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Archive for July, 2011

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Training Wheels….Lost!

<<<UPDATE>>> Video at the bottom of this post!!!

One of the greatest things about being a parent is seeing the growth of your child.  I’m not talking about height, I mean the milestones.  His first word or step.  His first words after he lost his speech due to autism.  His first day of school and Day 3 of Lose the Training Wheels.  Why will July 13, 2011 be a milestone day for the Souza family?  That marks the day that Truce rode on a two wheel bike for the first time.

If you don’t know about Lose the Training Wheels, it’s a wonderful program created by Dr. Richard Klein, a retired University of Illinois engineering professor, and his wife Marjorie.  Truce has been to the camp 2 times before.  While most of the other children are able to get up on two wheels, Truce has fallen just a bit short.  That all ended yesterday.

I came to the Arena to see how he was doing.  This year more than any he’s finally got enough speed to keep a bike going.  Truce has a condition called hypotonia.  That means his muscles wear out quicker because of his low muscle tone.  So pedaling for over an hour usually spends him.  In the “off-season” Truce has been riding his aunt’s 3-wheel bike very fast around the driveway to build up his leg strength.

After I saw that all was well, I headed back to the office.  Right when I got back there, Jennifer texted me “2 wheels”.  Of course I called her instantly as everyone was still cheering for him in the background.  I told her the call me back via FaceTime (thank you Apple).  I was able to see him ride, jump off the bike and come running to his mom screaming with joy!  He was so excited and proud of himself, along with everyone there.

I couldn’t get the smile off my face for the rest of the day.  As I type this a day later, I’m still smiling.  To think that this camp almost didn’t happen because we didn’t have enough kids.  I have made it my mission that if this goes again next year I will personally recruit families to participate.  Every family should experience the joy of having your kid ride a bike.  Better than that, seeing the face of your child doing it.

I have to thank Pete & Pat for making the camp happen.  Also, all the volunteers that support the riders at the camp.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you do!

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BBQ Cabbage


I have made BBQ Cabbage in the past to rave reviews.  It’s an odd combination, but it’s pretty darn good.  When I commented that I was making it on Facebook, I got the usual “What?!”  So, I decided to share the recipe with everyone.  It’s a great side and sure to dazzle at your next cookout.  It works out great if you are making ribs or port butt because the grill is already set up for it.  (Click on any of the pictures to see a larger version.  Especially the last one!)

You will need:

1/2 stick of butter
4 slices of Bacon, cut into 1/4 inch slivers
1 Small onion, finely chopped
A medium-sized head of cabbage
1/4 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce (I use Keith Souza’s homemade)
Course salt & black pepper


1.  Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium heat, add the bacon & onion.  Brown about 3-5 minutes.  Drain the bacon & onion mix over a bowl and keep the drippings.

2.  Core out the cabbage.  Put your bacon/onion mix in the cavity, top with the BBQ sauce and cut the rest of the butter into cubes and place on top.  Rub the drippings from the bacon/onion mix on the side and sprinkle the salt & pepper on the outside.  Make a ring of aluminum foil to place the cabbage in on the grill.

3. Use indirect heat and throw some soaked wood chips on the coals.  Cook it covered.  Grill until it’s tender, about 1 – 1 1/2 hours.  Don’t forget to add fresh coals about 1/2 way through.

BBQ Cabbage finished!

4.  Peel away any dry or charred leaves.  Cut the cabbage into wedges and serve.

Plated, with ribs and summer squash from the grill.

 

If you have any questions, please feel free to comment below.  Before anyone calls me out for stealing a recipe, this came from Steven Raichlen’s book “How to Grill”.  It was my first grilling book and still one of my favorites.

 

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I could not have said it any better.

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Changing Education Paradigms

I have told you before about how much I love TED talks.  One of my favorite TED talks is from Sir Ken Robinson.  He talks about how schools kill creativity. (I added the video below.)  I came across a video that features Sir Ken again doing a talk for RSA.  The RSA is “an enlightenment organisation committed to finding innovative practical solutions to today’s social challenges.”  One angle on that is the RSA Animate that is shown with Sir Ken’s talk. Very TED-like, so I can get on board with that.

This the third or fourth post that I have done relating to education reform or the way that our children learn.  I remember hearing that all revolutions start in the back room of an ale house.  Well, maybe blog posts are the modern day pint of ale.

It’s a little over 11 minutes long, but well worth the time invested.

Here is the creativity talk from Sir Ken Robinson: