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My Week In May With the #2014ToyotaHighlander

“Man this thing is big! It looks like a Transformer.”

This is what I said when I walked up to the gleaming “Ooh La La Rouge” (that’s the actual name of the color) 2014 Toyota Highlander Limited waiting for me in the parking lot of the Toyota dealership near my home. It was brand brand new with only a handful of miles on it. I smiled anticipating what a fun week I was going to have on Toyota’s weeklong Make Room campaign. Then I did what any man would do. I walked the perimeter of the vehicle, taking in it’s curves and lines, kicked the tires and smiled at the bright shiny nineteen-inch alloy wheels and their accompanying tires, Amor All shined to perfection.

Then I took a picture.

I climbed into the vehicle and took in all the appointments – a mix of leather and sophisticated composite materials that immediately suggests that care and attention has been put into this vehicle. It comes with all the bells and whistles that most top line 2014 vehicles should, push-button start, an overabundance of cupholders and interior storage space, back-up camera, sensor-laden mirrors, complete with turn signals that alert you to vehicles to your right and left (those pesky blind spots) and connected car functionality (Toyota’s system is called Entune®), which includes, GPS navigation, an in-dash touch screen, an instrument cluster that feeds you the most essential info from the navigation and audio systems, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity for your smart phone. It also came with a couple of other unanticipated options, namely, the 12-speaker JBL premium sound system, the three-zone climate control and perforated leather-trimmed heated and ventilated front-row seats. I mean seriously, seats that cool you off?


My Dad - The Man Who Is My Father

Not so many years ago I believed my father, pictured to the right of my mother, had the strength of ten men. Now as he dwells in the golden age of his life I am amazed by how slowly he moves and yet he is just as strong as he as always been considering that his brother, sister and nephew have all died in the past sixty days. Age has made him slightly crotchety and maybe dulled a bit of his shine, but his slowed pace has created a gracefulness in his movements and an appreciation for moments that I often overlook in my rush to get everywhere. I appreciate and love my father and consider him a living repository of knowledge for my family and myself.

I hope I can be this strong should I ever see the age of eighty-one.

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#ThankATeacher: Celebrate National Teacher Appreciation Week 2014

Many of my family members are teachers, including both my parents, and many of my friends have grown up to be educators. From preschool and elementary school teachers all the way up to university professors.

Despite the bad rap teachers often get and the few who make things very bad for the rest in the court of public opinion, our teachers are some of the best assets we have. Period. Everyday, we entrust our children's learning to people who have dedicated themselves to empowering and enlightening others, often thanklessly. What a mighty weight it is that they work underneath.

This is National Teacher Appreciation Week. If you like, please use the comments here to #ThankATeacher for the work they've done in your life or the lives of your kids.

You might be wondering how else you might be able to say, "Thanks!" Well actually saying, "Thank you," to your children's teachers is a good place to start, or buy them gift cards for lunch or coffee or school supplies or anything else that let them know you care about and appreciate them as a person.

For the naysayers who might say, "Why thank them for what they are getting paid to do?" Well my thoughts are this: no one is thanking me for the work that I do, outside of maybe my boss, maybe. But no one is trusting me with their kids, either.


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