Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Big Site & Book Update

Big news coming from the Reinvented Daddy. As you know we have a book in development, tentatively due out early 2015. As part of the process I've had to pull a lot of content from the site that may find it's way into print. For giggles I've left a few of the very first posts up. They've been buried so long they haven't been seen by many regular visitors. I will be putting more, new posts up soon and after we've put everything through the sorting hat I may repost some good material that didn't make the cut. By the way, look at that assortment of ravioli I just made in about a half hour this morning. Seriously, just use wonton wrappers for the noodles. You literally cant make them this thin and delicious homemade but remember to cook them right after you make them. Boil very low for about three minutes tops then laddle out and toss in some sauce so they won't stick until dinner. Finish them off pouring some hot sauce of your choice over and slide in the oven for 10 minutes. These noodles are thin as a bad excuse so the filling really gets a showcase. For the filling I spun some leftover sauce meat, pork rib, sweet sausage, hot sausage and meatballs, around in the Kitchenaid mixer with an egg extra italian seasonings, salt and pepper. The sauce was also leftover fresh from the freezer. I poured it on top of diced tomatoes that I had cooked down with olive oil to freshen it up.

Friday, February 26, 2010

BREAKING: Son Suspended, Mom A-Gassed

(Dateline: My two blocks up the street)

Our neighbors and long time friends have the nicest son, Andrew. He really is great, very polite but sincere and geniunely funny. We have known him since he was born and our daughter has been in the same grade with him throughout four years of elementary school so we never expected him to have a dark, sinister side. Thus the news we got from his mom yesterday morning was a shock.

Andrew was frightened to go into school to the point of panic. He revealed to his parents that he was facing a 10 day suspension for behavior in school per a meeting with his principal the day before. Apparently this 9 year old menace to society was to be publicly excoriated for a very high crime. He had farted on a girl while playing ball in gym class.

Naturally the mother was beside herself. She assured her boy that everything would be alright and that certainly, there was a misunderstanding and she would call the school. As soon as she could she got the principle on the phone and declared that it must be a mistake and that these things must happen all the time in sports. The principle appeared confused by her vigorous defense but assured her that he would look further into the situation.

A couple of hours later Andrews mom got a call from the school office. A secretary told her that they had conducted an investigation of the matter but, frankly, couldn't figure out what happened. However not to worry, her son would not be suspended until they got to the bottom of the matter.

When the mom in question got home, her heart still racing from a day of suspense, Andrew casually came up to her with a slight aura of sheepishness.

"Mom, you know that thing about farting on Piper? Well, the more I think about it, the more I think I just dreamed it last night. In fact, by the time I got to school, I was pretty sure of it... I was just very sleepy this morning. Sorry."

I got nothin' to say....

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Wanna Work From Home: Be A "Best"

While more and more men tend to hearth and home more and more men wish they could work from home. Internet ads and Good Morning America fluff pieces make home-work sound easy and fun, it is in fact, usually fruitless and frustrating. Real employers don't want to pay a salary to someone who's first priority isn't them so to get a paycheck in the mail you need to find something you enjoy and become so good at it that someone will be forced to pay you for it.

I have carved out a nice niche managing investments but I am not a stock picker in the sense that a million other day traders are. Long ago I found a technical niche in the markets that appeared to have a predictability. I researched and refined my niche until I became one of the top experts in the country at this one little thing. By finding one little art that no one else was mastering, I found a skill that now pays off quite well while fitting the demanding schedule of a haus-mensch.

An interesting allegory to this theory is the story of the quarterback and the snapper. I recently read about a former college quarterback who won a Heisman Trophy a couple decades back. He was the best player on his team and he surely got all the glory and the girls back in the day. His college roommate was also his center and he was neither the best player on the team nor the most acclaimed but he did have a skill. Rather than being the best player on his team or even the best center, he was the best long snapper. In fact he was so good at getting the ball to the punter that he made an NFL team as an undrafted rookie. Playing perhaps a dozen snaps a game, he was in the league for 13 years while his Quarterback roomie never collected an NFL paycheck. I often wonder what it would feel like for the man who was the best player on his team, most important player in all of college football, to visit the big-ass house a dozen years of NFL salary has bought his roomie who probably had to fight for scholarship money but was the very best at one, tiny, inglorious skill every football team needs.

Confucious said a thousand years ago and it still holds up: ... Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. ... Start with something you enjoy and find a niche to perfect. It may take years to master your niche or find a way to monetize it but look around... you have time on your hands between diapers and playdate appointments.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Can You Really Give 110%

Can you really give anything 110% ? This phrase really bugs me and it has become ubiquitous in our culture. I think it was invented in a deodorant commercial so it obviously has credibility with the washed masses but I can't help but gag on the ill-logic of it.

I recently started a new business. As a stay at home parent you need to work for yourself one way or another if you want to get a respectible return of cash and self respect from the rubbery schedule life has handed you. I used to be in the business of selling mortgages but that morphed into a full time, straight commission job as grief counselor. Last year I was in the business of losing money. This year I am learning from the mistakes of 2009 and starting a new business that WILL make money and I WILL enjoy doing. As I thought about how successful this new endeavor would be I muttered to myself that I was 100% sure of success ... dare I say 110% sure? No, in fact to my logic 110% would be 10% UN-sure. Follow my logic.

100% is to the described item or attribute a finite and real description. It is the same at 360 degrees are in a circle. If you are 110% of a circle you are really 36 degrees away from being a complete circle. The further you get from 100% of anything the further you are getting away from what you are describing. This is science, not faith people.

You see, if you are as completely sure, or committed or full of it, whatever, you would be 100%. Right? So to go beyond that real 100 you would need to push into hypothetical optimism for the next 10. Do ya' follow? Since optimism presumes doubt those extra 10% would thus be expressions of doubt. Over the years people have stretched the expression to the ridiculous, as in "I am 200% positive that baby isn't mine Maury". Well, by my well oiled logic, to be 200% sure means you are 100% unsure. Look at that baby ... THAT'S YOUR BABY!

So the next time you see some sweaty butt-munch on TV professing to the camera that " I give it 200% and so does my deodorant", you can be 100% sure that he never gives his best... and he stinks too.

The Sound Of Music Acid Test

Obviously men are hardwired differently than women. Emotional judgements and appreciations are often diametrically opposite between the sexes. The Reinvened Wife tells me with obsessive frequency that I am stony a Cro-Magnon and yet I think that I am an overly sentimental puppy dog. I soar and swoon with every mood shift of my wife. I feel the sting of every physical or emotional injury sustained by my children. I honestly cannot smile for two days after a Steelers loss. Since we do not have the benefit of seeing ourselves as others see us we can do a little research on our emotional selves by examining how Daddy and Mommy view popular culture. This insight may or may not help your relationship but to quote a very smart bookie I once knew, “Smart beats stupid two out of three times.”

One of the most accurate and directed emotional thermometer in pop culture would be the “Sound Of Music” test. This musical mishmash of schmaltzy sentimentality and Nazis has proved to be a relationship staple since 1965. It is ironic that this icon to the feminine sensibility would come out the same year that unveiled the ultimate traveling icon of the masculine sensibility, the Rolling Stones. Both test relationships regularly. Women nestle their mates onto the coach for a long night of Rogers and Hammerstein just as men drag their better halves to a packed stadium for a night of Jagger and Richards. How we come away from these trials tells us where our emotional temperature is.

I always come away from “The Sound Of Music” with three clear conclusions:

1. Those children were so much better behaved before that wench Maria showed up. She isn't there two scenes and the kids are literally hanging from the trees.

2. When the Mother Superior sings “Climb Every Mountain” she clearly wants to make the Nazis look good by contrast. The performance is so sadistically saccarin that diabetics need a hit of insulin before watching it. Even women go to the refrigerator during this showkiller.

3. When the Colonel starts to sing odes to mountain shrubbery he loses all believability as a U-boat commander. The writers either took liberty with his song choice or his military career.

If your opinions mirror mine I can spare your wife the breath and tell you that you are an unsentimental bastard. You are also absolutely normal, if that is your goal. Men have been unsentimental bastards at least since the invention of marriage so it must not be a serious relationship threat. It does, however, mean that you need to take steps to project healthier emotions. You may not agree with the emotions that you will be projecting but there is a big difference between 'being' emotionally honest and 'appearing' emotionally healthy. Put another way: if 'being' emotionally honest got you into this mess and 'appearing' emotionally healthy can get you out of it. Woman will appreciate the effort eitherway.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Indianapolis Wins & Footballs Newest Genius

The Indianapolis Colts beat the New York Jets by a big score, 30 - 17 but it didn't look that way at halftime. As Braylon Edwards stretched a beautiful pitch from Jets rookie QB Mark Sanchez into a touchdown and a 10-7 lead over the Indianapolis Colts I couldn't help but think "Oh my, he's bound to collapse of exhaustion since his team didn't rest him down the stretch for the playoffs".

The Colts, who always appear so invincible going into the playoffs have been, with one exception, "vinced" every playoff campaign short of the Superbowl in this long Peyton Manning era. To avoid the Noid again, new Head Coach Jim Caldwell forsook a run at a perfect season and pulled his star quarterback and many starters early in what became their first loss in game 14 against... ummm, I forget... oh yeah, against the Jets! This strategy did have the effect of letting the Jets, who's season was given up for dead a week before by their own coach, into the playoffs. It also blocked the Steelers, who also won out their last three games only to miss the playoffs due to tiebreakers. One shouldn't be too hard on Colt's coach Caldwell for using this "lose to win" strategy to spare and repair his top guns. Noted football genius Bill Belicheck often presumed football genius Marvin Lewis both bought into the same theory after they locked up playoff spots. Both Patriots and Bengals were rudely dumped in the first round of playoffs by wildcard teams who, one must presume, didn't have the luxury of resting players down the stretch. Puts a different spin on genius dunnit?

Clearly these coaching geniuses never watch Survivor on TV. Seemingly every year a team of reality schmucks takes a dominating lead over another team of reality schmoes. Seeing an insurmountable lead they decide it would behove them to take the foot off of their opponents neck long enough to torpedo an unpopular or inconvenient teammate or settle a score. Without fail the team that pauses to take a breath or settle a score ends up losing out, chemistry shattered and spirit broken.

The football gods clearly decided to forgive the Colts rookie coach at halftime. Probably because he already sacrificed a potential perfect season on the alter of foolish football canards. Keep it up Mr Caldwell and you might become a football genius too, just like Marvin Lewis.

Doc, I Need A Pill... Stat !

So it's 2:44 in the afternoon on a Sunday. I'm being as intimate with my wife as wide awake kids will allow: we are both surfing the web at the kitchen table while listening to NFL pregame in the background. This is the 21 equivalent of reading poetry under a willow tree. Suddenly, breaking the mood, comes the resonant tone of a commercial announcer axing if I am troubled by "erectile dysfunction".

No, I do not dismiss the needs of the many out there who could use some help getting over a physical or emotional hump, so to speak. I do however, regret that my kids will grow up more comfortable talking about penile performance than prophylactic protection. It's just the hypocrisy that big pharmaceutical companies can talk about manly matters over my dinner, but God (apparently) forbid educators offer advice to tweenagers on how to avoid pregnancy, syphilis and nasty reputations. Why are there no no grumpy old men standing outside the offices of urologists with humongous pictures of flaccid penis', protesting this unnatural endowment?

Perhaps I would be in a more generous mood if Merck or Johnson & Johnson (wouldn't that be appropriate...) would come on TV with a pill that gave me and the ReInvented Wife what our sex life really needed. A pill that made the kids go away for three hours at a time. One can hope.