insurance design

Smoking Charges Ignite

Last night, Amy took Anna, our seven-year-old, to the dress rehearsal for her 2015 dance recital. I was left in charge of Will, our nine-year-old, and Ella, our three-year-old. What follows is a litany of the kids showing me that I exist in their world as a piece of tightly-spun twine, permanently...

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Sad Child


Our actions become our kids' reactions. Not exactly new. Not exactly Newtonian (pause while joke sinks in). But it's a truism all the same. ...

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Car radio

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Advertise Here

In 2012, we bought a 2009 Dodge Journey. At the time, it was a sweet ride. Alloy wheels, gun-metal gray paint, Green Goblin-esque green glowing lights illuminating the dials–it was a pimped ride, in my opinion, or as close as …...

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Therapist: Take me back to the beginning. Tell me how it all got started, how you eventually wound up holding the bloody knife in the aftermath of your killing spree. I'm sure there's a reasonable explanation....

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That's a Mouthful

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Stupid Piece of ... Oh, That's Right

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Deadly Donuts

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When Did I Become a Pushover?

I've never thought of myself as the Ultimate Fighter type. As a kid, whenever the possibility of bodily harm came up, I tried to avoid confrontation. But if the issue was pressed, I could stand up and issue fake threats along with the best of them and hope that my manufactured bravado was enough to...

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As I Approach 30

I live in a small town. Colona, IL has a population of just over 5,000. As a jogger, this means I am usually only assaulted with exhaust fumes a few times whenever I decide to go outside to burn some calories. But as far as the type of people passing me on the roadside? Over this, I have no control....

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Abandoned old cars

Filed Under , on May 2nd, 2015

5 Excuses for the Disintegration of the Family Car

By Seth Kabala

In 2012, we bought a 2009 Dodge Journey. At the time, it was a sweet ride. Alloy wheels, gun-metal gray paint, Green Goblin-esque green glowing lights illuminating the dials–it was a pimped ride, in my opinion, or as close as I, with three kids and having been married almost a decade, was ever going to get to something worthy of reality television. Fast forward to 2015, and the only consolation I can take is we’re getting close to paying off the loan. What I can take for exasperation, however, is how the thing seems to disintegrate before my eyes. Alright, fine, it’s not disintegrating; it’s showing signs of age and requiring regular maintenance. The horror.

But being a cheapskate and an anal-retentive perfectionist for quality of appearance, the slightest imperfection is annoying. I have to deal with it, as I, even with my champagne-taste-on-a-beer-budget, would drive the modern-day equivalent of the Beverly Hillbillies’ piece o’ shit mobile if it means we remain in the black. A shark tank in the back of an SUV might be suitable for an NBA superstar–until, you know, the bankruptcy and divorce and utter domestic and career ruin–but that’s a bad call for a thinking man.

But what to do about the heartburn?

Even though I’ve forced myself to deal with my aging vehicle, it still turns my stomach when a new scratch, noise, shake, or shudder appears, as I always assume this one will be the one that makes the car disassemble itself while in motion, all parts careening toward opposite sides of the street, leaving all of us sitting in our seats looking like the victims of a vicious (albeit hilarious) prank. So in an attempt to assuage my inner (nattily attired gay man voice) Fabulous!, following is a list of five ways I’ve devised to explain away all the imperfections.

1. The bulge under the paint on the front of the hood in the middle just above the grill is an air pocket containing a priceless pearl. When this Journey was manufactured, an international jewel thief was running through the plant evading law enforcement. He came across the unpainted skin, saw the painting robot about to swing down in an arc to cover the hood metal, and he got an idea for stowing his loot. He tossed the pearl with perfect timing so it stuck underneath the paint spray, adhered to the metal, and is there to this day.

2. The piles and piles of food refuse my children have dropped on the floor aren’t waste; they are a way to plan, without having to think about it, for nutritional requirements that will arise should we ever find ourselves stuck in a snowbank for an extended period of time.

3. The stains left behind by the piles and piles of food may damage the upholstery and resale value–HA! Resale value. HA, HA–but the rich nutrient bed will serve as fertile soil for experimental on-the-go farming. Just add water.

4. The bald front tires may present a hazard for driving in wet conditions, but should I ever get the desire to go drag racing, all I need to do is switch these babies to the back, and I’ve got racing slicks.

5. The dent in the bottom of the rear gate, splintered around the edges with sticks of fiberglass, wasn’t caused by someone carelessly opening it up too close to an immovable object. Chuck Norris drove by, leaned out his window so his mouth was angled downward, and burped, causing a sonic shock-wave of epic proportions and–POW!–the dent appeared.


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Seth Kabala

About: Seth Kabala
Seth is an entrepreneur, writer, musician, family man, and juggler of balls--big ones. He lives with his wife and three children in Portland, OR.

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