Rants

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It’s a Small World… I Suppose

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Long before my wife and I took our son to DisneyWorld he heard the iconic, catchy, and terrible song “It’s a Small World” and believed the lyrics to be “It’s a Small World, I suppose.” We got a great laugh about it and looked forward to taking him on the actual ride so he could learn the song correctly. However now that we’ve been to the Magic Kingdom together, I think he might have been right all along.

A visit to any of the Disney parks reveals the world isn’t small, but quite obese. Over-indulgent consumption is on display everywhere and the only magical thing about it is the realization it crosses boundaries of race, budget, and culture. In any part of the park the number of strollers (which is immense because of the kid-centric world) is nearly matched by the number of wheelchairs. And it’s not what you think…

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Service Agreement – Reflections on Marriage

Monday, March 31st, 2014

Recently, a single guy I know posted an link on Facebook to an article about marriage. The author was a woman who described the typical day with her husband, surviving their kids and life’s madness, and she came across very overbearing and controlling of the man she married. This story resonated with this single guy and he stated it sounded like every marriage he’d ever seen. So, he asked Facebook “What’s the point of a man getting married? What’s the benefit for a guy?”.

Because if you want to start a heedless and angry discussion, just ask your Facebook friends.

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Geek Tragedy

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

I consider myself a fairly tame member of the geek world. I’ve never attended Comic-con. I don’t dress up. Many video games and TV shows have passed me by without my time or concern. Yet I can still hold my own in conversations about those worlds and fantasies that marked my life experience and shaped my love for story. As a child of the seventies and eighties, Star Wars tops the list. And without effort I have maintained a strangely encyclopedic memory of the characters and events a long time ago in a galaxy far far away.

But now I’m facing the dilemma of Geek parents everywhere; introducing my young son to Star Wars and the other fantastic stories I enjoyed at his age and still enjoy today.

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Eating Plastic

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

My son got a kitchen for Christmas. I don’t mean we remodeled a section of our kitchen for him or that he’s discovered how to use our kitchen properly. He received a molded-plastic play kitchen that will be taller than him for the next few years. It’s filled with plastic food-replicas of all kinds and a plethora of items making various cooking noises.

This new pastime has launched me headlong into a strange experience and realization. Click to continue »

Unrepresented

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

I’m pleased to say that we’re on the home stretch. Two weeks from now the political ticker that is Facebook will quiet down and everyone can go back to inane comments and photos of their dinner. Well, actually it will probably be three-weeks from now – as those who vote for the winner will need to spend time being sore winners while those who vote for the loser will need to bemoan the end of the nation, the triumph of evil, and take phone-pics of their plane tickets to Canada.

The truth is, no matter the outcome, I’m expecting to lose.

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That’s My Penis

Monday, October 1st, 2012

I’ve realized that when it comes to bodily functions, I’m a bit of a puritan. In junior high when boys decide that all the best jokes contain waste, I was always the first to be disgusted. And then in college we had a guy in our dorm nicknamed “the phantom shitter” because he liked to leave piles in conspicuous places. Everyone was disturbed, but I found this so unfathomable that I concluded the culprit had to be the evolutionary missing link.

Truth be told, it goes beyond shit jokes and poor bathroom skills and extends to public nudity and even propriety in my own home. I don’t skinny dip, even when my friends have been drawn to the taboo or freedom of the moment. (Or in some cases those friends who take any excuse to be naked and really have no business doing so.) In fact, I try to not even pee in front of my wife. I don’t have anything to be ashamed of here… I just don’t like to. Call me a prude.

This is a real problem once you have kids. Human or otherwise.

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Building Heroes: Armstrong vs. Armstrong

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

At the end of August, two men named Armstrong were both in the news. Neil Armstrong was mentioned because he died at the age of 82. Lance Armstrong was mentioned because of an ongoing investigation into doping during his cycling career. Very different men with completely different claims to fame and yet I’ve followed both of them with fascination.

I’m drawn to moments of individual achievement. Team sports don’t interest me. I follow things like climbing, flying, racing… activities which all have a huge support network but only one guy at the sharp end of things taking the risk and pushing for success. So here are Neil and Lance, with a shared name and personal accomplishments forty years apart. Seeing them together in a news cycle got me thinking about what makes a hero and how celebrity and success have changed.

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Death to Funerals

Monday, August 20th, 2012

On a recent hike with one of my best friends I mentioned my distain for funerals and he nodded knowingly. You see, he turns 40 this year – and I’m only a year away – so deep conversations are more prone to brush up against things like mortality. But when I elaborated he realized that my commentary was not something he expected or knew I felt, so he stopped me and said… “You really ought to blog about that.”

So. Here I am.

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Worse than a Shit Job

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

A garbage truck pulled up to my work the other day and the driver got out to empty our dumpster. As always he wore coveralls so filthy they appear to have not been cleaned since he bought them, which actually makes some sense – when you realize that every day will make your clothes dirty and smelly there’s not a lot of motivation to make sure your duds are presentable. Dealing with our dumpster is this man’s job, his source of income, and the way he funds those times when he puts on normal (presumably clean) clothes and does something for fun.

Moments like this get me thinking about how blessed I am in my job, and reminds me of some truly terrible ways to make a living.

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Pondering Your Worth…

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

I’m so far behind in updating this blog that no one can claim I deal in “current events”. But, I’ve been thinking about a major news event since it happened. And even though it quickly died out of the news cycle, it seemed to me that the most important questions never got asked. I’m not talking protests, or anyone occupying anywhere, or Bin Laden or the EU. I’m thinking about Gilad Shalit.

In 2006 this 19-year-old Israeli boy-soldier gets abducted by the Palestinian Hamas movement. He’s held in isolation and mystery for more than five years while his parents fight tirelessly for his release. Protests, demonstrations, and mentions of his captivity happened all over the world. Finally, in October of this year he’s released. Parents rejoice. Events are held. The press swarms.

Heartwarming. Yes.

But I can’t help the feeling that the difficulties of his life may be yet to come.

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