Monday, December 9, 2013

There’s a New ‘Dad About Town’

0 clever quips

I have a new columnist gig writing “Dad About Town” for a local magazine. As you’ve guessed by the title, in it I wax poetically about nanotechnology and Italian cooking.

You can read my first column on the magazine’s website because I’m contractually unable to reprint it on this one.

However, I think it is perfectly fine for me to reprint the photo of me they used with the column because while they may have paid for my words, I am paying for that receding hairline and huge nose:

kevin mckeever

When I was told they wanted to take a photo of me for the column, I thought there would be some elaborate studio set up with 500-watt lights, Euro dance music blaring and at least one assistant to touch up my eyebrows.

Instead, I got a guy with an iPhone snapping me in front of our downstairs bathroom wall.

No joke. That’s where I’m standing in that shot. The photographer is literally three feet in front of me, with half a butt cheek on the sink counter.

Makes sense as the other photo of me that you most of you are familiar with is this one …

kevin mckeever hed shot

… which was taken by me with a cell phone camera in our master bathroom.

We have one bathroom left in the house that I have not been photographed in. I’m saving that one for my Pulitzer.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

#GivingTuesday for Kids with Juvenile Myositis

0 clever quips

Hey there, good-looking and generous blog readers.

Remember when we were a community?

Did stupid memes and gave out goofy awards to one another?

Donated blog space to spread the word about a rare condition?

Harassed people on Twitter to text a vote for a bunch of kids in need?

Time to see if that still can happen.

On this ‪#‎GivingTuesday‬, please help the hundreds of children like my daughter, Li’l Diva, who have the autoimmune disease Juvenile Myositis. The best way is to donate to Cure JM Foundation via the CrowdRise Holiday Challenge as our nonprofit tries to win $100,000 for disease research.

To refresh your memory, Juvenile Myositis (JM) is a rare and life-threatening disease affecting one to five children in a million. Li’L Diva was diagnosed with it 11 years ago at age 2. JM can affect virtually any system of the body, and there is no cure … yet.

Cure JM Foundation is a nonprofit organization created and managed by families of children affected by Juvenile Myositis (JM) – the leader of which is My Love. The group’s mission is to provide support for families coping with JM, raise awareness of JM, and fund research that will ultimately lead to a cure. In a decade, Cure JM has raised more than $4 million – much of which has gone to research by buying lab equipment, funding fellowships and paying for various medical studies.

A month in and with a month to go, Cure JM has already raised $61,000 in this contest and is the top fundraising charity of more than 450 vying for the prize – an additional $100,000.

If you can help by donating or spreading the word, all the Uncools would be grateful. Especially if you donated, but still so if all you did was share a link.

Cheers and peace – Un.

To donate: visit the Cure JM Foundation page on the CrowdRise Holiday Challenge website. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Out of My Gourd

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You did only three things with pumpkins in my youth: made filling for pies, carved jack-o-lanterns for Halloween, and smashed said jack-o-lanterns when they resided on the front porches of families that gave fruit or toothbrushes to trick-or-treaters.

But not these autumn days. Pumpkin, it seems, is the new bacon. It's the go-to flavor and scent additive for everything. Not only have the brewer, the baker and the candlestick maker added the orange gourd into their seasonal rotation of goods, so have the makers of chocolate, pasta and -- I kid not -- Pringles potato crisps.

And why not? According to a recent Nielsen report, sales of various pumpkin-flavored food and drink items rose nearly 19 percent in 2012 to more than $290 million. The stuff is selling like pumpkin-flavored hotcakes except, oddly, at our local IHOP which did not have them on the menu when I ate there on Election Day. It's enough to make you wonder how significantly we could improve the health of this nation if only someone would create pumpkin-flavored kale.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Household Tasks Not As Sexy As They Sound

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Snaking a drain

Sweating a joint

Draining the Jacuzzi

Soaking the skillets

Flushing the down spouts

Scouring the grout

Spackling the cracks

Priming a wall

Degreasing the traps

Waxing the tile

Plastering the ceiling

Insulating the pipes

Resetting nail pops

Doping a hose connection

Priming a pump

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

“Well some things you can explain away, but …”

0 clever quips

ME: So how’d guitar lessons go today?

LI’L DIVA: Good.

ME: Practice those (windmilling ala Pete Townshend) power chords again?

LI’L DIVA: (rolling eyes) No.

ME: Ahem. Learn anything new?

LI’L DIVA: Yeah, some song by … The .. Clack?

ME: The Clash?!

LI’L DIVA: Yeah.

ME: (eyes popping) Which one? Which one? “Should I Stay or Should I Go”? I actually sang that in our band in high school. We never played any where outside of my friend Tim’s basement before --

LI’L DIVA: No.

ME: “Rock the Casbah”? We also --

LI’L DIVA: No.

ME: "(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais"?

LI’L DIVA: What?

ME: Which song?

LI’L DIVA: “Train” something …

ME: “Train in Vain”?

LI’L DIVA: Yeah.

ME: I have The Clash on Broadway box set you can borrow and -

LI’L DIVA: What’s a “box set”?

I have apparently failed on many, many levels.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

I’m Not Pregnant

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… but I did write this piece “When Husbands Go to the Ends of the Earth for Their Pregnant Wives” for the WhatToExpect.com website about My Love and her completely absurd demands on me, the man who knocked her up.

And, if you clicked that link and read the intro – yes, I am the blog editor for the NYC Dads Group these days. Even though I live in Connecticut. Hey, everybody is outsourcing these days.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

To Whom It Concerns at My Son's New Middle School

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If you do not find Excitable’s name on your sixth-grade class list, it's not for lack of trying.

school-busI attempted to register him at least two and a half times.

And in two languages.

When the forms arrived in our mail this spring, I diligently verified the home address and phone numbers printed on them as instructed. They were correct, according to the phone book, as that's where I needed to check since I received the forms for someone else's boy at a different school.

In all fairness, the school also sent me a form with the right information on it. Behind the other boy's sheet I found one addressed to my son. In Spanish.

But that's why we have Google Translate.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Have No Fear, It’s Hangar 24 Beer

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You probably noticed, assuming you are still here, that I’ve taken some extended blogging breaks this year. Where was I?

Well .. I was in rehab.

For bad beer consumption.

Thank heavens, my taste buds were saved by Hangar 24 Brewery, a very generous craft brewer based in Redlands, Calif.

Out of the blue this year, they sent me this ginmorous insulated case of some of their many fine, fine brews for me to sample. See:

hangar 24 brewery case

And sample, I did. Not a bad one on in the bunch. In fact, one of the tastiest, most consistently good batch of diverse beers from one brewer I’ve every had. Here are some of my faves:

Monday, July 29, 2013

Labor of Love for the Game

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My father did not bury bodies for the mob. It only looked that way, every spring and summer, based on the contents of the trunk of his sedan.

springdale llShovels. Pick. Soil rake. Gloves. Pull-over galoshes. A thick, crusty layer of dried mud everywhere.

The only DNA a forensics team would recover, though, would be from dad's sweat, blood and popped blisters.

These tools were not of his accounting trade. They were the ones that helped keep me and my teammates playing on the poorly draining baseball infields of my youth.

I don't carry these implements today, even though the minivan I drive could house half a Home Depot. This is because we have a storage shed full of tools and more at our Little League field. My fellow baseball parents and I used them often all this usually cold then usually rainy then usually hot season.

Friday, July 26, 2013

I Ran. I Didn’t Die.

7 clever quips

Why is the woman on the left coming at me with a camera?

jm run

a) She’s excited to see a “hot” dad in the flesh.

b) That’s not a camera. It’s a small oxygen tank and she’s offering me a hit.

c) She wants to know what detergent I used to get my safety-green colored shirt so much brighter than hers.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Thrill of Victimhood, The Agony of Dehydration

3 clever quips

My Love had an air of curiosity in her tone when she said this over the weekend:

“The neighbors said they saw you out running this morning. They said you looked … ‘very intense.’”

juvenile-myositis-uncool

“Yep, I saw them,” I said, digging through the mini-fridge for hoppy re-hydration. “And that’s how I look when I ‘m concentrating on not dying.”

I sensed her glare without turning around.

“OK. Concentrating on not dying more than usual,” I clarified. “No one wants to be found a victim while wearing Day-Glo green sneakers and sweaty jogging shorts without underwear.”

+ + +

I run on Sunday to put an end to Juvenile Myositis. I’m about $3,000 shy of my $15,000 goal.

Give online today at http://tinyurl.com/CureOurMegan or send a check to:

Cure JM Foundation
Attn: 2013 Chicago Fundraiser
836 Lynwood Drive
Encinitas, CA 92024

Don’t make me sweat and risk cardiac arrest in vain.

juvenile-myositis-uncool-mc

Monday, July 15, 2013

$20 Worth of Stories in the Naked City

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New Yorkers truly are honest, generous and unselfish. Even more so when you bribe them to be that way.

This lesson came after my day had started, hung over and early, at the train station where my wife dropped me off and I vowed never again to overindulge until the next time. As I stepped aboard Metro-North, the first raindrops splattered the platform like eggs hitting Ol' Man Crotchky's porch on Mischief Night.

We arrived with a leisurely 39 minutes and a mere five subway stops to go from my national syndicated talk show debut. Katie Couric, America's Perkiest Journalist, would soon be grilling me and a panel of other at-home dads about our being guests at our children's tea parties rather than captains of industry like, you know, our wives.

I walked unhurriedly through the over-caffeinated, under-deodorized crowd in Grand Central Terminal to join the queue for subway tickets.

Plenty-a' time, I heard my satisfied, suburban inner voice say.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Love is Patient, Love is Kind … of Like Spam

14 clever quips

On this 16th anniversary of my marriage to My Love, I’m happy to report our wedded bliss is still unspoiled.

We have been told the same is true of our marital can of Spam.

Our friends gave us Mork (named so by me as it is a “meat like pork”), leaving it along with hundreds of unpopped popcorn kernels on our honeymoon bed.

The popcorn, I know, was an homage to my bride’s Cornhusker State upbringing. But Spam? I can be a ham, but did I forget some greater symbolism behind this gift?

marital-spam-in-bed-unccolSpam in the honeymoon bed. The popcorn is under the sheets.

So I called the U.S. Library of Congress. That’s where Justin, one of the purchasers of Mork, earns a living.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Then Katie Couric Called Me “Hot”

18 clever quips

Here it is. Me and Katie Couric.

Oh, and three other guys who wisely prevent me from talking most of the time.

I sit nervously, apparently on the verge of a seizure, until around the 3:10 mark (though just prior to that you can hear me holler “Bro code!” amid the rabble).

The best part? Unlike My Love or The Mother of All Uncoolness, Katie let’s me have the last word.

That’s among the many reasons she’s a permanent member of my list, people.

Next week, I’ll give you the whole backstage story on how I almost didn’t get to the show.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Katie Couric, I’m Ready for My Close-up

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If you’re near the TV today when Katie Couric’s talk show Katie comes on (for those in and around New York City, the show airs at 3 p.m. on WABC, Ch. 7), you’ll see these handsome blokes (and me) at one point:

[katie-show-jon-kevin-lance%255B4%255D.jpg]

That’s NYC Dads Group members Joe McLaughlin to the left of me and Lance Somerfeld to the right as we wait patiently in the green room of the show.

They waited. According to Joe, I just trembled a lot.

Look over Lance’s shoulder! It’s Katie, smiling down on us like the angel she is!

Sigh.

She interviewed us about our lives as at-home dads. It went … well – well. I think. Lance and Joe killed it. I had one joke kinda go nowhere but I did get a nice smattering of applause with with one statement I made the end about gender not being a measure of parenting talent. I hope that made up my other multitude sins, many of which went on in my head and which I promise to detail along with the whole story of me having to bribe my way through the New York City transit system to get to studio for the taping that morning.

But first, watch the show. It’s the same one with Julie-Louis Dreyfus. Go to the Katie website to find the show time and channel.

It’s worth it if only to watch me blush uncontrollable when Katie Couric calls us “sexy.”

Uh-oh. I’m trembling again.

+ + +

BTW, one of the many reasons I haven’t been blogging much is I’ve been busy working at the editor of the NYC Dads Group blog. Read the gripping announcement!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Father’s Day Gifts for the Modern At-Home Dad

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Father's Day is Sunday and, speaking on behalf of my fellow sperm donors, it’s time you stopped shortchanging us on the gifts.

greatest dad hatWe deserve better because studies on modern parenting, such as the recent Pew Research Center report on “breadwinning moms,” show a growing conspiracy against dads’ well-being. Moms “leaning in” to advance their careers and decades of badgering dads to be more involved parents have heaped unprecedented amounts of housework and child-rearing duties on fathers everywhere.

No longer can we come home from a hard day’s corporate dronery and Ward-Cleaver-it in our cardigan and easy chair, answering Junior’s inquiries about life with clichés or a deft “go ask your mother.” Now we cook meals, participate in PTAs and iron sharp creases into our wives’ business suits to help them shatter glass ceilings. Fatherhood has evolved into a high-stress, guilt-ridden occupation with longer hours and less pay.

Holy Betty Friedan! We dads have become our mothers!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Birthday Presents Wanted to Save Kids’ Lives

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i need a cure jm[6]

UPDATE: You folks helped us raise $2,600 in 24 hours! Speechless. Good thing this is a blog, eh?

(Singing): “Today is my birthdaaaaay.

“DEH-NA-NA-NA-NAAAAAAA

“I’m older than diiiiirt – yeah!.”

At least dirt doesn’t wake with knuckle joints that feel like overstuffed sausages.

Or have its left arm suddenly fall asleep on him if he leans back the wrong way in a chair.

Stupid, lucky dirt.

I have no plans for the big day other than visiting the person who made it possible, The Mother of All Uncoolness, in the hospital. She went in Sunday with chest pains. Looks like a second bout with congestive heart failure.

Seriously, Mom, giving me birth to me right around Mother’s Day was more than enough to ensure I wouldn’t forget you this time of year. Stop hogging the spotlight.

Actually, she doing OK so far. And meds make her goofy, which is not a natural state for her. That’s a nice change of pace from her complaining about when I’m going to shave and get a real job.

So what did YOU get me for my birthday?

What’s that?

Oh.

Well, it’s not too late.  Here’s an idea:

cure-the-girl-002[5]Sponsor me and the rest of the Uncool Clan as we run the Rock 'n' Roll Chicago Half Marathon and Mini-Marathon on July 21 to try to find a cure for Juvenile Myositis.

That’s right the whole gang is going to run this year. I’m going to suck it up and slog it out again in the Mini-Marathon (a 3-miler) with Li’l Diva and Excitable. My Love is doing the Half. Frickin’ showoff wife.

Li’l Diva, who as you recall has been fighting JM since age 2 and had a relapse two years back, is actually pumped to run. She’s already started training, going on short runs with My Love. Obviously, she’s getting ready to hit me up for One Direction tickets or a pony or something.

I’m dragging Excitable to the track this weekend. I’ll get him to stay with it this year even if I have to dangle a cupcake on a stick in front of his nose.

All the money we raise, as usual, goes to Cure JM Foundation, the nonprofit searching for better treatments and a cure for Juvenile Myositis diseases. Unlike most major nonprofit groups, Cure JM is a volunteer-run organization (Disclosure – it’s chairman is My Love. Again – what a showoff.) About 95 percent of the money we raise goes directly to fund medical research, JM education programs or efforts to help children and families affected by the disease. Your donation, big or small, will help Cure JM continue its vital mission to one day make sure no child suffers from these diseases ever again.

You may make your donation in one of two ways:

1) Make a secure online donation via credit card online. Our family’s fundraising page is: http://tinyurl.com/CureOurMegan

2) Write a check to "Cure JM Foundation," put in the memo section that you are sponsoring The Uncool/McKeever Family, and then mail it to:

Cure JM Foundation
Attn: 2013 Chicago Fundraiser
836 Lynwood Drive
Encinitas, CA 92024

If you work for a company that does matching charitable donations, go to http://www.curejm.org/get_involved/corporate.php for info on squeezing The Man for a few coins for a good cause.

Now, I gotta run before someone calls the fire department to get my birthday candles under control.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Coaching the Untalented

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The dismissal of Rutgers University basketball coach Mike Rice for using gay slurs and firing balls at his players, among other acts of stupidity, started me thinking about the coaches I had while growing up. None I can recall even remotely approached Rice’s level of old-school intimidation techniques though my teammates and I undoubtedly tempted a few of them with our mediocrity.

Take poor Mickey Lione Jr., for example. Lione, one of the most successful and respected coaches in Connecticut let alone his hometown of Stamford, had the misfortune of coaching me on two of his few exceptionally unexceptional high school baseball teams. Our two squads compiled losing records versus the other city high schools, in the county conference and, obviously, overall.

My contribution that first season was that I never played an inning. As the backup to our one bright spot, an all-county catcher named Tony Romeo, I spent the entire spring in the bullpen warming up our perpetually in-demand relief pitchers.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Radio Radio – Uncool Hits the Internet Airwaves

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How sad is the state of talk radio today?

Sad enough that I was asked to be a guest on a show about modern fatherhood.

I had the pleasure of forcing fellow dads Adam Dolgin of Fodder4Fathers and Lance Somerfeld of the NYC Dads Group along with WebTalkRadio host Meryl Neiman to tolerate my opinions, “jokes” and nasally whine for an hour on the Parenting with Playdate Planet Internet Radio show recently.

What’s that?

Yes, that is the sound of Marconi spinning in his grave.

As someone funnier than I first said, “I’ve suffered for my art, now it’s your turn,” so click to download our ”Let’s Hear It From the Dads!” segment.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A Day at the Ballpark

18 clever quips

This is how the Uncool Family spent Monday, April 1, 2013. Once we made it out of the neighborhood, of course.

tailgate45566_10200982072859092_257092753_nGiven how low my beloved and beleaguered Mets are predicted to finish this year, the ballpark was not very crowded for Opening Day even though it was allegedly a sellout. As proof, I submit that this was the first and only line I encountered all day at the park.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Opening Day and Closing Doors

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The bulging cooler, the teeny rusted camping grill, and four cobweb-encrusted folding chairs will be loaded into the back of the minivan. The kids, still rubbing the sleep from their eyes even after a school-less morning in, will climb into the middle seat. My Love will ride shotgun.

We’ll ease out of the driveway and go over the checklist.

Tickets?

Wallets?

Extra layers to fight the inevitable stinging winds?

We’ll have them all.

We’ll just have rolled to a stop at our neighborhood’s edge when My Love will ask, as she tends to do when we’re in hurry to get somewhere, “Did you close the garage door?”

Of course I did. I closed it this time as I did a million or so times before. It’s an automatic.

So automatic that I won’t actually remember reaching up and pushing the button next to the visor.

So automatic that I won’t really recall seeing the door shuttle down and seal itself against the concrete threshold.

“Dang you, woman,” I’ll say and slam on the brakes and then into reverse.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Honor a Founding Father with @Newcastle Founders’ Ale

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newcastle founders ale uncoolIs there a better way to spend Presidents’ Day, which is primarily a day to celebrate the birthday of George Washington, one of our country’s Founding Fathers, than with a Newcastle Founders’ Ale?

Not if the beer is free, folks, and mine was thanks to my new best friends at Newcastle Brown Ale who sent me a couple to quaff.

(If you can maybe forgot it’s a British beer and that George Washington kicked those Red Coats’ tails in the Revolutionary War, that whole first sentence works. Just play along.)

Founders’ Ale has a nice light brown color, and pours with a sweet bubbly head. Like the Newcastle Winter IPA I tested the other week, it’s very light on the hops which is more acceptable in a pale ale like this than in an IPA. I think a lot of American IPAs and pale ales have gone overboard with the hopping anyway. A little extra is bracing but too much and it feels like someone just sandpapered your tongue.

Tastewise, Founders’ Ale starts a little sour then evolves into more of a sourdoughish flavor that weakens as the pint glass empties. Maybe a wee bit of caramel  or honey in the nose, but otherwise a fairly simple, smooth and refreshing beer without bite. Good for downing after you break a sweat shoveling snow or skiing like I did this weekend.

Soon, I hope to review a lovely looking batch of beers that the downright sexy people at Hanger 24 Brewery in California sent me recently. God bless their beery hearts.

P.S. I love this job.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Eats Types and Leaves

16 clever quips

I finally own a smartphone.

I know. Big deal.

Who doesn’t own a smartphone in 2013? These days, babies squirt out from between their mothers' legs demanding unlimited data plans.

Yet up until a few months back, I still sported this relic.

uncool-dad-cell-phone

uncool-dad-cell-keyboard

Forget apps. With three letters per key on this beast, Tolstoy wrote War and Peace faster than I could text: “You have to call me because I am a frickin’ dinosaur.”

I joined the 21st century shortly before Christmas. My Love was out  upgrading Li’l Diva’s iPhone (you read that correctly, I was out techno-geeked by a 12-year-old girl) when she learned I could glom onto her calling plan at a big discount. Money aside, I think My Love bought me an iPhone simply because she was tired of me whipping out my clamshell in public.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

I Spoke at Dad 2.0 Summit and All I Got Was This Lousy Wrap-Up Post

26 clever quips

It’s two days since the Dad 2.0 Summit, and my voice has returned.

uncool-tree-downSo has our power.

You may recall that several pre-conference conspiracies almost prevented my attending last year’s event. This year, I experienced only one.

It came with a crash and thud at 3 a.m.

A tree across the road snapped during 60 mile-an-hour winds, taking down power lines in front of our driveway.

That shouldn’t be an issue now that we have a standby generator, but we live on a cul-de-sac. I had awesome visions of  convincing a MedeVac helicopter pilot to rescue this delirious dad blogger and get him to LaGuardia on time.

However, once I saw my path was clear, I knew what had to be done. I showered, dressed, and abandoned my wife and kids to get my tuchus the hell out of there before Earthquake-Tsunami-Snow-pocalypse struck.

You may now feel free to tear up my “Father of the Year” application.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Return to #Dad2Summit - Got Words But I’m Not Loquacious

18 clever quips

I’m winging my way cross country to Houston today to attend the second-coming of the Dad 2.0 Summit. (Needs a proper sequel name. Dad 2.0: Part Deux-Doo? Dad 2.0: The Other Parental Unit Strikes Back? Dad 2.0: Eclectic BoogerWiper-aloo?)

I'm Speaking At The Dad 2.0 SummitWhen I get there, winging it will be the last thing I’ll be doing. I’m speaking.

Reading, really. Aloud. One of my blog posts.

I’m not going to pull one of those “oooh, I’m so shy and socially awkward that I need Xanax to walk out to the mailbox” routines on you in an attempt to fill the comment section with all sorts of “you’re so brave – hugs!” I have plenty of personal hang-ups (just ask My Love) and the occasional panic attack but general social anxiety and agoraphobia are not among my many issues despite the fact I spend the majority of my time home alone. (New sequel name -- Dad 2.0: Lost in the Houston Four Seasons.)

In fact, when I found out I was going to read before 200 or so peers, I couldn’t have been more stoked.

“Finally!” I thought. “I’ll be able to complete an entire sentence without a member of my family interrupting me.”

Yet, I do have one fear. The fear of not being able to talk.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Newcastle Brown Ale: My New Best Friend

15 clever quips

It’s been a while since I’ve bemoaned the many lame PR pitches I receive here at Uncool Enterprises Unincorporated. Oh, I still get them by truckload; I just tend to hit ‘delete’ faster these days.

Once in a while, something catches my eye that begs me to open it. It happened twice last week.

The first email asked me to take a mouthwash “challenge” with a truly hot young actress.

Well, that’s what the subject line said, and that sounded like a good deal to me.

Upon further reading, I found that outside of mentioning said actress in an early sentence, she and her role in this promotion never appeared again. Instead, it was all “write about your experience with our product” and “get your readers to like our Facebook page” but darned if we’ll compensate you for your time and effort. We won’t even offer to send you the product, suckerrrrrrrrrrr!

OK, they also said that with each Facebook like they’d donate money to a charity. Yeah, throw some more guilt on me, why don’t you?

After I got over this and the company implying you and I have stink breath, I decided to send back a quick note:

“If (said hot young actress) 
is personally testing my mouth's progress, yes.
Otherwise, pass. Thanks.”

A flak wrote back:

“Ha. Very funny. Thanks.”

I’d say that door is still open.

Then, after nearly five years, my sponsorship prayers were finally answered. In came an email with the heading:

Throw a Winning Super Bowl Party with Newcastle Brown Ale

I’ll cut to the chase – this sentence at the end:

Would you be interested in receiving samples
of Newcastle Brown Ale or Newcastle Winter IPA
for any Super Bowl stories you may be working on?

Free beer? Who? Me?

harpoon-brewery

Ha.

Ha ha.

Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

Yesterday, came this:

HALLE-FRICKIN’-LUJAH!!!

Since I’ll be in transit during the Super Bowl, I popped open two brews immediately – you know, in the name of science and good blogging.

Newcastle Brown Ale is a great go-to session beer. Pours with a nice creamy head, warm caramel color and light nutty taste, not to heavy on the alcohol. We’ve purchased The Dog (OK, I don’t know anyone who calls it that) in the cool mini-keg for parties at Uncool Estates in the past and it’s been a big hit.

The Winter IPA is … odd. Higher in alcohol content, copperish in color but, for an IPA, quite light on the hops in terms of smell and taste. Bit malty but no winter warmer spices like nutmeg or cinnamon – just, well, beer. I wouldn’t turn it down (it’s not light beer, for goodness sake) but I wouldn’t seek it out either. OK just not special as an IPA or a winter brew.

Oh, so why will I be in transit during the Super Bowl? Tune in soon to find out …

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Depreciation of the American Dream

14 clever quips

home-for-sale After years of bad news for the housing industry, conditions have started improving with notable increases in sales, starts and suckers born every minute.

I worked for a Fortune 500 homebuilder during the boom years, and several bust months, of the previous decade. Luckily for those who bought the company's houses, I only performed construction on the syntax of our executives. As the communications department's primary writer, I spent many fruitless hours trying to convince the stock-option eligible crowd that you can have tools in a toolbox and weapons in an arsenal but saying you have "tools in our arsenal" is bringing a socket wrench to a gunfight.

However, the most heinous crime the industry ever perpetrated on the public, strictly from the standpoint of abusing an English idiom, had to be selling home ownership as "the American Dream."

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Feat of Clay

11 clever quips

You remember this nut, right?clay nichols dadlabs

That’s Friend to the Uncool “Daddy” Clay Nichols of DadLabs.com. He ran the Baltimore marathon (26.2 miles in 3 hours, 33 minutes and 35 seconds – I’m spent just typing that) this past October on behalf of my daughter and Cure JM, raking in a pretty penny to help our cause.

Clay wrote about his experience in the latest edition of Austin Man Magazine , and it got me and My Love a little misty. Give it a read, it’s called “Why I Run.” 

One correction: Clay elevates me to founder of the organization. I’m only Cure JM’s pack mule. Or, depending on my mood, it’s chief jackass.

NATIONAL CURE JM FUNDRAISER
JULY 21 IN CHICAGO!
RUNNERS WANTED!

Since we are on the subject, 2013 marks the 10th anniversary of Cure JM’s founding. During that time our all-volunteer group has raised approximately $4 million, the vast majority of which goes directly to doctors and researchers trying to find better treatments and a cure for this rare autoimmune disease that Li’l Diva has had for that entire period.

To celebrate, we are going to the Windy City -- the site of our first national fundraiser – for the Chicago Rock-n-Roll Half Marathon on July 21.

The event has a 13.1-mile run and a 3-mile "mini-marathon" (yeah, like that makes it sound better to sloths like me). If you are a runner or know one who may be interested in participating and raising funds for a great cause that helps sick children, tell them to save the date.

Don't register yet!! We'll get the details and necessary links up on the Cure JM web site soon. This is just for you to mark your calendar and get your training schedules set.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Input Data, Output AAAAUGH!

26 clever quips

After two long days of extensive online research and opinion soliciting into new laptops, I have announcement.

I’m exhausted and intensely confused.

SSD. HHD. Hybrid. Hybrid? These things run on unleaded now?

Lightweight. Ultrabook. Convertible. What the … I’m not buying a car. Which would be far easier. My requirements for a vehicle are simple: start, go, turn and stop on command; don’t explode or fall apart in between.

“Why so stressed?” asked My Love, brushing off another fallen strand of my hair from her shoes. “You should be excited. This should be fun research. new computer! Oooo, shiny shiny!”

Spoken like the indiscriminate, sporadic consumer she is. You remember her bulk shopping sprees at farmers’ market that lead to the Summer of Freshly Rotted Vegetables. Here’s a more recent example:

I opened the kitchen cabinet where we keep our vitamins and Li’l Diva’s daily meds a few months ago to discover, in a rare unsupervised trip to CostCo, My Love had purchased half a dozen boxes of low-dose aspirin. In all, 216 tablets.

“I heard a daily aspirin is good for your heart,” she said.

True enough .. if you have a heart condition. She doesn’t and I’m constantly reminded I only imagine I do. Otherwise, they are good for aches and ulcers. Creating ulcers, that is. I’m ahead of the curve on that one.

Back to the research.

i3. i5. i7. Hut-hut-hike! Punt!

SATA. mSATA … Aaaaugh – my head feels like it is going to explode.

Oh.

Dang that woman of mine.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Morning Has Broken and So Has My Chair

20 clever quips

I’ve been laying low early in this New Year as seems to be my tradition just as is fixing everything that falls apart around our house over the holidays.

Fluttering fluorescents in the basement. Toilets not flushing. Shower drains not draining.

Let’s not forget the gap in the garage door that provided entry to the winter winds. And, apparently, a family of field mice. They made themselves at home in a basket of winter hats and gloves then noshed on salt-and-pepper pistachios from the pantry shelves. They even had a mobile home, a fact I learned the first time I put on my ski boots and found pistachios … among other, um, stuff.

Then there is my so-called “work life.”

My laptop, after five-plus years of loyal service, is on life support. In the past few months the power cord has developed a habit of randomly not providing current, the battery had to be replaced and the screen frame  cracked. Worse, of late its performance has all the consistency of Axl Rose when he’s off his meds.

In less technologically challenging news, two days ago this happened:broken chair

At least, for once, I know my eggnog-enhanced hindquarters were not responsible for this casualty.

So while I wait for the Staples delivery man to bring me Temper-Pedic pleasure for my posterior and drive myself insane by over-researching new laptops, you may chew on this:

Please click over to DadCentric and read a piece I wrote about a North Texas father who pretended to be a gunman to expose security flaws at his child’s elementary school.

Then give me a recommendation on a non-Apple laptop. I could use a few more opinions to overwhelm and confuse me.

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