Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Great Zoo Halloween - a Spooktacular event

On friday October 17, 2008 the Fort Wayne Childrens Zoo opened their Great Zoo Halloween. Five years ago on this date I was at the Zoo with my 2 year old son wondering what my unborn baby girl might look like. I thought it only fitting to take my kids to the Zoo on this date as the next day (October 18) was my daughters birthday. This was a great addition to her birthday celebration.

During our stay we saw all sorts of scary things. Gouls, goblins, witches, etc. I think I saw a good witch at this event. I also saw many copies of the guy from "Scary Movie". There were pumpkins of every shape and size. Displays dipicting some of your favorite movies or tv shows. Even Casey the Cash cow from K105 radio station was there. There was a train ride through the haunted forest.

The kids and I had a great time progressing through the event from candy station to candy stations. This event represents a safe way for kids to trick-or-treat. The cost for this event is $6 per child and $4 per adult. It is on now through October 31, 2008. Check the Fort Wayne Childrens Zoo website for hours.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Contemplating life

Sometimes in life you got to ask "WHY?". Today I am home contemplating life. Why did my life turn out the way it did? What was it did for it to be this way? I thought would never write about my divorce, but sometimes you just got to get it out. My sister says writing like this is therapeutic. I guess it is. Please feel free to read the rest of the post if you like. If don’t want to read any further thanks for stopping by.

On February 14, 2007 (ok, I know it is Valentines Day – bad choice on my part) I filed for a divorce from my wife. It was the hardest thing I ever did. I believe there are only two reasons to get divorced (Marital infidelity and death). I worried back then and still now about what would happen to my kids. Would they be taken care of? By July 23, 2007 I was officially divorced. My ex is really lucky in the respect that I didn’t fight with her over custody of the kids and over how we split things. I don’t think she understands how lucky she was. I wanted what was best for my kids and a long drawn out ugly divorce would not have been good for them.

Was I the perfect husband? No. I don’t think you can use perfect and anything in the same sentence, because nothing is perfect. Was I a good attentive husband? Yes, for a long time in the marriage I believe I was. I loved my ex-wife. When the divorce was final and we finally were split it was worse than if she died. The last couple of year’s marriage I was hoping my ex would leave me and do what I didn’t want to do. After a couple of years and a really ugly fight I left. I figured she never would as she was getting what she wanted from the relationship. I was around for one or two reasons and that was it. There was no "love" returned on her part.

I had a friend from Texas (was my manager at the time) and she described me as a simple man with simple needs. This is true. What I wanted from my marriage was simple. I wanted someone who loved me for who I am and who wasn’t looking for Brad Pitt, George Cloney, on Tom Cruz. I wanted a partner in life and mother for my children. Someone who is honest, trustworthy, faithful, kind, and caring, who didn’t smoke or drink. Someone to work with me through the ups and downs of life. Someone who would work with me on the family finances, in raising the children, and at keeping our house clean and neat. Someone who would be concerned about my well being (mentally, physically, and emotionally). Someone who could enjoy quite times together and simple things in life like siting on a park bench talking and wouldn’t be bored. Someone who is willing to admit they are wrong and say I am sorry at times. Someone who understands that we can’t talk all the time and doesn’t need constant attention or that needs to be in constant contact. Someone who would allow me to be me and go out by my self and take a ride or train pictures for a while so that I can commune with God or just clear my head (hear my self think). I think it is ok to have our own interests and personal time as long as it is done in moderation. We would need to be fairly close on the religious issues as well and if they were old fashioned that wold be great. I am a big believer in you have to be willing to give back what you are asking for. Now, I blame my self for not seeing my ex for what she was. I will plead guilty to being stupid!

I considered the possibility of trying again. Putting my feet back into the dating pool to see if the water is absolutely ice cold or not. If I were to try again today the main concern would be would the person be good to my children. Would they treat them like they were one of their own. Could I trust this person to be alone with my children if needed. I wouldn’t want to be pressured in any way. This means to do things I don’t want to do (wink, wink). Or to be rushed to get to the alter. If I connected with someone and we talked and had enough in common and went out for the first time and I was blatantly honest with them about my situation and accepted a second date would that be a good test of character for that person? What I mean by this is tell them some details of life so far and that I have no money to date today. Dates for me would need to be really low key maybe Mc Donalds for dinner, a walk in the part to talk, or diet coke and conversation somewhere. I guess I would be asking for a lot.

If I did decide to date again, I would fully want my family’s opinion on it. The stakes would be way too high. I read on the Internet that it is usually a bad sign if the family doesn’t like the person you are with. If your family likes the person then you have probably made a good choice. I think this is true. One member of my family had my ex pegged before we were married. I should have listened. Hopefully today I would be older and wiser (not a guarantee as I still do stupid things). I have a friend that I call "Spidey" that I would ask to meet the person and if their "Spider Senses" tingle they are under orders to hit me with a frying pan if I won’t listen to them. The other thought is would this just be a selfish act on my part and how traumatic would it be for the kids?

On final thought before I stop rambling along here. I feel sorry for my ex-wife. I don’t believe she will ever understand what was lost. I don’t think she will understand what it is to be a good parent. I am not the world’s greatest parent, but if the kids look back and can say that daddy was there for us then I succeeded at something. I hope, for her sake, and the kid’s sake, that she understands some day. If she finally understands it will be the greatest day of the kid’s lives. We are over and I don’t want her back. On Friday she is leaving for a week to be in Tennessee with her new found significant other. The kids are going to be with baby sitters for a week. I just made arrangements to go see them on Wednesday night next week. My ex called and said she appreciated the fact that I was coming to see them. I said I didn’t want them going a week without contact with a parent. She said I would be talking with them on a regular basis. I said, "It’s not the same". I refused to comment further as it wouldn’t have done me any good.

If you are still reading this please feel free to comment. Be blunt if you want. Thank you!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

The things we do for our children

I will never understand what makes some people tick. Now, I don’t consider my self-the worlds greatest parent. I try to be a good dad. With that said I believe you make sacrifices for your children. On Friday around 1:15pm I was off work. A friend of mine called and said "the Rio’s are in town". Now, I am a rail fan and this meant that two locomotives painted in the Rio Grande paint scheme were in town. Rio Grande is a railroad that doesn’t exist anymore. To see two locomotives in this paint scheme would be rare anywhere. To have two locomotives in that paint scheme in Fort Wayne, Indiana even more rare. I told him I had to pick up my daughter and I would try to catch up with him if my daughter fell asleep. She wasn’t feeling well and I expected she would sleep for a while in the back seat of the car.

When I picked her up we stopped at Walgreen’s to pick up her prescription. She asked if we could go to the zoo. Now, I figured that Sunday October 5, 2008 would be my last trip to the zoo for this year. I was wrong. I had planned to take her to the park and let her play or to Chuckie Cheeses. She maintained that she wanted to go to the zoo. We got in the car and headed for the zoo. I had to stop at the bank and get some money and while I was there my friend called again. I told him I had received "the request". I told him that I would not be finding him as my daughter had asked to go to the zoo and I was taking her to the zoo. My daughter and I ended our day at the zoo park.

Today I am sitting here at home with the day off. I am expecting a gift that I ordered for my son for Christmas to be delivered. I wasn’t offered any delivery options on this package, as I would have chosen something different than the way it is being delivered given options. I had intended to drive by the rail yard to see if those locomotives were in town, but if I leave he house I may not be here when the gift arrives. Maybe I will go out later after it is delivered and see if they are in town.

There are people that have a "me" mind set. Some of my rail fan friends don’t understand why I don’t plan my time with my family around my hobby. My hobby is just that a hobby. My hobby will be there as long as I live. I know other people who put what they want ahead of other people’s feelings and well being. My family is most important to me and spending time with them is the most important thing in life. We don’t know what each day holds. There are no promises of tomorrow. Tomorrow we may not all be here together in this life. Some of us may pass on. It is important to live each day like it is the last one and spend time with our loved ones.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Last Nights Presidential Debate - In my humble opinion

As I watched last nights Presidential debate the issue that was on my mind was "Who will fix the economy?". I work for the U.S. Postal Service. In Sundays Fort Wayne Journal Gazette page 19A there was an article that stated the U.S. Postal Service is considering for the first time in its history layoffs. According to the date that I found the U.S. Postal Service has been around since July 26, 1775. This would indeed be a historic event.

The Economy:
Each candidate presented his arguments for what should be done. John McCain proposed that we must fix the housing market to fix the economy and invest in clean coal technology. He says we need to buy back bad mortgage loans. Barack Obama says that we need to get people back to work. We need to put more money in the pockets of the working people. He says we need to invest in fuel alternatives such as solar, wind, and electric. We need to tax relief for everyone who makes under $250,000. He also says that we need lower insurance premiums and no pre-existing conditions. He also says we need to end deregulation.

I think we all are cutting back our spending at this time. I have cut my spending due to an uncertain work future. These cutbacks continue to affect the economy. Barack Obama has said what I have been saying. We need to get people working again. This just makes basic economic sense. It doesn’t matter if you rescue me from a bad mortgage loan if I can’t pay for basic needs like utilities and food due to being unemployed. I don’t have a mortgage so this wouldn’t affect me, but if I did what little unemployment insurance payments I would get wouldn’t cover my expenses for food, rent, utilities, and basic needs. Getting people back to work puts money in their hands to spend on basic needs. It will create demands for products and start a chain reaction in the economy. The question they will need to answer is what will we put people back to work doing? I think that is were the alternative to oil dependence comes in. I think creating jobs to eliminate our dependence on oil could drive our economy for quite some time. And YES this will cost us some taxpayer dollars. The rewards will be worth it. Ask yourself what happens if the U.S. economy fails? Does the world economy fail too?

I think the worst of it is yet to come. It will get worse before it gets better. It will take at least two years of the next president’s term before we see a difference in our economy. I don’t expect it to be fixed overnight. Then I believe it will be a full term (4 years) before the real benefits of the changes are felt.

International Affairs
In the area of international affairs Barack Obama does lack some experience. I also think that is were Joe Biden comes in. Joe Biden has been in Washington a long time and has the experience needed in the area of international affairs. Smart men like John McCain and Barack Obama realize what their weaknesses are. I have always said that they will surround themselves with people who know those areas that they don’t and they are willing to listen to the advice they are given and they learn from it.

My choice for president is Barack Obama. If he can do ½ of the things he says he wants to then he will make a great president. He will get my vote. Let’s all remember, he can propose the changes, but he can’t pass them. It is up to the house and the senate to pass any legislation though. I was listening to my HAM radio today and a couple of people were discussing the election. The one guy says "I think we should vote the opposite of the party that is in office now in every election in the land. We should just clean house and put all new people in". Maybe, this person was right. As Barack Obama said "There is no one with out blame". I found a lot of what Barack Obama said to be very "honest". When asked if he could fix social security and medicare with in the first two years he said "We will work on it, but it can’t be done in the first two years". This is just my humble opinion, but the bigger issue is the economy.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Fort Wayne Children's Zoo

Today my son, daughter, and I made our final trip to the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo. This has been a nearly bi-weekly event ever since the Zoo opened on April 19th of this year. I purchase the yearly pass each year and we end up going as often as the kids want to. Usually I am there on Sunday ever other week. The Zoo is open 9am-5pm until Sunday October 12, 2008. This is the end of the regular season.

The zoo is currently setting up for "The Great Zoo Halloween". This will run October 17-31, 2008. Hours are 6:00pm-8:30pm weeknights and 5:00pm-8:30pm Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $4 per adult and $6 per child. For more information see the zoo web site (