Saturday, June 4, 2011

How to accept a compliment

What are you doing here?  Check out the new home of the Daily D... or if you prefer, -- I'll leave that up to you.

Friday, June 3, 2011

How to accept criticism

Hey, there's still room on the bandwagon!  Read this and all the latest posts on the new Daily Damien website.  Dig the URL,

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

How to tie your shoes

[Daily D Fans, check out the new and improved Daily Damien at].

I was at a thing once.  An over-night thing somewhere with some people.  I don’t really remember what or where or why it was.  What I do remember is how I had my breakfast cereal.  I don’t remember what kind of cereal it was but for some reason I poured my milk in the bowl before the cereal — something I don’t think I’ve ever done before.  I was always a cereal-before-milk kind of guy.

Now somebody at this thing noticed what I had done and pointed it out to me, I really wasn’t paying attention.  He said that he had just read that a serial murderer (serial – ironic, I know) always poured his milk in before his cereal.  I haven’t done that again since then… and I haven’t killed anybody.

It’s funny how we come to do certain things a certain way, every time… without necessarily knowing why except that we’ve just always done it that way.

Check out the following TED talk on a subject I always considered myself an expert on.. until I watched it.  How to tie your shoes.  It might change your life.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Planned Jobsolesence?

According to a recent scientific survey, on Family Feud, the number one answer to “on a scale of one to ten, how easily could you be replaced at work?” was ten. They got a new host during the commercial break.

Don't delay, check out the new today!

Monday, May 30, 2011

If someone gives you lemons...

Some quotes just stick with you... or at least to me.  One of the stickiest: "Do the best you can, with what you have, where you are."  - President Theodore Roosevelt.

Along those lines:

If someone gives you lemons, make lemonade.  Sell it.  Invest the money.  Make millions... I bet you wish they gave you more lemons.

If someone makes you nuts, make peanut butter.  Who doesn't like peanut butter aside those who are severely allergic to it?  You can always trade it in for lemons.

Never look a gift horse in the mouth.  It might really be a camel and it might spit on you.

Okay, that last one might not necessarily go with the others but it's sound advice, and who knows, it just might stick with you.

Could you be the most beautiful URL in the world? the new home of The Daily Damien.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The grass is always greener... on the other side of my lawn

When I first became a home owner I was quite proud of my big, beautiful green yard.  Year two, I had a few dandelions in that yard but no sweat, after a week they were gone.  Last year there was quite a bit of green and gold in the front but it was a Super Bowl year for the Pack, So I played it off as supporting our team.  This year, I need a machete.

Never knew you needed spray to keep the weeds away or how much time, energy and greenbacks it took to keep a nice green space.   Not that your average formula for lawn care is very green in the Al Gore sense.  Just read the back of the bottle if you can handle that many syllables.

So why do we do it?  Or why do I do it?  Well, it's hard to be the only guy in your cul of the de sac with a field of weeds.  Few are they so brave withstand the societal, neighborhoodal and spousal pressure to assimilate.  Is resistance futile?

Perhaps they are but the front runners of a future trend.   Maybe someday we'll put our pesticides away and learn to desegregate the dandelions from the daisies.  Maybe someday we'll save the water from our sprinklers and hoses and put that money to better use.  Maybe mowing twice a week isn't the answer.  Maybe we can finally turn our plowshares into swords.

And maybe... just maybe I need to reconsider the title of this post.  Maybe the grass is truly greener on my side.  Crabgrass, that is.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

One Small Step for Blog...

Okay, so by the title of this post am I saying that the 2.0 version The Daily Damien blog is comparable to man first setting foot on the moon?  No… but it is.

It’s been 200 posts since I first started this adventure in the blogosphere.  If you look over those 200 enteries, you’ll see how this little experiment has changed in direction over the months.  I now have a pretty good sensibility of how I want the blog to progress in the future.

I envision The Daily Damien to be a daily dose of something that will give people cause to pause and crack a smile. (Maybe even chuckle).  And one small smile for you might very well mean a bigger, brighter smile for mankind.

There are no ads on this blog, but I’ll be spotlighting a charity that’s near and dear to my heart, Operation Smile.  Take a looksee at their site and another looksee in your heart… if you have any spare change, it can significantly change a child’s life.

Check out the prototype of the new site at  Still has quite a giant leap to go, but let me know what you think.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Don't Use the Word "Retarded"

I'm a big fan of The Office and just read an excerpt from Mindy Kalig's ("Kelly") new book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? 

I liked a lot of what I read but my favorite was this:
It is just so totally uncool to use the word retarded anymore to describe something you think is stupid. It is barely acceptable when uninformed small children say it (and reflects so poorly on parenting), and is completely offensive for adults. How inarticulate are you if you have to use this word? How confident are you that no one you talk to would be offended by it, or worse, have someone in his orher life that has a mental disability?
A pretty funny writer with a great spec script came into The Office to meet with producers about staffing. He was a friend of two other writers on staff. I thought he was cool initially, because he didn’t seem to take himself seriously and knew a lot about the Lakers. Then, in describing a Kobe Bryant/Shaq altercation, he used the word retarded,  and kept repeating it, the way I say like.  It was like a tiny knife stabbing me every time he used it. When our boss asked us what we thought of him, I said I liked him, but I thought his liberal use of the word retarded was embarrassing and off-putting. I don’t know how much it affected the outcome, but he didn’t get hired. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

It took 198 posts

Well, it took 198 posts but I think I have a good sensibility of what direction I'd like The Daily Damien to take.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Here's to you!

It's hard for me to say which kind of toast I like better.  A public compliment/well wish followed by a drink... or a good piece of bread nicely toasted.  I don't think I could live happily ever after without the kind I eat with eggs.  But regardless, here's to you for reading this blog!  Please treat yourself to whichever toast you like best.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I have to take out the garbage and do the dishes

Sometimes I wish the dish would run away with the spoon... and take the garbage with... and that the other dishes would follow suit... and that someone would find them and wash them and return them for a reward... but that they refuse any monetary reward since they have a Superman-complex... I mean, they could keep the garbage.  One man's junk is another man's treasure.  It would all work out fine.

Monday, May 23, 2011

We all make mistakes, it's not the end of the world

There are a lot of jokes going around about Harold Camping and his doomsday prediction going down in flames or lack thereof.

I do admire him in the way that I admire Jehovah's Witnesses having the gumption to go door-to-door.  I admire the "gullible" people who sold everything for what they believed in.  They may have been misguided but they actually lived their beliefs.

I've been misguided myself... often following my own nose.  I've been wrong about things I was absolutely certain about at the time.  We all make mistakes... it's not the end of the world.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Back to work, bub!

It's been a great week off. But now it's back to work. I'll be working half days to ease the fan into the new norm of full days with Teresa and Levi.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

May, 21, 2011

Well, as it turns out, May 21, 2011 was not the end of the world as a certain preacher predicted. I just tried to check in on his website but it must be maxed out... perhaps the end of the world... wide web for him. I must admit all the hoopla his prediction got did get me and a lot of other people thinking about the end and maybe that's not such a bad thing.

I didn't buy in to the prediction as some of his faithful did, selling their belongings and quitting their jobs to prep for the rapture. The thing that really made his claims seem bogus was that only 2% of people would be saved. Isn't God's mercy greater than that? I've heard heaven is a gated community, but wasn't Christ's sacrifice for more? I surely hope heaven's population is greater than hell's.

The bad thing of course is that since May 21, 2011 wasn't the end it just makes all of Christianity, if not all religions seem just a little less reputable. We do a good enough job of that ourselves.

Friday, May 20, 2011

A beautiful end to a beautiful week

Doc checkup for Levi. He's doing just great... Weighing in at 11 pounds!

Went to the Botanical Garden with the kids - beautiful! Glad we have a family membership since we only got through half.

Supper with parents and Kai!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

PTO Day III: The rainy day that never happened

Forecast called for rain in the afternoon but the sun truly reigned supreme for my third day of PTO.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Let's Go Fly a Kite

It was a windy day in GRB.  After picking up all the sticks in the backyard so I could mow, Teresa and I bought a kite.  We were inspired by watching Mary Poppins. 

Lots of fun getting it up in the air.  We had two airings in between playing on the slides.  The second flight was after Teresa noticed some teens trying to fly their kites without much luck.  Teresa literally flew circles around them.  She named the kite, Lou Lee

Saturday, May 14, 2011


Congrats to Laura and Pete on their wedding today!

Friday, May 13, 2011

In love and fear

For fear of blogger deleting another one of my posts, here's a short one.

Man, I love my wife and kids!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

A miss no fault of my own!

I missed today due to Blogger maintenance... I was the first to email the phrase that pays.  Looks like Google/Blogger got rid of my 5/11 post too.  Measures will be taken.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

To Weed a Yard

Got home to a couple of surprises.  First I was surprised by my fam having a special pizza Feast Day celebration for Saint Damien of Molokai.  Pineapple pizza!  Yum! 

Part of that surprise was a bouquet of flowers... well, dandelions... and the unhappy surprise was that they were from my own yard... and they were EVERYWHERE.  Just popped up this very day.  And I'm the only one in the neighborhood with dandy lions.

So at around 8pm I got the hand sprayer together and sprayed and sprayed and sprayed.  Whew! 

I've completely bought into the fact, if it's not one thing, it's another... or both.

Note:  Hey Marty - the Apple article is going to be delayed by this late-breaking news story.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Conspiracy Theories from a Reluctant Insomniac

Funny the thoughts that come to occupy the mind at the wee hours of a sleepless night.  Too much caffeine to stay awake during the day... too few Z's at night.   Those are the conditions where most conspiracy theories are born.

His subscription to Time ran out.
Now let me just start out by saying I don't even buy this one.  And it's not even really for sell.

So we all know the story.  The Elite Navy Seals raided Osama bin Ladin's luxury compound in Pakistan in the middle of the night and dropped the dime -- make that a quarter -- on OBL.  Then they buried him at sea.  And that's that, right?  That's what we've been told.

Can't release the picture because that would be in bad taste.  Besides we all know that kind of thing could be easily Photoshopped -- especially since bogus ones were quickly created.  And somehow the bogus ones make not having a real one seem more real.

The Perfect Plan:  Let's just say we made the whole thing up.  Oh, sure we did a "raid"; a charade.  We're best frienemies with Pakistan more or less and they were feeling the pressure to play nice with the USA... so they were okay with our little surprise raid on their airspace without going literally ballistic.  Badda-bing, badda boom: we tell everybody... got him! -- he wasn't in a cave after all.

So he's really not dead... What's he gonna do?  "Hey!  Everyone!  I'm not dead!  I'm over here!"  So that's where he is!  We bomb 'em!

Maybe he'll send out a video tape?  Obviously a fake!

Hey, Daily D, what about his terrorist friends saying he's really dead?
  C'mon, his friends are tired of him.  He's out of money and his cave kinda stinks.

So there you go!  We got him... no matter even if we really didn't.  A brilliant plan!

Yep, that's what I came up with at 4 am.  I think there was a diaper involved in there somewhere.  And like it, that theory stunk... so I also threw it away in the diaper champ.

Now don't get me started on chemtrails.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

It occurred to me today that there's something to celebrate almost every week if not every day.  Wasn't it just Easter?  Then Divine Mercy Sunday... Today, Mother's Day.

I was just thinking there's always something to look forward to and that's pretty cool.

Today we celebrate Mom's and that ought to be a big deal.  I just recently saw what a mother goes through to give birth... there should be a parade!  Or at least a t-shirt (see pic).

Saturday, May 7, 2011

A New Hope for Sleeping Like a Baby

Had a long night with Levi but I decided to make the most of it and so, as is the tradition that I started with Teresa when she was young and restless, we watched Star Wars.

I think I must watch Episode IV every year or at least every other.  I always forget how amazing it is.

Now Levi doesn't really watch it.  But I think he digs the music and enjoys all the classic lines.

And I don't think any Star Wars geek dad could resist, "Levi, I am your Father!"

Friday, May 6, 2011

The ramblings of one tired dude

Yes, I haven't had much sleep.  No, I haven't had much sleep.  Just like fat chances and slim chances are about the same thing.

We're all rooms with a view.  Some are nicer than others.  Every one is a little different.  And somehow it all works out which is amazing.

These days I find myself more and more amazed... impressed when things do work.  We plan for obsolesce. 

We're built to spill and yet we clean up good... with a little grace.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Triumph of the Victor

Or victory of the triumphant.  Took another shot at fixing the mower.  Went over the whole thing.  A bunch of theories about what happened and then started it up.... no leaks! 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Not quite Mister Fix-it

I'm definitely having a Charlie Brown moment.  Got our rider mower all prepped for Summer with the help of my neighbor Jim who can fix, repair, invent anything.

Got a new battery in.  Changed the oil and the oil filter but alas, all the oil came out as I pulled the mower back in the garage.  NUTS! 

Or maybe I should say good grief.  I'm not quite Mr. Fix-it. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Dream Vacation

Okay, so there's a few things I want to do on my next few days off...

Let my wife sleep in. 

Lots of daddy-daughter time... one cool thing is I've been making an extra effort to give time and attention to her since Levi is kind of in the spotlight. 

Just hold my son for hours and hours in the rocking chair my mom used to rock me in when I was his age.

Make a tuna casserole.

Moby Dick.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Osama bin Laden is dead

Okay, I must admit a guilty pleasure... I was watching Celebrity Apprentice.  Yeah, I know... pretty pathetic.  The show was building to a melodramatic end, when NBC news broke in to report a special news report that the president was about to speak on something big.

Then, they should have had a spoiler alert because they let the cat out of the Bhagdad (weird analogy and not quite geographically correct), and stated that Osama bin Laden was killed by US Troops.  An hour later the president gave his speech... yep, everything we heard in the 60 minutes leading up to it.  Sometimes the trailers spoil the movie.

Okay, how do I feel?  Good I suppose.  Justice may be delayed but, in the end, it's never denied.  It doesn't make me want to run outside and cheer U.S.A!  U.S.A!  I just hope the world is a safer place for my kids.  I hope for a better tomorrow for everyone in every country.  Maybe the world got a little mercy today.  Maybe Osama some too.

Now don't tell me how Celebrity Apprentice ended.  One spoiler is enough today.

Friday, April 29, 2011

A Royal Day

My mom and Teresa dressed up for the Royal Wedding

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Truth for Your Mind, Love for Your Heart

Tough day in a lot of ways BUT my wife found my Easter present that she lost in Lent.  "Truth for Your Mind, Love for Your Heart: Satisfying Your Hunger for God" by Father McBride. 

My wife... too cool!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Baby's got threads!

Thanks for all the cute outfits!  Very cool especially since he went through all the clothes we had for him after the first day we came home! 

Good on you!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Keep truckin'

What can I say?  I'm sleep deprived... but it's time to make the donuts.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Burn out

Well, it didn't take long.  I've officially burned out.  But Neil Young always said, it's better to burn out than it is to rust.  He also named an album Rust Never Sleeps so maybe it's lose-lose.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Vigil for Jon-John

Hey, Daily D fans, happy Easter! 

I'm writing this with my son Levi nestled in my left arm.  He's wide awake and listening to me as I write and read this entry aloud.  What a wonderful week to welcome him into our family.

Tonight we also welcomed new members into our Church family including the guy I had the honor to sponsor, Jon.  He chose John the Evangelist for his confirmation name... so either way you spell it, it's correct. 

Happy E from the Daily D!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Goodnight, Moon - Goodbye, sleep

Rough first night at home for Levi... and his mom and dad. Lots of diapers, changes, feedings... But he's doing just fine.

When you have a baby, you develop a keen interest in poop. Levi's is already a golden brown. Okay, I'm going to buy more clothes for'm now.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Another miss!

The baby made me do it.

Been so tired... I wasn't even sure what day it was. But I missed the Daily D today. Fortunately I was the first one to email in the phrase that pays!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

And the winner is...

And the winner of the baby pool is... me!  I picked April 19, 2011 at 10:31am... just seven minutes off! (10:38 am) -- I'd like to pass the Certificate of Greatness on to my wife for she so truly deserves a certificate of that name.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Birth Day

4:38 pmEverything is going really well... Daddy time to hold Levi as Tracy Lyn takes a snooze.


10:38am Levi Francis Xavier Schmitt is born!  9 pounds 1 ounce, 21.5", mother and baby doing wonderful!  Daddy overjoyed!  Teresa was right -- a brother!

That was amazing!  Praise God for the grace of a happy birth!


9:47am  Getting close!  REALLY close!  (Prayers appreciated!)  See ya later! 


9:29am Just got back from a walk.  Finished paperwork.  Things are progressing quickly.  Contractions are coming quite consistently.  Last one I timed was 3 minutes apart!


8:12am  The doc was in... H2O broken.  Going to try sans oxytocin.  Tracy Lyn is feeling really good.  5 cm!  Half way there! Had a discussion about Star Trek medical technology... beaming a baby out - placenta and all?  And also about Star Wars... the torture droid fin Episode IV


7:43am  Pretty cool!  She's really feeling the contractions with no inducing medication.  On a scale of one to ten, they've been a three.


7:28am - We're checked in!  Tracy Lyn is feeling much better and is just gorgeous!  I'm timing the contractions - "Don't"  "Shouldn't"  "Can't"  She's using contractions all the time!  Not sure why I have to time them.

6:12 am --Well, today is the big day!  We hit the bed around 1am and I woke up well before my 5:30am alarm.  Tracy Lyn got up shortly thereafter and has one of her famous stomach aches and is asking for an epidural already.  She also has a headache and, well, isn't in the best of moods to start and says "Aren't you lucky to spend the whole day with me?"

We're due at the hospital at 7am.  See ya there! (Well, not literally... no visitors yet, please)

Monday, April 18, 2011

T-minus 8 hours

Getting down to crunch time!  We just had a last supper before the inducing tomorrow.  A very nice treat at the Olive Garden by Tracy Lyn's parents who are in town for the birth this week.

I need to tie up a few loose ends at work.  These last few weeks have been pretty hectic and it seems like Murphy's Law is the new gravity... today the internet went down before we could get a big eblast off.  It's hard to eblast without the e... then you're just blasting and nobody like that.

I don't want to stay up too late.  Gotta be there for my baby and... my baby.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

I, Barabbas

Hey?  Is the Daily D still doing Lent?  Yeah, just not the little icons, those were getting to be too much of a cross to bear. 

Well, today is Palm Sunday and you know what that means... palms!  But besides that comes the Passion of the Christ at Mass.  As a kid I hated being the crowd yelling "Crucify him!"  Under my breath I'd say, "Let him go." 

Year s later my wife told me one of the scenes that really got to her watching Mel's Passion was the scene with Jesus and Barabbas.  She said we were really like Barabbas -- just plain guilty and yet we were let go because of Jesus...


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Sumpings Happening Here

It was a tough day/night of trying to fix the old sump pumps... getting repeatedly splashed with cold sump water... setting alarms to wake me up and manually make the switch on the quirky sump pump work and then racing to Walmart, Fleet Farm, Home Depot and Menards to price compare a new pump.  (Walmart only has them online, Menards won)

I gotta tell you there's nothing so sweet sounding as a properly functioning pump.  I almost wish it was louder.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Sump Pump(s)

Well, a trying day and night for yours truly and his better half.  Got a bad case of the sump pump blues.  Yep, this afternoon Tracy Lyn discovered flooding in the basement.  Our old pump gave out.  It was a bizarre day and I tried many fixes with our spare and switched back and forth with the old one and the newer old one -- I went back and forth to Home Depot and finally around 9:30pm I got the thing pretty well fixed... well, until it stopped working... but now it's working again... for now.  I mopped up most of the water, showered and now I'm beat.  Haven't decided if I should just go out and buy a new one and cut the risks of another fail on the pump.  I'll sleep on it and check every two hours... it's raining again.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The best laid plans...

We had a bit of a disaster today.  My wife left the garlic bread in the oven today just a little too long.  And it was fine... maybe a little crispy but definitely not a little too crispy.  Teresa and I both said we preferred it that way anyway but Tracy Lyn was upset since garlic bread is more of a luxury item and it would never be as good as it could have been.

I think this statement may have been influenced by the bun in the oven that's been a bit overdue as well... Not that the baby will be crispy but that if he/she were born a bit earlier, it things would have worked out better for me taking time off to help Tracy Lyn recover and adjust to two little ones.

But tonight, just a few seconds ago after she did her nightly Bible reading, my wife said "It's nice to know God is still in control".  Amen to that.  There's an old saying that if you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.  Actually, my friend Joe who has a masters in theology, would say we're merely anthropomorphising God by that saying.  But what the gist of that saying is is that God's plans aren't necessarily our plans... He's got a better plan.  You can take that to the bank... and they might even give you a toaster.  Which might be good for garlic bread.

Problem solved.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

My little artist

One of many picture Teresa drew at Culver's today.  My parents took us out for burgers and ice cream.  Teresa drew pictures for one of the friendly workers there and was rewarded with a pencil and ice cream cone and burger erasers.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Bring Simple Back

Bring simple back.  In the words of Stan Lee, "'Nuff said!"

Monday, April 11, 2011

April 11, 2011

Today was our official due date but so far it hasn't been Labor Day. 

It's not really all that surprising.  Teresa was a week late.  So really this baby is right on time for us.

I think I'm closer to being prepped for when we're ready to go.  Every day I get a little more ready.  I keep on adding things to my "go bag".  

Okay, gonna get the dishes done because they don't do themselves.  Trust me, I've waited long enough.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Tornado Sunday

A perfectly good Sunday ends up in the basement! Tracy Lyn is reading to Teresa in a tent we have set up down here. We also have three years worth of comic books just in case. Teresa is really enjoying this. I can't help but think how my dad never went into the basement for these things.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Getting my to-do list did

Can I ask you to do me a favor, sweetheart?  I hear that a second before my to-do list gets longer.  And that just happened again a second ago.  It's hard to keep up.

But I am glad to say I'm making some real progress on the old to-do list... actually my new to-do app. 

Got the dresser that was covered all over with stickers pretty well stripped.

Downloads downloaded for the next 48 hours! (for work)

Cleaned the grill and got a new tank of propane... first grilling of the season!

Medical check-out for insurance.

Printed out Groupon for Botanical Garden family pass.

Worked on cleaning out office.

Getting "go bag" ready for hospital.

And now I'm going to go put some stuff on the top shelf of my wife's closet... Gotta keep the list under control.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Have a fun day with my daughter

I got a really cool to-do list thing app on my iPod... last night I typed in for my goal today to have a really fun day with Teresa.  Got that checked off!

Baby update:  Wow! The Pumpkin is really moving around tonight! 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Messes can wait

Well, I'm cleaning out my studio.  That's a perpetual kinda thing because I'm on the messy side.  And the messy side is messy because I'm on it.

Anyway as much fun as it is to make the mess, it's no fun cleaning it up.  So, you know me, I try to Mary Poppins it up... so I salvaged our old TV and DVD player from the sister mess in the basement.   Then I popped in Hotel Rwanda to watch as I cleaned.

Not really a spoon full of sugar but one of my favorite films.  It's the kind of movie that can really put things in perspective.

It is a haunting film, no doubt.  What spooks me is how I could see how easily our society could crumble into chaos -- especially since our moral fabric is so thread bare.  What would it take?  Gas going up?  Water going down?  It doesn't take much.

But in the worst of times, we can discover what's best in us.  What's really important.  Money?  Stuff? Having a clean office?  No, none of that.  It's family.  So I stopped cleaning and spent the rest of the night with my girls.

Don't worry.  From experience I've learned that messes have one virtue and that's they they can wait.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Post-PC Post

This is kind of a filler since I'm beat but also an experiment and at the same time an homage to Steve Jobs. My first blog post from my iPod.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

There's something about Yoda

What if...
What is it about Yoda that is so wise and respected while Grover from Sesame Street seems like such a goof?  They're both voiced by Frank Oz and... it's basically the same voice.  Grover even has better grammar than Yoda.  Both are... muppets.  But there's something very real about Yoda.  And by Yoda I'm talking about Episode V & VI... something more real than the CGI in the prequels.

Now if Yoda were to ever train Grover to be a Jedi, well, I'd love to see that...  Love to see it would I.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Even Superman needed a day off -- The Challenge of Disciplining Kids in a Well-Intentioned World

Hey, a double-feature tonight, folks!  Enjoy!

Even Superman needed a day off

Okay, so to start out with, I'm not comparing myself to Superman... I do get Vitamin D from this yellow sun of ours... but it does nothing for my leaping over tall buildings in a single bound... that takes me multiple bounds and an elevator pass.

Superman is obviously a super man.  I mean, you talk about speed!  He's faster than a speeding bullet!  More powerful than a locomotive... whatever that is!  I bet he's stronger than a train, too.  Sure, he's fictional... but even given that, Superman needs a Fortress of Solitude just to get away from it all. 

I may not be the man of steel or even aluminum* (unless you count my deodorant), but all of us need a little solitude every now and then... and some Vitamin D.

The Challenge of Disciplining Kids in a Well-Intentioned World

Disciplinin' ain't easy but it's necessary.  It doesn't help that this sun is yellow and the skies are filled with chem trails... but even worse -- the best intentions of bystanders.  I think they mean well... I know they mean well but you know the old saying about the road to hell being paved with good intentions?

Well, there is no lack of pavement.

I remember at the doctor's office when I tried to get Teresa to stop singing so loudly and interrupting the conversation.  The doctor told me not to worry that it was perfectly fine. Basically go ahead and sing away!

Tonight I was taking Teresa aside and telling her it was not okay to yodel at the top of her lungs in church.  Then a sweet old lady came up to me and said, "Oh, that was precious!  Soooo beautiful!  I loved how her voice filled the church for Jesus!"


"That's true.  Her voice is beautiful but she has to learn when she has to be quiet and respectful."

Kids need boundaries.  They need discipline.   They don't need being told that no matter what they do, it's okay.  Hence the naughty step is a necessity.  And therefore also a Fortress of Solitude or at least a Man Cave (I keep seeing more and more guys getting these -- didn't we used to call them studies or dens?)... and giving your brides time alone or letting them have a nap or the female equivalent of a Man Cave... a mall?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Parish Mission

Just got back from the first night of our Parish Mission at SFX.  Pretty inspiring!  Looking forward to using my Confession app this week.  Click the link above if you're in my neck of the Diocese for more details! 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

I best go to bed

Sometimes the best thing to do is rest.  Today was an exciting day for The Daily D.  We "launched" into the general public with the Baby Pool post.  But now it's pretty late.  I best go to bed.  You too.

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Official Schmitt Baby Pool!

Okay, folks... it's April 1st -- no foolin'!  It's time for an official baby pool to begin.  And by that I'm not advocating putting babies in pools -- that would be far too dangerous.  So what you need to do is make a comment on this post giving me the GENDER, DATE BORN, and TIME BORN

To make things fair, I'll give you all the facts.  Tracy Lyn is 38.5 weeks pregnant.  The official due date was originally April 10... that was changed to April 11.  While Teresa was pretty quite in the womb, this baby makes us believe we may have a potential drummer.  Teresa was one week past her due date.  We are not scheduled for any inducement as of today.  We usually see our doctor on Tuesdays. Our doctor likes to let the baby come naturally but doesn't like going a week past due.

I originally thought naming rights would be an awesome prize for the winner of the pool but that was turned down by upper management.  So the winner will get The Daily Damien Certificate of Greatness! 

Legal stuff: No purchase necessary, guess must be placed by April 3, 2011 or before baby is born (which ever comes first).  In case of a tie, the guess posted first will win.  Judge's ruling is final.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

"That's S-c-h-m-i-D-t"

Wow!  I was setting up an appointment over the phone and spelled out my name - S-c-h-m-i-D-t... Tracy Lyn looked at me quite confused... "Oh, wait -- that's the way NOT to spell it!  It's been a long day."

So I have to make this pretty short.  And this... is good.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Nope, I spelled that title right... or wrong on purpose.  (Don't worry I have an artistic license.)  I just think my pregnantful wife is the most beautiful woman on Earth!  


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Young Wives Tales

Last time Tracy Lyn went past her due date we tried a lot of home-remedies for inducing labor naturally.  We heard spicy food (Asian+Mexican) would do it... nope.  Italian... mama mia, no.  Greasy food?  Not even sliders!

Driving up and down bumpy roads?  No.

Lots of walking?   No.

Pitocin?  Yes.

Actually that last one was not a home-remedy... we went into the hospital and that did the trick!

It's funny what some people swear by -- the latest one we've heard?  Castor oil.  Note: taken internally.  A couple of Tracy Lyn's friends swear by it.  This infamous oil is something kids in years gone by really used to swear by.

We talked with our baby doc about these young wives tales and made a good point.  If these remedies really, really worked -- no one would ever go past their due dates.

Heard any good ones?  Any good ones work for you?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Gender Consensus?

Girl or boy?

"It's a boy".  Teresa was predicting that she was having a sister until we first heard the baby's heartbeat.  Teresa sighed and uttered those words very matter-of-factly.

Months later 90% of people are agreeing with Teresa.  So, here's a pic of how Tracy Lyn is carrying the baby -- what do you think?

Is she carrying him like a boy or her like a girl?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Confessions of a Happy Catholic

You know the number one "denomination" in the U.S. is former Catholics?  There's a lot of reasons for that stat but this post isn't about that. I got a Top Ten list for you... but I'm not calling it a Top Ten list because those tend to be funny... there just so happens to be ten things on the top of my list.

This list is more of "confessions of a happy Catholic".  I'm Catholic and here's why I happy about that:

#10 NFP:  Natural Family Planning.  A lot of people have a problem with the Church's stance on artificial contraception... it's none of the Church's business!  Well, the Church is in the "business" of saving souls and saving lives and helping you live life to the fullest.  NFP does all of that.  There's a saying out there "it's better than sex" -- well NFP is sex better than "sex the culture has been trying to sell us".

#9 Its Art for Pete's Sake!  Yeah, real art -- the stuff that doesn't need a three page artist's statement to explain itself.  Not art for art's sake.  Art for... St. Pete's sake! Have you seen the Sistine Chapel?

#8 Pro-Life Pros:  As I've hit the sidewalk for 40 Days for Life I've noticed 90% are armed with rosaries.  Father Frank Pavone (period)

#7 Saints A' Marching: Talk about inspiring!  Okay, I will.  My parents gave me 12 middle names and they are all Saints or at least on the way... Solonas Casey, baby!  And my first name was after St. Damien of Molokai... he really inspired me especially when my wife and I went to Molokai on our honeymoon and we experienced how tough that island was -- she almost didn't make it back.  But we do more than just be inspired by their stories, we become a part of them through asking for their intercession.  Hey, if High School Musical taught us anything it's we're all in this together.

#6 How do I love thee?  Let me count the sacraments!  Seven!

#5 History.  That fact that the Church has survived all these centuries is, in itself, a miracle.  It's also comforting.

#4 Authority. 
Code of Canon Law?  Magisterium?  What's with all the rules?  Take a look at the world today.  It's freeing because I the bounds of the game of life and it's just no fun when you're out of bounds.

#3 Mom.  Only makes sense that God wouldn't leave us motherless. 

#2 The Gift.  When I returned to the sacrament of Confession after 17 years, and confessed 17 years of crud, my only penance was to be thankful for the gift of faith.  Hard to wrap my mind around that but the next point is a good segue...

#1 Everest. 
The summit of our Faith dwarfs Mt. Everest.  Being Catholic is experiencing the fullness of the Faith.  I see Christ!  I recognize Him in the Eucharist!  What a gift! 

This list pretty condensed which is cool because it means I might even read it.  You know... I am beyond happy... astonished is more like it.  Do I deserve any of these ten?  Do I deserve having Christ die for me?  Maybe I should close this post and get down on knees.  Amen!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Snow Mow

Well, at least we didn't take out the inflatable pool.
It was tough getting an appetizer of of Spring only to get a full helping of Winter again.  The girls were cooped up for most of the week and Teresa was running a temperature of Cabin Fever... It doesn't help that our house has kind of a cabiny motif. 

So Teresa and I ventured out today.   Threw around some ice chunks.  Gave the birds a loaf of moldy bread... a full half loaf at that -- unsliced... I just chucked the whole half loaf at the birds -- they flew away - chickens! (character-wise, not genus)

Teresa's cabin fever broke but her Spring fever set in.  We kicked around the ol' volleyball because we the soccer ball was AWOL.  She took out her sidewalk chalk and then asked for her lawn mower.  The following video resulted. 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Why I quit Prince

Ever get a song that just keeps going and going in your head?  That happens to me a lot.  I used to be a Prince junkie.  But I haven't bought or played a Prince CD in... well, it's been years now.  A couple at least.  But when I get in a good mood, I usually start groovin' to a Prince tune -- at least in my head.  It's A-U-T-O-matic.

Anybody wanna buy some records?

I've seen him live in concert ten times and even went to Paisley Park and played his ol' drum machine and the symbol guitar.  But I made up my mind to quit Prince shortly after becoming a father.  Why?  Well, the lyrics were either too racy... too whacky or just theologically incorrect.  And music is a powerful thing that can just get stuck in your head.  So, one day, I just decided to go cold turkey.

Cold turkey sucks... except in sandwiches and it really took me a while to find music I could really get into again... but with great fatherhood comes great responsibility.  I wouldn't want that stuff playing around my daughter.  I guess it's like when a pregnant mother or father gives up their smokes.

So what's going through your head?... I just picked some random lyrics from artists I used to plug into and strung them together:

Well, my legs are shakin' and my knees are week -- I can't seem to stand on my own two feet... how can you just leave me standing, alone in a world that's so cold?  Just beat it!  Beat it!  No one wants to be defeated.  I'm a loser, baby, so why don't you kill me?  But I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die.  Where do you want this killing done?  On the road again.

-Elvis/Prince/MJ/Beck/Johnny Cash/Bob Dylan/Willie Nelson

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Day R.E.M.

I haven't been getting as many Z's in at the ol' dream factory of late.  Not making my quotas.  Perhaps it's just good prep for the sleepless nights that will be spent with the baby when the boughs break.  (Make sure you register your boughs in case of any recalls.)

Actually that kinda looks like my work desk
What I really have is second-hand insomnia from my wife's discomfort trying to sleep with a 30 lb pumpkin. When she does get her Z's -- they are... something incredible.  I once woke up to what sounded like an angry Pit Bull growling... maybe this would be a better Secret Self post?

So enough about my beautiful and understanding wife.

So what was I talking about?  Pit Bulls?  Michael Vick?  Sorry,  I haven't been getting as many Z's in at the ol' dream factory of late... kinda been drifting.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Springtime in Wisconsin!

Did you know that Lent translates into "Spring"?  Well, we got hit hard with Lent today.  T'was a hard decision to WFH today as our department has bigger piles of work than the piles of snow on our curb.  But, as I was about to march through the Spring Wonderland, my wife asked me not to... and if there's one thing I don't want to do, it is argue with my pregnant wife.

Welcome home, birds!


Well, she loves it... and that does warm my heart.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Power and The Glory

Yes!  I won the book lotto for our book club.  It's an important win because the book club starts up every couple of years after it fizzles out shortly after the second pick.  I picked The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Scandal Guaranteed!

At the Esto Vir Conference last year, Matthew Kelly touched upon the subject of scandal in the Church.  And he said, if nothing else, he could guarantee that there would be future scandals in the Church... and probably some really big ones at that.

That almost seems to be the fifth mark of the Church and to some, it's a third strike.

Truth is Satan wants us to focus in on the very worldly things.  At the very least regard the Church as a social institution instead of a Salvation Vehicle.  The goal is to lose our supernatural focus.  When Peter recognized Jesus as the Messiah, Jesus said, and I paraphrase, Bingo, Peter!  You didn't get that out of a Cracker Jack Box!  But then Pete turns around and tries to talk Christ out of the crucifixion and Christ admonishes him, "Get behind me, Satan!"

More than anything Satan wants you to doubt.  In a way it's comforting to know just how many scandals have rocked the barque of the Peter, and yet the Church is still floating despite the storms.

To quote the great poet and philosopher, Little Bear, "Whether the weather be cold or whether the weather be hot, we'll weather the weather whatever the weather, whether we like it or not."

Coincidentally they're forecasting a snowstorm tomorrow.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Not so far-fetched

I highlighted the great divide between the Catholic Church and mainline protestants.  But what are the obstacles keeping the Protesters from crossing the Tiber's line?

Are the original reason's for the divide still relevant?

Here are a few objections I often hear these days: 

photo by Bernard Ganon
The Catholic Church has so many man-made traditions that aren't found in the bible!  Where does it say that in the bible?  Well, for one thing, where does it say in the bible that everything has to be in the bible?  Another question: what came first the bible or the Church?

Why do Catholics worship Mary?
  Well, we don't.  We do give honor where honor is due but only God deserves our worship.  So no problem there.  Mary is a big problem for some.  Mary having a virgin birth is fine and dandy, though that is indeed a miracle but her Immaculate Conception is a tripper.  Is it so far-fetched that God could do such a thing?  Look at the attention to detail and perfection God demanded of the ark of the covenant to be constructed... Look at the consequences if someone messed up with even carrying the ark...  how much more important would the ark of the new covenant have to be?  Is it so far fetched that Mary was the sinless Mother of God?

The Eucharist.  While there are many fundamentalists who take the bible quite literally in the creation story, when it comes to the Bread of Life discourse, they somehow think Jesus wasn't talkin' literally.  If creation was created in seven literal days because the bible says so, shouldn't we take the creator at His word about the Eucharist... or is that too far-fetched?

The pope.  What's the deal with papal infallibility?   Well, wasn't the bible infallibly written?  Didn't the Holy Spirit inspire and guide the authors?  Is it too far-fetched that while speaking ex-cathedra the pope is inspired and guided by that same Holy Spirit?

Is it easy being Catholic?  No.  Is it reasonable?  You bet!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Great Divide

More than once in a while have I heard "Catholic?  Protestant?  We do just about the same things!"  I've heard this from Catholics as often as Protestants.  In some respects that's true.  I've attended a lot of Lutheran services (of the WELS variety) and sometimes the liturgy seems more Catholic-ish than some of our own Masses. Their pastor facing the altar... The congregation receiving communion kneeling at a rail... pre-Vatican II but, then again, they never even had Vatican I.

But while there are some similarities on the surface, real beauty and Truth are not skin deep.  So where's the beef and what's my beef?  Well, let me ask a few questions...

photo by Tobias Alt
Which one has Apostolic succession? Which one has secession from the union?

A follow-up... if there isn't a valid priesthood, is there a valid Eucharist? 

Which one has the unabridged bible? Kind of important -- especially if you believe in sola scriptura... and where did the bible come from?

Which one has seven Sacraments instead of just two or three?

While both defend the sanctity of marriage as being between a woman and a man and try to defend that definition of marriage from being re-defined by others... who has tried to re-define Communion itself (transubstantiation vs. consubstantiation) which is the marriage feast of the Lamb!

In our day and age, the family is under attack.  In which one do you have a Mom (the Blessed Virgin Mary)?

What is the only Church that defends the dignity of life to the extent that it has kept its stance on birth control as being a moral evil?

Yes, these are leading questions that hopefully lead you to see the significant differences between us.  But as I'm highlighting the ginormous differences in our beliefs, the question is - are the obstacles that keep most people from joining the Church as ginormous?   Maybe not.  At least I have a theory.  Tune in tomorrow.  Same time, same batty blog.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Same Difference

I'd like to propose a couple of ideas that may seem paradoxical.  Every-so-often I'll get into a conversation with people about religion.  Be they Catholic or protestant a common comment about Catholicism compared with protestantism is that we're pretty much a like.  You got homilies, we got sermons - same difference! But while elements our our liturgies may look similar, there is not a small gap that divides us, but a grand canyon.  I'll post about that on Saturday.

Sunday I'd like to propose that while our divisions are real and deep, the theological obstacles that keep people from the Catholic Church might not be an Everest, but more of a mole hill. 

Sound good?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Yes comment

A friend asked me if I gave up taking comments on my posts for Lent.  Something about error messages... the "red dot of death".  But no, no - I always welcome open dialog through a filtering safety net.  So I think I have the problem fixed.  Could you be so kind as to leave a comment to this post to make sure the system is working?  Thanks!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Kinda busy, how 'bout you?

You feeling busy?  Maybe too busy?  Do you multi-task?  Well, thank goodness for a short blog post to read.  I just gave you five minutes back to your day.  Enjoy them!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tuesday did not disappoint

Well, it definitely was a Tuesday today.  Heard that the Japanese government is making the employees at the damaged nuclear power plant stand their posts to ensure the reactor doesn't blow.  Wow.  So their Tuesday and the rest of their lives makes my Tuesday not seem to very bad at all.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Offer it up Tuesday

As many of the regular Daily D readers know, a high-fiber diet helps keeps you regular, and my Tuesdays are the perfect storm of my week.  But I'm going to offer it up for the people affected by the earthquake/tsunami in Japan.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Somos el Cuerpo de Christo

Rite of Election today for the Catechumens and Candidates.  What that really means is the people preparing for Baptism, Confirmation and Communion and the people preparing for Confirmation and Communion (having been already validly baptised in another tradition) get to meet the Bishop.

And so the faithful gathered at Our Lady of Lourdes in De Pere to fit everyone.  Pretty big crowd.  Shout out to a fellow blogger, Marty, leading RCIA for his neck of the Diocese!  But both of our parishes looked pretty puny compared to St. Willy's mass of candidates.  My explanation (to Marty), they must using the iPad2.

Well, we weren't really there due to one iPad or another but one of the songs we sung said it all:
Somos el cuerpo de Cristo.  We are the body of Christ. Hemos oido, el llamado.we've answered "yes" to the call of the Lord.
Tracy Lyn and I decided I should fly this mission solo since a three-year old and a two-hour ceremony don't mix well.  I sat next to the guy I'm sponsoring, Jon and his wife.  And it all worked out pretty smoothly.  We asked him what he said to Bishop Ricken and he thought he said something like, "It's an honor to meet you." And what did the Bishop say?  "Not sure.  Something and then something like God bless you."  Heheheh.  Tracy Lyn doesn't remember what she said or he said either during her handshake with the Bishop.

Anyway it was a pretty great/happy time.  I think everyone gets a little nervous before a group of hundreds of people but it's always nice to know you have hundreds of people supporting you, welcoming you and praying for you.
Somos el cuerpo de Christo.  We are the body of Christ.  Traemos su santo mensaje.  We come to bring the good news to the world.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

40 Days for Life

"I will never attend an anti-war rally; if you have a peace rally, invite me." 
- Mother Teresa

That's what I like about the 40 Days for Life prayer vigils in front of the Bellin Medical Arts building on Webster.  I've been walking it for a few years now and I've gotta say, it's never been boring.

What 40 Day is is a peaceful, prayerful rally that calls for not only an end to abortion but for building a culture of life.

Now you may have a preconceived idea of what a pro-life rally is.  Protesters yelling at women and threatening doctors who perform abortions?  Nope.  We don't do drama.  What you will see is people holding peaceful signs and often praying rosaries up and down the sidewalk.  They are praying for women, doctors, and the unborn babies.  No drama, but the results are dramatic.
There have now been seven coordinated 40 Days for Life campaigns since 2007.
These efforts have mobilized people of faith and conscience in 337 cities across all 50 of the United States plus six Canadian provinces, three Australian states, and communities in Northern Ireland and Denmark.
During these unified efforts:
  • 1,085 individual campaigns have taken place in 337 cities
  • More than 400,000 have joined together in an historic display of unity to pray and fast for an end to abortion
  • More than 13,000 church congregations have participated in the 40 Days for Life campaigns
  • Reports document 3,599 lives that have been spared from abortion — and those are just the ones we know about
  • 43 abortion workers have quit their jobs and walked away from the abortion industry
  • Nine abortion facilities completely shut down following local 40 Days for Life campaigns
  • Hundreds of women and men have been spared from the tragic effects of abortion, including a lifetime of regrets
  • More than 1,200 news stories have been featured in newspapers, magazines, radio shows and TV programs from coast to coast ... and overseas
  • Many people with past abortion experiences have stepped forward to begin post-abortion healing and recovery
After so many years of legalized abortion, many people of faith are experiencing a renewed sense of HOPE!  (from
Today it seemed like I'd be walking solo for my shift.  Before long 11 people joined me and before longer that grew 16! 

Now this will never get the media attention that the protests of the teachers at the capitol or the NFL players, but it gets attention of every car that passes by and it get results of changing/saving lives. 

There are still 36 days left, I'd like to invite you to our peace rally.

"It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish." - Mother Teresa