…and Kids

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Isn’t it interesting how having kids changes our lives?  There is no way to explain to someone who is not a parent how much change that having offspring will make!  You can try to expound on the subject, but that’s not the same as experiencing it.  Much of the personal time you had goes up in smoke.  Dirty diapers dance in your nightmares.  The sound of crying fills the air.

There are other changes, too: we start talking baby-talk to the little one(s), sounding as silly as can be…but we don’t care!  We would do anything for the little bundle of humanity that we call “our” son or daughter.  They become priceless in a moment…the moment they make their appearance in this world.  They have stolen our heart!

Today’s photo is of our youngest son as he dressed up to help his daughters celebrate Halloween this past October.  One of his girls dressed as Minnie Mouse and the other as a fanciful Ariel from The Little Mermaid (both were featured in recent blog posts here.)  So, in order to try to fit in with at least one of their costumes, he sorta dressed up as King Neptune and as his dad, I get to embarrass him with this picture.

I don’t think that is is really cause to be embarrassed…I think it is something to be proud of: when we do things to entertain and delight our children, we are simply demonstrating our great love for them – even if we look a bit strange in the process!

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY:  in  1990, after a howling wind- and rainstorm on Thanksgiving Day, Washington state’s historic floating Lacey V. Murrow Memorial Bridge broke apart and sank to the bottom of Lake Washington, between Seattle and its suburbs to the east. Because the bridge’s disintegration happened relatively slowly, news crews were able to capture the whole thing on camera, broadcasting it to a rapt audience across western Washington. “It looked like a big old battleship that had been hit by enemy fire and was sinking into the briny deep,” said one observer. (He added: “It was awesome.”)

The Murrow Bridge was the brainchild of engineer Homer Hadley, who in 1921 proposed a “floating concrete highway, permanent and indestructible, across Lake Washington.” Figuring out a way to cross that lake, between up-and-coming Seattle and its (at that time) sleepy small-town neighbors to the east, was a particular challenge because an ordinary “fixed-pier” bridge was out of the question: The lake was too deep, and its bottom was too mushy. Still, people scoffed at what they called “Hadley’s Folly” (one civic organization declared that his “chain of scows across Lake Washington would stand out as a municipal eyesore”), but eventually, mostly because they had no other options, they came around to his way of thinking. Construction began on the bridge, named after the state highways director (and brother of famous newsman Edward R. Murrow), in 1939; it was completed 18 months later.

In November 1990, the 6,600-foot-long bridge, made of 22 floating bolted-together pontoons, was in the process of being converted from a two-way road to a one-way road. (A parallel bridge had been completed the year before, effectively doubling the amount of traffic that could cross the lake.) The state highway department alleged that construction crews had left the pontoons’ hatches open, leaving them vulnerable to the weekend’s heavy rains and large waves. (For its part, the construction company refused to accept responsibility for the disaster, countering that “the probable cause of the failure was progressive bond slip at lapped splices in the bottom slab…due to failure in bond.” It did eventually agree to pay the state $20 million, however.) For whatever reason, at midday on November 25, the center pontoons began to sink. As they disappeared under the water, they pulled more and more of the crumbling roadway down with them. By the end of the day, the bridge was gone.

Fortunately, no one was injured in the incident. The Murrow Bridge was soon rebuilt.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY:  The largest crater in the solar system is found on the moon. Called the South Pole-Aitken, this giant crater is on the far side of the moon and is 1,550 miles (2,500 km) in diameter. The largest crater visible to Earth (on the near side of the moon) is the Bailly Crater, with a 183-mile diameter.

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