ability to stay awake? I usually sit at a rather highly caffeinated level, but I can still function before and perish the thought, without coffee. Coffee is merely a little extra hitch in my giddy-up, a little jet dry in the dishwasher of my day.

I find it fascinating how different people take to sleep. For instance my wife who NEEDS at least 8 hours to feel her best, and that 8 usually starts early. Myself, why I need, at least 4 hours of sleep. Just 4 to feel fine and ready to go in the AM. The problem with the second child has been that those 4 have been disjointed since she arrived. 7 Months now and we still get the random middle of the night adventure. And she isn’t even teething yet.

Part of my own personal issue is that I always feel like I’m missing something if I’m not awake and engaged into something. I have to force myself off the grid, away from a book, or away from a Game if I plan on getting any real sleep. I don’t ever have a problem getting to sleep either. If TV is boring enough i might nod off, i just don’t want to sleep. Been that way most of my life too. I can and have pulled All nighters, but they don’t suit me. I figure 20 productive hours is better the an extra 4 at less than optimal performance.

How does anyone else function? Are you a long sleeper or a circulatory hyper miler? Do You Nap? Night owl or Early bird?

Snow Joke

Beware the wrath of the Snowpocalypse is upon us once more. Repent and be saved by warmer climates. News media are a little late on the Snowpocalypse bandwagon, they completely missed snowmageddon, and snowmageddon 2 electric boogaloo, Perhaps they will catch on before Son of Snowpacalypse? All the hype, and the names thrown about were a joke people… a long sad little joke. Made to make fun of the media and their hyper reality… By adopting the terms and actually using them to sell your bread and milk you’re taking all the fun out of it! Put away the live team coverage for pete’s sake and let’s hear a bit about the news of the day. Yes its cold, yes it snowed. Move on, and find a nice fun story to report on… you know like reporters should.

The only thing the weather really changes is which citizen’s get on my nerves on a daily basis. Don’t shovel your snow into the street… It causes problems. Get your rear end onto the sidewalk when walking around. Just because the street has snow it doesn’t mean I get to drive on the sidewalk does it? And last but not least if you didn’t clear a foot of snow out of your spot put the trashcan away.

Try and live by a little Bill and Ted. Be excellent to one another!

Paul Out!

How to grow a geek

I am a parent…

OK now that I’m done scaring you i have a question. If you are a geek / nerd and you would like to advance your plan for eventual world domination by growing the next generation of geeks / nerds. How do you do it? You can’t force awesome content down their throat, it tends to make them rebel and watch dancing with the stars or something. No Ice dancing for my kids… no matter what the wife says. I feel the only sane thing to do is to give them a steady diet of good old fashioned geeky entertainment.

Age appropriate content is actually hard to find. When is too young for Star wars, some would say never, but you haven’t had to explain why a good guy is getting his hand cut off to a 4 yr old. And its also never a good thing when your kid picks up the fact that the protagonist is whining… We’re looking at you Luke.

So I spent yesterday with both kids all alone and tried to make sense of this dilemma. Until Batman the movie came on. The 1966 exploding shark camp classic. That was pure win wrapped in a box.

This is how you introduce your kids to good geek culture. He already went as batman for Halloween, what a more perfect tie in to goo content.

Now after having allowed him to watch some thundercats, old school transformers and Batman the animated series i think we are well on our way.

Next up is the Rankin and Bass version Hobbit. So how would you grow your geek? All of this because someone posted this awesome picture on tumblr. Hope you did you civic duty and Voted against the joker today

Paddle

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Everything happens fast anymore, between twitter, facebook, cell phones, On Demand cable. Why would a technologist need to slow down? Shouldn’t I be speeding up, adding ram or another screen right now?

No… You shouldn’t. A sniper can only be at peak awareness for but so long, some military guides have it down to 30 minutes of good focus. So how long can you stay plugged into the matrix of modern life operating on all fronts without a little recharge?

I Talked about the method behind the paddle on The CaffiNation, but I didn’t talk out the madness. When things get rough in work the very act of whittling is calming. Go to quick and you cut yourself. Go to slow and nothing happens.

Like life, as soon as you understand that there is only one speed you can live, stuff starts to settle down. I have found a couple of different ways to slow my ever racing brain down. Whittling just happens to be the latest.

When I was young my grandfather would take me fishing, some of the best times in my life. The only thing I ever remember him criticizing me about was my lack of patience, but tell that to an 8 year old. He said the fish would come if you learn patience. He was right. Fishing was practice for learning to slow down to the speed of things you cannot control. It was, and is also the most relaxing thing I can imaging doing.

Same goes for whittling you need to take small pieces away to reveal the shape hidden within the block of wood. Take too big of a piece and the whole piece changes dramatically (Never say ruined, but that is a story for a different time) take too small and you won’t see any progress.

Now I whittle while I fish, but this is probably pushing the envelope. How do you slow down yourself to the speed of life.

Why am I holding spiderman’s head

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My son is a rambunctious little tyke. He desperately wanted to get a balloon animal spiderman. We warned him ablout the fragile nature olof balloon animals. The transient joy of a large balloon creation, weighed against the sadness when it eventually pops. I did however think it would last longer than 20 minutes.

We visited a wonderfjul german festival, potato pancakes, beer and rides. Soo much good fun.

So I’m in line for a second body to transplant spiderman’s head back onto… the eldery balloon sculptor is doing his best, but of coarse there is a line… of course I need to explain why I am holding the disembodied head of a superhero in my hand. And my wife is circling the block. Its

been 20 minutes, I have had time to write and edit (to a degree) this post.

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But it will make my little man smile… and hopefully he will remember getting a second spiderman because when he fell and bounced his face on the aspalt. He is ok, but defeated. All he was crying over was the transient joy that popped and whose disembodied head I had to run to catch.