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So it's a little too early in the day to break a new set of glowsticks for the kiddies, so I put on Joan Jett.

No, wait, work with me here a minute.

So I put on Joan Jett, or rather I put on Calvin's iPod playlist, to which I have just added Joan Jett, and because the iPod shuffle algorithm is shadowy and mysterious, it pulls out "I Love Rock and Roll" first up. It should here be noted that when A. is away, it gets kind of loud around here.

It takes all of 3 chords before both of the little ones are rocking out in their own way. Calvin is trying to keep his feet in the same place and see how far he can get his hips from his hands without falling over. Rose is hopping around like a frog on all fours and wiggling her butt in the air with no sense of rhythm whatsoever.

Alas, an elbow hits a nose moments later and the spell is broken. But just for a minute there, heart asplode.
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Wife: asleep
Dog: chewing on a deer antler
Children: watching _Duck Amuck_
Self: Coffee and a new nethack character.

That's as close as it gets to church around here.
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This would all make a great webcomic if there were 50 hours in a day in which to create it... )
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Those of you who aren't too old or too busy parenting to go out on a school night, THIS:


...looks like exactly the kind of S.F. music throwdown you would expect to kick all known ass. Two words: Kid Beyond. Three more plus a hyphen: Smash-Up Derby (Mashups, but *played live*, not mixed/DJ'd). Plus a group I don't know, Gooferman, but they are the house band for the Bohemian Carnival and really, what else do you need to hear? GO.

Then tell me how it was, since I'm old.
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1 5134296 plord-Wiz-Elf-Mal-Cha ascended to demigod-hood 106 [278]

I have been playing the "modern" version of nethack, with the Quests and Elemental Planes and other "new" features, since its release in 1993. I had previously ascended some characters in the 2.0 and 3.0 versions, but for the last SEVENTEEN YEARS I'd never so much as sniffed the endgame in version 3. Some of that is the huge reduction in available playing time since moving West, startup workload, family, but still. You get tired of having your one good character of the year get hit by a thrown potion of paralysis and then nibbled to death by a pony.

To give you some idea, I started playing this particular character probably 2 years ago. So, the game is NOT eating my life as it once did. It took about 135,000 moves and 2 of my 5 amulets of life-saving (holy crap, the Elemental Planes are HARD), but late yesterday, "An invisible choir [sang], and [I was] bathed in radiance" :)

Then, immediately thereafter, I rolled up a lawful monk who, on dungeon level 2, walked over a polymorph trap, turned into a Lichen, and was killed by starvation shortly thereafter.
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Lego has a new "Atlantis" set.

Atlantis. Right. Get a look at this guy (wrong color, but still):

...then check out this tableaux, the so-called Gateway of the Squid:

The only larger images I could find are embedded in Flash but zooming in reveals an altar with a squid medallion sitting in front of that closed gate, plus a trapdoor under the mind control apparatus. I think we all know what's going on here. Who knew the Danes were doomsday cult worshipers of the Great Old Ones?
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We're at a dual birthday party yesterday, brother and sister aged 7 and 1, with a crowd spanning that entire age range as all siblings were invited. It is a Star Wars themed party and among other festivities there is a Death Star pinata. After much fruitless bashing-- really, when was the last time you saw a pinata actually burst open as designed?-- one of the Jedi masters "Used the Force" and tore the thing open.

Chaos ensues. And there, in the middle of the scrum, Rose is methodically, carefully, reaching in, under, and around the teeming throng to collect a small bag full of ONLY red candy.(*)

Heart asplode.

(*) Red is her favorite color by an infinite margin. (**)
(**)Cherry nerds, Strawberry Laffy Taffy, red lollipops, and KitKats, if you must know.
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Tonight we added additional characters to the bedtime story routine. As you may recall, we already had:
  • Simon, the brave man (Perhaps a spy. Has gadgets. Smells of old leather).
  • Iceblock, the whale (Baleen. Gigantic migratory route. Occasionally, can fly (a la Dirigible Behemothaur).)
  • George, the monkey (Curious. Always seems to be in some sort of trouble. Midget repellent.)
  • Bobo, the Penguin (Comic relief. Jollier than a bucket of leprechauns. Does not want to return to Hoboken.)
Now we must add:
  • Lucky, the cat (For those occasions requiring a character who can't be bothered to advance the plot).
  • Grit, the cabbage (Somewhat Flumpy (from the heat (from being carried in the brave man's pocket)). Apparently, destined to die/wilt/be consumed in every episode, like Kenny/Poster Nutbag. Bit of a grouch, and his speech is quite muffled (the pocket, again).)
  • Tommy, the youthful but vigilant defender of the garden.
  • Sally, the unfortunately underwritten Mary Sue.
Those last two, whose names are variable but whose roles are fixed, joined the party and have been incorporated into the canon after last night, when Rose brought a tear of joy to my eye by requesting the Slug's tale. I asked, which Slug's tale? and she says "the one where they laugh their slimy laugh, huh-huHHH, huh-huHHH, huh-HUHHH, and keep on eating the juicy lettuces." Who's got two thumbs and a 4 year old who asks for a recitation of Orb samples at bedtime? ME!

A final tip: with 4-6 year olds, apparently, ANY story is hysterical if told in a Mortimer Snerd voice. If you can get three or more Mortimers in the same story, plus maybe a genial wino or something, that's comedy gold. Hence, I now must occasionally tell the tail of the Three Billy Goats Dumb and the Tramp in the Alley.
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Last night, during the "funny stuff" part of bedtime tuck-in, in a fit of brainlock, I ALMOST told Calvin and Rosie the story of Charlie the Unicorn. I recovered in time to tell a story about a different unicorn and a different candy mountain, with no gruesome punchline. but I DID keep the magical leopluradon.

Then we went back to the tales of Bobo the Penguin, Iceblock the Whale, George the Monkey, and Simon the Brave Man. and so to bed.
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Sometime around Halloween, Calvin piped up at dinner and said, "I want to learn how to read." When probed for the source of his sudden interest, he replied that "You need to know how to read to be able to use an iPod!"

The end justifies the means, right? [livejournal.com profile] canetoad pulled out the workbooks we used with Nina and they started working through them at bedtime. Calvin being Calvin, attention-span was an issue, but by the same token his glee at figuring out words and phonics and so forth lit up the room. There was a brief moment of iPod touch lust (over a lava lamp game, actually), but in a subsequent pillow conversation Calvin declared that it was all up to Santa which version he got and he mostly wanted to play his songs over and over again. Shortly thereafter, he read about half of _Go Dog, Go_ to me, including working out about 10 new words all on his own. Santa was satisfied, and Calvin received the same iPod Nano 4g that his father and sister own.

and what did he want to listen to? )
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You probably read the story already, but did you see the video? Tool using invertebrate powers, activate! (Watch through at least 1:05 to see him grip it by the husk).

Travel tip: Don't tell your Japanese co-workers that you don't eat Octopi because they're too smart. Neither the facts nor the humor will survive translation.
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"Look Papa, it's the guy who kills the wabbit!"

...then she toddles off, singing "Kill the wabbit, kill the wabbit, kill the WAB-bit!"


Sep. 23rd, 2009 08:13 pm
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dog dog dog )
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Saint Peter chuckles,
can't help but remark that he
thought you'd be taller.
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Last week, the clerk at Long's, apparently refusing to believe my repeated "No, thank you" was sincere, grabbed one of their store discount cards, swiped it on her laser reader, and said "See wasn't that easy? You can fill it out with your phone number later."

No, actually, we can't, because what Long's-- or Safeway or any other store-discount program-- is telling you right there is, "We will make more money tracking your purchases and selling the data to a marketing firm than the 3-5% discount that the card gives you." And why would you want to feed that beast? It only encourages them...
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Dear Lazyweb,

My Arcam A85 has died for the second time and we've decided to replace rather than repair. So I am in the market for an integrated amplifier, 3-4 input channels, at least 80 watts per channel output into 4 ohms to drive my power hungry Dynaudio Audience 85s. This is just for a 2 channel audio system, not plugged into a tv/home theater; a phono stage would be nice but is not required. Budget is somewhere in the $1-2K range. What hidden gems should I be looking at? I've already looked into the current gear from Rotel (slightly underpowered), NAD (bad quality reviews on the intarweb), Krell (lovely but too expensive), and Marantz (the pm-8003 looks quite nice).

So...what do you recommend?
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At random times: "Papa, are you thinking what I'm thinking?" (She has never, to my knowledge, seen Animaniacs...)

Because she is 3: "NO! You stay right dere, I'm gonna do it MYSELF!" (This applies to such things as, running naked through the campground to use a porta-potty alone)

When performing magic: "Abracadabra, Calvin-mazoo, make ice cream appear." (Her siblings have, sadly, mostly corrected her out of this one)

When expecting something good: "Oh! Oh! I'm so exciting!" (understatement)

Also because she is 3: "NNNGH! I *hate* you! I'm not gonna be your fwiend EVER." (never lasts more than 10 minutes)

Cartesian confusion: "Calvin, do you matter if I play wif your legos?" (!)
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Calvin shows a remarkable facility for staying up way past his bedtime and playing with glowsticks and other luminescent objects.

Hello, Human Genome Project? Riddle me that.


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