A priceless moment


The other day my daughter and I were at a store when I saw a cop I knew from work. He was looking at something on a shelf and didn’t know I was there. That’s when I thought of something funny to do.

I turned to my daughter and said, “See that guy over there? I work with him.” She peeked around the corner and saw him. I told her his first name and asked her to go up to him and say, “Did you arrest my dad?”

A shocked look flashed across her face as she laughed and said she couldn’t do it. After a few seconds of laughing she asked, “Are you sure it’s him?”

“Yes,” I replied.

She took a deep breath as she tried to put a serious look on her face. The serious look turned to a smile as she laughed and said, “I can’t do it.”

Now we were both laughing.

My daughter looked at me and said, “Okay, but you have to walk up when I do it.”

We walked over to the Kevin’s aisle and stopped. My daughter took one more deep breath and walked with a purpose toward my unsuspecting friend as she said, “Kevin, did you arrest my dad?”

Kevin turned toward my daughter with a surprised look on his face as he softy asked, “What?”

I stepped forward just in time to see the priceless look on his face. He turned toward me and realized he was pranked. He took a deep breath as the color came back to his face.

We shook hands and I introduced my daughter to him. He was much more relaxed now and shook hands with my daughter as he said hello.

We talked for a moment and then parted ways as we continued shopping. It was truly a priceless moment and he was a good sport about it.

My junior negotiator


Last week I attended a 40 hour basic crisis negotiation class along with two other co-workers. We went to this training because we are the newest members of our department’s negotiation team.

On Wednesday I picked up my daughter from gymnastics. When she got in the car she said, “I tried some of the things you learned,” referring to the negotiator school.

She went on to tell me how she asked a girl at gymnastics how her day was. That particular question came from a negotiation book I just read. The goal was to ask that question and then use “mirroring” to get the girl to keep talking about her day.

The girl answered by saying, “It was good and bad.”

“It was good and bad?” asked my daughter.

The friend replied back and added more about her day. My daughter then repeated back the friend’s last words in the form a question just like she did with “It was good and bad?” This went back and forth at least five times as my daughter got the girl to keep talking.

With enthusiasm in her voice my 11 year old said, “I was shocked that it worked so well.” She was very proud of herself. She then said, “Can I be a junior negotiator?”

That made my day. The innocence and the smile on her face were truly a negotiator dad moment.

A night in Hollywood



The other night, I took my kids to the Hollywood Bowl to see John Williams conduct the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. We sat there under the stars as they played music from movies like Star Wars, Harry Potter, Superman.

When the concert was over we took our shuttle back to the shopping center at Hollywood Bl and Highland. My kids asked if we could take a stroll on the Hollywood Walk of Fame when we got back there.

It was almost 11PM and there was a carnival like atmosphere on the Walk of Fame. Besides the street performers, there were also vendors selling hot dogs from grills.


The smell drew me in like a magnet. The sizzle of the the hot dog, grilled onions and peppers had me pulling $4 out of my wallet before I knew it. Both of my kids passed and said they didn’t want one. After paying,  they watched with anticipation as I ate it. After one bite I instantly knew it was the best hot dog I’d ever had.


Then there was a man with a giant snake on his shoulders. You couldn’t help but stop and look at that thing hanging from his shoulders. He  was quite the attention getter. There was also a guy wearing a mask walking around carrying a backpack with a cat strapped on top.

He saw us looking and said, “You can pet him. He’s a nice cat.” He then leaned down so my daughter could pet the cat. I’m surprised the cat didn’t have a mask on too. Here’s the funny part. The masked guy with the cat seemed normal and fit right in.


Only on Hollywood Bl can you see a masked catman walking around next to Superman and Batman on the Walk of Fame.

It was a great way to end the night.




Proud to be a lefty


What does it mean to be left handed in a right handed world? Well, it means no one understands you. It also means people look at you funny when you write something in front of them.

It also means all of the spoons are turned the “wrong” way at the buffet line and at the frozen yogurt shop. If you’re left handed you know what I’m talking about.


Last month I was in San Francisco when I visited a left handed store on Pier 39 called “Lefty’s.” It’s a fun store to visit because everything in there just makes sense. Even spiral notebooks are on the right side in there.


So, If you ever get a chance make sure to visit Lefty’s. If you’re left handed you’ll laugh at some of the stuff that right handed people just don’t understand.


As for the spoons at the yogurt shop and the buffet. I always put them on the left side just in case a left handed person happens to come up after me.

It’s the least I can to for a fellow lefty.

Pigeon Point


The other day I left Monterey, CA and headed to San Francisco for a few days. This was the last leg of a 9 day summer road trip. Instead of taking a faster route, I decided to take California State Route 1 along the coast. I knew it was going to add extra time, but it would be worth it.

Along the way I saw a lighthouse in the distance. I had no idea which one it was, but I knew I was going to stop. As I got closer, I saw a sign that said Pigeon Point Light Station State Historic Park.

I turned off the road and headed toward a small dirt and gravel parking lot. There were about ten cars there and a few people walking around.

I got out of my car and was surprised at how windy it was. The sky was overcast along the coast, but there was a hint of blue to the east. The lighthouse had a chain link fence around it and was closed to the public. The white paint was showing its age and was in need of a facelift. The sign in front said the property was owned by the state and there were plans for a restoration.

There was a pathway from the lighthouse between two buildings to a cliff. I walked that way and was rewarded with a spectacular view of the rocky coast with its crashing waves and strong wind. It was truly an amazing place to be.

It turned out the location was named after an old ship that ran aground off the coast in 1853. The ship’s name was Carrier Pigeon and the area was named Pigeon Point in honor of her. The lighthouse was first lit in 1872 and at 115 feet is one of the tallest in the United States.

I’m glad I stopped. You just never know what you’re going to run across on a road trip. It’s not the destination that’s important. It’s the journey.

The Mystery Spot


Have you ever heard of The Mystery Spot? Up until the other day, I hadn’t. Last weekend we were in San Jose watching the U.S. Women’s Olympic Gymnastic Trials when my son Googled “things to do.” That’s when he found a place called The Mystery Spot.

On Monday we left San Jose and drove southbound on Highway 17 toward Santa Cruz on our way to Monterey. The four-lane highway twisted and turned as we drove through a forest area. I exited the highway and drove by redwood trees that stretched up high into the sky. The area was just amazing.


After many turns and curves we finally arrived at The Mystery Spot. They claim the area is a “gravitational anomaly” and “you will be stunned as your perceptions of the laws of physics and gravity are questioned.”

Basically everything is tilted and it messes with your head as you try to stay balanced. Don’t try and figure it out. Just have a good time and enjoy the corny jokes as the tour guide tells the story about the area and why it’s so mysterious.

Admission was only $8 per person, so it won’t break the bank. It was worth the price because my family had a good time.


So, if you ever find yourself in Santa Cruz or San Jose with some time to kill, take a little detour to The Mystery Spot. I guarantee you’ll smile and laugh.

U.S. Olympic Trials


When I was 13 years old, I went to see the 1984 Olympic Track and Field Trials in Los Angeles. I spent two days at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum having a great time with my friend Tom. It was awesome to watch because so much was on the line for some of my favorite track and field athletes. The experience was something I never forgot.


On July 8th and 10th, I was in San Jose, CA to watch the U.S. Women’s Olympic Gymnastics Trials. This trip was organized by my daughter’s gym and I didn’t want her to miss out on seeing this. I wanted her to have the same great memories I still have of the Olympic Trials.

On the first night of competition you could feel the energy in the crowd. There was so much at stake and it was exciting to watch. One of the highlights for my daughter was watching Gabby Douglas, who was the All-Around 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist.


On the second day of competition, we stood in line for an hour so my daughter could take a picture and get an autograph from 1996 Olympic Gold Medalist Kerri Strug. My daughter was so happy afterward. The smile on her face made waiting in line worth it.

When it was all over, I could tell my daughter had an amazing time watching some of the greatest gymnasts in the world competing. I had a good time also. A highlight for me was when they introduced the Olympic Team as the crowd cheered loudly and music filled the arena like they were rock stars.

With the Olympic Trials out of the way, we left on Monday and drove to Monterey, CA on the next leg of our road trip. On the way, we stopped at a place called The Mystery Spot.

More about that on my next post.

The family food chain


If you have a teenager, you know what it’s like to deal with their hormones and mood swings. Add a younger sibling into the mix and there’s plenty of head butting.

Sometimes during these head butting and hormonal episodes, the teen forgets where they fall in the family food chain.

Today, I was driving northbound on the 57 freeway as I headed toward Brea. My son was in the front seat having a hormonal teen moment with his attitude.

After a few minutes, order was restored in the car as I reminded him about the family food chain in my house. He seemed to think he was at the top of it with me. I explained to him that one day he would be up there when he had his own family, job and house.

That’s when we came upon an SUV with a sticker in the window of a T-Rex chasing and eating stick people. It was a perfect moment for me to bring home my point as I said, “Look at that sticker on that car.”

With a pouty face my son looked over at it.

“See the T-Rex? That’s me and you’re the little people that are getting chased.”

That made him smile and eased the tension inside my car.  It’s always a good thing to remind the kids who the T-Rex in the family is.

My first parking ticket

imageThe first ticket is like your first kiss or your first car. It’s just one of those things that you never forget. Okay, maybe not exactly like that, but you never forget it.

On Monday, I was on my way to Starbucks when I took a side street and went by  my old high school. I only took the street to avoid traffic on Central Ave, which was the main road to the west.

As I passed by Chino High School, I glanced over at the street sign that said, No parking from 9AM to 2PM Monday thru Friday.

The old buildings from the school brought back memories, but that street sign brought back another.

That was because a long time ago I parked in front of the sign at 1:30PM….. Yes, Chino PD got me that day for my very first parking ticket.

Here’s another reason why I remember that ticket. I paid for it with the first check I ever wrote.

Nothing like a day of firsts….

“Dad! Daddy! Dad!”


“I’m going to drop you off at school today with no shirt on.”

With a firm voice my 11 year old daughter said, “Please don’t.”

It was at this point, I thought I’d have some fun at her expense. I grabbed my keys and went to the garage without a shirt on. Once the garage door was up, I got in my car and waited with anticipation for her to come out.

About 30 seconds later my daughter stormed into the garage with a scowl on her face as he petite body carried a large backpack. With a serious and determined look she opened the passenger door and tossed a shirt at me as she said, “Put that on.”

The shirt landed on my lap and I tossed it back as she closed the door. I was going to put it on, but my little joke was just too good to pass up now. Of course, she tried to give me the shirt again, but I refused to take It. That’s when I put the car in reverse and started to back up.


I pulled onto the street and started heading toward school with my daughter in a panic because I was going to embarrass her. I got 50 yards down the road and couldn’t hold it in anymore as I started laughing. I finally had to pull over so I could put my shirt on.

With her arms crossed, my daughter sat there with eyes that could throw darts. I kept laughing, but she wasn’t amused. With my shirt finally on, we headed to school as I tried to get her to laugh.

She eventually cracked a smile, but she fought to keep it in.

I pulled into the school parking lot and I asked, “Why couldn’t I drop you off without my shirt on?”

“Because it’s embarrassing!”

She also hates it when I suddenly blast 80s music as she steps out of the car at school too! Maybe one day she’ll torture her kids like this because of all the fun I had with her.

My job is to keep them on their toes and to have a little fun at the same time.