Another thing that Emma likes to say now is "I want..." What she wants can vary quite a bit. It can be "I want cracker," which she said repeatedly last Sunday morning. She did not stop until she got a graham cracker for a snack. She often fills in other foods in this sentence when she is hungry. She also says "I want Mommy" or "I want Daddy." Usually she wants the parent who is not currently holding her or with her.
A third expression that Emma says with some degree of frequency is "Oh no!" She says this when things fall on the floor, or when she drops food on the floor from the dinner table. She also likes to say "oh no" when she sees something covered with snow, such as the car when we go out to go to day care. She also hates having snow on her shoes, or anyone else's shoes. So she will say "oh no" if there is snow on my shows when I come inside. She will then try to brush the snow off. She did this while we were walking around the grocery store this evening, much to the amusement of others.
It has been really interesting seeing how Emma has begun to put words together into sentences. I just continue to be amazed at how much her vocabulary has grown in recent months.
And here is an additional bonus Christmas video, Bing Crosby and David Bowie singing "Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy" from Bing Crosby's 1977 Christmas TV special.
I also managed to get a couple of packages sent. One of them was a Christmas present for one of Mel's friends in Cedar Rapids. The other was a birthday present for Mel's friend who lives in Ohio. Her birthday is on New Year's Eve. We haven't sent her Christmas present yet, but plan on sending it tomorrow. If she doesn't get it by Christmas, she should at least get it by Friday.
From the weather reports I heard yesterday, we got around six inches of light, fluffy snow. I would have used the snow blower to clear off the driveway, but it is not working. So I ended up shoveling. Emma came out to help. We thought she would enjoy playing in the snow, but when I stood her up in the snow in the yard, she fell back onto her behind and started whining. Apparently playing in the snow is not Emma's idea of a good time. At least it wasn't today.
Today I got a new spark plug for the snow blower. Hopefully that will help it to start. I was working on getting the cover off so I could install it, but the screws are a little tight and it's just too cold to spend much time working on it right now.
And in another bit of good news for the Franken campaign, the state Supreme Court ruled that improperly rejected absentee ballots should be counted as part of the recount. That seems like a nobrainer to me. If the absentee ballots were rejected without a legally valid reason to disqualify them, why shouldn't they be counted? Of course Norm Coleman saw it differently, indicating that these people's votes should not count, through absolutely no fault of their own, unless a lawsuit after the recount is completed says that they should. I would expect this from him. He had a modest lead and these ballots, while they could help him, could also hurt him. With the status quo, he knows where he stands, but these ballots could change everything.
I am all but certain that whatever the results of the recount are now, this race will still not be decided. Whoever loses, especially if it is Norm Coleman, will be taking this to court. Hopefully any legal challenges can be resolved quickly before the governor can just appoint someone to the seat because it would be vacant if not filled by the beginning of the next legislative session.
Oh, and apparently when you vote for Al Franken and write in Lizard People for the same race, that is considered an overvote.
Here's one more video. This time it shows the actual attack on the president, although it is spliced together with some other video.
the unstoppable epic surge from GazetteOnline.com on Vimeo.
Embedding of the video on YouTube has been disabled, but you can view it if you follow this link.
Emma's day didn't seem to go better at daycare. When Mel picked her up, she learned that Emma had gotten in trouble during the day. Apparently she and another child were fighting over a toy or something and Emma shoved the other kid, leaving a scratch mark on him or her. She got a talking to at daycare, and then again when she got home. I hope she is better behaved today.
I thought that some of the captions on screen were particularly funny, such as these two:
GOV. PALIN APPARENTLY OBLIVIOUS TO TURKEY CARNAGE OVER HER SHOULDERAlso, the irony about the question about state programs being "on the chopping block" made me chuckle.
TURKEYS DIE AS GOVERNOR PALIN TAKES QUESTIONS FROM MEDIA
After shopping at IKEA, we headed over to the Mall of America. We mostly intended on just walking around and browsing a bit, but while we were wandering through the Disney Store, we found something to get Emma for Christmas. I carried that item around the store, trying to keep it hidden from Emma. Mel also found something that we could get one of our nephews for Christmas, and we also got a present for our niece. Since almost everything in the store is on sale for 25% off all week, we got some good deals.
Last night I put up the Christmas tree in the living room at home. Currently we are not intending on decorating it until we return from Mel's parents' house Thanksgiving weekend, but we decided it would be easier to just get it put up when we have the time.
While the movie was good, the primary reason we went to the museum was to see the CSI: The Experience exhibit. It was really cool! Before entering the exhibit we were each handed a clipboard with a piece of paper on it. The paper told us which of the three cases we would be investigating while viewing the exhibit. Our assignment was to investigate crime scene number three, "No Bones About It." We started by viewing a crime scene which consisted of the skeletal remains of someone who appeared to have been shot in the head and left in the desert. We had to look at the trace evidence in the lab as well as the firearms evidence. In the photo here, Mel is attempting to determine the caliber of bullet that was in the victim's head. Next we compared the teeth from the victim's remains to the dental records of some missing people and compared the mitochondrial DNA of some dog hair found at the scene with that of dogs owned by people who knew the victim. After that we listened to the medical examiner's report. Finally, we put all of our evidence together and learned who the murder was. It would be neat to go back and try one of the other two cases that they have there.
In addition to those free items, we have wanted to get rid of a couple of our spare bicycles. Since inheriting my dad's Cannondale bike a few years ago, Mel has been riding my old bike, a Univega Modo Vivere. She has ridden it on two RAGBRAIs, but it is a bit too big for her. Also, she would rather have a recumbent bike to ride. Mel also has a Schwinn Frontier mountain bike that she doesn't ride anymore either. We thought about trading in the Univega at a bike shop in town to help with the purchase of a recumbent, but they do not have Univega in their database of bikes they will take, so I have listed both of them for sale on Craigslist. I have never used that before, so hopefully we get some interest in the bikes. I also hope I am asking for reasonable amounts for the two bikes. I suppose if someone is interested and I am asking too much, they will offer a lower amount. That would be ok.
Before I get to work this morning, I just want to say that IT IS SNOWING! I don't think it is supposed to accumulate at all since the ground is still fairly warm, but considering that we had temperatures in the seventies earlier in the week, it is a nice change to see snow.
In the meantime. Please enjoy the song "Obama Be Thy Name" by Kenyan artist Makadem.
Having only recently moved to this neighborhood, we had no idea what to expect for trick-or-treating, so we prepared by having about 250 pieces of candy available to hand out. We were not sure what time kids would start to come around either. Every community in which we lived in Iowa had set trick-or-treating hours. That is not the case here. The first trick-or-treaters arrived around 6:15. Things really picked up after 7:00, and by 8:00, there were few kids coming by, although we did hand out candy until about 8:45. I lost count, but I would guess we had about 40 to 50 kids come by. We do have quite a bit of candy left over.
Today Mel and I did some yard work, picking up leaves and mowing the lawn, while Emma took her afternoon nap. We ended up filling thirteen 39-gallon bags with leaves that had been chopped up in the leaf blower/vacuum. We also got rid of a pickup truck load of brush. We found that the city's compost drop off location is not too far from our house, which is good since it took us two trips to get everything there. Our back yard now looks much better, and the patio is suitable for use now. We will probably still have some leaves falling in our yard from our neighbor's tree, but I do not know if it will be enough that we will have to do anything about it.
Tonight I roamed throughout the house setting all of the clocks back an hour in preparation for the return of standard time tonight. We have so many clocks in the house. Besides the actual clocks, it seems like every other electronic device in the house also has a clock that needed to be changed. I ended up setting back twenty clocks tonight. I just hope I did not miss any.
Incidentally, Stephen's brother Alec has spoken out on why we should replace Norm Coleman with Al Franken in the Senate.
It is cute how Victoria Jackson concludes the ad by rooting for the Vikings. Sorry, but this won't convert me to a Norm Coleman follower. I will definitely be casting my vote for Al Franken on Tuesday!
This morning she woke up a little after 3:00! After holding her for about half an hour again, I just put her back in bed. Mel decided we should leave the hall light on and her door cracked open. We returned to bed, and while Emma did whine for a short time, she eventually went back to sleep.
Hopefully she gets over this soon. I don't know how I would handle it if she does this once standard time resumes in a little over a week. At the rate she's been going, she could be getting up at 2:00 or 3:00!
Next, is a clip from Sesame Street from 1978 featuring C-3PO and R2-D2. I don't think I even knew that they appeared on Sesame Street, or if I did, I have absolutely no recollection of it. In this clip, R2-D2 has apparently fallen in love.
This did remind me though of something that happened at the last school I taught at. I noticed that several students were wearing T-shirts with the letters WTF emblazoned on them in school. I believe there was also something relating to the school mascot on the shirts as well. Apparently, someone had convinced the school administrators to approve such a shirt, claiming that the letters stood for something completely different. Eventually the administration did catch on however.
And here is a photo Obama with the of the questionable "Obama flag."
After picking up Emma from daycare, we were going to drive to Roseville to go to dinner at Romano's Macaroni Grill. We had fastened Emma into her car seat when we realized that she needed a diaper change. So we stopped at home first to do that and we discovered that Emma wasn't feeling all too great, so we decided to stay home for dinner. We did pick up food from Green Mill in Hastings, since it was much closer and it was the other restaurant I had considered going to for my dinner. The food was good.
After going to bed, my birthday made a turn for the worse. I'd had a pain in my stomach since dinner, but I thought I was just still hungry. Well it turned out that I was sick. I think I may have picked up something from Emma that she got from day care. Not getting much sleep last night, I ended up using some sick time today and getting sleep. I am feeling a bit better right now, but I am not back to 100%.
Mel took today off from work since she hasn't had a day off, except for weekends and days she or Emma was sick, since July. I am taking the afternoon off, and we plan on catching a movie. Tonight we plan on going out to dinner. I am not sure where we will go yet, but I think maybe we will go to Green Mill.
Oh, and I just got an email from my friend Martha who reminded me that my age is now a perfect square! Excellent!
My sister Rebecca wanted a pumpkin to carve for Halloween, so yesterday afternoon she came over and we all headed back to the apple orchard and pumpkin farm that Mel, Emma, and I went to a few weeks ago. Rebecca managed to find two pumpkins.
We returned to our house and had dinner. After dinner, and after putting Emma to bed, the three of us carved up our pumpkins into Jack-O-Lanterns. Below you can see the results of our efforts.
Finally, after making the Jack-O-Lanterns, I decided to try my hand at toasting the seeds from the pumpkins. I found an instructional video online which was quite helpful in the creation of the seasonal treat.
Anyway, today I am going to write about another of our neighbors. The neighbors who live next door to us on one side of the house have eight little yappy dogs that run around in their back yard being very noisy. In the few instances when we have had visitors and showed them our new house, it was difficult to show them our back yard because of the loud barking of the neighbor's dogs. I really hope that these dogs do not prevent us from enjoying our property to its fullest extent.
Before moving here, I had checked out the city's website and I had read that no more than a total of five cats and dogs may be kept at a residence. It wouldn't be very neighborly of me though to call the city on our new neighbors, especially since we only recently moved here. I guess it isn't very neighborly of me to complain about my neighbors on the Internet with relative anonymity either through. Besides, that may make it obvious who made the call, and we don't need to start out on the wrong foot with the neighbors.
I have met one of the owners of these dogs, and he seemed like a decent person. While I may not care for the McCain-Palin and Norm Coleman signs in his front yard nor the Nobama T-shirt he was wearing while mowing the lawn, I haven't let political difference ever keep me from getting along with someone.
In a somewhat related story, John McCain has stated over and over again that he doesn't "care about a washed-up terrorist," referring to Bill Ayers, however his campaign for president sure does. People in Minnesota and Wisconsin, as well as other places, have been receiving automated phone calls from the McCain campaign warning them of the "association" between Obama and Ayers. Yes, they served on a board together, as did a lot of other people, including notable conservatives. But Ayers has absolutely nothing to do with Obama's campaign for president. I really do not see what the big deal is with this issue. Anyway, if McCain doesn't want to make an issue of this, maybe he should put the smack down on his campaign staff!
Frankly I don't care if someone can't identify a photo of a Supreme Court justice. I doubt I could identify them all from their photos. Hell, they don't even let cameras into the courtroom! And while the first set of questions are things all American citizens should know, I do not think that lacking this knowledge automatically means that a person's vote will be completely uninformed, although I admit that some people will vote with a lack of any real knowledge of the candidates. This applies to all people though, not just the young people singled out in this piece. Maybe John Stossel should do a piece next about people whose heads are filled with erroneous information about the candidates for president, such as their religion and country of origin.
I have to admit that this video did remind me of another song Justin Timberlake sang about something in a box.
UPDATE: The video above appears to no longer be available. Perhaps the connection to the second video I linked to made it unsuitable to be on Obama's YouTube site.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Someone has reposted the Vote In the Box video, so the video player above should work once again.
While McCain tried to attack Obama on his "associations" during the debate, I felt that Obama's reply, explaining them, was very good. Hopefully Obama made this a non-issue for the remainder of the campaign, although I doubt that will be the case.
I found McCain's reaction to Obama saying that "Joe the Plumber" would pay zero fines if he did not provide health insurance for his employees to be priceless.
I think McCain has some good ideas, not enough to get me to vote for him though, but he also expressed an idea that I found a bit irritating. At about an hour and eighteen minutes in the debate, while discussing education and how crappy American schools are doing at educating children, in his opinion anyway, McCain said, "We need to encourage programs such as Teach for America and Troops to Teachers where people, after having served in the military, can go right to teaching and not have to take these examinations which -- or have the certification that some are required in some states." So, McCain's plan to improve education is to hire teachers who are not certified in the areas in which they will be teaching. I am sure these programs have done some good, but to think someone can be a good teacher simply because he or she served in the military is ludicrous!
I suppose the reason for his calling attention to the stopping of the attack ads might be due to the recent publicity that one of Coleman's ads attacking DFL opponent Al Franken used a story Franken was telling about Paul Wellstone to make Franken look angry.
This past weekend, we found ourselves back in Cedar Rapids. A former coworker of Mel's was getting married. Their wedding had originally been scheduled for June 14 at Saint Patrick's Catholic Church in Cedar Rapids. As you may remember, that was at the height of this past summer's record-setting flooding in Cedar Rapids. The wedding ceremony had to be postponed. They actually got married on that date, in a very small ceremony, so we actually attended a blessing of their marriage. It had to be held at a different church, since Saint Pat's was damaged in the floods and won't be ready for quite some time yet.
The ceremony was nice, and not too long. We also had fun at the reception, although I managed to eat way too much. And because we got to sleep late the night before since Emma refused to go to sleep at a reasonable hour, we were tired and therefore left the reception at 8:30 to retire to our room.
Emma stayed at my mother's house for the weekend, and both my mom and Emma seemed to have a lot of fun.
She goes on to say that electing Barack Obama as president would be similar to us doing something such as hiring the Japanese president (Do they even have a president?) to be our president when WE (the United States) bombed Pearl Harbor! This woman should probably brush up on her history, as well as a little geography before she decides to show her ignorance before the videographer's camera.
Oh, and I like how she tries to get the dog to drink her beer.
The first episode basically just set up the premise for the series, which I wrote about in the previous paragraph. In the second episode, Luther finds out that his daughter, Lacresha, is going to have a party at his house. He learns this when his son, Luther Jr., snitches on his sister. Once Luuther learns of the party, he is going to have Lacresha un-invite everyone, but he relents and decides to let her go ahead with the party. Of course, Luther cancels his plans to be out of town so he can be at home to supervise. Luther discovers that the party seems kind of lame, so he tries to liven things up by playing some of his own music, much to Lacresha's embarrassment. None of the guests seem to care for the music, except for one boy who eventually gets out and dances to tunes such as the song "I Wanna Rock" from his solo album I Got S**t On My Mind. He then ends the party, causing everyone to leave earlier than Lacresha would have wanted. Later on in the episode, he comes home to find Lacresha and her "boyfriend," as well as another couple, in the hot tub. He decided that he should invite the boyfriend to a family get together at which Lacresha's relatives grill him about his intentions toward Lacresha.
In the third episode, Luther thinks that his 15-year-old son, Luther Jr., does not know how to talk to girls. So he begins by calling up a woman he knows on the phone then having Luther Jr. talk to her. That does not go well. So next, Luther takes his son to a bowling alley where he really finds out that Luther Jr. has no clue about talking to girls. It was at this point when Luther comes up with a plan. He has Luther Jr. carry one of the walkie-talkies his security guards use, wearing an earpiece. Luther can then give his son advice as to what to say from a distance. They go to Gameworks to try out the plan. Luther gets caught early on when one of the girls Luther Jr. is talking to asks why the guy in red, who Luther Jr. has identified as his dad, has a walkie-talkie. Later on, Luther Jr. talks to a couple of girls playing basketball, and does a bit better. Finally, Luther Jr. goes to a table with a couple of girls and talks to them, abandoning the script that his father gave him. He does well nonetheless, and even gets their phone numbers. Luther then tells his son that he has passed. All of this seemed to have the effect of boosting Luther Jr.'s confidence in talking with girls. At the end of the episode, Luther Jr. is outside playing with a couple of friends when he sees a couple of girls approaching walking a dog. He ends up going up to them and striking up a conversation.
Luther Campbell seems to be doing a fairly decent job of raising his kids, despite the fact that he seems to employ a bit of a double standard in their relationships. In one of the episodes, I do not remember which, Luther's fiancée finds a porn video in Luther Jr.'s room. When Luther discusses this with his son, and the son tries to use the excuse that it is what Luther does for a living, Luther comes back with the comment that what he produces is for adults, not for children, and his son can view these types of materials when he is older, but not now. Luther does separate his business life from his home life. His house is not full of strippers pole dancing.
So, while Luke's Parental Advisory is definitely not a TV show that is going to have any major cultural impact, I have found the first three episodes to be somewhat entertaining, and I will probably continue to watch it.