Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Beautiful World

Thanks to Colin Hay for this blog.

I like the Fall air, but not what's on TV
I like to feel the chill at night, but it's good to have my wife warming me.
I like my Corgi's piercing bark, but why does he bark at me?

It's a beautiful world.

I like to brew my own coffee; it's stronger than most you buy
Coffee is about flavors and complexity, not syrups and foam
I drink the coffee of other lands whenever I roam.

It's a beautiful world.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Ten Years of Fatherhood

It's been ten years since my first child was born. I would like to say I have become a great father, but I think this is just one of those jobs that you keep on doing without becoming great. You can be good once in a while, but never great. Great is reserved for the mom, who rightly deserves the praise.

I thought about writing about my own dad here today, but that would take more time than what I have to give right now. Another blog for the future.... I can't believe how much love I have for my kids. It just hardly seems possible when you don't have children to realize that your heart will grow enough for the love you need to share with them.

Nora has been the source of tremendous pride so far these ten years. I know her best is far in the future. Taking on type 1 diabetes like she has for the past seven years has been amazing to see. I can hardly predict or imagine what the next ten years will bring for all of us in this party of five.

It should be fun.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Blackberry Buzz-Kill

I don't say the H-word very often, but I think I hate my wife's blackberry. To be clear, it is the never-ending stream of -bzzz- interruptions to everything we do that -bzzz- bothers me -bzzzz-. I don't know who -bzzzz- keeps -bzzzz- oh, just forget -bzzz- it.


Saturday, September 11, 2010

New Endeavors

My most excellent wife has taken on a new experience. She will be working for a small company which investigates fires. Forensic work is very cool, as anyone can tell by turning on a TV for half an hour. I am so impressed with her drive and dedication. She really is an inspiration.

I will, however, have to rethink my plans for retirement now. The old potato chip bag behind the switch plate trick will have to be put away.

I have a book that I wrote in a college class years ago. I may just have to dust it off, rewrite it, shop it around, and see what comes of it. I have thought about this for a while, but fear of failure kept it down. My wife demonstrates to me daily that new challenges should be embraced.

I will have to give it a try.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

About the Size of It

Knowing that my gorgeous wife had just been out shopping for new jeans, I asked, just out of curiosity, "what size are you wearing now?" Before you curse my lineage or poison my quinoa, I was doing a good thing. She has been working steadily for a long time now, training for a 105-mile bike ride in Death Valley for type-1 diabetes research. She has been transforming herself. I considered this before asking, figuring it might be a good build-up moment. What could go wrong?

Although I will not write the number here, I will enter into the main reason for writing today. Female clothing sizes are absolutely meaningless and without reason or merit. The number attached to a pair of jeans for a woman has about the same value as the contents of a Chinese buffet's fortune cookie.

This is what I learned from the conversation. The numbers have no actual reference to the physical world. There are generally consistent ways of numbering the sizes, but the variations are important. If the clothing is more expensive, you may be able to wear a smaller size, according to the number, at least. If you are shopping for bargain pants, you might be surprised by a larger size than you expected to see. In this nefarious system, there is actually a size zero.

I imagined that there might also be a negative size, which, if you are able to wear it, actually transports you to Bizarro World. "Me wear minus two dress, go to Bizarro Club now -pop!-"

Happy shopping!

Monday, September 6, 2010


I started a new exercise for my own personal challenge. I made a set of sand bags using two duffel bags, donated by a friend, and sacks of playground sand from Menard's. They each turned out to weigh eighty pounds. That was not a particular goal, but just how it happened to turn out.

Eighty pounds in each hand. That may not seem like a lot to professional lifters, but I am not one of them. The canvas straps are pretty tough on the hands. It stings rather fiercely after three or four carries.

So why would I pursue such madness? It's challenging, and offers no way to cheat or go easy. I have to move 160 pounds of sand from my garage to whatever location i decide to walk them to. So far that isn't any great distance. I can imagine what some neighbors might think. I've lost my mind. What is he carrying?

On that note, i remember an article I read some years ago about a woman who was, then, holder of the strongest woman title. She commented about how the neighbors got used to the idea of her walking up and down the sidewalks carrying an atlas stone. I hope to reach the point soon when I can carry both bags on my shoulders and walk them through the neighborhood. Not yet.

Right away I can feel differences in my strength level. I also was somewhat surprised to note that my tendons and joints, rather than aching, are feeling strong and pain-free.

As I heave these bags around, which are cheerleader duffels, I keep seeing in my mind some wispy cheerleader tossing the bag around with ease. "She can do it; move it!" And so I motivate myself to do more than I want to do.

Too many exercise options are made with back-outs, easy versions, and so I purposefully chose to add this to my normal routine. Precisely because there is no way to partially carry 160 pounds around, I am forcing myself to work harder than I have been in the gym.

Bring it on.

Kids at Work

My wife decided to repaint our house, on the inside. I dislike this job immensely, but I do appreciate it when it's done. This is a lot like oral surgery, bathing a cat, or having an intestinal virus...on a plane. But I really do like it when it's done. My wife has fabulous taste, and is super skilled in the art of brush and roller.

I am doing my part by making sure our three kids pitch in with prep jobs. They love it, and my wife doesn't have to feel the world on her gorgeous shoulders. The kids do a great job, too.

Don't worry, I am helping, too. It's a fun time in the Blythe house. Grab a brush and join us, won't you?