Friday, July 21, 2006


Buzz about Phillips-Norelco???

I wouldn't expect anything from Phillips-Norelco to be this edgy and funny, but it's just hilarious. Check out:

And, btw, it's definitely rated PG-13 or even higher.


Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Matsu Glacier pictures

It was hard to head home after a week of fun with Samuel, Jacob, Dan & Wendy, and the Fishback kids. But at long last, the day finally arrived.

Above is Dylan and Jacob over a sort of tunnel/canyon cut by the glacial runoff. There was a big, ice-cold stream directly beneath them. You might be able to see the strips of "blue ice" down and to the left of Dylan. Most of the glacial ice was white, but every now and then you'd see stripes or patches of vivid, sky blue ice. It's sky blue for the same reason that the sky is blue, that is the ice absorbs all other color wavelengths and reflects only the blue wavelength making it a striking contrast to the white all around.

Oh and in the picture above, it looks like a dirt & rock ground in the foreground. But that's really ice covered by a lot of rocks.

Here's a cute picture of Samuel and Dylan on the glacier. Wherever rocks stood atop the ice, they would heat up in the sun and bore a melted home into the ice. You can see that happening with the little line of stones at Dylan's feet.
Dylan and Jake spent a lot of time hanging out together on the hike. The even got off of the main hiking trail at one point and went hip deep into some mud. They had a ball though and Dylan has some scars to show for it.


Emmy Tay Fwine is 13!

I can't believe that I have TWO teenagers now, but it's true. Emily - yes, that's Queen High-n-Mighty - just turned 13. We did some shopping at Party City a few weeks ago and chose a fun laua (sp?) theme for her party.

On Sunday, June 16th - her actual birthday - we had a little miniature celebration. It's a tradition that the kids get to pick a restaurant where they'd like to eat. Emily chose Sakura, a nice sushi and habachi grill in Hermitage. It was all of the Kline kids, Bailey Lyttle (her best friend), and two other friends from church. You can see her in the picture at right with her birthday cake.

She had a bunch of friends over and a few even spent the night. They were all great and didn't give me any trouble, although they did get up about 1:00 am to get snacks. (grumble)

Happy Birthday, Emily, my sweet!


Friday, July 14, 2006


Mat-Su Glacier & Parenting


I have a tradition with the kids. Once the kids reach 5th grade, I start to take them on a once yearly dad-kid trip. It's usually supposed to be something close and cheap, like a weekend camping & fishing. But sometimes I get unusually good opportunities to do other things. This year, with Dylan, I had so many frequent flyer points that I decided to take us up to Alaska to visit my brother, nephews, and his new bride - Wendy.

I initially started the tradition because we were planning a large family and I wanted to build in ways to remind my kids how much I loved them individually, without any competition from their siblings for my attention. I also envisioned the possibility of a day (in their teens) when conversation with dad might not come so freely. So I wanted to build a fun tradition that had lots of unstructured time together so that we'd always be able to talk - and not just smalltalk, but talking about real values, priorities, and the deeper things in life.

I'm not sure if this is something that my mentors at AllProDad have put on their list, but I think it's something that they should consider. Here's a list of things that AllProDad recommends to make a part of your life to automatically spend time with them:
  1. Commit to a family mealtime each day.
  2. Write your children's activities into your schedule book - in ink!
  3. Identify one thing on your weekly schedule you can do without and replace it with kid time.
  4. Take one of your children along when you run errands.
  5. Volunteer to participate in a regularly scheduled child activity, such as coaching a softball team or helping with a school activity.
  6. Identify one children's show on TV that you secretly like to watch and make a point of watching it with your child.
  7. Develop an interest in a hobby you and your child can enjoy together.
  8. If your work requires that you travel, take one of your children along with you when your business trip can be extended into a long weekend.
  9. If your work schedule is flexible, start your work day earlier so you can get home earlier in the afternoon to be with your family.
  10. Leave your work, cellular phones and pagers at home when you go on family vacations and outings.

One of the most fun things we got to do in Alaska was go to the Matanuska Glacier (aka Matsu) Glacier. It's an active and HUGE glacier (24 miles x 4 miles) that moves a foot closer to the sea every year. It was one of the funnest hikes I ever took!


Thursday, July 13, 2006


The Iditarod Trail

I'm not quite sure what the appeal of sled dog racing is. But it's headquartered in the same little town my brother lives in (Wasilla) and it's famous. So by gum, we're going to see this place!

Sam and Jake don't get out very often as it turns out. So even though they live three miles away, they'd never been to the place.

There was a really beautiful log cabin there that was almost entirely a gift shop with very expensive gifts. There was a small museum sort of thing there to give you a sense of history. There was also a fairly large side room with a big screen TV playing a video about the history of the Iditarod.

An interesting side note is that there hasn't been enough snow in the couple years to start the race in Wasilla. So they've had to push the race about 40 miles north to a town called Willow to find enough snow. That's global warming in action. Don't believe in it? Just ask some of these Alaskas and they can tell you ALL ABOUT how they can see it on a daily basis.

More later...


Wednesday, July 12, 2006


A Day at the Shooting Club

We wanted to do more things that were quintessentially Alaskan. We didn't have tons of time, since I have to work, but we wanted to spend at least a couple hours per day doing something fun and something we'd likely only do while here.

Dylan (middle), Jake (left), and Sam (right) were having a good time hanging out and playing Xbox and PS2 all the time. But the weather has been absolutely fantastic. You just can't stay indoors when it's brilliantly sunny and about 76 degrees every day.

So as we were driving down the road the previous day, I noticed two or three shooting ranges and/or gun clubs. Shooting guns! That sounds pretty frontier/Alaskan. But I'm not about to go out and shoot cute furry little animals or face down some less-than-cute, huge, fanged and clawed, furry animals.

So shooting skeet and trap was the order of the day and DANG if it wasn't incredibly fun. Here's a picture of Sam about to blast the snot out of some clay pigeons. It was so fun!

Dylan and I quickly got the hang of it. Sam, Jake, and Wendy also did really well and seemed to really enjoy it. Dylan and Jake got some pretty good bruises from the powerful kick of the 12 gauge. But we all enjoyed it enough to go for a second round, though Jake did opt out after a couple shots in round 2 'cuz his shoulder was really smarting.

BTW, Dylan got an 11 and I got a 9 on our first round. Then we tied at 10 each on the next round. (The score is out of 25.) That's not too bad for two guys doing it for the first time!

Well, gotta run.


Tuesday, July 11, 2006


11:30 pm in Alaska

Dylan and I are visiting my brother and his family in Wasilla, AK - home of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race. It's a place of remarkable beauty. I can't wait to start exploring!

I took this picture at Big Lake near Wasilla at 11:17 pm last night. As you can see, it's still very bright with the sun just going down on the horizon. We haven't been able to go to sleep before 2:00 am just because it's so bright!



Friday, July 07, 2006


Eeeew! I spilled some blog on my shirt!

Sometimes a blog isn't very fun or convenient. I think mostly it just feels neither fun nor convenient because you're having an off day. But most of the rest of the time, it is fun to some degree.

If you're looking for some interesting images to look at, check out GapingVoid. It's fun when the artist isn't a total downer/boar.



Wednesday, July 05, 2006



An All Pro Dad moment - William Ralph Inge says there are two kinds of foolish attitudes - one says, "This is old, therefore it is good"; the other says, "This is new, therefore it is better."

The same is true in parenting. Parents who believe that the best form of disciplining their children is to just copycat what their parents did are on dangerous ground. On the flip side, parents who embrace the latest psychological fad for rearing children and forget some of the traditional principles that really work are also short-changing their kids. Our children have a unique personality and disciplining must be individualized. Some children thrive in a house with strict guidelines and well defined boundaries. Other kids do very well with little supervision and lots of creativity and freedom. We don’t always get discipline right, but if we strive to be unified with their mom, consistent and gentle, we have a great start.


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