Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Walking with the camera

Claire & I took a hike into Runyon Canyon Park the other day.
Crazy uphill, 800 vertical feet in a pretty quick hike.

As you can see, i'm getting pretty good at taking self portrait photos of Claire and I with the camera on my iPhone. Notice the wonderful composition :)

Here is the route I took, i brought my Garmin cycling/hiking computer with me. I'm going to try and remember to bring this for our walks, to keep track of where we have been. 1088 feet of elevation gain in 2.4 miles, round trip, so really it's 1000+ feet of elevation gain in the first 1.2 miles, whew!

Friday, July 24, 2009

a project that will last

maybe 1 year ago i got a photo and slide scanner to digitize some old slides i had. it has worked great so far, and really create a nice copy of some of the old media i have laying around with no way to view it.

when my grandfather passed away a few years ago he left a lot of stuff behind (he was a bit of a hoarder), one thing that always seemed interesting was the photo slides he had. my aunt Teresa got the entire collection and wasn't sure what to do with them, so i offered to scan them. a larger project than i was probably expecting, but it will be interesting none the less. Scanning slides is a fairly slow process, and one which only needs attention every 15 minutes or so. hopefully i can make a dent in this box of slides.... there are probably a couple thousand in this box, whew.

i've got a few done, here are some i like:

This is my mom when she was probably 18 or so, I think it's a great photo of her.

This is my mom, holding my sister Linda, in 1970. My uncle Don and aunt Louise are standing next to the car.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Gary the Stay at Home Dad

Thanks to the California Family Medical Leave Act, Gary is going to be able to combine vacation and some leave and be at home for 10 weeks. This Friday is my last day. Woohoo.

Sarah will be heading back to work at LACMA, and so I will use up all my vacation and be the house husband for a while. I will try and keep the blog updated with Claire and my adventures.

This is the first significant break from work since I started at IBM over 10 years ago and I am looking forward to the time off. The chance to spend lots of time with little Claire and also just to have a different routine and interact with different people rather than than going to work every day and staring at the laptop screen will be a nice change.

It is good to know that I am not alone in this Stay at Home Dad business. In the 1980s there apparently was a documentary made on the topic:

I will keep fit using the Stay at Home Dad workout:

And there also is a Stay at Home Dad theme song:

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Claire and Her Shots

Claire got her first immunization shots last week.
No, we are not one of the affluent, celebrity crazed flock which are convinced, despite all evidence to the contrary, that somehow immunization shots are related to autism. So Claire got stuck with a couple needles the other day. She had to get 3 shots, which seemed bad until they told us that until a few weeks ago, it was 5 shots. They had some new combination medicine now.

Fairly traumatic for Sarah and I, hearing your child wail that loud and knowing there isn't a whole lot you can do to avoid the pain. We figured that it must be a crummy job for the nurse doing it... "so what do you do all day? Me, I make babies cry like they never have before."

She didn't have any sort of lasting negative reaction & recovered like a champ, but the shots seemed to make her sleepy. She was conked out for a majority of the afternoon and then slept though the night. Kind of a strange benefit; Sarah and I getting to eat dinner interrupted.

Here is a link to a photo of her with her little bandages covering her war wounds.

Monday, July 06, 2009

New Phones

Sarah and i finally bit the bullet and moved forward in our mobile phone technology. Up until now were were of the "I'll take the free phone please" cell phone opinion. But with all the new fancy things which have come out, we decided to go for it. For a long time i was holding out that one of the cell phone companies would come out with something compelling, competitive which was low priced, but they got us by the throats and i realized that day was never going to come.

So we got 2 iphones now. All modern and fancy and everything. Gotta love the Apple store, when you admit to not being a Mac person having that air of superiority just cascade down upon you. The joys of being talked down to like you are some sort of world class moron for not falling into the Cult of the Mac. My favorite comment from our salesperson was "well you know, the windows machines are great, if you never turn them on... just use them as as a paperweight." Interesting sales tactic "step 1, insult the customer. Make you you establish that you are doing them a favor by taking their money." grrrr.

Other than that, we are satisfied so far. Now i have a high tech, mobile "brag book" which we can use to show off pictures of our little girl. I can't wait to install the fart application and the lighter, those seem to be the essentials.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Door & Lock Set

A couple of weeks ago when Sarah was home with Claire, she went to go outside & discovered she was locked INSIDE the condo. Our front door & lock had been a little wacky for a while, it only liked to open when you turned the doorknob to the right, not the left, and other such weirdo things. So Sarah had to call a neighbor to let her out of the house; a strange set of circumstances.

So we needed to replace the front door & lock. I think the previous owners had tried to beat down the door at some time or something, the door was a bit beat up. After calling around a few places, and having people not call us back... I guess the economy isn't that bad when you try to hire a place and they don't return calls.

So we had our friend Paul help us out, the master craftsman that he is. Gary helped out in the vital "hold this here" capacity. We got a new fancy door, just like the old one, with fancy pewter lock set to replace the gawd-awful ugly set before it.

Here is our original door, crappy lockset and all.

Here we are, in transition, door removed and tools to get the job done around. It ewent pretty quickly, 4.5 hours in total I think.

And here is our fancy new door, all complete. A dramatic change, yes, going from a plain, solid, white door to a plain, solid, white door.