Gye Greene's Thoughts

Gye Greene's Thoughts (w/ apologies to The Smithereens and their similarly-titled album!)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Modern road rage

Darkly geeky. But it still amused me. (You'll probably have to click on the image to largicize.)


Friday, June 20, 2008

My profile pic

A few days ago, I set up the "instructor profile" section of my course website.

It was easier to just take a new photo of myself -- with my spiffy little Acer eee laptop's webcam -- than to dig up an already-existing pic of myself.

So, this is the photo I used.


Find a penny and pick it up

Like the rest of my wife's family, I drive a mid-1970s Rover sedan (pictured). Clearly, we got it used. As opposed to my having bought it when I was eight.

So, this morning I was looking through the glove box, and I found a penny: a penny from Fiji. Pretty neat!

If finding a penny brings good luck, does finding a foreign penny bring even more?


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Four of my pet theories

Four of my “pet theories” follow. I haven’t done any systematic research on the validity of these – but, I have yet to encounter a situation which disproves them.

Divorce: People that get divorced really shouldn’t have got married in the first place.

My sense is that people don’t “grow apart”, as much as they were too different (interests; values; personalities) to begin with. If one person is a spender, and the other's a saver; if one person is scientific and hyper-rational, and the other one is pretty illogical; if all of your college friends are uneasy about your dating this person -- a bad sign.

To be clear: You don't have to be identical to get married -- and, who is, anyhow? But in my limited observation, marriage is all about working with the other person, co-operation, and finding working arrangements. Thus, it's about (1) capitalizing on each person's strengths to supplement the other person's weaknesses, and (2) reaching work-arounds and compromises for the differences in tastes, styles, personalities, interests, and etcetera.

And a lot of times -- like The Lady and myself, for example -- a couple might seem incompatible on the surface. But as long as most of the fundamentals are there, then it'll work out. (The Lady, and I, for example, both hoard books, like movies, are fairly religious, come from similar backgrounds [working-class grandparents; parents who are school teachers], and are pretty straight-laced in terms of morals and ethics.)

So, I'm not suggesting that dis-similar people **will** get divorced. But there's a difference between being dissimilar on some levels, but highly compatible on others -- versus being mega-different to the extent that it causes raised eyebrows among everyone else.

(Hm. That section sounded like a "Big Man" type of post....) :)

Bands: Every band has at least one hit-worthy song in them.

Although for some bands, one is all they have. And for some bands, their "hit song" is a quirky or innovative "cover song" of an existing hit song.

This includes both famous and non-famous bands. Even "garage bands" that never make it out of the garage (or, the spare bedroom).

Favourite grandparent: If both sets of grandparents are still alive during a kid’s childhood, one set will be the clear favourite (e.g. warmer, nicer, friendlier), and the other will be “just o.k.” (or worse).

This tends to be related to who is seen on a regular basis, and who isn’t (e.g. who lives in town, versus on the other side of the country) – but not always.

And, yes, there’s some spuriousness and selection bias in here: if one set of grandparents is less friendly, the parents probably won’t put as much effort into visiting them; and warm and fuzzy grandparents are probably more likely to take the time to visit than grandparents who don’t know what do to with little kids.

In my own life: One set of grandparents lived five miles away, in the same town, and attended the same church -- so we saw them every Sunday, plus usually once a week just in the course of my parents running misc. errands. The other grandparents lived about a half hour's drive away, and about 45 minutes away (divorced) -- so we didn't see them as much.

With my children: My parents live in another country; my wife's parents live across the street. And until recently, my MIL provided daycare for my daughter a few days a week. So, my parents will have a lot of catching up to do!

Party trick: Everyone has at least one party trick in them; the trick is to figure out what it is.

Juggling? Tying a knot in a cherry stem with your tongue? Doing the splits? Everyone has something that is rare or quirky.

Weird tattoos and/or scars count.

I have a few "party tricks" – some of which I keep forgetting:

  • Hanging a spoon off my nose
  • Doing an Aikido roll over several people in the “drop and cover” position (kind of like Evel Knievel motorcycle-jumping over a row of cars)
  • Having my eyebrows “breakdance” (i.e. doing “the worm”)
  • Doing the “wet helicopter” sound with my mouth
  • The “slappity-slap” rhythmic sound with my hands on a table (my dad taught me this one; hard to explain; ask me when you see me next)
  • My bizarrely flat feet (I had an x-ray done, once; looked like someone's hand pressed onto a table)
  • Showing off my Japanese-Scandinavian latent tallness (if I sit on a bench next to a male who is an inch or two taller than myself, my seated height is taller! Short legs [Jp.], long torso [Scand.]).

Feel free to post your "party trick" in the Comments section... Or, your comments or experiences with any of the above (e.g. "favorite grandparents").


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

T-shirt for someday

In addition to getting some of Slag's hyper-nifty t-shirts (too numerous to itemize), I'd like to also get this one (which is the one pictured).

Unfortunately, the maker only takes PayPal -- which I avoid. Plus, I'm being frugal at the moment.

(Thx to Tara for alerting me to this shop. I typed in "guitar shirt" into the search field.)


Friday, June 13, 2008

Kids aren't for everyone

Despite all my recent gushings about how much I enjoy having kids, I also realize that having kids isn't for everyone.

Among other things, they're a real time-sink: I won't be going on any world-wide rock star tours any time soon (heck - we haven't been out to see a movie in -- a year and a half?).

They're fun, and good company, and say amusing things. But having a partner also fulfills that purpose. Or a dog.

Well -- a talking dog.


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Linguistically a real person

The Girl is now almost a "real" person -- that is, someone you can actually have a conversation with.

She's taken to "piggybacking" on to the phone calls The Lady makes to me near the end of my work day. The Girl usually says, "You need to come home Dad-dy... it's get-ting dark." And she's able to say "I love you too, Dad-dy."

Worth more than gold. :)


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Rather be with my wife

While driving in to work this morning, I realized that I'd much rather be hanging out with my wife than going in to work. Even though I enjoy my job.

I guess that's a good sign towards me not becoming a workaholic.


Monday, June 09, 2008

Nemisis wanted

The sort of thing I wish I'd thought of first. :)

(Thx to Old Roommate for this.)


Sunday, June 08, 2008

Two more linguistic things

Two more linguistic things, from The Girl.

I was going to cut up an apple for The Girl, for an evening snack. I'd already asked The Lady if she wanted an apple, too -- but she declined.

The Girl: "Mommy can share with my apple."

Me (correcting her grammar): "No, no: It's 'Mommy can share my apple with me.' "

The Girl: "Mommy can share with my apple and your apple!"(*)

Today: Starting a week or two ago, The Girl has taken to choosing her outfits: not every day, but some mornings. She's also taken to (mostly) dressing herself.

Me: "Hey, that's a nice outfit, [name of girl]."

The Girl: "No, it's a dress."


(*) Reminded me of the old joke:

Boy: "My brother and me are going to the circus tomorrow."

Teacher (correcting): "My brother and **I** are going to the circus tomorrow."

Boy: "Hey! Maybe we'll see you two there!"

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Can't get no satisfaction

The Girl is enjoying my Weird Al Yancovic DVD of music videos so much that I decided to stop by the local mega-store of CDs and DVDs, to see if there were any other Weird Al (or, They Might Be Giants) DVDs on the market.

There may be -- but the store doesn't carry them. Also only a handful of Weird Al CDs -- and **not** any of the recent ones!


Maybe this is why folks are buying their albums online...?


Friday, June 06, 2008

Aussie authenticity

I've lived here in Aussie-land for nearly five years. I just realized, as I greeted a co-worker in passing, out in the hall, that I can say "G'day" without feeling like a poseur.

But I still can't say "mate" without smirking. :)


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The serpentine curve of teaching

My feelings about the course I'm teaching -- and the students in my course -- tend to vary by where in the semester we are. If you plotted "time" on the horizontal axis, and my feelings on the vertical axis, it would look fairly serpentine.

At the beginning of the term, I'm all excited to meet the students and lay some knowledge on 'em. Everything is fresh and new.

By about the three-fourths point, both the instructor and the students are a bit "over it"; it's a drag, assignments and responsibilities are starting to pile up, and we just want it to be over.

Then, in the final week of classes, I get a bit misty-eyed: all these [mostly]-great people, whom I'll likely never see again...

And then, a week or two later, we have the final exam, and I get to do all the grading, enter their scores into the spreadsheet, and calculate the final grades.


And then the next semester approaches, and the cycle repeats.


Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Pac NW talking style

According to this article (a good article in it's own right), apparently "starting every paragraph with “So” in charming Pacific Northwestian way" is a "thing".

So, it's not just me.

(Dang! Yep, in the Friday, May 30th post, I start two paragraphs with "So"...)


Sunday, June 01, 2008

The power of Dad-ness

I experienced one of the nifty things about being a Dad this weekend.

We were out shopping, and in the parents' room I had to do something for The Girl. So, I asked a mom standing next to me if she could hold my five month old son for a moment.

As soon as I handed the boy off, he started crying; when I took him back a minute or two later, he immediately stopped.

So: He recognizes me. At five months old. And some generic mom isn't as good as HIS Dad. :)

On a related note: The Girl (3.5yo) is really blossoming into an age where she's fun to interact with. Although her pronunciation is still poor at times, she's starting to manipulate language in innovated ways, in order to communicate complex thoughts.

Sorry: no real examples. But, that's what she's doing.