Friday, August 27, 2010

The Newhouse's Head East

I have spent a good portion of the last 15 years trying to see a game in every Major League Baseball stadium.  I've been lucky that work travel has put me near a lot of parks and the points that I earn from those trips has got me to the rest of them.  I only have 1 team that I've never seen in their home ballpark, Seattle.  The rest of them I've visited but a lot of them keep building new stadiums so I've had to go back.

I've done several "baseball vacations" before, 6 games in 7 days in 6 city type of deals.  I love them.  The most hardcore trips have been with my Dad and Stephen.  It's just something the 3 of us enjoy and have really had a good time doing.  

Since Angela got in the picture I haven't been able to do a baseball trip.  I've been able to go to a few stadiums that happen to be in the city we are visiting but never a trip.  For my 40th birthday Angela put together a baseball trip for her and I.  Obviously this is very cool but I was pretty concerned that she would hate this and with everything going on we shouldn't do this now.  

She convinced me it was something we had to do and before I knew it we were heading to New York City.  Angela wrote a pretty good depiction of what we did day by day, so head over to the triplet blog to see that.  I'll just give you my reviews of the stadiums here.

In 1999 we did a trip that took us to Boston, Cooperstown, New York, Philly and Baltimore.  It was a memorable trip for a lot of reasons and since both New York teams and the Phillies have built new stadiums on me, this seems like as good a time as any to share those with you as we go.

When we went to Shea Stadium back in 99 the game got rained out.  We were there, sat in our seats for a bit, ate hot dogs out in the lobby and watched it rain.  Never saw a pitch.

This year Angela and I arrived at Citi Field and it was raining.  I had to call my Dad as it seemed like Deja Vu all over again to quote Yogi.  We got our souveniers and some dinner and ate them right by the trash cans.  It was odd how similar the two trips were.  The difference this time was that when the clock hit game time, they actually played.  We were very lucky in that our seats were kinda under the overhang so we didn't get very wet which was key in keeping Angela happy.

The rain kind of killed the atmosphere in the park but there was still a little bit of it as the Phillies were in town and brought some loud fans with them.  I was very impressed with the stadium, it was nice in a Cincinnati, San Diego kind of way.  I mean that as a compliment, sort of.  I like all 3 of those stadiums but as the new stadiums go, there isn't much that makes them distinctive.  Citi Field had the Jackie Robinson rotunda which looked to be very cool but I have to be honest, I didn't realize what it was until we were almost out of it.

I did find the Mets Hall of Fame which was pretty cool.  I understand Daryl Strawberry was the best player on the 86 World Series team but as a guy who lived in LA and rooted for the Dodgers in the 90's I had a tough time seeing a plaque for him.  Such a hard time, I took a picture of it.

Speaking of that World Series team, I had to take a picture of the trophy and dream about seeing it here in Texas some day.


Things I look for in every park I go to - overall coolness - ease of seeing basic stats like balls and strikes - out of town scoreboard - the hot dogs - souvenier cups - home run celebrations - 7th inning stretch - various other cool stuff around the park.  What I'll do here is give each category a grade from 1 to 10 with 10 being the best.

Citi Field
Overall Coolness - 7
basic Stats - 8
out of town - 9 - all the games were finals but it appeared to be pretty cool
hot dogs - 5 - very average
sovenier cups - 0 - they didn't have any!
home run celebration - 3 - the apple came up but it seemed kinda lame to me
7th inning - 10 - after the God Bless America and Take me Out to the Ballgame they did the tune they sing during the wedding at the Godfather - friggin perfect.
other stuff - 5 - probably better than that had I realized we were in the Jackie Robinson rotunda.

Total score - 47

The one stadium I absolutely wasn't looking forward to was Yankee Stadium.  We had a horrible experience in 99 and I wasn't looking forward to doing that again.  That experience alone is worth it's own blog post but I'll summarize - we hopped in a cab in Times Square at 5, the cabbie was pissed, got even angrier and dropped us in Harlem.  We had no idea where we were or what to do.  Found the subway and then got yelled at by just about every usher at the stadium as we tried to find Monument Park.

This time everyone told me the subway was the way to go.  For the Mets we listened to my friend Laurie and the train was fine.  Pleasant actually.  We did the same this time and everything was cool.  I still had my guard up as we milled about outside, I was waiting on those jackass ushers to greet us, much to my surprise I think they might have been nice to us.   Maybe not nice but they were helpful which was really all we needed.  We made it to monument park with no trouble at all.  I enjoyed it and Angela was a trooper but it was really crowded and it seemed to be a bit more concrete than I remember the old one being.  That felt almost like a garden to me

There is very little in this world that I despise more than the Yankees.  I really, really can't stand them.  Another thing I do at stadiums is buy myself a hat and a shirt.  I told Angela I will not do that at Yankee Stadium.  I just can't.  Every picture she took of me in that place was a struggle for her because I didn't want to look like one of those friggin bandwagon fans.  I did agree to the picture near Babe Ruth's number.  I like the Babe, I ignore who he played for.

The stadium itself was almost awesome.  It is really impressive.  It reminded me a lot of the new Cowboys stadium, both seem so nice I'm not sure I should be allowed to touch things as I walk through it.  That big screen was pretty awesome, the friggin thing is huge but it doesn't look like it goes, it's bigger than everything around it.

Yankee Stadium
Overall Coolness - 8
basic Stats - 8
out of town - 9 
hot dogs - 5 - very average - they were the same as Citi - Nathan's
sovenier cups - 5 - it was the oversize flimsy plastic ones
home run celebration - 0 - only because the Yankees didn't hit one
7th inning - 7 - after the God Bless America and Take me Out to the Ballgame they did something lame that I can't recall.  They get extra points because of God Bless America and it's Yankee Stadium - sue me if you disagree
other stuff - 7 - monument park is very cool and the roll call the fans in right field do for the players is very cool as well.  I was pretty excited about seeing that. but destroying the ghosts of Yankee's past for luxury suites is a sin and cost them a 10 here.  That being said, I really did like this one better than the old park but I wish I could take my boys (including Stephen) to the actual House that Ruth built and they took that away from me.

Total score - 49

We took the train to Philly the next day, that was pretty easy and cheap too.  I was real happy about cheap after visiting the House where the Ghost of George took every penny he could from me.

My trip to the old Veterans Stadium in 99 wasn't as exciting as the others on that trip.  Mainly what I recall is a crappy, empty football stadium.  One thing you should probably know about me, even though I love going to games and go a lot, I don't ever want to catch a foul/home run ball.  The last thing I want to do is let the guys on Sportscenter figure out what my little league coach did oh so many years ago, I can't catch.  So, when something is hit in my vicinity, I run like a little girl.  It's happened many times and I'm not ashamed of it.  

Last time in Philly I tripped trying to get out of the way and fell into some getting drunk frat boy who in turn fell into one of his buddies who fell into another buddy and so on.  Luckily for me drunk frat boy #1 didn't realize I fell into him and he took heat for the rest of the game from his buddies that he screwed up them getting a foul ball.

I was a little concerned as we pulled up to our seats and within 5 feet of us was the foul pole.  Uh Oh.  Angela got to the seat and said, "oh crap, I'm going to get hit by a ball because goof ball won't be anywhere near me if a ball comes in the area."  I'm not ashamed no matter what you think.  Fat boy gets out of the way, quick.

Luckily for her we didn't have one come our way but she did seemed concerned throughout the game.  Let's see, what were the biggest differences between new and old Phillies stadium.  

1. Fans - they were at this stadium - lots of 'em
2 - old stadium was a hell hole - new stadium is a little slice of heaven

That seems to sum it up.

Now, I do have to say that this was the first game on this trip where the weather was nice.  Really nice.  That goes a long way to making the stadium seem better, I realize that but suck it Yankee fans, I don't care.

Citizens Bank Park

Overall Coolness - 9
basic Stats - 6
out of town - 3 - I think there was a good one underneath me but I never saw it, so they get docked because I really wanted to see how the Rangers were doing and it was very difficult to do.
hot dogs - 8 - I'm not sure if it was really good or just ok good but I do know it was 3 points better than the ones in New York.
sovenier cups - 8 - same reasoning as above
home run celebration - 0 - only because the Phillies didn't hit one
7th inning - 5 - after the God Bless America and Take me Out to the Ballgame and then nothing
other stuff - 11 - you get points for the Philly Phanatic, he makes me laugh and the fact that the fans were a lot of fun.  Plus I had a couple beers in that aluminum can thing, I know other places have them but I never had 'em before and they were very cold.  Again, sue me.

Total Points - 50 - ok, I realize it's a 10 points scale and I gave them 11 but I can't have them tied with the Yankees.  I hate the Yankees, did I mention that?  They can't be #1 at everything, I won't allow it.

Basically, if I'm just comparing the 3 stadiums - if I lived in New York, I'd be a Mets fan because they ain't the Yankees.  If I was a rich snob and had no morals I'd go to Yankee Stadium and if I could choose between all 3, I'd want my boys to grow up going to see the Phillies, that place was cool.
We came home the next day, very ready to be home and to see the boys.  As we were getting ready to land the pilot announced that the hydraulics on the plane had gone out and that we were going to be met by emergency vehicles.  Everything was fine and I wasn't worried since no one else seemed to be but as I put on facebook, the sight below is never one you like to see upon landing.

Monday, August 2, 2010

1 More Week

In less than a week I won't be a 30 something anymore. I can honestly say I'm cool with that. I've actually been saying that I'm 40 for several months now, it just seems easier. My wife on the other hand always corrects me and points out to people that I'm only 39. Kinda cracks me up.

My 30's were good to me for the most part, I can't complain. Not really sad to see them go though, there seems to be a lot of cool stuff in my future. There better be anyway.

First up though better for me to get home. I've been on the road over a week now and I'm just ready to get home. I've driven over 2700 miles so far on this trip and I'm done with it. I've still got at least one more day of appointments but mentally I'm done. I'm ready to spend the last week of being a 30 something with my wife and kids in my house. Even if it is hot as hell at home right now and currently it's 65 where I'm at now. I'll give up the great temps just to get home.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Make That 39 Major League Stadiums

One of my many "quirks" has always been my quest to attend a major league game at every stadium. I've taken many baseball only vacations to try to accomplish this. I really enjoy seeing the different stadiums, trying the hot dogs, checking out the gift shops, watching the HR presentations, the 7th inning stretch, etc. It's just part of what I do.

After thinking about it and doing a count on Facebook's Stadium tour app, I realized that today I attended my 39th major league stadium. (For those of you counting a long at home, only 24 of those are still active. Entering today I had only 2 teams that I had never been to their home stadium and 5 more that have built new stadiums since my last visit). Today I took in a game at Chase Field in Phoenix. I watched the Diamondbacks kick the crap out of the Pirates. Now I'm down to 1 team I've never seen at their home (Seattle).

I wasn't sure I wanted to go this afternoon even though it was an off day on what has been a long business trip. I considered staying in the room and watching the Masters. As I walked towards the stadium, I was glad I chose the game.

I really dug the atmosphere outside the stadium. There weren't many people there but they had a strip of bars along the outside of the stadium that looked to be a pretty cool place to be.

One of the things I always look for at a stadium is the team identity. I want to know who plays in that stadium as I walk in. The best stadium I've ever seen at this is Comerica Park in Detroit. There is no question the Tigers call that place home. I think the Rangers do a poor job of this back home. This stadium wasn't too much better but I did like this display case as I walked in with the World Series Trophy in it.

The other thing I always have to do when visiting a stadium is try the hot dogs. It's very cool that these new stadiums all have lots of food to choose from but I just want a hot dog. The first stand I approached was all foot long hot dogs. I could choose from a char dog, a chicago dog, a philly dog or an Arizona dog. I figured when in Rome, so I ordered the Arizona dog. This is what I got.

I was not happy with this monstrosity. Especially when I figured it out that it was $9 coupled with my $9 beer and I realized this wasn't a cheap experiment. The dog turned out to be alright but I really couldn't taste it through all that gunk. So, I went and got a plain ol hot dog in the 4th inning. It was ok, not worth the $14 bucks I spent on the 2 dogs though.

I got a pretty good single seat considering I just walked up to the ticket booth an hour before the game. I had a seat in the shade so that was nice as it was pretty warm today.

There weren't very many people at the game (21,000) but it was a really comfortable day. Me and one other guy shared our entire row. He turned out to be a pretty nice guy and we talked baseball all day. You can't ask for too much better than that as I quizzed him about all things Arizona baseball. (Like, did you know the mascot is a cat because the stadium used to be Bank One Ballpark (BOB) and he was the BOBcat. Probably made sense then, not so much now).

The Diamondbacks scored 13 runs in the 4th inning, I'm fairly certain I've never seen anything like that live before, it was crazy. They hit 3 HR's in that inning alone. Their HR presentation was nothing special although the pool in right center did shoot up water during it, that was pretty cool.

Their 7th inning stretch was incredibly lame. They did the now standard God Bless America followed by 1 quick run through of Take Me Out to the Ball Game and then Gloria Estefans - Hear that conga beat song. I sent out an email to Angela and Stephen asking if that was lamer than Toronto's gay Let's Go Blue Jays song they do. I still haven't decided.

Overall it was a great way to spend an afternoon. It is a very nice stadium, I really couldn't find anything wrong with it. (Holy cow did the big scoreboard have stats on it, almost too many - that's a huge plus). All that being said, I'm getting a little bored with the new stadiums. There just isn't too much different between this stadium and the new ones in Milwaukee and Houston (the retractable roof box stadiums). Is it odd for me to say that I miss the old "unique" stadiums?

As for the other 5 stadiums I need to see because they keep building new ones on me - both New York stadiums, St. Louis, Philly and Minnesota.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Date Night

I've been out on the road for what seems like all of 2010. In all seriousness, I have 36 nights in a hotel since February 1st after this evening. Last night I finished everything I needed to do about 5 pm and just didn't feel like sitting in the hotel anymore.

I decided to head out to the movie theater near my hotel in Mesa, AZ. I chose Clash of the Titans which was one of my favorite flicks when I was 10 or 11. I'm fairly certain I haven't seen it in about 25 years. Probably more. I really, really dug it and have very fond memories of that original. I have a hunch if I saw it today I would prefer the 2010 version I saw last night but ah, the fond memories of the original made it tough for me to dig this spruced up version.

I ended up liking it more than I thought I would but I still like the mechanical owl and Burgess Merideth. I was impressed with the hot chicks in this new one. I have to admit though, I was distracted by 2 things - 1 being the fact that every dude had long hair and a beard except our hero who had the same haircut he had in Avatar. A buzz cut. Did they have electric buzzer things in the days of the Greek Gods?

The 2nd thing was the guardian angel chick who followed our hero. Everyone else on this trek had a back full of gear. She was just walking with the bed sheet thingy and at first, it really showcased her legs. I remember this because I thought, did chicks shave their legs then? Later in the trek she had a longer bed sheet and knee high boots. Then she ended up with a fur thingy on her shoulder. Where the hell did she end up with all that gear?

It was very distracting.

Anyway, after the flick I walked to one of many choices in this pretty cool square deal and had dinner. After I ate, I walked down one more building and had an ice cream on the patio.

It was at this point that I realized I was on a date night, with myself! It was pretty nice. Then I felt guilty that Angela was at home wrestling with the boys. I'm not sure she believed me when I said had I realized I was on a date night earlier, I wouldn't have done it. It is true though.

Although I do have to admit, I did kinda enjoy the evening.

Is that wrong?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

So Long Dusty

Today is a very sad day at my house. Not just because I'm not there (I'm currently in New Mexico for the week) but because we had to make a very hard decision yesterday. We made that decision yesterday and today the deed got done.

We had to put our dog Dusty down today. She was 12 1/2 years old. I always referred to her as a yellow lab but she was a mutt in every sense of the word.

I got Dusty in October of 1997. I had recently moved from Los Angeles back to Arlington, TX. I was 27 years old, had just purchased my first home and after about 5 months I realized, that house was lonely.

So, pretty much in the same weekend I changed that. I bought Dusty, I moved my sister from LA to Arlington and I met Stephen through the Big Brothers program.

Pretty big weekend in my life. All 3 events changed the course of my life for the better.

When I brought Dusty home, it took me about 2 minutes to realize she was infested with flea's. 6 weeks old and it just killed me to see her like that. They were all over the place. A flea bag from the beginning.

What I didn't know is that was just the first of a whole lot of obstacles for Dusty.

Dusty was a good puppy from the start when I was around. When I wasn't, issues popped up. All the typical puppy things like chewing bottoms of furniture, pant legs, etc. As I had to travel for work my buddy Dennis would watch her. That's when we learned Dusty didn't like captivity. She pretty much dug a mini-Grand Canyon in his backyard. We also learned about Dusty's fascination with cats.

Man did she love to chase down cats. She started with Dennis' wife's cat and to this day she still did it. She spent most of last night chasing Emma the Cat around the bedroom. She didn't do anything once she caught them but never did a cat pass her that wasn't promptly chased into a corner.

The older Dusty got the more these "quirks" would show up. She hated the broom and the vacuum cleaner.

But that was all little stuff until the spring of 1999 when the tornado hit downtown Ft. Worth and South Arlington. (It might have been 2000, I'm not sure). Everything changed then. Her and I were in the bath tub with a mattress over our head as the tornado came within 2 miles of the house.

After that, the slightest indication of a storm sent her into a tizzy. She just didn't know what to do with herself after that. She tore through sheetrock, carpets, kennel after kennel. She did so much of that it made it to where she basically broke everyone of her teeth.

That's also when I had to stop leaving her outside when I left because no matter what I did, she would not stay in the backyard.

In the spring of 2001 I started feeling bad for her and thought she needed a buddy, so we got Duke. A full blooded yellow lab. That just seemed to make her more miserable. Duke loves Dusty and can't stand to be away from her. Dusty longs for the day that Duke won't be there eating her food or stealing her place in the dog bed.

Dusty has always been a lover of everything female. It started with my sister when she lived with me for a bit, Dusty would protect Sue no matter what. If I ever got mad at Sue, Dusty (my dog) would let me know that wasn't cool.

When she escaped she would always go to my neighbor's house - Janice and Connie.

When Angela came on the scene in 2005 I lost Dusty forever. She was Angela's dog. You couldn't even play wrestle with Angela without Dusty getting mad. She would stay under the bed until Angela would wake up and then they'd come out of the room together. Every single morning.

When Angela went to bed, so did Dusty.

When the boys showed up last June, Dusty loved them like a mother. She always took inventory and made sure all 3 were where she could find them.

She went with Angela to check on them at night and make sure everything was ok.

We had learned to deal with Dusty's quirks. We have sedatives for storms, we know not to grab for her when she's scared. Basically the dog trained us how to act around her.

We were pretty good at it. There have been times over the past few years when I thought it was time but we were always able to work through it.

That ended yesterday when during a small storm, James pulled Dusty's tail. Dusty turned around and bit him in the head. James is fine but the boys are only 8 months old. They aren't going to learn how to deal with Dusty's quirks any time soon and storm season isn't even here yet.

Last night was a rough one on Angela and I as we realized we only had 1 decision to make. We tried to think of alternatives but we just kept coming back to the fact that Dusty was old and certifiably crazy. She hasn't been a happy dog in a really long time.

I blame the tornado of 1999. Of course it was probably just living with me but it's easier to blame Mother Nature.

I wish I was home to hug my dog before she had to go but the fact is, nobody is comfortable with her around the babies anymore. More than that, I wish I was home just to hug Angela and let her know it was time. We are doing what is right.

The fact is Dusty was never going to be the dog the boys remember growing up with.

That's my memory. She was the dog I grew up with. My first dog as an adult in my first house with my first real connection (Stephen) and my first real love (Angela).

Hopefully Dog Heaven is filled with nothing but cats to stalk and Thunderstorms are too far down to hear or see. Oh and no younger dog will try to eat your food every day.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Is It Really Super Bowl Sunday if I Don't Get To Watch It?

Today will be the first Super Bowl I have not been able to watch live in 27 years. You see, I'm still in Charlotte at the Youth Ministry Conference. My flight home takes off at 6:20 PM Eastern time this evening. Yup, exactly when kickoff happens. I arrive at 8:45 central time which will probably be at about the 2 minute warning.

I bet you are wondering how I know that the last Super Bowl I was not able to watch live in it's entirety was Super Bowl XVII (that's 17 for those of you who have issues with roman numerals). Well, I was 12 and my father had recently purchased a van. Not a mini-van, I'm talking a van with captains chairs, a couch and the whole bit. For reasons i can not explain to you, he decided about an hour before kickoff that he wanted to pack up the family and go for a ride.

You what?

So, we all loaded up and drove to who knows where. The thing you have to understand is that we rarely did this as a family. There was a time or two where we'd pack up and go to Tyler for roses or something and we'd complain the whole time but even those were planned trips. This spur of the moment thing was really insane.

As I'm whining about it, I realize, we have a little 8 or 10 inch black and white tv in the back of the van. I say little but the whole thing was actually pretty sizable, it was just the screen that was little. So, as we drove to nowhere, I'm in the back holding the antennae trying to get a signal.

I remember watching the Dolphins run a kickoff back for a touchdown through the snow and static in the first half and just hollering at my dad, how are we missing this? We did get home in the 2nd half to see the Redskins clobber Miami but I'm willing to bet if my dad was looking for a peaceful drive in the country, he must have contemplated throwing me out the window.

Prior to that game in 1983, my first memories of Super Bowl Sunday begin with Super Bowl XII in 1978 when the Cowboys beat the Broncos. My parents were rooting for the Broncos that day, I don't remember caring very much. The next year the Cowboys lost to the Steelers and I remember being interested in that one a little bit more but most of my memories of that game are from highlights. Catch the ball Jackie!!!!!

Super Bowl XIV is the first one I recall sitting down and watching every second of. It was 1980, I was 9 years old and it was the Rams and Steelers. It wasn't much of a game but I watched it and a monster was born.

If you've paid attention to this site and/or listened to the podcast you know my dad and I had the honor to go to the Super Bowl, #38 in 2004. Ever since then on Super Bowl Sunday I think to myself, it's 9 AM, we were eating breakfast. It's 1 pm, we realized I ran out the battery as we got out of the car.

I'm guessing today I'll be thinking, it's 7 pm, should be the end of the first quarter, wonder what's going on.

It is just a game and I'll be fine missing it, but this time I have no one really to holler at about it. Maybe I'll give my dad a call before we take off and blame him for old times sake.

Friday, February 5, 2010

What To Do When You Don't Know What to Do?

The internet and I go way back, not Al Gore back but I've been typing away at the internet for well over 15 years now. I started posting on message boards on CompuServe. I was a regular frequenter in the TV forums discussing shows like My So Called Life and Seinfeld back before the entire world realized it's greatness. I'd go into the music forums where I met a still to this day dear friend while discussing who else but Bruce Springsteen. I'd go into the sports forums and would you believe I talked hockey a lot? I even found a friend there I still talk to from time to time.

That progressed to what is now called a blog that I was doing for back in 1997. All the stories were about the Cowboys and man do I wish I still had some of those, I think a few of 'em were pretty good.

For the last 6 years I've been doing this site, and it's original intent was to put stories from newspapers around the country up on a daily basis. These were the stories that at the time I was basically e-mailing to my friends who I thought would be interested in them. I thought the blog would be a better way to do that. Except we didn't call them blogs then.

I would editorialize from time to time but not really all that often, it was mostly stories of the Cowboys/Rangers, with some tv news and a Bruce story thrown in. Oh yea, it had a picture of the day as well.

Last year when news came down that my wife and I were having triplets we started the Holy Crap! We are having triplets blog. I can't tell you how much we have enjoyed that site. We would both post long rambling thoughts about what we were going through during the pregnancy.

Once the boys were born I kind of dropped off that site and Angela became the main contributor. I was always posting my thoughts and fears mainly, it seems most of my writings on that site were about things that concerned me. Angela's have always been more about reporting the facts and telling upbeat stories.

Once the boys were here I just didn't really know what to post there. I'm still really not sure what to post there.

2 months later I lost my job. It is very hard to describe what that did to me. It was devastating. I had worked with Madacy for 16 years and not only was it a job I enjoyed it was a job I loved (still do) with all I had. Selling music has always felt like the job for me. Even though Madacy wasn't hawking the new Pearl Jam album, it just felt right to me that I had a gig in the music business.

It's something I had always wanted and it was really all I've ever done. As the music business began it decline I knew it was very possible I wouldn't be doing that forever but for some reason I kept hope alive. The thought of doing something else or worse yet, the thought of people telling me I couldn't do anything else was just something I didn't want to spend that much time with.

When the hammer fell on me because Wal Mart is just the latest outlet to basically get rid of music I really felt destroyed. For the first week I could barely look at my boys. Every time I did I teared up, hell, I'm tearing up now just thinking about that week.

As I tried to figure out how I was going to support the 5 of us, we packed the family up and headed to Angela's grandparents house in Louisiana. It's a trip I didn't want to take but I couldn't stay in the house anymore. The house was my office and I couldn't fathom just sitting on the couch as the office stood empty on a work day.

Knowing what I know now, it seems that getting laid off when I did was the best thing for my family. I still haven't recovered fully personally but what it did is really hard to measure. We got to spend a great week with her grandparents in what turned out to be a month before her grandfather passed away. We were there really on his last week of complete health. A few days after we left he entered the hospital and never left.

The fact that he got to spend a week with our boys is something Angela and I will treasure forever.

It took me 5 months to find a job. 5 very long months. 5 very quiet months. I got one legitimate phone call on a resume. It's hard to express the feeling of knowing that not only does no one want to hire you, no one even wants to talk to you.

As the money got tighter and tighter and the rejection stung more and more, getting to hang with my boys and Angela everyday was amazing. Believe it or not having infant triplets is hard work. Really hard work. But being there every day playing with the boys, holding them, feeding them and just watching them grow has been amazing.

Today ends the 5th straight day I've gone without seeing them awake. We left them with a sitter Sunday evening, when we returned they were in bed and I was on a plane to Jacksonville before they woke up.

This has been a long hard week only seeing them awake through iPhone videos Angela sends me as often as she can. We did a video chat yesterday that was cool but it was also sad as they kept reaching for the computer where my face hovered.

Monday I began my new job, I am now a division sales manager for Buffet-Crampon. If you need a woodwind or Brass instrument and happen to live in Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona or Utah, I'm your man. I can't tell you how great it is to be among the ones drawing a check again.

I've been nervous for a bit about the gig but in 3 days of training/sales meetings at the home office I know this is a job I can do. I'm not exactly sure how long it will take me to get past the learning curve but I know I can be good at this. I'm anxious to really get going with it.

I've spent the last 2 days in Charlotte, North Carolina at a youth ministry conference. Yes, you read that right, youth ministry conference. I would have never guessed that either. There are still 2 days to go (and yes Virginia I am going to miss the Super Bowl) but so far I've been very surprised by the amount of good information I feel I can bring home to our church.

Anyway, the point of this long rambling post is that I'm not sure what will happen with me and the internet. I really enjoy this site as it was but I don't see anyway I can continue doing it as it once was. I stopped posting daily because I was paranoid a potential employer would find it and not like what I was doing. I'm not worried about that now but I know I won't be able to find the 30 minutes to an hour a day it took to update it the way I liked to.

I don't think my ramblings really belong on the triplet site but as you can tell, I still like doing those too.

So, who knows what I'll do but I think you may see more here (and perhaps on the other site as well) than you have the past 5 months. Probably not as much as I'd like but as often as possible.

So, until next time...