White House Super Spreader

22 November 2020!

Goodness gracious me, its been a long time since my last post!

3 months or 93 days days if anyone is counting. Thank you to the two people who reminded me that this blog has been somewhat neglected (shout out to Jason and Roy for the reminders)! Neglected like democracy in the U. S. of A! But I’m back now!

So what has changed in 3 months:

An additional 52 million people have contracted the dreaded Covid – 52,031,778 to be exact (according to the website: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/ )

The bitcoin price has sky-rocketed back to its highs of 2017 gaining some $6,697 to reach $18,381 (US$19,359.90 as of 25 August!)

The orange man is still president and he may still be in charge, in his mind at least, but not for long.

One of my favorite memes of the past few weeks.

Shauna and I also celebrated our 10 year anniversary on 6 November. Not that we remembered! Thanks to Kath, on one of our WhatsApp groups, for the reminder. Shauna’s aunt had erroneously wished us a happy 10 years on 6th October. One would have thought with this heads up that we would have remembered. 

After we both realized that it was indeed our anniversary, and had had a bit of banter about it on the WhatsApp group, I walked through to Shauna and said: “I’m going to go buy chocolate to celebrate!”
Shauna, cramming for her Psychology Honors finals looked up from her laptop and with great excitement said: ” Did Biden win?”… 😂😂😂

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Perhaps one of the reasons it has taken me so long to get round to a blog post is that we have been fairly busy. I am now teaching Grade 6 English Second Language full time, having graduated from my sojourn into kindergarten teaching. This blog should really be called “Teaching with Kids” rather than “Birding with Kids”, as I am definitely doing a lot more of the former (more on that in the future!). 

The only birding that has been happening is the tapping of a Light-vented Bulbul at the kids play room window at about 7am every morning.

“Dad! The birds back!” says Isla as soon as she hears the familiar tap-tap-tappity-tap-tap every morning. Why it knocks on our window is anyone’s guess, but it has turned into a fairly reliable alarm clock. 

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Although we don’t go out too much we did manage to get to a Halloween themed quiz at a large bar called GOAT (Greatest of all Trivia). Being Halloween, and doubling as a birthday celebration for one of our friends, our large group all dressed up as Alice-in-Wonderland characters. Our team names included: Alice-in-Chains and Down the Rabbit Hole.

Alice in Chains
What a card!!

The quiz questions were tough. We placed around 16th out of about 20 teams. We failed miserably on the American Candy, and Mythical Figures from Literature rounds (no surprises there), but, unlike most teams, we did fairly well on the Creepy Crawlies round. Apparently I can identify female earwigs from a photograph. A high point of my quizzing career I would say! Bitterly disappointed that we couldn’t identify the Gila Monster and I forgot that spiders belong to the phylum arthropoda!!

One of the teams was called: White House Super Spreaders – they came third. They did not ask for a recount, or declare the quiz a fraud. They were, of course, mostly Canadians.

Gila Monster – a prominent lizard in most of our kids animal picture books! source: https://www.nps.gov/para/learn/nature/banded-gila-monster.htm

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The night before GOAT Robbie needed stitches just above his left eye. The kids were playing an epic game of hide-and-seek with their friends down around the small pizza place across the road from our building. Shauna and I were sitting having a few drinks with the Kindergarten teachers and out of the darkness Robbie, and his friends appear. Robbie had blood pouring down the left side of his face and a large cut above his eye…

“Is there blood?” He asks?
“Yes…A little” I say
“Noooooo…., I dont want to go to the hospital!!!” His panic rising to a scream…

Our last experience at the hospital had not been a good one (see detailed account here)

As we were leaving for the hospital, a teacher from Ireland shouted out: “At least you won’t need to buy a Halloween costume!”

In the taxi on the way back from the hospital, and a traumatic 5 stitches later, Robbie asked: “What was that man with no hair shouting at me about tonight?” Given the intensity of the evening this was the one question that Robbie needed answered on the way home.

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Halloween itself was nuts. About 30 apartments signed up for the trick-or-treat and there were at least 30 groups of parents and kids going through each of the buildings to trick or treat. There must have been between 150 – 200 kids going to each apartment and loading up on candy.

We got into the spirit of Halloween big time this year. One of our neighbours gave us two dummy hairdresser heads a couple of years ago. They are for hairdressers to practice hair styling on. She thought Isla would like them. Isla has never touched them.

We put them away, in our non-existent storage space (i.e. on top of a cupboard). We finally found a use for them this HALLOWEEN… Hence: “The beheaded bride” (mosquito net), and “floating red skull”. The stand on which Red Skull is floating is designed specifically for the dummy hairdresser heads…and has never been used for anything else in our house but as a stand for the Red Skull. The stand does however fit really nicely above one of our cupboards. An amazing use of non-existent storage space!

The beheaded bride” (mosquito net), and “floating red skull”.

We could not find last years HALLOWEEN stuff that we had carefully packed away, deep inside the tiny, crammed cupboard spaces in our apartment. But we found the heads and mosquito net and bought a ton of new plastic decorations which have been packed away, not to be found next year.

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