Friday, December 27, 2013

Sharing a Great Blog About the Benefits of Taekwondo

The Second Beautiful Daughter, A Moment After Receiving Her Black Belt in 2009

Sometimes, it's okay to let someone else do the heavy lifting.

First Beautiful Daughter: Speed Break
Beautiful Black Belts & Awesome Orange Belt (Courtesy of M. Fournier)
Last August, I blogged about the reasons I believed practicing Tae Kwon Do has helped me and my single father family during the past ten years or so. The blog was entitled Tae Kwon Do and The Single Father. Blogger Ken Meyers does a nice job reinforcing many of the ways martial arts helps kids mature and develop. Check out Ken's blog about the benefits of martial arts training for children.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Casting Call - Looking for Lost Love? REUNITED

My friend, Carissa Antine, contacted me this week to tell me about a
television show that she's casting for a major cable network. I know the network, but I promised not to tell! The show, Reunited, will help participants/cast members find long lost loves!

Here's what Carissa is looking for:


For a major cable network comes an inspiring new series.

We are casting real, dynamic and outgoing people who want to reconnect with lost loves!

There are lots of stories where past loves have rekindled their romance and lived happily ever after - could this be you? Take this opportunity of a lifetime to see how “what if” pans out. Take a leap of faith!

Are you ready for a second chance at love? We are searching nationwide for single men and women who would love to reconnect with the ones they never got over for this new, inspirational series.

To be considered to to nominate someone, please write us at with the following information:

·      Name
·      Age
·      Occupation
·      City/state
·      A short bio
·      A brief story about you and your lost love
·      Also, please send us 2 non professional pics of yourself and two of you and your lost love

If you want to find a long lost love, or know someone else who does, please email Carissa at the address above or call her at 516-353-1166.

Good luck!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Single Father's Book Club: I GREW UP ON A FARM

Like a lot of people, I did not grow up on a farm. I grew up on a planned suburban development to accommodate Baby-Boomers' ever growing demand for affordable housing. Located about 20 miles outside a larger metropolitan area, there were 1,500 three-bedroom and two-bathroom ranch homes in our 1960's era subdivision, which required the clearing of hundreds of acres of farmland. At my house, there were no chickens, no cows, and no hogs.

I did not grow up on a farm, but Alan K. Lewis did.

2008 Charlotte Award Nominee book, I Grew Up On A Farm is a nostalgic journey through Mr. Lewis' real childhood experiences on the family farm near Middletown, New York where he and his brother were born and raised. The story is non-fiction and the reader will find no cute rhymes and no simple or entertaining plots. Rather, the young audience will find a simple and true account of life on a farm in rural America during the 1950's and 1960's. For example, on page 13, Lewis describes a typical summer night, "At night, we slept in tents under the stars. Our favorite nighttime games were playing flashlight tag and catching fireflies in jars to watch them light up." Lewis writes about his special pet on page 18, "I had a pet squirrel named Nutsy. My cousins would laugh when he climbed on my head."

Perhaps the most unique aspect of I Grew Up On A Farm is the illustration technique, which I do not know whether Lewis and illustrator Bob Fletcher created. However, the used of Lewis' real family photos which are expanded by Fletcher using colored pencils (I think) to include the images that may have been outside the view of the camera lens create a interesting and attractive effect. One image is that of the family's Parmall tractor, standing vertical on its rear wheel towing a farm implement. The picture is black and white and only a part of the grading tool in-tow and some trees in the background are visible. The photo is then used as the illustration's centerpiece and the remainder of the implement is sketched to the right, the trees fill-out the horizon, and Lewis's father and brother are included in the foreground and to the left to complete the illustrations. Several other similar illustrations, some lone photographs, and even a few newspaper clippings help Alan K. Lewis convey the farm experience. Very creative.

As much as anything else, it apparent that Lewis wants to teach. (Lewis had been a teacher in the area and is currently the assistant principal at a local elementary school.) And, teach he does. I Grew Up On A Farm includes both a brief glossary of farm terms like "coop," "poultry," and "slop," which for you city folk is defined as "a pig food made from grain, water, and pieces of vegetables." Finally, Lewis includes a number of active websites where inquisitive future farmers, or even future investment bankers who want to know a little about commodity pricing, can go to learn more.

In all, this a very nice book and a fun way for children take a step back in time to see what it was like to grow up on a farm.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Super Secret Cheats: Freshpet Select Cat Food

I'm a real a dog lover.

Since I've been a real single parent for nearly the past nine years for three young children, however, the time and responsibilities of dog ownership would have been just too much for me. So, in order to enjoy a pet experience with the kids, I've had cats.

I've learned quite a bit about cats. Probably, the most important lesson relates to cat nutrition.

For a long time, cats we owned had difficulty digesting the typical grocery store food, even popular brands like Purina, Iams, and the like. I discovered that most cat foods seem to use corn meal as a filler, and corn meal irritates cats' delicate digestive systems.


How did I know corn meal irritates cats' digestive system? Well, I got sort of tired of cleaning cat vomit and smelling foul odors from the litter box.

So, I started to buy a cat food with no corn meal. Taste of the Wild seemed to have been the best for our cats. The instances of upset stomach decreased precipitously and there even seemed to be fewer hairballs. Odor at the cat box decreased, but the frequency of visits and volume production didn't.

Recently, after we'd run out of Taste of the Wild and I wasn't able to stop at my favorite pet store, I checked the ingredients in a refrigerated cat food, Freshpet Select Cat Food: no corn meal filler.

Our cat, Fiver, didn't take to the food immediately. Like Morris, Fiver is finicky. However, after a few days, he was eating. What I discovered was a pleasant surprise.

First, Fiver ate less because, I assume, Freshpet Select better satisfies Fiver's nutritional needs with less food. Next, similar to to our/his Taste of the Wild, he had no problems with indigestion or hairballs. Finally, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the odor and frequency at the litter box decrease significantly, which made the management scientist in me very happy. Smaller volumes at the cat box both means perhaps fewer cat box cleanings and makes the litter last longer. That saves money.

Anything that saves time and money makes me happy.