Monday 30 April 2007

Adjusting heat flow

It was an unseasonably warm day today, possibly a record high for the day (85°F or so). Charles naturally comes down in the morning wearing a long sleeve turtle neck and long pants. Mom recommends shifting to an outfit with less fabric but Charles just gives her the blank “are you living on the same planet I am?” look.

Charles cames home from school and he looked a bit flushed. I said “Hey, Charles, maybe you should change in to shorts”. I got the same look that Mom did. Charles wandered off to play with Legos™ but then went to get a big glass of ice water. As he drank deeply, he said “Daddy, I am sweating”. Oh, yes, a teachable moment!

“Charles”, I say, “it’s because you’re wearing long sleeves, a turtle neck, and long pants. I recommend changing in to a short sleeved shirt and short pants”. Unbelievably, Charles says nothing and goes upstairs to change. I may have actually communicated with him!

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Alice Home Companion

I am enjoying a lovely day at home with Alice. Mom is off chaperoning a field trip with Corwin, Charles is at school, and Alice has the day off because it’s parent teacher conference time at daycare. I went in this morning and Alice is doing fine. The best part was when they asked how the weekend went and I replied “Fine, except Alice’s mom turned 40”. They all looked at each other, making “oh, my” noises. Yeah, no one can kill a conversation like I can.

The staff did say that Alice was still showing some separation anxiety, although I think that’s mostly play acting because it doesn’t start until I set her down in the room and sometimes she does it after pestering me to leave the house early. Alice is also have a bit of trouble with transitions from one activity to another, but after dealing with Charles that seems like a quibble. The staff was impressed with Alice’s performance skills, which loyal readers know are phenomenal. The biggest news is that Alice is starting to pedal bikes instead of direct foot based propulsion. I hadn’t noticed that before but as I type this, Alice is crusing about the house pedaling her little tricycle.

Still, Alice is a bit conflicted about growing up. This morning she had to go potty so I went along to help. While sitting on the toilet, Alice looks at me and asks “what are you doing here?”. So next time I wait downstairs, which leads to Alice plaintively calling down “Daddy! Where are you?”.

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No rushing perfection

Dad: So we’ll get a big chunk of dirt and make a Charles.

Charles: No!

Dad: Wny not?

Charles: Charles are not made out of dirt.

Dad: What are they made out of?

Charles: Water.

Dad: OK, so we’ll go to a swimming pool and make some more Charles.

Charles: No!

Dad: Why not?

Charles: You have to add bones and stuff. And then let the water dry. It takes a year because the water dries very slowly.

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Sunday 29 April 2007

Happy Birthday Mom!


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Saturday 28 April 2007

Weekly Soccer Report

Ouch! Not a good game today — 0-6 defeat. The opponents were the one other good team in the league, but this season Corwin’s team is missing a couple of its older and better players (Keith and Colin) so it wasn’t nearly as close as usual. The scoring was fairly even through out the game, 3 in the first half and 3 in the second and at least one every quarter.

I would say that the primary problem was a lack of depth on plays. One thing the other team did well was to have players in the box when someone took a shot at the goal. At least 3 of the scores were from initially failed outside shots that were then tapped in by a player hanging out in the box. They had one good long range score. The other two were Jack and Corwin being too eager about stopping an attack as goalies. They tried to grab / jump on the ball but missed, leaving the opponent with a clear unopposed shot at the goal. This team was good enough that such opportunities weren’t missed.

The forward goalie was related to the first issue, though, because I think part of the reason the goalies were so aggressive is that they were facing multiple attackers without any supporting defense. This may be the first time this season they’ve faced a team that was overall faster and they didn’t anticipate breaks quite enough, leaving them out of position and unable to catch up.

To top that all off, only 9 players were there so no substitutions were available. At one point Jack injured himself on a drive at the opponents goal (so agonizingly close but no score) and he had to sit out for a bit. The other coach was nice enough to bench one of his players as well to keep the teams even. Later on, Cora took a nasty hit and almost had to sit out. She tried to knock back a kick with her chest but misjudged the height and took it right in the face. Cora toughed it out, though, and the game resumed with her in action.

Still, the team wasn’t completely out of it. They kept the ball on the other side a decent amount of time and took a number of good shots at the goal that were just barely stopped (this is where the lack of follow through really hurt). All of the goalies but especially Jake had some excellent saves. The defense came up with some excellent clearing. The team played hard right up to the final whistle, which is the important thing.

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Friday 27 April 2007

Take me out to the swingset near the ballpark

Corwin had a baseball game tonight. I think it’s the second or third game. It was supposed to be Thursday but since that was play night they rescheduled things for Corwin’s convenience. Of course, they had a cover story of not wanting to play in the rain with thunder, but it’s an obviously transparent ploy.

I think Corwin had a good game, I ended up spending most of the time watching Alice and Charles. We spent quite a bit of time on the nearby playground and swings. Alice used the big kids swing and insisted on being pushed so “super fast in the sky” that she was almost horizontal.

Corwin got on base several times and made a nice out at home during a steal. Sadly, this wasn’t enough and Corwin’s team lost by a few runs. They had been ahead 4-2 at the end of the fourth (of six) innings but the other team managed to score the maximum five runs the next two innings to win. Corwin rated it a good game anyway.

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The play's the thing

Last night was the annual school play at Corwin’s school. Even Grandma came down to watch.

The play was The Jungle Book with a very large ensemble cast and in the form of a musical. Most of the time was spent singing, with small bits of dialog in between the numbers. Corwin was a wolf, a vulture, and a rock (Mom says Corwin did a very good rock). It seemed much shorter this year, which may have been intentional (last year’s was a bit long).

Corwin is wearing a sweater over his shirt because he told Mom that his shirt needed to be long sleeved Wednesday, the day before the play. He also mentioned, the morning of the play, that he needed something that looked like a tail as well. We had to find that before he got on the bus because there was a performance earlier Thursday for the students. Apparently the last minute costume fixes worked, because Charles said he enjoyed watching the performance.

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Thursday 26 April 2007

Fancy dresser

Alice wore her ballerina dress in to daycare today. Mom helped her get dressed and too weak (weak!) to deny Alice her fashion choice. Once that damage had been done, I managed to put Alice’s kitty sweater on her under the dress so that she wouldn’t be too cold. We tried to find her nice white button sweater, but it has disappeared. I sent in a couple of alternate tops (a jacket and her poncho) but I think the fact that the dress has a built in bottom and she’s wearing tights will be extra fun for the staff.

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Wednesday 25 April 2007

Talk moments

Mom: We only have one child activity tomorrow!


Dad: Do you want me to pick you up hold you upside down and poke you, or tell me about your day?

Charles: Poke me.


Dad: There you go, girly-girl.

Alice: Don’t call me “girly-girl”.

Dad: What about “girly-girly-girl”?

Alice: No, not “girly-girly-girl”.

Dad: What about “girly-girly-girly-girl”?

Alice: OK.


Dad: Charles’ soccer game was cancelled because it is raining. Do you want to stay here and have your practice anyway?

Corwin: Yes.


Alice: Here is a picture for you Daddy.

Dad: Thanks.

Alice: It’s music.

Dad: Oh

Alice: It’s a trumpet. See? It’s a monster eating a trumpet.

Dad: Oh.

Alice: [looking concerned] It’s just a picture.

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Charles eats healthy

Charles’ diet when Dad’s corrupting influence is absent

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Tuesday 24 April 2007

Watch the music

After this experience I have tried to be careful about watching videos on the computer, but Alice caught me a month or two back and since then she pops in occasionally to ask to “watch the music”. I would list some favorites but as far as I can tell if there’s music and motion, Alice likes it. She definitely prefers bouncy, upbeat tunes and ones that have people dancing, so this one is usually a good bet —

Lately, though, I have been using my iTunes player which has the groovy visualizations that make pretty patterns along with the music and Alice likes that even better than music videos. She’ll sit on my lap for tens of minutes watching the patterns and listening to the music (sometimes Charles does too). The only drawback is that I have to explain what each different color is and whether the current display is “outer space” or “in a whale”. The current chart is

GreenQuantum flux

Any suggestions for “pink” and “brown” would be appreciated.

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Monday 23 April 2007

Gratuitous Soccer Picture

Jake displays a lot of trust in Corwin’s aim

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Non-localized pain

I was sitting with Alice over the weekend when I was sent off to the DVD player to put in a new DVD for Super Horsey Princess. When I returned, Alice was laying down on the couch crying for no apparent reason. I picked her up and comforted her, although the cause of her distress was a completely mystery. After a bit of cuddling, she was OK again.

Later, after watching the DVD a bit, I noticed that Alice had a large scratch on the back of her hand. I asked her about it and she looked at it with great puzzlement on her face, apparently completely unaware of it until that moment. She became concerned, but the quick application of a Dora bandaid put her mind at ease.

Later in the day, I mentioned this to Mom, who did a more thorough checked and discover yet another scratch on Alice’s other hand between her index finger and thumb. This too was a surprise to Alice.

I think that Alice was messing with POset while I was putting in the DVD. POset must have decided it was inappropriate touching and took measures to discourage further activity of that sort. How Alice managed to forget this and even where she was hurt just seconds later remains a mystery.

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Sunday 22 April 2007

Gratuitous Picture of the Day

After a hard night of partying in Arizona

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Gosh, I love dogs

Polynomial has taken a liking to baby wipes and lens cleaning cloths. Sadly, her digestive system hasn’t. I discovered this over the weekend.

On Friday, while I had Poly and some kids outside, Poly yarfed up an amazing large mass of digestive track rejects. I thought perhaps she had gotten in to some chocolate (since the kids frequently eat Pop-Tarts with significant amounts of chocolate) but checking the next day it was clear that most of the mass was fibrous artificial cloth. Having noticed partially chewed wipes and lens cloths earlier in the week, it was clear what the problem was. Naturally, my interest in the mess rekindled Poly’s. Just because it hadn’t gone well the first time was clearly no reason not to try, try, again. Sadly, I put a damper on Poly’s “can-do” attitude. By Sunday I had to go and clean up the remains instead of letting natural recycling because that was less effort that crushing Poly’s positive eating attitude.

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Saturday 21 April 2007

Dual game

After soccer in the morning, Corwin had a baseball scrimmage with the other team for the school (baseball is school based rather than just one big pool). I didn’t get to see much of the game because I was watching Alice and Charles (Mom having wandered off somewhere for the day).

I did see Corwin do some catching. He’s still not catching most of the pitches, but I think he’s doing better and did get some good catches in. He also made a good play when the bases were loaded and the batter had an unintentional bunt. Corwin charged out, grabbed the ball, and instead of throwing to first ran back to touch home, getting the out and stopping the run. His first at bat went well. He was at two strikes after a couple of foul balls, but then connected for a nice single line drive to right field.

Alice’s old friend Maggie was there and the two of them played together on and off. I told Maggie’s mom that I hoped we took home the correct girls, as both were wearing bright lime green Dora tops, pink pants, and very similar hair styles.

After the game one of the other dads told me that he had been the keeper of the statistics for last year and that Corwin had highest on base percentage. I hadn’t expected that. It’s believable — Corwin rarely gets the big hits that some of the other good players do, but he does seem to get singles with great reliability.

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Weekly Soccer Report

Today’s game was played in really wonderful spring weather. Despite the blue skies and a few clouds, a bit of wind, and mild temperature, the coach decided to play the game anyway. Apparently one can have a good soccer game even without cold and rain.

It was another decisive win for Corwin’s team today, 7-1. Jack lead the scoring with a goal early in the first quarter, followed by the score of the day, Josh dropping one in off his head. Ali scored as well, although she took a late hit to the chest afterwards and had to sit out for a bit1. Jake had an excellent goal. Jack brought it downfield and took a shot, but it went wide. Jack hustled over and kicked it back in front of the goal, where Jake reacted first (before the defenders) and popped it in for the score.

The scoring slowed down in the second half, as the coach put some of the weaker players on offsense to get them some practice at it. Corwin and Ali had some excellent kicks on defense, long and accurate.

My favorite moment was when Corwin was goalie. He rushed forward to grab an incoming ball but just as he reached it, Josh came flying by and kicked it right out of Corwin’s hands. Second favorite was a series of throw ins where Corwin’s team would throw in and a kid on the other team would immediately bounce or kick it back out of bounds at roughly the same spot it was thrown in. This happened three or four times in a row before the sequence was broken.

One sad moment was when the other team almost scored a second goal. It went in to the net but there was some sort of penalty just before that so the goal was called back. Not that I like Corwin’s team to lose but a 7-2 score would have been as decisive and having a call back like that is tough when you’re behind.

Season Summary

1 Our family has the head wound tradition. Ali’s family seems to have a sports injury tradition.

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Friday 20 April 2007

Story Time

Earlier this week we were driving back from somewhere (from getting Charles’ airplaine I think) when Alice decided it was time to tell jokes. The results weren’t really jokes, but more free association stories, some of them quite elaborate. One involved Charles going outside to cry, where he’s spotted by Grandma, who takes him to a forest, where there are birds who fly around and then everyone lives happily ever after, the end. Alice was able to just rattle these 7 or 8 sentence stories, all of which ended with living happily ever after (the end!) and frequently involved some one crying. But really, isn’t that the basic plot from most stories?

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Best to just get it over with

Last weekend Charles finally got his Lego™ passenger airplane that he’s been eyeing for close to a year. If any of you gave Charles money for birthday / Christmas, that’s where it went.

The building experience has been a mixed bag. Corwin helped Charles with some of the construction, but overall it was a frustrating time for us as Charles melted down multiple times. In the end, he managed final assembly, but it took several days. My favorite time was when he tried to shut one of the doors and the connecting pieces popped off to go flying across the room. The pieces were of course small so as to travel a long way and be hard to find. Charles also claimed the peices flew in a direction that turned out to be basically, well, wrong. One piece, in fact, ended up inside the airplane (something that was discovered a day or two later).

I think Mom has enjoyed the airplane getting Aliced and Polymerized the best. After multiple incidents, I think Charles has now accepted the necessity of taking those two in to consideration while playing with the airplane and particularly when leaving it for later. Alice may also be internalizing the concept of not destroying Charles’ things whenever they are within reach.

In the end, I am not sure if it was a good or bad idea to get the airplane, but clearly it was necessary.

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Thursday 19 April 2007

Strategic ignorance

[Riding home in the van]

Mom: Corwin, do you have homework?

Corwin: Yes.

Mom: What is it.

Corwin: mmmmm ahhhhh mmmmmm

Mom: Speak up!

Corwin: It’s about words!

Dad: Well, that narrows it down.

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Wednesday 18 April 2007

Weekly Soccer Report

Today was a decent game. The other team wasn’t particularly strong but it did have a few good players. The final score was 6-1 and that reflects the general tone of the game. The most memorable play was by Cora, who scored her first goal of the season with a very high kick that looked like it was going to sail right over the goal. But it dropped down behind the goalie and bounced in for the score.

The referee this game was very strict, which was a nice change of pace. He would, when feasible, take time to talk to the child he had called the penalty on to explain exactly what the penalty was. I thought he did a great job.

Corwin did OK, although I think he was overconfident because of the other team’s level of play. At one point as goalie he charged out and kicked at the ball but barely nudged it downfield, leaving the goal wide open. Luckily one of the other defenders broke up the play, giving Corwin time to get back in to position. He was noticeably more cautious after that.

Season Summary

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Tuesday 17 April 2007

Gang Shark

Sharky with fashion accessory

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Monday 16 April 2007

Rewarding family time

We were at dinner and the conversation turned to swimming and the physical build required for it. Mom and I noted that one didn’t have to be lean to swim well, as some extra fat over muscle wouldn’t slow one down and in fact would help with some insulation and extra bouancy. Charles then looked at Mom and said “you float good!”.

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Sunday 15 April 2007

Crop March

Mara tries to not become a Poly anchor

Today was the annual Crop Walk. This year, Mom decided that Charles was old enough to walk the six miles on his own and that we would therefore not take the wagon. Instead, Alice would ride alone in the stroller. Charles made it about a mile, a little past the first rest stop, before his first should ride on Mom. Overall, though, he did do a good job. I think he only had one more shoulder ride after that, on Dad. That wasn’t a problem except for trying to get Charles in to a position that didn’t cut off so much blood that my hands tingled.

Corwin was supposed to hold Polynomial, but somehow Mom and I ended up doing most of that. Mara tried hold Poly for a while, but she’s not as … hefty as Corwin and so had some difficulty restraining Poly. One of Mara’s friend’s tried it as well, but she was even less hefty (she probably weighed less than Charles) and that was just hopeless. I did tell Mara to put her hand through the leash loop and hold on the strap so that if she lost her grip, she’d still get dragged along and slow Poly down. Mara, oddly, thought the advice was a bit heartless. Her mom pointed that knowing Mara’s great love for animals, she should be willing to make the sacrifce.

Corwin initially charged out in front, presumably because he thought that would let him finish sooner. He didn’t start whining until about ⅔ of the way through the hike at which point he became quite the lagger. He was like a desert wanderer seeing an oasis when the church at the start and the end came in to view.

Alice stayed in the stroller the entire trip, except for brief excursions to have a chocolate chip cookie and falling out in to the street at the first major road crossing. She managed to hold on to Baby even while almost asleep. She’s now totally energized while Mom and I are barely conscious. I am typing this in a vain attempt to stay awak0087uigrey89gerh.

Huh? What? Oh. Time to surrender. Early bed time for everyone.

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Saturday 14 April 2007

Weekly Soccer Report

Corwin stops yet another attack

Weather for today’s soccer game started out moderately miserable, about as miserable as it can get without actually having to cancel the game. It was about 45°F, with a bit of wind and drizzle, but no actual frozen water falling from the sky. Game on!

However, Corwin’s team only had 9 players show up, so there were no substitutions at all. Jack became ill around half time and had to leave, so one of the other players (their team had 2 or 3 subs) was traded over to us for the second half.

The first quarter was exciting. Josh scored a goal early on and then the other team also scored (against Corwin, who made a valiant effort but slipped on the wet grass). Near the end of the quarter Josh took another good shot that was stopped by an opposing player grabbing it. However, that player wasn’t the goalie, so Josh let Jack take the penalty kick for another score. The score remained at 2-1 until late in the fourth quarter, at which point Josh got in to the zone and scored two goals with unsupported drives from midfield. After a minor incident on the field, there was another scrum near the opposing goal which resulted in Josh scoring again for a final score of 5-1.

Despite the final lopsided score, most of the game was very even, with lots of attacks on both goals and some great saves (mostly by goalies, but a few defenders as well). If anything was missing, I would say it was the non-goalie defense, which seemed to let in a lot of attackers in both directions, leaving the goalies to make spectacular saves.

Overall it was Josh’s game. Beyond scoring 4 of the 5 goals, he made at least one of the spectacular goalie saves, taking a very close shot and managing to tip it with his hand so it fell outside the goal where he could grab it before the other team could get another shot.

Corwin did reasonably well, although he seemed a bit off to me. He made some good clears but didn’t really shine on offense. Part of that might have been that he was the only person playing in short sleeves on a cold, rainy day. He had taken a coat, but he took it off early on and cleverly left it sitting in a way that caused the inside to become completely soaked, rendering it unusable in short order. This became a real problem in the fourth quarter when it turned noticeably colder.

The game didn’t end as well as it started. One of the other players had a bad habit of pushing during close encounters over the ball. At least twice this was blatant enough for a penalty kick. Jack had two major falls from this, Josh had one, and Ali had to leave the game for a few minutes from another impact. After a complaint from our coach about this pattern of illegal hits, the kid was pulled shortly after Josh started his scoring run. This caused some bad feelings on the part of the other team, which was a bit disappointing after such a well played game.

To top it all off, the weather conditions made picture taking almost impossible so I have very few shots of all the great action.

Season Summary

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Friday 13 April 2007

Blue Flame

Alice opens up with her one Charles power engine

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Labor saving devices

Mom got her new oven put in yesterday, as part of the kitchen upgrade. It has a top oven that is both a convection oven and a microwave. Best of all, it has a clock on each section so when the power goes out, you have to set them both!

The oven also came with a DVD (that’s how super-cool techno-rific it is) that was so exciting that Mom watched it several times. I am hoping this means that it is so far beyond my understanding that I will no longer be expected to even be able to microwave things. That’d be worth the money.

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Thursday 12 April 2007

Mid week soccer report

Charles kicks the season in to gear

Charles had his first soccer game this evening. I thought they were going to cancel because it was literally snowing, but I suppose since it wasn’t accumulating it was OK despite it being 45°F with 10-15 MPH winds. It seemed as cold to me as when Corwin’s game was cancelled but I suppose the kindergarteners are made of tougher stuff.

The game was what one would expect. Charles didn’t do as well as he was at the end of last season but he still got some good kicks and blocks. I need to work with him on the fact that it’s very hard to kick the ball behind you, which means he needs to avoid trying to kick the ball away from his goal while he’s facing the goal. Charles also seemed to have a bit of trouble tracking the ball location — a few times when it got kicked hard I could seem him searching around for it, locating it primarily by the crowd that gathers near it.

Perhaps it was the wind, or the cold, or the bundling due to the cold, but the kids were tripping over each other like a bad slap stick comedy. Sometimes entires rows would go down in a chain reaction.

The game was scoreless until about half way through the fourth quarter when the other team made a shot from a few feet out right between the goalie’s legs. Charles’ team managed to get energized enough to tie it up with just a minute left in the game. After a couple more runs back and forth, one of the coaches who was suffering from the cold managed to grab the ball after it went out of bounds and that was the end of the game. That seemed like an excellent way to end to me.

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Wednesday 11 April 2007

Big and Little

Alice has been arguing with us about whether she is “big” or “little” as this changes whenever it’s convenient for her. Her default state is “little” as in “I [too] little to put on my underwear” although I have been yelled at for helping with her underwear a time or too because she was big then. But not now —

Dad: You can go potty by yourself.

Alice: No. I little.

Dad: I thought you were big.

Alice: No, I little. Trust me.

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Tuesday 10 April 2007

Three kids to the wind

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Monday 09 April 2007

AZ Trip Report

Kerri and Josh’s wedding was a great success Friday. The ceremony was in a nice garden. The couple exchanged vows between happy tears. Josh’s mother who lives in Hawaii bestowed leis on them. The leis were composed of leaves (citrus I suppose but they kind of looked like bay leaves). One was accented by tightly folded $10’s and $20’s. The other one contained gift cards from a variety of stores.

The reception was in the back courtyard at a Mexican restaurant. We got to socialize, and Charles even interacted with the other children present. Little Brady, Tara and the other Josh’s daughter, toddled about strangely drawn to the steep concrete steps leading to the second floor.

After the reception we spent some time at the pool. Charles would even leave the stairs and let me launch him into the water, a little way. Brady eventually kind of got used to the water.

For dinner Charles declared his need to find more white noodles. He had only eaten a lemon at the reception, so I’m sure he was hungry. We found a Pasta Primadora near the mall, and we split a fettecuni alfredo. Charles declared it better than the brew pub noodles but not as good as the Fazoli ideal. Still he ate quite a few noodles so I think it was a success.

Saturday, we spent some time swimming in the morning and then headed out to the railway museum. A nice lady gave us a tour of some of the passenger cars. Then we walked around the rest of the rail yard. They had a nice steam engine, a number of passenger cars and freight cars. Finally, we visited the gift shop, Charles’ favorite part of the trip. The gentleman there said that they used to have little trips with their trains, but currently they have some problems with Union Pacific, the owner of the local tracks, so they are grounded.

In the evening, we visited Aunt Sonja and Uncle Ken. They had a little party for all the family. We got to visit, eat, and take in the view of Phoenix from their foothill home. Kerri and Josh showed up looking happy. Evidently Josh is a morning person. Kerri woke up to find a spreadsheet with all the gifts and givers itemized. What a deal!

Charles played with the train set he got from the train museum. Then Kerri gave him a building set. He promptly built a cool airplane and spent the rest of the evening flying it around and adjusting its weaponery.

Poor Brady was having some stomach issues. She projectile vomited in the car on the way to Ken and Sonja’s. Then spewed twice more at their house. Between spews she seemed happy enough, but understandably Tara and Josh were fairly worried. A good nights sleep seemed to cure it though. She was happy and hungry at breakfast Sunday morning.

We met up with the Bradys and Vinloves for breakfast before they headed out for the airport. Our flight wasn’t until the afternoon, so I hoped we could get in one last swim, but sadly the pool was being cleaned all morning. We hung out in the room a bit with Charles drawing and eating his chocolate bunny, and I got a bit a work done. The rest of the day was spent in airports, but thankfully we had an uneventful flight back. Polly greeted us excitedly at the door. We eventually found the other family members. They seem to remember us.

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Sunday 08 April 2007

Easter loot

Alice shows off her egg-based finery

Today was Easter, in case you hadn’t heard. Corwin, Alice, and I went to church for the Easter egg hunt. It turns out that it is for 3rd graders and under, so Corwin was unable to participate. He “helped” Alice by alighting near by and reading his book, with a little bit of pointing directly at an egg and saying “Alice, look here!”.

The nursery wasn’t staffed and I almost left at that point, because Alice refused to allow Corwin to turn on the light in the room and saying “I need to go home now”. However weak the spirit, the flesh was willing. Alice and Corwin were tolerable during the service, although Corwin grumbled for a while about not being able to read his book during those moments when the pastor was literally speaking. Alice went up for the childrens’ sermon, although I hope the pastor didn’t catch her comments shortly afterwards of “can we go home now?”.

Afterwards, we mainly hung around the house while I tried to make it look like it had been inhabited by civilized people while Mom was gone. Corwin was surprisingly helpful with only minimal grumbling. Alice was a big problem but we overcame her (she’s been a bit of a problem child all week). For the first time, Alice lost chocolate to Poly (twice!), although we managed to retrieve almost all of it.

Now we’re just waiting for Mom to return, presuming she hasn’t read enough stuff here while gone to rethink that.

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Saturday 07 April 2007

Gratuitous Picture of the Day

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Not taking Mom's career choice to heart

[Riding in the van]

Alice: I not a boy.

Dad: Oh. Are you sure?

Alice: Yes. I little.


Alice: Someday I grow up and be a boy named Alice.

Dad: Someday?

Alice: Yes, someday…like tomorrow.

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Mom took all the heat

No soccer game today due to excessive cold.

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Friday 06 April 2007

Dog-gone yet?

I am trying to convince myself that Mom should still have a dog when she gets back, but sometimes that’s difficult.

Yesterday while trying convince Polynomial to dump her waste products outside1, I let her sniff her way under a bunch of pine needles. She wanted to do this, I found out afterwards, because some animal had pooped there and Poly wanted some of that2. I had to walk her around for a bit more until she dropped it and I could drag her away.

However, Poly has a good memory for some things and today while I was walking her, she managed to find the remnants of this and had another go at it. Later in the day, when she tried it for the third time, I remembered where it was as well and stopped her.

On the other hand, Poly somehow managed to get a hold of a used Alice diaper and disassemble in to very small pieces in the front entrance way. She digs other things out of the trash multiple times per day, bizarre things like empty paper bags and DVD wrappers. She got a box of sugar cubes off the counter (I thought I had put it back too far for her, but she seems to have quite the reach). And something Mom will really appreciate — Poly chewed one of the boy’s violin chin rests into plastic junk.

Like babies, it’s a good thing dogs are cute.

1 Poly is still not really house trained, in that she grasps this concept only weakly. This means taking her out is an undertaking which can easily take 10-15 minutes, meaning one needs to be fully dressed if the weather in inclement. Naturally, because Poly runs away, there’s no hope of just sending her out by herself.

2 This from the dog that watches me put her food in her bowl and then walks away uninterested.

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Update from the desert

We made it in Wednesday afternoon and did some sight seeing yesterday. We’ve also been swimming a couple times. The temperatures have been in the 90’s, but it’s a dry heat so it has actually been quite pleasant. At least it isn’t snowing!

This is my first time on the net since we arrived. The hotel charges extra for network access, which seems ridiculous. When we drove down to TX it seems that every Super 8 and Motel 6 was advertising free Internet access. But I guess “nice” hotels need to charge for every little thing.

Yesterday we hiked on South Mountain. Actually, we just hiked on the interpretive trail near the education center and then drove up to the top. The interpretive trail let us get very close to saguaro cactus and other very neat desert plants. We saw some Hohokam Indian pictographs too. The view from the top was very impressive. You could see all of the Phoenix valley and mountains 50 miles in the distance. There were bikes going up the road. With all the car traffic I think that would have been unnerving. There was even a big RV at the top.

After South Mountain we drove to Scottsdale to see Taliesin West, the winter home of Frank Lloyd Wright in the last 20 years of his life. It is still home to an active architecture firm and school. The tour was very interesting. As his own studio, he and his students experimented on quite a few things. So not everything was as polished as you would see in one of his commissioned works. The school itself sounded very cool and hands on. Charles dutifully trudged along, but I don’t think he got much out of the tours. As we drove away, he did not seem to remember anything of it.

For supper Charles decided that he needed to have “white noodles”, which is what we call the fettucini alfredo that we get at Fazollis. Unfortunately, the Fazolli chain does not seem to be in Phoenix. Finally, we found a brew pub at the Chandler mall that had fettucini alfredo. Once the noodles arrived, Charles ate about 3 fork fulls, but the beer was good.

Charles favorite activity so far has been swimming in the hotel pool. It has very wide stairs, so there is plenty of shallow area for Charles to lurk in .

Today is the main event, Kerri and Josh’s wedding.

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Thursday 05 April 2007

I need a bigger engine

Can’t you move this any faster?

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Wednesday 04 April 2007

Beautiful Spring Weather

I saw some snow flakes today.

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Mom and Charles left for Arizona today, to attend the wedding of yet another of Mom’s cousins (viz). She had offered to take Corwin along but he passed. Charles was reluctant until Mom pointed out that travel involved vehicles, such as planes. That put a whole different shine on the outing and Charles as in.

I was left here to hold the fort with Alice and Corwin. Mom once again planned well, as Corwin doesn’t have school tomorrow or Friday. Why there aren’t temporary forced child labor camps I jus can’t understand.

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Tuesday 03 April 2007

Varieties of Cute

Charles and Alice have been having some really hilarious conversations lately (such as the babies in the basement one). They talk of aircraft carriers and how “big peoples eat bugs” (viz), although sometimes Charles get enraged because Alice contributes a bit too much to the conversation by getting stuck on point that Charles feels is inaccurate.

But, you can get too much of quoting that type of cuteness, so instead look at this —

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Monday 02 April 2007

Soccer Season, 2007

9:0031 MarBlueKicker East2-1Report
10:1521 AprYellowKicker West7-1Report — (Originally 7 Apr)
9:0014 AprBlueKicker East5-1Report
5:3018 AprYellowKicker West6-1Report
9:0028 AprBlueKicker West0-6Report
5:3030 AprBlueKicker West7-2Report
9:005 MayBlueKicker West4-2Report

Notes on the Photo Gallery.

  • If you want most of the pictures but don’t want to waste time downloading, let me know and I will make a CD for you (I normally try to get CDs out in time for the end of season get together).
  • You can use the images on your own websites if you like, I have a lot of bandwidth. You can get the URL by clicking on the “share photo” link under the picture. This will give you a page of links for various sizes of the picture. You can then use any of the “link” URLs as the “src” attribute for an IMG element. The “medium” size is usually the best choice.
  • You can order prints from the gallery directly, or other items (such as T-shirts or refigerator magnets). You can also download the image (click the “save photo” link under the picture) and print it at home, or take it to WalMart. Cafe Press lets you print pictures on various articles of clothing (hats, shirts, shorts, etc.) and seems to do nice work.
  • The “Order Horizon” logo is to prevent random internet twits from re-using my work as their own. If you would like an image without the logo, let me know.
  • All of the pictures are tagged by season, children in view, and goal score. You search the pictures by using keywords. Start here. You can see all the keywords there. You can click on one of those, or add keywords (separated by dashes) to the URL to go directly to the pictures you want. For instance, here are the pictures with Corwin and Jack from the spring of 2005. The important keywords are
    • The first name of the child
    • “soccer” for soccer pictures
    • The year (2004, 2005, 2006,2007)
    • “spring” or “fall”
  • I try to get pictures of everyone, but some players are a bit more of a challenge to photograph well.
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Gratuitous Picture of the Day

Alice defends her siblings from the terrible Dad

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Basement babies

Mom tells me that Charles and Alice were discussing additional siblings. They decided on two more, one boy and one girl. These babies would sleep in the basement, because Alice doesn’t want to share her room. I asked her why that would be a problem, since she mostly sleeps in Mommie’s room, but she said that her room was still her room and not for babies. I asked about the babies getting lonely being in the basement, but Alice’s heart was unmoved by their hypothetical plight. “Babies have to stay in the basement!” she declared.

At this point Charles was moved —

Charles: The babies have to stay in the basement?

Alice: Yes.

Charles: They can’t come upstairs ever?

Alice: They have to stay in the basement.

Charles. But then they can’t ever have cake.

Alice: Someone could take cake down to them in the basement.

Alice refused to comment substantively on whether the babies would be allowed upstairs once they weren’t babies anymore (except to affirm that Alice is not a baby).

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Sunday 01 April 2007

Maintenance Issue

Sorry about the weblog being flaky today, I was desperately working on fixing some broken code that maintains the shifting images in the banner and the sidebar. Most likely I was the only one who noticed, but some of the images would now and then show as “image unavailable” instead of an actual image. This happened for all new images, which put rather a damper on the entire concept.

The problem was that I was using a plugin for the weblog that someone else wrote (see, Mom, this is why I need to write everything I use). It uses Flickr to host the images, but recently Flickr changed the way it handles images and that broke the code. Unfortunately, the code was a bit hacky so I had to do a significant rewrite to get it to work. Any problems you had today were the result of my debugging the new version. But it seems to be all better now.

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I not funny!

[dinner time]

Mom: Alice! Get a napkin and wipe your hands on that.

Alice: Why?

Mom: So you don’t wipe your hand on my shirt.

Alice: I didn’t.

[Alice wipes hands on Mom’s sleeve]

Mom: What was that?

Alice: I don’t know.

Dad: [chuckles]

Alice: What is funny?

Dad: You.

Alice: No! I not funny!.

Dad: What’s funny then?

Alice: You! [laughs]

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