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Sunday, July 29, 2007


Linda and I have both finished the last Harry Potter book, so you are free to talk about what you liked or disliked with us now.

On other news, Ellie can ride her bike without training wheels now. She insisted on having them off (and not just shortening them or something). The first day wasn't very good, but within a day she could already do it and within a couple of days she was getting pretty good. I'm pretty sure I didn't learn so quickly.

Saturday, July 21, 2007


It seems quiet on the internet today. None of my friends seem to be on. I wonder if they are all deep in the 7th Harry Potter book. If my daughter weren't so bored, I certainly would be. As it is, I've had to stop on page 327 to entertain.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Magical week

We went to Harry Potter this week. This was a kind of big deal for us. Linda and I used to be pretty regular movie-goers, but we don't go so often now. It's just more of a pain. It's kind of expensive. And people are always sitting in the handicap seating. Yes, we could ask them to move, but it's easier just staying home.

But we went, Linda and Ellie and me. It was fun. It had what I liked about book 5 without all the angst. I have to say the angst really got to me with that book, although perhaps a bit less the second time I read it.

We're very excited that the 7th book comes out this weekend. Actually, only Linda and I are excited. Ellie isn't much into novels yet. I offered to read the 1st book to her, but she just isn't interested. I suppose it will happen soon enough though.

On the road

We went to visit my parents this weekend. We encountered our second worst bathroom ever, at a Kentucky Fried Chicken. The most insulting part of it was that there was a blue wheelchair sticker on it. The worst bathroom ever was in a Pizza Hut. It's no surprise perhaps that both stores are owned by Yum! Brands. If this were still a time of duels I'd spit in the board members faces and slap them with a glove. Actually, I've always thought duels were about as stupid as stupid gets, so maybe I'd just spit on them.

Go McDonalds!

$100 goes pretty far

Ellie had perfect attendance at summer school this year, and there is a $100 attendance prize. It comes in the form of a pre-paid Visa. Ellie wanted to buy a scooter, so we got one like this: www.toysrus.com/sm-barbie-aluminum-foldable-scooter--pi-2317763.html

It was so cute. We swiped her card, and I made her sign on the little electronic pad (the card is in her name after all). She felt so grown up. She was almost as excited to get her own receipt as she was to get the scooter.

She's been scooting around the house in our "big room." Yesterday we went to the school and scooted around the parking lot. She was hoping to go scooting at a kids house today, but we couldn't really find any kids who were home tonight. She's pretty tired anyway (hence a big fit commenced) so I'm thinking it is pretty good we stayed home tonight. We'll get some good scooter time in this weekend I'm sure.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Summer begins

Summer school ended on Friday for Ellie. She had a lot of fun at school. Most nights she was even willing to go to bed at a reasonable time because she knew she had to be up for the bus in the morning. Walking out to the bus turned out to be one of my favorite times of day. Ellie was generally in a good mood, and she tended to share more than at other times of the day.

Friday also ended my summer teaching. I was teaching a 3-week introduction to computer programming, for junior high school students. For the most part, I think it went well. I don't particularly like the discipline aspects of working with junior high students, but they can't be beat for asking questions and participating in discussions.

Some of them also became pretty reasonable programmers. The last project of the term was writing robots that play in a virtual combat arena. I alway write a robot of my own for theirs to fight against, and this time one of the students wrote a robot that could best mine. I was quite impressed by that, and I had to go back and improve mine some (because in something like this, the teacher really should be able to win).

We're now full into summer things. Ellie is doing swimming lessons. She jumped off the diving board today and swam in the deep end. She was impressively good.

Ellie also decided that she wanted to ride her bike without training wheels, so we took them off on Sunday. She wasn't very good, but we tried again last night and she was amazingly better. Several times she was able to ride like 60 feet. I expect we'll try again tonight and she'll have even more control.

Linda is doing well. She's glad to be ignored a bit less. We went to the farmers' market this weekend and we've been sitting out on the porch later in the day. I'll probably have to drag her to the gym here soon though so she doesn't get soft.