I’m Sick

Today CJ stayed home from school because he wasn’t feeling well and had a fever. He rested and slept for most of the day and towards the end he was feeling a little bit like himself.

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DIY: Thermocouple

So recently my furnace has been going in and out every three to five days. I’d wake up freezing in the morning which is an indicator that the pilot light was off, so I’d go down to the basement with the candle lighter and sit on the floor for two minutes while holding the pilot light knob in to make sure it would stay on.


In such cases a new thermocouple is most likely what’s needed to fix this problem because it tells the furnace to continue to let out gas if there is a flame, and in my case the thermocouple was telling the furnace to stop releasing gas because it could not register a flame even though there was one. I learned all this from my buddy #NormanY.


So after spending a good amount of time trying to figure out how to wiggle the bracket out without breaking anything, there it was. And you can see on the left how burnt the tip of the thermocouple was, so it definitely needed replacement.


Unscrewing the other end of the old thermocouple was simple.


Here you can see the differences between the old and new thermocouples.


Screwing the thermocouple into the furnace was easy, but getting it into the bracket and staying at the right height took some time.


I put everything back and screwed the bracket into place, but in doing so I accidentally lowered the thermocouple.


I tried the pilot light and it wouldn’t stay on, so I painfully pulled the thermocouple up a little higher as I initially had it and the pilot light stayed on.


And then fire 🔥!!!

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4’s

CJ received his second report card for kindergarten and Grace and I are so proud of our son. We’ve always suffered from the fear that CJ will be at an academic disadvantage because of his age relative to his immediate peers. We know that as he progresses the gap will decrease and eventually become non-existent, but it’s difficult because we live in such a cutthroat and prejudice society that looks down on the uneducated. Yet, God is slowly allaying those fears and showing us what it looks like to allow God to work within his own timing.

We’re shocked and so thankful that CJ is the best reader in his class. He’s the only student who is at level F/G/H when the common core standard is at level C. WOW! This is also a testament to how much Grace sits down with CJ for him to read night after night after night to her. And his mathematics skills aren’t too shabby either. He gets frustrated sometimes, but he can certainly add and subtract mentally with the numbers 1-10. YES!

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Mugshot

In rushing to get my passport renewed, I ran out last night to get my photo taken at a local CVS. In 2027 I need to remind myself to shave and take my photo in the morning.

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A Bunch of Movie Reviews: Logan | John Wick 2 | Lego Batman Movie | Rogue One

I watched Logan last night and it was okay. I don’t think it was as great as many critics praise it for, but I can see why they did so. It’s definitely a good ending to Jackman’s Wolverine, but his relationship in this film with the little girl was lacking and should have been much deeper, connected, and relational for longer than when it finally materializes. Sadly, it was predictable. I totally called the ending. But at least this is the best Wolverine film we’ll probably ever get. And yes, I saw a little bit of EJ and I in the film.

John Wick 2 was pretty good. I enjoyed how the story progresses for Wick and how it expands the entire universe and shows us just how large the world of assassins really is. But I was surprised that I didn’t find the gun-fu as creative and fun as the first film, which I think is still better than its sequel.

I forgot to give a brief review of The Lego Batman movie when I posted about taking CJ to watch it. I thought it was okay. I appreciated all the calls to the numerous Batman iterations over the past half century, but that’s about it. It gets a little convoluted during the last third of the film, and it really didn’t have a catchy song or tune like the first Lego Movie. But CJ enjoyed, so cool.

Now this…Rogue One was amazing! After watching it on opening night, I was completely blown away and couldn’t stop thinking about what I had just watched. The story was gritty, exciting with tons of action, connected episodes III and IV very well, and it showed that Star Wars didn’t need anyone with a lightsaber to rise to fight the rebellion. This film renewed my faith in the Star Wars franchise…until the next film, lol!

I’m sure I saw a whole ton of other movies over the past 12 months that I can’t really remember, like Sicario (really good!), Deadpool (really hilarious), Hell or High Water (a little boring), Batman V Superman (a mess), Suicide Squad (dumb fun), Captain America: Civil War (best superhero film ever!), Doctor Strange (eh), X-Men: Apocalypse (terrible), Ghostbusters (what were they thinking?!), Star Trek Beyond (fun), and Jason Bourne (disappointing), so the above four films will have to suffice for now.

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Kindergarten Algebra

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I was pretty upset when I was helping CJ with his math homework this afternoon because he basically had to solve a math problem along the lines of 7 – 2 – x = 3. Really? For a five year old?! He wasn’t even taught three number addition or subtraction yet! I could understand if the mathematics curriculum wanted to challenge the students with something like 7 – 2 – 2 = x. Sure, that’s certainly plausible. But presenting something as complex and completely new and foreign as such to a kindergartner is insane no matter how common core-ish it needs to be. Even I had a difficult time having CJ illustrate a diagram to help him understand it better. I was livid and I had to keep telling CJ that it wasn’t him, but the problem that was confusing. I wrote a letter to the teacher and attached it to his homework. This is just ridiculous.

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Portrait of Grace

Every week my church publishes a Portrait of Grace in which one of our members shares a short story about how God has been working in their lives, and yesterday an interview of CJ was published.


Although I was there for the interview, I still teared up a bit as I read his responses when it was published. I fail as a parent in infinite ways, yet purely by God’s grace CJ is slowly learning and believing in Jesus and hopefully will one day be given the faith to love Jesus as his Lord and savior.

Portrait of Grace

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Jiu-Jitsu Fight Club

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I’m on the wrong side of my 30’s, so it was about time that I take up some martial arts self-defense training. One of my few life regrets is not being immersed in martial arts training when I was young because it would have given my self-esteem a huge boost. Well, better late than never.

So why jiu-jitsu? It’s the most practical in a street fight and is quite popular these days in the UFC. Plus I loved the 2011 film Warrior and UFC fighter Conor McGregor is addictive to follow in his quest to be the best UFC fighter, although he’s more of a striker than mat guy.

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There was some interest from church folks and my basement is sufficient enough to host a small group for rolling, so why not? I cleared the basement, we bought a few gymnastic mats, a legitimate Gracie Combative course, two experienced teachers, and training began last week.

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We’re literally rolling and mounting on top of one another while learning how to maneuver and close our opponent’s range to minimize their striking capabilities and pin them into submission.

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We got some great teachers who really know what they’re doing.

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And of course, I was the first one in our group last night to get injured with an accidental strike to my left eye which was really excruciating.


I’m okay with slight numbness. Not much of a shiner. Yes mom, I will be careful.

After three classes I can do all of the above. And hopefully with more practice I’ll be able to do these maneuvers with speed and precision.

And I can also do the americana for a submission move. Of course it’ll get more complex and require more dedication as I work my way up to a blue belt, but perhaps, maybe, I’ll be able to go for a real exam and really earn that blue belt. Ha! #sweeptheleg

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T-Shirt Snow Tubing

Last week we took a short road trip to the Please Touch Museum near Philadelphia, and then snow tubing in the Poconos. I foolishly didn’t check my GPS’ settings which led us an extra hour through the Holland Tunnel and Trenton, New Jersey because it was avoiding paying tolls and bridges. Ugh!!!

Nonetheless, it was worth it because a friend gave us free tickets for the museum. But on the other hand it’s becoming quite evident that CJ is growing out of his little boy stage as he didn’t have much fun there. He was really looking forward to the rocket launch exhibit, but unfortunately it was under renovation. EJ had a blast of course.

After eating some Texas Roadhouse we took advantage of our hotel’s pool which both kids really enjoyed.

I’m not sure why, but CJ wrote me a name tag before going to bed.

So we booked our hotel before realizing that our snow tubing day was going to reach the high 60’s.

I suppose it wasn’t that bad at Camelback because the nice weather deterred others from snow tubing which prevented some long waits like we experienced two years ago.

It got really hot. The real feel in the sun was 73 degrees.

For the most part the kids had fun. The snow tubing lanes were good to go, but some were slower than others because of the melting ice.

EJ didn’t like all the bumps at first, so we cushioned her seat with the ergo and she was good to go from there.

CJ just hates being last.

We might try skiing for the kids next year, lol!

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Daddy…What Happens Next?

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We’ve been weary of bringing our kids to watch a movie in a theater mostly because of the insane cost of tickets and food. Well, this week CJ and I had the week off from school and I was free on Tuesday which is when the College Point Multiplex theater has discounted $8.75 tickets all day, so I suppose it wasn’t going to get any better than that. I also wanted to watch a movie with him that I was semi-interested in and The Lego Batman Movie was good enough for the both of us.

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CJ couldn’t wait to get to the theater and eat popcorn because I suppose that’s what’s expected of a moviegoer in CJ’s eyes. And although I’m sure he didn’t get 80% of the jokes, CJ definitely had a grand time. The coolest thing was that he kept making so much noise. He’d say something was cool, or ask me what was going to happen next, or he would slurp his icee really loudly. He was really into the whole experience. Well, next up are Grandpa and Grandma because they promised they would watch Trolls with him.

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