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My Stick-Eating Adventures

August 31, 2006 at 12:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

The Missus, Robbie and I ventured to the Nebraska State Fair last night. It wasn’t nearly as busy as I would have expected for such a beautiful evening. Then again, Wednesday night probably isn’t the most popular night to go. In any event, I was pleased overall with the experience. The Fair has done a good job, for the most part, of keeping the activity dense enough to keep visitors’ interest, but not so dense that you feel unpleasantly crammed in.

Robbie did a good job throughout the evening. Most of the time he just looked around, babbled, and drooled. Frankly, that’s what several of the other fairgoers were doing, too, so he fit right in.

I want to quickly note that I was able to track down a few of regular commenter Karin‘s photographs. Good work, Karin! I found three of her pieces: Spin, Glassware, and a portrait of a man. (After that I had to stop searching because I was going cross-eyed trying to find her name among all of the photographs.) If you go, see if you can track down her pieces.

And now my dining adventures. I mentioned previously that I wanted to eat at least three foods on a stick. Well, I did it, and although I enjoyed each food at the time, I thought for sure I was going to lose it all in the middle of the night. Too much grease makes Mr. Wilson a woozy boy.

Anyway, I began the evening with something a little adventurous: gator on a stick. It was served to me by a woman who was born amidst the turmoil of the Civil War, and who only leaves the deepest parts of the bayou to serve her fancy cuisine at state fairs, so I knew it had to be good. It was. The freshly-fried piece of meat was tender, juicy, and very delicious. It was lightly seasoned and tasted a little like chicken, but with a bit more flavor. Tasty stuff.

Next I went with a traditional corn dog. You can get a corn dog from pretty much any vendor at the fair, so I picked one that appeared to be keeping their product pretty fresh. It was the best corn dog I’ve ever eaten. Of course, it was also the only corn dog I’ve ever eaten, so that isn’t saying much. But I feel more complete for having finally tasted a State Fair staple.

Finally it was time for dessert. Even though I really wanted shaved ice, I knew I had to go for something on a stick. There was really no question in my mind what I had to go with: a fried Twinkie. The young man pulled a Twinkie on a stick out of a freezer, dipped it in batter, and fried it for a couple minutes. He pulled out the golden glob, coated it lightly with cinnamon, and handed it to me. I bit in and, lo and behold, it wasn’t half bad. In fact, it was pretty darn tasty. I would definitely try one again.

So there you have it, my foods-on-a-stick adventures. What’s your favorite food on a stick? Which foods on a stick have/will you sample at this year’s State Fair?

Stick It

August 30, 2006 at 5:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Last Friday I said I planned to eat at least three foods on a stick when I go to the State Fair this year. Well, the Wilsons are headed to the Fair tonight. I think I have at least two of my foods on a stick picked out—a corn dog and a Twinkie—but I can’t decide on a third. I could always just wing it when I get out there, but why pass up an opportunity to let you folks chip in? So there’s your assignment: pick me out a good food on a stick. Whaddaya say?

Awwwww!

August 29, 2006 at 12:45am By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Robbie and Daisy on the floor

About the Boy

August 28, 2006 at 12:35pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

I set a lofty goal for Robert this weekend: to sit up more or less by himself by his fourth month. Now, in all honesty I don’t expect him to reach that goal—his four month “birthday” is less than three weeks away—but the little squirt just keeps impressing us with some of his physical skills. He already sits up fairly well with just a little support, and he loves to stand. (In fact, standing is one tried-and-true method I use to halt certain kinds of fussiness.) But for all of his trunk and lower body strength, Robert still kind of has weenie arms. I guess he really takes after his mom and dad.

Probably the newest big change for Robbie is that he has really started taking to his pacifier. Previously he was pretty ambivalent about his pacifier. Now, however, he really seems to enjoy sucking and biting on it. Plus, it is turning out to be a great way to help hone his muscle control and understanding of cause and effect. Yesterday, for example, he managed to grab a loose pacifier and place it correctly in his mouth. Hopefully we’ll see more and more of that. As much as Robbie drools and enjoys biting on things, it seems apparent to me that he is in the early stages of teething. I haven’t noticed any impending tooth eruptions, but he definitely feels something going on.

This week we are going to try to up his intake of cereal. It makes mealtime more of a challenge for The Missus and me. I can tell that Daisy, though, is already excited that she will soon be on clean-up crew.

Three Games Down

August 28, 2006 at 12:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

My first three college soccer games of the season passed without incident this weekend. I did two games at Concordia on Saturday, and one at Wayne State yesterday. I managed to keep myself out of trouble all weekend, and since the weather was nice, I don’t feel nearly as tired and sore this morning as I could. Now if I could just get assigned to my first center…

Mourning Maynard

August 25, 2006 at 12:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

One of my favorite trumpeters, Maynard Ferguson, is dead at the age of 78. Maynard’s energetic, high-flying trumpet playing was extremely popular with my peers and me back in high school. I only caught his show live once, when he was 69, at a high school auditorium in Council Bluffs. Seeing a 69 year-old fat man perform with that kind of energy and enthusiasm was a lot of fun.

Just Call Me a Masochist

August 24, 2006 at 5:45pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Web developers don’t like Internet Explorer. It’s pretty much a rule; to be a hip web developer, you have to profess a hatred for IE. Some of the hatred is a bit irrational, but most of it is based on the fact that Internet Explorer is out-of-date software that should have disappeared three years ago.

So it was with a sense of masochism that I downloaded the new release candidate of IE7 today. (The phrase “release candidate” means that it is 99.5% finished, but that the developers will still go back and fix a few bugs here and there before declaring the product finalized.) A few minutes and several warnings from my anti-spyware and anti-virus software later, and IE7 was running.

The user interface is completely different from what users have come to expect from a web browser. I think it will confuse a lot of folks right off the bat. On the plus side, the IE crew fixed a ton of bugs related to how websites display. In my quick tests, Lincolnite, for example, displays pretty much as intended in IE7, whereas I have to feed IE6 a bunch of fixes to get the site to display passably.

I’ll keep trying IE7 over the next several days to see how it works out. Have any of you given IE7 a try? If you’re brave, you can download it yourself.

White Nationalists are People Too

August 23, 2006 at 12:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Did anybody else catch the 20/20 special last night on white nationalism in America? The portions I caught were remarkably even-handed. Almost too even-handed, in fact. The individuals they interviewed on camera were mostly well-spoken, clean-cut, normal people. Except they were unapologetic racists. I didn’t catch the entire show, but the parts I saw seemed like they would make for an excellent introduction into a discussion on journalistic ethics and the limits, if any, of “unbiased” reporting.

Rice is Hillarious

August 23, 2006 at 12:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Robbie has been sampling a little rice cereal lately. He really went to town on it yesterday. In fact, he thought it was hillarious. I don’t know why it was hillarious. Uncle Ben has never made me so much as chortle. But to Robbie it was the funniest thing since he tooted just a few minutes earlier.

You can learn a lot from a baby. For instance, did you know that rice cereal makes a great shampoo and exfoliant? It’s true. Robbie proved it by grabbing a handful of cereal from his mouth and smearing it through his hair and across his skin. I must say, his hair and skin look fantastic as a result.

Unfortunately, Robbie has been fighting a cold lately. It started in his sinuses and now it has worked its way to his lungs. But my little man is one tough brute. He gives a few quick hacks, spits out the loogey, and grins with pride. I think I like this kid.

Robbie still hasn’t rolled over, but I’m not concerned. I think he just skipped that developmental step. He already loves to try to sit up and stand, for example, and his neck is NFL lineman-strong.

And the babbling. Boy oh boy does he talk. He talks to people, he talks to Daisy, he talks to his toys. Heck, last night he talked to a lamp. It’s not (all) just random noise, either. He actually tries to communicate. He loves to banter back and forth with people. Ask him a question and he’ll give you an answer. He’s like our own little Magic 8 Ball, but cuter.

Now that I think about it, that could make a great way to fund Robbie’s college education. Who wouldn’t go to the Ask Robert booth at the State Fair? Hmm…

It All Makes Sense Now

August 22, 2006 at 12:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

The Sister-in-law is headed to UT-Austin for grad school this fall. She never really seemed like the Longhorn type, so I was a little curious how she ended up there. Now I know.

Noisy Summer Nights

August 22, 2006 at 2:28am By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

I took Robbie and Daisy for a walk around the neighborhood tonight. The walk itself wasn’t all that eventful, except that at times there was such a racket I could hardly hear myself think. But the noise wasn’t from traffic, or a bad garage band, or anything like that. Nope, it was from a combination of tree after tree filled with hundreds of birds, along with a chorus of cicadas in the background.

I used to hate that sound. It signaled summer’s waning days, and in my memories I associate the sound with having to go to bed early, while it was still partially light out, because I had to go to school the next day. I would lie there in bed unable to sleep, with that sound pounding on my ears.

Those were good days.

Tonight I dusted off dozens of happy flashbacks. And while Robbie looked around in sheer awe at the size of the world around him, I wondered: what sorts of fond memories will he have of beautiful summer days like this? I’m eager to make some of those memories with him.

Huh?

August 17, 2006 at 3:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

This Dreamweaver error threw me for a loop just now.

Error message with the text: Closing this window will cancel the file activity. Are you sure you want to cancel? OK / Cancel

The Language of Cry

August 17, 2006 at 12:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

I always used to wonder how in the heck parents knew what their infants wanted when they cried. I would hear parents say “oh, he’s hungry”, or “he’s just tired,” or “he’s working on a number two”. To all of you future parents out there I say this: you’ll figure it out. Seriously, don’t worry about it.

And don’t worry if other people think you don’t really know what your baby wants. They’re probably wrong. We have run into this problem a few times. I’ll pick on my parents as an example. A recent conversation between The Missus and my mom went a little like this:

Grandma: He has been a little fussy this afternoon.
The Missus: Is he hungry? That sounds like a hungry cry.
G: No, I don’t think so. He pushed the bottle away.
TM: He may still be hungry. Here, let me see.
G: No, see? [She puts the bottle in his mouth for half a second. Robbie doesn’t immediately take it.] He doesn’t want it.

This continued for a few minutes, with The Missus becoming ever more agitated while her baby cried in grandma’s arms. Eventually The Missus got Robbie, held a bottle in his mouth, and he took it. Over the next hour he downed a whopping nine ounces of formula, way more than he would normally eat in that period. Clearly he was, indeed, hungry.

Now, I’m not trying to put down my mom here. She knows she goofed. It’s not her fault she didn’t read Robbie’s crying correctly. I’m just passing on this anecdote to remind parents that although grandparents are a great resource and they know a lot about parenting, often maternal/paternal instincts are the best guide. You can’t spend that much time around your child without picking up on his unique behaviors and quirks. More often than not your best parenting coach is your own child.

Wazzup!

August 16, 2006 at 12:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Robert cracks me up sometimes. Among my favorite of his actions is his “wazzup!” face. He’ll often do it when he hasn’t seen me for a while and I enthusiastically say “Hi Robbie!” He’ll turn his head toward me, open his eyes really wide, stick his tongue waaaay out, and squeal, as if saying “Wazzzzzzup!” OK, that was a really weak description. But it’s cute. Really cute. Trust me. It is absolutely, positively impossible to retain any fragment of a bad mood after he does that.

Oso Tuesday

August 15, 2006 at 12:45pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

By the way, today is Oso Tuesday. I try to hit Oso Burrito every Tuesday at 12:30pm. “So what?”, you ask? Well, until The Missus goes back to work, she brings Robbie Downtown to share in the Oso experience. If you ever want to meet Robbie, stop by Oso any Tuesday at 12:30 through September.

Don’t worry about trying to figure out which of the patrons is Robbie. He’s the cute one.

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