Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Day in the Life

This week "My Wife Asks"...
What does a day in the life of Eric look like?
6:45am  -- My first alarm goes off.

6:47 - 6:49 -- I finally awaken enough to get up and hit the snooze button.  (Which means that the alarm has been repeatedly beeping for a solid 3+ minutes, which gives my wife an interesting soundtrack while she is getting ready for the day in her bathroom.  If she ever gets around to murdering me, this will be one of the top reasons for doing so.)

6:50 - 7:10 -- repeatedly hit the snooze button, with the hope that the Rapture will occur during this time so I can skip work.

7:10 -- drag my lazy butt to the shower.  During the shower, it is my hope that the Rapture will occur so that I can skip work.

7:20 - 7:40 -- eat breakfast, let the dog outside to do his business, stop the dog from eating students from the nearby high school, check my email/eBay/Facebook/Twitter, sync my iPod, all the while hoping for the Rapture.

7:40 -- fight rush hour traffic to work, flipping between AM radio stations hoping that one will announce the impending Rapture.

7:59 -- arrive at work.  Resign myself to the fact that another Rapture-free day is upon me.

8:00 -- arrive at my desk.  Spend the next five minutes shuffling papers, checking that my stapler is full, emptying my two-hole punch, etc.

8:05 - 10:59 -- wander around the office asking coworkers for work, especially work that is VERY time consuming and menial.  Such work includes breaking down old files, shredding old paperwork, stuffing envelopes, making copies, putting together new file folders, and preparing mortgage files to be sent out via UPS.  Occasionally I'll be sent downstairs to the bank to get cashier's checks and to pick up the mail.  During this time I listen to the previous day's Dan Patrick Show podcast.

11:00 - 12:00 -- drive home for lunch.  Let out the dog to do his business.  Yell at him to stop sniffing the grass and to come inside.  Listen to the Jim Rome Show.  Eat lunch, check my email/eBay/Facebook/Twitter/blogs, sync my iPod, get the recently delivered mail, open any recently delivered packages containing baseball cards, log said cards into my Excel spreadsheet, talk to my friend Burt Near Denver about the Jim Rome Show via Twitter, grab a couple of sodas, and drive back to work.

12:00 - 5:00 -- repeat the morning routine, but this time I listen to today's podcast of the Bob and Tom Show and the previous day's Mike Rosen Show podcast.

5:00  -- fight rush hour traffic home.

5:15 -9:00ish -- make and eat dinner with the wife.  Watch any newly arrived Netflix.  Take an evening walk with the wife and the dog.  Watch more Netflix and/or television.

9:00ish -- tuck the wife in as she goes to bed.

9:00ish - 11:00ish -- surf the web, monitor my email/eBay/Facebook/Twitter.  Also, during this time I'll go outside and check for a blue moon.  If I see one, I'll head back inside and write up a blog post.

11:00ish -- crash into the bedroom.  Startle my wife out of her deep slumber.  Assure her I'm not a killer.  Let her curse at me for a minute or two.  Fall asleep immediately.

Thus completes a day in my life.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Favorite Nonfiction Books

At the Category Thirteen blog, my friend Joe listed the best nonfiction books he'd personally read.  I love lists, and his list had no mention of Tom Wolfe, so I thought I'd throw in my two cents on the subject. 

13)  Give Me a Break -- John Stossel -- this book was my written introduction to "classical liberalism".

12)  The Greatest Generation Speaks: Letters and Reflections -- Tom Brokaw  -- really powerful collection of letters from WWII

11)  The Life of Reilly  -- Rick Reilly -- a great collection of Reilly's Sports Illustrated articles. 

10)  Tales from Q School -- John Feinstein --  Making this list reminded me of how many golf books by Feinstein I still need to read.  The man is a machine, churning out at least one riveting sports book each year.

9)  Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court -- John Wooden and Steve Jamison  -- this book taught me more about being an effective teacher then I learned in five years of college.

8) Freakonomics -- Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt  -- interesting book that challenges conventional wisdom.

7)  Blind Side -- Michael Lewis -- much better than the movie (but aren't they all?).

6)  Everything is Wrong with Me: A Memoir of an American Childhood Gone, Well, Wrong -- Jason Mulgrew  -- funny memoir written by one of my favorite bloggers.

5)  Electric Kool-Aide Acid Test -- Tom Wolfe -- the second best book I was assigned to read in college.

4)  The New New Thing -- Michael Lewis -- the best book I was assigned to read in college

3)  Who's Your Caddy -- Rick Reilly -- the funniest sports book I've ever read.

2) Friday Night Lights -- H.G. Bissinger -- hands down, the best sports book I've ever read.

1)  Mere Christianity -- C.S. Lewis -- my favorite book by my favorite author.

While surfing through Amazon as I was trying to jog my memory as to which books I've actually read in the past decade, I stumbled into tons of books that I really need to read.  I think I'll order a few with the little bit of money I have leftover in my Amazon account from my birthday.  I'll probably grab one of John Feinstein's many golf books that I've yet to read and I'll pick one from Joe's list.  If I do so, I'll surpass my personal goal to read five books this year.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


This week "My Wife Asks..." 
Summer, Fall, Spring, or Winter: Pick one season and tell us why.
For the first half of my life, the answer would have been Winter, hands down.  During that time, the main draw of winter was the snow.  I loved skiing.  I loved sledding behind my dad's motorcycle.  I loved building snowmen.  I loved building snow forts and throwing snowballs.  I loved eating handfuls of snow and writing my name in the snow.  I loved staying home from school because of a snow day.  I loved pulling the emergency brake and cranking the steering wheel for a perfectly executed "Batman" in a snow/ice covered parking lot.  Heck, I even loved shoveling sidewalks, since back then, a cleared sidewalk equaled money in my pocket. 

For the first half of my life, I experienced winter only as the holiday season.  Winter meant Christmas presents, Christmas decorations, Christmas lights and trees, Christmas dinner, and Christmas vacation.  What's not to love?

But over the past dozen plus years, I have experienced winter as the season of work.  I no longer get the luxury of experiencing everything great winter has to offer, I actually have to work for winter.  Winter now means scraping ice off a windshield, shoveling a sidewalk and a driveway, and applying proper brake pressure when trying to slow down my passenger vehicle so as to not lose traction with the road.  Winter now costs money:  snow tires, coats and gloves, shovels and snowblowers and sledding equipment all cost money from my pocket. 

Winter now takes planning.  What's the best route home so I don't get my car stuck in the snow?  What presents am I going to buy?  At what speed can I ski that will be slow enough to prevent personal injury, yet fast enough to not be considered an old man by my sister?  Do we get a real or fake Christmas tree?  Or do we forgo a tree all together since it takes so much care and maintenance to ensure the tree doesn't create a fire hazard?  Do we save up all of our vacation time for a long Christmas break or split it up throughout the year? 

Finally, as a younger man, I would relish the cold of winter.  Not any longer.  You may remember a winter poem I published on this very blog a few months ago.  It went something like this:

By Abigail Elizabeth McIntyre
Shit it's Cold.
The End

Truer words were never spoken.  So, all of these factors have contributed to the waning of my love of winter.  But, I believe I would still love winter, despite these new nuisances, were it not for one word:  GOLF.
Winter makes it really difficult to golf, especially in Omaha.  So, I would say that at this time, I prefer spring, summer, and fall, or as I like to call them -- Golf Season.


Today, as I was eating a lunch of leftover spaghetti and meatballs, I started pondering which I preferred more: meatballs or meatloaf.  Which made me think of the singer Meat Loaf.  To which I wrote the following Tweet:   
Can't decide which I like more: meatloaf (the food, not the singer) or meatballs (the food, not the movie).
Which I then modified a bit to come up with the following Facebook status:
Can't decide which I like more:  meatloaf (the food, not the singer famous for the "Bat out of Hell" trilogy of albums) or meatballs (the food, not the 1979 movie directed by Ivan Reitman and staring Bill Murray).  Discuss.
Which then reminded me that I should see if any Meat Loaf songs are worth buying since my sister sent me an Amazon gift card that I wanted to use to buy new music.  The "I Will Do Anything For Love" song was my favorite, especially for the overriding riddle of what in fact it was that Mr. Loaf wouldn't do for love. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

2010 Topps T206 Stephen Strasburg Mini 1:1 Printing Plate

One of the best part about being a kid who collects trading cards was cracking open a new pack of cards.  It was basically the lottery for children.  You throw down a couple of bucks (back then) and roll the dice.  Occasionally, the pack would yield a bunch of junk cards.  But more often then not, the pack would give you enough cards off a want/need list to keep you coming back for more.  There is nothing better then ripping open a pack of cards and finding your favorite player or a rare insert card.  Today, my wife and I recreated a little piece of my youth by ripping open a box of 2010 Topps T206 cards.

When I started noticing a bevy of T206 Hochevar cards popping up on eBay, I decided to forgo the easy route of buying up the cards that other people had pulled and instead try and pull my own Hochevar cards.  And I was very pleased with the results.

The box contained 20 packs of cards, with 9 cards in each pack.  My wife and I each opened 10 packs.  At about pack 5 for me, I pulled the one of the cards I was hoping to get, my first Hochevar pull.  While it was a base card, after finding it, I considered the box a success.

Each box also contains one autograph card and one relic card.  As luck would have it, my wife ended up finding both of these cards.  It should be noted that she found both of these cards before I pulled the Hochevar card.  I'm not going to lie, I was a little bummed that she was the one to find the "hits" of the box.  She ended up finding a Grady Sizemore Game Used Bat relic card and a Gregor Blanco Autograph card.  Both cards are quite nice, but neither would be considered huge "hits" within the baseball card community.

We ended up getting about 120 base cards, which have whetted my appetite to attempt completing the base card set.  Along with the Hochevar base card, my wife ended up finding a Stephen Strasburg rookie card.

We also got 6 "short print" cards, which are different from the regular base cards because the players are wearing baseball caps (the base cards are unique due to all the players being hat-less) and the backs only contain the player's name (where as the base cards have a little blurb about the player).  Here are the short print cards.

The box also contained 20 or so mini cards.  The fun thing about the minis in this set is that there are five different styles of backs.  I ended up getting at least one of each back style.  Here are the five different styles.

The "Cycle" card is serial numbered 21/99.  Too bad it wasn't of a more well known player.

At around our 18th pack, and the ninth pack that I opened, I was under the impression that we'd found all of the "hits" that the box would contain, with which I was content, and I was just hoping to score a Hochevar mini card with the remaining packs.  Imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon this gem.

As the back of the card explains, it's a Stephen Strasburg 1:1 Magenta Mini Printing Plate card.  When I saw this card, I was overcome with joy.  This has to be one of the most coveted cards that can be pulled from a pack.  One might think that a Strasburg autograph card would be a bigger pull, but they didn't put any of his autographs in the packs.  Instead, a person would find a "redemption" card in the pack, which you then have to mail off to be redeemed by the company, and then they mail you the actual card.  So, in actuality, I ended up pulling one of the rarest cards of one of the biggest names in baseball card collecting today.

I hate to imagine how much this card would fetch on eBay if Stephen was not hurt at this time (and his future in question).  With that said, I'm still going to try to flip it for as much money as I can get to help fund my future card purchases.

As much as it probably scares my wife, because of this box of cards, I may have been bitten by the pack-ripping bug.  What a fun box to open and what a nice set of cards Topps has put out.  If my Strasburg card brings enough money, I'll definitely be opening another box of the T206 cards and I'll be chasing more Hochevar cards for my personal collection.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Trading Cards

One of the best parts about collecting cards when I was a kid was trading cards with two of my friends who also collected.  We were constantly sorting through each others collections, finding cards we needed and wanted, and offering up trades.  There were offers, counter offers, and counter-counter offers.  It was a great way to spend countless hours in our boring little town.

Now that I've decided to reenter the card collecting game, I find it's the experience I miss the most.  There is a comradery that develops between card collectors who trade with each other.  By getting most of my cards on eBay and Check Out My Cards.com, I find myself alone on a card collecting island.

So imagine my excitement when I discovered that Night Owl of the blog "Night Owl's Cards" was trying to make a through-the-mail trade with a person from each of the 50 states in the Union, and Nebraska was one of the states with which he'd yet to trade.

Since I've been out of the card collecting game for so long, I don't really have many cards that anyone would want.  But I do have a giant box of old cardboard from the 1980s and 90s.  I spent an evening sorting through my piles of cards looking for Dodgers.  I then compared the Dodgers cards that I had with Night Owl's check list of cards he wants and needs (I should totally get one of those), and found five cards that Night Owl did not already have.  Score!

To make it a trade, both parties need to send cards and since I only collect Hochevar cards at this moment, I asked that Night Owl send any Hochevar cards he had my way.  Here is what he sent:

The top four cards were card I already had in my collection (but I am also working on a set of duplicate cards that I hope to one day get personally autographed).  Of the one hundred plus Hochevar cards that I have, the bottom card ended up being a base card that was missing from my collection. 

While neither of us hit the motherload with this trade, both of us filled a gap in our collections.  More than anything, I wanted to do this trade not for the cards (although I'm very glad to have a new card and am even happier to have helped Night Owl out with his personal collection), but as a way to network within the card collecting community.  I wanted to make connections with people who have the same hobby as me, and I've taken an important step in that direction.  I was also hoping to get a plug for my blog on his blog which has a nice following of trading card enthusiasts, and did I ever get a plug.  Night Owl chose his second year anniversary post to write about our trade.  I'm sure his post will get a few newbies to my blog, which is awesome. 

This trade with Night Owl has inspired me to find more people with which to trade and create a list of the cards that I want/need in my collection.  So, if there are any baseball card enthusiasts out there who would like to get rid of some Luke Hochevar baseball cards (or John Stockton basketball cards for that matter) let me know with an email to brodie.dog87@gmail.com.


SONG:  "Settle for a Slowdown" by Dierks Bentley.  My aunt-in-law sent me an Amazon.com gift card for my birthday.  If there is anything that I enjoy more than searching for cards on eBay, it's searching for music on Amazon.  My computer runs at about half speed because it is bogged down with more music then I'll ever need.  One of the albums I bought was Dierks Bentley's Greatest Hits.  I've been eyeballing this collection of song for a long while, and, as luck would have it, Amazon had it on sale for $5.    

LETDOWN:  A day after I finally tracked down a box of 2010 Topps T-206 baseball cards on eBay, I got an email from the eBay authorities stating "to help protect you, we removed this listing so we can confirm that the seller is not putting you or other eBay members at risk."  They also told me that I needed to open a case against the seller so that I could get my money back.  I will have to wait 7 days for the case to be closed and I can get my money back.  Bummer.

LOOKING FORWARD TO:  Playing in a four-man scramble with my former coworker Brandon this Saturday.  We'll be playing at one of Nebraska's finest courses, Quarry Oaks.  Apparently the other two guys are good golfers, so hopefully we'll win our flight.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Happy 29th Birthday

Today is Eric’s birthday.  He is turning 29.  In the grand spirit of celebration, please enjoy a few memories of Eric’s 28th year.

Eric turned 28 in September of last year.  That same month, his cousins traveled from Denver to visit him.  

In October, Eric’s dad and sister came to visit.   

In November, Eric competed in his Movember challenge.   

In December, we went home to Fowler for Christmas.   

Eric’s mom always makes Christmas such a blast.

We have been in Omaha since 2008 while I attend law school.  Because we were in Omaha in January, that meant we lived our lives under three feet of snow.  Eric was in charge of snow removal, and after more snow shoveling than one man could stomach, he bought himself a snow blower.  I believe he would say this was his best purchase in 2010.

While all that snow stuck around, Eric decided to take advantage of it.

My family came to visit us in April.  We all drove to Sioux City, IA to celebrate my grandmother’s birthday.  Eric looked especially fun in the sombrero. 

I am not exactly sure what month Eric began collecting baseball cards, but I know it happened.  Eric truly loves the hunt and getting a great deal.   

Eric loves our sweet dog Brodie and likes to entertain him as much as possible. 

We decided to spend our last summer in Omaha exploring everything the town had to offer.  

We spent time in Fowler for Eric's 10 year high school reunion.

We also went to Mt. Rushmore.

Happy Birthday, Pal.  I hope your 29th year is as full as your 28th.


In 2001, I was a sophomore in junior college.  One of the best parts about my two years in junior college was that two of my best friends were my roommates -- Brad my freshman year and Brian my sophomore year.  One of the perks about having a life-long friend as your college roommate is that he is morally obligated to get you a birthday present.  While I have no recollection of what Brad got me as a gift in 2000 (probably booze), I will never forget the gift I received from Brian.

Brian's grandmother (my great-aunt) and grandfather were Denver Bronco season ticket holders for as long as I can remember.  I remember, when I was in elementary school, going with my dad, Brian, and Brian's dad to a Bronco game at Mile High Stadium.  I have no memory of the game itself, just that the four of us went.  Traveling to the big city of Denver was a rare occasion in my youth, and attending a Bronco game was even rarer. 

So, imagine my surprise when Brian told me that he, along with my great aunt and another cousin, would be taking me to the Denver Broncos' season opener for that season.  Not only that, but this game would be the first game played in the new Mile High at Invesco Field.  And, to top it all off, this game would be the first Monday Night game of the NFL season.  What a great present.

My memories of that night include:
  • The atmosphere at the stadium was electric.  People were excited to get inside and see the new field.  At the gate, we received a commemorative ticket lanyard and bought a commemorative Game Day program (both of which I still have, boxed up somewhere in my garage).  On the way through the stadium corridor we saw one of the Bronco cheerleaders talking to fans and signing autographs.  So, of course we ran over and got our tickets signed.  
  • The stadium was beautiful and the seats were amazing.  We were on the north 40 yard line on the visitor's side of the field, about 15 rows up.  Outstanding seats. (Incidentally, years later my wife would get us tickets to the game through her work which were in the first row, and while being that close is pretty cool, it's actually not the best place to watch the game.  You really need to be a bit higher to see the action on the field well.)  
  • I remember that the Broncos were playing the NY Giants.  I couldn't tell you what the final score was (I'm pretty sure the Giants won), and the only part of the game I still remember was the play when Eddie McCaffrey broke his leg.  As I remember, it was a brutal hit and when Eddie didn't immediately pop up after the tackle and the stadium crew didn't replay the play on any of the screens in the stadium, I knew something bad had happened.  I didn't actually see the play happen until a few years later when I looked it up on YouTube.
Not a ton of memories, but I know I had a great time. It was a night game, and Brian and I had class early the next day, so we didn't have the option of staying the night in Denver.  Since our drive home was so late at night, the four of us spent the more than 3-hour drive home talking.  I have no idea how the topic was brought up, but one of us asked my great aunt about Pearl Harbor (I imagine we were talking about movies and since the movie "Pearl Harbor" was released earlier in 2001, we asked her about it).  I don't remember what she told us about it, just that we spoke about the topic for a little while. 

I doubt that I'd have remembered half of this information as well as I do, but the next day, September 11, was (and always will be) my birthday.  Brian and I followed our usual morning routine, with Brian awaking before me and showering, and once he was out of the shower, I showered.  Brian would always turn on the television and watch the news as he got dressed and I can distinctly remember him telling me to come watch the television.  This is what we saw:

As I sat down onto the bed and we watched the coverage about a plane that had crashed into the World Trade Center building, we witnessed the second plane fly into the second building live. 

My memory of the rest of my birthday that day is fuzzy.  I believe Brian and I went to a high school volleyball game to watch our sisters play and then had dinner with my parents at a Mexican restaurant.  I'm pretty sure my parents gave me a television for us to use in our dorm room as a present.  But other than those two facts, what would normally have been a happy occasion for me, instead became anything but happy.

So, each year, on September 10th, I fall asleep replaying that 24 hours over in my head, wondering why, of all the topics we could had talked about that night, we happened to talk about one attack on America just hours before another attack would occur.  I know the two are unrelated, but my mind still wanders back to that night's events.  Tomorrow morning, as America morns the horrible tragedy of that day, I will be celebrating the passing of another year of my life.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


This week "My Wife Asks..."

Would you ever consider training for and running a marathon?

The short answer to this question is a definitive NO!

But, since I can't stand to have three sentence blog posts, I'll elaborate.  I don't like physically exerting myself.  I find it tiresome and tedious.  There are a few exceptions to this rule, such as walking while I golf (if it'll mean saving enough money to fund an extra round of golf), walking the dog with my wife (which I actually enjoy, even if I give my wife a hard time about it when she tells me it is time to go on our nightly walk), mowing the lawn, etc., but for the most part, I will do almost anything to avoid raising my heart rate.

So, while I enjoy many sports (golf, skiing, basketball, baseball, etc.), I don't enjoy running.  I can think of no worse way to spend my time then running.  To me, running is torturous.  It is tedious.  It is tiresome. And one of the best parts about being an adult is that I don't have to do something that I don't enjoy.  I don't see any upside to running.  There is no incentive for me to run.  There are a bazillion other activities that I'd rather spend my time doing.  So, I don't run.  And I don't see my position changing any time soon.

For me, running a marathon is like playing tennis or playing a guitar.  Could I do it?  Sure.  Will I ever take the time to do it?  Probably not.  I'll stick to the activities I do well, activities I enjoy, and activities that are not very tiresome.

SONG:  "Rock & Roll" by Eric Hutchinson

NETFLIX:  We've been on a nice streak of watching quality television shows lately.  Usually we'll get a new show from Netflix, watch the first disk and dislike it so much we don't get any subsequent shows.  So, when we find a handful of great shows to watch, it's a very good thing.

I've thoroughly enjoyed the following:

"Deadwood" -- I can't say enough good things about this show.  It may be my new all-time favorite drama (knocking "Six Feet Under" and "Dexter" down a notch).  The acting is spectacular, the story-lines are well paced, and the writing is dry and witty.  I'm currently working on Season 3 and the show keeps getting better and better.  Not an easy feat.

"Band of Brothers"  -- This show is growing on me.  I thought the first episode was a bit boring, but the following two episodes were spectacular.  Extremely gripping plots and great acting make this show a must see.  I'm excited to see what the rest of the series brings.

The wife and I have enjoyed watching the following together:

"Castle: Season 1" -- while the gist of the show (a civilian assists a cop in solving crimes) is similar to another of our favorite shows, "White Collar", this one is unique enough to keep us interested.  This show has enough plot twists to keep the viewer guessing about who done it.  And the chemistry between the two lead characters is a nice touch.

"Dexter: Season 4" -- we both have loved this show since my bro-in-law introduced us to it in the shows first season.  While seasons 2 and 3 had their weak points, we were happy with the addition of John Lithgow's character.

"The Closer: Season 1" -- another cop show that is fairly entertaining.  It has some nice plot twists in each episode.  It'll be interesting to see if it gets too predictable or if it can stay fresh as the season progresses.

We recently finished the following shows:

"True Blood: Season 2" -- great, fun show.  We cranked through this season in a couple of days.

"Project Runway: Season 7"  -- probably not the strongest group of contestants, but we kept watching because my pick to win the show stayed in (and eventually won) the competition.

Looking forward to the release of "Fringe: Season 2" and "The Ultimate Fighter: Season 11".  I'm also excited about rewatching "Modern Family" and "Community" on dvd.  Both are really well done comedies.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


In the past couple of weeks, two of our best friends and their spouses had babies.  The wife's best friend M and her husband M gave birth to little J.H.  And my cousin B and his wife K had an early surprise when their son E.C. (also my initials.  Coincidence?  I think not.), was born a few weeks earlier then expected.  Both parents are now home with their new sons, and everyone seems to be healthy, happy, and doing great.  One of the hardest parts about being in another state is not being able to share in the joy of new babies in person.  Pictures and phone calls are great, but it would be so much more fun to be there with them.  And, while they never say it out loud, with the arrival of new babies in the family and friends circle, I'm sure many people are wondering why the wife and I are babyless (that's a word, right?).

In my circle of friends and family my age, I was one of the earliest to get married.  And six great years later, I'm one of the last holdouts in the baby making category.  So, why have we waited so long, and why are we planning on waiting even longer before we have kids?  (I'll give my Mom a chance to pick herself off the floor after a panic-induced heart attack after the last part of that last sentence.)  Four main reasons come to mind.

1)  Financially speaking, we are not in a great place to have kids right now (and probably won't be for a couple of years).

Of the six years we've been married, we've only had one year where we were probably financially stable enough to consider having kids.  When we first got married, I still had one year of school remaining, and the wife was just starting her job.  We lived in a 1-bedroom apartment and drove less then reliable cars.  Kids didn't make much financial sense.  Year two I was starting a new job and we'd just bought a house.  Kids still didn't make sense at the time.  During year three we were a two income family with a house and two cars, so, financially speaking, we could have had kids and been fine.  But we didn't (mostly because of the reasons explained below).  Year four, with no kids, we decided that we were in a good place to be able to leave for law school, which bumped us back into the "it's not the wisest time to have kids financially speaking" category for three years.  After law school, we'll (probably) be moving back to Colorado and reentering the job market, so it may be a few years before we're back to a financially stable situation.

2)  We've never really had a long enough period of time of calm in our lives for the subject of having kids to make sense (or, life's stresses have always gotten in the way).

Year one was filled with learning how to be married, my finishing school, and the wife's new job stresses, so throwing the a kid into the mix would have been a big overload.  Year two was filled with my being in survival mode as a first-year teacher (and the wife was overcome with the stress of being married to a first-year teacher.  I think she got the tougher burden to carry that year.) and buying and fixing a house.

At the beginning of year three, we were in a less stressful phase of our lives, which lead to us getting a cat and a dog (usually the gateway drug for baby making).  But, eventually the wife's job stagnated, so we spent a year preparing for law school, and goal number one of that preparation was staying baby free.  The following couple of years were filled with the stresses of moving, law school, my new job, my being unemployed, my finding a great new job, etc.  All of which would have been much more difficult with a child.

3)  Married life without a kid is a ton of fun (or, less responsibility is a ton of fun).

One of my favorite comedians, John Heffron, has a bit about how he was at a point in his life where he had to choose between having a kid and buying a jet ski.  And he chose the jet ski.  At this point in my life, if I had to choose between having a kid and golf, baseball cards, nights at the ball park, weekly poker games, going out to eat as often as possible, spur of the moment trips/vacations, shopping sprees, hours on the couch watching tv and movies, blogging, etc., I'm going to pick the latter choices every time.  Would it be possible to do those things with a child in our lives?  Sure.  But it is so much easier to do them, and to do them more often, without the child.

4)  We're still relatively young and the so called "biological clock" hasn't really begun ticking.

Because we got married as youngsters, we were given a larger window in which we could have kids.  We live in a time where it's not imperative to have kids at an early age.  It's both scientifically possible and socially acceptable to have kids at an older age then ever before.  My parents were both in their thirties when they had my brother.  So the wife and I are in no hurry to have kids, biologically speaking.

With each passing year, the choice of having a kid becomes less and less appealing for many reasons, especially those listed above.  Will we have kids in the future?  More then likely.  But right now (and for the next couple of years), it just doesn't make sense for us.