“The Reading Challenge”

Five weeks ago, I noticed that I hadn’t been reading much lately. I just never seemed to be in the mood. My excuse was that working all day and raising four little girls by night is exhausting and there’s no time or energy left for reading books.

But reading books is really important to me, it’s something I’ve always loved doing, and so I resolved to find a way to make it work for me. Somehow.

“The Reading Challenge” was born!

I committed to reading a book a week for one month. That’s four books in total. At the end…

Our Family of 6 Was Hit Hard This Year.

Sunday Fun Day at the Santa Monica Pier. 1 Day Before the Mother of all Flu’s Hit Us Hard

It was Monday, January 21, 2019 when our 4 year old first showed signs of fever. I remember the date because the day before, on Sunday, I had taken our 3 daughters (6, 4 and 2) to the Santa Monica pier amusement park to go on rides and hang out on the beach. They were all healthy and full of smiles.

That was about to change.

That Monday night our 4 year old started to feel sick. She was feverish, lethargic and had even thrown up once or twice. She didn’t…

One Guys’ Strategy for a Thriving Marriage

I’m sure you’ve heard the old cliché “Happy Wife, Happy Life.” I’ve heard it many times and I’ve even said it a few times to friends of mine who have come to me with marital woes looking for advice. When you say “Happy Wife, Happy Life” to another man, everyone’s response is the same: ’ “I know, I know….” followed by a look of resignation on their face.

This cliché is based on the belief that if only you could make (and keep) your wife happy, then you too would experience a happy…

How I Came to Own The Most Famous Sign in History

Checkpoint Charlie Nov 1, 1989, eight days before the Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was June 22, 1990, a day I will never forget. It was a special day in Berlin, there was to be a large ceremony at the former border crossing between East and West Berlin called “Checkpoint Charlie.” This was the day the checkpoint was to be officially dismantled and the Allied soldiers (American, British and French) who had guarded the checkpoint since 1961 would go home, never to return.

What I’ve Learned Leading a Group of Guys To Do 100 Pushups a Day.

I can’t remember exactly what motivated me to first start a pushup challenge. Maybe I was bored and just wanted a new challenge to motivate me? Maybe I wanted more strength and was tired of lifting at the gym? I really don’t remember.

But I remember floating the idea to a bunch of guy friends of mine, about 15 guys in total. Most of the guys in the group ignored my suggestion, just didn’t respond one way or the other. I found that interesting at the…

Raising Kids is a Total Pain in the Ass. Why I Love It Anyway.

A tattoo I got in 2015

When I tell people I have 5 kids, they often gasp in amazement. “Whoa,” they say, “that’s a lot.” To which I usually reply “Well, you know, after I had one kid my life was completely ruined anyway, so I figured I might as well go ‘All In’.”

From Dad’s Point of View

My wife woke me at around Midnight on December 22, 2018. “I’m having pretty intense contractions” she said. “Did you download that app which times the contractions” she asked? “Not yet” I replied with a sense of panic in my voice, “let me do that right now.”

Within seconds I had an app downloaded and was faithfully timing my wife’s contractions at her command. “Now!” she would grunt. Followed soon thereafter by “Stop!” Shortly after I started the tracking process, she got on her knees in the bathroom and was like “Oh my God, this is happening fast!”.

Texting with Davi

I texted…

Why marrying someone of a different race/culture is no big deal, and yet a really big deal at the same time.

NYU Swimming Pool

It was February 4, 2002, at the New York University swimming pool. We met by chance, I was in Lane 5 and she was in Lane 6. I approached her out of the blue and suggested we exchange first names, which she reluctantly agreed to do. “Bianca,” I heard her say. “Alan,” I replied.

She excused herself shortly thereafter, telling me she has to get back to her swim class. I wasn’t sure whether she was blowing me off…

I’m 56 years old and I’m taking the SAT this year.

There’s been a lot of chatter lately about IQ tests and whether or not they are a valid predictor of success in life, or at least of suitability for various professional pursuits.

According to Jordan Peterson, IQ scores are the best measurement anyone has come up with so far which can predict a person’s station in life.

In contrast, Nassim Nicholas Taleb says IQ testing is bogus and doesn’t mean a thing and he says it in such a way that it leaves someone like me (of moderate IQ)…

There are 3 ways of relating to media. Choose wisely.

After spending time perusing my friends postings on Facebook and Twitter, it has occurred to me that people are always engaging in one of three basic activities:

  1. Consuming content which other people have created (Consuming)
  2. Commenting on or redistributing content which other people have created (Trading), or
  3. Creating your own content (Creating).


The vast majority of people, I think, are simply Consumers: they view the content created by others and react merely in their own minds. This is the most passive level of participation on the media spectrum and is the equivalent of reading the newspaper or watching TV, which…

Alan Wolan

Father of Five, Husband of One, Slayer of Dragons.

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