Journal Archive 2007
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The Dinosaur Movie

Several months ago, Nia & Sophie asked to watch "the dinosaur movie," so I dutifully clicked "The Land Before Time" on the TiVo. A few seconds in, they began to protest, "No! The DINOSAUR movie!"

"But... this is the dinosaur movie," I replied.

"DADDY's dinosaur movie," Nia clarified.

I turned to look at Shep, who was looking somewhat guiltily in the other direction. "What are they talking about?" I asked.

"Well... I might have... sort of... let them watch Jurassic Park," Shep admitted.

"I wanna see the wasarata eat the cow!" Sophie piped in.

It was one of those moments when outrage was warring against a fit of the giggles, but outrage won. "I would have thought this went without saying," I said to Shep, "but if you're too young to say 'velociraptor' properly, you're too young to watch that movie."

That was the end of Jurassic Park for a while, but last night I found Shep and the girls in front of it again. They were snuggled together on the couch, and he assured me slightly defensively that he was on hand to get them through any scary parts. Given Sophie's love of triceratops, I caved.

Tonight at dinner, Nia was looking through her dinosaur book, and there was a T-Rex with a velociraptor in his mouth. "We haven't got to that part of the movie yet," Shep said to me, "but they have seen one eat a human. Remember, guys, when the T-Rex ate the man on the potty?"

Maybe you had to be there, but tonight, outrage lost to the giggles.

More Pictures

We've finally put up some pirate ship construction pictures, and we've got the 3rd quarter kids pictures up too.


Nia says "Here's a turkey and what happens next".

Let the Wild Rumpus Start!

Pumpkin carving season 2007 kicked off with this rendition of the children's book classic "Where the Wild Things Are." Nia's kindergarten class was in need of an entry for the school-wide pumpkin decorating contest, so we helped ensure that the honor of Room 8 was upheld.


Apparently chezpoor has an Alexa page rank. Last week we were the 697,304th most popular site on the web and our site's "reach" was 0.0001% of Internet users! Woot! Other interesting facts: 36% of our visitors are from Hong Kong, and 21% come from New Zealand where we are ranked 22,359th. Lots of bored people out there playing Minesweeper :)

UPDATE: Wow, these numbers fluctuate fast. Down to 2 millionth and back again in 2 days. Apparently the number is meaningless due to small sample size, but its fun to look at anyway.

Second quarter kid photos are here

We've got new pictures for Nia, Sophie and Justin. Check 'em out.

Because I'm obsessed...

I have a few more Harry Potter predictions to add.

7. Dumbledore suppressed Dudley Dursley's magical abilties.

Rowling has stated that in Book 7, someone will perform their first magical act later in life under desperate circumstances, and that such an occurrence is very unusual. I thought it would be Petunia, but Rowling has now denied it. However, what about Dudley? Dumbledore had to have some sort of hold over Petunia to get her to agree to take Harry in; what if it was an agreement that Dumbledore would prevent Dudley from performing any magic? It fits well; Petunia would want to hide even the possibility of magical tendencies from her husband, and now that Dumbledore is dead, any spell he cast won't necessarily hold.

8. The last scene in the book will be Harry's newborn child reaching up to touch his scar.

Total wishful thinking, here, but Rowling said that there will be an epilogue that tells us how the surviving characters turn out and that the last word of the series was supposed to be "scar." She's reserved the right to change it... but this would be a sweet ending, don't you think?

Snow pictures for July 4th

Well, we got the first quarter pictures up before the end of the second quarter Fourth of July. Yeah, we're behind. Enjoy!

You heard it here first

Since it's 32 days (but who's counting) til the release of the seventh and final Harry Potter book, I thought I'd better get my predictions on the table so I can preen ruthlessly if/when they turn out to be accurate. Drumroll please...

1. Snape was in love with Lily Potter.

I've been saying this since Book 3, and nothing that I've encounted since has made me any less convinced that it's true. It fits the plot of the story too well. If Snape was in love with Harry's mother, he would (as Dumbledore told Harry) have been horrified when he discovered which family was the subject of Trelawney's prophecy. He would probably have cut some kind of deal to spare her life, which explains why Voldemort killed James outright but gave Lily a chance to live. The breaking of that deal would have made Snape turn permanently against Voldemort and enabled him to convince Dumbledore that he was absolutely to be trusted. It is, however, a reason that Dumbledore would naturally be reluctant to share with Harry.

Several people have pointed out that Snape treated Lily badly in the memory that Harry saw in the Penseive, but this is not inconsistent with his being in love with her. Rowling is a big fan of Jane Austen, and in Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Darcy is outright disgusted to find himself in love with Elizabeth Bennet in spite of her low connections. Snape would naturally conceal his attraction to a Mudblood witch because it goes against everything he stands for.

2. Snape is not loyal to Dumbledore.

This prediction (which is largely Shep's) is a case of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend." Snape is, like Voldemort, contemptuous of Dumbledore's softheartedness and tolerance for Muggles and Mudbloods. He loathes Harry with every ounce of his being because Harry reminds him of James. However, he knows the prophecy has singled Harry out as the only one who can defeat Voldemort. This, and not the fact that James saved Snape from a werewolf, is why Snape has always protected Harry. Even at the end of Book 6, when Harry is trying desperately to attack Snape, Snape responds with advice on why he's failing instead of just dragging him back to Voldemort.

There's a lot of speculation that Snape killed Dumbledore as part of some secret agreement between them, but I'm not buying it. He did it because Dumbledore had outlived his usefulness, and to spare him would lose Snape his position as part of Voldemort's inner circle. Snape has been able to deceive the greatest Legilimens in wizard history because he's not lying when he professes his contempt for Dumbledore, and indeed for everyone in the Order of the Phoenix. He really does hate Harry. Nevertheless, in the end he'll die for them because of his love for Lily -- an emotion that Voldemort, even if he sensed it, would probably discount as trivial. As Slughorn warns his sixth-year Potions class, it is dangerous to underestimate the power of obsessive love.

3. The third founder's Horcrux will be Ravenclaw's wand.

This theory is on Wikipedia, and I think it's pretty clever. Two of the sacred objects belonging to the founders align with suits of the Tarot deck: swords (Gryffindor) and cups (Hufflepuff). If you accept that Slytherin's locket is supposed to represent discs/pentacles, then the only remaining suit/founder match is Ravenclaw's wand. The fact that Ollivander has disappeared may be significant here; in Book I, there is a "single wand on a faded purple cushion" in his shop's front window.

4. Helga Hufflepuff's cup is in Gringotts Bank.

Rowling has made such a big deal about the curses that befall those who try to steal something from Gringotts that it's about time we saw some disasters firsthand. If you look at the cover of the British children's edition of Deathly Hallows, you'll see Harry, Ron and Hermione being flung from a doorway in an explosion of gold and jewels. I'm predicting that it's Gringotts. In addition (also on Wikipedia), Rowling has stated in the past that the four founders align with the four elements: earth (Hufflepuff), air (Ravenclaw), fire (Gryffindor) and water (Slytherin). Harry and Dumbledore had to get through water in an attempt to reach Slytherin's locket, so it makes sense that he'll have to go underground to get to Hufflepuff's cup.

5. Harry and Voldemort are battling for Ravenclaw's wand on the cover of the American edition.

I'm less sure about this one, but hear me out. If Harry successfully navigates the curses surrounding the cup and the locket, he'll have to get Ravenclaw's wand out of the air. The British children's edition, as mentioned above, shows a vault at Gringotts; the British adult edition shows a picture of Slytherin's locket. On the American edition, both Voldemort and Harry are trying to summon something from the air. If it's Ravenclaw's wand, then Rowling has put a scene related to all three founders' Horcuxes on the different covers of Deathly Hallows. It's even possible that the deluxe edition cover, which shows Ron, Hermione and Harry flying on the back of a dragon, is somehow related to the fourth element, fire, thereby suggesting a Gryffindor Horcrux. I kind of doubt it, though; the fire element that has previously related to Gryffindor is a phoenix, and so far as we know, Gryffindor's sword remains safe at Hogwarts.

6. R.A.B. was Sirius's brother, Regulus Black.

I can't take any credit for predicting this; Rowling has practically admitted it under questioning, and pretty much everyone agrees that either Kreacher or Mundungus now has the locket. It's not canon yet, though, so I'm listing it here.

OK, I'm on the record... let the games begin!!

Quotes of the week

Just a few of the fun things kids say in the course of daily life:

Nia to me: "Mommy, I love everyone and everything in this whole big world." (Pause.) "Even you."

Nia to Shep, as he's putting balm on her scraped knee: "What's that?"
Shep: "It's called Neosporin."
Nia: "Is there Sophiesporin, too?"

Sophie to Shep, who hadn't shaved in a few days: "Daddy! You forgot to take off the scratchy!"

And last but not least, Justin: "Bye bye!" (With a wave and a big grin, at every possible opportunity, even when he's just headed around the corner of the kitchen island.)

Back in the Day

So Nia is obsessed with an online video game called Webkinz, and this morning we were talking about it on the way to school. "You played Webkinz when you were a little girl, right, Mom?" she asked. I told her that no, there was no Webkinz when I was little, and in fact, "We didn't have home computers, or VCRs, or CDs or DVDs." A long moment of quiet, followed by her sympathetic response: "Only things on TiVo?"

Fourth Quarter Photos Debut

With just a few weeks left in the first quarter of 2007, it seemed like high time to post the pictures from the last quarter of 2006. It didn't seem like we were that behind schedule until I noticed that we're uploading photos of the kids from late summer and it's now 18 degrees outside! Oh, well... enjoy.