Tuesday, January 29, 2008

My boss on Google Maps

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I just noticed today that a Google Maps Street View is now available for Bloomington! This is great. These are better photos than we have available at work from the County Assessor and they put buildings in context. My goal is to never have to leave my desk again! Just kidding. My co-workers and I wasted a good 20 minutes this morning scrolling around the virtual Bloomington. I even found a image of my boss out for his mid-morning walk. A co-worker determine that the pictures must have been taken in early August 2007, because of a theater marquee announcing an upcoming show in late August. No pictures available of our house yet, unfortunately. I'm curious how often Google plans on updating the images and how much this is costing them.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Our Day On

How did you all spend your Martin Luther King day? For the second year, Cathy and I were fortunate enough to be able to participate in our church's MLK Day activities. The church organizes service opportunities at various social service agencies around Bloomington. Last year we organized donated clothing at the Salvation Army Thrift Store. This year we volunteered at the Hoosier Hills Food Bank.

I didn't know much about Hoosier Hills before Monday. They started in 1982 and serve as a distribution center for donated food. They collect food donations from the community, food from the USDA and excess, damaged or unmarketable food
from grocery stores, distributors and restaurants. The also participate in the America's Second Harvest program. They then distribute the food to soup kitchens, food pantries, shelters and over 80 other partner agencies. In 1996, they distributed 1.65 million pounds of food in six counties in south central Indiana. We spent the day folding and labeling food donation bags, with about 65 other volunteers, for the upcoming food drive associated with the Live From Bloomington band showcase.

Martin Luther King Day was created by an act of Congress in 1994 and designating as a national day of volunteer service. American are encouraged not to just take the day off, but to celebrate the legacy of Dr. King by "turning community concerns into citizen action."

Friday, January 04, 2008

The truth behind the Silent Night

The real "Silent Night"
The real "Silent Night",
Originally uploaded by jcroach.

Parker got two very cool nativity scene play sets for Christmas. This was great because Cathy and I were feeling a little bad that Parker knows all about Santa Claus but not much about Jesus. Then again, he's only 2 and hasn't started Sunday School yet!

One set was from his Aunt Mindy and was "Little People." The other set was from his Uncle George and was "Veggie Tales." Parker loves Little People, but has not seen much of the Veggie Tales. They do have a fairly new Saturday morning show on NBC that we've watched maybe once. Great theme song: "Cauliflower! Sweet and sour! Half an hour!"

The Veggie Tales one interested me the most because of one specific feature. No, not the gold tooth that one of the Magi has, but the fact that the baby Jesus (in this case a carrot, we think) includes a pacifier. That's not really the traditional image of baby Jesus ("The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes, But little Lord Jesus, no crying He makes"). Why should we believe that a new born baby didn't cry? There's no mention of this in the Bible. The birth of Jesus is only told in two of the four Gospels (Matthew and Luke) and then after that, the only mention of the young Jesus is the story of him staying in the Temple during Passover after his parents went home (Luke 2:40-52). The other Gospels pick up when Jesus is an adult and is starting his ministry. And there's no mention of Jesus as a non-crying baby.

So, did baby Jesus cry? I's like to think that he did. The Urban Dictionary has lots of suggestions for what might "make baby Jesus cry," but I think it's much more simple than that. Jesus cried when he was cold, hot, wet, bored, poopy, hungry, itchy from the straw in the manger, when he smelled the animal manure and when Mary and Joseph dressed him in ugly cloths. He was a human and more importantly started life as a baby. That's why I think that Jesus with a pacifier is great. It's something young kids can relate to; a crying newborn who needs comfort.

Click on the picture for a larger version.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Red & yellow, black & white

So, in the last month, Parker's color recognition has exploded. Around his birthday, he only knew one color, green. And everything was green! Fire trucks, banana, oranges, everything. But since a week or so before Christmas, he suddenly began to recognize yellow, orange, green, blue, black and red (although he calls red pink). He calls brown black also and doesn't quite get purple yet.

So, in honor of Parker's new colors and to start off the new year, I introduce to you the new look of the Roach Family Blog. OK, so, it's still and standard Blogger template, but at least it's a new one! And with that, a new poll to the right. --->

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Santa Claus Poll Closed

OK, the recent Santa Claus poll is now closed, with 15 votes. 53% of voters stated that only a couple of special presents to their kids are from Santa. That's the way Santa works at our house. This year "Santa" brought Parker a basketball goal, a race track and dump truck. The next most popular response, at 27%, was that your family doesn't "do" Santa. Hey, that's cool with me, as long as your kids don't spoil the fun for my kid!

Happy New Year, y'all. Lots of fun stuff planned for the Roach Family Blog in 2008. Keep reading!