Wednesday, June 24, 2009

summer accidents

read an article in the oklahoman this week about how the writer doesn't think kids play outside enough and they're just sitting around playing video games and facebooking and twittering. well, that may be true, but i still see, and generally comment positively on, kids who have the kinds of summer accidents we used to have. like stepping on a piece of glass in the creek that's usually dried up but it had rained recently and there were some crawdads and tadpoles and we were catching them and then we started playing swordfight with some sticks we found and maybe somebody got poked in the eye but then we used the sticks like rifles and played army for a while and then got into some poison ivy but the shot doesn't hurt that much and besides i kinda like that pink stuff and we went on a hike because we had these cool walking sticks/swords/rifles and nothing else to do but have fun and imagine ourselves as adventurers like lewis and whoever and we found all kinds of cool stuff and almost caught a lizard and threw rocks at a sign and one kid got hit in the head but we don't think he will need stitches and decided not to swim in the deep part of the creek because there were some bubbles that kinda looked like pee up by the edge and that was gross and then we climbed a tree and that was cool until another kid fell out and i hope he doesn't have his cast for the whole summer but man, we had fun.
those were the days. and they're not gone. just to reassure you. kids are still kids if their parents will let them and i know you can't just let them wander around like you used to when you were a kid and there are infections and perverts and toxins in the water and west nile virus and rocky mountain spotted fever ticks and any number of other scary things out there, but kids need to play in puddles and swordfight and play army and throw rocks and not have plans all the time like soccer practice and be kids.
one of the first blogs in this long line was 'the rant' and it's this exact mood i'm getting at here. i'd love to see a few more sets of stitches and the occasional piece of glass in the foot and poison ivy and maybe a broken arm instead of chronic stomachaches and headaches and trouble sleeping and trouble concentrating and (now i'm going to offend, sorry) fights over what johnny gets to do at dad's house that he isn't allowed to do at mom's and maybe the stomachache is from worrying whether he can tell his 'primary custodial parent' how much fun he had at his 'noncustodial parent's' house over the weekend without hurting her feelings or getting his noncustodial parent in trouble with mom's lawyer. there, i feel better.
and this is a good time to rant on something else. today's paper has two articles, both about dead kids, one who drowned and one who was shaken to death. both kids were allegedly killed by men in their mothers' lives, one was actually the father, one her boyfriend. the one who was the father had already abused a kid, but hey, it was over 10 years ago 'and he's changed'. and i'm sure there were protests of 'but i love him'. oh please, ladies! i'm sure there are boyfriends out there who won't kill your kids, but be careful. and the ex-wife of the drowned kid is defending her ex, and in a move that actually made sense for once, dhs took her other kid away.
this story plays out over and over. i caution guys - if you've got a girlfriend with a child, be careful. first, don't kill them. but seriously, don't be left alone with the child and consider every potential problem with every situation when you are with that child. statistically you are the prime suspect if that kid is abused or killed or if anything happens. apparently (and here i'm going to get in trouble again) girls don't think too clearly when it comes to guys.

heat index

i know the heat index has something to do with the temperature and the humidity, sort of a reverse of the wind chill, but is there an age-adjusted heat index? i remember 100 degree days where it didn't feel like my brain was melting. and cindy thinks it's because i was driving her convertible with the top down! i'm thinking maybe temp plus humidity plus age plus amount of hair* (*or lack of it) and plug it into some formula and it comes out to...HOT.

oh, by the way

the dinner i just mentioned was not just me and some lady. it was my wife and i and this lady and her husband. i even remember their names! but how we had dinner together was sort of 'european' or something like that.
we had just sat down at an outside table at interurban and they came onto the patio and there were no more tables. there were 2 chairs left at our table and 2 people who needed to sit down so we invited them to join us. what a concept! no pressure, no expectations, we all just talked and enjoyed the meal and the conversating (at least we did, i think they did). i showed her my 'fat kelly' pics and of course we had to talk weight loss for a while...but i really liked the concept of saving points and how it relates to kids and eating. and we enjoyed their company and if we had been our usual selves with our blinders on then we would have missed the opportunity.

saving up points

had dinner with a weight watchers instructor (?leader, coach?) and i noticed she had a couple of glasses of wine and i asked about that and weight watchers. she said she just saved up points if she knew she was going to be going out and then she could use the points on alcohol or dessert or whatever. are really smart. they've been doing this for centuries. 'you didn't eat your dinner.' 'i'm saving room for dessert.' 'if you don't eat your dinner you can't have dessert.' 'but mom, if i eat my dinner i won't be hungry for dessert!'
kids are brilliant! now when will parents catch on?

Monday, June 15, 2009

modern innovation

in a time magazine article about how 'twitter' is going to change our lives, i found a very interesting and enlightening and gratifying few sentences. sure, i'll probably learn to twitter like i've learned to (at least an old man attempt at) facebook. i may not use it like i do my texting skills, and not to the degree professionally that i use email, but i'll probably learn to twitter. but, the article contains some of the best news for america that i've seen in a long time.
the author is discussing the innovations that have happened to twitter after it was released and how amazing they are, and just sort of throws in this part: " ...Since the mid-'80's, a long progression of doomsayers have warned that our (the U.S.) declining market share in the patents and Ph.D.'s business augurs dark times for American innovation. The specific threats have changed. It was the Japanese who would destroy us in the '80's; now it's China and India.
"But what actually happened to American innovation during that period? We came up with America Online, Netscape, Amazon, Google, Blogger, Wikipedia, Craigslist, TiVo, Netflix, eBay, the iPod and iPhone, Xbox, Facebook, and Twitter itself. Sure, we didn't build the Prius or the Wii, but if you measure global innovation in terms of actual lifestyle-changing hit products and not just grad students, the U.S. has been lapping the field for the past 20 years."
i'm encouraged. the kids i encounter regularly are quite brilliant and are good thinkers. they may learn a little differently. they may need a little pharmaceutical help occasionally to turn their D battery flashlight/not so focused brains into the laser beams they were capable of, but dadgummit, we're still the good ol US of A and we kick butt, and don't let the ninnies at npr tell you otherwise!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

glad i'm not in school anymore

at a meeting recently i started thinking...i'm glad i'm not in high school. if there had been texting while i was in school, i would have been the worst! i could listen to the speaker and still text friends, coworkers, relatives, spouse. multitasking is easy. thank goodness i don't have enough time for it now!

maybe it's just me...

maybe it's just me, but i love my routine. sure, it gets old sometimes, but i love it. i've been on more vacations lately than i can ever remember taking, and i have loved each of them. however, when i get back home i find myself craving the regular, the routine. it's a stabilizer, this routine. it's something to look forward to, to anticipate, not to dread.
so...maybe it's just me, but - enjoy your routines.