Archive | December, 2012

Theme 2013 – Jumping in with Both Feet

28 Dec

I’ve been noodling over a theme for the coming year – less a specific set of resolutions, and more a mechanism to focus my energies in the coming year. For 2013, I’m thinking something like “stop half-assing stuff.” But a more positive way to put it is more like “Jump in with Both Feet.” This is the year I am going to stop phoning it in as much as possible, be present in the present, make plans and follow through, not just vaguely wave at stuff. So 2013, it’s time I stop acting like a blunt pencil, and start getting sharp.


11 for ’12 update

23 Dec

In 2011, I did a dozen for 2011 list. In 2012, I pulled some of those things I had on that list, and re-tacked them on to my 12 for ’12 list. In a tough loss right out of the gate, I only really had 11 for 12, even with the repeats. Still, let’s assess:



Log Line


Sweet Vanilla

Crafts, Food

Make homemade vanilla, with labels, made them gift-worthy.

Done! But not great! I’ll post some photos of the vanilla, but the original ‘bourbon’, ‘rum’ and ‘sweet’ vanillas all basically smell and taste like booze, and look pretty wan. The bottle labels are…meh. Still, worth the effort. Ish.

Booky booky

Education, Personal Development

Read a dozen books for 2012, 12 books in 12 months.

Sort of succeeded. Or at least, read 11, with one still in progress (which I may finish in the next week or so). If you are interested, you can see a complete list of them. This probably deserves a separate post as well.

Dashboard – Data Mashup


Data Garden/Visualization of life or work

Mostly failed again. I really want to do this, though, and I think the coming year will see something spectacular in this category. I’m serious this time, really!

Sunday Supper


Quarterly Sunday Suppers. Have people over for a dinner, 4 times during the year. A relaxing, big, family-style dinner.

One of four, so a qualified success! But honestly, not totally worth the effort. You can read about the results of our one and only supper that we held this year. The food was good, the company was lovely, but our apartment is too small, we invited like 12 people, of whom 2+2kids actually came, just not worth the effort of doing. We want(ed) to invite all of our friends on a rolling basis, I’m exhausted just thinking about it.

Game Night!


Quarterly Game Nights, with friends and kids.

Did not accomplish this at all. The closest we came is that I spent some time this year playing Dark Souls. I’m not even going to pretend that counts. Which sucks, because we have some games just sitting and waiting for us to get to them!

Pull it together, man! Still!


Quit doing labor on behalf of other companies, who use my personal information, eyeballs, attention, and content to make money for themselves.

Ok, so I am off of Instagram, but still on Facebook and the Twitters, and even this humble blog is hosted at wordpress instead of being hosted at my own website. My new policy at FB seems to be working – whereby I delete all of my activity occasionally. So I’m relatively active, but also sparse. I’m not naive to believe that protects my data from being kept by FB, etc., but it’s something. Obviously, this deserves a more expansive post.

Sell, baby Sell!


One of my main year-goals this year is to sell something on Etsy. If I can list it, I suspect I can strongarm a friend or two into purchases. So it’s a little more like get something listed on Etsy.

Failed, two years in a row. This is getting depressing folks.

Father Kung-fu

Personal Development, Fathering

Not fffffuuuuuuu, but, you know, skill achieved through hard work and practice.

This is where I think I kind of shined in 2012. I’m not saying that I have learned all there is to know about fathering, but I do feel much more confident about doing fun stuff, necessary-but-not-fun stuff, and exercising patience to a degree I didn’t think possible in 2011.

Educate thyself

Technology, Personal Development

Take a couple of Coursera courses courses.

Ok, so mostly failure. I took two courses, and lasted 3 weeks through them, but didn’t end up finishing either of them. The homework, the tests, the projects. It turns out that my suspicions as a professor have been pretty spot-on. I refused auditors on the principle that if you are not required to commit to a course, it is very challenging to do so. I’ll try again, mostly on coding, statistics, analysis, other fun stuff.

Run, Fat Boy, Run

Personal Development

I’m working on an appropriate amount of distance, and a way to mark it. Ideally a self-updating map of the US, with me running across it, one mile at a time, measured by my fitbit.

My fitbit broke from last year, and I’ve mostly failed miserably at this goal. There is always 2013 though!!

New Job

Personal Development, Career

Get a new job, and a new career.

Working. On. It. This is what is occupying my mind most, and ratcheting up the stress levels of my life more than anything. It’s last on the list, but first in my heart.

Can’t stop this train

22 Dec

Poor baby has had a series of medical punches in the neck lately. None of them have been super serious, but there’s been stomach flu, croup, now MRSA staph infection. This latter one is requiring me to poke and squeeze the ridiculous abscess on his belly. Plus 10 days of antibiotics. So we cancelled what was going to be the smallest of get-togethers for his 2nd birthday party, since we don’t want to infect anyone and he went to sleep with odd timing due to the day-long doctor and emergency room visits. We had even ordered cupcakes!

But you know, at least just for the three of us, the show must go on. And so we called forth the Subway of Justice…

subway close

This monster takes up our entire living room. Here it is a bit further back:

subway full

There is also an accompanying ‘turnstile’ and swipe machine. I spray painted this thing down in the basement; the box came from an appliance store down the block; the mock-up of the subway placard was cut-and-paste jiggery-pokery with Keynote; the swipe machine was cardboard box wrapped in metallic contact paper.

So Happy Christmas and Solstice and New Year to you all. I’m resolving to write more in 2013, but I fear the bar for 2012 was so low that there is nowhere to go but up.


12 Dec

This is the first time in a week that I’ve had the time and energy to sit down to a computer. Last Thursday, baby woke up at 4am, and being the excellent parent that I am (natch), I immediately poked my wife: ‘hey, baby’s crying, it’s 4am. You should go check on him,’ and then tried to go back to sleep.

A long few minutes later, partner plunked down a sad, kind of scared, drop-dead tired, pukey-smelling baby next to me in the big bed. Apparently, his lovey doll and a few other stuffed animals bore the brunt of his stomach’s disfavor, and sweet wife was cleaning up the mess in his bedroom. He slept on and off for a couple-few more hours, in between us in the big bed. Wait, no, that’s not totally accurate. It was more like a sleep position sampler. In any event, baby felt like crap on Friday, when our cousins came into town to stay with us for the weekend.

He held up surprisingly well, despite not really eating anything at all for a couple days. Although he had a funny tendency to just stop in the middle of whatever he was doing, and just lay down flat on the floor. Um, right. Sleepy. Tired. Sick. On Sunday morning, when I usually take him out in the early morning for coffee and oatmeal, he puked again, this time all over mama’s shoulder and the floor. Amazing, right? He just got mommy! Not our sheets, not his own clothes, just the floor and mommy! (you know, as I’m writing this, wife is looking pretty damn martyr-esque. Hrm.). He held up again for the rest of the day Sunday, just fine. Again, just sleepy. No more vomit.

But on Sunday night, I came down with the delayed version of his stomach bug. Or at least I think that’s what it was. The stomach cramps and pains and the brief passing out from exhaustion while laying on the bathroom floor at 3am wishing I was dead, that’s stomach flu, right? Or else a classical reenactment of that stomach bursting scene from Alien.

Then he pulled a fast one. Just as he started eating again, he began the characteristic cough-of-the-barking-seal that we heard last winter, when he had croup. Yep. Croup. As I lay completely incapacitated on Monday, and wife napped on and off as well, my blessed mother-in-law did childcare for our little bundle of infection.

So that’s where we are now. I’m pretty much better. Wife is still mending. Baby is coughing. Baby mama spent 3 and a half hours with baby and mother-in-law at the after-hours urgent care center (oh, in what deserves a separate post, let’s just go ahead and give a gigantic FUCK YOU to the pediatric medical establishment on behalf of everyone involved in that experience).

So, yeah, we’re a little tired, our Hanukkah hasn’t been the best in the world, baby’s 2nd birthday is tomorrow, and we’re all going to be better soon.