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

Piece of Sh*t Car Reprise

When I was in high-school, a popular song named "Ode to My Car," by Adam Sandler, spun regularly on the radio. No, it didn't. All foul-mouthed teenage boys wished such happy, unfiltered radio days would appear, but that didn't stop the explicit lyrics from making an impact, even if the song's plot...

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Advertise Here

With summer months close on the horizon, you might be thinking about a family vacation. You might think you’ll create fond memories that will resurface at family gatherings for years to come. Stop. Have you considered the implications of bad …...

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Certain messes in life are unavoidable. If you get a DUI and your hair is sufficiently mussed or you manage to jam your finger into the nearest outlet just prior to the mug-shot, chances are you'll be a big-time celebrity some day. ...

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A Reasonable Explanation

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

Waking up to the sounds of birds and (outside) insects is alluring, and when you have your second 10th cup of coffee and realize you are on vacation, and this auditory lovemaking is real, not the result of an ambitious-carpet-cleaning hallucination, you can finally relax, letting your bulk stress...

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

I'm a realist. I call things like they are, and if I look stupid in the process, well, so be it. ...

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Deadly Donuts

The morning started off good. Four eggs fluffed with a splash of milk, mixed with Parmesan and salt and black pepper and red pepper flakes and slathered with Cholula hot sauce; four ounces of Bob Evan's spicy Italian sausage (sorry for the smell, honey, luv ya) fried into the wonderful concoction;...

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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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Filed Under , , on June 14th, 2014

10 Reasons Not to Take a Summer Vacation

By Seth Kabala

With summer months close on the horizon, you might be thinking about a family vacation. You might think you’ll create fond memories that will resurface at family gatherings for years to come. Stop. Have you considered the implications of bad memories? Of things that should stay buried? Of possible blackmail? You should.

10 reasons to solidify my position:

1. In L.A., pedestrians have the right of way, not vehicles, and every Cindy, Dick, Tom, and Harry (yes, I interviewed people, and they were only called by these names), anxious to get across town to the next audition, or to get back to their shoe-box apartment so they can take anti-depressants to dampen the sting of the latest director’s condescension (What?! You won’t do anal?!?!), will dart into the intersection at full speed, nary a thought to the tons-heavy object barreling toward them, because the sign that indicates a pedestrian’s superior rights will protect them, you know, like, totally.

Little known is the fact that most actors’ careers start one of three ways: 1) they are good and get the part, 2) they sleep with the director, or 3) they get hit by an out-of-towner’s car and win the ensuing lawsuit, enabling them to stay in L.A. long enough for either of the previously-mentioned options one or two to apply.

2. Driving Highway 1 along the Pacific Ocean is beautiful. But those scenic overlooks will look too good for all the wrong reasons when you’ve been in the car with the same people for two weeks.

3. Swimming in an outdoor pool in December may trip a wire in your brain, causing you to forget that the same action is impossible in the Midwest. On the other hand, if you desire to say hi to the good folks running the emergency room, and you want to make the “Idiot” section of the papers, be my guest.

4. If you lack knowledge of the mechanics of skiing or snowboarding, take lessons before going on vacation with your family and attempting either or both of these. Can you say you technically conquered the mountain when you fell on your ass every 20 feet? I suppose so, but you’ll be in so much pain that when you speak, your voice will ratchet up an octave with sphincter-tightening overtones, and everyone will mistake you for Mike Tyson.

5. Even if you took lessons, disabuse yourself of the notion that beginner’s knowledge has imbued you with the ability to shred downhill at breakneck speed, safely dodge other skiers/boarders, pull 360s over mogul hills, or ride the half-pipe sans a free concussion. Then, again, if you fled the L.A. authorities after plowing (and not in a good way) a wannabe actor/actress and decided that, well, hell, as long as you’re a free man, you might as well continue your vacation, and upon disembarking from the chair lift, you see the law coming for you, employing said downhill tactics may be your only way to freedom. Then, again, again, it could also be an awesome way to go out.

6. Upon the arrival of a post-apocalyptic world the likes of The Walking Dead or those described in the novels The Road and Cell, by Cormac McCarthy and Stephen King, respectively, you have my permission to eat at Denny’s. Otherwise, stay the hell away. Refrigeration is not an issue, in case you were wondering.

7. Snowshoeing is not a plug-and-play recreational activity. Skill is involved. You could die.

8. It is decidedly uncool to leap the barricades next to the Grand Canyon for a closer view of the chasm. If you are 13-years-old, you’re an idiot in many things by default. Don’t be an idiot in this.

9. Concerning camping with adolescent boys, Miss Piggy socks are never an OK replacement for rancid, crusted, mold-laden tube socks. I don’t care if there’s enough bacteria on the socks for Louis Pasteur to come back to life and start making new scientific breakthroughs. Let ‘em go barefoot before you inflict psychological damage. Assuming you’ve already psychologically damaged your boy with an open bedroom door, at least avoid the photographic evidence of the pig.

10. Assume all cars sold to out-of-towners whose vehicles break down on Arizona highways have an undercoat of yellow. How to avoid developing hatred so pure you scream at bacteria growing on your mechanic’s uniform as he fixes your damn car the 19-millionth time?

Stay home.



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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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