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Monthly Archives: May 2009

First Haircut for Baby James

I’ve been resisting it for 19 months now because his baby hair was so cute, but it finally came time for James to get a haircut. So on Saturday, I took the boys over the the “haircut store” to take care of business.

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James was a little squirmy at first and didn’t want to wear the smock. I had to pin his arms to his side. Unfortunately, it was a fairly traumatic experience for the little fellow — especially when the lady used the electric clippers on him — he was terrified!

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We tried to calm him down by feeding him some Smarties provided by the salon, but it didn’t help much. His tears and slobber from the candy got all over the smock.

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He finally calmed down when he started watching Parley get his hair cut in the next chair over. And now his beautiful golden brown hair with a hint of curl now lies in a dumpster somewhere behind the salon.

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Of course, Parley doesn’t look too thrilled about getting his hair cut either. But at least there were no tears and I didn’t have to hold him down!

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2009 in Family

 

Pre-school Graduation

Yesterday, five-year old Lily “graduated” from pre-school. (That sounds a little funny to me. Did she pass all her tests and complete all her coursework and rent a cap and gown? Uh, no.) Anyway, perhaps “completed” pre-school would be a better way to describe it. She did get a little “diploma” after the kids in her class gave a really cute 30-minute program, which I’m glad I did not miss. The teacher even played “Pomp and Circumstance” on her iPod; very fun. Here are a few cute pictures:

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Lily is a really unique little person. She has always had a very fun-loving, sweet and strong personality. Of all my children, I think she has the most potential to become a performer. She has a certain stage presence and she thrives on getting attention (remind you of anyone?) To celebrate her accomplishment, I took her to the store with me and bought her some gum, which is a lot cheaper than an iPod or a trip abroad that she’ll want at later graduations.

Pre-school has been really great for our children. My parents-in-law have paid the tuition for all three of our children who have attended pre-school, which has been wonderful. It would have been hard for us to afford it with all the other things that compete for our money! Pre-school has been a great blessing in their lives. We could have taught Lily most of what she learned in class here at home. But pre-school gave her a great social outlet and it gave Robin a much-needed break.

I already did a nostalgia post with Bye Bye Binkie, so I won’t go into the mixed emotions I feel as another one of my children completes pre-school and gets ready to start Kindergarten. Suffice it to say that I’m very grateful to have these little people in my life. I’m a very lucky (blessed) man.

Here’s a cute picture of me with my girls.

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Posted by on May 22, 2009 in Family

 

Confessions of a Trekkie

In my last post I discussed my interest in the pop culture phenomenon that is Star Trek. With 11 films grossing over $1 Billion, six TV series with over 700 total episodes, plus dozens of novels, books on tape, fan fiction and merchandise, the 40+ year franchise is alive and strong.

Here are a few reasons why I like Star Trek:

1. Science  – I love astronomy. Stars. Planets. Moos. Nebulae. Black Holes. It’s all very cool. I have always been fascinated by the natural world and the universe. Many of the plots of Star Trek shows are very scientific. Yes, there’s a lot of science fiction there too, but it’s fun to have a show at least loosely based on real science.

2. Technology – From extremely advanced medical innovations to traveling at “warp” speed to transporter technology (i.e. “beam me up”), technology on Star Trek has always fascinated me. Imagine being able to cure a fatal disease with a simple medical tri-corder or being able to travel faster than the speed of light to visit new parts of the galaxy. What would transporter technology do to our society if it were real. Can you imagine “beaming” to Hawaii for an afternoon on the beach? And some technology seems to have become a reality — wireless flip phones…

3. Exploration – I am a very curious person. I want to learn everything I can about many different subjects. The idea of having a starship whose primary purpose is to expand knowledge is quite appealing. Plus, I love to explore new areas. And while my day to day exploration may be limited to trying out a different jogging trail from time to time, I have a lot of wanderlust and I love seeing new places. Star Trek takes me to places that I cannot go (yes, they’re fictional places, but they are still very fun to visit.)

4. Optimism – The Star Trek universe provides a very optimistic vision of the future. In this vision of the 24th Century, mankind has overcome war and poverty. Disease has largely been eradicated and the entire planet is united in peace and prosperity. Exploration of the universe and mutually beneficial relationships with other lifeforms are prized above all else.

5. Oh, and I also like the action, the explosions, the fights, the villians, etc. I don’t care much for Klingons but I love the Borg, and I really like the Harogens, a brutal space-faring species that harvests organs from weaker lifeforms (as seen in episodes of the series Star Trek Voyager). Nothing like a good monster/villian for good entertainment.

Anyway, that’s what I like about Star Trek. I’ll continue to watch it, but don’t worry, I won’t be buying any pointy ears anytime soon.

 
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Posted by on May 15, 2009 in Popular Culture

 

Great Trekspectations

Okay, so I stole that headline from the Deseret News which reviewed the new Star Trek movie, but it described my great interest in and excitement for the new film.

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There are only a few movies that I see in the nice theaters (I usually wait for the dollar theater or DVD) and even fewer that I HAVE to see on opening night. But Star Trek is one of them.

I admit it. I’m a fan. I have never been to a convention and do not own any pointy ears, Star Trek uniforms or phasers.  But I have watched all 10 previous Star Trek movies at least twice each —  a few of them I have watched even more than that. I can even name all of their titles in order without looking it up:

Star Trek: The Motion Picture
Star Trek: The Wrath of Kahn
Star Trek: The Search for Spock
Star Trek: The Voyage Home
Star Trek: The Final Frontier
Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country
Star Trek: Generations
Star Trek: First Contact
Star Trek: Insurrection
Star Trek: Nemesis

My favorites are “The Wrath of Kahn,” “The Voyage Home” (the one with the whales) and “First Contact” (the one with the Borg taking over the Enterprise). The worst were The Motion Picture and The Final Frontier. The rest were good, but not great.

I’ve watched a good number of episodes from the six television series, especially “The Next Generation” and “Voyager.” I never really got into Deep Space Nine or Enterprise. And, interestingly, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a complete episode of Star Trek: The Original Series. So again, I guess I’m not what you’d consider a hard core fan. My favorite Trek series is Voyager. At first I thought it was really PC to have a woman captain, a Native American first officer and a black Vulcan security officer (or should I say African American Vulcan… but wait, if he’s Vulcan, how can he be American or African… I’m so confused). However, interesting story lines and good character development kept me coming back to Voyager. Robin enjoyed it too so we watched many episodes together back in the early 2000s.

I’ve been anticipating this latest film now for many years. The last Trek film was released in 2002 and didn’t get particularly good audience reception, so Star Trek has been on hiatus. Until now. The eleventh film titled simply “Star Trek” is a complete reboot of the franchise. Helmed by LOST creator J.J. Abrams, this new film boldly goes where Star Trek hasn’t gone before. And it left my wife Robin and me totally satisfied and looking forward to future sequels.

It was a fast-paced, action-packed thrill ride that has a universal appeal to both long-time fans and people who have never heard the Vulcan phrase, “Live long and prosper.” There was quite a bit of humor in the film and several references that paid homage to the other films and TV series which delighted fans but were subtle enough not to leave non-fans out of the fun. The actors were great and the special effects were spectacular without being overdone. (i.e. George Lucas in Star Wars Episodes I, II and III.) The film sets the stage for many more excellent adventures which we will look forward to watching.

So why do I like Star Trek? I will address that question in my next post, so stay tuned.

 
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Posted by on May 10, 2009 in Popular Culture

 

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Kids Say the Darnest Things!

On Saturday afternoon, my seven-year old daughter Brianna and I were on a date when we saw an incredibly brilliant rainbow. We were both really awed by it and both of us wanted to express our excitement. She said to me something like this: “Dad, that rainbow is so beautiful, do you think it would be okay to use the Lord’s name in vain?” Surprised by her innocent inquiry, I said that even though it was really impressive, we shouldn’t use that word in an exclamation. She agreed and then said “Oh my gosh, that’s beautiful.” 🙂

Later on we were at a restaurant enjoying a pizza buffet to celebrate Lily’s birthday. An extremely overweight man was loading his plate up with pizza and salad. Five-year-old Lily, who was within three feet of him, pointed at him repeatedly and exclaimed, “Dad, he’s fat!” a couple of times. Needless to say, I quickly ushered her out of the restaurant, my face red and my eyes on the ground.

 
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Posted by on May 5, 2009 in Family