Category Archives: family

Amusing things said at bedtime

Marleigh: Daddy – how do you think you’re going to die?

Me: Uhhhhhhhh – of old age I hope

Marleigh: How old?

Me: About 112 – how do you think I’m going to die

Marleigh: You’ll probably be killed by a monster who hates us, but my love will bring you back (and makes hand gestures indicating casting of spells)


I’m not sure who still reads this at this point, but I did ask the lovely Staci Smith to marry me this evening, and she said yes.

For you detail people, we have not set a date yet, nor a place.

And chicks sure do like shiny things…

The in-laws crack the mainstream media!

Actually it’s my brother’s in-laws, but anyway, they were recently recognized by the Atlanta Journal Constitution

Cobb couple showing soldiers they care

Mary and Ed Ettel spend most weekends in their basement creating care packages for troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and Kosovo/Serbia. In 16 months, they have mailed 376 boxes weighing 5,723 pounds and helping 6,365 service members.

The east Cobb couple and about a dozen volunteers packed 16 boxes Saturday with snacks and hygiene items. During summer mailings, they add baby wipes, salty snacks and water bottles. They also put in Beanie Babies, candy and sometimes soccer balls for soldiers to give to the children they meet.

The Ettels get requests for items through a program called Soldiers post items they need on the Web site and volunteers kick into action.

How cool!

IQ and birth order

An interesting story on IQ and birth order appeared in the New York Times recently. It makes sense, and jibes with my experience. Money grafs:

The average difference in I.Q. was slight — three points higher in the eldest child than in the closest sibling — but significant, the researchers said. And they said the results made it clear that it was due to family dynamics, not to biological factors like prenatal environment.

“Like Darwin’s finches, they are eking out alternative ways of deriving the maximum benefit out of the environment, and not directly competing for the same resources as the eldest,” Dr. Sulloway said. “They are developing diverse interests and expertise that the I.Q. tests do not measure.”

This kind of experimentation might explain evidence that younger siblings often live more adventurous lives than their older brother or sister. They are more likely to participate in dangerous sports than eldest children, and more likely to travel to exotic places, studies find. They tend to be less conventional than firstborns, and some of the most provocative and influential figures in science spent their childhoods in the shadow of an older brother or sister (or two or three or four).

Interesting stuff. The older sibling is the best situated to take advantage of the existing structure, so they take advantage of that, and the younger sibling is shielded from the consequences of risk taking, so they consume more of it.