Cows with Guns

I awoke at about 5:30AM one August morning in 1994 from a strange dream. Bovine revolutionaries had just taken Omaha in the most significant defeat of the US military since Red Cloud dusted Custer.

You’ve gotta worry about someone who dreams like that, but they say it’s a fine line between genius and insanity. This song and it’s accompanying animation surely lives in the "nut-job" category.

Cows with Guns website


Have you ever wondered why babies are so cute?

I think it’s mostly down to proportions. As an example, when babies are born their eyes and brains are a much larger percentage of their final, adult, size than the rest of their bodies. As a result, nature needs to make a baby’s head much larger in proportion to their bodies than that of an adult.

Here’s a demonstration: lift one of your arms above your head and notice where the fold of your elbow is. I’m guessing it will be slightly above the top of your head. With Lucy, however, do the same thing and the fold of her elbow barely passes the top of her ears.

I imagine that’s probably not the only reason, but when she looks this cute, do we really need to know why?

The Giggle Loop

Despite all the rough play Daddy can sometimes subject her to, Lucy is still a plainly happy little girl who is entertained by the simplest of things. The other night I was sitting giving her a bottle and she looked up at me. I gave her a big smile and she smiled back from behind the bottle. Awwww.

I giggled at how funny this wide smile was when hidden by the teat, which made her chuckle a big, wide chuckle. That made me laugh more. Which made Lucy laugh a proper laugh. Which was funny because she was still sucking on the bottle. So I laughed.

I laughed so hard that it shook Lucy. This made her giggle really loudly with a massive smile on her face, which caused me to laugh some more, and thus we entered a giggle loop.

We went on like this for about five minutes, Lucy and myself both in fits of giggles, each one causing the other to keep going. At the same time, though, Lucy was desperate for a bottle, which meant she was still trying to laugh and put the bottle back in her mouth at the same time. More entertainment.

* The phrase “giggle loop” needs to be credited to Jeff from Coupling.

Beaten By a Baby

Lucy is now at the age where she’s off and crawling herself, padding noisily around the house and climbing up on everything she can get her hands on. It’s great fun to just watch her.

She’s also at the age, though, where she can enjoy “rough” play: i.e. when Daddy is rolling her around on the floor or the furniture, but she’s actually in no danger of any injury. Stuff like:

  1. “Throwing” her onto the sofa: I pick her up and hold her tightly with her back to the sofa and then shouting “boof” as I bump her into the cushions.
  2. Rolling her over from her front to lying on her back: that’s dead easy to do, just make sure her head doesn’t flop about and she’s happy. Bonus points if you follow that up immediately by “chomping” loudly on her tummy. It’s too hard to do flip from back to front though, because there’s a chance her arms get twisted up.
  3. Rolling onto the furniture: again, dead easy. She likes to stand holding onto the sofa with both arms holding onto the seat part for support. Kneel behind and to her left, with my left arm across her front, holding on to her right shoulder. Right hand under her bum and 1…. 2….. 3…. lift! Pick her up and as you do that, roll her right shoulder onto the sofa. Loves it.

But the joy of watching this ability to clamber around also comes a price: Lucy may not get hurt in all of this, but Daddy can.

One of her favourite things to do is crawl over to Daddy and try to stand up. Now the only thing handy to use as a support is Daddy himself, and if Daddy has shorts on, that means Lucy pulls herself upright using my leg-hairs for stability.

Other times when I’ve “taken one for the team”, Burnett-style include:

  1. Thumbs and/or fingers in the eyes (several times).
  2. With me on my back and Lucy lying on top of me, she’s held open my mouth at the sides with her thumbs (which hurts) and (unintentionally) dribbled directly into my mouth. That’s horrible because you can see it coming, but can’t do anything about it.
  3. See (2), but replace the word “dribbled” with the words “been sick”.
  4. Several solid kicks in the crown jewels. As she develops her leg muscles through walking, these become rapidly more painful.
  5. A couple of solid head-butts to the nose.
  6. Again, with Daddy lying on the floor Lucy was behind my head and decided to stand up, pulling herself upright with whatever convenient hand-hold was near. That’s my nostrils then: at the time I thought that hurt a lot…
  7. … until she did it again a couple of weeks later, but this time also managed to scratch the inside of my nose with a fingernail – enough to cause a nosebleed. Now that one hurt.

Good grief, being a Dad is fun.

Never Play on the Train Lines

There was a story on the local BBC news the other day about a woman who had fallen over whilst crossing a railway line on a gated level crossing. To make matters worse, she managed to fall when there was a train coming.

Now before you think I’m having a go at some poor woman who’s thankful to be alive after losing two limbs in some horrific accident on a train line, I’m not. The level crossing was manned, so a real person needs to look out of the window at the track and only then let the train know it’s safe to proceed. Even the reporting journalist who would have loved a sensationalist story admitted she was in no danger whatsoever.

So let’s see what we have so far: an old woman falling over on a train track, but in reality she was in no danger whatsoever. Normally that wouldn’t even make the Hedge End Informer, but for some reason it had popped up on the 6:30pm BBC South Today news. So what gives?

Well the whole thing seems to have been her reaction to it. She was described as not wanting to use that crossing again because she was “too traumatised”. She was even “considering suing Network Rail for the cost of replacing her glasses which she broken in the fall”.

For God’s sake woman get over it! You’ve fallen over: it’s not anyone else’s fault.

It gets better though – there was the mandatory “on location” report by the poor bloke sent to cover this case. Why do you think I’m being so harsh on this woman? It’s because arching nicely over the head of the reporter in the background of the report is none other than a footbridge.

A woman (who I’ve avoided describing as elderly, because I don’t think she was that far over 60) refuses to use the supplied footbridge, falls over on the train line and all the safety procedures work fine.

I’ve no idea what the outcome of the story was (I couldn’t find it on a web page anywhere), but I hope that Network Rail told her to get lost. I’m sure £75 for new specs would hardly be missed by NR shareholders, but it’s the principle. Replacement glasses indeed.

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