Thursday, November 30, 2006


Today is the end of an era. We just discovered that Greg is leaving the Wiggles. He's the good one; he wears Yellow and drives the (toot toot chugga chugga) big red car. Plus he's the lead singer.

From the article:
Page, 34, said he had been diagnosed with a chronic condition called orthostatic intolerance. While not life-threatening, he said it caused his heart to fail to pump enough blood around his body when he stands up, making it difficult to keep up with the band's strenuous performances and global touring schedule.

"This emotional decision was one which was very difficult, as I have dedicated almost half my life to the Wiggles," he said in a statement. "I will miss the other guys very much, as well as seeing all the children in the audiences."

How do you tell your kids that their childhoods are over, that innocence is lost?

For the younger, more easily tricked children out there, they are replacing Greg with some second stringer who isn't fit to wear the Yellow.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

We Want Our Highspeed Rail!

According to this article, we Californians might have to wait another couple of years to decided if we want to think about having a high speed rail system from LA to SF. For anyone who spent last weekend (like we did) slogging across the state (and you must have been there; the roads were packed), it should be obvious that this rail line would be a good thing.

(And this, coming from a card carrying libertarian, [if not a completely dedicated one].)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Science has murdered sleep

This article shows a future where sleep becomes more and more irrelevant. The world the kids are growing up to is going to be so different, with their jetpacks and flying cars.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

You Ruined My Life

EJP said that just now.

Good Lord, how am I going to survive?

Our Tiny New Friends

For the past couple days, SKGP has been itchy. Because a friend had a bout of head lice last week, we were suspicious. This morning, I was sent to the store to pick up some special shampoo. As we combed her hair with the special brush, our fears were confirmed. Infestation.

We think we killed them.

Now my head itches. And the other areas of my body that are covered with hair. I've got a lot of hair.

DMP is going to read this and freak out. We may not get a lot of work done together this week.

Mouse is to mice as louse is to lice. So, what does that say about spouses?

A Fun Day

Yesterday, we had a nice family day.

We got up and lounged about for a while. We had cinnamon rolls for breakfast. We went to SKGP's gymnastics. We came home and had lunch, and EJP took a nap. There was a minimum of fussing, yelling, and screaming, which makes any day a good day.

We went to the 4:00 PM showing of The Jungle Book, performed by Children's Musical Theater San Jose. The kids, aged 6 - 13, were very good and the sets and costumes were high quality. This production was the exact opposite of a Little Mermaid show (which completely blew -- we were very happy SKGP chickened out of joining) that we saw earlier this year put on by a Gilroy group. Both troupes ensure all the kids have a part in the play, so it must be the adults who make the difference.

After the show, we went to our favorite restaurant Aqui for dinner, which was excellent. They are opening a Campbell restaurant next spring, so watch for it. I just sent an email to them asking them to open a Gilroy restaurant -- A man can dream, can't he?

After dinner, we went to Sweet Retreat (which I found when RCP was convinced I was going the wrong way) and had really big ice creams. Then we drove past our old house (which is still a work in process), and home, listening to a song about a skunk over and over.

Let's do that again sometime.

World's Greatest Song

The following song, by Lucas Miller (the singing zoologist!), seems to be the greatest song my kids have ever heard:
Stinkle, stinkle, little skunkie
Tell me why you smell so funky
Lifting up your tail so high
You're so stinky, you make me cry
The fourth time through, they were still laughing like maniacs.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Travel Tip: Security Wait Times

If you're worried about how long its going to take to get through the airport, TSA has a website that shows the average and maximum wait times at security at each airport.

Better yet, I recommend flying in chartered planes, since you then bypass security altogether.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Lifehack: Flipping the Mattress

The people say that you're supposed to flip your mattress regularly in order to minimize lumps and sagging . I've always had the problem that I don't know which way to flip. As the "strong" one in the relationship (ha!), it's always my job to do the deed, and I worry if I'm doing it right.

Last time I had to do it, I thought for a minute how to make sure I didn't mess up. I came up with:
On each of the 4 possible mattress positions, use a Sharpie to write a number 1 through 4. When it's time to flip, add one to the current side, and make that side be up. After 4, go back to 1.

This post suggest one way to do it based on time of year, but I think I'd forget what season meant what. They suggest flipping every 3 months, which seems like a good interval.

American Scientist Online seems to have the same system as mine, but it's buried in complex math, and they count from o to 3, so my system is obviously better.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Knights in Shining Armor

Congratulations SKGP, you are hereby recognized by Rod Kelley School for your overall academic improvement or exemplary academic performance. We applaud you for what you have accomplished and look forward to hearing even more great things about you in the future.

Incidentally, with this honor, the child gets a pizza lunch with the principal. However, since we found the award and letter tonight (after the pizza) on the floor, she still doesn't know what she missed. When RCP was picking S from school, the principal helped load her in the car and he said "Hey, weren't you on the pizza list for today?" to which she replied "No!".

When We Soa A Tiger

I saw a tiger... as fers as can be. I was so skard I theroo my hands in the air and I sartid to screem. Me and my fierend Jazzlyn whent on a hont on are way there was a tiger we war so scard we ran away and started to screem. The next daye thot we soa a nother tiger but it was the same tiger.

(There are also pictures to go along with the story.)

Sunday, November 12, 2006

iRobot II: This Time It's Personal

Our Roomba has been acting up recently. It would move about slowly and jerkily. For a bit of research on the net, it was getting clogged up. I did my best to clean it with canned air and at a tire fillling station, but it still moved crazily.

Since we had bought it at Costco, which has the greatest return policy, I returned it today. I've had it for a month and a half and they didn't bat an eye to give me a full refund. I love Costco. Then I went into the store and bought a new one.

Which brings us to the contest: Name that robot!

We're looking for a name for the new robot. The first was called "Roomba." A little family discussion yielded "Cinderella", "Snow White" (but the robot is not white), "Rosie" (from the Jetsons), or "Alice" (from the Brady Bunch).

Leave comments with your votes or suggestions. The kids will probably be the final say. Thanks for the help.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

The Sloane Manuever

SKGP invented a technique for getting onto the swings at recess and starting to swing. She grabs the chains, and then jumps and gets into the swing, which starts swinging becuase of the jump. Now all the other kids are doing it too. She's quite proud of this.

Ha ha ... He Said Ballcock

As I mentioned, our toilet was running.

Last weekend, I went down to OSH and picked up a new ballcock which I had decided was the problem. Why did I think that? I looked in one of our home-repair books, and that seemed a likely candidate.

I went with the Korky QuietPlus. Sure, it costs a little more, but why be cheap with your toilet?

Halfway through the installation, I realized that I had done this before, a couple times at PaceHouse 1.0. So, things went smoothly.

Once the part had been replaced, I turned the water back on (then tightened the dripping hose) and flushed. Everything worked well, except it still ran.

So, it was the flapper. I sent RKCP to get one (another fine Korky product!), and we've been flushing just fine ever since. Except the othe leaking hose, which I fixed that night.

Touched By The Hand of God

At Mass this evening, we'd gotten through the part where we're supposed to hold hands and then the part where you shake everyone's hands. As the service moved on, I noticed the couple next to me discreetly squirting Purell hand sanitizer and rubbing it into their hands.

It seems to me that this violates the Spirit of the occasion.