Archive for January, 2012

story – Noah & Nativity

29 January, 2012

This morning, at Church, MrGrunty was loudly complaining, then drumming on the table. He didn’t quiet, so I picked him up to take him out of worship, all the way, he screamed, “NOOOOOOO!!!!!!”  He sat in time out for four minutes, then we went back into worship.   When it was time for Bible class, MrG and MrCuddles didn’t want to go to class. And so the three of us sat in the hall for a bit, until eventually MrG went into class. Then I took MrC to nursery, and left the crying boy there. I’m told he quit crying after a minute, and he and Andre were sharing cheerios when I came back.

This afternoon, I tried to listen to a story that MsSqueaky was playing with combined Noah and Nativity sets. What follows is what I could transcribe, sometimes it was difficult to hear her, for MrCuddles was screaming in his bedroom, and MrGrunty kept asking me to play with him. (I did after a bit, I showed him how to do a crossword puzzle.)

“But we want to see Baby Jesus. You can’t…  Later you’re gonna see him. YAY! Bye everyone in the boat. We’re staying here tonight, because this is where we live. Actually, the boat’s not going, so we just gonna stay. I need to see what I’m doing, [and she took the ark apart], oh, there we go…there’s no space.  Hi, I’m an el-fant. …come on, we’re going on the boat. You ready for countdown, [she whispers a countdown]. We’re sliding away. Guys, ready for the countdown? [she whispers countdown]  Zero! It opens. Come on baby, let’s go. OK.”



28 January, 2012

Today, I took each child out for a bit of solo time with Papa.   🙂

  • Started with MrCuddles, we went to the CentralMarket, which is awesome with their variety, makes me want to take up cooking again.  Forty shelf feet of varieties of calrose rice,  a cold case full of noodles, three shelves of rice vinegar. MrCuddles liked the crab, lobster, clam and oyster tanks. I happened to run into a co-worker from the long-ago, and met his wife and 9 month old child.
  • Then, MsSqueaky & I went to the library. She picked some books, and after we played hide-n-seek, climbing, chasing, and rocket ship on the playground.
  • After lunch, MrGrunty and I caught the bus downtown. We went to the train station, no trains. Then off to ride the monorail, and have a bite of pizza at Seattle Center. I think his favorite part was watching the the trains in the bus tunnel.

snow – Winter 2012

27 January, 2012

It snowed, but this year it stuck around, and snowed a bit more. So, I got three days off from work!

A few quotes:

  • There was a toy, MrCuddles was screaming, “I want it!!”    MsSqueaky gave him another toy, “Here, this is for the party.   MrCuddles smiled, and slowly said, “yeah…”    MsS then explained, “See, I gave that to you, and you stopped crying.”
  • MsSqueaky announced to me, “Papa, I’m leaving tomorrow. I’m going to a movie with my friends and you are staying home with my baby.”
  • It was nap time, I was laying down with MrCuddles to encourage him to sleep. Because he still needs a nap, and he was recovering from a cold. He was fighting it. Then, he asked, “Papa, after nap can I have a snack.”   Yes.  Then he calmed right away, and was soon sleeping.

MrGrunty is growing more patient with his big-kid train set. He’s learned to put it together, and then just watches the train roll. No more screaming in frustration. Maybe it wasn’t such a bad Christmas gift after all.

So, MyBetterHalf and I are trying something. We are trying to have MsS and MrG every night write four words, they can choose, either from a kid’s flash card, or by asking us how to spell something. We say, four words=one sticker, and ten stickers=one Saturday night movie. So far, they’ve liked doing it, and often, they will write more than the required four words. We just want to get them in the habit of nightly homework, and practicing writing.

Oh yeah, snow… On the first big snow day, MsSqueaky and I went for a walk to the park. Walked through the snowy woods, past the icy ponds, run across  the snow covered soccer field. She did get cold, and so I carried her for the walk home.

The next day, both MsS and MrG went with me for a walk. This time, we had little hand warmers! I liked them. MsSqueaky did not. This time, I carried MrGrunty home.

By Sunday, the snows had left, thanks to more than an inch of rain on Saturday. We visited my family in Tacoma. The childrens had lots of fun playing with my mom, each other, their aunt Tia. Me and my dad talked about books we’re reading.

Bulls at Magic – January 6th

18 January, 2012

First thought, why did Boston get rid of Glen Davis? And with getting rid of Perkins last season, it’s almost like they don’t value that a big body, who clogs the lanes, sets vicious screens, bumps opposing players out of position. Boston has scorers with Ray Allen, Paul Pierce & Garnett, they need big bodies to do the little things. Oh well. But, did you notice Glen Davis set that wicked screen in the 4th quarter, I forget who, but a Bull ran  straight into BigBaby, and went flat to the ground. That’s gotta hurt. And that’s the value Glen Davis.

Chicago, I’m trying to figure out who their #2 option is. And, well, they don’t seem to have a #2, but they have about four people tied for #3.

And, hats off to Derrick Rose for picking up a lifetime endorsement deal from Adidias worth $250 million.


model train spotting

16 January, 2012

We finally made it to the model train show at Seattle Center today. MrGrunty, could’ve stayed the night, watching the trains on the tracks. In case you’re curious, they were “N” trains, meaning, the tracks were 9mm apart…or about 1:148 scale. Meaning, tiny.

MyBetterHalf and I took turns staying with MrG whilst the other parent took the other two around other exhibits. MsSqueaky really liked the dinosaurs, they were moving around, and MsSqueaky was talking back and waving to them. (When MrG first saw the dinosaurs, he stopped in his tracks and was a bit nervous. But MsS waved him to come along and see.)  When a boy a few years older than MrG went by, MrG talked with the big kid about the trains. MrG was trying to convert MrCuddles to be as interested in the trains, MrCuddles was having fun just looking down from the balcony and staring at the cute-boy in the corner-mirror.

At the end, we went to the planetarium, and watched short presentation about stars and the moon. We had to keep MrG moving along, or he would have only stared at one part for the entire time.  When we were leaving, after five hours, he was protesting, “But we didn’t look at trains for a long time.”


15 January, 2012

Today, started, around 3AM, with MrGrunty crawling into our bed. Around 5AM, MsSqueaky wanted to crawl in too, but that’s too crowded. So she and I went to the living room  for the couch. When I tried to quietly get extra blankets from their room, that woke MrCuddles, and I took him too. He fell back asleep quickly on the sofa. MsSqueaky, was watching the snow. Telling me about it ever few minutes.

We finally got to church. And I was the teacher… for, my childrens, an 11 year old, and 16 year old. Needless to say, they didn’t pay attention. I tried to teach them “Siyahamba“. Luckily Leena was there to sing along.

We got home, and me, MrGrunty, MsSqueaky played in the front yard. MsSqueaky climbed to top of a mound, MrG quickly followed, and she announced, “I am the King and Grunty is the queen.”  We made a snow man. After, MrG wanted to have a snow-fight, so we threw snowballs at each other until the second time he got hit in the face. We did have lots of fun, lots of laughing. He laughed the loudest when he would get hit by a snowball on the back of his coat while running away.

Hanging out. Parents, reading. MrG & MrCuddles got babies in strollers, and walked around the house. MrC calls his babies, all of them, “Charney”.  Later, MsSqueaky would dress up MrCuddles with her bike-helmet, and sandals. Later, MrG and MsS were drawing pictures for their school friends, and MrC was just playing with his “Charneys”.

They did get in trouble for taking two complete packages of wipes, and hanging the wipes all around their bedroom. They knew they were in trouble, because MsS and MrG went right away and didn’t even protest when they were sent to time out.


14 January, 2012

well…I conned MyBetterHalf to take the childrens their school-friend’s birthday-party solo. I did help walk them there in the snow, uphill. And by snow, I mean slush. Because that’s what was fallin’ from the sky.

I’m working on learning on learning “Siyahamba” for teaching Bible class in the morning. Ow, barre-chords hurt.

I did some reading. Sophie-kitty crawled up on my lap.

And now, I bloggeth, for my loyal readers.


Among Madmen

7 January, 2012

Among Madmen by Jim Starlin & Daina Graziunas

End of the world, post-apocalyptic novel with monsters. So, my cup of tea. The first page grabbed me, “I wasn’t there when Keith died, but I’ve got a pretty good idea how it went down.” And the narrator tells of his wife’s morning routines.

Spoilers will follow.

In this future, there’s a plague, that strikes without warning, and some folks become brain dead, and other folks become rage-infested murderers. So, kinda like two kinds of zombies, one you have to take care of, the other suddenly are trying to kill you. I liked that idea. This has been going on for at least three years, and so, the population has dwindled, and the survivors in the story are in a remote town.

So far so good. On three occasions we see a normal person become berserkers. And seems the normal ties of society would be broken if you can’t trust your loved ones from going berserk at any moment.

The Bad – granted, I don’t know much about tactics and strategy…but still, the authors made some fatal flaws that I would suspect their characters would have avoided, since their characters were smart, survivors, cops, war-veterans,…

  • First, if you have oil, and it is dangerous to drive it around, and when you deliver there is the threat the customer will rob you, instead of you transporting a valuable commodity. Set up a fortified shop, and they come and get it.
  • Second, the town seems too spread out. Hey, if there are roving band of marauders, maybe you should castle up, keep the herd together, stick close to each other.
  • The Narrator’s wife, has a case of  berserker. And has killed eleven people, and yet, she still lives in town. Really, your spouse kills multiple people, and “oh, well, every relationship has challenges.” Whatever.
  • I never understood why the marauders would sneak in to attack the town…when a less fortified gas well is down the street. Unless, the marauders needed women. That angle of an apocalypse was never looked into, the “we need to breed to survive” point of view. (As Larry Niven wrote, “As soon as the meteor hit, women’s lib was a thing of the past” – Lucifer’s Hammer.)
  • The narrator never sees the irony of “we took the oil for our survival …and we had more guns” and the marauders attacking for supplies.
  • The authors spoil a couple of surprises by narrator saying, “I should have known…”
  • Bullets wasted when trying to wake someone. This bothered me in WalkingDead, too. The world has ended. Bullets are becoming more rare, and thus more valuable with every shot fired.
  • The whole night ambush…So, all I know, I read from Tom Clancey’s classic, Clear & Present Danger. As soon as you fire your gun, you lose your night vision. I would recommend using flares tossed at the enemy, or a Molotov cocktail would be better. I would recommend fortifying your position a bit, to slow them down if they charge at you.

The Ugly –

  • If you are attacking a town, and you want to get the stuff they have, WHY bring a flame thrower?
  • The final fight scene, I could have believe had it been in a fantasy novel with necromancers and paladins. As it was, a bit too much.
  • Would have been better twist if wife had been the big bad monster.
  • the dream sequence was bad

And remember kids,…ALWAYS confirm the kill.

I enjoyed it, but I enjoyed the beginning more than the end. To my brother, “Sorry if I didn’t like it as much as you did.”

MrGrunty quotes

6 January, 2012

This evening, MrGrunty was inspecting my chin, closely examining, poking & prodding & pinching. I asked if he was looking at my whiskers. “No papa, it’s splinters….I don’t want splinters when I grow up.”

Christmas Eve,  we took the childrens to “down-the-town” for a surprise. As me & the boys were riding the elevator up, MrG, with big smile and excited eyes, exclaimed, “It’s a carousel! ”  When it was time to go home, he protested, “We didn’t get to see the surprise…we didn’t see a lot of trains.”

Speaking of trains. MrG when trying to describe something will give a very specific detail, hoping that his parents will know exactly what he’s talking about. Unfortunately, we often don’t. He gets very frustrated when we say we don’t know. But, we’ve been trying to calm him down, and ask for a few more details to help us remember. “I want to go to the place with the three trains and one you can ride….We went there with Finn & James.”  So, we went to Country Village in Bothell.

One night, because of cooking, the smoke alarm went off. We took this opportunity to practice a fire drill with the childrens. When he had his boots on, MrG with a very concerned look on his face, “Papa, we have to get the kitties.”

2012 resolutions

5 January, 2012

I am proud of BitterKat and her running, and how she’s building upon last year’s victories for more running fun in 2012.I’m proud of SnarkyKat and her new Master’s degree. I’m proud of Laurgs and setting up an studio for The Arts.

Always afraid to say them out loud…but…here’s goes.

Goals for the Year 2012

  • Write novel, “The Draft”. There will be no orcs in this, though it will be about a high-school, so probably just as much profanity as an orc based story. I will write first draft, and revise it, then send it off to fools that volunteer…I mean friends that don’t know any better, to see what they have to say.
  • Write “A Short History of Agriculture before Columbus”, a non-fiction. Because, I like biting off more than I can chew. I’ve thought about what needs to be done just to do the research, I figure I need to read about 50 books, a couple hundred articles/chapters, dozens of interviews, scores of videos, a couple of field trips… This project is impossible, and will be horribly done. But, in the spirit NaNoWriMo…Go. Write. WIN!
  • Read 28 books, which would be two more than 2011.
  • Blog three times a week for my ultra-cool readers.
  • Watch a game of every NBA team.
  • Enroll in school.

Goals for January – because sometimes, goals need to be bite sized

  • write 300 words per day

Goals for the week – or, there are always little tiny baby steps to take

  • Less than 70 minutes of TV/Facebook/web-surfing a day. Srsly, how pathetic is that?
  • Go to bed, on average, before 11:30pm
  • pushups – five days, for a total of 14
  • guitar – five days, for a total of 40 minutes

Wow, those goals for the week are pretty embarrassing, huh? Well, step aside pride, and off to something slightly better, yes?