Thursday, May 24, 2012

Trouble in Paradise Part 2

You know that day after effect is when you have the 20/20 vision on reflection.  All the things that could have gone wrong, run through your mind.  All the permeations of circumstance that had to happen, could have happened, or might have happened play like a movie in the mind.  What if I had been walking Gizmo at my usual Monday night time?  Did I come close to having an encounter having walked the dog 15 minutes prior to the perpetrator knocking on the door?  Did I miss some key observation?  Why was the ringer off on the phone upstairs?
There were some positive that ran across my mind too.  Good thing I check that both cars are locked before bed.  Nice work by me, checking that all the doors and windows are locked, outside lights are on, and the inside doors with bolts are latched.  I know Demi thinks I am crazy at time.  I know she gets aggravated when I get on her about leaving keys where they shouldn't be, the car open, a window open, or door unlocked.  It's Duxbury right?  Nothing ever happens here. 
Morning is always the worst time.  I always make sure the garage door is shut when I leave.  Even if I have to come back from a mile down the street because I can't remember shutting it.  My family and their safety comes first.  Dad drilled that into me.  Sure I thought he took it overboard at times.  I still can't let taking life jackets camping pass.  We weren't boating, canoeing (kayaking was a novelty back then) or anywhere near water.  We were land locked.  So did we really need a bag full of life jackets?  Probably not.  But Dad did teach me to be prepared.  I have the heavy duty flashlight by my bed.  I have some Louisville sluggers handy, in oddly placed locations.  I make sure there is a phone upstairs with us every night.  There's a happy medium somewhere between survivalist training and leaving the house wide open, door open, with cash on a table in plain sight.  I am probably close to the Mayan Calendar end than the latter, but I would rather err on the side of caution.  That is my Dad in me.  Thanks Dad.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Trouble in Paradise

At times like these you always think:  "These things don't happen here" or "I wonder where stuff like that goes on?".  Well, it happened here.  Our little tiny nook of the world ended up on a news reel:

Demi actually made all the local news channels.  She became the unofficial spokesperson for the family/neighborhood.

Saturday, May 19, 2012


Family trip to the movies today.  I had been itching to see The Avengers (in 3D).  Best movie of the year so far.  Sure, Hunger Games was great.  But this was just amazing.  Even Demi was blown away.  The dialogue was fantastic.  Great one liners and zingers.  The cast really had great chemistry.  The action was awesome.  There was nothing inappropriate where I needed to have a conversation with the boys afterwards.  The critique that th movie was made for 3D was spot on.  I would give this 5 full Chinnies.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Rambling Man

Today is one of those rare times when I have to travel for work.  Nothing exotic. Kentucky.  Yep.  Below the Mason/Dixon line.  It's a quick trip.  6 AM flight out of Boston.   Land back in Boston tomorrow night at 6 PM.  Sure I could have gone last night, but that would be one less night to spend with the boys.  It makes for a long day, but I am willing to do it.
     The boys were great on the phone.  I asked them before I left to be extra helpful and to take care of Demi.  They did just that, taking out the trash and getting it ready for pick up (by my Dad, who just can't keep still in retirement).  I actually got some voluntary conversation from them over the phone.  They are older and technically it is easier to leave them, but to be honest, I still don't like doing it.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day 2012

Happy Mother's Day, Demi!
     The boys were great.  They were into the holiday.  They both approached me independently to request I take them out so they could get a Mother's Day present.  It was a nice gesture by both of them.
     They helped me with Mother's Day breakfast though.  They set the table on the deck, very nicely.  We made coffee, bacon, and Paleo Pancakes.  Yes.  You read that correctly.  Paleo Pancakes.  These were made of almond four, coconut flour, coconut flakes, banana, milled flax meal, and coconut milk.  They actually tasted fine.  Thicker than your normal pancake. Real maple syrup topped it off.  I made pancakes from scratch for the boys (I was sort of forced to as I was out of Bisquick).  Egg whites for dad.
     The weather was perfect.  It was sunny and warm.  No bugs yet.  Demi came home from spin class to a ready & waiting breakfast.  I think we can file this one under:  Success.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Paleo Challenge

Demi is doing another Paleo diet challenge.  However, this time, she is including her family and friends.  She is coordinating a challenge for her peeps who are trying to lose weight.  Demi hopes it will work for them.  She hopes when they see results it will inspire them to keep going.  It's a good example for the boys to see.
     Her friends and families grew up on the Island.  Healthy eating is a foreign concept there.  The first time I went there I was introduce to the bagel with cream cheese and butter.  Yep.  Both.  That sort of sums it up.  Sure, the Island has great bagels and amazing pizza.  Sure, their pizza has specialized crusts, with sesame, onion, or salt, like bagels.  Garlic knots.  More carbs, slathered with butter and garlic.  And they use real butter there.  Real cheese.  You don't see a lot of organic foods sold there.
     The boys like to help in their own way.  They spot any attempt Demi makes to partake of non-Paleo food.  They threaten to sell her out to her trainer.  But they are also supportive of the other family participants.  Of course, they might sell any one of them out too.

Saturday, May 5, 2012


We had a visit it from the Island this weekend.  Demi' sister came with most of her family.  This time though, she had a new addition.  Her new grandson (via marriage) had requested to come see my boys, while on their recent tour of England, Ireland, and France (Paris).  He had missed them and hadn't seen them since Christmas.
     I will say the visit was better than could be hoped for.  Andy was a delight.  He was well mannered.  He was respectful.  And he was easy.  No special food requests.  No elaborate night time ritual.  And he was so happy playing with my boys.
     I am very proud of my sons.  They spent so much time with Andy.  They taught Andy to play Manhunt.  From what I understand, Andy doesn't spend a lot of time out of doors, so this was all new to him.  There was very little XBOX.  The three of them took out all the action figures and vehicles in the basement, to put up a large scale battle scene.  In their words: "it was epic."
     I felt they earned some treats.  We did chocolate chip pancakes.  We went for ice cream to Dairy Twist.  The small size at that place is redonkulous.  Coco got the winning flavor, Salted Caramel Chocolate Pretzel.  However, no complaints with my soft serve orange creamsicle with chocolate jimmies.  These are the family moments that I hope they remember later in life.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Dangerous Choices

As soon as I saw the advertisement in the school newsletter, I knew I would be attending this event with the boys.  The event?  A lecture at the Duxbury PAC put on by The Parent Connection.  I know.  Lecture?  Parent Connection.  Well, the Parent Connection is a local organization that tries to help the local parents become better parents.  Lectures, workshops, classes, etc.  All kinds of training.  They actually put on a talk by a former Boston Celtic that grew up in MA (check old posts).  So what's so noteworthy about another lecture?  The talk was titled, "Danger Choices" and it was being delivered by Chris Herren.
     I had seen bits and pieces of the documentary on Chris Herren called "Unguarded."  I was familiar with the published accounts of the "fall from grace" of a local Boston sports figure.  I knew that this would be a worthwhile expenditure.  But it delivered far more than I built it up to be.  It's always amazing when something over delivers on expectations.  Awesome.  Phenonemnal.  Tremendous.  You pick the adjective.  It wouldn't do it justice.
     Chris was an engaging speaker.  He was honest.  His message was right on.  He focused on the decisions and the consequences.  The consequences to him and to those around him.  This was not your cliche "Don't do drugs.  Drugs are bad." speech.  This was not the I was the next big thing but blew it.  Sure there were themes about those things.  But this talk was so much more.  The standing O at the end was well deserved.
     If you are not familiar with Chris's story, I would recommend you seeing the documentary or attend one of his talks.  After all the years of dependence and what he and his family went through, to be able to do what he is currently doing is mind blowing.  Sure, it appeared that he was destined to be a professional basketball player, and an All Star at that.  But maybe this is what he was meant to do.  Maybe this was the destiny.  In a way, he is an All Star.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May Day

It sort of snuck up on me, this "anniversary".  I probably should have seen the correlation as to why the Discovery Channel was showing all the Seal Team Six and Inside Osama's Compound specials.  I guess it didn't seem like a whole year had passed since that Special Ops mission.  Security in and around Boston was definitely taking precautions, as if the Terror Alert Level had risen.  The commuter train platform had about a dozen paramilitary SWAT-type personnel and 2 K9 units.  Even the lobby of our office building had our rent-a-cops on high alert.
     Of course I couldn't help think back on 9/11.  My family came to the forefront of my thoughts, then and now.  I assume because it's my family that is important to me.  Seems like good theory, right?  OK, I jest a bit. It's how I deal with serious thoughts sometimes.  Most of the time.  I don't think I will ever forget the ride home on the T after the attacks on 9/11.  There was some good camaraderie.  Banter about the information we all had at the time.  But the whole duration of the trip, I just want to get home.  Get to my family.  I know the media whips up these "anniversary" frenzies.  But maybe it's because of the important thoughts they generate.