Archive for March, 2012


31 March, 2012

MyBetterHalf woke up MrGrunty & MsSqueaky to take them to a sale, looking for used clothes. As we expected, there aren’t too many used clothes for five  year olds, because they just tear up their clothes.

I got up, and watched some basketball while MrCuddles slept. Near half-time, he got up, crawled up on my lap, ate cereal, and we watched. I pointed out Chris Paul, and MrC told me, “I love Chrispaul. We will go see him there on Sunday.” When the rest of the family returned home, MrCuddles was very excited, and then saw MrG had a new truck, and started cheering. He cheered even louder when he found they brought him a truck too.  (MyBetterHalf had no intention on buying clothes, but when MsSqueaky found a monster-truck for her brother, …) MrG got a monster truck, MrC got a fire-truck, MsS got a pony.

MyBetterHalf wanted to balance the checkbook, so, me and the childrens took the bus to the Burke Museum. When I mentioned it, there was a  bit on confusion, they thought, “Childrens-Museum”… and didn’t really get the “natural history part”, MrG was starting to get a bit upset. So, we started chanting, “Let’s go to the Burke!”

I was expecting a smorgasborg of Native American foods, due to their advertising flyer. That wasn’t there. However, the cutest thing, MsS grabbed my finger, earnestly said, “Papa, come here,  I have something to show you” and we followed her over to an exhibit, which she hadn’t see before, because we hadn’t been there before, but stopped at a Day-of-the-Dead Shrine, and we all admired the beauty. Then we took turns, showing each other cool stuff.

We wandered around campus while going back to the bus. MrC used his cutest phrase, “Yeah, I’m are.”

At home, there was eventually a sun break, and I went out to dig. The childrens played on the deck, played in the dirt, and we all looked at worms.

After dinner, they painted Easter Eggs.


the Legend of Kemosabe

28 March, 2012

I ran cross country high school.  One of my best friends, “Kemosabe” was the team captain of the cross country team. I called him Kemosabe because he never got lost, no matter what part of 700 acre Point Defiance Park we were running in. I loved running in that park.

Now, unfortunately for him, he was always saddled with a poor coach. For cross country, we had a coach who had the theory “Fun’s only fun if fun’s fun for everyone.”  He would make us run together as a group, yes, the fast boys had to stick with the slow girls. Often, the coach would call out to Kemosabe, “Circle BACK!!!”.  For track, we had one of the state’s best sprint-relay coaches, and he didn’t care about anything over 400m. For college, he went to a small liberal arts college, and didn’t have a good coach there either. (I went to visit Kemosabe one Thanksgiving, and the coach, seeing me run laps on a the track, tried to recruit me! Srsly, if you were trying to recruit me after watching me run, your team sucks.)

I don’t know how good he would have been, had he actually had a running coach that could have helped him improve. But I’m sure it would have been a lot faster.

Now Kemosabe, is one of two people from high school who knew what they wanted to be, an urban planner for Kemosabe, and actually did it.

He came back to Seattle for graduate school, and one New Year’s Eve, said, “There’s a band playing, The Presidents-of-the-USA” you should go.” Whatever, I thought, I’d been in Seattle for longer than he, I knew what bands were gonna be good. So, I declined. Instead, I stayed at home, we invited some friends over, I almost lost my thumb trying to open a coconut with a rusty hatchet, and six months later, The Presidents were #1 in the nation.

A few weeks ago, MyBetterHalf took all of us to see Casper Baby Pants (Chris Ballew of Pres-USA fame).

He rocked.

He is an excellent craftsman, each song sounded different, each song was easy enough, and good enough to have kids singing, and interesting enough for boring adults like me. I’ve said before, the most difficult songs to write are for kids, or for Church,…and most people do a poor job of it, thinking that kids don’t know any better, and God will forgive sloppy/trite/lazy music.

It was a great show…and here’s my take. He made his money with the Presidents…this he does for fun – all his gigs are free, and CDs are $10, which I suspect are just to break even for production.

It was just Chris Ballew and his guitar, reminded me of Dwight Yoakam “” album.  A good guitarist can make each song sound different, without any special effects.

And he reminded all the audience, “anyone can write songs, here is one written by a four year old girl”.

So, here’s the part where I bring up how stupid Seattle is. Mr Ballew has set up a King County library tour, but has been working for a while on being able to set up a similar tour with Seattle Public Libraries. There was 1985’s Teen Dance Ordinance that made all age shows a rarity. Currently the Seattle City Council is trying to retroactive collect a dance tax.


recent quotes

28 March, 2012

The other morning, our neighbor’s German Sheppard had jumped into our yard…MrCuddles said to me, “We don’t want a dirt dog to scare Oliver!”

One night, MrGrunty was way too tired, and was refusing bed, and screaming he wasn’t tired and didn’t want to go to bed, and keeping the others awake. So I took him to Time-out, and went across the room to blog. He would turn to walk away, and with a stern face I would point back to the corner, where he went, crying. After a few minutes he agreed to be quiet and lay down on the couch. The next morning, he was telling the story of what happened to MsS, and then said, “I don’t like time-out. I’m not gonna be bad anymore.”

One morning, we heard MsSqueaky talking, “When we go to heaven we get to see our friends.”

The other night, I must mention, the three of them had their babies in strollers, and were taking their babies around the house:

  • living room = the beach
  • bedroom = the park

Then after a full “day” of fun, they put their babies in their beds, and the Mom, the Dad, and the Dad went to the living room to relax. We heard them fake crying, and then the Mom, the Dad, and the Dad went running to the bedroom to check on their babies. “Baby, what’s wrong?”  After a couple times of that, “Babies, you need to go to sleep!”  After a couple of times of that, MrG exlaimed, “If the baby cries again, I’m not going in there.”   MsS said, “Babies, quit your whining!”

What are they learning from us?

Phoenix at Cleveland

27 March, 2012

Sunday, 3/25/2012

Well, this was an example of what a center can do with a good point guard against a poor team. Gortot, had the first ten points of the game. Wow, Cleveland is bad.  I’ll be sad when Grant Hill and Steve Nash retire, they seem like alright guys.

Denver -vs- Utah

24 March, 2012

Hey sportsfans,

next year I will remember to start my question to watch every NBA team much earlier. Looks like I’ve missed my opportunities to watch Toronto and Washington. Unless, someone happened to record their game? Anyone?

March 23rd, Denver Nuggets visit Utah Jazz. Exciting first quarter, no one could keep the lead, lots of fast break points, Denver was up at end of the quarter. Then, Utah used lots of short pass into the paint for slam dunk, and built up a lead.

I wonder if George Karl hates Utah, for all the heartbreak Stockton-Malone-Sloan brought him when he was coaching the Seattle Super Sonics back in the mid 90s.

NBA prediction

21 March, 2012

I predict that Derrick Fisher will go further in the playoffs with the OKC Thunder this year than he did with the Lakers last year, and than the Lakers will go without him.

random thoughts

20 March, 2012

just random thoughts…

  • I don’t get why Denver Broncos would get rid of Tebow. Sure, he’s…unconventional…I’m told. But, this past season, the young quarterback won a playoff game, and was so exciting, even I watched him play a game. Instead, Denver is placing their hopes on an “old” guy who didn’t play last season due to neck injury, and whose own team didn’t want him back. Go figure.
  • Must be tough being a social conservative these days… Only a few years ago, they were saying that Clinton’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” would be the ruination of the military. Now, that one can be openly gay in the military, the so-cons are wanting to keep “DADT”. (yeah, this bullet point is a bit dated)

Walking Dead – Castle Up!

17 March, 2012

OK, so the characters probably won’t hear me… and there are questions and issues brought up from the earlier episodes this season that I won’t really go into:

  • Why it’s right for the boys to do the dangerous stuff, and the girls to mind the home front, when it’s the end-of-the-world.
  • How do you take a former enemy, and turn them into your ally?
  • Rick is a horrible leader, because he waffles and flip-flops…dude, who put you in charge? And why did Shane roll over and let you be in charge, he seemed to know what was going on and be the leader before you returned to the land of the living.

But, seriously, you’re surrounded by zombies… Castle up.

At this point, I would like to say good things the producers of the show have done

  • “Eighteen Miles Out” – the end climax… where flashing between two story lines, each flash getting shorter and the two story lines build in tension. Nice.
  • “Better Angles” – I liked the intro, one character giving a soliloquy, while we watch other character’s kicking ass.
  • I like how different groups have different slang for Walkers.

What they should do…

  • Issue clothes at beginning of the series… and don’t repair or replace them. If they get stained, torn, broke, …that seems pretty realistic for the end of the world.  Maybe have T-dog grow some hair on top of his head, how many disposable razors do they have? Yes…they would get grubby. Maybe they “find” new ones…but the new ones don’t fit.

Back to Castle Up.

Your enemy is slow, only a threat at close range, has no weapons or tools. A castle would be perfect. Big high walls, and then just drop stuff on their heads. I am disappointed that Hershel hasn’t done this to his farm. Right now, as they are preparing the farmhouse, instead of boarding up the windows, why not dig a ditch around the house, so that walkers can’t even get to the windows? I’m sure the farm has a tractor/backhoe, some big tool that can help move a lot of dirt quickly. Take up the floorboards from the scenic looking porch, and the walkers are three feet lower than the first floor. Sure, sure, the barb wire fence has kept you safe so far…but as a farmer, I’m sure you realize that fences fall down, get knocked down, have trees fall on them. As Rick could tell you, Walkers are walking the highway in large groups, and there were crowds of them in Atlanta.

What do do about other humans?  This is a great question, that I antagonize my brother with all the time, “would Jesus bring a machine gun into a bomb shelter?”  Because, your shelter has only so many supplies. Outsiders will try to break in and steal, which would be starving your people. How many do you let in? How do you discourage raiders? How many could Hershel’s farm hold… maybe a hundred. That labor force could help build more castle walls. And I’m thinking, the castle wall only needs to be about eight feet tall…unless so many of them pile up on top of each other…

How to fix the NCAA

16 March, 2012

Hey sportsfans…I’m sure this post will be unpopular.

NCAA athletes should be allowed to collect a salary, or accept gifts for their contribution to the school. For some reason, we are stuck in the mind set that athletes in college should compete for the love of the game, and if the school brings in millions of dollars in ticket, merchandise, and TV revenue, the students should be happy to get a tuition scholarship. What other field do we limit a student from capitalizing on their skill? If they have a music scholarship, they can still play weddings for cash on the weekends. If they are a drama student, and suddenly are in a blockbuster movie, they would be welcomed back to the school’s next performance of Hamlet. If they are in a business/ law/politics school, and they make connections and get a nice cushy summer job, we congratulate them.

So, worried about parity? Worried that if schools/boosters could pay the best students, then only the biggest programs would have competitive teams. Well, that’s already the case…the biggest programs do have the best teams. Now, what if a student athlete declares themselves eligible for a Conference draft? And just like NBA or NFL, the teams would take turns selecting the athletes that they would want to give scholarship to.  Boosters couldn’t bribe a kid to pick a school. All teams would have chance to get best recruits.

Or, we could be like the rest of the world, and divorce athletics from universities.


genesis – by Robert M. Hazen

13 March, 2012

This is the fourth book I’ve read since December regarding the start of life. It’s been fun. The theme for me, for Robert Hazen‘s Genesis: The Scientific Quest for Life’s Origins is “teach the controversy”. Hazen tells the stories of the scientists who vigorously defend their different theories on how life started. “We tend to favor the stories told by our friends or our mentors, while discounting those of our rivals,” he writes. I found too, with this short journey, that I seem to have a preference to that which I read first. Which I suspect is only natural, and why we are encouraged to read multiple sources. (Lucky for me, huh, that Hazen & Deamer are friends!)

Some of the countroversies:

  • Is life unique, or imperative in the universe?
  • Four options for start of genetics: Protenoid, RNA-world, Clay-world, Orgel’s proteins-DNA simultaneously
  • Did life begin with metabolism, replication, or a combination of the two?
  • Where did it happen? Miller/Urey primordial soup? Gold’s deep earth proposal? Deep sea vents ala Corliss?  (note: the Miller and Corliss groups seem to not like each other.)

A good read, about a fascinating problem, being worked on by humans. I do find it humorous, that the 45 minutes spent discussing origin of life in first year biology, easily could have been stretched to reading four, or many more, books for laymen.