Rock Fists

Rock Fists

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday

Well, technically it was Saturday, Saturday, Saturday.. A seemingly innocuous ritual for little kids is going to see the monster trucks.. Somehow this ritual seemed to have eluded me in my childhood, but not to fear, I have 2 boys!  So off we went to see the Monster Trucks on Saturday.

Our seats were great, however it was so loud! Of course the boys had noise canceling headphones, but it was still loud.. I wish I had a pair! It was cool for the boys to see the monster trucks they  had essentially come to life, but I think the better response was with the Motocross bikers doing tricks, flips, etc..

Overall, it was very cool and a lot of fun, especially when a marriage proposal on the jumbotron captured the Kraken and me sitting right next to them (across the aisle)!

But the Kraken had had enough towards the end.. It was just too loud for him.. So we went out to the concourse where while it wasn't as loud, it was still pretty loud.. Loud enough that he kept his headphones on. While on the concourse I ran in to my friend Josh Hoch who was with his two little ones and his brother in law. We talked for a bit and both commented on how loud it was. I said I couldn't believe how many kids in there, especially little ones that didn't have ear protection. And he said it should be mandatory. Hmm..

With the roads as they were Saturday night, I did not think about it during our 3 hour trip back from Worcester that should have normally taken about 1 hour. However for the rest of the weekend I did think about it. I'm not a big "mandatory" or "force things on people" kind of person, but when you think about how children are still developing everything at this young age, ear protection at an event like this would be the intelligent thing to do. It can't be up to the child as they are not old enough know for the most part. If it is within their control, it is the parent's responsibility to ensure their child is protected.

I recently took the Twinado ice skating for the first time. Now I grew up in the 80s where not only did we not wear bike helmets, but our parents had no idea where the hell we were for a good 10 hours during the day. They said go play outside and I'll yell for you to come home for dinner. If we came home for lunch then we came home for lunch.. Otherwise, when you heard your mom's very distinctive yell or saw the street lights come on, you knew it was time to go home.. And you went home. If you fell off your bike and skinned your knee, elbow, etc you could go home for some treatment. Then it was right back out there. I also had very large backyard when I was growing up and part of it was woods, so in the winter we would go skating. Lots of downed trees and ponds on the property. We never wore helmets and we didn't even wear skates. Just sneakers. Did we fall down sometimes?  Yup. And did we even fall in sometimes? Yup.

All of that aside however, I did not hesitate one second to make sure I put their bike helmets in the car so I wouldn't forget to bring them skating. They had no issues wearing them as they just think this is what you do. And man am I glad they had them on. Within 5 minutes of skating, the Kraken took a spill and hit his head on the ice. With the helmet, he's back up and skating within 30 seconds.. Without the helmet, we're more than likely at the ER facing a concussion, possible stitches and who knows what else. And later, this little shit thinking he's the next NHL star (which he won't be because he fell more than we did) totally takes us out as we're all holding hands skating.. So again, the helmet saved them. For those curious, no I did not fall.  :)

I am curious though what people think about this topic. What do people think about helmets in general? Should they be mandatory for everyone riding a bike, ice skating, etc or just kids?  If just kids, for what ages?  Under 18? 13? What would be the cut off? What about the headphones or at the very least something to cover their ears while at an event such as the Monster Trucks? Should those be mandatory for everyone? Just kids? Should they be maybe included in the price of the ticket and given out at the event?

Let me know your thoughts. Post them on my FaceBook at and on Twitter @bdthaler or @TwinsOfAnarchy

Thursday, February 13, 2014

I keep forgetting..

You started to sing that Michael McDonald song, didn't you?  Go on, admit it.. Sorry about that..

Anyway, remember in Austin Powers, International Man of Mystery where Austin sleeps with the Italian bird Alotta, Alotta Fagina?  And when he tells Vanessa she explains to him he's going to be very lonely. Austin then spends the entire night drinking Tab so he can stay awake and tries to figure out everything he's missed in the last 30 years.. He's missed a lot including the fall of the Berlin Wall, the end of apartheid and the US putting a man on the moon.

Well, that's where this post comes in. One of the boys is keeping a Night Sky Journal and at the end of the month each child will compare their Night Sky Journal to what they see in the sky during the day. Cool idea. I just wish it was the fall or spring so it wasn't so damn cold out when we're standing out there looking at the sky..  But I digress..

We're charting the phases of the moon so he can see how they change as the month progresses.. And we look at some of the constellations and talk about what he sees. Currently the most notable fascination is with Orion the Hunter and his infamous belt. So we go back in and draw, color and write down what we see.

As we're looking up at the sky the other night, I hear "I'm going go to the moon one day". I said ok, you can become an astronaut. Did you know we've actually walked on the moon? They must have gotten whiplash with how quickly their heads spun around and like a minion asked "whaaaaaat?" I said yeah, on July 20th, 1969 (and no I did not have to look that up; Mr. Macini, my Space and Astronomy teacher in 9th grade did a really good job) Neil Armstrong became the first human being ever to walk on the moon. And after him there were 11 other people who walked on the moon. They thought that was the coolest thing ever. (Another cool fun fact is that my uncle was one of the engineers who worked on the guidance system of the Saturn V rocket that took Apollo 11 to the moon. True story)

But as parents we need to remember that our kids don't know everything we know (contrary to what they think). There are the obvious things like walking, feeding themselves, potty training, etc that we clearly need to teach them (see previous blog called Blank Slate)..  But the other cool stuff like we've walked on the moon that we take that knowledge for granted, they have no idea. You just never know what information about which subject is going to pique their interest. And then you never know where that may lead. Information is power.