Category Archives: father

Einstein Was Here

I wish I was better at explaining things…



How Reasonable…

My dad had many sayings, including: “Blessed are the big wheels, for they will go around in circles” and “Don’t confuse me with facts when my mind is made up.”  The reasoning chart below seems to sum up both of those sayings:


Grandparents – Old People Trying To Get Into Heaven

I didn’t realize that Bill Cosby and I were brothers.  We must be… we had to have had the same parents.  Did you? (This is for Mssc54). 

Hopefully this will help you ease into your weekend:

Deja Vu with a Twist (of Sons)

“Do you believe in Deja vu?” – Didn’t you just ask me that?”  This is one of my favorite exchanges from my favorite movie: Groundhog day.

I experienced deja vu with a slight twist last night.

My 12 year old son and I went to Magic Mountain (here in SoCal) for a private party (my university rents the park one night each year for current students, alumni, friends, and etc. to mix).  One of the good things about going each year is that it is cheap (our tickets were $25) and the lines are short – really short – as in non-existant (attendance is about a quarter of a normal operating day).  We not only did not wait in line, but following several rides we were asked if we wanted to ride again.

About two hours into the evening, while driving the bumper cars, I was overwhelmed with this sense of deja vu – with a twist. 

(As background) On my 13th birthday, my dad took me to Magic Mountain (about a month after it opened).  There were few rides and (it seemed) fewer people, so on several rides we were asked if we wanted to ride again.  The bumper cars were our favorite ride of the day.

(Back to last night) It hit me while I was chasing my son around in the bumper cars (same location since opening day) as I saw him glance back at me with an absolute look of joy on his face… and I saw me – more than 35 years before as my dad chased me around in the same bumper cars, laughing like mad.

How great is that?

Bumper Cars at Magic Mountain

Bumper Cars at Magic Mountain

Another Favorite Ride of My Dad, My Son, and Me.

Another Favorite Ride of My Dad, My Son, and Me.

Who I want to Become and Another “Bucket Lister”

I happened across Doug, another “bucket lister” and found his post interesting.  He responed to yesterday’s post with this thought:

There are several ways to go about this business of working on a bucket list. One is simply to make a list of things I feel especially compelled to do before “kicking the bucket,” and tick them off as each is done. But it could be useful to ask why those particular things are on my list. What does my list say about me? And is that the kind of person I want to be when I’ve finished my business here on earth? An alternative is to think strictly in terms of what sort of person I wish to become, then get busy becoming that sort of person. But how do you do that?

Good questions.

As I think about the kind of person I (still) hope to be, I am struck by the words of Michelangelo when he was asked how he could turn a block of stone into a beautiful angelic statue.  He responded with something to this effect: “I see the angel inside the block of stone and remove everything that doesn’t belong.”  That is (more or less) what my list has become for me – a vision of who I want to become and a chipping away of what doesn’t belong. 

It became much easier after my kids were born.  I wanted to be the kind of person who could be patient with them as they grew up and developed into the kind of people who could be patient with me as I grew old.

Home from SF

My son and I just returned from San Francisco and, as predicted here, the Giants dropped two to the Brewers.  Friday night was a debacle and today was worse (I needn’t go into detail, read the Sunday sports page).  My son asked many questions about baseball and life, and we talked through some of the stickier issues of the infield fly rule and why passing gas in front of girls might not be his best choice – all the important issues of life.

We found the House of Nanking.  I had heard great things about it and all were true.  It may be some of the finest Chinese food we have ever tasted.  We were seated, but given no menus.  The chef came to our table when he heard that we were first timers and looked at us for a minute, then said, “I’ll take care of you.”  He proceded to send dish after dish to our table and we feasted on all the things we like.  So there you go – great Chinese food that was prepared by a mind reader.

We also went out to the WWII bunkers on the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge – loads of interesting fun that seems to be the best kept secret.  My son thought this was one of his greatest days ever.  We then walked around the city (primarily Fisherman’s Wharf and Market district).  We also took time to visit a couple of bookstores.

We had a great time and have many memories that will last us until we go again next year.  We talked all the way home (a six hour drive – stopping for Chinese food for dinner again tonight).  It is a source of both joy and amazement that my son still (not only tolerates, but) likes to hang out with me.

On My Way to San Francisco

My son and I take a trip each summer to San Francisco to watch our beloved Giants get beat (generally by the Dodgers), this time by the Brewers.  In the past, he and I have been able to visit Alcatraz, the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum (really odd), Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 39, the Cable Cars, Giradelli Square, Lombard Street, the Golden Gate Bridge, and other sites.  This time we are focused on finding a particular restaurant we have heard about, The House of Nanking.

My son is 12, still talks to me, believes I’m funny (my 10 year old daughter has already lost interest in the things I find funny), and actually wants to hang out with me.  I’m seeing him continue to take to the things I like (for example – Chinese food and reading – two of the greatest pleasures one could possibly pursue).  I’m sobered by the fact that I hear him saying and doing things that I say and do.  It is a constant reminder that I still have the ability to influence his behaviors and relationships – what a wonderfully frightening realization and responsibility.

Anyway, a weekend in San Francisco watching my favorite sport and team and enjoying the company of my son.  It really doesn’t get much better than this.  See you Monday!

Giant's Crab Bobblehead - the giveaway at the Friday game.

Giant's Crab Bobblehead - the giveaway at the Friday game.