Friday, October 06, 2006
My new favorite is the "German Schnitzel Haus." The owner operated a restaurant in his home town of Kiel, Germany, for 27 years before coming to Jacksonville to start this one. He even brought over the furniture from the old restaurant. It definitely looks German.
The two dishes I had have been great. I tried the wiener schnitzel and the jagerschnitzel. Both delicious. The side dish was incredible -- Bratkartoffeln (slices of sautéed potatoes with bacon).
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Jude is about 16 months old now. It's been a while since I wrote about what Jude's doing lately. So here's a brief list:
- recently started learning to take naps in crib
- spins around in circles for fun (self-taught)
- learns and repeats words on first hearing, if he's interested
- puts on cowboy hat whenever he has the chance
- pushes little tractor around house until parents get tired of helping him turn it at every corner
- puts his head on one's shoulder when asked for a "hug"
- predicts what's happening next (says "bye" when I'm getting ready to leave for work; points at my shoes and says "off" when I come back from walking the dog)
- plays with Maggie by picking up her toys or bones and giving them to her
- likes to grab or sit on Maggie's tail (we're trying to get him to stop)
- asks people to read books to him all the time
- holds phone toy next to his ear and says "hello" (sounds like "allo")
- kicks balls around the house like a soccer player (and like Maggie)
- sits on rocking horse by himself and rocks back and forth and says "riding" (sounds like "wy-deeen, wy-deeen, wy-deeen")
- says "riding" when sitting on rocking chair or glider, etc.
- for a while was saying "good morning" ("mor-neeen") as a general greeting
- indicates that his toy whale is "in the water" by pointing at the floor and saying "water" (sounds like "wah, wah, wah...")
- does same with toy boats
- corrects Maggie, when she picks up a sock or toy, by wagging his index finger at her and saying "No! No! No!" in a baby-harsh tone while he walks toward her or chases her around the house
He also learns new signs quickly, often combining the sign with the word. I put him on an ottoman and said he was on "top" as I patted the ottoman with both hands. Later in the day, he started saying "top" and using the same hand gesture I had used -- palms down, in a downward patting motion.
You can see he's really starting to learn and explore the world at an exciting pace. And, he's as delightfully happy and nice as ever.
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Charline figured out that Jude also started using "hat" to mean something like "let's play" -- because we always played with the hat for a while when he used his sign. "More" also has a broader meaning, because he uses it to say "food" or "let's eat". That makes good sense, because he mainly saw us using the sign when he was eating. Of course, we're trying to show him the sign for "eat" too, but as long as we understand him, we're not too worried about which sign he uses.
It really was exciting for Jude, and for Charline and me, when he started using his signs. We could see how happy he was every time he communicated with someone. It seemed to really open up a new world for him.
Even before he used any sign language, he showed that same excitement over the ability to point at things. He discovered that people could understand that he wanted to play with something or see something up close, or that he just liked something. The other communication step that he really enjoyed was learning to clap his hands. He saw how people laughed and smiled when he did that -- and that made him laugh too.
Now that I think about it, I suppose smiling and laughing was one of the earliest steps in learning that he could communicate with people. He's very good at smiling and laughing. Probably better than anyone I know.
Monday, April 24, 2006
For example, you can see who represents the people of Springfield, in Jacksonville, Florida.
So, I stayed home Thursday and Friday to take care of Jude and Charline. Fortunately, Jude never got sick. By Saturday, Charline was feeling normal again. Of course, that's when I came down with the bug. Then, I spent the whole weekend in bed.
Rotavirus was a pretty horendous experience. I don't recommend it. I can only imagine how bad a one-year-old child would feel, if afflicted with this abomination. It apparently much worse for children, as you would guess.
rotavirus explained on Wikipedia
Sunday, March 19, 2006
Well, after less than two seconds, he had somehow hit exactly the right keystroke combinations to do something that I did not even know was possible. He turned everything on my monitor's display upside-down. Everything. The background. The icons. The taskbar. Every image and word. Even the mouse pointer was upside-down, so that it moved in exactly the opposite direction one would expect.
Needless to say, it was fun trying to operate the mouse and read the screen to correct the situation. Fortunately, I stumbled on the solution right away. (My display software, it turns out, has a feature that lets you "rotate" the display 180 degrees.)
So, now I'm wondering if there is a simple utility to put a Windows computer into "child" mode. I'm sure there is. I need to look into that someday.
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
I had already been impressed with the place before I witnessed the great service. When I came in, I saw lots of happy children playing in the kids area at the front, where I also heard some "top 40" music playing over the sound system. I thought, "that's nice, but I was hoping for a more relaxing environment." I got my order (served so quickly I was amazed) and headed toward the back of the place.
Here's the cool thing. They had different music playing in the back of the restaurant. It was soothing and quiet -- exactly what I wanted. I have to assume they had an architect or interior design expert put a lot of thought into this. They realized that the people who headed to that area were trying to get away from the noisy Kid's Zone, so they adapted the music accordingly. Perfect.
Of course, the food was pretty tasty too. Plus, they have those cool cow mascots.
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
People think Jude can't talk yet. Of course, that just means they aren't speaking his language. Here are some of his favorite words:
- prego (one of his first; not the sauce brand, or is it?)
- boom (often used as "boom-boom-boom")
There are plenty more, but these are the ones that I've been able to transcribe so far.
Sunday, January 29, 2006
We also saw the nearly finished sand mandala they've been working on all week. Spectacular stuff. Built one grain of sand at a time.
If only I could attain a small portion of the serenity and joy those guys seem to have. That would be nice. But, I'd probably have to watch less television. I think Buddha said something about less TV, didn't he?
Sand Mandala Photos
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
The TV news item was a nice piece about the stroller fitness classes Charline attends near the beach. Charline will soon be teaching these "Strollerjize" classes in the San Marco area. You can read about that on her new web site, www.Pramenade.com.
They showed Jude in his stroller and Charline doing her exercises, along with a few other moms who were at the class. The story ran early Tuesday morning, then again, in a slightly different version, Tuesday evening.
And this is a major news program in Jacksonville. It runs on both the ABC and NBC affiliate stations, due a strange arrangement in Jacksonville. And hardly anyone watches the local news on the CBS and FOX affiliate stations. The only real competition is an independent station (Channel 4, WJXT).
Friday, January 13, 2006
The craft is expected to bring back particles from a comet and from outside our solar system. These particles will provide new insights into how the solar system, and everything in it, was formed.
See "James D. Barger" on the Stardust craft
National Geographic explains the Stardust story
NASA's Official "Where is Stardust now?" Page
NASA's Official Stardust Photo Gallery
Map of the Landing Site
Google News search for NASA Stardust stories