Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Evil Seal

As always - The Cast of Characters

Me (The Daddy)

The Bean: Age 8
The Butterfly: Age 6
The Darling Wife

With the DW out of town for ten days, the clock was running down on the girls needing baths.

They were getting a little ripe, to put it mildly.  They were getting a little rank to put it more accurately.

The girls insisted on taking a bath in our bath tub.  Check that, the DW's bath tub.  It's Jacuzzi-styled with jets that blow the colored bubbles this way and that.

Colored water?  Surely the kids were not that dirty.

Well, they weren't.

They have these little bath beadie things that dye the water when you drop them in.  They look kind of like paintball pellets.

I sneak downstairs.  It is not only 5 o'clock somewhere.  It is 5 o'clock right here, right now.

I open a bottle of wine.  I'm not even finished pouring a glass.

Screams from above.  "Daddy!" The Bean screams.  "Daddy!"

I dash up the stairs and find that The Bean has a bath toy stuck in her hair.  It's one of those wind up toys where the flippers propel the toy through the water.

It's a seal.  An Evil Seal.

It's an Evil Seal that has attacked The Bean's hair.  It's all wound up in her hair and won't come out.  It is, in fact, still spinning.

It's The Butterfly's Evil Seal toy.  She looks sheepish.

But not really.  She's six-years-old and has seen some pretty funny things in her time, but this tops the list.

Resolution - I cut The Bean's hair.  She looks a little off-center now.

I try to discard The Butterfly's Evil Seal, but to no avail.

The Evil Seal lives, carrying a locket of Princess hair.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Remind Me Again How I Don't Like Mondays

As always - The Cast of Characters

Me (The Daddy)

The Bean: Age 8
The Butterfly: Age 6
The Darling Wife

Each year, the DW makes a trek to Vegas for a Trade Show.  She sets up the booth, irons the curtains and does pretty much whatever the Union lets her do.

This year she blew a fuse.  The Union Electricians found this quite funny.  They got straight to work solving her problem.


But I digress.  

When the DW goes to this trade show, I take care of the The Bean and The Butterfly.  With "Mama" out of town, I am met with predictable results.

The Bean handles this, for the most part, in stride.  The Butterfly, now there's a different story.

The Butterfly is 6 years old, but still is in her "Mama" phase.  She cries inconsolably.  There is nothing I can do to calm her down.

Did I mention The DW is in Vegas?  I think I did.  Did I mention she was in Vegas for 10 days?

Can you say Sad Butterfly?  Can you say Frazzled Daddy?

The Butterfly won't go to bed.  She claims to be afraid of the dark, which she isn't.  At least she doesn't claim to be afraid of buttons, like her cousin.

I strike a deal.  She can keep the lights on in her room as long as she stays in her room.  This is somehow acceptable.

The next morning, I'm having one of those dreams where the alarm is going off, but the noise is incorporated into my dream.  I could have slept forever.

Except The Bean comes in and wakes he up.  "Daddy!" she exclaims.  "Wake up!"

Garble, garble, garble.

I buy time.  "Go check on your sister."

The Bean vanishes and reemerges with the news.  "She's asleep on the floor."

I shuffle into her room and gently shake her.  "Butterfly," I say, "it's time to wake up."

No response.

"Really," I say a little more firmly.  "Get up."

"No!  It's still night time."

She has a point.  It's about 6:40 and pitch black dark.

"It is morning.  It's almost time for the bus.  You need to get dressed."


So with The Butterfly still asleep, I dress her.  Her hair looks like, what's the word?  Ragamuffin. 

Meanwhile, The Bean is giving minute-by-minute time updates.  "It's seven o'clock!" she calls.  "Seven Oh One!"

We get to Stop (the hip name we've dubbed our bus stop) with seconds to spare.  This was on a Monday.  Only four more days this week.

Wash.  Rinse.  Repeat.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Book Review - A Gift to My Children

OK, so I'm a Sellout.  But hey, Free Book!

I've been asked to write a review for A Gift to My Children: A Father's Lessons for Life and Investing.

When I was asked to do so, I was a bit intimidated.  As the Author of Daddy I Want, I write predominantly humorous accounts of my own ineptitude as a Father and Husband.  Jim Rogers, on the other hand, provides solid advice on how his daughters can grow both their wealth and their characters.

I am somewhat behind the curve.

I know zilch about Investing.  I dabbled in tech stocks before the Dot.Com went Dot.Bust.  By then, I was as lost as everyone else on the planet who bought IPO's of companies they'd never heard of and drooled over 3 for 1 stock splits.

I pulled what was left of my money from the market and invested in tangible things, like Dining Out and stocking the Wine Cellar.

I had doubts about reading the book as well.  I didn't think I'd like it.  But I did.  A Lot.

I can honestly say that when I reached the end, I wanted to learn more.  And not just about the Chinese economy.  The wisdom he imparts on his young daughters may seem like Common Sense, but as Voltaire wrote - "Common Sense is not so Common."

He encourages his daughters to question everything.  Conventional Wisdom reflects the past, and Truth lies in analyzing the present.  The Future cannot be predicted, but History and its context with Current Events can make predictions quite reliable.

Jim Rogers is a Cowboy.  He is a Rogue.  He ran left when others ran right.  He's motorcycled around the world earning Fortune and Fame.  And now that he's retired at the ripe old age of 37!, his higher calling of raising two daughters.

Again, you can't predict the Future, but I wouldn't bet against these young girls.

They are going to be armed to the teeth.

Now if only I had a little money to invest in the Chinese economy.

Monday, January 11, 2010

New Years Eve - Take 2

As always - The Cast of Characters

Me (The Daddy)

The Bean: Age 8
The Butterfly: Age 6
The Darling Wife

OK, so now I'm officially old.

For the first time in recent memory, the DW and I had no New Years Eve plans.  Our typical festivities generally involved going to our friends Mountain House, drinking a lot of bubbly, and making big explosions with Contraband Fireworks in his driveway.

This wasn't on the table this year.

Instead, we had no plans.  Thus, we attempted to make the best of it.

The Bean and The Butterfly made pizzas.  They kneaded the dough, glopped pizza sauce, and covered it in cheese.  They make a mean pizza.

OK, they make horrible pizzas, but they like them all the same.  Or at least, pretend to.

I try to make Omaha Steaks.  I mess these up pretty bad.  Apparently, you're supposed to thaw them first.

I also try to make Omaha Steaks' Potatoes Au Gratin.  Apparently, you're not supposed to thaw these.

The DW and I open Big Time Wine.  A 15-year-old Napa Cabernet.  The DW turns her nose up.  

We watch a movie with the kids - Shrek XVII, I think.

When it's time for the ball to drop, The Bean and The Butterfly are screaming.  At each other.

The DW makes us watch the Times Square Ball drop on Fox News.  This I cannot explain.

The Bean is in hysterics.  As the time winds down, she has locked herself in the pantry, desperately trying to find party hats.  She emerges, finally, with leftover Tinkerbell hats from one of her birthday parties.

I snap one on.  

We have TIVO'd the ball coming down, so The Bean and The Butterfly shout Happy New Year at around 12:07.

The DW misses this.  She is fast asleep.