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Two years ago, I recorded every single commercial during the Super Bowl on CBS. All of my statistics can be found on this blog post.

This year, NAD asked for folks to keep track of the commercials to see which ones were captioned.

71% of the commercials were captioned two years ago.

This time around, I recorded 78 commercials from 6:30pm to the end of the Super Bowl. Amazingly, only threee were not captioned. That’s a stunning 96.2% of commercials captioned. That’s a huge, huge difference from two years ago. Kudos to NBC for stepping up with the captions this year.

The three that were not captioned? ERA (Employee Rights Act), Chevy OnStar, and NBC’s own “America’s Got Talent”, featuring Howard Stern.

My favorite commercials? The Fiat, The Volkswagen Dog/Darth Vader, Pepsi Elton John, and NBC’s spoof of Betty White.

Until next year!

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Just how far is far enough?

The red circle represents the location of Park51

The building of Park51, the controversial mosque and community center two blocks from  Ground Zero in lower Manhattan, has raised furor over the last couple of months from two groups – these who don’t want to see a mosque built so close to the WTC site, and those who believe that every religious group has the right to practice their religion freely.

There are a lot of other factors involved in this, and I’m not going to repeat them all here. You can Google them yourself, but there is one simple point I want to make here.

Just how far is far enough to build a mosque in Manhattan?

Did you know that the center is being built by a private organization on land it legally owns. Twenty-nine out of 30 lower Manhattan community-board members voted to approve it. By every legal standard, the case for allowing Park51 to be built is, in the words of conservative UCLA constitutional-law professor Eugene Volokh, “open and shut.”

Did you know that the location is not even close to the 16-blocks that the WTC once occupied?

Did you know there is a mosque 12 blocks from the WTC site?

And, there is a mosque, Masjid Manhattan, three blocks from Ground Zero.

Tell me, how far is far enough?

This whole thing is ridiculous.

What do teachers make?

I got this from a colleague today and being an educator myself, I related with this experience about the noble profession of being a teacher. Please read this story and pass it on as you see fit.

———————————————————————

What Do Teachers Make?

The dinner guests were sitting around the table discussing life.

One man, a CEO, decided to explain the problem with education. He argued, “What’s a kid going to learn from someone who decided his best option in life was to become a teacher?”

To stress his point he said to another guest; “You’re a teacher, Bonnie.  Be honest. What do you make?” 

Bonnie, who had a reputation for honesty and frankness replied, “You want to know what I make? (She paused for a second, then began…)

“Well, I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could.
I make a C+ feel like the Congressional Medal of Honor winner.
I make kids sit through 40 minutes of class time, when their parents can’t make them sit for 5, without an I Pod, Game Cube or movie rental.”

“You want to know what I make?” (She paused again and looked at each and every person at the table)

“I make kids wonder.
I make them question.
I make them apologize and mean it.
I make them have respect and take responsibility for their actions.
I teach them to write and then I make them write. Keyboarding isn’t everything.
I make them read, read, read.
I make them show all their work in math. They use their God given brain, not the man-made calculator.”

“I make my students from other countries learn everything they need to know about English, while preserving their unique cultural identity.
I make my classroom a place where all my students feel safe.
I make my students stand, placing their hand over their heart to say the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, One Nation Under God, because we live in the United States of America.”

“Finally, I make them understand that, if they use the gifts they were given, work hard, and follow their hearts, they can succeed in life.” (Bonnie paused one last time and then continued.)

“Then, when people try to judge me by what I make, with me knowing money isn’t everything, I can hold my head up high and pay no attention, because they are ignorant. You want to know what I make? I MAKE A DIFFERENCE.”

“What do you make, Mr. CEO?” His jaw dropped, he went silent. 

Ten things I think…

With most of the Wamarva region buried in 30+ inches of snow in the past six days, here are ten things I think…

10. This upcoming weekend will see a boom in the restaurant and retail business, especially with Valentine’s Day and people screaming to get out of their snow-caves.

9. There’s a spike in movie rentals this week. Like, duh.

8. In the upcoming days and weeks, there will be spikes in appointments with chiropractors and masseuses.

7. People will actually finish things they have put off for so long. Like household projects or cleaning duties.

6. We will probably never see this again — 47 states have snow on the ground. Three guesses who the other three states are.

5. People will have become adept to driving in snow and ice…and some people remain idiots.

4. There will be a boom in child births in October.

3. The Weather Channel is the most watched channel. And people will learn what the blue spots on the radar mean.

2. In spite of idiotic drivers, there are some creative souls out there. People have found creative ways to remove snow. Dustpan. Cookie sheet. Mixing bowl. Brooms. A towel wrapped around someone’s arm (props to NP).

1. Hot chocolate tastes so good with Kahula.

A couple of years ago my ex and I wrote down every single commercial and noted whether it was captioned or not. We were surprised to see the rate close to 40% (captioned). With the Indy vs. Who Dat game and me home “snowed in” I had nothing better to do than list every single commercial and note if it was captioned or not.

Keep in mind there’s always a margin of error. I may not have caught every single commercial.

Here’s the list of commercials from the kickoff to right before the halftime analysis by CBS: (commercials NOT captioned will receive a “*”)

Bud Light House
Betty White Snickers
Tim Tebow
CBS Survivors
Hyundai musical
Boostmobile
Doritos dog
Robin Hood trailer*
Doritos – “Stay away from my momma”
Bud Light asteroid
CBS NCIS headslap
Coke Simpson’s Burns
GoDaddy.com masseuse
Undercover Boss*
Doritos dead guy
Bud Light singing men
Monster.com beavers*
Wolfman trailer
CBS Halftime Show – The Who
Bridgestone Tires – Killer Whale/Bachelor Party
Sketchers’ Shape Ups shoes*
Cars.com
CBS Network #1
Budweiser bridge’s out
Shutter Island trailer*
CBS Cares (heart attack prevention)
Letterman/Oprah/Leno*
CBS: Amazing Race
Careerbuilder.com Casual Friday
Dockers’ Free Pants
Hyundai presenting Brett Favre
Bud Light flight wreck (LOST)
Dove for Men
NFL Network Draft
CBS Bridgestone Halftime Show
Dodge Charger “I will do…”
Telefloral.com
Papa John’s
CBS CSI:Miami
Alice in Wonderland trailer
Dr. Pepper: KISS
Tru.tv Troy Pomalau/Groundhog Day*
CBS: 2 1/2 Men*
Universal Studios Harry Potter*
Flo.tv Jim Nance*
Intel Processors
Flo.tv The Who’s “Generation”*
CBS NCIS: Los Angeles
Local cable, “Topper Shutt’s real name”*
Carmax.com*
Acura*

Halftime statistics: 37/51 commercials captioned for 73%.

CBS, CSI:NY featuring Danica Patrick
CBS, Amazing Race
NFL Network
CBS, Undercover Boss
CBS, The Good Wife
CBS, March Madness*
CBS, Miami Medical
CBS, CBSNews
TV.com*
Backup Plan, trailer
CBS, The Mentalist
Mrs. Paul’s fish sticks*
Honda*
Freight Railroad*
Ford featuring Mike Rowe/Ford Focus*
Mrs. Paul’s fish sticks*
Prince of Persia, trailer
Motorola, featuring Megan Fox
Volkswagen, featuring Stevie Wonder
Denny’s free Grand Slam
CBS, How I Met Your Mother*
Michelob Ultra featuring Lance Armstrong
HomeAway.com featuring the Griswolds
Bridgestone Tires, Australian accent
KGB “Answer 542542”
Coke, sleepwalking safari
ETrade talking babies
CBS, How I Met Your Mother
CBS, Survivor
Census 2010
Google, France search
CBS, Late Show with David Letterman*
Kia Sorento
Round-Up Weed Killer
Budweiser Select 55
CBS, Monday nights*
NFL Network “Thank You”
CBS, Masters golf tournament
Defeatthedebt.com*
Comcast*
Defeatthedebt.com*
Vizio Internet Apps
Emerald Nuts/Pop Secret
NFL Draft
CBS, Undercover Boss
Dante’s Inferno video game
Budweiser, the longhorn*
? (missed that one, but daughter states it was not captioned)*
? (missed that one but daughter states it is captioned)
CBS, CSI:NY
CBS, NCIS: Los Angeles
CBS, Criminal Minds
Audi, the Green Police
Taco Bell featuring Charles Barkley
Doritos, “Tim loves Doritos”
Bud Light
Hyundai Sonata
Etrade, crying babies*
CBS, Amazing Race
Sketchers Shape Ups*
GoDaddy.com
Denny’s free Grand Slam (birthday)
CBS comedy night lineup
CBS, The Mentalist
ETrade, airplane ride
Chevy*
Chunky Campbell soup
Flo.tv, Jim Nance*
CBS, Amazing Race
Cars.com, monkey*
Ford, featuring Mike Rowe

I stopped at the last set of commercials before the presentation of the Lombardi Trophy.

During the second half, there were 71 commercials, and a lot more were not captioned. For the second half, 50 of 71 were captioned for a 71% rate.

For the entire Super Bowl, there were a total of 122 commercials and 87 of these were captioned for 71%. The biggest flops of the entire night went to Ford, Flo.tv, and Sketchers shape-ups (shoes).

Big props go to Doritos and Coke for captioning every single commercial they presented. I would have mentioned Budweiser here, but they did not caption the commercial with the Clydesdale and the longhorn.

Worst commercials? Denny’s, Mrs. Paul’s fish sticks, and defeatthedebt.com. And, c’mon CBS. I know you hosted the Super Bowl this year on your network, but you didn’t have to swamp us with constant reminders of why you are the number #1 network in America. Thankyouveddymuch.

Best commercials? Dodge Charger’s “I will…”, Google’s Paris search, Snickers featuring Betty White, and Jalen “stay away from my momma” Doritos.

The game? I barely remember it, but I know it’s WHO DAT!

Happy Holidays

To you, your loved ones, and to your friends…

If you’re like me, you might be headed to your relatives house for the holidays, and many of you might be going to homes where you are the minority. Gasp! You’re actually deaf in a hearing-dominated household.

Here are some tips you can actually consider to pass the time or make this much less of an ordeal.

1. Be prepared. No, this isn’t a Boy Scouts convention. It means to be prepared for everything and anything. You wouldn’t want to be caught off guard. I’ve learned the hard way. Great-grandmother’s coming and you didn’t know? Smile and go with the flow. There’s an impromptu event that no one shared with you? Just do it. Simply be prepared.

2. Have things to do. I think this year is different for me because I don’t have a companion to pass the time with. I’ve always had my ex-wife with me to keep me sane. This year, I’m already screaming for companionship. It does help to have my daughter with me, but when she’s playing with her new Nerf toy or fawning over her aunt, I’m all alone. I’ve resorted to reading one of the books I brought with me (this one being Brisingr), or spending time on the computer. Just last night I had an awesome Skype conversation with a friend.

3. Be patient. I’ve had dinner two nights in a row with my relatives, and unfortunately, both nights, these two relatives were talking the entire time at the dinner table and I had no idea what they were talking about, so I just ate my dinner in silence and made small talk with Leah. Tonight, I gave up and left the table after I ate. Sometimes it pays to be patient, but my patience is wearing thin, especially with two more nights to go before I go back home.

4. Being helpful can go a long way. Instead of brooding in silence in my bedroom, I could do something proactive and help out. Whether it’s helping decorate the house, helping prepare meals, or just making yourself available around the house, the relatives would appreciate it. Even if these moments may go entirely without one word uttered, you’d feel good.

5. Numb the pain. It can be painful to be left alone, to be ignored, to be told “oh, it’s nothing important” when you ask what everyone’s talking about. Believe me, I know. This is speaking from 20+ years of experience. It only got worse when my parents got divorced. This is why for the past few years my ex and I both made a joint-decision to celebrate the holidays in our own home, and make brief trips to visit our immediate families during the holidays. Your family loves you. So, just be there for them and hold onto the pain and find another way to release it later.

6. Be honest and open about your feelings. The same friend I mentioned above isn’t going home for the holidays for the first time ever. She made this decision based on feeling the same way I am feeling right now. It was hard for her to be home and feeling alone. So, what she did was she wrote an email to her family members to explain her reasons why she was not going home for the holidays this year. That email probably made some of her family members well-up with tears or feel guilty for years of pushing aside their deaf relative, but that was a heartfelt, genuine email. I’ve done this before, and none of my family members really liked hearing what I said, but I was honest and open about my feelings. If you are too, it will help the situation, at least on your end.

When all else fails…remember that you’re there for your relatives, and after all, it’s the holiday season!