Random Liamism, ingesting TV on a rainy day…

Liam: Mom, let’s get Moch.
Amy: What’s Moch?
Liam: I don’t know; I’ve never tried it. But, it comes in fwee delicious flavors.
Amy: Oh, Motts juice.
Liam: Yeah.
Amy: It’s just a brand of juice. Would you like some orange juice?
Liam: Yes please.

It may be fair, but it still bites.

Today we went on our second annual pilgrimage to North Seattle Community College so we could wait around for 40 minutes and not have our number called.  This means we get to be on a wait list longer than the one to get a Kindle in order to get Liam into a nearby co-op preschool.  This year was no different than last — we were easily in the last 10% of the ~150 people to be called, and so he’s #18 on a wait list that might get the top five or ten sorted. 

 Thus, no school for Liam this year.  And it’s starting to annoy us.  Liam would definitely benefit from a school environment to meet some new kids, stretch his brain and give his overworked mom a bit of a break.  It’s times like this that we begin to think about a relocation to a place where we don’t have to put up with a lottery system to deal with the fact that supply and demand are so heavily screwed up in the education system. 

 Don’t get me wrong — I’m okay with the fairness that the lottery system provides, but I’m having a hard time understanding why co-op pre school are missing out on a simple supply and demand discussion.  There’s simply not enough spaces available where people live, so we either get to: (a) do day care, (b) do a private school (like Montessori) or (c) suck it up and deal.  None of those choices seem appropriate — especially since (a) and (b) basically mean your kid goes somewhere five days a week — when, in fact, we want more like 2-3 for half a day.

So… who knows what’s next.  Back to the drawing board and doing some more research.  And Amy’s back to looking at house options to get out of our neighborhood.   

Date night recap.

The usual fare at date night last night.  We had been lazy with making reservations so we needed a place that was tasty, not pretentious (Elemental) and didn’t require reservations.  It may be a little unfair for me to suggest Elemental is pretentious — but two seatings, lines, no reservations.  I can’t be bothered with that approach to date night.  I pretty much need to know I’m going to be able to get a good dinner if I drive there, dammit.  

So last night we wound up at Volunteer Park Cafe again.  We haven’t done Tilth in almost two months — but ever since that New York Times article, it’s been impossible to book the restaurant online between 5 and 8pm on Fridays.  I think they’ve blocked this time off, because as far out as 8 months, they don’t have availability and I refuse to believe that any Seattle restaurant has such a following.

We had a shorter wait than usual and dinner was, as usual, really tasty (I had Cafe Fries and the Short Ribs, Amy had a Pot Pie appetizer, a salad and the Cafe Steamers).  I think Amy and I have come to really enjoy the staff at the Volunteer Park Cafe.  They’re kind of slightly overwhelmed but super friendly and we’ve always had great interactions with everyone there.  Oddly, tonight Ericka wasn’t in the house.  I wonder if she’s on vacation or if she’s got other plans.

Whilst we were away, Liam and his babysitter dyed some easter eggs.  He was most excited to walk through the dozen eggs this morning pointing them out “This one is golden, this one is blue, this one is also blue, this one is green and a little cracked…”  Not a bad way to begin the weekend at all, really.

Flock gets the boot.

I had picked up a Firefox-based “social browser” named Flock not too long ago.  There was a time where I was lured by its integration with Flickr, Twitter, Facebook and WordPress.  In the end, however, I’ve given up. 

Flock does part of its job well enough, tbqh.  But I found that I couldn’t reliably get status updates a-la NewsFeed like I wanted in the browser.  I also found that for Twitter it had a hard time beating Twitterific.  Flickr?  Well, we’re not well integrated into the world of Flickr yet — and I’m not sure it’s the right place for us to stage our photos (perhaps Smugmug would be better). As to WordPress, they’ve got a fancy WYSIWYG editor on their website.

Done, done, done and done.  Short version: what’s the reason for using Flock again?So, I’m back to Safari after a tumultuous morning and early afternoon of attempting to fix my MacBook’s intransigence (it had no desire to restart or cleanly shutdown).  In the end, disabling Spotlight indexing on my root drive seems to have been the magic moment.

So, Spotlight’s gotten the boot too.  Will I miss that more than Flock? 

Plane Karma

I’ve traveled again recently to Washington DC and back.  That’s twice in the past 6-8 weeks after years and years of somehow managing to miss the suburban mecca that his Loudon County, Virginia.  I have to say that it’s not like it is a particularly bad place — but there’s just culture here that I no longer understand.

Take, for example, the presence of restaurants nearly exclusively in strip malls.  Typically these are “Bar-B-Q” or “Roadhouses” or some other bastardized version of TGI Fridays.  Last night, after failing my “Save versus your Admin Booking the Wrong Hotel” we finally managed to settle into a hotel at about 10pm local time.  Off we were to the nearby Holiday Inn to sample the delightful offerings from the late night menu of their sports bar.

The food was fine.  The beer was tasty enough.  The karaoke was, however, traumatizing.  I, for one, will never listen to Prince quite the same way again.

However, the relatively random point of this entry was to note that I had plane karma on this trip.  After forking over $50 to upgrade to economy plus on each of my flights I was assigned a middle row (I figured due to my luggage situation, I’d rather have the legroom to the “sideroom” offered by a non-middle seat).  On my way out to DC I had a nice gentleman decide he didn’t want the window seat with lots of legroom — he’d rather take another window seat with less legroom to give me and the guy sitting in the aisle a row to ourselves.

I’m pretty sure that guy next to me had to be a jedi, but I thought they weren’t supposed to use the mind trick for stuff like that.

On the way back to Seattle, my luck again has held — a nice couple was flying in my row and had the window and aisle seats.  Thankfully they preferred to sit together and, as a result, I got yet another window seat. 

So.. I’m thinking that upgrade option may also be a subtle “upgrade karma?” decision when at the kiosk checking in.  I think I’m sold on it.

In other news, United has seemingly remembered that a disaster movie is probably not the right choice of entertainment on the plane. 

Back to some old Wait Wait podcasts, as my Kindle’s vaunted staying power has reared its ugly head and I ran out of juice with two hours left to go on the flight.

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Modest means "crappy”.

We saw a lot of modest homes on Whidbey Island on Saturday.

Amy and I have been thinking about a move to Whidbey Island. We both grew up in places with woods and relative freedom and lots of places to run around and get ticks — and we kind of want Liam to have the opportunity to experience that too. It doesn’t hurt that Amy’s family is on the island too. Closer proximity to them means more exposure for Liam — especially for Amy’s mom, whom he adores.

After looking at some properties in the Seattle area and the Eastside, the tour of Whidbey was eye-opening. There’s a basic level of “modesty” which seems to pass for normal in many of the older properties on the island. Given we’d like some land — it tends to be older properties that we’re looking at.

Chip commented that he had been on perhaps the most unique and bizarre showing of houses at the end of the day. There was the crooked house, the “worst designed house I have ever seen”, the house with the urinal, the soulless “it looks like a giant mobile home” on clear cut (not far from the Chinese Junk house), the cute house that was overpriced beyond reason, the hippie farm, the labyrinth bed & breakfast with (made) beds in the closets, the “no, this is the worst designed house I have ever seen — and it’s purple!”, and the cottages that smelled like dime store lavender plug-ins.

We didn’t come out of the tour eager to buy on Whidbey. Not yet anyway.

In our tour, Chip helped me learn a bit of “real-estatese”. “We don’t use the word crappy in the business, instead we use modest.” Such a modest word has taken on entirely new meaning in our household.

As to Whidbey. Well the crooked house remains under consideration. If we could get it at a low enough cost to funnel a lot of money into rebuilding it on the inside — it seems to have the right bones and the 4 acres, while not exactly estate-worthy, are enough to have some options about a guest house for a parent or two at some point.

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Bird. Dinosaurs

Amy: Some scientists think birds are modern-day dinosaurs.
Liam: Hrm. But they don’t have very long tails.
Amy: That’s true.
Liam: And they don’t say rowr!”.  So that’s why I don’t think birds are dinosaurs.

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