Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Two and Gaga Exchange Words

Two: "Gaga, you're such a liar!"

Gaga: "What on earth are you talking about?"

Two: "Last Christmas you told me Santa wouldn't come if I was bad, and I was bad and he still came!"

Gaga: Silence.

Lileks on Jackson

"I wouldn’t have felt any of this if the event wasn’t being treated as a near-fatal blow to Western Culture in some quarters. He called himself the King of Pop - after which fame and sales ebbed. Of the many lessons in his life, that may be the oldest."


A little wisdom in the late afternoon. Entire piece here.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Sweet Valentine

Yes, I know it's almost July, but read this - just go ahead. You'll be glad you did.

"It took us a long time to understand how blessed we were and from whom such blessings flow. The understanding made us even happier and more grateful, but it also forced humility on us. If we could claim no credit for what made our union good, we could lay no blame on others whose unions went bad. We have been poor and rich together, crazy and sane, mournful and joyous, and I can think of half a hundred times we might have gone down the wrong road or, even worse, failed to turn back and find the right one. If we fared well, it wasn't because we were wise - it certainly wasn't because I was wise. It was only, I think, that the power of what we felt for each other schooled us to trust in love. Love over money, love over politics, love over fashion and philosophies of life: our love - and, in our love, God's - over all."

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Perfect Father's Day Activity


If only they could do it without dad's assistance!

Shadow Boxing



Craftsmen

This piece in Popular Mechanics reminds me of not only my own dad but also of Husband and my grandfather. All three are craftsmen in life - the kind of men who do things well simply for the joy of doing it. They are men who give everything they have to everything they touch; they wouldn't know shoddy work if it walked up and whacked them on the knees. What they have isn't perfectionism - it's nothing as shallow as that. Instead, as the author points out below, it's a desire to make the world around you better by doing each job better than it needs to be done.

"To him, doing work precisely and with care is an end in itself. He often told me about the men he grew up with, fellow machinists and mechanics. To them, doing a job well–better than it needed to be done–was a core ethical principal. He took pride in his craftsmanship. 'The best thing you could say about a man,' my dad often recalls, 'is that he was a good mechanic.' And that was all you needed to say. But my dad also taught me that craftsmanship isn't just about how you build things. He brought that quality to everything: working in the business world, writing books, raising kids, grilling steaks. Craftsmanship is the respect we pay to ourselves, to the people around us, and to the material world we try to shape and improve."

Happy Father's Day to all three of the wonderful craftsmen in my life. May God grant all of you many years!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Work in Progress

Knight and his escape plans have led us to try some different options when it comes to crate containment.

This one worked for a day or two. You can see it's not working here, though - crate #2 is empty.

So far, this is the best solution. Poor Lambie - he ate her bed the first time I locked them in together, so she is sleeping on the plastic for now.

It's that or a steel box like they use for police dogs. And I don't have $1,100 handy, so this better work!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Monday, June 15, 2009

To My Birth-Mother

Hi. Well, I guess that 39 years ago you had one hell of a day. I just wanted to say "hey" and "I love you" and "thanks". Mostly thanks for doing the hard thing, and not finding a doctor who was sypathetic enough to your college-student self to help you get an abortion. Thanks for walking around campus for all those months, hiding under a coat and still having people stare. Thanks for the lost friends, the disapproving aunts, the fights with your parents. Whatever it was you went through, I'm sure it sucked. And so, thanks. Thanks for knowing I was a person even before you heard my heartbeat or felt me move inside you.

I pray that God has blessed you for what you did. I hope that you changed other's minds about life because of your courage. And selfishly, I'd like to think that you'll never forget me.

Thanks always. And I'll never forget you - I promise.

Happy Birthday to Me

I'm a little older than six now, of course, but I like this birthday picture best:


I'm the one with the big red tomato on her jumper.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Knight Strikes Again

We came home from swimming tonight to find Knight, alias Houdini, outside his box again. The trail of evidence:

The utterly destroyed crate:


The chewed up rope I thought would keep the crate door closed:


First stop, the recycling bin:


Milk cartons make great chew toys:


The guilty one in his lair, aka, our bed:

What am I going to do with this animal!?

The Numbers Game

Okay, Elizabeth plays this numbers game periodically, and I like it too. Here's my entry for today:

1 - sneaky brindle boxer boy who clawed his way out of his crate while we were gone this morning

1 - crushed soda can he took from the recycling bin and played with

1 - size 10 Birkenstock, slightly damp but unharmed, found on the stair landing

1 - soaking wet but otherwise unscathed stuffed animal found lying in the kitchen

40 - pieces of clothing knocked off the laundry pile onto the floor

30 - slightly hairy but still clean pieces of clothing left in the pile for someone to sleep on

10 - other messes made by small boys that are now being blamed on the dog

1 - harried mother who now has to make time to buy bungee cords to shut that dog in his crate for good!

Who knew someone this innocent looking could be so devious?!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Lileks on Letterman

"Yes, reading too much into it. Really, it’s just a rote slam: If your mother is a loathed politician, and your older sister gets pregnant, famous old men can make jokes about you being knocked up by rich baseball players, and there’s nothing you can do. That’s the culture: a flat, dead-eyed, square-headed old man who’ll go back to the writers and ask for more Palin-daughter knocked-up jokes, because that one went over well. Other children he won’t touch, but not because he’s decent. It’s because he’s a coward."

Read the whole thing.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Dogs: 2, Keystone Kops: 0

Once again, HPD police dogs manage to do what Stafford and Bellaire police can't: bring down a suspect without killing anyone.

Just one more reason to leave the suburbs with their dregs-of-society cops and move back to the city, folks.

This Makes Me Cry

It really does. Even though I'm supposed to know that many young adults view sex as nothing more than a physical itch to be scratched, it makes me so sad nonetheless. How can it not?

"At 25, May Wilkerson would like a relationship, but not a family — not quite yet. She's lived a lot of places: Argentina, Canada and Paris. Wilkerson says she hasn't found much intimacy with the men she's encountered. ... 'For many of us, the requisite vulnerability and exposure that comes from being really intimate with someone in a committed sense is kind of threatening.' And the thought of being in love with someone, Wilkerson says, 'is the most terrifying thing.' Yes, she has been in love, but the guy wasn't quite into it. There was one older guy who was serious; he used to bring her cupcakes. She couldn't work up an interest in him."

Who raised this poor child? Who taught her what her goals should be for her life? I'm not suggesting that a young woman's only goal should be family and marriage (I was married in the middle of law school and have worked almost every moment since as an attorney, for heaven's sake) but who on earth failed to explain to her that this kind of attitude is almost as self-destructive as developing a coke habit?

Parenting is hard. We all know that. But these are some of the most important lessons we can teach as parents. It matters not whether you are raising your children in a religious tradition or not; teaching your kids how to form healthy relationships, especially one that will lead to marriage and a family, is a lesson that every parent should want to focus on. In the end, what are you really offering your kids, if you don't teach them how to connect in a real way with others?

HT: Instapundit

Friday, June 5, 2009

Hypocrisy

Tony Woodlief writes a well-reasoned response to Frank Schaeffer's "apology" for his part in the murder of abortionist extraordinaire George Tiller.

My one cent to add:

Frank Schaeffer pretending to be upset about anyone's incendiary speech - even his own? Ha! He hasn't stopped speaking out in anger since he began his career (on the Evangelical "side") as a young man. Now that he claims to be an Orthodox Christian, he's just as angry; this time it's at a different set of people. He wouldn't know a measured, thought-out, appropriate response if one crept up and bit him on the leg.

People in grass houses shouldn't throw lawnmowers, Mr. Schaeffer - even if you're pretending to throw them at yourself.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Random Thought

There is a million miles (or fifty million years) worth of difference between believing that everything in the Bible is God-breathed, and taking every. single. word. of the Bible literally.

I'm sure this isn't an original thought on my part, but I had it just now so I'm writing it down. It's come up because I came home early today to find my mother brainwashing the boys with a Ken Ham DVD. Needless to say, I was less than entranced to find my children sitting in front of the TV learning such nuggets of wisdom as "Noah took the dinosaurs on the Ark with him" and "the entire fossil record was created by the Biblical flood". Hmmm. Not what I've ever considered teaching them, but what else are grandparents for? Undermining parents at every turn, apparently.

Well, she goes back from whence she came Saturday morning, and I'll have at least six months to work on the deprogramming. And the best news of all: even Two thought the movie was a joke. And he meant that quite literally; he told me the silly man with the Australian accent was telling jokes about Noah and the dinosaurs. God bless the child!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Something Cool

It's awfully cool when you can say - "hey, I went to school with her."

Just listen to that. Wow.

Monday, June 1, 2009

A Funny (okay, A MILD Funny)

I have a special work cup that I received from Amazon.com, back when they were small enough to send little rewards to their most order-happy customers. It's my water cup and I love it; I've hoarded it through almost 10 years of work. On it are a number of quotes, one of which is:

"I can't understand why people are frightened by new ideas. I'm frightened of old ones." - John Cage

I find this funny, especially when hauled around by a girl who is looking seriously into the Orthodox Christian Church.

Don't you?

I Need a Reminder

I will not blog about work
I will not blog about work
I will not blog about work
I will not blog about work
I will not blog about work
I will not blog about work
I will not blog about work
I will not blog about work
I will not blog about work
I will not blog about work
I will not blog about work
I will not blog about work
I will not blog about work
I will not blog about work
I will not blog about work

I need to go find a blackboard.