Monday, January 30, 2017

Back in the Day

Back in the day my Grandpa was a police officer. Once, I accidentally referred to him as a "cop," and I was immediately and severely reprimanded. 

"A cop is a constable on patrol; They can be found in England. I am a police officer," he explained. He was always very proud of the years he worked as a police officer in Detroit. 

A friend of my father's came across this photograph while perusing an article on the history of the Detroit Police Department. My dad's friend noticed the caption: "Detroit Police Officer Reyniear Staats addresses students in the Chalk Talk school programs at Nichols School in Detroit in 1940." All the images in the article are interesting, but this one caught his attention because he recognized my grandfather's unusual name. So, just for fun, I searched for my grandpa's name on Facebook and the same photo came up. Down the rabbit hole I went. After a bit of Googling, I found this photo from March of 1968:

Apparently, after Grandpa retired, he got involved with AAA (The American Automobile Association.) In this photo he's posing with an Albion Police Officer who attended a bicycle safety seminar put on by AAA. 

I tip my hat to the lovely people who wrote on the back of those old pictures. Otherwise I would have never gotten to see them...

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Pea Soup

For the past week and a half Mackinac Island has been shrouded with fog; odd weather for January in northern Michigan. Thankfully the boats are still running - though not on Sundays. Lots of folks ended up having to spend the night in St. Ignace this past Sunday since the planes just couldn't fly safely through fog like this. The fog and the warm days are making these last weeks in January feel more like early April.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Highly Recommended

Ten years have passed since the last book in A Series Unfortunate Events, by Lemony Snicket (also known as Daniel Handler) was published. The tale contained within the 13 volume series is, at times, so heart wrenching, one must take a break from reading, lest he or she fall in to a pit of despair - the word "despair," as you well know, means a complete absence of hope.

If you have yet to read these books, plan a quick junket - which here means "a pleasurable excursion"  - to your local library and check out all of them. Yes, all 13 books; if the librarian will allow it. (There are actually 14 books if you include the Unauthorized Biography of Lemony Snicket which was published between The Hostile Hospital and The Carnivorous Carnival.

These books chronicle the woeful tale of the three Baudelaire Orphans (Violet, Klaus and Sunny) as the abominable, (which in this context means "completely awful,") Count Olaf attempts to steal their inheritance and dispatch, or kill, them. And while the books are extremely unpleasant and may bring a reader to tears, I highly recommend them all, the whole kit and caboodle.

Avoid the film at all costs. While Jim Carrey does a top-notch job of bringing the treacherous Count Olaf to life on screen, the screen writer encapsulated, or mashed together with complete disregard of chronological order, the events of the first three books.  (For shame Robert Gordonfor shame.)

However, Netflix has recently added The Series of Unfortunate Events to their library.  The show is  the complete antitheses of the film. The use of the word "antitheses" here indicates the Netflix show is as incredibly good as the 2004 film is awful.  In other words, the series is very, very well done.

If you haven't watched it yet, take a moment to view the trailer:

But, don't say I didn't warn you. The life of the Baudelaire orphans is, quite literally, a series of unfortunate events. But on the bright side you will learn the meanings of numerous interesting words including ersatz, penultimate, austere and feign. Which may be of some assistance if you happen to be a member of a secret organization.

Oh yes, and after you do read the books, go back and rewatch the series to see just how many Easter Eggs you can find.

I hope you are a very fine detective...

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Unfortunately, My Kids Hate Me Tonight

Fortunately, the Mackinac Island Medical Center has always provided flu vaccines to island residents - shots for adults and nasal mist for the kiddos.

Unfortunately, this year, they weren't able to get any of the nasal mist.

Fortunately, they had plenty of doses to vaccinate us when we arrived this afternoon.

Unfortunately, my children were not mentally prepared to get shots today.

Fortunately, the nurses did a great job putting the kids at ease about having to get a flu shot.

Unfortunately, and unbeknownst to Mama, each of the kids were due for additional shots. (Two additional for S and one additional for K - ugh.) 

Fortunately, it was over quickly, despite the pain.

Unfortunately, I am most definitely not my childrens' favorite parent tonight.

Fortunately, I can live with that. And, they'll live with out getting the flu, tetanus or HPV, which fortunately, is a very good thing.

Inspired by one of our favorite books.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

New Tricks

I love learning new things. Sure I've been teaching a long time, but things do change. That's  part of the reason I am really enjoying the professional development I've been working on lately. I get frustrated when I have to miss school for just so-so PD, but this class is totally worth missing one day each month. The Next Generation Science Standards are taking science instruction to great places, and I am thrilled to be a part of it.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Furry Fun

While we were in the Salvation Army Thrift Store over Christmas break, my son spotted a Furby. What was left of the shredded box was held together by tape, but the little guy inside looked brand new. The price tag said it was $10.00, but all toys that day were half price. "Can I get it?" he asked. My husband quickly agreed, knowing full well that Furbies are hackable.

The kids have been having a lot of fun playing with it, though my daughter is not keen on sleeping in the same room with it. (She felt better knowing the army guys would keep her safe.)

After paying five bucks for the thing, I was shocked to see this at Target a a couple days later:

Sure it's been fun, but not that much fun...