Friday, November 30, 2007

St. Andrew

Well, today is the Feast of St. Andrew. I have no idea what that entails, I'm just proud of actually knowing that.

Every year the team from work goes out for a Christmas dinner. This year's dinner is tonight: yeah, it's a little early, but everyone (except me, of course) has their weekends booked from all through December, so we thought we'd just go early this year. So tonight we're going to the Capital Grille for dinner. The kids will be spending the night with some close friends, and we'll enjoy the best onion soup I've ever had.

Sounds promising.

In other news, I'm trying to learn to properly sharpen our knives. I purchased the Spyderco Sharpening System a few weeks back (a close friend has one and loves it), but I've been hesitant to mess with my Endura until I figure out how to do it right. My Endura has the "combo blade": the blade is serrated for about half it's length, and I don't want to ruin the serration. So I started on the kitchen knives yesterday: they're more expensive than my Endura, but they're also a much simpler blade: less opportunity to wreck something.

So far, it looks like we're getting the hang of sharpening: the Henckels seem to work a lot better, and I haven't actually hurt myself yet. Bonus!

Saturday, November 24, 2007


A couple weeks ago, my daughters were talking about something. I don't remember what it was: for the sake of argument, let's say they were talking about horses. It was a typical little kid conversation:
"I want a horse"
"I want two horses!"
"I want a hundred horses!"

My six year old pipes up: "I want aleph-nought horses!"

I was so proud.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends! Have a good and safe holiday. I'll be eating fried fatback, collards, chicken-and-pastry, turkey, pumpkin pie, and pound cake tomorrow. Hope you fare as well as I.

Thanksgiving might be my favourite day, but I'll be honest with you: I see no real meaning to it except a day off work. Ames' family enjoys Thanksgiving, which is sort of ironic: I mean, if they hadn't fed us, we wouldn't have survived to attempt genocide on them. Like Ames says, "I have no idea why we celebrate Thanksgiving."

Since Gwennie asked, the walks are proceeding slowly. We're getting back on track since work has calmed down again. We're planning to have a walk early tomorrow, before bundling in the 'burb and driving to Ames' parents' house. Thanks for asking.

Our house has been on the market just over a week, and we've had one showing. Not great; but not terrible, given the holiday season. We'll see how this all pans out...

Jeanne asked where "Clumsy Ox" comes from. Good question, actually. What happened was this: when I was about 10, my baby sister was drawing a silly little comic strip. I suggested she name a character "Clumsy Ox," and she delightedly did so. But then, by some cruel twist, she deluded herself into thinking that she had come up with that clever name. Over the years, I have borne silently with having my one (rather small) contribution to her comic strip misattributed; I finally decided to "take back Clumsy Ox," and hence this blog. But by happy chance, I have discovered Clumsy Ox is a perfect screen name: easy to remember, but also unique. See, "all things work together for good," even one's little sister taking credit for one's creativity.

Finally, I figured out the secret to professional typing. It's always interesting to note how few people in IT actually know how to type. Like me, they sort of hunt and peck, really quickly. But the secret to professional typing is, hit the Backspace with the same rhythm as the other keys. If you manage to learn that one skill, people hear a constant rhythm and figure you know how to type.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Checking in

Well, this week has gone very well: we've brought another factory online, and things have gone exceedingly smoothly. Of course, I am tired, worn-out, and sore from being on my feet for 12--14 hours at a time: my cushy job writing software has caught up to me in more than just my increasing waistline!

Speaking of which, I've been stumped recently by how to deal with the problem of exercise without spending yet more time apart from the kids. I suddenly had an inspiration a week or two ago. One of my daughters is a lot like me: adverse to physical exercise, fond of spending time with a book. I've been trying to figure out how to motivate her to get some exercise when I hit on the plan of father-and-daughter walks in the mornings. It's taken off well, except for turmoil caused by this week of chaos at work. So now three or four of us gambol along when it's still dark outside, enjoying the crisp morning air and each others' company. It's a chance for mum to get a little calm first thing in the morning too. And I might be over-optimistic, but I think it's having a positive affect on at least two of us.