# Tuesday, 03 October 2006

The design process

For a few years now I've been a designer, either a web designer, or a software designer (or both). This job requires you to work with clients, a strange breed of human who know exactly what they want, without having a clue what they want!! Trying to create the web site or application that is in their heads can be quite a challenge when what comes out of their mouth bears little similarity.

Anyway, the reason for mentioning this is that I just came across the following cartoon, which is not new in principle, but illustrates the problem very nicely...

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# Wednesday, 27 September 2006

Chana Liba does a headstand - sort of!!

I was throwing Chana Liba around this morning (as usual), and carried her into the kitchen upside down. Before anyone reports me for child abuse, I should point out that she actually enjoys this a lot!! I think she must have some of my genes in there. Anyway, I digress (as usual)...

I gently placed her head on the cushion that we put behind Simcha, so that when she gracefully falls over, she doesn't bash herself. Chana Liba leant over and rested her legs on the top of Simcha's play gym.

The result was this...


She stayed there for quite a while, and only came down when Mummy decided that it wasn't a clever idea :'(

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# Tuesday, 26 September 2006

Mathematical oddities part 2

Following on from the mathematical oddities that I added a few weeks ago, I was sent another one today...

This reminds me of a lovely line that I read somewhere... "Pure mathematicians only use three numbers, zero, one and eight. The last one is usually written on its side, pronounced 'infinity' and means 'a lot'"

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# Tuesday, 19 September 2006

Well, they amused me (doesn't take much)

Just came across these two paradies of well-known adverts. First, the ever-profitable designer clothes for babies...

...and of course, where would we be without a parady of Microsoft?

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# Thursday, 14 September 2006

I'm in love with a big blue frog

Actually I'm not, but here we go anyway...

You know how you sometimes remember something really stupid from years back? Well, I do anyway :-D

So the other day we were sitting around the table, and I suddenly burst out singing "I'm in love with a big blue frog" which, for those of you with enough sense not to remember, was featured on the Muppet Show many years ago. It turns out that the song was actually first done by the folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary, back in the days when people thought that this kind of thing was funny!! I think they later regretted it. It was as embarrassing to them as Laughing Gnome was to David Bowie.

Anyway, I digress (as usual). Having got this in my mind, I couldn't get rid of it, so did a quick search and came up with the words (shown a bit lower down). I also found some MP3 extracts of the original, so if you want to sing along, these should give you an idea how the tune goes.

First the original by Peter, Paul and Mary. I couldn't find any MP3s of the Muppets version, but discovered that Disney put out a CD of silly songs, which included their version. I even found that for the princely sum of just 79p, you can buy the whole song. I did :-S

Anyway, here are the words. Enjoy...

Im in love with a big blue frog,
A big blue frog loves me.
Its not as bad as it appears
He wears glasses and hes six foot three.

Well Im not worried about our kids,
I know theyll turn out neat.
Theyll be great lookin cause theyll have my face,
Great swimmers cause theyll have his feet!

Well Im in love with a big blue frog,
A big blue frog loves me.
Hes not as bad as he appears,
Hes got rhythm and a phd.

Well I know we can make things work
Hes got good famly sense.
His mother was a frog from philadelphia
His daddy an enchanted prince.

The neighbors are against it and its clear to me
And its probly clear to you
They think value on their property will go right down
If the family next door is blue.

Well Im in love with a big blue frog
A big blue frog loves me
Ive got it tattooed on my chest
It says p.h.r.o.g. (its frog to me!)
P.h.r.o.g.

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# Wednesday, 13 September 2006

Two little girls and a football table

Well, having had a rather busy week last week, I didn't get time to post anything here... so time for a quick update.

One little girl

One of the more exciting, if messy things to have happened here was that Simcha started on solids. Her first taste of them was some mushed up carrots, which went down a treat. She has now ventured into mushed up sweet potato, and will no doubt try other mushed up vegetables soon. She did try some carrots that were merely bashed a bit rather than really mushy, but she wouldn't eat those, so it was back to mush!!

Another little girl

Chana Liba started school last week. Having successfully "graduated" from playgroup, she is now officially a Big Girl and goes to school with Shayna Brocho. Despite our slight concerns as to how well she would take to a new environment, she hardly looked back as she went in on her first day. Thankfully, she seems to have settled down well and enjoys it very much.

And a football table

One day last week, Aryeh Yehuda was explaining to me the concept of some complex sounding game that they have in school for wet breaks (not that if ever rains in Manchester of course), and happened to mention that the school were thinking about buying an air hockey table. Now I had been looking at just these very things on eBay only the day before, so I spoke to the school administrator (who lives a few doors away) and told him not to buy one without me checking prices first. He was actually quite happy to let me sort it out for them, so off I went. They wanted two tables for school, and he wanted one for himself.

I sent off messages to a few of the people who were selling new ones, asking what price they would give me for three, and then spotted that one of the sellers also sold football tables...

A football table

I rang the school administrator back and managed to persuade him to buy one of these as well!! They all arrived on Friday afternoon, too late to take them down to school (shame). I decided, purely in the interests of research and quality control, that it would be a sensible idea to assemble the football table and an air hockey table - just to make sure they were in full working order of course :-D

Needless to say, we were very popular on Shabbos afternoon. It was like the World Cup all over again, only more fun. A good time was had by all.

On Sunday, I was speaking to my Mother, and told her about the fun that they had all had with it, and she very generously offered to buy us one!! Thanks Grandma :-)

It's supposed to arrive today. I wish it would hurry up. If it doesn't arrive soon, I might have to resort to doing some work!!

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# Tuesday, 05 September 2006

The saddest day

For those of you that don't already know, my grandmother (known as Bim to the close family) passed away two days ago. She had been ill for a short while, and deteriorated quickly. We went to Leeds to see her on Sunday, and she passed away right before our eyes. The funeral was yesterday (Monday).

It's hard to know what to say about her, it's still too new. She was a truly remarkable woman, who even in her eighties had all the energy and enthusiasm of many people several decades her junior.

I would like to write more at some point, but right now I can't think of the words.

Goodbye Bim, we all loved you.

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# Sunday, 20 August 2006

Daliah and her cousins

As Daliah (eldest daughter of my brother David for those who may not know) is visiting England at the moment, we took the opportunity to meet up with her a couple of times. After some initial problems finding each other (which layby were you in Grandpa?), we spent the day in Durham.

Now I don't want you to think that the children fell in love with Daliah, but they did!! Shayna Brocho especially. She spent every possible moment either holding Daliah's hand, or sitting on her knee. That is, when she wasn't hugging her of course...

Even the normally shy Chana Liba warmed to her and allowed herself a cuddle...

You can tell how surprised Daliah was by the fact that she wasn't even looking at the camera.

The ultimate test came when she managed to persuade Simcha to sit on her knee...

For a five-month old, Simcha has remarkable object permanence (the ability to realise when something ought to be there but isn't), and usually starts crying as soon as Mummy is out of sight. Not only did Daliah manage to hold her for quite some time, she even did it when Simcha could see her Mummy and know that she was in someone else's arms.

It was lovely seeing her, albeit too short. Come back soon Daliah, we all miss you.

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# Thursday, 17 August 2006

Bowls, a game for gentlemen... or not

In the park near our holiday home is a bowling green. We decided to introduce the children (and Daliah, who was with us for the day) to this most gentle of games. As you may know, this game is supposed to proceed at a slow and leisurely pace. Picture old men in flat caps, plodding across the green at a snail's pace. Aryeh Yehuda didn't quite grasp this bit...

Needless to say, most of his bowls went whizzing across the green and landed in the gutter on the other side!! Mind you, my own shots weren't much better as I couldn't seem to make them gentle enough. Amazingly enough, I actually won two of the three games, but only because Nechoma Bryna did a couple of superb shots that were right on target. Unfortunately (for her at least), they were slightly too hard, and they knocked the white ball right over to the other side of the green, right next to my bowls!!

A good time was had by all, and the teams all lined up for a post-match photograph...

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Shayna Brocho makes friends with a butterfly

We went strawberry picking today, and as we were wandering along, I saw a white butterfly fluttering by. I pointed this out to Shayna Brocho and Eliyohu who were holding my hands, and Shayna Brocho said "Oh yes, I've seen it before, it comes in our garden sometimes."

Gently, I pointed out that as our garden was in Manchester, and we were currently just outside Gateshead, maybe this wasn't the same butterfly.

Not perturbed in the slightest, Shayna Brocho insisted "It is the same one, I recognise it!!"

I decided not to disillusion her...

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