The Ice Cream Man: A Quick Study

As I stood in my yard this week, I heard Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer echoing through the neighborhood. At Christmas time, this would not be a problem, however this was a couple of nights ago around 8:30. The music was coming from a decorated white van. It was the ice cream man.

This got me thinking that ice cream men are pretty creepy, and in some cases evil. I asked a few family members and friends about their ice cream-man experiences, and everyone had a story…

Here are the top reasons people think they are creepy:

1. The van. In some places ice cream men drive trucks, but in my neighborhood, it’s a white van that resembles a kidnapper’s van. They’re huge, drive really slow, and all the windows are whited or blacked out. We teach our kids to avoid vehicles such as these, but the ice cream man is okay and kids trust him unconditionally.
2. The music. Before ours played Christmas tunes, I always heard Pop Goes the Weasel, which is an odd choice because of the lyrics and meaning. The last couple years ours play Christmas music year round – Rudolph, Santa’s Coming to Town, Jingle Bells – five or six times a day any day the weather is above 40 degrees. This winter they would cruise through at dusk, hours after school dismissed.
3. Appearance. I’ve never seen an attractive ice cream man. They usually are a little to very overweight (they probably do eat ice cream all day) and pretty sweaty and unshaven, especially in the summer. There’s this guy too!

Sweet Tooth

Sweet Tooth from Twisted Metal. Photo by: gamezone.com

4. Solitary lifestyle. They drive around all day alone, listening to peppy, children’s music, waiting for children to come out. You never see two people in a van.
5. Magnetism. This isn’t always a good thing. As my RevPub partner eloquently said, “[they have] a fairytale, witch-like ability to tempt small children.” Little kids can’t help but drop what they are doing the second they hear him coming. He does have sweet delicious treats! The ice cream man may be responsible for beginning addictive behaviors in children.

Here are some stories I gathered:

1. My niece claims the ice cream man stole her friend’s wallet right out of her back pocket.
2. My RevPub partner recalls a time he and his sister went out for ice cream, and the man took off down the street. They chased after him with money, and he never turned around.
3. My hubby remembers going up to the van, and there was a gorgeous girl, not a man. He was so stunned he forgot what he was doing there (see previous number 3).

Of course, we still support the ice cream man and welcome him into our neighborhoods. Here’s to lots of cool treats in the summer, and feel free to share your ice cream man stories in the comments below!

5 Reasons to Play Board Games

“The way a man plays a game shows some of his character. The way he loses shows all of it.” — Unknown

Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In honor of the second annual International Tabletop Game Day and all the fun we had, here are the top reasons to play board games:

1. Have fun. This is most important. It’s not about winning or ego, and there shouldn’t be any drama. We have a rule in our house: If you start to get upset or cop an attitude, we quit. It keeps things (and people) from getting emotional and ruining a good game.
Examples: Any board game as long as everyone stays cool

2. Get together. Guess what? It’s REALLY hard to play a board game and stay attached to your phone. Board games get everyone off their devices and allow people to spend time together. Many board games involve teams or strategies, so you have to work together to accomplish a goal or win. This may create a bond between people who normally would not connect.
Examples: Pandemic, Ticket to Ride, Castle Panic

3. Be mean. This is probably my favorite reason. I LOVE to screw people over in board games. It’s nothing personal, and I expect the same thing in return. Most times, you like the people playing with you, and you wouldn’t try to really hurt them, but sometimes they deserve a game back stab. And most times, they know they do. Harmful vindictiveness can be very therapeutic, too.
Examples: Zombies!, Small World, Sorry!

4. Meet new people. I’ve met at least one person every game day we’ve attended. I may or may not have something in common with them, but it doesn’t matter because we’re just playing the game. You also learn a lot about people while tabletop gaming. You learn their interests, strategies, and weaknesses. People tend to open up a little, which helps you learn about them without the awkwardness.

5. Make memories. We spend so much time documenting every miniscule moment to social media sites, but will your best friend remember what you had for dinner last week? Probably not. Will they remember you sending 20 zombies after them in a game? Oh yeah. Making memories and having a story to tell is what life should be about – not the daily grind.

As far as game titles, play anything you want. Don’t be afraid to get creative and try something new! The TableTop series produces great videos showing the game play, and you can buy most of the games online.

Feel free to share your favorite games in the comments below!

Artist Spotlight: Ron Knight

We are very excited to post our first Artist Spotlight! Once a month, we will feature an artist who creates amazing, original art and inspires those around them.

This month, we bring you Ron Knight, and we thank him for his time and work! Don’t forget to like Ron Knight Art on Facebook!

Artist Ron Knight

Painter Ron Knight, Smyrna, TN and “Stay Strong”. Photo: ©Ron Knight Art

Basics: I use mainly stretched canvas and acrylic paints. From time to time I will stray; for instance, I just did a painting on a saw blade for a friend, and I’ve done a few oil paintings in the past couple of years as well.

RevPub: When did you realize you wanted to paint? Do you remember your first piece?

I first noticed I had a knack for painting at the age of 14. We did a few painting projects in art class, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. My mom actually posted my first real painting I did on Facebook not long ago. Yellow and red skyline with silhouettes of trees with no leaves painted on a table leaf. The trees with no leaves has become one of my signature works. I have quite a few of them now, and typically if someone requests a tree painting, that’s what they want.

RonKnight first piece

Ron’s first real painting, which led to his signature tree-with-no-leaves works. Photo: ©Ron Knight Art

RevPub: What is your favorite piece so far?

My personal favorite of my pieces is one of my oil paintings titled “The Dream”. This piece is 5ft wide and 4ft tall, so it’s rather large to begin with. This is the only piece I’ve ever done that took longer than 5 hours. It was on my easel for two weeks. There was quite a bit of thought behind the piece which you probably wouldn’t think just by looking at it. It’s one of only a few completely abstract pieces I’ve done.

I have to say one of my newer pieces “Stay Strong” is a very close second favorite. It’s a personal reflection piece for me.

Ron knight the dream

“The Dream” by Ron Knight. Photo: ©Ron Knight Art

RevPub: What inspires you?

Music more than anything. Sure, I’ll see a painting I like the color scheme of and mimic it from time to time, but music is what drives my paintings. All of my works have a “flow” to them as I like to say. I am very textured with a lot of my work, and they tend to have rhythm in the paint itself. I often will make playlists for paintings if I know the person well enough. I don’t typically dance, but when I’m painting all bets are off. Not exactly doing ballet, but I can become very fluid myself while painting. It’s something I truly enjoy and become lost in.

RevPub: Do you ever have creative droughts? If so, how do you fight through them?

ABSOLUTELY! There are times I just wait it out. There are times I force it and just grab a brush and start painting. Those tend to be very interesting pieces!

RevPub: What advice do you have for those just getting started or considering painting?

Don’t get frustrated. Not everyone will like what you have to offer, but for every one that doesn’t, there are 5 that will love it! Try many different techniques and styles; it keeps it fresh (at least for me it does). Confide in other artists! They will inspire your creativity more than almost anything. HAVE FUN! Not every stroke of your brush will make a masterpiece. It takes practice. Find a place (like for me Jerry’s Artarama) that sells a wide range of supplies. You do not want your first paintings to be with high-end materials. Mainly just because you’re still figuring what works for you. You wouldn’t buy a Nissan GT-R for a 16-yr-old who just got their license. Same idea here, this way if you waste the paint, it’s not too big of a loss in your wallet.