Monday, March 28, 2005

While We Were At The College ...

... I saw this, and had to share.


Emma really likes her new rollerblades.

Smudge isn't so sure about them.

We went across Snelling to Macalester College to try them out.

Emma decides to race Kristi.

I think Emma won.

Still going. We think she'll be back by Tuesday or Wednesday.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Spring Around the Corner

You know spring is coming when the Marshall Fields (formerly Dayton's) Flower Show is happening on the 8th floor of the downtown Minnapolis store. This was the 42nd annual show.

Here's the line waiting to get in.

It was quite a spread, as always. This year's theme: "Music in the Garden".

A portion of the show was devoted to using cacti to portray an underwater scene.

The above-water portions were darned colorful.

A good time was had by all (Emma and her friend Meghan).

Monday, March 21, 2005

Also New This Week ...

... Smudge no longer has testicles.

I'm Such A Slacker

Yes, I know it. You don't need to remind me of it.

Why haven't I been blogging much? I blame ...

The Quest For Shoes

Kristi's training is going swimmingly. She's now fully qualified to do whole blood donations -- which is funny, because (a) she wasn't hired to do whole blood donations, and (b) now that she's fully trained to do whole blood donations, she won't be allowed to pick up extra shifts doing whole blood donations.

(Having done a week or so of drawing whole blood, she now starts training for aphoresis -- the job she was hired for. When she finishes that training, she'll be turned loose on the unsuspecting citizens of Saint Paul.)

While doing her shifts in whole blood, she made an unpleasant discovery: standing for 8 hours hurts. Surprisingly, it doesn't hurt her feet (it would leave mine in agony). No, it hurt her lower back.

The solution, as she saw it, was to get better shoes. Makes sense to me. So she's been exploring all of the holistic/vegan/metaphysically-correct (and expensive) options like earth shoes, Masai Barefoot Technology (MBT), etc. -- along with the more traditional options like Nursemates. We've spent far more time than you probably want to know about crawling uniform stores, shoe stores and websites looking for The Perfect Shoe. To complicate things, she wasn't sure if she wanted something nursey (i.e., white) that would work with scrubs, or something that would let her wear street clothes.

After checking every uniform store nearby, every specialized footwear store in the immediate vicinity, and every shoe store at the Mall of America (of which, I have to say, there are a fair number), including Nordstroms, we came up empty. Well, sorta. I got myself a nice pair of clearance Rockports, which are waaaay comfortable. But for Kristi, nothing. They either don't have enough toe-room, or there isn't enough support, or the color is wrong, or they're not stain-resistant, or they're not in her size, or (in the case of earth shoes and MBTs) they're a combination of funny-feeling, prohibitively expensive, and dorky-looking.

So yesterday, with only a little daylight left, we lit out for the outlets at Albertville, about 30 minutes northwest of Minneapolis, and just a few miles down the road from Scooter's old house. We tried Clarks, Hushpuppies, Eccos, but no luck. Finally, with only a few minutes until closing, we found the Rockport outlet, and bingo! -- she found some black pump-like shoes that she thinks will work. And in the Reebok outlet next door, a new zip-up hooded sweatshirt for me (Kristi keeps appropriating mine).

Emma didn't accompany us to Albertville; she stayed at a friend's house. But she did do two runs through the Mall of America with us, and was a champion both times. Clearly she's fully recovered from the bug of two weeks ago.

Friday, March 11, 2005


One of Worth's regulars is going to be attending Hillsdale College in Michigan. He chose it in part because his mom liked the fact that it had been endorsed by the pantheon of conservative talk radio. I snorted my coffee.

Hillsdale started out as a rather progressive institution, admitting women and blacks before the Civil War. But after George Roche III became president of the college in 1971, the school chose to refuse federal funds rather than comply with civil rights legislation. And, you know, that's fine -- principles and all that. A private college can be whatever the heck it wants to be. And what Roche wanted was to run a Conservative School.

He also, it appears, wanted to maintain a 19-year affair with his daughter-in-law, wife of George Roche IV (and employee of the college) -- in the end driving her to a very public suicide in an on-campus gazebo.

Now, you'd think that sort of thing would end Roche's presidency -- and you'd be right. But Hillsdale didn't fire Roche over his two-decade affair with an employee and family member; no, they let him retire with his full, multi-million dollar benefit package.

You don't have to take my word for any of this. Nor need you take the word of anybody else on the left. Real conservatives were appalled; it was written about in the National Review, and it's easy to Google to find other conservatives who have written extensively about it.

These are the kind of conservative ideals this young man's mother has picked out for him. I hope she's not going to help him choose a wife, too.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

How Has YOUR Week Been?

Mine has been a bonding experience. Emma and I haven't, historically, spent as much time together as we should. Except for the week when Kristi went to California to say goodbye to her grandmother, I'm definitely the #2 caregiver in the family.

But Emma's been sick, and since Kristi's in training, it would have been very difficult for her to take time off from work. So I'm mostly playing stay-at-home dad.

It's been interesting. Emma has been banned from TV lately for disciplinary reasons, but our standard rule is that TV bans go out the window when there's a legitimate illness -- and she's been milking that for all it's worth. Yesterday morning, as I was in the kitchen feeding the cats, a voice drifted out of the living room: "Dad, how come mom won't buy me cable?"

I often wonder the same thing.

With Emma allowed to watch TV, I'm able to take breaks whenever it suits me. However, despite this reprieve from her television ban, there's still something Emma would rather do than watch the tube: listen to me read. I've read her the first Lemony Snicket book ("A Bad Beginning", recommended), and we've moved on to the second Harry Potter book. My throat is getting raw, which I hope is just from doing too many voices from the books. Hagrid is fun to do; so is Gilderoy Lockhart. Snape, not so much. Mr. Dursley is hardest on the throat, but he's gone quickly enough.

This afternoon Kristi got home at 2:30, which freed me up to go into the office for a while. And she doesn't start work tomorrow until the afternoon, which means I can work in the morning. Working from home is impossible -- at least, working on the important stuff.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Has It Really Been That Long?

Man, I've been slacking.

Well, work's been busy, and home's been busy (what with Kristi's new job), and this week has been doubly crazy because Emma's been home sick and I've stayed home with her. More tomorrow, most likely.

Still Life With Kitten