Wearin’ o’ the green? Jackson says yes, please:
Not known at present: whether the critter on the couch was actually trying to avoid photobombing this shoot.
Wearin’ o’ the green? Jackson says yes, please:
Not known at present: whether the critter on the couch was actually trying to avoid photobombing this shoot.
I don’t know what’s scarier here: the large, placid-appearing birdlike creature, or the idea that Gunner might now be old enough to carry a cell phone.
(Taken by Gunner’s mom at Railroad Park in Blue Springs, Missouri.)
Number One granddaughter — this would be Laney, Russ’s oldest — apparently maxed out some tests they give to students on the cusp of high school.
Explained her mom:
She was recommended for Honors English, Honors Biology, and Honors Geography for next year, as well as Principles of Biomedical Science. I’m so proud of her!
Wait, what? Biomedical science?
[S]he’s actually taking the pre-med academic path for high school.
It’s a long and torturous path, I’m sure, but I’m liking the way this sounds.
Well, actually, you can’t send yourself Express, but there was a time when you could send the little ones in the mail:
When Parcel Post Service first launched in America on January 1, 1913, there were few guidelines on what could be mailed. As a result, a handful of parents, spotting a bargain, began mailing their children. The first known case of this was the child of Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Beauge of Ohio only a few weeks after the launch of Parcel Post. They sent their son to his grandmother’s house for a fee of just 15 cents (about $3.72 today). On January 27, 1913, Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Savis of Pennsylvania mailed their daughter to relatives for a fee of 45 cents. More famously, 5 year old May Pierstorff of Idaho was mailed on February 19, 1914 73 miles to her grandmother’s house at a cost of just 53 cents (about $13.13 today). This was significantly cheaper than sending her on a passenger train, with the train ticket in question costing $1.55 according to the book, Mailing May. May’s case helped push forward an inquiry on the matter of mailing children and ultimately led to Postmaster General Albert Burleson declaring that, from that point forward, it was against the rules to mail human beings. Despite this, the practice continued for about two more years, finally stopping after an investigation into why three-year-old Maud Smith of Missouri was allowed to be mailed to her grandparents’ house in Kentucky.
Unlike today, there was no specification for packaging material:
While you might have visions of children being put in boxes with holes in the side for air, this was not how the children were mailed. The appropriate number of stamps were simply affixed to their clothing along with the address they were to be sent. From there, they accompanied postal workers on the trains along with normal packages and then were escorted to their destinations.
Those were the days.
(Via American Digest.)
Jackson is a fifth grader at Luff Elementary School in Independence, MO. He has been recognized as a student who has achieved academic excellence and possesses strong leadership potential and was nominated by his art teacher to attend the Junior National Young Leaders Conference (JrNYLC) to be held the summer of 2017 in Washington, DC.
Jackson is the older son of Russell Hill, the one and only son of, um, me.
This will cost close to $3000, so naturally, there’s a GoFundMe.
When I was growing up, we had essentially two choices at dinner time: Take It or Leave It. I suspect this would have gone over well in that era:
— Jan Bassett (@2beinNC) September 29, 2016
Ball Park, incidentally, has introduced a flash-frozen hamburger patty, which I found pretty decent even when microwaved.
Our facility boasts four full 18 hole miniature golf courses, a 7000 square foot video game arcade, a full pizzeria and restaurant, go-karts, batting cages, and now, a full-time event staff ready to make your special event at Cool Crest a truly wonderful experience!
Hey, I know these kids:
And you’ll note they’re not at the “7000 square foot video game arcade.”
Odometer tampering is of course illegal. Is this nimrod trying to sell the truck? Nothing so normal:
I got into a bit of trouble (I’m 17), and my parents are taking my truck away for two weeks. My dad knows the exact mileage on the truck. I drive a 2000 dodge dakota sport, 2.2 liter engine, single cab, 5 speed transmission. The odometer is digital. How can I rig the truck so it shows the same amount of miles on the odometer, rather than just pulling the fuse to the cluster and it not showing anything. It needs to look like I haven’t driven it, if I decide to drive it. All help is appreciated!
And don’t try to talk him out of this scheme, either:
Ps: Please don’t tell me not to drive the truck against my parent’s will. It won’t stop me.
Little shit has a future as a political consultant, if he’s not beaten to death first.
Caring for our own flesh-and-blood offspring is both a matter of natural instinct and an entirely rational activity, once we understand the benefits of having babies, which no robotic doll can teach. You may not believe, as I do, that children are quite literally a blessing from God, yet the direct personal benefits of parenthood should be obvious to any young person who has the foresight to ask, “What will happen to me when I get old?” Do we want to be lonely, unloved and forgotten, or to be cherished, respected and cared for? This consideration alone should suffice as an incentive to have children, but beyond the purely selfish motives, having babies (and raising them with good values) also provides a benefit to society.
I will not, as a matter of principle, say anything against anyone who has already opted out of this routine. (This is at least partially a response to my own departure from that particular scene, which was more than half a lifetime ago.) Parenthood comes with lots of guidebooks, most of which are wrong to greater or lesser extent, but life itself is like that:
If you think there are “too many” people in the world, you are thinking of people too generally. Are there too many intelligent people in the world? Are there too many well-educated people, too many highly skilled people, too may hard-working people in the world? Are there too many kind people or too many honest people in the world? Most people who are literate enough to read this article probably think of themselves as above-average people, and rightly so. If you are a person of superior quality, doesn’t it make sense that you would have high-quality children? After all, a person as superior as yourself would be a very shrewd judge when it comes to selecting a spouse, so that your child would benefit from the superior qualities of both parents. And since you would instill excellent values in your children, teaching them to live according to the highest moral and ethical principles, the entire world will benefit from your decision to have a baby. Or six babies, as the case may be.
The author quoted here has, um, six children.
The poster child for “too many” people is Paul Ehrlich, who told us way back in 1968 that Malthus was right and famine would soon be upon us. History has made a fool of him, though “historians” dare not say so, lest they be cut off from a subculture that has willingly embraced folly and arrogantly attempted to inflict it on the rest of us.
As for what happens when we get old, well, I’m already there.
One of the grandchildren, sufficiently curious, brought a seven-inch slab of vinyl out of the back room. “Is this … a RECORD?”
Assured that it was, he begged to be allowed to play it, and we duly cranked up the 1970s stereo. (Not that it matters, but this was the song.)
He would find one more disc that interested him: Gustav Holst’s The Planets, in the 1967 Boult version, which he set to the fourth movement (“Jupiter”). Made the kid dance, it did.
Son Russell, 35 on Monday, is planning a visit on Sunday. I really wish he didn’t have to see me like this.
I was one of five children, my mother one of seven. A friend has eight, with a ninth on the way. Surely there’s room for someone who doesn’t wish to have any.
I’m not quite sure where I stand on this issue:
Another passionate debate between parents. The two distinct camps sound roughly like this:
“I am totally comfortable with my body and want my child to learn that humans are perfect and beautiful just as nature made them.”
The other camp says:
“Kids don’t need to see that shit.”
For the most part, my kids didn’t see it: there wasn’t a whole lot of that in the nuclear-family stage. And when the grownups went their separate ways:
You may be one of those nudists carrying a towel around so as not to leave a personal print on leather furniture, or the three layer cover up type of parent, but either way take comfort in the fact that somebody is horrified by your choice.
You have to wonder how Type A and Type B ever lived together in the first place. (Heck, they can’t even agree on what TV shows to watch.)
This much I can tell you: I keep a stack of towels just off the living room. Not once have the kids asked what they were for. God forbid one of the grandchildren should bring it up.
Robert Stacy McCain has already indicated that he intends to advise his six kids that they should never, ever write a manifesto.
And nobody’s manifesto ever needs to be longer than this:
My parents didn’t raise me to believe I was helpless, and certainly I would never want my children to believe their lives are a random accident. Our lives have meaning and purpose. The choices we make — our actions as individuals — have consequences for our own lives and for the lives of others. Having lived quite carelessly in my youth, I consider my rather miraculous survival must have served a purpose, if only to equip me to warn young people against careless living.
And this, essentially, is the bottom line:
Winners find a way to win, whatever the challenges may be.
Enduring hardship, overcoming obstacles, the survivor survives, and every day of survival is a victory unto itself. Today I have survived 56 years, and have already lived to see two grandsons born. My children are miracles, not accidents, and today when my daughter Reagan was leaving for school I told her, “Be excellent all day long.”
Don’t just be good. Be excellent. Excellence is expected.
Today is a very happy birthday. Hit the freaking tip jar.
With 62 coming up (next month!) and six grandchildren already out and about, I nod in agreement.
Number One grandson, now a sturdy six foot two, all turned out for Homecoming 2015 in James Bond mode:
The young lady at his side seems more stirred than shaken.
(Darling Daughter texted this to me last night.)
Every day I find out something I didn’t know, and here’s one of those somethings:
Being the most popular colored violin, purple is “in” with the younger generation. For those who are just starting to learn the violin, the colored ones are just perfect. The main reason for this is that sound quality is not a major concern for beginners. The only thing that matters is to learn how to play the violin.
And who knows? Maybe she’ll go on to bigger and better things:
“She,” in this particular instance, is granddaughter Laney, working her way into the middle-school orchestra. (Her mom took the picture.)
Say a prayer for the late Dorothy A. “Stella” Scrobola, who departed this life last week. We may presume she wasn’t alone at the time:
Whether said load is metric, we know not.
One thing my daughter does well is costuming, as evidenced here by her two youngsters (there’s a third, but he’s practically 16 and doesn’t do this sort of thing anymore):
She sent me an alternate take of this shot over the phone Sunday, which I didn’t even notice until Much, Much Later. I sent her an apology, along with a note to the effect that “Some days I am totally devoid of clues.”
Said she in reply: “So that’s where I get it.”
I couldn’t bring myself to mention the other event of the weekend: her mother’s first tattoo, at the age of 60.
They’re barely a year apart, and in this photo, seemingly barely an inch apart:
Allison is four; Liam is almost three. Awfully close together, you think? Just look at them.
Maybe. I wouldn’t know.
Herein, number-one grandson 15 last November, this tall for at least four years now has approached his ladylove bearing gifts: brownies, and a bear.
She seems pleased.
Theunis Bates, managing editor of The Week, has an 18-month-old toddler who behaves like, well, an 18-month-old toddler. The problem with that is that the Bates family lives in “the world capital of obsessive parenting”:
My neighborhood’s online message board is filled with moms and dads worrying over the latest studies on toxic chemicals in plastic sippy cups and the urgent need to enroll their newborns in music classes that will stimulate their brains into genius. Of course, every parent wants to give his or her sprout the best start in life, but there is no scientifically correct child-rearing method. Science is constantly evolving not so long ago, it was thought that pacifiers turned kids into sexual deviants; now Binkys are thought to be effective pain relievers and findings can often be reversed. So until the experts figure out how to raise the perfect kid, relax, and let her eat crayons.
Where is this “world capital?” Brooklyn, New York.
(Seen in issue 684, 5 September 2014. Not yet on line at this writing.)
Children are a major disappointment in most cases, which is why I say that the modern ideology of parenting is baloney. People who don’t have them aren’t missing anything they really need. They’re not helping keep the race in business, no, but they’re not suffering for it either.
I didn’t mind it so much, but I did a lot of it at a distance, the result of a fragged marriage. Still, this seems true:
I used to wonder why my parents, especially my mother, kept bugging me to have children. Now I know. They were getting even.
The slope goes ever downward.
(Title courtesy of Alice Cooper.)
There is natural selection, and there is this:
I learned that only 1 to 2% of men who offer to donate to sperm banks are accepted as donors, and of those that are accepted, some donors are much popular among the donees than others.
Women who use sperm banks are looking to make a perfect baby: Handsome and brilliant. Talented and charming. Loving and kind. A match one might only dream of finding in the flesh.
“Donee,” apparently, is not some twentieth-century portmanteau construction intended to be the obvious opposite number to “donor”: Merriam-Webster traces it back to 1523.
“Many women see this as another way to give their child a head start in life,” says Lori Andrews, a professor at Chicago-Kent College of Law who has studied the sperm bank industry, of the high stakes of sperm selection.
And increasingly, say the banks, women want proof of perfection before buying a dream donor’s sperm. They ask for SAT scores and personality test results.
Actual men meeting their standards, one assumes, are few and far between. And according to legend, women spurn them anyway: better someone who can sweep you off your feet than someone who’ll happily sweep out the garage.
Furthermore, I’m not entirely sure the selection criteria exercised by the banks will be optimal. In 2011, Cryos International, a major worldwide sperm bank, began rejecting redheads as donors, claiming a surfeit thereof.
Apparently it took place some time after 1900:
At one point I was discussing the uniforms of the Civil War when immediately two or three hands shot into the air. I was not giving a lecture and throughout the discussion we were doing give and take, to make sure the kids understood what I was presenting. I acknowledged one boy who stated in complete seriousness and with an earnestness and thirst for knowledge “I thought there was no color until the twentieth century. Weren’t the uniforms grey and black?” I looked at him in dumbfounded amazement and noticed several other kids nodding in agreement.
You gotta admit, though: Betsy Ross did one hell of a job on that greyscale flag.
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There was an older couple of ladies behind me in line at the supermarket making goo-goo eyes at the baby. When we were outside, one of them informed not in those precise words that I was handling the unloading process wrong.
My process is: Take the cart to the car, unload the groceries, return cart, take baby from cart and carry her with me back to the car.
Her order was: Put the baby in the car, start the car with the air conditioning or heater on, unload cart, and then return the cart.
When I was small enough to ride in the cart, there was no chance the parents would leave me in the car for more than a couple of seconds: I’d lunge for the controls. And there being nothing even close to child restraints in those days, I’d almost certainly reach them.
The “Terrible Twos” are merely a marketing ploy by three-year-olds, designed to throw parents off the track of how bad three-year-olds behave. You see, by the time a child hits three they become very capable, in an absolute sense. By this I mean they know how things work: doors, locks, caps on spice bottles, plumbing fixtures, ladders, chain saws, lathes, Machiavellian interpersonal machinations, etc. They can do a lot with those skills, in an absolute sense. And they all have the same kind of outlook on law and order that one would expect of devotees of the Anarchist Cookbook.
Allegedly, I was three for about four and a half years. I don’t remember it that way, but of course I wouldn’t.
I learned a long time ago that both my children carry my Wiseguy gene, and it’s almost a certainty that they passed it on to their kids.
Last night, my son did one of those Foursquare checkins at a place called The Scene, prompting the following exchange:
Becky Carson: This ain’t a scene. It’s an arms race?
Russell Hill: Lots of good bands tonight. You should come out.
Charles G. Hill: Am I supposed to be concerned that my daughter is making gratuitous Fall Out Boy references?
Becky Carson: More importantly, where is the concern for the father that knows a Fall Out Boy reference.
Russell Hill: Well, this is concerning.
Which really should be the quote of last week, since it was in the issue of Entertainment Weekly that was mailed to subscribers last week, and which I didn’t read until today for reasons you’ve already heard enough about.
The topic is the Royal Baby, and due to magazine lead times, they didn’t have the name just yet. Jessica Shaw proclaimed:
At 4:24 p.m. local time on July 22, the Duchess of Cambridge, 22, gave birth to His Royal Highness Prince Something or Other of Cambridge, weighing in at a regal 8 pounds and 6 ounces. (There was no name as of press time, but it’s got to be better than North West. I’m a let you finish, Kanye, but Kate Middleton just gave birth to one of the best babies of all time.)
Best riff on that quote I’ve seen in some time. (And it’s Prince George, as we already know.)
Once again, something I didn’t notice is noticed:
Funny observation popped up in discussion [on an irrelevant topic]: among man-bloggers who are fathers majority are those with daughters. Women-bloggers, as noted, do not exhibit this particular trait they are mothers as often to boys as to girls.
Which prompts some speculation:
[U]nderlying connection between man’s ability to write coherent texts and raising a female? what could be genetic condition for this correlation? Etc, etc.
I’m not quite sure what, if anything, I can extrapolate from my own experience. When my daughter was born, I was a terrible writer; today, 35 years later, I am, um, less terrible. Does my son, 32 this year, affect this in any way? How about the grandchildren (four boys, two girls)?
Children grow up and move away they do if they have their own health insurance, anyway but the trappings of childhood remain behind, as Tad Maudlin can tell you:
Eventually, the toys will get cleaned up and donated to a church sale or some such collection, but the last bottle of Mr. Bubble will just migrate to the rear of the cabinet. Periodically, I’ll clean and rearrange the contents of the cabinet, but I won’t want to dispose of half a bottle of Mr. Bubble. Eventually, I’ll say I’m saving it for the grandchildren, but I’ll not really know if I’m to have my line continue or if I’ll live to see it.
Lest Tad become glum about this prospect, I will mention a product that remains on my shelf: it’s Dow Hospital Germicide and Deodorizer (Citrus Scent), EPA Reg No. 464-400. Active ingredients: good old alcohol, plus a dollop of 2-phenylphenol. This came home from the hospital with my daughter in 1978, and I am not giving it up. For one thing, the can is still about one-third full, though the propellant has long since given up propelling. The citrus scent, however, is alive and well.