Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Henry's a Year Old Already


Wow, I feel like I blinked once and turned around and suddenly Henry is a year old. I can't believe it. And it really doesn't help that the kid changes so much everyday. Take today for instance. Henry sat and played with his mega blocks by himself for about ten minutes and he was actually stacking them about 5 high. Before this he'd only break up structures that we made. And I was also surprised by how long he focused on it.  Later, Henry learned how to open and close plastic food containers. Then, I took one of the baby gates down and he ran back and forth down the hallway in our apartment. [Oh yeah, he's walking. Like I said time flies and I only do these posts once a month. He figured out the whole walking thing about a week before his birthday. I hate to admit it, but technically Carol and I missed those first steps everyone always talks about. Carol was on the computer and I was watching some cartoons and Carol says, "Um..this is new" and I look at Henry and he's stopped playing on the floor and is walking across the room.] Anyway back to today, After he was done running up and down the hallway I taught Henry how to close the door to his bedroom. Unfortunately (or maybe it's fortunate) he can't open the doors because he isn't tall enough to grab the door knob. But once he had the hang of closing it Carol went in the bedroom with him and he closed the door over and over again. And then Carol would help him open it and I was right on the other side of the door making funny faces. Henry laughed every time he saw me. It was like peekaboo, only better!

The whole time Carol and I were whispering to each other "I think he might be too smart for his own good." I mean I know I use the term genius all the time, but what if he really is?... It's all part of the adventure I guess.


I'd like to take a moment to thank our family and friends. We keep telling you Henry doesn't need anything and you keep buying us stuff or giving us hand-me-downs. And you know what? We end up using the majority of what we get! And because of everyone's generosity we've rarely ever had to buy Henry any clothes. So we've had the luxury of being able to buy him are fun shirts like this Spider-man one or the super hero is training shirt up above, which has a cape in the back.


We had some friends and family over to the apartment for Henry's birthday and the highlight of the festivities was Henry having his first piece of cake. He was hesitant at first like he always is with new foods. But then he really went to town!


Instead of recovering from enjoying some New Years cheer, Henry and I rang in the New Year by both being sick with a virus. We both ran a temperature. I probably should have been in bed, but I couldn't sleep when my kid's temp was 102! They say it's not as dangerous for kids to get a temperature like that, but I still worried. I kept doing a cold compress on Henry's head (along with children's Tylenol) to bring the fever down. He crawled around with that towel on his head for two days. At first he kept trying to take it off. But I told him to leave it and he did. He really is amazing!


I'm all out of chronological order but I don't care, we got Henry one big Christmas gift, it's a radio flyer that he can ride in right now but as he gets older you turn it into a tricycle he can tool around in by himself.


He's not always perfect. Here he is after getting into one of the trash cans and pulling all the tissues out of it.


Carol taught Henry how to stick out his tongue. One of those things that seemed like a good idea at the time. At least he looks super cute! And no, he wasn't drinking ice tea, he was just playing with the bottle.

I work at the same church where Henry goes to daycare so I get to peek in on him several times a day. Thankfully Maxine who teaches him is happy to let me pop in whenever I want. And everyday around 3 pm I take some pictures of Henry and send one to Carol. It is such a routine now that if she doesn't get the picture by 3:30, she's is texting me "Where's my picture?" Here are some of the daily shots.



Henry is framed! For the most part he is so good-natured. Always laughing and smiling. It's been a good year, but the next one will only be better, right?  

Short Story of the Week (February 2013)


Here I am embracing the “tech” of that celebrated year, 1984 – coincidentally, the year I became a “classic” myself.- Becky.
Each week at the Classic Science Fiction Message Board we read a short science fiction piece (short story, novelette or novella). These stories are always available for FREE online so that anyone can participate in the discussion. The stories are chosen by a different member every month, so that we get to read a variety of stories. February's stories are being picked by Becky.

As a contrast to last month's modern stories (thanks, Tinkoo!), I'll be focusing on my first love, the Golden Age of science fiction (generally, the 1930s to 1960). These stories often have a twist or a laugh at the end. I note the year of each story, because it's fun to read about the author's imagined future of 30 or more years ahead, which is now our past, and compare it to what came to pass - many were remarkably correct predictions... but had a different vision of how we would respond to the changes.

I got my love of reading, and senses of curiosity and imagination, from my teacher-parents, and older sister who also became a teacher. I followed her lead into the world of science fiction, beginning at about age 12. My high school also featured some SF in the curriculum, but they were the “thought pieces” such as Fahrenheit 451 and 1984, rather than explorations of where science might take us. Just as the Cold War was winding down, it was the Age of Warnings from the SF community. Nuclear winter, overpopulation, and of course first contact, were some typical themes.

Rather than accumulating a library, I've used the public ones, buying primarily reference books. Now I have a Kindle, which I didn't think I'd like. The advantages I've found include increased font sizes available (if you don't need them now, you will!), built-in dictionary, tons of free books available, and no storage space worries - or dusting.

My other interests include needlework for charity, gardening, and tracing my family tree.



Week #1 Cry From a Far Planet (1958), by Tom Godwin

This week's story focuses on communication, something often ignored or easily explained away, in order to get on with other aspects of a story. However, if we're ever contacted by aliens, this is something we will most likely have to face.

Week #2 The Creature from Cleveland Depths, by Fritz Leiber - 1962

This novella concerns how quickly technology can get out of hand – long favorite theme for SF. You'll find this an easy read that moves right along.

Week #3 Beyond Pandora, by Robert T. Martin, 1962

Here's a super-short story, which looks at part of our everyday world from a completely different angle. Great food for thought.

Week #4 No Moving Parts, by Murray F. Yago, 1960

Science fiction sometimes presents us with puzzles designed to get us thinking "outside the box". This puzzle story is about lost technology (and is of average short story length!) I will warn you that not all SF puzzle stories supply the answer... Enjoy!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Short Story of the Week (January 2013)


(Tinkoo declined giving me a picture so he is being represented by one of my favorite video game characters Shadow (center) from Final Fantasy VI (called Final Fantasy III here in America). Also pictured are Strago on the left and Relm on the right. The artwork comes from Tigerfog  

Each week at the Classic Science Fiction Message Board we read a short science fiction piece (short story, novelette or novella). These stories are always available for FREE online so that anyone can participate in the discussion. The stories are chosen by a different member every month, so that we get to read a variety of stories. January's stories are being picked by Tinkoo Valia. Tinkoo, an engineer by education and a programmer by vocation, runs Variety SF (a science fiction short story blog) as a hobby and lives in Bombay, India.

Week #1  Shirley Temple Three by Thomas Pierce    

I will be choosing short fiction this month. Even though I read more older short stories than recent ones, I will attempt to choose relatively recent stories - there are only 4 to be chosen this month. But only stories that worked for me, at some level.

This one appeared in The New Yorker on 24 December 2012. When "mawmaw" got a cute resurrected prehistoric animal as a pet...

Week #2 Loyalty Beyond Seasons by Mohsen H Darabi

A very unusual romance...

Week #3 Picnic With Ants by Mark W Moffett

First published: Nature, 16 February 2012. Funny diary of an insect researcher's field work... I'm including it because if I were to make a list of "my best of 2012", this story will certainly make it to the list.

Week # 4 Stumpy by Sheila Adamson    

First published: Cosmos, November 2012. Don't cry wolf in jest...

This one reminded me of Piers Anthony's classic "Toaster". It's not quite in Toaster's class, but I was amused.