Friday, June 27, 2014

Overall Health

Cholesterol results are in!

Jacqueline: "well...what is it?"
Me: "You gonna guess?"
J: "Lessee....threee....."
Me: <side-eye>
J: "....fiddy-seven."
Me: "Woman! It was two-fiddy-fi *after* BaconWeek las year!"
J: "Well, you a LEE!"
Me: "it's two forty-four"
J: "...that's still high."

That's what happened this morning.  For those not familiar with my medical history, let's just say that eight years ago, my cholesterol level was in the upper 400s.  I mean, sure, that sounds like a LOT of deep-fried Krispy Kreme, but let's step back a moment.

As my darling wife has stated, I am a Lee - thus you can conclude that this sort of hyperlipidemia runs in my family and you would be correct.  Practically every male in my family is on a statin drug now.  At Thanksgiving, we have Lipitor pie for dessert.  We cannot escape genetics, but modern pharmaceuticals are doing their best to improve them.

Also, I don't really feel any more-or-less healthy than eight years ago.  I find that most-curious.  This value which many would argue is a harbinger of a myocardial infarction (heart attack) doesn't really present itself in any way I can feel.  I'm not short of breath but I'm also not filled with any newfound energy to go run marathons.  My blood pressure has always been normal and I get the average number of sniffles during the wintertime.  I am intimately familiar with Five Guys burgers and fries but I indulge with moderation.  As long as the numbers keep improving, I will be taking these tasteless pills right before bedtime.  To me, it is just a number - a hoop that I jump through to keep living based on the best medicine we have today and that's an acceptable quality of life.

Medical history is something that you should take seriously.  I was tempted to ask my wife what her level is.  After giving it a lot of consideration, I decided against turning this into a video game.  There's the easy temptation to cholesterol-shame your spouse and nobody wants that.  I know she is proud of me in her own special way. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Scaring Children

I read Eve's article on how little girls should not take makeup too seriously and posted Megan's Halloween picture.

This got me thinking more about Halloween and horror movies and the subject of this post.

What are my kids afraid of?

For my son, it's flunking.  Not joking.  He *REALLY* obsesses about studying and being on top of his exams.  The MCAS?  Forget it.  You even mention that it is remotely attached to college (not high school, college) and he's all over it.  I know I instill a healthy respect for education (what responsible parent wouldn't), however I believe I've created quite the monster.  It hasn't reached problematic levels yet - while he does stress about tests, once they're over and he brings home his "A", he levels-off pretty quickly.  Also to our benefit, our daughter is 4 years younger so there's no competition academically.

But that is his nightmare.  If he somehow missed or failed an exam - it would be world-shattering.  Note that my wife and I would totally understand and not make such a big deal out of it (I mean, c'mon, these are middle-school quizzes) but he would be so self-deprecating - it would take effort to pick him back up and dust himself off.

My daughter is still a kid.  So the expected things frighten her.  Strangers, riding in a car with no seatbelt, riding a bike with no helmet, large barky dogs, bees (omg, the bees), and being alone.  These are all understandable and shows a pretty good effort toward responsible parenting (see what I did there?)

Now, there are some that believe the only way to overcome your fears is to confront and move past them.  Clearly, I'm not going to sabotage my son's academics just for a psychological experiment.  However, if the law of averages has anything to say about it, he will come home with a less-than-stellar mark eventually and we'll progress as a family.

For my daughter, the dogs will appear smaller as she gets larger.  I have no idea what to do about the bees, though.

One thing that I am looking forward to is when they're old enough to enjoy horror movies.  I have a slight reservation that I'm not the cool-relative that's supposed to be exposing them to these, though (I'm the DAD)- it should be a cousin that sneaks a DVD or a Netflix download when nobody's looking.  That makes it all the more taboo and engaging.

 I'm glad I have them.  The alternative is just too chilling even for me.


Monday, June 23, 2014

Vodak, Febreeze's Worst Nightmare

Today, I get to behave like a TRUE blogger.  Yes.  I get to write an article about something I have absolutely NO personal experience with.

I happened across this Pro Life Tip:  Vodka is great at removing odors from clothing.

The above-mentioned article details how even cheap Vodka (nevermind what are you doing with CHEAP VODKA in the first place?!?) works at eliminating offensive smells from your clothes.

For even more veracity, the Mythbusters team confirmed this through a very elaborate study involving a very unlucky laundromat and an even unluckier nose.

As previously stated, I have no experience with vodka, expensive or cheap, and less experience with bad-smelling clothes.  However, if you happen to find yourself with just a few ounces of Stoli and no quarters for a proper wash-and-dry, then at least you can avoid smelling like a hobo.

Monday, June 16, 2014

A Mommyish Name Generator

At first, I couldn't figure out how to inject my own HTML code into a "blogging" environment.

So, I searched for a free host that would allow custom HTML.  That sandbox is at:
 - that might be blocked from some providers as it may have a low web reputation.

This solution is preferred.  I've already found the customization settings for width and color (yay).

I can still experiment with it - especially with the name handling.

Share and enjoy. Name Generator Script Demo
This generator is developed with help from the online name generators.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Irony of Father's Day

I was reading Beth's post on Mommyish about Inexpensive Father's Day Gift Suggestions...

Dad's are so varied.  Some do carpentry, some wrench on cars, some golf, you get the picture.  There's this pressure to pigeon-hole and classify all of this variation in the name of commercialism.

We are fathers.  We're DADS.  I want to feel proud of my kids - fortunately, that's not at all hard to be right now.  My daughter is strong, adorable, talented, and well-liked by her peers and teachers.  My son is academically excellent, handsome, and creative.

I'm not looking for a canned, family-team-building exercise.  I don't need to be Gus Griswold suffering through outdoor camping at the expense of the rest of my family.  Just that spontaneous moment where we're all getting along together, having a good time over ice-cream sundaes.  Nobody is screaming at each other to "put that DOWN, it's MIIIIIINE!!!!" or "please don't fart in your sister's face."  I'll have to meditate on why we do these things to each other to begin with...

If that's too difficult, then I would welcome the ironic present - having a day apart from the children - those exact things that earned me the title of "father".  I've got drum machines to build, brackets to fabricate, components to fix - all of this takes a lot of time, preferably interruption-free.

I do get that there is pressure to BUY me something.  My suggestions now are:

1.  Dim sum brunch in Chinatown:  This isn't for everyone.  But if you do have dim-sum available where you are and you have NOT gone, then you are truly missing a joy in life and you have my pity.  It's not terribly expensive and you have a wonderful palette of tastes to choose from.  A perfect venue to be a little daring - try something outside your comfort zone, you could surprise yourself.

2.  Pastries from the bakery and no shame:  Yes we have elevated cholesterol and we've got pounds.  You stow your guilt for twenty-four hours because today is our day.

3.  Compression wear:  I'm looking for new swimwear - probably because of too much of items #1 and #2.  A new rashguard, a pair of boardshorts, and some water shoes.  Rashies are great for making me look more-athletic than I am and also save my skin without needing to apply sunblock.  I can probably get these for under $100 total.

4.  Uterus head pillow:  Accept no substitute.

Things to avoid:

Neckties - If I need one, I'll choose the sexy, sexy pattern myself

Socks and underwear - I got my share of these at Christmas HOWEVER, if you think these undies will make me look sexy, then I'm okay with that.

"Best Dad Ever" T-shirt - sorry, Beth.  I can only imagine running into another dad wearing this on the same day and fisticuffs ensue.

My mother-in-law mentioned getting my father-in-law an eReader.  I'm more than willing to entertain this, but have to resist the urge to root it and make it more technically-challenging for them.