Blake and Delphine’s Excellent Week Together – Part 5.

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.

Blake and Delphine’s Excellent Week Together – Part 4.

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

Blake and Delphine’s Excellent Week Together – Part 3.

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.

Blake and Delphine’s Excellent Week Together – Part 2.

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.

Blake and Delphine’s Excellent Week Together – Part 1.

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.

New Pictures!

Damn, I didn't realize I hadn't posted pictures since April! I guess it serves me right that it took over three hours to get them posted this evening.

My only excuse for this and all my other website slacking (and general life slacking) lately is that I have had both Delphine and Cordelia home full-time since mid-May. This Friday Delphine starts kindergarten in the afternoons, and next Tuesday Cordelia starts morning nursery school two days a week, so perhaps I will have more time to do things. That's if I don't wear myself out schlepping them around. We'll see!

The Hands of Karma

As I was riding to work today, just after crossing the railroad bridge, heading on to Summerhill, I noticed a man poking at his bicycle. I stopped, and asked if he needed a hand, and sure enough, he did. He seemed to have gotten his chain wedged around his Bottom bracket, in such a way that the arms of the Spider were attempting to push the top and bottom pieces of the chain through the chainstay. That obviously wasn’t working, so I grabbed my multitool, and attempted to use the largest Allen key to try to lever it out. When that too failed, I pulled out the one tool in my collection I’ve never used: The Chain Tool. After a few tries, I eventually got the chain apart, after which it was an not-so-easy matter of threading it out through the gap between the spider and the chainstay, re-threading it onto the chainring, and re-connecting it. As a final gesture of goodwill/parting gift, I gave him my last 2007 Bike Map. (Yeah, I know the link is to the 2006 page. They really have to update that sometime...) After all that, I got to the office 15 minutes late. (Well, 15 minutes later. I didn’t have a meeting or anything, and our core hours don’t start until 10:00.) But I’ve got to say, that was 15 minutes well spent, since it made the rest of my ride in seem extra-pleasant.

Deck Party!

And now the details:
When: September 8th, 3:00 until 8:00 (or later)...
Where: redacted
What: Beer, pizza, some kind of munchie thing, and some sort of fancy blended drink (originally scheduled to be Margaritas, although I don't know if I'm up for tequila (shudder), so maybe Piña Coladas, or some sort of Daiquiri).

RSVP, so that I know how much beer/munchies to buy. Or just show up and take your chances.

Oh, and one thing I forgot to mention in the email, since Amy and I have two kids, feel free to bring whatever little ones you have along, and they can all look at each other distrustfully, or run around screaming, or whatever it is children do when they get together in large groups.

See you there,

Like a Thesis Defence (or so I imagine)

I’ve recently started using bzr as my go-to version control system, and as a newbie I’ve run into a couple of small things I’ld like changed. Fortunately, bzr is written in Python, and comes with an extensive set of unit tests, so it was easy for me to jump right in and add the feature I wanted. To be honest, I started off by writing it up as a bug report, with a trivial patch (by which I mean one without any tests). The comments on the bug led me to write up an actual mergable set of changes (which seems to be called a bundle by the bzr folks), and submit it for review. What followed was a few back-and-forths where various people pointed out things I hadn’t done correctly, or hadn’t really understood, and I fixed them. As a result, I think the code in the most recent bundle is pretty good, and is certainly far better than anything I would have produced on my own.

The Cottage

The girls and I just got back from a week at the cottage — Blake was there for the first few days but he had to come back for work mid-week. We stayed a full week and had a great time.

We stayed on the same beach as last year, but in a different cottage; this one was further up the beach on a rockier bit, which meant we had to trek down the road a ways to get to the sandy swimming beach. The beach we were on, though — the backyard of the cottage— had a sandy part for sitting and reading or digging in, and also lots of rocks for climbing and collecting and sliding on, so it was by no means a disaster.

The cottage had two bedrooms on the main floor and another double bed and single bed up in the loft, a little room amateurishly cobbled together in the rafters, accessible by a ladder-like staircase. Blake and I and Delphine slept there for the first weekend; after Morgan and Erik and Blake left the girls and I moved into one of the main floor bedrooms and I got to experience the quiet but deep satisfaction of falling asleep to the sound of my children's breath.

The place was pretty cottagy; I don't understand this love of wood panelling. Nostalgia, I suppose. Zaida went to scope out a different cottage for next year. It had been freshly gutted and decorated with, you guessed it, wood panelling. Nice, new wood panelling. I would slap gallons of white paint around if I had one of these places. This cottage did have some of the midcentury furnishings I favour; two beautiful pairs of wood armchairs in a fine, elegant Danish style. I couldn't get Blake to see past the orange vinyl on one pair and green tweed on the other to appreciate their airiness and elegantly tapered legs, though.

We spent a lot of time on the beach. I stupidly got sunburned twice but the girls weren't at all; they are just a little tan. Delphine was a superstar in the water; by the end of the week she was getting bowled over by waves and just picking herself up and facing the next one. Perhaps this is more interesting if you know what a fraidy cat she normally is! It's satisfying to see her face her fears and enjoy herself.

Cordelia wasn't so hot on the water; I think she doesn't like to be cold. I have lots of pictures of her looking variously forlorn, miserable, cranky and disgruntled on the beach. (I will post pictures soon.) Cordelia did have some fun playing with Zaida in the waves, but Zaida is extremely good at finding the fun for little people.

We ate well; barbecued ribs, burgers, chicken, and hot dogs; freshly picked corn on the cob, watermelon, ice cream, new potatoes, field tomatoes. Beer. Every day we tried to eat up the leftovers and every night the fridge was fuller than ever.

Baba and Zaida had some friends over on the last night we were there, two couples. Delphine was very apprehensive about meeting them, but when I exhorted her to be brave she pulled herself together and both girls were very nicely behaved and charming. Another fear conquered! Delphine took it upon herself to take care of Cordelia; when Cordelia said she was done eating Delphine wiped her up with a napkin, very officiously. Delphine was also very happy to show the guests down to the lake. As a special bonus I got to talk to adults about brainy things like computers and books. Hooray! I need to make some new friends, or perhaps just reaquaint myself with the friends I already have.

So another successful trip to the cottage, and Zaida already has next year's cottage picked out. We refine our requirements every year; by 2015 we will have identified the perfect cottage.