Blowing Snow

Much to the amusement of some NSA snooper, the title of this post has nothing to do with doing a few lines on a mirror in the back room of the Area Nightclub in NYC in the mid 80′s.  I’m obviously way too young for having partied in that nightclub, but I’m certain it was fulfilled nights.

Anyway, back to the actual point of this story, which does not involve massive amounts of coke, while Tony Montana shouts “say ‘hello to my little friend!

snow tunnel

Commuter Tunnel

As a matter of fact, this post involves large quantities of snow that suddenly got dropped on the North East of the US recently, which shouldn’t really surprise many people given we are in the middle of the winter.

I think what shocked people the most was the amount of snow we received during the last 4-6 weeks.  As much as one foot dropped over night one weekend alone.

Imagine how we felt, being half Irish, when the most snow we’ve seen in the past decade (before moving to the US) was about an inch, and then entire country shut down.  At first the snow was wonderful and had a fairy tale feel to it.  Once a thick layer of snow had covered the area, it muffled all sounds.  I felt like running into the snow-covered landscape in my bathing rope, twirling while singing “Let it go!”.  Dropping into the snow making snow angels and build a snow fortress.  All the stuff any grown man was longing to do – right?!

Alarm bells should’ve gone off when we bought the house some months ago, and the owner proudly said he was leaving the industrial sized snowblower with the house.  He was moving to Florida and had absolutely no use for it.  We have an amazing long driveway, just short of 332 feet, times two as we actually have two roads leading to the house.

I was excited about the possibility that I would be operating my very own snow blower and got dressed for battling the snow; the day after we received the foot of snow.  The beast jumped into life and I slowly started the caterpillar tracks and blower.  It was super hungry and spewed snow well into the forest, clearing the driveway.  Let me tell you, it still takes a long time to clear a 320+ feet driveway.  And, despite having a monster snow blower, it is still a lot of hard work.  Sweat was running down my forehead, turning into ice crystals and I had icecaps forming in my beard.  Damn you Queen Elsa!

2 hours later, 4 lbs lighter and sweat soaked, the job was completed.  Like any man and husband, I turned around, placed my hands on my hips and looked proudly down my 320+ feet cleared driveway.  Awesome!  Kudos to me and my machine.  Surely my wife would be equally proud.

…then it started to snow again!

This whole “Frozen‘ obsession has to stop.  Even the weather Gods are joining this strange trend and have covered Boston in a new ice age.  When will this madness end?

frozen-car

No parking!

Hope you are staying warm!

I’m preparing for another snowmaggedon in late February, and early March, as Phil the fecking Groundhog had predicted another six weeks of ‘Day After Tomorrow‘ syndrome.  It still baffles me to think that we rely on a groundhog to predict winter these days, but given the recent Y2K of weather mis-predictions, it’s probably a safer bet.

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Smooth Criminal – Elco style

Being the proud owner of a power beast, Chevy El Camino ’82  is an awesome experience.  You have a true muscle car hidden in the shell of a pick-up truck wannabe chassis.  People who sees you driving this beast might roll their eyes, smirk at the ugliness, and even question its existence.

Little do they know that under the hood, which is spacious enough to hide a full-grown body, sits an awesome V8 5l 305 power engine, generating about 150 horsepower.  Enough to challenge most cars anywhere … except if the roads are a little wet as that causes unnecessary wheel spins :-)  Granted fuel consumption is rather ridiculous, with about 10-12 mpg and a 12 gallon tank.  So, for commuting 20 miles each way it’s not an ideal vehicle, but I love it.

I use this beast to bring the kids to school every morning.  They are a little intimidated by the sound of the engine, perhaps a little embarrassed too, but largely accept their mode of transportation.

If you’ve seen ‘Uncle Buck’ then you would remember his old banger, and the amount of exhaust fumes it generated.  Well most V8 engines does produce larger amount of smoke, so when I pull in at the local elementary school to drop kids off most people cover their noses.  Not cool when the car in front of me is the Tesla car which doesn’t even have an exhaust.

The other morning when driving down the local country road, the local sheriff obviously wanted to check out my wheels.  I had barely passed the spot where he was parked, when he floored his cruiser and came in behind me.  He turned on the Christmas lights and pointed at me to pull over.

It was my first time to get pulled over by the cops, since I was pulled over for suspected car theft 20 years ago.  Just because I had long hair didn’t mean I stole the nice car I was driving!  However, it wasn’t my first encounter with the law – I’m a rebel and you know it!

Having just moved to another state, my license plates were brand new, vehicle registration and inspection stickers temporary and my license was also a print-out.  Something tells me the trooper was not impressed with the pieces of paper I shared with him.  He looked down on the paper pile and then back at me, then at the kids.

“I assume the kids have seat belts on?”

“Of course officer, I’m a responsible parent!  I might drive a shitty old banger, but safety comes first”.

He went back to his cruiser, obviously to triple check my criminal past and to see if my car had been part in a drive by at some point.  Everything came back all clear.  Then he handed me my papers back and told me I was clear to go.

Just because Sheriff Lyle ‘Cottonmouth’ Wallace had pulled me over, on a school run morning, he had now screwed up my tight schedule.  I kicked the V8 engine into drive and left the cop surrounded in a vail of smoke while I jolted down the country road towards the school.

Good thing is, I didn’t get a ticket – just a friendly nod from the local sheriff :-)

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T-Virus Is Real

T-Virus

T-Virus

I have been rather rattled by the recent debates and discussions, and at times accusations, when it comes to giving vaccines to our kids.  Giving them to my kids whom I love and cherish.

Some scientists claim that we need to vaccinate our kids from an early age, and we blindly listen to them without questioning what poison they inject into these fragile bodies.

Political groups accuses parents of putting our existence into question and also claim that none of these multi- vaccines have caused long-term impacts.  Why is there an increase in mental illnesses like autism?

I’m not an advocate for autism, but do question why we’ve seen such an increase in last few years.  And I do not believe it’s to do better screening.  Here’s a little video for the conspiracy theorists :-)

Poison is perhaps the wrong term, but nevertheless, we inject toxics into their bodies hoping they will be protected against common and now more uncommon infections.  It’s the beginning  of World War Z!

I have long proclaimed that vaccinating kids unnecessarily will only cause four things;

  1. Kids get an overload of viruses injected which could have long-term impact on their bodies and mental states.  We do not have the long-term evidence to show that it is not dangerous.
  2. Multi-function vaccines contain chemicals, viruses and liquids is a toxic cocktail.  The combinations have side effects.
  3. Viruses will mutate and grow stronger, leaving humanity with less chance of winning
  4. It’s all just a conspiracy and we are all doomed :-)

It’s important to understand that I fully support getting my kids vaccinated, but I also want to know what’s being injected into my kids, and have the right to object or request single (individual) shots instead of multi-vaccines.

When I grew up I had perhaps a handful of vaccines measles, rubella, mumps, polio and smallpox … and perhaps one or two mode.  But that was it, and I survived my childhood just fine.  And so did all the Western World parents who are giving out about other parents objecting to multi vaccines.

We have to stop, assess our objectives and then determine the best vaccines for our kids.

Look at the impact of the flu vaccine.  The flu virus have gotten much stronger in the past few years, mutating and leaving the vaccine useless.  Perhaps not useless, as some people will benefit from a vaccine if they have a weak immune system.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the vaccines our kids get these days, at a very young age.

  • Cervical Cancer; spread through sexual contact … but their genitals are not even evolved at this stage
  • Hepatitis; share needles, unprotected sex, multiple sex partners, alcoholic, which again is unlikely at this young age
    • of course if you travel to or live in areas with poor sanitation, then yes
  • Pneumococcal; the PPSV vaccine cannot be used for the part of the population that is most vulnerable to the disease, i.e. kids, so they just made another version (or just other name) called PCV
  • Pertussis; aka Whooping Cough – granted, we do not want our kids to get this infection, but perhaps we could give them the cure when/if they do contract Whooping Cough?
  • Flu;  let’s be honest, it’s a pain to get the flu, and if you have a really weak immune system it can be very serious, but there’s no need to force this vaccine upon kids

The rest of the long list of vaccines our kids get are ok I assume, but I do not support the use of multi-vaccines.  We simply do not know the long-term side effects of these.

autismWhy did we “invent” multi-vaccines?  My take on it is that we (people in general) could not be bothered going to the doctor many times throughout the first years of our kids’ life, and demanded shorter visits and fewer shots.  That means we are to blame for the viruses getting stronger, our bodies weaker and new chronic illnesses arises – and not to mention the rapid increase of autism in the past decade.

The conspiracist in me would claim that the medical and pharmaceutical industries control this very closely.  They are on cahoots together.  Insurance companies demand these vaccines and pharmaceuticals provides them at high cost.  Perhaps even making the single shot vaccines so expensive it doesn’t make sense for parents.

We need to go back to basics.  Only inject the critical vaccines into our kids, one-by-one, and then strengthen them as they grow.  This includes more visits to the local doctor as kids get older and perhaps get more active with travelling and (God forbid as a parent) when they get sexual active.

When I read articles the news where people comment or proclaim that parents who ask questions about the vaccines are not idiots, then I get slightly annoyed.  We are asking these questions for the safety of our children.  The concerns raised is not necessarily about the vaccine itself, but the fact that the modern vaccines combines multiple vaccine shots into fewer shots – and several of these vaccines the kids don’t need at such an early stage in their lives.

My comment back to these parents are “do you not care for your kids and do you simply fill their bodies with any kind of junk?  Then you might as well allow them to inject drugs!”

It’s time we stand together and determine what’s best for our kids as parents.  We need to get vaccinated against the common diseases and prevent spread of viruses.  The answer is not multi-vaccines, but single vaccines.

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Throwing Copper

liveEd Kowalczyk has come a long way in the past 20 years.  Almost full circle from an artist’s prospect.  He started out in York, PA, and probably played small venues, but suddenly he was standing in front of sold out stadium tours.  Now he’s back doing what I think he’s awesome at; playing small intimate gigs in front of true fans, celebrating his music and dedication to his fans.  He has even grown a beard :-)

When I bought my favourite album 20 years ago I did not expect to one day sit in the same room as Big Ed, listening to all 14 tracks in acoustic version.

Throwing Copper celebrated 20 years in 2014 and Ed K went on a long tour to promote it, and at the same time bring a generation together who really appreciates his music.

First time I had the privilege of seeing Live was when they performed at the awesome festival in Denmark, Roskilde Festival, in 1995, where they entertained approx. 50,000 people on the main (orange) stage, mostly drunk and drug dazed young people with at times questionable intentions.  I was too in a somewhat haze probably due to lack of sleep, too much music, beer and partying, but it was such a great evening I shared with my friends.  The weather was awesome, or so I believe, and the music was flowing through the hot summer evening … perfect atmosphere.

Fast forward 20 years and my Throwing Copper experience has come full circle too.  I got tickets to see him 13 February in the City Winery, New York, with my wonderful wife on our Valentine’s date.

The audience was all the same age group so I can only assume that many of these people have been following Ed for a few decades.  When 98% of them started to sing along to the songs, my suspicions were confirmed.  It was the acoustic version, as I mentioned further up, and each track was played with such emotions and tenderness that almost made it unreal.  He had synchronised his performance with a guy playing various instruments to the tracks, and was joined by a younger artist playing a selection of guitars, incl. a piece that looked like an electric ukulele.

The tickets I had bought months ago were meet ‘n greet, which too me was the ultimate fan experience although I had no idea what I would do or say when I met him.  Knowing me, I would say something completely weird, giggle awkwardly or just hug him spontaneously.  Unfortunately, or perhaps thankfully for him, we got stuck in traffic going into the City and never made it to the meeting.  Perhaps next time!

I have to admit, I almost lost my cool and was ready to tear up the Shit Towne, as the waitress claimed that my ticket was only for meet ‘n greet.  But, she would happily sell me tickets for the gig to which I shared some of my Irish proverbs and communicated fairly honestly.  I was really selling the drama, but it was defused when the manager came to offer us seats at no extra cost.  Honestly, I had no idea that I would have to buy meet ‘n greet as well as regular tickets.  It just doesn’t seem logical.  Why buy two tickets?

And, if they had checked the guest list for the meet ‘n greet they would’ve noticed we did not show up as we got stuck in famous NYC rush hour traffic!!

Anyway, and the most important thing, I got to listen to Ed Kowalczyk with my beautiful wife, celebrating Valentine’s Day and in the company of beautiful people.

Thanks Ed.  I seriously hope that I will get to meet you one day, shake your hand and share my appreciation for the joys your music has brought to my life.

I love life and everything in it, I just like songs about the end of the World” – Ed Kowalczyk, City Winery February 2015.

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Broken Bones

The day had unfolded like so many school days.  The evening rituals were dictated by the homework, folding clothes and of course the family dinner.  Just a normal midweek evening, in a normal family setting.

Kids were busy arguing about which colour the dog’s collar was, and from what I overheard, they were discussing the shades of pink.  My son was sitting between the girls and as the discussion got more heated he anxiously starred at me as if asking to either step in or help him.  I opted for the latter much to his relief, and I sensed a strange man-hug forming between us – an awkward fast paced wrapping of arms and then a gentle pad on the back.

My lovely wife had recently started to attend a women club at the local church, meeting up with women from our parish, hanging out with Father Ted and chatting with the man upstairs.  All-in-all a very innocent evening with friends.

It had been raining a fair bit and my wife decided to wear her awesome cowgirl boots, while driving her oversized SUV.  The next few paragraphs are hearsay, so would not stand up in court as the actual event, but it’s based on an expert witness testimony (my wife’s).

She had been gone for less then 45 minutes, when she suddenly stumbled in through the front door.  At first I thought she was completely hammered, after dipping too many times into the alter wine, and that she had broken several traffic laws on her way home.  I was certain the house would be surrounded by a SWAT team and media crews pulling into our driveway.

BUT, from the tears that were rolling down her chin I figured it was something else.  I’m rather clever at times!  It’s a 15th sense I have.

With the tears rolling down, she collapsed on the sofa and asked me to remove her awesome cowgirl boot from her left foot.  She had slipped at church and felt her ankle snap.  As soon as the boot was removed her ankle doubled in size.  I know it was a classic schoolboy error to remove the pressure and support provided by the boot, but I could not face that a 22 year old doctor would cut into the goat skin shitkickers.

It was pretty clear that this injury would not be healed with a simple ice pack, so I rushed over to the neighbours, persuaded them to baby sit the kids for a few hours while I headed to ER / A&E … whatever it’s called these days.  Perhaps money milking machine is more appropriate?!

As she was sitting in the wheel chair waiting for the 19 year old nurse, I suddenly realised that she was like Kim Jong-Un – short, black hair and a bad ankle.  No offence to the North Korean leader of course.  And my wife had fantastic sparkling pink nail polish on her toes – looking awesome for any occasion.

We spent the next 2 hours in the local ER, with my wife eating drugs and I taking selfies.  The doctors were somewhat surprised by our reaction, especially when I gave the doctor high-five while proclaiming this was the first broken bone in the family history.  It was a new event on the Facebook timeline and I of course had to check-in as well as post cool selfies on Instagram.

I guess dancing was out of the question for the next weeks.  She had to wear a not-so-sexy supportive boot, and apply little pressure while the ankle was healing.

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Belated Happy New Year

word cloud for year 2015

Godt Nytår til alle i det Danske land og til dem som bor uden for vores smukke land!

It has literally been 3 months since I last posted, and for that I’m truly sorry.  There has just been so many things happening in our lives that left me with no time to dedicate to posting updates.  I’ll obviously attempt to fill you all in, and will start posting from today onwards.

I’m certain you had a wonderful Christmas break and that you entered 2015 full of energy, ready to tackle the challenges ahead of us all.  We have so much to accomplish and so much energy.

It’ll be an amazing year and you are awesome!

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Bloody Diary

bloody-diary1I’m just a jealous guy, and I just can’t help it.  Despite having been very happily married for 13 years now, with thousands of fantastic memories, I can still get overly jealous.  I love the fact that I have a gorgeous wife, and love that other men smile at her, but they need to keep their distance :-)

Throughout all we’ve been through, there are still some boundaries that I have not crossed. I respect her privacy when it comes to her diary, but not when she’s sitting on the toilet or taking a shower.  There’s something magical about seeing my wife half-naked that makes me smile like a little boy – proud to have this awesome woman by my side.

Unfortunately I overstepped a magical boundary by mistake the other day, as I was packing books into moving boxes.  An old dusty book, hidden behind boring college books, dropped down and landed on my foot, and some pages fell out.  I initially cursed like a sailor, then picked up the fallen book and glanced at the handwritten text.  It was my wife’s old diary and I had just read a paragraph about her past … well, it was about an old boyfriend.

If Cecelia Ahern had written a gore version of PS I Love You, I think it would’ve been called Diary of a Serial Killer, and I would happily take the lead role.  Listen, if my wife was taken away from me, and had left me her diary to retrace her life, then I would’ve taken the opportunity to erase any past boyfriend she might have had.

Of course, this is not an official threat, but I don’t want to hear or know about her past admirers.  It’s totally in the past and should be buried.  Again, not literally, in case any past boyfriend reads this post.

There’s only me me me and me.  And before me she attended a convent and sang in the hills of Southern Wales, among Stonehenge and sheep.  I’m not possessive, am I?

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Big White House

bearhouseOMG!  Buying a house is so time-consuming, stressful and there are so many things we need to consider.  And, it has not become easier despite the economy has improved over the past 4 years – on the contrary.  We receive daily mortgage offers by email and snail-mail, not to mention phone calls from eager sales people selling mortgages.

The majority of real estate agents are willing to sell anything, work long hours to sell you the next family homestead, and most likely sell themselves too.  They have automated email listings based on our wishes, but most of the houses we’ve seen on these lists are nowhere near what we are looking for.

We must’ve visited 20-30 houses in the past few months, just to see what’s available on the market, and then prepare ourselves for the giant leap forward and become house owners again.  It beats paying high rent and paying off someone else’s mortgage.

Realtor US term - Real Estate Agent EU term

Trulia and Zillow have played a huge role in our house hunting adventures.  And no, we are not getting money for the house, or some other prizes, but it’s a fact.  Those two sites are great at showing you houses that you need, and then share the list with your realtor.  Your realtor hates when you do this, as they don’t have to do much work and you know more about the house you are interested in than they do.  And because it’s a huge investment, at least for 99% of us, the potential buyer’s read up on their prospects.

Once you finally find the house, you have to go through some “basic” paper signing exercises with your realtor.  This is just the beginning our your autographing skills.

Anyway, we have started this journey now, since our landlord has decided to sell the house we are renting, leaving us few options to continue to rent.  I guess it’s fate that has kicked off this process; we want to own and he wants to sell.  Unfortunately our budget is nowhere near his asking price, so we have to shop around.

Our youngest daughter has stated that we will be living in a big white house soon.  Not sure how that will work out, since non-nationals cannot vote or run for presidency … one day that might change and our kids will end up having top jobs, perhaps even president.

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Zombie Killer

zombie-slayerAs taking out of the awesome TV series “Walking Dead” my 4-year-old daughter walks around in the house with her Nerf bow over her back, ready to fight off intruders and other evil things that might appear in her sight.  She is just as skill full with her bow as the Walking Dead character Daryl.

She does have a motor cycle (battery driven) a flower-power vest, a cool bow and overconfident attitude as she strolls through the house aiming her bow at anything considers moving.

The other day I decided to ask her what she was fighting, to which she calmly answered “Zombies, dad!”.  I’m not a doom days prepare, but it is an important skill to know how to take down zombies, as with all the recent World epidemics and flu vaccine side effects, we (humans) will soon be responsible for a real zombie infection.  You can easily say I’m a loony, but I’m proud that my daughter is taking up this admirable trade.

I continued exploring my daughters hobby, and asked her where she played this zombie hunter game.  I should’ve known the answer, as it was pretty obvious.  She rolled her eyes and uttered “in school dad! With my hunter friends!”.  Not too sure how to react to that.

She continued “and some of the guys are vampire hunters, but I don’t really like vampires. They have bad teeth and hiss”.  Well, now I know what games they play in school, in pre-K, so I’m expecting a call from her teacher and principal any day now.

My only concern at the moment is that she aims her bow at people, which is a safety concern.  I’ve decided to teach her how to properly hold her weapon and how to aim … and not to aim at people only zombies.

zom,bie killerWhile sitting on my son’s bed, getting the kids ready for bed, my daughter suddenly aimed her bow at me and shouted “duck!”.  I was terrified and crashed to the floor in foetal position, while she let out a war scream and killed a zombie that apparently was right be hind me.  I was “saved” by 4-year-old daughter.

Perhaps we need to look at increasing her arsenal of weapons, just like “Supernatural” boys, with a large trunk of weird weapons for any occasion?

Happy (and safe) hunting my dear!
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Flight of Gordita

It was the time of the year where I had to be mindful of my lovely wife, as she turns another leaf in her yearbook and one step closer to the menopauses.  You never know when it hits, so better be prepared, and I decided to take my lovely gordita out on another date night, celebrating her past year as a mother and awesome wife.

What better way than a romantic dinner and a concert with a band she loves?

I secretively bought tickets some months ago to see ‘The Black Keys‘ at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, and judging by their recent album it would be a great night of high hitting notes, rough guitar games and retro piano solos.

Due to the fact that I dislike public transportation, especially as I own a car, we jumped into the family wagon and headed towards Brooklyn.  It was a Wednesday evening, so how busy could it be?

There’s a reason New York is branded the city that never sleeps, because it really doesn’t.  No mater what time you attempt to cross one of the many bridges or tunnels into NYC, from New Jersey, you can be sure to hit some weird gridlock.  Access roads go from 4-5 lanes into 2 narrow tunnel lanes, a delivery truck blocks half the road on Broadway, yellow cabs pick up or drop off passengers in intersections and huge luxury cars change lanes as if they were at the local race track.

Despite leaving 2 hours before the gig started, or rather doors opened, we ended up spending 1hr 45min in the car.  I love spending time with the missus, but not stuck in traffic trying to impress her with a lovely dinner at a little Mexican place in Brooklyn.

We skipped mamasita’s joint and walked towards the amazing Barclays Center, where I invited her on “awesome” chicken fingers ‘n fries, while sharing a diluted coke.  Another romantic dinner on date night – just like when I saw Idina’s butt!

I don’t want to be labelled cheap, but the tickets for the gig were in the upper levels.  We are not young any more, we don’t dance publicly and we like to enjoy music while sitting down, so why not sit on the balcony.  Unfortunately age has introduced my wife with a phobia … fear of heights.

Our seats were by the edge of the balcony, perfect view of the stage, but also perfect view of the 40ft drop.  And, the stairs down to our row made my wife gasp for air, while letting out small peeps – much to the amusement of our fellow music lovers.  As we planted our small butts in the seats, she gripped my arm and neck tightly, and closed her eyes tightly.  She remained in that position for the first 20 minutes of the concert!

She slowly built up her courage and started to open her eyes.  I actually thought she had fallen asleep so got a little fright as she was suddenly sitting up starring at the band, and tapping along to the cool rhythms of ‘The Black Keys‘.

It was an awesome concert and the band filled the arena with their awesome rhythms, all while the audience clapped and sang.

We left as the band finished up, or at least started our ascend of the stairs.  I had to consider that I might had to carry her up the stairs or her moving up one step at a time on her butt – which would take some time.

blackkeys

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