Friday, July 29, 2005
YW attended Soccer Camp this week. His age group went for 3 hours each morning all week. Here he is recieving his Certificate of Participation from Dane. This soccer camp's twist is that all the instructors are from the UK, home of actual football. I just hope they haven't taught them too much hooliganism.
YW, putting his vaunted persuasive abilities to work, convinced me to coach his team. It went something like this, "Dad will you be a coach this year?" So I'll get to try herding 8 six and seven year olds for the next few months.
- In Heaven There Is No Beer Frankie Yankovic
- Across The Antheap XTC
- Duncan Paul Simon
- Maybe Alison Krauss
- Don't Gimme No Lip Child Sex Pistols
- Love Don't Come Easy The Alarm
- Don't Wanna Fall In Love Green Day
- Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg: Dance of the Prentices Richard Wagner
- Dazed And Confused Led Zeppelin
- 1-2-8 The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
Monday, July 25, 2005
Friday, July 22, 2005
- All Messed Up The Donnas
- Hair P.J. Harvey
- Scarlet Ribbons The Kingston Trio
- Crawling King Snake George Thorogood & The Destroyers
- Broken The Guess Who
- Wild Tyme Jefferson Airplane
- The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face Gordon Lightfoot
- Real People Killing Heidi
- Message To Harry Manback Tool
- Brand New Car The Rolling Stones
On the evenings when YW has a swimming lesson YA gets to go to the beach (if it's a nice day) to run and run and run.
Movie Quiz: To which movie did I just allude?
Thursday, July 21, 2005
How about this instead: imagine you're a Subway Suicide Bomber, you pack up your haversack with explosives and nails and whatnot, you head off to your local subway station. You make for the entrance. Then one of two things happen: 1 - you get on the train and after a while you blow it and yourself to pieces or 2 - you are approached by the Transit Police who want to search your haversack, so you pull the string and blow up yourself, the Transit Cops, and everyone else around you. It sounds like a win-win situation for you the Subway Suicide Bomber.
And unless the Authorities are planning on searching a very large fraction of the subway riding public, the chances of option 2 happening are effectively zero.
So instead of Dumbass Publicity Stunts how about doing something effective instead?
So I'm reading Harry Potter and Half-Blood Prince, just like everybody else on the planet. I'm only about 120 pages in so, there's not a lot of spoiling I can do, even by accident.
In HP #5, the thing that annoyed me to no end was the way Harry got treated at the beginning of the book. The whole, "we know what's best, don't worry your childish little head about anything." Come on JK, he's Harry Fucking Potter, he's saved the world or his own ass from the evilest wizard ever 4 times in 4 years. If he thinks something is up, the people around him would most likely give him at least a listen. I am most pleased that in the part of HP #6 that I've read, he is, at last, (mostly) treated with the respect he deserves.
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
I've never been 'at fault' in a car accident before. So far it's not been too bad, but I think I'm going to have to fight to keep from having the car totaled. It's a 1994 Civic and while it is drivable, at that age they're probably going to be riding the edge of its actual value to repair it. I don't want to buy another car right now.
Monday, July 18, 2005
After Pearl Harbor submarines were just about the only weapon we had to take the fight to the Japanese. So out they went in their new Fleet Boats and their old Pig Boats to sink the Japanese. But now two things conspired to make these efforts less than productive. The first was that American torpedos were terrible; they didn't work very well at all. But that's a topic for later. The other was the sub commanders were trained to be too cautious. They would let ships get away because they couldn't line up a perfect shot. Time after time they would creep up to an enemy ship and then let it get away without shooting. Eventually the powers that be noticed this lack of desire to close with the enemy and began promoting younger officers to command. Officers that were more concerned with winning the war than not wasting torpedos. People like Mush Morton and Richard O'Kane went out and began sinking Japanese ships at a furious pace.
The leadership of the Democratic party act like a bunch of pre-war sub commanders. They are too busy conserving resources and trying to line up for a perfect shot. They need to be promoted out of their jobs and let younger, more aggressive leaders emerge who know that the opposition is out for blood and are willing to give at least as good as they get. I imagine that when the new generation of sub commanders started getting their commands, the old guard muttered to themselves that the new guys were too risky. They were going to get sunk and waste torpedos and that's just no way to win the war. They were wrong, and the Democrats who think that we shouldn't be as boisterous as Howard "Mush" Dean are wrong too. Speaking of which, I'd love for Howard to say something about the Rove situation .
Saturday, July 16, 2005
Friday, July 15, 2005
It was trampoline night again the other night. I've read that it's important with children to have a Going to Bed ritual. This allows the children to realize that the day is winding down and they can get themselves into a mental place that is receptive to the idea of going to sleep. This, at least with my boys, is a load of crap. What works best, if they are showing signs of alertness as bed-time approaches, is to run them ragged right up to the moment before you tuck them into bed. Then after a couple minutes of darkness, they let down their guard, and oops, they fall asleep.
- Someday Los Lobos
- That Makes One Of Us Alison Krauss
- Brother Jim Johnny Dowd
- Voice Of God Is Government Bad Religion
- Why Baby The Aislers Set
- Corazon Espinado Santana
- Goodbye Yellow Brick Road Elton John
- All The Young Dudes World Party
- Rock This Town Stray Cats
- Song To Woody Bob Dylan
Thursday, July 14, 2005
<Digression> When I went to the Freshman orientation weekend the summer before school started, the Dean of the College of Engineering addressed all the incoming engineering students with following words: "Look to your right. Look to your left. One of you three will not graduate with an engineering degree." Freshman year I lived in the privately owned, off-campus dorm Francisco Torres where fully one half of the 60 people on my floor were some kind of engineering major. The Dean was an optimist. At least half of those hopeful engineers had changed their majors before the end of the year.
But what did you do if you were an engineering student who didn't want to be an engineer? If you were in the classic engineering disciplines (Electrical, Mechanical, Chemical, or Nuclear) you might decide to change your major to CompSci. Or if you really didn't want anything to do with the College of Engineering you switched to Business Economics. Yes there were exceptions, but that's the way it usually went. There were also those who paused in CompSci for a while before continuing on to BusiEcon.</Digression>
I added the CompSci major about the time the sophomore weeder classes were getting other engineers to switch to CompSci. So there were a batch of us Sophomores taking the freshman CompSci classes.
One day I was in the computer lab (this was in the days before you got computers as prizes in cereal boxes) doing my homework assignment. So there I am, a mild mannered geek computing prime numbers or making binary trees or writing a program to solve mazes or something. When this stranger says, "Hey Hank." I ignore him because my name is not Hank. The stranger points at me and says, "Hey Hank, I'm talking to you!" I look at him and in my best what-do-you-want voice say, "My name is not Hank." Stranger says, "It is now. What are we supposed to do on the homework assignment?" I resign myself to dealing with the insane and explain the assignment him.
Later, I found out what happened immediately before I was accosted.
Karl -Do you guys know what we're supposed to do on the homework assignment?
Bob, Larry, Cliff - Nope.
Karl - That guy over there is typing like mad, I'll bet he knows what to do.
Bob - We should ask him what to do.
Karl - Does anybody know his name?
Larry, Bob, Cliff - Nope.
Karl -He looks like a Hank.
Larry - I'll be right back.
I ended up hanging out with those guys until we graduated and beyond. Much drinking, intramural sports, ski trips, etc.
So there it is, I am Hank. It gets to the point where all my CompSci-based friends call me Hank. Through them I meet other people who I'm introduced as Hank. These new friends introduce me to people as Hank also. It gets to the point where I have a whole group of friends who don't know anyone who knows my real name.
Once I reached that point, every now and then I'd have a conversation like this:
Hank - ...my real name...
Friend X - What do you mean your real name?
Hank - My mom did not name me Henry.
Friend X -Well what is your real name?
Hank - <real name>
Friend X - I don't believe you.
Hank - <exhibits Driver's license>
Friend X -Well shit. Why didn't you tell me?
Hank - What was I supposed to do say, "Hi, my real name is <real name>?
Friend X - Yes! I can't believe you've lied to me all this time.
I don't go by Hank much out in the world anymore, but it is a great name at restaurants. You can really bellow "Hank! Party of 4! Hank!"
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
This morning I dropped him off at daycare and had a chat with the woman in charge and combined with what YW said about event here is what I think happened. YW had a fine swimming lesson. He went into the locker room to change back into his street clothes and did so. While doing so, and perhaps on his way into the locker room, he and a couple other boys were laughing and being typical 6 year-old boys. They dawdled in the locker room and the woman who was waiting at the front desk told the man who runs the Rec department (which includes the city-run daycare) who went into the locker room to find out what was taking them so long. He rousted them and told the woman who runs YW's daycare site that they were screwing around too much and that one more screw-up and he was banning them.
That's fine, but here's where my feelings of guilt come in. The three boys were almost certainly horsing around (which was wrong), but they had never before seen the man who rousted them. And, in a situtation where a herd of 6 and 7 year olds were changing in a locker room, they had no adult in the locker room to monitor proper behavior. So YW and his pals were horsing around in the absence of adult supervision and some strange man came in and got upset at them. They probably didn't even notice him until he got angry. None of this is to excuse YW; the rest of the kids managed to get dressed and exit the locker room. But if I had known more about the actual sequence of events I wouldn't have been quite so stern last night. One the bright side, YW will probably be a model child at his swimming lesson today.
Update: YW had a glorious day at the pool today. He listened to the instructor in the pool and changed into his street clothes in a timely manner. After lunch when he went back to the pool for a Free Swim event, he behaved appropriately in the pool and changed into his street clothes in a timely manner. Woo!
Monday, July 11, 2005
So, damnit, I don't get a slightly used, driverless car for free.
And just to repeat myself from previous posting events, How many Iraqis to do we have to kill before the rest of them are going to be our friends? I honestly can't figure out how extending the occupation by another hour is superior to packing up and leaving. Every minute we're there is another minute of occupation that makes any positive outcome less likely. At this point the best we probably hope for is a Shiite theocracy that stomps on the Sunnis and the Kurds. The bad outcome is some kind of splintered Somalia situation where the warlords are self-financing because they are sitting on top of pools of oil.
Friday, July 08, 2005
- Nothing's Gonna Change My Clothes They Might Be Giants
- Noah's Dove 10,000 Maniacs
- Consider Me Gone Sting
- Model Simply Red
- 19th Nervous Breakdown The Rolling Stones
- Let's Say Goodnight [Live] Los Lobos
- I Feel Like I'm Fixin' To Die Rag Country Joe McDonald & The Fish
- Someone To Watch Over Me Gershwin & Frank Sinatra
- The One on the Left is on the Right Johnny Cash
- Add It Up Violent Femmes
Here are the boys at Legoland in a picture that didn't make it into the slideshow linked below.
Thursday, July 07, 2005
- 38 Special- Back Where You Belong- Flashback
- Aerosmith- Livin’ on the Edge- Get A Grip
- Foreigner- Urgent- The Very Best and Beyond
- Journey- Wheel in the Sky- Greatest Hits
- Spin Doctors- Little Miss Can’t be Wrong- Pocket Full of Kryptonite
- Talking Heads- Stay Up Late- Sand in the Vasoline
- Mustang Sally- The Commitments Soundtrack
- Tom Petty- Don’t Do Me Like That- Greatest Hits
- Van Halen- Drop Dead Legs- 1984
- Santana & Rob Thomas- Smooth- 2000 Grammy Nominee Album
- Bryan Adams- Somebody- So Far So Good
- Aerosmith- Cryin’- Get A grip
- Tom Petty- Mary Jane’s Last Dance- Greatest Hits
- Travis Tritt- Put Some Drive In Your Country- Greatest Hits From The Beginning
- Van Halen- I’ll Wait- 1984
- AC/DC- Thunderstruck- AC/DC Live
When I tell people we went to San Diego the first question asked is, "Did you go to Sea World?" MLWN and I went out of our way to not say "Sea World" out loud the entire time we were down there. We were only in San Diego for a couple days and I'd rather go to the Zoo than to Sea World, so the boys don't even know we were near Sea World. We did have a good time at Legoland and the Zoo. We did the bus tour of the Zoo which was almost a waste of money. If we hadn't taken the bus tour we wouldn't have known that walking all the way to the far end of the Zoo to see the hippo would be a highlight of the day. But now we do know, so no more bus tours of the Zoo. As you can see from the picture above, the hippo pool has a glass wall so you can watch it prance about under water. The polar bear area is set up the same way. Legoland is what it is. The boys really liked it but it's one step up from a roadside attraction. The La Brea Tarpits were cool, but then the Hank Family are big fans of bones. I really liked going to the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum. In addition to having a bunch pygmy mammoth bones (quite the contrast to the Columbian Mammoth skeleton at the Tarpits), they have a big mesh tent set up outside filled with flowers and thousands of butterflies.
Oh, and click on the picture or right here to see a slide show of the trip.
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
While driving around looking at the back ends of cars with those annoying Support The Troops ribbon magnets, I had a couple of thoughts.
First: they're magnets. What kind of message does that send? "My support of the troops is so ephemeral that I could at any moment change my mind and I want to be able to remove the evidence of my prior support without any undue effort or any offending marks on my car."
Second: they're magnets. That means they can be removed and replaced with almost no effort. Herewith is my call to action: when you can get away without risk of confrontation (I don't want anyone to get hurt), remove the ribbon magnet from the back of its car and replace over the car's gas cap hatch. The proud owner will then have to move the magnet before being able to fill his/her tank and will, perhaps, be induced to have a thought or two about the policies to which they are professing support. I gave it a test run in the parking lot of Legoland in Carlsbad and it gave me a glow of satisfaction that lasted for at least a day. Now I want to do it again and again. But living, as I do, near San Francisco and working in Santa Cruz, I don't see all that many of them in circumstances where the repositioning can take place. So I call on those of you in Redder parts of the country to Move Those Magnets!