The Politics of Parenting (includes some algebra)


I am the type of person by nature that avoids confrontation. Don’t get me wrong it is not due to fear, it is due to remorse. There is a line in the movie You’ve got mail that always sticks in my head. Tom Hanks says about telling someone what you think about them. The line goes… “I must warn you… when you eventually have the pleasure of saying the thing you want to say at the moment you’re wanting to say it… remorse eventually follows.”


I have been in the situation hundreds of times where I felt like saying something to someone, and yet I bite my tongue. Who am I to judge? I am the last person to think myself better than someone else. Yet why do other people find it so easy to pass judgment? In this case fellow parents.


I have 3 groups of parents I interact with. Work parents, Neighborhood parents and Online parents. All of us have different ways of raising our children. Do I agree with everything other parents do? Nope. Have I learned some good parenting ideas? Yes. Have I told other parents that I liked certain aspects about how they raise their children? Yes. Have I told other parents that I dislike certain aspects about how they raise their children. NO!


So when someone makes the comment that they think my wife and I spend too much money on our child it drives me crazy. What is “too much”? Is our house filled with toys? YES! Did we buy him all those toys? Alas, no. Here is a math problem. (The algebra mentioned in the title)




A = Allowance – $10 a week. He does VERY well in school, has chores at home he almost always remembers to do, always asks my wife and I if we need help with something, and takes really good care of our pets. For a seven year old I am amazed.


B = Only grandchild on wifes side.


C = Only grandchild on my side.


D = Only nephew on wifes side


E = Only nephew on my side


F = Ebay. I Ebay. I Ebay A LOT! My son knows what Ebay is and how it works. When he tires of a toy he has me sell it. He then takes the proceeds and buys something else.


G = Thrift stores. My Ebay travels take me to thrifts store. So if see a shoe box filled with Pokemon cards for $1 I buy it. For $1 the look on his face is incredible!


H= Cash Hoard. At any given point this kid seems to have more cash at hand then myself. This is a combination of math components A,B,C, and F.


I = Parents. Yup, me and my wife. If I actually figured out how much non-allowancegrandparentauntuncleebaythrift money we spent on my son I just might be called a cheapskate. Shhhhhhhhh.


So does my son “get” more than other kids. Some yes, some no. Do other kids have things, or get to do things he does not? Yes. Could I spend a few paragraphs talking about things I see or hear other parents do that I do not “approve” of? Yes.


Will I? No.




Because when you eventually have the pleasure of saying the thing you want to say at the moment you’re wanting to say it… remorse eventually follows.



(although) Brian, I think a Playboy subscription for a preschooler is NOT good parenting.


Sarah Palin takes the fun out of winning.

 Sarah Palin takes the fun out of winning.


Let me just say that I am a competitive person by nature. Spending a large part of my younger years with one older brother and 3 older cousins on a daily basis taught me to revel in wins. Which seemed at that age to come few and far between.


Current annoyance to others around me: Mario Kart. When I race against my wife or a fellow Husband/Dad that lives on my street I CANNOT stop the smack talk. It just happens. I turn into an ass.


But I enjoy it.


That is why now that McCain has picked Sarah Palin as his VP I am bummed. There will be no smack talk. There will be no gloating. This is going to be too easy. President Obama. It will ( thank god) be how we are referring to him in a few months time.


Even if I picked just one reason why she is not the right choice I could spend all day on it. However I am just not that interested in learning more about her. She is pretty much the x-ray version of how I think. She stands for it, I am opposed. She is opposed, I am for it.


Imagine for a minute that McCain wins. 72 year old McCain. Sarah Palin would be one breath away from being the President! Seriously! PRESIDENT! That thought alone should be enough for any person NOT to vote for McCain!


But lets forget that scary part for a bit. Let me instead give you a couple reasons why I feel this way.


  1. Sarah Palin is Pro-Life. I am Pro-choice.

  2. Sarah Palin is against gun control. I am for it.

  3. Sarah Palin is currently under investigation for allegedly firing a state official that refused to fire a state trooper who just happens to be her sisters ex-husband who she is currently going through a custody battle with. (that run on sentence reminds of Ferris Buellers day off)

  4. She has repeatedly hired former lobbyists to help her met her political goals. (lobbyists are the worst thing in politics EVER)

  5. She preaches NO sex-education in schools other than abstinence (I disagree with it) while her 17 year old daughter is about to have a shotgun wedding. Is this like a picking a marriage counselor who is on their 3rd marriage?

  6. Her speech last night had SO many incorrect statements in it I have no idea where to begin. Do a Google search Palin speech fact check

I could go on, however I need to order lunch. All I know is that this presidential race has just become boring. Obama will win. The country will start to move in the right direction. And I can save my smack talk for Nintendo DS.


I will leave you with a cartoon I found this morning that made me laugh. (Also made me scared if anything happens to Obama before the election)

Mario Kart has taken over my household!


I have a son, seven years old. And like most seven year olds he has a Nintendo DS. With it he has seven year old boy games. Pokemon Diamond and Pearl, Mario Pinball, Kingdom Hearts, Spectrobes…


All was fine and dandy. He would play it when my wife and I were getting things done around the house, or in the car. He would “link up” with other kids (within 20 feet of himself he reminds me). Again, all was fine and dandy.


Then something happened. My wife came home with that smile she has when she is about to inform me that she bought something. (This is perfectly OK! She works hard at her job and may buy whatever she likes!) That something she bought was Mario Kart. A new game for my son. Hey, something else to keep him entertained. Cool.


Or so I thought…


My son LOVED the game. So, one night I tried it after he went to bed. For 4 HOURS! I could not put it down. I was hooked. All these different tracks to choose from. All the characters. All the Karts. All the bonus items. My wife thought I was nuts.


Then one night I cam home from work and walked into the house to hear the familiar sounds of red shells, speed ups, and thrown banana peels. I thought my son son was still awake. Wrong. It was my wife. Sitting on the couch clutching the DS faced screwed up in concentration. Mario had her too.


I walked over, told her I was going upstairs to change and would be back down. When I got back to the living room she was still there playing. I asked what time The Dude (my son) went to bed. She made a noise that may have been a time, I am not sure. I sat down in my chair and said


Hey, can I play when you are done with that race”?


The reply was quick. No. Of course my only response was to ask how long she was playing. She said not long. Hmmmm, maybe, maybe not I thought. About 10 minutes later I asked if I could play now. No was the answer yet again.


Now I was getting frustrated. I had been at work for 12 hours, I wanted to relax and play Mario Kart. I had been thinking about it for the last few hours. I knew tonight was the night I would get the Gold trophy on 150cc Special track unlocking me another cool character, or some other cool reward!


Eventually she gave in. I am sure it had nothing to do with me whining like a 5 year old. I think she was just done playing.


Fast forward a week or two. All the neighborhood kids were gone on vacations, and The Dude didn’t have anyone to play with. He told my wife and I that he wanted us to get a another DS so we could race with him.


Of course being the great parents we are, and only having our sons happiness in mind we left the house about 10 minutes later (I think I showered) to purchase our 2nd DS in a one child household.


End result you ask? I am sitting at work right now. 3:30 in the afternoon, looking forward to 9:00 when I head home, check that The Dude is in bed, and challenge my wife to yet another couple hours of Dry Bones, Blue Shells, Banana Peels, and Cheap Cheap Beach.



List of TV Marathons this Labor day weekend.

Here is a list of “Marathons” I found on another site that will be on the tube this Labor day weekend. Hopefully I will be drinking and NOT watching tv. One can hope.

Saturday August 30th 2008:

Bravo: Project Runway
ESPN Classic: Evander Holyfield boxing matches
History: Ax Men

MTV: Parental Control

Science: How Do They Do It?

Spike: CSI

TNT: Law & Order

TruTV: Forensic Files

WGN: Coach

Sunday August 31st 2008:

A&E: Gene Simmons Family Jewels

AMC: Mad Men

Bravo: Law & Order: Criminal Intent

Cartoon Network: Ben 10

Fox Reality: The Amazing Race

G4: Hurl!

History:Ice Road Truckers

MTV: True Life

Spike: CSI

The N: Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide

TLC: Mystery Diagnosis

TNT: Law & Order

TV One: Between Brothers

VH1: 100 Greatest Teen Stars

WE: Bridezillas

Labor Day, Monday September 1st 2008:

A&E: CSI: Miami

ABC Family: My Wife and Kids

Biography: City Confidential

Bravo: Project Runway

Cartoon Network: Pokemon DP: Battle Dimension

Discovery Health: Untold Stories of the ER

Discovery: Dirty Jobs

Disney: Suite Life of Zack & Cody

Food Network: Unwrapped

FX: That 70’s Show

GSN: Press Your Luck

Hallmark: Murder She Wrote

HGTV: House Hunters

History: Tougher in Alaska

Lifetime: Army Wives

Military: Futureweapons

MTV: America’s Next Top Model

MTV2: Rob & Big

National Geographic: The Dog Whisperer

Sci-Fi: Star Trek: The Next Generation

Science: How It’s Made

Soap: Beverly Hills 90210

Speed: 101 Cars You Must Drive

Spike: CSI

Starz: Football movies

TBS: Tyler Perry’s House of Payne

TLC: Jon & Kate Plus 8

TNT: The Closer

Travel: Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations

TruTV: Party Heat

TV Land: Scrubs

TV One: Martin

USA: Monk

WE: High School Confidential

Signs that you might be a Fantasy Football Addict

I was cleaning files out on my old PC and found this list my buddy sent me a couple years ago. Thought I would share it.


Signs that you might be a Fantasy Football Addict

You consider a big-screen T.V. and Sunday Ticket an “investment”.

You supplement your holiday budget with your winnings.

You attend 2 football games on the same day in 2 different cities.

Sunday weather reports are more relevant for 16 cities not
remotely close to your current location.

You haven’t made plans for the Labor Day weekend for the past ten
years because it would interfere with your draft.

You manage your workload around your online time.

You can simultaneously catch 4 games at once without missing a
single play by using: picture in picture, real time play-by-play, and
Internet radio.

You sleep outside the sports bar Saturday night to be first in
line for the spot that can view the most TV’s.

Your family room is 10’x8′ and your TV is 60″ with surround sound.

You’ve ever charged out of the bathroom not completely dressed
because you heard the 10-minute ticker chime.

…and you were at someone else’s house.

You cheer for a player to do well because he is on your fantasy
team but not TOO well because he’s playing against your favorite team.

You prefer watching games on television over attending in person
because one game just isn’t enough.

Every person in your fantasy league is on speed dial.

You wake up at 5:30 am on Sunday to attend the early church service so that you can get back in time for the NFL pre-game shows.

You stay up all night Saturday night getting the latest injury
reports and weather conditions, knowing you have to get up at 5:30 am on Sunday.

You watch the end of a 42-10 game hoping your WR has 1 more catch for 3 yards.

You listen to ESPN radio when it is so scratchy and out of range
that you only understand about 1 of every 3 words, just hoping to
hear those sweet little words; (INSERT NAME HEAR) just rambled in for
his 2nd TD of the game.

You have no idea who your state senators are but can recite the
career statistics and bio of your team’s practice squad members.

Heading into Monday Night, you honestly think you’ve “still got a
chance” because you’re kicker just needs seven field goals to put you
over the top.

You offer the guy who has the #1 pick in your fantasy league your
daughter as soon as she graduates high school.

You catch yourself watching the World Cup on ESPN2 at 7:00am just
to watch the bottomline to see if any NFL team has signed a FA.

A hot girl asks “Want to live out your fantasy?” and you
reply “You’re going to trade me LT?”

You’ve done a mock draft in a noisy bar. In May.

You’re checking out the box scores of High School football games
because you want to get a step up on the competition at your 2011
rookie draft.

When your wife comes home from shopping on a Sunday afternoon,
asks you how James is doing, and only after you reply “He just scored
again” do you realize she was asking about your infant son you were
suppose to be watching.

You remember your whole FF teams roster and statistics from the
one week you demolished your arch-rival 4 years ago, but you cannot
remember your wife’s middle name.

The only bookmarks you have saved on your home and work computers
are FF websites.

Your last paper for college proved that having a solid 6th WR is
better than having a backup kicker. This was a history course. You
got a B+ for the paper.

Week 1 in the NFL has come and gone, and you feel a greater sense
of loss then when any distant relative passes on.

When McNabb rolls out from the 1 yard line and throws a TD pass to
Reggie Brown, rather than handing off to Westbrook, you become so
enraged that you start screaming obscenities and crying.

Your first name is Barry, so you decide to take your fiancé’s
last name when you marry because it’s Sanders.

You cheer when the wide receiver gets dragged down at the 2 yard
line because your running back has an easy 6 coming up.

Someone asks you “what’s the score?” and you reply “Right now I
have 87 points, but this field goal would give me 90”.

Your desk is a wreck, your checkbook unbalanced, and your
financial statements are stuffed in a folder somewhere, yet you have
a neatly organized binder with cheat sheets, depth charts, etc.

You want your favorite NFL team to win, just as long as the
opposing WR and kicker get you 25 points.

If a time machine were to be invented, your only idea would be to
check the next season’s stats to create the perfect cheat sheet.

When you tell your family you can’t take vacations in August
(really July 15 on) due to football even though the football season
starts after Labor Day.

You have a ‘standard deviation’ column on your cheat sheet.

You cheer a team’s offense until they get to the 20 yard line,
then boo them down until their kicker gets on the field.

You spend so much time dealing misinformation when talking
football with your leaguemates that you have to write down what you
really think and put it in the safe at home.

Your whole day off is ruined because the
message board is closed for maintenance.

Your buddy is moaning about his love life and says he has to
start using his head instead of following his heart, and you agree by
saying, “Yeah, gut or math”.

It’s April and your watching Sportscenter complaining ” Why do
they keep showing all this hockey and basketball and baseball … who
cares about this stuff?”

You watch the NFL draft and get mad when they don’t do a
statistical breakdown of a 7th round running back.

Your personal cheatsheets contain every offensive player in the
NFL, and you update these cheatsheets all 52 weeks of the year.

Your don’t care who wins the Super Bowl as long as your
quarterback throws for at least 300 yards and a touch, assuring your
playoff fantasy pool victory.

You turn down a job that pays $4 more/hr because you didn’t want
to miss Sunday or Monday night football. After your wife divorced
you, your buddies and you still believe you made the right decision.

You have no clue how to take care of your own lawn but you know
the soil mixture of the field your star running back is playing at
this week.

Your making breathtaking love to your beautiful wife Saturday
night and say” baby the only thing better than you is a noon
kickoff” !!

Your household budget includes FF expenses.

Given the choice between having just a vehicle or a computer,
you’re not sure which way you’d go.

You’re leaving your dynasty teams to your son in your will.

Your wife/girlfriend has ever uttered the phrase, “I’ve had it up
to *here* with FF.”

Your 11 closest friends are in the same league. It’s June and you
haven’t spoken to any of them since January.

Your wife finally connects your team’s success to your romantic
mood, and she offers to download mini-camp news from around the
league while your at work.

You call your leagues’ commissioners 6 months ahead of time to
try and set draft dates so you can plan your family vacations around

You’re more concerned that the rookie WR you covet scored a 7 on
the Wonderlic test than your kid’s 72 on his IQ test.

You’re sleeping on the couch because your wife just realized that
your wedding tape now has Raiders/Patriots game on it.

You call an Emergency Help Line because you just can’t decide
which kicker to start.

You name your dogs fantasy and champion

You make pancakes in the shape of footballs for your kids.

You get less than three hours of sleep the night before your
draft due to excitement and last minute changes with your cheat

Your wife tells you “we need to start planning for the future”,
and you tell her “Don’t worry, I’ve already started rookie draft
projections for the keeper league.”

You have calculated 32 sets of stats for every free agent – one
for each club that might sign him.

Your wife packs up the kids and heads for her mother’s July 26th
and you don’t see her again until after the Pro Bowl. And you never

You watched so much football last season, you realized that
commercial with the Dolphins fan celebrating in the Jets bar had a
different announcer calling the game depending on which network it
was being shown on.

You think Babe Ruth is a type of candy bar and the only Kareem
Abdul-Jabbar you’ve ever heard of was the RB for the Dolphins.

You negotiate a football field to be painted on the wall of the
new baby’s room; no matter what sex the child will be.

You have the chance to “grab a big bust”, and you avoid it.

You respectfully ask that the Doctor say “Hut One, Hut Two, HUT-
HUT!!” while delivering your child.

You produce cheatsheets with cells color-coded to match the
players team.

A friend stops over at Friday Night happy hour (because he knew
you’d be there) because he just signed up for a fantasy league that
drafts in a half hour. He has no cheat sheet, no magazine, nothing.
You sit down, half loaded, and produce a cheat/projection sheet and a
depth chart to 2 QBs, 3 RBs, 4 WRS, and 2 TEs deep for every team on
3×6 scraps of paper….and he WINS the league championship.

You think some of these one-liners are funny, because they hit so
close to home.

You think some of these one-liners are NOT funny, because they




Star Wars: The Clone Wars aka I HATE fanboys


First off let me say this. I am a Star Wars fan.


 NOT Fanboy.

 Definition: (per wikipedia)

 Fanboy (sometimes spelled fanboi) is a term used to describe an individual who is devoted to a single subject in an emotional or fanatical manner, or to a single point of view within that subject, often to the point where it is considered an obsession. Use in a sentence: “My son was having a hard time enjoying the movie since there were a couple Star Wars fanboys sitting behind us complaining that the character development sucks!”

Being a Star Wars “fan” and a father of a seven year old, I am so sick of reading comments posted by Star Wars fanboys about how crappy the new Clone Wars movie is.

 I was six years old when Star Wars was first released. For the next 6 years it consumed my little world. I was Luke, Han, Darth, Lando (minus the Colt 45), Chewy etc. When asked what I wanted for my birthday, Christmas, Easter, Columbus day… the answer was always STAR WARS TOYS!

 Fast forward to 1983

 About a year after Return of the Jedi came out the toys went into the attic and I moved on. Baseball cards were next.

 What I am getting at is that I am SICK of these (lack of a better word) FREAKS bashing the new Star Wars animated movie The Clone Wars. Here are a few examples of what I am referring to.

 “Lucas sold out. He is just making these for the money.” Bob 38 California

 “I gave Lucas 3 extra shots at my movie cash based on goodwill from the original trilogy, and that was 2 shots too many.” Steve 34 Oregon

 “I do not want to imagine the kind of Star Wars fan who would be even slightly excited by this movie.” Larry 42 Texas

 Guess what Bob, Steve and Larry… THIS MOVIE WASN’T MADE FOR YOU!

 I highly doubt Lucasfilm was looking for that ever sought after 30 to 42 year old moms basement dwelling nerd. You who did like the movie? The consumers it was directed at. Kids.

 Yes, children. You know those things you see that are about the size of jawas. While you were busy reading every Star Wars novel, and playing every roll playing game churned out the rest of us dated, married, and had children.

 If you don’t believe me just look at this.

Left Picture RIGHT    Right Picture WRONG

 Did I enjoy Clone Wars? Yes. Did my son enjoy Clone Wars. YES! Do I feel that my childhood is slowly being cheapened and destroyed by the money hungry Lucas the Hutt? Nope.