Category Archives: Family

Another registered Democrat

Yesterday, Yingwen finally completed her long and arduous journey towards U.S. Citizenship by taking the oath at the Nob Hill Masonic Center in San Francisco. There was a very large crowd there, around 1,300 in all getting processed, plus families. She is very happy to have completed this process – it was a lot of hard work and very frustrating at times. So, a big congratulations is in order for Yingwen!

Yingwen registered herself to vote that evening. We’ve got another registered Democrat in the house! Yea! She’s looking forward to the next election…

Our hideous experience with the INS

And now that Yingwen’s citizenship process is behind us, let me just say that the INS, which I guess is now a department under the new oxymoronically-named Department of Homeland Security, is the most inefficient, poorly-run, and spiteful organization in our government today. There are a lot of mean-spirited angry redneck assholes that we dealt with in there. We were treated with disrespect and humiliation almost every step of the way. It took a complaint to my Congress rep to get them to finally process her green card. To think, my taxes paid for this abuse. Jeez, If I wanted to pay someone to abuse me, I could have just hired myself a dominatrix!

I watched one guy come out and verbally abuse, chastise, and humiliate this poor old Russian woman, right there in the waiting room in front of everyone, before Yingwen’s final interview. I didn’t catch his name, but he had a blond mustache, and a middle-aged head of blondish bad hair, a grey-but-yellowing suit that probably was in bad taste about two or three sizes ago, and it looked like he was hitting the doughnuts pretty hard. Anyway, he kept screaming at this old lady who was desperately trying to explain something with her poor broken english. Humiliated the piss out of her right there in public. He would not allow her daughter to translate for her, even though her daughter was standing right there, and kept interrupting both of them during the discourse. It seemed to me that this guy could have just politely explained the situation at hand, whatever it was, and then moved forward with the issue. But clearly this guy was out for blood from the outset. He wanted to make her cry, her daughter cry, and everyone else in the waiting room cower with fear. It worked. They cried, people ducked, and he proved himself to be a big giant prick, while I took notes on my Treo. This is clearly no way for a public servant to behave.

Give me your tired, your poor; your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.Ω I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

Emma Lazarus – 1883
Inscription at Statue of Liberty

Potty Training

So we have been potty training max now for a few months. He’s basically got it down now to where he only has to wear the diaper at night, and he seems to have picked up a few more skills in the process.

Max is 2 years and 4 months old. I just witnessed the following: After he was finished, he got up on the sink, turned on the sink, washed his hands thoroughly, including soap, rinsed, got down and dried his hands with a towel, and then turned off the light on his way out.

Good hygiene and energy conservation.. not bad! It’s amazing to think that not too long ago his only five skills were eat, scream, giggle, stare into space, and shit. And now he’s getting all sophisticated, doing things in the proper order, and making intellectual decisions. What they say is true – kids do grow up quickly.

Max’s iTunes Hypnosis

Max and iTunesThis kid… ever since he first saw the iTunes visualizer at maybe 6 or 7 months, he has been totally mesmerized by it. He loves the damn thing. I was just now letting it run on full screen while listening to some of my new tracks from the iTunes Store and he climbed up into my lap and just sat there, staring again. Still the same effect, at 2 years and about 4 months of age. When he was still an infant, I’d sometimes just park my PowerBook in front of him and he would be entertained for a good half hour or more. Sometimes he would kick and wiggle like he was dancing, while other times he’d just sit there and stare at it like he was in a trance.

It’s really interesting to see his association with visual motion and musical sounds in this way. It is an unique reaction for him – nothing really holds his attention quite as well, except for maybe Monsters, Inc. or Toy Story. But you can see the expression on his face when he listens to the music and sees the visualizer at the same time. You can tell he is studying it closely, soaking it in, listening and seeing the music at the same time, assembling something inside his little brain. I suspect there is something important going on here that has to do with child development, education, and musical training. At the very least, he is paying attention to some good classical and jazz music. And perhaps it is a good way to progress his intellectual development in other ways, too.