Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday foot-fethish-I-mean baby photo

Speck's and Dad's shoes @ 19 months

I'm way overdue for uploading new photos, not least current Halloween costumey goodness, but life has just been beyond me lately. Hopefully some recent ones will trickle into the electrons soon, but meantime, a little sentimental out-take...

It's fun to be a woman today

  • Female boomers may be the driving force for fundamental reform in the healthcare system, demanding support for all of the informal caregiving that they do at home -- and the country may be best served by "upping their game" rather than trying to substitute professional services for such a large sector of unpaid care.
    (via a Medley tweet)

  • On the other hand, insurers find women pesky, and routinely charge them more for insurance -- you know, either they want birth control or they need maternity care; either way it's just more bother for the corporate guys. (And that's not even considering whether they have the "pre-existing condition" of having had a C-section at some point in the past!)
    (via Atrios?)

  • Here's a point that can't be made too often: Stop Talking About Work+Life Flex Solely in the Context of Women -- not just because there are men who would like to take care of their families (or already are), but because it ghettoizes these issues as outside the mainstream, which they clearly are not. Lots of people benefit from increased workplace flexibility.
    (via a Medley tweet)

  • We fancy ourselves enlightened, but comedy is no place for women, writers at least. Part of the way that insider cultures serve to exclude without the need for overt biased intention, and that societal sexualization of women makes it impossible for colleagues to think of them in any other way. Among other things.
    (via a Medley tweet)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Strategic randomness

For anybody who likes to think about strategy, game design, and/or what makes things fun, I recommend this long but fascinating exploration of randomness and how it interacts with cleverness and strategy to make games fun and varied. Lot of interesting insights there on games you know, some you don't, and how similar problems can be approached in very different ways. And so forth.

(via some discussion or Tweet from the Asymmetric staff)

Jammin' babies

Inspired: techno-pop tunes made from baby videos. I especially liked the percussive sneezing... (and really, all that baby spam should be serving *some* artistic end! hah!)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday baby-blogging

Has been a long time since I uploaded new Speck pics, let alone posted any. So, photos from about a month ago (thus 19 months old), when Mom managed to get her for an end-of-season visit to the Smith Playhouse playground again. Lots of colorful goodness there...

Speck climbs through a circular doorway
Climbing through a circular doorway

look of concentration as Speck plays with an abacus-style toy
Deep in concentration on an abacus-type toy

Close-up of Speck checking out the options for where to go next
Just like this face, scoping the options for where to go next...

Happy fall weekend, all!

Twitter quote of the day

The baby will talk when he talks, relax. It ain't like he knows the cure for cancer and he just ain't spitting it out.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Random Tuesday linkage

Monday, October 19, 2009

Hilarious bit for Monday

For it's own sake, but even more because of all the parental paranoia and development-tracking that I and all my fellows wallow in, I love this McSweeney's edition of What to Expect. That is to say, I nearly snorted my morning tea.

(via kottke)

Quote of the day

zen circleThere is so much baggage we burden ourselves with over the years that keeps us from seeing things the way they are. Some baggage we carry with us for a single thought, some for years, and some for lifetimes. But there isn't one piece that isn't our own creation.
- Bill Porter (Red Pine)
Zen Baggage
(via whiskey river)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Going shampoo-free

Just wanted to take a moment to confess/proclaim that I've joined the "no-poo" movement. That is, I no longer use shampoo to wash my hair. There are a lot of reasons one might do this, from the environmental to the economic, but I did it because some combination of middle age and parenthood had left my hair so dry and lifeless that I was thinking about cutting it all off. I'd bumped into some discussion of giving up shampoo (using either all-conditioner, or a combination of baking soda wash and vinegar rinse, instead) and finding that one's hair was healthier, fuller, and altogether easier to deal with, so I figured I had nothing to lose by trying.

If anybody's curious, here are two decent links to explain the reasoning behind giving up shampoo, as well as how to go about it and what to expect: Ditching shampoo a dirty little beauty secret and The No-’Poo Do. Until the 1970s, the idea of washing your hair every day (and then conditioning, to partly make up for the harshness of shampoo's stripping effects) was unheard of -- this is an American norm that marketing folks created, so we shouldn't just accept it without examination, even if we like all the smells in the morning...

Well, it's been a couple of months now -- I slipped once and tried the medicated shampoo when my allergies had my scalp really bothering me, and I immediately repented, seeing how slaughtered everything looked as a result. Still tweaking some details, like how much soda/vinegar should be in those solutions, how best to keep it convenient in the shower (let alone for travel), etc. -- but my hair has been so much fuller and happier that people have actually asked me about it. It took a couple of weeks for my hair to adjust to not having all of its oils stripped again and again, and I've added a boar-bristle brush to my evening regimen, but otherwise it's just basically the same old me, clean but unscented, and healthier than before. There may still be a haircut in my future, but it won't be because it's all about to fall off!

flowing red hair

Monday, October 12, 2009

Twitter funny of the day

Politics doesn't stop at the water's edge. It just pauses there for a moment because of surface tension.
- HunterDK

Friday, October 09, 2009

Friday link-dump

Things I appear not to be blogging, but want to:
  • Expand transit, and all the housing nearby becomes very popular -- couldn't this become a positive feedback loop, beneficial to all concerned???
    Edit: ah, it can lead to displacing the poor and elderly. Bummer.
    (via Atrios)

  • Imagine a composite photograph you wish you could see? Just make a sketch and the Internets can work their magic. Mind-blowing.

  • Gradual evolution of the angry right-wing: conservatives rewrite the Bible so that, of course, it supports their views. Parody dies, violence and hatred continue to grow. Creep-tastic.
    (first link via Medley's twitter feed; second from Atrios)

  • More environmental arguments against beef -- putting it in terms understandable by those of use who choose transit, turn off lights, and generally try to Make Things Better. Sigh.
    (via Atrios)

  • Was more than surprised to hear about the Nobel Peace Prize -- some sense is made of it here, as well as telling contrasts between the reactions at home and abroad.
    (via Medley's twitter feed)
Have a good weekend, all!

Science can be art

photo of the universeA lot of silliness is made by "autotuning" various speeches and clips, to varying effect. Thus far, I have been unmoved, but this montage of Carl Sagan really worked for me -- his philosophizing fits well with emotional music, and the net effect is sort of joyous....

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

DNC steps up

Running an ad for healthcare -- my favorite quote: "...when health care is treated as a privilege, only the privileged receive it." Amen. More please!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Quote of the day

It is a mistake to suppose that birth turns into death. Birth is a phase that is an entire period of itself, with its own past and future. In other words, every moment of living is full and complete. It's not leading to something else. It's not in the process of turning into something else. It's absolutely complete in and of itself, and all of time is included in that one moment of experience. If we were able to live it truly enough, we would feel the weight of it.
- Norman Fischer
Birth and Death
(via whiskey river)

Keeping up with a toddler

Recently Spouse and I are making a circuit of local playgrounds, trying to figure out where they are and which are worth visiting. And, obviously, Speck comes along on these outings, to provide her own perspective (and help us calibrate the equipment's age-appeal). And sometimes we tie in a local restaurant or other outing of interest to the parents involved, especially if it's one we don't otherwise get to.

So, up in the Fairmount neighborhood there's a restaurant we've managed to visit on maybe 2-3 (successful or rained-out) playground visits, the last one over a month ago. The last time, we sat outside in their side patio, and I threw some biscuit crumbs for a family of hungry sparrows, much to Speck's amazement and delight. This time (Sunday afternoon) we sit in front, almost inside the restaurant, totally different chairs and setting. But when I offer Speck some of the complementary corn muffins, she immediately indicates the ground, a tossing motion, and even points to the distant bend where the patio begins. Feed the sparrows, silly Parent!!

Nineteen months old, and hadn't been there in a month. I didn't even remember the sparrows. This stuff blows my mind every time.

Friday, October 02, 2009

So much to convey, so little time

The Mom Song.

Parenting in a nutshell, at least after the diaper age... (what does it mean that I got teary in the middle??)

(via a local parents' support group)

Twitter giggle of the day

You're like a tornado of bullshit right now. We'll talk again after your bullshit dies out over someone else's house.

Grim statistics

Total unemployment + underemployment is close to 17% this month. That's some ugly stuff...
But the recession is over! over!!

(via Atrios)

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Hard to imagine

...but this blog is 5 years old today! Who'd have thought I'd still consider it such a vital way to express/record my thoughts and discoveries, from Bush rage to parental photodeluge. Thanks to all who showed the way -- here's hoping I'll still be around in another 5!

slice of birthday cake