Warren Mitchell’s “Beyond the Basics” photography class met again last night. This week’s assignment was to take photographs of patterns. Though I’ve learned a lot about photography during the past week, I didn’t feel my photographs of patterns turned out especially well. It’s difficult to take good photographs of patterns. Still, I liked these:

Click a thumbnail to open a full-size version in a new window

[photo of a gas meter on bright red wall] [photo of mossy bricks] [photo of wallball courts]
[photo of aluminum siding] [photo fungus on stump] [photo of car in woods]

I love the bright red wall in the photo of the gas meter: it’s the side of the Les Schwab tire store in Canby. I need to determine how far the red extends so that I can use it as a background for future photographs. I also like the photo of the old car, Sputnik. Perhaps Virginia can comment on its history, since she and my Uncle Stan used to own the vehicle. (Technically, they probably still do own it.) Also: I suspect that many readers of this weblog spent long hours near those yellow walls — how many of you recognize the location?

While Warren looked through my photos, I mentioned that I’d just acquired a 20mm wide-angle lens and a 105mm macro lens. “Ah, you’ve caught the bug,” he said.

Warren continued to look through the class’ pictures, giving advice on how to improve our compositions. He recommends carrying a ladder in order to alter the camera’s point-of-view. He recommends carrying clippers in order to remove unwanted leaves and branches. He recommends carrying various filters to alter the color cast of the exposure, portable reflectors to enhance lighting, a spritz bottle to dampen certain subjects. Photography is not a hobby for somebody on a budget.

“You’re trying to get me to spend more money, aren’t you, Warren?” I said. “How can I afford all that?”

“Get a second job,” he replied.


On 24 January 2003 (06:21 AM),
Paul said:


I know those yellow walls but in a different capacity than most of the readers. I bet to some readers the walls look much smaller now than they used to.

On 24 January 2003 (07:50 AM),
joelah said:

My vote’s for the shroom stump; very arresting image.

On 24 January 2003 (09:29 AM),
Jeremy said:

I recognize the walls also. Although I never attended school there. The stump is definitely the coolest.

On 24 January 2003 (10:06 AM),
tammy said:

Mercy! I had no idea sputnik was still in grandpas woods! Oh the hours spent playing in that thing! A childhood forever gone!

On 24 January 2003 (10:22 AM),
J.D. said:

Yes, Sputnik is still in grandpa’s woods, but time has not been kind to the old beast.

As you can see from the photograph, a tree fell across the car’s front end sometime during the fall. (The car was tree-free when I was back in the woods last summer.) The doors have rusted off completely, and there’s moss growing on them. A sapling of some sort has taken root inside the car.

I ought to find a photograph of Sputnik from the mid-70s so that the non-Roths can see the thing in all its regal splendor. Such as it was.

On 24 January 2003 (12:27 PM),
Virginia said:

I’m sitting in a cold family room after Tammy called with a command “you’ve got to see JD’s web site today” Rushing to the computer before the fires were even started for the day, I looked at JD’s web site. Oh, the memories. I enlarged sputnik and called to Stan to “Come look” I didn’t tell him what it was and his first comment was “that looks like a Warren Mitchell special…That’s Sputnik.” If you look at Warren’s note cards you will see why Stan called it a Warren Mitchel special. Anyhow, Sutnik was purchased by Granpa Roth for a work rig. The family car at that time was a 1939 plymouth, replaceing an old Ford that you could see the road passing by under it as you drove to Zion every Sunday morning. Sputnik was a 1937 plymouth and was thus called Sputnik because it had a wiring problem. You see everytime you put on the brakes the headlights would come on, so you could blink your way down the road and look like … well, Sputnik who at that time was circling the earth. I think the headlights worked well otherwise. Stan purchased it in 1960 to haul chittum in and at that time he was employing a small brother-in-law (Steve) to help peel bark. Steve’s envolvment in the drug harvest industry was related to the comment Steve made to one of the teachers at Canby High School. It seems Steve had a very high IQ and one day the teacher asked him what he was going to do with his life and he answered, “be a bum and peel chittum” GROAN… By the way, if Warren wants to photograph Sputnik, tell him you want a finders fee. 🙂

On 25 January 2003 (09:02 PM),
Virginia said:

I really like the maple stump. Did you find that in grandpa’s woods?

On 27 January 2003 (12:27 PM),
Virginia said:

Where are you? I am in the habit of reading these things and now you don’t change it for a couple of days. I’m thinking there will be som great pictures when you return. 🙂

On 29 January 2003 (10:30 AM),
Rexs13 said:

Nice fungi pic. You found a Tramates species possibly versicolor. Members of this genus are used for medicinal purposes.

What If?

What if all of these intelligent, witty people I know — people who like to write and who wish they wrote more often — what if all of these people had some sort of communal outlet for sharing their creative output? (And for sharing other art: drawing, photography, etc.)

What form would this forum take? Non-critical, to be sure; low-pressure — just a place to share what has been created.

I’ve nothing in mind; I’m only wondering aloud.

Simon is fascinated by the dog next door

[photo of Simon looking out window]


On 18 January 2003 (03:00 PM),
Dana said:

Well, you could organize it as a sort of virtual gallery.

Each of your friends could have a “wing”, which would consist of a blog-like interface where they could post and archive comments, text, pictures, mp3s, or whatever.

The main page could contain a general introduction and perhaps a “most recently posted” sort of scroll, aggregating the individual “wing” posts (or perhaps just a summary or excerpt).

That’s just one possibility, of course. You’d probably also want some assurance that people would contribute.

On 18 January 2003 (07:00 PM),
Tammy said:

I’d go for it. I thnk that sounds like a cool idea. I’m not very computer savvy so it would have to be fairly easy for me to move around in. sigh! I’ve been begging my husband to teach me how to put pictures on the internet so I can email them to my friends but he hasn’t got the time! I secretly think that he’s not totally sure how to do it either! Shhh! Don’t tell him I said that! We have a digital camera but it sure isn’t doing us much good!

By the way, JD, is that a yellow wall in your house or is my computer color off. It sure apppears yellow. Just wondering. After having been to my house I’m sure you know how I like yellow! tee hee

On 18 January 2003 (10:25 PM),
Virginia said:

Sounds like a great idea, only problem is are you going to give lessons to some of us who want to do big things, but can’t. I am impressed by your pictures. I think your going to do great. Maybe you will be a celebrity too some day. That way I won’t know what to click on when I type in
J. D. Roth for a keyword.

Beyond the Basics

Last night was the second session of Warren Mitchell’s Beyond the Basics photography class. Mackenzie is in San Diego, so I was without a partner in crime.

Warren has been discussing important pieces of photographic equipment. Last week he stated that “photography begins with a tripod.” That’s fine. I have a tripod. This week he advocated nice tripods. I don’t have one of those, and shooting during the past few days has helped me understand the ways in which my tripod is barely adequate.

Last night, Warren also stressed that “lens hoods are absolutely essential“. I don’t have one of those, either.

J.D.: “Photography kinda seems like an expensive hobby.”
Class: Knowing laughter

So far, I find the class rather overwhelming.

When I took computer classes in 1999, the assignments sometimes intimidated me. We’d get an assignment like “implement an address book C++ using a doubly-linked list and appropriate classes – use inheritance” and my heart would sink. How could I possibly complete the assignment in a week? Linked lists were scary!

(Of course, linked lists became less scary with time, and as each week progressed I developed a solution to the problem in time to complete the assignment, and usually earned an A.)

These photography assignments are equally daunting. The final project especially so: we’re to develop a two-minute-seventeen-second slide show to accompany Louis Armstrong’s version of “It’s a Wonderful World”.

At the end of last night’s meeting, we shared the prints we took last week. Our assignment was to photograph trees. Here are four of my photographs (click a thumbnail to open a new window with a larger version of the image):

[photo of root shaped like alien] [photo of a tree in a muddy pond] [photo of woods with newly green field] [photo of mossy oak bark]

Our next assignment?

Warren: “I want you to get closer this week.”
Student: “What do you want us to shoot?”
Warren: “Patterns.”
Student: “That’s it? Patterns?”
Warren: “Patterns. And rain.”

At least I have more photograph ideas involving patterns than I did photograph ideas involving trees.

As I was driving home from the photography class, KMHD played a haunting, beautiful rendition of “Autumn Leaves”. “Autumn Leaves” isn’t one of my favorite standards, but the singer, Eva Cassidy, had a strong, clear voice that spoke of heart-ache, of love lost, never to be regained. The acoustic guitar accompaniment was perfect.

Autumn Leaves
(English lyrics by Johnny Mercer)

The falling leaves drift by my window,
The autumn leaves of red and gold.
I see your lips, the summer kisses
The sunburned hands I used to hold.

Since you went away the days grow long,
And soon I’ll hear old winter’s song,
But I miss you most of all, my darling,
When autumn leaves start to fall.

I’ve heard of Eva Cassidy before, but I’ve never paid her much attention. Perhaps I should.


On 17 January 2003 (08:30 AM),
Paul said:


Eva’s huge here. I think she lived in the D.C. metro area and her CD’s are everywhere. If you have a hard time finding them I could get them easily for you.

I enjoy hearing about your adventures in photography. It makes me ache a bit to get back into it. Amy Jo is (was) quite a photographer but hasn’t done any for a few years–she’s a wiz in the darkroom (especially B & W printing).

What format are you using? 35mm? For me I really like the high fidelity large-format stuff. I’ve got an old 4 x 5 camera sitting in a box somewhere. My dream is to have a huge darkroom and make large prints from 4 x 5 or 8 x 10 negatives. Then the hobby gets really expensive.

Take care,

On 17 January 2003 (06:32 PM),
Vitginia said:

J. D. Don’t know your personal email so this will have to do. Your pictures are great. Makes me jealous that I can’t be in the class. You see you might ask Warren Mitchell if he ever gave a class called Your Art on Note Cards or something like that. Small World!!!

On 18 January 2003 (01:15 PM),
Aimee said:

JD …

Would you ever consider sharing your photgraphy??? I am especially interested in Mossbark and Alien Root …


PS. By ‘sharing’ I naturally mean selling and/or giving …

On 19 January 2003 (08:42 AM),
Jeremy said:

The photo of the tree is fascinating. It was Jennifer’s favorite. How much can you blow it up? Can you make a nice 8X10? I really like the one of the field and the one with the bark. Excellent work. Your new nickname is Ansel.


On 19 January 2003 (12:07 PM),
J.D. said:

I’m flattered by all of your compliments. Thank you.

Yes, I can make enlargements of these photos. If you want one, just let me know. I’d be happy to give you one.

I feel like I should be paying people to take them.

Something Awful

A couple people have asked, “Whence the shaved cat?” To which I belatedly reply: Something Awful.

I don’t often mention politics in this forum because:

  1. I’m not passionate about the subject, and
  2. Nobody is likely to agree with my political positions, anyhow.

(Dana says that I’m a small-l libertarian. I say I’m a small-i independent. I’m really a social liberal and a fiscal conservative.)

Still, to take a page from Jeremy‘s book, I thought I’d stir the pot a little. Just for fun. (Also for fun, I’m going to start linking to Jeremy‘s non-existent web page until he posts something.)

National politics, in particular, don’t excite me. I’m more passionate about local issues — the new megamart built on good farm land to the north of town, the Canby city budget, local land annexation ballot measures, etc. — than I am about national affairs.

Presidential politics leave me cold.

Reagan? He was okay, I guess. Bush the First? Okay, too, but a bit daft. Clinton? Smart fellow, but lacking personal discretion. Seemed to do a good job.

Ask me about our current President, though, and I’ll tell you that I think he’s as dumb as a post. Jeremy‘s brother-in-law is a native Texan who assures me that Bush the Second is a Good Guy. He may be a Good Guy, but this doesn’t make him a Good President.

Before the attacks on 11 September 2001, Bush had essentially done nothing. The economy had begun to collapse, but that’s about it. After the attacks, the President found his footing, went into war-monger mode, and his job approval rating shot through the roof.

It’s a year later, and Bush’s job approval rating has fallen substantially (it’s down to 58%) because he’s squandered his “mandate” in a series of clumsy missteps. The economy is in tatters, the country is on the brink of war (on multiple fronts), and the White House has mounted a campaign against personal liberties that is, to my mind, truly frightening.

Bush blames the Clinton administration for many of the problems he faces now. For example, the Bush administration maintains that the Clinton years produced the escalating North Korea crisis, yet the Clintion staff admonished that good relations with North Korea needed to be maintained. Doesn’t it seem possible, even probable, that North Korea is riled because our current President labeled the country “evil”, signaling an end to the movement toward reconciliation? Bush doesn’t seem to know how to play nice; he’s most comofortable when engaging in confrontational diplomacy.

The administration’s belief that the best way to fight terrorism is to promote democracy is evidence that they just grasp the global socio-political climate. It is this relentless advocacy of our way of life that fosters global Anti-Americanism. Promoting democracy isn’t likely to quell terrorism; it’s likely to promote it.

Really, which country poses the greatest danger to world peace in 2003?

The Department of Homeland Security scares me. Marvin Minsky simply thinks its impractical, an example of poor arithmetic.

I’m not one to espouse conspiracy theories, but I do find the White House’s penchant for secrecy disturbing. The Bush Administration has decided that the Freedom of Information Act doesn’t suit its purposes and, so, has chosen to ignore it. I guess we don’t need a government that is accountable to its constituents — accountability just clouds the process of governement, right? The White House has even started killing reports it doesn’t like.

Orwell is more relevant every day.

The 06 January White House press briefing was interesting:

Bush is using his political capital to renew the abortion debate (more detail) and to promote a top-heavy economic-stimulus package (a package, incidentally, to which I am not actually opposed). I only hope that his support dwindles soon enough that he cannot do more damage than he already has.


On 13 January 2003 (01:19 PM),

Hello, Cthulhu is old hat, I’m afraid. But yes, I did enjoy it 🙂

I find this troubling, too, for different reasons.

And, of course, there’s this:

On 13 January 2003 (01:20 PM),
Dana said:

you need to fix the ‘preview’ page — it’s style isn’t matching the rest of the site, and it’s losing at least the ‘Name’ field.

On 13 January 2003 (01:38 PM),
joelah said:

Yeah, I thought “Hello Cthulu” was pretty funny. It would’ve been a funnier and more extreme juxtaposition, however, if the fads of pubescent girls weren’t as strange and otherworldly to me as they are.

On 13 January 2003 (01:48 PM),
J.D. said:


I see what you mean about the preview page, Dana, although I’m not sure how it’s losing the name. It lost Tammy’s name the other day, too.

I didn’t even know there was a template for the preview page; I’ll have to rummage around til I find it…

On 13 January 2003 (01:49 PM),
J.D. said:

I have an hypothesis.

I’ll bet the preview page loses the name only if you refresh the preview (for example, after correcting a typo).

Hm. Nope. Still there.

On 13 January 2003 (02:50 PM),
Dana said:

Hurm. This is not what I saw earlier (when I went to the preview page, after hitting post, I noticed the field was cleared), but it’s another data point:

1) Do not have personal information saved.
2) Put in name only
3) Type a post.
4) Hit preview.
5) From preview screen, hit back button.
6) Post is intact, Name field is cleared.

On 13 January 2003 (02:54 PM),
Dana said:

Oh, I’m using a build of Phoenix, a Mozilla-based browser, from Windows 2000.


On 13 January 2003 (03:07 PM),
Jeremy said:

It just so happens that I like the look of my web page 🙂 !!

Found the multiple links to my web page (in all it’s naked glory) very humorous.


No Longer Tired

I can’t sleep.

Earlier this evening, it was all that I could do to stay awake. We took dinner to Kim and Sabino and Diego, and I was drowsy the entire time. When we came home I took a hot bath; I fell asleep while soaking.

Now it’s midnight, the time when I should actually be sleeping, and I’m wide awake.

The Skeptic’s Annotated Bible: While I don’t disagree with most of the annotations, I feel that people who do this sort of thing:

  1. Are at least as annoying as those they’re criticizing.
  2. Are preaching to the converted.
  3. Have too much time on their hands.

There was a time when I would have been all over this, though, because I needed affirmation for my beliefs.

Frodo has failed.

Mac and I are taking a photography class on Thursday nights. Mac has photography training and skill; I have none. He commented last night that I seem to lack confidence at this endeavor. He’s right. I look at his photography, and that of the other people in the class, and I feel like a rank amateur.

I am a rank amateur.

Still, this is an opportunity for me to develop a skill. Though I’m anxious, I’m also excited.

Our first assignment is to take a roll of photographs of trees: the branches, the bark, the buds, the lines and form, etc. We’re to right down stats on every frame we shoot.

When Kris and I drove to Portland this afternoon, I wasn’t paying attention to the road. I was looking out the window at all of the trees. Mostly they’re boring, but there were a couple of times that I lost my lane because I saw something interesting in a tree’s branches.

I managed to take four photographs this afternoon, though they’re not going to turn out well. Four photographs. Out of thirty-six on the roll. Yikes. I’d better shoot some more tomorrow…


On 12 January 2003 (08:32 AM),
mac said:

3 words for you: “shoot, don’t think!”

On 12 January 2003 (03:26 PM),
drew said:

you know you might keep valerian and melatonin around for those sleepless nights. use as directed.

On 12 January 2003 (10:03 PM),
Dana said:

Sorry, Andrew — I don’t understand why having a character from a book by Gene Wolfe around would be helpful…

(Oh, I crack me up. Ha Ha.)

I Hurt Myself Laughing

I'm sorry -- you simply must be able to view images to get today's weblog entry


On 10 January 2003 (07:49 AM),
Joelah said:

Can’t… look… away!
Gotta tell ya Roth, I preferred the daily comic panel posting to all this pet morbidity.

On 10 January 2003 (08:02 AM),
J.D. said:

Patience, my friend.

And for the record: this photograph cracks me up. I think it’s hilarious.

Kris was concerned that it might be the product of some psycho pet-owner shaving his cat and then posting the photos on the internet.

I don’t think this is the case.

The green thing in the background seems to be a cat carrier. I think this cat has returned from surgery at the vet, and that the owner found the poor cat’s state as amusing as I do.

But, you have my pledge: no more pet morbidity for at least a month. 🙂

On 10 January 2003 (08:29 AM),
Dana said:

I think it looks photoshopped, actually. The transition from ‘shaved’ to ‘furred’ on the legs looks a bit airbrushed to me.

On 10 January 2003 (09:25 AM),
J.D. said:

I don’t know, Dana. It looks pretty natural to me.

I think part of the (furred) tail is visible behind the cat, which is a detail that would probably have been overlooked if this were photoshopped. Also, I don’t see the airbrushing that you do.

There is one part of the photograph that was photoshopped. I removed one element of the photo before posting it. Can you tell where? (It’s actually not difficult.)

On 10 January 2003 (10:42 AM),
Shawn said:

Lower right.

On 10 January 2003 (04:15 PM),
Dana said:

Well, maybe it is just me. Where did you get it? Gooogle images failed me with ‘shaved cat’ as the search terms… :/

On 10 January 2003 (07:25 PM),

Hey I hate cats! I say enough of the cats! I really like how you have your weight posted there on the right. Good luck on your loss.Now you are accountable to all of us you know. Keep up the good work but pllleeeease get rid of these ugly cats!!!

On 10 January 2003 (07:28 PM),
Tammy said:

Uh the above was posted by me. Somehow my name was omitted. Didn’t mean to annonymously blast the kitties in this world!

On 04 September 2003 (12:22 PM),
that girl said:


Diego Fiesta!

I’ll incorporate this birth announcement into the weblog so that people can leave messages to Kim and Sabino, and to each other. The information below is, to the best of my knowledge, accurate. Please send me corrections or additions.

Hola, Diego Manuel!

[photo of Diego bawling]

Diego Manuel Arredondo was born on 06 January 2003 at 9:25 a.m. He weighed seven pounds, three ounces, and he was twenty inches long. Diego arrived seventeen days early, catching everyone by surprise. His grandparents Kropf were still on the East Coast; they had expected to be back home in plenty of time to be present for his birth.

[photo of Diego asleep

On Monday morning, Sabino rose at 6:30, his normal hour. He went to work, but Kim called him soon after and announced that they had better get to the hospital. Sabino asked Julie to babysit Antonio, and then he sped Kim to Willamette Falls Hospital in Oregon City. They left the house at 8:30.

When they arrived at the hospital, Kim was disappointed to learn that she wouldn’t be receiving an epidural. In fact, the labor progressed so quickly that Diego was born at 9:25, after only five minutes of pushing.

Stephanie visited Kim, Sabino, and Diego, soon after the birth and took all of the photos that you see on this page (and more!).

click a thumbnail below for larger image (opens new window)

[photo of Sabino holding Diego]  [photo of Kim and Sabino by Diego's bedside  [photo of Sabino videotaping Diego]  [photo of Diego's first bath]

By the early evening, friends and family had begun to pour into the hospital room and out into the hall and into the lobby. Antonio had joined his family, but, according to Sabino, didn’t comprehend what all the fuss was about. Fortunately, someone (Trina?) had thought to bring Thomas and his friends, so Antonio was happy.

[photo of Kim and Sabino holding Diego]

Sabino surmised that Diego chose to be born this particular day in order to bring the MNF group together for one extra Monday past the end of the football season. Sabino declined the traditional MNF father dinner at the Outback, but the rest of the gang went anyhow. We ate enough food to compensate for his absence.


On 07 January 2003 (07:17 AM),
J.D. said:

Congratulations, Kim and Sabino! May Diego lead a long and happy life.

Antonio has a year or two to learn to share Thomas and Friends, I guess. 🙂

On 07 January 2003 (07:22 AM),
Steve Masingila said:

Congratulations!!! proud Mon,Dad and big brother

On 07 January 2003 (08:03 AM),
Jeremy said:

Way to go! Kim, we wish you a speedy recovery. Sabino, we wish for you a smooth tax season so that you may assist your wife in caring ofr Diego. Antonio, we wish for you patience to incorporate Diego into the family. And Diego, we hope your infection goes away very soon so you can begin to pester your brother!

Jeremy, Jennifer, Harrison and Emma

On 07 January 2003 (10:24 AM),
Lucy said:

Now enjoy…

On 07 January 2003 (10:43 AM),
Jackie Sande said:

Congratulations on such a fine addition to your family. No wonder the audit didn’t take as long as expected: Arredondo’s are early!

On 07 January 2003 (11:39 AM),
David Hoiland said:

Congratulations on your new boy. May the SLEEP be with you!

On 07 January 2003 (12:27 PM),
StephanieRoth said:

Congratulations on the new little golfing buddy!

On 07 January 2003 (12:45 PM),
Jennifer Gingerich said:

Two kids… yeah I know what that means. Twice the mess, double duty on the diapers, two on one wrestling matches (watch out dad!), doubled over with laughs (what else can you do), twice as much fun, and quadruple the amount of love! Congratulations on the new family dynamics!

On 07 January 2003 (02:28 PM),
Patrick Leaman said:

Hey hey! I feel priveleged to be included in the email. ‘Bino and Kim, you both look wonderful. Through this site I got to Bino’s work site. Nice update. I have heard it said from a parents perspective that when you transition from two children to three, you go from a “man to man” defense to “zone”. Be careful.

I am forwarding this to Mark Sawin!

On 07 January 2003 (02:55 PM),
Bev Landen said:

Congratulations to both of you, Sabino and especially to you Kim as the one who did all the work. I look forward to meeting your two little ones sometime.

On 07 January 2003 (03:49 PM),
Fay said:

Congratulations on your new addition. You will have so much fun with two little brothers so close. Kim, you’re still the queen of the home. Get their respect and help!! I’m so excited. Thanks for including me on your EM list. Fay

On 07 January 2003 (04:32 PM),
Kelly Thompson said:

Kimmy!! Can’t believe the little guy dropped in just the next morning after talking with you!! Sounds like you guys barely made it. I’m sure Antonio will adjust just fine…what fun! Jim’s excited cause now you’ll be able to make this weekends annual beach trip – ha!! We can’t wait to meet him, hope to drop in after the rush!! Much love and many hugs from all of us – Kelly, Jim, Rachel & Jake

On 07 January 2003 (06:03 PM),
Kara, Ron & Daphne said:

Yippee!! I can’t wait to play with my new baby cousin!! ~Daphne

Congratulations Sabino, Kim & Antonio! What a beautiful boy! We love you bunches! ~ Kara & Ron

On 08 January 2003 (08:05 AM),
Claudia said:

Kimmy, Woweee! Hey five minutes of pushing can’t be all that disappointing huh?! I am sure you were plenty organized ahead of time anyway if I know you!!!
Sabino, Take it easy on the only girl in the family now. Don’t you three gang up on her too much.
Congratulations you two. Can’t hardly wait to see you. I will let the primary school all know.
Love and kisses, Claudia

On 08 January 2003 (08:34 AM),
Dan Davis said:

Congratulations! My sons birthday was the day before!

On 08 January 2003 (08:35 AM),
Linda said:

Congratulations! Welcome Diego. What a beautiful baby boy. So happy for you and your family. Kim, you still have the glow and look great, Sabino, what a proud Dad. God bless you all. Thanks for the photos. See you soon. (If there’s anything we can do, please call) Love ya, Linda

On 08 January 2003 (08:39 AM),
Leah Feller (Sanders) said:

Conrats Kim and Sabino. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your beautiful family.

On 08 January 2003 (08:48 AM),
Lori Lawrence said:

Congratulations on a BEAUTIFUL new little one. I’m sure he will be one of those babies that sleeps through the night by 6 weeks, no? 🙂 Give him an extra snuggle and kiss from me, will you please.


Lori Lawrence

On 08 January 2003 (09:08 AM),
Cathy Flachsbart said:

Kim and Sabino- Congratulations! What fun boys are! Thanks for sharing the good news and the wonderful pictures. He is beautiful. Cathy

On 08 January 2003 (09:20 AM),
Dan said:

Way to go Diego! He must have been in a hurry to join such a great family. Kim and Sabino, have fun on your 12 weeks of maternity leave!

Big Gringo

On 08 January 2003 (10:18 AM),
Kathy Kenyon said:

Congratulations and best wishes. He’s adorable.

Have great fun with two boys.


On 08 January 2003 (10:31 AM),
Grandpa & NanaGrandma said:

We have just met you at the nursery show in Baltimore via internet! Thanks to JD! I have told approximately 100 people here in MD that I am a new Grandma!!! They can tell my ear to ear grin. We are coming home in a couple hours. Can harldy wait to hold you and yes Antonio I have some Thomas books to read to you while while I am holding Diego. Love, Nana Grandma

On 08 January 2003 (12:17 PM),
Alice said:

Congratulations! He is beautiful! Have fun with your two little guys!

Alice Dudon

On 08 January 2003 (12:51 PM),
Karin said:

Congrats Kim and Sabino! Glad to hear everyone is doing well. 17 days early and 5 minutes of pushing! We won’t even compare stories because you definitely win! 🙂 Thanks for the email note so I could check out the pictures. Maybe one of these days we can get Jonathan, Diego and Alexis together for a party. Who would have thought we’d all have kids less than 2 weeks apart?!
Love to all, Karin

On 08 January 2003 (01:54 PM),
Matthew Wilding said:

Felicidades! Welcome to the 2 boys club. Three months into it we are loving it. Hope you are all well and that you are able to squeeze in a bit of rest here and there.


On 08 January 2003 (05:56 PM),
Stacy, Tracy, Taylor and Drew said:

Great pics! What a beautiful family. God chose such a wonderful home for Diego! We are so happy for you. We will miss you ALL this weekend… it too late to reschedule so you can come? 🙂 Much love! Tracy, Stacy, Taylor and Drew

On 08 January 2003 (07:17 PM),
Ken Perinchhief said:

How wonderful for you to have two boys, the second of which was born on MY 68th BIRTHDAY!
Congratulations to the parents, best wishes for a healthy and properous life by whatever measuring tool he wishes to use. He and Mom and Dad take flattering pictures — something he cannot count on 68 years from now!
Read to them early and often — their very best gift from you, except for hugs and love.

Ken Perinchief

On 09 January 2003 (09:42 AM),
Norcom Bunch said:

Congratulations!! Diego looks healthy, and he was obviously excited to see the world. We wish you all the best. Get lots of rest and we look forward to seeing Diego at the office soon.

On 09 January 2003 (09:49 AM),
Shaun, Keeli, Carson and Griffin said:

The pictures look great! Everyone is smiling, healthy, happy….and you should be. Congratulations!!! By the way, Sabino, you look like the birthing thing was noooo problem. I’ve got a hot coffee waiting for you when you get back to work.

On 09 January 2003 (12:32 PM),
Cindie Brack said:

Congratulations! Diego is awesome! The second one is easier. Enjoy! Love Cindie

On 09 January 2003 (12:57 PM),
Dayna & Michael Rich said:

Kim & Sabino,
Congratulations, He is beautiful. We look forward to watching what wonderful things God has planned for him and you. You are in our prayers.
May God Bless you family

On 09 January 2003 (01:32 PM),
Michelle Harrington said:

Congratulations Kim. 2 boys, I know how wonderful that is. Diego is beautiful. Take care of yourself.
Michelle Harrington

On 10 January 2003 (10:45 AM),
Mark Metzler Sawin said:

Hey ‘Bino & Kim,

Congrats! It’s great to see your family — you all seem happy and well. Take care and remeber Sabino, that Pat and I are still willing to support you for a Presidential run. You’ll soon be 35 so I’m expecting big things from you in 2008.


On 11 January 2003 (11:43 AM),
Hearth Classics Crew said:

Congratulations from everyone at Hearth Classics on the new addition!!! Two beautiful boys! More really is merrier.
Best wishes for sufficent sleep, patience and diapers. We would include wishes for lots of love, but we can see al the love that shows in the pictures.
A beautiful family!

The crew at Hearth Classics.

On 11 January 2003 (01:42 PM),
jennifer lyn gingerich (the OTHER jennifer…) said:

pretty cool!! congratulations and may you be filled with love and joy, and lots of support. 🙂 wish i could be there to see Diego in person.

On 13 January 2003 (09:17 AM),
Randy & Seanette Smith said:

Congratulations!!! May God bless your new addition :0). Randy, Seanette, Alex & Brock Smith

On 13 January 2003 (06:48 PM),
Tonya Harmelink said:

Congratulations on your new addition. Kristin sent me the update on your family. Best wishes as you become a family of four. Great pictures!

On 15 January 2003 (07:20 PM),
Carolyn Jackson said:

Kim and Sabino,

Wow! Diego sure knows how to announce his arrival, congratulations! Cudos to the photographer on the opening shot, it’s a great one. You all look fabulous. Kim, you’re just amazing, 5 minutes of pushing, you do win!

On 16 January 2003 (01:44 PM),
jewell said:

Beautiful. I’ll try and come for a visit next week. We had a good time at the beach, but missed you. Love, Jewell

On 17 January 2003 (07:53 AM),
Jana Petersen said:

Hey Congrats, I hear you’ve already adapted to having a new little one around. I enjoyed the pictures and the run down on the special event. Enjoy every moment while their young!!! I know you will! Can’t wait to meet the little guy.

On 20 January 2003 (05:46 AM),
Michelle Miller said:

Kristin also sent me the site to get a look at the new addition to your family. Congratulations!

Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom

When I was a child my family did not own a television. For this I cannot thank my parents enough. (The destructiveness of television is a topic for another weblog entry.) At the time, though, we kids felt cruelly deprived of our right to watch Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, Wide World of Sports, and Saturday morning cartoons.

Many Saturdays we’d bike the half mile to Kurt Gunderson’s house where we’d sprawl on the orange shag carpet in the living room, where we’d eat sugared cereals (another right of which we were unjustly deprived by evil parents) and laugh at the adventures of Bugs Bunny and Road Runner, or puzzle at the completely foreign world of Fat Albert and his gang. (We were white kids raised in rural Oregon; what did we know of impoverished black kids in New York?)

Our babysitters had it easy: they simply had to bring along a portable 9″ black-and-white set and we were tamed from wild maniacs to sedate zombies, staring blankly at the screen. With us so easily subdued, the sitter was free to gab on the phone for hours at a time or to invite a friend (sometimes a boyfriend) for a visit.

Family vacations were a treat; the hotels rooms always had televisions. Mom and Dad would try to convince us to go to sleep, but it was useless if there was anything good on TV. And by good I mean: a war movie, a science fiction program, Happy Days, The Six Million Dollar Man, or The Bionic Woman. (ch – ch – ch – ch – ch – ch Look at my bionic jump!)

I remember loving two shows as a child: The Wonderful World of Disney and Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom (with Marlon Perkins).

I only saw a handful of Wild Kingdom episodes, but the show left its mark. The locales were exotic, the animals fantastic. I could not get enough. Marlon Perkins, despite his age, lived a thrilling life, meeting wild and fantastic animals up close, daring danger without a thought. He was a heroic figure to an eight-year-old.

There are those of us who believe that animals are far more intelligent than most people credit them. Kris and I like to find new studies and new anecdotes that support this belief. Yesterday she pointed me to this article on orangutan culture.

(The article refers to a study published today in the journal Science. The study can be found here, but requires free registration. The study was conducted, at least in part, by a member of Orangutan Foundation International.)

I believe that if you have never had a close personal relationship with an animal, have never witnessed an animal exhibit profoundly intelligent behavior, then this says more about your intelligence than the intelligence of animals.

One of my favorite animal photographs:

[Koko cradles the kitten, All Ball]

Koko and All Ball

And another (a repeat):

[A baboon checks a cat for fleas]

Assorted animal intelligence links:

While composing this entry that I realized that Toto, my cat, has exactly the same personality as Gandalf, the parakeet I had when I was twelve.

This cat clock is pretty cool. It’s even cooler than you think. Look closely at the cat’s paws. [via Very Big Blog]

There are weblog awards? Somebody ought to do a study on they psychological motivation to give awards for anything and everything!


On 03 January 2003 (11:01 AM),
J.D. said:

Well, I did it: the orangutan culture link has become my first front-page post to Metafilter. I can’t believe I’m so nervous about it…

On 03 January 2003 (11:39 AM),
jeff said:

Speed Racer was one of my favorite cartoons that we never got to watch.

On 03 January 2003 (02:15 PM),
Dana said:

Although we had a TV, it was black and white till I was about 6, and it was in the UP of Michigan, where we really only got about 2 stations (plus a UHF one), till I was 9.

My neighbors had cable, and they all got Speed Racer. I think I saw about three episodes of it when I was growing up, and it seemed awfully neat.

What I did get, however, were Battle of the Planets (with G-Force and the rather R2-D2-esque 7-Zark-7) and Thunderbirds are Go!(in Super-Marionation!), both on the aforementioned UHF channel.

Are there still any low-budget UHF stations broadcasting weird syndicated programming?

On 07 February 2003 (07:45 PM),
Ryan Reynolds said:

I had a parakeet with a vocabulary of over 800 words and I began a website where I was posting his audio recordings. The more I posted and listend to them, the more I found him starting to talk in context. As a result he ended up being able to converse on almost any topic. You can hear some of the incredible recordings on his site. Hope to see you there.

On 20 August 2003 (08:05 AM),
diane said:

I wish more shows like this were available for this generation to see.