Memorial Day and Who I Remember

I remember my dad today. He came over from England when he was young with my grandmother. He joined the Navy after high school, training to be a submariner. Up until a number of years ago, I would see me dad this time of year every year. I’d go up to Vermont and see him, bring him flowers, and say hi to him. The visit wouldn’t last very long though, and I would have to leave the cemetery where he is buried, since I was 3 years old. But I don’t just remember him on this day, Memorial Day, a day for all those in the service. I remember him everyday.

For Paul Richard Simon

United States Navy

Sailor, Father


Rock, Paper, Scissors, Shoot!

Rock beats scissors.

Paper beats rock.

Scissors beats paper.


i find myself fondly recalling all the times Rock, Paper, Scissors helped to quell arguments and disputes during, not only my childhood, but also my adult life.  The path towards acceptance and reconciliation for youths start with this game.  It’s so perfect in its simplistic way.  Three things – one beats another which beats another which beats another.  It’s so good.

Here is where I’m going with this.  While overhearing two of my children trying to settle a dispute, I heard them begin the familiar chant: “Rock, Paper, Scissors, Shoot”.  They repeated it several times until there was a decisive winner, one where acceptance was instilled, which I must say is incredibly hard to accomplish considering they are 5 and 6-year-old boys.  Playing with toys, or more accurately, who gets to play with which toys, is settled with these three words.

If it wasn’t for this simple hand-gestured game, they would have surely have settled things with a fight, in typical young boy fashion.  Yet, rock, paper, scissors helped to not bring that pass.  This game is a true mediation tool.  If only war was as easily resolved.  Until then, at least the war between siblings can be.

Running, With Sons

I’ve decided to add another blog to my arsenal, Running, With Sons . My goal with this new blog is to write about my time with, and the experiences that come from spending time with my boys. For now it will most likely focus on running (hence the title) with my oldest son, possibly branching out to other activities with him and the other 3 boys. We’ll see how this one goes; I’m arather looking forward to this one.

My Doctor Who Experience

Earlier this evening when I was about to enter into the grocery store a most peculiar thing happened. At the end of the row of carriages just outside of the store is a public payphone. Yes, they still exist with some of them still in operating condition. As I was about to go through the entrance I heard the sound of a phone ringing, not just any ordinary phone, but the payphone itself. What makes it weird is that I didn’t know that the payphone still worked and, doesn’t this only happen in movies or on television? I must have looked like quite the fool as I stood there listening to the sounds of the bringing bells coming forth from it, all awhile looking around to see if there was anyone else in the vicinity. Normally I wouldn’t give too much thought about it, but for some reason the thought of why was it ringing and who was on the other end was just intriguing to pass up.

I only needed to walk twenty feet to the phone to find out what my imagination had started to come up with. What I eventually thought of just had to be what was really going to happen. I knew who it was going to be, and I knew why. The Doctor, last of the Time Lords, was the person on the other end of line, and that meant that somehow I was going to be a part of some wildly dangerous adventure through time and space. The Doctor, who uses a mid-twentieth century blue English police telephone call box which he refers to as the TARDIS, or Time and Relative Dimension in Space (it’s bigger on the inside), must have known somehow that trouble was about occur and that it was my help that he needed.

As I reached for the telephone receiver I began to anticipate  what was going to be the start of something extraordinary.

“Hello,” I said, waiting for the response on the other end.

Waiting for it.

Waiting for it.


“Is Brian there?”

It’s not the Doctor

“Sorry,” I say “wrong number.”

“Oh, sorry about that.”

It’s not for me.

“That’s okay.”

It’s not.

Heartbroken, I hang up the phone listening to the clink of the receiver on the hook, and I begin to walk back towards the grocery store’s entrance. What was I missing because it wasn’t the Doctor who called? I guess I’ll never know. Of course I do know that it was highly unlikely that a fictional character from a British television series would be calling for me, late at night, in America, on a public payphone. Yet, if there is one thing that I can say about this event, all true mind you, is that wishing for it to happen would certainly be a dream come true.

© nice game of chess, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.