Monday, June 29, 2009


Learner's Permit for Em

Emily was a tad nervous getting her learner's permit. But she'd had plenty of time to prepare and even one false alarm for the test. The previous week she, Dylan, and I went to renew Dylan's license and have her take the test. But it turned out that the DMV didn't do learner's permit tests at that location.

The test allows you to miss up to 6 questions. And that's exactly what she missed - 6. She's been driving me around a lot since then and is doing really well.
Now, we need to get the ol' Bonnie cleaned up so that she can drive it after the new year when she gets her full license.

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Sunday, June 21, 2009


50 NYT Words

The venerable New York Times keeps track of when readers use an on-line service to look up a word in one of their stories. Here are the 50 words most often looked up in 20009. I put the ones that I knew in italics. How's your vocabulary stack up?

sui generis




Thursday, June 18, 2009


Puppy in the house!

When Rachel and I were trying to figure out which breed of dog to get, we knew that it's personality should match that of our family. When knew a lot about dogs, but we also knew that we wanted a dog who we'd have to vacuum around. I'm just sayin'...

Jelly Bean, the 6-week old Basset Hound

These really energetic and athletic dogs - terriers and sight hounds like greyhouds and dalmatians - are great for the right people. We need a dog whose first preference is to lay around, closely followed by taking a nap. You could also reverse that order of priorities and we'd still be happy. Of course, all hounds were, once upon a time, but I haven't seen any bassets roaming the countryside like they must've in days of yore. So, having been so effective at their job that they hunted the wild basset to extinction, we chose this breed since it's spent the last 80 generations of animal husbandry at perfecting its ability to nap, look cute, and love on its master. Score!

We Can't Keep Jelly Bean Out of the Kids' Laps

Of course, our first goal is to housebreak out newest member. But all the kids also had to take turns ensuring that her new digs were the height of luxury and comfort. And, if the girls are ever bad, we might put them back in there!
Anna Tests Out the Puppy Cage

She's already been so much fun and brought so much joy. We're all in love with her and have to take turns snuggling with her.

The only exception to the universal love fest that we've got going on at Casa De Kline is Pikey, our ginger kitty. He's not too sure about this whole puppy deal. He's mostly avoided Jelly Bean to this point, but we expect him to start terrorizing the puppy any day now just like he does the rest of the family.




Sunday, June 14, 2009


A Painful Month Without My Blog

Bloggers beware!
Just in case you didn't know it, Goggle/ has a policy against spam blogs. Spam blogs, as you might guess, are designed to direct its readers to some kind of commercial and/or scam site.
I got snagged by this for the last month because Blogger has an automated method of detecting spam blogs. That is, they look for any blog post with lots and lots of web links. Two posts ago, I put a post with a lot of web links to cool websites. Unfortunately, the automated spam blog blocker isn't too smart and it marked me as spam simply due to the large number of web links in the post. I'm not knocking their policy of automatically catching and blocking spam blogs. After all, nobody wants to get hoodwinked into falling for spam.
However, I do want to warn you that you should keep an eye on the number of web links in one of your posts or else you might be spending the next month trying to convince Blogger that your personal blog is the real deal.
Hope this helps,

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Friday, June 05, 2009


Dylan's 18!!!

Eighteen years ago, I couldn't have begun to guess where life would take us today. But as this lil boy grew and developed, I knew that he would be smart and strong and full of life. Even as a little infant, my adult friends remarked about how he seemed to be an "old soul" with deep soulful eyes and intelligent brows.

As he aged, his mother and I discovered his zest for life. I find the picture to left curiously prescient about the way Dylan drives cars today. I also love all of those books scattered behind him. We spent countless hours reading those classic children's books to him - Just Grandma and Me, The Pokey Little Puppy, and the Little Engine that Could. The experts said that if you read a lot to your kids, then they would become lovers of reading. Dylan is a walking testamony to the fact that experts don't know much (at least as of this writing).

Dylan also learned quickly that being an entertainer was a passion of his. He loved to sing, to dance, and to make people laugh. He figured out a lot of ways to engage people with his smile and elocution. But this little sight-gag, to the right, was his favorite in 3rd grade and 4th, just about the time he was learning the "Knock Knock - Banana" joke.
Happy birthday, my hunka-man 18 year old son. I'm proud of your achievements thus far and I know that many more are in store for you. I can't wait to see where you'll be and what you'll be doing 18 years from now. I know that another 18 years will find you doing more of the same - being fun, fantastic, and funky fresh!
Love you,


Wednesday, June 03, 2009


MJHS Class of 2009

It's hard to believe that my 18-yr old has finished high school. He did really well on his GPA. He did really well on his SAT and ACT test scores. And he did really well on his scholarships, earning more in funding than his actual hard costs for tuition, room, and board.

He's now set for college in the fall at MTSU, where he's planning to study Marketing. He'll be rooming with his best friend, Connor Miller, in Rutledge Hall.

The graduation ceremonies were a lot bigger than I expected, with over 400 students and thousands of their closest friends and family members.

I hauled the whole family to the event, which was held at the Sommet Center in downtown Nashville. After the big event, we took Dylan, his GF and her mom, and the whole family down to Buca Di Bepo for an awesome celebratory dinner. Anna was a bit shell shocked by the whole affair, but all of the girls definitely had a good time.


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