Candles and Their ends

2012-06-18_14-43-32_716My mom used the tell me that I was burning the candle at both ends. Saying that by staying up late and working on too many things I was loosing focus and making the effort in each area less effective. At least that’s what I realize she was saying years after the fact. It’s also a proven fact that your parents are usually right it’s just going to take a while to figure it out.

I still stay up till all hours of the night, still wake up crazy early, about 4 – 5 hours a night is my sweet spot for being deliriously productive.  SO for me it wasn’t the sleep that turned out to be the candle it was the focus. I was trying to do too much without any focus.

IMAG1857It’s funny how motivation needs to be focused. Previously creating content was the easy part and health was the rough patch. Now the tables have turned and I’m focused on being a better me while the content has taken a back seat. It isn’t a bad thing. It’s just a thing.

Hopefully as time moves forward the healthy living will be more of a way things are and less of a conscious choice and struggle. Until then. I take what I can get in terms of motivation and content. Health comes first!




My medical chart, depending on the doctors office I’m in, is usually quite impressive. I’ve had more surgeries than I care to count, I’m tired of explaining my funky bone disease to every X-ray tech on the planet. That would be osteoencondromatosis in the 4th and 5th proximal phalange on each hand… But to be honest surgery never bothered me, until I had kids.

Kids change more than just your day to day life, they add an extra level of responsibility to everything you do, and are involved in. I used to frequent the operating room for tons of different reasons, but since 5 years ago there have only been two. And each time I got a panic attack right before it. I kept thinking, would this be the last time my kids saw their father? Would this be the last family dinner we had together.

Both times I knew enough to not mention these thoughts to my wife, why worry her even more than she already was? But this time I talked about it to her right afterwards, and I saw a sadness in her eyes.

There is more at stake now, there are people counting on me. And it’s terrifying, after I got into the car accident last month, my son had tears in his eyes when he walked in to see me. I’m supposed to be the strong one, supposed to be the provider. And this vulnerability is something I hope doesn’t come back for a good while.

Jury walk about


Today is jury duty, its actually still going on. But this post isn’t about that but rather about free time. The judge gave us a two hour lunch, and I love me some people watching so center city is my oyster!

Taking lunch at reading terminal is nice, but it doesn’t really have enough seating for the lunchyime crowd. So an outside trip with a Greasy but good bacon cheeseburger.

I am firmly convinced that the true worth of any quick food joint lies in the production value and taste of a bacon cheeseburger. Frank’s passed with flying colors and a sh#tton of tasty shoestring fries.

On to the coffee, Old City Coffee’s six bean espresso is a revalation, and smooth black ichor of wonder. Try it if you get the chance, not even sure which six beans they are. If I end up sitting on a trial I’ll find out.

And to lovie stubbs, tu wangs and kurt waddels, thanks for adding a fun undertone to the name calling process, even if they were mispronounced at first. Now I still have an hour left of lunch an espresso to drink and time to spend with douglas adams and his salmon of doubt, nothing fits a day in court like a nice bit of the absurd. How would you spend your two hours?

So ends a decade of fat

I entered into my 20’s a trim specimen capable of running long distances, working without a shirt if need be and visiting the beach without fear of harpoons. I was 6’2″ 180lbs at 20, a little underweight, a runner’s body with little to no real muscles, especially upper body muscles.

During the roaring 20’s i settled down, stopped walking nearly as much (driver’s license at 22) and got a fulltime job, fulltime wife and 1.5 fulltime kids. The rest of kiddo number 2 is due in july. But i also started my 20’s with a pair of knee surgeries which i have blamed for everything since. Yes i gained a lovely 45 pounds after the second surgery, and the prolonged laying around a knee surgery required.

All of that is over excuses are done, and if i want to be able to run the bases with my kids, keep up with my very fit wife or survive and thrive beyond today then changes need to be made. I’m not stupid enough to think anything is going to change overnight but i need to stop making excuses for bad behavior.

To the gym, mind the meals. I’m 30 today still 6’2″ but also a very unhealthy 270 lbs. Same height but 90 pounds… not good. I also got a guitar for my birthday what self respecting rock legend lets himself go before superstardom?

Today, this very moment i’m 360 months old, about time for a turn around

A little Nonsense


I love a good practical joke, almost as much as some of the more creative entities out there. I’m not announcing anything silly or funny today. But rather I’m curious why some people seem to get irritated that on one day of the year a good number of people like to play jokes on their readers, their listeners or anyone who they come into contact with.

On the news this morning the anchor appeared too stunned to talk for several seconds, with everyone staring at him like he lost his mind. He quickly regained composure and let everyone know he just wanted to start the broadcast off right for the day. I love that in a newscast.

I like this attitude. I love nonsense, and I adore jokes. If you can “get me” on April Fools day, they you have my respect. I’m usually on my guard. If you spend the whole day complaining then you have my disdain, and frankly I’m overstocked with disdain, spread it around why don’t you.

As the line from the Gene Wilder driven Willy Wonka reads, “A little nonsense now and then is cherished by the wisest men.”

Things are serious enough out there, hows about a day dedicated to levity.Every year I dedicate one episode of The CaffiNation Podcast to the Cause, Last year was awesome, this year is going to be full of jokes.

I’m an April Fool, and I’m Proud of it!img_1475

Wall of Sound

I love being a dad. It gives you all sorts of excuses to act silly and immature, well more than i already have. Paul is just over two and a half at this point and is running wild with energy at any given time. He simply doesn’t stop. He has a  motor that has no off position. From the time he gets up in the morning until he goes down for a nap or into bed at the end of the day its a ball of energy.

And i have to tell you one of the most rewarding things is taking him places like the zoo, which he loves, or the Art Museum, which he was hilarious in. As it turns out he might be Hindi… we just didn’t know it.

He spent the entire time during our visit to the art museum eyeballing the different pieces of art, testing the acoustics of the building and the limits of the security guards patience. At 4 different times during the tour de force he started running circles around my wife Jen, as in orbiting like the moon around the earth. Whenever we were in a large enough area off he would go.As dutiful parents we would attempt to stop or slow him, but more often than not you have to resign yourself to the fate. I wish i had a picture of her face, mid orbit.

For the most part he was quiet, and intrigued by what he saw, but we were under no great illusions that he was going to behave, it was family day at the museum so it wasn’t as buttoned up as it could have otherwise been. It was also pay as you like day, which meant the unwashed masses descend upon the museum to get themselves cultured. It was a blast.

Why did I say he might be Hindi? Well all throughout the museum he was on the move, loud and not paying attention for more than a couple moments at a time. As soon as we got to the Hindu temple exhibit he stopped, began to walk around and announce to the world that not only were the sculpted pillar, “big”, but that “I’m looking” he put both hands behind his back and walked from pillar to pillar, calmly.

He spent about 20 minutes in that area, and as soon as we left it he wanted to go back, and resumed the previous volume and level of activity, we stopped briefly in again on our way out of the museum and again his demeanor changed. Crazy stuff. Now All i need is to hire a zither player to sit in the living room and we can keep the activity down to a dull roar.

Mr Mom, Social Media Style

Both my wife and I work. We have one child, Paul who is 17 months old. Unfortunately since we both work, we miss out on some of of the fun of having him around all the time. This really gets to both of us on different occasions. Today i got to take a rare day off to be with my son. It was just the boy and myself for 90% of the day. And it was awesome, we get up shared breakfast, me a coffee, him milk. And I got to check my email, seesmic a little and twitter all throughout the day during the lulls in action. Paul even got in on the show. In fact i don’t hesitate to say he stole the show. as you can see below.
The best part was getting to play outside and in the park, there is preciously little daylight left at the end of the day usually so this was a nice change. Besides he is so much happier of a child before 5 pm.He just starts to wear down and get cranky after that, poor little man needs to keep to our schedule to a certain extent so he needs to get up at 6am too. Here are today’s fun Vids
Not too much to work with on that one…
I still can’t get over just how cute he is doing that. The “All done” comes out rapid fire or very emphatically when he doesn’t want to be somonewhere, like a car seat, or the mall.
Check out the CaffiNation for the last vid from this morning.

Wrapping it up

It was a fantastic holiday season. Good times were had by all. A ton of small little arguments where hashed out, brought up forgotten and all is well. Thats what holidays are all about. not the fights, nor the plans. But rather the forgiveness. they test family units repeatedly and at length. I love taking a moment as things wind down to take stock of all the things that have gone down. all the little comments that were made, and frankly right after i take stock of things that i said and other people did i promptly forget all of them. Life’s too short to worry about silly little crap that comes up. hope other people do the same.

I think holidays are going to get both crazier from here on out as Paul becomes more aware, and more fun as he starts to experience the magic that they can bring. Take all the good from my childhood and hopefully be ble to create new memories with my new family. Should be one hell of a trip

BTW: as a small aside. i hate the movie Sleepless in Seattle. I have the uncontrollable urge to reach through the screen and smack Tom Hank’s Kid for being such a little nudge. this only comes up as the damn movie is on right now.

That Guy

The recent playoff debacle concerning the overachieving Philadelphia Phillies aside the whole thing has brought one fundamental thing about me to light. I’m not a sports guy, I’m a fan, but i could not expound upon it at great length for very long, I get the smaller players names screwed up too often.

The same thing goes for music, I love me some music, but i couldn’t tell you what album a particular song is from, nor cars, nor airplanes, nor guns. I know enough about most subjects to not come off sounding like a tool, i have a vast array of knowledge gained as a defense mechanism so I won’t get caught off guard. I hate being out of place in any conversation but i have finally come to the point in my life where i need to embrace my aspect, that is to say concentrate on what i excel at.

I’m a computer guy, a video game guy, and a nerd. Focus on that and I’ll be fine.

I now return you to the sounds of ramon racello and his orchestra.

Well now… This is Different



I’ve been a lifelong Philadelphia Sports fan, even in my angst filled teenage years, I still went to games, publicly decried liking sports, but silently rooted for my teams to win. I came out of the sports closet again at 17 or 18 and have no qualms about my addiction now. I love sports, i love contests and competitions. Specifically I love Baseball, Football, and Hockey. Basketball is good, but I’m not enthused by it, I’ll always support a hometown run but nothing gets the humours flowing quite like a good game of any of the other three.

But baseball… Baseball is the sport that would be king. It is the only one of the big three to invoke honest to god emotional outbursts. I teared up when the Phillies clinched the East on Sunday… It comes from having a grandfather take you to games and explain things to you from when you were a wee tot. It comes from year after year of teams that break your heart. It comes from the blood of a city that has failed so often. I love me some football, I get irrational during hockey season, i scream, I yell, I boo the living hell out of anything that moves. But for some reason Baseball goes deeper. Maybe its the accessibility of the games, I can afford to go early and often if need be. The tickets aren’t a car payment. Cheap seats are cheap. I’ve been to 1 Eagles game, 3 Flyers games, and probably upwards of a hundred Phillies games. Cherry picking the games I wanted to see, could afford, and when they gave away cool stuff.

It feels weird to be here right now. Its October, the last time the Phillies were a news item in October was 1993, I was 13. We listened to and watched the broadcast of world series games in a tent during a Boy Scout Camping trip. I missed parts of game 4 of the 93 series because of that trip, but my parents taped it. I still have the tape somewhere around here.

Now I have my own little one to learn on the game, to teach the intricacies of a balk and a hit and run. When to pull a double switch and what double play depth is. The only time in 125 years that the Phillies went all the way, I was less than 1 year old. The pennant hangs in my office as a reminder of former glory. I want to add to that wall. I want to buy one my son will hang on his wall. His first Phillies game was taking me to the game on Fathers day this year, what a good kid.

You want emotion? Read Bill Lyons take on this feeling. A retired columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer came back for this story.

You want real fan reactions? Beerleaguer and Balls Sticks and Stuff can’t be beat. Me? I’m just a computer guy who loves sports. I’m just a fan and I had to let it show. Go Phils!