Show Adolf some love why don't ya?

Three year-old Adolf Hitler Campbell of Holland Township, NJ will not be getting his birthday cake from the local Shop-Rite.  They refused to write “Happy Birthday Adolf Hitler” on the cake and his parents decided to take a stand.

Shop-Rite, what you did was wrong.  Plain and simple.  In fact, it was about as short-sighted and ignorant as this poor kids’ Holocaust denier Dad.  The same Dad who, by the way, named Adolf’s sisters JoyceLynn Aryan Nation and Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie.

This kid is starting out life with such a huge disadvantage and a future of teasing and torment that will probably wring any good will out of his little heart.  It is incumbent on those of us who try to be thoughtful and compassionate to show little Adolf something different.  The way to accomplish this is NOT to be dick-ish to his father by punishing the kid.  Take away the father’s cause for indignation and notoriety.    Maybe young Adolf has a chance see that a hate-filled philosophy is not the path to take.

It is equally disappointing to hear Barry Morrison,  a director for the Anti-defamation league of Philadelphia, applauding Shop-Rite’s action finding the children’s names “offensive”.  Further, he said,

“It’s doing them (the children) a tremendous disservice, and it’s cruel that parents would place these names on children,” he said. “It’s a mark upon them. It sets them apart for ridicule, derision, attacks. 

Apparently, Mr. Morrison felt there was no time like the present to get that started.  Let’s add that moron to the list of the people who learned nothing from the Holocaust.

“Once you bring life into the world, you must protect it. We must protect it by changing the world.

— Elie Wiesel (Holocaust Survivor, Writer, Nobel Laureate)


Bloody well worth it

The wife, kids and myself just completed the grueling post-Thanksgiving trip home from Connecticut.  We even set a new record, 10 hours!  That is four hours over a typical Maryland to Connecticut run and an hour over the previous record set somewhere around 1990.

Even while the aches of that marathon journey still restrict my movements, I can cheerily state it was worth it and I’d do it again tomorrow.  Thanksgiving is far and away my favorite holiday.  It is all about family, food and laughter.  It has been this way for quite a while and I guess it isn’t going to change.  We’ve established some new rituals, like my brother’s Thanksgiving-eve cocktail party and the Black Friday trip to the movies with my sister and her kids.  But it is the basic premise, that we’ll all be together for Thanksgiving, that holds true.

This year, the potential for a less than stellar get together was there.  Some family changes are in progress, which is always difficult as well  it was the first Thanksgiving we’ve been without my stepmother.  It was she who firmly established Thanksgiving as the holiday to come home for.  It was fitting for my family to settle on a secular holidays to come together.  While we were all raised Jewish, I don’t think it ever quite held the importance for us that family itself did.  So, as adults, it continued to decline in interest and prominence.

Happily,  every seemed ready for a time of hugs and laughter.  We play very well together and it seems that we never quite get enough of one another.  Luckily, this continues in the next generation of cousins who are always anxious to see each other and act like no time has past.  Which is kind of funny, since all we can see is how much they’ve changed as they grow between visits.

The holidays take on greater significance as the demands of our very separate lives keep us apart the rest of the year and we’ll keep doing battle with the New Jersey Turnpike to be there.  These times are truly precious and few.


Costa Rica: No Guns, No War, NO ARMY

My wife and I spent the last week of July in Costa Rica.  We really enjoyed the diving, eco-touring and eating.  It’s just a beautiful country and the people treated us spectacularly.  Especially for that part of the world, they have a remarkably stable economy and political structure.  With the growth of tourism, they have actually restored some of their rainforests and they have an aggressive restoration program.  Very cool.

We traveled with 9 others on a trip organized through our local dive shop.  While we only dove on the first two of the 7 days, there was still the familiar bonding among divers.  We had a great group to share our all too brief adventure with.  It was a pretty fast paced tour of the country with 3 hotels, diving, rappelling, zip-lines, beach, ATVs and horses.  Believe it, or not, there was even time for a little souvenir shopping.

Not surprisingly, we were at a loss for a gift for my 16-year-old son.  I thought I hit the mother lode while shopping in La Fortuna, near the Arenal Volcano, a shop full of figures of dragons, skulls and the like.  Just the kind of stuff he likes.  It took me a minute, but I soon noticed it was a head shop and they were all pipes.  OK, not quite the message I wanted to bring home.

I settled on the Costa Rica: No Guns, No War, NO ARMY T-Shirt.  He’d like that.

I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.  ~Mark Twain


Every opportunity

I really wanted to head down to D.C. and catch George Hrab‘s show at the Hawk&Dove, for the Center For Inquiry, this evening. Geo doesn’t get this close that often and it would have been fun to see the show he’s going to be doing at The Amazing Meeting in Las Vegas later this month.

Tonight was also my daughter’s 8th grade program and dance. Next year, she will be in high school and this is a pretty big transition for her.

Her Middle School career has been something special with great friends and a huge change from kid to young woman. It was not a question of missing this event, ever. I really try to take every opportunity to be with my kids for important (and not so important) events.  Really I think it’s the nameless times making each other laugh that we’ll remember the most.

I wanted to do both.

I pretty quickly realized, once I was seated in the auditorium, D.C. was not going to be an option. A quick sigh and I was committed to the moment. I have found that everything is more enjoyable when you are not focused on where you could be, but where you are.

I missed Geo’s show, there will be others. My daughter will have more moments like this, but I may not get to share them.

Allie and friends

Totally worth it, don’t you think?

“I’ve met many people in my time. Liked many. Loved a few. Only my children are the air I breath.”