Friday, February 26, 2010

Finally!

What seemed like months ago, we proudly announced Mason had a loose tooth. Since February 13th (yes, Doug, it has only been two weeks), everything has been about the tooth.

"Oh, Daddy, I can't chew that. My tooth," he said pointing.

"I can't do that, it will hurt my tooth."

"Healthcare reform? How will that impact my tooth?"

Well, tooth no more. He tugged on it so hard today that it began to bleed. The school nurse, who probably does this twice a day, put on some rubber gloves, sat Mason in a chair and helped it the rest of the way out.


You Can Become a TV News Producer in Four Minutes

Just watch this:

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Is this the Best and Worst Commercial Ever Made?

I can't decide if this is the best or worst commercial ever. Maybe both.







Footballs, Basketball and Playground Balls, Oh My!

This afternoon, the Stonegate Elementary School Dad's Club re-inflated lots of gym equipment for the school. The tally included:
  • 24 soccer balls
  • 12 volleyballs
  • 22 basketballs
  • 21 playground balls
  • 25 footballs
After finishing, I went to pick up Mason in the cafeteria.

"What is that thing?" one of the children asked about my compressor. Then I explained what it was for.

"Oh, good," he said. "The basketballs don't bounce very high and the kick balls aren't good."

Just another day at the office for the Dad's Club.

Grandma and Grandpa are coming!

As you can see in the video below, Mason is excited that grandma and grandpa are coming to visit all the way from Florida.

The jury is still out on (a tired) Mallory.

Another Blog?

The fine folks at the Kelley School of Business have asked me to share my thoughts about my time preparing for, and in, graduate school. You can catch up with my musings here.

I must warn you that you will see awkward phrases like 'Online Masters in Business' or 'Earn MBA online' sprinkled throughout my posts. This site is a marketing tool and the marketing warriors would like to see my (their?) posts at or near the top of Google search results.

With any luck, I can share some knowledge and make someone else's road to earning an MBA a little easier.

Enjoy.

P.S. I don't have the functionality to send emails to those who get it with this blog. So, you will have to get an RSS feed (I recommend Google Reader) or check back.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Cookie Time

Once in a while, Noel gets it in her mind that she is going to make cookies. Not just one or two cookies, mind you. Lots of cookies.

With her every step of the way is her young apprentice (padawan - for your Star Wars buffs).

Mallory likes to roll the dough, throw flour on the floor, lick the icing ... all of the fun stuff associated with the manufacture of cookies.


I love watching Mallory along side her mother. I can picture Noel doing that when she was child. Daddy and Mason enjoy other activities such as watching TV, throwing the football too hard in the house and cursing under our breath when we are sold the wrong car battery from AutoZone (that is for a different blog post).




Oh, sweet, heavenly butter cookies.

Embrace Life

If this doesn't make you want to wear your seatbelt, nothing will.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Note to Self

Before taking the dishwasher apart, ask the Mrs. if she has plans involving it, or the rest of the kitchen.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Blossom Scout

Here is my conversation with Mason on the way home from school.

Mason: Daddy, what is a Blossom Scout?
Daddy: I don't know. What is it?
Mason: I don't know.
Daddy: Can you use it in a sentence?
Mason: Uh,
'I am a blossom scout'.
Daddy: Okay, where would I find a Blossom Scout?
Mason: Nowhere.
Daddy: I am sorry, Mason. I don't know what one is. We will have to Google it when we get home.


It turns out that a Blossom Scout is from Disney's Sonny with a Chance. It is the equivalent of the Girl Scouts.

Sleep easy, everyone. I know I will.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Top 400 Taxpayers

From today's Wall Street Journal:

The top 400 U.S. individual taxpayers got 1.59% of the nation’s household income in 2007, according to their tax returns, three times the slice they got in the 1990s, according to the Internal Revenue Service. They paid 2.05% of all individual income taxes in that year.

In its annual update of the taxes paid by the 400 best-off taxpayers, who aren’t identified, the IRS also said that only 220 of the top 400 were in the top marginal tax bracket. The 400 best-off taxpayers paid an average tax rate of 16.6%, lower than in any year since the IRS began making the reports in 1992.

To make the top 400, a taxpayer had to have income of more than $138.8 million. As a group, the top 400 reported $137.9 billion in income, and paid $22.9 billion in federal income taxes.

About 81.3% of the income of the top 400 households came in the form of capital gains, dividends or interest, the IRS data show. Only 6.5% came in the form of salaries and wages.

Over the past 16 tax years 3,472 different taxpayers showed up in the top 400 at least once. Of these taxpayers, a little more than 27% appear more than once. In any given year, about 40% percent of the top-400 returns were filed by taxpayers who weren’t in that exclusive club in any of the 15 years .

In all, the IRS received nearly 143 million individual tax returns for 2007, the year that ended with the onset of the worst recession in decades.

HT: CrossingWallStreet.com

Keystone Capers

If any politicians ever wonder why the American people have lost faith in their government, they need look no further than this.

In a dispatch from CNN, it appears that the Department of Homeland Security has lost 179 weapons because 'officers did not properly secure them'. The Inspector General issued a report outlining some of the embarrassing details surrounding these losses.

For example:

A customs officer, for instance, left a firearm in an idling vehicle in the parking lot of a convenience store. The vehicle was stolen while the officer was inside.
In the Army, gross negligence (according to Army Regulation 735-5 ... it is amazing some of the crap I remember from the army) is defined as:

an extreme departure from due care resulting from an act or omission of a person accountable or responsible for Government property which falls far short of that degree of care for the property that a reasonably prudent person would have taken under similar circumstances. It is accompanied by a reckless, deliberate, or wanton disregard for the foreseeable loss or damage to the property.
This kind of conduct would certainly cost a soldier their job and their career. In an extreme case, it might mean jail time. Let's hope that there is some accountability in this matter but I don't foresee any change.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Journey at the Kelley School


I arrived at Stonegate Elementary on Friday to pick up Mason from school. It had been a week since I had seen him and was eager to see what he, and the rest of the family, had done for a week. As we made eye contact in the cafeteria he ran up to me and gave me a big hug. ‘Hi, Daddy!’.

Having spent the last week in Bloomington for my in-residence course, I had missed a lot. Mason began firing questions.

Mason: Daddy, what did you learn at your school?
Daddy: We learned about organizational development and change.

Mason: Uh, what did you have for lunch?
Daddy: We had lots of different things. Sandwiches, chicken, salad.

Mason: Did you have two beds?
Daddy: In my hotel?
Mason: Yes in your ho-entel.
Daddy: I did have two beds. One for my suitcase and one for me.

It was an action packed week as I began my MBA journey. I had the same pre-game jitters that others probably had as I drove south to the IU campus. I survived the slush and snow, arriving at the Indiana Memorial Union.


We moved through the normal in-processing (student IDs, buying expensive textbooks, etc.) before participating in an induction ceremony. After hearing all of the appropriate deans and professors speak, we were treated to a dinner at the Kelley School of Business. As luck would have it, I was seated next to a University of Michigan graduate (who is one of my classmates) for dinner. We avoided the subject of football for the sake of the other tablemates. It was here that we learned about the fabled Kelley School of Business and how everyone was a ‘family’. I was skeptical.

That all changed the next morning. Our first classes kicked off bright an early on Sunday. Sitting on the 3rd floor of the Godfrey Graduate and Executive Education Center (or the ‘Kelley School’, as it is affectionately referred to) we were greeted by a host of energetic faculty and staff. Leading the charge was Professor Sheri Fella. Prof. Fella is smart, energetic, and deeply in love with IU and the Kelley School. It seemed that each and every day, the first item on the agenda was singing the Indiana University fight song (which was odd, since I had never seen IU put up an actual fight, when playing The Ohio State University in football – Go Bucks!). I managed to sing the entire thing without throwing up in my mouth (I never thought I would be singing another Big Ten fight song …). There is a tradition in the Kelley School where the students and professor applaud after each class. It sounds cheesy but it made all the difference to see everyone clap, celebrating each educational opportunity.



The entire week was filled with early mornings, late nights with Team 3 (completing case studies), caffeine, and lots of learning to go around. The professors were top notch. From Prof. Steve Hayford (who loves BMWs, cussing and negotiation) to Prof. Tatiana Kolovou to the Intellagirl, Sarah Robbins (who may know more about social media than any other person alive); they delivered an unbelievable experience to the students.

Equally impressive were the staff that made the entire week function without a hitch. Lindsey, Usha, Erin and Mark (among many others) were always there in the background to assist and support. Food, transportation and IT support were ever-present and nearly invisible at the same time. A tip of the hat to that fine team.

My classmates include an anesthesiologist, a fighter pilot, business owners, marketers, finance gurus, among others. This diverse background gave depth to every discussion. To name a few: Drew, Emery, Jeremy, the P&G twins (Amy and Brittany), Raghu, Gabe, Will, among others. I was blessed with a great team. Hongbo Tian, Ana Fernandez and Mike Wilson made the entire week enjoyable. This proved out during the case competition when each of my teammates showed poise, discipline and passion when outlining our recommendations to the four judges.


I must say that I was blown away by the professionalism, dedication and spirit of everyone I came in contact with at IU.

Doug, you sound brainwashed.

Maybe I am. I wasn’t expecting the kind of reaction that I had to the experience. I am energized to dive in to my first two courses, financial accounting and economics. I know that the next couple of years will be challenging, rewarding and beneficial both personally and professionally. I cannot say enough about how wonderful my week was beginning my Kelley experience.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Big Announcement

I first must apologize for not blogging recently. I was in Bloomington, Indiana all of last week at my in-residence course for my MBA (more on that later). Mason wanted to make the announcement himself but the first words in the video below are a little hard to hear so I will spill the beans. Mason has a loose tooth! Another milestone here at the Huber household.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Let it Snow!

This winter has been cursed with some bitterly cold weather here in Indiana. When it has snowed, it had been a 'dry' snow (one that was not good for packing). The kids would run outside and try to make a snowball to no avail.

Well, no longer! Today we were blanketed with a thick, wet snowfall (and it is still falling). Hovering around freezing, the snow is falling and falling and falling. The snow was so good, we could roll it up like a carpet.


So we built a snowman ...

And a snowball taller than Mason!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Response to the Obama Economic Message

Keith Hennessey, a former Bush adviser, offers some rebuttals to some of President Obama's favorite economic talking points.

While not exactly a non-partisan source, still very informative.

My favorite is:

Argument: When President Obama took office, he faced projected deficits of $8 trillion over the next decade.

•Response: There is no delicate way for me to say this. The $8 trillion number is made up ...

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

IPS Reverses Course

According to a story in the Indianapolis Star, Indianapolis Public Schools have reversed course on a 2-hour delay the day after the Super Bowl.

Eugene White, the school system's superintendent said that he "never intended to shortchange students" by postponing school. IPS has now said they will start one hour later and stay in school 30 minutes longer. This, after getting a refresher on when it is appropriate to call a school delay.

School districts can institute two-hour delays only for emergencies, such as bad weather or utility problems, according to the state. Those kinds of delays receive automatic waivers from the state. Districts delaying for other reasons would have to apply for a waiver, and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett signaled today that he would not look kindly on granting one for the Super Bowl.

What I would like an answer on is this. Did the Eugene White not know the policy for instituting delays or were they choosing to ignore it? I am not sure which one is worse.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Indianapolis Public Schools are a Shame

Matthew Tully is a reporter for the Indianapolis Star and has been conducting the Manual Project for the past several months. He has written a couple dozen articles on Manual High School and its student body. Some of the stories he tells are heart-breaking while others are of children who have charted a course for success despite daunting challenges.

Here are staggering statistics about the Indianapolis Public School system:
  • 52% graduation rate
  • 34% pass the math and English standards for 6th grade
  • 28% pass the math and English standards for 8th grade
  • 24% pass the math and English standards for 10th grade
  • Only 1/3 of students take the SAT; and they then score, on average, 883

I only mention all of this because IPS thought it would be wise to announce a two-hour delay for the Monday after the Super Bowl.

Three years ago, after the Colts beat the Bears in the 2007 Super Bowl, so many
school bus drivers called in sick on the following Monday that IPS officials cancelled classes system-wide.

“This year we don’t think cancelling is an option,” IPS spokesperson Kim Hooper said. “The kids need to be in school. I can’t tell a bus driver you should get to bed early, but we want to avoid an issue like in 2007.”

This school system is craving leadership. Too bad they are not going to get it from their superintendent.

“The delay will allow our families and staff to cheer on our home team and focus on the business of education,” IPS Superintendent Eugene White said in a statement today.

The students deserve better from their administrators, faculty and staff.

Box Tops!


It is that time of year again where the Stonegate Elementary School collects Box Tops for Education. You can find them on the top (oddly enough) of almost all General Mills products. General Mills pays $.10 for each top the school collects. We ask that if you have any that you mail them to me or you can send them directly to:
Stonegate Elementary School
c/o Mrs. Rent's PM Kindergarten Class
7312 W. Stonegate Drive
Zionsville, IN 46077
Please send them along by Feb. 11, 2009.