Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - January showers brings February flowers?

The weather this winter has indeed been screwy.  These are some pics of flowering trees I took yesterday.  Don't they know they have another month before they are supposed to start to bloom?





Tuesday, February 28, 2012

YouTube Tuesday - Wine Edition

Charleston's Food + Wine Festival is this week.  This means I have no choice but to devote a YouTube Tuesday to fermented grape juice;

This list could not start without of my of blushing brides favorite songs...


American wines tend to be more non-traditional - Strawberry Wine is perhaps an example of that...


While sometimes non-traditional, it is a beverage that gets better with age - kinda like this guy

Monday, February 27, 2012

Meet me on Monday...v2

Acting Balanced

1. What was the first live concert you ever attended?

At 13 I was not engaging in what most of the crowd was engaging in but it was such a spectacular show.  I have seen Pink Floyd twice since and both times they did not disappoint in the slightest.



2. What colors look best on you?

Blue - matches my eyes...(or something like that)

3. What is one thing about you that most people wouldn't know?

I hate to be touched by people I do know well.  It freaks me out and I do not like it.

4. Who would you call to be bailed out of jail?

No one, if I do the crime, I do the time.

5. What do you think is the greatest invention of your lifetime and why?

1978—GPS
The first satellite in the modern Navstar Global Positioning System (GPS) is launched. (The GPS's precursor, TRANSIT, was developed in the early 1960s to guide nuclear subs.) It is not until the year 2000, though, that President Clinton grants nonmilitary users access to an unscrambled GPS signal. Now, cheap, handheld GPS units can determine a person's location to within 3 yards.

Read more: 
The Top 50 Inventions of the Past 50 Years - Popular Mechanics 

GPS saves lives on a daily basis, makes everyday life easier and helps up to gain a greater understanding of the world around us in a way that could not be gained otherwise.  Without GPS, smart phones can not exist and air travel would be severely limited.  This is a technology that has become so integrated into our lives, we barely notice it anymore.  If it were to go away however we would notice losing its capabilities in minutes.


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sundays in my City - Erik's First Haircut

This week my youngest Erik (16 months) got his first haircut.  While it was traumatic for his Momma, he seemed to have a grand ol' time.  See the photo evidence below...

Before




 During






After




Heather says he no longer looks like her baby but rather now likes little her boy.  They do grow up so fast.  

Now, continue your trip by visiting the Unknown Mami and clicking the button below.




Unknown Mami

Saturday Soliloquy - Robyn

Robyn is my 13 year old.  She is a kind and gentle soul.


While she is super smart, she is also well rounded individual who is trustworthy...


In all she is all a dad could ever ask for...

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Fragments - v16

Did some one speed up time and not tell me? Are we now living on 23 hour days instead and I missed the news?  Then again my week started with my most beautiful and loving child waking me by puking on my face. Perhaps that should have been considered an omen for the week ahead.

Einstein was once again proven correct. Seems technology can not yet beat a sufficiently genius mind.

Hope my in-laws are enjoying their cruise.



Hope my mom enjoys being able to give the finger once more. She has hand surgery last week and it would be nice if she regained use of her left hand. How will she babysit without it?

My deparent chair has a thankless and crappy job. Kudos for him for actually doing it so well. I think I would want to shoot myself about a week into the role.

Getting ready for the BB&T Charleston Foood + Wine Festival next week. The event is always spectacular in and of itself but add the Charleston setting and it is a must do at some point in your life.



Once again, thanks to Mrs. 4444's for hosting Friday Fragments.  Now go visit other fraggers by clicking the button below.

Mommy's Idea

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Tourism & Technology Thursday - Charleston Wine + Food Festival

On Tuesday the BB&T Charleston Wine + Food Festival begins and runs through Sunday, March 4th.


Beyond providing an amazing selection of food + wine to indulge with, this festival is set right in the heart of America's best tourism destination according to Conde Naste.  When you are done at the festival, the city boasts a plethora of choices for the foodie in all of us including Bon Appetit's top new restaurant Husk.  Overall, if you wanted to visit Charleston South Carolina this may be the week to do it.  The taste of the south is never so good as it is during the BB&T Charleston Food + Wine Festival.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Meet Me on Monday

Heather at www.Actingbalanced.com recently pick up managing the Meet Me on Monday blog hop.  In support of her and because it looks like so much fun, I have chosen to give it a try.  Here are the questions with my responses below:

1. What is your favorite kind of soup?

 I love the chicken soup from La Hacienda in downtown Charleston. BTW, I found a recipe for a very similar soup here.

2. What was the last movie you saw in a theater?

I went to see Mission Impossible IV.  The sand storm scene makes it worth seeing on the big screen.

3. What is your least favorite TV program?

I gave up TV for a reason.  My list is too long but with three kids - the top of my list has to be Yo Gabba Gabba.

4. If you were to write a book about yourself, what would you name it?

I'd Rather Be Riker

5. What 3 places that are on your bucket list to visit?

Indonesia, India and Iceland (anyone notice a trend?).  

Now that you know me a little better, go visit other responders' by clicking the button below. 

Acting Balanced

Media Monday - ESPN - Cowards

On Sunday ESPN released a statement related to an unfortunate headline used by a website contributor and a sportscaster related to New York Knicks' star Jeremy Lin's Chinese heritage.  In this statement, they put forward that they fired the writer and the sportscaster was suspended for 30 days.  In this, I think while heavy-handed, they choose to run their business as they wish.

What I felt was cowardly is that they usually allow public comments on their news stories.  On the exact same page the public can comment on: 1) Brian Cashman's personal issues; 2) a story on a boxer that was arrested for assault;  or even a report on how the former head of the Fiesta Bowl has settled with the State of Arizona for crimes related to a political donations scandal.   The public can comment on all of these issues but not about ESPN's mess-ups.    What a bunch of cowards.  Obviously in the world of ESPN, what is good for the goose, is not good for the gander.

What makes this even worse, is that ESPN's two main competitor's http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/ and http://sports.yahoo.com/ reported on the story but also did not allow public comments when they normally allow public comments on the vast majority of their stories.

If you are going to allow the public to comment on controversial issues such as the Penn State scandal and the Duke lacrosse scandal (oops on that one right?) or about players divorce's or social lives, perhaps you should be prepared to take some of your own medicine when it comes time.

Hypocrisy thy name is media. 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Saturday Soliloquy

I have great kids.  Each one brings something quite special into my life.
Liam brings a joy and a desire for life that is unmatched.


He so enjoys the simple things in life and sees the world using a different perspective than most...


 Though he marches to his own beat,
he loves unconditionally and brings a genuineness that is unparalleled.


So on this Saturday, I appreciate my oldest boy - Liam.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday Fragments - v15

What a big week this was personally.  On Wednesday, I received the official notice that my sabbatical was approved, got the report that I passed the third level of my tenure evaluation with unanimous support and most important to me, I got to have a date night with my wife.

Thanks to my in-laws. Taking the kids overnight was the best possible gift I could ask for.  Date night could not have happened without you.  BTW you can check out my mother-in-laws new blog here.  The family that blogs together...

Speaking of date nights, I love The Boardwalk Inn at Wild Dunes Resort.  High quality service, beautiful surroundings and a first class experience.  I highly recommend the resort for your vacation needs.  Thanks to Frank and Kristie for helping me out on that.  Sending up the chocolate covered strawberries with a beautiful wine along with some yummy cheese and crackers was the perfect romance enhancer.


The view from our room...

Also related to date night.  We had a great meal at an Isle of Palms restaurant called Huck's Lowcountry Table.  Too bad the server was mediocre.  She completely mailed it in, (ignored me multiple times, and then  had audacity to auto-tip us.  The funny part is that she auto-tipped it at 18% when I normally tip a minimum of 20.  She cost herself money.  Well at least I have a interesting service quality story to tell my students for the next few terms (especially when juxtaposed next to the level of service we received at the resort).

My wife is one cool woman.  I am kind of fond of her.  Also, congratulations are in order for my wife's blog www.actingbalanced.com.  She apparently now has a Google page rank of four.  Also, she is hosting a new blog hop called Meet Me on Mondays.  I am going to try it out for the first time this week, I encourage you to do the same.

Speaking of blogs, this week my Monday story about poverty in America had a whole 15 hits yet my Youtube clips about lust has had hundreds.  Should I make a commentary out of this?

Had a very interesting conversation this week about the carrot and the stick.  I argue that people will work harder if they are rewarded than work hard to avoid being punished.  What do you think?   I know I work better for praise.

I am now all fragged out.  Go visit our gracious host Mrs. 4444's and the other fascinating fraggers by clicking the button below.

Mommy's Idea

Friday Fragments - v15

What a big week this was personally.  On Wednesday, I received the official notice that my sabbatical was approved, got the report that I passed the third level of my tenure evaluation with unanimous support and most important to me, I got to have a date night with my wife.

Thanks to my in-laws. Taking the kids overnight was the best possible gift I could ask for.  Date night could not ave happened without you.  BTW you can check out my mother-in-laws new blog here.  The family that blogs together...

Speaking of date nights, I love The Boardwalk Inn at Wild Dunes Resort.  High quality service, beautiful surroundings and a first class experience.  I highly recommend the resort for your vacation needs.  Thanks to Frank and Kristie for helping me out on that.  Sending up the chocolate covered strawberries with a beautiful wine along with some yummy cheese and crackers was the perfect romance enhancer.


The view from our room...

Also related to date night.  We had a great meal at an Isle of Palms restaurant called Huck's Lowcountry Table.  Too bad the server was mediocre.  She completely mailed it in, (ignored me multiple times, and then  had audacity to auto-tip us.  The funny part is that she auto-tipped it at 18% when I normally tip a minimum of 20.  She cost herself money.  Well at least I have a interesting service quality story to tell my students for the next few terms (especially when juxtaposed next to the level of service we received at the resort).

My wife is one cool woman.  I am kind of fond of her.  Also, congratulations are in order for my wife's blog www.actingbalanced.com.  She apparently now has a Google page rank of four.  Also, she is hosting a new blog hop called Meet Me on Mondays.  I am going to try it out for the first time this week, I encourage you to do the same.

Had a very interesting conversation this week about the carrot and the stick.  I argue that people will work harder if they are rewarded than work hard to avoid being punished.  What do you think?   I know I work better for praise.

I am now all fragged out.  Go visit our gracious host Mrs. 4444's and the other fascinating fraggers by clicking the button below.

Mommy's Idea

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Tourism & Technology Thursday - Purchasing Passports

This week Reuters delivered a special report on how the island of St. Kitts and Nevis are selling citizenship to their nation for a $250,000 donation to the Sugar Industry Diversification Fund or by purchasing approved real estate worth at least $400,000.   This means, that they could travel to more than 100 countries on one of their passports without obtaining a visa.  In this age of security, this presents a serious issue.  One could see how someone with means could use this as a 'get out of jail' free card.  This is a practice that needs to be examined by those countries with visa waiver agreements with the island nation.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sundays in the City - Porter's Lodge

Some nice pictures of the C of C Campus.  This is Porter's Lodge.  According to the Library of Congress,

Significance: This building is part of the original campus of the College of Charleston. While the "free school lands" were set aside by the colony in 1712, the land was not utilized for this purpose until chartering of the College of Charleston in 1785 when ten acres of school designated land was formally given to the college. The Porter's Lodge was designed by Edward Brickell White and built in the 1850s. White was also responsible for designing the later porticoes and wings for Harrison Randolph Hall, the main campus building constructed c. 1828 and located through and just to the north of the Porter's Lodge. This small Classical-Revival building, remodeled after a Roman triumphal arch, serves as the entrance to the set of original campus structures, providing a sense of definition and axis to the area. Its triple arches and doric columns create a "temple dedicated to the progress of the mind."



To read more about the traditions and history click here.
Blue Prints are from the Library of Congress


Now, go visit so other exciting places thanks to our host the Unknown Mami by clicking the button below.



Unknown Mami

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

You Tubing Tuesday - Not so much love but perhaps better described as...

Love is great but lust (on occasion) can be so much fun...  

Being Canadian, how can one not think of making love in a canoe...


Aerosmith knows that there is some fun to have when going down...


This group knows all about having a Poison tongue...





Monday, February 13, 2012

Media Monday - Food Stamps

Last week a disturbing report was released stating that 45.8 million are now receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps) benefits.  To receive assistance from the program a single American has to have a demonstrated income of $14,088 per year.  If they qualify, they receive benefits of up to $133 per month.  A family of four must have an income of less than $28,668 and may receive benefits of up to $290 per month.

In order to put the severity of the issue in context, if who received the benefit represented a country, it would be the 27th largest nation in the world.  There are 11 states in which one in five are receiving benefits (figure 1).  While some contend that number in increasing because of fraud, the Department of Agriculture based on a study of electronic purchase tracking stated that 96% of revenues have been spent as per program guidelines.

Figure 1 - Percentage of Americans on 'Food Stamps' By State

Perhaps the most telling argument was written by Bill Schiller in the Toronto Star.  In his article he notes the following,


In the first minutes of each month, food stamp purchases at 24-hour Wal-Marts across the country surge as Food Stamp Nation drives through the dark to purchase sorely needed food.

“Our sales for those first few hours on the first day of the month are substantially and significantly higher,” Wal-Mart CEO William S. Simon told a Goldman Sachs conference 18 months ago. “If you really think about it, the only reason somebody goes out in the middle of the night and buys baby formula is that they need it — and they’ve been waiting for it.”


No matter what your political affiliation, when a nation as wealthy as the USA  has 15% of its population is on a social assistance program due to poverty, perhaps there needs to be a reexamination of the system.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Sundays in my City - v12 - Flashback Edition

Last summer, I went back to one of the first parks I ever worked at: Kew Gardens in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Hard to believe I started my teaching career doing play school groups three mornings a week in the park.  I had no idea at the time that I would become an educator but this is where I learnt some of the most valuable skills in becoming a teacher. 




At the park there was a hut and the tradition was that everyone who worked there signed the walls/roof.


Yep, that says 1989 - 1994...


Once again, thanks to the Unknown Mami for hosting Sunday in My City.  Now click on the button below to continue your tour.


Unknown Mami

Saturday Soliloquy

Ummmm, need proof genetics are real?


Friday, February 10, 2012

Friday Fragments - v14

Welcome to another edition of Friday Fragments.  Once again thanks to Mrs. 4444's for hosting such a wonderful hop.  On to the frags:

  1. I wrote earlier this week about the problems occurring in Syria.  Apparently we have no problem intervening in Libya but can not protect children who are being tortured in Syria.  Oh wait, Syria has little oil?  Okay, I get it now;
  2. Got to take a great group from Clemson this week on a walking tour of downtown Charleston.  Thanks to my good friend Dr. Bill Norman for setting that up;
  3. Welcome to my in-laws who are visiting this week.  I hope they enjoy the visit and their grandchildren.  I know that they will get in their exercise while they are here;
  4. This week has been insanely busy and every time I turn around what I had planned has melted into capriciousness; and
  5. I got my hair cut (well shaved off is a better descriptor) this week.  
Here are the before pictures:




Here are some after shots:


Heather dislikes it immensely.  Though not so much she didn't agree to go on a kid-less overnight excursion next week.  So now you get to chime in, hair? or no hair?

After you do that, go and visit other frags by clicking the button below...

Mommy's Idea