Academy of Science – Philadelphia

I have to run out the door in a couple of minutes.  Last night I was working past midnight and now I’m trying to be at work by 7AM.  It’s so, so busy.  The worst part of being busy is leaving before your kids wake up and then only spending an hour with them before you have to put them to bed.  It does beat the alternative, I am happy to have a job that keeps the house warm and the kids fed. 

It makes me think of two philosophies you hear all the time:
1.  You have to fight for what you believe in, you have to constantly work harder than the rest, the strongest survive, do your best, etc.
2.  Go with the flow, whatever happens – happens, be flexible, relax, it is what it is

I struggle between these two philosophies a lot, especially in advertising.  We’re constantly asked if the font should be bigger or smaller, should the image be cropped, should we say it offers “profound” efficacy or “superior” efficacy, should we target the competition or focus on one competitor.  Every day you get hundreds of these little decisions.  My boss will gets pretty fired up over every decision, sometimes when the creative director or client doesn’t agree with him, he can get pretty agitated.  Of course, we all want to do what’s best for the campaign, but some people really fight harder for the smaller things.  I used to think that the small things were no big deal, there’s even a book that’s called “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff”, but now I’m realizing the small stuff really adds up in life and it’s pretty hard not to sweat it. 

Maybe it’s because I’m tired or it’s just way too busy at work, but I’m starting to think that the Native Americans are finally getting their revenge.  There was a real simplicity that made a lot of sense to their existence.  Each of their decisions we’re based on staying alive and living in harmony with the world.  There’s a lot of things today that are not in harmony.  Religous beliefs are the source of constant conflict, the economy is in a recession, poverty, overflowing jail systems, healthcare that many cannot afford, are these small things or big things?  I am curious to hear what the Native American would have said.  I was listening to some guy from the Franklin Institute talk about how we’re in a galaxy that would take lights years to travel across and our galaxy is just one of many.  We’re just one of many, many galaxies, is any of this stuff big?  Maybe I’ve just watched Horton Hears A Who too many times, by the way, it’s a great movie and book and movie!
There’s a lot of satisfaction with fighting the small things, professional musicians, athletes, doctors, and leaders of this world did not get to be at the top by just “going with the flow”, it really required a lot of decisions and these decisions led up to something profound. 

My point is, either way you go, the world goes on but you have a chance to fight and make it microscopically better and even though the needle barely moves, it sure beats the alternative.

Other random notes:
– Lost is really focusing on Daniel Faraday, I am okay with that.  Wow, Charles Widmore was on the island!  Otherwise, I saw a lot of filler in last night’s episode.
– Why is filming a porno legal and prostitution illegal, I just can’t figure that out
– I am against charitable organizations giving their CEO’s a salary over $100,000.  The Red Cross gives their CEO over $500k.  If you won’t run a charity organization for less than $500k, you just don’t understand the necessary principles
– I’m picking the Cardinals to win the Super Bowl. 
– I’m already late, gotta go.  But thanks for reading, I love your support!

We visited the Academy of Science in Philadelphia, too much of a hurry to rotate the pic

They had this green screen movie studio and it would allow you to go back into time with the dinosaurs.  Here’s Jacklyn offering Dalia to a T-Rex

Maple Glen Tavern

Those Eagles are something else, when you think they’ll lose, they win, when you think they’ll win, they lose.  Before Sunday’s game, I felt like the Eagles were going to win.  The Edman was being evacuated from his house because his girlfriend was having some girls get together, so we decided to cheer on the Eagles at Hooters.  I think Hooters is an excellent premise, but this particular Hooters on a Sunday where the Eagles were losing, came off very flat, like a pint of Coors Light sitting at room temperature for a couple weeks.  We left at half time and headed for greener pastures.  We ended up at the Maple Glen Tavern and it was freaking awesome.  It was like an Eagles wake, people were drunk, exuberant, and dancing on their bar stools (see pic below).

Last year had a formula that predicted Martin Luther King Day as the most depressing day of the year.  This year, my work was supposed to have off for the holiday, but we are so busy they rescinded the holiday and we had to work.  In fact, it’s close to midnight and I’m just wrapping up.  I took some breaks to hang out with the family, but it’s been a long day. 

Tomorrow, I have to be at work super early, I can’t wait until this campaign is launched and life can go back to normal. 

Here’s a question for all of you, the waitress at Hooters asked us if we wanted our wings breaded or naked.  The Edman says breaded wings are what you normally get and I said naked wings are the norm.  Any one want to weigh in on this?

I beat Grand Theft Auto 4 for the Xbox 360.  Absolutely enjoyed the game.  Here’s a quick funny story about it.  I was playing the game and I had a particularly awful mission to complete.  I think it involved killing some rival gang who was now managing a strip club in the game.  I accepted the mission and had my character deep into his assignment when in real life I had a knock on my door.  It was a family going door to door asking people to consider accepting Jesus Christ into their lives.  They told me a little about Jesus, gave me some literature and left.  I wished them luck in their endeavor, closed the door, and resumed my game that was in the midst of a bloody firefight in the middle of a strip club with poor virtual strippers getting caught in the crossfire.  That game really is horrible and I hope Winston is playing stuff like that until he’s a senior in high school (or just avoids video games altogether). 

The snow’s been fun and Winston and I managed to sneak a little more sledding in on the weekend.  Jaclyn is doing a great job of keeping this household together.  Her husband has been having too much fun lately, wrapping up Grand Theft Auto, going to Hooters, and staying up late to post this blog.  I’ll make it up to her though, I think I’ll make her a special meal this weekend and make this weekend 100% about hanging with the family (unless Jay decides to throw himself a 30th birthday party). 

One quick note on the bailout.  Imagine if you lived in the ghetto, in a dilapidated row home, can you imagine how pissed off you would be if the richest bankers and Wall Street people were getting billions in loans while you’re getting your heat shut off?  It’s insane to think the bailout does nothing for people in poverty. 

One quick note on this week’s inauguration.  It’s amazing how far this country has come in a very short period of time.  Less than 50 years ago a black person would have to use a different bathroom, water fountain, or classroom.  Now we elected a black person as our president.  Good to see America still evolving, we probably still have room to improve. 

One quick note about TV.  Can’t wait for the season premier of LOST on Wednesday.  If anyone wants to discuss on Thursday, please e-mail me your thoughts. 

That’s it for now, I gotta sleep so I can get back to work. 


The Adventure

Here’s a quick explanation of the new blog category.  Don’t worry, we’ll still keep aspects from The Village and I have a couple more interviews on que, so it’s not a dramatic departure.  The adventure pairs up with a New Year’s Resolution on mine.  I am a huge fan of Ernest Hemingway and love that his stories are written in simple plain English, but the content is packed with raw emotion and excitement because war, epic battles with beast, and the most basic primordial struggles of man are at the core of his stories. 

I’ve always loved exploring and fishing, but I’ve put a lot of that on hiatus with two very young kids that need my attention.  This year I am planning on making a serious effort to sneak some adventure into my weekends and already have a couple trips on the docket.  On the first warm-ish weekend we have, I am traveling back to Glen Onoko Falls and finding the waterfall, I used Google Earth and now know precisely how to get there.  I plan on hiking the Delaware Water Gap’s Appalacian Trail, which used to be an annual tradition.  I have two deep sea fishing trips booked, one for Cobia that get close to 100 pounds and one for yellow-fin tuna.  

There’s a couple more ideas that I’m tossing around as well, it’s going to be a good year, one with lots of adventure…but the kids bring plenty of adventure themselves.  Just last night we had to evacuate the living room because Winston knocked over a lamp with one of those new LCD lightbulbs that contains mercury.  It shattered, we all had to go upstairs for 15 minutes and I had to clean up the hazardous materials with a damp towel. I asked for more adventure…I got it!


Sledding at the Mercer Museum in Doylestown

Infrequent blog posting = severe sleep deprivation + launching a new ad campaign at work + Grand Theft Auto

I’m on the very last mission of Grand Theft Auto, so I’ll be able to remove that from the equation soon.

I have to skedaddle for work in a couple minutes, but here’s some pics and brief stories around them:

Winston and I are all tuckered out after the Eagles defeat the Minnesota Vikings.  Winston’s awesome jacket came courtesy of cousin Blake on Winston’s second birthday.

Lev had a little Rock Band get together where Jaclyn rocked the drums, I played some mean guitar and Kevin (closest) did the greatest rendition of Creadence Clearwater Revival’s Up Around the Bend.  Seriously, it was better than the original. 

With the snow, we rushed over to Target and purchased a new sled.  Winston loved sledding and his mom was a lot more scared going down the hill than Winston.  You could hear her screaming all the way down.  We were sledding at the Mercer Museum in Doylestown.

Winston and I did a couple runs together and eventually I felt he was ready for a solo sled ride.  Jaclyn decided it was a horrible idea, but I put him in the sled anyways and gave him a shove down the hill.  As soon as the sled went speeding down the hill, I realized a lot of things could potentially go wrong.  I ran down the hill after the sled.  On the picture above, the picture was taken from the starting location, so it’s a pretty long ride to the bottom (you can see me at the bottom in red pulling the sled).  Winston made it all the way down with out any issues, in fact, he popped up out of the sled at the end with a huge smile on his face…wanting to do it all again.

Winston is talking a lot more.

Dalia is starting to get on a better sleeping schedule.

We got new bedroom furniture.


Everything is going in the right direction.

George W. Bush Tribute

Over the holidays, family & friends were showing me all kinds of photos and homemade slideshows they made. It was fun taking one last look over 2008. The very best show came from my friend George W. Bush, it takes a look over the last 8 years while he was president. I just wish we could elect him again.

Ryan the Mennonite

I was not interested in high school.  I enjoyed football, baseball, the cliques, the cafeteria, and study hall, but when it came to the actual schooling, it never held my interest.  It was fear of academic ineligibility in sports and an ass whooping from my parents that kept me hovering around complacency, if not for those, I probably would have just skipped classes all together.  Looking back, I can see the importance of high school, but not sure if the outcome would be much different if I had to repeat. 

Being a poor student provided minimal leverage in the college application process.  I knew if worse came to worse, I could go to a school that wanted me to play football, but I really did not want to play football in college.  Football meant weight lifting 3 days a week and cardio 1 or 2 days a week and that was in the off season.  It was like having a full time job year round, if I was going to college, it would be to learn something.   

I sent out a couple applications to state schools and Bloomsburg University accepted me with a condition, I needed to take part in their summer freshmen program.  The summer freshmen program was an opportunity for derelict students like myself to attend classes in the summer and prove they are worthy of the college experience.  While my best friends went on senior week vacations and enjoyed their final high school summer together, I traveled up to Bloomsburg to prove I could make it as a college student.  The one requirement of a summer freshmen was to make it through the summer maintaining a B minus grade point average.   

I arrived in Bloomsburg shortly after my high school graduation.  It was incredibly hot and dusty because they were doing major campus renovations.  Whenever a breeze would blow, the dust would swirl up on your sweaty body and stick to your arms and legs and make tiny bits of mud.  There were all kinds of students that wound up in the summer freshmen program, there were inner city kids, suburban kids, hick kids from back woods Pennsylvania towns like Shamokin and Kane, there were pot heads and prepsters, but we all had something in common, we were all terrible students.  

I would say 1 out of 10 kids from the summer freshmen program ultimately graduated, or at least graduated from Bloomsburg.  We had kids that just got up there and were dumb as hell and just couldn’t keep up with the college curriculum, we had a kid who went to a Delta Pi frat house party and when the police raided through the front door, he bolted out the back and hopped over a fence trying to escape punishment for underage drinking, unfortunately for him, the fence was a protective measure and he ended up hopping over a cliff and falling to his death, we had people who partied every night, people who got caught with drugs, we had people who were just homesick.  The person that I still think about fairly often is Ryan the Mennonite.  This kid showed up to college in suspenders and a straw hat.  We all thought he was amish, he told us he was a Mennonite, but we couldn’t tell the difference.   This poor guy picked the wrong place, wrong time, and wrong program to integrate with the greater society.  He was holed up in a dorm room with a fairly typical 18 year old male, a man that enjoyed posters on swim suit models, TV shows and movies with a little violence and sex, and sometimes the company of a female student if he was lucky enough to make it happen.  Before you guys jump to conclusions, I wasn’t Ryan’s roommate, my roommate was a soccer player from Easton, we call him J-Dawg.  

Ryan the Mennonite stuck out like a sore thumb and from the first night he made it clear to his roommate that he would not tolerate the lewd posters and graphic movies, he made it clear that the room would be a sanctuary from the insanity that surrounded them, he made it clear that no females would be allowed in the room.  Well, Ryan’s roommate immediately figured this to be a terrible living situation and contacted the senior resident on the floor who was our resident adviser.  The resident adviser was a psychology major and found the whole thing fascinating, he probed and probed trying to figure out what was acceptable to Ryan and what was not, “Is porn okay?  Is masturbation okay with your religion?  Do you like women or just ignore them?”  This line of questioning went on for an hour and did nothing but to satisfy the resident advisor’s perverse desire to contaminate this individual’s clean moral slate.  Nothing could be done, Ryan and the roommate were forced to stick it out.  

Ryan’s roommate told anyone that would listen about his unfortunate living circumstances.  It was always a great conversation starter and when someone complained about their roommate (which was most frequent), he could always have the last word.  Soon enough, Ryan became a freak attraction in Bloomsburg in the summer of 1997.  His moral intentions created a profound backfire, every girl on the campus wanted to show him what he was missing, wanted to convert him into another man who needed them, every guy wanted to tell Ryan the dirtiest joke they knew, Ryan’s innocence created a blackhole of filth and perversity.  As I would pass his room, girls in bikini tops would poke their head into his room and he’d cover his eyes and angrily tell them to leave, which always made them stay a little longer.  

One night Ryan’s roommate went to a frat party and struck an impromptu relationship with a female student and they returned back to his room.  Ryan was woken by the encounter and became irate, telling the woman she had to leave.  This made Ryan’s roommate angry too and in the morning, Ryan’s roommate created a barrier right down the middle of the room with all the furniture they had in the room.  When Ryan returned from breakfast to see the new divide, I remember him saying, “My people have been promoting faith and unity for the last 200 years, I will not allow you to place a barrier in our room”.  The barrier was taken down.  

Ryan didn’t return the following semester, but his roommate did.  His roommate was one of the summer freshmen who actually graduated from Bloomsburg.  The funny thing is, when I last checked on him to see what he was doing, he was doing missionary work in South America.