Monday, September 29, 2008

Oh S*#t!

JD seems to be taking to his speech therapy well. He is repeating words and remembering them. He is using more nouns and verbs at appropriate times. My wife and I are very proud of his progress.

One thing that he seems to have picked up, however, is, "Oh S*#t!" I don't know where he picked it up. Okay, so I'm not perfect. I've probably sworn in front of him a few times. Maybe once or twice in the car, a couple of times playing NHL '08 for XBox 360. Really, truly. Even my wife has gotten better about it. Even Uncle TJ has gotten better about it. (He rarely says MFer anymore!)

He usually says, "Uh, oh!" when he drops or throws something on the ground. But a few times now, he has skipped the euphamism and gone right for the meat. It's very hard to not laugh.

At least he's using language, right?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Attention: Bears Fans

Many of us were watching the Bears as they lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday. For those that did not, the Bears lost 27-24 on an overtime field goal by the Bucs.

The key play that led directly to the field goal was a 3rd down penalty by Charles Tillman, number 33, for fighting. Basically, the Bears had stopped the Bucs on 3rd down and forced them to punt and would give the Bears very good field position. This penalty gave the Bucs a 1st Down and new life as they marched down the field to within the Bears 5-yard line where they kicked the field goal to win the game.

Many people want to blame Charles Tillman for this loss, but, as it is a team game, he is not solely responsible for the game. I'll go backwards through the game to recount some of the plays that would have helped the bears.

After the Tillman penalty, the Bucs still had to go 40 yards to get into field goal position. The defense as a unit was unable to stop them, as they were productive on almost every play.

The Bears had an offensive position before the Bucs got the ball. on 3rd and 7, Kyle Orton threw a perfect pass of about twenty yards to Rasheed Davis who was running through the middle of the field. The ball went right between Davis's hands, causing the Bears to have to punt.

Orton, on an earlier play, was being forced to make a choice between running the ball for a few yards or throwing it. He threw the ball out-of-bounds, but the local receiver, Greg Olsen, was open and could have run a long way.

Kicker Robbie Gould missed a field goal that would have padded the Bears lead.

In the first half, which I only saw highlights, Orton threw an interception that was run back for a touchdown.

And let's not forget, the Bears were down by roughly 10 points at halftime and came back to take a commanding lead, though the Bucs returned the favor to win the game in the end.

I don't want to disregard the fact that Tillman's penalty was incredibly selfish and untimely, but the Bucs player who started the roucous was not penalized at all.

We should all remember that, in life, when something goes wrong, there are usually many factors that could have saved the situation. When I am involved, I try to look introspectively to see what I could have done to avoid the ordeal and less at what others did to cause it.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Categorical Vocabulary

JD has had a 'word explosion' over the last couple of months. Where he had no usable vocabulary as recent as June, he now has a large variety of words. Whether and when he chooses to use them is another story, but first things first.

One thing I'd noticed was that there were a few words he used for like things but the wrong thing. For instance, he'd say "car" when he saw or played with a train. He says "apple" when I give him a nectarine. All animals are "doggie."

A fellow parent heard him do this at the playground. She told me that, in a linguistics class in college, she'd learned that often children developing speech will categorize items. For JD, all fruit is "apple", as he doesn't have "fruit" in his vocabulary. The same applies to the other items.

He also calls lights, light switches, and airplanes "light." I can't think of others he uses, but I think there are a couple others.

In short, I'm just happy that he's identifying objects with words. Whether or not he pronounces things correctly (saying "lalo" or "walo" for water) is of no concern at this point. Finding out what he's thinking has made the three of us much happier.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


Upon arriving home after purchasing my contact lenses, I submitted everything the rebate form called for: dated sales receipt, dated eye exam receipt, and box tops. For once, I actually photocopied the information that I sent so that they would not be able to BS me. The only thing I did not record was the date the information was mailed.

After the waiting period they said to expect, 10-12 weeks, nothing arrived. What a shock. I called the company. The person said that they didn't receive my box tops. I knew that was BS because I had photocopied them and told him so. He said, because you're a valued customer, we'll send out a check within 4 to 6 weeks. Gee, thanks. He didn't even take time to say he would talk to a supervisor.

Most people know this, but as a reminder, beware of mail-in rebates. They don't want to give you the money. You have to stay on top of them and keep all of your information so that they can't ask you anything you can't answer.

The company in question is CooperVision. I Googled "coopervision rebate" and found 2 complaints about the lack of rebate response. Just another way businesses make it necessary to put so much legislation in place.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Labor Day - A Day for Every Working Person

Labor Day weekend. What does it symbolize? It celebrates all of the working people of the United States. What is a working person?

According to politicians, working people are general laborers. They are the hourly wage earners, the underlings up through first-level managers. Why do they define them in such a way? Because they represent the largest block of voters.

Think about it from a logical standpoint. What are politicians looking for? Voters. That's how they keep their jobs – by appealing to the most voters. Do the largest bloc of voters come from presidents and CEOs of companies, big or small? No, they come from the people working for those company officers, sometimes directly underneath, as in a small business like your local hardware store, dry cleaner, or auto repair shop. Sometimes they come from far down the hierarchy, as in the Wal-Marts, the Sara Lees, the Nikes, the Goldman Sachs.

Republicans and Democrats go after different working classes. Democrats go after more urban workers. They believe that their draw is tax breaks to the lower and middle classes. They appeal to immigrants with a more lenient immigration stance. Democrats favor the union over the management of big business. Republicans go after small town and agricultural types. These people like the Republicans' pitch of values and morals, as in a more Christian way of governing, as well as the formation of a stronger military.

Who is going after high-end skilled labor? I'm talking about doctors, accountants, financiers, attorneys, salespeople, personal trainers, graphic designers, IT managers, advertising specialists and other white collar labor? These are the people who worked their education from start to finish, from high school to college and likely advanced degrees such as MBA, MS, JD, and MD.

And what about the presidents and CEOs of the small companies? The entrepreneurs who provide most of us with employment. The people who go out on a limb with their life savings, their smarts, and their guts, putting it all on the line because they think they can do it better than the other guy?

Don't get me wrong. I appreciate what the little guys do for me. Teachers, garbage collectors, custodians, construction workers, cooks, police, enlisted armed service men and women, clerks, secretaries, unskilled mechanics, receptionists, grocers, and others at the lower end of the pay scale.

They work hard, but harder than those at the same level of a company that pays higher? Just because they took their education seriously? Because they might be dirty at the end of the day?

When was the last time you: thanked your attorney for getting you out of a jam? Appreciated the accounting staff at your company for making sure that there was money in the right bank account to pay your salary? Thanked your boss for opening the business and providing you with an opportunity to earn a living? Admired the current marketing materials that have brought in extra business? Thanked the web designer for the seamless database that makes the consumer able to easily navigate the website? Thanked your IT person for making sure your email continues to work?

Simply put, everyone deserves applause. It takes every person at every level of employment to make the economy work. Respect those above and below you and you deserve the same in kind.