Wednesday, January 22, 2020
Sunday, January 20, 2013
Pinewood Derby 2013, a set on Flickr.
Another year and another fun Pinewood Derby in Pensacola. Jude's car finished in above-average position in each of the six heats (6 cars in each of the 6 races). His car (named "The End") finished 2nd twice and 3rd three times. More importantly, he had a great time making the car with me and playing with his Cub Scout pals at the event.
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Jude and I built a Pinewood Derby race car this week. He decided he wanted a Star Wars design. Then, he decided, specifically, on the Luke Skywalker landspeeder. He helped with sanding, painting, and wheel attachment. He did a great job on the paint color mixing and painting the main parts of the design.
The car finished third overall in his age group (Tiger Cubs) and won the Most Original Design award. He gets to go to the district competition next, since he was in the top three.
We were mostly just aiming to make this car look cool. But, his car was surprisingly fast, getting off to a huge lead in the first run, and finishing first in three of the five runs his car completed, and a close second in the other two. (Someone accidentally removed a shim under the track before one of his heats, creating a bump in the track that sent his car flying through the air, off the track. I don't think they re-ran that heat, but I'm not sure why.)
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
"Crews in the Gulf of Mexico began to burn parts of an oil slick from last week's rig explosion that is now threatening the coastline. Judy Woodruff talks to two experts about the challenges of stopping the leak and getting rid of the oil spill."
You can also download the MP3 of the report.
CNN has good overall coverage. Latest news: "The oil spill from last week's deadly rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico has increased to 5,000 barrels a day -- five times more than the original estimate...."
Thursday, April 01, 2010
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Now, I'm in my third year of law school (a.k.a. 3L). I'm taking the following courses: Taxation, Bankruptcy, Criminal Procedure, Cyberspace Law, and a clinical program at SEPTA's Tort Litigation department.
In the SEPTA clinical, I've been representing SEPTA in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, in arbitration proceedings. I won my first case last week. It's a great experience, because they let fill the entire lawyer role at the arbitration, including the opening statement, calling witnesses, questioning, cross-examination, raising and defending objections, and closing arguments.
Charline, Jude, and Ruby are doing fine.
Ruby's getting better and better at communicating. She loves to open books and "read" them aloud, making up cute stories about the pictures. She's also great at making up stories while she's lying in bed, just before falling asleep. One recent story was about a family of dogs who find and befriend a baby dragon. Great stuff.
Jude has developed some strong martial arts skills, especially his roundhouse kick, which he figured out on his own. He and Ruby still like Scooby Doo more than anything else, but Jude is getting more interested in super heros every day. He has some Spiderman and Batman and Superman books. He wants some Flash and Red Tornado (an obscure DC character) comics next. Jude's still going to pre-school at the co-op, which he loves.
Charline has been doing some work as a board member for the Maternal Wellness Center, which she really enjoys. Of course, she always has her hands full at home, with Ruby and Jude. She continues to manage the www.GermantownAvenueParents.com blog also.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
In my final year of law school, I'm going to earn course credit for working at SEPTA, in the tort claims division, and at the Bucks County District Attorney's office. These clinicals are going to provide some excellent hands-on education, and will help me decide exactly which branch of law I want to practice.
Lately, I've been using twitter (twitter.com/JamesBarger) and facebook (facebook.com/james.d.barger) a bit more. And, I've opened a Google Voice account (you can call me from a button on JamesBarger.com). All very useful tools.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Jude was looking for his "blue green duck dinosaur" and he said...
"Maybe it's in the universe.
Or, maybe it's on the planet Nowhere.
Or, maybe it's in Muffin Land.
Muffin Land is on the bobbdum of the earth. Muffins in Muffin Land can fly, because they have wings. But, the muffins don't have any bones. They just have head bones. They cannot see where they are going."
I said I would like to go to Muffin Land someday. Jude said...
"You can't go to Muffin Land, because it is very far away."
I said maybe I could go there on a big ship. Jude said...
"But a ship would be too slow. If you had a dragon, you could fly to Muffin Land, because dragons can fly very, very far. Dragons can fly for 20 and a half miles."
I said it would be really fun to fly to Muffin Land on a dragon. I think that's what I'll do. Jude said...
"You should bring a coat, because it's very cold down there on the bobbdum of the earth in Antarctica."
MORE Jude Notes:
rat wolf... did a pig sound, then a chicken, then made a crazy sound... "That's a rat wolf," he said.
Said he saw his shadow and ran... "Did you get away from it?" I asked.
He paused and said very seriously, "Not exactly."
He went on to explain... "...and it was riding on a little bike and it went (zoom) right past me.
and then it was riding backwards."
He's also talked about something called a "rat plane... waits for all the children to get on...
...then takes off... ...has a big dance room..."
STILL MORE Jude Notes:
"In the aquarium they have little holes that go in the water and i put the crayon in there and I put a toy shark in there... and a beetle car. A REAL ONE."
"WHY ARE YOU USING LITTLE LETTERS?" he asked.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Mostly, though, she's a happy, smiling, little angel. I guess that's why it's sort of funny to Charline and me when she make a fuss over simply being told "no."
She loved swinging at the playground yesterday. And, she ran all over the place, very independently, without worrying at all about how far away she was getting or where she was going.
Did I mention her "chicken dance?" Adorable stuff. Anytime she hears someone say "chicken," even in passing, she starts to do her chicken impersonation. Hilarious.
I asked him about this blue eared crab and he described it.
"It has five legs and it eats sharks and it can eat things that are bigger than it is." [This last part was obviously inspired by something we saw in one of his fish books recently, about a deep-sea creature that eats things larger than itself.]
He then went on to describe the orange-eared crab, which is 20 1/2 feet high, and the gray-eared crab, which has four legs. He had other details about them, which I've already forgotten.
Saturday, August 09, 2008
After the arboretum, and after a walk through the town, we were headed back to our van and we saw the half-moon in the sky. The sky was still bright, but the moon was vivid. Charline and I pointed it out to Jude, who always appreciates moon sitings. He and talked about why we only saw half of it.
Then, Charline and I told him we were on our way to see a movie outside. We didn't tell him it was his favorite film, but he was pretty happy about the idea anyway. But, then, after a moment of reflection, as we were getting into the van, he said something profound.
Jude said "It's not the moon. It's not the movie. It's just us."
He was right. Well said, Jude. Well said. It was a wonderful day for the whole family, from start to finish. But, it wasn't about what we saw or did. It was just great being together, the whole family, for the whole day and night.
Friday, August 08, 2008
Said when his mother suggested it's a good idea to put one's hand in front of one's mouth when coughing. I think he's been reading Nietzsche:
"He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee." - from Beyond Good and Evil, by Friedrich Nietzsche, at Chapter IV: "Apophthegms and Interludes," #146.
He says he's "not afraid of anything" when we try to tell him something on TV is too scary for him to watch. Today, he got really specific, with the above quote. He said this with his nose crinkled up in his you-better-watch-out expression.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Sunday, March 09, 2008
Why the change? I'm in law school and on my way to becoming a lawyer. So, I figured it was about time to start looking the part. It has been a refreshing change, actually. Charline's not crazy about the lack of facial hair. And, as I said, I am letting that grow back in a bit. Maybe I'll do a better job of keeping it trimmed this time. Any wagers?
Maybe Charline will snap a photo of my new look, so we can post it. Stay tuned.
Friday, November 30, 2007
Jude has been learning astronomy, with Charline's help. We had a conversation about the planets this morning, during breakfast. Jude's favorite planet is Neptune. He told me the biggest planet is Jupiter and the smallest is Pluto. He knows that Saturn has rings and Mars is red. He also knows that the sun is at the center of the solar system (yes, he even knows "solar system"). It really surprised me when he said Neptune "has two moons." (Maybe not technically correct, but it's likely Charline read something like that to him from an old astronomy book for kids.) In any case, he seems really curious about these things. He even knows a little about gravity. He said on the moon there's no gravity (of course, there is some), so you "bounce." Maybe he'll get to go there someday and try it for himself.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
When we got out there, driving northwest, with no particular destination, we found the little town of Jim Thorpe -- named after the famous athlete. They had an historic, scenic train ride, which Jude really loved. After the train ride along a river, we played in the leaves in the park at the center of the town. We got some great photos.
This weekend, the Philly Bargers went on a hay ride tonight, with a group of people from our church, at an orchard in the Philly suburb of Media. It was a lot of fun, especially the bonfire afterward, where we toasted marshmallows and cooked hot dogs.
Jude loved the marshmallows and the apple juice. (It was at an apple orchard.) Ruby was really cute in her snug winter outfit. Maybe Charline can describe it on her blog. Jude like playing with the flashlights. He wanted to help cook the hot dogs, but the fire was too hot (or our stick was too short). Once he got some marshmallows and apple juice, he was really happy.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
- stomps his little foot once and says "Nowwww!" to emphasize requests, but usually with a smile or laugh... e.g. "Jude play outside... Nowwww!"
- lists things explicitly, such as "[That's] Mama's car and Dada's car and Jude's car and Maggie's car too." (he likes to use the word "too")
- likes to use the word "maybe" and almost always uses it correctly, though sometimes in funny ways
- told Charline yesterday "Maybe Mama looks good" when she put on her white dress with red flowers (one of her maternity dresses, of course)
- loves picking up one or two rocks whenever he finds some, and gives to people to hold for him
- has been playing with two clear, plastic "rocks" my mother enclosed with an anniversary card for Charline and me (labeled "Imagine" and "Remember")
- learned to put those two rocks in the pockets of his shorts and kept doing that for the past two days
- awoke yesterday and immediately said "Jude no pants. Jude no pockets. Where's Jude's rocks?" (I got his shorts for him and found the rocks and he was thrilled.)
- sits at the piano and sings songs that always go like this "Happy birthday Mama... Happy birthday Dada... Happy birthday granddaddy... Happy birthday ba-ba... Happy birthday nana... Happy birthday Maggie..." (though not all those together most of time... usually just one or two)
- learned and likes to sing practically the entire "Old MacDonald" song! (at least the "cow" part with a "moo, moo" and the chorus)
I could go on and on. It's really a joy to watch him growing and learning and exploring. He seems to be a very sweet kid at this age.