11 year Host of "Should I Drink That?", one of the longest running craft beer podcasts. Douglas is also a social media manager in the Public Relations & Marketing field and has over 17 years experience working in IT.

11 year Host of "Should I Drink That?", one of the longest running craft beer podcasts. Douglas is also a social media manager in the Public Relations & Marketing field and has over 17 years experience working in IT.

It’s OK to say “I don’t have time”

Teaspoon Yelling At Daddy

Teaspoon Yelling At DaddyThis has been a pet peeve of mine for a long time and the only people who seem to get ungodly bent over hearing the phrase “I don’t have time” are those who make a living from doing something that requires you to focus on them (we call them the “me-me’s = IT’S ALL ABOUT ME”) or have made a lifestyle change they want everyone to follow along and justify their new found obsession.

I’m here to tell you right now that it’s OK to say you don’t have time.


Take a deep breath.

All of us have the same 24 hours to our day (unless you have a Delorian time machine or TARDIS but if you did this would be a non issue) but the fact which escapes the loudest advocates is every single one of you have different responsibilities and priorities.

Yes, you could simply “make time” but reality is what they want you to do isn’t as important to you as it is to them. It’s a polite way of saying “I’m not interested.”. On the list of things you have to prioritize in a day, the value that person is providing is low compared to others. Also, your reason for saying it in the first place is a personal decision. You don’t need to explain yourself, just smile and walk away. Feel free to think “Man, what a jagoff!” in the process too.

Look, I get it, you can make changes and great for you. No one should criticize your decision to try something new but before you say “Don’t tell me you don’t have time. That’s lazy.” take a good look at that person and see if it’s lazy or maybe they need some help. Life is freaking rough these days and I can say as a working parent who has to be in the zone from the time I wake up until I go to bed while dealing with the daily beat down as a person working in social media, the last thing we need is someone else telling us what we SHOULD do.

I would love to go to more beer fests, go to the movies, take time to read books, go out for drinks, spend time at a show or join that workout class with you but after juggling my schedule along with the kids and spending quality not-tethered-to-my-phone time with them, which are top priorities in my life, I really don’t have time.

This is post 1 in the “100 Days of Blogging” with the Pittsburgh bloggers. If you’d like to find out more about the group, join us on Facebook.

Battle of the manger scene

Manger Scene Without Jesus

Jesus Christ. He’s a cool dude. Would you celebrate the birth of someone who wasn’t? The Christmas holiday was always a big production in my house from the lights and Clark Griswold style decorations to the manger scene my gram made for us in ceramic class. Personally I’ve always been kinda meh about it but the kiddos have been warming up my Grinch like tendencies over the last year. I’ve started to rediscover family traditions and began a few of our own.

Every family has their own style when it comes to decorating for the holidays and yearly it causes a ruckus in my house. In fact the Christmas holiday season doesn’t kickoff for me until the first squabble over one question occurs.

Should baby Jesus be in the manger before Christmas?

When I was young the tradition was that baby Jesus stayed tucked away, usually in a drawer, until 12:01am on Christmas morning or the moment you get home from Midnight Mass and then you placed him in the manger. Simple right? Makes sense, eh? Keep reading.

.Manger Scene with Jesus Manger Scene Without Jesus

The discussion is usually like this.

Wife: Why isn’t baby Jesus out?
Me: Because he wasn’t born yet.
W: Yes he was, over 2000 years ago.
M: Yeah but his birthday isn’t until the 25th so right now we recognize the travel of everyone to the manger.
W: But he’s already born.
M: No he wasn’t.
W: Yes he was. Quit being stupid. We do this every year.
M: And every year I say the same thing.

This year we had an unofficial solution. I get a manger with no Jesus and she has one with Jesus. My family tradition, no matter how much it may seem odd, is one I’m keeping.

KISS Meets the Derda Family Halloween

When your 6yr old says “Daddy, I want to be KISS for Halloween!” one thing enters your mind. We’re going to need more makeup!

Yeah, I geeked out a bit when I heard those words and honestly I had nothing to do with it. OK, maybe something.

KISS Teaspoon Spoon

A few months ago I bought the boys “Scooby-Doo! & Kiss: Rock & Roll Mystery Trailer” on DVD and since then they LOVE KISS. The music is easy to sing, they’re mesmerized by the theatrics and the experience is, well, it’s magical.

Teaspoon’s original plan was to go as an Army guy so it seemed like a no-brianer to me that he would now be a member of the KISS Army while his brother was hellbent on being a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. I’m not usually one to dress up but this holiday would be the first time I’ve had the makeup on since Halloween 1999 when I sported doctor scrubs and the Catman’s makeup for a stint as Dr. Love.

We spent the holiday at my brother’s since my mom was in town visiting and it didn’t take long before people started saying “You like Insane Clown Posse? COOL KID!”


Nothing against Juggalos but seriously, I even had a KISS hockey jersey on.

Halloween 2015 went down as a memorable holiday and one in which the bar has been set for Halloween costumes in my kids eyes. Next year I’ll have to aim higher. Anyone know how to make a working proton pack?

10 things I learned after 10 years of marriage

Marriage became an official part of my vocabulary 10 years ago today. Don’t worry, I’ll save you from a sappy post. I don’t write those.

It was cold, raining and I was pissed because I knew this meant zero wedding photos in front of the Mellon Arena, former home of the Penguins. I “lost” the CD that had our 1st dance song on it and ran around the North Hills for hours only to find it available as a CD/DVD combo kit. Ends up the CD was in my soon-to-be wife’s car after she insisted it wasn’t. Topping things off was my best man’s hotel room was given away by the fine folks at the Holiday Inn after they screwed up his reservation.

*deep breath*

The day turned out perfect, we had plenty of great photos of the marriage inside the church and the reception is still being talked about as one of the best parties most have attended. This was pre-SIDT days so while craft beer wasn’t on tap I was still friends with many in the alcohol business so we drank very well. I’ll never forgive U2 for scheduling a concert in Pittsburgh that night and further proof that Bono hates me. First reason? No idea but it’s probably good.

I want to think about what has happened since that day. People weren’t tethered to their smart phones. Wait, we didn’t have smart phones then. I still rocked a Sprint flip phone but it was the first to take photos! Social Media was online forums and MySpace. I was working at Marconi which would sell to Ericsson while I was on my honeymoon. Technology was about to take a huge leap and little did I know, I was going along for the ride.

After 10 years of marriage here are some things I learned.

  1. Family will get over the drama they caused during your wedding. Feel free to bring it back up when you need something but start early with “you were SO drunk at my wedding…” so they believe it, even if they weren’t.
  2. If there’s something you want to do (travel, music, festivals), do it now before you have kids. Once they get here your social calendar revolves around “Can we get a sitter?”
  3. Your first house will probably suck and that’s OK. It’s YOUR house and that’s what matters.
  4. Use your spouse/kids as a way to get out of doing something. Trust me, they’re already using you for the same reason.
  5. Stay weird. Don’t forget who you are.
  6. Get time away. I think it’s the helicopter parents in the generation before me who thought that you need to be together ALL OF THE TIME. Both of you deserve alone time. Take it.
  7. Compliment each other.
  8. The only people you need to worry about, live in your house. Stick to your beliefs and do what you think is right. At the end of the day your bat shit crazy friends ranting on the popular political or religious views will still talk to you. If not, screw’em. NEVER take marriage advice from public social networks. Ask a friend directly.
  9. Times will suck and that’s OK. Facebook is full of lies and it’s easy to see. You’re having a rough patch and you’re slammed by that friend who posts “In love with my hubby! LOVE LOVE LOVE!” “With my love!” to the point you want to puke – they’re actually miserable. No one is happy all the time.
  10. “Everything else is Jello” – Life will kick you in the groin multiple times and then pour on a little more when you think you’re at your worst. Don’t worry, it’s just Jello.

Peace. Love. Beer. Ashley Judd.

10 Wedding Anniv

Doc, you mean we’re in the future? October 21, 2015

BTTF 2 Store front

Back to the Future Day is here! 

The day Marty McFly, Jennifer and Doc arrive in the year 2015. Actually every day is BTTF Day for me but hey we can all celebrate!  Yearly I celebrate in my own way the day Marty went back in time, October 26 (1985) and the day time travel was invented November 5 (1955). Oh, just so we can settle this once and for all, and hopefully stop all of those rage inducing Facebook/Twitter memes, time travel happened in 1885, 1955, 1985 and 2015.

BTTF 2 Store frontMy obsession for Back to the Future goes back to the first time I saw the movie on the big screen as a kid but I don’t think it really kicked into overdrive until the last 10 years when more collectibles and material to geek out over became more available. Now I get to share my love for the whole series with my two boys who can recite most of the lines from the movies which is a treat when parents say “Your son asked me what I was looking at, butthead.”

You’re going to see an ungodly amount of the entertainment sites and new outlets doing their fluff pieces on what was predicted correctly and what was wrong, question if the Cubs win the World Series (not likely at this point) and ask where the hover boards and flying cars are. Actually, College Humor has a great video showing what would happen if Marty arrived in 2015 as we know it today.

(Watch on YouTube) NSFW

Personally I don’t have much of a collection prior to when I was married. Everything I own is in storage and will remain there until we get a bigger house so I can finally have a room to myself. I know, keep dreaming, Derda. When I do want to make official and unique purchases I check out bttf.net  Easily they’re the best resource for anything Back to the Future related. I know an obscene amount of random facts from the first Back to the Future and have taken part in very deep conversations about the various timelines from the movie thanks to fans of that site.

I’ve worked on my family’s genealogy for over a decade and there are nights when I think “What if I could go back and talk to a relative?” or I ask myself the question that Bob Gale had which inspired the original film “What would happen if I met my dad when he was in high school?”. It would be difficult knowing what even the smallest thing you say/do could have an impact on the future. I’d just appreciate getting help on the dead ends of my family tree.

So how will I celebrate tonight while the rest of America rediscovers the greatest trilogy of all time? Kicked back with my boys and a heaping bowl of popcorn.

Here is my question to you. If you were traveling from 1985 to 2015, what would you think of the world today?