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thirty eight.

February 21st, 2014 No comments

Doug 18th Birthday

“Unbelievable, that old Biff could have chosen that particular date. It could mean that that point in time inherently contains some sort of cosmic significance. Almost as if it were the temporal junction point for the entire space-time continuum. On the other hand, it could just be an amazing coincidence.” – Doc Brown, BTTF2

Today is the 20th anniversary of my 18th birthday and it didn’t hit me until I found the picture above.  This was taken inside my new ride, a 1981 Monte Carlo, with a fresh hair cut and visions of playing baseball for a living as my future. Reality is that now I’m a stay-at-home dad trying to write a post while a pant-less potty training 3yr old boy is running around shooting his Fart Blaster and my soon-to-be 5yr old is playing Sonic Colors on his tablet next to me on the couch while I watch the news.

This is not what I pictured back then for turning 38 but you know what, I’m not complaining. What I thought was success in 1994 was based on what parents and teachers said it should be. Truth is, success and happiness is unique to everyone. While I can’t wait to be back to work, I have loved every minute I’ve been able to enjoy with these knuckleheads. I’ve had career success with developing award winning web sites, social media campaigns and a podcast which still blows my mind at it’s popularity. Now I’m enjoying it as a father.

Today my wife and kids decorated the house and gave me the Back to the Future trilogy on blu ray and the Back to the Future LEGO kit during breakfast. This afternoon I’m watching the USA v Canada Men’s Hockey game with the kids. Tonight we’ll probably have pizza from my favorite place, pick up a few bomber bottles of my favorite craft beer and finish it with some friends in a video chat.

This is what I call a perfect day.

Categories: Erie, Family, Fatherhood, Friends

Feels like summer – Pittsburgh’s arctic blast polar vortex mageddon

January 7th, 2014 No comments

Pittsburgh Arctic Blast

Growing up in Erie (you knew that was coming) temperatures like this were not uncommon. Not saying that we enjoyed it, we just learned to deal with it since it was our parents decision to live in the frozen tundra.

20 years since I’ve experienced cold like this and I have to say, I kinda missed it but only briefly. Back in 94 I was in high school and only worried if my car would start so I wouldn’t have to take Erie’s public transit. Now I have to think about my family, pipes freezing as a homeowner, what to do if the power goes out… basically I became my parents.

I’m not expecting my kids to remember this freeze since they’re young and it isn’t common for the Pittsburgh area to get a freeze like this. In fact by the weekend it will be back in the high 40′s which means water mains will break and we’re going to be in for one wet week.

School was cancelled in anticipation of the cold so the boys and I headed to the library for a book and movies. Today we’ll be enjoying the finest of Scooby Doo, Lego movies and a Despicable Me marathon while huddled under blankets.

Stay warm Pittsburgh!

**UPDATE** Wife reminded me about this and I had to add it. When we shared an apartment in Erie there was an elderly man next door named Rufus who would start his beat up truck every morning at 5 and let it run for about 30-45 minutes. He never drove it anywhere, he’d just start it.

2012 Year In Review

January 1st, 2013 No comments

I wasn’t going to write one of these until a few people asked where my yearly recap was so what the heck. Its 8 a.m. on 1/1/13 so better late than never right?

2012 was an interesting for me in terms of realizing what was really important for a happy life and that researching the past generations can put today into perspective.

This is probably the shortest one I’ve ever written since 2012 was not the year of blogging for me. Family and work were in overdrive this year so all of my online writings took a hit. Let’s get to it.

January – I decided it was time to start streamlining everything I do online and phase out those negative people in my life that thrive on bringing you down. This was a success and life has been much better after cutting those ties. My youngest started teething and we saw an incredible heatwave I’d love to kick back in again.

February – Groundhog obsession. Cleaned out my closet of over 25 tshirts and still had way too many clothes left. Teaspoon saw his first hockey game (RMU Women) and first basketball game (RMU Men). Birthdays of myself (36) and Teaspoon (3).

March – Bachelor week with delicious craft beers and steaks. Celebrated ST Patrick’s day with a Beer-Braised Corned Beef I made with Troegenator. Finally ate at an iHop. Lushie burned her hand really bad and Roberto Clemente made me drink cheap whiskey.

April – Pirates opened what would be another losing season. Pens scored 10 goals in 1 game against the Flyers which I called the Pearl Jam Goal. The 1st annual Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week happened.

May – Took a much needed break and spent time in Baltimore for my cousin’s wedding where we had blue crab for the first time. QR codes are not difficult to use and, while some think are hideous, can be very beneficial.

June - Arby’s 5-Strip Ultimate BLT was an insult to bacon and sandwiches. 9 years and 150,838 miles later I finally bought a new car. Teaspoon gave Father’s day a new meeting when we visited my dad’s grave site.  One of my beer articles was featured on Examiner.

July – Church festival season and a 1.5 yr old’s addiction to Jeopardy

August – My streak of 573 days for not drinking a macro beer ended and realized how much I had a dislike for craft beer snobbery. Hot water tank blew in my basement and made one heck of a mess. My beautiful face graced the pages of Zymurgy magazine for homebrewing.

September – President announced he was home brewing and a lot of us were anxious to try the recipe. Finding a decent pizza joint we can all agree on finally happened as we fell in love with Antonio’s in Brookline. My kid loves his GameBoy  more than anything. Needing a mancation and dealing with a sick kid.

October – Ate taco soup which broke a tooth and finally got the crown. Brewing a pumpkin porter and pumpkin carving.

November – I shaved off my goatee for the first time in 8 years and grew a mustache for charity. Had our 7th anniversary dinner at P.F. Changs. Trying to understand the Voter I.D. debacle. Twitter name calling reaches new low and Teaspoon thinks he’s Picasso.

December – We started using DVD players for trips. Remembering dad. Google+ releases “communities” and I LOVE it. That 12-12-12 thing happened. No, we don’t have polio. My alma mater, Erie Cathedral Prep, won the PIAA AAA football title. End of the world comes and goes. Remembering Roberto.

There you have it, 2012 year in review. Many cool things happened that I didn’t blog about so I need to be more diligent about that in 2013. The family just got back from the in-laws so I’ll have a Christmas recap coming.

Thanks to all for a fun 2012 and cheers to everyone! Hope you have a safe & happy new year!

 

Alumni pride: Cathedral Prep Ramblers – 2012 AAA football PA State Champs

December 16th, 2012 No comments

Friday night the Erie Cathedral Prep Ramblers won their 2nd state championship (24-14 win over Archbisop Wood) and became the first ever 2x champ from District 10. During the broadcast the announcers said Prep was averaging over 42 points a game. AVERAGING! This game would be the closest they’d see.

When I went to Prep the only sport, other than intermurals, that I played was Cross Country. Yes, I was once a distance runner if you didn’t know that. We won Metro, Sections and District 10 while I was there but I can’t image the joy these guys felt winning the team gold.

In my junior year the basketball team won the state title over Hazleton so I was able to experience the gold as a member of the student body. When you graduate from Prep you’re in it for life. It’s a brotherhood and something we first saw during that basketball game when the buses of fans traveled. This year, thanks in part to social media, alumni around the east coast were planning trips to go to the game. Didn’t matter if you played football or not, you were going to support your alma mater.

Congrats to these fine Men of Prep. You’ve made us all proud!

Categories: Erie

2011 – Did that really happen?

December 29th, 2011 No comments

One thing that I’m bad at is remembering the year. I kept thinking it was 2010 for some reason and have no idea why 2012 doesn’t seem far fetched. Maybe I have a thing against years with odd numbers? This past year was eventful personally but when it came to blogging it was kinda meh. Either way here’s a quick recap so my kids don’t have to sift through archives.

January 2011
Year started off great with the Winter Classic (even though Pens lost) and spending the first 2 weeks home with my new baby. I also decided that I would attempt to go a full year without drinking a Bud/Miller/Coors product. Not to be some elite prick but to see for myself how tough it would be. With the amount of picnics we attended and moments of weakness for going cheap I’m proud to say I’ve made it a full year and some days.

February 2011
Kept the busy pace with a quick trip to Baltimore to pick up the first of what would be many awards for a website I made. Even thought it was winter I was falling in love with the city. I will be going back soon. I also hit my mid 30′s while only suffering a minor “oh shit, I’m getting old” moment and Teaspoon got his first haircut while hitting the terrible 2.

March 2011
2 things happened, we got sick and I ate a lot of fish.

April 2011
My mom wanted to know why I didn’t invent Facebook, the internet or cure cancer. I had some views on the sale of Iron City which turned out to piss off a bunch of yinzers and Pittsburgh purists. Eh, it happens.

May 2011
Should I Drink That turned 5 years old on the 5th and we had a whirlwind bash in Boardman, Ohio as we took over the Big Tap In after party. We cracked open a 101 oz bottle of Double Arrogant Bastard that we have been sitting on for 4-5 years. It came with a padlock. Nuff said. I figured out how you can take a trip with Megabus to Erie (or Pittsburgh from there) and have a very low cost time. I celebrated national Craft Beer Week and if you haven’t heard me talk about it yet, am on the planning group for Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week coming in 2012. This month also was record breaking numbers as we raised money for March of Dimes which helps preemies such as my boys.

June 2011
After many years of hard work I graduated cum laude from college. It was incredibly stressful when I threw work and the family into the mix but the support was fantastic! I’ll probably have my student loan bills paid off when Teaspoon is starting school.