Gye Greene's Thoughts

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

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Korean dept stores

As mentioned in an earlier blog entry (too lazy to look it up to link to it; although by the time I write that, it would've been faster just to do so!), we flew to Seattle for Christmas, and had a one-day layover in Korea.

During our one-day layover, we took a look at the (small-ish) department store a few blocks away.

What I found culturally interesting was that, in the sporting goods/exercise section -- in among the jump-ropes, boxing gear, and medicine balls -- were nunchucks! Real ones, plus soft ones for beginners. Also, a fighting baton.

(Click to enlarge photo, if you wish.)

Tae Kwon Do and Hapkido are pretty big things in Korea, I understand, and have more legitimacy than martial arts in the U.S. or Australia. Still, struck me as "different".


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Observing the monkeys

A few fieldwork notes on the kids.

The Twins:

Context: they're a few months past 1yo; neither talks, although both sometimes do baby talk; B2 can now walk for a few steps; B1 is **finally** pulling himself up to a standing position -- sometimes -- but generally seems content to crawl.

2/11/09 -- B1 picked up a toy cell phone, put it against his cheek (with one end over his ear, the other near his mouth), and said, “Ah-dah? Yah. Dah.” Interesting, given that they don’t yet talk, how much they understand and are modeling.

2/16/09 -- B2 points t.v. remote at the t.v. and tries pushing buttons while looking at t.v.; seems to know that it’s supposed to do something.

2/16/09 -- Noticed that B2 can now steer his wheeled walk-behind walker before running in to obstcaltes; two days ago, he didn’t – he just ran in to things.

2/16 – B2 can chin himself up on the high chair tray, actually got his feet off the ground!

The Girl (4yo):

2/15/09 -- She bought a Valentine's Day surplus heart person (pink fuzzy heart, with a smiley face, and arms and legs) with her alloance money. Originally, the heart person had no name, but is a boy. 2/16/09 – is named “Sylvia”, but is a boy.

2/16/09 – “You know” (she tends to start conversations or observations with “you know”), “my mommy has something in the bedroom that changes numbers in the morning and in the night.” Turns out it's her description of the digital clock-radio on the nightstand. Very poetic; I've added it to my list of possible song lyrics.

(3/22/09) This morning, B2 had somehow got ahold of the DVD remote, and had changed the language setting on The Girl’s Dora the Explorer DVD. The Girl told my wife that “Dora is using the wrong voice” – meaning, she was speaking a different language (although it was a different voice actor, as well). Interesting, as I didn’t know she knew the word “voice” – which is a rather abstract concept if you had to directly explain it to a four year old.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A guitar is expected

Yesterday, when I picked up The Girl from daycare, she was having a lot of fun playing outside, so I let her continue playing for a bit. I sat against the wall of the building, and absent-mindedly played my harmonica, which I keep in a pouch on my belt.

One of the four-year-old boys came up to me and asked me, "What's that?" I told him it was my harmonica.

"Why didn't you bring your guitar?" he asked. (How did he know I have a guitar?, I wondered.)

He asked me if I had an electric guitar, and I said I did.

After a few exchanges, I ended up promising to bring my electric guitar to his daycare class. But, I told him, not for a while, as I had some things I needed to finish, first. (My Dissertation revisions -- but I didn't tell him that.)

So: I guess I'll be bringing my electric guitar, plus some effects pedals and an amp, to my daughter's daycare class. Sometime in late April, I suppose.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Change of seasons

For a number of reasons, I **always** wear shorts -- walking shorts, gym shorts, cutoffs.

This morning, though, I actually put on socks, and slippers, as otherwise I was getting cold.

That's a sign that it's shifting towards winter... :)


Monday, March 23, 2009

I see the future

Something I’ve noticed since becoming a dad is that, to a limited degree, I can see into the future. It’s not perfect, and it’s not universal - - but it’s there.

For example, my daughter will be hopping on one foot, on a dining-room chair: I can envision the chair tipping over, and her getting hurt. So, I ask her to get down from there.

I walk past a table, and see a glass of water just a few inches away from the edge: I see a toddler reaching out and grabbing it, spilling the water and possibly breaking the glass. So, I move the glass.

Things like that - - seeing into the future. I didn’t used to have it - - but now I do.

To a limited extent.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Music rituals

I just put the boys down for their nap a few minutes ago. The ritual is that around 11am, on the days that I stay home with the boys, we all lie down in ''The Cage'' -- a double-sized playpen that I rigged up -- and they fall asleep. Depending on how much sleep I'd achieved the night before, I fall asleep as well; other times I get up and do productive things -- usually with a two-hour window.

For the last week, I've been putting on one of my favorite albums, on ''repeat'', and listening to it as I lie there. Doing this made me realize that I never actually **listen** to music: I just put it on as a background for when I'm typing, or doing things around the house.

Back when I was a semi-swinging single, there was a period when I'd put on a CD and listen to it as I fell asleep: the lyrics; the instrumentation; how one song flowed -- or contrasted -- with the next. Somehow, I got out of the habit of doing that.

I should start doing that again. But, I'm married: so, with headphones. ;)


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Groovy glowing sink

As I mentioned a while back, when we visited the U.S. for Christmas, the cheapest fare was taking Korean Airlines, and staying overnight in an airport hotel in Seoul. Pretty nice bathroom, right? Black marble and all that...

Well, I thought this was a nifty innovation: in addition to the main, overhead light in the bathroom, there was a separate light switch for ''running lights'' under the sink cabinet.

I guess you can leave it on during the night, so you can find your way to the toilet in the middle of the night without having to flick on the overhead lights and blind yourself

It reminded me of those purple LED lights you can mount under your car:

I think those are pretty nifty (do they come in green?)

Sadly, they're on my ''To Buy -- when I have too much money'' list. My dad has a saying: you can only spend money once. For the $X it would cost, I'd rather buy a used analog synth, or a nice handplane.


Friday, March 20, 2009

School bad dream

Hm! Glad to know I'm not the only one who gets these dreams! (Source:

Depending on how your web browser is set up, you may need to click to enlarge it.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Moustache experiment

Sometimes I shave off the entire beard and moustache, and start from scratch. And, sometimes I stop halfway through the process to take some pics. Here's some, from a recent endeavour.

And, here's what I look like after I come back to my senses...

Actually, in the topmost photo, I look a bit like B.J., from M*A*S*H. :)


Monday, March 16, 2009

Gendered toilets

iHere in Australia, rather than manufacturing toilets, we breed them.

At my wife's work, they have separate closets where they keep the toilets.

These are snapshots of the door to the female toilets (you may need to click on the photos to enlarge them, as the writing on the signs is rather small). The male toilets are kept separate, down the hall.

As a foreigner, this intrigues me -- local culture and all that.

If you're ever in Aussie-land, ask to go see the toilet breeding grounds: very interesting!


Friday, March 13, 2009

Red box D&D

Ah, youth...

A nostalgic examination of the red box ''Basic D&D'' set.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

All the Voices - Playground

When I go to used CD stores, I love browsing through the ''discount'' pile. Assuming the shop has listening facilities, I tend to grab a pile of twenty or thirty albums with intriguing song titles, and walk away with five or six obscure -- but still to my liking -- albums.

One of my favorite albums is by a group called ''All the Voices''; the album is Playground. It just has a cover, no liner notes, so it doesn't give any information about the band members. The record label doesn't yield any hits. And the album was released prior to the ubiquity of the internet -- so, no band websites, and the band name doesn't yield any hits.

So, I'm posting this blog post. Hopefully, someday, one of the band members of this band will Google their old band's name, out of curiosity... and stumble across this entry.

If (when?) that happens: Hi! Please leave some contact information in the ''Comments'' section. I'd love to get whatever additional music you guys produced. (Any solo projects? Did the band morph into a new band, with a different band name?)

Many thanks...


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Dolly Parton is coolness

OK, sure Dolly Parton is fun to make fun of. But she's a danged good songwriter. **And**, she apparently does some pretty good charity work.

One that Slag might appreciate:

''Her literacy program, Dolly Parton's "Imagination Library", which mails one book per month to children from the time of their birth until they enter kindergarten, began in Sevier County, Tennessee, but has now been replicated in 566 counties across thirty-six U.S. states [...]. The program distributes more than 2.5 million free books to children annually.''

(source: )

Hmm -- so, if you enter kindergarten at five years old, that's 60 months -- which would be 60 books.

Not bad.


Monday, March 09, 2009

Flipping the bozo bit

It seems like I may've blogged about this before -- but it's **my** blog, so I can be redundant if I wanna.

I was reminded of the most excellent phrase ''flipping the bozo bit'' (i.e. mentally re-categorizing someone from "not a bozo" to "a bozo, worthy of ignoring/dismissing his/her imput").

Was reminded of it by this article, where the phrase was used in passing: ''If a program manager says dumb things, the programmer might flip the bozo bit on them.''

Flip the bozo bit; love it; must remember.