Tag Archives: School Bus

Another One For The Books

by Richard

It’s not a party until something’s broken. Well, dudes, I’ve thought up another cliché. It’s not a school year, until someone’s missed a bus.

Yep, it’s true. Less than a week into the school year and Hyper Lad has already missed the bus. Not in a metaphorical sense, you understand, but the actual, physical sense of not being there when the school bus pulls up to onload the precious little anklebiters.

The best part about it is that this is the year when his school day got pushed back 30 minutes. Instead of school starting at 8:45 am and running until 3:45 pm, Hyper Lad now doesn’t have to be in school until 9:15 am and only gets out at 4:15 pm. And we still didn’t make the bus.

Way to start the second day of school there, dad. And, yes, it was my fault.

But, come on, dudes. I was lulled into a false sense of security by the idiocy of the bus schedule. Here’s the deal. The first day of school, the bus didn’t get there until 9 am, when it was supposed to be there at 8:45 am. The fact that the afternoon bus was an hour late getting in that first day didn’t help my sense of urgency.

Now I’m to blame because I actually took the time to read the newspaper comics with Hyper Lad before setting out, just in time to see the bright yellow bus pull away, a good 10 minutes before it was supposed to arrive at his stop.

Here’s the thing: The schedules were rearranged to save money on the bus schedule, but I think something’s a bit messed up. Instead of a full bus load of kids, Hyper Lad’s morning bus is carrying all of six kids to school. The afternoon bus is only a little different, with 12 young dudes and dudettes on the bus home.

Which strikes me as slightly ridiculous. How is running a total of 18 young dudettes and dudes back and forth to school on two buses supposed to be saving money? Not that I’m complaining all that much, considering that on last year’s buses, Hyper Lad and the other riders were sitting three to a seat both ways.

Here’s hoping the schedule shakes out a bit better in the weeks to come. I mean, I have no interest in grabbing Buzz, the garbage disposal that walks like a dog, throwing him into the MachoMobile (my new name for the mini-van. It was either that or the CoolMachine. Still debating it.) and then forcing Hyper Lad to sit through my — to him — atrocious taste in morning radio shows to take him to school.

Well, either that or I start getting my act together in the mornings, but what are the chances of that happening?

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Dude Review: The Lost Hero

by Richard

The ancient gods of Western civilization have withdrawn from the world following the epic events detailed in the Camp Half-Blood books, starring Percy Jackson (son of Poseidon), by author Rick Riordan.

Of course, just because the gods say they’ve withdrawn from their interactions with mortals, well, that doesn’t make it true. Knowing those gods as we do, through myth, legend and a great series of books, we can be pretty sure there’s still some godly meddling going on.

And there is.

In The Lost Hero, the first book of a new series called The Heroes of Olympus, we’re introduced to a whole bunch of new main characters, most notably Jason, a half-blood demi-god with little to no memory of his past, a strange tattoo on his arm, and a metaphorical target plastered on his back.

For now, let’s all get down on our knees and thank those self-same gods that Rick Riordan is back with another book set in the same universe as the magnificently wonderful Percy Jackson and the Olympians books. This truly is a cause for celebration. To me, the Percy Jackson books are what Harry Potter would have liked to have been if he had any ambition at all. They’re full of fantastically complex characters, fast plotting, tight action scenes and genuine emotional heft. These are books that all young dudes would love to read or have read to them.

Both my oldest (Sarcasmo) and youngest (Hyper Lad) young dudes loved these books. Zippy the Monkey Boy, who’s of the opinion that a book without pictures is a waste of paper, preferred to read the graphic novel version and leave it at that. His loss.

Anyway. Back to the book.

Riordan takes a bit of a chance with this book, consigning as he does, Percy Jackson to, if not limbo, then at least the literary equivalent thereof. That is, Percy Jackson does NOT star in these books. He’s talked about and missed, but he’s not actually on stage. The main player here is Jason, who’s memory begins on the back of a school bus on his way to a class trip with two people who may or may not be his girlfriend and best friend.

The action here is fast and furious, starting early and pausing only to let the reader catch his breath before barreling headlong into another adventure.

Jason, you see, isn’t like the other children of the gods who inhabit Camp Half Blood. In fact, his appearance at the summer camp for the children of the gods causes quite a bit of consternation among the staff there, and not a little bit of fear. But what is it about Jason’s very existence and attendance at the camp that’s causing this level of panic?

That, dudes, is the question. And it’s got a great answer. (Of course I had it figured out, but, then again, this is written with the younger dudes in mind. The fact that I and most other older dudes can enjoy it is just a happy bit of synchronicity.)

The Lost Hero is a fantastic read. If you’ve got a young dude or dudette who is even the tiniest bit interested in Greek and Roman mythology, likes fantastic adventure and well-developed characters, then you must get this book. Without question, this rates five (5) dudes out of five.

Buy it. Read it. Enjoy it. Then suffer along with me until the next book in the series comes out.

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No Bon-Bons For You

by Richard

It’s sad, really. When you’ve got your mind set on getting in a relaxing day, with your feet up and your mind completely disengaged from reality, and then that sort of thing just sort of falls through the black hole called real life. Witness, for instance, my planned celebration (read complete attack of the sloths) on the first day of public school.

I had planned to just loaf around the house all day, consuming bon-bons (which, it turns out, are little ice cream treats. Who knew?) and basically making all of you people who work outside the house very, very jealous. The most important word in that sentence was planned. Notice the past tense? Yeah. Didn’t happen.

First, of course, the school bus that was supposed to take Speed Racer to school was almost an hour late. Just about the time I was going to break down and take the whole bunch of kids to elementary school, the bus disappeared out of the fog, its lights cutting tunnels through the dimness, its grill like hungry teeth. Well, okay, not like that, but it did take a long time to get there. That was an hour killed.

Then I had two writing jobs I had to get out of the way. I did. And then a meeting popped up that I had to attend. That was another three hours gone. The dog needed to be walked and then it was time to pick up Zippy the Monkey Boy from school and that was the day.

The day which ended by me attending a mandatory 2.5 hour meeting at Zippy’s school that night.

Weep for me, people. The saddest dude in the house. Who doesn’t actually have to do all this little dude caring and still work outside the house like some dudes. Who has a loving family, a new dog and still-living pets. Who’s got his health. (relatively speaking)

On second thought, cancel the pity party. I’m just glad to be here. And so should you be as well.

Any day above ground is a good one.

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