Monday, May 7, 2007

"Survival at a Price in an Iranian Prison"

I also recommend this story that I listened to during my run today. (Also downloaded from the NPR Story of the Day podcast.) There's a book excerpt at the story page.

Scott Simon is a brilliantly natural interviewer.

"Farmworker to Surgeon: Immigrant Lives Dream"

I enjoyed listening to this story during my run this today. (I downloaded it as part of the NPR Story of the Day podcast.)

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Habeas Schmabeas

This episode of This American Life deserved to win a 2006 Peabody Award. The Bush administration may have had good intentions in denying the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay habeas rights (and Geneva Conventions), but it seems pretty clear now that now they’re struggling to cover up some quite shameful mistakes. This mess could use plenty more of this kind of sunlight disinfectant.

Friday, May 4, 2007

The A's April

The Athletics Nation blog has an interesting summary of the Oakland A's April. I wonder if any other team has had as many injuries to key players; Yankees and Jays fans may be feeling sorry for themselves, but I think the A's have it worse.

I "watched" the last two games against the Red Sox--on TiVo after the kids were all in bed. The A's played quite well in both. I almost woke up the kids groaning on the play where Piazza was injured.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Henry's catchphrase

I wrote the following in an email to a friend, and thought it worth posting...

Henry can say "Uh oh!" (when he's in the mood), but while he babbles almost constantly, it's almost always the same thing: "wha-jeez-dyatch" (or something like that). He makes it work for him; we've thought he was saying "What is that?" and "Me touch that." I'm told the crossing guard at Elleda's & Gabe's preschool was convinced he said "What's up Dennis?" He reminds me of Elleda, who babbled past the age of two, and then skipped the one and two word stages and switched very quickly to complex sentences.

Henry is starting to understand too. He's very happy to bring things to Mommy, Daddy, Elleda or Gabe. And he certainly understands what items belong to which of us--he'll decide to bring Elleda her teddy bear, or Gabe his blanket, or Claire her shoe. (He very proudly brought me one shoe yesterday as we were getting ready to go out to the park.)

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

A Weekend Surprise

Not a weekend goes by where--after spending some sustained "quality time" with the kids--I'm not surprised by something they do. This last weekend the surprise that stands out in my memory occurred Friday evening, when Claire and I took the kids to the park. Elleda chose to bring the tricycle with extra wide wheels. It's very stable and so she feels confident going quite fast. Gabe wanted his "Razor" (scooter--more on that below), and I took one too so I could keep up. Elleda and Gabe had a couple races, and Elleda kept winning. (It didn't hurt that she kept giving herself a head-start before yelling "Go!") Gabe was getting frustrated, and Elleda noticed. So she let Gabe get a head-start and held herself back and let Gabe win, and called him the champion. I thought that was very generous (and shrewd), especially for a little girl who has a few months to go yet before she's five (and who also doesn't like to lose).

I've seen Elleda be that giving with Gabe before, and I've been a little concerned that she does it only to appease him (and prevent a row). But this time I felt she genuinely wanted to make him feel better, and realized that was more important to her than winning.

Sunday evening we all went "around the loop". Claire pushed Henry in his little "coupe-car", Elleda rode her two-wheeler (with training wheels), I grabbed a scooter (again) and Gabe got started on his bike (with no training wheels). (I think Claire talked them into riding their bikes. Gabe was a little reluctant and asked for his training wheels. We, of course, reminded him that he doesn't need them anymore.) Claire got Gabe started and he went about 10 feet (with me right behind trying to be ready) before stopping so suddenly that I bumped into him a little and couldn't catch him in my surprise. He fell to the side but was fine. But that was enough with his bike. Claire and I tried to talk him back on, but his mind was made up. Claire, Henry and Elleda kept going, and (after trying in vain to get him to jump on his bike and catch up) we went through the back gate and returned his bike to the garage and grabbed a scooter for him. There's no sense forcing Gabe--not that I could anyway--and we have to remember that he is only three. Then we took a short-cut through the neighborhood and caught up with the rest halfway around. We had a pleasant time finishing the loop. Elleda was quite confident on her bike.

Since I haven't posted in a while, I should write something about Henry. He's a happy little guy, who especially loves it when his brother and sister play with him. (They're both very good with him.) He doesn't walk around like he's expecting to fall anymore--he's practiced enough that he can do it without thinking. Now he's starting to run a little bit.

Aside from drippy noses, they've all been quite healthy for a good stretch now. I hope we can keep that going through the summer.