Archive for January, 2005


Monday, January 31st, 2005

I’ve been thinking about Toby pretty much all day today. It’s a big one for him – he’s graduated to the Toddler II class at school, after 8 months in Toddler I (here’s when that happened). There’s less physical difference to him I think in the new class, but the kids definitely have to take more instructions and initiative – I think the class is going to be much more structured than before. As usual at his daycare the kids go to the new class for a few hours a day for a couple of weeks before the actual move, so Toby was getting to know the new teachers and bigger kids, but Emma said that he seemed a little anxious about going right to the new class this morning rather than his regular room. I’m sure he’s been having a good day though – he’s generally very good at just getting on with stuff. Such a little champ.

On another note – peril/misfortune of modern life. You go to the bathroom and like a good citizen should, you wash your hands. Get water on your hands first, then use the soap pump thing to get liquid soap on your hands. You rub your hands together but do it wrong – squeezing your hands together, thus squirting soap and water all over the front of your trousers. You are very cool as you leave the restroom with a damp trouserfront and everyone you walk past notices your coolness.


Friday, January 28th, 2005

No posts for a while because I have been (and still am) under the weather. Friday last week the glands in my neck were so swollen and hurting so much that it hurt to shave along my jawline in the morning – a bad sign. I came to work but had to call Emma around 1pm to come and collect me. Slept most of that afternoon, most of Saturday and most of Sunday and Monday, by which time my fever had dropped but the illness had just turned into a stinker of a cold which is still sticking around. Urgh. Emma is understandably running low on wifely patience with my moping.

Everyone else is doing fine though – Toby’s 2nd birthday was on Tuesday and he had a great day. He got to choose what songs they sang at school and we got into trouble for sending in snacks for the kids which contained peanut oil – an allergical disaster apparently. We’re such great parents. Mark, Dulce, Paul, Claire, Lauren and Sam came over that evening and lots of fun was had. The kids did a great job of sharing their toys – Toby didn’t mind the others playing with his train set, and they all got together to make imaginary coffee for us grown-ups with Toby’s toy coffee maker which he got at Christmas. Unfortunately in the excitement Toby slipped and bust his lip – plenty of blood but no lasting unhappiness, although it did make eating his nightly banana rather painful. Next morning it was really swollen which looked like he’d gone a couple of rounds in the ring. On Thursday we had his 2 year checkup at the doctor, and he’s doing very well – the doc said he was doing more than you would expect someone his age to be doing, and he seems very healthy. We did have some alarm when they weighed him – his height was on 50th percentile, but his weight was 33 pounds – 95th percentile. That didn’t seem right at all so the doctor weighed him again and it came out at 27 pounds 3 ounces – 50th percentile also. So no porker Toby. The biggest downside of him being two is that he doesn’t need whole milk any more, so I don’t get a little splash of luxury on my breakfast cereal any more – it’s puritanical 1% milk from now on.

pesky cats

Thursday, January 20th, 2005

Another “life’s kind of challenging/odd” post: our cat Scout is obsessed with drinking water. In several different ways, in fact. He will insist that you give him water in his bowl even though there’s plenty of fresh water in there (if you’ve re-filled it two minutes ago). Then while you’re pouring the water in he’ll dip his paw in there but won’t drink it – he just looks at you in an accusatory way. But lately it’s been getting worse. His food and drink bowls are on a plastic tray – he used to spill water on the fabric mat he had – and the tray has a raised lip all round the edge. Lately he’s taken to pressing down on the lip of the tray, raising the main tray off the ground, and then letting the whole thing drop which makes a great racket. The first time I realised he was doing this was the middle of the night when I happened to be up with Toby. It totally freaked me out because it sounded like someone was trying to break into the house. It was only 10 minutes later when I heard loud crunching echoing up the stairs, and assumed that he wouldn’t be calmly eating if someone had broken in. Anyway the point of the water obsession is that now it seems he’s waiting for me to get him fresh water in his bowl, then using this tray-tipping mechanism to get water out of the bowl, and drinking the spilled water out of the tray itself. Who knows what’s going through his fuzzy brain.

it’s cold inside

Thursday, January 20th, 2005

Here’s an article on Slate about How They Measure Wind Chill. Wind chill was a new thing for me when I moved to Minnesota – basically it’s about how cold it actually feels when the wind is blowing (very cold indeed, usually). Read the article carefully and note the alarming scientific method in the penultimate paragraph. You would have to pay me a lot of money before you’re going to measure the windchill in my ass, is all I will say.

it’s no science

Thursday, January 20th, 2005

I love this Q & A which nicely takes apart the people who pretend to be scientists by inserting faith. I’m (I hope you realize) not knocking faith, because people are entitled to it, but trying to pass it off as science is so bogus. And hopefully you get the message by reading the questions and answers.

pushing the limits

Tuesday, January 18th, 2005

With just over one week to go till his second birthday, Toby’s exhibiting some signs of being two already. One thing he’s been doing is pushing our limits to find out what he can get away with. He’s always been really good about sitting at the table during mealtimes, but lately he’s been banging his fork or spoon on the table surface, which we don’t do in our house (we tell him). So he does it a couple more times while looking us right in the eye. You just know that he’s being a toddler and working out whether we really mean it and what we’re going to do. Last night we had tears because Emma told him she’d take the fork away if he kept doing it, which he did, so she followed through. We had a clenched-fist scream from him, so he was removed from the table and taken to a quiet place to settle down.

no, really

Tuesday, January 18th, 2005

You may remember the bizarre story some time ago when Emma and I got new mobile phones, but were unable to keep our existing numbers. It meant that we got 763 prefixes, which is for the northern suburbs of Minneapolis (612 is the prefix for Minneapolis itself). And for some reason it means that we get tons and tons of wrong numbers, to the extent that I just don’t answer if I see a 763 number I don’t recognize appear on the screen – almost all the wrong numbers come from that area code. Maybe it’s because these people don’t know to dial a number properly or something, because living in the suburbs has melted their brains. Occasionally I’ve had incorrectly dialed faxes coming to my machine, which means that I’ve had to send faxes back to the number asking them to stop faxing me – at least caller ID means that I can do this.

Anyway, last week Emma got a call, wrong number, when a woman asked to speak to someone called Missie. Emma told her it was the wrong number, but this woman insisted that it wasn’t. Emma pointed out that no, it was in fact the wrong number and the woman reluctantly said OK and hung up. A few seconds later the same woman rang back, asked for Missie and got quite upset when she was again told that it was the wrong number. Because of course arguing about it would make Missie miraculously materialize. Emma rightly told her that unless she wanted to speak to Andrew, Emma or Toby she really honestly had the wrong number. Five minutes later I took the next call from her and assured her that she so had the wrong number. She called again and Em didn’t answer. She didn’t leave a voicemail.


Tuesday, January 18th, 2005

Toby’s just learned his first TV theme – I’m so proud. He runs about the house singing “Bob the Builder! Yes! We! Can!” We’re continuing to love our TiVo which means that we can always have a couple of Bobs the Builder on file for Toby’s max of 20 minutes of TV a day.

firefox on fire

Monday, January 10th, 2005

Found an article today on how to boost the speed of the Firefox browser by an enormous amount – makes a huge difference. Details are here. As if Firefox wasn’t already a bazillion times better than IE.

not too nerdy

Monday, January 10th, 2005

Via pharyngula, apparently I’m comfortably nerdy but not too bad:

I am nerdier than 68% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!