Tag Archive: Life

Anim-Gif-medFirst day of vacation and I’m taking some time to play with and update my servers at home.
One thing I’ve always wanted to do was make an animated gif of myself.
Nothing too fancy, didn’t have to be pretty. Just a nice hack-my-way-thru kind of thing.

And this is the result.


Comments welcomed.

When it rains it pours

Slice of Life by Gisele http://giseleart.com/

The title of which is ironic because it started to rain today.

I started feeling ill last night. I pushed myself fairly rigorously at work, but I think that only added to the fact that something is going around. Unfortunately, all things told I went to bed earlier than usual and sent in a note to work that I was most likely down for the day.

Unless I am dizzy and falling out of bed or unable to sit up, I tend to prefer to want to work on work even when I’m home on a work day.

At 9am I received two frantic posts from my spouse to get my attention. There were two simultaneous emergencies.

  1. Several warning lights in the car had gone off at once
  2. Our son was having a meltdown over going into school today.

A colleague once told me that your life has to be composed of “God, Family, then Work”

Sometimes family trumps even God. (Granted, I am NOT getting into a debate on liturgy or comparative religions here. I especially am not posting about the nature of the Divine)

I threw on enough clothes to not get me arrested and went to the school.

I must have spent the better part of 2 1/2 hrs doing my absolute best Dr. Spock/Diane Provo imitation I could muster. At times like this you remember that parenthood is one of the scariest experiences in the world. But we think we got him to go thru with the day and likely have our hands full for this evening.

I then followed my spouse to get gas and drive to the local car shop where we dropped off her car.

I got back to the house around 1 and am utterly shredded. It’s now 2:30 and time to wake her to see who (if either or both) are going to pick him up from school.

FWIW: I did some work analysis of a build integration issue that turned out to be a code change by one of the developers.

Is this what they call rest while ill?

Slice of Life by Gisele http://giseleart.com/

My social networking time has gone to hell. I think that’s readily obvious from the lack of frequency on this blog.

I suppose one could say that no news is good news. Or that the lack of postings indicates I have a vibrant and busy life.

They could say that; I think however my response would be, “Comme çi, comme ça” (assuming I have remembered how to spell my H.S. French.)

There is no patently ‘bad news’ at the moment. Work is settling in. Life is settling in. We’re even holding the rare social night. 1.25 nights a month. (You get a quarter/month night when you schedule poker on the 2nd and penultimate 4th Wednesdays.)

There are so many things just out of reach right now for a number of reasons.

First, and foremost is ‘move recovery’. Two cross country moves in two years is physically and mentally devastating. Including the move from Pittsburgh in 1998 and the return move this year I have moved 9 times in 12 years. I am told that 3 moves is equal to a fire that destroys everything you own. So I have done that 3 times. (And yet, my comic book collection survives) Personally, it is my plan (as usual) that this leap, was the leap home. Er… this move was the move home.

Second is the health and wellbeing of my family. I am as previously mentioned a care-giver for a person living in chronic-pain. On top of that, we are parents to an almost-four-year-old. And let me assure you… We take personal Will very seriously in our family. And our dear son (who really was born on 9/3) seems to have inherited both his parent’s penchant for being STRONG WILLED. Happily however, he is easily bribed by the reward system of giving him “Blue’s Clues.” Not the show, but awarding him 1/2 to a ful paw print “Clue” for good behaviour.

Work is keeping me busy. Last week I put in 3 10’s, an 8, and a 4. I also managed to walk down 19 flights of stairs twice during the week much to the amusement of my cube farm neighbor who is in stunningly amazing shape. I wish I could talk about the details about what I’m working on beyond… yes… I’m writing an iPhone app. Because “Mondo-Cool” doesn’t even begin to explain it. I can’t even tell people the cool code-name I came up with for a potion of the project because the name itself is an amazing give away if you try to solve the puzzle.

The overly-seasonable heat of the summer has also been a killer. As I inch my way through my early 40s I find that the heat really wears me down. I find I want to spend most of the time sleeping. Sometimes this includes work, but I’m pleased to announce that I have never slept on the job.

In town I’m beginning to ramp up my contacts. I have a few sitters that we’ve tried for Aiden. This seems to have gone well so far. (Someday, I will have to post about the hell that was my live in nanny when I was young who was hired in when my parents went to my father’s medical conferences.) I’m also preparing to start doing classes in my tradition again. There are so many local activities and people from my past and I’m currently farming thru which ones I actually want to bring back into my life. 12 years away gives one time to think and also to grow up a bit.

My metro Pittsburgh years were ages 19-30 and now I return at 42. There’s a HUGE difference in personal outlook when you return at that age.

I can’t think of much more now. I just wanted to get a post out there for the love of Pete. (A phrase which I’ve never understood) Now I just need to get my random stolen picture for the post. (Which, for Marcos’ benefit is in fact the now obvious way that I track hits rather than my pixel graphic)

I hope to come up with more soon. But saying that I will just makes me fall off the net for a while.

hrmnph. Must not be too stodgy.


Two little tasks ahead for me in the next day or so.

First: I am trying to implement a smarter formmail in php so that my multiple domains can handle it without it becoming a security whole.

Second: I am looking to write a worm for my SQL database to fix the Categories on roughly 250 posts that are labelled as “Uncategorised” even though they have the correct category. I suppose this would make a good WP-Tool.

I think I have mostly fixed the issue with the LiveJournal importer, so I’ll be working with my one customer on that this week.

Nothing really pithy today as the weekend has been consumed by toddler and clock changes. So overall, I just want to fall over.

A fairly productive day.

Today has been one of those days where I should be happy with the amount of work I’ve done. However, either through mild OCD or possibly due to being a closet perfectionist, the more I accomplish in a day, the more I feel I haven’t done enough.

The morning starts with the alarm clock that is shaped exactly like a small boy that is somewhere between 3 1/4 and 3 1/2. This morning he woke with his typical ‘yowl’ of penned in boredom. We keep two gates on his room because if we don’t, he goes downstairs, puts on the television, starts pulling food out of the fridge and playing computer games. Yes, I’m fully aware of the hypocrisy here.

This morning’s howl was the “I’m bored and awake and you should be too” one. Granted, the real reason for the howl is that he can now sleep through wetting himself once. What this means is if he wets himself a second time, he is now in drenched pyjamas.

Tromp, tromp, tromp.

This morning I was tired because I couldn’t get to sleep until about 1:30 or 2. This was a problem because I actually went up to bed at 11.

6:15 am…Change boy, turn on light. Play in your room; I’ll be back in a few. Go back to bed. At we’re all pretty much up and it’s morning activity time. Clean up, dress, and breakfast. This morning also involved me dumping the dirty diaper box.

Aiden now attends a Montessori school. There is less pressure on his potty training. Less = no pressure at all. This is a huge relief because there was this feeling that if he wasn’t fully autonomously using the toilet by 3 yrs 9 months he would be out of his old day care. This is not a situation we can really support.

The school tells me that he is actually doing fairly well at using the toilet on his own. Though he pretty much only goes at someone else’s insistence. We’re working on it. The boy is off to school and now I have several things to deal with.

Cobra has changed my coverage. The new coverage is cheaper per month but the co-pays are far worse. We use medical a lot so this in the long run will suck more. I had to go drop off paperwork and get back this month’s check and cut them a new check, and then later in the day it got worse. I redeposited the old check, paid the rent (which is a hefty chunk o’ change when you’re on unemployment) and finally got home around 10:15.

Last night’s insomnia must have kicked in. I tried coding for about 5 minutes and then set a nap timer for 30 minutes. I seem to have a bizarre inner clock that sometimes is quite spooky. I quickly drifted off to sleep. Cheers for recliners in the toddler-less living room. After some pleasant Z’s I looked at the timer and it was counting down the last 14 seconds. Did I mention ‘spooky inner clock.’

My current code project is a Genealogy program for Apple based hardware. (I guess I can’t really call myself a Mac programmer anymore) There’s some really great Genealogy software out there for the Mac. Personally, I really recommend Reunion by Leister. My problem with it is that like much other Mac Software it’s amazing for a single user working on a basic to high intermediate level. Letting multiple users work on it and doing some very powerful functions just aren’t there. Try as I might, Leister seems to be a one-man shop that’s not hiring.

I spent a good bit of last week doing more of the family research through Ancestry.com. I think I’ve upped the tree from 950 people to about 1100 people. I found my wife’s 8*great grandfather, the last Keith in her father’s line to live in Scotland. My ancestry (as I often comment) comes from Russian Jews. So go back 5 generations and watch “Fiddler on the Roof.” So I get to live out my genealogy thrills vicariously through my wife. Now legitimised by having spawned with her.

I worked on that for a few hours. The highlight was finally beginning to code the parser. For those that haven’t read the Gedcom 5.5 specification; it’s a walk thru hell. I commented on Twitter that some people just shouldn’t write specifications. For the geeks out there you have to realise that the current version of the specification was written in 1995. This is from before the days of Unicode. DATE_VALUE has enough definitions that it may as well be defined as, “Yeah… whatever… the programmer’ll figure it out somehow.” Another programmer I know who’s playing in the same arena pointed out that it’s really a fuzzy process and then asked if I really needed to parse the data.

I told myself today, that I was going to get at least one other side project out of my head and off the ground. That was this blog. I hadn’t so much given up on my last blog (Tosocnet), as I just couldn’t bring myself to post in it. I’ve been researching Social Networking since long before the term existed. I figured a blog on the topic would be awesome! Granted. With this killer business idea in my head and things to talk (er write) about other than Social Networking… I got really bogged down. So I found other things to work on. Well until work cut my department.

So, I configured WordPress (again). This makes the 5th one I’ve configured on my server. So I’m getting pretty good at it. Granted, my wife’s still won’t let her update or change plug-ins. (On my list for tomorrow). I’m amused that the ‘theme’ that I liked most is similar to Vista’s glass styling. I think I may have taken my first minus points as an Über-Apple-Geëk.

But the blog is up. I even got a comment or two from some close friends. I’ll admit it. I’m a sucker for comments. I’m always confused how when I write something deep and meaningful, people just sort of take it in and nod quietly to themselves. When I post something ridiculous or banal; then I get 100 comments. It just doesn’t make sense to me. My wife has explained it to me several times… I think I choose not to get it.

The afternoon was marred by a lack of W-2 in the mail today (delaying my 2009 taxes again), mucked up paperwork between my Cobra management and the new medical coverage, and a failure of a fax machine (not mine). Normally, this is the time that I join in picking up the boy from day care.

Aiden had misbehaved on the ride home. He likes to kick the seat from the back. When your wife has a back injury, kicking the seat is a bad thing. He was told not to, kept doing it, and lost his computer game privileges for the evening. Granted, as a parent, this is a hard line. The computer game is solo occupation for the boy. It gives recovery time. But tonight there were books. I (sort of) made dinner. (I reheated food and made noodles). Dinner, dishes, relaxing. The family watched an episode of [en:Glee_(TV_series)|Glee].

I put the boy to sleep. Typically one of us will monitor him brushing his teeth. We then collaborate on changing him into pyjamas, putting lotion on some dry skin, and giving him his inhaler. Heather reads him books. The current choices are “The Caterpillar and the Polliwog” and “Truck in the Muck”. “But, No Elephants” seems to be travelling down the charts lately. Once he’s been read to it’s my turn to take over. This is a shame because I like to read books. Actor, director, voices… go fig.

If he’s wound up, I let him lie in bed and kick his legs very fast. After a moment I stop him and have him count to 20. Lather, rinse, repeat. This gets out the extra energy. Usually 2-3 rounds go by and then he announces, “All Done.” Aiden is also at the point where bedtime includes a request for the Potty. He doesn’t actually want to relieve himself. It’s just an excuse to delay bedtime. But since Potty requests are sacred… we try to deal with it carefully.

I can tell when he’s getting ready to sleep because he will ask to be tucked in. Of course it sort of sounds like “Duck.” He’s doing really well with language. He’s in the “Elmo third person” phase. “Aiden do it.” “Aiden get cheese stick.” Two weeks ago was my learning to translate Traympeeyo into train-pillow.

While he gets himself relaxed, I sit in the room and play iPhone games. Mostly [en:Bejeweled Blitz]. I seem to now be able to hit 80-105K fairly regularly. Tonight, I had the glee of approving my first comment on the new blog. Bless you, Joy.

Boy down. Watched last week’s Heroes. Started laundry. And decided. Okay. Post number 2. Kind of long. But, lots done today. Now I’m just kind of bored and tired. Once the dryer is done, I can move load 1 into the bin and load 2 into the dryer and just leave it for bed.

That’s a day at home while looking for work. Who knows what I’ll write next. Hopefully not another 8500 characters. And to think, in high school I thought 1600 words was hard.