30 August 2009

Sunflower, the Robot

I broke down last week and Wooted for a refurb Roomba. As it charged, I wasn't sure who was more excited -- me or the kids. My wife just sorta rolled her eyes.

I was concerned that it might freak out the Mancub, so I had a chat with Trinh before I fired it up to enlist her help in allaying her little brother's fears. After all, it's fine and good for our politicians to tell us everything is rosy, but that's their job -- can't trust anybody with an agenda. Parents are sorta like that too, aren't they? It carries much more weight when the news comes from somebody more your size, so to speak.
I asked her, "Trinh, are you afraid of the new robot?"
She said, "Daddy, is it the kind of robot that's going to destroy the entire universe?"
[brief silence]
Daddy: "Er, no."
Trinhity: "OK then, sure. It's cool."
So cool, in fact, she christened it. Our Roomba will henceforth be known as "Sunflower". And there shall be much rejoicing.

The Bloody Barnacle

Trinh Trinh & I spent last weekend in Colorado to celebrate my parent's 40th Wedding Anniversary -- pictures to follow shortly. We slept in our special Trinh + Daddy tent all four nights, which was fabulous.

However, the last night was warmer, and I threw off the covers. I also apparently let my hands rest against the mesh walls while I slept. The mosquitoes had a FEAST.

I won't go into the gory details, but I was putting Trinh to sleep a couple nights ago and held her hands as I snuggled in with her. Her little fingers found my welts, and she whispered, "Daddy, I think you have BARNACLES on your hands! Bloody bloody barnacles!"


The Giant iPod

After years of being PC people, we finally broke down a few weeks back and got a MacBook Pro. In general, we love it.

But the best part was the day it arrived. Trinh & I unpacked it, and I was being overly dramatic and ceremonious, unwrapping it like a treasure. I showed her the Apple insignia and asked if she knew what it was.

Her eyes got huge and she asked, "Daddy...is it a GIANT iPod?!?"

13 August 2009

Cancun on $5

BACKGROUND: I work for my wife, both literally and figuratively. Among other things, like making me beg to be a Senior VP in a two person corporation, this means that she does the accounting.

The Mama-san HATES accounting. So do I, but at least she actually has math skills. When it's time to do the taxes, Mama gets very, very cranky. Taxes are serious business around here.

Last night was Trinh & Daddy Spa Night, something we do whenever Mama takes Tai-Tai to Nha Ong Ba so she can get a decent night's sleep. It seems that BaBa is the only one of us who can get the Little Dude to sleep through the night.

After the usual TDSN activities, Trinh & I were hanging out in the office. I was hacking at a pesky Ubuntu problem and she was drawing pictures. She popped up to show me one of them and announced with deadly seriousness that she was doing her taxes. I cracked up. She sulked and make it clear that this was not a laughing matter. Serious stuff, I'm telling ya.

So today Trinh brought Mama a sheaf of lined yellow paper with some scribbles on it and asked for help tearing the page out. She very somberly told Mama that these were her taxes.

She went on to explain that she had just finished her taxes because she had to find money so that we can go on vacation. She put her hand in her pocket, pulled out a cupped (empty) hand and said, "Look, Mama, I have money now. I have $5."

Mama asked, "Will that be enough money for vacation?" Trinh said, "Yeah." Then the Mama-san asked where we were going to go on vacation....

Trinh replied, "Cancun."

07 August 2009


Perhaps you read the post, but you haven't seen the picture yet. Trinh drew this 'gift card' for me just this morning and sent if off with me to work so that I could remember her whenever I looked at it. I did.

I had to mess with the scanned image to blank out a fairly scary-looking skull thing that bled through from a graphic on the other side. In case you're having trouble, that's Daddy (on the left) and Mommy (on the right) and Trinh Trinh in the middle, and we're all wearing 'spotlights' (headlamps) and we're on the beach between the water (blue scribbles on the right) and the beach house (castle on the left) hunting for crabs under the stars.

Funny, and here I figured that the only rememberance I'd have of that night was the blog posting...

04 August 2009


Some nice folks we don't actually know have a beach rental down near Galveston where we stayed last year (see here and here, plus here and here on the Mancub's blog). They had an unexpected cancellation and dropped us a note to see if we'd be interested in sneaking down for a couple days.

Initially I thought we weren't since we were hosting the (Annual?) End of Summer Princess Tea Party on Saturday. Then we figured, WTH...let's go.

Ong & BàBà headed down early on Saturday with the Mancub, and we drove down after the party with the Princess. It turns out that an impromptu beach run was just what we all needed.

On Sunday night, BàBà agreed to put the Mancub to sleep -- a wretched chore for her as for me, which is to say that we usually tussle over who gets to do it. That freed up the Princess, the Mama-san & me to don headlamps and head down on the beach to chase crabs.

For those of you in less maritime climes, chasing crabs might be roughly analogous to spotlighting jackrabbits. They're tricky to spot, at least at first, and not easy to catch -- especially if you're armed with only a small sand bucket instead of a net.

However, as the Princess explained to the Mama-san in this little exchange, it works best if you call them:
T3: "Where's the crab? Where did it go?!?"
Mama: "I don't know. Here, crab crab crab! Here, little crabby, crabby, crabby!"
T3: "Mama, it's not a dog. It's a crab. That's not how you call a crab!"
Mama: [dog whistle]
T3: "Mama! That's not how you call a crab! This is how you call a crab: [bends down, mouth wide open, screams at the top of her lungs] CRAAAAAAAAAAAAAABBB!!"