I wrote last June about my developing love for pencils. It carries on. Was ordering a gross of my favourite pencils a bit too much? Perhaps. But they’re not only nice to write with, they’re nice to look at.
Apparently taking notes in pencil is odd. I’ve received a number of looks, second looks and chuckles from classmates when I pull my handheld pencil sharpener from my book bag and sharpen the stub of wood and graphite in my hand. Another classmate commented twice on my pencil use, saying he likes pencils too. But he takes his notes in pen. Maybe he needs to come out of the proverbial closet when it comes to his writing instrument preferences. Perhaps I am to be the agent of his outing, to give him the courage to name it.
I don’t see the guy taking notes with the fountain pen getting funny looks. What’s the deal?
I spent most of yesterday afternoon outside. First, I removed the training wheels from Madeline’s bike. Second, I assembled our new barbecue.
It feels like it might be a little too much barbecue for us: it has a side element, which is something I never used on our old barbecue; it has a “back burner” and I’m not sure what it is for; it also has an electric rotisserie thingie, which we may use, but still–possibly too much barbecue.
You may recall that last August/September I was looking for a barbecue (I can’t find the post), and I complained that at what seemed like prime barbecue end-of-season time, there were no barbecues to be had, other than high-end way-beyond-our-budget models and cheap low-end ones–nothing that fit what I was looking for.
So when at Costco in early January I saw almost the exact barbecue I wanted at pretty much the exact price I wanted, I just up and bought it without much thought (I didn’t notice the unnecessary side-element until I got home with it). I was pleased as punch (except I didn’t really like spending the money). But wouldn’t you know it, a month or so later Wal-Mart had switched their “Seasonal” section from winter supplies like tobaggans and snow shovels to summer stuff like barbecues. And they had quite the selection of barbecues which fit my specifications, didn’t have some of the unnecessary extras, and were cheaper!
The barbecue we purchased is just fine, but we could have saved a few bucks. Alas. Many of our possessions are a monument to impulse buying. Lesson learned. Again.
So back to the training wheels thing. One of Madeline’s friends told her that training wheels are usually removed around age 4. And it seems that our neighbours are planning on removing the training wheels on their four-year-old boy’s bike this year. Madeline is 7 years old (as of last December). Until Madeline told me what her friend said, I didn’t think she was too old for training wheels.
We bought Madeline’s bike two years ago, after realizing that it just wasn’t going to work for her and Luke to share/fight over the Dora the Explorer tricycle. We automatically put training wheels on because she had only ridden a tricycle, but we left them on for two years. And she was nervous and uncertain, and she did rely on one or the other training wheel for balance, but that may have simply been because that crutch was available to her.
At any rate, I had been planning on removing them this year.
Today was that day. And, boy, let me tell you, it was such an anticlimactic event. I had envisioned that glorious moment when I would release my hand from the seat of her bike after running her to a start, Madeline tentatively venturing off on her own two wheels, each second passing in slow-motion to the tune of “Chariots of Fire”, Dixie and I jumping up for joy whilst angels sang and trumpets rang from the heavens. And so on.
As it was, I released my hand and off she went without a hitch. I was still very proud of her and it did fill my heart with gladness, but the fact is, we could have taken those training wheels off last year or the year before. Maybe she only needed them for a week or two.
Here’s the footage (in terms of sound, it’s mostly wind in the microphone, and there’s a big lull in the middle):
Now that I’ve watched it again, there may have been some angels singing. Seeing the smile on her face on the return ride–full of pride and excitement–fills my heart with such joy. The background picture on our desktop is Madeline on the skating rink, smiling proudly, just like she did on her bike today. These are the highlights of parenting.
Also: I walk funny. I have never noticed this before. After watched the video, I asked Dixie, “Do I walk funny?”
Somehow or other last week I wound up at the Cafe Press website looking at this t-shirt. It reads:
God said it.
I interpreted it as best I could in light of all the filters
imposed by my upbringing and culture, which I try to control for but you can never do a perfect job.
That doesn’t exactly settle it but it does give me enough of a platform to base my values and decisions on.
It is a satirical reworking of the old saying, “God said it, I believe it, that settles it.” If I didn’t have such bad experiences with fun t-shirts shrinking and wearing out very quickly, I might order one. Perhaps there’s a mug available.
My hermeneutics classmates and I had a good laugh over that one, as it happens to be a fitting t-shirt for the stuff we’ve been discussing in class.
A couple of friends and I were talking about some “facts” one of them read on the internet and we came up with another variation: “The internet said it, I believe it, that settles it.” Good times.
I just spent way too much time creating the following line chart, which shows the relationship between how full my schedule is and how much blogging I do:
As you can see, my Busy-ness to Inspiration Ratio is pretty high (or is it low? I can never remember.) September was a productive month both in terms of homework and assignments and blogging. October, thus far, is a relatively slow month in terms of school work and my blogging quantity reflects that fact.
Comparing this empirically-sound chart and my calendar, I predict that blogging will pick up significantly near the end of November, with a chance of intermittent posting for the rest of October.
If you go to the YouTube page for it, you’ll see that THERE ARE SEVENTEEN THOUSAND COMMENTS FOR THAT VIDEO. Nerds and haters arguing. Hilarious (and you all know how much I love Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings books, right?)
And here’s French & Saunders’ brilliant Lord of the RingsFellowship of the Rings film spoof:
Via my friend Chris (no, not you), I introduce my readers to the clever, subtle, hilarious and informative comic art (comart? cart?) of Lunchbreath. Some samples A couple of links to a couple of samples: