Speaking of roads…

Let’s see if this one pisses anyone else off.

We live less than two blocks from the neighborhood big park. There is still quite a bit of construction going on closer to the river, so there are many large trucks passing by during the day. A few of them are going the speed limit (35 mph). Many are going 5 to 10 miles per hour over the speed limit. Some, I suspect, are going 5 to 10 miles per hour over the speed limit of light.

We rarely take the kids to the park, as it involves crossing Riverplace Blvd. Instead, we put up a “Slow — children at play” sign at the end of the cul-de-sac, and tell the kids to never approach that zone.

Last week, when the weather turned nice for the first time in a few weeks, it was up, the kids were riding trikes and running and having a blast, when a nice fellow pulled in to ask where we got the sign, and to relate this story to us:

They called the Travis County sheriff’s department, and asked how to get a speed bump or speed hump put in. The answer?

“We can’t do that until there has been a death.”

My question is, “Does that death have to be related in some way to an engine, or can we get the brain-dead policy-based decision-makers out here to meet with the neighborhood parents armed with thousands of pounds of diapers, many with the diaper genie still wrapped around them?”

Hopefully I’ll be able to verify this claim at the next homeowners association meeting.

Nature has it’s place

and that place is outside. Seriously, anything with more than three legs had better be pretty damn cute before it thinks about crawling in here.

Why should that matter? I was driving Grace down to Grandma Albertson’s, and that last stretch of MOPAC between 290 and William Cannon is almost complete. It used to be trees, as recently as six months ago. Trees and presumably small furry woodland creatures. And spiders. And snakes, and scorpions, and iguanas, and geckos, and gnats, and mosquitos, and leeches, and ticks, and who knows what else.

Oh, yes. I did claim to have a point, didn’t I?

My point is that all that crap was outside. Where it belonged. Where do you think all those things went to live now?

I’m damn glad I don’t live within a mile radius of that area. I’d have our exterminator on speed-dial.


Oh, and at least the fsck-heads that were appointed changed their minds for the fifth time and decided not to make that little stretch a toll road, ten years after the bonds to pay for it were approved and sold. But wait! There’s time for them to change their minds five or six more times before it opens, and countless times after it opens.

Let’s just rename that little bit of road to “Whimsi-toll Road”, and watch everyone veer around it (unless they’re from out of town, on their first trip to Austin).

It’s not easy to get good debate about the evolution/creation debate

Except perhaps in the interesting people mailing list.

From John S. Quarterman

This isn’t something that many of us particularly want to do; science isn’t about attacking religion; it is about science. However, this isn’t science; it is politics. What creationists believe and teach in their own homes and churches is their affair. But when they interject their dogma into public school systems as fact, they expose it for critical examination, not to mention ridicule.

I love being a daddy

It sounds trite, but it holds true.

In my previous life, I was pretty much a stickler — oh, OK. I was an asshole. If you didn’t do things right by the tenth try or so, you were written off as a lost cause.

I even had an evil twin. He’s the guy who would always say what he thought, no matter how offensive. By most accounts, he’s been in remission since the first sonogram. Then, there is Austin traffic… Especially through westlake. Ewww.

What is the difference, really?

The Lemon helps us understand the true difference between Democrat and Republican.

I’ve also always been partial to Dave Barry’s take on it (I’m paraphrasing here):

Imagine you get a flat tire one night. The Republican won’t stop, because they don’t want to be late for ugly pants night down at the club. The Democrat will stop, but will accidentally set your car on fire.

Fun at the ice bats

So, we took Grace to her first hockey game. She wanted popcorn and cotton candy — some of which she even shared with Cy. By the time she had had enough, her fingers were more than modestly sticky.

But she wanted some more popcorn. One bite, and the look on her face demonstrated that she realized the cross-contamination problem.

Then, she got that sly look on her face, and I knew she had thought of a silly solution: to simply dip her mouth directly into the popcorn (as I was holding it), thereby bypassing the sugary fingers.

Also, when the game first began, she said “Miss Jody says that we don’t play with sticks.”

I’ve said it before, but I can’t repeat it too often: of all the things I never expected of being a daddy, her sense of humor is the most pleasantly surprising element.

There was also some confusion at the end of the “Rudy’s Barberque Sauce Drinking Contest” when the buzzer went off, but it was quickly cleared up when we realized that none of the contestants were miked.

My best moment of parenting ever.

So we took G to the coast for the first time.Dsc01552

We packed up all we needed from the condo to go to the beach itself, and headed on down en masse.

Once we got over the boardwalk over the dunes, Grace went racing ahead of us. Way ahead of us.

Once I realized what was happening, I dropped (carefully) what I was carrying, and ran to catch up with her.

Before I caught up, a wave took her and knocked her down. Right behind it, another wave rolled her over and over. Right then, I caught up with her. She was scared, and getting ready to cry — not cry, wail. No, not wail, squall.
But I had an instant in which to recover the entire day, and the entire trip, and all coastal trips thereafter. What did I come up with? Inspiration struck:

Ocean! You’re getting a time-out!

At that instant, the undertow from both waves pulled back, going out to sea.

I was rewarded many times, first with giggles, then ongoing with her sticking nearby and behaving the rest of the day, and by her ongoing love of swimming and the ocean.

Some of my best memories with Grace are at the coast, and this is merely the first of many!