General Ramblings

The day-to-day stuff that comes to mind. Generally non-technical, but still possibly interesting from an entertainment value standpoint.

298 Trick-or-Treaters

Record year this year despite Halloween being on a weekday. The weather was pretty nice, which I'm guessing made it more amenable to be out, but otherwise I'm not sure why we got such a boost. We even shut down half an hour early - at 8:00p instead of 8:30p - to get Phoenix to bed. (We had a couple of kids knock after we shut the lights off, so you see those in that final time block.) Cumulative data: ...

Bonding Over Doctor Who

I admit, I have sort of a love-hate relationship with my toddler. I love her so much and she’s so cute and friendly and fun… when she’s in a good mood. When she’s in a bad mood, or doing her “testing boundaries” thing, I want to throttle her. Where I’m going with that is that I look for things that we can both enjoy together – activities we can sort of “bond” over, where we’re both having a good time. Sometimes this means racing hippity-hop balls around the house, but I can’t really run around for hours (or let...

Checking In, Checking Out

It’s been a while since I’ve checked in on stuff I do in my off-time, so I figured I’d do a round-up entry to catch up. Since Phoenix was born it’s been harder to get so-called “free time” to do much. Probably more accurately put: There are a lot of things I like to do, and I have a lot of time to do things if I can involve my toddler, but most of the stuff I want to do isn’t toddler-friendly so I don’t get to do it. I mean, toddlers plus RC helicopters equals disaster. Jenn’s...

Made It to 37

Well, I made it to 37. And, in the usual internet custom of blogging something reflective and profound when your birthday comes around, well… here I am, jumping on the bandwagon, contributing my part to that large batch of published information in the category of “Well, It Matters To Me.” I don’t really feel 37 mentally, though my hair is more gray now than it’s ever been, so it’s starting to show externally. I don’t exercise like I should (because, frankly, it’s boring as crap) so I’ll claim being out of shape as well. But I feel like...

Behind the Scenes

I love the Disney Parks Blog. They post interesting stuff (if you're a Disney fan like me), particularly if you're into behind-the-scenes things. Today's post on Mickey and the Magical Map is cool and tells you about how they put that show together. Seeing some of that behind-the-scenes stuff reminds me of a time back when I was younger, maybe… I don't know, 10? There was some sort of promotion going on at a local department store. I think it was JC Penney, but I don't remember exactly. They had some Disney character artists touring through and they'd...

Scared of Bears

We've had a recent issue where Phoenix won't do something because she claims she's "scared". "Phoenix, can you come over here?" "No," she says. "I scared." "What are you scared of?" As if we didn't already know. "Bears. Bears eat my shoes." That's right, she's scared of bears eating her shoes. Or her coat. Or my car. Pretty much anything out there is something waiting for a bear to eat it. At night, we have this somewhat covered. "The bear can't get you, Phoenix, because you have your unicorn to protect you. Unicorns stop...

2013 Vegas Vacation

Every year, maybe every other year, Jenn and I head down to Las Vegas. There’s always something new to check out and it’s a fun place to visit. This time we stayed at ARIA again since we enjoyed it so much last time. It’s a nice place with lots of great amenities, and we got a pretty good deal so off we went. (We left Phoenix with Grandma and Grandpa Illig.) Normally we kind of do the same stuff – we run ourselves ragged walking up and down the strip trying to see every hotel and visit every...

Safari in the Living Room

We had a safari in our living room last night. Jenn and I are coming to find that Phoenix (now two) has a pretty great imagination. I think she fuels it with some of the stories we read and shows she watches, but the combination of all of that in her little brain is pretty crazy. She really likes flashlights. Doesn’t really matter if it’s a head lamp, a small flashlight, or a lantern, if it’s a hand-held light source, she’s all over it. We got her a pack of flashlights for Christmas and my parents picked her...

On Ragequitting

Jeff Atwood just posted an article about Aaron Swartz, his unfortunate story, and the notion of ragequitting. I agree with Jeff on Swartz and the thoughts about that case. Rather than restate all that, check out the article. My thoughts go out to Swartz and his family. He'll be missed. What I disagree with is this: Ragequitting is childish, a sign of immaturity. We've often used "vote with your feet" as an idiom describing how people can effectively support (or show lack of support) for a thing, particularly an internet (or programming,...

2012 in Review

2012 has come and gone, and it's time to look back at what happened. Because if I don't, well… my memory isn't quite what it used to be, you know? It was a good year both personally and professionally, though I noticed I blogged a lot less. That happens, I guess. I find I post more of my little personal updates on Twitter or Facebook, which reduces the noise here but definitely splits up the content. Maybe that's a good thing. You can subscribe to the stuff you like, ignore the stuff you don't. (I use Twitter for more...

Disneyland 2012

Almost a month ago now (wow!) Jenn, Phoenix and I went to Disneyland with my parents for a three-day park-hopping adventure. It'd been four years since Jenn and I had been, and far longer than that for my parents, so we were excited to go. With Phoenix not quite being two, we figure she probably won't remember much of the trip when she's older, but she's super into Mickey Mouse Clubhouse right now, so she'd at least have fun. The first ride Phoenix went on was the Mad Tea Party tea cups. She loved it. ...

My Toddler: Party Rock and OCD

Phoenix is not quite two, but in her words, "I big." She is starting to become very independent, or at least she tries to be. In some cases she doesn't even want you to read her a bedtime story. She'll do that herself. If you try to sit next to her or point things out, she'll take the book and move somewhere else. She really likes music and dancing, and there are rules around that you must follow. If she's dancing, you need to get up and dance. If you sit down, she'll come over and...

Little People Hall of Justice

Phoenix is really into the Fisher Price "Little People" figures, particularly the DC Super Friends line. She doesn't know a lot of words, but she knows "Bapmo!" (Batman) and loves flying them around the room. A while ago we got her the Batcave playset so she'd have some additional vehicles and stuff, not just figures. This, of course, led to also getting Wonder Woman's invisible jet and the Batmobile. (OK, maybe it doesn't hurt that we both like the Super Friends. Come on, when your 18-month-old runs around yelling about Batman, that's pretty sweet.) The proliferation of Super-Friends-related...

Falling Apart

I think I'm getting old and starting to fall apart. For the last year I've had this Eustachian tube dysfunction that causes me to hear myself really loud in my left ear. If I'm talking, all I hear is me. When it's really bad, I can hear my heartbeat or my breathing. Walking around would cause a thump-thump-thump sound with every step. I ran through five days of prednisone and cipro, then 10 days, with no luck. After a 25-day-run of prednisone, I ended up going in on Monday and getting a tympanostomy tube in my ear. ...

A Typical Play Session with my Toddler

My 15-month-old daughter, Phoenix, is a kick in the pants. This kid has got more energy in her than I can keep up with. Of course, when she gets home from day care, she runs rampant and really wants to play, so we do. I envision a typical play session with a different little girl going something like, "Oh, look, Cookie Monster is going into Hooper's Store. See how he's in there? He's looking for cookies. Cookie starts with 'C.' Here comes Elmo, he's bringing Cookie Monster some cookies. Yum!" That's not quite how it goes at our...