Wednesday, January 31, 2007

This Little Piggy

I've been trying to come up with a Chinese-papercut style pig. I like this little guy.

Say Uncle

I found a cafepress shop recently where somebody has some adoption-themed shirts with words like mother, grandmother, etc, in different languages. Including Korean. Some of it is right, but some isn't. The word they have for uncle is actually the word that you'd use to address a bus driver or some guy on the street. The problem is that family words in Korean are pretty complicated. The word for uncle is different depending on whether you're talking about your father's older brother, your father's younger unmarried brother, your father's younger married brother, your mother's brother, your father's sister's husband, or your mother's sister's husband. "Aunt" is similarly complicated. That would be a lot of different T-shirts to offer!

On the Move

It's that time of year again--the time when colleges start posting their job openings. Doug's been after that elusive full-time job for years, but the market is very seasonal. It's kind of ironic that we're getting ready to move now, and if all goes well we'd be moving again. Though one of the schools with an opening is a school that Doug already teaches at, so that would be ideal. And we wouldn't have to move again till we want to. (So we could use all the good hiring vibes you can send our way!)

We found an apartment at a complex right across the street. Initially we got a second-floor unit, and were going to have to move in January, but then we found out that they had a ground-floor unit opening up in February, so we switched. We feel much better about it now. A little more time to prepare, and no stairs to deal with. We haven't really done anything to get ready yet, though we did get a bunch of boxes. I called a friend whose husband can get boxes from work, and asked if he could bring us some. He brought us all the boxes in the world. We now have stacks of them (flat ones) leaning against the wall in various places around the house. Kate likes to lean them up against the wall and make tunnels, or slides for her stuffed animals. If we had the space we could make one killer box fort.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Our little reader

Kate has loved books for a long time. She's always coming up to me with a book and saying "Read this! Read this!" (It was a great day when we got her to stop dropping them on our faces in bed.) She's interested in the words. When we read Hop on Pop she always wants to read the lists of rhyming words on the end papers. Several times, even. A few weeks ago she started pointing to the words herself and saying "fast past last, it bit, upside down." Sometimes she even gets fairly close to the right words that she's "reading." (We've done it so many times she's memorized where they are.)

We've had Mo Willems' stirring The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog out of the library before. It is currently visiting our home again, along with the adorable Knuffle Bunny. Kate loves both of these books. The last time we had the pigeon book, she was intrigued by the page where the pigeon loses it and yells "THAT'S IT!" Perhaps it's the big letters. Or the pigeon's crazed expression. Or the way that Mom yells "That's it!" when she's reading it. Kate would point to the letters when we got to that page. This time she's reading it with us.

We made an audio file yesterday. Kate's squalling a bit at the beginning, because she wanted to play with the microphone, but she still says "That's it!" right on cue.

Click here to hear Kate

And just for fun, we'll throw in some animal sounds too.

Friday, January 19, 2007

The cold wind doth blow, and we shall have snow

I used that phrase in a kit recently, and I wasn't sure if it was "cold wind" or "North wind." I did some googling and found lots of hits for both, as well as "the March wind doth blow," which was definitely not what I wanted. I decided to go with "cold" for maximum flexibility.

We had a snowy week. Doug missed a whole week of school, since his morning class kept getting canceled. Now he has to rearrange his syllabus.

The first snow was lovely and fluffy and sticky. We went out right before lunch time and made a snowman. It was the kind of snow where you roll the snowball and all the snow comes up off the ground, leaving a swath of bare grass behind you. I used up most of the snow in the yard making that snowman. We didn't have anything to put on it for a face, though. I think the reason Kate likes snowman is because of their cute faces. She didn't seem much impressed by this one.

The snowman slumped a little in an afternoon thaw, and then fell over that night as the wind picked up and temperatures dropped. The roads were bad. Schools closed. Sunday morning Doug tried for an hour to get the icy locks on his car open, and ended up walking to church for his early meetings.

It's been warming up and drizzling the past couple of days and the snow is mostly gone. Kate seems relieved to get out of the house again. And of course, we are happy that she's happy.


Coming to you via my new graphics card. We are speedy! We got some more RAM for the computer a little while ago (bumped it up to a gig), but I wasn't really noticing a difference. Then Doug, poking around in the machine's innards, discovered that it didn't have a graphics card at all but was just running off the motherboard. So we ordered a card. He got it installed last night (after minor difficulty which did not quite devolve into cursing) and now everything is so much faster. Wheee! Not just the big graphics programs like Photoshop and Painter, but even things like opening up windows in the file browser. This should be a major boost to my productivity. When working on graphic stuff I tend to do a lot of zooming in and out, and it would often get hung up just re-drawing the screen.

Now I can start saving my money for other things. Next on the list: Adobe Illustrator, and a professional membership at