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KIDS (permalink) 07.31.2008
top of his class
tuesday night anthony woke up around 2am. while soothing him back to sleep, i witnessed him achieve two milestones.

first, he heard audible gas (which may have possibly come from me) and pointed at me. up until this instance whenever he heard a puff of flatulence, anthony always pointed at his own behind thinking he was the only guy walking around capable of such feats and wanting to make sure anyone within earshot recognized his clammy diaper as the source. i understand this infantile narcissism mostly because this is not a milestone i can yet claim.

and secondly, he found gas funny. not only did anthony point at me after the jet, he also chuckled at its wispy sound. considering the amount of sport he is sure to have with this biological necessity for the next twenty to thirty years, i consider it special that i got to see his face crack its first fart-related grin.

QUOTES (permalink) 07.29.2008
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.

KIDS (permalink) 07.28.2008
hard fun is the best kind of fun
if i were ever tasked to teach a class on parenting it would be short. i would walk into the classroom and write the following bullets on the chalkboard:
  1. put any material things you really care about in long-term storage. if you feel you can't live without them, visit them on the weekends.
  2. if you feel yourself getting really angry, leave the house until you are no longer really angry. good things/decisions/memories never happen when people are really angry.
  3. learn to breath through your mouth, exclusively. this doesn't become hyper vital until your child stops nursing and starts eating the same things you eat. but start practicing the skill early. when it becomes relevant, you'll be glad you did.
once you've read and understand the above points, you are free to leave. oh, and one last thing, your children will one day understand more about the world at hand than yourself, respect them accordingly.

KIDS, HYGIENE (permalink) 07.25.2008
may direct your attention to the bathroom where alex will astound you by ...
bella and alex shared a bath last night. when this happens they usually ask to play in the water for a bit which i'm glad to allow because it provides me with a few extra minutes to ready myself for battle. i left the room telling them they had ten minutes to play and then i'd be back to wash them. upon walking by the bathroom at the six minute mark i heard bella ask alex to hand her his scrotum. i paused in the hallway considering an intervention but concluded that alex would not be able to fulfill this peculiar request. and if he could, i didn't wish to be in the room when it happened.

GEEK (permalink) 07.24.2008
some geekanese for those fluent

this phenomenally witty and entertaining short video about a font conference where the font's are personified is gold. this runs the risk of only being interesting to people who deal in design and formatting, but for those who do it's a must see.

PHOTO (permalink) 07.23.2008
a new GALLERY IMAGE was posted today.
July 2008

SOCIETY (permalink) 07.22.2008
but, don't drop the soap
marty and i give time to a few different efforts in our community. as a team, people tend to favor us. between her people skills and gifts for patience and my technology and organizational skills we make a pretty effective duo. problem is we suffer the same obstacles most workgroups do and that is one of communication. several times marty has brought me requests i thought were outlandish or desired too quickly. these moments usually result in minor huffs between she and i that later result in apologies and cooperation to get the jobs done.

someone recently told me how meetings at google happen. supposedly, they are limited to some small and inflexible number of minutes, like fifteen. and no one in the room is allowed to sit down. this strategy is reported to have increased productivity and employee satisfaction because people don't feel as though their time is being disrespected.

after exercising the other night i took a shower. a few minutes later marty entered the shower as well. we stood chatting about the day and the kids. marty then brought up something we were asked to do. we talked through the task while washing each others backs and trading turns under the spray. when the shower was done and i was back at my desk making notes about the chore, it occurred to me that that was our most pleasant and productive 'meeting' ever. furthermore, it occurred to me that this may be the answer to the business worlds low opinion of meetings. group showers. you feel more vulnerable. you feel more equal. people are being helpful (washing each others tough to get spots). you're sharing. and if all goes well, you're potentially minutes away from getting lucky. all vital components of a positive experience by my estimation.

KIDS (permalink) 07.18.2008
like caring for a gremlin with ADD
when bella was a toddler she was a climber and defiant and adventurous which made her a handful for her parents, especially two new parents. fortunately there were two of us and only one of her which i'm convinced is the only way marty and i survived those early years.

when alex was a toddler he was compliant and gentle and happy. there's not much to say here, the boy was born smiling and never has really stopped, and this even with a big sister hitting him and bouncing books off his head.

anthony. well, for starters anthony has a code-name. his code-name is silverfish. it is silverfish for what i think are obvious reasons. silverfish was coined when our family was invited to brunch with friends. they have two children of their own, live in a house that is finely appointed and has many circles, nooks, crooks and crannies. at first marty and i were having trouble keeping tabs on anthony and one would think the other had him and you'd hear a crash in another room and the other would say they thought he was playing with the kids and the kids would say he was there a moment ago but now he is not. so a tracking system was devised. if anthony was playing in the room with the other children and he left, one of the other kids had to yell as loud as they could SILVERFISH IS IN THE WIND. this would alert marty and i and our hosts to quickly try to find anthony. when he was found the finder would yell I'M ON SILVERFISH. if that call didn't come soon enough frantic shouts went out that sounded like DOES ANYBODY HAVE EYES ON SILVERFISH to which frantic NOs would ring through the house. in the end this system held up and kept all the valuable art and decor in tact which meant our friendship could remain in tact. the busy day ended when one of the children called out from the playroom SILVERFISH POOPED HIS PANTS.

SOCIETY (permalink) 07.16.2008
may your ultimate demise be swift ... although i already know it won't be
it was big news when it happened. it continues to be a bit of a thing around here, rightfully so. that is the sale of anheuser-busch (AB) to a belgium-based company for 52 billion dollars.

in 1999 i began planning to leave my employer after the company was purchased by an out of state bank. i put a single condition on the new job. the condition was this: i would only work for a company that would never be purchased. at the time of this missive i narrowed my local options down to two. the first was a well-endowed, private university and the second was this storied beer mill. they were the two institutions i felt were immune to and bigger than the standard ills of corporate greed. i guess i was wrong about one of them.

i was lucky too because my first job offer actually came from AB. in the end i turned it down for a couple of unrelated reasons. first i couldn't see dedicating myself to the promotion of alcohol. i myself don't drink and am more times than not annoyed by those who do. secondly, they had a long-standing policy of not giving vacation during the first year of service. they considered this point not negotiable and wouldn't budge. coincidentally, i felt the same and now, because of this dual stubbornness, i sidestepped a major professional catastrophe. had they been humane and granted me a respectable amount of vacation up front i may not have been paying attention when an opportunity opened up at my second employer of choice and where i currently hang my hat, in a building named anheuser-busch hall nonetheless.

but back to the acquisition. i don't know how many people realize how bad this development is for saint louis but it is a true and real tragedy. i read the article and almost wept crossing phrases like ...

The companies will, however, sell off "noncore assets" that they would not name to raise some $7 billion to finance the deal.

seven billion dollars! if that isn't a call in the night that the pillagers have crested the hill i'm not sure what is. i surely have experienced such language before and will say this is a mournful day for saint louis (and many other affected states) and not just because an iconic beer baron fell but because one of our cities last historic institutions just became a line-item in another company's ledger. a company who has no interests in the surrounding communities other than what they can trim and bleed from the people and real estate. AB has been part of the landscape for so long, it's hard to have a realistic notion of just how much they routinely re-invested in the city and subsequently, how severe the imminent raping will be. we are so far from corner taverns and neighborhood businessmen where the merchant's kids and your kids shared the same schools and the proprietor knows your name and what kind of house you own and what sort of drink you like after work that we're completely numb to the implications of it all. professional pride has been replaced with collective apathy and distrust. and whenever that is the case, community pride ain't never far behind.

even though i didn't join your ranks or consume your product, i was a big fan of what you did and am sad to see you fall. rest in peace AB. rest in peace.

PERSONAL (permalink) 07.15.2008
dirk digler at your service
last summer i visited a close friend of mine who lives out of state. his brother had recently got engaged and during my stay i was invited to meet the woman about to enter the family. the four of us went out and had a fine evening together. the brother and his fiance seemed well suited for one another and the evening contained lots of laughter and stories from our younger years.

a month after my visit the brother and his fiance were eating dinner. she asked him about that guy who came to their place. he asked what guy. she said that movie guy. he thought on this and replied that he didn't know who she was referring to. she said the movie guy who makes gay movies. he said, 'huh?'. she said 'you know, that movie guy who makes gay movies that your brother brought over'. he said 'troy?'. and she said 'yes, troy'.

now ... the people involved in that evening, aside from her, the culprit, have talked about this and why my friend's brother's fiance would think, based on our short time together, that i am an actor in gay pornographic films. truthfully, not one of us could raise a certain story or comment or utterance which may have directed someone to this conclusion. and let's be clear, this does not seem like a detail that would escape three guys who would revel in holding such a nugget over the other. when the brother asked his fiance why she thought troy made gay movies she said she didn't recall exactly why but just walked away from the night thinking that's what troy did.

it has since been alluded to that i may get an invitation to this wedding. if anyone thinks i'm showing up in something other than daisy dukes, a spaghetti-strap tank top that says 'i promise i'm a virgin' and some knee high jack boots, they would be tragically mistaken.

update: to clarify, i don't own any of that clothing yet. i would have to buy it.

except for ... maybe ... the daisy dukes. but that is a story for another day.

PERSONAL (permalink) 07.14.2008
come to mamma
i felt very uninspired last week. which is sad and the opposite of what i wanted to feel and was supposed to feel after taking a five week break. in the past after my sabbatical i've been eager to return and usually had a few choice morsels in the hopper. not this time. and this was surprising because in those five weeks my family had taken two vacations, one to the beach and one to a lake resort. we had the outside of our house painted by two drunk guys. we renovated a bedroom. and both kids were on summer vacation. in short, we'd been busy and spent a lot of time together. yet, when i sat down to post last week i drew repeated blanks on what to say. towards the end of the week the dry well got me thinking this project has perhaps run its course and it may be time to shutter the windows and focus my attention on more pertinent matters. seriously.

then, saturday morning marty was organizing the kids in the front yard for a bike ride. i went out to help get the adventure underway. while i was strapping anthony into the rickshaw marty said behind me ...

alex, i want to hold your meat.

alex, in a ziplock baggie, was carrying some summer sausages i had just cut up for him to take along as a snack. the second marty finished her line, my head drooped and i started chuckling at her comment. marty instantly turned my way and chastised me saying that she already had three kids and didn't need a fourth. she then turned back to alex and said ...

alex, give me your meat.

and with that the log blocking my chi break through with a flood of commentary trailing behind. so, you can thank (or vex) marty for saving the day and

HUMOR (permalink) 07.10.2008
close to home
This guy goes to the doctor to get his first prostate exam. The doc puts on his glove and sticks his fingers in to take a look. After awhile he says,

"Son, I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is you don't have prostate cancer!"

The guy says "So whats the bad news?"

Doc tells him, "You'll have to stop masturbating."

"Why?" the guy asks.

Doc says, "Because it's making me nervous!"

via big ed

SCIENCE (permalink) 07.09.2008
problem patient
i want you to push down through your heel and squeeze your thigh. then flex your right butt muscle. as you lift the tenseness should begin in your calf, move through your thigh and then to your lower buttock. you want to pinch and hold that muscle for about five seconds, lower down slowly and then do it again.

these are the sort of instructions i get at rehab. at the end of such an outpouring i just stand, staring blankly at the woman. i want to ask her if all her counseling will be in portuguese. first off, i've never before contemplated the laws of my body's motion. historically, i just look where i want to go and my body goes there. easy-cheesy. secondly, i'm entirely unable to ambulate and think of that many things at the same time. the dopa-dopa-doh soundtrack they routinely play inside homer simpson's mind is not a farce. men wrote that. they know. and lastly, even though i have a wonderfully (to some) bulbous and fleshy ass, there doesn't seem to be any functional muscles in there. the woman told my to tighten my right cheek. i tried and couldn't and told her as much. she responded by repeating the instruction this time placing her hand on the upper part of my backside to feel for herself. i tried again and she, like me, felt nothing. she looked at me and told me to try it. i said i just did. she told me to do it again. i did it again. nothing. frustrated and perplexed she tells me i'll have to work on that. as far as i can tell there's nothing to work on. i have no ass muscles, just juicy, delicious rumpmeat that make it impossible for me to wear anything made by levis. i tried explaining that such beauty rarely coincides with functional use. you get one or the other but not both. at this point she turned from me and scribbled something in my chart. i didn't see what it was but i'm thinking it wasn't a notation of her agreement.

but how cool would it be if that is what she wrote down.

QUOTES, KIDS (permalink) 07.08.2008
a new TROYSCRIPT was posted today.
keep it down up there

PHOTO, KIDS (permalink) 07.07.2008
a photographic triptych




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