Something is Wrong With my Stomach – Story Time about Appendicitis

Download PDF

***I’ve been looking for this story for years.  I wrote it a week after I suffered from Appendicitis.  Be careful reading it.  I grossed out my seventh grade students when I read it aloud to them and two of them fainted***

I have been in pain before.  Kick the wall barefoot and break my toe pain.  Split my mouth open and need stitches in my tongue pain.  Have my wisdom teeth chiseled out of my jaw pain, but nothing like the pain I felt in my gut last weekend.

My wife, two year old son, five month old daughter, and I were living at my parents while our house was being completed.  All day on a Saturday, I labored away on various projects in our uninhabitable new house.  Undercutting doorways, painting posts, sealing grout, and running away from yellow jackets were the major time consumers.  With no working electricity I was forced to leave the work site at around seven in the evening.  I headed to my wife’s parents place.

During the drive, my stomach started to feel strange.  When I say feel strange, I mean it was an abnormal sensation that I couldn’t relate to any other pain I’ve felt in my life.  Something was wrong with my stomach.  I arrived at my in laws, Mark and Shirlie.

My stomach pain started to intensify during my visit with Mark and Shirlie.  My wife, Lisa Marie, asked, “Why are you so crabby?”

I grumbled in return, “Could we go home please?”

“We don’t have a home. Don’t you remember?” she snapped.  I hobbled along picking up various building blocks, diapers, and personal belongings. We wrangled Bob the Builder, my son, and snatched up my little daughter, The Flower Child, and plopped them into their car seats.  We headed back to my parent’s house.  My abdomen grabbed and pulled at me as we drove.

Saturday night was miserable.  The Flower Child woke up numerous times.  My stomach kept me from sleeping between The Flower Child’s feedings.  My wife asked me why I couldn’t sleep.  I replied with, “My stomach hurts.  I’m not sure if it’s my insides or my outsides.”

I went to the bathroom and didn’t know if I should sit on the toilet or put my head above it.  Luckily, I didn’t have to use it for either.  Sweat beaded up on my forehead, so I pressed my face against the cool tiles of the bathroom floor.

Sunday morning came, and I tried to figure out what was wrong.  Did I eat too many peanuts?  Did I pull a muscle trying to undercut the door?  Do I need to take some antacids?  Do I need to eat some more or not at all.  Should I drink something or nothing?

As the day progressed, I became more and more useless according to my wife.  She asked, “What’s wrong with you?”

“Something’s wrong with my stomach.”

“Suck it up, Tief,” she would chant.  I tried to hold The Flower Child and play with Bob the Builder, but I couldn’t keep my mind off the pain; the ever increasing pain.  My stomach rolled, ached, and started to stab me in the lower right side.

I took three baths because the water would take some pressure off my body.  My mother said at the dinner table, “Maybe its appendicitis.”

I asked, “What’s that?”

“I don’t know.”

My family ordered me to go upstairs and lay down.  I did, but the right side of my stomach kept needling me.  The pain made my eyes water as I staggered to get up.

I shuffled over to the computer and looked up “appendicitis symptoms.”  The computer spit out a list of symptoms that mirrored the way I felt.  The most dangerous item in the description read, “If you have been feeling these symptoms for more than four hours, see a doctor.  If you have been feeling these symptoms for more that 24 hours, see a doctor immediately.  It was six in the evening.  I started feeling “these symptoms” about 23 hours ago.

I printed out a copy of this wonderful literature to share with the family.  I put on my shoes.  “Let’s go to the hospital, Lisa,” I announced.  My parents stayed back with Bob the Builder, but my wife grabbed The Flower Child, and we raced to West Allis Memorial Hospital.

The nurse took one look at me at the emergency desk, and took me into a small emergency room.  There I had to drink some awful yellow substance.  She said it was supposed to taste like lemon ice.  My wife said it looked like pee.  I gagged it down and chased this substance with four glasses of water as ordered by the doctor in the emergency room.

I had to take off my clothes, and put on a hospital gown.  Luckily they let me wear my boxer shorts so my butt wasn’t hanging in the breeze.  The doctor examined me in some ways I wish not to describe.  The worst was the, “Does it hurt here?” as the doctor dived in with his hands first, pressing all over my stomach.  When he came close to the left side of my stomach his hands felt like a jagged knife stabbing me.  Cold sweat covered my forehead as I laid still.  They gave me an IV of morphine.  After the doctor left, my stomach still shouted with pain.

At nine at night I went to get a CT scan of my abdomen.  It was hard to lay straight on the table.  I wanted to curl up in a ball.  It felt like a giant fist reached under my skin and was squeezing my belly.  The X-ray technician was going to insert dye in my IV that would highlight the area around my intestines, as she said, so they could see on the X-ray anything that would be causing problems.  She warned me, “When I inject this fluid, you will feel very hot.  You may get a sensation that you’ve wet your pants.”  I laughed.  It hurt.  The injected the fluid which made my shoulders hot, and wouldn’t you believe it, made me feel like I wet my pants.  Let it be known that I did not wet my pants, even though my friend, Billy Madison, once told me, “Peeing your pants is cool.”

The X-rays came back along with with the diagnosis of appendicitis.  The doctor informed me that the surgeon had been summoned from his home.  They would have to wait until eleven at night to perform the surgery because I had eaten dinner.  I told my parents and my wife I didn’t want to eat at that time, but they made me swallow down some gooey potato salad and half a cheese dog.  Those jerks.

Eleven couldn’t come fast enough.  I was sweating profusely.  The bright and blurry lights burned my eyes.  My abdomen kept pulling tighter and tighter.  Finally, they carted me off to surgery.  My wife kissed me.  The Flower Child smiled and cooed.  My wife said, “Sorry honey.”  I nodded.

For a moment, I felt worse about my wife than myself.  What if I didn’t make it and she was left with two young children, and no home.

Before I could turn into an emotional wreck, the surgical team assembled: Nurses, Anesthesiologist, Surgeon.  They attached more wires that lead to several different monitors as we rolled into the very bright room.  I couldn’t focus on any one particular thing.  Lights, people with masks, somebody pressing on my abdomen.  They strapped a gas mask on my face.  Someone asked me a question.   The room spun and went black.

I woke up.  Everything hurt.

I fell asleep.

I woke up again and heard my wife talking, I think.  My side sizzled like there was a fire inside my intestines.  My arms and legs I felt so heavy.  I wanted to move, to sit up.

I fell asleep.

I woke up and it was quiet.  The room was dimly lit.  The pain and nausea was intense, and my body remained glued to the bed.  I cranked my neck forward from the bed and my right side blistered with pain.  Carefully, bracing my arms against the bed railings, I managed to sit up.  IV cords dangled on my arm.  A glowing red band-aid was wrapped around my index finger.  Another cord was attached to this light which dangled from the end of my finger.  A nurse appeared.  She helped me with my legs.  I couldn’t overcome the pain and move them with my own power.  She asked me to number my pain from one to ten.  I thought about telling her ten, but I figured that is how you feel when your whole body is on fire or something, so I said eight.

The nurse helped me to the bathroom.  I couldn’t sit down, or go to the bathroom, so I gimped back towards the bed.  Leaning first on the side rail, I sat down on the end of the bed.  The nurse helped me scoot back.  I clung to both rails as I leaned back and my side ached.  The nurse told me about a wire which had a button.  Every time you pushed the button, morphine would go into my IV.  If I pushed the button once every ten minutes, I would get more morphine.  The machine wouldn’t let me have a constant stream of painkillers, because the painkiller would then kill me.  I pushed the button.

I pushed the button again, and again, and then again.  My side still screamed.  The doctor arrived.  He asked me to number my pain.  I said seven.  He looked at how many times I had pushed the button.  67 times in 12 minutes.  He said that I only get morphine every ten minutes.  I told him, “I don’t want to miss the exact moment when my ten minutes are up.”

As time went by, the pain dulled.   It was a battle to get out of bed and shuffle to the bathroom without any help, but each time it became easier and easier.  My family visited.  My brother stayed for a while.  We watched a movie about man eating sharks.  I laughed.  It hurt.

The doctor returned the next day and said I could leave.  He explained in detail what was happening to me when I was in pain.  “You are lucky you got in here when you did.   An appendix is like a dead end in your intestines.  When you get appendicitis, that dead end is swelling up with infectious pus.  If this swollen appendix isn’t removed in time, it will burst and the infectious materials will spill out into your body cavity.  This can lead to death.  In your case, your appendix was just about to rupture.”

“Why do I hurt so much now?” I asked.

“You will get better soon, but I really had to move a lot of stuff around in there to get at your appendix.  It was pushed down under your intestines and behind your colon,” He calmly recited.

“Is that why my cut is so long?” I wondered.

“Yes, I needed extra room because I had to get in there and carefully maneuver around other things to get to your appendix. I know you feel bad now, but you will recover fairly quickly.  You’re appendix was the largest one we’ve ever seen!  We must have got to it just before it was about to burst.  Do you want to see it?”  The doctor asked with a bright smile on his face.

My whole face scrunched up in disgust.  “You kept it?” I asked.

“Yes.  We’re going to use it when we teach Med students about appendicitis.  So, do you want to see it?”

“No.”

Like I popped his birthday balloon, the doctor went from giddy to grumpy instantly.  He asked, “What is your pain number now?” he asked.

“About a three or a four,”  I said.  “Thanks for saving me.”

I shook the doctor’s hand, and he reminded me to see him in a week as he exited the hospital room.   The pain was subsiding.  I could move around.

The nurses detached all my IVs and wires.  My wife arrived, and she wheeled me downstairs.  The storm in my stomach had passed.  My wife felt bad about telling me that nothing was wrong.  I told her not to worry anymore because you only have one appendix and mine is gone.

We laughed.

My stomach hurt.

*** David Tiefenthaler wrote a book, O.K. is Great, and the reviews are in!  ***

“I love this book. It is humorous, but well grounded in reality. The author seems to know and understand well the angst of adolescent boys. If you have enjoyed the wimpy kid books try this one.  It’s funny, witty, has hilarious illustrations, and tells a great story, too.”

*** Pick it up in Paperback, on your Kindle or Nook, on iTunes or at Smashwords.  ***

No Awe, No Wonder (69/365)

Download PDF

What’s wrong with kids these days?  Aren’t they amazed by anything anymore.  Are all the special effects in movies, or those blasted video games and such are taking the wonder out of the world?  If everything is awesome, then is there any awe left?  I wonder if there’s any wonder left.

On Saturday, my wife and I had to travel to Brookfield to sign some tax forms.  I wanted to make the trip worthwhile for my kids because sitting in the car for an hour and a half without getting to do something cool seemed unfair, especially since it was the weekend.  I decided that stopping at Miller Park would be a unique experience for them.

We arrived at the Brewer’s baseball stadium around three in the afternoon.  For those not familiar with this stadium, it’s a giant brick stadium with a massive green metal roof.  The inside has four levels of seating, and can hold over 40,000 people.  My kids weren’t as amazed as I thought they would be.  I asked my five year old son, Ivan the Wonderful, “So, isn’t it huge?”

“Yeah.  It’s big,” he replied.

Miller Park

We entered the stadium by some doors near the left field corner, and entered a restaurant there called Friday’s Front Row Grill.  I thought we’d get a good view of the field, the grandstands, and the roof from inside the restaurant, bout you couldn’t see as much as I would have liked.  The outdoor balcony wasn’t open.  All you could see out the windows of the restaurant was the field, but the entire field was covered with a tarp.  You couldn’t even tell it was a baseball field.  My daughter asked if they played football here.

Sadly, I answered, “No.  It’s for baseball.  You can’t see the field because of the tarp.”

When we left the restaurant, I started looking around to see if we could enter the stadium to better see the huge closed roof.  All the gates to the concourses were locked shut.  I was irate.  How dare they cover the field!  How dare they preventing us from gazing upon the giant retractable roof!

That’s when I decided to take my kids up the closed escalator.  Yes, that was probably against the rules, but I blame the Brewer’s organization for not giving my kids the experience I wanted to give them.   I guess I could just bring them to a game, but that’s besides the point.  Bow to my unreasonable wishes!

While my wife and daughter were still in the Brewer’s store near the restaurant, so I snatched my two boys, moved aside a yellow construction sign, and led them up an escalator to the second level.  They were going to see the inside of Miller Park, and they were going to like it!  We swiftly made our way upstairs, and then went into the stands.  I pointed up and showed the kids the huge closed roof.  “Isn’t it amazing!  Look at how high the roof is,” I said, my voice filled with wonder.

My nine year old son, Bob the Builder, was someone who I thought would appreciate the soaring arched roof.  He answered with, “It’s tall.”

Discouraged, I told my kids that it was time to leave.  They sensed that we were doing something wrong, so they slunk up the stairs, giggling, hiding behind seats and ducking behind posts.  I didn’t care, probably because I was disappointed with the experience that I thought they should have, so I just strutted towards the escalator.

When we got back downstairs, I saw my wife and my daughter.  I waved them over so I could show my daughter the upstairs.  She gets excited about everything, so maybe The Flower Child could lift my spirits.  We turned to go back up the escalator, and a maintenance man suddenly appeared at the top of the steps.  Apparently, my bold move to go up the stairs the first time was noticed by someone, and he was sent to make sure it didn’t happen again.

“You see the caution signs,” he said.  “That means you can’t come up here.”  I nodded.  My wife shook her head in dismay at my bold attempt to snoop around upstairs.  Disheartened and defeated, I lead my family out of the building.

Was I wrong for wanting a bigger reaction from my kids?  I’m not sure.  Maybe they were impressed, but didn’t really say it.  Who knows?  Are my kids, or all kids these days not amazed things as easily?   I’m not sure, but I think I was impressed a lot easier than their generation is.  Was I wrong for sneaking around, and taking them upstairs to show them more of the stadium?  Of course not!

Diaper Blowout – Story Time

Download PDF

A fellow teacher is pregnant at our school, and because of this, we all were sharing diaper horror stories with her today.  The poor thing.  Here’s my favorite diaper blow out story.

On a hot day in the summer, our little family was driving down I-94.  I was behind the wheel, my wife, Lisa Marie, was in the passenger seat, and our first child, Bob the Builder was sitting in the back seat.  He must have been over one year old at the time because he was facing forward.

As we were driving down the interstate, we heard our baby grunting loudly.  Oh no.  That was his way of telling us that he’s working on a big dooky.  He must have got it out quickly because the smell flooded our car immediately.  It was rancid.  It smelled like rotten sweet potatoes and curdled milk mixed with cow manure.  My eyes watered.

I rolled down all the windows in the car.   We were only one mile away from an exit off of I-94.

My wife looked back to make sure it wasn’t too windy for baby Bob, and then screamed.  “Ahhh!  The poop is running down his leg!”

I glanced back and saw it too.  It was a diaper blowout!  Baby Bob was wearing a onesie.  On the side of his right leg, slush-like poo had breached the hull of the diaper.  The poop had broke containment.

“Only a half mile to the exit!” I shouted.

“Ahhh!” My wife screamed again.  “Don’t touch it!”  The baby looked down and saw the poo on his leg, and reached for it.  He grabbed the poo with one hand, and then looked at his own poo covered hand.  He was fascinated.  We were appalled.

poohand

“Don’t wipe your hand on anything!” Lisa Marie commanded.  I veered off the highway, down the exit ramp.  I pulled off the road and parked our car on the gravel next to the road.

Thankfully we got Baby Bob out of the seat before he could transfer the poo anywhere else, and also managed to get him out of there before the poo leaked onto his car seat.

I can’t remember much about the cleaning process on the side of the road, but I do remember that we put all the wipes, and the loaded diaper in a plastic bag, tied up the bag, and left it on the side of the road.  The smell was simply too awful to bring back into the car.

Sorry for littering.  If you were there, you’d understand.

*** David Tiefenthaler wrote a book, O.K. is Great, and the reviews are in!  ***

“I love this book. It is humorous, but well grounded in reality. The author seems to know and understand well the angst of adolescent boys. If you have enjoyed the wimpy kid books try this one.  It’s funny, witty, has hilarious illustrations, and tells a great story, too.”

*** Pick it up in Paperback, on your Kindle or Nook, on iTunes or at Smashwords.  ***

I’m Not The Garbage Man By Choice! (48/365)

Download PDF

Just because I eat all the leftovers, doesn’t mean I like leftovers!  Just because I eat old bread doesn’t mean I don’t want a soft, fluffy slice from that fresh loaf. I have been forced into this position against my will!  Today, I say, “No more!”  It’s time for this man to take a stand.

Here’s the deal.  Yesterday, at the Tiefenthaler household, when the kids were fast asleep, I lost my mind.  I started a completely petty argument, but I’M IN THE RIGHT!  I WANT JUSTICE!

It all started when I was a total gentleman and went out and did some grocery shopping.  On the list, that my wife wrote for me to follow, was the word, “bread.”  Since was the start of a school week, I bought two fresh loaves of Country Hearth 100% Whole Wheat Bread.  When I got home and stocked the cabinets with the bounty I brought back from the grocery store, I found two more bags of bread, and each one had about 10 slices left.  They both are still well within the “use by this date” on the package.  One said February 20th, and the other said February 22nd.

Now, my wife, bless her heart, loves only the softest and freshest of breads.  I knew that if she found these new loaves of bread, she would use them, and force me into eating the older stuff, or just let it get moldy and toss it in the garbage.  I did the only logical thing.  I purposely pushed the bread to the back of the cabinet, and put the older bread right in front.

To my dismay, when my wife was making sandwiches for the kids’ lunches, she bypassed the older bread.  She was making the kids sandwiches with the new, fresh bread.

“What are you doing!?” I screamed.  “There’s two other loaves of perfectly good bread in the cabinet.  Stop making those sandwiches with the new bread!  That’s so wasteful!”

She argued that this bread tastes better, and that I left the bread open, so it was harder than it should be.  Point taken.  I probably did leave the bread open, but I didn’t relent.

“So what!  Of course the new bread is softer.  I don’t care.  The kids, and you, can eat a sandwich with this bread, which is still perfectly fine.”

Then she said the thing that really set me off.  “But you like toast.  You can use the old bread for toast.”

I don't want to eat crusty toast!

I don’t want to eat crusty toast!

I lost it.  I don’t remember my exact words, but here’s my argument.

1.  I don’t like toast that much.  I just eat the old bread so I don’t waste it.  Toasting the old bread is the only way it tastes good after it gets too old.  I’m saving us money!

2. Maybe if we actually finished a loaf of bread before opening a new one, we could all enjoy fresh bread instead of everyone except me!

3.  We are passing on this “fresh bread” weakness to our children.  Honestly!  You know, my wife will reach at least three slices deep for her piece of bread.  The crusty one on the end isn’t acceptable, but neither are the two after that?  Really?  What is this?  The Princess and the Pea?

4.  This soft fresh bread thing is an epidemic.  She’s passing down her knowledge of nice things way to early to our children.  My kids know about thread count.  That’s so wrong.  When I was a kid, my sheets were probably made of sand paper, and I didn’t know any different.  I slept like a rock on the sandy sandpaper sheets.  However, my children will touch some sheets and be like, “Ewww.  This isn’t soft.  The thread count is probably under 400.”

5. I’m the only one who eats left overs.  I don’t really like them, but everyone else is too good to eat yesterday’s spaghetti.  Maybe I don’t want to eat the spaghetti again either.  Maybe I want today’s hot and fresh meal.  Maybe I want a slice of fresh bread.  Maybe the man of the house doesn’t want to be the garbage man.  I’m not the garbage man by choice!

Alright.  That’s enough.  I sound like such a baby, crying and whining for hours on end.  I’ll just be a man and eat some toast.

The Stupid Stage (20/365)

Download PDF

My kids are an inspiration to me, in so many ways, but I’d like to highlight one example where they are making me a better person, that is, until I hurt myself following their lead.

I have an expression I coined for myself whenever I am learning a new task.  I call this “The Stupid Stage”.  It’s not the nicest phrase, but that’s how I feel whenever I am trying to do something new.  I feel so stupid because I don’t understand how to do this new task, and I’m afraid other people will watch me and think, “That guy looks so stupid!”

I bring this up because over the weekend, my kids, my wife, and I all went cross country skiing.  Now, I’ve only tried cross country skiing a few times in my life, so I‘m pretty awful at it.  I’ve never been able to move out of “The Stupid Stage”.  I awkwardly try to push through the snow as I go uphill, and pray I don’t fall on the downhills.

Don't fall, stickman!

Don’t fall, stickman!

My kids are my inspiration.  They don’t even think about how good or bad they are at it.  They just strap on the skis and get after it.  There is no worries about “The Stupid Stage”  To them, starting out something new is “The Funny Stage”.

They don’t care if they fall or fail.  Matter of fact, once they get the hang of something, it just makes them even more bold.  For instance, my five year old fell a lot when skiing, but he kept on getting after it.  Once he was halfway good, he wanted to try the hills again and again.  I wish he had some sense of fear, or worries about what other people think, but nope, he doesn’t.  None of them do.  They don’t listen to their parents worries or concerns, like, “Slow down.  You might fall.  Don’t try that…”

I want to be like them.  I want to take more risks in life and not worry about how I look.  That’s how I can learn.  No more “The Stupid Stage” expression for me.  I now will embrace “The Funny Stage.”   Well, I do worry about falling down when I’m trying to ski.  It hurts when you’re old and you fall, but it does look funny.

Contribute to Society, Kids (12/365)

Download PDF

I put the smackdown on my kids this weekend.  Wait a minute.  Talking like I’m a professional wrestler instead of a parent doesn’t play very well sometimes.  I need to watch my word choice.  No, I didn’t hit my kids, but I did tell them in a very firm voice, “You kids need to go and shovel the sidewalk.”  It’s time they start contributing to society.  More importantly, they need to make my life easier.

Get familiar with this thing, kids!

Get familiar with this thing, kids!

Keeping a clear path on the sidewalk is very important for society because then the citizens in my neighborhood can go for a walk and not get snow on their boots.  Also, my kids need to know that they have to help out with their family.  I do enough for them already by telling my wife to do stuff for them.  I’m kidding.  I’m only kidding.  I’m a good Dad.  I play video games with them.  Go me!

The Watch Someone Else Barf Diet (3/365)

Download PDF

I am not advocating bulimia with this post.  That’s a bad idea.  However, if you are someone who loves food, and can’t help but to eat delicious goodies, I suggest the “Watch Someone Barfing Diet”.

What’s that you ask?  Well, the “Watch Someone Else Barf Diet” a simple plan.  When someone else is sick and barfing, just watch them throw up.  Then you’ll feel really sick too, but hopefully not too sick.  With this comprehensive diet formula, you’ll feel just disturbed enough so you don’t eat anymore.  Food looks mighty repulsive when it comes hurling out of another person’s mouth.

Did those last two paragraphs sound like a terrible infomercial.  I have to make light of puking right now, or else I’m going to spill my guts too.

I'm on a diet.

I’m on a diet.

It’s all because, Ivan, my five year old is heaving chunks.  The poor little guy woke up at 11:30 pm and said his stomach hurt.  When our children wake up in the night and tell us that, there’s a 95% chance they are going to ralph.

It’s just past midnight, and I’m writing again.  I’d like to sleep, but I’m worried he’s going to wake up again and miss the bucket.  He missed the first time around at 11:30 pm, and puked up dinner on the carpet and his bed sheets.

I had to wash those out in the utility sink in the laundry room.  The chunks of cheese from the pizza he ate were so large that they clogged the drain.  I had to get a pencil and jam the cheese barf down the drain to unclog the sink.  GROSS!

The second time, at about 12:30 am, he made it into the puke bucket, but it was still gross to dump it in the toilet and then flush it down.  Then I had to rinse out the slimy stomach acid residue from the bucket.

Alright.  That’s enough.  I’m making myself sick writing about it.  I just hope the little guy is feeling better and getting some sleep.   I’m going to try to get some shut eye right now too.

P.S. I think that diet would really work.  Whenever my kids have the flu and are puking, and I don’t get it, I still don’t eat hardly anything for a few days.

Rainbow Loom College Plan

Download PDF

My wife and I are both teachers.  Since we value education, we think that all three of our children should go to college and get a degree.

The downside for my wife and I is we are teachers who don’t earn a ton of money.  Our dream of three children graduating college means we have to save a boatload of money for them.  Currently in our 529 college plan, we have around zero dollars saved up for the three children.

My parents paid for my college education.  My wife earned a scholarship and also received help from her grandfather when paying for her education.  I feel that we should do the same, but according to inflation and the escalating prices of a college education, it will cost us about four million dollars to pay for all three of them.  I might be a bit low with that estimate.

Enter the RAINBOW LOOM

On YouTube, I have posted a bunch of running instructional videos.  They make me a little money each month.  One day, my oldest son, Bob the Builder, said he wanted to do a Rainbow Loom instructional video.  My son watches YouTube Rainbow Loom videos and learns how to make bracelets, so he wanted to post his own creations.  I filmed it for him, and we posted a video.  Bob the Builder did an excellent job explaining how to make a bracelet, and then my daughter, The Flower Child, said she wanted to do one too.  She made a bracelet, and I filmed for her.

BAM!  A cottage industry is born.  Now we just have to wait for the money to pile up.  I checked the stats yesterday for our YouTube channel and we actually made some money.

“Hey kids,” I announced.  “We made 67 cents!”

The Flower Child screamed, “We’re rich!”

Bob the Builder replied, “He said 67 cents, not dollars.”

Wish us luck!  Here is the first video we did.

 

This video is the one my daughter made.

 

We only have to make about $3,999,999.33 more and they’ll be set for college.

iPhone Intervention for Adults

Download PDF

With great power comes great responsibility – Voltaire

I have an iPhone.  This might not be a big deal for most people, but I went from a flip phone with no internet capabilities to the holiest of holy handheld devices in the world.  Apologies to people that use a different brand of smartphone.  Your phone might be the best.  This technologic troglodyte doesn’t know any better.

There is a problem though.  The soft glow, the smooth outer shell, the feelings I get when I hold it close.  Its intoxicating!  I need to develop a contract so I use this power responsibly.  But why put it down when I can do anything with it.  What’s the weather like?  Who just emailed me?  Where’s the best place for a taco in Menomonee Falls?  My iPhone knows.  I want to stare at it all day.  Oh, such beauty.  Such grace in a lacquer coated polycarbonate case.

When I pull my phone out, I have the world wide web right in my hands.

Sometimes I point it at my cat after chanting, “By the Power of Grayskull, I HAVE THE POWER!”

Furry Underwear is Comfortable

Furry Underwear is Comfortable

Unfortunately there hasn’t been an app developed yet that will transform my house cat into a beast that I can saddle up and ride to work.  I’m sure someone is coding that program right now.  Without further ado, these are the rules that I will follow so I use my iPhone responsibly.  I’ve been around other adults who could benefit from these rules too, so feel free to share this article with them.

1.  I won’t use my iPhone while driving.  Since my job doesn’t require chasing criminals or wrestling alligators, by far, the most dangerous thing I do everyday is drive my car.  I don’t need to make it harder by texting and driving.  I figure since I didn’t read while driving, or try to write notes to people while I’m behind the wheel before I had my phone, I shouldn’t start trying to do it now.

2.  I won’t use my iPhone when I’m talking to another person.  I’ve never got up and left someone in the middle of a conversation to go look at my computer to see if someone just sent me a message, so I probably shouldn’t start doing that now.

3.  I won’t use my iPhone when I’m eating with my family or friends.  Food tastes good.  I also enjoy talking to my wife and kids.  Why would I want to distract myself from delicious breakfast cuisine like Life cereal while having a conversation with Bob the Builder about the intricacies of creating a starburst pattern on the Rainbow Loom.

4.  I won’t use my iPhone to broadcast on social media where I am currently vacationing.  The reason for this is twofold.  First of all, I get really jealous when other people use their phone to post a crappy picture of some exotic location that they are vacationing.  “Look at me!  I’m really happy in Tropical Paradise,” they say.  Well, I’m not happy for you, jerkface.  Secondly, this is just an open invitation to shady characters that you or your family isn’t within 500 miles of your home, so there will be little resistance when I, umm… I mean, when someone wants to steal your stuff.

5.  I will look past my iPhone’s 1136-by-640 pixel resolution at 326 ppi and occasionally enjoy the real world.  Life beyond the screen appears in color and resolution even better than HD, and I don’t even need to wear glasses to make it 3D.  When I’m at a game, I’ll just watch the game.  When I’m at a family gathering like Thanksgiving or Christmas or a kid’s birthday party, I’ll talk to the adults and wrestle with kids.  When I’m at a party, I’ll party.  Someone else can document my activities.

6.  I won’t take any selfies.

Got a friend or family member that needs an iPhone intervention?  Get all the people that care about this individual together, take the offender’s phone away, and share these rules with them.  Then again, I wouldn’t mind if you emailed this article to people, tweeted it, shared it on Facebook, Gave it a plus one on Google, took a picture of yourself reading it and post it on Instagram…

Cleaning Behind a Car Seat is Disturbing

Download PDF

My children are disgusting.  I suppose I am partly to blame for what I recently discovered in the van, but I was reminded once again that all the food that we give to our children while we’re driving doesn’t end up going in their mouths.

My little helper

My little helper

On one car seat, the clasp broke.  I had to remove the defective car seat and put in a new one.  When I crawled into the back seat of the family van, I was horrified by the things I saw.  I lifted out the old car seat, and there were tons of crumbs and other partially eaten remnants smooched into the folds of the van.  Buried in every crack and crevice were goldfish crackers, half melted fruit snacks, blackened banana peels, apple cores, Golden Graham shrapnel, and countless Honey Nut Cheerios.

I retreated to the house for some high powered artillery:  an extension cord, and my Dyson DC41 Animal Vacuum.  My four year old son, Ivan the Terrible, came outside to help.  I plugged the vacuum in an sucked up all the debris.  Ivan joined me in the van and “helped out” by honking the horn repeatedly as I worked.  It took me quite a while to get in every nook and cranny, but I thought I cleaned up everything.  Ivan got on his belly and crawled into the back seat to inspect my work.  He squirmed out from under the back seat and held up one last Honey Nut Cherrio.  I asked him to give it to me, but he ate it instead.