Better lucky

This year I am thankful for airbags. And more than anything for the ability to walk away from that crash… All the surgeries, pain, and discomfort are nothing compared to the ability to hold my family close.

Put it this way, if we had picked a different car, it might not have taken the side impact. If we didn’t have 9 inches of ground clearance the other car would have hit me instead of going under us for the most part. If so many little things had been different I might not be able to write this today. So yes aging shoulder surgery sucks, even more so missing work, and being laid up for a month sucked. But by Christmas I’ll be able to take the sling off, and give my family a huge hug. And for all that I’m thankful.

No snark this year just gratitude.

Tough

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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.

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!

Scouting

I am an Eagle Scout, so is My Father. Less than 1% of boys who enter scouting ever reach this rank. Yet I happen to associate with a bunch of different men who did. Life works out that way. I was contacted a while ago by the BSA to join the NESA, National Eagles Scout Associate. Nice idea, but it turned out to be a Who’s Who In American High School style thing. Basically you pay to get a copy of the book and to be listed. I declined anything more than basic information. But in the process of doing so I got signed up to the scouting mailing list, and I recently received a survey of Scouting today.

Here is my problem, that I outlined in the survey. I would not be the man I am today without the massive positive influence scouting had in my life. From teaching life skills to maturing young men all over Scouting has helped a great many people. The funny thing about lessons and teaching is that scouting drilled ritual and honor into my head, but it wasn’t until years later that some of those seeds took root and grew. I look at my father who is the reason I became a scout. I can think of no better man to emulate. He is both kind and intelligent, he is what a scout should look up to be. I feel that as a father and a husband I have an excellent role model to follow after. He was my first impression of scouting, to me he is all of what was good about scouting. I later on went on to meet many men just like him in character, only to realize that scouting helped mold these men into what they are too.

Therein lies the rub. Scouting today is flawed. The survey asked what are my thoughts of scouting today and the first two things that came into my head and both are negative. From their deplorable handling of the sexual abuse scandals to the downright bigoted practices of the organization, things are not good.

I am sad and disappointed that in today’s enlightened times Scouting, a force for so much good in my life has chosen to exclude homosexuals and atheists from their organization. By espousing bigotry scouting has tarnished its own honor bound image. I would love to see them change their ways.

A Scout is… Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent.

One can be reverent without belief in a higher power. In fact the law dictates that reverent also means respecting other’s beliefs. One can be all these things while still being gay. I can think of no greater good outside of the family influence in a young mans life than scouting can be. With so many children having problems coming to terms with who they are why shut out a good influence? If good people are willing to donate time and skills, how can you turn them away?

But more than anything else, One cannot be trustworthy if they continue to cover up heinous acts committed by criminals. Come clean, take your lumps and course correct. Properly check leader’s credentials, background check and respond to complaints. You cheapen all of us who claim you as an influence by protecting abusers.

From your own site… “A Scout is Brave.
A Scout can face danger although he is afraid. He has the courage to stand for what he thinks is right even if others laugh at him or threaten him. ”

I feel that you are wrong Scouting, I think that you should accept and nurture all young men regardless of their belief structure, accept good qualified leaders regardless of their orientation or belief. Not because someone sues you, but because it is right.

I will be signing my son up to be involved with scouting, not because I agree with how you have handled all of your problems. But because I know what good you can do. I hope to be a leader and teach young boys to be men, show them the wonder of camping under the stars and the thrill of self reliance. These are the things that happen at the troop level. The larger PR issues and corporate structure problems YOU need to fix. Do it before others who don’t have good experiences choose to send their kids elsewhere, or even worse, nowhere at all.