Archive for the ‘family’ Category

little guy gave us a scare

One of my favorite little guys in the world is a better sally and taddy catcher than you are, take my word for it. Scared of handling animals? Fuhgetaboutit. He converses naturally in eloquent jibberish, but don’t let that fool ya. He speaks as clearly and as intelligently as any adult I know, and has for as long as I can remember. He’s a quick study, and if you happen to be a little slow on the uptake, don’t be surprised if you get a mildly sarcastic “Uh, yeah?” thrown your way. He’s a solid ball player just like his Mom and Dad, but he plays it cool. My man’s not really the bragging type.

He’s not very good at hide and seek, because he goes into giggling fits when “it” gets close. The potential for natural disasters where he lives is one of his least favorite things. Also, he’s quite the ladies man. You might wonder what those last two random facts are doing in the same paragraph, but a couple of years back when one of his favorite young belles moved away to Indiana, he mused out loud, “I wonder if they have tornadoes in Indiana?”

The little guy’s okay today – I don’t mean to scare my readers. But he lives on the other side of the country these days, so if you see him, please remember to never feed him nuts. He had his last peanut butter last night, and made two scary trips to the ER as a result. He showed courage through an EpiPen jab to the leg, and an IV on the second ER visit. In fact, he offered comfort to his little sister in the middle of it all that she’ll never have to worry about EpiPens like he will.

I got an update that he’s good today, back to normal. He was talking about dragons with his Mom, and when I heard that I was finally able to exhale. Take care, my man, we love you! Can’t wait to see you soon.

Happy 70th, Dad!

Happy 70th to Marshall’s and my wonderful Dad today. One of my first memories was him holding me up at the nursery window at the University of Virginia Hospital to meet my new brother – I distinctly remember declaring “We’ll keep him!” He mesmerized me at the dinner table with his invisible ball into the paper bag trick (I never did figure it out). In our youth, Dad took us on countless camping trips (much to Mom’s chagrin) along the Skyline Drive, where Marshall and I could ride bikes to our heart’s content (a love that endures for both of us). On a family trip up north, we stopped at a tourist spot (I believe it was Gravity Hill in PA) where the guide collected our fee and asked us to stop and put our car in neutral so it could “roll uphill”. Dad was spitting mad just a few seconds into the excursion, throwing the car back into drive and peeling away from that bleeping tourist trap!

Love you, Dad! Hapsy Birfsday!

Dad turned around the disfunctional Scout troop he inherited, and was my only Scoutmaster. He was tapped for OA before I was. He made sure that I stayed gainfully employed as a youth, whether that involved mowing our huge lawn or giving me “that job” working for his masonry company that solidified my desire to stay in school.

Dad has a work ethic that I can only aspire to. He was a tireless provider for our family, and sacrificed much to provide Marshall and me top-notch educations. He’s got a great sense of humor, and always has the grandkids and us in stitches. He’s flying home with Mom from California today from a visit with Marshall’s family, so safe travels! I’m looking forward to our trip together next month to bike the Virginia Creeper trail.

Happy Birthday, Dad. We love you very much!

Ah, summertime

Holding my wife’s hand,
reading in the dim glow of night mode,
fan purring white noise,
lids getting heavy now.

In Dependence Day – contrasting eras

I highly recommend this timely, intellectually honest July 4th piece, by Bill Frezza (hat tip Frezza for the title of this post), via my good friend Jim Brown.  It finishes as follows:

If we were still a nation capable of shame with enough intellectual integrity to call things as they are, if we hadn’t debauched our language as badly as our currency, if we had the courage to look in the mirror and see how woefully we have squandered our Founders’ legacy, this Fourth of July would be a day not of celebration but of atonement

Give some thought to what we have lost as we mark another In Dependence Day. May providence have mercy on our nation, lest we end up getting what we deserve.

You’ll forgive me if I was in no fireworks-n-barbecue mood yesterday.  I decided instead to mark the day by reading the full text of the Declaration of Independence with my kids (hat tip Hillsdale and Levin for the idea). The document was signed by their great-great…(I’m not sure how many greats at the moment) grandfather, Thomas Nelson, Jr., from the Colony of Virginia. Nelson meant that part about “we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor”, as he later gave the American artillery permission to fire upon his own house, which was used as a British headquarters during the siege of Yorktown (Sept-Oct 1781).

Nelson House, Yorktown, VA

Whether your family history makes you a “new” or “old” American… doesn’t matter. Read, understand, and cherish the reasons behind the founding of our great country. Share the history with your kids and grandkids. Atone for your contribution to our modern complacency towards our dear Republic. Then dust yourself off, pick yourself up by your bootstraps, and get to work contributing your piece of the long term solution. It will take decades, so buck up.

your kid is awesome

He truly is.  And it’s important that he play sports, but beware the hamster wheel of full-time elite sports programs.

buyer beware

Your kid’s future will not be filled with games.  And that applies more to him than it did to you, because we’ve allowed games to be played with his future.  So great, he can pass, catch, and shoot.  What else have you taught him?

embrace that @#$%&! feeling

I had great talks with tmsmiffs and my Mom this past weekend.  The topic of extreme frustration with our reckless government came up again and again.  My point in these conversations was to express that I truly had no idea how to handle, digest, or respond to obvious existential threats to the country we love so much.  tmsmiffs proposed a wise line of thinking on the subject:  that frustration, that @#$%&! feeling that so many of us cope with on a daily basis – it’s actually a good thing.  It’s our shocked consciences complaining loudly as we collectively surrender our individual freedoms to unworthy tyrants.

Never forget the blood shed by our generation and many before to preserve our freedoms.  Will we turn our backs on them like so many mindless sheep?  No, we won’t – I strongly believe that.  Each of us must face our dear, ailing America with honor and virtue.  We each bring God-given talents to fight back.  We must apply those talents to best effect, and learn how to apply them better tomorrow.

We didn’t choose this fight.  But our children and grandchildren won’t forgive that excuse.

Apple taking business for granted?

I recently completed an 8 part series on how I buy music and audiobooks on iTunes Store (~95%) and amazonmp3 (~5%).  Using a common sense, fair use approach, I access and grow that collection on both my work WinXP and my home Kubuntu machines, using a Windows-formatted iPod as the sneakernet between the two.

The iPod I use to accomplish this is a 60GB iPod Photo, which (according to a wikipedia timeline) I must’ve purchased in late ’04 or early ’05.  I chanced upon this article yesterday which makes me question whether my approach will continue to work if I choose to buy a newer iPod.  If this is an intentional move by Apple, it certainly is a curious one.

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I couldn’t make this stuff up…

… I’m not creative enough.

On the drive into school this morning, I was giving my two youngest sons a fairly standard pep talk:  Keep your grades up, study hard, don’t make the teacher’s job harder than it already is, don’t believe everything they teach you, smile and regurgitate what they want to hear when necessary (concerning global warming, for instance)…

My 4th grade son piped up and said yeah, my teacher teaches us that global warming stuff because she has to.  She says they make her teach it so she can get paid.

Remember the bad old days of New Math?  I think it’s fair to say that this qualifies as New Science.

connecting generations

The highlight of my weekend was a morning of skeet and trap shooting with my uncle, first cousin, and oldest son.  My cousin brought his boyhood .410 so my son could learn to shoot.  He also brought his Beretta over-and-under 12 gauge, which was a joy to shoot.

My uncle didn’t shoot much, except to prove to us young guys that there was nothing wrong with the .410 except operator error.  He went 2 for 2 at a longer distance than the rest of us struggled greatly from (even though my cousin’s a good shot).  So my uncle’s earlier claims of not being the shot that he once was turned out to be somewhat modest.  Thanks, Henry & George!  I feel a new hobby coming on…

profanity concern is (apparently) *so* 2004

My oldest son and I rooted hard for the Celtics during the NBA Finals.  I’ve never been a big Lakers fan, and I really enjoy watching high quality basketball because of its similarity to lacrosse.  I often use NBA games to reinforce flow concepts that I try to teach my sons on the lacrosse field.
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