Blog-o! Notes from

Thu, 18 Sep 2008

As Amy mentioned in the previous post, her father passed away. So she’s gone out to Saskatchewan to spend some time with her mother. This means that for the next seven days, I get to stay home and take care of the kids, making sure that they have food to eat, clothes to wear, and get to wherever they’re going when they need to be there.

The first day went pretty well, the only casualty being a slightly-charred side of a grilled bacon-tomato-cheese sandwich. And today has been going pretty well too, with a load of laundry washed and hung, the dishwasher currently running, and tonight’s meal (beef stew in the crock pot) already cooking.

A large part of why it’s all running so smoothly is my parents. They have totally stepped up, helping me by taking Delphine and Cordelia places, or just looking after them while I do the stuff that needs to be done around the house.

Delphine has been a huge help too. This morning, while I was in the shower, she got dressed, came downstairs, got out three bowls and three small spoons, some cereal, and the milk from the fridge. She then poured cereal for herself and Cordelia, and the two of them were done breakfast before I was dressed. I know she’s five and all, but sometimes she’s so grown up it astonishes me.

Anyways, they’re currently out on an adventure with Zaida, so I’ld better get to folding the laundry, because it ain’t gonna fold itself.

[Posted at 10:12 by Blake Winton] link
Sat, 19 Jan 2008

Today, at 3:20, Amy and I took Mimi to the vet, and had her put down.

It’s really hard, and I’m finding that I have to kind of pull back from it for a while, or I’ld be totally bawling all the time I’m writing this.

She was cranky, rude, ill-tempered, and maybe a little mean (although never to me). But I did love her, and she really seemed to be getting worse, and not enjoying life anymore, and so I think that it is the right decision, hard though it is. Heck, just looking at her, sleeping on the sofa beside me last night, I could totally see that she wasn’t right. She was in pain, and wasn’t happy anymore, and didn’t have much of a prospect of getting better. (Certainly not while we weren’t willing to spend $1000’s of dollars treating cancer. Chemotherapy seems like a cruel thing to put a cat through.) She’s also the first pet I’ve ever had to put down. I was sad when the rats died, but this feels totally different, probably because we’re doing it by choice, instead of it happening on its own time. I guess I just figured that she would disappear one night, and I could delude myself into thinking that she found another home, but it’s probably better this way. More of a sense of closure, and all that...

She went really quickly, (really really quickly,) which was a blessing, and the vet agreed that she was on her way out, and that we probably did the right thing at the right time.

I can also see why people believe in God and Heaven and stuff. I would kind of like to believe that Mimi has gone to some sort of better place, but I know in my heart that she hasn’t. That she’s just gone. And it sucks.

On a happier note, there are a lot of things I want to remember about her, both good and bad. The way her head smelled of ginger and cinnamon. The time she made Kathryn cry while she was babysitting for us. How loud and incessant her purr was. The way she would always hiss and swipe at Colin when we were all working in my living room. How soft she was under her chin. The way she let Amy (and only Amy) comfort her after spending a night at the vet. Heck, I even want to remember the way she would scratch her ass on the rug, and complain when I wanted to sit down on my couch. Damn stupid cat. I loved her.

[Posted at 17:34 by Blake Winton] link
Fri, 21 Sep 2007

I have no idea what happened to last night’s update. Well, that’s not entirely true. I was at a FogBugz demo given by Joel Spolsky, and Delphine had a sleep-over at her Baba and Zaida’s, so I took the time to write a spec, and that led me to whip out a bunch of code. The spec is written in something called reStructuredText (uh, that’s the link to the spec, which probably isn’t the best way to learn about it, but is the document I’ve been using the most), but my favourite Mac text editor (TextWrangler) doesn’t support it in any way, shape, or form. So I started writing a plugin that would teach TextWrangler what the heck reStructuredText was. (You can apparently get a tarball of the project from this link, if you’re so inclined, or if you’re not, you could just try the compiled plugin itself. Just double-click the .dmg file, then double-click the .bblm file inside of it, and it’ll tell you what to do. Or mail me, and I will.)

So yeah, a busy, busy night, but I got to sleep in until 7:00, which was really nice. Today was more of the same, except it was really hot out when Delphine got out of kindergarten, so instead of playing in the school playground, Delphine and I decided to go to Hollywood Gelato, the local ice cream store. Tasty. Tomorrow Amy gets home, so it’s looking like it’ll be a pretty busy day as well.

[Posted at 20:47 by Blake Winton] link
Wed, 19 Sep 2007

And today it all fell apart. Instead of pre-preparing dinner when Delphine was at kindergarten, I read my book, and watched The Daily Show. As a result, the salmon casserole was nowhere near ready at 5:00, and indeed, wasn’t ready until about 6:30. So Delphine had chicken noodle soup, billion-grain toast (I’m serious, there’s no flour in this freakin’ bread. It’s all just seeds and nuts packed together somehow!), and some cherry tomatoes which my parents brought over last night (in exchange for the apple cake and apple pie and ice cream). And after we went out for fish & chips for lunch, too. Thank god for the tomatoes, or I’ld feel like a completely bad parent.

And now I’m off to read some more (by which I of course mean watch some more TV), before turning in for the night.

[Posted at 21:11 by Blake Winton] link
Tue, 18 Sep 2007

Yeah, today is coming together much better than yesterday did. I just skipped the Starbucks, and came home from kindergarten, stopping off at Valumart to pick up a couple of pie shells. Oh, yeah, this morning, Delphine and I made an apple cake, but our bundt pan wasn’t nearly large enough, so we were left with a ton of apple filling. I threw it into a (store-bought, shhh!) pie shell, cut the other shell into strips, and made a nice lattice on top, and I’m now baking it at 350º for 25 minutes. (I totally guessed at the time and temperature. I suppose I should go look it up in Betty Crocker, huh? Damn, did I ever mess that one up! Betty says 425º for 40-50 minutes, with foil around the edges and stuff. Good thing I checked.) Easy-peasy (even with the foil).

Anyways, I think I’m going to end this entry now, and go sit on the couch and read my book. Muhuhehehahahahahahahahaaaaa

[Posted at 14:10 by Blake Winton] link
Mon, 17 Sep 2007

Ah, kindergarten. After dropping Delphine off, I went to Starbucks, grabbed myself a latte, and sat and started to read my book. Sadly, the presence of two wasps flying past my head sort of ruined my quite interlude, and I headed on home. When I was here, I managed to check my email, increment the laundry (you all use that term too, right? When you put the stuff from the dryer into the basket, the stuff from the washer into the dryer, and stuff from the dirty hamper into the washer), and hang the wet load out in the backyard. Yeah, apparently when Amy isn’t home I get all domestic. Who’lda thunk it?

But even given that, I really seem to have less free time than I thought I would. Somehow, between checking email and the various household chores, I haven’t been able to read as much of my book as I would have wanted, much less write the specs/code that I was hoping to. Ah well, perhaps I’ll get used to the routine by Friday, or maybe I’ll just put those tasks on pause until I get back to work.

[Posted at 21:29 by Blake Winton] link
Sun, 16 Sep 2007

Today seemed a little more in control than yesterday. I was really slacking yesterday, doing as little housework as I could possibly manage. Today I got a load of laundry done, and hung up in the basement, and I would be on my second load, but apparently the door didn’t close, or something, and so the load was completely dry when I went to check it after dinner. Dinner was another thing I handled a little better. Since my father and sister were coming for dinner, I made chili from around 3:00 until 4:00, and let it sit on the stove on low, mellowing. It turned out really well, I think, and there are some leftovers. Delphine and I also made some Rice Krispie Squares that afternoon (I made them, she licked the various implements), so we had a fun dessert as well.

I’m really looking forward to tomorrow, though, since I’ll have two fairly large blocks of free time, in which to attempt to beat the house into something approaching shape. The kitchen really needs a cleaning, there are three more loads of laundry to do. (Four if you count the failed attempt in the washing machine.) In the morning, I’ve got to make sure that Delphine has all the stuff she needs for kindergarten. Okay, that’s not actually something I can do in the blocks of free time, but I figured since I was listing all the stuff I need to get done, I might as well just slip it in there. And on that note, I think I’ll be off to try and get another couple of things done before I head to bed.

[Posted at 20:50 by Blake Winton] link
Sat, 15 Sep 2007

Amy and Cordelia left for Saskatchewan at 6:30 this morning, and so Delphine and I got to spend the whole day together. The first of seven. It’s going pretty well so far, I think. We played together in the park this morning: digging in the sand, flying kites, and kicking a soccer ball. We got home, and had some leftovers for lunch (grilled cheese and pizza, both heated in the toaster over), then watched the obligatory Charlie and Lola show, and read some books. Ooh, we also had banana/frozen-strawberry/milk smoothies for afternoon snack. They were really good, and a convenient way to get some fruit into our bodies. After hanging out a little, we went to the grocery store, grabbed the week’s worth of groceries, and headed home. So I thought I’ld take a few minutes to write a quick blog entry while I’m cooking dinner (frozen President’s Choice vegetable lasagna).

Dinner was tasty, and Delpine liked it, even though she started off saying “I’ve had this before at daycare, and I don’t like it.”. Then we looked for recipes for apple cake, found one, and headed off to bed. And now I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to do for the rest of the evening. I suppose there’s a FIFA Women’s World Cup game I’ve got taped, or I could watch a video about Haskell by Simon Peyton-Jones, but I dunno, neither of those seem to really be grabbing me. Ah well, I’m sure I’ll figure something out.

[Posted at 19:50 by Blake Winton] link