Friday, December 26, 2014

The Issue of Kids In The Bed Continues

Somehow the kids ended up in the bed. Although this issue is in decline, it is becoming less stressful as the kids have learned to sleep late.

When the kids were really little they would get into into our bed and stay there, no matter the hour. For the serious sleep hours this was inconvenient the way the festival of Mardi Gras doesn't fit well with Zen meditation.

Having older kids means they now aggressively and comically keep us from sleep when they themselves are not sleeping. Thankfully they now sleep in blocks of serious hours. 

Every once in a while we reach a harmonic convergence when all of us are happy to be in bed together.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Massive Cast Iron Skillet Purchased For Improved Latke Production

This was an excellent purchase made in the name of getting things (latkes) done (fried really crispy).

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Wireless Keyboard Generates Homework Fun -- Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez

The actual text that the hat dance generated.
One needs to be physically and emotionally nimble when raising kids as one never knows what the next phase might be.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Green Screen Test 4 (Marco Polo Fan Film)

Back in the day when I was a blogger in the Sung Dynasty.

My special doctrine of Gong Fu is called Powerful Sloth Energy and is based on obnoxiously loud spontaneous affirmations, often involving sliding over water either liquid or frozen. Stoke!


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

We Actually Had Twinkies For Dessert

The kids were tired of this cultural reference going over their heads so we bought four Hostess Twinkies.

I remembered them from childhood as pretty good, in a overly saccharin way.

But some things don't work out at 49.  I took a few bites of the oily grot and passed it on to an excited kid.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Friday, December 12, 2014

Despite Excellent Famous Quote, Entire Family is Ridiculous

We were all at the Museum of Natural History in New York, reverently reading the above quote. I thought of the times in which Roosevelt lived and considered what it means to develop character in the modern context.

However when I spoke to share this thought all I could say was, "Game Boy!" and "Hah!"

I soon found out that the rest of my maniac troupe were all stuck on the same concept.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Another One (Computer) Bites The Dust

Too slow? Time for Linux.
Another PC of ancient birth (six years) has become too clunky for regular use, even with with the vitamin shot of extra RAM.

I've put the machine into the room formerly known as the "play room," and told the kids they can do whatever with it, change any settings, delete or add any file. I suspect they do this with all computers they handle and I'm always the last to know.

Generally when it comes to my kids computing interests I am clueless. The older one has commandeered my laptop, ostensibly for the sake of homework(!?), while the younger one has a new iPad mini which runs apps, which, I gather, is where the action is.

Perhaps more distressing is that the 10-year-old lectures me about why Google Docs is superior to MS Word. Likewise with Google Presentation versus Powerpoint. Somehow the kid got switched to the Android OS and there's no turning back.

Meanwhile I'm reading books printed on paper, most likely a practice my kids will regale their grandchildren with in hushed tones, trying hard to conjure the backward days of 2014.

I suppose even blogging is so last century. To that I say, Stoke!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Dramatic Training Continues For Sake Of Comedy

"Sleep? We don't need no stinkin' sleep here," the daughter said recently.
We do a lot of schtick in our house. Why? Because that's the way we roll.

Here are a few of my beloved stock characters:
  • Irresponsible Dad
  • Confused-but-earnest Dad
  • Dad-who-enjoys-rest
  • Rent-a-father-figure
  • Strident chef with an unplaceable foreign accent (tag line: I did not travel 3,000 miles to cook you ordinary dinner!)
The daughter has good counterpoint to my Confused-but-earnest Dad with her Forceful-yet-muddled kid.

I hope to made an epic video soon showcasing our awesome talents.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Green Screen Holds Potential For Something

One of the kid's birthday gifts was a green screen, a piece of green fabric to use as a backdrop for filming videos.

The idea is that the color green will turn transparent when certain settings are used in the editing process. Then a new background can be inserted.

On our first test the kid put on his green suit, making the test all the more fun.

Green suit or "flag of Liberia" costume.
Here's our first video:

Friday, December 5, 2014

Birthday Continues To Go Well

The Dude now abides in double digits and lots of video game imagery.
My views on birthday inflation are well known. Still as I grow older I realize inflationary pressure is not necessarily a bad thing. Why not slow things down and savor the moment longer?

Last night was the calendar birthday (with cake), tonight is the celebratory dinner, tomorrow a sleep-over with a friend (with doughnuts).

I will not align with the anti-fun (and doughnuts) austerity crowd. Moderate inflationary birthday pressure allows for a healthy household economy.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Daughter Develops Ability To Gaze Wistfully Out Windows

We started "Project Wistful" when we were on the train to Crouton On Hudson, the daughter suppressing her comic urge and digging in with the drama.

Later she perfected the look and put it to good use.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

"Skittles" Artwork Brings Smiles And Reflections About What We Consume

Skittles by artist Josh Kline

We visited the High Line in New York -- an abandoned elevated rail line converted to a park. There we experienced this humorous and interesting work of art.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

New York -- Land Of Military Wonders And Giant Sloths

Ground sloths are a diverse group of extinct sloths, in the mammalian superorder Xenartha. The term "ground sloth" is used as a reference for all extinct sloths because of the large size of the earliest forms discovered, as opposed to the extant "tree sloths."
We were in the Museum of Natural History where the above giant ground sloth skeleton was posed fighting imaginary stoke villains. Sloths, at least in this blog, have come to represent a style of laid-back effectiveness and joy rather than ratty slack buckets. Not sure if the extinct giant sloth could be an improvement in the mascott area.

Sure we saw some great art at MOMA, the Met, the Guggenheim, but then there was the Intrepid, which was epic.

Epic comedy. We were on the waterfront looking for an aircraft carrier. Suddenly a child looks up and points while theme from 2001 Space Odyssey plays from a boom box carried by passing roller-blade dude. We were undone, yet again.

Despite my activism for gun saftey the kids had fun checking out the vintage carrier's defensive abilities.

We had a great time and are now adjusting to our sloth- and warship-free existence.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Nine-year-old's Photographic Themes

Many "ghost hoax" pictures were created and deleted by the kid. This one survives as it, apparently, makes the grade. The effect he was aiming for was a blurry mysticism that might be mistaken as evidence of the supernatural.
We returned from a wonderful visit with relatives. We did lots of fun things, many of which I will share here as Portland is boring and New York less so, at least when you're a tourist.

The nine-year-old took an earnest interest in photography while we were on the East Coast, perhaps because my camera (as opposed to my phone) was often in my hand. I gave the kid the camera and with only rudimentary instructions he set out to capture the good stuff.

For the record he did take some fine pictures of a traditional nature, but shoes, or feet, emerged as an important focus of his work which is why I have chosen the following images to showcase.