Friday, December 30, 2005

Form versus Content? Or Process?

A while back, Dr S and I had several discussions of Form versus Content.

I went home and thought about that for a while, and wrote down "Form -- Content -- Process" on a slip of paper, which I promptly lost. We didn't return to the topic, so I didn't think about it very much until the piece of paper turned up during pre-Christmas tidying.

Earlier today, I was thinking about that in connection with this blog, which has been a while between posts.

Maybe I was neglecting Kvack because I was too concerned with Form -- about having a good photo, or being able to write well.

Maybe I was neglecting Kvack because I was too concerned with Content -- about having something significant to report.

But maybe I should be less concerned with that and more concerned with the Process of simply blogging there now and then.

I tried to write about these thoughts here, then decided to take a break and go build something.

Not feeling up to much challenge, I chose Duplo.

And ended upblogging on this very topic in my BlockPlay blog.

And I think I thereby demonstrated that a project may have significant weaknesses in both Form and Content, but still be important.

Often, I decided Process is the real purpose and benefit of Block Play.

And perhaps of blogging as well.

Sunday, November 27, 2005


Webster and Archie are such fine cats.

Saturday, November 5, 2005

Kitties & Wedgits

Eliza & Levi have new kitties.

Calvin is orange.

Troy is gray.

They like Wedgits.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


Jo and I are constantly delighted with how well Webster and Archie get along. For two cats so dissimilar physically and in personality, they are turning into absolute buddies, even if Webster is still somewhat inclined to pull rank based on size and age.

Having last had two cats who didn't much more than tolerate each other, and earlier had a cat or two that hardly did that, it is so much fun to have these guys getting along. And they both get along so well with us, each in his own way. Both pull their claws when tussling -- whether with each other or us -- and both are gentle biters.

What a joy.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


This morning Archie was licking the inside of the shower curtain.

That seemed at least mildly gross, and Jo was complaining that she had been unable to get him to quit -- he just came back if she threw him out of the bathroom.

I emptied a cup of water over the top of the curtain so it came down next to him.

Made a loud reverberant thud in the tub, and he landed in the hallway, cleaning himself in the middle of a surprisingly large wet spot.

He hasn't been back in there so far, but I'm watching.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Richmond Beach

Lately I have been making my King County Library run to Richmond Beach instead of Shoreline.

After I pick up my books I take them down to the bottom of the hill, where I can watch trains go by, as well as waves, seagulls, and ferries. Pretty nice.

I can also go to Richmond Beach Park and walk. The last time I did that, I saw a sea lion just off the beach.

Sunday, October 9, 2005


I have long wanted a Mignon metal construction set, a tiny (note the penny!) version of the Erector sets and Meccano sets that are much better known.

Unfortunately, others seem to covet them as well, and they were never very common

But last week I lucked out, and got a boxless, presumably incomplete set at a modest price.

Imagine my delight when it turned out that it actually is virtually complete - only a bent-wire crane hook and three (of 75) nuts are missing.

My luck may be due to it being an earlier, smaller set than those documented on Internet web sites - the apparently "missing" pieces were ones that had not yet been added by its manufacturer!

I've been in communication with a German expert and he seemed to be quite pleased with the information and instruction manual images I sent, and wants more. I need to scan the manual for him next.

Quite a treat. :)

Friday, September 30, 2005

Friday, September 16, 2005

Slot cars

I set up a slot car track on the floor.

Webster did better than Archie, who didn't figure out soon enough that he needed to get off the track.

I had a long straight from the front door to just past the stove, then some serpentine loops around about the kitchen.

Archie tried to escape a car by running down the track instead of off it, and the car bonked him. Car flew one way, Archie another.


Then he fled to basement & stayed down there quite a while.

Webster watches the cars and sometimes runs after them, but stays off the track.

Later, when the cars weren't running, Archie would creep up on them (walking on the track, or course) and sit and study them.

When I ran the cars again, he would disappear.

I gave him some cuddles to make things less awful.

Thursday, September 8, 2005


The thus far non-talking little guy spoke!

This morning as I wrote at my computer, I heard several little peeps like the smoke alarm in preliminary caution mode but deeper and not so monotonic.

I thought it was something electronic from the other end of the house, or maybe outside.

I finally realized the little guy was next to my leg, wanting up into my lap.

This afternoon, there it was again, and there he was again.

A very quiet little rusty squeak/peep.



Wednesday, September 7, 2005

Friday, September 2, 2005

New Guy, round two

Webster's new playmate.

They seem to be getting along just fine, and we think maybe Webster won't be developing such a weight problem.

Thursday, August 25, 2005


This seems a bit psychotic to me. Does it reflect the state of my head, which hasn't been all that good lately? Or do I need a resupply of potholder loops?

I do like making potholders, psychotic or mellow. And making potholders does help my head.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Tuesday, August 2, 2005

Hiked up Umtanum Creek a bit. Saw deer, bighorn sheep, magpies, a snake, much else.

Scenery great, both there and driving the Canyon.

Now back on I90, headed west.

This message was sent from a T-Mobile wireless phone.


Entering the Yakima Canyon, south of Ellensburg.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Block Building for Children

Architect Lester Walker's Block Building for Children : Making Buildings of the World with the Ultimate Construction Toyshows several interesting projects for a set of Unit Blocks (aka Kindergarten Blocks), but uses a somewhat odd block mix that is hard to match using any normal set of blocks (though Barclay Blocks does offer a special set for use with this book).

After months of muddled cogitation, I finally set out a few days ago to make the missing blocks. I've now actually cut and sanded the board blocks, and hope today to cut and sand the dowels. I'm pretty happy with myself, but the noise and fuss of the power tools has put me into a sensory overload condition.

I'm not sure how my parents fit into all this. The easy part is that getting the basic unit block set was made possible by some money my dad gave me for setting up his copier for him, but there's more to it than that.

I went and had lunch with them this week.

Even without any specific contextual PTSD triggers, I came out of it badly PTSD disrupted, and looking at several days of recovery. Pursuing the block-making was partly intended as a distraction and recovery aid. Doing the power tool activities was partly an exploration to see if the adverse effects of that would be cumulative with the PTSD or more in parallel.

I know that associated sensory & PTSD triggers can be cumulative, but I waited until after I had gotten over the sensory overload from the restaurant. I thought at the least that the benefit/cost ratio would be better when I needed the boost. I'm not sure how it all balances out. I may never be.

But at least I'll have my blocks.

From the book, with modifications [BlockPlay].

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Beach & blimp

Again, I post from beach.

Golden Gardens.

Low tide. Blimp.

 (the blimp is the tiny dark dot upper middle right)

Monday, July 18, 2005

Yakima River

We are near Thorp looking at the east end of the canyon the Yakima River flows through east of Cle Elum.

It is rather hot and very windy.


Friday, July 15, 2005


I am on the beach North of Edmonds, trapped by a train stopped between me and my car.

It is raining.

I am happy.

A few minutes ago, I was sitting on a log with eleven brant about thirty feet in front of me.

When I walked a little bit, I had 11 brant, 3 trains, a heron, and about two hundrd seagulls, all in sight at once.

Pretty cool.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


Went to Sand Point today to meet Chris before her appointment with Dr S. We had sandwiches by the lake, plonked a few pebbles, and mostly loafed. I had been thinking how it was hard to think of this as midsummer with the generally cloudy weather we've had lately, but when the sun did come out, it got hot fast. Summer sun, even if the sky didn't look like summer clouds.

After I was back home, I was out back throwing the ball for Itchy, doing a little light reading, and keeping an eye on Webster. We still aren't really comfortable about risks of the little guy wandering off.

I was delighted to see a swallowtail butterfly, and hoped it was the same one of our adventure the other day. I was careful not to hit it with the ball.

However, I did manage to hit Webster with the ball when it took a bad bobble as I was trying to roll it by in front of him. He had been on the verge of chasing it a couple of times when it got close, so I thought maybe if I got it a bit closer ...

He went about three feet straight up when the ball hit him, and darn near came down on top of Itchy, who was much more interested in the ball.

Webster retreated to the basement window ledge, protected by a couple of planters from any more errant throws.

Fortunately, he's given no sign of any doubts about my intentions. We are still friends.

Monday, July 11, 2005


Chris was over on Saturday, and took a picture of Webster in the cherry tree, in between having adventures with a butterfly. Later, Jo, Chris, Coal and I went to Central Market for groceries and a visit to the salad bar. We took our slads, noodles, teriyaki wings, whatever, to nearby Boeing Creek Park for a bit of a picnic. Posted by Picasa

Friday, July 8, 2005

New house

Jo's new toy house was a very special Thriftco find. Posted by Picasa

Among old friends.

Thursday, July 7, 2005

Webster Song

Webster, oh Webster
I like you a lot.
Sometimes you are naughty,
but mostly you're not.
You are as fine a cat
as ever I'd want.
Webster, oh Webster,
I like you a lot.

Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 4, 2005


I managed to get down to the Golden Gardens beach early this morning, avoiding the crowds that are sure to be there later in the day. Low tide, bright sun, pleasant breeze. Several herons very close, and a humingbird in the dune area. I was more than a little inspired by Chris's report on our last beach outing (posted last night, though dated for the day we were down there).

Friday, July 1, 2005

West Seattle

I was off to West Seattle yesterday, to help my dad replace his failed fax/copier with something new for making copies.

We went to Staples and chose an HP 1315. Unfortunately, they didn't have one at the store, so we ordered one for delivery. I may have to go back & help him set it up and learn to use it.

Then we went to a Vietnamese deli in White Center and got Vietnamese sandwichs and fresh rolls to take home. My mom got a bite of hot pepper and wasn't very pleased, but the meal was otherwise good and beat the heck out of going to a restaurant.

I took along Amber Waves of Grain to show them an aerial shot of Brady, Montana, where my mother's father once owned the newspaper, and the source of my middle name. Dad liked it so much I left it for him to look at. Maybe I should get him a copy.

Monday, June 27, 2005


I walked the labyrinth at Bellevue Unity this morning, in a light rain. I think I need to put in a map link to this labyrinth. All the ads on this page are now about cats! I liked it better when they were about maps and things. You'd think with the name Webster, there would be at least one dictionary or book ad. I hope folks are clicking the links now and then. books, books books! dictionaries! Maps! And of course toy blocks and construction sets!

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Webster explores the outside world

Webster had his biggest outdoor time yet.

First he explorered inside our open-air garage.

Then he explored up along the side of the house.

Then he climbed a bit up the cedar tree.

Then he went up the apple tree and onto the garage roof.

From the garage roof he went back into the apple tree and up a couple of branches quite a ways.

All the exploring was quite liesurely and cautious - I don't think we will have a problem with him plunging into dangerous adventures.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


I went by the beach on my way home from the grocery store to check out the extra-low tide of -3.77. Tomorrow's -3.89 is the lowest tide of the year, and todays is only 1.4 inches shy of that. It was raining so not many people were there, and I didn't stay long myself, but did admire how much you could see the difference from Monday's -2.33. I thought that a slight storm surge might have reduced the difference, but it turned out not.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005


I think Webster has forgiven me for taking him to the vet this morning -- though I don't presume so far as to accept it lightly when I take him again in three to four weeks.

He got poked prodded, listened to, looked at, and peered into.

He got injected one two three times.

He got a microchip implanted.

I am particularly pleased with the microchip, since he desperately wants to go outside, but his history of having been a stray urges caution.

He is now napping on the couch, a cute little bundle of sweetness.

I am sure when he goes outside, he will perceive himself as a fierce stalker of birds. I imagine the birds flying off in gales of laughter - orange & white are not exactly camouflage coloring.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Friday, June 17, 2005

Yellow eyes Posted by Hello


New guy just had his first experience with the back yard, carefully constrained in my arms. He met Annika and Dylan, the little girls next door, and briefly their mom Brit, but did not want to meet Itchy the dog, so Brit retreated to keep Itchy distracted with the ball while the girls petted the cat. Everyone, except probably Itchy, was quite disappointed that New Guy is as yet nameless.

New Guy - Day 2

New Guy seems pretty satisfactory. He's rather chatty in an unstrident way, though a little disappointed in our obtuseness about the refrigerator and the bathtub.

Biggest negative so far is that he wants to sharpen his claws on the couch and is totally unimpressed with the scratching box. But to balance that, he is using the litter box -- with great intensity, involvement, and odor.

I think we should keep him.


Thursday, June 16, 2005