Friday, May 29, 2015

Things That Make Me Smile - TNG Edit 38 - "Riker" Episode 1

Imagine what a spinoff series involving Commander William Riker from Star Trek - The Next Generation would look like.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

When Fr. Rudy blessed the car

Recently, in my Facebook feed, I noticed that a friend's automatic car window wasn't working.  It was stuck in the down position.  I hope it didn't rain on them!

This reminded me of a time long, long ago!  In a faraway land called Lake Havasu City, AZ.  My mom was driving one of those long ass Oldsmobiles.  You know...the one you can now see a jazzed up pimp driving down Hollywood Blvd with fuzzy dice in the mirror? 

It wasn't a new car.  In fact, if I remember correctly, it was a hand-me-down from my grandparents.

Anyway, for those of you that don't know about Lake Havasu...the place is literally hotter than hell.  No...this is not an improper use of the word literally.  Lake Havasu City literally reaches temperatures that would make the devil run for air conditioning. 

One summer, the window stopped working.  It stopped working in the up position.  Therefore, there was no rolling the windows down.  This wasn't super horrible while driving as the car had A/C and the windows needed to be up for that, anyway.  But, it meant that you couldn't roll the windows down when you parked, meaning that you got into an oven when the time came to get back into your car.  I wish we had put a thermometer in the car.  I bet it was reaching 500 degrees. 

Another memory...this was in the days of VHS.  Video stores would leave examples of tapes left in the car.  Warped, black, nasty VHS tapes that had melted due to the hear.  You melt it, you buy it, was the message.  Don't leave your VHS tapes in the car!

Back to my story.

The family was taking a trip somewhere.  I have no idea where.  But, it was a long drive.  Probably Phoenix or Vegas or something.

At my church, we had an awesome priest named Fr. Rudy.  Great man, that Fr. Rudy.  Very big, too.  Big like buff!  Dude worked out!

Anyway, Fr. Rudy was a great guy and he was a friend to my family.  Not that all priests aren't friends to their congregation, but I like to think that we were special. :-) 

Months after the window stopped working, Mom was picking me up from something at church.  Don't remember what.  Alter server practice, CCD, something.  Fr. Rudy came out to say hi. 

Mom mentioned that we had this trip coming up.  Fr. Rudy says, "A trip?  Well, maybe I should bless the car and pray for a safe journey." 

Ok...what could it hurt?

Fr. Rudy busts out some holy water and sprays it on the car.  Some definitely hit the passenger side window, the broken one.  He says a prayer.  We all say Amen.  We drive away. 

Mom makes a comment to me, "Wouldn't it be funny if the window started working after that?"

"HA!"  I laugh.  And, I push the window button down. 

Window opens. 

Our mouths both drop into our laps.  No Way! 

I roll the window up.  It goes up all the way.  I roll it back down.  It goes down all the way.  Up, down, up down.  Window is working again! 

That's the story.  Totally true.  Window worked until my folks got rid of the car. 

I miss that Fr. Rudy and his magic God powers!

(Note...not the real Fr. Rudy)

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

School Concert

Ok, ok...I am fully aware that the only people who are interested in watching kids in their school concert are said kids parents and grandparents.  But, this is my blog, so I do what I want!

Last week, Our Lady of Guadalupe held their spring concert.  It was super cute!  Ms. Sager, the music teacher, put together a concert with a "reruns" theme.  Each class sang a theme song from the past and a commercial jingle.  Such themes were "The Brady Bunch," "Full House," and "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air."  Such commercials I don't remember any except the one Desmond's class did. 

The Kindergarteners sang the theme from the Flintstones and the old Band-Aid jingle.  Here they are for your viewing pleasure:

Flintstones from Jason Pankow on Vimeo.

BandAides from Jason Pankow on Vimeo.

PS...Edie totally won the day with that bone in her hair!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Helping with Math homework

So...I'm helping Desmond out with his math homework. The question is simple:

3 + 4 = ?

Desmond looks at the question and then asks me, "Dad...what's 10 minus 3?

I say, "Seven." 

Desmond writes 7 as the answer to 3 + 4. 

Correct answer right? 

But, wait...I say, "I don't get what you just did.  That's the right answer, but I don't understand why you asked me what 10 minus 3 is."

"BECAUSE!" Desmond says, hating to have to explain something to a simpleton like myself.

"Because why?" I ask.  "How did you know that 3 + 4 = 7 by asking what 10 minus 3 is?"

"Easy!" he replies. "Because 4 plus 6 is 10.  So, all I needed to do was take 3 away which makes 7.  That's how I got it."

Huh?  What the heck just happened?  Everything he just said is correct.  But...what does 10-3 have to do with 4+3? 

My head hurts.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Things That Make Me Smile - A New Muppet Series!!!

I love the Muppets!  And, I love that they are coming back to TV!!!

Selfie Sticks are All The Rage

Microsoft hosted an event this week called Codess.  It's a networking event for women engineers.  As is typical when we host events, we like to give away some kind of swag to the attendees. 

This year, we gave away a Codess branded Selfie Stick.

As is also typical when we host these events, I have snagged one for myself. :-) 

Immediately, Desmond took it away from me and busted out his inner...whoever a famous photographer is. 

Kim charged up her old iPhone and we basically let him have at it. Here are some of the results:

This was all in about 10 minutes.  I suspect there will be more where this comes from. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Butterfly Project!

So, for Easter, we got Desmond a Butterfly garden from a company called InsectLore.  Basically, you buy a pretty net.  Then, you use a coupon that comes with the net to order a container of live caterpillars! 

The idea is that you get to watch caterpillars grow, cocoon themselves and then hatch as painted lady butterflies before setting them free!  Well, earlier this week, we set our painted ladies free!  So, here are some pictures. :-)

I am a horrible science parent.  I forgot to get pictures right when they arrived.  Here is a picture of them a couple days before they moved into cocoon (or chrysalis) phase. 

The sign that they are about to huddle in is when they start hanging from the top in a J shape!
The Cocoons!
I took a quick trip to Chicago and I am glad they waited for me to get back before hatching!  Uh...I mean, I am glad they waited for Des to come back from his mom's house before hatching.  This is his project of course!
Kim and I were able to watch the last one emerge as it was happening!  It was pretty rad!  We got it on video to show Desmond later.   He was back at Mom's. 
Finally, it was time to release them.

Desmond seemed sad in every single picture I took.  He admitted that he was.  He says he hopes they lay eggs that aren't eaten by any butterfly egg eating birds. 

So, there you have it!  Our butterfly project!  I highly recommend it if you have kids.  It's inexpensive and very educational!  We all found it pretty fascinating!  Life is beautiful!!!


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Spider Man and Venom are real!!

Desmond saw them both!!!

I saw it! from Jason Pankow on Vimeo.

Note how he proves it was real by showing how he can't even reach that far!!!


Desmond showed me the above video.  As I looked back in my phone, I found that there were a couple of trial runs.  Here is the non-used draft that I enjoyed most:

First draft from Jason Pankow on Vimeo.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Thank you moms!

I am blessed in many ways.  But, one of the ways I am most blessed, IMHO, is that I have some very strong women in my life. 

I have my mother.  Who raised me and always taught me to use my manners and treat others with respect.

I had my mom's mom who taught me to love God and to love His people.

I have my dad's mom who taught me to laugh and have fun.

I have Kim's mom who has accepted me into her family with mucho love.

I have my son's mom who blessed me with Desmond and is a great partner in his upbringing.

I have the mom's of my many cousins, women who have helped me to grow in innumerable ways.

And, I have my son's step-mom (almost official), a woman who has taken Desmond into her life with so much love that you would think she's been here since day 1!

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there!  Without you, there is no us. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Dress codes

There have been a lot of articles in my Facebook feed recently about children being sent home from school or from prom for dress code violations.  One even involved sending a 6 year old girl home for wearing spaghetti straps to school on a warm day.

Well, I have a few opinions on this.
  1. School uniforms are AWESOME!  This is one of the reasons I love the school my son attends.  He has to wear a uniform.  He often complains about it.  But, so what.  I enjoy not having to spend hundreds of dollars on the new fashion trends.
  2. Some dress code rules are obvious: no clothing depicting drugs or alcohol, no bad words, nothing offensive (IE: racist, homophobic, insulting, etc), you get the picture.
  3. No white after labor day.
But, what seems to be happening a lot lately is annoying. 

First of all, it is only happening to girls.  I have yet to see an article about a boy being sent home (unless they're wearing a pic with a confederate flag or something...see point #2). 

Next, it seems to be happening around things that are very subjective.  The idea is that a student shouldn't wear anything provocative.  And, by student, I mean the girls. 

But, what's provocative?  Are spaghetti straps on a 6 year old provocative?  Maybe they are to someone.  If so, I suggest that someone consider counseling. 

What about this girls dress?

She was sent home for revealing too much midriff.

I don't get it.  I try not to get on a soap box on my blog...wait a second...that's not true.  This blog IS my soapbox!

What the hell, people!  What the hell, Principals!  What is wrong with you?  I am not going to dispute that we have a hyper sexualized society, nowadays.  Kids are having sex at 14.  Monogamy is out.  Sex is plastered all over TV and movies. 

But, a pretty prom dress that shows a little back isn't going to get her knocked up. 

A 6 year old in a rainbow sundress is not going to have classmates drooling. 

Short shorts are short, but not as short as John Stockton's! 
And I don't see anyone salivating over him!  Except maybe Mrs. Stockton. 
Anyway...this is yet another thing that should be in the hands of the parents.  Dear parents...please make sure your kids aren't going out looking like hoochies.  Dear Principals...lighten up!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Conversation Pieces - Lego Movie vs Stepmom

Recently took Desmond to a Sunday afternoon Mariners game.  Kim was out of town for the weekend.  After the game, the Mariners were playing the Lego movie on the big screen.  Which leads to this conversation:

Des: "Can we stay and watch the Lego Movie?"

Me: "We probably shouldn't. Kim gets home today. We haven't seen her all weekend."

Des: "Well, we haven't seen the Lego Movie all weekend, either."

Friday, May 1, 2015

School Jog-A-Thon

Today was Desmond's first Jog-A-Thon.  I think just about every school has a Jog-A-Thon.  Our Lady of Guadalupe is no different!

It was held on the soccer field by the school.  Not quite as big as a normal 1/4 mile track, but not much shorter.  The kids practiced running in the gym.  This is relevant.  Stay tuned.

Desmond loves the show American Ninja Warrior.  Turns out, one of the more famous of the contestants on that show is an OLG alum!

You can read about his visit to OLG to inspire the kids here.

Part of the inspiration was telling the kids that anyone who ran 30 or more laps got a free American Ninja Warrior T-shirt!!!  Obviously, Desmond NEEDED this.  So, despite the classes goal of only 14 laps per person, Desmond declared he was going to run 31 laps!!!

Until the run started.  I ran with him for some of it.  About half way through lap 2, Desmond declares with a pant, "This is a lot bigger than the gym."

Indeed it was.  He didn't make the 30.  I think he wanted to, and he might have actually been able to do it.  But, unlike the Jog-A-Thons of my day, they stop the event after an hour, no matter how far you've gone.  So...after an hour, everyone stopped.

Des totally rocked it!  He made it through 17 laps!  Not bad for a 6 year old, me thinks!  I haven't gotten the official donation amounts, yet, since most people pledged per lap.  But, if my math is correct, he raised $258!  This is before the company matching!  Super duper proud Dad right here!

Here are some pics:

 The Kindergarten class warms up with Ms. Zbaraki.

What's the point of running if you can't stop to show off for the girls?

Pushing Through!

With Braden after the run.

And, a celebratory milkshake.

As I was looking through the pics, one looked familiar.  It didn't take me long to figure out why:

Things that make me smile...

Kristen Wiig dressing up like Daenerys Targaryen makes me smile.

I can't NOT chime in on this Supreme Court thing

So, it's no secret on this page that I am rapidly pro-life.  I don't beat around the bush on this topic.  But, what you may not know...