A Little Noise

September 27, 2008

When I grow up

Filed under: Kids — snoyes @ 9:04 pm

We were watching a movie with the kids. In one scene, the heroine has infiltrated the criminal mastermind’s compound, wormed her way through the laser security system, only to encounter a group of gun-toting henchman. In the midst of the ensuing fight scene in which she kicks, punches, and performs various other acrobatics to overpower three adversaries, Eden turns to me and says, in her most serious two-year-old voice, “I wish I could do that.”

September 15, 2008


Filed under: Kids — snoyes @ 1:58 pm

I think the kids are trying to tell me something. They got up this morning and put on their swimsuits. When she said grace at breakfast, Iona said, “And thank you for us going swimming later today.” And then I went to get a glass of milk and found this:

Yep, those are my swimming trunks, which a resourceful 4-year-old has strung through the refrigerator handles, so I’ll be sure to see them if I need anything from the kitchen.

Apparently she thinks we’re going to the pool today.

April 28, 2008

Kids say the darndest things…

Filed under: Kids — snoyes @ 9:57 am

The white board of amusing child statements:

Grandfather Clock: “Chime…chime…chime”
Iona: “Hey, clock! Don’t ding-dong! You’re making me awake!”

Eden (spinning around in circles): “I’m moving the house! And I’m moving you with the house!”

Eden: “Why can I not get in the oven?”

Iona: “What are you guys doing?”
Daddy: “I don’t know. What are you guys doing?”
Iona: I’m not two mens! I’m one men!”

Eden: “You’re not Mommy! You’re a banana!”
Mommy: “Well then, you’re not Eden, you’re a frog!”
Eden: “Ribbit! Ribbit! Ribbit!”

Eden: “You’re a princedad! Put down your computer and get up and dance with me!”

November 4, 2007

One in the hand…

Filed under: Kids — snoyes @ 9:40 am

“Daddy, I saw a mouse in the kitchen!” calls Iona as she runs into the bedroom.

“Ok, I’ll set a trap for it before we leave for church,” I answer, not really taking my attention off the new programming language I’m learning. We’ve caught two rats in the last couple of days, but with two small children and a dog roaming the house, I don’t like leaving armed traps out in the open.

A few minutes elapse…

“‘Ook, datty! ‘Ook, datty!” babbles Eden, wandering into the bedroom. Her hands are full, as usual. I see she has my luggage padlock in one hand (so that’s where that went!) But what’s that in the other? I don’t recall any stuffed animals that color … boy oh crikey! It’s a rat!

“Put it down put it DOWN PUT IT DOWN” I yell. If that thing’s alive, I don’t want her bit! If it’s dead, I don’t want her flea bit! And in either case, I sure don’t want it dumped in my lap! Of course, my yelling sets her to crying, but not to dropping it, so I have to get it out of her hand, and then haul her to the kitchen to scrub with soap, and then chase the dog off the corpse so I can scoop it into the trash.

Iona explains that the mouse was in the kitchen and Amika was eating it. We don’t have any poison about, and there was no trap set, so I think our timid little Yorkie caught and killed it. Good on ya!

October 29, 2007

The Shoemaker’s Elves

Filed under: Kids — snoyes @ 7:01 am

Iona: “I’m fixing your shoe.”
Me: “By fixing, you mean taking all the laces out?”
Iona: “Yes.”

Then she put them back.

Iona: “There. I fixed your shoe.”


October 8, 2007

The Fair

Filed under: Habitat,Kids — snoyes @ 2:14 pm

Culture is a way of living. Some ways of living have lasted unchanged for thousands of years, and some are products of very recent discoveries. The 8th Annual Renewable Energy Roundup and Green Living Fair in Fredericksburg, Texas, highlighted a number of these, from the ancient art of wattle and daub construction, to the modern photovoltaic panel and low-wattage LED lightbulb.

The fair covered a full city block. We went mostly because of a passing interest in making biodiesel, which appears to be pretty easy to do and costs less than a third of current gas prices. We also visited booths about wind and solar power, collecting drinkable water from rainfall and from dehumidifiers, and building supplies made from all sorts of surprising materials

Considerable industry was driven through simple non-electric means for thousands of years – and I’d call this more attractive than a landscape draped with power poles and electrical lines any day.


We found a method of transportation that uses no oil and has eco-friendly emissions (or at least the originals did, and they’d keep the lawn trimmed and fertilized for you too).


According to these folks, recycling is all fine and dandy, until you begin subjecting criminals to nasty chemicals, at which point it becomes cruel and unusual.


This is the kind of public transportation I’d like to see in my city.


Seating might be a little cramped for some of you 6’+ folks. Guess you shouldn’t have eaten your broccoli when your mother told you to.

Train car

Texas is an ideal place to take advantage of the power of the sun. The kids got to make solar ovens out of pizza boxes, plastic wrap and tin foil (in the photo you can just see a couple next to my right hand). It takes a little longer than a microwave to make s’mores with this method, but then again you don’t get to sit around on the grass while waiting on the microwave either.


Since Fredericksburg has a strong German heritage, it was necessary to sample some German beer. That’s a Spaten Oktoberfest, for those of you keeping score at home.


If, like me, you don’t really like beer, you can just purchase a pair of beer goggles instead.

Beer goggles

After you’ve spent all day dragging yourself around to all kinds of boring booths talking about renewable energy, it’s nice to have a little down time.

Going Down

We like to order the catch of the day.

Fun Slide

One (or two!) should always use the buddy system.

Sliding Pair

Keeping it up close and personal.

Close up

March 8, 2007

Deep Cover

Filed under: Kids — snoyes @ 10:29 pm

Alpha called today. She had a mission for me.

I accepted.

They thought I was crazy.

The insertion plan was a launch from the VE-79. The cyborg handlers strapped me in.

It’s no wonder they thought I was crazy. This system was new, and the test pilots had reported negative results.

Atmospheric re-entry can be particularly rough. Some agents never come back down.

Captain was emotional. He’s always like that before one of his own goes into the field.

At impact minus five I deployed the Mission Optional Mandated Standardized Landing Assist Protocol.

The hard part would be getting past the guards. They don’t stand for any nonsense.

I took the subterranean route.

It’s exactly like the training grounds. I can do it with my eyes closed and while holding my breath.

I spotted my objective. Queen Kama-huna-maca-nana-ooboo, intelligence had informed us, was in grave peril. Her prime minister was plotting an assasination during the annual Feast of the Salamander Moon.

Even from my position suction-cupped to the ceiling, I could smell the explosive in the national dish, and the fuse was already burning.

Transcript ends. Duration of the recording remains classified.

March 7, 2007


Filed under: Kids — snoyes @ 4:53 am

Tech support, this is Eden.

Yeah, uh, hi. It’s me again.

Oh. You. Yes, how can I help you?

Uh, I’m having trouble with my computer.

What seems to be the problem this time?

The text is too small to read.

Try moving a little closer, like we talked about last time.

Ok, well, now it’s all black.

The screen is black?

No, everything. I can’t see a thing.

Is the power out?

No, of course not. I can maybe see a little bit if I look way down.

What about if you tilt your head sideways?

Now I can see off to the left.

Ma’am, I think you have your hat pulled down over your eyes. I suggest you take it off and put it back on.

Oh, hey, that works great! How do you know all this stuff?

It’s just common sense.

Hm. Where can I get some of that?

Let me check if we have any in stock.

Looks like all we have left is some that someone sent in for a refurb. Let me get the lid screwed back on and I’ll overnight it to you.

February 27, 2007

Dawn of a New Era

Filed under: Kids — snoyes @ 6:15 am

Feb. 26, 2007

Dear diary,

Today was my 3rd birthday. Daddy says I’m now old enough to have a ghost write my biography. I don’t really know what a ghost is, but if it’s anything like that guy in the scary mask last October, I want nothing to do with it.

We spent a long time getting ready for the party. I found out that sometimes you get your face painted, so I just had to try it out. Daddy laughed and said I didn’t quite get the concept. I think I’m quite the artist, and cleverly circumvented the ‘no nose ring’ rule.

Yesterday was Sunday. Daddy doesn’t go to work; we go to church to see Satya and Hannah. Mommy dressed me in a pretty green dress with flowers, and I got to wear a tiara in my hair. Everybody at church talked about the beautiful princess.

We got pizza after church, and I made sure to drop some marinara on my dress. Eden sniffed and called me an amateur.

Eden and I had to take a nap when we got home, but Mommy and Daddy must have been hard at work, because when I got up, Hannah and Satya and Madeline and Emma and Bethany and their mommies and daddies were all here, and there were balloons all over the place and pink flowers from our yard on the table. The ‘puter was playing all my favorite Veggies Tales songs and some loud songs that are fun to dance to.

All the daddies went outside and helped us nail together firetrucks with holes in the back to hold crayons. Hannah’s daddy said the very first thing to do with any project is to take the instructions and very carefully throw them on the floor. Maybe that’s why Daddy and I were the only ones that didn’t have to take it apart to finish putting it together, or borrow some extra pieces so we didn’t snap the axles while trying to put the roof on. I painted flowers on mine. We raced them down the driveway, and all the daddies told stories about these Pinewood Derby things they had way back in prehistoric times.

We took turns playing on the swing while we waited for Daddy and Hannah’s daddy to hang a rope from the tree for Winnie-the-Pooh to hang from. We poked him about a bit with half of the old shower curtain rod. Then we pulled on the ribbons, and Mommy got the one that opened the bottom and candy fell out. We each took one and left the rest, and all the mommies and daddies laughed at us and tried to get us to take more. Mommy had used her crinkly scissors to cut out some hearts and glued them to paper bags for us to put our candy in. Daddy got out his balloons and made a green giraffe and a blue elephant and a pink mouse and a red swan and a white rabbit. We liberated a couple of our balloons. Now the airplanes will have some to play with too.

We went inside and I got to paint my fingernails bright red, and put stickers on my fingers and ears, and sparkle gloss on my lips. We had bracelets and rings filled with bubbles and diamond-shaped suckers. I don’t know what happened to all the daddies during this part of the party, I’m sure they were there a second ago…

I opened a whole pile of presents. Then we had hamburgers and corn on the cob and asparagus. Then Abba’s “Super Trooper” came on and we all ran around in the living room and screeched and chased balloons (except for Emma, who wanted to sit just quietly in the middle of the floor and smell the flowers … I mean, read a book).

Mommy and Daddy made a white butterfly cake and a German Chocolate heart cake. I blew out all my candles in two tries. After all the cake was gone, everybody who is anybody lined up to get their diapers changed. Then the party was over and everybody went home with their haul of firetrucks and crayons and balloons and paddle balls and pretty little purses.

Tonight I helped Daddy unload the dishwasher. I handed him all the plates and glasses so he could put them in the cupboard, and I put away all the silverware all by myself. Daddy and I sang “Deck the Halls” as loud as we could while we worked, although Daddy doesn’t seem to know the tune very well — I’m sure that’s either Handel’s “Messiah” or else Verdi’s “Anvil Chorus”. I put all my books on my shelves in the kitchen, although I really need to get Daddy to build me a proper book case, since they keep ending up on the floor and scattered throughout the house, an artifact which I attribute to a phenomenon known as the tunneling effect.

Grammy Cheryl and Mr. G and Aunt Mara came over for dinner. We had hamburgers and broccoli and squash and more cake. Mr. G said he likes Daddy’s home-brewed root beer, which I’m not allowed to have because it has more beer than root in it. Mara gave me a laptop computer, so I’ll soon be frequenting Internet cafes and blogging about my Web 2.0 experiences and writing beatnik poetry in hexadecimal.

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