Capturing The Meaning of Christmas : Santa For The Day

The weekend before Christmas, one of my employees, a single dad of three had his apartment broken into.  Everything of market value was stolen, including all the wrapped Christmas presents for his children.

His fellow team members immediately sprung into action; calling, texting, organizing with each other to if and what they could contribute to make sure these three children had an amazing Christmas.

As the leader, I wanted to do my part.  My resolutions to Get in the Spirit and Help Someone fresh in my mind.   I grabbed some gifts but what extra could I do?

Then it came to me.  Just a few days prior the President of the Chamber of Commerce offered me her Santa Suit in case I needed it.  (She must have remembered all the different costumes that I have worn for restaurant events).  That’s what I could do.  I could dress up as Santa and bring the gifts to the them.

I sent a few emails to let the rest of the staff know what happened, I asked for volunteers to wrap, and then Christmas Eve came I could not believe how much everyone contributed.  Those that didn’t have time to get gifts handed me cash, gift cards, anything they could spare to give to them.   I said to myself, “Santa’s gonna need a bigger sleigh”


One giant sack, 3 medium sacks, and many gift bags later and I was loaded up and ready to go … I had to used a bobby pin to hold the belt on since I didn’t have the “bowl full of jelly” midsection that the character required.

I traded in the red sleigh fittingly for a red hearse (HHR) and was off.


They kids were so excited giving me big hugs and jumping for joy as I unloaded the presents from my sacks.  They asked so many questions and had so much fun.

I would do this again if I go the chance.

But the real heroes of the members of my staff.  We work in the restaurant industry and most of these men and women and hard working moms and dads who have to work long hours, multiple jobs just to get by, let alone buy Christmas Gifts for their own family.   They all pitched in anything they could.  And that’s what this holiday is all about.

I can’t do anything more but sit back and be pleased.




Obscurus CNY : Gingerbread Shoppe at Turning Stone Casino

Good evening all,

Just getting back from a long day of Christmas Eve Festivities.  Got lots to talk about but it’s way past my bed time and I don’t want Santa to pass over my house.

So I leave with you pics of my second Christmas Tradition:  The Gingerbread Shoppe at the Turning Stone Casino and Resort

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

Obscurus CNY : All Who Wander (Beer Pub)

Obscurus CNY : All Who Wander (Beer Pub)

Looking for a hip brew pub serving only super crafty hard to find beer?   Primarily from New York State?

All Who Wander in Manlius, NY is just the place for you.

In my line of work, I spend a lot of time learning about craft beers, as its popularity has spiked in the last decade, but I haven’t heard of any of these beers.  That’s how rare, hard to find, and coveted by craft beer consumers.   You won’t find the Coors, Bud, or Miller in this joint.

It’s winter so the dark stouts and IPAs are in season, not really my taste but the There and Back Again – American Wild Ale was amazing even though it was bitter.

I got there right at 3pm when they were opening and there was a line waiting to get in

The atmosphere is so cozy and it had people of all ages hanging out and talking to each other.

They also have pub eats, liquor drinks, and wine…in cans.

Check it out…I know I will be going back.


When Should You Get Your Child Checked?

At the beginning of this year, I knew very little about ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder).  After a very long time on the waiting list, Liam finally had his evaluation from the behaviorist in March, Autism was the last thing on my mind.

Sure, I knew “something” was up.  I knew he had some sensory issues (needed to be touching his mom, or be squeezed tightly from me, and a resistance to pain), speech and motor skills difficulty (no big deal, even I had those, I turned out alright).  But Autism?  No way.

As I write this, Liam has been walking around the living room circle without stopping for 15 minutes.

ASD comes in all shapes and sizes.  Not one person with ASD is the same as another.  “They all experience the world differently”

So what makes Liam Autistic?- (You’re never quite sure what “Liam” you are going to get on a day-to-day basis).  Liam is a Level 1 High Functioning also known as Asperger’s Syndrome.

  1.  Repetitive routines and rituals – I have talked about these routines a few times.  Deviation can result in…
  2.  Meltdowns and episodes – do to over stimulation or transitions. At times, these are not your usual ‘temper tantrums”.  These can last a long time and can also be violent.
  3. socially and emotionally inappropriate behavior and the inability to interact successfully with peers.  Liam has a teacher right by him when he plays with other kids at school.  While extremely playful and friendly he can be quite the brute.
  4. problems with non-verbal communication, including the restricted use of gestures.  He just started waving “bye-bye”
  5. clumsiness and uncoordinated motor movements.  I believe he is still getting Occupational Therapy for his fine motor skills.
  6. Some days he won’t stop babbling and some days I can’t get him to talk at all.
  7. The constant lining up of blocks, socks, paper.
  8. No fear of danger.
  9. Google Stimming.   My favorate meme is of a bird saying “I get flappy when i get happy”



I love my boy and I have high hopes for him, but it was very important that we get help as soon as we could.  So which brings me back to the title.  When Should you get your child checked?

  1. “When something isn’t right

    As a parent, especially a new parent, you probably don’t know every detail about child development, which is why there are developmental specialists. We hear most parents of children with autism tell us that their regular pediatrician shrugged off their concerns as “boys are just slower than girls” or “let’s just wait a year and see if he comes around.” Do not accept these answers to your concerns, because if there is something wrong, you can never get back the time you lost. Early intervention is essential.”

  2. Assess for yourself

Print out a list of child development milestones and track them.  This is what led us to get him looked at.  It was the regression.  He started out so far ahead in everything, he started making the usual words and movements early and then it gradually got less and then stopped.  Anytime you see regression you should monitor it closely.


What should you do next?

Follow this link for resources to find a diagnostician and get help.


Daily Goal Setting

Holy Shit….after today there is only 10 days left in 2017.  Been spending a lot of time, in the middle of all this holiday craziness, thinking about what I want to accomplish in 2018.

2017 was a big year for me.  So much work was put in but I know that in 2018 I need to build on everything that I learned this year.

On thing that all successful people have in common is “daily rituals”.  Things they do every day to make sure they set themselves up to make the day a productive and successful one.

Some read  uplifting material , some hit the gym, some do something as simple as drinking a glass of water first thing when they wake up.

A good amount of my resolutions this year revolved around creating a “ritual”.  Some where successful, like “plan each day in advance” and some I struggled with like “always drink 8 glasses of water.”

One ritual that I have just worked into my daily routine is to write out my goals, Everyday.

This one comes from Time Management Expert, Brian Tracy.

What you do is; take a spiral notebook and every morning you write down 10 goals that you want to accomplish in the next 12 months.  Always write it in the first person and with a time frame.

You don’t write : “I will lose weight.:

Instead write : “I weigh xxx number of pounds by xxxx date”

No more than 10-15 goals at a time and no longer than 12 months of a deadline.

Then everyday take action towards your goals.  If you don’t make the deadline, don’t abandon it, just make a new deadline.

Each day turn the page and write your goals without looking to the previous page.  At first, your goals will change from day-to-day but after a while, your goals will “fix” and the order will change by priority.

I have been doing these for over a month and have already accomplished a few goals.

How do you track your goals?



ADHD and Relationships

ADHD and Relationship

When i was younger I had a lot of trouble with relationships.  It would start out so well…to well in fact.  We all go through the honeymoon phase when we start a  new relationship but for ADHD brains this phase in intensified.  We become so hyper focused on this individual that it causes all kind of chaos. Remember what I said about the reward transmitter in our brain that produces dopamine?  That drug that keeps us coming back for more.    Any one of the following things can happen…

  1.  You become the perfect  boy friend or girlfriend…yay…for now.
  2.   You move on to the next step in the relationship way to0 fast.  Maybe you move in together after a couple months or get engaged…oh boy…
  3.  You forget to go to class, work, hang out with friends… unemployed…
  4. You freak the other individual out with your hyper-focus…not you are dumped…sad.

But what happens when that honeymoon phase wears off?  Just like with the beginning, the all out in intensified.   Now you are bored, distracted, seeking dopamine.

Now what happens?

Fighting, break ups and sadness

  1.  “You don’t even care about me anymore.”
  2. “It’s like you’re not even trying”
  3.  “You haven’t given me any attention”
  4. You seek out someone new
  5. “You used to be so much nicer”

Break ups are always harder because there is so hard feelings.

The trouble is…we do care.  We do dry.  It’s just gets harder for us because the level of dopamine is reduce so much.

I’m lucky that Patti knows how to deal with all my “Billness” and remains patient and supportive of me even though I am prone to distraction, hyper-focus on work, and irritability.

For more on ADHD and Relationships…click on this link below.