Saturday, March 31, 2018

Humor At Seder Catches Some Off Guard

Bald guy with matzah yarmulke. 

Sure, I mixed things up with the specialty headgear, but the real fun occurred when I read from a hagaddah co-written by Dave Barry. I didn't announce that "here was the humor" and it was fun to see the reactions on the faces as the comedy sank in. Such made the serious holiday, and the political mood in our house, a bit lighter.

For the record, readings at our Seder included excerpts from the J Street Haggadah, The New American Haggadah, and The 30-Minute Seder as well as Dave Barry's For This We Left Egypt?: A Passover Haggadah for Jews and Those Who Love Them


Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Absurdist Humor Occurs During Spring Break

As I was preparing food over the kitchen sink, the kid went outside and did a creepy stare as a joke. I ended up making this video with an original soundtrack.


Monday, March 26, 2018

Kid Goes To State Capital To Push For Assault Weapons Ban

The activist could have slept late, enjoyed herself on her vacation, but chose to go to the state capital to show public support for a ban on assault weapons.

I'm proud as can be!


Sunday, March 25, 2018

Random Photo Essay

The seventh grader has a picture of a murdered Parkland student on his locker.

This is what the locker looks like on the inside.

Passionfruit is the kid's new...passion.

I vow not to take the abundant natural beauty around me for granted.

This is what a hungry kid looks like when given a stromboli.

When discussing Shiba Inus the kid believed this photo should have been used.


Saturday, March 24, 2018

March For Our Lives In Portland

I intended to make a video of the great turnout and general positivity of the March for Life. As things were winding down my 13-year-old son I and wandered over to the NRA people and began a conversation. As one would expect, things quickly degenerated. You can imagine what kind of 2nd Amendment people would show up at the March for Life. I admit this wasn’t my finest hour and I met the NRA’s crazy with my own brand. But my son held the line, being articulate and levelheaded. I ended up editing the video to showcase the exchange with the NRA people. There are five conversations going on at once, the audio capturing the gist and cacophony of the moment.


Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Maker Space Really Cool

My kid's school has a maker's space, a room that is a hybrid technology shop and recycling center. The center of much activity is the 3-D printer pictured above. The kids use internet-based design software and then load their programs. The teachers want to have the kids handle all elements of the 3-D printing process, doing little to provide oversight, feeling mistakes are a learning opportunity.

A more traditional tool.

I'm glad the times are changing.


Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Trying To Keep Up With The Racket Family

We returned from a family trip where we got excited about playing ping-pong on a dining room table.

Our table doesn't accept a clip-on net so we must improvise.

Let the games begin!


Monday, March 19, 2018

Harness The Power Of The Shiba Inu

Image result for shiba inu

The Shiba Inu is a breed of dog developed in Japan by the creators of the Pokemon franchise. The words mean "terminal cuteness" and the breed is considered the gold standard of all that is furry and adorable by the kids in this house.

Now when kids say "Shiba Inu," they may not be referring to the dog, just the concept of ultimate cuteness. For example, our beloved rats can be called Shiba Inu, or a child sleeping peacefully -- even a Shiba Inu can be Shiba Inu.

It recently occurred to me that the prime minister of Israel, Binyamin Netanyahu, is most definitely not Shiba Inu. His aggressive policies promoting West Bank settlement, rejection of diplomacy concerning the Iran Deal, and supporting the continued erosion of Israeli democracy makes him in dire need of what an actual Shiba Inu has in spades.

To this end, I've created a few pictures for the prime minister to use to soften his public image.

The Netan-Inu

The Shiba-Yahu
You're welcome!


Friday, March 16, 2018

Vexillology Spoken Here

Vexillology, the study of flags, is alive and well in these parts. The kid wanted to purchase flags of all of the UN-recognized countries but backed off this goal when the price was considered (close to 200 countries).

The kid pointed out how the flag of Albania is similar to the flag of the Fire Nation, in the series Avatar.


Fire Nation (fictional country)


Thursday, March 15, 2018

Menachem Begin Likely Founder Of Voodoo Doughnuts

How the former prime minister of Israel founded this doughnut shop is an intriguing historical question. Perhaps fatigue of leadership and public life became overwhelming and Menachem longed to escape into the world of fanciful pastries.


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Techno Rat Session

As many folks in the rat community know, rats love techno music, played at appropriate levels for their acute hearing, of course.

With this in mind, I bring you the lastest rat video from Portdaddia studios:


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Middle-aged Father Recollects

When I was in my twenties I lived for a number of years in Taiwan. One year, when I was between situations, I took off for New Zealand with my bicycle. I was there a few months, doing a circumnavigation of both the north and south island.

Part of the fun of the moment was rolling up to a "backpacker" (youth hostel) and enjoying instant camaraderie with whoever might be around. I often would sign up for local tours, relying on the hometown experts to see something special.

The above photo was taken at daybreak somewhere on the south island, where the sunrise over the sea was spectacular. The spot was famously windy, on the day I was there gusts must have been between 30-40 mph.

What sticks out in my mind is the jacket I was wearing in the picture, a thick vinyl rain suit meant for keeping a motorcyclist dry in the rainy climate of Taiwan. I brought it on the cycling adventure in the spirit of using what was on hand and making do.

Later I would wear it coming down a mountain pass and feeling I was shortening my life as I became so wet and cold, water streaming inside from any number of places.

When I arrived at the big city, I went into a fancy store and bought a locally made cycling rain suit for an impossible price.

Such was an excellent investment, and I used the jacket and pants for over a decade, recently passing it on to the daughter who loves the retro coloring.

Sometimes expensive is cheap.


Monday, March 12, 2018

Therapy Animals I Have Encountered Recently

These are the therapy rats of our household, so no news here.

The famous Dr. Blum says "you got this" with his furry softness, then jumps on the counter to steal food.

The "good one" does a better job of sitting on a lap and absorbing negativity.

The sheep and horse were always together for the three days I was on the farm. I like to think they are there for each other.


Thursday, March 1, 2018

Looking For A New Signature Graphic

Looking for a new graphic to add finality to my blog posts. Here are some of the concepts.

This is going to take longer than I thought!