I’ve forgotten exactly how awesome Thievery Corporation’s DJ-Kicks compilation actually is. Go get it.

Date posted: November 30, 2010 | Filed under music, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

Date posted: November 28, 2010 | Filed under finn, photo | Leave a Comment »

The new bathroom window is in place, and (you can just barely see) the old jalousie window is gone (this as of about 8:45AM). I’m hoping there will be three double-hung windows in its place by the time I get home.

Update: Here’s a daytime pic from Jen’s iPhone:

Windows in place

Date posted: November 23, 2010 | Filed under house | 6 Comments »

I took Finn shopping with me this weekend to give Mama some time to work on a big catalog job; one of my favorite things these days is to spend time running errands with my girls, because we get to be out of the house and exploring together. As she and I traversed the aisles of the Giant, avoiding the other holiday shoppers, Never Tear Us Apart by INXS came on over the store radio. Now, this is not the first time we have heard this song together, and I can never resist the temptation to serenade my daughter and make a fool of myself in public if it makes her laugh:

We got some smiles and laughs from the other shoppers as well as a few puzzled looks, and a woman who hurried away from us after snatching her soda off the shelf, but it was worth it.

We also had the good fortune to be invited to a pre-holiday party on Saturday evening, hosted by some new friends, and found it (and them!) to be warm, funny, and engaging. Candles set a cheery mood, Interesting people mingled, tasty foods were assembled, wine and beer flowed freely, and children of all ages ran underfoot up and down the stairs. Finn is getting to the age where she’s beginning to explore and socialize more on her own, and before we even got her coat off she was wandering inside to check out the scene.


This is all new territory for Daddy, because I’m used to chaperoning her relatively closely. At this age I’m not afraid she’ll eat the sofa cushions, but lately she’s been very interested in building towers to get up onto the dining room table and bringing us random items from previously inaccessible locations. When faced with a household where other children her age live, I figured the breakable stuff was already put away, so Mama and I hung back a bit in an unspoken agreement to see how she would handle the situation. Apart from a request for some hors d’oeuvres, she spent a good bit of the evening out of our direct eyesight, which was nice for Mama and I, even though we each admitted to keeping at least one eye peeled for her. And mostly, it went really well. She mingled and played and found things to do with new kids she’d just met. At one point she went upstairs to play with the bigger kids and apparently got very scared by something; luckily Mama was coming up at that exact moment to check on her and Finn came back down with us until she felt a bit safer.

I find myself going back to my internal argument about being a helicopter dad vs. letting her experience things on her own, and peeking in on her as she watched and played with the other kids in the living room filled me with a heady, sickening mixture of love, fear, hope, dread, and bittersweet sadness. She is the most amazing creature on this earth, and I will do absolutely anything for her. I also realize she must try and fail and love and hurt on her own, making sure that I am nearby to pick her up, brush the dust off, dry her tears, and send her back out on her own to try again. The urge to wrap her in my arms and protect her from everything is overwhelming, but I know I’d only do her more harm in the long run by fighting her battles for her, and the knowledge that she’s growing up so fast and gaining independence with every passing day is both a source of pride and an ache in my heart. On the day when she is too big to ride on my shoulders and play with my ears, laughing, as we stroll to the park, I’m going to have to find a nice quiet spot by myself to be alone for a while.

Date posted: November 22, 2010 | Filed under finn, life | Leave a Comment »

Spare Carb

I chose an absolutely glorious day to drive up into Monkton/White Hall to meet with a nice fellow and buy a spare Thermoquad for Peer Pressure today. Apart from one minor hiccup with lousy battery cabling, the old girl ran like a top, and we ventured out into farm country, blowing up clouds of leaves and passing by cows, horses, and IH farm equipment of all vintages. Erik is a real nice guy with a stable of drool-worthy trucks, and he gave me my pick of two Thermoquads. The one I chose looks like it was recently rebuilt itself, and comes with all the associated hardware I’ll need in case of replacement.

two scouts

Later in the afternoon, I got a call from Mr. Scout, who was in town and behind the wheel of Chewbacca on her maiden voyage across the Bay Bridge. He stopped in to say hi and we looked her over; the work he did is spotless and the truck is beautiful. We took a short spin up the block and he made me get behind the wheel for the return trip. She feels great; the engine is strong, the brakes are sharp, the wheel is straight, and the truck feels tight, like it just came off the showroom floor. Well done, sir. You’ve made me proud.

Chewbacca visits

Date posted: November 21, 2010 | Filed under friends, Inspiration, Purchasing, Trip Logs | Comments Off on A Spare, and Chewbacca Comes To Visit.

Date posted: November 17, 2010 | Filed under finn, photo | 1 Comment »

Finn woke up early this morning (damned frogs were at it again), so I went in and laid down on the twin with her to settle her back to sleep. She rooted around a bit until she was on her side and then her breathing went steady; after a while she stirred and twisted around until her head rested on the pillow under my chin, her knees tucked against my stomach, and fell back asleep. Then, for about 20 minutes, our little corner of the earth was the most peaceful place in the universe.

Date posted: November 15, 2010 | Filed under finn | Leave a Comment »

Recently I’ve been researching the process of archiving my ancient email from the turn of the millenium. The whole process got started when I decided to cull my collection of old Mac hardware, including 4 old laptops from the basement which don’t work anymore. The day I’ll need to resurrect another Pismo is long since gone, so I’m ditching three carcasses as well as a Titanium shell.

So, what I’ve got is a CD with an Outlook Express 5 (Mac) database, and I’d like to (in the best possible outcome) convert the email to text so that it’s out of a proprietary format. I got a version of OE5 running on a spare laptop (my venerable old Powerbook 1400) and found a script that converts an OE mailbox into individual .EML files. I should be able to crack open an .EML file into text to at least read the headers and message data.

The other method I found was to set up a spare IMAP mailbox and point OE5 at it; uploading mailboxes and messages to the IMAP folder converts them, and then they can be pulled down by a newer email client which can save them out as something else.

In the meantime, with all of the spare time I’ve got, I’m gonna re-burn the CD with the database, the converted files, a copy of the script linked above, and an install of OE5 for the future, when I’ve forgotten what I did with the text archive and I need to do this all over again.

Date posted: November 15, 2010 | Filed under geek | Leave a Comment »

This is welcome news: Obama says he’s not caving on tax cuts. Of all the misguided, backwards-thinking and revisionist propaganda floated during the last election cycle, the idea that permanently shifting a majority of the tax burden away from the richest 2% of the population to the shoulders of the middle class is the least defensible. The Republican party is not the party of the conservative; it’s the party of the rich and entitled, and their only aim is to take more and give less.

Update: check out the second link. I don’t live in that big gray circle at the bottom, do you? Didn’t think so.

Date posted: November 12, 2010 | Filed under politics, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

That hole in the wall is the vent and drain for our double sink. The framing to the left is the surround for the shower, and to the right of that (to the left of the camera vantage point) will be the toilet.

Date posted: November 11, 2010 | Filed under house | Leave a Comment »