when garrett was little someone was trying to get him to say elephant. no luck. finallly they annoyed him enough that he set them straight: my no say elephant. my say rrrRRRRrrrrrr.
i have one pair of pants with a broken zipper. it's stuck fast. as if i glued it there. i am unable to zip these pants. the pants are unzippable. i have another pair of pants for hiking in machu picchu. i can convert them to shorts by unfastening the legs and stuffing them into my pockets. i am able to unzip these pants. the pants are unzippable.
garrett learned about different forms of government in kindergarten recently. their assignment was to write about whether they'd like to be president or not. garrett turned in: i don't want to be president. i want to be a king.
bush o gore
i really don't understand something about people. why would we snub a person who wants to make the world a better place in favor of a person who wants to start wars whose only product is human misery? what has clouded our judgement so thoroughly? are we that paranoid? have we really strayed so far from the teachings of that dead guy? love your neighbor. turn the other cheek.
the other day i was skating home from school with the boys on their bikes. garrett was on the sidewalk. i was in the street. we weren't racing exactly. but neither of us would let the other get ahead. i moved out to go around a parked car. i checked for traffic and caught a stick. i took a couple of quick steps to recover. but still had to post a hand to avoid a face plant. garrett immediately said, nice save dad. not a trace of sarcasm. don't think he's learned that nuance yet. despite my best efforts.
fly kite fly
we went to shoreline park to fly kites with friends of ours. their oldest daughter was 2 at the time. amazingly gifted verbally though. one of the kites got away. she chased after it. not to catch it. but to encourage it: fly kite fly! you have the world on a string.
long ago some people found this nice big green island. it was a great place to live. they named it greenland. and they grew grapes and made wine. then they got drunk, built boats, and sailed off to rape and pillage their neighbors. or something like that. it was great fun! but nothing good ever lasts. something happened. they started to grow ice. which i think was an extreme tactical error. and no fun at all. though i think their neighbors were happier. if a bit colder. the seasonal temperature average changed by a mere 1 degree celsius. pretty amazing that such a small change can have such a dramatic affect. the (current) predicted temperature increase for this century is some 3 to 5 degrees celsius. that should send a chill down your spine. err... something.
the temperature of the earth is about 300 kelvin. surprisingly, the sun's warmth is the second biggest contributor to the beautiful weather of the south pacific. the biggest is the decay of radioactive materials deep within the earth. third is gravity. meteors fall to earth and burn up. that heats the air and hence the earth as a whole. the earth still has bunches of heat left over from its formation some 3.5 billion years ago. the last thing i'm going to mention is composition. it includes things like color, reflectivity, and specific heat. the last being the difference between tomatoes and meatballs.
the beautiful and talented alisa makes a dish we call tomato meatballs served over rice. request it if you are ever lucky enough to sample her cuisine. stab the meatballs and pop them in your mouth. then shovel the rice into your facial orifice. then carefully cut your tomato hunks into bits and separate them as far apart as possible. then set down your fork and regale us with interesting dinner stories for about half an hour. that's how long it takes the tomatoes to cool. they come out of the oven as little balls of nuclear fire. if you eat them first you will experience the kind of internal combustion usually reserved for nitrous burning drag racer engines. why are the tomatoes globs of solidified fire when an adjacent meatball is cool enough to finger? composition. it's one of those things that's verifiably true. no matter how puzzling it seems.
ever watch miso soup cool? it makes really pretty patterns. bored with that one? mix it up again and wait. you'll get a completely different pattern. some parts of the soup are slightly warmer than others. the differences get amplified into the rising and falling areas that are so visible. i could write a computer program to simulate miso soup. i'd never duplicate exactly what happens in any one given bowl on any given day. it would be silly to have that expectation. i can however predict how the convection affects how fast the soup cools. a similar thing happens with climate models. you can't accurately predict if your property is going to cook or cool. it's silly to have that expectation.
shave your eggs 2
the beautiful and talented alisa can be counted on (conned into) volunteering to make costumes for all of the kids in the boys' classes. it's a huge piece of work that nobody admits to being able to do. apparently they stopped teaching little girls to sew immediately after she was a little girl. i get to help. my job for the rhino hoods was to carve styrofoam eggs to look like horns. no i didn't shave the hair off my nads. you people and your dirty minds. sheehs.
shave your eggs
i was minding my own business one evening when the beautiful and talented alisa asked me to shave an egg. just one to start. to see how well it works. she suggested using a box cutter. i thought a safety razor would be the right tool. either way it was gonna be messy. so i squatted over a trash can and set to work. things went okay for a while. but the feedback was always take off more here. you missed a spot there. blah blah blah. she inspected my work. handled it a bit. the test fit was perfect the first time. finally she was satisfied. me? i was exhausted. would you shave an egg for the woman you love? of course. three more to go. sigh.
ben and i were at the park with the dad's group. one of the dads is scottish. and likes to talk. you don't have to participate much more than eye contact, head bobs, and warm smiles. which is good. cause most of the time we have no idea what he's saying. he and i were regulars. and there wasn't much else to do but try to puzzle out what he said while the tots explored this big new fascinating world. so one day a lady was swinging her tot near us. she turned to bill: what time is it? bill seemed to ignore her. really he just didn't understand. so i piped up with: beel, dja hev da tame? his look showed surprise. but he looked at his watch: iz hef pest. i looked at the woman. she had no idea what he said. so i translated: it's twelve thirty, in case you don't speak scottish. bill looks at me with something akin to awe: hen juice tar spikken soze sigh ken hunters tent dja? me: so my accent was okay then? beel: id one't huff bod! high praise. i think.
uss hornet 4
we toured the flight deck at night. that was neat. the rule there was we must stay together. but still some idiot parents let their kids wander off. in the dark. with only a minimal chain link fence separating idiot kids from a five story fall into the bay. some wised up and left the group. the docent was very clear. we must stay together or you will be sent below decks. i have no doubt he meant it.
uss hornet 3
the number two rule was no horseplay. two kids ignored this. one fell off his bunk. and cried for half an hour while we were trying to go to sleep. it wasn't even a real cry. it was that fake tired cry. and dad made it worse instead of better. he tried to be all nice and caring and shit. nah. doesn't work. stop your blubbering kid. or i'll give you a reason to cry. won't help you any. but it'll make everyone else feel better.
uss hornet 2
the ship has not been civilianized. nothing is soft. everything is made of metal. and lots of crap is crammed into every hallway. pipes levers valves stick out at crazy angles. the number one rule was no running. kids that ran had to do pushups. plenty of kids dropped. the floors are painted with sand. they are rough and abrasive to improve traction when wet. hence the no running rule. didn't see any torn up hands or knees though. guess the pushups worked.
the uss hornet cvs-12 is an aircraft carrier turned museum anchored in sf bay. ben's cub scout troop got to spend a night on it. big boat. we can see it from the studio where i sometimes work across the bay. it's much easier to see in the morning when it's back lit and a bit hazy out. in the afternoon it blends into the background. it was fun. got to see everything but the engine room. the catapult piston was much smaller than i expected it to be. the captain's quarters sucked. the bunks were comfortable enough. but it was loud at night. and bright. they never really turned off the lights at lights out.
we went after sadr. that's good news. there are many horses in the race to fill the power vaccuum in iraq. too many. we need to pick some winners and remove the others from play. either drive them out or kill them. how to choose though. that's the problem. some are easy. like if you can't share the power and want it all for yourself. you're outta here. the next ones will be tougher. arbitrary even. works for me. closure good.
work got into a dumb position recently. we were pursuing a low payoff low probability project. we didn't start there of course. the original plan was a high payoff high probability thing. but it started to look like it wasn't going to meet unreasonably high expectations. so we made a tactical decision to change targets. and another. and another. and so on. until eventually we ended up with nothing useful and a big mess. kinda like iraq.
most people are below average intelligence. if you don't know why that's true, most likely, you're one of them. ;->
kinda funny how the media has flip flopped. 5 years ago it was all pro war. now it's all anti war. same as public opinion. a correlation. what's the causality? ie does the media reflect public opinion? or does the media create public opinion? i think there's a sort of positive feedback effect. ie they drive each other to extremes. then do a 180 and drive each other to the other extreme.
according to alisa's credit card bill she bought stuff at target in california on monday, bought gas in texas on tuesday, and bought groceries in california on wednesday. hmmm... seems unlikely. somehow someone cloned her card. and was using it at a place where you didn't have to show id or interact with a person. an above average criminal plan. she called the bank. they're going to send her a new card. annoying. but at least it's not a card used for periodic billing. changing billing information for numerous creditors would be painful.
sometimes it helps me to think out loud. i've resolved some of my most difficult problems just by articulating (inflicting actually) them on an unsuspecting friend or spouse who has no hope of following the timmer train. many times that audience is you dear reader. just in case you were wondering wha... huh. gtg. just had an aha with a work problem.
i don't know how al gore does it. his kids are smarter than average, healthy, and rich. he's trotting the globe delivering a message that's unpopular with smarter than average, healthy, rich people. a message that benefits the poor, stupid, and unlucky. i certainly wouldn't have whatever it takes to try to improve the lives of other people's kids.
last week it was 25 degrees out. this week it's 85. omfg! at this rate global warming will boil the oceans in 2 weeks! everybody panic!
our old gas grill gave up the ghost. the burner developed holes large enough to cook food poorly. not to mention dangerously. we got a new one over the weekend. it was too big to fit in my car. at least in its box. so we unpacked it in the parking lot. all the sub-boxes fit nicely. i was afraid the kids were going to learn some new words while we were assembling it and mom was at the gym. but i was good. they got the roll on the floor giggles when i threw a screwdriver at it and called it a lopsided bucket of bilge water.
garrett started talking a bit late. i think he was just waiting until he had something to say. he told his mother he loved her more than the longest train.
"it's unfair to just look to the White House for leadership." - bush administration.
a friend of mine insists we must win the war in iraq. great! me too. however i'm going to summarize (without credit cause i can't find it anymore!) an article written by a guy who claims to have gone there. he described the situation as there are really four wars. shia vs shia in the south for power. sunni vs shia in baghdad for power. insurgents vs americans. and al queda vs everybody. when we make progress in one we lose ground in the others. neat huh? sure we can win one, maybe even two. but we'll lose the rest. so... we need to win the war in iraq. great! which one? sigh.
grandpa got some diet coke made with splenda instead of aspartame. they should call it ass-plenda. cause that's what it tastes like.
kingdom of heaven
is a pretty good movie. see it. be warned though. it bashes christian fanatics pretty hard.