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9 March 2007

New Blog Activated

As the saying goes, nothing is forever. This blog will no longer be updated. I will leave it up indefinitely, but from now on, all new posts will be published here. I look forward to interacting with you on my new blog! Over and out.

8 March 2007

Beet (bītsu)

One of Milo's nicknames when he was a wee little one was Beet (bītsu in Japanese). He could turn quite red when he was upset, unhappy, or otherwise discomfited. When he was a newborn, he was even redder. (You'll need QuickTime.)

7 March 2007

Kids in Car Seats

If I keep this up, I'll need to buy more server space. Anyhow, I hereby present another video, this one from August 2005. We're slowly gaining on the present.

One thing about showing your videos to other people is that it's a lot harder to edit out the things you don't like. With photos, you simply discard the snaps you don't want, but video, unless it's professionally done, can strongly highlight our human imperfections (shaky camera, bad camera angles, big protruding gut, fatuous commentary, lisp, scantily clad bodies, and so on). Thus, there are some video clips that I am simply unwilling to share with the public. What you see here on our blog is the cream of the crop.

Video requires QuickTime.

5 March 2007

Hiccups and Discovery Time

We continue the series of early videos, this one again from July 2007. Little wee ones often get hiccups, some oftener than others, of which Milo was a shining example. Hear him hiccup. You can also watch Mickey during one of his "discovery" times. When he was really small, he frequently stared in fascination at his environment; we called these moments "discovery time."

As for me, I am almost ashamed of my language skills in this video. I seem unable to string a sentence together in either English or Japanese. I think there are several reasons for this verbal breakdown. First, it's hard to concentrate on making a good video and giving a good speech at the same time. Second, with speaking you have to compose on the fly; you can't produce as polished an end product as when you're writing. Third, I was excited taking video of my kids. Finally, I've lived in Asia for almost seven years and spent a lot of time talking to people who lack a good command of English; it's inevitable that you get affected, just like when I was a kid and went sailing with this kid who stuttered all the time, I too began to stutter after a few days. (I really relish those moments when I can have unimpeded conversations with my native speaker friends: when I don't have to diminish the flow and pace of my speech, when I don't have to make lexical sacrifices by selecting against my will the easier of two words; and when I don't have to dumb down my grammar.)

Video requires QuickTime.

2 March 2007 (a little later)

On a lighter note

Here is a video of our friends, Yoshiyuki and Kimiko, and their children, Mao and Kaito. This was shot in the summer of 2005 (video requires QuickTime).

2 March 2007


On the advice of a colleague of mine, a former policewoman from the States, I have removed all nude photos of the kids from this website. Nor will I be posting any more in the future.

You know, I always thought that the nakedness of kids was a wonderful thing, something to be cherished. But my co-worker emphasized how there are all sorts of sick people out there, even shitcakes who would jerk off to the picture of a naked baby. Sigh. What a fucked-up world it is.

28 February 2007

Video Update

I've figured out how to get videos to stream, so you can now watch the videos on this site in real time (as opposed to having to download the files in their entirety before being able to watch them). If you don't already have it, I believe you will need to have downloaded and installed Apple's QuickTime player.

26 February 2007

Sweet Victory

Well, I've finally figured out how to convert videotape from our camcorder to a digital file on my computer. It is a very laborious process. I've also figured out how to toy with the video and cut out those parts I don't like or need. Here, then, is the first in what I hope will be a continuing series of videos of Becker-Pos family life. This one goes back to July 2005, when the kids were about one month old. (Please let me know if you have problems viewing the file.)

One of the things I am doing with my site is uploading as much information as I can about myself, those close to me, and our interests. I feel it's a shame when information is lost, so I want to hold onto as much as possible. In The Singularity is Near, Ray Kurzweil came to this interesting conclusion: "Information lasts only so long as someone cares about it [emphasis in the original]." This observation may seem self-evident; however, I believe a lot of thought went into it and that it hits the nail on the head as far as the longevity of information is concerned. Information doesn't last forever, and a lot of information (people's thoughts, speech, writing and other forms of information) has been lost since the dawn of human history. (This is not to say that all information is worth holding onto, certainly not. Two centuries from now, would you really want to be able to remember the smell of your friend's fart?) For my part, I wish that I had kept a diary from a young age, because I've simply forgotten a lot about of my youth and about what kind of person I used to be. (Isn't it cool to flip through your old things and read what you wrote at school in Grade 1?)

22 February 2007

2006 Photograph Bonanza

Today was a long one. I am getting near dead tired and in great need of recuperation (otherwise known as sleep). Nevertheless, I have struggled valiantly to bring some photos to you. Here is a bonanza of (mostly yet unpublished) photos from 2006. Please enjoy. (P.S. I am still wrangling with our formidable collection of family videotape footage.)

January 2006

April 2006

May 2006

Summer 2006

December 2006

20 February 2007

Milospeak and Mickeyspeak

As one would expect, the twins' language skills continue to progress. Because I'm trying to teach them some English, I do my best to speak only English around them (sometimes I lapse into Japanese). Shiho herself has taught them a few English words. Having received some advice from our friend Kevin, though, we are now trying to keep things simple, which means Shiho speaks Japanese to them and I talk in English.

The babies do at least know a few English words, even though most of their daily linguistic input is Japanese. Milo shouts out "Bug, bug!" when he sees a picture of a ladybird, and he's learning to mimic me ("No, no!"). Mickey knows the words "Cat" and "Duck," though he needs to work on his pronunciation.

It's a fun time now—when they can't properly communicate and have to explain their needs by moans and whines (aside from the obvious crying). Soon they'll be talking in earnest, so I enjoy Milo's nasal "Ehhhh" and Mickey's "Ahhhh."

Perhaps the cutest things that come from their mouth are the words they make up themselves. Milo loves to say "Lahdi! Lahdi!" Outdoors, this term refers to the ubiquitous flashing orange lights (like the strobe beacons on a police car) used by parking lots and other businesses for the purpose of advertising. Indoors, "Lahdi! Lahdi!" seems to mean, "No!" or "I don't like that!" In addition, an utterance of "Ahh-doo-da!" means "I found something new that I like," as in the case of an object that was hitherto out of reach but suddenly fallen to the floor.

Shiho has taught the twins to say "Pika! Pika!" when they see something flashing. Mickey can't quite manage that, though, and says, "Boka! Boka!" Mickey has also learned to say "Megane" (glasses). And my reported that when Milo awoke this morning, he pointed towards my room and said "Daddy nen-ne!" (Daddy's sleeping).

I had really wanted a portable voice recorder to capture snippets of baby talk, laughs, and cries, but it seems like another accessory would have been too much to manage. I have enough trouble keeping up with the digital photos, and one of my current projects is figuring out how to convert all our videocam tapes into digital form. That will take time, as the manual is in English but the camera language is Japanese. So many learning curves on new devices. I will close with a quotation from a song I like.

I don't want to see no doc;
I need attendance from my nurse around the clock.
Because there's no prescription for me;
She's the one, the only remedy.
My night nurse,
Only you alone can quench this here thirst.

—Gregory Isaacs, "Night Nurse"

17 February 2007

Shout Out to Dan

My friend and fellow teacher, Dan Frick, is an accomplished musician outside school walls. His MySpace site showcases some of his music, which falls under the indie (independent) category. Music will begin to play when you click here. There are also links to other indie artists on his site. Way to go, Dan. I like the sound of your music. I also admire your versatility.

Every human being should strive to be multitalented. Inspired by my friend Kevin, I try to work on my illustration skills during English class, often drawing pictures when I need to explain something to my students. On the topic of music, I plan to start playing the piano again once I don't have to worry about the kids thrashing our electronic keyboard.

On the topic of movies, I've recently watched two movies in a similar vein. Both movies are about men who enjoy their jobs and love what they do, the catch being that what they do for a living causes a lot of pain and misery in the world. See how they reconcile themselves to their actions and how they justify their actions to other people. Be sure to watch Thank You For Smoking (2005), starring Aaron Eckhart, and Lord of War (2005), starring Nicolas Cage.

Finally, the recommended slang expression for the day is "tear someone a new asshole." Try to work it into your quotidian small talk.

15 February 2007

Strawberry Delight

The twins love eating strawberries. It's a lot of fun watching them chow down on pricey Japanese berries. Although strawberries may be dear in Korea and Japan, they sure taste better than strawberries back home—which, in my experience, always appeared a succulent-looking red but usually tasted bland as heck.

What follows are some candid shots of the kids chowing down on strawberries. In addition, I have thrown in a sneak shot of Shiho slurping steamed spinach on the sly (she loves to eat standing up, but then tells the kids not to do the same—just one of the many ways in which both of us are guilty of sending mixed messages to our kids).

Update: At my wife's request, I have removed the image of her chowing down on spinach.


9 September 2006—14 February 2007

24 September 2005—8 September 2006

13 June—18 September 2005

21 September 2003—8 June 2005

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