Monthly Archives: October 2007

Sleep or No Sleep

When babies are little, whenever they make noise, you rush to them to figure out what’s wrong. As they get older and their repertoire of sounds increases, things become trickier.

Take Liza. She laughs. She coos. She makes this creaky sound that makes you wonder if her parents were a pteradon and an unoiled hinge. Most notably, she sings herself to sleep. She sings arpeggios of “Ooo hoo, hoo oooooo hooooo ooo” on her way to sleepyland. We want to encourage this behavior, since I don’t want to have to visit her in college to rock her back to sleep.

All of this makes nighttime a game show where we try to guess if she’s making noise because she’s going back to sleep or because she’s waking up. She’ll cry and I’ll jump up, reflexes yanking me out of bed. Then I stand still, listening for the next minute and guessing which way she’s going: into or out of sleep. These days my default guess is that she’s going back to sleep, since that lets me lie back down for a bit.

It’s a shame this game show’s prizes are all dirty diapers and drool.

Busy, Busy, Busy!

This weekend we are having baby dedication for Liza at church. So we’re going to be up to our eyeballs in company. My dad and step mom are arriving this evening so we can spend a few days visiting. Stephen’s parents, two grandmothers and great aunt arrive on Saturday. Sunday is the dedication and then some friends are coming to visit in the afternoon.

There will be 1.4 gazillion photos by the week’s end but until then, posting will be light. So I leave you with this:
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Notes from the National Geographic

Remember when I said I read National Geographic cover to cover when I get it? I read most of the current issue over the weekend and one of the things that struck me was the article on Biofuels. Check out the one on cellulose. Yes, that’s right, we could possibly fuel our future cars on leftover plant materials. Just like in Back to the Future. As long as I get the flying Delorean to go with it, I’ll be happy. Well, that and slowing down the global warming.

Today is Blog Action Day.

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

Then He Said, “I Was Going Into Toshi Station to Pick Up Some Power Converters”

The four of us were playing Lego Star Wars II last night, the one based on the original trilogy. We’ve been working our way through Star Wars and had reached the final climactic battle. On the TV, the Death Star moved into position around Yavin.

ELI: Dad? Dad? Hey, dad, dad.
ME: Yes, Eli.
ELI: (pointing) What kind of moon is that?
ME (ominously): That’s no moon….

I Love the Internet!

I know I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again, but I love the internet.

Yesterday someone posted on my Legos post saying he was from Wild Planet Toys based in San Francisco and that he’d love for Eli to try out a few of their toys.

My first thought was, “This is spam, I should delete it.” But then I thought about it some more and decided to give Devin a call. He was very excited to send Eli their game called Hyper Dash. So we’ll be getting a copy in the mail sometime in the near future. Eli and I are going to give it a workout and possibly let the other playgroup kids see what it can do and then we will be reviewing it here.

This all entertains me for a variety of reasons. I like that when I posted about a specific toy I had people coming out and saying, “Hey, we do this too. Have you tried this? How about this with that same toy?” I like that we are getting some free toys. I mean really, what’s not to like about that? I also like that Eli is following in Stephen’s footsteps already to be a game reviewer. What is it with Granades making swag out of thin air?

My next thought is I should say that Liza really wants to review something too. Maybe cool baby stuff like Baby Legs, which she has been eyeing from her perch on my lap but I am too cheap to purchase. She’s also really been wanting to try out the Robeez shoes, preferably the black Mary Janes.

The Big Dragon*Con Post

I was waiting for the audio files from my talks to be available before I made this post, but they’re going to be a while coming, and I am impatient. So let’s pimp the things I did at Dragon*Con!

I gave two talks, one on Bose Einstein Condensates and fermi superfluids, the other on the history of Hubble and what the current plans for servicing it are. I’ve got PDFs of my slides for the BEC talk and the Hubble plus lolcats talk, though be warned: for talks like this, I use slides more for blackboard-like illustrations than to spell out every point I’m making. When the audio files from my talks are available, I’ll add them here.

We did the usual set of videos for Dragon*Con TV. Our James Bond/Professor X spoof The Mutant Who Loved Me did fairly well, as did our Wii safety video, REMOTE OF DEATH.

The most popular by far was our video for Jonathan Coulton’s song Re Your Brains.

In fact, it was so popular that this year I was stopped by random people who recognized me from the video. This culminated in it being shown during the Masquerade costume contest while the judges were tallying their scores. People began singing along and waving their open cell phones in the dark ballroom. The end result was me up on stage, leading everyone in the final chorus.

The Masquerade hosts, Kari Byron and Grant Imahara from Mythbusters, watched in disbelief while the paparazzi recorded my every move.

(Thanks to Tom Kerns for those photos.)

And that is what can happen to you when a friend one day innocently says, “You should volunteer at this science fiction convention with us.”

[tags]dragoncon, zombies, bec, hubble, mythbusters, unexpectedly being on stage[/tags]

A Slightly Tilting Bedroom

I woke up this morning with the world gently tilting out from under me. I think it’s some cold or similar thing diddling with my inner ear. When I first got up, standing upright and stationary was nearly impossible. When I closed my eyes I saw a swinging clock pendulum or a sledgehammer pounding back and forth, back and forth. I’m better now, enough that I’d trust myself to drive–I didn’t before–but I have to chart my peregrination like a drunken helmsman interpreting the navigator’s called directions.

The word “woozy” and variants have been running through my head all day. There’s Fritz Leiber’s invention of wordwooze, completely disposable literary product turned out by machine for the masses who demand a new book every day. Then there’s “wooze” as a variant of blues, and of course, it’s supposedly a drug reference. It’s enough to make me want to lie down.

In fact, that’s a great idea.