Archive for the ‘personal’ Category

it’s true

Friday, June 22nd, 2007

I’m not enormously surprised by these scientific findings: BBC: First-borns have higher IQs. As the oldest of four boys, I think that this has been pretty obvious to me, and I’m sure my brothers and in fact any impartial observers, for some time. Once again, hooray for science.

my body on drugs

Thursday, June 14th, 2007

Cool article in slate today about how fatherhood affects the body and brain. With impending father’s day and slightly less impending, but more monumental, child #2 on the way for Emma and me, this makes interesting reading.

Basically they’re saying that fathers experience several hormonal and neuronal changes as a result of being with their pregnant mate, and also when the baby is born (for example testosterone levels drop significantly for the first three weeks after the baby is born). I wonder if those levels are different for men who are actually present at the birth versus those who aren’t.

The only concern I had was the bit about weight gain in expectant dads. This has been on my mind lately – I lost some weight in India and for a couple of weeks after because of some bug I picked up, but since then I have regained and probably added a little extra. With my recent birthday I thought it was time to start exercising more, so at lunchtime today I went to my first ever yoga class, and this afternoon I’m going to sign up for the gym in my office building.

bunch of photos

Tuesday, June 12th, 2007

My sister in law, Rosey, just posted up a bunch of photos from her recent visit over here. There are some great ones – mostly Toby at his soccer class, our trip to the baseball, and the zoo.

Here’s set one; here’s set two

hanging

Monday, June 11th, 2007

This just in: fairground riders left hanging upside down. While we were in Florida Toby insisted on going on the kids’ Shamu rollercoaster at Seaworld (here we are getting ready to go). This is not normally the kind of thing I’d do, but for my boy I’ll go the extra mile. My confidence was not heightened by the fact that the people on the ride right before us had the cars stop part way up the initial ramp – they were stuck for about 5 minutes in the broiling sun until a bloke with an enormous bunch of keys got to the control desk and did something to get them moving. It was fine for us, actually really fun, once we got going but I wouldn’t have like to have been stuck there with a four-year-old asking “why have we stopped? Why aren’t we moving? Why have we stopped? I need to go to the bathroom! Why have we stopped?”

time passing

Monday, June 11th, 2007

Yesterday was my birthday – a milestone in fact – 35. The card from my dad said that I had reached half of my three score years and ten and am now officially middle aged. Thanks a lot. On the other side, he did get me the complete New Yorker DVD set (all New Yorkers ever on 8 DVD-ROMs (or should that be DVDs-ROM)) and the complete New Yorker cartoon book/CD-ROM set too. Fantastic. Toby got me some very nice beer glasses, and Emma got me new workout clothes to encourage me to get back into going to the gym – this was my idea not her being mean.

It was actually a really nice day – chats on the phone with family, and in the afternoon Toby had been invited to a friend’s birthday party. We went along too, it was very nice. Perfect warm day in their backyard, food and drink for the grown-ups, and a splash pool for the kids. Fun for all.

Today is Toby’s first day in his new class at daycare – Preschool II. It’s the class for the oldest kids, and it’s pretty amazing to me. He started there in the infant class when he was about 7 months old (I’ve been trying to find a blog post from when he started but can’t – maybe I just didn’t write anything at the time) and now he’s one of the big kids. He has been very excited about this, and zoomed into school this morning. There was some swagger there too. A couple of the other kids shouted out “Cool! Toby, you’re in our class now!”

ear today

Friday, June 8th, 2007

For the last week and a half I’ve had a really painful ear – it’s been so uncomfortable that I’ve been woken up pretty much every night, and has felt blocked so that I have no idea if I’m being really loud or really quiet.

Today I finally got a doctor’s appointment, and it seems that it’s a minor infection, no particular damage evident. I’ve got some ear drops and hopefully it’ll be back to normal soon. I’m glad about two things with this whole incident – firstly the drops have antibiotics in them, so no oral antibiotics which may have interfered with beer consumption over my birthday this weekend. Secondly the diagnosis was “swimmer’s ear” – I always like to have something which has an athletic or sporting connotation, it sounds so much better than “guy who sits on a chair in front of a computer all day ear”.

UPDATE: it’s about 12 hours later and after three shots of the ear drops (anti-inflammatory and antibiotic) it’s feeling so much better. Still a bit sore inside, but the pain on the outside of my ear and the blocked feeling have both pretty much gone. Hooray for medicine, pharmacology and science!

on the road – arkansas edition

Tuesday, June 5th, 2007

I’m out of town once again, this time just for two days, visiting Bentonville, Arkansas. So far nobody has explained to me why the “–kansas” bit of Arkansas is pronounced differently from “Kansas“, the state (and the 70s band).

Reasonably quick flight down here in a teeny plane this morning. It seems quite a nice town, fairly rural round the edges and compactly corporate in the center. The airport is very small, and right in the middle of some fields.

Two moments today when I wished I had a camera with me. Firstly in the strip mall next door to the little Mexican restaurant where I had lunch (two people for less than 10 bucks) was a big picture of a bemuscled, tanned and oiled guy with the tagline “Body for Jesus”. I gathered that it’s a homoerotic Christian gym where I would assume that the people who go are totally anti-gay. Just a feeling.

The other thing which freaked me out was in the restaurant at another table was a guy who looked exactly like my dad. OK, he was a few years younger, and a few inches taller, but he had the exact same profile and hairstyle as my dad. Quite disconcerting.

mangosteen

Monday, June 4th, 2007

When Emma’s sisters were here last week, her sister Sarah mentioned a strange fruit I’d never heard of – the mangosteen (and no, it’s not a Jewish mango). It sounded very odd when she described it – here’s a picture. Hopefully she’ll leave a comment describing taste, aroma etc.

not evil

Monday, May 7th, 2007

I’m sure this won’t be a surprise to any of you, but it seems that I’m probably the nicest guy you’ve ever met (it was a surprise to me):


How evil are you?

You can take the test yourself.

more bangalore

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007

Well today I had my usual day four in India where the jetlag and the change in food caught up with me and I felt a bit rough for a while. Actually yesterday I didn’t eat anything for dinner, and was a bit shaky this morning, but not too bad since lunch. So I’m hoping I’ll be able to enjoy some good food and maybe a beer tonight.

The point of the trip is of course work, and there’s been tons of that. I was in a “summit” meeting all day yesterday from 9:30am to 8:30pm, and meetings all day today too, then I’ve got a call with Minneapolis this evening till about 10, so plenty of stuff.