Sunday, March 31, 2013

Mr. Shife's March Madness - Day 31

I would like to thank all of you who took the time to stop by this month to say hello. I really appreciate it and I am especially grateful to be sharing my life with such wonderful people. It was fun celebrating Shifley March Madness. Take care and I will be back blogging soon. I need a little break.=)

Dear Kyle,

I used to think 6 in the morning was early,
then I became your Dad.

I used to think I understood responsibility,
then I became your Dad.

I used to think going to be at 9 at night was a horrible idea,
then I became your Dad.

I used to think the world was not too scary,
then I became your Dad.

I used to think I would never talk about poop so much,
then I became your Dad.

I used to think I have been frustrated,
then I became your Dad.

I used to think I understood patience,
then I become your Dad.

I used to think my life was full,
then I met you on March 31.

Happy birthday Kyle.
I love you to the moon and back, and I am so glad that I am your Dad.
You are one of my very favorite things.

I will persevere. I will keep moving forward. I will be the stream.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Mr. Shife's March Madness - Day 30

Someone was pretty excited about today. 

Today was Kyle's birthday party and he got his big present from me and Mrs. Shife and we also let him open up some presents from my Dad, Grandpa Barry. Tomorrow he will get the rest of his presents but I think he is happy enough with the stuff he got today.

Thanks for the DVDs Grandpa.

We told him to look outside for a present, and it is hard to see but he is jumping up and down on the couch because he saw his new playhouse. 

Running out to his new favorite toy. I love this picture. 

Excited to be in his playhouse.

The birthday cake before picture. 

The birthday cake after picture. Kyle picked out some decorations for his cake and gave it his very own special touch. 

Blowing out the #4 candle. 

A good day. Thanks for stopping by and I will talk to you tomorrow. 

I will persevere. I will keep moving forward. I will be the stream. 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Mr. Shife's March Madness - Day 29

  • Last night was fun. I probably had a little too much fun. I woke up at 1 this afternoon. 
  • Kyle's birthday party is tomorrow and it should be a beautiful day for him and his friends to play outside. It is supposed to be sunny and 70.
  • Good thing I got lots of sleep because I will be up late putting together his playhouse. Besides wanting a playhouse, he also wanted an A320 (airplane) and a gun.
  • The A320 got lodged in his brain because he watched the same episode of "Mighty Machines" that featured airplanes about 27 times when he was sick for a few days a little while ago. 
  • He wants the gun in case monsters come into his room at night and he can get them, and this stemmed from watching "Wreck-It Ralph."
  • Kyle is going to have a pretty good weekend I think. He has his party tomorrow, then Sunday he gets the rest of his presents and an Easter egg hunt too. Not a bad way to turn 4.
  • Besides his birthday I am looking forward to the season premiere of "Game of Thrones" and the season finale of "The Walking Dead" on Sunday. 

  • Hayden wants you to have a wonderful weekend, and also thanks you for stopping by to say hello. 

    I will persevere. I will keep moving forward. I will be the stream.

    Thursday, March 28, 2013

    Mr. Shife's March Madness - Day 28

    Twenty days ago on this very blog I wondered out loud if I should go to a concert that started at 10 pm on a weeknight. Here is a link if you want to read all about it or you can just read a quick summary below: There is going to be band in town that we both like - Roger Clyne and The Peacemakers if you must know - and thought it might be a good idea to get a sitter so we could go to the concert. I went online to buy tickets. Prices were reasonable but then I noticed that the show did not start until 10 p.m. Are you kidding me? 10 pm!?!? I never ever thought I would type these words but "10 pm is late." I know we are supposed to step outside of our comfort zone every now and then, but if we did this the day after would feel like got we stepped on by one of those great animal migrations in the Serengeti that you see on the Discovery Channel. So it looks like we will just be staying home that night 

    Well the beautiful and amazing Mrs. Shife won me over and convinced me that we should go so we are going. And it will be OK. Tomorrow might be a another long day but we will manage and in the long run going out with Mrs. Shife for a fun evening is worth way more than losing some sleep. Plus I re-read a blog post from 2007 about how going to a Roger Clyne and The Peacemakers concert made me feel, and it couldn't hurt to experience some of his concert magic again. And if you want you can read it too because it is right down there. Do you see it? Thanks for stopping by and I will talk to you tomorrow.

    Here's to Life 

    The world is a tough place. It is cold, callous, unforgiving, and will kick while you are down. It is ugly, painful, scary, and downright mean. But it is also beautiful, kind, and hopeful. Sometimes I lose track of that, and I just focus on the unattractive qualities that can be found on the third rock from the Sun. However, last night I was reminded of the joy it brings me. I saw one of my all-time favorite bands in the world perform live and I got to do it with a lot of friends. I have followed the band since I was in college and their songs bring back so many good memories. Their music makes me laugh, think, cry, but most importantly, it makes me appreciate the people, places, and times in my life.

    So thank you Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers for making April 4, 2007 a great day. You guys put on one helluva show as usual and I am so glad I discovered your music.

    Have a great weekend, and if you have something out there that makes you happy please focus on it. We all get so wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of life that sometimes we forget to step back and exhale. Whatever that thing is … that piece of sunshine or hope that makes you really appreciate life. Whether it is getting ready for your favorite team’s next home game or taking a walk with your best friend just make sure you do it more often than not because I like it when you smile.

    P.S. The title of the post is from a song called "Mekong." Before Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, they were The Refreshments, and Mekong is from their first album. The chorus is below.

    It's always happy hour here
    If it is I'd like to stay a while
    And as cliche as it sounds
    I'd like to raise another round
    And if you bottles empty
    Help yourself to mine
    Thank you for your time
    And here's to life

    Tank was not pleased with our decision to go out on a weeknight.

    I will persevere. I will keep moving forward. I will be the stream.

    Wednesday, March 27, 2013

    Mr. Shife's March Madness - Day 27

    14 years ago on this very day I popped the question to the woman of my dreams.
    And she said yes.
    Thank you Mrs. Shife for being the greatest gift in my life.
    Without you I am nothing.

    Thanks for stopping by, and I will talk to you tomorrow.

    I will persevere. I will keep moving forward. I will be the stream.

    Tuesday, March 26, 2013

    Mr. Shife's March Madness - Day 26

    I know there are only 24 hours in every single day.
    Today makes me question if that is true.
    Maybe it was because I was up at a time that don't think it is a great time to have both eyes wide open.
    5:00 am.
    It is partly my fault since I fell asleep at midnight.
    You know I had to catch up on "Teen Mom 2."
    Will someone tell me why I watch "Teen Mom?"
    Because you're an idiot.
    Oh yeah, that's it.
    And that was a reference to the movie "Heathers."
    Back to my story.
    It is 5:00 am.
    Kyle started making loud noises like he was in pain.
    I went in to see if he was OK.
    He then turned over and greeted me with a big, giant "RRRRAAAALLLLPPPPHHHH" as he started spewing everywhere.
    Nothing says top of the morning to you like getting blasted with projectile vomiting.
    I leaned him over the edge of his bed - thank the fat bassets he was on his bottom bunk - and just let him blow chunks all over the floor.
    I honestly think it would have been like the barf-o-rama scene from "Stand By Me" if he was on the top bunk.
    The smell and the sound of it splattering all over the floor after falling nearly six feet would have certainly tested my gag reflex.
    After a few minutes, he was done and I cleaned him up.
    I was hoping he would be OK and go back to sleep but he was up and calling Ralph again at 6.
    I brought him into the bedroom and let him watch cartoons with his new best friend, the bucket.
    Eventually the spewing subsided and was replaced by its faithful companion, diarrhea.
    Puking and Diarrhea.
    One of my favorite combinations in history.
    It ranks right up there with Jagermeister and Bad Decisions.
    The little man has been through 3 sweatpants, 3 undies, and 2 shirts.
    Daddy is on his fifth sixth cup of caffeine.
    It is not quite noon yet.
    Good times.
    And of course Little Miss Hayden wanted to make sure I had a full load of laundry going so she got nice and messy at breakfast.

    Thanks for stopping by. I will talk to you tomorrow.

    P.S. Kyle just had another attack of the Hershey squirts. Some streak marks in his undies. I went to smell his sweats to see if they were OK or if they needed to go into the laundry pile. I don't know why I decided a sniff test was a good idea. He was wearing dark grey sweats and the only light in the bathroom was from the sun so visibility was not that great. Well there was a wet spot on his sweats and I discovered it with my nose. Even more good times.

    I will persevere. I will keep moving forward. I will be the stream.

    Monday, March 25, 2013

    Mr. Shife's March Madness - Day 25

    So in 2007 I wrote down what was on my bucket list if I knew I was going to die. So six years later I have to revise the list just a little bit. And don't worry as far as I know I don't have a date with grim reaper any time soon. There are just some days when you need to write down your goals/dreams so you feel like the grind of every day life is worth it and you have something to look forward to.

    Here is the 2007 list: 1) Have a living wake with all my family and friends, 2) perform at an open mic night at a comedy club, and 3) watch the sunset with Mrs. Shife where we spent our honeymoon in Mexico.

    Here is the 2013 list: 1) Have a living wake with all my family and friends, 2) Visit Zion National Park again, and 3) Share another kiss with Mrs. Shife on the beach where we spent our honeymoon in Mexico.

    Hopefully next year we can make it back to Cabo and have that kiss. It will be our 10th wedding anniversary and it sounds like a nice way to celebrate. Just need to Grandma and Grandpa on board to watch the kids for us. =) And thanks Ms. Moon for the reminder about getting back to Mexico. I appreciate it.

    That is all. I got a week's worth of laundry to fold and I still have not figured out to get those panties to fold themselves. Thanks for stopping. Talk to you tomorrow. 

    Sunday, March 24, 2013

    Mr. Shife's March Madness - Day 24

    Any guesses on what is Kyle's new favorite show?
    Rescuebots? Diego? Dora? Wonder Pets? Thomas the Train?
    Well those are all excellent guesses but the correct answer is "Cousins on Call."
    Are you familiar with the "Cousins on Call?" Or are you like Mrs. Shife and thought I added some new adult erotic show about cousins who are escorts to the DVR list? I assured her that was not the case and that "Cousins on Call" was actually a show about two cousins who lower the wrecking ball on outdated, dysfunctional homes and surprise the homeowners with huge renovations. Here is a link to the show if you want more information. 

    So yes as of March 24, 2013, my soon-to-be 4-year-old's favorite show is on HGTV. Definitely never ever thought I would type those words.

    When he is not busy watching "Cousins on Call," Kyle also enjoys ice cream cones. 

    Hope all is well, thanks for stopping by, and I will talk to you tomorrow. 

    I will persevere. I will keep moving forward. I will be the stream.

    Saturday, March 23, 2013

    Mr. Shife's March Madness - Day 23

    Well I am always looking for motivation for the blog especially this month as I am posting every single day, and today's inspiration comes from my lovely friend Val. She asked how things were coming along with my book, and I am happy to report they are moving along slowly but surely. I have completed my query letter and introduction so starting in April, I will be sending out my stuff to a list of literary agents who might have an interest in me. I know the chances are extremely slim that any of them will want to represent me but I want to say that I gave it a shot. Then I will move on to the self-publishing route and try to get my book completed as soon as possible.  And I thought I would share the beginning of my book's introduction with you. I hope you like it. As always, thank you for stopping by and I will talk to you tomorrow. 

    “So I will be on the beach for three fabulous days working on my tan, rocking out, destroying my liver, and listening to my wife justify why she needs to go on another shopping spree. 
    It is going to be awesome.” – Blog post, Oct. 13, 2005 

    Sounds like a nice way to spend a weekend, huh? In 2005, life was good and there wasn’t much to worry about. My idea of a long weekend was going to Mexico with the wife, staying up too late, and sleeping off a drunken night while we were having some fun with our friends in a foreign land.

    “You might be wondering how my 3-year-old son Kyle told us he no longer wants to nap. Well he ripped off his pull-ups and peed all over his blankets, pillows and stuffed animals. Not once but two afternoons in a row. I really, really do enjoy being a parent sometimes.” – Blog post, Sept. 21, 2012 

    Sounds like a nice way to start your weekend, huh? In 2012, life was good but just a little different. My weekends were still long but the closest I was going to get to Mexico now was visiting the taco food truck downtown. Still up late but never getting to sleep in, and the foreign land I am trying to navigate now is parenthood.

    Welcome to my world. My name is Matt Shifley (a.k.a. Mr. Shife) and for the past eight years, I have been chronicling my odyssey from a really dumb newlywed in 2005 to an even more mindless, married, stay-at-home dad in 2013 through a collection of short, distinctive anecdotes from my blog.

    I don't have any good reason why I chose this as my picture today other than it makes me laugh. Me and Elvis at my 40th birthday party. It was a good day and maybe I am just looking forward to more good days this year. 

    I will persevere. I will keep moving forward. I will be the stream.

    Friday, March 22, 2013

    Mr. Shife's March Madness - Day 22

    Every now and then you get a reminder from the universe that you are not as cool as you think you are. I have had several proverbial kicks to the groin in my lifetime to let me know that my shit does indeed stink. One memorable incident occurred on Mother’s Day about 10 years ago when Mrs. Shife and I were out riding bikes on a nice, sunny afternoon. Going for a bike ride definitely does not fall into one of my favorite activities especially on the weekend but Mrs. Shife persuaded me - and by persuaded I think she threatened me with no cuddle time if you know what I mean and if any of our relatives are reading this I really, - wink, wink - really, really mean cuddle time since we were not married yet.

    The bike ride is going along fine as we were heading down to the Greenbelt - which is a bike/running/walking path that runs along the Boise River and is a cool place - and by the time we are almost there I am starting to get a little confident on my bike. I am doing tricks, jumps, knitting baby blankets and other things because I am a cool dude who probably could have been a world-class bicyclist is what am I thinking because I have just pedaled my way into fantasy land.

    I am no longer confident, I am arrogant and ignorant. I hear a voice inside my head that sounded a lot like my mother’s reminding me that maybe I should take it down a notch because I will probably do something stupid and get hurt. The warning was promptly ignored.

    I was preparing myself to ride down a steep embankment to get on the Greenbelt and as I gazed down the dirt path I noticed in the distance a group of young ladies decked out in bikinis working on their tan. In my head I was like “Hello ladies and prepare to feast your eyes on this amazing specimen who is going to cruise down this hill like an extremely handsome super suave stud. What’s that? Oh know I am sorry I can’t let you rub suntan lotion all over me and feed me grapes as I am with my lady friend and that would not be cool. But go ahead and drink me in. I will wait a moment. Done. Good. You have a super day, ladies.”

    Mrs. Shife asks me if I think it is good idea to go down the path, and I assure her that this is nothing because I have tackled much dangerous trails in my lifetime. However, I am starting to question my decision-making abilities on this one and that voice in my head is starting to make a lot sense right now but I am past the point of no return. I start to descend as there are bikini-clad ladies to impress and of course I have to show off my athletic prowess to Mrs. Shife.

    Down I go and it is a disaster from the get go. I am going too fast. I hit the brakes too hard. I am wondering why I must continue my quest to be a moron. Also thinking it would have been a good idea to wear a helmet. I am head over heels not in love with life right now. I am also inventing new cuss words as I begin to flip over my bike and roll down the hill. Fortunately my momentum was stopped by a sprinkler head. Unfortunately the sprinkler head needed to dig into my hip to achieve that feat. Immediately I am in an incredible amount of pain as I am sitting halfway down the path. This is no bueno. Mrs. Shife comes down the hill to see if I am OK and I tell her I am fine but then I realize that the bikini-clad ladies saw the whole thing and start to head my way because they just witnessed a stupid human trick. I can hear them asking me if I am OK and I scurry back up the hill like a frightened puppy. The girls ask Mrs. Shife if they can help out. Did I just type girls? Oh that’s right from a distance the group of “ladies” looked like they were adult women but it turns out they were 13-year-olds in town for a soccer tournament.

    Well isn't that special. Besides being a horrible bike rider, I am also a pervert too. This is turning out to be a fabulous day.

    I am sitting at the top of the hill with my hand on my hip pretending that I am fine while Mrs. Shife and the girls look up at me knowing that I am not OK because they can see a trail of blood leading back up the hill. I also notice the blood and then look down at my hip, remove my hand and blood starts squirting out of a giant hole in my flesh. The sprinkler head went Freddy Krueger on me. I think the horror on my face at what I just saw signaled to Mrs. Shife and the girls that I needed some help. Some of the girl’s parents have now showed up so I am just absolutely living the American dream as I am writhing in pain and bleeding out while giving complete strangers a great story that will probably begin with “Remember that idiot riding the bike in Boise?”

    After several minutes of free, unprofessional medical advice from our new friends, Mrs. Shife and I decide we should probably get me to the emergency room so her sister picked us up and then we had to drive to the hospital.

    I have ripped open my armpit, broke my shoulder, fractured my foot, had a scrotal hematoma, been hit with a softball moving at the speed of sound in my thigh, dealt with plantar fasciitis, cut my nipple with a razor but this was by far the most painful injury in my life.

    By the time we got to the emergency room I was begging the hospital staff to give me something for the pain. Eventually they did and I felt wonderful. The doctor fixed me up and sent me on my way, and I have a permanent dimple on my left hip to remind me of my stupidity. I have not gone on too many bike rides since that day, and the moral of my little story is that sometimes you need to check yourself before you wreck yourself.

    Thanks for stopping by. Talk to you tomorrow.

    I will persevere. I will keep moving forward. I will be the stream.

    Thursday, March 21, 2013

    Mr. Shife's March Madness - Day 21

  • Why isn't there a Bird Bath and Beyond?
  • When a homeless guy is robbed, is it also considered a home invasion? 
  • Dear people at NASA, Do you ever say "It's not rocket science!" to your coworkers? Sincerely, I would.
  • I am hoping there is a GroupOn class to help accessorize your daughter because I am going to need help with Little Miss Hayden. I know absolutely nothing about pig tails, braids, leggings, stockings, shoes, nails, etc. 
  • I have been limiting my Facebook time to about 5 minutes a day. I have just spent way too much time on that giant time suck.

  • Thanks for stopping by. 

    Obviously this is a picture of Hayden in the bath tub but as you can see she is dressed in her PJs and enjoying her binky. Well after she got done with her bath and was ready for bed, she made a mad dash back to the tub then hopped back in. I guess she wanted to rinse and repeat, and now we know to drain the tub immediately. Always learning something new being a parent. 

    Wednesday, March 20, 2013

    Mr. Shife's March Madness - Day 20

    I have talked about many things on this blog.
    Ambushed paddingtons? Check.
    Purple vibrators? Check.
    Best titles for midget Westerns? Check.
    Tossing my underwear to Eddie Van Halen? Check.

    But I was surprised to learn that I have never done a Top 10 favorite movie list. I love movies and I love lists, so what the heck happened? I am not sure but thanks to Jay Noel for today's inspiration.
    Granted some of these films will not be on some people's favorite list but that is what makes us unique and individuals. So what do you think of my list? What are some of your favorite movies?
    1. The Big Lebowski - If you have read this blog for at least a year then you know I love this movie. I started a tradition on my birthday a few years ago to watch this movie and that is what I do. I saw it for the first time in college and was not sure what I thought of it. I did not hate it but I did not love it. Well eventually I watched it again and again and again ... well you get the picture. It just makes me happy, man, and so you know the Shife abides. 
    2. Casablanca - Another movie I saw for the first time in college. I really dragged my feet on this one because it was in black and white. I know. The horror of not watching something in color. I was taking a lot of film classes in school when I watched it so it was love at first sight without a doubt. I just loved the dialogue and the way it was filmed. A true classic and most definitely the film that really fueled my desire to go to film school
    3. The Shawshank Redemption - Another one I saw initially in college. Are you noticing a trend here? This film blew me away. We decided to go to the movies one night and someone picked Shawshank. Nobody knew anything about it and it just was mesmerizing and engrossing from the beginning. It is one of those films that makes you stop when you are channel surfing when you run across it and start watching. 
    4. Animal House - I saw this one before I went away to college and it is one of the reasons I wanted to go away to school so I could party like Bluto. Of course it is also quite hilarious. It has been a little bit since I last saw it but it is definitely a movie that stands the test of time. 
    5. Batman trilogy (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises) - It is hard to pick one favorite out of the Christopher Nolan/Christian Bale series so I just included the whole group as a pick. I love the darkness, vulnerability, humor, themes and special effects of this Batman series, and it doesn't hurt that Christian Bale is one of my favorite actors. 
    6. The Princess Bride - Another movie that resonated with me long after I saw it. I had no idea what I was getting into when I sat down to see it but then it just kept sucking me as I was enjoying the adventure. I look forward to the day that I can sit down and watch it with Kyle and Hayden. 
    7. Four Feathers - A grand, epic, period-action drama that bombed at the box office but for some reason I fell in love with it. I don't know why it speaks to me but it does, and I like it more every time I watch it. 
    8. Se7en - A dark, stylish thriller that had me on the edge of my seat from pretty much the beginning. The cinematography, music, plot and acting all working together to create a magnificent masterpiece. 
    9. Fight Club - Dark and funny. Two things I really love in a movie especially when it is done as well as Fight Club. Sensational, bold and hits you with a nice sucker punch at the end. The acting is phenomenal and it is just a fun cinematic ride. 
    10. Star Wars - A movie that left a lasting impression on me. I saw it for the first time when I was maybe 8 or 9 and it was absolutely amazing to a young boy like myself. I had never seen anything like it before and it made me look at the stars and life a little differently after watching it. 

    I wonder if Kyle will love movies as much as me, and I also wonder how much longer he will watch his cartoons in my laundry basket? 

    I will persevere. I will keep moving forward. I will be the stream. 

    Tuesday, March 19, 2013

    Mr. Shife's March Madness - Day 19

    Hello there. I did not mean for my last blog post to come across so negative. I should have explained myself better as I well know that we all experience hiccups as parents and even though this one made me feel awful about what I did to Kyle, he is going to be fine. It happened, move on and don't beat myself up over it. It wasn't like I did it on purpose and it was mostly Anxiety Shife talking yesterday as I just went to DEFCON 1 imagining Kyle 20 years down the road discussing with his therapist why abandonment issues led him to an unfulfilled life as a whale feces researcher.

    Thanks for your comments too. They did help and knocked me back into reality. Plus I also read an awesome article called "How to be a Perfect Parent." It was quite amusing and definitely put things into perspective for me. Here is an excerpt from it:

    I don't know about you, but I pictured motherhood as a big ol' sappy rom-com full of growth chart montages and fun, photogenic family trips to the park and nap times spent typing away on my laptop with heretofore unheard of bursts of creativity. I don't even think I included "showered every day" or "didn't cry once for a whole half hour" in my fantasy, because those were givens in my rosy, perfect life, in which the kitchen would overflow with bowls of ripe organic fruits, and poop would never accidentally get on my blouse.

    I hate to break it to you, but parenthood is basically the opposite of everything I just said. Of course there are plenty of amazing, beautiful, transformative moments -- but those generally take place when you are on the toilet by yourself. The rest of it is messy, both physically and emotionally. You will survive it, but it will not always be pretty. THIS IS NORMAL.

    Have a nice evening and talk to you tomorrow.

    Little Miss Hayden being pretty in purple and her new jean jacket from her Great Grammie. 

    I will persevere. I will keep moving forward. I will be the stream.

    Monday, March 18, 2013

    Mr. Shife's March Madness - Day 18

    Yes I did almost go to bed without posting tonight.
    I just got extremely busy at being lazy.
    Wow. I apologize for that and I hope I come up with a better excuse for my lethargic behavior.
    I could always go with I am really exhausted after my Jazzercise class and knitting Tank a peter heater but that would sound really lame.
    Anyway I do have something to share.
    In my quest to live up to the title of the blog - A Dumb, White Guy - and to also wrap up Father of the Year early, I present my latest crowning achievement in trying to scar my children for life.
    The most recent victim was Kyle.
    This happened a few weeks ago but I just now feel comfortable sharing with you how bad I can be at this whole parenting thing.
    I woke up to my son sobbing and scared because nobody came into his room to get him when he was ready to get up. Mrs. Shife was up early teaching one of her exercise classes so I had to be ready to get up with the kids today. They like to wake up early. Like 6 am. I am deaf in one ear, and if I sleep with my bad ear up I don't hear anything. When Mrs. Shife heads out to her class at 4:45 am she lets me know so I roll over with my good ear up so I can hear the kids. Well I guess I thought she was home or something because I turned back over to my bad ear being up sometime later. She wasn't home yet and poor Kyle kept calling for Mama or Dada but nobody came. =(
    Eventually he came into our room to find out what was going on and that is when I woke up completely horrified at what I did to him.
    Thanks for stopping by.

    I am doing my best not to scar this little angel but I am afraid Little Miss Hayden will feel the sting of a dumb, white guy being her daddy. 

    I will persevere. I will keep moving forward. I will be the stream.

    Sunday, March 17, 2013

    Mr. Shife's March Madness - Day 17

    Today I had no problem coming up with a topic for my blog because it is the lovely and wonderful Mrs. Shife's birthday. So happy birthday to the most beautiful wife in the world from the luckiest husband in the world. I can honestly say that I am extremely blessed to have her as my wife, best friend and partner in crime. And besides that she is amazing, talented, gifted, brilliant and not too shabby as a Mom either. I thank the universe every day for bringing her into my life and I love her and look forward to spending the rest of my life with her.

    I have had the good fortune to wish Mrs. Shife a happy birthday for 16 years, and we have had some good times celebrating her special day. One of the most memorable birthdays is below from 2006 and I thought I would share it again. Enjoy and thanks for stopping by.

    Hello everybody. Just in case you were wondering I have been off the reservation for the last few days. Mrs. Shife and I have had family in town since last Thursday and I took a few days off to enjoy their company.
    I know what you are thinking, what color underwear is he wearing? Black. Thanks for thinking of me in my underwear. I swear every time I start blogging with you this happens. Get your mind out of the gutter.
    OK let’s get back to business.
    We had family in town for a surprise birthday party for Mrs. Shife. I am sorry I couldn’t tell you about it but I had to keep it a surprise. Anyway I have been planning this for months and it was difficult keeping it a secret from my lovely wife. And I am still not sure how I did it because she is one smart lady. Mrs. Shife came home from work Friday and I told her we needed to go out to a bar for a drink to celebrate her birthday and I had to tell her something. She was suspicious because I had been acting funny that day so I needed to distract her so I wouldn’t blow the secret. We get to the bar and I told her I got promoted at work and they wanted me to move to Chicago. This is a possibility because my company has an office there and my family lives in Illinois so Mrs. Shife knows I might want to move there. She buys the fib and we discuss the pros and cons of moving to Chicago, and I must say that I could have been an actor because I put on one helluva performance. After a lengthy discussion about Chicago, I finally get the call from the family that Operation Mrs. Shife is in place and we can bring home the victim. We head home and she walks into the house to be surprised by 16 relatives. It was awesome, and I have been told by Mrs. Shife that I am going to be nominated for husband of the year. I just figure I am going to get a kick-ass birthday present next month.

    And here we are in Mexico. One of my favorite pictures of us. 

    I will persevere. I will keep moving forward. I will be the stream.

    Saturday, March 16, 2013

    Mr. Shife's March Madness - Day 16

    Well that was fun.
    I am glad everyone enjoyed the tale of my worst wet dream.
    It was fun recalling those days. Definitely had no idea where I was going back then but what a fun, strange trip it has been to get to where I am at today.
    Unfortunately, I don't have any other crazy stories to share at this moment. The only memories that were triggered today were how things are vastly different on St. Patrick's Day for me and Mrs. Shife.
    After we graduated from college, we used to head down to Las Vegas every year to partake in the everyone is Irish celebration and also enjoy the college basketball excitement known as March Madness. It was pretty crazy down in Sin City and we had a lot of fun.
    Sure I miss those days but I like these days a lot more.
    Hope you and yours have a wonderful St. Patrick's Day weekend, and little Irish toast to help you celebrate: "As you slide down the banister of life, may the splinters never point in the wrong direction."

    Kyle and Hayden enjoying something. I don't recall what it was exactly but it is definitely not a food that goes well with white onesies. I think Hayden had about a 50 percent success ration with her spoon which is why I think she was watching her brother so carefully so she could learn from the master.

    I will persevere. I will keep moving forward. I will be the stream.

    Friday, March 15, 2013

    Mr. Shife's March Madness - Day 15

    How Seaman Shifley almost became Seaman Spluge:
    The Tale of Mr. Shife’s Worst Wet Dream. 

    How is that for an attention grabber? And why would I remember this? First off I do not have a list stashed away in a tattered notebook ranking my best and worst wet dreams, and you will easily understand why I remember this as my worst dream ever after reading about what and where it happened.
    So let me set the scene. I was a 19-year-old man living in Orlando, Florida and employed by the U.S. Navy. However, I had only been working for the Navy for about 6 weeks when the incident occurred so if you know how the military works and do the math then you know I was in boot camp.
    Yep that is right. Me and 80 of my closest buddies sharing a barracks with 2 of the meanest people I have ever met in my life also known as company commanders or drill instructors, CPO Cunningham and CPO Shooks. I found out after boot camp graduation that the meanies were actually awesome folks who were just doing their job.
    During boot camp there is not a lot of stuff in your control. You sleep, eat, exercise, listen, march, shower, poop, pee and think when they tell you to. My company was nearing the end of boot camp. I think we had 2-3 weeks to go so we were able to do some things that we never imagined doing after our first week at Recruit Training Command in Florida. Now we were able to take care of our chores in a fairly quickly and still have enough time to sit down on the floor, lean against the wall and take a quick nap. Well yours truly decided to do that after I got my bunk squared away and mopped the bathroom or the head as it is called in the Navy as that was my menial task I was assigned for the week. We probably had 15 minutes before we were going to eat or do a drill so I thought I would close my eyes for a few minutes to recharge.
    Did I mention I was 19? 19-year-old boys are often referred to as young, dumb and full of that stuff that looks like tapioca pudding. I also had been away at boot camp for an eternity - hey 7 weeks is a lifetime to a teenager - with no release for that stuff. I was going to die. I swear I saw a headline or a news story somewhere that said a teenage boy spontaneously combusted because he was too full of sperm. One guy got caught masturbating during boot camp and his life was a living hell after that so there was no way I was going to take that chance.
    Anyway I am napping away and I was having a really, really good dream. I guess the boys needed to deploy and they saw this as their opportunity. Before I realized or understood what had happened I woke up, stood up and then looked down to my worst nightmare. I just had a wet dream in my Navy uniform and there is no hiding the evidence because it is all over my pants. I am freaking out. Our drill instructors are about to walk through the door at any moment and we are going to march somewhere and I will be strutting my stuff with soiled dungarees. That is of course if I can make it out of the door without no one noticing the large stain that looks like a map of the Hawaiian Islands on the front of my pants.
    I walk as fast as my petrified body will take me to the bathroom and try to clean up as much of the mess as possible. Toilet paper and water are great for some things but cleaning up my DNA is not one of them. Now the stain has morphed into Southeast Asia and with tiny pieces of TP stuck to it.
    I just kept thinking I am so screwed. What I am going to do? I am running out of time. I am already Seaman Shifley now they are going to call me Seaman Spluge or something else horrible for the rest of my Navy career.
    Desperate times call for desperate measures. It was time to use the mop again. It was still wet and I don't know if you heard but mops are good at cleaning up stuff. So I started mopping myself. Rubbing that nasty, moist mop all over my pants and shirt. Just getting as messy and wet as I could. As I eyeballed myself to make sure there is no way anyone will know I spontaneously orgasmed in my pants just a few minutes ago, I headed back out to my bunk area to face my punishment.
    The drill instructors had just strolled into the barracks when we had to line up for an impromptu inspection. They got a look at me and wondered why I looked like I just got assaulted by a water buffalo. I told them I slipped and fell while I was mopping. They knew I was hiding something and proceeded to verbally pummel me for a few minutes to try get to the truth. I stuck to my story and didn’t blow it like I did earlier. It was always a great time getting your butt chewed out by them. I tried to view it as an educational experience as I got to learn how the f word can be used effectively in so many ways like a noun, a verb, an adjective or an adverb. I had to do some push ups, change my clothes and eventually they moved on to abusing another sailor about doing something stupid and that is the tale of my worst wet dream. And sorry for lying to you CPO Cunningham and CPO Shooks but I just could not be remembered as Spluge.
    Thanks for stopping by.

    I will persevere. I will keep moving forward. I will be the stream.

    Thursday, March 14, 2013

    Mr. Shife's March Madness - Day 14

    Two weeks in and I wonder if I am going to be able to survive the Madness this year. It just seems a lot harder coming up with daily posts in 2013. Plenty of material from the little ones but I am kind of exhausted by the end of the day so I don't exactly recall what I thought about posting at 8 in the morning. Today you get some funny pictures. Enjoy.

    I totally think Kyle would love it if I dropped him off at school with this kind of art on the vehicle. 

    Just in case you thought you were having a bad day. 

    Anyone else feel like this when they open a can of Tomato soup?  

    Just a little something to make you smile. A bird doing a steamroller. Awesome.

     You learn something new every day. I never knew this, did you? 

    Now you know where chocolate milk comes from. =)

    I will persevere. I will keep moving forward. I will be the stream. 

    Wednesday, March 13, 2013

    Mr. Shife's March Madness - Day 13

    Thanks everyone for your comments. It really does help.
    I don't know if it was eating 4 cinnamon rolls, nearly an entire sheet cake, going on a Mountain Dew binge, telling Tobias to eat a barrel full of duck vaginas or if the doom and gloom had just finally peaked, but I am feeling much better today.

    Today Kyle and I worked on one of Mrs. Shife's birthday presents so we were quite busy at his art table being as artistic as we could be. He is 3 and I am not but my art skills are about at that level.
    I am definitely not  known as an artisan.
    I have mastered many skills but creating something like functional furniture or making a tapestry of the Norman Conquest of 1066 is not on my resume.
    After a few beers I like to think that I can do these things and I actually have tried my hand at building stuff before after downing some liquid courage.
    I remember one time in college attempting to build some shelves. I built - really feel ashamed for even using that word - them and before I went to bed I thought to myself that I did a pretty darn good job.
    It turns out beauty definitely lies in the hands of the beer holder.
    When I woke up, I realized I had not built shelves but I constructed a deformed, misaligned, distorted, twisted pile of wood that would send a Great Slaty Woodpecker of Southeast Asia into immediate cardiac arrest if his beady eyes caught a glimpse of this hardwood horror show.
    So where am I going with this? Well I was remembering this story as Kyle was hard at work on his momma's present. When he was done with her present, he decided he wanted to draw some more so he drew some more. When he finished, he wanted to hang up his art on the fridge. Off he went into to the kitchen and I came in a few minutes later. What I saw made me belly laugh and love my child even more than I possibly could.
    And I swear to you I did not alter this photo at all or pick out his magnets.
    I don't know if he picked up on my brain waves but whatever the case might be it appears the apple does not far fall from the tree.

    And if you ask me I believe that he attempted to draw a picture of a woodpecker.

    I will persevere. I will keep moving forward. I will be the stream.

    Tuesday, March 12, 2013

    Mr. Shife's March Madness - Day 12

    Funk me.
    I don't know what it is about this time of year but I just get a little blue.
    Self-doubt, sad, unmotivated, indifferent, negative and just all-around blah.
    A little voice inside my head just telling me that I am worthless.
    I know this is not true but when you are feeling melancholy you tend to be irrational.
    A friend of mine gave me some advice and said I should give this voice a name.
    And then after I give it a name, then tell it to shut the hell up and suck it.
    I calling my that negative voice Tobias.
    Why Tobias?
    I was going to go with Funky because I always say to myself that I must have eaten some funky charms when I am miserable. However, I thought I could do better than that. Then Funky reminded of F√ľnke, which was the last name of one of the characters on one of my favorite shows "Arrested Development." His first name was Tobias.
    I also apologize because it seems like every now and then I bring up the depression topic, and I am sure you have better things to do than hear about my gloom and doom.
    When it does flare up I take my meds but sometimes they just are not enough to get me over the hump.
    I am just glad it only happens every now and then because otherwise I would be obese. Usually my sweet tooth is activated during these periods of unhappiness, and I will polish off a half-gallon of ice cream or in this case nearly the entire frosted strawberry sheet cake that Kyle made.
    So that is that. Oh before I forget, Tobias shut the hell up and suck it.
    Hope all is well with you.

    I am hoping I feel like I do in this picture real soon. 

    I will persevere. I will keep moving forward. I will be the stream.

    Monday, March 11, 2013

    Mr. Shife's March Madness - Day 11

  • Anyone else weigh themselves before and after they pee? Just me. Cool. Just checking. 
  • Anyone watch "The Following"? I do but it is slowly starting to drift into the "I think I would rather practice acupuncture on my basset hound than watch another hour of this" category. I am willing to suspend my disbelief but it is getting difficult with this show.  
  • Daylight savings time can suck it. I understand why it made sense back in the day but now I think they do it just to torture parents of young children. Before I had kids it was a minor inconvenience but not that big of a deal. Now it sucks because the kid's napping schedule and bedtime routines are screwed up for about a week before things get back to normal. Good times. 
  • Our car had a funky odor recently. First we thought it was the car seats so we doused them with Fabreze and that got rid of the smell for about a day. Nope not it.
  • Then we thought maybe some food got left behind by us or one of the kids that was hidden away under a seat. Nope not it .
    Then maybe it was the diaper bag and we accidentally left a used one in there. Nope not it.
    Turns out Hayden's sippy cup dripped a little bit, and some milk ended up underneath a car mat. So the milk would constantly freeze then warm up until it just smelled awful. Like a turd covered in burnt hair as someone eloquently said on "Anchorman." Below is a picture of the guilty party.

    Who me? I would never do anything like that Daddy. Quick buy me some more jewelry. 

    That is all. Have a nice evening.

    I will persevere. I will keep moving forward. I will be the stream. 

    Sunday, March 10, 2013

    Mr. Shife's March Madness - Day 10

    Kyle is potty trained, and he has been for a long time. However, every now and then he will do some stuff that makes me wonder if he needs to go back to potty training boot camp. Lately he has been saying "I gotta poop" then sprints to the bathroom but his time to toilet is greatly diminished because he has one hand on his butt trying to keep the poop in and the other hand clearing a hole through the hallway so he can make it on time to take care of business. So naturally this is leading to complications like streak marks in his undies. I was getting a little upset about it and wanted to tell Kyle to quit messing around and just go poop when you feel it popping its head out like a turtle. I have told him that once poop makes up its mind that it wants to be out then there is not much you can do about it because it is happening. And yes - in case you were wondering - I never imagined I would be having a conversation about poop and gravity with a 3-year-old. Then I had a poop epiphany. Kyle is only 3 and for the most part gets all of his poop in the toilet with no racing stripes. If I had to make an educated guess, I would give him an average of around .750. Well I am in my early 40s and I am not even batting 1.000 when it comes to clean undies. Every now and then, the old master Mr. Shife gets a visit from the skid mark wizard. So all in all the little man is doing pretty good and as Forrest Gump wisely said, "It happens."

    Kyle just being Kyle. 

    I will persevere. I will keep moving forward. I will be the stream. 

    Saturday, March 09, 2013

    Mr. Shife's March Madness - Day 9

    It is not exactly lions, and tigers, and bears! Oh, my!
    But there is a seal - which I call Hayden occasionally as she starts clapping if she wants a snack - and a certain 3-year-old who does his best impersonations of a lion, bear and a bull.
    Dr. Ken, what do you think of the little man's shirt? The next White Mamba?
    Hope you enjoy, and are having a good weekend.

    I will persevere. I will keep moving forward. I will be the stream.

    Friday, March 08, 2013

    Mr. Shife's March Madness - Day 8

    I know I am in a different place than I was last year. Five years ago. 10 years ago. You get the idea but sometimes life sends you a reminder that you just don't do the things you used to do.

    Oh you were waiting for an example. I guess that would be nice of me.
    Well as luck would have it I came prepared.

    There is going to be band in town that we both like - Roger Clyne and The Peacemakers if you must know - and thought it might be a good idea to get a sitter so we could go to the concert. I went online to buy tickets. Prices were reasonable but then I noticed that the show did not start until 10 p.m.
    Are you kidding me? 10 pm!?!? I never ever thought I would type these words but "10 pm is late."

    I know we are supposed to step outside of our comfort zone every now and then, but if we did this the day after would feel like got we stepped on by one of those great animal migrations in the Serengeti that you see on the Discovery Channel. So it looks like we will just be staying home that night and watching Parks & Recreation or Duck Dynasty or Archer.

    Also, if you are a long-time reader of the blog you know that Mrs. Shife and I have seen RCPM in concert many times. We even went to Mexico to see them perform, and 10 pm was definitely not late in those days. Hell we were just getting started.

    Maybe I am getting too old but I prefer to think that the comfort of my sweatpants and the company of the lovely Mrs. Shife is just not worth going downtown to get a hangover that will take me a week to get over. Plus the last time I checked Kyle and Hayden do not really care if we are dragging butt at 6 in the morning.

    Even the cutest moose thinks it is crazy if Mommy and Daddy went out to a concert at 10 pm on a weeknight.

    I will persevere. I will keep moving forward. I will be the stream.

    Thursday, March 07, 2013

    Mr. Shife's March Madness - Day 7

    I finally got the finishing touches on my tattoo yesterday, and it is done. Just like my tattoo that I got in 1997, I have definitely changed but one thing that hasn't is how much I love the lovely Mrs. Shife. This is a picture of us on my fraternity's rafting trip, and it was that night that I told her that I loved her for the first time. The rest they say is history, and after 16 years I am glad to have shared so much with her. 

    I will persevere. I will keep moving forward. I will be the stream. 

    Wednesday, March 06, 2013

    Mr. Shife's March Madness - Day 6

    I give you these eloquent and powerful lyrics from "Bye Bye Bye," which besides being my go-to karaoke jam, is a song from the Backstreet Boys 'N Sync: 

    Bye bye
    Don't really wanna make it tough
    (I don't wanna be your fool)
    I just wanna tell you that i've had enough
    (But i've had enough)
    It might sound crazy but it ain't no lie
    Bye bye bye
    (Bye bye!)

    So why am I starting my blog off with lyrics from a boy band? I will explain soon but I first must apologize as I will have to get back to that big confession in that opening sentence later as there is not enough time today to discuss why I am compelled to sing Backstreet 'N Sync at karaoke bars.

    Back to the story.
    I thought of those words as kind of a theme song for Kyle as he made a really big decision recently. I am rather embarrassed to admit it but the little man was still going to bed with his pacifier or binky as we call it around here. Mrs. Shife and I knew it had to stop as he is going to be 4 soon and we were thinking of clever ways to persuade him to let go of the bink.

    So I planted a thought.
    I mentioned to him a couple of months ago that binkys start to taste funny when you get bigger because that is what happens to big boys. Occasionally I would ask him if the binks were OK and Kyle would let me know that they were not tasting funny. I also told him that when he was done with his binks that we could take them to the toy store and he could trade them in for a new toy. My plan was to put some anti-nail biting cream on his 2 remaining binks after his 4th birthday so they would taste funny and hoping it would make sense to him. I was not looking forward to this day because I did not want to put some nasty stuff on Kyle's bink because that just felt cruel but I also knew we had to take the bink away.

    Fortunately it never came to that as Kyle decided one day at dinner that he did not need his binkys anymore. I honestly don't know what triggered it but something just clicked with him.
    He told us that he did not want them to start tasting funny and was ready to take them to the toy store to trade it in. Off to Toys R Us we went. Mrs. Shife and I were looking at each other on the way to the store like "Is this really happening?" and then "OMG I can't believe this is happening. I think I just peed my pants because I am so excited. Did you pee your pants?"

    Well he picked out a toy, we came home and everything was fine until bed time. Then it dawned on Kyle what he really did and he started getting upset. Mrs. Shife and I are trying to comfort him while not laughing because the stuff he was saying was hilarious. He kept saying that he was worried about his binky being OK and that he needed one because he had dreamed about them his whole life. He is a funny little dude.

    Eventually we calmed him down, and the first night was pretty rough. The second night was a little rough, and the third night was no big deal. Fast forward to present day and he is just fine as you can see by the picture below.

    P.S. I also would like someone to contact the record books because I think I set the record for using the word bink, binks or binkys in a blog post.

    I will persevere. I will keep moving forward. I will be the stream.

    Tuesday, March 05, 2013

    Mr. Shife's March Madness - Day 5

    I don't know what is going on today but I am just dragging butt. I got enough sleep last night. Plenty of caffeine. Just really low energy and not a lot of motivation to do much of anything. Maybe it was taking both of the kids to Costco today or maybe on day 1,435 of being a parent you get the magical gift of feeling like a beaten pinata. I sure hope day 1,436 is a lot better because this sluggish feeling can suck it. So to recap I feel like this guy:

    And I also feel like the kids have been hammering away at me all day like an unmerciful toilet paper gun:

    So here is a joke to end this blog post on a good note and to a better day tomorrow:
    An older man had met a younger woman, but unfortunately he was unable to last very long before he would orgasm during sex. A caring man, he was concerned that he was disappointing his new lover,so he called his doctor for advice. The doc told him that masturbating before sex often helped men last longer during the act. The man decided, "What the hell, I'll try it." He spent the rest of the day thinking about where to do it. He couldn't do it in his office. He thought about the restroom, but that was too open. He considered an alley, but figured that was too unsafe. Finally, he realized his solution. On his way home, he pulled his truck over on the side of the highway. He got out and crawled underneath as if he was examining the truck. Satisfied with the privacy, he undid his pants and started to masturbate. He closed his eyes and thought of his lover. As he grew closer to orgasm, he felt a quick tug at the bottom of his pants. Not wanting to lose his mental fantasy or the orgasm, he kept his eyes shut and replied, "What?" He heard, "This is the police. What the hell are you doing?" The man replied, "I'm checking out the rear axle, it's busted." The cop says, "Well, you better check your brakes too, because your truck rolled down the hill 5 minutes ago.

    I will persevere. I will keep moving forward. I will be the stream.

    Monday, March 04, 2013

    Mr. Shife's March Madness - Day 4

    I am pretty sure Mr. Shife and smartest guy in the room have not been uttered by too many human beings in the same sentence. Even if I am in a roomful of monkeys, my money is still on the primate with the long tail. Now if it was me and flaming bags of dog crap then I like my odds. Maybe it is just sleep deprivation but I just do some dumb stuff.
    For example, we had 2 Windex bottles in our cleaning cabinet. One was almost full and the other one was nearly empty so I decided to pour the almost empty one into the full one. I know I live an exciting life. Don't be hating.
    Well now the empty bottle is empty (this is going to look so good on the resume) and the other bottle is now full. Well then I put the lid/spray nozzle with the long, thin plastic tube thingy on the now completely full bottle and that displaces about 4 ounces of Windex all over me and the floor.
    Now the bottle is basically at the level is was at before I completed my stupid human trick.
    That is all.
    Hope your Monday has been enjoyable.

    It is a Tank sighting. It has been awhile since our beloved basset got some time on the blog but here he is and as you can see he is doing OK. 

    I will persevere. I will keep moving forward. I will be the stream.

    Sunday, March 03, 2013

    Mr. Shife's March Madness - Day 3

    Well it is Sunday, and I have spent some time working on my book because my writing coach is relentless so I am little tapped out when it comes to coming up with a great post today. I thought I would just share an awesome picture I ran across on Facebook. I don't know if you know this but people post a lot of pictures on there. Plus, I am also going to do my best to make sure my miles per gallon is at least average as I will be rooting on my soccer team as they start their season and you have to kick off the season with a few adult beverages. First I have to watch "The Amazing Race" with the amazing Mrs. Shife and root for the hockey players. Anyone else watch it? That is my Sunday evening and it shall be grand. Hope yours is too.

    I will persevere. I will keep moving forward. I will be the stream.

    Saturday, March 02, 2013

    Mr. Shife's March Madness - Day 2

    So what exactly makes it March Madness around the Shifley household?
    Well there are a few things that make this month interesting:

  • Kyle's birthday - He is going to be 4. I can't believe it.
  • Mrs. Shife's birthday - She is going to be .... I am not that stupid. 
  • Spring break - Is it too early to take the kids to Cancun?
  • Tattoo appointment - Going to get the final touch ups done and probably call it good on ink for this lifetime. 
  • More daylight and warmer temperatures - It is almost time to break out the shorts and retire the sweatpants.
  • Teacher helper at Kyle's preschool - Another opportunity to do something really dumb. 
  • Easter - Hayden will get to do her first egg hunt. 
  • A date with Mrs. Shife - Going out for dinner and a movie or we might just park the car and nap for a few hours and shopping early for Mrs. Shife's birthday presents. 
  • NCAA basketball tournament - The official March Madness.
  • MLS - Major League Soccer returns. I know my blogging BFF Phats will be super excited to learn about this. 
  • A new season of "Game of Thrones" - One of the few shows that I watch that gets my undivided attention. A lot of stuff I just half-watch. It is background noise while I am doing important stuff like tweeting or reading FB updates. 
  • And of course these two make things a little crazy around here as well. 

  • I will persevere. I will keep moving forward. I will be the stream. 

    Friday, March 01, 2013

    Mr. Shife's March Madness - Day 1

    Well February kind of sucked a bag of a dicks so I am hoping another round of March Madness will get things back in order for yours truly. Last year I blogged the whole month and that is the plan again in 2013. I also began my March Madness with a picture of a stuffed rodent flashing his nuts. You don't know how good it feels to type those words again.

    So here is another photo of another stuffed rodent to start my month of March Madness. What do you think? I searched long and hard to find these guys, and I still am not sure why one would employ the services of a taxidermist to capture this unique look at animals in action. Maybe I am missing the point and it is an artistic take on American capitalism but to me it just looks like two squirrels getting it on. Anyone got a good caption for the photo? The winner will get an awesome platitude from me like "go with the flow" and if that wasn't enough you can also have the highly-sought after book "Crafting with Cat Hair."

    And this is how stuffed animals are made.

    I will persevere. I will keep moving forward. I will be the stream.