Friday, August 29, 2008
You know you've got a good kids' book when you can't read it with a baby sleeping in the next room. This book demands to be read ALOUD. Just like the books Lane Smith did with John Scieszka, this book is hilarious, imaginative, and fun for both child and adult.
"PENNSYLVANIA! Build a rocket ship!"
"IDAHO! Make some space suits using the latest potato technology!"
"MISSOURI! Cheer up! You're bringing me down."
"The rest of you, mill about! MILL ABOUT, I say!"
And how can you resist a book that includes a trip to the moon in a rocket built by the Amish?
Big Plans on amazon.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
I've mentioned FreeRice.com before but it just got even better. It has gone beyond the original vocab and added a whole new slew of subjects. Art, geography, math, chemistry, grammar, and second languages. Now I can train Q to be the dominant Geography Bee Champion he was born to be while helping provide rice to the hungry around the world.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
If the Minnesota State fair is a fair assessment of this fair state and nation, we're screwed! On the other hand, if the fair is an accurate sampling of the population at large, I am a much better looking individual, compared to the observed average, than my poor self-esteem allows me to believe. That same boost of confidence via the observed average fair-goer ends up being a bit of a trap for me. "I can totally have another deep fried candy bar. I have a long way to go before I look that bad."
Some other highlights of the fair:
Scoring an awesome Current t-shirt.
The best weather for the State Fair ever.
Giant hunk of bacon on a stick. (to the right of the corndog)
The fine arts building. Awesome as always.
Our internet friend PumpkinGirl winning a crafty ribbon.
Watching Q go ape-shit watching the BMX and skateboard show. (ape-shitting not shown)
Some low points:
The couple that, at 9am, I could smell the booze on from 5 feet away in the livestock birthing building.
The 4H building slowly turning into the Nintendo Wii building. What the hell. 4H being dominated by video games is like the boy scouts being run by people that know nothing about outdoor survival.... oh wait.
Monday, August 25, 2008
because I don't know of anyone else that is willing to put this much trust in their 7 year-old.
When so many kids these day have no real knowledge of what their parents do for a living, Hibbs is letting his daughter get truly involved in the family business.
found via geekdad.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
As we so often do, the boys and I stopped into Siji Kids while out for a casual stroll through our hood. They seem to be ready for fall with a second mortgage worth of sweet looking duds for the kids. They have a boat load of new stuff from monster republic, one of my favorite kids labels. We talked to Kyle, co-owner with his wife Macy, who showed us a rockin' robot shirt with some old school Space Invaders on the back. This reminded me of Blik. Or at least the kick ass wall decals they have. I forgot the actual Blik name.
Kyle seemed pretty interested in the decals so I jogged my memory and found them online again. Then I went to sijikids.com to get a contact email to forward him a link to blik. While in search of an email address I discovered that Kyle's photo studio, Siji Studios, has one of the coolest and fun to just play with websites I've been to in a while. As if they're not busy enough, the Siji Empire also appears to includes graphic and web design. And to tie all this together, The Siji Blog.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Sunday, August 17, 2008
You would think the total numbness over most of my knees would serve as a good reminder as to the dangers of loose gravel on streets when hitting it at a high rate of speed on a bicycle. Despite flying over my handle bars when I was 12 and grating the skin on both knees down to something that resembled raw ground beef, I have yet to learn this lesson. I blame the poor learning curve on almost 20 years time and the inherent forgettable nature of numbness.
In my defense, Minnehaha Park is pretty damn dark at 9:30 and a dark road of loose gravel looks pretty similar to a dark road of tarred and packed gravel. Of course, when I say gravel, I mean tiny shards of broken glass engineered to look like gravel. Trust me and my bloodied thumb, Minneapolis streets are paved with little evil shards of glass waiting to collect the flesh of those going foolishly fast through a busy park at night. St. Paul streets on the other hand, are all made of a space age polymer engineered by NASA that contours to your body as you sleep... and they're paved with gold.
Once again my amazing karma/luck/guardian angel/spirit animal/whatever saved me from myself. I have two little scratches that only required the removal of a few bits of rock when I got home. It could have been much worse. If the minivan didn't slam on the brakes as it came barreling around the corner to see me and my bike prone in the middle of the street I would probably be typing this with a stick held between my teeth.
Nice bike ride otherwise. Saw a family of 7 raccoons, a great sunset over Lake Nakomis, a red fox, a big bright full moon, and a plethora of little bats zigzagging through the evening sky.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Today at Arty Pants Q met his future self. It appears Q will, in his early 20's, be employed at The Walker reading children's books to kids more interested in the ginormous freight elevator right next to the "story time" area.
Seriously this dude looked exactly like a grown up version of Q and had the same name.
Now where did I put the keys to the DeLorean.
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Gever Tulley has been on my short mental list of candidates for Hero of The Week and a post over at Geekdad reminded me of that. Gever is one of the founders of the Tinkering School, a camp that my boys will definitely go to... hell I would go to it myself. The following speech from Gever helps reaffirm my parenting philosophy in the face of criticism from the helicopter parents.
Friday, August 8, 2008
During my senior year in high school I was briefly in a band we called Steve's Face. And by "in a band" I mean I just wrote the songs. And by "wrote the songs" I mean I wrote a bunch of lyrics and suggested wacked-out concepts to Dave, the prodigy. Dave took care of the whole music part of the writing process. We were like Elton John and whoever the hell that other guy is that wrote Elton John's lyrics. The third guy in our revolutionary crew, Jason, was the guitar playing frontman. If nothing else, Jason had the excess part of the frontman persona down pat.
Our songs were quite varied. There was a heavy thrashing tune called Steve about a kid and his vulgar relationship with his mother. There was Land of the Lazy Eye, a psychedelic ballad, again, about Steve. I wrote a little ditty titled The Anarchy Polka, pretty self explanatory. We even had a Mariachi style piano number that was going to include gun shots and us yelling "eye eye eeeyyyee!".
Then Beck released Odely. It blew my mind. It was everything that I was dreaming for Steve's Face but a million-gazillion times better than anything we could ever dream up. Steve's Face was soon disbanded. What was the point? We'd been bested... times infinity.
Anywho, my point in this story is that the same sort of thing has happened again. This time with the blog The Wind In Your Vagina by Black Hockey Jesus, a fellow daddy blogger. This guy is always hilarious and often touching. He takes smartassery to an whole new level in blogging and writes like I can only dream to.
This time however I'm not giving up. I'm instead comforted that there is at least one other guy out there that might have a hard time telling respectable adults the title of his blog.
So there, the title of this post has been explained.
Monday, August 4, 2008
The boys and I took a quick walk to Korte's, the closest neighborhood grocery store, for the bread that K8 has repeatedly reminded me that I forgot to purchase on Friday. As I picked out one of the loafs Q hadn't already smooshed this song started to play over the PA. Instantly, my 80's geekery kicked in to inform a very unimpressed Q that the song playing was the theme from Short Circuit, an awesome movie about a robot. I have since been launched into a whirlwind of nostalgia and rediscovery.
I've always had a crush on Ally Sheedy but didn't see Breakfast Club or War Games until high school. Now I remember it was her role in Short Circuit that sparked the passion of a 12 year old version of me.
Short Circuit is probably part of the reason why I proclaim Wall-E to be one of the best films ever made. Top 20 at least. Wall-E looks like Number 5's love child from a drunken tryst with a trash compactor.
There is a fan site: Johnny-Five.com
Here's the original trailer.
And a picture of a promotion for a contest that I would have killed to win... still would.
And a What Would Johnny 5 Do tshirt.