Sunday, July 26, 2009

Patience is a skill!

As a child I was prone to the occasional(daily) temper tantrum. I would whine a moan about any thing but particularly if I had to wait for something I really wanted. My mother would always say "patience is a virtue." as if god him self reached down and tapped individuals as patient. I will admit that I have known some truly sanctified patient people in my day. My father was enormously patient when it came to kids. He would always let me make the easy cuts with the torch even though it took 5 times as long and wasted the fuel. A calculus teacher in college would go over the same question no matter how many times you came up with yet another amazingly wrong answer.
In lew of these and many other examples I find that when it comes to my 3 year old we have about the same amount of patience that being none. She is at the constantly whinny stage of life. She has vague ideas about what she thinks should be happening and has started to notice that Mommy and Daddy seldom agree with her. I on the other hand think I know what she is capable of, and get immediately torqued when she fails to meet my assumptions.
But today, today I realized patience can be learned. Come to think of it most of the patient people I know are over 40. But today Addie and I both waited....
and waited...
and waited...
then she gave up, but i persevered and............

Wham, I got a bite! mind you it looked like I was taking the hook out of my hand but there was the proof to Addie that indeed if you sit and wait and watch the fish will bite!

So needless to say she was back at it, and for a 3 year old to sit for nigh on 20 minutes in Moms lap waiting, the universe provided even more positive reinforcement and she caught her very own fish!

All this with no meltdowns, a few tangled lines and a father realizing sometimes you "just have to reel in the line!" Marked the first of what I hope to be many fishing trips. Patience can be taught and today was a great lesson!


Monday, July 13, 2009

Running at 30

So I was an athlete in highschool, football and track(I did feild events). So running for me has always been a punishment for something. Late for practice, run. Bad test score, run. And of course the worst part of each school year was running "THE MILE"! I remember vividally sucking wind at the end of the run. Maybe it would be 10 minutes of running and sucking wind then lying down for 5 minutes to "recover". Just last week I ran 3 miles. Not a huge distance but I ran the whole thing, it took about 30 minutes and I was able to come in and cook dinner for the fam. What I have come to realize from all this is A) a mile is just a warm up, and each sequential mile becomes easier, B) I was a lazy kid and really just didn't like breathing heavy, and C) As I get older I get better at pacing myself and listening to my body and what it needs to work.

So running still sucks a little but I"m getting there, and the developement of the 4 pack I'm sporting is good motivation.

Friday, June 19, 2009

A chage of pace...

Hello all,

As you may have notice my blog ha changed names and directions. As some of you may know I am currently in training for the Tri Hawks Triathlon in september. As such I will be documenting the training process as it goes. So here we go...

Training start date: June 10 2009 Wt 240 lbs, average weekly exercise to this point 1 hour

We got home from "vacation" and training started!!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

on uniqueness....

Per a friends post on the popularity of names, specifically your name and how unique it is. I was set off pondering this question, "How unique am I in the big picture?" In other words how many people has there been? Ever?

Fortunately I am not the first to think of or attempt to answer this question. The people at PRB, the Population Reference Bureau, have a fairly interesting, if not greatly speculative estimate.

Their tally, 106 BILLION people since the dawn of Homo Sapiens Sapiens. 6.8 billion as of now meaning 5.8% of all humans ever are alive right now... So that's a lot of people. Like you are 0.000000000009% of the total human experience of life on earth. How you feeling now BIG MAN?

But on the up side, our current life expectancy is around 79 or 80 years. For the better part of history, those first 50 or 60 millenniums it was 10. So we are getting "more" life then before, around 29000 days to kick back and soak it up. Also birth rates were through the roof just to survive so most of your time was spent simply trying to get your children to breeding age.

Another great thing to ponder is the idea that, in the words of Jim Morrison, "There will never be another one like you. There will never be another one who will do the things you do..." 106 billion individual life experiences, however short, different in every conceivable way. And also the same in so many ways. 106 billion people born, cared for, raised, falling in love, makin' babies, who are born, cared for, raised, fall in love... You get the idea.

So I guess all this info just makes me feel better about my individuality. It also takes some of the pressure off. We put a premium on our sense of "originality", or 'individuality". We stress over getting it right being unique. "Uniqueness" it seems, comes with being alive and aware in the first place. And even if you totally flop it don't worry your only .000000000009%, you won't drag down the grade too much!

"I just want to be different like all the other Different Kids, I'm still looking for that store at the mall that "ME".

Later J

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I wish I had a tail...

Yesterday and today at lunch our conversation curiously turned to the prospect of a human tail.

Colleague 1: I'll have to get my tail removed.
Colleague 2: You have a tail?
Colleague 1: Well not a "real" tail
Colleague 3: Well actually we all have a "tail" bone
Myself I've heard of cases where people do in fact have tails.
Colleague 2: Oh yeah, I think I heard that too!
Myself If you had a tail, what kind of tail would you want???

Anyway this is standard fair at our lunch table as we all attempt to shy away from the business of the day. I like to think that my profound ability to BS and my fairly creative mind aid in our discussions taking, while sometimes odd, very interesting detours.

Well to answer my own question, which i did in the course of the conversation,
I would like a long prehensile tail. A South American sail as one colleague pointed out. It would be most use full in making sculpture to have that one extra hand like appendage. However the golden retriever tail is a close second as it is as useful for expressing emotions as the human face and does not require someone to make eye contact to do so. I mean if you see me from behind and your coming up you'll know if you want to interrupt me or steer clear by a simple glance at my posterior appendage.

So there it is,
What kind of tail would you want to have?


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

We are the Champions!!!

Well it was a hard one purple T-shirt, but, the Faculty Basketball team pulled out the win in the final round of the tournament tonight! This was the third time we met this team as it was a double elimination tourny. Tonight was it one of us had to win it all, and Brains and wisdom did infact out class youth and vigor! 23 to 11!!! Needless to say the Faculty took no pleasure in the win and certainly did not imply that the students were weak or un worthy of our presense....


I love it!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Homeward bound!

As most of you know My wife left me...For the week and went to spend some much needed time with friends. This left me alone with Addie and my Mom for a week. I must say I missed her very much. I would get 2 or 3 calls a day, but I really don't like to talk on the phone with someone I miss, it just makes it worse. On the upside my Mother took care of Addie and I was able to work in my art studio for a solid week with little distraction and was able to complete a new outdoor sculpture in a little under 2 weeks, a new personal best!

As the week went on I started to realize how much i depended on Chrissy. Not for the cooking(LOL) or her domestic mastery, or for keepng track of all the things i misplace... But for her conversation. As I said I didn't have much to say on the phone, and honestly I like the long chat when you get back together about all the things that happened while you were apart. But I realized she is an integral part of my thinking and doing process, she sits and glazes over and absorbes my mindless rambelings and in doing so helps me figure out what to do, and for this I am eternally grateful.

So at last she is coming home, should be there when I get home from work and that is a very good thing, I think, we'll need to discuss it!

Monday, March 16, 2009


Well its done...

This actually went down as a great birthday! This last week was my schools spring break and it felt like I really had time to take stock and enjoy my birthday week.

It was rocky to start but the fam really helped out by taking the kids out of the equation and giving Chrissy and I some much needed adult time together. The weekend was also boosted by the ever nostalgic return to our old High school(now a middle school) for Chrissy's triumphant return to the floor as a Voyager. I had way more fun than I should have watching her practice in the kitchen all week between naps and feedings. In her glorious fashion she waited until she had just enough time to learn it(only took an hour or so) and I must say, 13 years and 2 kids later she was awesome and you ladies out there should be disgusted!

The trip down memory lane was aided by a trip to a local bar in Vinton where libations and stories flowed easily, a great birthday eve!

Saturday was marked by my daughters greatest gift, sleeping in! cake and presents followed. I finally received my long awaited guitar this year! For those who don't know I have been asking for one for every major gift giving holiday for 6 years and finally it was my time! And it didn't stop there! My wife takes these things very seriously, so I have a guitar, stand, picks, how to DVD and book lessons, an encyclopedia of chords, and the piece De la resistance "The essential J R Cash" song book. How can I fail!

The afternoon saw us out to a movie (boring to some but a rare commodity in our house) The "watchmen" did not disappoint, however anyone looking for a action packed comic book thriller be warned! The psychological intensity of an early montage of the film set to Dylan's Times are a changing almost brought me to tears.

Now on to the main event!!!

Here Ye, Here Ye,

The greatest display of St. Patrick's debauchery this side of Southey is, (imagine drum role) PETERSBURG IA!
It was insane. Starting just afternoon the annual St P's Bike Ride from Dyersville to Petersburg was underway. As we sat in the living room we watched as green clad, tutu wearing, beer drinking, bead toting, crazy hat sporting revelers pedaled past our house to the local community hall and the local bar for a "pit stop" before either sleeping it of in a lawn or perilously trekking back in to D ville. We made it out to the Hall and witnessed a great small town tradition, the ridiculously drunken hillbilly dance party! Needless to say the invites are out for next year, these people definitely follow the work hard play hard mantra!

Til later

Friday, March 6, 2009

3 decades down...

Well as some of you surely know my birthday is fast approaching. 7 more days and the tens place on my odometer will chunk over another digit... To me this is a little like watching the old family car roll 99,999.9 here it comes, the anticipation.... 100,000 miles whoo hoo who'd have thought our old car would roll 100,000 miles. Where have we been driving? Think of all the places we must have went... Work, home, work, 2 to 3 treks to iowa from Massachusettes a year. That 3600 miles treking through Colorado, Wyoming...

All to quickly the reminicing is replaced with...Well crap now our car is officially old, the kelly blue book just dropped like a rock, and that new car smell is definately replaced with that what the hell did we throw under the seat smell???

While my wife lovingly assures me men become more attractive as they age, and the ladies at the grocery store still like to card me for boose(they ask if I wouldn't mind so they look diligent to their bosses) I can't help but notice it takes a few more days to recover from a basketball game than it should...

I'm not really that pesamistic, I know the best is yet to come. All and all I'm doing well. I weigh less now than when I graduated College, I eat healthier, I travel more, I am in better shape.

But I am also in limbo. I'm not a new car with all the cool stuff, and I am not that well maintianed classic either. I'm that 85 Dodge Omni that has been way to taken care of waiting to come back into style.

In the background this birthday is a little bittersweet to me. My father passed away at the ripe old age of 62, which means next year I will be half his age and I can't help but wonder if he thought it was half over on his 31st birthday??? I know I am not at risk or as unhealthy as my father. I have learned a lot from the examples before me but I think when ever a tens spot turns over you have to double it and think. Where will you be then, will you have done as much as you have up till now? Or more. I know for me the goal is to do more, live more, love more.

It's a tall order but who better to fill it!


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Are the good old days around the bend?

Last night on my way home from a Faculty Student basket ball game(we won, we are undefeted! Faculty rule students drool!!!) And I was listening to NPR on point discussing the affects of the economy on the youth of our country. The discussion covered the emediate and long term affects of living in and through a recession/depression. It was interesting to hear the testimonials from highschool students. "now I have to think about the money I spend..." "my college education is a good investment but maybe a state school would be better since I will actually be able to pay my students loans when I get out". As I listened to these "harsh realities" I couldn't help but think. Welcome to the real world. Everything that I was hearing just made me think Duh, this is my life. This has always been my life.

Its getting bad out there peopel are having to budget their houshold bills!!! People are having to decide if they need 400 channels of cable or food!!!
People are getting a taste of what a majority of the worlds population already deals with on a daily basis and it evidently doesn't taste good, but medicine seldom does.

I remember just 2 years ago haveing a conversation with a student in class.
me: Yes student x what do you need?
SX: I need to leave and go to my room.
me: What for?
SX: I need my Ipod, I cant work without it.
me: You what your Ipod?
SX: I need it, I need to listen to MY music....

While I do understand that there are many truely suffering from job loss, and uncertainty, I see the current situation as the dirrect consiquence of the glutany of the last 15 years. Of course our economy is dropping like a rock its backbone is finance(smarty pants investors inventing ways to magically conjure up money from nothing but thin air) and industries like ringtones. A huge portion of our economy is bassed on sh*t, imaginary sh*t and sh*t NO BODY NEEDS!

The good news is the youth who have up to this point not really been challenged are in many cases grasping and dealing with the reality. parents who bought their child complacency in the past are forced to have tough conversations, thats right, parents are talking to their children!!! Children are LISTENING!!! It gives me hope that the "me" generation is getting a good dose responsability before they graduate highschool and college.


Friday, February 13, 2009

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I want to be on a boat...

You will need to watch a 30 sec commercial but it is worth it I think, Maybe the impending recession will cause the crap these guys are making fun of to cease to exist.


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

24 hours and counting!

Tomorrow will mark my wife's birthday. 29 again. I will not say how many 29th birthdays she has had, but this is not the first!

The issue is a point of fun around our family but it is really a moot point as my wife like her mother and grandmother before her ages at 1/2 the rate of a normal person! Scientist should really research their gene pool!

So for all of you who know Chrissy, feb 4th is her special day and as a tribute to my history nerd wife here a list of other, far less significant events that happened on Her day!

1783: England officially proclaims an end to hostilities in America

1938:Adolf Hitler takes command of the German Army

1945:Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin meet at Yalta in the Crimea to discuss plans for the defeat of the Axis powers and to decide on the post-war future

1971: Rolls Royce goes bankrupt after a disastrous contract to supply aero engines to Lockheed Aircraft

1915: World War I: Germany declares the North Sea a war zone, in which all merchant ships, including those from neutral countries, are liable to be sunk without warning.

1861:In Montgomery, Alabama delegates from South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana convene to establish the Confederate States of America.

1794: The French Revolutionary legislature abolishes slavery in the territories of the French Republic.

1789:George Washington becomes the first President of the USA.

211: Roman Emperor Septimius Severus dies. His two sons, Caracalla and Geta, are left in control of the Empire.

And a few people who are lucky enough to claim this day as their birthday also!

1688: Pierre De Marivaux, French writer.
1881: Fernand Leger, French painter.
1900: Jacques Prevert, French poet.
1902: Charles Lindbergh, American pilot
1913: Rosa Parks, American civil rights activist
1921: Betty Friedan, American philosopher.
1947: Dan Quayle, Former American Vice-President

So happy birthday baby! They can't hold a candle to you!

Friday, January 30, 2009

This is why I hate politics.

My father in law is a loon(i say that with the utmost respect and love). But he is also one of those people that likes to find facts and figures and he was right on top of getting the official "bail out" bill linked on his blog. I will repeat it here.

Now I usually do not care too much about this kind of thing but our elected government is preparing to spend close to a Trillion with a T dollars, so as a concerned citizen I perused the document, Most of the 256 pages any way, and having just read my good friends blog on the loss of John Updike, and the waining of intellectuals in America here is some food for thought...

pg 47line 8 650,000,000 appropriated for digital converter boxes for non cable subscribers to make sure springer comes in clear and in 1080p(i added the last part, it wasn't in the bill)

pg 129 line 12 50,000,000 For the National Endowment for the arts...

That's 13 times more money appropriated (a fancy word for taken) to TV reception over arts programs. I realize this is a drop in the bucket of the total plan even if you add the two together but, in a place where funding seems to be everything, I sense a trend towards the dumb and homogeneous. I can't wait for the new season of "Ow my Balls"

Kill your tv...


Friday, January 23, 2009


Last night we took our oldest daughter to a PreSchool open house! Even as I type this I am confused as to how this happened. We ate supper, we took a shower we got gussied up and walked up to the school house. Addie was very excited. She is a good combination of me and my wife. She needs people around like Chrissy and she has no problem engaging them when she gets there you can all guess on that particular characteristic;)

Any way we get there and I couldn't be prouder. I took off her coat and she was off playing in a sandbox (inside, these people are nuts) with another little girl who was there. I don't think she looked back once, I on the other hand found myself following her around so I didn't get too far away, its pathetic I know.

After introducing myself to some of her other potential classmates(I got some curious responses) it was time to split up and the parents were going to go to the other side of the room for the informational meeting. Some children cried a little, but I noticed Addie could care less. I went over and told her what was going on and she said "OK" and ran off.(sound of heart breaking)

I think Chrissy and I would agree we are simultaneously glowingly proud of her and shocked that in 7 short months she will be here on her own having a life that we only get to look in on...


Thursday, January 22, 2009

I can't beleive we didn't believe?

The inagural events and rediculous coverage have set my mind ablaze with reflection.
Bear with me as I digress.

This election cycle has left me disillusioned on many fronts.

To set the stage let me say I am neither disappointed, upset, nor emotionally/spiritually/religiously enthralled as a result of this election cycle. I guess I missed some boat that sailed from port some time ago. Maybe 24 hour news, the popularity of politics this year, or the shear opulence expressed in the campaigns of all involved has lead me to several conclusions...

1. I am a cynical a** hole ( we all new this)
2. Elections really are for sale or at least that is the preception set by the 24 hr balance sheets on money raised by contestants.
3. I use the term contestant purposely
4. Things said on TV to win the game show are not applicable outside of the recording studio

But the most disturbing thing to me was the concept that Americans never thought they'd live to see the day and African American would be president??? And most of those who wouldn't believe it were African American or of a minority group?(or at least that is who was asked the question by every news bimbo that could corner someone). I ran into this problem in my leadership conference I attended a few years ago. We were having a discussion on race relations in leadership positions and I was the only one in the room under 30. These issues were alive and beating in the room and I was disappointed in both sides.

I am offended(not something easily done) that the country, especially minorities can't believe it actually happened. Who'd of thought a black man would or could achieve, or form complete sentences? "He's such an eloquent articulate black man?" Do you here the words coming out of your mouth? Seriously, I may be off the reservation here but these are the words I hear and it offends me.

That's Right a man of modest means, got up one day and said I want to change my life and help people along the way. I want to work, and learn, and pursue the nobelists of causes as I see they

I for one am not surprised, I can believe it, and if more people would believe in themselves they too could attain high goals. While I am bothered by the sentiment of others I hope that this will be a clarion call to remind all people that if you get off your can and work and don't let stereotypes drive your ambitions or limit your aspirations we could be the place I thought we were all along.

as for me what do I think of Barak Obama being elected president... I had no doubt he could and more than likely would be elected. I think he has a full plate. I am more concerned that we have little checks and balances in our federal government than I am the political leanings of the president. I think he is a far more tactful and eloquent leader than we had before. I will pass on judging his performance as president until he has done it(unlike many who would judge his future actions on his ability to tell us how it will be) I am impressed with his determination and share some of his goals(although the path to those goals is a different matter) and as always I believe he will as all presidents, do what he feels and thinks is best for America.

And I am not the least bit surprised he did it, it is a moment of pride for America but its most defiantly only the latest and not the first.

Later J.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Artsy fartsy!

I have spent the last hour moving furniture around my studio at school. I have 14 students this semester working in 3 different areas, into to art and design, drawing from observation, and animation!. I had to come up with zones for the students, and I actually feel like my class room will be an art studio this semester! Drawing here, painting there! it is early but I have to be excited at the possibility that this semester will be fruitful if only 1/2 the students realize any of their creative potential. On top of all this a colegue of whom I have great respect is considering nominating me for the department chair position!!! What?? I don't have a clue how this place runs yet... But I think the school has been waiting for someone new to look at what they do and ask those all important stupid questions that those who have been here glaze over. Oh well time will tell.

Artward ho!!!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Back to school, back to school...

Here I am in my dungenous office trying frantically to not get anything accomplished before classes start tomorrow... Blogging, ah yes the perfect distraction. I am not ready for classes in any sense of the word. I had my calanders crossed and thought classes started next week so My brain just isn't ready to make plans, think about complex ideas, or any of the other million things that come with getting the semester off to a good start. The real kicker is I wanted so badly to get just a little ahead of the game so I would not be at Def Con 3 All semester waiting for the bombs... But alas here I am looking at 4 long months of treading water as each day someone hands my a pebble... On the upside My wife has started to get back to work and will surely get her full time replacement job which will alleiviate many financial burdens but will also come at teh cost of doubling the amount of work at home... I guess I could be looking for a job so I'll not be caught complaining, or procratinating any more...I mean it no more wasting time...I need to focus...OK here I go.

I mean it!


Till next time