Donald Trump is your 45th President. Just breathe.

President Trump

President Trump

I knew I couldn’t write this post on Wednesday because emotions were all over the chart in America. For me personally I’ve never been emotionally invested in any candidate in my life. That’s not saying that I don’t vote, because I’ve never missed an election, but I can’t bring myself to invest in anyone outside of my family. My personal beliefs cannot be summed up by one candidate for any public office or party so I vote for whomever I feel best represents me. I’ve never had a political sign in my yard, I don’t wear buttons and I don’t go to rallies even though my dad was a union guy for decades and loved that stuff. You can do all of those and that’s cool but it’s just not my thing.

When I woke up Wednesday morning I knew people would lose their minds over his win and justifiably so. There are many who invested time, energy and money into supporting Hillary and now it was over. This won’t be a post about what happened and why but what needs to happen.

I would be saying this no matter who won because as a whole this country is nerve-rackingly divided. Grief is a bitch and you’re entitled to a mourning period but you need to find some way to deal with it. You can say he’s not your president and refuse to accept the results but the world will continue to move on and you need to figure out how to make it a better place. It’s not about you. It’s not about me. It’s about US. We MUST do better and we can.

One disturbing trend I did see came from parents saying “OMG HOW DO I EXPLAIN THIS TO MY KIDS?!? WHAT ABOUT THE KIIIIIIDSSSS?!?”. People with big degrees and initials after their names were drooling on themselves in a dark corner. Put your personal bias aside, hike up your big boy pants or pant suit and be a parent. You need to be a leader now more than ever. Explain there are bad people in this world and there are good but that doesn’t give you the right to go burn and destroy property. Some times things don’t go your way and you need to be the better person and bring good to this world. Always be the better person. Volunteer more. Spend time helping others. Spread love even when people tell you to shut up.

If you’re a Trump supporter, understand these people are hurt. They feel like they lost their leader and country and while they may have been nasty to you, this country was built on the faith that we can have a better place to live. If you’re a Clinton supporter, stop yelling and name calling and start talking. Find out why someone supported another candidate than Clinton. Once you’ve done that start working together to rebuild. Many are feeling just as lost as yourself and one thing is certain, we can all do better. If you supported Johnson or any of the other candidates you already know there’s work to be done. Help both sides come together and rebuild.

We want jobs. We want everyone to live free and be the person they want to be. We don’t want America to be great again, we want it to be awesome.

You, be cool.

Holy Cow! Cubs Win!

Writing on Wrigley

I’m still a little shocked that those words came out of my mouth after watching Cleveland blow a 3-1 game lead in the 2016 World Series. I despised the Cubs growing up but WGN and TBS were the only major sports outlets we had for baseball in the 80s next to KBL.

It has been a little over a week since the series ended and while I wanted to talk about it the next morning I hesitated as stories came across my feed about generations celebrating the win. It’s rare for me to get sentimental about sports but as I continued to read the feels got strong.

During the early 90s when the Pirates won 3 consecutive NL East titles but failed to advance was the closest my dad and I would get to seeing a a MLB championship for our Pirates before he would pass in 2006. Baseball was always our “thing” and I never put into perspective how many other fathers/sons shared the same bond. That’s when I saw these:

Writing on Wrigley

http://www.foxsports.com/mlb/gallery/cubs-fans-chalk-wrigley-field-photos-write-103116

Cubs Fan Keeps Promise to Late Father and Drives 600 Miles to Watch Game 7 at His Grave: ‘We Had a Pact’

I’ve been very fortunate to have lived in Pittsburgh for the last 2 Super Bowl and Stanley Cup wins and one of these days the Pirates will win the World Series. Until that day comes I have plenty of stories to share of going to games with dad while I make new memories with them.

Hi there.

Podcamp Pittsburgh 11

Whaaaaaaaaaa April 22nd, 2016? Seriously? It’s been 6 months since I’ve posted?

Podcamp Pittsburgh 11

I’m laying in bed watching the Indians get thumped in Game 6 of the World Series and thinking how 1 week from now the most appalling Presidential race will most likely be over and a new level of asshattery will begin. Some day my kids will have A LOT of questions about how all of this happened so I better start documenting what’s going on.

History. That’s why I blog. Facebook loves to remind you about your most trivial post 8 years ago but you still check it out. I look at everything I’ve done since my first website in 1997 and while most is laughable, there are great memories that were starting to fade.

I’ve been busy since that last post. VERY BUSY. With what though? I debated if I should write again but after the last 6 months, heck the last year of events I never even talked about, I need to. I’ve spent multiple trips to Texas learning about BBQ and riding a 10ft jackalope. I put the podcast on hold in May so I could start up a new BBQ project and last week I turned the mic back on again. I found out I really enjoy camping and it’s now what I do when I need to disconnect and unwind. I’m finally starting to discover work-life balance.

I have many stories to share and I promise to deliver. Blog could probably use a facelift while I’m at it too.

Cheer’s n’at.

The stress of Jenga

Ready for Giant Jenga

“Come on out for a relaxing night of great local craft beer and fun games!” is what I was told about Wednesday night. Little did I know that I would go through one of the most intense games of my life and it was Jenga.

Jenga TowerThe fine folks at Spoonwood Brewing hosted a Giant Jenga competition as a part of Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week, Pittsburgh’s 10 day celebration of great local beer.

I have played Jenga 2-3 times in my life and have no idea what the rules are besides “dont knock it over!”. The game seemed pretty simple and with the libations flowing, we were all very relaxed.

8 people were slotted to play and divided into Team Should I Drink That, headed by myself, vs Team Noble Stein Brewing with captain Zack Morrow. After a week of Twitter trash talking it was time to get wood.

When my match started versus Megan we had a moment of truth.

Megan “Have you ever played this before?”
Me: “Twice that I can remember. You?”
Megan: “Same here.”
Me: “Fast game for both of us?”
Megan: “Probably!”

That wouldn’t be the case. Our game would go on for what felt like 45 minutes to an hour. Our hands were shaking and sweaty, we would tip-toe around the board and pretty sure we bit all of our nails off also. Dusk turned to night and if the pressure from the game wasn’t already high the ENTIRE BREWERY stopped what they were doing to watch. Patrons who were eating dinner grabbed their beers and came outside as word spread about the tower.

“IT SHOULDN’T BE STANDING!”

Moves went from seconds to minutes.

“WHAT’S THE LOAD BEARING PIECE?”

The what? What’s load bearing? Wait, what’s my name? Piece? I could go for a piece of pie. Pecan would rock right now. Rock! I’m playing next to a huge rock! Doug, concentrate! Concentrate… concrete. I need to fix the concrete by my steps.

We had several almost-crashes until the tower came down at Megan’s feet. I gave a huge sigh of relief and went back to my table. I was spent and when it came to game 2 I was wiped out mentally. I lasted 5 rounds before caving and knocking the tower over.

When the dust cleared Team Noble Stein Brewing won and Team Should I Drink That cheered as our friends accepted their prizes. We were all winners though because we had a great time with awesome food and good beer. It’s moments like this we wouldn’t have been able to experience 5 years ago but thanks to the craft beer boom and visions of places like Spoonwood Brewing, we’re able to eat, drink, and play while 100% supporting local businesses.

Thanks to Jason Cercone from PCBN & Spoonwood Brewing for images 3-5.

Bringing home the first family gold

2016 Derda Chule Car Racers

After decades of defeat, a Derda finally brings home the gold!

Pinewood Derby was a staple in our house starting with my brother (who tells me the Selingers always cheated) and continued with myself 18 years later (my car stopped dead on the tracks due to a substance on the tires, thanks Dad). Now my sons are carrying on the tradition but in a slightly different way, with chule cars.

Pre Painted Cars

What’s the difference? My guess isĀ  the type of material you can use plus different colored wheels. Either way it’s a block of wood, 4 wheels and every father’s obsessive nature to show his manliness to build with wood. Me? Yeah I own a drill and one of those hacksaw thingers. I don’t even pretend to know what I’m doing, I left this one up to PaPa.

While in Texas a few weeks ago we brought our kits with us so we could work on them with PaPa and Uncle Josh. The kids weren’t allowed to cut with power tools but they aided in how they wanted the car to look and learned how the cars were made. I also found out I need a dremel kit because now I want to carve away at some wood.

It’s all about how good you look

That’s what I thought at least. I’m thinking of sleek designs and paint jobs only to get the bitch slap of reality on weigh in night that when you need to make modifications, anything goes. In our case the lanes have an inside track to keep the cars straight which also means the weights we had glued to the bottom were coming off and got duct taped to the top. This worked to our advantage for a few reasons.

  1. Teaspoon’s car was camouflaged painted so the weights became “guns”
  2. Moving the weights to the top allowed me to add additional weight which made the car faster and in time trials went from 6th place to 2nd.

Race Day. This is some hi-tech sh*t.

When we arrived at the track for race day it was nothing like Pinewood Derby when I was a kid. TVs were on with instant replay views of the races and there was a projection screen showing the current/upcoming racers. Wait, what? Oh and to top it off there was a digital finish line that went to .000 so serious detail on your time.

When I grew up was based solely on the opinion of the dad watching the finish line when his kid wasn’t racing and ties were settled with the flip of a coin.

Each racer ran 6 heats so each car had 1 race in each lane. It was easy to figure out which lanes were slower based on the dads screaming about lanes 2 and 3. Like I said, this was a serious event. At the end Teapoon’s car finished first in our group overall which won him gold and top half of the racers. 1st through 20 were separated by less than a second so next year I have a mission to shave at least 1-2 seconds off our time.

I’m proud that he took interest in not only designing the car but wanting to learn more about how one car is faster than the other. Looks like I need to upgrade my basement work area if his curiosity keeps growing and that’s one home upgrade that will be well worth it.