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Where's the remote?


Hmmm....can't seem to find the game on this TV.

wheresmybeer.jpgHey, can you get me a bottle while you're up?  (or maybe he's just trying to show off how he can sit up a little)



We were enjoying a casual Labor Day visit to the Detroit Zoo today with Jon's parents and sister when we stumbled upon a correspondent and a cameraman from FOX2 News. The news that they delivered was quite the surprise: Steve Irwin, the famous Crocodile Hunter, had died in a freak accident with a stingray in Australia. The informant's delivery was a bit over the top; as we approached him he turned to his cameraman and asked "should we tell them?" Then he seemed to grapple with the decision over whether or not he should be the one to break our hearts. Ultimately he broke down and, deeply saddened by the weight of the secret he had been carrying, he apologized for being the bearer of bad news and told us that "the beloved Crocodile Hunter" had died. The delivery was so sappy, in fact, that we found ourselves asking "Is this a joke?" No, it was the real thing and they were collecting reactions from zoogoers for the evening news. So we were interviewed, Cortney trying to look sad while still laughing over the news man's tragicomic acting and Jon doing a much better job of expressing concern for the man's family. When our interviews were over we turned to go and, as we did so, overheard the newsman reading his card and practicing to record his opener "what's the man's name again? Steve. Steve Irwin. Irwin. Irwin. Right, let's do this." It was clear testimony to America's create-a-tragedy-if-you-have-to attitude about the news. At the same time, we can't really point fingers. Since The Crocodile Hunter, appealing mainly to the younger generations, didn't air until the second half of 1996 when we were already well into our teens, neither of us watched it and neither of us will miss him, making our own interview reactions a bit forced. That being said, we do feel sorry for his wife and his two children. 

The rest of the visit proved to be a relaxing and enjoyable way to spend the holiday - in the great out of doors with animals and family. Like his Friday visit, Calvin continued to spend more time awake than he did on his very first zoo trip. He even seemed to watch the otters play. And we could not have been more pleased to see the old friends Capybara and Pudu together again after a habitat refurbishment. Until next time, this is Jon and Cortney Ophoff, FOX2 News.


The season opener

Today we celebrated the opening day of Michigan football season with a great tailgate, a mediocre game, and a great after game party.  calvinsfirsttailgate.jpgThe tailgate was Calvin's first, of course.  We did our usual - park for free and walk about a mile - and on our way to the tailgate itself we were remembering that it was during last year's football season that we first found out we were expecting Calvin (or, actually, Raspberry).  We remember thinking back then about the day we would be pushing a stroller to our favorite pre-game destination, with the caveat "as long as nothing goes wrong."  June seemed so far away back then!  Thinking about the excitement and constant uncertainty of that time made us remember again how blessed we are to have Calvin.  It also made us remember the shaky football team of last season and we were hoping to be able to put that source of uncertainty behind us as well, but now we're not so sure.  But whether the win was shaky or not, both the pre and post game parties were a blast.  Calvin spent a lot of time sprawled in other people's arms and we spent a lot of time eating.  fourbabies.jpgThe post game party was, in some ways, a rehash of last weekend's barbecue and we blissfully found ourselves once again in the company of other young families and babies.  Some of those babies were a little more fuzzy than others, but we won't split hairs (insert groan here).


The zoo at home

triptothezoo.jpgToday marked Calvin's second trip to the Detroit Zoo (yes, we know we've been slacking, but we plan to increase that number in the near future).  The second trip turned out to be very different from the first.  Being a little older now he is able to see better and is more interested in his surroundings, not to mention that with his good neck control he is now able to face forward in his carrier and actually see the animals (if he tries).  The other thing that was different about today's trip was taking a friend to the zoo.  Or it may have been the other way around, since he was invited by his friend Liesl, on the condition that he bring Cortney along to play with her mother Becky.  So this may have been a play date, but most likely it was Cortney and Becky's.  giraffesathome.jpgUnfortunately the zoo was not as striking as it can sometimes be:  the tigers were sleeping, the baby prairie dogs were not out, and neither were the wolverine kits, and the kangaroos were merely lounging.  On the other hand there were still plenty of animals to enjoy:  Talini, the year old polar bear, was swimming,  there was a second baby kangaroo on the way, and the peafowl attempted to eat our lunches.  What is really funny about today, however, is Calvin's apparent lack of interest in real giraffes by comparison to his absolute enthrallment with the Playskool Peek N Pop Giraffes at home.   All we can say is, at least he's showing interest in something.





The trouble with gripping...

is the lack of aim.