Father’s Day month - the perfect time to feature another “Simple Man”, and the first person I thought of for June was Jason. You’ll see why below. He is a damn good person and an even better dad.
I first met Jason when our daughters played on the same soccer team. I had mentioned this idea about starting a shop and when he learned we had decided to jump, he has supported us ever since. Wait - maybe it’s the free beer we have at the after-hours events. No, I’m sure it’s not.
You know most of the time, I send the questions to a somewhat hesitant, yet slightly willing friend of the shop and then use the answers to craft this blog post. This month, though, I am just going to leave it exactly as Jason responded - because his is hilarious, and I want you to see that.
Short Bio: (family, work, interests, where ya grew up, etc)
Born and raised in Woodbine, Iowa, I grew up about a mile from my first serious high school girlfriend, Aimee. We both attended The University of South Dakota and competed on the cross country and track teams. Following college, we got engaged and have been married 19 years this week. A couple of years after we were married we were surprised to learn that we were going to be parents. About 17 months after our first daughter was born another daughter followed. Life carried on and we had another girl, then a boy, then another girl. Five kids in under 10 years. When my wife completed her training and began her career we made the decision that I would try out being a stay at home dad. Eleven years later I am still running the kids around full time.
My interests obviously revolve around whatever the kids have going on… sports, music, etc. With the pandemic keeping us out of restaurants I have really enjoyed cooking new things and creating meals that all five kids will at least try. Having two vegetarians in the mix adds to the challenge but so far no one has starved to death. I still enjoy running and working out daily. That’s the time where I refocus my day while still chiseling away at my mid 40s dad bod. Parents are always multitasking.
What’s a pet peeve that you would make illegal if you could?
Parents, grandparents, and other family members yelling at referees/umpires at youth sporting events. Give them a break. And by the way, when was the last time that someone yelling at you in public made you more receptive to their point?
Also, calling pets “fur babies.” That phrase drives me nuts.
Favorite tailgating or ball-game watching food & beverage?
Founders “All Day IPA” and basically anything that comes out of the smoker. Brisket, pulled pork, and/or cheez-its. Yes, I smoke cheez-its on the smoker (shout out to my buddy Vince for introducing smoked cheese based snacks to me).
The best thing about being a dad is…..?
My situation is a little unique since I have been an at home parent for the past 11 years. So for me the best thing about being a dad has been the volume of time that I get to be around my kids. The time has flown by and I am glad that I got to change a million diapers, drop off and pick up from school, coach soccer games, and relearn algebra (thank you google).
What are you currently listening to (music, podcasts, etc)?
As far as podcasts, I have been listening to a lot of “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend” recently. As far as music, I have been on a Led Zeppelin kick for some reason. Also listening to a lot of Santana at the request of my 10 year old son. Any dad that has a kid requesting Santana must be doing something right… right?
What project do you currently have going (home, personal)?
At the moment we are trying to remodel our basement. Seems like a good idea until you realize that adding a cabinet to a basement bar area leads to you somehow buying bookshelves for the office and buying new shower doors for the master bath. It feels like this project could spiral out of control at any moment. And my wife, God love her, thinks I am able to complete a much higher percentage of the project than I do. I sometimes think she looks at me and sees Ron Swanson. But I can’t even grow a mustache.
What historical or sports figure (past or present) inspires you?
When I was growing up my favorite athlete was Nolan Ryan. It was the coolest thing ever to see a guy older than my dad still throwing no hitters into his 40s. His work ethic and commitment to his craft was amazing to me. Not to mention his side headlock noogie that he gave Robin Ventura in 1993. Every year I get a text message from my brother celebrating the anniversary of Ventura’s fateful act of charging the mound to challenge a legend.
What is your dream vacation destination?
I am pretty easy when it comes to dream vacations. Private pool for the kids and on the beach. And mojitos. Our favorite destination that meets these criteria is St. George Island, FL.
What The Simple Man find can’t you live without?
This may sound simple (pun intended), but its the casual wear. Comfortable t-shirts and half zips. And shorts. These are my “stay at home dad” uniform. Oh, and my “Father of the GOD DAMN year” coffee mug. Which, of course, I purchased for myself.
Tell us one thing about you that few may know (that is ‘safe’ for public knowledge)
I am able to wiggle my ears. The embarrassing thing is that while I can move my right ear by itself, I am not able to move my left ear independent from the right.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
Carpentry without a doubt. I have made a few pieces of furniture and other small items around our house. I love that when you build something the end product is physically sitting in front of you and you can humbly tell people “yeah, I made that. No big deal.” My dad has worked in carpentry for 50 years and I am endlessly impressed by the things that he can create.
I also think that I would be a great manager of a sales team at a mid-sized paper and office supply company.
I’ve said many times, the best part of my job is the relationships that we build. Even though our daughters don’t play together anymore, I’m glad we’ve continued to get to know Jason, Aimee and the kids.
Happy Father’s day, gents. May we all strive to be as amazing as this guy!