Perfect Timing

Well, hello friends new and established! I’ve been off the radar for a minute, so my apologies to everyone who has been wondering what ever became of me.

I would like to kick off my blog with something awesome and profound. Matt Banner @ On Blast Blog suggests polishing the opening post and starting strong. Somewhere in his 40 tips for blogging is a quote about it never being the perfect time for anything.

However, there’s something to be said for mission accomplishment. I have been trying to find 30 min just to sign up but between driving for Uber, launching a business with my girlfriend, and chasing after two 6 year old terrors, it has evaded me. One key to getting shit done is being opportunistic with time, and right now is the perfect time to stare at my phone since life just gave me a great big slap on the sciatic nerve! Ugh, what incredible pain to suffer. I’ve never experienced anything like this before, but the last 7 hours has been relentlessly awful. Really, though, I don’t know which is worse-the actual pain or the frustration of being so incapacitated that I have to be dragged to the bathroom!

Well, considering the pen is mightier than the sword and I can’t even lift my head without agonizing pain, it is indeed the perfect time to get blogs up and other screen time efforts underway. I have a project I hope to post on IndieGoGo and events to line out for vending. I will be posting updates on all of my efforts here as well as my own ramblings. 

So, pretty as my first blog may or may not be, here it is!


I have a lot of good stuff to fill my blog posts with, so I can roll with the ocean scene for a first. I was 18 years old on a cross country road trip when I first saw the Atlantic. Since then, I could hardly imagine living more than a couple hours from an ocean. Feeling small, so miniscule while gazing at the vastness is curiously enlightening. Few things in this world can ground you in the moment like that. Except a child’s love 🙂

Thanks for reading!


Warm, but not Spring

There’s a nice little bit of urban hiking to be had at the arboretum and this year I’m trying hard not to miss the magnolias. Alas, we were still much too early for them!

We still enjoyed a few blooming trees along the way, though.

We took a tour around town to see what’s around the neighborhood of my new shop space. At the trendy hardware store, my girl couldn’t resist a small pot of arabica coffee plants. I have probably wanted a coffee plant about as long as I knew they could be potted and kept in the house. Well, here they finally are, even if they’re not exactly mine!


Well… I hardly know where to begin. Things have been crazy and unsettling. However, I wanted to give a shout and let everyone know that I’m keeping on.

In the middle of our *epic* snowstorm, it suddenly rained projects on me. I have things to build, wire to pull, and money to be made. I will be pretty busy for the next few weeks trying to knock these out.

Things have amped up with regards to parenting. So many appalling things have come to surface and as much as I wish I could tackle it with fervor for the sake of social justice, I have projects to focus on. I might post a little rant about it, but I might not for the simple fact that the whole situation is already ugly and embarrassing enough.

Lastly, with this influx of projects, I am finally making the move into a real work space. It’s not very big, but it’s heated, powered, and very accessible. Ground level roll up door and a nice, large alleyway for delivery vehicles. The price is right, and all utilities are covered. First order of business today is dropping the application off and then preparing for the big move! Of course, not until having to haul a meltdown from school this morning. I just hope that after all this drama, I don’t get denied based on the incredible mess my life is. Wish me luck, I’m going to need it!

Lastly, I think I will be changing my blog up slightly. It feels like time for this to have some kind of direction and purpose. I have some things I’ve been chewing on, and an unexpected meeting with a neighbor might sprout into a garden plot and/or greenhouse for labor relationship. My girl is over the moon for an opportunity to get her hands dirty again, and I’m happy I can offload half my unused materials instead of dragging it around the city in the move.

As always, I’m often not sure how to explain my feelings, but my plants always look the part exactly. 😥

Life is Letting Go

and making room for the new

There’s been a box of papers getting kicked around, shuffled here, buried, moved there, and buried again. It was unlabeled and I hadn’t looked in it since I packed it up to move years ago. A few months ago, I pulled the box out in a furious cleaning effort.

First opening the box revealed magazines adorned with skin, which happened to also surprise my curious girlfriend. There were only a few, and truthfully much of the reason I keep them is for the simple nostalgia of the countries they were printed in. In any case, they made it to a proper location and the rest of the box has been collecting dust.

School stuff. After those few magazines, it was just folder after folder of schoolwork. I suppose I’m a bit off just for keeping all the hardbound door stops I needed through school. In the same vein, I had been keeping this box of my work because there might be something useful and worthy of saving. I don’t know why, but this morning just felt like the right time to dig through it.

I suppose after spending so many late nights and early mornings wrapping your head around these charts, it would make anyone just a bit disconnected from and unable to relate to the population at large. In the folder I found these, I also found all the work I did leading up to failing Solar Thermal Systems. That professor is still there, still teaching all the classes I would need to take to finish. I thought I had him figured out, and a small part of me wonders if he didn’t just dish the pain out to me because a little bird told him I thought I had him figured. I kept the chart, and tossed all the work into the box.

Then, there was that one condensed physics class I had to take at community college to be admitted to my engineering program. Wherever Jeff Berkeley is, I sure hope he isn’t torturing more undeserving students with his belittling and ranting. Sure, I passed with a B, but it was an ugly summer. It was a period of time where I was realizing my marriage was doomed, and I didn’t know a sober day until I stopped eating altogether in the stress of my initial severance. All of that, in the box.

Ah, yes. Engineering school, where you might sit and pontificate the possibility of actually jumping from a burning building onto a lower one! I did like this class, as hard as it was. I actually enjoyed the daily quizzes where the class all got a little bit of a mind blown by the inaccuracy of common assumptions about the physical world and Newton’s Laws. Turns out, it’s not just Chuck Norris that can do ‘Earth Downs’ instead of ‘push ups’! I kept the quizzes for future mental gum to chew on and the rest went ceremoniously into the box.

It went like this for a couple hours. There were tests, the Electronics midterm for example, which the entire class bombed so badly that the professor had no choice but to offer points back for corrected solutions. There was the motors class that started with 11 students, only to end with 4 of us even attempting the final and only half the test takers passing. I wasn’t one of them. In the box, headed for the trash like that whole course was from the first day.

I really had a talent for circuits, and did fairly well along the way despite the electronics courses to follow. There was the bridge build for statics. That was actually quite fun and the proud remains of it are still around somewhere. The electronics courses were rough. I really can’t bias an op amp to save my life! In the box because none of that has stopped me from making my own amplifiers from scratch any damn way.

Nearing the end of the pile, I started pondering just what qualities made for a good teacher. How do some of these professors give their students such a hard time yet leave them with such a positive perception afterwards? What makes others just come off as portentous jerks while they can’t even get their own facts straight to present them? I come to my calculus work. Oh, yes. There’s stone cold Thompson. The guy was a jerk and unforgiving, but in a clinical sort of way. His way of telling you that you failed was like a doctor writing a prescription. I did enjoy two courses with the local legend, though. At least, I left with a positive impression of the course. Looking back on the comments, I feel less impressed. He meant to be humorous, but at some point it gets to feeling like tests are nothing more than a ritualistic beating that you have to endure for the sake of the title.

Avoid creative math. Good advice that makes me shake my head at my father and all his ‘creative financing’. Turns out, you can’t just pretend an exponent is a base nor can you pretend debt is a credit.

However, I guess what does jive with me and my style is blunt force honesty. The math is all fancy with Greek letters and not logically incorrect, but the most valiant efforts are for naught if not executed correctly.

One Magical Day

…when I have money again

Sara in LaLa Land posted a bucket list and I thought I’d give mine a revamp!

Money doesn’t buy happiness, they say. Whoever they are, they apparently have too much of it if they can’t find happiness. I would frankly be stoked simply to pay all of my bills one month. However, one day when money and kids are not a hindrance, here’s a few things for my bucket list.

Snowboard the Alps. I grew up in Colorado near a legendary ski area. The powder was deep, some years the slopes would be open before Halloween, and some years would stay open past spring vacation. The west coast states, though I love living in the PNW, just don’t get that high altitude fluffy powder. I would also be happy getting some action in Alaska, though it just doesn’t have the same exotic appeal to it.

Fiji getaway. Simple enough. I just want to spend a week or two lazing around half naked and go diving in the reef. I started diving in Okinawa as an alternative to getting shit faced every weekend. Since then, I’ve enjoyed only a handful of dives in my adventures. I lost all my underwater photos in the course of life. I had a huge collection of ‘sea slugs’ photos. Sad, but it only means that one day I will have to go take more photos!

Take family to 6 Flags. Another one of those odd growing up things was being just close enough to Denver to feasibly make a day trip to Elitch Gardens. For most families, that is. I still to this day haven’t made it there. I did go to the one in LA a couple times while stationed at Pendleton. I mean, the fair rolls in with all the usual rides: the zipper, tilt a whirl, some version of centrifugal force ride where everyone is pasted to the wall, the swings… Okay, yay and stuff, but some of us have leaped off bridges and out of aircraft for fun. The Batman ride, now there’s some fun! I can’t wait until the kids are old enough that I can take them to enjoy all those things!

Speaking of thrills, man would I love to do what Dane Cook did on one comedy tour and fly a plane in a dogfight! Does that company still exist? It wasn’t exorbitantly expensive when I checked it out, and I would be stoked to have such an opportunity! I would probably still have a hard time finding someone to go with me. Not everyone has the stomach for that kind of physical upheaval!

Hot Air Balloon Ride. Simple as that. Just a peaceful, gentle excursion with lots of time to take in the sights. Skydiving is epic for the sight, but admittedly a scant few minutes is hardly worth the cost. The southwest is famous for ‘habbing’ and I always thought it would be just about the best excursion for a birthday or anniversary.

Romantic cruise ship getaway. Another one of those simple things. I suppose I could enjoy a Caribbean tour, as it would flow nicely with the minimal clothes theme for the ship bound part of the trip! However, I really don’t care for the heat, so Alaska has always sounded more appealing. Glaciers and northern lights are definitely more my flavor.

Yep, one day

Breakfast Hero

“W” is for WIN (and Waffles)

I just washed the iron from the last delicious batch of waffles and thought I’d share this with the parenting community.

I got my waffle iron one very difficult Christmas from a dear mentor at school. She’s a seasoned mom and has that magical mom way of doing just the right little thing to make all the difference in the world. A crock pot was also gifted at that time, also quite treasured, but I feel like the crock gets all the praise and media attention.

Ask the kids what they want for breakfast…

“Can we have waffles!?” Comes the excited request. The recipe is so simple, the kids can even measure and mix it themselves with guidance. They can be frozen and thrown in the toaster (if it fits). They can be flavored with extracts other than vanilla. Really, they are quite flexible. You can go all the way outside the box and serve with chicken nuggets! Why not?

Saturday morning family breakfast is our semi religious gathering, so that certainly fuels the desire for these geometrically delightful breakfast icon. However, they are also quite packable and portable. After they cool, they soften and are no longer a major crumb threat to the back seat! Load them with berries and you remove the burning need to slather them in artificially flavored high fructose corn syrup for ingestion!

Anything you can imagine putting on a crepe is fair game for waffle amendments. PB&J to yogurt to Nutella, to even more berries! You could even put the actual distilled sap of the Acer Saccharum on them, if you are so inclined. Or agave…

Parents, if you don’t have a waffle iron, do yourself the favor of the year and go get one! You will be amazed at the hangry taming power of this highly understated tool! I sure have been.

Moving Forward

Why don’t you knock it off with them negative waves?

I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise that my girl was lied to and hosed over by corporate ass fuckery once again. January is getting to be the month of unexpected unemployment for us. In any case, after stressing out of our minds for the last 3 or 4 weeks, she has finally found gainful employment again. I might be getting my hopes up, but the benefits are above and beyond and her initial impression of her new coworkers as ‘bubbly’ makes me think she might just have found a good long term fit. 

As for myself, money problems, not seeing the sun for weeks on end, being socked in with the cold rain, and the holiday season overall was enough damper to make me not want to get out of bed most days. My 30’s have had me down, but after a while I guess you come to the conclusion that you may as well, “get busy livin’, or get busy dyin’. ” (Shawshank Redemption)  Before you get concerned, rest assured that my boy’s bright, happy face and great big hugs  (like his dad’s) keep me grounded through everything. So, I’ve been chewing on this question all month and then some: what now?   

Without reliving too many miserable details, I have to say that I would pin this ‘midlife crisis‘ thing, if that’s what you want to call it, down to having to learn how to let go of your past hopes and dreams that didn’t work out, and find a new meaningful future starting from where you are. I suppose we are sort of guided as teenagers on our course of self-discovery and identity. You have to write all these thoughtful essays on how you understand and feel about the world, and coming out of high school you sort of have some idea about what your life should look like. Your roaring twenties roll around, and you’re full of piss-n-vinegar! You experience your first real world achievements, often your first really meaningful intimate relationship, and you start to set life goals. Then, struggle. Then, getting tripped up. Then failure followed by more failure. Next thing you know, everything you worked so hard to achieve is a damn mess and you start wondering how long it will be before you find yourself pitching a tent under Burnside Bridge! 

Without wanting to, my search for the answer to, “what the hell do I do now?”, led me to wondering just what I’m all about. Maybe I attached my identity to a dream future that didn’t come true. Maybe I lost myself along the way. Maybe I was distracted by the wrong glittery, shining things in life. Maybe that streak of success fooled me into forgetting the simple,  ubiquitous fact that life’s a bitch! 

Whatever the case, I’m starting to regroup and make a plan for moving forward. I’ve had to settle into myself like an expertly made cheesecake (for the love of desserts, don’t fuck with it for at least twelve hours! Why is this so hard?) or since I’m more of a savory foodie who more often than not gets the trial by fire treatment, maybe more like a homemade salsa made with flame roasted peppers. Either way, I’ve had to examine my past to accomplish this, and that’s been half the battle. 

The other half of the battle has been to find affirmation in the way I’ve dealt with my circumstances. See my previous post if you care to hear me rant and split hairs on choice, consequence, and circumstance. My early followers probably know that I have severed connections with my father and though I haven’t refused contact with my mother, still haven’t spoke to her in years. I won’t have alcoholism in my life, and I have neither the desire nor constitution to drag someone into reality that has chosen to be checked out of it. These are my choices, and I made them for a reason. 

Somehow, conversation with my girl last night triggered a chain of difficult memories, and I purged myself of some emotional indigestion over this fact. Sometimes, you just gotta let all that poison out of you to be mentally healthy again. This morning, with the ‘taste of it’ still lingering in my mind, I have this song in my head. I’ve given it a few listens and let it wash over me. There’s a lot behind this song for me. (Graphic content advisory: mild violence in YouTube clip, lyrics at the bottom if you’d rather not or the link doesn’t work) In fact, the movie it’s from, Kelly’s Heroes, is pretty damn classic, too. Even if war flicks aren’t your flavor, (though it’s minimal gore) I would say the all star cast from young Clint Eastwood to Don Rickles makes it worth seeing at least once. It has a lot of clean, old fashioned humor with a gold heist theme. The song resonated with my mother, and it took me until my adult years to understand why. Moreover, the movie stuck with me thanks to Donald Sutherland enlightening me to what it means to be a hippie out of his natural habitat. Come to think of it, I lived out quite a bit of that character’s role in my own service! Ha ha! I’m not even embarrassed about it! Woof, woof! 

Well, there you have it. Accepting who I am, accepting everything that’s happened, and getting the hell on with it. I will leave you with these lyrics and promise to be back soon to share my itchy green thumbs and projects.

“Burning Bridges” sung by The Mike Curb Congregation 

Friends all tried to warn me but held my head up high. All the time they warned me but I only passed them by.

They all tried to tell me but I guess I didn’t care. I turned my back and left them standing there. 

All the burning bridges that have fallen after me. All the lonely feelings and the burning memories. 

Everyone I left behind each time I closed the door. Burning Bridges lost forevermore. 

Joey tried to help me find a job a while ago. When I finally got it I didn’t want to go. 

The party Mary gave for me when I just walked away. Now there’s nothing left for me to say. 

All the burning bridges that have fallen after me. All the lonely feelings and the burning memories. 

Everyone I left behind each time I closed the door. Burning Bridges lost forevermore. 

Years have passed and I keep thinking what a fool I’ve been. I look back into the past and think of way back then. 

I know that I lost everything I thought that I could win. I guess I should have listened to my friends. 

All the burning bridges that have fallen after me. All the lonely feelings and the burning memories. 

Everyone I left behind each time I closed the door. Burning Bridges lost forevermore. Burning bridges lost forevermore.