Monthly Archives: January 2010

Putting up signs backfires

I always know that when I hear uncontrollable giggling from the other room, and then Nefarious walks in with a proud-of-herself smirk painting her face that I’m going to be in for something silly that brightens my day. On the weekends Caitlin and I sleep in — no rising for 7AM school breakfast — which means that Nefarious has to play out in the main section of the studio rather than coming into the living room (where her computer is) that also doubles as our bedroom.

“Ok, I will wake you up,” she shouted with glee this morning.

After I looked confused for a moment, she says, “just like you told me to on the sign!”


Very clever innocent fun now, but I suppose that this means that I need to worry about all the hilarious but not entirely legal vandalism she will get up to as a teenager. I probably should not have shared with her stories of some of my own stunts, as they are not just amusing, but inspiring.


I’m real tired because my neighbor had friends over and they were chain smoking, and with the building all closed up for winter, it was seeping into our apartment and kept Caitlin and I up all night, but I still had a really full great day, leaving me very tired at its end… So pardon me if this is written kind of dry, I feel like it is…

Nefarious and I read eighty pages of Goblet of Fire today. The first chapter was great, but the rest of the lead-up (the Quidditch tournament) has been a little dry so I’m looking forward for whatever happens with Voldemort in this one to regain focus. Apparently I am neither a sports fan in real life nor in the literary world of Harry Potter. My brother and I being read to as kids is one of my favorite memories, and it launched me into being a voracious reader, something that has continued until today. If I walk away from the book, Nefarious often picks it up and takes over the reading, and I know it won’t be long before she prefers to curl up somewhere on her own with a book, so I’m enjoying it while it lasts.

I dug up my projector this afternoon and took Nefarious’s drawing of the chipmunk and blew it up to a full size board, and Nefarious wanted to try it out as well, so she drew a picture of some dragons, had me shrink it down on the computer so it fit under the projector, and then used the projector to transfer it onto a sheet of plywood. Yes, it could have just been drawn right onto the wood, but where would have been the fun in that? Tomorrow morning we’re going to paint them together…



BTW, I’ve been seeing lots of Saab Sonett stories lately…

Someone posted a really wonderful comment here lately that they never wanted kids, but that my blog was the first thing that made them reconsider that. I was really happy to hear that, because communicating what an amazing and beautiful experience it continues to be. I’ve never done anything more rewarding and I’ve never done anything that makes me happier, and I’ve never done something more interesting or more challenging. It’s kind of neat to think that this profound experience is so common — I don’t think that I have any special insight, and I don’t think I do anything that any loving parent couldn’t do. I’ve mentioned before that when my divorce started one of the officials involved said that one of us would likely get BME and the other would be paid a settlement and become the primary parent. Not that I became single minded, but I completely prioritized not losing Nefarious, and have never regretted that decision (and I suppose I can take strangely twisted solace that my ex who “won” the BME half of my life is at least working hard to follow in my footsteps and maintain my legacy, and in my name no less, at least for now — not something I could have done… I think I’m far too selfish to dedicating my life to standing in the shadow of my ex, living every day surrounded by their essence, no matter what the financial or ego rewards). Anyway, I’m tired and rambling. Getting back to the main point, I’m really happy the joy is coming across.

That said, I do miss programming from time to time, so I’ve been doing a fair amount of that lately… Most recently I’ve been fiddling with a movie/media manager tool. Its main goal is to automatically download data from IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes, because I can never remember what movies are about from their titles, and also to have the ability to search by various properties. I’m becoming quite good at building full GUI applications that do a lot of harvesting of online data.

Speaking of movies, I recently rewatched the Wild Palms cyberpunk mini-series from the early 90s and it’s just as relevant — and enjoyable — as it was when it first aired. Check it out if you come across it. I’ve also been reading over Nintendo DS homebrew tutorials and think I might give that a whirl. I haven’t written in C for ages, but I feel fairly confident that it wouldn’t be hard, and the basics of the DS look pretty easy to work on.

Aaaaanyway… Not much to say… I’ve been somewhat neglecting the online portion of my life, but is online really life? Maybe it’s best that I keep that trend going. Tomorrow we’ll be painting and reading, and I promised Nefarious that we could take a model airplane that a friend gave us to the park tomorrow. She was flying it around the studio today fairly successfully, so I’m not too worried about it getting lost.

Tis The Season

I had a real great day today.

First of all, today it was Nefarious’s annual checkup at the doctor’s, which meant that I was able to sleep in an hour later and get up at eight. I’ve been in a ton of pain the last couple days, but upon waking I was relieved to discover that I felt good and walking wasn’t the nightmare that it usually is. Everything at the doctor’s went well, and she’s in perfect health, which isn’t much of a surprise because she never gets sick. I was also relieved to find that her eyesight is perfect as well (although I assume she will need glasses in the future). Most of the appointment was spent giggling and answering lifestyle questions.

I had parked in the Whole Foods parking lot, so before bringing Nefarious to school she grabbed some avocado sushi with brown rice, and I got myself a big treat of a salad with all my favorites. When I got home I spent the afternoon programming, working on a new movie/media management tool while an interesting documentary on gun running played on the TV — I think my favorite thing about my PS3 is the ability to stream HD movies to it. It has however been a little hard on my ISP.

It’s been cold here the last little while, feeling like -19 degrees according to the news, cold enough that I haven’t felt too motivated to go out. But when I picked Nefarious up from school it was almost warm, that winter warmth that comes with fluffy snow falling in still air. To my amazement, Nefarious’s friend Cassie claimed never to have been sledding in her entire life — I’m not sure how that is even possible — so she was happy to join us. We spent two hours sledding at Lithuania Park, not leaving until it had been dark for some time. Most of the time the girls ran up and down the giant hill to have races with the other kids there — holy exercise… I just waited at the bottom of the hill until we moved over to one of the smaller hills that the climbing of was less of an achievement and we managed to put three of us on the little foam slab of a sled that Nefarious and I picked up a few weeks back.

Eventually we made it home, and Caitlin had spent the day getting tattooed (so she had a great day as well) and was totally wiped out so it was just going to be Nefarious and I for supper. This gave me the opportunity of the simple pleasure of cooking a high fiber whole wheat linguine, which I seem to be the only person in the house that really likes it, served with an awesome veggie spaghetti sauce that Caitlin made yesterday. After supper we read a chapter and a half of The Prisoner of Azkaban, and we’re at the exciting part at the end as the real servant of Voldemort is revealed.

Now I’m watching Freaks and Geeks with Caitlin — the first time I’ve seen it again since we watched it together way back in ’99 — and eating a half pound pack of the best sugar snap peas I’ve had in ages as I write this entry. I have to wonder if that show would have been more successful today, because it really feels like the sort of show that could have its following seriously ramped up due to internet fans.

I know that all this might not sound like much, but it’s days like this that make me eager for tomorrow.



By the way, the strange black blur in the background of the second picture is a teenager having a tumble in one of their races. Oh, and seeing this awesome 4×4 video was also an easy but brief highlight.

She’s a genius and the most wonderful daughter

Nefarious, perhaps inspired by a recent encounter by the tooth fairy, has been sneaking in while I’m sneaking and putting drawings down nearby for me to see when I wake up. It’s so incredibly sweet, and the drawings are wonderful — here are three of them. The first drawing, which is of us at High Park (you may recognize the castle), was accompanied by a letter that read, “1. I love you, 2. You’re the best, 3. Harry Potter too.” Hahaha. The second drawing is “The Not Grown Properly Band”, and is just that, a musical band of mutants — with instruments that match their mutations no less. The final of the set is a chipmunk bringing treats up to their family in the tree. I love this drawing, and feel quite inspired to turn it into a painting, which I haven’t done in some time.

On Caitlin’s blog you may have read about the gingerbread they made, but the best part was that because of the lack of eyeballs, Nefarious made one of them a one-eyed demon with candy cane horns, and all the others have screaming mouths on account their fear of the demon. Too funny.

Today we were at Canadian Tire getting me a balaclava and looking for a basketball hoop to put up here in the studio, and Caitlin discovered that they were selling one-man tents for the crazy low price of $14.99, a deal too good to resist!!! It was just big enough to fit her old child-size mattress, and we filled the rest of the innards with pillows, blankets, and favorite stuffed animals, so Nefarious has quite the exciting camp out this evening. And “thank god” says the tooth fairy that they did not have to search for an under-the-pillow tooth inside an all-too-tiny-for-adults tent!!!

Anyway, UFC time.

Yummy Food and Inky Eyeballs

One of my favorite things to cook is fish. I like what a simple meal it is, and that the main key to making a good meal is just being able to cook it right. Tonight I made trout in a lemon balsamic marinade with garlic, onions, and broccoli and rice that turned out extremely well.

ModBlog earlier today mentioned what they called “Howie’s innovative procedure” for eyeball tattooing in regards to the clip below, and for now my comment on it remains censored (hopefully they change that, because it seems a little lame to change history out of contempt — and even if it does eventually get through moderation, it sits there so long as to effectively scrub it from the conversation… sad that this still goes on).

Howie is the artist that’s done a majority of the procedures out there, including mine, and has surely improved on the technique through doing many, but the procedure itself (that of injecting the ink between the layers) was invented and innovated by me, and it’s something that I’m quite proud of so it was a little annoying to see my name get scrubbed out of its history. I’d wanted an eyeball tattoo for years before we eventually did it, and the idea for the procedure actually came from the procedure that was used to implant the “JewelEye”, in which saline is injected between the layers to form an elevated bubble for the implant. I figured that if you’re not looking for hard edged lines, that a similar injection of ink would be the most effective way to do it.

All things considered these guys did a remarkable job. I wonder if they got the idea from the Internet or one of the magazines that wrote about our procedures, or if they got the idea from watching the episode of CSI that was obviously based on Lane’s photos of my eye being done?