Fun with preschoolers

BSG - Gencon 2006

Originally published at Esmerel's blabber space. You can comment here or there.

R's preschool does a few 'take-home' projects during the year. One is a "our favorite book" project. You get a cardstock piece that looks like a book cover, and you decorate it like your favorite book.

This often results in some very cute pseudo-covers of things like _Goodnight_Moon_ and _The_Very_Hungry_Caterpillar_, and so on.

R's favorite book right now? Naked!

ugh, seriously. It's not even fall yet.

BSG - Gencon 2006

Originally published at Esmerel's blabber space. You can comment here or there.

So, across my feeds this morning came one of those exclusionary, intolerant "It's Merry Christmas! Not Happy Holidays!".

I already want to vomit. It's SEPTEMBER. It's not even fall and you're whining about what other people call their 'made up holiday to coincide with the beginning of winter"? Do you seriously not have better things to do with your time?

Also, "It's not happy holidays!" You're right. For a lot of people, it's not happy holidays. It's merry christmas. Or happy hannukah. Or blessed solstice. Or ... is happy the right modifier for kwanzaa? I don't actually know. For some people, it's "Happy you get screwed because your birthday is too close to a made up holiday!" For some people, it's not 'happy' or 'merry' anything. It's crushing depression and anxiety.

Oh, and then there's the fact that many, many, many people consider the end of the year to be a holiday. So... happy holidays covers your soltice-centered celebration AND year's turning. So, if you insist on Merry Christmas? I personally consider it to be a 'have a nice christmas, but FUCK YOUR NEW YEAR.'

Seriously, if you can't take the sentiment behind "have a lovely holiday!", and you insist that it be YOUR holiday, then you're intolerant, exclusionist, and, well, wrong. You're telling people that YOU and YOUR beliefs trump their feelings and beliefs. Surprise! When you do that, people think you're a jerk!

And ultimately, if it's 'About Christ', do you really think he would have given a crap about what you called the day? Or would he have cared more that you're going out, loving your neighbors (regardless of how they wished you a holiday), and doing good things in the world?

I think I have a good idea which one he'd have preferred.


everything's a blur

BSG - Gencon 2006

Originally published at Esmerel's blabber space. You can comment here or there.

I had PRK corrective vision surgery on friday. WOO! It was neat and scary at the same time. I'm 5 days into my recovery, and my vision is apparently 20/25, which is better than the average 20/45 or 20/50 that most people have at this stage. The protective lenses are out, which is excellent because they were just exactly like wearing the same contacts for 5 days. Ew.

I have a follow up in a week.

I was super, super light sensitive the first few days. I still am sensitive, but I always have been, so that's not super surprising. The first couple of days, it really felt like I was burning my eyes out of my skull if I looked at anything like a light.

I can see to drive, YAY. Reading is more difficult right now, but that should change as time goes on. Still. I CAN SEE. WHEN I WAKE UP. WITHOUT MY GLASSES. WOOWOO.


All of the things, or none of the things

BSG - Gencon 2006

Originally published at Esmerel's blabber space. You can comment here or there.

We pretty much failed to do any of the things I wanted to do with the kids this summer. School started yesterday, and that always puts a giant damper on doing things that are fun. And the kid has homework, which puts a crimp in doing anything fun anyway (seriously, how does a young kid need homework? They need to PLAY.)

I made brown belt over the summer. Work is going well. I am super tired because R is doing well at getting up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night. This means that he needs mommy to come help him and so then he wants to sleep with me.

And stuff.

Also, testing a new keyboard. Works pretty well.

Summer keeps rolling

BSG - Gencon 2006

Originally published at Esmerel's blabber space. You can comment here or there.

So I've got all the material for my brown belt test (seen it anyway, remembering it all is an issue). Except for that part where I have to do 40 pushups and... yeah, ow. So, I grabbed the Hundred pushups app that a couple of friends recommended, and I started working on it. Pushups are tough, yo.

C went to Camp Galileo this week, and had a blast. I'm pretty impressed with it, and I would definitely recommend it. She may get to go to another one this summer,even. We'll see.

Work is work; many of my team members are off the next two weeks, so that should be..a touch crazy. Hopefully nothing explodes, but there's ALWAYS something.

Cheating can be fun, too

BSG - Gencon 2006

Originally published at Esmerel's blabber space. You can comment here or there.

C is reading the Thea Stilton books. They're chapter books, but there's a good amount of pictures, colorful fonts and visually interesting things that are great for a reader at her level and age. There's only one problem with them - there's occasional 'handwritten' passages, which are in cursive.

She doesn't know how to read cursive. So she's coming to the adults for help, which is great. It shows me she's really reading it.

She also hates to write. Really, really hates.

She got two new books tonight. She asked me for help with the cursive. So when we got home, I printed out charts of the uppercase and lowercase cursive letters - ones that had 'regular' letters printed next to it.

I took the charts, a notepad and a pencil out to her and said "It's like a code. Look for the letter on the chart, then write down the letter YOU know on the notepad. You'll be able to translate the code and read the message."

She got very excited. "OO, thanks mom!"

Me: . o O ( You're going to learn cursive and practice your handwriting. BOOYAH. )


BSG - Gencon 2006

Originally published at Esmerel's blabber space. You can comment here or there.

We went to Fogo de Chao last night for my birthday. We've been wanting to try one of the Brazilian churrascarias since they opened here (hot damn, I even spelled that correctly the first time!). We took the kids, too. I suspect we will never have to endure another birthday dinner at Sizzler for the sake of the young lady in our house. I think she was in heaven. "NO. THAT NEEDS TO STAY GREEN SO I CAN HAVE MORE MEAT MOM." Also, "DO NOT TURN OFF THE MEAT FAUCET."

This is my carnivore child, yes.

Things that amused me today:

One of my coworkers said "I'm going to this conference and they asked for a local contact for the childcare form. I put you down so if I die you can pick up my child."
Me: "I would prefer you did not drop dead, but I have an extra infant seat so it's covered just in case."

My coworkers have an unhealthy obsession with memes for communication.

I found a list of killer braid tutorials.

Holy crap, I think I need to actually install a wysiwyg on this thing. I've gotten JUST enough use out of the button that makes me a link magically that I am missing it. How sad is that?

I have paid pretty much zero attention to WWDC; unless a new iPhone is coming out in the fall, which I would potentially acquire to replace my current one, I am pretty much out of craps to give on that front.

Everyone who is eligible in my house to read _Skin Game_ has finished it. I picked up Urban Shaman with an intent to reread most of the series before the final Walker Papers book is due at the end of the month :D


Here I sit

BSG - Gencon 2006

Originally published at Esmerel's blabber space. You can comment here or there.

Because my desire to blog outweighs my ability to actually do so. At the moment, the little guy is not sleeping even though he should be. So I'm writing a post, go me.

Since we last our intrepid adventurer, there's been a bunch of stuff.

We have a new kitchen. It's super fantastic. There's a real working dishwasher, under the counter! There's a sink with a spray nozzle. There's a fridge that makes sparkling water (that was a hell of an indulgence). The countertop looks amazing and ... There are places for everything! And you can fit multiple butts and they don't hit each other! Amusingly, we got a package from the company that made the countertop. They sent us a cheese board that matched the countertop.

I love our new kitchen.

While the kitchen was being redone, we vacated the house and went do Disneyland. We got several chances to visit with some friends while there. We also did legoland. Man, after Disney, legoland is, well, a total waste. It looks flat out shabby in comparison. There are hardly any employees to be seen. The rides are poor, or cost extra. Seriously - R couldn't go on most of the rides, and the older one found them fairly boring. The legoscapes were cool but they were definitely not a hundred bucks a person worth of cool.

C got sick during the trip. I got it on the way home, and we spent most of the next week being sick with various things.

We are starting to get back into the swing of things now. Kublacon was this past weekend and it was pretty fun, as usual. The young players room is terrific, and the staff was awesome to C. We picked up a bunch of games: a Dominion expansion (cornucopia), Star Realms, Race for the galaxy, P.e.r.k., a couple of decks for the My little pony ccg, lords of waterdeep. Maybe something else. There were many games of Wooden Wars, which C had a ball at. To the point where the guy who runs the games saw her and said "I have extra units, want to play?" has some of the units - he's clearly behind :)

All the things, all of the time

BSG - Gencon 2006

Originally published at Esmerel's blabber space. You can comment here or there.

Work is work. It's busy, there's lots to do. We've got new goals and they're going to be tough to meet.

In the last week and a half I've:
Had young Miss E over for a playdate with C, because both her parents needed to do things where having her there would have been at best BORING TO DEATH for her.

Hosted the Brauer family for several days, and former co-worker Alex J. It was a real treat to hang out with all of them because the guys and I all have been coworkers (or at least worked for the same company) at one point or another, so there's plenty of opportunity to chat about history and stuff. Sarah is a terrific lady that I really like to hang out with too; and our older kids get along like peanut butter and chocolate.

We also had my brother and one of my nieces here for a couple of days. I think C doesn't know what to do with herself now that all her friends are gone again.

I've done a ton of laundry; I'm hoping to avoid doing much more until the kitchen remodel (no, these aren't really related, I just hate doing the laundry. but I like having clean underpants).

I'm at the dojo 3-4 days a week; one day a week I'm either in teacher training or if everyone else is out, I get a private lesson. I finished my short stick form, and last week I got to start working with the nunchucks. And then I jammed my finger. Ow ow ow, I need to get a set to practice with. And a short stick, because my 2 foot long spoon is not enough. I am slowly building towards finishing all the material for my belt, but I've got a physical test to worry about too, before I can make brown. My goal is to make it by the end of summer, but damn have I got to get better at pushups :(

Last friday, we did something I thought was super fun. C has been very into playing with a hula hoop down at the dojo, and I knew we'd have a BUNCH of kids at the house. So... I found a tutorial on making hoops. I bought the supplies and we made hoops! It was super cool. I think the kids really enjoyed it too. I had some electrical tape in different colors so the kids could personalize their hoops as well. I had enough to make 7 kids hoops, and I could probably make 2 or 3 adult hoops with what I have left. SO MUCH FUN.

On Saturday, we went up to south SF to see Signing time Rachel. YAY. Apparently theyv'e got another kickstarter project in the works. Because I NEED MORE KICKSTARTERS.

Current kickstarters: - 3D printed Barbie armor. SERIOUSLY. - Yellowberry; because young women should have not-shitty bras.

I'm considering - it's made goal and it ends in about a day. I'm undecided.

Also, I am tired and should go to bed. Woop woop.

The tireds, I am full of them

BSG - Gencon 2006

Originally published at Esmerel's blabber space. You can comment here or there.

It's been a busy couple of weeks since I was hired full time at Acquia. Upon signing my offer letter, I was told to book a flight to Boston for Build Week. If you aren't familiar with the idea - all of our engineering department got together on-site and Built Things. For most of a week. There are a lot of really, really smart people in that group. Hell, there's a lot of really smart people in the company.

I flew to Boston and managed to catch a slightly earlier shuttle than my planned one out to the hotel in Burlington. BTW, the suites at the Hyatt House? NICE. Two bedroom suites, king beds, with full bathrooms. A full kitchen with a real stove and oven and refrigerator and microwave shared between the two rooms. The breakfast buffet did not suck either.

It was damn cold out there, but I was prepared (yes, some Californians know how to read a weather forecast). I had plenty of my own wool stuff to wear so I never really got cold except when I had to take my gloves off for something. Annoyingly, I somehow managed to pop stitches in my Rogue sweater in 4 places :( I was working on my super awesome Ribby Pulli though, so I had yarn to do emergency repairs with. i was trying to get that sweater done before I flew out; I finished it on the flight home. I promised my roommate pictures though, which I still need to do.

I got to meet my boss for real on sunday night, and saw a bunch of people I'd known for years. On monday, I got to meet most of the support folks, which was AWESOME. I got a good laugh when none of them recognized me until I turned sideways. "OH now I recognize the profile!" - my laptop is to the side of my actual work monitors, so nobody ever sees me face-on :D

I got to meet my own team, including our spectacular editor. I traded off time between her desk, and sitting with the support team; the docs team works to make sure we're all doing things the same way, but my *job* really is all about making support's life better and easier.

Monday and Tuesday night I went out with the awesome Tashabear, whom I have known for many years through livejournal and twitter and Ravelry. She took me out to dinner and Tuesday we went to her dojo, where I learned a karambit form and sensei sent me home with a practice weapon, WOO.

Wednesday was LAN party night. We played Xonotic, which is pretty much an open source version of Unreal Tournament. It was a lot of fun, and I was not always the worst player on the teams.

Thursday was something; there was a storm that swept through, and for a while we couldn't see the the parking lot - there was a bit where we were concerned about getting back to the hotel in the shuttles. I spent some quality time with the folks on my team who were there, but once the shuttles came, I fled for the hotel to make sure I'd get there. There was a great deal of drinking - I discovered (thanks to my coworkers) Angel's envy - bourbon aged in a port cask, oh yes.

Friday was fortunately uneventful. I struck gold on the Virgin America check in - the counter agent told me exactly when I needed to be back to my gate, how crappy the food was there, and where I should go for good food (at least, as good as you can get in an airport). So I got me a lobstah roll and made it to my plane.

I got a bit of sleep, then did breakfast for the family ( and Angie, who super helpfully stayed over so Earl did not have to drag the kids to SFO at 11 PM). We went up to the nephew's birthday party. I fell asleep at the same time R did (I lay down with MOMMY) and proceeded to pretty much sleep for the next 11 hours. Sunday was a day of being flat. I did some unpacking, but happily monday was a day off YAY and I unpacked and did some dishes and built a laundry sorter cart and culled some t-shirts ( there are at least two shirt quilts in my future). Holy carp I have so many shirts. I could make an entire quilt out of my Drupal shirts alone. I'm not, but I COULD.

Npw I need to integrate my work laptop (hello, MacBook Air!) into my KVM environment - which is going to cost me, because airs are not compatible with my kvm. But I've wanted to update mine to a USB one for a while and haven't managed to do so yet.

Tomorrow, we hopefully make it back to the dojo here at home, and I'll be able to crank out some real work. I'm part way through another project (hats for a costume), but my official "need to make" queue is empty after this. I want to do some clothes for the dolls I made for the kids, and I may very well start on that, but I think I'm going to pull out my spinning wheel and spend a little quality time with one of them, too.


BSG - Gencon 2006
The Angel of Vengeance
Uriel's lair

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