Category Archives: Holidays

A Christmas Collection

I have enjoyed Star Trek since I started watching re-runs of the original series when I was in elementary school in the early 1970s.  So when my mother-in-law saw the original U.S.S. Enterprise Hallmark ornament orbiting a tree in a hair salon in 1991, about after a year after my wife and I were married, she started scanning; but that ornament was already sold out everywhere.  I still do not have it–and at a current asking price of approximately $200 online, I’m OK with that.  (Fan does not have to equal fanatic.)

Docked for the holidays.


But my M.I.L. immediately realized she had stumbled upon a potential annual present for my November birthday and Christmas, starting in 1992.  Over the past 25 years, she has beamed quite a few ornaments my way, including ships, characters, and scenes, drawn from the original series (TOS), Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise, and 3 groups of movies…all of the possible corners of the franchise.

Now, while my wife is not so fond of my Star Trek collection, I managed to establish a Prime Directive:  Ban my ornaments and risk The Wrath of Your Mother.  (Cue Mrs. DKB:  “Maaaaaaaaahhhhm!”)  Then we entered a final frontier a few years ago when my M.I.L. gave me a silver tree which has become a galaxy completely separate from our actual Christmas tree–which seems appropriate, as the Star Trek collection is really

Resistance is…well, you know.

just a fun complement to the spiritual and family focus that has always been the true center of the holiday in our house.

After 25 years, the collection is here to stay.  I enjoy it.  The kids enjoy it.  And my wife even surprised me this year by setting up the silver tree and deploying the ornaments while I was out of town picking up our oldest daughter from college.

Merry Christmas.  Happy New Year.  And Live Long and Prosper.


To boldly go

Note:  I did not receive any compensation or consideration related to any part of this post.  In fact, the idea that the people at Hallmark or Paramount have ever heard of DKB is not…..logical.



December 28, 2017 · 10:58 am

Punkin Chunkin’–And a First Attempt at Vlogging

Last week my son’s Webelo den was invited to participate in a “punkin chunkin'” with a local Boy Scout troop.  The Boy Scouts had built 2 trebuchets, the larger standing approximately 10 feet tall at its axis.  Here’s an explanation of how a trebuchet works. Modern, homemade, medieval weaponry and flying pumpkins?  What’s not to love? This seemed like a good opportunity to give vlogging a try–I hope this video does the experience justice.

Boy Scouts Punkin Chunkin–November 2013

Any thoughts?

[Special thanks to National Pike District Boy Scout Troop 882 for inviting the younger boys to share this experience.]

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Filed under Activities & Sports, Blogging, Holidays

Going With The Change-up This Summer

During the last few summers, our family’s schedule has often felt as busy as the school year.  But this year we have prioritized our commitments, streamlined the summer calendar, and found ourselves with actual down-time once in a while.

In the past, theme camps at the local health club, rec center, and community college have allowed our kids to delve into piracy, dinosaurs, odd science, etc.  Sports camps have fed their soccer and volleyball skills; in fact, volleyball has included travel club camps, high school booster camps, skills-specific camps, and even a ‘college showcase’ camp.  A major challenge with the camps is deciding who should go where, and when.  If 3 kids have 3 camps in 3 different places, the logistics are crazy.  But if we spread them out to different weeks, summer travel becomes as hard to schedule as trips during the school year.  The kids had plenty of good experiences over the years, but it was time for a little different schedule.

This year?  Our rising high school junior has assisted for a week at her coach’s booster camp, and she may attend another camp as a player to sharpen up before school tryouts.  For our camps this summer–as Tony Kornheiser might say–‘That’s it.  That’s the list.’ 

But no one is exactly sitting around our house wondering what to do until we head out of town for a vacation.  Here are a few examples:

  • In our 9th year on the team at our local pool, swimming remains an important part of summer life.  It is the favorite activity for our 13 year old–practicing the early shift–and a favorite for her 9 year old brother–practicing at 9:00.  This schedule gives each day a balance of consistent structure to start off followed by freedom from 10:00 on.  (Alas, their older sister retired from swimming this year, but she will grudgingly admit that much of her success in volleyball over the years was made possible by the muscle she added to her once-skinny frame through all of those years in the pool.)
  • School workbooks and assigned reading:  chores or good times?  It’s all a question of attitude.  We’re going for ‘good times’ this summer, and there should be no August rush to get everything done.
  • I am teaching the ex-swimmer how to drive.  That’s certainly……interesting.
  • Driving range.  With 2 kids who want to learn how to play golf, taking turns hitting a few shots in a row turned this into a great hour–at a bargain price.
  • Books for the sake of books.  This afternoon my son and I settled in for some quality reading time.  He went with a book ironically called The Name of This Book is Secret, while I worked through a few chapters of Hemingway.  (Once an English teacher….)  What could be better than an afternoon read in a cool living room on a 95 degree day?
  • We’ve also found time for foosball.  Wii.  Building a robot duck.  (Seriously.)  Extra time at the pool, without laps or stopwatches.  Time with grandparents.  Some pretty wild squirtguns that I wish were around when I was a kid.  Tending a neighbor’s dog.  An occasional episode of the original Star Trek series.  (After a year, we are just over half-way through, so it’s a perfect time to pick up the pace).  The time fills itself–so far with plenty of good things.

Hopefully we will be a little more rested and ready this year when the school year starts off again at the end of August.  But either way, we are enjoying the change-up.


Filed under Activities & Sports, Holidays, Living Well, Places to Go