Seventy-Six is now about 18 months old, and seems to alternate between acquisition of social, linguistic, and motor skills.

Motor skills, for instance, he can jump up off the ground – getting a little air – at will and when asked. He can alternately walk or run. Sometimes he alters his gait to something that resembles skipping. He can build towers with blocks four or five high. He can pretty efficiently feed himself with fork or spoon. He’s learning to color and use a Magna-Doodle. He’s learned to climb up onto living room furniture without assistance (most of the time).

As to social skills, he answers questions, follows commands (when they are not too irksome), responds to conversational gambits, sometimes initiates conversation. He likes to play games that involve taking turns – uttering sounds, playing with items, playing peek-a-boo. He likes to play by himself. He likes to wrestle and play with the parents. He enjoys playing with other children. He expresses preferences for some types of food over others, and those preferences may change from day to day, meal to meal. Because he’s older, now, and more like a little boy than a baby, it’s harder for me to “let him cry it out.” Crying is, of course, one of the defining characteristics of babies. Sometimes they cry to blow off steam, and it seems like a normal, healthy activity for them. In an older child, however, I perceive crying arising from real distress. But I think toddlers still need to blow off steam by crying, still have no way of distinguishing between a serious problem and a minor annoyance – both may feel the same – without nice distinctions.

Linguistically, the little guy abbreviates words he’s not willing or able to completely enunciate by using the first letter of the word in place of the word. Tent is ‘T.’ Another child, named Ellie, is ‘E.’ Piano, Pizza, Peas, Printer are all ‘P.’ His sitter, Becky, is ‘B.’ Book, Bottle (now sippy cup), Bed, are ‘B.’ Other words he says clearly are Mop, Blue (Blue’s Clues), Keys. Other words he manages by uttering the first syllable, like ‘Tow’ for Tower.

Low-Res Image Dump

From my late, lamented blog. The higher resolution images I’ve uploaded to a Facebook album. Happy Thursday, C.

Bad News

A friend posted the following quote as a quote, but without attribution, on an Internet forum yesterday:

He is not afraid of bad news.
— Psalm 112:7

Christian, you ought not to be afraid of the arrival of bad news; because if you are distressed by such, you are no different from other men. They do not have your God to run to; they have never proved His faithfulness as you have done, and it is no wonder if they are bowed down with alarm and cowed with fear. But you profess to be of another spirit; you have been born again to a living hope, and your heart lives in heaven and not on earthly things. If you are seen to be distracted as other men, what is the value of that grace that you profess to have received? Where is the dignity of that new nature that you claim to possess?

Again, if you should be filled with alarm like others, you would no doubt be led into the sins so common to them under trying circumstances. The ungodly, when they are overtaken by bad news, rebel against God; they murmur and maintain that God has dealt harshly with them. Will you fall into that same sin? Will you provoke the Lord as they do?

Moreover, unconverted men often run to wrong means in order to escape from difficulties, and you will be sure to do the same if your mind yields to the present pressure. Trust in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him. Your wisest course is to do what Moses did at the Red Sea: “Stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD.”1 For if you give way to fear when you hear bad news, you will be unable to meet the trouble with that calm composure that prepares for duty and sustains in adversity.

How can you glorify God if you play the coward? Saints have often sung God’s high praises in the fires, but when you act as if there were no one to help, will your doubting and despondency magnify the Most High? Then take courage and, relying in sure confidence upon the faithfulness of your covenant God, “Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”2

1Exodus 14:13
2John 14:27

I truly don’t much care what other people think my life in Christ looks like from their perspective, so I don’t sweat that appearance stuff mentioned in the quote above.  But on the whole, it was what I needed to see when I tuned in to that discussion board.

Earlier in the day, I’d heard from my realtor that the house we sold did not stay sold.  That deal has fallen through.  We get to keep the buyer’s earnest money – a small sum that will offset to a degree the costs of continuing to own that house when we thought we were done with it.  To be truthful, I had a sense a couple of weeks ago that things were not going to work out, and had an attendant sense of peace that the matter would eventually result in a better outcome for us.

For one thing, I’m going to try to arrange today to have that one excellent, Mennonite-built shed removed to our current address.  The new property lacks a clean, dry storage place for my kayaking, camping, and sundry other gear.  The shed that came with the new house, although built on a perfectly good concrete slab, has after 30-odd years proven permeable siding-wise.  Another thing to fix or have fixed when time and disposable income permit.

And I’m going to get those excellent shelving units built in the 1970s for the house in which we then lived at 1904 Velez Dr., then San Pedro, but now billing itself as Rancho Palos Verdes, California.  The former buyers really liked and wanted the units, and we said, “Okay, for an additional sum, you can have them, too.”  They’ll either go in the den or in the garage, but in either place, we will find a use for them.

Finally, if you know anybody who is looking for an excellent, bargain-priced house here in loathsome Stepford that has seasonal bow-hunting across the street on thousands of wooded acres, three relatively large nearby lakes for flatwater paddling or fishing, about 900 wooded acres out back (sadly, they do not go with the house), mature cherry, apple, pear trees and grape vines, have that person drop me a message here or ring me at home.

Happy Wednesday,


Mean Things About Bad People

Christov10 says mean things about bad people (even if they’re dead) on Facebook.

It’s true. Yes, the mean things I say are true, but this sentence refs that line, supra, in bold italics. It’s true. I’ve been “unfriended” for it a couple of times already. Sometimes I wonder whether I’ve gone too far, but then I reflectively ask myself the question, “So what?” Evidently one or two thought my remarks about the late Ted Kennedy were so over-the-line that, well that I had to be “unfriended” or chided for a lack of “class.”

My observations of the posts written by some of the most emotionally left-wing people I know indicate they define good form or that hard-for-Americans-to-define quality, “classy,” as someone willing to concede to a liberal without a fight. You know, like John McCain. Brilliant, clear-thinking people like Alan Keyes and Pat Buchanan are otherwise liberally defined. Sadly, they also seem nationally defined as “unelectable.”

Last night, some representative from, I think it was, South Carolina, stood up during Obama’s tedious speech to Congress and shouted out, “You Lie!” I know at least one independent, generally conservative thinker who stated that man was an ass for having done so. Another commenter described the representative as “ignorant.” Ass maybe, but ignorant, no. Reelectable? Probably. Classy? Who cares.

In simplest terms, it’s okay to say mean things about bad people when those mean things are true. Political speech enjoys constitutional protection, even if it is deemed offensive by the majority. This republic does not always benefit from a civil discourse.

Second Post-Op Checkup

On Thursday I drove up to the orthopedist’s clinic in a borrowed 1984 Volvo 240 wagon because I still had not been cleared to drive a stick-shift automobile. I left the house before 6:00 and arrived at my destination about 7:05, an hour early for my appointment. I got taken back to an exam room pretty quickly, talked to the nurse, then had a long wait for the doctor. No problem – I got to see him around 8:30, which is good for that busy clinic.

The report is good. Good range of motion, and I can return to work next Tuesday with only a couple of restrictions – must continue physical therapy, may not lift more than 20#, may only engage in sedentary work activities. And I get to drive my car again. 😀 Car needs washed in the worst way. The new house has beautiful, old trees all over the lot, but makes for a dirty car. Especially if it’s been parked under those trees for three and a half weeks.

Here are some photos from the surgery:

The surface of my acromium resembling the roof of a Tims Ford Lake cave I paddled into a couple of seasons ago

The surface of my acromium resembling the roof of a Tims Ford Lake cave I paddled into a couple of seasons ago

Acromium's surface all pink after the spurs' removal

Acromium's surface all pink after the spurs' removal

In the joint - frayed cartilage

In the joint - frayed cartilage

Here's what some of that cartilage looked like after tears and frayed bits had been neatly cut away - very workmanlike

Here's what some of that cartilage looked like after tears and frayed bits had been neatly cut away - very workmanlike


I have not been accomplishing as much this week as last. I made a list yesterday and got most of the stuff done. Made a list today and got some of it done. Had Whitecar yesterday, but today am without wheels. I haven’t walked much since Saturday. Short walk yesterday and a longish visit with some of my neighbors. Physical therapy yesterday and will again this afternoon. Wasted less time today, but have accomplished less.

This morning my mom and a cousin came by the house. My cousin is elderly, but was coming to town to do some shopping, and wanted to see our house. Then we all went over to the sitter’s house to see Seventy-Six. My cousin hasn’t seen him since his birthday, and the little guy’s hair really started to curl in earnest since then. I’m not sure my son remembered her, but he warmed up to her pretty easily. He blew her kisses when I carried him back inside the house.

Shoulder’s hurting less today than it did this past weekend. My second post-operative checkup is Thursday morning, and I will find out then when I will be allowed to drive a standard transmission automobile and return to work. My time off would have been far more enjoyable with two good arms. We’d have fewer boxes that need unpacked, a tidier garage. The cars would’ve both been washed. I could have resumed strength training.


Later on, I found myself wondering whether my parents loved me as much as I love my son. As a parent I am finding that much of my own infant amnesia reversed as I interact with my little boy. As I see him experience and explore life’s events and his environment, I am able to recall my own similar experiences.

After physical therapy, I drove out to the strip mall to see the Stepford storefront our congregation is renting. Pretty cheap, at $550.00/month. It’s next door to an out of business pet-store that I always reckoned was a front for a drug-dealer’s business. On the other side is my favorite scratch-and-dent discount grocery store. Looks like a little further down, a tattoo parlor has opened. We will certainly be ministering at ground-level, an excellent opportunity for our congregation to speak real Gospel into real-life (as opposed to country-clubland) Stepford.

Adrian, Bill-Jack, and Josh were preparing the facility.  I regretted I couldn’t help out because of my shoulder.