Friday, December 30, 2016

Happy New Year 2017

Well, I'm taking a break this week because we are celebrating the holiday with family and we currently have nine adults, six kiddos all under the age of 7, and two 4-month-old puppies hanging out at Casa de Shifley.
It's a little hard finding some time to get away to write something extraordinary.
Trust me this final post of 2016 was going to be epic.
Gotta run.
I'll talk to you next week in the year 2017.
Take care.
Thanks for stopping by and Happy New Year.

Oh and I almost forget but I need to spend some time cleaning out my cooler.

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

Friday, December 23, 2016

Shife 2.0

Well, last week sucked.
Mentally I was in a bit of a funk and I felt a lot like this:

Thank you for being supportive. It really does mean a lot.
Well, I knew this couldn't continue and I also knew I didn't want this to continue so I decided to get my shit together and fight Tobias.

Saturday - I acknowledged that I wasn't in a happy place and I needed help. I meditated, used essential oils (doTerra wild orange) and upped my diazepam (valium) dosage. I didn't want to do any of this, but I made myself because it had to be done if I was going to get over this bout of depression.
Sunday - I felt better. I continued with the meditation, essential oils, and diazepam. I also know giving and gratitude can make you feel better. I donated to some charities and bought some Christmas presents.
Monday - Clutter is a major trigger for my anxiety and that can eventually spiral into my depression. I had emails from 2004. I had more than 3,000 emails just sitting in my inbox doing nothing but driving me nuts because they are just sitting there taking up space. Bye bye emails. I have 10 emails in my inbox right now. And that number will be cut in half when some packages are delivered.  I continued with the meditation, essential oils, and diazepam
Tuesday - My Twitter account was also a hot mess. I followed more than 1,500 people just because they followed me back. However, they brought nothing to the table for me and were just clogging up my Twitter feed with stuff I didn't care about. Bye bye Twitter followers. My list of followers is now under 300 and it's a joy to go through my news feed because I actually get information that I find interesting and useful. I continued with the meditation, essential oils, and diazepam
Wednesday - I went out with some friends to have a few beers. I hadn't been out in a long time with friends. I knew I was starting to feel better because I wanted to go out and meet them. A week ago, I would have made up an excuse as to why I couldn't meet them. I continued with the meditation, essential oils, and diazepam.
Thursday - I have bills. You have bills. If you are like me, you probably wish you didn't have bills. Well, I can't change the fact that I have bills, but I can take control of them. We have bills due on the 1st, the 10th, the 15th, the 24th, etc. Not anymore. They are all now due on the 5th. I pay everything on one day and I'm done with it. Just getting everything squared away on one day takes some stress out of my life. I continued with the meditation, essential oils, and diazepam.
Friday - There are 86,400 seconds in a day. I don't get them back. They don't collect interest. Once they are gone, they are gone. I can either get busy making the most out of that time or just exist. I don't want to exist or survive. I want to thrive. I'm going to make my seconds count. I continued with the meditation and essential oils. I scaled back on the diazepam because it can become addictive.

Well, that's been my week.
I took a look in the mirror and decided Mr. Shife needed to get busy living.
It's not always going to be sunshine and rainbows, but I'm going to fight because I want to be happy and I fucking deserve to be happy.

Thanks for listening and thanks for stopping by.
Have a wonderful weekend and Merry Christmas.

P.S. I also purged my messy desk of clutter and found two copies of my book.
I would love to give them to someone if they wanted it. It's FREE.
Just send me your address at and I'll get in the mail.
The books have been claimed. Thanks everyone.

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

Friday, December 16, 2016

Hello Darkness, My Old Friend

The darkness is back. 
The winter blues have returned. 
The swirling vortex of worthlessness is in charge.
Circling the drain is my catch phrase. 
I was hoping it would skip me, but it's back and it seems like with a vengeance this year. 
I think having to find Tank another home has really put me in more of a funk than usual. 
I know it will pass.
I know it will end.
I just wish I knew when.
Suck it, Tobias.

P.S. Tobias is the name I have given my depression. 

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

Friday, December 09, 2016

Mr. Shife's Snapshots from the Week

  • A holiday email I received from a doctor that I allowed to probe me. Not in that way, you perverts. Jeez. A man has to know his limitations and being probed anally is definitely where I draw the line. It probably would explain why I haven't been abducted by aliens.  Anyway, I thought the first sentence was interesting: "We would like to say thank you?" Like they weren't sure and wanted my permission. Maybe I'm on the naughty list year. I want to write back and say "You're welcome?"

  • I was a little surprised at the directions on the Echinacea pills that I bought. According to the manufacturer, I need to 1 pill 7 times a day preferably with a meal. And a meal - according to the dictionary - is when a large amount of food is eaten. After I finish this bottle of pills, I will be off to the Short and Squatty store to get my new pants. I couldn't think of anything as elegant as Big and Tall. Maybe Petite and Husky? Or perhaps Stubby and Chunky? 
  • I still get a chuckle seeing a reminder from our vet about Ms. Frizzle's next appointment. Just seeing her name makes me laugh. 

  • The good news is that I won the Seattle Times "Holiday Cooking Horror Stories Contest." The bad news is that the gift card is for a local restaurant in Seattle. Looks like some of our relatives will be enjoying dinner on the Shifes.  You're welcome. Do I still get good karma when I don't really mean that polite response? 
  • Have you been wondering what Angelina Jolie has been up to since her split with Brad Pitt?
    Of course, you have. Well, she's been reading my blog. I'm not surprised. I mean I just won a holiday story contest. I'm glad that I'm able to be a source of comfort in these difficult times for her. Man, I'm a swell guy. 

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

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

Friday, December 02, 2016

Random Acts of Shifeness: Grandpa's Coming to Town

  • My dad is coming to town. He recently retired and is ready to enjoy not working. It will be nice to see him. I'm sure he's wishing his oldest son would have chosen to live in a more tropical locale as Boise in December isn't tank top weather. 
  • The tree is up. We might have to hang it from the ceiling so it makes it to Christmas. As you can imagine, Ms. Frizzle thinks it's a giant chew toy. And I'm glad to announce that Ms. Frizzle has added Christmas ornaments to her diet. She might change her mind about her dietary choices after one of the ornaments make it through her system. 
  • I got a really good deal on a bag of clementines. Some days you really have to count your blessings. Thank you, Fred Meyer for the incredible savings. Some days you also hope that they will invent sarcastic font to remove all doubt that I was being facetious. 
  • Quote of the week: If plan A doesn't work, the alphabet has 25 more letters - 204 if you're in Japan. - Claire Cook
  • Joke of the week: It’s the World Cup Final, and a man makes his way to his seat right next to the pitch. He sits down, noticing that the seat next to him is empty. He leans over and asks his neighbor if someone will be sitting there. ‘No,’ says the neighbor. ‘The seat is empty.’ ‘This is incredible,’ said the man. ‘Who in their right mind would have a seat like this for the Final and not use it?’ The neighbor says, ‘Well actually the seat belongs to me. I was supposed to come with my wife, but she passed away. This is the first World Cup Final we haven’t been to together since we got married.’ ‘Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that. That’s terrible….But couldn’t you find someone else, a friend, relative or even a neighbor to take her seat?’ The man shakes his head. ‘No,’ he says. ‘They’re all at the funeral.’

  • Recommendation of the week: Towel shopping at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. So, so much fun. Did I mention that someone needs to invent a sarcastic font? It's really going to be fun when Mrs. Shife tells me she doesn't like them and I get to take them back. I am a man with only a few admirable qualities and towel shopping is definitely not one of them. 

Thanks for stopping by. Talk to you soon.

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

Friday, November 25, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving 2016

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Most of the visitors to the Casa de Shifley 2016 turkey day extravaganza were really thankful for modern medicine.
Mrs. Shife had an allergic reaction to something that led to an "awesome" rash all over her body.
I decided to add a sinus infection to my to-do list this week.
And my sister-in-law either has strep throat, the flu or is going through heroin detox. We are pretty sure it's strep but you never know about her. After all, she is the one who saw me in my thong underwear.
So what's new with me?
Well, my wonderful Aunt Kathy mentioned that the Seattle Times was looking for holiday cooking horror stories and I should submit a Thanksgiving story that happened at her house a few years ago.
I did and they published it.
Here's the link or you can just read it below.

Twas the night before Black Friday, when all the through the abode
The labs were stirring, even the one from a different zip code.
The vomit was projected by the back door with unrestrained care
In the hopes that someone would arrive soon to help their despair.
The adults and children were all startled out of their beds
As visions of WTF danced in their heads.
And as we released the dogs to finish their puke attack
We soon discovered they had more to do than just yak.
When out on the lawn the labs began to seek sweet relief
Everyone watched with curiosity that soon turned to disbelief.
Like a flash, it came out of their rears
A black toxic sludge that had them in tears.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave a luster to these horrible objects below.
When what to our wondering eyes did appear
A trail of oil from the turkey fryer used downstairs by the family’s engineer.
We now knew why the labs were to the door so lively and quick
They had in a moment been led astray by the temptations of a turkey oil slick.
This Thanksgiving was one for the ages,
Now it was time to find the carpet cleaner in the yellow pages.

There were a couple of close calls but, fortunately, no incidents with the newest lab in the family. 
Ms. Frizzle just had a few pieces of turkey and called it a good night on her first Thanksgiving. 

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

Friday, November 18, 2016

Happy Birthday Hayden - 2016

Hello Hayden. 
It is that time of year again when I scratch my head and wonder like all parents:
“Where did the time go?”
I really can’t believe you are going to be 5.
How is this possible?
I still remember like yesterday the moment you were born and how I knew my life would never be the same.
You have grown from a dependent little infant to an ‘I do it’ toddler to my fiercely independent soon-to-be 5-year-old darling daughter.
It’s hard letting you go off on your own sometimes, but you are growing up and this is how life works. I will still reach down to hold your hand every chance I get, but I know those opportunities are decreasing as you continue to spread your wings.
Charming and bubbly.
Beautiful and lovely.
Innocent and friendly.
Dearest Hayden, you are all of the above and more.
You are an amazing little girl and I hope you enjoy your special day.
Happy Birthday Hayden Belle.


Friday, November 11, 2016

Dog Days of November

  • Some dog updates for those of you keeping score at home. I talked to the people that took Tank and he's doing well. I really want to go visit him, but I have read that you should give the dog 16 weeks to give him time to adjust to his new surroundings. It's only been 2 weeks. I like Ms. Frizzle a lot, but I miss my basset. 
  • Speaking of Ms. Frizzle, she's doing well too. We are just having a hard time figuring out what she really likes to eat as she seems to change her mind all the time. Some times she's really into stuffed animals, socks, and shoes. Then there are times when she only wants crayons, paper, and wood. Occasionally she will throw in some coins, batteries, and household plants to make her diet super interesting. 
  • She eats everything. 
  • We had had to baby proof our house before but this will be the first time I have had to lab proof a house. 
  • A few of my most recent Google searches: "When will my labrador stop chewing everything," "Best chew toys for labs," "Drink recommendations to celebrate puppy achievements like her eating 2 remote controls," and "Am I certifiably insane?"
  • I ran across this expression about labs that gave me no hope at all: "Chew till they're 2. Shed until they're dead." Awesome.
  • Oh and she still occasionally shoots Yoo-Hoo in the house, and by Yoo-Hoo I mean poop, and by poop I mean some foul-smelling, liquid monstrosity that varies in color, viscosity, shape and odor because it depends on if Ms. Frizzle ate 14 crayons or took down Mrs. Shife's indoor ficus tree or if she devoured Hayden's Barbie because it seemed like a good snack until dinner time. 
  • Anybody dealing with post-election stress disorder? I'm being open minded and giving him the benefit of the doubt. If I think about it too much I will end up like Ms. Frizzle and dealing with a bad case of poop smoothies. 
  • That's all for today, folks. Enjoy your weekend. Thanks for stopping by.

Frizzle taking a break before she tries to eat the other slippers. 

I'm having a hard time figuring out if Hayden likes Frizzle or not.

Ms. Frizzle staying still for a moment before she tries eat the sandals behind her.

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

Friday, November 04, 2016

Crestfallen Once Again

More than 6 years ago, the Shifleys participated in Operation Dwarfshank Redemption, which was my clever (or not-so-clever depending on your caffeine/alcohol/pharmaceutical intake for the day) way of saying we were going to adopt another basset hound.
We did and I believe most of you have heard about or have seen our husky hound, Tank.
Unfortunately, we had to find him a new home last weekend.
I don’t want to go into too many details because it’s still pretty tough not having him around, but he attacked Ms. Frizzle and Hayden. These are not isolated incidents and we have worked with trainers over the past few years to try to make our house his forever home.
It just wasn’t meant to be.
He’s now in a home that has an older basset hound and two grown children and they fell in love with him right away.
Initial reports are that he’s doing great and I’m happy to hear that.
It was the right thing to do, but doing the right thing sure does suck.
He will always be one of my favorite dogs.
But right now my heart hurts when I think about him.
Especially knowing that he’s no longer my dog.
But as much as it hurts, I wouldn’t trade the pain for all the laughs, cuddles, walks, belly rubs, shakes, scratches, howls, and bassetness that he gave me, Mrs. Shife and the kiddos.
We had some good times with him, and time will ease our pain but it doesn't feel like it right now.
Thanks for the memories, Tanklin.

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

Friday, October 28, 2016

The Name Game

Since we named our newest family member Ms. Frizzle, it got me thinking about unusual names which ultimately led me down the path of really bad names like the ones below.
Which one do you find the most disturbing? 

Thanks, but no thanks. I prefer my jam to taste like Uncle Steve. 

You need to be a big dude with Sackrider as your last name. 

Have you met his brother, Phil? 

I think Chris P. Nutts was the director. 

I can think of some other fun things that I would rather do.

He looks more like a Dick to me.

I think I'm going to give Uber a try. 

Major Dick Holder is in charge of the 4th Battalion. 

I guess with a name like Wang Liqin, you are really going to be focused on the ball.  

I do believe "Mike" might be having fun with the news reporter about his name. 
I guess Mike Hunt was unavailable for the interview. 

I agree. These are bad website names.
I would definitely not renew "SpeedoFart" when GoDaddy came calling. 

He has to be really good at his job with a name like that, right? 

Because Uranus was just too popular that year for boy names. And you want your child to hate you.

Thanks for stopping by. Talk to you soon. 

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

Friday, October 21, 2016

Two Years Later

This time two years ago I was getting ready for my book signing party.
Hard to believe it has been almost 730 days.
I'll give you a second to do the math.
Ready? OK.
I'm glad I did it as it turned out to be one of the coolest things I have done with this life of mine.
I still think it's awesome that I can type my name on the Amazon site and my book appears.
And I'm still getting royalty checks.
I earned enough this month to pay for 1 gallon of gas.
I will not be retiring any time soon thanks to my book, but I certainly didn't do it for the money.
I did it for the groupies.
Nope that's not true either.
It was a dream of mine and something I very proud that I did.
However, there are a few people who disagree completely with that statement and they were more than happy to tell me about it with an Amazon review.
Here's my favorite review from an unsatisfied customer:

I disgusted Stan.
But Stan kind of disgusted me because he doesn't know how to spell reading.
I guess we're even.
Dealing with criticism from complete strangers was by far the hardest part of writing my book.
You can't please so you might as well please yourself, right?
Well that's all for today.
Thanks again for stopping by and I will talk to you soon.

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

Friday, October 14, 2016

It's Official. Meet Ms. Frizzle.

Because we just needed a little more excitement in our lives.
Meet the newest member of the Shifley family.
Ms. Frizzle.

Hi, I'm a cute puppy who likes to get up at 4:30 in the morning. Yay me!!

Ms. Frizzle is an 8-week-old yellow lab.
If you're familiar with the cartoon "The Magic School Bus" then you know where the name came from. If you're not familiar then consider yourself lucky. It's a really weird cartoon.
Mrs. Shife and I weren't sold on the name, but the kiddos won us over.
And I still chuckle to myself when I think about having a dog named Frizzle.
Anyway, we have had her almost a week and everyone is pretty happy about it except you know who.
Tank Tank does not approve.

 Extra sad basset face. Who am I kidding ... it's always extra sad. 

But he seems to be coming around as he was actually playing with her yesterday evening.

How could I say no to that face?  

Puppy love.

Bring me your finest meats and cheeses or I will jump.

Thanks for stopping by. Talk to you soon.

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

Friday, October 07, 2016

Random Acts of Shifeness - 10-4 Good Buddy

  • I started the new gig on 10/4. I figured that was a good day to remember since it was National Trucker Day. And you know how much I love truckers. I can only imagine the lines and lines of text that I must have devoted to truckers during my more than 10 years of blogging.
    I just did a quick search, and if you guessed only one mention of trucker on my blog, then my friend you need to give your brain a big kiss. Here's that endangered species from back in 2007:  I might be wearing Aqua-Man underoos and a trucker hat that says “I Brake For Clam Bakes." It's safe to say I had a different mindset back then. 
  • However, from that same blog post I did chuckle at this piece of writing: I might have read the fat basset’s personal journal. His latest entry said – What gets me hot: Country ham, farting into the heating system, and rubbing against Granny’s leg while she naps.
  • And you might be wondering how's the new gig going? Well, it's going great. I am really enjoying it so far. The toughest decision I had to make was figuring what lanyard to use for my ID badge. I think I chose wisely even though they drove me mad this year.
  • Hello ... Kitty? Why are you on my soy sauce packet? 

  • Maybe the bigger question is why is there a soy sauce packet in the front seat of my car?
    Well, yours truly thought it would be a wise idea to buy sushi from the grocery store. Yours truly is an idiot. I knew it was going to be bad but I still did it.
    It might as well have had "You Will Immediately Regret This Decision" written on the label in big, bold letters.
    I am a dumb, white guy.

Thanks for stopping by. Talk to you soon. 10-4 good blogging buddies.

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

Friday, September 30, 2016

Random Acts of Shifeness - New Beginnings

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one, which has been opened for us.” – Helen Keller
  • Today is the day that marks the end of my time at my current job. Tomorrow marks the beginning of a new chapter in my life. More details to come as I should have plenty to share next week. Wish me luck.
  • I have been paying someone to torture me. No I'm not talking about watching the analysis of the presidential debate on the news channels. I have plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the heels) and it's starting to get pretty painful. I have done the cortisone shot approach before and vowed to never do that again, which led me to my current situation. The doctor I'm working with is reattaching the fascia back to my muscle, and to do this, he has to drive his thumb as hard as he can into my foot. He starts at my heel and works his way up my calf. It hurts. A lot. Since this area of my body is incredibly tender, I was just about in tears after my first sessions. The good news is the doctor believes I will be OK after 2 more sessions. Wish me luck ... again. 
  • Also painful is watching my baseball team do their best to not make the playoffs. My team is the St. Louis Cardinals. If you follow baseball then you know why I'm terribly frustrated watching them. Can you wish me luck once more? 
  • Quote of the week: Thinking is difficult; that’s why most people judge. - Carl Jung 
  • Recommendation of the week: With a bunch of new TV shows starting, I have watched three: "This Is Us," "Pitch" and "Longmire." I have watched "Longmire" since it was on A&E and I still find it entertaining. Plus, I can binge watch it and move on to something else like watching horrible baseball. 
It's almost unbearable how adorable Tank is with his new bestie. 

Hayden and Kyle enjoying some time down by the river. 

Hayden taking the husky hound for a walk. 
He needs all the help he can get as he's now over 70 pounds. 

That's all for today. Thank you for stopping by. Talk to you soon.

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

Friday, September 23, 2016

Random Acts of Shifeness - Here's to Us

  • She certainly deserves more than I gave her for an anniversary present for just dealing with me on a daily basis and I'm still baffled at times that she picked me out of all the guys out there, but I'm grateful and thankful that I get to spend my life with her. Happy 12th Anniversary to the love of my life, Mrs. Shife. 

Here we are 12 years ago. Looking good and looking a lot younger. 

And 12 years later ... we have aged a little bit. Darn kids. 

  • Kyle's been inspired by watching "Star Wars." We watch a little each night and we just made it to the part when Han and Luke are about to rescue Princess Leia on the Death Star. Anyway, he made a 13-minute movie with my phone. Here's a GIF of Buzz Lightyear discussing strategy with the Angry Birds version of Anakin Skywalker, who is still recovering from a brutal Tank Tank attack to his face, while Darth Maul enjoys a soak in the tub. He had a tough day being evil. I'm not sure how things will play out, but I'm looking forward to the sequel. 

  • Speaking of Kyle, he made me LOL at the store. He wasn't particularly interested in listening to his dear old dad and I told him he was skating on thin ice. He asked me what that meant and I told that he was doing something that was going to get him into trouble. He then told me that he better get to the "thick ice." 
  • Damn it Google. I visit the page ONE time and ONE time only and know it's listed as something I frequently visit. Thanks a lot. 

  • Favorite quote of the week: “If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.” ― Bruce Lee 

Thanks for stopping by. Talk to you soon. 

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