Wednesday, October 27, 2010

All Hallows Month

When I was a kid, Halloween was on October 31st. We figured out what our costume was going to be sometime between October 25th and the 30th, and we dressed up for one night and set out on a mission for candy with our pillowcase in hand to hold the loot. Our costumes were simple, and consisted of clothes or cardboard and duct tape that we already had at home. The houses in the neighborhood were decorated with a single jack-o-lantern and a porch light that was turned off.

These days, Halloween is still on the 31st, but it has turned into a month-long event. We purchase our kid’s costumes at giant seasonal Halloween warehouse stores, and we do it in September. The kids wear their costumes to school, birthday parties, church functions, and around the house throughout the month of October. By the time Halloween night finally rolls around, the kids are putting the costume back on for the 200th time. Families begin preparing their houses for the big night promptly on October 1st. There is no time to spare. The house must be decorated from sidewalk to roof.

To be honest, I’m not even sure why we have Halloween anymore. In my day, we trick-or-treated to get candy. Plain and simple. We never had candy the rest of the year. At least, we didn’t at my house.

If you do not currently have small children, you may not be aware of a disturbing trend in birthday parties and get-togethers known as “The Gift Bag.” These days when kids attend a birthday party, the guests all go home with a “thanks-for-coming” goody bag full of little toys and candy. That strange new development, combined with the fact that almost every party has a piñata, has my children bringing home more candy from one birthday party than I saw all year as a kid.

And, let’s talk about pumpkins for a minute. I don’t really remember where my parents purchased our pumpkins when I was growing up. We may have gone to a pumpkin patch, or maybe they just picked them up at the store. One thing is for sure, we did not buy them at an amusement park like my kids do. Somewhere between my youth and my becoming a parent, the pumpkin patch turned into Disneyland for Vine Fruit. There are parking fees, parking attendants, gate fees, gate attendants, food pavilions with $8 hot dogs, train rides, petting zoos, side shows, giant play structures, face painting, cotton candy, stroller parking, support staff, hay rides, pig races, haunted barns, and… oh, yeah… pumpkins.

And how about the change in decorating for this “holiday?” Gone is the simple one jack-o-lantern porch. My wife has no less than three huge plastic storage tubs on our garage shelves dedicated to Halloween decorations. She chooses to mix genres when it comes to the outdoor decorations. We have the cutesy country décor hay bale and scarecrow on the front porch, combined with the spooky giant spider web and grotesquely large furry black spiders guarding the front door. We have eight small ghosts flying around underneath our tree on the front lawn, and they have been vigilantly guarding the place for three weeks now.

You will notice I said “outdoor” decorations. One very big change since my youth is the addition of indoor decorations for this all-important month-long holiday. We have Frankenstein on our sliding glass door. We have ghosts on our microwave. The boys have ghost and goblin pillow cases. We have a four-foot-tall witch on our staircase landing. We have a wood carving of the word “Boo.” We have scary napkins. There is something Halloweeny in every room in our house. Yes, every room. We actually have fuzzy jack-o-lantern floor mat/toilet seat cover combos for the bathrooms. Our toilets have been reminding us of the impending All Hallows Eve since October 3rd. That’s different.

I think the biggest change I’ve seen over the years, however, has been the change in the point of Halloween. The reason for the season, if you will. In my grandpa’s day, Halloween was a night of mischief. He and his friends used to roam around on October 31st performing one simple, yet effective prank on as many homes as they could hit in one night. They would sneak into the backyard and move the outhouse. Apparently, most outhouses just sat over the hole without much foundation, and they would slide them backward, just one outhouse width, so the hole was open to the world in front of the door. They were hoping for the inevitable outcome if the homeowner didn’t notice the outhouse had been moved in the dark. (I’ll let you take it from there.) And if you happened to get a backside full of birdshot while relocating someone’s commode, well, that was simply the price you paid for having so much fun.

In my day, we went out on Halloween to make sure our neighbors were following the rules. We felt we were owed candy, much like a mob boss is owed protection money. We said, “trick or treat,” and we meant it. If there was no treat, there was going to be a trick. The older kids had eggs or soap for the windows. Fair was fair. We wore costumes for the same reason armed robbers wear ski masks - anonymity. People had candy by the front door out of self defense more than anything else. When someone decorated their house above and beyond the single jack-o-lantern, they were actually trying to scare the kids away, not entertain them. Halloween was a night run by the kids and tolerated by the adults.

Today, in the suburban neighborhoods across this land, Halloween has been hijacked by the adults. We adorn our front lawns and living rooms for our own amusement, often competing with our neighbors in a game of decoration one-upsmanship that used to be reserved only for Christmas lights. We buy our kids expensive costumes so they can look just like a Star Wars storm trooper or Hannah Montana as we escort them from house to house and congratulate each other on how cool the front lawn graveyard looks with this year’s addition of the fog machine. If people don’t have candy, or no one’s home, we just say, “Oh, well,” and move on to the next house.

What is that all about? We’ve managed to get way off point here. How will our kids ever know what Halloween is really all about?

Come to think of it, what is Halloween really all about? It’s been a weird deal since its inception. Moving outhouses? Defacing your neighbor’s property as part of a sucrose extortion racket? That’s just plain strange.

The more I think about it, the more I think this new trend is a good thing. I mean, there’s always a truck-load of candy at the end of the night that I get to commandeer for my own consumption, my outhouse hardly ever gets moved anymore, and I never have to try to get soap off my windows. Plus, my boys get into enough mischief the other 364 days of the year as it is. I guess it’s OK if we’ve moved away from the annual night of mandated mayhem toward a kinder, gentler Halloween.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go turn on the hydraulics for the automatic creaky coffin lid and re-fill the water tank on the new fog machine. I am SO going to out-do my neighbor Bob this year!

See you soon,

Copyright © 2010 Marc Schmatjen

Have kids? Have grandkids? Need a great gift?
Go to today and get your copy of “My Giraffe Makes Me Laugh,” Marc’s exciting new children’s book. Get ready for a wild rhyming adventure!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Hearty Soccer Dad

My wife is very sneaky. Either that, or I don’t listen. I prefer to think of her as sneaky, but it’s probably the latter. Either way, due to her sneakiness or my inability to pay attention, this past spring I ended up being a baseball coach without my prior knowledge. I showed up to my oldest son’s first T-ball practice ready to watch from the bleachers, and she handed me a jersey and a hat and said, “By the way, you’re coaching.”

“What!?! Honey, I have no idea what the schedule looks like! I don’t have a clue if I can make any of the practices or the games!”

“Don’t worry, you can make all of them.”

“Oh, OK... Well kids, who wants to try to hit my curve ball?”

“It’s T-ball, honey.”

“OK. Who wants to make dirt circles with their cleats?”

So, toward the end of this summer when my wife casually mentioned that our oldest would be starting soccer this year, I immediately got defensive.

“Honey, I don’t know the first thing about soccer! It’s been 32 years since I played AYSO, and I was a goalie, because I didn’t understand it then, either. There is no way I can…”

“Relax, Captain Overreaction, you’re not the coach.”

“OK, great. When’s the first game?”

After experiencing coaching kindergarteners first-hand, I was looking forward to a relaxing soccer season, sitting on the sidelines in my lawn chair, leading my two youngest boys in “Ra-Ra-Sis-Boom-Ba” cheers as we watched their older brother dominate the field and score goal after exciting goal.

That didn’t happen.

I arrived with my family at the Rocklin soccer fields the first Saturday morning completely unprepared for what I would experience. Not unprepared in a “did we forget something?” sense, because believe me, we didn’t. The soccer game was only scheduled to last one hour, but I was packing more gear than I would normally take camping for a week. Chairs, blankets, water bottles, snacks, beach umbrellas, shade tents, hats, jackets, coolers… we almost didn’t fit in the Ford Expedition.

I had inquired a couple of times to my wife that morning as to why we needed so much stuff, to which she finally responded, “Shut up and help me close this tailgate.”

I started to get a feel for the program when we turned down the street toward the soccer fields. I remember the soccer fields of my youth looking something like this: grass fields with goals on each end with kids playing soccer and parents standing on the sidelines watching. I saw none of that at first. What I saw looked like a cross between an upscale refugee camp and the midway at a state fair. Shade tents were everywhere, but it was only 78 degrees. There were four soccer fields laid out side by side, and the areas in between them were so full of chairs, blankets, umbrellas, shade tents and coolers that it was hard to discern which field they were set up to view.

Twenty minutes later, after I had unloaded the car, we began to make our way past the ends of the fields, looking for the field that my son would soon dominate. At the first field I noticed that each team had a 4 x 8-foot vinyl banner, staked into the ground on their respective sidelines, being held in place with very well-made PVC banner stands. The banners weren’t homemade. They were the real deal, straight out of the custom print shop. Any U.S. corporation would be proud to have banners that nice at their next trade show. They were professionally printed, emblazoned with the team names and artistic logos. One had a flaming soccer ball and the other had an alligator wearing soccer cleats. They both had all the players' names on them, ensuring only one season of useful life.

“What couple of over-achiever parents came up with those?” I wondered aloud.

“Every team has one, including ours. You helped pay for it.”

“I did what?... This is the five and six-year-old league, right?”

“Get over it, sweetheart.”

We reached our field, and the other team dads and I spent the next 20 minutes setting up our tent city. By the time we finished, it was game time. Time for my son to dominate the soccer field!

I have already mentioned that I was unprepared for this new experience. This was not due to the game being more thrilling than I had anticipated. My son didn’t dominate anything. No child on the field dominated anything. The hopeful feelings I had about an exciting and action-packed soccer match quickly vanished with the first play near the goal.

We had the ball.
One of our boys kicked the ball toward the opposing goal.
The parents leaned forward in their seats.
He stood and admired his kick.
The other players stood and admired his kick.
The ball rolled in front of the goal.
The goalie, not two feet from the ball, stood and admired his kick.
Some of our players and some of their players ran toward the ball.
The parents leapt to their feet in anticipation of a happening of some kind.
The two teams' players arrived at the ball at the same time.
They stopped.
No one was sure whose turn it was to kick it.
They discussed it.
The parents lurched forward, hearts in their throats, shouting, “Kick it!”
No one kicked it.
The goalie wandered over and picked it up.
The parents fell back into their seats, hands thrown into the air, looking at each other with desperate and wild eyes.
“Why didn’t they kick it?”

We repeated that process no less than 40 times over the course of the first half.

There is the emotion and thrill of a fast-paced professional sporting event, and then there is the raw, gut-wrenching, breath-taking angst that comes from a sporting event where nothing is happening like it should. The sheer amount of highs and lows we experienced inside a five minute period was enough to leave a healthy adult gasping for air. My head pounded. My heart palpitated. My palms sweated. I was emotionally and physically drained. And absolutely nothing had happened.

When the other team finally scored a goal against us in the third quarter, it was strangely welcome. They had scored against us, which was not the situation I was rooting for, but at the same time, I was so darned relieved that an actual play had occurred with an actual outcome, I found myself happy and momentarily at peace. When the post-goal wave of normalcy rolled over me, I realized for the first time that day just how tense the game was making me.

I’m not sure what it is about soccer. I mean, nothing worked quite right when I coached these same aged boys and girls in T-ball, but it wasn’t nearly as nerve-racking to watch. It probably has to do with the fact that the soccer ball is always in play, so we the parents are always expecting the players to actually keep playing. When they stop with the ball at center field to inspect the grass or chase a butterfly, it is tolerable, and even humorous to witness. But when the ball is mere inches from the goal and all the players seem to suddenly forget what to do next, the breathless anticipation is almost too much to bear.

Whatever the reason, I was watching five and six-year-olds play soccer, and the emotional strain was so great, I was actually starting to worry about a possible sideline heart attack. I’m almost 40 now. I have to start taking my heart health seriously!

So, after the game, the team dads got together and we decided to all chip in and buy one of those portable defibrillators. The way we figure it, if the kids don’t improve to a level of at least kicking the ball and following it, the chances are pretty good that one of us is going down before the season is over.

It was an expensive unit, but we decided, what the heck, we already bought an expensive banner, and there’s no way that thing is going to save one of our lives. I guess when we finally revive the first poor, unfortunate dad who succumbs to the cardiac arrest-inducing inaction on the field, we can always break down the PVC stand and use the banner as a stretcher.

See you soon,

Copyright © 2010 Marc Schmatjen

Have kids? Have grandkids? Need a great gift?
Go to today and get your copy of “My Giraffe Makes Me Laugh,” Marc’s exciting new children’s book. Get ready for a wild rhyming adventure!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Hot Chicks and Cool Dudes - Re-Post

Original posting 07-07-2008
Enjoy, and stay cool.

One of the main differences between men and women can be seen in the simple truth about ambient temperature. Men are comfortable in a thirty-degree temperature range, and the range is the same for all men. From 56 degrees Fahrenheit to 86 men will do just fine. Some may be a little sweatier or chillier than others, but no one is complaining. This range is hardwired in the male DNA and stays the same from birth until death.

Women on the other hand, are comfortable in only a three-degree range, and not only does that range vary widely from women to women, but throughout the course of an individual women’s day, week, month, year, and lifespan, it will jump all over the board.

These are indisputable facts. You just can’t argue with science. This disparity in the comfort zones of the sexes invariably leads to problems when men and women attempt to share an office, car, home, bed, table at a restaurant, tent, etc. The issue is most often solved by adjusting the temperature to fit the female’s needs. As long as the three-degree range is still falling in the male comfort zone, everyone gets along. If there are two or more women sharing the same space, the inevitable problem is usually solved with layers. It is not uncommon to visit an office where the secretary in the blouse with the personal electric desk fan is working right along side the HR manager in the parka with the personal electric space heater.

Financial issues can arise from this problem when men and women get married and buy a house that contains a thermostat. Men will do some rudimentary math, and pick one temperature to keep the house livable, foolishly assuming that this temperature will be acceptable for the entire season. Little do they know that the temperature they picked will not even be acceptable for an entire seven minutes. Women who normally complain that the clock radio is too complicated can decipher a thirty-eight-button, eleven-switch thermostat in a matter of minutes and operate any home’s A/C system like they were seated at a NASA control center. In many cases the temperature swings during the day are so violent that a man can actually see the money being sucked out of the double-pane windows.

I think the temperature issue is a physical manifestation of a psychological difference in the sexes. Women are genetically programmed to worry about more things than men are. I have no idea why, but again, you can’t argue with science. When women have no life-threatening situations to deal with, they will inevitably begin to search out things to be concerned about, often making things up to fret over. Hair, weight, money, age, wrinkles, relationships with friends, relationships with co-workers, me-time, us-time, down time, play dates, date night, pre-partum, partum, post-partum, carpet, color palates, window treatments, balanced diets, safety recalls, consumer reports, outdoor tableware, biological clocks, school districts, undercooked poultry, guest lists, footwear, closet organization, furniture, pediatricians, and the list goes on and on. And on.

With men, pretty much twenty-nine days out of the month if the cars are running OK and the house isn’t on fire, it’s all good.

So I hypothesize that women, being less comfortable inside about all the little things in life, try to micro-manage the external temperature settings to feel more comfortable outside. A way to gain some measure of control over their surroundings when life seems otherwise wildly out of control. Either that, or it’s a hormone thing and they actually are less comfortable. What do I know?

See you soon,

Copyright © 2010 Marc Schmatjen

Have kids? Have grandkids? Need a great gift?
Go to today and get your copy of “My Giraffe Makes Me Laugh,” Marc’s exciting new children’s book. Get ready for a wild rhyming adventure!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Day the Internet Died

It happened at 3:14pm on Wednesday, October 6th, 2010. It was a day like any other day. Millions of people across the country were at work. A vast majority of them were bored, because it was 3:14pm on a Wednesday. One of the most bored, Bob Singleton, sat at his computer in his six by six standard office-gray cubicle. He was a mid-level manager of the inside salesmen at Sparteck Industries in Sandusky, Ohio. It would later be uncovered that his computer terminal, in the northwest corner of the third floor, in the nondescript concrete and glass office building at 3rd and West, was ground zero for the largest electronics melt-down the world had ever seen.

As I said, Bob was bored. Google’s home page was on his screen. He was searching for himself. He was searching for cat videos. He was searching for videos of dads getting hit in the groin by their son’s Wiffle Ball bats. Those videos cracked him up. Then it occurred to him… What if he asked Google to search for Google? What would happen? That could be funny. With his two index fingers, he typed g-o-o-g-l-e, and at 3:14:28 on 10-06-2010, he hit “Enter.”

Google diligently began its search.
0.0032 seconds later, the search engine back-traced the search string because its findings led back to the original search criteria. Then it started over. As the search repeatedly produced the same unanswered question, the search engine began using more and more server bandwidth in an effort to solve the problem, something the Google engineers had designed into the program without ever having thought of this one simple scenario. The search engine was stuck in a logic loop – sometimes called a “divide by zero” error – and there was no exit ramp on the circular path. The circle just kept getting bigger.

At Google headquarters in Mountain View, California, the ballooning bandwidth being used for one search set off alarms that had previously never been heard. One Google accountant was so shocked, she assumed the building was under attack from Bing, and leapt from a second story window. Fortunately, she landed on one of the many corporate bean-bags used to make Google seem like a really cool place to work, unencumbered by “the man.” Ironically, as an accountant, she knew all too well the truth. She had always scoffed at those bean-bags, but not today.

Three seconds before the Google servers did the digital equivalent of eating themselves, the engineering manager on duty figured out what had happened, but it was too late. Google was offline.

The chain reaction that followed was cataclysmic. Google Chrome was offline. Minutes later, Microsoft Internet Explorer went down because nearly 99% of all applications rely on the Google Toolbar. The engineers would later discover that even Bing was using Google Toolbar, much to the chagrin of Microsoft. Windows was immediately rendered useless, although the engineers never did figure out if that was due to the crash, or just another Windows bug.

With Microsoft and Google down for the count, all mobile devices except for the iPhone went offline. Skype, texting, and even the camera functions quit working. All digital cell tower traffic ceased, rendering even the least-used function of the mobile devices, the phone, totally useless. Apple’s iPhones and their other super-cool small white devices lasted another 2-1/2 minutes, but finally succumbed to the meltdown due to the ill-fated Microsoft Office Applications recently integrated into the otherwise pristine machines. There were unconfirmed reports that some non-Wi-Fi enabled iPads kept working during the catastrophe, but the forensic engineers could neither confirm or deny those rumors after the fact, primarily because no one really knew what they were for in the first place.

With all mobile devices gone black, millions and millions of young adults, ages 16 to 28, were completely offline for the first time in their lives. Their reactions ran the gamut from unbridled panic to catatonic paralysis. Most just began wandering helplessly in the streets, attempting to text each other on blank, black screens, weeping softly. No one was really sure how to help them, because they were unable to communicate their needs verbally, and their handwriting was completely illegible.

The nation had gone to Electronic DEFCON-5 in a matter of 7-1/2 minutes.

When President Obama was alerted to the situation, he was conveniently already in the Situation Room, dealing with another Biden tongue-slip debacle. After being briefed on the loss of the internet, he thought for a moment, then calmly commanded, “Get me Gore.”

“Brilliant!” his staff exclaimed. After all, Al Gore had invented the internet, so he would surely know how to fix this problem.

No one was sure how to call him, since all the mobile phones were dead. Then, someone remembered that the oval office had that really cool red desk phone. No one had ever used it, but they knew it was used in the past to make calls, somehow. After several attempts to dial his number, no one could find the “send” button with the little green phone receiver on it. They gave up after realizing they only had Gore’s mobile number anyway, so they wouldn’t be able to call him, even if they could figure out how to use the ancient phone. There was a lighthearted moment of discovery, however, when several of the staff members finally understood what the little green symbol was, after seeing the desk phone’s receiver, and finally making the connection. They also finally realized why they were called “mobile” phones, after seeing the cord running from the desk phone to the wall.

By that time, a senior Pentagon official had summoned his aide and they used the hand-crank radio in the corporal’s Hummer to broadcast a short-wave radio call for SOS. Earl-John Bullox from Hogsweat, Illinois, a 43-year veteran Ham radio operator was the first to receive their distress signal.

Upon receiving his official orders to track down Al Gore using the Ham radio network, Earl-John sprang into action. This was the day that he and his short-wave compatriots had been training for their whole indoor, weird, socially handicapped lives. Seven hours later, after networking with thirty-two Ham radio operators and exchanging three different recipes for grits, Earl-John patched Al Gore through to the White House.

Gore had been in a bar in Massachusetts, attempting to “interview” a cocktail waitress for his next documentary, “An Inconvenient Masseuse.” He was now in Thurmond Crummly’s basement Ham radio base/bomb shelter, talking to the President, and having to remember to hold the button down and say, “Over.”

After skillfully dodging the issue at hand for a few minutes, he was finally forced to admit that he actually had nothing to do with inventing the internet. When pressed further, he also admitted that he had no idea what Google was, no idea how Microsoft Excel works, and that he had real doubts that global warming is even a thing.

That was it. By 10:30pm all hope was lost. The internet had been off for nearly half the day. Life was simply not worth living any longer. There were people who hadn’t even seen one YouTube video all afternoon. It was over.

But before anyone was able to commit hari-kari, a ray of hope came crackling over the short-wave. At 11:10pm, Bill Gates made contact with the President through Earl-John.

“We’re completely blacked-out here in Washington, but I might know someone who can help. Someone off the grid.”

“You’re in Washington? Come over! We can hang out.” replied the President.

“The state, sir.” said Bill.

“The state of what?” asked the President.

“Never mind. His name is Elbert DeGroot. He lives in Lynnwood, Washington with his mother.”

“Where’s Lynnwood? I’ve never heard of it. Is that near Georgetown?”

“Can you put someone from the Pentagon on, sir?”

Elbert DeGroot, was the unknown former classmate and friend of Bill Gates and Paul Allen. After a bitter dispute over a Hardy Boys t-shirt, they kicked him out of their “Three Amigos Computing Club” just weeks before they launched Microsoft.

As a result, Elbert would not be caught dead with a Microsoft product, or anything related in any way, shape, or form to those bastards, Gates and Allen. He was still running a Commodore 64 with his own proprietary version of DOS, and he was fond of saying that anyone who needs more than 64Kb of RAM is a wuss. “Old 64,” as he referred to his machine, was connected to the world with a modem that had a telephone cradle for his rotary phone. He rarely used the modem, however, since the only other computer he could communicate with was one he had built for his brother, and they hadn’t spoken in years due to a bitter dispute over a Hardy Boys lunch box.

When the military envoy arrived at the DeGroot home, Elbert’s mother showed them to his room. After admiring his extensive Star Wars action-figure collection, they got to the point. The world needed his help. He would have been quick to dismiss them, knowing he would be helping his enemy Gates, but Elbert was a smart man. He could see that this was his ticket to computing stardom. The world would finally bow down to the greatness of DeGroot. He alone could save the world. And maybe later, the military guys would want to go out for pizza and talk to girls.

He quickly wrote a five-line program in Basic. He grabbed his rotary phone and dialed Google’s 1-800 number. He kept dialing “0” for the operator. When the senior-officer-in-charge questioned what he was doing, he simply held up his hand. Elbert DeGroot knew damn well that he would never get an operator. He also knew that on the eighth try, he would be dumped into the company’s general voicemail box.

You see, Elbert DeGroot, while totally unknown to most of the world, was actually quite famous in one small segment of society. He had invented the infamous corporate “general voicemail box.” He had originally developed it out of spite after the success of Microsoft. It was intended to be a cruel trick on the world that had otherwise abandoned him. What he hadn’t counted on was its wild popularity with large American corporations. When they learned of this new and handy way to ignore their customer base while giving them a cheery-voiced, yet completely false shred of hope that their call was in fact important to the company, they snatched it up.

Elbert Degroot was a rich man. He lived with his mother in his 20,000 square-foot mansion on a 45-acre estate. By all accounts he was almost as rich as Bill Gates himself. He was the billionaire on the Forbes list that no one ever recognized.

But, this was his chance to gain some real respect from the world that had done him wrong so many years ago. When the buttery voice of the Google girl came on the line, announcing that he could leave a message (that no one would ever hear), he set the receiver down on the modem cradle and hit the impossibly large enter key on his ancient keyboard. The five-line program sprang to life at a blazing seven kilobytes per second, and the Mighty DeGroot back-doored into the Google servers and interrupted the fatal infinite logic loop with a single command: “Quit.” Take that, Gates!

By midnight, the Google engineers had re-booted the servers, and everything was back to normal. As often happens in these situations, the NSA “locked down” on the whole mess, and the powers that be decided that no one could ever know about what had happened or how it was fixed, for obvious national and recreational security reasons. Elbert DeGroot would remain the most anonymous rich man in the world. Damn Hardy Boys t-shirt!

As for Bob Singleton from Sparteck Industries in Sandusky, Ohio, the man responsible for the whole mess… After his computer quit working, he just left the office and went to the bar to catch the game. When he got to the office the next day, everything was back to normal. It’s good to be Bob.

See you soon,

Copyright © 2010 Marc Schmatjen

Have kids? Have grandkids? Need a great gift?
Go to today and get your copy of “My Giraffe Makes Me Laugh,” Marc’s exciting new children’s book. Get ready for a wild rhyming adventure!