One Word Descriptions: A Conversation with My Wife

Earlier today, we got an e-mail from a friend of ours, asking us to reply to her to answer the question, “How would you describe me in one word?” That sparked this conversation with Nichelle:

Doug: So, how would you describe me in one word?

Doug: After elminating the sarcastic response, that is.

Nichelle: Hmm

Nichelle: Several come to mind, but I would have to say, “determined.”

Doug: That’s just stubborn with a polite twist.

Nichelle: Wow, you caught that really fast!

Doug: Weaselette.

Proverbs 21:9: “It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.”

The Human You Have Reached, Doug Wilcox, Is Not In Service—Civ IV Is on the Way Here

It’s happening … The long-awaited Civilization IV is about to hit store shelves, and a special edition is available for pre-order now, probably shipping tomorrow.

Civilization IV is the latest in the wildly popular series of games from Sid Meier and Firaxis Games.

GameStop has the pre-order version with free 3-day shipping, using coupon code “CIV4.”

I have played untold hours of Alpha Centauri and Civlization III. Few game experiences are more enriching than nurturing a tiny colony into a massive, multicontinental empire—and what fun along the way! Research technology, explore, build wonders, wage war, handle diplomatic agreements, conduct espionage, or even build a spaceship to get to Alpha Centauri (my personally favorite victory condition). Civ IV promises completely reworked, smoother gameplay, a real 3D graphics engine, and a multiplayer mode that is actually playable. Civ IV also brings back “wonder movies,” which existed in Civ II and Alpha Centauri, but were not included in Civ III.

Read the detailed review at IGN, and wander over to the official Civ IV Web site. Best Buy has the system requirements, which aren’t excessive.

Once this game arrives, little is going to be able to drag me away from my keyboard. Hmmm. This will probably be a nationwide phenomenon. I don’t think it’s too late to invest in Maxwell House stock.

Hi, Slacker!

Naomi turned two on Thursday. Friday night, when I got home, she echoed David’s typical greeting of “Hi, slacker!” and has been saying it—with immense glee—ever since. Give it a listen: naomi_hi_slacker.mp3.

After a day, her pronunciation became even better: Give it a listen: naomi_hi_slacker_2.mp3.

Naomi even made up her own song using her new favorite word:

(Click here, or right-click and save if the above video won’t play, or you can view it on Google Video.)

Google Video is now including embedding code. Here it is below:

Horchata de Arroz

Nichelle made me horchata (pronounced or-CHAHT-uh) the other night, from a mix she got at Wal*Mart, of all places. I love my wife, and am thankful for the myriad ways she makes my life better.

Horchata de arroz is a wonderful, refreshing, sweet soft drink made from rice, and common in Mexico. It also makes an extremely reliable litmus test for determining the authenticity of a Mexican restaurant. If the restaurant never serves horchata (or worse, doesn’t even know what it is), it isn’t authentic.

This post at Too Many Chefs contains a recipe, and provides the history of horchata, or at least a credible theory about it. There are recipes all over the Web; here’s another one. Or perhaps you’d like to try this receta (Spanish for recipe).

Tasting horchata again certainly brings back memories. I sip it, and am instantly transported to northern México, where I have visited many times, or further back to my [church] bus route in Chicago—my first immersian in Latino culture.

Halo: Naomi, Dad, Isaac, and Peter Jackson


Naomi has learned her first video game name. It is Halo!
Give it a listen in .mp3 format: naomi_halo.mp3.


Since I purchased John’s Xbox at the beginning of summer, we’ve played countless rounds of Halo 2 in split screen mode. The problem: I can almost never beat David (age 6), and can never beat Isaac (age 10). :: sigh ::

Peter Jackson / Isaac:

Peter Jackson, amazing director of The Lord of the Rings films, has been tapped to run (as executive producer) the Halo movie, coming out in mid-2007.

The photo on the left shows how Isaac reacted to the news that Peter Jackson would be involved with the upcoming Halo movie. If anyone can pull off a successful video-game-to-movie production, it’s Peter Jackson. (Arguably the only game-to-movie film to date that even bears watching is Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within.)

Microsoft, film studios tap Jackson for ‘Halo’

By Lisa Baertlein

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The Oscar-winning creative team behind the “The Lord of the Rings” films, including director Peter Jackson, has been named to run the production of the upcoming film based on Microsoft Corp.’s (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research) blockbuster “Halo” video game, the company said on Tuesday.

Jackson and his wife, Fran Walsh, will serve as the executive producers for “Halo,” which is targeted for worldwide release in mid-2007 by Universal Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox film studios.

Universal will oversee the film’s production and domestic distribution. Fox will handle international distribution.

“Halo” will be shot in Wellington, New Zealand, and will use Jackson’s production and post-production facilities there.

“I’m a huge fan of the game and look forward to helping it come alive on the cinema screen,” Jackson said in a statement.

The executive producers will collaborate with Universal, Fox and Microsoft’s Bungie Studios, which created the game.

“Halo,” the best-selling franchise for Microsoft’s Xbox game console, follows the adventures of the futuristic super-soldier “Master Chief” as he battles an alien onslaught.

Screenwriter and novelist Alex Garland wrote the original feature film adaptation of Halo. A director will be named in coming weeks, but the cast has yet to be announced.

And there’s another article at 1Up:


NaNi (Naomi Nichelle) will be two years old in two days! I can’t believe how much she has changed in the past month. Her speech, which was just getting past the R2-D2 phase a month ago, is now exploding with sentences and more complex thoughts, and with more new words every day than we can list.

Every morning when one of us goes to get Naomi out of her crib (surprisingly, she hasn’t climbed out of it yet), she will not even say hello, but asks for the other parent. If I go in, her greeting is, “Where’s Mommy?” If Nichelle goes in, her greeting is, “Where’s Daddy?” Last Sunday Nichelle and I decided to go in together to see what her reaction would be. She wouldn’t say a word, not even hi.

Today Naomi received a birthday card from Grandma Wilcox, and it contained a $5 bill. She was excited to get mail. (Nichelle sang the “Mail Time” song from Blue’s Clues.) As Naomi opened the card, she saw the $5 bill, grabbed it, held it up to her face, gave it a hug, and then gave it a kiss. Yikes!

Nichelle had fun creating—and has fun maintaining—NaNi’s classic beaded hairstyle.

As for me, I’m keeping my shotgun in good order. Those boys will be coming to the door any day now; I want to be ready.

David’s Grace

David is our most socially aware child, although John is very close. (Isaac we often called Machine-Boy, when he was an infant, demonstrating the contrast in human interaction degrees between the two youngest boys.)

Wal*Mart had small plasma globes for only $9.92 (which Ravi Gopalan had pointed out to me). I decided the plasma globes I had drooled over had finally gotten inexpensive enought to purchase.

I brought one home to surprise the kids. Nichelle went to plug it in, and asked, is this supposed to be in two pieces? Despite the globes’ being packaged in heavy styrofoam, I managed to pick one that was broken. Fortunately for us, Wal*Mart is only a few minutes away, although I was glad I brought a book with me while waiting in the customer service line.

I returned with a new plasma globe, and the kids loved it. (See the photo above.)

The next day, I returned home from work to learn that the new plasma globe had been broken. Isaac apparently left it on the floor, and later forgot it was there and damaged it. So, justly, Isaac had to pay to replace the plasma globe.

However, David stepped in, and for reasons of his own, demonstrated grace. He said, “I have more money than Isaac,* so I want to pay for the new plasma globe.”

I haven’t purchased the new globe yet. I am thinking that a $20 model which is much larger would be better, but I am amazed by the grace David showed, especially in an issue involving money, which he cares quite a bit about. It’s wonderful to see one’s children behaving unselfishly. Now, if they would only default to unselfish behavior …

*This is a statistical anomoly. David never has more money than Isaac.