The passing of the torch

by on Aug.29, 2016, under Creativity, Family, Humor, Musings


My son Joaquin had just moved back to the UIW dorms a week back but he came back last Thursday night to do some laundry, eat dinner, update his new XBOX S1(?) and just catch up with Liz and I on his first week of school. After hooking up his XBox S1 to our TV and Wifi to update it, he began to tell us of his school week and classes. Then he told me, “Oh and we’re gonna start our D&D game tomorrow night at John’s place.”

Wait Wut?! Did he say, Dungeons and Dragons?

He and his buddies wanted to start playing the official D&D role playing game (sans the computer) – old school.

He meant me…

See most of you know how nerdy I was back then and I have fond memories of spending countless hours with my buddies playing this incredible role playing game. We’d gather on a Saturday afternoon, in a back room, lay out the books, figurines (they had to be painted to be used) graph paper and dice. We’d crank up the battle music (Conan Soundtrack, Carmina Burana, O Fortuna) and any other music that suited our needs. Hours would fly by until we noticed it was morning. We were exhausted from battle…ur…role playing.

I loved those days. 

So then he asks if I still had my dice. “hmmm, lemme check” I said as I scratched my goatee THEN bolted to the garage and found them (along with my figurines) in a box I stored. Liz just smiled and shook her head as I placed both boxes on the table. It was as if I had found a chest full of gold as I feverishly began to dig thought the box. I don’t know how much time elapsed before I noticed the look on everyone’s faces as they watched me dig with both hands. I wiped the stupid grin from my face and then proudly showed (presented) my dice to my son.

But I was missing the most crucial of all dice – the 20 sided one! I couldn’t find it anywhere! But then Joaquin smiled and showed me something amazing. He went to his room and brought out some old D&D packets I had gotten him when  he was about 11 years old? He’s going on 21. Inside the packet was a 20 sided die. And no, that’s not a typo – “The singular of dice—a plural noun referring to the small cubes used in games of chance—is die. Because the irregular plural is more common than the singular, many writers forget to use the singular at all.” Look it up

“Dad, I remember you bought me this along time ago when you wanted to get me into D&D.”

I almost lost it…but I kept it together. 

He placed the 20 sided die into his little bag but then I told him, “Wait, take the character figurine I used, my hafling thief, his name is Thumbs. Maybe he’ll bring you luck.”

He gave me that toothy grin of his and we walked him out.

Here’s hoping the spirt of Thumbs (hafling thief), Nagul (human berserker warrior), Derek (the Knight) and Aldamir (our Magican) brings you luck Mijo.



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The “Eyes” have it.

by on Aug.12, 2015, under Creativity, Family, Humor, Misc., Musings


I wanted to share a story that most people with a “significant other” would most definitely associate and appreciate. I also set up a new category that has other stories I’ve written if you’d like to read them Just click on this link, MUSINGS.

Now onto our story…

Our son Joaquin is beginning his Sophomore year at UIW and has decided he wants to live on campus. He was initially denied housing since he was a “local commuter” and out-of-town students have priority. But was put on a waiting list and told housing would email people each Friday in July if any openings came up. He was bummed but both Elizabeth and I told him to stay positive – there are 5 Fridays in July.

So each Friday he’d somberly tell us he didn’t get in. By Thurs 7/30, he’d given up. He and Elizabeth decided to begin the process of returning the extra Student loan monies they had procured when on the very last Friday of July (7/31) he got the call. They had an apartment for him. He was elated, as were we.

Told you…

It’s been a mad dash to get him what he needs and prepare for the move this weekend. Momma Bear quickly created a shopping list and has already procured almost everything her Cub needs. This Friday, he’ll go to the Housing office, turn in paperwork, get his key and begin the move. School starts on Monday 8/17/2015.

This past Monday, while we were both sitting on the sofa enjoying some TV after a delicious dinner, I looked over at my beloved and asked,  “So, what do you expect from me during Joaquin’s move?”

“It was a honest question and I wanted to know what was expected.”

She straightened up, looked at me and replied, “I’m taking this Friday off from work to help him…” and then just stared at me, remaining motionless.

(continue reading…)

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Christmas 2014

by on Dec.24, 2014, under Creativity, Family, Musings


T’was the night before Christmas, when all through the house,
I was enjoying my favorite Christmas movie, Die Hard on the couch.
Sipping my spiked eggnog from my Santa Clause cup,
looking forward to Lethal Weapon which I’m sure was next up.

Our children weren’t nestled or snug in their beds,
Both were in there rooms, headphones on their heads.
One was actively gaming, shooting enemies in the head,
the other on her iPad watching 1Direction videos instead.

When from the guest bathroom there arose such a clatter,
it was Elizabeth noticing we had not cleaned the latter,
She was asking the ceiling very loudly indeed,
why no one had performed this important great deed.

See tomorrow is Christmas and we were hosting the show,
her family is coming with nieces, nephews and friends in tow.
She rushed to the living room and stood in front of the TV,
waiting impatiently for an answer from me.

Clearing my throat, I set my Santa cup down,
this was a bad situation that had caused her to frown.
Frustrated by no answer, she placed her hands on her hips,
then leaned forward so a whisper could escape from her lips.

“You promised you’d mount that towel bar really quick,
it’d better get done, or I’ll be worse than St Nick.”
Then away to the kitchen, she flew like a flash
and tore open the cabinet to find her cleaning stash.

She whistled and shouted and called us by name,
dispensing cleaning materials as soon as we came.
Now Emma! Now Gilberto! Now, Joaquin!
On, Comet! On, Sponges, scrub, srucb, clean, clean!

We spoke not a word, but went straight to our work,
then I mounted the towel bar which I tested with a jerk.
With a wink of her eye and a twist of her head
soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

Hosting a family gathering can sometimes be stressful,
but seeing everyone’s faces is oh so delightful!
Of course you know that this story is not all quite right,
But “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”


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Merry Christmas 2013

by on Dec.24, 2013, under Creativity, Family, Humor, Musings, Sports, Video

FCPX_BBallT’was the night before Christmas, when all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring, except Gilberto’s mouse,
Importing game footage into his Beast – the Mac Pro,
Inserting SD cards from games that seem so long ago,

Organizing my clips into series of Events,
Then clicking the import button into Final Cut Pro X.
The unedited footage was growing very fast,
I had to act quickly to keep up with the past.

When out in the backyard there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the office to see what was the matter.
I peeked through the back window and saw a white flash,
But it was only our dog Bandit playing with some sort of trash.

“BANDIT! BAD DOG!” I yell through the window,
He immediately hears me and drops his head low,
A plastic plant pot was held tight in his teeth,
And large chunks of green plastic lay at his four feet.

His look of innocence with one ear held high,
Made me smile and let out a small sigh,
This puppy reminds me of what is important,
So I whisper, “You enjoy your first Christmas with what you have broken.”

I will bring him in later this cold chilly night,
He’ll be in his crate, chewing a bone with delight.
I’ll then pass by my office and turn out the light,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”

Got a little creative this Christmas.


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† Rest in peace Max.

by on May.22, 2013, under Family, Max, Musings

We said goodbye to a dear friend yesterday – our dog, Max.

Almost 13 years ago this small abandoned puppy found us. I had just put down my dog of 11 years and was not ready to accept it, but who could say no to the beautiful eyes of my children who pleaded, “Can we keep him?! Can we keep him?! Pleeeeeaaaaaasssssseeeeeeeee!” As a family we named him, Maximus but Emmy (at 1 1/2 years old) could only pronounce “Mackz” – so we went with Max.

As an outside dog, Max took his job seriously as the protector of his family. If ever something or someone came too close to our yard, he would charge the fence and produce such the fiercest growls I’ve ever heard. Those were meant to let them know he would tear them apart if they were trying to hurt his family.

“No sir, this place, this yard, this family, IS OFF LIMITS!”

Max didn’t bark to just bark, he meant it. Even our neighbors mentioned if they heard Max bark, they knew there were people out front. Didn’t matter that they were just walking/exercising. Max saw you and let you know.

When I traveled and called home, Liz would mention she might have heard a noise. I would confidently ask, “Where’s Max? Is he barking?”

“No, he’s sleeping in the yard.”

“Then there’s nothing out there.” That would immediately calm Liz.

It was his yard, not ours. Just two weeks ago he caught and killed a nagging squirrel. He’s even killed three coral snakes and racked up so many kills that I came up with a Kill Board.

“¡Es muy Bravo, El Mackz!” My Mom would say – God rest her soul she would always use Emmy’s young pronunciation.

But his fierceness was only equaled by his playful nature with our kids. Like all family dogs, Max was more like a kid; he had many toys in the backyard, a purple ball, two soccer balls and a Tonka dump truck. When the kids went out to play, he’d grab his truck and run around the yard with it. But his favorite was the purple ball. We’d throw it across the yard and he would fetch it, drop it at our feet and look up playfully, almost saying, “Again!”

Back in Feb 2013 we took Max to our Vet because he had injured himself somehow – he couldn’t walk. We were sent home with an arthritis diagnosis, some pain medications and Max bounced right back. But three months later, Max must’ve re-aggravated the injury. Back to Vet we went but after two days, he was getting weaker, still in pain and would just lay in one spot in the yard. A weak bark would escape him if he heard the “walkers” up front though. We set up another appointment with the Vet and Joaquin and I dropped him off Tuesday morning in the hopes they could help him. Later that morning, the Vet called to tell me, “It was time.”

We gathered at the Vet’s office later that day to comfort Max and say goodbye. Max weakly wagged his tail and although still shivering from the pain, he obediently stayed close to Joaquin, finding comfort in the arms of his Master. As we all stroked his fur, Liz read a prayer and Joaquin asked if he could be there alone with his dog and we agreed. When the Vet came in, Liz and Emma said their teary goodbyes and left the room. I told my son I would wait outside, then reached over, scratched Max behind one ear and mouthed, “Goodbye dear friend.”

I hugged Liz and Emma before they left for home, then waited outside in the parking lot for Joaquin. Soon after, the door opened and  I watched my 17-year-old son, walk towards me carefully cradling his dog as tears streamed down his cheeks. Rapidly blinking and lump forming in my throat, I put on a brave face watching my young man bravely face a tough moment in his young life. He gently laid Max down in our truck and I embraced my son. His strong hug finally squeezed the tears out of me and through sobs I told him, “I know Max was very happy to be with you at the end.” “I know Dad,” he sobbed. We stood there hugging, faces buried deep into each other, comforting each other and after a few minutes, we took deep breaths, wiped our noses with the back of our hands then drove home with tear filled eyes.

I was hurting but it was rough to see my children hurt as well.  

At home, Joaquin carried Max to the backyard and as a family, we buried him under the Mesquite tree behind our fence. My heart swells with the love I have for my son and his dog. Joaquin stayed with Max until the end.

† Max, you were one of the best dogs we’ve ever had be part of this family. Whatever dog is guarding the pearly gates of Heaven better look out, there’s a tough smart candidate on his way that wants the job.


PS. The tree he’s buried under was always being used by those pesky squirrels to get into our yard, I won’t be surprised if I hear a muffled, “Ruff” from the area.


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