Sunday, October 12, 2008


In Pittsburgh, we love our fireworks. Just last week there was a building shaking display in downtown for Pittsburgh's 250 birthday. This week in our community, there were fireworks because, well, we're really not sure, but any excuse for fireworks and we're there. So last night we pack up the boys and our neighbor, grab some snacks, and set out for the big display. As we approach the launch site, I notice a distinct lack of activity. I mean there is no one there. No cars, no people, no band, no nothing.

Then we see a sign, telling us that we're 24 hours early. S#@^!!! Who has fireworks on a Sunday night?!? I guess we do. So fast forward 24 hours later; we pack up the kids again and thankfully, today there were fireworks. Not like the "shock and awe" of Pittsburgh 250, but a really nice 20 minute local fireworks display. I enjoyed it, Nancy enjoyed it, our two year old on my shoulders enjoyed it. Our five year old and his buddy enjoyed running around in the dark screaming "Happy Birthday America!" hardly casting a glance at the sky. But I guess they enjoyed it too.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


I can't believe it's Fall already. So much has happened in the past month. Last weekend, we saw the most impressive fireworks display celebrating Pittsburgh's 250th birthday. It was the largest display ever; and Pittsburgh's a fireworks crazy town. This was a more impressive display than any I ever saw in Washington, D.C. Baseball has finished (thank goodness); the Pirates are in last place... again. Football has started; more importantly Hockey has started. I love the Steelers, but I love and admire the Penguins. Drew turned 2 and I turned 45.

45. It doesn't really bother me, except I'm no longer in that 35-44 year old demographic. I received an invitation to join AARP. Doesn't the "R" stand for retired? I also fill out surveys for the Harris Poll. I don't get any money, but I earn points that I can exchange for gifts. (So far I earned a radio and a crock pot; it took two and a half years of surveys for that). Last month I was getting surveys like, "Tell us about your online music purchases" and "Help us develop the next great electronic gadget". Now I get ones like, "Tell us about your favorite men's hair coloring product" and "Adult diapers; function or fashion?"

The other day I heard a commercial playing "Mr. Blue Sky" by the Electric Light Orchestra; one of my favorite groups during my high school years. I started singing along and told Clay that was one of my favorite songs. He said, "Who sings that song, daddy?" "E.L.O. I used to have all their records." Without missing a beat, he says, "What's a record?" Nancy giggles. I start, "Well, before their were CDs, you used to have to buy music on these big plastic discs and spin them on a table and put a needle on it." As the words come out of my mouth, I already see Clay's expression start to change,as if he's thinking, "What the hell are you talking about old man?"

Yes, and phones didn't have buttons, and milk was delivered to the house, and we had 13 channels on TV and 11 of those were in color; Car seats? The back seat was my playground; my internet was 24 volumes of the World Book Encyclopedia and my Facebook was a Radio Shack walkie-talkie that reached my friend Billy's house on a good day.

Maybe I am getting old.