So what can you expect from a nearly 3-year-old?

As each event or landmark occurs in the life of your children, I reckon you think that you'll remember them, just the way they are, for ever. But I know I struggle to remember what T.J. was like when he was only 6 months old (which Maya nearly is), so I thought I'd write down for posterity what my nearly 3 year old boy is up to.

In terms of language he often asks us questions based on the words we've just uttered - if I say "OK, time to hit the road, Jack" he'll query me with "Time to hit the road, Jack?", putting the proper inflection at the end of the sentence. He uses words like "certainly" if I ask him if I can share his drink (he even offers to let me share his drink!) and "actually" to correct me on something we're discussing. He sings the alphabet with us (not that he knows each letter, but more like the words to a song) and has conversations on the phone, asking questions that he's heard us ask (like "How's your day going, Daddy?"). Other phrases include "I can't memember", "Be very careful on the road, Daddy", "Mum, Maya's bit crying" (der) and "I had such a good sleep".

He likes listening to music and either "pinging" his (air) guitar or playing on his drums (a stool, a car seat, the floor, a toy, anything really). Grandma told me the other day that he played his electronic organ with one finger per key, not bashing the living electrons out of it with both hands. And unfortunately I can report that T.J. shows a preference for the music I listen to, from Paul Colman to Moby to POD.

He has a great memory. Today I looked after Maya and him for half a day while Olivia went out. I mentioned to him that when Mummy had gone, and Maya was in bed, we could play the computer...the minute Olivia had closed the door to leave he reminded me of this fact! Tonight I told him that I'd read him "Goldilocks and the 3 Bears" in the morning and when he woke up he could bring me the book for me to read. We'll see what happens tomorrow.

In terms of personality Olivia and I have noticed he's got a great sense of humour, running the gamut of making fart noises with his mouth to changing the lyrics of songs ("Baa baa black sheep, have you any wool, yes sir, yes sir, poo poo poo") to making up new words like "berm" and "plops" and "poom pump" and anything really. When he wants something, to soften the blow on his parents he prefaces the request with "We might...". I don't know how many times I respond with "We might not..." ("Amen brother", says my beautiful wife sitting beside me as I write).

He has a habit of running away when we call him to get dressed. He is "such a big boy" in helping Mummy do the dishes, set the table and helping change Maya's nappy and giving her toys. The other day he said "I might even put some butter [and] jam on my bread with my penguin knife" (a special knife we got him for Christmas years ago), and he spread his own lunch!

Yep, he's big, but not too big that he doesn't like to still be tickled and sang to, snuggled and held hands with. I can't wait to see what the next year will bring!

Shower and Shave

I don't quite know how I learned to groom myself growing up, but I do know enough to know that I don't know a lot about it. Just the other day I learned what the difference is between deodorant and anti-perspirant and the correct situations to use them from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy!

Ah, the beauty routine of a lazy guy: I went through a whole lot of pimple repulsors/grime removers/foaming face washes/zit killers as a late teenager. I remember quite distinctly going to a party up in the bush with a friend of mine and sleeping at the party hall for the night. As I was getting changed and removing my shirt another bloke there spied a pimple on my back, that he said was "big as a golf ball", and that he'd never seen one like it. I know my brothers had similar experiences with oily skin, acne and pimples.

So to my point. I've been getting pimples and ingrown hairs around my neck that I reckon are caused by shaving. I tried growing a beard once (previously, the best way I found to treat it was when I was in Uni with the George Michael permanent 5 o'clock shadow). On a whim, before going home the other day I googled for "reducing shaving rash" to find some advice on shaving rash that said I should shave with the grain (not against it), shave after my shower when my skin is warm and wet and not use the triple-blade shavers that actually try and shave my hairs underneath the skin (by pulling them up with a rubber strip, lopping the hairs off and then letting the hair sink back in). Cool!

I'm sorry if this post has grossed out most of the three readers I've got. But it's important I ask the hard questions! Any more suggestions?

Long Weekend, or Adventures of TJ

This weekend just gone was a long weekend (Queen's Birthday). We got to have a sleep in till 8:45 on Monday, we had friends around for a relaxed Sunday night dinner followed by "Monsters, Inc." for the kids, and on Saturday took some rubbish to the dump.

Saturday after all our hard work of taking the rubbish and getting a compost bin one of the highlights of the weekend (for me) happened. We stopped at a service station/McDonalds/Red Rooster/coffee shop so we could have a coffee and TJ could play in the playground.

First, to lay the groundwork. I'd previously taken TJ for a date to this Macca's playground.

Flashback: we arrive there on that fateful day, there's 5 or so kids playing on the playground (good, so no-one could bowl over my 2.5 year-old), and there was a spot for me to sit and enjoy a cappucino near the playground door. TJ hesitatingly started to crawl into the playground, but couldn't get up on the first ladder. At was at this point that another kid told me that someone had spewed inside the playground, and that was why TJ wouldn't go in. Yuck!

After the vomit got cleaned, I coached/coaxed TJ onto the play equipment, noting the sign which said "4 Years And Over". With me talking him up the first ladder, he gets onto the first level and has a look around for the slide entrance. We work out that it's actually further up on the 2nd level.

TJ and I talked about it and he said he "tan't" ("can't") get up to the second level, so we agreed that we'd go to another playground. No problems. We talked about that maybe he was too little, and the playground would better suit some of his friends who are already in school.

OK, end flashback, and fast forward to the weekend just gone...he did it! Once again I was the proud dad coaching him through the first ladder (easy) and on to find the second ladder. I didn't hear from him for a couple of seconds, and then, whoosh, down the slide he goes. After that he didn't need any prompting to do it again.

My big son, I'm proud of you.

My Job Description

When people ask you what you do for a living, what do you say? I find it really difficult, and usually I answer that I'm a computer geek - at which some people kind of stare blankly at (and I'm glad I didn't say I was a Systems Analyst) and other people ask for more info.

I read and commented on two posts this week from my IT peers, at PeetM's blog and Steve Eichert's blog. Interesting to hear what others do and say.

New Amp

As an early birthday present, my beautiful wife bought me a new amp!

What a great wife I've got. Now I'll be able to blast out the house and keep the neighbours awake, incessantly bug Olivia with questions like "Did you like that one?" or "What does that sound like?", act like a creative prima donna and ask not to be disturbed until dinner/dessert/supper is ready, and start wearing spandex and grow my hair long to become a rock star.

Only joking. No spandex for me.

Thanks Olivia!

Guitaring Resource

I play guitar (badly - I'm self taught) and recently picked up my electric guitar after not touching it for a couple of years. I stumbled across a web resource called which has (of course) links to stuff to buy, but also articles and tips on how to improve play.

Not that I play a lot - I do play my acoustic every so often with a church band, but the electric is so much different and I enjoy the different sounds. It's strange because I started out playing the guitar for me, trying to copy the bands I liked (at the time, Metallica, Guns'n'Roses, Skid Row, etc.) but lately I realised that I can actually play some, and so I'd like to resolve this year to improve at the things I can already do.


Via Tim Samoff, comes the Portrait Illustration Maker which allows you to create what you'd look like if you were a Tintin comic character.


Nonsense Text Generator

Via Girish Bharadwaj comes the nonsense text generator which looks like it generates semi-random sentences and paragraphs of text (I'm sure there would be business uses!). A sample:

Hmm, a goldfinch is less stuffy than this taut yellow jacket. Alas, one relentless seagull cliquishly bounced off one reserved penguin. Hey, the lorikeet is much less esoteric than that inverse roadrunner. Umm, some parrot is less lavish than a flagrant rat. Oh, some grand terrier experimentally did unlike an adverse oyster. Er, the echidna is far less irresolute than the enticing mongoose. Wow, some owl is far less hopeful than some memorable porpoise.

Sumo Kids...

"Sumo Kids!" is the title that Justin King used for his post of a picture of two children - one 5, one 15 months - that are hideously overweight. The funny side of me says "ha ha", but having kids means that the serious side of me says that this is child abuse.

This picture has been in our papers down under, and on current affairs shows as well (someone tells me there was an interview with the parents).

No-Name Disaster Movies

Scott Hanselman writes a generic template for disaster movies (via Scoble). Funny!

I was walking across a bridge one day...

Jason Clark tells a funny joke (the comments on his page give proper credit for the origination to Emo Phillips):

I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off. I immediately ran over and said "Stop! Don't do it!"
"Why shouldn't I?" he said.
I said, "Well, there's so much to live for!"
"Like what?"
"Well ... are you religious or atheist?"
"Me too! Are you Christian or Jewish?"
"Me too! Are you Catholic or Protestant?"
"Me too! Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?"
"Wow! Me too! Are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord?"
"Baptist Church of God."
"Me too! Are you Original Baptist Church of God, or are you Reformed Baptist Church of God?"
"Reformed Baptist Church of God."
"Me too! Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915?"
"Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915!"
To which I said, "Die, you heretic scumbag!" and pushed him off.

Back Online

Well, here I am back after a week of self-imposed "no blogs" (plus two busy days here at work), in which I didn't even look at a blog (let alone my blog). This was spurred in part by Olivia's Grandad (Opa) Con passing away on Sunday May 23rd which bought for me sadness and a level of distraction at work (stopping blogging was one way to keep things simple). Also was a rising sense of being flooded with information on my part, and the need to step away and see if it was/is worth it.

After my hiatus, I can say it is worth it for me to keep reading blogs, although I did seem to use my time last week that would usually be spent reading & writing blogs to actually communicate with my friends or get out of the office (both good things). On my return to blogdom, I had around 2000 new entries waiting for me (I only read a select handful, and skipped the rest). That's almost too much! I need to get better at skimming text to get through my blog reading.

OK, back to normal transmissions...


Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Copyright Thomas & Olivia Williams 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009