T-Ball: Good lord what have we begat?

So yeah T-Ball.

Wow.

I never played organized stuff as a kid. My first experience with organized sports was my senior year in high-school. The Track team needed a pole-vaulter. I was the only idiot to volunteer, so the job was mine. Nice. Obviously I survived, but I had a few close calls. Anyway, now I have to get involved in this stuff because Frank is trying a myriad of sports for that well rounded foundation before we turn our laser focus on building his pro golf career.

But man, T-Ball.

Eight kids standing on the infield as a kid stands at the plate and hacks at the ball set on a tee.

Batter Up!

Batter Up!

Try to imagine ye old Scotland at the time of William Wallace. Gas powered mowers are centuries from invention. The trusty scythe was the implement of choice. A grizzled old farmer works his share crop on the edge of the Scottish coast on a piece of link land. So named because it linked the inland with the beach, later deemed so bad for farming or grazing, people built golf courses on it instead. Hence St Andrews and links golf. Hoping to avoid eviction by the lord or knight of the manor, the farmer swings to and fro his scythe, desperate for a decent crop yield. Gnarly hands struggle to hold the scythe in the freezing summer winds and ocean mist. Yes summer. He can’t stop. He’s working to pay the man. A two handed device that was gangly but lethal that scythe. Not lethal to the grass but to the person wielding it. Mind you this was a lawn implement.

That almost compares to the way 4 year old kids swing the bat at a ball perched on a tee. The ball is in no danger. Ever. It is the tee for which we weep.

You can almost feel the pain of the Tee as the batters rain blows down upon it, while the ball sits safely in the holder or gently falls to the ground and rolls a few feet away. Now if the ball does leave the tee another natural phenomenon is cast into motion. In Frank’s Place Latin - Jugis de Gnati or running of the child, occurs naturally this time of year across the United States. Eight or nine undersized kids wearing oversized t-shirts, ball caps, and mitts, or gloves, reflexively run at the ball as it leaves it’s protective habitat atop the tee. Every once in a while a rare sighting occurs when the child who just bludgeoned the tee causing the ball to be set in motion also chases it instead of running to first.

Jugis de Gnati also requires that each child throw him or herself onto the child who actually trapped the ball under their person. This Canem Cumulus, or dog pile, takes place regardless of time elapsed from the ball being trapped by the original child and the final child reaching said dog pile. In other words, if a kid has to run from the outfield to get a ball hit to the pitcher, so be it. That child will run the entire distance offering him or herself to the top of Canem Cumulus upon completion of the journey.

The one redeeming quality of Tee-ball: it’s apparently ok to laugh at the kids without facing the wrath of the sports parent or Athletica Parenti. In fact the horror stories often associated with the overbearing parents at their kid’s sporting endeavors seem non-existent at this level. Here’s hoping it stays that way. Fingers crossed.

The true heroes of this little social experiment called Tee-ball are the coaches. God bless them crazy bastards. What drives these men and women to sign up for this? What do they get out of it? I’m not seeing it. But again, God bless em. Someone has to do it I guess.

I learned from last Fall’s soccer experiment, which resembled a giant 6 kid amoeba roaming the field attempting to assimilate the ball, to keep my expectations low. Just try to enjoy Frank enjoying himself. He enjoyed soccer. Never kicked the ball through 8 games. Not once. And he loved it. Running with his friends was all he wanted. He had no desire to enter the scrum to get the ball. He was happy so I learned to be happy about and with him.

What a difference a season makes.

Making the play on the hot corner!

Making the play on the hot corner!

The first time Frank took the field I was very nervous, completely unsure of what he would do. But true to his herd, as the first ball hit the dirt rolling non-aggresively toward the mound, Frank, along with 8 of his teammates, stampeded toward the ball. The pitcher, or kid standing on the mound, was first to the ball. Poor kid. Nine kids later, to include the batter, the first dog pile of the season was complete thus signaling the boys of summer are back.

I was stunned that Frank was so willing to dog pile. But what happened next was earth shattering for two reasons:

1. the ball was struck with some pace and was on a inside-the-infield home run trajectory.

2. Frank dove to his left, glove in proper position, snagging the ball and triggering a roar from the crowd.

We had played catch in the back yard, but I was never allowed to throw the ball in the air. Frank always made me throw him ground balls. I naturally assumed he was afraid of the ball. Turns out the kid knew what he was doing.

Color me surprised. I did notice he enjoyed the people cheering for him a bit more then I would have liked. He’s starting to like this tee ball thing way too much.

I just hope it doesn’t mess up his golf swing.

 

 

 

 

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Hey Frank: It’s Masters Sunday!

Aside from two major holidays, Christmas and Easter, there is no more hollowed week in this house than Masters Week.

That’s golf by the way.

For a golf fan Masters Week is the Super Bowl but without the two weeks of media redundancy leading to the actual event. The Masters competition starts on Thursday and ends today, there is the par three competition on Wednesday and State of the Game address on Tuesday, with an opening tee shot by Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, and Jack Nicklaus starting things off early Monday morning.

This year a new event has been added to the “Tradition unlike any other.”

Masters Week now starts off on Sunday with the Drive, Chip, & Putt contest. Think punt pass and kick. Regional winners from across the country, ages 7 – 14, come to Augusta National to compete for the championship in their age group. All 4 hours was televised on the Golf Channel. Guess where I was last Sunday.

At 8:00am I settled into my office chair, propped my feet up and watched little kids, boys and girls, hit their drivers 250-300 yards. Clearly poisoned by the steroid ear of baseball, those kids must be on the juice.

Anyway, my 2yr old daughter waddled in, said GOLF! and climbed into my lap. It was shaping up to be a good Sunday morning.

Well for a bit anyway.

Out of no where my beautiful bride appears asking, “Are you taking Frank golfing?”

Crazy at it sounds I had no plans to golf that day or take Frank.

“Well he just gave me detailed “constructions” on how I was to watch after Anne Marie while you two went golfing. He’s in his room getting dressed, polo shirt and all.”

OK then I guess we’re going golfing.

It’s no secret I am trying to get Frank hooked on golf. I have no delusions about watching him compete in the Drive, Chip, and Putt competition at the Masters. Besides each competitor can only bring one chaperone, and I know he would pick his mother.

No, I’m just trying to cultivate some playing partners for the next 15-30 years. The Masters would just be a sweet bonus.

But for real, how awesome would I look in the white coveralls each caddy must wear during competition, toting Frank’s clubs as he comes down the back nine on Sunday at Augusta?

Back to realty. We’re dressed and hauling the mail to the Par 3 course about 5 miles up the road. Then off to the driving range at our home course to put in some work.

Peep the skills of my 4yr old.

New Tee boxes at the Par 3. Old boxes couldn't contain him. The course has been Frankified!

New Tee boxes at the Par 3. Old boxes couldn’t contain him. The course has been Frankified!

Posture getting a little closed. Trying to really pound this one.

Posture getting a little closed. Trying to really pound this one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Going for the green in one.

Going for the green in one.

His first ever par putt.

His first ever par putt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chasing greatness can be a lonely business. The great ones put in the work after everyone else goes home.

I’m just taking pictures and eating a hotdog I had actually bought for Frank, he’s doing all the work. Keep working Frank, still got some chips to eat!

It’s hard to see but he’s throwing the balls around the chipping green and chipping them until they go in. The beauty of golf, he stops to watch a flock of birds fly over. Do that on a soccer field and you might take one in the onions.

All that work leads to the payoff, imitating a move he saw in a dopey Adam Sandler golf movie.

Enjoy Masters Sunday!

 

 

 

Diary of a SAHD: Joy and sadness in aisle 9.

What’s the old saying, “It’s the little things in life.”

Well I’m not sure we all have the same definition of little things. I’m pretty sure we don’t have the same scale when it comes to ranking the little things in life.

But I just had a moment I’m hoping isn’t indicative of what the final 20 or so years of my life will look like.

Casually strolling the aisles at The Kroger, my The Kroger to be exact, I found a mini pot of gold at the end of what’s been a tough rainbow to chase down. I say casually because it was a rare solo mission to The Kroger.

My kitchen cleaning friends, steady yourselves.

Behold!

23.5 degrees of curved splendor

23.5 degrees of curved splendor (angle of attack estimated)

Yeah, I know. Take a moment. I needed one.

You are looking at an engineering marvel. The blunt nosed dish wand. God bless America!

Yes gang, it’s a dish wand that cleans around corners. Just sitting there in aisle 9 tucked between the Swiffer Wet Jet refills and the Cello 3 Pack sponges, BOGO with coupon.

I found myself staring, eyes glazing over and then getting a little misty, I don’t mind saying.

Look man, this is a big deal. I’m a Scotch Brite man. Their dish wand is superior in every way except for the molded scraper on the front. Oh it’s great for when you burn the bottom of a pan making honey glazed chicken, but screw me if it can get into the space where the bottom of the pan and or pot curls up to meet the wall of said pot.

Same deal with glasses or coffee mugs. Just can’t do it, the scraper hits first keeping the sponge part from cleaning a 1 inch wide ring around the circumference of the glass, mug or pot. It’s annoying as all get out.

But the boys and girls at Scotch Brite have heard our pleas and supplications.

Before I go further let me say this is not a paid advertisement and Scotch Brite did not send me any free stuff. Although I may e-mail them the link to this and see what I get out of it. I guess I’ll have to take out the last sentence before I do, and this one too. Damn-it! (<—and that)

Anyway, this could not have come at a better time. Our dishwasher just went belly up and we are waiting on our home warranty to make good. So that means instead of just pre-cleaning dishes for the dishwasher I’ve been actually washing dishes by hand the way Ma and Pa Ingalls used to do it on Little House on the Prairie, or Big Woods if you go that far back.

So I kind of gathered myself before they put out the “Herb! Clean up on aisle 9!” call and grabbed up two wands and two 2-pack refills. Hey I’ve been burned one too many times falling in love with a pair of shoes, or a style of t-shirt only to find out everyone else hated it and they stopped making them. No more. And this was way too important to make that mistake.

I got that thing home, loaded it up and went to work. Let me tell you something, it was everything I thought it could be and more.

I don’t usually advocate for products unless someone is willing to drop money on me to do it and I won’t push this dish wand. But if any of you have been hesitant to pull the trigger and need some assurances before dropping the coin for this little beauty, fear not. Purchase with confidence.

It’s real and it’s fabulous.

 

 

 

 

UT Basketball: A Pearl of a petition.

It’s been fascinating to watch the NCAA basketball season unfold. This season we saw another version of the one and done phenoms in Lexington underperform all year only to turn it on at tournament time. We watched Michigan State run up victories at a blistering pace only to be crushed by injuries midseason and claw their way back as they got healthy. I was watching the games on ESPN when Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart went all Bobby Knight on some sideline furniture in one game and then channel his inner Ron Artest a few games later, going into the stands to confront a big mouth fan who had catapulted himself across the line between spectator and enemy combatant. Smart should have drilled the guy in my opinion.

Living in Knoxville and being a fan of the Volunteers has made the season even more fascinating. Oh we didn’t have any of that drama; no fights with the fans in Thompson Boling, no injuries to any key players, no, none of that. In Knoxville we had The Petition. The Bring Back Bruce petition to be exact.

Unhappy with the current state of UT basketball after some buzzer beater losses to Texas A&M and a bad loss to Vandy, an enterprising fan realized Knoxville’s beloved son, Bruce Pearl, was coming off his three year NCAA penalty in August, conveniently still living in Knoxville, and thus ripe for hire. Or in this case rehire. Caught lying and coercing others to lie about minor recruiting violations, Pearl was fired by UT after the 2011 NCAA Tournament. A tournament in which the Volunteers were crushed by Michigan in the first round 75-45.

Screen shot 2014-03-29 at 7.56.24 AMAs you can see in the picture, 36,000 UT faithful(?) signed the petition to have Cuonzo Martin fired. Don’t be fooled. That’s what it says. There is a little known dynamic principal in basketball handed down from Naismith himself that states, “No two college coaches can occupy the same job at the same time.” From that we get the equation ∫BP(rehired)=ƒCM(fired).

So the only way Bruce Pearl could be rehired was if UT fired Cuonzo Martin. This is important as a lot of signatories/faithful used the excuse, “The petition did not call for Martin’s firing, only if we would like Pearl back should Martin BE fired” to run for cover when Martin’s Vols made the Sweet 16. I refer you to the previous formula and that great presidential quote, “It depends on what the definition of IS is.”

Full disclosure here, I loved the Martin hire. I still do. I grew up in the mean streets of South Jersey a stones throw from Philadelphia. College basketball for us in the 70s and 80s was the Big 5 City Series featuring Temple, Villanova, St Joes, LaSalle, and Drexel. Watching John Chaney’s match up zone scare the hell out of Kentucky, Kansas, Duke, etc.. was great. That Temple defense carried the Owls to 5 Elite Eights and 714 of the programs 1800 wins. Only five other teams can make the 1800 win claim. Of course watching Rollie Massimino’s Nova Wildcats defense make a basket-case out of Patrick Ewing and the Georgetown Hoyas, carrying them to the NCAA Title in 1985 was the highlight of all highlights. So in other words I’m a sucker for a team that can D-up. Hence the love of the Cuonzo Martin hire.

Don’t get me wrong, I liked Bruce Pearl a lot. He won games. Plus I hated Buzz Ball. Buzz Peterson was Pearl’s predecessor and I firmly believe I could have coached them boys up better than freaking Buzz Ball. That’s really what endeared Pearl to the fan base so quickly. He took the same squad Buzz was getting mopped up with night in and night out, ran them to the Tournament, destroying the non-conference schedule and putting the fear of God into conference foes along the way. But in the end Pearl got himself fired and now hired by Auburn. Believe what you want about Pearl’s situation, the long and short of it is Pearl lied, coerced others to lie, and got himself fired. It’s not much more complicated than that.

So now we have Cuonzo Martin. It’s been a slow start to be sure, but the man is only in his third season and the boys went to the Sweet 16. Winning 3 games to get there. Of course you could never convince the faithful of that. See, that first comeback victory over Iowa doesn’t count in their eyes. It’s not the Tournament to them. Oh you know it was a non-confernce opponent late in March, played on a neutral floor where the winner advanced and the loser went home, but no it’s not the Tournament. Then Martin’s squad dismantled 6th seed UMass. OVERRATED THOSE MINUTEMEN ARE!

Then the trap door of all trap doors. A hot Mercer squad busted up Duke and the Vols would miss their chance to beat a team worthy of the faithful’s approval. Of course UT decapitated Mercer on their way to the Sweet 16 and 8 wins in the last 9 games while holding opponents to 54 points or less and shooting almost 80% from the free throw line. All this while a lot of the fan base, or at least 36,000 of them, was working publicly to get Martin fired.

A lot of commonalities between Pearl and Martin here: defense, free throw shooting, and adversity.

Defense – Pearl’s teams didn’t believe in it. They would just outscore you. But that leads to blow outs. A lot of the time UT was the victor, sometimes they were the victim. Martin’s team lives on defense and because of that they are rarely out of any game until the final buzzer.

They were getting blown out by Michigan in the first half of Friday’s Sweet 16 game. It was if the ghost of Pearl’s teams rose from the dead. UT was running and gunning from three, shooting 50% from the stripe and they were in danger of getting run off the floor. In the second half Martin’s team showed up and we saw what we had never seen from Pearl. A comeback. Save for a bad foul call in the last 9 seconds, UT may be in the Elite 8 right now. Can you remember a Pearl team clamping down on D to get themselves back in the game from 15 points down in a Tournament game? It may have happened but I can’t remember it.

Free throw shooting – Pearl’s teams were god awful and it cost them games. They never seemed to get better either. Martin’s teams have bettered their FT percentage each year. The biggest improvement has been their big man Stokes. He was something like 56% from the stripe last year. This year he’s in the 70% range. That’s a big deal

Adversity – Pearl’s gang folded, Martin’s guys just won games.

In 2011 when all the NCAA allegations stuff started to filter out the fan base rallied around Pearl. They backed him, as they should have. Only the press was speculating about Pearl’s future, the fans, myself included, were 100% with Pearl. The athletic department would only say the situation would be reviewed once UT was out of the tournament. Not exactly the most tactful way to say that as it implies UT had no chance to win, but guess what, they didn’t have a chance. They got embarrassed by Michigan, losing by 30. Hilariously that statement by the AD Dept was offered up by fans for the reason they lost to Michigan. It distracted them. Really?

So flash forward to 2014, the fan base is not just calling for the firing of Martin, but putting up public petitions to submit to the UT administration saying in effect, you work for us, now fire Martin and bring back Bruce. Add to that the UT front office’s unwillingness to show any support for Martin or at the very least come out and denounce the petition as folly.

None of that happened so what did Martin’s guys do when the fan based turned on them? Won 8 of their last 9, played the most crushing defense of any team in the country at that time and had b-ball analysts from ESPN, CBS, even sports writers from Lexington, predicting a deep run for UT. Of course that’s exactly what they did. This teams mental toughness and the solid foundation of their coach allowed them to not only play through adversity but play better, much better. No distractions noted.

So yeah Martin has not won as much as Pearl yet. Yeah he may be rough around the edges where Pearl was a master ring leader, but I believe his formula is set up for a longer, more successful haul.

I get time softens history’s rough edges but let’s be honest, Pearl’s magical 6 appearances in the Tournament that everyone keeps touting were not blazes of glory. In 2006 UT was a 2 seed and needed end game heroics to get by Winthrop and then lost to 7 seed Wichita State. In 08 they got busted in the second round by a mediocre Georgetown team. In 09 they lost to 8 seed Oklahoma St in the first round. 2011 was the afore mentioned blowout loss to Michigan in the first round.

Is Pearl a good coach? Absolutely. Is he the end all be all of college coaching? Not by a long shot.

But the treatment Martin has received from the faithful is completely unwarranted. I’d be surprised if Marquette or Wake Forrest doesn’t come calling with a real long term deal. I hope Martin stays but if I was his agent I’d tell him to take the deal and drop a resignation letter on Dave Hart’s desk on the way out of town.

If that happens we’ll be trading a diamond for a lump of coal.

No matter though. Spring practice has started for UT football. All is right with the world.

So when does the Boot Butch, un-Fire Fulmer petition go up?

 

 

Diary of a SAHD: Oscar, I’m not judging you.

I might be the only one not judging Oscar at this moment.

In the pantheon of uncomfortable kid melt downs in a public place, Oscar etched his name at the top every pylon and every obelisk.

We’ve all seen it in the grocery, at the toy store, at the doctors office, etc…  I don’t see it every time I go out, but I’ve seen enough kids lose it in public to be unaffected. If stuck in a waiting room during a melt down I can usually block it out and go on about my mindless phone surfing.

Not an artist's rendering of Oscar. (but close)  currentsurroundings.com

Not an artist’s rendering of Oscar. (but close) currentsurroundings.com 

Not this time. Not Oscar. He went super nova in the Great Clips, while getting his hair cut. It was an ugly scene man. I felt bad for two people and neither was named Oscar.

Now when I mentioned to the gang at the base Tracy and I were about to become parents and I was going to retire to raise the kid up, one dude came at me with, “Oh you are in for a big change.”

Oh really, thanks for that. Never would have guessed on my own.

“No I mean you. Having a kid is going to change you personally.” This line was delivered with know-it-all condescension akin to what I can only imagine the cave man who invented fire sounded like.

It certainly wasn’t unlocking a mystery of the universe that I would be changed by the upcoming events. For that matter I never declared that I was change proof. But I am a student of human behavior. So I wasn’t going to get interested until I could see and/or feel the changes taking place.

Oscar provided such a moment.

When he was hooking and weaving to dodge the scissors wielding haircut lady, all the while shrieking at the top of his lungs as if he was being peeled like the skin on a grape, I could only think about how bad I felt for Oscar’s mom, and how much I related to her. Oscar was doing this cirque du soleil with scissors while sitting in his mom’s lap. I wanted to say, “Don’t sweat it honey, I’ve been there.”

That’s new. My normal first thought would have been, is it that important he gets his hair cut lady, cause it looks and sounds like someone is slowly grinding up a live cat. But in fact I have changed. I felt the mortification this mom was feeling. I’ve been there.

Well not necessarily that far there, but Frank pulled a little melt down in the Target once. It was embarrassing as I scooped him up and left the cart in the diaper aisle, marching out to the car with him. But you realize the people you’re walking past have probably been there a time or two as well.

My other bout of empathy was for the haircut lady. Man she was in the ultimate no win situation. She had to move with a purpose just to get the scissors near his head. At the same time she had to be careful enough not to cut his damn throat in the process.

She was sweating bullets, but she stayed in there, dodging and weaving, every once in a while a snip was heard over the screaming and a small amount of hair hit the deck. This caused Oscar to go even more batcrap insane as if a vital organ was cleaved from his body.

She finally went as far as she dared. She had already gone above and beyond the call if you ask me. Really the pressure was all on her. I can’t even imagine what ole Oscar would have sounded like had she nicked him.

Anyway, mom and Oscar finally left and he was on the come down, sobbing uncontrollably, unable to catch his breath. My only thought there was, he must be exhausted. I bet he takes a great nap now.  Yeah man, I’ve changed.

Aside from an overflow of empathy for complete strangers, and misting up at sappy movies scenes, I now measure time in units of nap. Frank was a time bender, taking 4hr afternoon naps only to get up for dinner at 6 and go back to bed at 8pm sleeping through to 7:30 or 8am the next morning. Anne Marie is making us redeem the quiet time Frank gave us, if you know what I’m sayin.

Once Oscar and his mom drove away it was tough guy time at the haircut corral.

What does that bible verse say? Something like, “It falls to a man once to melt down, then the judgement.” Close enough I think.

Well that joint was full of theologians because the judgement began to rain down. Funny how not one of those brave souls had anything to say while Oscar and his mom were in the place.

The only person not running their yapper, (besides me but I don’t count because I don’t like people enough to talk to them in public) the lady who cut Oscar’s hair, that’s who. She just shrugged it off when the other barbers/cutters/ stylers(?) and patrons started to wax poetic about the ordeal. Her only response, “Hey it happens.”

Good for you haircut/barber/styler lady. Good for you.

So Oscar I’m not judging you man. Like the lady said, it happens.

I’m judging the people who judged you and your mom after you left.

You’re welcome.

 

Pinklejinx: that’s just fun to say!

Brace yourselves. I'm two!

Brace yourselves. I’m two!

So the girl had a birthday.

Her 2nd.

I won’t bore you with the “we never thought she’d survive to her 1st, let alone her…” Well, by now y’all know the drill.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a then and now that tells the story better than I could.

22 March 2012 1lb 12oz 3.5 months early

22 March 2012
1lb 12oz
3.5 months early

March 22nd 2014 24lbs 34 inches tall Boss of everything.

March 22nd 2014
24lbs 34 inches tall
Boss of everything.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a great time. Lots of everything, friends, cupcakes, gifts, decorations, yelling, screaming, running around, etc…

I’ve been blogging for a long time now. Long enough for y’all to know Anne Marie’s story. If you don’t, hit the archive section. Some good reading in there if I do say so myself. And I do.

Anyway, every once in a while the blog pays off in something other than self satisfaction.

A company called Pinklejinx sent me a sample of their birthday stuff and asked me to use it and maybe write a review or post about it.

Free stuff to write a review? Do you even have to ask?

This is just smart.

This is just smart.

So this box appears on my door claiming it has everything necessary to chuck a good party, minus the cake. In the picture with Anne Marie you can see the crown, chair cover, and in the bottom right corner the utensils shaped like birthday candles. It also came with a goblet, two plates, a bowl, a nice Happy Birthday sign, a book, and a place mat.

At the risk of being called a company man, peep the picture to the left. It’s from their web site and does a better job showing what comes in one of their packages.

Now those of you who know my wife are probably thinking the same thing I was. Ain’t no way she’s going for this. She’s more of a theme type party thrower. But I figured we would do her theme party for AM on Saturday and use the Pinklejinx stuff for a Sunday night deal with just family.

Tracy’s gettin soft. We went full Pinklejinx on Saturday. Turns out Tracy liked it. Again for those who know how particular she can be when it comes to parties and general birthday type merry making, that is a pretty stout endorsement. As we’re packing the stuff up back into the nice box it came in Tracy looks at me and says “You know what dude, this was a good idea. I’m Pinklejinxed.” If the people at PinkleJinx ever ask me to write a commercial for them, I’m not including that corny line.

But I will say I was impressed as Tracy was, probably more so because it was free. I mean let’s face it Tracy has the taste in this family. But for me it also reduced a lot of stress because we didn’t have to make anything. Box or no box we were going to have a sign and decorations and the whole nine, but this way we just unpacked it and hung it. No crafts, no design ideas, none of that nonsense.

So the PinkleJinx box has become our Birthday Box. Frank will get to pull it out and have it for his birthday in a few months. I am a bit of a sucker for family tradition and this might just be a recurring tradition for birthdays around here.

Free birthday stuff that we can use over and over, yeah color me freaking Pinklejinxed too.

And let’s face a universal truth, Pinklejinx is just fun to say.

 

Diary of a SAHD: Water water everywhere…

All fun a games till someone gets peed on.

All fun a games till someone gets peed on.

Never has the obscure phrase, “There is a reason my hair is wet.” elicited such riotous laughter from a group of medical people. But that’s exactly what happened when Frank and I returned from the bathroom at the doctors office. It was his third and finally successful trip to offer up a urine sample.

I’m not sure this is a genetic thing, but I had a similar problem, so it might be all my fault.

In 1989 when I went for my in-processing physical for the US Air Force I had a huge problem coming up with a sample. I’ll never forget my 9 hours at the Military Entrance Processing Center, or MEPS, on Cherry St. in Philadelphia. There was a huge crack down on narcotics in the military so the urine sample was a big deal. The guys going in the Navy weren’t even allowed to hold their own cup. They had to stand with their backs to the urinal facing an observer who held the cup and when full, spin and finish up in the urinal while still being observed. The Army and Marines were able to go in a stall on their own and us Air Force guys went in a group with a single observer standing at the door.

Of course I could not pee in public and was firing dust. This raised suspicion and shaped my entire time at the MEPS. After each part of the physical I went to the kitchen area and drank 3 large glasses of water, while being observed.  After about 4 hours of this I was ready to choke. Phila tap water ain’t like drinking from a babbling brook, unless that brook is the waste water flowing from a trash to steam plant.

At the 7 hour mark I was ready to pour forth like Nile, or Euphrates, or Niagra. Just insert your own analogous large body of rushing water reference, and that was me as I was nearing 8 hours of drinking 24 large glasses of water. As I said the eyebrows were raised because of my inability to come up with a sample even after 4 hours of drinking Philadelphia’s finest nectar. So the docs decided it would be fun to make me wait until the exam was completely over. The last station of the day, a 40 pound vertical lift. I was going to be an aircraft electrician so I had to prove I could handle the weight I would encounter on the flight line.

Amazing how motivating having to pee so bad I could barely stand up can be. I threw that weight around like nothing. Could have easily gone to 60 or 80. The doc finally let me go, but I got a bathroom buddy. That same poor bastard from the Navy side had to hold the cup. But he smartened up. He let me face the urinal, he just stood in between me and it. That cup was filled at the speed of sound and he was slow to react. The result was a trip to the sink and a change of uniform for him, but not until after he handed off my sample. Then I stood at the urinal for what seemed like  30 minutes. To this day it remains the greatest pee of my entire life.

Aren’t you so glad you clicked the link.

So flash forward to January of 2014. My son is being tested for diabetes and they need a sample. It’s the sole reason we are there so guess what, he’s drinking water from the tap. Almost brought a tear to my eye. It only took him three glasses before he went running down the hall. But now I’m the poor bastard with the cup so I have to catch him.

I get there as he’s ripping his pants down. I get him lined up to hit the mark and for some reason he can’t he can’t “let go”. The cup must be throwing him off. So I turn the water on in the sink, flush the toilet, sing old man river, I’m trying everything to get him to pee.

Then without warning the dam breaks. But Frank decides now would be a good time to act like he’s a fireman on the high pressure hose who’s being electrocuted. He starts all manner of gyration and the “fire hose” is completely out of control. It would have been great if the roof, window, sink, mirror, floor, trash can, and my face and head were all on fire. But they weren’t.

I stayed in the fight though, taking one for the team as it were, and got the cup filled to the top.

Why Frank?!? Whyyyyyy!

Why Frank?!? Whyyyyyy!

Once the dust, or pee in this case, settled I looked at my only son with a disbelief bordering on sobbing despair. Picture Nancy Kerrigan after she got knee capped before the Olympics. “Why Frank, why didn’t you just stand still?!?” He started to get upset but then started laughing uncontrollably. Little chooch.

Well, we got cleaned up and all he could say was “I filled the cup!” It’s always about him. Wonder where he got that from?

We drop the cup off at the nurses station and the Doc was impressed that he filled it to the top too. As they are heaping praise on him I decide a dose of reality is in order and I utter the line from above. “Hey he ain’t William Tell. There is a reason my hair is wet!”

Made their day I guess. Hell, Frank got to go to the treasure chest, not for his accuracy but for his volume. Me, I got nothing but the hot nurses tagging me with the moniker as the guy who got peed on by his son.

It could be worse, but I’m having trouble imagining how.

Oh yeah, no diabetes, although at this point that seems a minor part of the story.

Is there a moral to the story? Yeah be careful who you pee on.

You never know when it’ll be you holding the cup.