2018 is the Year of Having it All


“Executive decision” is something my wife or I will say to the other when we need to make important decisions for the family and don’t want to discuss the decision being made. Some good examples of popular executive decisions in our home:

  • Throwing away old food in the fridge
  • Moving the laundry from the bed to the floor, so to say that laundry WILL NOT be folded tonight!
  • Taking the backway to Polaris instead of the freeway because ain’t nobody got time for 270 traffic

As stated in the title of this post, I am executive decision’ing 2018 as “The Year of Having it All.” I wrote about it in the past, but we’ve also had 2015: The Year of Travel and 2016: The Year of Yes (read about those here). I don’t know that we ever settled on 2017 being the year of anything, although you might say we set some things in motion that will lead to 2018 being a big year.

Hint: baby… I was referencing having a baby later this month.


So what does “The Year of Having it All” mean to me? It means having a baby and still having a social life. It means learning to be a great dad, while still training for races. It means working on my side hustles and turning them into legitimate businesses, and figuring out what I need to do to take that next step professionally.

I also think having it all means not having to sacrifice some of the things that are important to our family, like cooking healthy meals, loving on our dog and reminding him that he’s the best, and having a home that isn’t overrun by kid’s toys. I get that there will be some things that will change and will need to change, but I don’t think that having a baby means we have to hire Little Tikes as our interior designer.

Having it all also means having goals that go beyond raising an infant (although that does happen to be Goal #1). But I also want to run a sub-20:00 minute 5k this year. I want to qualify for OCRWC and make that trip with my family. I want to add muscle without adding pounds. I want to run six OCR races, a half-marathon, a few trail runs, and a 5k or two.


I also want to make sure my wife is taken care of and gets whatever she wants for having her 2017 be the unofficial year of being pregnant. I know there are women who have had harder pregnancies, but hers has not been easy and I want to make sure that any hour she needs to sleep, or any afternoon she needs to get her nails done or hair done, she doesn’t have to ask. I want her to feel like herself again, all while being the best mom, and have her own goals.

The Year of Having it All is for both of us, and I know she has a lot of big things too in 2018.

So, executive decision, 2018: The Year of Having it All has begun! Cheer to health, happiness, and having everything you work hard enough for this year!


10 Things Things Should Be


Think about the thing you love in this world more than anything else. Maybe that’s your parents or your S.O., or maybe it’s your job. Maybe you love playing online video games, or maybe you get your rocks off by climbing rocks. Whatever your thing is, think about it for a second. Think about how you feel when you’re doing that thing or talking to that person. Don’t think about one specific time or conversation, but of that thing as a whole. Wouldn’t it be great if everything were like that thing in your life? Wouldn’t it be magical if you woke up, and everything you did felt like that thing you love?

Why isn’t that the case? Why do we wake up angry that it’s Monday, or stay up late watching TV because we don’t want to go to work the next day? Why do we avoid phone calls from friends because you know it’s going to be drama?

This blog is about figuring out things in your life that are worthwhile and meaningful, and figuring out how to make everything else in your life more like those things. Your things shouldn’t be cumbersome or something you avoid, they should be the things that bring you happiness and allow you to be the kind of you you were meant to be.

Here is a list of ten things things should be:

  1. Useful – Usefulness doesn’t mean something is a tool. Things can be useful by bringing out different sides of your personality, or helping you make something else better. Useful things make us productive, either directly or indirectly. If something isn’t useful in your life, why do you keep it around?  Is it comfortable?
  2. Inspiring – Inspiring doesn’t mean that you have to have an Epiphany any time you have a conversation. Inspiring means something has to make you think and to make you see something in a different light every now and then.
  3. Beautiful – Beauty comes in many shapes and sizes, and applies to things other than people too (believe it or not)! Beauty isn’t just a painting or a cover girl or a sunset. Beauty is having something personal that fills you with happiness. Beauty is something meaningful and speaks to you unlike anything else.
  4. Engaging – If something doesn’t hold your attention then why do you care about it? Everything doesn’t have to always have your full attention, but if something NEVER has your full attention, you can probably do without it.
  5. Memorable – The most important things we will have at the ends of our lives are memories, and the things we hold nearest to our hearts should be memories we have with the things that mean the most to us.
  6. Unique – Your things should be unique. Life isn’t an Ikea store where everything can be compartmentalized and organized and made to fit into tiny boxes in your brain. Your things, your BEST things, should be as unique as you are and mean something different to you than anyone else.
  7. Timeless – Things shouldn’t have expiration dates unless they can be eaten. Things should continue to be long after they’re gone. Think about the conversations you have had with people that stick in your mind; good, bad, or ugly they stick with you and are powerful. Make every conversation, and every THING in your life stick with you even if you are doing something else.
  8. Valuable – Don’t think of value as something that has a dollar sign attached to it. Value in the marketplace is different than value in our lives. What is it that your things allow you to do or allow you to be? Value means something will be equally or more important tomorrow than it is today.
  9. Consistent – Things should be consistent, reliable, and we should be able to count on things to be as they are when we need them the most. Consistency allows you to lean on something when times get hard, and know that you will get the most out of it when each and every time.
  10. Original – You don’t always have to do things other people do, and your relationships don’t have to be the way other people think they are supposed to be. Don’t ever be afraid to push the envelope, whether it’s challenging your husband or choosing which color paint to make your bedroom.

I think most people would agree to these 10 things things should be. You might have a few other ideas about what things should be, and feel free to apply it to this next idea.

Think about the things in your life. Think about the friendships, relationships, stuff you’ve accumulated over the years and keep at your home. Think about your hobbies, your job, and your weekend plans. Think about your TV shows, your books, the emails you haven’t sent and your Amazon shopping cart. How would you rate the things in your life? Of the ten most recent things you’ve thought about, how many of those fit into all of the “things” in the list above? How many of those things fit into half of the things on that list?

Think about your job or your marriage; are those things engaging and valuable? Are they consistent and inspiring? If they aren’t then what keeps you invested in those things? Does a paycheck allow you to make for a better life or does it hold you in a position you hate being in? Does coming home to someone you feel contempt toward justify some kind of need to share rent together?

The last thought I will leave you with is this: pretend you’re having a conversation with your eight-year-old self. Pretend you know everything about yourself at that age, but he knows nothing of what you’ve become or where you’re at in your adult life. Pretend he asked you if you’re happy with yourself. What would you say if he asked about your job or your friends or what you liked to do when you had free time. Would you lie to him or would you inspire him? Just because you didn’t become an astronaut doesn’t mean you’d disappoint yourself, but if you have to lie about the most important things in your life, do something to change that.


Yes, I watched “Making a Murderer”

Image courtesy of http://www.mirror.co.uk

Social media peer-pressured me into watching “Making a Murderer.” In fact, social media peer-pressured me into buying a Netflix account and watching “Making a Murderer,” and now my wife wants to starting watching old episodes of “New Girl.” I fell into the trap because I saw headlines on Twitter of articles I refused to read until I watched the show that suggested the film makers receive Nobel Prizes for what they were able to do with the show.

Now that I’ve watched the 10-episode, 10-hour “documentary” about Steve Avery, a man who was falsely accused of a crime he spent 18 years in prison for, only to be released and charged one year later with first-degree murder, I don’t feel satisfied. I wanted to have a hard stance one way or the other about whether or not he did it, and the truth is I still don’t know. No matter how entertaining “Making a Murderer” might have been, I want to feel like I got something out of it for dedicating 10 hours of my life to learning this guy’s story. If I went to the gym and spent 10 hours there, I’d want to see some results, or at least feel like I’m on my way to seeing them. Watching “Making a Murderer” is like going to the gym for 10 hours and just looking at the equipment and making sure it works.

The online world is on fire with this documentary, which really only presents Avery’s side through following his family and his lawyers around as the case finds it’s way to the present day. People are calling on President Obama to issue a presidential pardon for Avery, as two separate petitions have been sent through whatever channel those petitions are sent. I think the same people who needed something to fill the void the first season of “Serial” left (sorry season two) have latched on to “Marking a Murderer.” There is now a militia of couch detectives that are seeking justice and are tweeting hot fire until they feel vindicated. And the truth is, I don’t blame them. Again, ten hours of concentration is no easy task for this generation of millennials.

In the end, the best thing I can say is that yes, I watched “Making a Murderer.” I can renew my pop culture card and carry on a conversation with the hip kids at the party who want to debate the merits of the prosecution’s case.

“But where was the blood, man? If he did it, then where was the blood?”

I should be clear. I didn’t dislike “Making a Murderer” at all. In fact, I enjoyed my time watching the show and trying to make up my mind on the “if not him than who?” aspect of the show. My only regret is that the intellectual gains I was hoping to get from watching the show are as lacking as my biceps from having sat on the couch for ten hours this weekend.


Hello Home, Goodbye Money

Congratulations on your new home, now wrap your head around the idea of owing hundreds of thousands of dollars to the bank. But here’s a flag to hang outside your home to make you feel better!

All joking aside, having just bought a house gives me a sense of pride and fulfillment. It also gives me many mini-aneurysms when I think about how much money (that I don’t have) that I will have to put into the updating, upkeep, and loan repayments over the next 5-30 years (5 years minimum we’ll stay at current place, 30 year max we’re on the hook for the loan. I figure we’ll probably move out somewhere in between those numbers).

Thinking back about how I felt while renting for the better part of my 20’s, I always thought that buying a home was out of reach for me. I always had decent-paying jobs, allowing me to save a little more than I was spending on rent, bills, and occasional nights out and new clothes, but I couldn’t imagine saving enough money to put a down payment on a house.

To me, it’s a lot like losing weight (bear with me, I’ll come to a point). But say you weight 200 pounds and want to lose 20 pounds. You start eating better; you cut the calls to the pizza place in half and decide to start portioning more money to buying healthy foods from the grocery store instead of “healthy foods” from Subway and McDonalds (but it’s a Filet of Fish sandwich, so it has less calories…). You bite the bullet and get a gym membership, sign up for a 5k, and start moving around a little more than you did before.

In short, you commit to the idea of losing weight and not giving yourself excuses. Likewise, you have to commit to wanting a house and saving your money a little at a time. You rid yourself of every excuse you might want to give yourself and you put as much as you can afford into savings so that you can get out of paying someone else to live somewhere and make where you live an investment instead of an expense.

Side Note: I just deleted 3 paragraphs of  comparing buying a house to losing 20 pounds. It was super-on point and I’m sure everyone reading this would have stood to learn a thing or two, but I didn’t mean to go too far down the rabbit hole and am trying to stay on point. So………

Where was I? House…..money….weight loss….I was feeling like buying a home would be to much….is it lunch time yet?

Oh right! So my wife and I are all moved in and our dog is slowly adjusting to his new surroundings. He told us he liked the yard, but was really hoping for floor-to-ceiling carpet to give him full traction control when it comes to sprinting in the house and playing the “you give me that toy” game.

So far (Day 3), I’ve build a kitchen island that would have had IKEA saying “that’s a lot of instructions” and we have a toilet in the upstairs hallway that is waiting to make its way into the master bathroom. I shoveled the driveway and gave a watchful eye and slight-nod to each car that drives by (I’m saying I did an ocular assessment of the situation garnered that he was not a security risk and I cleared him for passage.)

Anyway, my wife and I are happy. Our dog, Rogue, is happy. And I guess time will tell what owning our first home will bring to the table. There’s still a lot to do, but knowing that we are living in OUR home is something that I think I’ll like getting used to.



Guest Writer: My Dog


So a lot has been said of me on this blog and I thought it time to give a little insight in to my world. Basically, anything that has to do with me on this blog gets more attention than anything else Dad writes about, so I worked it out with him to allow me to pen a few thoughts down about what I think about him, my mom, and just about life in general. I think a lot of times I get a bad rap for doing some things that most people might consider normal FOR SOMEONE WHO IS TWO YEARS OLD. So  I want to set the record straight and let the world know a little bit more about who I am and what I’m all about.




Editors note: all thoughts and feelings expressed in this post are the intellectual property of Rogue Rauch. It should be noted that Rogue has a firm grasp on the English language, however, his thoughts and opinions are that of a two-year-old dog.

1. I HATE Mondays. Usually I protest by not eating or pooping. I do this because eventually, Mom and Dad will catch on and stop going to work. What I don’t understand is how we can have such a good time on the weekends, then when Monday comes it’s as if we didn’t just have the best 2 days of our lives. Every weekend is literally the best 2 days of my life, as far as I can remember. Then Monday comes and shits all over my dreams of a weekend victory lap. If I had one wish in the world it would be to just erase Monday’s from the calendar completely. Tuesday’s, you’re on notice.


2. Yes, I like car rides. No you cannot keep me from getting excited about the prospect of going out the front door.


3. Squirrels are ass holes. The way they just run across the street solidifies that fact. If you can’t fly, you shouldn’t be allowed in trees. Simple as that.

4. The only thing worse than a vacuum is getting my nails shaved off. I don’t mind getting my nails clipped, so long as there is a constant stream of treats flowing in to my mouth. Basically, anything with a motor (that isn’t a car… remember, love cars…) should be thrown away and never used again.


5. Small dogs can be scary too. Yea, I’m 90 lbs. (87 in the mornings, but who’s counting?), but that doesn’t mean when I go up to smell some little dog’s butt that they might not quick-twitch my eye ball out or something like that. It’s best to avoid small dogs at all costs.

6. Car rides > couch time > running > walks > treats. Basically, if it were my last day on earth, my wish would be to take a car ride to Kittles where we could run in to the store and every couch would have treats on them.

Editors Note: Rogue has never been to Kittles. How he understands which stores sell couches is beyond me.

7. A lot of times, Mom will ask me who I love more and it’s not as simple as her or Dad. Basically, I have needs, and they each provide for my needs in different ways. Yes I am vicious and intimidating and I have to protect the house from squirrels and bad guys. Mom gets that and I love her for it. Dad thinks that squirrels can’t hurt us but he is wrong and if I have to spend my whole life proving it to him then I will. Mom also knows how I like to eat and will coax me in to a trace with the way she holds my Peanut Butter Kong and lets me get in to it. Dad is my bro. We snuggle on the couch and watch football like I’m sure all bros do and we both like running more than Mom. He also doesn’t let me square him up and lick face like Mom does. Now even though I love licking Mom like she’s made out of sugar, I respect Dad for not letting me get away with it and I feel it has made me into the grown up dog I am today.


8. Outside was made for smelling. Don’t try to tell me otherwise.

9. Yea I pull when I walk Mom and Dad. When greatness lies ahead of you, sometimes you don’t want to wait to get there.

10. I know how great I am. I know how much Mom and Dad love me. I know I’m perfect. It doesn’t mean I am going to let anyone know this because that’s when the treats dry up.


Basically, I have a pretty good life. I might pee where I shouldn’t sometimes or refuse to eat for political reasons, but I feel like I do alright. I am working on a few projects and have some big things lined up. Thank you for taking the time to get to know a little more about who I am.

-Rogue Rauch


So they’re sending me to…China?

One of the perks of working at a big company is the paid travel. One of the downsides to working for a big company is the paid travel. So in about 6 weeks, they’re sending me to…China?

I am someone who hasn’t done much traveling in his life. When I was younger I lived in Florida for a few years, so I have had the chance to live on the ocean, which was great. I remember driving back and forth from Columbus, Ohio to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and mentally checking off all the states I passed through as “states I’ve been to.” For some reason, it was a big deal to me to say I had been to 8 different states in my life. I don’t know why.

Anyway, as I grew up, the opportunities came and went and I added a few more states to that list (this time only checking them off if I ACTUALLY stayed there and saw more of the state than food exit signs and gas station bathrooms). I went to Oklahoma and Mississippi to play baseball. I went to Texas, New York and Washington D.C. for school trips. Then more recently, with my wife, I’ve gotten to check off Nevada (VEGAS!!!), upstate New York, Georgia and a few other weekend trips off my list. But I had still never been outside of the country.

Then I started working for an international company that is based out of Japan, that has production factories in Mexico and China, warehouses in Texas and a US headquarters in California. Well, they sent me to California to give a presentation and Texas to see how the product comes and goes, but then it was time to get my international sea legs wet. I went to Mexico a few weeks before my wife and I got married. She was certain that I would be decapitated by the cartels, but luckily I was only going about 3 miles past the US border and I made it back to the States in one piece. 

Then my wife and I went back to Mexico for our honeymoon to a place slightly more exotic than Reynosa (although I hear the winters there are…just about the same as the summers probably).

So now I have to turn to a new page in my mental checkbook where I can start adding international destinations to the places I’ve been. 

Then, about a week ago, I got told I am going to Tokyo to our head office, then to Shanghai, China to visit another one of our factories and meet some of our international employees. Before I come home, I’ll fly into Hong Kong where I’ll board a flight back to the US. 

I guess part of me is excited about the idea of going to Tokyo and Shanghai. My wife, not so much (although she does get to sleep with the dog when I’m gone which I know she loves to do, but I wonder if she prefers it sometimes to having me there). When I first told my wife about the trip, the first thing she said was “Malaysia Airlines. You’ll eat dog. I’ll never see you again.” 

I promised her I would be very careful and also learn how to say “no dog” in Chinese before I went. 

Anyway, I am glad I am finally getting a chance to see different parts of the world outside of what I’m used to. I really wish it wasn’t a work trip and I could bring my wife, but I guess when these kinds of opportunities come up, you have to make the most of it and try to look at the bright side.

So get ready, China! And please, “Meiyou gou!”


My Poker Past

It’s hard to pinpoint where my poker complex came from. I remember being about 12 and the family would go over the my grandma’s house where all the uncles would play Hi-Lo Stud games for nickles and dimes. I never played in these games, but my brother did (he was about 10 at the time). Anyway, I didn’t really understand the game, but it was fun seeing who would end up the “big winner” each night. 

Note: “big winner” = +$5 in a pocket full of silver change.

I also remember being a junior or senior in high school. It was about 2002 or 2003 and it was right before the poker boom when then amateur Chris Moneymaker won the 2003 World Series of Poker and netted about $2.5 million. That year, I remember our high school bookie getting together some guys and playing tournaments in his parents basement. I think that the buy in for these tournaments was about $40. I never won, but I did develop a nasty habit of betting on baseball games that year. I remember putting $100 in an envelope and putting it in his parents mailbox with the bookie’s name on the envelope. I am not sure that this was the beginning of my love for the game, but I remember how much fun we had playing “Follow the Queen” or “Pineapple” where anything holding a sword or only had one eye showing was wild. Good times…

But the honest start to my “obsession” was freshman year in college.  It was fall of 2004 and ESPN was up to their ears in poker coverage. Not only were they broadcasting the entire 7 days of the main event, but people were watching Omaha, Stud, and even Razz tournaments on TV. I dare anyone reading this who isn’t as far gone as I am to Youtube a WSOP Razz tournament and try not pulling your hair out. 

I remember this was the time when online poker was really taking off. I wasn’t sure how good I was, but that didn’t stop me from playing in some free-money games for imaginary dollars on Pokerstars. I remember talking my roommate into getting into it with me. Sometimes, there were free-money tournaments that didn’t start until midnight, and we would stay up until 3 a.m. playing for pride and not worrying about letting our classes get in the way of all this new found excitement. 

Eventually, I got better and began playing for real money. I remember depositing $50 into my account and playing the $10+$1 multi-table tournaments and, occasionally some bigger money tournaments. I eventually figured out my strengths and learned how to make some decent money at the game. I played on Pokerstars, Party Poker and Absolute Bet my entire freshman and sophomore years while living in the dorms. I distinctly remember one Saturday, not having any big keg party that day, declaring to my whole mod that  I was going to win $1000 that day, which was a bold declaration even for me back then.  Sure enough, I won $900 in one tournament, then cashed in a $100 buy in tournament, giving me a total win of about $1200 for the day. I was the king of the castle that day and I think I realized that I was a pretty decent player. More than anything, I wanted to get better and learn as much about the game as I could.

So by the end of college, I had made a pretty decent haul at online poker. Not enough to pay for school, but enough to keep me fed and hydrated on the weekends, and able to attend social functions without digging through the couch. Then, on April 15, 2011,”Black Friday” happened. For those of you not in the know, “Black Friday” was the abrupt end of online poker as we all knew it. All activity was halted and the government seized all assets accumulated in player accounts. People did not know what to do. Luckily for me, my poker bug had cooled and I didn’t have any money lost on any sites. 

At this time, I was going to “brick and mortar” poker clubs around Columbus and learning the live game. I had gone to a few casinos and played against some talented players, but cutting my teeth against “regulars” who knew how to play cash games was a crash course in strategy and money management. I honestly believe that the Gemini Club had some of the best live players around the country. Aggressive, fearless, calculating, these players would try to take my money as if I were wearing a big sign that read “ATM.”

Anyway, that’s a long history on where I’ve been. I think most of America kind of dulled out on poker once ESPN stopped airing most of the shows and the thrill of online gambling has been limited to just a handful of states. But, to be honest, I am still fascinated by poker as much today as I was when I was playing every Saturday in college. I love thinking about the strategy of poker, about multiple ways to play the same hand, and about all the fun I have when I sit down at a poker table and play. 

I like the idea of being able to be whoever I want. I love the psychological aspect of it where I can dress up like some sko-bro (TM) and make people think that just because I look a certain way, it must mean I play a certain way. I love hiding behind a pair of sunglasses and listening to The Game. “Dead presidents. Big paper!” I love listening to people at the table talk about this or that, some tournament they played in or some guy who just got up that was as (insert any of the following adjectives: crazy, drunk, loose, loud, funny, perverted and hitting on every waitress that walked by) as anyone has ever seen. I like the thrill of winning money, but more so than that, I like the thrill of mastering the game itself. 

So this Sunday I am going back to the casino to play in the first live tournament I’ve been a part of in the past couple of years. I am extremely excited and I can’t wait to sit down and start playing. I am also excited to follow up with this post about how much I (hopefully) won! Now all that’s left to do is decide who I want to be on Sunday, and get ready to go!