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Friday, March 31, 2006

A Sprintime Public Service Reminder

This weekend begins Daylight Savings Time.

And this year that includes you folks in Indiana.

THAT guy... continued

Yeah, I am going to continue on here about the "poor husband" that felt he needed to go on strike. On his website, he starts out with saying that "All I want is respect from my wife when it comes to raising our children!", and on the surface I could agree with that sentiment.

But then I read his posts (which are now gone, the domain points nowhere, and only a test post is up at, and then I read the interviews he gave to Fox News, KUTV, and Good Morning America, the only issue he has with how his children are being raised is that they are in in his bedroom. It really got summed up for me in this quote from KUTV:

When asked what the biggest problem with his wife is, James said, "No intimacy,
that's number one."

This is not, as I see it, even about a "family bed" situation. That I can understand more if she wanted the kids to always be there and he didn't. The baby is 2 freakin' months old, and I am willing to bet that this poor suffering husband isn't the one to get up for the middle of the night feedings.

What I see here is a guy that marked the "six weeks after" on his calendar, and decided, that's it six weeks, and everything else be damned, "I want my sex life back". So basically he has been waiting, what 2 weeks? Let me ask you, was sex on the top of your priority list immediately after you "could"? (Or was your wife? - for the one or two male readers I have) Do you think maybe he could have spent a LITTLE more time trying to work this out before "going on strike" and calling the media about it? Give me a break! He is making a "statement" for all other husbasnds suffering in silence? He may have to stay on that roof, because with his ego, he may never get back in the door.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Oh... THAT'S Why!

You know I often wonder why the Dad's often get (in my opinion) the short end of the stick when it comes to being able to take care of a child. I mean a man can learn, adjust and be just as flexible as a woman when it comes to these things. I have a simply spectacular relationship with my daughter. My wife can come and go as needed and never have to worry that I have the mental competence to deal with the 'chore' of being a parent.

Thursday Night is my "Night Out", I go bowling once a week. And even on those days, I am home for supper and spend as much time with my daughter as I can, which leaves her only usually about a 1/2 hour before bedtime before I actually go out. It is the best situation as I see it (and even my wife seems to agree), since I do not really lose any quality time with her, and still get my night of interaction with adults so that I am not singing Get'cha Head In the Game by the end of the week. With all of that, I still get a song and a dance from LatteGirl begging me not to go (which is more a show at this point I think than actually not wanting me to go), and I feel bad for wasting time that I could spend with her.

Then as I go on my daily blog reading binge, I found a link to this story over at Hey, You. At first glance, it appears to be a joke. At second glance you realize it is not a joke, but hey it is just a blog by a man, who's children will need therapy for years to come. It gets worse as you read that he is "On Strike" because his wife will not follow exactly what he has decided is spoiling them (a 2 month old sleeping in their bed, and a 2 year old with a pacifer). It gets worse (yes it really does) because this clown has garnered some media attention with his stunt. Now you (well I did anyway) go into the comments (over 1600 on his most recent post), and read all the sick bastages that SUPPORT his opinion and cheer him on for "saying what too many people are thinking but afraid to say."

It is at this point, I realize. "Oh, That's why..." so many people can't come to terms with a doting father. Blockheads like this dope are apparently STILL out there if not ACTING like an idiot, then at least THINKING like one.

My apologies to all the women I have taken umbrage with for questioning my wife on the wisdom of leaving our daughter in my care at times, I didn't think dolts like this still existed, and that was an egregious mistake on my part.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


If you do not believe that people are still guided somewhat at least by animal instincts, then you only need to look as far as a parent (I will acknowledge that this is typically the mother, but since some of us Dads fit in here to I will say 'parent'), that is protecting their child. As as example, I will point to Jenn of Mommy Needs Coffee fame, and her essay over at dotMoms.

But the situation does not necessarily need to be that dramatic to kick things into gear. Yesterday (after having already posted my most lame of posts), I received a phone call from the head of the after-care program that LatteGirl attends two days a week. Please let me take this momment for a Public Service Announcement to School Officials of any sort that contacts parents about 'situations.' After announcing who you are and where you are from, do not stall, pause, stammer, give me a long drawn out, "Ummm", or go into background facts UNTIL you calm me down and let me know that my daughter is 'Fine.'

Anything you say, between "This is Ms. SoAndSo from P.S. ###" and "You daughter is fine" is only background static that I am not paying attention to and you will only have to repeat yourself later when I THEN crave the details of how this occurred, and you wind up only having to sigh and say, "Well, as I just said..." True, you may have said it, but when you did, I did not care and was not listening, I was simply scanning through your static to hear what was at that momment the only thing that matters. My baby (Don't tell LatteGirl I called her that) is OK. Thank You for your cooperation. Now back to our regularly scheduled post.

So, I receive the phone call, 'You daughter had an accident'. A child had pushed my daughter to the sidewalk as they waited for the bus that transported them to the aftercare program. I am not happy already, but they are not done with the facts yet. She has a lump on her head, scrapes on her cheek, a bloody nose and her jeans are torn. An accident report has been written, and she if fine. "I just thought you should know." Well, yeah I should know.

{The following occurred only in my head -- well mostly in my head}

I also want to know who the hell was on duty watching these kids as they waited for the bus! I want her fired. And who is it that knocked down my daughter... I'll teach that little [expletive deleted] to put his hands on my daughter. And where are his parents, I think they need a can of Whoopass opened on them too! Calm Down? Calm The [deleted] Down?!? Don't tell me to calm down, I want heads to roll!

{/End of self rant}

Yes, let me say now I am aware, once my rational side kicked in, that "kids will be kids" and that even with the most attentive teacher, that kids being who they are will cause and get into mischeif from time to time. But that doesn't mean that I have to like it, or that I can control the rage I feel (I can control what I do with it, but not how I feel), when I feel my child has been wronged by another. Instinct at that point takes over... to protect. If I even think you might try to hurt my little girl, I promise you I will hurt you back... exponentially.

What really drove my recognition of this home was, not only my personal reflection once I had calmed down, but several hours later, when TheWife returned home from work, and I got to watch her go through the same cycle. Normally we go through these cycles at the same time, but this time I had a rare opportunity to watch it while having already come to terms and calmed myself. And I will say for anybody that needs to know, while my wife may be 6" and 150 lbs lighter than I am, that in no way will prevent her from inflicting the same (if not greater) level of damage as I may, should she feel you were the cause of our child's pain. Even the caves of Afghanistan would not keep you hidden and safe for any lenghth of time.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Sleep Please... and I'll pass on the funky dreams

Sleep was very difficult to come by this weekend, and when it came along, it came with some rather strange dreams. I will bore with only a little of it.

First of, my wife has been hinting (OK, more than hinting) about getting another dog. Her justification is that our dog Sweetie is getting up there in years and that it will improve the quality of her life to have another dog around. We have (up until now) always been one to rescue a dog from a shelter, but now she wants a Weimaraner. You know. The dogs that they always dress up for Greeting Cards and the like? (Of course I can't find a picture right now to post of the "Weinmaraner is Suits" I am talking about) Anyway, I guess this has been sitting in my head as I had a dream that I lost my job... to a Weimanger. He was sitting at my desk. And in a suit. Yes, it sounds absurd (as surely it is), but I must tell you, such a scenario playing out in your brain leaves you quite distraught when awake.

The second is much easier to understand, and probably has infected other parents as well that have, as I have, watched "High School Musical" one too many times. And while I do not recall the exact situation of my dream, let me just say that having Zac Effron and Ashley Tisdale (and whoever it was that played Chad) in your dreams, seemingly fitting into your everyday life, can leave you looking over your shoulder at breakfast the next morning.

Oh, and while I am on High School Musical for a momment, I have to ask, what is up with Marilyn Moss and her simply awful review of this movie? I mean, c'mon this is a made for TV movie, and one targeted (primarily) at kids. When she calls this, "This is formulaic, cookie-cutter television moviemaking at its most obvious." I can't help but wonder, What the hell has she been watching? What was the last made for T.V. show that actually took a chance on a "musical"? CopRock? (I was sure CopRock had destroyed any chances of a musical being on television ever again). This was a definite pleasant change from what passes as entertainment for kids, and introduced many to a form of entertainment that unless they have the opportunity to see a Broadway show, will never get to see again. Was it the greatest movie of the year? Well, no. But you know what... when I see (people's) reviews of movies like, "The Shaggy Dog" and "Curious George" it seems to me that Disney has a decent release here, and not making us go to the theaters to see it was only a bonus. The songs were fun and despite having them drummed into my head during commercials (Disney Style), were still enjoyable while watching the movie. I think Ms. Moss needs to take it down a notch.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Fear of Unknown Food

When LatteGirl was a baby, she was not a fussy eater. She ate EVERYTHING we gave her, vegetables, fruits, meat, virtually anything.

Well around the time she went to "toddler food" she started getting a bit fussy. Alright, honestly she became a royal pain in the ass. For lunch at Pre-School, the only thing we could get her to eat was the Gerber Graduates Pasta Pickups. But we always figured she would outgrow this phase. After all she likes (liked) all kinds of different things. Even fruits that are not typically small child friendly since they can be bitter (such as Strawberries and Pinapple).

As time has worn on however, we seem to be making such little progress. Her diet basically consists of Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches for lunch 7 days a week, and either PERDUE FUN SHAPES Breaded Dinosaur Chicken Breast Nuggets and carrots(We were NOT going to let her eat the fried fast food version... at least not a majority of the time), or Pizza. She still snacks on fruits and yogurt, and of course has learned to love Chocolate Ice Cream (when she was little she would only eat vanilla), Nacho Chips, and the typical junk fare that kids crave and parents despise.

But trying to get her to expand her menu is downright impossible. It is not that she doesn't like things. If she would try them, and say "yuck" well then OK, we try something else. But she outright refuses to even try. Any effort to try and persuade her more than merely asking, involves tears... or worse (I have mentioned that she has this unique ability to vomit seeming on command right?). After a bit of pushing, once or twice we got her to put something in her mouth with the understanding that if she didn't like it, she of course didn't have to eat it. But that went about as well as one might expect. She would start to (pretend) to try it, but would already be shaking her head 'NO' and the very same instant it hit her tongue, it was already on its way out of her mouth and into her napkin.

It is really quite frustrating trying to find a way to get her to expand. Even some tricks that have gotten her exposed to a few new things, that seem like they should open the door do not. That didn't make much sense did it? Well let me give an example. She likes Pizza. Every couple of weeks or so, we make homemade pizza (OK, I cheat, I admit it, we buy the Pizza Dough at the Supermarket). Well, on one occassion, I got her to try the sauce on the spoon after we had made the pizza. She loved it. Super, "Since you like the sauce, perhaps you could try it on some pasta." Nope no go. OK, so we try a similar tact with the cheese. She likes the cheese. So I bought her some string cheese. Nope, she will eat the shredded mozeralla from the bag (but only if we are making pizza), but will not even TASTE the string cheese.

I know it is in there. She is just so damned stubborn (sure THAT she had to inherit from me) and frozen with FEAR over this. We have never PUSHED her hard to try new things, as I just don't think the old, "You eat what I put in front of you" thing is the answer. I just don't know what else to try.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

I was considering...

moving off of Blogger. So I had been stalling on working on the layout until I moved this to a new home. But as i have not decided on a new home yet, and was completely sick of the hiddeous stock layout, I finally decided to make this a little more "homey." You like?

Counting Down

Only 22 days until we head off to Hershey PA (Could you think of a more appropriate place to spend Easter Weekend?)

Anticipation is starting to build.

I only hope it starts to feel more like SPRING by then.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Need to Bake

easter cupcakes
Originally uploaded by JayMonster.
One thing I got used to when my daughter was in Pre-School was baking for all the parties they had.

Items like this cupcake that I made for her Easter Party a couple of years ago were common.

Now, all the parties had to be signed up for at the first PTA meeting, and my wife, not yet accustomed to the mad stampede for the sign up sheets, only managed to get us signed up for one holiday, Halloween. And SHE baked for that one, leaving me, yearning for an excuse to bake some cupcakes.

Maybe I can break school policy and send them in anyway. What are they going to do, turn down free cupcakes. Heck at the very least they could put them in the teacher's lounge.

Monday, March 20, 2006

COBRA - Reality and Myth

Congress passed the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) health benefit provisions in 1986. The purpose is to provide continuation of group health coverage that otherwise might be terminated.

This appeared to be a wise option for me when I left my last employer and set off back into the world of consulting. Eventually I would start working on finding my own coverage, but as any parent of a child knows, you don't want to leave yourself open without coverage because you can almost guarantee your child getting sick (or so it would seem) during that time.

However, while COBRA gurantees the ability to GET the coverage, it does not guarantee CONTINUOUS coverage. A fact that left me without insurance while bringing my daughter to the doctor this weekend with a cold.

You see, your employer has 2 weeks to get you the proper paperwork once your relationship is terminated. You then have the balance of 45 days after that point to "elect coverage" (which I did within 3 days, it would have been sooner, but they made a few mistakes on the coverage form). I sent the forms back via Overnight Delivery. Well, now as it turns out they have another two weeks before they are required by law to complete this paperwork and provide the coverage, which they are apparently taking full advantange of.

I should step back here for a momment for some background. You see, my employer tried on their paperwork they sent me, to make payment due upon election of coverage. Something that they can not do, since COBRA states that I have 45 days to make payment. They were none to happy about this, so it would seem that they will now drag their heels as long as they can, although (wisely on their part I will admit), they certainly will not admit to.

So, now here it is 3 weeks after my coverage ended, and I still do not have coverage for my daughter, despite the promise of "Continued Covereage" that COBRA tells you that you may have.

The Doctor Visit

I will also take this opportunity pick on both the doctors and pharmaceutical industry while I am at it. An $85 office visit at the pediatrician involves my daughter being stuck sitting in a PACKED waiting room for well over an hour, for an appointment that lasts all of 6 minutes, while the doctor a. looks in her throat and b. Listens to her chest to hear if she is congested (something you can here when she coughs - no stethoscope needed). Write a Script, pay on your way out. Next! And of course, I was not done there, as we make our way to the pharmacy for...

The Prescription

So, prescription in hand, the trip is made to CVS Pharmacy. The script is for Cedax. This is the best of all worlds for my picky (read: pain in the ass) daughter who will throw up any medication that she finds revolting. The best of all worlds because, A. It works really well for her and she have virtually never relapsed when this was the medication prescribed, B. It is not (apparently) horrible tasting, and she can handle drinking and swallowing it without traumatic episode and C. It is a once-a-day so that forgotten doses are history and limits the events that can cause drama. So, I am happy overall with the product.

That being said, when I went to pay for the prescription, you nearly had to pull me off the ceiling I was so amazed. For a bottle of antibiotic that lasts 10 Days (that would be a grand total of 10 (TEN) doses), the cost was $128 dollars. Do the Math - $12.80 per dose! Now, I have generally been one to be critical of healthcare, and their nickel and diming of patients, expecially with the recent trend to things such as "tiered" coverage, where what they paid depended on whether the drug was a generic or "name-brand" and a preferred or "non-preferred" item, but I after this I am starting to think in this particular case that the healthcare companies (mine being Blue Cross Blue Shield), are not all that wrong. That is simply ABSURD! The last time I had to pay for this medication about 3 years ago (because who I was working for at the time, only had "mail-in" coverage which did not cover short term items such as this), the cost was $85/prescription (from the same pharmacy). I'm sorry, something is really wrong here. The only logic I can come up with is that pharaceuticals are building some sort of warchest against lawsuits (such as Vioxx), but hey... let's get real here. There has got to be some sort of regulations put on this industry.

And her full court press continues

LatteGirl at Breakfast Yesterday: "I'm tired of being the baby! I don't want to be 'The Baby' anymore"

Conversations went back and forth, because she is at that phase when calling her "My Baby" upsets her, and she does NOT want to hear the explanation that she will "Always be my baby" any longer, so she again decides to throw launch the one salvo guaranteed to end the conversation:

"You know, this would no longer be a problem is I had a little sister... or even a little brother" Silence ensues and she allows us to mull this over (not that we are actually contemplating this).

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Scientologist proving thin skinned

First it was Isaac Hayes quitting his role as The Chef, citing the "insensitivity" of South Park over the Scientology episode (apparently episodes picking on Catholocism, Judaism, etc was OK, but to pick on Scientology was insensitive). But now it is being rumored that Tom Cruise threatened not to promote Mission Impossible 3 if a re-run of the episode was not cancelled. (See Is Tom Cruise taking on South Park? -

Of course Mr. Cruise has a bit more to be upset about since the running gag throughout the episode is that "Tom Cruise won't come out of the closet."

I would of course be remiss if I didn't point out that you do not need to wait for Comedy Central (which I will point out is owned by Viacom which also happens to own Paramount Pictures, the producers of Mission Impossible 3 if you were wondering how everything was connected) to rerun the episode. Want to watch it? Just Click here.

Friday, March 17, 2006

The assault on St. Patrick's Day

It must be stopped! The true meaning of St. Patrick's Day is being lost and taken over by those religion hating pigs that have turned the feast of a great man who worked so hard to spread Christianity throughout Ireland and turned it into a drunken orgy.

It is has gotten so out of control that the Church itself has been infected. How so, well now during this the most holy of holy times, it seems that some bishops in some diocese (thank goodness for the old hardliners that haven't fallen into this trap), have decided to offer special dispensation to allow meat to be eaten on this Friday. As you know we are in the Lenten season, and this is a season of sacrifice. Meat must not be eaten on Fridays! St. Patrick was a very religious man, and to foresake the demands of god in order to indulge in raucous drinking and gourging themselves on {{gasp}} Corned Beef.

Fortunately it is contained to only some of the nearly 200 dioceses in this country (For example, Archbishop Timothy Dolan of Milwaukee has granted such dispensation, but Bishop R. Walker Nickless of Sioux City, Iowa has not.) It can spread however as the confusion spreads, you see if the bishop in YOUR diocese gives special dispensation, if you travel to an area that has NOT given dispensation, you can still eat meat according to the article, but if you are in an area that has not provided it, and you travel to someplace that does, you can NOT eat meat.

It is clear to me and Pat Robertson, that this is clearly satantic influences on our country brought on by Homosexuals and Woman's Rights. This is clearly obvious by the number of woman that participate in this, "It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians."1 I will have to wait until tonight to watch THE O'REILLY FACTOR to be sure, but I feel quite confident that Bill O' Reilly finds some way to blame MSNBC's Keith Olberman for this.

We must stop this assault on St. Patrick's Day and reign in this holy day which just happens to fall during the holiest of holy type days during the holiest of holy seasons, prior to holiest of holidays. So put down that beer, shun the Corned Beef, give the money you would have spent on those items to Pat Robertson so he can afford a hitman to assasinate Venezualean Leader Hugo Chavez 2 as well as spread God's message. Otherwise people (like Arial Sharon) will continue to not fully understand God's word and will have to smote them. Instead read a bible, convert a sinner to the word of God, as St. Patrick himself would have done. 3

1. Pat Robertson, fundraising letter, 1992

2. "Is it right to call for assassination? No, and I apologize for that statement. I spoke in frustration that we should accommodate the man who thinks the U.S. is out to kill him." –Pat Robertson

3. If it wasn't clear before now, I am probably going straight to hell.

A Quick Second Begging

If you didn't see my Post on Saving Lilo and Stitch, it is here.

If you already filled out the form, Thank You.

If not, PLEASE do here. There is enough junk on TV. It is time to step up to bat for a decent kids show.

This wekend is another Save Lilo and Stictch Weekend Bash. More details can be found at:

From my o'hana to yours. Thank You.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

The luntime stroll

I so desperately needed to get out of the office today, and decided to take a stroll. The winds made it not such a great day to wander the Meadowlands today, but it was still refreshing. The first I noticed along my way is something I should have known having worked down in this are before, but completely slipped my mind. They have PICNIC AREAS set up in various spots around the buildings. Now with my wireless access, guess where I am going to be spending my luntimes this summer!

The other thing I decided to visit during this walk was the gym that is in the area. I was told, that it is in the building "directly behind ours." Cool I thought, I will just take a stroll over there and check things out. I have a 10 free trial membership, so I figured why not. So I headed out, walked across the parking lot towards the building that housed the gym. But as I drew closer, I realized that a rather vital piece of information had been omitted by the person that informed me of the proximity of the gym. I did mention I work in an area called the "Meadowlands" right? There is of course a reason for this. Lots of marshes, little streams and the like are EVERYWHERE. Everywhere would include running directly between our office building and the building where the gym is. As it turns out, not all that horrible, it is about 1/2 mile to walk around to the gym. If I can't walk the 1/2 a mile, I have no business being in the gym to begin with. It does wreak a bit of havoc with trying to fit it in at lunch time, but overall, not an insurmountable problem.

Now if I can only get Starbucks to open a store down in this swamp I will be all set.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Where are the parents?

While the Bush Administration continues its quest to squash free speech on the Internet through its craftly named "Child Online Protection Act" (admittedly originally signed into law during the Clinton administration - just so you don't think I am blaming the President for this joke piece of legislation), and continues to battle Google to get the data it wants to "prove its point", it muddies the waters over actual protection of children.

I am all for "protecting children" but the vague broad strokes is obviously written in such a way as to enable it to be used in far more ways than the protection of children they claim. Of course protection of children starts at home. And in as much as I fail to understand how parents can't seem to be able to monitor what their children are viewing on the Internet, when I read about stories such as the the one today - Authorities charge 27 in online child porn sting - Mar 15, 2006, I can't help but wonder, "Where the hell are these parents?" How is it possible for a parent to be so oblivious to what is happening in their child's lives as to leave them open to the possibility of them being exploited in this manner?

And this wasn't film of molestation in some third world country where it is difficult to find and prosecute these monsters. These 'monster' streamed LIVE video of the events from the United States, Great Britain and Australia. And now making a horrific matter even worse, there were at least 4 children under the age of 12 and one mention of a INFANT (I mean it is tough to break these sick individuals down into levels of depravity, but exactly how screwed up does your brain have to be, to sexual molest an infant?). These aren't teenagers that pulled off something sneakly like a teenager that thinks they are more mature than they really are and find themselves in a situation they are not ready to handle. That is of course bad enough, and a nightmare no parent wants to have to deal with. But under 12 years of age? An Infant? How do you not know where they are? How do you have such unwitting circumstances that you don't know EXACTLY where you child is, and that they are SAFE in that surrounding?

Monday, March 13, 2006

Daddy Daughter Dance

We actually spent more time getting ready for the Daddy/Daughter Dance than we did AT the dance.

She was all smiles when she received her corsage, and was proud to show it off in front of the lockers for the one good photo op I had.

Soon, after this, the dark gym (where the DJ and "dance floor" was located, got to her as she again remembered that her friend had told her that she had to kiss ALL the boys at the dance, and she began to freak out and cry.

We went to get some refreshments, but even there she was reserved, quiet and wouldn't even talk to her friends that were around. She again broke down into tears and said she wanted to go home.

So, we made an early departure. On the walk home, I made her take a detour to the corner store (which at this point she really didn't want to do). I picked up some Chocolate Ice Cream.

We went home, changed into sweats, made ourselves a couple of sundae's, rolled out a blanket on the living room rug, and ate our ice cream while watched Stitch The Movie.

The frown and tears went away. And although it wasn't what we had originally planned we had a fantastic Daddy/Daughter night together.

Please Help Save Lilo and Stitch

I (in case you haven't noticed), have always been a big fan of Disney. This only increased with the birth of my daughter, as our television has rarely left the Disney Channel(s) since that time. And for the most part Disney during that time has left me very happy with quality programs (there are some notable exceptions, but I am not going to pick on them... at least not today).

What came as a shock to me, was when I first discovered last year about the "Rule of 65" that hovers over all of Disney Shows. I discovered this while looking for information about one of my daughter's (and I must admit, I actually enjoy as well) shows, Kim Possible. At that time I came across the website,, and it was there that I found out that this show had been cancelled. Why? It was one of Disney's better rated shows on both Disney Channel and ABC, it had a tremendous following, and had even spawned toys, games, action figures, etc. But that wasn't enough to keep it afloat.

Well, thanks to the efforts of people, and members e-mailing and writing Disney, Kim Possible was saved, but now the same fate is being faced by another hugely sucessful Disney Show, Lilo and Stitch. Disney has actually already wrapped up the show, with only 5 shows and unless we can save our o'hana, the upcoming movie "Leroy and Stitch" (due to be released spring 2006), will wrap up this 65 episode series, with no more new episodes to be seen or new experiments to be caught ever

Lilo and Stitch is far from the regular brainless cartoons that are out there right now (i.e. Brandy and Mr. Whiskers... oppps I promised I wouldn't pick on these shows... oh well, just one quick mention). It is fun and enjoyable, but just as importantly, one (or more) of the characters learns a life lesson, that is taught without being overly obvious about it, and it stresses the value of family (even if it is dysfunctional).

So, I am asking all my loyal readers (yes, both of you), to go and help save Lilo and Stitch. Helping can be as easy as going to this form, that was created by the folks at, to e-mail the powers that be to not cancel this excellent kids show. This weekend, in conjunction of the release of Lilo and Stitch on DVD in the UK, is being dubbed the "Save Lilo and Stitch Weekend Bash", but there is no reason you need to wait until the weekend, whenever you have a momment, please take a momment to help.

Friday, March 10, 2006

If you don't own a shredder...

read this article

Then Run right out and buy a shredder.

Credit and Thanks to Silly Old Bear for finding this.

I got a date with a cutie

Cute Blonde
Originally uploaded by JayMonster.
Tonight, I am going out on a date with a very cute blonde. That blonde of course is non other than LatteGirl.

Tonight is the Daddy/Daughter (and Mommy/Son) Dance at her school. I don't expect as much a dance as a bunch of parents standing around, possibly engaged with a few other parents while trying to ensure that the kids that are running full tilt in a mosh pit like atmosphere don't accidentally kill one another as they run around.

But still I am looking forward to going. LatteGirl, however is feeling a little aprehensive. You see, one of the girls in her class told her that when you go to a dance, you have to kiss all the other boys. (Not just kiss a boy mind you, but kiss ALL the other boys. Sounds like she is going to grow up to be quite the little hussy ;)

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Asking too much?

I am (as I have previously admitted) a geek. A tech junkie. A gadget lover. But I am starting to be willing (at least on "home" electronics) to trade all of it in, if I could just have devices that would work together.

Case in point, my beloved Tivo. I love my Tivo, but it has some shortcomings. Not because of the Tivo corporation, but because of the evil DirecTV implementation of it, which crippled many of the uber cool features. TivoToGo? Nope not for me. Linking in with my network or actually using the USB ports on the back of my Series 2 box? No can do. The to be released this fall "Tivo Kid Zone", will probably be out after the agreement between Tivo and DirecTV expires.

Now, I could (and would be willing) in theory get a Tivo box directly from Tivo. But that would mean not being able to use it properly either since I will not be able to change channels with it because of the Sattelite receiver. This harkens back to the stupid days of when I had Comcast Cable, and if I wanted to record (on ugh, VHS), the cable box had to be preset to the channel of the show I wished to record). I do not want to go back to such an archane system, and doing so would only serve to make me again not be able to use some of the features of my Tivo.

Now Comcast is supposed to be partnering up with Tivo, but you are going to have to drag me kicking and screaming to go back to cable. Besides, I feel quite confident that Comcast will also choose to dumb down the Tivo box in an effort to suck every last drop of blood nickel out of each and every customer as is their standard practice. Plus, with the exception of my dumbed down Tivo, DirecTV has exceeded my expectations so far, and I do not miss paying so much for so much less from Comcast. DirecTV has been so good to me, I am always surprised when I remember that the company is part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.

I have strayed a bit here, let's see. Oh yes, while I am at it, is there any reason that Tivo (or anybody else) can't integrate a web browser into a package like this (allowing me to use my Wireless Network and not a phone line like that stupid MSN TV or Web TV [is Web TV even still in business?] piece of junk), so I could get on the web from my television if I so wanted to? I'd like to be able to click a link when it appears during a show or commercial as well, but I am probably getting ahead of myself here. So, I will settle for a browser that if I see something, and I want more information, I could just go immediately and go see it.

Sure, again, I know I could buy a Media Center PC, but again, it does not integrate with my Tivo OR my Sattelite system, so I would be picking and choosing and muddling through getting a little of what I want here, but forfeiting the really cool things about the technologies, because they can't work together. Plus of course as an added bonus, Microsoft is already planning on canning "Media Center" when Vista is released later this year.

Microsoft with the XBox 360 and Sony with the eventual PS3 are fighting tooth and nail, both wanting to be the "center" of the new digital living room. Why? It is just another device that doesn't integrate with the others. And I won't even get started with the whole High Density DVD war which looks like it is shaping up into another Betamax/VHS war. Pick the wrong format, and you are going to have a machine that is destined for the recycling bin (or sale on eBay at a steep loss to your investment) far sooner than you would care for it to be.

I am so tired of having to spend an hour and a half whenever I need to tell someone (including my wife, but fortunately not LatteGirl), how to use our setup. "Well if you want to watch a DVD you need to push this, change that, set the stereo to this and then just watch. However if you want to watch the sattelite then push that, turn off this, switch over this but don't forget to change the stereo to..." and so on.

Is is really so hard for these companies to componentize this? Or do they simply choose not to, because they work on an "All or None" strategy, figuring once they hook you, then they have got you for the long haul (you've seen how well that has worked for Apple Computers over the years haven't you?). Just make it like a stereo. Let each company make the parts it does best, and allow them to work together. Please.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Will the person...

that pushes both the up and down buttons for the elevator please get it through your skull that the elevator will not come any quicker if you do that?

Also, for the clown that needs to "re" push the button, or push elevator button eleventy-hundred times please understand, the elevators run on a computer program. There is no "elevator operator" that is seeing (or hearing) everytime you push the button and thinking, "gee there is a lot of people there waiting for the elevator, I better send it there next"

Just take a deep breath a wait a gosh darn minute, will ya'?

Resistance is Futile

I have long resisted iTunes. Why... well a couple of reasons. First of all, I am not a fan of anything that is not an open standard, and iTunes pretty much tries to lock you in as much as they can (as is the Apple way of doing business with everything).

But they may have found the key to sucking me in as a customer. You see, one of LatteGirls favorite shows (that I do not mind her watching) is Kim Possible. Not only is the show entertaining for her, watchable for me, it is also an excellent (in my not so humble opinion) show because it promotes a female that "can do anything." (There is a whole rant on this particular subject I could now go on, but I will save that for another time).

Anyway, you can now download Kim Possible on iTunes , and not only Kim Possible, there is also, That's So Raven (although I co do without that one) and other Disney shows (I have already admitted we watch entirely too much Disney Channel in our home). And at about $9.99 for the entire first season of Kim Possible, it is quite the bargain.

Now, here is the kicker. They have something for LatteMan as well. You see, I love Stand Up Comedy, (even did some open mic nights back when they were easier to come by, and I had a life) and I can now download Comedy Central Stand-Up rather than trying to find the ones I like by TIVOing ALL of them and having to wade through them all for the ones I like (all the Comedy Central Standups are Called, "Comedy Central Presents" so I have to Tivo them to find out what comedian is on each one).

On a side note, am I the only one that now uses "Tivo" as a verb? (i.e. "I must TIVO that", "I TIVOed CSI last night", etc). I thought Tivo was such a stupid idea when it first came out (not the DVR part, the paying a monthly fee, when the cost was "built it" with replayTV), but now I can't live without it. Although I am a bit miffed about the fact that Tivo and DirecTV have apparently parted ways, which means I am stuck with the older Tivo software and will never get the updates that will allow me to use the USB ports so that I could use the "Tivo to Go" features. Just my luck I guess.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Birthday Planning Gone Wild Pt. 1

Princess Birthday Cake
Originally uploaded by JayMonster.
LatteGirl's birthday isn't until the end of May, but I am already starting to freak out, first of all because my little baby is turning six, but also, because by this time, we have usually already selected a theme for the party.

The photo over there is the cake I made for her third birthday party. It took me all night to get right, but I loved every minute of it. But it also made me go out and take classes on cake decorating and I of course now want to use my skills.

But what will this years theme be? We have done Bear in the Big Blue House (1), The Wiggles (2), Cinderella (3), Scooby Doo (4), and Lilo and Stitch (5). This year though there is no obvious front runner, with the possible exception of "That's So Raven", and I am praying to every god and goddess in the universe that she doesn't want that. Kim Possible is an possibility, but she seemed to wear herself out on that around Halloween, so I don't know.

She better hurry up and make up her mind. I have a cake pan to hunt down (that is not always as easy as it sounds).

Friday, March 03, 2006


Originally uploaded by JayMonster.
I can rarely take pictures of LatteGirl sleeping in the evening. Why? Because by the time she is ready to go to sleep, I am usually too exhausted to do anything myself. other than get her into bed and then get myself into bed.

Well, I finally did it. It took 3 pots of coffee after dinner to keep me going, and after keeping her going continuously, we made home made pizza for dinner, and then baked some cookies, then baked a cake to bring over to Grandma's house the next day. As we were decorating the cake, she announced that she was 'done' and going to go watch TV.

I guess she didn't have enough strengh to get all the way into the chair, and this is how I found her a few minutes later.

As an adult, we get to a point where we can not sleep unless we have the right mattress, or the right pillows. We blame aches and pains on "sleeping wrong" or drafts, etc. Oh to be young again, and to just be able to plop anywhere and drift off to slumber land.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Snow Way

Originally uploaded by JayMonster.
This is Myrtle. LatteGirl and I built her after the 20" of snow we got a couple of weeks back.

Why Myrtle? Those of you with Kids that Watch Lilo and Stitch (The Series) know why.

Unfortunately, Myrtle was not long for this world. Three warm days after she was built, she was looking pretty Kate Moss -ish.

But I have to admit, I had a blast working with LatteGirl on it. The snow occurred just before I returned to work, and if I had already returned, I probably would have missed out on it.

For those of you that hate snow, because it is just something that you have to shovel, or because "the kids always come in soaking wet, getting snow everywhere", yada yada yada. Let me implore you to go out out and build a snowman. Or plop yourself down and make snow angels. Or go have a snowball fight with your kids. Trust me, you will easily remember back when you though snow was "cool" and "fun" wasn't just something you have to hound people to clean up after.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

I should be a Meterologist

Hell, what is the big deal? Use computer programs to tell you what to say, and when it is wrong you blame the "storm shifting tracks."

In the storm we got here in the east a couple of weeks ago, the inital weather report called for "a dusting to an inch", which was followed later by, "1 to 3 inches", later that night they changed it to "6 - 8 in most areas." When all was said and done, we finished with 20" in most of the NY/NJ metropolitan area.

Now, we are starting to at a similar scenario again. Yesterday, weather was calling for "Sunny and 48 degrees" on Thursday, but a "sudden" cold weather front and some clouds and this morning we heard "1-3 in the city with more north and west"(The City meaning NYC). Well, the National Weather Service has now upped that to "4-8 inches depending on the track of the storm" which translates into "we have no clue, we could get more, or less"

I want a job where that much uncertainty is acceptable.

A not so subtle little hint

As we were working on dinner the other evening, my daughter felt compelled to share this little tidbit of information with us:

"You know, I am now old enough to be a big help with a baby sister or brother"

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