Weekend Update

I’ve been meaning to post more, I swear!!!  Real life throws wicked curves sometimes.

So, I got home from work on Friday and met Fae at our friend J’s house for dinner.  We get together far too infrequently, so this was a nice treat.  He’s a great cook, but unfortunately, everything I ate tasted the same.  My sinus infection had been getting worse by the hour to the point where when I got home, I took my pillow and blanket and slept downstairs.  I snore even in the best of situations.  When I’m sick, it’s scary.  I mean peel the paint off the walls scary.  Ever have a simus infection where when you try to blow your nose or clear the pressure in your head by popping your ears?  Yeah, ever time I did that, the pressure got worse.  Started taking Levaquin that night, even tho it WRECKS my stomach.

Woke up saturday feeling a little more human, watched some movies with the kids – btw, Coraline is fuckin twisted, I don’t care who you are.  Excellent movie, and one I would recommend, but really whacko.  Ever watch those Christmas Specials with the stop motion puppets – “I’m Mr. Heat miser…” it was that kind of movie.  Ah, I just looked it up – Neil Gaiman, now I understand a lot more.  Dude is brilliant.  Twisted, but brilliant.  Watched several episodes of The Cleaner with Fae, caught up to where it is in the season.  If you’ve never watched it, see it.  Benjamin Bratt is excellent.  It’s based on a real dude who was an addict and now saves people from addiction.

Sunday was a lot better, woke up with a fairly clear head and little to no headache.  Watched Pride and Glory with Ed Norton and Colin Farrell.  I’d like to see someone else’s POV on this movie because in truth, I wasn’t that impressed.  I mean, it was well acted, the storyline was good, but it was SO FUCKING PREDICTABLE!!!  Sorry.  Unfortunately, the only movie that I haven’t been able to predict the end within the first 20 min was The Sixth Sense, which I still like to go back and watch because it totally did me over.  Anyway, it was a good movie, don’t get me wrong, I just want to see if anyone else saw the ending coming a mile away.

Went to the pool with the kids, and it was cool and not humid enough that Fae came down for an hour or so.  I got in for a little bit, but the combo of just being sick and the temp in the pool had me out 10 min later.  Tossed the sink toys for the kids for a while and then we packed up and went home.  Fairly nice day just relaxing.  Fairly nice weekend for that matter.

Got home, ate some dinner, watched True Blood – great episode btw, won’t give anything away – and crashed early.

Sick Sick Sick

Ugh. I’m one of those people who rarely gets sick, but when I do, it’s a doozy. I’m in a reclining chair in my living room because lying down makes me cough and hurts my head. Feeling much better since I started taking antibiotics, but BLEAH this sucks!

Hope this finds you all feeling better than I am right now. Ugh.

My first employee :)

I usually don’t blog about anything going on at work, but I had to share the situation I’m in right now.

I ended up landing an intern with almost as much experience as me, and I was really happy having him here for the summer.  The issue was, the summer ends.  His internship was scheduled to end on the 28th, so my boss and I were scrambling to put together a proposal to hire him fulltime.

It’s official, I have my first employee.  YAY 🙂  He’s picking things up really fast, and it’s a blessing to have the help 🙂 So…YAY!

You wanna blog?

Okay, here’s the 30 second guide to get started.

  1. Pick a free service like blogger, or typepad, or wordpress.  (recommendation: Go with WordPress)
  2. Start blogging. Write about what you’re passionate about. Doesn’t matter if it’s fried pickles, smelly farts, or belly button lint , go for it.
  3. Don’t expect followers to find you immediately, go out and start commenting on other people’s blogs.
  4. Don’t expect to make any money on advertising. If you have 20000 hits a day, sure. But you don’t have to worry about that right now.
  5. Write, write, write. It’s a daily exercise, get into the habit of writing about what’s on your mind.
  6. Pay attention to the last note, it’s important. If you don’t write, why will people read your old stuff?
  7. Post pictures of what you’re talking about whether it’s your family, the president, an oak tree, or a big plane. I’m a sucker for blogs with pics.

Once you have been doing it for a while, you might want to move away from the free services and go
with your own host.  I would recommend this, but only if you’ve kept with it for a while and you have a good groove going.  Otherwise, you’re spending money on stuff you don’t need to.

If you’re nervous about setting out on your own, then you find someone like me who can walk you through all the steps to move to your own host, because truthfully, the free services have some cool tools, but the self-hosted WordPress blog I have is SO much easier.  Then again, there’s also the fact that the free ones all belong to a community of sorts, but truthfully, having the freedom to load all the plugins I want and do ANYTHING I want to my blog far outweighs the add ons.

I’ve been involved with moving over several Typepad installs to hosted WordPress, and let me tell you, if you have pics on Typepad, get ready to download them all, one by one.  What a huge pain in the booty.  If there is any idea in your head of moving to a hosted solution, go with WordPress.com and when you’re ready, give me a holler.  I’d be happy to help you move it.

A Thousand Words Thursday

Aidan's goin in for the kiss

November 1999, Aidan’s goin in for a kissy on his new little sister.  I was going to post something about starting out my html experience on Geocities only to find they’re in the process of closing it down.  So I downloaded it all to my computer and then saw Jen’s post, and realized this would be perfect.

Cheaper Than Therapy

Movie Review: Atonement

Guys, good chick flick credit here 🙂  Just kidding, I had seen the trailers way back when, and in truth, I’ll watch just about anything that Kiera Knightley is in, but even that aside, it was a fantastic movie.  I’ve been a fan of James McEvoy for a while now, but I believe this is probably his best performance to date.  He was great in Last King of Scotland, but he really outdid himself in this movie.

I won’t give away anything, but listen carefully to the music and the sound effects, it will hit you at the end.  The story is basically about something overseen, and misinterpreted and how the person tries to atone for their mistakes.  Wonderful performance by the little girl who plays Briony, and Kiera is simply wonderful.  Definitely take the time to watch this movie.  Feel free to come back and post your comments after you see it, or if you’ve already seen it, let us know what you thought.

Blogger Question: How do you keep posting?

I was going to title this post, Blogger Question: How do you keep it up?, but I thought that would invite a lot of questions I just didn’t want to even go near.

What makes you post?  I guess the real question should be, Why do you blog?

Me?  I blog for therapy.  I blog to share something cool.  I sometimes even blog some uber techie stuff that no one but me understands.

Why do I feel guilty when I don’t blog?  Should I blog, just to keep myself writing?  Sometimes I think so, sometimes not.  I wish I could take more time to blog more indepth, but the spits and spurts of time that I do have to sit and blog are few and far between.  I have been writing some random thoughts that seem to be coming together into coherent thoughts and doing a little each day, and I think that’s the key.  Even if I just write a paragraph that isn’t related to the story, but is something that’s bouncing around in my head, I can usually tie it in somewhere, but it’s kept me writing.

That’s the real key I guess to writing stories, just shut up and write.  Blogging is different.  I’m not like Dooce who I can’t believe lives that much stuff in each and every day, tho having watched some of her home movies, she might just be that wacky/cool.  I guess I’m just jealous.  I’d love to generate more than 100 visits a day, tho that’s 100 more than zero, right?

Speaking of which – why are you here?  I always wonder why people read my random whining.  I know Mike’s here to rub in the fact that his team is doing a whole lot better than mine right now.  I’m curious to see why people read my stuff, and how they got here in the first place.

disappointed in music

Remember sitting in your room, hanging out with your friends, and just putting on a *gasp* Record? I was thinking of all the time I used to spend at my buddy’s house, just listening to records and playing games or talking or hanging out or throwing water bombs out the window.

I was on my way in this morning, listening to the radio while I was thinking about it, mostly because I heard Us & Them by Pink Floyd when it hit me. I changed the channel and it really hit home.

Does current music kinda suck? Where are the guitar solos? Where are the 5-8-12 minute songs that you could get lost in? I realized that you have 1st Verse, refrain, 2nd Verse, refrain, bridge(if you’re lucky), refrain. THAT’S IT? What a fuckin gip! (or is it jip? I never know)

Is this just another sign that I’m getting old, or do you all agree that musicians were much more talented in their craft? Or are you all agreeing with me because you’re getting old too? 🙂

CeliacCamp: Odysseus’s job is never done

2 years ago, we wanted to do some camping with the kids and since Gillian has Celiac disease, I wanted to see if anyone had anything up about camping with kids with Celiac – tips, recipes, must haves – things like that.

What I hadn’t considered was what came as a surprise when I googled a bunch of terms together – a Celiac CAMP! We found it, checked it out, were really nervous about sending our 8 yr old, etc.  She had an absolute ball.  She was already talking about next year on the way home last year.

The forms had to be in by July 15th – medical, the registration forms, plus the check for the camp(which is TOTALLY cheap for a 6 day camp) – and around the 1st or 2nd, I was getting the rest filled out and getting the medical forms back from the doctor.  Gillian came to me around the 5th and said, “Daddy, did you send in the forms for camp?  I would be really sad if I couldn’t go because you forgot to send them in.”

My daughter is 9, going on 30, and yes, more organized than her 40 yr old father.  “Yes honey” i said as I showed her the envelope I was just licking and stamping.  “I’m all set.  Dropping it in the mail this afternoon”.  Needless to say, she was pleased.

Aidan and I were at Kendo camp this week (see my blog posts tagged with kendocamp), so Fae took her shopping for a few new things and helped her pack.  Aidan and I got home Saturday night, washed all of his clothes, re-packed them, and woke up Sunday and left around 10am for our trek to Rhode Island.  Yeah, the camp is 4 hours from where I live.  So we hiked out there, got a little lost, made it before checkin time, and got in line to get her all settled.  Got her medicine to the nurse, had her checked for lice (yes, you’d be amazed at how fast it can spread in a camp if ONE kid has it), and we brought her stuff to her cabin.

She was a little bummed, thinking she’d see her counselor from last year, but Tracey was in charge of the older girls this year.  She asked if her two friends from last year were in her cabin, and it turned out they were in the other 7-9 yr old girls cabin.  She turned and smiled, a little disappointed, but still in a great mood, “Maybe I’ll make some cool new friends this year”.  She’s such a trooper.  I could tell she wanted to be in the other cabin, but was determined to make the year fun.  She unpacked and set up all her stuff just so (she is SO organized – each outfit was in it’s own pile).  When she was finishing up, I thought I would just see if it might be possible to switch her over to the other one.  I walked out side and saw the counsellor talking to two mothers with two little girls who looked PETRIFIED.

“Hi, I’m going to be <girl 1>’s counsellor.  <girl 2> is going to be in the other cabin, is that okay?” As soon as she started saying it, both moms said NO rather vehemently and the girls turned even paler.

“Hey, I can move Gillian’s stuff to the other cabin, let them stay together, would that be okay?””
“Are you sure?”
“Oh yeah, lets keep the girls together, Gillian doesn’t mind.  Do you honey?” I said to the figure shouting NO as she ran thru the door to repack her stuff.

Needless to say, we got it all straightened out, both Mom’s thanking me profusely and offering to help me pack.  We brought her stuff over to the other cabin where Andrea, the counsellor of cabin 4 said that “Two of the girls were asking if Gillian was coming back, did they mean you?” she said, trying not to grin.  Gillian just smiled and nodded, pushing open the door.

I still have most of the skin on my face, and the holes in my ears are slowly closing from the squeals of three 9 yr olds reunited fr the first time in over a year.  Needless to say, I think everything worked out.  When she was in the other cabin she kept hugging and kissing me, storing it up for the week.

When we moved everything over, I got a quick hug, kiss, and”Bye Daddy” and she was gone.  Got profuse thank yous from the moms in the other cabin again, and drove to Long Island in a very good mood.

AND we stopped at Friendly’s on the way there, so everyone was happy 🙂

KendoCamp: So how cool is he?

After a really bad meditation session yesterday my son was a STATUE this morning!  We talked about it last night before bed, and again this morning before we went over, and as soon as the bell tolled three times, he didn’t move once.  You can hear the guy walking around, so as I hear him start to come up our row, I WILL the calmness and focus to him to stay perfectly still and the guy passes by us both.  Could NOT have been more relieved.  I was so happy for him.  When I heard some other people get it in other rows, I thought, “I think he did it” and then I peeked out of the corner of my eye and I saw him sit down a few minutes later.  I almost jumped up and cheered 😉

So how did I sleep?  Yeah, not much.  Kept waking up freaking out that he was going to get whacked again and it’d ruin his day.  The look on his face when the second set of bells tolled was brilliant.  He was so excited.

It begs the question tho – a good whack in the shoulders got the message across: don’t Move.  As I think I mentioned before…as a student, I understood why.  As a father, it killed me.  I’ve always been against spanking my kids and to this day, I never have, and I never will.  Does a little punishment like this make sense to get a point across?  I know he definitely learned something – don’t fucking move :), but was it worth it?  By the look on his face this morning, I’d say so, but at the same time, he got hit.  I’m up in the air about it.  I’ll post later, and we might even have a guest poster give his thoughts on the day.