Saturday, December 19, 2009


These are all from this weekend:

"Stop making chicken noises and put your pants back on."

"I do not know if unicorns go pooty-poot."

"That's Don Zimmer. You looked like that when you were born."

"You've probably put six dollars' worth of grape jelly in your hair this year."

"Careful with Mary or you'll drop her behind the piano and she'll have to have the baby Jesus back there like she did last year."

Saturday, November 28, 2009


Noodle: "What if I have to go potty while Santa's here?"

Me: "You just go straight to the bathroom same as always. But no peeking down the hallway."

Noodle: "But what if Santa has to go potty?"

Me: "He always makes sure he goes potty before he leaves the North Pole."

Noodle: "What if the reindeer have to go potty?"

Me: "They wait until they're flying over the ocean so they probably won't hit anything."

(Yeah, YOU try coming up with a better answer in a snap in that kind of situation.)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

FUNDRAISING TIME (NO, NOT FOR ME)'s for the Maria Fareri Children's Hospital at Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla. My colleagues from WHUD are down there today and tomorrow for the annual radiothon benefitting the hospital.

Noodle did have a brush with a tough situation a few years back, with a condition that presents almost exactly like leukemia - which wasn't (can we get an "amen"?), but which was still plenty nasty and required more long hospital trips, tubes and needle-pokes than any little one should have to handle. She was dealt a lousy hand, but by no means the worst. So far there's been no need for her for a facility as advanced as MFCH, but one scary experience is more than enough to get this particular dad the rest of his life worrying about the what-ifs. There are far more harrowing stories involving kids from all over the Hudson Valley - thankfully, a great many of them have ended happily, and you've been hearing some of them on WHUD.

Having that hospital there in Westchester means sick kids in the Hudson Valley and their families don't have to add to their worries trying to negotiate New York City. MFCH doesn't even look much like a hospital...

Which is a highly reassuring first impression, both for parents and kids.

At any rate, the station is down there until Friday afternoon, the number to call to pledge is 1-888-499-KIDS, and here's the link to donate.

Monday, November 2, 2009


...the one October post here in which I vowed to post more often was about the very last thing I did before Ye Olde Laptop went Brad Lidge on me and needed a full Windows re-install. Which is done, but now it's the secondary machine in the house...and blogging will proceed once the new computer's fully set up.


Her Awesomeness busted this one out while yours truly was rolling around in the annual Epic Huge Pile of Leaves with the now-4-year-old Beast. Oh yes, there was very much of the OM NOM NOM NOM at the dinner table last night. (hat tip: Clumsy Wife, Careless Mom)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


(insert rote haven't-posted-in-ages grovel here)

The light bulb actually did go on over my head for once, while playing a board game with Noodle and Beast that was initially enjoyable but proving to be a hair too long for their wee attention spans, not to mention Dad's. Interruptions because of a die flying under the kitchen table or the baseboard heater were common. And then from the distant mists of my socially-awkward past...

Behold...the d20! And a board game that goes one heck of a lot faster, not to mention helps teaching the smaller one his two-digit numbers.

Monday, July 27, 2009


Tip Number One:

When making the bed, do not be overly enthusiastic about getting the top sheet some air while the ceiling fan is running.

First in a recurring series!

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Busy times at the house...we're about to try something new for our semi-staycation: camping out.

Not full-blown Bear Grylls stuff, certainly not. We've got a cabin for starters, and if that works out for Noodle and Beast we'll try something more rustic in the future. Her Awesomeness has been camp-supply hunting all week, and me? I've been watching stuff like this:

It's assuring to know there are places where it's not raining.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


And now, radio-weather-forecast-speak translated into plain Hudson Valley English:

Scattered storms = six hours of relentless torrential downpours (see today's forecast)
Isolated storms = isolated...over you
Slight chance of storms = if you leave the umbrella in the car, the skies will open up when you're a country mile from the clubhouse and knee-deep in the rough
Sunny, clear, dry = archaic terms, no longer in use

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sunday, June 14, 2009


"Get your monkey out of the yogurt."

"Now your fairy's all wet."

"If you kept your feet out of your mouth you wouldn't need so many antibiotics."


Thursday, June 4, 2009


The first one is to help out five-year-old Frankie Flora of Wappingers, attacked by a pit bull back in April and now recovering from some heartbreaking injuries. It's going to take him one heck of a long time to come back.


The second one is in memory of a brave and dedicated radio colleague of mine, Jen Coudrey - who died last week after seven years battling a rare form of cancer. is where you want to go. I only worked with Jen for three years, and hadn't seen her in ages - but on any given day, even in her suffering, she continued to be one of those rare souls who spurred the people around them to try to live their lives in the best possible way.

And finally there's continued great work being done at Albany Medical Center, who saw my darling Noodle through more than two years of treatment for kidney disease (still in remission!). Here's their link, and you can check out the Vasculitis Foundation for more on Henoch-Schönlein purpura, the condition that triggered her kidney disease.

This concludes the earnest and serious segment of our blogging day.

Monday, June 1, 2009


This has absolutely nothing to do with childrearing, but it's just so stunningly silly it begged for posting. Ladies and gentlemen, "She's Leaving Home":

Friday, May 29, 2009


There's a new American Girl doll making its debut. More stuff to buy our princesses, should they be so inclined:

The pre-tween set is abuzz with the rumor that the newest American Girl doll is Jewish. Officials at the Wisconsin-based company confirm that she is, indeed, a Jewish character, calling her “a lively girl from New York City,” but have embargoed her name and most other story details until May 29th.

That being today, we can say that the girl's name will be...Rebecca Rubin.

The company, started by a Wisconsin woman in 1982 and bought by Mattel in 1998 is indeed part of the entertainment-industrial complex, but I’ve found the dolls a welcome relief from the Barbie doll universe, which is dominated by dolls in makeup, clothes and heels that look more appropriate for grown-up play in the old Times Square than they do play for little girls.

And so skinny, the shiksa goddess Barbie Dolls. Ach, they must eat like birds...

Monday, May 18, 2009


Oh, my. Much as I dig the daylights out of being a dad, I'd be full of beans if I told you I'd never, in one of the bleaker moments we all have, had a thought like this one:
"At some point in the last few decades, the American male sat down at the negotiating table with the American female and -- let us be frank -- got fleeced"

On the other hand, it's not so bad compared to the times this American male sat down at the bar with the American bartender and paid way too much for a pint and -- let us be frank -- got fleeced, by overtipping said bartender in the ridiculously mistaken belief that she thought he was cute. I much prefer the current state of affairs with Her Awesomeness, even though I may come in for the bit of unfair criticism in a stressed-out moment.

And I am going to try to resume a more regular posting regimen, but I have been laid out with a beast of a cold and allergies for nigh on three weeks. My apologies.

Monday, May 4, 2009


Noodle AND Beast:

Los Endos - Genesis.

They like it. They really like it! Noodle is big on the keyboard-guitar interplay (and we quote: "what's that violin sounding thing, Daddy?"), and Beast's there for the drums. Daddy is a happy prog-dork this morning.


Silly me, I thought that since Beast had turned three-and-a-half we had safely negotiated the era of Emergency Room Visits Thanks To Weird (Stuff) My Kid Did, but no.

Chopstick in the ear.

No eardrum puncture, no serious or lasting damage at all, just a bit of a scratch in the ear canal to keep an eye on while it heals up. It goes into the annals of Jones famililal greatness alongside yours truly's Great Raisins-Up-The-Nose Caper of '67. And the ER at Northern Dutchess Hospital gave us a 5% discount for dealing with our copay up front, which reminded me a little of George Carlin's old "Bud's Medical Center" bit (Bud's! Where all the sick people go!). But hey, a buck-seventy-five saved.

After posting this on Facebook, I heard from two friends who had both taken their kids to the ER in younger days to deal with...tiny doll shoes lodged in the nostrils. We must have missed that trend.

Monday, April 27, 2009


GREAT job here:

The self-described stay-at-home mom isn't usually up at 1:44 a.m., but her 7-year-old son, Conor, lost a tooth and wasn't feeling well early Sunday.

"My little boy, Conor, asked for water and it happened just as I went to get it," the 40-year-old said. "It was almost scripted."

Through the windows of her home, which were open because of the warm weather, she and her husband, Michael, heard a screeching noise and a loud thud from nearby Route 9G.

"I yelled and said I was calling 911," Michael Behan, 39, said.

Whatever these kids sell at their next school fundraiser, karma dictates you buy something, y'know?

Secondary kudos to the husband for realizing the pretending-to-be-asleep gambit favored by layabout dads worldwide is not in play in the event of a car crash outside your front door.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Noodle's been in the mood to dislike everything Dad chooses due to his utter uncoolness, but Beast? We may have an incipient Deadhead:

Ripple - Grateful Dead
Swamp - Talking Heads

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Vaguely disturbing thoughts from the Noodle yesterday...along the lines of what would happen to her if mommy and me weren't around. I'm told this is pretty typical anxiety, although it's still not fun to see in my otherwise-carefree little girl.

Either it's anxiety or she's working out some "Lord of the Flies"-for-girls scenario, where she and an army of ponies and princesses attempt to form a society. We'll see.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Just made the mistake of using some hand lotion a previous reporter left behind who knows how long ago. Hemp hand lotion. It smells...hempy, but not in a good way. Smells like my college dorm roommate's mattress did after the guy down the hall spilled bongwater on it.

Protip for moisturizer marketers: skip the 50-dollar-a-tube metrosexual stuff and come up with lotions for men that smell like motor oil, sawdust or tobacco and maybe you'll have something.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


The new machine's in. But ach, the learning curve involved in adapting to the new tine pattern. Complain though I might about the old Kenmore, I was able to fit a typical dinner's worth of beschmutzed plates and such into the dishwasher in such a way that everything would be clean and nicely dry in the morning without having to run the heated-dry cycle. I was able to tilt various cups and glasses just enough so that water would not collect in their recessed bottoms. A thing of beauty, it was.

This new Maytag...hmm. Too many horizontal surfaces, and the tines aren't long enough to place a coffee mug so that it'll tilt like it did in the Kenmore.

Shall I do the non-guy thing and actually read the manual?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Oh, my. A learned treatise on one of my favorite songs.

True Love Travels on a Gravel Road.

And the blog from which that comes is just SICK. It's being added to my Tuneage links as we speak.


Thanks for the help on the WHUD a couple ideas brewing that I'm going to run by the powers that be for their thoughts. We should be hearing something shortly!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


This bizarre and tragic episode with poor Natasha Richardson should tell us one thing: do NOT mess around with head injuries, even the ones that appear innocuous enough like hers did at first. And heaven knows kids do go around bonking their heads on things at an alarming rate. Yay. One more thing for mom and dad to freak out about. I'm hoping some reassuring Sanjay Gupta type shows up right quick on TV tomorrow to explain when the head injury can be dealt with at home and when it's time to call 911, because right now dad is about to go buy three thousand dollars' worth of corner padding if he doesn't get some answers.

Your author has firsthand experience, having taken a surprise ambulance ride to Saint Francis a couple years back after fainting at work and smacking my face but good against a doorjamb on my way down. When I came to it looked like all I had was a split lip and broken eyeglasses, but the good people at Saint Francis scanned me nine ways from Sunday just to be sure. They found nothing, which is precisely what my wife expected (baDUMbump / here all week / try the veal).

On the other hand, many years ago I lost a very dear co-worker under similar strange circumstances. He also fainted at work, was sent to the hospital, then sent home...and a few hours later died in his sleep at the age of 24. I do not recall all the details or whether scanning technology was in use locally at the time that might have saved him, but suffice to say that between these two deaths and my own experience the lesson is well and truly sunk in.


Been racking my brain on what kind of parenting topics would work in a potential WHUD podcast. Your ideas, as always, are welcome!

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Playing outside with the kids this afternoon, I dutifully told them NOT to play in the mud since they didn't have their mud-boots on. I'm pretty sure that no child on the face of this planet has ever obeyed that instruction.

Friday, March 13, 2009


Ricky's got a point. Why does Elmo wear pajamas when he's going to sleep but go naked the rest of the time?

Thursday, March 12, 2009


So I'm reading "Little Red Riding Hood" to Noodle this evening, and it crosses her mind that the Big Bad Wolf could have dispensed with the pleasantries in the forest and simply eaten Little Red the moment he laid eyes on her. But instead he hauls it over to grandma's place and eats her? Without even marinating the old bird?! Philistine. And thus did we get these words of wisdom from my daughter:

I'm much yummier than an old lady.

Girl's got a point, one must admit.


We both get tired, my wife and I.

She, however, can stop herself before pouring Ovaltine into the coffee machine.

Noodle had herself a midnight hurl last night, and so she has a day with the Memere and the Pepere to be pampered and spoiled and otherwise coddled. The girl is just shy of four feet tall at age five and a half, and the charts say...well, just look for the black dot.

For those who didn't click to enlarge, she's still 97th percentile for height. And 99th percentile for wisenheimery.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


What we have here is a mashup of sorts, involving a British toddler, his baby brother, Eric Roberts and Mickey Rourke. If you haven't seen The Pope of Greenwich Village it'll go over your head, but if you have seen it you may giggle a bit, or a lot. Anyway:


So we didn't get around to cleaning up the kids' bath toys last night, something I didn't notice until I was about to enter the shower for my morning hosing-off. Thought that seeing as my shower happens at 2:45 in the morning, it would be quieter for all concerned if I didn't try moving any toys until after getting into the shower because inevitably I drop something so maybe the shower will cover the noise and...

...okay, Her Awesomeness is out of bed and giving me That Look. So much for my theory. Another fine mess created by yours truly.

Monday, March 9, 2009


If you want to be the coolest dad on the block for one night, learn how to make walrus noises. Don't ask, just do it.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Looks like the local health officials were right about this year's influenza peaking right on schedule, although what my kids have appears to be a mild case of the creeping shpilkes and not the full-blown flu that's laying people low. Beast has been cranking out the green schmutz at an impressive rate but that hasn't stopped his usual rascality, and now Noodle has picked up a mild fever and she likewise is far from debilitated; she's spending the morning at work with Her Awesomeness and I pick her up for the trip home in a few hours, then it's coloring and bumming out in front of the TV from there on in.

Here, have yourself a song you might never have heard before.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


My bride, Her Most Royal And Sublime Awesomeness, has a birthday coming up early next month. It's the Birthday That Shall Not Be Named, to be specific, and so we shall refer to it henceforth and ever after as her 28th.

Yours truly does not have a John Mayer-sized budget for a weekend blowout - and that's not milady's style anyway.

What's a guy to do?

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Monday got eaten by catching up from last week, Tuesday got gobbled up by the car in the shop, Wednesday meant Maria's big show at school, and today?

Power outage. I'm running off a generator now, and so must be brief in case this outage runs all night.

Say hi to a new addition to my "useful links" section, a friend of mine of long standing: Wire, Fabric, Beads. Nothing like getting to the point with the name of your blog.

Monday, February 9, 2009


Hooray, random annoying phone calls. Which is a break from the usual targeted annoying phone calls, but these were from a couple of disaffected yoots with enough time on their hands to jabber at people - except one of them made the mistake of ranting in a threatening tone at Mama Bear and mentioning a daughter in said rant.

In all likelihood the little brat was talking out her ear, but it was 9-1-1 call time, just to be sure. Talked to a pleasant DC Sheriff's deputy who explained to us that although the tone of the call was threatening, nothing in the content per se was threatening, which is logical enough but does nothing to satisfy the urge to pitch said knuckleheads into a filth-encrusted dungeon where they will put the lotion in the basket or get the hose again.

So it's *57 to initiate a trace, followed by a call to the annoyance-call bureau, who have left for the day. Which is a bit of an annoyance.

As if we don't have enough mishegoss to deal with. But at least I've figured out how to handle Valentine's Day even though Her Awesomeness and I will be too tired and broke to have a romantic night out. We're going to do what you're about to do: watch the last couple minutes of City Lights and sob a little:

Friday, February 6, 2009


Every so often, I have it up to here with customer service ineptitude, and today I had a moment on my hands and dashed off this rant - a beaut if I do say so myself:

(I've left out the offending store's name...for see how they respond.)

First of all, the store’s great. Good fruits and veggies front-and-center first thing in the door, and that’s important to a dad like me. Also important are the clean bathrooms, because my kids are 5 and 3 and thus don’t need much to go wrong to start pitching a fit about the sanitary condition of a public toilet. Good job there. Also, you’re the only large store in the area carrying proper bacon and not just the usual Mega-Strips-O-Fat that shrink to the size of a band-aid when cooked. My kids love saying “hi” to the lobsters, too. (They don’t know where those lobsters are headed, but that’s a discussion for another day.) And finally, thanks to your architects for designing the store so that the child-carrier carts can be kept out of the elements. The imbeciles at the Wal-Mart across the river think a snowbank is the best place to park the kiddy-carts, because that way with one good ice storm they’ll be held securely in place until Memorial Day. You’re miles ahead of Wal-Mart in every aspect except when it comes to freak-watching. Listening to a grown woman with a jailhouse calf tattoo of Eminem explain to her boyfriend “and this here’s the aisle I was in LAST time I got kicked out of Wal-Mart” does have a certain amount of entertainment value.


My one beef, one with which I have had repeat experience? The pace of the employees responding to customer-service assistance calls to our bottle-return window. To call their response time “glacial” would mean we could call home all those scientists who’ve been criss-crossing Greenland warning us about global warming, because that ice wouldn’t be going anywhere any time soon.

Yesterday’s experience was typical: I carry my bags of neatly separated and cleaned cans and bottles into the store, and see that the glass-bottle redemption machine is out of order and that you’re accepting a maximum of 40 cans through the window. Fair enough – but having served notice of that, would it not behoove you to have somebody available at that window once in a while? Before the light bulb on the customer-service call button burns out from people frustratedly pushing it, and then the geniuses in Albany make you replace it with a compact fluorescent call-button light bulb that’ll cost you more than whatever you’re saving by not sending people to the bottle window more often? Knowing the store’s history of leisurely response time to the call button, I pressed it first thing and arranged my glass bottles in a neat rectangle so as to make the job of counting the bottles a simple multiplication task the likes of which my three-year-old will master before your store sends somebody to the bottle window.

Who are we kidding here? He’ll be in grad school by then. He’ll be married himself and bringing his own cans and bottles back. He’ll be in line behind me; I’ll glance at his returnables and tell him how I so fondly remember the days when I could afford good beer like his, until a certain pair of children came along, and wouldn’t it be nice if they called more often, hint hint?

Ten minutes and 112 cans and plastic bottles later, nobody had arrived to redeem my bottles. I pressed the button again and dutifully waited five minutes. Several customers entered and exited the store, briefly glancing my way and thinking to themselves…”Chump”…”Sucker”… “What a sap.”

After five minutes I went to the customer service window to inquire about assistance, and the very pleasant lady at the counter explained that all available staff were occupied bagging groceries, because 1:30 in the afternoon on a sunny Thursday is well-known as an insanely busy time for grocery shoppers. Just look at those lines out there – why, there’s at least five people checking out! The joint’s jumping! And never you mind that woman with the (store's name here) name tag outside having a smoke break.

And back to the bottle window I go.

I wait five more minutes, press the button again, wait five more minutes, have a quick chat with my wife to see if there’s anything she needs at the store, she reads me the entire Wall Street Journal over the phone, I wait five more minutes, pr—

No. I don’t think so. No more. And I shout it to the heavens: “I AM NOBODY’S PATSY!” From inside my minivan. Mustn’t cause a scene, you know.

Episodes like what I’ve just described have happened repeatedly to me at your store, over many months. Come ON. This is stupid what you’re doing, perhaps under somebody’s mistaken impression that it’ll somehow look good on the bottom line. It’s so colossally stupid that I can only think it must be a directive from corporate, because people in this community at the local level would never institute such a foolish policy on purpose, right?

Look, it’s just one. little. thing. But it would make a tremendous difference to a guy who’s on one heck of a tight schedule and watching every penny besides. It would make a tremendous difference to all those other people who I see waiting at the window with their own returnables. Seems to me that in this economy they need that buck-thirty back even more than I did. And I’d think it would make at least a small positive difference to your company as well, what with me having that crucial half hour back in my life, during which I would be drinking a bottle of the cheap beer I would ordinarily buy from your store but which I don’t buy from your store because it takes forever and a day to bring back the bottles.

Seems like a win-win to me. You make more money, I get more peace of mind. And I promise to bring back clean bottles and not the nasty schmutzed-up ones full of cigarette butts like the Wal-Mart shoppers do.


We shall see what transpires.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


...we bought so much safety gear for the house. News days with stories like this make me go cold inside. Only now are we slightly dialing back the freak-out when Noodle gets out of our sight outside the house for a moment or two, even though I can distinctly remember being five and spending hours thrashing around in snowbanks, making forts and having a grand old time by myself.

I don't want to speculate about the circumstances in this case - it suffices to say it'll send you flying down to the store for doorknob safety covers, especially if you've got kids with the wandering bug.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Friday, January 30, 2009


...what happened to the week. Two days of ice, sick wife, catching up at work, daffy Nana, and...and...I'm sure there's something else I've forgotten for which I will be justly berated.

Anyway, it's Phil's birthday. Beast and I will drum-duet with our chopsticks tonight in tribute.

Friday, January 23, 2009


Between the inaugural and the Gillibrand stuff, it has been a fully bonkers week. You can also follow me over at Facebook or Twitter if you so choose, because I haven't really had the time to do the full-blown idiocy here. Hopefully that changes this weekend, but Burger Hill is calling my kids' name.

Monday, January 19, 2009


Frazzletime should be more or less over by 11am tomorrow. Which is when my inaugural pre-show show wraps up on the AMs - 920 in Kingston/N. Dutchess, 1260 in Beacon/Newburgh/Wappingers, and 1420 in Peekskill, and on if you're listening at a distance. Noodle's over-the-river dance class is done as well, replaced by an after-school kids' yoga class.

(shakes head) After-school yoga...just amazing. Childhood in Northern Dutchess has come a long way since "c'mon son, let's go shoot rats at the town dump."

Sunday, January 18, 2009


This "free time" thing of which you humans speak, this "napping" behavior your children engage in from time to time, this concept called "peace and quiet."

Please tell me more, earthlings.

Friday, January 16, 2009


(It might help if you envision me as Bob Newhart at this point.)

Rrring, rrring.



Wrong bus?

But I'm NOT home.

It's Route 9. I can always make good time there... (/sarcasm)

4-1-1. It's what 555-1212 used to be.

Oh, hell. I'm a-s-a-p-ing it home, okay? Love you. Bye!

Half day at school today, see, and our best-laid plans to have Noodle spend the afternoon at her old nursery school and give me a hair of the ever-elusive Free Time were scotched when she wound up on the usual bus that takes her home instead of (as we requested) the bus that goes to her nursery school.

Worked out just fine in the end, though. Mrs. H down the street covered for us, and with her two daughters combined with my daughter there was a grand convergence of little-girl squealery from which it was difficult to extricate Noodle. Turns out both our homes are pretty much identical - and so if one of us gets the notion to upgrade the other finds themselves with plenty of spare parts!

I was looking forward to that nap, though.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Had the mid-morning conference with Her Awesomeness and came to a quandary when it came to what the plans were for the kids' dinner tonight...

Me: "We could do breakfast for dinner."

Her: "But we did breakfast for dinner at the diner on

Me: "True, but that was pancakes and waffles, so tonight we could
do bacon and eggs. And bacon."

Her: "Done!"

Me: "Did I mention bacon?"

Every so often that mass of tissue between my ears still works. I think it's something to do with the bacon motivating it.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


In their world, $35 for the ingredients to one home-cooked family meal is dining on a shoestring. Maybe at Katie Couric's place in Millbrook it is. Heck, in November while I was in layoff limbo we just about pulled off an entire Thanksgiving for less than $35. (I think the two bottles of cheap wine put us over the top.)

Digest this - if you can:

As The Early Show Saturday Edition's "Chef on a Shoestring," Freitag sought to take a traditional, three-course spaghetti dinner and give it a little twist any family would love - on our new, lower, recession-busting budget of $35. And, we introduced another challenge to our "Shoestring" chefs. We're calling it "How Low Can You Go?" The chef who prepares the least-costly meal will be back at the end of the year to create our big, blowout holiday feast!

Beet Salad with Crushed Pistachios & Soft Goat Cheese
Lamb Ragu with Rigatoni and Fresh Ricotta
Greek Yogurt with Blood Oranges, Honey & Mint
And seriously, beets? Wife and I would love that, really...but you don't just spring beets on a five-year-old and a three-year-old and expect them to house it down like they're Vikings just home from six months at sea. Advance work must be done to prepare young palates.

But the story has sparked an interest in me, in finding other examples of major-media tone-deafness to family issues. Do jump in and help sprinkle CBS et al. with lots of schadenfreudey goodness!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


A success. Noodle was beyond adorable in her red tutu, and the kids all had a blast. Despite what it may imply to the uninitiated on my Facebook description of the event, Noodle's dance class was more about fun and staying active than it is about ballet.

We may re-visit it in the future, but mid-winter mid-week late-afternoon schleps to Kingston are not cutting it in anybody's long term schedule for now. The Red Hook schools have some great after-school programs for kids on down to kindergarten, and Noodle's in one of those now. Either yoga or cooking, I forget which. At this hour you could tell me she signed up for a class in arms smuggling and I'd give you 20 seconds on how cool it is she's taking an interest in international relations (and would sail through those confirmation hearings today).

Monday, January 12, 2009


That's where I was all weekend. I think the 40's and 50's are done and now come the terrifying 70's-vacation slides. Because there's nothing to make a kid photogenic like 250 miles in the sweaty back seat of a Ford Maverick, then being dragged out for a picture in front of a historical marker half-covered in dust.

So there was that, and also converting this weekend's snowfall from driveway-blocking menace into mighty fortress to defend against any neighborhood yoots come to seek my wife's renowned banana bread.

Next up, an afternoon trip to the eye doctor's to help Noodle pick out a new set of eyeglasses. And doesn't this drag up old memories of my own trips to the opthalmologist where I'd be given the choice of the black Buddy Holly model or the brown Buddy Holly model - until Elvis Costello showed up and made those glasses cool. Obviously my having stumbled upon something in vogue was completely unacceptable to the parental powers that be of the day, and so those glasses were replaced by the kind you'd see on a doughy 45-year-old watching Da Bears over at the Swerski's. Yeah, great.

The same mistake is not being made twice with Noodle.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Whenever there's a power outage, people call me in the newsroom giving me a ration of grief - as if I'm the one who knocked the tree onto their power lines. (dennismiller) What am I, Nikola Tesla? (/dennismiller)


Yesterday's weather, that is. I'm just staring at the screen the way stoners look into an open refrigerator, not quite remembering what it was I'm supposed to do.

Oh, yeah - go to work. That.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


We get completely prepped for the mother of all ice storms and a six-day power outage...and no outage. Not so much as a flicker.

But the day's young and it's still schmutzy outside, and no telling what'll happen this evening.

(plug) Unless you've got WHUD on, of course. Live and local, baby. (/plug)

One parting word of advice: don't go letting your elderly or heart-conditional neighbors and relations try shoveling this stuff. It's crusty, unpleasant and heavy. Get the neighborhood teenagers off their butts and let them earn a buck or twenty, while you play with the Wii for a change.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


I'm down here at the hotel in Fishkill doing some last minute show prep.

Everybody else is up at home snuggled asleep in their beds. The generator's gassed up and ready to go, so that ought to guarantee we won't need it...right?

I've done all the futzing around on Facebook that can sanely be done for now, had my dinner, and it's right about now how much I realize that the traveling businessman's life would not have been a good career choice. Nor would traveling rock star be much use, as very little would stand between me and some mournful Segeroid self-indulgence on the travails of life on the road.

'Night, all.


Thinking out loud, lest there be spacing-off later. I can always go back and read this post myself.

Ugh, that forecast looks nasty. 4-8" for the snow, but it's the half-inch ice garnish that worries me most. The lawn's still full of half-buried sticks and branches from the 12/12 ice storm, Noodle's got an afternoon dance rehearsal which is supposed to end just before the snow-schmutzing begins. And after the ice we don't see 32 for at least week. Joy.

Last storm, the radio station was able to get me put up at a nearby hotel, but I missed the heck out of everybody up north. They in turn missed the heck out of having electricity and heat.

Which reminds me that I have to hook up the generator and get it ready to go.

Monday, January 5, 2009


Scientists discover true love goes the headline in the Times of London.
Brain scans have proved that a small number of couples can respond with as much passion after 20 years as most people exhibit only in the first flush of love.

The findings overturn the conventional view that love and sexual desire peak at the start of a relationship and then decline as the years pass.
Is it me or do the first and second paragraphs contradict each other? If it's only a small number of couples who are this lucky, then isn't the conventional view pretty much intact?

Would dearly like to see their findings cross-referenced with how much sleep these folks get. Her Awesomeness and I can be as oh-lord-get-a-room affectionate as anybody, but not after a week of little ones waking up at 1:30 in the morning with gastric issues.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


Note the luxurious expansiveness of the taco depicted on the box:

Note what it looks like on the plate. Folded like the Mets in September:

And you're supposed to fit food into this Yes, the tacos were all of the same general shape, and this wasn't the first time it had happened. Clipping coupons, waiting for them to go on sale...for this. Yeah, great. Maybe if I had an equine syringe I could have managed to get some guacamole or refried beans in there, but that's about all. Noodle in particular was PO'd in the way that only a tired five-year-old girl in full Princess mode can be.

The ManTM may have won this round, but I haven't written a nice juicy nastygram in quite some time. I'm due.

(takes itty-bitty batting donut off his pen, cracks knuckles, gets busy)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Friday, January 2, 2009


A question for everybody playing along at home:

Do the Berenstain Bears ever have a normal, uneventful day where there's no drama, no chaos, nobody getting whiny over stupid pointless idiocies my three-year-old wouldn't whine about?

We have (a partial list)

The Berenstain Bears Get in a Fight
The Berenstain Bears Forget Their Manners
The Berenstain Bears No Girls Allowed
The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Birthday
The Berenstain Bears Get Stage Fright
The Berenstain Bears and the Trouble with Pets
The Berenstain Bears Don't Pollute (Anymore)
The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Pressure
The Berenstain Bears and the Bully
The Berenstain Bears and the Green-Eyed Monster
The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Teasing
The Berenstain Bears and the Blame Game

I never paid the Bears much mind growing up, but holy cow. Who knew there was all that dysfunction? Maybe I'll pitch them this:

The Berenstain Bears Get A Visit From Child Protective Services

I mean, it fits their mood, doesn't it?


My hack of a week or so ago on using icicles as an emergency bitten-tongue solution is up now at Parent Hacks.

Some of the comments are priceless (rolls eyes).

Thursday, January 1, 2009


Free Range Kids.

Op-ed columnist Lenore Skenazy writes it. Essential stuff if you've had the creeping suspicion that the nation's been increasingly crawling with panicky busybodies who demand the authority to call the shots on what's safe for your child.

I'd write more now, but bedtime calls. Go have a look.


Hooray for "char" for stopping by and setting a spell.

Now then, about this snow yesterday. Not enough and too fluffy for proper snowman-making...but when the right day comes along, you want your idea-starters handy.