Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry, Marry, Pukey, Cheers

I just want to get a quickie in before heading home for Christmas Eve with the In-Laws et al. It's been a fairly active few days, despite the fact that I've been living in my basement, inhaling paint fumes for more time than the Surgeon General would recommend. I'm stoked to have some friends back in town for the holiday, including my buddy Cody, who has a few weeks off from his Masters program at Cal Arts. Here's Cody getting in a quick practice session with his (former) band Sol Jibe.





Garage Styley. Oldskool. They are truly rocking harder than ever these days with the addition of Caleb on the drums.





Speaking of the Codes...he is officially off the market now as he took advantage of all of this holiday good-vibe and asked Sara to marry him. She said yes. I got to sit in on the keyboard while he played the drum yesterday for one of her advanced 2-hour yoga sessions. We just laid down some background noise/motivational ambient vibes, and I got to see how in tune those two really are with each other. They have both come a long way together in the last few years, and I'm stoked to be in their lives, and to have them in my childrens' lives as well.





Speaking of the kidlets, I don't know if it was the excitement of the early-Christmas Wii from my dad & Bec, or just a bug, but for the 2nd night in 4 days poor Sean puked his bed full of nastiness IN HIS SLEEP. Seriously, it was disgusting, and GOD BLESS Babymama for charging in there with a wet rag and git'n er done. I just stood there tired and helpless with my thumb somewhere useless, watching and trying to help her clean it up, thinking "Why don't they make some kind of kiddie-vomit-dustbuster type product for when the little dude says Buick all over the place?" The worst part about the whole thing is really not the chunkage everywhere, but the fact that you are totally powerless to make your poor little confused person feel better. That sucks worst than anything. You can't beat a healthy kid.





So in the Spirit of Christmas, and on that note, I just want to express my sincere gratitude here publicly for the health and happiness of my family. I hope that if you are reading this right now, you are having a Merry Christmas and that all of your family and friends are healthy and happy, too.





Love.

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Park

If you have to do any last-minute gift-gettin' to get done, get 'er done at the hippest new store on my very own California Avenue: The Park. It's owned by Mike and Christy Hall, proprietors of the 2-kewl-4-skool Kalifornia Jean Bar. I had the pleasure of working out the lease and the building improvements for the Halls, and I can vouch for them as 'Good Ppl'. They have, with The Park, managed to open up the style floodgates to a wider array of shoppers with prices that are far more accessible than their higher-end KJB. (Think Beauty Bar vs Rain).

I think they are going to kill it.

So if you're looking for a Bonsai belt buckle, trucker lid, or a "White Trash With Cash" t-shirt (or you want to buy ME one of each for Christmas *cough*) then stop in and say what up.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

K v S




Thanks to my neighbor, Pat, for telling me about this new show on Comedy Central called "Kenny vs. Spenny". Its grown men who compete in the most ridiculous and over-the-top contests with each other. It's not for children, so I waited until mine went to bed last night to watch the 3 episodes that are on Charter On Demand. I laughed so hard that I cried. This little clip will not do it justice, but this is a family-centric blog, according to some, so use your discretion and check it out on your own.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The City That Never Sleeps


Biff's Casino
Originally uploaded by Zack Sheppard.
This is what you do when you're wide awake at two fifty-eight in the a-m; you relate to other late-night entities. In this case, it's Biff's Casino, posing as Downtown Reno's very own Silver Legacy. It's shot by my buddy, Z. There is somthing seriously eerie about this capture that I can't place my finger on. I don't know if it's the symmetry or what.

I do, however, know that I'm going to have a rough day tomorrow due to the lack of sleep that I'm not getting right now. I know I had too much coffee to drink today but come ON! My brain won't turn off. I'm thinking about work. I'm thinking about my family. I'm thinking about how bad I wish I could go the future and grab a sports almanac and come back to 2007 and just make a few random, high-paying, lucky guesses for the rest of my life. I think the bookies already worked that one out, though...have you ever noticed how close the spreads seem to get these days? Jeez.

Perhaps I should be spending my time more wisely right now. Is that some kind of oxymoron at this hour? Seriously, what am I going to do anyway? Lace up the sneaks and take Bodie for a run? Start a new diet? Practice piano? Paint my basement? OK, I just busted myself on that one...I really SHOULD start painting my basement because it's both quiet enough not to wake the kids AND productive at the same time. QUICK: Subject change before anyone catches on to my neverending procrastination.

I am procrastinating sleep, I think. Leave it to me.

I've read a few blog entries and mass-distribution emails in recent weeks where the writer is in a off-center frame of mind, and ends up posting or sharing something borderline regrettable. I am right now wondering if this will, in hindsight, be one of those entries. I'll be sure to steer cleer of politics and religion just in case. I wouldn't mind touching on the homeless problem we have in Reno, especially in the money-green light of the picture that's acted as my muse. I'll come back to that one some day soon, though, as I fear it is a subject that won't be taken seriously enough in light of my interwoven sarcasm and attempted humor. I'd also rather actually DO SOMETHING AOBUT IT and then be able to say I did...or I am...just not "I will". I can at least count my blessings to have this warm house and roof and a bed that would be killer if I could just find a reason to get back into it.

I should stop writing. I wonder how many words flickr will let me "blog this photo" with? Oh well, I'm just going to assume that it's the very same number I got to right here.

Or here.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Just another killer boring weekend

Sometimes hanging out @ home, doing nothing much besides playing with these 2 little pumpkins is the best medicine.



I skipped the holiday parties, didn't get any painting done in my basement, and even passed on the Pack game. I'm not sorry about any of it.





On the productive side, I DID make it up on foot above the powerline road with the Bodhisattva,
and I DID get all of the Christmas cards done, so QUIT JUDGING ME ALREADY!!!

Sorry, that's just the seasonal guilt talking.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Tis the Season


Last night was a big one for networking events, holiday parties and other such business. For me it started off with the Northern Nevada NAIOP Holiday Party which was held at the new Joe Crowley Student Union at UNR. I was stoked to finally get in to the building and check it out. It's a PENTA project and it's built to last.

After that I had another Christmas party to attend, but not before stopping of at the annual California Avenue Holiday Stroll. This year's event was off the chain, thanks in major part to the Holland Project, who had another Double-Dutch jump rope competition.
It was butt-ass cold outside (that means below 28 degrees, I think), but the kids involved in the competition kept it hot with well-rehearsed routines and displays of athleticism. I was fortunate to run into some fun peeps like Judge Healion and LaPlante, who hooked a brother up with the best PBR I've ever tasted. Cheers, David. I'll be sure to have you over before the end of the year for the promised glass of Middleton. (Major props for your taste in the Irish, btw).


Back to Holland: it's a great organization, and if you want to support the youth of our community in a positive and productive way, click HERE and help them out the easy way. They are still getting off the ground. Well, except for the D-Dutchers who were stylishly inches off the ground last night...killing it.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Houksai


"From the age of six I had a mania for drawing the shapes of things. When I was fifty I had published a universe of designs. but all I have done before the the age of seventy is not worth bothering with. At seventy five I'll have learned something of the pattern of nature, of animals, of plants, of trees, birds, fish and insects. When I am eighty you will see real progress. At ninety I shall have cut my way deeply into the mystery of life itself. At a hundred I shall be a marvelous artist. At a hundred and ten everything I create; a dot, a line, will jump to life as never before. To all of you who are going to live as long as I do, I promise to keep my word. I am writing this in my old age. I used to call myself Hokosai, but today I sign my self 'The Old Man Mad About Drawing." -- Hokusai

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Say w00t

Just had to give a shout out to the Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year, 2007. This one's for the "l33t", apparently, but it's really not just for gamers, as I've seen a lotta bloggers toss out an occasional "w00t".

Sadly, one man was not impressed. Said the RGJ:

The choice did not make Allan Metcalf, executive secretary of the American
Dialect Society, say “w00t.”

“It’s amusing, but it’s limited to a small
community and unlikely to spread and unlikely to last,” said Metcalf, an English
professor at MacMurray College in Jacksonville, Ill.


Right after making that statement, Metcalf was pwn'd by an unpaid intern working for the Dialect Society who pulled his knickers down and ran away laughing, "w007, muthafucka...I'm lmfao!"

Ninja stuff


So my buddy, Eden, recently turned me on to a show on the G4 network. While I usually pass right by this channel because it seems to be about gamers and comic books and other stuff I'm not really into, I was intrigued by this very different show called called Ninja Warrior. Apparently, this Japanese test of strength and ability has been going on for like 10 years on the Tokyo Broadcasting System as Sasuke. As with any Japanese show, there is a high level of intensity and screaming. There is an elimination-style 4-part obstacle course that proves to be very difficult, as only a handful of the 100 competitors even make it past the first round.

I checked out the website today to see if Americans can get on the show, and it looks like there was a self-made video competition that 2 guys from America just won to get tickets to Japan to be on the show. Lucky Ninjas.

I'm already changing my workout routine to polish some of the skills that I will need to get on the show next time around.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Hoodie & Cobwebs

What a beautiful morning here in the High Sierra. Fresh snow, brisk but sunny, perfect. I had to take the Bodie for a hike just to loosen up some of my cobwebs from a late night last night...well, late by 30-something parent standards, anyway.

The night went something like this: sell the kids to the gypsies for beer money, Chili Fries (capitalized, you'll notice...the same way you capitalize "Heaven") and beer @ Scruples, Pack Game, birthday bash @ The Imperial, early departure due to my age and inability to hang with the varsity anymore, and then crash on the couch watching Superbad. Actually, babymama did the crashing despite my best efforts to wake her up by laughing out loud at what is the funniest movie I've seen in a long time.

Actually, the kids had a slumber party @ Bobo & Papa's house. The best part of the whole night was sleeping in this morning. What a treat.


And now: Bodie in a hooded sweatshirt.


That's just funny right there.

Friday, December 7, 2007

There are men and women who make the world better just by being the kind of people they are.

I just got this essay by John Gardner via email, and feel the need to repost it in it's entirety. It's long, but hey, you're here already, so just read it. It's vital.

John Gardner: Stanford Business School/Common Cause in 1989

I once wrote a book called Self-Renewal that deals with the decay and renewal of societies, organizations and individuals. I explored the question of why civilizations die and how they sometimes renew themselves, and the puzzle of why some men and women go to seed while others remain vital all their lives. It’s the latter question that I shall deal with this morning. I know that you as an individual are not going to seed. But the person seated on your right may be in fairly serious danger.

Several years ago, I read a splendid article on barnacles. I don’t want to give the wrong impression of the focus of my reading interests. Sometimes weeks go by without my reading about barnacles, much less remembering what I read. But this article had an unforgettable opening paragraph. “The barnacle,” the author explained, “is confronted with an existential decision about where it is going to live. Once it decides, it spends the rest of its life with its head cemented to a rock.” For many of us, it comes to that.

We’ve all seen men and women, even ones in fortunate circumstances with responsible positions, who seem to run out of steam before they reach life’s halfway mark.

One must be compassionate in assessing the reasons. Perhaps life has presented them with tougher problems than they could solve. It happens. Perhaps something inflicted a major wound on their confidence or their pride. Perhaps they were pulled down by the hidden resentments and grievances that grow in adult life, sometimes so luxuriantly that, like tangled vines, they immobilize the victim.

I’m not talking about people who fail to get to the top in achievement. We can’t all get to the top, and that isn’t the point of life anyway. I’m talking about people who have stopped learning or growing or trying. Perhaps they feel defeated, maybe somewhat sour and cynical, maybe sore that they haven’t gone further. Many of them are just plodding along, going thru the motions. I don’t deride that. Life is hard. Just to keep on keeping on is sometimes an act of courage. But I do worry about men and women functioning far below the level of their potential.

We have to face the fact that most men and women out there in the world of work are more bored than they could care to admit, and more stale than they know. When some one asked Pope John XXIII how many people worked in the Vatican, he said “Oh, about half.” John was a Pope who liked to shake things up, so perhaps that was more of a prod than a statistic. But speaking seriously, boredom is the secret ailment of large-scale organizations. Logan Pearsall Smith said that boredom can rise to the level of a mystical experience, and if that’s true, I know some mid level executives who are among the great mystics of all time.

We can’t write off the danger of staleness, complacency, growing rigidity, imprisonment by our own comfortable habits and opinions.

Look around you. How many people whom you know well are already trapped in fixed attitudes and habit? A famous French writer said, “There are people whose clocks stop at a certain point in their lives.” I could, without any trouble, name a half dozen national figures resident in Washington D.C., whom you would recognize, and could tell you roughly the year their clock stopped.

My observations over a lifetime convince me that most people enjoy leaning and growing. Any many are clearly troubled by the self-assessments of midcareer. Yogi Berra says you can observe a lot just by watching, and I’ve watched a lot of midcareer people.

Such self-assessments are no great problem when you’re young and moving up. The drama of your own rise is enough. But when you reach middle age, when your energies aren’t what they used to be, when it no longer occurs to you to check the remaining acreage on Mt. Rushmore, then you begin to wonder what it all added up to - you begin to look for the figure in the carpet of your life. I have some simple advice for you when you begin that process. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Look ahead. Someone said that “life is the art of drawing without an eraser.” And above all don’t imagine that the story is over. Life has a lot of chapters. The story is still being written.

If we are conscious of the danger of going to seed, we can resort to countervailing measures - at almost any age. You don’t need to run down like an unwound clock. And if your clock is unwound, you can wind it up again. You can stay alive in every sense of the word until you fail physically.

The individual intent on self-renewal will have to deal with the ghosts of the past - memory of earlier failures, the remnants of childhood dramas and rebellions, accumulated grievances and resentments that have long outlived their cause. Sometimes people cling to the ghosts with something almost approaching pleasure - but the hampering effect on growth is inescapable. As Jim Whitaker, who climbed Mount Everest, said, “you never conquer the mountain. You only conquer yourself.”

The more I see of human lives, the more I believe the business of growing up is much longer drawn out than we pretend. If we achieve it in our 30s, even our 40s, we’re doing well. To those who are parents of teenagers, I can only say “Sorry about that.”

There’s a myth that learning is for young people. But as the proverb says, “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.” The middle years are great, great learning years. Most of you in this room are just coming into what can be your best learning years.

Count everything as a learning experience. Learn from your failures. Learn from your successes. When you hit a spell of trouble, ask, “What is it trying to teach me?”

The lessons aren’t always happy ones, but they keep coming. We learn from our jobs. We learn from our friends and families. We learn by accepting the commitments of life, by playing the roles that life hands us (not necessarily the roles we would have chosen), by growing older, by suffering, by loving, by bearing with the things we can’t change, by taking risks.

The things you learn in maturity are not simple things such as acquiring information and skills. That’s for kids. You learn not to engage in self-destructive behavior. You learn not to burn up energy in anxiety. You learn to manage your tensions, if you have any, which you do. You learn that self-pity and resentment are among the most toxic of drugs. You learn that the world loves talent but pays off on character.

You learn that most people are neither for you nor against you, that they are thinking of themselves. You learn that no matter how much you strive to please, there are some people in this world who are not going to love you, a lesson that is at first troubling and then really quite relaxing.

You can even be unaffected - a quality that often takes years to acquire. You can achieve the simplicity that lies beyond sophistication.

Those are things that are hard to learn early in life. As a rule you have to have picked up some mileage and some dents in your fenders before you understand. As Norman Douglas said, “There are some things you can’t learn from others. You have to pass thru the fire.”

There is one other little question: Did you collaborate in your own defeat? A lot of people do. Learn not to.

One of the enemies of sound, lifelong motivation is a rather childish conception we have of the kind of tangible, concrete goal toward which all of our efforts should drive us. We want to believe that there is a point at which we can feel that we have arrived. We want a scoring system that tells when we can count ourselves successful.

So you scramble and sweat and climb to reach what you thought was the goal. When you get to the top, you stand up and look around and the chances are you feel a little empty. Maybe more than a little empty. You wonder whether you climbed the wrong mountain.

But life isn’t a mountain. It doesn’t have a summit. Nor is it - as some suppose - a riddle that has an answer. Nor a game with a final score.

Life is an endless unfolding, and if we wish it to be, an endless process of self-discovery, an endless and unpredictable dialogue between our potentialities and the life situations in which we find ourselves. By potentialities I mean not just performance gifts but the full range of one’s capacities for learning, sensing, wondering, understanding, loving and aspiring.

Perhaps you imagine that by age 45 or 55 you have explored those potentialities pretty fully. Don’t kid yourself.

The thing we have to understand it that the potentialities you actually develop to the full come out as the result of a lifelong interplay between you and your environment. Emergencies sometimes lead people to perform remarkable and heroic tasks they wouldn’t have guessed they were capable of. Life pulls things out of you. So if you want to find out what’s in you, expose yourself to unaccustomed challenges.

I estimate that over your lifetime, even highly selected and privileged individuals such as yourselves make use of no more than half of the talent and energy that is in you.

You know about some of those gifts that you have left undeveloped. Would you believe that you have gifts and possibilities you don’t even know about? It’s true.

There are barriers that we are just beginning to understand. We are just beginning to see that the individual’s potentialities may be blighted by early discouragements, by an early environment that diminishes the sense of self worth, by excessive pressures for conformity, by a lack of opportunity to grow. And we are just beginning to recognize how even those who have had every advantage and opportunity unconsciously put a ceiling on their own growth, underestimate their potentialities or hide from the risk that growth involves.

There’s something I know about you that you may or may not know about yourself. You have within you more resources of energy than you have ever tapped, more talent than has ever been exploited, more strength than had ever been tested, and more to give than you have ever given.

Now I’ve discussed renewal at some length, but it isn’t possible to talk about renewal without touching on the subject of motivation. Someone defined horse sense as the good judgment horses have that prevents them from betting on people. But we have to bet on people - and I have my bets more often on high motivation than any other quality except judgment. There is no perfection of techniques that will substitute for the lift of spirit and heightened performance that comes with strong motivation. The world is moved by highly motivated people, by enthusiasts, by men and women who want something very much or believe very much.

I’m not talking about anything as narrow as ambition. After all, ambition eventually wears out and probably should. But you can keep your zest until you die. If I may offer you a simple maxim, “Be interested.” Everyone wants to be interesting - but the vitalizing thing is to be interested.

Keep a sense of curiosity. Discover new things. Care. Risk failure. Reach out.

The nature of one’s personal commitments is a powerful element in renewal, so let me say a word on that subject.

I once lived in a house where I could look out a window as I worked at my desk and observe a small herd of cattle browsing in a neighboring field. And I was struck with a thought that must have occurred to the earliest herdsman tens of thousand years ago. You never get the impression that a cow is about to have a nervous breakdown - or get stomach upset puzzling about the meaning of life.

Humans have never mastered that kind of complacency. We are worriers and puzzlers, and we want meaning in our lives. I am not speaking idealistically; I am stating a plainly observable fact about men and women. As Robert Louis Stevenson said, “Old or young, we’re on our last cruise.” We want it to mean something.

For many this life is a vale of tears; for no one is it free of pain. Every heart hath its own ache, as the saying goes. But we are so designed that we can cope with it if we can live in some context of meaning. Given that powerful help, we can draw on the deep springs of the human spirit to see our suffering in the framework of all human suffering, to accept the gifts of life with thanks and to endure life’s indignities with dignity.

In the stable periods of history, meaning was supplied in the context of a coherent community and tradition - prescribed patterns of culture. On being born into the society, you were heir to a whole warehouse full of meanings. Today you can’t count on any such heritage. You have to build meaning into your life. And you build it thru your commitments - whether to your religion, to an ethical order as you conceive it, to your life’s work, to loved ones, to your fellow humans. Young people run around searching for identity, but it isn’t handed out free any more - not in this transient, rootless, pluralistic society. Your identity is what you’ve committed yourself to.

It may just mean doing a better job at whatever you’re doing. There are men and women who make the world better just by being the kind of people they are. They have the gift of kindness or courage or loyalty or integrity. It matters very little whether they’re behind the wheel of a truck or running a country store or bringing up a family.

I must pause to say a word about my statement “There are men and women who make the world better just by being the kind of people they are.” I first wrote the sentence some years ago and it has been widely quoted. One day I was looking thru a mail-order catalogue and it included some small ornamental bronze plaques with brief sayings on them, and one of the sayings was the one I just read you, with my name as author. Well, I was so overcome by the idea of a sentence of mine being cast in bronze that I ordered it, but then couldn’t figure out what in the world to do with it. About four years ago, I finally sent it to my friends Ernie and Kitty Arbuckle, whom most of you knew.

We tend to think of youth and the active middle years as the years of commitment. As you get a little older, you’re told you’ve earned the right to think about yourself. But that’s a deadly prescription. People of every age need commitments beyond the self, need the meaning that commitments provide. Self-preoccupation is a prison, as every serf-absorbed person finally knows. Commitments to larger purposes get you out of prison.

Another significant ingredient in motivation is one’s attitude toward the future. Optimism is unfashionable today, particularly among intellectuals. Everyone makes fun of it. Someone said “Pessimists got that way by financing optimists.” But I am not pessimistic and I advise you not to be. As the fellow said, “I’d be a pessimist but it would never work.”

I can tell you that for renewal, a tough-minded optimism is best. The future is not shaped by people who don’t really believe in the future. Men and women of vitality have always been prepared to bet their futures, even their lives, on ventures of unknown outcome. If they had all looked before they leaped, we would still be crouched in caves sketching animal pictures on the wall.

But I did say tough-minded optimism. High hopes that are dashed by the first failure are precisely what we don’t need. We have to believe in ourselves, but we mustn’t suppose that the path will be easy. It’s tough. Life is painful, and rain falls on the just, and Mr. Churchill was not being a pessimist when he said, “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat." He had a great deal more to offer, but as a good leader he was saying that it isn’t going to be easy, and he was also saying something that all great leaders say constantly - that failure is simply a reason to strengthen resolve.

We cannot dream of a Utopia in which all arrangements are ideal and everyone is flawless. Nothing is ever finally safe. Every important battle is fought and re-fought. Life is tumultuous – an endless losing and regaining of balance, a continuous struggle, never an assured victory. You may wonder if such a struggle – endless and of uncertain outcome – isn’t more than humans can bear. All of history suggests that the human spirit is well fitted to cope with just that kind of world.

I said earlier that life has a lot of chapters. Let me offer some examples. In a piece I wrote for Reader’s Digest not long ago, I gave what seemed to me a particularly interesting example of renewal. The man in question was 53 years old. Most of his adult life had been a losing struggle against debt and misfortune. In military service he received a battlefield injury that denied him use of his left arm. And he was seized and held in captivity for five years. Later he had two government jobs, succeeding at neither. At 53 he was in prison – and not for the first time. There in prison, he decided to write a book, driven by Heaven knows what motive – boredom, the hope of gain, emotional release, creative impulse, who can say? And the book turned out to one of the greatest ever written, a book that has enthralled the world for over 350 years. The prisoner was Cervantes; the book Don Quixote.

I’ve already mentioned Pope John XXIII, a serious man who found a lot to laugh about. The son of peasant farmers, he once said, “In Italy there are three roads to poverty – drinking, gambling and farming. My family chose the slowest of the three.” He was 76 years old when he was elected Pope. Through a lifetime in the bureaucracy, the spark of spirit and imagination had remained undimmed, and when he reached the top he launched the most vigorous renewal that the Church had known in the 20th century.

Still another example is Winston Churchill. At age 25, as a correspondent in the Boer War he became a prisoner of war and his dramatic escape made him a national hero. Elected to Parliament at 26, he performed brilliantly, held high cabinet posts with distinction and at 37 became First Lord of the Admiralty. There followed 24 years of ups and downs. All too often the verdict on him was “brilliant but erratic . . . not steady, not dependable.” He had only himself to blame. A friend described him as a man who jaywalked thru life. He was 66 before his moment of flowering came. Someone said, “It’s all right to be a late bloomer if you don’t miss the flower show.” Churchill didn’t miss it.

Well, I won’t give you more examples. From those I’ve given I hope it’s clear to you that the door of opportunity doesn’t really close as long as you’re reasonably healthy. You just don’t know what’s ahead of you. You may – as Churchill did – become the great leader of your country in time of crisis. You may - -as Cervantes did – go to jail and write a novel. You may become Pope.

Or, if none of those outcomes appeal to you, remember the little plaque I sent to Ernie and Kitty. “Some men and women make the world a better place by being the kind of people they are.” To be that kind of person would be worth all the years of living and learning.

E-Pie

So I'm adding a link to a blog called Emily Pie. Emily is funny and smart, and apparently you can locate her blog by googleing (sp?) the words Mom Cleavage, which is totally sweet. Enjoy.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Yeah, I'm sick

Since I was a kid, I've had the bad habit of re-arranging my mother's snow village characters into scenes of distress and peril. While making my way out to the in-law's dinner table last night, I noticed some Christmas Carolers with very interesting facial expressions. Get a couple of cocktails into me and I start doing naughty things with my mother-in-law's stuff, too. Even now, sober and aware, I'm going to post the pictures of the scene I created last night.

But seriously, just look at the expression on the dude's face...he's GOT to be enjoying himself, right?

Yeah, I may be 32 today, but I'm really like 13 on the inside. Just ask anyone.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Ire'


Ire'
Originally uploaded by Zack Sheppard.
This is my babygirl, Ireland. She loves jewelry and lacey things like panties. In fact, she likes to dig through the hamper for her mommy's lacey panties, put them around her neck like a stack of pearl necklaces and walk around the house proudly displaying how pretty she is. She's very pretty.

She's also bossy, loud, funny, strong, a great eater, and a total mama's girl...but I'm convinced that she'll be a daddy's girl someday.

Right now she's just a 15-month old sweetheart that's a little under the weather and not sleeping through the night again. Poor little muffin.

I do have one little special moment with her just about every day. I'll be getting dressed for work, playing some music on my ipod through the stereo in my room, and she'll come pitter-pattering down the hall. She reaches her hands up as high as she can towards me and we dance together. She lives for the dips and the consecutive twirls. I'm positive she will be a club-hopping party-goer like her daddy was, because she loves being dizzy. So did I.

Thanks, Z, for this great picture.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Egan Re-Cup

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

But I'm going to save that for later, because last week, it looked a lot more like the spectacle that is the Egan Cup Bowling Tournament. We doubled in size, and despite a few growing pains, we had a very successful tournament. The best way to summarize a facemelting event like this is visually, so without further ado:







































Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Venture

So I showed up to work last week to find a mysterious dvd laying inside the door with a skull on the cover. I like skulls. It turns out that my buddy, Z, had the urge to turn me on to an Adult Swim cartoon called "The Venture Brothers". It's hilarious.

So I don't really get to watch much TV these days, but over the long holiday weekend, whilst nursing a wicked post-bowling-tournament hangover (more on the tournament to come shortly...my brain is almost functioning again) and while the kids and babymama* were sleeping soundly, I watched the entire season one. Actually, someone help me out here, but my guess is that there was and only will be a season one due to the Easy-Rider style finale. Incidentally, was it really necessary to end it that way? I had made a connection, man. I guess that's the point about freedom. Anyway, for those of you who haven't seen it, this blog post is quickly digressing into something that you'd rather not be reading, no doubt, so go watch it. And prepare to do it outside of the watchful eyes and ears of the little tikes. It's perfectly vulgar.



*Side note: I just looked up the term "babymama" and discovered that the majority of the discriminating urban slangers concur that a babymama is, in fact, not married to the babydaddy. I was mistaken. However, I will continue to use the term as one of endearment towards my lovely wife and the mother of my children - both one and the same. That is all.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Give it up or turn it loose

Thanksgiving is the best holiday. It is unspoiled by propaganda. It is pure. It is a time for gratitude and gathering, family and friendship, quiet contemplation and laughing out loud. I love it.

My family has always made a big deal out of Thanksgiving. We do a lot of peripheral activity around the actual dinner and make it into quite an affair. My dad's 30+ year tradition is to get a bunch of dudes together early in the morning and head up to our old high school and get a basketball game going. We've had up to two 5-on-5 games going on each half-court and subs on the side waiting to get in. It's a ton of fun, and most of the time nobody gets too hurt. After we beat each other up and run ourselves just shy of puking, we stop off at the bar on the way home and knock back a couple of beers. I can't think of a better way to start off a morning, can you?

My brother and I also started a day-after-Thanksgiving bowling tournament that has grown into a popular event, and yet another opportunity to see family and friends, new and old, in a setting that encourages jocularity and debauchery at it's finest.

One of my best turkey days was my sophomore year in San Diego. It was the first time I didn't make it home for the holiday, but I was far from lonely. My entire family and even my godmother's family came down to celebrate and do it up festive steeze in my little 2-bedroom duplex on Mission Beach. There was almost no room to move around, much less cook, but we made it work and the feast was off the chain. It was truly in the gracious spirit, and I still think about how wonderful it was that they all chose to travel and stuff themselves in just to share the holiday.

This year, my dad and his new wife are going bigger than big. They have invited his whole family, her whole family, all 4 of the kids and our respective families, my mom and her boyfriend, my mom's brother's family and they even extended the invite to my wife's family (who have plans of their own, but will probably stop by for cocktails). They have rented tables and chairs. They have coordinated in advance as much as they can. It will be a freaking packed house, and no doubt everyone will have to pitch in to curb the insanity of logistics, but my prediction: Turkeyday Touchdown. I can't wait.

Anyway, I hope that this post finds everyone happy and healthy this holiday. I'm feeling pretty grateful for my family and my life, and despite the struggles that I go through every day, I am truly a Thankful dude.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Huck big






Not enough snow on the mountain? No worries, it's always a great day for jumping off a building. At least when you're a "Ski Base Jumper" like Shane McConkey and friends. As part of a fundraiser for the Make A Wish Foundation that they appropriately dubbed "Jump of Joy", four extreme skiers geared up, rode the elevator to the top of the 39-story Silver Legacy building, strapped on their parachutes, and launched off of a large ski ramp. It was awesome. Sean and I hopped on the cycles and rolled downtown to check it out. Look closely enough in the picture, and you'll see JT Holmes tucking into a front flip pre-rip-cord-pull. Man, I wish I could get a free pass to launch off of the Legacy some day. I'm sure I'm not alone.







The event was a part of "Bobofest '07", and was followed up by a ski and snowboard festival that included the new Warren Miller filck, "Playground". There were a ton of Big Mountain Legends in the house, some of which were also on the screen. Big shout out to DLP who hooked me up with two passes to the movie. I'm not sure if Twelve Horses was a sponsor, or they just had some extra tix to throw my way, but it was much appreciated.



I ended up rolling down to the Downtown Events Center with my shortie to give him a taste of what is possible when he straps on the sticks for the first time in his life this year...well, he may not go as big as some of the crazies in the movie, but he's fired up to see what this skiing thing is all about.

I can't wait to turn him on to it all. Speaking of which...where is that snow?



Monday, November 12, 2007

Bike Out







I only have a minute to post before I head off to Vegas for ICSC/NAIOP Mixed Use Convention, but I wanted to give a shout out to the Reno Bike Project for a fun event that I look forward to participating in again next year. It's their annual "Bike Out", and there was a party and race at Record Street Caft on Saturday. Sean and I rode the cruiser up and soaked it in and kicked down a few $ for the Kawz. Bikes rule. 'Nuff said.

Shout out as well to Jerz and to DLP, who I met in the flesh at David's Twelve Horses sponsorship stop in the AlleyCat messenger race.



See you 'round the hood, dood.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

These squirrels gots some nuts



As one viewer of this video just commented: "How do these guys land without squishing their enormous balls?"

Indeed.

The Tournament, Dude


IMG_3224
Originally uploaded by daddyisaninja.
So my brother, Paddy, and I started this bowling tournament several years ago. It's turned into a pretty big deal, and it happens every year on the day after Thanksgiving.

If this picture is any indication, dressing up is one of the themes...and obviously "bowling attire" is interpreted in many ways.

I always welcome newcomers to the tournament, and encourage kids and families to round out the plethora of drunken idiots that live for this. I float between both camps.

The cost is $15 per person, and if you or someone you know would like to get involved, just shoot me an email. Unless you are a professional bowler, it may be the only chance you ever have to roll your balls down the glorified wood of the National Bowling Stadium. Believe you me: it's good wood.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Old Skool Basko

So we gathered up the inlaws and headed down to good ol' Louis Basque Corner last night to celbrate baymama's mama's birthday.
She didn't want any gifts this year, just her family around her and good food in her tummy. Word.


For the record I had the Sweetbreads. Yeah, that's right, thymus and pancreas. It was dee-lish.

I've commented before on how cool Loui's is, but I want to take it a step further. It's the old world charm of the place that really makes it special. I don't know too many other bars that don't mind a little man like mine bellying up to the bar (more like chinning up) to enjoy his ice-cream.


Rock on, Louis.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Face to Face


Thanks to my good friend Zack, for keeping his head on a swivel and catching this little ditty in the NBJ wherein Pops talks shop.

Friday, November 2, 2007

4

Four years ago today, I stared accross the hospital delivery room and locked eyes for the first time with my son Sean Patrick.



He is as beautiful to me today as he was way back in 2003 when he was staring peacefully from the warming table after a 32-hour labor and a quick pumping-out of the lungs. In fact, he's better looking. I'll also say this: he is the sweetest boy I know and his sensitivity is just fine with me. In fact, I'm quite proud of what a great big brother and classmate and friend he is turning out to be to those around him. He's unselfish, funny, always ready for adventure and I know that he will grow up to be a wonderful gentleman and treat others the way he would want to be treated.

Happy Birthday, baby boy.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Changing the face of 4th Street...

...one deal at a time.

I'm proud to say that I've finally done a deal with some of my favorite local personalities. I was fortunate to represent the crew from the Imperial Bar and Lounge, on their most recent transaction. As you can read here, they have just purchased 302 E. 4th Street (formerly the Reno Jazz Club across from Louis Basque Corner). They are in the planning stages of what to make of this old brick building, but you can bet that there will be a very cool bar included in the mix. If any group is capable of kicking ass on this project, it's this killer trio.



Cheer's to working with great people doing great things to help this town reach it's full potential.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Gone but not forgotten




Even when he knew that his condition was most likely terminal, his true character revealed itself:


Goulet was in good spirits as he waited for a lung transplant, even telling
doctors before they inserted a breathing tube, "Just watch my vocal cords," his
wife said.


He was 73.






Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Drop in

Maybe next time they re-pave Mt. Rose Highway I'll think about investing in the suit. I love that he has to check his speed for the tool on the motorcycle. And the music...well...perfect.



That just looks like a good time.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Please don't eat me


Please don't eat me
Originally uploaded by Zack Sheppard.
Ah, one of the true joys of being a new parent: letting your little one know that at any time, they can be put right back inside your belly. This method will be effective for at least 2 years.

[Z- Nice pic of Megan and Finnegan]

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Humbled

The thing about hunting Chukar in Nevada is the first time you hunt them for fun, and every time after that you hunt them for revenge. At least that's what "they" tell me. They are right about it this time, as I must now seek cold, sweet revenge on those damned birds. As cocky as my last post was in it's efforts to manifest a great weekend hunt, it was unsuccessful, and I have again been humbled by that wily bird. I had a great season last year (as did so many other Chukar hunters), but this year is clearly going to be rough, with very few birds and seasoned, wise ones that don't let you get too close.


Fortunately for my buddy, Kyle, my dog, Bodie kept us from coming home empty handed...sure he may be a lab who doesn't point the same way a shorthair can, but his nose always finds the birds when they're down. Kyle's a great hunter who had come up empty-handed two weeks in a row before finally getting his first 2 birds of the season on Sunday...so I don't feel SO bad.

But I'm still a little pissed about getting the old "Pepe-le-Pew" (skunked).


Friday, October 19, 2007

List

I don't know what to blog about today, so I think I'll make a list of things I need to do over the weekend, starting with when I get off of work. Think of it as like a forcast of what I would Twitter about all weekend if I actually did the Twitter thing.

- Go see Keith & Kristina's new baby, Zoe. Congratulations.
- Pick up munchkin's from mom's.
- Feed Bodie.
- Cocktail. Dinner.
- Bedtime for kids. Wife time or movie time...my money is on the movie, though.
- Wake up and small prep hike/run on ditch w/ the Bodhisahtva and Sean.
- Home, feed Bodie, honey-do's.
- Open up office for Vic and his indie-movie shoot homies.
- Shop vac and pipe insulation to rental house. Winterize.
- Confirm office not burned down and no porno being made. Lock office.
- Feed Bodie.
- Fam-time.
- Clean shotguns, load camelback, get bag ready, set coffeemaker.
- Try to sleep.
- Pre-dawn coffee, load jeep, pick up Kyle.
- Drive to Fallon secret spot.
- Locate and kill 6 chukar.
- High 5's.
- Back to Reno.
- Feed and congratulate Bodie for finding both triples...or all three doubles. Either way, I'm cool.
- Sunday night football with extended fam.
- Call it a weekend.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Hey Stupid


Thanks to the effervescent M. Ronhaar for turning me on to this post by my new hero, the blogger who writes "Hey Stupid". It's about American Gladiators dressing up for Halloween. It's even funnier than it sounds. Read it or suck.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Holding down the fort

Marissa took off to San Francisco on Friday to celebrate her oldest sister's 50th birthday with all the girls. While they were wining and dining in the City, the kids and I had our own special time together at home. It's not very often that I get one-on-one time like this (two-on-one in this case), where there are no distractions, no work, no other people besides me and my two little shorties. It was killer. We took a couple of bike rides, walked Bodie to the park where, despite the soccer games going on, we managed to find a nice big stretch of grass to throw the ball and run around. We watched movies, took naps, wrestled, and just hung out together. We basically did nothing special, and it was super special to be the only parent around to get hugs and kisses, change every diaper, make every bottle, clean up every mess, and make every meal (save for a McDonalds stop for lunch yesterday...it's been like 2 months since I've been, and it's a total treat for kids, so sue me, I ate fast food, okay!).









These two little rugrats are awesome.