The Dad Tax Weekend in Review [If You Care]

The Weekend Review

I don’t and won’t always write a weekend review, but it was a busy Labor Day weekend.  Plus, I am approaching the 1-month anniversary of the launch of The Dad Tax so I wanted to update on how August went.

It was a holiday weekend in the US.  Labor Day to be exact.

The irony is that I still worked on my blog.

Let’s do the weekend run down.

Friday Night

It started Friday with some running around, and some running.  Izzy (my 4-year-old daughter) was the flower girl at a wedding for the second time this year. We got another request for her to be the flower girl at another wedding.

I think I need to start charging for this.

Sprezzabox socks that were part of my subscription

These are the first pair of socks I got from my Sprezzabox subscription

Anyway, we had to get some last-minute stuff done before my wife’s cousin’s wedding on Saturday.

I am not a fan of last minute running around, so I tend to get a little cranky.  Combined with Izzy just losing her cool in the mall and it made for a rough trip.

We almost always have a pizza dinner on Fridays, so we held true to that, but a little later than normal.

I was up late Friday working on the Dad Tax and a client’s website.  Sounds like a fun Friday night doesn’t it!

Word of advice.  If you like partying on the weekends, then don’t have kids and don’t own a business. That being said, I would not trade either of them for the world.

The family pet is a cat named Pickles.  She is mostly black with a little bit of white on her chest and face.  She has gotten out of the house once before and made her second escape on Friday.

It was not clear when she got out, but we know how.  I had the basement door open to air out the basement.  Izzy was off from school and opened the upstairs door to the basement, letting Pickles out.

Last time she got out she came back the same night.  Not so on Friday.  Isaiah loves this cat.  It’s technically his cat.  He was heartbroken before going to bed.

If you are a parent then you know the heartbreak of your child is also your heartbreak.  I felt bad for him but it almost seemed as if he had a little bit of optimism too.


Saturday mornings are really no different than any other morning in my house.  The kids refuse to sleep past 7 am the latest.

Next morning still no sign of Pickles except for the fact that the food we left on the porch was eaten.  We are not sure if she ate it or some other animal did.

We put out more food because she typically does eat in the morning.  Nothing.

A couple of hours later I thought I heard meowing.  Then I thought I was hearing things.  Wishful thinking, I thought.

Then I heard it again.  Pickles was on the outside edge of the kitchen window crying to come back in.

Isaiah was ecstatic.  Pickles was home safe and sound.  She slept the morning away.  I guess she won’t be having children or owning a business.

I knew we had to leave by late morning, so I got up and did some more work on the Dad Tax.  I was able to whip out a good amount of work before the real fun began.

Izzy and Daddy and Pinky Pie

I ran out to grab a few last-minute things before we left.  We hit the road with a few pit stops that had to be made along the way.

The wedding was in Purchase NY which is in Westchester County.  It borders on Connecticut which is where we live.  On a good traffic day, it would take a little over an hour to get there.

There is no such thing as a good traffic day in Connecticut or New York.

We had to stop to get a crown for Izzy the professional flower girl.  The place we needed to stop at was about halfway to the wedding in Bridgeport Connecticut.

We got there, got what we needed and hit the road again.

My wife had an appointment to get her makeup done at 1:30. By some miracle, we made it almost on time.  We arrived at 1:34.

While she was getting her makeup done I was tasked with feeding my kids and my in-laws, plus bring my wife some food back.  Oh, and I had 30 minutes in an area of New York I am not very familiar with.

Challenge accepted.

Mission failed.

I looked for a McDonalds on my GPS and found one not too far away.  I am not a fan of McDonald’s (don’t expect me to have any promotions for them).  I don’t like the feeling you have after eating their food and I know it is horrible for you.

I did bring my own lunch (An RXBar!).

I left the parking lot, took a right turn and promptly got pulled over for speeding.  Seriously!!??

Now I am aggravated.

Get to the McDonalds that the GPS found, and it was in the middle of a downtown area with no drive-thru and no parking lot.  Nope.

I was not about to search for on-street parking, unload the car and go eat at what looked like a run down McDonald’s.

I had to drive another 12 miles to find a McDonalds with a drive-thru.

An hour after I left I returned to the scene of the crime.  My wife was still not done with her makeup.

Yep, that’s how things go as an adult.  Now I am wishing I brought my Surface Pro with me.

A few minutes later she made her appearance ready to go.  Thankfully it was a cooler day.  We had just gotten through one heat wave and another one was approaching.  You will see why that’s important soon.

Stop three was to get Izzy’s hair done and get her dressed for the wedding.  It’s now approaching 3 pm and the wedding was supposed to start at 4:30 pm.

The hotel where the bridal shower was staying was only a few minutes away, and right down the street from the first McDonalds.  You know, the one with no drive-thru or parking lot.

There was also no parking lot or street parking at the hotel.  They had a garage for people staying at the hotel.  We were not staying since we were only an hour away from home.

My wife took my daughter upstairs to the bridal party, and the rest of us waited..for almost an hour.

Finally, my wife appeared again, and we went to stop four.  Time for us to very quickly get dressed at another hotel where some of her family was staying.

Imagine 7 adults and 3 children getting ready for a wedding in a hotel room and having to do so in 15 minutes or less.

Good times.

OK, now we head to the wedding.  It was supposed to start at 4:30 and I really wanted to see Izzy walk.  We arrived at 5:00 pm.

The wedding had not yet started.  The good news is I did not miss Izzy walking down the aisle.

It started at almost 6:00 pm.

Sunset at Manhatanville College

We sat and waited in the church with no air conditioning.  Now you understand why it was a good thing it was cooler today.

The wedding and reception went on without a hitch.  We ate, we danced, we laughed.  Festivities started winding down around midnight.  We had to make a quick trip back to the hotel we changed at and then headed home.



View this post on Instagram


Wedding flow. #mykids #flowergirl #flowergirldress #wedding #daughter #son #rollsroyce

A post shared by Scott Gombar (@scottgombar) on

We got home at 1:45 am and went to sleep.  Well, the kids were already sleeping.  Izzy slept during the reception but did keep me company for part of the ride home.  Isaiah slept for a few minutes at the reception but then woke up once the music started.

He danced the night away!  I guess he won’t be having children or owning a business anytime soon either.  That’s good news!


Guess who was up by 7 am the next morning.  You guessed it.  Izzy and Isaiah.

I finally decided to get out of bed at around 9 am, checked a few things and then off to church.

After church, we stocked up groceries.  We buy most things in bulk, so we headed to Restaurant Depot and got a few other things at Target.

Do anybody else’s kids ask for things you know they will not eat but you still get it with a glimmer of hope that maybe they will try something new and like it?

Apple Pie was this week’s request.  Fail.

Sunday afternoon and evening were spent trying to get caught up, and the temperature started to rise again.

Sunday was also my oldest daughter’s birthday.  Izzy and Isaiah face timed Arielle to sing Happy Birthday.  She’s a ripe old 23 now.


Labor Day.  A holiday that marks the unofficial end of Summer in the US.  This weather seems to think otherwise.  Heatwave returned.

Most of Monday was spent catching up on, you guessed it, work.  I spent a few hours goofing off with the kids and helping them with some of their extracurricular activities.

I also managed to get on the treadmill.  If you read my previous blog post about getting back on the treadmill you know that I am trying to get back to where I was a few months ago.

I did a little better today.  In total, I did 4.15 miles on the treadmill.

I finally had a chance to sit down and review what I needed to for my August results for on Monday night.

Total traffic for August was 1127.  Not bad for the first 20 days of a new blog.

Alexa Ranking finished at 94,624.  Also, not bad.

I had some affiliate sales.  In total a confirmed $4.47.  I should have another $25 but I have not gotten confirmation on that yet.   Might not seem like a lot but many bloggers go months without any earnings.

I grew my Twitter and Instagram accounts from zero to 185 and 553 followers respectively.  I did not create a Facebook page but rather a Facebook group for the Dad Tax.  It has 3 members so far.

I was also approached about a couple of sponsorships but neither of them seemed like a good fit for the site.

The blog will be a month on the 11th of this month.

I also recorded my SEOHackerz podcast but have not had a chance to edit it yet.

Tomorrow it’s back to coaching baseball with our first game of the fall season.

All in all a productive weekend with some fun involved.  How was your weekend?

weekend in review on the dad tax



Getting back on the dreadmill IG

Getting Back on the Dreadmill (Day One of a New/Old Running Journey)

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link to these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

Essential Gear for Me When I Run

Getting back on the dreadmill IG

I have mentioned several times already that I am a runner (sometimes).  Well, I didn’t run for almost 2 months, and I can feel it.

I gained weight.  I have aches and pains that I should not have.  I am winded easier than I was 2 months ago.  I messed up.

I also promised Isaiah (my son) that I would start running with him.  He loves to run and he is very fast.  He’s capable of outrunning and outpacing kids 3-4 years older than him.

I did not set a timetable for when I would start running with him.  Despite that, I failed.

I don’t really have a good reason for stopping but I stopped.  I guess I got busy.  It was Summer and I was hanging out with the kids.  I launched a new blog and made some transitions professionally.  I have been busy.  Bad excuse.

Today I got back on the dreadmill for the first time in approximately two months.  I knew I was not going to be able to do what I was doing before I stopped.

I was running 3 plus miles and walking another 2 plus miles every other day.  I got to 6 miles total a few times.  And then I stopped.

Alright, time to let it go.  This is my accountability.  This blog will hold me accountable for maintaining my cardio.

Today I walked at 3.7 miles for 20 minutes and ran at 5.5 mph for 10 minutes.  There were another 10 minutes of cool down walking, but I am not counting that.  I need to meet or beat this mark for the next week at least.

I wanted to talk about what is essential for me to do the cardio portion of my exercise.   I mostly do cardio with a little bit of lifting and body weight exercises.  Today was just cardio.

Here’s my essential cardio workout list.

My sneakers are ASICS Men’s Gel-Cumulus 19 Running-Shoes.  When I walk or run my feet roll inward.  They call this overpronation.

I love Under Armour but their sneakers did not hold up with my overpronation.  I did some research.  I came back with New Balance and Asics.  I am not a fan of New Balance so Asics it is.

I have had these sneakers since March (almost 6 months now), and they have been great.  No issues at all.

I wear a step tracker/heart rate monitor.  Right now I use a Samsung Gear S3 Frontier.  I am aware that the heart rate will not be accurate without a chest strap but it gives me a good indication of where I am at.

It is fairly accurate for rested heart rage and that’s really what I am interested in measuring anyway.

For counting steps, it does a good job.  It’s very close to the number of steps that I do take when walking or running.

I can also control my phone from my watch.  Skipping songs is much easier from my watch when I am running.

Compression socks.  Because of the overpronation and other hip and leg issues that pop up sometimes I often have pain in my calves and knees after cardio.  Compression socks help with this tremendously.

I have found several brands of compression socks that work very well. I prefer Copper Fit though.

C4 Pre Workout.  This gives me the extra push I need, especially when I am feeling sluggish. The one I use is the fat burning version.  I definitely feel this kick in.

Unlike most people, I do not take it 20-30 minutes before working out.  I take it and immediately start working out.

I typically start out with a fast walk to loosen up my muscles.  By the time I am done with my walk the C4 kicks in.

Beats Bluetooth Headphones.  Before Bluetooth headphones, I can’t tell you how many times I accidentally ripped my phone from the treadmill tray and sent it flying to the floor.  These headphones are a phone saver.

Check out all the Beats Bluetooth Headphones on Amazon>>>

Gatorade Post Workout Protein Shake.  This also helps with muscle soreness.  I really look forward to drinking one of these rights after I finish on the treadmill.  I get the protein I need for muscle growth and it helps prevent soreness, which I surely experience after getting back on the treadmill for the first time in 2 months.

This is apparently a hot item on Amazon because I cannot find it a lot of the time.  I wrote a blog post about it a while ago.  You can read it here.  

Hold Me Accountable

Here’s my performance today

Walk 20 minutes at 3.7 mph

Walk 5 minutes at 2.3 mph

Run 10 minutes at 5.5 mph

Walk 5 minutes at 3.3 mph

Walk to and back from Isaiah’s bus stop.  Approximately ½ mile round trip

I will set goals soon.  I want to weigh in this Monday.  Endurance and Heart Rate are important measurements for me.

Day One Done.

Getting back on the dreadmill


Why I Allow My Children to Use iPads and Other Devices (With Restrictions) IG

Why I Allow My Children to Use iPads (With Restrictions)

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link to these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

Stop Blaming iPads for Your Child’s Poor Health

There is a lot being said about iPads contributing to poor health in children.  Some claim there are even studies.

Wait?  What?  How are there studies?  The iPad is not even 10 years old yet.  How can there be a study linking a child’s health to iPad usage?

Anyway, this is sort of my rebuttal to a blog post I saw from a mom who does not allow her children to use iPads or tablets of any kind.

The irony is I tried to offer my rebuttal several times as a comment on her blog post, but it kept failing.  Well, I will get the last laugh!


Why I Allow My Children to Use iPads, Smartphones, Computers, Game Consoles and even an Old-Fashioned TV

Let me start with a tip.  Do not buy your child a brand new iPad.  If you do, purchase a case made worthy of Fort Knox credentials.

I have purchased my last few iPads on Amazon.  I usually purchase a generation or 2 behind because it will cost a lot less than the current generation.  Check it out>>>>

We are living in a technology age.  In the next few years, we will see more autonomous vehicles controlled by devices become more mainstream.  We are already able to control numerous household devices from a few clicks on our phone.  We track almost everything from a device that fits in the palm of our hands.

Most of us cannot get through the day without our smartphone.  It has our schedule, communications, tracking, to do list, reminders and more.  Some of us even check on our pets on our phone.

Programmers and developer jobs are increasing at a rapid pace.  So are jobs in information security.

Technology is here to stay and evolving very quickly.

I used to do a lot of on-site tech support.  In a nutshell, I would go to someone’s house or office and help them with their technology needs (really wants).

A lot of my time was spent teaching high school and college-aged children how to perform simple tasks on a computer.

If you were born in the late 90s or later this should not happen.  You grew up with computers.

The mentality that iPad and tablet usage is bad for children is very wrong.  Not allowing them to use these devices will put them at a disadvantage.

Many schools now have iPads or Chromebooks in the classrooms.  They use them for school work.  Now I know my kids are not using the iPads for school work for the most part (when they’re home), but they are learning to use the device.

They will not be at a disadvantage.

What Do I Allow My Children to do on the iPad, Tablet or Computer?

Let me start with the rules.  They are as follows:

  • They cannot use any electronics on school days unless it’s for school work which is very rare so far
  • On non-school days they are limited to 2 hours maximum
  • There are certain tasks that need to be completed before using any electronics
    • Eat
    • Take care of your chores
    • Read
    • Practice piano or any other extracurricular activity you participate in
    • Any homework that is not completed yet
  • Usage of electronics is governed by household rules. Meaning if you are grounded for any reason then you are not allowed to use electronics.
  • No phones, iPads, tablets or other electronics at the dinner table. This applies to parents and guests as well.  This also applies when we go out to eat.

They use the iPads primarily to play games or watch videos on YouTube.  It’s not really that different than my generation. We grew up playing video games, talking to our friends on a landline phone for hours and watching a ton of TV.

They do use apps like ABCMouse and Epic.

They do occasionally (mostly Isaiah) take pictures and record videos.  Isaiah wants to start a YouTube channel, but we are still talking about it.

We have conversations with our kids about expectations and the dangers of the internet.  I am not naïve.  I know what is out there.  Education is the best defense.

We closely monitor their usage.  I do have software installed on their iPads to monitor usage and the iTunes account is in my name, so I know what is installed and uninstalled.

They are not allowed to chat with anyone other than family and a few select friends.  Yes, this is monitored.

The YouTube account is also in my name, so I know what they’re watching (and annoyingly enough subscribing to).  Izzy (my 4-year-old daughter is only allowed to use YouTube Kids, but this is still closely monitored because stuff can sneak in.

They use one of my laptops.  It is refurbished and has Fedora (Linux) running on it.  I prefer this because it teaches them there is more than Windows or Mac in the computer world.  They only use the computer for ABCMouse (Izzy) and learning to code (Isaiah).

We are planning to get Isaiah a Chromebook.  It just has not happened yet.

This is the Chromebook he has his eye on>>>

For some, the rules might seem strict.  Well, these are the household rules.

Rules teach children that there are boundaries.  They also teach respect for authority.

Yes, my kids do chores.

Yes, there are limitations to everything, just as there should be for adults.

Yes, we monitor their activity.  Not because we don’t trust them but because we don’t trust the creeps outside our 4 walls.

But iPad Use Leads to Obesity and Other Ailments

Just stop it.  Seriously, stop it.  This is a big fat lie (pun intended).  If anything, Izzy and Isaiah are underweight.  They are both skinny.  They are both very active.

Isaiah plays baseball and is pretty good at it.  Izzy takes gymnastics and we’ve been told she will excel at it.  They both take karate.

Neither one of them walks anywhere.  At best it’s a slow paced job but most of the time it’s a full-throttle sprint.

They have other extracurricular activities.  Isaiah plays piano (for 4 years now).  Not once has someone said he should stop playing piano because it may lead to carpal tunnel syndrome or arthritis.

The plan is to have them play basketball this winter.

We go for hikes on a regular basis.  We go for walks around the neighborhood.  They routinely hang out in the backyard just running around.


They pretend to help with yard work or shoveling snow.  This usually just leads to more yard work or shoveling snow for me.

They use every piece of furniture in the house as a trampoline.  Isaiah uses the house as his own Parkour gym.

We play board games.  I am teaching Isaiah chess now.

If you think using an iPad leads to obesity, then it is because you are not teaching your kids that there are other things in life besides videos and games.

One of the roles of a parent is a manager.  You do have to manage your children’s time, as rigid as that might sound.

People do not like the word manage but an unmanaged child can become a problem.

What Not to Do Regarding iPads and Tablet Usage for Your Kids

Stop using the iPad or smartphone as a babysitter.  Don’t say you don’t.  We are all guilty of this. We are trying to get something done and our child is driving us crazy.  What do we do?  We hand them our phone, so they leave us alone.

We have all done it.  It might be a phone, an iPad or the TV remote but we have done it.

I see it all the time when we are out.  Parents hand their kids a phone so that they are not making noise or are left alone.  The phone is a babysitter and not a good one at that.

If you do let them use a device then limit their time and monitor their usage.  Be honest and let them know you are doing this.  Don’t try to be sneaky about it.  Trust is important.

Teach them about what is out there on the internet and why you are monitoring their usage.  They will be more likely to come to you when something does happen.

Set rules for iPad usage.  Set the expectations for them being allowed to use any media.

Make sure games and videos are age appropriate.  Our kids are pretty good about this on their own.  Izzy just wants anything with My Little Pony.  Isaiah sometimes tries to push the envelope, but we push it back.

Why is My Child Unhealthy?

Stop blaming everyone and everything else.  Start looking internally.  If you let them sit for hours and hours and hours with an iPad, then that’s why they’re unhealthy.

If you let them eat junk and candy all day long, then that’s why they’re unhealthy.

If they never go outside and just lie around on the couch all day then that’s why they’re unhealthy.

I know some kids have pre-existing health conditions like asthma.  I know some are more prone to being obese.  I get that there are allergies out there.  That should not stop you from getting your child involved in things or being active.

I have had kids on my baseball teams who had asthma.  My son has seasonal allergies from May 1 to May 31, like clockwork.  This is the heart of his baseball season.  He still gets out there looking like Will Smith in Hitch.  He still hustles like a pro.

Go for a walk every other day.  Take them on a bike ride.  Go for a hike.  Play a board game.  Talk to them.

I also recently signed my children up for Kiwico.  It’s a box subscription for age-appropriate STEM projects.  

Check out Kiwico STEM project crates for kids>>>>>

This gives us a chance to sit down and work on a project together.  It really is a lot of fun and a great learning experience.

Doing anything excessively can be harmful to a child’s (or adult’s) health.  Ipad usage is not the reason a child becomes obese unless you let it.  It’s not the reason for other health issues unless you let it be.

They used to say the same thing about sitting to close to TVs (You’ll go blind).  My vision is not what it used to be, but I am far from blind.  They used to say the same about video games.  I do not have carpal tunnel syndrome or arthritis and can type with the best of them.

Be an active parent and your child will be active.



Why I Allow My Children to Use iPads and Other Devices (With Restrictions)

why dads love autumn blog post on the dad tax

Why Autumn is Awesome for Dads. [No, It’s Not Because of Pumpkins]

Why Dads Love Autumn. [No, It’s Not Because of Pumpkins]

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link o these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

Today my kids went back to school.  Sort of.

I have mentioned in previous blogs that I am not a parent who enjoys back to school.  I love having the kids home, planning day trips or things to do with them.  I love the impromptu nerf war, the extra baseball practice time, the quality time that is harder to have during the school year.

why dads love autumn blog post on the dad tax

Check out the Nerf Rival Guns that Isaiah and I use>>>

Having to get 2 little humans ready as part of the morning routine just compounds the morning chaos.  The rigid schedule of going to bed is a necessary evil but I don’t enjoy it almost as much as they don’t.

The first 4 days of Isaiah’s school are half days and Izzy only has 2 days of school this week.  They may as well have started after Labor Day but oh well.

Back to school and cooler mornings (until this mini heat wave that arrived today) can only mean one thing.

Autumn is approaching, and fast.

I love Autumn (Fall).  It’s a reprieve from the hot weather but no blizzards usually and no extreme cold either.

It’s inevitable that end of August, early September we begin to see Halloween stuff, Apple Cider Donuts, and Pumpkin everything.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Apple Cider donuts and Pumpkin pie, but we’ve gone overboard now.

Some stores even begin pushing Christmas stuff around this time.  That’s just insane.  Yet some people love it.

Some dads may disagree with me on some of these things.  I am not a big fan of Halloween and I know some dads are.

Let’s Start with What I Do Not Like About Autumn

This list is probably going to be short.

First, I am not a fan of pushing the holidays so early.  Christmas is at the end of December.  We have to get through Thanksgiving first.  Let’s be honest.  Most dads are last-minute shoppers anyway so you’re not going to hook a dad on buying Christmas gifts in October.

I don’t get the Pumpkin craze.  I like Pumpkin pie but I wouldn’t go out of my way for it.  I am not going to go out of my way for a Pumpkin Triple Mocha Latte Super Espresso (I just made that up but you get my point).

I enjoy an Apple Cider donut but the amount of sugar in a donut is unreal, so I usually avoid them.  If someone has an alternative that is worthy of being named an Apple Cider donut, by all means, please do share.

I don’t like raking.  I just don’t. If you like it more power to you. Swing by my house anytime between October and November.

I do not.  I like cutting the grass (I did it today, on the first day of the mini heatwave).  I don’t mind shoveling snow so long as it’s not measured in feet.  I do not like raking.

I do enjoy playing with the kids in the piles of leaves, but then you have to rake again.

That’s pretty much the whole list of Autumn dislikes.

What I Love About Autumn

Let’s start with the most important one.

September is filled with hope and endless possibilities.  Football season has arrived, and the Yankees are annual playoff contenders.  The Jets are usually a disappointment by the end of October, but I still have hope every season.  This year looks promising so far.

It’s an exciting time in the sports world.  And if you’re a Fantasy Football fan/participant then it’s even more exciting.

Draft day was yesterday.  I think I have a good team.  I tend to be in the top 25% of my leagues but have yet to win it all.  I did make it to the final once.

I also play on FanDuel.  I deposited money on FanDuel years ago and I am still playing with house money.  I only do Football at this point because I did terrible with Basketball and Baseball

I am coaching Fall Ball..more fun!  Coaching baseball is something I really enjoy, and the baseball field is my sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of my life.  We have two months of decent weather to play games.  And it keeps my son warm for the next season.

My favorite holiday of the year is Thanksgiving.  There’s no pressure to find the perfect gift and it’s all about family.  It’s the 3 F’s.  Family, Food, and Football.  How can you not love Thanksgiving?

It’s hoodie season.  I love my hoodies.  So much comfort all in one article of clothing.  I prefer UA Hoodies but also have a few custom hoodies.  It might be time to create a Dad Tax Hoodie.

Check out the UA Hoodies on Amazon>>>

There are lots of fairs and carnivals in early Autumn.  The fairs are great in my area, as I imagine they are everywhere.

And finally, as I mentioned earlier it’s cooler weather.  I have lived in Connecticut all my life.  Winters a brutal.  Summers are brutal.  There can be a 125-degree difference between February and July on any given year.  They are extremes of each other.  As I write this on August 27th it was 94 degrees today.  It’s currently 7:30 pm and it’s still 86 degrees.  Uncalled for.  Tomorrow and Wednesday are supposed to be worse.

The last 5 or 6 Winters have also been brutal.  One was the coldest on record.  We had a record-breaking blizzard in 2013.  Last year was the mildest it’s been in a while.

Fall and Spring are really the best weather.  I love Fall weather.  So long as there are no freak Halloween blizzards.  We have had a few of those in recent years too.

Stop the Pumpkin Madness

I get it.  Pumpkin is tasty.  Now there’s pumpkin beer, pumpkin coffee, pumpkin cookies, and muffins.  I think I saw pumpkin spaghetti.  What?  Is there a pumpkin pizza yet?

You’re ruining pumpkin for everyone. And if there is a pumpkin pizza then you’re ruining pizza.

The truth is without four seasons you can’t really appreciate Autumn.  If we didn’t have the extremes of Winter and Summer, then Autumn wouldn’t seem like such a great season.  I imagine people who have lived in Florida all their lives probably don’t get it.

But no matter where you live most dads will agree that the other reasons I love Autumn are indeed great reasons to love the season.  The sports world is buzzing.  Thanksgiving is coming.  And my sanctuary..the baseball field with my team, who like the Jets are full of hope and promise.  Somehow I believe they will outperform the Jets.

Now let me go tweak my Fantasy line up and see who didn’t get drafted that might be a sleeper.

why dads love autumn


No! Your Kid Does Not Deserve a Trophy [Go Ahead, Get Mad]

Stop Awarding Trophies to Everyone [Let Them Lose]

No!  Your Kid Does Not Deserve a Trophy [Go Ahead, Get Mad]

This will probably piss off some parents, but it needs to be said.  You might not like me much after this.  You may not have even liked me before.

I don’t really care.  Well, I do a little.

A recent poll was taken in a dad only Facebook group. It revealed that an overwhelming 87% of dads are not in favor of awarding trophies to everyone participating in a team or individual sport.

It’s not exactly a Quinnipiac poll but I believe it might be more honest.  Some of the comments were a lot more colorful than my blog post will be.

Let’s Start with an Example

Stop Awarding Trophies to Everyone

I have been coaching my son in baseball for 4 years.  He is now 8.  We started in t-ball.  He is now ready to move up to kid pitch.  In fact, he’s more than ready.

He’s had extra training thanks to Ultimate Sports and the Hartford Yard Goats, and he almost always excels at the game.  He tends to play middle infield and is pretty good at it.  He’s an even better hitter.

When He Focuses!  Now pay attention…

I usually have 12-13 kids on a team.  At this age, they all play.  They all get to hit.  They all play in the field.

After every game, I award a game ball.  The game ball is not necessarily the best player that day.  It might be the one who played the hardest, had the best attitude, improved the most or made a key play.  These things usually tie together so it’s usually not hard to determine who will get the game ball by the end of the game.

I confer with my coaches and we decide.  We are almost always in agreement.

My son tends to lack focus.  I get it.  He’s 8 and he’s a boy.  I completely understand. That does not mean he’s going to be awarded a game ball just because he’s 8 and he’s a boy.  He must earn it like anyone else does.

Side note:  This is from experience.  Girls at this age are much more focused when playing baseball.

This past season he was skipped over for almost 2/3 of the season before he finally earned it.  Unlike a lot of other coaches who have their kids on their team I tend to be tougher on him.  He earned it because he played his best game as far as focus and effort.

What’s the Lesson?

He knows how my mind works.  Most games he will tell me ahead of time he did not earn the game ball.  He gets it.

Most of the time he knows who earned it.  He’s also very observant.

I don’t want to brag but my son is really a great kid.  He has his moments but overall, he’s a great kid.

I know a lot of parents probably say that, and I am probably a little biased but let me give you a few examples.

He does not get upset when he does not get the game ball.  Other kids do (not all of them).

He knows what he did wrong in most cases.

He is a great teammate and tries to pick up others when they need it.  He also sticks up for other kids, and he’s far from the biggest kid on the field.

He knows if he didn’t earn it he doesn’t get it.

Isaiah at Yard Goat Stadium

Here’s what I want him to learn from not getting an award for mediocrity, or even losing.

  • It’s OK to lose sometimes. Everyone loses.  Michael Jordan was cut from his High School Basketball team.  The best baseball players in the world do not get a hit 70% of the time.  Everyone loses.  If you reward loss with a trophy then you are saying it’s OK to be mediocre.
  • Losing builds character. It makes you a tougher person in life.  Adversity will come.  Giving everyone a trophy does not prepare them for adversity.
  • Losing the right way (meaning not throwing a tantrum or being a poor sport) teaches children how to be better adults. They learn how to interact with their peers even when things are not going their way.
  • By not allowing children to learn how to lose you are teaching them that they should get every job and promotion they want, even if they’re not qualified, or didn’t earn it. You’re teaching them that they don’t have to put the effort into their school work because everyone should get an A.  You’re teaching them that mediocrity is OK when they should be taught to find their strengths and excel.
  • Awarding a trophy to everyone diminishes the accomplishments of the children who earned the trophy.
  • The children know that they did not earn the trophy. By awarding a trophy to everyone you may inadvertently create a rift between children.  Children are far more observant than most believe.

I do not want my children growing up with that sense of entitlement.  I want them to EARN everything they get.

My son gets it at 8 years old.  I don’t understand why that’s a hard concept for adults to comprehend.

My son has also played basketball and soccer.  He was terrible at basketball and was average at soccer.  He’s going back to basketball this winter after not playing for 2 years.

They awarded participation medals to everyone that participated in both leagues.  I understand the concept and was proud that he went out there and tried his best.  I get that the medal was for participation only.  I don’t want the wrong message sent.

When he was playing basketball we always went a little early (we do this for baseball too) because he knew there were things he needed to work on.  Arriving early meant extra practice time.

That’s what awarding a trophy to everyone goes against.  Most pro athletes will tell you incredible stories of how they worked to get where they are.  Some have stories of being told they were not good enough or would not succeed.

Most pro athletes will tell you that they have lost or failed and that the loss or failure motivated them even more.

When Isaiah loses or fails at most things he is extra motivated to get better at it.  He took it upon himself to learn how to swing from the left side because he recognized there is more value to a switch hitter.

He wants to show up earlier to get extra practice.

He now has a goal of being one of the two best players on the field during any given game.  That’s his goal after I told him the statistics of someone making it to Major League Baseball.

No! Your Kid Does Not Deserve a Trophy [Go Ahead, Get Mad]

Stop Giving Trophies to Everyone

I know not everyone will agree with my sentiment.  I am by no means a high-level coach.  Ultimately my goal is to develop the kids into better players and teach them to have fun while doing it.

My 4 years of experience have taught me that kids know when they earn something and when they don’t.  My many more years of experience as a dad have taught me that kids will take what they can get and develop from that.

When I was in school I knew what I had to do to get by.  In most cases that’s exactly what I did.  I was a decent football and baseball player.  I did enough to get decent grades and make honors most of the time.  I did not try to excel.

As I look back at my formidable years I wish someone had taught me to not be average.  I wish someone would have said be one of the two best players on the field every game.  I wish someone would have said be one of the top 5 students in my class.

It would have made a difference in my early 20s, and it would have probably made a difference for the rest of my life.

The give everyone a trophy philosophy was not even prevalent during my High School and College years.  It’s just that no one told me to strive for excellence.

We’ve created a generation of now adults who think everyone deserves a trophy for everything.  We’re working on a second generation now.

At the end of the day, we cannot be good at everything.  Find what you’re good at and/or enjoy and excel.

Today, I strive for excellence in a few areas including preparing my children to be productive and successful members of society.

I don’t think I am a great coach, but I do think I am making a difference in some children’s lives.  When a child gets excited because I am their coach again, it means the world to me.  It means that the child understands they need to earn their trophy (among other things).

Do you want your children to put the effort into being successful?  Or do you want them to wait for everything to be handed to them?



stop awarding trophies to everyone on the dad tax



Dads and Granddads at a Yankee Game August 2018

My Trip to Yankee Stadium (Why It’s So Important)

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link o these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

Yankee Stadium Yankees vs Toronto August 18 2018Let me start by saying I love spending time with my kids.  I am sure a lot of fathers do.  Ask anyone that knows me, and they will tell you I am a huge proponent of fathers bonding with their children over their entire lifetime.

Let me also say I spend A LOT of time with my kids.  I work from home most days.  When they’re home they spend a lot of time hanging out in my office.

My office is pretty cool.  I have one of my Rokus set up in the office.  It has an old school Atari.  It has computers.  And they bring their toys in my office.  My somewhat well kept and organized office implodes almost daily when they are home.

They can watch TV, pretty much whatever they want on demand.  They can get on the computer.  My son is learning to code.  My daughter goes to ABCMouse to learn.

I am also one of Isaiah’s baseball coach and attend probably 80-90% of their extracurricular activities.  The truth is I don’t want to miss any of it.

So, they spend a lot of time with me.  And I love it.

Sometimes I need to adult.  Meaning I need to be around other adults without children.

You’re probably wondering why I am telling you this. Like it’s some long-lost secret that parents need time away from their children, and vice versa.

Here’s why.  Typically, if I am going to a baseball game my son is going with me.  He loves baseball almost as much as me.  When he gets older he will probably love it even more than I do.  He loves to play, watch and talk baseball with me.

He has known for a couple of weeks that I was going to a Yankee game today and was disappointed that I was going without him.  I get it.  In a way, I was disappointed too.  I do really enjoy bonding with him over baseball.

Here’s the thing.  It’s healthy to have time away from your kids.  It’s OK to have adult conversations without a child clinging to every word or interrupting you to tell you about some random toy they want.

I would go so far as to say it’s important to have that time away from your children.  For everyone’s mental health it’s a good idea to have “you” time with other adults.

Signs You Need a Break

Here are some of the warning signs that you might need a break from your children.

  • You seem to get annoyed at the smallest things.
  • You snap at them for seemingly no reason.
  • You agree to things and have no idea what you agreed to. (My youngest daughter is awesome at getting people to do this).
  • You spend time in the bathroom just to escape. (I am always amazed that with 3 bathrooms in the house they always need to use the bathroom I am in).
  • You randomly sing the theme song to My Little Pony or Paw Patrol.

There are probably more but we will leave it with these few for now.

I responded to Isaiah by telling him that sometimes parents need time with their friends the same way sometimes he just wants to play with his friends.  I know he was still disappointed, but I think he understood.

Parents need to understand that it is OK to take a break and be an adult.  Work does not count by the way.  You don’t really have a choice at work.  That’s not a break.

Take a break and go spend time with your friends when you can.  This is especially important for parents of infant children.  Infants can wear you down.  It can be very exhausting taking care of your infant child.  We are beyond that stage of life now so that does not apply to us.

Dads and Granddads at a Yankee Game August 2018

If you feel the need for a break take it.

It helps to have a support system.  Today my kids stayed with their grandparents.  They just hung out all day, sort of a lazy kids’ day.  And they were super excited to see me when I got home.

Yankees 11 Blue Jays 6

I am not superstitious by any stretch of the imagination, but the Yankees always win when I go to the stadium.  Even the time I went with my oldest daughter in 2009.

The Yankees were losing big to Cleveland that day in 2009.  We left early to beat the rush to the train.  I took the train back to Grand Central Station.  By the time we got to Grand Central Station people who saw us with our Yankee gear were asking if we saw what happened.  I did not have any idea what they were talking about.  Then I found out the Yankees rallied and ARod hit a walk-off home run.  They won the World Series that year, so I take credit for that.

I probably go to the mecca of baseball 2-3 times a year.  We (Father and Son) visit the local minor league teams a lot too.  Plus, Isaiah plays and participates in several clinics and camps.  So, we spend a lot of time around baseball.  I love watching him grow into it.  He truly has a lot of potential and even more importantly he enjoys it.

Today they beat the Blue Jays.  They have the second-best record in baseball but as of late they have not been playing that great.  It doesn’t help that two of their biggest bats are on the DL.  Judge and Sanchez (my son’s two favorite players) are BIG BATS. Today, they played like the Yankees and won like the Bronx Bombers.

More importantly, I spent time with friends, some of whom also need a break from their children.  We laughed, we joked, we talked, we ate really bad (but really good) food.  We bought souvenirs…..for our children.   We walked….a lot.

They also had a tribute for the 1998 World Series Yankees.  You might remember that team if you follow baseball.  It was one of the greatest single season teams ever, winning a total of 125 games that year.  That was also the second of 4 World Series titles in 5 years.

1998 Yankees World Series Team

That meant we also did some reminiscing.  I also got sunburned.  It was hot and steamy.  We compared it to weather in Cuba and Haiti (Countries I have been to in recent years).  It was more uncomfortable in the Bronx.

In total, I spent about 11 hours with this group of parents and grandparents, without children.  It was the break that I needed.  A break that I would probably deny needing or wanting.  And it was great getting back to my kids.

Now It’s Time to Say Goodnight

I write this as they sleep.  In a week Summer will be over for them.  It’s kind of sad to me but kids need structure.  They need to interact with other children their age.  They need to learn from other adults from different perspectives.

Soon it will be hoodie time and pumpkin everything time.  I don’t really participate in the pumpkin everything craze but I do love my hoodies.

This was a conversation we had on the way home too.  It’s not that they don’t have structure in the Summer.  My children do, but it’s a little less rigid.

Tomorrow we begin getting them back on the school schedule.  Tomorrow it will set in that Summer vacation is almost over.  It will set in for them, and for my wife and me.

I set aside a couple of days this coming week to just spend time with them.  That means by Monday I might be ready for another parent break.  They will be in school, so the house will be eerily quiet for a few hours while I work.  By the time Isaiah’s bus comes back to his stop I will be ready to hear all about his first day of school because I will have missed him and his sister tremendously.

It’s really a vicious cycle.

I am obviously terrible at taking selfies

My Trip to yankee stadium & why it's important (1)



the dad tax guide to installing plex on centos 7

The Dad Tax Guide to Setting up a Plex Server [On CentOS]

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link o these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

Cut the Cord

I worked in the cable industry for almost 10 years.  I left it in 2015.  The last few years I advocated for change.  Packaged television was not working anymore.  No one wanted to pay $120/month to have 200 channels of which they watched maybe 10.

While I was still working in the cable industry I cut the cord.  I still have cable internet because the alternative in my area is terrible.

I use Netflix (I actually get this free because of the plan I have with TMobile).  I have Hulu, and I have a Plex Server.

I have considered, and am still considering using one of the now many streaming services for live TV.  Right now it’s looking like YouTube Live.

I am also considering using an antenna.  What year is it again?

I love my Plex Server.

First, let me start out by introducing you to Plex.

Plex is software that allows you to stream your movie/video collection to multiple devices.  For a low yearly rate of $40 you can purchase the Plex Pass.  With this, you get a bunch of add-ons including the ability to watch and record TV shows (not live).

I should point out that purchasing a Plex Pass is not required but it is nice to have!

You can also add on some other features like Podcasts.  You can configure it to stream videos from any of your devices as well.

I mainly use it as my movie library.  I have taken years of movies off of DVD, added some newer movies, and now have over 500 movies on my server.

I no longer own a DVD player unless you count the Xbox or computers.  Incidentally, I use the Xbox for Plex.

I also use my Roku Players for Plex.  Get the Roku Streaming Stick Here>>>>>

the Dad Tax Plex Server

Why CentOS (Linux)?

I originally set up my Plex Server on a Windows 2012 Server.  Compared to my current Plex Server it was beefy.  It was running 16 GB of RAM and a relatively newer Xeon processor.

The installation and set up on the Windows Server was very simple.  It was easy to attach other drives to the server and have Plex pick them up.

Then the unthinkable happened.  The motherboard and processor on the server died.  I had a decision to make.  Do I replace the motherboard and processor?

The Windows Server also ran hard.  It was literally being used to heat my office in the winter.  No heater needed.  It was consuming a lot of electricity.  And I was really not using it for anything else.

Should I fix it?  Parts would have cost me a few hundred dollars.  Not too bad.  But was it worth it?

I had a few older Dell Desktops not really being used for anything.  I installed CentOS 7 (on older computers I typically run Linux as it just runs more efficiently).  Then I set out to find a guide on how to set up Plex.

The issue was there was not ONE guide to help with everything I was trying to accomplish.  I was installing a Plex Server on CentOS..that’s one guide.  I was installing a Windows Hard Drive on the Linux machine (another guide).  I was transferring movies from an external drive formatted with Windows.  (another guide).

The information was all over the place.  Some of it was also wrong or did not work.

Why should anyone else suffer?

My Plex “Server” Specs

I wouldn’t necessarily call the computer a server.  It definitely runs on a lot less than the Windows Server did.


  • Dude, you have a Dell
  • Older generation i3 Processor
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • I added a 2TB drive to it.
    • Basically, I took the drive from the Windows Server and put it in this machine.  Originally it came with a 500GB drive.  So the operating system is installed on the 500GB drive and the movies are on the 2TB drive.

To my dismay, there was not a single guide that had every step to set up and maintain a Plex Server on CentOS.  CentOS is easily one of the more popular versions of Linux so that seemed odd.

I pieced together a guide from what I found.  Here it is!

Warning: This is done almost exclusively using Terminal (Linux Command Line).  If you prefer a GUI or are uncomfortable with using strictly command line then this might not be the best approach for you.


The Dad Tax Guide to Setting Up & Maintaining Plex on CentOS 7

You will first need to have a machine running CentOS 7.  This guide assumes that if you are here then you already have the knowledge to install CentOS.

If I get enough requests then I will create a guide on how to install CentOS as well.  Installing most versions of Linux is not that hard to do these days, and there are lots of guides on the internet regarding installing CentOS and Linux in general.

First thing I would suggest is setting up SSH.  I set up my Plex Server to allow SSH internally only.  You can choose otherwise.  I won’t get into the risks and how to prevent them here.

My Plex Server is in my basement office.  It’s easier to manage from anywhere else in the house using SSH.  I don’t even keep a keyboard and mouse connected to it.  It’s just quicker to SSH from my phone or laptop.

Get an Account

You will also need to have a plex account.  You can set this up on their website.  You can create a free account but I would really encourage you to get a Plex Pass.  It’s $3.99 a month, or $40/year or you can get a lifetime pass or $120 for life.

I originally chose the one year plan.  I will be going to lifetime when my one year is up.  That should be soon.

First Do This

yum update -y

This will update your machine.  If you have not done this in a while it may take some time.  It may also require a reboot if the kernel is updated.

Set Up SSH on CentOS

Open Terminal and Enter

sudo su

Enter Your Username and Password.  This will give you root access so you don’t have to keep typing in your password or Sudo

systemctl start sshd.service

Now, you’re not going to want to do this every time your computer reboots so you can configure your machine to start SSH on boot.

systemctl enable sshd

Now SSH will start whenever the computer reboots.

Like I said earlier, I configured SSH immediately so that I don’t have to go all the way down to the basement to manage my Plex Server.

There are other things to consider.  For example, there are different versions of SSH, one more secure than the other.

You may also want to determine if you want to be able to access SSH from outside your network.  I decided against this for my reasons but you may want to.

Install Plex

This step is actually pretty easy.  Before you do this step you will need to go to the downloads page and get the URL for the latest version.

As of this writing, the command you would use is:


Now Install Plex (this assumes you still have sudo access).  If not include sudo in the beginning of the below command.

yum install plexmediaserver*.rpm

Finally, you will want to configure Plex to automatically start on reboot.  I can’t think of a reason you wouldn’t.

sudo systemctl enable plexmediaserver.service

Last but definitely not least, fire it up!!

sudo systemctl start plexmediaserver.service

Configure Plex

You will now need to open a browser.  The default browser on CentOS is fine.

You may want to install Chrome on your shiny new (old) Linux machine.  I chose not to install anything additional besides Plex and some monitoring software.

Browse to http://localhost:8888/web

Enter your username and password.  We set this up earlier..remember???

Give your new Plex server a name.

Optional: Put a check in the box Allow me to access my media outside my home.  I chose not to do this.  Keep in mind if you do this you will also need to configure your router to allow access.

And then create your media folders.  In my scenario, these folders were already created because I used a hard drive that was set up on my Windows Server originally.  That’s another set of instructions that will not be included here.

To create new media folders go back to your terminal window and enter:

cd ~/
mkdir -p plex-media/movies 

You will need to do this for each folder you want to be created. So if you want one for TV you would run this command again but change movies to tv, or you can append to the first command using:

&& mkdir plex-media/tv

Add Media

I transferred my movies from a back up drive originally set up on Windows.  This means I would have another set of instructions.  I will include those as a bonus once I am done with this guide.

For now, I am going to assume you have some knowledge of how to transfer media to your Linux hard drive (the folders you created in the previous step.

Open Plex on your local machine.  Alternatively, you can navigate to Plex from inside your network using another computer.

For example, on my network, I can go to and log in from there.   This will be different for you depending on the IP address scope of your router and what IP address you assigned to your Plex Server.  The :32400 at the end is the port number for Plex.

If you are still on your local machine then just use http://localhost:8888/web.

  • Click Add Library
  • Select the media type (Movies, TV, Music..etc)
  • Navigate to the folder that the media is in
  • Click Add
  • Repeat for additional libraries

scan library files on plexIt is important to follow Plex’s naming conventions as outlined on their website.  I did not when I first set this up and it did not go smoothly.  I had some cleaning up to do.

After you’ve done the initial set up anytime you add more media (to the same folders) just use the scan library files option to update Plex with the new media.

Update Plex

Updating Plex is pretty simple. The heavy lifting is done now.

It just so happened that an update is available as I am putting this guide together so I am going to screen capture it.

I am going to do this from my Asus Laptop (I wrote about it here) using Putty.

First you will want to make sure CentOS is up to date.  As you will see in the video you will need to make sure you have su access.

sudo su

Enter Password

yum update -y


service plexmediaserver stop

yum localupdate plexmediaserver*

service plexmediaserver start

Note, the url used in wget may not be the current version.  It probably will not be by the time you read this.  You will need to either use the version number shown in the Plex application or go to the Plex website to get the right version.

Transferring Media from a Windows Formatted Drive (Bonus Round)

I am adding this because a lot of people I know are more familiar with Windows.  You might be more of a Linux user but if you are then you’re probably not reading this guide.

My backup of my movies is a portable hard drive that was originally formatted in Windows.  CentOS does not recognize this natively but there is a way to transfer media from a Windows formatted drive to CentOS.

You will first need to install some software

yum install ntfs-3g

Now create a directory where the Windows Drive will attach

mkdir /mnt/windows

/mnt/windows can be whatever you want it to be but make sure it makes sense.

Now mount the Windows drive

mount -t ntfs-3g /dev/sdb1 /mnt/win

You may need to change sdb1 to sdc1 or higher depending on how many mounts you have on your server.  I had to use sdc1 because I have two hard drives in the computer.  You can use the df command to see what mounts you have.

using df to see what mounts you have

On Windows when you detach an external drive you have to select eject from the system tray.  (If you don’t do this you risk losing data or corrupting the drive).  This is not an option on CentOS.  To detach the drive you have to:

umount /mnt/windows

To Transfer the Movies I just transfer the entire folder.  This is easier than going movie by movie.

cp -r -n /mnt/bkup/Movies\ 2 /mnt/win

The -r sets the copy to be recursive.  The -n tells the computer not to overwrite anything if it already exists.  Less wear and tear on the hard drive and a much quicker copy drive in my case.

The folder name on my external drive is Movies 2.  Note the space.  CentOS does not recognize the space so to get around that you have to enter it as Movies\ 2.

Final Notes

That’s going to do it for this Guide to Installing Plex on CentOS 7.  I am sure I missed a thing or two so if I did let me know.

If you use this guide let me know.

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The Dad Tax Guide to Installing Plex on CentOS 7


A Case of the Mondays [No, I Don’t Hate Mondays]

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link o these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

It’s Monday night at 9:30 and I am just now sitting down with time for myself.  Mondays can be hectic.

On Mondays, I prep my client’s analytics and deliver the good (or bad) news to them.  I also record my SEO Hackerz Podcast.  I attempt to edit and upload it the same day.  The transcription takes me at least a few days so I don’t worry about that on Mondays.

I have to watch Power from the night before, one of my guilty pleasures.  I don’t watch a lot of television but this I watch.  I will create a blog post with my favorite TV shows soon.

Mondays are also spent trying to recover from whatever social media I missed, SEO news, blog updates and tech issues.  I do still help some people with computer issues.  Gotta keep the lights on.

Did I forget to send any invoices?  Yes, I do occasionally forget to send an invoice.  Did I complete this months work for client ABC?  This I track very carefully but if I am not happy with the results then chances are they won’t be happy either.

Then there are the kids…and it’s raining…AGAIN.

Seriously, when did we relocate to Seattle?

Izzy (my 4-year-old daughter) had a rough morning.  Any little thing was setting her off all morning until she decided to take a nap.  Naps are becoming very rare for her so I suspect she either wasn’t feeling well or just did not sleep well last night.  I know I didn’t.

After the nap, she came down to my office and apologized.  I could tell it was heartfelt and sincere.  She reacted the same way I would have if I was sincerely sorry for my behavior.  A tight hug, a few tears, and things are back to normal..for now.

Daddy’s Girl.

Daddy Daughter Date NightI have two daughters.  One is an adult and just had a child of her own.  The other is Izzy. By most accounts, she is a diva.  She is easily the toughest of my 3 children.  She does not take crap from anyone but she sure can dish it out.

She is my twin in almost every way.  Whenever people see us together the first thing that is said is she is my twin.  Her attitude is the same, her appetite is the same.  Almost everything about her is the same.  The only difference is her hair is on her head and mine is on my chin.

Hey, I used to have hair.

I don’t want to raise a stereotypical girl.  I know this school of thought is fading but there are still many people who believe women should not do certain things and that men should take care of them.

I want to raise a woman who can take care of herself and does not need people to do things for her.  I want her to play sports..not just sports that were traditionally for women.  I want her to love science and math. I want her to be a fortune 500 CEO or something that shows how powerful a woman can be. No, I don’t want her to be a politician.

I want her to know she has options.  I want her to be happy and successful at whatever she wants to do.  I want her to know she can do it.

It’s such a delicate balance because I also believe in showing your kids as much love as possible.  I believe that children should know that they’re loved, even when they’re doing things you do not like.

So I tell her often that I love her.  I give her hugs and kisses often.  And when she wants to dance I dance.  And I cannot dance.

If she does get in trouble I do punish her and scold her but I also let her know I love her.

Why Do I Tell You This?

I can be tough on her.  What I mean is she often asks me, her brother or her grandfather to do things for her.  Look for something, get something, help her with something.  Things that she is capable of doing.  I almost always tell her no because I want her to do things herself.  I know she is capable.  She knows she is capable.  She just does not want to do them.

I told you she is tough.

I believe this is an important lesson.  It’s important for two reasons.

Izzy on the bumper carsKids need to hear “No”.  I see a lot of parents say “Yes” simply to avoid a conflict, especially in public.  This does not fly in my house.  No means no.  It does not always go smoothly but eventually, it will sink in.  There are consequences to the public (or private) displays of conflict.  Tantrums are corrected.

The life lesson is you will not always get your way.  In fact, most of the time you will not get your way.  You have to accept that and move on.  The only thing worse than a child throwing a tantrum in public is a 20 something-year-old who thinks they’re entitled to anything and everything just because.

Back to Izzy.  She does not really throw tantrums in public but at home, she will put up a fight.  I will hold my ground because I want her to learn that she is more than capable of doing anything for herself.  I want her to be able to accept no for an answer.

She needs to know she can succeed at whatever task she is challenged with, no matter how minor or major.  She also needs to know that we have her back so I will tell her it is OK to ask for help.  I still will not do it for her but I will help.

Today, she had a case of the Mondays.

Back to School is Almost Here

My kids go back to school two weeks from today.  Why do parents get excited for back to school?

I don’t like it.  I feel as though Summer vacation was longer when I was a kid.  My son had exactly two months this year.  It was over almost as soon as it started.

I like having the kids around to play with, to watch Voltron or Power Rangers or Paw Patrol with, to practice baseball or just talk.  I like saying let’s go hiking in the middle of the day on Wednesday.

I don’t like making sure we get to the bus stop on time.  I don’t like dragging my kids out of bed.  Isaiah is an early bird anyway but Izzy..I told you Izzy is my twin.  I was a night owl most of my life.  If it was not double digits on the clock chances are I was still sleeping.

Back to School Special on Amazon

These days I am lucky if I get to sleep until 7:30 am.

The house is too quiet when they’re not here.  It’s eerie.  I like the noise (not the fighting).  The highlight of my day during the school year is when they get home from school.

I secretly like snow days, especially the fake snow days.  We seem to have a lot of those fake snow days lately.  They predict a lot of snow, the school systems panic and close, and nothing happens.  No school for the kids and no shoveling for me.

But then the following Summer shrinks.

I just don’t understand why parents cannot wait for back to school.  I count the days til the next vacation or even the long weekends.  Thankfully the first one is Labor Day weekend.

Well, I guess I better make the best of the next two weeks.

And the Yankees just lost to the Mets.  I guess they have a case of the Mondays too.


I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Do you like or dislike back to school?


A Case of the Mondays on the Dad Tax



What to do on a Rainy Day [These Kids are Climbing the Walls]

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link o these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

It’s a rare Saturday that I am not running around from activity to activity with the kids.  Take a look at their activities:

My son:

  • Baseball
  • Piano

My daughter:

  • Gymnastics
  • Dance

They both take Karate.

Isaiah at Karate

This is actually a slower summer for them.  In the past, we also had other activities.  Of course, there are their friends birthday parties.  Yes they happen all year round but they seem to happen more in the summer

So Saturdays can be very busy, and I am usually more exhausted after a Saturday than I am during the week.  This particular Saturday though….

My son’s piano lesson was canceled because his teacher is going to a Yankee game (I would have canceled too).  There was supposed to be an awards banquet for baseball (my team finished in second place, and more importantly we had a blast) but it’s pouring….again.  There’s no gymnastics for my daughter over the summer (that won’t last but because she’s 4 this year they take a break), and we usually don’t go to karate on Saturdays though we could.

Seriously, this Connecticut Summer this year can be described in one word.  WET.

I have time to myself. And they let me sleep til 7:30 am.  WHAT?

Right now they’re running back and forth on the front porch, the only place outside our house that is covered.  They are very active children by nature.  I am OK with this but sometimes it can be annoying.

What to Do?

There’s always Skyzone.  I’m sure it’s packed today.  I could go to a movie.  My daughter is terrible at the movie theater.  She almost always has to go to the bathroom at the most critical point in the movie.  She did this when we went to see Hotel Transylvania a couple weeks ago, right at the moment when the EDM started.  Wait, I mean, I wasn’t paying attention to the movie.

They put a bouncy castle place in the local mall.  I loathe the mall.

Board Games, Video Games and some general roof-raising sounds like a plan.

One of our favorite family games is Monopoly.  Get it here>>>

One thing I am trying to instill in my kids is it’s OK to be bored.  It’s OK to be creative with things to do.  There are a lot of parents who would just plop their kids in front of the TV or give them an iPad just so their kids leave them alone.

We do allow our kids to use iPads but there is a very strict time limit.  On non-school days it’s two hours.  On school days my son is allowed to use it on the bus ride (he has a long bus ride to school).

They will get their two hours and that’s it.  At the time I write this sentence they have not had them yet.  They have played with toys or run back and forth on the front porch.

This blog post has taken me over 3 hours to put together because while doing this I also worked with my 4-year-old daughter on sight words.   Did I mention she is very strong-willed?

So I will let them be bored for a while.  I am sure I will hear “I’m bored” multiple times today. Maybe I will get a wall knocked down today instead.

I know I won’t be bored though sometimes I wish I was.  I feel a nerf war coming on.  The nerf war might include lightsabers and powerbombs into the couch cushions.

Can’t beat the Nerf Rival for a good ole fashion Nerf War.  Check it out>>>

Where was I?  Oh, yeah.  It’s OK for your kids to be bored sometimes.  I believe kids can be overstimulated more than an adult.  Letting them veg out on an iPad or TV is not good for them.

They need exercise (definitely not an issue for my kids).  They need to think creatively.  They need to learn that 12-14 hours of being entertained is not going to happen.

Rain, Rain, Go Away

dad tax in the form of chicken nuggets

The Motivation Behind the Dad Tax [and What’s the Plan?]

dads rock at the dad tax

I imagine I am like most dads in the world.  At least I hope I am.  I hear some sad stories from time to time but I don’t personally know of any bad dads or deadbeat dads.  Well, just one but that’s another blog post for another time.

I do believe dads get a bad rap in general but I will get to that in a bit.  To be honest I have been thinking about doing this for a while.  I belong to numerous dad groups on Facebook.  They are all awesome.  I constantly share posts that put a dad’s role on display.

The post might be humorous, or it may be about something important to dads, and their children.

Here’s the deal.

Dads Are Important!

Statistics have proven that having a dad (figure) in a child’s life has a long-lasting, positive impact on that child.  They perform better in all aspects of their life, even into adulthood.

I don’t need statistics.  I have seen it first hand.  I have seen the negative impact of not having a father (figure) in a child’s life.

You might be asking why I keep adding (figure) after father.  It’s because I also know dads who are not biologically the father of the child but take care of the child as if it were their biological child.  This takes a big heart and a strong man.

About Me

What are you doing dad? I am a father to 3 children.  One of those children just had a child of her own so I am now a grandfather as well.  My children range in age from 4-23.  My grandchild is a newborn.

I have 2 girls aged 4 and 23.  My son is 8.

Beyond that I work…a lot.  I have been fortunate that most of my work can be done from my home office.  This affords me the opportunity to spend as much time as possible with my kids.

I run, sometimes.

I love technology and baseball.  I do like other sports and right now is my favorite time of the year for sports.  Football is starting and baseball is approaching playoff season.  Go Yankees.

I have been married to my wife for just over 9 years now.

I am also a baseball coach (my son has been on my team for 4 years now and I hope to continue this for as many years as possible).  He is also coached by others.  We’ll get to him on another blog post.  Let’s just say Brian Cashman may come up in that post.  Baseball is definitely a passion of mine and so far it is for him too.  I hope that continues.

I am not without fault, for sure, but I try my hardest at everything I do.

I think I am funny.  I think most people think I am funny.  My wife does not.

Nothing gives me more pleasure than spending time with my kids.  From taking a nap on the couch with them (though that is very rare these days) to coaching, daddy-daughter dates, hiking, amusement parks, pizza night (that’s tonight, I am trying to finish this post before it gets here), life lessons (disguised as baseball lessons), and more.

Why This Blog?

Well, some of it is self-serving. I hope to monetize it like so many others are doing.  What I do not see as much of is male/dad type blogs that have affiliate links and are monetized.  I know they are out there.  I have seen them.  But there is definitely a lot more blogs for women.

So yes, there will be review blogs with affiliate links.  All of them will be stuff I personally use and would recommend without an affiliate link.

If other’s blog I will let them add their affiliate links to their blog post.  That’s probably a little way off.

I also believe, as I mentioned earlier, that dads do still get a bad wrap.  How many times as a dad have you been asked if you are babysitting, or do you need help with the kids?

How many dads get strange looks when out with your kids?  How many dads get asked where mommy is?

How many dads don’t get to see their kids only because mom is using the kid as leverage? Yes, moms, I know it happens both ways, and I know that sometimes there are legitimate reasons.

There’s a lot to be said for and about dads and that’s the real motivation behind this blog.  Plus I like to talk about my kids and dad related stuff.

Why The Dad Tax?

me and my youngest daughter. She loves playing with my beardI am glad you finally asked.  You’ve never heard of the Dad Tax?

OK, I will use tonight as an example.  We ordered pizza.  Each kid is good for one, maybe two slices.  (Believe it or not, my 4-year-old daughter eats more than my 8-year-old son).  My girls can eat.  My son, not so much.

When that pizza gets here I get some of their pizza off the top.  That’s the dad tax.  This isn’t really the best example.

Here’s another example.  My kids love those chicken nuggets shaped like dinosaurs.  Not sure who makes them off the top of my head but as parents we have all seen them.  If my son gets 10 (yes, these he will inhale most days), I get 2 of them.  That’s the dad tax.

Pretty sure most dads do this.  I think even a lot of moms do this.

I was explaining the dad tax to my kids one day and it hit me.  I said to myself there’s no way the domain is still available.  Well, guess what…

I am a web designer and SEO person by trade anyway so I routinely purchase domains that I think are cool.  Sometimes I use them, sometimes I don’t.  It’s not that I don’t want to.  It’s having the time/motivation to do something with it.

I own (not sure if I would get sued), (which will be a project for my son and I), (I used to do IT, this was the name of my company) and a few other good names that I could probably flip.  Currently, none of these are being used but who knows…

I got lucky again with a domain name.

What’s Next?

I plan to blog often.  I plan to grow The Dad Tax as much as possible.  I plan to have guest bloggers, maybe even a podcast or something along those lines.

I also plan to support Movember through this site.  I have supported them in the past and I think it’s a very important cause.

I will include fantasy sports here.  Time to dust off those fantasy cleats.

I will review products/services I use..good and bad.

And of course dad stories.

I am still putting it all together.  There are about 283 ideas in my head right now.  I had to put something together so I can get rolling on it.

Now it’s time to go eat pizza, take a few pictures, watch a movie with the kids, and after they go to sleep..back to work.

the dad tax why I started the Dad Tax