Saturday, December 02, 2006

Latest Baby Pic

Doesn't she look just like her Mom?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Day in the Life

A Day in the Life of a New Pointy-Haired Manager Who Just Got Back from a Vacation-Conference-Vacation Trip

Not that it was an over-booked day, just one that was too busy.
6:00 AM - Wake up with Ellie. The day starts off great! Ellie slept all the way through the night and didn't get up until 6AM. Best news all week.
7:00 AM - Shower.
8:00 AM - Start getting Ellie ready for school, and packing her up in the car.
8:20 AM - Discover that we forgot to get the second car seat back from our friend who took us to the airport two weeks ago!!!
8:31 AM - Rearrange plans for the day... Oh crap.
8:33 AM - Off to school with a new plan.
8:40 AM - Stop to get gas.
8:52 AM - Arrive at Ellie's school to drop her off.
9:00 AM - Back in the car just in time to join a conference call with my boss.
9:15 AM - Arrive at work, drop off my computer at my desk, boot it up, get some coffee, and head right into my boss's office for meeting #1.
9:30 AM - Meeting #1 done. Stay in boss's office for meeting #2.
10:00 AM - Meeting #2 done. Stay in boss's office for meeting #3.
11:00 AM - Meeting #3 done. Walk with boss to the 1st floor for meeting #4.
12:10 AM - Leave meeting #4 early to go pick up Ellie from school (Sarahlynn's at a dr appt)
12:30 AM - Arrive at school to pick up Ellie.
12:50 AM - Arrive at Barret's to drop Ellie off with Sarahlynn and give her the car seat.
1:00 PM - Meeting #5 starts... I join via conference call from the car, while I'm moving car seats from my car to Sarahlynn's.
1:10 PM - Head back to work.
1:45 PM - Arrive back at work as meeting #5 finishes.
1:50 PM - FINALLY sit at my desk and logon to my PC for the first time all day!!!!
2:00 PM - Move on to meeting #6... another with my boss.
3:35 PM - Meeting #6 ends late, and I rush back to my desk to join meeting #7, the invite for which I've forwarded to one of my developers that has very little idea what it's about.
3:40 PM - Join meeting #7 late, with apologies to all.
4:14 PM - Finish up meeting #7 and head over to meet with the developer about the project we were just discussing.
4:45 PM - Back to my desk again... 87 new unread messages from the day along with countless voicemails and the couple hundred other email messages from my vacation and trip that still need to be answered.
6:00 PM - Head on home.... still just as much new email and voicemail...
6:15 PM - Get to see my daughter and swing with her for a while. ;-)
7:00 PM - Bathtime
7:20 PM - Sarahlynn leaves for her book club
7:45 PM - Ellie safely off to bed
8:00 PM - Dinner
8:03 PM - Back to the email that needs to be replied to. ;-)

Monday, July 17, 2006


Send them an email of a digital photo that you took of a whiteboard (which I do quite frequently), and they'll send you back a nicely rebalanced color sketch. One of the best, free, web apps of the year!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

It's a beaver... It's a badger... It's a...


Yes, indeed, there's a woodchuck living underneath the neighbor's shed. As we were headed out to dinner tonight, I say a thing run from the middle of the neighbor's yard and hide under their shed. "What was that?" I would have thought a raccoon, but it wasn't big enough. The raccoons around here are about as big as a basset hound. "Was it a badger?" I knew it wasn't a badger. They're more vicious than this cute thing. "Did it have a flat tail?" Well, sort of, but it clearly wasn't a beaver! That'd be a silly place for a beaver to live. But it did have an unusually broad tail. It was gray, though. Beavers are more brown.

Despite growing up in Wyoming, I'm a city boy at heart. Someone had to warn me that we had quite a few vines of poison ivy growing up the tree in the front yard!

On the way home from dinner, we saw it again. This time, Sarahlynn stopped so that we could get a better look. Sure enough: quite a big bigger than a squirrel. not a raccoon, not an opossum, not a badger. Kind of looks like a a big overweight prairie dog.... "Maybe it's a woodchuck!?"

Sure enough: woodchuck.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Baby on Board

The other day, Mommy came home, and Ellie ran to greet her at the door with a big "mama!" and a hug. Then she patted Mommy on the tummy and said "baby!" Ellie's been a great secret keeper!

We are indeed expecting #2, and now feel comfortable sharing the news with the world. Being the information gluttons that we are, we've had some prenatal testing done to learn that this child will only have 46 chromosomes rather than the 47 that Ellie has. Due date is approximately Jan 10, 2007...

Speaking of Jan 10th, I tinkering around with dates the other day and realized that Jan 10, 1001 has a clever translation if you write it out as MMDDYYYY and then translate those characters from binary into hexadecimal. Juvenial geek humor.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Google Maps Satellite Upgrade

As noted in the Google Maps Mania blog, Google Maps's satellite imagery has been updated for the vast majority of it's coverage area. Resolution is now about 4x better, so you can almost identify what kind of cars those are. And the images have been updated with 2006 shots in many areas. So, if the images weren't from directly above, you'd be able to tell we painted our house relatively recently!

Sleepless in St. Louis

Dear Sleepless,

I'm sorry to hear that your child has a fever and hasn't slept well tonight. It is good that you say her fever's finally broken and she is resting peacefully next to her mother in your bed -- however unfortunate that may be for you. Still, I can't help but wonder what you are doing awake at 4:30 in the morning while your family is sleeping.

Sweet dreams,
--Mr. Obvious

Saturday, June 10, 2006


Pretty much everyone who reads this blog also read's this one. So, you already know that as of last Monday, my hair has started to thing on top and stick up in strange pointy configurations on the sides.

Indeed, I've officially moved from the ranks of tech-junkie to pointy-haired, acronym creating, buzz-word using manager. That's how it looks on paper, but really, I think of it more like this. I think that having a very strong technical background can be valuable for a technical manager. I also think that I don't have to entirely lose that technical skill in becoming a manager. I also know I'm completely naive about what management will entail.

So, I'm thrilled to be managing our St. Louis development team. It's a good bunch of people.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Back Home

Well, I did indeed make it back home... to an exhausted wife and a poor sick-o of a kid. In fact, Ellie's had some major congestion for the past several days, with a nasty drainage-caused cough. Ick.

Sarahlynn's younger sister and fiance came into town this weekend for a visit, so we decided to go to the St. Louis Renaisance Faire out in Wentzville. That's actually the place we bought Ellie's first article of clothing, a little renaisance style jumper with fleur de lis on it, even before she was born. The weather was WAY too hot, though. We really overheated little sick Ellie. When she woke up from her nap, around 4:45, she had a fever of 103!! We quickly encouraged her to drink lots of fluids, and gave her some tylenol to break the feaver. By bedtime, she was fealing great again. And now she's happily up-and-at'em at 5:30 this morning! Arrrrgh - as the pirates at the faire would say.

Monday, May 22, 2006

100th Post

So, unlike my wife, who's probably on her 10,000th post... I'm makeing my 100th post today. So, I'm not as prolific as she. I think it's paid off for her, though!

This 100th post is coming from lovely San Francisco, CA. I'm out on the west coast for a business conference (Informatica World) this week, reluctantly leaving behind my lovely wife and daughter. We decided to trade a trip to San Francisco in May for a trip back to Disney World in September when I'll be presenting at another conference (Teradata Partners). For fun, this week, I've decided to blog my experiences at the Informatica World 2006 conference. So, if you're interested in that kind of thing, feel free to stop by and read/comment.

On other news, my birthday was yesterday. I don't feel any older.... and I don't really think I am. Everyone assumes I'm in my mid 30s, and I'm still not there yet. I guess I should find it envigorating to still be younger that I appear. I'm not quite bald or so gray that it stands out, yet. Once I catch up in age to people's expectations, I guess I'll feel old then.

Saturday, May 06, 2006


It's taken me a while to really catch on to what the industry means by "Web 2.0," but I think I'm finally getting it.

There's a great blog about different ways that people are using the Google Maps API. Today I saw my favorite use yet: ascii maps! Google map images rendered using ASCII art.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Maggie Moos! Haven't been there since last fall sometime. I think the chocolate better-batter is my favorite "fun flavor," but for a special night off this weekend, I got half dark chocolate / half espresso with peanut butter cup mixins. mmmmmmm.... drooollll.....

This was a horribly gluttonous weekend, but not just for the diet-breaking that went on. We also bought a new laptop. (I say "we bought it" because "we" did, but it's really Sarahlynn's new laptop.) My company just switched our corporate contract from HP to Dell, so we got some special discounts! (I hope my old Compaq accidentally falls out the window of my car on the way to work tomorrow so I can get a new Dell, too.)

If you're interested in the specs of Sarahlynn's new laptop:

Dell Inspiron E1505
Intel Core Duoprocessor T2400
CPU: 1.83GHz
FSB: 667MHz
LCD: 15.4 Inch UltraSharp TrueLife Wide-screen WSXGA+
DVD: Dual Layer 8x Burner
Built-in WiFi / Bluetooth

Perfect for running Linux... or... whatever.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


My wife haz pointd out to me that their tends to be a hi ratio of typos to total words in my blog posts. Apologies. ;-)

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Hop! Hop! Hop!

I absolutely love discovering the things that my daughter knows. For a long time, she's know what a bunny rabbit is: "hop, hop, hop," she tells me, bouncing up and down.

The other day after dinner, we went out to the infamous swing set for a quick ride in a swing -- not that there can every be a quick ride with Ellie involved -- and out in the middle of the back yard was a little "hop, hop, hop." It, of course, ran away before we could get anywhere near it.

This past weekend being Easter, we spent the weekend with the in-laws. Before church, Ellie got dressed up and went for a little Easter-egg hunt around the house: toddle, toddle, toddle; set basket down; toddle, toddle, toddle; concentrate picking up poorly hidden egg; toddle, toddle, toddle; set egg gently in basket; pick basket up; toddle, toddle, toddle, while eggs fall out of too full basket... at least she's re-hiding some of the eggs for herself to find again later. ;)

After going to church in South Bend, IN, we headed over to the Studabaker Mansion for Easter brunch (with about 10,000 other folks). After lunch, while Ellie's running around from room to room in this gorgeous old mansion, who should stop by but a very large "hop, hop, hop!" Ellie was a little timid at first, but we me there next to here, she was totally comfortable taking candy from this very large stranger and blowing him kisses as he left.

Great Easter!

(Pictures will be added with the silly website comes back up!)

Monday, April 03, 2006

Ahhhh... Boom!

Speaking of guilt, yesterday morning Ellie and I were eating oatmeal for breakfast. Good wholesome stuff. Hers with brown sugar, mine with cinnamon. Ellie really enjoys her booster seat. She plays with the straps, trying to buckle herself in, leaving them and the seat covered in crums or spaghetti sauce slime. She's started helping with cleanup by wiping off the high chair after she's done eating. She also loves to either put her feet up on the table, or push off the table legs and try to tip the chair over backwards. She's done this for months. It obviously makes sense to be extra careful and keep a foot on the chair so she can't tip it over. We've said this for months. Yesterday, Ellie pushed herself over backwards... and smashed the back of her head against the wooden cabinet the fish tank is on. (At least it's made of soft pine... I have to joke. It's how I cope with guilt.)

So, tumbling backward she went. Smack!! Pause. Waaahhhhh!! Then the HUGE knot starts forming on her head. I grabbed a back of frozen beans from the freezer and put it on her head, but by that time, she'd already stopped crying. The size of the lump on her head almost made me vomit with guilt. I don't know if people can understand that feeling without having every let their child get hurt before...

Kept ice on. Checked her pupils. All seems well. I'll still nervous about the next 24 hours... but incase all those episodes of House are true.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Dieting in D'Iberville

So, the dieting has been going amazingly well. Turns out that I had A LOT of weight to lose, but I'm down almost 40 pounds since January. I've started to slack and give in to some cravings, though. I blame it, this week, on the fact that I've finally caught the same cold that Sarahlynn and Ellie have been suffering from -- and I tend to feed my colds. (You know the old saying "feed a cold, starve a fever"... or "starve a cold, feed a fever"... eh, I tend to feed them both.)

Well, Friday, I'm headed off to D'Iberville, MS to spend a week doing huricane relief work with our church. I figure that I'll go ahead and break with the rules of the diet and just take special care to not over eat during the week I'm there. Of course, I'll be doing manual labor all day to. So, maybe I'll break even.

If you have a flexible schedule and some extra days off, I highly recommend finding a disaster relief team to work with through your church or community!

Monday, March 13, 2006

Oh, Fox... How Sensitive!

Fox recently announced that no show on their networks will ever use the word retarded again, because of how offensive it is. While I admire them for noticing (after receiving a letter written from the National Down Syndrome Society -- so maybe I just admiring them for being able to read!), perhaps it's a bit too early to praise Fox's progresive step forward. Right next to the news article I read was an advertisement for a website that sells t-shirts like this:

Sure I can't blame Fox for the location of an advertisement near a news article about them... but it made for a good post. ;)

Updated with apologies to my brother-in-law, who originally posted the link to this story, for not giving him due credit.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Blog Against Sexism Day

Aparently.... it's blog against sexism day (for another 4 minutes). So here's my trivial post about a horribly non-trivial problem.

Thought about having girls or boys for children.

To quote my crass uncle:
"If you have a boy, you only have to worry about one penis. If you have a girl, you have to worry about ALL of them."

I love my daughter.
I see myself being overly protective of her someday... that someday may already be here.
I love seeing her play with dolls.
I love when she follows me around and mimics me fixing stuff.
I love seeing her hug her Mom.
I love hearing her laugh.
I love seeing her SCREAM and then tell herself "shhhh".... "giggle"....
I love my wife.
I love the way she smiles.
I love the way she is with Ellie.
I love them both...

I feel like I'd just beat the crap out anyone who tried to hurt them...

Is that sexist?

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Dieting Update

Just FYI - Sarahlynn and I are still doing South Beach. Nearly 2 months, now. We've both started excercising more, too. I've lost 30 pounds.

I have no idea how much Sarahlynn's lost... but she seems to feel better about it... I think she looks great! Not that she didn't look great before... er... she still looks great... uh... greater?... gooder?... betterer?...

Ugh. There's no right way to provide this compliment without making an insult.


No, I'm not babysitting. I'm just being a stay-at-home Dad, working part time for a couple days while Sarahlynn's out of town being a full-time working Mom. There are some dads I know who do babsit their kids from time to time. Interesting to think about the distinction between babysitting and just taking a turn watching kids... Semantics.

The point was, though, that I must have some strange narcoleptic affect on Ellie. Today, I had a business lunch with several layers of bosses above me. So, I got a friend of ours who owns his own consulting business and works from home to watch Ellie while I was at lunch. (Thanks Scott!) He did a great job. Fed Ellie lunch. Played with her. Kept her entertained and awake until about 2PM. I picked her up and instantly she fell asleep on the way home. I transfered her to bed... and she slept... for 3 and 1/2 hours!!!

My typical day includes coming home to find that Ellie hasn't slept longer than 30 minutes all day, and (sometimes) Sarahlynn and Ellie are both a little crabby about it.

I guess Dad's just a whole lot more boring than Mom.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

So darn cute

Ellie just came toddling out of her room.
Cup in one hand, tucked tightly against the side of her chest.
Hair discheveled, in her face.
Stagering down the hall with obvious concern.
A bad dream?
Daddy can fix it.
Mommy can fix it.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Two major milestones in the past month:

Any relationship, do you think?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Guns don't kill people...

Me: So, Dick Cheney shot somebody on Saturday.
Anyone: OK...
Me: Yeah.
Anyone: This is a joke, right?
Me: Nope.
Anyone: Really? No. What's the punch line?
Me: No, really!
Anyone: You can't be serious.

Every time I tried to tell someone that the VP shot someone make the other person think I was just kidding. I had to convince them that I was serious abou it!

Saturday, February 11, 2006


I've never been a good dieter. Before our wedding, we did Dr. Atkins for a while. I cheated constantly. On that kind of diet, cheating is a sure fire way to fail. Beyond that, I've just always loved food. For the taste. For something to have in my mouth. For something to have in my hands. I guess I could have taken up smoking, but my parents did that, and I found it horribly disgusting. Instead, I learned my eating habits from them.

Well, around the new year, we started the South Beach diet. Bought a couple books. Cut processed grains / sugar from our diet. Absolutely amazing results. I've lost nearly 25 pounds since January 5th. If I lose another 30, I'll be down to a weight I haven't seen since something like the 10th grade.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Sleeping Habits

No, I'm not going to proactively apologize for my snoring; or mention how late my wife likes to stay up at night; or tell stories about how we had to kick Lizzi off the bed when Ellie was a baby sleeping next to us...

Ellie made one more foray into big-girl land this weekend.

Saturday afternoon, we uninstalled the railing from her crib, and installed the toddler side guard.

Clearly, Ellie loves the new configuration of her bed. We helped her crawl up into bed and explained that when she woke up in the morning, she could climb out and come wake us up.

Despite how much Ellie seemed to love the new bed, things didn't go well Saturday night. Mom was out late for a girls' night. Ellie woke up a couple times while she was gone and needed some comforting, but I went to bed around midnight and all was well. When Mom got home, she went in to check on Ellie and found her curled up on the floor, on top of the heating vent! She had warm pajamas on. I wouldn't think she'd be that cold. Well, the move back to bed was enough to disturb her sleep thought, and Ellie didn't get back to sleep until about 4:30 in the morning. Ugh!

Tonight has been much better, though. Ellie had a big day (church followed by Dora live on stage and dinner out). So he conked right out after her normal evening routine. Things were going well. A little squawk from the nursery... excuse me, "big girl room"... from time to time, but nothing of consequence. We thought.

Turns out that, some how, Ellie managed to roll off the bed, get oriented upside down, and then roll under the bed... and remain happily asleep!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

PICU Memories

Sarahlynn posted a couple days ago on the anniversary of Ellie's heart surgery. We she mentioned it to me that night, I was amazed. It never occurred to me. I guess we're so far past it that I only think about that week in the hospital when I'm triggered by something else:
  • Seeing the cutest picture of Ellie ever taken (warning, she is bandaged here, so consider constraint if you're really sensitive to blood). We sometimes keep a framed copy of this on the coffee table.
  • Hearing the music from either her play Aquarium or the hanging star that we used to sooth her in the hospital.
  • Seeing the book of song lyrics that Sarahlynn and I put together and sang over and over and over during the whole first year of her life.
  • You might be surprised that seeing her scars doesn't usually trigger any hospital memories. I guess we see her shirtless enough that I'm used to it... except for the little scar on the inside of her left foot, from the "spare" IV line that they kept in throughout her stay.
Sarahlynn spent five installments recounting our stay in the hospital with Ellie two years ago. So, I'll just share my most impactful memories.

The first one was on the night before the surgery. The amazing surgeon, to whom we owe Ellie's life, came in to talk with us about what would happen the next day. He explained the procedure and some of the risks. He said something to the effect, "and I have to share with you that there is an ever so slight change the Ellie may not make it through the surgery because of complications that may arise." "What's the risk?" we asked. "On the order of 1-2%," he told us. We were openly taken aback by this answer, I guess. He repeated, "it's a very slight risk." I then explained to him that he was talking to people who had a 1 in 228 change of being in this position at all, but here we are. And he was telling us that it was 4 times more likely that Ellie would die, than that we would be in this position at all. It's not an entirely rational response, but I think we were both scared to begin with. After the fact, I admitted to Sarahlynn that I honestly believed that when we handed Ellie off to the anethesiologist, that was the last time we'd see her alive. Or worse, she'd come out of surgery, get worse, go back in, have some emergencies, battle on, and finally succumb to all the complications...

That memory will be very vivid for a long time, I think.

Monday, January 02, 2006

The Plague Cometh

I, the Plague-Carrier, have continue to infect family after family. After the trip to Wyoming, during which I put my brother-in-law in the hospital, we all returned back to Valparaiso for some time with Sarahlynn's family. Grandpa Ted had already had his 24-hour dose of flu. Over the past several days, both of Sarahlynn's sisters (and possibly a dog or two) have all gotten equally sick, and now great-grandpa is having stomach cramps!

Admittedly, there's a minutely slim chance that I haven't been the only carrier of this bug... but believing I infected dozens of sure makes me feel influenzial (sic)*.

*Ha! Did you catch both of those convenient puns:
influenzial.... influenza...
sic... sick...