Dad, my life is so busy, I barely have time to watch TV.
a mash-up of food (technology) & rest
As a reader (and watcher) of classic science fiction it has hardly escaped my notice that one very specific theme of the glittering promised future of the twenty-first century yet to be delivered is that of instant gourmet meals. Homemakers of the then-future were flush with leisure time thanks to meal preparation technology or instant packaged foods that shaved hours off of preparation time while ensuring every bit of quality remained in final dish. In the future, we were never to even suspect that our meal came out of a box.
I won’t argue that food technology has peaked –it probably hasn’t and perhaps we’re in store for some bold new technology that revolutionizes everything– but I think we have started to realize that the glittering promised future of a world where gourmet meals are re-hydrated or otherwise blossom from a cardboard capsule with no sacrifice to their edible quality –that future is probably never coming.
More free time.
Oddly enough, writing code. *blink* Hours pass.
A reloaded post is a short-and-sweet collection of the (sometimes-interlinked) randomness from my recent life, universe and everything else in between. They would be more detailed but they tend to be events lacking in either (a) details or (b) depth… or in the time to more fully record them. Enjoy.
It’s curious how just one month ago I was lamenting the end of all these little routines in our lives, and then… well… September happens, and everything is a go-go once again.
Old Fashioned Birthday Party
…we did our best to fill them with sugar before shipping them back to their parents.
For followers of this blog it should come as no surprise that it was Claire’s birthday over the past weekend. We pulled out all… well, ok, not all… a few of the stops and booked her a party at Fort Edmonton for her and thirteen of her friends, cousins, and school chums. They rode the street car, baked sugar cookies, rolled home-made marbles, and learned how to wash socks. And we did our best to fill them with sugar before shipping them back to their parents. All-in-all a rousing success. And many… many… many thanks to the parents who showed up (you know who you are) to supervise kids or cart supplies and a teetering chocolate cake half way across the park: we could not have done it without you.
Another Season at the Citadel
Sunday was no slouch, either. Another season at the theatre began for us with our subscription matinee seats to “A Few Good Men” that classic (can I call it that yet?) military court-room drama best known by the Cruise-Nicholson “you can’t handle the truth!” version. The play (so we were told in the playbill) came first, but had been lovingly rewritten since the film to incorporate the award winning gems of dialog made famous by the latter. It was (understandably) heavy on the American patriotism, replete with a Patton-sized flag at the climax, all of which was met by an indifferent ‘meh’ by the audience. But if readers still have a chance to see, it’s worth it overall. It’s playing for a couple more weeks, I think.
School has been in for nigh on a month now, and routine has set in. I don’t recall having homework in Kindergarten, but then again I don’t recall much at all about Kindergarten. Claire has reading homework. She is required to log fifteen minutes per night, every night, of reading. This seemed a little excessive (y’know… for Kindergarten) until we realized that the fifteen minutes of story-time we’ve been doing virtually every night since she was an itty-bitty infant was essentially all they were asking us to sign-off on. I guess we’re not normal, or something, reading to our kid. Still… call it homework and the tears start flowing. It must be encoded in their genes.
Dance + Dance = More Dance
As of Saturday morning my daughter will be a ballerina.
Claire’s third year of dance lessons start on Saturday, and by request she is now enrolled in two (nearly back-to-back) classes, not only taking in the continuing adventures in her mother’s legacy of Highland Dance, but also every five-year-old girl’s dream of Ballet. That’s right: As of Saturday morning my daughter will be a ballerina. The positive off-shoot — having nothing to do with my willingness to be involved, but rather Karin’s committment to help out at the studio during Claire’s lessons — I suddenly have a whole season of wide-open Saturday mornings for personal chores and projects. Methinks it will lean more in the direction of the chores.
Every few nights, say two times a week, we seem to get a night like tonight. I’ve just come off my half-hour-long rock-the-kid stint, wherein one stubborn Claire decides that she is simply too tired to even think about sleeping — and doesn’t.
It’s a mix of things, I suppose.
She’s probably not napping enough in the day.
Maybe dad should have put her in her crib quicker when she did fall asleep in the middle of the afternoon, instead of letting her sleep on his shoulder.
Maybe mom should have… well, I won’t start that game.
For the most part I will admit that we have been very spoiled. Once she is finally asleep, she’s down for the night. None of that waking up and crying for an hour at three in the morning. None of the mixing up days and night. None. And for the most part — every other evening — she falls asleep quickly and quietly, and there is actually some free time for mom and dad.
But then occasionally there is a night like tonight. I was cradling her in my arms, rocking a bit, and reading during the rare moments when she was quiet. But then the blubbering starts. It’s a soft whimpering, as if the crying engine is just warming up from a cold start, puttering for a few minutes until the wailing begins. If I’m good, I can bounce a little quicker, sway in just the right frequency that the sputtering, blubbering, pre-cries will fade out after a moment. If not, then the crescendo. And the fatherly genetic predisposition to respond to one’s crying infant sends an pang of anguish down the spine and wraps an icy claw around one’s heart.
And then there are moments like the one in the photo: a smiling, happy girl who is learning to hold her head up and smile at the sound of her father’s voice. And it’s all worth it.
Today was my last day of work before the holidays. As I told everyone at the office, I may not deserve it, but I’ve earned it and I’m taking it. I’ll be back sometime in January. And, if nothing else, call it round-two of the paternity leave.
So the question is this. I’m thinking of doing some tweaking of this blog. Now, that I’ve been eagerly writing and posting, writing and posting — and with a few weeks of quasi-free time — I thought I might find an hour or two to work on the template.
So, this is your chance. If you are a regular reader of this blog you get all this great (though rambling) content for free. So, the cheque has come due: tell me what you think. What do you like? What drives you crazy? What do you think should be changed?
Color? Layout? Link bar? Images? What?
Usually, I just go ahead and surprise — and this is not to say I’m going to blindly implement everything that is suggested — but I thought I’d go to my readership and see what I should do this time. So? Comment, already.
It’s been a month worth of upgrading. Upgrades are cool. Usually, it just means taking something you already have and improving, replacing, or appending it to make it better. My highlights of this pleasant process include:
- :: I put my snow tires on the car yesterday and just this morning had the two-year old beast winterized. Not exactly an upgrade, but it drives like a snow leopard now — a NEW snow leopard. Can you believe she just passed 50,000 clicks last week?
- :: Karin bought me a new iPod for the birthday. Yes, the old faithful beast of days past has been passed down to the next generation, filled with kid music and mounted semi-permanently in Claire’s room. My new 160GB Classic is a pal.
- :: New iPod means slick new FM transmitter!
- :: I’ve discovered a new brand of coffee. Yum.
- :: A new wireless PCMCIA card for the laptop finally came in the mail (via eBay) yesterday. It works like a charm in Ubuntu (unlike the old one). So, old tired Windows laptop is now a slick, gutsy gibbon terminal.
- :: The new stereo system arrived a few weeks ago. I think I’ve belabored that enough in previous posts.
- :: We bought Sparkle a new winter coat. Now I just need to figure out how to make her grow longer fur! She still hates her boots though.
- :: And we moved Claire up to size 1 diapers. If I didn’t mention that you might think I was a bad father. So… yeah. And I should note that’s an upgrade FOR Claire, not OF Claire. She’s upgrading herself just nicely.
Now if only I could upgrade my life to 26 hour days and 8 day weeks. Oy!
As June comes to a close and summer is now a full week on, photos…
Work brought me down to Lethbridge for a couple nights, and I took advantage of the free time (and the fact the Lethbridge Lodge is virtually hanging from the edge of the valley overlooking the train bridge) to go for a pair of long walks into the city’s extensive tail system. Of course, I had my camera in hand and captured a number of reasonable landscape photos.
Of course, there are tonnes more photos than those posted, many with incriminating shots of co-workers and such, which will not be posted here. Too bad.
IMPORTED FROM OUR TRAVEL BLOG: Brad, Karin (and Ryan) Do Europe ‘06
After a sobering visit to Auschwitz on the way here, we arrived in Warsaw last night. It was a long trip through sunny Poland, and though the people here are generally quite stern and abrupt, I think it has more to do with the language difference than anything personal.
Today we had a bit of a tour of Warsaw, and since about lunch have had some free time. Karin and I toured the local museums, including the history museum (pre-war and post war) and strolled briefly through the Marie Currie Museum (dicovered radioactivity). The city itself is in a bit of chaos as the pope is arriving tomorrow. Things are barricaded everywhere you go, and there are police everywhere.
As I said, Auschwitz was a sombering experience, and we had a quiet three hours there with a great tourguide. Frightening and enlightening all at once.
Tonight is another free night, then we’re off to Berlin again in the morning (already!).
There has been a wee bit of confusion.
I’ve been resistant — for the not-quite-obvious-reason that I’m already paying for a lot of hosted webspace, so why would I — to switch to a more familiar service like Flickr for my photo galleries. Recently, I updated my gallery software to Gallery2, a relatively major update to the software I was using before (and I suppose I still am, in some quiet corner of the web.) That said, you may notice that most of my links still lead to the original gallery.8r4d.com site, green-devil, photoland. This is because there are still some issues that (given the appropriate amount of free time) will soon be remedied:
Optimized database, yet to be done, to speed things up a little — COMPLETE? so if it’s slow, get a better ISP!
- Complete transfer of ALL old data, like captions and titles that got cut off or ignored when I did the inital run.
Functioning commentsSHOULD now be working!
- Better template and blog integration, so it’s all pur-dee-like.
You’ll know when I get these working. But like I said: check it out and leave me a note or a comment if there is something else that is bugging you. I want to get this thing in full swing soon.