Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Out of the office

I'm off to a work conference in San Diego, California tomorrow through late Sunday night.

I won't have my laptop with me, so I'll probably be out of blogging touch for a few days.

(Sorry! Really, don't cry.)

When I get back, I'll blog about Die Hard 4, if I can still remember how ridiculous it was.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Stop me if you've heard this before.

I really should lose about 15 pounds.

I just haven't figured out a good way to go about doing it.

It is particularly difficult to lose weight this time of year, since we're surrounded with cookies, pies, and everything else. And as the weather up here gets colder and less hospitable, the ability to even THINK about going outside for exercise diminishes. (Not that I have a particularly strong history of active exercising.)

Getting down to brass tacks, I'm lazy and unwilling (so far) to find ways to fit hard exercise--the beneficial kind--into my daily routine. Without that commitment to change, I don't see how I'm going to achieve the reality of what needs to be done. I've got to find an effective way to exercise.

I also need to find better ways to eat.

The only other time that I was able to effectively lose weight was when Lynda and I were doing Weight Watchers after Sarah was born. It helped a great deal that the cafeteria at work was actively participating in the program back then, so you could easily calculate the Points--which were displayed by the food items. Now there is much more guesswork and I haven't done a very good job of thinking about it all.

But, I don't like what I see in the mirror. Shame alone isn't cutting it though.

Random definition

Did you know that the word succinct originally meant "having one's clothes gathered up by a belt . . ." related to the word cincture? I like the connection between tightening up one's clothes with tightening up one's language.

I discovered that today when double-checking the spelling of said word in my dictionary.

I have a habit of marking the words I look up in the dictionary. I admit that I stole the idea from Diane Court (Ione Skye) the valedictorian object of Lloyd Dobler's (John Cusack) affection in the film Say Anything. Lloyd was intimidated by the number of words Diane had looked up in the dictionary, and I'll further admit that I like seeing the marks on the page when I flip through looking for another word. However, I am slightly saddened when I find that I have already marked a word that I am currently looking up. (Gotta improve that memory!)

NOTE: I tried really hard to find the appropriate moment from Say Anything to illustrate what I am talking about, but it turns out the internet CAN'T find everything you're looking for.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Let it begin!

The day after Thanksgiving . . . and we're all here together at home. No daycare, no work, no parade, no activity built in this afternoon.

Lynda, in a fit of familial consumerist madness, braved the After Thanksgiving Sales for a few hours this morning. Nothing horribly strenuous, but it signals that That Time Of Year has begun. The turkey leftovers haven't even been thought of and we're already seeing things in Red and Green (or at least those of you who aren't colorblind are).

I've got MSquared's Holiday music mix running on iTunes now as we all decide how to handle the rest of the day. Grace is playing with Barbie toys from holidays past (THAT is a Christmas miracle!). Sarah is thinking about being a Young Adult (taking showers in the morning, watching the news and the Weather Channel . . . seriously!), and Lynda and I wonder when we'll get out the trees, ornaments, and start baking up those Christmas cookies.


Trees are up and lighted.

Ornaments have been placed and tree skirts are down.

Boxes are still everywhere and I think I'm going to wait until tomorrow to tackle the yearly conundrum of outdoor lights--which ones work and which ones don't, what mysterious combination of extension cords and outlets combine to make it all function, whether or not I should put icicle lights around the porch or not. (This summer I put the icicle lights around the dining room nook for a Great Hall effect during Sarah's Harry Potter party . . . maybe I'll do that again?

Lots of holiday knickknacks are out and about in some rooms of the house. I always feel that some rooms get lots of decorations and other rooms nothing at all. (I always feel badly for those other rooms, such as every upstairs room.) But the minute a Santa statue or a small nativity goes down, the war begins. As soon as I turn around, here comes a kid with Baby Jesus in one hand and a snowman candle in the other. They won't leave well enough alone.

Christmas decorations are for the adults, attempting to recapture that innocence in their own memory. The kids participate, but they don't have enough foundation yet to make it truly special. They just enjoy the transformation of the everyday house into something Other. It won't be until later that they want to make that transformation for their own reasons.

So, right now I put out trees and hang ornaments, thinking of when I did it as a boy. And Lynda bakes batch after batch of cookies, cooling them in blank rows, awaiting the icing to come--all the while thinking of her mom.

Someday, our kids will remember. Right now they can only wait.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Giving Thanks

Right now I'm thankful for good friends who invited us over for a wonderful amount of food that I am struggling to digest in a wakeful state. Our normal Thanksgiving meal with RoF and her family was put aside this year, because she's very busy and has got lots of stuff going on in her life besides.

Jack T. and Cordelia invited us over this year and we had lots of delicious turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, squash, mashed potatoes, green beans, and something else that I'm sure to be forgetting. We brought along some of my mom's best fruit salad recipe.

Everyone had so much to eat and that was followed by delicious homemade pecan and pumpkin pies.

I reflected on how many time since we've moved to Ohio we've had the benefit of eating this meal with friends and (almost) family. It is a great luxury to have such people in our lives when we are many miles from our own family.

Not to mention the comfortably warm house and warm clothes we enjoy without thought each and every day. We have lots of luxury and blessings in our life, including our many other friends that enrich our lives.

Thanks to you all. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

vt 2 a: to stir up : AROUSE (~ interest) b : to bring into being : START

I first read about the Kindle on another blog that I visit daily. I am intrigued by it because I wonder when (as I'm now sure Jeff Bezos does) book readers will finally threaten wood and paper books for delivery mechanism of choice. As these things go, it seems like the Kindle has the best shot of any to be the warning shot that something new is coming. But will it usher in a new future for reading?

I am sure that some people want to say that this new device will captivate new readers and encouraging reading in this modern world of television and video. I'm not sure about that. I do wonder if it will do for book buying what the iPod has done for music purchasing--i.e. make it easier to do for those already inclined to do so. For example, I would not characterize myself as a audiophile. I don't search out obscure bands, argue with people about which band is better than the next, troll through reviews of bands. I just know What I Like and occasionally see if this new thing also fits What I Like. Since I've had the iPod, deciding to buy What I Like has become much easier and so, I do it more often.

That's what I think a device like the Kindle can do. It is intelligently designed, making it simple enough for anyone to operate as a basic reading device. And it is connected to Amazon's ever-growing catalog of books. So, people that like to read already may find it simpler to purchase that book they read about. But will it make people WANT to read who aren't already wanting to read? I doubt that. Let's face it, the wood and paper book is a pretty simple device. If you don't like that experience, will the digital version of it seem more palatable?

Newsweek has a big cover story about the importance of the device. The article is full of sociological blather about what the book has meant historically and whether a new digital age will radically change things. I laugh at Amazon's attempt to assuage Luddite fears by designing it so that "in sleep mode the Kindle displays retro images of ancient texts, early printing presses and beloved authors like Emily Dickinson and Jane Austen." Will that sort of thing really work? Would enough people even recognize their faces to be soothed?

I'm more concerned about the possibility of digital books shuttering the library buildings that serve as more than a warehouse of books but as a community gathering place. What will happen to the underclass that can't afford $300 for the privilege? Already record stores can't survive the iTunes revolution. Will libraries fail as well? Does Bezos care about that? Would anyone ask him?

At least for the moment, the Amazon home page has a letter from CEO Jeff Bezos describing how important/wonderful he thinks the Kindle is. I wish he'd better explain why he chose the name. As I (and the Newsweek article) have already indicated, the name is to evoke Prometheus. But, as I did my definitional research, using an old fashioned dictionary, by the way, I found an alternative definition of kindle that might suit Bezos just fine--"vt : BEAR -- esp. of a rabbit ~ vi : to bring forth young--used esp. of a rabbit."

Happy shopping.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

He shall squeeze no more, forever

Last night's post about The Flintstones might be an appropriate way to segue into today's news that Dick Wilson (Mr. Whipple of "Don't squeeze the Charmin" fame) died at the age of 91.

What must it be like to be best known (to the nation, at least) as a guy obsessed with toilet paper? I am sure, to his family, friends, and community, he was much more than that. He probably grilled the best chicken on the block and gave out muffin baskets at Christmas, but we don't know that.

I would much rather see him patrolling the grocery store aisles than the cartoon bears that sell Charmin today. The pleasure they evidence when preparing to wipe their ursine butts with the super soft Charmin is not a pleasant reminder of what that product is all about.

Thanks Mr. Wilson. I won't squeeze, I promise.

(Anyway, I--as always--am sure Tom Cruise is behind this. But all I can say to Tom is . . . there are more effective ways to get Suri potty-trained.)

See also: The Orphanage of Cast-Off Mascots.

Monday, November 19, 2007

"There's a splinter in your eye that reads 'React'."

Crisis #1 (a minor problem)--Do you remember cassette tapes? Because I didn't have lots of disposable money in college and was therefore late to the CD revolution, I had about one hundred cassettes back in the Nineties. But ever since I bought my first CD stereo system when Lynda and I got married, I slowly phased cassettes out of my auditory life. I've replaced a number of my original tapes with CDs leaving me around fifteen or twenty cassettes left.

Today, when I was at work, I got an email from MSquared (my eldest brother) about an R.E.M.-related blog that I am alternatively impressed by and angry that I didn't think of it first. So, as I got in the van this afternoon to pick up Sarah, I dug out Reckoning, one of the few R.E.M. offerings that I don't have on CD yet. But, then I was confronted with the crisis--how to figure out which side of the cassette is being played on the cassette deck. Remember how that works? As I remember, some tape decks played the "bottom" of the tape first while on other decks, the decks played the "top." Since I haven't listened to a cassette in a while and since I had never yet listened to one in the new van, I was completely unaware of how this one worked. I sat there in the parking lot with the engine running while I pondered what to do. So, I stuck in the tape (which was wound to begin on side two) and looked at the sound system display. It showed a downward pointing arrow as a song began and I hit the fast forward button. I wanted to listen to the album from the beginning. As the tape wound, I experienced the auditory memory of hearing that magnetic tape spool through the plastic case, speeding up as the distribution became more and more lopsided. I realized that I haven't heard that particular noise in a very long time. But, once the tape finished fast forwarding, I realized that I still was confused about whether I had Side 1 pointing up or down, so I wasn't sure what I was learning. I ejected the tape and gave it a look, but my mind was still unable to figure out the operating rules of the van's tape deck. (I realize this is a pretty simple problem that I was struggling with, but I was trying to drive out of the parking lot and up the road as I pondered these issues.) In the end, I sort of gave up and just started listening to the songs, trying to sing along as I drove. Anyone who has tried to sing along to 80s era R.E.M. knows that "singing along" is a bit of a guessing game. The lyrics are notorious opaque and Stipe's style back then was heavy of the slurred words and mumbles. Part of the fun, I guess, is trying to keep up. More than anything, I just enjoyed hearing those old familiar rhythms. I'll be listening along as I read the posts over on Pop Songs 07.

Crisis #2--After I finished picking up Sarah and Grace, we got home. Sarah immediately told me that there was a bird's nest in a backyard tree and she wanted to look inside it to see if there were any eggs. If there were, she informed us, we could take them inside and hatch them and take care of the baby birds. I tried to deflect this by wondering how we would take care of these birds. Sarah was confident, however, that we could go to the pet store to get "seeds" to feed the birds and then, when summer came, we could let them free. I didn't get into a discussion of mother birds regurgitating predigested food for their children. Grace seemed to back up my skepticism that we might not be able to handle this, but Sarah was sure it would somehow work out.
When we got outside, Sarah tried several different ways to climb the tree in question. I helped her make it to the lowest branches, but she was never going to be able to make it up to where the nest way, about ten feet above the ground. I told the kids that even if there was an egg in the nest, there must be something wrong with it because healthy eggs would have hatched before autumn. I was just trying to prevent Sarah from feeling like she had failed in her attempt to discover what was in the nest, but she started crying. Apparently, what she really wanted was a pet, and she thought that this might be her way of convincing Lynda and me to give them one.
I tried to calm her down by explaining that now (with Hannah coming) wasn't the best time for us to introduce a pet into the mix. We've told both girls this before, but they remain firm in the hope that Lynda or I would change our stance on the issue. Every time I say no, I feel a bit guilty, but as the same time I am not ready to introduce a pet (and all that comes with it) to the family. I decided to deflect their disappointment by reminding them that Lynda had checked out a DVD from the library this weekend, and wondered if they wanted to go in and watch it. (The complete third season of the Flintstones!)
This seemed to appease the kids and so we went inside. I got the DVD running and began to think about supper options. Listening to the cartoon from across the room, I realized how much I loved the Flintstones as a kid and how nice it was hear the familiar jokes, Barney's laugh, and especially how great it was to hear that music. Easily some of the best cartoon music ever.

Did you know, however, that the above opening credits--which I bet we are all very familiar with--was not the original credits to the show?

Just when you think you understand everything, it gets all messed up.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Friday economics roundtable

I took the day off from work today. You see, I found out on Thursday that I had not taken enough days off from work and if I didn't start slacking off, I'd lose the vacation days I had on my account for last year. So, I kicked my sloth into high gear and decided to sit around the house doing nothing today. Of course, everything wasn't entirely solitary since Sarah hasn't been in school for the past two days. (Parent Teacher Conferences, doncha' know) If I was working, we would have her in daycare for the day, but since I decided to "take the day off" I could save a bit of extra money that we would pay for Sarah to be at daycare. So, Sarah was with me. But wait, Grace wouldn't take kindly to being at daycare slaving away over The Letter G and The Number 12 while Sarah messed about all day with her layabout dad. So, to keep the overall peace, my "day off" now the kids. And that's mostly okay.

Ah, but what to do with them? Well, when I woke up, a bit later than normal, Lynda was already set to head out the door. So, I hit the shower while the girls got up and about. When I was done, the question was what to do for breakfast. Since this was a bit of special day, I decided to drive them over to Krispy Kreme for delicious doughnuts.

Since life is all about choices, the next one was what doughnuts should we get? As we were selecting them, the dude behind the counter pointed out that it would become more economical if we bought a dozen. And, given that we were already at half a dozen, he was quite right. As we sat by the windows eating our fresh doughnuts and sipping coffee or milk, I explained to them why it made more sense to buy 12 doughnuts for 6.99 than 6 doughnuts for $0.99 each. This might have been reinforced by the ever-moving conveyor belt in the kitchen where hundred of donuts were rolling out every few minutes. I don't think they quite the exact voodoo that is Economy of Scale, but it might make a bit of sense to them one day?

Sarah said she wanted to sell doughnuts when she gets older(presumably when she's not working on the farm that she's been talking about a lot lately). The only problem was, she wanted to sell her doughnuts for $5 each. I told her that her doughnuts had to be pretty big to justify a price that large, reemphasizing the pricing structure on display behind the Krispy Kreme counter.

So, as you can see, our trip to Krispy Kreme, while not exactly nutritious, was certain educational. Hopefully they gained more than pounds for the experience.

On the way home, blood boiling with economic knowledge, we decided to pop into Meijer, in the hopes of finding a larger piggy bank for Grace. Her current one does not provide suitable space for her financial largesse. Sadly, piggy banks are not commonly purchased anymore since the habit of saving is discouraged in our current culture. While there however, another economic opportunity presented itself when I explained to the children why there were Christmas decorations everywhere before it was even Thanksgiving. So, the kids were able to understand that the potential for profits at this time of year is such that not a day goes by between the removal of Halloween costumes and the arrival of Christmas ornaments.

After this we went home and got our lunch out of the way--leftovers of pizza and homemade chili.

Then the kids watched a bit of TV and played while I finished watching Oceans Twelve, which I began last night. You know, I don't see why everyone was so down on this movie when it was out a few years ago. I found it to be fun and frothy with lots of enjoyability. Come on, just look at how fun the trailer looks.
The plot is one big knot of Christmas ribbon--pretty and mostly inconsequential--and the dialogue doesn't tell you everything you need to know, but the overall experience is lighthearted and very entertaining.

After an afternoon of fun inside and out, Lynda came home. We then had dinner and the kids watched Mary Poppins, so the economics lessons of the day came full circle as the kids went to bed with song of tuppence in their heads and hearts.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

"Oh no, young Jedi. You will find that it is you who are mistaken about a great many things."

Today after lunch, an email thread started about film trilogies. I had been lamenting some pretty negative things a blogger said about Spiderman 3, one of the many trilogy films of this past summer. (I have been and am trying to remain faithful to Spiderman 3, even though it disappointingly lived up to my fears.) You know the thing about how film trilogies never work out well? Even trilogies that start out on a solid foundation--Godfather III--just fall apart in the end. Heck, consider the sordid history of movie trilogies--Major League: Back to the Minors? Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome? The Matrix Revolutions? God help us . . . Naked Gun 331/3: The Final Insult?!!

One of the participants in the email thread asked me what there was to look forward to since Spiderman III had come and gone, what was there to look forward to? The only thing I could think of was the upcoming birth of Hannah, my third child. So, inspired by that initial thought I am going to draw very inappropriate parallels between movie trilogies and trios of children.*

So, what movie trilogy should all of this be based upon? Well, for people of my generation, there really can be only one choice . . . the trilogy that defined the model.

Is everybody with me? Okay.

If having three kids is like watching the Star Wars films, then you may say that:

Kid #1 is Star Wars. You start out not knowing what’s going on and in those first moments, as odd people in strange costumes are walking around, you begin to think you've made a bad decision by purchasing this ticket. But as you get used to the plot and become more familiar with the characters, you start to settle in and decide to go along for the ride. Part one of a trilogy brings you into the story. It provides the basis for everything else to come. Part one is created with (what later seems to be) antiquated technology. In the beginning it takes hours to film an action sequence. By the time Film 3 roles around even bigger action sequences can be filmed in twenty minutes. Looking back from a distance, you can't believe Film 1 ever got made in the first place. Why didn't people see the wires hanging from all the models? All the actors seemed so young and inexperienced! In the beginning there's lots of disagreement with the director about the motivation of characters. Star Wars establishes the history upon which all the rest are to be compared (either fairly or unfairly). In a film trilogy, as in a family, individuals cannot stand alone, but must be judged in relation to its counterparts.

Kid #2 is The Empire Strikes Back. All your favorite characters are back again for Part two, but there are new characters and new things to absorb, like Lando Calrissian and Yoda. The Empire Strikes Back is more of what you loved about the original, but everything is bigger and more dramatic. The fight scenes are more elaborate, the special effects are more polished. Sure, some things are the same and you have a lot of familiar faces, but there are new plot twists, new wrinkles that could not have been predicted the first time. The Empire Strikes Back pushed the plot forward and drove it down paths unforeseen when you were young and naive, watching Star Wars, ignoring the wires, trying to remember all the characters. By now, you think you know everyone. So, full of confidence you plunge right in, paying attention to the smaller details now. But that means you're likely to be more critical of the second film. You have a basis of expectations. It's not fair and even the actors will tell you that each new film is a new experience. But you're a jaded moviegoer. You've seen it all. You're not a rookie and you're in charge!

Kid #3 is Return of the Jedi. All the loose ends are wrapped up (a cinematic tubal ligation, maybe?). Return of the Jedi puts a period on that cinematic/parental phase of your life. You might have bought lots of Star Wars action figures back in the 1970s, but there isn't a big market for Return of the Jedi action figures. You can just get your old stuff out of the basement when you need it. For one camp of Star Wars enthusiasts, Jedi is the culmination of a long project. But another, more cynical group feels that this film is unnecessary, too focused on marketing and less pure than the original. Jedi doesn’t get the same level of hype the first two received. Some bitter commentators may wonder about the motives behind the third film. Was there a real story that needed to be told or was the studio only in it for the money? Is Part three overlooked in the long run? And yet, can the group be considered complete without it? Film 3 generates the most debate from both sides of the argument.

Of course, the biggest, most damaging argument against my parental/cinematic fusion is that no amount of children will ever generate the profits that the Star Wars trilogy brought home to George Lucas. And lord help you if you choose to start another trilogy later in life. Think VERY carefully before you journey down that road!

*(I know that people are going to inevitably think I am completely using my three children as the basis for my thoughts here . . . and, sure, I can't completely deny it. But, I am also trying to get at social satire here. Do you think Jonathan Swift really wanted the Irish to sell their children to hungry Englishmen? And yes, I did just attempt to compare my writing to Jonathan Swift's writing.)

Monday, November 12, 2007

National outcry

At 9:08 pm Monday night, as Heroes went to its first commercial break, Lynda and every other person in the Eastern Time Zone watching the show cried out

"Why didn't they start the season there!?"

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Tour of the zoo

Watch out!
I'm going to inflict a video of my kids on you!

You've been warned.

Sometimes Grace is a bit hard to understand when she speaks quickly and is not enunciating properly. Just be sure that she is describing each animal and giving the name of the animal in question.

Please note that each type of animal is housed in its own habitat and carefully separated from the public by barriers.

Saturday, November 10, 2007


It's been a typical sort of autumn Saturday in the Midwest today. Lynda let me sleep in a bit while she got up and got ready for the day. Then she went downstairs and got breakfast ready for the rest of the family. Then she left to go to the office for the rest of the morning. (It has become the typical thing for her to do this on weekends.)

I got some laundry done, changed the sheets around the house and then went outside to rake some leaves in the backyard. I got out my huge orange tarp and got about ninety percent of the down leaves onto it and then dragged the whole thing around to the front street curb. While doing all of this I thought of raking leaves and pine straw in the backyard of my childhood home. We used to gather up all of the pine straw and dump in along the side of the house in a sort of hollow that entered into the woods surrounding our house. On days when I wasn't adding to the straw pile (and don't worry, there were plenty of those days) I climbed that pile and jumped around on it and then out into the woods.

After working in the yard, I got some lunch ready for the kids, who had been playing together nicely all morning long. It was their typical lunch of grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. About halfway through lunch Lynda came home. After she got some lunch she laid down to get some rest and I took Grace on a bike ride around the neighborhood. It was nice to breath the crisp air and see Grace having fun on her Barbie tricycle. (Honestly, I don't know why we never pushed the tricycle thing when both kids were younger. It's got to make it easier for them to transition to two-wheelers later.)

Grace was having a lot of fun out-biking on her wheels as I plodded along behind her. She needed some help when she hit an incline, but look out whenever she hit the top of a hill. That is what's so great about Grace; she attacks life with such excitement and shows that excitement on her face all the time. She is so expressive in everything she does. True, that excitement does tend to create friction that I often rub against, but I have to admire the way she goes about things. And you can't deny the cuteness of a small girl, pedalling like mad on a pink tricycle while wearing a hooded jacket. Oh, and don't forget the constant talking and singing along with it.

Now, I am here (and most rarely of all) I am alone. Lynda (probably feeling guilty about being at work every Saturday morning) has taken the kids to the grocery store and then to the park. There is chili in the crockpot and sugar cookies cooling on the counter.

It's a good day so far.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

New Look . . .

Do you like it?

I am sort of tired of the old Minimalistic white thing.

(Don't worry, I saved the HTML text so I can recall it if I find that this one doesn't work the way I want.)

(At least, I think I saved it.)

Of course, there is some customization to be done, and I don't think I'll do it all today.

Give me feedback. As always, I am at your service.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

"She's like you."

Lynda and I were getting ready to go to bed a few Sunday nights ago, reviewing the events of the weekend, discussing what we did, when we did it, etc. and I said these words when describing how Sarah was awake in her room past 9 pm, drawing and coloring something in one of her notebooks.

"She's like you," I told Lynda while we were brushing our teeth. "She gets her head into some project and loses track of time."

This is very true about Lynda, a defining characteristic of her since I met her in college. I can't tell you the number of times at Georgia Southern and since during her professional career when Lynda has stayed up for a long time, completely unaware of what time it was because she was so immersed in the sentence she was writing or the problem she was designing. Heck, just minutes before, when we were downstairs (me watching a DVD, she on her laptop designing manuscript), I made sure to announce that is was 12:30 and we should go to bed soon. I was absolutely certain that she had been unaware of the time would have plowed on for another hour if I hadn't stopped her.

But, even as I said the words "She's like you" a bit of my brain shouted at me that I shouldn't do that to Sarah (and I also made a mental note then to write this post). To say "She's like you," while true in the spirit of how it was said, is a diminishment of Sarah's real personality. . . and it serves as a challenge to me (us) as a parent (parents). Biologically, Sarah and Grace (and Hannah to come) are a part of me and a part of Lynda, but the mystery and the thrill and, frankly, the reason to have children is to see how those parts of us become Them, something absolutely new. It's reassuring to see a bit of ourselves in our children, but if that is all you want to see, then you are missing the best part of it all.

I know what it was like for me to be a kid, but that was almost forty years ago. My kids have things going on around them that I never had, and I had things going on in my life that they won't ever have. So, I don't want to be a father to myself. I want to be a father to these unique kids that make their own choices and have their own, very interesting personalities.

I have to remember that when I slip into the short-hand of "She's like you" because they are NOT you and won't be. I don't want to diminish who they are and who they will become, and more importantly, I don't want to limit their opportunities and choices based on my own short-hand view of things.

They are themselves. And that means they are a mystery to me and to themselves. My job is to walk alongside them while they figure out what that means. Maybe right now I am holding their hands while we walk, but someday I'll have to let them walk ahead of me.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

WWY do whatever it is you're doing?

You know what's been missing on my blog?

I think it needs a slow video of a professionally-trained (presumably) dancer using his body movements to spell out the blog name.

And he should do it r e a l l y , r e a l l y s l o w l y.


Well, I guess now my blog is complete.

Friday, November 02, 2007

An update on my developing cataract

You may recall that a while back my eye doctor discovered a developing cataract in my right eye.

Last night, the car headlight "halos" were bothering me a bit as I was driving home with the kids from our Group meeting. This morning, I discovered that if I close my left eye, I really can't see anything clearly with my right eye alone anymore. It's just blurs.

So, I figure I've got to do something.

If technology was advanced enough, I could attempt an eyeball transplant (as shown by crazy man Tom Cruise in "Minority Report".

Or, I could do the cleaner, infinitely cooler mechanical eye replacement, a la Geordi La Forge in "Star Trek: First Contact."

But, I think I'll go with the more attainable solution sported by "Airwolf" mysterioso Archangel. Give me some black construction paper and some tape and I'm ready by noon.