Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Thursday, April 27, 2006 6:03 pm

Awww …

Filed under: Hooper — Lex @ 6:03 pm

We were having dinner with friends the other night, and their 5-year-old daughter announced that she wanted to go upstairs to get something but was scared of monsters. Hooper walks over to her and says, “I’ll go upstairs with you because I am the strongest and bravest boy in the world!”

Now, obviously, that’s not true. More to the point, he knows that’s not true. The point here is that he recognized that his friend needed not only practical assistance but also emotional reassurance, and he gave her both. That’s a level of empathy I haven’t often seen him display, and I was surprised and delighted to see it.

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Happy Birthday, Dad

Filed under: Sad — Lex @ 6:09 am

Hooper Alexander III
April 27, 1930-June 4, 2005

Source: Original photo
Platform: Konica/Minolta DiMage Z-10
Settings: ISO200, f3.3 @ 1/60 second w/autoflash
Date: Saturday, April 23, 2005

Hooper gives Dad an excavator of his very own for his 75th birthday. Dad died roughly six weeks later.

One mystery down, one to go

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 6:01 am

Source: Original photo
Platform: Konica/Minolta DiMage Z-10
Settings: ISO 200, f3.2 @ 1/60 second w/autoflash
Date: Monday, April 24, 2006

What we thought was flowering jasmine in the front yard is in fact, our friend K. says, a Lady Banksia rose bush. Who knew?

Now, elsewhere in the yard we have something much smaller that we’re almost certain is also a rose, but we don’t know what variety:

Source: Original photo
Platform: Konica/Minolta DiMage Z-10
Settings: ISO 200, f3.2 @ 1/60 second w/autoflash
Date: Monday, April 24, 2006

It’s hard to get a sense of scale from the photo, but the blossom is only about an inch across.

Anyone got any clue what this might be?

Tuesday, April 25, 2006 1:53 pm

Another tie …

Filed under: Tigers — Lex @ 1:53 pm

… but this one was a moral victory for the Tigers. Up against an older, bigger, faster team, they gave up two quick goals early in the first quarter. But rather than fold, they dug in, controlled the ball well, passed often and opportunistically and didn’t give up another goal in the first half.

Emboldened by their defensive success, they became more aggressive on offense even as they remained patient, passing frequently. (In fact, on one possession they passed one time too many and probably left an easy goal on the table.) They scored in the third quarter and again in the fourth, and rather than playing for the tie, they were still passing well, keeping the ball downfield and playing to win when time finally ran out.

V. played forward in the first quarter and defender in the 2nd and 4th, and kept goal in the third. She has historically been a better defender than forward, and she excelled in this game, ending opponent possessions time after time with quick interceptions and passes to breaking teammates. (Her defender partners, different teammates in the 2nd and 4th quarters, also played exceptionally well.) She had three saves in goal, none of them requiring much effort.

In sum, the Tigers did something they haven’t often done: played well enough to beat a much better team. Even by the standards of games involving one’s daughter, it was a great game to watch.

Saturday, April 22, 2006 4:03 pm

Kill ’em all and let God the Department of English sort ’em out

Filed under: Hooper — Lex @ 4:03 pm

Hooper: (playing computer game) Daddy, I’m destroying the great monsters of literature!

Daddy: No kidding. Do you know what literature is?

Hooper: No.

Daddy: Then how do you know you’re destroying the great monsters of it?

Hooper: (patronizingly) Daddy, trust me.

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Friday, April 21, 2006 7:51 pm

Some problems are easier to solve than others

Filed under: Hooper — Lex @ 7:51 pm

Daddy: C’mon, Bubba, let’s go brush your teeth.

Hooper: DADDY!! Stop saying that!

Daddy: (genuinely puzzled) Saying what?

Hooper: Stop telling me to brush my teeth! I KNOW I have to brush my teeth!

Daddy: OK. (pause) Hey, how would it be if, every morning, instead of saying, “Hooper, it’s time to brush your teeth,” I said, “Hooper, it’s time to go do that thing you don’t want me to talk about”?

Hooper: Um … OK!

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Thursday, April 20, 2006 9:43 pm


Filed under: Weird — Lex @ 9:43 pm

I don’t even know what to make of this … except that I think that something, quite possibly something illegal, was prevented from happening. Drug deal? Attempt to buy black-market nuclear material? By whom? For whom?

The Shadow might know, but I sure don’t.

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The Black Death is back! The Black Death is back!

Oh — in, um, ground squirrels.

(Well, and one woman.)

In California.

And it never really left.

And it’s treatable with antibiotics.



I guess you can go back to whatever you were doing. Sorry to have bothered you.

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Wednesday, April 19, 2006 9:23 pm

What more appropriate way to observe Easter …

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 9:23 pm

… than with a fight to the death between the Easter Bunny and a pirate?

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Easter 2006

Filed under: Hooper,Victoria — Lex @ 5:59 am

My mother, my grandmother (who’s 98) and Victoria look at a snow globe of downtown Charleston on Easter Sunday. Victoria also read to my grandmother. Hooper, on the other hand, took one look at my grandmother, announced, “You look sick,” and curled up in my lap for a nap.

Source: Original photo
Platform: Konica/Minolta DiMage Z-10
Settings: ISO 200, f3.2 @ 1/60 second
Date: Sunday, April 16, 2006

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Degrees of separation

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 5:45 am

Journalist and blogger James Wolcott, by way of recommending former Talking Head David Byrne’s new blog, says that the last time he talked with Byrne, it was at New York’s Danceteria during a performance by the band Love Tractor, who were made fun of in a song called “Big Fat Tractor” by the Swimming Pool Qs, who were friends of this woman I dated my senior year in college.

I guess it’s not such a small world after all.

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Monday, April 17, 2006 6:23 am

That’s my boy!

Filed under: Hooper — Lex @ 6:23 am

Hooper: [Mild form of a profane interjection]!

Mommy: Hooper, that’s rude and we don’t say that.

Hooper: Sorry, Mama. (pause) What does [same interjection] mean?

Mommy: It’s just rude, and we don’t say that.

Hooper: OK. (pause) Wait a minute — that doesn’t tell me ANYthing!

Technorati tags: Hooper

Thursday, April 13, 2006 7:07 am

Ah, but a man’s an anaconda’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven hippo for?

Filed under: Weird — Lex @ 7:07 am

So I was sitting in the den last night, enjoying cheese ravioli and grilled chicken in a pesto cream sauce with a glass of Gewurtztraminer and browsing on my wife's laptop, when I stumble across this post by Apostropher linking to video of an anaconda regurgitating a hippopotamus.

And I know you're thinking: How, especially during dinner, could you click on a link to video of an anaconda yakking up a whole hippopotamus?

Dude. It was video of an anaconda yakking up a whole hippopotamus. How could I not?

Technorati tag: Strange

Wednesday, April 12, 2006 9:43 pm

The most important op-ed piece you will read all year …

Filed under: Y'all go read this — Lex @ 9:43 pm

… is this one by Billmon at Whiskey Bar.

103 years on …

Filed under: Hooper,Victoria — Lex @ 9:32 pm

Victoria and Hooper with (a cardboard cutout of) the Wright Brothers at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington. You can kind of tell by Hooper’s expression that it has been a long day.

Source: Original photo
Platform: Konica/Minolta DiMage Z-10
Settings: ISO 200, f3.2 @ 1/60 second w/autoflash
Date: Saturday, April 1, 2006

Tuesday, April 11, 2006 10:24 am

Jane and Al

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 10:24 am

My sister Jane with comedian and Air America Radio talk-show host Al Franken, who did his show live at UNC-Chapel Hill last week.

(She says it’s OK to mention that she’s single.)

Source: Original photo by my sister, Jane
Platform: Dunno.
Settings: Dunno.
Date: April 7, 2006.

Rapture advice

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 10:19 am

Amanda Marcotte — who, buyer beware, is an atheist — has a list of 14 things to do if you miss the Rapture:

13) STAY AWAY from earthquake faults. This is the advice of the fundie dude that gave me this idea. Seems like sound advice to me. Don’t throw yourself into any live volcanos, either. Generally speaking, this is good advice even if the Rapture never happens.

She also points out that after the Rapture, the South should be full of no-longer-owned cars free for the taking, in case you’re in the market for wheels.

Monday, April 10, 2006 6:13 am

“I’ll be with you in apple blossom time … “

Filed under: Salute! — Lex @ 6:13 am

A blossom on the scraggly little apple tree that grows just a few inches from the edge of our driveway. In the six years we’ve been here, that tree has faced driveway expansion, tent caterpillars, some sort of brown mold and all manner of weather, yet it keeps growing, however slowly, and this past fall produced small but perfectly edible apples. There are bigger, brighter fruit trees in our yard, but none braver.

Source: Original photo
Platform: Konica/Minolta DiMage Z-10
Settings: ISO 64, f3.3 @ 1/450 sec.
Date: Sunday, April 9, 2006

Sunday, April 9, 2006 4:52 pm

V. and friend

Filed under: Victoria — Lex @ 4:52 pm

Victoria and a friend outside the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, Washington, April 1, 2006.

Source: Original photo
Platform: Konica/Minolta DiMage Z-10
Settings: ISO 64, f3.3 @ 1/60 sec.
Date: Saturday, April 1, 2006

Saturday, April 8, 2006 4:47 pm

A far better thing he did?

Filed under: Religion — Lex @ 4:47 pm

It doesn’t play as Scripture, but in light of the newly translated “Gospel of Judas,” Driftglass’s fascinating retelling of the Passion probably would make a far better book and movie than anything by Dan Brown.

Thursday, April 6, 2006 9:46 pm

Jonathan Swift’s crown remains secure …

Filed under: Y'all go read this — Lex @ 9:46 pm

… but this is a — pardon the pun — well-executed work in that honorable tradition.

Oh, the gender-role and gender-equity issues THIS raises …

Filed under: Hooper — Lex @ 9:14 am

(Scene: breakfast)

Mommy (burps loudly): Excuse me!

Hooper (giggling with delight): Mommy! That was a boy burp!

An open letter from the CEO of Borders …

Filed under: Weird — Lex @ 6:21 am

to Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs specifically and all the members of the 101st Fighting Keyboarders in general who think the chain is being cowardly by not stocking copies of a magazine containing cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed:

UPDATE: It was an April Fool’s satire piece. D’oh!

Let me lay it out for you.

I run a bookstore. A book store. I run a big bookstore. I’ve got 34,000 people, real people, working for me every day in lots of places around the US and in other countries too. Those people owe Borders, every day, one good day’s work. Borders owes the people who work for it a safe day’s work. I’ve got stockholders too, but let’s leave them aside for now, because as much as you may think so, this is not about money. (And yes I caught that business about the fact that we’re trying to open stores in Arab and Muslim countries, but as you may have noticed every country these days contains an Arab and Muslim country.)

My bookstore is in a lot of places and it has, in employment and other matters, an open door policy. It advertises its address. It’s not hard to find. You can Mapquest it. If you are lucky you can park your fully-loaded van or truck right next to it and set the timer. During business hours, all our employees are “home.” Call me paranoid, but you don’t get to be the CEO of a big corporation and not think about these things.

Like the United States itself, we’re into “Open Borders.” Like the United States, Borders lets anybody in. But we’re not running some sort of NSA airport check-in deal at the door. You open our door and you walk in and somebody says “Welcome to Borders.” You can come as you are and wear whatever you choose under that long and suspiciously large coat. We’ve no dress code when it comes to our customers. You can be locked and loaded in more ways than one because, hey, its a free country with a strong Second Amendment as well as a First.

Yes, we have security, but you may have noticed that they are not wearing body armor, carrying automatic weapons and patrolling the cookbook section in an up-armored Humvee. It’s just not the Borders Way, bloggers. If you ever stopped filling up your cart with clicks at and visited a store, that’s what you’d find.

Don’t get me wrong. At Borders we make a “business” out of Free Speech and Free Expression. It’s a core value. Three other not-so-obvious and possibly competing core values at Borders are 1) Make a profit, 2) No riots in the store, ever, especially not in the Children’s section, and 3) All employees and patrons get to home at the end of the day without a side trip to a hospital.

Now you and the other bloggers who are sitting around safe in your undisclosed locations may feel that I have a duty to carry the 46 copies of Free Inquiry magazine I’m going to sell chain-wide in the next month. You know, the one with those drawings of the Prophet (Peace be upon his raggedy ass.). You might feel I should do this in the name of being the last, best bastion of Free Speech in America. I feel your pain, but after due consideration I must respectfully instruct you all to just pound sand.

I know where I’m ordering my next books online from.

Missing some school, but still learning

Filed under: Victoria — Lex @ 5:56 am

Source: Original photo
Platform: Konica/Minolta DiMage Z10
Settings: f3.2 @ 1/60 second with autoflash
Date: Saturday, 4/1/06

Victoria learns about cuneiform at the Smithsonian. Her class has been studying Egypt, so she was already interested in ancient writing.

Wednesday, April 5, 2006 9:23 pm

Another brilliant time-waster

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 9:23 pm

Man, don’t you just hate when this happens?

Journey’s end

Filed under: Hooper — Lex @ 6:11 am

Source: Original photograph
Platform: Konica/Minolta DiMage Z-10
Settings: f3.2 @ 1/60 second
Date: Saturday, April 1, 2006

Hooper fulfills his primary goal for our Washington visit, taking his friend Tex to meet the T-rex skeleton at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. This was all Hooper needed or wanted of Washington. Unfortunately, we were scheduled to be there for three more days.

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