Hilton Grand Vacation Club timeshare numbers didn’t add up

A pal of mine emailed me a few days ago asking: Do you have a Hilton Grand Vacations HGVC timeshare? Which resort do you usually go to? Are you happy with it? We went back and forth in email, including me explaining some of the math behind time shares and why they’re such a bad idea for most people (myself included, in hindsight) and so I thought I’d publish the back and forth here with some…Read More

The challenge of finding appropriate girls Halloween costumes

I might have missed the memo, but when did Halloween turn into a holiday focused on girls showing off their, um, feminine charms? I’m astonished that there are more and more costume shops that pop up in my area each year, and when you go in all the costumes for girls over about eight seem to suggest that they’re college co-eds hoping to get laid that night. I mean, really, have you gone into one…Read More

President Obama’s address: are your kids going to listen?

I’m a bit confused by the reaction to the upcoming speech that President Obama is planning on delivering to school children on September 8th, encouraging them to stay in school and, no doubt, mirroring JFK’s “ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” According to the Department of Education, “the president will speak directly to the nation’s children and youth about persisting and succeeding in school….Read More

The sublime pleasures of hot summer days and a pool

We’ve been on a holiday in Southern California this week and it’s been pretty darn hot, I gotta say. Typical mid-afternoon temps are in the 90s and that just gets beastly, with the heat just lingering and wearing everyone out. Between sweating and getting cranky, it’s dangerous to be out in public around 3pm in this kind of weather, and short stints in air conditioned buildings don’t seem to help. What is helping with the…Read More

Surviving the summer with my kids

I don’t get it. When I was a kid I remember summer as the time when I was up and out of the house every morning, cruising on my bike to my pal Mitchell’s house about 2/3 mile away, or, later, my friend Ivan’s house to get into some trouble or other (if one or the other of us wasn’t working). Sometimes they’d come over to my house and we’d spend the day building strange…Read More

Activities for you to do with your baby on a rainy day

There are plenty of low cost activities that you and your baby can do together as a family on a rainy day. When the weather is not at its best then this may mean you stuck in the house with nothing to do other than watch TV or a DVD but that need not be the case! A bit of imagination and fun is all that is required in order for all of you to…Read More

Memories of our Journey to NYC on the Queen Mary

I mentioned a while ago on Twitter that when my family emigrated from England to the United States, we actually took the rather famous ship The Queen Mary, and to my surprise, the PR team at the Queen Mary (which is now a floating museum permanently docked in Long Beach, California) contacted me and asked if we had any pictures. We took the trip in 1963, so I have no memories of it, so I…Read More

Secret skill: I can paint ceramics!

If you know me, you know that I am incessantly doodling and scribbling pictures. Put me at a table with a paper tablecloth and crayons or a pen and you’ll soon find that it’s covered with random drawings. Rather than call myself any sort of artist, however, I think “cartoonist” is probably more accurate, and a little known fact is that I did have a short-lived underground comic strip that circulated while I was in…Read More

Review: Cirque du Soleil “O”

Rather to my surprise, I’ve become a bit of a Cirque du Soleil junkie and find myself going to a new show each time I’m in Las Vegas. I’ve already written about The Beatles: LOVE, which I found a wonderful experience. Last time I was in Vegas the Cirque team was generous in providing tickets to “O” at the Bellagio and offering my friends and I a great behind-the-scenes tour and chance to meet some…Read More

What’s with streamers being thrown at MLS soccer games?

My son and I had a rare evening to ourselves tonight and flipped on Fox Soccer Channel to watch a US Major League Soccer (MLS) game between The New York Red Bulls and Real Salt Lake. The game was pretty good and the play was exciting but it’s the first time in watching a lot of soccer that I’ve ever seen streamers thrown on the playing field by fans and it sucked. I’m not a…Read More

Review: Cirque du Soleil: The Beatles LOVE, Las Vegas

While attending Blogworld Expo last week in Las Vegas, Nevada, I had a wonderful Twitter experience that resulted in my friend Klaus and I being given free tickets to see the hottest show on the Las Vegas strip: Cirque du Soleil The Beatles LOVE. I’m going to go into the show in depth, but let me start by giving you a one word summary: fabulous! Having said that, let me also say that prior to…Read More

Fun, random photographs from our Hawaiian Holiday

First off, I will apologize that I’m not going to post any pictures of my kids here. I know that most daddy bloggers and mommy bloggers have a different perspective on things, but I don’t have pics of my kids online because it’s important to me that I put in all possible effort to protect their privacy. That’s also why I don’t refer to them by name but rather by using the admittedly Victorian convention…Read More

Single rooms and single parents: travel logistics in hotels

Since I haven’t yet won the lottery, I can’t afford to get two adjoining rooms each time we travel, and more and more I’m finding that it’s a real drag to share a room with little ones. Not because of the chaos, not because they wake me up – all of that is [begrudgingly] okay – but because of what to do after they’ve fallen asleep.Read More

We heard back from Norwegian Cruise Lines. Sorta

If you’re a faithful reader of our blog, you know that it wasn’t two months ago that we took a terrific Mexican Riviera cruise with my parents, sister and brother in law. We had a good time until we tried to get off the ship, and that disembarkation experience was so terrible that I not only blogged about it (see Norwegian Star Cruise Embarkation, Yech!), but wrote a letter to Colin Veitch, President and CEO…Read More

The dark side of our Norwegian Star cruise: embarkation and disembarkation

It’s been a few weeks since we returned from our Norwegian Star cruise to the Mexican Riviera and we still have lots of great memories and have enjoyed looking at the over 800 photos we took between the four of us who had cameras. If you haven’t read my previous articles, I encourage you to start there before you read this one, however: Part I: Our Cruise to Mexico and Part II: Food, Norovirus and…Read More

Of Food, Norovirus and Excursions on our Norwegian Star Cruise…

Hopefully you’ve already read the first installment of my writeup of our recent 8-day cruise on the Norwegian Star to the Mexican Riviera. If not, you should probably read it first… Avoiding Norovirus and Scary Germson our NCL Cruise This time I want to talk a bit more about our dining experiences, about our one organized trip off the boat in Puerto Vallarta, and most especially about germs. Yes, if you haven’t been paying attention…Read More

Our Norwegian Star Cruise to the Mexican Riviera

A few days ago we returned from a totally unique experience: we boarded the massive, beautiful Norwegian Star ship and embarked on an 8-day cruise out of San Pedro, California (LA harbor) to the so-called Mexican Riviera. Our ports of call were Acapulco, Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas, and also on board were my LA-based parents (who are cruise experts: this was their 17th cruise by their count) and my sister and brother-in-law,…Read More

Internet access and cell phone service on the Norwegian Star?

Okay, so we’re planning a big adventure in the near future: we’re going on an 8-day cruise to the Mexican Riviera on the Norwegian Star cruise ship. Should be fun, my parents and my sister and her husband are joining us for a true family reunion cruise! Since I like to plan at least a bit in advance, however, I’ve been digging around trying to figure out both Internet and cellphone access, and, oh, how…Read More

Adventures in Weather: The Blizzard of 2006

When I helped organize an Internet marketing event in San Antonio in mid-December (the very well received Elite Retreat) I had no idea what an adventure it’d become… While we were sitting in a cozy room sharing our inside marketing secrets with attendees, a big storm was wreaking havoc on the Pacific Northwest and barreling down on Colorado. By the time I was ready to leave San Antonio I knew we’d be flying into some…Read More

I survived my day at the zoo with five 9yo girls!

I’m fairly confident in my ability to be a good Dad, I have a good rapport with children and just enough whimsy and wackiness to usually do a good job of keeping them amused. I’ve also learned to not take myself too seriously – most of the time, at least – when around kids because, after all, they’re going to be blunt with you anyway, so ya better not be too touchy. Even with this,…Read More