17 January 2013

No new real input from me, but I stumbled on this link that pretty much nails my thoughts on the issue.  It's complicated yes, but it doesn't have to be so hard.

We interrupt our normal bloggings for some real talk...

I try to mostly keep this blog on the rails and off of the controversy superhighway.  But I've got to dip a little closer to the action than I normally do.  I've been simmering on this for months and just got pushed over the edge.  While I loooooove me some social media, I think it's making a lot of us less informed, less civilized, and endlessly more insensitive.

I've noticed for some time that any time there's any type of "hot-button" issue, social media (mainly Facebook and Twitter) is an easy place to engage/respond.  And if this year's NYC Marathon is any indicator, it's a very effective tool to drive change.  "That's great!  Encourage some discourse", you may be saying.  I agree completely, and think that some forum for level-headed discussion would be good for both sides of any issue, but you obviously haven't looked at the grammar error laden, hateful, and misinformed garbage that often permeates those discussions.  And in the wake of the more recent incidents of gun violence and mass murders, kooks are coming out of the woodwork.  Plenty of my "friends" on Facebook have starkly different views than me, and that's perfectly fine.  It's what makes the world go 'round.

But....some of their views are being directly pulled from super nutty people that are making their way into mainstream news.  And seriously, why are you liking all of these gun sites/posts/pictures/quotes from Hitler?  Did the loss of those 26 lives at Sandy Hook make you like guns THAT MUCH MORE, or have you always liked them but now feel the need to tell everyone that you do indeed need an assault rifle and will shoot anyone who tries to take it away.  Or hope to be locked and loaded in a movie theater with another shooter (that didn't pan out so well).  Let's not even start on Alex Morgan and his tirade.  Wow, right?

Newsflash to all those claiming that criminals don't follow gun laws.  No sh!t, Sherlock.  However, none of the recent round of mass/school/theater shooters have been criminals.  Not a one.  They've been people that acquired high-powered, assault rifles legally (or they weren't properly secured at home), which means the type of gun control laws being discussed would have made a difference.  Now I know that we have the 2nd Amendment protecting the right to bear arms, but can you give me a convincing argument as to why we need the right to own assault rifles with massive clips?  Isn't it fair to say that loss of life could have been limited if these shooters didn't have access to the weapons they used?  I'm not one that wants to own a gun period, but I understand that some people want to protect themselves and feel that a gun is a way to do that.  Or go out and shoot Bambi.  Or go out and shoot clay pigeons or targets at the gun range.  But please tell me why any of those things would require the need for a semi-automatic weapon.  Seriously, I'd like to get a side of that argument that makes a shred of sense.

I stand firmly behind the president's recent recommendations on gun law reform (you can check out the details and highlights at the bottom of this page), but realize the state of our society and more importantly congress will probably stop most or all of these changes from happening (hooray!) so I'll leave it at this: I completely understand that this is a complex issue that's more than just gun control, but please use some common sense here, people.  No one is trying to snatch up your guns.  Let's have a meaningful discussion.  If there are some things that we as a country can to to keep a parent or brother or wife from having to deal with the inexplicable pain that comes from a lost loved one to gun violence, we should act like open-minded, reasonable people.  And get it done.  Right now.

Jon Stewart seems to have a grasp of things, it really doesn't need to be this hard...

Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2013 by Bryan Timmons


04 January 2013

...the holiday season was gone (and so was an entire week of trying to get this post written).  No more turkey.  No more pies.  No more presents, fa la la la laaaas, lights or trees (except in our house where the tree is still standing strong due to laziness desire to hold onto the season).  And no more leg lamp in the front window.  So much buildup and hubbub and before you can blink, it's over and done for another year.

Tree notwithstanding, we gave a valiant effort to celebrate this year.  And celebrate again.  And then some more.  Between both sides of the family, we had approximately 27 Christmases.  Or thereabout, I didn't really keep a close count, but there was certainly no shortage.  And after it was all said it done, it looks like Toys R Us partied too hard and threw up in our living room.  A toy purge/archiving is definitely an overdue, if not overly exciting to-do on the list.

Early Christmas morning looked something like this in our house...

Santa was here and he brought possibly the loudest toy of all time, with no volume switch.  Santa's elves did not mention this feature on their North Pole Amazon reviews.

Books and book characters showed up

The dogs needed help with their stockings

Make a mental note of this, then compare to the end of day picture later

What can I say, the kid likes a box of beer and Dunkin' Donuts (and of course those fingers).  

After breakfast and opening more presents with the Robinsons, it was off to my parents' house for dinner and more festivities.  Avett was certainly more interested in presents this year, and got into the unwrapping game somewhat.  I'm sure next year will be a tornado of tape, bows and wrapping paper, but this year was a little more delicate.

Action shot / Uncle Kev sighting

Santa left a whole sack for this guy

Somehow, we only managed to get one family picture of the 3 of us on Christmas Day this year, and full disclosure: it came at the very end of the day.  I am embarrassed and don't know how we let this happen, but here it is.  

Ruth Ann looks great, Avett is DONE, and I've had too much turkey.  Obviously.

One of the presents for the moms was extra special this year.  My uber-talented friend Ouida helped me sneak in a quick photo session, spent way too much time making them extra fancy, and allowed me to surprise them with a framed version of this guy.

And the popular favorite

And some other great, great pics that are living over on Facebook.  Check them out and show Ouida some love!

Our final stop on the Christmas train came the following weekend and the kid was a hit, as usual.

Hey Grandpa, you'll hold my presents for me, right?  All of them, please.

And back home, snuggled up with a dog that's bigger than he is

We didn't let the dust settle long before looking ahead to New Year's Eve, and a concert with the Avett Brothers.  Now, it's no surprise to anyone here that we're big fans.  I could go into great detail of why, but I'll sum it up like this.  These guys are good dudes.  And I dare you to find another band with a banjo, acoustic guitar, cello and upright bass that can give you goosebumps one moment and have you jumping all over the place the next.  It's just good music that you feel in your soul and in your guts.

We've seen these guys a number of times (and are already planning for Merlefest in April, natch!), but this time we were up in the standing room front section.  Ruth Ann and baby 2 were troopers and we had an absolute blast.  


With Passion


Serious rocking in the background



Three words...

And just for fun, here's the countdown to midnight, captured by someone else near us.  Lots of balloons, LOTS of confetti.  Tons of fun.

And that about catches us up.  Happy New Year, everyone!  Make 2013 something special...

Posted on Friday, January 04, 2013 by Bryan Timmons