• Erin was on a Women’s retreat with Queen of Peace Catholic Church this weekend. Unsurprisingly, she didn’t think it was particularly well-organized, meaning roughly that given about an hour of prep time she could have done a better job. The coast was great though, and she enjoyed getting away from the daily grind. Also good was the retreat book, Anthony De Mello’s Walking on Water.

• Jonah and I had a good enough time bachin’ it without Mom. Lot of help from my parents and Dave, though. Even a hour break in a full day of hanging with the boy makes a difference.

• Jonah’s started to put some three word sentences out there. We’re working on “I love you” presently along with counting to three. Still doing a lot of running, a little bit of jumping, and a goodly amount of ball throwing. He’s turned a bit shy around people, but usually he warms up relatively fast. (Obviously he had no problem with Grandma and Grandpa and took to Dave remarkably well, just to use this weekend as an example.)

• Early estimates indicate that we should be getting back over $1k combined on our state and federal taxes this year. So I’ve miscalculated badly to be giving the government such a high interest-free loan, though I guess I’m happier about that than if it had gone the other way. Still recommending Intuit’s TurboTax as the way to handle tax prep.

• We should know by Tuesday or Wednesday whether or not the teacher’s union in Salem-Keizer will be striking. The final mediation session is Monday. Frankly, I’ve thought since November that we’re headed for a strike, but I’d be thrilled to be wrong.

• My favorite SuperBowl ad was the one by FedEx. I was skeptical at first, but any 30-second spot that has Burt Reynolds getting kicked in the groin is OK by me. I thought the Napster ad was misleading and boring, the Olympus iPod competitor ad unlikely and pointless, and the Unilever Degree for Men “Mama’s boy” action figure ad irrelevant and dumb. In fact, I think that last one gets my vote for worst ad.

Pepsi’s iTunes giveaway ads were weak. Music coming out of Pepsi bottles when the top is lifted is an OK idea, but for Pete’s sake how hard is it to figure out that you need to hire Milli Vanilla and Ashley Simpson to sing along, cap a bottle, and see them lip syncing then without music? That would have been much more effective (and funnier). Or did they do that and I miss it?

• Patriot’s coach Bill Belichick may be the best coach in the history of the NFL. Certainly he has my vote for best coach since Bill Walsh. I don’t think that the Patriots players are as good as those on either the Steelers or the Eagles, but they’re clearly the better team. Plus Phili’s Andy Reid was outcoached handily down the stretch in the 4th quarter. Poor clock management in the 4th really doomed any comeback hopes, and you hate to see that kind of play in what’s supposed to be a showcase of good football.

• Latest purchases at the iTunes Music Store include Collective Soul’s December and Better Now. Each worth 99 cents IMHO.