Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day 2013

I hope all you Dad's out there have a great day.  To my brother, Lex, enjoy your first day with two kids.  We had a really nice morning having breakfast on the beach.  We couldn't go to the 4WD section, as the plover had it closed down for nesting and breeding.  But we were able to go to the bay side, where Gizmo could join us.  The boys played Penny Can.  Caz even did his Penny Can Dance, when he got a penny in the can.  I got to throw the baseball with both of the boys, just like Field of Dreams.  Coco dug up some mussels for me.  Gizmo came out to the water, at low tide to see me.  What a great way to spend a Father's Day!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Raising a Ruckus

The Deerpath Trailers ran Ruckus Boston today.  The team consisted of Caz, his buddy Len, and Len's dad, my friend, Rosie.  Father/Son Ruckus for Father's day weekend.  It was very appropriate.  We decided to run as a team.  I liked that strategy.  I thought Rosie was going to have to drop out early.  He pulled his calf about a quarter mile into this 4 mile obstacle course race.  He toughed it out though.  The boys did very well.  They made it over each of the obstacles by themselves.  I offered to help Caz on a few but got waved off.  Demi ended up volunteering at one of the stations.  She got to see us muddy, bloody, and tired.  We went down Mt. Ruckmore together.  It was a really nice event.  I am very glad that Caz ran this with me.  It was a good Father and Son bonding moment.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Like a Rolling Stone

Big concert tonight.  The Rolling Stones.  50th Anniversary tour.  TD Boston Garden.  I had to go.  It could be their last tour.  I am really excited to see it with my son.  Caz seems genuinely excited to see them.  And as a bonus, I get to go with my Colby friend.  We went to my first Stones concert together.
     The Stones sounded fantastic.  Sure they slowed down a bit.  But the stage was cool, a big tongue where the VIP section was in the middle of the tongue.  They brought out Mick Taylor to play his classic Midnight Rambler solo.  Keith sang a few of the songs.  Mick changed his wardrobe frequently.  Charlie finally looks his age.  Ron Wood was smoking - literally and figuratively.  The fan voted song of the night was one of my favorites - Memory Motel.  The encore featured the BU Chapel Choir for You Can't Always Get What You Want.  It was really a fantastic show.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Reading Your Own Press Clippings

Demi was right.  The downfall for Caz and his grades began when we logged onto the school's grade portal. What started as an attempt to check for any missing homework assignments, ended in looking at his current grades.  He showed great improvement in his overall grades.  Much of this improvement was the result in the vast improvement with his homework grades.  Having his back up plan in effect for homework was paying dividends.  However, he saw the improvement and got cocky.
     During the nighttime ritual of checking homework, I noticed notes from his teachers (primarily French) about missing homework assignments.  Investigation into the root cause, showed that he was not even writing the assignment in his agenda.  I can't check it off, if I don't even know about it.  This could bring down his grades significantly.  One teacher in particular was being extremely difficult in accommodating his federally mandated 504 plan.  Since he wasn't writing down the assignments, and therefore not doing them, he was technically late.  Which I agree he was.  She was just very cocky about it.  I think she was looking to ding him, since she was put out by the 504 plan.
     In the end, Caz is accountable.  He needs to be responsible for getting the work done.  We have to work to find a better method of organization for him.  At some point, school is over and he will be left to go out into the real world, which is much less forgiving.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

College Prep

I, officially, declare the college visit for the boys a success.  Regardless of the good time I had, the boys enjoyed the trip too.  I feel they got a good balance of fun and education.
     I got to give the boys their own, custom, guided tour of campus.  We took a look at all my old dorms.  We walked through one extensively to see the lounge, the rooms, and the layout.  We got to see some of the new dorms too.  I showed them all the buildings, in which I had attended classes.  We explored the new classrooms and buildings together.
     The boys even got to experience a lecture.  One of my classmates is the assistant GM for an NFL team.  The topic was of interest to them.  The talk was executed well.  The new classroom was in great shape.  I think that was a good test run for the boys.
     There were some family events too.  Those were really geared towards younger kids, but my boys did not pass up the snow cones.
     We walked up the clock tower above Miller Library.  The view down was amazing.  Both of the boys took pictures from above.  They were also fascinated by the inner workings of the clock, which we had to pass on the stairs up and down.
     The trip to Big G's didn't hurt either.  Their sandwiches are just as amazing as I remembered.  And just as big too.  Coco had his menu set for days before he even stepped foot in there.  The whoopie pies were astounding.  But the whookie?  Out of this world.  Two dinner plate size chocolate cookies with M&M's, with whoopie pie filling.  Unbelievable!
     I got to show of Demi and the kids to my classmates too.  My classmates got a kick out of them.  And in turn the family enjoyed meeting them.  The boys even got to see the party at class HQ, when they arrived late Friday night.  It was not an enjoyable drive for Demi.  The party was pretty tame at that point and folks were still well behaved.  The boys got to see adults cutting loose a bit but not a free for all.  I call that educational too.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Reunion Weekend

I am really looking forward to this weekend.  Its my 20th reunion at Colby.  I havent been back since my 10th.  There are all kinds of new buildings on the grounds, dormotories, classrooms, offices, and exhibits.  One of my old roommates lives up there, who I have not seen in years.  Some of my classmates are returning, who I have not seen in years.
     However, I think I more excited for my boys to see Colby.  I want them to see "a" college, not just Colby.  They are old enough to start thinking about what happens after school in Duxbury.  I am excited to show them where the old man went too.  To see where I lived.  Where I went to class.  Where I spent times with my friends.  I think the boys are excited too.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Send Lawyers, Guns & Money

It certainly has hit the fan.  There is a bit of a perfect storm effect.  I know I am tired.  I could definitely do with more sleep.  The kids are irritable and tired.  They are not doing what they should be doing.  Adding to that, they are being surly and disrespectful.  Someone in the household, may or may not be monstrating.  The forces of nature are working against us.  A malfunction was inevitable.  It's sort of like Godzilla tormenting Tokyo at the moment.  The prudent thing here is to take a moment and count to ten.  OK, maybe 100.  Let's start at a million.  Stepping back and getting the anger in check is key.  Everyone has to be rational though.  It can't be one person being rational and trying to calmly restore order.  That won't work.  All four of us need to go to our corners and chill.  Then we can try again.

Monday, June 3, 2013


I have mixed reactions to the timing of this topic.  On the one hand, I had just had a conversation with Caz on this topic.  So relevance is established.  On the other hand, receiving a formal notification from the DMS principal that kids were caught sexting, is bit unnerving.  It seems very early in terms of student age and grade.  You read about this stuff happening.  I did address it.  But still.
     Of course I do have to address it again.  With both boys.  We address difficult topics with Coco.  We keep it age appropriate.  We may take a different approach to it with Coco.  This time, since it was a school-wide announcement, I wonder if I should address it with both boys at the same time.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Travel Time

Even now, with the boys 12 & 14, I don't like traveling for work and leaving them.  I know they are fine with  it.  Caz probably doesn't realize I was gone.  But I miss them.  I hate putting all that work on Demi.  She needs a break.  I miss her too.
     I miss the night time routine with the boys.  I miss coming home and seeing them when I walk through the door.  I miss family dinner.  I miss reading with them before bed.  I even miss checking their homework and signing off on it.  Who knew?