Wednesday, December 24, 2003

The Weight of the World

Thomas woke up early this morning to go to the bathroom. He likes his sleep, and often on occasions like this he has one complaint or another; usually about how tired he is, or how the light is too bright. This morning, though, he had something else on his mind. He used his usual early-morning plaintive wail, but the words took me by surprise.

"I don't know what to do with my life."

Did I hear that right? He repeated it. Yes, that's what he said. I didn't know what to tell him. I certainly wasn't prepared for a statement like that before his third birthday.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Knock, Knock

Here's a joke my nephew Paul told. I'm pretty sure he made it up on the spot.

Knock, knock
Who's there?
Cow who?
Why do I have to live in a barn?

Saturday, November 22, 2003

Vienna Boy's Choir

We saw the Wiener Sängerknaben, aka the Vienna Boy's Choir, last night at the PAC. Specifically, the Mozartchoir -- they have four different touring choirs. They were most entertaining. We were trying to count the different languages they used in the performance. Off the top of my head, I remember German, of course, French, English, Chinese, Spanish, and Hungarian.

One of the soloists reminded me of Alfalfa from the Little Rascals. He had a fantastic voice and seemed to be a born entertainer. Another of the boys played a variety of percussion instruments throughout the concert, and for the encore came out on stage with an accordion and a very serious look on his face. He practically brought the house down with his performance. All in all, a terrific evening of music, and lots of fun.

Sunday, November 16, 2003


We're trying to cure Thomas of his preference of snacks over meals. Today at lunch, he was a little less than enthusiastic about his burrito. Tami sized up his progress, and asked him to take four more bites.

"One." he said, taking a bite. Then another bite: "Four."

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

The Old Grandpa

Thomas was watching me shave the other day, and declared "When I'm a daddy, I'm going to shave my whiskers!"

He thought for a moment, and said "What will you do when I'm a daddy?"

I said "I'll do grandpa things, because when you become a daddy, that will make me a grandpa."

After another thoughtful pause, he asked "What will we do with the old grandpa?"

Thursday, October 30, 2003


Johanna's finally getting over her conjunctivitis. She's not sleeping so much, and no longer looks like she was in a fight. I admit, with a little guilt, that there was something nice about that two-hour nap she took on Tuesday while I held her. It was only the illness that made it happen.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Itzhak Perlman

We saw Itzhak Perlman perform last night at the South Dakota State University Performing Arts Center. Anyone who knows where that is might ask "Huh? How did that happen?" Yes, Perlman played in this small town, and we were in row H center. We had terrific seats, and I found the performance to be spellbinding.

I'm no acoustical engineer, but I thought the violin sounded great and the piano accompaniment (Rohan De Silva) sounded a bit muddy. My friend Dave, who has a better ear than I, was in the front row of the balcony, and had the same impression. De Silva is obviously a wonderful musician, and I wish the sound of that Steinway had been a lot clearer, but face it -- we came to hear Perlman play his fiddle, and it sounded very good indeed.

Twice the audience applauded in mid-piece. I guess we hicks from the plains don't know Adagio from Allegro (or from Pistachio, as Dave says).

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Well, that stinks

The Cubs lost. As usual. Did I really expect Prior and Wood to do in 2003 what Sutcliffe couldn't do in 1984?

Yes. Yes I did. I expected exactly that.

Fox has got to be crying about this -- unless Boston can beat the Yankees, nobody's going to watch the Series.

Sunday, October 12, 2003


Just keep telling yourself "This is NOT 1984. The Cubs will NOT miss three chances in a row to win National League pennant."

Sunday, October 05, 2003

Cubs win! Cubs win!

Holy cow! The Cubs win a post-season series for the first time (as George Will says) since Tolstoy was alive.

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Turf 101

I supose there's some lesson to be learned about soil compaction, or something. Where the giant trench in our font yard was filled in, the grass grows like crazy. We now have one long stripe of turf that looks as good as our neighbor Phil's whole lawn. On either side, where the turf was merely scraped away or crushed by the excavator, it looks more than a little thin. In other words, like our whole lawn always looks -- bare and weedy.

Friday, September 26, 2003

A Pocket Full of Rye

I had a philosophical discussion with Thomas in the car yesterday. We were singing the nursery rhyme "Sing a Song of Sixpence." After the last line, "Wasn't that a dainty dish to set before the king?" he asked "What's a king?"

"A king is the boss of everybody. He tells people what to do."

After a short pause, he said "Don't people know what to do?"

I had to smile. "Yes, Thomas, people know what to do. That's why we don't have kings anymore."

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Johanna is starting to take her first few tentative steps -- for anyone but Mama and Dada! She walked twice today, and we weren't there either time. Her vocabulary is up to five words now: Mama, milk, more, Dada, and ball.

Our relay team did well on Saturday at the Jack 15, narrowly beating another team made up of our friends. Everybody ran well, considering the prairie wind coming right out of the south. There aren't many trees between White and Brookings to break the wind. Grandpa Jim shattered the 70-74 age group record with a time of 2:22:29 for 15.2 miles. I told him it gave me something to shoot for in the year 2034.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Tami returned Sunday night with tales of rain, cold, people falling off of horses, and non-stop laughter. It's the camping effect: lots of little miseries that add up to loads of fun. It reminded me of my trips to the BWCA.

The Gold Bar 5K went reasonably well. I forgot to stop my watch at the finish, but I had just passed a runner who finished in 22:04, so I was about 50 seconds faster than last year. Next up is the Jack 15 relay on Saturday morning. We're running in the coed 5x3 division again.

Saturday, September 13, 2003

I'm about to run the Gold Bar 5K. I'm curious to see how I'll feel; I haven't run a single step since last Sunday's Sioux Falls Half Marathon. Tami's on a trail ride for the weekend -- I'm not making that up.