Jason’s Ranting & Raving

Those who don’t read have no advantage over those who can’t.

Posts Tagged ‘Humor’

A Free Range Kids Conversation

Posted by jaystile on June 11, 2010

Free Range Kids by Lenore Skenazy

Free Range Kids by Lenore Skenazy


The hairstylist, Elaine, complimented me today on my very outgoing 5 year old daughter. My daughter had made the rounds after her haircut to each of the stylists. She introduced herself and made small talk while Dad was getting his hair cut. She even helped sweep up the hair and straighten the shelves.“Oh, she is so friendly!”, said Elaine

I responded with, “Yes, we don’t teach Stranger Danger in our house. We teach the girls not to go anywhere with a stranger and to stay away from stranger’s cars. But it’s OK to talk to people and even except a piece of candy.”

Elaine obviously misheard me at the point. She chimes in with, “Yeah, you should never take candy from strangers.” At this point the chit-chat changed into a lecture given by myself exhorting the values of free range children. The self reliance, problem solving, and social skills to name a few. And to point out that we should only be concerned about everyday type risks and not the 1-in-a-million type risks.

Needless to say, Elaine was unwilling to back down from her position that there is danger everywhere. Yes, I agree, danger is everywhere and one should teach children to be on the lookout and how to handle different situations. “Always wear your helmet; Look left-right-left again before crossing the street; Never go anywhere with a stranger; Put on sunblock and your hat! (We live in Colorado with 5280 less feet of atmosphere to stop those UV rays); Wear your seatbelt; Slice away from your fingers (My girls help with dinner preparation)”

With a little more (less than polite) back-and-forth, I repeated from “Free Range Kids” by Lenore Skenazy that there was not one recorded instance of a child’s candy being tampered with at Halloween. This is what transpired (and you can see where I lost my patience):

“There has never been one recorded case of someone tampering with a child’s candy”
“Oh yeah, it happened to my brother!”
“What happened?”
“Someone put a razor blade in his apple!”
“Which one of your neighbors was trying to kill your brother? Did the police come?”
“We were trick-or-treating… in another neighborhood…”
“And the first thing your brother did when he got back home after a hard night of trick-or-treating was to dive into his candy bag and say ‘I really cannot wait to eat this healthy delicious apple!’ ha-ha-ha”

Laughing at Elaine’s preposterous story earned me a lot of razor burn and deep scratches on my neck. It was totally worth it.

Posted in Parenting | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Rough Bicycle Commute Today

Posted by jaystile on June 25, 2009

Today has started off just peachy. The dog got up a half hour before I wanted to get up after I had stayed up late playing poker the night before. I had all my saddle bags packed before I went to bed, so I put on my clothes, kissed the wife & kids, and hopped on the bike to ride to work! I manged to catch every single red light. The area I live has plenty of sidewalks and no bike lanes. To try and ward off the aggressive drivers (who try and teach you a lesson for riding your bike on the road) that swerve too close or honk, I hop on the sidewalk. This however gets you out of the flow of traffic and at every intersection someone is trying to turn in front of you. But they are looking for cars, not bikes. They are looking at the road, not the sidewalk. Probably about 6 times, there was someone waiting to turn with their car parked WAY over the cross walk. Of course, they don’t see me because they aren’t looking, or they are playing with their radio, or they are talking on the phone. I have to come to almost a complete stop a few feet from them before they make their OH I DIDN’T SEE YOU face. Of course, you didn’t see me. You weren’t looking.

Now, here is the major bad thing that happened and it was totally my fault. I’m on the sidewalk (because there are no bike lanes) and a bus stops ahead of me. Two people get onto the bus. I think the bus is about to close it’s doors and leave because after riding the bus for 3 years in Chicago I know about how long it takes to load/unload a bus. NOPE! A large man steps out of the rear door with the confidence of someone who is going to have a great day! WRONG AGAIN! I slammed on my disc breaks skid about 4 feet and hit the guy with my left shoulder, which caroms me off to the right toward a newspaper stand. I stick out my right hand and catch myself with a large thud and the newspaper stand tips over. OUCH! My right hand hurts now. I have a big bruise on my palm by my thumb and a scrape on my wrist. The guy was very apologetic. Even though it was totally my fault. He said he had seen me riding and can’t believe he didn’t look when he stepped out. Now, I’m a jackass because I was mad. I didn’t say anything mean, but I didn’t ask if he was OK. It could have just been the comparison with hitting a newspaper box, but it felt more like I bumped him than hit him. “Hey, Dude with the yellow Angelia Jolie style sunglasses, hairy shoulders, white tank top, and lisp! I’m sorry! Are you OK?” Seriously, I feel like a major d-bag.

The ride wasn’t over yet. Besides the cars crossing my path and red lights and minor injury, I got passed by a dump truck. For .25 miles (.40km for my non U.S. friends) it stunk so bad that I felt like I had to vomit. Then as I am almost to work I pass one of those industrial strength lawn mowers that showers my legs with hard little pieces of grass, sand, and stone. Finally, I made it to work and take a shower. I have grease on me. I couldn’t seem to get the grease off my elbow, fingers, and neck (off course I had to scratch my neck with greasy hands!). So now I’m work with a healthy bit of grease on me relating my story.

Surprisingly, I’m not in a bad mood. It’s actually kind of funny to me. I know it could be worse, did I tell you about the time I failed to climb a 2 inch ( 5.1 cm) curb? My front shock compressed and my tire snapped to the side and threw me over the handle bars where I broke the fall with my face and shoulder. That little trip kept my from cycling for 3 months.

Life is short, so have a good day, I know I will!

Posted in Funny | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

The Joy of Parenting: An Early Snow

Posted by jaystile on April 19, 2009

A bugs life.

A bug's life.


It was November and the first snow of 2008 had arrived. At 7am before I am even finished getting ready for work my daughters are already dressed in their snowsuits and outside. As I am enjoying the sight of the freshly fallen snow and the joy on my daughters faces, my youngest (2yrs) picks up a chunk of snow and throws it in her sisters face and yells “YOU FIRED! HA HA HA!”

Posted in Funny, Parenting | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Joy of Parenting: The Ball Pit (Dad’s Point of View)

Posted by jaystile on April 18, 2009

I took my family to the Greek Festival at the local Greek church. It’s a great time. There is lots of dancing in traditional dress. We had a craving for some gyros and saganaki a.ka. flaming cheese. We enjoyed our food while the hot Colorado sun tried to burn our skin. Let’s hear it for the SPF 45. They also had entertainment for the kids. A bunch of little carnival rides and such. My oldest daughter was 3 at the time her only option was the ball pit. She went in and we can hear her screaming with delight. I seen a ball come bouncing out of the tent. There was an under dressed attractive carny girl with crooked teeth who bent over way to far to pick up the ball and toss it back in. I was thinking to myself, she couldn’t be more than 16 and she shouldn’t be wearing clothes that are so revealing. Another ball comes bouncing out. She bends over right in front of me and I try not to stare (lest my wife catch my eye). But I could see her belly button from between her cleavage. Another ball come flying out and she bends at the hips the other way and 4 inches of white lace thong and rear end is revealed. One or two balls usually pop out but now too many are coming out and the carny girl peaks into the pit and yells at the kids not to throw the balls out. From my vantage point I can see my daughter against the far wall and as soon as the carny turns her back she lobs another ball out the opening and laughs. Dad doesn’t say ‘No, Honey, don’t throw the balls!’ He gets to view another couple of inappropriate bends thanks to carny girl before she ends the ‘ride’ early and kicks the kids out. That was worth the $4 for my daughter to play in the ball pit for 5 minutes.

Posted in Funny, Parenting | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Joy of Parenting: The Art of Manipulation

Posted by jaystile on February 19, 2009

I was working on my laptop and paying bills when my youngest daughter (2yrs) comes up to me and asks, “Can we play games?” I say, “No. Not right now.”

She asks me again, politely this time because that can change the outcome of a request, “Can we please, play games?” She likes to play the games on pbskids.org. She gets to play games with her mom while I and her older sister work on her reading lessons. (Look for an upcoming book review on ‘Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons’ on this blog). Again, dad answers, “No. Not right now, Dad is working.”

She says, “hmmph” and toddles off. My youngest comes back about 20 seconds later, “Would you please, give Sissy her reading lesson?”

“You want me to give your sister her reading lesson right now?”

“uh-huh, would you please?”

“No, I can’t I’m working right now.” It took me a bit to figure it out. She wanted me to give her sister a reading lesson so her and her mom could play games. What a little manipulator! She almost got me too. I was thinking, “Well, maybe I could get half the lesson done before dinner.”

Posted in Parenting | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Joy of Parenting: Meet Santa Claus

Posted by jaystile on February 17, 2009

The Denver Zoo presents Zoo Lights! This is when you go to the zoo at night in the middle of winter to look at Christmas lights. You proceed to freeze any under protected areas of your body while trying not to slip on the ice. The zoo provides a Santa Claus for the kids to talk to. After waiting in line for 30 agonizing minutes keeping our girls from rushing the bearded man dressed in red, my girls get into Santa’s sleigh. It should be noted that my children do not get to watch a whole lot of TV, so when you ask them what they want for Christmas, they really don’t have any ideas. Santa asked my oldest(4yrs), “What do you want for Christmas?” She responds, “A pinata of a white bear.” Santa was taken aback when trying to clarify her request. But then she realized she had forgotten an important item and yelled at him, “AND A BAT!” Because you’ve got to be able to get the candy out, right?

My youngest(2yrs) was very shy and would not look at Santa. But when he asked her what she wanted for Christmas she said, “candy”. F@#$ the pinata and bat. Just give me the candy.

Posted in Parenting | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

The Joy of Parenting: Snowman

Posted by jaystile on February 16, 2009

My family made it to Keystone, CO for a company sponsored holiday party. Let me tell you, there are numerous benefits to be had working for a privately owned company. While up in the mountains we had about 6-8 inches of fresh snowfall. It was awesome! This was the best snowball, snowfort, and snowman making snow that I have ever seen. My daughters and I made a giant snowman. The base snowball was so large that I could not push it anymore. It took the effort of both me and my wife to lift the middle snowball onto it. Finally, we made the head. This was a great snowman. It just needed some finishing touches. We got some sticks for the arms. I announce that we need to find some rocks for the eyes. My eldest daughter (4) chimes in with “Dad, here are some rocks” and she hands them to me. They are pretty snow covered and I brush the snow off them, but it is really not coming off. I take my gloves off and try melting a little of the snow and that works and they look good. Then I started orienting them for the best possible alignment and I notice there is a little mud on them so I try and wipe it off…. but wait… the more I wipe the more mud there is. “OH, NO! IT’S NOT ROCKS!” It’s dog poop.

Disgruntled, I go back to the condo to wash my hands and pout while my wife and children laugh.

Posted in Parenting | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Life for Men.

Posted by jaystile on February 10, 2009

Ha Ha Ha! http://img242.imageshack.us/img242/6827/howtonotfailatlifepn3he9.png

Posted in Funny | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »