27 May 2008


For the past week the wife and I have been performing heroic transformations upon both the front and back gardens at the ole familial manse. Normally, as you may know dear reader, this is not the kind of activity I would involve myself in, as I fear bugs, grass, dirt, being sticky, being dirty, and touching things in general. But, as this will soon be the Aquababy's home it seems important to make it special for her.

This is the part of the post where I was intending to detail the aforementioned transformations, but seeing that I am once again exhausted from an afternoon of ripping up sod to produce serpentine tulip beds, and I feel the inescapable grip of sleep surrounding me, I shall leave you with this image of the Swiss Chard** that was planted in the vegetable garden.

**I hope you are as impressed as I was by the fact that Swiss Chard has remarkably multicolored roots.


23 May 2008


Thor called.

Thor said my heart is fine.

Thor was reassuring.

It was 6:30 on a Friday when Thor called.

That was nice of Thor.

I like Thor.

[Now I just have to go back to the other doctor and start all over again.]

But, nevertheless, I like Thor.


22 May 2008


Today I am strapped to a device; this device:

It is an odd device. In fact mine has ten electrodes rather than the pictured three or four. I could offer you a picture of my particular model, but I am far too fond of these moderately creepy illustrations to replace them for the sake of accuracy.

Any way, I am going about for the next twenty-four hours strapped -- as I said -- to this device, though I suppose, strictly speaking, it is strapped to me. It's in a right handy little fanny-pack at the moment with its myriad tentacles wending their way up my torso.

Thor gave me this device -- or rather, ordered it to be put upon me, and when Thor makes an order one does not ignore it.

But do not get too worried, dear reader, the device is to rule something out that seems right near to ruled-out-ness.

At the moment I am a bit of an anomaly, or perhaps an enigma. I have an unknown something, an obscure condition perhaps, an unexpected reaction, a hidden something-or-another, a certain thing that is not quite proper, but that likes to play hide and seek with every test run so for.

[Pause for brief tirade: The American medical system has seemingly become largely dependent upon the concept that it is all in the patient's head; that and the concept that if the patient is not, indeed, dying right before their very eyes it can't be so bad. Hmmph!]

I haven't mentioned this before, dear reader, because I was not quite sure if it was appropriate for this forum, and because I would much rather celebrate the dear Aquababy and her impending emergence, but I am realizing that I do rather need to vent, at times, my frustration over the snail's pace that diagnosis seems to be traveling.

Thus, since this is my blog, after all, I shall do what I want -- I hope you do not mind. So, once in a while, a shall pass a few hours of waiting with you, dear reader, as I go from waiting room to waiting room.


21 May 2008


In 1202 good Leonardo of Pisa introduced these numbers to us [well, not us per se, as we would now be inordinately old] in his Liber Abaci. Some eight hundred and six years later I shall introduce them to the Aquababy -- or at least design the book that will do so.

Thus, the first page of Some Sums, the third of the Aquababy's books:


19 May 2008


    Today I met Thor.

    Not the Thor, but a Thor.

    Thor asked questions.

    Thor wrote notes.

    Thor was reassuring.

  Hence Thor was confusing.

All in all, I liked Thor.


17 May 2008


I don't normally shill for other people, but I beg your indulgence, dear reader, for a couple of media moments over this past week have brought me great joy, have fostered a modicum of respect for the media itself -- or at least a couple of its practitioners.

First up is Keith Olbermann. For this rant I must give unto him mad props. Partially for the content; it is a righteous demand for words to mean what they mean, an enraged plea for the word sacrifice to be given it just due rather than be reduced -- like so many other words -- to a facile meaninglessness. But further, I must bow my head to his superior ranting skills. I have always considered myself a top-tier producer of outraged diatribes, but this, dear reader, puts me to shame. Thus, I doff my cap...

And secondly there is this moment on Hardball. Little need be said about it; Chris Matthews finally just reaches his limit and demands that the word "appeasement" be used properly. While Matthews undoubtedly leans Democrat, I actually believe he had just had enough -- pardon that cliché -- and just had to stand up for -- and that cliché -- linguistic decency. The fact that the recipient of Matthews' tongue-lashing was a right-wing wack-job is just the icing on the cake.

This linguistic decency -- pardon the repetition -- seems to be a recurring motif as of late, not just here on the blog, but in the larger realm of 4IOE. Perhaps I must think more specifically about this.

Oh... On a lighter note, I have determined the title of the next book I shall design for the Aquababy -- as I continue working on "Some Rather Long Words Every Child Should Know." The next one shall be called "Some Sums," so if you have any particular sums that you have particularly liked, I am open to suggestions. I have always loved the fact that every number divisible by nine ultimately adds up to nine [i.e. 1953: 1+9+5+3=18; 1+8=9 1953/9=217]. Or perhaps I shall do the entire book by playing with the Fibonacci sequence -- undoubtedly, at the very least, it will be involved somehow. And, seeing that I love numbers -- as well as the letters and words I have been making for the wee one thus far -- it seems only appropriate that she get a book of sums.


15 May 2008


This has, at times, been a common theme here at 4IOE, but perhaps for good reason: the world scares me, and not just for the big reasons, the ones you might expect. You know, the president, West Virginia, Lori Drew, etc., etc... But today it is for a much simpler reason [you see, I am easing my way back into writerly activity, thus I shall start off gently]. This afternoon, as I was deleting past images from the ol' camera, I ran across this classic, one I had forgotten I had even taken:

I know I should be accustomed to this by now, the endless capacity of the human brain to produce monstrous ideas, to reach into the wonder that is language and pervert it so horribly, to again and again produce such affronts to my intelligence, but I am not.

Now, you may say that I am too easily frightened, too quick to be outraged, and you may be right, but I think not. Standards must be upheld, quality assured, civilization preserved. You, dear reader, may think that I am overreacting, that surely something as innocuous as the Prints Charles Photo Studio cannot cause us, those who abide by basic standards of decency, any harm, but you would be wrong. It is a slippery slope, dear reader, one that starts with a simple pun, but that ends, inevitably, with the appreciation of the poetry – and I use that term loosely – of Charles Osgood.

Think of it, and I mean think carefully. Imagine your son or your daughter sitting beneath a dogwood tree on a beautiful spring afternoon wrapped up in the linguistic horrors of Mr. Osgood. Imagine the shame, the horror, the familial disgrace. I am not outraged on my own behalf; I can withstand the terrors of the world. I am concerned for the young children of the world who are not yet safely insulated from such attacks. I am thinking of the wee Aquababy for, after all, isn't it about the children?

Thus I beseech you, dear reader, to boycott these abuses, to turn away from such reckless signage, to reject and denounce the perpetrators of such production, and, of course, to send along any examples you might find; I am always on the lookout for more signage.


14 May 2008


Well, dear reader, at the suggestion of one of the dearest of readers I have finally opened my own Etsy account: first up, the limited edition prints of Some Rather Long Words Every Child Should Know.


Perhaps I shall start writing again for a while; I am feeling a bit of a design slow-down coming on.

Oh, and the Aquababy is now thirty and a half weeks old. It is beginning to get extraordinarily exciting!!!

Hmmm... perhaps I should go have a snack.

I am a bit rambly and scattered today; I will wrtie something of value -- perhaps -- tomorrow.


13 May 2008



09 May 2008


*Poetic output provided by E.A.Poe


01 May 2008