Sunday, January 20, 2013

In 1988 I traveled with my buddy, Mike, to Europe for three months after graduating from college. We hitched around the West coast of Ireland and spent the night in a tent on the beach close to a little village. The next morning we got up early and hiked for several miles, and if memory serves, finally ended up waving down a bus and getting a lift to Dublin. In any case, this picture was taken that morning as we were hiking away from the village. My artist father, Cal Capener, recently painted my photograph and here it is. An excellent rendering of that little cottage.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Mass Shooting at Conn. School

I sat at my desk at work looking at the pictures of this horrific tragedy on my computer, and openly wept. The poor little angels... 20 little kids, shot by a gunman up close. The principal and five other adults - killed. As a parent and as an educator this is positively the worst crime. To attack little innocents... To take away their futures. To cause so much pain to so many loved ones. As a parent I worry constantly about the safety of my children; about kidnappers and crazies with guns. We leave the house in the morning to work assuming that our children are safe at school and that we'll see them after work. Life is so tenuous and precious. It reminds me to appreciate every day and hug my kids. My kids are my life and my purpose. Without them, there would be no point. My heart goes out to those poor parents who will have to live with this horrible pain for the remainder of their lives. To look at those empty rooms and the un-opened presents under the tree. How many young lives will have to be lost before we can have sensible gun laws. Why a lobby has more power than the will of the people. Why a few gun enthusiasts win the debate about the need to have semi-automatics in this country. I support the 2nd amendment but nowhere does it say that average citizens can have semi-automatic weapons. No hunter needs one. No one needs one. Crazies might always get guns, but without semi-automatic weapons, the death tolls will never be so high. As a society, we must decide what we value. Do we value the safety of our children or the right for someone to have a rifle that fires numerous bullets within a minute. I heard yesterday that we lose 15,000 lives to gun violence each year. Can we not at least limit semi-automatics in the name of communal safety? I'm disgusted and so saddened. We must do something and we need leaders who will take this on.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Nate's Win!

Tonight, Nate played his last game of the season. The boys have been losing all of their recent games by multiple points. Tonight, they all played really well together and Nate scored the winning goal! It was a corner kick and Nate kneed it in. I'm so proud of him. He's become a fine soccer player - always contributing, always making a difference. Goals are rare, and tonight, he made a very important one. The score was 1-0.

Marcus' view of what I do

Marcus' babysitter asked him the other day, "And what does your dad do again?" Without skipping a beat he replied, "He fires people."

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The singing dog

We first noticed that our dog liked to sing when we were having a birthday party and she joined along in the song. Since then, whenever someone sings in the house, she does too.

Today we were driving to get our Christmas tree at a farm and we started singing Christmas carols in the car, and so did the dog. She loves to sing and I truly think she believes she is a child. She sure acts like one.

I'm a kept man...but not how you think...

I hate my cat... and I think she's mental.

Every morning this skinny creature invades my sleep. This morning (Saturday) she woke me up at five with her incessent high pitched 'meeew, meew,' right in my ear.

We have this pattern you see. I get up at six and she yells at me and bugs me until I go feed her. Then, I get to her bowl and she always has food. She just wants me to pet her as she eats. When I leave in disgust, she jumps down and starts the process all over again. This is why I'm a kept man.

Readers are probably wondering why I don't leave her in a field (my wife's suggestion) somewhere. I would except I couldn't handle the guilt of abandoning this helpless little crazy being, and enduring the tears of my little girl, who loves her.

So, I go on each morning, following this insane routine.

I have to confess something though. This morning I chased her around the room violently whispering obsenities in the dark and trying to kick her. Will let you know how this turns out.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Off the charts!

Marcus is off the charts. We're dealing with a child who has an adult sense of humor, uses large words correctly in conversations, can play chess, and is beginning to read. In addition to all of that, he's a couple grades ahead in math. What's amazing about all of this is that he's only 5, and he's been this way in many respects, since he was 2. The kid counts by tens. He can add and subtract. He counts higher than any kid in his class and knows about money denominations etc. Jen and I are just amazed and wondering where he came from.

Tonight while I was getting him down to sleep he said, "You know what, Dad?"

"No. What?"

"Knowing yourself is more important than money."

"Really. Where did you hear that?"

"Nowhere. I just thought it."

"Interesting. Tell me what that means. Why is it more important to know yourself?"

"Well, you can die, and money is just for buying things."

"Yes, so your life is more important because you can love and have fun and do things, but money doesn't buy you happiness?"

"Hmm mmm."

"Very cool, Marcus. Have a good sleep, buddy."

On the other side of things, Jen and I are a little concerned about OCD in him. He exhibits some ritual behavior. He's going through a lot right now, and is pretty advanced for his age. It's hard for him to fit in with his peers too. Jen saw him at school playing on the swings by himself recently. She asked him why he wasn't playing with his friends. "They were playing tag. I don't get that game." He also has a lot of fears right now. He's going through a huge growth spurt and Jen and I are just trying to be there to support him. Having a gifted kid is going to bring its challenges, to be sure.