The Chick-Fil-A van at the Johnny Appleseed Fair Leominster MA
Yesterday I spent my day off at the WQPH 89.3 FM Booth at Leominster’s annual Johnny Appleseed festival held each year in honor of the most famous person ever born there. I spent the day promoting my book Hail Mary the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer (available here) , my radio show Your Prayer Intentions (Heard every Saturday at Noon on WQPH) , giving away blessed items and collecting stories.

I’ll be writing about some of those great stories over the next few days, some which have already been uploaded to Youtube if you can’t wait, but there is on story in particular that jumped out at me.

The festival ran from 9 AM to 6 PM I got there before 8 to set things up. The wind was pretty nasty early in the day so one of our volunteers Chris did a hardware store run for some Duct Tape and stakes to hold the tent and sign in place. When he got back before nine he came back with shocking news…Chick-Fil-A was set up right next to the main drag!

Now if you live south of the Mason-Dixon line the idea that your local Chick-Fil-A might be at a festival is not news. But if you live in a state where there was until a few years ago only a single Chick-Fil-A in the entire state, where both radical gay protesters, and far left pols, of which we have an abundance have used the company as a punching back to prove their liberal bona fides , and where even now the nearest of the five or so statewide locations is a solid 30 minutes away…

…having them set up at a festival in the city next to yours is a pretty big deal.

It was nearly 9 AM so by now our booth was well maned so I headed straight over not only to get the story but because I didn’t have time to eat before I left the house. That’s where I met Sandra and Kevin who were setting up.

Rather than selling individual sandwiches they were selling only meals which consisted of: A standard Chick-Fil-A Sandwich, a 10 ounce can of soda, a bag of chips and a thick cookie for $10. I thought the price-point was high for the festival but I bought one anyway (I’d never had the cookies there before, it was VERY good) and returned to my booth very happy.

As promised I swung by again at 4 pm to see how the day had gone so far, it had gone VERY well

It’s worth noting that the lady who asked about when they would come to Leominster was wearing buttons for various Democrats running for state office

By 5:30 the Kevin was packing up, the last meal had been sold and the last “when are you coming to Leominster?” question had been asked.

Now you might think it’s no big deal for Chick-Fil-A to sell a couple of hundred sandwiches at an annual festival in Leomisnter MA. But to do so when the company has been vilified for a decade in the state, in a city where their state rep is a Bernie Bro (actually a Bernie sis) at a price-point higher than anyone else at the place, that’s really something.

I suspect that before too long I won’t have to go more than 5 minutes out of my way to get a soup some Chick-Fil-A and if nothing else I’m Certain that they will be a fixture at the Johnny Appleseed Festival forevermore.

Chick fil-a in New England

A new USA today survey names Chick-Fil-A as the #1 fast food restaurant in the US. As you might guess as soon as the article went up there were commentators urging people not to go there because they supposedly “hate gays”. I submit and suggest that these very loud obnoxious people like the fedoraphobic ones I covered years ago protesting Chick-fil-a at the mall in Burlington MA have a lot to do with their continued success. At the time of those protests (2012) that was the only Chick-Fil-A in Massachusetts and one of only two or three in all of New England. Today I went to the Chick-Fil-A site and asked them to show me stores within 100 miles of my home the map above is the result.

Take a bow you fedoraphobic fools.


My oldest son’s birthday is next week and as a gift he and I are going to go see John Cleese. As he occasionally takes audience questions I was thinking of asking about the assumption that a person like me who has loved Python all his life can’t be a fan of Sarah Palin and of course Donald Trump’s Presidency, but I suspect he just might be more sympathetic to someone like me after this story:

Someone asked [BBC comedy controller] Allen if that would rule out shows like Monty Python in the future. He replied, “If you’re going to assemble a team now, it’s not going to be six Oxbridge white blokes. It’s going to be a diverse range of people who reflect the modern world.” That didn’t sit well with director and Monty Python cast member Terry Gilliam. Gilliam was asked what he thought of the comments and said he wanted to henceforth be known as a black lesbian:

Speaking at a press conference at the Karlovy Vary film festival, where he was presenting his new film The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, Gilliam said: “It made me cry: the idea that … no longer six white Oxbridge men can make a comedy show. Now we need one of this, one of that, everybody represented… this is bullshit. I no longer want to be a white male, I don’t want to be blamed for everything wrong in the world: I tell the world now I’m a black lesbian… My name is Loretta and I’m a BLT, a black lesbian in transition.”

He added: “[Allen’s] statement made me so angry, all of us so angry. Comedy is not assembled, it’s not like putting together a boy band where you put together one of this, one of that everyone is represented.”

It will be interesting to see if he addresses this during his talk now that the shoe is metaphorically on the other foot.


Yesterday my next door neighbor’s daughter celebrated her 21st birthday, I gave her this advice: she should look at a they any guy she dates not as a potential hookup but as the a person auditioning for the role of father and role model of her children and if they don’t pass the audition, move on at once. I once said that to a girl dating my son and she said: “If it had been anyone other than you saying this I would have left at once.” I would give that same advice for a guy, as my father said: “If she’s good enough to sleep with she’s good enough to marry.”


There have been stories lately about a huge rise in STD’s among the elderly. The explanation is very simple, the same 60’s generation that tossed my dad’s advice is now retiring. It’s funny how people tend to think of old people as a group as opposed to the same individual they were when young only grown older. That’s why I’ve never understood why people find stories of old thieves or murders as weird news. If a violent person or a thief manages to grow old I see no reason why he or she would change his or her ways.


Yesterday I saw news of a flash mob in DC, maybe it because of my age when someone says “Flash Mob” all I can think of is a bunch of old guys in trenchcoats exposing themselves in unison. It’s not a pleasant thought. Of course a real “flash mob” should all be in red suits or metal helmets.


Mediate reported that Steve Bannon was berated by a person while he was at a book store this weekend. What I found interesting about the story wasn’t that this happened or that people are attacking the owner of the story for calling the cops because someone was harassing a customer, but the fact that Steve Bannon still goes to book stores instead of ordering online. There is a pleasure in actually holding a book in your hands that an online or a kindle book just doesn’t convey, plus as long as you have either sunlight or a pair of glasses, your book will not run out of power.


There was a story in the Washington Free beacon about a pair of anti-capitalist-socialist rallies in NY . Instapundit highlighted the very true statement from one of the older marchers that: “None of this is new. This is just the same old stuff they told us to chant in the sixties—and nothing changed then either.. Other than curiosity about who “they” are (I suspect it’s the foreign governments who pay for this stuff as a cheap and easy way to give grief and play the media) I think it’s worth pointing out that in a city of over 8,500,000 people getting a crowd of 8000 is not a very big deal, it’s kind of like getting a crowd of 38 in my home town of Fitchburg MA population 40,000, but the media fall for it every time, mainly because they want to .


A group of Democrat Socialists went after Mitch McConnell while he was at lunch. You might wonder why he doesn’t bother to have security get rid of these fools. I suspect the reason is the same that Trump doesn’t fire Mueller. Each time these fools do this kind of thing to him, or Sarah Sanders or Steve Bannon they help keep the GOP in general and Trump in particular in power. I still think with more Sicilians in government these threats would practically disappear.


I completed my fourth “interviews with immigrants” interview last week, it’s not gotten the reception I’d hoped but then again there is nothing to sensationalize in them. Their answers are their answers and the data is the data and the market for information for the sake of it isn’t what it used to be.


Finally by the time you’re reading this President Trump will have named his Supreme Court pick to replace Anthony Kennedy.  If he takes Barrett as I believe he will, it will be interesting to see how Collins and Murkowski vote, if he picks Ray Kethledge then I suspect it likely means he won’t need their votes this time around, of course he might pick someone else altogether but no matter who he picks I guarantee you that the media/left will declare his pick the greatest threat to American Democracy that the country has ever seen

….until the next vacancy on the Supreme Court comes up, then the person Trump picks for that one will inherit the title.

Maria and Christian
The latest pair in my “interviews with immigrants” series is now up.

First I spoke to Alvin, he is in his mid 20’s and comes from El Salvador

Of the immigrants who I’ve interviewed story was slightly different. The rest of his family was already here but he choose to remain home until the violence became so bad it was a question of life and death.

Two weeks later I interviewed Maria from the Dominican Republic. She was iffy about her english so christian from Puerto Rico agreed to translate (and took that nice picture). Since he has only been here a year and the culture of Puerto Rico is different I included him in the interview as well even though technically he is not an immigrant because Puerto Rico is an American territory.

It worth noting that both Maria and Alvin had college educations where they lived but have been willing to work lesser jobs as they go back to school and learn english, it’s also worth noting that as I alluded to in my July 4th post while Maria wasn’t in the same immediate danger, it was the safety of America that brought her here.

A pair of notes, the delay in posting these interivews were mainly due to Pintastic 2018 coverage , I hope to conduct an interview with a young lady from the Cape Verde Islands this week and am in negociations to speak to another from Australia. My goal is to get 30 different countries before I start repeating countries but it’s likely that I won’t reach that number before that happens.

You’ll note that other than Phillipe from Haiti, who is very interested in politics, I don’t ask much along those lines. That’s because I’m more interested in getting the where’s and why’s about coming here and their impression of America as a country and Americans as a people. Those are the data points I’m trying to fill and educate myself on.


It’s been a bad tipjar year, we are in July and despite the booming economy we’ve raised barely 20% of last years total (which is why our expansion plans have been abandoned).

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If you turned in early to the Red Sox Seattle game you saw a lot of offense.

You saw the Mariners put up 4 in the top of the first and the Red Sox answer with five. Then Mariners put up six more meaning that Red Sox starter Stephen Wright, who had given up a single run in his last game against the very same team, had given up 10 earned runs before the book was closed on him, Nelson Cruz with two 3 run HR’s and a single to drive in seven on those 10 doing most of the damage.

It didn’t stay that way.

The same Seattle pitcher Wade Leblanc who had shut out the Red Sox in that same game against Wright would give up one in the fifth. J. D Martinez would hit a 2 Home run in a 3 run Red Sox 6th and then a key single in a five run seventh with the bases loaded and then three in the 6th and then in the seventh went on a tear to score five more.

As I’m writing this the score is 14-10 with one out in the bottom of the 8th, now the top of the ninth. Seattle is coming to the plate and while it looks very good for the Rox Sox they will still have to get those three final outs before Seattle scores 4 to get that win.

And that is why Baseball is better than Basketball, Hockey, Football or Soccer and it isn’t even close.

No matter how big a lead you have you still have to get those outs before you can celebrate, and no matter how bleak it looks, you team will still have a chance to score as many runs as you can before that third out is recorded.

No Clocks, no taking a knee, no pulling a goalie, no LeBron sitting down because he knows its hopeless. As long as you still have a single out yet to be given your team is not done.

That’s baseball and that’s why it’s the best.

Oh and the Sox won 14-10

Noticed this interesting story from the AP & Time concerning civilian gun ownership:

There are over 1 billion firearms in the world today, including 857 million in civilian hands — with American men and women the dominant owners, according to a study released Monday.

The Small Arms Survey says 393 million of the civilian-held firearms, 46 percent, are in the United States, which is “more than those held by civilians in the other top 25 countries combined.”

I found the following stat particularly interesting:

The estimate of over 1 billion firearms worldwide at the end of 2017 also includes 133 million such weapons held by government military forces and 22.7 million by law enforcement agencies, it said.

So think about this, if these estimates are correct the United States Civilian population has more arms than the worlds military forces and law enforcement agencies COMBINED.

And yet the United States is the freest and richest large country in the world, a destination so desired that people all over the world try to get here legally or illegally.

I submit and suggest that there is a correlation between the freedom of America, the wealth and America and the fact that its citizens are so well armed, and I further suggest that it is in the places where civilians are not allowed to be legally armed that Americans, mostly poor or of color, are more preyed upon because those who would prey upon them know they have little to fear.

The prospect of facing an armed population is the best restraint against tyranny.

Via Hotair headlines.

Bonus Extra: As part of their “resistance library“, I found this excellent post at Ammo.com about Black Gun ownership

An early incident is particularly instructive in how effective these new tactics were. The KKK was very active in Monroe, with an estimated 7,500 members in a town of 12,000. After hearing rumors that the Klan intended to attack NAACP chapter Vice President Dr. Albert Perry’s house, Williams and members of the Black Armed Guard surrounded the doctor’s house with sandbags and showed up with rifles. Klansman fired on the house from a moving vehicle and the Guard returned fire. Soon after, the Klan required a special permit from the city’s police chief to meet. One incident of self-defense did more to move the goalposts than all previous legislative pressure had.

Monroe’s Black Armed Guard wasn’t a subsidiary of the Communist Party, nor an independent organization like the Black Panther Party that would use similar tactics of arming their members later. In fact, “Black Armed Guard” was nothing more than a fancy name for an officially chartered National Rifle Association chapter.

As some of you might I have a “day” job that covers the bills since the finances of the blog have been a tad weaker than in the past. At said job the majority of the workforce was born outside the United States and English is not their first language.

With Immigration a huge issue these days I thought I’d take advantage of this situation. Last Thanksgiving I spoke to several people asking them what they were thankful for, and now over the past two months I’ve been arranging audio interviews with various people who have come here.

The subjects vary based on the people but there are several general questions that I ask about both their home countries about coming to America and the circumstances that caused them to come, what they expected, what they saw, etc etc etc.

Today I am posting the first two (technically three) of these interviews for your viewing pleasure. The first is with Philippe from Haiti. he is 70 year old former member of the Boston Teachers union who came to the US in the 70’s. He sat for two audio interviews that loaded consecutively onto a single youtube file.

Of the interviews I’ve conducted so far Philippe is the most political in nature and he is anxious to follow-up so don’t be surprised if we have another half hour or more in the future.

My second interview was with Hanna from Iraq. You might remember her from this Thanksgiving video:

That gave you a hint of what was coming and believe me you’ll find the story of a girl who started out in a land where she was basically property to being a “lead” at an American company at age 23 fascinating.

I have one more interview in the bank with another young man named Alvin from El Salvador and am scheduled to conduct another with a middle-aged woman named Maria from the Dominican Republic but be aware I’m not confining these interviews to my co-workers. I’ll be speaking to an immigrant from England living in New Hampshire and am actively seeking out others from various countries to get their perspective on life in America.

My plan is to conduct 2-4 of these done per month and upload them first to youtube and then put them out here at the blog. I hope to build a large library of people from as many countries as I can to get a feel of how and why people come and what their perception of America was and is. Occasionally a translator will be necessary but I’m less worried about the logistics as I am getting the information and the various perspectives from different people, different cultures and different backgrounds.

I hope you find this work interesting and informative. I suspect it won’t be as sensational as what the MSM is feeding you, but it will have the virtue of being unrehearsed and unspun, which is why it will likely not have anywhere near the reach.


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An interesting thing happened to me the day before yesterday.

I work in a place with a lot of people who are either under 30 or not from the new England and are going absolutely mad about the upcoming world cup and completely excited at the prospect of it coming to the US in 8 years.

During the conversation about sports I causally mentioned the Red Sox being in first place and how it is such a change from the time of the Curse of the Bambino.

Now there was a time not all that long ago that if you said “The Curse” in New England every single person regardless of age knew what you were talking about without having to mention Babe Ruth, the Yankees or “No No Nanette

They had no idea what I was talking about.

Yesterday I expanded the experiment, at work I randomly asked almost two dozen people two questions.

  1.  If I say “the curse” to you what am I talking about?
  2.  If I say “the curse of the bambino” what am I talking about?

Of the two dozen people I asked two people knew at once what the curse was, two more realized what I was talking about when I mentioned “the bambino”.

The rest didn’t have a clue.

Just 14 years ago that would have been unthinkable.  For generations the curse of the Bambino was an integral part of being a New Englander.  It would not even have been necessary to include “of the Bambino”  just reference to “the curse” would have been enough for heads to nod.  Books were written about it.  Plays were made about it.  HBO’s real sports did a full show on it.

and it was the reason why in New England, Bucky Dent’s middle name isn’t Earl.

To say “the curse” was an obsession would be the ultimate understatement.  When 2004 began you would have been hard pressed to find a single man woman or child in New England that didn’t know what the curse was.

Then this happened

and this the next day

and this a few days later

and this

and then finally the following week.

a few days later my sons and I were part of the 3 million people who poured into Boston for this

It was the biggest thing you ever saw in the area.  We have won two more World Championships (2007 & 2013) and as of today two years after the retirement of Big Papi the Red Sox sit in first place and are likely to win over 100 games this year.  It’s a great time to be a Red Sox fan.

But it seems like nobody cares anymore.

It’s been just under 15 years later and I can be in a place full of people who live in New England who have no idea what I’m talking about when I bring up the curse and that is going to grow when you consider that high schools and colleges around New England will graduate tens of thousands of students this year who have no memory of a time when the Red Sox were not Champions. 15 years ago every single caller on sports talk radio would be in a state of excitement with the Red Sox neck and neck battle of titans in the AL East on the 100th anniversary of Babe Ruth’s last World Series win in a Red Sox Uniform.  Nothing else would have mattered

On Thursday night the 1st place Red Sox were about to start a 4 game series against the surprising 1st place Seattle Mariners.  An epic battle, yet what was the topic of conversation on the home station of the Red Sox as I drove in…An interview with Tom Brady’s wife and Brady’s interview with Oprah!

It was typical.  During the Sox amazing run if you turned on sports talk radio you were much more likely to hear about Tom Brady not showing up for voluntary workouts and should the Celtics make a play for Lebron James than Red Sox talk.  On the late night drive a few days ago I actually heard a guest state that the only reason a host mentioned the Sox at all is that the station compels him to because they carry the games.

If the Red Sox had not won that world series in 2004 or 2007 or 2013, this would not be the case but with victory came comfort and with comfort the loss of collective memory of the shared frustration that united us here in New England.

In the last hour of the week I noted four guys talking sports at work, none of them were discussing the Sox Seattle series or the game in progress (The Red Sox would win 2-1 despite a nail biting 9th) all they were interested in was Russia beating the Saudis at the world up and if that Russian team was the real thing or not..  As I listened to them for a brief moment I found myself missing the curse that was the common bond that bound six states and everyone in it together…

… but then I remembered all those wonderful moments from 2004 and that regret disappeared overwhelmed by a wave of pure joy that come over me faster than you can say: “Big Papi”

The curse was a cultural milestone but I’ll take winning any day.

Closing thought. I wonder how much larger over the norm the graduating classes of 2023 will be in New England and if anyone will realize the reason why?

Everywhere you look in the media the headlines are full of it. Incivility Reigns! Bullying! Cyber bullying! Mean Girls Rule! All there on the front page, all there on the splash, all there waiting for you to click on to see who said what about whom. Never mind if any of its true, never mind for any of it matters to anything more than some imagine scorecard written in some media office pool. But we’re constantly berated, and constantly told that we’ve allowed incivility to overwhelm our Republic. We elected President Trump and created the Republic of Hate, all incivility for everyone all the time.

The only problem is it’s not true.

Every book on etiquette I have ever seen has had some version of the phrase; the social norms today are much looser than they were in our parents’ time. This is way of saying all the social norms are out the window, and the world is going to hell in a hand basket. This is also a common refrain when people talk about civility. I find this kind of incredible, but of course completely credible because so few people understand our history.

We are in a golden age of Civility, even though we are also at an all-time high for the use of  George Carlin’s 7 words you can’t say. It was not that long ago that mob violence common occurrence in our country. Levels of incivility in our nation are on the decline people actually get along a lot better. There is a lot more Harmony than people give credit to because “War Imminent” headlines sell more newspapers than “Peace Breaks Out.”

It is up to all of us to do our little bit to spread Civility and to not make incivility profitable. Don’t get me wrong I’m not thinking being civil is easy, and frankly I’ve had my own lapses. But if we remember our history, we will see what happens when we allow those dogs to get off the leash. Incivility is detrimental to our beliefs about who we are and who we want to be. Practicing Civics with Civility is the main way that each of us can do our share to create that more perfect union.

Respectfully,
Matt O’Brien
President Worcester Tea Party

P.S.
Pete has chosen to allow me to post here weekly.  I look forward to posting next Wednesday.
Please Support the work of the Worcester Tea Party. 

Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor’s goods

The 10th Commandment

This is straight out of the Ten Commandments and is one of the most sensible bits of advice that a couple might get.

In our consumer culture we are constantly bombarded with things we MUST have and even more importantly the idea that if our neighbor has something that we don’t, it’s a problem.

If you’re happy with your TV and it’s working fine, it doesn’t matter if the folks next door got a bigger one.  If your iPhone is working fine and does all you want, who cares if your friend bought a new one.  If your car is running fine, passing inspection and serves all your needs then if the folks next door got a better car, big whoop.

It’s my experience in life that the difference in such upgrades are usually pretty small, and in the end it becomes all about vanity and even if you get this new thing or a model one better than the guy next door, it doesn’t stop them from upgrading and suddenly you find yourselves in a consumer arms race where the only winner is the credit card company.

Forget that arms race and keep that money in your pocket, get things when you need them without worrying about what the next fellow has, and not only will you have less debt but less worry and if that doesn’t convince you think about it this way, the fact that you aren’t bothered by your neighbors new stuff will drive the Jones’ nuts.

Tip 1:  Choose Wisely
Tip 2: A long Engagement
Tip 3: Get Married in Church
Tip 4: Don’t write your own vows.
Tip 5: Set limits early
Tip 6: Live Modestly
Tip 7: Embrace Your Mother-In-Law
Tip 8: If possible take advantage of your parent’s advice. 
Tip 9: Don’t Diss your spouse to your friends
Tip 10: Remember Birthday’s and Anniversaries
Tip 11: NEVER VENT ON SOCIAL MEDIA!
Tip 12: 30 Tips to stay Married 30 years Today’s Tip: Pray
Tip 13: Angry Gifts
Tip 14: Don’t sweat the Small stuff
Tip 15: Carefully Choose the Hills Worth Dying On
Tip 16: Avoid Temptation and Suspicion
Tip 17: Have an Argument Escape Plan (and or let your spouse use their’s)
Tip 18: Don’t spoil the kids, particularly early.
Tip 19: A United Front
Tip 20: Remember Marriage is work.
Tip 21: Maintain Surprise

King: Take it away, everyday the same thing. Variety! I want something different. Fix me Hasenpfeffer right away!

Shishkabugs (Bugs Bunny short cartoon) 1962

One of the things that is often mentioned as a problem in relationships is the same old thing. Our consumer society pushes the dread of the same old thing for the sake of selling and a lot of people find themselves spending a lot of money on junk because of it.

The same dread is often pushed in relationships today in movies and TV. The dread of the same old thing has been advanced to the point where people are making choices that are toxic for the long term health of a marriage.

The best way to avoid this problem? Maintain healthy surprise in a relationship. Here are a few ways of doing this that doesn’t involve risks that include catching the social disease of the day.

On a random day each month get your spouse a small gift.  This doesn’t have to be anything big, a single flower, a six pack of beer, a little thing.  If you regularly get a coffee, skip it one day and get something for daspouse.  pick a day and that day use those few dollars to a little something for dawife or Dahusband.

And once every three months instead of the small thing do something slightly bigger, a small lunch, a movie.

And once a year instead of the small thing, do something bigger, a show, a fancier dinner, an overnight

This should be independent of regular birthdays and anniversaries and it should also be something that doesn’t break the bank.  The real trick is to keep it random (I suggest using old D & D dice that you’ve put away years ago.

Again it isn’t the size of said gift, it’s the fact that it is completely unexpected that makes it special.

Now I’m sure many of you can come up with better ideas and schemes and naturally you will know your spouse better than me but as long as it’s a bit random and a bit of a surprise you will put an extra smile on your mate’s face and those extra smiles will add up to many years of happiness.

My 30 Tips so far

Tip 1:  Choose Wisely
Tip 2: A long Engagement
Tip 3: Get Married in Church
Tip 4: Don’t write your own vows.
Tip 5: Set limits early
Tip 6: Live Modestly
Tip 7: Embrace Your Mother-In-Law
Tip 8: If possible take advantage of your parent’s advice. 
Tip 9: Don’t Diss your spouse to your friends
Tip 10: Remember Birthday’s and Anniversaries
Tip 11: NEVER VENT ON SOCIAL MEDIA!
Tip 12: 30 Tips to stay Married 30 years Today’s Tip: Pray
Tip 13: Angry Gifts
Tip 14: Don’t sweat the Small stuff
Tip 15: Carefully Choose the Hills Worth Dying On
Tip 16: Avoid Temptation and Suspicion
Tip 17: Have an Argument Escape Plan (and or let your spouse use their’s)
Tip 18: Don’t spoil the kids, particularly early.
Tip 19: A United Front
Tip 20: Remember Marriage is work.