Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Gather 'round children and I'll tell you a story.

Once upon a time, New England was beseiged by forty days and forty nights of rain. (OK, only 30, but June was a complete washout--pun completely intended!) Children, cooped up inside, their faces bleached from lack of Vitamin D, began to drive their mother crazy. There was much wailing and nashing of teeth. And lo, the heavens opened. The clouds parted and mother threw the children out the door to seek out an olive branch. (They're rare in New England, so they'd be busy for a while.) But along the way, the scout team was distracted- easily done- by the most common of pastimes. The garden hose lay, tempting all passers by.

Let's play a game! (You and I know this won't end well.)

We'll work together.

Ooops, I slipped.

Got you, too!

Curses! I will get him back for his treachery!

Psst, we can gang up on him! You fill my bucket carefully and I'll dump it on him.

Hey! That's not what I asked you to do!

Meanwhile, the angry older brother turns off the water, befuddling the smallest combatant.

The middle child decides to hide and wait this battle out.

Fiend! I repay you the injustice you served upon me! Ground water, a dish served best really, really cold!

Oh, the humanity!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Prayer Request

Hey Everyone,
Please pray for a family I know? They’re 11 weeks pregnant and the baby just went through its first ultrasound. The prognosis is not good, and the family is asking for prayers, as their first born was diagnosed with the same thing and was miraculously healed, details follow. Here’s an email excerpt, I changed names for privacy:

The prognosis is bad, as it was for Jerry. It’s called cystic hygroma which basically means that the the lymphatic system isn’t working right so fluid is collecting inside the baby, if it doesn’t resolve the baby’s heart will fail. We don’t know yet if the fact that Jerry had this and it resolved (through a lot of prayer) changes the outlook, it is such a rare, rare thing to happen that it is hard for us to imagine that they aren’t related but the yale doctors (we will have an appointment probably this week or next up at Yale) maybe can tell us that. The causes of this are either genetic (various disorders) or just something went wrong in development. As best we can tell Jerry’s wasn’t genetic (unless extreme stuborness is a genetic disorder). There isn’t very much known about this because something like 90% of people that find out they have this abort (which obviously we would never even consider), except that most babies die. We would just be very thankful to all of you if you could include us in your prayers.
Everyone is doing okay here, Jerry is really concerned but we are trying to help him through this, there aren’t alot of answers, not really a whole lot the doctors can tell us either (especially since I won’t do invasive testing). I am assuming they will put us on the same regimen as with Jerry which is ultrasounds every two weeks to check on the baby until I can feel movement and then just once a month to see if anything is getting better, and then an echocardiogram to check the baby’s heart at 25 weeks (this one is at Yale as well) since heart problems can be associated with the genetic disorders we are talking about (Turner’s syndrome if it is a girl, Newnann’s syndrome if it is a boy, or trisomy 18, which is fatal, and occassionally Downs syndrome).

Cap and Trade means...

* that I should start making candles
* that we should bring ice down from Canada this winter and pack it in sawdust for the summer
* that I should move the whole fam-damily into the back room at work so I can afford to travel to my job
* that welfare will be expanded to include utility bills for many more Americans, which will then mean also...
* that the government will not only tell utility companies how much tax they have to pay to operate, but how much they can charge for services, which will mean profit margins untenable for private companies, which means also...
* that it's only a matter of time until the government takes over utilities as well
* that the current number of people in this country cannot be sustained if our utility infrastructure and economy is turned back to 1800's levels, so expect child quotas

You think I'm crazy, don't you?
But I'm right.

Amidst Jackson, Fawcett, McMahon and Billy Mays..

this county lost someone whose influence was far richer.

H/T Subvet

Ministry of Truth not necessary

George Orwell had his hands tied. He imagined the Ministry of Truth would have to daily check all history books and newspaper articles for consistency with the current Party policy. He didn't realize that their job would be much easier than that.

The constant 24-hour news bombardment and the eternal present of the Internet numbs us to all sense of history and makes us susceptible to the snake charmer's song, ready to believe whatever we are told. The way I say it is today, it always was that way. What I say today is exactly consistent with what I said yesterday. And the view I take tomorrow is not contrary, as it would seem, but actually the fulfillment of what I say today, don't you see?

Don't bother with what they tell you is truth; you believe those radicals?

Catching up

Well, Exultet has been collecting dust for some time, as Big Brother may or may not have noticed. Work has been busy, I've been finishing getting the house ready to put on the market, looking for a nighttime job, preparing for my friend's bachelor party and wedding, in which I was an usher, my son was ring bearer, and my lovely (and very talented wife) was vocalist and music director. I'm just now catching my breath before the Canada family reunion coming up and hopefully moving! Whew!Check out Fric (founding member of Fric, Frac and Fred) showing off the bling for the bride and groom. Catch phrase of the day while wearing tuxes: "Totally wicked!"

Because of all this, I don't have a lot of time to research all the details, but I wanted to quick blog some things that have caught my attention over the last few weeks.

This is a bit old, but here's a bit of news that got little coverage and no notice, around here, anyway. CT joins other states in awarding its electoral votes, not to the winner of the state, but to the winner of the national popular vote. Message to all: only New York, California, Texas, Florida, Massachusetts and Ohio are important.

Nancy Pelosi's flailing changing gasping story regarding the CIA briefings about waterboarding are as disingenuous as Hilary Clinton's implication that General Petraus lied to the Senate regarding conditions in Iraq. Here's the hint: if you are in a position of authority and you think a subordinate is lying to you, you fire them (or make a big stink for the President to do so). Otherwise, no one believes you.

And don't forget all those of you who swore to me that Obama really was pro-life and that he would work to reduce abortions. Oh, wait, that's not right. Looks like he lied to you, too.

Homeschooling Diplomacy

I write this post both to ask the question and also in the hopes that in writing it, I'll be more sure of my own grasp on the big picture.

To get to it, for those of you who are homeschooling your kids, how do you discuss it with family and friends? And the corollary to that is, how do you explain it to your kids?

The reason I am asking is because up till now, our boys didn't even realize that we were doing something different. But they're now at the age to make the distinction and have latched on to the idea that fascinates them most: riding the big yellow bus, like their cousins do, and going to a school building with other kids taught by a teacher that's not Mom.

My wife and I have to deal delicately with this because we know why we're homeschooling: it's more efficient, better for the kids in terms of focus and attention, individual pace, family schedule, plus the ability for my wife and I to act as the filters for our children that we are called to be. But how do we explain this to a five year old without a.) giving him the impression that he's missing out on something fantastic, b.) running the risk that he looks down his nose at other kids who do go to school or c.)getting the impression that schools and everything associated with them are to be avoided?

How did any of you handle this discussion?