Family

Thursday, September 6th, 2007
This is part 2 of 3 in the series Hello 31

My family was accustomed to me working in the home. They never bothered me during the work day (my office is separate enough that we have an intercom). But they were quite accustomed to me having lunch with them daily (as was I with them). Also, before if I had to watch one or more of the children while someone had an appointment I could walk downstairs and quite often keep working while the kids played.

The biggest change was the addition of a new family member, which is always an adjustment. She’s doing great by the way. I never imagined having three daughters, but I wouldn’t trade them for anything. My wife is a great mother, and I try my hardest to be a good father. The kids are all damn smart, which can be tricky because you forget how old they are, and that while they can talk like adults they can’t understand things like adults.

My second daughter has changed dramatically. She started talking at six months old, but it really took off this time last year. She added about thirty new words in a month and never looked back. Soon she was referring to herself in third person, and after about two months she figured out how “I” works. By the time she turned two was speaking in full sentences. Now she talks better than I do sometimes. She’s generally very happy with an amazing sense of humor, although being two this is starting to change as she tries to find how far she can push things.

The roughest part was getting her to go to sleep in her own room. I spent many a night rocking her in a chair, singing to her in complete darkness. I actually got to the point where I could sing “Twinkle Twinkle” on autopilot, which let me listen to audiobooks at these times (hey, she didn’t care). Finally she got the hang of it, and has since moved into her older sisters room.

The oldest went to pre-school last year. She loved it and we were excited to see her doing so well on her own. She’s come a real long way in her swimming, and we even wrote a few stories together this year. I’ve started reading chapter books to her when I can. She really enjoys the Paddington books from the library (how did these go out of print?). Her drawing has really improved. The people she draws have distinguishing characteristics. At least half the time we can tell who the picture is of before she tells us.

She started school-school last week. I dropped her off for the first time this week. I found it quite stressful. My wife had gone to all the open-house type things while I watched the other kids. I didn’t quite understand how the drop-off line worked, and then the lady pulled the van door before I put the van in park. The automatic doors do not like this, and they pretty much stop after opening an inch. The van then proceeds to beep at you incessantly. You would think, since the thing can talk it would say, “Please put the vehicle in park and try to open the door again.” Nope. It just beeps away while you feel like an idiot in front of the Kindergarten teacher who is yelling something at you that you can’t make out over the beeping. Anyway, I’ll be dropping her off in my car from now on which doesn’t talk or have automatic doors, so that’s one thing off my mind.

My wife has had to deal with the brunt of these changes. She went from being home with two kids with a husband who was less than a minute away to having three kids with a husband off at work during the week. At times it seems to take it’s toll, but mostly she amazes me. I can’t imagine doing what she does and keeping my sanity. A lot of things have changed since we fell in love thirteen years ago, but not how we feel about each other.

Links of Interest (July 21st 2007 Through August 3rd 2007)

Friday, August 3rd, 2007
Official iPhone Tool
This looks somehow familiar.
Math Book Helps Girls Embrace Their Inner Mathematician
Interview with Danica McKellar (Winnie Cooper from “The Wonder Years”) about her new book: Math Doesn’t Suck: How to Survive Middle-School Math and not Break a Nail
Sandbox Designs Competition » The Designs
Gallery of entries for the Sandbox Designs Competition. All entries are the same XHTML styled with CSS.
Fisher-Price recalls 1M toys
If you have any Dora or Sesame Street toys in your home you want to be aware of this. We do. A lot of them. Oddly the online recall only lets you return six items. Not sure exactly what they expect us to do with the rest.
AjaxRain – Ajax/Javascript/Dhtml examples and demos to download
Interesting site. Lacks search. I recommend using the “Tag Cloud” to navigate, but be sure to scroll down after clicking a tag because it looks like nothing happened.
A Series of Unfortunate Events ::: NOW IN PAPERBACK!
Are you made fainthearted by the work of Lemony Snicket? Does the thought of strange new siblings unnerve you? Your answers likely reveal the following brief video to be ill-suited for your personal use.

Laura Tegan Penney

Thursday, July 12th, 2007

Photo of Laura and Jason

Born: July 12 04:02am EDT
Weight: 7 lbs 10 oz
Height: 20 inches

Links of Interest (June 8th 2007 Through June 20th 2007)

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007
Got allergies? Tiny discovery nothing to sneeze at
I hope this comes to something. My tree allergy is so bad I can’t eat most fruit. I miss fruit.
Deconstructing a Star Wars AT-AT Imperial Walker Baby Stroller
Thingamababy analyzes a DIY stroller conversion from a handful of photos.
How To: Translate a foreign language RSS feed
Using Yahoo Pipes to translate RSS feeds. Looks nice and simple.
Future Sony e-book reader to offer IDPF format and Adobe DRM support?via Digital Editions
Sounds like the next version of Sony Reader will support the IDPF open ebook standard. I like reading ebooks from dedicated readers, but I hate the hoops I have to jump through to get them on there. Sounds like a step in the right direction.
Developers launch kid-safe add-on for Firefox
Glubble is a Firefox plug-in that allows parents to create a whitelist of approved sites to let their kids visit.
Dissecting a Plugin: Better Comments Manager
Ronald Huereca disects the “Better Comments Manager” WordPress plugin, in what is hopefully the first of a series of articles of this type. Should be a great place to start if you’re trying to figure out how WordPress plugins work.
Batman?s New Set of Wheels
Slice of Sci-Fi has pics of the new Batcycle for “The Dark Knight”
How victim snared ID thief / She chased down woman who had given her 6 months of hell
Karen Lodrick bumped into the woman who had stolen her identity, and gave chase for the next 45 minutes!
Primer, part two (glossary)
Glossary for Diana Peterfreund’s primer on publishing.
Primer, part one
Diana Peterfreund’s primer on publishing.
New Books, early June 2007
Locus online’s listing of new SF/F/H books for early June 2007
Ars System Guide: June 2007
When I’m building a new PC for someone, this is where I start. Great if you’re trying to get the most bang for your buck.

Not Quite According to Plan

Monday, May 28th, 2007

I got an early start yesterday hoping to make some good progress on my revisions. Then the kids decided to get up at 6:30. They were a bit of a handful most of the day (the family cold is not bringing out the best in people). Later when I tried again I only managed to squeeze in just under an hour before I was needed. Then I noticed the water dripping into our bedroom. So up to attic I go to find that the central air, which should drain outside, well, isn’t. Joy!

Oh, and I found at least six bee, hornet, or wasp nests on the house, and I only had three mostly empty cans of bee/hornet/wasp spray. Just enough to wake them up when I tried to get them last night.

Today we have a pretty busy day, and on top of it I need to get everything out of the way of the attic entrance. Not sure where I’m going to move stuff too… I’m going to try and get a bit more work on the revision done now, but I don’t have high hopes at this point.

Links of Interest (May 11th 2007 Through May 16th 2007)

Wednesday, May 16th, 2007
Stop! Hammer Time! Firefox Extension
Firefox Extension to MC Hammer-ize the stop button. Why? Not really sure.
Four H.P. Lovecraft Lectures in podcast form
Four lectures on H.P. Lovecraft by Dr. Justin Woodman
Ticketmaster
This family gives their kids TV watching tickets to help limit their TV input per week and keep mom and dad from being the “bad guys”.
Nudists Seek Younger Following, Graying Nudist Groups Reach Out To 20- And 30-Somethings
“Here’s the naked truth about nude recreation: The people who practice it aren’t getting any younger.”
Congress gets earful on net neutrality, CableCARD, YouTube from video execs
Ars Techica’s coverage of “The Future of Video” discussion from the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet hearing on May 10, 2007

Life on Hold

Wednesday, January 24th, 2007

I mentioned before that we were all not feeling very well. I’m mostly better, and so are the kids (Rachel a little more so, Vanessa a little less). Denise, on the other hand, is about the same, and it looks like she’ll stay that way for a while yet. So everything (including the writing) is on hold until things settle down. After having a crazy, exhausting week last week, this one is a lot closer to normal, but not quite there yet. I’m itching to get started on a number of things, but family comes first.

Sick

Monday, January 15th, 2007

All four of us have some sort of cold. Rachel is probably doing the best, which is unfortunate because she can run circles around us when we’re all feeling great, so now she has all this excess energy because no one will run around with her, and jumping about makes her cough. I’m trying to pretend I’m not sick to take care of everyone else, but it’s not always working.

My boss was nice enough to drop off my work computer at my house today, so at least I can get work done without infecting my whole office. I’m hoping to return to something a bit more normal any day now, but who can tell.

1-Pass Day 22: (41004/97729)

Monday, September 18th, 2006
Type in
41004/97729

Took the kids to The Big E yesterday with my mom and Howie. We had a great time. Rachel really enjoyed the rides and both kids loved seeing all the animals. It was pretty late by the time we got back home. I managed to carry both kids to bed from the car without issue. Good thing, because I was ready to get some sleep.

After getting the kids off to bed tonight Denise and I watched the season finale of Life on Mars. It’s a great show and I really recommend it. The main character is a modern day police officer who is hit by a car and wakes up in 1973. He believes he’s in a coma and everyone else thinks he’s crazy when he tries to explain. Not your average cop drama. Very well done.

After that I headed up to the office to continue on with the revisions. I think I made pretty good progress.

1-Pass Day 15: (12485/99973)

Saturday, August 26th, 2006
Type in
12485/99973

Today didn’t go at all to plan. We had a pile of places to be today, but Rachel isn’t feeling herself, so we ended up staying home. On the plus side Denise was kind enough to give me time to work on the book (thank you!), so here I am posting an update. Some of the chapters look a bit shorter that I want them, but I’m going to finish the type in and think about what to do afterwards (if anything).