Heed not Steve

Category: Memories

Burning A Hole In My Pocket

Okay.  When the iPhones 11 and 11 pro were introduced, Lucie asked me, “Are you going to update to the new iPhone?”

And I was all like, “I hadn’t really planned on it.”

And she was all, “Oh, I figured you’d want it because of the new, improved cameras.”

And I was all, “new improved cameras? huh…”

I’m paraphrasing.

Then, I saw a youtube video where some talking head discussed how the new iPhones have the hardest glass of any smartphone!

And I was all, The hardest glass of any smartphone?  I MUST have that phone!


So, I payed the last installment on my iPhone X, and ordered an iPhone 11 pro max in gold.  I gave Lucie my iPhone X.  She’d been using my old iPhone 7.

She’s more impervious to technology’s siren song.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, siren song…Wait, Steve, you might be saying, I thought you didn’t like the plus sized phones.  Why’d you get the 11 pro max?

You weren’t?

Well, I’ll tell you.

A coworker got a new 11 pro and he mistakenly referred to it as an 11 pro max.  I looked at it and thought to myself, The max isn’t that big at all!  I’m going to get the max!

He didn’t actually have the pro max, but, it turns out, I like the bigger size very much.  It’s not as convenient to carry around, but, I’ve got big hands so using it isn’t any harder for me, and I like the extra screen real estate.

Initially I wanted the midnight green color, but it was further back ordered, so I got the gold.  It matches my watch.

Wait!  You have the gold watch?

Oh, yeah.  I guess I haven’t mentioned that.  Back in January, I splurged on a series 4 gold stainless steel watch.  Do you remember, way, way back when the first watch came out, they had the gold edition version with the midnight blue leather band?  Remember how much I coveted that watch?

Well, there’s no way I can spend $15,000 on a watch.  But the gold stainless steel version is a different story.  Also, the series 4 was getting rave reviews.

I like to buy Apple watches on eBay after the initial rush, but, for this one I paid full retail.

It’s gold!  It’s got rave reviews!

Lucie now has my old series 2 black, stainless steel, watch.

As far as the series 5, I’m in no rush.  I’ll likely start scouring eBay.  I kind of dig the titanium edition, but I don’t want to spend 900 bucks on it.

Time is on my side.


Anyhow, as much as I liked the iPhone X, I very much much like the 11 pro max.  I’d show you photo of it, but I don’t have any way to take a picture of it.

Well, hold on.  I have an idea.

I’ll be right back…


umm, I’ve only got one phone…

Okay, there, you get the general idea.  I’m sure you’ve seen them on the TV.

That’s an aramid fiber case which works with a magnetic car mount so I don’t have to keep the phone in my lap while I drive or risk the phone sliding all around the passenger seat.

I guess I should’ve taken the photo without the case so you can see the stainless steel band around the phone.  It pretty much matches the gold stainless steel watch.

Oh, here…



Btw, Arrow and Board sells gold watchband adaptors which match the gold stainless steel nearly perfectly.  I’m wearing a midnight blue sport band in this photo, with no adaptors, so, ahh, I guess you can’t actually see the adaptors of which I speak.

I guess my photos aren’t especially useful today.


Maybe later I’ll do another post about the watch and the adaptors and my blue leather watch strap.

In any case, that’s all, I suppose.

Every two years I get Apple tech fever.

Functionally, the iPhone 11 pro max isn’t much different from any other phone.  It’s a little faster.  The cameras are very good.  The battery life is great.  For now, at least, this phone is top-of-the-line.

I like it a lot.  It’ll hold me awhile.


Two Weeks On

Hey, Steve, you may be asking, how’s it going with the empty nest and all?  It’s been two weeks, right?

Well, I’ll tell you.

It’s going quite all right.


It’s been two weeks since we moved Alec down to Tucson for college.  As I write this, he’s got two weeks of fancy book learning under his belt.  So far so good, by the way.  He seems to be settling in with no drama or trauma.

Lucie and I are still adjusting, but, on the whole, we dig it.

We expected we’d be more sad.  We expected more tears.

Don’t get me wrong.  We certainly miss him and it is sad.  The sadness hits in little waves.  But, it’s more of a wistful sadness, a nostalgic sadness.  I still feel (to a lesser degree) the same way about three year old Alec and eight year old Alec and middle school Alec.  I miss all the childhood chapters of both my boys.

But, do I want to go back?

No, Sir!

I told myself the very first day, Self, that’s what I call me, Self, when you feel sad, remember Alec is off having a terrific adventure.  He’s starting his adult life.  He’s exactly where he needs to be.

And that cheers me up.

Also, having the house to ourselves cheers me up.  We’ve been enjoying that.

So, it hasn’t been as sad as we expected, but it has been weird.  For the first time in our marriage, for the first time in decades, we don’t have a constant where-is-my-child-what-is-he-doing-what-does-he-need loop running 24 hours a day in the backs of our heads.

It’s weird.  It’s foreign.  It’s nice.

There’s no one to check on.  Nothing to listen for.  No interruptions (as pleasant as they may be).

It’s just us.

For the first few days, as we acclimated, the house felt incredibly quiet and impossibly large.  The days felt slower and more spacious.

Time at home has become a lazy river.

It’s hard to describe.

But, we like it.  The possibilities are beginning to dawn on us.

Lucie and I have started a new chapter of our own terrific adventure.

Off To College


Alec is officially moved and living in Tucson and ready for school.  His current goal is to earn a degree in optical engineering.  He starts class on Monday.

And, now, Lucie and I are in an empty nest.

Well, it’s empty except for, you know, us.  And except for the dog.  And except for the cat. And except for all the traumatized, near-dead lizards the cat brings in.

Otherwise, it’s empty.

We’re sad.  We miss Alec.  But, we’re not too sad.  We’re not overwhelmed.

When I feel his absence, I remind myself he’s off having a grand adventure.  He’s starting his adult life.  He’s enjoying the correct and proper order of things.

I’m resisting the urge to weep nostalgic.

And also, not for nothing, I didn’t have to put on pants before getting coffee from the kitchen this morning.

That’s a nice perk.


Yesterday, there was a lot of moving parts involved with getting Alec relocated.  We used two vehicles to take his stuff.  Cos and Laura also came, in their own vehicle, to help unload and get Alec’s room situated.  The unload/move in was scheduled for 12:15.  Alec also had an orientation to attend at 10:15.  And he had to get to the bookstore to pick up his books.  And we needed to get him a bicycle while we were down there.  And we met friends for dinner, to make introductions, so Alec will have a friendly, local, emergency contact, if needed.

The day was a hot, sweaty blur of navigating parking garages, driving around Tucson, walking around campus, and getting stuff done.  But, it went fairly smoothly.  There were volunteers to unload the cars and schlepp his stuff up to the room, so that went very quickly.  Alec is on the fifth floor and shares his room with a buddy he’s known since sixth grade.

It was a nice way to transition.  We got to help him move so his absence feels less abrupt.

I hope it all goes well for Alec.

We’re proud of him.



setting up his stuff




the view from his room



Alec with Cos and Laura (Cosmo’s wife)



elevator selfie!



one more selfie before our final hugs and goodbyes



kick butt and take names, Alec!


The Inexorable, Desirable, Heartbreaking March of Time

Today I started a week off from work.  Normally, I look forward to time off and, as soon as Yaba Daba Doo time hits, I loosen my belt, swap my watch band, and go into deep  ahhh mode.

But, this week, not so much.  I’ve been simultaneously looking forward to this week and lamenting it.

Why, you ask?

Well, because Alec is moving out this week.  He’s starting college and will be moving down to Tucson.


Our little Goober is moving out.

We’ve never had an empty nest;  Cos was five when we got married.

And the idea of a house without our children makes me and Lucie sad.

And it excites us.

We’re kind of all over the place.

I’m sure the Germans have a word for it, for the combined emotion of happiness and sadness and excitement and relief and anxiety and compression and joy and vacuum and possibility and completion and heartbreak and . . .


We’ll miss him.

But it’s time for him to go.

Father’s Day 2019

Dad and Alec

When I was roughly the same age as Alec in the above photo, I remember sitting on the floor in preschool. We were all of us preschoolers, sitting on the floor, waiting for the end of the school day, waiting to be picked up.

The class door was open onto the parking lot. And, as I waited, I remember looking out the door and seeing my dad, just all of the sudden. There he was. He stood in the parking lot, still in uniform, backlit by the sun. I couldn’t even really see his face but, of course I recognized him. He looked ten feet tall. He looked solid and immovable.

That’s how I remember it.

And I remember I was thrilled to see him. I was excited to be going home. I was excited and proud to be picked up by him, to be seen with him.

As I got older, I stopped wearing my adoration on my sleeve. That’s how kids are. We’re eager to grow up. We’re eager for independence.

But, through all the various, self-centered phases of my childhood and adulthood, my feelings about him never really changed.

47 plus years later and I’m still proud to be his son.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad. I love you.


Behind the Scenes: Magic!

You might remember, last week I hatched a plot to hide an origami rabbit under a coworker’s hard hat.

Origami Rabbit: one each

Well, after I made the rabbit, it was several days before my coworker again parked his toolbox next to mine.

But, when he did, yesterday, I was ready.

under the hat it goes…

And that’s how the magic is done.

My coworker will be a magician and he doesn’t even know it!

Now we wait.

It might be awhile.

It might be a very long while.


Happy Birthday Cos!

I can’t believe you turn thirty years old today! Holy Moly!

I’m only 35, myself. I’m sure of it. That means you must be….13?

No. You’re too much of a decent, grown, fully formed, young man. I’ll have to revisit my own age later. Maybe I’m 40.

So. We didn’t do anything with you to celebrate this evening. We are getting together on Sunday, though.

Tonight, you had a game night with Laura and friends.

Before hand, Alec went over with his gift to you: a Flumbus.

That must’ve cost a few schmeckles. Am I right?


Let me reiterate what a good and decent man you’ve grown into. Don’t misunderstand; you’ve always been good and decent. But now you are autonomously so, if that makes sense. Now you are a good and decent presence in the world, a world too often short on goodness and decency.

We’re proud of you. We’re proud of the man you continue to be. We love you and we like you.

Happy Birthday!

Congratulations Cosmo and Laura!

Yesterday evening, our older son, Cosmo (that’s his family nickname) and his wife, Laura, held a lovely, outdoor reception, at his grandparents’ home, to celebrate Laura and Cosmo’s recent, Vegas marriage.

They’d gotten married, in May, at the Electric Daisy Carnival, an electronic dance festival in Las Vegas, As a venue, it was great for them and their friends. For parents and family, though, it wasn’t very accessible. Hence, the small reception limited mostly to family and family friends.

There wasn’t all the usual, tedious, wedding reception froofah. There was just food and music and family. There was also, of course, cake.

And, while the weather was definitely warm/hot, for June, in Phoenix, it was unusually mild.

It was a very nice evening.

Congratulations, Laura and Cosmo – here’s to many, many more wonderful evenings in your future!

Laura in her electric gown

Laura and Cos (as I call him) getting ready to cut the cake

One tier was almond and one tier was lemon


That Time, Today, During Alec’s College Orientation When Lucie Texted Me A Running, Inside Joke Which Went Right Over My Head, Resulting In A Couple Few Stressful Minutes For Me, Indeed


One Thing Up My Sleeve

Okay.  I have a little plan, a scheme, a plot.

And it’s afoot.

When one of my coworkers, we’ll call him John, works in my area, he parks his roll-around toolbox next to mine.

He’s a good coworker and a good toolbox neighbor.  I don’t mind.

But, on top of his toolbox, he keeps a footstool, one of those round types with no legs, like you find in a library.  Under the footstool, he keeps his hard hat.

A couple of days ago, as I looked at his box, I thought to myself, Self, that’s what I call me, Self, that stool looks like a big ol’ hat.


What’s the best thing to hide under a hat?

A rabbit!

So, I briefly considered finding a stuffed rabbit, but I don’t want to spend any money on a bit of silliness.  Instead, I went on the interwebs and got some learning and made this:


…don’t know my own strength!

That’s right; I made a little, origami rabbit to hide under a coworker’s hard hat.

Unfortunately, he wasn’t parked next to me today, so I’ll have to wait to sneak it in at a later date.  Also, unfortunately, it might be weeks or months before he needs to use his hard hat.

But, when he does…. POW!