Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Level of Excitement

We saw a new level of excitement at Christmas with Aidan.  I have some video I am still working on that shows it best.  But his tone and volume were very fun to watch when he got a very exciting present! 

Friday, December 18, 2009


I wonder what it is going to take before we 2 leggeds see the problems we are causing on this planet.  It's clear that there is a lot of greed and self interest to overcome watching the news from the Climate Change Meeting in Copenhagen.  Also, the existing national structures clearly don't help, not that I can suggest an alternative. 

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Barred Owl

I was out for a run with our whippet Patriot and just flushed a barred owl from its perch just as we were coming to the end of the run near our back gate.  I stopped and watched for a while as the owl just flew a very short distance to a nearby beech tree.  It alternated looking directly at me and turning its head 180 degrees around.  I got a nice look for about 5 minutes.  Barred owls have a lot of signficance for me.  I see and hear them a lot and especially around significant events such as deaths.  I was thinking a lot of the protection of wildlife in the area today since  I was looking into the alteration of some beaver dams nearby by humans, about the recent lifting of the bobcat quota (saw a bobcat the same day), and the protection of a nearby 4 wheel drive road.  [ I saw someone who looked like they might be buying the land at the start of the run.]  It's certainly easy to project significance on these events.  On the other hand, some seem very clearly to be tied into, for lack of a better world, the spirit world. 

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Marketing to Kids

Three is such as wonderful age.  The tantrums die down and they can do more on their own such as going to bathroom, getting dressed, washing hands, and brushing teeth.  Since Aidan knows he will get a timeout for certain behaviors, the behaviors are fairly rare.  It's a wonderful age.  They are so open and generally happy and fun and still want to be close to you.  I have noticed how effective marketing is for 3 year old.  Aidan wants every single toy he sees on TV.  I have started to skip over them on the DVR.  Also, going through the grocery store, all the junk cereals are right at cart level and the colors and pictures are very attractive to a young mind. 

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sense of Time

Aidan's sense of time is really interesting. When I told him his friends were coming over after naps, he asked to take a nap at 9:00 am yesterday morning. He also has been saying to me, "When you are a little boy, you can ..."

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


The two dogs investigate new smells along the northern woods path
The air full of water and sound
Autumn leaves fall

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Passing Gas

Aidan comments after passing gas, "My bum burped, Daddy!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Funny Phrase

We have a (very good) pizza shop called Country Pie. Aidan calls it Crunchy Pie. Cracks me up every time.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Going Into Books and TV

Aidan has started to talk about physically going into books and TV shows that he likes. Kind of cool.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Growing Up

Aidan is really growing up and very much wanting to do things himself. He is going to be an athlete. He is climbing rock walls, hitting, catching and throwing, riding a bicycle (with training wheels), and getting good at basketball. You really have mixed feeling when you see your son riding a bicycle by himself or going on a carnival ride by himself. Proud and happy but also realizing a certain time of life is ending.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Lyrics Dream

I had a dream about jamming with a famous bluegrass musician (can't remember who.) What was interesting was that the singer made a up brand new verse to a well known song. I clearly recall the song and the new lyric fit the song perfectly. I am amazing that my brain could make up such a lyric, presumably, on the fly that fit an real and existing song so perfectly.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Latest Project

I have been leading the effort to get a new playground for our town. We just finished on Monday. It was very gratifying to see how much the kids loved it. They could not wait to get on it. It was also great to get to know some our fellow townspeople who volunteered much better.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


We drove over I-91 and commented on the heavy traffic. After we crossed over the bridge and saw one car, Aidan commented that there was only one traffic.

Aidan is starting to get into killing insects and spiders and playing violent games with his little dinosaurs. Always a challenge to know what to do. I have been saying we only kill bugs that try to bite us and to gentle discourage dinosaur killing games. Not sure how effective that has been so far.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Friday, July 24, 2009


Aidan says "Butterfly neck" instead of "Butterfly net." He also says "Gobbles" for "Goggles." I usually say the word back correctly to him without indicated that he mispronounced. Sometimes, it is tempting to say it back his way due the cuteness factor. He has generalized the rules for plurals and past tense but I notice that he does not have all the (many) exceptions yet.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Death and Violence

Is this a boy thing? Aidan has been into killing bugs and has somehow learned the word dead. I guess this stuff is going to come up whether we like it or not and what is important is how we react to it. I have been telling him it is OK to kill bugs that are trying to bite you. I don't really want him killing insects that aren't doing him any harm.

Aidan Saying

Catch it to me, Daddy.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Web SIte

Aidan just informed me that he was "getting the web site ready" this morning when he was messing around with the computer and mouse. He also had his first "lesson" in using Kid Pix. He just turned 3.

Doe and Fawn

Saw a doe and fawn in the middle, grassy divider of our local highway. The fawn was very small. I hate to see deer and other animals in the middle of a highway, especially a fawn. Did not see any road kill on the way home so I hope they made it off I-91 safely. I understand that Europe does much more than we do with animal tunnels and bridges to help movement around highways. Especially with Jersey barriers, we have caused a lot of problems with genetic diversity because animals cannot travel to breed causing a lack of genetic variation in some areas.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Analogy and Perspective

Aidan turned 3 yesterday and I have noticed two forms of astract thinking developing. One is for analogy. One example was heard today while he was eating blueberries. He said that the blueberries with visble. long stems were like lollipops. Note that he DID NOT LIKE the stems. The second was with perspective drawings. While formerly he would ask me why the train tracks just stopped, I noticed recently that he is saying the are very far away.

Monday, June 1, 2009


I was very impressed with Aidan's social skills at a bluegrass festival this weekend. First, he liked to say, "What's your name?" or just "Hi" to everyone walking by he found interesting. Second, he made tons of friends and seems to have developed strategies for starting play. The one we saw the most is when he comes up to a new kid and holds out one of his toys. We saw some other kids having a real hard time sharing and it was a big contrast. Not that he doesn't have his moments too. There were some midgets there too (not sure it that is the correct word anymore.) Aidan just commented that there were some little people and asked why and that was the end of it.

I have a dog training blog too if you are interested...

Good Whippet

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Blue Tractor is Missing

Driving to daycare yesterday, Aidan commented that one of the blue tractors (at a farm we drive by every day) was missing. I thought this was a new and interesting concept for him. That was the first time I heard him say that something was missing and it was part of a set in his mind.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Pulls Up (Not for the Faint of Heart)

My daycare provider has provided me with some life changing information. We have started to use pull up diapers to aid in toilet training. These can be pulled down and up easily for trips to the potty. I was thinking that maybe Aidan was not ready for them yet because when there is a poop, the poop would get everywhere pulling them down. She informed me that there is tape on the side so that they can be taken off just like diapers. Who knew?


Aidan is entering the 3 year old "Why?" phase. I was wondering when this would happen.

The interesting part is that after I give an explanation (as age appropriate as possible, of course) he immediately asks why again and perhaps even a few more times. I wonder what the repetition is about - perhaps a need to hear it again to gain understanding?

I wonder if this is related to a cognitive milestone around cause and effect. That is, he is ready now to understand that things have a cause and effect.

Answering these questions can certainly be a challenge sometimes. Why is someone sick? Why do Wyatt and Patriot practice sits and stays?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Broken Wrist

I am feeling a little old having a broken wrist. I can't toss my 3 year old kid around. That's what I miss the most. But most things are harder to do. I look forward to being able to toss Aidan around again in a month.

Monday, April 27, 2009

New Phrases

Sunscream (for sunscreen)

Aidan says in a very hurt voice now when he does not get his way, "Mommy said no to me!"

Friday, March 27, 2009

Structure vs 2 Year Old

I tend to be very structured, organized, and love lists and checking off things on my list. This is very different from how 2 year old operate. They want to have fun, to do whatever interests them at the time, and repeat their favorite things over and over again. They seem to care little for the things on my lists like cleaning, shopping, and getting stuff done! Sometimes, you can have both. Yesterday, I had Aidan out in the yard and I started moving some wood around from the ice storm and I had him throw some wood down the hill too. That can happen sometimes but I need to try and let go of my to dos during play time.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


We have possible layoffs next year at my elementary school. I am facing a possibility of a layoff or reduction in hours. While I had hoped the nice little job I have could be a good way to finish out my teaching career, I have to face the fact that that may not happen. There is a lot of drama right now about the budget. I have done all I can go at this point to make it clear what eliminating technology at our school would do so I trying to let go of the drama and accept what happens at this point. I am tuning up my various resumes (I have one for tech teacher, one for classroom teacher, and one for software engineer) and setting up and checking different job sites. It is hard but it does feel much better to detach from the drama and stress and to accept some uncertainty and the possibility of change. I am not always sure I beleive the old adage that what was meant to happen will happen but it does feel like perhaps it may be time for a change, if that's the way it works out. I do tend to get bored after 5-7 years in one job.

Friday, March 6, 2009


Something I am realizing in my bones after 50 years on this earth walk.

I typically react based on what is right and wrong, what is logical. I tend to be lawyer like and want to argue a case if something is bothering me. Nothing wrong with that. I have learned to do it well and to generally do it in a respectful way and do try to propose win-win solutions.

But I do not always consider the timing and other person's emotional state. Sometimes you have to find the right time even if you are very much in your moment. Also, you have to think about what the other person is about and their emotional state and what motivates them. I am also finding that I need to think about the best way to "win" and not just about what I think is right. Sometimes that will mean coming on strong, sometimes being deferential, etc. So you have to read the situation accuratly before reacting.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


I have been a bit worried about my job next year. The ways things look, there will be lots of teacher layoffs next year in our area and perhaps everywhere. Seems like not the best thing as we really need to be more competitive as a country. While Obama provided money for schools, we are not sure how much will reach us. Right now, the state is level funding education next year. However, they are reducing aid to towns. So towns, with excise taxes down, property taxes down, and state aid town are reducing their funds for education. So while the Governer Patrick and President Obama talk about no layoffs for teachers, the reality seems to be different. Time to write some letters!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Dealing with Difficult People

Something I have been struggling with. When dealing with difficult people, when do you be nice and deferential, which sometimes works? When do you come on strong? How strong can you be without crossing the line into personal attack?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Another Aidan Saying

My eyes are cold. I need my glasses.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

25 Things About Me

1) I used to be President of the Greater Boston Track Club.
2) I hold 2 software patents.
3) I have spent many years tracking bears and other mammals.
4) I once lived in Costa Rica for a month.
5) I am obsessive about things being put away in their places.
6) I have been programming computers since 1976.
7) I know the names of all 4 Teletubbies.
8) I am half Irish and half Italian.
9) I am a very good test taker.
10) I want to see Ireland some day.
11) I want to canoe the Boundary Waters someday.
12) I want to live for a long time.
13) I got my first dog when I was 44.
14) I used to think I was a cat person.
15) I went fishing for bass a lot when I was a kid.
16) I plow my own driveway and road.
17) I used to listen to a lot of punk and new wave in college.
18) I love classical music especially Bach, Mozart, and Italian opera.
19) I play the Packrat (aka Crackrat) game obessively on Facebook.
20) When I was a kid, I used to run around the house and try and beat the electric meter reading.
21) I practiced Zen for many years but I had a vision during a meditation retreat to start practicing Native American religions.
22) I love owls and see and hear them all the time.
23) I voice told me to quick drinking when I was 25 or I would die and I did.
24) I tend to know a lot of people from doing things.
25) I tend to really get into things and then turn to something else but come back again. Some of these things are computers, juggling, guitar, singing, tracking, skiing, snowshoeing. I want to teach my sons these things as he grows up.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Another Toddler Expresion

Daddy, I want some oranges juice.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Continuum of Behavior

Teaching my tech class to kindergarten kids last week, a girl in the class was resistant to following the plan I had and wanted to basically do whatever she wanted to do. This is very much in tune with what I see with my 2 1/2 year old son Aidan. Before we had Aidan, I would have thought about the girl's behavior as oppositional or just something that needed to be fixed as she progressed through kindergarten. Even though my response was basically the same, I did feel that I was more compassionate and understanding with her in that I saw that her behavior was just the tail end of a toddler behavior.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Another One

From my son Aidan - 2 1/2 - "My carrot was nice and crunchy."

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Funny Kid Sayings

Aidan is starting to put together different ideas and words creativity to express himself. Some are hilarious.

"Daddy, can you take the paper off the banana?"

"Daddy, the smoke is coming out of the car's chimney."

Thursday, January 8, 2009


My grandmother died around Thanksgiving. She was 96 years old. She was always a person of faith. We talked about this a few times. Even though I am not Catholic like she was and follow Native American religion and Zen, I am also a person of faith. My faith is based on experience though and is not blind faith but based on experiences I have had both in mediatition and in other experiences. Anyway, in the dream, I was looking through some of grandma's old jewelry and she appeared. I reached out to touch her hand and it was solid and not ephemeral like one might expect a ghost to be. She said she was in heaven and also said with a smile that I told you there was a heaven.