Thursday, December 20, 2007

A Note to Parents of Babies and Toddlers

Last Wednesday, I was Santa Claus for my wife's day care center. Let me share a simple conclusion from that experience which should be obvious to all, but evidently is not: if your baby or toddler is afraid of Santa, your best bet is to accept that reality and wait twelve months. Your munchkin will probably love Santa to death next year.

Now for some corollaries to the above thesis:
  1. Reasoning with your baby will probably not dispel her fear. Saying over and over "Look, it's Santa Claus!" is likely to be ineffective.
  2. Dragging your kicking, screaming kid toward a big, red, loud, white-bearded monster and forcing him onto the lap of said beast will not lessen your child's anxiety. This actually irritates your child, and it doesn't please Santa very much either.
  3. Plopping an older brother of sister onto Santa's lap to show how safe this activity is will not convince your baby that she will not be immediately eaten alive as soon as she does the same.
  4. Pointing a camera at your shrieking offspring who has a wad of curly, white facial hair in his fist will not stop the frantic, panic-driven yanking of said facial hair.
  5. A course in child development would be a good investment of your money and time. In that class, they might teach you that when a child's not developmentally ready for something, the passing of time works wonders that no other strategy can accomplish. In other words, give it a rest. Grieve briefly the fact that you will not have a picture of your kid on Santa's lap this year and come back next year. You'll get much better results.

Friday, November 23, 2007

I'll Never Get Used To...

...people standing right out in the middle of the street at busy intersections, collecting donations for charity. Yup, for those of you who don't live in metropolitan Detroit, that really happens at holiday time around here. And it's not just any charity. Usually, they are charities that are supported by local police and firefighters. Wouldn't they be among the first to figure out that standing on the dashed lane divider line surrounded by rapidly moving traffic might be a wee bit dangerous? Today, I saw a crew of firefighters in the intersection of Allen and King roads, both of which have 45 mph speed limits. On the northwest corner sat their ambulance! Well, at least it won't have far to go when some inattentive motorist crosses the line at the worst possible time.

I've lived a lot of places and can't recall anywhere but metro Detroit that allows this. But I obviously haven't lived everywhere. Are there any other cities where this happens?

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Momentum is Building!

My rant about colorblindness needing its own month and colored ribbon is paying off! This morning when I arrived at church, a couple of our members were handing out gray ribbons, along with copies of my post on the issue. By church time, fully half the congregation was sporting gray ribbons! We all had a good laugh about it, but the visitors must have thought this was one loony church--mobilizing to fight the worldwide scourge of colorblindness!

I had a good chuckle, and it did tend to take the sting out of Michigan State's embarrassing give-away to Michigan yesterday. I love being part of a congregation that knows how to laugh and have a good time.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Totally Gratuitous Grandbaby Picture

My granddaughter Maizie and her two bestest friends, Mia and Morgandy, were M&Ms for Halloween. (Maizie's the orange one.) Couldn't resist posting this picture. If it strikes your fancy, there are more on my daughter's blog.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Am I Missing Something Here?

The routine at lower-priced, neighborhood diners:
  1. Order food.
  2. Receive food.
  3. Waitress drops off check, usually around the time she delivers food.
  4. If dessert is ordered, waitress quickly recalculates check and returns it to table.
  5. When ready to leave, pay on the way out.
The routine at higher-priced, upscale eateries:
  1. Order food.
  2. Receive food.
  3. Finish eating, then wait 10-15 minutes for waitperson to come by.
  4. Waitperson asks if you'd like dessert. You say "No, I'd like the check."
  5. Wait 10-15 minutes for waitperson to bring check. Waitperson says, "I'll take that up for you whenever you're ready." It doesn't occur to waitperson that you may be ready NOW. Waitperson disappears before you can tell him or her that you're ready.
  6. Wait 10-15 minutes for waitperson to come for your credit card.
  7. Wait 10-15 minutes for waitperson to return with your credit card and receipt.
  8. Leave 40-60 minutes after you finished eating (and make sure to tip the waitperson 20%, because this is an upscale restaurant).
Is anyone else aggravated by this? If you like it better the upscale way, please tell me why. Maybe I'm missing something.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Mismatched Logos

The Dallas Cowboys logo is a star. It has nothing to do with cowboys and everything to do with the fact that the team is in Texas, the Lone Star state. But the team is not the Texans, it is the Cowboys.

Meanwhile, the Texans are a team in Houston. Their logo is a bull. That's directly related to cowboys, but certainly wouldn't be limited to Texans.

It seems to me the two teams need to switch logos. The Lone Star of Dallas sends one clear message: Texan. It should belong to the Texans. The bull of Houston has "cowboy" written all over it. It should belong to the Cowboys (and it still contains a star as a shout out to their home state).

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Get Your Gray Ribbons Ready

October is pink ribbon month. It's also pink product month. Everywhere you go, pink trinkets are for sale. The promise is that for every dollar you spend, a few pennies will be given to breast cancer research. Some folks think it's a bit of overkill. But in making their point, they trivialize a birth defect which affects millions of innocent victims, including me. Listen to a typical example from Susan Reimer, writing in the Baltimore Sun: "You'd have to be colorblind not to see all the pink products."

Yes, I am colorblind--hang on a second while I get my tongue in my cheek--and I am sick and tired of people making light of this incurable congenital condition. Do you think Ms. Reimer would have written, "you'd have to be a paraplegic not to keep up with my grandmother"? How do you think such language makes us feel? We're already discriminated against. Whole career fields are closed to us, notably that of airline pilot and railroad engineer. Where are the people demanding a cure for this debilitating and heartbreaking disease? When we run red lights, do people treat us with the compassion we deserve? No! Just write 'em a ticket, Mr. Policeman, and let 'em pay the fine. And then there's the ridicule we endure when we wear mismatched clothes. Colorblindness may be the last birth defect that it is still politically correct to make fun of. Could it be that so little is allocated to colorblindness research because the overwhelming majority of victims are men? Just asking.

So, colorblind people of the world unite! We demand our own awareness month. November will be just fine. We invite you to join us. You can show your support by wearing a gray ribbon. Of course, we'll all think they're pink ribbons and accuse you of overdoing the breast cancer thing, but there's no perfect system.