tea

Sincerely, your something or other.

cc: everyone else.


tea

(no subject)

Shortly after she got back from her hockey-filled trip to Texas, [personal profile] commodorified gathered a bunch of us together at a pho place and snapped this picture of Oscar.

He's getting a bit better at staying in his high chair, and at home we can even convince him to stay there as we run around the kitchen, if we give him something interesting to munch on up there.

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tea

Oscar picture post

Not much to write right now, but here are some Oscar photos from the past week or two:

Oscar rearranging the cupboard
two moreCollapse )

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tea

Exciting news and an picture

So, I guess it's time to mention it in here — Oscar will probably have a sibling in late August sometime! A sibling was always in the plan, and we won't be too used to getting sleep with Oscar just coming up on two years old. We've got midwives lined up at the Maison de Naissance (the same birthing centre where Oscar was born).

Oscar is having a rough teething week, but he should be out of teeth soon: his canines are all quite poked through, and his molars seem to be on the way. In general we're getting him to bed earlier, so Elizabeth and I can have a bit of time to ourselves a bit more easily. I'm having more success putting him to sleep, too, which is nice when Elizabeth is teaching late into the evening.

My parents' friends and neighbours gave Oscar a glorious hooded sweater for Christmas, and he's a bit more grown into it now (with the sleeves rolled up). Here he is in it; what you can't see is a positively medieval long pointy hood in the back:

Oscar in a glorious sweater
click on the picture for a bigger version

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tea

questions make me post

stalkingsilence provided me with seven questions:

What is your current favourite song?
I think "Shake it Out", by Florence + The Machine. It's ludicrously catchy, anyway.
What is your ultiamate comfort food?
Galumptious Mac and Cheese, or maybe a bit too much Bridge Mixture. But there is lots of good comfort food out there, so it is hard to choose.
What book are you currently reading? Or what book would you like to read but haven't yet?
I just finished The Year of the Flood, by Margaret Atwood. It was a fun read; I think the characters were more relatable and had more interesting problems than in Oryx and Crake, but Atwood was still having the same sort of parody-dystopia-building fun.
What's your favourite part of being a dad?
Being a toddler amusement park is pretty fun, and so is realizing that my learning curve is starting to catch up with his (for now).
Favourite Canadian museum that you've visited?
I have a soft spot of the National Gallery. When I didn't live here, I would take a couple of hours to visit it almost every time I came up. I should go back more often now that I live here. It's too bad it isn't free like it used to be — it's a bit of a disincentive, particularly if I may be with an awake toddler with a short attention span, to pay by the visit. Maybe they could charge by the hour!
Describe the best holiday you ever had.
I think our cross-country train trip (wow, I didn't really blog that — here are some pictures, behind Facebook security in Elizabeth's account) may have been a once-in-a-lifetime thing.
What does a typical day off for you look like?
Breakfast could be the usual toast or baked goods, coffee and juice, or Elizabeth might make biscuits or pancakes. I'll manage to get some unstructured time to myself for reading or Internetting while Elizabeth and Oscar take a nap. I'll take Oscar with me on some errands to give Elizabeth a break to practice music. We may go as a family off to some happening out of the house, and we'll almost certainly get some Oscar playtime. I'll catch up on laundry, cat boxes and other chores, and Elizabeth will probably clean a bit and get the dishes under control. It's usually a pretty low-key sort of day off, but it's a nice change of pace.

If you want some questions to get your writing juices flowing, let me know in the comments!

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tea

Life without car ownership

Life without owning a car is something that gets enough questions asked of me that I thought I'd post a few things about it. Also, I like reading this sort of thing from other people (hi, asimplelife!), so I thought I'd give back.

So, for starters, here's the situation: I live with my wife and toddler son in an older residential neighbourhood in Hull. We're within walking distance of most of the basic necessities of life, none of us have any mobility-reducing disabilities. I've got the lone driver's license in the household.

the detailsCollapse )

When Oscar was on the way, we heard predictions that we'd be buying a car (or maybe even a minivan!) soon 'cause young kids require cars — we (well, mostly I) did consider getting one (by buying or hand-me-down), but so far we're managing pretty well with a toddler and all the options we have. I know of one co-worker who's thriving with school-aged children and no car, too, so apparently parents in the right situation can manage with multiple kids and not owning a car.

I guess that's a fairly broad picture of how we manage transportation in our little family. I've been wanting to write that out for a while, I hope it's useful or interesting to some people out there...

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tea

(no subject)

I'm a little late in posting it, but here is evidence that Oscar basically gets spoons (with mashed potatoes in this case, which is about as close as he ever got to eating pureed stuff willingly).

Oscar with a spoon and mashed potatoes

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tea

Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale

My cousin-in-law Jay gave me some tasty beer for Christmas. I tried it at the end of the drive home yesterday, slightly chilled (20 mins in the freezer from room temperature), in a beer mug, with some pita pizza.

The beer is a nice coppery colour, not cloudy or thick at all, with a fine head that dissipates quickly down to a little trim around the glass. It's got a nice aromatic whiff of hops and sweetness before tasting, and then an almost honey-like flavour. There's a noticeable bit of bitter at the end, but not enough to overwhelm the malty/honey sweet. If I didn't find it tasty, I might have found it a little medicinal (Elizabeth found it had a hint of soapiness and didn't like it, but I think I read it as interesting English hops). I sort of expected a winter ale to be heavier or spiced, but this one is surprisingly aromatic and delicate, and I don't think it has any unorthodox flavouring. If you like hops and are having it solo or with something not too overwhelming (the pizza was white — mayo, mozzarella, fresh tomato and olives — and it was about right), this is a flavourful and surprisingly delicate beer for you.

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tea

Merry Christmas!

Oscar in a snowsuit outside, smiling.


Photo: rottenfruit


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tea

Ugh shoulder, but good OC Transpo experience

So, this evening on the way home with Oscar strapped to me and laden down with bags, my shoulder popped out (this is a chronic thing that just happens to me sometimes). I was talking with some friendly woodgie-ing people on the #2 a little before 6, and reached to put up his sleeping hood and felt it go. It wasn't too bad, so I thought I'd see if it just slipped back in if I relaxed it as much as possible. No such luck, and so at the end of the route, I told the driver my shoulder had popped out and I might need a little time and maybe a hand with my stuff while I put myself back together.

The driver pulled over to the time-stop around the corner, called in, offered an ambulance (I wasn't quite ready for one), asked if I could stand (I managed), and was sort of reluctant to do any sort of manual intervention (there must be a "don't touch the rider" policy, which is probably a good thing most of the time). He phoned in again to tell someone he would be running a little late, and helped me get buckles and straps undone on a messenger bag, a backpack, a coat and a baby, stood around and talked to me while I popped my shoulder back in (it's a lot easier when I'm a little distracted and when I'm not wearing 50 pounds of gear and baby). Oscar slept through the whole thing — pop out around Preston, ride to the end of the line, chat, unload, sleep on the cooperative seating, let me pop in, put him and everything back on. The driver was patient, methodical and friendly through it all, and fended off a possibly grumpy dispatcher all the while. So, for all the unhappy or odd OC stories out there, I thought I'd add this to the Internet. Thanks, Mr. Driver, and happy holidays!

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politics, science

Short D.C. entry

I made it, through the full-body scanner and a flight above the clouds, to Washington D.C. I mixed Metro (mostly) and walking (from L'Enfant Plaza across the National Mall to Chinatown, so get a sniff of the air, get a look at the monumental-ness, and grab some tasty Thai food) to get me to the University of Maryland, where I'm staying and taking a course on disclosure control. Today was the ins and outs of releasing aggregated data, which is the end of things I've worked more in. Mostly for myself: I should e-mail Dr. Cox about where methodological transparency grants the intruder extra leverage in estimating sensitive cells: his problematic findings on feasible intervals, and Dr. Karr's recent conference papers on the topic in general. I think I'm getting some good review and some connecting details that I was missing so far.

Tonight I'm probably going to drop south from Foggy Bottom into the western end of the National Mall and try to see the giant statue of Lincoln and the Vietnam Veterans' monument. Tomorrow: microdata, dynamic queries, and then the rush to the airport to get home.

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