Monday, January 29, 2007

A Refined Palate...

Well, my little Epicurean 10 month old has pretty much thumbed her nose at the processed baby food. Gerber's squash and carrots have now taken a back seat to honey-baked ham, fresh sliced bread, and grapes. Can you blame her? Watching Sarah eat is pretty funny. She gets this look like..."Are you kidding me? You've been feeding me that baby crud for the last 10 months while all along I could have been feasting on this kind of food!" Honestly, I tried one last time to give her a nice, luscious spoonful of butternut squash, but I think her non-verbal body language in this 2nd pic says it all.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

10th Kyu
Gold Belt

Well, the little guy did it. Josh passed his karate test this morning and is now able to shelve away his orange belt for this gold one. It's pretty cool the way that his instructor presents the kids with their new belts. The karate protocol is for the instructor to place the newly earned belt around his own waist, and then present it to his student with the idea of passing on karate knowledge from master karate teacher to pupil. He told Josh that he was extremely proud of his work ethic, and now that he's advanced to this new color belt..."the bar will be raised." I'm not sure if Josh understood the message behind this...he was just ecstatic to receive his new belt. Well done, son. I'm proud of you! And yeah, he's still pretty much the smallest guy in the class...but he packs a mean punch!

Friday, January 26, 2007

The Akron Beacon Journal ran a feature story on Thursday about MySpace and its enormous popularity especially with the high school crowd. I know from talking with my kids here at school, that most of them make daily visits to this popular site, and in some cases, this activity has almost supplanted telephone conversations and email correspondences.

However, Bob Dyer's report unearthed some very disturbing truths to this website: kids are posting pics of themselves in self-incriminating situations...without thinking of the consequences. He reports...

Why else would so many area teens post their photos on the Internet -- and sometimes their full names -- alongside evidence of illegal activity and/or incredible vulgarity? No local school system is immune, public or private. How do we know this? Because these freewheeling kids routinely identify their schools. (Yes, Hoban was mentioned in the article!)

And their friends.
And their families.
And their activities.

In fact, they supply enough personal information that any perv on the planet could locate them in five minutes. If you're a parent who has never prowled around on MySpace, you're in for a shock. In addition to countless photos of underage kids swilling beer and booze, you can find an endless parade of fresh faces dropping enough F-bombs to flatten a small nation. By clicking on "search" on the top of the MySpace home page, you can sort out people not only by their school but their year of graduation.

Pretty scary, huh? So am I ready to jump on the bandwagon and pronounce that MySpace is evil incarnate? No. MySpace and personal blogs, like this one, has provided unprecedented ease at locating information on individuals. Check this out...

When I got to work this morning, I had an email from someone whom I'd never met in my life. This gentleman told me that he has relatives from Michigan; he has taught high school; he currently leads Sunday worship at his church; his dad has served our country in the military; and, if that wasn't enough to share in common, are you ready for this?...his name is Rob Eubank! Considering the fact that Rob lives in Tacoma Washington, the chances of us ever actually meeting are probably remote, but I have every intention of keeping in touch with him. How did he find me? You guessed it...this blog. Here's his...

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Some Serious Blackmail Material

These pics ought to hold off any potential suitors to either one of these two until they're- let's say- 30 years old or so? Hey, this is just one of the perks of being a dad.

Monday, January 22, 2007

What a Show Off!
So I've been playing this silly game since 1998- with long bouts of breaks, mind you. Anyway, just recently, Josh became hooked on it, and he and I have probably played it a couple times a week for the last couple of months. Evidently, my dexterity w/ the video game remote has aged well with time because he and I have been able to rack up a bunch of new fact, all but the one infamous one needed to free the princess from the castle. We've been stuck on defeating Bowser for almost a month now.
Enter my daughter, Marie. At the risk of sounding like a whining ungrateful 39 year-old...I am the one who has amassed a majority of these stinkin' stars, and yet my daughter just trots downstairs one day and defeats this lizard and wins the whole game in about 1/2 hour- while I'm not even around! C'mon!
Actually, my real grievance with this whole thing is that I promised to buy the kids a Playstation...only after we as a family finally won this one game... you know, maybe next summer/ fall... Thanks alot, Marie.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

How sad that most newspapers and TV netorks don't make more of a concerted effort to feature stories like this one.

A co-worker of mine has a nephew who has been stationed in Iraq and has been told that stories such as this one are not at all uncommon. We just don't hear about them. God bless these guys for their courage and conviction.

Caption reads:

Air Force Chief Master Sgt. John Gebhardt, of the 332nd Expeditionary Medical Group at Balad, Iraq, cradles a young girl as they both sleep in a hospital. The girl’s entire family was executed by insurgents; the killers shot her in the head as well. The girl received treatment at the U.S. military hospital in Balad, but cries and moans often. According to nurses at the facility, Gebhardt is the only one who can calm down the girl, so he has spent the last several nights holding her while they both sleep in a chair.

Friday, January 19, 2007

An estimated 36.9 million people watched the two-hour special on Fox Wednesday night, only slightly down from the 37.3 million who tuned in for Tuesday's two-hour season premiere, according to Nielsen Media Research...and these were the episodes that featured people who can't carry a tune! Unbelievable.

"What the bloody hell was that?" judge Simon Cowell said after enduring a unique version of "Unchained Melody," adding, "It was almost non-human."

To another woman who insisted a drink of water would smooth her delivery, Cowell replied: "You could lie in a bath with your mouth open and you couldn't sing."

Now that was kinda funny...

I'd love to know what Fox is charging for its advertising time slots. Considering that Ryan Seacrest probably says "back after the break" like fifty gajillion times during a 1/2 hour segment...I'm guessing the network is doing just fine in terms of turning a profit.

Both Cindy and Marie adore this show, while I- probably with a certain degree of jealousy due to my inability to sing (although I think I could hold my own on these first few shows) tend to me more cynical about this phenomena that has truly hooked most of America. C'mon, it's not like Ryan Seacrest is that good looking or Carrie Underwood is actually going to become some mega-star just because she won this little contest...

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

What's for supper, Pops?

The child has no fear. Let's see, this time last month Ms. Sarah had just learned to crawl...albeit backwards at first...very funny, I might add. Now, not only has she mastered the forward/ fast gearshift for her 20 pound frame, her newest trick this weekend includes trotting right up the stairs. At this rate, she can run the Cleveland marathon with me in May.

Friday, January 12, 2007

The Opportunists: who cares?

Goaded by a swarm of killer wasps and pelted by cold, cutting hail and rain, could you imagine chasing after a blank banner for all eternity? Myself…I’ll pass on that one. I began Dante’s Inferno with the kids a few days ago, and as we have slowly traveled/ descended the terraces of hell, so to speak, most of the kids stumbled upon the rationale of this particular punishable transgression. What’s the big deal? No killing, no thievery, no cheating, etc…where’s the crime?

Well, as the discussion ensued, I tried to convey to them this simple message: as young responsible Christian adults, it’s imperative that you “care” about things. Indifference leads to complacency and selfishness, which opens up the door to all sorts of other sins. All one needs to do is to look around us and see all the injustices in the world. So, pick an issue that you can embrace, show some passion, and do something about it. In today’s “It’s all about me” world, this can be quite a challenge for a young person. It’s foolish to assume that one person can rid the world of all evils, but it’s just as foolish to assume that you can’t make a difference.

Today, we held a school-wide assembly to kick-off our new Honor Code, which was student driven I might add. Can this small group of kids completely eradicate all cheating from our school? Probably not. But, by bringing this issue to the attention of all, plastering the school with signs, providing incentives/ awards for participants, etc…yeah, these kids can make a difference- and as a result- avoid those pesky bees!

Monday, January 08, 2007

If I don't post these pics now, I may never...things aren't looking good for my Bucks at halftime. UGH!!!
The one pic is Josh's best effort at replicating the coveted Heisman Trophy award player....not bad, huh? Sarah is just trying to figure out what to do with the ball...she's just about to spike it...really!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Pursuit of Happyness
Looking for a great film to see? This is it, trust me. Marie and I saw this movie the other night, and the story has been on my mind all day. This is one that generates all kinds of emotions- while watching what I think is a stellar performance by both Will Smith and his absolutely adorable son.
The story centers around a lower class family struggling to make ends meet. After his wife leaves him, Smith's character attempts to bring some happ"y"ness to not only his life, but to his son's as well. Having just landed an internship at a prominent stock broker's firm, Smith must try to prove himself worthy to the company before being hired on as a salaried employee. After being evicted from his apartment, Smith and his son are forced to live the life of a homeless family- seeking shelter each night at various shelters and even public restrooms. The film gives an extremely disturbing insight into the plight of the homeless and insensitivity of the general populace towards the less fortunate.
Both Marie and I left the theatre last night somewhat speechless. This is an issue that we all have probably witnessed- like when we roam the streets of a downtown area and are confronted by the numerous people whom we label as panhandlers. But, I cannot fathom what it would be like to roam the city streets- with my kids at my side- and be uncertain where the money is going to come from for tomorrow night's dinner. This is such an enormous societal problem, and it would seem- at first- so naive that just one person could make any difference in the lives of so many folks who have nothing at all that they can call "home". But I have to believe that there is some difference that we can make in the lives of folks who are struggling in life.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Hired Help if I can just teach Josh how to change some diapers and give Ms. Sarah a bath...then this parenting stuff will be a piece of cake.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Where's the snow?

I really can't remember a December like we all just had...unbelievable. Maybe there is something to this "global warming" theory. It would be nice to be able to build at least one snowman/ go sled-riding at Goodyear Metro Park with the kids before spring.