Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Happy Birthday Sam! February 23, 2008

Sam turned 5 on Saturday, and despite his having to fight off a Strep infection, he was a little trooper and went to the Dulles Sportsplex for his party, where there was much bouncing about, followed by cake.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

A week without Video Games

PJ has been abstaining from all things relating to videogames for a
week, after an incident last week when he lost his temper and hit Anna
in the head with the Wii controller. For the third time. I think he
has learnt a lesson, but all I'm really sure about is how much he
wants to play video games again. This was a recent conversation.



"Uh, do you think I can start playing video games tomorrow."

"Didn't we say a week without video games, PJ?" And by we I meant
Kathleen. I wasn't there. "When was it exactly that you hit her?"

"I can't tell you that. I can't tell you that, but what I can tell
you is that I am sorry for hitting Anna in the head, and that I love
Anna, and that I am glad she's ok. That's what I can tell you." He
looks at me with large unblinking eyes. He seems sincere. I feel bad
for him.



"Not until Friday, bud."

"Dad!" He yells, suddenly not at all sorry. "Its not fair!" He stomps off.

Anna wants to design a game

Anna has been playing on Disney's online game for kids, "TooonTown"
lately. This is a large immersive 3-d world created for children to
play, and it has toonishly realistic 3d graphics, a slick user
interface, andlots of neat design features. Clearly some team of
rockstar software developers have been hard at work designing this
game, probably for several years.

This morning, Anna tells me that she wants to design her own onliine
game. Its going to be like ToonTown, she says, only it will be set in
Antarctica, and have Penguins and Walrus's. She shows me a few pages
of sketches she has drawn, and asks me to help her build this game.

I explain to her that building an engine to drive an online
multiplayer role playing game is something that takes many skilled
developers months if not years to develop. She doesn't care. I
tried to convince her to start by designing some kind of smaller game,
but she didn't want to here it.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Father Daughter Sweetheart Ball February 2008

Originally uploaded by peteshaw
This Friday Anna had the annual girl scout dance, and we went and had a wonderful time. Where did this curly hair come from? She and mom spent a good deal of time using pieces of cloth and experimental chemistry to make it very curly.

This year the theme was 'glam' and so all the girls got all dressed up. Seeing Anna all grown up made me think about how it won't be too much longer before she is a teenager. This is a frightening thing to think about but at least for now she is my sweet little girl, if at least for the ten percent of the time when she is not being evil.

Friday, February 15, 2008

The walls are the wrong color.

I was recently scolded for not posting enough content here, by an old fan of the web page. She put it like this: "UPDATE YOUR BLOG!!! I check it almost daily."

Sam and PJ share a room, not that they have to, but out of choice. Something like a year ago Sam decided that he wanted to sleep in PJ's room, and after a lot of back and forth, we thought it was a good idea.

Last night after Sam and PJ went to bed, as I was about to head downstairs, I heard Sam crying. I went into his room.

"What's wrong Sam?" I said.

"I miss my old room." Sam said.

"What!" I thought to myself, we just bought a bunk bed for PJ's, now PJ and Sam's room. "We finished converting Sam's old room to a guest room. We can't just move him back! Its okay, try to remain calm. See what the problem is and reduce it to a manageable level. This is management." "What, er, why are you missing your old room Sam? You like sharing a room with PJ, don't you? You and PJ are buds, right?"

"I miss my stuff." Sam continued to cry. I was getting worried.

"But all your stuff is here now, isn't it? You can't miss your stuff if its all here."

"All my stuff except for one thing."

"One thing?"

"Yes, one thing."

"What one thing?"

"The walls." Sam's eyebrows make a big "V" on his forehead when he is emphasizing a point.

"The walls?"

"The color on the walls. I miss my yellow walls."

"OK, think. The walls, we could paint part of his room, no wait, we could uh, crap! Just stall him!" I said "Sam?"


"Why don't you get some rest and we can talk about this in the morning, okay buddy?"


I went downstairs and broke the news to Kathleen. She waved her arm at me. "Oh, that? Yeah, he complains about missing his room every once in a while. He gets over it."

Problem solved! :^)

Friday, February 08, 2008

Powder Puff Derby!

Originally uploaded by peteshaw
Ann a proudly showing off her award won at the derby. This is the piece of paper they gave you for just showing up.

Powder Puff Derby

Originally uploaded by peteshaw
Anna's hair is strangely illuminated while she holds her misshapen balsa vehicle.

Powder Puff Derby!

Originally uploaded by peteshaw
This was Anna's entry into the powder puff derby, a last minute fabrication.