Monthly Archives: September 2007

In the Hall of the Liza Queen

Liza, like all babies, is a tyrant. Her demands are few but inflexible. She will have naps when she decides to have them. She will have food when she is hungry. She will have members of her court entertain her when she grows bored.

We each have assigned roles. Misty is the chamberlain and cup-bearer (after a fashion). I am mostly the Lord of the Bedchamber, including baths.

Eli? He’s the court jester. Whenever he’s around Liza cannot look away from him. She stares at him and laughs, which only encourages him. This hasn’t yet reached the point where they entertain each other without Misty or my needing to be in the room, but a man can dream.

Things to Do with Active Boys

Eli is a wild man. The only time he is still is during sleep and well, that’s it. Even then he sleeps like a wild man, all over the bed with the tossing and the turning and the rumpling of covers. So we have had a hard time coming up with things to do this summer. Especially since it’s been so hot and we’ve had Liza to lug around too. So here’s the list I’ve compiled of things that we’ve done that has taken the edge off this summer. Feel free to steal some ideas if you need them.

Build the tallest lego tower.
Go to Will’s house.
Get up at 5 a.m. to play on the swing set in the backyard.
Build a piano fort.
Invite Hallie over to entertain us.
Start a parade around the house.
Go to McKenzie’s house.
Jump in the kiddy pool. Before 10 a.m. or after 6 p.m. so we have some shade.
Build the tallest block tower.
Daddy’s shoulders.
Get Mumsy or May to come and entertain him.
Go to Sci-Quest.
Go to Josh’s house.
Build something with magnetic balls and sticks.
Cook something. Mamster taught me that.

And if all else fails there’s always movies to watch. Sometimes he even sits for one.

Jack Thompson May Have Been Right

It all started with Tasty Planet. Eli wanted to play it all the time. We worked our way through it, but its charms wore off quickly. Every day he would ask to play Tasty Planet again, and every day I would dread playing it even more.

Finally I snapped. “Hey, Eli, let’s not play Tasty Planet today. Let’s play Katamari Damacy!” He wailed and gnashed his teeth. How could anything be better than Tasty Planet?

The next day, he demanded more Katamari Damacy. He couldn’t say the name, which led to us practicing it. He still will occasionally tell Misty and me, “Say it with me. Cat. Aahh. Mah. Ree.”

We played through both Katamari games on the PS2. We collected all the royal presents. We found all of the cousins. We even spent some time rolling up roses on the final, nearly-never-ending level of We Love Katamari.

And in the process, Eli had made me hate the Katamari games.

Sunday, I snapped again. I rooted around in my stack of PS2 games until I found Lego Star Wars. “Hey, want to try this game?” I asked Eli. Again there was wailing and gnashing of teeth.

The last two days, the moment I’ve gotten home, he’s asked if we could play Lego Star Wars. He’s tried to explain the game to his teachers, with little success.

Maybe next month we can move on to Bioshock.

Robert Jordan is Dead, Alas

James Rigney, who wrote under the name Robert Jordan, died yesterday from amyloidosis. He’d been ill for a while, but his death still came as a surprise.

I never read the Wheel of Time books. Somehow I missed starting the series, and only found out about it some three or four books in. At that point I thought, well, I’ll just wait until he’s done to start reading them.

My favorite reminiscence I’ve read so far is from George R. R. Martin, who was the Toastmaster at a convention where Jordan was the Guest of Honor. In introducing Jordan, Martin pretended that “Robert Jordan” was really him and took credit for all of the Wheel of Time books.

Godspeed, Jim Rigney.

The More the Crazier, or Alan Keyes Has Entered the Building

Things have been quiet since Fred Thompson surprised no-one by announcing his candidacy for President. In fact, it’s been too quiet.

These are the words of Alan Keyes as he declared his candidacy for president on Janet Parshall’s nationally syndicated radio program, “I will be participating in the Values Voter Debate on Monday as a candidate, and I will be trying my best — as I forever have, in the course of the years that I have been involved at this level in politics”

Oh, thank goodness. Andrew and Joy lived in Illinois when Alan Keyes ran against Barack Obama, so we got to hear from them about how Jesus Christ wouldn’t vote for Obama and how Obama’s views on abortion were “the slaveholder’s position”. Then there was that time he criticized John McCain for going to a Nine Inch Nails concert with his daughter, saying that McCain was “aiding and abetting the cultural murder that is taking place”. To top it all off, he provided empirical evidence for the Crazification Factor.

I will admit to a perverse fascination with train-wreck politics. I know, I know, I should rise above such things. And yet, I can’t help but think, Is there any way the Republican Presidential field could get even more entertaining?

One of the most divisive figures in American politics during Bill Clinton’s presidency is contemplating a ‘wild-card’ run for the White House in a desperate bid to oppose his old enemy’s wife – Democrat front-runner Hillary Clinton.

Republican Newt Gingrich is so unimpressed with his own party’s ‘chaotic’ line-up of candidates to replace President Bush in the 2008 elections that he has threatened to make a dramatic late entry into the race.


When All You Have is the Pareto Principle

In 1906, 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population.

80% of the people use 20% of a given software’s features.

80% of sales is generated by 20% of your salespeople.

80% of computer processing time is spent running 20% of a program’s code.

80% of your business should come from 20% of your customers.

80% of the work is done by 20% of the people.

80% of the quality comes from 20% of the effort.

80% of users’ information needs are served by 20% of a website’s content.

80% of delays in schedule arise from 20% of the possible causes of the delays.

80% of horse races are won by 20% of the jockeys.

Web analysts should spend 80% of their time doing analysis and only 20% reporting.

Ideally, 80% of what a videogame is about is shown in the first level.

Eat until you are 80% full and 20% empty.

20% of the references to Pareto Principle will incorrectly apply it in situations where there is not a corresponding 80% input or output, as shown in the last three examples above. Considering the previous sentence to be an application of the Pareto Principle would be another example of that error.

Roots & Grubs T-Shirt Design

A while back a friend of ours, Matthew, did an all call for some t-shirt designs to promote his website, Roots & Grubs. I made something up and sent it to him and now the shirts are available for purchase here. So go support Matthew by buying a cool shirt.

Hey I can say the shirts are cool because there’s another designer’s work up there too.