Friday, February 23, 2007


While I normally try to maintain some sense of decorum and decency here at LID, sometimes things just find their way to my inbox that I can’t resist. You may have already received this yourselves, but I’m still ROFLing!

A precious little girl walks into a pet shop and asks,

"Excuthe me, do you have any widdle wabbits?"

The shopkeeper's heart melts, he gets down on his knees so that he's on her level, and says,

"Do you want a widdle white wabbit or a thoft, fwuffy bwack wabbit, or one like that widdle bwown wabbit over there?"

The little girl blushes, rocks on her heels, puts her hands on her knees, leans forward and whispers,

"I weally don’t fink my pet pyfon gives a phuk."

Big Foot?

It's gonna take a lot more then just wearin' 'em to fill my shoes, buddy!

Happiness Is… Hot Water!

Not to be outdone by Drama Mama’s recent post regarding her adulation for her new floor cleaning apparatus, I wanted to let you know LID has a new appliance that trumps even the best vacuum (and I’m a huge fan of my Dyson knock-off by Hoover, don’t get me wrong)…

A Brand New High-Efficiency, Digitally Controlled, Hot Water Heater.

Hot water for the washing machine, hot showers, using the dishwasher without worry… these are just some of the things my new hot water heater can do. His predecessor served the house well for over 20 years. His time had come. In order to get hot water, I would have to tinker with the burner on a daily basis and then cross my fingers, pray and then drink a beer to overcome my frustrations!

But now… in this age of all things digital… this machine anticipates need, call and adjusts to demand automatically… never leaving someone with shampoo in their hair! Ah…. Modern wonders! And, if that wasn’t enough, supposedly it will cost me a third of what the old one did to operate… the hits just keep on coming!

For those of you who are into this sort of thing… like I am, its recovery rate is 114 gallons per hour. That translates into hot shower after hot shower… continuously… forever! Not to steal anyone else’s thunder… but… Oh, The Joys!!!!

Okay, I’ve gushed enough about an inanimate object.

I need to return to my duties… perhaps a load of dishes in piping hot water that will never run out! Damn… I can’t stop myself!

Order, Planning and Cleanliness Can Bite You In The A%#!

One of the ways I’m surviving successful as a stay-at-home-parent is through order and planning. When I first started my new career, I relied on my acquired skills from my previous profession.

I like plans.

I like order.

I crave neatness.

A place for everything and everything in its place.

But… this can be a double edged sword when dealing with the little people. Children love to mimic, copy, and continually show us what they’ve learned.

Don’t know what I’m talking about? (Although, I’m SURE you do.)

Here’s my latest example…

While looking out the front window the other day (remind me to move the couch away from the windows) the Helper reminded me I was failing in my yard maintenance duties…

“Daddy, look at YOUR yard… you have to go and clean it up!”

“It’s winter, honey, we don’t do anything with the yard in the winter.”

“Yeah… it’s a MESS!”

Obvious first thought,
So is YOUR room.
Then I remembered… He makes me clean that up too.

So instead, I offered,
“When it gets warmer out WE’LL have to clean up the property.”

To which I was told, with a tone of disgust,
“Yeah… just look at the MESS!”

Children learn most effectively by observing others. We’re soooo proud of them when they emulate us -- even when they’re throwing it back in our face!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

An Open Letter of Thanks...

Dear Angel, Angela, Mike, Janet, Jessica, Jeff, Keith, MBI, Karly, Stephanie, and Terri, and to all of you who “lurked” and didn’t comment but sent your well wishes anyway,

Thanks for your comments and words of support, as well as all your prayers. They have certainly helped… a lot. It’s nice to know there are people who care!

I’m a big believer in positive thinking and prayer… it works.

My Dad is much better and should be going home today. After a battery of tests showing nothing seriously wrong it was concluded that a change in his blood pressure medication might have caused his stroke. It seems when you get older any change in regulation of such an important thing can have side effects… serious ones.

His only problem was that his hospital room is directly across the street from his golf course. His room actually overlooked the first hole. Not good for him, someone should have really thought about that. But, yesterday, before they played, all his buddies stopped in to check on him. That was great! Although, when they left I’m sure he was thinking of ways to go with them… in fact I know he was.

Thanks again,


P.S. We will now return to our regularly scheduled programming. Unfortunately, Tool Box Thursday has been pre-empted until next week. But I’ll come up with some silly sit-com featuring the Helper to fill the void.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Missing Post Note

If you came looking for "Warrior, Patriot, Man... Father" it will be back up soon. I need to do some photo and layout editing. I wasn't happy with the layout or quality. Thanks - CF

Then The Phone Rang...

Yesterday, I was supposed to post my installment of Tuesday’s Truth. I had a funny list of stuff to post for the “libations” section and was working on some great links.

But then the phone rang.

Not an unusual occurrence around here, but the caller ID showed a number I vaguely recognized.

It was the number of one of my father’s best friends. Actually, it was his cell phone number.

I answered the phone... it was my father.

He lives in Palm Harbor, Florida, which is just north of Clearwater Beach. I started off with the usual, “How’s it going down there?” I was curious as to why he was using his friend’s cell phone, but thought his battery might be dead. A phone call from the golf course is not unusual for him.

Much to my surprise, his normal witty retort about the weather didn’t come. Instead he said, "Not good."

He had a stroke.

He had lost control of the entire right side of his body.

He is 77 years old.

By the time he was able to call me, the feeling and sensation to the affected areas had returned. Good news!

He will remain in the hospital for a few days to undergo a battery of tests.

I got another phone call last night from my step-mother. (My parents divorced when I was 8 years old.) She told me he was finally in his own room and gave me his number, but not to call him because he was wiped out and was going to sleep.

I agreed to call him today.

I know he’s in good hands; my step-mother is a doctor of nursing education, as well as, a registered nurse and a former associate professor of nursing at the University of Massachusetts.

She also informed me that his “buddies” had immediately rushed to his side. His golf buddies, his poker buddies and he was joking with them all. He was concerned that he would miss last night’s weekly poker game and today’s round of golf. More Good News!

I was working on another “father” post to follow “Grandfathers.” It was going to run next week. But, I think I will finish it today, as time allows, and post it as soon as it’s done.

I look forward to sharing my father’s story, as he is a man who has fascinated me my entire life.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Updates & More...

Update on the Helper

Thanks so much for all the well wishes during our recent bout with sickness. So far, only one of us has succumbed to the vicious ailment… the Mommy. She’s better today and back to work; she’s such a trooper! It’s a good thing, because the last time I checked I didn’t have any sick days left…

The Helper fully recovered by the weekend in order to spend the entire day, Saturday, tormenting his sister. She enjoys him a lot, but now I know why her MP3 player earphones are in all the time. The good news is nothing was broken this weekend due to their antics.

Update on Bleach Post

It has come to my attention that I did not give proper mixing information in my post. Nor, did I provide an alternative for anti-bleach advocates.

Proper mixing for disinfection purposes is one (1) capful of bleach to 2 gallons of water.

An approved substitute for bleach is white vinegar. The disinfecting properties of white vinegar are the same as bleach, but much less caustic. They both smell bad so the choice is yours.

Update on Theme Days

You may have noticed that the “Theme Days” have vanished. Not to worry they’re coming back. They had to be suspended due to “the sickness” and Angel’s tagging which actually inspired the post on Grandfathers. I have some “libations” ready to go for tomorrow and Tool Box Thursday is coming along nicely. This week Photo Friday will focus on some scenery shots, inspired by Terry over at Road Rage.

Of Local Interest

The Long Island 2 Day Walk for Breast Cancer will be holding a Press Conference on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 at 10 a.m. Location: Islip MacArthur Airport, Ronkonkoma, NY (in the new Southwest Terminal).


I have been “tagged” by Angel from Angel’s Cloud to do a “5 Things About Me” meme. I have to admit that I am rather boring; I’m not claustrophobic, I’m not afraid of much, except maybe heights… but I got over that being a builder.

So I thought, instead of boring you with benign facts about your’s truly, I would explain a little bit about where I came from. More specifically, my relationship with my fathers’ and their fathers’ and what shaped me into the Dad I am today.

A little while back, I said, “Men learn how to be men from other men…We learn how to be gentlemen from watching true gentle men. Father’s are not easily impressed by their sons, but they’re always proud of them. As men, we’re remembered by the character of the men we raise.” For better or worse, we’re shaped by the men who have come before us. We raise our sons based on the influences in our lives. As we get older, we learn to extract the good and discard the bad. But all our experiences are there to draw on as we mold the next generation of men.

With that in mind, and being the fact that this is, after all, Long Island Dad, I’m going to start with a segment on my grandfathers. In order to truly "know" things about a person you must know where they came from; what influences they had in their lives and who were/are their role models. I’ll include some interesting facts about me to keep your interest… I promise.

My Middle Name - “Bryan

As I told you a little while back, the Helper is not a junior because we don’t share a middle name. My middle name is “Bryan.” Not odd at all, except for the “y” spelling. It’s actually a family surname; my maternal grandmother’s maiden name. I am a direct descendant of William Jennings Bryan (please click the link to learn more about him). While I don’t share a lot of his religious beliefs or political views, I am, in fact, intrigued and active in both politics and religion.

My “Grandpa” (Maternal Grandfather)

In a previous post I described the relationship between me and my maternal grandfather; a great man who I still use as a role model to this day.

If you haven’t done so already, please read Pens and Pocket Knives, for an understanding of my relationship with him.

My “Poppa Sam” (Paternal Grandfather)

My paternal grandfather was a stoic man of finance. He was a banker. He attended the Wharton School of Finance (the same school as Donald Trump), and rose through the ranks, finally achieving the position of Vice Chairman of Commercial Loans for The First National City Bank of New York, now known as Citibank or Citigroup. (Right Photo: My Grandfather at his retirement party in 1965, before Long Island Dad was born.)

In his time, he was the man large national companies went to for money. They included AT&T, General Motors, DuPont Chemical, and many others. He was a money man. He taught me the value of a dollar, as well as, what to do with that dollar… to bad I haven’t listened so far.

Interesting tidbits; the Baby shares his middle name with my grandfather; my grandparents waited until my grandfather’s retirement in 1965 to take a honeymoon (after having been married for over 40 years), they sailed to Europe on the original Queen Mary in 1966 and spent many months touring Europe. (Left Photo: My Grandparents toasting their Bon Voyage aboard the RMS Queen Mary I, New York Harbor, October 1966)

Upon their return, my grandparents sold their house here on Long Island and retired to Cape Cod, Massachusetts. They became the ultimate “snow birds,” spending summers on the Cape and winters in Naples, Florida.

My grandfather had worked hard all his life and rewarded himself with a great retirement. Unfortunately, he only enjoyed it for eight years. He died in May of 1973; I was 8 years old. This was my first encounter with death; I remember his funeral like it was yesterday. My grandmother (being of 100% Irish decent) lived another 23 years after his death, until she finally passed in 1996.

The thing I remember most about my grandfather, who we called “Poppa Sam,” (to this day I still don’t know why), was the time he and I would spend together on Cape Cod. As a boy I would go up to the Cape every summer… yeah, I know, such a spoiled brat… after having his breakfast, my grandfather would take me for a ride in the car. We would stop for the morning newspapers and then it was off to the beach. He would sit on the bench and read the papers while I ran, jumped and frolicked like little boys do. In the afternoon, after his beloved Red Sox (I know… hurts me to this day!) lost and before cocktail hour, he would play a board game or he would color with me. (Right Photo: A much younger Long Island Dad coloring with Poppa Sam, Naples, FL 1971)

He was not a man of many words or outward signs of affection but I know he loved me. He wasn’t the grandpa who hugged or kissed you or tucked you into bed. He wasn’t the man who took you fishing or taught you how to use tools. He didn’t have a workshop – he hired “that” stuff out. But, in spite of this, and probably because of this, the time he and I spent together, alone, are some of my greatest memories from childhood.

(Left Photo: My Grandparents on their back porch, Cape Cod, Summer 1975, a year before my grandfather passed away. This is the last picture they took together.)