Guiding Principles of a Daughter’s Dad

I’m not the smartest or greatest dad there is. Not even close. I have many faults and made many mistakes over the years that I regret.

However, I do think I’m pretty good at understanding my faults and I work hard to minimize their impact to myself and others, especially to my family, as much as possible.

Even still… just because faults were minimized, it doesn’t mean there wasn’t impact from them from time to time. There was. I regret that.

But… we live and learn and live and relearn and one and on.

My daughter is my first child and when she was born I didn’t have a clue as to how to raise her.

I found out quickly though, that having children, and especially having the first child, is kind of like going to war.

No matter how much you plan for it, once the first shot is fired the best you can hope for is a campaign of organized chaos.

Fortunately, not long after she was born, I happened upon some useful information — probably from articles in a newspaper (remember those things?) — about the results of a couple of different studies.

I don’t remember the newspaper — probably the Stars & Stripes.

And I certainly don’t remember the studies or who conducted them so I cannot attest to the veracity of the reportage.

However, based upon my life experiences, what was reported seemed to speak the truth.

And from these apparent truths that I happened upon long ago, I was changed — or at least I sought to change — from their insights.

And from this change, I hope I became a better father to, not just my daughter, but to my sons as well. For I also hope that when my sons, too, have daughters– and based upon the make up of my lovely and loving wife’s family and mine, they probably will — they understand how their beliefs and, more importantly, their behavior can have such an impact on the outcome of their daughters’ lives.

The first thing I learned that changed my behavior as a father was…

The more education a father has the less the chance will be that his daughter will find herself in an abusive relationship as an adult.

The second was…

Girls with high self-esteem tend to have less sex during their middle and high school years and girls with low self-esteem tend to have more.

The inverse is true for boys.

It’s Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.



Hot Dog no.2

Zeno Has a Bone to Pick with the Pool
Backyard Bliss Comes in Many Forms



You can watch the longer, unedited version here.

Zeno Phelps
Zeno Phelps resting after his many laps around the pool


Big Babies

So, we took the boys for their first visit to our Vet to get caught up on their shots and whatnot. Initially, there was much whining and howling and the gnashing of teeth… but all in all they did great and took their shots like a man*.

Now, when we adopted the boys we were told that they were going to probably grow to around 25 inches at the shoulder and weigh in at about 45 pounds.

What the doctor told us was a little bit different. According to him, because at three months they are both weighing in already at around 22 pounds, he expects they will grow beyond the 25 inches and end up weighing in at around SEVENTY POUNDS!


Whoaaaaa brother(s)…

Big Babies
Zeno & Aurelius (The Pillow)


*non-gender/species specific


I’d like to introduce you to my little friends…

The boys at play
Brothers at play

Friends and new family members, that is…

While we have quite the cat already – Jack Kerouac – whom I introduced some time ago and can be found as part of Photography page’s gallery collection, I am and always have been a dog man…besides, Kero-chan will have nothing to do with me as he is wholly devoted to the lovely and loving wife, and who can blame him.

But that is fine by me. As a true dog man I can remember clearly all my dog buddies who were there for me all throughout my life. My first dog as a child was an old hound dog named Mickey. I remember with fondness how his tail would always slap at me whenever he was happy. And while all my dogs were great friends to me, my bestest of best friend of all was our last dog Shikibu, a tiny little snowball of Maltese magic.

Murasaki Shikibu
There are several reasons I am still here on earth after all the leukemia and lung disease as a result of the bone marrow transplant BS. First and foremost is that Universal Power Source of Infinite and Abiding Love we often refer to as God answering all the many, many prayers from all who love me in the form of my lovely and loving wife’s angelic grace and care, and a close second was Shikibu’s love and devotion to me throughout all that BS. Rarely could I leave my chair throughout all that BS, and rarely was Shikibu not by my side throughout all the BS…tucked away snugly, seemingly impossibly so sometimes, between my left hip and the arm of my recliner. Although eternally a puppy in looks and demeanor, she was an elderly lady when the cancer bug got me in 2009, and she was there for me through the worst of it. She died in 2011, not long after we all pretty much realized that I was going to be hanging around a little bit longer after all. She had many serious illnesses herself toward the end but it is my firm belief she held on long enough to know that I was going to be okay. It took me a long time to get over her passing; though I’m not sure that I really am…or ever will be. But recently I had finally reached a point where I was in need of more canine companion.

We knew we wanted a rescue puppy (it had to be a healthy puppy as I have enough issues of my own for my lovely and loving wife to attend to) and we knew we were going to be patient in the process. I did not realize, though, just how patient we’d have to be. I did most of my puppy searching through – it’s a very helpful place as it allows targeted search options. Still, I had no idea there are so many dogs in need out there. It took a lot of time. Always getting close, but never getting the cigar, so to speak. We’d find a pup we all could agree only to find that it was either too far away or that someone had just adopted it or any other multitudinous hurdles of a reason. It started to become tedious so we decided that we were going to wait until springtime to continue the search. That way we wouldn’t have to potty train a puppy in the snow. But a couple of days ago I just fired up the link on a whim and right away I came upon “Stella’s Boys” and that was pretty much all she wrote. We found exactly the pup we were looking for…the mostest cutest Plott Hound mix puppies you’ve ever seen

I wanted another hound dog, in honor of Mickey. One son wanted a Retriever for their loyalty and playfulness. And the other son wanted a brindle coated dog because of their unique look and cool name: brindle ~ Brindley …get it? And the wife did not want a horse-sized dog. All these desires came together courtesy of the awesome folks at the Delaware Puppy and Pet Rescue, Inc. Remembering the other pups we lost out on because of delay, I quickly filled out the online Adoption Contract and waited hopefully for the call back, which came on Saturday in the form of an email from Dianne, a hero and angel of a foster mom to the puppies, and many others, saying that we had passed the background check – a call to the references I provided and our local Vet – and invited us to her home to meet with the boys.

Yesterday we made the beautiful two-hour drive to Landenberg, Pennsylvania. If we hadn’t been on such a mission, the wife and I could have easily spent the entire day taking pictures, as the countryside drive was so pleasantly pastoral. But we were on a mission and as soon as we got to Dianne’s home and I saw all the cute puppies, I knew we were coming home with more than one.

And we did. And now I once again have my much needed and appreciated canine companion…thankfully so.

While I can pretty much guarantee you won’t be seeing many more, if any more, pictures of Kero-chan here, I cannot make that same guarantee about the newest members to our family. And while she will always be my bestest of friend and I will forever miss her, I’m pretty sure Shikibu, up in doggy heaven with Mickey, Kipper, Colonel Kish, Juno, and Sebastian, is perfectly okay with that.

Now whether Kero-chan is okay with the invasion…well, that’s a different story.

Puppies at rest
Brothers at rest


Yes, I really want to share this beautiful article with you posted by the most lovely site HappyNest In America (Translation here.)

But I also kinda wanted to sneak in some more Toad Spam, aka, Buddha Reincarnate… :)

HappyNest in America

 9月の末に、夫がプールのスキマーの掃除をしている最中に、蓋の下のバスケットの中にたまった葉っぱの上に一匹のカエルが座り込んでいるのを発見して救出してから、彼は、そのカエルを「プリンス・ルパート(ルパート王子:Prince Rupert)」と呼んで庭で遊ばせていたのですが、ルパート王子さまは、2日ほど庭のプールの周辺で眠ったり飛び跳ねたりして仲間と遊んだりした後、すっと姿を隠してしまってしまっていました。
 さまざまな神様が飾られた我が家の ‐ 夫曰く「ブツダン(参照:クリスマスの飾りをしまおう!)」- には、またしても私が居ぬ間に夫が移動させた「学業成就」のお札や、妹からの贈り物の安産のお守りや、鎌倉で購入したダイブツ様や、大黒様に見えなくもない木像のほかに、どうやら、庭の神様も仲間入りしたようです。


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I don’t mean to make you jealous but…

As soon as I hit the “Publish” button on thisun here post, me and the fam are headin’ right outta thatun there door to our local Suburban Bowlerama bowling alley for some bowling extravaganza righteousness and then headin’ straight to the local movie theatre (complimentary foreign spelling for our English proper readers out there..for those of us who only read American proper, I mean “theater”) for some Good Ol’ American family valued, over-the-top movie action (meaning fast cool cars, gratuitous bare bodies, shabby acting, and guns…lots of guns) in the form of the highly anticipated (by me) action movie, John Wick!

o_______|||| <— bowling icon



| (‘ ) <— movie viewer in profile icon


Ha ha, yeah, you're right…

I did mean to make you jealous..