I now intend to write a parenting book.

As I’ve said in a past blog, I’m getting old.  How old? Keep reading, find out, good idea.  As I’ve aged, I now find myself in a new, interesting place, a place I call “thirtysomething” or “Dawson’s Creek.”  It is a strange place in which I find myself, not unlike a surreal waking dream.  Or something considerably less emo.

Over the course of the next month I’ll be turning 30 and having a baby.  Naturally my wife will actually be having the baby, but you get my point.  I’m constantly being inundated with tips and advice on child rearing, most of which boil down to a small list of must-do’s:

 

  1. Must feed child when child is hungry.
  2. Must change diaper when diaper is dirty.
  3. Must talk to baby, so as not to creep him out for years.
  4. Must protect baby from near-certain zombie apocalypse and American Idol (can you tell the difference?)

 

The full extent of the advice I’ve gotten has been quite a bit more detailed than this compilation you see before you. I figure it’s about time for me to start writing a book about parenting, a no-holds-barred, straight-talking tome about what to do and when.  The book will of course be illustrated, as most parents (and those expecting) don’t have a whole lot of time to sit down and read 400 pages of instructions.  And because I’m a hyperlink addict. Expect to find easy-to-follow instructions on baby handling, what to feed them, what kind of clothes the baby will need and how to choose a proper diaper.  Ok, the last one there may be a bit off, but whatever.

My research is extensive, but if anyone out there has any last-minute tidbits they want to share with me, feel free to put it into a nice little email, and forward it to my inbox/personal filing assistant.  I assure you I’ll get around to reading…something….someday.  That’s all for today.

 Or is it? 

Yes, yes it probably is.

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Give me back by eagles!

            As I get closer to being 30 years old (Run, Logan!) I find myself pining over the old days, yearning for a simpler time.  Today’s fast-paced, globally-connected, world 2.0 has got my head swimming a bit.  But of all the things that I have watched change before my very eyes, few have been as disturbing as on of the most basic elements of our national economy.  So I have dedicated today’s blog to a single topic: change.  No, I have not suddenly swung my support behind the naive idealism of our Fearless Leader, I’m simply talking about the shrapnel in your pocket, those poor old quarters, nickels, dimes and pennies.

            A couple years ago a great idea was put forth, to honor each of our fifty states with a personalized quarter.  Each would feature good old George “Papa” Washington on the front and a design representing the individual state on the reverse.  You’ve all seen them, even if you have no idea why Georgia’s had a big peach and Wisconsin’s had a cow.  It seemed like a great idea at the time, what a wonderful way to honor each state in the order in which they were accepted into this fine Union than by honoring what makes each of them great.

            Well, that was 1999, a decade ago.  We’ve been through all fifty now, with some people anxiously anticipating the end of each ten-week period when a new design would be available for wasting on soda machines and Salvation Army buckets at the mall.  But what to do now?  Admit more states?  Puerto Rico? Guam? U.S. Virgin Islands?  No way, don’t be silly.  But heck, let’s give them each a quarter anyway!

            I don’t have a terribly big problem with that, I’m all for honoring those territories inhabited by Americans (they’re citizens, right?) and others who use our money.  What concerns me is the fact that there seems to be no end to the supply of artwork available for the backs of quarters.  And to make matters worse, the affront to our trusted money has spread!  These days chances are good that that sock full of nickels you use to beat potential burglars is considerably lacking in portraits of Monticello.  Thomas “Baby Daddy” Jefferson still smiles from the front, but flip that sucker over and you stare down at some representation of Lewis & Clark, a buffalo, or the Louisiana Purchase. 

            Pennies?  Oh those poor, helpless little copper nuggets.  Not a year goes by that there isn’t some movement to get rid of them for good, considering their near-total uselessness.  And now they’re awe-inspiring depiction of one of our greatest national monuments has been replaced by a picture of Mr. Lincoln sitting in a chair.  Inexplicably.  I want that Lincoln Memorial back!

            In fact, I want Monticello back, and I sure as heck want the eagle back on my quarters.  To my chagrin, that doesn’t seem likely to happen any time soon.  The new quarter series will feature national parks and monuments as part of the “America the Beautiful” series.  I assume that that series will be followed by tributes to past presidents, muscle cars, college mascots, Happy Days, and finally ending with the much-anticipated “Impending Apocalypse” series.  That should just about carry us into the End Times.  Cause they’re almost here.  I’ve seen the signs.

           P.S. – I hope you got the Logan’s Run reference, and if you don’t know why Georgia’s quarter had a peach or why Wisconsin’s had a cow, you’re an idiot.  Sorry.

Obama-nation!

                 Dear readers, today is a most joyous day for all of us Americans.  Today our Fearless Leader was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace!  What a truly glorious time to live in this universal plane of existence!  I cannot tell you all how happy I am to hear this news!

                 I assume that by now you have all stopped dancing in the streets (even you, Bowie) and calmed yourselves.  No worries though, for there is much celebrating in the future, I assure you.  For Mr. Obama(mama)’s victorious march to Oslo has inspired me to better myself.  It has now become crystal clear to me that anyone, regardless of utter lack of qualifications or achievements, can win just about any considerable honor they truly don’t set their minds to winning.  For example:

  1. This year I will rush for 1600 yards and score 63 touchdowns en route to my first Heisman Trophy.
  2. I have just put the finishing touches on what will be next spring’s Oscar winning original screenplay (it’s about the fragile relationship between an alcoholic father and his autistic daughter, starring Mickey Rourke as the daughter and Hamilton J. Pig as the father)
  3. My investigative journalism on behalf of this blog will win me a Peabody. (for my upcoming piece on where the hell my lap goes when I stand up)
  4. I will win the New York and Boston Marathons in record time, on the same day, after running from NY to Boston.  This feat should take me just under 17 minutes.
  5. I will win Car & Driver’s Automobile of the Year, without a car!
  6. On a related note, I will win the J.D. Power & Associates award for best customer service (for producing a car that never fails!)
  7. Finally, I expect to win the coveted America’s Cup with my trusty sail boat “Sarcasm.”

                But really, all kidding aside.  I’m not a fan of Obama but I congratulate him for his accomplishments.  I just can’t shake the suspicion that this is simply the world’s worst example of Affirmative Action run completely amuck.  I await a well-informed reader who can give me a list of 10 significant things that our Fearless Leader has accomplished in his short tenure that warrant his victory.  The only one I can see is that he has brought more blue neckties to the Oval Office.  But hell, Tommy Hilfiger could have done that.  And probably more convincingly.

                The bottom line here folks, is simply this: at what point do we stop coddling the President for his landmark, post-racial victory (whatever that means) and begin demanding some serious results?  The three polls I looked up today show over 60% of respondents say he doesn’t deserve this award.  How long before those same 60% become voters who reject his ego and press him for real results, not whirlwind trips to Copenhagen to try to score the Olympics. 

                Shoot, I almost forgot!  I’ll also be fighting my way deep into Afghanistan to rescue my imprisoned mentor, Richard Crenna, with the help of some scrappy local fighters.  No, wait, that was Rambo 3.  Never mind.

Why yes, I believe I would like fries with that.

                The topic of this entry is quite a simple one: hamburgers.  Not people from Hamburg, I don’t know squat about them, so I’m not qualified to talk about them.  Other than to say its funny that they’re called Hamburgers.  Chortle.

                No, no, I’m talking about grade A, 100%, all beef, cooked to perfection, served up on a warm bun, and sold to me for about $1.  Yes folks, I am a connoisseur of the $1 hamburger.  Sometimes it’s $1.19, or $1.29, but if it’s over $1.50 it better have bacon and cheese and come on a plate with no paper wrapper.  Don’t get me wrong, I fully appreciate a fantastic $5 burger, mostly on Tuesday nights at Crave (they’re fantastic).   There’s just something to be said for the underappreciated bargain burger.

                First you ought to know that if there is a $1 hamburger out there, chances are I’ve tried it.  I used to be a huge fan of the 88 cent McDonalds double cheeseburger, despite its weird grayness and the sinking suspicion that the “beef” was not entirely what it was supposed to be.  I followed the McD’s double for years, as it slowly inched its way up to 99 cents, then $1, and now to $1.29.  It’s been replaced on the Dollar Menu by the “double with cheese.”  Big difference: only one slice of cheese.  Lame.  And to be honest, that little slice of yellow cheesey goodness made all the difference.  (The double cheeseburger’s only saving grace now is that as some McD’s you can get it with green chile, that’s pretty sweet.)

                More recently I’ve been big on Wendy’s and their lineup of cheap burgers.  My typical order there used to consist of a Texas Double Cheeseburger, a Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger, small fries, small Dr. Pepper.  $4 used to go a lot further than today.   The Texas has been replaced by some kind of double stack thing, and the Jr. Bacon runs ya $1.19.  Cest la vie.

               Where does that leave us today?  The Justaburger.  Whataburger really does have some awesome burgers, and the Justaburger may be their best deal.  Its’ still 99 cents, which gets you a decent sized burger with mustard and onions.  You can add cheese, bacon, jalapenos, a freakin onion ring, whatever you want for just a bit more.  I’m all about throwing a couple of those little guys down my throat when I’m in the mood for some quick comfort food. 

                So next time you see me, offer me a burger, I’ll be more than happy to tell the whole world what I think of it.  My culinary delight will most certainly bring your burger world renown and all the trappings of fame and fortune that come with it.  Or just buy me one cause I’m broke all the time, and really, you’ve got a buck you can spare.  My cardiologist will thank you later.