November 4, 2007

Life is What Happens While You're Making Other Plans

John Lennon was right: life doesn't wait for us, but moves of its own accord. Here's what's going on with us right now.

I've been working on math with Connor (more on Steph's blog, where I have lessons as they come up), but am probably not going to be able to do that this week due to Lego League.

Speaking of which, the qualifying tournament for us is next Saturday. We have to finish the robot and programming this week, complete with finding out that our entire strategy is bunk: we can only use one robot, not one robot at a time. That means that our "one dropper, one pusher" plan is out, and since they were built on different platforms, we don't have time to adapt. We'll keep the pusher, which does more missions, and not finish the dropper (which is what Connor and Aidan were responsible for most of). We also have to do our presentation, which is a big deal and which we haven't completed the props for nor practiced yet. It's going to be a very, very busy week.

Not to mention Scouts, with which we are in the middle of Scouting for Food, where we collect canned goods for a local charity. We had a Halloween Hayride that went pretty well. Our November meeting will feature turkey bowling and other games, and should be a lot of fun.

But here's where the other plans get thrown out and life comes into it. I had worked out an arrangement for a contract in North Virginia. This would have been a significant money increase (enough to make up for working under my normal rates for the last 2 years, given time), and a lot of fun. More, it was with the Army, so it would have been helping out the military, a subject on which I'm quite passionate. Unfortunately, the contracting company I was working with utterly messed up when I could start, and the Army couldn't (or wouldn't) adjust its plans for when I could actually start, not even by two days. There's only so much I can do: as a contractor, my reputation for professionalism is half of my ability to make a living. (The rest is my skill set, technical and business both.) I was not going to leave my current client (much as I loathe going in to work by now) with so little notice, and without completing my currently-urgent assignments. So now I'm going to be leaving my job as of November 16, and I don't have a follow-on job. I have a bit of money in the bank, and don't expect to have a problem finding work, but it's annoying on many levels. Perhaps the worst of it is that our living arrangements are very uncertain now, with Christmas approaching. Where we'll be living in January, and whether I'll be traveling between now and then, are both quite up in the air.

Which, I need hardly say, wreaks havoc with the aforementioned activities.

Ah, well, we persevere, and thrive despite adversity.

I hope.

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June 6, 2007

Missing Cat (Updated: Found Cat)

Our older cat, Merlin, has gone missing. He went outside Saturday afternoon, and hasn't come home. Going outside is very normal for him; not coming home is, needless to say, not. My hope is that someone took him inside during the rain, not realizing that he actually has a home (he won't wear a collar, so he has no identification on him). But if that were the case, I would have thought he'd be home by now, assuming they let him out. We've checked the pound, and asked some neighbors to help, and posted on a couple of missing pets lists. Tomorrow we're going to put up signs in the neighborhood.

In the meantime, if you see a black, domestic long-hair cat in the Parkside Preserve neighborhood of Waterford, MI, let me know.

When we hadn't lived in Dallas for very long, and had just gotten our first apartment together, Stephanie and I would walk around our apartment complex at night for exercise. This young black tomcat would follow us, deigning to wrestle with us or let us pet him from time to time. Eventually, we took him in, and started posting ads for his owner. When the office staff told us he was a stray that everyone sorta kinda looked after, well, he was ours from then on.

That was 15 years ago, and Merlin was already a year or so old at that point, so it's possible his time was just up, and that he is simply dead. Merlin was a very old cat, and cats sometimes just find a place to hide and die alone when their time comes. I certainly hope that's not the case, and we'll keep looking. If he is dead, I will be — well, words fail me. Merlin was my first cat, ever. (I'm actually a dog person.) In fact, Merlin was also my first pet that was mine, rather than my father's.

Here, kitty kitty kitty.

UPDATE: After 5 days, we found our missing cat. He was at a house some 1000' away, but had gotten lost in the rain. The person who owns the house where Merlin had taken refuge (under their deck) saw our sign and called us, for which we are eternally grateful.

By the way, if you find a stray or strayed adult cat, giving it milk is a bad idea: cow milk is not (despite the popular image) actually good for cats. Though again, we are glad they at least fed Merlin something, because five days would be a long time to go without, and Merlin will hunt, but he's not used to depending on his hunting.

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December 15, 2006


Steph put up some pictures of our decorations. Not included: the porch lights, that burned out immediately and whose fuse I haven't yet replaced.

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December 2, 2006

My World is a Flood

So apparently, sump pump motors burn out without warning, flooding basements, fairly frequently. There's something you don't learn in Texas and Oklahoma. Needless to say, I learned this when our basement flooded this morning. Apparently it's common enough that we are on a waiting list for a commercial dehumidifier. Fortunately, at this point, it looks like we haven't lost anything of significant monetary value, and only a few things of significant emotional value. Oh, well.

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November 3, 2006

Long, Bad Day

Too long to write about, since Steph did already.

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October 23, 2006

Overheard at Our House, Without Context

"I wouldn't give a mammoth a perm."

"There's a fine line between willing and unconscious."
"There's a fine line between unconscious and Irish."

There were more in the last few days that, sans context, were just as funny, but I've slept since then.

UPDATE: And just in the last ten minutes: "Aidan, your head is downstairs in the game closet."

UPDATE: Yet another one: "You brought Weird Al into it! Like Karl Rove wasn't enough!"

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September 30, 2006

Lyre, Lyre, Pants on Fire!

That's not a mandolin.

And the party won't be belated: today is my third son's 6th birthday. Happy birthday, Griffin.

Griffin, 3 days old

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September 24, 2006

A Weekend of Scouting

I have been recruited into being the assistant cubmaster (and next year the cubmaster) for Cub Scout Pack 69 in Waterford. (With Connor and Aidan in scouts, and Griffin to join next year, it's kind of a natural fit to be involved in my sons' lives.) So today was leadership training: 6 hours. Tomorrow Connor is going to be in a program at a local park that does three Webelos badges in one day: another 6 hours. Then there is the pack meeting on Tuesday, and next weekend is the pack leaders' meeting, and really I think that scouts might very well become my entire social life for the next few years. That's not a complaint: it's a lot of fun.

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September 10, 2006

Mary Had a Little Egg

Overheard conversation between Griffin (almost 6) and Lachlan (4):

Griffin: Birds can die.

Lachlan: No they can't, because birds have spirits.

Griffin: Well their spirits can't die, but the birds can. And ghosts are spirits. And gods are spirits, too, but they don't look like ghosts.

Lachlan: Are ghosts good guys or bad guys?

Griffin: If a good guy dies, it's a good guy ghost. But if you see a bad guy ghost, it was a bad guy who died.

Lachlan: Mary had a little egg, little egg, little egg... [and then he laughed]

And then, a little while later:

Lachlan: I'm Captain Jack. With a purse.

Griffin: You can't be Captain Jack unless you drink rum. Glug Glug Glug. I'm drunk!

So, these are our kids, are they?

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May 10, 2006

In and Out of Our Lives

On Monday, we got a parakeet for Connor. He's been wanting one for a very long time, and we finally decided to get him an 8 week old, hand-fed bird. A sweet, tiny blue thing with a very curious disposition and a decided tendency to nibble whatever he could reach.

And this evening, we found him dead in his cage. There is no obvious trauma or injury; he wasn't acting sick; there was no sign of pests; he just died.

We hadn't even named him.

Tomorrow we will take him to the vet, and hopefully determine why he died. (And I am not sure whether I hope more that it was not disease, which would mean the other birds at the store we got him from are in some danger, or that it was not something we did wrong, which would make a heartbreaking situation crushingly sad.) RIP, little guy.

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April 11, 2006


Sometimes, children come up with such fine arguments - or at least surprise you with a really good one - that you have little choice but to surrender. Our daughter is nearly 12. She just asked us if she could start riding in the front seat of the cars yet. I showed her the airbag warning labels that say that if deployed, "Children 12 and under may be injured or killed".

(Now, at age 12, she's almost as tall as her mom, and weighs over 100, while the airbags are typically spec'd for 60-75 lbs, but I wasn't going to tell her that.)

So, my daughter - who claims not to have inherited any math skills from me - says that: "Hey, doesn't that mean that when I'm 12 years and 1 day old that I'll be old enough? I'll be older than 12 at that point, and the sign says 12 and under."

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April 8, 2006

The Move from Hell

As Kevin and I were driving UHaul's largest available truck to Michigan last weekend, my family was busily catching several viruses with interesting effects. ("Hey, Eric, come look at this" is not something you want to hear your pediatrician say to another pediatrician, I can assure you.) While the family has mostly still been sick — all but me and one child, who has recovered — we began driving from Dallas to Detroit Friday. Mid-day Saturday, our van transformed itself into industrial art in the middle of nowhere on I-55 between St. Louis and Springfield, IL. How "middle of nowhere"? In the 3 hours I was by the side of the road, not one police cruiser of any kind came by. And you cannot rent a car or get a shuttle to the airport until Monday.

But I am stunned senseless by the kindness of strangers here in Stuanton, IL, from the man who took my family to a nearby Diary Queen, then waited with me for the tow truck; to the man who came into his service station on a day off and then brought me cat food and litter so I wouldn't have to walk back to the trailer for them; to the lady who offered to loan me her van to run errands. (See Steph's post for details.) I am stunned, and humbled, and deeply grateful for the actions of Paul and Jim and Lynn, who turned an expensive, stressful and difficult situation into something much easier, much nicer and much more bearable. Thanks, guys.

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March 29, 2006


If you've ever wondered what the Medcalf clan looks like, go here.

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March 8, 2006

Constitutional Editing

Our daughter's math homework tonight was about basic statistical sampling. We were discussing the terms population, sample and random sample. To help explain, I tried to use election sampling. We got a little off-track when she discovered President Bush was prevented from running again:

Me: Suppose you wanted to know who in the country would vote for President Bush in the next election (which he can't do).
Daughter: Why not?
Me: He can only have two terms.
Daughter: That's wrong!
Me: It's written that way in the Constitution.
Daughter: Someone needs to rewrite it in permanent marker, then.
Me: It's already written in something stronger than permanent marker.
Daughter: Then someone needs to get some white-out!

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February 19, 2006

Sometimes it's not the kids who say the darndest things

My wife got home from the grocery store earlier tonight. One of the things I spotted in the grocery bags was People's 20th year of their Sexiest Man Alive.

Me: Any particular reason you picked this up?
Wife: No -- but it's got Orlando Bloom in it so I thought our daughter might like it.
Me: So -- you got it for her?
Wife: ......Well... no.

At least she's honest. :)

(Somehow, I doubt I'd get the same reaction if I brought home the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.)

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February 6, 2006

I am sooooo not ready for this

My sixth grade daughter came to me a little while ago to ask "what does a guy look for in a girl?"

I'm glad she's coming to me with questions, and that she's willing to listen to the answers.

I just don't know that I'm prepared for the next few years.


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October 10, 2005

It Was Twenty Years Ago Today

Twenty years ago today, an amazing thing happened. Brittany Medcalf was born and I became an uncle. That was really pretty cool for a nine year old, let me tell you.

The only thing that has ever really made me feel old has been watching Britt's milestones. I was taken aback when she started high school. I was shocked when she turned 16 and started driving. Wasn't I just picking her up from second grade? She's been out of high school for over a year now, but I feel like I just got out within the last five years myself. Honestly, I was just 20 years old!

I have watched a beautiful little baby girl grow into a beautiful young woman. Many things have changed in that time, but one thing certainly hasn't - how much I love and adore her.

Happy Birthday Brittany!

Uncle Brian

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October 3, 2005

Creative Cookery

My wife can cook. Here is proof of her creativity. Tasted great, too, but that's difficult to convey in text or pictures.

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August 16, 2005

I'm in Charge

I was reading a book about the Solar System to Griffin (4), and he was quite heartbroken to see a graphic where Uranus orbited the Sun, rather than the Earth. After a while of trying to console him, my wife asked him, "Who should we talk to about that, Griffin? Who's in charge?"

From the other room came the small voice of Lachlan (3): "I'm in charge!"

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June 26, 2005

Al Bean and Dinosaurs

Yesterday, we went to the Ft Worth Science and History Museum, along with some friends who are visiting from Maryland. At the entrance, there is a full-sized reproduction of an acrocanthosaurus, and inside is a great exhibit on Texas dinosaurs.

Griffin, Lachlan, Connor and Aidan about to be eaten by an acrocanthosaurus

From left to right are Griffin, Lachlan, Connor and Aidan.

There is also a dinosaur dig, with a large number of small fossils in the sand (a fantastic use of dig waste!) that the kids can take home with them, as well as buried reproductions of dinosaur (sauropod of some kind) bones that the kids can excavate.

Aidan and Lachlan excavate a dinosaur femur

We also got to see Alan Bean speak, in the course of a presentation to the city of Ft Worth (where CPT Bean grew up) of some items he took with him into space. He spoke about the need to take risks in the course of exploration, to accept losses and move on, and praised the troops in Iraq for their dedication and sacrifice. It was a short talk, but a good one.

Alan Bean speaking

We saw Jim Lovell a few years ago, in a longer speech (it was actually intended as a speech in and of itself, rather than a presentation). Both men are fascinating to listen to, and well worth seeing if you get the chance.

Then we came home, where some other friends joined us and we had dinner (grilled burgers, yum) and talked. So, in our little house we had twelve kids ranging from less than a year old up to 10 and a half. Loud, but fun.

More kids than you can shake a stick at
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June 19, 2005


My sons presented me with a notebook this morning: whay we love dad [spelling goes uncorrected for today]. Each had drawn a picture, and written down why they love me.

Connor, age 9, drew a picture of me, hairless and fiendishly grinning as I choke a small child, with two other children running away, smiling for some reason. I am informed that in fact I was tickling the child, and chasing the others. My fourth is nowhere to be seen, a fact that apparently disturbed Griffin to no end. The text says:

he Plays lots of Games with us he lovse us and works hard to Get the mony to feed us and Get toys for us and buys books for us and Givs us mony to do what ever we want with and takes us to fun Places.

Clearly, I need to explain the concept of allowance again.

Aidan, age 7, drew a frame within which it says "i love you dad". His text was:

He plays lots of games with us. He chases us. He loves us.

Griffin, or as he would say it, Frippen, age 4, refused to draw a picture. Instead, my wife wrote for him why he loves me: "He kills dinosaurs." Apparently, some time later, he added "with his fork", but the text does not reflect this, so it must remain apocryphal.

Lachlan, age 3, was the most colorful with his picture, a cross between Seurat and Pollack, and told my wife, "He's big. He's this tall. I love him 'cause I do."

Of all the titles I've been graced with at one time or another, the best ever has to be "Daddy". And I love my boys, too, just 'cause I do.

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July 24, 2003

Love Story

Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.

In 1984, when I was in 9th grade at Del City High School, I was introduced by Ed Ashworth - my best friend - to Stephanie Starr, a new student who had just come back to the States from Germany a few months earlier. Within a very short time, I was completely infatuated, and ended up blurting out my feelings in the usual embarrassing way that teenagers do, except that I left a note rather than saying what I felt.

Steph and I didn't talk much for the next year and a half. I scared her off.

In the Summer after our junior year, I read Richard Bach's A Bridge Across Forever, about love and predestination, and saw a lot of how I felt about Steph in the book. So I mailed a copy to her. We started dating a few months later.

At the end of high school, with Steph heading down to SMU and I to OU, we broke up. We kept in touch, though, mainly in long and frequently-angry conversations by telephone, combined with visits on as many weekends as we could manage.

We went to an INXS concert in the Spring of 1988 - and had a great time - and got back together. For the rest of our college careers, we maintained a long-distance relationship. At the end of college, I had a very bad personal time - I fell apart pretty completely. It was the most difficult time in my life mentally and emotionally, and frankly I was a class A jerk to everyone around me for a period of almost two years.

Everyone who knew us - and probably most especially Steph's parents and friends - made pretty clear to Stephanie that she should dump me, because I was beyond saving. Thankfully, she didn't dump me. She wouldn't even let me dump her when I was insane enough to try it. She never let me give up on myself.

On this day in 1992, Stephanie and I got married, in the back yard of her parents' house, in a small but very beautiful ceremony.

The music was lovely - perfomed by a live group with a harpsichord and a violin (Go For Baroque, I think they were called). Steph's cousin Jennifer, then 2, who was a flower girl, tried to jump in the pool when she was walking to the bower, and then turned all of the flower petals upside down as the ceremony was starting. Brittany, my neice and the other flower girl, was so nervous she just kept peeking out from behind Steph's skirts, looking for her Mom and Dad, I think.

We were married by Steph's uncle, who was so nervous that when it came time to ask for the rings, he got the order wrong. Theresa, Steph's Maid of Honor, tossed her flowers over her head to Peggy, the other Bridesmaid, and got the ring to Cary quickly, despite her confusion. Steph somehow didn't notice any of this, until she looked down and saw the wrong ring on my finger, at which point she burst out laughing, along with the rest of the wedding party. (Steph's Mom at this point was gripped by the fear that Steph was about to back out of the wedding.)

Somehow, we got through the rest of the ceremony. The reception was held at Pepperoni Grill, but we had to catch a plane, and weren't there long enough to actually, oh, eat or anything. (Nor did we get champagne - for some reason they gave us cider instead. The guests got champagne. Hmmph!)

We got to the Excalibur in Vegas after midnight to start our honeymoon. We had pizza and champagne - because that's all that the room service could deliver at that time of night, and we were starving. Pizza, it must be said, does not go with champagne.

Today, I have been married to Stephanie for 11 years. In that time, we've had 4 wonderful sons, and more love than I knew was possible on the day we married.

I love you, sweetie.

Happy anniversary.

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June 12, 2003

On the Road

Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.

So far the trip has been going pretty well, with the kids proving much better than expected at long rides in the car. Our sanity is holding at about 75%, which is slightly above normal.

We spent Friday night, Saturday and Sunday with my parents in Mena, AR. Actually, they live outside of Yocana (pronounced YOCK-nee), which is outside of Ink, which is outside of Mena, population less than 6000. In other words, we were in the boonies. (There is a great story, by the way, to the name of Ink. When the town was first incorporating, and everyone was voting on what to call it, the librarian passed around ballots, and said "Please write in Ink." So the people wrote in "Ink" on the ballot.) We had a great time; my brother and his eldest daughter were there for Friday and Saturday, and we got to see my Uncle Ed and Aunt Verna and my Uncle Robert and Aunt Sylvia. The kids had a great time playing in the "yard" and down by the pond, and Connor is covered in chigger bites.

Monday was a long day, with a drive from Mena to Memphis, where we had a late lunch with Steph's high school friend Peggy, and then on to Huntsville. We spent part of Tuesday at the Space and Rocket Center. The kids loved the simulators and the rocket park. We could hardly get Aidan out of the Apollo simulator. It's odd, though, how some of the exhibits haven't been updated. Two of the exhibits mention the Challenger (including the landing simulator, ironically enough) as if it were still operational, and the women in space wall only goes up to 1994 or so. The other thing that surprised me was the amount of museum space dedicated to Redstone Arsenal's mission (missile design, specification and certification, as well as work with the Land Warrior project and UAV and UGV development). These were neat exhibits, but seemed out of place.

The Saturn V mounted on the ground, with its stages separated, is actually in fairly poor condition. It was awe inspiring to see a Saturn V mounted standing, though. I hadn't realized that there was another Saturn V remaining to mount, apart from the one already at Huntsville and the one at Kennedy, both of which are mounted horizontally.

We drove down late Tuesday to Montgomery - through no fewer than five rainstorms, some pounding so hard we had to pull over, and most hard enough that we could only drive very slowly. We went through Birmingham at rush hour and in a rainstorm. We had planned on stopping to see the parents of a good friend of ours, but decided to forego stopping just so we could get through the rainstorm faster.

We've been visiting with Steph's immediate and extended family here in Montgomery since yesterday, and will be here through Saturday morning. We'll drive back through Vicksburg, so that we can stop by the battlefields, and be back either late Sunday or some time Monday.

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June 10, 2003

Off the Road

Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.

Steph has a good post on things we learned on our vacation. We had a good time. We actually got back Sunday night, but between the new Harry Potter book and catching up on sleep and really just being lazy, I've not gotten around to posting anything. In fact, I've only caught up with four blogs that I normally read, which is almost prerequisite for posting anyway, so it may be a few days before I get around to posting anything substantive.

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May 23, 2003


Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.

Bigwig at Silflay Hraka links to a "soulmate calculator". Apparently, I would have to meet 73,374,971 heterosexual women (and Dustbury thinks he's in bad shape!) between 22 and 40 years old to find a soulmate. Apparently, intelligent women with a good sense of humor, optimistic, not unattractive and somewhat spiritual and compassionate, who are not of a monotheistic religion or currently in the middle of a breakup, are fairly difficult to find.

I found mine in high school, and she is the only woman I've ever dated. Maybe I should play the lottery, too...

Stephanie, just up from the beach, looking like a parrot

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April 23, 2003

Mental Image

Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.

What you have to do, see, is get the image in your head of this cute, blonde little two-year old watching a T-Rex ravage its prey and saying "Big giant rarr eat num-num."

I bet, though, with just a little work, I could get him to yell "Big giant rarr" whenever Rumsfeld comes on TV.

After all, isn't that what kids are for?

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The Griffin Dictionary

Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.

So here is the current list of words that Griffin (age 2 1/2) uses for things:

beep beep - a bird
big giant rarr - a dinosaur, rather than Don Rumsfeld
blue Stee - Blue's Clues, with Steve - NOT Joe
blue wo wo - Thomas the Tank Engine
chop - a potato or corn chip
deet dah - here I am; there it is
doey - Uncle Brian
doochee - Lachlan (younger brother)
doochee hide - I can't find whatever it is you're asking about
eat num num - any food
joo - juice
me - I want that
meow - a cat
mmmmmm, beep beep - a ride on the shoulders, while making car sounds
mmmm beep beep - a Magic Schoolbus video
mm beep beep - any vehicle
mod - generic parent; usually the father, though
moe - I would like more to drink, or eat, please. Context is everything, so don't get it wrong, 'kay?
moo - a cow
nee - I would like something to drink, or eat, please. Context is everything, so don't get it wrong, 'kay?
neek - a snake, or anything long and thin and flexible
ni' ni' - I want to go to bet
no - snow (also, no man, no ball, etc)
oh ee - OK
ree - broccoli
sheesh - sit with me
shop - a ship
shop moon - any mechanical thing that flies (apparently, all aircraft fly to the moon in Griffin's world)
show - a shoe
show me - I will show you
sky - the sun
star moon - any celestial body, except the sun or moon
tee - any dark drink ; tea, soda, etc.
up high - I want either a drink, or chocolate or berries or something else stored in the freezer
whee - spin me around
whee high - swing me from side to side as high as you can, except not too high because that can be scarey
woof - a dog
wo wo - a train

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April 19, 2003

Aidan Got Glasses

Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.

Aidan got glasses:

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April 16, 2003

Great Connor Quote

Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.

Read this, and you'll have a bit of an insight to me at age 7. Connor is a great kid.

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March 31, 2003

Funny Boy

Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.

So, here's the conversation Aidan (5) and I had this morning:

(After determining that he wants cream cheese and bread for breakfast.)

Aidan: But, Mom, I'm too tired to stand up.

Me: Well then, why don't you go lie down on the couch?

Aidan: But I'm not allowed to eat in the living room.

Me: Hmmm. Well, I'll let you take your bread in there just this one time.

Aidan: (On his way out the door) Okay, but just this one time. If I ever catch you doing it again, you'll be in big trouble!

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March 27, 2003

Connor Math Quotes

Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.

Connor's current homeschooling topic in math is subtraction with borrowing and addition with carrying. Today I overheard two choice quotes:

Mom: What's one hundred minus sixty.
Connor: [Thinks for a bit, mumbling out the work he's doing in his head.]Forty. It's amazing how much damage sixty can do to one hundred.

Some time later:

Connor: Hmmm...three minus nothing, so it's uncontested.

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March 24, 2003

Homeschooling - Poetry

Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.

Today Stephanie was teaching Connor (age 7) and Aidan (age 5) about poetry, and each of them decided to write a poem. Important background: we had quite the ice storm (especially for DFW) last night.

The Snowy White Day

by Connor Medcalf

The ground
Looks like an ice cake,
And it's as cold as a freezer.
It's just white, white, white, white.
And when I get back inside the house,
I can barely feel my fingers and my toes.


The Icy Squashed World Day

by Aidan Medcalf

Green grass green
And the rest of the ground
Is white white white ice ice white white.
Texas must be covered with snow and ice!
Canada must be snowing.
What if it's not?
If it's Winter in Canada,
I'd like to be there.
Or else, I'd jump on the world,
And have it squashed.
Ice, mice, rice.


Well, it already beats Amiri Baraka.

Posted by jeff at 10:40 AM | TrackBack

March 13, 2003

More Wisdom from Connor

Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting.

More wisdom from Connor, age 7. After watching Battlestar Galactica, Connor noted:

"Dad, if I were leader of some country, and I was under threat of attack, I'd at least put my forces on alert."

Posted by jeff at 8:22 PM | TrackBack

March 11, 2003

They're French

Note: this is a post recovered from my old blog, before it died of an insufficient backup. Any comments/trackbacks on it have not been brought over, but can be seen with the original. The date is that of the original posting. Connor (age 7) was watching Kevin Branaugh's movie of Shakespeare's Henry V today, for the first time. During the scene at Agincourt, in the midst of the battle, Connor said: "They're not going to win. They're French!" I guess I'm rubbing off on him... Posted by jeff at 5:03 PM | TrackBack