Archive for January, 2006

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A Conversation with My Geek Girl

January 13, 2006

Background: Naomi loves her new Geekwear. For Christmas, I bought for her a Version 2.0 T-shirt and a new Geek in Training T-shirt to replace the one she’d outgrown.

She loves the shirts! She calls the “Geek in Training” one her “Mouse Shirt,” and asked for it every day several times a day when it was in the laundry. While that was being washed, she tried the “Version 2.0” shirt. (I suppose it really should be a Version 2.4 shirt, or maybe 2.3, depending on whether John gets—as the software equivalent of a buy-out—his own version number.) She went around showing people at church, pointing at the logo, and saying, “Version two oh.” Nichelle observed:

At Christmas, Doug bought Naomi two new geek shirts. She loves them. Yesterday, I was putting her laundry away and she spotted her V2.0 shirt and picked it up and hugged it. She was already dressed so I told her she could wear it to bed. She quickly took it and put it under her pillow and remembered to get it when it was bedtime.

At any rate, Naomi’s speech is becoming much more complex (even beyond calling me a weasel or a slacker). I called home one day, and she wanted to talk to me.

NaNi: Version 2.0

Dad: Your Version 2.0 shirt? I’m very glad you like it.

NaNi: Thank you, Daddy!

Dad: You’re welcome.

NaNi: Love you, Daddy. Bye!

She melts my heart!

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Sledding (2005–2006)

January 9, 2006

We have been leaving our sleds out most of the winter as offerings to the snow gods. So far it has been working, although I had to correct the kids on making the proper offering. Scattering the toboggans about the yard is not the way to get the snow gods’ attention: One must place the sleds vertically, up against the deck or porch railing, as if ready for instant use. You don’t want to get rain all winter, do you?

This is Naomi’s first year sledding.

Above: NaNi, at the bottom of the hill after one of her first-ever sledding runs. “Again!”

Sledding was great last night at Roby Park, in Nashua, which is not far from our house! The snow was perfect for speed; we were getting within about 20 feet of the fence at the bottom of the hill. Conditions should be same for the next few nights; I can’t go tonight. I might go on Tuesday, but will probably have too much work.

Isaac was practicing on a $1, small, narrow snowboard we got at a yard sale—it’s amazing how quickly he learns. He had several runs where he made it almost completely down the hill. I wonder how he’d do on a larger board with boot clamps. David tried it sitting and laying down. Isaac also challenged us to race him, sleds versus feet. He’s fast.

Above left: Isaac’s Calvin & Hobbes snowman (2 heads, 4 arms, etc.).

Above right: Our three-toboggan sled train. NaNi is in the front, Doug is in the middle (and providing the steering), David is in the back.

Naomi was completely thrilled. She always wants to go from the very top of the hill. I hold her sled in front of mine, which provides excellent steering control. The second day we went sledding, someone bumped her, and she was noticably timid for the rest of that day; last night she was fine. She seems nervous still while we are getting in position. I reassure her by explaining what I’m doing. “I’m just getting onto my sled. Don’t worry, I won’t let go of you. Remember, we won’t move until you say, ‘Go.'” And then she counts down (or up), and calls out, “Go!” and we’re off! Her first word upon reaching the bottom is, “Again!” She burst into tears when I said it was time to go home.

Above left: In the Wilcox backyard, the natives are restless. Isaac uses his bow and arrow to enhance his Mutant Snow Goon.

Above right: Even though our sledding was done, and we were all a little wet and cold, NaNi insisted on continuing to play outside.

Earlier this year, I took some pictures, and even have a short video clip of one of Naomi’s first sledding runs (if for nothing more than freaking out Nichelle). I’ll have to see what’s worth posting. (Editor’s note: I looked; the video isn’t that great, and the photos are mostly dark or blurry. It was cold when I took them! I’ve added the one that was decent.)

(New photos above added January 25, 2006.)

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Geek-Boy Isaac Makes Science Mistake

January 5, 2006

Ten-year-old Isaac Douglas Wilcox jeopardized his entire future career in science today, when he described the maximum size of an Australian salt water crocodile as “seven to eight feet.”

Fortunately, his vastly more knowledgeable father was there to correct this serious breech of cognition, and he quickly righted the error, pointing out that “Salties” grow to twenty to twenty-five feet in length. (The largest ever found was 29 feet in length.)

(This post has nothing to do with the fact that Isaac loves pointing out those extremely rare occasions when I am wrong in a scientific area. It’s all about the newsworthiness, folks.)

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Domestic Security Consultant Visits Wilcox Home

January 1, 2006

On Friday, the Wilcox family received a long-awaited visit from Clover, a border collie who is employed as a domestic security consultant north of here.

After an intimidating first meeting, Naomi and Clover became fast friends. NaNi adopted the same pose as Clover for all their photos together. (Note that Naomi is wearing some of her new Geekwear: a “Version 2.0” t-shirt.)

Clover presented on such important topics as stick-fetching, ball-fetching, stick destroying, Nerf-ball chewing, human herding, neighborhood patrols, criminal background checks, and indicating when one needs to use the little dog’s room. (I am told by Matt Camillieri that other canines, such as Winnie Sohmer, are not so good at communicating such a vital topic.)

Clover is a good dog.