The Great Underwater Debate

TechyDad-UnderwaterThis past summer vacation was a momentous one for the boys. After years of trying to find the right place to teach them, we finally got the boys swim lessons that worked. They learned how to float, how to tread water, how to jump into the pool, and how to propel themselves forward. The boys took to the water quickly and going to the pool became a new favorite activity. Of course, this was fine by me because I love going to the pool. There’s just something about swimming that has always appealed to me.

Of course, our increased pool time also revealed a slight problem. You see, unlike my boys, I never had swim lessons. My sister and I would go over our neighbor’s pool and I wound up teaching myself how to swim. I’m fine with swimming above water, but when I go underwater, I do something that drives B up the wall. I hold my nose.

Yes, I never learned how to blow out of my nose to prevent water from flooding back in. JSL and NHL know how to do this thanks to their lessons. They can go underwater without clamping their nostrils shut. I, on the other hand, can’t. I’ve tried, but no matter what I do I always wind up with water going up my nose. Then I emerge from underneath the surface gagging and coughing.

I know that B wants me to stop with the nose holding out of a fear that the boys will pick up on my bad habit, but I’ve made it clear to them that they are better swimmers than I am because they don’t need to hold their noses. And given that I can one up them in so many ways in the pool (swimming faster, holding my breath longer, etc.), they love being ahead of me in at least this one area.


I began to think that I was alone among adults. That I was the only one who held his nose when he went underwater. As I mentioned it during various pool trips, though, more and more adults confided in me that they too held their noses when they go under. Perhaps I’m not such an outlier after all.

When you go underwater, do you hold your nose? Or can you submerge without obstructing your nostrils?

Saying Goodbye To Summer

SummersEndSummer is over. I just need to accept this fact.  Oh, sure, the Official Last Day Of Summer is on the autumnal equinox on September 23rd.  However, all of the signs point to summer being over now.

First of all, the kids are back in school. While this is a welcome sign for many parents, it also heralds the beginning of the fall months.  No more coming home and taking the boys to the water park to cool off.  In fact, if they are even still open (something I would doubt), going into the water in the recent weather would not be something I would encourage.

This leads us to the second sign of summer being over.  It has gotten colder.  I don’t mean slightly cool breeze as you run around the beach colder.  No, this is full blown wear-pants-instead-of-shorts-and-put-on-a-jacket-too weather.  During some nights, we’re actually pushing frost advisories.  The only thing keeping the air conditioning units in my windows was the rain a couple of days ago.  (Move them too close to rainy weather and it gets VERY messy!)

Thanks to the weather, we have our third sign:  The trees are changing colors.  Yes, the green leaves are still the most common, but other colors are rearing their ugly (ok, beautiful) heads.  Some trees have even begun to lose their leaves!

A more local sign is Hoffman’s closing.  Hoffman’s is a local amusement park that generations have grown up attending.  This is the time of year when it normally closes for the season.  Sadly, it has closed for good.  Soon the rides will be sold off and the area redeveloped as retail shops.  A local spot for families to go to enjoy some nice rides will be just another shopping area.  Future summers just won’t be the same.

Lastly, we realized that one of our favorite local ice cream shops was closing today.  We hurried on over to enjoy a final cup or cone while watching their cows.

Yes, summer is over.  Soon the leaves will fall, the air will turn cold, and perhaps snow will even fall.  Thank you, summer for all of your warm days and fun memories.  You will be missed.

Last Days of Summer

Summer is ending.  There’s no getting around it.  There are only a few more days of August and then September is here.  That month brings with it colder weather, school, and all of the other things that mean that summer is over.  Eventually, we’ll need to get the big coats out again and we’ll be watching the weather for snow.  So for now, we’re enjoying the remaining moments of summer with the most quintessential of summertime activities.





(Once summer ends and school begins, our Doctor Who time will become much more limited so we’ve got to cram as much in as we can!)

What activities do you engage in as the summer winds down?

State of Summer Denial

Gerald_G_Fall_LeavesI’ve been averting my eyes and trying to shut out the truth, but I don’t think I can do it anymore.  The leaves are already starting to change.  The temperatures have dropped, meaning that pants are worn instead of shorts.  I’ve even had to get out my (*gasp*) jacket.  And, as the final nail in the coffin, it will soon be time to switch the calendar from September to October.  It’s time to face the facts: Summer is over and Fall is here.

While the pool-time fun might be over for the next eight or nine months, and while I can’t sit outside anymore in shorts and a T-shirt, basking in the sun’s rays – at least without shivering in the chilly breeze, autumn fun is just around the corner.

Soon the leaves will fall off the trees making for fun walks.  (I’m not sure why, but I’ve always loves the crunching sound of fall leaves under my feet.)  Halloween is coming up as well.  (NHL might go as Harry Potter this year.)  Best of all, though, is the fact that the Oven Ban has been lifted.

During the summer months, when we’re fighting to keep the temperature in the house under 80, the last thing we want is a 400 degree oven pumping heat into our rooms.  So from about mid-May through September, the oven goes mostly unused.  We will bake occasionally, but that’s the exception, not the rule.

During the fall (and winter) months, though, I get free reign to use the oven.  When it is 70 (or less) in the house, pumping in more heat isn’t as big of a deal.  In fact, on some days, it’s downright desirable.  (Everyone knows the adage "A watched pot never boils", but few know "An oven that is constantly opened to ‘check the temperature’ when the person is really trying to warm up won’t preheat quickly."  I guess it doesn’t roll off the tongue as easily even if it is true.)

With the oven ready to use, I’m chomping at the bit to use it to it’s fullest.  Here come the homemade pizzas, the roasted veggies, the baked lasagnas, and more.

What do you like cooking in your oven?

NOTE: The leaf image above is "Fall Leaves" from Gerald_G.  It is available via

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