Archive for February, 2012

good news in the world

29 February, 2012

Poverty has fallen in all regions of the world

Child mortality rates have dropped

Yes, we have a long way left to go. But every now and then we should look at where we have come from.

(These bits from The Economist were a welcome change after listening to NPR on the radio during my drive to the daycare.)


go Mitt, go

28 February, 2012

So, tonight Mitt Romney won the Michigan (and Arizona) primary. That makes me happy. This whole Santorum thing, a bit too socially conservative, for me…meaning, he’s says he’s all for freedom, as long as it applies to heterosexual Christian males. Now a Republican who was governor of Massachusetts, one of the most liberal states in the union, I like the sounds of that.

Though, at this point, by default I’m gonna vote for Obama. His accomplishments:

  • Killed Bin Laden
  • you can be gay and serve openly in the military
  • helped over throw Ghadafi, without spilling American soldier’s blood

well…that doesn’t look like much of a list… so President Obama, and I do thank you for reading this blog, sir, be forewarned, my vote for you is not to be taken for granted.



food & song

28 February, 2012

Last night, MrCuddles brought me the jar of seaweed. “Papa, can I have one? I get it by myself.” MrGrunty wanted a piece too. MrCuddles ate his quickly. MrG played with his.

This morning, MsSqueaky asked if I would make chocolate milk. When I said yes, MrCuddles started jumping up and down, “Yay! Chocolate milk!” and then started singing, “I like chocolate, I like chocolate. It tastes yummy, it tastes yummy.”

Mr Cuddles goes to the doctor

27 February, 2012

Today, MrCuddles went to the doctor, for his three year check up after we dropped his sister & brother off at school. He was excited to have solo time with papa, I think. He was very talkative this morning, except when the nurse or doctor was in the room.

What I wanted to the doctor to say is, “Due to your genetics & parenting, your child is perfect. The only thing I can suggest is eat more ice cream.” Instead I got, “he’s healthy, maybe try an earlier bedtime.”

After, we went to get a hot chocolate & muffin. We had a fun morning.

Bible Class drama

26 February, 2012

Two of the past three weeks I’ve been teaching the “Four friends take their paralyzed friend to Jesus, but have to cut a hole in the roof” to the early elementary class. This morning, we performed the play for the pre-school class. My students knew the story, chose which parts they wanted, (oh, but first, we HAD to get costumes), they assigned me my part (Narrator), and when I messed up during the performance, they went along with it, solved the issue in character, and when the performance was over, then they scolded me. (I was supposed to move a prop, when I didn’t, the actress instead moved.)  All during the rehearsal I kept drilling into them, “Louder and slower” and they were pretty good at that during performance.

AND…this morning, while I was herding the children into worship, I thought, “why does the worship team sound better today?”. Then I noticed, one of my former Bible-class students, W was playing his violin with the worship team. Metaphore  time…it was like someone had added a pinch of salt to the stew. When I told him I was glad he played, W, having the Statler & Waldorf as role models, just grunted at me. I really like W, he makes me smile. One of these days after church, gonna have to have him show his chickens to my childrens.

Mr Cuddles is three

25 February, 2012

This morning, a bit before six, MrCuddles came to our room, and crawled up in the bed. I gave him three kisses and he giggled, and I was worried he wanted to play, but then he snuggled up, and we went back to sleep for a two hours when MsSqueaky announced, “It’s snowing!”   Yup, big flakes covering the ground with white. Oh, boy. That got MrCuddles up, and he ran to the “limb-ing Loom” to see. From my warm bed I heard MrGrunty say, “Hey, why is it snowing? It’s not winter anymore. Oh, the sky is cold! Snow is a kind of water.”

Then the childrens danced and sang, “it’s snowing, it’s snowing” and after that, MrGrunty & MsSqueaky sang “Happy Birthday to You” to Nicholas. (The parents were slowly getting up, MrG and MsS have been counting down until MrCuddles birthday.)

We had a party today for MrCuddles, and a bunch of his friends came over. I had a plan… and it actually worked! The childrens each made their own pizza, (double-plus-mega-Thanxies to Meighs for assisting) we had four pizza makers at a time. I also served curry for the adults.

I think the childrens and their friends had fun.

After our friends left, MyBetterHalf played a game with MrG & MsS. MrCuddles and I explored the tools in a small tool kit.

Right now, MrCuddles is painting, he made brown paint from the blue & red and is painting one of his cars, with I think the fifth coat of paint. After that, he took a napkin to clean the mess on the table, and then he painted the table, and then wiped the paint around, then painted again.

The Origin of Chirality in the Molecules of Life

24 February, 2012

The Origin of Chirality in the Molecules of Life, by Albert Guijarro & Miguel Yus (2009)

I was not in the intended audience for this book. One would need a chemistry degree, preferably advanced.

So, once upon a time, Louis Pasture noticed that some crystals make mirror images of each other…much like left and right gloves. Nature will produce left & right handed versions in chemical processes about equally, but here’s the strange part, for the chemicals of life, only “left handed” amino acids and “right handed” sugars. Why?

The authors search for answers, delving into chemistry, crystallography, cosmology, particle physics, looking for clues in clays, on meteors, in particle accellerators.

Quotes: “We are, after all, simply stardust.” (pg 56)

No NBA for Seattle, please

24 February, 2012

Hey Sports-fans

There are rumors, and political leanings, and businesspeople pulling strings…all in an attempt to bring an NBA team back to Seattle. No thanks. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the NBA, but it feels especially freeing to be able to watch without a home team that I’m supposed to root for. I don’t want owners promising, “We will be competitive in five years we can be in the Finals… [seven years pass]…uh…we need a new arena.”  I know that if a team was here, well, I hear about it more than the other teams, that I would start to pay attention, I would start to care, and eventually have my heart broken. Also, it would be a traffic consideration ~40 days a year, eventually, no matter how good the offer is now, they are going to want arena upgrades “to be competitive”.  What ever, fans buy tickets because of winning teams, not for cushy seats.

So please, David Stern, rumor has you screwed over Seattle when you let the Sonics move away. Please don’t let us have another team, I can’t handle the pressure. You know, what you should do…take a team south… like Mexico City, broaden & build your fan base.

Side note to OKC Thunder. No hard feelings to y’all. I especially like how you are being very successful in a small market, with a low payroll.


Presidents’ Day weekend

22 February, 2012

Saturday – I  went to a work function in the morning, trying to recruit students to come to Seattle for school, even though we were having one of the worst rain storms in past few years. One of the visitors said, “But I always thought it was like this”. No, normally it drizzles, and it’s warmer, and the winds are less.

Saturday evening, I went refrigerator shopping. Lucky for me, we don’t have a big space, so I had to pick a small one, so it limited my options, and the pricing, so I felt much better aboot the experience.

Sunday, I did not teach. I felt a bit bad aboot that, but, as Leena said, “Sometimes you need time off.” So, she had all the kids, three years old through third grade in one class, and they did finger paints. MrGrunty stared at his picture for a while, and didn’t want to get his fingers dirty, after a bit, Leena found a brush for him to use. MrCuddles had lots of fun, and surprisingly little paint got on his shirt, even though he refused to wear a smock, I had to be careful when he ran to hug me. I was very pleased that when I took the childrens to their Bible class, they stayed easily, and without drama or trauma.  And while I was in worship, the sermon covered one of my favorite parts of the Bible from when I was a kid, Ephesians 6:10-17, putting on the whole armor of God. However, PastorSandy used The Message version, and there was little talk of actual armor and swords.

After Church, we visited the TikiLodge for lunch. Andre and MrCuddles were often fighting over toys.

After that, I took the childrens back to Richmond beach, and we went up north a bit, and hid behind a sand dune to get out of the chill of the wind. Yes, we threw rocks into the Sound. Yes, MrCuddles took off his boots & socks. MsSqueaky cleaned the sand out of a big clam shell, and was climbing all over driftwood. She wanted to climb in and on a driftwood castle, I told her I too wanted to, but it probably wasn’t stable, and wouldn’t be safe, so we should climb in there. No trains. On the way back, MsSqueaky fell while running and scrapped her hands and knees.

Monday morning, I went to drop in play time. MrG didn’t want to be in the nursery, so we got Leena to open up the other room. And soon, all the kids that could walk, were in there playing with me…we played, build the castle, Giant chasing kids, kids are hiding…. except for MrCuddles. He stayed in the nursery, and seemed to be perfectly content playing all by himself, and not needing to share his toys. Leena also tells me he was making faces of himself in the mirror, but quit before she could get a photo. I am also told by JenBud, that he is very cuddly. She picked him up, and he just snuggled right into her. “That’s why he’s MrCuddles,” I said.

After, we stopped by a construction dig project. Right across the street from a park, incidentally next to where Moonbeam and I lived years ago. There were at least four excavators, at least two bulldozers, and every few minutes a big truck and trailor were filled and drove off.

After lunch, we went their future school, and they brought their babies and strollers and raced under the covered areas of the playground. Then raced across the muddy soccer field.This time MsS did a tumble over her stroller.

(Later, when taking off her pants, the bandages on MsS knees were coming off. She started to freak out. I was going to help, but she refuses to let me touch bandages. I told her, “You are a good kid doctor, you need to take those icky bandages off, and put new ones on.”  And she did, and was very proud about it.)

This morning, MrCuddles was playing xylophone, while singing “Twinkle Twinkle Traffic Light”. He  was playing every quarter note, and was varying the pitch played.  🙂

And …Happy Ash Wednesday, here’s  a story for you ….

Reading night

13 February, 2012

A good friend from the long-long ago has a dream/mission/calling…to build a place for the exploration of the arts with and for her friends. Saturday night was the first official event, the rules…bring something to read for other people.  The second rule, if it’s taking too long, the audience can encourage the reader to “wrap it up”.  I was a bit nervous to go, because, according to TheFacebook, I would only know the host, and thus be in a room of strangers. Well, somehow, I got brave and went on down to SoDo district to find the warehouse. When I walked up to the door, not sure if I was at the right place because it sounded like a woman was screaming/singing with no sense of melody and there was a drum keeping a beat. Oh well, I suspected I would have to face beat-poets…but, lucky for me, it was only a theremin.

By the way, when you are investigating the basement of a dark warehouse, and you can’t find the lights, and then someone suddenly starts the theremin with a low moaning…that is scary.

Here is a list of what was read during the enjoyable evening.

  1. “Andy Warhol’s Colors”
  2. John Hodman “The Unspeakable Ones…”
  3. Mildred Clingerman “The Stair Trick”
  4. H. Murakami “Second Bakery Attack” pt 1
  5. J. Kerouac “The Darhma Bums” and J.Steinbeck “Sweet Thursday”
  6. Thom Jones “The Pugalist at Rest”
  7. J. Hodman “Former Professional Literary Agent” pt 1
  8. “Andy Warhol’s Colors” –
  9. “Second Bakery Attack” pt 2
  10. TS Eliot “East Coker”
  11. Dan Savage “The Stanger”
  12. Hemmingway “Farwell to arms” and Bukowski “Birth…underground newspaper”
  13. Chuang Tzu “The Essential”
  14. J.Hodman “Names of Unspeakable Ones” (#1-40) and “Former…Literary Agent” pt 2
  15. “Second Bakery Attack” part 3
  16. McSweeney “I’m Comic Sans”
  17. “Best American Fake Headlines”
  18. Marjorie Weinman Sharmat “Walter the Wolf”
  19. Dan Savage “The Stranger”
  20. Amy Chua “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” and George RR Martin “Game of Thrones”
  21. Patrick Rothfuss “The Name of the Wind”