While taking various pictures around our house (of mom, dad, sister, trains, the wall, the carpet, etc.), Max (now 4 years, 2 months old) made these lovely, abstract color photos. At first, it was clearly unintentional, but then as we (and consequently he) recognized how beautiful they were, he started doing it on purpose.

Max's abstract photos.

I'm not sure exactly how he does it...something to do with getting very close to the subject, turning the flash on, and partially obscuring the lens with his finger or some other object. I've tried to replicate the effect, but so far he's the only one the seems to be able to make these images consistently.
Summer family fun photos.
She's been toddling short distances between various pieces of furniture for a few weeks now, but as of yesterday I think we can say that Esmé has officially started walking! (video link)

William Gibson's writing style makes every aspect of human experience a celebration of detail, nerve endings, critical thought, and trenchant observation. In his work, the gamut of emotional and physical states are treated with the profuse curiosity they deserve.

When I am reading Gibson's books I am more aware of the muscles in my body as I walk, more aware of the trappings and activities of those around me, more aware of the haphazard arrangement of debris in the curbs of the street, more aware of the invisible transmissions constantly surrounding us.

This feeling--the feeling of being overjoyed and overwhelmed with the details manifest in any imaginable activity (and non-activity)--is incredibly invigorating. It's something that I try to hang on to long after completing his books, but it inevitably fades a little.
Typically I have a strong dislike for bumper-stickers; even more so than "clever" t-shirts. However, today I spotted one that made me laugh (affixed, among a field of others, to what I think was a rusted-out light blue 1982 Toyota Corolla), and it stuck in my head:

Take one day at a time...unless they all attack at once.

Living in the moment isn't as easy as it sounds.
Fun: Roller coasters, rolling in wet sand on the beach, trashing the hotel room, Dance Dance Revolution, and then...Train-O-Rama!

Fun with trains and sand and roller-coasters.

Scraping vs. ‘Plunking’

Having finally come to a point in my life where I feel that I have control (and am relatively happy with the state of) my finances, some useful monetary analogies have grown up within my head. One of these is as follows:

Imagine a big soup pot. This is your potential net worth. Now picture a steady but slow stream (or drip drip drip, if you prefer) of thick, translucent red liquid pouring into the container from above. This is money--your income. To pay your expenses, you must dip a ladle down into the container and take some of the liquid out. If you have a net worth close to zero, you can imagine the sound of the ladle scraping bottom as you try to scoop up enough to pay for this month’s expenses. If you have a larger net worth, you can imagine the nice ‘plunk’ sound as the ladle goes deep into the plentiful liquid to easily pull out as much as is necessary.

There are many little images you can create from this analogy:
  • If you don’t have a budget, your soup pot has holes in the bottom of it
  • If you are deep in debt, you don’t even have a soup pot (you’re filling someone else’s)
  • If you avoid using the liquid faster than it drips in, soon you’ll have a nice deep pool
  • Find ways to make the liquid flow into the pot faster
  • From time to time, someone suddenly pours in a cup full (these are windfalls)
  • As your soup pot fills up, you are entitled to larger and larger pots (and consequently a larger ladle--the reward for your patience and discipline)
Probably the most important ‘lesson’ to be gleaned from the analogy is this: When you dip the ladle in to take what’s needed, there should be so much in the soup pot that you won’t be able to tell the difference before and after. That is, do not buy things unless you can afford them many, many times over. Do not scrape; ‘plunk’ instead.