Political rant

OK, I'm getting sick of people referring to the Republicans as the 'small government' or 'reduce spending' parties. I'm hearing this as part of the 'what did we do wrong' analysis of the election, and also from actual people like my dad. I've been politically aware for over 25 years now, and not once during that time have the Republicans actually done anything to reduce spending. The deficit is huge because of Reagan, Bush and Bush. Clinton got us to surpluses. That is the political reality I know. Anything else is empty rhetoric, or pre-1980s politics. My generation has never seen anything but "spend and spend" Republicans.


How do you spell syllabic?

Griffin has been using words for a while now, all simple things like "dat" and "ma". Other identified words include "da" "dg" (dog), and "dr" (door, used to request rides in the elevator). Just within the past week, he became multi-sylabic. He now says "hello" with both parts of the word, which is adorable.

Duncan was a clone trooper for Halloween this year. Along with half the boys in second grade. Star Wars still is alive and kicking. Door to door kids were strangely light - maybe the Friday date meant more went to parties or to visit friends/family instead of hitting the streets for candy? Someone suggested they may have gone to Halloween events at churches and stuff. Sacrilegious, I say. If you're not out on a dark street in a dark costume dodging passing traffic, it's not Halloween.

Oh, and I voted. Go me!

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Old news, but:

So we went to San Diego Comicon this year. The Avatar panel was impressive. We all enjoyed the costumes. Duncan was entranced by the SCA people sparring outside. But I think his favorite part was when we found a booth giving away posters. He didn't care about posters, but they were using rubber bands for them, and the floor around the booth was covered with dropped rubber bands. His eyes lit up. Best booth ever.

My favorite was Duncan doing a drawing for Larry Marder (creator of Beanworld), showing beans on a pogo stick. Abstract, but right in line with the abstract style of the book. He traded Duncan back for it, so Duncan has now started doing convention sketches.


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This morning I asked Duncan if he knew any scientists, to tie into the reading he did last night on a couple of scientists.

His answer?
1. "Me!" He likes to do experiments; more on that below.
2. "Amy or Arne". He wasn't sure which one, but knew one of them was a "space scientist". I explained geology to him.
3. Albert Einstein. Partially because he's one we read about last night. The reading didn't actually say what he discovered, so I translated relativity to a six year. As Ayanna noted, my explanation just made him whine about how it didn't make any sense. With relativity, I think that means I explained it correctly.

And last night, he was struggling a bit with a sentence with some big words. Something along the lines of "Albert Einstein and Marie Curie won awards that recognized their discoveries." When he finally got all the big words, he got pouty because no one has ever given him an award. Because he does science experiments - like that thing with the oranges! I tried to explain that they answered big questions and changed the world, but he didn't buy it. I think he felt he'd been laughed at by the institute, and tonight was the night he vowed revenge.



I think we can definitively say that the little one has now walked. He's taking a few steps every now and then when necessary to get around. The first one I got a good look at was this weekend. For the historical record, let's just say when he turned one (which is Thursday).

He's got a few words down. His most frequent word is 'dat', usually while pointing at something. But he also does 'da', 'ma', 'br' (brother), 'dg' (dog) and a few others, all with at least somewhat correct context and usage. My wife says that he will point to the main Wii screen if it's on the TV and say 'da'. He's been using some version of 'ma' and 'da' since at least a month ago. His 'first word' is subject to interpretation depending on which sound you're willing to call a word, but I suspect in the long run, Ayanna's going to credit it to 'ma' and I'm not going to fight it, so his official First Word will be ma.

Top front teeth are blatantly there now. He's a toothy boy.


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  • Griffin knows and correctly uses the word "dog". More of a "dg" but the intent is spot-on.
  • Duncan finished his first big school report a day early. Gorillas. Woo hoo.
  • I will likely need to go to Sweden sometime in July.
  • Ayanna hears about a promising job soon.
  • Go gay marriage!
  • GTA IV is every bit as good as people say.
  • Speed Racer proves that video games have won the culture wars. Go us!
  • I still haven't seen Iron Man yet.
  • Duncan is still playing Smash Brothers with me.
  • School dance tomorrow. I think Duncan has already been challenged to a breakdancing competition with a kid in his class.

30 Rock

So I've started watching 30 Rock (I need shows for when a boy is trying to get to sleep on my chest). Last night was an odd experience. There was a plot about making a porn video game and how it would be the ultimate culmination of human experience, but even the most resolute nerd considers it folly to try because it can't be done. And I'm watching, thinking "yeah, I did that once". I'm not used to having my life be the B-plot (and Amadeus parody) in a comedy. But I like it.

PS: Their explanation of the Uncanny Valley was surprisingly accurate. Their portrayal of game design, not so much.


Griffin started clapping about a week ago. The 12th of April, to be exact. We think it might be because he saw another baby (Sage) doing it on Friday, but that's unconfirmed. Regardless, he spent much of Saturday happily clapping at the slightest musical stimulus. I put on a mix of CDs for him and he had a good time. He's not doing it constantly now, but does it every now and then, usually linked to either happiness or music.


I disagree with Occam's Razor (the theory that the simplest solution is usually correct). Where's the proof? Has anyone verified Occam with experimentation? How do you measure 'simplest' anyways? (Usually, by personal bias and cultural background, which is part of my problem.) How did this get to be part of the core of modern science? Because when I look out at the world, I find that it's almost always the more bizarre and complex solution that turns out to be true.

A cow licked the world out of ice? Simple. Big Bang? Not.

Things are made up of four elements in various combinations? Simple. Atoms? Also simple. The laws of sub-atomic physics? Not.

PS: I quizzed D on his theology recently. The world was made by a cow licking ice. Then plate technonics made the mountains. The Flying Spaghetti Monster made all the food in the world, and Zeus made people. I need to ask him where Jesus fits in. I know he's friends with FSM.