24 June, 2011

Slam Dunk

Our family has a contest going on along the lines "What was mom thinking?" Mothers (and fathers) are meant to help raise their children to be strong and healthy. To do this, they need to feed their children a balanced diet. So, our contest is to establish acts of gross wrong-doing in meeting children's nutritional needs.

My brother once witnessed an act of pure genius... in some small Scottish diner, a mother served her children French Fry sandwiches for breakfast! French Fries between two slices of toasted white bread. (OK, there were doses of ketchup in between as well.)

So, my brother has held the record for the best bad meal for the last 23 years! Oh, we've tried, but no matter what we've seen, the Scottish French Fry Breakfast Sandwich has always come out on top. Until today...

I saw my prize at a school sport event. The parents had set up a breakfast buffet for the school children.  Right in the middle of the buffet table, on a big aluminum platter, was a mountain of soft white bread rolls with squished chocolate-covered marshmallow cookies in between. Here is the recipe,

  1. Take one white bread roll
  2. Slice through the middle
  3. Take one chocolate-covered marshmallow cookies
  4. Squish flat
  5. Place between bread roll
I am not joking. Appalled, I talked to one of my friends about it. "Oh, I used to sneak to the local store and buy one of those on the way to school when I was a kid." This creation is not the invention of a crazy mother, it's actually tradition here!

Now, I am all for French fries and sweets, but for breakfast... Anyways, this creation is a slam dunk for upsurging my brother's prize, so I can't complain.

What is the worse you every saw a parent giving their children to eat?

16 June, 2011

Somewhere in the corner of my cupboard

In the corner of my cupboard, underneath a pile of clothes I no longer fit in, is a t-shirt from my dad. There is a photo image of an “Old Fart” (him) parachuting. He’s wearing a helmet of sorts. His face is squeeze up almost beyond recognition. His arms are extended outwards. He’s in the middle of a free fall. There is this wonderful goofy expression on his face.

The story behind this t-shirt is the following…

On the occasion of my father’s 70th birthday, he spontaneously decided to gift himself a trip to Australia. A friend of his had sailed his boat from Canada to Chile, and then over to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. My father, apparently on a whim, decided to visit his friend and spend some time with him on his boat.

He took a bus journey through the outback of Australia: Sydney to a harbour where his chum’s boat was anchoured in the Great Barrier Reef. While making the journey, he noticed a sign in some town offering tandem parachuting adventures. Pay up front. Climb onto the plane. Make a jump.

Years before, he’d mentioned he had only two regrets; not having parachuted and not having gone paragliding. So, during that bus stop in the middle of Australia, he thought, “What the heck.” He walked up to the airfield and asked to be on their next jump.

He went up and parachuted, but he was so overwhelmed by the experience, his mind blanked. Therefore, he went up a second time. Just so he could remember the experience. It was on the second jump, the photo was taken.

He got the t-shirts printed up for his family as a way of announcing the event. We had no idea. I’m not sure any one of us would have given his our blessing if he had decided to ask us if we thought parachuting for the first time at 70 years old was a good thing.

Now, many years later, I toast you, Dave, for your craziness. Thank heavens you took the jump. Thank heavens you showed us that life is meant to take risks.

13 June, 2011

Some things are meant to be shared

There are things happening on the internet that have to be shared. Whether it is a traditional newspaper giving voice to young musicians (above)...

Or, listening to a director talk about the creative process of making a film with humble beginnings, yet it reached large...

Or, global internet fans following a fellow's poetic wanderings around the world...

There is so much out there in the tubes that is inspiring. Barely a day goes by without my tripping over something perfectly marvelous.

06 June, 2011

Different Perspective

Flying in a motorized paraglider over one of the most diverse continents in the world, George Steinmetz captures in his photographs the stunning beauty, potential and hope of Africa's landscapes and people. See the project at http://mediastorm.com/publication/african-air

This last winter, I saw a photo exhibit of George Steinmetz in Berlin. It was a series of macro-organisms (animals, birds, insects) motifs. Stunning.

One thing that was puzzling about some of the photos the place they were taken from. The perspective of up above, but close gave a remarkable viewpoint. In this video, I discovered why. Make sure you look at the video full screen.

02 June, 2011

Artemis Fowl (Book 1)

Just came back from a few days away down to southern Germany. Golden warm south,

board orange 72

Lovely. But, I missed the blues of north,

board blue

Spending this day making collages and listening to a wonderful reading of Artemis Fowl's first book.

I love this children's fantasy series. If you like fantasy books and do not know the series, or if you have children >10 years, do yourselves a favour and give it a try.

Graffiti Artist in Need of Spell Checker

Written on a wall in Hamburg,

"Regie, Rock & Roll, R&B"