Winning at Elf on the Shelf

Elf on the Shelf 2016

Elf on the Shelf has been a staple in our house for a few years and every year after we finish Thanksgiving dinner we know the countdown is on until he graces us with his presence. This year he showed up briefly in November as a last resort to give my knuckleheads an attitude adjustment. As expected it lasted until Elfie went home. Now that he’s returned it’s the parents who are winning.

Elf on the Shelf 2016Quick overview if you’re not familiar with my fair little friend. Santa sends the elf to families on December 1st and sits on a shelf. He reports back to the North Pole if the children of the house have been good or bad. Basically it’s the ultimate Catholic guilt trip. The kids also can’t touch him or his magic goes away. Nice, eh? When Santa arrives while everyone is sleeping on Christmas Eve, the elf hitches a ride home.  Not all elves are nice though and have been known to get into trouble.

This year we’ve reached a new level of awesome when dealing with Elfie. You see our elf is stuck in bed and can’t move UNTIL SANTA ARRIVES. Jealous, right? How you ask? Well here, let me show you the letter Santa sent with Elfie.


Happy Holidays Teaspoon & Cheeseburger!

Letter from SantaI’m sorry Elfie was running late but he has a small accident while snowboarding at the North Pole. He thought he could eat BBQ ribs like your daddy while speeding down Mount Super Gutchies and crashed into a moose. That silly Elfie!

This yeah Elfie has a cast on his leg and needs to relax. I have given him a secret smartphone to text me updates on you boys.

I know my favorite Derda boys won’t let me down and will behave for Mommy and Daddy!

I have some really cool presents coming your way. Be nice to each other! Remember, Santa is ALWAYS watching!

HO! HO! HO!

(signed Santa)

P.S. Tell Steve the Fish I said hi!


 

It’s 3am eternal when you can’t sleep

Spoon's Beard 2016

It’s 3 A.M., 3 A.M., It’s 3 A.M. eternal.

The bulk of my nights for the last 2 weeks I’ve been waking up at 3am. No idea why, it just happens. I’m talking wide awake at 3am on the dot and I’m not even tired. Irritated that I’m awake but not dragging my butt around.

MSpoon's Beard 2016y first thought was to blame one of my kids (because really they’re usually the guilty parties for anything going down around here) had a malicious plan to get back at me for turning off their internet and set an alarm on their devices to go off at that time.  Nope. Not it.

Well maybe it’s that young guy and his girlfriend next door who work as servers?  Negative.

My only guess left is either that damn Elfie is trying to get back, one of the many apartment neighbors are outside being jagoffs or someone is trying to get me up. Well BBQ guys get up this early to start smoking meats so…

I’ve never been a person who sleeps in or required a lot of rest to function. Even thought I wake up at 3am I still manage 6-7 hours a night, it’s just not all at once. This phenomenon hasn’t impacted my productivity during the day thankfully but it is reaching an annoying level.

Maybe it’s this beard thing I decided to attempt this year. I’ve heard they can have a mind of their own.

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.