Thursday, December 21, 2006

Fall to sleep with "Broken Bottles Under Children's Feet"

Now I've seen it all. Here's a new CD coming out in January, "Rockabye Baby! Lullaby Renditions of U2." OK, I admit that I tried once to get Parker to listen to U2 in utero, but this is ridiculous. I certainly hope these are instrumentals. I'm trying to picture a lullaby version of Sunday, Bloody Sunday with lyrics "Broken bottles under children's feet, bodies strewn across the dead end streets." It's enough to give kids nightmares! Here's the full track listing:

  1. Sunday Bloody Sunday
  2. All I Want is You
  3. Beautiful Day
  4. One
  5. With or Without You
  6. I still Haven't Found What I Am Looking for
  7. Angel of Harlem
  8. Where the Streets Have No Name
  9. New Year's Day
  10. Desire
  11. The Sweetest Thing

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Monday, December 18, 2006

U2: Window in the Sky Video

U2 have a new video out and is getting heavy viewing on YouTube. It's their best video in ages and the band hardly even appears in it. It's a continuous montage of some of the best singers and bands of all time. They even include a clip of Wilco's John Stirratt at the 00:48 mark. You can pick out the members of U2 in the audience of several of the clips. How many of these performers can you recognize?

Here's the video from YouTube.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Roach Family Christmas CD - 2006 Digital Edition

In an effort to deal with the rising cost of reindeer transportation caused by recent feed shortages and Elf labor strikes, the Roach Family Christmas CD will be distributed mostly digitally this year. We hope you enjoy this year's collection of holiday favorites and a few new gems. If you have any trouble downloading the .Zip files, please let me know. These files will only be available for a week. After that they will melt away like Frosty in a greenhouse.

  • Happy Holidays from the Roaches 2006 - Part 1
  • Happy Holidays from the Roaches 2006 - Part 2
The links have expired. If you'd like a copy, please e-mail me or hope Santa puts one in your stocking.

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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Religious freedom isn't just for Christians

In my opinion, all Americans who value religious freedom should be outraged by the comments of conservative web columnist Dennis Prager in his article "America, Not Keith Ellison, decides what book a congressman takes his oath on"

In the column, Mr. Prager criticizes Congressman elect Keith Ellison, D-MN., for announcing that he would take his oath of office on the Qur'an instead of the Christian Bible. Congressman Ellison is the first Muslim elected to the United States Congress. Mr. Prager states that this action "undermines American civilization."

He claims that Congressman Ellison is not showing any regard to what "America holds as its holiest book" and instead wants to substitute his "favorite book." He expounds that there is no difference in Congressman Ellison swearing on the holiest book of Islam and someone making the same oath on Hitler's "Mein Kampf." He claims that "America is interested in only one book, the Bible" and states that "If you are incapable of taking an oath on that book, don't serve in Congress."

That last opinion couldn't be further from the truth of the law. Eugene Volokh, a National Review contributor, writes in his article "Oh Say, Can You Swear on a Koran?" that the US Constitution specifically permits federally elected officials to not swear an oath at all. Article VI states "The Senators and Representatives ... [and other state and federal officials] shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States." He notes that US Presidents Franklin Pierce and Herbert Hoover didn't swear on the Bible, the Qur'an or any other book at all, but rather opted to affirm their support of the Constitution.

American is populated with people of all races, creeds, religions, and denominations. Congressman Ellison is not required to swear or affirm his support of Jesus, the Judaeo-Christian God, Christianity, Protestantism, the Vatican, the Bible, the Qur'an or even Allah. He must affirm his support of the laws of the United States and the Constitution. To require him to swear on a book that holds no meaning to him is utter nonsense and a violation of the religious freedoms of this country. That sort of test is what would undermine American Civilization .

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Day of Thanksgiving

My apologies to long time Roach Family Blog reader. I haven't posted since right after Halloween. Real life getting in the way of cyberlife. Today is Thanksgiving eve. Things are very slow here at work. The quiet and hopes for pumpkin pie are making me reflective and sentimental. Like many family, ours might go around the table tomorrow and tell everything what we're thankful for. So here's a kick start:

  • I'm thankful for my family.
    • I'm thankful for my Son, Parker. The very thought of him brings a tear to my eye, an ache in my heart and laughter to my voice. Every day I look forward to the next to see him grow and learn.
    • I'm thankful for my lovely, kind, patient Wife, Catharine. Without her, I wouldn't be able to make it through the day without her. She's my partner and my friend.
    • I'm thankful for our extended families. In the end, they bring us more joy than grief.
  • I'm thankful to live in a country where I can be safe to walk down the street and not fear dying because of my beliefs or sect. Not everyone can say this: Muslins, homosexuals, immigrants. Maybe everyone in the country will be able to feel the same way some day soon.
  • I'm thankful for the Democratic Party victories in the US House and Senate! I'm hopeful that they will bring a balance to our federal government. A "check and balance" if you will, that has been absent too long. I hope they will bring a voice to those without one. Maybe we can move beyond blind patriotism and party doctrine. Maybe we can talk less about flag burning, stem cell research and too many gay people loving each other and talk more about reducing poverty, providing affordable healthcare for all, eliminating racial disparities in society, ensuring a debt free future for our children and grandchildren, reversing global climate change and reducing our dependence on oil. And I hope they didn't make promises that they can't fulfill in the next two years.
  • Lastly, it may sound contrite, but I'm thankful for my job, my warm bed and the roof over my head. My work this year with Habitat for Humanity and the national news of the devastation in the Gulf Coast has shown me how quickly that can all change. There but for the grace of God go I. Hopefully, I'll be able to help repair some of the damage caused by the hurricanes this Spring. More on that later.
So, what are you all thankful for? Leave your comments.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Treat or treat not, there is no trick

Originally uploaded by jcroach.

Master Jedi Yoda visited Earth on Tuesday. I was lucky enough to get my picture taken with him before he went out trick or treating.

He left us with this pearl of Jedi wisdom: "Tricking leads to fear, fear leads to anger, anger leads to suffering, suffering leads to the Dark Side."

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Put me in, coach!

Future Detroit Lions Kicker
Future Detroit Lions Kicker,
Originally uploaded by jcroach.

Here's just a cute picture of Parker, getting ready for the big game.

Parker, Paul and Cooper at the Pumpkin Patch

Here is a picture of the fun afternoon that we spent at the Freeman Family Farm Pumpkin Patch and Petting Zoo with our good friends Cooper and Paul (and their parents Dair and Jon). It was a great day!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

New U2, just in time for Christmas

U2 just announced a new "best of" compilation to be released in November. Titled "U218 Singles," it will feature 16 of their best known songs and two new tracks produced by Rick Rubin at legendary Abbey Road Studios. One of the two songs will be their collaboration with Green Day on The Skids‚’ "The Saints Are Coming" that they recently performed live on ESPN's Monday Night Football. If you can't wait till November, you can download this track now from Rhapsody and Music Rising. Also anticipated is a limited edition version with a DVD of live performance from their concert in Milan on the Vertigo Tour. Stay tuned for a track listing!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Cincinnati Tall Stacks Festival

Also while in Cincinnati, we got a chance to check out the "Tall Stacks Festival." This was the 6th year for the riverfront food, music and history festival that celebrates the history of the paddle wheel steamboat. The OKI Conference reception was in a tent backstage of one of the main music stages. We were backstage for most of the performance of Junior Brown and then moved in front of the stage for the Del McCoury Band. We were there just one night so we missed such phenomenal acts as Al Green, Asleep at the Wheel, Buckwheat Zydeco, Buddy Guy, Dr. John, John Hiatt, Over the Rhine, Rhett Miller, and one of my all time favorites, Wilco.

Baby, if you've ever wondered...

I was in the beautiful "Queen City" of Cincinnati late last week for the biennial Indiana/Ohio/Kentucky regional planning conference. I know, sounds like a thrill a minute, but it really was good. The conference sessions were hit or miss, with most geared toward smaller communities. The best was one on redevelopment activities conducted by the University of Cincinnati and its surrounding neighborhoods, five hospitals and a host of community development corps. Makes me wonder what Bloomington would look like if IU got into this kind of development. Also interesting was the keynote address by Thomas Hilton, founder of "Save Our Land, Save Our Towns, Inc." He was just the cheerleader we needed as we left the conference and headed back to work. The worst part of the conference was the fact that the city's historic Fountain Square was all torn up for construction, but that didn't stop us from exploring the city and trying some of its world famous chili.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I'm one year old!

Originally uploaded by chmcelwee.

Our little baby boy is now one year and 1 week old. Just ask him, he'll tell you. Wow, does time fly! It's been a fantastic year to say the least. As we look back on it, it's amazing how far he's come and how much he's grown.

  • He's grown from 8 lbs, 1 oz. to 20 lbs 12 ozs..
  • He's grown from 21 inches to 29 1/2 inches.
  • He's gone from not being able to lift his head to running and climbling.
  • He's gone from his only sounds being a high pictched cry to saying words like "Popa", "Mama", "Cat", "bubbles" and "truck".
  • He's gone from not realizing that his hands were part of his own body to being able to point out his ears, nose, tummy and eyes.
  • He's gone from not being able to sit still long enough to read one board book to being able to take his favorite books off the shelf and then bring them to use and sit down in our laps when he wants to read
  • He's gone from eating nothing but breast milk to eating french fries, cake, ice cream, pizza and grilled cheese. (He might as well be a teenager!)
  • He's learned to communicate with us through baby sign language for "more", "all done" and "eat."
We've got a lot to look forward to in the next year and the years after. Let's hope they are all even better than this year!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Roach family photo

Roach Family
Roach Family,
Originally uploaded by jcroach.

This was taken as part of the McElwee Family photo shoot a couple of weekends ago. Aren't we cute?

Friday, September 22, 2006

Don't eat me, Tiger

Depauw vs. Hope
Depauw vs. Hope,
Originally uploaded by jcroach.

Parker wasn't too sure about the giant orange tiger at the Depauw Football game last weekend. He did however want to run out onto the big grss field where all the big kids were playing. He would have been crushed. He was much more of a fan of the Marvin's Garlic Chicken Cheese Burger. Final score of game, DPU: 23 Hope: 14

Wack-a Wack-a

Children's Museum Pac-man
Children's Museum Pac-man,
Originally uploaded by jcroach.

Parker playing his first game of Pac-Man on his birthday trip to the Indianapolis Children's Museum.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Jimmy Roach, the prankster

Dad with shaven head
Dad with shaven head,
Originally uploaded by jcroach.

I found this picture of my Dad in a box of family photos I borrowed from my Uncle. The text reads "WHICH ONE HAS THE TONI? - Wendell Bitzer, left, and Jimmy Roach, Greencastle high school students, display bald pates and express little concern over the loss of their tresses. The boys were clipped, and good, when they tried to break through the Sigma Chi forces and ring the bell in East College on DePauw campus. They lost but are able to smile in defeat."

Friday, September 01, 2006

The Roach Approach

Anyone ever heard of these? It's a series of Christian children's DVDs called T"he Roach Approach". Much in the vein of "Veggie Tales." I discovered them while doing an eBay search, of all things. Parker is probably way too young for these, but they look cute. They originally struck my eye because one of my fraternity brother sused to call me "The Roach Approach."

The stories follow a family of roaches; 3,000 year old Grandpa Lou, Grandma Nana and their grandson, Squiggz. The grandparents entertain their grandson with inspirational stories from the Bible. What's even funnier is that my Mom wants Parker to call her Nana Roach.

The Office: Webisodes

Check out the web page for NBC's Emmy award winning "The Office". They have posted the first 9 of a 10 part webisode series highlighting the office accountants; Kevin, Oscar and Angela. In my opinion, "The Office" and "Scrubs" are the two most original and funny shows on television. The new season starts September 21st.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

On Newstands Now: Vonnegut's Apocalypse

Check out the latest issue of Rolling Stone, the one with Christina Aguilera on the cover. In it there's an article about and interview with Indiana's favorite son, Kurt Vonnegut titled "Kurt Vonnegut Says This Is the End of the World" Here's an except from who didn't have the decency to print the whole thing:

"I'm Jeremiah, and I'm not talking about God being mad at us. I'm talking about us killing the planet as a life-support system with gasoline. What's going to happen is, very soon, we're going to run out of petroleum, and everything depends on petroleum. And there go the school buses. There go the fire engines. The food trucks will come to a halt. This is the end of the world. We've become far too dependent on hydrocarbons, and it's going to suddenly dry up. You talk about the gluttonous Roaring Twenties. That was nothing. We're crazy, going crazy, about petroleum. It's a drug like crack cocaine. Of course, the lunatic fringe of Christianity is welcoming the end of the world as the rapture. So I'm Jeremiah. It's going to have to stop. I'm sorry."

Guess I'll have to read the rest at the library. Still the best place for free literature.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Parker Update 2

Flickr Photo
Parker Reading 2,
Originally uploaded by chmcelwee.

This is another favorite book-"Five Little Monkeys"!

Parker Update

Parker Reading 1
Parker Reading 1,
Originally uploaded by chmcelwee.

Here is Parker during a rare moment on Sunday when he acutually slowed down. He loves to look at his books and have his books read to him! Every night after his bath, Jim reads to him. At first, it was a struggle-but now he loves it and wants to read books all the time! It is a great bonding time for him and daddy. His favorites are:
"Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see?", "Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?", "Blue Hat, Green Hat", "Snuggle Puppy", and "The Going to Bed Book."

Friday, August 18, 2006

Anchors Aweigh!

Our nephew Tim Herschell just recently graduated from US Navy boot camp. After some more training he'll eventually be deployed on theUSS Wasp, based out of Norfolk, Virginia. Congratulations, Tim!

USS Wasp, commissioned in 1987, is a 844 foot long, multipurpose amphibious assault ship and has as its primary mission the support of a Marine landing force. They support helicopters, Harrier II jets, amphibious vehicles, a full medical wing, 1,075 crew members and 1,600 embarked troops

The Wasp was named to honor nine previous US ships, dating to the American Revolution.

  • a schooner, 1775-1777
  • a sloop of war, 1806-1813
  • a schooner, 1810-1814
  • a tender sloop, 1813-1814
  • a ship-rigged sloop of war, 1814
  • an iron-hulled side wheel steamer, 1865-1876
  • a steam yacht, 1898-1921
  • a aircraft carrier CV-7, 1940-1942, which was sunk by the Japanese during the Battle of Guadalcanal
  • a aircraft carrier CV-18, 1943-1972
God speed Tim!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Naperville Sprint Triathlon 2006

My "little" brother George competed in the Naperville Sprint Triathlon this past weekend. It was a 400 meter swim, 20 kilometer bike race and 5 kilometer run. He finished and he said he'd even do it again next year. I think a race like that would have probably killed me. It's a great inspiration for me to continue to lose weight and hopefully get into shape. Way to go George!

Country roads, take me home

I haven't posted anything in a while. I feel like I've been neglecting the Roach Family Blog's faithful readers! Cathy, Parker and I have had a busy few weeks, starting with our trip to Harlan County Kentucky to my Grandma Parker's funeral. Harlan County is in far southeast Kentucky in the Appalachian Mountains. We were just a few miles from the state line with Virginia and Black Mountain, the highest point in Kentucky.

We stayed in Benham, Kentucky, which along with nearby Lynch, was founded as a company town for the coal companies. Benham was founded by International Harvester, a farm equipotent manufacturer, in the early 20th century. They owned the lots that the houses were built on and controlled almost every aspect of the miners' life. The hired and fired the school teachers and ministers, banned alcohol and limited free speach. My mom and grandparents never lived in Benham, but my Grandmother graduated from Benham High school and worked at the company store in town. While in Kentucky we stayed at the High School she graduated from which has been converted into a hotel, the Benham Schoolhouse Inn. The old company store is now a coal mining museum. The museum even has a replica of a working mine shaft.

It had been years since I'd been to Harlan County. My mom actually grew up just outside of Dione, Kentucky, a slow spot in the road that doesn't even show up on the maps. That was where the church was that the family attended and where my Grandmother's funeral took place. The scenery is breathtakingly beautiful with the mountains, shear rock cliffs along the roads, pine forests and kudzu. But the poverty is crushing. Most of the deep coal mines have closed and those that are open are strip mines that are much less labor intensive. We saw some remnants of the industry, including overhead conveyors from the mines to the railroad and stacks of coal on the side of the road, but not much.

It was great seeing all of my aunts, uncles and cousins that I don't get to see often. It's too bad it took my Grandmother's death to bring so much of the family together. It's not likely that the whole family will be together like this again. George and I, along with 7 of our cousins, were asked to be pall bearers, which was something I had never done before. At the cemetery, the gravesite services to place along the road because the grave site was at the top of a large hill. After the service, we saw that the cemetery employees were going to carry Grandma's casket to the grave in the back of a 4-wheel drive "gator." We all decided that this was an undignified last ride so we carried the casket up the steep 50 yards or so to her final resting place. I almost tripped into the open grave, but that's another story for another time.

It's unlikely I'll ever go back to Harlan County, but a part of our family will always be there.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Glessie Natella (Jones) Parker: 1911-2006

Glessie Parker (December 1955)
Glessie Parker (December 1955),
Originally uploaded by jcroach.

My grandmother died yesterday evening. She was 95 years old. Cathy, Parker and I will be in Harlan County Kentucky for most of the later part of the week at her services. She had fought a losing battle with Alzheimer's Disease over the last several years. She was the mother of six, the grandmother of 22 and the great-grandmother of 18, with Parker being the youngest. He luckily got to meet her just a few weeks ago.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Washed in the water

Cathy, Parker and I joined the Bloomington First United Methodist Church on Sunday. Cathy and Parker were baptized during the service. Parker's baptism was hard for me to accept at first. I grew up in the Baptist tradition of believer's baptism, where someone is old enough to believe and then is baptized. The United Methodist Church practices infant baptism and then confirmation later in life, much more like the Catholic tradition. They believe that baptism is sacrament of the church, along with communion, and a sign of belonging to the family of God. We are not saved by baptism. It is a symbol of salvation.

All in all it was a great day! We got to spend time with our parents afterwards. Parker did really well during the service even though he hadn't taken a morning nap. Although at one point I thought he was going to pull off the minister's microphone.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Here I come to save the day!

Take us to your leader
Take us to your leader,
Originally uploaded by jcroach.

It's official. I am a certified life saver. A super hero, some would say. Seriously, I just received Child and Infant CPR certification through my work. I was up front with them. My job does not involve working with kids. I just want to learn to help save my own son. They were cool with that. Now I just have to remember to only use my powers for good and not evil.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Congratulations are in order

Congratulations to the Jarrett Family on the birth of their new daughter Amelia Grace. She was born on July 3rd, weighed 8 lbs, 2 ozs and was 20 1.2 inches long. Welcome to the world Amelia!

Also, belated congratulations to Joseph and Jill Murphy on their marriage on June 16th. Welcome to married life Joseph and Jill!

Four Generations

4 generations 2
4 generations 2,
Originally uploaded by jcroach.

Four generations of the Parker family got together for a family reunion on Saturday. My Parker James Roach was the youngest one there and the matriarch of the family, my grandmother Glessie Parker was the oldest. This picture is the two of them, my Mom Natella (Parker) Roach and me at Abner Longley Park in Lebanon.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Parker Photo Update

Parker Clapping
Parker Clapping,
Originally uploaded by jcroach.

Here's a quick Parker photo update of him showing off his latest skill; clapping! If you look closely you can see 7 of his 8 teeth.

Friday, June 30, 2006

ARRRRRRR, Bono the pirate?

A strange one for today. Apparently, Bono is getting in touch with this inner pirate. And not just Bono; Sting, Nick Cave, Richard Thompson, Loudon Wainwright III, Bill Frisell & Rufus Wainwright, to name a few. "Pirates of the Caribbean" director Gore Verbinski has put together a 2-disc set of 43 tracks of pirate songs. Ah, OK. I haven't seen the films, so maybe it works. The album is called "Rogue's Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs & Chanteys" and is scheduled for release on Anti- Records on August 22nd.

Check out a sample of Bono's rendition of "A Dying Sailor to His Shipmates" at

Carrie Newcomer in the park

The Roaches are going to see Carrie Newcomer perform a free concert tonight in Bloomington's 3rd Street Park. This might be Parker's first concert! Cathy and I recently rediscovered Carrie's music after seeing her in the park last year and our church's band performing some of her songs.

Here we are all in one place, the wants and wounds of the human race
Despair and hope sit face to face when you come in from the cold
Let her fill your cup with something kind, eggs and toast like bread and wine
She'’s heard it all but she don'’t mind.
- from "Betty's Diner"
I remember first hearing her perform in "The Spoke" at DePauw my Freshman year, Fall of 1993. The Spoke was a short lived coffee shop/hang-out/performance venue in the basement of the Union Building. It was connected to "The Hub" dining hall. Clever naming to connect to the Little 5 bike race. The Hub is no more, removed as part of the extensive UB remodeling in 1997. The space is now filled with mail boxes for students.
Carrie Newcomer inspires me. Her music tells stories of real life that teach spiritual truths. - Jim Wallis, Sojourners
She's a little country, a little folk and a lot of heart and energy. Her record label says that she is " one of the definitive voices of the Heartland, the Indiana native sings of the small joys and pains in life, emphasizing the little moments that are often taken for granted." For her current tour, Carrie is donating a portion of her album sales to Second Harvest, the nation's largest food bank network.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Blast from the past

Wat Pho
Wat Pho,
Originally uploaded by aronlamerson.

Well, after like 4 years with no word from Aron Lamerson, he suddenly showed up on Flickr. Here's a picture of him and his wife Wilma in Bangkok. Still no idea where exactly he's living, but it's good to see some pictures of him on his travels. Aron, if you read this, drop off a comment to let the world know what's been going on!

Stormtrooper Day Care

Stormtrooper Day Care
Stormtrooper Day Care,
Originally uploaded by THX 1981.

Found on Flickr. What a great web service. My questions is, was the baby born or cloned?

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Parker Photo Update

Originally uploaded by jcroach.

Here's the big guy. The guy with 8 teeth and a need to walk and who just learned to clap.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Springfield, USA

Here's a great web find I stumbled across yesterday. It's an online map of the hometown of the Simpsons, Springfield! It's rather entertaining. It reminds me of the old Chamber of Commerce city map/posters with enlarged building in their rough location and a small advertisement of the business. Not accurate enough to use t to drive by, but still visually appealing. From the web site:

Although we'd like our map to be as accurate as a map to any imaginary place can be, our main intent is to preserve the comic spirit of Springfield, document its unique identity, and to have some fun at the same time.

If you have trouble locating the Simpson's house, like I did, it's in quad 2, north of downtown. Evergreen Terrace is located in Pressboard Estates addition.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

At the Drive-in

Over the weekend, Cathy and I went to our first movie in a theater since before Parker was born. And we didn't even have to get a babysitter, because we went to the drive-in! There are two drive-ins near Bloomington; Starlight Drive-in off of Old SR37 and Cinema 67 off of SR67 near Spencer. We left for the Starlight after Parker went to sleep and he slept all the way through the first show, Pixar's Cars. There wouldn't have been a better movie for a drive-in, especially considering its theme of car culture, vanishing small towns and lost Americana. It's always a double feature at Starlight. On Friday the second movie was X-Men III: The Last Stand, which I had been wanting to see for a while. Unfortunately, because of Daylight Saving Time, Cars didn't start until 9:30 and X-Men didn't start till 11:30. We left at intermission to get Parker home and in bed.

I remember always going to the drive-in when I was a kid. I remember wearing my pajamas in the car, playing on the rusty old swing set in front of the screen before the movie, the big metal speaker box that you hung from the car door window and always falling asleep before the second movie started. The old Sky-View Drive-in in Lebanon is now a residential subdivision. We saw ET: The Extra-Terrestrial and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back there. I sometimes wonder if people living in those homes are ever digging in their yards and find a long forgotten JuJuBe or Ring Pop.

Drive-ins are a vanishing part of Americana. Get out and enjoy a movie under the stars now while you still can! Hopefully there will still be some around for when Parker is old enough to enjoy them.

Here's some good resources:

Father's Day

Father's Day 3
Father's Day 3,
Originally uploaded by jcroach.

Parker got to see his Grandpa Roach over father's day weekend. His grandpa and grandma were just thrilled to show him off to all the Roach relatives. And Parker learned how to "give five" while we were with them. This kid doesn't stop! It's something new every day.


PJR and GCB,
Originally uploaded by jcroach.

Parker got his first "taste" of the nearly world famous Marvin's Garlic Cheeseburger this weekend. We were in Greencastle for a wedding and stopped by the Depauw University landmark restaurant. Cathy had visions of future "Parents Weekends" while we were eating. No pressure though, Parker!

Monday, June 19, 2006

7 years of memories

Today is Cathy and my 7th wedding anniversary. It seems like just yesterday that we were a couple young kids walking down that aisle. Before we got married I had a bunch of grumpy old married men try to talk me out of it because they hated their marriages. Well, 7 years later and I don't regret a day of it. My life is many times over better married than it ever was before. So, let's recap the last few years of our life, since June 19th, 1999:

  • The day after our wedding we moved to Bloomington
  • We've lived in two apartments before moving into our first home in June 2004
  • Cathy's had three jobs and I've had two
  • I finally finished my Masters degree and was admitted into the American Institute of Certified Planners
  • We adopted two cats, but unfortunately had to find a new home for one of them this year
  • We've said goodbye to friends and family, including Cathy's Grandma Hiland
  • We've welcomed three new nieces and nephews into the family and lots of children of friends
  • We've lost track of some old friends but we've made many new ones
  • We launched the Roach Family Blog in the Fall of 2004
  • We both turned 30
  • And last but not least, we welcomed Parker into our family 9 months ago

Let's hope the next 7 years are even more memorable.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Parker in Washtub

Parker in Washtub
Parker in Washtub,
Originally uploaded by chmcelwee.

We just had to get some more studio pictures of Parker looking all cute before he doesn't look like a baby anymore. If we had waited much longer, pictures like this would have been a little creepy.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Parker Update

It's been a big week for our Parker. Over the last week he's

  • Begun standing unassisted from sitting, usually when he's got something in his hands like a ball or a shoe for some odd reason.

  • Taken one step. He was at Grandma and Grandpa Roach's house at the time. They got a big kick out of that.

  • Started eating finger foods like Cheerios and graham crackers.

  • Wished his big cousin Tim Herschell "Bon Voyage" as he left for the U.S. Navy

The months are flying by. He'll be 9 months old next week!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Industrial waste for toddlers

I stumbled across this page today. It's Superfund for Kids, a web site about the EPA's Superfund contaminated land clean-up program. Just what every kid wants to learn about! It even includes coloring book pages: "a polluted town, a worker removing contaminated material, a truck that is removing barrels of waste, and the same town cleaned up." You can't spell Superfund without "fun"!

Friday, June 09, 2006

U2 BY U2

I just saw this listed on, "U2 BY U2" is 352 pages, in large format, schedule for publication in September of 2006. From the Harper Collins web site: "U2 by U2 is the definitive history of the world's biggest and best rock band, in their own words. For the first time, the band themselves provide the inside track on the U2 story so far." and "U2 by U2, in the words of Bono, Adam, Larry and Edge promises to be the ultimate personal behind-the-scenes narrative on the life and times of their legendary band." Will we see Bono and the Edge on book signing tours at the local Borders? Wait and see!

Thursday, June 08, 2006


Parker and I (Ok, just me) have been watching "Auto-B-Good" on PBS on weekend mornings. Has anyone else seen this show? It's really cute with talking cars living in a town of cars....... wait a minute, this sounds a lot like a certain Cars movie out in the theaters right now. Hum?!?

"Auto-B-Good" is produced by "Wet Cement Productions" whose motto is "Children are like wet cement, there's so little time to leave a lasting impression." How great is that? The shows teach important life lessons with each mini episode revolving around a theme. Some past themes have included punctuality, responsibility, self-control, politeness, honesty, generosity, patience, cooperation, tolerance, uniqueness, initiative, self-reliance, and confidence. Some web research I did stated that this show teaches "Christian" values, but the episodes I watched didn't have any kind of religious underpinning. And if it did, it wasn't anything like "Veggie Tales" that makes a clear connection between the story and a Biblical message. And since when do Christians have a monopoly on values like honesty, generosity and tolerance? According to their web site, "Auto-B-Good has Premium Grade Values and Full-Throttle Fun!"


Quote for the day, from Wikipedia.

"There are two kinds of people in this world that go around beardless — boys and women, and I am neither one."
—Greek saying

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

I don't care if I ever get back

Baseball Game 3
Baseball Game 3,
Originally uploaded by jcroach.

Cathy and me taking in the end of the game and the fireworks. Notice the grey beard hair.

Buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks

Baseball Game 1
Baseball Game 1,
Originally uploaded by jcroach.

Parker chewing on Cathy's necklace. I much prefer the hot dogs and frozen malted shakes myself.

Take me out to the ball game

Baseball Game 2
Baseball Game 2,
Originally uploaded by jcroach.

Parker and Cathy at Parker's first ever baseball game. The Indianapolis Indians beat the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons 3-1.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Swing 2
Swing 2,
Originally uploaded by jcroach.

We need one of these in the back yard. Parker loves it!

The "big" slide

Park 1
Park 1,
Originally uploaded by jcroach.

Cathy and Parker at the top of the "big" slide at Bryan Park.

The tunnel

Park 3
Park 3,
Originally uploaded by jcroach.

Parker and me at Bryan Park in Bloomington.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Mother and Son

Mother and Son 2
Mother and Son 2,
Originally uploaded by jcroach.

One of my new favorite pictures.


Originally uploaded by jcroach.

"I said no pictures! Now give me that camera."

Thursday, May 25, 2006


So that's how Pac-man works?! I always assumed he was organic. Buy the t-shirt from

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Where did those things come from?

So, Cathy noticed yesterday that Parker had two more teeth in! That's 4 new teeth in a week and a half. There's no stopping this kid!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Wake up guys!

Originally uploaded by chmcelwee.

This is the precious little smiling face that Cathy and I wake up to every morning. Parker is awake, standing, smiling and has his favorite blankie. He's ready to start the day!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

I'm Your Man

I learned yesterday that there is a new documentary/biography/concert film coming out about Leonard Cohen called "I'm Your Man". I'm not a big Leonard Cohen fan, but I do enjoy his work. The film features performances by Rufus and Martha Wainwright, The Handsome Family, Nick Cave, Beth Orton and most importantly, U2. The film is highlighted by a performance by U2 and Cohen on his classic track, "Tower of Song" from a tribute concert in Sydney Australia in January 2005. "I'm Your Man" is scheduled for nationwide release on June 21st, but as of now no soundtrack album is planned.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Transformers Movie?!

Not only is a Simpsons movie in the works, but there's also a "live action" Transformers movie in production. It's about as live action as any other current action movie, with the main characters being CGI animation, but they interact in real space with human actors, so it's not necessarily "animated." I had doubts about this concept until I saw this clip from The movie is set to open July 4, 2007.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Helen, Nigel & Ellie

Helen, Nigel & Ellie
Helen, Nigel & Ellie,
Originally uploaded by jcroach.

Here's one of the first first pictures of our friends Nigel and Helen with their baby girl Ellie. Born just in time for Mother's Day.

Parker photo update

parker 1
parker 1,
Originally uploaded by chmcelwee.

Here's our crazy baby with a death teeth grip on one of his bath toys. It's hard to beleive he'll be 8 months old on Friday!

All I want for Mother's Day....... my two top teeth. At least that's what Parker was saying yesturday as his two top teeth poked out from his gums. He now has 4 shiny new choppers ready for all kinds of food. This weekend: fish tacos.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Google Sketchup

I created this image this week using Google's new free version of Sketchup, a powerful, yet simple 3D modeling program. From the Sketchup web site, the program lets you:

  • Click on a shape and push or pull it to create your desired 3D geometry.
  • Experiment with color and texture directly on your model.
  • Real-time shadow casting lets you see exactly where the sun falls as you model.
  • Select from thousands of pre-drawn components to save time drawing.
  • Interactive Sections.
  • "Sketchy Rendering".
  • Dimension & Annotation.

Check it out! It lets you quickly and easily create a 3D visualization of objects. I'm sure I'll use it at home and work. Google just keeps getting better.

Roach house
Roach house,
Originally uploaded by jcroach.