Wednesday, February 23, 2011

live work balance

Give this a gander and let me know your thoughts, parents, workers, people.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

flying with kids - pt. 2

Last week I posted about flying with kids.  Thanks for the tips.  I'm proud to report that George passed with flying colors.  I was a little nervous, not so much about George, but my ability to keep him entertained and happy.  There were a few times he asked for "Mama?" in kind of a sad wimper, but overall he was very content and we had a lot of fun.  It was a good bonding experience for me and my son, to spend nearly a full day together going on quite an adventure.  Here are some thoughts about the experience, boiled down into digestible bullets.
  • TSA security is absurd. George had just fallen asleep and they wouldn't let me push him through the metal detector.  I had to get him out, remove his tiny shoes, and in the process wake him up. Infuriating.
  • After getting off the first plane (we had a layover), I had one of George's shoes in the diaper bag and one remained on.  I believe I had up to six people tell me that I was missing a shoe before I made it 100 ft off the plane.  Is there something about a dad with a child that says clueless? Was it the spacey look in my eye? Would people have stopped me if I was a woman? I don't know - but I did think it was interesting.
  • Old ladies are great to sit next to.  Grandmas or grandma wannabes.  They love little boys.  George was so fond of the lady sitting next to us, he began stroking her jacket arm from her shoulder down to her wrist.  It was really sweet.
  • Supplies.  Very important to bring a sippy cup.  I poured George's apple juice into it and let him put the ice cubes in there as well.  He was in hog heaven.  It would've been a disaster to have him try to drink out of their cups.  The can would've been a slight step up in spill security.
  • To the people at United who put me in a middle seat with a child - shame on you!
  • To the 5'2" lady who tried to recline her seat into me - shame on you!  I'm sure it was frustrating that your seat didn't recline (my knees were there).  I'm also sure that you enjoyed George kicking the back of your chair.  I didn't feel the need to stop him.  
  • Had lots of snacks - all the good stuff and felt totally prepared.  Was never hungry.
  • During the layover I let him completely roam wherever he wanted.  I could not have cared less that people had to walk around him.  I think this was good so that he didn't have a surplus of energy getting onto our second flight.
All in all I think the experience was great and I'd do it again for sure.  It was mostly that my wife is doing a great job as the primary raiser of our child, but I'll take a little credit for trying to meet his needs all the while.

Thoughts about flying, people reclining their seat into you, the TSA, dad-inept-stereotypes? Come one come all!

Friday, February 4, 2011

flying with kids

Experts - I come to you in an hour of need and a perfect discussion item over the weekend.  What are your sure-fire ways to fly with children.  Age specific advice is great.  So far we've been pretty lucky with George.  None of those, "oh that poor parent" or "I hate those people" moments.  While George has been restless and busy, he hasn't been a pill. And ultimately, that's all you can ask for right?  I haven't flown with George in over a year, and early next week I'll get my own dose - going solo.  Ashley and I are on separate flights back from LA - and it's definitely my turn to take him.

I've got the Cars dvd ready.
I've packed the fruit snacks and toys.

Have any horror stories out there?

post script:
How many of you think of Lost when you fly on a plane?  What a show...

customer (un)appreciation day

Just a quick note about online mercantilism.  These days, with our economy hopefully rebounding - to me it makes more sense than ever to reward good business not only with repeat business, but by telling people about them.

I had a great experience with Mike over at Rene Herse.  It's  a very nice, old-timey, bicycle-touring themed shop that sells all sorts of lovely items.  I bought a Nitto M-12 front rack from them that for some odd reason snapped.  I told Mike about it, and he offered to take a look at it and either a. see if they could repair it or b. see if it was covered by the manufacturer's warranty.  He could've easily told me to take a hike but he didn't, and kept up great communication with me.  Turns out they've never seen a rack break like this so mine is covered and I get a brand new one.  Thanks Mike!  I highly recommend these guys if you are in the market for something special.  They sell all sorts of NOS, bicycle luggage, and of course beautiful bikes.

Contrast that to the jokers at  I ordered some tires from them, via amazon several weeks ago.  Amazon gives you an estimate for when your product should be delivered.  My original estimate was over a week ago.  When I got an email from Amazon saying that my order hadn't been shipped, I sent bikesomewhere an email asking about my order.  I called three times and left messages.  No response. I waited a couple of days (by now it was Jan 31) and no email response, but I finally get them on the phone.  They told me that the tires were on backorder. Usually that type of information is available right off the bat on Amazon, but not with these clowns. Had I known they'd have to back order them, I would've purchased them from someone else.   The tires finally came, but again hit another delay with some type of weather issue down in Florida.  Overall the communication was canned, inadequate and did not address my concerns.  Don't buy anything from them ever.  They don't care about their customers.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Yuba and a few peanut shells

Look at this beaut.  Jealous.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


This is a hotly debated topic in our house, amongst friends, family and among parents.  Ashley and I talk about the fun and mischief we got up to when we went on sleepovers.  We both tell stories of being at parties where we watched movies we probably shouldn't have (i.e., Nightmare on Elm Street 3:  Dream Warriors, as a third grader).  While that was horrifying, I got through it.  Of course there is the worry that you don't know what goes on at other people's houses, older siblings, etc.
The jury is still out for us, and we have a long time (I think) before George is going to be doing sleepovers.   When I think back to my childhood though, I have to think, would I have liked to grow up in a house that didn't allow sleepovers?  The answer is an obvious "no."  Does that mean - that George is entitled to the same freedoms I was?  I don't know... there is a lot to consider.  A lot of people say that we live in a different world than when we grew up.  But other people say that in many ways we live in a much safer world.  It's a lot to take in.

What are your thoughts parents?