Friday, July 30, 2010

Kids Have Trouble Paying Attention? Video Games May Be to Blame

My friend's band for kids "StarFish" gets props from AOL:

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

You can tell me it's okay

A conversation my eight year-old just had with his mom, in light of us having lots of "grown up" conversations lately where we need the kids to leave the room and us being stressed out by the deterioration of our relationship with my mother:

SON mom is there something bad going on in your life?
MOM no
S you can tell me it's okay
M well there is but I am not going to tell you what it is
S is it bills, is it money, is someone dying
M no
S I can give you some money if that will help
M it's nothing that money can help
S if it gets worse will you tell me
M probably not
S dad said you'd tell me if it gets worse

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Middle Class in America Is Radically Shrinking. Here Are the Stats to Prove it click link for full article

• 83 percent of all U.S. stocks are in the hands of 1 percent of the people.
• 66 percent of the income growth between 2001 and 2007 went to the top 1% of all Americans.
• 36 percent of Americans say that they don't contribute anything to retirement savings.
• A staggering 43 percent of Americans have less than $10,000 saved up for retirement.
• Over 1.4 million Americans filed for personal bankruptcy in 2009, which represented a 32 percent increase over 2008.
• Only the top 5 percent of U.S. households have earned enough additional income to match the rise in housing costs since 1975.
• For the first time in U.S. history, banks own a greater share of residential housing net worth in the United States than all individual Americans put together.
• In 1950, the ratio of the average executive's paycheck to the average worker's paycheck was about 30 to 1. Since the year 2000, that ratio has exploded to between 300 to 500 to one.
• As of 2007, the bottom 80 percent of American households held about 7% of the liquid financial assets.
• The bottom 50 percent of income earners in the United States now collectively own less than 1 percent of the nation’s wealth.
• Average Wall Street bonuses for 2009 were up 17 percent when compared with 2008.
• The top 1 percent of U.S. households own nearly twice as much of America's corporate wealth as they did just 15 years ago.
• In America today, the average time needed to find a job has risen to a record 35.2 weeks.
• More than 40 percent of Americans who actually are employed are now working in service jobs, which are often very low paying.
• Approximately 21 percent of all children in the United States are living below the poverty line in 2010 - the highest rate in 20 years.
• Despite the financial crisis, the number of millionaires in the United States rose a whopping 16 percent to 7.8 million in 2009.
• The top 10 percent of Americans now earn around 50 percent of our national income.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Give me my time back

I have been having dealing with some serious issues dealing with my mother, her interaction with my in-laws, her thinking that she can say and do whatever she wants once she becomes upset on top of a life time of other mommy issues which I will not digress into in this forum. The point being that I have been composing a letter to my Pop (step-father) about the issues that I am upset about, since the issues my mother are focusing on are pretty far off the point.

He wrote me a letter about what's going on so I wanted to get a few thoughts down in to the letter I was already composing. So rather than packing for my family's imminent vacation, or doing the dishes, or watching that netflix movie that my wife wanted to see that she will never make time for, so I need to watch it soon and mail it back or it becomes a waste of money, or giving the kids a shower like I am suppose to on Wednesdays, I am cranking out my random thoughts on current family events and 41 years of family dysfunction while temporarily verbally ushering out the kids from the office so I can concentrate, and keeping my eight year old at a distance since he is prone to over the shoulder reading.
Then my wife calls me into the bathroom because my 8 year-old is crying because of problems he is having in creative writing at art camp. They are working on a news paper and the class is for 8 to 12 year-olds, he doesn't understand what he is suppose to do and is basically afraid to ask questions. So her goes another hour of asking 5o questions to fully understand what is going on, partially reassuring him, partially kicking his ass about not coping out, telling him it is a teachers job to explain things to you, if you knew how to do everything you would not have to go to school, the teacher knows you are eight and do not know everything, everyone gets confused, everyone makes mistakes, if you spell a word wrong Google will usually come up with the correct spelling and ask you if this is what you meant to write, etc.

I really should learn to not procrastinate, because at the later moments of preparation for doing something I am damn near guaranteed that someone member of my family will do something unfathomable, become dramatically ill or die, really piss me off, one of my kids will hurt himself, have an accident not making it to the toilet or wet the bed, or a spider will be hanging over my wife as she falls asleep and she will scream for me to run to her rescue ...

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Friday, July 02, 2010

Is that why you yelled $#(%!!!

A few weeks ago my 8 year-old son forgot a book at school he needed to study for a test. He was getting very upset. That same night I misplaced something and was yelling at myself about it.
I went over to him and said, "See there is no reason to get mad at yourself, everyone looses things even daddy, I just lost something too."
"Oh, is that why you just yelled 'shit'?"
"Uhm, yeah it is. You are not in trouble, but you are not allowed to say that word okay, I am sorry that you heard me say it."