Friday, January 25, 2013


My CT scan was negative.  I even had a nuclear test.  They shot me full of radioactive isotopes, specifically designed to stick to my small intestine.  How that works?  Don't ask me.  But that was negative too.  The pain is much better than it had been.  The prevailing theory is that something was lodged in the opening of my appendix and I was likely on my way to appendicitis.  But who knows really?  Yes, the important thing is that I am getting well.  Not knowing is really bugging me though.  I really would not have been surprised to see my stomach burst open and the Alien come crawling out.  It was really that painful.
     I think the boys got most of it.  They were concerned but not really sure what was going on.  I couldn't really tell them either.  There was no diagnosis to explain.  I could only tell them that I was in pain.  I am glad they weren't scared though.  Concern, yes.  Scared, no.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Talking About Ray

I had to have a talk with Coco about Ray Lewis.  He was getting caught up in the media hype over his retirement and playing on the sentimentality of a Hall of Fame career coming to an end.  No argument that he was one of the best linebackers ever to play the game.  But Coco was only seeing one side of the story.  We have had many talks over the years about role models and choosing our "heroes".  I needed to make sure he could separate Ray's on the field play and his off the field behavior.  I didn't put exactly the same way as Mrs. Welker but hey, she wasn't wrong.  I am sure she apologized for Wes's and the team's benefit.  Otherwise, was she really off base?
     I didn't get too far into the specifics with Coco.  I was actually able to bring the discussion around to the Chris Herren talk on Decisions.  I can't say enough about that lecture.  I bought Unguarded, the ESPN documentary on Herren.  What a great piece.  Really well done.  It is important to talk to the kids about these things.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

World's Best Hot Chocolate

I overheard a really interesting tidbit spoken by Coco.  He was talking to one of his buddies.  I wasn't paying too close attention until I heard, "Caz actually makes the world's best hot chocolate.  But don't tell anyone I said that.  I can't tell you what the secret ingredient is but he has the best recipe."  I cracked up over that.  Little brother makes a compliment but doesn't want big brother to know about it.  I think that is Sibling Rivalry Rule #53:  Don't publicly compliment your sibling.  I mean, one can't possibly say something nice about a sibling while going through adolescence, right?

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Worry Wart

I had to have a CT scan today.  I really thought I was on my way to surgery, by the way of the ER.  What was a lingering nuisance, became a full blow medical situation almost overnight.  I woke up about 2 AM with  sharp stabbing pains and burning, from my naval to my right hip.  I had seen the doctor yesterday and we agreed to wait and see.  If I was status quo come Monday, then a CT scan would be ordered.  If I got worse, then call the urgent care physician on weekend duty.  That poor sap.  She drew the short straw.
     She even said, "I was hoping not to see you this weekend."
So she ordered an emergency CT scan.  A two hour preperation process, so I could drink two bottles of berry flavored chalk.  It actually wasn't bad.  I have tasted far worse.  It was just heavy.  I had to pee constantly.  Demi stayed with me the whole time.  The boys took care of themselves.  She checked in of course.  They made their meals - breakfast and lunch , cleaned the basement, did their homework.  They got on and off XBOX well.  That was all impressive enough.  But Caz really surprise me.  He was really concerned and kept asking about me - "what is wrong with Dad?" or "is he going to be OK?"
     Touching for me.  I figured he would tune that out, over extended XBOX time.  A very nice surprise.  The boys were both helpful when I got home.  They got me drinks, pillows, and blankets.  They really are good boys.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

End of Term

The boys are nearing the end of term.  They are making that final push for honor roll, or even high honors.  I like that they aim high.  That comes more naturally for Coco, than Caz.  But Caz gets it.  This week is his last chance to make sure all his assignments are in and grades.  Last chance to study for quizzes and tests that impact their grades.  I like that they are both excited and nervous.  They should take their school work seriously.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Playoff Bound

Caz received an extra Christmas gift this year.  His buddy ended up with Patriots playoff tickets for Christmas.  Caz was invited to join the excursion.  He is pumped.  It is really exciting for me to see him so excited about a football game.  He is really coming into his own.  I love that he finds his own things to be excited about.  He needs to find his own way.  But that this time it happens to be football?  Bonus!
     The crew went early to the game.  It's hard (not impossible) to really tailgate with kids.  Not that I mean get falling down drunk in the parking lot.  But at that age, not many young adults get excited over chips and dips, steaks, ribs, and real BBQ.  Coco does but he is the exception to the rule.  Caz and his crew went all around Patriot Place.  The ate at 5 Guys.  Apparently they ended up with the largest bag of fries one has ever seen.  That will happen when you order a large fry for ever member of your party of four at 5 Guys.  Someone was a rookie......

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Down into the Bowels of Hell

I don't know what is going on with me.  My insides are gurgling, constricting, throbbing, aching, burning, and swelling.  I had a CT scan today.  That was fun.  Drink berry flavored liquid chalk over a two hour period and then get X-Rays.  Then you get the bonus IV contrast that lights you on fire on the inside and make you feel like you peed yourself.  Sound fun to you?
     The boys were great.  They did everything that was asked of them while the were on their own.  The fed themselves.  They did homework.  They cleaned.  Of course they played XBOX as well.  But they deserved some reward for good behavior.  Caz was really something.  He was very concerned about his old man.  He really wanted to know what was going on.  Would I be OK.  Touching really.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Going Caveman

I embarked on one of my New Years Resolutions.  I decided to try the Paleo Diet.  I figured I should give it a fair shot.  I was inspired by a friend.  He mentioned at the gym that he was thinking of trying.  So we sort of made a pact.  Really, it ended up like the Seinfeld episode.  The one where Jerry and George make a pact to get engaged.  It certainly ended up like that.  I found myself alone, eating veggies, fruits, meats, and fish.  But, what the heck?  Nothing to do but move forward.
     I haven't noticed much of a change. Energy level is the same.  Working out is the same.  Appetite is the same.
     Why do I do this to myself?  I challenge myself.  Then I am just stubborn enough to see it through.  I went a year without soda.  I went a year without cake and cookies.  I went a year without chips.  Why?  What does it prove?  That I am as stubborn as a mule?  I hope the boys only see determination.  Is that what determination is?  Just a positive spin on stubbornness?

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Winter White

Well.  Finally a bit of snow this winter.  It still have been a mild season.  This was only 3 inches or so.  I think it's going to stay around a bit, since the temperature is dropping for a week or so.
     The boys were very helpful.  One shoveled the back.  One shoveled the front.  The didn't argue over it, or with each other.  The back deck needed some help.  I will have to reinforce the finer points with Coco.  The stairs were not cleared well.  The froze over and I almost fell on my arse.  Poor Gizmo almost took a header too.  It guess those are growing pains?
     Caz built up the fire too.  He did a great job, cleaning out the wood stove.  He got all the ashes out.  He stacked the newspaper and kindling.  He was thrilled to get to light it up.
     What am I going to do with all this time freed up?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Back to the Routine

Today was the first day back to school for the boys, after winter break.  It was back work for a lot of folks. It certainly the first full day of work for me in a while.  Demi too.
     It is an adjustment for all of us.  You have to get back into the daily routine - work, homework, sports, activities, dinner, etc.  Demi said the boys were actually getting up and getting ready for school.  I was very pleased to hear that.  I am sure sleeping in for over a week, it messed up their internal clocks.  The biggest adjustment, I believe, will be the reduced time with XBOX.  Ah, the XBOX crash.  How times have changed.  Well, back to reality is a fact of life.  For all of us.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy 2013

Happy New Year! One of the best days of the year.  Bowl Day.  Not like it used to be though.  It is still fun though.  Coco is still amped up for the Rose Bowl.  The granddaddy of them all.
     This year, New Year's Day is a nice family day.  We are missing Caz for the morning, as he spent the Eve at a friend's house.  But my brother and his family are here.  I get to see my nephew and niece.  We had a nice, leisurely breakfast.  We all go some one on one time with each other.  There were plenty of leftovers to graze throughout the day.  Naps of course were key.  We built up a nice fire.  It really was a pleasant way to spend a day.  I think it's these memories that the boys will remember in the years to come.  These holidays that will shape theirs in the futures.