Saturday, May 31, 2008

Tobacco production in CH?

Today is "World No Tobacco Day."

I read an interesting article that stated the Swiss government subsides about 320 farms with 18M CHF. I was surprised - I didn't think there was any tobacco production here.


My limited research is that the Swiss equivalent of Cub Scouts and Brownies start at age 7. Only 3.5 more years for Rowan until he can sign up. Males and females are in the same organization, which is louveteaux/louvettes.

More information can be found here.


Rowan, Cody and I spent some time playing flight simulator while we were in Alaska. Here is what I learned while playing:

1) Graphics today are much better than they were on my Apple IIe version of flight sim.
2) There is a reason large jets don't use the small dirt runways in Alaska
3) Autopilot is great for when a 3 year old wants to fly. It is hard to crash when the altitude, heading, and speed are all controlled by the computer.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Here is an interesting article about the Swiss.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Ready to help

It is spring in Alaska, so it is time to take the snow chains off the jeep. Niamh was happy to help and refused to take her gloves off afterwards.

The kids all took turns riding in the jeep this afternoon. The morning was spent at Pioneer Park (Alaskaland). Today was the opening day for the summer season. Not much has changed there in the last 20 years other than the name.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Fairbanks Day One

We went to the ice museum at Chena Hot Springs yesterday. We decided to go swimming after the museum. The picture below is Rowan and Grammie Annie. The last picture shows Niamh getting ready for the fun.

Niamh's Birthday

Yesterday was Niamh's birthday. She enjoyed her birthday cake. She didn't get a nap and was a bit tired so we gave her an extra gift of not having to take a bath.
She has adjusted to the time zone change fairly well. She has been asleep for about 11 hours so far.

Friday, May 23, 2008

We survived!

We arrived in Fairbanks today after only 17 hours in transit. We took the Condor flight from Frankfurt to Fairbanks via Whitehorse. Rowan was a bit confused - he thought we were taking the Concorde and had to deal with only being on a 767.

The flight stopped in Whitehorse, Yukon Territories, Canada. The airport has one gate and no transit area. We had to exit the back door of the plane and stay in some sort of temporary building while the plane was "cleaned." I am not sure what was actually cleaned, because the plane still looked like it had been used for 9 hours.

The trip was more or less ok, but the last hour was a bit loud. Rowan slept until the last 30 minutes and then was very unhappy to still be on the plane. Emily went to comfort him, which made Niamh unhappy.

Rowan and Niamh went to sleep at 6 that night. Niamh slept for about 12 hours, but Rowan only slept for 5. We got up at 11:30 and stayed up until 3. He then slept from 3 to about 5. I have a feeling we'll be spending some quality time in the living room in the middle of the night.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Wii Fitness

I purchased a Wii Fitness today. I think it basically indicated that I'll be lucky to live to Monday. My Wii fitness age is 42, so I have a lot of work to do. I've learned that my balance is ok and that yoga is a painful experience. I'm guessing that is due to how completely non flexible I am.

Goals have been set in the system, so we'll see what I can do. I don't think it is very nice of the system to tell me I need to lose weight when I live in a country known for cheese and chocolate.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Phrase books

Here is a link to free printable phrase book in multiple different languages.


We went to the local zoo today(Pentecost Monday - Swiss holiday). It is about 30 minutes ENE (East North East) of Morges. Niamh was fairly unhappy in the car and finished the ride by puking all over her clothes, the car seat and the back seat. We got all three more or less clean before heading into the zoo. There was another zoo like establishment next door and I'm not sure how the animals were split between the two. We didn't see any penguins, alligators, crocodiles, turtles or fish. Niamh was scared of most of the animals.

Rowan had his first accident today. We knew he need to go to the bathroom, but we couldn't make it there in time. He made it into the bathroom, but not onto the toilet.

The zoo had a playground for kids, so Niamh and Rowan had fun. The slide was the main attraction. Niamh and a little boy were a little slow, so they tended to back the line up a bit. All in all it was a fairly pleasant experience.
The trip home was puke free, which made everyone happy.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Is Seattle going European?

Seattle's mayor/city council is thinking of charging a a twenty cent fee per bag at grocery stores starting in 2009. Here are details on the proposal.

Disposable bags cost 30 cents in Switzerland. I believe there are similar fees in most of Europe. In Switzerland you have to pick up the bags when you are in the check out line. It was a little confusing the first time. We didn't buy any bags the first time and ended up cramming as much as we could into Emily's purse and the diaper bag.

Bowler's Arm

We purchased a Wii on Friday. I played my cousin's Wii for a few minutes last weekend and decided we needed one. Emily and I both have sore arms from bowling and tennis.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Child #3

We - or should I say Emily - had an ultrasound yesterday. Her doctor had been doing ultrasounds in her office, but referred her to another doctor due to a concern about Downs Syndrome. The good news is that yesterday the doctor indicated that there is not an elevated risk. The other news is that the child will be a girl.

Please send your suggestions for names. Be sure to indicate how to pronounce the name, as I assume there might be a few silent letters.

Just to be clear...any adoption plans are currently on hold.

Ultrasound pictures are available upon request, but the pictures are more or less identical to every other 16 week ultrasound.