Archive for April, 2007

dinna ken and dinnaken

Monday, April 16th, 2007

I got the bus out to Emma’s work to meet her for lunch one day a couple of weeks ago. On the way we went through the University, and I noticed that one of the residences is named Dinnaken House. This was funny for me as a Scots lad – in my previous life “dinna ken” means “don’t know”, as you will see in this poem. I liked that you would go to a place of learning and live in Don’t Know House

this american life tv

Saturday, April 14th, 2007

For years I’ve been listening to This American Life on our local public radio station. The show is also available now via podcast – it’s an engrossing hour of quirky stories about, well, life in America.

I had heard that they’ve started doing a TV show on Showtime, which unfortunately we don’t get on our cable package – fortunately they have the first show online – I recommend it.

UPDATE: corrected the podcast link. Hopefully it works outside the US too.


Thursday, April 12th, 2007

I just nipped out to my favorite coffee shop to get a zap of americano. On the floor of the shop was some money – I picked it up and thought “hmm, a rumpled $5 bill”, and although a couple of people saw me do it, nobody said “Hey – that fell out of that person’s pocket” or anything. So I pocketed it, paid for my friend Kyle’s coffee, and left a more generous than usual tip.

When I got back to the office I unrumpled it, and realized that it was actually $50. So I feel a bit guilty – the kind of person who drops a crumbled 50 either has loads of money and doesn’t feel the need to have 50s in their wallet, or hardly any and doesn’t have a wallet.

I don’t feel right keeping this – I think I should just make a quick donation to Mercy Corps or something – what do you think?

google bomb

Tuesday, April 10th, 2007

You may be familiar with the term “google bomb” – it’s basically where people manipulate the ranking of certain web pages by linking to words on that page, thereby making it more likely that a Google search will return that page. Examples in the past meant that googling “liar” would return links to pages about Tony Blair.

And here’s one from today – a search for “failure” (click picture for a clearer view):

George Bush Failure

my son the heretic

Saturday, April 7th, 2007

I’ve mentioned Toby’s friend Silje a few times on this blog. She’s a great friend for Toby to have – full of sass and intelligence and adventure.

This evening her mom Kristi told me that she and Silje were having a conversation earlier today about Easter. Silje said, “Well Mommy, I know that Easter is in fact not about God and Jesus and stuff. It’s about treats and candy.” “Oh,” said Kristi. “Yes,” said Silje, “And I know because Toby told me.”

manbag update

Saturday, April 7th, 2007

You might remember my rather pathetic manbag post a few weeks ago, where I had seen another dad at Toby’s school who had an excellent-looking bag. Yesterday while Emma and I were out shopping we found it. Bad news – v expensive at $280, but at least I know what and where it is. It’s the Bosca Messenger Correspondent bag, and it’s kind of fantastic. Looks like very high quality construction, nice size, good organization pockets inside, and very much my style. But $280. Oh well, I guess I’ll have to save my pocket money for a while:
Bosca Messenger Correspondent

shopping adventures, consumer larks

Saturday, April 7th, 2007

We’re having some friends round for lunch and for dinner tomorrow, so went out this afternoon to pick up supplies. We decided to go a bit upmarket, to Byerly’s where the food is excellent and overpriced, and some of the shopping carts have little cars on the front for kids to sit in and drive, which makes things easier for harried parents (not that we are, but it means we can focus more on what we’re buying and not worry about keeping an eye on Toby).

Another customer-friendly feature, also good for a lone parent, is that they not only bag your groceries, but you can have them put them in boxes which are conveyed to a pickup point where a winsome youth will load them into your car, saving you having to lug everything out by yourself. Unfortunately something broke down in the system today and when we got home we realized that we’d been given someone else’s groceries. I called the store and spoke to a manager who said he’d send someone over with our stuff right away. Sure enough, 40 minutes later the manager himself was at our door with our stuff and a generous gift card for our inconvenience. Nice work, Byerly’s!


Wednesday, April 4th, 2007

Here’s a spooky Dick Cheney picture – with captions! (warning – some rude words contained in the link). (But it’s still funny).


Wednesday, April 4th, 2007

Probably from school, Toby knows that the president is (sigh) George Bush. We had a discussion about it this morning while the news was on – Toby said “Didn’t you know who the first president was?” We told him we didn’t, although of course we do. “It was George Washington. But then … [eyes wide] he died.”

We told him that a while ago there was another President Bush, and then President Clinton, and that one day there would be a new president, when Toby is six. Toby enthusiastically said, “Yes, when George Bush dies” which we had to correct him on, although I guess there would be if that happens too.

We tried, with effort, not to let our personal political views get into the conversation, there’s plenty of time for that when he’s older. But we did say, when talking about Bill Clinton, that lots of people think he is a very good man and was a good president (of course lots of other people don’t agree). Toby said, “Well. George Bush is also a good president.” We asked why, and were told, “Um, because… he helps people to fly all around the world