25 September, 2017

One of my former Bible class students told me a wonderful story today. She recently sat her parents down, and told them, “Please do not interrupt me while I am practicing.”

I must remember to apply that lesson as a parent.

BTW… MsS got a clarinet and MrG got a viola on Saturday. At their school, which is awesome for this, they really encourage, really want,  all fifth graders to participate in band or orchestra. On top of all third graders learn to play recorder and all fourth graders learn to play ukulele. And I’m told all sixth graders learn guitar. This is so great, and I wish I had that as a kid. I did happen upon orchestra in fourth grade, and stuck with it through 12th grade. But I really like the attitude of all kids are musicians.




21 September, 2017

we took the childrens, and a few friends, to go see the movie “Step

I enjoyed it.

MrG and MsS thought it was alright. MrC was easily distracted. Maybe if there was more stepping, and less talking, more sports-movie and less documentary, the childrens would have been more entertained. Never the less, I’m glad we took them to it.


The Joy Luck Club

18 September, 2017

I read Amy Tan‘s The Joy Luck Club over vacation.

I enjoyed it.

Her first novel, huh? Wow. Not a bad way to start a career. <understatement>

song of the now

17 July, 2017

…and second place is Maroon 5’s “Don’t wanna know“, and I liked it before I even saw the video, with sad lyrics, melancholic melody, but a beat you can dance to. Recently saw on theFaceBook a “post a gif that matches your mood”…and that song was in my head. I looked for a gif for the song, and discovered hilarious giant costumed characters running around. Yup. Matched my mood.

But, winner of GBAtT’s Song-of-the-Now award goes to Imagine Dragons “Believer“. I dunno why I like it so, but lyrics like “third things third” and “last things last” sure help. (I just saw the vid, it’s not my cup of tea.)


Between Shades of Gray

28 June, 2017

Ruta Sepetys’s Between Shades of Gray

“When the rest of the world finds out what the Soviets are doing, they will put an end to all of this.”  

A story of a young girl, trying to survive, during WW2, when the Soviets sent her and her family to Siberia. I’m glad I read it. It is a good read, a quick read. I am also glad that I read while the sun was shining, and not during the gloom of winter.

I recommend.




Under a Graveyard Sky

9 June, 2017

Love the title of John Ringo’s Under a Graveyard Sky.

Zombie book, so it had that in it’s favor. It was entertainment. I will agree with someone who said “as if Tom Clancy wrote a zombie apocalypse”. Well crafted, well researched. A bit politically condescending at times, and I notice because I don’t really agree with his politics, LOL. The good guys are saints, the liberals are fools. And all that training you did with your kids and their guns pay off.

It is a amusing that the commander is sending his 15 year old daughter into combat, and doesn’t seem that worried about it. Maybe I’m a wimp, but I worry when I send my kids across the street to check the mail. But maybe in a zombie apocalypse you realize that we are already dead, and the only chance we have is by being fearless.

They live on boats for months, but somehow don’t run out of food…or toilet paper.

One important lesson from the book, after missions, they would have an immediate debrief, what went wrong? what can we do better?  Nothing personal, all could bring up points, all were listened to. Every team should do that. But I bet, many cases, after a game most folks either want to point fingers after a loss, or bask in the glory after a win. (I recently learned the German generals during WW1 were great at sharing lessons learned with their colleagues.)


Memorial Day

28 May, 2017

the other day, there was a Memorial Day event at UW, I visited during my lunch. A little sad about how few students were there. Not that I was ever at a Memorial Day event…well…before last week.

Fifty years since the Vietnam War… are we any wiser?

a few weeks in review

27 May, 2017

Sunday – April 30th – after MrC two basketball games, MsS soccer, MrG soccer – where I had to be a ref. And I was terrible, we had a BoyScout event for MrG’s group. I was the “leader” as in, hey, let’s go play disc golf, a buddy from work has a couple dozen discs he donated to us. We had parents and siblings along, I thought it went well. Before we went, MrG was complaining, didn’t want to go, didn’t want to do disc golf, wanted to bowl. I told him “we told people we are doing this, and they are expecting it. It’s a nice day, we’re going outside.”

At work that week: I sat next to lake on my lunch and watch a pair of geese with their goslings come ashore, they were cute, and fuzzy, and their fuzz kinda looked dark green.

Saturday – May 6th –
Basketball game – MsS sat next to me. MrG noticed MrC was crying at start of the game, I guessed it was because he spilt water on his shirt, he was fine by the time to go in and play.

Music stores with boys…I took them to used instrument store, (Trading Musician), which is awesome, with lots of guitars, drums,,, And because I can’t help myself we went to a TedBrown, a student/school/classical oriented store, and I picked up four music books for ukulele. A different day, I took the boys up to Capitol Hill to visit Bischofbeger Violins… because it’s cool. And maybe MrG will want to play viola next year. And, one of the people invited us into the shop to see!!! Love that place. (Dislike parking & driving on Capitol Hill)

Football game for MrG. MsS & MrC played in the woods with friends. Well not really woods, but under the trees, and although close, we couldn’t actually see them from where we were. The trees separated playground from football field. So lots of kids around.

Sunday May 7th- they all took turns being monsters for a couple hours. And you know how kids are. Monster, then flip the switch to “nice”, all the while parents are still trying to calm themselves down from the emotional drama an hour before. MrC freaked about chores / going to a friends. MsS freaked about chores. MrG freaked about BoyScouts, didn’t want to go, and when there was a competition, and part of it was an obstacle course with jump rope, which he can’t do, and so he just got frustrated, walked away, and didn’t want to go to ice-cream with his Den buddies. I wanted ice-cream. And I told the kids, “you beat me, I’ll buy you ice-cream.” (Note: I felt alright after running the course. Tired, out of breath, out of shape, but alright.)  And, I planted some corn!

Monday May 8th – came home, I told them to grab soccerball, basketball, jump rope, and we went to a local playground.

Friday, 5/19, talent show at the school. MsSqueaky was in a hip-hop dance group, and performed. I love it! I am so glad that she keeps trying out new things through after school activities. I am proud of all the kids that went on stage.

Follow up on JumpRope… I forced MrG to go out and jump rope several times. He didn’t want to. I had to nag him to do it, “you were upset because you couldn’t, all you have to do is practice.”  He got it.  Oh yeah, the BoysScouts redid the obstacle course two weeks later, May 20th, and I am happy to say that all of the boys had improved in a couple different areas.

Midweek – We went bike riding on the InterUrban trail…well, they rode, I walked, and a time or two they were up ahead of me and I couldn’t see them, had to have faith they would be faith. Speaking of, early in the ride, they got to a parking lot entrance, MsS quickly braked, MrC did not notice in time, and crashed into her, and he went flying. She was unfazed.

5/27 This morning:
MsS: “Remember that game we played yesterday, where we bothered each other?”
MrC: “Yeah”
MsS: “Want to play it again?”
MrC: “OK”

Saturday 5/27, MyBetterHalf took MrG to a Sounders match. MsS and MrC performed a talent show for me…bike riding, kung-fu (MsS hand & kicking, MrC staff), hula dancing, and a skit.


22 May, 2017

I loved Sharon Creech’s heartbeat.

Not sure if it’s a novelized poem, or a poem-ized novel. I was hesitant to read it, but it looked short. I am glad I did.

The parts I want to share with my childrens:

  • Art teacher assigns “draw this apple a hundred times”
  • sounds of ultrasound heartbeat
  • argument with track coach
  • the race


Bring it On Aliens

21 May, 2017

Saturday night, we took the childrens to see a local high school perform the musical “Bring It On”.  I was impressed by what high school kids can do.

Sunday night, I went solo to see the latest Aliens franchise movie. Meh.

If this was a normal movie review, I would say “Spoilers Ahead”…but if you’ve seen Alien and Aliens then there’s no surprises. IF you haven’t, STOP, right now, and go watch Alien, and then tomorrow night watch Aliens. Two different movies. Two wonderful movies.

Alien:WhicheverMovieNumberWeAreOn…the big fight scene, not really believable, so I wasn’t really invested in it. There was one scary idea… Alien spread by fungal type spores. (Seriously, if you don’t want to sleep, google the zombie ants of the Amazon. Ant gets a spore, grows a mushroom out of its head, still walking around, doing normal ant stuff, until it’s time, then goes up, and mushroom explodes, spreading spores all over. Fungi are weird. And we have no idea how weird, because we don’t really study them.) But we didn’t spend much time on the implications of death by spore. It was drawn out, to get to the classic Alien stuff,…no surprises for us in the audience, we’ve seen the face-huggers, the chest-bursts, the acid-blood. Nothing new here.

I wonder, if you are gonna colonize a planet….why send men? Men are bigger, and so need to eat more, plus have all that extra testosterone which might not exactly make a situation better. Send women. And maybe a -80 freezer with large variety of sperm. I thought about this, while they were looking at the embryos on the space ship in Alien movie.

Yup… Lin-Manuel Miranda -vs- Alien… surprise, surprise… Miranda won.

And the tickets were cheaper, too!