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?



Ha ha.


Yesterday, came this:


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 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.


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!

24 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.


Dang that woman of mine.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Morning Has Broken and So Has My Chair

19 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.


My Uncool Past