Saturday, September 17, 2022

When your child shows you a tiny bug on the table...

Yesterday our son made a very small boat-like envelope out of paper after breakfast. He wanted me to tape the edges together, but as we needed to get ready for school I told him that would have to wait. 

After he was dressed he then pointed to a tiny insect on the dining table which initially I didn't even see (it was maybe 1/16"). Then I squished it with my finger, because we had to get going. 

He then started crying because it turned out that little envelope was meant to be a house for the bug I'd just killed. He had not mentioned that part yet.

I apologized profusely and suppressed explaining how unlikely it would be that we could have gotten the bug into its "house" and how it would have been a poor pet even if so. 

The moment was only saved when he pointed out a different tiny insect (looked like a fruit fly) that was also on the table. The "house" could be its home instead. He wanted me to get some fabric to make a bed for it. I told him he could do that after school and to put on his shoes.

This is parenting an empathetic child. 

Also a reminder to find out the plan before acting.

(Really, we do clean the house.)

Thursday, June 30, 2022

A brief thought about the conservative movement

I think a lot about all the planning and effort the conservative movement has put into opposing abortion access and opposing any gun regulation over decades, and how if they had put even a fraction of that instead toward getting therapy for themselves we all would be far better off now.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Iron Man

Like most sentient beings our 8-year-old is well acquainted with the theme to the 1967 Spider-Man cartoon. I think he may have seen some clips on YouTube but mostly it's from me putting it on a playlist we played in the car many times. (The playlist also included the Ramones excellent cover.)

Last week I mentioned there was a song called "Iron Man" and he was interested, figuring it must be about the other Marvel superhero. I pulled up the Black Sabbath track on my phone and played it for him, and... he lost interest partway through and had me stop when it became clear it was not about that subject.

Fair enough.

Then yesterday he was humming the riff to "Iron Man" quietly to himself, despite it not having come up in the interim. So apparently that had made some impression on him. 

And last night before bedtime he started singing this:

"Iron Man
Iron Man
Does whatever an iron can"

Then he chuckled softly, amused at himself.

Kids make you proud in the most unexpected ways sometimes.

Monday, March 14, 2022

Daylight Saving Time proposal

An imagined discussion of how it might go if someone were proposing Daylight Saving Time as a new idea now:

So you're saying we should all just get up an hour earlier?


And get our kids up an hour earlier for school?


And why do we do this?

So it's daylight a bit longer in the evening.


Well, that can save some energy.

Only if we don't turn our lights on, which we probably will anyway.

You can be outside later.

Are you suggesting we're afraid of the dark or something?

No, no.  But you won't need lights out there until later.

Yeah, I think you really need to go back to the drawing board on this one.

Saturday, February 26, 2022

When I didn't meet Weird Al Yankovic

On the Late Show with Stephen Colbert the other night, the actor Thomas Lennon told the story of how he met "Weird Al" Yankovic (in an office supply store), which, along the news of a biopic of Mr. Yankovic starring Danielle Radcliffe being in production, reminded me of this:

A custom Lego mini-fig my wife
got for me a few years ago,
not from the event chronicled here.

Back on November 9, 2018, my wife and I took our then-pre-school-aged child to Disneyland. It was not the first visit for any of us, but this was the first time any of us went there on the first day of the park having its Christmas decorations up (or, at least, having the big tree on Main Street; there were parts of the park where the decorations were still in-process). 

Unsurprisingly, it was a warm autumn day in Anaheim, so it didn't really feel like the holidays but such is often the case in Southern California. Being a Thursday the park wasn't super crowded, which was nice, but being Disneyland there still were thousands of folks there with us.

At one point in the middle of the day I noticed that one of those people also at the park was "Weird Al" Yankovic. Yes, the Weird Al. Or just "Al" as I'll refer to him for the rest of this post; even though we aren't friends I feel like he wouldn't mind.

Sunday, February 06, 2022

Jury Duty in the Time of Covid (a case for pessimism)

When I received a jury summons last March, it was particularly unwelcome. It's not like most people look forward to jury duty, but in the middle of a pandemic where we'd spent a year working from home, where our son spent all of first grade on an iPad in his bedroom, and where we'd not gone pretty much anywhere, the thought to going to a courthouse and being around a bunch of strangers in an enclosed assembly room was worrying. This was prior to vaccines being widely available, and way before our child would be eligible for that.

So I postponed my service as far out as I could (five months) to August.

By then my wife and I had been fully vaccinated. While the state of Covid in our area wasn't as bad then,  again, our son was not yet so I postponed it a second time, again the five months I could. By the first week of February 2022 we were hopeful he'd be vaccinated and the pandemic should be in a much better state. 

Oh, how quaint we were. Well, at least our son got his shots, but Omicron made February arguably worse than August would have been.