Reasons My Son is Grouchy

(In order of preference)

1. He’s hungry. — Feed him, preferably something like raisins* that ups blood sugar quickly.
2. He’s tired. — Start bedtime or naptime routine a little earlier.
3. He’s sick. — Run and hide, but only after autoclaving your entire home. Otherwise, you are doomed.
4. He’s 2 1/2. — Resign yourself to the fact that there’s nothing to be done but endure for the next couple decades.

* Child’s input: Preferably chocolate chips, cookies containing chocolate chips, chocolate ice cream, or chocolate milkshakes. Theme emerging? Possibly… Continue Reading >>

We’re Not Silly


Not silly in the least. Nope. Not at all.

In possibly related news, Benji discovered today that he LOOOOOOVES “yummy thing,” which is what he calls a milkshake.


And, finally, it was a beautiful evening in Kirkland today.


Xtracycle Resurrection

I’ve had my Xtracycle for many years, but have hardly ridden it since we moved back to Washington. Especially since Benji was born, a cargo bike never worked as an efficient mode of transportation, time-wise. It’s hung in the garage, straining the hook and being kind of useless, for the last three years or so.

Now Benji is a little older, though, we have more time to get places, and we’ve used Benji’s trailer quite often to get to school. This reminded me of my Xtracycle and my long-term plan to use it for child transport. It has much larger cargo capacity than my trailer (perhaps equal to trailer plus my panniers), and gets Benji up and away from the road a bit. Plus I’m hoping that handling will go better, since at least I’ll only have two wheels to worry about, rather than four. Continue Reading >>

Home Improvement, Fireplace Edition: Grand Finale

Today, four months to the day after starting our fireplace project, we had the final inspection. It was a different inspector, not Mr. Personality, and – amazingly – he was quite nice!

I opened the door and offered him fresh homemade cookies; he did the inspection, saw the gas shutoff and exterior vent, asked about whether we had a carbon monoxide monitor, signed off on the permit, and I sent him out the door with another cookie.



Oh, and when the inspector came in, he saw the fireplace and immediately said, “Wow, nice tile work,” a tribute to Builder Pat if I ever heard one, since the inspector has probably seen thousands of fireplaces. Continue Reading >>

Adult milestone


That’s right, for the first time in my life, I had clothes dry-cleaned. This is partly attributable to the fact that I work hard to buy clothes I can wash at home and partly attributable to the fact that, until two years ago, I held jobs that had dress codes of business casual or lower. Teaching bike classes required a very odd, specific wardrobe, none of which necessitated dry-cleaning.

But that’s all over, because when my work office moved in February, the dress code went to straight business attire. I’m not 100% sure why, if clients aren’t visiting… Maybe dressing that way makes people act more professional. Anyway, after almost a decade of evading it, I now dress professionally at work. Continue Reading >>

Even Superman must get wet sometimes.

Leaving work to bike commute home the other day, I felt a little bit awesome going from this…


To this…


…in a few short minutes.

I didn’t feel quite so awesome when I arrived home drenched and filthy with road gunk after riding the entire 10 miles in windy rain.


I appreciated the fireplace extra, though, because everything dried out way faster than in times past. Also, I got to feel warm and cozy, a lovely and unusual experience immediately following a wet ride. And within an hour of getting home, the rain changed from steady to torrential, so I actually felt pretty good about my commute. Continue Reading >>

Digital Awakening

At first, coming back online felt so much like waking up that I thought I still operated on wetware. I rose up into consciousness slowly, a drop of oil in a deep pond. I pried open sleep-heavy, crusted eyelids reluctantly, lethargy clinging tenaciously to my limbs still heavy after a deep, deep sleep. I felt the satiny sheets cradling my body heat in a cocoon I was loth to break. I even felt my breaths, inhaling and exhaling with the steady rhythm achieved only in the deepest level of sleep, although I also knew some practitioners of meditation who could slow their bodies in the same way. Continue Reading >>