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Sunday, October 31, 2004


Election Tuesday

Monday, October 25, 2004


Recycling Legos

There's a huge market for used legos. There have been enough Lego parts manufactured to provide each of the planet's 6 billion people with 52 pieces each, according to the manufacturer. I never liked those specific sets that build a helicopter or Star Wars scene. You lose one brick and the set is almost worthless. When I was a kid, I had a big collection of miscellaneous bricks and the imagination to make whatever I wanted. My kids now have the same resources and they love them. There's a good reason why Legos were recently voted the World's Best Toy.

Friday, October 22, 2004


Schools Say No To Halloween

School officials in Puyallup have canceled Halloween costume parades. The decision was made to stop losing instructional time and to avoid offending believers in the Wiccan religion.

However, the Wiccans (all three of them) have stated they are only offended by the portrayal of witches as ugly, pointy-nosed, broomstick-flying, child eaters.

The quote I heard on the radio was that school officials "did not want to offend those parents who do not believe in Halloween."

Now we have to worry about people who have NO BELIEFS? Heck, my father-in-law doesn't believe in anything and I don't worry about offending him. What's the big deal?

Are we teaching our kids that they have to go through life without ever being offended by anything or anyone? Sorry, but I want my children to have thicker skin than that.

And we're also concerned about losing instructional time? Okay, then the school needs to cancel all school parties. Also, homecoming festivities, sports rallies, prom, school government campaigning, and a whole host of other time-wasters.

While we're at it, let's ban this school in Oregon:

Thursday, October 21, 2004


Won't You Be My Neighbor?

I love watching Mister Rogers with my 3-year-old. The wisdom of Fred Rogers is not only good for young minds, but is also a healthy reminder to adults about how we should relate to others and feel about ourselves. We could all do with a little more neighborliness in our lives.

Some life lessons from The Neighborhood:

It's not the honors and the prizes and the fancy outsides of life which ultimately nourish our souls. It's the knowing that we can be trusted, that we never have to fear the truth, that the bedrock of our very being is good stuff.

The older I get, the more convinced I am that the space between communicating human beings can be hallowed ground.

Whatever we do to show our children we love them, nothing can replace times when we give them our complete attention.

To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now--and to go on caring even through times that may bring us pain.

The other thing I love about his TV show is when they visit factories to show how everyday products are made. Even at my age, I find this endlessly fascinating. Recently, Mr. Rogers and Mr. McFeely visited a paper bag manufacturer. Other visits have been to places that make graham crackers, apple juice, toy cars, backpacks, and, my favorite, toilets.

Check out The World According To Mister Rogers at Amazon for more bits of wisdom from a man who will never be matched.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004


Photo Overload

Here's a fascinating article about what to do with the overwhelming number of digital photos piling up on your computer's hard drive. Digital cameras make it too easy to take pictures of anything and anyone, but then we fail to tag the photos with information about what's in them. Eventually we're stuck with thousands of images that we can't recognize, or don't have the time to think about. I like the idea of opening up your photo files to friends and family who can then browse through them on-line and help you tag them with names, places, dates and memories.

Monday, October 18, 2004


The Baby Game

This new Baby Game looks like a fun way to learn about pregnancy and childbirth. It claims to be good for both school-aged children and adults.

Thursday, October 14, 2004


My Language

My son's favorite new phrase is "Now you're talking my language." It's odd what words and phrases kids pick up. Speaking of which, every day I enjoy many long and in-depth conversations with my three-year-old daughter. Of course, I have no idea what she's saying half the time. But I've learned to be enthusiastic and varied in my replies. She's probably saying things like, "Daddy, I'm going to eat cotton candy and M&M's for dinner," while I'm just sitting there smiling and agreeing with her.

I think my kids are just conspiring to make me think I'm losing my hearing. Or my mind.

Sunday, October 10, 2004


Barn Rules

This sign is on the wall of my sister-in-law's horse barn. These are also good rules for a house with kids!

Saturday, October 09, 2004


Threatened By The Mouse

I love the way Disney threatens us into buying their products, like with the new Aladdin DVD released last Tuesday. The TV ads shout at us: "Buy this DVD now before we put it back in the vault and it's gone forever! And won't you feel like a complete loser when you have to buy it on eBay for $165!" Now that's good marketing! It worked on me.

Actually, I bought Aladdin because it's a good film and my kids love it. My son laughed at everything Robin Williams said. Even the lines he didn't understand.

Sunday, October 03, 2004


Volcano Watching

Keep up with Mt. St. Helens through this new blog, courtesy of the Spokane Spokesman-Review.

After the first eruption on Friday, I almost packed up the family and drove to the volcano on Saturday. Now, of course, I'm glad I didn't do that. Visitors and media are being evacuated from the Johnston Ridge Observatory in anticipation of a "major eruption."


Licensing Parents

Friday, October 01, 2004


Fighting Childhood Obesity

The fight against childhood obesity starts in the home.

Parents need to take charge! Make your kids exercise at least 30 minutes a day. And stop bringing junk food into the home. It's that simple. Increase physical activity, decrease the Twinkies and french fries.