Peace Like A River

It was a wide river, mistakable for a lake or even an ocean unless you'd been wading and knew its current. Somehow I'd crossed it... Now I saw the stream regrouped below, flowing on through what might've been vineyards, pastures, orhards... It flowed between and alongside the rivers of people; from here it was no more than a silver wire winding toward the city. - Leif Enger, Peace Like A River

Thursday, June 30, 2005


This Satellite imaging thing at is just about the coolest thing ever. And it seems to have much of the planet covered. So, I looked up the cities where John and Hanna are from.

This is the satellite photo of Astrakhan, Russia. This is where John is from. I believe the hotel we stayed in is just to the right of the island in the river in the middle of the image. I'm not sure exactly where John's orphanage is. I put a message on the astrakhan yahoo group to see if anyone knows. That appears to be the airport at the bottom of the image. The airport where the bathroom was a hole in the floor, where stray dogs loped in and out of the terminal! The hotel was a fairly short drive from the airport, and the orphanage was maybe 15 minutes from the hotel.

This is the satellite photo of Kostroma, Russia. This is where Hanna is from. This photo was taken while crossing the bridge across the Volga in the middle of the photo, travelling from right to left. The first hotel we stayed in is on the right bank, not far from the end of the bridge. The second hotel we stayed in is somewhere on the left bank. The orphanage where Hanna was is, I believe, somewhere about in the middle of the image, up and to the right of the bridge. Historical note: The Ipatevsky Monastery sits at the confluence (the "Y" in the image) where the Kostroma and Volga rivers meet, to the north of the bridge I mentioned. We could see it from the bridge. This is where Mikhail Romanov was when he was tapped to be czar, the first in the Romanov dynasty.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

In Search Of...

I now begin a new feature. I'll periodically list some of the more amusing internet searches that stumble across my blog. (They show up in the logs for the website.) If you're not sure how these wacky searches get to my blog, see my post here. My blog pages contain these words somewhere on the page, but usually not together.

I've been meaning to do this for a long time, and I keep kicking myself that I haven't been saving them all along. There've been some funny ones.

Here is the first installment of "In Search Of..."

boobie browne first
what does david blaine have planned for 2005
Mowgli hypnotized by Kaa
mia kirshner 24 mandy with a gun photo
who sing the song we will we will raquideo
inflatable mascot costume
email address in Germany and london and america of dolly in email guestbook in 2005
lesson plan on most embarrassing moment
house of flying daggers encryption decoder
Gestapo Torture Females Agents Stories
throw kid on slip n slide
hayden christianson shirtless
Draftdodging Congressmen

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

I am the eye in the sky

Can you spot my house?

(one house in from the intersection at the top right of the upside-down "U" street configuration in the middle of the pic, on the SW side of that intersection, N is to the top)


Here is a page with some older photos of Tatar people...

Think those two young ones look like John?!

Looking FORE!-ward

Last night the Mounds View city council voted 4-1 to let Medtronic go ahead with building a new campus for their cardiac rhythm management operations on a site currently occupied by a little 62-acre golf course (called The Bridges), where 35W and 10 come together.

Since this site is only 10 minutes or so from my house, it will definitely be tempting to take look at possible employment opportunities there. The paper said building could start this fall, and be complete some time in 2007. I have another year of school left anyway, so the timing might be right then.

Medtronic builds cardiac medical devices like pacemakers and implantable heart defibrillator, and more relevant to me, the software that runs them, and supports all that, etc... We'll see.

Last night some strong storms blew through, heading to the NE. Typical summer storm, a day of heat and humidity, combined with a cold front crashing in, and presto, nasty storms. I heard one report on the news that a two-foot diameter tree on the St. Olaf campus blew over. Blaine dodged the worst of it. The western suburbs got a ton of rain in a short time. The sirens went off for a little bit. John was a little distressed, and was glad when Mom got home around 7:00 pm. Hanna liked pointing out she wasn't scared.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Alas, I don't have the tanning gene

I go straight from ghostly pale to boiled lobster. John, on the other hand, is getting a very nice tan from being out in the sun so much.

John and Hanna have a Care Bears video, and one of the stories is about a soap box derby and some mean boys who try to sabotage their girl competitors. They stretch a rope across the road and pour oil on the road. The kids like that one, and lately John likes walking around the house with a jump rope, and always wants me to hold the other end so we can stretch it across the road. And, he also likes to pretend to pour oil on the road.

Lessee, how about a pet peeve. It irks me when businesses use the phrase "more than" to describe how many products they have, as in "we have more than 14 varieties of pickled herring." What is the point of saying something like "more than 14"? Do they have 15? If so, is it really so terrible to just say "we have 15 varieties of pickled herring?" Do they have 87 varieties? 87 is more than 14. Argh. Is there something so special about a number like 14, that in using it as a baseline, we the lumpen consumerate automatically think that since there is more than that arbitary number, this must be a company worthy of our hard-earned dollars?

Sunday, June 26, 2005

A nice stretch of daddy time

The kids and I have had great fun having the place to ourselves. Had more fun today. We went to the first service, after which they wanted to play in the playground by the church for awhile.

Then, went to the grocery store for some things, then stopped by Dinos for a lunch treat. After lunch we headed over to the lake, and were there for about 3 hours. John just loves digging in the sand with a shovel, he's done that a lot lately. Both kids had fun swimming for awhile. Also got in some playground time, and in a new twist, John brought the shovel up there and dug in that sand. I missed some spots on Hanna with the suntan lotion, and her arms got a bit red in spots. Oops.

I grilled some hot dogs for supper, and the kids had a bath later. They were plenty tuckered from the busy day, so were ready for bed. Tomorrow is another (work) day, and the kids will go to Sue's house. Rhonda should be home tomorrow night.

This is Superdad, signing off.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Ah, summer

Nice summer weather today. This morning I took the kids over to Bumpy Slide Park, where Blaine has their 4th of July carnival every year. Not sure why it is a week early this year. John went through some of the inflatable things. And then, we went on 4 rides; the merry go round, the bumble bee ride, the safari train, and the berry ride. The kids also had fun at the petting zoo.

Then, back home for lunch, and Hanna and I snoozed for awhile. Then, we went over to Bunker Beach. Was fairly busy, a tiny bit cloudy and breezy otherwise it might have been packed to the gunwales. John swam in the shallow pool for a bit, then we went to the wave pool, and then John played in the sand pit for quite awhile.

Temps tomorrow might be near 90 and humid. So, will probably go to the lake or Bunker Beach again.

Supper tonight was cheesy brats, corn, and cantaloupe. At Maya's house next door they are putting up their swingset.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Used to be you needed a Visigoth to take my house

Now, the Supreme Court says a shopping mall developer can just sweetly ask for it, and it's his. It's a wonderful country. There's a reason liberals fight tooth and nail to stack the judiciary with their team. It's the only way they can get their agenda into law, since none of this would ever get by voters.

But never mind persuading voters, in this case, the Supreme Court simply rewrote the 5th Amdendment.

After the rain cleared out today, it's now sunny and gorgeous. A couple people in the office are leaving for other jobs (as have quite a few others, and they won't be the last) so we went for a farewell lunch down on the river's edge, at Pracna.

I might take the kids over to the lake tonight, assuming the weather holds up. I mowed last night, so I have grass to bring over to the compost heap.

I'm reading a history of the Teutonic Knights. Great stuff. I always like reading about Europe and what it was like all those centuries ago. Terrain that is now settled and civilized was in many cases wilderness or dangerous or a collection of little villages.

There were so many many armed conflicts in Europe, large and small, over those centuries. Armies from the East (Mongols, Muslims, Tatars) neighboring countries bashing each other and trying to expand territories, etc.. often it was the defenseless little guy that always suffered most. Farmers and peasants simply slaughtered in all the fighting, or sold into far off slavery. It was a different world. Well, sort of. Man's penchant for attacking is fellow man hasn't changed much.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Oh so sad

Rhonda is going up to Minot for a few days, and the kids are sad to see her go. Hanna was especially heartbroken this morning. Poor girl. Well, the kids and Daddy will have lots of fun over the next few days. Potato chips on the couch, endless cartoons, cartons of ice cream for dinner, etc...

Well, maybe not. Mozart Appreciation Class starts at 5:30 am sharp. Then, New Testament Greek lessons. A brief sojourn to the homeless shelter to do our civic duty, and then, Quantum Mechanics for Dummies. A light supper of free range chicken which died of natural causes, with alfalfa sprout salsa, and then bedtime, where they will fall asleep to the soothing sounds of protest chants.

After supper last night I took John to Bunker Beach for an hour or so till it closed. Very warm evening, so the water felt just perfect. But, John swam for a bit and then wanted to play in the sand pit. He likes digging holes.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Things that interest me

Here is an article that gets into specifics about investigating the physical constants of the universe, and why they have the values they do.

Here is an interesting article on the Shroud of Turin.

Here is something for Trekkies and Pinky and the Brain fans.

The Russian Space Program isn't what it used to be.

The Strib at it again

The local paper, the Star Tribune, know affectionately to some as the Red Star, has a way-out-there left wing editorial slant. Which is not terribly surprising, it's right (er, sorry) in line with many of its local readers that inhabit this metro area.

On Sunday it published a particularly disgusting editorial, and is getting soundly denounced for it.

Since others are covering that, let me give just another small example of the Strib's approach to "journalism".

The article, by Martiga Lohn, discusses Minnesota's budget deficit. Martiga must have figured out what you need to do to get ahead at the Strib. The article describes an Open House that Republican House Speaker Sviggum held to hear views from the public.

Here is the one man-on-the-street quote the Strib chose to run on the meeting...

Dozens responded. Among them was Anna Graziano, a 13-year-old from St. Paul who joined a group of metro-area parents who snagged a 15-minute appointment with the speaker. They told him they backed higher taxes to boost school funding and prevent cuts to child care and health care.

"It started off OK but in the end, he was being kind of mean," said Graziano, who rested her sunglasses on top of her head and carried a beaded bag. "He wasn't really respecting anyone's views besides his own."

You can't make it up.

The article closes with this heart-tugging image...

Julie Anderson carried a framed photograph of her two beaming daughters
7-year-old Carina and 9-year-old Maren, who has Down syndrome - to the meeting with Sviggum Tuesday. She said she doesn't want to choose between schools and health services for the disabled because her family needs both.

The Roseville mom wore shorts and said she only had time for the trip because her husband had the day off. "If you don't put a face on it, it's so easy to say, `Well, forget about that,''' Anderson said.

So, MN Republicans want throw Down Syndrome kids into the streets?

And never mind the main inspiration for the article, that MN could be another $250 to $300 million short because of a recent MN Supreme Court ruling in a corporate tax case.

The Strib is of course saying MN should just go steal money from corporations to help bridge the deficit gap. No acknowledgement that the tax money might righly belong to the corporation in the first place.

It means "drum"

Here are some XM channels I've been diving into lately.

XM 72 Beyond Jazz - Contemporary Eclectic Jazz
XM 95 Luna - Latin Jazz
XM 102 Ngoma - African music

I noticed 2001 Space Odyssey was on TCM last night, so I watched the first 40 minutes or so and then popped a tape in to catch the rest.

One thing I haven't quite understood about the slabs. Is the one that appeared to the monkey men the same one that was buried on the moon? If so, the aliens must not be very bright if they couldn't figure out the monkey men were not exactly technologically advanced. The aliens put the thing on the moon so they'd know when humans were ready for the next step, but if they knew it would take a tremendous leap to get to that point where humans could discover it, then why didn't the aliens know that monkey men braining each other with bones weren't ready for contact yet?

If it is a different slab, isn't there a slab still on Earth somewhere? Perhaps it's being used as a table in some remote village.

I've started in on Myst IV: Revelation. I've made it through the initial Tomahna stages, and I'm almost through Haven. I've only had to consult the walkthrough for a couple things, and in those instances I knew what the puzzle was looking for, and had all the pieces, but couldn't quite get things in the right order and didn't want to spend a lot of time figuring it out when I had already got the key elements.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The Apocalypse

Goodness, a strong storm blew through here yesterday afternoon. I had kept an eye on the radar images, and saw it move across Minnesota. When it got here, the skies turned very dark, and winds howled up to 60 mph, rain fell so hard I could hardly see across Stinson Blvd.

As Tolkien wrote, "Behind it hung a vast shadow, ominous as a thunder-cloud, the veils of Barad-dur that was reared up far away upon a long spur of the Ashen Mountains thrust down from the North."

Poor John. He was at Sue's house, and thunderstorms bother him, and he cried for awhile there. When I got home from work, Hanna told me about it, and she said "I protected him!" heh.

Sunny again today. Rhonda will probably take the kids to Bunker Beach.

And, this, the beginning of summer, is always one of the most depressing days of the year. Why? Because the days start to get shorter again! It never seems fair. Summer has hardly begun, and the days already fade into icy wintery blackness. It does no good that the days start to get longer in December, because temps are still in the deep freeze for the next 4 months. (Heck, maybe 6 months around here.)

When I was in Minot last, I brought back a bucket filled with marbles I played with as kid. Last night I got them out and let the kids play with them. They loved it. They liked the feel of rolling them around, stepping on them, etc... They wanted to play with them again this morning. I'll probably get them out tonight again.

I had a dental appt this morning, all was well. Just a routine teeth scouring and I was out.

By the way, here is a great summary of the different nationalities represented in Iraq. Although, in truth, outside of the UK, these other countries don't have all that many troops there. Certainly not enough to make a huge difference. Still, it is nice to see the commitment, even if some of them are tokens.

And Blackfive has nailed the perfect exit strategy from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Special Day is over

Now I return to just being the guy who goes out and kills an antelope and brings it back to the cave.

Last night John sat down on the couch with me for a little bit while I was watching the US Open. Someone made a long putt and there was cheering and the guy raised his hands in the air, and John said "He won!" Heh.

Hanna got a nice little scratch on her leg from somewhere. This morning I put some antibiotic cream on it, and Hanna called the cream the "owie cleaner". Ha.

On the kids cd with the songs from the Beginners Bible, the song about being a good neighbor has some little snippets of people talking, and one of the lines is someone saying "Kid, ya gotta get out there and clean up the streets!" For some reason, John and Hanna think that is hilarious.

That song has some things that are way over kids' heads. There's one voice saying "Good morning, Mrs. Barber", imitating Robin Williams and "Good morning, Vietnam". There's also a voice imitating Don Knotts.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Microseconds of peace and quiet

Happy Fathers Day to me! And to Dad! And to all Dads!

We had a very nice day. Went to Lake George straight from church. Kids had fun on the beach. Also went to the playground there for awhile. Later I took John to Bunker Beach. I bbq'd some pork spare ribs for supper. Mmmmmm.

The US Open is done, won by Michael Campbell. Well, once again the USGA has failed to identify the best golfer. That's what they always say, they don't want to embarrass the best golfers, they want to identify them.

Well, guys named Gore and Browne were in the last groups, and Campbell, who hasn't won in forever in these parts, wins. The US Open is my least favorite of the majors, because the ridiculous setups are just trick golf, and it's basically a roll of the dice as to who will win.

Campbell is another one on the list now for Phil Mickelson, as in Mickelson now has the same number of majors as Campbell, Rich Beem, Bob Tway, Jerry Pate, Shaun Micheel, Ben Curtis, Larry Mize, etc... If I were Phil, that would be a motivating factor to beef up that legacy thing.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Sun Worship

Yesterday was just about a perfect weather day. Sunny, warm, not too breezy. I played some golf at The Refuge for the Qwest outing. Our team took last. Yay. At least we got some trinkets for the boobie prize. We shot an 81 as an team. It was a best ball format. It's a real pretty course, but kinda pricey. Doubt I'll be going there much on my own.

This morning then, we went over to Bunker Beach. Just got back. That is quite a fun place. That was my first time. They have a wave pool, it's like standing on an ocean beach, letting the waves pound you. Today is another gorgeous day.

Tomorrow we'll probably go up to Lake George after church. Have a picnic, let the kids play on the beach and in the lake.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

You are me!

Here is something that only Shatner could do. (Warning: there are a few bleeped out profanities.)

There are terrible omens in the east. The yellow fire god once again rides his chariot high in a blue sky. It has been months since the terrible one has been seen. We tremble in fear. What does it mean? Oh, Rain God, please return! Quell our fears with your constant presence.

Tomorrow is the Qwest golf outing. Way too expensive. I kinda wish I hadn't agreed to go. But, it'll be a day out of the office, so why not.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Don't park the ark

This just in. More rain last night, more rain this morning. Sigh. When Noah hopped in his ark and it rained for 40 days and nights, I don't think the people left behind drowned, they probably all just commited suicide, too depressed with all the constant rain. AAAUUUUUGGGGHHHH!!!

It's supposed to dry out now, but I'll believe that when I see it. One of John's presents is a big inflatable jumping thing. With all the rain, it's hard to get it outside, so we have it in the living room. The kids have lots of fun it. The neighbors probably think we're nuts having this big thing taking up the whole room.

I have successfully avoided watching anything about the Mikey Jackson trial, but with the verdict now in it's still hard to go anywhere near the media without hearing something about it. Still, the end is in sight, I must persevere for a little while longer. A BBC news article had this to say: "Michael Jackson's lawyer said the singer will no longer share his bed with young boys, after the star was cleared of 10 child abuse charges." Uuhhhhh, yeah. I think that would be a good idea. Good grief.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

I like meerkats

Yesterday Rhonda worked, so Grandpa and Grandma and I took the kids down to the Minnesota Zoo. We had an enjoyable time. It rained a little off and on, but eventually the sun came out, with some humidity. As was typical, Hanna loved seeing all the animals, but John mostly wanted to keep pressing ahead.

We went to see a movie at the Imax theater, we saw "Wild Safari 3D". Most of the 3D effects were neat, but some about made your eyes go cross-eyed and induced vomiting and nausea.

Monday night, then, some strong storms blew through. It was like a hurricane at times. eek.

The other night "The Big Sleep" was on TCM. A great film noir, with Bogie and Bacall. Great stuff, although the plot is famously bewildering. Who killed who, and why, and why was Bacall with Mars's wife at the end, it's hard to keep track. One silly thing was why Mars's men killed him when he left Geiger's house. (How many times did Bogie turn out the lights when leaving that house?!) Mars thought Bogie wasn't going to be there for another 30 minutes or so. He must have told his men that, so they would've thought Mars was alone. So, in hearing a shot, wouldn't they think Mars had fired, and wondered why? And if they were going to kill Bogie, why not do it when Bogie arrived and was going into the house. Oh well, still a fun movie.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

A Banner Day!

Happy Birthday, John!!! 5 years old today! My, where has the time gone. It only seems like yesterday we arrived at MSP airport with a 16-month old little toddler.

Grandpa and Grandma were able to be here, so we celebrated outside. Ramsey put up the screen house. Maya from next door came over and we had cake and ice cream and brownies out there. One of John's gifts was a inflatable jumping pit, and that was a big hit.

Friday, June 10, 2005


I'm playing through Myst III Exile again, mostly because I wanted to see how it looks on my new souped up computer. (Answer: Fabulous.) I am playing it with the walkthrough, though, just to get through it quickly. I don't have time to figure out all the puzzles again from scratch.

The game reminds me though how odd these game worlds can be. So many things are there simply in service of the puzzle.

I mean, who would build something like this giant pinball machine, as cool as it is? And in order to operate it, who would build all these puzzles that need to be solved in order to make the machine run?

Also, the solutions to these puzzles always exist in the world, but usually in a location removed from puzzle itself. It's like the equivalent of storing your computer passwords in a drawer in your desk. Or, to be more accurate, storing them in a drawer in the coffee break room. When you need a password, just head over to the coffee break room, get the password, and return.

In these games, you usually have to travel over here, flip a switch or something that has no business being there from a functional standpoint, and then go back over there to enter the door you just opened, or whatever.

Oh well. There is still joy in seeing these gorgeous worlds some talented artists designed.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Golf on the radio! (not a joke!)

Today is the first day of the new PGA Golf Channel on XM Radio, on XM 146. It sounds like they're starting small. Mon-Fri they'll have an hour long talk show that will get replayed throughout the morning. Then, Thur-Sun they'll have live broadcasts of the tournaments each weekend. This week's event is the Booz Allen Classic in Washington DC. (I believe this used to be the Kemper Open.)

I had lunch with Pastor today, so on the drive up and back I listened in. Fun. I wish I had a way of listening at work. I might have to get another boombox for my skyfi2 and keep it at work.

On the baseball channel, there's a neat show each weekday from 11 to 1 called Baseball Beat, where they talk to baseball writers from around the country. I wish I could listen to that while I'm at work. (XM has an online listening service, but they don't provide most of their talk channels. I suppose there are some rights issues involved.)

Lefty logic

Take a look at this post from The Corner, NRO's blog. Sigh. Doesn't that just perfectly sum up the schizoid left? In the same instant, they bubble forth their hatred of religious conservatives, and at the same time claim they are so high and mighty righteous for thinking they celebrate differences and diversity. Bunkum. Much of the left is actively anti-Christianity. But we Christians shouldn't be surprised. It's as old as John 15:18-25.

I took the kids over to Lake Park last night, for the first time since last fall. They had gone to Bunker Beach earlier in the day, so we didn't go swimming. I'm sure the lake water is fairly chilly anyway. The kids just played in the playground. Only a few people there, was cloudy but not windy and perfect temps, so a pleasant time.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Truck bed cover

Here is the new bed cover, an A.R.E LSII...

Tacoma lid
Saw Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith over the weekend. Hmmm. I'd rate it the 4th best in the series, behind the first three. Perhaps of the best of the last three, but that's not saying much.

I thought from the beginning that Hayden Christianson was the wrong guy to play Anakin, and I think this movie only proves the point. He just couldn't sell the transition from whiny kid to one of the most famous villians in movie history. I was never impressed with Ewan McGregor as Kenobi, either.

Too many niggling points to worry about here. (Such as how did Anakin and Kenobi survive the explosive decompression when the window blew out? All of a sudden there was air again.) It was great eye candy, but the clinky dialogue once again proved a hard obstacle to overcome.

The saga of the painters appears to be over. Argh. What an experience that was. Have Rhonda tell you about it sometime.

Argh, I'm trying to remember what John said this morning when he crawled into bed with me. I was still groggy. He asked if we had a something. And I don't remember what. It wasn't really an object, something more abstract like a feeling, or something like that, but I said no, we don't have that. And he asked if we had to go to the ?? store to get one. Hah. Yeah, that would be the logical place to get one.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Put a lid on it

Yesterday afternoon I headed over to the friendly Truxstor in Rogers to get my hardtop bed cover put on the truck. An A.R.E. LSII. Looks mighty nice. Opens easily. Locks. And, I was able to put my bed mat back in, now that I don't have to worry about it getting stolen.

(Note of frustration. It took me over 45 minutes to get there from work. I left about 3:45, 3:50. There was an accident on 35W that had traffic crawling. You know my philosophy, someone did something stupid. That got me behind. Then, the usual traffic heading west on I94 at that time of the day was bad. But, there was still plenty of time for them to get the thing installed. I have *got* to get me that machine gun so I can open up holes in traffic.)

The college painters also were at the house yesterday for the second day of work. Hmmm. They need some lessons on commitment to quality. Rather sloppy in places. Rhonda is frustrated.

The kids have a little bug house, and yesterday Hanna had some kind of winged creature in it. She wanted the bug house in her room last night when she went to bed. However, later the creature started whirring its wings quite noisily, and it scared poor Hanna half to death. She cried, and said "get it out of here!" Rhonda was going to put it in the bathroom, but that wasn't far enough away. Hanna wanted it downstairs.

On the way home yesterday I stopped at the toy store and got one of those inflatable jumping pens for the kids. This one is 8 foot square. We'll give it to them on John's birthday, which is June 12.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005


I've been reading Dobson's book Bringing Up Boys. Interesting stuff. Talks about how boys around the age of 3-5 start to figure out they are boys, and not girls like their mother, so they start to identify more with Dad, and try to emulate him. I think John is just starting to get to that stage, perhaps a little later than others, in keeping with some of his delayed stages. So, I hope I can be the Daddy he needs. That's my biggest goal in life, to be a good Dad to John and Hanna.

The book talks about how young children naturally bond with Mother at first. But, poor John didn't even have that. He's been in this streaker stage, where he likes to run around without clothes. That's something kids do too, but at a younger age. Another indication that John has some delays, but is catching up.

Hanna at least had a mother at the start, though it was not ideal obviously. She was affected too, though, by her experience, and we see that in some things. At times she seems to react with shame. It's our job to keep reassuring her, to help her understand that she is worthy and loved.

Hanna wanted to take along 4 stuffed animals this morning in the truck as we went to Sue's house. John took along Dumbo, so we had all kinds of extra passengers.

Here's an interesting article on a conversation with XM's CEO.

follow the money

At last, one of the greatest enduruing questions in American politics has been answered. Mark Felt has admitted to being Deep Throat, the engimatic Watergate source.

For over 30 years the identity of Deep Source has remained a secret. It has been a constant throughout changing and turbulent times.

I am a bit of a Watergate buff, and have followed the sleuthing with interest over the years. The revelation that Felt is DT is not a surprise to many. Felt has been a suspect almost from the beginning.

The information that DT had seemed to track with what the FBI knew. And the question of motive is a big one. There was no obvious reason why a White Source source would give the information DT did, information that proved very damaging. The White House people tended to be very loyal to Nixon.

(Last night on MSNBC, Pat Buchanan, a Nixon speechwriter, and at times named as a possible suspect, jokingly said "I've always known it wasn't me!")

However, this will not put an end to questions. It is certainly curious why such a high-ranking FBI agent would leak information from an ongoing criminal investigation to reporters. That in itself is almost certainly a crime.

Speculation has focused on whether Felt was upset at being passed over as director of the FBI when Nixon installed Gray, a pure political appointee. Perhaps. Felt rose in ranks under Hoover, and for all the usual talk from his family that Felt is such a sweet guy, it's hard to believe Felt got to such a high position in Hoover's FBI without getting a little dirt under his nails. The FBI rank and file were understandably upset that Nixon seemed to want to politicize the FBI, and indeed tried to prevent it from investigating Watergate.

Yet, if Felt had information that crimes were being committed, he should have taken it to the Justice Dept and the US Attorney, and if they sat on it, then he could go public, call a press conference and reveal all. This skullduggery with reporters doesn't make much sense. (And it is unfortunate that the public's enduring image of DT will always be Hal Holbrook in the shadows in the movie.)

I think the more interesting questions yet to be answered center around Woodward. Is DT indeed a composite, as many have wondered? Some of the information DT supposedly provided doesn't seem to comport with what Felt knew. Also, some of crazier aspects of the DT myth, such as red flags in potted plants and circled newspapers, don't seem to fit the behavior of such a high-ranking FBI agent. And some of the information DT have turned out to be wrong.

Regarding the meetings, the potted plant wasn't visible from the street, so Felt would've had to go down an alley, and the thought of Felt creeping into an apt lobby to circle newspapers seems odd.

A big question has to do with Woodward's claim that DT told him about the infamous 18.5 minute gap on one of the White House tapes. It is hard to see how Felt could've had knowledge of this gap at the time DT supposedly said this. This is another reason why some think DT is a composite of sources.

If Woodward did indeed make up things about DT, even to disguise his source, (Felt was supposedly not a heavy drinker, nor a smoker at that time) it does raise questions about what else is not entirely true. (And let's not forget Woodward's strange "conversation" with a comatose Bill Casey for his book "Veil", a book I have on my shelf.)

Watergate is one of the greatest stories in American politics. Perhaps made all the more so because no one was murdered, which makes the story safer. At long last, we finally know the answer to a secret, something that doesn't always happen.

(btw, here is a compelling argument that Woodward, Bernstein and the press were not the critical factor in breaking Watergate. To be sure, they were instrumental in keeping the public focused on the scandal, making the coverup much harder, and eventually mpossible. Note this was written all the way back in 1974!

And here is a page with some good DT links to read.)