Wednesday, August 29, 2012

First Day of Kindergarten.

Relia's first day went just fine.  We walked her down to her bus stop and made sure she got on without any problem.  Then the FP Gal drove to the school so that she could be on hand if there were any problems.  Relia had made a friend (at least one) on the bus.  Apparently they walked into the school holding hands.
Relia found her room without any problem.  We were there one night last week to scout the area.  She told me about the kids she is sitting near.  They have names like Dasher, Korval and Lover.  I kind of doubt that any of those names are right... 
She said that she get kicked while on the playground.  She demonstrated this with a move right out of 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon'.  This was reported to a Miss Guinea Pig, another name which I'm doubting is quite right. 
A bit of drama coming home as she got off at the wrong bus stop.  For whatever reason, her bus stops at each end of our block.  The FP Gal went to wait at the correct one but she chose differently.  We got it all figured out with no problem. 
She is excited for tomorrow.  DF, meanwhile, is bummed about the whole thing.  He figures that he is also ready for kindergarten and doesn't want to hear differently.  Leo hasn't shared an opinion either way yet.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Kindergarten Eve

Relia starts kindergarten tomorrow.  It's hard for me to believe that she can possibly be old enough for that to be true, but it apparently is.  She's excited and a little scared.  Both are very understandable. 
I'm trying to think back to my own first day of school and I can't quite get there.  I remember wishing I could have started a year earlier, like the neighbor girl did, but I don't remember many of the details.  No doubt there is a picture of that first day.  (And yes, I'll make certain to get a picture tomorrow morning!)
I'm very certain that she is ready.  She is out-going and brave.  She's sharp as a tack.  Her teacher will love her and I've never in my whole life seen someone who is better at making friends.  (Seriously, why don't we let four and five year olds give seminars to adults on how to make friends?)
Anyway, I wish you great luck, sweetheart!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Quiet Blog

Sorry for the lack of posts lately.  We've had stuff going on but I've just been too tired to actually write about it.  The FP Gal has written about Relia's fifth birthday party (which was fun) and our trip to the State Fair today (which was also fun).  She also has pictures.  I did get some fun video of Relia and DF going to town on the Cinderella pinata.  Maybe the elves (or the FP Gal) can help me put that up for your entertainment.
This is another busy week and I'm not sure what will go up here or not.  Sorry!

Friday, August 24, 2012


I took the kids to the doctor this morning.  It was . . . ok, I guess.  At least everyone was declared healthy.  The shots were awful but well, Relia had decided that they would be and she was right.  Leo didn't care for them either.
Anyway, at some point I started reading the expected guidelines at various ages.  The ones that explain what is typical at each stage.  Leo is right on schedule.  Relia and DF have been doing the 'typical' stuff for some time.  So I decided to look and see how many things on the three year old list DF is doing.  Most of them, but there were some that I didn't know about.

Me: DF, are you a boy or a girl?
DF: I'm a grill.
Me: (chuckling) You're a boy, buddy.
Relia: (getting in on it and deciding to use his favorite cartoon)  Is Rosie a girl?
DF: Yes, Rosie is a girl.
Relia: And Cailou? 
DF: Cailou is, is . . . playing with rockets!

I think Freud would have a field day with that response.

Have a Great Friday

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Boys at Daycare

Yesterday the boys started daycare.  It's a return for DF so no big deal but for Leo, it was his first day with complete strangers.  He greeted them with a big smile though, so apparently he was fine with it. 
This morning while dropping them off, DF decided that he really didn't want to go.  He started crying and yelling.  He was wailing when I left him in the toddler room.  The staff assured me that this was common.  In fact, he seemed to stop crying before I even left. 
The last two days Relia has been home with me.  I've worked late and been very tired.  This hasn't been the most fun for her.  This afternoon I apologized for 'being a stick in the mud'.  She told me that a stick in the mud is fun.  You can draw with it! 
I don't know if she was being comforting or telling me that I didn't even rise to that level. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Kid in the Hall

Last night Relia woke up from some kind of nightmare.  Apparently she dreamed that she was fighting with the FP Gal.  When I caught up with her, she was getting ready to storm into the bedroom so she could continue the fight.  Imagine being woken up so that someone can unload on you because of some dream that you had! 
It took me more than an hour to get her calmed down to the point where I could get her back to sleep. 
My Relia, my dear, dear sweet Relia is getting the disposition of a trail mule.  She has decided that there is no room for compromise or surrender.  None! 
Dag, I'm sick of it.

I don't know how long this will go on but I certainly hope not much longer.  This must be some kind of phase, right?  Something that she'll grow out of.  It kind of feels like we get her teenage years ahead of time. 
To make things even better, DF is also going through a test-the-power phase of his own.  So they start to do relays.  It's not as bad from him because I know this phase, and I know that it won't last all that long.  (Also, he hasn't figured out how to get out of his crib at night.  I'm wondering how long we can keep him in there!)

As I was writing this, Relia woke again.  The FP Gal went up to settle her and after a bit called me up to help.  She was sitting in bed doing this "hmmph" thing (which couldn't be more irritating) and refusing to talk.  I finally told her that if she wouldn't talk, I would just leave and she could figure it out on her own.  She told me that she wanted momma.  I made her promise to actually talk to the FP Gal before I left. 
Oh, you better sleep tonight!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Have a Great Friday

Japanese gardens in Portland Oregon.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Most Popular?

You ever look at the stats on your blog?  I'll admit that I do on occasion.  You know what the most popular post in the history of this blog is?  I've published over 3500 posts here in in the nearly eight years that I've been writing.  I've talked movies and books.  I've blogged about childbirth and cute things that children say.  And my all time most popular post, with more than three times as many hits as any other?
This one
I don't get it.  If anyone has a good theory, I'd love to hear it.  The comment section, as always, is open.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Football Pools

I've renewed the various Yahoo football pools.  If you played last year, an email has been sent to you with an invite.  If you're interested, leave a comment and I can give you the info with which to join.  The more the merrier.  No money needed!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

What Your Songs Say About You

An interesting article from NPR (hat tip, Instapundit) about an attempt to tell what your music choices say about you as a person.  The researchers are asking people to pick songs to match these questions:
  • What was the first song you ever bought?
  • What song always gets you dancing?
  • What song takes you back to your childhood?
  • What is your perfect love song?
  • What song would you want at your funeral?
  • Time for an encore. What song makes you, you?
This seems like an interesting exercise so I thought I'd give it a whirl.

1. The first song I ever got was 'Mr Roboto' from Styx.  I got the whole tape but I got it only for that one song.  I think that once I had the whole thing, the song that got me was 'Don't Let it End'.
2. Several do, but the can't miss one is 'Rock This Town' as done by the Brian Setzer Orchestra.  When it comes on in the car and I can't dance, I get REALLY LOUD while singing it.
3. This is either John Denver's Greatest Hits or Debbie Boone 'You Light Up My Life'.  Probably Debbie.  (Guess what tapes my parents played in the car back in the 70's!)
4. The perfect love song is, funny enough, 'Love Song' by the Cure.  Oh, I'm sure other songs too, but nothing tops this.
5. Another easy one, at my funeral I want U2's 'MLK' played.  (And as people leave, 'End of the Line' by Traveling Wilburys.)
6. Man, this is a tough one.  There are many, many songs that I love.  But I don't know if I love any more than I do Tears for Fears, 'Working Hour'. 

By the way, if you're interested, all of these songs are easily findable on YouTube (I bet).

Sunday, August 12, 2012

20 Year Reunion

I'm not going to give a full, blow by blow account of the reunion.  I'll just hit some highlights.
  • Friday night was a big meet up at the county fair beer garden.  No one had name tags so there was a lot of 'oh, I almost know you'.  I started greeting new comers by telling them that it was perfectly ok to quietly ask who people are.
  • Cam played a game of 'will anyone recognize me?'.  Almost no one did and he won handily.  He was probably the most changed of all the classmates.
  • I got to see many people for the first time in twenty years.  Which was wonderful!
  • The Facebook revolution has changed these events totally.  So many of us are in some kind of contact already.  We still needed to catch up but it wasn't so tough to do so.  Also (and this just occurred to me) no one offered to show me pictures of kids or ask to see mine.  We no longer have to because chances are, we've seen them online.
  • Saturday morning there was a tour of the High School for anyone interested.  They've completely changed almost all of the first floor.  Virtually the only thing unchanged was the big auditorium (which was completely unchanged.)  They've done some updates to the second floor but it still looks almost exactly the same.  The ceilings in the halls are now lower.  Maybe they had to add more wiring?
  • Saturday afternoon I had a bit ol' nap at the hotel while Cam went golfing.  After that I took drive all over Austin and looked at the place.  I think a bunch of other people did too.
  • The Saturday night festivities were at the Eagles.  I had to ask people where in the world it was.  They told me to go where it used to be but that joke failed because I didn't remember where that had been.  Anyway, I found it.
  • The official shindig was fun.  It was quiet enough that you could talk to people.  Also, there were nametags so you could tell who people were!  Cam and I did a little comedy bit (which was fun).  There was a webcam so some of it was actually broadcast.
  • We stayed late.  I didn't get back to the hotel until almost two.  And I was one of the early ones!  But I slept until after 8a so it worked out somehow.
  • Said my goodbyes to Cam and others this morning and drove back up.  It was a great time and some much needed time off from being a daddy!  I missed the family and I'm now glad to be back home.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Reunion Webcam

The link is here.  I'm not exactly sure when it will go live.  The event officially starts at 7p. 

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Olympic Posters

Back when I was doing my past olympics posts, I would make mentions of the posters.  I finally found them all in one spot.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Olympic Tower or 'What the Heck is that?'

I know, it's been like three days since I posted something on the Olympics.  Sorry about that.  Will try to do better.

During the Olympic coverage, we've often been treated to London's giant Ferris wheel, the London Eye.  Right next to it is some kind of weird red structure and I've been trying to figure out what it is.  Maybe they've covered this in the TV features, but if so, I missed it.  Finally, I turned to my good friends, Google and Wikipedia.
It's called the ArcelorMittal Orbit tower or some such.  Here is what Wiki has to say about it:
Orbit was designed by Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond. Announced on 31 March 2010, it was expected to be completed by December 2011, though like many projects on the Olympic Park that date was pushed back. The project came about after Mayor of London Boris Johnson and Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell decided in 2008 that the Olympic Park needed "something extra". Designers were asked for ideas for an "Olympic tower" at least 100 metres (330 ft) high, and Orbit was the unanimous choice from proposals considered by a nine-person advisory panel.
 Which makes me wonder about the other proposals.  As you can see from the picture, there is a spiral staircase that winds all the way to an observation deck.  And then it looks like someone crashed a roller coaster into it and couldn't pry it loose.  What does the creator say?
Kapoor said that one of the influences on his design was the Tower of Babel, the sense of "building the impossible" that "has something mythic about it.", and that the form "straddles Eiffel and Tatlin".[14] Balmond, working on the metaphor of an orbit, envisaged an electron cloud moving, to create a structure that appears unstable, propping itself up, "never centred, never quite vertical".[14] Both believe that Orbit represents a new way of thinking, "a radical new piece of structure and architecture and art" that uses non-linearity – the use of "instabilities as stabilities."[14] The spaces inside the structure, in between the twisting steel, are "cathedral like", according to Balmond, while according to Kapoor, the intention is that visitors will engage with the piece as they wind "up and up and in on oneself" on the spiral walkway.[14]
It is also said to have a 'surprisingly female form'.  If I was a woman, I don't think I'd take that as a compliment.  (Though now that I think of it, how great of a Halloween costume would the tower make for a woman?)  The Wiki article has articles on both positive and negative reception.  The negative is the longer of the two and kind of a fun read. 
I like the idea of strong and iconic sculpture.  I like symbols.  I like towers.  This?  I don't really like.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012


While in the car today, Relia got some bad news.  We tried to comfort her and after a time, DF pitched in:

DF: Relia, I have something special for you.
Relia: What is it?
DF: It's a . . . (long pause while he searches for something) a, SURPRISE!
Relia: What is it?
DF: (another long stuttering pause)  Maybe it's not a surprise.

In the front seat, the FP Gal and I were dying laughing, all the while trying to keep her from hearing us.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Mars Probe

This is a video that NASA put together describing the various things they are doing to get the newest Mars probe safely down on the surface of Mars. It's very interesting (the FP Gal agrees and thinks you should watch this). We live in a pretty amazing time.

Friday, August 03, 2012

1900 Paris Olympics

I mentioned some of the defunct, or now abandoned Olympic events and how I'm getting lists of them sent to me.  I noticed that the 1900 Paris Olympic games gets mentioned a bunch so I thought I'd look more deeply into it.  Thank you, Wikipedia!  By the way, if I could time travel to one former Olympics, this would be the one.
The first thing that I found is that those lists are a bit misleading.  The official sports were pretty normal.  The only ones they had then that we don't have now are: cricket, croquet, golf, polo, rugby and tug of war.  If I told you that all of these would be included in the next Olympics, you wouldn't think twice. 
Also one called 'basque pelota', which looks like team open air racquet-ball.  Only two teams competed, only one match was played.   Spain beat France.  No bronze medal was awarded. 
Where are the weird sports?  That would be the unofficial sports.  Seriously, check out this list:
In addition to these 71 schools and 92 military events were also held across a range of sports.

By the way, Wikipedia helpfully tells me that 'longue paume' is a longer version of 'jeu de paume'.  How great is that list?  I mean seriously, if you turned on the TV some Saturday afternoon and saw a cannon shooting competition going on, is there any chance you wouldn't watch?  Same thing with fire fighting.  I don't even know what 'life saving' was as an event but man, I really want to know!
I tell you, if the TARDIS ever appears on my lawn, I now know where I'm going to ask to go.

Have a Great Friday

DF helped me pick this one.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Greatest Olympians

A wonderful read from Joe Posnanski as he tries to figure out the greatest 19 Olympians of all time.  Each selection is accompanied by an explanation and they're all worth a look.