Thursday, February 15, 2007

Sometimes You Just Need Your Mommy!

“Daddy, where’s Mommy?”

“She’s had to go to work honey, she’ll be home later.”

“But who’ll take care o’me?”

“I will, sweetie.”

“No… can I talk to Mommy on the phone?”

[After a phone call to Mommy where she reassured him she’ll be home as soon as she can.]

“Mommy be home soon to take care’o’me!


[Literally, five minutes later...]

“Daddy, can I have somefin’ to eat?”

“Daddy, can you help me in the potty?”

“Daddy, can you get my blankie?”

“Daddy, can you put my shows on?”

“Daddy, can you get me somfin’ to drink?”

“Sure Buddy! See I can take care of you too!”

“No… Mommy takes care’o’me, you get me stuff!”

Sometimes you just need your Mommy…

Bleach... My Dear Friends, BLEACH!

Inspired by the events of the past few days

In lieu of Tool Box Thursday, I’m offering a tip provided by the Mommy. As most of you know, the Mommy is a restaurant manager for a large national company. Ever wonder how a restaurant cleans and disinfects its surfaces?

Bleach, my dear friends… Bleach!

Piping hot water mixed with a generous amount of straight bleach combined with a clean, white terry cloth rag is the ONLY Board of Health approved method for disinfecting surfaces. No wimpy, non-caustic cleaners here! No “safe for all surfaces” sprays for me, folks! Its basic bleach and hot water, approved by the Board of Health!

Little known fact… a restaurant can be heavily fined if they don’t have “bleach buckets” in certain areas! These buckets are cleaned and freshened throughout the day to provide maximum effectiveness.

Today, I will endeavor to clean all hard surfaces with my “wonder solution.” Hopefully, exterminating the little guys who got my little guy sick… bastards!

Beware, this concoction is extremely unforgiving to manicures, clothing and nasal passages… but it works. In his four years on this earth the Helper has only puked twice!

He’s only had ONE ear infection and I can count the colds he’s had on one hand!

As they say, “the proof is in the puddin’”

It Finally Happened!

After a month of reading everyone else's posts, it finally happened here... so much for my anti-virus software.

It was inevitable.

The winter, a closed up house, and playing with other carrier monkeys has taken its toll on our intrepid hero... the Helper.

It all started Tuesday night (explaining LID's disappearance for the last couple of days), with the innocent line, "Daddy, my tummy doesn't feel good!"

The rest, as "they" say, is history... Oh, how the mighty have fallen!

I'll spare you the gory details (if you require tales of warm, chunky vomit running down your back please visit Karly at Wiping Up Snot)... as you're all well versed in what happens next. Suffice it to say posting will be limited for the rest of the week as I don my nurse's scrubs and take care of the family. Tool Box Thursday will return next week at your regularly scheduled time... please check your local listings.

After having yesterday off to take care of her son, the Mommy headed back to work this morning at 5 a.m.... with only 3 hours sleep in the past 48... no symptoms... yet!

The Helper has started to drink and eat some small portions... we're being extremely cautious regarding his consumption of anything... as I'd rather not see it again... you know what I mean.

My wonderful, 98 year old father-in-law has also been taken down... the Nannie is tending to him. It seems are heroes from the other day acquired this "bug" together... they are indeed best friends.

I now have to get back to my duties... seems the nurse's buzzer is ringing. I will keep you posted on our condition as the situation warrants... where are my rubber gloves and bucket?

As I said to our friend Mike, before his weekend of supposed slumber...

Via Con Dios, Amigos!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Why is it...?

This list could go on forever, so I’ve limited it to only today’s issues. As parents, things come up that always beg the question, “Why is it….?” Here’s today’s offering:

Why is it…

… that a well fed, clean, sleeping 4 month old will immediately awake when his father starts running water for a shower… yet sleep through an hours long vacuuming session?

… a requested snack, once prepared, is summarily deemed “yucky!”

… when you can’t take any more… more comes?

… that the kitchen garbage is always full?

… three men can’t seem to nap at the same time?

… if three men do manage to fall asleep at the same time… the dogs’ bladder’s reach maximum capacity at the point all six eyes shut?

… a four month old immediately regurgitates upon being dressed in a clean garment?

… a baby will wait until their diaper is off to poop?

… a perfectly made bed begs a four year old to jump in it?

… a recently cleaned pair of eyeglasses needs the adornment of little finger prints?

… when the coffee maker is clean and you have a full bag of beans, the milk instantly sours and the sugar is empty?

… I can’t stop this list?

… once you’ve cleaned your junk and spam email folders they instantly show a new item?

… that it’s always the favorite toy that disappears, and never the old crap?

… that when asked, a four year old’s response is always, “I don’t remember!”?

Any help in answering these questions would be greatly appreciated! I’ve seemed to have lost all sense of logic and reason in the past few years…

Study Shows... Men Need Naps!

This morning I came across an article that says an afternoon nap can improve a man's health and help him live longer. Wooo Hooo! A documented scientific study! Wanting to do my part to ensure my family's health... mandatory napping will be instituted immediately. Who am I to question science?

Read article here: Study: On-the-job naps might help heart

Weird Houses

In keeping with my current architecture theme, I was pleased to get an email from a friend that had some great examples of "weird" architecture. Enjoy!

Monday, February 12, 2007

A Memory...

I have just finished watching last night’s edition of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. For those of you who saw it you’ll understand the emotion it generated. Something this particular show does quite well. Hence, it’s continued good ratings.

As I was watching this program I recalled an event that changed my life…

In 1985, I was a sophomore at the New York Institute of Technology. I was studying for a degree in Architecture. I was 20 years old and living in off-campus housing. I was working on a 2nd year design project and was in desperate need of some insight and motivation. Like an artist, I needed my muse.

It was 2:30 a.m. when I decided to take the train into the “City.” College kids never sleep! I wanted to walk around downtown Manhattan with my notebook and camera… something that might get you detained today… how sad! I needed to experience the beauty of the architecture; I needed to see how form, really did, follow function.

I had been to the “City” many times before but never alone and never that late at night.

After a twenty-five minute train ride I exited Pennsylvania Station and started my walk south -- downtown towards the financial district and my destination.

After a quick subway ride and a twenty minute walk I had arrived.

I sat down on a large concrete expanse and had my back up against the corner of my inspiration piece. I tilted my head back and looked up. The lights of the city danced on the shimmering steel that soared above my head. I stared up into the night sky, memorized by the beauty and simplicity of the man made structure that pierced the sky.

I stayed there for a few hours until the first rays of sun reflected off my new found friend. Still with my back to the corner I could hear and feel the giant structure awake. As the metal was warmed by the heat of the great star it groaned and pinged.

The mammoth building was coming alive for another day’s work.

People started to fill the concourse, purposeful in their steps; my time here was nearing an end. I packed up my notebook and camera, never having snapped a photo or written a line.

I turned and looked up at my muse and understood what I needed to do.

After returning to my apartment, I quickly finished my project. I presented it a few days later and defended it to my professors, as is the case in architectural studies. I don’t remember the grade I received but I do remember that I had changed. I no longer wanted to just design buildings; I wanted to build them with my own hands.

The night I spent in the city showed me that man made structures do indeed have souls... The souls of the men and women who build them and the souls of the people who work and live in them.

Upon graduating, I received an offer to apprentice at a prestigious north shore firm… I turned it down to work as a carpenter for a local builder on Fire Island. For two years, I built homes for families on a small sand bar… the work was heavy, hard, and hot. But, I learned what it meant to put your heart and soul into something.

My beautiful muse, who taught me that a building is more than steel and concrete is no more… she was built by men, and at 9:59 a.m. on September 11th 2001, my college inspiration piece, also known as, number Two World Trade Center, the South Tower, collapsed… by the hand of men.

The structure may no longer exist but its soul lives on in each one of us.

Why Do We Live Here?

Memes, Lists of 100 Things About Yourself, Thursday Thirteen are ways we bloggers find out about each other. While I don’t normally participate in these activities I do enjoy reading them. With that in mind I thought I would provide a small morsel of information about your’s truly. What makes Long Island Dad different? What’s one cool thing about him?

Today’s Long Island Dad Fact:

While I have traveled extensively around the country and the Caribbean, I have never, in 42 years, lived more than 19 miles away from where I was born! Even when I went to college and lived on campus at the New York Institute of Technology in Old Westbury, I was 19 miles away from my birthplace of Bay Shore, N.Y. Bay Shore is a medium size town located on Long Island’s south shore halfway between New York City and Montauk Point (Long Island’s easternmost point.) For the past 11 years I have lived in the same house located 13.47 miles from my birthplace. Weird/Cool, huh?

Some Facts About Long Island:

Why we stay… Why we want to leave… Why we continue to stay…

Long Island is 118 miles long and 18-20 miles wide at its widest point.

Population (All Four Counties; Queens, Brooklyn, Nassau, and Suffolk): 7,448,618

That’s 5,470 people per square mile!

Long Island is more populated than 97 countries of the world.

The population for just Nassau and Suffolk counties (the two counties that are actually considered Long Island, because Brooklyn and Queens are actually part of New York City): 2.7 million.

Nassau County is ranked fifth highest in income per capita in the entire country.

Median Long Island Home Price: In excess of $400,000

In 2001, the Washington-based Economic Policy Institute reported that Long Island had the highest cost of living/income index in the country.

The average property tax bill for an average size home is between $8,000 and $16,000 a year… that’s just the property tax, folks… no mortgage is included with those numbers.

The average electric bill for a standard 4 bedroom, 2 bath home is over $300 a month, without air conditioning or holiday lights.

If you combined all the fire and rescue vehicles; Long Island has more than New York City and Los Angeles COMBINED!

Listen up you westerners… The first cowboys were/still are Long Islander’s. The oldest working cattle ranch in the United States is right here on Long Island.

According to Forbes Magazine, the most expensive home in North America, is Three Ponds Estate in Bridgehampton, valued at $75 million... and only 28 miles from your host’s meager domain.

The first Trans-Atlantic flight, by Charles Lindbergh, originated on Long Island.

The first ever video game was invented here, at Brookhaven National Laboratory… only 3 miles from LID’s abode.

So why do we stay?

Highest cost of living, second highest property taxes, and traffic… oh, did I forget to mention the traffic. Remember those 5,470 people per square mile, well they all have to get to work to pay for all this. It’s not uncommon for my beautiful wife to spend 2 ½ - 3 hours commuting 45 miles.

Again, why do we stay?

While there has been a large exodus of younger families over the past few years, most of us continue to suck it up! We hand over our entire paychecks and then some just to survive… because we live in paradise! We do take it for granted some times. But when driving back from an out of state trip; or flying in from a far away destination… the first glimpse of Manhattan’s skyline reminds us why we stay.

The first summer day we get to spend on the beach… the smell of salt air and sand… our children attending some of the best schools in the world (remember those property taxes, they go somewhere), combined with the ability to have anything we want, 24 hours a day, within 30 minutes… as long as we’re willing to pay for it… is why!

All this on one income... we're either crazy or brainwashed... must be something in the air...

And, besides, I obviously can’t live more than 19 miles away from the place I was born…

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Off To See "Honey!"

This is an early edition of Monday Morning Quarterback. I had to write this installment as it was fresh in my head... you, my fellow bloggers will understand. I will regale you with the rest of this weekend's anecdotes tomorrow!

The Helper is gone! No, not forever… I didn’t sell him on eBay, folks! He was scooped up by Nannie on Sunday because we’re supposed to get snow in the middle of the week. What does one have to do with the other you ask? Nannie and the Helper need their weekly “fix.” They need to spend time with each other at least once every seven days or they start to show signs of mental deterioration. As you might recall, she had him last Wednesday into Thursday. But, if we got any sort of frozen precipitation where she would be unable to get the little guy, they’d both go out of their minds… not a pretty sight I can assure you!

Also, my father-in-law (my wife’s step-father, actually) is 98 years old. Yes, 98!
The more time my little guy can get with him the better. A note about my father-in-law; he’s 98 years old only on paper... he still has all his faculties, still very active, still does yard work, chops fire wood, cut his grass (although I helped him with that this fall, due to a short stay in the hospital), bundles the trash, takes walks up and down the block and “takes care of” my mother-in-law. He’s quite a man. One day, I’ll tell you his story. Suffice it to say, there are/have been/will be very, very few like him.

He and the Helper have a special relationship. My son does not see the advancement of his years. It’s his, “Honey.” Why “Honey?” Because when the boy first started to talk all he would ever hear my mother-in-law call her husband was “Honey.” Who are we to tell the little guy any different… it’s his “Honey!”

They play with each other, the Helper subjects him to stories of his latest adventures, then they sit and watch old westerns on TV. The difference of ninety-four years in age is never apparent. Grandfather to Grandson, man to man, they have a bond. My beautiful little Helper is named after me and his Grandfather. We thought it very appropriate to give him my father-in-law’s name as his middle name… now you know why the Helper is not a junior!