Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year!

Well, at least here in the North East of the USA it is. By the time I finish the post? I'm guessing 1:20-1:25.

So. What's this year going to be like? That's my question. The answer? Exciting, amazing, a total adventure, difficult and enough to make me soil my drawers.

2006 is a year of vast opportunity for me. In fact, I see more things happening in 2006 than have happened in the past two years easily. No. It's not just that baby number 4 is on the way. It's more than that.

For me, 2006 is the year of the Tiger. No, it's not the Chinese year of the tiger, but it is my personal year of the tiger. You see, 2006 is a do or die year. It's a year that I either push the doors open (more like kick them open) or I pack it in and I live a quietly desperate and unfulfilled life for the rest of my days. Oh, sure. I would still have my wife, girls and home - but I wouldn't be doing what I KNOW I'm supposed to do.

And that, ladies and gents, is the reason why 2006 is going to be so difficult. 2006 is the year that the butterfly needs to push his way out of the cocoon or die. I've either got to do or die.

I'd love to give you more examples of why this is so, but for the moment I really can't put it all easily and clearly into words. But I will say this. I know that I've been pushed to this moment. I know that I must have the courage to push through it. I know I must have the love, the patience, the endurance, the self-control and discipline to see it through. And that is my goal. To do the things that I need to do. To be focused on what I need to do. To get it done.

No excuses. No regrets. No what could have, or should have beens. Do it or die. That's where I stand.

And, my hope for you my gentle friend, my kind reader is the same. Not exactly the same because you won't have all the things pushing you, you may not have the divine ultimatum that I have this year. But I do hope that for you, this year that you set your goals and go after them with gusto. Keep them before you. Don't stop reaching for them. And most of all, enjoy the entire journey to get where you're going!

Till next we meet - Shalom! And MAKE it a great new year.

Friday, December 30, 2005

The Phone is Dead... Part II

And so, we continue the saga...

But, before we do, I'm letting you know now that there is a Part III! Yup, I'm doing a trillogy! Not on purpose, but it is the way things happened! And now, back to our story.

So, the phone is dead and I need a new phone. It's 12/15. The next day I go out shopping with my beautiful bride Shanna. After a bit of chick shopping, she sit's up in the food court at the mall having ice cream, I start the process of finding a phone. I visit Veriozon, Sprint, T-Mobile (I didn't even bother with Cingular, I know the coverage sucks here around where I live something fierce) and start shopping the deals. And, I'm pretty motivated to get something with anyone other than Sprint which is the carrier that I've had for three or four years now.

So. Into the Verizon store. Right. What a couple of door stops. Here I am actively asking questions and this guy doesn't give me a lick more information than what I really pumped him for. Dolt. Next stop, Sprint.

I know, I didn't want to go with Sprint. BUT, I know Sprint phones are set for internet access - which is key to me. So, I start to talk. Look at the phones, etc. And, while I'm there, I find out that I'm eligible for the big discount on the phones. Hmmm. Interesting. So, upstairs I go to get Shanna. And back down we come.

Soooo, we look at phones. Shannie doesn't like any of them, none of the displays. And, unfortunately, Sarah (the girl I was talking to) is just too busy to talk to us. So, what do I do? Walk about 50 feet to T-Mobile just because I'm curious.

T-Mobile. Hmmm, all Motorola phones. That didn't thrill me. But then I start looking. There's one really nice phone. Hmm. Better deal on minutes in the family plan, text messages and internet access. Hmmm. So, with all that in mind, I go get Shanna who's still standing over at the Sprint kiosk and we scoot back to T-Mobile - because unbelievably Sarah is still busy. Well the phone looks cool. Shanna finds one that she likes. One hangup. I can't figure a way to access the web and enter a url - CRITICAL to me. I mean a real deal breaker. That and I'm concerned with T-Mobile's coverage too.

Back I go to Sprint. Sarah is finally available and she's brilliant at confirming that even though T-Mobile says there coverage is better - there will be issues which confirms my fears. True or not. She also solves the phone dilemma by coming up with a phone that Shann REALLY likes. Soooo... after all the dance, I'm back at Sprint with a phone I like (not love, that one was another $100) and Shan loves her phone. Coverage is good, I can access the web (as it turns out you can with T-Mobile too) via URL and we got a family plan that works OK for us.

So what phone did I get? A sweet one. The Sanyo MM-8300.

Camcorder, camera, special features on photos. Actually quite the nice phone - just missing some of the more geeky options that I wanted like an SD card and bluetooth. But, I've got 15 more days... who knows what will happen by then! ;-)

And then... about 4 days later... DISASTER

Watch for part III!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Christmas Morning

Well, I had intended to post this a bit earlier (like MONDAY) but, it didn't happen. Sorry! This is the scene from my front door (through a wreathe) of the cul-de-sac I live on. Pretty cool even if it wasn't a white Christmas!

Monday, December 26, 2005


The official Christmas post is coming, this is just a quick commentary.

Is it just me (being written at 2:30 am eastern time, USA - possibly in a state of sleep deprivation or just while being cranky) or do people that cannot use the words "their", "they're" and "there" make you nuts too?

I have the opportunity to work with someone that's a pretty dynamic and forward thinking individual that is very proactive. I can't do it. Why? Because their (possessive adjective) spelling is bad, their word usage isn't that great either, of course, neither is their grammar come to think of it. I just can't get past this.

Einstein was one of the most brilliant men of his time. Could he spell? Would I have missed that opportunity? Am I a snob? This stuff is just elementary to me. It was drilled into me by Sister Esther Marie (God rest her soul) when I was in elementary school.

By the way. I'm not a great speller either. Before the advent of the word processor and spell checker I lived with a dictionary next to me when writing. Which I guess makes this propensity of this individual even more perplexing and maddening. What, he can't compose in a word processor then cut and paste? What's the deal?

So, I tell you what. Let me know. Am I just kvetching, or is this a legit issue.


Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The Phone is Dead, Long Live the Phone

Well, the old phone finally died. The Samsung A500, the faithful old brick. Sure, it was hot in its day. Literally, about a day that it was near the top of the line. $300 bills - or more than what you'd pay for a Razor now. Geesh. Firmware that put it on par with an abacus with a graphic interface.

As you can see, it was pretty beat up. The last thing that finally killed it was the power interface. The pin just split the casing, it wouldn't take a charge.

You can't really see how badly I beat the thing up, it was really abused by the end. Kept falling out of my pocket and the like. Scratched, dinged. But, it was an OK looking phone - it just didn't have any functionality - like text messaging or anything like that. So, the phone is dead, long live the phone.

Now, the funny part is that the phone actually died on the LAST day of my contract with Sprint. So, it was time to go phone and phone service shopping!

To be continued...

Tuesday, December 20, 2005



Oh Lord. It was the office "holiday" party today. And no, don't get me off on that tangent we won't come back for a bit... But away.

By 9:45 I had my first lacewing chocolate chip cookie, then the cinnamon/sweet nuts, then the dark chocolate, then a more typical chocolate chip cookie. That was before lunch. Then we had our lunch (a nice cheese filled tortolini and Italian sausage) and I had a brownie (the thick kind, a bit spongy with pieces of dark chocolate in it) and another piece of dark chocolate.

Think I'm getting full yet? Not a chance. You'd think I hadn't eaten for a year.

So, there were also these other little tree shaped and star shaped pastry type treats. They weren't sweet though, they were really salty, but they had walnuts in them. Those were good with either the celery, carrot sticks or cherry tomatoes they had there. Good thing for those or my diet today would have soley consisted of sugar and white flower!

Back to the sweets...

Interspersed with the salty stuff, I mixed in another couple of chocolate chip cookies and two of these kind of puffy shapped chocolate cookies with coconut filling. OH YUM.


Wednesday I'm working from home. Good thing, I can't afford to gain another five pounds tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

This is Ridiculous!

It's only December!

This is our second cold snap like this. This is mid January to mid February kind of cold.

OK. Here's my official whine... "I want to go to Miami!"

Feel free to send cheese to go with that whine :-)

Seems Like DejaVu all over again!

I think I've been here before. Like, say, seven weeks ago? Yup, the Turk cometh (for those of you that aren't football or hockey fans - the Turk is the guy that is the axe man - the guy that cuts you loose when you're trying to make the team).

So, can you guess? Indeed! As of the end of next week, no job. The group I'm in lost funding. And yes, 10 days before Christmas it's not great to find that out. Ah, but alas, it is the life of a contractor.

So, now comes the great scramble. Tough this time of year, everyone is keyed into the holidays. No real movement happens typicially till mid-January. But... we'll see.

As it turns out, I was on a fast when I found out. Now I know part of why God had me fasting. But, I feel God has this one in control (doesn't he always?) because I felt prompted to end the fast at dinner today. I really had a strong impression that God was saying that I should celebrate the end of the fast. That, in case you've never been on a fast - or felt that particular impression from the Lord - is a good thing. It was an end to the fasting and a start of rejoycing. I'm all for rejoycing.

Now, the only thing I need to do is make sure that I continue where God is leading me so I don't miss what he has in store next!

Monday, December 12, 2005

OK, I changed my mind.

You know what, spending time with my kids and being a parent IS deep. Sure it may not fill the spiritual tank, but it's pretty important!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

The Tank is Empty

In case you've become a regular reader, that is if I have any (uh, besides you CyberGal, I know you're reading!) and you've noticed that my posts have been a lot more - shall we say - shallow? There's a reason why.

You see, my tank is empty. Spiritual tank that is. On "E." The big E. Zero, zip, zilch, nothing, nada, the big goose egg. Empty.

I think it happens to most people at one time or another, but I don't like when it happens to me. Especially because I know why.

Oh, sure, there are the obvious reasons or excuses like: I'm busy, I have a lot of work. But for me, that isn't the REAL reason.

The real reason is because I've hit that wonderful place in my relationship with God that he wants to take me to a new level. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is very exciting. It also happens to be terrifying. And I know that some of you may be wondering why I think it is so terrifying. After all, isn't God out to do us good? And the answer to that question is a resounding YES. It's just how he goes about it.

Don't be confused. The Lord of heaven and earth is kind, compassionate and gentle. He isn't going to make me do anything I don't want to do. Believe me when tell you I want to get to the next place he has for me in maturity in my walk and my relationship with Him. It's going to rock. However, to get to that place there is something required of me. Death.

Death you say? Yes. Death to me. Death to my knowledge, death to my preconceptions, death to the natural, death to my flesh - this rotting stinking flesh that will do nothing more than end up in the dirt somewhere. And you see, death to my flesh is precisely what my flesh isn't interested in doing. No. I'm not talking about flagellation or anything like that. I'm speaking of the things of the flesh. The natural and carnal desires of the mind and body. Think if you will to Maslow's Hierarchy.

But God, the King of the Universe wants to take me past that place. He wants to get me out of myself and my own narrow limitations of all that he's made me, and all that he has for me. But to get there I have to get rid of my own ideas. OH! And how we do love our own ideas. The brilliant minds that we have, the sterling thoughts! The mind that sees what others do not, the voice that speaks with wisdom that others should seek! Yes, I love my flesh. In the natural I do. But not in the spiritual.

In the spiritual realm my flesh reeks as a putrid carcass. It holds me down in this base reality. It keeps me looking at my past and focusing on only what my five senses can see and and/or understand. It keeps me focused on the small and the mean rather than the great and the wonderful. It keeps my mind on me instead of dwelling in the place of the Almighty. Oh, how I hate that flesh!

So, that's where I am. That's my struggle. That's why I'm on E. It's because, as the song says... "I hear the voice, the voice of the one I love. It's calling my name... It says, Come up higher and hear the angels sing. Come up higher my beloved. Come up higher and leave this world behind, you'll find it to be beautiful." And so, until I can - as they say - "mortify the flesh" to step up to that place, I'm going to remain on E. It's because God wants me to come up, to step up to another place in him. It's a place that I've got to rest to get to. (that's why scripture says that we labor to enter his rest). It's a place of intimacy with him that I haven't had before. A new place in a relationship that requires that I leave my disfunction behind.

Of course, I can't do that without him.

If you've read The Chronicles of Narnia, you may have read the Voyage of the Dawntreader. In the book, the boy Eustance by way of a magical bracelet or curse, becomes a dragon. It's really the result and the outward manifestation of his own heart. Then, one evening, Eustance encounters Aslan, the great lion who is the metaphor of Christ in the books. Aslan invites Eustance to get out of his dragon skin (he is a large reptile essentially after all) and get into the pool to be free. But Eustance, though he uses his great dragon claws, can't do it himself. He needs Aslan to do it. And when Aslan does it, the great lion's claws rip deep into Eustance. Deep into the place at the core where he needs to get to so that he can take away the dragon skin and get to the boy inside.

That's what I need.

So, here I am. Me and the Lord. And though I'm empty right now and I've nothing to give - I know that God's going to get me to a place someday soon. Not because I'm anything great. No. But because I'm desperate. Desperate for him. Desperate to fulfill what he has for me. Desperate to be what I'm called to be. Desperate to love fully. Desperate to become a better husband and dad. Desperate. And, I know according to scripture that God is a rewarder of those that diligently (and desperately) seek him.

So, I'm on E. But. I have hope. And hopefully soon I'll post something that has some depth, some spiritual impact, some resonance for your souls. Something other than some cute pictures of my kids. Soon.


Fun in the snow!

Well, yesterday I showed you what it was like from the teeth of the storm. Not a ton of snow, but we got about 2-3 inches in a short period of time with winds that blew the stuff horizontally. Look at the trees and you'll see how it stuck.

Anyway, here are some pictures. One of my current youngest, 2 1/2 year old Chloe who really wanted to swing (man she was having a blast out there) and one of part of the neighboorhood out my front door.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Let it Snow

Ok. The first picture is what it's like to try to look out the window here at the front of my house.

The second picture is what it looks like in the back. This all happened in the past hour...

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Oh man! I can't wait to get my iPod with Video!

I'm in potential MacPhilly heaven. Check this out.

W00t! Yeha! TV on my iPod. Of course, that means that I'm going to be paying for the third or fourth time for my TV content (ads on TV, digital cable, Tivo, now the download...) but I'm jacked. I'm excited because there is just stuff that is tough for me to watch in the house with the little chicks. That, and how great will it be to watch a TV show like this while I'm working out on the exercise bike and the like. Totally cool.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Stand Up for Your Rights!

Oddly, I find myself being in agreement with the ACLU on this one. Check out this link. This woman was just riding a bus, didn't want to show her ID (constitutionally and legally she is not required without a warrant) and she got handcuffed and dragged off the bus. Yet another reason why I don't support the Patriot Act or it's extension!

Here's the link Deb Davis

Really, check it out.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Tastes Like Chicken... I Think

I just ate a chicken nugget. Well, according to claims by Wendy's it is an all white meat chicken nugget. Now I'm not questioning the voracity of Wendy's claims - not exactly. I'm not asking "Since when are chicken lips consider white meat?" I'm actually saying that I don't recall eating chicken.

I ate something. I know I ate some kind of breading. I know I saw some fat and some congealed lard. I just didn't see chicken.

So, what's the moral of the story? Well, if you're eating at Wendy's and want chicken go with a filet. Other than that, you're on your own. And never eat nuggets - I'm sure that may be my last foray.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Pregnant Women Denied US Travel - Go figure.

Heres an e-mail I just got from an associate in Australia.

"I'm having a baby in March and since the US isn't keen on having it born over there, they won't let me fly over to SF as of last week!"

So, as of Thanksgiving, this woman who owns her own business can't travel to do business in here in the States. Why, just because they don't want the baby born here and possibly become a US citizen? My word.

Geesh, State Department is pretty tough on pregnant travelers. Now if they would just do the same thing for the thousands of illegal aliens coming in over the Mexican border every month (that we pay health care for don’t you know – but I can’t get the same health care for less than $800-1000 a month...) that would be a better use of our money. Do you think?

Saturday, December 03, 2005

I get way to much spam...

Yah, look at it. That's right. Welcome to my junk mail box. You and every flipping spammer in North America. Thankfully I've got a good combo of junk/spam filters and about 98% of my spam goes into my junk mail box. How about you? Is there anything we can do?

Yes. Don't click on them, just delete them. Don't show them, forward them or buy from the sites. Delete them! And then pray that they all get hit by a power spike!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Hey There Mr. Neck Hair Man - This Razor's for You!

Forgive the spoof on the "real men of genius" commercials but I couldn't resist. Well, maybe I could have but that isn't the purpose of the post!

Anyway, from the MetroMan, why is it so hard for guys to just do a little maintenance shave on the back of their neck between hair cuts? Man... one day I saw a guy with hair growing all the way down the back of his neck to, well, it must have been his back. Geesh! Hello! Anyone have a spare Gillette for this guy? Please?

Here's the deal guys: Girls DON'T think it's sexy. Chest hair - that's one thing. Nec hair? Ewwww!

So, get with the program, or at least get your hair cut more often!

PS Hey folks, this is cross posted to my brand new podcast! Yup, Metro Moment - The Metrosexual Muse for the Unwashed Masses has been launched! Check it out!

Does anyone but CyberGal Read This?

I always wonder. I love having CyberGals comments - but is anyone else out there? If so, drop a note!

I Am One Blessed Dude

I think this picture says it all. The pregnant mom sleeping by the newly put up tree with my second oldest, Bayley, totally crashed (in an awful position!) on the couch next to her. And, I've got two more (the oldest and the current youngest - until little Sophie pops out) upstairs sleeping quietly.

It's a simple case of God providing above and beyond anything I could ask or imagine. Thanks Lord. You done good.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

I am sooo bloody tired of...

Well. This post is a positive or necessarily constructive one. Maybe it's just me commiserating. But, I have to say, I'm just bloody tired of always fighting to have enough money to pay the bills.

I know. Some of you might be saying - well there Mr. BMW Mobile Studios - get rid of the Bimmer and you'd have more money. And, if I had gone out an paid a lot of money or I was carrying a huge bank note on the car I might be inclined to agree. Reality is though, my note is only $221 a month, the car is good on gas because it's only a 4 cylinder, repairs aren't completely awful - especially considering I've now got 140k miles on it. So, what else?

Well, it might be the mortgage. That's always a big chunk. Maybe the van? Nah, we own that free and clear. How about the girls school activities or dance? A mere pittance. Yet still, it's always a struggle. Nope, we don't go out to eat a lot. And, when we do go out it's usually Wendy's. You know, family of 5 for $14. I will admit to a bit of a book habit, about $5.12 per week for Agatha Christie, Poriot Investigates novels (currently on my 14th book) from Food is a killer - at least $200 a week. Heat/gas/electric - whatever is also brutal now as well.

Thing is, I make pretty good money. In fact, I make darn good money. Still, we're barely staying afloat. Nope, no big bling bling jewelry. No big screen TV or amped up stereo/sound system. However, I do have three little ones that burn through clothes like there is no tomorrow. Nope, we're not shopping at Abercrombie, more like Target or Old Navy (on sale!), some Children's Place (awesome sales - outfits for $12-14). Me, new clothes? Uhhh, that would be my new mock turtleneck (2x$12) and a pair of jeans ($20 on sale). Nope. Not that. So what is it?

Maybe it's just me. Who knows. But some days it just seems like the more I make, the faster it goes. And I've got college coming up for a 10 year old in just 8 years. Good grief.


Well, thanks for letting me commiserate. Really, I'll be fine. I think we all deal with it, I just needed to vent. Feel free to join me in the comments ;-)

Hey, and with all that, all of you keep your chins up. We will all make it, we just have to stay focused, do what we're called and follow through.


Friday, November 25, 2005

Hello Pain

You know, I was feeling really great Tuesday morning. Woke up, thought "wow! my back isn't even giving me a twinge! So, I got up, went down stairs, worked out (good work out too!). Upstairs, had breakfast. Down stairs to check my email. Sit, turn to my left with my right arm reaching across my body... PAIN. new realms of pain. What did I do? I seemed to have dislocated several ribs. Lovely. Problem was that I couldn't breathe.

Unfortunately, it didn't make any difference if I could breathe or not, I had to go into the office. Three meetings, no way to dodge them. So, I went in. I managed to struggle through the meetings. Mind you, I'm carrying two computers, I can't walk. All the muscles on the right side of my back are in spasm. Frankly, it hurt to breathe, never mind bend, twist, pick up weight, take notes - whatever. And, I also had meetings in two completely different buildings that were not on the same campus. Lovely.

So, I made it. Went to the Chiro. Snap, crackle, pop. My LORD, I'm still in pain. Unfortunately, I have a presentation in the morning that I have to go to. Beautiful. I'm up till 3:00. Get up, oh yah, still in pain. Hustle as much as I can, get to my meeting. Goes pretty well. To chiro again. Snap, crackle, pop. OK. Still in pain, but not quite as bad. Later in the day (Wednesday), I still have to go home, sit in front of a comptuer and bang out the rest of a deliverable. Ready for bed - still in pain.

Thursday morning. Thanksgiving Day. And, I'm giving thanks. I can see, I have a great family, I've got a good contract, my mind works, we have a home. Unfortunately - I'm still in pain. Like it hurts to eat pain. A nap helps, but everything still hurts. The food however, was incredible. Great job Shannie and to my brother and sister-in-law that always make the Thanksgiving Day feast our special occasion with wonderful sweet potato stuffed granny apples and home made cranberry sorbet. Shannie delivered in her usual marvelous fashion - the turkey was awesome (though I didn't do a single thing this year, except wash the kitchen floor and clean the bathroom!), the stuffing was great (stuffing type stuff, celery, onions, chicken sausage, crasins - and secret other ingredients) and her famous spinach, artichoke and cheese recipe. Oh - YUM. Oh yah, pie. :) With so much good food, I almost forgot the pain. Oh, we also broke out some special coffee that my brother had sent to me special. I saved it for the occasion. It's this incredible Blue Mountain Jamcian (I believe) coffee. Holy coffee beans. The only other coffee that I've ever had that was in the same ball park is real Kona coffee that you can only get when you're in Hawaii. Totally smooth. Lovely body. No bite. It was worth actually having coffee for the first time in a long time!

Friday - I attempt to get out of bed - SPASM! I begin to wonder... will I ever not feel this pain? Mellow day, not too much time at the computer - then out with the wife. I realize as I'm walking that my spine is so rotated that I'm walking like a car that is out of alignment. It's so bad that it's actually throwing off my balance - something I'm certainly not used to because typically my balance is great and my feet are very nimble. I feel like a plodding, tipsy old clutz. Of course, being that it is the Friday after the holiday - NO ONE is open do deal with my back - my only choice is to hang in until Monday. Lord help me, I have two full days to go. Work to do Saturday, church on Sunday morning, birthday party Sunday afternoon.

Ah. Hello pain. I'll look forward to saying good bye!

Monday, November 21, 2005

You Know You Haven't Got Time to Crap When...

Yah, I know, lovely title for the post but I was inspired. I just got out of the can. As I was washing my hands and leaving the throne behind (no pun intended) - flushed and with the seat down by the way - I realized that I just don't have time to crap anymore. And I know I haven't got time to crap because

* I haven't finished reading my Bimmer magazine (the monthly from the BMW Car Club of America) and my new one has been in the bathroom for two weeks
* I'm three months behind reading MacWorld
* I don't even know if I still have my MacHOME subscription
* My "Mobile" magazine subscription ended - and I didn't realize it for two months.

Worse yet, I'm on a program to get focused, organized and get some things accomplished - and I haven't had the 20 minutes a day to do my praxis for about 3 weeks. Isn't that sad?

Good news is that I've been making time to read my Bible and pray every day, and that I've been working out every day too. I even get to spend time with my kids.

So. I guess it's a trade off. I may not have time to crap, but I'm spiritually and physically in great shape and I'm playing with my kids too. And, being that I've been helping the wife out a bit more too - I think I'm doing OK even if the magazines don't get out of the plastic.

Hmmm. Maybe I do have time after all, I'm just using it someplace that it does more good. What about you?

Ladies, don't kid yourself! It's not supposed to be pink!

I hate to be cruel, I hate to ruin anyones day but I have to say. Ladies, don't kid yourself. Your hair really is kind of pinkish, or blue or purple. And no, not because you're doing it on purpose like Pink is.

Here's the deal. Too many people out there (cause I've seen guys too) get their hair coloured without dealing with the underlying gray first! Don't do it! This is a critical mistake. If you're graying, then be sure to get the gray coloured to a darker base first, THEN, get a lighter colour. Is it more expensive? Yes. And it's worth EVERY cent. Please. Really.

Here's the bonus kicker - you'll look at least 5 years younger!

Another tip for those of us going grayer - don't kid yourself by going with a dark hair color. Face it. There are very few of us that still have dark hair into our late 40's or 50. Go with a lighter shade of a good color for your skin. You'll love it and by going with the flow you'll actually look younger than you would by obvioulsy colouring your hair darker than it should be!


Today's Hair Tip

Hey there boys and girls. Here with the hair tip for the day. What is it? Turn down that HOT water! Believe it or not it isn't that great for your head. You see, hot water can irratate and dry your scalp. Yup, it's true. So, if you want to be good to your scalp and your hair - go warm. And if you can, try to wash at least every other day.

Till next time!

The Chiropracter College Plan

Welll, their kid's anyway. This week in the household as been the complete living characterization of "oh my aching back!" First mine, then Shanna. Yikes. Not hard for me to get adjusted, but for a 5 month preganant woman - not nearly so easy!

So anyway, we're on the send your chiropracter's kid to college plan now. And she doesn't even have kids! Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my chiropracter. Shadi absolutely rocks, and if you're reading this and you're in MA or RI you should go see her! She's this tiny little thing - like all of 5'4" or something - and after she get's done with you, let me tell you that you know you've been adjusted!

Does this mean that Chrio doesn't work? Not on your life. I don't think I'd be standing upright without it. It works great. But, as I get older and work out harder - I need to make sure I stretch. And, I really need to make sure that my posture is good when I'm in the chair and typing - like I am now!

Well, that's all for now. That's a terribly enlightening post eh? Don't worry - more Metro to come! (Hair care anyone?)


Sunday, November 06, 2005

Blessed Assurance

This morning I got up and starting getting ready for the day. Being Sunday, that meant that I was getting up to get ready to head to church. Regardless of my destination however, it's not unusual for me to sing something - I'm a singing kind of guy.

There are two different types of songs that I can sing - or maybe it's two different motivations. Sometimes I sing a song from a movie I might have just watched or even a jingle that I hear on TV. Those in many cases are proximity songs. Other times I may sing songs I enjoy. But this morning, well, this morning the song came from the heart.

A moment to detour for some context...

When Jesus was teaching in parables to the crowds in Jerusalem he often confused his disciples. Frankly, they weren't a very bright lot - but I guess that just goes to illustrate the power of God more that the twelve dimwits that he started with turned the world upside down. Gives me hope that I can be used to! But I digress. Anyway, after one occasion when he confused the disciples regarding diet - he then explained that it is not what goes into a man (food) that makes him unclean because it goes into his stomach and out his body. However, what comes from a man's heart is what makes him unclean - for out of the heart the mouth speaks.

Now back to our story...

So, this morning, I found a song coming from my heart. I find this happens at times. There are just times when deep in my spirit there is so much going on that doesn't even surface to my mind - but it is still going on. On those occasions there are times when I wake up and sing - or just suddenly start singing songs that don't come from a thought - but from my spirit - and I believe in some cases like this morning, God's spirit.

The song that I sang is an old classic of the faith. It's not a classic because it is old, it was a classic even in its day (which was 1873 by the way). The song was Blessed Assurance, and the first line of the song is "Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine." Mind you, there is a lot more to the song than that line, but even that was enough this morning.

This may be something that some of you may not understand, but for a true Christian (regardless of your denomination), there is nothing more awesome, inspiring, humbling and joyous than knowing that "Jesus is mine." Knowing that regardless of your faith, or possible lack of it, or your sin and possible state of it - knowing that independent of your works (either too many or too few), knowing that independent of your witness, or if you've fallen off the tracks, yelled at your kids, kicked the dog or whatever - Jesus is yours. Oh! what a foretaste of glory divine!

You see, true Christianity isn't dependent on you - it is dependent on the grace of God (it is by Grace we are saved, by faith, and not by works lest anyone should boast). The fact that God has extended the offer of his unconditional love, and once you accept that in your heart nothing can take that away is amazing. No matter how well you're doing - or how bad - Jesus is yours. The same amazing God who spoke the universe into place, the same loving God that became man just so you could have the opportunity for life with him - he is yours AND you are his forever. Circumstances mean nothing - only God's grace. Only his determination to extend his love to you. That is a place of rest, a place of peace. That is something that can't be bought at any price.

Ah. Blessed assurance. To know that I am loved unconditionally. To know that my life has a hope and a future - and that God is determined to do good for me. That, my friends, is the way to start a Sunday morning from the heart! And not just in my heart - but from the heart of God.

I hope you make it a great day. Peace!

Saturday, November 05, 2005

I've become one of THOSE people.

Yah. Really and officially. Though even my wife doesn't think it's true. What do I mean?


* I eat pretty much all whole foods
* I drink green tea (mostly decaf)
* I drink Soy milk (low fat when available)
* I've ordered a Soy Chai Latte (instead of coffee) at Starbucks - more than once.
* I use an all natural toothpaste
* I prefer homiopathic remedies when they can be found to most modern western medicine
* I do Yoga to stretch (though I don't buy into the rest as you know if you've been reading the blog)
* I do Chinese Long Life exercises in the morning to wake up
* I am a groopie for a computing platform that is cool, edgy and technilogically leading edge - but doesn't always play with the rest of the computing world (Apple), and
* I drive an older car (8 years old) of the type that I prefer (BMW) rather than spend the money on a new car - and I'm in the car club.

Yup. I've become one of THOSE people. What about you?

My Life is Not Funny

Really. It just seems not to be. Bizarre sometimes, yes. Funny, no. Chloe's life? That's funny. This kid is one of the most amped 2 year olds I've ever seen. And she's determined she's running the show. Even with her sister, my oldest, Halle.

They're in their room the other morning (all three share one room in our small Cape style home here in charming New England where $300k is a starter home) and the fun starts.

First, the start of the ritual. Chloe wakes up. Promptly upon seeing that she's the only one up she decides that it's wrong. I'm guessing that's because we still have her in a crib. We thought it was best for safety's sake. Not Chloe's, the rest of the family. I can only imagine what Chloe would do if she could get out in the house without anyone awake... But anyway. She starts the morning wake up ritual. Hawwweee! (It's how she says Halle). Hawweee? You 'wake? Hawweee. HAWWEEEE! (by this time not only do my wife and I hear her in our room - while both bedroom doors are closed - but several dogs in the neighboorhood have started barking). Halle however, being a very determined 10 year old isn't moving yet. Then Chloe really kicks in. Haawwweee! Get up! You want 'spankin?


Oh my word.

LOL. This kid is too much. First of all, you have to imagine her saying it with her tiny 2 year old voice. Then you just have to laugh at the sheer audacity of it - they 2 year old trying to strong arm the 10 year old. Oh - my - word. How funny is that?!

So, my life may not be funny - but man my kids lives certainly keep me amused!


Friday, November 04, 2005

Starbucks III - Revenge of the Latte

It has finally happened. And yes, revenge is sweet. OK, well maybe not real sweet... I only get two pumps in my latte. What am I talking about?

Well, for years I've been getting my chops busted because I'm high maintenance. More or less rightfully so. And this tendency generally extends to when I'm ordering almost anything. I figure that I'm paying for it so I might as well get what I want. And so, when I go to Starbucks I do not have a standard, cookie cutter order. In fact, my order is usually a grande, non-fat, half-caf, 2 pump (of whatever flavor) latte - no whipped cream. Unless of course I'm getting a nice chai tea or soy latte anyway.

Well ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls of all ages - today it finally happened. There was an older gentleman that walked into the Starbucks where my wife and I were killing time and ordered what has to be the most complex order I've heard to date. Ready? It was a Venti, quad, 180 degree, 90% full, 1 1/2 pump latte. As Stacy on What Not to Wear would say "SHUT UP!"

So there it is folks - revenge of the latte. Put that in your cup with it's trendy cardboard sleeve and drink it!

Parenting is NOT for Wussies!

I know. What the heck am I doing on this topic, right? How does a guy that just posts on nail care go to parenting? And even more so - specifying that parenting isn't for wussies? I mean, how can some blond tipped girlie man talk about parenting and fatherhood? Well, for me it's easy. You see, I'm kind of like Shrek - who's like an onion - I've got layers.

Yes. I can discuss nail care. I can tell you what colors to wear to accent your skin, I can tell you and probably most women how to dress for success. However, topics of interest, general hygiene and a good eye for color do not make a man less a man or more a man. What makes a man is character. And when it comes to parenting - character counts. Parenting is NOT for wussies.

I've been wanting to tackle this topic for awhile now. And, I don't think this is going to be my last post - primarily because from what I've seen there are a lot of parents that DON'T. Parent that is. And it's criminal, these people are potentially ruining their child's life and that's not fair to the kids.

So. Parenting. Rule number one: Parenting is not about you. Parenting is not about how other people perceive you. Parenting is not about what other people might think of you when they see your child (however that does not excuse allowing your child to go out in a slovenly fashion), it is not about making sure you're in the right mini-van or SUV. Parenting is all about the kids.

Specifically, parenting - real parenting - is about how much of you you're willing to lay down. How much of yourself you're willing to sacrifice for your child. Don't get me wrong. I'm not talking about working 48 hours a day so your kid can have new toys. I'm not talking about being the world's greatest super-soccer mom and being the land ferry for hundreds of kids. What I am talking about is how much of your ego you're willing to lay down. How much of your convienience you're will to forgo. How much you can control your language, your viewing habits, your attitude and/or anger - all for the benefit of your child.

Let me give you an a few examples of what I mean. When was the last time you changed the channel when a commercial came on (other than possibly some ad for a slasher flick) to protect the modesty of your daughter or the eyes of your son? When was the last time you promised your child that you would discipline them if they mis-behaived, then dragged your butt off the couch to follow through on that promise even though your favorite show was on, or you wanted to research something on the web or whatever else you were doing? When was the last time you had a disagreement with your spouse - and held your peace until a time when your children were not present? When was the last time you didn't do something you found interesting, but instead happily did something your kids wanted to do with you?

All of the above are the types of selfless acts that I'm referring to. This type of behavior is not for wussies. Wussies yell at their kids and try to intimidate them - but won't discipline them correctly. This shows your children that you're also just a stuffed shirt or a bag of hot air because obviously you're not a man or woman of your word or there would be consequence. Wussies want to see a commercial that isn't appropriate for their children to see more than they want to protect the innocence or virtue of their children. Wussies make promises to play with the kids on the swing set, but then make excuses (I need to do my nails, work, build something, clean - whatever) and don't keep their promises.

You see - parenting is NOT for wussies.

Before I leave - DON'T confuse what I'm saying. I'm not saying that your children should be the center of the home. They shouldn't. Mom and dad should. And for those of you that are single parents - you are the center of the home. You are the anchor just like a mom and dad should be. Stability and love flow down hill from you. And I'll talk about that, and how important it is in another post. But for now I just wanted to clarify.

So. There you have it friends. Parenting is NOT for wussies. If you're a wimp, if you've got no spine (read: character) then don't be a parent. If you already are a parent, see if you can find some skelegrow for that spine of yours. It's a painful process growing a spine - but your kids will thank you for the rest of your - and their - life.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Because I can - Manicure Talk right here with the MetroMan!

I'm promoting this conversation - just because I can. I figured, hey, I think everyone should see this not just CyberGal. So, here is what CyberGal commented on in my post - and my reply. Happy reading!

CyberGal said...
Now, you've gone and done it - CyberGal is upset, having a hissy fit, with my panties in a bunch! I'll admit it, when it comes to being feminine, I score low. I'd rather program, than do my nails. I do housework for a living. You think your hands get dry... ? Just re-apply lotion after each hand wash. When my hands start to crack, chapstick, or petroleum jelly works groat (wear overnight and keep your hands in thin plastic gloves.)

I've gotten used to the idea that EVERY male in my life, seems to know more about being a girl than I do, but this is the last straw!

Use an emory board in ONLY ONE DIRECTION, says who? Alright, Mr. Wizard, Why? This is beginning to undermine my very sense of female-ness. Do you perform pedicures, pluck your eyebrows or powder your nose? (I want pictures.)

Its alright, I'm going over to a friend's house tomorrow and volunteer to wash and wax his car. (You think I can do good on a bathroom, wait till I get through with your car.) It will look good enough to steal

AND now - here's what I said to Cybergal...

Hey Cybergal,

First off - listen. There's a reason why I'm metro, you get that right? I'm not doing anything to undermine your sense of femininity . Being feminine has nothing to do with nail care - though I have to admit that I love it when my wife has nice nails.

Secondly, here's why you only go one way with the emory board...

"Never saw back and forth across the free edge as it can disrupt the nail plate layers and lead to splitting and peeling. The ideal shape of the free edge should mirror the shape of the cuticle, i.e.: an oval cuticle = an oval free edge."

Third: No, I don't perform pedicures. Ewwww. No way I want to mess with someone's fungal feet. Nor do I get pedicures - I'm way to ticklish on my feet.

Fourth: No I don't pluck, I have no need to. No uni-brow here.

Fifth: No, I don't powder. I don't use any foundation on my skin. I do on occasion use cover on the dark circles under my eyes when I've been bad and went to bed way to late and need to present something or have a big meeting. In most cases I can get away with a bronzer. The rest of my skin is evenly oily, so I make sure to stay away from most exfoliating products (there are alternatives) because they just crank up the oils more.

I wish you weren't on the other side of the country - I'd love to have you work on the BMW mobile studios - I need an interior detailing something fierce!

Hope that helps :)

Monday, October 31, 2005

My Kids Want to Party All the Time

Oh, my word. Why am I having another child? Don't get me wrong. I LOVE my kids. Really. But... I just got done spending three hours in a church at a Harvest Party (our Jesus Freak alternative to Halloween) with 60 screaming kids amped up on sugar and caffeine.

THREE hours. Of those three I spent two chasing my 2 year old. Seemingly the only parent that actually did bother to monitor their young one. Yes, my wife and I were keeping track of the older ones too - again, seemingly the only parents that were doing that either. What absolute madness. And why did I did this? Why do we do this?

Simple, we don't celebrate Halloween. So, because of that we want the kids to have an alternative for the night and have some fun. And they really do have fun too. There's a jumpy, games (pie throwing and the like) limbo sticks, field goal kicking, cookie making and the like. It's a blast for the kids and they don't feel like they've missed out on the fun that the other kids are having. Which, for the kids (especially mine) is really what they want. A chance to get out of the house and have some fun.

And man, can these kids go! I'm beat. My back is killing me, I've got a headache and I'm ready for bed. And just to think, I've got at least another 10-12 years of this to go. Lovely. It's like self-dentistry. Ouch! Sigh.

Having said that, it's worth it. Every second. Sure, I'd like to see some parents participate a bit more watching their kids, but I'll live through it. Why? Because it's good for my kids. It's good for my kids not to be celebrating Halloween. It's good for my kids to understand the Feast of Tabernacles, how the Jewish people celebrate the harvest - and the Lord of the harvest. It's good for them to understand the difference between the Harvest party and the Pagan, Wiccan and Satanic celebrations that take place on Halloween. And yes, there are differences between all of the above.

I know a lot of folks say - hey the kids don't care, especially the little ones they just want to put on costumes - and for your 1-2 year old that might be true. The problem is that even at that age I'd be sending a double message to my kids and I'd be making an exception for the little one that my bigger ones couldn't join in. And, being that I've taught my girls that the pagan/Wiccan routes aren't cool in light of the Bible I can't just say "well it's true every day except for 10/31." I just can't say - well kids you know, it's OK to throw away everything we base our life on just so we can put on costumes for the night. No can do. Heck, my kids play dress up all the time - not doing it this one night won't kill them. Actually, it does them a lot of good.

Some folks may say that I've got the whole thing (that being Halloween) all wrong. Maybe. I just know what I've studied on the topic. I've spent a lot of time doing research into the origins and roots of the holiday, how it started with the ancient Druids and the like. It's a very European feast - at least in the traditions that are more commonly associated with Halloween here in the US. Of course, as the tradition has progressed it has also continued to get progressively more graphically gory and terrifying - in large part because we've had such an increase in technology that allows for that. So, we don't celebrate it, we don't celebrate the whole concept of Trick or Treat (which was something that was more done by the spirits that the ancient Celts were trying to appease). And - we're still not being kill joys! See, we be good mommy and daddy!

Well, there you go. I'm finally wound down enough from dealing with 60 screaming kids in a small space to wrap it up and head to bed. Hope you all had a good day - I know (even with all the above!) I did. AND, my Bimmer turned 3 today (well, three years with me - it's really 8 years old) and at 139,000 miles it's still running like a champ!

Peace out.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Hazards of the Manicured Hands

OK. I'll admit it, I haven't had a manicure recently. But, I still keep my hands in pretty good shape. After all, my hands are my life. I spend so much time on a keyboard that my fingers must be appropriately moist, stretched, limber, strong and have nails that are healthy and the proper length. Ever try typing with nails that are too long? That's a pain for sure. But anyway, I mentioned hazards - so I have to tell you.

In my case, it's the hazard of washing my hands to much. As well as being metro, I'm also a BIT on the hegenic side. And, as it's now winter here where I live (see previous post), then danger of washing my hands freqently is that my hands start to dry out. And then.... horrors! Finger splits. It's like nature's version of paper cuts except for in much more uncomfortable places. No, not those places - on my fingers. Gezzsh.

Anyway, so I found myself in a cunundrum. What the heck do I do for these things. The first thing I tried was moisturizer. Well, it was OK. BUT, I still had to wash my hands.

After that I tried bandages. I guess those could work OK, but the hazard of being a metro (and fun) dad with three little chicks in the house is that I don't have a single bandage that (a) was the size for an adult, and (b) didn't have Dora, Boots and Swiper on it. OK. I'm lying. I had two with the Scooby Doo! characters but they were still too small.

OK. So. Moisture. Bandaid. Still no luck. What's a guy to do? The answer?

Liquid bandages.

I just found this stuff at the drug store (our local chain is CVS). Basically, you just paint the bandage on and it's waterproof, flexible and breathable. Seemed like it was worth a try to me! When I opened the bottle it seemed to have a familar scent to it. I was having a tough time placing it, but there was something familiar.

So, I take the applicator brush, drag the sides on the top of the bottle to get off the extra, then I paint it on the split in my finger with a nice even stroke to make sure it applies without caking or glopping. Then BOOM! It hits me! Where have I seen this before? NAIL POLISH. Yup. Clear nail polish. It looks like the same stuff that you can also fix a run in your stocking with (well, OK, at least keep it from getting worse) also turns out to be a great invisible and liquid bandage! And for this I just paid $4.99. Damn. If I had known I could have just used my wifes!

Well, we all live and learn, right? Now you know too. Of course, I'm not going to swear that they're the exact same thing but boy I'm telling you, it's got to be close. Still, now I've spent the $4.99 I'm going to keep using what I have until I don't have anymore - then I'll read the nail polish bottle. Maybe if someone out there already read their polish bottle then can let me know ahead of time. ;-)

Till then, remember, when you use the emory board, only go ONE way!

I don't care how romantic they say it is... snow SUCKS

Yes. October 29. Snow is here in charming New England. Fourty miles from the historic North Church where the term Patriot first came into vogue. Fifteen to twenty miles from the Razor (Gillette Stadium) where the Patriots brought it back into vogue. And we have snow. Cold, wet, damp. Sticky, slushy. Icky. Snow. Yuk.

And this is just the first of many I'm sure. Of course tomorrow and Monday the temperature is supposed to go up into the 60's. And that's all well and good. But today - snow. The first ominous portent of the coming winter, what we now have to look forward to until well into April. Cold. Wet. Snow. Blech.

Sure. Someone out there is singing some Christmas carols some where. Sleigh Ride, Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire, whatever. Me? How about some Beach Boys! Surfin' Safari, 409, In My Room. You name it, I'll take it. Just not snow! Not now! Not this early! PLEASE! Auugh.

Yes, yes. I know I live in Massachusetts. I know we get snow. Yes, I grew up in New England (about an hour south in Rhode Island) and I know we get snow in these here parts. I DON'T CARE. I don't want snow now! Can I move to Boca? Please? Sigh.

Well. Time to look for the heavy comforter, it's supposed to be around freezing tonight. Lovely. Snow. Yuk.

I'll post pictures when I can. :) Till then stay warm, OK? Hopefully where you are it isn't snowing!

Houston - we have a problem.

Yup, there's trouble in River City for sure. Nothing that won't work out at the end I'm pretty sure, but it sure is trouble.

We just found out yesterday that Shanna's pregnancy is a bit at risk. Which of course came as a surprise being that we had just had the ultrasound done on the 19th (about 10 days ago). But, the midwife called to tell Shanna that there is a chance that she has placenta previa and that she needs to check back in for another ultrasound in a couple of weeks (mid-November). So, Houston - we have a problem.

Now, if you've read my previous post then you'll also have a guess at how I'm reacting to this. I am not freaking out - though I'll admit to temptation. It's much tougher for me not to freak out when it comes to the health of a family member, especially my wife and as yet born baby girl. And, we have a friend that had placenta previa who's baby was born prematurely and died within a week or so of being born. So naturally, there is an inclination to say "WHOA!" However, I'm still of the same mind that I was in the previous post and that is that God is God and he's in control. This isn't a surprise to God, it didn't sneak up on him - and being that I trust him then I should be calm as well.

Don't think I've lost my marbles here. There is a valid reason to think this way. You see, there are times in life (especially when you've surrendured your life to God - which means you've given him carte' blanch to work you over to make you into the individual that he's created you to be) that God allows this kind of stuff to happen in a life or two. It doesn't mean that God is evil or cruel and it certainly doesn't mean that there is no God because a "bad" thing is happening to a "good" person (or persons). What it does mean is that there is an opportunity for character, priority, understanding and life adjustments. And, it also means that there is then a test that provides a testimony. And the testimony will be of God's goodness, grace and provision. After all, it is all about him.

In this case, whatever the result (and I must note that there is a chance based on the location of the placenta that as the pregnancy progresses the previa may be negated) I'm sure that everything will be fine. And that means whatever the result. My responsibility now is to find out what I need to do and what I can learn from the situation. Who knows, maybe it will be God's way of adjusting the amount of time I spend serving my wife (she's an Acts of Service girl for a love language, so maybe that improves our relationship even more?!), or maybe because I spend more time at home or dealing with family things I have to get better at prioritizing my extra curricular activities. So, who knows maybe that means no more podcast? (horrors!). Maybe it means I have to be in better shape because I have more to do around the house and with the kids? Maybe it means I need to be more focused on the business so that I can generate more income to pay the hospital bills? Who knows right now. I don't.

But, I do know this. It's an opportunity! So, yes, Houston we do have a problem but that problem is not insurmountable. In fact, it's when we run into problems or obstacles that we actually do our best thinking and come up with our best solutions. With that in mind, I'm looking forward to seeing what happens. I'm looking forward to seeing how this brings me closer to God, how it benefits my relationship with my wife and children and even how it effects my business. And more than all that, I'm looking forward to seeing what God does for us. He's a very cool God and I know he has plans for GOOD for us.

In the Old Testament of the Bible, Jeremiah says this in chapter 29, verse 11 through 14 "For I know what I have planned for you,’ says the Lord. I have plans to prosper you, not to harm you. I have plans to give you a future filled with hope. When you call out to me and come to me in prayer, I will hear your prayers. When you seek me in prayer and worship, you will find me available to you. If you seek me with all your heart and soul, I will make myself available to you, says the Lord."

With that in mind - we move on grateful for today and looking forward to tomorrow!

Peace out!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

So, I don't have a job. No. Wait. I do.

That was what the past week has been like. That and back pain. I have no idea what I did, I'm still working out like I had been, but suddenly. OW. Thank God for my chiropractor Shadi. Not only is she a peach, but she's great at getting me straightened out. Literally. I think I'll have to drop by again on Friday, but being that I haven't been going that much lately (that means that I've only been going once every 2-3 weeks instead of my usual weekly) I'm not too worried about it.

But anyway, work. Or lack thereof.

Some of you may know, some may not, that I'm a consultant. Most of my work is done in contracts. I had just renewed my contract where I'm working for Q4 and thought we were good to go. Well. That's not completely true. About two weeks ago I thought something was starting to smell fishy for a lot of different reasons. But I still thought that the contract would be good till then end of the quarter.

Guess what. It wasn't. Surprise! At least they waited until the week after my birthday and let me get through that crisis without the added burden!

So, there I was last Friday thinking... Hmmm. Baby coming. Christmas coming. I've got some contractors that I have to pay. I have no income. Beautiful. I, however, did not panic. I repeat, did not panic.

So, the question is "Why?" Good question.

Well, I'd like to say it was because I've been a contractor for 10 years essentially. But, that really isn't it. I'd like to say it's because I've gotten used to the ups and downs, but that really isn't true either. I'd REALLY like to say it was because I know that I'm brilliant, charming, handsome and talented - but we know better. By the way, that isn't to say that I'm not brilliant, charming, handsome and talented because actually - I'm not bad looking, I am charming, I have lots of talent and I'm pretty smart. But that wasn't why I didn't panic. Fact is, I know a lot of people that are better looking, a lot of people with tremendous talent and a bunch that are very charming. It doesn't guarantee anything. So, why didn't I panic? The question deserves an answer. So, here you go.

The answer is, that I realize that my provision isn't dependent on me. Not to say that I don't have to do my part - but I'm not the one responsible for providing. I'm responsible for obeying. You see, I realize that God made me a certain way. He knows my gifts, talents, strengths and weaknesses. He knows what he has in store for me - and he knows the end from the beginning.

With that knowledge, especially over the past two years, I've become far more adept at looking at things that happen as part of the plan. And, while they may not always seem to make sense to me at that moment in time, I know that I have a faithful and loving father that DOES know what's going on and that he isn't going to leave me in a lurch. I believe that because I also do my humble best (and believe me - it's very humble) to (a) read and obey the Bible, and (b) pray and listen for the voice of God. You see, if I follow his voice and trust that he won't lead me astray, then in the end it's all going to work out.

I know. You all think I've taken leave of my senses. Not even close. I've just taken leave of my pride (as much as possible to this moment). This world is a very big place - complex beyond what we can know and/or imagine. I have come to the realization that I'm not God. I don't know everything. So, I don't rely on myself to be God (or even god) and control everything. Yes, this does take faith - however, it is a faith placed in a deity that has over thousands of years proven his love and faithfulness for those who trust him.

I'm not saying this is always works perfectly. It doesn't. You see, I'm stubborn. Sometimes I don't listen. But, I have found that as long as I'm genuinely seeking to do the above that even when I take a wrong turn or a mis-step that God redirects me so that I get to the right spot on the path.

So. There's the answer. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. Acknowledge him in all your ways and he will direct your paths. (Proverbs). I know it isn't about me, it's about Him. I trust that he will provide for me as He has promised, he will take care of my family as he has promised. So, I continue to trust.

Hey, if you don't want to panic next time something that could be pretty disrupting comes up in your life then maybe you should give it a try.

Till next time!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Think Pink

Well, the news is finally in, the word from the sonogram has come forth. I'm a daddy again - of a forth girl.

A lot of folks have asked how I feel about that. I'm thrilled. A lot of folks have asked if we're going to try for a fifth - you know - go for that boy. No. Not a chance. That wasn't why we were having the fourth. Besides, I don't know that I could handle a fifth kid.

Right now my current kid lineup is this. The oldest, my beauty girl - Darth Smarmious. The second, my drama queen, Darth Impetious (hey, I never said I would spell check). Third, my little force of nature - Hurricane Chloe. To that august lineup we'll be adding the fourth baby as the cleanup hitter. Oh man. I can only imagine.

Chloe is my youngest - but she's the one in charge - and make no mistake about it. Halle's the oldest, and she's a great kid and the prototype of the compliant first born. She's concienitous and responsible. Chloe is the youngest, but because she's 5 years younger than her next sybling, she is essentially a first born as well. But she isn't a compliant one. She's two and she trys to run the whole house. Unfortunately for her (really, in the long run fortunately, but for now we keep foiling her plans) she has two parents that are functional first borns - one of which (me) is also not compliant. Alas, in a test of wills, Chloe is going up agains way to much experience ;) Still, this kid is just one special piece of work! And I can only imagine what it is going to be like for her baby sister.

You see, Halle was great with Bayley. Bayley was able to learn to deal with Chloe, primarily because she's just not an aggressive kid -she's a cuddle bug. Chloe - not so much. New Z #4 is going to be in for a rough go. I know in Chloe's mind she's going to be saying INTERLOPER! HOW DARE YOU IMPINGE ON MY KINGDOM! I'm fully expecting their relationship to be a bit like a Tom and Jerry cartoon. In a loving kind of way. :)

Well, time for some rest. I need to get some sleep in now, I'm sure I won't be getting much in about 5 months! And no, that's not because the baby will be up, that's because I'll be up doing guard duty to protect the baby from her big sister.

I know I've officially turned 45

I just woke up a few minutes ago from a odd and funny dream - but I now know I'm 45 for sure. How?

Well, in the dream (which of course was way to complex to attempt to explain) there were several things that tipped it off.

1. The cartoon character chickens were middle aged (Really - I can't begin to explain that).
2. I was leasing property to someone.
3. I told someone (OK - it was Drew Carey) that "their wife didn't like white wine" - and their wife was someone I used to date (I've known my wife for 14 years).
4. I was thinking of importing some of a local girls art for a gallery and resale.
5. I was driving my 1982 Suburu hatch back in the snow and testing it because my wife said it wasn't working correctly - only to realize that the complaint was because it didn't have anti-lock brakes, so she thought it was defective. (Note: My wife is 10 1/2 years younger than I am, but she has had cars without anti-lock brakes outside of dream world).


6. The most telling reason: All of the male dream characters (including the chickens), regardless of being cartoon characters or live action - had receding hair lines.

Yup. I'm officially 45.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Happy Birthday to Me!

Actually - I'm late. My birthday is 10/10 - and a wonderful birthday it is. And this year was pretty great too.

The first reason it was great is because I didn't do anything. A day of strictly R & R. No blogging, no podcasting, no work, no work on my own project. Nothing. I watched the special features of the girls new Robots video, and watched the movie afterwards. I took a 2-3 hour nap in the middle of the day. I worked out, I went out to dinner with the girls (all the girls) - and my wife even picked up the check :) (that's a joke, it's a single income home so it doesn't matter who pays...)

So, this year I'm 45. And, the day I turned 45 almost my first thought was - OH MY WORD, in five years I'll be FIFTY! AUUUGGGH. I can't be that old! And granted, I don't look that old. I certainly don't act that old. My kids are young, I have a baby on the way for March of 2006 and my bride is 10 years younger too. But - there's the reality. FIVE years and I'll be getting the AARP mailers, going for early bird discounts and crusing the Polident aisle. Unreal. And my baby will be going into pre-school. Man, that's strange. And people wonder why I work out so much - are you kidding? I guess it's just my desire to be able to bend over and grab the little ones before they run out into traffic or something.

So. Happy 45th Birthday to me. It's great being 45. Who knows, maybe someday I'll act it too.

Monday, October 03, 2005

CyberGal to the Rescue - The Perfect Metro Daddy Party

You're kidding me. People actually read my blog? And not just but even this one? Shut up!

But still, I guess CyberGal does because she sent me an e-mail and blasted me for not posting. Well exxxxcuuuuuussseeeee ME!

So fine. I've been busy. You know, sometimes it's a real pain trying to be a daddy, get in shape (with my 45th birthday barely 7 days away), be a husband, friend, good employee and entrepreneur - and still have time to blog. But fine, I'm here CyberGal, you win this time.

So, yesterday, my 10 year old had her birthday party. Finally. It only took into the next month to make it happen - and that story is way to long but not very interesting to tell. Still, it was a great party concept, especially for me. It was a spa party. All Halle's friends came over, then the Mrs. and our assistant Brittany treated all the young ladies to manicures, tattoos and a lovely parting gift of their own custom made spa package of scents, shampoo and bubble bath.

Why is this the perfect party for me? Well, how many other dads that you know could have actually discussed the proper way to file their nails? Hmm? But, I am metro daddy after all! Gosh, what will I do if this fourth baby turns out to be a boy?

Well, that's all for now. See you soon - MAYBE. No promises!

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Well - I never said I would blog this regularly. So, I haven't.

In short - yesterday on a scale of 1 to 10 owed me points. It sucked, plain and simple. One of those days when you easily enter into the realm of despair. Having said that - even when in a dark night of the soul - I still have hope. I know some people that are Christians think that you shouldn't be able to go there if you're "saved." Horse hockey. Last I remember Jesus had a pretty bad night too.

And, speaking of that, by acknowledging that I was having a bad day I am NOT speaking negatively. I am not speaking that into existence. Damn fool name and claim it positive thinking crap. Sure, I am a positive thinker. I'm even a positive believer. And, I'm sure that with the force that created the universe behind me I can make it through and do anything! But I repeat - because I'm not just ignoring the situation, because I acknowledged the type of day it was - it is not a negative confession.

Sorry - didn't mean to go there, but I guess it happens.

So anyway, yesterday sucked. Is everything that was an issue yesterday perfect today? No. But today doesn't suck and for lots of reasons.

Speaking of yesterday. Getting home, wiped out as I was, was still a great event. I walk in the door and Chloe just comes screaming (literally) around the corner "daaaaddddyyyy!!!!" Then proceded to make me play with her and give her airplane rides, with my special twist :-) The airplane hits turbulance and I throw her over my head onto the couch and tickle her into submission :-)

It's always great seeing the chicks. Some days they can be loud, some days they can annoy me - especially when they're just whatever - but on all days they make me smile. Including - and specifically my biggest girl... my wife Shanna. She is the one that can bring the biggest smile and also drive me the most nuts ;)

Well. I made it through the day anyway. Really. Dark night of the soul. But I still made it. Chances are you will too. Lots of faith, lots of love and lots of grace. It really works :)

See ya.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Welcome to the Dark Side

Yup. This is my dark side - or at least as dark as I can get. Most people in the blogosphere or podosphere know me as the jocular and fun loving host of a podcast. People at work know me as a pleasant, if not insistant, PM and ID. People at the church know me as a leader. You get to know me here.

Funny thing this is. I've never done just the personal blog. Always a topic. Mac, viruses, podcasting, whatever. Sure, I've talked about the wife and kids, I've mentioned things, but never really blogged me. Well, this is it.

No varnish, no trying to decide if I'm going to write in third person. Who knows, I might even swear at some point. Not that I don't think it mind you - I do. I'm always trying to bring that side of me in line though. Allowing for God's holiness to sweep it away. Problem is, I'm a human being and I'm not perfect and sometimes my thought is just screw it. GASP! There you go. See. Will I drop an F-bomb? If I did, would I still be a good Christian? Damn, there's a tough question.

So, what's this got to do with being a metro-sexual dad? EVERYTHING. This is what's roiling under my primped and perfectly ironed exterior. Regardless of what color my hair is, whatever, this is what goes on.

This blog is about what I want. I'm not promising a format, daily postings or anything. I'll rant when I want to, get ticked off - and even get "holy." Want to stop in? More power to you.

Ok. So I've just about exhausted my dark side. Really, at least for today. I guess the large part of rage and anger that I started with 23 years ago on my journey (now I'm 44 at looking at 45 in less than 2 months) is mostly gone. So, when I'm not ranting, I'll be funny. Or maybe I'll be funny and rant. Whatever.

So. I'm metro. The term was invented for me. Do you know what kind of burden that is? Honestly. I get women at work that ask me what they should wear to an event. I talk with the chicks about the opening of the nearest Sephora. If you aren't a female - do you even know what Sephora is? Damn you Rhet Butler! I know you're lying.

But why "confessions" - well, because I'm talking about what it's like to be metro in a decidedly neanderthal world. My word. the way some males dress - it is positively primodial. And no, I'm probably not going to spell check either - just figure the words out or comment with the correct spelling - maybe I'll make the edit.

That's all for now. There's your taste. I'm in black, and it's not just because I'm fashionable!