Fabio has nothing on me when it comes to Valentine’s day.
I’ve been doing lots of R&D on the most ideal Valentine day gift which I would like to share. Here are the boundary conditions that must be met in order for the gift to be considered ideal.
- Shiny is good
- Smells good
- Tastes good
- Feels good
- Have good recycled value once the event is over
- Under $50
This is a pretty good check list because it applies to most of the classic gifts that exchanges hands during Valentine’s day. Let’s think about the two classic choices, chocolate & roses.
Chocolate accomplishes items 2, 3, 4, &6 really well. It barely passes condition#1 with its shiny laminated box, but it is a complete failure when it comes to accomplishing item #5. Unless you are into natural fertilizer for your herb garden or into methane powered microprocessor robots, it turns into a complete waste once you are done with it.
Dozen roses, or flowers, are good too, it accomplishes items 2, 3, 4, & 6, but it falls short with the other two qualifiers. It’s not shiny, but it does edge out Chocolate on item #5. I think these stay alive for several days longer than it takes for a box of chocolates to be fully consumed and digested.
So the big question is this, IS THERE A PERFECT GIFT that nails ALL the conditions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, & 6? I think I may have found it…a silver bullion/coin is the perfect valentine gift; a full 1oz silver American eagle coin is the answer. Let’s review,
It is very shiny…check
Pure silver smells pretty good…check
Pure silver tastes pretty good and possibly good for your health, too. You can also take advantage of silver’s anti bacteria property by leaving the silver coin in your favorite drinking cup…check
Feels good: come on, who doesn’t feel good holding a giant silver coin…check
Have good recycled value: I think I read somewhere silver has gained over 600% in the last 20years. Plus it can be handed down to your kids/grandkids.
Under $50: it’s at $37.87, YAY!
I’m heading over to a pawn shop to pickup the perfect Valentine gift, how about you?
Happy Valentine’s day everybody 🙂
As I’m sitting down to write my thoughts down on my two little toddlers, I can’t help but to get choked up and get caught up with regrets. I miss my two infant boys, terribly. All the times I was upset at them, or all the time I pushed them to be more independent and to leave me alone, I wish I could have just slowed it down and accepted it all. I wish I could have taken more naps with them while gently cradling their soft baby skin, but instead I was on the computer. Regret over all those pictures taken with a camera phone, because I was too lazy to grab a real camera. Countless opportunities to see them in a little song and dance performances, but I was out having lunch with clients and co-workers. I can’t redo any of these things because kids are older. I now realize, we are at a closing of a chapter where my two little toddlers are no longer toddlers, they are boys. This is an irreversible milestone; there is nothing I can do to relive the previous pages of their lives, and it hurts. Thomas & friends represent everything I miss about my two babies.
‘Thomas and friends’ go beyond rank of toys, it takes on a rank as a family or a friend. I was really disappointed when, for the first time, my boys didn’t want any Thomas&friends item for Christmas…It was sad because they are not babies anymore, and I’m not mentally ready to let it go yet. Out of all the things I’ve done with the boys, T&F(Thomas & Friends) has the most amount of hours logged, with some of the best memories. Only daddy is able to build the ‘Big Big Bridge’ like nobody else can. Only daddy can build the awesome cool ramps that make trains fly with paper wings taped on its back. These toys have given me so much and I am not going to let these friends to die off like this, I need to send these little choo-choos off with a very honorable discharge, with a medal of honor if you will.
Pic#1 is the first train we ever purchased; it’s what I secretly carry in my work bag. My wife and kids think I threw this in the trash along with bunch of other toys, because I was upset over their toys being all-over the living room. Most of their first set of trains are in terrible condition because they do get smashed quite often. I wanted to salvage little Thomas to serve as a compressed memory of their babyhood. Every time I hold this toy in my hand, I get flooded with baby memories. I’ve shed some tears just thinking back to when they were so tiny and just babbling. I reminisce about their struggle during tummy time or when they took their very first step. I think about the moment when my oldest made his journey from my hands to the nearest sofa. He was happy as a clam, squealing and laughing while pounding the sofa seat, all in the little yellow striped onesie outfit w/ big diaper bottom. All these wonderful memories captured inside a little beat-up train toy…
Pic #2 is a picture of my boys’ 1st starter underwear when they graduated from pull-ups. My oldest boy had it first, and then it was handed down to the wee-bear who is now 4.5yr old. My wife and I can’t stop laughing when the wee bear runs around with this battered undie on, with all its tears and holes. We call him the ‘Incredible Wee Hulk’ because that’s what happens to Bruce Banner’s clothing when he turns into the Hulk. This undie is finally getting retired this year because it is one cycle away from losing its functionality per outlined in this write-up.
‘Can underwear outlast a marriage?‘
Sadly this will go in my treasure box that consist of their first beige colored baseball cap with little bear ears, and their first pair of shoes (size of my thumb!) Gosh they were so cute wearing that stuff. I’m proud of my boys because they are following my footstep of appreciating everything, recycling, and using items until it’s beyond repair, like their paper thin undies.
Here is a list of all my favorite Thomas & Friends characters and what they accomplished for me:
***Warning: List may contain possible adult language***
- Thomas ‘the cheeky one’: He is the little engine that could. There is a lot to like about this guy because he is little, compassionate, follows orders, and loves helping friends out. If there is a perfect role model outside of mommy and daddy, it’s definitely this little #1 engine.
- Gordon ‘rumbles down the line’: Big powerful steam engine with pretty big ego. He is a great character for my kids to imagine what it would be like to be bigger but also teaches them it’s not nice to walk around with big ego.
- Lady: She is the only female train character we have. As you can tell from the first picture, my boys are extremely rough with their toys. Lady was brought in to establish some order and calmness with their play style. I SPECIFICALLY told them to be gentle with Lady, because it is a girl. Needless to say, it’s the only T&F toy that is in excellent condition with all her colors.
- Spencer: He is fast, shiny, looks cool, but is very arrogant. He is another one that served its purpose by teaching my boys to separate out the good and the bad. Appreciating someone’s beauty and power is good, but arrogance is bad. Concept of arrogance is very difficult to teach, but having Spencer around was a great help. Thanks Spencer.
- Percy ‘pulls the mail on time’: my my my…I wanted to save the baddest little engine for last. This little green character sent me in a full panic mode! Normally he is meek, gentle, and is Thomas’ best friend. He truly teaches how one friend should treat another. Here is a little story on how I got acquainted with little Percy. I came home from work and I asked my little wee-bear, “What do you want on your birthday?” To that he replied, “I want pu-cy for my birthday”. Now with more seriousness I asked again, to which he replied with, “I want pu-cy for my birthday”. I panicked because this is the kind of stuff that lands deadbeat dad in jail! I called for emergency meeting with my wife and told her this had to get resolved ASAP! I didn’t care for her explanation about the “r difficulty” and a toy character named ‘Percy’; I wasn’t going to jail over this. We practiced countless hours with the letter “r”.
I look at my boys now and can’t believe how big and independent they have become. They inflict a lot of damage when they jump into our bed now. There is nothing scarier in the morning than opening your eyes to a wild toddler, airborne and barely missing the family jewel upon landing. I’ll yell at them, I’ll scold them, but I know with 100% certainty that I will miss these morning attacks. When they were babies, all I wanted was for them to grow up quickly so they would be more independent. Now that they are independent, I want my babies back. What is going on? I miss them terribly. I know you can argue that I can still do these things with them, but it’s not the same.
I don’t usually have morbid thoughts, but with all the tragic deaths in the news and worrying about my wife and two kids, it’s hard not to. If I get into a fatal car accident tomorrow, or some lunatic fires a fatal blow, I plan on using the last remaining breath to hold the Thomas train(picture #1) with my right hand and place my left hand, with the wedding band touching little Thomas, close against my heart. I can’t think of a better way to make the best of the given situation than that. I would be at peace…
This music video sums up everything and I think it’s the perfect music to close the chapter on a group of very special friends, Thomas and friends. They will all be missed and will always have a spot in this dad’s heart. Here is Thomas & Friends with Josh Groban:
So I’ve been away from blogging world for almost 3months now. No need to discuss what I was up to, but this blog needs to happen ASAP, because it’s eating me up.
My wife is a tri athlete and we are both middle aged. Problem is it takes enormous amount of work to keep the body she has and actually lot more work because she is a middle aged woman. I try to be as understanding as possible but it is freakin hard when I rarely see her sometimes and I have to take care of the kids and take care of the house, on top of everything else I gotta take care of while she is doing her thing. On this particular day I was really annoyed because it was months from her first triathlon event and she was training every freakin day! I was so pissed because I was so f’in tired as hell and first thing she does is leave when I come home. I don’t see her till the next morning because she practically lives in the gym/pool.
When a man gets tired and upset beyond his max limit, he is destined to do something really dumb. I mistakenly made series of mistake that caused great remorse…all over one little bad decision I made. This day started with same ol same ol. I come home, she says goodbye, I feed the kids, bath them, and I put them down to sleep. I think this evening was quieter than other evenings and maybe I had little more difficult time at the office than other days. I didn’t eat dinner so I was hungry, but didn’t have appetite for anything. As I’m moping around on the couch thinking how shitty my life was, I ended up reaching for the phone. I called our babysitter to come over ASAP. I went upstairs to shower groom and put on something nice for the evening. At this point I was committed to going through with what I planned.
The babysitter arrived at the door, I let her in and I told her that kids are asleep so it shouldn’t be too bad. I told her I had somewhere to go and that I should be back in about 2hours. I got in the car and I drove straight to Ruth Chris steakhouse and dined by myself.
I later got home and I really prayed(knelt down), for improvement and wishing my wife wasn’t so into fitness and health. This was a prayer I would later regret because it was done 3days before the 1st triathlon event of the year.
The very next day was our coed volleyball game. We ran a routine play where I’m setting from the back row and my wife was switching from middle to outside hitter position. Nobody can explain what happened during that moment. My wife just stood in the middle while everybody else was shifting around for the offensive setup. Nobody touched her but somehow she just spun around and BADLY tore her right ankle. I knew this was serious because she couldn’t get up and she was in tears. She went to see the doctor and was devastated to learn that she wouldn’t be able to walk for a very long time; she will miss her 1st triathlon of the year. The doctor and I also knew she was probably finished for rest of the year. If you’ve ever had your impossible prayer answered, you know what I was feeling, I was in shock. I felt so much guilt at this point as you can imagine, I couldn’t believe what just happened.
My wife does not know what I prayed about the night before her accident. I would see my wife in crutches and ankle support and I just felt terrible. I thought one way I can mitigate the situation was to make her feel comfortable and happy as possible. Some of her favorite comfort snacks are Lindt chocolates and potato chips. I went out and purchased enough chips and Lindt chocolates to last a whole year….so I thought. My wife was putting away a whole package of Lindt chocolates every other day! In two months she put on about 15pounds and I can visually see that she has gotten softer and larger. I then realized if I keep this up my wife may completely give up on fitness. I was having all sorts of selfish and evil thoughts. What if she puts on additional 50 pounds and she completely gives up on fitness, wouldn’t my life be sooooo much better? I loved having my wife home and having a full house. House looked clean, smelled clean, and it felt like a real family.
To be continued in part 2
Here is a quick summary paragraph if you don’t care about all the details. This blog is about how I ended up purchasing a super discounted lab grade microscope because a blogger reminded me how badly I wanted to watch Caddyshack (popular 80s movie).
My incident with sale sites such as Ebay and Amazon is legendary, when my wife is out of town. Those that follow my blog probably know about my 1973 Swedish military truck purchase and the carbon fiber wheelset purchase. Yesterday started out innocent enough. My wife is out of town and I’m out of town with my 2 boys, for a nice quiet weekend getaway. Earlier in the week, I started having conversation over some 80’s movies. It’s really hard to stop an 80’s discussion when it was such a nostalgic period for me. Long story short, the conversation concluded with an urgency and a burning need to watch Caddyshack, ASAP.
My quest started with my local RedBox movie rental box on the way to the vacation…unfortunately, Caddyshack was not available.
I also checked the local grocery store near the hotel. Luckily, they were having a big sale on all the old DVD movies! But, unfortunately, no Caddyshack showed up even after about 45minutes of probing and flipping through bottomless pit of old unwanted DVDs. By then my two little boys were pissed at me for wasting their pool time…lol. No biggie, I can always sign up for Hulu or Netflix and watch it when kids go down for bed…so I thought.
Kids had a wonderful pool time, fried chicken dinner, and ice-creamy (that what they call a good tasting ice cream). Woo hoo, they went to bed and it was my time to fly!
I rush to get the laptop and my headset, lunge into my comfy bed, and I start putting all the pillows together to build a man-throne, I was set!
hurry…quickly…hulu+[cntrl & enter]…sign up for membership…search Caddyshack. Damn! They only had trailers of the movie!
hurry…quickly…netflix+[cntrl & enter]…sign up for membership…search Caddyshack. Double damn!! Bunch of golf swing videos and no Caddyshack the movie!
On to Bing search for ‘watch Caddyshack movie’. Among all the questionable sites and torrents, I see a one result that was simply heavenly. Amazon.com came up, I clicked on it, and sure enough they have streaming service, too! Lucky me I am already a long time Amazon member, and $2.99 for 48hour streaming rental was very reasonable.
Everything was all downhill after that. Time was 10:30pm and I figure I’ll just peruse through their deal page for few minutes.
Folks let me tell you about the deal they had on Amazon…it was a $1200 microscope that was on sale at over 80% off! I had a few thoughts,
- I didn’t know a microscope was so expensive
- I bet it will be fun to see what is in my drinking water
- I better buy it before it sells out
Followed by reasoning phase,
- Why do I need a professional level microscope when a professional level water analysis is only $20?
- It’s huge and weights over 10lbs, where can I put it?
- What would the wife say when she finds out?
And lastly, the justification phase,
- I need it because it can do more than just look at drinking water. Maybe I can find a cure for certain blood disorder, or at least look at a fish tail when it gets ich disease.
- Well…we do have the dining room that never gets used. I can probably put it on the corner of the table and nobody would even know it’s there.
- Maybe she’ll be proud I’m making positive progress buying things on Amazon and Ebay. It’s probably better than the old 1973 Swedish military vehicle and all the carbon fiber goodies for my bicycle. Microscope is educational and maybe it will encourage our boys to become a brain surgeon or a neuro-scientist, because their daddy took the heat for the microscope and stood up for their future! [insert ‘U.S.A…U.S.A’ chant here]
It was about 12am by the time the microscope was in the shopping cart and I’m thoroughly going through every single review on the scope. I was really hoping to find the one comment that would explain why this thing was 83% off and why I need to back out of the deal. Every reviewer was in full agreement that this scope does EVERYTHING.
The biggest coincident occurred when I got a reply comment from the same blogger that basically paved the way for me to get this microscope, reply comment came as I was putting my credit card info in the checkout box. I had a chuckle with her explanation for this purchase on a whim,
‘THE ultimate man reason…. “because it was on sale” hahaha doesn’t matter WHAT it is….’
Christina is a wonderful blogger and she loves her Caddyshack and Spaceballs. Check out her blogsite @
She asked if I saw the movie yet and it dawned on me, it was now about 1am and I was SUPPOSE to watch Caddyshack hours ago! All I wanted to do for the evening was purchase the Caddyshack rental for $2.99, but somehow I ended up with a Lab LED Binocular Compound Microscope with Double Layer Mechanical Stage.
You guys are probably thinking the exact same thing I’m thinking right now; there is something wrong with this society when it’s so much easier to buy a lab grade microscope over one of the greatest comedy movies of all time…lol
My road trip back home should be interesting. I have to train the boys to say the “right” thing. Three of us need to have a consistent story when mommy finds out whats in that brown smiley box from Amazon. I will also make my wife a nice soothing Lipton tea, when the box arrives. Did I mention I bundled the Lipton purchase with my microscope purchase? 144count tea bags for $3.99, it was 79% off 🙂
Not losing any more focus, this weekend isn’t over yet, and I will watch Caddyshack this evening!
I’m getting my donut and coffee this morning at Dunkin Donuts when I notice something you don’t see every day. A lady in semi clothed swimsuit pulls up in her min-van, greets a guy, and they both get in his Maserati. Her vehicle was an older beatup looking red Dodge Caravan, probably worth about $4,000. His car was a newer looking Maserati GranTurismo, probably worth about $150,000.
Now I can be as male chauvinistic as the next guy, but I thought this was quite unjust. Guys, I know we can be such a selfish cheap bastard sometimes, but you got to take care of your matriarch. If you can afford to drive a $150,000 sports car, at least get your wife a top-of-the-line Odyssey or Sienna! Don’t be such a penny-pincher when you can afford not to be! I know I should not judge people and maybe I should simply assume the Dodge is their beater car while HER Maserati is in a repair shop, but I find that scenario hard to believe. Other than that, donut and coffee was pretty good 🙂
For those that just fell off the turnip truck, world’s greatest sporting event is in full swing and it’s nearly over 😦 Yes, I am talking about the Tour de France! What better way to celebrate than with a blog related to cycling?
There is an English slang word, “sausagefest”. What is the definition of sausagefest, you ask? I’m not talking about the kind you experience at local state fair but it’s of something more…umm…anomalistic. Since Mr. Webster has decided it’s not worthy of his dictionary, I will have to define it for the public. Definition of sausage fest:
“sau-sage-fest” n: An odd phenomenon that describes plurality of modern male Homo sapiens to particular location in mass. This strange gathering is usually triggered by some sort or stimulant that seems to disrupt the homeostasis by erratic discharge of testosterone of the affected subject. Possible known stimulants are: 1. anything that involves torque/horsepower, 2. Anything that explodes, 3. anything with wheels 3. Female subject or equivalent. Such fantastic congregation ends up overwhelming female participant(s) within the group. The event usually ends with no resolution and no satisfaction by all parties involved.
My wife and I are part of a weekly bicycle ride group in our area. It’s a fairly large group consisting of 40-50 riders, predominantly male riders. On this one particular day, we had a new member that rolled up in a STUNNINGLY gorgeous $8k (MSRP) fully decked out Orbea Ordu Time Trial bike. The cyclist just so happened to be a really pretty young lady probably in her 20s or early 30s. Please refer to Figure 1 for reference on the rider and the time trial bike. She was also seriously decked out with a matching aerodynamic body suit and all the bells and whistles. It was unfortunate she showed up for the ride by herself and no wedding ring on. I say unfortunate because the event that happened next is something I don’t even wish on my worst enemy 😦
Can you say, “Release the Kraken” or “open the floodgate”? It was a sausagefest of the millennium! I’ve never seen such blatantly obvious ploy/tactic/excuse to meet the new member like that. I counted about 9-10 isolated cyclists around the parking lot and one giant hive of cyclists around this one particular area. You could not see the new rider, it was that dense!
My wife made a comment about how stupid they all look…lol. Apparently she has never witnessed a sausagefest of this kind of epic proportion. I simply told her that our overly friendly bike group is just trying to be helpful to the new rider and probably just making her feel welcome. Most of them were trying to talk over each other and you can hear some of the ridiculous comments coming from the hive. Comments ranged anything from the weather, road course, bicycle tune-up, proper setup of the bike, etc… I think every single one of them offered free tune-up of her bicycle…lol. It was obvious they were not thinking with the correct brain, because:
- It was picture perfect weather. 70degree F, no wind, and not a cloud in sight.
- Road course? It was obvious she came equipped with a bike gps with all the turn by turn programmed in.
- Bike tune-up? A person with an $8k bike will have her own mechanic that she trusts. You do not trust any bloke mechanic that you just met at a parking lot.
- Bike setup? A bike shop that sells you the $8k bike will not let you out until it is professionally setup, usually takes hours under close video analysis.
The new girl handled it with great personality. If anybody was touching/groping my bike like that, you better believe there will be some fists flying!
Anyway, while all that was going on I also realized there was another “forgotten” new rider in the parking lot. Rider was a she, and ironically she also came alone and without a wedding ring. I actually noticed her front wheel wasn’t on properly. So I went over there to introduce myself & reassured her that I used to be a bicycle mechanic, before working on her bike. The lady was a postal worker in her mid 40s and her bike was pretty old, it had been in storage for 15+ years! I lifted the front end of her bike and smacked the top of her front wheel, the wheel popped off with ease. She was very thankful that I caught the problem and offered to pay for my service. She made one funny comment that made me laugh. She said, “Well I’m glad she (referring to new girl#1) didn’t need all the bike mechanics from this group today…lol”
I looked at my wife and I thanked her for marrying me, thus saving me from such embarrassment. I like to think I am better than all those guys participating in the sausagefest, but who knows? I could have been the loudest one making the biggest fool of myself…lol I was just so glad I wasn’t part of that and I have my wife to thank 🙂
In case you are wondering about the new girl, we never saw her again after that ride…lol