Archive for June, 2003


Order of the Phoenix

June 29, 2003

I just read an interesting article over at the NYT. The title alone should amuse you: Harry Crushes the Hulk (free registration required). It’s a thought-provoking commentary about the entertainment industry, kids, music piracy and even the Apple iTMS.

The ravenous hunger for Ms. Rowling’s novels shows that children are far more discerning than adults tend to give them credit for, especially the adults who sell them entertainment products.

Speaking of Harry, we finally got the Order of the Phoenix! I’m embarassed to admit that we were – get this – too busy to get the book on the first day of its release. For those of you just tuning in to sf.n, I and my family have read every one of the Potter books aloud together. It has become a very special thing for all of us, and the experience has lead us to read other books together. During the long wait for Phoenix, in fact, we even tackled the entire Lord of the Rings.

Anyway, we’re on chapter four. It wont’ be long, I bet, before we’re biting our nails and screaming “just one more!” at the end of every chapter.

(Update: Speaking of reading aloud…how about a “video blog”? It’s got possibilities! Here’s me reading a bit of the above post. Enjoy.)


Archibald Lake

June 23, 2003

I have about a million things to write about but since I have time for just one I’ll make it a good one…

Jesse & Lorry invited us to go up north* for the weekend with them. We stayed in a log cabin on Archibald lake. Logan came, too. Saturday was the first day of summer. What a weekend.

How can you even ask? Of course there are pictures!

* For those of you who don’t live in Wisconsin or Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, you’re probably not familiar with the phrase “up north.” To me it simply means anywhere in the northern half of Wisconsin, which, as far as my own investigations go, seems to be nothing but lakes and trees. This, however, is the closest thing I’ve found to an official definition:

There’s a lot of talk about “Up North”. It’s the place everyone wants to go to escape the pressures and frantic pace of life. But where is “Up North” ? For it is not so much a location as a state of mind. So how do you know when you’ve arrived “Up North”? When you feel the cares of the world slip away. When you begin to breathe a little easier because the air seems purer. When you notice the sky is blue and the pines are taller and the people smile a lot more. It’s then that you know you’re “Up North”.


The Left and 2004

June 18, 2003

Another interesting criticism of the Left in America. As a lefty hoping to seize the country back from conservatives, it’s important to examine these types of things.

“Much of the antiwar left has long since stopped caring about the actual freedom of people under oppressive regimes, except, of course, if their plight is a way to blame or excoriate the United States” – Andrew Sullivan writing for Salon

Read the whole article here.

In other news, I’m almost totally unaware of who’s going to be running against our man GWB in the 2004 presidential race. I did hear about Howard Dean, governor of Vermont. he sounds interesting. At least he’s on the left side of the political spectrum, as opposed to say, Joe Lieberman.

The circus is just getting started so I guess I haven’t missed much. Maybe I should watch more TV.



Paige Joins TKD

June 16, 2003

Paige joined Park’s Black Belt Academy this evening and we’re all very excited. She’s been interested in joining her brother and I for some time, but we had wait due to budget constraints. But now she’s in!

I’m delighted. It’s so valuable to get good excercise, practice discipline, gain confidence and learn self-defense. And the confidence and self-defense are especially important for young women. I think it will be so good for her and I’m so glad I have this opportunity to share this experience with both of my children now.


Keith Update

June 16, 2003

Here’s an update on Keith. He’s had a surgury on his arm so far. It sounds like they just went and got a handful of nuts and bolts at Ace Hardware and basically built the guy a new arm. How it sounded to me, anyway. They’re going to do similar to his leg later on this week.

He’s feeling better, though. Eating food, making bad jokes. But he’s in some pain and not at all liking his stay in the hospital. No word on when he might get out.

We’re all just very glad he’s alive.


Keith Hurt

June 13, 2003

My dear brother-in-law, Keith Sella, has been in an accident. Apparently he was struck by a car while on his way home from work this morning. While on his motorcycle.

Yes, he did have his helmet on and I gather he was wearing some leather, too. His injuries aren’t life-threatening although he’s pretty banged up. More soon.

Visitors to are invited to send a “get well” message if they so desire. Either send it directly to Keith at or, if you prefer, send it to me and I will see that he gets it. He might not be checking his own email for a bit.


Surprize Award

June 9, 2003

Parenting can be many things: joyful, frightening, boring, enlightening, heartbreaking, fulfilling – and that’s just your average Monday! Sometimes, however, parenting is just plain bewildering. Those are the moments when you look at these young peple and wonder “who are you, and how did you get in here?”

I had one such moment earlier this evening. A couple of weeks ago Paige had presented us with a letter inviting us to an awards ceremony on her behalf. Naturally we were delighted. Of course we would go. But what kind of award is it? “I don’t know” she shrugged. “They didn’t tell us.”

Well, not that it mattered. I mean here’s a kid who’s brilliance is obvious: She’s on the honor roll, her last report card contained five A’s and one B, she’d won the annual science fair at her last school, and she reads better and more than your average college junior. Her award could be for almost anything, I figured.

I have to admit, though, that “physical education” wasn’t what I expected to hear the principal say into the microphone as my eldest child walked across the stage to recieve her award.

Phy Ed? Okay, so it’s not an academic subject, but I’m fine with that. Athletic achievement is certainly something to be very proud of. It’s just that I…

You what? Didn’t raise your kids to be athletes?

Well, no, as a matter of fact I really didn’t. I mean I wouldn’t know a Green Bay Packer if I was spitting on one and that’s the truth.

That may be so but tell me, who was it that signed their kids up for soccer two years running and went to all the games?

We did. Angela and I.

And who was it that actually got of their butts and coached?

Yeah that was us. But…

And who was it that was so keen on hiking in the park, getting in shape, doing martial arts, even competing in tournaments for it?

Shut up already! I get it. Really. I didn’t think of the kids as athletes and I didn’t think of myself as one either. But my conception of myself has changed. I at some point became the kind of person who values athletic achievements and I didn’t realize it. It took one of my children to issue the wakup call: Hey dad, see what you taught me? Aren’t you proud?

I sure am.