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May 31, 2007

Foxy Lady

We seem to have a family of foxes living nearby. The other day, we watched from our bedroom window as a fox doubled back around the neighbors house, to outflank the poor little bunny sitting at the edge of our lawn.

At least, that's what we thought was going to happen. But just when the hunt was approaching its crescendo, the fox took a detour and wandered off somewhere.

Now, my kids aren't big fans of needless carnage or anything like that, but we've watched a lot of nature shows together, and they seem to understand and accept the whole food chain thing. So when that cute, fuzzy little bunny simply spent another hour or two, just sitting in that same spot, instead of running for its life, we were all a smidge disappointed.

EDIT: To clarify, we didn't want to see anything actually happen. We just thought we were witnessing some cool hunting strategy on the part of the fox, and we thought it might result in a little chase. So for a little while there, we had box seats for some wild kingdom drama.

On the upside, we did get to watch the fox scratch herself for a good 20 minutes. So...... that was something, I guess.

Hey, maybe we should let the fox loose in our basement and attic for an afternoon, to see if we have any mice lurking about. I hear she works on a contingency fee, which is payable in mice. It's a classic win-win. Yeah, I know. Not for the mouse. Screw mice. Mice suck.

Nothing like ending a post in a dark place, but there you have it.

Note: this is not "our" fox. I just thought it was funny.

May 20, 2007

Family Movie Night at the Museum

A few days ago, we had a Family Movie Night with the kids.

This time, we chose Night at the Museum, starring Ben Stiller.

The movie held their interest the entire time, and both kids had several laugh out loud moments. They were still quoting their favorite lines earlier today. The movie had lots of harmless slapstick moments, and for the most part, was kid-friendly.

On the downside, there were a few moments that, while not a major concern, were just a smidge iffy. To wit:

1) Not a huge deal, but at one point, Ben Stiller's character told the miniature Roman not to be a "kissass".

2) Owen Wilson's cowboy character says "I ain't quittin' you!" to the aforementioned Roman guy, an obvious reference to Brokeback Mountain's "I wish I knew how to quit you!". Now, this will most certainly be over the heads of most if not all young children, so it's not that I had an issue with it personally. It's more that if there are parents out there who may be bothered by this sort of thing, just so you know, it's in there.

3) The feisty Capuchin monkey urinates on and then has a slap fight with Stiller.

Anyhoo, that's about it in a nutshell. We enjoyed it together as a family, and as long as you don't have a problems with the issues I listed above, your family just might, too.

May 11, 2007

Why, It Only Makes Sense!

As I've been writing about for a while now, gaming parents are becoming less and less of a novelty, and more and more the norm.

ESA: More Parents Embracing Video Games

May 09, 2007

Settling In

Boxes on top of boxes.
Kitchen stuff in the basement.
Basement stuff..... I don't know. Probably out in the backyard somewhere.
Barely room to walk, much less sit down.

For me, however, the enduring image of moving day is my children's backs. As I came downstairs, I turned to see my kids kneeling on the big leather chair, shoulder-to-shoulder, facing backwards, playing New Super Mario Bros. together. I would have taken a picture, but I didn't want to turn away to get my camera.

In general, the move went pretty well, though there were a few anxious moments here and there, mostly from the kids, who were understandably unsure about such a drastic change in their lives.

In such situations, where things change and kids are unsure about the solidity of the ground beneath their feet, continuity is a precious commodity. And while my wife and I took great pains to make sure our kids had as many comforting things to fall back on, video games played a prominent role in making our kids feel comfortable the first few days in their new home.

In particular, I tried to play as many familiar games as possible. Sure, I unveiled a new I Spy Game - I Spy School Daze (which we would have played together if my computer decided that I had enough @$#%*&! virtual memory). But for the most part, we played the same games that we had been playing the previous week, and I think that definitely made a difference.

Amidst all the chaos, my kids could count the fact that they could still play their favorite games with their dad. And that's why, although there are still many boxes to be unpacked and drawers to be filled, some of the first things we made sure to locate and set up were this computer & internet connection, the TV with the GameCube (we still have to track down one of the cords from the PS2), and the DS.

Of course, we did many other things as well. We played outside, read books, played with squirt guns, drew on the patio with sidewalk chalk, and lots of other non-gaming-related activities. But without question, my kids' ability to play some of their favorite video games the very first day in the new house helped make this move a very smooth one.

May 04, 2007

Moving Day

We're moving today, which is why I haven't written about Bring Your Kid to Work Day yet. I'll do that when my new Internet connection is up and running.