Mathematicians

As a mathematician, I take care not to be caught doing philosophy. When I buy my copy of Philosophy Now, I ask the newsagent to wrap it up in a brown paper bag in the hope that it will be mistaken for a girly-mag.

Mike Alder, Newton’s Flaming Laser Sword

In which I sew on buttons

Alpha loves the Newsies. Alpha had Christmas money, and bought herself suspenders. Alpha asked me to sew buttons on to her pants so they wouldn’t snap off. Since we took her phone away, she’s got the time to pester me, so here we are.

Buttons on a pair of pants.
Buttons buttons who’s got the buttons

Mission accomplished.

Also, reading glasses help with the threading of needles.

Me in glasses.
My glasses match my shirt!

Quick note about the birds and the cars

You know what a cardinal is, right? Little red bird with a big red attitude. I pulled into our drive way last night, and parked next to Quinn’s pretty new car. Quinn’s pretty new car is parked in front of my mother’s car (we’re car sitting while she’s Out Of The Country). I heard a noise behind me and looked in the rear view mirror.

There was a cardinal on her rear-view mirror. And it was really really angry at the cardinal inside her rear view mirror. Lets say that again for the people in the back:

There was a cardinal attacking her rear view mirror because he saw his own reflection and they are insane, territorial little beasts.

Quinn scared him off by accident, so I’m the only one who saw him. I have pictures of the results of his assault (bird poops and some weird smears on the mirror).

This morning I came out and found my rear mirror – covered in a little bit of bird poop and weird smears.

This guy is going to be a problem, I can see already.

That was one angry duck…

I’m sitting in the living room, minding my own business, working from home (as you do), when I see a large bird land in the neighbor’s yard, followed by a male mallard duck. Being me, and curious, I checked and sure enough, the first bird was a female duck.

After they finished doing … whatever it is they were doing in the neighbor’s yard, she popped up on the fence and started quacking. Loudly. For a LONG time.

She was up there for a good two minutes, quacking angrily. And then she moved…

Yes. That’s my car. With an angry duck on it. She flew off along with Mr. Duck. You can almost hear the “Honey! Wait for me!”

Teaching the dog about Santa

For the last month or two, Quinn and I have been going out for walks after the kids are in bed. Its quiet, the dog has a great time, and we get to talk for an hour (tonight it was iPad woes and trying to remember this story about the SR-71 and a Navy Hornet). I’ve been feeling better, and am a little smaller, so its a win all the way around!

It is now bunny season. They are everywhere, and they are not smart. They will sit very still, even after Butter sees them. They will sit very still until she’s almost convinced herself that they aren’t really there. That’s when they bolt, and Butter tries to take our arms off bolting after them. The worst part is that they never seem to run into cover, they run along it, so she can see them for the longest possible time.

Bunnies.

So, tonight there was a real winner. He sat, still as a stone, until Butter was about 6 feet away from him. Then he ran, along the road, for about 20 feet (if you’ve ever seen Butter run, you know that’s not nearly far enough) to the corner of a fence. And sat there staring at the dog, who was on high alert and at the very end of her leash. It would be worrying, but her ears flop into her eyes, so she just looks ridiculous.

Quinn says, “I wonder what she would do if I ran after the bunny, and pretended to catch it.” I can see the wheels turning in his head, even in the dark.

“Don’t you dare.”

But the bunny isn’t moving, even as we keep walking toward it (he was between us and home; I don’t torture bunnies for fun). Quinn keeps giggling to himself, thinking about chasing the bunny, and the dog’s reaction. And the bunny still isn’t moving and we’re back to a 6 foot lead.

I sighed. No way around it. “Please chase the bunny.”

So he does. He runs towards the bunny, who is completely confused, and takes a second to start running, too. Butter tried to take off with him, but I was ready for it and she didn’t get anywhere. The bunny high-tailed it towards the back of a house, and Quinn went after it, just into a shadow.

This is where the fun starts, you see. He made growly, eating noises. Butter could not believe it. Quinn caught the bunny and ate it. She spent the rest of the walk looking for her own bunny to catch and eat. (He did not really catch the bunny, but Butter was firmly convinced her dad was a mighty predator tonight.)

Quinn wants to get a toy bunny (safe for dogs) and carry it with him on our walks. He’s going to chase another bunny out of harm’s way, and bring back the toy to give to Butter. She will firmly believe that he’s sharing his kill with her. He says, “It will be like teaching her about Santa Clause!” because she will be firmly convinced that is was bunnies taste like.

I’m not sure if this is going to be hysterical, or the start of many bad times for the local bunnies.

Good thing there’s lots of them.

Your Tax Dollars At Work

A thought for anyone who asks “Can I stop paying taxes because of this thing I don’t like/can’t use?”

There are lots of things that you pay for but will not, choose not, or hope not to use. Your tax dollars go towards welfare, unemployment, drug treatment programs, prisons, nuclear bombs, and foreign countries. Do you expect to take advantage of any of those programs in the near future?

Taxes pay for things that benefit the public at large, but don’t necessarily benefit you.  That’s a price we pay for civilization.