Insta-Millard: “Not available on the App Store” — real child’s play

May 9, 2014

Found on Twitter:

Deep thoughts on Twitter, about children, childhood, recess and play. https://twitter.com/IntThings/status/464766923201576960

Deep thoughts on Twitter, about children, childhood, recess and play. https://twitter.com/IntThings/status/464766923201576960


How kids get to school, New Delhi edition

March 19, 2014

From Twitter:

From Twitter: “Another e.g. pic to show that school transport in Asia needs attention on health & safety aspects pic.twitter.com/Mn2FbSSELX”

Do you think the students have wi-fi to finish their homework on the way to school?

(This is not necessarily representative of all Indian school buses.)

One wonders at the stories behind such “buses” and their use.  It might make an interesting geography assignment, to find out how students get to school in other nations.  What is the most exotic, bizarre, dangerous or luxurious ride?

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Animated Maurice Sendak: How do you keep from being eaten and mauled by a monster?

June 17, 2013

Maurice Sendak, to his death, held on to some of his childhood concerns; and he worried about how we teach our children to deal with the world, and those scary things.

From Blank on Blank, PBS Digital Studios.

How do kids make it?  “They want to survive,” Sendak said.  “They Want To Survive.”

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National Infant Immunization Week, April 20-27, 2013

April 23, 2013

National Infant Immunization Week:  Find out about the power to protect with immunizations on http://www.vaccines.gov/

This week is National Infant Immunization Week designated by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  Vaccinations worked miracles in extending human lifespans, and in making childhood much safer from disease, for those children who get vaccinated.

Information following comes directly from the CDC:

Protect Your Baby with Immunization

Photo: A mother and childImmunization is one of the best ways parents can protect their infants from 14 serious childhood diseases before age two. Check to see if your baby is up to date on immunizations.

It is important for children to be fully immunized. Diseases that can be prevented with vaccines can be very serious – even deadly – especially for infants and young children. For example, children younger than 2 years old are at the highest risk for serious pneumococcal disease like pneumonia, blood infection (sepsis), and meningitis. Before the pneumococcal vaccine was used routinely, an estimated 17,000 cases of severe types of pneumococcal infection, like meningitis, occurred each year.

Immunization. Power to Protect.

Immunizations have helped to greatly improve the health of children in the United States. Most parents today have never seen first-hand the devastating consequences that vaccine-preventable diseases have on a family or community. While most of these diseases are not common in the United States, they persist around the world. It is important that we continue to protect our children with vaccines because outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases can and do occasionally occur in this country.

For example, in 2010, there were 27,550 people reported to have “whooping cough” (pertussis) in the United States. Twenty-seven deaths were reported – 25 of these were in children younger than 1 year old. In 2011, 222 people were reported to have measles in the United States – that’s more than any year since 1996. Measles is brought into the United States by unvaccinated U.S. residents and foreign visitors who get infected when they are in other countries. Measles is still common in many parts of the world, including Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and Africa. In fact, in France alone, more than 15,000 people were reported to have measles in 2011. Measles spreads easily, and it can be serious, causing hospitalization and even death. Young children are at highest risk for serious complications from measles.

Vaccinating your baby according to the recommended immunization schedule gives him or her the best protection against 14 serious childhood illnesses – like measles and whooping cough – before he is two years old. The recommended schedule is designed to protect infants and children early in life, when they are most vulnerable and before they are exposed to potentially life-threatening diseases.

Vaccine Information for ParentsVisit CDC’s vaccine website for parents.

The Diseases Vaccines Prevent

The recommended immunization schedule for babies includes vaccination protection against all of the following diseases:

Vaccinate On Time, Every Time

Even though the United States experiences outbreaks of some vaccine-preventable diseases, the spread of disease usually slows or stops because of immunization. If we stopped vaccinating, even the few cases we have in this country could very quickly become tens or hundreds of thousands of cases. Fortunately, most parents choose to vaccinate their children and immunization rates in this country are at or near record high levels. In fact, less than 1% of children do not receive any vaccines. However, some children have not received all of their vaccines and therefore are not fully immunized. It’s important that children receive all doses of the vaccines according to the recommended immunization schedule. Not receiving all doses of a vaccine leaves a child vulnerable to catching serious diseases.

That’s why it’s important to make sure that your child is up to date on his or her immunizations. Call your pediatrician to find out if your child is due for any vaccinations. Or, you can use this online tool to enter your child’s current record and quickly see if any doses have been skipped or missed. It is important to your child’s health to be up to date on immunizations.

Paying for Immunization

Photo: A babyMost health insurance plans cover the cost of vaccinations, but you should check with your insurance provider before going to the doctor. If you don’t have health insurance, or if your insurance does not cover vaccinations, the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program may be able to help with the cost.

The VFC program helps families of eligible children who might not otherwise have access to immunization. The program provides vaccinations at no cost. Children younger than 19 years of age are eligible for VFC vaccines if they are:

  • Medicaid-eligible
  • Uninsured
  • American Indian or Alaska Native,
  • Underinsured and vaccinated in Federally Qualified Health Centers or Rural Health Clinics.

Parents of uninsured or underinsured children who receive vaccines at no cost through the VFC Program should check with their health care providers about possible administration fees that might apply. These fees help providers cover the costs of giving the vaccines, including storing the vaccines and paying staff members to give vaccines to patients. However, VFC vaccines cannot be denied to an eligible child if a family can’t afford the fee.

Have Questions about Immunization?

  • Talk with your child’s health care professional, contact your local or state health department, or call the CDC at 800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636).
  • Visit CDC’s vaccine website for parents

More Information

CDC works 24/7 saving lives and protecting people from health threats to have a more secure nation. A US federal agency, CDC helps make the healthy choice the easy choice by putting science and prevention into action. CDC works to help people live longer, healthier and more productive lives.

Last syndicated: April 19, 2013
This content is brought to you by: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

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A very young John Kennedy asks his father for a raise in his allowance, to cover Boy Scout dues

March 3, 2013

Can your students write this well?  This kid was 12:

JFK asking his father for a raise in his allowance

Letter from 12 year-old John Kennedy, asking his father for a raise in his allowance, in 1929.  Click image for larger view.  Photo from Peter Lenahan

Found the image at the U.S. Scouting Service Project site, part of their celebration of the history of Scouting.

John Fitzgerald Francis Kennedy, President of the United States, was a Scout in Troop 2 in the Bronxville, NY, from 1929 to 1931. This letter was written when he was 12 years old in 1929.

Transcript:   A Plea for a raise

By Jack Kennedy

Dedicated to my

Mr. J. P. Kennedy

     Chapter I

My recent allowance is 40¢. This I used for areoplanes and other playthings of child- hood but now I am a scout and I put away my childish things. Before I would spend 20¢ of my ¢.40 allowance and In five minutes I would have empty pockets and nothing to gain and 20¢ to lose. When I a a scout I have to buy canteens, haversacks, blankets, searchlidgs [searchlights] poncho things that will last for years and I can always use it while I cant use a cholcalote marshmellow sunday with vanilla ice cream and so I put in my plea for a raise of thirty cents for me to buy scout things and pay my own way more around.

Finis

John Fitzgerald Francis Kennedy

Contributed by: Peter Lenahan, Bronxville, NY


Watch this now; practice playing nice in the comments

March 1, 2013

Tip of the old scrub brush to Ms. Christine Pelosi, Tweeting as @sfpelosi.

Notes from the film’s maker and the poet:

Shane Koyczan “To This Day” http://www.tothisdayproject.com Help this message have a far reaching and long lasting effect in confronting bullying. Please share generously.

Find Shane on Facebook – http://on.fb.me/Vwdi65
or on Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/koyczan

I send out one new poem each month via email. You might like to join us. http://www.shanekoyczan.com

“My experiences with violence in schools still echo throughout my life but standing to face the problem has helped me in immeasurable ways.  Schools and families are in desperate need of proper tools to confront this problem. This piece is a starting point.” – Shane

Find anti-bullying resources at http://www.bullying.org

Dozens of collaborators from around the world helped to bring this piece to life. Learn more about them and the project at http://www.tothisdayproject.com

Buy “To This Day” on BandCamp http://bit.ly/VKGjgU

or iTunes http://bit.ly/W47QK2

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Poet Shane Koyczan

Poet Shane Koyczan


Keeping warm at Lambeau Field in Green Bay

December 9, 2012

Lambeau Field in the snow, Green Bay fan's view

Picture from the end zone (a favorite place for true Green Bay fans) during a football game at Lambeau Field, with weather much like tonight’s game. (photo via Tumblr for FullMetalStarterJacket).  This is a color picture.

Dad texts the kids:

“You guys got what you need to stay warm [at Lambeau Field in Green Bay]?”

Kids answer:

“We have plenty of green body paint.”


Bathtub reading near the end of spring break, 2011

March 18, 2011

No, they are not trying to get rid of unions, just trying to balance their budgets.  Right?

Other than Rand Paul, Republicans don’t need low-flow toilets, because when it comes to conservation, climate change and the facts, Republicans just don’t give a s—.

Oooh.  Signs from the teacher protests of budget cuts in Austin, Texas!

Does this ass, Rick Perry, make my sign look big?  Austin, March 2011

Protester in Austin, Texas, March 2011

Peace Corps celebrates 50 years this year.  Steve Mott tells of his first year as a Peace Corps volunteer in a remote corner of Nepal. (From the Norwell (Massachusetts) Mariner Wicked Local online.) (Suitable for a warm-up at least, teachers — maybe good for your unit on the 1960s and the Kennedy administration.  “In 1966 it was the Beach Boys and when I got back in ’68 it was Janis Joplin,” he said.  “A lot of social changes had taken place in two years.”

Oh, those jocular Tea Partiers!  Now they want to bring back child labor, in Maine, and in Missouri.  They’re serious when they say they oppose all the “progressive agenda” from the Progressive Era.  Look out Women’s Christian Temperance Union and anti-child abuse laws.  (Tea Partiers get all get their marching orders from Tea Bag Central — surely other states will follow; let us know if similar bills are in the hopper in your state legislature, eh?)

I keep finding good and interesting stuff in the Imperial War Museum.  Have you ever been there?  I wish they would do more online.  “War Shapes Lives,” a motto on their website.  An understatement of history.  This painting hangs in the museum, John Singer Sargent’s  “Gassed.”  At the museum, you may view it in its majesty, 20 feet along the wall, 7½ feet high.

Gassed, by John Singer Sargent.  Imperial War Museum

Gassed, by John Singer Sargent. Imperial War Museum


The rear of the horse that measles rode in on

May 23, 2010

Why would people fail to inoculate their kids against measles, and thereby contribute to deadly epidemics?

There was this guy in Britain, Andrew Wakefield, who published a study suggesting a link between measles vaccines and autism.  But it turned out his research didn’t support that claim.  Then it turned out he was under contract to produce a paper that made that claim regardless the science, for a lawsuit.

Darryl Cunningham's graphic account of measles vaccine hysteria, one page

A page from Darryl Cunningham's graphic account of measles vaccine hysteria, "The Facts in the Case of Dr. Andrew Wakefield." TallGuyWrites (Darryl Cunningham)

Darryl Cunningham created a concise, 15-page graphic accounting of the story of how the misdeeds of one physician led to a world-wide, child-killing panic.  If you do not know the story, go read it.  You should be troubled by the story it tells.  Be sure to read it through.  Cunningham is thorough in his debunking of the hysteria the anti-vaxxers promote, and you should know it all.

Darryl Cunningham's graphic story, "The Facts in the Case of Dr. Andrew Wakefield"

Another page from Darryl Cunningham's graphic story, "The Facts in the Case of Dr. Andrew Wakefield" about the motivations behind the hysteria.

Then send a copy to Jenny McCarthy, or anyone else who carries the torch of ignorance-based hysteria against vaccines and in favor of disease.

Dr. Wakefield’s original paper was retracted by the publisher — it’s no longer considered valid science.  It’s a hoax.  No subsequent research confirmed any links to autism.  Serious, large-scale follow-up studies revealed no connection whatsoever between measles vaccine and autism.

Measles is a nasty disease, tough to eradicate, and working hard to come back and get your children and grandchildren.  Don’t be suckered.

Andrew Wakefield created a hoax.  Those who rely on his study rely on bogus science, voodoo science.  History tells us that, if we stop the fight against measles, people will die.

Would you contribute to publishing this comic for distribution in pediatrician’s waiting rooms?

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Tip of the old scrub brush to JD 2718.


Great animation: “The Chesnut Tree”

March 14, 2010

Wonderful film from 2007, by Hyun-min Lee.  I found it on PBS World this weekend, and then found a YouTube version.

Watch it with your young children.

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VsS4Tk-lrxo]


Whom The Gods Destroy They First Make Mad Dept., Day of Labor Division

September 3, 2009

Looney Tunes should sue to get back the good name of  “looney.”

1.  Neil Simpson at Eternity Matters continues to court anti-socialism.  No, not “contrary to socialism”, but “anti-social” raised to the maximum.  Now Simpson disavows education quality and Boy Scout-style citizenship, all in a whiny complaint about President Obama’s actually paying attention to school kids.  Simpson’s complaints in Texas are highly ironic, considering that conservatives in the Texas legislature demand that Texas kids participate in exactly the kind of discussions that the Department of Education now urges.

According to the U.S. Department of Education:

During this special address, the president will speak directly to the nation’s children and youth about persisting and succeeding in school. The president will challenge students to work hard, set educational goals, and take responsibility for their learning.

“Oh, noes!” we might hear Simpson say.  We can’t have our nation’s youth “persisting and succeeding in school.”  Can’t have them “work hard,” and “take responsibility for their learning.”

One more deeply hypocritical demonstration that, for Simpson and his colleagues in whine, it’s all about being a sore loser and a carbuncle on the derriere of America, and not about policy at all.

Obama might be expected to plug charter schools again, a position Simpson would find good if Simpson had a reasoning cell left in his body.  Not that Obama’s support of charter schools is a good idea, just that Simpson previously has expressed similar views, which he now would have to eschew, since Obama adopted them.  Of course, it’s not about Obama.  Right.

The Department of Education release has other details you should check out, if you’re interested:

The U.S. Department of Education encourages students of all ages, teachers, and administrators to participate in this historic moment by watching the president deliver the address, which will be broadcast live on the White House Web site (http://www.whitehouse.gov/live/) and on C-SPAN at 12:00 p.m., ET. We also encourage educators to use this moment to help students get focused and inspired to begin the new academic year. The Department of Education offers educators a menu of classroom activities—created by its teachers-in-residence, the Teaching Ambassador Fellows—to help engage students in the address and stimulate classroom discussions about the importance of education.

To learn more, please see the following:

That is, if you agree that education is important.  (Oh, don’t even go to the post where Simpson starts arguing that “survival of the fittest” is tantamount to killing everybody else.  Doesn’t this guy ever think?)

2.  Making the case for Birther Control once more, Orly Taitz managed to get in front of  a judge in some Texas court with her inane claims about Obama’s birth certificate.  She’s not a Texas lawyer, she didn’t bother to get a Texas lawyer to sign in with her, she broke almost every rule possible, but the judge bent over backwards to be nice to her — and she still whines.  Read the events at Dispatches from the the Culture Wars.  You can almost decipher it at Orly Taitz’s blog, but she doesn’t even allow friendly posts without editing there.  Get the facts from Brayton.

3.  Meanwhile, riding the crest of the idiocy wave generated by inanities like Taitz’s and Simpson’s, these guys are gearing up for a violent confrontation with an evil, militant force, that isn’t even under discussion (if you read their links).   Go read it.  It’s the seedbed of homegrown terrorism.

4.  GOP candidate for governor of Virginia Bob McDonnell repudiated the masters thesis he wrote for Pat Robertson’s Regent University.  One by one, he disavows each of the offensive things he wrote then, claiming that he’s healed, or something, since then.

After McDonnell repudiates the education he got at Regent U, do you think the school will use him as an example of a graduate success in recruiting?

Already-elected GOP governors aren’t doing too well, either.

5.  The Sedalia, Missouri band t-shirt flap keeps some people in stitches.  I’m not sure whether it’s encouraging so many cross-stitchers show sanity on the issue, or discouraging that a few still remain deeply mired in darkness, claiming evolution is a problem.  (See earlier post here.)

Sure, it’s all sign of apocalypse, but not the apocalypse most people worry about.


It takes a choir to sing, “It takes a village”

August 4, 2009

Kathryn sings with the Arlington Master Chorale.  Last week they performed for the Texas Choir Directors Association Convention in San Antonio.  Randy Jordan leads and directs the group.

Before the San Antonio performance, they sang the program at St. Marks Episcopal Church in Arlington, a beautifully spare performance space suited well to a hundred good, mature voices.

Joan Szymko‘s “It Takes A Village” made a stunning and rousing finale for the concert.  The piece opens with the choir tapping their chests for a heartbeat rhythm, which by itself stirs an audience when performed by so many.  It features a simple melody and lyric, though inspiring when done en masse or with a good solo.

And it packs an integral political message.  The text is that same phrase that became a watershed between conservatives and liberals in the 1990s.

Cut to the chase:  Hillary Clinton was right, and so especially was the Children’s Defense Fund right, and Jane Cowen-Fletcher right, about our collective obligation to raise the next generations.  When pared down to the basic claim as sung by a good or ambitious choir, it’s an inspiration.

It takes a whole village to raise the children.
It takes the whole village to raise one child.

We all — everyone — must share the burden.
We all — everyone — will share the joy.

Some music is best experienced live, and this may be one.  There are several recordings of this piece available on YouTube, not one done so well as the Arlington Master Chorale last week in my opinion (the choir directors loved it, too, I hear).

Here are two performances of the piece, each done very differently from the other.  Until some enterprising group makes a more polished and better recorded video of the Arlington group, these will have to do (there are other versions on YouTube).

It is particularly spine-tingling to hear and see it performed by our children.  When sung with gusto, the thought transcends and soars over politics.  Song tells truths of the heart that politics needs to hear, and feel, and experience.

The Oklahoma All-State Choir

Oklahoma All-State Choir

Performed by the 2009 All-OMEA Mixed Chorus (Oklahoma All-State Choir).
Clinician: Johnathan Reed
Accompanist: Ron Wallace

Mt. Eden, Tennyson High and Hayward High Honor Choir at Chabot College (California)

Are there good, commercially-available recordings of this song?  Please note them in comments.  If you are a commercial music producer, I recommend the Arlington Master Chorale’s performance for recording.

 


Another way to tell Republicans and opponents of health care reform have lost their minds, or their hearts, or their conscience

August 1, 2009

Republicans and opponents of health care reform make Dave Barry look like the prophet Isaiah with greatly improved accuracy.  You couldn’t make this stuff up if you tried, as Dave Barry often says.

I have the right to protection, pleads this innocent little boy, in a poster for the State of Arizona Crime Victims Services division of the Department of Public Safety.  The Heritage Foundation ridicules federal support for child abuse prevention programs as unnecessary federal intrusion.

Included in the massive health care reform bill is some extra money to help out states and communities that have had difficulty getting effective programs going to combat child abuse.  Pilot programs demonstrated that community health workers could provide a few parenting programs and dramatically reduce child abuse.

These are programs that prevent dead babies.

According to the text of H.R. 3200, “America’s Affordable Health Choices Act,” starting on page 838 is a description of a program under which states and communities can get money to fight child abuse, if they have large populations of poor families, where child abuse is a problem, and where anti-child abuse programs need more money.  That’s pretty straightforward, no?  [That's a hefty .pdf file, by the way -- more than 1,000 pages.]

Parenting instruction and help can be offered, in private settings, and in homes where struggling parents need help most.

Money goes to states that want it and can demonstrate a need.  Parenting help programs are purely voluntary under H.R. 3200.

Who supports child abuse?  Who would not support spending some of the money in health care reform to save the saddest cases, the children who are beaten or starved or psychologically abused?

Is it not true that the prevention of child abuse would contribute to better health care for less money?

This is politics, you know.  Non-thinking conservatives pull out the stops in their desire to drive the health bill to oblivion, claiming that these anti-child abuse sections are socialism, liberty-depriving, and a threat to the designated hitter rule.  (I only exaggerate a little on the third point.)

This isn’t stripping liberties is it, we want someone else coming into our homes and telling us how to raise our children and live our lives.

This is right out of the Book 1984. If you had not read it I suggest it.

“Right out of 1984?”  Isn’t this a violation of  Godwin’s Law?

The Heritage Foundation appears to have taken a turn to radicalism, now advocating against fighting child abuse, and calling anti-child abuse programs a “stealth agenda.”

Have the Heritage Foundation, and these other people, lost their collective minds? They complain about the provisions of this bill because — this is their words:

One troublesome provision calls for a home visitation program that would bring state workers into the homes of young families to improve “the well-being, health, and development of children”.

Well, heaven forbid we should improve the well-being, health and development of children!

It is fair to conclude from this report that the Heritage Foundation does not want to prevent dead babies.

Years ago, when Father Reagan presided over the Conservative Church, one of the Heritage Foundation favorite deacons, a guy named Al Regnery, was appointed to be assistant attorney general over programs dealing with youth — juvenile delinquents, drug users, etc.  His chief qualifications for the job included that he was a faithful aide to Nevada Sen. Paul Laxalt, and that he toed the party line on almost all issues, including shutting down federal funding for programs that might prevent juvenile delinquency, or treat it.

Republicans controlled the Judiciary Committee under Sen. Strom Thurmond, so Regnery’s confirmation was never doubted.  But as if to throw gasoline in the face of advocates of anti-delinquency programs, When Regnery drove up to the Senate office buildings for his nomination hearing, his car had a generally humorous bumper sticker.  “Have you hugged your kid today” showed on about 200 million of the 100 million cars in America at the time — it was a cliché.  To fight the cliché, Regnery had the anti-fuzzy bumper sticker, “Have you slugged your kid today.”

When the issue hit the news, Regnery backpedalled, and said it was just a joke sticker that he probably should have taken off his car under the circumstances, but he forgot — and Regnery disavowed the bumper sticker, as humorous or anything else.

Comes 2009, we discover that the Heritage Foundation wasn’t kidding — slugging your kid is acceptable behavior to them, and creating programs to fight child abuse, is evil — to the Heritage Foundation.

Ronald Reagan would be ashamed of them.  Somebody has to be ashamed — there appears to be no shame at Heritage Foundation offices.

One wouldn’t worry — surely common sense American citizens can see through these cheap deceptions —  except that Heritage has a massive public relations budget, and there is a corps of willing gullibles waiting to swallow as fact any fantasy Heritage dreams up — see this discussion board on ComCast, where the discussants accept Heritage claims at face value though anyone with even a dime-store excrement detector would be wary; or see this blogger who says he won’t let the feds “take away” his liberties (to beat his children, or the children of others?); or this forum, where some naif thinks the bill will create a federal behavior czarGlenn Beck, whose religion reveres children, can’t resist taking a cheap shot at Obama, even though doing so requires Beck to stand up for child abuse.

Beck falls into the worst category, spreading incredible falsehoods as if he understood the bill:

This doesn’t scare me! No way. Just the crazies like Winston Smith — you know, the main character from “1984.”

When did we go from being a nation that believed in hard work and picking yourself up by the bootstraps, to a nation that wants government to control everything from our light bulbs to our parenting techniques?

This bill has to be stopped.

Gee, Glenn — when did we go from a nation that thought government was for the people, as demonstrated by the Agricultural Extension Service, or the Air Traffic Control System, or the Tennessee Valley Authority, to a nation that fights to bring back Czarist Russian government in the U.S.?  Stopping this bill won’t resurrect Czar Nicholas, and it will kill at least a few hundred American kids.  Excuse me if I choose living American kids over fantasies of a new and oppressive monarchy.

These people are not journalists. Beck isn’t like Orwell — maybe more like Ezra Pound, in Italy.  These people are not commentators, or columnists.  These people are not editorial writers.  They are not, most of them, lobbyists who give out  information for money, having sold their souls away from the angels of serious public discourse.

They are crass propagandists. They should be regarded more like the guy Tom Lehrer warned us about, the old dope peddler in the park, who always has just a little bit of poison for the kids or anyone else.  (“Don’t worry; you won’t get hooked.”)

How many other provisions of the health reform act are being distorted by conservatives in a desperate attempt to keep President Obama from “looking good,” despite the costs to America’s children and families?

These attacks on the health reform bill fall out of the category of robust discussion.  They disgrace our polity, and they erode the dignity of our democratic system.

Please share the information on this bill:

Add to FacebookAdd to NewsvineAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Furl

Below the fold:  An example of the type of program Beck and Heritage call socialism, 1984-ish, and dangerous.

Read the rest of this entry »


Duncanville kids at the inauguration

January 20, 2009

At least two kids from Duncanville were at the inauguration in official capacities today.  We’re hoping to hear from them.  (Send the blog some photos, Michael!)

Michael Rivera, doing graduate journalism studies at Western Kentucky University, got press  credentials to cover the events as a photographer.  The Riveras live across the street from us, and Michael and his older brother Jonathan dropped in over the Christmas holidays to let us marvel at how tall and handsome they’ve grown.

Daniel Brady is the bass trombone player with the U.S. Marine Band.  He graduated with our older son, Kenny, and played in the trombone section with our younger son, James.  We saw him 11 months ago as he sat in at a Dallas Symphony rehearsal, but he was pretty busy over the holidays, out of Texas I hear.  Some time in the past year he answered the call for a national audition for the Marine Band, and he won the slot.  The big question now is how he finishes his degree, I suppose.

Brady is famous among Duncanville’s champion, all-star trombones (and there are a goodly number of them) for sneaking away to get a job for a summer to buy a good bass trombone.  The day after he got enough to purchase the horn, he quit the job.  To the surprise of his parents, and to the grinning chagrin of the band directors who had hoped he’d stick it out as first chair tenor trombone, he insisted on playing the lower-pitched one.  Judging by his success, he made the right choice.

Michael took up photography early in high school, and shot thousands of pictures before he graduated.  He’s stuck with it through undergrad, and now seems to be well on his way at one of the nation’s better journalism schools.  I haven’t had the heart to tell him it pays so little, monetarily.  It’s a great job, other than the pay.

An inauguration is a good event to see, I suppose, though I walked out of the only one I ever attended.  Another story for another time.

Good luck, Brady.  Good luck, Michael.  Let us know what you saw and heard, will you?


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