Month: February 2016

Suit Up

“I know lots of people who die in their twenties but aren’t buried until their eighties.”

Sometimes I feel like that person. I feel like I put a hold on who I am or who I wanted to be for this adventure known as parenting. It isn’t true but that doesn’t change the fact that I feel like that sometimes.

The other day I went with Supermom to a department store to do some suit shopping. I am not much of a suit guy although I should be because I look damn good in one. That day was no different. I found pants that wore like silk, a jacket that felt custom made, a shirt that screamed, and a tie that popped. Man what a feeling. Like leaving the dentist office as a kid, I was all smiles.

The next week I wore my new suit and got a compliment. Boom! Smile high again. I really should wear more suits. It will be hard to reconcile with my love of nerdy t-shirts but maybe I can get those t-shirt phrases printed on a snazzy tie. That would be a good combo for me.

It felt good to spend some money on myself. To put in a little more effort than eight year old khaki cargo shorts and light grey New Balance shoes. I love both of those things but, as the young lady at the Bruno Mars concert informed me, I am “a little behind the times”. Not to be threatened by a young twenty-something, I flipped on the most fashionable show I could think of; Keeping Up With The Kardashians. I noticed Bruce has started wearing dresses and goes by Kaitlyn now. I felt a little sad. While I can certainly understand the freedom and comfort of a full length cotton sundress, I just don’t think that style is for me.Plus I would never stop touching my boobs. I may never be considered fashionable. I will stick to my shorts, t-shirts, and (as my wife calls them) my Jesus sandals.

Sidenote: If Jesus wore black knee socks with his sandals it might better explain the outpouring of rage during the crucifixion. I hear that is a major no-no.

Anyway. Suit or not, I think it is important to keep perspective on who we are as people and know that family, marriage, jobs, and life don’t impede our path. All those things are part of our life and our story. They are as unchangeable as the law of gravity or the fact that every single time I see Ted Cruz I also see Grandpa Munster.


Unavoidable really. 

My life with Supermom so far has been a blur. One day I looked up and we are no longer living with a house that requires blankets and space heaters to keep warm. Where our neighbors turn tricks on the street corner within earshot of our front porch. We have graduated to a house with a two car garage that we promptly crammed so full of junk we couldn’t use it. We have four beautiful children, grown up cars, and a never relenting pile of dishes and laundry that feel like concrete blocks around my feet whenever I want to cook something or put on pants. Our dog is basically a zombie. Although instead of eating brains she just wanders aimlessly and pisses on random things.

Life is good. We are coming up on the decade mark in our marriage and it doesn’t feel like that long at all. I am amazed at all of the things we have experienced and the memories that we collected. Especially, a few of the times when life felt heavy. Those are the richest memories of all.

I blame my children for our current level of awesomeness. I can say for certain that without them I wouldn’t be where I am today. I definitely wouldn’t be writing. I wouldn’t be as loving and understanding of a person. I also wouldn’t be as fat but if you have to trade something, I guess trading health for happiness is something biology encourages (see also: addiction).

Plus kids are entertaining. The other night we were enjoying dinner and Threeto wanted another piece of corn. All the corn had been eaten but Prima still had her corn-on-the-cob on her plate. I asked her, “Did you not want to eat your corn?” She answered, “No I just suck corn. I’m a cob sucker.” I informed her sister that there was no more corn and I left the room to go pray to all the gods of the universe to try and fix Prima’s inappropriate phrasing. I didn’t feel ready to articulate why “I’m a cob sucker” is not a great phrase to throw around in public so I just left it alone. Maybe she won’t share that again.

If you are feeling philosophical today, this post is for you. You’re welcome. Sorry for the rambling. The quote at the beginning really had me thinking about random tidbits so that is what you got. Hope you enjoyed it. Also, if you have a really cool idea for a 10th Anniversary present/celebration then share it in the comments or on my Facebook page.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.

My Inheritance

I’m trying to catch up with life this week.

We registered Don Threeto for Kindergarten. I don’t know if the public school system is ready but August is coming whether they like it or not.


Meanwhile my friend’s son drew a picture of a superhero named Goober. I don’t even want to know what his sidekick is. 

Supermom and I thought that we did a good thing this week. It turned out to be further proof that your children just want to beat down every effort that parents make to be decent human beings. There are six of us living in a three bedroom house. Three of the girls sleep in one room and Lady Bug has her own. We felt like terrible people because Lady Bug was actually still sleeping in a crib but she seemed to like it. Fairness seemed to dictate that we get an even two people per room. Never-the-less, we decided it was high time that each girl have their own bed.

A few hundred dollars and two twin beds later and it is bedtime. Can anyone predict what happened? I’ll tell you. The four children, who each seemed so excited about the change from two real beds and two half beds to four full twin beds, ended up pairing up with each other because they didn’t like being in separate rooms. We could have simply thrown two beds away and ended up in the same situation.

What else? Let’s see… a fish named Vacuum died. He was the only one that survived our initial attempt at an aquarium. When things went south, he was moved to an aquarium at my work. That brave slime sucker made it about four years. Rest in peace Vacuum.


Speaking of memorials. I need to give a shout-out. Uncle Herbie’s memorial service was this past weekend and magically I ended up with a mysterious cardboard box of magazines that I remember discovering in my younger years. I consider it a final gift. Thanks Herbie. You will be missed but thanks to your superior pack-rat skills, Ms. January of 1991 will live on.


How did I not know that Ronald Reagan had a naughty daughter? Nice. She wasn’t nearly as adamant about taking down the iron curtain as her father was. 

There is a new litter of baby bunnies so I’m sure that I won’t escape without some new member of the family. Hopefully we can go a month without losing a pet.


The battle of the pumpkins continues well into February 2016. I have a series of photos to get you back up to speed. The basic plot is that I didn’t dispose of them in a timely fashion, I refuted the fact that it was my responsibility, Supermom countered with indifference, and now we are acting like they don’t exist while they rot into nothingness.



Pumpkins 9


If you are enjoying a whirlwind life and having trouble getting all the notes on paper, this post is for you. You’re welcome.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.

Road Rage

We are all hypocrites. I promise. I have an easy example.

Anyone with a beating heart can watch a telethon for St. Jude or listen to sad music as a backdrop to even sadder animals and become blubbering babies. Fifteen minutes of either and I am ready to mail the shirt off my back. I start considering selling everything I own and opening a shelter for stray animals. I can be moved to tears by videos of human kindness. At times it seems my empathy knows no bounds. And then…

Contrast this depth of human compassion with the unfiltered rage that I feel when the car in front of me forgets to turn off their blinker. The human threshold for tolerating a blinking turn signal is four blinks. After four the brain starts to fixate on the blinking light. It starts wondering what this taunting strobe could possibly mean. The questions build on each other a feed a kind of panic.

Is the driver unconscious? Gosh I hope not. I don’t know if my CPR certification is still in date…

Is the turn signal broken? They have to notice. It makes a clicking sound. Everyone notices a blinker…

Are they elderly? Maybe they are afraid to take their hands off of the wheel and turn the signal off. Nope I can see them in the rearview. They are young enough to be aware…

Is this the first wave of terrorists engaging in psychological warfare by driving Americans into an epileptic rage; turning brother against brother and igniting civil war part II? For the love of all that is holy turn off your fucking blinker before I switch to missiles and save humanity by wiping your sorry ass off the map! I will BEAT YOU WITH A TORQUE WRENCH! OH MY GOD, this thing is STILL. BLINIKING. The end of the earth is nigh. I didn’t prepare well enough. I don’t have non-GMO seeds, a hoard of ammunition, or nearly enough potable water.

When will this merciless siege on humanity end? I’m not ready for the apocalypse, I’m still a young man… Oh wait. They finally turned. Never mind.

Seriously though. What is it about road rage that taps directly into our bucket of hate? It makes me wonder if Hitler was a normal guy and then one day a Jewish lady cut him off in traffic and he thought, “That’s it. I’m rising to power and ending this lady’s entire cultural way of life.” Probably not, that would be a bit extreme, but from some of the road rage incidents I have witnessed, it isn’t out of the question.

If you struggle with rational emotions while driving, this post is for you. Tell me what your all-time worst, trigger moments are.

Oh and just for your information; The cover photo for this post is of a man who was using electric clippers to shave his head while driving. I followed him for about three miles. He was using both hands, the thing had a cord, and I’m pretty sure he was driving with his knees. These people are on the roads.

-Underdaddy to the rescue.

Uncle Herbie

I have heard it said that life is short but I prefer the idea that, “Life is not short, it is the longest thing you will do.” It makes me feel like there is plenty of room to be memorable. To make a mark.

My uncle Herbie died a few days ago. He was my uncle by marriage and has actually been my ex-uncle for several years. I didn’t feel any differently about him but I also didn’t see him much recently. The news of his death was sad but felt disconnected from my life until I had some time to think about it. Losing anyone who has been part of your life is hard to process.

My first memory of my uncle Herbie is actually, a memory of my cousin and I sneaking into his attic and digging out a pile of magazines from an innocuous looking cardboard box. I had never seen so many boobs but I was a little confused about why all the women seemed to have a beard below their bellybuttons. Thank goodness those magazines were from the eighties. I don’t know if we could have handled the full-blown truth of the shorn Playboy women of the nineties. I remember much more than a box of nudy-magazines.

I remember that Herbie always had a luxurious head of hair, something like Bob Segar mixed with Fabio. He played lots of instruments prodigiously and loved to perform. I remember several jam sessions and singing in their musical household. Herbie was a true product of the 70’s and a pretty cool dude. Today I learned that he was even more interesting than that. My aunt sent me a letter that she found on Herbie’s computer. A letter he wrote about his life and there is something in the words that is both sad and beautiful.

I was born in Bolivar, Tenn. Dec. 29, 1954, around 11:30 pm. My father was in the army ( Korea at the time.) so I became an army brat, never living in any one place longer than 3 years. I referred to our family as the “winds of the world”, Georgia, Kansas, Tennessee, Missouri and three different cities in Germany, on our whirlwind tour of life. My high school years were in Germany so I have especially fond memories of those years. High school trips and sports allowed me to see most of Germany, with special clubs in school such as the ski club, which took us several times to Krimmel, Austria to ski in the Alps. Also our youth church group had 2 week summer and winter retreats in Berchtesgaden. We returned to the USA at the end of my junior year, in which I attended Central High in Bolivar but then went to Ft Leonard Wood, Missouri for my senior year. I enjoyed my youth and school and especially the opportunity of experiencing different environments and cultures.

My parents cared for us children and provided everything they could. Army pay was limited but they always made do and supported us in most endeavors we chose. Discipline was rigid and immediate, but we learned its lessons quickly with few repeats of that behavior or deed. I have two younger sisters, Denise and JoAnn so I was protectorate and role model for them. In our early years we were very close but in later years with adulthood, life distanced us from each other.

At times I seemed to be a bully magnet. I will always remember the name Searcy Spears until the day I am laid to rest. Man he was rough and once he caught me and his girlfriend caught Denise and we both got ass-whupped at the circus in Nurenberg.

I began, as soon as I could, to participate in sports at school, mainly football and soccer. I went out for basketball in my freshman year and ( why I’ll never know cause I don’t, haven’t and will never play basketball ) saw right away that this wasn’t for me but I saw the wrestlers in the other end of the gym and said, “That’s it.” I wrestled all through high school, but was just too small for football. I became a fair wrestler, winning some, losing some, winning a big one in front of our school’s first assembly to feature wrestling. I beat Jeffery Packs from Jefferson, Missouri who was the state champ the prior year, impressively I won in the first set!

After high school graduation in 1972, and on Halloween day, I joined the U.S. Navy, with boot camp at Waukegan, Illinois. Then to San Diego, California, for hospital corpsman training, touring in Memphis, before returning to California and Camp Pendleton, California for training as a marine field medical corpsman. After much grunt training with desert training in 29 Palms, California, I went to Okinawa, Japan for my final 13 months in service. While there I also went to the Philippines and mainland Japan, Tokyo during my overseas tour.

After my discharge in 1976, I attended Jackson State Community College for a while studying “campusology”. Then on to Bolivar where I began working at Western Mental Health Institution as a psychiatric technician for about 2 years. I left there and went to Tishomingo Miss. to work as a laborer on the nuclear power plant, which when it closed, I did odd jobs such as lettering boats. My next employer was for a stroke victim, Herman Gann – President of Piggly Wiggly Corporation, as his valet, chauffeur and attendant. I would drive him to board meetings in Birmingham and conventions in New Orleans, and anywhere else he wanted to go.

Returning to Tenn. in 1981, I again was employed at WMHI as assistant teacher/counselor at the Timber Springs Adolescent Unit, when I married my first wife, Judy. During this time I decided to improve my financial standing so I attended the JSCC Radiology Technology course, which I passed Magna Cum Laude.

I worked at Jackson Madison County Hospital for 5 years as a Special Procedures Tech. Upon my divorce I wanted a new start and began working at Regional Hospital of Jackson, third shift, and was there for over ten years.

In 1992 I met and fell in love with Pam whom I married 3-3-93 at 3:00pm (so we would never forget). She was truly the love of my life and she has made a better person of me. We were very happy for many years.

I helped raise stepsons in both my marriages. We had the usual conflicts and managed to work through confrontations satisfactorily. I’m proud to say I helped raise two fine sons. I haven’t had contact with Adrian for a long time. Pam’s son, Jesse, and I had a special connection because of our mutual love of music. I was fortunate to be able to be an active band parent, and was even elected President of the Northside High School Band Boosters. We are now connected by our military service. Jesse is an Army helicopter pilot; flying Kiowa’s. He has served 3 deployments, one to Iraq and 2 to Afghanistan, earning many medals and accommodations, his Bronze Medal being my favorite! I am so very proud of Jesse in his accomplishments, and feel that he IS my son.

I am a musician and love most music with a melody. I play guitar, mandolin and harmonica fluently, but play some piano and banjo as well. I attempt to play any instrument I pick up. I’ve always enjoyed performing but have particularly fond memories of impromptu concerts with my fellow enlisted musicians while in the Navy. I’ve also performed in local businesses since settling in Jackson. Now days my performances take place in my home and for my own pleasure.


Herbie didn’t finish his letter and I can’t help but feel that, like his life, it was cut short.

There were a couple of things that jumped out at me. The first one is that Herbie spent a good part of his life drifting. I don’t think it is a stretch to say that my aunt was a bit of a free spirit herself. I think it is beautiful that they drifted into each other at a McDonalds and somehow found love and stability that made them both better people. Herbie became a step-father to my cousin and even though things weren’t always easy, they shaped each other’s lives. Herbie shared a love of music and gave Jesse a frame of reference for being a step-parent (something that I am sure is relevant to his life today). Jesse gave Herbie the joy of seeing a gift passed to the next generation. In fact, one of the greatest gifts you can give anyone is purpose; a feeling that life was worth the effort. I can see in Herbie’s words that he enjoyed the life he lived and saw value in the things he did.

It feels surreal to read something like his letter. To be looking over his shoulder as he pours his life onto the page. I wish everyone would write a cliff notes style autobiography. Imagine a world where you can read someone’s account of themselves and the things that shaped who they are. To see what you meant to someone and to understand what they mean to you would make the world a better place.

Herbie Moore died on February 2nd 2016 but on lots of days before that one… he lived.

Thank you Herbie for being part of our story.