Sunday, October 25, 2009

Simple pleasures

It amazes me what makes me blissfully happy these days. Today, my little family went for a walk in the woods and it could not have been a more perfect day. The trees were insanely colorful, the weather had just the right whiff of chill in the air, Dean found every pile of wild animal poo to sniff and then pee on, and Jack floated along on Stephen's chest contented and cooing.

There is no photograph that could capture what it felt like to walk down the pipeline and listen to Jackson laughing as Dean ran far and near with his ears flapping in the breeze and Stephen making up words and giggling to himself as he humped through the woods in his true element.

We are a woodsy family and I can't wait to get to a campsite this fall and start showing our son how soothing it can be surrounded by nature and the smell of marshmallows over a campfire. We took him to REI today and found the perfect size tent just for him for said camping trip...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Grandparents make the world go round...

Jackson loves his monkey so much, now he gets to be one, thanks to Nana and Bud.

And many many thanks to Gran for saving the day on Saturday when I had to spend an unexpected day in the hospital with a sick patient. Jackson all but learned how to walk after 10 hours with her!

We would be lost without our parents as such amazing role models, gracious gift givers, and devoted babysitters. Huggies to you all!!
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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

My Boy Has Mad Chops

He's got the vocals, the beatbox, the percussion and two adoring fans - I think my kid's a one man band.

We're working up to the point where we can get the whole "Don't Worry, Be Happy" scheme together a la Bobby McFerrin.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Turning the corner...literally.

It happened so fast. One day he was inch-worming and the next day he pushed up on all fours and took off and he has not been stationary since. The kid loves to crawl. In fact, he loves to do anything non-baby, like stand and cruise and chew adult foods. Forget baby food, he wants spaghetti and crackers and real whole veggies. Heaven forbid I try to give him mush. He gives me one chance where he fake chews it as if to say, "No Momma, chew. I want to chew. See?" If I persist with the puree, he slobbers it all onto the highchair tray and then swirls it around with his hands just to reiterate the point.

Getting ready in the morning before work has become like trying to put a hat on a monkey hanging upside down in a snowstorm. Stephen and I are doing well if we manage to get clothes on that match. Oh it'd be super easy if we let him have the electrical cords or the laptop or let him crawl into the bathtub unassisted. But alas, we do care about the little man's safety and so we corral and redirect and entertain with Stephen's old cell phone or my sunglasses or, when it really gets difficult to entertain him, my new leopard print slippers that now have drool stains on them.

Despite how different our lives have become in one short week, there's just not anything more heartwarming than watching Jackson crawl around to find me and smile up with the biggest "I found you, Momma!" grin when he does.

Welcome to mobility, my little one. May you always be able to find everything you want just right around the corner.

Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player

This picture was taken right before Jack burst into the chorus from "Bennie and the Jets"
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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Tough Loss

Well, Jack's first Carolina Football game peaked early in the first quarter when the score was still tied at aught-aught. It was all downhill from there - Forget "Go to hell State," I say "Damn those Wahoos."
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Saturday, October 3, 2009

Freedom of Speech

I am all about some free speech. And as much as folks might dislike the act, I think the Supreme Court is probably correct that one's ability to burn the American Flag in greivous protest of the government is fundamentally protected speech under the First Amendment.

But I have to say that if that is the case, the freedom of others to comment on such acts should also be protected. And so, if like this young man you choose to burn a flag IN FRONT OF AND BELONGING TO A VFW POST, you deserve the consequences of exercising your right to free speech. Even if one of the consequences is the time-honored punishment of pillory. Hey, at least the kid had three options:

The young man was given three choices: get turned over to the police, go one-on-one in a fight with a seasoned war veteran, or be duct-taped to a flagpole for six hours with a sign around his neck identifying his alleged crime: flag burning.

It was the third option that would still have the small town buzzing a week after a 21-year-old was hunted down and forced to endure a public humiliation with its roots dating to the Middle Ages. Members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1938 were incensed enough to tie up the man last Sunday after they accused him of setting the flag in front of their building on fire

Bravo and Semper Fi, You Old Magnificient VFW Bastards! Full story here.

Friday, October 2, 2009


I know it smacks of rapidly trending toward a Big Brother uber-control of all knowledge, but I am an unabashed admirer of and subscriber to a variety of Google-powered technologies. I use Google Voice, Calendar, Blogger, YouTube, and Gmail, among other things. One of their programs that drives most of the new (at least photographic) content on this blog is the freeware picture organizing and editing tool called Picasa. Picasa is a light-weight photo editor but really shines when it comes to displaying and organizing and sharing your photo archive. I even use Picasa Web Albums to share the myriad other photos that don't make the blog cut.

Picasa has just rolled out v3.5 which incorporates an amazing new facial recognition feature. This really is phenomenal - the program will now scan your already well-organized and tagged and geolocated photo collection, pick out faces from the crowd, and help you identify and tag those folks using your Google contacts list. Incredible. So now when you are looking for pictures of, say, Dad - they are just a click away, regardless of what folder or album they are in. Sweet.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Holy Ass-Bomber, Batman!

In what the security consultant firm Stratfor Global Alliance has called a 'tactical shift', an ass-bomber nearly succeeded in an attempted assassination of Saudi prince and CT czar Prince Mohammed bin Nayef last month. The would-be "ass"assin, Abdullah Hassan Taleh al-Asiri, was a known member of AQAP and gained access to the prince by repenting and recanting his allegiance to the Al-Quaeda terrorist branch. After secreting explosives in his own anal cavity for over two days, his wireless command detonation of the bomb only resulted in his own (as you could probably expect) graphic death and the incredulous surprise of the Saudi royal family security team.

The third tactical shift is perhaps the most interesting, and that is the use of an IED hidden in the anal cavity of the bomber. Suicide bombers have long been creative when it comes to hiding their devices. In addition to the above-mentioned IED in the camera gear used in the Masood assassination, female suicide bombers with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam have hidden IEDs inside brassieres, and female suicide bombers with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party have worn IEDs designed to make them look pregnant. However, this is the first instance we are aware of where a suicide bomber has hidden an IED inside a body cavity.

It is fairly common practice around the world for people to smuggle contraband such as drugs inside their body cavities. This is done not only to get items across international borders but also to get contraband into prisons. It is not unusual for people to smuggle narcotics and even cell phones into prisons inside their body cavities (the prison slang for this practice is “keistering”). It is also not at all uncommon for inmates to keister weapons such as knives or improvised stabbing devices known as “shanks.” Such keistered items can be very difficult to detect using standard search methods, especially if they do not contain much metal.

Wow. I knew LTTE sank to new lows using women and children as suicide bombers, "butt" this is pretty imaginative.