Patriotic or Just Plain Awful?

The 2014 NASCAR Nationwide Series season started with an interesting version of the National Anthem by Madison Rising.  It’s certainly different than any version I’ve heard before.  So different that I’m not exactly sure how I feel about it. In case you missed it here it is:

Some would argue they added a touch of creativity to a song we’ve all heard and sung hundreds of times.  Others would say that the National Anthem is one song that shouldn’t be messed with.

Lead singer Dave Bray, a U.S. Navy Veteran, had this to say about the band’s performance, ”Yes, we took some liberties, but we were already taking some liberties with it musically and melodically. We wanted to make it a rock song people could sing and enjoy. The reverence is still there, but it has sort of taken on the death march in a way. It’s very sullen and sung in a very sullen way. We thought it should be more of a celebratory rock anthem.”

So what do you think about Madison Rising’s version and performance of the National Anthem?  Cool? Different? Unpatriotic? Just plain awful? Let’s hear your thoughts?

In the event the version above left you needing to hear the National Anthem sung in a more traditional way this should do the trick:

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Working From Home

Technology is great… especially when it works AND works in your favor.  That was the case for me yesterday.

When I’m not actually on the radio I can do a lot of what I do for work anywhere I have a computer and internet access. So, yesterday, with one sick kid already home and another being sent home 3 hours early from school because of pending blizzard conditions, I took the opportunity to leave the office and finish my day working from home.

It was great.  I was able to be there for my kids yet, still keep up with work and not have to burn time off or have the next day be extra hectic. Most importantly for me, was that I didn’t have to add more stress to a coworker’s day by needing them to pick up the slack from my absence.

I have tried to set some rules on working from home.  If possible I only do it when it will benefit me and not the company I work for.  That way I don’t let myself feel I’m being taken advantage of.

When I work from home I consider it as being at work.  I wear my work clothes and avoid any distractions that aren’t always at my job. If I tried to work in sweat pants with Dr. Phil blabbering away in the background I could very easily get distracted and end up not working from home.

What about you?  Do you work from home?  How do you keep yourself focused on work so you get something done?  What guidelines do you have to make sure it’s a job benefit and not a job expectation?

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Dealing with Children’s Food Allergies, Part 3

This is the final installment in a 3 part series discussing children’s food allergies.

In part one I shared the back story on how we came to find out our youngest was allergic to peanuts

In part two I talked about how frustrating it can be when people don’t realize just how serious food allergies can be.

In this part I’d like to share just a few of the things we do as a family to keep our daughter safe.

As mentioned before, we follow a “no package, no thank you” rule. We want to be able to read the ingredient list and allergy statement (if there is one) on every package.  That can be hard to do sometimes so we try to avoid those situations.  On the rare instance we do go to something like a church potluck we make sure to bring a lunch for our daughter.

The Food Allergen Labeling and consumer Protection Act of 2004 (FALCPA) has made reading labels a lot easier.  It makes it so a product containing any or all of the 8 most common food allergens must clearly indicate it on the package.

Here are two different packages for soup crackers.  The first is safe for someone with a peanut allergy.  The second one is not.

Peanut Free Soup CrackersSoup Crackers Manufactured with Peanuts

It’s important to always be checking labels.  Just because something is safe one time doesn’t mean it will be safe the next time you buy it. Recipes or manufacturing facilities could change.

One alternative to peanut butter is a butter made from sunflower seeds.

Sun ButterSun Butter Ingredient list

My daughter with the peanut allergy doesn’t like it because it resembles peanut butter in taste and texture.  She prefers cream cheese and jam.  That’s her PB&J substitute.  The rest of our family has grown to like Sun Butter.  My wife has even used it to bake cookies with excellent results.

Having an EpiPen available at all times is a must.  My daughter keeps one in a pouch she can wear around her waist.

EpiPen Jr Waist Carrier

She also wears an allergy bracelet.  Her American Girl doll also has a peanut allergy and wears one too!

American Girl Doll With Food Allergy BraceletAmerican Girl Peanut Allergy Bracelet

If you’d like to know more about food allergies there are some great resources online like Food Allergy Research and Education.

Do you have some food allergy tips?  I’d love to hear them.




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