I No Longer Have an Autistic Child


As of last weekend, Benjamin is now an adult. I had intended to write a lightly humorous blog post about the absurdity of celebrating a 21st birthday with someone who has literally no concept of adulthood, perhaps contrasting it with my own awkward 21st birthday spent with my father so many years ago. After today, however, I am not feeling especially humorous about Ben’s current situation.

My New Ad


So there it is - my new ad that is going in front of more than 7 million readers this week.It took a real leap of faith to give this a shot, I hope it pans out.

A Loss of Wisdom (Teeth)


Ben had his wisdom teeth out yesterday morning.  Short version: it went well and he's doing fine. Long version: Having even a common, simple procedure done with an adult autistic is never easy. It was kind of a stressful day....

New Book Revew at


There's a new review up for my book over at, from the father of an autistic child who shares Ben's affection for Disney. It is well worth a read. Here's a brief excerpt, follow the link above to check out the whole thing.

An Enchanted Apple

An Enchanted Apple

 True story: Just this afternoon I was at the grocery store with Ben. Bear in mind that, left to his own devices, Ben would subsist entirely on chicken nuggets, french fries, and red Gatorade. That is not even an exagerration. So we were in the produce department where I was shopping for some fresh fruit. Out of the blue Ben walked over to a bin of apples, spent a few moments carefully selecting one, and then held it up to his nose and sniffed it like he was checking to see if it was fresh. Then he put it in the shopping cart like it was the most normal thing in the world.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train - Ben's First Ride


Ever since Snow White's Scary Adventures (SWSA) closed and the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (SDMT) was announced, one of the most common questions that I have had from people is whether or not I thought Ben would enjoy the new ride as a replacement. For more than two years we watched the New Fantasyland expansion play out, with SDMT as the final piece to be completed. Month after month, visit after visit, we saw the different pieces fall into place and then the new mountain slowly rise and take shape. For the first half of 2014 the ride was surrounded by construction walls, and Ben would occasionally walk by and look at the paintings to see what the ride was about. Once the walls started coming down and Ben got his first good look at parts of the ride exterior, he looked... nervous. Particularly once they started cycling the empty mine carts, he viewed the ride with more trepidation than excitement. Finally, finally, on May 24th of 2014 the attraction was open to the public and Ben took his first ride.

Site Update - Phase 2


It took a few days of wrangling, but I have the blog software updated. I am very happy with how it turned out. I need to actually walk through every single blog post and make sure the tagging and the preview are correct, but I don't have time to do more than the first page right at the moment. I will try to work through it all in the next few weeks. I hope you like the new look.

Site Update - Phase 1


As you may possibly have noticed, I have radically updated the look and feel of I hope you like it! My primary motivation was the fact that previously the site did not render well at all on mobile devices. With this new, fully responsive design the site now looks great on any size screen.

For Phase 2 I will be updating the blog software, as well as the look and feel of the blog itself. I don't know how long that will take. I am working with a copy of the website to work through all of the templating, and it may take a while.

Anyway, I hope you like the new look and feel. Drop me a comment and let me know what you think!

It Just. Never. Stops.

So much has happened in the last 48 hours, I don’t even know where to begin. Do I go for shock value and start with Ben and me walking into the emergency room at midnight, both covered in vomit? Do I go for a sweet and comedic tone, with Ben taking a hot bath earlier that evening and demanding to be left alone in the bath with the lights out and a single candle for illumination while listening to Enya? Or do I start with a moment of raw terror, with Ben fighting a 102.5 degree fever and shivering so violently that the entire bed trembled beneath him? The truth is that these last two days are a jumble inside my brain, a nearly incoherent mixture of fear and resolve punctuated by moments of nearly sublime comedy. If you had asked me at any point this weekend where I imagined I would be tonight, the answer “sitting by the fire pit at a theme park resort” would never have even crossed my mind, and yet here I am. Literally nothing makes any sense at this point, so I am doing the only thing I know how to do – write my way through it and try to find some kind of coherent plot. It won’t be an easy task.

My Set at Pilars Open Mike Night Two Weeks Ago


I have a post coming this Wednesday about Ben's first ride on the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, but in the meantime here is a video of me performing three songs at an open mike night at Pilars Martini Bar in Winter Garden a couple weeks ago. The first is my acoustic cover of "Wrecking Ball", and then two original songs -- "Western Winds" and "Benjamin's Lullaby (a.k.a. All Is Well)". I hope you like it.

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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