28 March 2015

Hungry for Talking

Lots to say, but first how about a quiet moment of anticipation with Franklin and Beckham:
Checking out the big boys
Watching West Seattle High School baseball practice. (Thanks to B's mom for the great photo!)

Meanwhile, just a little recap. Franklin likes my Plato mug (best gift from a student ever!), and the other day asked about Plato's books.
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I started reading the beginning of the Republic. He was surprisingly patient (and kept asking for more), and asked some great questions, like what is wealth, and eventually "what does justice mean"?

Maybe my favorite though was when he didn't understand what Socrates meant when he said he had an appetite for conversation. I tried explaining that it meant something like being hungry for conversation, which Franklin found hilarious—kept repeating the phrase and giggling all morning :)

And as for hungry, how about these nascent chopsticks skills!


Oh but speaking of Plato, less giggly scene at the International Plato Society meeting in Atlanta. Great experience though.

I have been working on book 10 of Plato's Laws lately, and gave a paper about that. I won't go into the details now (but maybe I'll post the handout at some point...), but I do want to share one of my favorite quotes, which mostly made it into my paper.

Laws 10 is all about what to do with troublesome atheists, deists, and folks who believe gods can be bribed or bought off. Anyway, there's a great bit in response to the idea that gods don't care about us:

ὧν ἓν καὶ τὸ σόν, ὦ σχέτλιε, μόριον εἰς τὸ πᾶν συντείνει βλέπον ἀεί, καίπερ πάνσμικρον ὄν, σὲ δὲ λέληθεν περὶ τοῦτο αὐτὸ ὡς γένεσις ἕνεκα ἐκείνου γίγνεται πᾶσα, ὅπως ᾖ τῷ τοῦ παντὸς βίῳ ὑπάρχουσα εὐδαίμων οὐσία, οὐχ ἕνεκα σοῦ γιγνομένη, σὺ δ’ ἕνεκα ἐκείνου

Translation:
Now then, you stubborn fellow, one part of the universe is you—a mere speck that nevertheless constantly contributes to the good of the whole; but you have forgotten that nothing is created except to provide the entire universe with a happy life. You forget that creation is not for your benefit: you exist for the sake of the universe (903c)

Very charming, no? I can't help but also add this bit on the punishment that people like me would face if they ever moved to the city described in the Laws:

Consider first a complete atheist: he may have a naturally just character and be the sort of person who hates scoundrels, and because of his loathing of injustice is not tempted to commit it; he may flee the unjust and feel fondness for the just. Alternatively, besides believing that all things are ‘empty of’ gods, he may be a prey to an uncontrollable urge to experience pleasure and avoid pain, and he may have a retentive memory and be capable of shrewd insights. Both these people suffer from a common failing, atheism, but in terms of the harm they do to others the former is much less dangerous than the latter....

The dissembling atheist deserves to die for his sins not just once or twice but many times, whereas the other kind needs simply admonition combined with incarceration
(908b-e)

I mean, um, that seems fair, right? ;)

What else? Had some fun with the end (alas) of basketball season:


Getting pretty good at the alma mater too:



Thanks for the photo, Wendy!

As of now the big question seems to be, will Franklin ever wear another shirt, and if so, when?

And thanks to Emily for getting me one to wear with him!

Okay, I can't resist one more Plato thing. Just saw this in the latest issue of Phronesis, a leading journal for Ancient Philosophy:
Screenshot 2015-03-27 20.34.11
Check out note 14! Woo!

And if you want to read (or maybe re-read?) Dominick 2010, I've posted it online.

Other big news (bigger than a footnote? maybe...) is my new role as Associate Director (!) of the Seattle U Core Honors program, but maybe I'll wait and say more once I've actually started.

08 March 2015

Franklin Rises

Plenty of fun to keep us busy lately.
Franklin Falls
Before we dive right into to Nana & Papa's visit, here are a few other items:

Adjunct faculty (like me! woo!) across the nation staged a walk-out last week, and reportedly ours was among the biggest in the country. Not bad!

Lots of pictures online, including one set that featured one of me walking with my friend Michael:
Walkout with Michael Ng

Sorry to hear that Leonard Nimoy died, though 83 is pretty solid. But happy that my mom found this great photo from my favorite old halloween costume:
Spock

We took Franklin to a soccer lesson/class/practice at the Hiawatha Community Center:

He seemed pretty into it (other than being super cold running around in shorts), but this week refused to go back, so who knows...

Immediately after, we went to the Seattle Children's Museum to attend a birthday party for one of Franklin's classmates. Didn't get any good pictures of her, but Franklin seemed to enjoy the museum:
Bus Driver

One of the big hits with all the kids was the grocery store:
Groceries!

My favorite part was the register feeling overwhelmed by all the attention:
One Item At A Time!

Okay, not sure where to put these, but here are my two favorite quotes from March 2015:

On a weekday morning, upon coming into our room and getting into our bed: "Dad, stay in bed for five more minutes and then take your shower."

And, seemingly out of nowhere one day: "I'm Cliff Alexander; hold on tight."

Finally, as I said, great visit from Nana & Papa:
Reading with Nana

Fun around town, and also a nice day up near Snoqualmie Pass:
Sunny Snoqualmie Pass

Including a quick hike on the auspiciously named Franklin Falls Trail.

At the falls:


Two miles, a few hundred feet of elevation gained. Not a difficult hike, but I'm proud to report that Franklin walked the whole way!


Well, that's about it. More fun to come. Cheers, reader.

22 February 2015

Did You Ever See?

Cooked a pretty tasty stew today, but it was slower than expected... Thankfully Franklin was there to help keep Emily and Grandma in good spirits while we waited:



Been a busy month otherwise. As you probably know we had a big party last week:
Smile!

Ready to Party















Many many thanks to the excellent folks at the West Seattle YMCA. Such a great job with the party!




What else? Ah, recent trip down to throw some rocks in the water (down by the bay?)...
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And of course this awesome present Franklin got from a daycare classmate:


Okay let's read one last story, and then good night!
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06 February 2015

We Laugh and We Laugh and We Laugh

Lots of carrying on around here lately.
Cat in the Hat in the Carrier
Get it? ;)

And not just at home. Here's a glimpse of singalong at Mt. St. Vincent:


And, let's see, back at home he's been working on his jump-shot:

I'll try to get better video one of these days. Not sure if you can hear it, but when he's off screen, he's saying "I'm Frank Mason." (Emily and I also represent various KU players, but the roster is always changing...)


Meanwhile, highlight of 2015 so far (and honestly, one of my highlights of our nearly eight years in Seattle) was seeing Sherman Alexie at Seattle U this past week:
Sherman Alexie!
One of my book clubs very recently read The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, which is excellent.

Been years since I've seen it, but this great movie is based on one of the stories:

But all that aside, so many excellent, challenging, and hilarious comments. Great experience.

Just the comments about the Seahawks alone were worth the day. He said that even though he knew the conspiracy theories about the end of the Super Bowl weren't true, he approved of them because the myth was better than reality. Especially because Marshawn Lynch refuses to perform and entertain all the white people who think football players—and especially black players—are supposed to act a certain way. Yes.

But as if that weren't enough, he followed it by asserting that given the rates of brain trauma and eventual dementia, when we watch professional football we're watching poor people and black people kill themselves for our entertainment. Yes and yes.

And then of course he said that he watched the Super Bowl, all the while dipping his tortilla chips in medium-hot hypocrisy. Yes and yes and yes.

Meanwhile, so, yeah, we had fun watching the Super Bowl too (at least until that last play):
Paperhawks

Casual Seahawks

Go Hawks!

I even got Emily to wear a Seahawks t-shirt!
Even Emily says "Go Hawks!"

What else? Good times at story time lately:
Story Time

And great food, like this vegetable soup and apple pie, made with apples, pinto beans, kale, carrots, and delicata squash, all from the farmers market:
Fresh Veggie Soup

Pie!

Yes, Pie
Delicious!

You should come over for dinner some time, reader!

Until then, cheers.