"Tri-ed" and True

Julie and Z completed their first Triathlon this morning. I'm so proud to be a "Tri-Mom." It's really exciting to watch all the action of this multi-sport, albeit a bit stressful watching two kids participate. Since Julie and Z were in different age categories, there was a lot of running back and forth to see and cheer both of them on. We're waiting on the posting of their times right now but to me the only thing that matters is the true motivation that both of them showed in participating and finishing the race. What a great way to spend a Saturday morning!

~Desi

# An American Family

## Saturday, August 09, 2008

## Friday, August 08, 2008

Overheard While Packing

My role in packing, which we began in earnest last night, is pretty limited. Essentially, I sit there and watch the dynamic, as Desi and the kids bargain over what goes and what gets left behind. Here are some notes I took while observing the (mostly) conflict-free proceedings...

I'm going to buy flip-flops as soon as we get there. Julie, after realizing that her flip-flops were not going to make the cut. Overall, Julie is bringing four pairs of shoes, which is pretty impressive for a girl with a closet full of every type of footwear imaginable.

I packed as many reds as possible. Z, talking about his underwear. You see, 2009 is the year of the ox in the Chinese zodiac, and Z happens to be an ox. When it is "your" year, you are supposed to wear red every day. Given that most of Z's clothes are blue and black, he's counting on his underwear to make next year auspicious.

Where's the other sock? Desi, after Z tried to pack one sock without its match.

She sticks her nails into my arms and leaves permanent marks. Z, after he and Julie had some kind of fight.

Mommy, are you going to give me a bun on the plane? Julie, thinking ahead to her hairstyle possibilities come travel time.

We're going on a trip...a very long trip. Z, to Monkling, his stuffed monkey, who is apparently joining us in China.

What is Daddy writing? Desi, wondering what I was up to while everyone else was working...

~Steve

My role in packing, which we began in earnest last night, is pretty limited. Essentially, I sit there and watch the dynamic, as Desi and the kids bargain over what goes and what gets left behind. Here are some notes I took while observing the (mostly) conflict-free proceedings...

I'm going to buy flip-flops as soon as we get there. Julie, after realizing that her flip-flops were not going to make the cut. Overall, Julie is bringing four pairs of shoes, which is pretty impressive for a girl with a closet full of every type of footwear imaginable.

I packed as many reds as possible. Z, talking about his underwear. You see, 2009 is the year of the ox in the Chinese zodiac, and Z happens to be an ox. When it is "your" year, you are supposed to wear red every day. Given that most of Z's clothes are blue and black, he's counting on his underwear to make next year auspicious.

Where's the other sock? Desi, after Z tried to pack one sock without its match.

She sticks her nails into my arms and leaves permanent marks. Z, after he and Julie had some kind of fight.

Mommy, are you going to give me a bun on the plane? Julie, thinking ahead to her hairstyle possibilities come travel time.

We're going on a trip...a very long trip. Z, to Monkling, his stuffed monkey, who is apparently joining us in China.

What is Daddy writing? Desi, wondering what I was up to while everyone else was working...

~Steve

## Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Nine-Minute Snoozes

The other night (or was it early morning?), Robert and I stumbled upon a most profound of questions...

Why is it that alarm clocks have 9-minute snoozes?

Didn't snooze cycles used to be 5 minutes? Why are they now 9 minutes, as opposed to a nice round number like, say, 10 minutes?

Here's what that "series of tubes" called the Internet tells me...

With a 9-minute snooze, digital alarms clocks only need to monitor the last digit. With a 10-minute cycle, the last two digits would need to be watched, and thus the circuitry would have to be more complicated.

Way back when, when snooze functions were introduced, the snooze gear had to fit in with the other gears' teeth. Practically speaking, this meant that the snooze cycle could either be between 9 and 10 minutes or between 10 and 11 minutes. For whatever reason, 9-plus minutes was what was decided on, presumably by an anonymous clock engineer whose legacy lives on, as evidenced by...

There is (was?) a band called "Nine Minute Snooze."

The term "nine minute snooze" results in 897 Google hits. (Almost double the number of hits for the term "Steve Balla." Hey, there has to be a bunch of us Steve Ballas around the world! To our shame, we have yet to leave much of a collective footprint in cyberspace...)

~Steve

The other night (or was it early morning?), Robert and I stumbled upon a most profound of questions...

Why is it that alarm clocks have 9-minute snoozes?

Didn't snooze cycles used to be 5 minutes? Why are they now 9 minutes, as opposed to a nice round number like, say, 10 minutes?

Here's what that "series of tubes" called the Internet tells me...

With a 9-minute snooze, digital alarms clocks only need to monitor the last digit. With a 10-minute cycle, the last two digits would need to be watched, and thus the circuitry would have to be more complicated.

Way back when, when snooze functions were introduced, the snooze gear had to fit in with the other gears' teeth. Practically speaking, this meant that the snooze cycle could either be between 9 and 10 minutes or between 10 and 11 minutes. For whatever reason, 9-plus minutes was what was decided on, presumably by an anonymous clock engineer whose legacy lives on, as evidenced by...

There is (was?) a band called "Nine Minute Snooze."

The term "nine minute snooze" results in 897 Google hits. (Almost double the number of hits for the term "Steve Balla." Hey, there has to be a bunch of us Steve Ballas around the world! To our shame, we have yet to leave much of a collective footprint in cyberspace...)

~Steve