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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in John's LiveJournal:

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Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011
1:23 pm
Day 3 of Helen with Flu
I can't wait until Erik is old enough to cut the hair off all Helen's my little ponies.

I fear my developing hatred of talking maps may spread to the GPS.

The Roomba may have failed me for the last time. We got all ready to run it, and after 1 minute it whines it's battery is dead. At $30 a pop, I'm almost ready to write the damn thing off and go with a different robot vac. One with a frick'n laser! I'll give it a couple charge cycles, but I am Most Displeased.

Helen's emitting at over 101F now. She's due for another dose of ibuprofen, but I'm holding off until after lunch - so the next dose lines up with bedtime. And maybe with a bit of fever
she'll actually nap.

Uh-oh, Dora's up to Tico helping find the nuts. I only have a few minutes left to make lunch.
Wednesday, January 26th, 2011
9:51 am
Snow sucks. The only good thing about it is it makes driving practice on streets legal - I can take corners at the limit of traction without breaking the speed limit, practice hitting the apex right, throttle steer, and hitting the four wheel drift exit just right. The snow banks built up around the road also make a pretty soft guardrail.

I am getting irritated by the irresponsible and frankly rude scheduling. The snow was suppose to be this afternoon, but there's already almost an inch down. The stuff I had on the clothesline is now both frozen and covered in snow. I'm getting sick of snow showing up early, sometimes even when the forecast clearly called out no snow. How is this possibly acceptable?!?!? Can't we set up windmills or something to get this mess under proper control?
Read more...Collapse )
Sunday, November 28th, 2010
6:14 pm
Playing at the part today, Kris taught Helen how to put her thumbs in her ears, waggle her fingers and say in a sing-song voice, "Neener neener neener, Can't catch me!"

I see no way this could come back to haunt us.
Sunday, October 10th, 2010
1:50 pm
A boring video of Erik intentently eating
From 2010-10-09


PS: The camera and minitripod did survive the video-ending event
Thursday, September 23rd, 2010
2:32 pm
Helen's musical tastes
Helen's current favorite lullaby (lightly stolen from Mary Poppins and slowed to be lullaby-ish)

Chim chiminey
Chim chiminey
Chim chim cher-roo!

You life will be short
if you're eaten by a grue.

Chim chiminey
Chim chiminey
Chim chim cher-ray!

A lantern or nightlight
keeps grues away.
They live in the dark,
So people say.

Chim chiminey
Chim chiminey
Chim chim cher-roe!
If you're in a maze,
You won't know where to go.

Chim chiminey
Chim chiminey
Chim chim cher-ree!
Just draw up a map,
How hard can it be?
With decent graph paper
It is easy.


(She also likes "Throw the Baby to the Wolves," sung to the tune of "Oh My Darlin' Clementine")
Sunday, August 8th, 2010
3:33 am
Yup, flying business class is much nicer than economy. No shock there. But it doesn't make travel fun. Sorta like driving a car for six hours is a more comfortable way to travel than riding 6 hours in an horse drawn cart.

And there's the call for my Chennai connection. On to my next 8 hours...
Monday, August 2nd, 2010
10:53 pm
OK, I'm fine with having to hang out in NYC for six hours between turning in my visa app and picking it up. No problem, I'll just take my laptop and switch Starbucks every hour - voila, mobile office. But wait - the consulate bans laptops from the premises and is quite explicit about having no short term ability to store them. So, I'm looking at spending the 6 hour wait with no more than "Only a plastic bag containing your application related papers would be permitted." Not cool Consulate General of India, not cool at all.

Current Mood: annoyed
Sunday, June 20th, 2010
4:14 pm
On the off chance any of you all not only didn't see me post this on Facebook but also care in the slightest, what are the three most common programming snippets any coder ever learns? Make that the most common three other than "hello world"?
Tuesday, March 16th, 2010
12:46 pm
I need to schedule the next few weeks, but to do so I need to determine exactly when Beta Project will be delivered. Needing information on the future, I would like to harness the power of crowd sourced information markets, however Intrade has declined to open a contract on the subject. Fooey; I'm stuck with the meager haze of souls who wisp by on Livejournal. So add your guess as to the delivery date for Beta Project below. A C-section is basically required at 40 weeks, so voting for March 29th is sorta like bidding $1 on the Price is Right sans the lecture about spaying and neutering your pets. If you win, as a prize I'll name my soon-to-be-delivered son after you!*

When will Beta Project be delivered?

March 18-19
1(5.9%)
March 20-21
0(0.0%)
March 22-23
2(11.8%)
March 24-25
5(29.4%)
March 26-27
3(17.6%)
March 28-29 (non-C-section)
2(11.8%)
Scheduled C-section
2(11.8%)
You should make sure the stray cat that sleeps your garage is spayed and neutered.
2(11.8%)


* A prize substitution of naming Helen's soon-to-be-delivered

Twin bed

and/or my soon-to-be-delivered

after you may be made at my soon-to-be-delivered son's maternal unit's sole discretion.

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010
1:14 pm
I hate being sewed upon, but have a deep appreciation of novacaine and an excuse to duck work today (I'm not suppose to talk while my little gum graft thingie settles down so I've plunked in bed with my laptop). Expect voluminous and esoteric postings from me today. Or nothing at all. Really depends on how the Vicoden hits me and whether that orange platypus over there lets me get my laptop power cord before my battery runs out. Did you know that playpuses (platypi?) have venomous stingers? Seriously, Australia hates people. There's a tree covered with tiny silicon stingers over there that can only be handled safely with welding gloves while wearing a respirator. It's venom is notable for not causing any actual damage, just intense pain (most Australian venoms cause pain as a side effect of melting your flesh or something). Welding gloves would work for dealing with the platypus too, but I don't have any. I've always kinda wanted a MIG welder, but my welds look terrible so I'd never want anything I've welded. It would be useful for thawing frozen pipes though (use it to drive 1000 amps through the pipe to thaw inaccessible freezes by the resistive heating caused by the current, not applying heat directly- that would be silly). An oxygen lance would also be pretty neat; it is suppose to get hot enough to melt rock and wouldn't be too hard to put together. And I have rocks in the yard that I wouldn't mind melting holes in. I could make a hole and mount a pole for a bird feeder. I think I'll take a nap and go for my power cord later. Platypies are venomous you know.
Saturday, February 6th, 2010
10:37 pm
Bad vision super power!
The below is an optical illusion. You see a bunch of squares laid out in spirals?



Well, most people do and that's wrong. The squares are laid out in perfect, concentric circles. Your brain is broken. Now, those of you that are as near sighted as me, try this - look at the image without your glasses. Pull back enough that the squares, and their mind-tricking tilts, are all just blurs and you see the circles accurately.

Go to the source of the illusion and comment that points this out if you are afflicted by good vision and want to see through the illusion (or do the normal things - trace around, block off portions of the pic, etc.).
Tuesday, December 1st, 2009
6:15 pm
No time for 2,000 words, so 24 hours in Puerto Rico in two pictures:

From 2009 Nov Puerto Rico


From 2009 Nov Puerto Rico


Random bonus movie of Josh The Skunky Ox:Collapse )
Friday, November 20th, 2009
3:59 pm
An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but one or two little cores appear to breed fruit flies. As I have discovered after an apple eating experiment in my office, which somehow ended up with a core or two in one of the debris drifts in the corner. I noticed a small group of fruit flies around it last week, and a fairly large one this morning. This never happens with chocolate chip bags or tortilla chip sacks from Costco. Hmmm.

While my first instinct was to perform a full population count, wait another week, and survey again to find the growth rate r of Hawthorne fruit flies, my scientific instinct was overwhelmed by my introverted dislike of sharing an office so I went ahead and cleaned out the trash. Four garbage bags, three cereal boxes, 4 tortilla bags, and a few socks later, my office is trash free. (Er, trash reduced.)(In one corner.) My reward for such virtuous behavior? Now the stupid fruit flies are swarming all over the entire house in a tiny diffuse horde like Ron Paul advocates in online forums, wafting between me and my computer and eliciting snarky comments from the wife about all the little crawling specks on the bathroom mirror.

I'm recording this as a concrete example of Why I Don't Clean My Office, an excellent supporting argument to Don't Eat Fruit, and a potential rebuttal point to any future spousal exhortations of When Am I Not Nice To You?
Wednesday, November 18th, 2009
7:12 pm
I fully support child labor.

From 2009 nov washing
Tuesday, October 13th, 2009
10:15 am
Anyone on Google Wave?
If you are, let me know (surpheon@livejournal.com) - I want to start a Wave on what to use Google Wave for.

Current Mood: Waving
Friday, September 25th, 2009
10:38 am
Cunning plan... thinking through...
With two hours to kill in a Target while my car gets oiled, I bought Helen a slinky - the cool, metal one (not those imposter plastic... things).

In other news, we've almost taught Helen that our too-steep hardwood stairs can be dangerous and she should never play on them.

Hmm.
Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009
1:21 pm
In the "huh, it wasn't just me" file:
"MINUTE 30 OF GMAIL OUTAGE THE CITIES ARE IN FLAMES AND PEOPLE EATING PETS TO SURVIVE. TO FUTURE GENERATIONS: WE MEANT WELL" Twitter, about 21 hours ago from scalzi

I didn't turn to eating pets, but I did dig lightly into my desk and found a Nestle milk chocolate chip bag with a few left, a Sacajawea dollar, a blank Chicago postcard, and a FedEx receipt from exactly two years ago (Sept 1). I feared what would happen if I was too greedy and dug too deep, so I stopped at the 2 year strata (about halfway down). The last thing my office needs is a desk Balrog. (Although soon I'll need to stripmine the accumulation down a bit; it could fall on my laptop and damage it. Or me. Maybe if I shift some of it under my laptop and raise my chair... Hmm. If I toss in a retaining structure of some sort on the back I could even open the window again without fear of loosing binders out it... that just may work.)

Helen continues to get more talkative. She has recently taken up shrieking too. Apparently, she and a daycare friend can locate each other by high pitched shrieks across the play room. It quite likely also works for the 3 miles between their houses. I'm sure our neighbors think we're brutally torturing a dolphin at times (can you waterboard a dolphin?); if you hear of an anomalous pod of dolphins in the Hudson looking angrily for vengeance they probably think so too.

Just off a work bender where I worked 4 solid 50-60 hour weeks. Blech. Need time off. Errands are not getting done the past month (folding laundry, getting a suit, bathing).

In other random news, we've moved to the upstairs so Helen now has her own room. Even frequently sleeps in it. We're off to Atlanta this weekend for DragonCon on Kris's whim to see an author she likes. Should be interesting - Helen likes pointing at my anime convention t-shirts and shouting bAEbee heeehehee! (babies know faces, and big eyes with a little nose does means baby)- I wonder if that will extend to cosplay folks?

My next four trips in the coming 45 days will be: Atlanta, Kansas City, Indianapolis, Oakland (fun convention, work, conference, work and Cheeseboard pizza). My dopplr carbon footprint makes me sad :( The sight of the interior of a 737, or lord help me any suicide tube by Canadair, makes me sadder :( :( And for the trifecta of sadness, my accountant did not approve the purchase of $300 of play pit balls to fill the empty-for-summer hot tub; I shall resubmit next year, when I hope Helen will support me with a more compelling endorsement than eeeeeeeeeeEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEECk - err, gotta go. I think I hear a soggy pitchfork thwack, thwack, thwacking at my door.

Current Mood: recumbent
Monday, August 17th, 2009
12:00 pm
A quick update
Clothes shopping: Advantage Brooks Brothers. Nordstroms did not have anyone around to help me, Brooks Brothers did. Bonus for Brook Brothers: Shopping consisted of picking colors and getting the right size (my legs apparently are not an even number length, so hemming is required, and the flat-front trousers I got apparently run small since I needed to get an inch larger waist). They had one pair of basic trousers, and one type of basic shirt. I picked two trousers and three shirts. On the way out, I did grab a nice pair of khakis from Nordstroms.

I think I'll have a suit made in Manhattan and call it good enough for now.

In other clothes news, I found a box of summer clothes put away up in the attic two or three years ago. I was excited to find I had a couple more pairs of shorts. Unfortunately, due to the humidity and heat in the attic I wager, they seem to have shrunk and are just a bit too tight in the waist. I think I'll have to store such stuff in the (just de-molded - had to wipe down the walls due to a dehumidifier failure) basement in future.

Newest Helen news: She HATES the water at the beach. It is not OK. Sand is petty cool though.
Friday, August 7th, 2009
11:13 am
Clothes shopping sucks
I HATE clothes shopping with a passion usually only reserved for things like talk radio hosts or a chilled water plant design that utilizes a tertiary pumping scheme (ARG!), but after three+ years of working at home it's time to get some work clothes.

Lacking imagination as much as I lack a sense of fashion, I am going to pit two bland chains against each other in a winner takes all (er, 69.2%) of my budget competition. I will go to a Nordstroms and a Brooks Brothers on Monday during the day (hopefully a slow time). I will give whoever helps me at each store 30.7% of my budget and the directive to get me as much business attire as possible for that amount (I frown upon jackets, no more than one tie outfit, and I'm keeping my current shoes - they're always under a table or podium anyhow). I will also tell them that I'm comparing what I get from them versus x to decide where to go to finish my shopping. I will then have the results judged, and go back to whoever did best with the remainder of my budget to finish. I am not getting a suit at this time - I do need a good one, but I need 3-5 lower dress level business outfits more (and a good suit would be the same as my current entire budget, both in terms of money, time, and ability to endure a clothes store).

To reward the dogged readers who have dug to the drooping tail of this post, a poll!

Poll #1440988 Nordstrom's versus Brooks Brothers

Which store will do better?

Nordstroms
5(62.5%)
Brooks Brothers
3(37.5%)

Should I post photos of the result to my journal with voting to determine the victor, or allow Helen to judge?

Yes, post photos and we shall judge!
7(70.0%)
No, judge clothing by photos online - are you daft?
1(10.0%)
Get a tophat. They're awesome.
2(20.0%)
Wednesday, July 29th, 2009
7:44 pm
Quiz: Name a sci-fi character that has platinum blond hair. We're looking for something to dress our 2-year-old Helen up as for a sci-fi convention we're going to. So far, the only idea we have is to dress her up like six from Battlestar Galactica.
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