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Inclusive Education


Our son has Autism.

This fall, he transitioned from an ECP (early childhood special ed) classroom to a typical Kindergarten class.

We did so for a variety of reasons, one of which is the theory that Inclusive Education is beneficial for both the special-needs student and his classmates.

PBS released a really great article about this today.

We never really doubted that inclusion is best… the real question is…

are the public schools equipped for inclusive education?

When our son’s Kindergarten teacher already has 23 children to not only maintain, but to guide, teach and grow… how can she be expected to fully serve my son?

It doesn’t matter how great of a teacher you are, that order is just too high…

When everyone knows it is best… why does my wife have to fight through blood, sweat and tears to get him the aid that he is entitled? (any aid… even one without ASD training)

Of course it’s about money… the scary thing is that with Autism rising and school funding on the decline the future looks very bleak for any possibility that the public schools will be able to meet the needs of their communities.

I guess it’s a good thing that I believe in prayer… because I don’t know what else to do from here on out.

The Swell Season: Strict Joy


What can I say about these guys?

Does this album compare with the Once soundtrack? Probably not.

But if Strict Joy had a movie as awesome to go along with the music… it probably would be just as meaningful.

We’ve been anxiously awaiting this one at our house and I’m certain it’ll be on “repeat” for at least a month…

Noël’s already calling it the best album of the year…

Aside: Heard the Strong Odors station on Pandora? Now you can enjoy Strong Odors inspired tunes all day long! Enjoy.

Evangelicals for Legal Pot


I almost always love the Diane Rehm Show.

Last week I caught a really interesting segment in which she and her guests discussed medical marijuana. If you’ve got time I’d really recommend listening.

Apparently I got cancer in the wrong decade…

Throughout the segment though, it became very clear just how unclear this issue is… really murky and muddled, even when legal.

Seemed like most of the show’s guests agreed that legalizing marijuana would really be the best solution… quite often comparing its current taboo status to prohibition.

I’ve never smoked pot and never had strong feelings about it in any way… but as a cancer survivor I’m always intrigued when this issue is up for discussion.

And here’s something you don’t see everyday, an article calling for evangelicals to rally around the cause of legalizing marijuana in an attempt to remove the political weight that comes from the stigma of the drug.

I can see it now… Rick Warren throwing the first annual ELP (Evangelicals for Legal Pot) conference.

Declaration of Dependence


Don’t forget to hit “Play” on the Strong Odors playlist ->

Winter 04-05 there were 2 albums that I always (always) had with me… basically a soundtrack to the season. One is the Garden State soundtrack, and the other…

Riot on an Empty Street by Kings of Convenience

Trudging through knee-deep snow from my house to my office each morning, the hushed geek-folk from across the globe kept my spirits high (or at least fit my mood well when they weren’t)

If you’ve never heard Kings of Convenience… I promise you’ll love them.

I describe them as a modern Simon and Garfunkle… and both the Kings’ music and lyrics give the iconic protest-folk-rock duo a run for their money.

Hard to believe it’s been a half-decade since I discovered that album… in the meantime, the two “kings” have been releasing a series of electro-synth pop as a series of different personas… you’ve got to respect that… but finally some new tunes have arrived.

I love the new album’s title Declaration of Dependence… and I love how on songs like “Rule my World” they keep you guessing… is this a war protest song… or an aching lover about to come undone because she’s stuck in a controlling relationship?

You set yourself above
That all forgiving god
You claim that you believe in
Your kind is gonna fall
Your ship is sinking fast
And all your able men are leaving

Only someone
Who’s morally
Superior can possibly
And honestly deserve
To rule my world

I talk before I think
You shoot before you know
Who’s in your line of fire
So somehow we’re the same
We’re causing people pain
But I stand and take the blame
You scramble to the night



Lost someone today.

You could lose half a day if you happened to sit down in the room with Tom. He loved theology and loved sharing his discoveries even more… Nothing really made him happier than talking about new things he was learning (regardless of whether you cared to sit and listen).

As he leaves mortality behind, I can’t help but wonder at the discoveries in store for him.

My brother Thunderbeard has been blogging about (among other things) the weeks leading up to his dad’s death.

Finding a way to emotionally understand their edgy past and courageously seek some sort of resolve in their relationship has been inspirational reading for me and spiritually nourishing for him.

Feel free to share a story about Tom in the comments and be sure to check out Thunderbeard. He’s my brother and I love him and my heart’s aching for him today.

Broccoli-Cheddar Stuffed Chicken


You know that Kraft Food & Family magazine that comes every so often? (I guess they are charging for subscriptions now)

It’s pretty much a 20-page advertisment, but every once in a while you can find a real keeper in there…

I don’t even like broccoli (even though I eat it almost every day), but I like this.

It’s pretty cool how their recipes combine pre-made shortcuts (like the Shake and Bake here) with fresh ingredients…

We cut out the bacon and served the chicken with a side of wild rice and fresh green beans.

My 4-yr-old chowed it down like it was ice cream (of course he eats just about everything like that—his favorite show is Man vs. Food)

Tip: Green beans often get overcooked. Steam them just long enough to get them warm… you should still be able to “snap” them even after cooking.

Feed the Kids Cigarettes for Breakfast


I have a great church and I like my pastor a lot. He is compassionate and loves to study and meets the needs of his congregation well. His words of wisdom on a Sunday 4 years ago altered my view of God for the better and are tattooed on my soul…

A few weeks ago though, I almost walked out of the service.

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