Did you ever experience what I did Saturday morning?  You stay up a little too late Friday night, but you are ok with it because you can sleep in on Saturday.  Well, if you are me that doesn't happen.  My girls are like me and wake up at the same time every day without an alarm clock.  So, at about 6:45 a.m. they are awake no matter what day it is.  So after staying up past 2 a.m., I was not surprised to be woked up at 6:30 a.m. by the girls wanted to know what I was making them for breakfast.  Saturday morning is my day to make special breakfasts for them.  My wife works overnights at a hospital so she gets home around then, I make breakfast, and we eat together before she heads to bed.  We sneak in family time when we can, lol.  So, there was no sleeping in for me.  My girls are 9 and almost 5, they are very self-sufficient for breakfast.  Maybe if I leave them a note that I want to sleep in they might just make it themselves, hmmmmmm.  Will have to try that.

Soccer was interesting.  My little one ran around and had lots of fun.  I was very proud of her when she was sitting on the sideline.  All the other kids were playing with the cones and putting them on their heads.  Not my little one, she not only watched the game and cheered her team, but she kept fixing the cones when the other kids threw them on the ground.  My oldest did well, she played defense most of the game.  I was really proud of both of them.  I asked my youngest if she had won (they don't keep score for that age) and she said she didn't know.  I told her, "As long as you try your hardest and have fun you are a winner."  She smiled and ran over to my wife, gave her a high five, and said "Mommy, I am a winner!"  It was really cute.

Ok, I wanted to record my iniitial podcast this weekend, but i ran out of time.  I am trying to plan something really solid, and am hoping to get it recorded over the next two day.  Everytime I come up with show notes, I rewrite them.  I need to stop being so anal.  Oh, and there will be a surprise segment for my first cast.  Thanks Skaggy!!!

I came across some pictures, yes those old things people used to have developed at a little kiosk in the middle of a parking lot, and it brought me back.  I found pics of my birth, my toddler years, and all the way up through high school.  It made me wonder if any of the small stuff I experienced would be something my children would want to know.  Ironically, I was buying tile at the local Habitat for Humanities store for my basement (after the flooding I am not putting carpet down again) and I found a book.  It is titled "Dad, Share Your Life With Me..." written by Kathleen Lashier.  This book has a page for each calendar day that asks questions about your life, you fill in the answer, and I assume give it to your children when it is done.  A lot of the questions are really obscure, but interesting.  First fight, first girlfriend, best birthday party, best gift, and so on.  Really worth picking up on Amazon.  They also have them for Mom, Grandma, and Grandpa.  I am going to be buying these for my family.  I am the family geneologist and "Keeper of the Family Tree", and have the family tree book.  I have traced my Grandfather "Lynch" 7 gereations back to a genereation back in Ireland where we come from a line of bards that roamed the land for food and shelter in exchange for news and stories, my birth name "Garcia" 5 generations back from me to the Philippines, and my adopted name "Maskery" 21 generations back to Jolly Old England who accompanied William the Conquerer (or William the Bastard) with his Norman invasion of England as butchers and bakers.

My oldest, 9 years old, decide last year to start writing down all the stories I tell.  My stories range as far back as stories that my Great-Great Grandfather would tell to my very own.  I was raised, I guess, in the old bardic tradition; but she has taken it to a new level in the 21st century.  She digitally records me telling a story, saves it on her computer, and documents it in a journal.  I am proud that she is continuing the family tradition.  I am sure it will make a few friends of mine happy too, such as Skaggy, Gary, and Ruthie.  All from across the pond in England, and all bards in their own right.  (Links at the end of the blog) 

It makes me happy to know that these stories will not end with me, and will continued to be passed to a "bard" in each generation.

Gary and Ruth:  http://celticmythpodshow.com/
Skaggy: http://skaggythepoet.wordpress.com/
Kathleen Lashier: http://www.mymemoryjournals.com/index.shtml



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I had posted a status on Google+ about getting food for my oldest daughter's pet and Skaggy the Poet recommended I blog about it because he found it to be interesting.  Now, in my house, we have a 50 gallon fish tank and two dogs.  But the all-star pet lives in a 70 gallon tank in the room next to my daughter's.  Her name is Samantha, we call her Sammi.  You can imagine a 9 and 4 year old girls playing fetch with the dogs and staring at fish all day, but they fight over who gets to hold Sammi and who gets to feed her.  Their favorite thing is to have Sammi sit across their shoulders while they watch tv and cuddle with her.  What is Sammi, you may ask?  Sammi is a 4 foot long Ball-Python.

Ok, I know, I must be a horrible father to have my kids own a snake and how can I let them have the snake near their necks because its dangerous.  But, to the contrary, Sammi is probably one of the best pets (besides the dogs) these girls are ever going to have.

When I was in my early 20's I owned a Ball-Python, his name was Raptus.  I really like snakes, and I took good care of him.  I was out of state for a few weeks and asked a friend of mine to take care of him.  He told me he had a lot of experience with snakes, so I was confident that Raptus would be in good hands.  This friend decided to feed Raptus in his tank, and with a live mouse.  First off, Raptus had been trained to eat frozen mice because it is safer since live mice can injure a snake, and secondly; you never feed a snake in its tank.  You should have a separate feeding area so the snake doesn't associate the opening of its tank to feeding.  Then your hand becomes automatic food.  The mouse bit Raptus multiple times and he got sick.  Raptus was dead when I got home.

My wife is not overly fond of snakes, but being the unselfish wife/mother she is we woke up Christmas morning in 2008 and found a snake in a tank sitting in the living room.  My daughters, at hearing Daddy had a snake when he was younger, kept asking for one.  I would tell them, "We can't.  Mommy doesn't like them and we need to respect that. When you get older, maybe you can get one of your own, but not right now."  We were so surprised that we had one, and even more so to me, it had my oldest daughter's name on the gift tag.  Admittedly, I was a little bummed out, but was happy we had a snake.  My wife said she wanted to get over her "aversion" to snakes and this was something the girls and I wanted.  My oldest named her Samantha because she said it with a hiss for the "S".  

Sammi will not bite, not matter how much I have tried to nicely provoke her to.  She is well trained to be handled and has been show and tell, and soon will be a fixture with my daughter at the local 4H club.  My only regret is that the previous owner fed her live mice, so she won't eat frozen ones.  

I did not want stereo-types to dictate my daughters' lives.  Even in the 21st Century they still dictate how boys and girls should act and what they should like.  I want my daughters to make their own choices based on their decisions, not society's.  So, I am proud that my girls tell their friends that snakes aren't slimy or icky.  That feeding her live mice is ok because it's like us eating a hamburger because it was once a cow.  I hope these life lessons now will translate into not taking no for an answer when they get told they don't qualify for a position at work, or they can't invent something because it has never been done.  I want my girls to tackle the world with open eyes, huge imaginations, and enough self confidence to see their dreams realized.
I am sorry to that I haven't written anything in a while.  I have been busy with some issues that have taken up most of my time, even impeding my sleep.

Hurrican Irene made landfall in New Jersey late Saturday night, 8/27.  My wife was at work and I was home with the kids.  I did not get home till early evening, which I will explain later, so it was time to relax and get ready for the brunt of the storm as soon as I set foot in the door.  My house is a Bi-Level, so when you walk in the door you either go upstairs or downstairs.  My downstairs is 75% below ground, and we have a sump pump to that pumps rising water out to the street to prevent flooding.  Now my house has been in my family for almost 7 years and I have never seen water in the basement.  The power went out around 9:30 p.m. and I was instantly worried about the sump pump and flooding.  The pump is run by electricity, and I do not have a battery back up or a generator.  We were listening to the radio when it announced a Tornado Warning.  So the girls and I went downstairs and I showed them where to go if we heard the tornado coming.  They were champs, weren't scared much, and slept on the floor.  I continued to listen to the radio for updates.  My youngest went to the bathroom we have downstairs and said, "Daddy, there is water in the potty."  I chuckled and replied, "I know dear, there is supposed to be water in the potty."  With her hands on her hips she said a little sternly, "But not on the floor Daddy."  I went over and heard the squishing under my foot before I ever got to the bathroom.  I told the girls to head upstairs, we sat in the living room listening to the radio in the dark.  I checked the water level downstairs about every half hour, and it continued to rise.  I had moved what small stuff I could, but I resigned myself to the fact that the furniture was just going to have to be ruined.  Around 3 a.m. the power turned back on and the sump pump did its work and got rid of the water.  Now we are doing the clean up.  We have lost all of our furniture including our couch, hutch, my great-grandparents stereo/8 track/phonograph, and all of my oldest daughter's bedroom furniture.  I just finished her bedroom a couple of months ago, and it was ruined.  The drywall was really damaged, and so was all the wood and molding.  Electronically I lost a few computer towers I was working on, a PS2, a printer, and my sub-woofer for my surround sound system.

Now onto "Hurrahs" from the title of the blog.  My Uncle and Aunt met later in life, and because of that, are older first time parent.  My Uncle was like an older brother to me, and he and I are very close.  He asked me to be God-Father to my cousin, and i was overjoyed.  The Baptism was this past weekend, yes, the weekend of the Hurricane. The Baptism had to go on due to upcoming surgeries needed for my cousin, and they wanted her Baptized before the surgeries started.  The moved the party to Saturday, hence the reason I was not home till early evening as mentioned before.  Then Sunday was the Baptism.  My Aunt and Uncle live an hour away from me.  It was a good time, and this is my first time being a God-Father.  I was/am truly honored that they asked me to fulfill such a large role in their daughter's life.  My wife got me a great T-shirt.  It has the marrionet handle and string from the Godfather Movie cover, but it says, "Irish Godfather" underneath.  To explain, my mother's maiden name is Lynch.

"Home remodeling" shouldn't need much of a description.  The carpet is mostly out, the furniture is at the curb, and we have salvaged what we could.  Now it's time to cut away the ruined drywall, treat the studs for mold, plan for the tile I am putting down instead of carpet this time, and we have to buy furniture to replace what we lost.  It isn't a good trade off, but since I lost the stereo that was my Great-Grandparent's and a hutch, my mother offered my my Grandparen't hutch.  I like having a good antique from family in an area where we spend a lot of time.  Kind of makes you feel like a real family room because there is an influence of previous generations there.
I have been blogged about my issues with soccer my town for my children.  I think I have officially hit the wall of unhappiness.  I was looking over the rules of my 9 year old's league last night and found some items that made me very unhappy.

 Notes for coaches

 Good sportsmanship, fun and learning are a priority

 Players can be substituted on either teams goal kick or your own throw in

No scores kept

 We have a 6 goal deficit rule, meaning no team should beat another team by more than 6 goals.

o You can remove players

o Shoot wide of the goal

o Pass the ball around

o Make the other teams keeper look good, pass the ball to him

o SUGGESTION is to start to put restrictions on your players after being up by 3 goals, things like have to pass 5 times. Don’t blow another team out.

Now, I agree that you shouldn't blow the other team out.  I also agree that you should work on different fundamentals like passing and such instead of going for a score right away.  But really, my children are going to learn things I don't want them to. 
1.  Don't try your hardest all the time.
2.  Winning is not a reward for hard work.
3.  Losing is not a reason to try harder to improve yourself and your team.
I don't want any children to feel like they are a failure, and I also don't want children to feel like they need to be super competitive.  But, how is my daughter going to have the drive to improve unless she faces adversity and doesn't win?  How is she going to learn to be a gracious "loser" and congratulate the other team for a good win unless she is on the losing end of the equation?  Also, how is she supposed to feel accomplishment for hard work and practice unless she wins.  And, how is she supposed to learn to be a good sport and congratulate the losing team on a great effort unless she is on the winning side?

I have coached Little League Baseball for a long time, and we do have these rules in place for 5 and 6 year olds; these rules don't exist at 9.  I know football doesn't run by these rules at the same age.  Neither does, basketball, wrestling, or softball.  I just don't agree with it at all. 

My not of Facebook can be viewed here:  http://www.facebook.com/note.php?saved&&note_id=10150275875048316&refid=7

Last night my oldest had her first soccer practice.  Even though my wife had spoken to the coach, and notified him that it was my oldest's first year, I was met with disdain when I didn't show up totally prepared.  Apparently, I needed to have soccer socks, a size 4 ball, and shin guards.  I assumed we needed cleats and already had purchased them.  I was a little upset that we never received a list of equipment to have, but it was assumed I would have all the equipment she needed.  It was a nightmare.  There isn't even a schedule or uniforms yet.  And my youngest doesn't have practice yet because there isn't a coach.  I wish they would be organized like Little League Baseball so all of these issue wouldn't exist.

My girls were making chalk drawings on the sidewalk yesterday while I cut the grass.  They apparently left the chalk outside the front door, and my wife asked them to clean it up this morning before I took them to daycare.  I was getting dressed so my wife told them to stay near the front door since I was still inside.  I finished getting dressed, grabbed my truck keys, and opened the door to find two soaking wet kids.  Apparently, my oldest decided since they cleaned up the chalk so fast she would "water Mommy's flowers".  Well, watering flowers became a water fight with the hose and the girls laughing about how much they were squirting eachother.  I put on a serious face, all the while laughing on the inside, and told them to go get changed that we didn't have time this morning to play.  The each went to their rooms and got changed in record time.  Then they  ran out to the truck and buckled in without a word.  On the way to daycare my youngest asked, "Daddy, are you mad at us?"  I laughed and said, "No, dear, I am not mad at either of you.  I used to squirt Uncle Aaron with the hose all the time."  The girls laughed the whole way to daycare.  They enjoy the fact that my brother Aaron and I are about the same age difference as the two of them, so they know I can relate to them.
Today started as a fun day.  It was very cool outside last night and we had the windows opend due to a beautiful day yesterday.  This morning I was awoken by both of my girls, "Daddy, we are cold.  Can we cuddle with you?"  I grumbled something I can't even remember and they crawled under the blankets with me.  My wife was up early for work so they like to sneak in and cuddle with Daddy on those mornings.  Next thing I know I am 15 minutes late getting up and we were in instantly into "Hurry Mode" as my youngest calls it.  We got out the door in time.  On our way to my Mother-In-Law's, who is their daycare, my oldest said, "Daddy, you are the best.  I bet not all kids get to have cuddle time with their Daddy.  I love you Daddy!"  I was so happy, and it was well worth the loss of some sleep to know my kids look at me with such high praise.

Tonight is my oldest's first soccer practice.  I admit, I am not a soccer fan, but I will be there screaming my head off in praise and support for her and her team.  The fun part will be that my youngest is playing too.  Which means no rhyme or reason, just a bunch of 4 year olds chasing a ball around the field.  Lol

And now to address the "Humble" in the title.  Now, I have spoken about Skaggy the Poet in a previous post.  He just posted his 100th Blog Post, Congratulations Skaggy!  The humble part is that he wrote a poem about me.  Please follow Skaggy's Blog.  He is a great family man with many insightful and witty things to say about the world.  http://skaggythepoet.wordpress.com/2011/08/23/a-big-thank-you/

On a side note; the wheels of progress are turning.  I have been working on getting my information together about podcasting, web-hosting and such.  If anyone has any suggestions I would appreciate the help.  I am hoping to get the first podcast recorded in September.  


Had a fun weekend of cutting grass and helping my brother reorganize his storage space.  He is moving next month and I have earned a reputation as the Tetris furniture expert.  I am not a huge Simpsons fan, but the scene about packing makes me laugh at the similarities.  

  I got an unexpected shout out from the before mentioned, Skaggy the Poet, on his podcast Skagtravaganza(http://skaggythepoet.wordpress.com/skagtraviaganza/) and on his Twitter (http://twitter.com/#!/skaggy_the_poet).  Thanks again, mate.

Sunday has been a great day.  Spent the morning playing Dungeons and Dragons Online "DDO" with my oldest (Age 9).  Our Cleric and Fighter Combo is reaching level 3.  Went out to buy soccer cleats, got some fish, picked up dinner, and came home.  The Phillies had a rain delay so it's as if they waited for me to get home to watch the game.  As we were leaving Wawa (Major gas station/convenience store) I opened the door for my youngest (5 in October) and said, "Here you go Madam"  She ran to my driver's side door, opened it, and said, "Here you go Sir"  She is so cute.  Hope you had a good weekend.  Back to work tomorrow.

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Skaggy the Poet is man that I have met through an online game called Dungeons and Dragons Online, which is an MMO based on the Dungeons and Dragons Roleplaying Game.  He is an example of a renaissance man; having a good eye for photos, a true talent for poetry, a wonderful storyteller, and someone I would love to do karaoke with.  He is a family man, and as you can see on the Rambling Dad's Stories page, I forsee him regularily being involved with this site and eventual podcasts.  Thank you Skaggy for submissions, and I am sure everyone will enjoy them as much as I did.
Attempting to get this down pat.  How the site works, update time, and general web site maintenance.  Please bear with me as I go through my growing pains.  Thanks