The Logical Philosopher

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Pr0n recked this post

It was 3am I had this great blog post all though up. It had all the makings: good idea, great delivery and a wicked picture. So good, in fact, that I got out of bed to write it down before I forgot my the flowing prose running through my head. How good, you ask. You all would have loved it and even given me a digg.

Heading into the kitchen where the computer was, I opted to keep the lights off so I wouldn’t be sidetracked from my task. I also didn’t want to distract any neighbors that may have wondered what I was typing on the computer at 3am while dressed in my best pair of white underwear. After booting up the computer I started to type, but the reflection in the computer screen of a naked woman, arched in ecstasy threw me off.

Yes, my neighbor forgot to close his blinds again and he was watching his nightly dose of pornography, which was reflecting into my kitchen and onto my computer screen. Now, this isn't the first time he's been busted. The first time I was on my roof cleaning the gutters and, knowing the old man lives there, couldn't for the life of me figure out where the groaning sound was coming from. He’s at least at least 90 years old, maybe 80 looking on a good day, so every time he does this, it totally catches me off guard. It’s like seeing Miss Teen USA drinking in a bar, even though you know she’s underage and the spokesman for MADD.
Watching Chinese pornography in either fast-forward, or fast-reverse, or on ultra-slow (both directions), he just sits there. Maybe he’s busy reading the sub-titles to do anything else. Well, he does chain smoke, but that’s as much activity as he gets into, thank goodness.
My great idea of a post wrecked, I sighed, and headed back upstairs to bed. I nudged my wife, the images fresh in my mind, and whispered breathlessly into her ear, “Did you know Chinese pornography is sub-titled?”

She didn’t move. Not even a twitch. Darn, I was looking forward to explaining that one to her. Or would I explain it in reverse?

Monday, December 18, 2006

Break a leg

I recently found out that if you break your child's leg and it needs a full cast, you'll not only get much better service at Starbucks, but also meet many more cute girls than if you are by yourself. It's like going to the park with a cute puppy and your newly born niece - TIMES TEN!

First, I give this disclaimer: I was NOT the designated Most Responsible Parent (MRP) the day of "the breakage". In fact, I was not even in the same part of town when it happened. I will, however, enjoy the benefits that it came with...
Arriving home, my wife and youngest daughter were cuddled on the couch. It was a strange sight, not so much that they were cuddling, but that my daughter was actually sitting still long enough during the day to get (and give) a cuddle. That meant one thing: sickness.

"I think she sprained her ankle" I heard my wife say, with little LP punctuating it with an "OWIE ANKE", like only a two year old learning to talk can. For the next week it was a parents dream - we could put our two year old down - out of reach things - and for once she would just sit there, not wanting to move because of her ankle. No spilled water, broken cracker crumbs through the house or bits of toys hidden in our bed. It was almost like we didn't have any kids living with us again! After a week went by we had done a few visits to ER to get her ankle checked out because she still wouldn't put weight on it. On the third visit they finally X-Ray'd the entire leg to find out it was fractured, not at the ankle, but on the tibia. After bribery with M&M's, we finally got her into a little red, full leg, fiberglass cast. I was hoping for hot pink, but fire engine red was the closest they had. Going from her toes to the top of her thigh, it probably added 50% body weight to her so it took a good week before she could move with it, even if it was crawling and dragging it all around the house.

The next 4 weeks saw us walking to the park, pushing her in the jogging stroller through the mall, and having a break at Starbucks. Here are my observations of life with a 2 year old and a broken leg:
  • Once you get sand inside a toddler's cast, trying to extricate the mess with a vacuum isn't the best way to do things. And trying to blow the dirt out with an air compressor also doesn't work...
  • When a 2 year old swings her cast at you because she's not ready to leave the park, it really does hurt when contact is made on your shin. Likewise, a smart toddler will quickly learn how to use their cast as a weapon against older siblings that take their blankets and toys because they think they can't chase them.
  • The Starbucks barista will offer free kids hot chocolate if a toddler can point to her leg and say with wide, doe like eyes "Owie!"
  • When walking with a toddler, who is semi-dragging a leg in a full cast, cars will actually screech to a stop at the crosswalks. Too tired to push them with that heavy cast? Well, I also found out that getting on a bus with the University crowd with an injured toddler will dramatically increase your chances of the hot undergrads gravitating towards you to strike up a conversation. It must have been the bus that didn't come from the Engineering Students Society...
  • A sleeping toddler, when flailing about in bed between two parents at 3am, can leave bruises on both parents the next morning.
Behold the power of a full leg cast on a cute two year old with curls. I wonder what I would have gotten if I made a trip to the hardware store with her this time.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

How a Rogue Tree Almost Killed Hockey Season

“A tree fell through my roof”

“What?!” I exclaimed. It had been windy this week, so a few downed branches would be normal, but an entire tree? I thought.

“A tree, you know those tall 80 foot things in our backyard. The windstorm this morning pushed one over and it hit our roof above the family room. I’ve called M to come home from work to have a look at it.”

That was the conversation this morning when I called one of my friends to order some nut free hand made chocolates (I highly recommend the truffles). I assumed the damage wasn’t too catastrophic, not because she didn’t sound worried but because she still took my order of dark chocolate truffles. Mmmmm.

Later this evening M called me to complain that because it nicked a truss, he had to get an engineer to come and declare the truss still fit to support the rest of his remaining roof. I’m not sure if he was complaining because he actually had to go to the effort to get an engineer out to look at his roof, or because, being a Professional Engineer myself, he was seeing if I would show up and stamp his house safe from imminent collapse with my fancy Engineering seal.

“Hey, I got some firewood for you. I just need to remove it from my roof first.”

“What happened?” I asked.

He then started to laugh, recounting his conversation from work.

“So S calls me at work to tell me I need to come home and look at the tree that just hit our roof. I was talking with Counsel at the time so had to excuse myself from our meeting. Being the perceptive lawyer she was picked up on my side of the phone call and gathered what the emergency was, but seemed quiet perplexed by my response.”

“Didn’t your wife just call to tell you a tree fell onto your house?” she queried.

“Yes, so I’ve got to head back home to check it out, then I’ll be back to finish working on the file.”

“But the next question I heard you ask her was ‘Is the TV ok?’”

“Yes,” M admitted, but then started to laugh as he finished up, “and I’m worried about the BBQ as well as it was on the deck by the TV!”

With hockey season starting up I could see his point.

He then continued on with the rest of his story. “The damage wasn’t that bad so I called the arborist to remove the tree and headed back to work. Upon arriving one of my co-workers asked me ‘How my tree-house was’, thinking it was the funniest line of the day.”

Man, try explaining that one to the boys at work.
I’ve got some good news and bad news. The good news is that I have a real tree-house for us to congregate and male-bond in now. The bad news is that the tree-house part of the tree I had installed hit the big-screen TV on the way in and no hockey for the rest of the season.

I am sure you would have heard the screams of anguish and gnashing of teeth, regardless your location was this morning. Whew. Crisis averted.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Shower with a buddy

“Hey Trevor, want to head into the shower together and conserve some water?”

”Sure LP, just let me grab my towel.”

Hold up. Let’s rewind that.

I was listening to KEXP this week while I was researching a forthcoming article. Steaming real time online but located in Seattle, is billed as commercial free public, programming a wide variety of music spanning multiple genres, including alternative rock, electronic, world, roots, jazz, hip hop and blues. If you happen to get one of the genres you like, it's a nice mix of independent music you probably don't have at home.

At least I thought it was commercial free – until today when a public service announcement that was given by the mayor of Seattle himself came online. After introducing himself Mr. Nickles gave a short announcement on the water conservation efforts. He shared several tips, such as not letting taps run when you brush your teeth, collecting and using rain water for your garden, and installing efficient shower heads, faucets and toilets.

He finished his list with “One more tip, shower with a buddy.”

Excuse me? That caught me off guard. I can think of showering with my spouse, young children if necessary, but my buddy? I can just see that discussion going down next time one of my buddies comes over and looks a little dirty.

“Hey Trevor, want to head into the shower together and conserve some water?”
”Sure LP, just let me grab my towel.” pause “NOT!” (Those of you that have seen Borat know what the NOT! I am talking about.)

I may be into public radio, be liberal and open minded in my attitude towards society, but I am pretty sure I’ll draw water conversation line to just showering with my “buddy” called my wife.

I’m sure my biking buddies will be quite relieved.

And now back to our regular programming.. I hope.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

What parents do when you are asleep

"She's checking us out." my wife said to me.


I turned and looked over my shoulder, and sure enough, little LP had appeared at her bedroom door, blanket in one hand and soother in the other. She plodded out, looking suspiciously around the room, finally eyeing us with a "what are you doing up at this hour?" look.

I checked my watch and it was, as I guessed, around 11 pm. It is as if she has an internal clock for getting up at 11pm - but only on the evenings when there is sound or movement somewhere in the house.

"Back to bed honey, we're not doing anything you're missing out on" my wife soothed, trying to coax her back to bed without any fuss.

"UnnnnH!" she retorted, spinning around and heading back into her bedroom. After a moment we heard the squeak of her bed as she climbed up into it, followed by a long sigh.

I swear she gets up every night, probably just to check to see if we are doing something fun. I always imagined my parents staying up to do fun things like play my video games, eat copious amounts of ice-cream and watch movies while sitting close to the TV. Emancipation from all things that feel like work? Unfortunatly not. As a parent I now know what us parents actually do when the kids are in bed. For those of you who don't have kids, or have grown ones and want a walk down memory lane, I present to you a short list, representative of the evening tasks:

  • Washing and folding laundry, most of it is pink. Between checking every piece of your clothing for diapers you may have wadded up and hidden in a pair of little pants, and Spray 'n Washing almost everything you wear, it takes much longer to do your laundry than ours does. And yes, we have to check everything now because trust me, it takes considerably longer to clean up the mess that a diaper makes if you put it through the wash without knowing about it.
  • Cleaning the kitchen floor. Remnants of breakfast, lunch and dinner are still stuck to the underside of the chair, and on parts of the ceiling. How on earth you managed to get your vegetables to that height on the wall, and stick there, defies physics.
  • Fixing the computer. You are four years old and already know how to get the computer started and rename all my desktop folders to random, nonsensical names. I swear if you could actually delete the Recycle Box you would try to figure it out. And just how does a two year old actually manage to get the Blue Screen of Death to show up?!?
  • Resorting puzzle pieces. No, mixing six different puzzle boxes together does not allow you to make one "really really big puzzle you could see from space". It also makes it harder to do finish the puzzles at a later date when you take random pieces, chew off some of the tabs and hide them under the floor mats. How do I know this? Because after sorting the puzzles I am forced to do them to see if there still is enough pieces left to warrant keeping the puzzle so you won't scream with frustration tomorrow when you can't figure out how to finish a 50 piece puzzle with only 37 1/2 pieces.
If a parent has screams of laughter when no one is there to hear it, are they actually having fun?

Now don't get me wrong, there are the occasional evening when we do have fun, like when we decide to leave the mess for tomorrow and head right to bed. Of course we go right to sleep because we need our rest - we never know if we'll be woken up to have a threesome again.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Social Insights of The Tipping Point

For those too busy to read, I present to you my visual book review of The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell. Here's my summary, ready to print on 8.5x11 paper:

While the book was more focused on Gladwell's social insights on how change happens (and understanding why it does), there was a subtle business connection in the book that should not be overlooked: how to move your new product from the Innovators & Early Adopters, across the Chasm to the rest of the market.

Email or drop a comment if you want the PDF file and I'll send it over. All I ask is that if you use it on your site, please reference back to me.