June 01, 2006

Galaga no more

In the building where I work, on my floor, there was an old Galaga arcade machine set up. Most days, I would take a five-minute break (well, sometimes much less than five minutes if I sucked) and play a game.

No more — sometime in the last week, the machine died. It's very sad.

Posted by Mike at 08:49 PM

June 02, 2006

Nathan as Infocom parser

Meredith read in some book recently that children Nathan’s age are supposed to be able to understand two word sentences, like “eat food” or “roll ball”. It reminded me of the old 80s adventure games (“go north”, “hit troll”, “take gold”).

But Nathan can understand far more complex sentences than that. His language parser is at least Infocom-level, able to parse and act on sentences like “go get the ball from under Mama’s desk”.

Posted by Mike at 07:09 AM | Comments (2)

June 04, 2006

Doesn't get much less British than this

Heard on a local radio station today:

“All this weekend, we’re celebrating the Bristish invasion. Next up: Simon & Garfunkel.”

Posted by Mike at 08:57 PM

June 06, 2006

Jesus and homosexuals

The Gospels are full of stories of people who didn’t manage to understand Jesus’ parables when he taught them without Jesus sitting down and explaining them using small words. Of course, even the more obvious of his statements can be ‘misunderstood’ by idiots people trying to prove a point.

Over the weekend, CNN’s home page showed a picture of someone holding a sign that read “Jesus said marriage is between one man and one woman”. Most people acknowledge that Jesus actually never said anything about this one way or another – the typical scriptures that are quoted come from the Old Testament or Paul’s letters. So I looked up the scripture reference cited on the sign: Matthew 19:4-6, which reads:

4 "Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' 5 and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'? 6 So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."

Of course, if you read it in context, it’s clear what this is actually about:

3 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?"

4 "Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' 5 and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'? 6 So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."

7 "Why then," they asked, "did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?"

8 Jesus replied, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning.

9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery."

So why aren’t conservatives pushing for a constitutional amendment to ban divorce?

In the spirit of this debate, I’m going to quote President Bush to “prove” that he supports a constitutional ban on divorce:

“For ages, in every culture, human beings have understood that marriage is critical to the well-being of families. And because families pass along values and shape character, marriage is also critical to the health of society. Our policies should aim to strengthen families, not undermine them.”

There you have it.

Posted by Mike at 08:17 AM

June 07, 2006

If the shoe fits...


“The Republican leadership is asking us to spend time writing bigotry into the Constitution,” said Sen. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, whose state legalized gay marriage in 2003. “A vote for it is a vote against civil unions, against domestic partnership, against all other efforts for states to treat gays and lesbians fairly under the law.”

Hatch responded: “Does he really want to suggest that over half of the United States Senate is a crew of bigots?”

Posted by Mike at 07:55 AM

June 20, 2006

China space program is using scrum?

From news.com:



Posted by Mike at 10:52 AM


Nathan is talking now.

His first word, a few weeks ago, was ‘bubble’, which he said when Meredith was blowing bubbles outside. (OK, he had been saying things like ‘da-da-da-da-da-da’ for months, but we don’t think that counts as an actual word.)

By now, he’s saying ‘Daddy’, ‘Mama’, ‘cookie’ (his first word to me this morning once we got downstairs, said while pointedly looking at the cookie jar – dream on, kid), ‘belly’ (pronounced ‘beh-yee’), the names of many Sesame Street characters, and more.

This Sunday, Meredith had him in the church nursery while I sat in the worship service. Then suddenly I (and everyone else) hear him excitedly saying “Daddy Daddy Daddy Daddy Daddy Daddy” as they came back into the service. Nice Father’s Day present

Posted by Mike at 09:19 PM | Comments (3)

Not one of my better ideas

Last night, Nathan kept waking up whenever I tried to leave his room. Finally, I decided to try leaving his door open, since the sound of the door closing was always what woke him.

Then, back in my bedroom, I hear him start to cry, then quiet. “Maybe he is going back to sleep”, I think.

Then I hear the sound of a metal bar hitting wood. Say, the metal bar he wears between his shoes. Only, the floor in his room is carpeted.

Sure enough, I opened the bedroom door to find him knee-walking down the hall towards our bedroom, a big proud grin on his face.

That was at 2 AM.


Posted by Mike at 09:39 PM | Comments (2)

June 22, 2006

flickr pictures

Nathan's hats with Pippin
Nathan's hats with Pippin,
originally uploaded by mdodd.

I’ve started uploading pictures to flickr. You can see our pictures here, or subscribe to the RSS feed for the photos here.

Posted by Mike at 08:42 PM

Don't steal ... uh ...

From Stephen Colbert's recent interview with Congressman Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA), discussing Westmoreland's co-sponsorship of a bill that would require the display of the Ten Commandments in the House and Senate (watch the video here – this part starts around 3:26): 

Colbert: What are the Ten Commandments?

Westmoreland: What are all of them? You want me to name ‘em all?

Colbert: Yeah. Please.

Westmoreland: Don't murder. Don't lie. Don't steal. Uh... I can't name 'em all.

Colbert: Congressman, thank you for taking time away from keeping the sabbath day holy to talk to us.

Posted by Mike at 09:13 PM

June 24, 2006

University of Tennessee parking flashback

I saw this story about a woman who, while her car was parked, had the space marked as a handicapped spot, and was then ticketed.

Things like this happened all the time at UT when I was a student there. One time, over a break, they reversed the traffic flow of a one-way street – then ticketed all of the parked cars for having parked the wrong way on a one-way street. Another time, during the middle of a school day, they redesignated part of a commuter parking lot as staff parking, then wrote tickets to all of the student cars parked there for parking in a staff-only area.

Posted by Mike at 08:06 AM | Comments (1)

June 28, 2006

Five years at Microsoft

Today at work there was a small celebration (read: mid-afternoon beer) marking my five years at Microsoft. (OK, it’s actually now been five years and two months, but the award had been sent to California then had to get re-forwarded to here.) I tried to take a picture of the award, but it’s all shiny glass, and my camera just picked up all the reflections.

I’m glad I’m here.

Posted by Mike at 09:56 PM

June 30, 2006


Our house in California closed today! Finally, we’re back to owning just one house.

Posted by Mike at 08:28 PM