Thursday, February 26, 2009

Well...we have a new Palko.

That is right, Charlie John Joseph Taylor was born yesterday, February 25th, 2009 at 5:21pm, weighing in at 8lbs 13oz.

He is a charming, intelligent, thoughtful, chivalrous and considerate young lad. Or, at least I am pretty sure those traits can be seen in his little tiny eyes.

What can I say?! I'm a very proud uncle and am completely abusing this blog to swell with pride over my nephew. I have three incredible nieces (Hi Hannah, Emily and Keelan!)...but this is my first nephew, so it means that I can take a break from Dora the Explorer toys and buy him a Nerf Football.

And a little mini tux. Why does a little kid need a tux? I have no idea, but he's getting one because little guys in tuxes is funny.

So, in case any of you would like to see some pics of Charlie - here are a few hot off the press:

Now, does that not look like a future Notre Dame quarterback?!

Ok, pressure on the poor little guy, but I'm just sayin'.

So, here it is. In the spirit of countless other people who have ever done this for their own children/nieces/nephews/grandchildren/etc. I would like to take a second to offer you, Charlie, a few insights that hopefully one day will provide the slightest ray of clarity, when needed:

(in no particular order):

- Hold doors open for people
- Pray
- Keep your word
- Play sports
- Don't play so many video games
- Call your Mom...she's already worried about you
- Unless you're in one of your Uncles
- Don't get put in jail
- Be protective of your older sister because even though she won't show it all the time, she's always looking out for you
- No matter how much time you spend on Facebook, your cell phone, the internet, etc...learn how to speak with people. Technology makes people lonely - people make people feel accepted.
- Play an instrument
- Never hit your mother. Ever.
- Be good with yourself...the rest will follow
- Do what you love
- You are one piece of this planet and you can do ANYTHING. But, the world does not revolve around you, so you have to look out for others.
- Travel
- Be honest
- Go to Church
- Tell your Mom and Dad and Sister you love them. Because, they love you.

Welcome to the family, Charlie. It's great to have you.

Uncle Flow

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I haven't seen my backyard since the end of October.

I mean, I look out my window and there is a space - a solid, earth-filled, lot-size calculable yard. But, for the past four months it hasn't been itself. Like Oreos with strawberry filling, Hendrix on the accordion, or the Godfather Part III - the heart of the natural genius still exists, but it is alive in a form that is just a bit off.

In this case, my backyard has been the Snow-zen Tundra of Brights Grove for too long and it is time that Mr. Sun wakes the hell up, melts my fine friend 'Frozen Precipitation' away and lets my backyard return to me again.

This past Sunday was the Super Bowl - and what do guys do on Super Bowl? They eat. I mean, sure we intake sustenance on a daily basis, but on this annual event, we REALLY eat. Chili, pizza, dogs and sweets are our temporary four food groups from 2pm until after the game. That being said - and considering I was hosting a few good buddies for the big game - what better idea could I have than to crack open the barbecue and surprise these gents with some middle-of-the-summer, open-flame, goodness?

Then it hit me - I also have not seen my barbecue since October. That poor, suffering, phenomenal tool of deliciousness has been engulfed by the same snow that I enjoyed the novelty of in November, became annoyed at December, cursed at in January, and to which I'm now admitting defeat in February. No, barbecued meat was not be had for the Super Bowl this year because getting to the most important cooking utensil of all would have required a week's worth of training and having a rescue team on standby should I fail in my attempt.

The silver lining is that February is, indeed, here. That means the days do get slightly longer - and I can actually see my shell of a backyard until later in the evening. I can peer out the windows staring at the place I used to sit on the patio, enjoying a drink with friends after an ultra-low round of golf - all for an extra hour because it is not pitch black at 5pm anymore. The tide is turning our way and shortly, our land will once again be reclaimed. Sure, that little Groundhog SOB predicted six more weeks of winter, but hey, if I knew I could jump back into a cozy little abode and get forty-or-so more days of shuteye, I'd make that declaration, too. But, such is not the case for us humans - we have to break out our shovels, scrape our windshields, knock the excess off our shoes and hope that tomorrow will bring brighter hopes and suns rays.

So, to all of you who miss your backyards - I say this: Keep your heads high, your feet warm and your BBQ lighters ready...Oreos were never meant to be pink forever and your backyard shall be yours again.