The other Memorial Day

Today would’ve been my dad’s 87th birthday. Hard to believe it’s been more than eight years since he passed away. He’s still with us in spirit.

Herb (yep, that’s his name) served in the military during the Korean War… and pretty much hated every minute of it. The “command and control” structure fit him like a hairshirt. (Gee, wonder where I get my rebel streak from…) Besides, his biggest battles were yet to come. Watching your wife succumb to leukemia. Moving your four kids to Arkansas. Struggling to get by. Fighting depression.

Not all heroes wear suits. Or fatigues. Sometimes they wear horn-rimmed glasses and polyester pants and thrift shop shirts. And they love their kids, and raise them the best that they can.

Happy Birthday, Pops.

23rd verse, same as the first

Another week, another school shooting. Yesterday it was Noblesville, Indiana, where a middle-schooler asked to leave the classroom and came back armed with two handguns and started shooting. Let’s read that sentence again, shall we? A middle-schoolerarmed with two handguns.

It’s the 23rd shooting on school grounds (including colleges/universities) in the 21st week of 2018.

26 children and 5 adults have died as a result, with dozens more injured, and hundreds more psychologically scarred. 31 lives lost in buildings set up for education, while during this same time period 13 members of the military have died in active combat zones. So in 2018, schools have been more dangerous than combat zones.

Don’t give me your “arm the teachers” argument. They have enough on their plates as it is.

Don’t give me your “cars kill more people than guns so we should ban cars” argument. Because we both know that getting a car involves:

  • Minimum age requirements
  • Mandatory training hours, written exam and road test prior to receiving a license
  • License subject to renewal on a regular basis
  • Mandatory registration
  • Mandatory insurance

Whereas getting a gun requires:

  • forking over some cash at a gun show.

If you want to institute the same requirements for gun ownership and operation as for car ownership and operation, I’m fully on board. And then we can discuss safety enhancements for the guns themselves, similar to the way the auto industry has added seat belts, anti-lock brakes, air bags and dozens of other features.  Heck, my daughter’s phone has a fingerprint lock… yet we can’t put that same technology in guns?

It may seem hopeless, especially when the NRA has hundreds of politicians in their deep back pockets. But don’t give up, because progress is being made, slowly, but surely. This series of tweets from the founder of Moms Demand Action proves that.

Thoughts and prayers are not enough. We need more action.

 

 

Good grief, Charlie Brown knows how to rock!

I’m a huge Rush fan (read: nerd) and because I’m in charge of employee communications at work, I manage to slip a Rush reference into all-company emails every once in a while (read: nearly every week).

So all of my co-workers are aware of my undying devotion to Canada’s premier power rock trio (suck it, Triumph!). One colleague sent me a link to an article posted yesterday on the Onion AV club. A dude named Garren Lazar has been setting Peanuts footage to rock songs for a while, and he recently posted a clip that syncs up the Peanuts gang with the entire twenty-plus-minute “2112” song suite.

Naturally, I love it. Having Linus as the protagonist is pure genius… the same goes for Pigpen playing the drums like Neil Peart. Check out this three-minute excerpt:

The entire clip is here if you have 21 minutes and 12 seconds to spare. (Yes, 21:12! We see what you did there Garren!)

Have a Rushtastic weekend!

Sweet summer freedom

Today’s the last day of exams for my “rising senior, rising sophomore and rising 8th grader”… which means they won’t be rising at the crack of dawn for a few months. I’m sure they’ll celebrate in typical movie scene/music montage fashion this afternoon.

Well, they’re not the only ones who are celebrating. Daddy is delighted too! Summer vacation also means freedom for me:

  • Freedom from having to wake up 20 minutes early to squeeze in a quick workout (kettlebell swings in the basement – sun’s not out, guns not out)
  • Freedom from trying to wake three teenagers at 6 a.m. (there’s not enough blasting powder in the entire world)
  • Freedom from the headaches caused by the four kids/two bathrooms challenge (it requires a greater degree of planning and precision timing than the D-Day invasion)
  • Freedom from making Peter’s chicken and brown rice lunch (and freedom from our dog staring at me with those puppy dog eyes while I cut up the chicken).
  • Freedom from 26 “hurry up or you’ll miss the bus” warnings per morning (plus or minus 10).
  • Freedom from driving my daughter to school when she ignores the 26 warnings and misses the bus. Which means I have to miss my relaxing reading-filled bus ride to work, and instead I have to park 15 minutes away from my office. (Actually I could park closer but I’m too cheap to pay.)

I know it’ll end all too quickly, but I’m going to enjoy it while I can.

 

 

 

Yanny or Laurel? Who cares! Let’s drink!

The whole “Yanny or Laurel” audio clip was a viral sensation last week. (I know, I’m behind the times… I’m used to it.)

This New York Times slider will let you hear both.

But if you were born prior to the internet age, you’ve seen contentious debates like this before.

It divided the country. Even bowling teams nearly came to blows over it.

And then there was the great “Chocolate in my peanut butter/peanut butter on my chocolate” feud:

(I wonder if the kids were listening to Yanny/Laurel on their Walkmans.)

We’ll figure it out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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