ducky

Ducks don’t roar…
Do they?

The days have become very loud in the kingdom. The little prince and the littler prince have started playing a game where they roar at each other. They are fierce and fearsome. They are wild and chaotic.

So, you know, they are basically just normal kiddos.

Then, when they get tired of roaring at each other, they join forces and roar at anyone else they encounter in their jumping, rolling and frolicking tornado of noise and destruction swirling through the kingdom. Sometimes they are monsters. Sometimes they turn their toys into the monsters. Sometimes they have rubber duckies fiercely roaring…

Ducks don’t roar?
Well, as it turns out, sometimes they do.

On being five

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Little Prince,

 Now you are five…

 I think some of the earliest memories I have are from when I was five.  At least, that’s the way it seems.  And that shapes how I interact with you to some regard.  You are no longer a baby.  At times that means I am harder on you than you like and we have more disagreements than we used to.  I’m sorry about that.  I am.  I won’t change, though, and I can only hope that one day you will look back and be thankful for the hard stance I took on some of these things in my attempts to help guide you into becoming the good person I know you are capable of… just as I did eventually with my own parents.

 Not that it’s all rough.  Your dimpled smile flashes often and your wild laugh fills even the largest rooms.  You are boisterous and imaginative.  You are insightful and charming.  You can be tender and you dote on your brother, the Littler Prince, far more than I had hoped you would before his arrival.  You’ve stepped into that role happily, lovingly.  The Queen and I are grateful for that, even as you do occasionally encourage him to do things that will get you both in trouble.  I call shenanigans.  You both grin mischievously and laugh and laugh.

 Your understanding of the world beyond our home, beyond the Kingdom, is growing daily.  That makes me proud and sad at the same time.  You continue to be wicked smart, picking up new concepts and skills with ease, and questioning everything.  That means, however, that you are becoming exposed more frequently to the harder truths of being alive.  The world is beautiful but it is dangerous, too.  We find what we seek but sometimes there are unintended consequences even when our intentions are pure.  You are learning.  I have no doubt you’ll get there.

 So, I continue to be proud and excited that I get to help you grow and learn and achieve.  You have a busy year ahead.  Kindergarten and everything that comes with your first official year of “school.”  Your very own season pass for skiing or snowboarding, whichever it is you end up deciding on.  Or both, perhaps.  I can’t wait to have you on the mountain with us.  And other sports too, perhaps?  And another backpacking trip or two?  And more trips across the country?  And…

 We’ll have to see where our adventures take us.

 I’m honored to share them all with you.

 Love you,

 Dad / Matticus / The Jester

And the winner is…

A few weeks ago, I asked all you wonderful kingdomites to join in a game of blogosphere tug-of-war…  In this addition, the contest was between Team Coke and Team Pepsi.

I should have realized that something was amiss when the first backer came in to support the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group (it’s a thing, I promise)….

And then, for a time, the game dissolved into chaos.  Bloggers were tugging in every which way, and I thought it was going to have to be abandoned altogether.

But then!!!  But then Team Coke showed up, and heaved, and pulled, and tugged, and won in a landslide.

Unfortunately, our official kingdom tally keeper quit, so I don’t have the exact numbers for you.

You’ll just have to take my word for it.

Hey, I’m a Jester.  You can definitely trust me.  Definitely.  I assure you.  Believe me.

Thank you to all the players and CONGRATULATIONS to Team Coke, who once and for all have decided the age old battle of the sodas, colas, pops, carbonated sugary drinks of deliciousness…

Time for Tug-of-War

 

Hear  ye, hear ye…  Gather round… and all that jazz… er, rock, as the case may be.

It is time for another official Matticus proclamation!

A new Tug of War is about to be announced!

Like so many other things here in the kingdom, this tug-of-war is going to start with a reference to music:

“Rock and roller cola wars, I can’t take it anymore.”

– Billy Joel “We Didn’t Start the Fire”

https://genius.com/Billy-joel-we-didnt-start-the-fire-lyrics

If you hadn’t already guessed it, the question that needs answering, the question we are going to solve once and for all is:  Which is the best soda/pop/cola/tasty beverage of sugar and caffeine?  Is it Coke?  Is it Pepsi?

But, before we begin the game, here are some rules (because all games must have rules, except Calvinball, of course):
1) Read the prompt.  (I know what you are thinking, “Reading, bleh, who wants to do that.”  But if you don’t read the prompt then you won’t be able to fully play along.)
2) Choose a side.  (You have to pick a side in tug-of-war, that’s kind of important.)
3) Write a post that supports your decision.  (We don’t need an essay, and we don’t give bonus points for brevity either.  However, we will be your friend if you do something creative.)  (You can also just leave your answer as a comment though in cases where a tie-breaker is needed, I’m going to count comments as only half a pulling point.)
4) Link back to this post so the moderator can count your support correctly.  (If you are super awesome and choose to play along and write a post.)
5) There is no fifth rule – just seemed like there needed to be another one – oh, wait, I know:  The fifth rule of Matticus Kingdom Tug-of-War is “You do talk about it.”  To anyone and everyone.  That’d be great.

The winning side will be the one that gets the most support, and their reward will be the knowledge that they chose wisely and eternal fame across the kingdom.

You have two weeks to get your support behind either Coke or Pepsi.  The first week of September I will begin to tally up the support and write up another post announcing the winner.

The Kingdom is throwing its support behind Coke.

I will admit that in a blind taste test I did a couple years ago, I got them wrong and thought Pepsi was Coke and vice versa, but when I know what I’m drinking I prefer the taste of Coke.  Is that psychological?  Probably.  Is it solely because I grew up in a Coke household?  Most likely.  Is it because I call everything that is a soda “coke?”  Well, yes, that’s maybe part of it too.  But, for the purpose of this tug of war, I’m going to argue it call comes down to the sweetness.  Pepsi is sweeter and when I reach for a coke, or a coffee, or a beer, I’d rather have it be bitter.  I like my food sweet but my drinks bitter.  I’m a big ol’ weirdo like that… but… Jester… so, it is what it is.

Now come on all you faithful kingdomites!  What is your favorite soda and why?  Let’s get this tug-of-war going!

 

……………………………………………………………..

 

In case you were wondering, this is the fourth official tug of war.  The first one settled that chicken and egg thing, the second one explored an important part of childhood, and the third one settled the ultimate Marvel verse DC comic battle.

round and round we go…

Plastic is the devil.  Which is interesting, considering that plastic was introduced as the savior of the environment.  “Use plastic bags to carry your groceries and you’ll be saving trees, the world, and, therefore, your souls.”  But, now we’ve learned the error of our ways and it is on to the next.  Round and round we go…

So, in California a law has been signed that outlaws the use of plastic bags in big chain stores starting next July, and rolled out to all stores in 2016.  Instead, consumers are being urged to use cloth bags or pay a surcharge for the use of paper bags.  (Wait, aren’t paper bags bad for the environment too?  Isn’t that why we started using plastic in the first place.  Now I’m confused…  But, I’m sure the ten cents per bag is being used to fund tree planting operations, right?  I’m sure that makes it okay.)

But, since we have proven to be shortsighted on these decisions in the past (really, who could have known all those plastic bags would wind up in riverbeds and clinging to the fences and shrubs that line our roads?) it does beg the question: when cloth bags are determined to also be bad for the environment (water wasted washing them?) or our health (unwashed or improperly washed bags make lovely homes for salmonella) what device for carrying our groceries will be forced upon us next?

How about reusing cardboard boxes to store and transport groceries like Costco and Trader Joe’s do?  Since the stores receive their goods in boxes in the first place, what happens to those?  They should definitely be given out to consumers to transport the goods rather than manufacturing new cloth bags for everyone to buy, spoil, and trash.  Right?  (I suggest buying copious amounts of stock in cardboard companies right now!  Buy early and often, as I always say.  (Yes, I say the same about voting.))  And then, being good stewards of the environment, as we have unanimously shown over the course of human “civilization,” I’m sure all those consumers would recycle the cardboard boxes after they were done with them.  Right?  (They certainly wouldn’t find their way to landfills or riverbeds or city streets…)

Though, there probably aren’t enough boxes to accommodate all purchases on a daily basis, so that option isn’t entirely feasible.  Dilemma, am I right?  But, why do we need bags (or boxes) at all?  Everything was in a cart (or buggy, if you prefer) or basket in the store, why can’t we all just push the carts to our cars and load everything up directly like that?  The onus should be on car manufacturers to install grocery receptacles in trunk spaces rather than trying to figure out how to get the goods from the store to the car in the first place.  We already do that.  Every time.  The goods always show up at our cars (like magic), so why do we need something additional to make that happen?  We don’t!  Problem solved.

We in the kingdom plan on taking that route, forgoing bagging contraptions altogether: one less thing to worry about!  (I’m always forgetting those stupid reusable bags anyway.)  But, we’d love to hear your solutions.  Do you have a brilliant idea?  Do you have a ridiculous idea?  We are open for both and everything in-between.  This is California, after all.