The Jake Files

May 10, 2006

Where is the Amazing Jake?

Filed under: Family,Fatherhood,General,Job Loss,Self-employment,Unemployment,Work — Amazing Jake @ 8:56 am

I've gotten several emails recently asking where I've been, what I've been doing, why I haven't been posting, etc.

The simple answer is, I haven't had much time lately, and I've been focusing on more important things.  I haven't even reading a lot of blogs lately, much less posting on my own. (more…)


April 26, 2006

Wednesday’s Child Segment on Channel 12

Filed under: Adoption,Arizona,Family,Fatherhood,General — Amazing Jake @ 8:45 am has this story today:

 In February, The Republic's Wednesday's Child column featured Francisco, an ever-smiling, caring teenager who had no problem explaining what makes him happy.

Sadly, he still awaits a loving adoptive family that can give him the permanence and support he needs in his teenage years and beyond. (snip)

Be sure to watch Francisco's Wednesday's Child segment on Channel 12 at 5 and 11 a.m. today.

The Amazing Mrs. Jake and I adopted our first child 6 years ago, and our daughter has changed our lives in every way.  When we first discussed adoption, I was hesitant because I had those doubts that most people probably do:  Can I love an adopted child the same as one born to us?

The answer is, of course, YES.  Shortly thereafter, Mrs. Jake was pregnant, and we had another daughter the following year.  I can say unreservedly there is NO DIFFERENCE.  We love both our children equally.  They have very different personalities, but they BOTH have aspects of my wife's and my personalities.   

If you've ever thought about adoption, or even if you haven't, tune in to Channel 12 today.  This boy needs a home and a family.

April 20, 2006

Wednesday Results for American Idol

Filed under: American Idol,Entertainment,Family,Fatherhood,Pop Culture,Television — Amazing Jake @ 12:06 am

American Idol is a guilty pleasure for the Amazing Jake.  I like to tell people that I watch it because it's one of the only things on TV I can watch with the kids, other than Nickleodeon or Disney.  But I do enjoy it nonetheless.

The mini-Jakes and I sit together in the recliner, and the Amazing Mrs. Jake watches from the couch, and it's really the only show that all four of us sit down to watch together.  The mini-Jakes like Kelly and Ace, Mrs. Jake likes Paris, and I like Chris, Katharine, and Elliott.  So between us, we've got them all covered except for Taylor.

So I watched the last 5 minutes of the results show tonight after the kids got down to bed.  I wasn't expecting Chris and Paris to be in the bottom 3 with Ace.  I have to say, Tuesday night, everyone brought their A-games except for Kelly, and I thought that was her ticket home.  I'm glad it was Ace – I can't stand the way he bats his eyes at the camera.  He should have gone after last week with that atrocious performance of We Will Rock You. 

We'll watch the whole thing Thursday night on TiVo, followed by a good Dr. Seuss or two.

April 16, 2006

Happy Easter!

Hope everyone had as great an Easter as the Amazing Jake clan did.

Eggs were discovered in the backyard, even though the Easter Bunny forgot what time the sprinklers came on.  Church was good, even though we went to a church we don't normally attend.  The weather was great, went to the park, and taught mini-Jake #1 to ride her bike without training wheels for the first time.  She's got balancing down, stopping is OK, but turning and getting up on the bike still needs work.

On the job front, I've got a promising interview first thing tomorrow, and a freelance writing assignment this week.  I also had a meeting with a business broker on Friday, and may see a business this week to potentially purchase.

More Chandler-related posts tomorrow.

April 5, 2006

Daddy Blogging

Filed under: Family,Fatherhood — Amazing Jake @ 9:49 pm

Just found a cool blog called MetroDad.  Love the logo.  Another one at Daddytypes.  There seems to be a blogging subculture of dads out there that I've been missing.

Turning a Corner

Filed under: Economy & Business,Family,General,Job Loss,Self-employment,Unemployment,Work — Amazing Jake @ 10:04 am

So I got a job offer at my 2nd interview last night.  The position starts on Monday and has a very high level of commission, but the base is almost nonexistent for the first 9 weeks, then becomes actually nonexistent.  I'm OK with that, because I'm very confident in my sales skills (as well as my bo staff skills, and nunchuck skills), but the real problem is the schedule. 

As I put the mini-Jakes to bed last night, telling them stories and hearing about their days at school, it really hit home that I couldn't take this job.  I would only be home at night every other week, and would have to work Mon-Sat every week.  Driving the kids to school each day and seeing them on Sunday isn't what I had in mind for a job, so I think I'm going to have to pass.

The Amazing Mrs. Jake and I had a long talk last night, and we're getting more and more comfortable with starting a business, and not being accountable to someone else.  So, I will be looking aggressively into self-employment options, and continuing to look for "regular" jobs in my areas of expertise.  Wish me luck.

April 4, 2006

Arizona Safe Baby Haven Day

Filed under: Adoption,Arizona,Family,Safe Haven Law — Amazing Jake @ 10:19 am

I came across the following article in the Republic today: 

Today is Safe Baby Haven Day in Arizona to raise awareness about a state law that allows desperate parents to leave their unwanted newborns at designated places without facing criminal charges.

The Safe Haven law was passed in 2001 but advocates say it has been difficult to get the word out. Under Arizona law, an unharmed baby, 72 hours old or younger, can be left at a hospital, fire station, private welfare agency, adoption agency or church.

I'm a pretty strong advocate of this law.  Our older daughter is adopted, and her birth mother was the kind of individual the law is aimed at.  She was young, unmarried, in the country illegally, and unaware of the options available to her.  She did the right thing, before this law was enacted, by taking our daughter to a hospital after giving birth at home.  We give thanks every day that she made that choice.

UPDATE:  2pm

This makes me very sad, and makes me further appreciate the decision that my daughter's birthmother made:

Newborn baby found dead in Phoenix trash bin

Associated Press
Apr. 4, 2006 01:00 PM


The body of a newborn baby girl was found Tuesday morning in a trash bin in west Phoenix, police said.

A person going through trash made the discovery, Detective Tony Morales said. The infant doesn't appear to be a full-term baby.

The discovery came on Baby Safe Haven Day in Arizona, designed to raise awareness about a state law passed five years ago that allows women to leave their unwanted newborns at designated places without facing criminal charges.

February 26, 2006

Weekend Family Fun

Filed under: Arizona,Family,General — Amazing Jake @ 11:25 pm

Back before we had kids, the Amazing Mrs. Jake and I went the the Arizona Renaissance Festival, not every year, but almost.  Once the mini-Jakes came along it became a little too much hassle to deal with.  Sure, I know, other people do it:  you see babies in strollers, families with a gaggle of kids, etc etc.  We decided we just didn’t want to deal with it while the kids were young.

Until this year.  My daughters are now six and (almost) five, and we decided we would take them this year.   We went with another couple and their two kids, and we had a blast.  Of course, we spent about a hundred bucks, it took forty minutes to get there (and back), we were in the sun and heat and dust all day, and the girls had way too much garbage to eat, but we had FUN.  The weather was great, we had a great time, and the kids were just the right age to experience it for the first time.  It was hard to see everything, so we didn’t even try.  We saw one joust, and wouldn’t you know it, but we were in the section of the crowd that was supposed to cheer for the French knight.  Needless to say, the Amazing Jake had nothing but contempt for that cheese eating surrender monkey, and was relieved when the English knight triumphed. 

My favorite act is Don Juan and Miguel, who perform swordfighting comedy.   They’ve appeared at this fair as long as I’ve been going (over 15 years), and they announced that this is their 18th season at the Arizona Fair.  They also have a blog, where they’ve posted a few times since the season started here.  If you have the opportunity to attend, make sure to see their show.

February 5, 2006

Non-Political Post

Filed under: Family,Television — Amazing Jake @ 1:50 pm

Hey, it’s Franklin.  Comin’ over to play-ay… 

Lest the reader think the Amazing Jake writes about nothing but politics, Lost, and border issues, I thought I would share my views on children’s television programming.

As the father of two girls, 6 and 5, I’ve seen my share of TV programming from Noggin, PBS, Disney, and Nickelodeon.  The Amazing Mrs. Jake and I are pretty restrictive in what we allow the mini-Jakes to watch, and how much we let them watch.  For the most part, Franklin, Dora the Explorer, Caillou, Lazytown, and the occasional repeat of Full House on Nick are about all the girls are allowed to watch. 

Incidentally, that promo spot on Noggin where the parents sing the Franklin song in the elevator is hilarious, and something that only parents of kindergarten-age kids would probably appreciate. 

January 10, 2006

Business Travel Sucks

Filed under: Family,Work — Amazing Jake @ 10:05 pm

So, some may have noticed that I haven’t followed up on the state of the state address yesterday, and I have yet to post once on the Alito confirmation hearings.

The reason is, I spent all day flying to get to Columbus OH for a 2-day business meeting.  My flight got in late, it was raining, and I’ve never been here before.  I forgot to print out a map before I left home, so I was at the mercy of the guy at the rental car company, so it took me a while to find my hotel.

I get to my hotel room, and my options for catching up on the day’s events are:  CNN and MSNBC (Tucker Carlson).  No Fox News, no C-SPAN.  So, while I unpacked, changed, ate, etc., I got a few quotes with the appropriate snarky comments from Jon Stewart.  My hometown senator, Jon Kyl (the OTHER Sentator named Jon from Arizona), hit the bigtime by being mentioned on the Daily Show. 

The other thing that sucks about business travel is I tend to have family crises while I’m gone.  The last time I traveled, the air conditioner went out at home, during the summer, while I was out of state.  Hundreds of dollars, and buckets of my wife’s and kids’ sweat later, the air was restored just before I got home.  This time, my car went out just as I was trying to get to the airport.  So, the Amazing Mrs. Jake had to drop me off at the airport, which is no big deal, but she’ll also have to pick me up close to midnight on Thursday night, with the kids if we don’t find another alternative.  Not to mention the hundreds of dollars it’s going to cost to get the car fixed.

Travel also makes me appreciate my family.  I can’t wait to get home.

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