Archive for March, 2007

got dead

Monday, March 12th, 2007

There was a little upset at Toby’s class last week – they got a fish for the classroom (named Prince, because he was purple) but by afternoon snack time Prince had died. Sam the teacher was a little worried about how the kids would take it, but Toby was very matter of fact: “Prince the little fish was swimming about and then he fell asleep and then he got dead. He died.” No particular worries, and in fact he has talked a few times about how animals get dead. He hasn’t mentioned that it might also happen to people, and he also hasn’t asked what happens to the animals, they just die.

Incidentally they got a new fish the next day – named Stoplight by Toby and his friends, because he’s red.


Monday, March 12th, 2007

This made me smile – flash version of the unicorn spin-wheel (from boingboing). I’m passing it on to you in case you’re wondering what a unicorn would do.

gummy worms

Monday, March 12th, 2007

I was just checking my blog stats, and noticed a huge number of hits coming from – a fan site for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Specifically the hits were coming from this post forum where someone had, for a joke, included a link to someone well known to frequent visitors to It’s a little strange to be sure, but no harm done I think.

stalker of god

Monday, March 12th, 2007

From alt-parenting blog/site BattleCry To Teens: Be A “Stalker of God.” Whatever That Means…. To summarize, this is a “Christian” festival which roves the country decrying secularism (but using secular means of spreading the message, such as rock music and standup comedians (quoted sample: “What would an atheist praise song be? ‘Who gives us reason to live? No one!’” – how hilarious)) and spouting spooky stuff such as how to stalk God. This seems all twisted to me – I know that the source I was reading is biased but it seems that the message (compassion, reconciliation etc) is getting all messed up with judgmentalism, fearmongering, hype. Not pleasant at all.

i’d be safe and warm

Saturday, March 10th, 2007

Well we’re definitely no longer in L.A. – the winter here continues, although it’s getting a bit less frigid. During the day the temps have been getting up to the low 40s (a balmy 6C) so the tons of snow are beginning to melt. This is generally a good thing in itself but when the temp drops again at night it has some challenges:

Last night after work we went over to see our good friends Michael and Cara for dinner and drinks. They live just a couple of blocks away so we walked over. However with the snow melting the sidewalks were like rivers, so it was more of a splash than a stomp. Then on the way home the temperature had dropped enough so that most of the water had frozen – we slipped and slid the whole way and what would normally take less than five minutes took over quarter of an hour. Toby fell five times, mostly to great hilarity but once grazing his head, but he recovered quickly. He did enjoy cracking the frozen surfaces of the puddles but by the time we were coming down the hill to our house we realized that it was getting too hard to stay up so we had to navigate ourselves onto the road. Even turning around was a challenge – I had to hold on to a big snowbank to stop myself from totally wiping out.


Thursday, March 8th, 2007

Two of my cousins in the UK, Tom and Charlie, also keep weblogs, and I thought you might like to see them (the blogs). Here’s Tom’s and here’s Charlie’s. Maybe they’ll add me under their “friends and family” links.

new photos

Wednesday, March 7th, 2007

Just uploaded some pics – there are some from January and a whole bunch from our trip to Los Angeles. Hope you like them


Wednesday, March 7th, 2007

Some excellent pictures of Britain from the Guardian – enough to make me homesick.

back tomorrow

Monday, March 5th, 2007

Back to snowy Minneapolis tomorrow – we’ve had such a great time here and while it will be good to see friends and the cats etc it’s going to be a wrench to leave the great weather and stuff here. I’ve been impressed by L.A. much more than I expected or was lead to believe. It’s a pretty strange place I think especially in the West Hollywood neighborhood due to so many rich and good looking people being around, but at the same time people we’ve seen have been really friendly and Toby has had lots of smiles and nice comments from people. Also getting around has generally been easier than I expected – I’m quite proud of myself that I have managed to deal with driving here, and even have been able to do the trips today with no map.


Saturday, March 3rd, 2007

Los Angeles, to be precise. We cashed in a bunch of frequent flyer miles a few months ago to take what is basically a free long weekend visiting some really good friends in L.A. and also to escape the horrible Minnesota weather of the past couple of weeks (tons of snowfall and total lack of greenery). We left on Thursday, all rather stressful on account of a great big snowstorm. Our inbound plane actually made it on time from Boston but we had to wait an extra hour for the crew to come in, then sat on the plane for an hour while the air conditioning failed, then had to wait in the airport for another hour for a new plane, then finally a four hour journey to L.A. Toby was completely great though – very patient with everything – it could have been a lot worse. We didn’t make it to D and J’s till really late on account of having to get the rental car and find our bearings but we did make it in the end.

Yesterday we went to the Los Angeles Zoo, which was a lot of fun. It’s not huge, but there are lots of neat animals to see and it was really good for us to get so much air and exercise after the journey. Just smelling fresh trees and flowers after the long Minnesota winter is so good for us. We did get a little lost on the freeway on the way to the zoo but fortunately I’d gotten a satelite navigation system as part of the car rental thing, so that helped in a huge way otherwise we might still be somewhere in L.A, or maybe even in Mexico by now.

Today we had a great outing with D and J, all the way down Santa Monica Boulevard (they live in West Hollywood right on the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Santa Monica so it was a straight shot down) to the Santa Monica pier where we saw the ocean, listened to buskers and took Toby on a bunch of fairground rides and some time on the beach. We had quite the tour on the way back, along Mulholland Drive which is the steepest, twistiest road I have been on in some time, plus a lot of it is right on the edge of very steep hills, so I had no time at all to look at scenery, it was quite an exciting drive. Totally mad enormous houses all the way along, and incredible cars too – I’ve never seen so many Bentleys, Aston Martins, Ferraris etc.

Toby’s been doing great, he is a good traveler pretty much all the time, and he’s really taken to D and J and their dog Bacchus. Apart from the sunshine and the sightseeing he has also been appreciating our hosts’ very large TV and DVD setup, so got to watch Cars (again), and was completely made up that Route 66 ends just a block away from where we are staying (click on the image to enlarge):

Route 66