Sunday, March 28, 2004

I am outnumbered, but I have God on my side. Maybe.

As I mentioned earlier, sections of our yard are being overtaken by weeds. The first image, for example, shows what seems to be a lush, tropical paradise. The second image shows the same spot with all the weeds removed. (This represents several hours' toil today.) I plan to line the whole perimeter of the lawn, including this section, with wood chips (over weed cloth). Other portions of the perimeter are already done this way (third image).

The yard is slowly coming together (last image). I choose to ignore the fact that it was only not-together because we neglected it for the first few months we lived here.

Saturday, March 27, 2004


The most lasting memento from last week's racquetball turned out to be a messed up knee. Not really surprising, since knees do that, but it took a couple days to manifest. A week later it's still bugging me.

It's my left knee, which it turns out is also my getting-into-the-car knee. Seems I get into my car (which is a fairly low pseudo-sports-car) by planting my left foot on the ground and pivoting myself in under the wheel, twisting my knee a couple different ways in the process. I'd never given this a second thought, because that level of twisting didn't even register as twisting. Now that it hurts, I've learned the "right" way to get into a car: turn away, lower butt into seat with both feet planted, then grab the wheel and pivot legs in.

Makes me feel like an old man, but my knee tells me to get used to it.

Monday, March 22, 2004

I should write slogans for a living.

Drinking an Odwalla "Super Protein" drink. Not nearly as bad as I expected. Their juices are good and their juice/vitamin drinks are okay, but the more specialized drinks can be a bit questionable.

On the label there's a perky little rant about how neato the drink is, and at the end is the slogan

   Drink it down & keep it up!

...which I read as...

   Drink it up & keep it down!

Friday, March 19, 2004

Whose sweat did I just slip on? *

Today, on a whim, I went to play racquetball with a friend from work. Neither of us had played for five years or so.

I'm happy to report that we accomplished both the primary and secondary goals of racquetball: Crashing Into Walls At Speed, and Being Pelted in the Back, respectively.

I forget what the tertiary goal is. If it's Straining One's Lower Back, then I'm three for three.

Serious fun, though. Hoo boy.

* actual quote.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Baby behavior update.

Emma (sixteen months old tomorrow) is cute. I say this not only as her father, but also as a scientist and a completely objective, unbiased third party.

She's known how to give kisses for a while, but a few weeks ago she learned that it's better (or at least more age-appropriate) to pucker up rather than open up wide in inept-drunk-french-kissing style. Her kisses are now cute instead of, well, sloppy. Around the same time, she learned how to make the little lip-smack noise, which lends her kisses that much more credibility.

This is good because she kisses a lot. She'll happily kiss Melissa or me when asked, but she also likes to kiss her dolls (and toy ducks and anything else vaguely person-or-animal-like). She also picks up random toys and has them kiss each other, accompanied by Emma's little kissing noise.
She's also eager to share her food, though usually not with actual people. Instead, she'll wander around with (for example) a piece of cheese and offer a bite to one of her dolls. The dolls never eat much, which is probably why Emma is so willing to share with them. It's nice to have low-maintenance friends.
Impressively, Emma's food sharing isn't even limited to the animal kingdom. Last weekend she was wandering around the back yard with a cracker, and came upon a wide crack in the sidewalk with little weeds sticking up. She knelt in front of the crack and offered a bite of cracker to the weeds.
If I weren't supposed to be so supportive of sharing I'd say that was really weird behavior.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Smart weeds.

The weeds in the back yard are getting the better of us. I've been focusing on the lawn (since that's where we expect Emma to wander), and have all but vanquished the thistles that had previously run amok. But thistles are big and easily pulled. Off to the side, in dirt and stone planting areas around the lawn, much more insidious, grassy weedy weeds are taking hold. And today I noticed that one kind of weed launches seed pods when you brush up against it. It has tiny stalks with wheaty nibs sticking off, and one side of each nib is apparently under tension. At the slightest provocation, this cover springs loose, launching little tidbits, which I can only assume are seeds, all over. Brilliant and evil!

It's looking like I may need to hire somebody to bring the yard under control. Sigh.


Our back yard now features a wooden play structure. Like, with two swings and a slide and a raised fort and a spot for a sandbox underneath the fort. (See the SC-F2 here.) It's a bit excessive, but Emma really likes swings and slides, and having them nearby makes Melissa's day much easier.

The playset has two swings: one baby swing and one belt swing (the kind you're used to). I expected the belt swing to go unused for a few years, but soon after we got it, Melissa told me that swinging alongside Emma is great stress relief. I thought she was being silly, but I tried it. It's embarassingly theraputic. Once I'm swinging, it's all I can do to resist going high and jumping off, but that would set a bad example for impressionable young Emma. Must resist.