passaic-valley

Dad in the Box

August 28, 2010

Given that most of the Northern Hemisphere is making ice right now, it is hard to believe that the planet is warming as scientists predict. Of course, the proponents of global warming will tell you that the weather we are experiencing is just a temporary redistribution of the polar ice cap to ...

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This is the time of year when I like to sleep. In fact, I would hibernate for the winter if it weren't for all the little things in life that require my attention. Things like work and kids and NFL playoff games. But for six or seven hours each night I get to curl up under a toasty comforter next ...

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"I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will not shut out the lessons that have been taught to me. Please Spirit; tell me I may sponge away the writing on this stone!" At this point in the story, Mr. Magoo has wrapped his pudgy little arms around the feet of the ...

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I have been thinking a lot about Feng Shui lately. Feng Shui is not, as I first thought, the evil emperor who battled Flash Gordon (that was Ming the Merciless). Feng Shui is the ancient Chinese science that governs life energy flow in the physical spaces where we live. In English, Feng Shui ...

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I don't understand the fascination with celebrity in this country. Famous people seem to be in the news constantly for the most mundane things. Honestly, you would think Tiger Woods never hit a tree after teeing off without his driver before. But I suppose we all have a natural curiosity for ...

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Dear Abby: I was party to an unfortunate incident at my daughter's soccer match over the weekend. In the community where I live parents convivially mingle on the sidelines, often standing in groups or sitting in portable canvas folding chairs to root for their children. Although parents can get ...

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Chess is a game of psychology and intellect where the objective is to destroy the mind of your opponent. This is the kind of stuff my fourteen-year-old son says to me after he beats me in chess. In my defense, I really don't know much about the game. I know the basic rules and the rest is just a ...

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This Thanksgiving we have a lot to be thankful for. For example, we could be sitting in a Guantanamo cell listening to Metallica at ear-splitting volume. Apparently this is how high-value detainees are tortured, even though this is what many of us endured in college by choice. And now, famous ...

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Over the years we have acquired a sizeable library of children's books. Some of these books we purchased, but most were given as gifts by relatives and friends who felt they were somehow enriching our kids' minds. If they had taken the time to read some of these books, they probably would have ...

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The other morning as my wife and I prepared for the day ahead, we listened to a Today Show segment on gender differences. Among other things, the subject matter experts referred to scientific studies which indicate that women talk more than men. In fact, in a single day women will use 20,000 words ...

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I am the fixit guy in our household. When things break, as they always do, I am the universal help line, 1-800-Dad-Help! For example, I am the one who changes all the light bulbs. (Tip: if you change one at night, be sure to have a flashlight). I am the one who replaces all the batteries. (Tip: ...

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Thank goodness for Target, Wal-Mart, Toys-R-Us, and all of the other thoughtful retail giants that supply me each year with ready-to-wear Halloween costumes for my children. Instead of reaching deep within to tap my latent talents as a costume designer, I can easily pick up the latest Disney ...

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It was a lot easier getting into trouble when I was a kid. One morning, when I was about six years old, I decided to join the circus. It was a rash decision: I didn't have any talent. But I desperately wanted to escape the bedroom prison where I was being detained for scarfing down six jelly ...

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This is the time of year when I forget the names of my children. Like Porky Pig I stutter through every name in the family until I land on the right one. And even then, sometimes I don't get it right. Abee Ceebie Deebie Eeebie Rider, stop throwing the football in the house before you break a lamp! ...

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I recently received an enticing notice in the mail from my cable provider, who shall remain nameless. It said in big bold menacing letters: YOUR FAVORITE CHANNELS WILL SOON GO AWAY UNLESS YOU CALL NOW. I immediately called Comcast, my cable provider who shall remain nameless. Why can't I keep my ...

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On Sunday evening my wife wanted to watch the Emmys, the televised award show in which television awards itself for excellence in television. I wasn't sure how they could wring three hours of broadcast excellence out of a medium notorious for lame programming until they offered up an award for ...

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Last week as President Obama was explaining his healthcare proposal to a joint session of Congress, Joe Wilson pointed an angry finger and shouted "you lie". Actually, what he really said was "liar liar pants on fire" but this was cut off by the jeers of those colleagues who were not otherwise ...

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Shhhh! Listen. Do you hear that sound? That is the sound of buzzing children, excited children, children re-engaging for the next nine months in all things school. Today is the day when I throw open the garage and turn the keys to my three revving Maseratis over to more qualified and gifted ...

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Here are some sports stories I would really like to see. Civil Suit Brought Against Plaxico Burress by Right Thigh New Jersey. In a surprise move today Plaxico Burress's right thigh filed civil charges against the beleaguered running back stemming from wounds it sustained during a shooting ...

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I am one of those people who can't sit down. Unless, of course, I am already sitting down, in which case I am one of those people who can't stand up. Such was the position I found myself the other day when I retreated from the sticky heat into a rather large lounge chair that was resting idly in ...

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Not too long ago, in my search for activities to occupy my kids, I discovered the Summit Police Youth Academy, a unique summer program run by the Summit Police Department to expose young adolescents to police work and training. Crime scene investigation, physical fitness, canine demonstrations—it ...

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Sometimes I feel optimism is vastly overrated. It's just no fun being happy all the time! We need a break from the carefree, happy-go-lucky events that buoy our lives everyday and exercise our god given right to suck the life out of everyone around us. Let's face it, there are some days when you ...

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It is the seventh inning stretch during a nationally televised game between the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago Cubs. A commercial comes on the air. The music swells dramatically as a deep-voiced announcer commands our attention. Announcer: Bud Light presents . . . Real Men of Genius. Today we ...

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My good friend Joe has three gorgeous daughters. His youngest just graduated from high school. His second daughter just graduated from college. His oldest daughter got married last weekend. It's been a long summer for Joe. He speaks in short sentences. He drools occasionally. My family attended ...

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I would like to address a serious issue that has not gotten the attention it deserves: Men's Health. Men's Health is a subject that is ignored each year by millions of healthy men in this country, mainly because they are healthy men. Contrary to popular belief, Men's Health does not mean having ...

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Over the weekend I showed my kids how to Moon Walk. We were at an outside barbeque and a Michael Jackson song had just started pulsing from the outdoor speakers. I perched on my left toe, listed forward, and pulled my right foot back along the ground. Then I quickly reversed my balance to the ...

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There are some experiences fathers are just not prepared for in life. Changing Diapers. Disneyland vacations. Driving a minivan. Purchasing life insurance. Prolonged holiday visits with in-laws. Maturing. Little things. This doesn't mean that we are incapable of coping; it just means that we are ...

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Over the weekend I cleaned out my garage. This monumental task, which I reluctantly undertake whenever I start to crash into the bicycles, requires moving everything out of the garage and then carefully repacking it better than I did the year before. This year my need to free up garage space was ...

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There are some important facts concerning electric hair clippers that I think everyone should know. For example, were you aware that clippers come with detachable guides to control the length of the haircut? Or that without these guides clippers are only surpassed by a razor in the amount of hair ...

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Ah, the sounds of spring...robins twittering gaily in the morning...newly hung wind chimes ringing in the soft breeze...the gentle patter of evening showers...the flat honk of a saxophone practicing in the living room... Yes, as our budding musicians near the end of school, it is time for one of ...

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