Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Purple Dragons Wrap Up the Season

This evening was it. The finale to the season. The young men of the Purple played a heck of a game. The last game of the flag football season was played out on the eve of Halloween.

With a crisp cool breeze the Purple Dragons took to the field under the Lights of the Sports Complex. They were very excited about playing and discussing what each was planning to dress as for Halloween. You know, you have to get the business stuff out of the way before the game.

From what I hear the first half went very well. An extended business meeting kept me away from my appointed job as defensive coordinator for much of the game. However, I made it in time to see my son run the ball. Check out the running legs! And I got to see a funny play.

On 3rd down and a long way to first down the speedy Mr. Kyler is given the ball. He runs a sweep to the left in the backfield. He sees an opening and tears down the field. About 30 yards down field he is beginning to loose the other team. Then all of a sudden a very blond, pint size three year old who has been playing on the field realizes he is now part of the game. His mom arrives after the other kids ran carefully by. There were no penalties for extra players. It was great we actually saw the Missouri version of the 12th Man, well 11 1/4 since he was kind of young.

A great time was had by all. Go Purple Dragons. Till next year! On to Basketball season.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Fall Yall Giveaway

Thanks for stopping by Busy Dad Mumbles. I will be picking a random comment on Saturday November 3 for a $20.00 Wal-Mart gift card. It is open to all bloggers and I will ship outside the U.S.

Just leave a comment below!! Have a great day! For more Bloggy Giveways

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sonic is putting Whoppers in Milkshakes!

Marketing people of Sonic Drive In have a problem! Example here is the discussion in our car the other night while waiting at an intersection for the light to change. Lieber says to the crew, “Did you see Sonic Drive In’s are putting Whoppers in their Chocolate Shakes. (This is the sign Lieber is referencing in her announcement is second from the left.)
Within seconds from the back seat, the 9 year old, Boodles of Baking announces from the back of the vehicle. “That is Naaaaaassssssstttttty, why would you ever put Whoppers in your Milkshake. (Here is what Boodles is talking about.)
For a moment the comment hangs in the air. Lieber means Whoppers, malted milk balls candy, Boodles is things about the product that comes from Burger King. The laughter as everyone figures out what is said absolutely cracks up the whole car. By the reaction I do not believe that Boodles will ever try the mixture. First impressions go a long way.

Writing Down the things kids say!

Our family has “The Book”. Not to be confused with the Good Book. This version of The Book contains those precious verbal moments. As the kids are growing up they say the darndest things. Start writing them down in a safe secure place. The challenge as the kids get older and we, the parents, want to discuss (bring up) the tidbits or repeat them in front of friends and family, the parental perk of non violent punishment, memory does not always serve the purpose. So, begin to write it down today.

We have developed a family keeper of the book. This is our Mimi. My wife’s mother started writing down the verbal tidbits years ago. When she had to evacuate due to multiple hurricanes, The Book, was always one of the first items that was loaded into the vehicle. Start your version of “The Book” today.

Kids will want you to be able to share the things they did as they grow up. Parents you will need proof because the little people that can’t remember to make a bed, clean a room, or do their chores will have perfect clarity in thought and mind of what took place on any given event. They will also have the legal precedence that overturns your memory of the situation. Maybe “The Book” is what the teachers were telling me about when they said, “This will be on your permanent record.”

I am going to start a separate section of the Busy Dad Mumbles Blog that captures some of those verbal gifts under “The Book.” I hope you enjoy as much as I did, do, and will.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Martha MacGyver

Folks, I have to tell you how lucky I am. On November 9, my lovely wife and I will celebrate 16 years of marriage. She has always been social, resourceful, loving and patient.

She has always been talented yet, in the last few weeks her talents have been on display and a new nickname is beginning to develop, “Martha MacGyver.” To explain the context –
MacGyver was a television show where the main character, Richard Dean Anderson was able to extract himself from almost any dire situation with a pocket knife, duct tape, and basic household materials.

A nickname the spouse has been referred to by family and friends for years is “Martha”, this short for
Martha Stewart. The goddess of entertaining, crafts, and a force in all that is homey and festive. Spouse with her own business adds the nice and kind to the business magnate part of Martha. Crafty, talented, and inventive.

Now a combination of the two nicknames to “Martha MacGyver.” Let me give some examples of what I mean, Jen killed two flies with a pop of a dish towel when unable to quickly locate the flyswatter. (MyGyveresk)

This morning she restrung an adjustable waist band of a child’s pants that had been pulled out like a removable belt. Yet, it was not to be removed! Using only a bamboo skewer, while talking to the family about meals for the week, she restrings the broken pants and has them as good as new.

Repairing cameras, game boys, computer games, adjusting bicycles, fixing hair dos are all in the repertory and repairing husbands Bluetooth when it just quit.

In the last few weeks while I’m at work she used a nail gun to hang trim in the basement. She walked by a craft table looked at a book cover than went home and sewed one from scratch. Two friends saw her toile version of the product and bingo. She has people wanting her to make their Christmas gifts.

These are just a few of the examples. Over the years there have been many times were the skills have been on display. We just didn’t know what to call it until recently, Martha MacGyver

Introducing Americans to America

At lunch we were discussing what part of the country people are from. Alabama, Arkansas, Virginia. A team member said, “I am from Brooklyn, New York.” The “southern” team members said, “Oh! A Yankee!

To which the New York Team member replied, “No a Mets fan!”

Now the correct adjective was not included in the sentence. However, this was initially overlooked since the Yankee didn’t even know she was a Yankee.

The laughter at the table was well received followed by confusion. A short history lesson, explanation of the Mason/Dixon Line followed, the description of the correct southern adjective of "Damn" was explained, and then more talk about the regional differences of the United States.

Granted, I am not the sharpest tool in the shed. My knowledge of Literature fails me on Trivial Pursuit. But, sometimes I am shocked at the lack of knowledge of our own social make up and historical context.

It was a fun lunch.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Random Act of Kindness - Passing it Forward

My fellow citizens of the Web. It is time to put basic decency back on display. There is an insurance company advertisement on T.V that shows people helping each other. One person keeps a pizza delivery person from walking into on coming traffic. A lady keeps the kids ball from rolling into the street. My point is we have reached the point where it is time to play well with others.

Heading home last night I saw a young man hauling a gas can walking up the road in the dark and cold. Well, the Boy Scout in me couldn’t stand it. I turned around and headed back on the highway. I identified myself, told him where I worked, and then asked if I could give him a ride. The look on his face told the whole story. He said, well, sure! He loaded the full gas can into the back of my car. I asked him how far we need to go. When he indicated five miles I couldn’t believe it. Long story short I gave him a ride, waited to make sure his car started. The young man was thrilled.

The young man asked if he could pay me or help me out. (Are you kidding?) All I asked was that he passes forward the kindness to someone else who needed assistance.

The tough part of the story was that the young man had to walk the five plus miles to the gas station because no one would give him a ride. I understand we need to be safe but can’t we help a fellow human being out????

What can you do to play well with others, pass on a kindness? What is your story?

You can see other RAK (random Acts of Kindness) over at The Wilson Six.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

It is the Third Weekend in October

We are now prepared for the Great Orange Pumpkin to come down from the North to visit all the good children. As Charlie Brown awaits the arrival of….. Oops! That big Orange is Tennessee. Coach Fulmer and his band of Volunteers are making a visit to the land of Crimson! This rivalry has been going on since 1901. Alabama leads the series 44-38-7 all time. Coach Fulmer is 11-3 all time versus the Tide.

And what on Earth do my eyes see! Forty-one to Seventeen! That is 41 to 17 in Tuscaloosa. Coach Saban is now 1-0 against the Vols. Alabama now leads the series 45-38 – 7. Coach F – gets clobbered this year. See you next year, maybe! Roll Tide, Go Bama!

Purple Dragons Update

It’s all about execution. The young Warriors were on Tuesday evening. The guys played Iron-Man Flag Football again, we had no substitutes. They played great. The defense was very strong. The young guys came right out of the gate pulling flags. Four different young men pulled flags. Guys who only had one flag in our seven games pulled multiple flags in this game. I was proud of the Purple Dragons defense.

Coach Vernon was joining us on the field since we had no substitutes to manage. He helped call plays and place players. We all had a great time. The guys all knew we were putting together a full package for the opponents.

Every one of our seven ran the ball, played quarterback or tried to catch a pass. Coach B’s reverse was a smash hit. A couple of our guys are really getting prepared for the next level of football. We saw some performances that show a tremendous gain in confidence and skill since week one. We coaches have finally figured it out! The players have developed well also. Two more games to go.

Get your Chicken Now!

For those of you out there that have not experienced Chick-fil-a, you are missing a treat! The mostly in the south chain of restaurants, has a great menu. Chicken sandwiches, good milkshakes, and, a moment of silence…..Great Sweet Iced Tea!

The marketing folks of this organization want you. (My Mom also wanted you to know about this! So, I’m a Blogging! Cause Momma Said So!) Between now and November 17 they are running a contest. This allows me to combine great food and football. Go to to attempt to win. You could win a trip to the ACC, SEC or Big 12 Football Championship where each trip winner will have a chance to compete to win up to $1 million dollars and Free Chick-fil-a food for a year. (I don’t know why you would want to go to anything but the SEC championship but you have the option.)

So, get your fingers working. Chick-fil-A….they didn’t invent the Chicken, just the Chicken Sandwich. They also have some great ads. OH! And the Sweet Tea.
Auburn versus LSU
Naval Officer Ben, Katherine, Hayden, and Abigale, would like to wish you “War Eagle.” We hope you are getting to see the game this evening. We all know you and Matt will be routing for the Bengal Tigers from Baton Rouge. Should be a good one!

This should be interesting. We get to battle a couple of times over the next three weeks.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Political Rant

What in the World are they doing in Washington? My fellow Americans, it is time to clean House and Senate! This is like a week of watching another planet.

We have Senators that are being investigated by the FBI, there is another who can’t decided whether he did it or not, and we have a third who is under investigation. The Senate Ethics Committee goes so slow it moves backwards.

The House is not Legislating. Executive isn’t getting it done and the Judicial, that system is broken. It is like a Constitutional three stooges. Each time one of the talking heads that represents one of the bodies of government speaks I can almost Larry, Moe and Curly, poking each other in the eye, smacking each other on the head or just messing up another fine situation. (Nyuk, Nyuk, Nyuk)

To recap, this group hasn’t decided on its operating budget, they have decided to tell other countries that what happened in their past was genocide, and they faced off over a program for children’s health care that hasn’t been budgeted for and at this rate it will expire in a couple of weeks.

The worst part of this is watching the cast of characters that wants to run the Executive Branch in the up coming election. It is like picking the last kids for dodge ball when you were a kid. If they were good it would be easy. We are actually trying to figure out who can do the least amount of damage.

We need to develop a coalition form of government. Either, Or just isn’t a choice. Maybe Richard Pryor’s Movie Brewster’s Millions developed the best option – Vote! None of the Above!

During a development day at work we had the chance to play a fun game. Mad Gab. The phrases are called mondegreens. A phrase containing small words that when put together make a new word or phrase. For example, "These If Hill Wore" when pronounced quickly sounds like "The Civil War."

Mad Gab is a game created by Mattel. We laughed and enjoyed our time. It is even funnier when you have discovered the meaning of the phrase and you hear other team members continuing to repeat the phrase over and over. Lots of fun.

I’m heading to Wal-Mart to find it this weekend.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

There Ain’t Nothing Like it No Where

With apologies to the Marketing people at Dreamland Ribs, Southeastern Conference Football, There Ain’t Nothing Like it No Where. Watching on Television is one way to enjoy, but for those who haven’t been to a game, check the calendars, pack the vehicle and get your game on! By the way these are Pork ribs we will be enjoying today! Um, fresh Hog! The whole Wilson crew attended the Auburn versus Arkansas game in Fayetteville, Arkansas, yesterday. What a great experience!

By arriving early we found Tiger Walk. This is the Auburn tradition of a pep rally as the players walk into the stadium. The Minister and Queen were in heaven. So were the rest of us. We were among Alabama people. This is the highest privilege. We talked to people who understand sweet tea, the location of Anniston, and they don’t wrinkle there nose when referred to as ma'am or sir. Princes Dabba and Boodles, (a die hard, Alabama fan), got caught up in the excitement of the events. We met some great people and experienced their generosity first hand.
Queen did find the Auburn band, it came to her! The pep band with about 45 people in it walks up to support the Tiger Walk. Queen and I walk over to meet the trombone players and see if she can make a connection on the Auburn fight song music. Bingo! These folks are wonderful. They are very excited that there is a person at the game interested in their skill and to know that Queen loves the school made it better. After a short conversation, e-mail addresses are exchanged, high fives, and music for a part are in the hands of the Queen, more to follow by e-mail. My thanks to the Auburn Band members for encouraging the continued development of the Queen’s music skill. (This even made this Grinch’s Crimson Heart grow just a little softer or more orange!)

The day was beautiful, warm, clear, and breezy. The game didn’t start until 6:45 p.m. The Minister of Plain pointed out this was very close to his bed time as we walked to the game. Princess Dabba was a trooper. She walked, she “War Eagled”, (for non-Auburn people, this is the beginning of every interaction even the casual, if the shirt looks orange and/or blue, so sling it out there, if the appropriate return response is given, that is “War Eagle” you have found an instant friend.), she played, she sang, and she shook the heck out of some pom poms. Being four finally caught up with the little princess while sitting in my lap with 11:28 to go in the fourth quarter. (Pictures to follow) The sound o meter at the stadium was rocking and she was snooooozing. Didn’t move a muscle. Then just as Auburn wins the game. She arises from her nap for the post game festivities, waving at Aubie, seeing the band, and the walking back to the car.

Remember Minister's comment about the late hour of the game? As two F-18 fighter jets pass overhead at the start of the game he quickly became unconcerned with the time. He and I were seated together to start the game. We had guy time! Talking about the hits, reviewing offensive and defensive formations, and he pointed out the skill of the cheerleaders, he liked the jumbo TV above the scoreboard. There were questions about hooking up X-box to something that large. I couldn’t tell if the cheerleaders or the television was getting more attention. At the end of the game a very amped up excited young man says this is the best day of my whole life. Now, it doesn’t get any better than that! (The Crimson Grinch’s Heart stretched yet again!)

Boodles during the game moved with the Queen down to sit with me and Minister. Lieber and Princess initially were 8 rows up behind us. Arkansas has a strange Public Address announcer…After the team covers ten yards. He says, “That play covered X yards, that is enough for an Arkansas Razorback…” And 68,000 people scream back, “First Down”. Boodles begins to laugh hysterically. There seems to be a message in the tone of the delivery of the crowd, it had to be subliminal in nature since it didn’t happen a lot. Boodles, being the person who is all about fair play and good sportsmanship, except when siblings are involved, asks as Auburn gets a first down why didn’t the announcer make the same comment for Auburn? Quickly, she knew the answer! So, a little fun was had. As Arkansas would get to the end of a series of downs the Auburn fans, about 4,000 of them would response with, “That play didn’t cover the X yards needed, so we have an Arkansas Razorback, and Boodles sings loudly, “fourth down.” The grin on her face, made the stadium light up for me. Back to the fair play, Boodles, (now carrying enough Auburn shakers to sink a ship), as we leave the stadium is telling Arkansas fans, “Nice game”! I wish I would have had a camera to capture the reaction of the vanquished. A number of people smiled. One man, who was sharing his explicative filled opinion with the world, had nothing to say. He smiled and nodded! (We are back at the Grinch’s heart again!)

Leiber and I loaded the crew in the vehicle and patiently waited to leave. All change into snoozing gear. There was discussion about the game, phone calls to friends and family, Observations about the departing crowd, the process of leaving, and the day, were made by all. Eventually, Lieber and I were the only occupants of the vehicle able to withstand the ride home. A great day was had by all. (We began discussing attending the Alabama vs. Auburn game on the weekend of Thanksgiving, in Auburn, Alabama in November. (The Grinch’s heart leapt with Crimson hope!) Liber drove the last 15 minutes of the trip home.

Saturday Update – October 13, 2007

Roasted Pig – I hope. We received some good news on Friday. Lieber was able to secure tickets to the Arkansas vs. Auburn Football game in Fayetteville, Arkansas. We will be able to meet up with an old friend that has moved to Texas. Paul is coming back to the area to attend the game. Huge, Auburn Fan. Doesn’t beat out the Roberts or The Queen of Chocolate but he is getting up there on the fan-atic scale. We are going to tailgate and attend the game. Queen of Chocolate is looking to see the Auburn Band members so she can get the sheet music for trombone to be able to play the Auburn fight song. She already sings the fight song. Now she wants to be able to play it.

Purple Dragons – One beat down and one win this week. Last Tuesday night the young warriors had pictures before the game. Since pictures were 90 minutes before the game there was lots of time to practice before the game. Ooops! The warriors were a little tired once it was game time. The other team went by us like we were standing still. In a couple of places we were actually standing still. The other team had a very talented player. He seemed to do everything. Once I pointed this out to the other coaches on that team and reminded them of the everyone plays every position rule the scoring stopped. But not until after the damage had been done. I was not a happy camper. (I don’t like to loose at anything.) Breathing deeply only works until your about to hyperventilate. I tried the are we having fun with the warriors in the huddle, young Kyler looked at me and said, “Coach, are you kidding?” We smiled at each other and finished the game.

Thursday night was a very different game. Our gang was playing great. Logan ran the ball well. He was an inspired runner. Coach B was very excited. The offense ran some long plays and we threw the ball. Our guys did a great job. Mr. Lincoln was running so fast he as knocked out of his shoe and had his hand stepped on when he rolled across the ground. We attend to the bumped up Warrior. Pulling out his mouth piece so he could talk we listened to his report of what happened. We asked him to sit out a couple of plays after we put his shoe back on him. As young Lincoln runs back in to play he asks for his mouthpiece. “Coach Wilson, you have it!” I begin patting down my pockets. He dashes back to the sidelines wondering where is my mouthpiece? Coach B finds it in his jacket pocket. Lincoln runs out pushes in the mouth piece takes his spot just as the other team snaps the ball. We were all laughing so hard about finding the mouthpiece we almost missed the next play. Minister of Plain was the Quarterback on a touchdown. He also was thrown a pass near the end of the game in the corner of the end zone. The game went well. Three more games to go.

Marching, marching, marching
The Queen of Chocolate and the Minister of Plain marched in the Homecoming parade for our resident home town. Queen as a member of the band and Minister in his football jersey moved down Main Street on Friday afternoon. Queen marches today in the local University Homecoming parade. We are then headed out to the pig roast.

P.S. Should have sent this out earlier on Saturday. At 1:30 a.m. Sunday morning the urgency of the update just wasn’t there. My apologies to the loyal readers for not actually updating on Saturday.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Invite Yourself to Dinner Night.

That is what I said. This game we invented with good friends while living in Anniston, Alabama. There are rules. There must be a call a number of hours in advance. Due to the limited notice you will have whatever is being served that evening. Portions maybe smaller or cause a level of meal creativity not previously seen. House cleaning is not to be done other than picking up drawers or basic straightening. The invitee can bring whatever is needed or can assist in the effort.

Challenges come with school night sessions and during sports seasons. This is a wonderful opportunity to have friendship, laughs, and downtime with your friends.

The dads cooked on these nights, also, no free pass. Let me see some of my specials on those nights were Chicken ala Colonel, Pepperonis on a Round Dough from Dom Inos. There were also health meals. No one ever went hungry or thirsty, especially thirsty.

Explain the rules. Then reach out and call your friends. This way it gives you that chance to hear from them.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Spider Paratroopers

Last night on the way home I had the opportunity to see in person the live version of the ending to Charlotte’s Web. The new young spiders were floating through the air beneath their silk parachutes. It was really an interesting sight and I wished I had a real camera with me not my TREO or cell phone that can get this picture.

I was so excited about observing nature that I had to take a more active part. I decided to stop and watch the event. Trying to multitask I decide to pump gas into my car. I whip in, jump out. Looking into the setting sun I am watching the flying spider paratroopers.

Then in a moment, what have I done? I begin to realize, yes. These are flying spiders. I determine the direction of the wind and make sure I keep the car between me and the arachnids that are flying through the air. A millisecond later something touches my ear. No kidding. The hair on my arms begins to stick up. I push my neck lower in my collar. My mind is racing. What kid of spiders fly? Charlottes’ Web was a book and a cartoon movie.

All of a sudden my car has plenty of fuel. I fumble for the gas cap. Put the nozzle back in the pump. Moving rapidly toward my open driver’s side door, where are my keys? Who participates in nature anyway? Didn’t bad stuff happen to the guys on Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom? I know things turned out poorly for the Crock Guy. Then something touches my ear, again. There are mini paratroopers executing Operation Overlord, the World War Two invasion of Normandy in my car. As the silk touches my ear yet again I begin to wonder about the location of the trooper who had been hanging from that chute. My arms are racing around my head. Calmly I pull away from the pump and decide maybe let’s leave the nature watching to the professionals.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Monday, October 8, 2007

Where Was I when You and Mommy Got Married?

How about this question from Princess Dabba? Our youngest who just turned four was listening to a conversation about an upcoming anniversary. On November 9th, Lieber and I will be celebrating our sixteenth wedding anniversary. As we discussed the event, all of a sudden from the mouth of babes,” Where was I when you and Mommy got married the other day?
In the world of the Princess, at this point of her development, everything is yesterday and tomorrow. She remembers events and people from long ago with the clarity that at times scares me she is so accurate.
So there is a pause as I try to develop an answer. I get bailed out of the answer by our twelve year old Queen of Chocolate who says, silly, you were in Mommy’s tummy with the rest of us.
I about bit a hole in my lip trying to get out of the room. The resulting conversation saved me from a modified version of the birds and bees. Where is Dr. Seuss when I need him?

Weekly Update - Saturday, October 06, 2007

Purple Dragons –
The Dragons were idle this week, only one practice. Our Thursday game was moved due to a Cross Country meet. Now, with all due respect to the World and National class runners in my family, it was tough enough when the Soccer people, of whom I am one, tried to declare that since more people around the world play football, soccer, that soccer is the real football. Okay, that may be the case in the rest of the world but not here in the Midwest. But, to be bumped by Cross Country, the world is beginning to spin off its axis. Fine, pause the game while the herd runs through then resume the game. Cancelling? Oh! Well.

Our finely tuned machine of flag pullers were in rare form last Monday evening. Coach B was working in a few new plays. The LSU fake field goal was cool as was the Tennessee Titan’s Statue of Liberty. We don’t get to kick so that play was pulled. The additions to the play book came after seeing the spread offense of a number of Saturday teams. We are still working on which is left and which is right. We did have a revelation that a couple of our players on offense when they learn in the huddle they are to get the ball raise their hands. We have always wondered how we seem to be playing these Mensa monsters of the midway that swoop in to get the flags within milliseconds. A parent on the sideline pointed out that tidbit. In the words of the comedian, Bill Englwald, there’s your sign.

Purple Dragons will be back in business on Tuesday, October 9. The cable deal is still pending. Thanks for asking!

Blog Etiquette and Acronyms
I have started to get into the world of Blogging. I have met some great people and had the opportunity to read some very creative and interesting perspectives of the world. Within a couple of days of Busy Dad Mumbles, going into operation I began to learn you are not just to read the materials on a blog but you are also to provide comment. Not commenting is called lurking. The name implies awful sounding things but it is just a way to get blog readers to provide some acknowledgement to blog writers. (Read my Creates a Hallmark Holiday on Lurking.)

There are acronyms that describe the writers, SAHM, are a Stay At Home Mom. SAHD is a Stay at Home Dad. (I have mentioned this to Lieber a couple of times this week as my next career move.) Lieber and I have qualified in the acronym world as SIMK’s. (Single Income Multiple Kids) There are also DINK’s (Dual Incomes No Kids). Lieber and I have figured we are NEIMCEAMW, (Not Enough Income Multiple College Educations and Multiple Weddings.) There are more acronyms than the Military.

There is one Blog called Wordless Wednesday. Being in a house full of young providers of words. I thought initially this site was a parents dream. Please note that I had to edit out any spouse type references here. But, the concept was right on. Once I learned it is a picture on your site and really is testing the old adage of a picture is worth a thousands words. I participated for the first time using a picture of my late dog and cat. Got lots of comments. The fuel of blogs. You should try it sometime.

Blogging has been lots of fun. I have met some great people all over the country that read and comment on the stories posted. I look forward to meeting more and providing worthwhile content. TEFN = (That is enough for Now)

School Fund Raisers
Climbing up on my soapbox. Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Taxation without representation! That is what I am calling the continued school fund raisers. I have three kids in public school. So annually they come home with packets of items to sell to friends, neighbors, co-workers, relatives, or anyone else that is within earshot. Now mind you we already provide paper towels, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, markers, snacks for that class, etc.

Now, don’t get me wrong. As a kid I pitched in for bake sales for someone’s band trip, sold Christmas trees and popcorn, car washes for school outings, donations for new uniforms, etc. The effort was for a specific one time event. Off limits in this discussion are Girl Scout cookies. This group is providing a community service, the annual allotment of thin mints! (Fill in your favorite cookie)

Back to the Soap Box. My fourth grader tells me about a 45 minute assembly at school to see the cool products and the big prizes for selling the most items. We can’t have outside games at school like dodge ball or exercise. But, a 45 minute sales meeting? The kids and the teachers will then get weekly updates on their sales progress. Oh! In the written materials it say, “We do not encourage door to door sales, sell to neighbors, friends, and relatives.” First, I behave poorly enough that this group of people barely speaks to me for any extended length of time. Now, to hit this group with 3 sellers of trinkets and trash from one household. Enough already!

But the way, the neighborhood kids don’t listen in the meetings or read the materials after seeing the prizes. We have had five pairs of kids at our door requesting we buy. When I or Lieber explain very nicely that we have 3 competitive sales associate in our homestead we get the look of oh! Sure! You’re just saying that.

What is the money going to? Who is making the money and who controls the distribution? Have these people heard of Child Labor Laws? Parents with youngsters unite! Those of you with pre-schoolers watch out. Juice box and stroller tickets are coming!

Who are these companies that, out of the goodness of their heart, are providing products for sale to assist our community? I’m in business. That doesn’t sound like a good return on investment. There is obviously a sales rep, there are marketing materials being printed, prizes being purchased, and there is a distribution process which can cost the sellers should the buyer not make good on the purchase or mover outside of the delivery area.

Another question. Are the tax dollars of these sales being returned to the community? People in this area got all exercised when a retailer was coming into town to take money for the pocket of locals. “The items in the pamphlets don’t say, Made in the Midwest. So I am guessing there is some large percentage of the sales revenue leaving the area.

When I have asked each of the sellers what the items are being sold for they say school, then prizes. There is not a consistently understood end result that this dubious work is being applied too. I did hear one answer that it was for overhead projectors? OH! You mean we are going to replace that fine Monk in the basement with the stone tablet and chisel? Are those overhead projectors still being used outside of designing the homecoming float or drawing the pre-game run through for a sports team?

We just had the honor of our taxes being raised first by a vote, then by a goofed up assessment system. (Another story, another time) The property taxes were raised to provide for education and the schools. You mean we are about to build a school that needs the kids to go door to door for the leading edge technology of an overhead projector? OH! Yea. We are going to be rocketing up the rankings of the international world in education once we have the dollars for equipment. Maybe we can convince everyone in the school system to play Monopoly at McDonalds. I’m sure we have just as good a chance of getting the winning ticket as the kids do in seeing the result of their sales.

Let’s begin asking the next candidate or political party that calls looking for money if they would like to buy some school fund raiser materials? Maybe there can be a debate on this topic? Down off the box.

Great football weekend both in live and Fantasy.

Also, I got to watch hockey on television the other night. There will be more on this topic as the Pittsburgh Penguins’ journey toward winning Lord Stanley’s Cup.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Causing a Halmark Holiday

My fellow bloggers. Please allow me to apologize. Being new to the process of blogging, a rookie, I was following links, learning from other sites, and visiting the heck out of blogs. Having a big time. My spouse, Mine Lieber, being smarter than I, and a real blogger, asked if I had left comments. What? My first dilemma was how am I supposed to answer this question. Second, who am I, a rookie blogger, to comment on/about the work, thoughts, and creativity of others? How was I to know not leaving comments is called Lurking?

Not being the sharpest tool in the shed I could tell by the name this was not a positive descriptor. Yet, I was in the dark. Then of all days, Lieber, informs me this is a blogging social dysfunction. Oh! Great. It usually takes me a number of interactions with people to hose up the relationship or make some kind of poorly timed comment.

Then I felt a little piling on from a couple of my fellow bloggers, postings begin to appear with National De-Lurking Day. Oh! Great. I've caused a new Hallmark holiday! Lieber explains that this takes place a couple of times per year. And although I believe the world revolves around me this is just a case of bad timing. Phew!

Lieber being a responsible blogger, enforced my time in the penalty box for Lurking. I lost my computer privileges for a short time to Princess Dabba, was forced to match socks and given two school fund raising requests to review. Enough already! Step one achieved. Step Two, Hi! I’m Busy Dad Mumbles and I have lurked. It has been one day since I last visited without commenting.

Learning and recovery all at the same time.

Template Contest

Thought I would give this a try since I am new at this . I would like to get a new look for my blog.

Wordless Wednesday

For More Wordless Wednessday go here.

"Special Prayers"

The last few days have been unusual in a sad and positive way. On Friday evening a young man was killed within a few miles of our house in a motorcycle accident. We learned of a couple that had a 13 month old child pass away suddenly and two people we know had relatives pass away. Our youngest was working to understand the events that she heard being discussed in and around the house. From the mouth of babes, "Dad, all we need to do is talk to God and say some special prayers." And before she went to bed that is exactly what she did. I hope she put in a good word for me.

The positive part of the weekend is a number of friends have found out that they are expecting. They also have our thoughts and prayers. Our kids all think they are having children to provide playmates for them. Isn't great how simple life can be when you are four and seven.