Monday, January 31, 2011

Not Sure How I Feel About This

So... where to start.

First, it's an awesome photo.

Second, I think "Launch!" every time I see it and have to chuckle.

Third, I'm wondering why the baby has no harness - it's as though the parents have no love for their baby. Both the adults have their harnesses on, the woman still has her chalk bag. If you're gonna take your kid on an outing that involves climbing, the kid needs a harness at the least, and one of the parents should have some sort of sling or backpack to carry the kid (and keep their hands free). It just seemed like they could have gone the extra step to make the staged photo a little more real.

Fourth, I think what tickles me so is that the baby looks like a penguin launching out of the water onto an ice flow.

Note: I originally saw the image at Picture Is Unrelated, who attributes the photo to this site, but I doubt the second link is the originator of the photo.

Friday, January 21, 2011

School Buses And Seat Belts

I just came across this article which had some good information about seat belts in buses.
Why your child's school bus has no seat belts.

The most telling excerpts from the article were:
Numerous federal and academic studies have concluded that school buses are the safest form of ground transportation of all, in fact. The National Safety Council says they're about 40 times safer than the family car.
"Lap/shoulder belts can be misused and NHTSA's testing showed that serious neck injury and perhaps abdominal injury could result when lap/shoulder belts are misused," - NHTSA
I can't imagine a bus driver trying to ensure kids are wearing seat belts, and wearing them properly. Think about the last time you flew on a plane and the flight attendants had to remind a couple people repeatedly to use their seat belts. And, the fact that there are only 6 deaths per year in school bus accidents - that's carrying 24 million kids 4.3 BILLION miles.

I do feel sorry for parents who have lost their kids in a bus accident, but our money and effort are better spent elsewhere.

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Time To Break Silence

An excerpt from Martin Luther King Jr's speech, "Beyond Vietnam -- A Time To Break Silence". The entire speech is as relevant today as it was then:

It is with such activity in mind that the words of the late John F. Kennedy come back to haunt us. Five years ago he said, "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." Increasingly, by choice or by accident, this is the role our nation has taken, the role of those who make peaceful revolution impossible by refusing to give up the privileges and the pleasures that come from the immense profits of overseas investments. I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin...we must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.

A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. On the one hand, we are called to play the Good Samaritan on life's roadside, but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho Road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life's highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.

A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. With righteous indignation, it will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa, and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say, "This is not just." It will look at our alliance with the landed gentry of South America and say, "This is not just." The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just.

A true revolution of values will lay hand on the world order and say of war, "This way of settling differences is not just." This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation's homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into the veins of peoples normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice, and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.

America, the richest and most powerful nation in the world, can well lead the way in this revolution of values. There is nothing except a tragic death wish to prevent us from reordering our priorities so that the pursuit of peace will take precedence over the pursuit of war. There is nothing to keep us from molding a recalcitrant status quo with bruised hands until we have fashioned it into a brotherhood.

This kind of positive revolution of values is our best defense against communism. War is not the answer. Communism will never be defeated by the use of atomic bombs or nuclear weapons. Let us not join those who shout war and, through their misguided passions, urge the United States to relinquish its participation in the United Nations. These are days which demand wise restraint and calm reasonableness. We must not engage in a negative anticommunism, but rather in a positive thrust for democracy, realizing that our greatest defense against communism is to take offensive action in behalf of justice. We must with positive action seek to remove those conditions of poverty, insecurity, and injustice, which are the fertile soil in which the seed of communism grows and develops.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Saturday With Simone

So.... we didn't get out in the woods like I'd hoped, but I didn't push very hard - it was raining and gray all day.

We did, however, play bunnies, listen to lots of music, make a present, eat yummy food, learn to pour from a pitcher, put a jig-saw puzzle together, tell stories, and take a bath by candle light. We spent the last 2 hours or so with just candles (well, and the stove light while I was cooking). We walked around with the candle and explored the house - even feeding Hazel in the dark.

A nice day all in all.

Now it's time to watch Firefly and knit!

Saturday Morning

Pancakes and Atole with Simone. Mmmm....

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Drinking and Sipping Chocolate

Santa brought me a block of Drinking and Sipping Chocolate, and last night I made it.

Mmmmmm.... delicious, two thumbs up! A wonderful replacement for the no-longer-available Chantico drink from Starbucks.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Simone in the new year

We went to the beach for the week between Christmas and New Year's. We luckily caught 2 days of blue skies and sun (pretty cold though) in between a bunch of rain. Nana and Grandpa were there, and Tim, Maria, and Tomas joined us for a day and night.

Simone and Tomas had a great time together and wore each other out rescuing each other from Grandpa, reading books together, and playing on the beach. We hadn't seen the Johoski's in probably 1.5 years and it was nice to catch up. Tim made some tasty paella for everyone.

Tim took the photo above and did a little photo-shopping to get the effects. Pretty nice.

We were out at a really low tide. The waves were far enough away that there was about 100-150 feet of flat sand with a film of water on top - it looked like a mirror and made for some (hopefully) pretty photographs.

Simone and I were paying attention and did not get caught by a wave like Tim and Tomas. Luckily, Tim only got his feet wet.

We measured Simone at the beach, she's grown an inch since September, and is now over 40" tall.

And tonight we learned that Simone can reach the medicine cabinet all by herself, open it up to get her tooth brush and paste, brush, and put it all back.

Simone got a nice, long nap on the drive back, so we're watching movies tonight. We started off with "Heidi" but that was a bit scary (the grandpa is pretty grumpy and mean), so we switched to Kipper, which has proved again to be a favorite. Such a simple show, but very kind and fun.

And, not only did our neighbor, Maddie, take care of Jupiter and the chickens, she also brought over a friendship cake (yum!) tonight. It feels a little backwards - we should be giving her something. It's a give and take.