Thursday, December 27, 2007

Santa 2

Santa 2
Santa 2,
Originally uploaded by jcroach.

Here's a picture of Parker with Santa Claus at Fountain Square Mall in downtown Bloomington. It's a great set-up. $2 pictures with Santa, or use your own camera for free. Donations and all proceeds go to Big Brothers/Big Sisters. Beats the $15 picture packages at the "big" mall. This is the third year we've taken Parker here. Parker told Santa he wanted "cars and trains" for Christmas. He even got a candy cane and a stuffed dog!

Santa 1

Santa 1
Santa 1,
Originally uploaded by jcroach.

Parker also go to see Santa at his day care provider's house. He was pretty impressed that Jenny knew Santa Claus and that Santa knew about his love for "Cars." Parker told him he wanted "presents" for Christmas and a rocket ship to "go to the moon."

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas

A Prayer for a Child

From here on earth,
From my small place
I ask of You
Way out in space;
Please tell all men
In every land
What You and I
Both understand...

Please tell all men
That Peace is Good.
That's all
That need be understood
In every world
In Your great sky,
(We understand,
Both You and I.)

By Dr. Seuss

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Welcome to the world, Hannah Elizabeth Yoder

Congratulations are in order for Jennifer (Fogel) and Adam Yoder. Jennifer gave birth to a bouncing baby girl on Tuesday, Hannah Elizabeth Yoder. She was born at 5:45 PM and weighed in at 5 pounds, 12 ounces. Adams says that she is "beautiful, full of spunk, and quite adamant about eating." New big brother Henry is excited to meet his sister. We hear that mother and daughter are both doing well and should be home soon. Merry Christmas Hannah!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Egg Nog Ice Cream and Hot Buttered Rum Sauce

I made an Egg Nog Ice Cream and Hot Buttered Rum Sauce for my office Christmas lunch yesterday. I got a request for the recipe, so I thought I'd just post it here. It's not completely original. I based it in part from a recipe at and in part from a recipe in "Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book."

Egg Nog Ice Cream

Ingredients for approximately 1/2 gallon:

  • 1 dozen egg yolks
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 4 cups cream
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 6 tbsp dark rum
I actually used Egg Beaters instead of the 4 whole eggs, to cut the cholesterol a little bit and used imitation rum extract instead of the rum to reduce the amount of alcohol. Alcohol lowers the freezing point and makes it harder to get the ice cream firm.

Instructions: Whisk together get yolks and eggs. Combine sugar and milk in saucepan and heat on medium until lightly simmering. Reduce heat. Slowly add egg mixture to suacepan and stir constantly. Slowly heat until mixture slightly thickened, coats back of spoon, and registers 175°F on thermometer, approximately 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Add rum and spices. Chill mixture at least two hours in refrigerator, preferable overnight. Add cream and freeze ina home ice cream freezer per manufacturer's instructions. Enjoy!
rum sauce

Hot Butter Rum Sauce

  • 1 Stick (4 ounces) Unsalted Butter
  • 1 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 Cup Dark Brown Sugar, packed
  • 3 Tablespoons Dark Rum (I used Capitan Morgan's Spiced Rum)
Instructions: Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar, cream and and stir until sugar dissolves. Boil 1 minute. Remove from heat. Mix in rum. Cool slightly.

The poll is over, long live the poll!

Well, after a whopping 10 votes, it appears that 90% of Roach Family Blog readers prefer to see pictures of Parker than any other type of posts. And who can blame you? He's so freak'n cute! That's not going to stop me from sharing my witty remarks or posting links to junk on the web, however!

Here's the new poll question; "How do you handle Santa Claus in your house?" Don't have a solution that fits in one of the categories? Leave a comment here!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Easter: 1977

My brother George and I chipped in and got some of my parent's old 8mm movies digitized for Christmas. I was originally going to try to do it myself, but time and energy got away from me. Plus I needed to find a variable speed 8mm projector to sync the 29.97 frame per second video with the 18 fps 8mm. Made my head hurt. George found a company near where he lives called to do the work. I haven't seen the full DVD transfer yet, but he's really pleased with the way it turned out. Now, through the magic of the internet and telicine transfer technology, the Roach Brothers bring you Easter 1977 from the Roach Family Film Archives (also known as a box in my parent's closet). Just don't tell Jim and Tella, it's a surprise.

Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story

Cathy and I don't get much of a chance to see movies anymore, but I think we'll have to make a special trip to the theater to see this one. John C. Reilly and Jenna Fischer in "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story." It's a parody of music biopics, like "Walk the Line," "The Doors" and "Ray." With cameos by Eddie Vedder as Himself, Jack White as Elvis Presley and Paul Rudd, Jack Black, Justin Long and Jason Schwartzman as the Beatles. What's not to like there?

Monday, December 10, 2007

Welcome to the world, Owen Micheal Treanor

Congratulations are in order for Charla (Johnson) and Kevin Treanor. Charla gave birth to a bouncing baby boy on Friday, Owen Michael Treanor. We hear that mother and son are both doing well and should be home by now. Merry Christmas Owen!

U2 3D and grammy nominations

More info is emerging on U2's upcoming 3D concert movie, called creatively enough "U2 3D." It's being distributed by National Geographic. The film is described as "the first digital, multi-camera, real-time production" and will open Juanry 25th in 1,200+ theaters around the world, include IMAX 3D theaters. This will hopefully include either the Indiana State Museum IMAX or the Kerasotes Showplace 16/IMAX on Indy's south side.

It was also announced recently that U2 and Wilco are both nominees for Grammys at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards. U2's up for Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals for "Window in the Skies" from the U218 compilation and Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals for "Instant Karma" from the "Instant Karma - The Campaign To Save Darfur" compilation. U2 has won more Grammys that any other band, witha total of 22, the most recent being 2006's Grammy for Best Rock Album for "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb." Wilco is up for Best Rock Album this year for "Sky Blue Sky" against Daughtry, John Fogerty, Foo Fighters and Bruce Springsteen. Wilco won 2 Grammys in 2005 for "a ghost is born."

Friday, December 07, 2007

2007 Roach Christmas CD

Ho, Ho, Ho! Time once again for that annual holiday tradition you have come to know and love. No, not fruitcake or a cold glass of Nogasake, but the Roach's Christmas mix CD. This year we're offering a wide range of musical style for you, from classic crooners to indie rockers to Aussie children's performers. Like last year, we're offering the CD as a digital download for your listening pleasure. So, click the link below, download and extract the .zip file, load the tracks into your new iPhone that Santa brings you (yeah, right!) and enjoy. If you have trouble with the download, or just can't live without a physical CD, please direct your comments to Buddy the Elf, c/o The North Pole.

Sorry, files no longer available. Happy New Year!

Friday, November 30, 2007

We were duped!

Cathy and I have been working on putting together out our annual Christmas mix CD for friends and family. Some people do Christmas letters, we do CDs. This is the 6th year we've done one and we always have a lot of fun with it. The first year's CD in 2002 included some of our favorites, like "Christmas, Baby Please come Home" performed by U2, Elvis' classic take on "Blue Christmas" and "Happy Xmas (War is Over)" by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, which I incorrectly labeled and "Happy Christmas (War is Over)." Another song we included was "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree." This was back in the days of the original Napster, Limewire and Kazaa. Yes, I know, I shouldn't have been stealing music from hardworking artists, but the truth is, I did. These services were ripe with labeling errors, like the infamous cover of Snoop Dogg's "Gin and Juice" by The Gourds that was incorrectly labeled as being performed by Phish. One of the song I downloaded was labeled as "The Beatles - Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree." It was a great little twangy track that to me sounded just like the Fab Four. Well it wasn't. The Beatles never recorded this song, as far as anyone knows. The Beatles did release several fan club only Christmas CD, which included some carols, skits, jokes, and messages to fans, but never included this song. The song was actually recorded by a Beatles cover band called "The Rubber Band." Man, we were totally fooled! It sounded just like the Beatles to me. If you'd like a 2002 Roach Family Christmas CD with a corrected track listing let me know! :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

123s to 911!

So, Parker sometimes stutters a little when he gets excited. His brain is working faster than his words are coming out. I think it's adorable. I have to keep myself from repeating things in his stutter so that he learns to say things correctly. Well a couple of weeks ago we were giving him a bath and he was talking and stuttering a little. It reminded me of the chorus from Public Enemy's 1990 single "911 is a Joke." So, I sang it to him: "So get up get, get get down, 911 is a joke in yo town." I may have done it one other time since then. Monday, Cathy called me into the bathroom when she was giving him his bath. He was singing it himself, without prompting. His mother was so proud, let let tell you! Now we just need to get the kid a big clock necklace, two turntables and a microphone and he'll be set. "Yeah boy!"

Monday, November 19, 2007

Can you please pass the bottle of ham?

Back it time for the holidays is the Jones Soda "Christmas Pack" featuring liquid version of your yuletide favorites: Ham, Egg Nog, Sugar Plums, and Christmas Tree. I think I'll be passing this year.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Our baby cakes

Originally uploaded by jcroach.

Lately, when we call Parker "baby cakes" he's been saying "No baby cakes, Parker little cakes, Daddy big cakes!"

Friday, November 09, 2007

A couple of good reading lists

Lately I've been trying to read classic kids books that I've never before. I wanted to read them before Parker is ready for me to read them to him! So far, I've read Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, all for the first time. I've been using three different lists as starting points to picking books to read. I thought I'd share it here and see if any faithful Roach Family Blog readers have any other suggestions.

The first list is the American Library Association's list of The 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990–2000. This is a list of books that someone in the country has attempted to remove from or restrict within public and school libraries. A successful challenge often results in a banning of the book from the library. The top three reasons listed for challenging a book is that it is “sexually explicit,” contains “offensive language,” and is not “unsuited to age group.” There are some great, edgy, fantasy filled works on this list, that someone, somewhere found offensive. Listed below are the top 15. I just finished #14, The Giver by Lois Lowry. It was phenomenal and was awarded the Newbery Medal in 1994, see below. Other books of interest include Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five at #69, Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time at #22 (Newbery Medal Winner, see below), Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird at #41, Shel Silverstein's A Light in the Attic at #51, Ronald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach at #56, Mark Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer at #84 and five books by Judy Blume.

  1. Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz
  2. Daddy's Roommate by Michael Willhoite
  3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  4. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
  5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  6. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  7. Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling
  8. Forever by Judy Blume
  9. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson (Newbery Medal winner, see below)
  10. Alice (Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
  11. Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
  12. My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
  13. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  14. The Giver by Lois Lowry (Newbery Medal winner, see below)
  15. It's Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris

The second is the list of "Books Every Boy Should Read" as published in Conn and Hal Iggelden's The Dangerous Book for Boys. If you haven't seen this book, be sure to check it out. It's a reference book of sorts for "boyhood." describes it as "a reminder of lore and technique that have not yet been completely lost to the digital age."

  1. The Twits, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, George's Marvelous Medicine, The BFG and James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
  2. The Winnie-the-Pooh books by A.A. Milne
  3. The "Adventure" series by Willard Price
  4. The "Famous Five" and "Secret Seven" series by Enid Blyton
  5. Fungus and the Bogeyman by Raymond Briggs
  6. Famous fairy tales, including Grimm's Fairy Tales, Hans Christian Anderson , and Greek and Roman legends
  7. "The Belgraiad" series by David Eddings
  8. Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household
  9. The Lion , the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
  10. Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
  11. Kim, Just So Stories, and The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
  12. Mr. Standfast and The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan
  13. The "James Bond" series by Ian Fleming
  14. The "Harry Potter" series by J.K. Rowling
  15. The Outsiders, Tex, and Rumble Fish by S.E. Hinton
  16. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  17. The science fiction works of Isaac Asimov
  18. The "Discword" series by Terry Pratchett
  19. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
  20. The "Seafort Saga" series by David Feintuch
  21. The Hichhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams
  22. The fantasy works of David Gremmell, especially Waylander and the "Drenai" Series
  23. Magician by Raymond E. Fiest
  24. The Lords of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkein
  25. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
  26. The "Flashman" series by Geoge MacDonald Fraser
  27. Animal Farm and 1984 by George Orwell
  28. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  29. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  30. The Time Machine, The Island of Dr. Moreau, and The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells
  31. The "Sherlock Holmes" series by Aurthur Conan Doyle
  32. Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
  33. Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome
  34. The horror and fiction works of Stephen King, starting with The Bachman Books.

The third is the list of Newbery Medal Winners. According to the Association for Library Services to Children, "The Newbery Medal was named for eighteenth-century British bookseller John Newbery. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children." Here's a selected few that you might recognize from the past.
  • 2007: The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron
  • 2001: A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck
  • 1999: Holes by Louis Sachar
  • 1994: The Giver by Lois Lowry
  • 1979: The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
  • 1978: Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
  • 1975: M. C. Higgins, the Great by Virginia Hamilton
  • 1972: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien
  • 1963: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
  • 1944: Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes
  • 1923: The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting

Any other suggestions? I'd love to hear your comments!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Mississippi Miracle

Anyone else see this? This past weekend, SCAC Trinity University (7-1) beat defending SCAC champs Millsaps (6-2) in what ESPN called the "the longest play in college football history". 15 lateral passes, 61 yards and 62 seconds later, Trinity beats Millsaps as time expires, 28-24. They’re calling it the “Mississippi Miracle.” Brilliant! These are both good teams. We saw DePauw (7-2) lose to Millsaps on September 29th. DePauw's only other loss of the season was to Trinity. I love Division III football!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Three Pumpkins

Three Pumpkins
Three Pumpkins,
Originally uploaded by jcroach.

As promised, here's a picture of the three pumpkins on Halloween! Parker had a great time. He had more fun handling out candy than going around the neighborhood though. He loved seeing all the kids, especially the witches!

Habitat house dedication

Habitat build
Habitat build,
Originally uploaded by jcroach.

Here's a picture of the house we built. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath. That's the Common Ground Band from our chruch playing the the front porch.

Habitat house dedication

Habitat build
Habitat build,
Originally uploaded by jcroach.

Our church, along with other United Methodist churches in the county sponsored a Habitat house this fall. The dedication was this past Saturday. It was raining and muddy, but still a great celebration. Here's a picture of the new homeowner Alejandra Hurtado, her daughter Tonya, and Habitat Director Kerry Thompson.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Some treats for Halloween

New Bono interview at Check it out here.

New Ryan Adams interview at Paste Magazine. Check it out here.

I unfortunately missed the Ryan Adams show at the Murat last week. It apparently was phenomenal. If you're interested, check out a recording of it at The Internet Archive. Great sound quality on this recording. 29 songs, 3+ hours. He did 8+ minute versions of Off Broadway, Easy Plateau, Magnolia Mountain, Cold Roses, Goodnight Rose, and Peaceful Valley. Maybe I'll catch him the next time he rolls through town.

You can look forward to Halloween pictures of Parker for tomorrow, hopefully. In the mean time, check out this online Jack-o-lantern simulator.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Monday, October 22, 2007

Google gadgets

Google has a bunch or really cool "gadgets" available for web sites, blogs, MySpace pages, etc. These are all short scripts that can run on another web site and some of which take advantage of RSS or the existing, extensive Google databases, or other on-line data. You might see some of these pop up on the Roach Family Blog soon. Check them out here.

Dumbledore gay?

OK, I didn't see that one coming. Apparently, this past Friday, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling reveled to an audience at Carnegie Hall that former Hogwarts headmaster, and Harry's mentor, Albus Dumbledore was gay. She told that audience that he had once been in love with the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald. This will likely just give even more ammunition to those wishing to see these amazing books banned.

From the AP:

"Neither Dumbledore nor Grindelwald ever seems to have referred to this brief boyhood friendship in later life,'" Rowling writes. "However, there can be no doubt that Dumbledore delayed, for some five years of turmoil, fatalities, and disappearances, his attack upon Gellert Grindelwald. Was it lingering affection for the man or fear of exposure as his once best friend that caused Dumbledore to hesitate?"

As a young man, Dumbledore, brilliant and powerful, had been forced to return home to look after his mentally ill younger sister and younger brother. It was a task he admits to Harry that he resented, because it derailed the bright future he had been looking forward to.

Then Grindelwald, described by Rowling as "golden-haired, merry-faced," arrived after having been expelled from his own school. Grindelwald's aunt, Bathilda Bagshot, says of their meeting: "The boys took to each other at once." In a letter to Grindelwald, Dumbledore discusses their plans for gaining wizard dominance: "'(I)f you had not been expelled we would never have met.'"

Here's a transcript from The Leaky Cauldron:

QUESTION: Did Dumbledore, who believed in the prevailing power of love, ever fall in love himself?

JKR: My truthful answer to you... I always thought of Dumbledore as gay. [ovation.] ... Dumbledore fell in love with Grindelwald, and that that added to his horror when Grindelwald showed himself to be what he was. To an extent, do we say it excused Dumbledore a little more because falling in love can blind us to an extent? But, he met someone as brilliant as he was, and rather like Bellatrix he was very drawn to this brilliant person, and horribly, terribly let down by him. Yeah, that's how I always saw Dumbledore. In fact, recently I was in a script read through for the sixth film, and they had Dumbledore saying a line to Harry early in the script saying I knew a girl once, whose hair... [laughter]. I had to write a little note in the margin and slide it along to the scriptwriter, "Dumbledore's gay!" [laughter] "If I'd known it would make you so happy, I would have announced it years ago!"

Thursday, October 18, 2007

New Poll!

After a long absence, we have a new poll on the Roach Family Blog. Check it out to the right. Vote early, vote often.


Originally uploaded by jcroach.

Here's Parker looking all grown up with his cheesy smile!

Hay Ride

Hay Ride
Hay Ride,
Originally uploaded by jcroach.

Cathy and Parker on the hay ride at the pumpkin patch.

Pumpkin Patch

Pumpkin Patch
Pumpkin Patch,
Originally uploaded by jcroach.

Parker at the Freeman Family Farms pumpkin patch. We got to take a hay ride, pick out our own pumpkin and feed some goats.

New music

Some cool new music coming out in the next few weeks. Ryan Adams and the Cardinals have a new EP coming out next week called "Follow the Lights." It comes out the day before their scheduled show at the Murat in Indy. Man, I wish I was going to that! Here's the track listing:

  • Follow The Lights (new)
  • My Love For You Is Real (new)
  • Blue Hotel (new recording of a song Ryan wrote for Willie Nelson and appeared on his Songbird album)
  • Down In A Hole (Alice in Chains cover)
  • This Is It (new recording of a Rock N Roll track)
  • If I Am A Stranger (new recording of a Cold Roses track)
  • Dear John (new recording of a Jacksonville City night track)
In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the release of "The Joshua Tree," U2 is releasing an expanded anniversary edition. The Limited Edition version will contain the remastered album (hopefully with the annoying tracking problem between One Tree Hill and Exit fixed) a bonus disc of b-sides and rarities and a DVD of a show recorded in Paris on 7-4-1987. Here's the track listing for the bonus disc:
  1. Luminous Times (Hold On To Love) [b-side]
  2. Walk To The Water [b-side]
  3. Spanish Eyes [b-side]
  4. Deep In The Heart [b-side]
  5. Silver And Gold [b-side]
  6. Sweetest Thing [b-side]
  7. Race Against Time [b-side]
  8. Where The Streets Have No Name [Single Edit]
  9. Silver And Gold [Sun City album version]
  10. Beautiful Ghost / Introduction To Songs Of Experience [released as part of the "digital box set" in 2004]
  11. Wave Of Sorrow (Birdland) [previously unreleased]
  12. Desert Of Our Love [previously unreleased]
  13. Rise Up [previously unreleased]
  14. Drunk Chicken / America [previously unreleased]
I know what will be on my Christmas list!

George's trip to Tijuana

My brother George led a group from his church to Tijuana, Mexico, last week. They spent 4 days building houses in the city. Check out his blog post, or his roommate's web site for more pictures.

Friday, October 05, 2007

New eBay feature

This is a test post of a new eBay feature, eBay To Go. Use to post interesting auction finds on your blog or web site.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Fall television

The fall television lineup starts this week. I'm actually looking foward to it more than I have in a while. After we get Parker fed, bathed, and in bed, about all I have energy for is a little mindless TV. None of the new shows have piqued my interest yet.

Heroes: Season premiere is tonight. Despite a very sub par season finale last year, I'm still interested in the show and the characters. Did Peter and Nathan Petrelli survive? Where did Hiro Nakamura land? Is Sylar alive? Who are Maya and Alejandro, introduced in the latest graphic novelette? Who is this Tekezo Kensei that's being hyped at the Yamagato Fellowship web site? Who is the character that Molly is more afraid of than Sylar?

Scrubs: Scrubs suffered last year with the late season start, but it's still one of the funniest shows on television. It has something that is lacking in a lot of sit-coms; both great wit and great heart. So, what does the future hold for J.D., Elliot and J.D.'s baby's momma, Kim? Unfortunately, Scrubs doesn't start for another month.

The Office: NBC has a great series of web exclusives showing how the characters "spent their summer." They answered a few questions, but really just whetted my appetite for more. What's the future of Jim and Pam? How will the Ryan/Micheal Scott dynamic play out? Dinkin' flicka!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Monkey Birthday!

Monkey Birthday!
Monkey Birthday!,
Originally uploaded by jcroach.

It was a Monkey Birthday weekend at the Roaches as Parker celebrated his second birthday with family and friends and a big bouncy thingey. I like to think the highlight was the new swingset and slide that Parker got from his Mom and Dad and Grandpa and Nana. I spent most of Friday putting it together then on Saturday decorated his Monkey Birthday Cake. Yes, I am a Renaissance Man. I make Cathy call me that now.

If you want to see more pictures of the party, check out the link to the right.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Parker's First Day of School

Parker's First Day of School
Parker's First Day of School,
Originally uploaded by chmcelwee.

Here is our little guy on his first day of preschool! We can't believe that he is old enough to be in school! He has a little backpack and everything! He had a great time yesterday and I am sure he is going to love school! What's not to love? Playing, snacks, play-doh!


Originally uploaded by chmcelwee.

Here is Parker digging on a recent trip to the Children's Museum.


Originally uploaded by chmcelwee.

Here are Parker and Paul having a good time! Actually, they are probably fighting over who gets to use the sit and spin - but I am just going to believe that they are sharing and having a good time!

I leave the room for one minute!

So I walk in from the other room to find this! Not to worry, it is just root beer! However, it is Goose Island Root Beer which is totally delicious-if you haven't tried it, you should!!

Time for a Parker picture update!

Parker loves Ice Cream!
Parker loves Ice Cream!,
Originally uploaded by chmcelwee.

Parker loves ice cream and he is trying to get every last drop!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Don't embarrass me, Filmore: Sarge Recalled

Big news around the Roach house today is the recall of the Mattel made Disney/Pixar "Cars" die cast "Sarge" car. More lead paint from China. I'm just glad it wasn't Lightening McQueen. We would have had a 2 year old revolt on our hands!

Here's the story:
Mattel website

Monday, July 30, 2007

Simpsons: Live action?

I saw the Simpsons Movie on Friday. Not too bad. not great either. I haven't really watched the show much the last 3 years or so. It just doesn't do it for me like it used to. I found this on YouTube this morning. Now THIS, could be entertaining. No idea where it came from, but it looks British.

Friday, July 13, 2007

The Roaches at the monkey house

Monkey House
Monkey House,
Originally uploaded by jcroach.

This was taken in the Helen Brach Primate House in the Lincoln Park Zoo. Definitely Parker's favorite part of our trip to the zoo.


Originally uploaded by jcroach.

If you haven't been to your local 7-Eleven lately, go now. Run, don't walk. They have a bunch of Simpsons inspired products to whet your appetite for the upcoming movie. I picked up a Squishee last week. They also have Krusty-Os, Buzz Cola and the signature Homer pink frosted and sprinkled donut. I've heard they also have a issue of a Radioactive Man comic, but I didn't see it when I was there. Alas, no Duff Beer. So, why are you still reading this? GO!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

King of Kong: Fistful of Quarters

Here's another upcoming movie I thought looked interesting. It's called King of Kong: Fistful of Quarters. The web site states that the documentary focus on "a middle school science teacher and a hot sauce mogul battl[ing] for the Guinness World Record on the arcade classic Donkey Kong." It does quite have the political and social relevance of Sicko, but looks good to me! It opens August 17th in select cities.

U2 3D trailer

Found this on YouTube. It's the online trailer to the upcoming U2 3D large format 3D movie. The movie was shot in South America, is 80 minutes in length, and features 15 songs. Unlike U2's previous theatrical release, Rattle and Hum, this will just be concert footage. Look for it at your local 3D theater, like an IMAX 3D, in the fall.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Roaches in the Windy City

The weekend before Independence Day, the Roaches packed up the Family Truckster and headed to Chicago for a little mini-vacation. The highlight of the trip was our visit to The Lincoln Park Zoo where Parker got to see some of his favorite animals up close is this old-school urban zoo. The best were the monkeys. Parker is still talking about the "monkeys jumping" and "monkeys swinging." We stayed with our our friends the Treanors, who happen to live about three blocks from my brother George. We made the obligatory shopping trip to Ikea. George and I wandered the grounds of the Frank Lloyd Wright home and studio and saw some of his houses in the immediately surrounding neighborhood in Oak Park. We had some great food, including Chicago style hot dogs at Portillo's, Chicago style deep dish pizza at Lou Malnati's, beer from Two Brothers Brewing Company, and had some incredible ice cream at Matt and Connie Brown's Brown Cow Ice Cream Parlor in Forest Park. It was a great trip, but we were glad to come home. Maybe next year Parker will be up for the dinosaurs at the Field Museum!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Bubbles in the park

Bubbles B&W
Bubbles B&W,
Originally uploaded by jcroach.

Cathy captured this great picture of Parker in 3rd Street Park at the Carrie Newcomber concert. He's wearing his "party shirt."

Carousel Mirror

Carousel Mirror
Carousel Mirror,
Originally uploaded by jcroach.

Just a cool picture I took of a carnival carousel.

I wish I was a little bit taller

Here's a cute picture of Parker and his buddy Paul longing to ride the carnival rides. Maybe next year guys, once you reach the height limit!

Save Net Radio

SaveNetRadio.orgMy favorite net radio site has gone silent for the day. has stopped broadcasting in protest of the recent ruling by the Copyright Royalty Board to triple royalties for internet radio stations.

Here's more details on the issue from

On March 2, 2007 the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB), which oversees sound recording royalties paid by Internet radio services, increased Internet radio's royalty burden between 300 and 1200 percent and thereby jeopardized the industry’s future.

At the request of the Recording Industry Association of America, the CRB ignored the fact that Internet radio royalties were already double what satellite radio pays, and multiplied the royalties even further. The 2005 royalty rate was 7/100 of a penny per song streamed; the 2010 rate will be 19/100 of a penny per song streamed. And for small webcasters that were able to calculate royalties as a percentage of revenue in 2005 – that option was quashed by the CRB, so small webcasters’ royalties will grow exponentially!

Before this ruling was handed down, the vast majority of webcasters were barely making ends meet as Internet radio advertising revenue is just beginning to develop. Without a doubt most Internet radio services will go bankrupt and cease webcasting if this royalty rate is not reversed by the Congress, and webcasters’ demise will mean a great loss of creative and diverse radio. Surviving webcasters will need sweetheart licenses that major record labels will be only too happy to offer, so long as the webcaster permits the major label to control the programming and playlist. Is that the Internet radio you care to hear?

As you know, the wonderful diversity of Internet radio is enjoyed by tens of millions of Americans and provides promotional and royalty opportunities to independent labels and artists that are not available to them on broadcast radio. What you may not know is that in just the last year Internet radio listening jumped dramatically, from 45 million listeners per month to 72 million listeners each month. Internet radio is already popular and it is already benefiting thousands of artists who are finding new fans online every day.

Action must be taken to stop this faulty ruling from destroying the future of Internet radio that so many millions of listeners depend on each day. Instead of relying on lawyers filing appeals in the CRB and the courts, the SaveNetRadio Coalition has been formed to represent every webcaster, every Net Radio listener, and every artist who enjoys and benefits from this medium. Please join our fight for the preservation of Internet radio.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Orange tunnel

Orange tunnel
Orange tunnel,
Originally uploaded by jcroach.

Just a really cute picture of Parker. Click on the photo for full sized version.

Touch a truck!

Touch a truck!
Touch a truck!,
Originally uploaded by jcroach.

Here's a cute picture of Parker driving the soy bio-diesel powered bus at the Bloomington Parks and Rec "Touch a Truck" event. If only his legs were longer he'd be driving it.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Reunions and Soda Jerks

So, I missed my 10 year college reunion last weekend. OK, so maybe I didn't really miss it all that much. None of my old friends form DPU were going to be there anyway. We'll take Parker to a couple more DPU football games in the fall. That's a lot more fun than a reunion anyway.

Speaking of the mid 1990s, I saw that one of my favorite bands from that time has a new album coming out. Buffalo Tom's "Three Easy Pieces" is scheduled for release on July 10th. This is their first new studio album since 1998's "Smitten." One of my fraternity brothers turned me on to them my freshman year. My brother George and I crammed into a car with him and a couple of other guys on "Sibling weekend" and headed to Indy to see them at this little hole in the wall all ages club in Indy called Second Ave. back in 1994. They put on a great show, but haven't been back to Indiana since. Maybe they'll pass through Bloomington this time around. I'll never get tired of songs like "Soda Jerk", "Tail Lights Fade" and "Souvenir."

Another great early 1990s band has a new album coming out. Smashing Pumpkin's new album Zeitgeist is also scheduled for release on that same day. Their first since 2000.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

An education in the Dark Continent

Our friend Eric Williams, who's a social studies teacher at Lebanon Middle School, recently got back from a 2 week African safari. He was awarded a Teacher Creativity Fellowship grant from the Lilly Endowment to take the safari and use what he learned in the classroom. We haven't gotten a chance to talk to Eric yet or see his pictures, which I'm sure are amazing, but you can read all about it online at the Lebanon Reporter.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Pac-man's Skeleton?

Found this on the web. Ever wonder what's under Pac-man's shiny yellow skin? This sculpture was created in 2002 by French artist Le Gentil Garcon with help from a paleontologist.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Battle of the Bands

Thought I'd pass this on for some free advertising. My cousin, Jack Waggoner, has band, The Strokin' Aces, that's trying to get seen and heard in the Indy music scene. They're playing in a Battle of the Bands at Birdy's nightclub in Indianapolis on Sunday, June 3rd. So, if you're in indy that weekend and want to hear some good live music, check them out!

Monday, May 14, 2007


Parker jumping
Parker jumping,
Originally uploaded by chmcelwee.

MacyAnn Hill had her 4th birthday party this weekend. They rented a big bouncy thing that looked like a castle. Parker wasn't so sure at first, but as you can see, he quickly got the hang of it! He loved it, and so did I actually!!! It was so much fun and it was fun to see our friends too! The Hills have now set the bar very high for the birthday party entertainment!

The Birthday Girl

Originally uploaded by chmcelwee.

Here is cute MacyAnn!

"Parker Do It"

Parker Climbing
Parker Climbing,
Originally uploaded by chmcelwee.

Parker is getting so big! He will be 20-months old this week! He is becoming more independent every day. His new favorite thing to say is "Parker Do It" It is fun to watch him try all of these new things-but it takes much longer to get ready in the morning. This picture is him climbing at the park - he is very independent and has no fear - I am not sure that is the best combination!

Just Chillin'

Parker and Daddy
Parker and Daddy,
Originally uploaded by chmcelwee.

Parker and his Daddy-just watching some cartoons on a Saturday morning.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Weeping and gnashing of teeth

I had a real shock yesterday. Part of my tooth broke off! I was sitting in my office, chewing on a pen, talking to a local engineer, and my tooth broke! It totally freaked me out. Now, I've had teeth falling out dreams before. Those dreams are usually interpreted as reflecting anxiety about body image or as being an over-exaggeration of your worries and anxiety. Well, the second one would have fit me, that's for sure. I wish it had all been a dream, but it wasn't. I even kept the piece that broke off thinking the dentist could glue it back on or something. No such luck. Looks like I'm going to need a 3/4 crown. This will be my first major dental work - I never had braces or a root canal - so I'm a little nervous. Maybe while I'm in the chair the dentist can fit me for a set of those diamond grills all the kids are wearing. Dinkin' flicka!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Houses hemmed into homes, part 2

0 found dead
0 found dead,
Originally uploaded by jcroach.

I've posted a bunch of pictures from my trip to New Orleans on our Kodak Gallery. Most all of these were not taken by me.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

So it goes (Kurt Vonnegut: 1922-2007)

One of my favorite authors died yesterday. Indianapolis born satirist Kurt Vonnegut Jr. died Wednesday in New York as a result of brain injuries sustained in a fall several weeks ago. He was 84 years old. Vonnegut was best known for his book "Slaughterhouse-Five" which drew inspiration from his experience as a prisoner of war during World War II and his witnessing of the firebombing of Dresden Germany.

I never did get to hear Vonnegut speak. It'll rank up there with some of my biggest missed opportunities, like not seeing Johnny Cash perform before his death. One of my prized possessions is an autographed 3rd edition of "Slaughterhouse-Five" that my lovely wife gave me as a present.

Vonnegut's writing was full of wit, irony, humor, religious skepticism, humanism and compassion. He was a modern day Mark Twain. I wonder if his tombstone will echo that of his character Billy Pilgrim's with it's epitaph: "Everything was beautiful, and nothing hurt"?

Here's a Vonnegut poem called "Requim" from 2005

When the last living thing
has died on account of us,
how poetical it would be
if Earth could say,
in a voice floating up
from the floor
of the Grand Canyon,
“It is done.”
People did not like it here.

Indy Star article
New York Time article

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

"I've placed information vital to the survival of the rebellion into the memory systems of this R2 unit."

Originally uploaded by chmcelwee.

Cathy took this picture in downtown Indianapolis. I don't think any of these R2D2 mail boxes are going to make it to Bloomington, unfortunately. They're part of the new joint venture between George Lucas' Star Wars franchise and the USPS. Also, starting April 25, 15 new star Wars Stamps are going to be released, with the new 41 cent price tag. Maybe they thought people could swallow the high stamp prices if they put some beloved characters on them. Regardless, here's the list of the stamps, available as a single $6.15 pane:

  • Darth Vader
  • Yoda
  • Obi-Wan Kenobi
  • Han Solo and Chewbacca
  • Anakin Skywalker fighting Obi-Wan Kenobi
  • Queen Padme Amidala
  • Luke Skywalker
  • Princess Leia Organa with R2-D2
  • Emperor Palpatine
  • Darth Maul
  • Imperial Stormtroopers
  • Boba Fett
  • The Millennium Falcon
  • X-wing fighter
  • C-3PO

Monday, April 09, 2007

Parker finds his basket!

Originally uploaded by chmcelwee.

Parker finds all the goods the Easter Bunny left for him.

Egg Hunt

Originally uploaded by chmcelwee.

Parker picking up all the eggs.

Happy Easter!

Originally uploaded by chmcelwee.

It was a great day at the Roach house. We had a fun egg hunt in the house (more like egg pick-up) and then we went to church. After nap time, Parker's Grandpa and Nana Roach came down for a visit.

Trip to the Children's Museum

Originally uploaded by chmcelwee.

Here is a cute picture of Parker and his pals, Macy and Molly during our fun trip to the Museum last week.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Congratulations to the Griggs Family

Congratulations to Sara and Ben Griggs on the birth of Brandon Christopher Griggs. He was born Thursday, March 29th and weighed in at 9lbs 6oz. I'm sure Connor, Drew and Kendall are excited to have a new little brother at home. Good luck Griggs family!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

His Future is so Bright!

Parker 1, originally uploaded by chmcelwee.

Look at that sweet little face!