Saturday, June 04, 2016

You Gotta Be Kidding Me!

At about 9 tonight I was watching TV and having trouble staying awake (yes, I realize how sad that is, especially considering it’s Saturday night) when the boys came storming in asking all sorts of questions about what I was watching (what is this? What’s it about? what’s happening? Who’s that? What’s he doing?) and wanting to play a game. I gave up on trying to watch the show and reluctantly agreed to a game. Roark wanted to play Life, but I immediately nixed that because it takes a lifetime to play, so he suggested Monopoly (seriously? that game never ends). We finally agreed on the game You Gotta Be Kidding Me, which is a quick fun game of “would you rather” questions. Well, it should be quick, unless the explanations of why someone picked one option over the other stretch to interminable lengths (which admittedly was probably only 30 seconds – I’m no paragon of patience). Here’s a few things I learned from the game:

 -Roark would rather have 100 black widows scramble out of his dresser when he opens the drawer than 10 large rats that run out and hide somewhere in his room

-Cole would rather be a vampire than a werewolf because he’d rather suck all the blood from his family members than tear them limb from limb (I suggested that it may not be necessary that he attack his family members at all)

-We would all rather spend one night sleeping outside on the pavement in the rain than seven nights in normal weather

I learned some other things that shall go unsaid. Now I really do need to go to sleep so that I can get up early and play tooth fairy (maybe that should’ve gone unsaid as well) since Roark lost a tooth earlier today.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Where I want to go but won't, and why

There are some places that intrigue me, but I don't think I'll ever go there. In some cases, I just don't really think it'd be that fun, even though it's intriguing. Somalia would be a good example, but the intrigue is mostly because of how dangerous it is there, and wondering what it'd be like to walk down a street in Mogadishu (I'd probably be terrified, and with good reason). As it says in this quote from Wikipedia: "Years of civil unrest and uncontrolled insurgencies against Ethiopian occupation have transformed Mogadishu into one of the most dangerous and lawless cities in the world." Of course, there's really nothing to recommend about it anyway.

Then there's places that may have some tourist interest, if they weren't too dangerous. Afghanistan, with its mountainous terrain, is a prime example. Here's a photo that makes it look like a winter wonderland:

What I've found, though, is that I don't really know as much as I'd like to about the world. It's easy for me to list a few places I wouldn't go, but I wouldn't want to anyway. When I think of where I want to go, there aren't many places I can think of that I wouldn't go. An example is Mt. Ararat. I think it'd be cool to hike up the mountain where Noah's Ark supposedly came to rest. Up until 2001 or so, it was in a militarized zone and terrorists were a real threat. Is that still the case? I don't know. But with all the other places in the world I'd like to go, it seems unlikely I'll ever go there.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Teaching how to throw a baseball

I need to teach Roark and Cole how to throw a baseball. Sure, they're only four, but they've started t-ball and watching them practice it was obvious. Cole usually steps with the wrong foot, creating a very awkward, unbalanced motion. When one of the coaches tried to get him to step with the right foot, he threw the ball straight into the ground. Over and over. Roark was his usual wonderfully oblivious self, throwing the ball however he felt like, including once throwing it with his glove hand, which didn't really work so well.

So how do you teach a four year old to throw? I'd say keep it simple, don't overdo it because they'll end up thinking too much. So I did a Google search on "how to throw a baseball". Here's the first couple of lines from the first one that came up: "When kids are taught to throw, often the instruction is watered down into just a couple of steps. The act of throwing a baseball is not that simple. Throwing requires the entire body to work together in order to throw the ball accurately and to put something on it." Sure, maybe to perfect the throw, but I don't think we want to start there.

I plan to start with simply getting them both to turn so their shoulder opposite the throwing arm is pointed at the target, then stepping and throwing. Three fairly simple steps (I hope). We'll see how that goes before worrying about the getting the entire body working together for four-year-olds who fall over while standing still .

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

What season is it?

Today was a beautiful spring day. Sunny and warm. Granted, I didn't get to spend much time outside, but when I did it was great. This weekend Cole and Roark have a couple of baseball games, and all indications are that the weather will be fantastic for a change, replacing the storms of the past few weeks Yes, spring is here.

Except it's November. Just ask Cassie, who goes to college at MSU. They may see snow tonight. Snow has always been exciting to me because as a kid growing up in Texas snow meant no school. So I'm a little bit jealous. But I'm quite alright with spring.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Of Science

I don't spend much time thinking about science. I lost my fascination for it early on. I remember looking at chemistry sets and thinking I'd make some potion that'd make me invisible. I loved the experiments like building an oven out of aluminum foil and cardboard (yeah, that worked - took about an hour to make the outside of a hot dog room temperature and still cold in the middle). I'd collect random junk like nuts, bolts, and wires because I was going to build a robot out of the spare parts. Roark does this now and I wonder why he's collecting all this junk. Now that this memory came out of nowhere I can understand better.

Sometime around 7th or 8th grade science class became more work and less fun. Experiments that I can think of now involved looking at rocks and classifying them (now who wouldn't get worked up over that - just the word classify makes me yawn). I came to dread science class, having to memorize the periodic table, geologic periods in order, blah, blah, blah so mind-numbingly boring who really cares. Which is sad, because I know there's still a spark of that childhood fascination buried down deep. I know this because I love reading about breakthroughs in medical science or potential new energy sources. Makes me wonder what options I might've explored if some teacher had simply made science fun again. Maybe it wouldn't have mattered. There's so many factors that go into determining what one does for a living. However, I do think teachers, exceptional ones, can have a huge impact on the lives of their students. With standardized testing and prescribed lessons, creativity is easily squelched. It shouldn't be. We desperately need it.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Ten Minute Stories

Ten minute stories. I came up with this idea as a way of convincing myself to write every day. Similar to telling yourself to go running just for ten minutes, knowing that once you get out there you’ll run a lot more. I like to write. I really do. But like a lot of things I want to do, it always gets squeezed out by daily routines (yuk!) and easier things on the brain like reading, watching TV, or playing the Wii. There’s probably also a little of the uncomfortable feeling that I don’t know what to write and nobody will like it. Even though I’m really writing for myself and my family, there’s still this desire to achieve and be successful, which makes me want everybody who happens to read it to think it’s incredible. But even if I have the skill to write like that (highly doubtful), it means really investing time to think about and perfect what I’m writing, which brings me back to time and my lack thereof. Thus, ten minute stories. That way it’s easier to find the time (although I came up with this idea at least two weeks ago, so you can see it’s really working out for me) and I don’t feel like I have to write a masterpiece. So what will I write about for ten minutes? Probably whatever’s on my mind at the moment. Almost two weeks ago now I was going to right about Brittany’s medi-cation, but I’m just now getting around to writing the first of these so the time’s probably passed on that story. We’ll see how it goes. Hopefully I’ll write at least one ten minute story a day, rather than this going the way of my other ideas I came up with to try to motivate me to write in being an abject failure.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Yes, they are, but the great thing is that dealing with this has really shown me how much my family means to me. It's not that I didn't know, just that it's not something you sit around thinking about all the time so you may not realize it in the normal day to day routine. Pulling together in a time of need shows how much we love each other.

Late Nights and Early Mornings

Now here's a subject I can really relate to. I may not have a whole lot to say about it, though, because I'm so freakin' tired.

I still remember college and my first few years afterwards. Nights out drinking until 2am, bed around 3am, then up at 7 or 8 to get to class or work. No problem, I'll catch up on my sleep some other time. Boy has that changed. Maybe it's age, but I think it's more likely having little kids. Knowing that I have to be up early to every morning because either:

1) they'll come barging in our bedroom sometime between 5:45 and 6 and wake us up
2) they'll head downstairs to try to cook their own pancakes or eggs for breakfast, which just isn't a good idea to do on their own because, well, they're 3
3) no good reason other than I worry they'll somehow get hurt or tear apart the house has me snapping awake at 5:45 pretty much every morning

That leads me to wanting to get to sleep at what I would've once considered ridiculously early hours like before 10pm. If I'm up past 11 I know I have a tough morning to look forward to. Doesn't have to be that way, I know. It's that dread of the future that makes it a self-fulfilling prophecy I suspect, but I just can't seem to help it.

Waist Lines and My Inability to Understand Fashion

Due to my lack of contribution to my blog, probably due to a lack of creativity, I've decided to mirror my wife's blog. Kind of a "she said/he said" theme. Here's the link to her blog:

I've been doing the 30 Day Shred video with Charlise for a few weeks now. It's a hell of a workout. Funny thing is, I've gained about two pounds on it. Probably due to added muscle, because there's no doubt I'm in better shape. I certainly know nothing about fashion, as anybody who saw me in my favorite outfit of acqua-colored terrycloth Izod and maroon corduroys when I was about 9 or 10 can attest to. Guys are very lucky in this regard, though. There's no expectations. Throw on shorts, a t-shirt, and sandals and you're good to go. If you have to get dressed up for work (I don't cuz I work from home) 90% of the time pants and nice shirt are all it takes. Even I can't screw that up (well, at least not more than 50% of the time).

Columbus Day. Zombies Beware.

Columbus Day is no holiday for me. Much easier to deal with a work day when you expect it to be one. Guess we don't see the need to celebrate a lost explorer bumping into dry land.

Yes, the zombie craze has hit our house like never before, and right in time for Halloween. I think it really started when a friend of mine loaned me World War Z and told me I had to read it. I did, and thought it was incredible, so I told my wife to read it. She did, and even though she's not done we now have three or four other zombie books waiting to be read. There's a new zombie prop in our yard, and the fever's even caught the boys.