Daniel Kligerman

Me, on the web

CBC Radio 3

For anyone looking for a source of new, Canadian music to listen to, CBC Radio 3 is fantastic. They have a massive and ever-growing collection of new and emerging Canadian artists’ work, and there are no fewer than 16 podcasts, many of them weekly, that showcase some of the best.

I’ve been listening to the main weekly podcast recently, and there are few tracks I don’t at least enjoy, and many of them I would love to add to my collection. And besides, supporting our local indie music scene is always a good thing, right? So check it out.

Board Games

Now that our son is three, we have started to play board games with him. Unfortunately, most of the games you find at toy stores range from average to terrible–they tend to be repetative, boring and have little educational value.

Thankfully, there is BoardGameGeek.com. There, you can find reviews and comments on thousands of games, including a ranked list of games for kids. They also revise the recomended ages for games, since the manufacturer isn’t always right. Finally, they have a marketplace, where you can buy games that your local store doesn’t stock, or that are out of print, from other site members. So far I have done this twice with excellent results.

We have three games so far: Cariboo Island, Gulo Gulo, and Go Away Monster. All are excellent, and perfect for preschoolers. They challenge just enough, and have a repeating sequence of play that a three-year-old can learn quickly.

Of course, lots of open-ended toys and unstructured play is important too, but I think it’s great that there are some higher-quality board games available for kids of this age. And check out BoardGameGeek, no matter how old you are.

Liora

Liora Rose Kligerman was born on August 26, 2008, and is now almost four weeks old.  While the experience of having a newborn is familiar from just under two years ago with Joshua, it’s amazing how quickly you forget what it’s like: fussy and sleepless nights, seemingly continuous feeding, and the magic of seeing someone so new growing and developing so quickly.

Ted Cole

Ted Cole, founder and director of Camp Walden for 35 years, passed away earlier this week, after losing a battle with leukaemia.  I spent many summers at Walden, and have many memories of that time.  What I associate most with Ted is the music of camp; nobody could lead a sing-along like Ted could.  To this day, those song are ingrained in my head–the words come to me easily, and the melodies evoke images of those long summers past.

One of my favourites, and one that Ted described as “One of the most beautiful and meaningful songs about growing up ever written”, is The Circle Game, by Joni Mitchell.  Good stuff.

How terrible to lose someone who was such a positive influence over so many generations of children.  His voice, though, sings on.

Moving

Alas, I have not found the time recently to post anything here.  Here is an update for you: We have just purchased a new house (new to us, not new in general), and will be moving on July 16 (which also happens to be my birthday–how about that?).  We managed to sell our current house in about a week, which is great, since keeping your house in a perfectly clean condition every day is very time consuming.

The timing of the move is well in advance of when our second bundle of joy is scheduled to arrive, which is late August or early September.  That should give us just enough time to unpack and get hold of a second crib before we give up sleeping again.

Things are otherwise good: Joshua is growing fast, and although is a little late perfecting his walking (due to being a little bit of a chicken), has better hand-eye coordination than I do, and is saying lots of words.  His favourite things to say right now are “hot”, which he seems to attribute to things both hot and cold, as well “up”, which he has found to be very useful in commanding us to remove him from high chairs, car seats, etc.

Onwards!

Caffeine

I’ve decided to get off the caffeine, completely.  On average, I have been drinking about a pot of black coffee per day, and while I know there are worse things for you, I’m no longer comfortable with having such a significant amount of a stimulant in my body, continuously.

Over the past few days, I’ve cut down to one cup of coffee in the morning, and no more; surprisingly, it hasn’t been difficult to stay away from further cups, and I’ve already felt a stabilization in my energy level throughout the rest of the day.  The consistent energy level is especially apparent in the mid-afternoon, when that sudden, drowsy dip in awakenness typically hits; without so much caffeine in my system, the severity of this dip is greatly diminished.

It is interesting to think that an estimated 90% of adults in North America drink caffeinated beverages regularly, given the effects that this substance has on our systems.  I wonder if eventually, there will be a health-related backlash against caffeine the same way that there has been against cigarettes in recent years.  Acknowledging that the impacts on health are are markedly different, this still would not be a bad thing.

MediaLounge

New gadget report: We have added a D-Link MediaLounge to our home theater.  It is a nifty little device that streams media from your PC, over your wireless LAN, to your TV, in high-definition.  It can also play media directly from a USB hard drive, which has come in handy as I have been working to get the wireless streaming working smoothly.

In other news, I have linked this blog to Facebook, via the WordPress application.  If, somehow, you have not yet heard of Facebook, you should really check it out; since opening up their platform to third-party applications, it has become the talk of the town in the social networking space.