Thursday, August 31, 2006

Crazy Daisy

I guess it's been awhile since I actually put up anything personal. A few events:

My oldest has begun school. She's been eagerly anticipating kindergarten most of the summer, especially riding the school bus. Well, as of Sunday afternoon we didn't know when or where her bus would be coming. Fortunately our church is near her school, so after choir practice on Sunday afternoon I stopped by the school to see if they had it posted anywhere visible. They did. Whew! No tears over that.

I went in to work late on Monday morning so I could help see her off. She was so excited to get on the bus. Hers is the second stop, so the bus was practically empty. As it pulled away we could see just her beaming face in one window. She seemed so small and alone. We got choked up. She was having the time of her life. No "First Day Fears" in that girl, no sir.

She's loving kindergarten, as we knew she would. I hope it stays interesting. Her first day school work was to cut paper. They gave her three papers, two with thick, slightly-curved lines and one with straight lines. She had to cut along the lines. This is the girl who cuts people out of the advertising fliers in the Sunday paper. Sharp angles and tight corners give her no trouble. She probably could have done that assignment with her eyes closed.

They're also starting the kids on learning their letters. She's already getting bored with Dick and Jane at home. I hope school keeps her engaged.

The other bit of excitement is our middle child. He's been complaining of stomach pains for awhile, but almost always at dinner time when he tries to get out of eating. Finally we decided we should probably be sure and took him to the doctor. She refered him to a gastroenterologist. They took one look at him there and pronounced it Celiac's Disease, though they had to take blood tests to be sure.

He handled the blood drawing with hardly a flinch. He probably thought it was fascinating stuff. Celiac's Disease, by the way, is essentially a bad reaction to gluten. You know, the stuff that is behind only sugar and fat in the American diet. Gluten-free food is available, but very expensive stuff.

Well, it's not Celiac's disease. They don't know what it is yet. They're waiting on the allergy tests to come back. And so we're waiting to see what it is, what they can do about it, and if we'll have a more cheerful boy when all is said and done.

And that's the news from Bubble-opolis.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Of Faith and War

An interesting article by Richard Fernandez on the differences between the religions currently at war.

"An Inconvenient Scientist"

I'm not ready to throw my hat in the ring against Global Warming, but I will against anyone who says we shouldn't question it. Isn't that what science is all about? If this article is correct, there is evidence against Global Warming, so don't we have a duty to question?

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Spam Review

I can't say that they stand much chance of fooling me, but they're certainly amusing. Here's a sample of some of the more interesting spam subject lines I've received lately:

- Your future, milk drying (Hmmmm... is that something like making milk powder? Or is it more akin to watching paint dry? Either way, not a very appealing future. I think I'll pass.)

- Order status, onion maggot (Ah, flattery. I ain't buying, tofu brain!)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Deep Thoughts

A couple of maxims come to mind:

1 - Those who do not learn from history are destined to repeat it.
2 - History is written by the victors.

So does this mean that those who do not learn from history are destined to write it?

Bad Joke of the Day

When he set out to film the movie "Babe" several years ago the director originally debated whether or not he'd be able to get the full range of required actions and emotions from a real pig. Finally he decided to go another direction and hire a midget to wear a pig costume instead. They searched around and finally hired Richard Shapiro to play the part.

Unfortunately, though Shapiro spend many hours studying the movements of pigs and the best in Hollywood costumers and creature make-up artists were put on the task of making him look like a pig, it all came to naught when they started filming. The other animals in the movie, all of them real, were quite disturbed by the fake pig and refused to perform as trained. After about a week's wasted time and money, they scrapped the idea and started looking for a trained pig to take over the lead role.

It was an expensive lesson, but the director learned it well: Never cast Shapiros before swine.

Let the virtual thwacking begin...

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Terhi and I rented "Finding Nemo" over the weekend for our date night and to preview it before we let the kids watch it (they won't be watching it any time soon--too intense for them). It's a fairly good movie. Okay, I cried at the end when Nemo runs (swims) back from the bus to tell his dad he loves him. It's an enlightened age. Get over it.

But the best part of the movie for Terhi and I both is the seagulls. If you haven't seen it, they're a pack of food-seeking machines. Any food they see they each declare "Mine" until it's a full cacaphony of "Mine! Mine! Mine! Mine!" Kinda like dealing with a flock of small children. Any time they showed up in the movie (which is several times) we ended up rolling on the floor laughing. It's still our private joke.

Anyway, cute movie. But if you have kids who scare easily, this is not the movie for them.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Badgers on a Hovercraft!

For a small chuckle, here's an article making fun of all the buzz surrounding the upcoming "Snakes on a Plane" movie. It's not so much making fun of the movie as Hollywood in general and what we can expect to see if this movie is a hit. I probably won't see "Snakes on a Plane", but "Badgers on a Hovercraft"? "Meerkats on a Boat"? I'm so there!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Not Sure What This Means...

I took one of those "What are you" quizzes and ended up with this:

You scored as Cultural Creative. Cultural Creatives are probably the newest group to enter this realm. You are a modern thinker who tends to shy away from organized religion but still feels as if there is something greater than ourselves. You are very spiritual, even if you are not religious. Life has a meaning outside of the rational.

What is Your World View?
created with

I'm betting it just means I'm a Mormon.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Darn You, Card!

Orson Scott Card has a new book coming out soon. The first couple chapters are up for your entrapment on his website. It's called "Empire," and it may be one of his most important works, if I may be so bold. From what I've seen so far it's a near-future novel that investigates the notion that America as a democracy has already failed and we're about to follow the Roman Empire--not the falling part, but the turning from republic to empire.

It could just be because so much of this is already on my mind, but I haven't had a book tingle my spine in a long time. It may be the first book I've bought in several years.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Tender Hearts and Rubber Bones

Our youngest is in the process of learning how to walk, but so far is making more process in learning how to climb. We have a set of stairs leading to our upstairs area that he's especially interested in. He's become fairly good at clambering to the top, and making process in learning to slide back down.

Last night during our Family Home Evening we were all playing balloon volleyball when he decided to mount another expedition. Unfortunately the excitement below must have distracted him and he tumbled over backward down the stairs. Terhi saw more of it--I only saw him rolling down the last two.

Terhi immediately scooped him up to comfort and examine him, and Emma stepped in to hold him, too. Still somewhat panicked, Terhi snapped at Emma to get back. Pretty soon Emma was in tears--and Richard was fine. He bounces back quicker than just about anyone in our house.

Emma, on the other hand, took quite awhile to calm down. We thought perhaps Terhi had hurt her feelings in telling her to stay back, but the image of Richard tumbling down the stairs really scared her. Richard was playing and giggling with a balloon, and she was still a basket case.

That's just how she is. Later that night she knocked on her door to tell me that she'd been thinking about "The Piglet Movie" and was sad over the part where Piglet's journal gets stuck on a branch log over a waterfall. As I recall, that movie traumatized her the first few times she saw it (she insisted on seeing it again, mind you, we didn't force it on her).

I suspect there were some other motivations behind her nocturnal ruminations of sadness, but it was there nonetheless. I just can't wait for her to become a teenager. Does salt water harm laminate flooring? I'm anticipating buckets of tears.

Monday, August 07, 2006

But I Don't Listen To The Words

A new study suggests a correlation between raunchy music and teen sex. No surprises there. Nor is the response from The Industry:

The Recording Industry Association of America, which represents the U.S. recording industry, declined to comment on the findings.

Benjamin Chavis, chief executive officer of the Hip-Hip Summit Action Network, a coalition of hip-hop musicians and recording industry executives, said explicit music lyrics are a cultural expression that reflect “social and economic realities.”

“We caution rushing to judgment that music more than any other factor is a causative factor” for teens initiating sex, Chavis said.

The researchers disagree.
Martino said the researchers tried to account for other factors that could affect teens’ sexual behavior, including parental permissiveness, and still found explicit lyrics had a strong influence.

So what is the solution? Not to regulate the industry. Of course not.
Martino said parents, educators and teens themselves need to think more critically about messages in music lyrics.

Fulbright agreed.

“A healthy home atmosphere is one that allows a child to investigate what pop culture has to offer and at the same time say ‘I know this is a fun song but you know that it’s not right to treat women this way or this isn’t a good person to have as a role model,”’ she said.

Shovel one more thing on the plates of parents and teachers. Not that it shouldn't have already been there. But notice they don't advocate not listening to the crap. Oh no! We just need to think critically about it.

I wonder what these people would say if someone came into their house and defecated in the middle of the living room every day. "This person seems to be having fun, but so long as he knows that this is smelly and causing stains to the rug, I suppose it's okay to let him continue investigating what barbaric behavior has to offer."

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Latest Update

For those who care (and have the password), there's an update on our family site.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

National Night Out

Our neighborhood participated somewhat in the National Night Out last night. I represented our family, as the kids were either in bed or getting ready for bed during the festivities. It was a nice evening, and it was interesting to get hear what other people in the subdivision have on their minds. The turnout wasn't great, but it was a decent crowd.

I was getting ready to head home when a local policeman and a city council member showed up. It was interesting chatting with them about the city in general, crime rates, and so on. I don't know how many other council members went out like that, but this one scored a few points in my book.

I've also become aware of an off propensity I have for volunteering. By the end of the evening I had volunteered to be part of the homeowners association architectural committee, the neighborhood watch, and the planning committee for next year's National Night Out. I don't know if I really want to make a difference or I just want people to like me. I guess I just hate to see good things struggle or die from lack of support.

Besides, if I'm on the architectural committee I can set the rules so I can make our planned picket fence taller than the CCR's currently allow. Mwah ha ha ha....! The POWER! THE ABSOLUTE POWER!!!!

Okay, I'm calm now.