Tag Archives: Library Books

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Okay, I lied.

It seems like I do have something important to say today.

I’m just stopping by for a quick shout out to my dad, my namesake and the big dude who taught me everything he knows — but not everything I know — about how to be a dad. Sometimes he did it by setting an example, and sometimes he did it by showing me what not to do.

Either way, I learned more from that man than I could have from a library full of books.

He taught me that if it was important to his son that he coach in sports, then he took the time off his job to be there for his son and coach whatever sport was in season. Dad coached me in tackle football, baseball, basketball, just about everything I ever wanted to play. When I made the school track team in shot put and discus and the mile relay, it was my dad who took me aside and showed me how to do it all.

He taught me that you didn’t have to go along with the herd, even if you wanted to achieve the same goal as it did. He’s a doctor, but he didn’t undergraduate major in anything science-y. He majored in English because he enjoyed it.

He’s also the man who showed me the value and the warmth of a real Hawaiian shirt with the wooden buttons. My wife, known to me as She Who Must Not Be Allowed Near My Closet With Anything Remotely Sharp, might not like them, but I love my Hawaiian shirt collection.

He’s also the man who brought home the first science fiction/fantasy book I remember reading. It was the middle book in a trilogy, but I was hooked for life. He set me on a path toward some exceedingly strange places, that I’m so very glad I found. He nurtured my love of reading and words and creating with them and I can’t thank him enough.

He’s also the man who helped shape my sense of humor. So, yeah, he’s the one you can blame.

Thanks, Dad, for being such a great mentor, teacher, coach and cheerleader all rolled up into one dad-sized package that kept pushing, prodding and questioning, all the while letting me know I was loved no matter what I did, as long as what I did made me happy.

Happy birthday!

Before I go, though, answer me one question: Who’s on first.

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by Richard

I’ve made no secret of my love for Glee, the goofy, silly musical sitcom on Fox network about a bunch of outcast losers who try to redeem their high-school social lives by joining the Glee Club. Yeah, it’s fantasy.

I think you dudes also know about my disdain for the horrible, gut-wrenchingly appalling series of (and I hate to call them this because it’s so demeaning to the library) books known as Twilight. It’s abstinence porn at its very worst.

So, let’s say you go ahead and do a little mash up of the two things. Will the awesome of Glee be able to counteract the sheer black-hole-level of badness that is Twilight?

In a word: Of course it will.*

And, herewith, the proof: Gleeclipse.

Well, at least it would be, if I could get the YouTube embed to work. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be working right now with the new WordPress update kicking and and doing so well. I guess you’ll have to do it the old-fashioned way and just click on the link to see it on the YouTube site. So, without further ado, or, really, any ado at all, here it is. No, really. Just click HERE. That’s all you have to do.

*Yes, I know that wasn’t a word. That was the joke. Feeble as it was.

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by Richard

So here’s the deal for Hyper Lad: He’s in middle school, which basically concludes the school year in mid-May with the End of Grade tests for every subject. These are the de facto final exams for all the students in grades 4-8 in North Carolina elementary and middle schools.

Again, note that they are given in mid-May. School, however, is in session until June 10. So, for approximately four weeks, the students seem to coast alone in maintenance mode while the tests are graded and those who didn’t pass the various exams are given re-takes in the hope they will pass and will not have to repeat a grade.

That’s a month in idle. For the most part.

I mean, look at this week. We started with Monday, which was Memorial Day. On Wednesday, the sixth grade took off for an all-day field trip to the Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, SC. Then, today, we’ve got the first of two sixth-grade field days, in which half the class will be adjourning to a near-by park to throw balls of various sorts, run and jump and play and do anything unrelated to actual academic achievement.

Next week, the last of school, I’m pretty sure they’re booked for wall-to-wall, bell-to-bell movies. Now there’s something to learn: Killing time is the most important part of life. Apparently.

I know most of these kids are still in school only because the state mandates a certain number of days they have to attend school during an academic year, not because they need to be there to actually learn something. They just have to be there.

I mean, heck, they already turned in all their school books that they had to borrow at the beginning of the year. No more language arts books. No more math books. No more foreign language books. No more science or social studies books. They have already turned all the library books, but the students have been encouraged to bring in their own books to have something to read when they get tired of the movies.

One good thing to come out of this is that Hyper Lad has discovered that toting around a Kindle is much more fun than lugging around a lot of books. And, thanks to the Kindle, he’s discovered that he loves reading Stephen King books, a feat he never would have attempted had he seen the length of some of those books.

So, I guess this last month wasn’t a total waste of time. Only a partial waste of time. Is this the best for which we can hope? I hope not.

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