The ride to school was fun this morning. Caleb was in a grand mood. We were playing a game where he was pretending to not know Grammy and Pappi were picking him up from school today, and he was trying to guess who WAS picking him up. At one point he said, "Well, today is FRIday, so I MUST be being picked up by a French Fry!"

It took him close to a minute to stop laughing at his pun.
NOTICE: My lovely wife Whuffle is not trapped in Israel with no money, promoting a work at home MLM scam or trying to get you to go out on a date with her. Spammers hacked her Yahoo account. Since it's an account she no longer uses, she deleted it.

If you get e-mail from her, delete it. It's spam.
Last night a friend made the following observation:

"With the purchase of Star Wars by Disney, Leia is now a Disney Princess."
If I ever get a proper brew kettle for all-grain brewing I'm naming it Eldhrímnir
Hootiebird has been on a Blue's Clues kick, now that we've asked he lay off the Fistronaut for a while. He's also learned how to select the episode he wants to watch on Netflix. This has resulted in him focusing on a handful of episodes. Specifically the an episode about superheroes, and the ones where Mr Salt and Mrs Pepper have a second child, making Paprika a big sister.

This morning he was watching the episode where Baby Cinnamon is born with an intensity that made me think if he could write he would be taking notes. The Blue's clues episode was about what Blue wanted to do to welcome the new baby to the house and (Spoiler Alert!) the answer is she wants to sing a song. At the point in the episode where they get the third clue and start figuring out what Blue wants to do, Hootiebird jumped off the couch and, without taking his eyes off the TV, grabbed the electric keyboard Whuffle's father had given him and turned it on. He then started to play it when Steve and company started singing to baby Cinnamon. He was very focused and deliberate. I've never seen him approach a musical instrument so seriously.

when the episode ended he came into the kitchen and insisted upon giving Whuffle and I a concert. Instead of just pushing the buttons and goofing around the way he normally does, he got frustrated when he didn't get it "right."

I'm glad Whuffle's Dad is planning to teach him to actually play the keyboard. He's certainly motivated to give it his all.
My Android phone had gotten long in the tooth, and was causing me frustration due to hardware limitations. Fortunately, or so I thought, I had access to an iPod 3G, assuming I could unbrick it. I managed to unbrick it and get it working on my cell carrier.

There were problems of course, the kind you expect when switching platforms, but overall it had a critical feature, enough internal memory to install and run the apps I wanted. I was not totally unfamiliar with iOS, thanks to having had an early iPod Touch for quite a while. While neither device could run the latest and greatest, the iPod could run a slightly newer version of iOS than the touch, meaning I could use iTunes file sync to copy ebooks to the iPhone.

All that came to an end today when half the screen stopped responding. Repeated reboots left the "slide to unlock" swipe non-functional. I can still "Slide to power down."

I've gotten the photos I took off the ancient phone and will re-flash it to wipe my data from it. From there I put the SIM back in my old Android  phone until I can get around to replacing it with another Android with more internal memory.

Anyone have any suggestion on getting the bottom half of the screen to respond to touch again?
My lovely wife spent the day helping her best friend with the FORMS OF DOOM doom doom. To facilitate this battle with red tape, I took our son Hootiebird out for some time at the park and some grocery shopping. The park trip was entertaining, as he soon made friends and played madly.

The Park

At one point a six year old boy, two years older than my son, watched him climb some playground equipment and commented to me, "He's a monkey! He's FAST!" He proceeded to, on and off, play with Hootiebird, playfully competing with him. The kid was pretty nimble himself. I got the impression he was just enjoying playing with someone at a similar level of physicality who just wanted to PLAY. His older sister was also there and she seemed very dismissive and critical of her younger brother.

Later on, Hootiebird was playing with two kids, a ten year old boy and his seven year old sister. They played on a tire swing but after a while Hootiebird got off, saying the swing was too fast for him. Once off, he went off to the side, sat down and watched the two play. I noticed he was sighing heavily every now and then.

"What are you thinking?" I asked.

"Nothing," he replied.

"How are you feeling?"


"Why are you sad?" I asked.

He sighed heavily, something that seems to come naturally to him as opposed to being an affectation. "He has a little sister, and I don't."

The lad is shameless in his petitioning for a younger sibling.

The Store

Grocery shopping started off just fine. Hootiebird was recognized by one of the women at the deli counter. She used to see Hootiebird each morning when she rode the bus when she was in high school. She remembered her interactions with him fondly and she lit up when he waved and said "hello."

Later on he convinced me to get him a large, inexpensive, "Hello Kitty" activity book. He was vibrating with excitement as he flipped through it, excitedly pointing out every new thing. At one point he grabbed my hand, pulled my hand down and said "Daddy! Daddy! look at this!"

I looked. "It has some dot-to-dots" I said.

"YES!" he called out excitedly. "It has number lines!" Clearly this book was a tome of wonder for the lad.

It was while he was babbling away with excitement and I was encouraging him that I noticed some motion in a reflection out of the corner of my eye. I glanced and noticed a woman who looked like she was trying to see something to my left. Noticing Hootiebird and I were pretty close to the eggs, I moved aside a bit so she could get at whatever she wanted. I went back to Hootiebird, who still had a tight grip on my left hand, when I saw a set of keys skid across the floor from behind me and stop a good yard past my cart. I looked behind me and noticed the same woman looking not at the food beside me, but at me.

Hootiebird released his grip on my hand to turn around and look towards the keys. In so doing he uncovered my wedding band. It was at this moment that the woman's face went from curiosity to sour disappointment. It was a very sudden and obvious transformation. She apologized for dropping her keys and casually walked around me to retrieve them.

When I told Whuffle about this later she commented, "You were being checked out."

"I really should blog this," I said, "We might get a few male friends offering to babysit him for free if we do."

"He's a major vector for baby rabies," Whuffle sagely concluded.
My cell phone just rang. The number was listed as "Unknown". I answered the call. After a few seconds of silence I heard a vaguely female, computer generated voice say, "Please die."

Then the call hung up.

W. T. F?


May. 24th, 2012 08:50 am
I'm on the train. A woman's phone rang. Her ringtone was a crowing rooster. While rushing to answer it she goosed me with her umbrella.

She was to busy with her phone call to apologize.
Lemon Balm is astoundingly resilient. Once ONE of those buggers flowers that soil will forever harbor lemon balm seeds. I feed it to the rabbits. The gravely area on the side of the house that's still covered with rocky fill from rebuilding the porch is being taken over by lemon balm instead of grass. This works nicely for me, as it's lower maintenance. While it CAN be mowed, if you normally use one of the higher cutting settings on your lawnmower, you won't notice the difference. I'm tempted to replant the yard with lemon balm when my wife and I finally do something about it.



Religious Sites Carry More Malware Than Porn Sites, Security Firm Reports

"Why religious sites you might ask? “We hypothesize that this is because pornographic website owners already make money from the Internet and, as a result, have a vested interest in keeping their sites malware-free--it’s not good for repeat business,” said the report."
Sadly, it's kind of rainy for this to apply today.

First of May, the NSFW song )
My son is now 4.

This past weekend, he was in the bathroom, grunting and straining with much ado. Finally I hear the following:

"Fine, go back in."

I heard the toilet flush and the running water of washing hands. A minute later he emerged from the bathroom, looking tired and defeated.
Dear Brain,

I understand we have issues over my son's enjoyment of "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic" but that's no reason to present me with a dream replaying most of the movie featuring MLP characters in place of the "Tributes" from The Hunger Games.

Making the people running the games characters from "The Little Mermaid" was evil as well, except for the scene at the end where Sebastian, who was the director, was locked in a room where the only food was poisonous pufferfish.
Something is wrong with the decryption code I've been given. I also think I have the wrong password.

I SHOULD be getting a database connection string. Instead I'm getting pho-Chinese and pseudo-Japanese characters that, when fed into Google translate, results in:

silk loincloth lagoon night filtration universal worship
Li wins responsibility herring Susumu!

Setting the source language to Chinese instead of Japanese produces more coherent results:

Zhen residential arrangements Vulgar doped
Kai promise She Qi Thickness cormorant makeup
latitude Dong
slander night diarrhea drawers
silk Drug test if the the the the Yong Nurse any wins the intestinal
the filter thou rust Amaranthus Han phthalocyanine
to trace the Jinmu Zhou
ashamed Yan callous Gang Hunyou basket
gull the sauce
ulterior the scratch?

This is, of course, for rather liberal definitions of "coherent."

None of this however is the database connections string I should be getting.
Preparing to bloom by flakingnapstich
Preparing to bloom, a photo by flakingnapstich on Flickr.

Preparing to bloom

The danger in watching Mythbusters with your preschoolers is that he will learn what a trebuchet is and start asking for one by name.
Caleb is home sick again, this time being cared for by Whuffle.

He was still lethargic but was eating and drinking a little. We watched TV, hung out, cuddled and when I went to pick him up to put him to bed he threw up all over me and the couch. A quick bath and a load of laundry later he was in bed, calming down after the panic of throwing up. I explained to him that throwing up was a way for our bodies to get rid of things that are making us sick and complimented him on what a big boy he was being. He was, all things considered, pretty collected.

I put him to bed and he started to doze, but woke up a couple of hours later asking me to snuggle him. I put my arm under his head to cuddle him and he threw up on both of us. This time however my shirt got the brunt of it and his bed was spared. He clapped his hands over his mouth and said "uh, oh Daddy. I have more." He then made a "hurking" sound.

"Let's get to the bathroom," I said, scooping him up. When we got to the bathroom I directed him to lean over the toilet so he could finish throwing up. He took a minute or so to finish but when he was done he spat into the john and commented "I feel better now Daddy."

We took off our sick covered shirts and washed our hands. He remained cool, calm and collected throughout the experience.

Whuffle and I decided he should stay in our bed with me, and she went to his bed so she could get some sleep. Over the course of the night he woke up a few more times. He went to the bathroom a few times but most of his wake-ups were because he felt nauseous. He would call for me to accompany him, head to the bathroom, lean over the toilet and eventually say "Nope, I don't need to throw up Daddy."

When I woke up, he was draped over my back, having apparently decided I made a grand body pillow. Before I left for the day I complimented him on how well he'd handled himself, and asked him to be good for Mommy, make sure he drinks plenty of water and eat some food today.

"OK Daddy," he said before snuggling back up to Whuffle.
Caleb now has a fever of 100.8. Since, like me, he normally runs about 99 this isn't much if a fever, but combined with his lugubrious disposition, lack of energy, and miniscule appetite it spells "no school Friday." Whuffle will stay home with him in the morning, with her Father coming by later in the day so she can head into the office to wrap up payroll.

He's spent his day being cuddly and taking naps.

The kid is so tired he turned down chocolate.
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