Friday, October 30, 2015

Beyond Zombies - Kid Seriously Drafts Emergency List

Portdaddia and Son: Emergency preparedness is what we, as a family, are all about. Note my reflective sleepwear.

This is what the 10-year-old came up with for an emergency kit. A serious list that shows some thinking.

  • Food for two adults, for ten days
  • LuminAid
  • Head light
  • Propane fuel
  • First-aid kit
  • Emergency radio
  • Orange flag
  • Road flare
  • Clif bars
  • Water and water storage units
  • Feminine care products
  • Whistle
  • Knife
  • Extra cash
  • Can opener
  • Emergency Transmitter
  • Extra Tarp
  • Multi-purpose tool

Friday, October 23, 2015

Hurricane Patricia Possibly Strongest Hurricane Ever Recorded

Hurricane Patricia: The black represents the maximum winds on planet Earth
The people who fly planes over hurricanes to measure conditions did so with Patricia and recorded winds upwards of 200 mph -- the strongest tropical cyclone ever recorded anywhere on earth.

As a parent concerned about the world I will pass on to future generations, this storm appears a symptom of a worsening global climate.

My wish is for the people of Mexico to ride out the storm in safety. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Kid Super Excited About Fushigi Ball

Fushigi! Fushigi! Fushigi! Sounds cool to me.
The last two days all I have heard about from the 10-year-old is that the Fushigi ball is coming soon.

It is here now.

The full name is the Fushigi Magic Gravity Ball, an acrylic contact juggling ball with a steel core. Promoters claim that the ball possesses special properties that make it "appear to float" and improve balance and control.

More to the point, contact juggling is a form of object manipulation that focuses on the movement of objects such as balls in contact with the body. Although often used in conjunction with toss juggling, it differs in that it involves the rolling of one or more objects without releasing them into the air.

The kid is certain that if he practices and then exhibits his skills on the street with a collection plate he will rake in millions.

I applaud his efforts.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Yes, Captain America Is Part Of Exhibit on WWII

No rank plastic crap, these are the real props used in the film.
The other day when I mentioned Captain America's shields were part of the Oregon Historical Society's exhibit on World War II I wasn't cracking wise.

At first I wasn't sure if their inclusion in such a serious and well-curated exhibit was necessary. But then I thought such was the right move as they linked the current Hollywood concept of the war to the actual conflict.

This is from the panel describing the shields:

The comic book hero Captain America debuted for Marvel Comics in 1941. The Superhero is the alter ego of Steve Rogers, a rather weak and sickly young man who is turned into a super soldier with the help of an experimental serum. Using his superpowers, he helps the U.S. military fight the Axis nations during World War II.

These shield were used in the 2011 movie adaptation of the comic books. The heater (triangular) was a prop shield used by Captain America during his tour to promote war bonds. The round shield was said to be made of the fictional metal vibranium, giving it the ability to absorb all kinetic energy.

Further reason to include the shields is that Captain America did fight the Nazis in comic book readers' imaginations in 1941.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

What To Do With The Relatives? Columbia River Cruise

The Sasquatch statue made the trip worthwhile for some.

When three generations of the clan assemble, what's there to do besides eat lots of delicious food? Cruise the Columbia with a bunch of wisenheimers, that's what.

We went on a sightseeing cruise in the Columbia Gorge, starting our adventure in Cascade Locks. The boat was large enough to have seating inside or out, as the weather was cool. Spectacular scenery and a captain not too intent on educating us made for a delightful outing.

We did exit through the gift shop, but refrained from purchasing any Bigfoot oven mitts. 

Here it is, another video of Mel of Recumbent PDX.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Inert Manikin Brings History To Life

A family weekend sees the crew at the Oregon Historical Society.

 The Oregon Historical Society's World War II exhibit was an excellent way to spend part of a Sunday afternoon.

Uniforms, an enigma machine, Captain America's shield (really), propaganda posters, and many other artifacts all provided good illustration to the different phases of the war.

Oregon's participation in Japanese internment did not go overlooked, which is an important issue that still reverberates today.

Extra fun -- if you are a WWII vet or live in Multnomah County you enter free of charge!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Proud Of Son's Graphic Design

Asked to design a logo for my blog, the kid delivered!

All appropriate elements are here:


Thursday, October 15, 2015

"Meltdown Vest" Now Relic Of Family Lore

Portdaddia is pictured here wearing the Meltdown Vest so as to be visible to passing cars on a recent walk.

I have a reflective vest that I wear for cycling and general visibility at night.

Many years ago a child asked in earnest about the purpose of this vest. I answered that this was a "Meltdown Vest," something a person wore when overcome with anger so others would know to stay away or attempt to administer emotional counseling. 

Now the vest is evidence for the kids of the mental trauma they received growing up. For the record, no child ever actually wore the vest while having a meltdown. Still, the kids continue to believe the vest is evidence of something and regard it with trepidation.

I hope I have not rendered the kids completely against proper safety at night.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

"Brown Girl Dreaming" Big Hit In Our Family

I often lament the decline of Western civilization by the amount of time all of us spend on screens and not doing things of substance, like bear baiting and collecting leeches for the ill.

But every once in a while good literary things happen to the family. 

My kids and I have read Brown Girl Dreaming, by Jacqueline Woodson, a memoir told in succinct poetry. Brown Girl won the National Book Award and was widely praised as a true achievement. 

More importantly, my guys, a 10-year-old and a 13-year-old, really responded to it. The feeling of racial injustice was something that they both became more aware of through the poems. My son liked the book so much he picked it up for a second time, again brought back into the world of race relations and Jehova’s Witnesses in places like New York City and the South in the 60s and 70s.

Initially I picked up the book as a way to connect with younger readers. But like the great book this is, who the author intended it for became irrelevant as I was swept away.