bentangle

Tag: swimming

Lord of the Flies

by on Aug.16, 2010, under family

Fruit flies, that is.  I somehow gained them last weekend while my wife was away and by mid-week despite our best efforts to thwart them, they became a plague upon our kitchen (still not sure what they were drawn to).  I began to think that I may have to share residence with them long-term and considered whether they could somehow pull their weight around the place.  But after a couple of strokes of ingenuity, I managed to reclaim my keep.  My remastery was a three-pronged attack involving (a) ‘humane’ traps (not that I really cared for their welfare) of old veggies and vinegar in bowls covered in perforated plastic wrap, (b) inhumane traps (fly strips) and (c) a vacuum with a long hose – the latter proved to be the game-changer.  There are a few survivors, but they won’t last in the long game.  I’ve got their number.

In other news, we are doing our best to squeeze what juice we can out of what remains of the summer.  Yesterday we treated ourselves to a dessert of evening pool time.  We bought a membership in for the summer and I think that it was only the third time I’ve personally made it there.  I did get the chance to see the fruits of my daughter’s swimming lessons.  Her general swimming and treading water has improved a lot (still room for growth, but she has more confidence at it) and I got the treat of seeing her jump off of the diving board about a dozen times (the last two of which she actually attempted to dive and succeeded in belly-flopping).  My son, who chickened out of his lessons 3/4 of the way through the first session, still sticks to hit comfort zone.  I guess I should look on the bright side – he has never seemed overly concerned about how he compares to anyone including his sister, so perhaps peer pressure won’t be all that heavy a factor with him later in life (one can hope).

In continuing our summer fun and not to be daunted by the stormy weather, today (I guess yesterday by the time this is posted) we spent the day at Giggleberry Fair (an indoor play place in Peddler’s Village).  The kids had hours of fun, my wife got tons of pictures, and I got pelted a lot by foam balls and dragged through many spaces not meant for upright, full-height adults.  Granted it was a blast, but by the end my neck and knees ached, my hair was slicked and my shirt semi-saturated with sweat, and my thirst nigh unquenchable.

But now the temperatures seem to be going back into the miserable range (and there is that pesky thing called work), so our summertime adventures will be dwindling as the start of first grade looms on the horizon for Cricket (and Grasshopper will too be returning to preschool, though details as to where have yet to be worked out).  So I return to the grind, mindful that there will be storms to be weathered and some share of pests, but fully prepared to dive in and slough off what missiles life shoots my way.

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Travelogue – Vacation Update

by on Jul.04, 2010, under books, technology

Just to be clear, I don’t intend to do daily updates of my vacation events – that would be semi-contrary to enjoying my vacation. Yesterday was an eventful day in leisure. We started by heading to a local swimming hole (a lake nearby that had several swimming beaches) where we enjoyed several hours of swimming, playing in the sand, and picnicking. Then we attempted to go hiking, but due to heat and navigation issues, we gave up after about ten minutes and headed to the mall to watch Toy Story 3 in 3-D. Finally we stopped by Barnes & Noble for an early birthday present – a Nook.

The swimming was fun and went as would have been expected. Cricket spent as long as possible in the water. Grasshopper spent as little time as possible in the water. Gumba (their grandfather) spent the majority of the swimming time fabricating various tall tales for my daughter to consider. Grammy spent little time in the water and mostly sat either in the shade or on the beach playing with my son. The water was as warm as bath water which made the hardest part of the day getting out of the water – despite the air temperature being in the mid-80’s, leaving the water was a chilling affair. Then we enjoyed some sandwiches and chips while we dried off before changing and heading out to eventually arrive at the movies.

Toy Story 3 was much better than I had anticipated. As usual, it tackled the same types of issues typically addressed in this series – themes of loyalty, pride, betrayal, love, and friendship in the face of adversity all masked behind the role of a toy and its relationship to its owner. In this film the struggle came in the form of Andy growing up and going to college, both he and his toys coming to grips with change and learning when to hold onto the past and when to let go of it. I don’t typically find myself emotionally moved by movies (well, except in the forms of excitement or frustration), but this movie moved me to such levels of empathetic joy that I almost started to feel choked up (almost). Of course constantly keeping my son from swinging from the seat or running down the aisle helped keep me grounded.

So finally, the Nook. As is probably obvious by how many books I’ve been reviewing here (and there are several that I read and opted not to review), I’ve been reading a lot of books lately. So I’d been considering going digital with my hobby for a while now. And to my fortune, my parents had also observed my reading affinity and opted to help me achieve my digital goal. Yesterday they sprung for my Nook as well as a nice travel case for it. By the end of the day I’d already setup my account, bought my first ebook, and went to bed having gotten to chapter 7. Now the only outstanding issue is figuring out what other books to download.

There were other events that occurred after the Nook purchase, but they generally blurred together as I was somewhat distracted. Though among those events was my children camping out in Grammy and Gumba’s yard for the night (my wife volunteered to spend the night with them). It seemed to go well – no middle of the night fallout – but they did troop in early this morning at which point they became my problem so that my wife could get a couple hours of rest in a soft, dry bed. So I put on some cartoons, grabbed my Nook, and settled on the couch for a low-key morning (or at least as low-key a morning as is possible with a 3 and 6 year-old).

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