Breakfast is a Liar


My mom came over to watch the kids earlier this week and was appalled that I don’t cook the kids breakfast everyday.  She said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  Then I started to think: it can’t be.  Like a Nobel-prize winning novel, dinner is a big deal with numerous sides containing lots of importance; lunch is something small and light that’ll get you through the day, like Mila Kunis.  But let’s take a look at typical breakfast food:

  • Cereal = a bowl full of carbs
  • Toast = a rectangle of burnt carbs
  • Granola bar = a candy bar with granola in it
  • Bacon = strips of fat fried in its own grease
  • Sausage = strips of fat, stuffed into an esophagus, fried in its own grease
  • Hash browns, tater tots = round french fries
  • Donuts, muffins, bagels = round cake
  • Pancakes, waffles, french toast = fried cake, served with liquid sugar

The only remotely healthy thing breakfast offers is eggs (which was neutral, then unhealthy, then healthy, then unhealthy again, then healthy if you only eat the whites, then unhealthy, then a super-food, then cruel, now healthy-ish) and coffee.

My kids don’t need coffee; the world doesn’t horrify/bore them yet.

What to Do with an Old iPhone

I first bought a cell phone in 2002.  It was a blue Nokia.  I got it because I was constantly on the road – my band, The Rachels, was starting to hit it big after “Alicia Silverstone Should Be a Homophone” got some serious airplay.


That’s me on the left.  I used to be swole.

Once we broke up (there was some in-fighting about whether or not the Chevy Chase Show was going to be the best late-night talk show of all time or just the best currently airing), I got a good job and was making some serious five-figure cash.  I could afford a credit card and bought an iPod with that credit.  This meant that at any given time I had a cell phone, an iPod, keys to a sweet 2001 Eagle Summit, a digital camera, and a money clip with a credit card tied around it.  It was around this time that I started wearing many-pocketed pants and gave up the leather trousers (I had a hard time giving up the lifestyle of the Joe Millionaires (we changed the name of the band a few times; it went from “Hobie’s Gotta Run” to “The Rachels” to “Felicity Grow Your Hair”, to “NOmorosa”, to “The Joe Millionaires”)).

Then the iPhone came out and I could finally put all this in one place.  Then I had kids.  Then Apple made it so I didn’t need to sync my phone to my computer, so I bought a new iPhone.  But I can’t give the old one away, it’s a tiny computer. There’s gotta be a thousand things you can do with a tiny computer.

I tried loading it up with kids games and letting them play with it every once in a while, but for some reason it always made them angry (it might have been my choice of games; The Wife and I were legally separated over level 70 of Candy Crush).  So then I thought about a jukebox or a TV remote or a tiny picture frame or a Netflix viewer for destroying my vision or some sort of smart-house hub system, but that all seemed way more trouble than it was worth.  Plus, as the apps advance and as the internet speeds up, my little iPhone isn’t going to be able to keep up with much of anything anymore.

So I made a clock.  Or, rather, a clock dock.  Or rather, my Unlocked Mock Clock Dock Block.


I’ve taken everything off it except three apps:


1. It tells the time, date, and weather.  None of which are internet-heavy apps.


2. Pandora, so I can soothe my inner-rage with “A Pocket Full of Kryptonite”


3. A picture viewer, in case I need the thunderdome of my home-life to encroach on the thunderdome of my work-life


(I also have the “Find My iPhone” app, in case anyone wants to steal a phone that only works when plugged in and that contains no apps built after 2009)

The only other thing I could think of, since I can’t trade it in for a 7s, would be to sell it on eBay.  But I need shrink-wrap:



I got this in the mail. Someone explain. 

Minor League 

I’m at a minor league baseball game. Read carefully:

Why I Hate Home Depot: The Movie

I know I’ve said that Home Depot is the worst (the staples aren’t by the staple guns, they’re next to carpet), but sometimes I go there simply because it’s closest.  Today I wanted to check out a vent cover:

New Garage

I spent a good two years designing and building my house.  The only thing I thought of but couldn’t manage to put in was a secret passage.  I wanted kitchen cabinetry that goes all the way to the ceiling so I didn’t have to deal with dusting those few inches everyone seems to have.  I wanted hard flooring on the main level so I didn’t have to deal with mud on the carpet.  I wanted overhead lights in the living room so I don’t have to fumble around looking for a lamp.  I wanted ceiling fans in every room.  I wanted an entryway so I didn’t have to walk directly into the living room when I come home from work.  I wanted different climate-control zones so I’m not paying for heat in an empty room.  I even thought of stupid things like a tiny sink in the downstairs bathroom (it will only be used for post-pooping hand-washing), a light-up doorbell button, and sound-deadening channels between the upstairs and main floor.  If you point at any item in the house – any wall, handle, appliance, light, window, floor, or fixture – I have a story about the design.

I did not, however, have anything to say about the garage.  I never thought about it.  It was a car-hole.


I added insulation because the kids’ bedrooms are above. It also helps to muffle the sobs.

Much like cable (or a one-night stand or an opinion on merkins), I’ve never had a garage in my adult life.  So once we were moved in for a while, and once I started to go into the garage for various tasks (finishing closets, hiding things from The Wife, etc.), I started to get ideas about what should go where.

Here it is now:

I covered the walls in something as cheap as drywall without the hassle of mudding, nail pops, and hernias: plywood.  I wanted to be able to hang anything anywhere, but I didn’t want 4’x8′ sheets of wood all over the place.  So I spent a few hours cutting the sheets into five-inch-ish chunks and staining them with random colors.  Once that was done, I could put everything exactly where it should go.

I also had a few ideas about how to save space:

IMG_1824I hung the the recycling bins on the wall with a variation of a wood cleat.

They used to sit on top of the trash can, which means we had to move the bins every time we wanted to throw something away.  Having two kids- Lemon and The Professor – with a My Little Pony addiction and an enabling wife means that we throw away a LOT of packaging.  I felt guilty about using up that much plastic (you know, with the human population probably dying from it), so I bought another bin, which meant that after the first one was full, I had to sit that one beside the trash can and put the empty one on top of the trash can and then when that one got full… So I stacked them on the wall.

IMG_1823Right beside the entry door, I added a bunch of coat hooks and baskets for gloves and hats and such.  I forgot how much snow gets caked into coats and snowpants (and hair and underwear and ear canals) when kids are sledding.  This means that when they hang up everything in the entryway, water gets everywhere.

Also, did you know that little girls have at least five choices for every item of clothing?  This will save a little bit of space in the area where everyone hangs up their coats.

Also notice the cantilever down at the bottom.  It’s a good place to store hoses and sidewalk salt.

IMG_1819Bikes take up a LOT of room.  Since I live in a place now where the roads are paved, The Wife and I will often go for bike rides and leave the kids to knife-fight for our love.  But where do you keep something three-foot tall, five-foot wide and frequently used (there’s a joke somewhere in  here about a short, fat prostitute)?  Answer: in the sky.

I don’t have rafters in my garage, since there is house up there, and the ceiling is almost ten feet up, so just hanging the bikes by a hook isn’t the best option.  Instead, I have a pulley system.

IMG_1820Right below those pulleys, you might notice matching yard equipment.  I have a chainsaw, leaf blower, weed whacker, and lawn mower – all battery-powered, all with the same battery.  I’ve said a million times that we’re living in this weird in-between era where technology is magical but nothing is perfected.  I think we’re finally getting to a point in batteries where it’s worth it.  Each of these things lasts about an hour with continuous use.  If I need it for longer, I can just go and change the battery.  I don’t need separate gas cans for unleaded gas and 40:1 mixture and 50:1 mixture and regular oil and bar oil, extra spark plugs, cleaners, cases, or winterizers.  I put the battery in, push the “on” button and do what I do (now that I say it out loud, I sound like this guy).

IMG_1822I used to have about 35 different containers for various nuts, bolts, screws, nails, anchors, etc. The roofers left a 30 lb box of roofing nails.  The deck guys left a 5 lb box of deck screws.  I had packages from extra screws that came with the garden shed I built with my dad in 2005.  I could keep all these things and keep them in coffee cans and baby formula containers (by the way, why are two of the most abundant things on the planet shipped in indestructible packages while windows are just shrink-wrapped?) or I could get rid of what I won’t use and keep a little of everything.  So I bought this little organizer, filled it with a few nuts, bolts, screws, nails, anchors, etc., and donated the rest to Habitat for Humanity.  Because I’m a humanitarian.  I also have a tiny bluetooth speaker instead of an old radio that everyone seems to put in their garage.

IMG_1821Everyone also seems to put old road signs, license plates, and semi-racist and -sexist decorations in their garage.  In lieu of that (and because that’s how I’ve decorated my house), I’ve decided to take the blueprints for the house, frame them, and hang them in the garage.

Don’t worry, I took the frames from an old X-Files move poster.

“Hardwired to Self-Destruct” Review


Who told James Hetfield he can sing?