Thursday, March 17, 2011

Hockey Decor

Roo has a history in helping to beautify our home. (click to see old post The Rebounding Knickknack) His latest effort I call Hockey Decor. Shortly after purchasing his new hockey stick, he asked "mommy, do we have any of those things like you put swords up on for display?". (A reference to swords clear evidence that this child spent formative years in Japan.) Unclear of his intention, I explained that we didn't have a sword holder but instead produced two plastic easels on which to rest a picture or book. The next thing I knew, he was placing his hockey stick on prominent display in the living room. Thinking this won't last once his stick makes it downstairs to the garage for our now bi-weekly trips to the rink, I complimented him on his idea. Wednesday he carried his hockey gear through the garage and into the basement after returning home from hockey practice. Several hours later, I realized the stick had made it upstairs and once again claimed it's place of prominence. It's still there.



Thursday, March 3, 2011

Collective Bargaining

Because of what's happening in the state of Wisconsin (Public Employees protesting a bill that would dissolve their collective bargaining right), I wanted to refresh my understanding of collective bargaining (which is the point of contention, not the reluctance to decrease compensation, the employees have agreed to a decrease). I was surprised that collective bargaining is part of an United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 23), that was accepted by many countries, including the USA.

Article 23.

  • (1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
  • (2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
  • (3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
  • (4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.
Personally, I find the Supreme Court of Canada's rationale for collective bargaining as a human right an enlightening perspective:
"The right to bargain collectively with an employer enhances the human dignity, liberty and autonomy of workers by giving them the opportunity to influence the establishment of workplace rules and thereby gain some control over a major aspect of their lives, namely their work... Collective bargaining is not simply an instrument for pursuing external ends…rather [it] is intrinsically valuable as an experience in self-government... Collective bargaining permits workers to achieve a form of workplace democracy and to ensure the rule of law in the workplace. Workers gain a voice to influence the establishment of rules that control a major aspect of their lives."
I like this perspective of "self-governing" because if collective bargaining doesn't supply this option, who ultimately will provide protections? The federal or state governments in the form of regulations?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Minnesota in February

We just spent this past week in Minnesota visiting Ryan's parents and his sister Tonya. Friends in New Jersey looked puzzled as we shared our plans to travel to the tundra during the week long break from school. Yes, it's cold here and yes, there is a lot of snow. But somehow it felt refreshing. (I'm sure if I was living here and in the midst of possibly one of the snowiest seasons ever, I'd use a different word than "refreshing"). It snowed after we arrived and like good Minnesotans we didn't let a moderate storm stomp out our plans. We drove Roo to one of the "top 10 places in America to skate".

The Depot, an old train station in downtown Minneapolis that's been reborn as an ice rink attached to a hotel with a water slide.

A no show by the Zamboni driver left the ice a bit too "shredded", as Roo likes to say, but we had fun. The weekdays began and Ryan headed into the Minneapolis office to catch up with colleagues, and I left Roo at his Grandparents and headed up north to a Dwelling in the Woods. My own hermitage with a wood burning stove,

situated amongst the pine and birch, provided three nights of secluded warmth. I built my very first fire.

Two books, two movies, and several catnaps later, I woke to a 0 degree F morning (minus 17 celsius) and headed back to the twin cities. Roo had fun days with his grandparents which included building a snow fort

and climbing through the tunnels at the Children’s Museum.

We’re back in Jersey, the snow is gone, and Roo’s busy discovering his toys tonight.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Valentine

Roo's valentine shows clearly what has been our families frequent seasonal recreation, ice skating.
In this depiction, Roo is wearing his hockey helmet with the cage, Daddy is helmetless, and I am wearing a white helmet. Daddy is holding my hand because he's teaching me how to skate.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Snow Day II

Today is another snow day; Roo is home from school. By 10:30am he was out enjoying the powder.
Exhausted from shoveling to create a sledding hill down the steps of the deck, I convinced Roo to have a go on cross country skiis in the backyard. He and Ryan went last weekend for the first time. Get this...Roo is wearing my ski boots! He's destined to have big feet like his Dad.
No prepared path made skiing a bit difficult. We both agreed Daddy needs to make a path with his skiis once he's home from work. There is plenty enough snow!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

MLK Day

After viewing this video to help explain why Roo was off of school Monday,


we kept busy for most of the day. He painted an alligator that he received from a Florida friend many months ago.

And he constructed penalty boxes for his hockey guys.

In the afternoon we met friends for ice skating. And of course, no day home from school is complete without a movie, and yesterday it was Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, for about the fifth time. Today school is two hours late due to the sleety ice and snow that fell from the sky last night. Needless to say, Roo is happy for some extra time off of school.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Antarctica

This story came home from school yesterday:

Your Trip to Antarctica

1. Why do you want to go to Antarctica?
Roo's response:
"I wont to go becuse I wont to see en pegwin."
Translation:
I want to go because I want to see a penguin.

2. Who will go with you?
"I wont Callum and Lucy and my thamlee."
I want Callum and Lucy and my family.

3. What will you eat when you are there?
"I wid eat snow and fish."
I would eat snow and fish.

4. Where will you stay when you are there?
"I wil stay in a sintist lavtoree."
I will stay in a scientist laboratory.

5. How will you get there?
"I will get there in a eyrplane."
I will get there in an airplane.

6. What will you see? And what will you do?
"I wil see sum pegwin and have a snowbolfit with my Dad."
I will see some penguins and have a snow ball fight with my Dad.