October 31, 2004
We picked up the last share of the season from the Root Connection, the cooperative farm that we belong to. As I noted at the beginning of the summer, I love the produce we get and the principles the Root Connection stands for.
It's always sad to see the last bag come. I'll have to savor the last bunch of carrots and Honey Boat squash (this is a real treat!) and make the memories last until next summer.
Michael (4) has decided that farting is cool. Obviously, this is an incredibly unwelcome turn of events at the Chor household.
Last night we were snuggling and reading before bed -- a perfect scene of parent-child bliss. You know where this is going. He looks up into my eyes, smiles his cutest smile, and says, "I farted."
The night before, he's in the bathtub playing. He smiles (again with the evil smile) and notes, "You know what's cool about farting the in bath tub? It doesn't make a sound."
I'm not happy about this new hobby. Not one bit.
October 27, 2004
I finally threw away my stock of 35mm film. I had probably 30-40 rolls of good print and chrome film that I bought before I got my first digital SLR (Canon D30) in 2001. I haven't shot a single frame of 35mm since then. I've kept the stuff around thinking I might shoot some of it to try some multi-exposure effects or something, but I finally admitted to myself that I'll never shoot film if I have a digital alternative. Plus this stuff is so old I wouldn't trust it anyway.
Seems dumb, but this somehow felt like a big milestone. Once I get rid of all the film bodies, I'll know I've fully switched.
Anyone want to buy an Elan II for cheap?
October 25, 2004
I finally got around to posting a few photos from my recent recruiting trip to Puerto Rico. This is a bit of a mismash of the shots I liked plus a few illustrating my interviewing office at the University of Puerto Rico.
The other night Michael (4) was arranging his stuffed animals along the edge of his bed. He was being very deliberate about putting the toughest, meanest stuffed animals along what was clearly a defensive line. Elephants, tigers, dogs, walruses, and humpback whale were now arrayed along the perimeter.
I asked him what he was doing. "I want to scare girls away from my bed," he replied with a matter-of-fact expression.
I don't think that sentiment will last as long as his mother and I would like.
I ran my first Cub Scout den meeting today for Andrew's (7) den. I've run businesses worth hundreds of millions of dollars and managed teams of over a hundred successfully, so I figured how hard could an hour meeting with four boys be? (Insert evil laugh of Fate here...)
I tested the boys for their Bobcat badge first. They actually knew their stuff so we flew through that WAY faster than I expected. I noticed how quickly the time was going and started to ask them to explain the finer symbology of the salute and the commitments embodied in the Cub Scout Pledge. I tested them on their definition of loyalty and examples of how they could "Do Your Best" (Cub Scout motto) in their daily lives.
They sensed my fear and shot great answers back to me immediately. They all glared at me with "Is that all you've got, old man?" in their eyes. Defeated, I signed off on their books, completing their Bobcat trail. They had earned their first Scouting badge and had picked up my ego as a bonus.
I moved to my next activity (which was not scheduled to start until 7:40pm). I had cleverly picked two games from their scouting book, thinking I could both kill some time and sign off on two more badge requirements for a later badge. I also figured I was doing them a real service as the games will be good as drinking games too when they're in college (or high school as the case may be).
The first game was pitching pennies into pie tins. The scout book actually had recommended washers, but I used what I had -- coins. I see now why they explicitly noted washers; seven year old boys act as though they've never seen money and were eagerly and greedly diving into my bag to rummage for coins. It's a good thing none of them had their Cub Scout pocket knife; I know they would have carved me like a pumpkin to get a quarter.
Seeing my weakness, they didn't listen to me at all, and I didn't feel like I could beat them senseless in front of their parents. Fortunately, one of the mothers took pity on me and worked her mom magic. Apparently, the lack of a second X chromosome makes men incapable of effectively controlling children (at least I'd like to believe it's not my fault.)
After the penny pitching devolved into "penny hurling" and "shotgun pennies" and after a heated yelling match between Andrew and another boy about what constituted a fair pitch (devolving into near-tears for the other boy), we moved onto the next game, shooting marbles between cans.
So, it turns out that boys these days don't really play marbles. I should have figured this out since it was hard to find them. (Target doesn't carry them; I had to go to a "thinking toys" shop loaded with stuff that parents love and kids hate.) The boys didn't really know how to shoot marbles, preferring to throw them at me or pinch them like watermelon seeds. With the quick thinking and XX power of the mom at my side, I managed to coax them through a few rounds of this silly marble game without too many fights (although who got what marble was a nightmare, of course.)
I surrender and call the meeting, ten minutes earlier than planned but not a minute too soon for my sanity.
I have gobs of respect for people who manage piles of kids effectively; I don't know how they do it. I'm going back to my day job. It's way easier. Thank God the various parents in our den rotate meetings, so I don't have to do this again for a long time.
I took Andrew (7) to "Pokemon Rocks America 2004", here in Seattle last Saturday. This was a Pokemon extravaganza held only in three cities this year, so we were fortunate, I guess, to have it here in town.
We got to Seattle Center an hour early, and there was already a line full of people of all ages playing Pokemon on their GameBoys and arguing the finer points of battling and evolving Pokemon. Andrew was so excited he couldn't concentrate enough to play his GameBoy even though he hadn't been allowed to play all week.
The event itself was actually pretty good. I had expected a huge price gouging marketing extravagnza. To be sure, it was all things Pokemon, but it was done well. The event itself was free (even though the line wrapped around the building by the time the doors opened. They gave away a ton of free stuff and had a lot to do.
We learned how to play the card game, Andrew competed on stage in a silly game and won a ton of stuff, we traded Pokemon between our GameBoys with the staff (and got a dozen Pokemon we hadn't had before), watched videos, and saw more experienced kids battle.
The highlight of the event for most people was the opportunity to get the "Aurora ticket" -- the key to getting Deoxys, the last Pokemon (between all the various Pokemon computer games, you try to collect all three hundred some odd Pokemon.) There's no way to get this ticket in the game; you have to go to an event like this. We didn't have the right version of the game, I didn't feel like buying one, and Andrew didn't press the matter (fortunately, since the line was forever long.) At least one person I saw on stage had come from San Diego to get the ticket. Crazy.
Actually, there were a lot of crazies there. I wasn't surprised to see kids of Andrew's age, but there were lots of teenagers and adults who seemed even more enthusiastic. There were pimply faced 15 year old boys snorting about how to mate Pokemon, "Pokemoms" on stage for the karaoke contest, and parents arguing with their kids about which Pokemon evolves into what when -- and really caring. It was Dork Fest 2004.
Still, Andrew had a great time. The highlight for him may have been after the event when we found our photo on the pokemon.com website. Well he's in the photo; my head is cutoff. I've saved that screenshot for posterity.
I admit it was more fun than I expected. Guess I'm a dork too.
October 22, 2004
The other morning, Michael (4) woke up in an uncharacteristically good mood. He came out of his room singing, You Are My Sunshine.
"...you make me happy,
when skies are grey.
You'll never know beer,
how much I love you.
Please don't take my sunshine away."
That's my boy...
October 10, 2004
Some of my esteemed colleagues and I stepped out Thursday night for Rockaraoke at the Fenix Underground. This is the karaoke that you know and love, but in front of a live band instead of the cheesy videos.
There were definitely some people who sang who were really outstanding and clearly went very often (they knew the band, the band knew them). There were also some singers with more courage than talent. We mostly fell in-between those two ends.
I've sung with live accompaniment before, but never in a nightclub/rock stage like this. It was pretty fun. I think I'd do it again. For the record, I sang Garth Brooks' Friends in Low Places. Garth's job is secure, but I'm happy to report not everyone in the bar left to go to the bathroom during my song.
Anyway, check out the photos.