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

Causality is difficult to determine. Although it is easy enough to observe event A and then event B and conclude that, assuming a plausible relationship exists between the two, A somehow caused B to happen, how do we prove this? I …...

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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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The New PSP

Filed Under , , on June 13th, 2015

The New PSP

By Seth Kabala

Causality is difficult to determine. Although it is easy enough to observe event A and then event B and conclude that, assuming a plausible relationship exists between the two, A somehow caused B to happen, how do we prove this?

I recall a slide from a data analytics MBA course I took a few years ago, where the charted topography of a certain mountain range almost perfectly overlayed that of the S&P 500′s performance over time. Or was it the Dow Jones? Doesn’t really matter. What does matter is the ability to identify events that, while they might not directly cause another event, have an influencing, predictive quality to them. To this regard, I give you the case of the 3D puzzle and the clogged toilet.

Amy bought Will, our nine-year-old, a treasure chest 3D puzzle. He loves those things, seems to have an innate ability to visualize the finished product and formulate an approach on how to get there. I predict he will have a career in at least one of the following fields: architectural design, graphic/artistic design, or world/alternative galaxy design, where he is our overlord and supreme ruler, requiring  the logging of no less than five hours of Plants vs. Zombies play every day.

Though Will had excelled at past 3D puzzles, assembling them in a matter of minutes, this one gave him troubles, for the next day, I came downstairs to find the puzzle unfinished and spread out on the living room floor in front of the TV–Will’s version of double-screening, I guess. Next to this, he had placed his open package of blueberry breakfast biscuit things that are hard and you can dip into yogurt. (I’m feeling John Grisham’s aversion to detailed research this morning, so blueberry breakfast biscuit things they are and shall forevermore be!)

Despite the perilous hazards set in front of my half-asleep body and 10%-open eyelids, I managed to avoid stepping on the hard, plastic, sharp pieces and even avoided crushing the blueberry breakfast biscuit things into dust with my heel, effectively juking the whole mess. I congratulated myself on having passed the middle-age reflex test and continued on to the bathroom to start my morning routine.

Meanwhile, in the interim between when I left the bathroom, dressed upstairs, and returned downstairs, Will, I suspect, for he is frequently guilty (or somebody. The eternal cold-case of the mysterious Not Me), had clogged the toilet. Wouldn’t go down at first. Had to plunge four times, watching the thing like a homicide detective analyzes a crime scene, my adroit eyes on the lookout for a rogue poo that sought to remain in the bowel.

I conquered the second domestic pitfall that threatened to flush my good mood down the sewer and headed off to work. Later, I returned to find the treasure chest completely assembled, and here is my hypothesis: having encountered a road block in his ability to visualize the right steps to take to assemble the treasure chest, Will took a break, dropped a massive deuce, and, mental and physical blockages cleared, mental prowess restored, powered through to complete the assembly.

Unlike the relationship of a mountain range’s topography to the performance of a stock market index, I believe scientific evidence (somewhere) shows a connection between dropping a good deuce and the subsequent improvement of problem-solving skills.

Amy and I need to discuss adding a new subject to the kids’ curriculum: problem solving and porcelain (PSP). Great new acronym for the resume, right?

Yes, Ma’am. I am not only proficient at the playing of portable gaming systems; I poop good, too. 



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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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