Context

Early last month, the Mrs. got an email from our youngest son's school.

Little boy qualifies for extra services, so part of his day is spent working on specific skills with graduate students. The email was from a Masters-level student who had just started working with our son, Luca, the previous week.

GRAD STUDENT EMAIL TO MRS. SLAMDUNK

Your son did well on all of his assigned tasks today, but I did want to let you to know about one concerning exchange.

I asked him: If a stranger offered you candy Luca, what would you do?

He said that he would take the candy.

We then talked about never accepting things from strangers and to immediately tell a parent, teacher, or other authority figure.

I wanted you to know so that you could reinforce this lesson at home.

MRS. SLAMDUNK's REPLY TO GRAD STUDENT

I appreciate your concern and for working with Luca, as he always has good things to say about his time there.

In his defense, I do want to remind you that on October 31, Luca dressed like a cowboy and then walked for more than an hour around the neighborhood accepting candy from dozens of strangers.

It was a Happy Halloween…

GRAD STUDENT's REPLY

Oh my gosh! I totally forgot! Sorry.

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Writing papers and taking tests can be beneficial, but learning via a practical situation (especially getting bonked in the head with a teaching moment on the importance of context) is a lesson not easily forgotten.


Losing a Twenty

Nothing like learning first-hand about theft and virtual currency as Bloomberg TV's Matt Miller did last Friday
...While on air, Miller surprised Bloomberg anchors Adam Johnson and Trish Regan each with $20 worth of Bitcoin. 
But as Johnson received the paper gift, he briefly exposed the QR code. 
This act was effectively like sharing a bank account and PIN number.
Immediately, someone lifted the QR code and stole the $20...
I haven't seen $20 disappear that fast since the last time I took the little kids to the county fair and we walked down the midway.

I remember my father saying "A gullible dad and his money are soon parted."

He was obviously a fan of old proverbs that he could reshape--and I guess gullible runs in the family.
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Enjoy your weekend.



Never Grow Up

A frequently cited message from Taylor Swift's Never Grow Up, used in this well done Walmart commercial, is to grab and hold youth as growing up is difficult.

But when advertising execs combined the song with home videos of Christmas morning, other pearls of wisdom are offered.

Like this one...
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Wherever you are in life in 2013.

Never pass on the opportunity to bring joy someone else.



It will likely be an act of kindness that the recipient will never forget, and hopefully inspire them to do the same (for more see Acts 20:35).
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Note: When I hear a popular song, I usually get distracted on YouTube looking at aspiring performers covering the hit. Some are nice tries, others are good, but a few are fantastic. As such, I vote NYU student, Claire Bufalino, as having the best cover version of Never Grow Up. Great voice and creative. It is worth a watch.



Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone.

Playing Private Detective

What is the best thing about search engines?

Playing private detective so that I don't embarrass myself.

Recently, I was asked by the Mrs. to contact David's stepdad about some car shopping we have on the horizon--David is a player on my older son's basketball team.

Sadly, I have talked to him a couple of times, but do not know his name.

And that is all I had to go on: "David's Stepdad."

Of course, older boy is no help--can't even verify if David's last name is that of his birth father or his stepfather.

Good thing Google allows me to be a personal data miner.

After some initial searching returned little, I took a detour on the way to pick-up the kids at school and wrote down the mysterious stepdad's house number (as I know where the family lives).

With that information, I was able to get an address history through Google, and his mother's name--which eventually allowed me to uncover the identity of stepdad.

All so I can call him by his first name instead of "hello David's stepdad."

I was relieved, but a little exhausted.

Wow, things were so much easier before when I just had to swallow my pride and confess to my lack of attention.

Wardrobe Decisions: Flash or a Habit?

Before he left to rob a bank, do you think the guy below held up two possible outfits and said to his significant other:

What do you think, doll?

Should I go with a red and yellow Flash superhero look and emphasize my slender waistline? 

Or, maybe this habit is a better choice as it contrasts my blue eyes--right?  



Unfortunately for the accused armed robber, Kyle Robert Richard, he was arrested a short time later after a witness recorded the license tag of his get-away car.

Perhaps, Mr. Richard should have gone as the Flash and then used elite running skills to flee the scene.

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Have a good weekend everyone.

Clue

When not shoveling snow or being pelted by snowballs, the cold weather has given me more time for indoor family fun.

"Indoor family fun" is an umbrella term I use to describe any activity that keeps those kiddos busy and not fighting.

So, we have lots of board games available.

My only restrictions are no Monopoly (boring and even shortened versions involve too much time) or Risk (same complaint as Monopoly).

As such the classic crime game of Clue is a popular choice.




The other day during a contested match of Clue, little girl announced she was ready to solve the case.

"It was Professor Plum in the Conservatory with the candlestick!"

Annoyed that his sister had just won, older brother said:

"No, no, no, no. It was Colonel Mustard in the garden tub with oversized rolls of toilet paper. Mustard then fled on foot into the Library, and was able to hide there for days because no one reads books anymore. He finally turned himself in after his iPhone lost charge and he could no longer check his Facebook and Twitter accounts."

Nothing like frigid temperatures and quality time with the siblings to spark a teen's creative mind, eh?

What Not to Do in the Winter

What is this blogging thing and how does it work?

Ok, I offer another apology from me and my poor blogging habits.

And now, I'll start anew...
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So what is one thing a parent living in the Northeastern US should not do?

I mean after a couple of weeks of juggling adult work schedules with kiddo school hours modified by weather delays, early dismissals, and cancelations?

In between making huge snowmen?

Getting pummeled by snowballs?

Shoveling seemingly endless driveways and then watching the local government snow plow neatly stack the snow from the road until it blocks your driveway?

Well, I recommend not doing one thing for sure.

Refrain from clicking on the television and tuning it to HGTV's House Hunters International or you might hear this:

Barb and Brock Detwiler are saying goodbye to the frigid New Hampshire winters and relocating to the tropical climate of  Belize. Watch as they look for their dream home...

Ouch!

or

David, Luisa, and the Cefalo family are moving from Buffalo to picturesque Norfolk Island. How will they adjust to the "cold weather" months of the island when average temps hover at 64 degrees? Will they miss the January average of 23 inches of snow that Buffalo offers? Let's find out...

Nooooo!

Do you hear me screaming uncle yet?

Ok, no television for me for awhile. Maybe around April...

Side-note: I am fascinated with the history of Norfolk Island anyway. That penal colony they had there was horrific.