Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tromping Through the Woods

Danica had a PA Day on Friday, so grandma and grandpa did a wee bit of extra duty. Did I say, "Wee bit?" One day of Danica drains us like about three with Jonathan, especially when it is preceded by a sleepover.

The day began with a great spill by the beloved Cuppa, who missed a stair and thus didith splatteth herselfeth on the flooreth, She's says she's fine, but she badly sprained an ankle and is really hobbling with the aid of a cane. I look upon it as yet another opportunity to elevate my Domestic God status.

The big event of the day was to be a walk through the woods at Mill of Kintail, and Buppa and Danica went through with the plans despite Amma's incapacitation. For almost the end of October, the day was very warm, and both The Bups and The Daniloohoo were pretty worn by the end of it.

Anyway, here are a few pics from our tromp. The observant amongst you will not fail to notice that, unlike as is the case with her brother, photos of Danica on a walk are taken of her butt receding into the distance.

Following are a few more photos from when we stopped when I rested but she ... didn't.

Buppa resting. I am not sure, but this may be Danica's first published photo.

Taken while I was still resting in the same spot.

Later: Dani at the playground.
Keep going girl. Don't stop now.

There is a fitness trail at Kintail. There were more apparatuses than shown below; of course, she had to try each one.

I am tired again, just remembering it. It was hot, and I was sweating. Even Danica was a bit worn out by the time we got back to the car.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Wonder Woman, Then and Now

Note: It's a new week, and I'm back to posting kid pics after digressing into adult blogging yesterday. If you missed the special edition (kidding) of Raindrops, it's one post back.

Not to be outdone by her brother, Danica is also primed to be a superhero for Halloween, and like her brother, she had an opportunity to don her costume before the Hallowed Eve. I think this is kind of a nice trend for the kiddies — to have the opportunity to wear their costumes more than once.

Like her mother before her, about thirty-five years ago, Danica will be dressed as Wonder Woman. Back then, Sue made a marvellous costume for Shauna, one that I think is easily better than Danica's: not that Danica's is bad but because grandma's creation was so good.

So let's begin with Sha pics from yesteryear: 1977 if I am remembering correctly, and if I am not correct, I am only a year off. Wonder Woman, with Linda Carter was a tv program that we were watching in those days.

Pretty good, eh?

Now for Danica in 2012.

What a pair of cuties!

Without the cost of developing film, we certainly take more pictures nowadays. There were plenty that I trashed as well.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

More Gender Musings

After posting Of Men and Women last week, believe it or not, AC has yet more grist for the mill, or more fuel for the fire, or, perhaps more aptly, more nuts for the overflowing dish. To wit: women are rapidly gaining the upper hand. Perhaps, Frank Herbert's vision as depicted in the Dune series with the Bene Gesserit etc is coming true.

Let me begin with a personal observation. When I take JJ to storytime at the library I can't help but notice that the tendency is for the boys to be much more easily distracted and sidelined than the girls. They are prone to roam and jostle while the girls are likely to sit primly and properly and pay undivided attention. Thankfully, JJ is one of the more attentive boys, perhaps the most attentive; hopefully, this bodes well for him in school and beyond.

Hanna Rosin has noticed something similar but far more extensively in her book The End of Men: And the Rise of Women. I do have a nerve referencing the book because I haven't read it, but I have read an article in the National Post about the book and have also read her article The End of Men, published in Atlantic Monthly two year sago. Finally, I have watched  and am linking to her TED Talk, New Data on the Rise of Women, as well as embedding it below for both your convenience and viewing pleasure.

With all of those references for dear reader to follow if interested, I here list some key points to ponder, most of which are direct quotes from her Atlantic Monthly article. There's much more information in both the article and the video (linked here but also embedded below)if this topic interests you as much as it interests me. (Emphasis below, where used, is mine.)

  • ... in the wreckage of the Great Recession, in which three-quarters of the 8 million jobs lost were lost by men. The worst-hit industries were overwhelmingly male and deeply identified with macho: construction, manufacturing, high finance. Some of these jobs will come back, but the overall pattern of dislocation is neither temporary nor random. The recession merely revealed—and accelerated—a profound economic shift that has been going on for at least 30 years, and in some respects even longer.
  • for every two men who will receive a B.A. this year, three women will do the same. Of the 15 job categories projected to grow the most in the next decade in the U.S., all but two are occupied primarily by women.
  • Women now earn 60 percent of master’s degrees, about half of all law and medical degrees, and 42 percent of all M.B.A.s. Most important, women earn almost 60 percent of all bachelor’s degrees—the minimum requirement, in most cases, for an affluent life … “One would think that if men were acting in a rational way, they would be getting the education they need to get along out there,” says Tom Mortenson, a senior scholar at the Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education. “But they are just failing to adapt.”
  • Men dominate just two of the 15 job categories projected to grow the most over the next decade: janitor and computer engineer. Women have everything else—nursing, home health assistance, child care, food preparation.
  •  … According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women now hold 51.4 percent of managerial and professional jobs—up from 26.1 percent in 1980. They make up 54 percent of all accountants and hold about half of all banking and insurance jobs. About a third of America’s physicians are now women, as are 45 percent of associates in law firms—and both those percentages are rising fast. A white-collar economy values raw intellectual horsepower, which men and women have in equal amounts. It also requires communication skills and social intelligence, areas in which women, according to many studies, have a slight edge.
  •  … In 1970, women contributed 2 to 6 percent of the family income. Now the typical working wife brings home 42.2 percent, and four in 10 mothers—many of them single mothers—are the primary breadwinners in their families.
  • (speaking of traditional patriarchal societies such as South Korea or India) … Now the centuries-old preference for sons is eroding—or even reversing. “Women of our generation want daughters precisely because we like who we are,” breezes one woman in Cookie magazine. Even Ericsson, the stubborn old goat, can sigh and mark the passing of an era. “Did male dominance exist? Of course it existed. But it seems to be gone now. And the era of the firstborn son is totally gone.”

I appreciate such info from Hanna Rosin and think this is an important issue for our sociologists to study and of which our parents should be aware.

Friday, October 26, 2012

JJ the Spiderman

As I mentioned about a week ago, we have signed JJ up for Wednesday morning storytime at the library. Last week, he wore he skeleton jammies, but this week was Halloween dress-up day. Does JJ ever have a spiffy costume! It's a pretty doggone authentic looking spiderman costume, complete with rippling muscles. When I photographed him, just before tkaing him to the lbrary, he had no trouble assuming one pose after the other — without prompting. Really, it was like he was professional model.

Trophies from storytime: a crafted spider and a rice krispy goblin.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Another Walk with the Boy

It's time to go on another walk with his nibs. When the three of us walk together, it is usually in tandem: me, Sue and JJ in that order.

On the homeward leg, we walk beside a busy street, but there is a wide median with interesting rocks to climb.

There are also valleys to descend into and explore.

What is he imagining? Is he being a superhero?
There is always something for a boy to investigate thoroughly.

I would like to get in there, Amma.

Occasionally, there are places to hide.

I'm hiding Buppa.

It's not exactly a quick march that we do. lol

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Danica's Morning Dances

Mornings can be quite exciting when the kids land. We especially never know what to expect from Danica. She has been wanting to dance lately in the mornings. Having enjoyed beginner dance last year, Danica is taking both Highland and Jazz this year, She is finding Highland difficult (well, I should think so), so tends to move on to other styles, including her interpretation of break dancing, which she hasn't formally been introduced to.

In the following compilation of three videos, she begins with highland, moves on to jazz, and ends with her version of break dancing.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Walking with JJ

Ask JJ to go for a walk, and he's pretty well programmed to respond with enthusiasm.

On this particular day, we began with coats.

He seldom misses a chance to climb on an electrical box.

And he seldom hurries. There is much to do and ponder in JJ land.
This particular day was warm enough that we soon doffed our jackets, but that didn't make him any faster.

Monday, October 22, 2012


Sue and I offer condolences to our dear in-laws, Larry and Mary Anne, who yesterday lost their beloved Oliver: a dear King Charles Cavalier Spaniel.

I first met Oliver about ten years ago when they lived in Chatham, and we lived in nearby Sarnia. Since then, we have both moved, but we visit L&M and their dogs once or twice a year. I kind of fell for Oliver the first time I met him and seriously considered getting a dog. Although that yen has passed, I continued to like Oliver and his sisters, Fergie and Starr, who are similarly coloured King Charles Cavalier Spaniels. They are all beautiful dogs.

Oliver was fine when we last saw him about a month ago, but a short, tearful note just let us know that he had passed on. All the best to Larry and Mary Anne, and if there's a doggie heaven, Oliver is there.

Oliver and Larry

Oliver waiting by the door

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Of Men and Women

It's the weekend, so I needn't feel obliged to post kid pics. I have been thinking a little (I never think too deeply) about the differences between women and men. Um ... wait a minute ... I am not thinking about those differences, although they intrigue me to no end, but about social differences -- where women have so many if not all of the advantages over us guys.

For example: what do you see in this picture?

Well duh. Of course, it's two women hugging. Sue met a neighbour whilst we were taking the air with JJ the other day. So, they hugged. Mind you, Sue doesn't hug every woman that she meets, but still ... she, and women in general, enjoy a freedom that is denied to the non-estrogenic members of the human race.

I mean to say, could you imagine me running up to Al and hugging him when we encountered him and Molly a little bit later on the same outing?

No? I didn't think so. Although Molly and I have been known to become quite intimate.

I do find it difficult to resist blondes.

Women have a sisterhood that men don't. About the best that the brotherhood can muster is to get together over booze and swear, belch, and tell questionable jokes to each other. It just ain't the same. I know some local guys got together in a local pub to watch UFC together (perish the thought), but that didn't last very long.  don't think it exactly knit them into a tight group. Meanwhile, Sue and the ladies have been getting together for Friday coffee for years.

There's more to it though.

Women have the freedom to dress and act differently. Men are much more socially constrained and restrained. While I have always known this on some level, it really struck me on this past season's airing of So You Think You Can Dance. Both Cat Deely and Mary Murphy are free to be themselves in both dress and behaviour while the guys, by either nature or nurture are more conservative. If you watch the show, you'll know what I mean; if not, you can pretty well fill in the gaps.

Cat Deely

Meanwhile, let's have a wee gander at Nigel, the main male panelist/judge.

Nigel Lythgoe

He's wearing a suit and tie. This uniform has been man's only way of dressing up since time immemorial. It's how I dressed up sixty years ago and how men dressed up long before then. It doesn't change much.

Here's proof.

Me and my maternal grandfather circa 1950
My paternal great grandfather. Yes, I mean Great.

You see? Nothing much has changed. Ties widen and narrow, but they're still ties. Jacket lapels do the same. Buttons may be two or three depending on the era, and, which and how many you are supposed to leave undone changes, but there are still two or three buttons. I remember at one point in my youth feeling out-of-fashion because my jacket only had one vent at the back when two were the fashion, but the fundamental nature of the beast remains unchanged. Suits remain what they have been -- silly items of apparel and a symbol of the societal restraints put upon those of testosteronic persuasion.

I do know that women have their societal issues. They/you have been kept barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen in history, and, although the glass ceiling might have cracked, it still hasn't exactly shattered into a million pieces. But to a large degree, women are at least free to be themselves. We guys, on the other hand, are so inhibited that we probably don't even know who ourselves are.

So that's it for now. My brain hurts after thinking these, for me, incredibly deep thoughts, and kid pics will resume shortly at a time and place near you.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Ponds, Sticks, Rocks, and Climbing

The word came up in a story, Grampa felt the need to show JJ what exactly a pond was. I am not sure he was too impressed, except for the fact that it was a good target for sticks and rocks.

And there were climbing opportunities around the edge. Such opportunities are the stuff of life, apparently, and must be seized up.

Fortunately, there were many more climbing opportunitieson the way home, for we don't lack for rocks around here.

This climbing made Grampa very tired. Fortunately for him, JJ was then due to spend two days in daycare followed by the weekend. Hopefully, this will give Grampa time to recuperate. Climbing is strenuous after all.