Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Write a Sentence Using the Word . . .

As the Hobbled Wife and I were saying, just as no child should be left behind, then no child should be kept behind either- - so we take matters into our own hands. The kids visit a private tutor once a week. They both love Karen and she really challenges the Dude, and helps M feel good about "school work".

So today the Dude was working on sentences with Karen. He had to write sentences using certain words.

Sank - Karen sank in quick sand. [Hmm - thought he liked Karen.]

Born - Isick was born on 3/13/06. [Forgive the spelling Isaac.]

Neck - My Mom is a pain in the neck. [What can I say?]

Hooray for Old(er) Books

Lately I’ve amazed myself by finishing several books. My usual habit is to make frequent trips to the library, check out lots of books, start reading lots of books, but never finish any.

When I read fiction, I find myself preferring older books. I’m presently on an older mystery jag. I’ve read several books by the Lockridges. From there I moved on to Nero Wolfe mysteries. I recently finished The Mother Hunt and Might as Well be Dead, by Rex Stout .

Yesterday I found some support for ignoring newer fiction:

In addition, the past is a much bigger place than the present, so it follows that most worthwhile books were published not last week but some time in the previous three millennia. Every minute devoted to reading the new and middling is a minute spent languishing away from the old and dependably superior.

Now I have a new blog that I’m addicted to, Anecdotal Evidence.

Oh - and I'm presently reading Fail Safe from 1962.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Monday - New Spelling Words

It's all about perspective. Many dread Mondays, but not the 6 year old Dude. While getting ready for school, I asked him if anything "big" was going to happen today?

"Yeah, " he replied, "We get new spelling words!"

He can't wait for the test Friday.

First grade rules! Homework and all.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Long Live the Yellow Pad

Here's an interesting story about the good old yellow legal pad. Some of you lawyers out there might enjoy this - perhaps even you non-lawyers.

Once used only by law students and lawyers, the yellow legal pad is now employed to a degree unrivaled in stationery. "End career as a fighter," President Richard Nixon wrote on a legal pad in August 1974. Five days later, on the top of another one, he scratched, "Resignation Speech." Jeff Tweedy, front man for the rock band Wilco, writes his songs on a legal pad. Jim Harrison, the laureate of the untamed heart, wrote Legends of the Fall on legal pads; Elmore Leonard writes his crime novels on them. Nonfiction criminals, it appears, are fond of them, too. How did they get so popular? And how so yellow?

Via Kottke.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Made for Dunkin'

Too late – the donut blog. What I wouldn’t have given to find this before I kicked the habit.

Been a busy few days - sick kids, sick parents, lots of work.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Here's a recent photo of my nephew Isaac looking rather stunned - but in a very cute sort of way. I suspect this photo may have been taken shortly after his mother briefed him on the family history and what a cast of characters we all are.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Cough - Hack - Too Old for Happy Hour

Acck - - Oh, the joys of a post-work happy hour in Dakota County - where you can still smoke and eat/drink in peace. I've gotten used to the smoke-free environments offered in so many Twin Cities restaurants and bars, I'm surprised when the location of our happy-hour leaves me smelling like I smoked a pack myself.

So now I'm smelly, my throat is scratchy, my nostrils are almost swollen shut (my typical reaction to tobacco smoke - particularly cigarette smoke) and my stomach is unsettled by my "dinner" of popcorn, nachos, and a few beers.

Acck - I'm certainly Hobbled tonight.

They're Back!! - the 80s

[Photo credit: Sartorialist]

This is all happening way too fast. I'm almost embarassed to admit that I've become quite fond of the 1970s trend in fashion - - on others not me. But this look takes things too far - - it's the 1980s all over again. I could/would never wear shorts like that -- though now that I think of it my father-in-law has always worn shorts like that. He's very fashion-forward.

Admission of web browsing guilt. I stumbled on the Sartorialist while looking for NYC stuff prior to an earlier business trip. Now I'm addicted - though slightly scared of the way the 1980's are creeping (and it is creepy) back into NYC fashion.

Operating Systems of the Futre

Business Pundit, whilst blogging on vertical integration at Microsoft, has this to say about the future of operating systems:

I am not a believer in the web operating system. Not for a second. I think things will go in reverse. I think I will store and process all kinds of things locally that I don't today. I think my use of a connection outside of my own PAN will be less on-demand and more asynchronous. I think the PC will go away, replaced by a mobile device that stores all my info. I will set that device down next to a monitor. mouse, keyboard and mass storage device and it will wirelessly connect to everything. That will be my "computer."

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Thank You Public Service Ads

Last night M (age 9) was having trouble going to sleep. She asked that I sit with her, so I sat there in the dark listening to music with her (Christmas music for pete’s sake) playing on her CD-player.

Just when I thought she was down for the night, she opens her eyes and asks, “How could a pregnancy be unintended?”.


“At the State Fair, in the bathroom, there was a sign that said, ‘One-Half of Preganancies are Unintended’. How can you not intend to get pregnant?”

I took a moment to compose myself – you can never really plan for these things – and started out:

“Well you know how babies are made – right?” [Mom had covered this, but I wanted to establish some basic facts – and stall for time.] “Well, sometimes people just ‘mess around’ and aren’t serious about what they are doing, and they get pregnant.”

Not waiting for her to say anything, I blundered on, “Couples should be older, in a committed relationship, you know – married, before they think about having kids. However, it’s possible for people – even young people – teenagers – to get involved and get pregnant without meaning to.”

She was pretty quiet after that, so I asked, “Does that make sense?”

“Yes,” she said.

[Awkward moment of silence.]

“Would you like to talk to Mom? I’ll get her to stop by and say ‘Goodnight’.”

I made a quick exit, and got the Mom.

A few minutes later, the Mom returned. “How did it go?” I asked. “Did she have any more questions.”

“She said you explained everything OK.”

Score one for Dad!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

And They're Off. . .

First day of school. M is starting 4th grade and none-to-excited about it. The Dude begins 1st grade.

After emailing the Hobbled Wife to inquire about the "drop off", here's what she had to say:

oh, just fine. They don't move very fast! They got behind some kids who were slow, and they wouldn't move around. They made it- barely- without a pass. We'll see!