Being Dad

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So, as has become a family tradition, Friday night is “Pizza and a Movie” night. Although mom joins us from time to time, it’s normally just the boys and me (mainly due to the movies we pick to watch, which typically involve super heroes–not mom’s thing).

Anyway, tonight is a typical night, with Marcos Pizza and the new “Black Panther” movie!

Pizza and a Movie

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This afternoon, the boys and I went to the IMAX theater to see the new “Avengers: Infinity War” movie. Needless to say (if you’ve seen the movie, of course), the movie’s ending left us wondering “what the h…”, a sentiment especially reflected in the boys’ somewhat bewildered look…

Infinity War

Still, we can’t wait for the next installment!! (which is just the point 🙂 )

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And so we head-off to breakfast, and like everything at Disney, we wait in line…

Heading to Breakfast Heading to Breakfast

We didn’t have much planned at Animal Kingdom today…Fast Passes for “Everest” again, this time it was Adam and me, while Mom and Alex went to the “It’s Tough to be a Bug” show (which Alex loves!). As you can see, Adam has learned where the cameras are, so he can make faces during the ride…

Everest Again

and then, it’s Cindy’s favorite show, “The Festival of the Lion King”…

Lion King

Pomba

We were going to do the “Kilimanjaro Safari” ride, but Cindy and the boys were anxious to get to the pool at the resort, so we left a little early. The pool was really nice…

Caribbean Beach Resort Pool

and so was the beach…

Caribbean Beach Resort

So, while Cindy relaxed and sipped a tropical drink, and the boys ran wild in the water, I slipped-off to the Magic Kingdom to visit the “Hall of Presidents”.

Yes. I went there for that one attraction. Not only is it one of my favorites, I hadn’t see it since they added President Trump. Anyway, I drove to the park, walked to the gate, got on the Ferry to Magic Kingdom, walked down Main Street U.S.A. to Liberty Square and arrived just 15-minutes before the show started.

When I arrived, the Muppets were putting on a show right next door…

Muppets

Soon, the doors opened for the “Hall of Presidents” and the crowd strode in. I had an excellent seat…

Hall of Presidents

and the show was GREAT! As always.

Hall of Presidents

After the show, I walked back out to Liberty Square, down Main Street U.S.A., got on the Ferry back to the gate, walked to my truck, and drove back to the resort. Just so you know, this single attraction journey took about 2-1/2-hours.

Dinner was a BIG BUCKET OF CRAB LEGS at Joe’s Crab Shack and a slice of Key Lime Pie for the birthday girl.

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For almost 15-years years I’ve been carting around boxes of books, as we’ve moved from place to place for work…first the Air Force and now in my post-military career. I always said when we finally settled somewhere, I’d put-up some bookcases and get rid of all those boxes.

Well, we moved back to Jax in 2012 and there just never seemed to be enough time to get it done–actually, there was plenty of time, it was just low on the priority list. Anyway, I finally got it done.

The Office

About time, right? But hey, they say “hard work pays-off in time”, but procrastination pays-off NOW! 😉

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It’s a great day for baseball! Charlie came to the game today and hung-out with Dad to watch the game…

Dad and Charlie at the game

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Boating season has officially started! Today, the boys and I took Charlie out on the water for a few hours…

On the boat

It seems like it’s been forever since we’ve felt the wind and spray in our face…especially Alex!

On the boat

It was GREAT just being outside! It got a little cloudy and we got a few sprinkles, but that didn’t put a damper on our fun!

On the boat

On the way back to the marina, Adam took the wheel for a bit…

On the boat

while Charlie daydreamed…

On the boat

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The best photos are those in which the subject doesn’t know he’s being photographed. I caught Adam watching a YouTube video on his laptop today. His concentration and posture were compelling and made him look more mature than his 9-years would have you believe. Or maybe it’s just because I’m his dad and still see him as a little boy. After all, he taught himself to pitch by watching YouTube. He learned fundamentals and mechanics of the wind-up to which we perfected together on the field. Always inquisitive and forever questioning, he takes the initiative to learn. If that’s not maturity, I don’t know what is.

Watching YouTube

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wherein we discover it’s sometimes found in context…

Adam: Can we go to the place with the tiny hamburgers I love so much?

Me: Sure, let’s go to Krystal.

Krystal

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So, this year we’re changing things up a bit and will enjoy our Thanksgiving dinner at my personal favorite Disney park: Disney Hollywood Studios!

Tram Ride DHS Statue

There was so much to do. We had our Fast Passes which made it pretty easy to get to the other activities we wanted to do…mainly just enjoying the Christmas music and awesome decorations,

Christmas Tree Christmas Tree

and…

SANTA!

Santa

Santa

Who also was seen doing a little breaking-and-entering…

Santa

Anyway, we scheduled an early dinner at Hollywood & Vine, where we got to mingle with the Disney characters…

to start, Goofy and I shot the breeze for a bit…

Dad and Goofy

then, we brought the family in…

Family and Goofy

And while we waited on Mickey and the gang, we helped ourselves to Thanksgiving dinner!

Thanksgiving Dinner Thanksgiving Dinner

And in-between going back for second helpings, we hung-out with some Disney VIPs…

Mickey Donald
Minnie Daisey

After dinner, it was just starting to get dark and the Christmas lights we all coming on. Mom and Alex toured the Pixar Studio area, while Adam and I made our way over to the Rockin’ Rollercoaster…and whoooosh!

Rocking Rollercoaster

And that about wrapped-up our day. We watched the light show on the Tower of Terror…

Lights

and stopped for one last picture…

Family

And best of all? NO DISHES TO WASH!!

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Boy

Today I read the announcement from the BSA Board of Directors that they’re expanding the program to allow girls into the Boy Scouts. I’m saddened by this turn of events because I can no longer in good conscience support the scouting program. For me, the BSA is about teaching boys how to be good men. I believe in order to do this, the focus has to be on the boy. I believe adding girls to the program, no matter how well-intentioned, will inevitably result in a change to both the curriculum and the structure.

Michael Surbaugh, the BSA’s Chief Scout Executive, says,

“We believe it is critical to evolve how our programs meet the needs of families interested in positive and lifelong experiences for their children. We strive to bring what our organization does best – developing character and leadership for young people – to as many families and youth as possible as we help shape the next generation of leaders.”

This is a noble goal and I believe the values described in the Scout Oath and Scout Law” represent worthy attributes to develop in both boys and girls. However, executing on this content at the local level is where I see problems arising.

The Board of Directors say the rationale for the change is,

“Families today are busier and more diverse than ever. Most are dual-earners and there are more single-parent households than ever before, making convenient programs that serve the whole family more appealing. Additionally, many groups currently underserved by Scouting, including the Hispanic and Asian communities, prefer to participate in activities as a family.”

Again, this is noble, but the Board of Directors says Cub Scouts Dens will remain single-gender, which means for families with boys and girls, there will still be separate meetings. The boy’s den will have their own activities and the girl’s den will have theirs. They may be working on the same adventures, but maybe not at the same time and they will each have their own activities. And if they’re different ages, they will be working on different adventures entirely. How is this supposed to help make things easier for single-parent households or allow communities to participate in activities as a family (incidentally, the BSA already allows this with family campouts, etc.)? I think the only way to achieve this goal is to make the dens co-ed…and that’s exactly where I think this is going. When this happens the social dynamic changes at the basic level and this is where the BSA will lose its identity.

The Board also claims,

“Recent surveys of parents not involved with Scouting showed high interest in getting their daughters signed up for programs like Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, with 90 percent expressing interest in a program like Cub Scouts and 87 percent expressing interest in a program like Boy Scouts. Education experts also evaluated the curriculum and content and confirmed relevancy of the program for young women.”

This is great! However, only 10% of boys in the U.S. are currently involved in Scouts. Instead of opening-up the program to girls, why not focus on the 90% of boys in America that could benefit from the BSA’s character and leadership development programs?

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