Archive for July, 2013


30 July, 2013

MrGrunty was at second, stopped a line drive and tagged the base to get the runner out. (Funny, he hates practicing grounder a with me, but didn’t complain when coach wanted to.) Later, MrG hit a line drive to first, and got out. He cried back in the dugout. MyBetterHalf went to consol him. I thought it was too soon.

MrCuddles is taking after his sister and is practicing hanging from monkey bars.

After the game, kids were practicing hitting. I jumped in to be catcher. MsSqueaky wanted to practice hitting. But when her turn, she was too afraid of the pitch. When we got the batting-tee she was too embarrassed to swing. I pulled her away so she and I could practice without anyone watching.


Garden 2013

29 July, 2013

I’m even lazier than usual this summer. Which is too bad, because there has been lots of sun, and not too hot. I decided to simplify, I’m letting two of my garden patches go back to grass. I’ve only got some zucchini growing in the big garden plot. My raspberry plants seem to be doing alright, and their bed still looks good since I pluck weeds whenever I water.

I’m lazy.

The Sum Of All Fears

28 July, 2013

Whew…finally finished Tom Clancey’s the Sum Of All Fears.

I’ve been been comparing Clancey with George RR Martin, and I think Martin is a better writer. They both basically write the same story of kingdoms, politics, plans, disasters…. For me, Martin is an easier read, it might be his TV training, he keeps the chapters tight, focused on one person, and ends it with you wanting more about that character. Clancey has few main characters, but will pop in and out of minor characters viewpoint to give the details of the falling dominoes for his story. So for me it’s harder to keep track of who is doing what…for instance, do I really need to pay attention to that lumber-jack, or the rich Japanese businessman, will they have a role later, or is it the tree that is important?

Also, Martin’s characters are more believable. They have more personality. clancey’s characters are flat, the good guys are good, the bad guys are bad, the weak are weak, and the strong are strong. And everyone stays within their type cast character.

That said, Clancey scares the shit out of me. Every thing that happened, was realistic. In the book, by chance of good guys making the right decision, disaster was averted.

It frightens me to think that corruption operates at high levels in liberal democracies. I’m sure it’s there.

It frightens me to think of how easy it is for a terrorist to strike America. Just think of OKC Federal Building, 9/11, or recent Boston Bombing.

“27,000 nuclear weapons. One is missing.” Yup, great tag line. But think about it, are we safer today than we were eighteen years ago when Clancey wrote this? Doubt it. I have grave concerns about the competence of nuclear-armed Pakistan (“oh, Bin Laden was here? Our bad.”) I am afraid of the motivations of the North Korean dictator. Iran is bothersome and worrying, but I trust the rational self interest of their leaders, most of the time…but, if they and Israel don’t trust each other…and a few thing go wrong, if there are mistakes made, if there are communications missed, if fear and mistrust are the guiding principles of a tense moment. How would quickly could that escalate?

I’ve heard Clancey is an expert of background technical informant, and does his homework on the capabilities of weapon systems. Some folks don’t like this part of Clancey, the dwelling on mechanical details, I just skim it.

Remember recently when the The American Embassy in Libya was attacked? I have friends who proclaimed, “that is an act of war!” I responded to them with, “remember when the USA destroyed the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade? (1999) what did the Chinese do?” I’m proud of my brother, when I told him of these exchanges, he replied with, “boy, it sure is fun to move those plastic pieces around the map, isn’t it?” I’m glad that sometimes in international incidents that cooler heads can prevail. That sometimes tragic mistakes happen, and we don’t let it rush us into further catastrophe.

But it could. And that’s what was frightening about Clancey. Each small individually believable scenario added together built up into a perfect storm of the end of the world.


27 July, 2013

…shall we start with last night. I was chatting over the fence with our neighbors when MrCuddles announced, “there’s wand in the tree.” And yes, in the neighbor’s bamboo (sigh, I didn’t point out to MrC that bamboo is a grass), was one of MsSqueaky’s princess wands. The neighbors retrieved it, I explained to MrCuddles not to throw things over the fence,… And soon my childrens were playing catch with the neighbors, over the fence, with stuffed animals.

First, Sophie-kitty woke me at four. Either to request fresh food, or to make sure I still loved her. You see, Friday night, whilst I was writing here, she wanted to nibble my knees, so I shoved her off the bed and yelled at her. Yes, I still love you, have some fresh food.

About an hour later, MsSqueaky joined us. (Unusual.)
An hour after that MrCuddles joined us. (Typical.)
FYI…MrGrunty almost always stays in his bed.

For some reason, I actually did a fair bit of yard work before noon. Then we went to the library. Pet-peeve of mine, that my childrens go to library and play on the computer. There are books, childrens! Pick out some books! (Yes, I am old. Yes, I will be very sad when books go away.)

MrCuddles stayed home with me, whilst the others went to soccer practice. He helped me put away laundry.

After dinner, we went to park. MrGrunty made me feel like old man, I was goalie and he was shooting. I’m just to slow to stop him. And I twisted my ankle. And I got turf burn. It was lots of fun! (Ya know, I like practicing baseball and soccer skills much more than playing or watching a game.)

Then, I played “monster and super-hero” with MsSqueaky and MrCuddles. Mostly me chasing them, growling, …getting caught by them, taken to jail, getting turned into a super-hero, taking off my shirt to use for a cape, flying around to save the day. After that, a quick bit baseball, me -vs- MyBetterHalf and MrG.

MsS was asleep minutes after getting in bed.
MrCuddles has been very quite.
I suspect MrG is asleep, too, but he was looking at his library book when we turned off the lights.

Acts 15

26 July, 2013

Wednesdays in July, our Pastor is having Bible studies over the text she’ll be covering the following Sunday. I’ve been to a few.

Here’s the scene, the Church is young, still trying to figure out how Jewish one needs to be to follow Christ. Some say, you need to follow all the Laws of Moses, for example circumcision. Which implies that some of the new converts were fairly serious about making a commitment. The Apostles and the Elders, you know, folks that might be on the same page, or since had been hanging out with Jesus for a couple years might no the game plan, they didn’t have a unified answer. So, they discussed and argued. Then they, as humans, made a decision.

They decided that it was enough to

  • Not eat meat offered to idiols
  • No blood in food
  • Don’t eat strangled animals
  • Abstain from sexual immorality

That’s it.
What’s interesting to me, is today, we never even think about the first three.

I’m sure some of this comes back to Jesus telling the Apostles “whatever you bind (or loosen) on earth will also be done in Heaven” Matt 16:19 and 18:18

First baseball game

25 July, 2013

Last night was MrGrunty’s first baseball game. And, as luck would have it he was traded before the first pitch. (The other team only had four players show up, so MrG and a few of his team played for the other team.) It’s coach pitch, so coach does easy pitch to another coach as catcher. Each inning each kid had an chance at bat, and I heard if they took a lot of swings they would bring out the batting T. Never saw it used last night. The kids are way better at hitting than at fielding, or throwing the ball to each other. MrG seemed to be about average for skill. And better than average at paying attention.

MsSqueaky and MrCuddles were playing on the playground. I played with them a bit too. We got on large “dome climber” ( I can stand up inside it.) The childrens call it a “the spider web”. And before you know it’ I was climbing on it, being the “teacher spider” telling them the importance of building a strong web, asking what we spiders like to eat, (“flies”), because they are…”yummy!”…and pretending to hand out flies for the young spiders to chomp on. There were two other kids with us. A mom asked if I were a teacher or an actor. I said I just like to play with my kids. She asked if I were a stay at home dad. Nope.

Then, off to a fats-food dinner and then sleep in the tent.

The Guinea Pig

24 July, 2013

The Guinea Pig: Healing, Food, and Riual in the Andes
by Edmundo Morales

A fun read, and makes me hungry to try cuy. The cuy is high protein, low fat, quick and easy to raise. But, since it is food of poor rural folk, has been ignored or even disparaged.

I wonder when it becomes popular like quinoa if you’ll be able to purchase in bulk at Costco.

Tent again

23 July, 2013

Yup, Tuesday night, and I’m in the tent with MsSqueaky and MrGrunty. (MrCuddles has to stay inside because he wouldn’t listen to me and get ready for bed.)

When I got home tonight, MrCuddles met me at the door, hopping and calling me “poppy” then ran off excitedly to tell his siblings I was home.

We went to playground, MrGrunty wanted to practice bike riding. MrCuddles was following his brother on his bike. Me and MsSqueaky practiced monkey-bars.


22 July, 2013

After dinner, MrGrunty told me he can ride a bike. Just yesterday I helped him practice ride down the slight incline of our front yard. I didn’t believe him. And when I asked, he showed me, he could ride in circles on the deck…a bit wobbly. I decided at ten minutes before bedtime he needed more practice, and we went to playground and he practiced on the basketball courts.

While there MsSqueaky and I played a bit of baseball with a couple of kids we met. MrG surprised me, he didn’t want to play baseball, he just kept riding.

Eventually we went up and practiced shooting soccer goals.


21 July, 2013

I woke before the childrens… And so I was lucky enough to watch them wake and smile at me in the tent.

We went to our regular church today, MsSqueaky was calling it “our real church” and wanting to go. Me, I wanna visit a few different churches this summer.

After, we went to visit Blub and Pablo for lunch and hanging out.