Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Grayson's Campus Article

Grayson's Campus article about the Eagle Scout and Gold Award projects happening at her school.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Dreaded Question

Monkey Boy and two of his eight year old friends are in the back seat of a neighbors car riding home from school. Neighbor overhears this coversation while driving.

FRIEND 1: I really wanted to see that movie, but my big sister says there's too much sex in it.

MONKEY BOY: What is sex?

FRIEND 2: You don't wanna know.

MONKEY BOY: No really, I do.

FRIEND 2: I'm not gonna tell you.

[At this point, our neighbor is pretty sure Friend 2 has absolutely no clue what sex is either.]

MONKEY BOY (to Friend 1): Do you know?

FRIEND 1: I'm not sure.

MONKEY BOY (to Neighbor): What is sex?

Now at this point, neighbor has limited options:

1) She could pretend she didn't hear them and just drive home like a bat out of hell where the boys will quickly descend on the Playstation and forget about their question.

2) She can play dumb and go with "I don't know either" but she feels the boys will see right through her.

3) She could offer a real explanation -- after all, she's already had "the talk" with her older daughter -- but realizes that it may not be appropriate to educate someone else's son on the birds and the bees.

She goes with option 4 -- a quick, dismissive explanation that when men and women do lots of kissing in a movie, it's sometimes not appropriate for young boys.

The boys accept this and she's home free.

That is, until Monkey Boy sees me and MLB smooch the next time and he accuses us of having sex.

I can just see it coming.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Most amazing TV commercial

Get ready to be astounded by the following Honda commercial. Before you watch, read on...

There are no computer graphics or digital tricks in the film. Everything you see really happened in real time exactly as you see it. The film took 606 takes. On the first 605 takes, something, usually very minor, didn't work.

They would then have to set the whole thing up again. The crew spent weeks shooting night and day. By the time it was over, they were ready to change professions. The film cost six million dollars and took three months to complete including full engineering of the sequence.

In addition, it's two minutes long so every time Honda airs the film on British television, they're shelling out enough dough to keep any one of us in clover for a lifetime. However, it is fast becoming the most downloaded advertisement in Internet history. Honda executives figure the ad will soon pay for itself simply in "free viewings" (Honda isn't paying a dime to have you watch this commercial!). When the ad was pitched to senior executives, they signed off on it immediately without any hesitation - including the costs.

There are six and only six hand-made Accords in the world. To the horror of Honda engineers, the filmmakers disassembled two of them to make the film.

Everything you see in the film (aside from the walls, floor, ramp, and complete Honda Accord) are parts from those two cars. The voiceover is
Garrison Keillor. When the ad was shown to Honda executives, they liked it and commented on how amazing computer graphics have become.

Oh and about those funky windshield wipers. On the new Accords, the windshield wipers have water sensors and are designed to start doing their thing automatically as soon as they become wet. It looks a bit weird in the commercial.

Here's the link:

It's worth the two minutes to watch.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

A Super Guy

Turns out the superhero I'm most like is none other than the superest dude of them all. I was surprised by the results -- especially because I answered the "likes to wear a cape" question in the negative. Go figure.

Your results:
You are Superman

The Flash
Iron Man
Green Lantern
Wonder Woman
You are mild-mannered, good,
strong and you love to help others.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Test

Friday, December 22, 2006

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Best Laid Plans -- One Year Later

Last year during Holidailies, I wrote about the night of Hanukah on which we gave Monkey Boy and Peanut some money, and then presented them with a bunch of options where they could donate that money online.

They both ended up donating to an “Adopt a Manatee” program and all was good. They felt good about doing something for another living creature, and MLB and I felt like we had scored one in the category of instilling an appreciation for charity.

Fast forward to this year –

The other night after lighting the Hanukah candles, we presented the kids with some cash and a bunch of printouts (including from “Adopt a Manatee”) with options for this year. What would it be? Sponsoring a “Save the Whales” program? Buying a bunch of chickens for a village in some third world country? Red Cross?

We were surprised by the response: “Do we have to give the money away this year?”

We explained that while we’re by no means rich, they have many things and take for granted things that many people around the world do without. A safe, secure home. Clothes. Food on the table. Toys.

After a bit of reluctance, they finally came around. We had visited the Florida Aquarium last year and the kids decided to donate their money to the aquarium to sponsor the care of marine life. OK, that was on par with last year. Mission accomplished.

An hour or two later as Peanut was preparing for bed, she lamented to me that she didn’t want to give the money away. She’s five so the lesson may be a little tough to get through to her.

I gently explained that she and her brother have so many things. They still had toys they received as presents on their birthdays this summer that still hadn’t been opened. Some children are homeless, hungry – not knowing when or where their next meal will come from. To them, the holidays are no different than any other day because they won’t light menorahs or decorate Christmas trees. They won’t receive presents. Some are so poor that when they get sick, they can't even afford to go to the doctor or to get medicine.

She seemed to contemplate this -- grasping the full meaning of my words.

Then she turned to me with a serious expression and asked:

"I still have toys from my birthday that I haven't opened??"

Guess we'll have to try again next year.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

TIME Magazine's Person of the Year

In a surprise move, TIME magazine named all of US as its "Person of the Year". Why? This was a year in which the individual came front and center. With the incredible rise of user-generated content on the computer, this year more than any before now demonstrated individuals becoming publishers, broadcasters and filmmakers. Not to mention the growth of social networking sites like MySpace where people created pages dedicated to themselves. Now anyone who knows your screen name can locate you on MySpace and find out about your favorite songs, TV shows, movies, hobbies. They can view your pictures and videos. And if they like, you can become virtual "friend" on the platform, where you agree to link to each other's pages.

Apparently this only the 4th time in TIME's history in which it shyed away from naming an actual person as "Person of the Year." In 1966, the 25-and-under generation was cited; in 1975, American women were named; and in 1982, the computer was chosen.

Congratulations on being selected!