January 23rd, 2010


Today, I convinced R. to have the whole family go to the Burlington Mall. I figured we could put the kids on rides, if they had any, eat something, buy some stuff, whatever. In practice, A. fell asleep on the way there, so T. and I went in to buy the one item I had not been able to buy on line, largely because I was deeply uncertain about the right size. T. had gotten really interested in belts since we started putting him in jeans instead of overalls.

Macy's escalator up from the first floor was deeply out of commission, so we went to Hanna Anderson (fail) and then Gap Kids (fail). I had on a previous occasion tried a Gymboree in Acton (fail). But by this point, we were on the second floor of the mall, so we re-tried Macy's, and found an escalator that worked to get us to kids on the third floor, where we eventually found belts and, miracle, one that was more or less the right size for T. For about $12. Sweet.

Back to the van, where A. woke up as we were departing. The kids were quite happy to play for a while at home, where I got a little more filing done, but as T. got restless, I figured it was time for another outing. I took him out to West Acton to look at the model trains, and then the consignment shop, were we bought a couple floor puzzles, a lacing kit, and did not buy the guitar (altho we are still thinking about it). They had a card/coupons for a toy store in Littleton (called Little Towne Toys), and I had a Nuvi in the car, so we went there next. Awesome, awesome, awesome toy store. If you are looking for an independent toy store in Metrowest, give it a try. The woman who owns the place is a complete sweetheart and her stock is fantastic -- good value for money, and she carries things that are not easy to find elsewhere, like the daubers that preschools use but no one knows what they are really called. She was inflating balloons, and gave one to T. Boy was he happy. He laughed and laughed and laughed.

Obviously, we got the daubers. We also bought a Ravensburger 35 piece puzzle, a toy school bus (one of the kind where you run it backwards and then it goes forwards), a Lauri puzzle, and the Lego Duplo 5601 fire station. Which turns out to function _beautifully_ as a garage, and T. loves running the vehicle that is part of the set in and out of it. Not what I had planned on, but hey. I've been looking for something to satisfy the park-in-garage-play urge for a while. I assumed it required a door that opened and closed vertically to be satisfactory, but I was clearly wrong. I'm sure we bought something else --- three bags full, between the two stores.

This ought to keep us busy for a while. T. has been enjoying playing Honey Bee Tree and Connect 4. We do not play according to the rules; the goal is just to take turns. We are making very good progress on this, altho it is tricky keeping the chokable pieces away from A.


I was over at NYT looking to see if there was anything amusing (other than Floyd Norris' recent excellent blog entry: http://norris.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/01/22/state-of-shock/), and stumbled across a discussion over on the New Old Age blog about hoarding.



In the course of mosey along through some links, I found this gem:


Go ahead. Download your own copy of the degrees of squalor. It is enlightening. I'm betting at least one of my readers (and honestly, odds are good more than one) is already familiar with this particular document, because We Are Well-Informed.

Maybe I'll print a copy for the next time I watch Clean House. I'm betting you could come up with a drinking game. ;-)

elderly article about e-readers and e-books


Dunno how I missed that one (boy, I hope I haven't blogged about it already and completely forgotten). Lots to complain about, but a very interesting perspective from a person I would bet reads on the order of a dozen books a year (so not the kind of person I think of as the natural market for the kindle, and not the kind of person who is part of that tiny cohort that buys most of the books that are sold each year).