2015 Anti-Resolutions

  1. I will not blame ObamaCare for my son’s unfortunate wardrobe choices.
  2. I will not make judgments about other men based on the size of their coffee mugs.
  3. I will not change the things I say on Twitter just because my daughter thinks I tweet like an old—possibly dead—bird.
  4. I will not make up mysterious theme songs for each of my favorite coffee mugs and sing them whenever they are getting used by guests.
  5. I will not paint random portions of my arms, face and/or legs in a greenish color just to convince the little neighbor girl that I’m beginning to be able to photosynthesize my own energy.
  6. I will not let Lady Gaga make my wardrobe choices for me anymore. She can recommend whatever she wants to my son, though, since ObamaCare failed him so badly on that front.
  7. I will not go on job interviews and answer every question by telling cautionary tales involving coffee, random office supplies, and special undergarments.
  8. I will not post on obscure websites that when I grow up I want to be Wonder Woman because I like her outfits.
  9. I will not be held accountable for my failure to complete any part of my daily to do list when the person who created the list should have used some simple mathematics such as the Gamma Function clip_image019[4] to determine the probability of success for each specific task.
  10. I will not let the squirrels win.
  11. I will not delay in creating a new style guide that codifies the proper usage of the punctuation mark which is as amazing, controversial, and exciting as the Oxford Comma: the Serial Interrobang. You’d like that, wouldn’t you… wouldn’t you‽‽‽
  12. I will not place cheap flip phones in random places throughout the state and use my daughter’s phone to call and leave cryptic messages on them at strange hours of the day and night, just to confuse the NSA.
  13. I will not bring the big, black trash bags and a snow shovel into my son’s room to clean it like my father used to do… I will not bring the big, black trash bags and a snow shovel into my son’s room to clean it like my father used to do… I will not bring the big, black trash bags and a snow shovel into my son’s room to clean it like my father used to do… I will not—


Written based on the Today’s Author Write Now! prompt on December 31, 2014, in which we are asked to creatively list ten things we will not do in the coming year. Of course, for obvious reasons I need to stick with a nice, lucky number like thirteen…

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2014 Anti-Resolutions

Written based on the Today’s Author Write Now! prompt on December 31, 2013, in which we are asked to creatively list ten things we will not do in the coming year. Of course, for obvious reasons I need to stick with a nice, lucky number like thirteen…

  1. I will no longer ignore the wise advice spoken to me in whispers by the steam rising from my coffee cup.
  2. I will not introduce myself to everyone I meet as “Zalbon, Prime Prince Extraordinaire of the Zarquan Collective of Ragabond Five”; Some people will come to know me as “The Great Ro-bini, Protector of Mauwg and Hero of Baldador.”
  3. I will not make my son do two pushups for every dollar he receives for his birthday or Christmas when five pushups per dollar would be better for him.
  4. I will not blame ObamaCare for my unfortunate wardrobe choices.
  5. I will not get a set of tattoos featuring The Taster’s Choice couple (Sharon Maughan and Anthony Stewart Head), despite my love of coffee and the assurances that the inking would be tastefully done.
  6. I will not get a tattoo of Juan Valdez, either.
  7. I will not allow Miley Cyrus to talk me into allowing her to dance with the cinderblocks from my garage again this year.
  8. I will not shock my 48 million fans by suddenly tweeting that I am retiring from coffee drinking.
  9. I will not annoy the Little Neighbor Girl by recording dramatic footage of the giant, jumping spiders that live in my basement and then copying the videos onto the various digital devices she leaves at my house all the time even after I tell her to take them home.
  10. I will not torment the cats by putting motorized bird and squirrel puppets outside each window.
  11. I will not torment my son by putting motorized pizza puppets outside each window. Well… at least not every day.
  12. I will not leak to the media the news that the massive mosquito population in our area is actually a secret government research project which is attempting to genetically alter us into a super-powered mansquito army with which they intend to fight off the alien invasion.
  13. I will not distribute treasure maps which lead to my garden just before planting time this spring, in hopes that all the neighbors will end up coming over and digging up the weeds for me as they search for buried treasures.


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A Letter of Encouragement to My Son Upon Entering Sixth Grade Math

Dear Nick,

We wanted to wish you good luck and let you know that we’re here to help you on the path to a successful mathematical career throughout middle school. As you know, I (Dad) am and always have been a math geek, so I wanted to give you some helpful advice I’ve learned along the way. Your teacher may get mad at me for letting you know these things, but it’s a chance I feel I must take.

If you see a problem on a test such as:


the answer is not:





Similarly, the solution to: clip_image010[4] is not:



Nor is the solution to clip_image014[4] =?:


Finally, when asked to find x, you’re better off if you do not answer as follows:

Find x.


If you heed my advice, not only will you be successful in middle school math, but soon you will be solving equations like one of my personal favorites, the Gamma Function:


Good luck!
Love, Mom and Dad


Author’s Note: On the second full day of school, an assignment came home from my son’s math class and it was for the parents to write a letter of encouragement to our child as he begins his middle school journey through math.  I figured that if I had to take time away from watching Stargate SG-1, I might as well have a little fun with it. My son, daughter and wife enjoyed this and since it was meant to be for my son, that’s really what mattered.

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My Midlife Crisis, or, The End and Beginning of an Era, Part 2

My Beloved 2004 Saturn Ion 2

My Beloved 2004 Saturn Ion 2, on July 27, 2013

My very first car was a 1980 Ford Escort station wagon. I bought it from my grandparents for $500 in 1988 and it served me well for the next 5 years, well into 1993. But as I graduated from college, the road grime, duct tape and metal clothes hangers which held the rust together finally showed signs of giving out.  Since I was leaving the safe, walk-able confines of the college campus for the not walk-able, paying job with a two hour commute. So, I needed to buy a car.

I was familiar with Ford, so I first went to the local Ford dealer. Before I had even had a test drive, the sales person had my blood pressure up, and my heart rate up and my head spinning, as he told me to ignore the sticker price because he was already cutting it in half and he was not going to allow me to leave without a new Ford.


I took the test drive and the car was fine.  But I left without a new Ford despite the salesperson’s histrionics. Instead, I drove a few hundred yards up the highway to the Saturn dealership.

I got out of the car and found that I was able to walk around the lot, look at cars, look at more cars and just kind of feel unpressured. I found a salesperson and he was helpful and enthusiastic. I test drove the car, a 1993 Saturn SL1 sedan with a manual transition.

And I loved it.

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The End and Beginning of an Era, Part 1

In the middle of August 2006, we had solar panels installed on our home. Unlike what a lot of early-adopters of the residential solar panel systems. the purpose of our installation wasn’t to make money but to make electricity and lower our carbon footprint and impact on the environment by covering as much of our electrical need as possible. The fact that the Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) are not worth today what we were promised they would be worth is annoying to me, but it mostly just makes the payback period longer.  Truth is, we loved the solar panels from the first day they were installed, despite the fact that they didn’t really perform as advertised, also from the first day they were installed.  I had tons of problems with the system from day one and calls to the installer and the manufacturer went unanswered or, at best, answered inadequately.

Which was the real problem.

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Best Blog Writing on Creativity and the Arts 2012

Rus VanWestervelt, a writer, photographer, Creativity Coach and LifeStory Architect with whom I’ve worked at Write Anything, has put together an article featuring a number of fantastic links to blog posts written in the past year on the subject of creativity. 

There are some terrific articles by a lot of authors I admire and have enjoyed reading.  The featured authors include: Adam Byatt, Alyssa Bailey, Bernadette A. Moyer, Cara Moulds, Jodi Cleghorn, Laura Shovan and Dan Cuddy.  And, oh yes, and I’m included as well.

You can read Rus’s article here on his blog: Best Blog Writing on Creativity and the Arts: My 2012 Review.  I encourage you to check it out and read some of the fantastic articles he has included. I am sure you will find them interesting and inspirational.

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