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The Life and Brines of a Young Dad at Thanksgiving

21 Nov

This year, I’m entering my first ever “Turkey Off”.  I think that’s where the ‘Young Dad’ comes in.  Don’t all we men at some point need to attempt to prepare a turkey so that one day when Dad is no longer around, we’re prepared?  Nevermind the carving, which actually concerns me more than the cooking of the giant bird.

I’m a young Dad as in my kids are young.  Probably a little closer to forty than most would usually be with a 2-year-old and 9 month old.  It’s a wonderful life, but one with very little sleep on average.  The beautiful topper right now is my precious 9 month old is cutting her first two teeth which means sleep, for her, is random at best.  My lovely wife takes the brunt of it, but the sleep deprivation has worked its way through the whole family.

So the “Turkey Off” was actually Dad’s idea.  I had suggested that perhaps I could tackle the turkey this year, but our lovely hostess, my sister, hinted strongly that it was probably best left for Dad.  Upon further probing, two concerns came two light.  First, there’s no evidence that my first time cooking whole poultry will lead to something edible.  I’m a decent cook, but I used to experiment quite a bit my first time out with recipes and that lead to some questionable (at best) results.  She doesn’t realize this, but I stick to recipes far more than I did in my younger days.  I still experiment with things I just whip up in the kitchen, but I usually have a better understanding what I’m doing now and I tend to use a trusted recipe as a guide.  I still have dishes that end up less than a success, but it’s usually just too little flavor rather than a horrendous taste.  And a little salt, or salty cheese, tends to solve those problems.

The second, and most concerning question my sister raised was my tendency for tardiness.  Yes, I tend to be late.  Now that I have a wife and two kids, I really tend to be late.  Always stuck in my head is Paul Newman‘s line, “Punctuality is the courtesy of Kings” (probably paraphrasing) that he delivered to another star actor encouraging him to be on time since everyone on a movie set is always waiting for the star, but yet, I have not resolved my tardiness issue.  The family will excuse being late with bread or dessert or even a random side dish (my usual entries), but it would be sacrilege to have all the other dishes prepared and presented on the table and that one giant spot in the middle vacant until I showed up.  I get that.

So I backed off and once Mom said Dad picked up a giant free range turkey this year, I figured there was no need to even consider the poultry.  Then Dad entered with his challenge.  He welcomes the young experimental cook’s challenge and thinks it will push him to make an even better turkey this year.  Plus, (he didn’t say this), with there being two turkeys, it’s no big deal if mine is a little late or if it turns into a dry, indigestible mess.

So now, off to prepping.  I did a little googling on Sunday to get an idea of what I was venturing into and realized that I have one day to get all my ingredients together.  Brining seems the way to go and since most turkeys (as far as I’m aware) that I would buy tend to be frozen, I have a three days of prep in front of me.  I needed to start up the extra fridge last night (or clean out the cooler) so that I have a place to thaw and the store the turkey in it’s brine and since thawing a large bird properly can take 2-3 days, I’m already behind.  Glad I didn’t wait until the last minute.

Now, the brine and the recipe.  So many vary and I love the idea of bringing something really different to the table in a smoked or fried turkey, but they both present more problems than I really want to deal with.  Frying a turkey leads to fires and trips to the emergency room every year.  I would trust I could avoid either catastrophe, but with my penchance for clumsiness, I’m not betting on it.  Smoking a turkey is a bit more doable, even though I don’t have a smoker.  It can be done on a regular charcoal grill, but my small grill may not be large enough to really keep the heat “indirect” and place a pan below the sweating bird to catch the drippings.  So, I’m left with the oven roasting option my Dad uses and trying a different recipe.

I’m currently leaning towards Alton Brown‘s recipe on Food Networks.  I figure if the entire Food Network puts one chef’s turkey front and center, year after year, then there has to be something special about it.  He uses ingredients I don’t tend to keep around the house and that increases the financial impact of this experiment, but not to the point that’s prohibitive.  Still, the smoking idea lingers in the back of my mind.  Either way, a decision must be made this morning so I can make the trip to the store (with both little ones in tow) and can start all my prep tonight.  Yeah, the other dishes on my plate include easy mashed potatoes and a pumpkin dessert thing.  Neither of those I expect to take much time and my wife will be assisting on both, but we still need to plan out time for each item to take over our little kitchen.  Don’t tell my Mom, but I’m thinking of using potato flakes instead of real potatoes to simplify Thursday.

The only reason I’m considering the “just add water” variety of potatoes is that with a few experiments under my belt now, I turn out really stellar mashed potatoes.  My wife is a lover of all things potato and really enjoys them.  It seems wrong to go that route, but I do believe that my mix of garlic, parsley, a little butter, and mostly olive oil provides a great tasting pureed bud.  Prepared from scratch or not, I imagine that the potatoes will contain more olive oil than butter.  The fragrant and slightly fruity oil really pairs well with the potatoes and you get all the creaminess without the trans fats.  Of course, Smart Balance Butter gets you that buttery goodness without any trans fats too.  Oh the choices.

The choices for the brine are endless too.  They all contain plenty of salt and water, but that’s where the similarities end.  I could go with a fruity, aromatic brine.  Or perhaps a very sweet bourbon brine?  There’s always the beer brine to consider, but I only have a stout beer in the house and a little too long in a brine bath will make that bird’s simply taste like beer.  Choices, choices, choices.

There is one thing I learned over the years; there is no choice when it comes to Cream Cheese.  Sure, you can use some low-fat or fat-free Cream Cheese in a cheesecake, but only very little and never, ever use it in frosting.  Fat-free and low-fat Cream Cheese has a flavor that just detracts from the sugary goodness of a frosting.  The extra tang can work in a cheesecake, but not in frosting, so don’t skimp on the fat there.

Good luck in your Thanksgiving Dining Endeavors and forget about the fat and calories for a day.  Enjoy and revel in food and family.


The Greatness of being a Daddy on the Weekend

24 Oct

My weekend was long.  Long in that it was exhausting.  I’m going to ache for days exhausting.  But it was good.

Being a Daddy changed my life considerably over the last few years.  At first it seemed that the change meant a lot of what I loved in life was going away.  Watching sports, playing video games, hanging out with the guys, and watching movies in the theater all had to suffer.  Truthfully,I sacrificed the movies in the theater almost completely.  Hanging out with the guys is less weekly now and more quarterly.  Sports are now on the DVR or via NFL Rewind.  The video games get played once or twice a week around midnight.  And yet my life is better.

You see, I get to do things that the single, childless me never got to do.  I get to completely embrace the kid in me.  Take Saturday night for instance.  My wife really wanted to take our girls to the Del Mar Pumpkin Patch and so off we went.  It wasn’t cheap, ($30 I think) but had a ton of rides and attractions for little kids.

There was the carousel that my daughter didn’t want to get off.  “I just want to ride the horsey Daddy!”

There was the rocket ship that went around and around and she slapped high-five with the operator every lap.

There was the tea-cup type ride that she loved spinning around and around in with Daddy on board.  Dizzy fun.

There was the little train that she road for about 10 minutes and smiled for the entire time (except when I was taking pictures.)

There was the bouncy house and little inflatable slide where she expended as much energy as possible and giggled non-stop.

And there was the petting zoo, which we never made it to.

Why, might you ask, did we miss the petting zoo?  A petting zoo is gold with little kids and she had asked to go, but something else grabbed a hold of her and would not let go.  The GIANT inflatable slide.  Huge.  At least two stories high and probably closer to three.  And she had to ride it.  Since it was a little high and all the kids on it made it a bit dangerous for a tiny two-year old toddler to get tossed around, Daddy had to go.  The steep climb to the top required me to carry her up over and over and over and over.  And over and over and over.

“Again Daddy!  Again!”

The upside to carrying her to the top time after time was that I got to ride the giant slide over and over.  My back was killing me afterwards, my legs burned, and I was totally exhausted, but I was a kid again.  I had the wonderful opportunity to slide as fast as I could, laughing aloud, because I had my toddler in my arms.  At almost 40 years old, I did something I’ve probably wanted to do every time I saw one of these giants slides over the last 30 years, but it just seemed socially unacceptable then.  Now, I’ve got a kid, so it’s okay and endearing when I play with children.  It was great.

To balance things out, there was Sunday’s slide.  Family photo day at the railroad park in Poway and of course, the two-year old getting some time in on the playground was a must.

“Daddy, will you go with me?”

“That’s okay Beautiful.  I’ll watch you.”

“Please Daddy.”

She knows how to get me to do almost anything and that simple elongated please does it every time.

So, I climbed up into very cramped quarters and a half covered slide gave birth to me.  Yep, it was a tight fit and I think that one ride down hurt more than the twenty the night before.  That’s a little lesson to first time parents.  Playgrounds are meant for people under 4 feet tall and 80 lbs.  How does the weight come into play?  Remember that the “M” means mass in E=mc squared and in this case the increased mass meets the low resistance of the slide and you gain speed.  Some serious speed on some slides.  Sunday I didn’t find myself airborne, but it has happened coming off a kiddie slide before.

By 5pm Sunday afternoon, with my eldest daughter’s weekend completed, she, my wife, and my baby girl all drifted off for a little nap.  Finally, I got some NFL action.  I love my DVR.  Without it I would’ve missed nearly every minute of my Mavericks winning their first ever championship this summer and I’d miss almost every minute of the Chargers’ every Sunday afternoon.  Then after 9pm, when I was folding clothes, I had the laptop propped up in front of me with NFL Rewind giving me the Cowboys’ game replay.  Granted I have to stay away from my phone, TV, and the internet all day on a Sunday to watch the games like that, but at least I get to watch them.

So, the weekend concluded with rocking the exhausted two-year old to sleep at 10pm.  She’d fought sleep after dinner for about 90 minutes and since my wife drifted off again, I got the “closer” opportunity.  There really is very little that’s more rewarding than being the closer at bed time.  You have a child tired beyond words and all you have to do is answer a few random two-year old questions, hold her, rock her slowly, and see her eyes flutter shut.  The over the top benefit last night was that when she closed her eyes, I got a simple, sweet, “I love you Daddy.”  And she snuggled in real close and was done.  So was I.  Heart melted.  I love being Daddy, especially on the weekends.

Man’s Best Friend

19 Oct

A sad day in the Quen family is being tempered by the dedicated behavior of Lucky the Dog.  Lucky did what we’ve come to expect of the family pet and yet are always surprised by their actions when they do.  Lucky’s owner, Joseph Quen, passed away hunting in the wilderness two weeks ago.  When the search finally found Quen’s body, who do you think rested at his side?  Yep, Lucky the Dog. KIEM TV had the story. (

Owning a dog is an interesting anthropological study.  At least I feel it falls under Anthropology since it’s all about man’s interaction with a formerly wild breed of animal within our home.  An animal.  Living, breathing, and walking around searching for food and comfort within my home.  In my home you have to add escaping the grasp of a very curious and friendly 2 1/2 year old plus a relatively immobile 7 month old with quick hands.

All the burden associated with owning a dog sometimes consumes how Latte (our dog) exists in my life.  Often I only seem to focus on her need for food, exercise, the chance to relieve herself outside, and that constant yearn for affection.  However, once in a while she reminds me of why she is truly our four-legged furry family member.  Her needs for affection have landed her on my lap when I need a little extra comforting and that scientifically proven calming effect from petting a dog had made my day just a little bit better. (

Then there are the really surprising times she reminds me of how important I am to her and her to me.  One random day in a dog park a large lab charged me.  Pounding the ground at full speed that lumbering 100 lb. animal got me to tense up as it closed in.  I have no idea whether it was going to hit me or just race by me.  The dog never had a chance to reach me.  Just 2-3 feet from my trembling stiff body, my 11 month old puppy, weighing no more than 25 lbs, crashed into the labs side and knocked it off course.  At first I thought it was just my imagination, but often when I’m in a park with the double stroller and another dog gets a little too animated around the stroller or me, my 3-year-old Lab-Staffordshire (mini pit) mix informs the dog that it’s just a little too close for her comfort.  Now, she’s a pretty small dog, but she’s a tightly wound 35 lbs. of muscle now at three years old and doesn’t back down from anything.  She’s submissive to the appropriate dogs, but not if that dog invades our space with more than a friendly sniff.

About six months ago she again reminded me of one of her other many skills.  Around 2am I thought I heard a knock at the door.  I was drifting off to sleep and as we’ve all explored those little bumps in the night, I’m certain my patrol of the grounds would have convinced me the sound was all in my head.  However, someone else was at guard that night too.  Latte went absolutely ballistic.  That 35 lbs of fur bristled and she put out the biggest big dog bark I’d ever heard her muster.  When I got downstairs she was standing on the sofa and letting whatever was on the other side of our walls know, at full volume, they were not welcome.

I took a little tour out the front door and noticed nothing, but I’m convinced someone was testing who had dogs or alarms and who didn’t and now they know messing with my house elicits something worse than an alarm; an alarm with teeth and an attitude.  Latte’s incredible hearing and innate desire to protect helps me sleep at night.  I had no idea how much I rely on her until we went on our first vacation where my little toddler at 2 years old slept in another room.  We set up a bed for her in the living room on the sofa.  She loved it.  What I didn’t love is that I wasn’t between the front door or the balcony door and my daughter.  We set up the baby monitors mostly so I could hear everything going on in our little mini-apartment and sleep more soundly.

Recounting the blessings of dog ownership brings me to a sad conclusion…she doesn’t get everything from me she needs.  Latte was once my main source of enjoyment and pretty much my only job.  In the fall of 2008, I went unemployed for seven months and those jobless days started just prior to us adopting Latte for my wife’s birthday.  Latte had me 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  We went to every dog park I could find and walked at least 2 hours most days.  She curled up with me every where and followed me at all times.  She spent the evenings resting on my wife’s pregnant belly with her head nestled in my wife’s growing bosom.  To say she was content would be an understatement.

Then I got two jobs and disappeared for 60 hours a week.  Then the first child showed up and once my wife returned to work, I was around the house more, but occupied.  Eventually though, the stroller provided plenty of walking opportunities and Latte didn’t suffer too much.  Then kid number two showed up this year and Latte’s life significantly changed.  We still get out for exercise most days, but I have very little free time when home with the kids.  If I’m on the floor, I’m not there to wrestle with the dog, but read or put together a puzzle with a toddler.  When I’m curled up on the couch, there’s most likely an infant sleeping in my lap and no room to cuddle with daddy.

The neglect of Latte led me to rethink a desire for a third child since my current third child (Latte) doesn’t get all the attention she really needs.  Today, I’ll make an extra effort to give her some affection, a treat or two, and plenty of time chasing the ball, but another kid is going to have to wait until my 2 1/2 year old is old enough to take over some of the dog loving our household needs to do.


“Best Sandwich Ever” OR Ramblings about feeling at home?

18 Oct

I decided to join up with WordPress’ Daily Post and among other things, they give an idea daily to help you find something to write about.  I imagine some of the ideas are really great and some average.  Today’s post idea is your BEST SANDWICH EVER with a $5,000 limit on what you’d spend.  Though I love food and consider myself a bit of a foodie, I seriously doubt I could devote a great deal of passion and time into writing about the greatest sandwich.  Check that.  I could, but I don’t really want to.  Of course, the thought of the best sandwich ever leads me to two vivid memories.  The first was the unbelievable six-foot sub sandwich that my dad and brother built for my college graduation party.  Very tasty.  My dad discovered the key to a great homemade sandwich years ago and that’s Italian Dressing.  A splash of Salt & Pepper with Oregano will do the trick in a pinch, but Italian Dressing gives you the oily creaminess to go with it.  There are pictures of the spectacle, but it’s on another computer and I’m feeling lazy tonight.  There are also pictures of my face buried in my cake as a couple of female friends thought it funny to prank me.  I laughed.  And that corner of the cake was all mine.

The second image was that amazing egg sandwich Adam Sandler‘s Chef in Spanglish prepared for himself and sat down to eat at midnight with a stout beer.  What about that scene wasn’t awesome?  Coming home to a quiet (at that moment) house; preparing a perfect egg, bacon, tomato, lettuce, and cheese sandwich; pairing it with a hearty beer; and savoring the flavors all alone.  Too bad he didn’t get to eat it.  If you’ve never had the chance to enjoy a great egg sandwich, below is the video of the chef preparing the sandwich for Sandler and the recipe’s included at the end.

That image from the film got me dreaming of the day I’ll own a single family home.  A real, true, large, single family home with enough space and rooms that I’ll be able to enjoy myself in one part of the house as loud or quietly as I like without disturbing or being disturb by the rest of the house.

Currently, we own and live in a wonderful town home in Encinitas, CA.  It’s in a beautiful location and I feel truly blessed to live here, but the 1600 square feet started closing in on me as soon as the first child appeared.  Now with baby #2 seven months old, the toddler and infant “stuff” gobbles up more space daily, and now I finally just unplugged my subwoofer.

My very good $500 Mirage Sub Woofer.  I also have a 50″ Plasma TV with 7.1 Surround Sound and the four In Ceiling speakers all have 8″ woofers.  The system is auditory brilliance when running at full capacity.  MASTER & COMMANDER sounds incredibly realistic.  The thuds of heavy shoes pounding the deck above the Captain as he barks out orders is perfect.  Unfortunately, that level of bass disturbs the neighbors with shared walls (one neighbor told his little girl it was just ghosts) and those sleeping little girls under my own roof.  I tried to have a guys’ nite once where my wife took the girls upstairs and we gamed loudly downstairs until 1am.  Had fun, but it was tough on my wife and my eldest.  She’s not yet at an age where she understands that people are over, but they’re not here to see her.  And then there’s the noise that travel’s throughout the house.  Our master bedroom is fairly immune to noise pollution, but not six guys drinking and talking smack at midnight.

Now that I write this, I think I’ll try it again.  We just got new windows upstairs that should help cut down the amount of sound that travels out the front door and up through those old crap single pane windows and my eldest is 2 1/2 years old and a little more likely to understand.  Plus she’ll have mommy and a tv and probably a DVD of TANGLED to enthrall her.  Now, I gotta figure out the date.

So…the best sandwich $5,000 could buy…any one that I could eat quietly, all alone, in my home, late at night, with a Newcastle Brown Ale on the side.  Given the time, materials, and energy, the Spanglish Sandwich would be it.

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A Rough Wednesday and Getting Back In Shape

14 Sep

Wednesday was a rough day.  Rough.  Had this been a decade ago when the gym was the most important thing in my life, it would’ve been easier.  You see Tuesday night I went out with the guys.  One of my friends is getting his feet wet in stand up comedy and I went to support him and see him perform.  As we pull up to the club, my first question is, “Anybody know what they have to eat here?”  I wasn’t looking for health food, but since my mind is occupied all day long with being a Daddy to two little girls, I don’t always eat when I should.  Or what I should.  Anyway, turns out, only alcohol at this club.  On an empty stomach.  And I’m 38 and haven’t partied in quite a while.  So, two stout beers over a couple hours and I was feeling good, but in desperate need of food to absorb the poison.

Therein lies one of the problems of living in North County.  The whole region practically shuts down after 10pm on a weeknight and though I like that most days, it didn’t serve me well Tuesday night.  We found a Denny’s and I had something smothered in cheese and gravy and talked with the guys until after midnight.  I was finally sober and took back control of my car and got us home.  Good thing I was sober, because as soon as I walked in, I could hear little feet running back and forth upstairs.  My 2 ½ year old, Leilani, likes to come sleep with my wife and I and Jocelyn, the 6 month old, when she wakes up in the middle of the night.  And she has to have her pillow, stuffed animals, water, and more that she runs back and forth from room to room delivering.  So I ran upstairs and helped her get settled into bed with mommy.

Then I went downstairs to clean bottles, (we’re always cleaning bottles for the baby), and sat down on the sofa for a minute and yes, passed out.  4 AM.  That’s when I woke up, took the dog out, and headed to bed.  Leilani made sure I was up at 7 AM.  The three hours of bed rest wouldn’t be enough on a normal day to manage two little girls.  Add to that the alcohol and late night on Tuesday and, here’s the fitness thing, the new workout regime I started on Monday.  See, we’re heading to Tahoe in about a month and I want to be able to do some light hiking and I’m not nearly in the shape I used to be.  Plus, I need to be able to carry around a 23 pound 2 ½ year old on my back in a backpack.  So, I decided I needed to get prepared and I started taking walks with Jocelyn in a stroller, Leilani on my back, and the dog, Latte, on a leash.  First I hiked up and down the small hill behind our house about 10 times and then took off on an hour walk.  Too much for the second day in a week with the pack, but that’s me.  Pushed it a little too hard and though I felt fine on Tuesday, here comes that 2 day rule and the pain.  Luckily, I think I’m gonna be too busy to get in the backpack today, but Thursday’s on its way and I’ve gotta stick with my plan or my back and legs won’t be ready to seek the beauty in Tahoe.

Preparing for our annual Tahoe Trek

12 Sep

A couple years ago, we were searching for a place to drive to with our newborn that’d be fun, different, and not too far away.  We have an excellent Time Share, but it’s on the Strip in Vegas, and with kids, we don’t really use it so we looked for a place to trade and came across LAKE TAHOE.  I’d heard stories of Tahoe, but had never been so off we went and FELL in LOVE.  It’s just gorgeous up there and the ride up the 395 is beautiful too.

So as we prepare for a trip in October for the Salmon run and the possibility of seeing bears and witnessing a beautiful change of color to the fall, I started to contemplate one thing last week.  The best Tahoe has to offer is available with a little hiking.  Now, my wife doesn’t even own boots, so anything real extreme is out of the question, but to just walk down a path for a mile or two is going to take some preparation.  Why?  Well, with a two little girls along and most paths not really being Stroller Friendly, we’re gonna have to each strap a kid to us.

My wife, with a little daily walking, should be fine to carry the infant in a sling.  However, I’m going to have to carry a 23 lb. little girl in a backpack and I’m hardly in the shape that I used to be.  So, it’s all about building up to the trip.  Saturday I got out with the pack on for about 20 minutes, but this was my first real test.  Of course, since I’m rarely the one looking to EASE into anything, I overdid it.  Hiked up and down a small hill behind our house about 10 times and then took the stroller with the 6 month old, the dog on a leash, and the 2 1/2 year old in the backpack for an hour plus walk around the neighborhood.

It’s 11pm now and I’m tired, but I don’t hurt yet.  Actually, I expect Tuesday will be okay too, but I’m dreading Wednesday.  That two day rule after a harsh workout will probably rear its ugly head and I’ll feel a little less than awesome.  Nonetheless, I feel I’m really off and running in getting ready for my trip.  Now, I gotta make sure I got that rental SUV secured so we got something to get us and all our luggage there.

My 9/11 Celebration?

11 Sep

I know that we were Supposed To remember the 10 Year Anniversary of 9/11 in a special and patriotic fashion.  Unfortunately, as patriotic a guy as I am, a number of things trumped that on Sunday.  It starts with the fact that I find the depressing nature of most “we survived the terror attacks” to be anti-intuitive to my way of thinking.  If we survived and won’t be terrorized, then we can remember without depression.  We move on.  We’re stronger.  Our spirit is triumphant, not defeated.

So, my focus on Sunday was two fold.  #1, the NFL Opening Day and #2 Being a Daddy.

For the NFL, I had to help get the Fantasy Freaking Football broadcast on the air on Rock 105.3.  I’m not running the show anymore since it’s an hour plus round trip for a two hours of work and very little money on a Sunday morning, but my presence was requested for one more training session with the new guy running the show.  So, I started my day buried in my Fantasy Football Team and before I left, made sure my DVR was properly set.  Record the Pregame show and the first 15 minutes of the game so I could catch the 9/11 tributes, the Chargers game, the NBC Sunday Night NFL Show for highlights, and the Cowboys game on Sunday Night football since I’m from Texas and love my Cowboys.

When I got home from my fantasy football venture, #2 took over before I got to revel in a day of NFL.  There was a Greek Festival down the street and the World Wide Web offered the possibility of pony rides.  So, empowered by the DVR, I got off the couch and took both girls and my wife to the festival.  Alas no ponies were present, but we did find some fun Greek skirts that were all jingly and sequined that Leilani, the 2 1/2 year old absolutely loved.  LOVED!  That made the trip worth it as she danced back to the car.  We also picked up a number of excellent Greek desserts including fresh Baklava.  I didn’t really partake much since my tummy was a little tender due to taste testing food from the fridge post blackout.  Call me curious.  Or stupid.  I didn’t want to waste food and I couldn’t really offer anything to Leilani or my breast feeding wife without testing it first.

So after the trip, everyone passed out and I got to watch football.  Nearly 6 hours without interruption.  It was great.  Until the end when Tony Romo threw an awful interception and WE (yeah, I’m part of the team) lost the game.  That’s the rough part of the NFL.  Only one game a week and when you lose the opening game, you have to live with that horrible taste in your mouth for another week.  Plus, being a Cowboys fan, and a loud annoying one at that, I get to be abused on Facebook for my passion.  Luckily, I don’t live and die with the team like I did before I spent a decade in Sports Radio.  That’ll toughen up anyone’s thin skin.

All in all, a good day.  I got to watch plenty of football, spend a little time in radio, and still earned bonus points as a good daddy.  So, that’s how I celebrated 9/11.  And you?