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Not actually remembering the blog password is a good way to not be posting much. the one place that it’s conveniently saved is on the iPad, which isn’t really ideal for posting.

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iOS7 maps fail, again

Once again, the fair city of Langley, Wa is located on Hat island.

This time though, Hat Island appears to be located in the costal Alaska and BC waters. This is not an improvement.


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Easter egg hunt

We took the kids down to the big Easter egg hunt in Clinton today, where the ran around in the woods looking off something like 5000 eggs. Lots of sugar, lots of fun, and even some prizes. Like the ‘free’ goldfish, which needs a home and food and plants. Kind of like the free chicks from the garden store.

Of course, some of the eggs are never found, except by the squirrels. I saw two weathered eggs with the end chewed out, no candy remaining.

I also saw one of our three year old friends find the last gold egg, the one for the 10-12 year olds. They were looking and looking and then she was soooo excited that she found the shiny egg. (Never mind that piece of paper in there saying PRIZE, shiny egg!!!)

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Pineapple salsa

One of the ways that I used to like salmon, way back, before I was vegetarian and then not again, was grilled with a peach or nectarine salsa. We were having salmon a few nights ago. There was a pineapple that needed used. Cilantro in the fridge that needed used. (Come to think of it, the salmon was in the needed used category too)

So, together it all went.

Finely chopped pineapple, about a cup.
A hunk of cilantro, chopped up.
A couple shakes of chipotle
Half a lime, squeezed. (Needed used. What can I say)

Served with the salmon, on the side since certain little people aren’t into anything spicy of different right now.


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Power outage again

So, the power is out again. Third time this season, and this time it’s been over dinner time. (The second was fun, the parents had just arrived, and dinner was just about ready when click. I had to go shut down the computers, and then the smoke detectors, since the extractor fan was somewhat necessary off that dinner.)

I love how quiet and peaceful it is in the house with nearly no electronics running. The only noise is the hiss of the wind, the occasional banging on the walls from kids needing something after bed time and the distant roar of the neighbors generators. There are pings and clicks from the wood stove, little cat paws on carpet. (And now, tapping on the iPad to type).

So far we’ve been out from 4pm till 11pm. The Internet is up for a few minutes on battery, but that’s not going to last long.

Edit: Total outage was from 4pm to midnight, then again from 7:30am to 9am. The second outage was complicated by the generator at the well not powering the pump properly. There’s going to be some debugging on that when the weather is a bit better.

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Catching up with Christmas Presents, a review

Quick reviews of a couple of the more surprising presents.

The good: Stuck by Oliver Jeffers. Awesome 5 star book for preschoolers. It held the entire family’s attention when read aloud, 3 times in a row. This was far and away the best book this time around.

The meh: Lego City,The Mine. It’s a big set, lots of stuff to make and play with. That part’s good. Unfortunately, the mine part, with its rocks and mountain, conveyor and crane are really fragile and fall apart when the kids play with them. Lego is normally better about that, the other sets that came in were definitely better on the durability front. ( though one of the helicopter rotors seems to fall apart, but that’s probably more of a rough play thing than a design flaw)

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The rainy season

After just one weekend and a bit of the rains returning, the land has nearly forgotten about the 80 days of no rain… The chickens’ rain barrel is full to overflowing, there are wind blown pin needles and branches everywhere, and we’ve had our first ext ended power outage of the season. Early this morning, I woke up to the sounds of UPSes complaining, and later, I woke up to the sound of a 3 yr old complaining about the lack of yogurt or milk or light switches to play with.

Ah, winter. The other 9 months of the year.

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Summer Begins — a day early!

July 4th was the first day of the year that I did not wear a fleece outdoors. It was warm enough that I was able to go out in just a tshirt, from doing outdoor stuff in the morning, to the Maxwelton parade, to the bonfire at night. It was warm and sunny with only a few puffy white clouds. Summer. July 3rd, when we have fireworks? Cool. Gloomy. A little rain.

Since summer actually begins on July 5th around here, the only explanation I have is that the weather is off by a day due to the leap year.

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Revisiting the iPad

Way back when I first got an iPad, I tried connecting a bluetooth keyboard to it to improve the typing and editing experience. My recollection at the time was that the arrow keys didn’t work, and because of that, they really didn’t help the horrendous text editing situation.

In the interim, I have managed to become reasonably good at touch-typing on the wide version of the keyboard. It’s not pretty, and I still have to do a lot of editing, but I’m far better than a two thumb hunt and peck. My most common issue is hitting the return key when I intend to type a single quote, so my text tends to be littered with “can
T” sorts of things that need editing.

So, now I’ve tried again, a few software updates later, and lo and behold, the arrows work. And OMG is it faster and more accurate to type on a real keyboard. Even on the ‘not as good as my beloved Model M 13’ Apple Bluetooth keyboard, I’m typing a good three times faster than on the onscreen one.

iOS 5 fixes a lot of the frustrations I had with the way that Safari did tabbed browsing. (though, I have sort of grown used to the iOS 4 way of doing it). There are now real tabs, that really can open in the background, so I can stack up a few more windows to read while I’m continuing with the first one. It’s also noticeable faster. There is one painful bug that I never noticed in iOS 4 — If you open a news page that you hit frequently, then go to a link from the page, then use the back button, often the cached version of the page is several days old, not the most recent one that you were just viewing.

It would be an interesting experience to see if the iPAD could handle all my on the go sorts of tasks. Adding the keyboard would make ssh far less painful, and it already handles the mail and browsing well enough.

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And now for November

November is the month where I used to stop commuting by bike, at least when I had the option to do it. 40 and Rainy just doesn’t inspire. And so, I don’t think I’m going to manage to continue my summer fitness program, otherwise known as towing the kids to preschool in the bike trailer. I managed it for a good three months, from the middle of July to the middle of October.

It doesn’t seem like much, only 11 miles a couple of times a week. But there are hills (up to a 15% grade). And repetition helps. At the beginning of the summer, I’d been off the bike for a long time, and debating what I needed to do to get back riding. I considered getting a bike with lower gears, just to get up the hills around here even without a trailer (a 39×28 only goes so far). I was considering a triple, or a compact road double. But now, when riding alone, I’m rarely hitting the bottom two gears. I still need the little one when towing a kid, but only on the steepest of hills. Here to Langley is about 18 minutes on my own, a little over 20 with a bare trailer, 23ish with Nate, and 26 with Tim. 10% harder, 10% slower with each increment.

A little at a time. Slow improvement. I know I’m looking forward to being able to do this again when the good weather rolls around again. I can’t believe it took me this long to figure out a good time to go riding with the kids.

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