Tuesday, June 29, 2004
Survived Another Year
Well, as of yesterday Philip is now 4 years old (and 22% of the way to being out of the house). On Sunday he had a party at the National Academy of Artistic Gymnastics in Springfield. Here are some pix:
As far as we know a good time was had by all.
Friday, June 25, 2004
Laughing in His Sleep
For the past few months Phil has been waking up and crawling into bed with Dina and me about a half hour before we get out of bed. If he keeps doing this when he comes home from college it'll be a problem, but right now the extra wanting to be with mom (mostly) and dad is nice (if you've forgotten how adorable he is when he's sleeping, see here
This morning as he was snuggled up asleep next to Dina he started to giggle. It was quite amusing. Then he stretched, shifted his body around and went back to his usual snoring.
A couple days ago while he was asleep he shouted out "Wheeeeeeeeeee!!!" That was hilarious. Then he rolled over and swung his arm in a very impressive judo chop across my forehead. Dina thought that was pretty funny, too.
Thursday, June 24, 2004
Breaking 5,000 and New Book Review
If you've been checking my reviews in the last 24 hours you'll have noticed they disappeared. What's up with that? I don't know, but they're back now with a new book review
(The Fool's Run
) and a bump in rating (from 5,035 to 4,844). Two great things that go great together.
Why you should read my review of The Fool's Run: I go into a bit of a "back in my day all we had to play with was dirt and rocks and we were thankful to have them" rant. See me transform into an 84-year-old codger and check it out.
Monday, June 21, 2004
How Phil Spent His Summer
During the spring our waterfront was frequnted by numerous Canada Geese. Phil spent some of his time at the waterfront this afternoon cleaning up after them as - demonstrated in the photo below.
Perhaps a career as a golf course groundskeeper is in his future (we'll see if he can handle the camp's gopher problem).
Happy Father's Day - Here's a Book Review
In honor of Father's Day, I've put up a review of Tony Campolo's book, Things We Wish We Had Said
, co-written with his son Bart. As I fall into both the Father and Son categories, I was very interested to hear what they had to say. I wasn't disappointed either. If you're interested in what I have to say about their book, go here
. I hope you won't be disappointed, either.
Why you should read my review of Things We Wish We Had Said: The book is a series of letters written back and forth between Tony and Bart. I titled my review: "Near Letter-Perfect." C'mon, how can you resist a pun like that?
Saturday, June 19, 2004
New DVD Review
After two weeks, here's another DVD review. What took so long? I was watching the 6-disc sixth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It takes a long time to watch 22 episodes of television - about 16.5 hours to be exact. It takes a lot less time to read the review
Why you should read my review of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Six: This wasn't my favorite season of Buffy due to an unfavorable similarity to an earlier TV series. Which series and what was its downfall? Read the review and find out.
Phil the Hoser
The other day we had some fire extinguishers recharged here at camp (thanks Mr. Stitch!). During the process, Philip got to play with one of them. He had a blast.
Check it out
Thursday, June 17, 2004
Too Much Mac Fun
I got a new utility for my Powerbook, a desktop calendar named PandoCalendar. Cool Fact: Built into the program are daily readings written Charles Spurgeon (Faith's Checkbook
, read it free on the web, here
). Good stuff, Maynard.
Cool Fact #2: You can add little memo items to it. Okay, that's not a big deal, but you can have the Mac read your memos aloud when you mouse over the entries. I have my Mac's speech synthesizer set to the "Bad News" voice. Consequently, my memos sound like this:
I had to play with the memo wording to get the meter right. The last word in my dad's memo had to be written "ghee zer" in order for the computer to read it properly.
Fun. Fun. Fun.
Things With Spiky Hair
One of the counselors here at camp this summer has a grown-out mohawk. His camp name, of course, is "Mr. T". When Phil and I went up to the dining hall for lunch this afternoon, I decided to give Phil a new 'do. It was a big hit with the staff. (Photo of Phil and "Mr. T"
Later, we were walking around camp and encountered another denizen with spiky hair. (Photo of Phil and new friend)
Wednesday, June 16, 2004
Pushing the Right Buttons
Today Phil and I spent some time in town and wound up, as is usually the case, at the Fred Meyer on W. 11th (Eugene). The reason we usually wind up there is because they have a PlayLand, where a qualified employee will keep an eye on your child for up to an hour while you hang out in the store, allegedly shopping.
Coincidentally, there is a lottery scratch-off vending machine adjacent to the area where the PlayLand is, and since a) it has buttons to push and b) it's right next to the PlayLand, it's usually the first place Phil heads when I retrieve him. While he was pushing the buttons today it spit out two scratchers; one of them paid $1.
Now before I get hassled over teaching the boy to gamble, let me point out that 1) we put no money in the machine and 2) it's the buttons he's attracted to, not the contents of the machine. The machine could dispense booze or smokes and he'd be just as attracted to pushing the buttons.
So I got an hour of sanity and made a buck in the process. Good deal.
Tuesday, June 15, 2004
Patience Finally Rewarded
Way back last November (here
) I blogged on a free magnet offer from Guinness.
My magnet finally arrived today.
With what shall I celebrate? Hmmmmm....
Monday, June 14, 2004
T Minus Two Weeks and Counting
Phil turns 4 two weeks from today. His party is set for the evening of the 27th. We've booked this place
. The final invitations (or "inpurtations" as Phil calls them) go in the mail tomorrow, most were handed out at church yesterday. Several presents have been bought; if he's good maybe he'll get more. We still need party favors, the pinata*, and cake. We just might make it.
*Philip has been asking for a pinata party since last September. It seems like that's the only thought that has stuck in his head for such a length of time. Usually it's more like:
Me: Phil, please pick up your toys.
Me: Philip, why aren't you picking up your toys like I asked?
Me: Philip Nathaniel, what are you doing?
Me: What are you supposed to be doing?
Him: I want a pinata party.
Sunday, June 13, 2004
The Sunday New Chris Mikesell Book Review
My latest review over at Amazon is for PD James' second Adam Dalgliesh mystery, A Mind to Murder
. This is the sixth novel I've read out of the ten and a half AD mysteries she wrote. It was above average. Hopefully you'll think the review
Why you should read my review of A Mind to Murder: I once again mock the British (end of paragraph three). Need I say more? (Okay, I also use the phrase "who's who and to whom they're doing what;" I like that phrase.)
Saturday, June 12, 2004
Another Gadget Review
Well, as mentioned here
, we recently got a digital camera. After playing with it for a few weeks, I thought it'd be a good time to review it. So I did.
Why you should read my review of the Kodak CX4310 Digital Camera: I use the word "craptastic." How can you not read a review with the word "craptastic" in it? (You should start using the word "craptastic," too. Let's humiliate the editors of the Oxford English Dictionary, by using "craptastic" a lot and therefore force them to include it in their next edition.)
Tuesday, June 08, 2004
Pix Of/By Phil
Well, we've been having some fun with the digital camera, so I thought it was time to share some of the less-bad pictures with y'all. Here ya go:
Tonight at the monthly Men's Fellowship meeting at church we built soda-bottle rockets (like the little ones we had as kids that you pumped by hand, except these are larger and use an air-compressor to build up internal pressure). Kids were invited to join us, so along came Phil. He wanted our rocket to be from the Thunderbirds, so it was christened Thunderbird 6 (TB6 on the wing).
It flew moderately high and the pylon nosecone didn't come off, so we're calling it a success.
Saturday, June 05, 2004
Book Review For You
Back in my university days, I took a general ed. course on "intro to literary criticism." The instructor I had basically treated the class as a survey of possible approaches one could take to a text (feminist, deconstructionist, Freudian, phenomenology, etc.). I described the class to one of my upper level lit. crit. profs a few years later and his reaction was essentially: "What a waste of time that must have been." Of course, he was right (even if he hadn't been teaching an upper level course he'd've been right). Suffice it to say that the section on Freudian interpretation came flooding back to me while working on my review of John le Carre's Single & Single
Why you should read my review of Single & Single: I excised most of the Freudian analysis, but I did leave in one funny bit at the end. I'm also quite proud of the opening sentence. Enjoy.
Friday, June 04, 2004
If Ever, Oh Ever, A Wiz There Was
Philip has decided not to let the lack of siblings hinder him from blaming everything on someone else (without going all Family Circus and blaming "not me"). When confronted with something he doesn't want to cop to (i.e., who drew on this wall with crayon?) he says, "It was the Wizard." (Although he does this thing where he sometimes draws out his "r's," so it comes out more like "Wizurrrd;" he also does it when saying he's "nerrrvous," which he doesn't quite use appropriately, so it's cute and altogether another story.)
Last night he fell asleep in the recliner with a sandwich in his lap. Later he got up to use the bathroom and when he got back to the chair noticed his sandwich was on the floor.
"Hey!" he says, "Who put my sandwich on the floor."
"You did," says I, "when you got up to use the bathroom."
"No I didn't." Him again. "You did it. Why'd you put my sandwich on the floor?"
Not wanting to take the fall for something I certainly didn't do, I suggest: "Do you think the Wizard did it while you were asleep?"
"Yeah, it was the Wizard. Stupid Wizard."
Stupid Wizard, indeed.
Wednesday, June 02, 2004
25th DVD review
Well my 25th DVD review
has been posted at Amazon. That averages about 1 DVD per week since I began writing the reviews back in November
. Review #25 is for the classic spoof film Top Secret!
Why you should read my review of Top Secret!: In an atypical move, I make a musical critique while reviewing the DVD. I usually shy away from making musical judgments; after all, I'm not the music major in the family. So read the review and find out just how poor my musical tastes are. Go ahead. I dare ya. Brwaak! I double dare ya.