How To Get Ahead In Business

Last night, the missus and I were invited to an academic awards ceremony being held by Erik’s high school. We were notified Erik would be receiving an academic award, but we wouldn’t know the specifics until he received it.

The venue was held in a local church, and there were dozens of students inside to receive their specific awards. Erik, for his part, thought he would be getting an English award, since he has maintained a 99 average the entire year. He was mistaken.

They called Erik up, took a photo with him and his teacher who nominated him, and when he came back, we realized he won the Certificate of Excellence for Outstanding Performance in the Study of Business Principles. Erik enjoys his business class, even though he shares the room with seniors. He was happy to have been nominated, and now he, like Kyle, each have a nice academic achievement.

Not too shabby. There is video of the event below the fold…

Continue reading “How To Get Ahead In Business”

A New Day Is Upon Us

With the recent posts about Erik, Kevin, and Princess P, you may be wondering what happened to Kyle, my oldest. After graduating high school, Kyle spent a year at the University of Dallas. He enjoyed the city, the people, and his friends, but the academics were brutal.

Kyle was always a smart, good student, and spent high school in honors classes. He took Latin in freshman year for crying out loud. Unfortunately, that didn’t seem to carry over in Dallas. We knew it was a very good school, but Kyle had trouble most of the year. After a certain religion class, he texted me, “I’ve had religion classes for ten years, and I never heard about anything this guy is teaching.”

Covid struck in March 2020, and the school closed for the rest of the year. I drove to Dallas to pick him up, and we drove home. During the trip, he finally said, “I don’t want to go back.” I told him to finish out the year and then we would accept his decision. When the year ended, he was adamant about not going back…

Continue reading “A New Day Is Upon Us”

Happy Birthday Kevin!

Today is Kevin’s 13th birthday, which means our Three Birthdays in Six Days Event is now over. It also means I’m getting old, and my youngest child will also be a teenager in ten months. How the hell did this happen?

Mrs. Earp sent me this photo yesterday. It popped up on her Facebook feed from when Kevin was in kindergarten. It propelled me to tell the story here, since I don’t think I mentioned it previously.

Kevin was having an allergy attack and the doctor prescribed him Flonase to stop the rampant sneezing. She took Kevin to school and that was that. Later in the day, Kevin’s teacher called, saying Kevin fell asleep at his desk and he wouldn’t wake up. Natch, Mrs. Earp sped to the school and took him to the hospital. We didn’t know what the problem was, but the teacher was manic when she called.

Kevin was breathing, but he couldn’t keep his eyes open. When they got to the hospital, the docs checked him out and asked a few questions. When Mrs. Earp mentioned the Flonase, the doctor’s understood. Apparently, Flonase knocks you out, especially with younger kids. There was nothing wrong with him, per se, but the meds sent him to la-la land.

The picture above is Kevin snoring in his hospital bed. He was released after a while when the docs realized Kevin was suffering from dehydration. With Kevin, it’s always something.

Kevin has grown up to be a very smart young man. He still loves Krav Maga, is continually earning good grades, and when he’s not running around like a weirdo, he’s a genuinely good kid.

Happy birthday, Kevin. You’re the best Valentine’s Day gift we could ask for. We love you.

Reclaim The Throne

Friday was the first time all week where the temperatures were relatively warm – just under 40 degrees – and we were blessed with sun and melting snow. After the kids finished their Zoom classes – a kid in 6th grade caught the Wuhan, so they’re home for a week – Kevin and Julia went outside. Julia tried to save her snowman, but the sun was too much, and the head fell off right before our eyes. So, with that, she and Kevin decided to make snow thrones.

Kevin’s empty throne (above) also has a footrest, because why make a throne if it’s not comfortable? Julia’s similar, but higher to compensate for her long legs.

If you click Julia’s photo, you can see the tools she used… a shovel and the mallet at the base of the throne. She doesn’t screw around when it comes to sculpting. It was a pretty good day.

Deer Diary…

So, I was sitting at my desk in work when Mrs. Earp called. She usually doesn’t call me while I’m working, so I figured something went wrong somewhere. Sadly, I was correct in that assumption.

Kyle was heading to his friend’s job to drive him home, because the friend’s car was in the shop. Kyle’s good like that. Anyway, while he was driving, a deer decided to run in front of my precious, antique Saturn VUE. Kyle struck the deer, and it damaged the front end, the hood, the lights, etc.

Thankfully Kyle was not hurt, and while the car doesn’t look as bad as I thought it would, the tow driver said he couldn’t tell if the car can be repaired or if it would be totaled. This annoys me because it’s a 2007 Saturn – which they don’t make anymore, thanks to Obama – and it is/was my favorite car.

We’ll see what the garage thinks. I sincerely hope it can be fixed, because Kyle really likes having a car. If not, then… not. If we decided to get another car, it would be a pre-owned one. I certainly cannot afford a new car, especially since Mrs. Earp’s Saturn Relay is nearly fifteen years old and if falling apart.

Happy Birthday, Kyle!

This little child has just turned twenty years old.

Kyle is our first child, and the delivery was not pleasant. Mrs. Earp’s water broke early in the day, and we spent most of the day in the delivering room waiting for him to arrive. At one point, the nurses called a code blue, which thankfully, was a false alarm. When he did, he was premature, and spent about a month with a VCR attached to his chest. The monitor would go off if something happened, or if we tripped over the wires. Which we did. (Seriously, the monitor was huge.)

Kyle was always a good student, never a behavior problem, and lived for sports. Growing up he played lacrosse, street hockey, soccer, t-ball, and basketball. He’s still very active, and plays basketball with his friends often.

It’s difficult to accept the fact he’s twenty, because the time went by so quickly. That said, I’m proud of the man he’s become.

He will absolutely love his birthday gift, but he’s also stoked because the NHL season begins today… on his birthday. Happy birthday, Kyle!

Tales Of The Golden Flunky

Okay, this will be one of my bi-monthly rants, so if some – read: most – of you want to ignore this, feel free. Either way, I had to get this off my chest.

So Kyle got his first job Monday. He was bored to tears sitting home during the lockdown and decided it would be in his best interests to take a dip into the shimmering pool of capitalism. He applied for a job at our nearest supermarket at the deli counter.

I am specifically not mentioning the supermarket chain because at least two people there are despicable halfway-humans.

Kyle worked about six hours the first day. One of the guys in the deli section trained him for a few hours to get him used to the machines, slicers, and dealing with customers. It seemed everyone there was nice and helpful, at least during the first day.

Yesterday was his second day, and when he walked into the supermarket at 8am – which is entirely too early for Kyle – there was an older woman at the deli. The trainer from the previous day was too busy to help Kyle. Anyway, as the day went by, the woman refused to help him, and worse, berated and yelled at him for asking questions. Remember, it was Kyle’s second day…

Continue reading “Tales Of The Golden Flunky”

Not-So-Ready ReadyCare

For the past few days Kevin has been suffering through severe allergies. He was sneezing early on, but now he’s coughing and trying to cough up mucus. We kept Kevin home yesterday because we didn’t want the school to overreact, so Mrs. Earp took him to Temple’s ReadyCare facility.

The insurance provided by the city is top-notch. (It makes up for our pitiful salaries.) A few years ago, the city hooked up with Temple University’s ReadyCare system, and told us to always go there first before, say, to a hospital. Apparently it costs the city less to go to Temple, and for the most part, they were always very good.

Mrs. Earp brought Kevin to the local ReadyCare, signed in, and explained the problem. Immediately the intake nurse said, “If he’s coughing, he has Covid.”

The missus looked at her blankly, since not one doctor or nurse so much as approached Kevin, let alone examined him. The staff effectively told them to leave, and Mrs. Earp called me soon after. These people were lucky I was working, because I would have thrown a fit in that building.

Frustrated, Mrs. Earp decided to take Kevin to Holy Redeemer’s ReadyCare, and not only did they not shoo them away, they examined him and had him take a Chinese Wuhan Virus test, just in case. The doc believes it’s allergies, but they want to be sure.

Kevin will have to stay home for a few days until he gets the test results, but it’s better than dealing with the Temple people. I mean, if you cannot be professional, why would anyone trust you?

We will never, ever go to Temple ReadyCare again. Ever.

Well, I’m Home Sweet Home

Well, I’m back in Philadelphia after two fabulous weeks in the Outer Banks. I had to leave a day early since I’m scheduled to work tonight, and the second I hit the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, it rained for most of the rest of the trip.

There’s nothing better than unpacking a full Jeep at 1am.

Sorry for being absent most of the days. Our regimen was as follows. I’d wake up around 9am and take a ten-mile bike ride. (The owners had two bikes, and were available for use. I stopped using the first one after the chain popped and got stuck… three miles away from the house.) I’d come back, we’d have lunch, and head to the beach. We’d come back from the beach around 4pm, eat dinner, and do something together.

We played miniature golf twice. Julia won the first match, and I won the second, to my kids’ chagrin. On the 9th, the missus and I went out to dinner alone, which was nice… and quiet. We ate out as a family a few times, took the trip to the Currituck Lighthouse – where Mrs. Earp’s car wouldn’t start – and generally had fun.

It rained a few times, it always seems to thunder on the island, and two beach days were ruined by dozens and dozens of jellyfish in the surf. We tried to make the best of it, but between that and the hurricane scare, the kids were getting frustrated.

Overall, however, the vacation was calm and fun-filled. It’s nice to be home, but I don’t look forward to going back to work.

Mrs. Earp and the kids should arrive around dinnertime, so I won’t see them until later tonight.

Would You Please Pass The Jelly?

My family and I have been vacationing at the shore since I was in grade school. Despite being deathly afraid of sharks, I usually spent the entire day in the water.

In my decades of shore attendance, however, I have never seen – or even heard – of something like this.

Kyle was on his boogie board Saturday afternoon, catching some decent waves. I was walking the beach with Princess P, and when we returned to our spot, we saw Kyle wearing a towel, and his bathing suit was on the ground.

I looked at Kyle, and he said, “Try to guess what happened.”

Me, being me, I thought he had a bowel accident. I was wrong. His story was incredible.

“I was riding the boogie board and enjoying the waves, when a wave wiped me out. When I recovered, I felt something in my bathing suit pocket. I touched the pocket and realized a jellyfish slipped in there. So, I freaked out, and slowly walked to our spot, put a towel around me, dropped my bathing suit, and walked to the ocean.”

“When I got to the water, I dropped the bathing suit into the waves, and started moving it back and forth in the water. The jellyfish slipped out – it was one of the stinging ones – and floated away. I haven’t out on my suit since then.”

I asked him if he was stung, and he said, “No. I walked very slowly to the spot, because I thought if I ran it would have gotten me.”

The ocean was filled with jellyfish Sunday afternoon, so Kyle decided he’d stay on land most of the day. Weirdest story I’ve ever heard.