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.