ciroccoj: (Default)
My kid says his nerves are shot. It is entirely possible that we spend too much time and energy on the American election. Dude, it's not even our country.
ciroccoj: (thoughtful)
Neil Armstrong, astronaut, first man on the Moon
Marion Barry, mayor of Washington, DC
Lloyd Bentsen, Senator from Texas, vice-presidential nominee
Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York
Guion Bluford, first black astronaut
James Brady, Gun control advocate, White House Press Secretary under President Ronald Reagan
William DeVries, cardiac surgeon who performed the first successful heart transplant of an artificial heart
Michael Dukakis, governor of New York and Presidential candidate
Gerald Ford, 38th President of the United States
Robert Gates, CIA director
L. Ron Hubbard, writer & founder of Scientology
Alfred Kinsey, of the Kinsey Reports on human sexuality
James Lovell, astronaut, commander of Apollo 13
David Lynch, filmmaker and actor
Robert MacNamara, Secretary of Defense during the Vietnam War
Michael Moore, filmmaker
Ross Perot, business leader
Fred Phelps, founder of Westboro Baptist Church
Mike Rowe, host of Dirty Jobs
Stephen Spielberg, filmmaker
John Tesh, musician
Zach Wahls, LGBT activist
William Westmoreland, Army Chief of Staff

This list has only men I personally recognized; the full thing is two million names long. It includes forty astronauts... and three serial killers, so I'm not sure what that means.
ciroccoj: (Default)
Weird. Guess I've been busy, and also Facebook is much easier to post on. Which sucks, because I don't much like Facebook's policies and relentless spam and random oopsies which leave your private mail displayed for the world to see and... well, anything, really :(

Then again, livejournal's not my fave either, what with their own random policy changes and total disregard for fandom and... myeah.

So. Since July. Um. Went to Europe for three weeks, both kids now in school, elderly cat died, (sort of) started my own sole practitioner business, fallen headfirst into Avengers fandom... I think? I'm sure more has happened.

Damn. I use livejournal to help me write our family Christmas letter. Guess I'll have to actually try to remember stuff for myself this year. This is not good. Memory like sieve :(
ciroccoj: (pessimism)
So a few days ago, Justin used the word "threesome." Yes, that meaning of the word. No, I don't know where he got it from. Can't decide whether I'm amused, horrified, or kinda proud.

Chris has no such qualms. "That's my boy!" he said. ::sigh::
ciroccoj: (thoughtful)
It's strange how it really doesn't seem possible that it was eight years ago that my mother died. The time elapsed seems both infinitely shorter and longer.

Well done

Jul. 13th, 2012 02:41 pm
ciroccoj: (Default)
So Ottawa is at Level 2 drought, 40 hectares around Moodie burned last night and we could smell the smoke at our house, there hasn't been any bloody rain since forever... but our neighbours are still diligently watering their lawn - and, better yet, their DRIVEWAY - twice a day. ::sigh::
ciroccoj: (journey)
I'm feeling sudden, violent, uncontrollable laughter, but please don't call the cops on me ;)


The motion picture you are about to witness may startle you.

It would not have been possible, otherwise, to sufficiently emphasize the frightful toll of the new drug menace which is destroying the youth of America in alarmingly-increasing numbers.

Marihuana is that drug - a violent narcotic - an unspeakable scourge - The Real Public Enemy Number One!

Its first effect is sudden, violent, uncontrollable laughter; then come dangerous hallucinations - space expands - time slows down, almost stands still... fixed ideas come next, conjuring up monstrous extravagances - followed by emotional disturbances, the total inability to direct thoughts, the loss of all power to resist physical emotions... leading finally to acts of shocking violence, ending often in incurably insanity.

In picturing its soul-destroying effects no attempt was made to equivocate. The scenes and incidents, while fictionized for the purposes of this story, are based upon actual research in the results of Marihuana addiction.

If their stark reality will make you think, will make you aware that something must be done to wipe out this ghastly menace, then the picture will not have failed in its purpose...

Because the dread marihuana may be reaching forth next for your son or your daughter ... or yours ... or YOURS!

Damn. The copy I linked to has no sound, and I so, so, so want to watch this thing! Apparently it was filmed in 1936 and then rediscovered in the 1970s, where it became a cult classic of unintentional hilarity. I wonder if it was ever MST3K'd?
ciroccoj: (thoughtful)

Happy Canada Day!
ciroccoj: (thoughtful)
...of the class :)

Justin is three years younger than Daniel, Daniel is a bit of a freak, intellect-wise, and Chris and I are grownups and relatively bright ourselves. And Justin has been home schooled for five years. And while that has been overall a very positive experience, it does mean that for five years, Justin has effectively been at the bottom of the totem pole in terms of feeling - or appearing - smart.

He went to school part-time this year. Got his report card back yesterday. Straight A's :) :) :)

I'm proud of him for that, but not as proud as I was when he told us he'd won a Principal's Award (at his school apparently that's for being one of the top students in his class). Shortly after getting it, he walked past one of his classmates, who sneered, "Super nerd!"

Justin just brandished his Principal's Award at the kid. "Yeah!! SUPER Nerd!"
ciroccoj: (alive at five)
Left the house at 7:30 to go pick strawberries. By the time we were leaving, around 10 or so, the fields were packed and the parking lot almost overflowing, and a school bus had arrived with more eager pickers.

Picked a total of nine baskets among two adults and three kids. Three have now been processed.

The first was consumed fresh by us, accompanying gluten-free pancakes, and by the D & D kids, accompanying bananas and apples as part of our regular fruity snacks. The next became jam and has now been partly consumed by the D & D kids, accompanying fresh home made bread.

The third is also becoming jam and will be returned to its owners tomorrow :)

Two more baskets await processing. Sooooo many strawberries...
ciroccoj: (journey)
Daniel thinks it's silly that the Civilisation games only allow one unique power to each civilisation (eg, Rome has the power of Roman Roads, better than all other roads, Japan has Honour, China has Myriads, or strength in numbers). He thinks there should be one special ability for ancient times and one for modern times. So, for example, ancient Vikings should have awesome power of Raid, doubling what they get from pillaging, and the modern Vikings should have the power of IKEA.

Me: So... cheap catapults that they assemble onsite? They come with their own little pegs and everything?
Daniel: No, catapults that can fling crappy furniture at the enemy!
Justin: No, fling IKEA stores at the enemy!
Daniel: The whole store! You can't dodge it, it's too huge!
Justin: And the last thing the enemy sees coming at them is "SWEDISH FOR COMMON SENSE"!
Daniel: The worst last thing they'll ever see!
ciroccoj: (Default)
Daniel's in IB*, a pretty demanding academic program. He's had a tough year, having gone from home schooling, to junior high where he did very well with little effort, to high school in amongst all the other kids who also did very well with little effort. Mostly it's the academics that have been a challenge, but part of it has also been the occasional Stranger in a Strange Land feeling he gets among the other IB kids. Like a conversation a few days ago:

Kid A: ::talks about marks, and parental reactions::
Kid B: ::ditto::
Kid A: OMG my dad would kill me if I got lower than B!
Kid B: I'd be grounded for weeks if I got less than a B+.
Daniel: ::puzzled::
Kid A: ::to Daniel:: What about your parents?
Daniel: What?
Kid B: How bad could your marks be without your parents punishing you?
Daniel: For marks?
Kid A: Yeah.
Daniel: Um... I don't think they would. As long as they knew I was doing my best.
Kids A & B: ::are baffled::
::a while later::
Kid A: I was so happy with my last report card! My mom said if I got 5% in French more I'd get a gift card to [some store]
Kid B: Oh cool! I got the new Halo game when I aced that Math test!
Kid A: What about you?
Daniel: What?
Kid B: What do your parents give you when you get good marks?
Daniel: Um... nothing.
Kid A: What?!
Kid B: Like, no prize?
Daniel: No... they're pretty happy for me, but I don't get anything.
Kids A & B: ::are flummoxed::

I can't help wondering, are we that weird?

It's not that we don't care about Daniel's marks - we care very much - but... he's fifteen. People his age all over the world are treated as adults, and expected to take responsibility for their own lives. We help him in any way we can, but in the end it's his education. We kind of expect him to value it enough that marks - and, far more importantly, learning - are their own reward.

I get the idea of doing something nice for a kid who's worked really hard. I get the idea of providing some kind of discipline when a kid's really not working up to potential. But these are IB kids. They're all working their butts off, and showing that they're responsible and hard-working just by being in the program. Do they still need external carrots and sticks?

* Technically it's pre-IB, in that IB does not start until Grade 11. They call it the IB program at his school.

Aaw :)

Jun. 19th, 2012 08:16 pm
ciroccoj: (alive at five)
It's funny when your kids let you know you got something right without even realizing they're doing so. Like Daniel, the other day, when we were listening to the Fiddler On the Roof soundtrack and he remarked, "It's funny how this is both the least romantic and the most romantic love song in the whole musical."

It is. I'm glad he can see that :)

  • Tevye: Golde, I have decided to give Perchik permission to become engaged to our daughter, Hodel.
  • Golde: What??? He's poor! He has nothing, absolutely nothing!
  • Tevye: He's a good man, Golde. I like him. He's a little crazy, but I like him. And what's more important, Hodel likes him. Hodel loves him.
    So what can we do?
    It's a new world, Golde... A new world.
    Love. Golde...
    Do you love me?
  • Golde: Do I what?
  • Tevye: Do you love me?
  • Golde: Do I love you?
  • Tevye: Well?
  • Golde: With our daughters getting married
    And this trouble in the town
    You're upset, you're worn out
    Go inside, go lie down!
    Maybe it's indigestion
  • Tevye: Golde I'm asking you a question..
    Do you love me?
  • Golde: You're a fool
  • Tevye: I know...
    But do you love me?
  • Golde: Do I love you?
    For twenty-five years I've washed your clothes
    Cooked your meals, cleaned your house
    Given you children, milked your cow
    After twenty-five years, why talk about love right now?
  • Tevye: Golde,
    The first time I met you
    Was on our wedding day
    I was scared
  • Golde: I was shy
  • Tevye: I was nervous
  • Golde: So was I
  • Tevye: But my father and my mother
    Said we'd learn to love each other
    And now I'm asking, Golde
    Do you love me?
  • Golde: I'm your wife!
  • Tevye: I know...
    But do you love me?
  • Golde: Do I love him?
    For twenty-five years I've lived with him
    Fought with him, starved with him
    Twenty-five years my bed is his
    If that's not love, what is?
  • Tevye: Then you love me?
  • Golde: I suppose I do
  • Tevye: And I suppose I love you too
  • Both: It doesn't change a thing
    But even so
    After twenty-five years
    It's nice to know

16 years

Jun. 15th, 2012 09:25 am
ciroccoj: (alive at five)
Chris writes: "This Friday marks 16 years of wedded..bliss...or drunken stupor, I'm not sure. As my lovely wife says 'Oh my god, has it been 16 years?' Humour keeps us together, which is to say we love to mock and laugh at each other."

He's done

Jun. 10th, 2012 07:00 pm
ciroccoj: (All Black Belts)
Sixteen Black Belt candidates: ten going for their 1st Dan, one for 2nd, one for 3rd, one for 4th, three for 5th.

  • 10:15: Warmup, oath
  • 10:30ish: Patterns
  • 11:30: Step-sparring
  • 11:50: Self-defence
  • 12:06: Free sparring
  • 12:24: Breaks
  • 1:04: Oral questions
  • 1:35: Feedback
  • 2:00ish: Belting :)

So, we have another black belt in the family. Congratulations to Chris :D :D :D

And wow, it's been a long time coming. We started this in the summer of 2007 ::checking:: Yup, five years ago, when the boys were seven and ten. Originally Chris and I were only going to go for the first few months, until the kids were confident and didn't need us there any more. Somewhere around yellow belt we realized we weren't leaving, and shortly after that, decided we really wanted to earn black belts.

We're all 1st Dans, now. And God help us, we're looking at going for 2nd Dan some day. Oy vey.

Happily, it's at least a year or so before you can even begin to think of testing for that. So we've got a while yet before we need to decide.

ciroccoj: (black belt tae kwon dos)
(Hopefully) last chance to use red-belt icon :)
ciroccoj: (black belt tae kwon dos)
Went well. Mostly. Justin wasn't there, as he was camping, and I was kinda glad about that. He gets so into it, and wants so much to win, that when he doesn't it's devastating to him. I walk around with a lump of dread in my stomach until his matches are over :(

  • By far the coolest thing ever in the tournament was Daniel's sparring, his first time as a black belt. He got silver. Not just silver, but a match that made us so incredibly proud I just can't even.

    So he starts, and it's going pretty well, and then I start to notice he's getting in there and blocking and scoring and the other kid has the reach on him but Daniel's just hanging in there, go go go go, and at one point he does this amazing double kick and from the black belt teens table I hear a "Whoa! Daniel!" from our star sparrers, and oh, wow, and the senior black belts are paying attention to a match that nobody expected would be this good...

    Halftime comes, he gets some advice from one of our senior black belts, and then he goes back and the second half is very very good, but not as spectacular as the first.

    And then the judges are gonna give their decision, and I'm so incredibly proud of Daniel because that's the best he's ever sparred but the other kid just got more points, and I prepare to tell Daniel that even though he lost he did really, really well, and then it's unanimous Blue, which is too bad because I thought it was pretty close so I hoped the judges wouldn't be unanimous and it would've been so nice to see even one Red flag but oh well --

    Wait. The ref just held up Daniel's hand. Was Daniel Blue?

    He was. He won!

    "You're kidding!" I blurt out, and then clap my hand over my mouth.

    Happily, Daniel didn't hear me. Some of the other black belts did, though, and laughed at my lack of maternal confidence.

    Daniel ended up losing the gold medal round, but holy crap. First time as a black belt, and he wins silver. Wow. Wow.

    Quite a few of the higher-ranking black belts came to talk to us afterwards, and to congratulate him. The common thread was, "I've never seen you do that well. That was excellent. Keep it up!" The head of our branch even pointed out how awesome he'd been to the first class back after the tournament. OMGsoproudofmykid.

  • Not as exciting )
ciroccoj: (cluelessness)
Don't ask me why, but I wanted to know where the word "Maya" came from (as in, the Mezoamerican culture). Google led me directly to:

I’ve surfed the web abit about the origin of the word maya, she was Mahamaya, the great Maya, of the hindus in India, but in Mexico, it seems the word origin is unknown to mainstream scholars, because they refuse to acknowledge what is really obvious when analyzed, she came from Atlan, the ancient mexican homeland “across the eastern ocean,” which clearly is not the u.s. southwest, but ancient Atlantis, across the Atlantic, in the shadow of the Atlas moutains, Atlantis which actually succumbed to the sea when all the other oceanports around the world went under too, when the Ice Age ended, not circa 9600 b.c., Plato had the date wrong, because the cities and naval warfare described in his story were clearly bronze age, trying to aggrandize the greek and egyptian histories.

With the ancient navigation method simply explained in article #2 at, the father of Maya, Atlas, made quite a name for himself, and his daughter apparently helped found the first culture across what Plato called the Western Ocean, in Mesoamerica, what today is known as the Olmec culture, greatly influenced later by orientals of the Shang dynasty who began to arrive in a big way when the Ice Age had ended, the evidence in much olmec statuary of many “races” of mariners who traded there, the clay bricks at Comacalco having many ancient languages etched into them, perhaps just practice for young students, confirming global navigation long before the darwinists will admit, even as the evidence for it is overwhelming.

Am I being obtuse, or is this really, really hard to parse? Apparently it's supposed to be about Young Earth creationism. IMHO it reads more like a stream-of-consciousness peyote revelation :/
ciroccoj: (Default)
...that I can't wait for the week to begin, so I can relax.

  • Thursday Justin was sick at home so none of my regular Thursday stuff got done and Friday Daniel was home with a PA Day, and I drove around town to meet with a criminal lawyer (mentoring), picking up our tickets to see the Dalai Lama (got the wrong directions so went to three different places), and picking up beets (?) because Chris had read that consuming beets before a race helps speed you up. Sure, OK, I picked up beets. Got home and made dinner, beet salad, and munchies for Sunday's choir concert, and wished Chris was home to help out, in view of the super-busy weekend we were about to experience. Would've felt hard done by about this except that Chris wasn't there because he was at the visitation for the wife of a colleague, who just died. In her mid-fifties. Kinda puts it all in perspective :/

  • Saturday got up and went to see the Dalai Lama at the Civic Centre. Um. Wow.

  • Then Chris's black belt mock physical. Six minutes of skipping, 250 push-ups in ten minutes, 250 sit-ups in ten minutes. Followed by a 3.2K run, in less than 18 minutes. He does it all, except for the full set of push-ups because he recently injured his shoulder. It also looked like he'd gone slightly over the 18 minute time, until we realized he'd actually run 9 laps, not 8.

    Also: I am so, so, so glad it's not my black belt test this time.

  • Straight from Chris's physical to choir rehearsal, for Sunday's Carmina Burana concert.

    Lovely, lovely lovely parenting moment: I had not expected any of my family to go to the concert. Then Daniel said something like, "So I cancelled my D & D game on Sunday--"

    "What? Why?"

    ::blink:: "Um. Because it's right at the same time as your concert?"

    "Oh. Did you want to go? I didn't think any of you would be interested."

    ::baffled look:: "Well of course! It's Carmina Burana!"

    Justin chimes in. "I want to go too!"

  • Drove Chris to black belt tutorial, then Kanata to drop off the last of Chris's tax stuff, then concert. Discover Youth tickets are half as expensive as I thought they were.

  • Concert time. The place is actually sold out, almost standing-room only. The performance is a bit of a marvellous Peak Experience blur, and we get an enthusiastic standing ovation. Kids declare it Awesome.

  • Back home. Collapse.

  • Pick self up from collapse and make dinner.

  • There's a house under all this mess, I'm sure. Must find, tomorrow.

November 2012

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