Saturday, December 31, 2016

Goodbye 2016

I think everyone mostly agrees.  2016 was pretty stupid.

It won't go down as my worst year ever.  That still belongs to 2012 and will be hard to top.  But, 2016 was up there with years I won't miss.

There were some bright spots!  Kim and I spent (another) week in Hawaii to kick it off.  I started work at one of my favorite companies on the planet.  Baby Owen popped in the oven. 

What else?  Hmmmm...can't really think of anything.  I'm sure there is something. 

Here are my lessons from the past year:

  1. No matter how much you are sure something can't happen, it can definitely happen. 
  2. Hatred for one individual can blind every day people to even greater faults and flaws.
  3. I'm getting older.  Faster than I ever have before.
  4. Co-parenting doesn't have to be as hard as many people make it out to be. 
  5. The sound of 7 year olds talking in baby voices is worse than nails on a chalkboard for me. 
  6. Star Wars is still amazing and I am still capable of being a complete geek over it.
  7. The fish market up the street doesn't taste as good when they jack their prices up.
  8. I can miss coworkers like I miss family. 
  9. Nobody is perfect.  Even the people you think are perfect are not.  It just makes it harder to handle when they show their imperfections.  But, it also humanizes them more. 
  10. I need to learn how and when to say No.

So, there you go.  I am optimistic that 2017 will be better for everyone.  That is, unless Trump kills us all. 

Peace be with you!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

So, about not telling anyone the baby's name...

Yeah, that didn't last.  We've told everyone.

So...da-da-da-daaaa....

Russell Wilson Aloysius John McCain Beastmode Pankow will officially be...

Owen Francis Pankow.

Now, first of all.  How did we come up with this?

Owen is Kim's dad's middle name.  So, that one was easy.

And, since Kim got her pick which pretty much breaks all my rules for naming (uncommon but not made up and no namesakes), I pretty much bullied her into giving me the middle name.  So, I picked Aloysius.  And she said no.  So, I went with my next favorite Jesuit Saint...Francis! 

I'll be honest...Kim still doesn't love Francis.  She says it's growing on her.  But, it's taken some whining on my part.  Francis is the name of some very strong men and very important people in the history of the Catholic Church.  St. Francis of Assisi (patron Saint of animals and the environment), St. Francis Xavier (founding member of the Society of Jesus, the Jesuits, patron Saint of Catholic missions and considered to be one of the greatest Christian missionaries since St. Paul) and Pope Francis. 

A lot to live up to, I'm sure. 

To this day, I credit Gonzaga with helping me grow as a person; to leave my small town mindset behind and to embrace the broader world with more acceptance and love.  Gonzaga helped me become who I am and I hope to pass many of those values on to my sons.  To me, this is a way of honoring the Jesuit tradition. 

The close second in middle name choice: Frederick.  My Grandpa Pankow's first name.

Now, that is also a perfectly acceptable name.  And, as the patriarch of the Pankow family and a very good man, he is a worthy person for whom to grant a namesake.

But, Grandpa already has 2 grandkids with middle names of Frederick.  I'm one of them.  The other is my cousin David. 

So, I really prefer to stick with Francis.

Now...remember how, in the post where I said we weren't going to tell people, I mentioned that the reason is because people get so judgy.  Well, I was right.

"Francis?" 

"Why Francis?"

"What's wrong with Frederick?"

"Frederick sounds so much better than Francis." 

"Think of what it would mean to your grandpa."

"You should really go with Frederick instead of Francis."

And more. 

Super...Duper...annoying.

Not to mention RUDE, people! 

Francis is a perfectly acceptable name.  It's not like we're naming him Spaghetti or Ikea.  If you want to complain, do it behind my back like I do when kids have a weird name.  Although, I stand by my feeling that Francis is not a weird name.  In fact, it is a very strong name. 

And it's a middle name!  Who really cares about anyone's middle name? 

So, the next time you are considering telling me how you feel about my son's middle name, remember that I didn't ask for your opinion.  If you ask what his name is, I will tell you.  If you ask me where it comes from, I will tell you.  I don't need you to passive aggressively tell me how it's not that good.  You don't even have to tell me you love it.  But, if you give me your opinion, be prepared to hear my opinion on the state of your manners. 

Image result for pope francis like a boss

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas!

"Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us."

Merry Christmas, friends! 


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Grandma Joyce

Sadly, this past weekend, my Grandma Joyce passed away.  She was 93 years old.

While sad, this wasn't unexpected.  Doesn't make it suck less, but it wasn't a surprise.

Grandma had pretty severe Alzheimer's.  The last time I visited Michigan, a little over a year ago, she didn't recognize me.  The time before that, she recognized me, but that's about it.  She couldn't remember the conversation he just finished having.

And now she doesn't have to suffer through that, anymore.  As a Christian, I know this is amazing for Grandma.  However, I am very sad for the family.  Especially my Grandpa, to whom Grandma was married for 70 years.

70 years!!!  I just turned 39.  I will be surprised if I live 30 years.

Here is Grandma's obituary:

Joyce Constance (Reed) Pankow of Chesterfield MI
October 16, 1924-December 17, 2016
Born in Denver, Colorado to Fred and Elsie Reed of England. Beloved wife of 70 years to Frederick Pankow. Loving mother to Gary Pankow (Colleen) of AZ, Brian Pankow (Lynne predeceased) (Lise) of WA, Colleen Pankow Hall (Dave) of Shelby Twp. Grandmother to Jason, Brian (predeceased), Kelley, Christy, and David. Great Grandmother to Desmond, Amelia, Miriam, Liam, David, and Owen (due in May).
Memorial service Saturday, January 14th 10:00 am at Kensington Community Church Chapel. 1825 E. Square Lake Rd. Troy MI. Memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer's Association, Greater Michigan Chapter

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And, finally...here is one of my favorite pictures.  From our visit to Michigan shortly after Desmond showed up.

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I'm grateful for this time I get to spend with Grandpa and with the Michigan family.  Aunt Colleen (Dad's sister) and Uncle Dave have been amazing.  I can't imagine all that they have had to go through these last years.  Aunt Colleen was by Grandma's side when she passed.  I am very grateful for them, as well.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

2nd Grade Research Projects

Do you remember doing research projects in 2nd Grade?  I sure don't.  I also don't remember having to do an oral report on my research.

Well, that's what Desmond's class is required to do.

The class had a major project on South America.  This is a significant part of the year.  So significant that the teacher, Ms. Hoch, at the beginning of the year says, "This is a significant part of the year."  So it's not something that can be sluffed off on like it was reading or math or something else.  Each kid was to pick a South American country and present to the class on that country.  Des picked Venezuela.

Anyway...Desmond takes after me in a lot of ways.  One way being that he hates doing any type of homework.  So, this has indeed been a bit challenging.  However, we were able to crank out some solid research.  AND...we were able to do research in more places than simply the internet.  I know the internet is a perfect place to do research.  But, I also think it's important to remember how to use a library.  So, Des and I spent some time looking at the encyclopedia (remember that thing?) and learning how to use the "card catalog."  I put it in quotes because it's not really a card catalog anymore.  It's a computer.  Man, kids have it easy, nowadays.

Come to think of it...so do librarians.

For the record, Desmond's favorite part of the encyclopedia was that, when all the books are together, the spines of the books form a large picture.

Fast forward...we collect our information and we get to work.  Part of the oral presentation includes visuals.  What kind of visuals should Desmond provide?  This part was easy:  Legos!

In our research (with help from Kim), we discovered that Venezuela is home to the worlds tallest waterfall!  So, Desmond put together a lego model of Angel Falls, the world's tallest waterfall.  He also assembled a Lego model of the Venezuelan flag.  Check it out below.


South America Project from Jason Pankow on Vimeo.

I should point out...this isn't the full presentation.  Just a quick practice after he finished his models.

Desmond wants me to make it VERY CLEAR...he built these models by himself without instructions.
I don't know if this is standard for all 2nd graders or if it's an OLG thing.  Regardless, I am pretty impressed at what these kids are capable of at such a young age.  When I was in second grade, I was still getting in trouble for eating paste.

(Just kidding...I never ate paste.  But...I did lather it on my hand to make boogers out of it when it dried.)

Monday, November 28, 2016

Names and why we're not telling

While we have some options, we haven't landed on a name, yet.  However, Kim is pretty adamant that we NOT tell anyone until the baby is born.  I am indifferent.  I am more concerned about my inability to keep secrets than I am about not telling people the name.  But, the boss says we wait...so we wait.

While I am not as insistent on waiting to tell people, I get why she wants to.  Seems everyone has an opinion on names.  And I mean EVERYONE! 

I still distinctly remember a couple reactions from when Desmond was still cooking. 

One was from my boss, Denise.  Denise was my boss for about 10 straight years.  About 4 years at the point of the story.  So, we're friends.  The conversation went something like this:

Denise: "Have you guys picked a name, yet?"

Me:  "Yes!  We're naming him Desmond!"

Denise: "HAHAHAHA!  Yeah right.  What have you really picked?"

Me: "Really...we picked Desmond."

Denise: "Sure you did.  In a couple more months, you'll tell me the actual name."

Me: "In a couple more months, you're going to be embarrassed."

But, this conversation takes 2nd place to the one that I had with my own mother.  That one went like this:

Me:  "We picked a name!"

Mom: *very excited*  "What is it???"

Me: "We're naming him Desmond!"

Mom: *silence*

Me: *silence*

Mom: *silence*  "Huh.  What were some of your other choices?"

So...I get it. 

We get plenty of suggestions.  We've even gotten passive feedback on our ideas.

Personally, I think we should just blurt the name out and give everyone time to get their judgments out of their systems.  But, Kim wants to wait.  Apparently, it's less likely that someone would second guess a kid's name to his face.

So there you go.  You don't get to know what Russell Wilson's real name is until he shows his face.  Unless I blow the secret...which is entirely possible. 

________________________________________

Update...I actually wrote this post about a week ago.  However, as time goes by I am realizing it is going to be harder and harder for me to actually stick to this.  I suck pretty hard when it comes to keeping secrets like this.



Monday, November 21, 2016

Knocking up your wife, the 21st Century Way

A quick disclaimer...this post is LOADED with TMI.  If you don't want to hear about it, best to skip this one.

________________________________________


You may have noticed already, but I am not as young as I used to be.  And, while she is much better looking than I am, Kim is EVEN OLDER! 

So, this whole getting knocked up thing was harder than one might expect.

First of all...baby was always part of the deal when we decided to get married.  While I have been pretty indifferent about more kids (I wasn't planning it, but I also wasn't opposed and I knew if I wanted to remarry it had to be an option), it was always a big thing on Kim's list.  And, while she is an amazing step-mom, we both knew when we got hitched that we needed to plan for a family addition.

What we didn't know was how hard it would be.

We started trying right away after we got married.  Nothing was happening.  But, we figured we would give it some time.

Finally, after a year, we decided to see the doc.  What's going on here? 

Our assumption was that there was something malfunctioning on Kim's side.  Maybe she was too old.  As I mentioned in a previous post, she is considered "geriatric" age in regards to making babies.  Kim went to the doc and got some hormone pill that was supposed to help her conceive.  I don't remember the science behind it.  I just remember that it also tripled the chances of conceiving multiples.  (I would just like to take a moment to thank my Heavenly Father that there is only one heartbeat in there). 

So, Kim's on the drugs and we're still trying (bow-chicka-bow-wow).  Still nothing.

One day, her doctor says to her, "How would your husband feel about getting tested?"

Well, of course that is the most preposterous thing I have ever heard of!  Why do I need to be tested?  I have a healthy kid running around.  My plumbing is fine.  But, I love my wife and we should check all the boxes.  So, of course I will get tested. 

Hey, look...something is wrong with my plumbing.

Wait...what????

Yup...turns out that, even with my little man being totally healthy, brilliant and, you know, existing, my pipes weren't working properly.  I won't give you the details because gross.  But, there you go.

This pretty much means that we can't get pregnant without help.  And by help, I mean medical intervention...not Jason Bateman visiting my house one night while I am out of town. 

If you have ever been curious about one of those "donation" sites looks like, I made you a quick video.  FYI, while this is rated PG, it's still TMI.  So, be prepared. 


tmi post from Jason Pankow on Vimeo.


Sorry for the top to bottom video. Broke my own rule about recording video.  I must have been distracted by the boobs.

An hour later, after they sorted out the lame-ohs, they handed me Styrofoam cup.  Inside was a test tube full of my Micheal Phelps's.  Yes, in a Styrofoam cup.  The idea was that, as we walked our sample from the deposit clinic to the Dr's office (both located in Seattle's First Hill), it wouldn't look too weird.  It would simply look like I was carrying a cup of coffee.  Kim even managed to keep a straight face as I raised my cup in "Good morning" to the passers by or in thanks to the vehicles that yielded to us. 

Anyway...later that day, in the romantic setting of Dr. Oman's exam room, our child was conceived via Intrauterine Insemination.  If you want, you can imagine the romantic music and the mood lighting.  It certainly wasn't a brightly lit room with 4 people and diagrams of lady naughty bits on the walls.

And, that's about it.  2.5 weeks later or so, Kim woke me up before she left for work at some ungodly hour and told me she's pregnant.  I immediately exclaimed "Just 5 more minutes."

We haven't told Jason Bateman, yet.  He'll be sad.





Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - Jason's Movie Review

Took the fam to see Fantastic Beasts this weekend! 

I will start by saying that I think this was my favorite "Harry Potter" movie! 

WOW!  That is quite a statement, Jason.  Almost sacrilege. 

Yeah...I thought so to.  But, I think I figured it out.  I had issues with just about every single HP movie.  With the exception of the first one, I had read the books before I had seen the movie.  And, every time, I was annoyed that something was left out or that something was portrayed in a way I didn't like.  Especially in the later movies.

HP 7 being the most egregious.  I mean, they get into practically nothing about the Dumbledore story.  And, where the heck did Harry get that piece or mirror he's hauling around?  And, how did Snape know to find Harry in the Forest of Dean?  Too many plot holes.

Anyway...this movie wasn't constrained by an existing opinion of what it should be.  So, I didn't come out complaining about things I thought should have been different.

That said, it was still a very fun movie!  The effects were great.  The acting was superb (I have not seen Eddie Redmayne in anything yet...but, he was great in this role!) and the story was very enjoyable!

There are some Easter Eggs for us long time Potterphiles.  I won't say what because if you haven't seen it, I want you to get all giddy like I did.  But, even Desmond picked up on a couple. 

There is also an uncredited actor that shows up unexpectedly.  That was fun. :-)

My one complaint...I am over David Yates.  I've never really enjoyed him as a director.  While he's good with the special effects action scenes, I don't think he does anything with the actors.  This was another problem I had with the HP movies, particularly the ones under his direction.  While Daniel Ratcliff definitely grew as an actor, the other 2 never really did anything for me...and Emma Watson seemed to get worse.  I don't think her acting got worse.  However, I wonder if her direction did. 

That's all I got.  I am looking back and realizing that this is a pretty lame review.  But, whatever!  It's my blog! 

Here's the summary...good movie for anyone.  Really good if you miss the magical world of Harry Potter. 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Baby Picture of the Day - Rebooted!

I did these way back in the beginning of the blog.  Mostly because there were funny or cute baby pictures that I wanted to share.

Or...I wanted to make fun of something.  Today is one of the latter.

Here is your today's BBOTD:


Why, Jason, would you post such a random picture?

Well, allow me to answer that. 

You see, when I gazed at this picture, I had one thought.  In the time that passed between the original picture and the picture of the baby, how the heck did that not realize that this is totally lame?

That's all.  If you have a baby, or are thinking of having a baby, please don't mail me some announcement of you when you were gazing longingly into the mirror imagining your baby.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Get ready for round 2

Welp...

We're Facebook official, so I guess it's time to be blog official.

I hearby introduce you to Russell Wilson Aloysius Beastmode Jlaw Francis Pankow.



I should point out, while this is clearly the best name for our baby, Kim hasn't signed off on it, yet.  Heck, we don't even know if baby is a double X or an XY.  What we DO know...is that, come May, we won't be getting sleep, anymore. 

I've been going back to the early days of this blog (back when it was diaryofdadtobe.blogspot.com).  It's been fun to reminisce.  I expect this to be a completely different experience.  I mean, I will have an 8 year old and I am doing this with a new wife!  A wife who will be "geriatric age" when the baby is born.  I mean, I've always know Kim is way older than me (9 whole months), geriatric makes me feel like I'm married to a grandma. 

We are now safely into the 2nd trimester.  Just past 12 weeks.  Dr. says Russell looks great!  We did the blood test for genetic testing last week and are waiting for the results.  This should also tell us what flavor of baby we're having. 

We broke the news to Desmond a couple weeks ago.  I wanted to tell him right away!  If you know me, you know how terrible I am at keeping secrets.  But, we (I) stayed strong!  And, it turns out this was a good thing as Kim was right.  The second Desmond knew, he wanted to spread the word.  We went to the Halloween carnival at school and the first friend Desmond sees, he blurts out, "Did you know my stepmom is pregnant????"

The friend's response, "*blank stare* No."

Desmond: "She is.  She's pregnant!"

Friend: "Cool. *runs back to the carnival festivities.*"

The next week we began receiving congratulatory emails.  Turns out, Desmond broke the news to the class.  In his words, the boys didn't care, but the girls were really excited. 

I am proud to say that I am the best partner ever!  To help Kim out, I have been making sure to get plenty of sleep so I am well rested and able to be awake when the baby arrives.  I have also been helping her prefect her already amazing cooking skills by letting her cook dinner every night so she's ready to feed a larger family in a few months   Finally, I have been doing my best to stay out of her way by playing video games as often as possible leaving her to peace and quiet. 

So, in case you can't tell, everyone is excited.  Kim is excited for everything.  She's wanted her very own baby since she was 5, I think.  Desmond is excited to have a sibling.  I sympathize.  I always wanted a sibling and I am happy for him that he get to experience this.  And me...it's another chance to train a superstar left handed pitcher that will help me retire happy. 

More to come.  I will probably need to reinstate categories like, "When I'm a dad, I promise not to" and the "Baby picture of the day."  We'll see.  But, for now, start saving you money so you can contribute to our baby registry! 


Thursday, November 10, 2016

How to talk to your kids, by Principal Ramos

Election night through today, I have seen a lot of people on Facebook asking, "How do I tell my kids?" 

Mrs. Ramos, the principal at Desmond's school, offers up the note below, which I would like to share with you because I enjoyed it so much. 




Dear OLG Families,

This week, it has been apparent that our students have absorbed a wide range of feelings regarding this election. We realize that most of them have been exposed to media coverage that can at times be confusing and fraught with tension. They have likely overheard emotionally charged conversations and divisive language. This morning, many families shared that it had been a late night for their whole family, watching election results pour in. We assume and appreciate that you are finding ways that are appropriate for your family to process questions, emotions, and media content related to the election.

As educators, we have been following the news about schools around the country reporting increased fear, aggression and division within their student bodies as the election progressed. For weeks, the question has been posed, "What will happen in the days and weeks following Election Day?" regardless of the results. No matter which way we lean politically, or which candidates we have been behind, I imagine that many of us would consider this election cycle a particularly contentious and unsettling one.

As a Catholic school community, we recognize this as a teachable moment about bringing the light of our faith to our everyday lives. Our OLG mission statement calls us to be "a sacramental community, united and empowered by the Holy Spirit." Through our practice of prayer and reflection, in the work we do to build the essential skills of listening, friendship building, conflict resolution and problem solving, and through our experience as members of a faith community, we are preparing our students to be bearers of the Holy Spirit both within OLG and out in our larger community.

Together, we hope we can instill in our students that in our community and world there is room for diverse viewpoints and that it's important to pray for wisdom and the Holy Spirit's guidance for our leaders. At times of significant transition and intense emotions, it seems especially important to partner in teaching our children to take time to listen deeply, to keep our hearts open, to be kind, to give ourselves time for what grounds us, and to pray. Out of that will come an authentic expression of our best selves in service to the world.

In these post-election days, our students will continue to pick up feelings and attitudes about the election, as it is discussed and processed by those around them, online and in the media. This can be a lot even for adults to digest in a healthy and balanced way. Please let us know if there are ways we can be sensitive to your child's needs, and don't hesitate to talk with Heidi Ehrenberg or any of us on staff.

With blessings and thanks for our OLG community,

Donna Ramos

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Well, that sucked. Now...what to do about it.

Ok, people.  It's over.  Take a deep breath.  Inhale...good.  Now, exhale. Ahhhh.

Better?  No?  Yeah, I didn't think that would work.

But, really.  Here we are.  We have chosen Trump.  Yes, he sucks.  Yes he is a misogynist.  Yes he is a bigot.  Yes, we have picked the asshole that we are ashamed to let our children listen to over the woman with the screechy voice that we hate so much.  And, yes...to my family and friends that voted for Trump...I am legitimately ashamed of you.

However, it is what it is.  We now have to deal with it. 

Here are our choices as I see it.

1)  Complain about how this election was chosen by people who hate women/Mexicans/Muslims/whatever and talk about how we're going to move to Canada.  We can discuss the discrepancy between white and non-white votes (because race relations are so awesome already).  We can call each other names and continue to spew the vitriol that has encompassed this entire 2 year long election cycle.

or

2)  We can take this for what it is and move forward.

Now, when I say move forward, do I mean just stand by and let Trump do what he wants?  Absolutely not!  Our country is a Democratic Republic.  We operate on a system with multiple branches of government, checks and balances and the will of the people.

So...#1...it's time for Congress to DO THEIR FUCKING JOBS!  (Sorry...I try not to drop F-bombs here, but seriously...DO YOUR FUCKING JOBS!!!)  Stop the party based bickering.  Get down to business and legislate.  And, while you're at it, block any bullshit that Trump tries to push through. 

Supreme Court...if Trump tries to shut down the Washington Post because they say things Trump doesn't like...the Supreme Court needs to step up and block that as unconstitutional.  We need to do EVERYTHING to make sure that he does not turn this place into Nazi Germany (this is not hyperbole). 

Clinton supporters...you have a big job.  It's time to come out of the bubble that Clinton is amazing and saint like and it's impossible that people can't like her.  Because, seriously...she should have won.  And if you think the reason she didn't is simply "sexism" or "racism" or "hatred," then you will find yourself in a very bad place.  Because, while I agree that there are many Trump supporters are sexists/racists/whateverists, that is not why Clinton lost. 

She lost because she's Hillary Clinton.  You can call her the "most qualified" person for the presidency.  But, that doesn't mean people want her to be president.  And, you MUST recognize this if you want to move forward.  People are clearly tired of the political elite.  No more Clintons.  No more Bushes.  Not everyone agrees with you.  And it's time to stop simply labeling those that see things differently as idiots. 

And, Republicans...with this Trump win, I have figured out how you can become a party to be proud of again.  It's simple...don't let him dictate your agenda.  Actively oppose the crap he will inevitably pull.  And, super important...push someone else in 2020 (*cough, not Ted Cruz, cough*). 

All you folks who voted for Trump despite his arrogance, hatred, sexual abuse, etc...it's time for you to prove, now, that you are not assholes.  Oh, sorry...did I offend you?  Well, prove that I am wrong.  When Trump tries to kick out all the Mexicans, when he stands by while children die because he won't let Muslims in the country, and while we listen to more women talk about how he abused them, you show us that you won't let that stand.  When he's impeached after his tax fraud is uncovered or he is found guilty in his rape trial, don't defend him. 

Everyone is freaking out.  You can keep freaking out and talk about how you're moving away.  Or, you can truly be an American and stay here and fight. 

Choose Love!  This can be the catalyst that completely tears us apart.  Or...it can bring us back together.  Like we were together after 9/11 or like after the Cubs won.  But, we need to come back together.  As the great philosopher Jack Shepard once said..."We can live together, or we can die alone."

America is great!  And, we can stay great...unless we give in to the hate that Trump has spewed. 

This doesn't need to be tragic.  Let's show the world how great America really is.  We can do this!  Together!


Friday, October 28, 2016

I Voted! And, now I am going to complain about it.

I finished my ballot today.  It's stamped and ready to ship out to the proper authorities who will likely throw it in the shredder.

I kid, I kid!

Anyway, voting is done for me.  But, now I get to (most likely) spend 4 years with a President that I voted for but don't support.

You see...I can't stand Hillary Clinton.  And, I am very very annoyed at how folks on the left have granted her sainthood despite her many legitimate faults. 

This is my new favorite site: http://www.mostdamagingwikileaks.com/

I am not a fan of WikiLeaks. Never have been.  Not when they were going after Bush (yeah...remember that?  The left loved them then.) and not now.  I don't like hackers having so much power in an election.  But, just like the Bush leaks, there information is now out and we can't ignore it just because it's coming from a source we don't like.  Please, continue trying to keep them out and put them in jail.  But, with the info exposed, we can't pretend that it doesn't matter.

And, there is some pretty bad stuff in here.

Still...I keep hearing about how inspiring Hillary is. 

Yes...she will (likely) be the first woman president.  And, while that's historic, I also think it's disappointing.  Not because it's taken us this long to elect a woman, that's a different topic.  But, because this is the woman we're hiring. 

And, here is my biggest worry.  I am worried that Hillary will win so big, that the House and Senate will flip, and that people are so pissed at Republicans (rightfully so) that Hillary and the Democrats will go forward talking about their "mandate."  They will sell this as a huge win for them based on what they had to offer the country.

I don't think this is the case at all.  I suspect there are many more people out there like me than there are legitimate Clinton supporters.  People like me who support a different direction but refuse to vote for Trump. 

Here is a video I enjoy describing just how many people in the United States ACTUALLY voted for these two clowns: 


To make myself perfectly clear...the ONLY reason I am voting for Clinton is to do my part to make sure Donald Trump does not become president.  Because to me, for all the reasons I have mentioned in previous posts, Trump would be worse for the country than Clinton.  With Clinton, it's 4 more years of what we know, no matter how much we dislike it.  With Trump, we potentially have a tyrant. 

Clinton does not have my support.  I fully suspect she will move towards a single payer healthcare system, which I oppose.  I do not look forward to her Supreme Court nominations (in fact, I REALLY REALLY want Congress to get Merrick Garland approved as he is actually an acceptable choice from a Democrat president).  I cringe when I think of Bill Clinton in any kind of public role once again, because there is one area where Trump is right.  Bill Clinton has been forgiven too many times for his abuses of women.  He disgusts me. 

I suspect I am not the only person who feels this way.  I suspect there are many more of me out there.  People who are holding our noses and truly voting for the lesser of two evils.  This does NOT give Clinton or the Democrats a mandate.  It gives them an opportunity.  An opportunity to prove me wrong, sure.  And, I hope they do.  But, I also hope that 4 years is enough for the Republicans to pull their heads out of their asses and recognize what got them here in the first place. 

Because this election is not what the country wants.  Not by a long shot. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Conversation Pieces: Do you like the Bible?

Desmond: "Dad...do you like the Bible?"
Me: "Yeah."
Des: "Do you like Legos?"
Me: "Yeah."
Des: "Good...then can we go to the book store and will you buy me this book called "The Lego Bible?'"

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

An Open Letter to my son as he starts 2nd Grade

My homie Emily has a blog called Baby in a Bar.  Seriously...just the name tells you she's awesome.

Anyway, she recently posted an open letter to her little man on his first day of Kindergarten.  It's was sweet and mushy and all those things.  You can read it here: http://babyinabar.blogspot.com/2016/09/an-open-letter-to-my-son-on-his-first_24.html

I feel bad for not posting something like that for Desmond when he started Kindergarten.  And, I don't think I blogged about him AT ALL while he was in 1st grade.  So, to make up for it, I give you this post: An Open Letter to My Son As He Starts 2nd Grade.

___________________________

Dear Desmond,

Hey...put down the iPad.  I'm talking to you.  No...actually put it down, don't just look at me for 2 seconds and go back to it.

Ok...Dear Desmond,

Son, you are growing up so fast!  I still remember when you were in preschool.  How we had to buy a special "Bubba" just to keep at school with you for when you were sad.  Remember that?  That's how "Night Time Bubba" and "School Bubba" got their full names.

I also remember...hey...are you listening?  Oh really?  What did I just say, then?  Nope...try again.  See, you weren't listening.  Pay attention!

*Sigh*  I also remember your first day of Kindergarten.  I remember how, once you saw your pal Braden, you were all set.  You didn't need your ol' dad to hang around.  You were ready to...why are you interrupting me?  I'm talking and you're interrupting.  We've talked about this.  Fine...what?

No, you can't turn the iPad back on...I'm talking.  I don't even understand what you're doing.  What's so exciting about watching someone else play video games on YouTube.  Let me finish.

Anyway...now you're in second grade!  This is a big year!  Not only are your reading and math skills improving consistently, but this is the year for First Reconciliation and First Communion at OLG!  I am excited to be with you as you reach these Catholic milestones!  When I was in 2nd Grade....

UGH!  WHAT???  I don't care about what Wyatt said about Communion wine.  I'm trying to be sentimental!  Judas Priest!  Why can't I just tell you a story.

Remember for your 7th birthday how, instead of presents you asked everyone to bring food for the West Seattle Food Bank?  I was so impressed with how....you're looking at the iPad, again.  This isn't gonna happen, is it?

Fine, fine...you go back to your screens...I'm gonna go surf Facebook for a while.  Just remember how much I love you and how proud of you I am.

Love, Dad

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

#NeverTrump - Jason tells all you Republicans why you shouldn't be voting for Trump.

I really should start posting more about my kid and junk.  But, I simply can't downplay how annoyed I am at this Trump thing.  Just how completely dumbfounded I am that he has gotten this far.  And, even worse...PEOPLE ARE ACTUALLY GOING TO VOTE FOR HIM!
I remain baffled.  Absolutely baffled.  I have been a lifelong Republican.  And, here I sit.  Wondering how the heck the party I have belonged to for thirty *mumble mumble* years has become what it is today.

I mean...it's true there have been signs.  Starting with the uprising of the tea party, the elections of the likes of people such as Ted Cruz and Michelle Bachman and the continuous venom against anything remotely resembling an LGBT issue.  But...through it all, I would always remember: Republicanism is about less government, lower taxes, a strong defense, states rights and individual freedoms.

Well, that no longer remains true.  At least, not for anyone who isn't white and straight.

I am here, right now, to tell all my Republican friends why you should NOT vote for Trump.  I will try to tackle as many of the reasons I hear that people are voting for Trump.  But, ultimately, no matter what your pet issue, voting for Trump is worse than the alternative.

1)  The Supreme Court - I have heard this one a few times, including from a member of my family.  Yes, it's true that there will be multiple Supreme Court vacancies to fill, including the one that remains empty after Justice Scalia's death.  People don't want Hillary filling the seat because it will shift the ideology of the court from Conservative to Liberal.
      - Maybe.  It's true that Hillary will most likely replace retiring Justices with new ones who will lean left.  But, I have three responses.  First...there is nothing to say that Trump won't do the same thing.  Remember...the guy was a Democrat before he was a Republican.  He wasn't a Republican until he started talking about running for President.  Second, what issues are you worried about right now?  Are you worried abortion will become legal?  News flash...it already is.  Are you worried they will outlaw the 2nd amendment?  They can't!  The 2nd Amendment can only be eliminated by amending the Constitution which requires 2/3 of the states to approve.  Finally...even if he goes conservative, it will be Trump conservative.  Trump has already talked about how he plans to "go after" the Washington Post because they've been so mean to him.  Do you really want justices picked by someone who doesn't like what the press has to say if it is against him.  Nations without free press look like Russia, China and North Korea.
      If you vote for Trump, you are gambling on getting something worse that a liberal leaning court.  You may end up with a Fascist court.

2)  Hillary is a liar and can't be trusted.
      -You know...I agree with this one.  BUT...so is Trump!!!!  Granted, Hillary can lie a bit more eloquently.  But, with Trump, it's goes more like this.

Reporter: "Mr. Trump, do you like bananas?"

Trump:  "No, I can't stand bananas."

Different Reporter:  "Mr. Trump, do you like bananas?"

Trump: "Yes, I love bananas.  I have the best bananas.  I know more about bananas than the monkeys."

Reporter: "But, last week, you said you hated bananas."

Trump:  "Excuse me.  Excuse me.  No I didn't.  I never said that."

Trump on Twitter:  "Dishonest reporter making up stories again.  No wonder nobody watches his channel."

If you vote for Trump, you are voting for a proven liar.

3)  The Gold Star Family Incident
     -  This is the one that has me most irked at some of my right leaning brethren.  There is ZERO excuse for this behavior.  Much like his insult of John McCain ("I like people who weren't captured.") this should have outraged anyone who pretends to support our troops.  If this didn't piss you off, I hereby revoke your right to say you "Support our Troops."  Because supporting our troops does not simply mean the white ones who agree with you all the time.  Support our Troops means gratitude and support for all of those who put on the uniform and served honorably.  And, it ESPECIALLY means supporting the families they left behind.
      If a gold star parent wants to insult you, you say, "I obviously disagree, but I am very grateful for their sacrifices for our country" and you walk away.
     Go ahead...defend this behavior.  I have yet to hear anyone do it successfully.
     If you vote for Trump, you're not in support of our Troops.

4)  He speaks his mind/He's not politically correct.
      -  Ok, let's talk about political correctness for a second.  Being politically correct means saying Asian American instead of Oriental.  Or preventing someone from saying, "You really killed it today!" because it implies violence.
     Saying "Blood coming out of her wherever" or "I always wanted a Purple Heart" isn't simply not being politically correct...it's being a douche bag!  I heard someone once say, and I have been using this analogy, if you wouldn't want your kid to hear it or say it, why is it okay for a presidential candidate to say it?
      If you vote for Trump, you are choosing Douche Bag over Political Correctness.

5)  He is an unabashed Islamaphobe.
      - This is another area where I am surprised at just how open people are about accepting his blatent racism and prejudice.  When someone comes out and says that they will refuse anyone admittance to the country if they practice a particular (non Judeo/Christian) religion, the outcry should be instantaneous!  Absolutely not!  We are a country of Immigrants.  A country of religious freedom!  This is a direct violation of our Constitution and the very being of who we are.  It's like if we had a Pope that said, "Eh...Communion really isn't all that."
      If you vote for Trump, you are saying Freedom of Religion is not important.

6)  Oh...and a racist!!!
      - I'm sure I don't have to remind you about all the things he has said about Mexicans.  I know there are many who are passionate about immigration policy.  But, seriously...his plan is impossible.  Build a wall and make Mexico pay for it?  Uh huh.  Cuz, Mexico is just gonna say, "Sure, bruh!  We got this!"
      And, his comments about rapists and murderers, not to mention his insults of the Hispanic judge working the Trump University case.  Seriously????  This isn't lack of political correctness.  This is lack of self restraint.  If these are the comments he makes in public, imagine the ones he makes in private.
      If you vote for Trump, you really need to look in the mirror and ask yourself what your racist tendencies are.

I could keep going, but I will stop there, for now.  Feel free to comment if you have others and I will address those, too.

But, before I wrap, some of you may be saying, "How can you call us Racist or Islamaphobes?  We just want a Republican in office."

Well, you see...I can see Zero reason to vote for Trump given what he has displayed.  We are picking the most POWERFUL PERSON IN THE WORLD.  A person who will be able to launch a nuke in minutes.  A person who's feelings are hurt when you mention how small his hands are.  A person who uses insults instead of answers.

You know how the runners are disqualified from the Olympics for stepping over a lane line?  Well, Trump has disqualified himself from being President by his many oversteps.  We are a better country than this!  I don't like Hillary either.  I don't want Hillary to be president either.  And, I won't use this post to defend her because I honestly, with all my heart, don't think she should be president.  But, this year, we are truly picking the lesser of two evils.  Because, while I don't like Hillary's policies, I think she lies, I think she's corrupt and I am genuinely nervous about where we will be 4 years from now...Trump scares me more.  Trump has the potential to truly be evil.  He's already praised Putin and even Kim Jong Un.

With Hillary, we could get liberal justices.  With Trump, we could lose our soul.

Please don't vote for Trump.  Because, as much as I have always respected people with different political beliefs than myself (one has to when one leans right in a city like Seattle), I just can't do it in this case.  Because I see no reason to vote for Trump without admitting that you are voting for a racist, narcissistic, bigoted blowhard.  And, I just can't respect that.

#NeverTrump


Monday, May 2, 2016

Conversation Pieces - First Communion

This evening, we were discussing how we are starting First Communion prep next year.

Des: "I want to try wine to see what it tastes like before First Communion."

Me: "It doesn't taste that great."

Des: "Then why are YOU always drinking it?"

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Time to vent...Gender Identity and Bathrooms

I need to vent for a few minutes. 

I am feeling a bit offended.  Offended and misunderstood.  It's often hard to be a Republican in a time when the Republican Party is falling apart and about to nominate a complete douche bag to be their nominee for president.  But, this isn't about Trump or the presidential race.

This is about legal permission to use the restroom of the sex you identify with rather than the sex you actually may be.  Or...as I see it...the ability to, without question, go into any restroom or locker room you want.

Now...here is where many people will immediately write me off as a bigot.  Oh, he's a Republican.  He hates LQBT folk.  He wants them all to burn in hell.

Well, if you think that, you don't know me.  Heck...you haven't even read my blog.

I am a supporter of LGBT issues.  My philosophy on most issues of rights can be boiled down to this: If it doesn't hurt someone or infringe upon the rights of others, I don't care.  And, as such, I am much more likely than not to support the issues of others because I believe in individual freedoms.  I want to remain free to tell my theatre friends that Shakespeare isn't all that.  Therefore, I will support others in their quests for rights.

In fact...let's assume you are a woman that feels a penis is really more your style.  Let's assume you walk into the bathroom while I am there.  I would treat you EXACTLY the same as I would a dude.  That is to say, I would completely ignore you and pretend that you weren't there.  If I were already in a stall, I would remain as quiet as possible in the hopes that you won't know that another is in the room.  This is because I hate public bathrooms and I hate sharing my pooping space with anyone!

In summary...I support a transgendered person's desire to use the bathroom of their choice, assuming they are as respectful as anyone else taking a wiz.  Get in, wiz, get out.  Don't mingle, don't stare, don't be a perv.

However...I don't support this controversial law I keep hearing about. 

Disclaimer: I haven't read it.  Nor do I intend to.  It's not my state.  It has no baring on me.  I know only what I have read, on both sides, on the internets.

So, why don't I support this law?  Well, here's an example of why, from Seattle:  http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2016/02/17/transgender-rule-washington-state-man-undresses-locker-room/80501904/

You see, there is currently nothing in place to determine who is actually someone who identifies with the opposite sex vs someone who is just a creep.  Supporters of the bill will say this isn't a legitimate concern.  It's by far the minority that would take advantage of the law.

Well, there is no data to support this.  I would offer different non-scientific data.  There are more perverts in the world inclined to take advantage of such a rule than there are transsexuals who would be offended that they *might* have to use the bathroom opposite of the sex the identify with.  (I say might because I stand by my thought that, unless they are weird about it, it won't be questioned more than it will.)

Obviously, none of what I said has any basis in fact.  It's all subject to our own opinions and experience.

So, here is my opinion.  I acknowledge that there are those that will be upset/uncomfortable/offended/other to be forced to use a bathroom that reflects a gender they feel trapped in.  I am sympathetic to this.  BUT...I am more sympathetic to young children and women who may find themselves victims of pedophiles and voyeurs.   

And, that's it.

If you are reading this and feeling like accusing me of saying that transsexuals are pedophiles, then please never talk to anyone because you are so closed minded that you just made up words that I didn't say.

I am saying pedophiles are pedophiles.  And, I am also saying that this is an opening for them to freely practice their pedophilia without recourse. 

Find a way around this and then come talk to me.  Until then...if you have a penis, you use the penis room.  OR...at the very least, simply act like the gender you identify with and use the bathroom you want!  If someone complains, oh well.  Use the other restroom this time.  Sucks, but it's a small price to pay to keep perverts from watching little girls undress. 


Saturday, February 13, 2016

Politics and Porn

I know I haven't posted in a while, but nothing inspires me to write like two amazing topics like these.

I am very intrigued by this new little ditty in the news about a Ted Cruz ad hiring a softcore porn star for one of his ads. 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3443481/Ted-Cruz-campaigns-quickly-pulls-Conservatives-Anonymous-ad-emerges-stars-softcore-porn-actress.html

Here's the gist.  The Cruz campaign produces an ad and one of the actors has been in some of those movies that you find on Showtime or HBO after your parents have gone to bed. 

Uh, oh...trouble for the Cruz campaign!  Once this got out, they had to pull the ad because Cruz stands for family values and stuff.  Clearly, it's hypocritical for him to employ this woman. 

Ok, I should clarify that nothing I am about to say is an endorsement of Cruz.  I can't stand Cruz.  I will vote for Hilary Clinton before I vote for Cruz and that is saying a lot.

But, here are my problems with this whole porn star thing.

But, first...can she really be called a porn star.  I mean, she does those late night softcore bits.  I've seen worse on Game of Thrones. 

Ok, really moving on now.  I'm considering where the true problem is with this whole thing.  Are we mad at Cruz because he hired a porn star?  Why are we mad at him?  Now, if he KNEW she was a porn star and he hired her anyway, I can see how that would be of concern to his super conservative following.  But, the campaign folks weren't aware of this women.  They clearly have their search engines set to "safe search."  I would say the fact that she slipped through the cracks is actually evidence that Cruz and his leaders practice what they preach.

Shouldn't we really be concerned about the people that informed him, after the ad aired, that she has been involved in adult films?  I mean, someone clearly recognized her.  And, someone had a contact high enough up to get Cruz the message. 

So, bottom line, a woman auditions for a part and gets it fair and square.  But, we found out later that she showed her boobies in movies that only 17 years olds watched after midnight about 15 years go, and the ad needs to be pulled.

Did you know Bo Derek is a well known Republican. I've seen her boobs.  But, every 4 years we still like to highlight that she leans right. 

Anywho...I just thought it was interesting.  Ted Cruz didn't know they hired a "porn star."  Sounds like something they should actually be proud of.

I mean...I didn't recognize her, either. 






Thursday, January 7, 2016

Happy New Year!

Well, I am late on this.  And Desmond's birthday post.  And Christmas.  But, I wanted to get this up because I always like reflecting on the past year.

So...my 2015.  Easily one of the best years of my life if not THE best.  Here's what went down.


  • I got married!  To an amazing woman!  Not to kiss her butt too much, but there are times when I still wonder how the heck I got so lucky!  How was she around at just the right time?  Someone so fitting for me?  Well, she was, Praise the Lord, and she is now Mrs. Pankow!  
  • Maui.  I love Maui.  I know this was for a wedding and junk.  But, I will list Maui every single time I go there.  Also...between you and me...WE'RE GOING BACK!  In March!  We love it so!
  • Desmond continues to grow.  And, in amazing ways.  He is so smart.  He is very caring.  One night, Kim was sick.  Sick enough to schedule a doctor appointment.  Desmond handed her Bubba in the morning before he went to school so she wouldn't be lonely and would have something to comfort her at the doctor.  Also, for his 7th birthday, in lieu of presents, he asked all of his friends to bring food for the West Seattle Food Bank.  (This is one of the things I am late posting about). 
  • I got a new job!  10 years at Microsoft.  Now, I am with Climate.  It's still often weird to think that I am not a Microsoftie, anymore.  But, I'll be honest...this was a great move.  Both personally and professionally.  Professionally, I am growing in new ways, working on new projects with new people.  Personally...well.  If my hair weren't already all gray, I might say the graying has stopped.  
  • Spent our first Chrismas with both sets of parents!  (Another post I am late with.)  And, nobody died!!!  In fact, it was pretty awesome.  
  • Bought a house!  Yup...Kim and I are official homeowners together!  We bought the house we were renting.  At an incredible deal, too.  The owners were super nice.  Like, super duper nice.  They had started their family in this house and had made a lot of updates.  They had to move because his job shut down their Seattle offices.  So, they put their house up for rent.  This year, when Kim and I started to discuss buying a place, we mentioned this to them and they were like, "Well...what if we sell you ours."  They said they wanted to know it was going to a family who would take care of it.  Not a builder who would just tear it down and built condos.  
  • A year is so long.  What else did I do?  I don't remember. 
  • Did I mention we went to Maui?  And we're going back!!!
  • The Seahawks lost the Superbowl. :-(  But, they still have a chance to win in 2016!
  • That's all I can think of off the top of my head.  I should probably refer to my mother's Christmas letter as she keeps better tabs on what I do than I do. 

Happy New Year, friends!  Stay classy!

For anyone that needs to hear this...Parenting is FREAKING hard!

Ok, it's time to get real, folks.   Do you have that friend or that family member that clearly lives the perfect life on Facebook and In...