What's Your History?

Where are you from?

What's your background?

I was born in Arizona, but raised and still live in New Mexico.

I know you're not from South Dakota. No one from South Dakota has ever visited my blog, this I know, the Google Analytics tells me so.

So tell me a bit about yourself. I promise I won't make fun. Unless you're from South Dakota.

Although I am sometimes afraid to make fun of people from South Dakota. They may attack me in the comments in droves. Or, since there's not too many of them, maybe a single drove. As in "Marge and I drove to Iowa to use one 'a these 'pooters to tell you what we really think!"

This message approved by Nathan Fillian.

Book 'em, Dan-o!

I'm currently listening to Dave Ramsey's new book, Entreleadership (affiliate link). I'd like to start my own business someday, so I've been waiting for this one for a year. Enjoying it so far. I'm going to go through the printed version with a highlighter.

My dad runs his own business and works from home. That was great for us kids growing up. Now that I have a son of my own, I've really started thinking about what I could do that would let me stay home while supporting my family.

I've got nothing, so feel free to give me some of your best ideas. I'd be happy to steal them.

I'm also reading Knox McCoy's Jesus and the Bachelorette and Tyler Tarver's Words and Sentences, just for fun(ny).

What are you reading right now? What turned you on to it? What's your favorite book of all time? Mine's Ender's Game (affiliate link).

This post approved and endorsed by Nathan Fillian.

Keepin' It Moving In the Redbox Line - Guest Post for Russ Ray

I'm not dead yet.

I don't want to go on the cart.

I feel happy, I feel happy.


Oh, sorry. Wrong movie.

Today I'm guest posting over at Russ Ray's site.

You know that lady in front of you in line at the local Redbox - the one who's been there 20 minutes and is making your left eye twitch?

I tell you how to handle her.

Head on over to Russ' site (that's a lot of S's, Russ) to find out how.

Discussion question: Which one of Russ' Spam of the Month Club posts is your favorite?

Breastfeeding For Hubbies

My wife: I wish you could breastfeed him! I feel like a robot. A robot who hurts really badly.

Me: Since 'the two shall become one flesh', I kinda am breastfeeding him.

My wife: Ha! I'd like to see you try.

Me: I'd let him try, but he wouldn't get anything.

My wife: Well, I still don't see why you can't do any of this. It'd only be fair.

Me: God loves me more!

Ever wish you could 'help out' a bit more at home?

The Oddest Things I've Ever Been Asked At Work

  • Do you have a drill?
    • Yes, I keep it right here next to the servers. I often need to use a drill on the servers.
  • I went to open the refrigerator door, and it just fell off. Can you help me put it back on?
    • Wow. Remind me not to tick you off, Mrs. Hulk. Let me get my drill.
  • Can you rub my shoulders?
    • I can, but I won't.
      • Weirdo.
  • Want to see Winky?
    • I don't care if you did name your pet turtle a weird name; I'm not a pet person and this is an office. Get that thing out of here.
      • And that sounded really creepy.
  • Can I go to the bathroom, Sir?
    • Yes, Junior Staffer who just started today - the Network King has granted your request.
What odd things have you encountered at work?

How To Be a Blogger

I think most kids grow up to work dead-end jobs simply because they didn't know how to get to their dream ones.

So this one's for the kids. Every kid has dreamed at one point in their lives of being a blogger.

Working for free, building community with strangers, meeting fictitious deadlines. What's not to like?

Things You Can Do Now To Prepare For Your Future As A Blogger
  • Take notes. You'll need ideas for your last-minute post (this one!). It helps if you have a list of ideas handy.
  • Be ridiculous. The more outlandish you can make any situation you find yourself in, the better your blog posts will be later.
  • Learn web design. Then your blog won't look generic and boring. Like mine.
  • Read Bryan Allain's new book, 31 Days to Finding Your Blogging Mojo. It's full of funny and very useful advice for growing your blog. My favorite are the hidden ninja parts. Bryan is the blogging world's Gandalf. Trust him.
What tips do you have for the kids?

Interview With Knox McCoy

Today, I get the day off.

Knox McCoy interviewed me for his Residents of Awesometown series, and you can read the majesticallness of my red-lettered responses right here.

If you haven't read any of Knox's stuff, check out his site while you're over there. He's naturally funny and an incredibly talented wordsmith. Lots of bloggers are amusing, but Knox has some serious writing chops to boot.

Chops to Boot would make a great name for an indie rock band.

Get on that, Hipsters...


Life Advice for Joseph Craven

Last week, Joseph Craven gave my two-week-old son Evan some great life advice. In the comments of that post, Mysie suggested Evan should return the favor due to his 'fresh perspective' on life.

Since he has a lot of time and/or poo on his hands, Evan was more than happy to comply.

Here's a few tips Evan has for Joseph:
  • Sleep all the time. People will think it's peaceful and cute. They will want to shelter you, protect you and take your picture to put on Facebook.
  • Relieve yourself. On yourself. Often. When it smells bad enough, someone else will take care of it for you. After they've cleaned you up, they'll probably feed you and take your picture to put on Facebook.
  • When you're hungry, just squawk a bit. People with food are on standby 24/7, waiting on your demands. After feeding you, they'll probably rock you and take your picture to put on Facebook.
  • Look cute. This shouldn't be hard to do, what with the manly beard you wear on that baby face, Joseph. In fact, I've heard from more than a few people that they want to take your picture to put on Facebook.
I hope these life tips help you become even more awesome, Joseph. And in the interest of full disclosure, I will come clean and admit that I typed this, not Evan. He just narrated. He has a hard time typing, what with those mittens and all.

What other life advice did Evan give Joseph, but I rudely forgot to include?

Oh, Sleep

Hope you enjoy my wife's first guest post...

O - Once I knew you

H - How long till we meet again?

S - Sleep, sleep, sleeeeep

L - Lend me your soft down pillow

E - Evan, where did you put the sleep?

E - Evan, why do you want Daddy to get up? These are not the boobs you are looking for!

P - pleeeeease go back to sleeeeep...


Trust Me, I’m A Doctor

Today's guest post is by Jessica Buttram. She's a funny mom of two and a wife of one. She blogs at Meet the Buttrams. She writes funny and/or poignant pieces on parenting. Here's one of my favorites, which you read right after this.
Take it away, Jessica...

-- I have a seven-year-old boy. Which means I have the equivalent of a Ph.D in parenting. So it was no surprise, really, when Ricky (the equivalent of a high school student on his first college visit) asked me to guest post on his blog. So listen up, Ricky! Everything I am about to write is GOSPEL. Heed the Ph.D that I just made up.
Here’s what I know (pencils ready?) about parenting: it is not for the fainthearted. PENCILS DOWN!
Here’s the dealio, Coolio.

Your brand-new, totally dependent, soft and squishy, lavender-scented baby who popped out all like, Whaaaaat?, immediately and instinctively knowing he belonged to you and no one else…will grow up. Tomorrow, even, he’ll start doing something new that will BLOW YOUR MIND. Like, smiling. Smiling’s my favorite. And then, you’ll blink approximately seventeen times, and your brand-new baby will be a squealing, giggling, running, falling, somewhat independent toddler. It’s happening to me AS WE SPEAK. My fifteen-month-old, who took only about 15 minutes to get that old (it seems), can feed herself. She can climb things. She plays Hide-and-Seek (mostly just Seek). When she’s done eating, she doesn’t wait for me to lift her out of her high chair. She stands up and tries to swan-dive onto the hardwood floor. Consequently, I not only have a Ph.D, I am also trained in the art of trapeze acrobatics. (Diversity, people.)

And then, when you turn your back to do the dirty dishes or mountain of laundry you’ve left unattended for the last three or so years, your baby will be heading to Kindergarten. And then? Well, then Time really begins to fly.
This person, this tiny, pocket-sized person who grows steadily every single second, has, in his tiny, pocket-sized fist, the complete ability to bash your heart in, to sucker-punch you in the aorta, to squeeze the life unmercifully from your heartstrings.
Violent, right?
And that’s all I really KNOW about parenting (sorry, Ricky Tikki Tavi, I hope you weren’t expecting a How-To For Dummies).
I KNOW that the love you have for your child is a violent love. It invades you. It conquers you. It takes no prisoners. It moves in and it stays for life. BUT (and here’s the good news for today) that love? That Rambo love? It’s a pretty good tyrant. That is, when you aren’t totally crushed by its sheer weight. And take it from this circus scholar, there will be days when you are literally unable to function until you press your son’s body against your chest, feel his puffy cheek bury into curve of your neck, the smell of his baby shampoo like a shot of heroin…or coffee, whatev.
Because it’s that love that forces you to be better, to be honest and selfless and more of the Self God intended you to be. And maybe, sometimes, even a little crazy.
AND…here’s the kicker!…it allows us, as parents, a rare and exclusive glimpse into the infinite capacity of God’s own love for us.
And that? Well, it doesn’t really get any better than that.

Life Advice for Evan - Guest Post by Joseph Craven

Joseph Craven is a relatively new acquaintance of mine. We met in a bar in Philly on the Internet, which is how I meet all my friends.

Joseph is qualified to post on my blog for a number of reasons. The first is that I have a brother named Joe. Both appear to be taller than me and can probably make me cry.

But the real reason is that as with every other blogger I know, I quickly recognized Joseph is funnier than me. When that happens, I beg for a guest post. Joe doesn't like begging, so I demanded it of him.

J blogs at The Greatest Blog of All Time. He's also on Twitter. Check him out (I can say that - he's not married).

In the comments, please leave some additional life advice for my shiny new son, Evan. Also, leave a random new nickname for Joseph Craven. It's all right, it's not like he knows where you live.

Baby Evan Uses a Computer

Yesterday we took Evan to the doctor for a weight checkup.

The nurse was nice and chatted with us for a few minutes about her first child. Then she got down to business...

"Take off his clothes and his diaper and place him on the scale, please."

"His diaper too?"


"Are you sure?"

"We need an accurate weight."

I removed the diaper and winced.


With a sigh of relief, I placed Evan on the scale on the nurse's desk next to her computer monitor and keyboard. The nurse took the measurement, and then gasped as Evan exploded on the desk, and the monitor, and the keyboard...and then politely used his hose to put the fire out.

That's what IT folks do, right - put out fires?

I'm proud of you, Son.

Have your kids ever shocked strangers?

If My Son Were An Operating System

If my son were an operating system, he'd be Linux. Linux isn't new, and babies aren't new...but this baby? It's the latest distro. Though it's built on the same kernel as it's predecessor, you should upgrade to this distro. It's entirely different and anyone who doesn't like it is old-school. Maybe you should RTFM.

If my son were an operating system, he'd be OS X. He doesn't have many features. There's iPoo, iCry, iEat and iSleep. But what he lacks in features he makes up for in simplicity. He's easy to use and has a very attractive form factor.

If my son were an operating system, he'd be Windows. The accessories you can use with this version are endless! The downside is that nothing's free and there's a million things to update. The stroller? Outdated! Buy a new one! That car seat is more than two years old? Security vulnerability - upgrade it! Your car won't hold all these accoutrements? You need a bigger drive!

What did iMiss?

Baby Potpourri, Baby

  • My son is very well-tempered. He doesn't cry unless he needs changed or fed. Or when he suddenly thinks wild boars are about to eat him.
  • Is it too soon to start using my son as an excuse to watch more baseball and football? You know, for bonding purposes?
  • I read my son Bible stories. I bought a Baby Bible from the Kindle store for this. My son is 8 days old. I read; he poops. Buying a Baby Bible to read him is equivalent to reading him a thesaurus instead of Roots.
  • He'd better not commit any crimes. I have a copy of his footprints.
  • He doesn't have a Social Security number yet. I wonder if 12 is taken?
  • Sometimes he nurses too fast and chokes. I have to remind him to chew first and not to cry with his mouth full.
Why is my son so awesome? Make up the most ridiculous idea you can in the comments.

When Things Get Rocky

From our labor day to yours, Merry Christmas!

Time to get up, time to get moving. There are no naps in this dojo!

What are you doing today?

Things Your Baby Will Bring to the Table - Guest Post by Rob Shepherd

Rob Shepherd is one of my internet twins. Sometimes I read his posts aloud...before he's posted them.

He's a blogger, pastor, husband and father of twins, which is why I'm honored he would write a guest post for me while Jana and I are trying to figure out how to be parents for the first time (P.S. - if you have some extra sleep, please feel free to email it to me).

I wrote a guest post for him a while back. If you haven't read it yet and would like to laugh at me in my absence, click these four words after you read Rob's list of things your baby will bring to the table.

You're up, Rob...

Being a dad of five month old twins, I think that I can write with great authority about what your baby is going to bring to the table. Now when I write 'table', I mean things they are going to be good at when they are first born.
  • Pooping. Babies are great at this. The first couple of poos look like they ate straight oil in the womb. It’s gross.  One benefit of all this pooping is that you can blame all of your funky smells on them and no one will question it.
  • Crying. I don’t know if your kid will be as gifted as mine, but my kids were gifted criers when they were first born. They would cry in the middle of the night on a consistent basis.  They also would wait to cry until we sat down to eat, watch a TV show, or try to sleep ourselves. Good luck with that.
  • Sleep. They sleep a lot. For our first week of parenting my wife and I looked at each other and said, “parenting is easy.” Those jokers sleep a lot. It’s like you have a little coma victim who wakes up to eat only to fall back to sleep when they are done. We thought parenting was easy, but then week two happened and their crying outweighed their sleeping.
  • Sneezing. Babies apparently don’t have nose hairs so they sneeze pretty often. Don’t worry they aren’t getting sick. They just sneeze a lot.
  • Rolling their eyes up into their head. My daughter did this more than my son but it freaked us out every time. It’s like they don’t have full control of their eyes and those things roll all around the back of their head.
  • Getting out of swaddles. Now the first week they slept so much they did not bust out of their swaddles. Come week two my kids became escape artists and would get out of the most tightly swaddled swaddle.
The truth is that if your kid is like my kids, they won’t bring a lot to the table for the first few weeks. They cost you money, sleep, and will probably cause you to tell your wife “what were we thinking.” Even though they don’t bring a lot to the table you will feel a love for them that you cannot describe. They haven’t done anything to deserve your love but you will love them with all your heart. It reminds me of how God must feel about us. I don’t bring a lot to the table. God doesn’t love me because of anything that I do. He loves me because He’s my father.

What else do babies bring to the table?

Good Admins Behaving Badly - Guest Post by Chad Jones

It's been several years since this happened, but I remember it like yesterday: our Helpdesk staff was going to be in all day training, and a coworker and I were voluntold to man the call center.

Now, I was no stranger to the call center--having run (a one man) one in a previous position.

"Help desk, can I help it? Er, how can I help you? Your Microsoft Word won't do what? Let me dispatch a tech."

I have to say: that part--the dispatching--was fun. Instead of being dispatched, I was the dispatcher, and I dispatched with abandon!

"Your printer is jammed? [I could tell you how to clear it--nah!] Let me send a tech."

"Ok, I'll unlock your account. I'm not supposed to. You're welcome."

Now, as fun as making working for other people was, that was nowhere near the highlight of my day. That came when I went on break.

What you need to understand is that it was around the holidays, and consequently a number of staff were on vacation. And with work still needing to be done, a number of temps were brought in to do that work.

Including in the director's office.

Which is where I pretended to be calling from when I called the helpdesk. (Please imagine me with an Indian accent).

"Hehlo? Is is dis de halpdask? I am temporary wuhrker in director office. De cards woan deal."

"Excuse me? What? Yes, this is the helpdesk. What did you say your problem was?"

"De cards--dey woan deal. Dey tell me to practice duh drag an drohp."

"What cards, sir? Can you tell me which application you're having a problem with?"

"Soll-ee-tahre--de cards woan deal."

"You're playing Solitaire? What's your name?"

"Vijay Singh. I am temporahry wurhker in director office."

"Hold on, please." She puts me on hold (all the while not knowing it's me, and obviously, I found this all out later).

"Hey, Susan (the supervisor), this guy says he's playing Solitaire. I thought we didn't allow games on office PCs?"

"Where's he at?"

"Says the director's office."

"What's his name?"

"Vijay Singh."

At this point Susan, who was a golfer, burst out laughing.

"You've been had, girl! Vijay Singh is a famous golfer! A-ha-ha!"

My coworker went to get back on the line with me, but I'd hung up.

A few minutes later, I returned to the office resume answering calls.

She said to me, "You won't believe what just happened..."

"Let me guess -  'De cards woan deal...'"

And so it goes when good admins do bad.

Thank-you very much! I'll be here all week.

What pranks have you pulled at work?


Chad lives in Arizona with his wife, Lisa, and two children. He's network admin, and all-around go-to tech guy for a company he declines to name (on account of he wants to keep working there). This time of year, he dreams of Alaska. Also, he's lived in Arizona for nearly 37 years, and had never heard of a haboob prior to this year.

He blogs at RandomlyChad, and either lives up, or down, to that moniker (depending on your point of 
view). You can also follow him on Twitter.