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Avia S-199 in Israeli Air Force Service

Archive for September 2008

I admit…

…that yesterday’s post was lame. I spent the weekend doing nothing, but Child Three did some stuff I forgot about.

Friday evening, Child Three performed the voiceover work he’d won.

Initially, he had a tendency to start enunciating sentences at the third word, and his brain works faster than his mouth, so he added/skipped/misread words. Part of it was that he had no rehearsal time – he got his hands on the dialogue literally a minute before he entered the recording booth.

Once we pointed out his bad habits and fixed some pronunciations, Child Three performed impressively. He took direction superbly. He even added appropriate nuances on his own. It was enjoyable for me – and that says more than you think, because deep inside, I’m my kids’ strongest critic. Sometimes it’s not buried so deep.

Child Three earned a bit of cash for the work, but I took it for myself. He owes me payment for the Nintendo DS he and Child Two bought, for which I fronted the initial cash outlay. I feel bad about it, but it’s almost four months now, and at least I didn’t send goons to break his legs.

Bonus LOLninjacat:

New pads

These are 22″ DR 5.2 pads in NDG colours, purchased new for $129 on eBay. Child Three can’t wait to try them out.

Elvi bought a piece of plywood so that our mattress will lie flat in the new bed. Our stairway is too narrow to allow passage of a queen-size boxspring.

For the first time in my own bedroom since 1994, tonight I will not be sleeping on a mattress on the floor.

How not to sleep

Monday night, I couldn’t get to sleep. It happens once in a while. I managed to fall asleep around 3:30 a.m.

Elvi handles morning carpool duties so it’s not normally tragic when this happens. Since I’m a bum, I just sleep in and offset my day’s work a bit.

But Tuesday was different.

At 6:45, Elvi woke and couldn’t resist snuggling me before hustling the kids out of bed. I’m not sure how often that happens – it’s gotta be hard to resist the impulse – but that time, she woke me. I fell back asleep, until 7:39 a.m., when our carpool partner called to ask where the carpool was. Elvi pulled up to her house as we were speaking. I went back to sleep.

At 8:55 a.m., my mum called to say how delightful the book reviews were. Thanks, Mum. I appreciate your appreciation, but you could use the comment link to leave a note here on the blog.

I didn’t go back to bed after that. I didn’t want to sleep the entire day away and then again be unable to retire until the wee hours. I did some research and tried to do some writing, but I’m so tired I can’t think straight. I needed some sleep if I were to do anything productive.

I lie down for a nap and the Westmount Library calls at 2:30 to wake me as I’m dozing off. They have a book for Elvi. She reads too much.

It takes me a while to get back to sleep and just as I do my buddy Josa calls to ask if any of the Children will be taking acting classes this year. Unfortunately, that’s one item we’ve had to cut back on so that they can attend school.

Hoping that a change of venue will change my luck, I abandon the bed for the downstairs couch. I was wrong. At 4:00, a computer in the employ of our phone company calls to ask… – I’m not sure what it called to ask. I rarely listen to machines.

And then the kids came home.

That was my day. At least I was able to get to sleep that night before midnight.

Bonus “Pop goes the rib” post:

Last week, I was stretching after a heavy meal and I felt a pop under the front left side of my rib cage. I described it to Elvi as feeling like my stomach popped from all the food – although of course a stomach isn’t on the left side.

A day or two later, I had a sore spot between two ribs on the left side of my back. It seems reasonable to relate the pop and the muscles and tendons between my ribs. The pain wasn’t too bad, it limited my twisting and bending a bit, but I’d only rank it as uncomfortable on the pain scale. I played hockey as well as possible Friday night and moved a fifth of a ton of furniture Sunday. The furniture did make my back a bit more sore so maybe that was stupid, but I did get a free bed out of it.

Some people are telling me to go to the doctor, but it’s a rib. There’s nothing to do. The pop is a little worrisome, but if I did pull a tendon loose, there’d be a heck of a lot more pain, no?

Tuesday titters

Forget Friday funnies. Try Tuesday titters.

First, a fine toy from the fine folks at Archie McPhee, the Avenging Narwhal Play Set:

This video was brought to my attention by conservative American friends, so untwist yer knickers:

Bonus blog posts on the horizon once I can think straight:

Watch for “How not to sleep” and “Pop goes the rib”, coming soon to a blog near you.


Amid this onslaught of parents, friends, rats, a new fridge, a new bed, looking for new goalie pads, and early-semester business, I also received the following in a fax. I think it’s the first fax I’ve received in two years.

I thought I’d save them for posting on a rainy day, but I missed the rain and so I, and you, must settle for a cold and windy day.

From Scale Aircraft Modelling:

From Model Aircraft Monthly:

From Model Airplane International:

I should start working on the next book any month now.

Bonus tiny gloat:

My Irrational League lead is up to five points.

Open letter to the Gazette

I just sent the Gazette a version of this:

Dear editor,

The Business section of the Gazette ran an article on the RealMatch job-matching service today (Sept. 3, page B6).

Canadians cannot use RealMatch, a service only available to Americans.

With my background as a journalism professor and in Internet publishing, I don’t understand how newspapers expect to survive while re-using material from other sources and often available online instead of creating their own local reporting.

This RealMatch article is a particularly egregious example of the overall trend. The Gazette performs no service to the Montreal community by printing it.

I’m tired of seeing in the Gazette wire copy that I read online a day earlier. The Gazette, and other newspapers, need to focus on the local environment and on local aspects of international stories if they are to succeed.

It’s even worse. I couldn’t find the article, sourced to the Washington Post, at the Gazette Web site, so I searched for it. I found it. It appeared in the Washington Post on Aug. 17. It’s not only useless news, it’s old useless news.

Bonus task accomplished:

While up last night contemplating Yusmeiro Petit’s sinking to his established level, I heard a snap from downstairs. I caught (and executed) the rat – and it was most certainly a rat, although a small one about five inches long with a tail about four inches long. I must admit that it was the cutest rat I’ve ever seen.

The September stretch

Labour Day finds my Irrational League fantasy baseball team glancing alone in first. I took over first place this past week with some timely hitting by Ty “Babe Ruth” Wigginton (five home runs on the week) and some wins that have finally started to fall into the laps of my good starting pitching.

We just completed our last monthly draft of leftovers. I had a choice of some low-batting average speedsters (Emmanuel Burriss), risky hitters (Felipe Lopez), steady batting average (David Eckstein), low-risk and unspectacular relievers (Aaron Heilman, Doug Brocail, Russ Springer), or high-risk starters (Mike Hampton, Tom Gorzelanny, Cha Seung Baek,etc.).

My team roster is oddly constructed, in a good way. All my hitters are active and starting for their teams, with the exception of one utility slot occupied by an injured player (either Rafael Furcal or Russ Branyan at my whim). For the last half of August, I’ve had holes in my pitching staff. Chris Young was out with a stiff arm, leaving a useless starter slot. John Lieber was out with a foot problem and Cla Meredith was in the minors for a few weeks, leaving an empty reliever spot.

But Meredith was promoted back to the majors last week and today both Lieber and Young have been activated off the disabled list.

My team thus had only one hole to fill, and any hitter would do. The thing is, I have good leads in all the hitting categories except steals, and if I’d drafted a base-stealer, I wouldn’t gain points, but only keep one point I have – and I may keep that point anyway because that team picked up noted brick Matt Stairs. The wins category is another story.

I am at 60 wins, one win up from last, one win behind eighth, and three wins behind seventh. The team with 61 is in fifth place and picked up Josh Johnson, a starter. The team with 63 wins chose a hitter. Before my draft pick, all of us had six starters, the maximum allowable. (The team behind me has only four starters and isn’t a factor.)

If I chose a starter, I would only catch up in wins by rotating starters in and out every week so that I maximize my roster with pitchers who start twice in a week. That’s a good long-term strategy, but might not help much in a single month of four weeks. I would best help my chances with a starter who qualified as a reliever.

I found one: Yusmeiro Petit. He has great stats this year and has long had a reputation as a great prospect, but I’ve never been a believer. Still, it’s a gamble worth taking. If I’m right, he can sit in my reserves and do no harm. If I’m wrong, he gives me an additional two-plus wins, which will make a difference.

This week, Petit takes the ball for my team against the Cardinals. Stellar reliever Chris Sampson rides the pine as his Astros visit Chicago and Colorado, two dangerous parks. Lieber also sits in his first week back from injury. Chris Young is active, for two starts.

Frank added Fernando Tatis to his second-place team. Tatis has hit a ton of homers, but is now a part-timer and was over his head. I’m not too concerned about that. Without Tatis, I’ve outslammed Frank 60 HRs to 33 and 202 RBIs to 144 over the last four weeks. Tatis at his finest won’t make up that difference. And Frank will lose points in saves, although he could gain in WHIP. It’s going to be a heck of a month.

.283 batting average (1st by .0043 over second-place Frank, which is a nice gap for a month to go)
243 HR (1st by seven over Frank and another team)
888 RBI (1st by 25 on Frank)
120 SB (4th, up by three)
3.94 ERA (2nd, up by 0.05)
1.27 WHIP (2nd, down by 0.04)
60 wins (9th)
22 saves (8th)

First overall by 1.5 pts.

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