randbot bitter

The Adventures of Being Crotchety in New York

Liz had a one-day conference down at Columbia University, so the whole fam is in NYC for three days.

Well, not exactly; since I'm too cheap to spring for $350-$400/night NYC digs, we are instead kicking it Jersey-style over in Fort Lee.

Perhaps I am too crotchety for my own good; instead of looking for fun things to do, I'm just searching the internet for tips on free or cheap parking.

On the plus side, in our wanderings, Dexter and I found a playground in Central Park featuring a bunch of hippos standing (and some "submerged" into the ground). Go, free entertainment!

More posts (and eventually pics) later, I'm sure. Tomorrow is our big day of wandering all around Central Park; visits to Victoria Gardens, Central Park Zoo and the Museum of Natural History are all possibilities.
randbot bitter

Oh, Glorious Internet

Man, just when I think I can't be pleasantly surprised by the Internet anymore, I stumble across people who are translating the entire bible into LOLcat-speak.


Okay, granted, they're only 61% complete currently. And granted, I don't even find LOLcat that amusing in the first place. But you've got to admire the dogged determination, or something.

If nothing else, it will be one of the great tests of the comedy theory of "it's funny; keep doing it and now it's not funny; KEEP doing it and now it's REALLY funny." While I am only familiar with the first three states, keeping this joke up for the entirety of the Bible might find additional "not funny" "EXTREMELY funny" as-yet-theoretical states. It's like some sort of Internet meme Large Hadron Collider.
capybara monkey

Overanalyzing Children's Books

So there has been a lot of Busytown love around our house, centered in particular, this week, on Cars and Trucks and Things that Go.

In general, I would say that if you ever have an opportunity to travel to Busytown, DO NOT GO. You'd think it would be fun because you could drive in a pickle car and visit Lowly Worm, but the chances of you falling, having something sprayed or dumped on you, or being caught in a horrible vehicular accident are basically 100 percent. The denizens of Busytown are so generally incompetent, in fact, that I've started to imagine it as some sort of Island-of-Doctor-Moreau-esque experimental location, filled with the tragic cheerful-but-mentally-deficient failed byproducts of genesplicing.

However, Cars & Trucks & Things That Go has, at least, introduced me to my new favorite Scarry character. Allow me to quote:

Say! Who is that making a mess of the [highway lane] line? That's not Goldbug, is it? No, it can't be Goldbug. He would never do a thing like that. That fellow must be Maniacbug.

And just for emphasis, he is also labeled. Stare into face of insanity and be forever changed:

I also came across this Flickr comparison of the 1963 and 1991 editions of the Best Word Book Ever. Kind of interesting to see what has been changed. My favorite is the relabeling of "beautiful screaming lady" and "brave hero" to "cat in danger" and "fire fighter", respectively.
shirt yes thank you

Small Household Victories

In the interest of getting some actual (if boring) content on here, I had two recent minor "i am a successful homeowner" victories:

1) Snaked my own sewer pipe. I could tell it was time to clear the roots out of the main sewer line again, so I decided to rent an electric snake and do it myself. The snaking itself was super easy. Actually getting the 100+ lb. snake out of my trunk and into the basement (and back) -- not so much. Mental note: make sure there is another adult available to help next time.

2) Upstairs sink was draining slowly again, so on a semi-desperate whim, I used the toilet plunger on the sink. Holy moley, does that ever work! (Side holey moley: there is some amazingly gross crud hanging out in our sink trap!

Of course, I'm still barely keeping up with mowing and not killing the front landscaping. One minor victory at a time, people!
randbot bitter

Eponymous Song

Happy Spring!

I know most of you reading are familiar with the song (and at least one of you reading can be heard in the video itself!) but I had to post it anyway.
they might be giants

Fostering the Nerds of Tomorrow

Spent the day volunteering at the Mass. Regional Finals for Destination ImagiNation today. (Each team needs to supply a volunteer, so a friend whose son was participating enlisted me.) I had only been peripherally aware of DI, but man does it seem like a neat program. It's a little hard to describe, but basically it's an extracurricular activity in which teams of kids work for several months to solve elaborate challenges. It's nice to know I had a (very small) hand in helping to foster a new crop of nerdlings (technically, I guess I was mostly dealing with nerdlettes, since I was working with the improv/theater arts challenge and it was almost exclusively girls). As a bonus, all volunteers are strongly encouraged to wear a silly hat. My hat collection is a shadow of its college-days glory, but this did give me a reason to wear the Knitted Froghat (thanks again, rsheslin!) in public for the first time in years.

In other geek news, Dexter is officially a huge TMBG fan. I had to go out and get Here Come the 123s today, because I have been playing the videos online for Dexter and he is now requesting the songs all the time ("Listen to 'number two' in car?"). And a new Terakian dork is born.
they might be giants

Some More Music-Related Things

HOLY CRAP, is the new TMBG kid's album (Here Come the 123s) ever good!! Even if you don't have kids, I recommend checking out their new video podcast for families. Hosted by knit-puppet versions of the Johns, this weekly vidcast features a song/video from their new CD, along with a song/video from one of their other kids albums. "Nonagon" and "813 Mile Car Trip" are two of my favorites so far.

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randbot bitter

Everything That Does Not Include Failure

Just so everyone does not think it's all Spectacular Failure and Large Stretches Of Never, Ever Posting In My Livejournal, here are some other bits of recent news:

1) Dexter attended his first concert Friday night (Dan Zanes). For those unfamiliar, Dan Zanes specializes in playing family-friendly all-ages music, with a healthy dollop of traditionals and standards. Basically, his concert is a big-ass all-ages sing-along dance party, which makes for a pretty fun vibe. I think Dex was a tad overstimulated, as he spent the first half of the concert in stunned silence, but after he got used to the experience he started having a good time.

2) Um, I guess that's basically it. I'll try to think of more stuff later.
randbot bitter

How To Fail Spectacularly

1. Put water on to boil.
2. Turn on the wrong burner.
3. While prepping dinner, place a glass Pyrex casserole dish on the (unbeknownst to you) active burner.
4. Wait 5 minutes.
5. "Enjoy" the fun as said casserole dish literally explodes all over your kitchen.

The only good part is that none of us were directly in the kitchen in the time, which is why this post is not entitled "How To Grievously Injure Yourself And All Your Loved Ones."

In conclusion, harrumph.
randbot bitter

TOO LATE, Robot Bill Clinton!

Your charming-yet-automated phone call comes too late, for we have already voted for Obama. Not sure if it matters in Massachusetts, but we'll see.

Side note: Is Obama doing any robocalling? If so, do they call it Robamacalling? Because they really should.