Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Sleep!! (revised)

It's been five nights now. I feel like we (or rather I, since breast-feeding-mom always has a trick that will work) were learning a few tricks here and there, but there are times when Ada cries and nothing I do seems to work. Or course that raises my stress level and makes it even harder to soothe her.

What I should probably do is put together an actual list of the various things to try. Then just methodically go through them one by one. Change up the order in which I try things. Record which ones work / don't work on a given occasion. Record my impressions of Ada's mood or any other pertinent details. Then run some correlations to figure out which tricks work best...

And by the time I'm done with that, it'll all change and she'll want something else to soothe her. ;) Just seems like that's the way it works.

But back to my sleep post -- I have to rescind the statement about Ada and Mom sleeping together for a while. Ada slept on and off. Mom slept very little. I think I have breast envy.

Sunday, January 28, 2007


Speaking of rough nights, I haven't gotten more than 15 minutes of consecutive sleep since 2:30 AM. Sarahlynn and Ada have been sleeping soundly for quite some time, though! It's all Ellie. I'm sure she doesn't mean to be such a pain - she's got a running nose, she's still excited about having a new baby sister. Given my own sleep habits, though -- if I'm horizontal, I'm asleep -- it's hard to understand why Ellie wouldn't want to go back to sleep at 4:55 AM.

Oh well...

Sunday, January 21, 2007


We have a very good friend in the military whose husband is a chaplain currently serving near Tikrit, Iraq. He's expected to be on his way home for his "Christmas" visit this weekend. As you might expect, we're all very anxious with him traveling across the country, and then the news comes out yesterday about the helicopter crash. The crash was on a flight path he could have been taking. He could have been in a black hawk. He was expected to call around 12:00 CST... but our friend hadn't heard from, yet. To top it off, her internet access wasn't working, so she couldn't even obsess over the nuggets of worthless information that got out to the media...

3:00 PM... 5:00 PM...

We went over and had dinner. Played with Ellie. Fixed her internet access.

6:00 PM... 8:00 PM...

Ellie needs to go to bed. She can be a big of a bear when it's past her bedtime. So, we head home, with an offer for Sarahlynn to spend the night if need be.

9:00 PM....

Finally. Her cell phone rings, and it's him. She calls us after she's off the phone with him: He's in Kuwait, "safe" and sound -- at least relatively so. He'll be on a flight sometime today to come home for a couple of weeks. Phew.

I don't like war at all, especially this one; but I love our friends and truly admire and appreciate what they do. I just wish they didn't have to do it in a war.

11 Day Old

Our church has just called a new senior pastor / head of staff. Part of that process is for the new pastor to come and preach for the congregation before there's a final vote to hire (in this case) him. So, he and his family are here this weekend to meet some of the congregation and preach for us today. Yesterday, to the surprise of most of the congregation, we showed up the reception with an 11 day old baby... still inside of Sarahlynn. That's the way another mom put it: "You're carrying around an 11 day old inside you!"

Well... one way or another, we'll have a 13 day old outside of Sarahlynn later this week. And all of us are very ready to finally meet her. As my brother-in-law would say "HERE, baby, baby, baby!"

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Pieces, Pieces, Back Together

The web server is all fixed up, now. It took me a few good hours to install Fedora 6 on it and get everything up and running. I really love how easy it is to setup and install, with one exception. I kept getting APIC errors. Some kind of incompatibility with my motherboard, I guess. That and a couple other little quirks kept me puzzled for about an hour. In the end, I've got an upgraded O/S and new web-based photo management software, to boot! Not bad for a pointy-haired boss, if I do say so myself.

Thank you, Ando

Ando Momofuku is probably a name you've probably never heard; but if you went to college or have ever lived alone, you are likely to owe this man a debt of gratitude. Ando is the "Ramen King" -- the inventor of Ramen Noodles. Ando passed away yesterday at the age of 96.

Thank you, Ando. Your legacy will live on for generations! (Assuming this new generation of college kids isn't too spoiled.)

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Pieces, Pieces, Everywhere

Those of you who are family and close friends are probably already familiar with my family website, so I won't bother to post a link. Besides, the website is down right now... here's the story.

Since about 1998, I've been running a webserver on my home computer. The first time around, it was a Pentium-90 that I bought from Sarahlynn's ex-boyfriend accessing the internet via dial-up. My roommate and I even shared that dial-up connection, thanks to Linux's built-in network routing. That computer has been torn apart and rebuilt with new parts several times since 1998. Added a new harddrive here, replaced a motherboard there, new network cards and video cards.

Eventually, we upgraded to DSL. We went with this great local DSL provider... Value Net. (Notice the name.) They were absolutely great. When I moved into Sarahlynn's apartment in 2000, the DSL came right along with me. When we moved to our house in Kirkwood, though, DSL wasn't available. So, we dropped the service and went with Charter Cable. Never have like Charter. Their static IP packages were too expensive, so I setup a pseudo-dynamic DNS service. Every time we got assigned a new IP, I'd go out and re-register. Within 12-20 hours, the DNS would be right. Luckily, Charter let me keep my IP for months at a time usually.

Finally SBC upgraded the infrastructure in our area so that DSL was available again. I went right back to good-old reliable Value Net. Great service... until... one day.... poof... internet service is gone. Sometimes that happens. So, I reset the modem. Nothing. I waited a few hours. Nothing. I called the phone number of Value Net. No answer... ?? Suspicious. I looked up their address: something N. Lindberg. OK. That's up by the airport. I'm headed that way for a conference tomorrow anyway. I'll stop by and see what's up.

As I drive up N. Lindberg looking for the right address, I start counting up. Oooh. I get the excitement of driving through the new tunnel that is built UNDER the airport runway. What fun! ... Start looking at numbers again... they're too big. Ack. Must have missed it somewhere. I turn around and drive back through. Nope. Not there either. There's probably an Old N. Lindberg now, right? Nope. Turns out that the Value Net's office building is gone. So is Value Net! Huh?! Never saw a letter, never got a call, no one ever said anything.

On to practical matters: where to find a new internet provider. Alright. I didn't want to go back to Charter, but I wanted to go with someone reliable. I ended up going with the phone company. They own the wires, they'll be as reliable as it gets. So, I call them up. "Sorry sir. We show that you already have DSL on that line through another provider," they tell me. "That company apparently went bust," I tell them. "I see." "Well sir, we can't open up a ticket for new service until this old service is turned off. And we can't turn off that old service without a work order from Value Net." (Ummmmmm... that isn't going to happen!)

Well, long story (and a side story it was supposed to be) short. We finally got DSL back, and have been as happy as can be expected since.

Back to the story about this computer's body parts...

In 2002, though, it really was time for a wholesale upgrade. So, I took a few scraps from other computers, but bought a new harddrive, CPU, memory, and motherboard. The important things. And built a new PC from scratch.

Over the past 5 years, that PC's had a motherboard replacement and another new harddrive, a couple of power supplies, etc.

Today, that harddrive finally failed... for good. So, Ellie and I went out to the computer store (her third favorite place), and bought a new HD. My last one was 40GB... biggest I'd ever bought until Sarahlynn's laptop. Today's new harddrive... 250GB!!! Big enough for all that video of Ellie we still have on tape!

So, for a while, I had all the pieces of the old computer strewn about the kitchen table, separately trying to keep the old harddrive alive long enough that I can copy off all of the pictures and website stuff.

I think I was successful. Now, I'm busy installing a new version of Linux on the new harddrive. Something I've been meaning to do for a couple years, but have just never justified to myself the time it would take. I guess "broken" is a good justification.

So, until baby comes, I've got a little hobby.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Three Beautiful Things

I don't know why this Oct 10, 2006 post popped up on the top of the atom-feed from my brother-in-law's blog... but it seemed like a good idea to follow his example and try to follow this example.

Three beautiful things from my day... and this was quite the struggle today.
  1. My wife, who is 39+ weeks pregnant, about to go into labor any moment, is not only an incredibly beautiful pregnant woman (I'll post the maternity pictures when we get them back); but she's sitting here on the couch studying for the GRE that she is planning to take tomorrow morning, three days before her due date! Her drive and dedication is beautiful.
  2. Yesterday, we availed ourselves of a house-cleaning gift certificate that my wife received from my parents. Today, despite being ransacked by a three-year-old, the house is still in better shape than it's been in a long time.
  3. (Partially because I couldn't come up with a third thing) I'm back on the exercise wagon today. I vowed to put on 20lbs over the holiday season, and lose 50 by June. With a low-carb diet and 3-5 nights on the elliptical machine each week, I was able to lose nearly 50 last year. I gained a total of 25 back (not just over the holiday). So, I'm back on the elliptical machine again... as soon as I publish this post.
Thanks Rob!