Friday, May 24, 2013

Boy Scout Rant Revisited – I'm a Bit Calmer Now

Yesterday the Boy Scouts of America voted to end their longstanding policy of excluding openly gay boys from their membership. They will continue to exclude LGBT adults from their leadership. You may recall that I wrote a pretty strongly worded post in opposition to this policy proposal back in April when it was first made public. I even bolded words to make them more angry sounding. In light of the decision, I reread that post this morning and have come to a couple conclusions. 

I was right about some things, but a little too angry about others. The measure does not go far enough. On this point I stand firmly. To allow gay members, but not allow gay leaders, the policy is not only contradictory in nature, it is still offensive. But yet…

I concluded in the piece that the Boy Scout Council purposefully chose a half measure to feign an insincere interest in being more inclusive, but was actually trying to incite anger from progressive parents. According to my last piece, the BSA Council was doing this so that they could collectively shrug their shoulders and say "See we tried. We just can't reason with these people." I further predicted that the measure would be defeated. 

I was obviously wrong on at least one accord, and admittedly overreached on the other. The vote passed, and the BSA Council was most likely not trying to sabotage it. Looking at the 60% that voted for approval, I have to admit that they were most likely trying to save it. The BSA did extensive, private polling of their membership before writing the proposal. Now that I am a bit more calm, and have the gift of hindsight, I am inclined to believe that the BSA wrote a proposal they knew would not only pass, but would pass with enough of a margin to provide a mandate moving forward. 

So where does that leave us? Where does it leave the BSA? Where does it leave me and my boy? Well , this has been a pretty heated topic of discussion between my buddies and I since the whole thing began. And through multiple discussions with people I love, and whose opinions I respect (even when we don't agree on everything) here is where I've landed. 

This is a good thing. There is a reason that progress is the root of the word progression. It is a continuum, and the BSA has taken a noteworthy step. There will undoubtedly be an exodus of far right members of the BSA now, and it will most likely hurt the BSA.  If we want to help save this organization and continue to support its progression towards full acceptance of LGBTQ people, then we need to step in and fill the void left by the far right folk who are leaving. 

As someone who has not always been a great friend to the LGBTQ community, I can honestly say that the best way to bring people over to our side is to get to know them and show how alike we all really are. 

So there you have it. I've caved a little since my last post, but my resolve stands strong to work towards the change that is right. For now, my boy will be a Boy Scout someday (if he wants to). Granted, they still have seven years to muff things up, but yesterday's decision, the one that had me fuming a month ago, now has me feeling a little more optimistic. 60% is a lot of percent. Now let's get the other 40! 

Love, Dad (John)

P.S. As always, feel free to tell me why I am wrong in the comments. I learn much more from considering that I may be wrong, than from always insisting that I am right. 

If you'd like to read my previous posts on this subject, they can be found here and here.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

How I Spent $10.99 on Mother's Day

My first thought was minivan. Stevie and I made the mistake of going in to test-drive a Honda Odyssey "for fun" a few weeks ago, and ever since, every time we see one driving down the road, she gives me this adorable "I want a Slurpee" flirty-faux-frown. The problem is, she doesn't want a Slurpee. She wants a twenty-thousand dollar minivan. So for about ten minutes on Friday, when it dawned on me that I had yet to get my wife a Mother's Day present, I tried to do mental math gymnastics until the numbers added up to "minivan".  Unfortunately, the numbers kept coming up foreclosure. So I moved on. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

How to Put Your Kid to Bed Without Any Fighting

…is the name of the blog post I've been looking for forever. It doesn't exist. Don't bother Googling it. If you try now, all you'll find is this post, and you'll probably be mad when you start reading the post and realize that I have no idea how to do what the title suggests. I do know the method we use, and it tends to work more than it doesn't. All you need is eternal patience, the willingness to let go of all control, 30-90 minutes, and these 7 steps.

Thursday, May 2, 2013


All night Duchess has been running around yelling "NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA IRON MAN!!!" It's the Batman theme song from the sixties. I taught it to her awhile ago, and now she thinks that any superhero's name that ends with "man" belongs in the song.

Hasbro contacted me a little while ago to see if I wanted to try out their new line of Iron Man toys that are coming out at the same time as Iron Man 3 this weekend. I'm not going to lie. I wanted the toys for myself more than I wanted them for Duchess. I love Iron Man. So I said sure! Send me some toys for my "daughter". Then, for the next couple weeks, I hurried home from work every day to see if the UPS guy had delivered my "daughter's" Iron man toys. Guess what came yesterday!!!


Duchess got the Arc Strike Iron Man Figure and has been flying him around the living room all evening. She even makes adorable flying noises. He's actually really cool. His head is weighted so it changes directions depending on whether he is flying or standing. When he lands he makes a metal clanking sound. It is a little delayed, but Duchess didn't seem to notice. Oh and he talks. Sometimes it is hard to hear what he is saying, but sometimes it is hard to tell what Duchess is saying too - so they get along swimmingly. After pealing Iron Man out of the box Duchess insisted on giving him a check up with her doctors kit. Once Tony Stark was cleared for flight Duchess began a run around the living room and singing the Batman theme song over and over and over and over and over. Thanks Hasbro. She tired eventually and now she, Iron Man, and Muno from Yo Gabba Gabba are sleeping soundly.

We also received the Iron Man Helmet (Marvel Iron Man 3 ARC FX Mission Mask). Like the action figure, the mask's eyes glow blue and it talks. It also shoots little plastic darts out the sides at an unexpectedly high speed. Stevie was not entertained when one bounced off of her forehead. She was also not entertained when I wore the mask and jumped out of a closet and yelling IRON MAN!!!  On a side note, the mask does not actually provide any protection from wife punches. In fact, it makes them hurt more. 

So anyway. Good times were had by all, and you can't beat free toys. Well, I agreed to write a blog post about them, so I guess I am paying them with my words. Honestly, I would have paid them with dollars too. Seeing Duchess sleep cuddle with Iron Man, and getting my wife to agree to a picture of her with the helmet while nursing Captain would of been worth the cost alone, but being able to wear an Iron Man mask to work on Monday? Priceless.

Love, Dad (John)

P.S. This is part one of a two part product review. I also got some Angry Birds Star Wars toys. They were a little out of Duchess's age range, so I am taking them to my nephew's house to play with them and will be posting soon. If you don't remember my nephew, he's the one with the sweet dance moves.