Pizza / Election Party

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Our trip to Washington D.C. for the Million Puppet March finished up nicely with a stop off in Philadelphia for a vegan pizza party. We had intended to visit Blackbird Pizzeria on our Route 1 trip this past summer. However, our plans were spoiled due to an untimely stomach bug. So, this time around  Five String was super excited to show the rest of us around Philadelphia (his old stomping grounds) and give us a taste of Blackbird’s famous vegan cheesesteaks.

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While we often make pizza at home it was a treat to order one in a restaurant where everything is vegan and certified kosher. While the younger Fives were happy to order their usual (one red and one white) Five String placed an order for a cheesesteak and an eggplant grinder. Everything hit the spot and we can safely recommend Blackbird Pizzeria to anyone looking for some yummy vegan fare in the Philly area.

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With our bellies full we headed towards home to get ready for Election Day. While we voted early before leaving Maine we still had lots to get ready for a big night of watching the election results. We made signs, prepared snacks and readied our Electoral College maps. Our party started off with great gusto. However, none of us managed to stay awake for the President’s early morning acceptance speech. With our trip complete and the election over we (and our puppets) await our next adventure.

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Million Puppet March in Pictures

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Proud to have the freedom to show our support for public media.

Hopefully Romney gets the message.

Some of our favorites.

The rally begins.

A much deserved snack break.

So many marchers, so many puppets, what a great time.

The march begins!

Animal loves Public Media and kisses.

Meeting our fellow marchers.

Alice Apple interviews Vic the Viper.

The sun peeks out as we gather in Lincoln Park.

Traveling in Sandy’s Wake

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We pushed up our departure day leaving Maine ahead of Hurricane Sandy. We were able to visit a very deserted Boston on Sunday and arrive in Connecticut with plenty of time to settle in with relatives and wait out the storm. As we received reports that our house back in Maine was being quickly advanced upon by the rising tide we watched the high winds in awe. By Tuesday morning the highway was reopened and we had a very somber drive towards New York City as we surveyed Sandy’s destruction. With the George Washington closed down we re-routed to the Tapenze and crossed the river just as a bit of sun produced a rainbow. Our New Jersey hotel had electricity even though it was just blocks away from badly hit areas. As we looked across at the skyline of New York City our thoughts were with all those who suffered from the storm.

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It’s Time to Meet the Puppets

With the Million Puppet March only days away, it’s time to meet the puppets making the long journey from Maine to Washington, D.C. with us.

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Name: Super PBS
Puppeteer: High Five
Height: 5 inches
Greatest Ambition in Life: Save the world from frostbite.
Favorite PBS Program: Super Why

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Name: Octa Mom
Puppeteer: Five Ball
Height: 12 inches
Greatest Ambition in Life: Lay eggs and die.
Favorite PBS Program: Wild Kratts

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Name: Alice Apple
Puppeteer: Five of Hearts
Height: 24 inches
Greatest Ambition in Life: Provide trustworthy news reports to the public.
Favorite PBS Program: The Newshour with Jim Lehrer.

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Name: Barnaby
Puppeteer: Five String
Height: 24 inches
Greatest Ambition in Life: Remember everything.
Favorite PBS Program: Nature

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Name: Mrs. T.
Puppeteer: Five Spice
Height: 30 inches
Greatest Ambition in Life: Mold minds young and old.
Favorite PBS Program: Frontline

Puppets and Politics

In the first presidential debate this election season Governor Mitt Romney captured our entire families attention. His future plans for the presidency became very personal to us when he singled out public broadcasting as one of the first areas to lose government funding. Honestly he couldn’t have made a better statement to get our kids interested in the upcoming election. Even though they don’t watch TV very often the younger Fives are huge fans of PBS Kids programming. They love spelling along with Super Why, laughing at Curious George and discovering with The Cat In The Hat. Visits to hotels are just that much sweeter to them because of the chance to watch a few episodes of their favorite PBS shows. Fortunately as parents we are huge fans of PBS programming as well and feel comfortable with the kids using some of their screen time on these quality programs.

After the debate the kids had many questions about what Governor Romney was saying. Fighting back smiles of glee as we put on our teacher hats we began to examine the details behind Romney’s statement. What is public television? Why was it started? Why does the government fund some public programs? What is the argument for and against this? What do other political candidates think about the subject? The issue of PBS was the perfect catalyst to get our kids super interested in the election and the road to the presidency . We watched the debates, checked out books from the library, visited the candidates websites, and looked at the political process.

In the end none of the Fives agreed with cutting government funding from public media. We all agreed that to have a great society you need to invest in the public. Programs need to be available to ensure a country of educated and healthy citizens. Public broadcasting is one of these worthy programs. It provides equal access to quality, educational programming for all ages. People of all walks of life can turn to PBS or NPR for unbiased news coverage, exposure to history, science, and the arts, as well as non-violent, educational programming geared towards children. Of course as parents we had our opinions on the matter. However, as teachers it was great to watch our students form their own opinions and find a connection to the political process.

Shortly after starting our investigation we read about a march being planned in support of public media. The Million Puppet March was started by two men just after Mitt Romney pledged his intentions to stop the subsidy to PBS. Using the puppets that are often associated with PBS programming (Sesame Street, Between The Lions, etc.) as a rallying point they planned a march in Washington D.C. As a family we looked at how the public can influence political change through marches, rallies, and protests. The kids were excited and wanted to know if we could show our support by joining the march. What a better way to give them a first hand view of part of the political process and visit the nations capitol at the same time. So once again the Fives are heading back down the East Coast. We will make a couple of fun side trips along the way and eventually end up in D.C. in time for the march on November 3rd. However, this time we will be a group of 10 with our new puppet friends ready to take to the streets along with us and declare the importance of government funded public media for an engaged, informed and educated society.