Her hair is getting longer! And she’s sitting in the bath all by herself now.

Date posted: May 29, 2009 | Filed under finn, humor | 1 Comment »

I was planning on driving south after work to start stripping down a Scout, but I got rained out. Again. This is getting really ridiculous, and the guy who owns it must thing I’m a total flake at this point.

In other news, the city stank of brackish sea water today. That made walking outside for lunch a decidedly unappetizing situation.

Date posted: May 28, 2009 | Filed under general | Comments Off on Bummed.

As noted elsewhere, this weekend was another milestone in Finn’s development: She moved into her own big-girl room on Friday evening, after a whirlwind installation of cardboard blackouts over the windows and frenzied crib relocation. She sat on the floor and played happily with her toys as we hustled around, moving and hauling and organizing, and seemed keenly interested in examining our pizza and beer when we finally stopped for dinner. Her first night was uneventful and quiet, and she slept through until 6:30 without an hour of talking and fussing like she’s been doing for the last several weeks.

happy girls

On Saturday, Mama and I began the long and arduous task of planting asparagus in our garden. Planting asparagus sounded, at first blush, like it would be cool. It’s a native plant in Maryland, we like it grilled, and it’s good for us. This was all before we realized what a pain in the ass it is to plant asparagus. The best way I can describe this to you is that it was like burying giant prehistoric spiders in a drainage ditch.


Most of the soil beneath our ratty lawn is pure Maryland clay, so I had to dig a 12″ trench and throw the dirt/clay onto a tarp spread on the lawn. After installing the asparagus, we covered them over and watered everything heavily while Finn kept an eye on us from the comfort of her blanket.


Sunday morning we took advantage of Finn’s early breakfast schedule and hustled out to a restaurant for Bloody Marys and an anniversary breakfast before the church crowd set in; she was in a wonderful mood for our whole visit and crashed out on the car ride home.

Car ride from breakfast

Most of the the weekend was consumed with yardwork, from mowing the lawn for the first time in two weeks, cutting saplings down on the property line, fixing gutters, and repotting a ton of seedlings in the greenhouse. Two of my tomatoes and two of my eggplant have aphids already, so they got moved outside and away from the other plants. Four cucumber seedlings got their own tub of dirt, pepper seedlings got moved to their own pots, and the radishes (which are remarkably leggy) got placed outside so that they’ll acclimate quickly. As the sunlight dimmed and turned to stormclouds, we moved inside and began cleaning out the front porch, which was relegated to a dumping ground last year during the remodel and hasn’t been touched in months. There are about three Scoutloads of debris to be hauled to the dump next weekend, which will free up a ton of space around here.

wheelbarrow ride

Finn was patient and understanding throughout the entire three-day weekend, spending time on her blanket, in the backpack carrier, in her car seat, in the bouncy chair, and on the floor while we planted and weeded and mowed and cleaned and vacuumed and moved. While we were outside hauling dirt from one side of the yard to the other, she watched as I piloted the wheelbarrow back and forth, and each time I passed she smiled and held her arms out: TAKE ME FOR A RIDE. So I scooped her up off the blanket, placed her on an empty bag (and my folded up T-shirt) and she got a wheelbarrow ride around the back lawn while Mama held her hand.

Date posted: May 26, 2009 | Filed under finn, garden, general, life | Comments Off on Finley Stardust and the Spiders From Mars.

Date posted: May 25, 2009 | Filed under finn | Comments Off on Having Fun In The Yard.

File this under wish I’d known about it six months ago: SpeedTools Utilities.

Date posted: May 24, 2009 | Filed under apple, shortlinks | Comments Off on SpeedTools

Plates are on, and I took my first spin around the block this evening. W00t!

→ This is a syndicated post from my Scout weblog. More info here.

Date posted: May 21, 2009 | Filed under Scout | Comments Off on Topless!

1001 rules for my unborn son. Wish I’d thought of this.

Date posted: May 21, 2009 | Filed under humor, shortlinks | Comments Off on 1001 rules for my unborn son

I had a scare last week where I thought I might have lost a whole mess of data from my production server, and realized I didn’t have a recent backup of either of my websites. Last night I set up the new server in the basement with a pair of Automator scripts based on the original one I’d written last year, utilizing built-in functionality in the superb Transmit and a little AppleScript-fu.

The first step is to have Automator open Transmit. Next we add a Transmit-specific Synchronize command to back up only the latest files from the remote server.

Once that’s all done, I had to do a little research to figure out how to close Transmit, because Automator 1.0.5 doesn’t come with a premade “close application” action (although the 2.0 version does). Drag the “Run AppleScript” action to the bottom, and in the supplied text area, replace

(* Your script goes here *)


Tell application “Transmit” to quit

Note: this screenshot is from Automator 2.0, but the basics are the same.

Save it out as an application, and then add it into a repeating iCal event to run weekly or monthly.

Next I’m going to tack on the email notification script I worked out before. One problem I had with that script was that even when the script did not run successfully—if the computer was asleep or shut off, for example—it still emailed me saying it had. I don’t know why this happened, but since this server is scheduled to run constantly, I shouldn’t have that problem.

Date posted: May 21, 2009 | Filed under geek | Comments Off on Automator Redux.

I spent all day Monday wading through a thick pea soup of exhaustion because I didn’t get enough sleep the night before, so my lovely bride made me go to bed at 9:30. It’s amazing what a difference a full night’s sleep has on my brain function.

Free brick

In a quick weekend recap, our neighbor stopped over with a big smile and a truckload of used brick he no longer needs; I’m happy to have some free supplies and he’s happy to be able to get into his garage again. A little back-of-the-envelope guestimating places their number at or near 500. I’m not sure how far this might get us, but I have high hopes it’s enough to reach the sidewalk from our front door. That project, however, is one for the future.


Next up is the greenhouse, where my tomatoes (farthest bin) are getting taller by the second, the cukes, peppers and radishes planted from seed are going bananas, the eggplant are holding steady, and the second batch of tomatoes seem to be digging in. I still haven’t bought that fan I was yammering on about, but nature will force my hand in another couple of weeks and I’ve got to figure something out.

In other eco-conscious news, we are now signed up for two years of 100% wind power through an organization called Clean Currents, which makes me feel a little bit better about leaving the porch lights on at night. We’ve changed a lot of our bulbs over to compact fluorescents and always had lights on timers, but knowing we’re buying clean power from wind energy (and saving a half a cent per KWh) is a good feeling.

That’s about all I got right now; I’ve put off posting this for three days thinking I would inject some humor or clever writing, but that hasn’t happened, and it’s now Wednesday. Enjoy!

Date posted: May 20, 2009 | Filed under general, greenhouse | Comments Off on The Difference A Day Makes.

Crap. now we have to wait until 20 fucking 10 for LOST to come back on. Last night was, as I kind of figured it would be, a lot of story arcs intertwining, a lot of exposition, precious few answers and the introduction of a whole new slew of questions, and some questionable character motivations designed to keep things moving along. Without publishing any spoilers here, I’ll just say this season was a pretty good ride, but the producers have a lot of work ahead to clean up the many loose ends they’ve tossed about.

Date posted: May 14, 2009 | Filed under geek | Comments Off on Mind: Blown.