Los Altos, California

The Lilly clan assembled today for their traditional, massive post-Christmas get-together. We started off split between men and women, as the ladies gathered at Christine’s house to hold a “California” baby shower for Erin. Meanwhile us guys huddled around the TV at the Lillys to watch football. Stereotypes, ahoy!

I did get the chance to ask numerous questions of a recent father who was in attendance (thanks Mike!), and I found it helpful to get his perspective. Our experience will, of course, be necessarily different as will to some extent our preferences, but already I appreciate hearing about why new parents choose what they choose and do what they do. Unbidden or dogmatically presented of course (“let me tell you how to do this”) advice of this nature can be extraordinarily off-putting. But gently delivered when requested I find it useful and interesting.

After the women returned from the baby shower, we had quite an assembly and although time constraints made it impossible to chat with everyone, I got good talks in with Kurt, Guy, Kristin, Mike, Shannon, Joe, Mark, Jennifer, and Nancy. I was also able to hang out a bit around Jacob and Ben, the two youngest members of the clan. What can I say? Babies are pretty cute.

After the party, we sat down to watch Minority Report from Steven Spielberg. Tom Cruise is not one of my favorite actors, but he’s more than adequate here. That is to say that he doesn’t flash his wonder-schmuck grin or say anything terribly stupid in that arrogance-tinged way of his. The story, by noted science fiction author Philip K. Dick, is excellent. Like all good science fiction there is plenty to think about during and after the movie, and although the film could perhaps have been just as effective if it had ended 30 minutes early (I kid you not—there’s a false climax that would have worked fine to conclude the story), the additional twists and turns are satisfying as well. Recommended in general, highly recommended to science fiction fans.