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Last week of school

This week represents the last 2 and a half days of school for Knox County students. So naturally they are working hard to prepare the students for their rising grade by showing them 2.5 days of movies, video games, and socializing.

I would love to see 2.5 days of fine tuning study skills, personal time management, and lateral thinking puzzles.

That said, drivers be alert. You are about to see children in places at times you don’t expect them.

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Seeking advice on using US phones in Europe

To my European friends and my more traveled friends, my son heads off to London (7 days) and Paris (2 days) this weekend. My next quandary is cell phone. My plan currently allows my son unlimited texting and sending of pictures over SMS internationally. However, it does not include data or voice. What I learned today was that if he received a phone call (and doesn’t even answer it), he incurs international roaming charges.

So, do I:

  1. make him leave his phone at home?
  2. let him take his phone but remove the sim card so he is forced to use wifi?
  3. Have him jump into an EE store and buy a 30 day prepaid phone? I presume the tour group isn’t going to stop to waste an hour in an EE store letting everyone buy prepaid phones. — does the airport have these in vending machines?
  4. Beg a friend or relative to drop a prepaid phone by his hotel?

Are there other options?

1st person to post a Liam Neeson meme gets 10 points.

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From the mouths of babes

17 year old: "How many miles does the Jeep get on a tank of gas?"
Me: "About 228 before I get nervous."
Son: sends picture of gas gauge pointing to the red just above E and replies, "I can make it to school."

It’s time to hide an empty one gallon container and a $20 bill in the Jeep. Nothing teaches one to respect the inaccuracies of a gas gauge quite like having to walk for gas.

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From the mouths of babes

Me: "Noah, do you want to go to your aunt’s wedding?"
Noah, 16: "Uh, I don’t think so."
Me: "Ok. You’ll miss out on going to King’s Island."
Noah: "Why King’s Island?"
Me: "They live there."
Noah: "They do?"
Me: "Yes. You’ve been there."
Noah: "Once!"

Dad fail! Perhaps I have been a bit remiss in traveling my children. I’m thinking it’s time to plan a vacation.

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How to make Mom frown

Curiosity Killed the Cat

Dad: "Noah come here for an important PSA."
Dad: "Curiosity killed the cat. Satisfaction brought him back. But only in a fable. In real life, cats don’t come back."
Noah: "Ok."
Dad: "But the cat came back for it wouldn’t stay away."
Dad: "Well, he came back in a song. But not real life."
Dad: "So, the cat has taken to climbing into the dryer."
Dad: "And if you ran the dryer with the cat in it you know what that would mean?"
Dad: "It would mean that our furniture wouldn’t get further scratched up."
Dad: "All joking aside."
Dad: "It would be bad to run the dryer with the cat in it."
Dad: "Because it is really difficult to get the smell of cooked cat out of cotton."

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Yesterday we took Evan rock climbing at The Climbing Center in Knoxville. He is a natural! Once attached to the rope, he shot up the 40 foot walls without fear. Understanding that his next handhold could be discovered by straightening a bent leg seemed intuitive to him. Noah made it up the wall twice before feigning to hunger. Cathy only had her hand sucked into the ATC (brake) once. My supple skin only lost a few layers of epidermis due to belaying. We had a blast!

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It’s hard to be teen

My 15 year old now rides the city bus to school. I love the concept! He loves getting a seat to himself, having air conditioning, and getting to use wifi on the ride to school. I have to believe that after a cost analysis, the school system will find that the cost of the city wide bus pass is cheaper than contracting the big yellow buses.

There are hiccups of course. Today, I dropped him at his stop and received a phone call once I was on the interstate, "Dad, I forgot my wallet." I turned around and picked him up. We drove home and he ran into the house, returning with his wallet. He accompanies me to Mojoe’s Trailside Coffeehouse and enjoys a frozen mango something or other while I drink a red eye and the both of us explain the STEM academy to the owner. Eventually, I give Noah the option of hopping on the bus at a nearby stop or having me drop him off. He opts to be dropped off at the school.

Later I’m talking with my wife and she asks, "Did you know that Noah forgot his bus pass today?" Of course, I brought him home to get his wallet. She replies, "but his pass is still in yesterday’s pants…" Good thing I didn’t leave him at that second bus stop!