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Jun 29 2007

Will's First Haircut

Eleven month old Will got his first ever haircut today.


In just a few minutes, Will went from baby curls to a handsome young boy.

Posted by Don | Comments (2) | TrackBacks (0) |
Jun 28 2007

Vacation Bible School

quip.gifDrew attended Vacation Bible School, "Bless My Soul, the Seven Sacraments," this week. While only 3 1/2 hours long for five days, it was his first formal institutionalization. At least it wasn't a government program!

With the push to provide universal pre-school/day-care for younger and younger kids, if the trend continues, in the future you'll actually have to place your sperm and egg in a government approved institution before having kids. Because everyone knows society's problems are the result of not yanking kids away from their parents soon enough...don't get me started.

Anyway, back to the original purpose of this post. Today, when Mary picked up Drew, the following conversation took place:

Mama: Mommy and Will missed you today.

(A minute or two of silence goes by while Drew contemplates.)

Drew: But Mama...I didn't miss you today.

How depressing...but I don't think there could be better sign of a happy, healthy, mature, well adjusted...and honest 3 1/2 year old.

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |
Jun 27 2007

Will Plays Peek-A-Boo

Vimeo continues to upgrade and improve their video sharing service. I think it's superior to YouTube in a Betamax over VHS sort of way. Here is our latest upload:

Will is quite the peek-a-boo player. And, I guarantee you, he will remain interested in playing peek-a-boo long after you begin to wonder, "How long will he do this for?" That is...unless you get a camera. YouTube version after the jump...why, I don't know.

Posted by Don | Comments (2) | TrackBacks (0) |

star-wars-celebration-iv.gifUncle David and over 35,000 other people attended Star Wars Celebration IV, also known as C4 or CIV, in Los Angeles, California, from May 24 to May 28, 2007. The Celebration coincided with the 30th anniversary of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, the original Star Wars film which debuted on May 25, 1977.

Much like for Celebration III, David took hundreds of photos, which we've gone through and picked out the best. I then photoshopped them and David, using his unmatched knowledge of all things Star Wars, labeled them (with an addition or two of my own).

After updating, there are now 73 photos, click "Continue reading" to see them in the order they were taken (also known as no particular order):

Biker Scout Trooper (VI)

Imperial Guard (II, III and VI), Tusken Raider/Sand People (I, II, and IV)

Clone Trooper (III)

Imperial Fleet Officer (IV-VI), Grand Admiral-? (Expanded Universe)

Fem Solo (Your Dreams), Slave Leia (VI)

Darth Talon (Legacy Comics)

Commander Cody (III), Commander Appo (III)

Storm Trooper (IV-VI), Sith (Expanded Universe), Padme Amidala (II)

Darth Maul (I)

Mara Jade (Expanded Universe), Snow Trooper (V)

Sith (Expanded Universe)

Han Solo (VI)

Clone Trooper (III)

Quinlan Vos (Republic Comics)

Mara Jade (Expanded Universe)


Grand Admiral (Expanded Universe)

Rebel Fighters/X-Wing Pilots (IV-VI)

Rebel Fighters/X-Wing Pilots (IV-VI)

Commander Gree (III)

Boba Fett/Rocketman (C4)

Slave Leia (VI)

Storm Trooper (IV-VI)

501st Clone Troopers

Lyn Me, Princess Leia, Oola (Episode VI)


Darth Vader (III - VI), Jango Fett (II), Boba Fett (IV - VI)

Gamorrean Guard (VI), Emperor Palpatine (III, V, VI)

Senator Padme Amidala (II) Sundress and Packing Dress

Stormtrooper (IV - VI), 501st Clone Trooper (III), Kir Kanos (Crimson Empire Comics)

Darth Talon (Legacy Comics)

Slave Leia (VI) (Amira Sa'id), Darth Vader (III - VI), Jedi, Padme Amidala (II), Royal Guard (II, III, VI)

Slave Leia (VI) (Amira Sa'id), Darth Vader (III - VI), Jedi, Royal Guard (II, III, VI)

Slave Leias (VI)

Count Dooku (II & III)

Asajj Ventress (Clone Wars Cartoons & Republic Comics), Count Dooku (II & III)

Slave Leia (VI), Han Solo (IV - VI), Jedi

Darth Nihilus (Knights of the Old Republic II)

Scout Trooper (VI)

Commander Bacara of the 21st Nova Corps (III), Imperial Fleet Officer

Queen Amidala (I)

Durge (Clone Wars Cartoon & Republic Comics)

Commander Cody of the 212th (III)

Slave Leia (VI), Jedi

Leia as Boushh (VI), C3-PO (II - VI)

Sand Trooper (IV)

Koyi Mateil (III)

Queen Amidala Celebration Dress (I)

Tie Fighter Pilots (IV -VI)

Commander Gree of the 41st Elite Legion (III)

Queen Amidala's (I)

Commander Cody-212th Clone Trooper (III), Jango Fett (II), Boba Fett (IV-VI)

Commander Cody-212th Clone Trooper (III), Jango Fett (II), Boba Fett (IV-VI), 21st Nova Corp Clone Trooper

Senate Guard (I & II)

Boba Fett-Rocketman (IV-VI)

Aurra Sing (I) and Imperials Marching

Aurra Sing (I) and Imperials Marching

Imperials Marching

Imperials Marching

Aurra Sing (I) and Imperials Marching

Queen Jamillia (II), Senator Amidala (III)

Kyle Katarn and Jan Ors (Dark Forces)

Shadow Trooper (Expanded Universe)

Republic Commandoes (Expanded Universe)

Republic Commando Omega Squad (Expanded Universe)

Slave Leia (VI) & Han Solo (IV-VI)

Padme Amidala (Clone Wars Cartoon)

Anakin Skywalker (III)

Lobot (V), R2-D2 (I-VI), Padme Amidala (Clone Wars Cartoon)

Slave Leia (VI)

Ewok & Gamorrean Guard (VI)

Rebel X-Wing Pilot in X-Wing

ARC Trooper Captain (Clone Wars Cartoon), Rebel Snow Pilot (V), Boushh (VI), Imperial Fleet Officer

Posted by Don | Comments (9) | TrackBacks (0) |
Jun 17 2007

Father's Day 2007


I had a great Father's Day today! As you can see from the photo, Mary got matching embroidered baseball caps for me (Dad), Drew, Will and Pa. In addition to some other gifts, Drew gave me a list of his favorite things to do with Daddy:

     My favorite things to do with Dad are:
          1. Play bad guys
          2. Get a treat (Jamba Juice or milkshake)
          3. Have a pillow fight
          4. Play purple ball
          5. Play Buzz

While the idea was Mama's, Drew came up with the list and order all by himself.

And in keeping with the theme, Kevin Gleeson pointed out this excellent piece:
Boys to Men - Raising three sons has helped me appreciate the masculine virtues.

Also, Uncle Matt recently reminded me of the truly amazing father and son team, Dick and Rick Hoyt.

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |


690-teaching-baby-bear.jpgThe other day Drew was doing some computing with Baby Bear.

After hearing what Mary thought was Drew talking to himself, she saw Drew teaching Baby Bear to use the mouse and was able to capture the moment.

Posted by Don | Comments (1) | TrackBacks (0) |

Yesterday's celebration of Flag Day pushed my original YouTube video, "National Anthem: Star Spangled Banner," over the 20,000 views mark! As of this post it has 20,257 views, 74 comments, a rating of 84/100 and has been favorited 101 times.

[Update 07/09/07: 25,000+ views]

[Update 08/28/07: 30,000+ views]

[Update 10/14/07: 35,000+ views]

[Update 11/16/07: 40,000+ views]

[Update 12/18/07: 45,000+ views]

[Update 01/16/08: 50,000+ views]

[Update 04/25/08: 75,000+ views]

[Update 09/10/08: 100,000+ views]

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |
Jun 14 2007

Flag Day 2007

Danz Family Flag

It's Flag Day! Are you proudly displaying Old Glory at your home? If so, I'd love to add a picture of it to the American Flag Project where I am collecting pictures of the American flag flying in front of people's homes.

American Flag Project

Email the Flag Project

So send me your picture and I'll add it to the collection. Happy Flag Day!

Posted by Don | Comments (6) | TrackBacks (0) |


A recall was announced today of various Thomas & Friends wooden railway toys sold from January 2005 though June 2007. Pictured are the pieces we have that are being recalled: James Engine and Coal Tender, stop sign, railroad sign and the 2006 Day out with Thomas car.

Here is a complete list of each piece being recalled:

* Red James Engine & Red James' # 5 Coal Tender
* Red Lights & Sounds James Engine & #5 Coal Tender
* James with Team Colors Engine & #5 Coal Tender
* Red Skarloey Engine
* Brown & Yellow Old Slow Coach
* Red Hook & Ladder Truck & Red Water Tanker Truck
* Red Musical Caboose
* Red Sodor Line Caboose
* Red Coal Car labeled "2006 Day Out With Thomas"
* Red Holiday Caboose
* Red "Sodor Mail" Car
* Red Fire Brigade Truck
* Red Fire Brigade Train
* Deluxe Sodor Fire Station
* Red Coal Car
* Yellow Box Car
* Red Stop Sign
* Yellow Railroad Crossing Sign
* Yellow "Sodor Cargo Company" Cargo Piece
* Smelting Yard Ice Cream Factory

More information can be found at the recall website. There is also a helpful list with pictures. And, here is the form you will need to send in your recalled pieces to be exchanged.

Lead is very useful in paint as it speeds drying, increases durability, improves appearance and resists moisture. In fact, it's still commonly used in industry and by the military. But, as everyone knows lead is extremely toxic and is especially dangerous to small children in which it causes nervous system damage, hearing loss, reduced IQ, kidney damage and other developmental problems.

So, guess where the lead painted Thomas toys were manufactured. Any idea? Take a wild guess. I'll give you a hint, the country just recently exported poisoned pet food all over the world resulting in the death of thousands of pets and the recall of 5300 pet food products. Yep, China. Anybody else getting a little sick of that country?

[Update:] I noticed there are a number of reddish pieces in our set that are not included in the recall, but that there is a tree which is the exact same color as the pieces which are included in the recall. A little after 6 pm, I sent the following email to the manufacturer, RC2 Corporation:

I have the Deluxe Sights and Sounds set and will be exchanging a number of pieces from the set as part of the recall. I could not help but notice that at least one of the trees from the set appears to be the same shade of red as the other recalled pieces. Would you please confirm that the red tree should not be part of the recall.

Don Danz
Tulsa, Oklahoma

Just after 8 am the next morning, I received this reply:

Dear Don Danz:

The red trees are not part of the recall.

Consumer Service

I imagine they are being deluged with inquiries so I'm pretty impressed with their response time to my question. The Danz Family will remain big Thomas fans!

Posted by Don | Comments (5) | TrackBacks (0) |
Jun 11 2007

Boys at 10 Months


Wow, you really can't tell these guys are brothers! On the left, Drew at 10 months (2 1/2 years ago) and on the right, Will at 10 months.

Posted by Don | Comments (1) | TrackBacks (0) |


Today the Danz Family blog is 3 years old. We've had the website since March 9, 2001, but didn't start the blog until June 10, 2004.

To date, there have been 454 entries, 1556 comments, 57 trackbacks, approximately a half-million visitors and a million page loads. Not a bad first three years. Thanks to all the commenters, viewers and linkers and to Drew and Will for making this so much fun.

Here's to the next three!

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |


The ever crafty Mary recently painted name signs for the bedroom doors of Drew and Will. Drew even got to help out and very carefully, with amazing patience, painted his double-u.


At least to me, "Drew" looks a little askew in the picture but it is only an aberration as the actual letters on the door line up perfectly.

(Ever wonder why it's double-u and not double-v?)

Posted by Don | Comments (1) | TrackBacks (0) |


Drew enjoying a peaceful Friday night blowing some bubbles in the back yard.

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |
Jun 6 2007

Speed Racer Movie


According to the Internet Movie Database, filming started this week on the movie version of my absolute favorite cartoon as a kid, Speed Racer!

It is being directed by the Wachowski brothers (Matrix trilogy, V for Vendetta) and USA Today reports that, "unlike those darker movies, Speed Racer is going to be very bright, very family-friendly...and it will have great effects like the Matrix, just with the car."

I won't hold my breath on the "family friendly" aspect. Hollywood pretty much attributes a different meaning to those words than I do. However, I am still very excited about the movie which is scheduled for a May 2008 release date.

(Click on the Mach 5 to hear the Speed Racer theme.) Go Speed Racer Go!

Posted by Don | Comments (1) | TrackBacks (0) |

We do things a little differently at the Danz household. Take for instance how we watch TV. Most people just plop themselves on the couch and do their best impersonation of a potato. For us, however, television is a full participatory experience. Take for instance Star Wars which, in one version or another, has been running near continuously on at least one of the HBO channels.

Recently, Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones, came on and Drew immediately sought out is trusty lightsaber, the blue one because he's a good guy, so that he could help out the Jedi. I grabbed the camera and was able to catch Drew helping Yoda fight Count Dooku.

The amazing thing is that, although he's a big Star Wars fan, Drew hasn't seen the movies that many times. And, some parts he's never seen. For instance, did you know Star Wars: Episode III, Revenge of the Sith, ends during the lava scene? I think the fight between Anakin and Obi Wan ends in a tie and they all go home to practice their lightsabers more.

The other, perhaps more amazing thing, is that despite Drew's wild lightsaber moves, I don't think I've ever seen him hit a piece of furniture...or his little brother, even once. The force is strong in this young Padawan!

[In case you're interested in a comparison of Vimeo with YouTube...*cough* "cough*...there really isn't much to compare since one is so clearly superior, the YouTube version of the exact same video is after the jump.]

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |