Thursday, November 30, 2006

Headless Hamburgerman?

We had Toby at his favorite McDonald's playland this afternoon. There were a couple of kids atop the seated Ronald McDonald statue. One of them, a boy who looked to be about 5 or 6, appeared to be pulling on Ronald's head. I whispered to DW that it would be a hoot if the boy accidentally pulled off the head. Then we noticed the little girl (probably 3 or 4 years old) seated on Ronald's lap, with her hands on his face, screaming hysterically. The kids' mother came to the rescue. It turns out the boy told his sister that he was going to pull off Ronald McDonald's head.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Randy's ride

We picked up this on our way home from Alexandria the other evening. We need a second car at the moment for a couple of different reasons. We already had decided on a Scion xB and had priced one on the Internet with exactly what we wanted on it. However, the car on the showroom floor kept calling my name, so I bought it.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Thanksgiving 2006

We experimented with Thanksgiving this year by spending the holiday in Alexandria, Louisiana. We spent time with Adam and Toby, taking each boy through his usual "swimming pool" visit routine, then having Thanksgiving dinner at a local restaurant. Adam was a hoot, running around the restaurant, laughing and rolling around on the floor. Both boys were full of laughter and mischief. I can't remember a time when my kids laughed so much as they have the past few weeks. Unfortunately, Toby pushed a small girl into the pool during his second pool visit, so we had to take him out of the water early. He is perfectly capable of learning that the only person he can push into the water is me. Also, Adam had me jumping into the outdoor pool. It was 70 degrees out at the time, but it had been down into the 40s the night before, which meant that the water was lung-squeezing cold on the first plunge. Adam wouldn't get in himself; it was enough for him that I did it.

DW and I saw the new James Bond movie while we were in Alexandria. "Casino Royale" is a major departure from the Bond series, pretty much reinventing the character from the very beginning. The story begins at the outset of Bond's career as 007, though it is set in the present day. The Daniel Craig version of Bond is darker, more brutal, and more violent than the Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, and Pierce Brosnan versions of the character. The new brutality of the character slaps you in the face in the first scene of the movie, which is a juxtaposition of two brilliantly filmed black-and-white scenes. There were no cool gizmos and gadgets in this movie, and there was some real character development. Also, the writers played a little with Bond's catchphrases--I particularly liked the new Bond's response when the bartender asked whether he wanted his martini shaken or stirred: "Do I look like I really give a damn?" It's a whole other James Bond, and I like it.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Birthday Boy

Adam wasn't feeling well at his classroom birthday party, but I love the crown. I never got to wear a crown on my birthday.

Geometric Art

Here is some of Toby's latest art. Technically, I drew these, but Toby told me what to draw and where. He is fascinated by various shapes, particularly the rectangle and the triangle.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Randy, the country/western song version

My weekend thus far sounds like a c&w song in which one thing after another goes wrong in a downward-spiraling tale of woe. Yesterday, I fetched Toby for a weekend at home. After being held up by traffic in Baton Rouge, I had a flat tire. I stepped in a fire-ant pile when I was changing the tire. Yippee! Then I had an inspiration to get off at the next exit and have the local WalMart put a new tire on the car. There was a tantrum until we got into the main part of the store with a shopping cart, and Toby was concerned when he saw the mechanic get into the car and back it out of the garage. He seemed to think the guy was stealing the car. So we got home after dark, too late to visit some of T's favorite places. This morning, the car was dead as a doornail when I tried to start it. Nothing. So we called for a tow truck and lined up a rental car. The tow truck driver knew what the problem was from personal experience and got our car started again. However, after cancelling the rental car, I discovered that whether the car will continue to start is an iffy proposition. That might not be so bad, except we have to drive 500 miles in it tomorrow.

Update--things ended up just fine. Toby hasn't laughed as much in a long time as he did yesterday and today. We played lots of tickle and chase games, and I had him and another kid we didn't know shouting and laughing loudly for me to push them on their swings at the park. Toby woke me up at 3:30 a.m. today to search for the one computer game we seem to have lost. Damn! He and I drew little pictures in the back seat of the car all the way to Alexandria this morning. Adam was much happier during our visit with him this afternoon than he was last weekend. The car problem cropped up again in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, but I fiddled with things like the tow truck driver advised and we were back in business again. I'll get the damn thing fixed tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Close to home

Sgt. Kenneth Bostic of Hawthorne, Nevada, was killed by a sniper in Iraq last week. Sgt. Bostic was killed in the presence of one of the young men who grew up next door to us, and he was like a family member next door. Sad, very sad.

Monday, November 06, 2006

White and Nerdy

Damn, this is funny. And yes, that's Donny Osmond.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Wrong Way Candidate?

Today I saw a bus with "Chris Bell for Governor" plastered on the side of it. Mr. Bell is the Democratic nominee for Governor of Texas. The thing is, I saw Mr. Bell's bus traveling east through Louisiana. This can't be a good thing two days before the election.

I also saw a bumper sticker on a car promoting the concept of "toughlove." The symbol on the sticker was a heart with a fist inside it. A fist? Yeah, that's what I associate with love.

We had a bit of a rough weekend with Adam. He wasn't feeling well, and he just wasn't himself. However, we had fun celebrating his eighth birthday. Also, we used photographs of some of his favorite places to let him know where we were going, and he seemed to pick up on the idea. Because we had Adam's individualized educational program conference early Friday morning, we headed up on Thursday and played with Toby on Thursday afternoon and evening.

Gentle Reader Andy from Austin and family were our houseguests last weekend. We had a nice time, and I think I gave the M. boys a run for their money. It was so much like playing with Adam and Toby that it was like second nature. I also appreciated that the M. boys kept talking about wanting to meet Toby and Adam and play with them. Hopefully that will happen some day in the not-too-distant future. It's nice to know that our boys have people who genuinely want to be in their lives.