November 29, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday - Vol. 49 (Lazy Thanksgiving edition)




I'm taking a Quick Takes break on the Friday after Thanksgiving. But if you'd like to know what I'll be doing this weekend, check out this classic from the archives:

Epiphany Haste Makes Thanksgiving Waste




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November 22, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday - Vol. 48 ("Fowl" language, cake catastrophe, fuzzy math and more)


--- 1 ---
Confession is for the birds. I found this misspelling in an online Examination of Conscience while preparing for the sacrament of reconciliation:



So what kind of "fowl" words would be a sin to say? Perhaps cluck you? 
 
--- 2 ---
At Sunday Mass, our priest mentioned the sign that hangs in many church sacristies that says, "Say the Holy Mass as if it's your first Mass, your last Mass and your only Mass." Not a bad way to live your life every day either.
 
--- 3 ---
If you're ever at a church reception with me, don't ask me to get you a piece of cake. I seem to have bad luck with cake at church. A few weeks ago there was a post-Mass reception for one special occasion or another. Since I was standing up and holding the baby, the piece of cake I grabbed somehow disappeared before I was able to eat it. Last Sunday at another reception, we decided to take our cake and punch to the church playground so our older kid could play. While I squatted down to put down the diaper bag, my piece of cake carelessly leapt off the plate and landed on the ground. Next time I'll just have a cookie.

--- 4 ---
It's well documented that I'm not a math expert. So someone please tell me why my second grader got this one wrong on her homework:


Since when does 79 minus 45 not equal 34?


--- 5 ---
The other morning my seven-year-old said she wants to be a mayor. So I asked, "A mare like a horse or a mayor like someone who runs a city." She confirmed mayor, so I said, "Okay, as long as you aren't the mayor of Toronto." She didn't get the joke.

--- 6 ---
The real mayor of Toronto certainly has turned into one-man circus. While he's become easy fodder for late-night comedy shows (and that's something to be expected when you're a public figure), I don't take any joy in watching a human being self destruct. The man obviously needs help.
 
--- 7 ---
Back to my daughter for a moment, because I can always count on her to say or write something funny if I need another quick take. Check out this brilliant poem she wrote. (I'll transcribe it below since it's a little hard to read.)

There once was a boy who used to [g]naw,
On fishes that were completely raw!
He got so sick,
When the clock started to tick,
But he really just broke his left jaw.
And to top it off, here's her quick sketch of the boy and the clock.


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November 15, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday - Vol. 47 (Muppet meal, icy toilet, art splatter and more)


--- 1 ---
I like to say that I never get sick. Thankfully "the common cold" isn't so common for me. So it was highly unpleasant to be sick all weekend. It wasn't bad enough to warrant an entire 7 Quick Takes post about it. But I did have to take a swig of NyQuil (the green flavor -- Yuck!) a few nights in a row.
--- 2 ---
Perhaps the NyQuil had something to do with a really strange dream I had. I'm one of those people who almost never remembers my dreams. But when I do, they are usually really crazy. It went something like this: I was walking down a crowded street in Chicago looking for a place to eat. I went into a restaurant that was owned by Animal from the Muppet Show. But there was a long wait and someone else took my table.

Table for one? (Photo courtesy: Disney.com)

--- 3 ---
Veterans Day was one of those unusual holidays where I was off from work, but schools were open. So after dropping our second grader off at school, the wife, baby and I went out to breakfast. Getting my older daughter up, fed, dressed and in the car for school is a lot less stressful when I don't have to head straight to work afterwards.

--- 4 ---
The strangest thing about that Veterans Day breakfast was the urinal in the men's room. Sorry, I wouldn't normally take or post a picture from inside a men's room. But you have to see this for yourself:


So why in the world would a restaurant need to dump ice into the urinal? If you have to dump out a lot of ice, why not do it in the kitchen sink? Or even better, take it outside and dump it in the grass. I shudder to think that the bucket (or whatever was used to carry the ice) came in contact with the dirty urinal and then was taken back to the kitchen and used for something else. Gasp!

--- 5 ---
How long should a professional sports stadium last? As a Braves fan, I'm a little puzzled by the team's announcement this week that they'll be building a new stadium and leaving Turner Field after only 20 years. But, money talks.

Turner Field (Photo courtesy: mlblogs.com)

--- 6 ---
When I was in elementary school, there were occasional fire and tornado drills. Boy, times sure have changed. My daughter's school did a lock-down drill the other day. The teachers had to lock their classroom doors, turn off the lights, and all the kids had to sit quietly in the corner until the all-clear signal was given.

--- 7 ---
Art class has come a long way too. Who needs paint when you have a computer? My daughter's art teacher showed the kids a do-it-yourself Jackson Pollock painting website. Give it a try; it's kind of habit forming. (It works better on a computer rather than a mobile device.)

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November 8, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday - Vol. 46 (Balls of doom, soggy principal, partisan plant and more)


--- 1 ---
Would you let your child do this?

 

I did last weekend at an elementary school fair and then later learned about the safety warnings of the "Water Walking Balls." In retrospect, I'm glad I was within reach of my daughter the entire time and that the balls were only in a few inches of water in an inflatable pool. But apparently, some places use these balls on the open water, and there's no way to get out unless someone on the outside unzips you. Scary.

 
--- 2 ---
On a happier note, a school fair isn't complete until your kid dunks the principal:

video

--- 3 ---
The change back to standard time came and went with little fanfare. Even though we're supposed to appreciate "falling back," of course people on social media still found reasons to complain about it: "I would have enjoyed the extra hour of sleep if not for [pick your favorite whiny excuse: the kids, the dog, the job, the rain, global warming, allergies, the burrito I ate for dinner last night, congress].

--- 4 ---
I voted on Tuesday. And since my daughter's elementary school is a polling place, she stood there with me while I punched the ballot (figuratively speaking). It reminded me of the days when my dad would take me to the polls on election day on the way to school. Thankfully now there are computers; so the kind, elderly election volunteer doesn't have to look through a thousand pages to find my name.

--- 5 ---
I never wear the little "I voted" stickers that poll workers sometimes force you to take. So when I got to work I stuck it on the plant in my office. Now whenever anyone comes in, I tell them that my plant always votes for the Green Party candidate. (Some of these jokes practically write themselves.)


--- 6 ---
I've never been a big Star Wars fan (although I do remember seeing it for the first time in the theater as a small child in 1976), but I'm posting this chart that I found on Facebook to keep up with the introvert shtick. Now you can take the results of the Myers-Briggs personality test and figure out which Star Wars character you would be. As in ISTJ, that makes me Owen Lars. I don't even recall who that was in the movie, but the description sounds like me. [Click image to enlarge.]



--- 7 ---
I have mixed feelings about the Sports Illustrated cover that made its rounds on social media this week.



No doubt that it's a powerful cover. I love baseball and certainly recognize the impact of having the Red Sox win the World Series the same year the city was devastated by the Boston Marathon bombings. But should Big Papi or any other baseball player really be in the same "league" of heroes as police officers who risk their lives every day?



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November 1, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday - Vol. 45


--- 1 ---
I received a package from UPS that was neither smoldering nor covered in cactus spines. You'll see why that's important in a moment. Last Friday Amazon alerted me that a shipment I was expecting would be late due to a problem with the shipper's aircraft or truck. Well, that wasn't exactly accurate. A quick look at the UPS tracking showed a much different transportation problem:


That's right, my package was on a train that crashed in the Mojave Desert. I'm glad nobody was hurt. And to the credit of UPS, the package arrived just a couple of days behind schedule.

--- 2 ---
Some restaurants go overboard with their Halloween decorations. The place where I ate on Saturday had a sign on the men's room door that said, "Enter If You Dare!" And a sign on the ladies' room said, "Enter At Your Own Risk!" Forget about Halloween. That's how I feel about public restrooms all year long.


--- 3 ---
How long has this Boo Gram stuff been going on? I had never heard of it until last week when our house got Boo'd. So we did the honorable thing and Boo'd two of our neighbors, according to the rules.




--- 4 ---
This year marks the (approx.) 34th anniversary of the great glowing Halloween skeleton incident that left me scarred to this day.

--- 5 ---
It's official: she's one. Last Saturday we celebrated our younger daughter's first birthday. It would be trite to post the obligatory photo of a baby making a mess of her first birthday cake. So instead I offer you these pictures of the birthday girl getting her hair brushed by her 20-month old cousin, followed by a birthday hug. Don't forget to say, "Awwwwwwwwww."




--- 6 ---
"Orange" you glad you're drug free? It's Red Ribbon Week at my older daughter's elementary school. I wonder how much thought the school put into creating these daily themes:



If they run out of ideas for anti-drug color themes for next year, here are some suggestions that I didn't put much thought into either.

  • Monday - Wear maroon because drugs make you swoon.
  • Tuesday - Wear yellow because drugs will kill a fellow.
  • Wednesday - Wear brown because drugs will make you frown.
  • Thursday- Wear green because drugs will make you mean.
  • Friday -- Wear purple because drugs will make you look like a horse's curple.


--- 7 ---
My iPhone seems to have picked up on my religion. Apparently I write to priests far more than to doctors, because every time I try to write "Dr." the autocorrect tries to change it to "Fr."

--- P.S. ---
Happy All Saints Day. If you're Catholic then your priest better either see you in Mass today or in confession tomorrow.
 
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