Alexander Micek commenting on I Broke My Trunk

Ok, we’ve decided not to care about how to actually pronounce his name. Going to use Mykala’s pronunciation: “Bob Staaaaaaaake”. Settled.


Eighteen years of serving this website over insecure HTTP are over: I installed a certificate for HTTPS, though I suppose the purpose is more not wanting to be left behind than any true need. I’ve read it could make the site go faster, and I’ve read it might make it go slower, too. I suppose both could be true.

Some vignettes. I’m going back through random text files, where I’ve littered little phrases to jog my memory:

The Need to be Alone

The Need to be Alone”:

At a certain point, we have had enough of conversations that take us away from our own thought processes, enough of external demands that stop us heeding our inner tremors, enough of the pressure for superficial cheerfulness that denies the legitimacy of our latent inner melancholy – and enough of robust common-sense that flattens our peculiarities and less well-charted appetites.

We need to be alone because life among other people unfolds too quickly. The pace is relentless: the jokes, the insights, the excitements. There can sometimes be enough in five minutes of social life to take up an hour of analysis. It is a quirk of our minds that not every emotion that impacts us is at once fully acknowledged, understood or even – as it were – truly felt. After time among others, there are a myriad of sensations that exist in an ‘unprocessed’ form within us. Perhaps an idea that someone raised made us anxious, prompting inchoate impulses for changes in our lives. Perhaps an anecdote sparked off an envious ambition that is worth decoding and listening to in order to grow. Maybe someone subtly fired an aggressive dart at us, and we haven’t had the chance to realise we are hurt. We need some quiet time to console ourselves by formulating an explanation of where the nastiness might have come from. We are more vulnerable and tender-skinned than we’re encouraged to imagine.

I quote this at length because it is so-so good and if it ever disappears from the internet, I’d like to have some of it here. A great, brief, read.

I Broke My Trunk

Another round of library books Ess is reading — she is rapidly moving beyond board books and into these easy-reader ones. Basic plot seems to hold her attention now, and we see the storylines incorporated into her imaginative play.


Those Mo Willems ‘Elephant and Piggy’ books are a hoot. Also, does anyone know how to pronounce “Bob Staake”?

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With the recent dusting of snow and the consistently cold temperatures, I think biking season is over. This means I have already taken my last ride with Ess on the front handlebars. It gives a dad watery eyes: the first realization of this, and then typing up the thought now. It’s hard to see something that brought so much joy be taken away by dispassionate, objective time. It makes you feel small, powerless, helpless. Mykala anticipated this day six months ago, and when I wasn’t thinking of taking a bike ride this past summer, she was, and got us out for jaunts I wouldn’t have even thought of. Even Ess helped out: asking to go on rides when I least expected it.

I was walking yesterday along the path of our longest route: an 11 mile tour of the parks and stream in Woodbury, and something caught my eye: 20 saplings in a row! I’d heard autumn was a good time to plant trees, and here they were. Strange, though, a closer look revealed potting soil and seeds between each young tree. Then I remembered: this was an entire line of pretty big trees just earlier this year! Which tripped my memory about something else. Earlier this year, Ess and I spent multiple bike rides talking about how these trees don’t quite touch yet, but someday they will. And we could go back there and see their branches reaching out towards one another. We could go see these very trees, and with just the passing time, they’d be bigger and someday form a solid line of shade. Now, they’re gone.

There’s no big truth here — I have no overarching philosophical conclusion from the anecdote. But it does show me that, sometimes time goes by and things proceed exactly as you think and sometimes not.


Ess has a stuffed finger-puppet parrot, and she insists that this type of bird is pronounced “paragraph.”

Sitting Forward

Sitting Forward

After an amazingly long time facing the back of the car (over three years!), this is the day after Ess said she wanted to face the front. Shortly after this was taken, she saw the windshield wipers going for the first time, and literally was squealing with delight watching them swish swoosh back and forth across the windshield.

Corn on the Cob

Corn on the Cob

State Fair

State Fair

Ess did amazingly well at the State Fair this year — loved the talent show, tromped around with us for a good four hours. Tough view for her though, seeing thousands of people’s knees.

At Nils’ Wedding

At Nils’ Wedding

Evening Playground

When I’m older, this is probably how my brain will remember every single time we went to the playground: perfect summer evening, sun setting making everything glow, Essie having the time of her life.