Monday, November 06, 2006

Landon dancing

The last few days Landon has suffered from stomach flu with much vomiting. Never have I been through so many costume changes and towels in such little time...

Anyway, to help me remember happier days when Landon is not feeling ill...

.... Ladies and Gentlemen, I am proud to present Landon's dancing premiere...

Click. Watch. Enjoy. Comment :)


Monday, July 24, 2006

Hawaii pics

Saturday, July 22, 2006


On Thursday 20th we returned from a 10 day trip to Hawaii. This at least I have learned. A vacation with a child (even with a helping mother-in-law) is a very different proposition from the romantic tropical getaway that Cathleen and I had previously experienced in Hawaii. To start with, Landon hated the rental car/rented car seat, so that meant any time we had to drive anywhere, he had to be forced into the seat with much tears and struggling (his, not ours... though, come to think of it...). And of course, we had to drive almost everywhere.

I've come to the conclusion that everything I've ever watched about KGB interrogation techniques is a load of c**p. All they need to do was play a tape of a screaming infant for 48 hours, and before you know it, you'll have the location of every missile site in N. America. Is there anything else that jars the nerves quite so effectively, even through earplugs (which I now keep in the car)?

To be honest, I'm much more relaxed now that I'm back than I ever was on this vacation. I admit, it wasn't all bad. There were some highlights such as a helicopter ride, snorkeling in the Molokini crater, a great dinner at Mama's Fish House, swimming with turtles, swimming in a waterfall, hiking in a bamboo forest etc., ... but this was easily offset by the general stress. Added to that there was some stuff happening back home in UP world that I needed to continue to deal with by email.

The irony is, sitting here looking at the pictures of the vacation on my computer is actually much more relaxing than being there!

I shouldn't be such an ingrate. In the end, it's all about expectations, and I had to adjust mine pretty quickly. It reminds me of my current life theme of The Gap, as in The Gap Between What Could Be, and What Is... what's your experience or expression of The Gap?

For what it's worth, here are a few pics of the tropical paradise :) Well, I thought there would be, and blogger says it is still uploading them, so perhaps they will appear...

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

On the hazards of being an INTJ (Myers-Briggs Temperament Inventory)

So I read something a couple of months ago that has been a window of revelation into myself and some of my reactions to things. Here it is in essence: because INTJs like myself often lack empathy, that intuitive sense of what someone else is feeling, they are particularly dependent on external cues like facial expression or tone of voice.

Wow. This was like a light coming on. Most, if not all, of my more extreme reactions are in response to a look which I may interpret as contemptuous, or a tone of voice which implies I am an idiot.

Since the INTJ needs to be competent, these stimuli are almost guaranteed to provoke a defensive or angry response. Because of my lack of empathy, I can place too much weight on these other sources of information, and sometimes be overly sensitive to them. The tricky thing is now that I know this, I still don't seem to be able to moderate my emotional response to those inputs.

I thought I would share this, since INTJs generally consider themselves a huge gift to the world, and now, having discovered a downside, I thought it only right to share.

So, what sets me off is when I feel that someone is implying that I'm incompetent, or an idiot. What sets you off?

Sunday, May 07, 2006

So, the CIA have offered me Porter Goss' job,

now that the poor man has resigned. As usual I went through the usual screenings and profiling to come up with what they knew already:

Yawn. Don't they know I've left that life behind me. When will they stop hassling me?...


Thursday, May 04, 2006

Two bare bottoms...

I went along for a ride-along with a police officer friend of mine today, in the fair city of Anaheim. Eventually, he arrested a guy, who proceeded to have an anxiety attack just before he was booked into the jail. Accordingly, we had to divert to the local hospital so that he could be medically cleared before going to jail. Nothing like having a prisoner die on you to get you sued.

Anyway, the hospital had a special wing with four beds for "non-mainstream" patients. Our arrestee occupied Bed 4, and continued his quick breathing and anxiety attack. Bed 3 was occupied by a sweet, older man who just seemed a bit confused, and wanted to be sure that the nurse was aware that he needed to have a bowel movement. Bed 1 was a felon from the jail with appendicitis who was waiting to go in for his operation.

In Bed 2 was a homeless man. This non-mainstream ward was not that hot on privacy, and the curtains were pulled back most of the time. I saw an old guy, maybe around 60 but looking older, hooked up to tubes and monitors. When they got him up to weigh him (presumably to make sure they got the medication right), he had wet the bed. Shortly afterwards, he was insisting that he wanted to leave. The nurse called in the doctor who told him that if he left he would almost certainly die since he had a serious medical condition. The man's response: "Good." He just didn't care. And I believe that he probably did want to die. The sores on his arms, the fluid gathering in his heart, lungs and bladder probably made him extremely uncomfortable. He was belligerent and rude to the nurse.

As he turned around to grab his meagre belongings prior to leaving, his hospital gown flapped open to reveal his old, saggy, wrinkled bottom. That's when it struck me, that this was the second wrinkled bottom I had seen today. I changed Landon this morning, and cleaned his pink wrinkled bottom and then bathed him.

What I thought in this moment was this: at one time, this old man's bottom probably looked like Landon's, when he was a baby, and hopefully with someone cherishing him and loving him, and cuddling him, just like I do my son. What had happened in between? What had life done to this man that now he didn't care if he lived or died? How far removed from feeling loved must you be to get to that point?

I don't know the answers of course, and I don't know what happened to that man. All I know is that no one should feel this way - and that someone, somewhere had failed. We can blame society, the man himself - but let us make sure that as far as it is in our power to communicate love, where we can, that we do it. End of sermon.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Rain and chocolate and tea...

It's a gloomy, overcast day in So. Cal. today. I'm sitting here wondering if it will rain, and if I will get the chance to sit on my porch with a cup of tea, and a piece of chocolate and enjoy it...

Thinking that these three things go very well together. I discovered when I came to the USA just how well cookies and milk go together. I don't think I'd consciously tried the combination before...

So, over to you... what are your favorite combinations of external stimuli and taste, other senses?