Not Listening To Your Wife Pays

I hate the trees in my front yard.  They're huge and cause me problems.  They like to grow and try to ruin my roof (which we replaced a couple months ago).  They even crushed the main pipe leaving the house which caused poop to not go down the toilet and empty out in the front yard.  Birds enjoy sitting on the limbs and poop on our cars.

We've arrived at many family events with our van covered in poop because KC we always run late.

So large brush pick up is one of my favorite times of year.  I dream of getting a chainsaw and sending those trees back to their maker every year.  Every year they laugh and taunt me when I can only do the bare minimum.  We usually end up getting them trimmed which takes a good deal of branches off, but the following year it's like nothing happened.

This year was no different.  We get notice they are coming to pick up our brush and the tree trimmers come around making their offers to trim my crappy trees.  Instead of the trees trimmed, I want them down.

We started getting offers that started at $700 to cut them down.  Then I believe it was $490, and someone finally said they would do it for $290.  We still had to think about it and see if we could still afford that price.

Now they usually talk with KC because they ring the doorbell during the day while I'm working and she conveys the info to me.

So yesterday after dinner some people came and they said they talked to my wife and wanted to know what we were going to do.  KC had a bad headache and was lying down, so I told her we had a bid to cut one down for $190 earlier that day (KC conveyed the info while I was on the phone).

They were like hmmmmm...  They looked at the trees and said they would do it for $180, but they had to do it right then.  I said I'll be right back after I check with KC.

I tell her about the people outside and their offer and told her how we came to that offer.  She asked if it was a lady in a pink shirt.  I said yes. Turns out THEY were the people from earlier and I just made them bid against themselves.

Turns out, $190 was not an offer at all.  They were going to cut one down and trim the other for $275 or something, but would "trim" both trees for $150.

Right now, KC is rolling her eyes because I probably still got the numbers wrong.

I had no idea where I got $190 from, but I'm glad I spit it out because I'm getting rid of half of those crappy trees and getting the other one trimmed.

Here's a pic from GoogleMaps Street View of the crappy trees.

And here's a recent one from inside MaddSkillz room (I was too afraid and just go out there and take a picture because I didn't want them to think I was taking pictures of their work).

And here is a picture of the tree now.

New GoogleMaps Street View
MaddSkillz room view

So guys.  Sometimes it pays not to listen to your spouse.

Have a great weekend my friends.




In 2011, I Am Endorsing...

Phil Dunphy for Man of the House's 2011 Greatest TV Dad.

I feel a great dad should care deeply for his family.  A great dad should be able to see the humor in things his family does and appreciates his family with a huge heart.  A great dad can sometimes be a dork.  A great dad should be funny and speak his mind in his own way where people listen and his wife rolls his eyes.  A great dad should have a hot wife and a Hispanic mother-in-law.

But since I am not on TV, I am putting my full support for one who is....

Phil Dunphy from ABC's Modern Family.

Phil is currently entered into a 32 TV Dad Tournament to determine the greatest TV Dad.  The bracket style competition over at Man of the House is pitting #1 Division Seed, Phil Dunphy with eighth ranked Homer Simpson.

This is how Phil feels about parenting: "In nature, fathers are known to eat their young. Is it because they're delicious? No. It's because they want to give their female... bear, giraffe, what have you... the honeymoon they never had. Just to be clear: I don't condone eating your kids, although I sure as heck know why giraffes do it." [source]

According to Man of the House:
Thirty-two of TV's most famous and infamous men were selected and seeded by a team of editors and contributors to based upon four criteria:
1. Shared Household Responsibilities
2. Relationship with Children
3. Personal Health/Style/Appearance
4. Work/Family Balance 
 Now if you  think Homer Simpson wins in any of those categories against Phil "The Deal" Dunphy, then you are a 21 year old d-bag living in 1994.

The brackets are broken into two conferences and consist of many iconic TV dads.  Of course there's Cliff Huxtable.  There's also Tony Micelli, Jason Seaver, Al Bundy, Danny Tanner and Steven Keaton just to name a few.

Phil will take out Michael Kyle after bringing down Homer Simpson.  He'll make Mike Brady's sunshine day go cloudy before burning Charles Ingall's little prairie house to the ground for the conference finals.

He'll then take out the odd's on favorite dad can do no wrong Cliff Huxtable in the championship round to win the title. encourages visitors to come back every Monday for the next round of battles.  They can vote for whoever they want how ever many times they want.  The champion will be revealed on on June 17th.

So click on over. Vote for your favorite. Vote for MY favorite.

Let's Go Phil!!!

“I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Dad Central Consulting on behalf of P&G and received promotional items to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

If Phil doesn't win.  I sure as heck won't mind seeing a Jay Pritchett versus. Al Bundy in the finals.  What about you?


In Case Of Rapture.

Since some dude states the Rapture of Christ's church will happen tomorrow May 21st 2011, I felt it was necessary to let those who might still be here gain access to some information and materials if my family and I are gone.

  • I will leave the key to my house under the door mat.  It's best if you get here as soon as you can because we live in the ghetto and I'm sure the middle schoolers will form a mob and loot the homes in the area.
  • Passwords to our laptops will be on post it notes on our respective computers.  Mine is a work computer so you might want to be careful.
  • The shotgun is in the gun safe in the utility room.  The combination will be on the safe door.
  • I've left the bag of dog food outside for Happy.  Make sure she has water and shoo the birds away who try to eat her food.
  • Please do not judge us for the amount of clothes we've left unfolded on the couch.
  • The dishes in the dishwasher may not be clean.
  • There may be clothes in the washer still.  You might want to put it in the dryer so it does not mildew.
  • Saturday will be the last day of the pay week, it means I should get paid.  The money should be in my account on Thursday.  Be sure you get it before Well Fargo takes out the mortgage payment.
  • Going into MaddSkillz room will make you think we've already been looted.  Rest assured it is just the normal appearance of his room.
  • There's left overs in the fridge.  Eat those first.
  • And can you please mail my Green Lantern winners their packages?  I haven't been to the post office yet.
Everything else is open game for you or the looters.

If the rapture doesn't happen the above accommodations are void and invalid.   Now if the rapture DOES happen and we're still here, all bets are off and I'll be sitting behind my front door with the shotgun you lousy looters.


Jimmy Owes Jabba



Everyday I get some form of job opening email from Monster, Career Builder or LinkedIn.  While some have been nice that fit my criteria, I don't understand how it's connected to me for others.

Today I get an email from LinkedIn and it makes me think they're a bunch of idiots who do these "Jobs You May Be Interested In" emails.

Boltonshire is located on the west side of San Antonio, TX.  Keep that in mind when viewing this picture.

And then I think, "Seriously, these guys are not idiots.  These guys know exactly where I want to work!"


big moment.

I found some stories I had written for a creative writing website a couple years ago.  The point was to take ten words or phrases and make a story to be judged by the owners of the site.  In this particular one, I can't remember which ones should have been the required words.



Here it my big moment.  

My time to shine.  

My time for glory.

My music blares through the speakers of the arena as the crowd jumps to their feet.  I step through the curtain and the noise is deafening.  I want to thank each and every one of them for the support they've given me through my entire run.  I'm getting older and I'm not as quick as I used to be.  Each year goes by and I get further and further behind in this sport.  New moves.  New characters.  Just like the seasons, everything keeps changing.

Before I was married, I would let this monopolize my time.  Every chance I got, I would find ways and reasons to return.  The locker room was like a co-ed dorm with all of us hanging out.  Some of us would leave of our own accord.  Some of us were kicked out. 

I managed to come back for this last big run.  I trained and I practiced.  I even hired a dietician to help me with my weight.  Since I got married, I put on a few pounds.  Sure I wasn't as fast as I was ten years ago, but I could still work the crowd.

I was at the end of the ramp now.  The ring only a few feet from me.  The cheers and support are my tailwind of encouragement in what many have called an epic battle. 

On Pay Per View none the less.

My opponent is "MaddSkillz" Mike Joseph, my protégé.  I pretty much taught him this sport.  He's young.  He's quick.  He also struts around the ring with a cocky confidence.  Is it because he thinks he can beat his old mentor?  To make him tap out? To make him quit?

I take a few moments to watch his antics.  I can't help it but smile.  I climb the steps, go through the ropes and keep my muscles loose in my corner.  The referee calls us to the center.  He explains the rules and signals for the bell.

I don't know what hit me.  MaddSkillz attacks like a rattlesnake.  He comes at me from all different directions.  He throws me into the ropes.  The turnbuckles.  I spend more time on the ground than I do on my feet.  His fists burn like the sting of a bumblebee.  I don't know how much more of this I can take. 

Honestly, I'm pretty much done.  I can't even muster enough energy to stay on my feet.  MaddSkillz is loving this.  He's just toying with me now.  He kicks me in the gut which sets up his finisher.

The Propeller.

He lifts me on his shoulders, spins around and slams me face first on the mat.  He rolls me over and the ref counts.




He won again. 

I suck!  I suck! I suck! I suck!

"I'm done playing this game with you!!!" 

I throw the controller down, it slams against his bookcase and I storm out of my son's room the worst of the sore losers.  

No sportsmanship whatsoever.  Great example of being a father.

He didn't even give me a chance!

I need to practice when he's at school.  That's how I'll beat him at this game.


Winners and a Movie.

The Following Are The Winners of the Green Lantern Toy Giveaway

Robert Dilling - GRAND PRIZE PACK: The Green Lantern Colossal Cannon / A Green Lantern Secret Origins Hardback Graphic Novel / A Green Lantern Light Up Power Ring

Richard Phillips - SECOND PLACE PRIZE PACK: Three unique Green Lantern Battle Shifters / A Green Lantern Secret Origins Hardback Graphic Novel / A Green Lantern Light Up Power Ring

Seth Tamarkin - THIRD PLACE PRIZE PACK: The Green Lantern First Flight DVD / A Green Lantern Secret Origins Hardback Graphic Novel / A Green Lantern Light Up Power Ring

Scott Schuchard - HONORABLE MENTION: Each will receive A Green Lantern Secret Origins Hardback Graphic Novel / A Green Lantern Light Up Power Ring

Simon Tondeur - HONORABLE MENTION: Each will receive A Green Lantern Secret Origins Hardback Graphic Novel / A Green Lantern Light Up Power Ring

Obviously, if you're name didn't start with an "R" or an "S" you were screwed and didn't stand a chance.

Thank you to everyone who participated.  Thanks for the retweets and notifications passing the page along.  Thanks to the comic book creators I spammed to help retweet this as well.

Going to see THOR tomorrow, I'm going to a 2-D show.  I'm not all into the 3-D craze especially when I can save three dollars a ticket.

That's a bag of skittles, dangit!

In the meantime enjoy a conversation between two movie characters from this summer's movies.

Have a great weekend my friends.


Free Comic Book Day.

Because I haven't  talked about comics enough on this blog recently, I'm changing it up here.  This Saturday, May 7th, anyone can walk into a participating comic book store and DEMAND free comics.  Well you don't have to demand par se, you can just go in there and ask.  They'll be happy to give it to you.

So if you're thinking about going around stealing comic books this weekend, DON'T DO IT!!!  They're free.

Now they're NOT ALL free.  Just the ones dedicated to this year's Free Comic Book Day event.  Usually some of the comics help promote upcoming summer movies.  This year I was expecting Thor, Green Lantern, Captain America, X-Men, Transformers and even Pirates of the Caribbean. All to correspond with their respective movies.  Now while according to the Free Comic Book Day Website, not all those titles will be represented. 

FCBD 2011 Green Lantern

There's a Green Lantern, but it's a partial reprint from the one I'm giving away. (Hurry the giveaway ends today) Which I guess is cool to the n00bs (who they want to bring in), but since I already have it, I'm somewhat disappointed.  

But that doesn't mean you won't be.

FCBD 2011 Capt America / Thor

I was hoping for sure they'd have at least two comics from Marvel about their obvious blockbusters this summer.  Well, they're combining Thor and Captain America into one comic.  From the cover it looks like they're in the middle of WWII.  I'm not sure if this will be two stories with each character or a team-up story where the Cap punches Hitler in the face then Thor smashes his hammer into it right after.

But that's it for this summer's movie tie-ins.  That doesn't mean that's all the comics they will have.
Spider-Man Goes To The Chiropractor

Darth Mango Gets Pissed

Batman Teaches The Kids About Attacking From One Direction

Now if you're not all super hero geek and you think maybe they're too violent for your kids, they also have comics based on cartoon characters.

The Kung Fu Animals Attack Like Batman Taught Them To

Sonic Becomes New Golum Looking for Gold Rings

Darkwing Duck Looking Creepy

Family Photos at World Landmarks

And then there'a also the educational.

So whatever your style (even if you're not a comic collector), there's something out there for you.  Just check out the official website of Free Comic Book Day for locations near you and comics available.

Last year was our first year participating and while my wife was concerned about the hygiene of the Magic:The Gathering players, everyone enjoyed the little activity. This year, KC and Ladybug will not be going.  KC is trying to lure her away from the geek side by taking her to a mother/daughter banquet.  This also happens to be our weekend with MaddSkillz, so he'll be joining us this year.

Since I'll be flying solo with the kids, I had to map out my plan of attack (like I did in New York).  Most stores only allow 2 books per person.  So the plan is to hit multiple store.  We'll unload, run in, get what we need and run out just like Seal Team Six.  We plan to start hitting them after we drop off KC and Ladybug off at my Father-In-Laws in the morning, then make our way back towards our house.

Mapped Out Comic Book Stores

 I'll use D as a person who wants two books and I'll "hold onto" hers.  The Emsters can also get a couple which I'll more than likely use for the missing Ladybug.

So if you want something to do and you like free stuff, go to their website to get a list of location in your area.  Just be warned of the guys playing Magic:The Gathering and their hygiene.




How Does The Death of Bin Laden Affect My Kids?

It's been twenty-four hours (at the time of this writing) since the world was made aware of the actions on May 1st, 2011 against terrorist leader Osama (or Usama) Bin Laden.  I was glued to Twitter, Facebook updates, and cable news stations to get the latest updates.  It reminded me of what I was doing ten years ago.

In September of 2001, I was laid off.  On September 11, 2001 it was two weeks until I started a new job.  My friend Rachel called me a little after eight to let me know something happened in New York (this was before the second plane hit).  I turned on the news and a few minutes later the second plane hit.  I remember thinking this was no accident.  I stayed glued to whatever news station wasn't showing commercials.  I would talk to Rachel periodically letting her know the updates as the attacks on the Pentagon and the crash in Pennsylvania happened.

I was glued to my television and did not leave my apartment for about 36 hours.  I talked to various family members and friends.  My little sister was upset because our brother, Evan had just graduated Air Force basic training.  She was worried about him being sent out to fight.  I remember talking to my friend Joe when they showed citizens in the streets of Afghanistan partying and celebrating as bodies fell one-hundred and ten stories.  Lives were being lost and families were being broken.

Someone claimed responsibility and the hunt was on.

Sunday night while working, MaddSkillz asks "Is Osama Bin Laden dead?"  I checked the news sites and blurbs were posted.  Thanks to social media, the news was so new it wasn't news yet.  We watched the preliminary reports that weren't quite accurate until President Obama came on TV.

Twitter and Facebook blew up.  Jokes were made (me being part of them) with people happy because Osama Bin Laden was dead.

I sat behind my computer trying muter up some sort of "AMERICA RULES EFF YEAH!!!", but it never came.  I was proud of our military as well of our president (which I'm not often) for finally finding him.    Was I happy he was dead? 

I felt nothing.

I didn't feel safer.  I didn't feel my life was fulfilled and revenge was partaken.  Then again, I'm not a 9/11 Victim's family.  I'm not a victim from London, Spain, Russia, India, The USS Cole and everything else Al-Qaida has claimed responsibility for.  I didn't feel the personal loss as thousands of families around the world because of this man, I was justified in my feelings ten years ago because my country was hurt.

This morning America partied like we won the world series.  People danced in the streets and waved flags coming on camera praising how dead Bin Laden is and celebrating his death.

My mind raced back ten years to the visual of the streets of Afghanistan celebrating the death of our people.  I tried to separate the difference and say we were justified.  Justice has been served, thanks to TWO presidential administrations, thousands or troops from dozens of nations, and the unifying global spirit of not backing down to a bully.

But someone is just going to take his place.  There's always going to be "the next guy".  I question how the victims' families are going to feel a week from now.  Are they going to feel retribution now?  I don't know.  Bin Laden's death will not bring back the mothers and fathers and everyone else lost in all the attacks.  Deep inside I think this will only be a matter of time where we'll hunger for more.  We'll want more black ops, and more updates from the cool and hip president.

It's Call of Duty Syndrome.  We've grown so cynical when it comes to on demand gratification, we're looking for the next level and the next head shot.

My kids (except MaddSkillz) have no clue, and probably will never know about the name Osama Bin Laden for a very long time.  While his death is certainly a symbolic victory in the War on Terror, it is not a reason for a navy personnel grabbing random nurses in times square to plant one on them.  But my kids are still going to wake up and watch SpongeBob in the morning before school.  They will still not want to eat their dinner when we make it for them.  They will operate and be the same kids they've always been.

 I love history, and I am glad I'm smack dab in the middle of it.  It's not going to end now that Bin Laden is dead.


The World Is Watching.

Last night the world watched local and cable news stations, Twitter and Facebook status updates to hear the news everyone has been wanting to hear for a very long time now.  It's bittersweet if you ask me about it.  I mean, a lot of time and effort was focused on this one mission.

I for one am happy it is finally getting the mainstream love it deserves.

Check out what was on last night.

and just to prove I'm not only a goose steppin' republican tea partier.  It was on as well...

So in case anyone missed it..

Have a blessed day my friends.  Thank you to all the soldiers from all the countries from all over the world who helped bring down OBL.


Who Gives A Crap?

on Twitter: During his re-election campaign, Obama should answer every single question with "Who gives a crap. I killed bin Laden"

Savage Dragon #145 - Feb/2009

Thanks to PJ for providing the tweet.