Showing posts from September, 2011


As any parent can tell you, disgust is inflationary. After cleaning up a certain amount of bodily fluids, which I will refer to as the “gag bypass threshold” (or GBT), it takes a lot to really gross you out anymore. Change poopy diapers? Yawn. Clean up vomit? Snore. Wiping runny noses? Seriously, I’ll eat a sandwich while I do that. So it’s not often that I find a new disgusting experience that bothers me.

So much for foreshadowing. This week Allison has had some stomach bug that has left her with little appetite and uncharacteristically loose bowels. This morning I was up with her and changed a diaper (actually two) that could only be described as “demonic.” It’s been years since I had to suppress my gag reflex, but I seriously had to hold my breath to keep from losing my breakfast. It was just plain evil. I threw the diapers into the outside garbage can immediately, but the smell still lingered in the house, lingering as though only an exorcism would help. It was truly the stuff nigh…

Things I Wish I Had Said Louder

When I was on the parkway behind the house the other day with Dortmunder, a group of cyclists rode by. One of them said, "Taking your cat for a walk?" As they rode off, he laughed as though he had said the funniest thing in the world. I responded by saying, "Yep. Taking your mouth for a ride?" But I didn't say it loud enough for them to hear it, and now I regret it.

Meow Today, Gone Tomorrow

You know how people say not to feed stray animals, because they will keep hanging around? Well, I was still trying to catch those kittens, so I kept bringing them food. I decided that I would either keep them or take them to a shelter.

The aphorism proved to be a lie. After Wednesday night, the kittens disappeared. I looked for them for a while yesterday but found nothing. I know that this was the easiest possible solution for me, but it kind of breaks my heart that they are gone. I'm sure Dortmunder is happy not to have to share attention, although he did actually help me look for them.


Okay, I've got a problem. There are two kittens hanging around out on the side of the parkway near our house. They are tiny, just that really cute fun age where they are pretty irresistible.

I like cats. Part of me wants to take them in, because it's turning cold, and they would not survive the winter outdoors. But another part of me says a), I already have a cat (who was none too friendly when he saw the kittens anyway), and b) I have enough on my plate in general without adding two more pets to the clan.

On the other hand, we kept two stray kittens when I was about 9, and they were our family pets growing up, so there is precedent there.

I actually tried to catch them last night but could only get one, and I figured they'd survive better together, so I left them both for the time being. Anyway, I've been leaving them some food and will see how things go tonight. Any opinions on what I should do? Does anybody want a cat?

And I Would Drive 1,000 Miles...

Last night Sam asked if we could try playing Mille Bornes. He had gotten the cards out a couple days earlier and thought it would be fun. I wasn’t sure he was up to understanding the rules, let alone reading the French on the cards, but I figured we’d give it a shot. I figured I could at least simplify the rules on the fly, like we do when we play Clue. So we started playing, and he totally understood it after a few minutes. In the end I allowed him to win, which was kind of hard because I had an extra 725 miles in my hand and could have slapped down a 200-mile card at any point. But I wanted him to have a positive experience his first time playing the game, and we had a good time. If you've never played it, you totally should.


The Panama Canal is amazing. It took ten years to dig and stretches 48 miles. The first attempt to build a canal, in 1880, failed when 21,900 workers all died (mostly from diseases like malaria). Even the successful effort  led by the U.S. resulted in 5,600 deaths. But it was a success and is considered one of the marvels of the modern world.

I guess I never appreciated it enough, before I spent 12 hours yesterday digging in the yard. This morning I feel like I was beaten with a sack of doorknobs all night.

What's in a (Misspelled) Name?

Okay, this bugs me. Here's a banner ad I've seen around a few times, presumably for some show I don't watch.

It's not easy to notice, at least for those of use used to names like John and Sarah, but they spell her name two different ways in the ad, Pavarti and Parvati. Maybe I should "message her" to tell her not to trust CBS if they can't even spell her name right.

Traffic Jam

Last night was one of those nights when Allison decided to be up for several hours, and I was trying to think of a good way to describe the state of my brain. So far the best analogy I can come up with is that if my brain were a city, and the traffic represented my thoughts, all the stoplights would be flashing red and green in unusual combinations, causing accidents everywhere and generally slowing things down to a crawl.

Tough Cookie

Allison is not a girl to be pushed around, even by a shark.

[caption id="attachment_1418" align="aligncenter" width="577" caption="Pants, schmants"][/caption]

Yes, This Is a Spider Post

Sleep is a cruel mistress. Last night I got as close to 8 hours as I have in months (at least on a work night), and I feel as tired as ever. Anyway, on to the post proper.

*disclaimer* I promise I'm not going to turn this into a blog all about spiders (Amanda, you might as well stop reading now) but I thought this was interesting.

First of all, Shelob disappeared with the advent of cool, wet weather last week. But up in her corner above our door yesterday I noticed a giant wolf spider, which I removed because we were just beginning to enjoy full use of the back door again.

And then I was walking with the kids yesterday when we came upon this strange creature:

I've seen a lot of creepy crawlies in my day, but never anything quite like that. I decided to call it a zebra spider, although I think it's another species of orb weaver. Anyway, it seems like just moving a few miles south of Salt Lake has opened up a whole new entomological world.


Wow, I'm tired. I ran 8 miles this morning, then worked on the sprinkler system (with my dad, brothers, and a friend) for 9 hours. It's probably 80% done.

Allison just came over with a couple DVDs in her hand. But instead of her usual, Finding Nemo and Toy Story, she brought Charade and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. It's nice that she's branching out.

Embarrassing Experience #2,641

Yesterday we were sitting in church, in sacrament meeting, during the passing of the sacrament (so the most quiet part of the meeting, which in our ward has more than 400 people attending), when someone’s phone began to ring. It went on for several seconds, and I started looking around to see why nobody was silencing it. It sure sounded close. Just to make sure I wasn’t responsible, I put my hand down and covered my pocket. The sound got quieter. I released my hand, and it got louder again. Mortified, I ran for the exit, all the while trying to push buttons while the phone was in my pocket, hoping it would stop.

When I got outside, I saw that the music player itself had somehow started, selecting a random song. That explained why I didn’t recognize what was happening, because it isn’t a ringtone or notification on my phone. And it wasn’t even a song I’m overly familiar with. But there are many reasons why this should never have happened. 1. I have an app which automatically silences my…

In Case You Were Wondering

Shelob is still doing fine.

You Think You Can

I must say, one of my favorite things about parenthood is the placebo effect. However much your kids may doubt you, they will still believe you when you say, "This will make the pain go away." I use it often when Sam is having some sort of meltdown. My favorite example is when I gave him grape juice in a medicine cup and told him it would help him calm down. And it worked. Seriously, the brain is amazing.

A New Chapter

Sam has always enjoyed a story before bed. I have had less success than I would have hoped when it comes to getting him to practice his own reading, but at least he likes books. But he's at an awkward stage where the books we have been reading for a few years (Dr. Seuss, Berenstain Bears, etc.) are simply too young for him. I've been trying a few of my old chapter books such as various Roald Dahl stories, The Great Brain, and The Indian in the Cupboard, but he's not quite ready for the longer chapter books for the most part.

We did start The Mouse and the Motorcycle a few nights ago, and he seems okay with that one so far. Any suggestions on what we should pick p at the library?

Ear It Comes

Last night I was running when I felt something hit my ear. I reached up to touch it, and it was ...

Any guesses?

When You Can Balance a Tack Hammer on Your Head, You Can Head off Your Foes with a Balanced Attack

This morning on my way to work I was thinking how I really don't mind leaving a few minutes early to beat some of the traffic. And then a funny thought struck me: The key to balancing your work life and your home life is to hate your job.

The idea is that if you love your job you will want to spend more time there than is necessary, at the expense of your family. But on the other hand, if you hate your job you will probably spend too little time there to be effective, so I realized that doesn't really work either. So the amended maxim is this: The key to balancing your work life and your home life is to feel okay about your job but not to love it too much. Then you don't mind going to work, but you're happy to pack up at the end of the day and go home.