Guh.

Aug. 20th, 2007 03:49 pm
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So here's this evening's relaxing schedule for the last day of summer...


  • 4:00 pm: Sherilyn drops Kate off for soccer practice at Eureka School.
  • 4:10 pm: Sherilyn, with Robert in tow, arrives at Excelsior School for Class Assignment Night to volunteer (serving pizza to 1000 parents and kids).
  • 5:10 pm: I drop Josh off for his lesson at Tricks Gymnastics.
  • 5:30 pm: I pick up Kate from Eureka. Note this is at another school in the same district, likely also having a Class Assignment Night, so parking will be ... interesting.
  • 5:40 pm: (hopefully!) I arrive with Kate at Excelsior.
    • collect Robert
    • feed pizza to Kate, Robert, and myself
    • visit first, fourth, and sixth grade lists, posted at various places on the school campus, to copy down each kid's teacher names, room numbers, and known classmates
    • Kate and Robert find restrooms and change into their gis
  • 6:15 pm: I drop Robert and Kate off at Granite Bay Karate.
  • 6:40 pm: I pick up Josh at Tricks.
  • 7:00 pm: With Josh, I pick up Robert and Kate at GBK.

Happy day!

Jun. 17th, 2007 12:02 pm
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... to me, and to Mike and Yair and Jeremy and Cdodd and Denmark.

And a very special one to Ed and Harold and Chrisber and Merlin.

And of course to my brothers, and to the most excellent Silkiedad.

And, somewhere out there, to mine, who taught me everything I know about it.

He said, once, to me: "When it's summertime, you can bitch about the heat, or you can appreciate how the pretty girls are dressed." He wasn't, of course, only talking about the heat and the pretty girls.

Happy father's day.
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I'm an uncle again! See Silkiejournal for details.

Time off

Aug. 16th, 2005 07:41 pm
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For the first time in I don't know how long I'm taking several days off from work without a specific plan to go anywhere for most of it.

That said, it's not like we're not actually going anywhere... just that we're still sleeping at home, and doing different things on different days.

I was surprised -- I listed a bunch of places we could go, and the Chabot Center was at the top of both Kate's and Robert's lists. Pleased, though, as I could hang out in planetariums all summer, had I my druthers.

So - this is what we're doing for the rest of the week.

Wednesday - Chabot Center
Thursday - Railroad Museum, then Kate's soccer practice 4-5:30
Friday - K&J to moms group, R with me to buy a bike; bookstore in the afternoon; K&R skating lesson at 5:15
Saturday - Gaea blockade almost certainly happening 12-N where N = { 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 }; if N < 3, perhaps another outing
Sunday - Nothing planned; I'm leaving it open in case (among other possibilities) Joshua decides he wants to go to the zoo

Other stuff, scheduled tentatively:
Kate wants her training wheels taken off (Thursday afternoon)
Robert, board game (Thursday during soccer practice)
Robert needs a bike (Friday morning)
Bookstore run (Friday afternoon)
Viking Hobby run (Friday, with bookstore)
Ladder purchase at Home Depot (Saturday morning)
All three kids and I need our hairs cut (Saturday morning)
Miscellaneous english, math, and science games (evenings and weekend)

Other possible stuff we might alter our schedule to accomodate:
Game with Dave and Carrie / playdate with their kids
Sacramento Aviation Museum
Discovery Museum
Sacramento Zoo

I'm glad to see the kids didn't put the Discovery Museum or the zoo as their top requests -- we've been to them the most, and kids like repetition/reinforcement, but we've done enough of both of those places that I think this week is a good opportunity to do something entirely different.

So. Tomorrow, at the Chabot Center: Read more... )
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Just thinking today about what Dad might have said about this election.

He passed away just after Labor Day weekend 1996. He was born in 1928, and grew up during the Depression, the son of a minister "poor as a churchmouse", as my grandmother called their family. He was a Roosevelt Democrat, with a bit of socialist in him. He'd called Reagan "the most vicious president in history -- except for Nixon", and was responsible for helping me mold a lot of my political views.

He was a Korean-era National Guard veteran -- "keeping the Koreans out of Waukegan" he'd said, and that's about all I ever knew about his service record.

He didn't get much music more "modern" than jazz -- but he liked the Beatles, and he liked the Boss -- a conversation with Dad inspired me to label Springsteen "urban folk music", which Dad thought was dead on.

I was really struck by his respect for the Vietnam-era counterculture. He said of the protesters "they're putting it on the line for what they believe in," and taught me that's what's really important. When Kent State happened, he was in a bar watching TV, and a man beside him grumbled about how those hippies got what they deserved. He turned to the guy and said "Those are our kids getting shot. Our kids."

He would have liked John Kerry. A lot. A lot a lot. He'd have volunteered to work Florida for him.

Today is for you, Dad. No retreat, no surrender.
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Sherilyn can't journal about last weekend because she wasn't home, so I will. Read more... )
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We saw the first episode last night. It's very good. (The show is about two brothers, one of whom becomes president in 2041. The whole show is done as a flashback, with talking heads occasionally interspersing commentary from 2050 -- wearing suit and tie that would be at home in 1950 or 2000 as well, thankfully, instead of silly Jetsonsy stuff.)

I was surprised they resolved the Big Question (tm) of the show immediately -- which one dies and which one becomes president. Sherilyn can usually spot plot twists instantly... but this time I pegged it from the beginning, after only one meta-clue (who the creators of the show were), while she was surprised right up to the end...

Spoilers. Read more... )
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A ball game, a three-year-old chimpanzee, mondo shopping, WD-40, a star party plan, McDonalds, vomit, homework, plans down in flames, all in the same day. Read more... )
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Feeling a lot better, by the way. But taking it easy, just webcruising and angbanding on this lazy and getting-late-way-too-early Sunday evening.

When I was six, I nearly drowned in a neighbor's pool. My brothers remember it with laughter because of my comment when I emerged: "I don't understand what's wrong. I did just what the book said!"

Sometimes I like to exact just a little karmic revenge for that humiliation.

Robert and Katie were just arguing over a toy shopping cart -- both grabbing and fighting over it. Typical shrieks and howls of outrage.

So what happens when you do just what the book says to do?

"Okay, I see the two of you fighting over this shopping cart. What I need you both to do, right now" -- slip into David Caruso mode -- "is to let go of the cart, and let me hold it while we talk it over. All right?" They both let go.

Discussion. "Who had it first", "did everyone have a turn yet", etc. Both kids have their say. I nod, commenting only that running it into people is not okay, particularly small people like their little brother.

"What I am going to do now, listen to me" -- hey, I get my authority figures where I can -- "is put it down. What I know you two can do next is work out who gets the turn now, and who gets the turn after that, and you'll work out how you'll decide when it goes from one turn to the next. Right?" Two nods. Josh helpfully provided a clatter of dinner dishes from the kitchen. "I'm going to go into the kitchen now and help Josh while you work it out."

I go in the kitchen and help Josh get some more noodles, and I put the rest of the food away.

Robert trots into the kitchen after a moment, pushing the cart through. Gets to the other end of the room, hands it to Katie. "We worked it out," he says proudly. "I knew you would," I respond matter-of-factly.

Textbook.

Tribes

Feb. 27th, 2004 12:49 am
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The article in the SJMN about all my friends is a fun read. Lots of random burbling about it follows, not so much fun but thoughtful. Read more... )
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So we're in Hawaii, relaxing (hah, we have three kids, as if) and enjoying the holidays. The kids all did pretty well for loot -- among much other stuff, Robert got the Scorpion Palace Lego set, Katie got two huuuge bead threading sets and a wall clock and an alarm clock, and Josh got a bunch of play-doh, Dora and Blues Clues books and toys, and a magna-doodle.

Sherilyn got pajamas and a sweater and many scrapbooking supplies, and I scored several Champions books and a move-through block (a block of six-siders -- 4x3x3 -- enough for just about any movethrough I've ever heard tell of.)

Enjoying the holidays; hopefully RotK tonight after we put kids to bed.

Sniff, no Beagle; shoulda warned the Europeans about the Martian point-defense system.

Fish scare

Sep. 9th, 2003 01:14 pm
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So I almost managed to kill George (our goldfish) Sunday night.

Sunday, I finally decided it was time to clean his tank (large portions of which had turned green). I unfortunately ignored the advice I'd been given about setting out a pot of tap water for 24 hours before using it for the fishtank, because I was lazy and didn't set any out Saturday. So I had tap water that was (a) still mineralized and gassy, and (b) probably colder than a goldfish wants. So I transfer George to a small container, noting that he seems lethargic (no thrashing around, seeming to swim a bit eccentrically), scrub out his tank, replace the water, feel momentarily guilty because it seems really cold, then transfer George back in. Give him a little food.

Monday morning, George is sitting on the bottom of his tank, fins against his side, moving nothing but his gills and eyeballs. I feed him a bit. He ignores it -- this *never* happens.

Poor fish. I prepare the kids for the idea that George might not live through the day. I am wracked with guilt for having done him wrong.

For most of the morning there is no change.

In the midafternoon I go look at him. He's drifting tail-up, mouth brushing the stones at the bottom of the tank, but he does seem to flutter a gill occasionally, and he reacted to me walking by. I dropped him some food -- a bit slowly and tentatively, he drifted up toward the surface and ate it. Hopeful cheers all around.

I called our fish expert (Jason) shortly after. Jason suggested I put a half-teaspoon of salt in his one-gallon tank, explaining some things about fish expelling water that map for me onto 'salt acts basically like Tylenol for goldfish'. He suggested I half-replace George's water every couple days instead of only replacing all the water once every couple weeks.

This morning George's fins are in full display, he's swishing around normally (just a bit of a sideways cant when he goes upwards) and his appetite is fine -- to all appearances, he's healthy. I'll replace half his water tonight.

Okay, so he has no lungs and a brain the size of a grain of sand. There's still no question this fish knows we take care of him (he begs for food), and is reproachful when we don't do right by him. We're responsible for him. I want to take care of him and to let him live a full and decent life after his fashion.
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Just some additional comments on my wife's recent entry.

We had quite the gaming accident at Viking. I bought Hero 5th Edition, Fantasy Hero, Fire and Ice (latest Ars Magica hardback supplement), and the Robin Laws' 'Strongholds' (Penumbra d20 -- support Atlas Games!).

Haven't had too much time to read Hero or FH yet -- but it doesn't look like anything really major changed, just some fixups here and there. More package deals and examples and all good foo. Sometime I'll actually run FH -- never really have yet, except for an aborted attempt a decade ago.

On Sunday we played a clever snake puzzle game, and then Talisman, with the older chitlins while Josh napped. (We didn't finish Talisman.) Then later that evening Sherilyn creamed me in a game of Carcassonne.

Monday was a nice day off -- I did some cleaning up of stuff, and got an actual full game of Talisman in with Robert -- by luck, I got to the Crown first, and won, and he was amazingly cool about it, and wanted to play again immediately. Perhaps he realizes how random the game is and there's nothing wrong with losing.

Katie is starting to do more reading on her own -- better at sounding out words (which is partly the confidence she gets from kindergarten). She has the same teacher as Robert did, and frankly this lady rocks. She called me Monday afternoon (apparently she was calling all the parents) just to ask how we felt Katie was doing, and to let us know that in her opinion Katie was terrific. I still have a lot of guilt over not pushing early reading as much with K as I did with R, but the teacher suspects her enthusiasm and intellect will get her reading within the next month, and I think I agree.

Sherilyn and I have been watching a couple episodes of first-season Andromeda each evening that we've been home lately; we've seen the first eight now, and they're a lot of fun -- good story arcs, good pickup and continuity of previous shows, some cheesiness but enough intensity that the cheese doesn't overwhelm the flavor. (It has sucked since middle of second season, though, since they got rid of the writer who created the show and actually had vision -- and it looks like Tyr has left the show now, which just drops it further into rock-suckage.) In its first incarnation when Wolfe was writing, it was much better than Firefly -- it's like the Firefly characters wanted to be the Andromeda characters, but lacked all the colorfulness. Eight eps of Andromeda shows a lot more about these people than the twelve eps of Firefly. (And Alex Lifeson wrote the main theme song! How cool is that?)

I can even make a geeky char-to-char mapping...
Read more... )
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As said in Sherilyn's journal, I'm on my own with Robert and Katie for the next four days; Sherilyn's grandfather William Maruyama is very ill, with a likely prognosis of only days left to him. He can no longer talk, but is still alert, and she's traveling there to (almost certainly) say a last goodbye.

I'll write about her grandfather another time. He's lived a full life.

I will miss Josh and Sherilyn terribly (especially since the moment they get back I have to leave for Santa Clara for my weekly two days there -- six days without my little toddler; he'll near forget me!) but I also feel a tiny amount of terrible guilt: Josh, being under two, requires so much planning and attention and work that this seems almost like an unearned vacation for me. And I also don't have a long 'honeydo' list, meaning some of my projects may get some attention. (Perhaps I will feel differently three days from now.)
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Ya know, I should just not post anything until I make a decision. Bungee moods are just, well, y'know.

I feel better about Cirrus, first of all, having spoken to the boss guy and convinced myself it's not simply tech support.

Second, Nvidia called me with a 50% telecommute offer. (After an initial startup period of one month solid out there and some number of weeks at four days a week out there, we'll move to two days per week plus one week in six in the bay.) They have to approve it; it's nonstandard, they say.

I was reminded by Harold of a good question by the Nvidia manager; "make sure he's still interested in the job, not just the environment." I did have a question that got itself sidetracked by the whole local-offer hooha last week (whether I was being hired as a build engineer, because if I am I think I'd rather do tech support; I write software for a living and, as a rant from a few months ago said, it would be NICE if someone would pay me to do what I'm good at, since it needs doing and people make money from it.)

But I doubt "build engineer" is all Nvidia wants from me. I'll verify this, but I'll still assume it's true because otherwise the question has a clear answer... so I'm spending the weekend thinking carefully about the kids and Sherilyn and what this fifty percent schedule will mean. I don't have an objection to it in theory; I just worry.

Mostly I worry about Bobby. While I was working for Malibu and not getting home till seven PM, he got sullen and recalcitrant. He's improved markedly in the last two months (while I've been home), largely into a more informed and mature cheerful personality. I would rather take a shitty job than lose that.

Then again, I'd rather leave a job that was causing him development issues than not take the job on the assumption that it possibly could. I can't spend my whole life with the single decision point 'well, what if this affected the kids?' -- kids are resilient, and more to the point generally communicate change over time, so if something has the potential to damage them long-term, I will hopefully notice it before it can't be undone. Bobby's sullenness had something to do with Joshua and with kindergarten, anyway; he doesn't only revolve around me (thankfully).

So if this sounds like I'm leaning toward the Santa Clara position, well, I am. Not toppled over into it (for one thing, there's still the possibility that HR could say no -- or ask for three days a week) and certainly not ecstatic about it like I was about Intensifi. But there's a growing determination that this is not for kicks, it's to make something of myself and participate in a success story.

It's surprisingly easy, too, to say to myself "after tomorrow's games, my life is going to shrink for a while to work, Sherilyn, kids, and house. Gaming is going on hold." Ars Magica is a struggle to run and has been for a couple months; D&D is still lots of fun and doesn't take much prep, but even with the story I'm trying to advance it's still more a board game than a realized fantasy world. And of course I killed off the KoCS players last week, so that campaign has reached a natural suspending point.

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