Music Monday: Devo (Part 3)

Devo sent the link to this on twitter, so they obviously approve of its existence:

It’s just a shame none of the newer stuff was performed. Still, a good set.

Posted in Blog, Monk's Blog | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Phamily Foto Phriday 10-17-14

Last weekend was crazy busy. Let’s jump into it, shall we?

Friday (after I had posted the week’s photos) saw the penultimate cross country event.  The Pumpkin Run, where kids run the mile course with the last stretch of the course lined with pumpkins. After the run kids get to pick a pumpkin to take home (oldest first and on down in grade order).









10-17-14-3aSaturday Ciárán had a birthday party to attend. It was ridiculously fun. I was sort of surprised at how much fun it was. For the first hour or so all the kids did a Nerf battle. Then there was pizza and cake. For the last 30 minutes or so a few of the dads got to jump in and help out the kids. And yes, I jumped in. I tried to get some pictures or video while I was playing but simply couldn’t play and operate the camera at the same time.


That same Saturday Déla went to a friend’s for a sleepover. It was a busy day because as soon as I picked her up from the sleepover we drove straight to a private gymnastics lesson. Here she is on the trampoline and getting ready to bounce off into the foam pit. After this it was time to go straight to the final cross country event of the season. It was the final race for the older kids, grades 4 through 8. I had brought with me Déla’s change of clothes for both gymnastics and the race when I picked her up from the sleepover. She was (understandably) very tired by the time she got home.








Wednesday evening was Cub Scouts – the pack meeting. This meant both August and Ciárán went. And the activity was carving pumpkins. While we didn’t finish we did get a solid head start on their pumpkins.








Here are all the kids (in the house) getting ready to head out to school yesterday. Just look at that expression on Tevye!




Posted in Blog, Monk's Blog | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Not Tricking And No Treats

I like my neighborhood. There are some things about it that really help to make is special. The annual car show is one. The fact that I can walk to a number of different types of restaurants (Indian, Thai, pizza, Mexican, etc.) and the several bars and other types of businesses – well, it’s a good neighborhood.

Then there are things I don’t like about. Two major storefronts on the main intersection of the neighborhood have been vacant for a long time. It’s a problem. But it doesn’t upset me nearly as much as the annual neighborhood safe trick-or-treating event.

halloween 2014 flyerEvery year businesses in the neighborhood hand out candy on a coordinated night to give parents a safe alternative to trick-or-treating going door to door in the dark. I like this idea, I really do. But the execution of it stinks. Why can’t it be on Halloween? Even when Halloween is on the weekend this neighborhood event takes place the weekend before.

This year Halloween is on a Friday. This event could easily be done on Halloween. Businesses will be open. Why do this safe trick-or-treating event when kids wouldn’t normally go out trick-or-treating? As a matter of fact, every year why not hold this event on Halloween? By not holding the safe trick-or-treating even on Halloween it sort of defeats the purpose because kids will wind up trick-or-treating twice. Once on the day of the event and then again on Halloween. That doesn’t seem as safe as it should be.

Posted in Blog, Monk's Blog | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Not Lunch

“What do you want for lunch?” I asked Xavier.

It was just him (4 years), myself, and Tevye (5 months) at home. The other kids were either at school or who knows where. Before taking him to pre-school in the afternoons Xavier has lunch at home. I almost always ask him what he wants, but it is almost always the same. Juice, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and some fruit.

Today to save time I had the juice poured and sandwich made. All I needed was for him to pick his fruit. He didn’t know I had already done the prep work.

“I don’t want a peanut butter jelly sandwich,” he replied.

“Okay, then what do you want?”

“Fine, I’ll have a peanut butter jelly sandwich.”

Posted in Blog, Monk's Blog | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Music Monday: Dropkick Murphys

I was wrong. For years I resisted Dropkick Murphys. I was confusing Dropkick Murphys with Murphy’s Law, the hardcore band. I saw Murphy’s Law in 1989 opening up for The Ramones and didn’t like them. Not that I have anything against hardcore punk, I’m just rather picky about which ones I do like, and Murphy’s Law didn’t fit that bill for me. When Dropkick Murphys came out almost 10 years later people said to me that I should check the band out and I purposefully shunned the band.

It wasn’t until just a few years ago that I realized that not only were Dropkick Murphys and Murphy’s Law two different bands, and from two different cities (Boston as opposed to New York City). Sure, both have hardcore punk roots but only one infuses bagpipes and tin whistle into some of the songs.

What got me to finally check out the band? I’m sort of embarrassed to admit it was what is apparently the band’s biggest hit “I’m Shipping Up To Boston” from the 2005 album The Warrior’s Code. And no, it wasn’t from being the theme song to “Rizzoli & Isles”.

Even then it wasn’t until a couple of years after that I heard a full album by the band. 2003’s Blackout is a solid blend of the two sides of Dropkick Murphys. Here is “Worker’s Song” off that album.

So I became a mild fan of the band. I heard a little more and like the band more.

From the beginning there was the Irish influence. Boston can do that. It’s nice that Dropkick Murphys fully embraces it, but it took a while for it to kick in. Pun not intended. The first aalbm, 1998’s Do Or Die has bagpipes on a couple of the 16 tracks. Then there’s the traditional number “Fiinnegan’s Wake” which doesn’t feature any of the traditional instruments and is turned into an almost pure hardcore song.

Follow that with “The Wild Rover” from just a few years later (2001’s Sing Loud, Sing Proud) which does the song much more justice.

Of course there’s a version of the song that features Shane MacGowan from The Pogues joining Dropkick Murphys and it’s a mess, as one would expect.

It may have taken a while but Dropkick Murphys has successfully blended the punk rock ethos withe their Irish influences. Here is “Going Out In Style” from the band’s same named 2011 album.

dropkick murphys live 01I got to see Dropkick Murphys last week while on tour. The lead singer had to leave the tour a few days before the end, but the bass player Ken Casey who shares primary vocal duties on records (and whom I met once but that is a different story) took over and a friend of theirs from one of the opening bands took over on bass allowing Ken to concentrate on fronting the band.

No offense, but Al, the lead singer, wasn’t missed. Well, he was, but Ken did a great job.

dropkick murphys live 02The band played plenty of songs off their latest album, 2013’s Signed And Sealed With Blood along with plenty of older songs reaching all the way back to the first album. The newer stuff is, in my opinion much better, and while the older more hardcore stuff is good, but not equal to the stuff blending the two genres.

And live it is a very potent mixture.

Seeing Dropkick Murphys live made me all the more of a fan.



Posted in Blog, Monk's Blog | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Phamily Foto Phriday 10-10-14

This past Saturday was a big day for Déla. It was her first gymnastics meet of the season, and her first in the new higher AA division.

But before the meet she had Irish step dance. Here she is practicing her hard shoe.


At her meet she demonstrated both that she belongs in the higher difficulty level as well as how obvious it is this was her first time with this new skill set.

In these pictures we see her doing a cartwheel off the balance beam, performing a handstand during her floor routine and performing her bar routine. Lastly there she is with her team accepting their second place win (out of four teams).













I tried to get a shot of her doing the vault but she moved way too fast.

The next day was the Ribbon Run for the early grades – August and Déla will run in their championship race this Sunday. Here is Xavier starting off.


And here are Xavier and Ciárán coming up to the finish line.







Here is the cutest member of the family getting set to take everybody to school.






Posted in Blog, Monk's Blog | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Seeing The Kids

Remember last week when I mentioned I like seeing my kids during their lunch time recess? This afternoon I was walking back from dropping Xavier off at preschool when one of Déla’s friends saw me with Tevye in the stroller on the sidewalk and called for her. She came running across the playground. After a couple of minutes as we were about to move on August came running up. It was nice to see them both and Tevye was also obviously glad to see them.

I find it interesting that my kids choose to spend part of their lunch recess interacting with family. And it warms my heart.

oct aug dela

Posted in Blog, Monk's Blog | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The Current State Of Munchkin

We love Munchkin in this family. If we could we just might play it every other day. As it is I use it as an incentive to get August and Dela to stop fighting and get ready for school in the morning. And it’s working pretty well. Most days.

There are so many varieties and expansions to the card game – it is easy to get sucked down the rabbit hole of getting everything. As it is we don’t have nearly as much as we would like, but certainly enough to have plenty of enjoyment.

Here is what we have so far (in addition to some extras like bookmarks, coins, playing fields, etc.):munchkin booty 01

Munchkin Booty core set
Munchkin Booty 2 expansion
Fish & Ships booster pack

I’m considering getting another Fish & Ships booster (primarily just to have more sharks to play with).

epic munchkin kablooie 01Munchkin original core set
Munchkin 2 through 6 expansions
Several booster packs:
Gets Promoted
The Guild
Penny Arcade
Conan (not the standalone core set)
Easter Eggs
Tricky Treats

I need to pick up the Munchkin 8 expansion – I’ve got a Princess booster pack and the Munchkin 7 expansion on order which should arrive later this week. I don’t have any of the Christmas themed boosters and I’m not terribly interested in getting them. No, I am not quite sure why.

munchkin legends 01Munchkin Legends core set
Munchkin Legends 2 expansion
Dragons booster pack (because it’s fun)

Munchkin Legends 3 is going to be available very shortly and I’ll be picking that up as well.

For the original Munchkin game with all of the expansions and boosters we try to keep that one for playing Epic Munchkin, where players work towards level 20 instead of level 10. More rules are added in to make it more… epic. August likes to refer to that game as Munchkin Kablooie. With that game we add in the coins and bookmarks as well. If you’ve played more than a couple of games of Munchkin you’ll understand what I’m referring to.

We used to have Munchkin Quest in the house but when Kyle moved out the game moved out with him. I will have to order that soon as well. And Munchkin Adventure Time. Munchkin Panic is another game coming out soon that I’m interested in getting. Actually there are a lot of variants that I’d like to pick up, spy themed, old west themed, Cthulu, zombies, science fiction and more.

Munchkin isn’t the only game we play in the house, but at times is sort of feels like it.


Posted in Blog, Monk's Blog | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Music Monday: Apathy Edition

I am very uninspired today. Can’t seem to write anything despite all the ideas I had over the weekend or the piles of inspiration I have in front of me. So I give you this:

Posted in Blog, Monk's Blog | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Phamily Foto Phriday 10-3-14

This past Sunday was another cross country meet. Here are each of them as they came across the finish line.

And because he didn’t want to be left out, Here is a picture of me with Tevye.


Posted in Blog, Monk's Blog | Tagged , | Leave a comment