Sunday Share Week 11

Good Morning, Sunday! I hope everyone had a good night’s sleep. Good luck catching that lost hour for those of you who turned your clocks ahead. Crash was up at 6:30 (really 5:30 before the clocks the changed). Bang was up at 7 (really 6 before the time change). Fortunately, this is our March Break so we don’t have school all week. Lots of time for them to get caught up. Or be so tired and cranky that I’ll fear for their survival.

Have a great day!

The Other World: Book One
A book I beta read and you need to read (or at least see the cover of)

Dorky Mom Doodles
Lost in translation…

Coach Daddy
Boys and Baseball: A guest post

Faradays Candle
Music’s effect on brains

Apricots and Admiration
Instilling and bringing back confidence…

Wonderoak
A letter to our children should we feel we fail them…

SuperDad’s GoPro
See the boys and I ice skating and having fun with the camera…

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The Other World: Book One

Before last year I had never heard of beta readers. Being a technology geek I had heard of beta testing and beta versions of software/hardware. Never heard of beta reading, though I could easily guess what it meant. Proof read an author’s book.

Then I was asked to be one.

I must admit, confess, that a small part of me agreed to be a beta reader because I wanted to read the book before anyone else. I wanted to be the first. The bigger part of me wanted to beta read because I wanted I wanted to help her book to be successful. I had read her first, self-published book, Nowhere to Hide so I couldn’t wait to get my hands on her new one. This second book is a completely unrelated to her first.

I speak about none other than Tracey Tobin. When I joined WordPress she was the first one I followed. I still follow her. Not in that creepy stalker way… just on WordPress.

Tori is haunted by past mistakes that caused her to lose her most beloved people. Wracked with guilt and haunted by has happened, she yearns for a new life. When a gift is mysteriously returned to her 17 years after events were set in motion, she finds a way out. However, this new world isn’t so perfect. It has it’s own problems. And it’s own secrets. 

Read The Other World: Book One on your Kindle App. It’s only $2.99. Bonus: If you’re a Kindle Unlimited user you can read it for free. FREE! And really, you can’t beat $2.99 either. That’s almost free. 

If you’re an old school reader and prefer to hold a book, to smell a book, to take a book to bed, the paperback version is coming very soon.

If nothing else, just go take a peek. The cover itself is well worth it. If your first thought is “Wow, nice butt” you won’t be the only one. If your second thought is “What is this other world?” you won’t be the only one either. Go read it… you can thank me later.

You can find it here: The Other World: Book One

other world

see the full cover @Amazon

Go Ask Your Father: Spring, Smarts, Lent, and Brains…

Is it spring, yet?

Thanks to that pesky groundhog, the boys think spring is supposed to come early. I had to explain to them that it was a) just a myth and b) it depends on which groundhog you believe because there are many and not all predict the same things. We had one day of unusually warm weather. It was warm enough to go without a jacket. Since that happened it’s warm enough to go without a coat every day. Or so the oldest believes. Officially, the first day of spring is March 20th. But this is Canada. Warm weather doesn’t get here until later. Much later. Like July.

Will he get smart now?

I haven’t written about this yet, but Crash has been struggling to focus on tasks. When he loses focus the fidgets set in and getting him back on track becomes near impossible. Last year he was diagnosed with ADHD (though he’s more ADD, it all falls under the same umbrella). As teachers, we know that diagnosis can be given easily and many parents opt to medicate. As we found out from the phamacist, some parents just start with highest dose possible. We are not most parents. We opted to educate ourselves and see if we could use some behavior modifications to help him. A year later and nothing has changed. He’s still struggling to focus. So we looked into medication – the lowest dose possible. Bang, having overheard many of our conversations, knows that his big brother is going to take medicine to help him focus in school. Crash takes his pill on the very first morning and Bang, without missing a beat, asks, “Will he get smart now?” Boy did we laugh.

Why is it called Lent?

Ahh. Good old Lent. What I wouldn’t give for a Coke right now. Or any pop/soda/cola. This is the first full week without and I’ve been craving one all week long. Come on Sunday! I know it’s for the better. I know it’s not good for me. But I want one. Lent originally simply meant spring. It’s origins are Germanic, specifically Old English, lencten; also the Anglo-Saxon name for March – lenct. I just wish it was called over so I can have a Coke!

What happens to your brain when you die?

How’s that for morbid curiosity? Obviously, when we die our brains die with us. The heart no longer pumps the needed blood and oxygen required for it to function. According to LiveScience and Jimo Borjigin, a neuroscientist at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, a study of rats was conducted as they died from a lack of oxygen. Just prior to heart failure, their brain sent a flurry of signals and chemicals to the heart. This combo caused their hearts to stop. The researchers found that when they blocked those signals and chemicals the heart lastest three times longer. After I die, I know exactly what will happen to my brain. It’ll be put in a jar on a shelf right next to Einstein’s.

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10 Questions I Asked My Kids

Welcome to Thursday. That makes tomorrow Friday! They’re calling for some snow here tomorrow night. 5-10 cm. Not much. But it is much because it’s March. They’re calling for another 10-20 sometime next week. But this is Cape Breton, ‘bye. That’ll change a dozen times between now and then. Plus we’re making a road trip next week. We don’t need no snow storm screwin’ up our plans.  I’m officially ready for spring. I’m tired of winter clothes.

1. If you were going to live on a desserted island, what 3 things would you want to take with you?

Crash: Food, games, and a TV
Bang: Ice cream, Cookies, and Toostie Rolls

2. When is a time I made you angry?

Crash: Not let me on my electronics
Bang: When we lost electronics

3. Want to be when you grow up?

Crash: Construction and ride in the cherry picker
Bang: Construction worker and drive the cherry picker

4. How can you tell when two people love each other?

Crash: They usally play together a lot
Bang: Because they’re hugging

5. What’s a good name for a pet elephant?

Crash: Geronimo
Bang: Tronto

6. What do you think your teacher likes best about you?

Crash: Everything
Bang: That I listen at school

7. What is something mom or dad can do that you wish you could do?

Crash: Stay up late all night and have unlimited amount of electronics
Bang: Play basketball

8. If you could have any animal in the world for a pet, what would you want?

Crash: A chameleon that can change colors
Bang: Giraffe

9. What Mom’s best body part?

Crash: Her head
Bang: Her ribs

10. What’s Dad’s best body part?

Crash: His arms
Bang: His skull

#MyFirstPostRevisted

 

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That’s What Anxious Mom Said has nominated me for this chore. So, like the good house-spouse that I am, I’ll clean this up. Plus it give me something to do while we watch Gold Rush, The Voice, and This Is Us. 

I’m supposed to reblog, repost, or copy and paste my very first post. I kinda like my first post. I started on Blogger. I still can’t believe my first post was posted on April 25th, 2013. The end of next month will mark 4 years in the blogging world. Though for the first couple years I was only posting a few times a month. But even then, I knew what I wanted to write about – being a dad. I spent the first couple years finding my voice and writing style. I think I’ve arrived at something I like. Informative, funny, slightly unexpected, a free spirit. Without further ado, here is my first post…

In the beginning…

This is a dad’s blog. It’s what this dad does and how he does it. 2 kids, a five (almost 6) year old, Crash and a 1 (nearly 2) year old, Bang and a smart, beautiful, compassionate DW. This is how I have fun, survive, thrive and just plain get through the day. I shall write about everything from my joy of running to the playground project, but mostly about raising 2 kids in today’s information overloaded world. This is the beginning…

Actually, that was just this past Easter… this is the beginning:

Wow! Crash was only 5 and Bang was just one! The first picture was from Easter of ’13, taken just before publishing my first post. And that last picture was from DW’s very first trip to Maryland to meet me – August 24th, ’03. You might not recognize me with hair. 

Here we come to the rules:

Obvious rules:

  • No cheating. (It must be your first post. Not your second post, not one you love…first post only.)
  • Link back to the person who tagged you (thank them if you feel like it or, if not, curse them with a plague of ladybugs).

Other rules:

  • Copy and paste your old post into a new post or reblog your own bad self. (Either way is fine but NO editing.) (done did)
  • Put the hashtag #MyFirstPostRevisited in your title. (check)
  • Tag five other bloggers to take up this challenge. (yep)
  • Notify your tags in the comment section of their blog (don’t just hope they notice a pingback somewhere in their spam).
  • Feel free to cut and paste the badge to use in your post.
  • Include the rules in your post. (duh)

People who should also do this: 

Deb Was Here
FattyMcCupcakes
GrubbsnCritters
Not The Average Mama
J Dub

Speak English!

It is spoken by over 840 million people. That’s 840,000,000 people. It’s the second most spoken language right after Mandarin (Chinese). It’s spoken by 67 countries and 27 non-sovereign countries, ie Hong Kong and Puerto Rico.  Some sources say it originated in what is now northwest Germany and the Netherlands. There’s Old English which is the English my parents speak and is preserved in Beowulf from around the year 800. Then there’s middle English of the 1000’s, which my wife and I speak. Lastly, there’s Modern English spoken by this Millennial generation- from the 16 and 1700’s Millennials. The American Revolution included being vocabularically (that’s a word, right?) free from England.

The 20 volume Oxford dictionary includes definitions for 171,476 words. However, it also lists definitions for 47,156 obsolete words and about 9,500 derivatives as subentries. So there could be upwards of 250,000 words.

And what I love about the English language – words can be used in so many different ways to mean so many different things. The same word can be a thing, it can be an action or it could be a description.

Which brings me to the point of this post. Finally. Thanks to Stumbleupon, I found some hilarious idiosyncrasies in the English language. Ones I knew about, but never gave conscious thought to. They certainly make me relieved that English is my first language because as one Tumblr user said, “I’m glad English is my first language because if I had to learn it as a second language I’d jump off a bridge.”

1. I never said you were stupid.

You get a completely different meaning depending on which word you stress. Six words, six meanings.

2. English can be understood through tough thorough thought, though.

There’s that “ough” conundrum. Written the same five times, pronouned five different ways.

3. If womb is pronounced “woom” and tomb is pronounced “toom” shouldn’t bomb be pronounced “boom”?

It should and it will if you’re not careful.

4. Then there are contronyms.

These are words that are their own opposites. Unlike the word up, whose opposite is down, the word peruse is its own opposite. It can mean to read something in a relaxed way or it can mean to read something carefully. Egregious and nonplussed are two more examples.

5. A long time ago someone wrote “God B W Ye”. This is essentially 16th century text speak that gave us the word “goodbye”.

6. Cough, rough, though, and through don’t rhyme. They don’t even sound alike. Yet somehow, pony and bologna do. WTH?

7. A simple mark, the infamous comma (,) can change the whole meaning of sentence and even save lives.

Lets eat, kids.

While some of may have considered baking up our children after a particlarly long snow day, that comma means we’re having chicken, not children.

8. And somehow that that makes sense…115933219113-png__700

9. Then there’s this bit of comedy using idiosyncrasies…

The correct way to spell Potato

P – GH as in hiccough
O- OUGH as in dough
T- PHTH as in phthisis
A – EIGH as in eight and neighbor
T- ETT as in gazett
O- EAU as in plateau

GHOUGHPHTHEIGHETTEAU = Potato

10. For my tenth and final act I give you this gem. When you’re done reading this picture type the last sentence into Google translate and click “pronounce”.  I promise you won’t be disappointed. The boys and I have heard it a hundred times and we laugh every time.funny-english-language-jokes-3-58a1ac7da639a__700

I love the English language. It can be fun to play with. I didn’t get into the whole i before e nonsense and their/there/they’re and homographs like bow and bow. So this list could go on and on and on…

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Sunday Share Week 10

Welcome to week 10. Week 9 was supposed to be lucky because 9 is a lucky number in this house. It was and and it wasn’t. My new GoPro arrived in the mail a month after I sent my broken one back to them. So be on the look out for some fun YouTube videos. Then yesterday we went to file our taxes only to find out we owe. WTH? We don’t owe much, just enough to be annoying.

On a more positive note, I’m not sure if you’ve heard of this “new” show called Little Big Shots. I say new, but it’s second season just premiered tonight. What a fantastic, family friendly show. If you haven’t seen it, Steve Harvey interviews kids who are either smart, funny, or talented and they never fail to disappoint. I made sure to record it as the boys love to watch it, too. I can’t wait to see their reaction to the 6 year old basketball player.

Hope all y’all have a spectacular week! Here’s what I liked reading last week…

J.A. Allen
Home

Dorky Mom Doodles
Why can’t our kids be like this at home, too?

Return of the Modern Philosopher
If Satan had my barber…

A Momma’s View
Where little boys go…

Who’s My Favorite Today?
The mixed emotions a large envelope causes…

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Go Ask Your Father: Air Conditioning, AM vs PM, Getting Ashed, and Getting Bread

This ninth week has proven to provide a small amount of luck (9 is a lucky number in this house). I managed a couple days of subbing and am already booked for a day next week. We received a sympathy card in the mail from my aunt and uncle with some $$ in it. The after school ice skating was free today. Nanny cooked us supper this evening. Crash is off at a sleepover with Nanny and Pop so we’re down a kid. The Nintendo Switch became available today (though I’m not lucky enough to be able afford one, it’s nice to know it’s a possibilty). 

1. How do air conditioners work?

In the year 1902 (I think that’s the same year DW and I got married) a young man by the name of Willis Haviland Carrier needed to control the humidity in a lithographing and publishing company so he created what we now call the air conditioner to cool the air. Cool air carries less humidty, therefore his air conditioner was highly effective. 

Today’s air conditioners use simple physics (if physics can be called simple). According to a law of thermodynamics, when a liquid turns to a gas it absorbs heat from the air, thereby making the air cooler. So inside your AC unit is an evaporator in which refrigerant liquid evaporates. The refrigerant has a low boiling point so it turns from liquid to gas (vapor) simply from the warm air of your house passing over the tubes that contain it. From there the refrigerant, now a gas (like steam, but not steam) passes through a compressor. Naturally, the aptly named compressor compresses the gas thereby raising it’s temperature even higher (like a pressure cooker, but not a pressure cooker). Then the refrigerant passes on to the condenser where, if you haven’t guessed yet, the gas condenses (like warm air on the side of your Coke can) where it cools (releasing heat) and turns back into a liquid. Now cooled off it starts reabsorbing heat from the air again (making the air cold) and the whole process starts over. A fan on the inside of your house blows the cooled air around the evaporator into your house. Another fan near the condenser blows the hot air outside your house.

2. What’s AM and PM?

We have Latin to thank for this one. Carpe diem is Latin for sieze the day. AM is Latin for ante meridiem, or before midday. PM, therefore is Latin for post meridiem or after midday. You can carpe diem if you want. Or for those of you who enjoy your sleep you can just carpe PM. We’ll leave the carpe AMing to the farmers and our children.

3. Why do we get ashes on Ash Wednesday?

This past Wednesday was Ash Wednesday and the first day of giving up happiness that which tempts us. For me (and Bang) that was pop. For Crash, chocolate. DW gave up the can of whoop ass. But the ashes placed on forehead in the shape of a cross symbolize something much larger than that material we chose to forego. The ashes are made from burning the palms of last year’s Palm Sunday and are then blessed. The ashes represent our plea to God for mercy and compassion in the forgiving of our sins. On our forehead they are a public admission of guilt and an expression of sorrow for the wrongs we have committed. They are a promise of reform and a pledge to resist temptation in the future. So we give up something that tempts us so we can better appreciate it. I tried to convince Crash and Bang to give up talking so they could better appreciate silence, but they yelled at me for even suggesting it.

4. Can I get bread?

No, Bang wasn’t asking for prison rations. He didn’t want bread and water. I still had to tell him no, though, because he can’t have bread until he’s 6. Next April he will partake in his first communion. At Jesus’s Last Supper (that supper where everyone sat on the same side of the table) Jesus took bread and wine and told his desciples that the bread was his body and the wine his blood and whenever they ate and drank these in his name he would be with them. Wrapped in the Holy Mystery that is the Catholic church, we too can share in the eating of his bread and the drinking of his wine. Perhaps toasted and buttered with a bit of cheese could make the bread and wine better. However, Jesus was a man of simplicity.

10 Questions I Asked My Kids (ep 33)

It’s hard to believe I’ve asked my kids 330 questions. They all up for grabs, too, so feel free to ask your own kids whether they are 4 or 40.

1. What did you give up for lent?

Crash: Chocolate
Bang: Pop

2. What makes you happy?

Crash: Puppies
Bang:
Getting licked by a dog

3. What makes me happy?

Crash: Reading, teaching, good listeners
Bang: A clean basement

4. What makes mom happy?

Crash: Candy Crush, good listeners, whale watching
Bang: Snuggling

5. What is your favorite song?

Crash: I Gotta Feeling by The Blackeyed Peas
Bang: Ghost Town by Adam Lambert

6. If we got a dog, what would you want to name it?

Crash: Winn Dixie
Bang: Sparky

7. If you could meet anyone from TV who would you want to meet?

Crash: Hope and Alison (or Rebecca) from Hope for Wildlife (Hope for Wildlife is a charitable wildlife rehabilitation and education organization)
Bang: Ellen DeGeneres

8. If a genie granted you 3 wishes, what would you wish for?

Crash: More video games (Pokemon Sun and moon), More hockey cards to trade with my cousin, and Minecraft robots
Bang:
To go on stage to dance, being the best player in basketball, if Zoe and Felix were alive

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9. If you could be a sound, what sound would you be?

Crash: I’d be a “ruff” like a dog
Bang: Mooooo

10. What is love?

Crash: When two people like each other
Bang: Hugging people

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