Monday, July 02, 2007
Scenes From a Vacation
And...we're back. A few vignettes from the last week:
The Girl was so happy that she started each morning with a little dance as soon as she got out of bed. It's a variation on a dinosaur stomp, while doing the front crawl with her arms. I can't remember what it was like to be so happy that I had to celebrate the start of a day with a victory dance.
There is no better amusement park ride than a log flume. The Boy disagrees.
Bumper boats armed with squirt guns are also pretty cool. The Boy agrees on that one.
Whatever happened to “knee-high by the fourth of July”? We drove past many a cornfield, and the corn was easily five feet high. Is that the fruit of hybridization, more-intensive fertilizing, a longer and warmer growing season as a result of global warming, a misleading rhyme, or all of the above?
The Girl was surprisingly clingy for most of the trip – not in an anxious way, but just wanting to be picked up a lot, mostly by me. I think she needs a little more Daddy time than she's been getting. It's fun just to let her talk and see what happens. This week she used the word “confused” correctly, which I think is pretty good for a two-year-old.
Whoever invented central air should be awarded every prize society can offer – Nobel, Pulitzer, Tony, Kids' Choice, all of them. Verily, it is good.
We went on a restored historical railroad, complete with restored historical men leading a singalong on the way back. If you want a sense of the experience, lock yourself in a hot, humid, swaying room for an hour with someone who can't stop talking about canals of the 1800's, then wants you to join in a chorus of “New York, New York.” The living envied the dead. Add “singalongs” to the list of Things I Don't Do, right after “botany.”
You know you've been sucked into your profession when you're driving back from a faraway destination and reflecting on the kind of community college programs that would likely succeed there. And resolving to check out the local campus on the internet. It's a sickness, I tells ya...
We also attended a 50th wedding anniversary celebration for The Wife's aunt and uncle. I had a mini-coronary when I saw, out of the corner of my eye, a kid who looks just like The Boy in four years. I actually had to look back at TB to assure myself. Several other people there noted the resemblance, too. I wasn't emotionally ready to see Future Boy running the PowerPoint show of fifty-year-old wedding photos.
If The Boy and The Girl had their way, they would have chicken nuggets and/or mac and cheese at every meal. Children's menus are distressingly similar wherever you go.
The Girl is learning the fine art of the protest march. One afternoon she got hungry for dinner a little early. When we told her dinner would be in a little while, she started marching in circles from the dining room to the living room to the hallway to the kitchen to the dining room, chanting rhythmically “I-am-hun-gy! I-am-hun-gy!” I can't decide if this is a good thing. I imagine in a few years it'll be “What do we want? Dinner! When do we want it? Now!”
And now back to our regularly scheduled blog.
(For those confused by the bit: our grandfather raised corn, and "knee-high [corn plants] by the Fourth of July" was an axiom in our family, a truth along the lines of "the sun rises in the east.")
My entirely uneducated guesses:
--Grandpa grew crops in the upper midwest. That short, late-starting growing season put his corn behind the schedule of most places. I live in the south, and the local corn is dang tall already.
--The engineered and hybridized varieties of corn grown by modern commercial farmers probably grow a heck of a lot faster than the seeds our grandfather planted in the seventies and eighties.
--Also, he was growing sweet corn, not "dent" or "field" corn, which is what most large farms grow. Maybe sweet corn grows slower?
--He didn't fertilize the bejeezus out of his garden, if I remember right.
My personal theory: communism. I blame the Reds. Can't trust 'em.
In my limited experience (18 years of corn watching) this was determined by the amount of rain that fell in the spring. Too much or too little, and the corn would be too short.
This was in far upstate NY (dairy country), and applied to feed corn as well as sweet corn.
my money's on:
"Hey-HEY! Ho-HO! Empty tummies have got to GO! Hey-HEY! Ho-HO!" etc...
As for air conditioning, you can learn all you want about Carrier and Air conditioning from the ASME. You can also learn about related contributions from a comic book series they produced
by looking under the August entry.