Sometimes, The Wheel is on Fire

Sometimes, The Wheel is on Fire

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Getting Back to My Roots

Astute readers of this blog will have noticed my writing has fallen off of late. Not only am I blogging less, but my posts have become very photo-centric. And though photographs and stories of my son are fun, I think we can all agree something has been missing.

By something, of course, I mean footnotes.1

After all, footnotes are the bedrock of what makes this country blog great.2 In fact, back when I first invented The Wheel, I named it after a footnote.3

So that's my goal. Cut back on posts written solely to accompany photos. Get back to writing things of substance.4 Sprinkle in a liberal amount of footnotes.5 Bake for thirty minutes.6

Sure, I'll probably give up on this goal7 within a couple weeks, and again resort to posting cute things my son says. But the important thing is I pretended it was a goal in the first place. Because it's good to have goals.

It's fun to pretend, too.8

1 Kind of like this one. (But only kind of.)
2 Great. Now that I said bedrock I can't stop thinking about the Flintstones. You know, because their beds were made of rock. (To find out what that would feel like, find your local quarry and take your soft mattress for granite.) Note: This bad pun alert arrives a sentence too late.
3 What, you don't believe me? Come on, not everything I say needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Especially since it's such a pain to eat salt one grain at a time. Just do what I do: Down a tablespoon of the stuff before you read anything I've written. Go ahead, grab a spoonful and then read my blog's origin story.
4 Of course, my idea of substance might differ from yours. I'm talking about sarcasm. Because that totally works in print.
5 To balance things out politically, I'll ensure such footnotes are right-leaning.
6 No, that's not a reference to smoking pot. It's playing off the "sprinkle" in the previous sentence as if it was part of a recipe. Didn't you know? Cooking humor always trumps drug humor. #hashtag
7 Except the part about the footnotes.
8 I'm even pretending people will read this post when I didn't include a photo. Wow, I am so naïve.

Monday, March 31, 2014

And Then The Professor Got His Hands On A Duplicator

About a year ago, I shared some Calvin & Hobbes with my son. This included parts of Scientific Progress Goes "Boink", which has a duplicator on its cover. He was only 1½ years old at the time, so I assumed he wouldn't absorb any of it. Little did I know...

For most kids, Calvin & Hobbes is a fun comic about a boy and his stuffed tiger.

For my son, it's a How-To manual.

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Egregious Egg Egression

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. But a horrible winter.

This is clearly a case for the people at Mysterious Mysteries. Last week, the last of the snow finally melted in our front yard, revealing a single egg. Slightly cracked, yet not dented, its yolk remains intact inside although its white spilled out and dried to the grass.

It sat maybe halfway between our house and the street, beside our walkway. We certainly hadn't opened any egg containers on the way into the house. And there were no eggs in anyone else's yard on our street. So where did it come from? What does it mean?

Did a migrating bird lay it mid-flight?
Was it the result of a mischievous teen with atrocious aim?
Has our son's secret plant-an-egg project finally begun to bear fruit?
Is it a warning from the chicken mafia?

I have no idea. But just to be safe, I think I'll lay low for a while.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Wit and Wisdom of The Professor

The Professor has no idea he's The Professor. No one has ever called him that in real life. He may never have even heard the word. Nevertheless, as his tireless student, I watch and listen, taking notes...

Denise and he are discussing which animals have tails. The last one she asks is...
"Does Daddy have a tail?"
(long pause)
"Probably not."
Denise points to a candy cane and asks what it is.
"A reindeer stalk."
Whenever someone asks, "How are you?" he will inevitably answer: "Two." Then he'll hold up that many fingers.
"Mommy, look what I made in the living room!"
"What did you make?"
"A mess!"

He comes into the kitchen and says, "I want some more milk please."
I also want him to eat some lunch, so I ask, "Would you like some cheese, or an apple?"
He walks over to me, and taps on my leg with each word, for emphasis. "I. Want. Some. More. Milk. Please."

Clearly I have a hearing problem.
Like many parents, we began the ritual of kissing a boo-boo to make it feel better. He did us one better: While running around the living room, he banged his knee against the table. He stopped, bent down to kiss his own knee, then got right back to running.
"Hey guys! Go in the kitchen!" He then takes off for the other side of the house. His 6-year-old cousins look at each other, then get up from what they were doing and follow. Within moments, he's chasing them in circles around the house, laughing his head off.

It's good to be the king.

"I'll be right back."
He'll say this sometimes. He could be going upstairs, or across the yard, or down the sidewalk. I start to follow.
"No, you stay here. I'll be right back."
He's sitting by the front door at his grandma's house. Denise asks what he's doing.
"I'm just sitting here."
While Denise is at Target and I'm home with him, he sees a loose thread in a pillow. So of course, this is his natural thought progression:
"I have to clip this...
I have to clip this at Target...
I have to clip this at Target tomorrow...
I have to go to Target tomorrow."
He'll refer to himself in the third person when using a puppet. For instance, last week I asked what he did at daycare. The alligator on his hand told me, "He drove a police car in the village, and Marty pushed him."

He has wrapped his fork in his napkin.
"My fork doesn't like the cold."
"Let's go upstairs and I'll push Mommy's buttons!"
He has shown little interest in using the potty. Then one day he says what sounds like "Can I use the potty?"
Happy to hear it, I ask, "You want to use the potty?"
"No, you want to use the potty. I'll wait here."

Curses, foiled again. the little man with the chocolate ice cream goatee.

By the way, clicking on any of the above images will fill me with immense joy (and allow you to see the picture larger). And if you're so inclined, you can view all of his latest photos on Flickr.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Raptor vs. Turtle

Raptors vs. The World #5
vs. Elephant | vs. Sheep | vs. Pig | vs. Tiger | vs. Turtle

Murray ambled along, taking in the scenery. Out of nowhere, some young buck shot past him, nearly trampling him in the process. He shook his head and kept walking. He'd never understand the need to rush everywhere. What was so bad about enjoying the here and now? Even in his youth, Murray had extolled the virtues of patience and persistence, but then as now, few listened.

And as if on cue, here was someone else quickly approaching from behind. Well, he'd be damned if he was going to step aside. No, sir. Like his grandpa always said, slow and steady wins the—


Now try this: Read the story again, but this time ignore the photo. That is, think of the characters as people, not animals. (It's interesting how much a single image can change your perception of a story, isn't it?)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Raptor vs. Tiger

Raptors vs. The World #4
vs. Elephant | vs. Sheep | vs. Pig | vs. Tiger | vs. Turtle

Natalia strolled along the river, quite happy with how things were coming together. He thought he was so clever, sticking to the shadows outside her periphery. What a novice. She'd caught his scent right from the start, and heard him not long after. She had a knack for knowing when someone was on her tail.

She didn't acknowledge his presence — no reason to spook him. It would be far more fun if he believed he had the upper hand right till the last moment. She slowed her gait, then paused at the side of the river and dangled her toes in.

It wouldn't be long now. Natalia could sense him slipping out of the shadows, drawing ever closer. She purred in anticipation. Almost there. Almost...


Now try this: Read the story again, but this time ignore the photo. That is, think of the characters as people, not animals. (It's interesting how much a single image can change your perception of a story, isn't it?)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Raptor vs. Pig

Raptors vs. The World #3
vs. Elephant | vs. Sheep | vs. Pig | vs. Tiger | vs. Turtle

Larry was used to being picked on. He'd always been a bit on the heavy side, and his pale skin burned easily in the sun. This was his secret place, where he could come to escape others' judgment for a few hours.

He was sure he'd done the right thing today. The moral thing. But still, if they found out he was the one who'd squealed, they'd rip into him good. The whole business stank to high heaven, but at least now his conscience was clean. He'd hole up here till the uproar died down. No one else knew about this spot. Here, he was safe.


Now try this: Read the story again, but this time ignore the photo. That is, think of the characters as people, not animals. (It's interesting how much a single image can change your perception of a story, isn't it?)