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Last Saturday, Katie, Jackie, and I went to the mall. For the record, I dislike the mall. It’s actually worse than dislike — I’m not comfortable in the mall. When you combine Sbarro, Hot Topic, Cheesecake Factory, Brooks Brothers, Cinnabon, and kiosks peddling airbrushed hats with a lot of people walking around inside a huge building, it spurs anxiety for me. I feel this discomfort in every mall store except for Sears. Sears, I can deal with.

But, since JBJ came along, the mall has become a more enjoyable place. There’s something truly fun about seeing her reaction to all the different people and wall after wall lined with stuff.

On Saturday, we were browsing shoes and I found some fly pink Vans in a size 5. We secured Jackie’s little feet with the velcro straps and helped her to the floor so she could try them out. She walked directly to a handbag display, deliberately plucked a lavender purse from the rack, and proceeded to the floor-to-ceiling mirror. Katie and I watched on as she admired her couture for several minutes; we finally had to coax her away from her newly-accessorized reflection. Here are a couple of pictures.

Katie and I are baffled about the source of these designer genes. Neither of us care much about fashion. Granted, Katie is beautiful, as is Jackie, but that’s much different than being fashionable. My father (from whom I stole the title of this post) confirmed that my Granddaddy Buck liked tailored suits, but no other Jones would belong anywhere near a Milan runway unless an Alitalia 747 was involved.┬áThere isn’t an obvious high-fashion influence in Jackie’s daily life.

If she asks for a credit card for her second birthday, the answer will be “no.”


About a month ago, Katie and I left our daughter in the capable hands of Burns grandparents, Jones grandparents, and Uncle Ri and Aunt Mi, and went to Denver to see Steve, Ali, and Lex. A trip west to see the Savilles was long overdue.

Our hosts tour-guided us through Denver, hiked us around Rocky Mountain National Park, braved a treacherous I-70 to get us to Breckenridge for a short day of skiing, and treated us as hospitably as possible.

I also learned two new games while in Denver:

  • the Ring Game, which tests the player’s motor skills and sanity as he pushes a ring on a chain steadily toward a target hook. For me, it was an exercise in futile calibration for the first two-and-a-half hours, followed by celebratory extrication when the ring finally found its mark.
  • the Geo-interpretation of Moving License Plates game, a Steve Saville original, tests the player’s knowledge of places and letter sequences. For more details, and a set of official rules, contact Steve.

I think I can speak for Katie; we’re not more excited about any new baby, anywhere (except for under our own roof), than we are for the little guy arriving in May at Jasmine Street. Here are some pictures from our time with the Savilles.

Note: If I see this tag anytime soon, I’m going to run the other way…

Image from Raleigh

Urban dirt-biking

I took this post-apocalyptic picture outside Jones Barber Shop in Raleigh last year.