Done.

Fifty thousand words, hundreds of valuable insights, and scores of spelling and grammatical errors. It’s in the editor’s hands now, on schedule for its October release. Going to self-publish this one, both in printed and e-book versions. Please tell Oprah and Katie to cool their jets. Thanks.

Today’s tidbit: Driving tips:

Here are the best things I learned from my drivers’ ed class:

  • Just because the Speed Limit is 45 does not mean you need to travel exactly at that speed. Note the word “limit.” Contrary to popular belief, you could legally drive 43 MPH in that zone and still keep up with the flow of traffic.
  • There is a real area known as your “blind spot” along the side of your vehicle, where you cannot see another vehicle, or they cannot see you. Always double check before switching lanes or passing someone, especially if they’re in a truck.
  • Never assume people are always going to stop in time, move out of your way, or do the right thing. Everyone screws up and makes mistakes at one point or another.
  • Most importantly, if you’re stuck on a railroad crossing and a train is approaching, get the hell out of the car and run away. The train is not going to stop regardless of your calculations or how much you pray.
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Repercussions of Failure.

How well you do as a parent will be critically important to your future as well. There is only so much you can do as a parent, but the repercussions of failure are drastic. For example, if your child eventually succumbs to criminal desires, your good name will be tarnished as well. After all, it was your job to teach that child morals and common sense. If your daughter has poor judgment leading to illegitimate children, you may find it necessary to raise your grandchildren as your own, incurring an additional 18 or more years of time and financial responsibility you might not have planned. Of course, you could deny your child’s children, but could you live with the fact that if something adverse happened to those innocent grandkids, you had the opportunity to save them? Not to mention the heartbreak of seeing your own children fail in life, something you could have prevented with a little more time, attention, or guidance. You will only get one chance per child, and there are no do-overs. So make it count.

I smell like Michael Jordan.

I was walking through a mall with my family, and noticed a life-sized cutout of Justin Bieber. People were stopping and taking photographs next to the cutout. Looking a little further, I realized what the cut out was advertising – Justin Bieber’s new cologne. Now, people can attempt to elevate their social status by lathering up with toxic chemicals while pretending to smell just like JB, Britney Spears, Jay Z, J-Lo, and even Michael Jordan. I have to wonder if the Jordan cologne was modeled during a pre- or post-game odor. And people were actually buying this crap. It was on that day I became angry with pop culture, and realized there was a problem.

Eight bucks an hour.

My children all came to a stunning revelation when I taught them minimum wage is about eight bucks an hour. That seems like a lot of cash to a kid, until they begin to do the math. Breakfast at McDonalds? You’ll need to work about 30 minutes for that. Want your nails done? That’s four hours, please. Add another hour if you want special gel. A new X-Box game? That’s 8 or more full hours of laundry, dishes, sweeping, mopping, and yard work. Suddenly, I saw their little minds grinding away at numbers before they asked for something new. It’s a great exercise in math and common sense.

America’s Lost Edge.

Have American kids lost their edge? It sure looks that way. But why? And what can you do about it? You can begin by putting those fishing poles, golf clubs, fantasy football picks, reality shows, and gentleman’s club VIP cards away and taking your parental responsibility dead seriously. Immigrant parents tend to hold on to their traditional child-rearing customs and practices, some of which would be considered harsh by current American standards. Shame, guilt, and fear were three very effective elements of my first-generation immigrant upbringing. High on discipline and low on tolerance, these immigrant parents provide a wonderful model for raising future doctors, scientists, and other worthwhile professionals. Make fun of them all you want, but they’ll be eating your pie until former all-Americans are the new lower-class American minority. Mark my words – if America continues on this course, by the year 2100, Causasian, Hispanic, and African-American kids will all be performing low-wage labor for the foreign accent-bearing masters they all used to taunt.

Nine months.

Nine months or so have passed since you shared your seed, and she’s about to pop. It’s probably been at least six months since you and future-mom were intimate (she may have been afraid your huge penis might dent her baby’s head). A few token hand jobs are in no way enough to disguise the fact that the woman you found hot enough to sleep with is now fat, sweaty, miserable, moody, and probably puking in the brand new Subaru station wagon that you hate but she forced you to purchase.