Archive for February, 2004


Tuesday, February 24th, 2004

I’m sure I’ve used that headline before.

Anyway, here at Emma’s parents’ place there’s quite a lot of geekery, as her dad John is an actuary and very much into mathematical problems and general brainteasters. He very much likes the binary clock we got him from, for example.

So we’re all very impressed with the Serious Lego website, where people with clearly too much time on their hands get down to some serious Lego programming. Especially amazing is the machine which solves Rubik’s cubes.


Saturday, February 21st, 2004

Toby has been learning lots of new things this week, it’s quite amazing. He’s also been having a great old time with his uncles and other relatives – lots of fun to see. He’s also been getting noticably better at walking every day – I think his transport of choice is now about 90% walking, 10% crawling, the latter only when a particular burst of speed is required or he can’t find something to pull himself up against. He’s nearly able to get to standing on his own, but I think it’ll be a week or two. He’s also been picking up a couple more words, the cutest saying ‘bye bye’ and waving, although he hasn’t quite got what it means as he usually does it after he’s left a room, rather than saying it to the people he’s leaving behind.

merrie olde england

Thursday, February 19th, 2004

We’re having a great old time here in England, visiting family and showing off Toby. He’s been doing great – he had a good trip over and seems (knock on wood) to have gotten over his jetlag. I think he’s liking seeing all the different people, and it’s so cool to see their reactions to the fact that he’s walking about and has a couple of words now. His communication is improving very quickly, and he’s starting to indicate to us much more clearly when he wants something, and what he wants which is helpful.

One thing we’ve been noticing is the food that we miss when we’re in America, and the fact that it’s all unhealthy stuff that we really miss. So we’ll be right bloaters when we get home, I’m sure.

brightening up amazon

Wednesday, February 11th, 2004

So I was doing my occasional check of my Gold Box on today, and came across an interesting looking cooking pot. Scrolling down through the reviews, I found one which caught my eye, and followed the “more about me” link to come across these hilarious reviews. They’re well worth checking out – how do you review a shirt for goodness’ sake? Or a brush? This guy has, and he’s done it well. Some of the reviews are actually helpful, but check out his review of the Barbie.

great day to be one

Monday, February 9th, 2004

Yesterday, to make up for the fact that we didn’t really do anything for his birthday, we decided to give Toby a bit of a day out. So after church we went down to the Minnesota Zoo. There are a couple of zoos in town, the other one being Como Park Zoo but we don’t like it at all, it feels more like animal prison, the enclosures are so small for some of the animals it makes me feel uncomfortable just to look at them. The Minnesota Zoo seems much better – there’s actually a ton of space outside but seeing as it was so cold out we just went to the aquarium part and round the enclosed Tropics Trail.

We arrived just in time to see the dolphin show which was plenty of fun. Unfortunately while he enjoyed watching the dolphins swimming just under the surface of the water, Toby got a bit nervous when they leapt up in the air, probably a combinaion of not expecting it to happen, and the crowd’s reaction. He did, however, love watching the shark tank. The tropics trail was great too, he started to get really into it when we saw the little Asian Bear wandering around, although he seemed to get distracted by all the waterfalls. There was another aquarium, this time with colorful tropical fish which held our attention for ages. The coolest thing is that he’s just learned to say “wow” and he said it at pretty much every different animal. Apart from when he said “moo” to some fish. I think he also just enjoyed walking about – he gets really happy when Emma and I hold his hands and we stroll around.

Afterwards we hooked up with Paul and Claire and their kids for something to eat, so Toby got to admire Sam’s eating-with-spoon skills, which he is currently lacking. A spoon is just for percussion, right? Then a nice bath before bed, and the end of what I think would be about a perfect day for a little guy who is one year old.

hours of fun

Wednesday, February 4th, 2004

Assuming you’re not at work or anything, here is something to make you smile.


Monday, February 2nd, 2004

An amusing article from the BBC. I remember when I was about 14ish my organ teacher at the time was playing for a service at the cathedral in Aberdeen. The theme of the day was “The Good Neighbour” and during communion he improvised a Bach-type piece around the Neighbours theme tune. It was very subtle, and very funny for those of us in the know.