Archive for the ‘Quote Board’ Category


Great moments in peer observation, #13

January 11, 2018

Today I was watching a colleague teach in a laboratory room whose equipment includes three ancient but still-functional Singer Caramate Slide Projectors.   We use these relics of the 1960s (?), topped with old-fashioned carousels, for viewing slides of biological tissues.

As the lab progressed, it occurred to me that my colleague has a really nice voice: deep, calm, confident, and dryly humorous, with a hint of sentimentality.  It reminded me of a voice I had once heard on TV.

“Has anyone ever told you,” I asked during a break in the action, “that you sound like Don Draper?”

“No,” he said. Then, without missing a beat: “But just wait ’til you hear me talk about the carousels!” And, after a pause: “‘A place … where we know we are loved.'”



Phil on urban crime, drunkenness, and agriculture

March 1, 2013

On Wednesday night my 6-year-old son spontaneously started telling jokes. He called them jokes, anyway; I might classify them as riddles.

“Why did the apple cross the road, Dad?”

“I don’t know. Why?”

“It fell off an apple cart!”

“Oh. I see.”

“Why did the truck accidentally go down the hill?”

“I give up.”

“Because the driver had too much beer!”

Joke- (or riddle-)telling is a relatively new part of Phil’s oratorial arsenal. For years, his main rhetorical staple has been the monologue in which he presents a hypothesis as established fact. Here’s an example from yesterday:

“If you lived in New York City, and there wasn’t any police dogs, and there was not that many police guys, then lots of people would get killed. And then New York City would be destroyed by bad guys. You need a dog to sniff the people out.”


Debate verdict: Obama less appealing than Legos

October 4, 2012

“Can I watch Lego German Army videos?” my 5-year-old son asked before dinner last night.

“President Obama is having a debate right now,” I responded. “Do you want to watch that?”

“Lego President Obama?”

“No — the REAL President Obama!”

“What’s President Obama?”

“He’s the leader of our country.”

“The whole town?”

“The whole United States!”

“So we have to do what he says?”

“Uh … yeah.”

My son paused, and I sensed that the politics lesson was over.

“Can I watch Lego German Army now?”



Legos: a matter of life and death

August 29, 2012

Phil has never hesitated to explain why he thinks he needs more toys, but lately he’s gotten more creative in his lobbying.

Today he made a Lego house mostly out of pieces from his own box, but using windows and a door from Grandma and Grandpa’s collection. He wanted to keep these extra pieces and justified his position as follows:

“If the house doesn’t have a door or windows, the people won’t have any air to breathe. Do you want them to die?”


Les bons mots du jour

August 10, 2012

Last night Phil and I were discussing the tooth fairy.

“Do you think the fairy is like Santa Claus?” I asked.

“Yeah,” he replied, “But the tooth fairy gives you toys even if you’re bad, because she really wants your tooth, and if she got your tooth and you got nothing, it wouldn’t be fair.”


Phil’s latest

August 8, 2012

My son has been so quotable lately that I’m thinking of compiling his best sound bytes into a little book of some sort.

Tonight we took our bikes to a playground past some overgrown blackberry bushes. Phil didn’t like the bushes’ encroachment on the sidewalk.

“Should we come back sometime and trim these?” I asked.

“Sure,” he answered without hesitation. “You can do the work. I’ll bring the drinks.”

When I started laughing, he added, “You can put that in your book.”

Then we reached the playground, and he rode his bike without training wheels for the first time ever.

Some nights it’s great to be a dad.


As fair as it gets

July 29, 2012

At yesterday’s White River 50, I ran into an old friend for the first time in many years.

He’s still a pretty cynical guy, and made his usual observations about how “making the right people like you” is the essence of many jobs. But what followed was brief and eloquent.

“That’s the great thing about running,” he said. “You don’t have to please anyone. You may be the ugliest guy, or have the ugliest form, but you can line up at the start and take your best shot, just like everyone else. That’s as fair as it gets in this world.”

photo by Herb Reeves


Nature and nurture

July 2, 2012

It was a good, science-positive weekend here at the Crowther homestead.

Highlight #1 was hearing Phil verbalize a basic understanding of genetics for the first time. Apropos of nothing in particular, he proclaimed, “If a baby comes out of a mom who remembers well, the baby will remember well when it’s growed up.”

Highlight #2 began with him asking me, “Dad, what does ‘your highness’ mean?”

“It’s what you call a really important person, like a king or a queen or a prince or a princess.”

“Are you a really important person?”

“Not really.”

“But, Dad, you ARE important. You do experiments!”

True or not, I had to smile at that.


Moral fixation

June 18, 2012

This past weekend Phil and I attended two birthday parties and also saw his aunt Chris and uncle Rey, his mom, my girlfriend, etc.

“So, Phil, who did we see over the weekend?”

“Police!” (Indeed, we passed a couple of cops while driving.)

“Anyone else?”

“Umm, I don’t know.”


Phil and Greg’s Excellent Adventure: the final chapter

June 13, 2012

In the last social stop of our road trip, we visited the McCoubreys in Ketchum, Idaho. Phil especially enjoyed playing Legos and a Lego Star Wars video game with 8-year-old Shaw. He also really liked the McCoubreys’ “log house.” I forgot to get a picture of the giant beams, but here are a few other pics.

Phil on the slack line
[Phil crossing the slack line with ski poles.]

Adams Gulch trail run
[Scott and me after a casual trail run at Adams Gulch.]

hot spring
[Phil at a hot spring (whose heat was overshadowed by the cold river water flowing above it).]

hot spring
[Wading into the not-so-hot spring.]

Scott and Shaw
[Scott and Shaw dry off and warm up.]

After the boys went to sleep, the adults watched Bridesmaids, which I liked for its dialogue and Wilson Phillips cameo, though the film was also more vulgar, and Kristen Wiig’s character less likeable, than I’d have preferred.

The drive from Ketchum back to Seattle was pretty smooth, thanks in part to navigational tips from my recently acquired smartphone (though it insisted on pronouncing “Ave B” in Boise as “Ah-Vay Bee”).

Phil said some memorable things along the way, such as, “I’m invincible! … What does ‘invincible’ mean?”

He also confirmed his fondness for my friends’ children.

“I like Trey, Zane, and Shaw a hundred and forty. That’s how much I like them,” he said.

“What’s the most you can like someone?” I asked, unsure of his scale.

“A hundred.”

I considered suggesting an alternative quantitation scheme, but thought better of it.