Saturday, May 31, 2008

The park.

Off we went to the park in the wagon, to climb and play on the slides. There are two play structures, one for kids under 2, the other for the older children. Kiernan likes to run between them both. Usually I'd bring the wagon over to be closer to whichever area we were near, but I figured it was still in view so why be paranoid.

There's a guy and his kid who I often bump into and am ignored by on weekend visits to the local parks. He's a bigger guy, with dark hair badly bleached blonde. His son is about 3. Their version of going to the park involves letting the child run free while he ignores the boy. Today Mr. Blonde was chatting on a cellphone, but he had a 10 year old nearby who seemed to be keeping track of the 3 year old.

At one point Mr. Cellphone suddenly hops off the picnic table and races across the park - he's lose track of both his charges. "HEY! GET BACK HERE RIGHT NOW. NOW. RIGHT NOW. GET BACK HERE." he yells when he spots the two of them. They trudge back eventually, the bigger boy pulling the smaller in - you guessed it - Kiernan's wagon. Fine, I think, no big deal.

Kiernan decides he wants to go on the "udder slide!" so we head back... it is then Kiernan notices the boys. "Wagon!" he cries. I crouch down and tell him it's okay, they're using the wagon but they'll give it back.

"Okay, time to go!" says Mr. Blonde, who had been standing a dozen feet away, still on his phone. "No, you need to walk. That's not ours..." he says, but he pauses looking across the park (away from me), and, seeing only older children playing on the big structure, he takes the handle from the ten year old and starts to pull it along.

"Oh, that's our wagon." I say and he spins, dropping the handle like it's hot. Which it may soon have been, I guess.

"Oh. Oh. Sorry dude. Sorry."

"That's okay!" I reply, but the guy is back on the cellphone and the ten year old is dragging the wagon away.

Oookay... I think... I see this guy often enough that I can track down the wagon if it "disappears".

Kiernan climbed expertly up the steep stepping wall and slid down the slides, as I kept half an eye on the wagon being trudged around the park.

Of course, Kiernan wanted to slide on his belly at one point, but before he could turn around his foot slipped and he went down before he was ready. The tears flowed freely and he was inconsolable, even when I pointed out the bug on the slide. "Oh!" he exclaimed happily, then dissolved into blubbering.

Time to go home. And the wagon was down the path we needed to go, so we headed over, Kiernan still crying. "Hello!" I said politely to the current occupant and his chauffeur. "Can we please have our wagon back?"

The ten year old stared back with a slackjawed expression, then started to walk away, pulling the wagon.

"Excuse me." I stressed. "We need to take our wagon home."

Slackjaw stopped and cheerfully chirped "C'est une belle voiture verte!"

Um. Right. I couldn't figure out whether the boy was slow or just didn't speak English. Then I remembered him talking earlier in English.

"Could I please have our wagon?" Kiernan wailed anew with a "Waaaaagon!"

The three year old patted the second seat and said "He can sit here!"

"I need to take him home." I said, placing my foot in front of the wagon as another attempt was made to pull it away. "Please let us have our wagon." I looked back the way we'd come, but Mr. Blonde was still on his cellphone, watching us.

"C'est une belle voiture bleu!" came the reply.

I unlatched the door on the side of the wagon and said "Get out. Now."

The three year old scrambled out. The ten year old dropped the handle, which I'm glad of because I don't know how I would have dealt with a stubborn death grip. They both started running away from where Mr. Blonde was chatting away, but were stopped dead by him pausing to yell "HEY. GET BACK HERE NOW. NOW."

Kiernan's tears had cleared by the time he'd been put into the wagon. He gave a very evil chuckle as we walked by the other two boys. "Byeeeeee!" he called.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Weekly Wednesday #11

... better late than Wednesday (also better short than ... uh... lengthy) ...

Weekly Image:

Weekly Link involving a Canadian:
Someday maybe my kid will be an environmental genius like this. (No pressure)

Weekly Workplace:
Um, what's a straw dog and how do I build one...?

Weekly WTF: (warning, may cause anger)
Teacher lets students vote out classmate, 5

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Scenes from a Wedding part 2

The ceremony was long. And in French. So needless to say, I looked around at the church's architecture, thinking hey, I totally modelled buttresses like that in Maya in my 3D classes... also, I tried to figure out the large mural which sat at the front of the church.

Jesus was front and centre, arms upraised. Dozens of circles of varying sizes and designs were in spread across the canvas to the left and right of him. I wondered what the circles represented, as there were no two alike.

Hey, wait a minute... I leaned over to Lara and whispered "Right by Jesus' right elbow - isn't that the symbol for the Eye of Jupiter from Battlestar Galactica?"

Soon my eyes located another familiarity. The concentric circles near the other elbow: "Hey, if the middle circle was squished, that's the eye of Sauron!"

At the far right was a circle with a curving crisscross pattern, causing the illusion that it was spherical. There was a circle in the upper left hemisphere... okay, really now, did the artists draw a Death Star on purpose?

I hope they show up well in the photos...

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Scenes from a Wedding

Key notes for future wedding DJs:

1. The microphone is attached to an amplifier, which "amplifies" your voice. If the mic cuts out and everyone can still hear you then it's likely you don't need yell so loudly into it.

2. Pumping up the bass is a excellent idea. Pumping up the bass and treble is not. If the music causes the Shania Twain CD to skip, re-evaluate your equalization and/or choice of speakers.

3. The smoke machines are not necessary during the first slow dance.

4. Don't be afraid to spend money bulking up your CD collection. The "Super Ultimate DJ Party Mix" you purchased for $1.88 in the Walmart Bin is so affordable because "I Like to Move it" is actually by Reel 2 Real and not "DJ Shabba Pierre".

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Weekly Wednesday #10

Weekly Image:
This is hilarious, yet possibly over the heads of some of my readers.

Weekly Link:
I can see why the most popular entry in NASA's Create the Future Design Contest is a glowing light source that lasts fifteen years rather than the normal few hours of a glowstick... Hello, energy costs? These need to hit the shelves asap.

Weekly Video:
The time and effort it must have taken to make Muto deserves high respect.

Weekly Song I've never heard in full because I change the radio station after hearing the opening line:
"No One" by Alicia Keys. Seriously. Did she actually make a conscious decision to crack her voice like she was on a crying jag? Also, on the same topic, "Crank That" by Soulja Boy. Really? Who likes that song enough to sell enough albums to hit the Top 40? I don't need to listen to the whole song, because it's the same thing over and over. I blame the kids. Damn kids.

Weekly Workplace:
I trained two new people in the use of the complex business management software we use here and they LOVED it. This leads me to believe that I'm either good at teaching others, or that I forgot to pass on the crucial details that tend to confuse everyone else.

Weekly Weirdness:
Apparently Kiernan's friend at daycare was also up multiple times Monday night between 1 and 3am. There was a full moon that night. I know he loves pointing at the moon (and can apparently see it when it's hidden by clouds -- then again he also points at the sky sometimes and says "BLUE frog! RIDDIT RIDDIT!") , so maybe he's a little lunatic child.


um, because the moon is luna in Latin, not because he sees imaginary frogs.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

She jinxed it

Two hours straight with three awakenings + insomnia + coffee = a tentative shaky balance between wakefulness and a keyboard-print on my face.

I just need to find the perfect time this afternoon to drink my ambrosia so the high will last until after I get home.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Blogger versus skunk: CONCLUSION

So, the radio blared talk radio at the skunks for about a week, and still I hadn't found a source of free fill to shove under the shed. But common sense (aka Lara concerned about the electricity that the super powerful $18 Funysonic radio was draining) prevailed and I shut it off.

I found a bag of potting soil inside the shed, but it was not enough. I found some old pot plants full of soil, shoved it under, but it was not enough.

It was then that I realized that we have had a compost bin that for two years, and we have two or three garden plots which have become overrun by grass, weeds, and extra-tenacious perennials which are likely never to need the extra-rich soil. So under it went. Still, it was not enough.

After three or so more weeks passing, the shed seems uninhabited, which is good. I'm thinking it's not getting any new residents because the news spread throughout the local animal populace about the infamy of Stuart McLean... if only the sound waves caused by his voice countered the (slightly faded) skunky smells... or maybe it did, but Lara made me turn it off.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Cute is top of the checklist for them you know.

So my mother was watching Kiernan yesterday, and they were walking through the nearby mall, one which I spent many a year working at, one which is most convenient to the neighbourhood elderly... needless to say if you ever need to sit down somewhere, good luck finding a spot where no one is complaining about kids these days and how good things used to be back in the Depression. All they need is a chess set or backgammon board set up and it would be straight out of a clichéed movie scene.

Anyhow, mall, lots of old people, my mother walking hand in hand with my 20 month old son.

Enter four foot tall lady, who pipes up "You hold onto his hand tightly now!"

My mother, probably holding back a roll of her eyes (I come by it honestly) says "Oh, I will!" as the lady hobbles by.

Lady pauses and glares back. "It's not safe, you know... with the GAYS..."

My mom: "..."

Old lady, sizing up my son (who is probably half her size) continues, "... and he's a cute one!"

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Weekly Wednesday #9

... or, to my Quaker readers, Weekly Fourth Day

Weekly Images:
I thought having skunks in my backyard was pretty bad...

Weekly Link:
Vaccines do not cause autism

Weekly Addictive Flash Game I have finished:

Weekly Addictive Flash Game in which I am stuck on level 17 and want to rip out my hair in frustration over but only after ONE... MORE... ATTEMPT...

Weekly Workplace:
I had to change my password this week. They force you to do so every three months. I can't believe I've been here three months. That means there are four more password changes to go...

Weekly WTF:
Seriously, it can't be that important to beat Pa-Doink, can it? I bet the designer doesn't even have levels 18-20, just a message saying "Um, sorry, no levels here, I don't know how you got this message because I made it physically impossible to avoid that last spiky ball monster." But seriously I think you can just launch from the water and if you time it right.... augh...

I guess that's good to know...


My wife shoots up to a sitting position in bed.

"What's wrong?" I ask groggily.

She replies with a series of words that are either random syllables or words I'm still not awake enough to process.

"What?" I ask.

Five more syllables, I think I heard "beer beaches" or "barbie shoes" in there, then she pats me somberly on the leg and says "I thought you should know."

Then she flops back down onto her pillow.

"What?" I think. Was the first thing she said the key to the cryptic second part? Was her Delphic wisdom was lost to me forever?

Suddenly she's up again, this time only halfway to sitting. I listen eagerly to her followup.

She hits the snooze button on her clock radio and falls back to sleep.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


I've never, written in emails or IMs, used the phrase "kthxbye". In fact, I'm not fond of any sort of lazy typographical shortenings of words.

I just realized after hanging up the phone that I left a voicemail to a coworker ending "kaythanksbye".

Where the hell did that come from?

Monday, May 12, 2008

She would have fit, honestly.

Kiernan slid down the slide, then ran around to walk up the stairs of the tiny playground play structure, refusing steadfastly to let go of the piece of (now quite gritty) fruit leather in order to to get a better handhold of the railing.

Lara remarked how there weren't any benches at this tiny park area. I suggested we drag the decrepit fungi-coated bench from our front lawn to the park and see how long it took anyone to notice it didn't belong. Lara decided instead to perch three feet above the ground upon the monkey bar ladder arching from the side of the slide. I took a seat on the arch on the other side.

"This is much less comfortable than I thought it would be."
"You thought this would be comfortable?"
"Well, it used to be."
"What, when you were twelve?"
"I may need your help getting down from here"
I walked around to stand beside her.
"Do you think I can just slide down between the bars?"
"No, I just wanted to see you try."

Friday, May 9, 2008

Dr. McDrama to O.R.2, STAT!

Working in a hospital (or a wing attached to a hospital, whatever) reminds me daily that it's exactly like working episodes of Grey's Anatomy.

I can't walk down the hallways without seeing attractive doctors in dramatic exchanges about life and death and love (with everyone sitting in the waiting room nearby not seeming to notice this is going on, of course, despite the high volume level of the speeches). Today there was repeated announcements over the PA of a Code Red (fire) in an O.R., and how the elevators should be avoided. I couldn't help thinking that there were two interns someone was ironically quipping that the fire was in the elevator they were currently having an illicit makeout session in.

I haven't heard anyone being called McDreamy or McSteamy (or Burke, surprisingly enough), but since I'm in the 5% minority of males in my workplace, that just means chances are high that it's me.

Why else would the ladies stop talking when I walk in the lunch room? I mean, other than the fact that yesterday the words uttered as I opened the door were "bikini line electrolysis"...

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Weekly Wednesday #8

... it's technically still Wednesday... also still Weekly.

Weekly Image:
In Houston, a Texan protesting amnesty for illegal immigrants argues that anyone who can't master English doesn't deserve to live in America:

Weekly Workplace:
Tight deadlines are fun! Even more fun when you're done a day and a half early!

Weekly Video (other than Ken Lee): The Life and Death of Ice Cream

Weekly Procrastination:
The avoidance of contract work.

Weekly WTF:
Does it really take an hour and a half to fall asleep, child? Two nights in a row? Really?

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Ken Lee. Wow.

This internet phenomenon apparently happened months ago, but despite my finger on the pulse of the internet - aka the network of friends who send me weird crap - Ken Lee passed me by... I can't stop watching... especially the followup video...