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Showing posts from December, 2013

Parenting Done Right: The Great Shoebox

My kids leave their shoes everywhere. If there has been a kid in that room in the past six months, chances are there is a pair of shoes in the middle of the floor for no reason whatsoever. It's not only shoes. I find toy soldiers, action figures, Matchbox cars and random Nerf gun ammunition. My daughter is in much better. Hair ties and headbands multiply faster than the rabbit patch next to the Viagra factory. She dresses in layers, and leaves a path of discarded clothing and her wake. And did I mention this shoes? Between the two of them they have more shoes than most villages in Africa. So this got me thinking, we've tried all the standard techniques to encourage the kids to tidy up after themselves and put things away. We tried: Asking politely asking assertively asking rudely threatening politely threatening threateningly threatening with bodily harm and a painful death begging But none of these techniques seem to work. In the past, I've used bribe

"Complete" vs. "Finished"

For many writers, we love the subtle differences between words. For example, many of you would hear the word "complete" and the word "finished", and say there is no difference. Complete and finished are synonyms. However, putting context the words have subtle differences that even the dictionary has trouble defining. He married the right woman, and he knew he was COMPLETE.  He married the wrong woman, and knew he was FINISHED. The right woman discovered his affair with the wrong woman and he knew he was COMPLETELY FINISHED. Ahh, the subtleties of the English language...

The Lost Bagpiper

As a bagpiper, I play variety of gigs. Recently I was asked by a minister to play at a graveside service for a homeless man. He had no family or friends.  All that was known about him is that he was a Scotsman.  He thought bagpipes would be an appropriate farewell. The congregation had covered his burial expenses, but asked if I would donate my services. I said “I’d be honored to do this for a countryman.” and asked the pastor for directions. I wasn’t familiar with the backwoods roads to the church, I got quite lost. I finally arrived an hour late. The tiny church and it’s ancient graveyard were there but the minister had evidently gone and the hearse was nowhere in sight. A digger and its crew were the only ones left and they were eating lunch. I felt badly for being late. I went to the side of the grave and looked down. The vault lid was in place. Some of the earth had already been shoveled into the hole. I didn’t know what else to do, so I started to play.