Archive for June, 2004

trike

Monday, June 14th, 2004

a week or so ago, Paul alerted me to this tricycle on the REI outlet website, and we agreed it would be just the thing for young Toby, especially as he’s currently very interested in bikes and trikes, and transport generally. So I ordered it and opted for store pickup, which meant free shipping. It arrived yesterday so we zoomed down to the store to collect it – great store generally, and Em and I discussed how nice it would be to have time to do more outdoor stuff, and to be able to do it in a climate which is neither too hot nor too cold or infested with mosquitos. Toby got very excited in the bike department at the sheer profusion of bikes, but was a little shy when the assistant wheeled the shiny red trike out for him. They’d even assembled it for us, which was really cool of them, so we were all set to go. We did quickly realize the one flaw, which is that currently Toby can’t reach the pedals, but he was extremely happy to sit on the saddle and hold the handlebars with his feet dangling down while I pushed him along, guiding the handlebars as we went. He had a bit of a goofy smile on his face all the way back to the car, but it was apparently the end of the whole world when he had to get off, as we had to put him in the car to get home. It’s now hidden in the workshop in the basement but hopefully he’ll get the chance to ride around the block tonight a couple of times.

more weirdness

Saturday, June 12th, 2004

OK, now this is just odd too. They go from selling books to this??

sanctity

Saturday, June 12th, 2004

Not even sure why I bother posting this because the man is so clearly a hypocrite, but I noticed today that Rush Limbaugh (nasty conservative radio host in the U.S.) is getting divorced. It’s actually the third marriage for both him and his soon-to-be-ex-wife, and they were married by conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. You can be pretty sure that all three of these people have lots to say about the sanctity of marriage and that they also make a great deal of the fact that letting gays and lesbians marry would undermine that sanctity. Pity they’ve made such a great big arse of the whole thing themselves, and are setting such a bad example for the rest of us.

just … bizarre

Friday, June 11th, 2004

Well, this is just damn weird.

having fun

Thursday, June 10th, 2004

Paul and I were off to get a Jamba juice for lunch when I realized that I didn’t have my wallet. Fortunately I remembered that it was still in Toby’s stroller, from when he and I went out to get a couple of things from the Wedge Coop last night, and as I’m picking Toby up from daycare today his stroller was in the daycare building only 2 blocks away from the office. So we nipped over and I had the slight quandary of wondering whether to show myself to Toby or stay hidden – it’d be great to see him but if he got all clingy, as he’s often doing at the moment, it might really upset him when I had to leave.

When we got to daycare I quickly found my wallet in the pocket of the stroller, which was parked in the hallway outside Toby’s room. I managed to sneak a glance over – the little munchkins were having circle time together just before lunch and all sat in a corner having a chat and reading a book. Toby was sat with his back to the door and chattering away with everyone – it looked like he was having a great old time and being quite capable with the others who are mostly older than him. Made me feel really good to see that he’s getting on so well and is as self-sufficient as we imagine him to be. I slunk off before he spotted me.

As for my birthday, it’s going OK so far, considering that I’m pretty darned busy at work. Still, better to be busy than bored. I got some great looking books and a CD, and Em and Toby got me some Pilates stuff which will be fun to try. Probably going for a curry tonight which should be excellent – I have to walk past the New Delhi restaurant every night on the way home so it’ll be good to get to go in for a change and enjoy the food that smells so delicious.

relief

Wednesday, June 9th, 2004

In need of a bit of light relief this afternoon. We were supposed to be going on a work fun trip to a pizza place and then to play mini golf in the sun. Except it’s been pissing down with rain, so the trip’s been postponed. And Toby woke us up at 4am so I’m a bit wiped and although I’m getting through all the work I need to do today it’s a bit more of an effort than it should be – several mugs of tea are helping but only just. And it’s my birthday tomorrow and I’m booked almost all day in meetings. How fun. For some reason the prospect of being 32 isn’t a happy one, and I’m usually pretty good at birthdays. Maybe it’s because it’s not a real milestone kind of age, I don’t know. Anyway, fortunately I happened upon the excellent Opinions You Should Have site. It’s a Blog You Should Read, very amusing.

geek glitterati

Wednesday, June 9th, 2004

I am going to follow Paul‘s lead and make my two remaining gmail account invitations available to the first people who ask me. So send an email or leave a comment.

The first account has already gone to Emma who was most upset last time that I didn’t offer one to her.

patriotism

Tuesday, June 8th, 2004

Hmm, I’m not sure where to start with this – an article in the Washington Post relating a “patriot day” school assembly for 6 and 7 year old kids where they are taught to be American and love their country.

It’s something Em and I talk about a bit and probably think about more – how America shows patriotism compared with how it’s displayed in the UK and many other European countries. I reckon the causes of this are probably because this is a country founded by immigrants and while I don’t want to belittle the US’s involvement in the two World Wars and the sacrifices made by so many people, I don’t think it was hammered quite as hard, in that there weren’t young men from entire communities wiped out, as happened in the major World War I battles, and it didn’t undergo the Blitz, or rationing for years afterwards.

I do appreciate the way that Americans are proud of their country – it gets me a little riled when Brits moan about their country, which is in fact a lot better than they think – and I’m sad that the British flag has become so synonymous with racism that many Brits are uneasy about displaying it. And of course I like living here, or I would move.

But there’s something that makes me kind of uneasy about the whole thing of these patriot days for young kids, especially when it can so easily spill out into the “we’re better than anyone else” realm, not to mention the slightly spooky quote from the 7 year old who says that he would fight for his country. And as is pointed out by a political scientist in the article:

“Loving your country is not something you indoctrinate,” said Jane Junn, a Rutgers University political scientist who has done research on civic education and immigrants. “It’s something a person has to come to themselves.”

This goes through the whole Pledge of Allegiance thing – I think that many Europeans feel uneasy about seeing a classroom full of children pledging themselves to their countries – it can easily smack of indoctrination and the pictures of children in Nazi Germany, or Communist Russia being “programmed”.

It may be a difficult thing for us with Toby: Em and I both want him to be proud of where he’s from and his American childhood and I guess we’re going to have to deal with things like this in the coming few years – potential uneasiness with these types of ceremonies which are so different from what we experienced when we were children. It’ll be an education for all of us.

influence

Thursday, June 3rd, 2004

Still really liking my gmail account, and there’s something new today which I think I may have had a hand in. I wrote to them a couple of weeks ago suggesting that they had some way of showing if you had new mail in the window’s title bar. Without that you need to open the window each time to see if you have mail, but this way you could see in the Windows taskbar, or Firefox tab if that’s your excellent browser of choice. So I was pleased this morning when I noticed that the title on my gmail window was Gmail – Inbox (10). I’m sure more than one person will have suggested this but at least I know I was one of them.