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  • dbinkowski 9:30 am on July 26, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    A Dad's Guide to Water Parks 

    Ah, Summer. A time when a man can sweat like a man, when the stench of a good cigar can linger in your pores for days and when the A/C gets cranked on “high” for three months straight. For those of us without a pool (forget the oceans, they’re so polluted you can’t even catch and eat fish from ’em) it’s a time when we think about who we know that owns a pool, how we might get access to said pool, and potentially investing in a $20,000 hole in the ground in exchange for no one wanting to buy said investment when it’s time to sell the house. And then there’s one of Ricky Bobby’s reasons people come to America: giant water parks.

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    • Mrs. Call Me Crazy 1:37 am on July 31, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      The pee thing is so true! And also, I feel skinny at the water park. The water park near our house (in Sandusky, OH) might as well be a Wal-Mart with bathing suit clad patrons. These bitches are HUGE.

    • dbinkowski 10:28 pm on August 1, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      is it Cedar Pointe by chance?

  • dbinkowski 9:30 am on July 26, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    A Dad’s Guide to Water Parks 

    Ah, Summer. A time when a man can sweat like a man, when the stench of a good cigar can linger in your pores for days and when the A/C gets cranked on “high” for three months straight. For those of us without a pool (forget the oceans, they’re so polluted you can’t even catch and eat fish from ’em) it’s a time when we think about who we know that owns a pool, how we might get access to said pool, and potentially investing in a $20,000 hole in the ground in exchange for no one wanting to buy said investment when it’s time to sell the house. And then there’s one of Ricky Bobby’s reasons people come to America: giant water parks.

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    • Mrs. Call Me Crazy 1:37 am on July 31, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      The pee thing is so true! And also, I feel skinny at the water park. The water park near our house (in Sandusky, OH) might as well be a Wal-Mart with bathing suit clad patrons. These bitches are HUGE.

    • dbinkowski 10:28 pm on August 1, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      is it Cedar Pointe by chance?

  • dbinkowski 9:30 am on July 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: food, high fructose corn syrup, inc, king corn, stoneyfield farms, wal-mart   

    I Used to Sneer At Food Made by Cat People 

    I can haz your catz fur in mah fud? (Alternate title: Not exactly what I had in mind when I said I wanted to eat pussy.)

    As a card carrying member of the Man Club, there are very few foods I wouldn’t stuff my face with – especially after having a few drinks. Day old burritos? No problem. Week-old General Tsao’s chicken? Just pick off the hardened rice and we’re good to go. Half-brown pears? Why not, they’re just as juicy and I don’t have to work as hard to eat ‘em.

    At one point I noticed something, though. A co-worker and avid cat lover admitted that she let her cat sleep in her sink, on the counters and occasionally in a bowl. Yes, her cat’s filthy paws, that had just been in a litter box, were now in the place where the cookies for the company outing were prepared. A charming woman, I made a point to ask which dish she brought to pot lucks and never touch it.

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    • COD 2:25 pm on July 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Nice post David.

    • dbinkowski 2:40 am on July 9, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, Chris! I figured you'd enjoy it 🙂

    • Loxly a.k.a Deborah 2:48 am on July 9, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      David, this is a great article. It started out funny and because I am one of those “cat people” I was intrigued by your title. It turned out to be a very informative article that I hope people will take seriously.

    • dbinkowski 10:39 pm on August 1, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      thanks Deb. it's a huge problem and if they want to tackle the obesity epidemic they'll take on the food companies… given how the government functions my guess is that they probably won't. it's actually quite scary if you think about the notion that the poor are kept “at bay' due to cheap food; the widening income gap and health issues can't sustain forever before there's a mutiny.

    • Sanjeetshandilya 7:14 am on August 18, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      this image is very beautiful

  • dbinkowski 9:30 am on June 3, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags:   

    Boys Will Be Boys – And That's What Scares Me 

    I had a neighbor growing up named Tommy Salami. Salami wasn’t his real last name but one that was acquired over time. I’m not sure how he got the name but I’m guessing it’s because he was a ham. This caused a potential Hatfield/McCoy situation within the neighborhood, as I was being called a “ham” and clearly it would be impossible to tell us apart if we were both called a “Ham”, so they went with “Salami”. The name might’ve also come about because he’s Italian, which in that case I’m glad to see that my neighbors at least had a sense as to which country meats originated.

    Tommy, being the Salami he was, used to do crazy stuff all the time once he hit twelve years old. Tommy Salami would get in trouble for jumping off of his roof, joy riding in his parents car when he was 14, smoking cigarettes, killing dogs, and getting C’s and D’s in school. Ok, he didn’t kill dogs. That I know of. After every one of these mishaps, Tommy’s mom would drive my mom nuts by explaining that “Boys will be boys”. As a father of three lads, I’m concerned, to say the least, that my boys will just “be boys” and that our dog might end up “accidentally” murdered. Here are a few other things I’m hoping they avoid.

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    • riverhed 1:58 pm on June 3, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      My father was the head of the highway department in our small town (I guess it's more fair to say he was the entire highway department), which presented us with a great replacement for mailbox baseball. Ever seen a mailbox blown to bits by a snow plow? Pretty excellent. Still, at least in my family we've had a downward trend in rambunctiousness — my grandfather had a PhD in chemistry and only ever used it to blow stuff up and torture the cat, even into his 90s, and judging from the stories I've heard about my father, my one tattoo and clean driving record don't look so bad.

    • COD 2:12 pm on June 3, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      My son is 16-1/2. When I was his age I was sneaking around the back of the teen center dances to take a swig from the bottle of Jack (or worse) that my friend smuggled in. I regularly sneaked out of the house after curfew (midnight) and crawled back in around 5 AM. All that and I was still an honor roll student too. My kids look like fracking angels compared to the life I led in high school. A word of advice for Don. Horses. There are no teenage boys hanging around the barn. And a horse obsessed teenage girl looks at boys as a unnecessary distraction from time spent with her horse. It's expensive, but it's working for me.

    • dbinkowski 3:20 pm on June 3, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      LOL @ horses.I think we have better relationships with our kids than our parents did. I remember family vacations and doing things together, but there was always a clear separation between the kids and parents and when it was OK to run off unsupervised, which is usually when we did horrible things!

  • dbinkowski 9:30 am on June 3, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags:   

    Boys Will Be Boys – And That’s What Scares Me 

    I had a neighbor growing up named Tommy Salami. Salami wasn’t his real last name but one that was acquired over time. I’m not sure how he got the name but I’m guessing it’s because he was a ham. This caused a potential Hatfield/McCoy situation within the neighborhood, as I was being called a “ham” and clearly it would be impossible to tell us apart if we were both called a “Ham”, so they went with “Salami”. The name might’ve also come about because he’s Italian, which in that case I’m glad to see that my neighbors at least had a sense as to which country meats originated.

    Tommy, being the Salami he was, used to do crazy stuff all the time once he hit twelve years old. Tommy Salami would get in trouble for jumping off of his roof, joy riding in his parents car when he was 14, smoking cigarettes, killing dogs, and getting C’s and D’s in school. Ok, he didn’t kill dogs. That I know of. After every one of these mishaps, Tommy’s mom would drive my mom nuts by explaining that “Boys will be boys”. As a father of three lads, I’m concerned, to say the least, that my boys will just “be boys” and that our dog might end up “accidentally” murdered. Here are a few other things I’m hoping they avoid.

    (More …)

     
    • riverhed 1:58 pm on June 3, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      My father was the head of the highway department in our small town (I guess it's more fair to say he was the entire highway department), which presented us with a great replacement for mailbox baseball. Ever seen a mailbox blown to bits by a snow plow? Pretty excellent. Still, at least in my family we've had a downward trend in rambunctiousness — my grandfather had a PhD in chemistry and only ever used it to blow stuff up and torture the cat, even into his 90s, and judging from the stories I've heard about my father, my one tattoo and clean driving record don't look so bad.

    • COD 2:12 pm on June 3, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      My son is 16-1/2. When I was his age I was sneaking around the back of the teen center dances to take a swig from the bottle of Jack (or worse) that my friend smuggled in. I regularly sneaked out of the house after curfew (midnight) and crawled back in around 5 AM. All that and I was still an honor roll student too. My kids look like fracking angels compared to the life I led in high school. A word of advice for Don. Horses. There are no teenage boys hanging around the barn. And a horse obsessed teenage girl looks at boys as a unnecessary distraction from time spent with her horse. It's expensive, but it's working for me.

    • dbinkowski 3:20 pm on June 3, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      LOL @ horses.I think we have better relationships with our kids than our parents did. I remember family vacations and doing things together, but there was always a clear separation between the kids and parents and when it was OK to run off unsupervised, which is usually when we did horrible things!

  • dbinkowski 9:12 am on April 28, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: awesome day   

    How to Survive a Weekend Alone with Three Kids 

    I think most Dads are pretty good at spending the limited time we have on weekday nights with our kids: playing, homework, dinner, get ready for bed and maybe some TV. Pretty standard fare. Weekends are an entirely different animal, but at least you have some help, whether it’s through neighbor kids looking for a pick up game or a planned activity or just extra hands via your spouse. This weekend I had all three boys – 10, 7 and 22 months – all to myself. I’m living proof that you can go it alone while your wife is away — if you follow my tips.

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    • Audrey 2:02 pm on April 28, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Oh, good. I'm planning on giving you many more chances to have “awesome” weekends with the boys.

    • Don Martelli 2:12 pm on April 28, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Dave…you're screwed.

    • dbinkowski 3:13 pm on April 28, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I'm looking forward to more “guy” weekends. What's the appropriate to let your kids try a beer again? 😉

    • Don Martelli 3:55 pm on April 28, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      If the kid can crawl, beer tasting is allowed.

    • Audrey 5:20 pm on April 28, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Around here, we call it, “Baby's Sleepy-Time Medicine.”

  • dbinkowski 8:30 am on March 4, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Kids, poop   

    This? 

    About 6 months ago my then 14 month old was starting to say words. “Dad”, “Mom”, “ball”, “dog” and “go” were part of his everyday communication in our house when, out of the blue, it all stopped. “Ball” became “uhhhh!”, as did every other word he knew. We were perplexed.

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  • dbinkowski 11:45 am on January 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Welcome to Fatherhood! 

    I remember the day as clear as a bell: I was sitting in an evening college class when my then girlfriend called me with the news. Crying, of course. “I’m pregnant,” she said. Once I woke up from fainting, I went to the nearest Borders and bought all of the books I could — but nothing couple prepare me for the things I’m about to share. Fatherhood changes you and no one warns or prepares you for it. But your pal Dave’s here to help. Consider this the first installment of the dude’s Reader’s Digest version of “What to Expect When She’s Expecting”:

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    • Don Martelli 10:29 am on January 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      You're dead on Dave…the biggest hurdle for me was the piss and crap. Once you get sh*t on your finger you're a scorned man. Then you get over it with the help of wipes. Then it's all gravy from there on out…literally some times too.

    • Don Martelli 12:29 pm on January 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      You're dead on Dave…the biggest hurdle for me was the piss and crap. Once you get sh*t on your finger you're a scorned man. Then you get over it with the help of wipes. Then it's all gravy from there on out…literally some times too.

    • John Madden 8:29 am on January 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Brilliant. I overcame the pee and crap phobia well before I became a father. In college I worked in a McDonalds in a fairly rough area, which meant folks would come in, use the bathrooms for some chemical recreation and then lose control of their bodily functions in a lively and prolific manner. Once you've cleaned that up, nothing that can come out of a baby can possibly disgust you as much.As for nice clothes, I have a blue shirt that my son feels is incomplete without a streak of food, snot and/or barf across the chest. He's 14 months old, and it's yet to spend more than half an hour on me and clean.

    • John Madden 2:29 pm on January 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Brilliant. I overcame the pee and crap phobia well before I became a father. In college I worked in a McDonalds in a fairly rough area, which meant folks would come in, use the bathrooms for some chemical recreation and then lose control of their bodily functions in a lively and prolific manner. Once you've cleaned that up, nothing that can come out of a baby can possibly disgust you as much.As for nice clothes, I have a blue shirt that my son feels is incomplete without a streak of food, snot and/or barf across the chest. He's 14 months old, and it's yet to spend more than half an hour on me and clean.

  • dbinkowski 7:02 pm on October 27, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Holidays, Pumpkins, Traditions   

    Pumpkin Carving 101, Dad Style 

    One of the great traditions we celebrate is the annual pumpkin carving night in the Binkowski home. This marks the 10th year that we’ve carved pumpkins as a family and I want to share a few of the tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years.

    Finding the right pumpkin

    One of the greatest misnomers about finding a great pumpkin is that you have to get the State Fair, blue ribbon winning, fill up the back of the SUV freak show pumpkin. For some, it’s all about finding the biggest pumpkin they can. Here are a few problems with that logic: 1. It’ll cost you an arm and a leg, 2. It will rot after a few weeks, and 3. Someone has to carry it to the checkout and load it into the car. My advice is to find pumpkins that suit your style and size. We let our kids pick their own pumpkins and they typically will find pumpkins that range in height from a foot to a foot and a half, which is perfect for sitting on the porch.

    The other scam is thinking that you have to go to a pumpkin patch to find your perfect pumpkin. This may’ve been great when the pumpkin business wasn’t a total rip off and there were tons of farmers, but nowadays the place is jam packed and because most of the farmer have sold their land to developers. Plus, you can easily drop fifty bucks for a few pumpkins at the patch because they’re selling the “experience”. Side note, we went “apple picking” and it was $25 a bag. For apples. As the guys on NFL Sunday Countdown say, “C’mon, man”. We got out pumpkins at ShopRite this year for five bucks apiece. That’s more like it. (More …)

     
    • Don Martelli 7:26 am on October 25, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Nice work Dave. We have the same sort o nigh at our house. The picking part is a big photo and video opp.

    • David Binkowski 3:51 pm on October 26, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I think every few years you have to throw in the pumpkin patch photo but on an annual basis it's a bit much. Either that or I'm just really lazy, which is also quite possible.

    • Don Martelli 3:56 pm on October 26, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Laziness is always a factor.

    • dbinkowski 8:51 pm on October 26, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I think every few years you have to throw in the pumpkin patch photo but on an annual basis it's a bit much. Either that or I'm just really lazy, which is also quite possible.

    • Don Martelli 8:56 pm on October 26, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Laziness is always a factor.

  • dbinkowski 9:30 am on October 6, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Boys Will Be Boys 

    Tonight was the kickoff of the new Cub Scouting season in town. My wife signed our two older sons up for Scouts, and I had mixed feelings about the whole thing. On one hand, I was pretty active in Scouting when I was a kid. I remember the Pinewood Derby, tying knots, camping trips, Tote ‘n Chip, canoeing and D-Bar-A. I also remember some of the, uh, “other” things – like the chubby kids wearing their Scouts uniforms to school and getting teased, the “tent-mate” whose turned-out underwear on the floor revealed his major skid marks, losing a corner of your Fireman Chip card for burning things and quitting because your Scoutmaster was a former drill sergeant a-hole who wouldn’t advance you past Star because you didn’t want to sit in his non-air conditioned house in the Summer and listen to war stories. But I’m not bitter.

    All that being said, there were some really good times in there, and more important – it kept me busy and with everything going on in our crazy lives it means I’ll actually spend time with my older boys.

    So as I mentioned, my wife signed the boys up for Cub Scouts and Webelos and tonight was their inaugural bonfire. It was a pretty standard evening with the new guy leading the kids through a series of sketches, that to be honest I could only remember one because I was busy cracking jokes with a few other dads in the back. Some things never change.  Here are a few lines that I recall…

    Dad #1: “I’m going to wear my old uniform in to work for my performance review. I figure it’s gotta impress them somehow.”

    Dad #2: “I went on a few camping trips. It’s not bad. The kids all stay up until 11 and the dads sit around the campfire and pound beers.”

    Which then lead us into a discussion about merit badges. I posed the question: “Shouldn’t us Dads get merit badges for going camping with the kids?”

    This spiraled out of control fast:

    “There should be a merit badge with a picture of a flask on it. You know, for the Dad smart enough to sneak some booze.”

    “It could be a Jaeger badge, with one antler on it.”

    “I could see a keg badge for the Dad that brings that along.”

    “What about one for the Dad that pukes but keeps drinking? Not everyone could earn that one.”

    After several laughs and “SHHHHHs!” from the front it dawned on me — regardless of age, hairline, income or background that boys will be boys. I just hope mine aren’t the ones with the crusty underwear.

     
    • dguarino 2:54 pm on October 6, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Ya know, Dave, I was thinking about the Scouts for my boys. Now I’m planning on it … with clean underwear … for all of us.

    • Scott Gulbransen 6:51 pm on October 6, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I loved Scouts as a kid…even though my Dad wasn’t very interested. I’d love to do it with my son and this reminds me to do so.

      The only thing disturbing to me about Scouting these days (at least here on the West Coast) is that more mother’s are taking control. We had Den Mothers but it was always about rights of passage for fathers/sons. It’s a disturbing trend and one that tells me father’s need to find their way and introduce – and make the commitment – to do Scouting with their sons.

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