Archive for January, 2006

toddler stammer

Tuesday, January 31st, 2006

I posted this entry about Toby’s transient toddler stammer back in April 2005, and I’ve noticed that it has been a regular search phrase for people visiting this blog. I hope that what I typed was at least semi-useful for people looking for answers. The stammer actually disappeared after just a couple of weeks – I think it was a lot to do with the thoughts forming in his head before he could quite remember the words he wanted.

I’ve noticed something interesting over the last month or so, which follows up from the whole toddler stammer thing (apart from Toby at age three isn’t really a toddler any more) which is that when he’s thinking he does a kind of inverse stammer. For example if I ask him a question where he needs to ponder something he’ll say “Well, I think …. k …. k …. k …. that the cat did it!” Here’s an example:

Last night suddenly out of the blue he said “Daddy, computer classes [he gets a weekly computer class at daycare] are not for girls, only for boys“. We were a little taken aback at this attitude, so Emma asked why can’t girls take the class. Toby responded that they’re only for boys who are three. Emma said, “but what if you’re a girl, can’t you take a class?” Toby said “But I’m a boy who is three.” I followed up with “but say, hypothetically, that you were a girl, who is three, could you take a computer class?” which got the inverse stammer going: “Weelllllll, I think … k … k … that …. hey! Look out of the window!” We did eventually persuade him that the girls in his class can also learn about computers, and I’m not sure where he got this whole idea from.

i can’t sleep

Tuesday, January 31st, 2006

Further to the second point in this post, wherein my big mouth got me into trouble. Someone completely uninvolved saw that I was looking a bit freaked out and without knowing anything about the situation sent me a very complimentary message to cheer me up. However of course it was the bad thing I obsessed about and lost sleep over. This clearly is a bad strategy – in future I’m going to try to obsess over my best qualities, not my worst, and wake up in the night with a hip-hooray because of how amazing I am.

three close shaves

Tuesday, January 31st, 2006

Close shave #1: I got Toby the Wallace and Gromit three adventure DVD for his birthday – we watched a couple of them over the weekend and I think he really enjoyed them. It’s nice to watch something a little more sophisticated than Bob the Builder with him. One of the adventures is of course “A Close Shave”.

Close shave #2: I said something to someone which was misconstrued as me knowing something I shouldn’t have and caused a fair bit of grief. I think it’s kind of rough short term but should work itself out. I still feel pretty bad about it though.

Close shave #3: There’s a new razor just been released: the Gillette Fusion. It has a ridiculous sounding five blades and I got mine yesterday, to see what it would be like. It did feel very different from a regular razor, and smoother and easier – the theory is that it reduces friction and tension on your skin, meaning that you can use fewer strokes to shave, which cuts down on irritation. I’m impressed with how good their manufacturing quality must be to get the blades all lined up so incredibly accurately.

four things

Friday, January 27th, 2006

I was meme tagged by Richard today, having seen this meme on another website just yesterday. So here goes:

Four jobs that I�ve had

* Paper Boy – a little shop in Aberdeen
* Really bad waiter � Aberdeen Holiday Inn
* Pretty good waiter – Pierre Victoire, central Glasgow
* Software Quality Assurance manager – Minneapolis

Four movies I can watch over and over

* Amadeus (very topical for today)
* The Big Lebowski
* The Godfather parts I and II
* Goodfellas

Four places I have lived

* Aberdeen, Scotland
* Glasgow, Scotland
* Edinburgh, Scotland
* Minneapolis, MN, USA

Four TV shows I like to watch

* Arrested Development (RIP)
* The Office (UK and US versions)
* Family Guy
* Globetrekker

Four foods that I like

* Cheese
* Crusty bread
* Bacon
* Curry

Four websites I visit daily

* Gmail
* BBC News
* Bloglines
* Washington Post

Four things I want to do before I die

* Retire
* Not have to worry about money
* Meet my grandchildren
* Continue to feel like my career has been worthwhile

Four places I would rather be right now

* At home in bed
* Hiking the hills in Scotland (or England)
* In a warm country pub with friends, after having spent a day doing the above
* The Pacific North West (Northwestern USA/Southwestern Canada)


Friday, January 27th, 2006

I saw a thing on the TV news this morning about a “crisis” in France due to the rise of obesity in that country. A certain amount from schadenfreude from the American reporter, because a year or two ago the book “French Women Don’t Get Fat” was a big hit, but it turns out that in fact they do. My favorite part of the story, though, was the headline for the section: “Don’t Let Them Eat Cake”.

perfect browsing

Thursday, January 26th, 2006

Paul told me today about the Camino browser for the mac. I may have noted before that there are only really two things I don’t like about the mac so far – lack of an inbuilt FTP agent in Finder, and the Safari browser, which has a couple of things which just don’t work so well. I’ve been using Firefox, completely my Windows browser of choice, but it has a few niggles on the mac, such as tabbing through online forms, where the non-text fields are skipped. So I have just been trying Camino and it’s a revalation. The speed is outstanding, the text is clear and it just works, the way things should for the mac.

I also downloaded the CamiTools add-on which makes it even more powerful, with an ad-blocker type feature, and also the ability to fool websites into believing that you’re running a different browser (which as far as I remember is a feature in Opera on Windows). This means I can tell gmail that I’m actually running Firefox so the scripting runs just a little more smoothly. I’m going to tell Emma about it too – her college website is coded only to run on Internet Explorer, and as you may know IE is basically desupported for Mac, so now she’ll be able to view it on Camino, pretending that it’s IE. Nice and easy.


Thursday, January 26th, 2006

I’m having a mid-morning snack of some quite tasty veggie chips at the moment. I noticed on the back of the bag the manufacturers’ statement “These are the most delicious snack you’ll ever try”. That’s quite a bold claim in my opinion – is it a guarantee? Is it all downhill from this particular snacking moment? I wonder why they use the verb “try” rather than “eat”?

bangalore once more

Thursday, January 26th, 2006

I’m going back to Bangalore next Friday, this time for a week and a half. I’m quite excited about going, but also of course not looking forward to being apart from Emma and Toby for that long. Bangalore is a pretty crazy place – here’s an article which summarizes the contrasts really well.

matrix ping pong

Wednesday, January 25th, 2006

Paul obviously has a little time on his hands today, at least in 3 minute chunks. This is the second thing from google video he’s sent me today: Matrix Ping Pong, and it’s totally great. Love the background music, too.

viva croydon

Wednesday, January 25th, 2006

My brother Richard called me last night from Las Vegas. He’s visiting for a friend’s wedding, and seemed quite pleased with himself – it’s the first time he’s done a long flight (he doesn’t, or didn’t, like flying which is why he hasn’t come to visit me here yet (I’ve been here in Minneapolis for almost seven years now)). It sounds like he’s been having a great time – enjoying the enormous food, taking note of how different American TV is compared with British, experiencing how friendly people are in stores etc. I told him to stop buying clothes there because they’re cheaper here in Minnesota where there’s no sales tax.

His friends who are getting married are staying in the Bellagio hotel – a few of them went over on Monday night to look at the view. Richard said that it’s pretty incredible, and in his words “a bit like Croydon”. You be the judge:


Las VegasLas Vegas