Spin Hook Kick!

Parents haven’t been allowed into the dojo during the pandemic; if we want to watch class, we watch over Facebook Live. Luckily, the camera was at just the right angle and Connor stood in the right line for me to screen-capture his spin hook kick today.


This little guy hitched a ride indoors on some peonies last week.

BTW, the soundtrack for this video is Inchworm, performed by Danny Kaye with Gordon Jenkins and his Chorus and Orchestra, published by Decca Records in 1952, digitized from record (78 rpm) and uploaded to Archive.org by someone with a fancier hi-fi setup than mine.

Even so, I received a Copyright Claim email within minutes of uploading this one-minute video to YouTube. For including one minute and six seconds of a song recorded before my mother was born on an unmonetized video. I understand that copyright infringement is a Big Deal, but it’s seriously just a cute one-minute vignette.

Important and Urgent

I’ve had this quote on my cube wall for some time now (attributed to President Dwight D. Eisenhower):

What is important is seldom urgent,
and what is urgent is seldom important.

It’s been hanging out there, staring at me, but I haven’t really broken it down until recently.

During one of my plunges down the YouTube rabbit-hole, I came across this video that explained the difference between urgent and important:

Of course, I’d heard of the Eisenhower Matrix before — or at least seen it — but it wasn’t until I watched this video that I realized I’d never really thought about prioritizing my Urgent tasks and my Important tasks differently.

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Video: Spring Break 2018

Here’s a four-minute cut of our week in Mexico, including a trip down the Lazy River at Xel-Há Park and some fun times at the Catalonia Riviera Maya in Puerto Aventuras.

There will be details and photos and reviews forthcoming, of course, but the Reader’s Digest version is that we thoroughly enjoyed our four nights in Mexico (with a few minor complaints, of course), and we’re looking forward to more family vacations in the future.

Remembering the Music of the Night

I hadn’t really been into the Winter Olympics this olympiad — I’m still not, really, although I watched the Men’s Snowboarding on a whim and was surprised to see that Shaun White was still competing, since that’s a name I actually know, and I haven’t followed extreme sports for some ten years.

Then I stumbled upon a fascinating article about Olympian Adam Rippon, and upon reading of the author’s love for watching figure skating as a youth, I myself was transported back to high school.

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How Does Your Garden Grow? Part 3: Cottage Garden, Autumn 2015

I recorded and edited this video back in November, and somehow forgot to post it here. Seems appropriate, as I’m perusing seed catalogs and choosing additional plants for my future cottage garden, to post the state of the garden as it was before winter hit.

For those who would prefer to read than to watch: I transplanted a volunteer viburnum, divided a white peony from the north fence into many more pieces than I’d intended, and planted dozens of pink peony-flowering tulips.

The color scheme, for now, will be pink and white, with a hint of blue from the hydrangeas (when they decide to grace us with blooms, that is). I’m very much looking forward to creating a space that’s my own, as opposed to the other beds, where I feel I’m maintaining someone else’s creation. They’re quite nice, don’t get me wrong, but it’s taking me a long time to feel like they’re mine.

For now, though, I’m dreaming of spring and hoping that all those tulips come up like gangbusters.

How Does Your Garden Grow? Part 2: My Cottage Garden

I’m seriously stoked about planning out my cottage garden in what used to be “the jungle” in front of the garage, so much so that I spontaneously got out my iPhone 6 and made a short video about it.

I’ve come a long way, garden-wise, since my last gardening video blog post (I refuse to use the term “vlog”) two years ago. Everything is under control, nothing looks too neglected, and I feel like I’m in a good place to add some low-maintenance plants to the mix.

On the technical side: I do need to remember that the road noise sounds worse on video than it does in my head, though, and speak up when I’m recording.

Also, iMovie on iOS is a much better video editing app than I would have expected. The last time I used iMovie was when it first came out, back when I was in college, and using it as compared to the advanced Media 100 software I was used to seemed hamfisted and clunky and inflexible. iMovie for iOS feels like an easy-to-use app that has all the features one would need to edit together some basic shots. I approve.

Talking of the Butter for the Royal Slice of Bread

Connor is able to sit through slightly longer stories with slightly fewer pictures as he gets older and his attention span and comprehension gets a little better. In his collection of books (and he does have quite the collection, most of which belonged to his Dad and his uncle back in the day), there are a few titles that I used to have as a child — like the Better Homes and Gardens Story Book.

My Mom says I was able to read at age three (my son’s age now), but my memories of laying on my floor and reading this book on my own are more around age 5 or 6, I think. It’s a collection of stories and poems, and I had some favorites, and there are some I’d never read at all — for instance, I don’t even want to tackle the dialects in the Uncle Remus stories as an adult, reading aloud.

Connor specifically asked for The King’s Breakfast one day, though, and that tickled me, because I do remember liking that one — partly because I also saw it on The Muppet Show:

I think, perhaps, that my tendency to read it to Connor in my fake British accent stems from me subconsciously imitating Twiggy as I read it aloud.