Family Relations

I got to talk to my sister yesterday. Yay! While we "caught up" with each other because it had been a couple of years since I talked to her, the main reason I wanted to talk to her was about our dad. She had the last contact with him and it has been well over a decade since I spoke to him.

Oddly enough, when I was talking to my sister about my dad, I got an email from him with some pictures. A strange coincidence for sure. Apparently, he found my blog, much the same way my sister used Google to find me several years back. I guess I have to be careful what I say about him now because I know he's reading. :)

I have a lot of history with my dad that isn't very pleasant, which is one of the reasons I've made no effort to contact him. He shouldn't feel bad, I don't talk to my mom anymore, either, though the reasons are very different. I'm still not 100% sure what I want to do now that he's "opened the door"--a door that has been closed for well over a decade.

Late Night, Early Morning Meetings

I had a meeting at midnight this evening and I have to attend one at 7am tomorrow morning. Ugh.

Looking for Old Pictures

For several years now, I've had various camera phones. It began with the Nokia 3650 and went on from there. I have five different phones that I don't even use anymore. The memory cards have pictures on them. I uploaded several of the pictures from these cards and put them in my photo album on Vox.

The picutre that I was looking for was this one of my sister that I took several years ago--the only photo I have of her I think:

Part of the reason I was looking for this photo was because I'm actually planning to talk to her this week. She just got back from a trip to Romania. It's actually been a long time since I've talked with her.

Didn't Someone Say Blogging Was Posting Pictures Of Your Cats?

Here's the obligatory posting of a picture of one of my cats.

The Outside View

Here's a couple of photos taken looking outside. Pretty view, dont you think?

Dirt Compactors at 7:30am

There is a road going in right outside our house. The equipment is 50 feet or so from our bedroom window. What awoke me was the dirt compactor used to make a stable surface for the rocks and asphalt to be put on. It was causing the walls to vibrate making a particular picture on the wall "very loud." So much for sleeping, though as you can see my daughter is still crashed…

High Fructose Corn Syrup Is Evil

This is something I've pretty much managed to eliminate from my diet, though I know other members of my family eat things that have it.This article from the Seattle PI gives a brief explanation why it's bad. More medical details can be found on the UltraMetabolism blog. Bottom line--nobody should be consuming the stuff.

PacMan in Play-Doh

Something Jaden and I did.

Why Do I Need Another Blog?

I don't need another blog, but I managed to get an invite to Vox, so I figured I'd give it a shot and set up a blog here. It might be a good place to put items of a more personal nature, which is what I'll think I'll focus on here.

What Happened to Sesame Street

I was trying to remember all the words to "Dee Dee Dee," which Istarted singing to my daughter at some point and she loves it. IGoogled, of course, and it eventually led to this treasure trove of Sesame Street clips on YouTube.I watched several of them--more than I probably should. Of course Iwatch Sesame Street today. My kids are of that age. It's inescapable.But if I had a choice, I wouldn't.

Sesame Street today is sodifferent from the way it was back when I was a kid. Sure it hasMuppets, occasional "guest stars," and it tries to educate the kids.But there's something missing. It's toned down. Ernie's lessmischevous, The Count is less scary, Cookie Monster is less gluttonous.It's homogenized. It's structured. The show follows a basic "schedule,"so you pretty much know what's going to happen in what order.

SesameStreet used to be more random. On any given episode, beyond the "mainstory," and the fact the show was sponsored by a couple of letters anda number, you didn't know what you were going to get. You got a mix ofstory, animated segments, random Muppet skits, flim shorts aboutanything and everything.The show was more whimsical. More zany. Moreserious. And more educational. They weren't afraid to use big words. Orbring up big ideas. Or address serious issues head on. Even today, theclip where the grownups explain to Big Bird that Mr. Hooper is dead still makes me cry.

The commentary on the Internet suggests two big changes happened that had a profound affect on Sesame Street: the rise of Elmoin the 1980s, and the death of muppet creator Jim Henson in 1990. Manyof the "fun" incidential characters on Sesame Street were retired whenJim Henson died along with many of the funny segments they entailed.The other important thing that happened in 1989 was the death ofcomposer Jim Raposa, who wrote many of the songs heard on SesameStreet, including the theme.

I can't think of a single thingthat's entertaining from the current Sesame Street, though at least mytwo year old daughter still watches it. My son will occasionally, butat six, I think he's growing out of it. My son likes the stuff from theolder Sesame Street we have on VHS tapes. Some of his favorite bitsare: Cookie Monster and FOOD, Rhyming Words, and Monster in the Mirror. He also likes Mnah Mnah (this is from the Muppet Show, but it also appeared on Sesame Street in a slightly different form). And my daughter loves the Dee Dee Dee song (as well as Mnah Mnah).

Oneof my favorite bits? There's so many good ones. I have to admit toexposing my kids to those particular bits (and others) because, quitefrankly, I like them. I was, however, most happy to find the Alphabet Chat oneson YouTube. Even today, they could be viewed as educational (thevocabulary these guys used was a lot smarter than today) yetlaugh-out-loud funny.

I guess Sesame Street, like everythingelse, has to change with the times. It's a pity they had to take out alot of what made Sesame Street fun to watch. But at least I can show mykids the real Sesame Street on YouTube, at least until they get served with a Cease and Desist. :)