Attention: VIAGRA You Are Not Needed Here

Older Man who has clearly used Viagra

Courtesy of

My website is on Viagra. Well, to be more clear, Viagra is on my website.

Yes, that Viagra. The one whose commercials show men of a certain age doing manly things like riding a motorcycle, building a house, or working on a classic car.   A woman will pop onto the scene. They will look into each others eyes, dance a little, smile, take each other’s hand, and then the Viagra information will come up. The viewer is left with the impression that the happy mature couple is going up to enjoy a little… Well you know.
Anyway, Viagra has placed itself on my website without my permission. I didn’t invite them, am not being paid by them, and am not prepared to welcome them.
So, I am not getting any benefits from this intrusion. My site is not being pumped up, displaying extended longevity, or showing particular energy for its age.
Puns definitely intended.
Now, I have no problems with Viagra itself. If a man needs it, well by all means go for it.
Remember the opening scene in This is 40 (yes, I am referring to that movie again). Paul Rudd’s Pete has taken Viagra as part of a birthday present for his wife, Debbie. He feels it will enhance his performance. Once Debbie finds out about it, her reaction is not at all what he was hoping for. She’s annoyed and questions whether he needs Viagra in order to have sex with her. Debbie does not accept Paul’s reasoning: he simply wanted to go turbo.
Anyway, I don’t need Viagra. On my site or anywhere else.
Do you ever wonder how a computer virus happens?
My computer updates every night. I have no idea what exactly is happening when it updates. But I wonder, with all this updating, why the heck is my website being infected? Yeah, I know, I know the computer being updated is not related to the website. But still, with all the virus protection everywhere, why is my site being invaded? I wish it was due to the massive number of people being drawn to it. Sigh.
I don’t know. I just want the Viagra advertisements off my website. Leave me alone Viagra.  Go help those who need a rise.

Help Me Deal with Suburbanitis

Massive house in Suburbs surely causing suburbanits

Massive suburban house surely causing envy/suburbanitis.
Courtesy of Suburban Stock Photo

There’s a reconstruction going on at the end of my block. The house was originally a standard 2000 square foot split level, and it is being tripled in size. It has been turned into a behemoth.

The reconstruction began in May. My boys and I drove past it every day on the way to camp this Summer.  We always had a comment regarding the progress, “look at the hole they’re digging, that door is huge, the windows are in now.”

For the boys, the voyeurism was your typical looking through the hole at the construction site.

However, for me, the gawking was different.

It was envy.

I know envy is one of the seven deadly sins. Every religion, psychologist, and self-help guru warns against it.

Yet, I struggled.

I looked at my own house. Suddenly, my 3-bedroom, 2.5 bath seemed inadequate. It wasn’t just the kitchen and the master bedroom which seemed too small for me. I wanted the behemoth.

This version of house envy is part of what I call suburbanitis.

It hit me especially hard when I first moved to the suburbs. I noticed the other houses on your block, in your neighborhood. Inevitably, some are bigger, more modern, and have better landscaping.

Suburbanitis enters stage two when I actually entered my  neighbors’ houses. Once inside these confines, inevitably I found homes that have more attractive furnishings, more vibrant colors, and are more organized.

No matter how hard I or anyone tries, you can never win.

And that’s the whole point. When you get caught up in suburbanitis, the envy gnaws at you. The perpetual flow of catalogues that are delivered to your house feed suburbanitis. You feel compelled to buy, to keep up with the Jones.’ To rid of yourself of suburbanitis. But you can’t win. Even if you are the wealthiest person on your block or in your neighborhood. Someone is always getting something new, else, better.

I’ve struggled greatly with suburbanitis.

It hit me hard when my family and I arrived in the suburbs a little over six years ago. My wife, on the other hand, was more grounded. In fact when a neighbor wanted to show us her house so we could see what one could do with a split level, my wife’s retort was, “I can live in it.”

Ironic that my wife is the one who enjoys the catalogues and does the buying for our house.

Yet, I wanted everything – the big house that was lavishly decorated with all the trimmings. Not to mention the multiple brand new cars.

These things were simply not in my budget. I had a job, teaching, that while steady and rewarding at times, paid a mediocre salary.  Was it the wrong job? Why couldn’t I support my family the way they deserved to be supported?

Simple – suburbanitis.

As time passed, my case of suburbanitis faded to the background. Did I get used to the big fancy houses and not think they were nicer than mine.

Not quite.

Instead, I remembered something. I have what I have because that is what I am supposed to have. I don’t have what I don’t have because I am not supposed to have it. It’s called faith. And it trumps suburbanitis.

However, my touch of suburbanitis still flares up on occasion. The house on the corner being the perfect example.

“Hey boys. Let’s talk to neighbors who live in that house?”

“What? Do they have kids?”

“I don’t know. Maybe, they can invite us to the house. I think we could all move in and still have plenty of room? What do you say?”

“Are you serious?”

A part of me is. Suburbanitis is a powerful disease.

Did you Know Christopher Columbus?

As a child, I loved studying about the explorers.  There was something cool about these swashbuckling guys. They set off and traveled the high seas in hopes of finding new lands, spices, and resources.

Christopher Columbus

Courtesy of Wikipedia

There was Magellan, Ponce De Leon, Henry Hudson, Christopher Columbus and many more.

They had guts. They wanted glory. They were cowboys before there were cowboys. They were astronauts before there were astronauts.

Yet, I remember little of what I learned about them in elementary school.

With today being the celebration of Christopher Columbus’ birth and therefore granting a day off to many of us, I figured I owed it to Chris to learn a little more about him.

Continue reading

Three Events that Let Me Know Fall is Here

Leaves changing color in Fall

Courtesy of Flickr

I know. It shouldn’t really be a question as we are three weeks into the Fall season. Summer is long gone.But I miss it, and I am having a hard time letting go. You remember those long bright days.

The pre-24-hour-Miley days. The pre-government-shutdown days. Yes, those were good days.


The no-homework days.

The no-getting-up-in-the-dark days.

The no-6th-period-from-hell days.

Sigh. I know – move on, MMK. I’m trying. Really, I am.

Well, some things have arisen recently that have helped me force my summer dreams aside and let me know Fall is really here. Continue reading