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Dangerous Things For Kids!

(from The Art of Manliness, in part)

Even though the modern world isn’t any more dangerous than it was thirty or forty years ago, it feels like a more perilous place. Or, more accurately, we inhabit the world today in a way that’s much more risk averse; for a variety of very interesting and nuanced reasons, our tolerance for risk, especially concerning our children’s safety, has steadily declined.  So we remove jungle gyms from playgrounds, ban football at recess, prohibit knives (even the butter variety) at school, and would rather have our kids playing with an iPad than rummaging through the garage or roaming around the neighborhood.

Unfortunately, as we discussed in-depth earlier this year, when you control for one set of risks, another simply arises in its place. In this case, in trying to prevent some bruises and broken bones, we also inhibit our children’s development of autonomy, competence, confidence, and resilience. In pulling them back from firsthand experiences, from handling tangible materials and demonstrating concrete efficacy, we ensconce them in a life of abstraction rather than action. By insisting on doing everything ourselves, because we can do things better and more safely, we deprive kids of the chance to make and test observations, to experiment and tinker, to fail and bounce back. In treating everything like a major risk, we prevent kids from learning how to judge the truly dangerous, from the simply unfamiliar.

Fortunately, we can restore the positive traits that have been smothered by overprotective parenting, by restoring some of the “dangerous” activities that have lately gone missing from childhood. The suggestions below on this score were taken both from 50 Dangerous Things (You Should Let Your Children Do), as well as memories from my own more “free range” childhood. If you grew up a few decades back, these activities may seem “obvious” to you, but they’re less a part of kids’ lives today, and hopefully these reminders can help spark their revival.  While each contains a element of danger and chance of injury, these risks can be thoroughly mitigated and managed by you, the parent: Permit or disallow activities based on your child’s individual age, maturity level, and abilities. Take necessary precautions (which are common sense and which I’m not going to entirely spell out for you; you’re a grown-up, not a moron). Teach and demonstrate correct principles, and supervise some practice runs. Once you’ve created this scaffolding of safety, however, try to step back and give your child some independence. Step in only when a real danger exists, or when your adult strength/dexterity/know-how is absolutely necessary. And don’t be afraid to let your kids fail. That’s how they learn and become more resilient.

In return for letting your children grapple with a little bit of healthy risk, the activities below teach motor skills, develop confidence, and get kids acquainted with the use of tools and some of the basic principles of science. Outside any educational justification, however, they’re just plain fun — something we’ve forgotten can be a worthy childhood pursuit in and of itself!

23 Dangerous Things You Should Let You Kids Do

Unlike many of you out there, I grew up in a city.  And, my Dad was largely absent.  I was given boundaries, though.  Don’t cross these streets; Don’t play with these kids;  Let us know where you are;   Be home for dinner @ 6 o’clock.

Other than that, I was pretty much left to my own devices.  Playing in old abandoned houses and construction sites, climbing into open manholes and irrigation conduits.  Picking through discarded trash for treasures.  Making rocket fuel and fireworks.  Dissecting unexploded fireworks.  Dirt clod fights.  Rubber band guns with projectiles!

I wasn’t foolhardy, but I wasn’t a namby-pamby either!

I remember when my Dad’s .22 rifle went missing.  He accused me of taking it, but was most upset I hadn’t asked! (I didn’t take it – it was stolen and later recovered by the PD)

From what I’ve observed, most kids (and most adults) don’t play outside or explore anymore.  Instead, they are inside getting carpal tunnel…

(And not in the traditional way!  😛 )

Toss your kid outside, without their electronics.  And tell ’em not to return until dinner-time.

They might learn something!

The Name Game

When I was growing up, most of my friends were named after parents or relatives. A few juniors. Common Anglo Saxon names – Thomas, Susan, George, John.
Names that were from grandparents were thought of as old fashioned. Martha, Edith, etc.  Black people had Anglo names, for the most part.
Other ethnic names were just that. Guadalupe (Lupe), Juan. Not to many other options.  There was one Jesus (Hey-soos’), which the P.E. teacher consistently mispronounced!
We were a predominantly white bread college town.
As I have often said before – the times, they are a changin’…
My nieces are named Rilyn and Karsyn. A good friend’s grand baby is Sagan Universe!
Now Thomas and Susan are the old-fashioned names!

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m all about honoring ethnic and/or family history.  I’m named for my maternal and fraternal grandfather.  German and Irish stock! (Didn’t know Guffaw was Germanic, did you?)  😛

Don’t even get me started on the ethnic names!  My favorite (oft repeated on the Internet) is the woman who named her child La-a.  Then was furious when people couldn’t spell or pronounce it correctly!  People said Luh-uh, Lay, all manner of wrong pronunciations.

Her name was pronounced LAH DASH UH!!

I miss names like Linda and Mike

Guess I’m old.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day 

Most of you know this is a bad time of year for me.

I’ve not happily celebrated this holiday for years.  I remember prepping my daughter on Friday for school, making certain she had something green on.

Then, the weekend occurred. (1995)

But, I saw a cartoon on FB recently, that made me chuckle. Guess that means I am healing (?)

HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY!

Today is St. Patrick’s Day, on a Friday, just as it was 22 years ago.  Most Fridays (in recent memory) I wear a red shirt, as I am a member of the Red Shirt Society.  (NO, not the Italian militia, Southern white supremacist group, or an expendable Star Trek guy!)

It would be awesome if everyone wore RED Shirts every Friday in honor of our military who are deployed. WE as American citizen’s need to keep our Veterans and Military close to our heart and in our prayers.

R – Remember
E – Everyone
D – Deployed

But today, in deference to my celebrating the holiday for the first time in 22 years, I am wearing the GREEN!  (Orangemen, of course, are acceptable, too – this IS The United States!)  🙂

HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY, EVERYONE! – O’Guffaw

 

Bittersweet

It’s February 8th.

Regular readers might remember this is my daughter Molly’s birthday.  In this case her 34th.  Sadly, she only made it to her 12th.  😦

(The twenty-second anniversary of the accident that took her from us is in about five weeks.)

Molly 1986 2

I try to remember happier birthdays.

Last year, another element was added to this date.

Bob Hall, my dear friend whom I met when were worked as private investigators together, who before had attended junior high and high school with my then wife-to-be, and later managed the Legendary Gun gun store (where I worked part time, for a while) in 2016 passed into eternity.  Complications from cancer.

See, I told you this time of year sucked for me.

People we care about love, passing way before their time is a travesty!

Please take the opportunity today to hug those close to you, and tell them you love them.

You never know…

 

Another January 26, But Different

You know me and anniversaries.

This is the day my Mom passed, in the 50’s.  I was just a little kid.

This is the day, 1n 2009, lymphoma reared it’s head.  I am now in remission (cancer free!)  🙂

So January 26 doesn’t hold many positive memories for me.

Except one. 

wp-image-2037229698jpg.jpg

In 1967 (correct from the previously reported 1966), my beloved Sister Ellie gave birth to a son. Who ultimately married, fathered four wonderful children (one of whom is autistic – and is doing spectacularly in his own right!). And in spite of divorce has remained a terrific, supportive, loving father to all.

He is my nephew Brian (aka Skeets). And I couldn’t be more proud as he turns 50 today!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRIAN!50th-birthday-cake-7

Just In Time For Christmas!

(from my friend Borepatch)

Dangerous toys NOT to get for Christmas

I strongly recommend that you do NOT buy the My Friend Cayla doll, the i-Que robot, or the Barbie Hello Dream House as gifts due to a grotesquely dangerous security flaw in the toy’s design.
I often rant about poor security in products and how “security wasn’t an afterthought, it wasn’t thought of at all.”  Mostly it’s about something that is unlikely to effect most of all y’all.  This time is different – here are some toys that can endanger children, and I STRONGLY recommend that you do NOT buy these as gifts this holiday season.

My Friend Cayla is a doll with embedded voice recognition technology similar to Apple’s Siri, that can interact with children.  It not only listens to what the child says but can respond appropriately.

While it’s somewhat concerning that the doll “phones home” over the Internet for the voice recognition to work, the issue isn’t that it’s listening in on your kid.  Mind you, I find this more than a little creepy, but I remember when there were only 3 TV channels.

The danger is that the doll is Bluetooth enabled, and the Bluetooth is completely unprotected.  What this means is that anyone within Bluetooth range (which at 100 yards is actually further than many think) can connect to the doll and start talking to your child as she plays.

Let me say that again – Joe Shmoe in the park across from your house can connect to your little Princess’ doll and have a chat.There’s a video of this, although they’re wrong to call it a “hack”.  It’s simply use of the functionality as it was designed.

Also using the exact same technology with exactly the same flaw is the i-Que robot: this isn’t just a threat to little girls.

Unconfirmed reports also include the Barbie Hello Dream House.  I don’t know whether this is vulnerable to remote Bluetooth access, and it’s almost certain that nothing definitive will be published on this before the holidays.  Given that I recommend that you don’t buy this, either.

This seems to me to be bordering on criminal negligence by the companies involved (certainly My Friend Cayla and i-Que; possibly Mattel).  The idea that a child’s toy could be released that would allow someone to remotely talk with your child his his or her own bedroom is mind bogglingly stupid.

To reiterate, I strongly recommend that you do NOT buy the My Friend Cayla doll, the i-Que robot, or the Barbie Hello Dream House as gifts due to a grotesquely dangerous security flaw in the toy’s design.

Anyone remember “My name is Talky Tina” from Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone?  These toys take that to a whole new level.

Frightening.

The Brass Dance

If you’ve shot anything more than a revolver or a single-shot firearm, you are probably aware of the safety problems inherent in ejected brass.

It’s dirty.  It’s fast.  It’s HOT!

Most folks learn rather quickly why experienced shooters wear safety gear.  Not only hearing and eye protection, but proper clothing.

Burned fingers, hands, arms.  I’ve known two guys who had ejected brass wedge between their shooting glasses and faces!  Not pretty.  And most of us have been beaned in the head a few times.

A brimmed hat or cap, and an ‘appropriate’ shirt.  Female shooters especially can be in danger from hot brass, if they wear a low neckline.  I used to know a woman who was president of a group of female shooters called The Annie Oakleys.  She would often joke their unofficial salute was to bend forward at the waist and shake rapidly! 🙂   (to divest themselves of ejected, hot brass)

But this is not just about minor discomfort or humor.

(from The Firearm Blog, in part)

Just this past weekend, a father took his 14 year old son out to an indoor range in Sarasota Florida to celebrate Independence Day early.  You can read about it here. They were using the far right hand lane. The father was shooting a handgun when the brass ejected and hit the wall. It bounced off and went inside his shirt. Nothing out of the ordinary there. What happens next is the problem. The father reaches back with his right hand to pull his shirt so he can get the hot brass out. The handgun was still in his right hand. He had a negligent discharge and his son was shot. I am sad to say that son died due to his injuries.

We can bleat about The Four Rules all we want, but unless we take them to heart and use them religiously, even during a perceived emergency, there isn’t much point.

My heart goes out to the father and family in this story.

Tantrums

Reuters-Democrats-Sit-In

They don’t look age 3 to me…

The Democratic sit-in to protest the Republican-controlled Congress’ inaction on gun control legislation on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives entered its second day Thursday with no end in sight.

The Democrats’ protest began with a speech by Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, who participated in civil rights sit-ins in the 1960s, condemning Republicans for blocking gun control legislation and accusing the GOP of kowtowing to the National Rifle Association.

The Democrats continued to give speeches with frequent pauses to chant “no bill, no break” and “Shame! Shame!” as the House voted to adjourn and start a new legislative day at 2:30 a.m. (International Business Times)

A tantrum?  Seriously?

Are they going to hold their respective breaths now, until they turn BLUE?

I have two memories of tantrums (tantra (plural?)  🙂

The first was recounted by my own Father.  On numerous occasions, he would share the story on how I had thrown exactly ONE tantrum.  He ‘dealt with it’, and I never did it again.  (The inference was I received a spanking – this was the 1950’s after all!)

The second was our own daughter, Molly.  She was mostly well-behaved, but at one point, in a large, popular shopping mall (Metrocenter – N. Phoenix, before stores closed wholesale and it became a gang meeting place), she decided when the three of us were window shopping (I was married at the time) to throw a serious tantrum.  I think she was probably three at the time.

Mary and I looked at each other, while Molly was on her back, flailing, screaming and crying, agreed telepathically that immediate action was needed.

We turned and walked away.  No counter-screaming, no histrionics, no beatings.

Molly suddenly noticed our departure, immediately stopped her tantrum, and rushed to rejoin us, now better behaved.

AND, she never did it again.

………………

My point is we have two choices to respond to the anti-rights forces in Congress.  One would be brute force, getting in their face and (verbally, at least) spanking them for their childish behavior.

Would this make us feel good?  Yes.  Superior? Certainly.

Would it solve the larger problem?  NO.

The second choice would be to let them have their tantrum, and let the world see how un-adult, child-like and emotionally crippled they are.

And continue to block ALL attempts to pass restrictions on the rights of law-abiding citizens! 

Have YOU written, emailed and/or called your Congressmen regarding your opinion on all these onerous bills?

I HAVE.  MORE THAN ONCE!

You have no right to complain if  ‘a backroom deal’ is made, and our rights are further restricted!

DO IT NOW!  Click on the link below for contact information!

Representatives|Senators

_______________________________________________________

(And, now for something completely different – as promised)
I would ask all of you bloggers out there to at least make the effort to post a link to www.projectwelcomehometroops.org/#22kill

22 VETERANS COMMIT SUICIDE DAILY

Even ONE of these heroes making this choice is unacceptable! (Day #21 of 22)

 

Restroom Wars

Courtesy of The Grey Enigma

Federal Court Rules That Your Child Must ‘Share’ The Restroom

04/25/2016  

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

Seriously, we’re all sitting here watching the USA morph into one giant first world problem.

On Tuesday, the Fourth Circuit Court ruled against a Virginia school district that sought to accommodate a transgender student while also protecting the privacy rights of other students.

The court concluded that Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972—which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex—should be interpreted as prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity, as a Department of Education letter suggested in 2015. The ruling allows a lawsuit brought by a transgender student to proceed.

The case involves a biological girl who identifies as a boy. The court’s majority explains it this way: “G.G.’s birth-assigned sex, or so-called ‘biological sex,’ is female, but G.G.’s gender identity is male.” Note the scare quotes around what the court calls “so-called ‘biological sex.’” Biological sex, in fact, is precisely what Congress protected.

I’m confused.  Certainly there are folks who are ‘gender confused’, as well.  I would think the medical community would be the final determinator regarding whether or not a person requires gender reassignment or therapy to resolve the issues (?)

Remember Charles Beaumont?  The mystery, horror and science fiction author who wrote about horrible things.  Twilight Zone, Night Gallery and Tales from the Unknown have episodes.

Tales from the Unknown had one regarding a little girl who was tortured as a child.  Fed from a dog dish, especially when she showed male tendencies.  BECAUSE SHE WAS IN FACT ANATOMICALLY MALE!

Charles Beaumont had this done to him when he was a child!

If you have XX chromosomes, you are female.  If you have XY chromosomes, you are male.  Those with actual chromosome ‘issues’ make up something like 0.3% of the population.  Others might need therapy, not reassignment and surgery.  Certainly ‘self-identification’ alone contributes to the problem.

If you are confused, seek help.

Of course, this is not easy.  Between societal and parental pressures, the media and some person’s agendas. And as for The American Psychological Association?  The one that just came out and said adults are naturally attracted to children?!  Agendas abound.

I was a father to a daughter.  NO WAY IN HELL would I have allowed some five-o-clock-shadowed lummox in a dress to follow her into the ladies room because he ‘self-identified’ as a woman!

Then I saw THIS (one example of many) on Wirecutter’s blog…

Small Acts of Cowardice Are Destroying Our Culture

Early this morning I was reading Rod Dreher’s blog at the American Conservative and stumbled across yet another dispatch from the utterly absurd bathroom wars. One of his New York City readers wrote in to say that her 14-year-old daughter had just finished dressing in a city locker room when a grown man stepped from the showers wearing only a towel. Girls as young as seven were present, and they were staring at the man with “concerned expressions.” The reader ends her e-mail with, “It sucks to be a parent these days.”
And indeed it does suck, especially when you know that even your friends and alleged allies are simply too timid to act.
MORE
-Jim

(and this is ONE example of MANY where perverts are abusing the ‘good will’ of the courts!)

There was a time when accidentally walking into the ‘wrong’ room was an embarrassing accident, and walking in to view the opposite sex and/or take photos or commit sexual assault was considered a crime!

How many years have gay men and women gotten a thrill out of sharing a restroom or a shower with straights of their own gender?  And they were held responsible if they were inappropriate or criminal?

We are through the looking glass, people.  And it’s two-way and perverts of all varieties are watching!

Mixed Emotions

Today would have been our daughter Molly’s 33rd birthday.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOLLY!

Of course, I love her and miss her.  Daily.

I heard via the almighty Internet (on FB) that her best childhood friend is pregnant!

With a boy.

While I wish she and her husband well, part of me always wanted to be a grandfather.   And, of course, that never happened.

And I’m a little jealous.

I’m certain Molly is happy for them.

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…