Saturday, October 01, 2011

Isabelle Sez

If it's a gaggle of geese, and a drive of dragons, and a pride of lions, what do you call a large group of grown-ups?

One night when the parents and grandparents were yacking unstoppably, Isabelle told us, "You should call it a 'talk' of grown-ups."

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Partial Zero Emission Vehicles

I just saw that Honda is advertising a "Partial Zero Emission Vehicle," which sounds really cool. No one else is marketing a Zero Emission Vehicle right now. This is "Partial Zero," but as every 3rd grader knows, a part of zero is still zero. Try it: 1/10 * 0 = ??

I suppose it's possible that they intended to hyphenate, indicating that their car is partially a Zero-Emission-Vehicle. This makes me wonder, which part? No emissions on the left side? Or from the front? Of course, nearly all cars in good repair could be called zero emission from the front, all the emissions come out the back. So maybe the zero-emission part is just the passenger cabin. Of course, this would depend on operator skill. For instance, too much chili could compromise the zero-emission nature of the car.

Well, I'll just be mystified for the moment. In the meantime, I can't wait until some car maker remembers the actual zero emission vehicle they made in the 1990s, and decides to market it again.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


The other day I was thinking about how good it is, the taste of melted ice cream in soda, and it hit me: you don't need to make an ice cream soda to do it. Here is a low-fat, low-calorie alternative to soda that is aspartame and saccharin free:

Serves 2:
to each glass:
  • Add 2 Tbsp. half-&-half
  • Add 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Add ice
  • add 1/2 a can of unflavored seltzer.
It helps if you pour the seltzer down the size of the glass, like a beer, because it will foam.

For those of you who wince at the very words "half-&-half," I provide my Nutrition Facts, with comparison to a 12oz Coke:

Cream FrizzCoke
Fat3g 9%0g
Sat. Fat2g 10%0g
Trans Fat0g0g
Cholestrol15mg 4%0mg
Sodium25mg 1%45mg 2%
Carbs1g 1%39g 13%

Apart from the fat, I win. I wouldn't drink ten of these a day, but on the whole I call them healthy enough.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Isabelle's Snowman Extravaganza

Even Carrie doesn't believe me now about the number of snowmen I counted in the back yard, so here is my photo documentation.

#2 is a baby snowman held in the Mommy snowman's arms. #5 is sledding, so deliberately on the ground.

#5 was originally holding a shovel. He dropped it overnight before I got this closeup shot.

I don't remember why #3 was built on the ground. This is a close-up of my original aerial photo, as #1 was gone by the time I took a closer shot.

Count them up and tell me if I'm lying:
  • 5 in the family set
  • 5 in the garden gang
  • 4 individuals
  • 3 in the "hidden set" by the pine tree.
The final number is... 17.

For the record, when Isabelle came in from this work, she was so tired and cold she was crying. Hot chocolate and cuddles cured that, though, and now she's happily telling everyone how she got a little hypothermia.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

ebook and paper book compared

I really like my Nook. But it is astonishing what a bad deal it is:

EbookPaper Books
c. $12.00c. $15.00
Not returnable. The moment you click "Confirm purchase" your stuck with it.Returnable
Can't resellCan resell, for $2-8. Final price $7-13
Can't buy usedCan buy used, for $2-8, and then resell again, perhaps breaking even.
Can loan out once, if friend has same deviceCan loan or give away freely
Depends on technology. Can be lost by tech failures or changing formatsLasts centuries with reasonable care.

The principle advantage, as I can see it, is that an ebook doesn't take up space on your bookshelf, and you don't have to wait for it to come in the mail. It's fun to be cutting edge, but, really...

Of course, almost ALL of the disadvantages of ebooks are CREATED by the publisher.

Oh, yeah, that reminds me of the BIGGEST advantage of ebooks: you don't have to rely on major publishers to create them!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Cosmos Continued

So I asked Isabelle how far she had gotten into "A Brief History of Time," and she gave me that stern look little kids sometimes have for adults who obviously don't know what they are talking about and said, "Dad. I'm not going to read the whole thing."

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Isabelle and the Cosmos

Isabelle asked if we had any books on the beginning of the universe (apart from my Story of Everything, which she has read many times). I said all we had was Stephen Hawking's "Brief History of Time," which was "very complicated, and even Daddy doesn't quite get it."

Tonight I noticed she had the book out. "I haven't met any words I don't know yet," she said.

"How far did you get?"

"They were just talking about how some people think the earth is round and flies through space, and some think it's flat with a lot of tortoises."

Hmm. Yes, I think I remember the tortoise.

She continues: "Then it just asks a lot of questions."

"Like what?"

"Like how did the universe begin, and was it going to end."

Okay, not a detailed critique, but I'm damned if she doesn't have the concept down. If she can tell me about the "arrows of time" next week I'm going to lose my teeth.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Art, Emergencies, and Money

So Isabelle once again has the sign on the door:

Artist at work
do not disturb
(inless an amgincy)

You can see her spelling is improving, though still has a way to go. I knocked on the door.

"Daddy? Is this an emergency?"

"Yes," I said. "Your friend is going to be here in ten minutes and you need to get dressed." Okay, so I stretched the definition of "emergency," but she was okay with it. Then she showed me her fine drawings, and informed me:

"If you buy three at full price, you get a coupon for a free drawing."

Somehow I think I'm raising a little Yankee trader.

I'll try to post some of the creations, once I get the scanner and computer talking to each other.