Sure enough, having a baby

Sure enough, having a baby changes your priorities. “No kidding,” you say to yourself. “Way to learn life’s weighty lessons, John.” Yes, but listen to this — last week, I located the original Mahnahmahnah song used on the muppet show. Not the version that appears on the Muppets — that’s freaking awesome, but pretty easy to find online — but the actual song that Jim Henson orignally heard. I originally went on a bezerk online research rampage in 1999 to try to find this song, but without any success. Two years later, others succeeded where I failed, and now the CD is available as an import.

It turns out that the song was written by Italian film soundtrack composer Piero Umiliani, and the track “Mah’ Na’ Mah’ Na'” is from a 1968 film entitled “Svezia: Inferno e Paradiso.” Sweden: Heaven and Hell: from the liner notes, it’s one of those 1960s lounge-core titillation-fests, literally and figuratively: “A visit to a den of drug addicts! See what happens inside a lesbian bar!” R-i-i-i-ight, it’s all educational, like the sideshow tents that lured the eager yokels in for purposes of “education only!” I don’t quite think it was a porn film, quite, but who cares. THE SONG is right there, track number 4. Ripping it to iTunes, I was conscious of a giant thrill of…

…well, nothing, really. Hey, I got the song, that’s great! I’ll enjoy listening to it! Um, now I’ll go play with another European import that, it seems, I’m much more excited about. Yeah! Freaking AWESOME! ASS-KICKING NURSERY MOBILE!

Sure enough, having a baby

I spent almost the whole

I spent almost the whole day in the car yesterday, making a business trip to Reston, Virginia. It was my first road trip as an iPod owner; I visited the library last weekend and checked out a couple of audiobooks to rip. “The Mysterious Affair at Styles”, Agatha Christie’s first novel, is a six-CD set, and I was making elaborate plans:


  1. Rip six-CD set to iTunes (50-60 minutes)
  2. Synchronize iTunes with iPod (2 minutes)
  3. Attach iPod to FM transmitter (2 minutes, many cables for non-Apple-designed transmitter.)
  4. Locate unused radio frequency (7 minutes)
  5. Transmit audiobook to car radio using iPod and FM Transmitter (bring fresh batteries for FM transmitter.)

Then, in a blinding flash of insight, I figured out that I could just listen to the damn CDs on the car’s CD player.

I spent almost the whole

Kate and I went


Kate and I went to Longwood Gardens today. Longwood is a colossal set of formal conservatory gardens built by the DuPont family (“Sorry”, read a sign coming in through the main entrance, “the east conservatory is closed for renovation. Enjoy our 16 other indoor conservatories and 20 outdoor gardens.”(!))

All the floors are hollow with steam pipes running through them. There’s a flooded ballroom with a centimeter of water over the marble tiles, and a set of trees reflecting in the shallow pool. It’s warm and there are tens of thousands of flowers, and you can go to the fernery and imagine how the Victorians liked to sit around and get an illicit thrill from all the savage, primitive, uncorseted fauna.

Longwood is packed around the Christmas season, but it wasn’t too bad when we went today. There was a cameraperson from Channel 6 news in the main conservatory; I guess she was there on assignment to get some growing things to use as a counterpoint to the wintry weather outside. When a little girl in a pink overcoat came in with her family, a little media feeding frenzy ensued. The girl looked at the tulips, the mother photographed the girl looking at the tulips, the cameraperson filmed the mother photographing the girl looking at the tulips. And now, of course, I’m blogging about it.




There are more pictures at pbase
, including one I’m very proud of: Kate doing the Red Queen in front of a big DuPont topiary bush.

Kate and I went

Many infant seat manufacturers,

That's kate looking at strollers in the background!
Many infant seat manufacturers, I am delighted to discover, have roots in the aerospace industry. Witness, for example, the “Triumph 5” car seat pictured at right, which clearly has some sort of explosive ejector device in case the toddler needs to make a sudden atmospheric re-entry. Seriously, look at that thing: Ring any bells?

Kate and I are starting to spend more and more time at Babies R Us (that’s Kate examining the infant seats in the background, armed with the Baby Bargains book.) I particularly like the fact that infant seats are now modular: you strap the kid into the armored baby bucket once, then snap them into the base mounted in the car, the base mounted in a stroller frame, etc. My baby’s going to have a convenient, ergonomic carrying handle and an integrated quick-disconnect system? Yes, SIR, sign me up!

There are great pictures on Kate’s blog.

Many infant seat manufacturers,

After the successful conclusion of

After the successful conclusion of an eBay auction last week, I bought myself an iPod*. During a 60-minute hole in my afternoon schedule, I went down to the Apple store on Prince street. Okay, I’m going to make this short, since it contains nothing that hasn’t been said a million times by other bloggers:


  1. Everyone in that store is freakin’ begging for a gigantic wedgie, including:

    • “Omar”, the sharp-jawed white guy with the big ol’ dreadlocks demonstrating the iSight camera with a toothy shit-eating grin on his face.
    • The 34-year-old art director with the black nylon Eisenhower jacket and the messy frosted rocker hair listening to Omar.
    • The 60-year old lady in the expensive car coat asking the salesperson if the model of iPod she’s buying will be obsolete next year.
    • The 24-year-old salesperson who works as a physical trainer telling the lady “Uh, I don’t know, ma’am, they don’t give us that information.”

    I’d like to blow-dry my hair, put on a yellow polo shirt with a standy-uppy collar, burst in through the tall glass doors of the Soho store with a pack of smug, blond jocks and leave all those losers swinging from the coathooks outside the locker room, wide swaths of tidy whities proclaiming their shame.

  2. The iPod is really super-great. Really super-great.

That is all.



*I didn’t want one for Christmas, I hasten to mention, since Tikaro’s readership has almost exactly a 1:1 correspondence with people who buy me Christmas presents.

After the successful conclusion of