Aspen and I did our annual T-Day tradition of putting up the holiday tree and trimming it. She has been quick to note that it has been snowing on and off every day since.
She got her first sled yesterday and we took it out at 7am this morning while the rest of the city slept. how come she never gets up that early on a school day?

We went to the San Diego Ballet's production of Nutcracker today and Aspen and I agreed that it blew chunks compared to the Charlotte Ballet's version (which we have attended faithfully for the last 6 years).

Aspen's step-dad and her best friend from Charlotte come out for her b-day this Friday. She is very excited. On Sunday we shall go up to Denver to Casa Bonita. If you are unfamiliar with this place then check out the South Park episode that is centered around it. Coolest restaurant ever.

New job is going well. Am looking to graduate 'training academy' faster than anyone in recent memory. Does that mean I'll get fired faster than anyone in recent memory too? I had managed to save up enough hours so far that I was able to get Friday off and enjoyed a 4 day weekend. Sadly, we were just notified that the company will likely move to another location in town down the road. No big deal... except right now work is only 1.5 miles from home and right next door to Aspen's school. I went from shelling out $600/month on gas to $120. Hope we don't move too far away.

Aspen's mom brought up the details of her going down to AZ for the x-mas holiday season. Somehow she got the idea that it would be okay for Aspen to fly out of DIA. That's in Denver. We live in Colorado Springs.

I don't think so. I immediately looked up direct flights from the Springs to AZ and found a flight on the agreed upon dates for $197 after all taxes and fees. Am I the only one who thinks that isn't an unreasonable price?

I emailed her the flight number and suggest she look into it. Havn't heard back from her yet.

On that subject: Aspen came to me crying the other week. She was upset that her mom had told her she had no idea why we moved out to Colorado Springs. Aspen was already well aware that her mom had been emailing me prior to the move encouraging us to move out here. That it would be easier for her current husband to get a job out here than it would be for him to get a job in Charlotte. Aspen knew this because I let her read her mom's emails to me on this topic a few months ago.

I have very strong opinions about Aspen's mom. Not very positive ones at that. But I have always held my tongue, wanting Aspen to form her own opinions about her rather than simply listening to me. However, in this case I did confirm her suspicions that her mom tends to lie by encouraging her to ask her grandfather, her brother and her step-father about their experiences with her. I think it important that Aspen not feel she is the only one with whom her mother is less than honest.

I watched Aspen's mom destroy her relationship with her son by lieing through her teeth to him as her relationship to her 4th husband fell apart in the midst of her infidelity. Now I start to see the entire process repeat itself with my daughter as well.

It reminds me to be as honest as I possibly can with her and to never make false promises. I think she is starting to see that I can be entirely trusted... even if I do keep forgetting that I am no longer allowed to walk into her bathroom while she's in the tub anymore.

Speaking of Aspen's brother, Ed, he has enlisted into the Army reserve. He goes to boot camp after the holidays then starts college classes. I hope he will join ROTC while in school so that when he graduates he will be a commissioned officer rather than enlisted.

Doesn't make a difference nohow though. The Mayan calendar ends in December 2112.

In other news, I got up at 5am on black Friday and grabbed myself one of them newfangled digital picture frames from Sears for my desk at work for $37. I never thought I would own one of those monstrocities of art but when you have limited space, they're rather practical.

Finally, thanks to all those who commented with advice on the last post. Witch Hazel it is... and whatever book it is that Sissy B recommended; obviously it doesn't have a chapter on birth-control.



Aspen turns 10 in 2 weeks. No longer a hemoginous child she somehow has become a woman in waiting. And seeing that I have never been able to make heads or tails of the female species, I fret for what kind of woman she will end up growing into on my watch.
With no mom in her daily life to teach her about all the essential 'female' knowledge I can't help but think she will be a boat without a rudder in ever increasingly dagerous waters.
Forget the obvious 'chick' products that are just around the corner. It goes without saying I'm not a beacon of light for her in that arena.
What is of more concern for me is teaching her about behavior. 'Signals', for one thing. Again, I am completely illiterate when it comes to reading dames. Seeing that it does not come naturally to me to read signals, I am presuming that it doesn't come naturally to someone to give them off... or more importantly, to refrain from giving them off!
She is a very trusting being at this point. Perhaps just a bit shy and a tad unsure of herself socially. But alarmingly, I have seen her in certain settings where she will attach herself to a stranger's side (a male stranger... an older male stranger).
The recent time was when we took the dog to a fenced dog run. Right away she struck up a conversation with one of the dog owners about his pet. 15 minutes later I noticed she was sitting on a bench still talking to the guy.
Nothing against the guy. He was just being nice, I'm confident. But we all know there are times when a guy is going to not only misread but will take action on such social cues.
This is just the tip of the iceberg as to what I fear I might either innocently neglect to instruct my daughter on or not even be aware of the fact that there is something I should be instructing her on.
On a lighter, but not totally dissimilar note, Aspen got her first 'makeover' yesterday. At a Clinique counter. Apparently she has skin type 1.
There are different skin types?
See? See what she's up against with me at the helm?
So she is no longer to use soap on her face.
She is to use a 'cleanser'.
Okay... since when isn't soap a 'cleanser' anymore?
And there is a difference between a 'lotion' and 'moisturizer'?
Can't she just use alcohol wipes to clean her face like I did when I was young?
Does anyone want to recommend a 'cleanser' and 'moisturizer' that doesn't require a layaway plan for a 2.5 ounce bottle?



Tonight at dinner:

"Daddy, what do you think is more important in a wedding ring, the band or the shape of the stone?"

Daddy: "Um, I dunno... the band I guess."

Aspen: "No wait, the size of the stone is the most important!"

"Is there something you're wanting to tell me?!"




My longtime friend, disc golf partner and Republican soapboxer's son has a band of whom I volunteered to some photography and design work for so they had some halfway decent promo poster for their local 'gigs' (like that? I may be 40 but I still show my hipness by using 'bad' terms like 'gig'... and 'bad').

This was the result of a 1 hour photo shoot and 2 hours of playing around on photoshop.

I had nothing else to post so... enjoy.



When my grandchildren grow up and look on their on 6th grade wall to see the pictures of all the U.S. Presidents in a row, they will see names like Washington, Lincoln, Jackson, Jefferson, Kennedy and Reagan. They will then see the name Bush; And beside the name 'George Bush' will be a name different sounding than all those prior to it on that wall. And with that name there will be a face distinctly different in appearance to all those that came before it.
And my grandchildren, in their wisdom and curiosity and insight will inquire "What transpired in that previous administration's term that caused voters to make such a radical change from over 200 years of 'tradition'?"
Mr. Bush, Mr. Cheney, what answers do you think my grandchildren will uncover to that question?



For the last couple of weeks I have been parking at work close to a car that has a bumper sticker which reads 'Thank You George Bush'.
The first time I saw it I got the joke and laughed and laughed and clapped and wanted to meet the person(s) who had found this obvious sarcastic bumper sticker.
Then, a moment later, I saw the McCain bumper sticker next to it.
They were serious?!
They're really actually thanking W?!
Did I miss something over the last eight years?
Or did they miss everything?



Aspen and her grandmother worked this week to create a Pocahontas outfit for Friday evening's activities. She stayed over at her new best friend's house as I went out to celebrate being over-the-hill. What did I do?
I went home and was asleep by 10pm.
But I was up by 5am!
Just like the old saying goes.