One Feisty Blog

Background pictures courtesy of Laila

Friday, November 10, 2006

Happy Birthday (on Sunday), Dear Ty! Happy Birthday to you!

I'm sure no one who knows Ty will think I'm exaggerating when I say that the world has been a better place because of his presence these last 30 years. He's just an all-around good guy, that brother of mine.

I could easily write a Top 800 list of why Ty is the best brother ever in the history of siblings. But I'll try to keep it to the traditional Top 8. Just know I'm leaving out at least 792 reasons.

1.) He is kind to animals, children, and old people. Even when they don't deserve it.

2.) He hates lying and is incapable of being untruthful. But he's kind when he tells you the truth.

3.) He's passionate about things that we really need people to be passionate about, like loving the Lord, learning new things, doing what's right, and having integrity. Oh, and dead languages and Sci-Fi nerdy stuff.

4.) He bakes blue-ribbon winning pumpkin pies. With REAL whipped cream.

5.) He is generous with his time, his talents, his wisdom, and his love. Which means he hasn't finished his thesis yet, but he sure has helped a lot of people.

6.) He hates onions even more than I do, and therefore never subjects me to the nasty things when he cooks dinner every night. Oh, and did I mention that he cooks a yummy dinner for Steve and me pretty much every night. (That's right, we have our own personal chef. And chauffeur, butler, carpenter, electrician, computer technician, housekeeper, errand boy, counselor, and tutor--to name a few. And he works for room and board. Don't you wish you were us?)

7.) He has an over-active sense of justice. If he was ever granted three wishes, I'm betting one of them would be to rid the world of bullies. That's an admirable goal, right there.

8.) All of those things (and the 792 I didn't mention), and the fact that he's still a kid at heart, mean he's going to be the best uncle a little guy ever had. TANK doesn't even know how lucky he is.

Have a happy birthday, Boy. And many more.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


At the second of the two baby showers thrown for me and TANK last week, I got the most curious gift. Actually, the gift itself was pretty normal: a standard-issue rattle with little animals on the front. It was the packaging that caught my attention...

At the top of the back of the package, there was a paragraph that said something to the effect of:

Babies love rattles! Studies have shown that rattles are good for babies' hand-eye coordination. Rattles are important to a baby's development. Your baby will have hours of fun with this rattle!

Okay. Good to know. Maybe a little more enthusiasm than strictly necessary, but okay. There are a lot of baby products out there, so you can't blame this company for doing everything they can to generate interest in their otherwise unremarkable rattle.

Here's the thing that really got me: this enthusiastic little paragraph was deemed so vital that it was reprinted in FIVE MORE LANGUAGES! Yes, I had the pleasure of reading how entertaining and important this little rattle is in English, French, Spanish, German, and Italian. I didn't read the Dutch version because I don't read Dutch.

What really caught my eye was the fact that the washing instructions and any safety warnings were only printed in English. The only part they bothered to translate was the "rattles are great" portion of the text. It seems to me that if they're going to go to the effort to translate this information into a grand total of six (count them, SIX!) languages, the least they could do would be to include the pertinent stuff along with the "rah-rah-yay-rattles" stuff.

The whole translation effort just seems like overkill to me. Most expectant mothers, regardless of their native language, know the basics of rattles. If they're smart enough to figure out that they're pregnant, they're smart enough to figure out a rattle.