Archive for the ‘uncategorized’ Category

hair against the system

Saturday, January 8th, 2005

In this amusing but also slightly sinister article, the BBC reports on how North Korea has been cracking down on slobby citizens with over-long hair. By an amazing anti-communist coincidence I have been growing my own hair over the past few months (it’s been growing itself of course, but I have been having it cut less short) thereby increasing my anti-communist credentials.

In other news, Toby reached another milestone yesterday by ordering his own food in a diner for the first time. He was at Albert’s Family Restaurant (a somewhat retro place where kids eat free on Fridays) in the Mall of America with Emma and when the waitress came over he was given the choice of hot dog or chicken nuggets. He looked up at the waitress and said, “Toby want hot dog!” We’ll work on the “please” in future. He’s also been getting really into using crayons and holds his crayon very well now, allowing him to color in the lines quite well.

the new

Tuesday, January 4th, 2005

The new year has started in a rather non-exciting way, just getting on with stuff. Not bad, just not thrilling. We’re having fun with Toby though as he grows up and gets more into stuff. My dad got him a great toy coffee maker, with cups and spoons, and he just loves making coffee for us. It’s interesting too, because just a couple of months ago I don’t think he had the ability to do this kind of creative, imitative play. The downer has been the onset of his 24-month molars. We had a few nights in a row when we were up for two hours at a time, it really takes it out of you. Last night we all went to bed at about 9pm – he woke up at 1:30 and was trying to open his bedroom door. I told him it was time to go back to bed, so he walked over to his bed and climbed in with no argument, and was sound asleep again within minutes.

what a guy

Thursday, December 30th, 2004

For a bit of perspective on the world, read what Desmond Tutu has to say.


Thursday, December 30th, 2004

I just came across the blog Comparing Notes with Paul Cantrell. I used to work with Paul until he gave up his job as a programmer to do more and more musical things. I’m glad to see that he’s keeping the tech and musical sides of himself together, and look forward to reading more from him.


Thursday, December 30th, 2004

As I may have mentioned, and will no doubt continue to mention for some years, Toby’s talking is continuing to develop apace. With hilarious results! Usually cute results. Last night before bedtime he was saying good night to people, including the cats. He gives them each a good night hug, which involves leaning over them and putting his arms straight out on top of them with his head to the side so that he’s kind of lying his face against the cat. Last night after he hugged Nessie he said “night night Nessie”, then specifically said good night to the things that make her a cat: “night night ears, night night tail, night night paws”. All very solemnly.

This morning I noticed a new language development: he’s generally been using “I” much more, for “I do it” etc in the last couple of weeks, but this morning he was talking about the shower and said a couple of times “I did go in the shower”. First time I’ve heard him mixing the past tense and a pronoun. You could see him thinking it through as he said it, very interesting.

As we were getting out of the car at daycare I picked up my bag and Toby said, “Daddy pick up my bag”. Of course I said, “It’s actually my bag” to which he responded, “yes, my bag”. I tried to explain that he would refer to it as “your bag” but it got very confusing. He even refused to say “posessive pronouns”, opting instead for “look at the garbage truck!”.

continued criticism

Thursday, December 30th, 2004

Our local paper, the Star Tribune, has an excellent editorial on Bush’s embarrassingly pathetic behavior in response to the tsunami: Editorial: The stingy U.S./An appalling performance. A couple of quotes:

Comparisons were drawn, for example, to the additional $80 billion that Bush has requested for the war in Iraq and the $30 million to $40 million that his January inauguration will cost.


From the very first hours it was apparent this was going to be an almost unprecedented humanitarian crisis. Yet Bush remained at his Texas ranch where, aides said, he spent time cutting brush and bicycle riding. He uttered not a single public word about what had happened in Asia.

Obviously clear and strong leadership, and worthy of Time’s Person Of The Year. The only reason I’m sorry that I cancelled my Time subscription last year is that I can’t do it now in protest. But that man continues to make be sick to my stomach. Here is a good post on pharyngula.

sleep at last

Tuesday, December 28th, 2004

Last night for the first time since he got back from the U.K. (and also moved to a toddler bed rather than a crib) Toby slept right through the night. Most nights before he’d been waking at around 4:30ish which was getting quite wearing. Unfortunately as usually happens in this situation I’m feeling rather dazed, not being used to getting so much sleep. I’d love to have the chance to get used to this situation though – fingers crossed.


Monday, December 27th, 2004

We had a very nice Christmas this year. Kind of quiet at home, but that was a good thing after Emma and Toby being away. They got back Thursday late afternoon – apparently Toby was wonderful on the plane again and very cooperative. Top tip is always to order the children’s meal as it’s much better than the grown-up food, at least according to our son who wolfed down the whole lot. I’m amazed at how much his speaking has come on in just two weeks: sentences are longer and better structured, and he’s learning pronouns, especially “I” and “me”. Unfortunately there’s a bit of jetlag going around, and he woke us all up at 4:30 Friday morning which meant that I had a very long Christmas Eve, having to stay up for the midnight mass at St Mark’s. He was up early again on Christmas Day, but fortunately Emma didn’t mind getting up with him for an hour or so before me, as she’d gone to bed at 7ish the night before.

Toby seemed to really enjoy opening the presents in his Christmas stocking. We just did small things, like a ball, a new toothbrush and a new fork and spoon set for him, but he was really excited by all of it. He also seemed quite happy to be at church in the morning, and being at childcare with his teacher Jason. Before and after his nap we opened bigger presents – I got him a Little People fun fair set, with a car that zooms down and around a ramp which brought on squeals of delight. Emma got him a Sesame Street DVD – learning about letters, which he watched at her parents’ and loved. We all got very nice presents from family too, only problem is I don’t know when I’m going to have time to watch the Lord of the Rings DVDs and read Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, but I’m sure I’ll cope. In the evening Paul came over for dinner which was excellent – great to see him. I made roast leg of lamb with loads of garlic and rosemary, chopped up on the new herb mincing set and carved with the new carving knife Emma gave me, and we drank champagne from the new champagne flutes I gave her.

Sunday I had to sing at morning and evening services at St Mark’s – it was quite exhausting with everything that’s gone on over the weekend, but in many ways it was nice to give over a lot of the weekend to all that. Overall it was very pleasant indeed.

don’t believe

Monday, December 27th, 2004

M’brother Richard sent me a link to Dave’s Web of Lies and although it’s really lazy to do a blog post which consists of just a link, that’s what I’m doing because it’s only 8:30 on Monday morning.


Thursday, December 23rd, 2004

Last night at choir we were singing a very nice carol with 17th (or maybe 18th – can’t remember) century words which included the word “eke”. The context was something like “and eke a place to sleep”. Nowadays of course that spelling of eke is just used in “to eke out a living”, but in this instance it means “also”. As in, our choir director suggested, “A Big Mac and eke some fries”. Try it next time.