Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Pictures of the Day

Russell rolling down the sidewalk on his tricycle Posted by Picasa

Punky follows Russell closely in his Punkymobile Posted by Picasa

Russell jumps for joy at the 1000th viewing of Leap Frog's "Letter Factory" Posted by Picasa

Punky awaits an ice cream treat from his Grandmother Posted by Picasa

Thanksgiving Pictures of the Day

Russell knows how to spell his words, especially "P-U-N-K-Y" Posted by Picasa

Punky tries his hand at spelling: "I-U-M-L" Posted by Picasa

Punky wheels around the froggie backpack Posted by Picasa

The Thanksgiving pot roast still has some "moo" left in it Posted by Picasa

Russell enjoys his Thanksgiving dinner of hard-boiled eggs, Kentucky Fried Chicken and rice Posted by Picasa

The Thanksgiving Shrimp Posted by Picasa

Russell to cousin Andrew: "There's a banana in your ear" Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Good vs. Evil

Only two days until The Game. Ohio State vs. Michigan.

There's more than a BCS Bowl Game riding on the outcome.

If you believe in racial quotas, preferences and discrimination against certain high-performing ethnic groups, then you probably root for Michigan. If you're for meritocracy, fairness and equal opportunity, then you're an Ohio State fan. Count me as rooting for Ohio State.

I'll be watching The Game on Saturday, and hoping that Good triumphs over Evil.

Pictures of the Day

I'm not feeling so good these days, but seeing the antics of the Brewster Boys is usually enough to get me through the day.

Punky's other Halloween costume was an Im-Pooh-rial Japanese soldier Posted by Picasa

Russell seems pleased at Punky's costume Posted by Picasa

Punky is caught red-handed raiding the kitchen pantry Posted by Picasa

Russell observes nature video about honey bees on the portable DVD player while listening to his toys in stereo Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 14, 2005

Time for a Break

My postings will be light up to Thanksgiving--limited to Pictures of the Day 2 or 3 times a week--so I get some well-deserved rest . To my regular readers, I'm sorry for the inconvenience, but I can hardly think by the time I get home from work. Nick, I'm drinking so much coffee at work my teeth are turning dark. So it is really a matter of being more efficient at home with the chores, and getting to kids to sleep with regularity.

For health reasons, I've started going to the gym on weekends. I have also stopped eating dinner on many weeknights, although I will eat when Jenny cooks something good (like steak) that night. Hopefully, I won't become a basket case like I did earlier this spring, when I was sick on-and-off for over 4 months.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Exhausted (Again)

The combination of taking care of the kids and work is killing me. Due mostly to my kids' strange sleeping habits and babysitting duties, I am only getting 4 hours of sleep each night. In addition to refusing to go to bed by 9PM, Russell has been getting up regularly between 3AM and 5AM. More often than not, he goes back to sleep after I lie down with him in his bed. Punky wants to sleep with at least one of us too, so most nights he wakes up and cries until he gets placed into our bed.

In the mornings, I am usually taking care of the kids from 6:30AM to roughly 8AM, when I leave for work. When I get home from work at around 7PM, I am immediately thrust into babysitter role as Jenny winds down and relaxes/sleeps in front of the TV until 11PM. This means another 4 hours of entertaining, watching, cleaning, toilet training and getting the kids ready for bed. By the time Punky drifts off to sleep between 10-11PM each night, I have been at work continuously for at least 16 hours. And then it is time for me to clean the kitchen and do the dishes, in addition to straightening up the house.

My only downtime is after cleaning the house, usually around 11:30PM, when I brush my teeth and take a hot bath to relieve my back pain. I also check e-mails, pay bills, and read the news (or a few pages of a book) around this time as well. Sometimes, I will watch 30 minutes or so of ESPN or FOX Sports. By this time, it is usually between Midnight and 12:30AM.

That's the routine, every Monday through Friday. On weekends, all I do is take care of the kids along with a single trip to buy groceries. So if you have been wondering why my blogging has been so light as of late, this will give you an idea as to why I am missing in action.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Mr. Noodle's Brother is Dead

I didn't know that Mr. Noodle, a character in the Elmo's World series of videos that I watch around 10 times a day, is dead. Award-winning actor Michael Jeter who played the second Mr. Noodle (the first Mr. Noodle's brother) died back in 2003, according to this news report. How sad.

Friday, November 04, 2005

343 and 2,000

It just struck me that the number on the fireman's helmet of my son's Halloween costume is "343". This is not just any random number. "343" happens to be the number of firemen killed at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. These brave men, along with 23 police officers and 2,457 civilians, were all murdered by Islamic terrorists that morning in New York City. Kudos to the costume manufacturer/marketer for remembering the heroes of September 11th in a respectful manner.

Russell's Halloween costume honors the 343 New York City firemen murdered by Islamic terrorists on September 11, 2001 Posted by Picasa

The same cannot be said for the American press corps. Lately, the mainstream media has been obsessed with "2,000" , the number of soldiers killed in Iraq since March 2003. This "grim milestone" was covered extensively by the press, which staged a macabre countdown with the fervor of Millenium New Year's Eve partygoers. But unlike "343", the magic "2,000" number was entirely a media creation which--despite the protests of the press corps--trivializes the heroic sacrifices of our armed forces. The 2,000th death of an American hero was no different from any of the others before or after it, except that it gave the press an excuse to ignore the victories won against the terrorists and to focus on topics damaging to President Bush.

I expect to see similar exaltations from the media at the 2,500 mark (God forbid) and any other casualty figures ending in two or three zeros--nice round numbers that the press can trumpet as proof of the quagmire that is Iraq. The media insists that they are merely covering the news, unpleasant as it may be to supporters of the War on Terror. Yet the same media implemented a self-imposed blackout of images depiciting people jumping 90 stories to their deaths at the World Trade Center, but sued to photograph the flag-draped coffins of service members killed in Iraq.

In spite of the doom-and-gloom press, the Iraqi people recently ignored death threats from the terrorists and voted to approve their constitution--the first of its kind in the Arab world. In other words, the 2,000-plus deaths of American and Allied service members will not have been in vain, apart from the fact that the media will likely shy away from reporting the inevitable defeat of terrorism in Iraq. Isn't it a shame that the press cannot have the same sense of decency as a Halloween costume company?

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

In Praise of Punky

The most interesting aspect of the Joseph Wilson/CIA Leak/Wife-Outing non-scandal is not that members of the Bush Administration have been accused of an obscure crime, but that one of its key players, I. Lewis Libby--Vice President Cheney's Chief of Staff--has the nickname "Scooter". How does someone in the highest circles of political power get by with such nickname? To me, the name "Scooter" conjures up images of the great New York Yankee shortstop Phil Rizzuto, rather than a political heavyweight.

Zachary B. "Punky" Chen holds a plastic broccoli aloft Posted by Picasa

Which brings me to a question that someone at work recently asked me: How did I come up with the name "Punky" for Zachary Chen, my number two son? "Easy", I told her. "Just look at his picture."

He's looks like a punk, plain and simple. I don't see him outgrowing the nickname, so I hope he gets used to it. I love it.