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Weekend Update

So, big weekend last weekend.

It all started with the fair, where I had three pictures in, the kids all had veggie critters, Ben had a couple of ceramic pieces, and Rose had the big quilt and a little pair of up cycled baby pants. All reasonably successful — Rose got the quilt hung up in the rafters, I had two “Merit” ribbons, and the kids all got blue for their veggie critters. And then there’s the midway. Nate’s a monster on the rides. He preferred the airplanes, different colors each day. Tim really liked the roller coaster, and Ben liked to ride the ferris wheel.

Then there was Mindcamp 7. I’ve done a couple in the past, but missed a few after the move to the island. This felt smaller, with less momentum than the earlier ones. It could have used a few more people ready to give sessions, myself included. I led 1 and a half, and I really should have listened to the nagging thought that I should bring some lighting gear and do quick headshots. I didn’t bring the gear, but I still wound up running about half of the photo session anyway when the named presenter didn’t show. Then, just after that, I did a little roundtable discussion on raising geek kids. I was good to see other people’s approaches to kids and tech.

I was planning on Werewolf, but this time there was an iOS game remix programming contest. All night, 9pm to 9am. So, when I got there, I found Adam and David, werewolf players, and planned to do the contest but take it easy, and play werewolf if we felt like it was going that way. But somehow in the early hours of the morning, we got some good traction and started to get the game working in a fun way. We added gameplay. We added graphics. We added sounds. We added fading backgrounds, 2 different ways, till Kyle from Monstercostume showed us the third way that actually worked. And, somehow, at the end of it, we had a winner. A playable game, with shiny bits and sounds that went boom. And for that, we took home the iPads. 3 days later, I’m almost recovered from the sleep deprivation and thinking of looking at the code again, just to see if I still recognize it. Besides, there are a couple bugs, and the kids want to play it.

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Recovery Notes

I got a little data off the iMac drive by copying while running OSX, but it turns out that it’s been far more reliable to just pull the drive and hook it up to Ubuntu with a sata->usb adapter. Large file copies in OSX would fail after a while, but I’ve been able to pull several > 100MB files (lightroom catalogs) from the drive without halts or apparent errors. I’ve been able to get all my email off, and a selection of other bits and pieces that will make restoring the machine that much easier. And, to top it off, I found a 5 month old backup from a earlier run of Time Machine.

But what’s even better is my old dev workstation, one that I was in the process of migrating off of onto more modern hardware, lost its root drive over the weekend. But, no data loss on that one.

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I want to try this…

I want to try this Cider Braised Ham Roast, or something similar. I was a little unhappy that we got 4 extra fresh (frozen) ham roasts (not cured) with the half hog, instead of putting it in sausage. We _know_ we eat sausage. But then again, we also know that we really like pulled pork. So, hearing that the fresh ham roasts can be used like butt, and knowing that braises are goooood, I think this is going to be a winner.

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Tonight, after dinner as night fell, I was standing outside a few feet from the hummingbird feeder watching them fly around and occasionally have a drink. As I stood there, with the buzzing and flying, there was more and more buzzing, till I counted 7 hummers that I was tracking at once. I’ve never seen that many. And what’s more, there were 4 on the feeder drinking at the same time, with one waiting somewhat patiently.

I’ve never seen two share the feeder before, even though there are 4 places to drink. And to have 4 and a spare at once, just a couple feet away was stunning.

One of these days, I’ll get there with the camera and catch them in flight.

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10 years

Round about 10 years ago, this litte blog started out as one of the first non-Userland hosted manila sites. A week or so later, the early editthispage.com people went live, including a couple that I still check up on daily (dangerousmeta, 2020hindsight) and some that I’ve lost track of and miss. (Al.)

It was spotty at first, and I didn’t really get the rotating home page thing down till a week or two into it. The early contents were lost to editing, but some the 11/30 protests stick in my mind as being early news worthy stuff to write about. A lot of the blogging world has changed since then, and it’s sometimes a little embarassing to see how far things have moved in 10 years.

I can’t believe that I’ve managed to keep this thing going a year, let alone 10.

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Thankful for

– The 2 successful ambulance rides this year
– That the other kid didn’t need an ambulance ride
– That the little baby considers my chest a really nice place to fall asleep
– That the older kids have both hit a major development spurt in the last couple months.
– That despite having a week and a half of flu in the house, and no food prep done for thanksgiving, we’re going to have something of a special meal today with mostly healthy people.
– A full woodshed
– Big Spoons

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Kiddo Update

To start with, there are three of them now. Not that I’ve manage to post about the baby here yet. He’s getting to be a charming little alert 2 month old, with occasional cranky patches. Just about what he’s supposed to be like.

Tim has decided that english is an acceptable language, and now has hundreds of words. This started Tuesday, September 22nd. It started with the names of his brothers, and now it’s almost anything that we’ve talked about to him. A switch flipped, totally and completely. His 60-80 words of Timish, with it’s own consistent grammar is mostly gone. There are only a few words of that left, but they may be the ones that take a while. It’s very strange to have a toddler that can talk.

Ben is well on his way to reading. Sometime in September, he decided that other people could actually teach hiim something. This was conveniently when kindergarten started. We’re now 1/3 through Teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons, (Engelmann). It’s a Phonics based approach, with a big section at the front that explains the methodology and what to do. And looking at it, it all makes sense from a psychology and machine learning point of view. And best of all, its working. He’s excited about reading every night, and he’s to the point where he’s moving from sounding out the most common simple words to just reading them fast. He’s trying to sound out words that he sees ‘out there’ — sometimes it works, sometimes it’s not something he’s seen yet.

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Long Break

In the nearly 10 years that I’ve ben running this thing, I think I’ve only missed a month here and there. Well, it’s been two now, and even thought there’s a ton of stuff to write about, I’m just not inspired. Soon, really. I know that there’s stuff in my mind that I need down before I forget.

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Hot. Really Damn Hot.

It’s 96 in the shade on the front (north) porch, and 108 on the south-east corner of the garage, where there’s partial sun for the morning. And I’m not even going to guess what the thermometer in the greenhouse looks like.

At least it’s only 83 in the house, and the one room with AC is down to 72. This is the air conditioner that I bought when Ben was 2 days old and we had a 95 degree heat wave in the city. We have moved it from house to house since, but this is the first time that we’ve needed it on Whidbey.

And, a couple of hours later, the outside temp is falling and the inside temp never got over 83. But now, I need to figure out dinner. And that’s going to be hot.

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Random Linkage

An Open Tab Link Dump:

An easy way to do all the steps required to get a well behaved unix daemon in python.
Atlas Shrugged, Revisited
Useful Emacs Commands
Python mail server. Looks like similar intentions to something I did about 10 years ago and launched my programming career.
MIT Course Notes on database systems. Something to read in spare time.

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