Review: Texas Irons State of Texas Steak Brand Gift Box Set

Recently, I was given the opportunity to review a product from  CSN has over 200 stores available online from children's shoes to home decor.  It was really tough deciding what to review.  We were going to go with shoes for the Emsters, but neither one of us were sure.

So I decided to be cheap and get a potential present for someone that I will give them at Christmas.

We went for the Texas Irons State of Texas Brand Gift Box Set.

It was ordered more as a novelty gift (my brother has a panache for rustic wooden and metal things that look like it was picked up on the side of the highway) for his home decor.

The package arrived within a few days of the order.  I loved the smell of the cedar wood from which the box was made.  The branding iron itself was sturdy and did not seem to have any faults.  The only difference from the picture online and the actual product was the state of Texas design.  While the design online was is an outline of the state, the actual product delivered was a solid shape of the state.

I was very pleased with the order and the product and would recommend it as well as CSN stores..

My brother was also pleased when tried to brand his friend and keeps the red flag hanging out the backside, only on the right side, yeah that's the blood side.


Happy Birthday Emsters.

I refuse to believe it's already been 365 days since my baby baby girl blessed us with her presence. Honestly, I'm too young to have a one year old daughter.  I can't even imagine how our house was 366 days ago.  She's an integral part of this family and we wouldn't be the same without her.  

A Couple Days Old

Her First Christmas

Happy Birthday Emsters


Christmas Card.

I scheduled it to post, but I hit save instead of publish.

The Procrastisantas in Boltonshire never got around to sending off their Christmas cards.  

This still counts right?

Merry Christmas my friends.  I pray you have a wonderful holiday weekend full or blessings and joy.


That's What Christmas Is All About....

Charlie Brown: “Isn’t there ANYONE who knows what Christmas is all about?!?!

Linus: “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, ‘Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.’ ” (Luke 2:8-14) “You see, Charlie Brown—that’s what Christmas is all about.”


Days of Christmas Past.

Here's some of my Christmas memories through the years.

 - I don't really remember Christmases prior to my parents divorce (5 years old), so I'm not sure how we celebrated back then.  But from what I remember (and I'm sure my mother will confirm or deny) from celebrating Christmas after the divorce, my brother and I would visit both Grandparents' houses on Christmas Eve.  We'd start at my dad's parents, my mother would pick us up and take us to her parents' house.  My mother had primary custody of us and I'm assuming we'd wake up Christmas morning with her.

- One of of these visits to my mother's parents on Christmas Eve, I remember them doing a gift exchange and someone got a giant jar of pickles.  I think it was one of my cousins Matt or Mark.

- I remember testing out the durability of my grandmother's (Dad's side) Christmas ornaments by squeezing the nice looking glass ones and have them break in my hand.  Circa 3 - 4 years old.  Maybe even younger.

- My mother always had a real tree.  I remember it being huge.  On Christmas Eve she would read us the birth of Christ from the Bible and we'd go to bed.

 - At my dad's parents' house, Santa always brought us fruit in our stocking.  An orange or apple would be  at the bottom.  I remember never even considering them alongside the candy.

- When I turned 10, my brother Evan and I went to go live with my dad and step-mom.  Evan and I had shared a room, but for Christmas my parents gave me my own room (they had painted it weeks prior even asking me for my opinion under the guise it was for my baby brother Brandon.).    I had woken up (around 3 or 4 am) to use the bathroom early Christmas morning and went to the bathroom in our hallway (the toilet had previously  not been working, I used it anyways because I didn't feel like walking across the house to my parents' bathroom.  To my surprise Santa fixed the toilet.  ).  I noticed something different about my baby brother's room.  IT HAD ALL MY STUFF IN IT!!!  My toys, my stuff, EVERYTHING!!  I was so excited, I went to wake up my brother Evan to tell him.  In all his excitement of my excitement he had to pee as well.  He runs away to my parents' bathroom before I can tell him our bathroom works.  I sit on my new bed playing with my stuff.  In comes Evan all excited, followed a few seconds later by my parents who had probably just went to sleep.  They were PISSED!  Evan and I went back to my old room and stayed there until we knew it was okay to come out a few hours later.

 - One Christmas Eve, we were leaving my mother's parents' house and Evan decided he wanted to spend the night there.  It was me, my mother and my little brother Edward.  I'm in the front seat, looking back at Ed who is laying on the seat.  I tell him to sit up and he doesn't comply.  I tell him again, then my mother turns around to tell him to sit up when we stop suddenly.  We had rear ended someone at a stop light.  No one was hurt, their hatch back was crushed and my mother's truck only had glass scratches in the hood.

- My dad would always play Elvis, White Christmas when decorating and opening presents.

- Always.

- Freshman year of college.  I was in the Corps of Cadets and at Christmas the fish write Christmas Lists.  It's not what we wanted for Christmas, but what we wanted to give the upperclassmen.  It was our way of being able to rib on them.  We'd put stuff like "an attractive date for once", "a closet to come out of", etc. You know, guys making fun of guys.   One of my buddies took it a little too far though and put stuff, "A Crap Face Award."  "A Seat Next To Mr. White On A Roller Coaster To Hell".  Yeah we got in trouble for his stuff.

 - Same year at college.  The fish were supposed to decorate the hallway for Christmas.  Well seeing as how we're college freshmen with no jobs and no money, we went into the other dorms and would take decorations from other outfits in the middle of the night.  When all the upperclassmen went to bed at midnight or whatever and woke up the next morning seeing a fully decorated hallway (lighted Christmas trees and all), they knew something was up.  While some of them thought it was cool, the one's in charge did not.  We had to go back and return the stuff to the outfits we stole from.  None of them even knew stuff was missing.

- In 2000 when I found out my parents might would be separating, I was pretty depressed.  I would always look forward to Christmas because I just loved being with my family.  I was living in my apartment and no one had even mentioned getting together that year.  My best friend Mike was in town, so he invited me to his house and I went bowling with his family on Christmas.

- I'm so convincing as a Secret Santa, that I would often deliver my own gifts to the person and drop hints on who it might be.  No one has ever guessed it was me.

-  I would share my stories about my Dad and always playing Elvis at Christmas time to KC.  She got me the CD for Christmas.  It was awesome.  I want to play it, but she would rather have a rotation of CDs.

 - Our first Christmas as a family, we tried to start a tradition.  MaddSkillz would put the angel on the tree, and I would hold Ladybug and plug it in (it was a lighted one).  We did it like that for two years on a real tree.  When we had to use my dad's artificial tree, the top wasn't strong enough to hold the angel without the top leaning.  So I had to get a broom stick and attach it to the "trunk" of the "tree".  The angel has plenty of support.

- Ladybug played Baby Jesus at MaddSkillz' school play when she was a couple months old.

 - So in order to see if the angel is going to stay before MaddSkillz puts it on, I attach the broom stick and place the angel to see if it holds.  Every year since the first year of using the fake tree, KC always seems to walk into the room when I am testing the strength of the tree with the angel, gets upset and says, "I THOUGHT MADDSKILLZ WAS SUPPOSED TO PUT THE ANGEL ON THE TOP."  Every year, I look at her and tell her I'm testing it.

 - There's no angel on the tree this year.

 - When Ladybug was three, I had this idea to go outside and look for Santa.  We took MaddSkillz telescope and positioned it looking for him.  We never saw him, but I did have a friend who did have sleigh bells.  He came to our front yard and started shaking them.  Ladybug heard the bells, got all excited and ran to her bed.

I didn't think I had this many memories.  Thanks for reading.  Have a Merry Christmas and God Bless you all my friends.



Take a look at all these stockings.  Sometimes the owners can frustrate the cranberry sauce out of me.  But I look at them and think, my goodness, I am truly blessed to be able to share Christmas and every other day of my life with them.


Phone Call From Santa.

Santa has been calling the kids before Christmas for about three years now.  There were some problems last year with Christmas Dialer, and when I found them this year they still said I need to pay them to use the service again.  So I found this place.

Send A Personalized Call From Santa

It's pretty neat.  You can customize what you want Santa to say, and it's FREE and UNLIMITED!!

We did it for the kids earlier this morning.

The only problem is, you can only set it to name ONE of your kids.  If you only have one, you're cool.  But if you're a stud like me and have five, you have to play with it.

Go have fun.  You can also leave a message for Santa as well.


Grizzly Adams DID Have A Beard.

MaddSkillz is fifteen.  Being fifteen coupled with being Hispanic means facial hair.  I remember when I moved to San Antonio 22 years ago, a couple guys that became my best friends had full on mustaches in EIGHT GRADE!!  Being a Sophomore in high school, MaddSkillz put it off as long as he could take it.

Being the fact it took me nearly 36 years to get the growth I have right now I am stinkin' Grizzly Adams, MaddSkillz came to me and asked for me to show him how to shave.  Knowing he's self conscience about a lot of things, I didn't give him a hard time (like his father did) and told him I would during Christmas break.

The reason for this was I didn't want him to accidentally cut himself and then have to deal with that as well.  If he cut himself during Christmas break, it'll be healed by the time he went back to school.

So this weekend I got him some razors and shaving gel and last night was the night.  I told him what to do and he went with it.  I gave him a suggestion or two and let him decide if he wanted to take it.  He finished and was proud of his work.

He kept saying I looked like I was holding back laughter.  I told him I wasn't.

I was actually holding back wanting to cry.  

He forbid pictures for fear they would be posted on Facebook.  He didn't mention about blogs.  Still he prevented any attempts by his mother for a picture.  So I had to get creative.



Not bad, huh?


Santa's Gifts.

In a few nights, my wife and I will be following Santa on Twitter prepping for Christmas morning.  There's so dang much that needs to be done before Santa's visit is completed we probably won't be in bed anytime before 2:30.

Playing Santa is a big highlight and something I'm quite excited about being a parent.  The first year I was around with KC and MaddSkillz, MaddSkillz mentioned about leaving carrots for the reindeer (we never cared much about the reindeer growing up from what I remember).  I replied asking what he does to give them something to drink.  KC looked at me sideways and we were off to buy a bucket.

It was the first thing MaddSkillz went to look for when he woke up that morning.  To see the look of excitement on his face because reindeer lined up on his mother's apartment balcony to take turns drinking from the bucket and eating the carrots was fantastic.

So now I get to do it for FIVE kids and KC.

I love being creative (I try to express it here, but I'm not sure how well it's received)  and laying out Santa's gifts sends me into over drive.

Now KC sometimes gets a little upset because I tend to do an amazing job for the kids and she feels she has no part in it.  For nine years she was the only Santa in the family and then I come along and take over. It's still new to me, but I don't seeing it as taking over.  I see it as combining our efforts.

Here are some of our efforts from the past couple years.

Christmas 2008

Christmas 2009




Now I know I said we amalgamated our traditions and would wrap the big gifts from Santa, but we weren't going attempt to wrap the desks or the tent from 2008 (or we're just too dang tired).   Usually MaddSkillz gets a new phone or something (last year he got a video camera), that's wrapped but you can't see it in the pictures because it fits in his stocking.

Now this year, Santa is bringing the kids' their own Wii.  I'm not sure how that is going to be presented yet.  I had initially thought maybe of having it unboxed and set up already, with a controller in each of their stockings.  But Grandpa jumped the gun on their birthday last month and got a controller for Ladybug and Disco (they play Wii in his room).  This is fine with me because it saved me about 60 bucks.

I guess I could put the A/V cables and power cords in their stockings.

How do you present Santa's stockings?

Have a great day my friends.


Christmas Gifts.

We all know that this coming weekend brings Christmas.  Christmas morning, the kids will wake up a whole lot stinkin' earlier than normal and want to partake in their presents and gifts.  Some gifts will be from Santa, some will be from their parents.

Since in the land of Boltonshire procrastination is important, we will probably not wrap a single gift until the night before.  I would like to wrap presents and put them under the tree before hand, but curious kids and tempted toddlers would more than likely want to enjoy them prior to the festivities.  While the choice has always been pre-emptive, we've never had an issue with kids opening presents, but I do clearly remember one time when I was a kid it happening.

< Christmas flashback > It was Christmas circa 1987.  My little brother Brandon (4 years old) wanted a Sword of Omens.  Somehow he knew which gift was his a week prior to Christmas under the tree.  So he peeled off some of the paper and saw that it was in fact a Sword of Omens.  He carefully placed the paper back and hid the ripped end.  How the heck a 4 year old had that much self control, I'll never know.   Needless to say, my step mom found out and while she was upset (because he said the cat did it), it being Christmas and all he still got to open it on Christmas morning. < /Christmas flashback >

So for this reason, I'm against leaving presents under the tree too soon.  So my kids can thank their Uncle B.

When I was a kid, Santa brought the most expensive main gift.  Because he obviously loved me more than my parents.  These presents were presented next to our stocking and unwrapped.  It was the first things we dived into those early Christmas mornings.

The parents gave us complimentary accessories that went with the main gift, and we always wondered how the heck they knew what Santa was bringing.  The story was always they had some sort of correspondence via the phone.

< A.D.H.D .>I'm going to tell the kids I Skype with Santa.  You know, just to keep up with the times.  Hey is there a Skype with Santa?  I suppose I could Google it.  If there isn't, anyone want to go into business next year?  I can totally pull off Santa;

Not Dumbledore
< /A.D.H.D >

The first Christmas I was around KC and MaddSkillz, I noticed 97% of MaddSkillz gifts were from Santa and all were wrapped.  I was confused.  I'm assuming this is how KC and her brother were raised as well.  I specifically remember saying that I would want some credit and appreciation for the hard work that is going to end up being bestowed to the big guy.

It wasn't that I was trying to be a d-bag about it, I just want my kids to understand that parents work hard too.  The 20 plus hours of over time a week aren't just to pay off mommy's vacuum.

Is stuff like this going to register in their toddler minds?  No.  It's just something that I felt ALL the credit shouldn't go to Santa at Christmas.  Parents should have a noticeable hand in Christmas in my opinion.

So our first Christmas as a family, we smooshed both our traditions together. Santa brought the main expensive gifts (because he obviously loves the kids more than we do)  which were wrapped , while the parents give the accessories to the main gifts we knew about from our skyping with Santa (it already exists dag nabbit).

How do you present gifts on Christmas?  Do you use what you're parents did or create your own way of presenting?

Have a great week my friends.....


The Christmas Kitty.

So on Thursday while standing at the bus stop, Ladybug was surprised by a little cat who meowed behind her.  She wanted me to hold her and told me she didn't like cats.  Which is cool with me.  I hold her until the bus arrives, place her on the step then leave.  The last I saw of the cat it was chillin' at the corner.

Last night (Friday) circa 8pm or so,  my dad gets home and asks if we adopted a new pet.  I informed him heck to the no, go and look and it's the bus stop kitty just chillin' on our front porch.


At least it didn't run in like Happy did when we first met her.

I just ignored the animal hoping if we didn't pay attention to it, it would just find some other family to bother.

I was wrong.

Emsters decided to have a Daddy / Daughter date last night between the hours of 1:30 and 5:00.  She played and I watched the season finale of Burn Notice and the pilot of Breaking Bad.  You know who was also up at that time?  Yep, Bus Stop Kitty who is constantly meowing and even scratching on my door.

The whole time.

Emsters finally lays down, I go to sleep and when I awake a few hours later, Ladybug is telling me the cat is still there.


"I know you're in there..."

So there's the cat.  Ladybug tried scaring it away with a few repetitive "shoos" to no avail.  She even tried to scare it with Mr. Sock Monkey.

It still didn't work.  So this leaves me to a few theories:

  1. It's the cat from Pet Semetary come to extract some revenge on me.
  2. It's a reincarnation of Gideon.  OR
  3. It's some Christmas Kitty here to take me on some self-realization journey through time and space to make me appreciate the true meaning of something.
Of all those, the one I'm closest too is the third one.  But I gotta tell you,  I'm tired with little sleep last night and I got to work some OT today.  As much as I would enjoy time travel, I'm just too dang tired.


It May Not Look Perfect...

... but Celi asks me to pull her hair back and I oblige.  When Mom gets home she usually says, "Who did your hair?!?"  Knowing full well who did it.  Even if Mommy can do a perfect job, Celi also ikes it when Daddy pulls it back too.

And right now, she see's no problem with his hair styling abilities....


This Could Be My Kid.

Honestly, this could totally be Ladybug or Disco.  I blame their mother.


Choreographed Presentation.

In celebration of Christmas. The stars of Juggling Eric have put together a song and dance for my three readers.  They worked very hard so please leave some love in the comments.


Or not...

You can create your own choreographed presentation for Christmas over at

Have a great weekend my friends.



A new show MaddSkillz and I enjoyed the past couple months and KC looked at us like we were screwy was the new AMC series, "The Walking Dead."  It was only six episodes this season, but I think it's my new LOST.

Yeah, the show has the theme of zombies, but it's just the backdrop.  It's pretty character driven as well.  While we do have to wait until next October to see season two, someone compiled all the zombie deaths into a video package.

Nothing to do with parenting, but I thought it was a pretty cool video.  Unless I could use it to scare Disco into going poop in the potty.


Dora and the Space Time Continuum

Everyday this week, and I'm sure next week as well, Nickelodeon has been playing "Dora's Christmas Carol Adventure".  It comes on about sixteen times a day.  I haven't seen the show through in it's entirety, but the basic plot is Swiper is on the naughty list and Dora helps to save Christmas and to take him off the naughty list by, get this.... travelling through time.

I normally would be all for time travel, but I really don't think a ten year old whose clothes don't fit most of the time understands the repercussions that could result from time travel.  Dora actually runs into her future self as a teenager (Since this episode came out last year, I believe it was a way to spin-off a Dora Teenage show.  You know for the kids who have been watching Dora since 2000.), and they talk shop about what's going on.

Dora forgot Doc Brown's first rule of time travel.  Under all circumstances, no interaction with your future self.  Then again, Dora could have taken it as more of a suggestion than the absolute rule.

But in the end, their contrived time travelling adventure got Sniper off the naughty list and CHRISTMAS WAS SAVED!!!

We Did It! We Did It! Lo Hacimos, We Did It!

But what about Teenage Dora?  By getting Swiper on the "nice list", it had to have changed Swiper's future.   Then the butterfly effect would have caused some change in Teenage Dora's present right?  It's hard to think horrible things about Dora since she so innocent and has a big head and has no real friends.

I have two opinions about this episode.

1) Jesus and Santa Claus do an okay job saving Christmas around the world by themselves.  Just because you're a cartoon Dora, doesn't mean you have to save EVERYTHING!!

and 2) Swiping is like the crack rock  to Swiper.  Sure he'll do it to get on the nice list, but he'll be back to swiping your monkey's boots in no time.



Since I don't collect comics anymore but on Free Comic Book Day, my only fixes are when the comic book related movies come out.  Here's a trailer for next year's Thor.  I think it looks pretty epic.  It seems to have the feel of Lord of the Rings or Narnia and the first Iron Man smooshed together.  What do you think?

I could live without 3-D though....


Secret Santa.

I bet you didn't know I was your Secret Santa did you?  Well I am.  And to thank you all for your readership.  I got you a little something.  I know it's early, but I wanted to get it out of the way since everyone is busy.


Merry Christmas.


The Christmas Program.

So last night the whole family loaded into the Dragon Wagon and headed to Ladybug's elementary school.  Her class had been practicing for weeks for their portion of the school's Christmas program.

We got to a crowded elementary cafeteria about 15 minutes before showtime and wondered if we should have gotten there half an hour earlier.  The good news was Popo and Grandma had already claimed a spot and we had a section to plant for the time being.

Ladybug's grade was the third act.  Which meant the parents of the first two acts left and I could elbow make my way up front.  Disco was with me and we claimed a couple seats center stage two rows back.

They sang, "Up On The Rooftop".

Looking Beautiful Getting on Stage.

Raising The Roof[top]
Waving At Her Screaming Daddy

After they were done, so were we.  I gave my new seat to some kindergarten parents and we headed to her classroom for more pictures and congratulations.

There were a few "proud of my kids" moments last night.  The obvious of course, is Ladybug in her first "performance".  In mu completely unbiased opinion, she was the best up there.

The two others came from Disco, her younger brother.  Before Ladybug's class started singing, Disco yells out.. "LADYBUG!!! LADYBUG!!! I LOVE YOU!!!"


Then afterwards, Disco grabs Ladybug by the arm and tells her, "You did a great job!"


My kids are awesome.

What about you?  Any Christmas Program stories worth sharing?


Adventures In The Abyss.

I consider my day a success when I can dig through the monster shown below.. 

... and find socks that actually match for my daughter on school days.

They were found in record time this morning.

Have a great day my friends...

I already have.


If Yoda Was A Dad.

This morning in all my randomness I wondered, what would be some wise sayings of Yoda if HE were a parent.*

Here's one...


Or Not....

*You gotta know how Yoda talks in order to get it.

Have a great week my friends.


Letters To Santa.

After watching the Christmas Special of Phineas and Ferb for about eleventy-billion times, the kids had the idea to write letters to Santa Claus.  Ladybug kept asking me every day to help her with the letters, and I kept telling her "we'd do it tomorrow."  Tomorrow came, and we just didn't have time to do them.

So I finally stopped what I was doing and helped with the letters.  Ladybug told me what she wanted and I wrote it down for her to copy.  Well, she has about a size 97 font in handwriting right now so it really would have been more like a "novel to Santa".  She asked if I could just write it and she sign her name.  With the other two members of the Triad, I wrote "Dear Santa", signed their names and they wrote in their toddler font.

Ladybug had put some change in the envelope prior to sealing it.  I assume it's a way for her to bribe him catch his attention in a monetary fashion.

It's stuff like that where you just love their innocence.

Ladybug wants a new pink computer and a barbie with purple hair (it changes color in water).  So more than likely we'll have to get it for her, but Santa already got them their present.

Thursday morning on the way to the bus stop, Ladybug put the envelope in the mail box and raised the red flag.  When she got home she saw that Santa had already come a couple hours before the post man and picked up their letters.

Now she'll have to wait two more weeks to see how her monetary incentive caught Santa's eye.

Have a great weekend my friends.


Japanese Translation.

This image appeared on my Toaster Strudel this morning.

It appears to be the Japanese letter "Poo".  Which has two loose English translations:

1. "Awesome Husband / Father and All Around Cool Guy."
2. "Thirty-Six Year Olds Shouldn't Rely on Toaster Strudels for a Healthy Breakfast."

Both are true.



In celebration of the the final month of us buying baby formula (as far as we know)...


The Interview.

So I log into work this morning circa six in the AM.  I pull up my emails and there is a message from a hiring manager in regards to a position I applied for.

Sent 5:49 PM (I was off work yesterday.  If I wasn't I still log off at 4PM.)

Would you be able to meet with me tomorrow about  1:00?"

I reply with a "Hells Yeah!" (summarizing).

But the thing is, I have been working from home the past eight months.  I need to shave and a hair cut.  My clothes are a little tighter on me than they were 9 months ago., and I have a ginormous pimple next to my nose.

I'm pretty much this guy right here..

And they want me to be their Latex salesman...


School Pride.

Just so you know, names and places have been changed.

This past weekend, KC, MaddSkillz and I were chillin' watching a movie.  Then out of nowhere, MaddSkillz requests our attention.

"Now this is just a rumor, but when the Rydell High School girls' basketball team went to round five of the play-offs, the school cancelled classes on Friday so the students could go see them play in the finals.  If we make it to round five, it's being said they will close the school so we can go see them play in Dallas."

Now a side note.  This is the second time EVER MaddSkillz has mentioned anything sports related in the two years he's been in high school.

"Yeah I highly doubt that!" Was the general answer from his mom and I.

What followed was MaddSkillz reaction when we do not believe anything he says.. "How can you be sure they're not going to cancel classes?  Just because they didn't when you were in high school doesn't mean they won't now."

He starts the conversation off as "This is just a rumor" and he gets pissed when we don't believe it.  It's just his teenage ways.  So I decided to get an answer... I emailed the school.  

I went to the Hill Valley High School website and sent the following message through their contact page.

"I have a question in regards to a rumor my son mentioned today.  He is a sophomore at Hill Valley High School and mentioned if the girl's basketball team makes it to round five, the school will close for the day to go see them in Dallas.  He mentioned Rydell did it recently as well for the same reason.

I told him, I doubt the school would do such a thing by putting athletics over academics.  Can you please confirm my understanding or is this something that is discussed and not given as an option to the parents?

Thank you for your time.

Regards, Eric Bolton."

I read this to MaddSkillz and the first thing he said was.... "OH MY GOSH!!!! I'M TALKING ABOUT FOOTBALL!!! NOT GIRLS BASKETBALL!!!"

Like it makes a difference!

Not once did he mention Hill Valley High School Football.  He used Rydell's girls basketball as an example, and since he doesn't even like Hill Valley High School's Football team and never mentions anything about the stats or records, all we know are his theatre dates.  

The next day (on a weekend) I got this reply.

"Good Evening Mr. Bolton,

I'm not sure where that came from as that is very premature and we have not had to address this scenario at Hill Valley High School.  It would be nice to go to the State tournament someday. 

I do know that when I was at Polk High School, we had the honor of participating in a few State tournaments.  If it was early on a Friday, we received permission to release a little bit early to allow people time to attend the game without having to feel rushed as we believed many people would go and we wanted everyone to arrive in a safe manner.  That decision was
made in it's own merits each time and there is no rule or policy that we do this.  As I said, it's very premature.  If anything, I think Rydell, 
Lake Forest High School or Shermer High School are favored to go to State this year.

Thank you for contacting us.

Random Administrator"

Well that was nice... I just Mythbusted that rumor.. Even though I was talking about basketball, they were talking about football.  Obviously since it's no where near the end of basketball season.  But it was time to throw it in MaddSkillz face, when I had to re-read that again.

Did they just dog their school's team?

"If anything, I think Rydell, Lake Forest High School or Shermer High School are favored to go to State this year."

He did!!!

I guess they feel the same way as MaddSkillz.


Special Visits From Santa.

Have you ever received a unscheduled visit from Santa Claus when you were a kid?  I did sometimes.  Having divorced parents, Christmas was always a hectic time (as it still is now with MaddSkillz).  Both my parents wanted to have "Santa Time" with us, so Santa would come on mornings that weren't always December 25th.

As kids, my brother and I didn't think the wiser.  We felt special Santa made a return trip for us.

Then there were times when even if we had both "Santa Times" with both parents, Santa would again make unscheduled visits (usually with my dad and step mom).  It was usually accompanied by a letter like the one below.

When I was a kid, I totally believed it.  I mean, Santa wouldn't have forgotten it on purpose.  And since Santa was real and my parents could not at all actually write a letter and sign it "Santa Claus".

But then I had kids and I became Santa.  That's when I realized what actually happened.  Santa didn't "drop" my gifts, he just didn't get paid in time.

Christmas more than likely fell between pay periods.  

This year I get paid on Christmas Eve-Eve.  I'm off on Christmas Eve, but I really don't want to deal with the last minute people.  So I decided I'd write my own letter to the kids.  

It might go something like this...



Last year, Ladybug asked me to put lights on the house for Christmas.  Last year I was swamped with work and Emsters arrival.  So I just threw up a couple strands.  It looked pretty pathetic, but my daughter was happy.

She asked me again this year, and while I was not against the idea, I was only going to do what I could and not go all out.  It's not that I am low on Christmas Cheer, it's just lights cost money as well does food and Dr Pepper.  So I put a few (one more than last year) strands on the front of the house, and Ladybug was pleased again.  Here's the house.

I had planned on posting a blog about the realization that even though I don't think it's perfect (or anywhere near it), Ladybug thought it was great.

That was until she saw other houses in the neighborhood.  She saw houses with colored and blinking lights.  She saw candy canes lighting up yards as well as mangers filled with swaddled Baby Jesuses.

We rolled up to our house and she said, "Daddy, the lights on our house look boring.  I want colored lights."

While it did hurt a little, but I didn't put much effort in it to begin with.  I explained to her what we were able to do and I would try to get colored lights next year.

So don't be surprised if next year my house looks like this....

Have a great week my friends...


Test Answer Win!

*From Fail Blog


Yo! Momma!*

With Ladybug first it was  "Dada" (for Daddy), then it was "Issac" (a kid in her daycare), followed by "Bubba" (For brother, but really she was meaning Mommy, but we didn't tell MaddSkillz), then finally she spit out "Momma" before the age of 1.

With Disco first it was "Dada" (for Daddy), then it was "Dada" (but he meant "Momma").  I'm sure "Nana" was in there because Disco is her favorite.  He finally called the woman who bore him "Momma" at EIGHT-TEEN MONTHS OLD!!!

With Celi, KC claims she said "Momma" first and actually meant "Momma".  Which I disagree as more than likely after Disco, KC was in total denial.

With Emsters first was "Dada" (for Daddy) and then "Dada" (for Mommy).  But only for a little bit because this week she started saying "Momma" and actually means "Momma" All before she turns 1.

So congratulate my bride on this accomplishment.  She was starting to get pissed off about it because we thought we had another Disco incident on our hands.

*I am only documenting the babies I have seen from birth.  I was not around when MaddSkillz was born, but I'm sure he would have said "Eric" before "Momma".  And I am also not counting "Hi" or "No" as words here.  Because I'm sure my wife or her mother (Nana) will correct me the second they read this.


New Cause.

If you're into social media, you've probably noticed there's this place called Facebook.  Currently, there is a campaign to have everyone change their profile pics to cartoon characters the user enjoyed as a kid.  Or in MaddSkillz case, last week.

The point is to combat child abuse.  It's a noble cause as any, but I feel it's just someone who wanted to see if they could get something to go "viral" as the kids say.

I'm not one for jumping on the cause bandwagon, but I started my own last night to see if anyone wants to follow...

Click on image if you can't see the whole picture.

We all know if Zombies aren't eating, they'll be coming after us.

I've only noticed one of my friends follow me in my cause.  Which is a win in my book.  So why not help me out and be part of a viral campaign.

What else would you seriously have planned for this weekend?



I'm a pretty easy going guy you know?  Especially when I am a customer or utilizing a service.  If I get home after going through a drive-thru and see that part of my order is wrong, most times I wouldn't worry about it.  If was someone else's order, I would worry about it.  But for me, I have other things I need to stress about.  I'm particularly patient and polite when I'm a customer on the phone no matter how long I'm waiting.  The reason is I work in customer service and I know what the person on the other side of the phone is going through.

Now I could get upset when the service I am utilizing totally puts me out or makes me late.  Case in point: Ladybug's bus.

In the morning, we walk out to the bus at 6:57 and the bus is usually there by 7:02.  On Wednesday morning, it was 7:07 and it wasn't there yet.  "No big deal."  I thought.  I don't have to be logged into work until 7:30, and a few minutes late isn't that bad.  Then it was 7:12.  Okay this was a concern.  I called the bus depot, asked them what was up, and they put me on hold to check it out.  Five minutes on hold didn't make me happy.  I hung up and called back.  The same lady answered, I told her I couldn't be on hold for five minutes while my daughter is relying on them to get to school.  She said it would be two minutes.  Fine.  I was satisfied.

KC yells from the front door down to the bus stop.  I yell back it will be two minutes.  She reminds me that Ladybug hadn't eaten yet.  Crap!!  I swoop her up and take her to the house.  I grab a pop-tart and she eats it in the van as I take her to school.  On the way home, I pass the bus depot and I see Ladybug's bus leaving the gates.  This was at 7:37.  Two minutes indeed!

The bus drops her off at 11:01 when class is over.  KC usually gets her since I am still working at that time.  But Thursday KC had to be somewhere and I was going to take my break during that time.  11:01 comes and goes.  11:04 arrives and I'm getting frustrated because my break is only 10 minutes long and I have less than 2 minutes left.  I give them about five more minutes.  I call the bus depot and they tell me there was a delay, everyone is all right but they will be there in about 10 - 15 minutes.


She finally get's home at 11:24.  I pretty much had a thirty minute break, which I rather would not have had and will probably be reprimanded.

My question is this, why isn't there some sort of notification in place to alert parents of transportation delays?  Some sort of automatic text, phone call or wuphf.  I know they have similar notification applications when there is an emergency at school.  If a kid misses class or is late, we're called with an automated message telling parents they were not there.

So why can't this be implemented to the school bus system?  Is this available in other places?  We're calling today to complain and see if there is such a thing.

If there isn't, does anyone want to help make one with me?

Have a great weekend my friend.


Still So Little.

Recently, I've been looking at old pictures of Ladybug, then would say.... "Awwww, Sweetheart come look at Ladybug!!!  She was so little!!!"

She was little compared to the ginormous girl she has become the past five years.  But then I really looked at this picture from the hockey game...

and I realize.. She's still my Little Ladybug.   No matter how much she's grown, she's still so little.


Tech Support with KC.

The QVC App for Android Users

"The 'Speed Buy' button on the QVC app is literally just that... All I wanted was an estimated price.  Uh-oh!" - KC



Because Ladybug is a Pre-K B.A. she was awarded with the character award in her class when she brought her report card home earlier this month.  As a prize for ruling the school, she could have our her choice out of going to either a San Antonio Spurs basketball game of a San Antonio Rampage hockey game.

Being because the Spurs games are insanely packed and I honestly did not want to deal with it on school nights, we picked the hockey game (it being on a Sunday afternoon).  But mainly because how rowdy can hockey fans be I was curious to see what hockey looked like in Texas.

It was just me and my Ladybug for some Daddy / Daughter time.

She had never seen a hockey game before and only knew about the sport from an episode of Sponge Bob Squarepants when the Krusty Krab freezes and the hockey team is practicing on the ice wearing Krabby Patties as skates and a puck.  So she pictured players who looked like fish skating on frozen hamburger patties.

We found our seats and she had questions about everything.  I had posted my concern about my knowledge of the sport on Facebook, which I thought was pretty witty.  But you know what I hate?!? I hate it when I post something that is obviously funny and no one reacts to it.

Here's what I put. "I hope my daughter doesn't ask me too much about hockey, the extent of my knowledge is limited to the Mighty Ducks movies and the first five minutes of Happy Gilmore." 

No responses.  But some chick saying they are going to bed, you get 97 respondents.

Okay rant over.

I told her we are the "white team" and the other team is the "black team".  She asked if we lived in the 1940's and I expanded the label as the color of the teams shirts.

Ladybug had a great time watching the game.  Sure it was really fast paced for her, but she really enjoyed herself.  To the point where she said she wanted to play hockey when she grows up.

View From Our Seats

Cheering on the Rampage.
Rampage Mascot T-Bone.

She Had No Idea Who Was Touching Her Head.
Excited When The Rampage Scored a Goal.
After the Game With Her New Hockey Stick.

The environment was great.  The people sitting in front of us were super nice and enjoyed our naivety towards the sport.  The little games during the time outs and the breaks between periods were fun.  I'm really glad we chose this over basketball.

Thanks Canada for bringing Hockey to Texas and providing me and my daughter to have a great Sunday afternoon.

Have a great day my friends.