Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Smiley and Junie

Here are two pics of my lil' ones at Denny's on Kids Eat Free night.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

A day with Team Slap

Nothing exciting today, but busy? Busy I have. For starters, we took Junie to her College for Kids class, then decided to dine at a local eatery called Hi-Fi. It's a kitchy place with art all over the walls, and Smiley had a blast during lunch playing "I Spy". 




Me? I thought the food was overpriced and average (so overpriced Lisa & Smiley shared a lunch, and I abstained). In addition, a lot of the artwork on the walls had an anti-Christian bent - Pinnochio hanging on a crucifix for instance - and while they're entitled to their opinion it doesn't make it any more comfortable for me to give them my money. 

We then crossed the street and perused a used bookstore, and if you know me you know that was a great half hour. 

When we returned home Smiley and I went out for a jog, doubling back all the way to the restaurant we'd just left. 

Once we picked up Junie from school we went to the laundrymat (our washer is kaput) where Smiley read me the book we'd bought him at the used place ("Kids ask How?") cover to cover :)


Junie did the project below for one of her classes. It's a tic-tac-toe board made of popsicle sticks that folds up accordian-fan style when you aren't playing. The ribbon you use to tie it doubles as a holder for the two different kinds of beads you use as markers. 

What a neat project!


After that we ran several errands before returning home. Not an atypical day around here; Team Slap is nothing but busy!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Junie's Graduation

June 6th was Junie's graduation from K5 to 1st grade, an event celebrated fondly for each of our kids. This year's event resulted in a fair amount of turmoil, but I will keep that out of this post and simply stick to the bright shiny parts :)

Here's the girl on her big day:



Here are water bottles Lisa customized for the event. She designed and ordered the labels off of Ebay, affixed them, and then decorated them with a ribbon in the school colors. 



Here are Smarties candies that Lisa rolled in paper marked "2013", tied with ribbon and sent in as "diplomas" for the snack table. 


Here's Junie again. 


The big moment arrives: 



A proud grad!


Afterwards we lunched at the Nite Owl. 

Congratulations Junie! We are proud of you and will love you forever!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Thursday (June 13th) was a good day for Team Slap.

Thursday  (June 13th) was a good day for Team Slap.

It didn’t start out that way, as befits any good tale – where’s the drama in perfection? At the last moment I checked my calendar and found that LuLu and Smiley had a dentist appointment at 9 a.m.  Oops. That was bad enough, but it turns out I was wrong about the time, and we sat in the waiting room for an unnecessary half hour.

Both kids were there to have cavities fixed, and LuLu went first. Within a few minutes the dentist called back to the exam room, where Lu was steadfastly refusing to open her mouth claiming (and this was the first I’d heard of it) a fear of needles. After briefly resuming the argument the dentist gave up and recommended I take her to a specialist in pediatric dentistry.

Since I can’t afford this, I wooed Lu and convinced her to continue. She reneged on her agreement,  and was promptly removed to the waiting room. Smiley then went in and conducted his business with unflappable English resignation, although I credit this simply to wanting to show up his sister, as he is normally quite afraid of the dentist.

Lisa later expressed her dissatisfaction with my failure to convince Lu.

Lunch and a nap followed, and then we gathered outside to take our bikes out of their winter quarters in the shed. The news wasn’t good. Of the six bikes we have for five of us (mine was stolen last June), one had had  a bad chain, two had cracked tires that wouldn’t hold air, one had a front tire that was loose and later found to be leaking air, and the sixth was too small for anyone.

I fixed up the small bike by raising the seat and handlebars so at the very least Junie could ride it around the alley, but it won’t do long term. I fixed the loose wheel and tinkered with the others, but all in all it’s a shambles, and I don’t know where I’ll find the money to fix or replace them all.

Here comes the good news though.

Last week, when I took the mower Lisa bought me for Father’s Day 2012 out of storage, it refused to start.  I was told I’d gummed up the carburetor by failing to remove the gas over the winter, which in my ignorance I had no clue was necessary. Lacking the funds to fix it right now, I made do with the awful rotor mower I inherited from my Big Grandpa.  On a lark I tried the power mower again yesterday, and it started! Oh, it belched black smoke for awhile, but it came to life with vigor and I mowed the lawn, then, feeling inspired, took out the trimmer and finished the job.

Hot dog!

Then even bigger news – Smiley learned to ride a bike!

Lu took him out to the alley and had him practice on one of the bikes, and like the Mother Hen she is she was calm and collected as she instructed him. Then, to our surprise, she let go and he rode down the alley. Lisa and I both let our a roar and threw our arms in the air! We’ve been trying for two years to teach the boy, and he’s always been too squeamish to master it, which was directly at odds with Lisa’s insistence that bike riding is a prerequisite for childhood. Again – hot dog!

Feeling all warm and family-ish, I grabbed our mitts and headed to the alley for a game of catch with Smiley. Lisa joined us for awhile, and soon Junie had designated herself as the ball girl, running after each missed ball as it traveled down the alley, which relieved me of the worst part of catch. Lisa then went and played some volleyball with Lu, but once I heard the kid start to whine I knew it was time to pack it in and go inside.
After a quick but improvised dinner Lisa and I cuddled on the couch and watched Dateline.

To finish off the night, while in the car the radio provided me with perfect driving music: Nine Inch Nails, GNR, Black Sabbath, Van Halen (Hagar),  ABBA and One Direction.

All in all, a great day J

Saturday, June 15, 2013

How Sweet is Smiley?


This first one isn't actually Smiley's work, or evidence of his sweetness, but rather a quick monogram I made for him on the paper tablecloth of a pizza restaurant. I rather like it, and so did he. 




Here's a homemade card he gave Lisa for Mother's Day: 

I will love you even wine [sic] I die. Happy Mom's day. I love you. 




Lastly, here is a giraffe made of clothespins that he gave to me as a gift after spending the weekend with his maternal grandmother. He was very eager to present it to me, and was quite proud when I displayed it prominently in my bedroom. 


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Truman


  • Early in the year I read both volumes of Harry Truman's autobiography and, to be honest, I had a hard time of it; popular opinion aside, there just didn't seem that much to like about him. Here are some thoughts I posted on social media at the time. I'm not sure why the formatting is so screwy, but I can't seem to fix it. 




  • There are few things more obnoxious than a "self-taught" man constantly showing off his knowledge - often knowledge half-understood and in the wrong context - in a vain effort to ease his inferiority complex. Harry S Truman, I'm talking to you.

  • Reading V2 of Truman's memoirs. Every time I'm impressed, he follows it up with something jack-assery.
  • Hyper partisan. Distrustful of 'experts'. Twists history 2 justify his decisions. Ever hungry 4 more gov't. What's not to luv about Truman?
  • Chp. 26 of his memoirs concern the a-bomb, and HST is far too cavalier about it. re Hirishima: " This is the greatest thing in history" ?!?!
  • Truman argued the Potsdam declaration was
  •  fair warning of & justification for the atomic destruction to come. I call b.s.
  • In Chapter 26 of Vol 1 of his memoirs he admits he had been advised by statesmen and 

  • military alike that taking the Emperor off the table – in effect, making “unconditional 

  • surrender” slightly less so – would all but ensure the surrender of Japan. He concurred, and

  •  in an awkward segue claims that Potsdam was his last, best attempt to offer the Japanese a 

  • way out under that umbrella. But if you read the declaration, there is no mention of such a concession, nor for obvious reasons is there mention of atomic weapons, merely the standard issue “surrender or we’ll destroy you”. and, as you know, we did amend our surrender demands to allow the Emperror to remain - after we dropped two bombs.There may have been a way out, and it was either squandered or subverted by the President. 

  • Whether or not its use was justified - and I lean towards 'yes’ for Hiroshima, but no for Nagasaki – and whether by the same token you can stomach the idea of consciously selecting an entire population center for extermination - one would hope you make the decision with careful deliberation and a ton of melancholy. Not so. At least as he wrote it, the decision was preordained, and he was at sea when the bomb was dropped. He then famously declared the news of Hiroshima’s fate to be “the greatest thing in history” and expresses no hesitation when needlessly bombing Nagasaki three days latei. 

  • Throughout the chapter its taken far, far less somberly than prior discussions over the partitioning of Germany and the division of the German merchant fleet. Even if he didn't give one fat fig about dropping the bomb, a proper respect for the opinions of mankind and mankind’s God decrees that some expression of remorse or solemnity find its way into his account

  • There is none.
  • Whether or not its use was justified - and I lean towards 'yes’ for Hiroshima, but no for Nagasaki – and whether by the same token you can stomach the idea of consciously selecting an entire population center for extermination - one would hope you make the decision with careful deliberation and a ton of melancholy. Not so. At least as he wrote it, the decision was preordained, and he was at sea when the bomb was dropped. He then famously declared the news of Hiroshima’s fate to be “the greatest thing in history” and expresses no hesitation when needlessly bombing Nagasaki three days latei. 

  • Throughout the chapter its taken far, far less somberly than prior discussions over the partitioning of Germany and the division of the German merchant fleet. Even if he didn't give one fat fig about dropping the bomb, a proper respect for the opinions of mankind and mankind’s God decrees that some expression of remorse or solemnity find its way into his account

  • There is none.
  • Whether or not its use was justified - and I lean towards 'yes’ for Hiroshima, but no for Nagasaki – and whether by the same token you can stomach the idea of consciously selecting an entire population center for extermination - one would hope you make the decision with careful deliberation and a ton of melancholy. Not so. At least as he wrote it, the decision was preordained, and he was at sea when the bomb was dropped. He then famously declared the news of Hiroshima’s fate to be “the greatest thing in history” and expresses no hesitation when needlessly bombing Nagasaki three days latei. 
  • Throughout the chapter its taken far, far less somberly than prior discussions over the partitioning of Germany and the division of the German merchant fleet. Even if he didn't give one fat fig about dropping the bomb, a proper respect for the opinions of mankind and mankind’s God decrees that some expression of remorse or solemnity find its way into his account

  • There is none.
  • Throughout the chapter its taken far, far less somberly than prior discussions over the partitioning of Germany and the division of the German merchant fleet. Even if he didn't give one fat fig about dropping the bomb, a proper respect for the opinions of mankind and mankind’s God decrees that some expression of remorse or solemnity find its way into his account
  • There is none.
  • There is none.
  • I would counter that paragraph one of my comment is not a question of morality per se ( though it is as well) but of practicality. Had we not had the bomb, the failure to amend the " unconditional" surrender despite correct pleas to do so would have had us incur needless economic, material, and personnel losses by dragging out the war. Offer that and have it refused, and you remove any moral questions regarding the use of the bomb.







Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Where's the fun in that?

Last week a friend treated us to pizza at the restaurant down the street. YaYa stayed behind but asked that we return with three slices for her dinner.

We complied, but as a joke also brought home three teeny tiny slices just to freak her out.

Alas, aware of my humor she blandly played along, accepting the offering without complaint and thanking us for a tasty dinner.

Where's the fun in that?

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Custard at Leon's after Mass

Yes, I took Junie to church wearing a "Vampires Suck" T-shirt. Sue me - at least we went, right? 





Monday, June 3, 2013

Smiley's Art

I'm sorry the image is so faint, but this is a scanned copy of a pencil sketch Smiley (age 8) did last week. I asked him time and again if he traced it, and he swears up and down it's freehand. Since YaYa has also become a rather talented artist (at least for her age) I think the little guy is telling the truth :)

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Pizza Man - a rough sketch by LuLu

Here's a rough draft of an art project LuLu did entitled "Pizza Man". Enjoy!.