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That feels like a triumph. Aug. 1st, 2010 @ 03:57 pm
We thought Drew had plenty of shorts. But, he still keeps running out of clean shorts. So we got more - at garage sales.

On Saturday I found a few nice things. Today we lucked out and on our way home, found a garage sale that - like many - was just trying to get rid of stuff before the end of the weekend, with a TON of toddler clothes in the right size. I brought back the equivalent of a plastic shopping bag STUFFED with clothes and one pair of nice shoes for when his feet are a bit bigger - for $9. Not too bad, I think.

Edited to note: 1 pair shoes, 6 shorts, 2 shirts, 1 swim shirt, a pajama set, 1 suspender-shorts, 2 pairs of pants, and a Santa suit. (Yes, the last one is silly. It SHOULD fit him by Christmas from the looks of it and his growth rate, and it was 50 cents of silly, so....)

We ate lunch at Elmer's Pancake House. Drew made himself happily free of our fruit dish (the banana disappeared with amazing haste, but the watermelon and cantaloupe were popular too), bits of his Dad's skillet dish (which was quite tasty), and bits of my BBQ chicken salad (black! olives!). He stuffed himself and then, since it was a bit late for his nap, slept solid in the back of the car. Hee.

He loves his new buckle lion, though it frustrates him because he still tries to match up two that don't go together as often as two that do.

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Current Mood: cheerful

Friday Five: Beverages Jul. 30th, 2010 @ 11:18 am
1. What is your favorite drink of all time? Does it hold a special memory to you or is it just because it tastes good?

A&W root beer. I like the incredibly over-sweet nature of it, and also the memories of root beer floats at the A&W restaurant with my family (my parents).

2.Tea or coffee or hot cocoa?

Tea. I like the taste of hot cocoa better, but tea is better for me, and doesn't require pills (good hot cocoa with milk in it anywhere does).

3.Best summer time drink?

Ice water. Over-sweet lemonade isn't bad, but just plain ice water is probably better.

4.Worst soda brand ever?

That I've tried, I think RC Cola. Squirt is running real close.

5.Water: flavored, bottled, carbonated, or regular old tap?

Plain. By preference, tap, filtered and refrigerated. But tap or bottled, chilled or not, is fine.

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Yesterday was very, very good. Jul. 18th, 2010 @ 07:25 am
Yesterday, we had plans to get together with Uncle John and Aunt Julia in the afternoon.

Yesterday in full. I go on and on. )

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Current Mood: content

Ways not to endear yourself to me in a game. Jul. 14th, 2010 @ 08:38 pm
I play Words With Friends from my iPhone with random partners. It's a word game with letter tiles not unlike Scrabble. It has a chat feature, which I try my best to ignore.

A recent game with a bozo:

I get the first move and play PARCHED, hitting a double word and scoring 63 points (including 35 for using all my letters). I feel slightly bad for my opponent, as that's one heck of a start to a game.

My opponent plays FAKE (using the A in parched) for 11 points, but when I see the move in the game I also see that he has sent a chat. The chat reads: "do u mind me askin u ur asl please?"

I reply "Yep." And feel no guilt and a certain amount of glee as I play ADDRESS across fake for FAKED, use all my letters again, and score another 63 points.

The score is now 126 to 11, and my opponent resigns.

Normally I am sad when an imbalanced game causes an opponent to resign before it's done. Not in this case.

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No, really, those statistics don't say what you claim. Jul. 13th, 2010 @ 11:43 am
So, one of two radio stations I listen to for traffic reports in the morning/evening (the more reliable as far as when they are) is a talk show station. The morning and afternoon shows are moderate, but some of the other shows and soundbites are – well, Dr. Laura, Rush Limbaugh, etc. I avoid them during those hours, as I do not like the style of delivery those people use. During the morning, they do run a short couple-minute spot segment each day called the Huckabee Report, by you guessed it, Mike Huckabee. Sometimes it is interesting or informative. Sometimes it’s infuriating.
Sometimes it’s stupid. This morning it was stupid. Specifically, he stated that if you don’t want to catch salmonella, you should avoid salsa, because one in twenty-five salmonella outbreaks in the last (some period of years, I forget how long) were caused by salsa, and salmonella has been found in tomatoes, peppers, etc. And because it may not have been refrigerated properly. He then said that the Texans would probably keep eating their salsa despite the one in twenty-five risk of salmonella.
Why the dig at Texans? And ignoring that, 1/25 of outbreaks being caused by salsa does not remotely translate to a 1/25 chance that any given serving of salsa will give you salmonella.
Augh. Fear-mongering is bad. This fear-mongering is also incompetent.

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Other entries
So, we got a Roomba. (We had one years ago, but it could not cope. This one seems to be hardier, although it has needed a couple brush cleanings already just on these two rooms.)

Tonight we are running it. Ray and Apple are...not impressed. Ray has been stalking it jumpily. Apple has been staring at it and jumping, with an occasional paw-swat. (Ray hasn't actually gotten close enough to hit it; Apple seems to be fear-striking, not hunting.) We have tried to reassure as best we can, but mostly they just have to get used to it.

Ray was calmer, so I got him up onto the chair beside me and was petting him, letting him get used to it and realize it CAN'T GET HIM UP THERE. He began the Snoopy vulture posture. I began trying to figure out how to prevent him - all "I must be at least partially Maine Coon" umpty pounds of him - from coming down on the Roomba like the Wrath of Cat.

The Roomba went under the chair he was vulturing from. Feline doom waited for it to emerge.

The chair in question is right next to the five-foot-high writing desk I inherited from my parents, helping to block access to it so that Drew doesn't open it repeatedly (only about twice a week). The doors on the desk no longer latch well, so a small heavy box sits in front of them, keeping the right-hand one closed (it is otherwise inclined to swing open).

Roomba, under the chair, bumped this box and shoved it aside. The door swung open. The box from my new web cam, tossed up there to keep it out of Drew-reach, fell onto Ray.

Ray abruptly appeared about halfway across the room, trailing a nearly-visible thought balloon: "I was above IT. How did IT get above ME???"

Roomba, meanwhile, jostled the chair a little and ended up stuck in a no-longer-exitable space between the chair, the box holding the desk closed, the web cam box, and an adjacent side table. Scott had to rescue it, because I was laughing too hard to save the robot. I was almost laughing too hard to BREATHE.

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» Happy happy features.
Disclaimer: no, if you're reading this on LJ, I am not going anywhere and I am not trying to drag you away. I am sharing my happy and if you want to poke around that's fine, and if you don't, that's fine.

Details )

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» Twitter snapshots
For those who don't read me on Twitter, a selection of my tweets from the weekend: most related to Drew )
» I wish I'd had a camera just then....
Scott was with Drew while I was doing laundry. Drew was fussy and not ready to sleep; his schedule's been thoroughly hosed by this trip. (I'm glad it's earlier here and not later, since he shifted to staying up until 11 pm. That's only 9 pm here, and less likely to make Mommy and Daddy into zombies for work tomorrow.)

The plan was that Scott would stay with Drew and, as much as possible, nap even if Drew wasn't (Scott got less sleep than I did today - planes knock me out and he absorbed a lot of Drew care while I slept - ditto the car ride home when he was driving). Drew's room is very baby-proofed, so this was reasonable. When I got up there with the load of laundry that needed to be dropped off, I wondered if I would find them both asleep, because it had been quiet for about 15-20 minutes.

I found them both asleep. Scott was sprawled on his back on the floor, head on the pillows in there for that purpose. Drew was lying next to him, head on Daddy's shoulder, mostly on his side, curled in against his chest, with Scott's arm curved supportingly/protectively around his back. OMG CUTE. And me with no camera. It would've taken a camera with flash to capture it. I wish I'd had one with me.

So darling. (Drew is now in his crib, having not even murmured much at the transfer, and Scott is in our bed, which is hopefully more comfortable than the floor.)
» A good weekend+.
A long long weekend is a good thing. we flew to Minneapolis for a reunion/gaming convention with friends from a gaming club at college. (Well, friends and strangers; it spans all the years of the club and some of them were unknown to us before the gathering, plus some friends and spouses/partners were brought.)

Over-detailed description of weekend, with lots of baby-related babble, yo! )

There were many many photos. None of them are presently online. I'll fix that some other time, later this week I hope.
» RECALL: Children's Tylenol / Motrin / Benadryl / Zyrtec
Children's and Infants' liquid formulations have been recalled. Details at:

This appears to affect most or all of the liquid formulations of all four products - if it's still in stores at this point, the store hasn't pulled it, but that doesn't mean it's good if it's the brand name. The advice is to toss them, apply for the refund or coupon (as you prefer), and pick up generics for the time being.
» Soup! Wonderful soup!
I don't know what it is about having a baby, but I've had more stomach illnesses in the time since his birth than in the previous five years. Probably day care, they're a vicious vector. *wry*

Monday night saw us all at the ER to deal with dehydration from the latest one. Not my idea of fun, but apparently they're seeing a lot of that lately; there's something going around. I've been out from work yesterday and today. I'm hoping I'll be well enough to go back tomorrow, as I'm up to chicken soup today (yesterday it wasn't even something to try, trust me). I've been remotely checking work email a couple times, and responding to everything that seemed to need it, which is a lot better than I was doing yesterday (then again, I was asleep for long stretches of yesterday, since I got almost no sleep the night before).

This month's pictures of Drew will include a couple of him sleeping soundly, nestled between my legs on the hospital bed at the ER. Since I took them, you can't see my face or how I looked, so I'm willing to put them up. Heh.

Think good thoughts for me, folks. I think I'm firmly on the mend, and I'd really like to be right.
» Celestial Steed.... (World of Warcraft)
Okay, I admit it: I bought the celestial steed in World of Warcraft.

It amuses me to see the number of people who criticize the number of people who have. (Judging from the number of people I see riding one, it was obviously a pretty good business decision on Blizzard's part.) Who are we, some of them ask, to think we're so special for having a mount that just cost real world money, not hard game work?

Anyone who is talking about how they are super-special for it deserves that response.

But most of those of us running around with it aren't claiming to be cool. (I restricted my saying even "isn't this cool" to Scott, until this post, actually. And I think a couple people in my guild. And that was claiming the mount was cool, which it is, IMO.) We're just running around playing the game, and enjoying the mount (hopefully, anyway; I feel bad for anyone who bought it and isn't enjoying it).

Here's why I bought the mount and why I love it:

1. It's pretty. Really, really pretty. This is my number one reason: watching it makes me happy, so having one I can ride and therefore see lots makes me happy.

2. Never again having to buy a mount with in-game gold for any alt, as you level up. You have to buy the riding training, but not the mount since you'll always have a celestial steed (every character on that account gets one).

3. I didn't realize this when I bought it, but not having to keep two mounts on action bars, since the celestial steed acts as a ground mount when appropriate, even if you can fly. (This is not as big a deal as it would have been back when mounts took up inventory slots, though.) It doesn't do one thing I wish it did - when you're in Dalaran and move into or out of the flight area, it doesn't switch between flying and ground modes. It stays ground going in; coming out it dismounts you. You can remount in either case to switch modes, but it isn't seamless.

There are a number of mounts that are very cool to have and make you look super-cool and special because you did that - that being whatever is needed to get them. The celestial steed isn't one, considering that buying stuff isn't real difficult. But it's pretty, and it has some minor game advantages, and I like it anyway.

I feel pretty good about buying it, until someone goes off about how stupid/silly/full of ourselves the people who bought it are. Even then I just feel a little self-conscious...and then I go back to watching the pretty, and playing the game.
» Oh, Ray.
Oh, Ray.

Ray finally found a cat bed that fits him.

Well, kind of, I suppose...I won't tell him if you don't.
» Miscellany.
I do not like eczema. I really do not like it on my hands where cracks on the knuckle result.

I do like watching Scott talk so much about how he doesn't really need a smartphone, just a new phone that works (his has been declining in speaker quality, to where it has to be on speakerphone held not more than 1-2 feet from your ear to hear the other person), and then buy an iPhone anyway. He is pleased, so far, so it works.

I am vastly amused and pleased that, when we ran late on our errands and stopped at the mall food court, Drew happily ate vegetables from Scott's sub...and bits of rice and meat and sauce from my (mild, but not completely wimped out) chicken masala. What did he reject? Scott's tomato, and my naan bread. Go figure.

Drew walked through a large part of home depot (back through one aisle and about halfway across the back of the store), "pushing" the cart (aka hanging on to it while walking).

Tonight we have dinner at Dar Essalam with Drew's honorary aunt, our good friend Elaine. Poor Drew is going to have a great day for neat foods today (and likely tomorrow on leftovers) only to return to normal fare next week. (Poor me is going to, as well. Heh.)

We finally got the tile table I wanted a couple years ago and decided to wait on, that couldn't be found anywhere the next year. Argh. This year it could and the perfect size - so now we have a table to go with our bench. (Good thing the budget could absorb it. I wasn't looking for it when we found it, I was buying drip lines for the veggies. Luckily, I also found those, so it's a straight victory and not a mixed bag.)

I need to process the photos and videos of Drew since mid-March. I still need to process them. There are some amazingly cute ones I want to send to family and friends, but that's really hard when they're still stuck on the camera. :D
» Grrrr.
Phone: *rings*
Me: Hello?
Phone: *call center background noise*
Woman: Hi, I'm calling to speak to Scott.
Me: May I ask who's calling?
Woman: (Name).
Me: ...with...?
Woman: Medallion.
Me: ...about...?
Woman: A fundraising call for a charity he's supported in the past.
Me: *debates asking which charity, decides this conversation is seriously stupid* I'll see if he's available.

I go upstairs, talk to Scott (who is watching a Very Fussy Drew). He thinks it's probably Special Olympics and isn't interested. No idea if that was influenced by his wife's decidedly grouchy mood about this caller.

So I came back and told her he wasn't interested and she said thanks and got off the phone.

Decidedly odd and annoying, and I suspect not true. That is, the phrasing "for a charity he's supported in the past" instead of naming the charity sounds like a company trying to circumvent the do not call list....
» Photos.
Not dead. Posting photos. I was drafting the update on Drew for his journal/email list (need to send the email still), which reminded me I've added some photos and videos at Flickr that are public and I'm fairly proud of. Feel free to go have a look (except if you're logged in to Flickr and are a friend on my account, you'll have a deluge of baby photos to look through instead of just the few that are public).

Annoyed at the washer. Again. Had to call in the home warranty. This time it might be useful - they sent a different company than the last gazillion times we complained about the slamatron washer, and THIS guy actually thinks parts need replacing. No, really? That would be nice. Sadly, it means we need to get the washer out of the teeny laundry room, which will probably (but maybe not) mean taking the door off its hinges. Augh.

Seems like a lot of my life is Drew and work these days. That's a good thing overall - but then I look up and suddenly it's been a week and I haven't posted here. Augh. Worse, there were usually things I wanted to post about. It's just that I don't find time and then the moment's gone (and sometimes the thought, too).
» We are such geeks.
So, last night from 5-10, Drew's daycare did a special session the kids could go to for an extra fee - a "pajama party" while parents had a nice night out for Valentine's weekend.

We took Drew. And then we came home and played World of Warcraft, cooked beans, and did laundry. LOL. The date part was WoW - we hardly ever dare to do anything like an instance any more, even a short one, as they're all too likely to be interrupted. It was fun! Silly, but fun.

Also yesterday we got Drew new shoes - he does need them for if he's outside as he does stand and cruise and will presumably toddle soon - which went surprisingly well. He likes his new shoes. Alas, he shut a thumb in a toy at the shoe store. No damage done except that he was VERY unhappy for a little bit.

I let him have a bit of my (unsalted) soft pretzel. He promptly leaned over and tore off a section about 2 inches long. LOL! I guess he likes pretzel, and I guess I should be better prepared to protect mine. ;)

Then we went to the YMCA swimming pool. We skipped the lesson this morning and will for the rest of this session. He is getting too upset at them. Instead we'll go during open/family swims. Early in the baby lesson they put them on their back. He hates it. And he hates being forced at their pace. And the lessons are pretty much ON his morning nap time. He was starting to dislike water and not trust us. So we took him in the afternoon - he slept in the car and when he woke we took him in and swam. He was VERY wary for a minute or so until he realized he wasn't having to do anything he didn't want to, and there wasn't a circle of parents-and-babies, and hey look the water bubblers and splashers are running and there are bigger kids and things to watch....

We stayed in for about 45 minutes and you could just see him unwind over the first 15 until he was having a total blast. And we still practiced lots of swimming stuff (kicks, splashes, blowing bubbles, climbing out) - we just didn't force, we coaxed, and we didn't flip him on his back. That'll come in time. For now, I'm glad to have his trust back in us in the water.
» What I need for remote backup....
For anyone trying to suggest alternatives to Carbonite for me - I would love them. I'm not willing to pay TONS more for better service, though, because Carbonite works reliably for backup/restore (it just has this annoying quirk regarding video files, which they're theoretically escalating to fix). I'd be willing to pay maybe double what I pay now, at most.

I currently back up two computers, whose backups are 55 GB and 237 GB respectively. This will drop to one computer but the same size backup in the next few years - I'm gradually consolidating away from the laptop. All I'm interested in is the backup; other services offer syncing between computers/devices, but that's not what I'm looking for here. Just to have my files preserved if my computer turns into a doorstop, and in an off-site backup.

Carbonite charges per computer, so this costs me $110 a year currently. It looks like Mozy would be about the same, but I don't know anything about them; thoughts and impressions? (Sugarsync, which someone suggested, does a LOT more...and would cost me $350 a year at my current backup volumes. Since the one with 237 GB will eventually grow with more photos and videos plus the 55 GB from the other one, and their top plan is 250 GB of storage, I'd simply outgrow them shortly.)
» Right now, I do not like Carbonite very much at all.
Details of why )

If you're in the market for a backup, investigate the alternatives and consider Carbonite the solution if and only if you need what they offer so bad that having this kind of customer service is worth it. If you don't need them that badly, you're better off finding out if they have competition that actually has customer service instead of customer aggravation.
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