Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Ninja and the Photographer

Our boys have taken to being ninjas, covert moves and all. So much so that today, I made them masks out of my old Perl shirt, cutting eye holes and trying to fit them as best as I reasonably could given my lack of expertise in sewing. Here's Jacob holding an empty spool from when I was toiling over thread and needle. I think he said it was his ninja bomb:

Not at all weird.
Hiding from Mom.
While I was getting Jacob's ninja hood set and taking the above picture, I noticed Reed grabbed my camera and started playing with that.
My boys on their very different life tracks, neither of which, apparently, involve shirts.
So I let him take my picture:

While I took his:
Pictures of people taking pictures.
This was all before 9:00am or so. We spent the rest of the day going to Discovery Park, organizing the storage room (and purging quite a bit of stuff we don't need), playing, and even getting my motorcycle towed to Seattle Used Bikes. It's in rough shape, so I'm calling in the big guns, which is to say, anyone that knows more than "gas goes in the tank, engine goes vroom, brakes make it stop."

Thursday, February 7, 2013

How would you prepare for Groundhog Day?

The other day was Groundhog Day, which got me thinking about the movie of the same name, which is one of my favorites. The film never tells us how long Phil is stuck in his time loop, but the director thought maybe 10 years and the screenplay author thought maybe 30-40 years or even as much as thousands of years. They intentionally avoided presenting the dark side of being caught in a (potentially) infinite loop, though that would probably make for a very interesting horror or thriller movie.

Groundhog Day has even been called "the most spiritual film of our time," praised by some Catholics as a representation of purgatory and by Buddhists for its telling of karma and rebirth.

Had Phil Connors known he was doomed to repeat the same day over and over again, I wonder what he would have done to prepare. So as a pointless thought experiment, here are my musings on what I would do if I knew it was coming, assuming one day to get ready. (By the way, I'd love to hear what others would do in such a situation.)

First off, things I would not do: basically anything that would leave me regretting "yesterday" for the next ten years. No getting drunk the night before, no staying up late to see if anything interesting happens at midnight, no run-ins with the law that would doom me to ten years in a holding cell, no petty fights with Andrea the night before. You get the idea.

So what would I do?
  • If my Groundhog Day falls on a work day, I'd take that day off. I'm not spending the next ten years getting a call from my boss asking if I'm okay or if I'm coming in.
  • Get supplies. I wouldn't want to run to the grocery store every day for milk if I didn't have to, so let's stock up on all the necessities. And because I'm sure cereal will get boring quickly, having enough ingredients to make a host of dishes is also important. Salt, flour, sugar, milk, eggs, and so on.
  • I'd need a reasonable amount of cash on hand. Maybe a few hundred dollars. Sure, credit cards will still work just fine, but there's no lack of use for cash. Stop by the bank for a handful of various denominations.
  • Get the house in order. Go through, clean the place up, dust, vacuum, wash and put away dishes. Make sure there's a full roll of paper towels handy, a clean hand towel in the kitchen and bathroom, a new roll of TP, and enough soap, shampoo, and so on. Along these same lines, the car's gas tank should be filled to the top and cleaned out. Who wants to spend the next ten years driving around in a car that has crumbs all over and needs to be filled up after 20 minutes of driving? And as of right now, my motorcycle is on the fritz, so maybe I'd rent a nice new bike for a day.
  • Get myself in order. Shave, shower, get to bed at a reasonable time. Despite knowing I'm about to be stuck repeating the same day and all it entails -- weather, traffic, possibly crabby kids, and so on -- I'd like to think a bit of relaxation the night before would reduce cortisol and generally make for a better tomorrow.
It all seems pretty tame, doesn't it? But in my mind, all these little annoyances would really add up over time.

A more interesting question is: what am I going to do for the next ten or forty years? In Groundhog Day, as I recall, Phil learned about French literature, how to play the piano, and he learned everything about everyone in Punxsutawney. Seeing as how I tend to be a fiend for trying and learning new things, there are plenty of things I'd love to spend nearly limitless time doing, including but not limited to:

  • Playing guitar
  • Speaking a foreign language. On my list are one or more Scandinavian languages and Japanese.
  • Improving my parkour.
  • Meditating more regularly.
Somehow, this comic seems particularly relevant.

How would you prepare for your own personal Groundhog Day?

Friday, February 1, 2013

A dash of blue paint makes a big difference

The other day, Andrea discovered a Fred Meyer not to far from our house. I'm not too in-the-know here, but apparently it's a really big grocery + everything else store. She went to get us some groceries, and she came back with two gallons of mis-tint paint. Tonight, she went to work with the blue.

I took a before picture and was immediately photobombed:


So I took another one with a better white balance:


As is typical with our painting jobs, Andrea does all of it while I shower her with words of encouragement. When she was done, the result was quite good and very reminiscent of our bathroom in Clearwater:


(She also did the wall outside the kitchen, but I didn't bother with pictures.)

Tomorrow, I expect the weather to be in or near the 50s, so we'll probably go to the zoo with the boys. If I'm lucky, I can make some work on fixing my motorcycle just enough to get it to the mechanic a few miles away.

Edit: Here's a shot of the wall leading into the kitchen. The blue now really makes the doorframe and the built-in cabinet stand out.