Monday, December 23, 2019

If you don't love Baby Yoda, you are dead to me!

I hope everyone is watching The Madalorian.  You don't even have to be a Star Wars fun.  Just watch it for one thing:  Baby Yoda.

I've been saying for a while, Baby Yoda = Owen Francis.  He doesn't listen, he's a bit sassy, and he's really damn cute.

I've been loving the fan made movies involving Baby Yoda.  Here's one that I just found that is AMAZING and TOTALLY Owen Francis.

Enjoy.


Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Check out this dog

So...we did something I wondered if we would ever do.  We got a freakin' dog!!!

Allow me to introduce to you...Bernadette Peters Pankow!


Here's the story.

Everyone knows that Quincy Pants was my boy.  I won't lie...I still miss that dog.  But, let's be real.  Blind, deaf, allergic to humans...he was high maintenance.  So, when he passed away, not only did I need time to mourn my best buddy...but, we needed a break.

Also, there's the little fact that dogs are messy and my wife is a neat freak.

It's been at least a year, probably a bit more, that I have been not-so-subtlety hinting that I would like to get a new pup.  Desmond, as well, has been asking when the time will come.  And Owen...well, this kid LOVES puppies.

I'm not sure when exactly it happened, but at some point, Kim started expressing an interest in Doodle breeds.  Now...I have never really liked Doodles.  I don't like the course fur (but, the no-shedding is a major plus for Kim) nor do I like how trendy they are.  Everyone, nowadays, is getting a Doodle of some kind.  Labradoodle, Sheepidoodle, Cockadoodle (that's a cockapoo/Poodle mix), the list goes on.  However...as I said to her, if it gets me a dog, I can learn to love a doodle.

Then, she introduces me (Kim introduces me...I didn't find this) to the Bernedoodle.  A Bernese Mountain Dog/Poodle mix.  I love the Bernese.  Big, fluffy, smart, etc.  We have some friends that have one and I think the dog is amazing.  Kim shows me this Bernedoodle breed and I am intrigued.

Oh...she also starts following, like, 27 breeders.

On a couple occasions, she would say to me, "OMG, Look at this puppy!  I want her!"  But, it was never the right time.  We have a 2 and a half year old who STILL doesn't sleep in his own bed all night.

But then...something changed.  Kim shows me this picture:


Along with a caption about how this sweet girl is the last left in her litter.  Kimmy must have thought she was lonely or something.  Because we decided to go meet the breeder.  But, we weren't going to get a dog.  I am going out of town this weekend, we have Christmas, we still have a toddler and we're going on vacation in the spring.  Let's just go, meet the breeder, see the dogs and maybe get on the list for a spring litter.

Yeah...that didn't happen.

We got there and there is this little furball.  Very quiet.  The breeder said nobody wanted her because she was so quiet.  They thought there was something wrong with her.  Kim, however, LOVES the idea of a quiet dog.

So...somehow, we brought a dog home.

And she is SUPER SWEET!  She's very shy.  We finally heard her bark last night (about 32 hours later) when she didn't want to be crated.  She is a cuddle bug!  She's still getting to know us a bit.  And nighttime is hard (she wants to play at 2 AM), but we'll get there.  She's really good at going potty outside (which is amazing!)  Now we just need to get her crate trained and sleeping through the night.

Anyway...my Instagram followers should expect a lot of puppy photos in the near future.


Thursday, November 28, 2019

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday!

So...I love Thanksgiving!  And, it's not just because of the food...even though I LOVE food.  Like, love it.  When I think of Thanksgiving, "Feed Me, Seymore" immediately pops into my head.

No...I love Thanksgiving because I am truly grateful for so much.  So, so much.

I am grateful for my parents.  A couple working folks who never made a ton of money but still managed to support me through 12 years of school, band, drama, and then help me go to a very expensive and life changing college.  My mom and dad are easily the biggest reason I am who and where I am, today. 

I am grateful for my wife.  She picked up a broken guy (more broken than I probably let on when we started dating) and made me her husband.  She lifts me up with her smiles, her encouragement and her daily love.  She fuels me every day and I don't thank her nearly as much as I should.

I am thankful for my boys.  Desmond and Owen...the reasons I do anything.  I have been blessed with boys who make me remarkably proud.  I hope I can be a worthy dad to both of them.

I am grateful for my friends.  Some of my very best friends have no reason for being in my life.  It just kinda happened.  And, I can't imagine life without you. 

I am grateful for OLG...our church/school community.  I know that if I ever found myself down and out, you would pick me up.  Just because we're part of the same community. 

I am grateful for my education...I called Gonzaga life changing.  For me, that is a true statement.  My path changed while I was there.  At the time, it might not have been obvious.  But, today...I still reflect on many of the things I learned there.  Mostly, things that, I believe, make me a better human and (hopefully) bring me closer to God. 

I am grateful for my career.  I love what I do.  Work isn't just a job for me.  I genuinely enjoy it.  I help change peoples' lives...hopefully for the better.  And, that makes me happy.

I am thankful for life.  Sometimes, it's hard.  Sometimes, it's lonely.  But, every single day, it is blessed.  And, I am grateful.

I am thankful for you...the person reading this.  Because, you care enough to read my blog!  I don't post nearly as much as I used to.  But, you're still here!  And, I appreciate that!  Thank you for reading.

Happy Thanksgiving!  God Bless you and your family!  If you receive even a fraction of the blessings I have, you will be living a wonderful life! 

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Let's talk about Mr. Owen

So...I was sitting around recently, reflecting on, I don't know...my reflection, when I realized something:  Owen Francis has really gotten the shaft when it comes to my blog.  When Desmond was born, I was blogging all the time about him.  Oooh, he rolled over!  Ooooh...something about poop.  Oooh...look how cute he is when he burps.

But, Owen hasn't gotten that treatment.  It's not because he's not awesome...it's because I am older and much more tired.

So, I would like to take a moment to talk about my 2nd born...my youngest.  Mr. Owen Francis.



  1. Owen is Sassy!  He is the kid that will look at you before he messes with the remote control just to make sure you see what he's doing.  Then...when to try to take it away, he will run away!!!  And...he's make sure to quickly put something between you and him (like the couch or coffee table) to make it even harder to catch him. 
  2. He is a daredevil.  He loves to climb.  Forget the kiddie playground at the park.  He wants the big kid set.  AND...he wants to get to the top of this set via the rock climbing wall, not the stairs.  He will climb anything...beds, chairs, fireplaces, shelves, rocks...you name it.  You can't take your eyes off of him. 
  3. He is a sweetheart!  Teacher Cory at school says he's the sweetest boy she's met.  And, we see that from him often.  If a friend falls, he makes sure they're ok.  If he hears you bonk something or drop something, "You ok, Daddy?"  
  4. Did I mention he's sassy?  He has this new thing at night.  Often, he refuses to give me a kiss goodnight.  That's fine...I'm not going to force him.  However, lately, he WILL give me a kiss!!!  And then he will promptly wipe it off and laugh as he runs away.  
  5. He's smart!  He's a lot like Desmond in this way.  I'm not sure how much is genetic (I mean, I am a genius) and how much is his amazing school.  But, he's a chatterbox!  And, he's quick to learn things.  Although...he's slow to learn his colors.  Everything is green.  But, he'll get there.  
  6. He loves music!!!  LOVES it!  He got a ukulele for Christmas.  He calls it his Suzanne, after the music teacher at his school.  He will frequently sings songs while we drive to school in the morning.  And, he'll make radio requests.  "Let it Go" and "We Know the Way" from Moana are current favorites.  
  7. He's sassy.  I taught him "Got your nose."  Only, when he takes my nose, he doesn't put it on his own face or in his pocket.  No...he throws my nose across the room and then proceeds to laugh manically.  
  8. He adores his big brother.  And (usually) Desmond adores him back.  I saw usually because Desmond is a tween.  He can often be moody, lately.  And, sometimes, having a toddler following you around and demanding all of your attention can be annoying (heck...I'm 41 and it can be annoying).  But, when Desmond is on, he is the greatest big brother in the world!  They play really well together.  And, I have never heard either of them laugh as hard as they do when they are goofing off.  
  9. He's a mama's boy.  We're talking stage 4 clinger, sometimes.  If mommy is around, he needs to be right next to her.  Unless of course, Daddy is throwing him in the air or brother is paying balloons with him or daddy is chasing him around the back yard or brother is playing "baby catcher" with him.  But, as soon as those things stop...MOMMY!!!!   Kim, of course, loves it...until she doesn't.  You know...about that moment when she realizes, Hey...it's actually easy to walk and talk and do real things when I don't have another appendage that needs attention.  
  10. He's sassy.  Did I say that already???





Anway...Opie, man.  He keeps us on our toes.  He's pretty fantastic.  Parenting at 40 is much more tiring than parenting at 30.  But, if I'm gonna be tired, I glad it because of this guy. 



Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Jason gets religious - reflecting on the humanity of Jesus

So...this is going to be a religious post.  If you don't like reading about Jesus or about what one thinks about Jesus, stop here.  I'm not here to proselytize...my goal is not to convert people with my blog.  Just reflections from a dude like me.

I've upped my prayer game during this Lent.  I mentioned in my last post that I am trying to pray more.  It's been nice.  Life has been trying at times, recently.  Don't take that last sentence wrong.  My life is still great and feel very lucky.  Still...it's thrown some challenges our way.  And, as any human being, I often ask Why.  Boo hoo...why me?

When I think about Jesus I have a million questions.  One of the biggest ones is Why?

I have 2 sons.  I don't love anyone enough to sacrifice my sons.  Nobody.  So, I often ask why would any father "send his only son" to be tortured to death for someone else.  Especially a bunch of rather ungrateful idiots who have continued to kill each other and the home they were given.

Why would God, who created the universe and who made the choice to close heaven to those he created, need to send his Son?

I don't have an answer to that question, still.  The why Jesus needed to die question.  But, I have come to terms with why Jesus was sent.  Because God needed to be human.

It may be odd, but I find my faith strengthened by Jesus Christ: Superstar!  It's one of my favorite shows!  Not only for the ridiculous voices it brings out.  But, I often like to say that I found my faith when I questioned it.  This show likes to ask a lot of the same questions I have.  "If you'd come today you could have reached a whole nation.  Isreal in 4 BC had no mass communication."  "Buddha was he where you're at, was he where you are?  Could Mohammed move a mountain or was that just PR?"  Many people find this sacrilegious.  For me, it's spiritual.

Anyway, the song "Gethsemane" jumped out at me, today.



When I was younger, I thought this song was a bit whiney.  Jesus is God.  Why is he complaining so much?  Well, he's not complaining.  He's scared!  He's sad.  He's about to go through a hugely painful ordeal and death.  And for what????  Will his message even live on, after this???  Everything he's done...will any of it matter?

And...he's pissed.  "Why then am I scared to finish, what I started...what you started.  I didn't start it!"

I love this song.  This song helps me relate to Jesus.  Thanks, Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber!!

Because God was human, we can better relate to Him.  When I am sad, as I pray, I remember that God was sad.  When I am angry, I remember that God was angry.  If I ask why...I can remember that God also asked Why.

And, even though God was sad, angry, frustrated, scared, whatever...one thing stayed the same.  God Loved.  God loves us so much.  God created us, yes.  But, then he walked as one of us.  He went through everything we go through and he did it all for us.  For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son.

Ok, that's all.  I'll post some baby pictures or complain about politics just to get back to normalcy around this blog.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Time to be jealous of me...I met Werid Al!

Ok...because you deserve it...I am going to complete this post.  Enjoy!

_________


I have been to many concerts.  Some better than others.  But, only two have brought tears to my eyes.

The first...Sir Paul McCartney.  It was unexpected.  I was excited to see him, sure.  But, 30 seconds into his first song (8 Days a Week), I had an epiphany.  I was singing a Beatles song WITH A BEATLE!  It gave me the cries. 

The second...2 weeks ago.  When I saw Weird Al Yankovic! 

Now...don't get me wrong.  I am not comparing Weird Al to Paul McCartney.  Weird Al is definitely better than Paul McCartney. 

Ok, I jest.  However, Weird Al has easily been the most constant artist in my life since I was about 8 years old.  That's when my dad handed me a cassette tape (remember those?).  I'm not sure where he got it, but it was not an original album...it was recorded from another tape.  On one side was the Greatest Hits of Blondie.  On the other was the Album "Dare to Be Stupid" by Weird Al.  Notable songs on this album are "Like a Surgeon" a parody of "Like a Virgin" by Madonna, "Girls Just Wanna Have Lunch" a parody of "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" by Cindy Lauper, and "Yoda" a parody of "Lola" by some band. 

Not as famous on the album, but songs I still loved were Weird Al originals!  The song "Dare to Be Stupid", "Slime Creatures from Outer Space" and "One More Minute."

In 1988, I got my first actual, original album.  Even Worse.  With songs like Fat, from Bad by Michael Jackson, "I Think I'm a Clone Now" from "I Think We're Alone Now" made famous by Tiffany (remember her?), and "Lasagna" from "La Bamba."  Not to mention "Melanie" and "Stuck In a Closet With Vanna White", a couple of my favorite Weird Al Originals.

Speaking of originals...most people know Weird Al for his parodies.  But, he actually has an entire collection of originals!  Typically, at least half of the songs on any given album are original songs by Weird Al.  These were never on the radio (that I know of) and rarely received a music video treatment (Dare to Be Stupid being the only exception I can think of off the top of my head...at least until his most recent album in which he did videos for almost all of the songs).

However, this particular Weird Al concert was ONLY Weird Al originals.  He and his band sat on stools, Unplugged Style and played 2 hours worth of Weird Al original songs.  As a person who has LOVED, LOVED, LOVED the likes of "Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota" and "My Baby's In Love With Eddie Vedder" and "Hardware Store" even more than I loved "Eat it" or "White and Nerdy," this was an amazing concert for me.

Yes, yes...I know I am geeking out here.  But, seriously...this is 3 decades of music that I have loved.
And, to top it all off...my homie Andy and I were able to meet Weird Al after the show.  I mean, it was a total formal session.  Get in, say Hi, get your picture and autograph and get out.  But, during that 20 seconds, I was able to shake his hand, say Thanks for doing this concert and let him know that I have been a fan for 30 years.  If you ever watch an interview with Weird Al, you'll see that he is just a bit awkward.  I suspect he is a rather humble person.  I mean, he was a nerd in school.  He plays the accordion.  I imagine he never suspected he would be getting a star on the Walk of Fame in his 50s.  He gave a small bow, said "Thank you...we hope to do more of them if enough people like it."  and then turned for the photo.

I give you said photo:



Kim and I went to see Pearl Jam in a HUGE concert at Safeco Field a few weeks later.  It was maybe half as good as the Weird Al concert. 


Lastly...apparently Desmond has discovered a love for Weird Al.  He was bummed that I didn't take him to this concert.  I said, "I didn't know you even liked Weird Al."

"Dad...he's my favorite singer!"

Well, ok then.  He's coming back in 2019!  So, this time I will be taking Desmond!!!  It will be my first Weird Al concert without Andy Palmer...but, I'm sure he understands. :-)  

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

New Year...New Optimism

I didn't post much last year.  I tried a couple times.  I see a few drafts in here.  Most importantly a reflection on the passing of a personal hero: John McCain.  Also, a bragadocious post about how I met Weird Al Yankovic!  But, I never got around to finishing them.

2018 has been interesting.  I'll be honest...it's been pretty rough.  Not 2012 rough, that's for sure.  But, still...it will not go down as one of my favorites.  Lack of sleep, stress, family issues, deaths.  All in the rear view mirror, now.

Let's look forward, now.  Here's what I am excited for in 2019!!!

  1. VACATION!  Kim and I are taking a 10 day cruise in Feb.  With no children!!!  Don't get me wrong.  I love my boys.  But, being able to add "Sleep" and "Not needing to keep other humans alive" to my usual list of "No email, no phone calls and no commitments" is going to be very, very nice!
  2. My boys!  I feel like I gotta back up that last bullet with this one.  My kids are amazing!  Sure, Owen doesn't let us sleep and Desmond appears to be hitting that emotional pre-pubescent stage.  But, they are REALLY REALLY REALLY great boys.  Like, really great!  Opie is growing fast, talking up a storm and still loves to dish out hugs.  Desmond is killing it in school (almost straight As) and starting to take up more hobbies that don't involve a screen.  He's just wrapping up a dance class and is about to start volleyball.  As with every year, I am excited to see how they grow. 
  3. VACATION!!!  Did I mention this already?  Oh...well, I'm still excited! 
  4. Politics!  Just kidding...I'm not excited about that at all. 
  5. My wife! I have an amazing wife.  Probably the best wife in the world.  I can't say for sure because I haven't met all wives.  But, I have met a lot of them and I definitely scored!  2018 was tough for her, too.  Much harder than it was for me.  I am looking forward to more time together, just the 2 of us.  We've committed to locking in a babysitter so we can enjoy more adult time.  She deserves a better year.  I am hoping to help contribute to it.  
  6. Prayer.  Yeah, yeah...hokey, whatever.  But, I have been trying to really rediscover prayer.  I pray frequently.  But, there has rarely been much structure to it.  If been trying to find more meditation and contemplation in my prayer.  I have been busting out my rosary more often and really enjoy the time.  I even found a Catholics at Google group that prays together over video conferencing once a week.  I can only join once in a while, but when I do, I get a lot out of it. 
  7. Interstellar space travel.  Probably won't happen in 2019...but, it's coming!!!  Maybe even in my lifetime!  Might as well get excited about it, now! 
  8. And, a lot more! 
It's hard to list everything out.  I have friends who have had personal triumphs that bring joy to my heart!  I have others that have suffered personal tragedy.  Cancer has reared it's ugly face again to a friend.  Another friend is expecting a baby through a surrogate after many years of struggle.  

Maybe it really is a great time to get back to my blog.  Because no matter what, triumph, tragedy, heartbreak, love, success, failure, whatever...there is so much to be optimistic about.  Life is beautiful!