Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Why I Am The Greatest Dad In The World #sarcasm

Why Your Kids May Not Think That Your Sarcasm Is Funny

 About a month ago a learned that children do not understand sarcasm because their minds have not developed past the point where they only view things literally.     I also just read a fascinating study on sarcasm out of the University of Manitoba which determined that children can understand sarcasm at the age of six but doesn't really develop the ability to be able to detect it until sometime past the age of 10.    I actually have some friends that are well into their 40's that don't get sarcasm so it obviously varies as to what age sarcasm will be understood. 

This information made be feel like the most inept parent in the world.    I beat myself up constantly by telling myself that I should have already known this information (I don't know how I should have but i just should have).  Now it all makes sense.    When I have parenting time with my twin daughters, I am very loving and laid-back with them.    My voice is never raised and there has only been one incident to date where a Time Out was called for.     

The curious thing about all of this was that when my girls were with their mother they would tell her that I was 'mean' and just 'said mean things to them' all the time.    Their mother, let's call her Satan (ha ha like the sarcasm?) has a field day with this and just goes on and  on as to how I am a bad father how my own kids hate me, blah blah blah, etc etc.   For those of you that have read my other posts might know a little bit about the possible Parental Alienation situation so there just may be more of something going on here but then again, there might not be. 

Maybe the girls just thought that me calling them 'stinky', what I intended to be an endearing nickname, and 'comedians', another endearing nickname I called  them because they are just so darn funny and just naturally say the silliest things, to be just downright mean and hurtful.    I mean little five year old girls should be sweet lovely little princesses that ride unicorns from cloud to cloud not fetid little boys that play in the mud with bugs and worms.     Also, I don't think that they knew what a comedian really was so they just took it as a derogatory term. 

The moral of the story is that I am glad that I learned that children are very black and white literal thinkers (see PS)  until the age of six when they first start to grasp the concept of sarcasm.    I have started communicating with my daughters in a more literal fashion since I heard this information and I have noticed that they have been happier.    If you are a sarcastic and speak to your children with sarcasm you can obviously continue to do so, you don't really have to stop if you don't want to.   However, if you try it you might like the results. 

Until we read again, 


p.s.    If you have read anything about the Law of Attraction (LOA)   over the past few years you may know the general concept(s).    Did you know that they say that the subconscious takes in information in a very black and white fashion very similar to a five year old.     There is a TON of information out there regarding the LOA.   If you are interested in learning more I would recommend you visit the following link because this fellow explains everything in a  more straight forward fashion than most of his counterparts. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Is It Lucky To See A Grand Slam?

Life Is Meant To Be A Success And You Are To Attract And Manifest What You Want

My only concern about having two girls was that they were probably not going to be into sports to the extent which I was.   I know, I know fickle but this is what I was thinking about at the time.     My daughters were born in a Thursday in September and were in the hospital for a few days so when we woke up that Sunday morning I had the girls watch NFL Football which just happens to be my favourite sport and explained the game to them.    My master plan was that they would like something that they had been watching since they were three days old. 

Between the ages of one and two the girls really loved watching American football with me.    They would sit there in their onesies and even go as far as to put both arms up and say "touchdown" every time the team that I was rooting for did something favorable.  This was a proud moment for me. 

Since their mom and I broke up my daughters aged and went from liking to watch sports with me to totally disliking it.  

In the last two years my daughters and I somehow have watched two baseball games together, which is a curious choice because even though I respect baseball it has to be one of my least favourite spectator games.    The first game we watched was one of the ALCS games between the Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox.   My reasoning for watching this game was out of my severe dislike for the Red Sox.    At the bottom of the 8th inning David "Big Papi" Ortiz drilled a grand slam to all but guarantee a Boston win.     Both of my girls were laughing hysterically as I yelled at the screen while all this was happening.   Those two love to laugh at me when my team loses, in a fun way of course. 

Fast forward to last Saturday.   We were at Chase Field in downtown Phoenix to watch the local Arizona Diamondbacks play my home state Colorado Rockies.     Let me just say that the girls WERE NOT happy about being at the game because they would have much rather have been playing with their friends or anything else.    Eventually they warmed up to the game and then got really excited when they realized that my team was losing to the local team who they decided to root for.

Then it happened.    Bottom of the 8th, David Peralta of the Arizona Diamondbacks belted a grand slam over the right field wall.    The girls went crazy and I just sat there in disbelief, kind of like when the Seattle Seahawks beat the Denver Broncos in this years Super Bowl. 

Here are the four similarities that I noticed from both ball games that the girls and I watched

  1. Both Games Had A Grand Slam 
  2. In The Eighth Inning
  3. Hit By A Fellow Name David
  4. Against The Team I Was Rooting For
There have been several conversations with baseball fans since the event and although all of them said they had seen a grand slam on a televised game somewhere along the line but no one ever said that they had seen a live grand slam.   One fellow went on to tell me that he had been to over 100 MLB games and has not witnessed a grand slam. 

Now is this a lucky omen?   I don't know what the omen would be but the facts just make me wonder.   Or maybe all of this was coincidence.   Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.     One thing that I have not yet decided is weather or not I want to watch another baseball game with my kids because I kinda want to keep this record in tact but then again if the exact same thing happened, I could write off this phenomenon as a coincidence. 

Until we read again, 


p.s.  Do things just happen to us or do we create our own reality?   Visit the following LINK to learn more. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Jesus Wasn't The Only Person Who Walks On Water

If you spend your divorce fighting so may get through it, but the scars will be with you forever

This is one of those blog posts where I write about what I learned going through my divorce that can help you or someone you know if they are currently going through a similar situation. 

Regardless of your religious background you may have heard the story of how Jesus walked across the Sea of Galilee during a fierce storm.      Besides the fellow in the Cars music video for the song "Magic" we have not heard or seen of anyone else "walk across the water."    Until now. 

If you are a male going through a divorce or separation with children involved your soon-to-be ex walks on water.   A lesson I wish I would have learned three years ago.    What I mean by this is that regardless of what she does to set you off you are always  going to be perceived as in the wrong in the eyes of your children, the authorities or anyone on her side.    This being said make sure that you always take the high road during your interactions with her.    You may be lucky enough to not be in a high-conflict situation and if so I am happy for you.   However, if you fall into the other majority feel free to take heed to my counsel.

Here is a short story that proves exactly what I am referring to. 

One weekday parenting time after my ex blatantly told me via text that she was not going to allow me to pick up the girls from their in-home day care provider during my parenting time because she "didn't feel like having me seen them".   Attempting to call her bluff and more importantly see my daughters,  I arrived to the day care provider who would not answer the door.   After I rang twice I telephoned the authorities to report her interference with the court ordered parenting time. 

A couple police officers arrived to the scene within minutes spoke to me for a while, realized that I didn't call to cause any trouble but just wanted to spend some court ordered time with my children.    The officers telephoned my ex and asked her to come down to the day care in order to release the girls into my custody because she had explicitly told the day care provider not to release my daughters to me that day. 

When my ex wife appeared on the scene another police officer from the same jurisdiction pulled up at around the same time.    I didn't know the fellow so I am not judging but he was about 5'4" and had a bad case of Napoleon complex.   The new officer who didn't even acknowledge the first two officers that were present had a brief quiet conversation with my ex off to the side and then literally got in my face and attempted to bawl me out for 'wasting his time' because these matters were to go through family court not the police.    Amidst his self righteous rant I calmly asked him if he had children and why he was verbally attacking me before asking to hear my side of the story.    This made the little guy calm down enough to obtain the name and number of his Seargent so that I could lodge an official complaint over his uncalled for unprofessional behaviours. 

After all this ruckus the other officers that I was speaking to earlier escorted my four year old partially confused, partially scared and partially excited daughters out from day care while all the other kids looked out the window to see what was going on.    The oldest of the twins asked her mom, who was still there why the police were there to which her mother said that something about us all being in a 'meeting.'   

At that point in would have been so easy to correct her and hurl stones at my ex in front of the girls by calling her a liar and a few other choice words and then privately with the girls during my parenting time to 'prove to the girls how (insert adjective here) their mother really is'.   Howver,  I chose to be the better person and avoid all that because at the end of the day, what mattered in that situation was that my daughters got to see me during the court appointed parenting time. 

Moral of the story is that if your future ex wife is acting hostile, crazy, or just out of sorts TAKE THE HIGH ROAD.    Focus on your breathing, keep your cool and document your experience in the event that you ever need to use it for evidence down the road.     Your divorce isn't about your failed relationship; it's about the existing and future relationship with your children and that is the only thing that you should be worried about right now. 

Until we read again, 


p.s.   *For more resource on a healthy divorce feel free to visit attorney and author's Karen Covy's website at
p.p.s.   Also, I am not an attorney or a therapist but I do have some real-world experience with a high conflict divorce so if you feel like you or someone you know would benefit from chatting with someone with an outside perspective to give you some insight on your current situation than just drop me a quick line via because I would love to help in any way possible. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

How Not To Negotiate 100% Of The Time

Everyone Wants A GoPro Camera and Everyone Will Pay Full Price!

I decided to test the market  for a brand new GoPro Hero3+ Silver Edition that I came across by way of sales contest only because I knew that if I kept the camera I would not use it to its full capacity. .   I did my research and found out that even the deep discounted online retailers were selling the GoPro Hero3+ Silver Edition for a minimum of $299 brand new and $280 used in addition to shipping and handling where applicable. 

The item was listed on Craigslist for $280 obo which I felt was a fair price based on my research and the fact that there was not a warranty or exchange policy.  

Here was my actual ad from Craigslist. Thank you for dealing with the curious backdrop which is a result of the copy-paste job.


Life's Adventures Are Meant To Last Forever

Capture Them With One Of The Best Cameras On The Market!

(NEW In Box) 

For a limited time you can own a BRAND NEW GoPro Hero3+: Silver Edition for the price of a lightly used GoPro Hero3: Silver Edition. This camera is priced to sell. Call Now!!!

Whether you are an outdoor enthusiast, new parent, like to catch life's finest moments in the best way possible, etc this camera can help you capture these moments and then some. Item is BRAND NEW, wrapped in box and comes with tripod. 

Here are some other features that you will benefit from with your new GoPro HERO3+ : Silver Edition:

* 15% smaller and lighter housing (waterproof to 131'/40m)
* 2x faster image processor enables 1080p60 and 720p120 fps video
* Enhanced low-light performance
* 30% longer battery life

* Professional 1080p 30 fps, 960p 48 fps, and 720p 60 fps and WVGA 240 fps video capture
* 11MP photo capture with 10 frames per second burst
* Wi-Fi built-in, and compatible with Wi-Fi remote (sold separately) and GoPro App (free)
* 197-Feet / 60m Waterproof Housing
* Basic mounts and hardware included for attaching to helmets, gear, and more

This camera can be purchased for approximately at retail for $299 (+ Tax + Shipping where applicable) or you can get it today for $280 obo. Act Now....... Your Permanent Adventures Awaits.....Priced To Sell


There were plenty of responses to my advert.   There was a lot of interest.  There were some folks that were actually looking for a different edition of the GoPro, some folks that didn't want to drive to my general area of town to meet and pick up the camera and a large number people that couldn't afford  or wanted to pay the fair price for the camera.   Eventually the perfect buyer came to me and purchased the camera for full asking price.

Of all the dealings there was one person texting from a California code that really stuck out, we will call this person Cali going forward.   There were some things that I did like about the interaction and other things that I didn't like especially the subtle negotiation faux pas that were exhibited by Cali,  the potential buyer.    Here is the actual text interaction which starts after I informed the Cali that the camera was still available for sale::

What are your thoughts?   Did you think the buyer (yellow) do a good job negotiating?   I'll tell you this, they  didn't buy the camera  for $250 cash before they left AZ.  

What The Potential Buyer Did Well

  • At 0914am Cali opened the negotiation off with a $200 offer.   This is a positive because in a negotiation one always wants to ask for more than one expects to get just because you might. 
  • At 0101pm Cali created a sense of urgency by saying that they were only going to be available for about an hour.   This is a positive because when dealing with a desperate buyer that really needs the money this one piece of information could have been just what causes the seller to accept an offer.

What The Potential Buyer Could Have Done Better

  • At 0914am Cali started our interaction with a low ball offer of $200.   The reason that this was a low ball offer was because of the value of the item which could have been quickly researched online prior to the interaction.    This is a potential negative in a negotiation because one must not put themselves in a position where they insult the potential buyer because if the buyer has something that you really want they may walk away. 
  • At 0101pm Cali told me that they were leaving AZ in an hour.    This is a potential negative because the value of the item was clearly spelled out at 0917am meaning that trying to narrow down the negotiation by creating a sense of scarcity on Cali's part probably wasn't going to work here unless there was a full price offer or better on the table. 
  • At 0101pm Cali told me that they could pay no more than 250 cash.    This is a potential negative because the other party in a negotiation doesn't care about how you can't pay a fair price for an item because a business negotiation is usually not about charity it's about creating win-win.   If Cali only had $250 budgeted to purchase a camera then they should have been looking for a camera in a difference price point. 
  • At 0101pm Cali also implied that they wanted to look at the camera to see if it works.   Hmmmmm, interesting.   Obviously Cali missed the part about the camera being brand new in it's original housing. Granted a new item may not be fully functional 100% of the time but that is a risk that you take when you buy an item for $20 under the asking price.   Making outrageous demands in a negotiation is a potential negative because you can alienate the buyer especially if they have other options or are not in a hurry.
Negotiations are a beautiful thing because now two are the same and there is usually at least one interesting thing that happens that just makes you wonder.   Share your thoughts\experiences below. 

Until we read again, 


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Parental Alienation On The First Day Of Kindergarten

How To Cut Through Parental Alienation Like A Chainsaw Through A Shark Storm*

It was the first day of the 2011 NFL football season.   I woke up on my brother's couch, I had gone out of town to spend the weekend with him and some friends.   After a quick shower I decided to grab a beverage at a ubiquitous coffee shoppe because my brother was still asleep and there was at least an hour or so before the start of the first game. 

The gentleman in front of me in the coffee shoppe line was carrying a beautiful squirmy baby girl who was probably between one and two years old.    As soon as this little girl looked at me her face lit up and she automatically started cooing, giggling and reaching for me,   Under normal circumstances I would have just smiled and started a conversation with her father but today was completely different. 

There I was walking outside the parking lot wiping away robust tears of sorrow.    When the little girl reached for me in the coffee shoppe I just completely lost it emotionally and started crying like a child who just found out that their little puppy dog got run over by a truck and broke it's back in multiple places.

The reason that I wept in public was because that was the day that my twin daughters turned three and I was legally unable to see them because of an Order of Protection my then wife had placed on me while we were separated.   The order prevented me from coming within a certain radius of her which is why I just decided to go out of town.   I  fruitlessly attempted to reach out to a few of her relatives asking them to send me photographs of my daughters or even have them telephone me to at least sing them
Happy Birthday".   Long story to short I didn't hear from my girls for at least three weeks after their birthday and never heard back from any of their mother's relatives. 


I was watching Sharknado #2 while trying to coordinate dropping my daughters off on the first day of kindergarten that Monday morning with their mother.    The daughters mother and I divorced soon after their third birthday.  She had the Order of Protection removed and I was even invited to the girls "Meet The Teacher" night the week prior so I didn't find it odd to ask if we could coordinate both being there for the twins being dropped off to school the next day.    In hindsight, I should have just showed up without a heads up because I did anyway. 

After two unanswered e-mails and a few unanswered texts I received the following string of messages late Sunday evening: 

"Interesting" I thought, here's another event that my daughter's other parent did not want me to be a part of a milestone event.   Long story short I just went to the girls school the next morning.   Against my best hindsight judgement I attempted to phone and text their mother a few times to see where they were at but did not get any response. 

Eventually, I found my daughters.   Wished them well, told them how much fun they were going to have and took some Pulitzer Prize winning photographs of them before their first day of kindergarten.  

The moral of the story (aka.   How To Cut Through Parental Alienation Like A Chainsaw Through A Shark Storm):

  • Don't Always Assume That The Opposing Parent Is Attempting To Alienate Your Child(ren) Regardless of Past History:  Yes, I know that my daughter's mother was trying to push the girls away from me by making it illegal for me to attend their third birthday party as she confessed under oath in divorce court.  However, I wasn't sure that this is what she was doing for their first day of kindergarten. It may have been what she was doing but I didn't know that.                             Negative assumptions have a way of just causing worthless anger which could lead to a bad toxic environment.   Now I could have gotten  super upset about Sunday night's text and sent a really angry, vile hateful written message via e-mail or text giving her a piece of my mind.                                     Or I could have showed up to the school before the first day and bawled by ex out in front of my children and all other kids, parents and teachers and negatively affect EVERYONEs day, not just my daughters.    In summary, just focus on controlling yourself and your relationship with your child(ren) because there is nothing that you can do to change or control the behaviour of the opposing parent whether or not they are exhibiting alienating actions. 
  • Focus Only On What You Can Do And Take The High Road:   The first time someone told me about the "high road" concept I thought that they had fallen off their rocker mainly because I used to act as an emotional linebacker who was highly proficient of traveling the low road.  So much so that I prided myself in acting in this manner and re-telling tales in a braggadocios fashion to whoever wanted to or I thought was listening.   In a nutshell when you act from the high road you do what is best for the situation and you focus on yourself and what you can control.    I could have just not shown up for my daughter's first day of kindergarten and then proceed to tell my children that I wasn't there because their mom wouldn't let me go or that I tried to call but since their mother didn't answer I didn't know where to go so I just didn't go.    In summary; focus on what's important and what you can do.   Excluding some extreme situations, which unfortunately do exist to a degree, you do not need the alienating\opposing parent's permission to be a good parent for your child. 
Until we read again, 


p.s.   I am not a therapist nor do I claim to be an expert in Parental Alienation.   One thing I do claim is three plus years of experience in that type  of environment and have picked up a handful of insights over that time frame.   Feel free to reach out to me if you are going through a similar situation and want to talk to someone who has gone through a similar situation and possibly could help. >>

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Why The Person That Cut You Off In Traffic Today Awesome....

....Okay, Maybe Not That Awesome But Keep Reading

It was very hot in Phoenix today, heck it's after 0900 pm PST and it is still 111 degrees!   In related news, tomorrow is Friday, ESPN Sports Center will get a lot more exciting in about a month, and water is wet.    

One of my favourite things to do in any weather is go to a bookstore and read segments of random books.   The last time I did this I read a book about leadership, sociology and the different stages of groups\individual behaviours and development.    The stages discussed were:   

  1. Life Sucks
  2. My Life Sucks
  3. I'm\We're Great and You're Not
  4. We're Great and Life Is Great : Everything Is Awesome

In this post I will talk about how I have personally gone through all of these stages in my own life along with some public examples where applicable, what stage is my personal favourite and why that person that cut you off in traffic this morning may really not be all that bad.

I was in stage one "Life Sucks"  from about the fifth grade to high school.   My dad retired young when I was in first grade and he moved the entire family from Denver where I had a lot of diverse friends to Iowa where for some reason I could not make any friends.   The weather in Iowa was interesting in that the winters were beyond freezing and frequently involved subzero days, 20+ foot snow drifts and snow days which meant that we would have to go to school until mid to late June shortening the summer break.   My parents divorced when I was 13, my siblings and I moved to Tucson, Arizona. 

Arizona is where I transitioned into the other levels, let's start with stage two "My Life Sucks".   I was getting used to Arizona but I liked the change and the weather was definitely void of snow days.   My first day of school, which was a Junior High School literally smack dab in the middle of an Indian Reservation, was less than favorable.    When walking to class after lunch some  gangster fellow pushed me down to the ground  and stood over me.   He kept asking me what I "claimed" because apparently I was wearing the colours of a rival gang.   Lucky for me some fellow came up to the aggressor and told him that I just moved from "Idaho" and that I wasn't a threat.   Funny sub story, the gangster that wanted to beat me up and I became friends and I quickly moved into stage three. 

I spent most of my life in the "I'm\Were Great and  Your Not Stage" as a matter a fact I just transitioned out of this stage earlier this year.     Basically all of my friends were cool but people that I didn't know, didn't hang out in my clique or even didn't root for the same sports teams that I fancied were "worthless losers" or worse.  This stage is very popular in the music business amongst rappers who have beef with each other and fans that get into vapid conversations about how Rapper A is not as good as Rapper B.   It embarrasses me to even share how long I was in this stage but it's worth it because I do want to share that these first three stages are the most negative, toxic and unhealthy place to live from.   If you are in  one of these stages now I invite you to join me in stage four ASAP.   

Stage four "We're Great and Life Is Great", going off of the rapper example in the prior example both Rapper A and Rapper B can be cool.   I used to really side with one team in sports and get crazily upset if the team that I was rooting for lost and sometimes even get into verbal arguments with folks rooting for the opposing squad.    This year's Super Bowl was embarrassingly the first time in my life that I didn't feel that way.    Being a Denver Broncos fan is was hard to watch the Seattle Seahawks dismantle the Broncos and end up winning by a score of 79-4 but it wasn't hard congratulating Seahawks fans and the actual team for having a great season and a great performance in the Super Bowl. 

 This stage also reminds me of a cartoon-like movie  about self-locking building bricks (which is very fitting because I believe that children naturally start life out in this stage) and the following thought which was shared with me earlier today: 

"...the truth remains that you could not be who you now are, if others were not who they now are. 

Including those people you sometimes wish were not who they now are." 

What a profound thought.   If things have not turned out precisely the way they did you would not be reading this right now and traveling down the path you are traveling down.   The guy that cut you off this morning may have set of a random unseen series of events that led you to that one really great thing that happened to you. 
The moral of the story is that we are all one in the same and you can live in any of the stages discussed in this post but it is highly recommended to go and remain in stage four if you want a more powerful and empowering experience in life. 

Until we read again, 


p.s.    Excited for the book which is coming out Late 2014

Friday, July 18, 2014

Obligatory Entitlement

What Do You Feel Obligated To Do?

The other day I was having a conversation with my friend Karen and we both arrived to the conclusion that we are not comfortable with the feeling of being obligated to do anything.    For those of you who have read any of my prior posts know my thoughts on "Should-Ing" , feel free to read by clicking on the following link.  Basically I think it's human nature to not want to feel like they should be doing something that they don't feel like doing and how it's not healthy to feel like things "should" be any different than they currently are. 

This leads to entitlement.    Now, I could write about the principle of entitlement or I can direct you to this fantastic well-written blog post I read by a woman by the name of  Jani Franck from the UK entitled "On Entitlement and the Stoics".   The entire post is great but pay close attention to her lists, her stance on relationships and the awesome thoughts of the stoic philosophers. 

Happy reading, and until next time please don't do anything that you feel "obligated" to do, unless you are truly obligated to do it. 

Until we read again, 


p.s.    Thank you for reading this post out of pure un-obligation. 
p.p.s.   "Today Was A Good Day" by Ice Cube just came over my music-mix.    Very fitting, very fitting.