I am a very lucky man – I’ve got an amazing wife and am the father to three wonderful kids. Lylli was born on Halloween in 2008, Gracie was born November 2010 and although she only lived for 17 months, she will remain as much a part of this family as the rest of us, and Mickey Gray, our first son, was born in June of 2012. I’m not going to say that life has gone exactly as I would have wanted, but it is a good life and I am determined to make the best of it.

This blog is an attempt to document my quest to become a dad that my family can be proud of.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The world wants me to be fat

I think everybody around me wants me to be fat to make themselves feel
better. Anytime I go anywhere, the "food" person always makes sure that
I get more than a normal helping of everything. I admit, it doesn't
take much for me to cave, but it doesn't help when someone scoops the
last of "you name it" on my plate at the end of every meal just because
its hardly worth saving that much. I was going to have the standard
turkey dinner downstairs today, but figured I'd skip the gravy, before I
could say anything, the guy behind the counter with a little wink, gave
me extra turkey loaded the gravy on everything -- do people not
understand that doing this to me is not doing me a favor because I'm
never going to make him redo the plate. Then just a few minutes ago,
the woman that sits across from me made sure I knew that the Target by
my house is selling huge bags of peanut M&M's for 75 cents -- now
explain to me how I'm supposed to drive by there on my way home with all
of that chocolate and peanutty goodness for pennies on the pound? That
would be like Lange driving by a liquor store selling Copenhagen and old
Milwaukee for $1 each.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I'm at a loss

Yesterday, I ate oatmeal, and brown rice, and fruit all day - no soda, just water and a cup of coffee.  I had to leave work and go straight to New Horizons Academy in Blaine because the wife wanted to check it out again to make sure baby D's current daycare is the right decision.  I'm pretty sure that after our tour that she felt it was too institutional and wants to stay in the at home setting she's currently at.  It was getting late and neither of us were in the mood to cook anything, so we decided that I would swing into a fast food joint on the way home and pick us up a couple of grilled chicken sandwiches without the mayo -- not a perfect meal, but still much healthier than the Triple Angry Whopper (seriously a new item on the menu).  I ordered up the chicken sandwiches and some diet cokes and I swear to God, I had a 99 cent double cheeseburger ordered and down my gullet before I could even think twice about it.  So I gulfed down the burger and drove straight home, like the drone that I've become, and ate my grilled chicken sandwich pretending that it was an adequate meal -- kind of ironic that as I finished my fries (of which I convinced the wife were ok to order because we ordered the chicken and I'd eaten good the last couple of days) that the Biggest Loser theme music kicked in.  I'm no longer a weight lifter, certainly not a runner and I love to eat and drink -- I'm completely at a loss of what to do! 

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

5 Hour 5K???

Its been awhile so I thought I'd send along an update. Life has been
busy, but not super exciting as of lately. I shouldn't say that, its
been exciting, but probably more to just the wife and I as we watch
Lylli grow and learn new things every day.

I've got that dumpster in my driveway almost full and my dreams of
parking Kermit the car (the green station wagon) in the garage may
actual come true some day. Of course the process of filling it has been
tough, including an episode with a three hundred pound cement and rebar
table top that I figured I could get over my head to throw into it --
the fingers on both hands are still healing from smashing them between
the dumpster and the cement in the below zero weather. I got it in
there, but I thinks its time to admit that I'm no longer a power lifter
and maybe ask for help on that sort of thing in the future. This is how
my life works -- I see two homemade concrete table tops on craigslist
and have the vision of making cedar table bases for tables on my
patio/deck, so I drive to Woodbury and pay some guy $20 for them. I
hall them back home and leave them in the back of my truck for a couple
months because it got wet back there and froze to the carpet -- I then
finally get them out of the truck and leaned against a wall in the
garage -- a year later, I decide they won't work and throw them away.

Last weekend was busy, Saturday, we went to my mom's for lunch and then
participated in a true Anoka County baby shower at the bar. I managed
to talk mama into buying a Carbone's pizza -- I think that was my reward
for leaving early and not making her sit there all night and watch me
drink. I have been watching my eating during the week and have finally
gotten into the 270's -- that's like throwing a bone to a starving dog,
but at least it's a start. My grand illusion to become Prefontaine has
not been going so well. I have not run since Jan 5th -- that is funny
considering, my step-brother and brother-in-law-to-be are running in the
Chisago City 5k on Saturday at 10 AM. After the run if I don't get
checked into the hospital, we are heading up to the cabin to go sledding
and hang out for the night. Should be a good time

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

How Many Delaney's does it take to change a light bulb?

My wife's parents decided that they wanted to come over and see the baby last night. That is cool, and they also offered to bring dinner, which was nice. As we waited for them to arrive I flipped on the front lights and both the light on the hosue and the one on the pole in the yard did not turn on, so I shoveled the steps and walkway in the dark and grabbed a couple of light bulbs to swap out the obviously burnt out bulbs. I started with the one attached to the house -- pulled the globe off and had to put one of those goofy flourescent spiral bulbs in it because those are the only ones Mother Earth allows in the house these days. It worked fine. In my sorel boots, I forged a path to the pole in the middle of my snow covered yard. Once there, I noticed that the metal piece that covers the glass globe that makes the fixture was gone - this allowed snow to fall onto the bulb. So I removed the globe and started unscrewing the bulb when, because of the cold and the fact that the melted snow caused when the light worked once it refroze caused it to be frozen in the fixture. I tried to work it out and must of spun it too hard, but it snapped off the wires causing it to short out and tripped the breaker which also runs the tv in my living room as well as the garage lights and openers. I went down to the electrical box and the wires must have been touching because every time I flipped the breaker switch, it would trip again. So, I found myself in the middle of my yard with a flashlight in my mouth and of course it was too cold to get the screws undone. I eventually had to rip off the fixture and the cap on top of the pole and fish way down into the post to find the wires. I snipped off the wires and put wire nuts on all of the exposed ends. Luckily this worked well enough to be able to flip on the circuit without shorting it out. That should look nice to the appraiser next week when he looks at my front yard and sees a black pole coming out of the ground with no light on it.

I can't win with Mother Earth

Mother Earth aka "The Wife" has an issue if, god forbid, a car is started and warmed up longer than necessary.  This ticked me off this morning.  My boss has specifially told me that she wants me in the office from 8 to 4:30 so I can be around to answer questions since there are others that come in and leave earlier.  This was presented to me in the hiring process and is quite clear.  I am not a salaried employee, I am a contractor, so I am only approved to bill for 40 hours per week, so it does me no good to come in before 8.  My wife, on the other hand gets up at 5 and leaves at 6:30.  One of the reasons she got a new car this past summer was because there were several times last winter where her car didn't start.  I would end up having to get it towed after days of trying to get it started only to have it start once towed to a shop.  This happened at least 3 times last year, not to mention countless other times where it wouldn't start in the morning, but would in the afternoon.  Yes, this is the same wonderful car that I get to drive these days, a green '96 Honda Accord station wagon.  Because of this, and the fact that its 20 below zero in the morning, I figured the last couple of days that I would get up at 5:30 to try and start the car just in case it doesn't start and I would need to get a ride from the wife, which would mean she would need to leave 20 minutes earlier.  I figure I would do it at 5:50 because it would set the pace earlier instead of trying to start it at 6 and causing a mad scramble to get ready, feed the dogs, and leave early.  Unfortunately, this means that the car is started for close to an hour, but I don't want to chance shutting it off and not having it start again because I am still new and a consultant at Wells Fargo and not going to work is not an option.  This morning, Mother Earth pulls her car out of the garage to start it and notices my snow covered car in the driveway running and has the nerve to come in and say "You serioulsy are letting your car warmup for over an hour?".  This is what I get for trying to be considerate and not inconvenience her.  This did not make my crabby morning dimeaner any better, so for the second day in a row, I find myself in the office just after 7 AM because I wouldn't want to let my car warm up too long.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Time to Refinance and oh yeah, Weaver's skinny

After several long talks, the wife and I have decided that we would take
it in the shorts too much if we were to try and get our house ready to
sell and find something else. Because of the market, we'd probably only
get what we owe on the mortgage, and that wouldn't take into
consideration the 10's of thousands of dollars it would take to get to
ready to sell, not to mention the $50+ thousand I've put into it. I was
looking around and there is literally not one wall in that house that
has not changed since I've lived there. I have a pretty specific place
in mind that I want to live in, so once we move, we will be there for a
long time, if not forever.

So, since we could get a rate in the mid 4's, we have elected to
refinance our place on a 20 year loan and stay there for awhile since
the rates are so low. Its no wonder that everyone got in trouble with
their mortgages, even in this economy when they say that its tough to
get a loan, my wife and I qualified for well over $400,000 loan if we
wanted it. I'd be afraid to go over $300,000 on a mortgage and I make
OK money. No wonder everybody is losing their houses.

My goal is to move before the kid turns 10. The place I want will be on
some land so it will not be in the same school district. I think it can
be cruel to make kids change schools after, say fourth grade, so my goal
is to use this new % rate on my loan to aggressively try and pay it down
in the next 10 years while creating a list of must haves and build my
dream home when I'm in my early to mid 40's. That said we have decided
to carpet the downstairs and fix up some other things. I went to The
Home Depot to price out carpeting -- what a rip-off -- they want around
$2000 to put around 500 sq feet of mid level carpeting in my basement
and 11 stairs. I was blown away -- I was thinking $2 a sq foot max for
carpet, pad, and installation. I mean, its my dingy basement and I have
dogs, I'm not even sure if carpeting will work in the long term - I was
prepared to take a gamble for $1,000, but for twice that, it better
work!! Tomorrow I am having a 20 cubic yard dumpster delivered to my
driveway -- the Delaney's are doing their spring cleaning in January --
I plan on throwing away everything that is not nailed down -- we have so
much junk, not too mention the sheetrock and studs, shower stalls, etc
that I tore out while doing some changes to the bathroom and laundry
room in the basement. Hopefully, I'll be able to park my car in the
garage, too when the dumpster is hauled away.

Oh yeah, and this running thing is not going well. I am signed up for a
5k on Jan 31st and only ran once last week and it was tough. I better
do something, this Facebook craze has gone too far -- I was starting to
feel a bit better losing a pound or two a week and then I got a message
one of those hey, long time no see emails on Facebook from Weaver -- He
was this big red headed lineman that I played football with in college.
Huge fat guy back in the day, and of course, he looks like he's lost
about a hundred pounds -- Yep, he's skinnier than me -- great for him,
but it makes me feel even worse -- what's next Gunkel?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Monday Morning

So Monday morning I was so proud of myself as I got up to make it to the
YMCA just before 6 AM. I gathered my clothes for work and narrowly
missed leaving the house without a towel. I got there and walked/jogged
around the track around 2 1/2 miles. It was a pretty tough workout
because my lungs were still congested from the bad cold I had last week
(not to mention the morbid obesity). I got done with my workout - my
ipod said I burned almost 600 calories, so I was feeling good. I went
to the locker room and took a shower, but on my boxers, shirt, and
t-shirt and was feeling really good until I realized -- NO PANTS! I had
to put on my sweaty running pants and drive back home.

Monday, January 5, 2009


Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Years

Well in true Rich fashion, things didn't work out as planned, but they
still did work out in the end. Tuesday night saw some significant
snowfall -- The wife and I didn't feel right asking my sister-in-law to
drive to our place from Burnsville on the slippery roads when we were
simply a few miles from home. I planned on going to work on Wednesday
anyway, so I went home to take care of the dogs and get ready for work
the next morning, etc. I also had been getting progressively more sick
as the week went on. I got home, spent some times with the dog, picked
up around the house, got clothes ready for work, etc. I figured I'd go
watch some TV in bed and turn in early. As I walked down the hallway, I
thought it felt cool in the house -- sure enough the thermostat read 58
degrees, but it was set at 68. I also noticed that the thermostat was
showing the fan was blowing, but it was not. I Changed batteries and
tried a couple of other things to see what was wrong -- well wouldn't
you know it, the furnace was broke. Luckily we pay for the service plus
plan -- I called the gas company and they were able to get someone there
just after 11. turned out to be the igniter which was an easy fix, so I
was able to get to bed around midnight. Despite being sick and
exhausted, I had a hard time falling a sleep knowing that my kid was at
the hospital hooked up to machines and I wasn't there with her. I woke
up the next morning and there was no way I was going to work -- I was
sicker than a dog -- called into work, felt really guilty, but there was
no way I could have done anything, I was a zombie. Not to mention that
its sort of frowned upon to come into an office with recycled air when
you are sick because colds spread like wildfire in that setting. So, I
went back to bed for a couple of hours, woke up, showered, went to the
drug store for some cold medicine and headed back up to the hospital
when my wife called and said they had seen the doctor and she had
decided to let Lylli go home. We waited around for the final paperwork,
etc and were finally checked out around 3:30. The wife and I were so
happy to be home -- our New Years Eve was spent napping and in bed early
-- I think we exchanged "happy new years" when it was midnight in New
York based on the TV that was in the back ground. Lylli is in the clear
besides nebulizer treatments every four hours and the removal of mucous
from her nose every few hours. I spent New Years day in bed - I was
literally probably only out of bed a total of two hours from the time I
went to bed, on new years ever, until I woke up for work this morning.
I normally would never have come into work based on how I feel today,
but considering it will be the only day this week I'll be in the office,
I figured I'd try and tough it out since its Friday and I can rest the
next couple of days.