Snake Options

Simon and I got out the “buggy” this morning and went for a run along the Wolf River. If you must run (and that is a question worth some serious thought), I can suggest this as a good place to do it. I also recommend doing it for a good cause like St. Jude, like I am later this month. Donations still being accepted!

He wanted to stay in his pajamas, and had bare feet because that’s something you can do when you’re in a running stroller. Lucky him; I had on running shoes because I was running, pushing a running stroller.

So we’re going around a bend, and lo, a snake on the path. What kind of snake? I’d say it was the long skinny kind where one end is sharp and sometimes mean. Based on my faulty memory, it was unlikely to have been a copperhead or water moccasin, but look man, a snake is a snake, and there are bare feet in this story. Time to show some respect.

I stop and wait for the snake to make its way off the path, which it certainly seems interested in doing. I also start letting passersby know that there is a snake. This includes a few bike riders and then suddenly, something like 20 junior high kids. Of course.

Now, when a guy tells me “hey watch out, there’s a snake” and points at a place on the ground, I am always going to:

  1. Stop.
  2. Freeze until I either see the snake or maybe get additional information about the snake.

What I will not do is:

  1. Say “where” and walk towards where the guy is pointing.

Remember: saying “where” means you don’t yet know where the snake is, or what it’s like, or if the sharp end is getting mean. I think selecting that option is ill-advised.

Eventually the snake takes off into the woods, and people start to disperse, and life moves on. Simon thought it was pretty fun, I think. The worst part was that I had to start running again after stopping. Of all the running things I’m not very good at doing, this is towards the top of the list.

I Like It: Spiraling – Transmitter

Let me make a long-overdue mention of the 2002 album “Transmitter” by the band Spiraling. I probably listen to this thing once a month, and have ever since Steve brought it to my attention.

I like just about every single thing about every single song on this recording, and I wish I could find a few dozen more that I like this much. How’s that for a recommendation?

At that CDBaby link, you can read this summary: “Intelligent synth-rock that gives a nod to power pop with progressive undertones.” Yes, please.

I know: Old man likes old music, but it is so good.

My Son Just Read Music

This is a really big deal for me. 

Simon is five, and he just read this music and played it on his recorder. I know it’s absolute beginner material, but he did it (with great time, by the way) and I am super proud right now!

He’s done some basic music at school and mostly knows a quarter note from a half note. Tonight he found his recorder and this book and wanted me to tell him about it. I think it’s a first for him to be playing a wind instrument with breath control, articulation, and reading the whole thing top to bottom. He was really proud of himself!

I asked him if he would be able to tell his music teacher this week, and he said “but you’re my music teacher.”

A Quarter for St. Jude

Simon goes to St. Jude with me sometimes on the weekend. We “work” in my office, we have lunch at the cafeteria, and we look at the sights. It gets us out of the house, and I hope it gives him perspective on what Dad does and why he does it.

Last month, he was using his binoculars on the drive to campus, searching for treasure on the side of the road. We didn’t find any, but it was fun talking about it.

When we visit, we usually stop by the famous statue of St. Jude Thaddeus at the entrance of the patient care building. He’s really tall, he has big toes, and sometimes we tickle them for fun.

On this particular day, it turns out someone had left a quarter at the feet of the statue. We’d just been looking for treasure, and we found some! Awesome, right?!? A Quarter for St. Jude

Simon looked at it for just a second and said, “Dad, we need to leave this treasure here for the kids.”

Simon Wrote Music

Simon was hard at work at his table a few nights ago, banging out repeated notes on an old musical instrument from when he was a baby, a xylophone/celeste combo thing (with a really out of tune sixth scale degree that has always bothered me, but let’s move on.)

He was also scribbling on his paper with some markers, which I thought was an odd combination. He usually focuses a bit more when at his table, so I had a closer look. 

  
He was making up a tune, and writing it down in his own simple notation system. All by himself. He saw me reading an old 1970’s music copying handbook the other night (let’s move on), but this was all him. 

He’s five, he is awesome, and I am a super proud dad.