Monday, June 20, 2011

Weekly Father Features

After taking a break yesterday and relishing in the spoils of fatherhood (opening hand made cards, playing video games with my sons, enjoying a fantastic dinner cooked by my wife and, of course, beer) I am well rested and prepared to update the weekly features.

This week's top five list chronicles my picks for the top 5 movie dads:

5. Clark Griswold - Not necessarily father of the year, but he tries to make the experiences his kids are taking in, whether it be road trips, sledding or Christmas decorating, the best possible. The hilarious results help him make the list.

4. Mr. Levenstein (of American Pie) - On the surface, a complete dork and the sort of dad you know is going to embarrass his kid. When it comes down to it, however, he is one of the most supportive and understanding dads ever portrayed in a film. If you give your kid support and love such that they are confident you will never see them as a freak or loser no matter how they screw up, it gives them the kind of stable foundation that they can build a happy and successful life upon.

3. Marlin - Nemo's over-protective father has his issues. Still, he met and overcame incredible odds crossing the ocean to find and reunite with his beloved son. How many of us would navigate our way through sharks, massive angler fish, undersea currents, being stuck in the belly of a whale and caught in a fishing net as capably.

2. Bryan Mills (of Taken) - Another example of a father who faced all challenges to protect his child. Far more vicious and on the offensive than the unfunny clownfish at number 3, but similar in that he would stop at nothing to get his kid back.

1. "The Old Man"/Mr. Parker (of A Christmas Story) - Gruff and cranky very often and prone to meltdowns over broken major awards, clanky furnaces, turkey and the Bumpus's dogs, Ralphie's father performed perhaps the most unselfish and undeniably the most dangerous act of all the listed fathers on behalf of his son. He openly defied his wife's wishes. That's worth the top spot on our list.

This week's cool-ass thing you will never own is the Black Pearl. Jack Sparrow's...I'm sorry, Captain Jack Sparrow's ship is the fastest in the seven seas and carries an awful lot of rum. Rest assured, however, that it's a pretty penny ye'll need to be spendin' if ye have yer eyes on her. Plus, ye can bet that Jack'll be comin' fer his beauty after long and mor'n likely he'll find a way to take it back from ye. That's yer fair warnin', now off with yer scurvy, bow-legged self or ye'll be made to walk the plank!

This week's sign you are a nerd is that you make a point of always "liking" your own Facebook status. You can't just leave it out there without some sort of visible feedback below it can you? You really think it will make others more likely to comment if they see someone else already "liked" it.

This week's nemesis is spider webs. I'm a lover of nature. I marvel at the intricacy of a good web. I am also amazed by the dedication of a spider to rebuild a web that has been destroyed immediately. While I hate spiders in my house, I respect them and leave them to their own devices provided they are outdoors. That said, few things make a summer day so instantly uncomfortable than walking through that one long, errant strand of super strong webbing that you don't see coming. What did that damn spider expect to catch coming through your gangway anyway? Plus, whether you got rid of it or not, you still feel like there's some in your hair at least three hours after you walk through it. Yuck!

This week's lesson learned is to check and then re-check the separately packaged bags in your Lego sets to make sure you got all the pieces out. Those little translucent studs can be a real pain to notice and it becomes even less pleasant if you have to try and dig them out of the trash in your alley.

This week's equation deals with infield dirt. It's something I will not be dealing with as much any longer in a very short time as my sons are close to finishing their seasons.

The depth in millimeters of the layer of infield dirt that will be on your skin after a little league game (d) can be found by adding the speed of the wind in mph (s) to the area of your particular field in square feet (a) then multiplying that sum with the time in days since the last rain (t) and dividing that entire product by the total number of trees and other sizable items of vegetation around the field that might serve as windbreakers (v).

This week's Star Wars quote is, "Luke's not a farmer, Owen. He has too much of his father in him."

Finally, after finding out that more of you miss Calvin & Hobbes than The Far Side in last week's poll, I ask this week what you think of the movement away from summer vacation over the last several years. As more and more schools hold a summer quarter, do you advocate spreading the vacation time throughout the year, or are you a staunch supporter of three months off in the summer?

Thanks for reading.

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