Friday Four

Friday, August 03, 2012

1. Last week, I decided that Baby Van Horn is "officially" walking. I'd thought about holding out until walking was her preferred mode of transport, but she crossed that line some time yesterday or the day before. What convinced me that she was beyond "cruising"? Seeing her walk several feet alone and successfully reach her destination. She still trips easily, but is becoming steadier and more confident by the day.

Seeing her develop has been fascinating. Each day brings some improvement, usually incremental. But occasionally, some new behavior really makes an impression. For example, a day or so after I "declared" her to be a walker, she started carrying around a new favorite toy of hers (pictured at right) that she had been pushing around. The day before yesterday, she started using the music feature of the same toy to get Momma and me to sing "Old McDonald" to her. She waves her arm a little like she's a conductor and does a cute little dance once we get going.

2. We're visiting an island off the coast of Maine with Mrs. Van Horn's parents. Below is the current view from where I'm sitting. I'm enjoying the feeling of solitude that has rolled in with this early morning fog, but the place is gorgeous without it.

3. Flip a coin? I don't recall where or when I first learned about this method of making up one's mind when two alternatives look equally appealing.

In any event, a few years ago, a grad student in my lab was at an impasse about which fellowship offer she should take. I told her to try this technique. She found my advice so helpful that she thanked me a few days later for telling her about it.

4. With the spectre of Palladium -- I mean "secure" UEFI booting -- looming over most commercially-available computers, I'm glad to see that Dell will be offering Linux laptops again.

-- CAV


Dismuke said...

You know, if you were an enlightened and Progressive parent, you would do things differently.

For example, when she walks, you would say to her in stern tone: "You didn't do that. You didn't walk on your own. If it hadn't been for your mother and me feeding you and changing your diapers.......and if it hadn't been for the roads and bridges the government built that were used to bring that food and those diapers to you....... You think it is special that you can now walk - let me tell you something, there are lots of kids out there who can walk."

And singing "Old MacDonald"??? Seriously??? That is what kids in flyover country sing - kids whose parents drink the sort of coffee served in truck stops and gas stations. A backwards bumpkin farmer who probably owns a gun - that's not a good role model. Now, if it was an ORGANIC farmer who only sold his goods to LOCAL markets, that would be different. That would make a good role model. But that "Old MacDonald" song is particularly problematic. It is insensitive, bigoted and hateful. For example, the lyric about Old MacDonald having a pig that oink oinks here and oink oinks there. Glorifying a pig is insensitive and offensive to Islamic sensibilities.

A truly Progressive parent would sing songs that glorify the Earth and communitarian ideals. And one song in particular is especially popular: "Barack Hussein Obama MMM MMM MMM."

Gus Van Horn said...

This is hilarious, although not far from the vibe I got from an instructor in a parenting class/organized play date I and my daughter were once enrolled in. I changed to a different instructor after she started injecting her left-wing politics into the class. Fortunately, this has been the only time so far, even here in Massachusetts.

Anonymous said...

"Train up a child in the way that he should go, and when he is old, he shall not depart from it."

Looks like the Lefties are reading the Bible now. It's never too early to start the political indoctrination, is it?

c. andrew

PS., that's not aimed at you Dismuke but at the mindset you're parodying and at the play date dominatrix Gus was referring too.

PPS. Hmm, maybe it's not a parody, then.

Gus Van Horn said...


That would be no surprise: I passed some self-parody of a car plastered with bumper stickers. Most were in the imperative (e.g., Listen to children. Eat local. Buy organic.)