Monday, December 29, 2014

Gallant Starting Preschool

Next week Gallant starts preschool.  He will be in Ms. Ali's class, the same preschool classroom his big brother once attended.

I am excited for him.  The dark, cold Winter mornings will be much more fun for him in a room full of other kids his age.  And he will have more options for the art projects and music he loves.

Although my family never used it, I might as well mention the resource Family Connections of Lane and Douglas Counties.  This office, on the LCC main campus, helps families sort through child care and preschool options.  It also has a Little Library for kids' books.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Bamboo Feed Reader

Just a quick note: I am really enjoying the Bamboo Feed Reader for Firefox.

Years ago I tried Google Reader, but at the time it did not include images and thus was not as nice as individually visiting blogs and forums.  I stopped thinking about RSS.

Something the other day made me think about RSS feeds, and I quickly found something great.  Yay!

Space Monkeys and Meatballs

Gallant has been enjoying having me home more during Winter Break from my LCC math teaching.

And I have been enjoying his company too.  His imagination is growing rapidly, largely due to overhearing the type of pretending his older brother does.

The other day he and I were playing a game he invented.  He was holding his InnoTab and pretending the headphone jack shot out ropes and vines.  We got in a pretend spaceship to travel to the Jungle World, where we needed to rescue the good monkeys.  They were up in the trees: he would shoot them, and I would pretend to catch them as they fell and then carry them back to our spaceship.  We had to work fast or the bad monkeys would arrive and get the good monkeys!

It sounds very random.  But "vine whip" is an entangling Pokemon attack he knows from the stories his big brother's makes up.  And Smiley also uses the vocabulary of "worlds", often starting one of his stories by explaining something like "This is a world like Chima but it also has Pokemon in it, and all the buildings are made out of ice."  So I can trace the seeds of most of Gallant's concepts.

But I am not sure what made Gallant recently think about meatballs.  We have not eaten any in a long time.  Perhaps they appeared in an episode of the Curious George cartoons.

Earlier this month, he picked up a toy helicopter and started flying it around.  "It's dropping meatballs," he shared.


What was especially odd was that he did not make his "laugh with me" giggle he usually uses when trying to be funny.

Then nothing about meatballs for more than a week.

Then, yesterday, he was playing with legos, and for the first time was using one of those old school lego-minifigure astronaut air tanks.  When I was a boy I always pretended they were jet-packs.  So I asked him, "Is that a jet-pack?"  He replied, "No, it is a backpack of meatballs."

Really?  Some things I will never understand.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Variety of Germs

Well, the goal of blogging a post per day in November obviously failed.

The Willamette Valley was once known as the "valley of sickness", although the historical record is quite confused.

However, the end of 2014 was certainly a time of poor health for folks here in Eugene.

We know from talking with pediatricians, that November had at least two cold viruses, a stomach bug that took days to get over, fifth disease, and parainfluenza.  Our family experienced all but the last of those.

In December, the city added another cold virus and a one-day stomach bug.

Perhaps I will try again in January.  It was nice to blog regularly.

Also today I figured out the new way to link my blog with Google+ (I still use HootBar to manually put a link on Twitter/Facebook without ever visiting them).

My New Weight Gain Program

(Just a small post to test whether I have successfully connected my blog to Google+.)

For many of my small Chanukah presents, my wife gave me some pieces of toffee.  Specifically, Trader Joe's English Toffee with Nuts.

Wrapping them five or six at a time was a kindness.  I could eat three or four, and share one with each boy.

The toffee has 200 calories per three-piece serving.  There are 23 servings per tin.  That's 4,600 calories if she instead gave me the entire thing as a present!

By the way, for $8.99 that works out to 511 calories per dollar.  That's the same as Tilamook Monterey Jack or canned black beans at Costco.

Now what should I do with the rest of the tin's toffees?  Chanukah is over and although they are delicious I do not really want to keep eating them.

For those who are curious, the cheapest calories I have shopped for at Costco were Quaker oats (2,460 calories per dollar), peanut butter (1,906 calories per dollar), and brown rice (1,483 calories per dollar).

Thursday, December 11, 2014

FTE and Headcount trends

The Math Division dean passed along this chart with FTE and headcount trends for Oregon Community Colleges.

The recession is definitely ending.