Tuesday 28 February 2006

Local recreation area

Everyone enjoys the Corwin-gym

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Getting old and jaded

As part of my effort to get the children to participate in household chores, I have been having Charles help me with Alice’s computer addiction. Charles is capable of operating the games that Alice likes, which means that I can get a little work done even with Alice on my lap (and that’s why I need two computers in my office, dear!). However, this isn’t a complete solution as Charles has become old to have the same tolerance for repition as Alice does and he gets “tie-warred” eventually. Alice gets tired too (although not as fast as Charles). The key indicator is when Alice wants to switch games as fast as Mom channel surfs. At that point I cut her off — after all, I am a responsible parent.

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Monday 27 February 2006

He'd better be a good actor, he'd never make it as a waiter

Last Saturday I took the crew out to see Doogal, along with Corwin’s friends Keith and Jack, so that Mom could have some personal time. It was an OK movie, not one we’ll be rushing out to see again but fine while we were watching.

After the movie, I took everyone back to the house (Mom having fled for more pleasant climes). Keith left after an hour or so, leaving Jack and Corwin bored. So I got out the video camera to let them go some magic video like Corwin did with Andreas. Both of them thought it was cool.

What was interesting to me is that Corwin was good at it from the first take, where as Andreas and Jack both had difficulty with it (although Jack did get noticeably better after 10 or 15 minutes of filming). Their problem was basically not holding still at the right time (Andreas was just jumpy whereas Jack was too helpful and tried to help move the objects around). I still think it would be a good hobby for Corwin, if only I could get him to work on the editing. Sadly, he’s so far behind on his homework due to his illness that I won’t have time to work on it with him for several weeks.

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Sunday 26 February 2006

And in other news in the growing up department

Alice wore underwear for the first time today. Mom realized that it was a bad idea (even though Alice used the potty twice today) but, as you can see if you look close, the underwear has a certain animated character on it. This made them irrestiable to Mom Alice.

Alice lasted about 45 minutes before having a containment failure. Mom wasn’t immediately available so Alice went over to the kitty litter room, at which point I noticed her (it’s within sight of my office and my hind brain keeps a watch on it). Alice hadn’t made too much of a mess but Corwin managed to decide to come in right then and of course stepped in it. I requested that he not step in it a second time, but he refused to commit on that point. Still, there’s the hope that Alice will be encouraged by the thought of wearing the underpants (which worked with Corwin but not Charles).

I am also working with Alice on color names. After an early start with purple, she has now decided that all colors are “green”. If I label a color for her, she will remember it for a few minutes, but unless I constantly re-enforce it, she will revert to “green”. She does not, however, ever refer to her shoes as “green”.

P.S. Check out the back thigh muscle on the leg. She is going to dominate the swim team.

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It's the little things you cherish

Last month I asked Charles how long I would have to give him a bath instead of him bathing himself. He told me “when I a grown up”. I immediately had visions of what a wonderful experience it would be to be giving Charles baths in high school.

Fortunately, Charles is progressing a bit faster than his original estimate. This evening, for the first time, Charles wanted to dry himself off. It’s not washing, but with our children you quickly learn to overpraise any sign of advancement just to keep up morale.

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First in the house

Of course, as soon as I write about it, Charles adjusts his behavior. He has now figured out how to open the screen door in the garage, making it no longer a vicious trap for him. Now he can zip out of the van and race in to the house before any one else, which now seems to be the primary purpose of going on a trip for Charles. It is so important to him that he almost cried last week because I was in his way as I got out of the van myself. Luckily, only Alice was also in the van and she’s not really in the running for the event.

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Saturday 25 February 2006

Might as well make it a whole day of Alice

It is always a sign of the coming spring when you see an Alice take flight

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If only we could generalize that to all advertisements

It’s becoming difficult to use my laptop near Alice, as she has become addicted to various network websites. She points at the laptop and insists that I stop whatever useless activity I am engaged (such as writing on this kidlog) and fire up some network gaming for her enjoyment.

This evening she got to me and I put away the laptop and let her fire up on the nice computer. We explored some new places on the website and in a few places, some short video clip advertisements would be played before going to the game (although you could click to skip them). Alice didn’t mind the “Princess Pony” (or whatever) and sat through them patiently, but the advertisement that opens up with a baby making sounds was intolerable. I don’t even know what it’s about because Alice freaks out the instant it starts playing — “NO! NOOOO! CLICK! PRESS! DADDY!” — so I bypass it as fast as I can get the mouse in place. This is very odd, as Alice loves her baby doll and feeding, carrying, strolling, and dressing it with enthusiasm.

P.S. Yes, Alice can say “press” and “click”, and she knows what both words mean. She is in tune with our Wired Age.

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Mom was in a cleaning frenzy this morning, so naturally Princess Grumpy Pants had a major mess attitude. First she drew on the kitchen table, then she went in to the fireplace again, except this time instead of just playing in the ashes she was literally flinging them about the room. While we were working on recovering from that, she popped over in to the kitty litter again. Fortunately I noticed her heading over that way so I retrieved her before she could do more than step in and fling a single handle full of litter. At least a bath afterwards kept her from making more mess while she was in it. But afterwards Alice picked back up where she had left off by getting in to the cat food then later putting stickers all over the kitchen table.

Aren’t girls supposed to be less messy? Mom can’t decide if her being so cute is a good thing, as it means we will end up keeping her around and having more messes.

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Friday 24 February 2006

Gratuitous Picture of the Day

Charles digs it at the park

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Child of modern culture

Alice was tossing in her sleep just before she woke up this morning. I think she was having a nightmare because she kept calling out “Noggin!” in a despairing tone of voice. Presumably she was wandering but no matter which TV or computer she tried, there was no Noggin. Oh, the horror!

P.S. I suppose the standard “naked dream” wouldn’t be much of a nighmare for her, would it?

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Door boy

Whenever the gang arrives home, Charles likes to charge out of the van and open the door first. Unfortunately for him, he can open the main door but not the screen door in front of it. As a result, he ends up standing in front of the screen door, pathetically clicking on the door handle button until Mom gets Alice and the rest of baggage unloaded. I can’t go help, because that involves opening the main door, which is the reason Charles is waiting pathetically by the door in the first place. If someone else opens the main door first, there’s a 70% chance of a Charles meltdown and that’s never a good result.

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Sick leave

The tide of ill is starting to receed. Corwin went back to school and I wil probably have to do some work today. Mom was only bad for a day, much better than Corwin and me. Alice and Charles must have had earlier and milder cases as they have not been down much at all.

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Wednesday 22 February 2006

Corwin size update

I took Corwin to the doctor this noon in hope of acquiring good drugs. Unfortunately, the doctor said it was viral, so we just got some cough syrup to treat symptoms.

They weighed Corwin on entry, and he is now 75 pounds.

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Tuesday 21 February 2006

Down for the count

Corwin became sick over the weekend and is still not well. Mom and I have also caught it, so we’re mostly staggering around, trying to keep things going. Alice and Charles are healthy and Alice in particular has been in a very upbeat mood the last few days. But posting may be off until we recover.

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Maybe I can reason with the Oppressive Ones

Yesteday Alice tried verbal techniques instead of crying, stating “I sad” when I told her she had to eat her dinner at the table and could not wander about the house with it. This was also a favored technique of Charles, although he stopped doing it long before Alice started talking.

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The modern version of cans and string

As part of the effort to keep better track of the boyen, I installed a network chat engine along with some microphones so that we could chat over the local network between the kids’ office in the basement and my office. The boys found this networked chat more fun than the games, especially Charles. Charles would spend tens of minutes “singing” in to the microphone while the older boys were trying to play. I found it far more amusing that Corwin and his associates.

Everybody dance now!

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Monday 20 February 2006

Just a bit of post processing and the boy looks normal

As I played with some footage, I found a long clip of Charles doing one of his large drawings. In order to make it watchable, I had to speed it up by a factor of 10. Keep that in mind while watching this clip. This is particularly interesting when Charles draws a circle. It looks normal speed in the clip, which gives you some idea of how slowly and carefully he does his drawing. Oh, and watch his “happy feet”. Charles thought that was extra funny when I showed this to him.

The final result

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Unbudding film auter

After getting Corwin to do a bit of video, I thought that it might make a good hobby for him. He was very excited about it as well until I told him that he would have to learn how to edit the video on the computer as I was not going to do all the video editing for his film projects. This put a slight damper on his enthusiasm (“no! no way!”). Oh well, at least I won’t have to share my hard disk space.

On the other hand, while I was operating under the delusion that Corwin might enage his creative talents in the area of cinematography, I upgraded my video editing software, sneaking it past Mom because “it’s for the children!™”. Luckily, this upgrade was worthwhile as the new version lets me edit the video from my little camera, which previously I could work with only via the in-camera editing features (which are somewhat limited). So hopefully I can get some better results out of all of that raw footage.

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Sunday 19 February 2006

The Princess and the Wicked Non-Step Mom

We thought she was past that phase, but Alice was in the kitty litter again today. She had been so good but then Mom lost track of her for a minute and zoom! it was processed kitty food time.

In other Alice news, my whispering campaign is paying off. This weekend, Alice fled Mom and came calling for Daddy! Mom was doing The Wrong Thing and Alice needed some comforting from a nice parent.

P.S. Here’s a video of Alice getting the drop on Corwin (with an assist). I’ll wait whie you watch it … not the best technique, but you can see what she was going for. The loud “smack!” sound appears to be Alice’s head hitting the wall and / or picture. Being Aice, she just laughs it off.

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Hats are back!

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Cashing in

While Charles was desperately trying to pick out a toy, he at one point decided on a cash register. Once again, it was Alice to the disaster. Alice had been carrying around a giant teapot filled with tea dishes, but she took one look at the cash register and appropriated it from Charles, who wandered off in a dark mood to try and find some other toy. Personally, I thought it was a win for Charles, as he would then have two toys he wanted in the house. It was a win for us, since it would let us dispose of the old, broken register the kids play with now1. It even has a working mike, which is something that will be very popular.

The only drawback is that Corwin likes it as well. He has to sneak in his play time because if Alice catches him playing with her cash register, she unleashes a harsh smack down on Corwin, filled with “NO!” and “MINE!”.

1 Among other problems, the scanner doesn’t light up and this is always the cause for sadness. I am happy to say that the scanner on the new one lights up very nicely. It even reads a set of fake bar code stickers that came with it.

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Saturday 18 February 2006

Sibling joys

We went out shopping today, to spend some of the huge piles of cash various relatives sent to the boys for Christmas and Valentine’s Day. Charles had a hard time picking out a toy to get. I suggested some City Blocks, which are wooden building blocks with pictures of buildings on them. Charles said he liked them, but looked very sad and said that they didn’t stick together and therefore “Alice will knock them over”. Eventually he settled on a Lego™ project box.

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Making movies, on location

Corwin had half of Thursday and all of Friday off from school. His friend Andreas was over to visit, which was a bit difficult because I didn’t want them to just play on the computer the entire afternoon. I thought I would show them that there are fun things off the computer so I decided to show them how to do simply magic on video tape. I remember doiong that myself when I was young, using our dad’s 8mm film camera. We were allowed to do only a little of it because of the cost of the film and developing.

Interestingly, this technique was totally unknown to the boys. They were actually impressed with how easily it worked. We did some disappearances, after which the boys decided to do some transformations as well. I need to see Corwin is willing to learn how to edit as well, so he can start making his own little mini-movies.

Here is the video. It’s a bit big so don’t be surprised at a long download.

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Friday 17 February 2006

One for the geeks

This is more Charles experimentation with words. In this exercise, Charles writes a letter, makes Dad think of a word that starts with the letter, followed by Dad spelling out the word so Charles can write it down. That accounts for the “ICKY” “HOT” “SOUP”, “OX”, and “FROG”.

However, Charles wrote “POI” all by himself. Charles had no idea what it meant, but he was very happy to have written a word.

But the most important part of this is the highlighted part. Charles wrote that without any sort of prompting from Dad. Dad is so proud! [sniff]

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Winning the fair maiden

I was tasked with distracting the backup and auxillary children while the primary was made to practice his violin. Somehow Alice jamming on the piano interfered with Mom’s listening to Corwin.

After a fun round of “step on Charles’ head” with Alice (who wanted to also play “step on Corwin’s head” but Corwin’s music was not soothing Mom’s savage breast so I had to pass, after which Alice declined to play “step on Mom’s head”, perhaps noticing this for herself), Alice decided it was time to dance. Alice and I started laying down some sweet moves. Charles then asked if he coud dance. I forwarded the question to Alice, who gave me a confused look, pointed at Charles and said “dance!”. So we danced.

I was reminded powerfully of Mom, who was a reknowned slam dancer in her wild, wild college life1. With the kind of leg muscle power she’s got, I can see her in college, knocking the boys over right and left (literally). Mayhap she will be a modern day Amazon whose hand can only be won by a man who can dance with her for an evening without being knocked down. I hope the losers don’t get to use my health insurance.

1 Mom majored in Computer Science. Mom and a bunch of her classmates together could party like you could hardly imagine. Not that you’d want to. But it would beat imagining me partying with my crew. Oh, good times, good time …

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Thursday 16 February 2006

He can be fast when he's properly motivated

Corwin grabs his popcorn money envelope so fast he blisters the Cubmaster’s fingers

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If an infinite number of Charles write letters…

Charles is experimenting with words now. He has a strong belief that any initial sequence of letters will spell a word if only he adds enough more letters. We can go on for quite a while where Charles will ask, “is this a word?”. I will tell him no, so he will add another letter or three and ask again. I try to tell him that he’s gone beyond the point of recovery but he seems to think I am just trying to trick him.

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Wednesday 15 February 2006

Dancing monkeys and doomed busses

This is a rather interesting work by Charles. It is a mountain and a bus. Rocks and other things are falling off the mountain because the monkeys are dancing on it. There are also big cracks in the mountain for the same reason.

Charles told me that there are people hiding in the bus, which is made of granite, but “that won’t help them”. Apparently the rocks are so large and / or so fast that the bus won’t stop them even though it is made of rock. The bus is also stuck, although Charles wasn’t clear on why that was.

Technically, note how Charles has blended both markers and stickers to create the overall work, as part of his “multi-media” experimentation.

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Tuesday 14 February 2006

For all you people who ask me about this every year

P.S. This is the kind of town we live in — the delivery lady used to baby sit Mom and recognized Mom by name and me by sight.

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Petite Flower Tales

Alice, in contrast to her brothers, can actually find things that she is looking for. Now and then she will find her shoes while we are looking for them before Mom and Dad spot them. The other day Mom was looking Mom’s shoes and said “where are my shoes?”. Moments later Alice appeared, shoes in her hand. Alice has found Mom’s keys a time or two as well. Sadly, Dad never misplaces anything, thereby depriving Alice of the opportunity to help him out.

Alice has become very possessive of a particular red blanket we keep near the couch. Dad is not even allowed to touch it, much less use it. I suggested to Mom that we should just get a couple more of them to avoid this problem and Mom said “OK, but make sure you don’t get red ones or Alice will own those too”.

Dad is allowed to use the green plaid blanket, but only if he sits up and drapes the blanket over his lap and legs so that he can be used as a slide by Alice and Charles. This was such a treat that I was able to get Charles to go over to Mom and say “Daddy makes a good slide! He is not completely useless!”. Mom was forced to concede that was true.

Here is a video of Alice enjoying a laundry basket. Alice also enjoyed the video, which I had to play for her over and over until I managed to distract her with something else.

This video shows Alice playing the keyboard and doing some moon-crawling. I haven’t shown it to Alice yet or I would never get done with this post.

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Monday 13 February 2006

What happened to the independent thinkers?

It finally happened this evening. Alice told me to not sing. She’s such a conformist.

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Never too young to learn about parking

After a lull of a month or two, Charles is back forcing me to make him signs. Today’s sign was a “Permit Parking Only” sign. He took it in to daycare and apparently this resulted in the circle time discussion being about traffic, parking and parking tickets. At least, that’s what Miss Darcy claims. Charles, on the other hand, denies everything. I asked him what, then, was talked about at circle time. “Nothing” was his reply.

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Electronic desperation

Corwin is having a hard week, with lots of writing and homework to do. As a result, he hasn’t had any TV or gaming since Friday. This evening Corwin was so desparate for some sort of electronic stimulation that he kept mentioning “Dora” to Alice in the hope that she would notice that the 24/7 Dora playing had stopped. Gratifyingly Alice didn’t ask for Dora until after Corwin had given up and done some homework.

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Potty Progress Proclamation Post

Alice was smelling a bit ripe this morning, so I persuaded her to take a bath. After some fun in the tub, I became concerned that Alice would pollute the bath water as she frequently does. I warned her:

Dad: No poop, Alice!

Alice: No poop?

Dad: No poop. Tell Daddy if you need to poop.

Alice: Poop? [Alice grabs her crotch] Poop!

At that point I pulled her out of the tub, gave her a quick dry and put her on the potty. She almost immediatey made pee in the potty. Yay! Not quite poop, but still not something she should be putting in the bath water. This is also the first time she told me before she actually went. Maybe she won’t be in diapers when she is three. Well, we can hope.

UPDATE: This evening, Alice came to me and told me that she had made poop and needed a new diaper. She was correct this time. It is supposed to be a good sign when a child begins to ask for diaper changes, but the boys went through that phase without any real effect. We’ll see.

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A treat for the whole family

Erica gave Alice a nice PlayDoh™ set for Christmas, which we hadn’t really used yet. Charles found it recently and after that it was opened in a very rapid fashion. As you can see, the whole crew found it great fun. Alice didn’t like the molds (she prefers the hand-crafted look for her work) but the boyen liked the improved productivity enabled by the molds. Everyone liked the cooking implements. Amazingly, Corwin and Charles actually put away the PlayDoh™ after they finished playing. Even more amazingly, based on the amount in the containers when everyone was done, none (or very little) of it had been eaten.

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Money troubles

Corwin is still struggling with the concept of money being a limited and valuable resource.

A few days ago Corwin went on an outing. I gave him $10 to snacks / trinkets / etc. Oddly, he didn’t spend it then, but later Mom went off to Walmart and Corwin wanted to spend it there. Whiile in Walmart, Corwin showed Mom the money but by the time they hit the checkout, he had lost it. Much distress ensued, but not much learning. Later, it turns out that Corwin had simply put the money in a differnt pocket or deeper than he thought, as it showed up in the wash a couple of days later, so this coud be put down to Corwin’s startling inability to find things.

A day or two later, it was time for another expedition with Mom. Corwin got his wallet out to take with him. Of course, during the departure preparations, Corwin left it on the floor in the media room while he went upstairs for something. The wallet was immediately found by Alice (who, unlike her brothers, is quite good at finding things). Charles joined in and the two of them had quite a lot of fun with the bills. I decided to have mercy and called up to Corwin that he should come down and take a look. Corwin did not share the happiness when he gazed upon what filled his siblings with joy. It was quite amusing for the parents, however, to watch Corwin try to get his money back while being double teamed by Charles and Alice. Finally I suggested that he put his wallet and money in a location that was inaccessible to Charles and Alice so that he could gather without having his stash redistributed.

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Sunday 12 February 2006

Planning for the future

While Alice is particularly fond of looking at pictures (frequently, if I try to work on the weblog while Alice is watching, I will get diverted in to cruising the photo gallery for Alice’s gratification), even Corwin and Charles enjoy looking at old pictures. This despite their dislike of looking at recent pictures. I have some hope, though, as I was able to point out to Corwin that if I don’t take pictures of him now, there will be none for him to look at later.

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History repeats

I forgot to note last November that Alice is now older than Charles was when this weblog was started. It won’t be until this summer that Charles is as old as Corwin was at the start.

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Saturday 11 February 2006

It's just a phrase

[Dad and Charles exchange alternate lyrics to a song on the TV]

Dad: Charles, that makes no sense!

Charles: It makes 12¢.

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Little drummer girl

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Too dangerous a tool

We are now going through the “terrible twos” with Alice. She has been a double bumber grumper girl lately about many things. She will not infrequently melt down in to a “everything you do is wrong” mode in which, for instance, she doesn’t want to be held but putting her down is unacceptable.

I don’t remember the boys going through this stage, in fact I remember noting that we didn’t have the terrible twos at all with either of them. My opinion is that this is because Alice has learned to talk roughly a year earlier than either of the boys. What problems like this we did have with the boys also came shortly after they began talking. Being a year older made dealing with them noticeably easier, though. Not that the boys never melted down, but it less frequent and more understandable (e.g., not letting them chop their fingers off with scissors).

The reason is probably that once a child can speak, she acquires a great amount more control over her environment. When that control proves unable to completely control things, frustration results. Even though Alice can use two and three word sentences (and occasionally four), still her parents don’t always do what she want when she wants it. Naturally this defect in reality is too much even for one of Alice’s strong and even temperament.

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Thursday 09 February 2006

Baby and me stepping out

Alice and her baby travel case

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Arboreal haircuts

As we were driving home last night, Charles was asking about the power lines and trees. He used that as a launch pad to segue in to a rambling discussion of how tree grew branches, which could hit the power lines. That wasn’t good, because then “no one get power at their houses”. To prevent this, men with big trucks and big cranes and big power tools and a bucket to stand in would give the trees a “haircut”. Charles explained this severa times on the way, each time adding more elaboration. At first it was just the “haircuts”, then the reason for them, and then the description of the equipment used to do it. Luckily we arrived home at that point so that Charles’ imagination wasn’t over extended.

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Wednesday 08 February 2006

Pod poopers

Today was red shirt day. Dad was the only one who didn’t pick out a red shirt to wear today (I went with a green shirt and a white undershirt so that I could wear a new black sweater Mom got me for my birthday as part of my personal colors). It’s somewhat scary that it’s infected Mom as well. Not surprisingly, I stand alone as the true iconoclast of the family.

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Charles' Publishing House

Charles has learned about staplers and has been using his new skill to make books and envelopes. You can see the cover of one of his books here. It was made from four folded sheets giving it 6 pages plus a cover and a back. Charles wrote on every page, although it was mostly pictures. Charles can “read” it and provide much detail for each of the pictures. I tortured poor Miss Darcy by sending it in with Charles so that he would insist on reading it there.

Charles in turn tortures Dad with his new game. This consists of Charles drawing several windows (usually three) and then writing a letter (sometimes I can even tell which letter it is) and making Dad try to guess the word Charles is thinking of. This is sometimes a bit tricky, such as the time Charles wrote ‘F’ and the word was “Green”. You’re probably wondering about the windows, but I can’t explain them either as Charles has not explained them. They are, however, a critical component of the game and Charles always points them out when we start.

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Tuesday 07 February 2006

There is no planning, only luck

Note that Alice and Charles even have matching blue and white stripes
Everyone picked orange shirts and grey pants today

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Monday 06 February 2006

Fly boy

Uncle Evil gives Charles an assist

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Does this stylesheet make me look fat?

I did some fixup over the weekend to make this weblog look a little better. I made sure to mention this to Mom while we were out for pancakes yesterday so that she could be properly appreciative. It is much like a new hair do in that regard.

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Sunday 05 February 2006

Sunday outing, dang it!

After church today, Mom wanted to go out for pancakes. We had a screaming Alice (livid because I had forced clothes on her), Charles was crying, and Corwin was being an uncooperative grump. Nevertheless, as anyone who has met Mom would presume, her will prevailed.

Charles was crying before we left because Alice had drawn on one of his drawings. I found it interesting that Charles knows his work so well that he could tell it had been Aliced. I doubt that I could tell.

While we were waiting for a table at the pancake place, Alice and Charles were looking at one of the “I Spy” type books. I tried to ask Charles to find things but Alice was as quick as he was, even with letters. She could spot ‘W’, ‘S’ and ‘P’. Mom tried to see this for herself later, but Alice refused at that point to cooperate. On the other hand, Alice actually consumed food, which is a bit unusual for her. That alone makes the outing a success.

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One from the vaults

Nick and Corwin discuss the performance tradeoffs of virtualized method dispatch
28 May 1999

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Saturday 04 February 2006

Long train coming

One style of Lego™ project that Charles has favored of late is very long vehicles. He has a “plane” that is basically one Lego™ unit wide and about 2½ feet long. This is the source of much misery as it is not the sturdiest construct he has ever made. Charles also has a very long train / truck / bus that is two units wide, two units tall and seven feet long. Yet he doesn’t have the patience to sit stil while I put on his shoes and socks.

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Housing boom

Mom was looking through the housing section of the Wall Street Journal (I don’t know why, it’s just the kind of thing she does) when Charles came over to check out what Mom was doing. Mom started telling him about a house that had caught her fancy. Charles then decided that was the coolest house ever. It was therefore obvious that we woud have to knock down our current house and build one just like that in its place. Charles was full of plans for this, including that we would have to stay at a hotel while the construction was going on. He talked of how the current house would be knocked down and various features of the new house that would be built (for instance, it has an escalator and an elevator). It seems that this inspired him to spend his next day at daycare making signs saying “Caution” and “Danger”, to warn people about the construction. At this point I think we just have to hope that Charles doesn’t know enough about phones to call up some contractors.

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Friday 03 February 2006

Sticking it to the paper

Alice has been enjoying stickers quite a bit lately. You can see at the left one of her works. In her earlier works, she tended to favor hearts and flowers, but her later efforts have focused more on cars and trains. Alice is now being forced to cut back on those because she has used up all of that type of sticker. As an apparent side effect, Alice has been starting to ask about Thomas the Tank Engine videos in addition to her need to have Dora the Explorer playing 24/7.

Aice has strong opinions about when the paper is sufficiently full of stickers and woe betide the Dad who changes the paper too early or too late. Also, while Alice likes Mom better for almost everything else, Dad is the “sticker guy”. You take what you can get.

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Thursday 02 February 2006

Corwin bears vacation

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360° defense

In addition to very strong legs, Alice’s legs are also very flexible. Mom was out late the other night partying as only a computer science professor and her syncophantic grad students can, leaving the children in my tender care. As I was putting the poopers to bed, I thought to distract them from their pitiful whining for Mom by launching some tickle missiles at them. Alice, as has been her wont, defended herself with her feet. I thought I would pull a trick on her by launching from above her head. It turns out that Alice can kick things even if they’re just a few inches away from her forehead. Kick them hard.

P.S. I had to shut down the attack because Charles was leaping (literally) to the defense of his sister and posed more of a risk to our delicate blossom of girlhood than I did.

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Wednesday 01 February 2006

It's easier than writing something cute

Time for another pictorial retrospective on Charles’ construction efforts.

Table scape

High Rider

Hybrid vehicles

The construction yard

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