Thoughts On My Kids

Two kids now, and both doing things that I find interesting and worth writing about.

Oliver At Three-And-A-Half

A New Room

[Well, I wrote this nine years ago. And it’s now 2020, and Oliver is twelve, and he’s not fond of the fact this blog post comes up when you google his name, because of the first story I relate here. It’s a funny story and I love it, but he’s viewing his three-year-old behaviour through the lens of a twelve-year-old, and I get that. So here’s the edited version…not as good as the original.]

He gets out of bed tonight and walks over to the top of the stairs. “Dah-ee!” (He generally skips the second d in daddy, which I’m fond of.)

I go upstairs to ask him what the issue is and I notice that he’s damp all over. His hair is plastered to his head. His face is flushed. I ask him why he’s all wet.

“Because my room is jiggling [his window rattles when the wind blows hard]. It was bothering me. So I got all of the way underneath my blankets. But my room was still jiggling. My room is too old. I need a new room.”

Very Upset

I’ve been off work due to the Christmas holidays for over a week. Oliver and I were hanging out after I was off for a few days, and he said, out of the blue: “I’m very upset with you, daddy, because you go to work every day to make lots of bacon and you are there for a very long time.”

Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes

You’ll really only understand this anecdote if you’ve read the Robert Munsch story Angela’s Airplane, about a child who absconds with an airplane because she cannot resist pressing buttons.

Oliver’s favourite stuffed animal is this truly massive (it’s bigger than him) blue teddy bear that my buddy Wayne bought for him when he was first born. Oliver got me out of bed one night to examine an urgent issue with the bear, namely that he had extracted a large amount of stuffing from the bear by pulling it out of a hole in that had formed in its arm.

“Oliver, why are you picking out the stuffing?” I asked.

“Well,” he replied, “I was laying in bed and I asked myself, should I pick the stuffing out of the bear? Is that a good idea? And I said, ‘yes, yes, yes, yes, yes’. So I picked it.”

Sloane At Ten Months

She’s recently learned how to “crawl”, except that she can only go backwards, by pushing the floor in front of her with her hands. Because of this she often seems confused about where she ends up, since she can’t see where she is going.

She never fails to return a smile, and when she does, it’s amazing.

I feel guilty that this portion of my post is so much shorter than the portion devoted to Oliver, but she’s still a baby, doing baby things, and I don’t want to bore you. Besides, a picture is worth a thousand words:


Perils of the Digital Lifestyle: Google Calendar Goes Down

All morning, Google Calendar has looked different than it usually does.

No Google Calendar

I believe I have some appointments today, but I don’t know when they are or who they are with.

Sometimes, even mighty Google is no match for that free calendar, complete with recipes, sitting on my fridge at home.

Unfortunately, it’s at home. Not that it really matters, since it doesn’t have any of my appointments on it. They’re all sitting somewhere behind that 404 page.


Corporal Donald Payne: My Torture of Iraqi Prisoners Is Your Great Opportunity

Today my inbox was graced by the most imaginative, most interesting Nigerian 419 scam letter ever. This scammer ought to give up fraud and start writing thrillers ala Tom Clancy.

I am writing this letter from a maximum Security detention facility here in London. My Name is Corporal Donald Payne of the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment Posted to Baghdad, and I am currently serving 1 year jail term having been sentenced on the 30th of April 2007 after a lengthy court-martial, I have been charged with crimes of torturing Iraqi prisoners along with Two colleagues in my regiment.

Because of the recent turn of events I have applied for, and secured a permit to clean the Prison Library because it will keep me away from the general population of inmates and such I will stay alive a bit longer and most importantly There I have access to send at Least One email a day, and Such have found it necessary to tell you about this because of the fact that the Moslem community in prison here have passed a death sentence on me for the crimes of torturing Iraqi Prisoners for which I was imprisoned and an attempt has been already made on my life so now I am in a different cellblock. but I know its just a matter of time before they get me, They do not understand that I was just following orders, I have applied for a transfer but they are taking too long to approve it. That why I need to open up to someone I can trust who can apply for My transfer and strike a deal with The chief Warden here to hasten the transfer process ,A neutral person Like you That’s why I have contacted you.

When we were posted to Iraq I was detailed to provide security escort for The UN Nuclear waste and radioactive material disposal unit responsible for carrying out such tasks as the disposal of dangerous nuclear materials at specified radioactive waste disposal sites of such nature discovered in Iraq by the American Inspectors. The Iraqi Army Marked These Metal Boxes as dangerous radioactive and Nuclear waste Materials So when they were discovered by the UN weapons Inspectors in an underground bunker the metal boxes were treated as Level /A Radioactive Nuclear Contaminants Thus Documentation was processed for the contents to be detonated, destroyed and disposed in one of the several US nuclear disposal facilities around Iraq , So they marked the Boxes for detonation, destruction and disposal, having been believed to Contain Nuclear and radioactive materials for the production of Biological weapons and weapons of mass destruction for The Iraqi Army.

But while we were subjecting these boxes to routing scanning for our record purposes we discovered that the Two Metal boxes did not read as containing radioactive nuclear materials on the scanner screen but rather what appeared to be paper like materials in cellophane wrappings which prompted us to open the security seals on the boxes only to discover That The two boxes contained cash ,$12.9 million United States Dollars Concealed By top Iraqi military officers and abandoned in the bunkers during the Raids by Us marines who preceded the Weapons Inspection team.

When the boxes were found missing and Two officers in My regiment my self inclusive were charged for torturing Iraqi prisoners, I was tried and court-martialed, when I confessed to having sold the Nuclear materials to An Iraqi Army General the military treated the matter as internal affairs and I was sentenced in a military court and locked up in The British Military detention Facility for 18 months for selling nuclear materials to the Iraqi Army.

Right now I need an honest and sincere but neutral person, a civilian preferably to receive these funds from the diplomatic security deposit company which is used mainly for the movement of sensitive and diplomatic as well as classified shipments in and out of Iraq, where I managed to lodge the Two boxes as containing photographic and x-ray film materials and documentation from the United Nations Nuclear waste disposal facility In Baghdad for shipment out of Iraq.

Please, Should you not be willing to work with me on this, kindly ignore this letter so as not to implicate me because I have worked too hard to keep this on the down low for this long I plan to have a better life on the other side of these walls come April 2008 when I my sentence ends if only I could just Stay Alive.

I anxiously await your response,

Yours Faithfully

Cpl Donald Payne

I am tempted to pull an Abdul Jabbar on this guy just to read more of his story.


Re. Religious Education

A letter to the editors of the Hamilton Spectator on the religious education subject that has dominated the coverage of Ontario’s election this year. They did not publish it.

The seven years I spent at a private Christian school taught me that religious education is not about the “diversity” and “tolerance” its supporters keep mentioning: it’s about systematically ensuring children grow up to have the same views as their parents.

My educational environment was one of religious, intellectual, and (save for one black teacher in later years) racial homogeneity. Those books that managed to make it past rigorous review into the school library still sometimes had bits that were censored with black marker.

Fortunately, my parents strongly promoted reading and took me to the Dundas public library often. The books I read there showed me that it is possible to rely on reason and evidence instead of dogma and superstition.

Most, if not all, religions claim exclusive ownership of truth. If we reject this claim, then all religious schools teach untruths. If we accept it in the case of one religion, as supporters of religious schools do, logically all the schools belonging to other religions are teaching untruths. Either way, I can think of better uses for my taxes.

Life, politics, code and current events from a Canadian perspective.

Adrian Duyzer
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