Jethro’s Story Writing Process

December 20, 2011 - 2 Responses

Jethro is starting to tell stories. The other day he was typing away semi-randomly at the computer and speaking in quite a structured fashion, mimicking the tempo of spoken word I produce while reading him bedtime stories.

It suddenly occurred to me that I should be recording this. He had about three stories in total. I managed to turn the last story into structured ones and zeroes.

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Bo’ness has trains and we visited them

October 6, 2011 - Leave a Response

My parents are out to Scotland for some child and grandchild visitation.

While Angie was off in London, bringing home the vegetables (we don’t eat bacon), we travelled to Bo’ness to see the train museum. Not because we had got Angie out of the way, but because my parents hired a car and so it was easier to get there.

Click for the rest of the album

Click the link for the rest of the photos of the visit to the museum

Jethro rather loved it.

Painting the Piggy Bank

September 3, 2011 - Leave a Response

Why are all banks not as colourful as in Jethro’s vision?

Colourfully painted piggy bank

To see Jethro in action while creating his investment masterpiece, follow this link.

And the winner is…

August 25, 2011 - Leave a Response

Jethro’s favourite of the finalists is the psychedelic one, which he titles “Lotsa Different Colours”

Lotsa Different Colours

Lotsa Different Colours

I’ll be submitting the entry shortly, and it should show up on the Tux Paint Kids Summer Drawing Contest page soon, with the entries from other contestants.

Competition Submission Votes Tallied

August 24, 2011 - Leave a Response

The votes from various sources for the digital painting competition entry have been added up.

It’s a tie! Just like in a corny made-for-TV movie.

The finalists are…

The one with a lot of pink

The one with a lot of psychodelics

I shall ask Jethro which of these two he likes the best, and that will be the entry.

Thanks to everyone who helped with the decision.

Jethro Critiques the Fashion Industry

August 13, 2011 - Leave a Response

Fashion. Media. Advertising.It permeates everything. Tells you what to think and what to do.

I’m teaching my son to strike back at conventional notions of beauty from an early age.

Kate Winslet as you have never seen her before.

I tore out the bits and pieces for the collage, but Jethro chose them and pasted them where he pleased (with a few parental suggestions). I’m rather pleased with the result.

Digital Artwork by Jethro

August 11, 2011 - 7 Responses

Because I am a Linux and opensource software nut, and because I have a young child, I know about Tux Paint.

Even if you are not a geek, but you do have a young child, it is worthwhile discovering Tux Paint. Go download it now. It works on all the usual operating systems.

Jethro is starting to get the hang of it now. What follows is a collection of his efforts. I just let him do everything himself — no parental guidance or coaxing.

There is also a competition. Tell me which of the masterpieces I should submit as an entry.

Our Dynamic Jethro turns three! Two months ago…

July 19, 2011 - Leave a Response

I imagine that it has been remiss of me as a father to publish a blog about fatherhood and my son, without marking the passing of my son’s third birthday.

I didn’t forget it was his birthday, I just didn’t write anything about it.

We considered taking him to the reknowned Edinburgh Zoo, but it was a miserable rainy day, and walking about looking at soggy animals would not improve matters. Instead we decided to visit Our Dynamic Earth.

Our Dynamic Earth is a museum, but it’s also an interactive show. The website describes it as the “Mother Earth of all adventures,” but the website doesn’t really do the place justice. It is quite an incredible experience.

Or rather, it is designed to be an extraordinary experience, but the design-team didn’t really consider carefully what a three-year-old might think of certain bits of it.

Near the beginning of the journey through the place, we entered a “time machine” that took us back to the beginning of time to witness the Big Bang. We stepped out of the time machine onto the deck of a space ship and watched as matter coalesced, stars and galaxies were formed, and I’m not sure what else because Jethro totally freaked out.

“No no want to go to space!”

We were forced to take the emergency evacuation route into the Precambrian Period, where the gently bubbling primordial soup was much more to Jethro’s liking.

You see, if you put a kid who is three into an environment that looks convincingly like a spaceship bridge, play loud convincing spaceshippy sound effects, and darken the room and flash lights convincingly, you can convince a three year old that all that stuff is real. You can probably do it with much less effort. Three-year-olds will believe anything.

Now, if you had just stepped into what seemed like an elevator (something you are quite familiar with), and suddenly found yourself in deep space at the beginning of time, wouldn’t you freak out? Damn right you would.

As a result of this initial rattling, Jethro was wary of any display that had potential to be overwhelmingly immersive. That was a lot of the place. It is a really awesome place. It is immersive. It immerses you in the wonders of the natural world. It uses unique environments and multimedia effects.

At least, this is how it appeared to me as we gave each dramatic exhibition a wide berth.

Jethro greatly enjoyed the exhibits that posed no noisy or flashing threats. He loved the bubbling mud, the seismometer measuring his own stomping-induced earthquakes, jungle wildlife and full-scale dinosaurs.

We will be going back, but I think I’ll wait until Jethro is at least eight to make sure I don’t miss half the show.

Portrait at Ocean Terminal in Edinburgh

May 26, 2011 - Leave a Response

Jethro refused to go an look at the massive ship outside, but at least I did get this photo.

Jethro is Breaking News

May 25, 2011 - Leave a Response

Jethro cracked a nod in the local paper by virtue of entering the Easter Egg competition at his playgroup. A competition we sub-standard parents failed to provide an egg for. This might go some distance to explaining why Imogen, and not Jethro, won the competition.

Here is the clipping for the Linlithgow Gazette:

Jethro located 3rd from the left