Why I Play Guitar In Public

Most of the time on this blog I write about my son, but today I wanted to do something different. What I would like to do instead is answer a question that nobody is actually asking, but has been nagging at me lately anyway. Why in the heck to I play guitar and sing in public? The answer is certainly not “because I think I’m awesome.” I consider my skill as a guitar player to be, at best, an advanced beginner. Vocally I think most of the time I am generally okay, occasionally I am reasonably good, and more frequently than I would like I am a train wreck. As for my stage presence and general abilities as a live performer, I am pretty much a rank amateur. So why in the heck do I do it?

A Return to Normal


I suppose you could argue that last Thursday's final surgery marked the end of the eight-month ordeal of Ben's illness, but for me it was Monday morning that truly signified a return to normalcy. As of this week, Benjamin has returned to school full-time and his mother has returned to work full-time.

Book On Sale for $0.99 This Weekend (3/20 - 3/24)


For just this weekend, my book 3500: An Autistic Boy's Ten-Year Romance with Snow White is on sale for $0.99 for all digital editions. You can find the Kindle version here on, and all other digital editions here on

Ben Returned to School Today (for part of the day)


Today was a milestone day in Ben's recovery from his abdominal surgery. This morning he returned to school for the first time since his surgery on January 31st. He was very happy to be there, and everyone was thrilled to see him. Overall he had a good day, but as expected he ran out of steam before the day was over. He returns to school with several significant limitations: no lifting anything heavier than his lunchbox, no PE or other strenuous tasks, and of course no tickling or poking at his belly. The plan at this point is for him to continue going to school each day and to stay as long as he is physically able without overextending himself. We expect that it will be half days for a while, but for him to improve day by day. There are two and a half weeks left before Spring Break, and ideally he should be back up to speed and attending normal full days by March 31st.

Benjamin is home safe and resting


I apologize for the lack of updates, as you can imagine the past few weeks have been long and pretty overwhelming. The good news is that Ben is now back home resting, and thus far it seems like the surgery has been a complete success. He still has a long way to go before he is truly healthy, but hopefully he is done with hospitals and surgeries for a good long while (with one exception, which I will get to in a bit).

Ben's Surgical Recovery, Day Six


Just a short bullet-point update tonight:

· During the surgery on Friday the doctors took a sample of the islets and had a culture done. That culture showed yeast, which apparently happens about 50% of the time. That is the likely culprit for the elevated white cell count. Ben isn't having any visible symptoms of an infection (no fever, fluid in drain is clear, etc.). They put him on antibiotics to treat the infection, and it should not delay his release from the hospital.

Ben's Surgical Recovery, Day Five


Just a short update tonight. The difference between Yesterday-Ben and Today-Ben was really amazing. He still has a long, long way to go, but this afternoon I began to see flashes of the real Benjamin coming through. His walks were longer and more confident, and even when he was sitting he was actually sitting up instead of leaning to the side against a wall. He also listened to his iPod today for the first time since the surgery. Tonight, as I was leaving the room, he had surrounded himself with stuff - his iPad, iPod, DVD player, a book - and was doing his thing where he was watching part of a movie in one language on one device while simultaneously watching a different movie on a second device in an entirely different language. That's Ben.

Ben's Surgical Recovery, Days Two through Four


As with my last post, so as not to bury the lede:  Ben is recovering well from his abdominal surgery, and the doctors are thus far satisfied with how he is doing. His blood work continues to look good, he is making regular trips to the bathroom, and he is making regular walks around the hospital floor. So far everything looks good.

Ben and Snow White

Ben and Snow White

About Shmoolok

The word "shmoolok" is a mashup of the longtime computer handles for my wife and myself ("Shmooby" and "Lokheed", respectively).

I originally created this website to be a place for my family to connect, but it has since grown into something a little different.

As for me -- I am a father, a husband, a son, a software developer, and a writer. On any given day I am not sure how good I am at any of those particular things, but I do try my best.

Thank you for visiting my website.

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Benjamin's Lullaby

Popular Entries

There has been an influx of new readers to my blog. If you wound up here looking for stories about my son's ten year romance with Snow White's Scary Adventures, here are the major blog posts you will want to read:

SW1K - The Full Story

SW1K Redux

SW2K - The Full Story

SWSA Final Night - Prelude

SWSA Final Night, Part 1 - The Beginning of the End

SWSA Final Night, Part 2 - The Fairest One of All

SWSA Final Night, Part 3 - Counting Up, Counting Down

SWSA Final Night, Part 4 - The Big Ending

SWSA Final Night - Epilogue

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