Thursday, March 21, 2002

An expensive lesson. As mentioned yesterday, Kathy flew out of town for a conference. The part of the story we didn't tell was that, due to a scheduling mixup, she barely made her plane. Indeed, she was in such a rush that a few small-but-critical items got left behind. Worse, this didn't get discovered until much later in the day.

The solution? Paul had a few minutes to locate the nearest FedEx facility, box up a quick care package, and send it off to her hotel for delivery tomorrow. Simple, no? Unfortunately, there wasn't time to get to the usual FedEx facility we use, so he had two choices -- an unattended FedEx drop box, or the local Mail Boxes Etc. That's a no-brainer, right?

Yep. Go directly to the drop box. When you get there, you'll take out a standard FedEx box, stuff everything inside, attach a label with your account information, and leave it. You don't know how much you'll be billed, but FedEx's rates are standard, so you won't get ripped off. Why is this so important? Well, as it turns out, those rates are only standard if you deal directly with FedEx. If you let someone else "help" you, you'll pay for that privilege. And how! Guess who got taken yesterday for almost double the standard FedEx rate? Yes, you read that right -- double!

Now we know why that guy at the local Mail Boxes Etc. was so friendly yesterday. He earned as much to pack a box and run a credit card as the good folks at FedEx do for moving that same package nearly 2000 miles.

The moral of the story?Argh. Live and learn.
1:01:00 PM

Wednesday, March 20, 2002

Today's word of the day? "ca-go", or occasionally "Chi-ca-go", both of which Maya seized on immediately (like Vise-Grips) and hasn't let go of all day. Runners-up include:
  • fly,
  • plane,
  • airplane, and
  • bye-bye Mommy.
Yep, Kathy's out of town at a conference and there's little else to talk about 'round here.

PS: It's not clear whether Maya really thinks Kathy will come back on the next "sunny day" or not.
10:53:00 PM

Monday, March 18, 2002

According to Maya, yesterday was a "runny nose day". Given the visual evidence, we probably could have figured this out for ourselves. Still, Maya left nothing to chance, reminding us every 15 minutes or so.
11:25:00 AM

Sunday, March 17, 2002

The latest word of the day? "Rainbow." Seems like someone's been talking about wee ones with our wee ones.
2:50:00 PM

Thursday, March 07, 2002

Portraits of the family proteins:

Paul's protein Kathy's protein
Bryn's protein Maya's protein

These pretty pictures are courtesy of the Protein Data Bank (PDB), the worldwide repository for visualizing the macromolecular structure of proteins -- aka the "building blocks of life" -- each of which is labelled with a four-character PDB ID. Given the way those IDs are assigned, you can identify "your" protein by putting a 1 before your initials. Cool, huh?

Clicking on any of the pictures above takes you to the relevant PDB entry, where you can find:
  • all the gory details (for scientists), and
  • bigger, prettier pictures (for the rest of us).
If you're in a hurry, here's what we've learned about "our" proteins:
  • Paul -- photosynthesis
  • Kathy -- metabolism
  • Bryn -- gene cutting
  • Maya -- immune system
12:32:00 PM

Tuesday, March 05, 2002

The consensus these days is that both kids definitely prefer "toad water". None of that lukewarm tapwater for them. No, that just wouldn't do.
11:45:00 PM

Monday, March 04, 2002

This post is for our site's most prolific readers of all -- the robots.

Although we have a number of daily readers of this site (not all of them grandparents) we have to admit that the humans are put to shame by all the robots who come crawling through the site, ensuring that content from this site can be found on all of the major search engines. Considering that every reader found us by "word of mouth", so to speak, all that attention is pretty flattering.

Indeed, we often have people coming to this site who we've never met, just because they saw something interesting in response to one of their searches. A few of those folks even come back. ;-)

Anyhow, consider this a heartfelt "thank you" to all of our readers. We're thrilled that you find our site worth your time.

And now, a tasty morsel for the search engines to chew on. So far, it's a boring little experiment Paul's running. If it turns into something more interesting, we'll be sure to let you know.
8:56:00 PM

Saturday, March 02, 2002

What do you get when you put these two characters together?

Click for full-size image (238 KB) Click for full-size image (229 KB)

Why pushups, of course:

Click for full-size image (246 KB)

Those of you with a long memory may recall that we took a very similar picture almost exactly one year earlier. Spooky!
2:01:00 AM

Friday, March 01, 2002

In an offhand comment this morning, Bryn said:
I see tractor.
All she wanted was for Daddy to stop obstructing her view. Not remarkable in itself, right? Yet it prompted Kathy to suddenly realize:
Hey, they've both been using subject-verb-object sentences!
How long have they been doing this? Don't ask us, we're just the parents.
11:34:00 AM

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