Funny Phrases

Since the age of two-and-a-half our 3rd child, Evie (currently age 4), has made the same request for cereal every weekday:

“Oatmeal Squares with milk and a spoon.”

She says this as though any self-respecting parent could forget the primary constituents of a bowl of cereal, but she says them every day, without fail.

On the few days in which I ask her what kind of cereal she would like she slumps her shoulders, rolls her eyes, dramatically sighs and repeats her morning mantra:

“Oatmeal Squares with milk and a spoon.”

But recently she has taken to upping the ante.
Being even more precise.
Subjecting us to specificity above and beyond.

Her newest request:

“Oatmeal Squares with milk and a spoon in a bowl.”

As an adult of reasonable intelligence, I struggle to imagine the kind of caregiver who would forget to provide a child with a bowl as the primary conveyance of cereal & milk when a spoon is already involved (as requested), but I digress.

What’s even more amazing (or appropriate, depending on your perspective) is how her younger sister, currently two-and-a-half herself, has co-opted this funny phrase.

And while the choice of cereal may be different – Imogen prefers Life to Evie’s Oatmeal Squares – the phrase is no less funny coming from her mouth. In fact it might even be funnier considering her diminutive stature and wispy voice.

I can make all the jokes I want, and it does make me laugh (most times to their dismay), but I’m going to miss this request once it’s gone. It’s a near-constant reminder that neither of them will be little forever.

I want to bottle up those words and save them with me.
I need very badly to record them saying it so I don’t forget it (or them) exactly as they are right now.
I’m writing it down here as a means of preserving the impermanent.

I think the best part about this little ritual is that now I hear the big kids playfully asking for their own cereal this way. I’ve even found myself saying it to Jenn and likewise her to me.

“Oatmeal squares with milk and a spoon in a bowl.”

It’s funny how that little, funny phrase has so much power.



Skip Hursh’s animated GIF that I refer to as ‘Muppetmation’

Regardless of whether you pronounce GIF with a hard or a soft “G”, you can’t deny that the simple animations have been raised to something of an art form recently.

The animation above was made by the talented Skip Hursh (Skip also has a Tumblr that’s pretty awesome.) & was pointed out to me by Beau Teague.

There’s something almost steam-powered or Rube Goldberg-esque about the GIFs he makes. They’re mesmerizing in their perpetual, looping motions and their bright colors.

There are plenty of other examples of GIFs for the masses (and for the detractors), but I think Skip’s work should really be seen by a wider audience, even if it isn’t a meme or a screencap or a reaction gif.

Happy Thursday!


I’m tempted to say that I’ve got what plants crave, but that’s Brawndo and not Brawny. Entirely different cosplay.

As it stands we’re two days away from Halloween and I’ve dressed up as a more hirsute version of the Brawny Paper Towel Guy.

Old guy had a 70’s pornstache, new guy is clean shaven and me, I’ve got a full beard & glasses.


Old & Brawny



New Brawny Guy

Clean-shaven & Brawny


Am I Brawny?

The glasses are working against me.

Maybe it’s better if I buy that Brawndo t-shirt for next year and purchase the paper towels for Thursday night. What do you think?

Not sure I can outdo Don Draper or The Dude or Magnum P.I. this year, but what I lack in creativity I’ll make up for in facial hair, plaid & laziness.

Happy Halloween!

I’m 37; I’m not old

There’s something different about this birthday. Something altogether Pythonian.

I’m 37; I’m not old.

I’m also a prime number for the first time since 31 and the last time until 41. Good times.

Here’s some more mathematical information on prime numbers and, pertinently, the number 37.

Speaking of numbers I’m now less than two weeks away from running my first full marathon, the Atlanta Marathon on Sunday, October 27, 2013.

26.22 miles
42.195 kilometers
A long way from home

I had made a promise to myself that I’d run a marathon before I turned 40 so I’m making good on my promise.

Remember: I’m 37; I’m not old.

I guess what I’m admitting is that I’m having a difficult time turning 37. I realize (or rather I’m fighting against) that 37 isn’t “old” but there’s no denying that I’m getting older. Happens every now – enough times that I can see the pattern.

The running will help me, I think, in the long term but it’s going to suck in the near term.

In the meantime I keep on keeping on.

Quoting Monty Python.
Looking up prime numbers on the internet.

What I really need is a Feltron-style annual report on my life that will make me feel better through the magic of data visualization and USA Today-style color palettes. Barring that, here’s a neat recap of the results of a recent running survey from Brooks.

Until next time.

Happy Birthday to me!

Cell phones I have owned

Now that Microsoft has purchased Nokia’s devices & services business, it’s got me thinking about the cellphones I’ve owned over years.

  • Nokia 3360
  • I’d have to dig through a stack of papers or a dusty drawer in our filing cabinet to see just when I got this phone from BellSouth Wireless (pre-Cingular; way pre-AT&T) but it was roughly the year 2000. I know I had graduated from college, Jenn and I were married and that we went to every cellphone store (ha!), even Sprint with their walkie-talkie-style system(s) before deciding on this phone.

    I’m pretty sure we used BellSouth Wireless so that here folks could go in on a “family plan” with us. We got consecutive phone numbers (which we still use). Makes things terribly easy to remember when filling out forms or telling other parents our digits.

    I only made calls and played “Snake” on this phone. I did, however, customize it with a UGA faceplate. From what I hear, modern “smartphones” such as the Moto X and potentially Apple’s rumored “iPHone 5c” will have some colorful options.

    For a clunky candy bar, this was a fun first phone. No camera, no data plan but “Go Dawgs!” all the way.

  • Sony Ericcson T616
  • Of all the phones I’ve had before and since, I think this was my favorite one.

    It had a colored screen.
    It had wireless internet.
    It had a camera.

    I was gobsmacked.

    I can’t seem to track down the first picture I ever took with that phone, but here’s the first one I uploaded to Flickr.

    I really did dig that phone. It felt great in my hand, it was snappy for its time and it felt like the future when I texted my first photo.

  • Motorola RAZR V3
  • I thought this phone looked a little bit like Neo’s phone from the original Matrix movie.
    I thought this phone would be cool based on the commercials I saw.
    I thought flip phones would be cool again.

    I was wrong, wrong, wrong.

    Great in theory but horrible in practice, this was arguably the “best” phone I had owned up to that point, but I remain unconvinced. From the build quality to the buttons to the actual interface & services, this was a janky mess.

  • iPhone 3G
  • Mind: blown

    Now serving as the primary music device in my daughter’s bedroom.

  • iPhone 4
  • Dropped in a pool.

    Used as a secondary gaming device (mostly Temple Run) for my son when we go on trips.

  • iPhone 4S
  • Still with me but the power button doesn’t work. Ready, willing & able to upgrade.

With three previous generations of iPhones under my belt, I’m also anxiously awaiting the Apple event of next week (Sept. 10th) to let me know when I’ll need to queue up for my new phone and just how magical it will be. ;-)

I’m actually quite curious about how the new generation of “wearable” devices – along the lines of the Pebble & now Samsung smartwatch – will change my relationship with technology.

I’m firmly ensconced in the Apple ecosystem now, but I have an Android test handset for work which I like a fair bit. I’ve even gone so far as to recommend the new Nexus 7 tablet to my father-in-law, despite holding out for a future retina iPad mini for myself.

Whatever happens I’m sure I’ll love my next phone just as much as I once loved these phones. How could I not? I have it with me all the time – and that may be the most salient point of all.