August 31, 2004
Michelle was confronting the kids about who sprayed water in the house. Michael quickly replied, "Andrew did it, and I didn't mean to do it."
Well, I guess he's got all his bases covered.
August 29, 2004
Since my trip to Provence, I've been jonesing for pastis, the anise flavored liqueur so popular in Provence. I've found a few restaurants around here that have it but have been unlucky about finding a bottle in the state owned liquor stores here (I'll rant about that another time.) I've been combing the liquor stores across Seattle for them, even using their website that purports to accurately reflect the inventory of the stores (it doesn't).
I guess Michelle got sick of me pining for my pastis and being gone for hours at a time wandering from liquor store to liquor store like some kind of desperate alcoholic (I know it might look like that...) She called around (she's the smart one) and found a store that just got a shipment. Happy day!
Much to my glee, I found not only the Ricard 45 I was expecting (this is the most common pastis in the US) but Granier as well. I haven't had Granier yet, so I bought both. Not sure I can tell the difference between the two yet to be honest, but I'll keep drinking both until I can. My dedication to my craft can be tedious, but it's all I know...
For a good article on pastis, check out this Taste Magazine (Williams-Sonoma) article.
I had a five hour massage yesterday. No typo there. Five hours. It wasn't a normal massage like you'd get at a spa; it was more of a healing/balancing massage. It's a bit hard to explain, but it's a bit like acupuncture (sans needles) meets a chiropractor with a bit of reflexology and such thrown in.
The woman who gave the massage is a bit eccentric (her own words); she claims to be able to sense people's electrical patterns, and "see" events that your muscles have done (like my golf swing). I have to admit, she was very perceptive about things, deducing which hand I mouse with, what kind of alcohol I drink, and so on. Could have been good fortune telling type skills, but how bad could a five hour massage be? Especially for $120.
We'll see how I feel over the next few days, but I think I'll be going back.
August 25, 2004
Boing Boing had a great reference for the tricks in different jobs. Here are a few of my favorites:
With any routine under seven minutes (which is almost all of them), you only really need one thing: a good closer. And there are only two things you really need to know about a great closer. First, it needs to be impressive. That sounds obvious, but most beginning jugglers think
Well, once again my connection with MSN Photos comes through. I had a chance to pose for some photos for a stock photo shoot; my friend Charlotte (editor of MSN Photos) wrote a story about the shoot and included some photos of me in the article. She did a great job (especially with the other guys); it was fun being on the other side of the camera for a change.
Who knows? If her client picks up my photo for their ad campaign, you may even see me in ads all around Washington. Yeah, probably not...
Go for the Drama, by Charlotte Lowrie
August 23, 2004
We got new windows installed in the house a few weeks ago. Very nice.
Unfortunately, they're too clean. In the last week or so we've had three birds slam into the windows and die. A little scary for us, and very bad for the birds.
August 17, 2004
Andrew (7) and I were talking about fears the other day (not sure how we got on this subject.)
Me: "Andrew, what are you most afraid of?"
August 15, 2004
I played golf this morning at Newcastle Golf Club on the China Creek course.
My score was around average, but I think this is the first round I've ever played where I did not incur any penalty strokes for hitting balls out of bounds, into the water, etc. This is something of a milestone for me. Actually, given that I kept it in play, only missed three fairways all day, and had 35 putts, it should have been a great round. Too bad I couldn't seem to hit a second shot to save my life.
August 14, 2004
I have a new thing I like doing for a little lift; I look at the log file for my blog and see how many comment spammers MT Blacklist has stopped. It makes me smile. Score one for the good guys.
I asked Michael (4) how he felt when he woke up this morning. He replied, "A little miserable."
What a perfect turn of phrase.
(He is feeling better except when he first gets up. He also hates his medicines, so there's always a bit of a scene when it's med time.)
I love the Olympics. I really do. I get all choked up when I hear the Star Spangled Banner playing for a medalist (I like Oh, Canada too, but mostly because it's kind of catchy...) I'm inspired by the stories about how so and so worked hard for years and is finally living his/her dream of competing the Olympics. I'm made more hopeful by the symbolic events during the Olympics like the Afghani women competing for the first time in the Olympics or the North and South Koreans parading together during the opening ceremonies. Call me sentimental, but I just love the whole thing.
August 11, 2004
Well, of course everything went fine (so far) with Michael's tonsil surgery. We were home this morning by 10:30a.
The biggest complication so far is that he wants to run around and play outside (strictly verboten today). He was banging around a bit when he first came home as the anesthesia was wearing off, but he's pretty much back to normal now. It's a bit hard for him to understand why he can't eat anything, but we keep plying him with popsicles and ice cream, so he's mostly copacetic.
Back to making milk shakes and picking up popsicle sticks...
August 10, 2004
Michael goes in to get his tonsils out tomorrow morning. He has always had really big tonsils which leads him to snore like a little pig and have some trouble with apnea. Hopefully, he'll sleep better once he gets these out. (Of course, he may not be so disagreeably funny, which would probably cripple the best part of my blog.)
This is routine surgery, and kids are super resilient. Still, as a dad, I'm nervous. More later.
This is fun and cool. You can now order custom photo stamps on Stamps.com. This is apparently legitimate US postage, customized with your images. Very slick.
On a side note, I met with these guys a long time ago when I was doing Works. They were interested in some kind of integration so we could print postage on envelopes directly, as I recall. Nothing ever came of it, but I recall being impressed with the people, but wondering if they'd make it. I guess they're still around, so good for them.
How could something as tempting as a deep fried pork sausage kebab be bad? (Remember, everything is better deep fried.) Well, I guess "The Stonner" and its 1000 calories are bad enough to be considered the most dangerous fast food in Britain. It's bad enough that there's a sign in the shop saying they'll only sell one per customer per week.
I gotta get one.
More on this on the Washington Post.
Another one from Boing Boing.
I'm not sure if I should think this is cool, funny, or creepy. The "Quantum Sleeper" can fold up to become a "safe room" to protect you from intruders, terrorist attacks, or your murderous 4 year old son. I like that you can watch DVDs or play video games while you wait for the police or Army to show up (or Michael's baby sitter in our case). Another nice touch is that you can link multiple of these beds so the parents can close up the kids beds too and then talk to the them via some kind of radio. I'm sure Andrew and Michael would love that. Not.
Of course, if you were going to get one, you'd add the optional tear gas spray, robotic arms, and projectile weapons. Unfortunately, that would add more to the 1658lbs for a queen size unit (if I was going to be trapped in this thing for a few days waiting out a gas attack, I think I'd opt for the king sized bed.)
Anyway, check it out.
Thanks to Boing Boing for the link.
August 8, 2004
I was out with the boys on the Seattle waterfront today and saw some cool shadowy stairs. I just had my little Canon S230 Elph with me, but the shots turned out pretty well.
Andrew (now 7): "Michael hit me with a golf club!"
Michael (now 4 and smiling): "No, it was a baseball bat."
Well, he didn't deny it at least. (Editors note: these were plastic sporting equipment. No children were hurt too badly producing this blog entry.)
or, a day with the Canon 1D Mark II.
So, a while back I drooled (in blogspace) over Canon's hot new digital SLR, the Canon 1D Mark II. This weekend, my dear friend Charlotte (who is the editor for MSN Photos, a great photographer, a old friend) was gracious enough to part with her new 1D Mark II so I could play with it. After lusted after this new body for so long, I could hardly believe my luck. I had Michael's birthday party that afternoon for the perfect opportunity to test it out.
Well, I have to say, I didn't love it. There were definitely things to love. The autofocus is much faster than on my 10D. The new E-TTL-II flash metering is simply outstanding. And the speed. Oh, the speed. 8.5 frames per second leaves my 3 fps in the dust. It was just the thing to get the perfect shot of kids running around. (It's actually almost too fast. I had a hard time getting just one photo; I wound up with a lot of multiples.)
Still, I'm not sure it's the camera for me. This it the first professional Canon I've shot, film or digital. There were a bunch of odd things like you need to hold a button down while turning knobs or whatever to change settings. I suppose they do it so you don't accidentily change your settings, but what a pain. Similarly, there are a bunch of settings you can't seem to change in the field; you need to change them using your computer. And it's big and heavy. I kind of like the vertical shooting grip, but the extra size and weight are a bit much for me.
It's a supermodel sexy camera, no doubt, and I loved my brief fling. But, at the end of the day, I think I'll stick with the girl next door. (Now, of course, if I could have both...)
August 6, 2004
I guess this counts as a gadget. I just installed a very slick utility for Outlook called Lookout. It does blazingly fast searches across the email, schedule entries, contacts, etc. in your Outlook files; it can even index your documents. The speed makes it so much more useful than Outlook's search functionality. Like Google, it makes it practical to query over your data to find stuff rather than having to try to organize it.
August 5, 2004