last week in review

23 April, 2017

Friday, April 14th:

MrCuddles declared this “the best day ever. I had two parties, one in class, one in reading group. I had an Easter Egg hunt (afterschool). Three recesses. I watched a movie (“Into the Woods”). And I went home. Eight things!!!”

MsSqueaky & MrGrunty walked home after school. By themselves without any adult supervision. Are you proud of the parents for being so brave. When asked if he wanted to, MrG’s face just lit up like Christmas.

Saturday, April 15th:

MrG had a football game, so we rudely forced MrC and MsS to go. While there, during the practice, they entertained themselves by playing on a huge empty soccer field, jumping in the long jump pit, climbing over a steeple-chase-hurdle, going to top of the stands and kicking their shoes down.

Easter Sunday:

Church. And then the childrens were very helpful in getting the house prepared for company to come over. I thought the dinner went well. I did some prep the night before. I tried to go with a Mediterranean theme… yeah, I know, that’s a big area… Moroccan spices on the beef, Greek spices on the chicken, hummus, tatziki,  fruits, vegetables, … it was a relaxing dinner and evening with our friend Meighs.

Monday, April 17th

We did some chores, some reading, some gardening… and then grabbed a couple friends and headed south. Played & watched a tree get cut down at Seward Park. Had baklava. Went to GasWorks. Then Fremont & The Troll. Told them about Stalin, and asked “would it be fair if Messi & McDonald’s worker got the same pay?”  No!!!!  “But if McDonalds worker messes up, somebody could get sick. If Messi messes up, then it’s just a game.”  But anybody can cook a burger, and nobody can play like Messi.  Had gelato. Home to watch “MaryPoppins”  (or maybe “Willy Wonka”).

Tuesday, April 18th

Chores, reading, …then to Volunteer Park. First stop, the botanical conservatory. I liked it. The childrens got bored pretty quick. So I told MrC “find ten different flowers”, and MsS, “find ten different leaf shapes”. And MrG was looking at cactus, and I told him to look for Fibanacci numbers on the rows of spines. That kept them busy for a few minutes. Climbed the water tower, then got bored. I told them to look around. Then I sneaked down, they didn’t notice for a few minutes, but I’m proud they used teamwork, didn’t freak out, MsS & MrC took one flight of stairs, MrG the other, they kept calling out to each other checking on each other. MrG was not amused and scolded me. Then we wandered down to Broadway for lunch, a quick drop by an appartment building, “Look, mommy & papa used to live there.” (They didn’t care.)  Treats.  Home for watching “Willy Wonka”.

Wed – they went to Mariners game with MyBetterHalf, I had to work.

Thursday – they went downtown wtih MyBetterHalf.

Thursday night: MyBetterHalf went off to bookclub, me and the childrens had a fight over doing chores. After a bit, MrC told me, “chores are kinda fun”. After it was over, MsS told me, “my teacher tells me when you get upset to take a moment to breath deep.” Then we played a map game. Then they wanted to put on a show for me, they wanted to sing “Sweet Home Alabama” but kept laughing to much to get past the second word. I pulled up the video, and then showed them a bunch of vids of songs I like.  They picked some too, MsS “Fight Song”, MrG “24k Magic”, and MrCuddles, Journey’s “Separate Ways”

Friday, they went for a hike at Snoqualmie Falls.

Saturday – we forced them, they protested the whole time getting ready, but eventually we got to the March For Science. They seemed alright with it. We were chilled by rain, but powered by donuts. My favorite sign: “All the good signs [Ar].”

 

 

 

recently

13 April, 2017

the evening of Wednesday, April 5th

  • MrCuddles demonstrated his kung-fu and broke a board with a kick for me
  • MrGrunty and I played catch while talking about if Mr Westbrook would get the tripple-double record for the season  (he did!!!)
  • MsSqueaky and I went shopping for her very own pocket knife. The BoyScouts issue all third graders a knife, GirlScouts…knives aren’t priority. Took her to sporting goods store. The big and scary looking / military style / hunting style she didn’t want. She ended up with a small SwissArmy knife. The guy at the store was very kind, “take your time, not every knife is for every person, get one that is right for you.”

the evening of Thursday, April 6th… me and the childrens spent a bit of time drawing together at the dinner table.

the morning of Tuesday, April 11th

  •  MsSqueaky first words in the morning “Papa are you feeling better? Is your headache gone?”  (Previous night I fell asleep way early with a bad headache.)
  • MrGrunty was first one awake, and was reading. He seems to have found a good book, and is doing more reading without us asking him to. Then when he saw me, his first words were “can I give Sophie a treat?”  Awww…he’s getting more familiar and liking our pets more.  Why I remember, when he was a toddler, and Sophie was AFRAID of kids (MsS would grab for her) Sophie-kitty and MrG surprised each other in the hallway, and had a little stand off, neither sure how to react. Sophie then got brave and advanced. MrG fell on his butt. Sophie sauntered past, sashaying her big fluffy tail.
  • MrCuddles was asking what college he would need to go to to be a “fire fighter, police officer and construction worker.”  I encouraged him to start with an EMT training.

Morning of Wednesday, April 12th, on ride to school MrG asked who was going to be in the family book club. We all said “yes” and he was happy that we would participate. I pointed out that we had already read a book as a family, “Ivan” and “HarryPotter” the fourth graders said.  “And ‘Goodnight Moon’, I added. They laughed.

<sadness warning>

Wednesday evening, fears from a ominous & vague post on TheFacebook confirmed, an ex-co-worker had committed suicide. We worked together in the kitchen for a few years, he was surly, and loyal to his friends, loved to shock people with his jokes, loved the SuperSonics and heavy metal. I hope and pray, that after “Guido” insulted St. Peter for an hour, then told St. Peter a bunch of offensive jokes for an hour, that Guido was allowed into heaven, so he could finally play with his daughter who was born asleep less than a year ago. I still don’t know what to say. We weren’t close, even back when we worked together. I’m more sad than I would have thought. Sometimes demons win and humans lose. Sometimes it’s not fair. And it’s scary, I have had a pretty good life, how would I react to depression, death of a child, war, debilitating disease, death of a loved one… I dunno.  Sometimes people do stupid things. Rest in peace, Guido.

 

song of the now

11 April, 2017

Candidates for song of the now:

  • Bishop Briggs “River”
  • Stevie Wonder & Arianna Grande “Faith”
  • Chainsmokers & Daya “Don’t Let Me Down”
  • Alessia Cara “Scars To Your Beautiful”
  • Beyonce “Formation”
  • Beyonce & the Dixie Chicks “Daddy Lessons”

Wow, that’s a nice little bunch of songs.

The current song of the now, “Freedom” by the one, the only, Beyoncé. 

 

PS Fuck the Grammys. But we knew they were a bunch of idiots when Jethro Tull beat Metallica’s best “…and Justice for All” (YES I’m STILL bitter about this!!!) and when the Grammys suddenly remembered this year “oh no, we never gave David Bowie an award while he was alive, better give him one now”.

today

9 April, 2017

MyBetterHalf had a race.

MsS had a soccer game.

I forced the children to do chores with much weeping and gnashing of teeth.

MrG had a soccer game. MsS went to girl scouts, and MrC went to visit his BFF.

That doesn’t seem like much, but we are tired.

I did find time to play basketball with MrC and MrG.

MsS is working on a super-powers for our family collection of cards/game. I will have water power. MrC will have fire power. (Is MsS saying we fight!?!) MsS has heal powers. MrG has grass powers…uh…I hope the bad guys have hay fever. MyBetterHalf has sun powers.

Russell Westbrook MVP

8 April, 2017

Hey Sports Fans,

all I gotta say is Mr. Russell “Triple Double” Westbrook is this year’s NBA Most Valuable Player.

 

three day weekend

5 April, 2017

MyBetterHalf and MsSqueaky went off camping with the GirlScouts. They had a great time, exploring the beach, playing, ukulele around the campfire, holding a chicken and feeding a llama.

Saturday, MrCuddles and his BFF went to a workshop. (I gotta brag, I think I’m doing it right, because I don’t do any of the hammering. Unlike some of the parents there. OK, some of the parents there had a toddler.) We also bought him his very own 27.5″ basketball, which he was very excited to practice with out on the deck.

Saturday MrGrunty had his first flag football game, and Sunday he had a soccer game.

Monday, no school…trip to the dentist. After, we planted seeds in the garden boxes, each child has two vegetables and one flower. (Lesson learned, only garden with one kid at a time, because interruptions.)  Then we went to Carkeek Park to hike and play with friends. MrG was playing “flyers” …one kid throws football to a pack, if you catch it, you get to throw.  MsS  & MrC were very cute, they were playing they were baby cubs, there was a tiny island they used for their canoe, sticks they used for salmon, clearings they used for their home.

TarHeels v Gonzaga…well, that was some poor shooting. Spokane is sad/angry.

Robin Hood

29 March, 2017

when I was a child, one of my favorite movies was Disney’s 1973 cartoon Robin Hood.

Later, when I went to England with the youth symphony, we visited Nottingham, and saw “the tree that Robin Hood hid in from the Sherriff…OK, probably not really, because we think this tree is only about 600 years old.”  Right then, a little kid went running across the field, singing loudly, “Robin Hood and Little John, running through the forest…”

MsSqueaky was just in a play, an after school club production…it was Robin Hood. It included the awesome “Oo De Lally” song.

It was great and so much fun to watch her.

 

Weapons of Math Destruction

28 March, 2017

Weapons of Math Destruction: How big data increases inequality and threatens democracy

by Cathy O’Neil, Ph.D   (in math)

Good book, cheesy title.

 

One of the things I like to remind people, professional sports uses data to make choices in hiring. And they fail often. They have data on how fast, how far, how strong, we have video of the players performing the very job that we want them to do. And still, we get Darko getting picked above Wade or Bosh. We get  Richard Sherman being picked in the fifth round, Tom Brady getting picked in the sixth round.  O’Neil doesn’t mention this, but does talk about how companies will use proxy data to make predictions, such as “Do you have good credit?” for employee applications, or “Are you a good student?” for insurance rates.

She talks about feedback loops, such as sending more cops to “high crime areas”, where, they find more criminal activity, and thus need to send more cops. And often the crimes are minor, such as public drunkenness, or jaywalking. She asks, what if we had a “zero-tolerance strategy in finance. They would arrest people for even the slightest infraction, whether it was chiseling investors on 401ks, providing misleading guidance, or committing petty frauds. Perhaps SWAT teams would descend on Greenwich, Connecticut. They would go undercover in the taverns around Chicago’s Mercantile Exchange.”  (I recently heard, “in poor neighborhoods kids are getting arrested for marijuana and underage drinking, things that happen every Friday night in a frat.”)

I learned of the “Flutie effect”. Exciting football game, Flutie makes a great pass to win, more attention to the school, more applicants, leads to lower acceptance rate, which leads to more prestige, which raises ratings of the school as “better”.

 

today

25 March, 2017

We attempted to quickly do chores, so that MyBetterHalf could take the childrens to go see Boss Baby. She said it was cute. They liked it. (MrCuddles kept saying “poop duty” today.)

Got home, me & MrG did a bit of basketball on the deck. Then he and MyBetterHalf traveled south to go see the Portland Trailblazers.

Me, MrCuddles & MsSqueaky planted strawberries. He was more energetic about it than me.

Then we went roller skating. I had to bribe MrC with “we can get ice cream if you do four laps.” I told him later that sometimes you got to learn stuff before it gets to be fun.

Then Thai food for dinner, and then icecream.

Right now, MrC and MsS are sleeping in a tent-fort they made in the living room.

kitties

24 March, 2017

Oliver-kitty is having a thyroid issue, and so needs medicine twice a day.

Sophie-kitty has gotten very sensitive on the haunches, and does not like to be brushed there.