Monday, December 15, 2008

Weekends


What better way to spend a Winter's Saturday morning than to watch your little fellow learn to play hockey?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Learning

Our resident kindergartner, J, has begun to enjoy the ability to read some 2 and 3 letter words. The other day, he went over to our bookshelf and got a book to flip through and look for words he recognized. Here is a picture of him reading his first "big people's book." An interesting choice of first books:

Friday, November 28, 2008

No Excuses

Dear Blog,

I haven't forgotten you. Not to make excuses (but I will anyway), but it seems that three kids is a bit busier than two kids (always blame the kids for one's lack of diligence) and there are a few things to take care of at work (if there are no kids, go with the "work's busy" story). Add in a little holiday fever (if no kids and unemployed, holidays will always suffice), and things get a bit dicey. In the end, the blog loses out. I'll be back, though.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A good looking fella

Our Boy, known as baby G:







Thursday, November 6, 2008

My weekend in pictures















To recap:
- One World Series title, after waiting 25+ years for a championship (by the way, J got school off for the parade)
- One happy Dinosaur and one happy bat with over 6 lbs. of candy
- One big 10 lb. 4 oz. healthy baby boy
- Amazing

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Busy Weekend

A few things are going down this weekend, including:

1. A's due date is today. (A point of clarification, the picture below is not the inside of A, but a pic a found elsewhere) However, the spirit of the picture remains, and the baby has a good chance of being named "Series" or "World" (in honor of the great ex-76er World B. Free) or something of the like.

2. Halloween: I will be taking a dinosaur and a bat (think flying mammal, not louisville slugger) around s. philly to procure signficant amounts of candy. A is going as a pregnant woman (maybe). I am going as a dad who wants to snake the "big people candy" (e.g. heath bars and hershey's almond bars) from my kids' bags.

3. That's about it. Let's go Phillies and let's not have another night like this:

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Heritage

It appears that I have passed along the curse of being a Philadelphia sports fan, which I received from my Father. Below is a picture, and the arrival should be any time in the next two weeks:

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Some are weirder than others

I often have those moments where I clearly see my personal quirks and weirdness. And sometimes I feel that I am stranger than most. And then I hear about articles like this. And then I realize that there are some out there who are crazier than I.

Apparently, people are sending text messages from a huge satellite in Ukraine to a faraway planet, with the hope of getting a text in return in about 40 years.



If there is contact made, I nominate my friend Matt M. to be a spokesman on behalf of mankind. He likes aliens, speaks in complete sentences, and will graciously offer to treat any foreign beings to a vanilla milkshake. My sister, B, would be good at this as well.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

It's always cool in philadelphia

The Boss decided to set up shop and give a free concert in support of Obama here on Saturday. Between free concerts, a lousy football team, and a baseball team in the NLCS, there is always an adventure to be enjoyed here in town.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

This is cheating

The Fightin' Phils won the NL East and are on their way to the playoffs. I've noticed a disturbing trend in sports celebrations, pictured here:




The recent trend is to wear eye goggles when participating in the traditional champagne celebration. Being somewhat of a traditionalist, I believe it's important to feel the burn of the bubbly and reject the Michael Phelps look.

These are the things I think about instead of the current financial markets. I'm also currently listening to these talks, and I can strongly recommend Ferguson's talk.

Monday, September 22, 2008

More Catch-Up

Time to play catch-up now that I've been away for a while. Here's an attempt:

1. A and I are now school parents. We drive to school, pick up, receive frequent fund-raising requests, etc. Yes, J began kindergarten last week, and we all lived through the first three days. He declared his first day of school to be "the best day of school ever." We also observed he and B playing home-school and overhead J teaching B some Spanish words he had learned. So those are a few highlights. Being an optimist, I'll save all the low-lights for some cold, rainy winter day....

2. Speaking of winter, it seems summer has slipped away and now there are Halloween and Christmas decorations in all the stores. I've made about 4 trips to HD/Lowe's the last few days as A and I wrestle a new pedestal sink into our bathroom, so I know that those home repair stores are all about the holiday decorations.

Well instead of kicking against the change of seasons, I think I'll just continue to listen to Jon Foreman's "Fall" album which is the best of his 4 "season" albums.

3. Although the pace of life of our family has picked up speed with the start of school, I've still had time to enjoy the joys of having baseball and football season overlap.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Seasons Change

Well, the transition from summer vacation to fall happened quickly. I don't like fall much because it means winter is coming soon. On the other hand, fall also brings this:

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Back

Was away on two weeks of vacation at the Jersey shore. I'll let the pictures do the talking:










Monday, August 11, 2008

Outstanding

A and I and the boys went out after church yesterday to watch the basketball game between the U.S. and China.

I saw this commercial, and it immediately became an all-time favorite - and the TV at the restaurant didn't even have sound. Amazing rendition of the anthem (from the '83 NBA allstar game in LA). Amazing footage of the U.S. team. Please go enjoy it here.

Friday, August 8, 2008

08.08.08

Beginning tonight, the world focuses on China. Naturally, the run-up to the Olympics brings all kinds of news specials, articles, pictures, etc. I find most of these to be incorrect/unfair in some way, but I roll with it. However, yesterday I read this beauty on the front page of the sports section of the Philadelphia Inquirer:

"A walk through the Forbidden City was a hike in a sauna, tears occasionally streaming from irritated eyes. If a middle-aged tourist walking around with a camera felt this kind of oppressive discomfort, what would it be like for a marathon runner?

Leigh Fitzgerald, a former Haverford College track athlete, had the answer. Living and working here as a trader of carbon credits (a business invented entirely thanks to pollution), the 24-year-old has all but given up running outdoors.

"My brother is a runner," Fitzgerald said. "He went out and did a 10-mile run while he was here. He came back and he was coughing up blood. He didn't run again."

Fitzgerald runs indoors on a treadmill. On the rare occasion when she can see a small range of mountains from her window, she'll take a run outside. It doesn't happen often."



My only response is:
Get more emoticons at designmyprofile.com!




Is there any other reason to write these urban legends other than to "show up" China? I'm no doctor, but I don't think a run in unclean air causes one to cough up blood. Well, I guess if the air is laden with sharp metal and broken glass...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

An added pic

Here's a picture of the crew mentioned in number 2 of the post below. We just got done knocking down some Thai food:

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What a Treat

During these slower dog days of summer, we have had a chance to catch up with a some good friends:

1. We cruised down to D.C. with the boys, and hung with some very good friends before they leave the area. Everyone had a great time, and I'd like to introduce you to the two honorable senators from Pennsylvania circa 2040 AD:





2. This past weekend, we went to a great wedding in NYC. It was awesome to see two people we really like get married, and we had a blast hanging with old friends after the reception. Our parents took care of the boys, and we cranked Counting Crows' "Saturday nights, and Sunday mornings" all the way up the Jersey Turnpike to Queens.

We arrived early, and found a Dunkin Donuts and got coffee and donuts and hung out in a busy park where we were the only non-Asians. Good, Good times....

Monday, July 21, 2008

Child Labor

Our boy J starts school in two months, and I decided to use his final days of freedom to put him to work doing some advertising. Here he is hard at work at a recent fair here in the town in which our office is located:


Thursday, July 10, 2008

A couple of thoughts

Two things are running through my head on this fine Summer morning.

- The first: it seems to me that "The Sopranos" finished their final season about one year ago with a still thought-provoking final episode. I miss Tony.

- The second: my morning Philadelphia Inquirer contained a front-page story about the controversy at Westminster Seminary. You can read the article here

I'd like to connect these two unrelated thoughts by encouraging the Board of Westminster Seminary with the words of Journey which were employed in the amazing final scene of "The Sopranos." To the Board at Westminster, I say Don't Stop Believin'.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Good Soccer Times in Switzerland

Occasionally the global obsession with soccer proves to be quite enjoyable from a distance. Check out this warning regarding the Euro 2008 match between Germany and Turkey later today:



Diplomats particularly cautioned against public viewing areas in Berlin, Frankfurt and Munich.

"At a minimum, post-game celebrations will likely result in traffic congestion in larger cities," read the embassy statement. "Crowds celebrating previous German and/or Turkish victories have blocked streets and rocked vehicles attempting to pass through them."

In other words, stay on your toes, or you could get rocked.




"Beer: the cause of and the solution to all of life's problems" -- H. Simpson




The embassy's statement makes downtown Berlin sound a bit like Falluja or the Gaza Strip, but DW-WORLD has learned the potential threats run far deeper.

Many of the viewers at the so-called fan miles, it turns out, are hopped up on a liquid intoxicant known as "beer."

This substance has been known to lead to outbreaks of mirth, loss of equilibrium and unintended and later regretted coupling among users.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Concerts are good - part 3

As you may now suspect, I went on a bit of a concert ticket buying rampage a few months ago. I do have reasoning for this because after nearly every concert I attend, I leave asking myself "Why don't we do this more often?" Thus, we attended two shows in four days' time.

Wednesday night held a show of: The National, Modest Mouse, and R.E.M. I appreciate some of R.E.M's stuff, but I mostly wanted to see The National and Modest Mouse. R.E.M. was ok, as the first half of their concert was mostly a performance of their new album and a bunch of Michael Stipe's rantings against George W. Bush. However, they interacted with the crowd a bit more and played a wider variety of stuff in the second half of the show. As I had hoped, The National was very good. I highly recommend their new album "Boxer," they have a full sound that is, at the risk of sounding like a fugazi music critic, "grand."

With that said, I must admit some tension in my recommendation of The National (not just because most recommendations come around to bite me because they end up offending folks, or are sometimes simply lousy recommendations) because the band has been around a while and the only stuff I know is their newest album. I like tracking a band, and seeing their progression. So there is my "I'm a bandwagon jumper" disclaimer.

Ok, enough with the rambling post. Here is a picture of an unexpected highlight of the show, when Eddie Vedder randomly joined R.E.M. for a final song:

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Concerts are good - Part 2

A and I hit up our second concert of the summer on Saturday night. Our Jimmy Buffett concert was slightly delayed by an apocalyptic thunderstorm, but fun began once the rain passed. The concert was at Citizen's Bank Park, where the Phillies play ball. Here are a couple pictures for your enjoyment:

This is a small slice of the parking lots, and the partying therein. We had an hour to kill before the show and cruised around and made some friends:



The revelry above creates long lines for the bathrooms, as seen over the shoulder of the (two) lovely parrotheads below:




We had an additional treat, as G. Love and Special Sauce were the opening act. Good times all around, in the words of Jimmy Buffett:

Stay in touch with my insanity really is the only way
Its a jungle out there kiddies
Have a very fruitful day

Monday, June 16, 2008

A Ballpark Full of Frauds

I have a fun opportunity to go with a friend to see the Phillies game tonight. The only bummer is that they Phils are playing the Red Sox. Aside from the silliness of interleague play, I am also a bit bummed that I'll have to put up with a bunch of frauds known as "Red Sox Nation."

These folks claim that they have been life-long Sox fans, even though neither they, nor any of their relatives, have ever set foot in New England. They know nothing about pre-1986 Red Sox history - if that. Additionally, I feel they take away from the true tortured Sox fans (like my friends Kevin and Rob) who walk around still shaking their head in disbelief about what happened in 2004 - let alone the numerous other championships that have come to Boston.

The video below is of one of the classic Red Sox of all time. This guy is even crazier than he appears in the video, and he is funny. I'm currently reading his book. He broke his shoulder in a fight with Graig Nettles of the Yankees (another fact for those fraud sox fans: the Sox/Yankees rivalry has been around much longer than 5 years).

Lastly: if you think these are just the jealous, "hater" rantings of a bitter Philadelphia sports fan, there is a slight chance you may be correct...


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Back Around

It's been a while. We've been off having a great week with friends at the beach, and then A and the boys went to TX for a week while I came back home and worked and started regrettable projects on our house. But now we are back at home with our new house guest, named "stifling heat." We've had really hot weather, and our thermostat in our third floor bedroom read 92 degrees yesterday. Our first floor read 88 at 9pm last night. In spite of all this, I still believe that central air is overrated. A, however, has quite an affinity for that beloved 65-75 degree range known as "room temperature."

Lastly, I would like to call attention to a comment in a previous post where an anonymous poster noted that Rocky's defeat of Ivan Drago was significant in ending the Cold War. This is a very good point, so I sent my family off to pay homage to the man who, along with Ronald Wilson Reagan, helped save the world from Communism:

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Well Said

This commentary is a bit over-the-top, but not too far gone:

A lifetime of rooting for teams that always let you down has taught many Philly natives how to lose, itself an important life lesson. Fans have been conditioned for failure. They expect defeat. Compound this trend with the city's historical inferiority complex and you've got something worse than fatalism: It's the perverse sense deep down that we don't even deserve it


We've gone 25 years (100 seasons) since I watched the Sixers win our city's last championship on a little black and white TV in my parent's house. I was seven.

Friday, May 16, 2008

I love this kind of stuff

My favorite morning radio guy (Michael Smerconish on 1210am) interviewed a guy today who put together a book of six word memoirs. Here is a short introduction:

Legend has it that Hemingway was once challenged to write a story in only six words. His response? “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” Last year, SMITH Magazine re-ignited the recountre by asking our readers for their own six-word memoirs. They sent in short life stories in droves, from the bittersweet (“Cursed with cancer, blessed with friends”) and poignant (“I still make coffee for two”) to the inspirational (“Business school? Bah! Pop music? Hurrah”) and hilarious (“I like big butts, can’t lie”).


So now my brain has a little bit of a challenge to try to come up with a six word personal memoir that doesn't sound like one of those cheesy "always love, always dance, always live" hallmark life mantra statements. Oh, in my opinion no one will ever top the Hemingway story.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Concerts are good

A and I (along with my brother and sister in law, J and J) went to see a Switchfoot show last night in Ocean City, NJ:



We were very much on the older side, as the average age of the attendee was about 13.6 years old. That's ok, we're still happy:



I got an ice cream from this place before the show. Oh, by the way, the lonely and dark dude in the picture below is lead singer Jon Foreman buying a large chocolate cone about 20 minutes before they went on stage:

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Not Wise

Dear Montreal Canadiens Fan,

This is a bad idea:




Love,
Joey Broadstreet


P.S. This is a much cooler picture, capturing the essence of the Kate Smith/Lauren Hart duet of "God Bless America."

Monday, April 28, 2008

Dude, We're Famous

Most folks I've met have never heard of my collegiate alma mater. But not anymore baby, because we are now a pipeline of NFL talent:



Mackenzy Bernadeau OG 6'4" 298 Bentley
Pick Analysis:Bernadeau worked out at Boston College's Pro Day and got a great deal of exposure there. He had a decent workout and projects to be a guard. He might be valuable on kickoff and punt return coverage.


To provide perspective, this dude was drafted a full round after the Eagles took a kid from Wheaton College. I will, however, continue to view my alma mater as "The U" of Waltham, MA.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

All Politic-ed Up

Philly is all geared up for politics. I pass by the National Constitution Center every morning on the way to work, which is the site of tonight's Democratic debate. There were a bunch of news broadcasters out front this morning, along with some cool looking buses parked out back.

Anyway, I am looking forward to this political season being over. Every commercial break during my Phillies and Flyers games has Obama talking to a bunch of Pennsylvania blue-collared workers about how government has let them down. These billboards are on every corner bus stop:





There was a knock at my door on Saturday night, and I answered to see a guy holding a clipboard. His question: "Are you a registered Democrat?" My answer: "No, I am actually registered with the opposition party." His response: "Oh, well good luck with your candidate." I inquired: "Am I the only one?" He quipped: "You moved to the wrong neighborhood."

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Tough Town

In my 6+ months of living in Philly, I have often thought how it is a tough town. I thought this as I was standing in the check cashing place waiting to buy bus tokens and listened to two tattooed and scarred men share their stories of when/where they were handed counterfeit bills - fascinating. I thought this when I read about the Saturday city clean-up efforts where one of the volunteers found a dead body as they were cleaning the banks of the river.

But it all became so clear when A and B observed an event in our own backyard:



This truly is a rough town, especially if you are the pigeon that became that hawk/falcon's breakfast....((it's right in the middle of the picture, but well camouflaged against the tree - click on the picture for a larger (and more bloody) image. the pic was taken out our dining room window))

Friday, March 28, 2008

Glorious

A few thoughts for the arrival of the greatest time of the year:

"I see great things in baseball, It will take our people out-of-doors, fill them with oxygen, give them a larger physical stoicism, tend to relieve us from being a nervous, dyspeptic set, repair those losses and be a blessing to us."

"In our sundown perambulations of late, through the outer parts of Brooklyn, we have observed several parties of youngsters playing base, a certain game of ball. Let us go forth awhile and get better air in our lungs. Let us leave our closed rooms. The game of ball is glorious."


--Walt Whitman, Died in Camden, NJ and buried a few miles from where I currently sit



For the next six months there will be something in my day that hasn't been there the past six months. In the words of that other great poet, John Fogerty, "We're born again and there's new grass on the field."

Monday, March 24, 2008

Not So Sure

I've come across this video clip from "ER" on a couple of different blogs. Initially, it does make a compelling case against the flaky-ness (not to mention intellectual inconsistency) that often comes with a "there are no eternal/lasting consequences for our actions" worldview. The individual who posted it on YouTube labels the clip "ER discovers the flaw of postmodernism." Maybe, or maybe not.

I have not seen the episode, just the two minute clip. However, I do think there is an alternative interpretation. It may actually be an idictment of the old man, and his old way of thinking. The reason I believe this may be the case is that the old guy isn't likable, he isn't nice, he isn't easy to look at, and frankly he's old and dying. And maybe ER is saying that his way of thinking is old, unkind, ugly, and ultimately dying. The woman (who I believe may be the hospital chaplain?) is sharp, pretty, and patient in the face of strong verbal attack.

The message may be in the appearance of the messengers, maybe?




EDIT: Ok, I just watched it a second time after writing the above, and I feel a little less certain of my "alternative interpretation." I was feeling good about it until the word "atonement" was used by the old-timer, and that isn't a word that would get tossed around too freely and without specific intent.

College Ball

I also have to have a little rant against those who fill out numerous NCAA tourney brackets. I don't want to hear about your "money bracket" and that you picked Davidson to go to the sweet sixteen in your espn.com bracket and on and on.... The tourney is inherently excellent, and doesn't need the additional "excitement" from wannabe "bracketologists."

I'm also sick of hearing the pundits say things like, "there's a possibility that West Virginia could make a final four run, they're that talented. However, they would have to win two tough games to get there, which they may not be able to do." That's a lot of hot air to say nothing definitive.

So after those two rants, "One Shining Moment" and announcers like Gus Johnson and Bill Raftery make college basketball great. Drink in this gem of a call (Raftery at his finest....a "taiwan special"):

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Pledge

Took a quick weekend in Nashville this weekend, to hang with some good, good friends. While killing time on Saturday afternoon, we wandered around the Tennessee state capital building. The three of us came across a statue that looked out over the city. The statue had a plaque on the bottom upon which was inscribed the following:

"The SOUTH is a land that has known sorrows; it is a land that has broken the ashen crust and moistened it with tears; a land scarred and riven by the plowshare of war and billowed with the graves of her dead; but a land of legend, a land of song, a land of hallowed and heroic memories.

"To that land every drop of my blood, every fiber of my being, every pulsation of my heart, is consecrated forever. I was born of her womb; I was nurtured at her breast; and when my last hour shall come, I pray GOD that I may be pillowed upon her bosom and rocked to sleep within her tender and encircling arms."

--Edward Ward Carmack (1858-1908), United States Representative, Tennessee



I'm pretty sure my two friends, both southerners, walked away with misty eyes.


While I don't own the same element of sentiment toward the southland, I did have misty eyes at my lunch this afternoon, which consisted of two bowls of the finest ramen noodles ever created. A favorite treat while I was serving time back in the big country:

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Good Times

A and I went out for a few hours last night to a local open mic night. Our neighbor is trying to get her music career rolling, and she was headlining the open mic night (meaning that she had a pre-set time for her show). She's pretty good, and we enjoyed the opportunity to hang a bit with our neighbors.

I also enjoyed the other acts, although A didn't like them as much. I really enjoyed the "spoken word" act of one dude, who had us all yell "BLOOD ON THE WALL" every time he raised his fist throughout the act. I love this kind of stuff.

However, to wash away the stain of some of the less talented music acts of last night, I am listening to U2's live version of "Bad" - a top ten song of all time, without a doubt.

Friday, February 29, 2008

...And We're Back

Ok, been away from the blog for a while. But not any more. Some thoughts and updates for your weekend reading pleasure:

1. Amy and the boys took off for a week with Amy's parents down in TX. They had a blast. J (the irony of using just one letter for his name is rich...) has been sad to be back. He loved playing in the mud, riding his bike, hanging with the grandparents, etc... It's nice down there.

2. While they were away, I took the chance to do some extra tax returns here at work, and to steal away to DC for a weekend to visit with some good friends. It's nice to have different friends all over the place, and my time in DC was excellent. Did lots of dicsussing/arguing about: Biblical church leadership, vocations, and who will win the NL East. Good times.

3. Continuing on the sports note: your NCAA scoring leader is Charron Fisher of the Niagra Purple Eagles. Where is young Mr. Fisher from you ask? He hails from Pennsauken, NJ - the lovely and gritty hometown of yours truly.

4. Lastly, we were celebrating the reunion of our family after their trip by doing some post dinner dancing/tackling/running around our living room while listening to some loud music. In preparation of the coming St. Patty's day, we were listening to "Whiskey In The Jar." J's question: "Dad, what's whiskey?" I replied: "Son, that's what Daddy puts on his corn flakes...." No just kidding, actually we went ahead and switched the song to the "Cars" (the Pixar movie) version of "Life Is A Highway."

Monday, February 11, 2008

Good Stuff

There are two music projects out there about which I am quite excited. Both are related in that the message of both projects lies in the order of the songs on the album. I am guessing most thoughtful musicians attempt do do this, but these two have done it in quite compelling fashion:

1. Counting Crows: Favorite band of A and I. Their new album is called "Saturday Nights and Sunday Mornings" The basic message is that all of life is about the recklessness of Saturday nights, followed by the pain/regret/hangover each Sunday morning. Adam Duritz (lead singer) shares how the album is born of a life trying to push everyone away and live a completely isolated life, and the bitter taste of the fruit of his folly. His pursuit of isolation, with the hope of avoiding pain, resulted in the worst kind of pain. He speaks of isolation, community, and restoration.

Favorite line so far, from the song "Cowboys": "This is a list of the things I should have been, but I'm not..."

The album is not out yet, but thanks to NPR and WXPN/World Cafe Live (here in Philly), you can listen to a 45 minute performance/explanation at: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=18777266


2. Jon Foreman (of Switchfoot) has a compelling project as well. He has already released two EPs, called "Fall" and "Winter," and he has two more upcoming. "Fall" speaks of the real pain of life in this world, bad decisions, injustice, etc... "Winter" includes two excellent songs about death.

He does a good job of expressing the reality of these things. So much so, that I have spent a decent amount of time discussing his songs with a good friend -- asking questions like "He's not really saying what I think he's saying, is he?!?!?" Good, honest stuff. "Fall" and "Winter" both bring a heavy (lethal?) dose of melancholy, but I look forward to "Spring."

Friday, February 8, 2008

Recollections

A and I went out for Thai food last night. I don't really like Thai food, but A enjoys it a bunch. And the place we went was pretty dang good.

My favorite food items from my multiple trips to the kingdom of Thailand:
- slurpees from 7-11
- sizzler at the royal garden hotel
- little bananas at every buffet
- fried pork on the side of the road near the ambassador jomtien
- DQ
- BK in the BKK airport
- European food at all the tasty European restaurants in Chiang Mai and Ko Samui
- pizza at the Pizza Garden in Ko Samui

As you can see, I'm not a real adventurous eater when travelling. However, it was good to recall the fine times spent travelling over the years last night with A.

Have a happy year of the rat. Go "bao" some jiaozi and eat them, or just get some orange chicken from Panda Express at the mall. Do what you gotta do.









Lastly, a little picture here below that may drum up a few Thai memories for some of you:

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Happy Tuesday

It's a big day in the political arena. I love this stuff, it's like a big soap opera and I can't get enough of it. I've come across two incidents that were somewhat odd. One was national and one was local, and both involved Mike Huckabee.

I was watching CNBC (the financial channel) this morning, and they had four pundits on there commenting on the coming day's events. The final question centered on Huckabee and questioned his attentiveness to lowering taxes (a typically conservative issue). The first guy answered the question straight up, and the last guy said he couldn't imagine Huckabee succeeding in even a vice-presidential role because, "who knows what this guy would say, especially about religion." And that was it.

The second time I bumped into this was in the editorial section of the Sunday paper. The reported went on and on about Romney's flip-flopping, and McCain's stance on immigration, etc... The reporter's only quote decrying Huckabee, "he was a Southern Baptist minister, and that's all that need be said."

I'm not carrying water for Huckabee, but I will blast those who "fear" Huckabee's religious tendencies with the one of the greatest insults of our current age: That's Not Very Tolerant.

Now that I have that off my chest, go on about your Super Tuesday, and enjoy your Mardi Gras celebrations.... Be sure to get to church tomorrow for Ash Wednesday.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I think (hope) we have the next Sidney Crosby on our hands. This is J on his first skating lesson (four weeks ago). B provides good comedy on this one, his first line is "J's not doing it Dad!" Funny.
video

However, here is J at his fourth skating lesson (last night), unbelievable progress :

video

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Three Years Gone By




Yes, we love where we are now. AND Yes, we sure miss this place.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A (not so) funny event

Ok, I'm back after a bit of a delay for a quick post. One somewhat memorable event of the weekend: we passed a pet store en route to another store and the boys wanted to go to the petstore. We went back to the petstore, and there were four or so people out front who were holding dogs on leashes. The dogs appeared to be of the pit bull variety, and the dogs were wearing coats that said "adopt me" on them. The funny thing is that the dogs were not nice. The people holding them encouraged the boys not to touch them, and one of the dogs lunged at B on our way out. I think this helped affirm my predisposition to never adopt a dog that is foaming at the mouth-- even if he wears a cool little "adopt me" coat.

All right, the stock market is a bit wacky now and I have to convince *myself* and our clients, who are nervously calling, that I know what I'm talking about....

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Food For Urban Thought

Something to put in your pipe and toke on a bit:

1. "The country is the place where there are more plants than people, and the city is the place where there are more people than plants, and since God loves people far more than He loves plants, He loves the city more than He loves the country."
--Bill Crispin

2. "Dad, I don't want to live in the country. It doesn't have all the cool parts..." --My son J, while holding my hand and walking down 18th Street on January 13, 2008.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

A Late New Year's Posting

I just spilled coffee all over my desk. I saved the computer, but sacrificed a few documents I had printed. All in all, it was a worthy trade-off.

Here's a quick post with a few pics from new year's day. We have a big parade where men wear dresses and drink lots of cheap beer. Without further ado, here are a couple of pics of our kids and neighborhood.


1. This is a picture of one of the string bands, who are actually very good. Check out the people hanging out of the windows with their bottles in their hand:



2. This is J and B in front of some of the props for the parade. As you can see, J is hungover from a rowdy New Year's Eve and B is looking upon him with no compassion. An additional note, the prison-like building in the background is our local elementary school:

Friday, January 4, 2008

My Kids = Hosed

We occasionally fire up the music loud, and do a little dancing around the living room after dinner. The boys get nuts, and A even sometimes joins us. I subscribe to rhapsody.com (on a side note, DO THE SAME, it's excellent to have any and every song at your listening pleasure) and I draw upon my "recently listened to" queue to pull a few songs for dancing. Well, I was playing DJ last night for our post-dinner craziness, and I noticed the following lyrics in a few of the songs I chose:

"Now he's having a smoke, and she's taking a drag, now they're going to bed, and my stomach is sick...."

so i changed it to another song which involved "living on reds, vitamin C, and cocaine...."

so i once again chose another song that had "we laughed all the way to hell, saying yes this is fine promotion...."



All that to say, while I hope they embrace good music as they grow, I want to guide them away from all that the lyrics suggest.....May God have mercy on us all, everyone.

Lastly, we finished up with some David Crowder's (you know, to get a Jesus song in there...) "Here Is Our King" -- which in my opinion is perhaps the finest of "the passion movement" songs.

EXTRA CREDIT: can you identify the three songs from the lyrics given above?

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

A Christmas Roundup

And some updates from a very fine Christmas season.

1. I used to drink the occassional adult beverage from this (that's a "Curious George" jelly jar if you can't tell):






Now, thanks to a nice gift from my Father-in-law, I can now use this:











2. Another enjoyable treat was a brief visit with a buddy from back in our SH years. We enjoyed an hour or so recalling our past few years since leaving the big country.

3. It's been three years since our abrupt departure from SH. It seems to be more and more of a blur each year. However, A and I are so grateful for the place we are now, and (in some ways) even for the dark hours and days in the process of getting here.

4. There were a few more fun events/discoveries throughout the week, and I'll be checking in with them soon. Lastly, maybe a New Year's Resolution should be to figure out how to put up a post with something other than a list and a few pics. Someday I'll figure that out, but not today.