Him: Dad, when is Tavish's birthday?
Me: It's on March the third.
Him: And my birthday is May the fourth?
Me: Yes it is.
Him: So, I'm almost 40 pounds, right?
My apologies to the royal person who attempted to sign in to the chat this morning. Below, in the comments, my wife points out my shortcomings (one of the many that plague me). I am conducting a training session today (Feb 27) from 9 - 9.30 AM, and then will be away from the office between 11 AM and 1 PM for a blood donation. I should otherwise be around today.
I just added a new feature to my sidebar, for anyone interested.
There's a chat bubble that will hook you right up to chat with me live, if I happen to be signed in to my Gmail account. (All the mail I get from simon AT simianfarmer DOT com - and it is copious, oh yes! - automatically gets shunted to my Gmail account. Which was just an excuse to use the word 'shunt'.) You don't even have to use Gmail yourself; the internet elves behind the scenes take care of all the niggly little logistics. Just clink on the link that says Chat with Simon Fraser, and watch the magic happen, (as long as there's a green circle beside the name, meaning I'm online).
As Goldmember would say, "Isn't that weeeeeiiird?"
Since I have my Gmail open for most of the time I'm at work during the day (shhh...), I can now be contacted this way, should you so desire.
As you may be able to deduce from the title, these few pictures were snapped just this week. The very last one less than an hour ago (at the time of this posting) just after the boys got out of the bath.
Tav and Dad.
I sometimes wish I had my own sippy cup scaled up to my size.
Fort Fraser as viewed from our living room window. About a hundred square feet of highly defensible frozen fortifications right there, my friends.
Tooth brushing time, fresh outta the bath. Dex has on his bear towel, and Tav gets the dragon towel. Those are both electric Shrek toothbrushes for the boys. We spare no expense around our place, no sir.
As you can see, Tavish's drool containment still needs some work.
The long weekend (for us) just past gave us some much needed time to catch up on a smidge of domestic entropy that was growing dangerously close to breaching our ever-weakening containment shield, as well as some just as much needed spousal time. We actually went to a fancy hotel for Sunday brunch (surprise for Amy) and then out to a movie. 'Twas awesome!
(Thanks to Granny and Grumpy for taking the boys for a day and a night.)
All the added time also allowed for us to do something with the vast amount of snow that was sitting (far too virginally) all over our front lawn. It cried out for despoilment like a bride on her wedding night. (Our front lawn specifically because we can be relatively sure, there, that there's nothing scatological about it.)
Thus, goaded by my wife, and aided by two of the enthusiastic neighbour kids (amid a handful of shovels), we cleared the beginnings of a front yard snow fort.
Here, Tavish paws at the entrance corridor to the fort proper. The Panama Canal was built in this sort of way. Only with dirt instead of snow, it was much warmer there, and the relative volume of material moved was off by several orders of magnitude. The child labour part totally matches though.
In this picture (now in the fort courtyard), as in the one above, one can see how important a role duct tape plays in protecting toddlers from the encroachment of snow. I cursed myself later on for not doing the same at his wrists after he took a bit of a spill and started to wail like his fingernails had just been ripped out.
Declan, content mostly to supervise and remain relatively snow-free, piped up with the occasional comment like, "I don't think I like the cold very much."
You know, just in case we couldn't interpret his facial subtleties.
Amy, shoring up the main outer defenses of the fort, has the courtyard cleared down to the grass. In total, I think it measures about three metres (10') to a side with a short corridor connecting it to the driveway. If the weather holds up (i.e., stays cold enough) we'll see if we can reinforce the battlements this coming weekend. Not sure about the weather cooperating though: it's been positively
tropical temperate here lately -- a couple degrees above freezing, even! Stay tuned...
Tavish had his first ever time out today.
And it worked. For a few minutes anyway. Or so said my wife when she called me at work to tell me about it Thursday morning. I do believe it will be the first of many.
The wee boy - nearly two now - is at least four times the hellion his older brother ever was. The striking similarities between me and my own younger brother grow increasingly eerie. I've mentioned to several people that when Tavish goes down for his nap in the afternoon it's like the energy level in the house gets dialled down by about eighty percent. Next to him, Declan is placidly raising himself.
The ramping up of the emotional outbursts, both in terms of frequency and severity, leave Amy and me yearning for the spring when we can unleash both spawn on the whole of the outdoors and just sit back, bandage scrapes, and hose them off before we let them back in the house.
The relationship my brother and I had growing up was one of him antagonising me and me responding with a thumping of some sort. (From my perspective, anyway.) And then I would catch way more shit for being the thumper, feeling like a frikkin' martyr under the tongue lashings from mean ol' Mom. Thoughts like that are now at the front of my mind when our parental backs are turned and all I know is that Tavish is crying and Declan is looking sulky and guilty (yet a little smugly pleased with himself, too, the scamp).
Altogether far TOO much like my brother and I were growing up...
1. Name one book that changed your life.
That changed my life? Um, how about A Spell for Chameleon, by Piers Anthony. It was the first in a gift set I received one Christmas from my dad, and as much as I had been into reading before that, this book and the ones that followed cemented my passion for literature. I think most of these sorts of life-altering things happen at a young age, and that was definitely it for me.
2. Name one book you have read more than once.
I Want To Go Home, by Gordon Korman. It's a young adult book about a disgustingly competent, surly, and smug teen who goes unwillingly to summer camp and the growing up he does there. I think I must have read that about 15 times growing up.
3. One book you would want on a desert island.
The Complete Works of Shakespeare. And a hammock. And plenty of rum and coke.
4. Two books that made you laugh.
The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Douglas Adams was a brilliantly funny man.
The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde. Aside from having the coolest name of any author I've read, it's a fine, fun read. In fact, here's some of the jacket copy:
Thursday Next is a literary detective without equal, fear, or boyfriend. Thursday is on the trail of the villainous Acheron Hades who has been kidnapping characters from works of fiction and holding them to ransom. Jane Eyre has herself been plucked from the novel of the same name, and Thursday must find a way into the book to repair the damage. She also has to find time to halt the Crimean conflict, persuade a man to marry her, rescue her aunt from a Wordsworth poem and figure out who really wrote Shakespeare's plays. Together with a cast of characters that includes her time-travelling father, a pet dodo and Edward Rochester himself, Thursday embarks on an adventure that will take your breath away.
5. One book that made you cry.
The Lions of Al-Rassan, by Guy Gavriel Kay. Had me near blubbering at times. All but his last two books have done that to me.
6. One book you wish you’d written.
Moby Dick, by Herman Melville. Holy effin' crap. Read that.
7. One book you wish had never been written.
Dianetics, by LRH.
It's not so much that I wish it had never been written (falling, as I do, into Voltaire's camp on that matter), but that the unthinking spawn that has been realised from its inculcation have done far more harm than good.
8. Two books I am currently reading.
Two books? Who the hell reads two books at the same time? WTF? That's utterly ludicrous. Very nearly heretical, I'd say. One thing at a time, people!!
Rather, I'm currently reading (and very nearly finished) The Game of Kings, by Dorothy Dunnett - my second time through, and a daunting task because there are five more books in the series, each nearly as good as this first. Next on my list, before I start book two of the aforementioned series (you see how that works?!), is a brief graphic novel loaned to me by a friend, based on the Firefly universe. The foreward of that graphic novel is written by Nathan Fillion (the star of the short-lived - yet exceedingly awesome - Firefly TV series and similarly themed movie Serenity), which is cool because he's a native of Edmonton and I've been to some of the places he talks about.
9. Five people I tag.
Whomever wants to do it. But Moksha for sure since he's been a lazy tit about posting lately.
Props to Marc for tagging me several weeks back, and I'm just getting around to it now.
I have worked in the field of earthworks construction for nearly nine years now. (Earthworks being generally everything from ground level and below.) Having come to this career incredibly green out of university, I was immediately overwhelmed by everything I didn't understand - not least of which was the terminology that's unique to the construction industry.
I have become rather innured to it all by now, and don't really bat an eye at the phrases that get bandied about any more. But when I pause to think about the sheer volume of double entendres that (mostly) unintentionally come through in conversation, it proves too ripe a field not to reap at least a little of the bounty.
If you have anything of your own to add, please, feel free. This is only a small sample based on what I could dredge from memory and recent experience:
"I can't finish this dump 'cause there's dirt stuck in my box."
"You'll have to run your packer through the slot a few more times."
"The hoe's in the shop waiting on a new undercarriage."
"Make sure the shaft is clean before you start the pour."
"You better grease the nipple to prevent cracks."
"We need a bigger cat in the pit to clean up the lumps the hoe is spilling."
"Take one more bite from the shaft and I'll see if it's plumb."
"If they need the hoe over there faster, then toss it on the low-boy."
"Wow. Big dyke."
"If the skin friction's too much we'll have to use the vibrator."
"Be sure to check the manhole for leaks before backfilling."
"The sand is pretty abrasive - that's why the box is so smooth."
"It's more secure because of the tongue in groove."
"We got a big rock stuck in the hole - go get the clam."
"It's sort of awkward to lay the pipe when it's bent like that."
"You'll have to use a smaller unit because of the tight access."
"We'll stop pounding once we get 20 blows to the inch."
It started with Dex running about with the empty Cheerios box on his head. I had to cut the eye-hole for him because he was bouncing off the counter and the table. He was going to hurt himself. And then, of course, Tavish had to take part in the action. So some scissors and some duct tape came to the rescue there.
After that, it was a full half hour of careening, screaming fun times!
Now we're off to Timmy Ho's for some coffee and bagels with the grandparents.
The following is an excerpt from a dinner conversation earlier this week.
One caveat: it may not be suitable for those who clutch propriety to their bosom like some cute little bunny with brown spots and big, wet eyes who just wants to nibble on the carrot you're holding tantalizingly out of reach of its straining teeth.
Just saying. Fair warning is all. Amy and I have to get in all the double entendres we can while they still sail over the boys' heads.
Amy: Si, are you still putting conditioner in Dex's hair?
Simon: Not every night, but most of the time, yeah.
Amy: Geez, your hair is getting long, Dex! Didn't we just get it cut?
Simon: That was at least two months ago, Aim. Maybe three. Hey Dex, do you want to go get a hair cut with Mommy later this week?
Declan: You mean a hair cut, from the hair cut store?
Amy: Yes. We'll go and get Fallon to cut your hair again. Would you like that?
Amy: And do you know what else you get?
Declan: What else?!
[He's smiling, because he knows, but he likes to play the game.]
Amy: Well, is it red?
Amy: Is it sticky?
Amy: Is it sweet?
Declan: Yeah... what is it?!
Amy: Hmm. Sort of sounds like Daddy's private parts.
Declan: Mom, what did you said?
Amy: Um... uh, just that Daddy has pirate parts!
Simon: Yar, and it's only got one eye, too!