Adventures into the Madness

Making it to the 21st Century!


Hello, this is a test post to see if tepring.com is correctly integrated with the cool, fruity content management tool I am learning. I could make all kinds of astute and wise comments about the meta nature of content management aggregation and how that might serve as a meta for media/entertainment in general…but I think I’ll just wave like an idiot and go back to work!

Street Song


My Orff Percussion group is playing this piece on Sunday the 15th! It’s one of the coolest and best of Carl Orff’s pieces in the Music for Children series. Here is a recording from many years ago when we put together an ad hoc group:

Street Song

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Baby Eagle Rescue!


My mother-in-law is an avid American Bald Eagle watcher and advocate. This week she got to help her local family of eagles. Here’s her story in her words and pictures:

Our local nest, the Jackson Bay nest, broke this morning.  The 3 babies are 6 to 8 weeks old and all 3 survived the fall.  They were examined by Sutton Center staff and declared healthy.  An ad hoc crew of eagle lovers worked diligently to build a new nest this evening.  As you can see from my pics, the old nest is not usable.

The new nest is a pallet, some lumber from our shop, twigs from the old nest and the grass-mulch from the old nest.


The 3 babies (2 males 1 female) were reinstalled in the new nest about dark this evening. A maggoty fish was moved from the old nest to the new nest. The babies were docile and about 5 pounds each. They would have been coyote food tonight if they had remained on the ground. Parents were circling overhead while we worked.

This was one of the most exciting projects I have been involved with in a while. I will keep you posted on this project.  The Sutton Center folks said the parents will be back, probably tonight.

Go Mom!

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16 Miles of Courage


Just got back from our annual family and church community trip to Estes Park, CO and the Rocky Mountain National Park. Talk about inspiring!

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The Mom Frants – Responsibility vs Behavior


It took me a long time to realize I was often confusing behavior with responsibility. Behavior is how a child (adolescent, grownup, anyone) conducts themselves in a given situation. Do they follow rules, speak appropriately and politely, keep themselves under control? If it’s my kids, behaving means NOT TOUCHING EACH OTHER FOR FIVE FREAKIN’ MINUTES!!!!! Ahem.

Responsibility is accepting both the tasks and consequences of a job over time. Responsibility is self motivation and earned trust. What I’ve had to learn is that forcing my kids to “behave” with bribes or punishment is not the same thing as teaching “responsibility”.

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The Mom Frants – Responsibility and the Laundry


I was talking with some other parents one day and we got onto the subject of  “when we started to do our own laundry”. It was amusing to hear the answers range from “I did my own in High School because mom went back to work full time and it was that or go stinky” (me) to “I still don’t do my own” (lucky guy). One couple piped up that they knew a family that made their grade schoolers do their own laundry. I went home that very night and announced that my then-8 yr-old was going to start doing his.

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The Mom Frants – Responsibility


I have been blessed with the opportunity to hang out with some amazing parents. This in itself is probably the best wisdom for any mom: Hang out with other Moms! In my case, a singular soundbite has founded much of my parenting thinking for the past several years. A friend at a table discussion shared a soundbite from a news article she’d recently read. Something along the lines of:

“We live in an era where parents believe their children are brilliant geniuses, but give them no responsibility.”

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The Mom Frants


I have receive what I think is the nicest and most heart-warming compliment to date: My sister told me she thinks I’m a good Mom. Been floating on cloud nine ever since, because what parent doesn’t like to hear that? As the older sister, most of my technique has come through the usual combination of trial-and-error informed by desperate bouts of hitting the books. I can’t say I’ve done everything right, but I have found some touchstone wisdom (gleaned from others, of course) that has helped me greatly on the journey.

Now that my sister is expecting, she’ll be starting on that journey for herself very soon, and I’ve decided to write a few articles musing about the things I’ve found most helpful.  I offer these as a gift of love to my sister. She is an amazing, talented, brilliant woman who is going to be all those things as a Mom, too.  She doesn’t need my advice, so I’m not writing advice. I want to tell some stories in the loving hope that she’ll someday return the favor and tell me hers. I want to share frustrations and challenges so she’ll know she’s not the only mom who has them. I want to wish her well, sit back and enjoy watching her become the great Mom I know she’ll be.

I can’t wait to find out what she’s going to teach me.

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Don’t sit on your Kindle…


I learned a new, important aspect of owning an e-reader: Don’t sit on it!

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Kindle vs. the iPad


The other day, I had to pull my head out of reading a long, academic blog and take my daughter to gymnastics. I really wanted to continue reading. Kindle usually goes with me to gymnastics, but its web browsing is very limited and I couldn’t assume I could get to the blog. The iPhone zapped up the content in a heartbeat, but the screen is so tiny that the scrolling and zooming quickly became very annoying. It was at that moment that I “got” the iPad (if it is anything like a giant iPhone). But I have yet to see it as a “Kindle-killer”.

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