l33tminion: (Chaos)
Sandy Island was a good vacation for everyone, but a fantastic vacation for Eris, who was phenomenally excited about both the activities and the food. The weather was beautiful (almost no rain, mild days and cool nights), and she got to spend a lot of time outdoors, mostly with me and Julie and my parents, but also a bit with the Sandy Island staff. While Erica is still too young for the morning children's programs at camp, they added a few hours of "toddler time" for the age bracket starting at 18 months, which Erica just reached this week, featuring playtime on the smaller-scale playground and painting with dot markers at the Little Red Schoolhouse (the building for the little kids' program at camp).

She also enjoyed a few boat rides, a lot of time on the swing and slides, dancing, playing catch (toddler version, sans catching), running all over the main area of camp, all of the food, and a brief dip in the lake with her grandma (briefly, before the chilly water got to be a bit much for her).

I really enjoyed the quality time with family, and was very grateful that we were able to travel with my parents to and from camp as well.

Eristic improvements: Climbing a playground ladder with static support (handrails), sliding down the slide by herself (or with minimal support). Walking up steps with minimal support, walking down steps with minimal static support (as little as a hand flat against a doorframe for balance). Climbing into and down from chairs. Vocabulary continues to expand as well, especially regarding colors (she seems to be more adept with toys that involve color-matching).
l33tminion: (Overwork)
Last week was pretty quiet. This past weekend, too. Though we did go out for soup dumplings with Ingress friends on Sunday.

Julie's startup-founding work continues to progress.

It's the turn of the quarter, so a lot of reflection and planning at work. Things ebb and flow. First quarter was pretty great, this quarter was all right. But I'm excited about the next. For some reason, I'm at least briefly in charge of planning the quarterly goals for my group, which is an interesting opportunity (though I wish some of the related deadlines had been a little better communicated).

I want to get back to writing on my essay blog at some point, but my writing is very slow even for lighter stuff like this.

What else? My parents will be in Boston later this week, and we're going up to Sandy Island Camp next week. That should be fun. Haven't picked out which books I'll bring yet, but I certainly have a lot on my queue.

Erisaurus

Jun. 20th, 2017 04:23 pm
l33tminion: (Evil Laugh)
What's new, DW? (And all the rest of you out there on the intertubes / blag-a-ma-phone / real world but specifically the part of the real world that is on the internet.)

As always, last week was busy and this week is busy.

Last week was partially busy because we had to take Wednesday off to take the kid to the doctor for an eye infection. Diagnosis was "it's probably viral but here's some antibiotics because obviously not going to take any chances with the ocular orbs". So little Eris gets to suffer the indignity of ointment-to-the-eyes three times a day for a week. Kid is of course not a fan of this development, but at least it doesn't sting, so she gets over the indignity of having her eyelids pried open pretty quickly after. She wasn't too bothered by the infection, and it's cleared up. Plus Julie and I so far seem uninfected.

Last weekend, we went to Jupiter, Florida to visit Kristin and Jimmy and Emilia for a dinosaur-themed birthday party for Emilia and her bestie, Jacob. Kristen threw a really fun and quite elaborate party. The kids had a blast, the parents got to hang out and relax and take a lot of cute photos. Which is really what one hopes for in a kid's birthday party. Erica definitely enjoyed the time with extended family, especially her cousin. Happy birthday, Emilia, may age four be a good year for you!

Eristic improvements: Repeating words, remembering some words by sight (?), remembering the names of some letters, better at matching shapes, better reasoning about rotation of 3D objects.
l33tminion: (Default)
Eris becoming a toddler has entailed quite a few transitions. For one thing, she's much more often vehemently opposed to getting in the stroller. She's also started to prefer a real seat to a high chair.

The stroller bit is a real problem, though. I'm looking forward to being able to reason with Erica, to offer choices ("you can hold my hand or ride in the stroller", "you can get in the stroller now or in ten minutes"). That doesn't work now, if she's opposed she'll always take the third option of "I'll fight you". It's unpleasant.

She's become more picky, too. Or at least more particular. I don't think the overall breadth of the sorts of food she's willing to eat has decreased, but it's hard to predict which of the things before her she'll want to eat at any particular moment; she knows what she wants and won't have us tell her otherwise. She doesn't seem to have lost her taste for spicy food, though. She's a real chili-head. Tonight, we had Thai food, and the kid was eating chicken larb with a happy expression on her face and tears streaming down her cheek.

Despite the drama, it does seem to be a fun phase in a lot of ways. It's great to see the kid's sense of adventure. She loves walking outdoors; she covered a bit over a mile today on foot. It's great to hear her enjoy her use of language, both the few words she knows and her own quirky babbling. Easy to get caught up in it. We said hi to the neighbors and were excited to see the dogs (and one person out walking with their pet parrot).
l33tminion: (Default)
I really want to get back into the habit of daily blogging, in large part because I've got better odds of remembering the interesting things that happened the same day, before the amnesia sets in and I forget all the details of what I've been doing for the last several weeks.

This week's been an exciting week because we're on vacation in New York City (scheduled around a conference trip for Julie). Saturday night, we went out for a fancy steak dinner at Gallagher's Steakhouse. Sunday, we had brunch with Aunt Ellen and Uncle Mark and my cousin Ben. Monday, we went out for dim sum and met up with Emmett for dinner at a Moroccan place in the East Village. Tuesday, Julie was at the conference, and I took Erica to the Children's Museum of Manhattan. Wednesday was also a conference day, Erica and I took a long leisurely walk, playing in the playground in Union Square Park and running around University Park. Thursday, we went to the Bronx Zoo in the afternoon and met up with my other cousin Ben and Melissa in the evening. They're expecting their first child in the fall, so we spent a lot of time discussing the logistical complications of city living with baby. Friday, we met up with Julie's friend Massey. Today is rainy, so we had breakfast in bed and a lazy morning in the hotel.

Erica is really having a tremendous time walking around New York. Her toddler obsession is definitely dogs, any time she sees one she becomes too excited to pronounce consonants, responding with excited gestures and shouts of "ah-ee!" (also, "woof!", "bow wow!"). There are lots of doggies for her to see around here. The tall buildings and crowds of people are similarly exciting, though the sheer number of new faces can make her a bit shy. (I love Eris' independent streak, but it's already sometimes alarming, so I'm glad she's not totally ready to bolt off without us.)

Eristic improvements: Counting (the first few natural numbers), walking fast, climbing over obstacles, drinking from a normal glass while holding it (limited), drinking from a straw, animal identification and sounds (limited).
l33tminion: (L33t)
It would be easier to title these posts if it didn't take me several days to get around to it.

Melissa came to visit this weekend (arrived Saturday and left early Tuesday morning). She was visiting Boston University since she's planning to apply for their MFA program. Was a lovely visit, especially since she provided a great deal of help with the kid (seriously, she changed diapers and everything). Saturday evening we went out for dinner with extended family (Amy and Josh and Milly and Marty), Sunday evening we went out to celebrate Melissa's birthday, and Monday I cooked dinner at home. Actually got a fair amount of cooking done: Mushroom and pea shoot omelette on Saturday morning, roast chicken and vegetables, pea shoot salad, and baked sweet potato with dukkah (which Julie made earlier) for Monday night.

Sunday morning, Melissa took the kid and went to visit friends, and (in addition to chores) I managed to watch all of Madoka Magica. If you enjoy anime, I'd recommend it: It's short (12 ~20 min. episodes) and has the sort of quality you'd expect form an Akiyuki Shinbo / Gen Urobuchi collab (i.e. a lot).

(I hear the kid enjoyed her museum visit. A good staircase is still a world of adventure.)

The Super Bowl Sunday seems like it was quite the game. (Sorry, Atalanta fans.)

Work is going all right this week, but it's a bit hectic.

Today, I'm out at Olin helping with campus recruiting and doing an interview-prep workshop. It feels only a short time since I was here with the kid a year ago.

This morning, the ground was covered with a thin layer of ice, which made the walk to daycare a bit too exciting. It was all melted an hour later, though. But tomorrow we're getting a snowstorm.

Julie's postdoc ends on Friday. But her entrepreneurial work continues.

This weekend, we're going to Intercon, which I missed last year and is still probably foolishness to go to this year, what with looking after the kid. I'm only signed up for a few games, though.

Eristic improvements: Still working on standing up unsupported (despite some early successes, she seems to be having difficulty with this still, though maybe she's trying when more tired), using specific sounds to communicate specific things (though I'm not sure I can quite say that she's learned words yet), more complex causal modeling (i.e. she knows the remote control works somehow and is determined to figure it out).
l33tminion: (Smile)
We went to the New Year's party at The Buttery which resumed again this year. It was good to see old friends, and Eris had a great time exploring (it's a big house, with some nice big staircases). But per parental tradition, we're home early. I may yet be up to see midnight, though it would probably be wise to turn in even earlier.

I don't want to overstate the significance of 2016, but it certainly was a year that turned things upside-down in a lot of ways. Not all bad, of course. The year started with Erica's birth, and I was pleased to see many friends highlight new family members and deepened relationships in their New Year's reflections.

For those alarmed by the political side of 2016, it's worth noting that while uncertainty has been heightened in some ways, the long-term global trends of reduced disease, poverty, and violence have not been overturned (as Pinker points out, terrorism is the clickbait of violence). Still, I expect that 2017 will be even more dramatic than 2016, and that's saying a lot.

I wish you all the best of health and happiness in the new year.

Eristic improvements (just to get in one last milestone before the turn of the year): Standing unsupported (briefly)
l33tminion: (Microbes)
We went to visit Julie's family for vacation, and it was pretty relaxing. Very nice to see everyone. Except we will still recovering from this stomach bug and, despite our best effort, managed to get both of Julie's parents and her sister sick as well. Hopefully our niece will avoid getting sick.

My cousin Amy also got sick after watching Erica for only a few hours.

The weather was clear and mild this trip, so it looks like it will be a smooth trip home.

Eristic improvements: Ascending and descending stairs, falling asleep on her own in the crib (though so far only during the day and only when the stars align just so).
l33tminion: (Microbes)
It hasn't been the most productive last week of work for the year.

Monday I was out at Olin Expo on behalf of campus recruiting, which was great. Tuesday was okay. But Wednesday, I stayed home to look after a sick Erica who had a bit of a chest cold (and maybe also a stomach bug?). Today, I had a terrible stomach bug. And now Julie is sick as well.

On the plus side, Erica seems to be feeling better, though still a little tired. Amy and Josh are very helpfully looking after Erica for a few hours so that Julie can get a bit more rest (and hopefully get through the worst of the stomach symptoms). I'm lying down a bit more as well.
l33tminion: (Overwork)
This past week at work was extremely busy, but I got a lot done.

The (smaller) cafeteria in my office building is closed for construction due to the new building going up next door. A new mini-cafeteria specializing in pho was opened on the twelfth floor of the central building in the Google campus. So I had pho for lunch four out of five days last week. It's the right weather for it. And the view from there is beautiful.

On Saturday, we went to the mall so I could look for a new coat. And then Julie had her phone stolen by a pickpocket when she set it down in the base of the stroller. That ended up being less of a disaster than it could have been, since the phone was due for an upgrade soon anyways, but it still made a complete mess of the day.

Today, Julie had a phone interview and I was an exhausted wreck. Eris and I both wound up taking a long nap in the afternoon. Dinner was delicious Chinese food from Zoe's. And then I wasted far too much time before staying up stupidly late doing chores.

But I still wanted to write before I sleep.
l33tminion: (L33t)
I'm really tired, so I'll keep this one brief. I want to do more substantial writing, but I feel like events keep getting ahead of me.

This year's Thanksgiving vacation took us farther afield than my usual. We went to Santa Fe to meet up with Julie's parents and siblings, took the train to Albuquerque to visit my Great Aunt Alice, went to Cleveland to spend Thanksgiving day with my parents and siblings and some of our Cleveland family, and returned to Boston for a quiet weekend with friends before our return to work.

Managed to get in a brief excursion to see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them while Melissa watched the kid. That was fun. If you liked the Harry Potter films, that movie is more of the same in a good way, and I really enjoyed it.

It is getting chilly, but still not quite cold enough for Eris to want to wear her hat.

Eristic improvements: Sidestepping around furniture, mimicking actions with objects, recognizing words (???), increased specificity in sounds and gestures used for communication.
l33tminion: (L33t)
Last weekend, we went to Lubbock to visit Julie's folks. Erica got to spend some quality time with her grandparents and get in another visit with her great-grandma. We also took her to see the animals at the South Plains Fair. Scott (Julie's dad) made homemade paella, which was really good! Was nice to get in some good times with family.

This week work was quite busy. Wednesday I went out to the Olin campus for the fall career fair. I love helping with campus recruiting, it's always great to get back to Olin and see the current crop of students, they always really seem to have it together. It's strange to be so far removed from undergrad, still feels like not that long ago. (Enjoyed the lunch, too. The Olin dining hall is now run by Rebecca's Cafe instead of Sodexo, and that seems to be a big improvement.)

Speaking of Olin, I've also been reading a book by one of my Olin profs, A Whole New Engineer, about Olin and Olin's collaboration with the iFoundry at the University of Illinois. Pretty interesting so far. While I already knew a lot of the background about Olin, I didn't know much about the iFoundry program, which seems to be an attempt to replicate some of Olin's successes with a small, low-budget program at a much larger university.

This weekend was mostly pretty quiet. I managed to play a bit of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided on Saturday (worth the time, though I stayed up a bit later than ideal). Sunday, went to Octoberfest in Harvard Square, which was for some reason not postponed to the rain date despite pouring rain. The weather was pretty lousy, but I don't regret trying to make the most of it since it got me out of the house. Erica napped in her stroller and I enjoyed a little bit of the music (though from a bit of a distance; Erica's ability to sleep through brass bands, while impressive, is not unlimited).

I took down the AC yesterday, just in time. So much easier when I get to it while the weather is still dry.

Of course, I've also been following the presidential election with great interest. Looking forward to the second debate tonight (will probably brave the weather to watch that in company instead of streaming it at home). Though I'm also looking forward to this whole thing being over. (How much crazier can it get in less than a month?)

Erisitic improvements: Erica is eating a bit more adult food (she really liked having some of Julie's scrambled eggs this morning), she's more interested in playing with blocks (though not yet up to nesting or stacking, mostly just hitting together or knocking down), she seems to be understanding some words (maybe???), she's more visibly interested in hearing people read aloud (though she doesn't yet follow along or turn the pages or pay attention to specifics).
l33tminion: (L33t)
A Death in the Family: Julie's grandfather died two weekends ago, at the age of 99. No matter how much time, it's never enough. It seems this has been a really rough year for Julie's mom. We're going to Lubbock to spend some time with the family this coming weekend.

Some Ingress Travels: Also two weekends ago, we went on a brief New York trip with some Ingress teammates, taking part in a challenge associated with the latest series of game events, challenging players to visit points of interest they haven't visited before. It was a fun trip, and we managed to return home unexploded.

There was an Ingress live event in Toronto last weekend, and while we didn't make it out to that one, we helped out from Boston. There's one defensive mechanic that can be done at a distance in Ingress, and while the mechanic itself is the boringest gameplay ever, it does help those teammates who actually made it to the event win their battles (on the defense, anyways), and it's something that can be done while you hang out with local teammates and spectate.

Extended Family: Uncle Marvin and Aunt Anita were in from the other coast, so I had the chance to introduce them to Erica. Got together with extended family and celebrated my cousin Amy's engagement to her long-time boyfriend Josh. Many congratulations to them!

A Bit of Magic: The prerelease for the latest Magic: The Gathering set, Kaladesh was last weekend, and I played in one of the prerelease tournaments at Pandemonium Books and Games in Cambridge. Fantastic set, with a great setting and very interesting mechanics (a lot of surprises on that front, the mechanic I most confidently expected did in fact appear on one cycle of cards, but that ended up being a small (though really cool) part of the set). The games were very fun, and despite a few blunders I won three of my four matches.

Eris Meets Baby: Another infant has started at Erica's daycare. She seemed to be acting friendly towards the baby when I've seen them together, but I heard reports that the first week or two involved some pangs of jealousy, especially when the new kid was receiving a bottle of milk or was being held by the caretakers. They tell me that Erica has been very vocal By coincidence, the new kid's dad works at the Wyss, so he's one of Julie's colleagues.

Roof Repairs: The building across the way had its 30-year roof repairs last fall (shortly after we moved in). The same for our building was planned for this year, a bit of emergency repair (though not in our unit) was required last winter. The work was completed last weekend. Really glad to have that done before the winter! The work wasn't too much of a bother (and was never too loud inside the building), but there was one day when the workers were running a really loud compressor outside and Erica really didn't like that sound. (The only other noises I've seen bother Erica that much were a cheering crowd and those high-powered hand dryers.)

Eristic Improvements: The kid now has an insatiable drive to explore. On the plus side, that means she can spend hours entertaining herself while I get chores done. On the minus side, that means she's finding new ways to get in trouble. She's really energetic, up until the moment when she's suddenly super-tired and super-cranky. Seems to have some renewed difficulty falling asleep: She wants to stay up and play more, plus teething continues. Starting the toothbrushing routine.
l33tminion: (Smile)
Work continues to be busy but tiring. I'm only now getting to clearing some of my backlog both there and at home. Hence the delay in posting.

Two weekends ago (Labor Day weekend) was my sister's wedding! It was a wedding retreat, a whole weekend with immediate family old and new at a vacation home in the mountains in Newry, Maine. The wedding was beautiful, and the whole weekend was very relaxing. Congratulations again to Melissa and Elliott!

The highlight of the weekend for me, actual wedding aside, was taking the kid on her first hike. I bought an awesome backpack carrier, Eris enjoyed surveying her domain, and it was quite a workout! You can really tell the optimists from the pessimists among the people you pass on a steep hike, the former tell you encouragingly that the summit is right around the corner, the latter tell you accurately that it's still quite a ways. (One inversely-directed hiker compared Erica in her backpack to "the Queen of Sheba", to which I responded "and I, her loyal servant".) I definitely need to get in some more use of that backpack. It's fun!

(That and stargazing from the roof deck of the house. It's been a long time since I've had such a good view of the stars.)

I've been trying to get in more of activities I consider worth having done in retrospect and less of stuff that seems like a waste of time. It's not always what I expect.

Things that were good uses of my free time:
  • Going to Michelle's birthday party
  • An extended Sunday brunch that ended up taking all of the morning and a bit of the afternoon
  • Getting back to reading S.
  • Starting to read Fix (the conclusion of a trilogy)
  • Reading books in general, including on the Kindle app on my phone
  • Long strolls with the kid
  • Catching up on Fear the Walking Dead (even though that's not nearly as good as the show it's a spinoff of)
  • Watching Dennou Coil (most briefly described as "Google Glass the anime")
  • LJ discussion threads, even though it takes me entirely to long to edit entirely too wordy comments
  • Cooking, even when it's something simple
Things that were not good uses of my time:
  • A super-aimless Saturday morning, where it took me far too long to get up and do anything
  • Playing a bit of Borderlands (I thought I would enjoy it, but it was just too repetitive and grindy)
  • Excessive Facebook browsing
Erica is developing really quickly and seems to be really having fun with her rapid increase in capabilities. She loves playing with her toys, especially an electronic music-box that's all flashing primary-colored lights and snippets of classical music, anything with moving parts she can manipulate, and anything that makes noise when she hits it against the floor.

Eristic improvements: Dancing (including moving to the beat of music), standing assisted, bouncing up and down from a standing position (every day is leg day!), pulling herself up to sitting, kneeling, or half-standing poses on her own. Getting bored mid-hygiene and trying to get away (come back, baby!). Trying to get into the container of wipes to chew on them (evidently delicious?). Eating more varieties of food (though her reaction to some really new things is very dramatic: super-exaggerated disgust-face followed by demanding more followed by surprised laughter at every bite). Trying to remove books from lower bookshelves (the bungee cords are deterrent enough for now). She still is way into making that growling sound, too!
l33tminion: (Enlightened)
Julie and I went to Portland, Maine this past weekend for a mini-vacation to play in one of the latest Ingress anomalies on Saturday. All I could've asked for: Excellent gameplay, hanging out with some of our Ingress-playing friends (especially Ian and Ben, who were kind enough to let us join their carpool), victory for the green team, wandering around in some lovely weather, and delicious things to drink and eat (more lobster roll!). We did get through the 12 (of 24) courses needed to get the badge for participation in Sunday's Ingress Mission Day event (completing 13 in all), but I'm a bit envious of our teammates who had time to do the entire set. Ah well. Plenty did the minimum who didn't have a kid in tow. Erica seemed to enjoy the excitement and crowds and the stroller tour of the city.

Was fun to see people react to the event, especially one particular kid who seemed struck by the realization that he had to start playing this Ingress thing immediately. His mom helped him download the game, and he'd worked his way through the tutorial, asked the anomaly players lots of questions about the gameplay, and was well on his way to level three before our paths diverged. Must've been an interesting experience, given that the live events have the game in its most chaotic state! I wonder if he'll stick with it, but either way, it's always fun to help a new player give the game a try.

Unfortunately, our Portland acquaintances recently decamped for a different Portland, so we didn't get the chance to see them on this trip. We'll have to visit Oregon sometime as well.

This week, my family is in town. On Friday, my sister is getting married! All the congratulations to Melissa and Elliott! The wedding and subsequent weekend with family will be at a vacation home in Newry, Maine, so that should also be a nice getaway.
l33tminion: (L33t)
I've been very tired lately. Between that and the heat, I've pretty much given up on cooking, and all of my entertainment has tended towards the short-form. Work has been exhausting as well.

Julie's Science paper came out this week, and she was working to get her companion-piece methods paper ready for pre-publication. And post-postdoc job search continues.

Next week, we'll be going to Portland, Maine for another Ingress live event. So have been getting in a little Ingress-playing this week to gather the game-items needed for the battle ahead.

The weekend after that is my sister's wedding, also near Portland.

Today, I thought I might get a quiet day at home, then did nothing of the sort (as usual). Went out for breakfast, then decided to catch a bit of the Red Bull Flugtag (a funny amateur "flying" machine competition), then played some Ingress in/around Boston Public Garden. Did a bit more wandering and relaxing, then got dinner at Happy Lamb Hot Pot (a new place in Central Square which happened to be serving their special menu for this summer's restaurant week). It didn't feel like much time had passed since early afternoon, but by the time we were done with dinner, it was nearly 10PM.

Speaking of which, I'd better get to sleep if I don't want to be dead tomorrow.

Eristic improvements: Crawling for real (though still somewhat limited/slow), new growling noise that she finds incredibly entertaining.
l33tminion: (HHGTG Stub)
Unlike previous years, this year's trip to Sandy Island Camp wasn't a digital hiatus. I didn't leave my phone at home this time. For one thing, I wanted to have the camera, and for another, I was driving and wanted to bring the phone for nav. But unless I'm really committed to taking a complete break from the internet (and I wasn't), I won't do it, so I spent a lot of my time at camp listening to podcasts or huddled in the shadow of the internet shed.1

But it did mean a lot of time to relax, particularly as the kid had two grandparents and an aunt who wanted to make the most of quality time. Early on, it was, "Can I watch the baby? Change a diaper? Take her for a walk?" Sure, if you insist! Later in the week, it was more like the kid would just vanish and I'd look up and think, "Where did the baby go?"

Eris is still determinedly working on improving her mobility. This makes her extra interactive, but also extra tired and hungry. Introducing her to new foods is fun, and she eats not nearly as messily as I would have expected. Aside from rice cereal, we've gotten in some banana (her favorite) and plain yogurt (which she also liked).

I did manage to get in a bit of reading at camp (though I notably did not read any books from start to finish):

Piketty's Capital - I started reading this at Sandy last summer, planned to find some time to finish it during the year, and failed to do so. It's pretty interesting, though, as a historical account of the conditions that caused inherited fortunes to dominate the landscape of wealth in Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries and why those conditions were notably absent for much of the 20th century. It's also interesting as a bit of futurism that predicts a return to low growth, extreme wealth inequality, a shrinking middle class, and the reemerging dominance of inherited fortunes. The last part, concerning policy recommendations, will be of interest to liberals, horrifying to libertarians, and probably politically infeasible in any case. Still, I agree with Bill Gates that the book is worth your time if you're interested in the topic.

Haidt's The Righteous Mind - Started this book some time before camp. This book's subtitle "Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion" promises more than the book delivers, and Haidt has blind-spots you could drive a truck through, and for all that he notes that he's a former liberal, Haidt seems to think that some of the moral intuitions he cites are absent from liberal politics instead of employed in different ways. Still, it's not bad as a pop-science book about moral psychology.

(If the author's name sounds familiar, Haidt has most recently gotten a lot of attention for writing conservative "what's wrong with the kids these days" think-pieces, including this one in The Atlantic.)

Cities and Space: The Future Use of Urban Land - Started but haven't finished yet. A collection of essays that was a product of an academic symposium, published in 1966. Interesting so far. Notably, it leads off with an essay that predicts the main problem of urban land in the future will be its ever-declining value as transportation and communication costs trend towards zero (the author also predicts that automated freeway navigation systems will allow traffic to flow at 150 mph bumper-to-bumper).

The weather at camp was pleasantly cool, and that continued on our return. (Had to get out a jacket, unusual for July.) Julie's dad was in town for a conference, and that Sunday was my 30th birthday, so we had some fun celebratory meals. Not a bad milestone. I did seem to manage to check all the boxes just in time for the end of my 20s.

Since then, summer has once again turned on the heat.

The handyman is scheduled to do some work on the house related to baby-proofing and climate control, but that's been delayed because he's sick. Hopefully the delay won't be too long.

I've been playing Undertale, which really is as good as people have claimed. And I have played a bit of that new Pokémon game that everyone (kind of shockingly close to literally everyone) is talking about.2

Eristic improvements: Substantial increases in mobility. Maintaining pre-crawling pose, reverse-gear backwards scooting, improved rolling. I'd say the kid is almost to crawling. In fact, she just got in her first bit of what might technically be crawling, which involved taking a lot of wind-up bounces before flinging a leg forward. She's also become more talkative. Definitely making the transition from cooing to babbling, some of her vocalizations are now recognizably featuring syllables and consonants. Some improvements in skill at manipulating objects, particularly those spoons.

1. The camp office, sole source of wifi on the island. There is some cell reception but it's terrible, particularly on T-Mobile.
2. I joked that it turns out that all Ingress needed to be wildly popular was to be combined with the most successful video-game franchise of all time. Of course, that's not really a joke, and it shouldn't really be so surprising that's a winning formula. (Though I do wonder if the game will have staying power, or if its popularity will be a brief fad.)
l33tminion: (HHGTG Stub)
Tomorrow, we're heading off to Sandy Island Camp. The first time I was there, I was two years old, so I guess this is really a generational thing now. Which makes me antsy, I'm not the biggest fan of getting caught up in tradition.

Other things that are different this year: I'll be driving up in a rented car with Julie and Erica, since there's not room for the three of us to travel with mom and dad (they're taking Melissa and Elliott). And it won't be my usual break from the digital realm. I'm bringing my phone this year, since that's my best camera.

I packed far more books than I can hope to read in a week of free time, and it's a small fraction of the books in my queue. But some reading will be good. I'm sure I'll be able to get a break from looking after the kid (Melissa in particular seems thrilled to be getting some quality time with her niece).

This week marked the end of second quarter at work, which meant time to look back at my goals for the past three months. I'm pretty pleased with how things are going. Things have been pretty focused and productive, even with a new routine.
l33tminion: (L33t)
The last few weeks have been some mix of busy and quiet, but we did have the time to get dinner with Hannah and Mark and family (our neighbors), met with Cousin Lilah one weekend afternoon, went to The Buttery's annual birthday party. I arranged for a new house-cleaner and (with help from Julie) continued to make progress on the remaining vestiges of post-move storage cleaning.

Last weekend, I played through Read Only Memories, a cyberpunk point-and-click game. While the puzzles will seem pretty simple to fans of the genre, I thought the story and aesthetic was great (the sound design is brilliant). Really captured the colorful side of cyberpunk. Well worthwhile!

Xave's Chuubo's game continues to be fun.

The Steam summer sale is this weekend, so I now have plenty of indie-game distractions to occupy my copious spare time.

This week, my family will be in town. Week after, we'll be away at Sandy Island Camp!

Eristic improvements: Not quite crawling (very soon), eating with a spoon (rice cereal!), discovering gravity (fetch with parents, every baby's favorite game), paying more attention when we read to her.

Eris BCLC

Jun. 4th, 2016 11:31 am
l33tminion: (Enlightened)
Last few weeks both work and home have been good, but very busy. I haven't had the wherewithal to get in more cooking. I need to get to baby-proofing the house quite soon. I caught a brutal but brief cold and am just now almost fully recovered.

One of the reasons things have been so tiring is that the kid is eating a lot. Her usual is ~800 ml at daycare between 8AM and 5PM, plus morning, afternoon, and evening feedings. So over a liter a day, maybe closer to 1.5L. Obviously this is a lot of work for Julie, but it's enough to keep me busy, too, with the logistics of washing and packing bottles and pumping supplies. The doctor advised Julie to pump before feeding the kid to increase milk production. We joke that Erica is now a Board Certified Lactation Consultant (while Erica's patented massage technique is effective, Julie wishes it was a little gentler).

Last weekend, we went to the Ingress event in Brooklyn on Satuday, and helped our team secure a victory. Then we spent the rest of the long weekend visiting family and friends.

This weekend, we're in Jupiter, Florida, visiting Julie's sister. Her parents are visiting as well. So Erica is getting a lot of quality time with extended family (our niece, Emilia, is super-excited to see her younger cousin).


Posted via m.livejournal.com.

Profile

l33tminion: (Default)Sam

July 2017

S M T W T F S
      1
234567 8
9101112131415
16 171819202122
23242526272829
3031     

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Jul. 28th, 2017 06:51 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios