Sunday, November 16, 2008

I just drove home and saw three houses on my street already have their Christmas decorations up. And it wasn't just a couple of lights either, they had it all decked out, with nodding reindeer, and "nets of lights" that cover entire bushes, and even blow up santas.

People, it is November Freaking 16th! I know that KEZ started playing Christmas music already, but that does not mean you have to give in to the temptation. I don't get it. There are only three reasons I can come up with why someone would be that insane about Christmas lights:

1- You want to get a jump on it.
Really? Is it that important to have all your lights up by Thanksgiving, that it justifies getting started 2 weeks early? If that really is the case, why don't you just decorate your house with Pink hearts, because heck, Valentines is just around the corner.

2- You want to outdo your neighbors.
Loser. If you want to outdo me, show up with a nice new car, or a new quad or go run a marathon. But putting up your Christmas lights early just makes you look desparate. Congratulations, you beat me. Now go feed your cat...

3 - You are doing your part to repair the economy. Having your lights up in the yard, you are trying to convince your neighbors to go spend their money. I hate to break it to you buddy, the Democrats won, and they promised we wouldn't have to do anything, and the money would just show up in our mailboxes (unless we make more than $250,000/yr).

Look, consumer spending is down by over 20% year over year, and you can bet that the retail stores are scared to death. They've made it to the lean times all year, rocking themselves to sleep with the false lullaby of "Christmas will fix this." But then, as the time got closer, they started to panic even more, because there was no sign that things were going to turn around. So they came up with this brilliant idea. Let's start earlier! So they put Christmas trees in Costco in October. They put Santa in Walmart at the end of August. they started talking about Lay-away plans, where you buy it in August, and you make little payments every week, and get it on Christmas. And they hope that you will see the Christmas decorations, and say to yourself, "by golly, it's time to start spending money again."

Except there is one problem. Millions of people are either unemployed or underemployed, and they are making less than they made last year. And no amount of blow up santa dolls on motorcycles is going to change that.

When gas approached $5 a gallon earlier this year, some people thought it was actually a good thing, because it would cause people to make permanent changes to their gas guzzling habits. And apparently it worked. One of the main reasons gas is down to $2.25 a gallon is that demand is down. We have adjusted. We have changed our behavior.

Well maybe this down economy is actually a good thing. Maybe it force us to change our habits. Maybe it will force us to put Christ back into Xmas, and force us to be grateful for what we have, no matter how small. Maybe it will, in some small degree, push the commercialism of Christmas back to an acceptable level. And maybe it will force the Tool on my street to wait until Thanksgiving to put his lights up next year.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Poo Poo Copter

Jacob is the cutest little man in the world. His gold locks and perfect smile make everyone melt He also has a sort of intensity normally not seen in a 2 year old. And more than, I think, any of our kids, Jacob is very happy entertaining himself. This afternoon Lorette took off early to go to a Synchro meet. I was finishing some work. Ella, the baby was asleep, the older kids were watching TV, and Jacob was playing by himself. After a while I asked Jake what he was doing, and he came over to me, solemn and serious, and handed me a toy helicopter that he had been playing with. I noticed that the copter had some mud on it, and it took me a couple of seconds to remember that Jake hadn't been playing outside...

Apparently he had tried to turn the helicopter into a submarine, and have it dive into the darkest depths of his diaper. But alas, the copter made it out, and to celebrate the occasion, Jacob gave his prized gift to me.

After a couple of dry heaves, a ton of soap, and half a container of wipes, Jake was clean. But Dad will be scarred forever.
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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Summer's Over??? What?

It is really hard to imagine that summer is winding down. It is sure hard to think about getting ready for school when it is still 150 degrees outside.

Today Conner, Nicki and Haylee competed in the semi-finals in the City Swim league. Caleb should have, but we agreed that if he swam in all of the practices, he didn't have to swim in the meets. Nicki was the only one to advance to the next round, so Conner and Haylee are done, and Nicki will be done next week.

Jacob has been taking swim lessons from his Auntie Heather this summer, and he loves it. Unfortunately today was his last day as well. Crap!

Living in Arizona, we've always felt it important for our kids to learn how to swim early. The only real way to prevent drownings is to make sure your kids are strong swimmers. Sure, I get the 2 seconds is too long, heck, I was a lifeguard. I've seen kids slip under the water, and I've pulled them out. It happens fast. But your kids will not always be swimming in a pool with lifeguards. It'll be those times when you'll feel at peace because you know your kids are strong swimmers.

Besides, how embarrassing for your kids to show up to a pool party at age 13, and be afraid to get in the water, because they know that all they can do is the doggy paddle...