Recently in Family Category

Missing Media

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Hello loyal readers. Are you still there? I like to tell people I've had a blog since 2001, but with my lack of posts my old-skool-blogger smirk is starting to fade.

There was a recent hard drive crash (or something) at the hosting company I use (Tektonic) and unfortunately a whole bunch of VPS nodes lost all data. I was one of those users :( Luckily I do a daily SQL dump of all blog-related material and email it into the ever-expanding maw of gmail storage so I could recover it easily to the state pre-crash. I don't do a backup of the media though and so all warmbrain hosted images and videos were lost. There is a possibility that the 2-week-long fsck that Tektonic is running will recover something but I'm not holding my breath.

What have I been doing? Mostly focusing on the regular feeding and watering of my new kid. He is almost a year old though and so I guess not so new. He is an absolute joy. Here is a recent photo:



I'd like to start posting here again. Watch this space.

Born: Orion Eric Lloyd Parker

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My wife and I had a kid a few months back. His name is Orion. After the constellation from Greek mythology. We've been busy obviously and that's why it has taken me almost 3 months to announce this. Time seems to both stretch and compress. It seems days last much longer now, but it amazes me that three months have gone by so quickly. How about a picture?

Each day seems to bring something new. More eye-contact. Better control over arms and hands. Mimicking laughter. Big kicks in the bath. Both Tracey and I feel so lucky that we get to be his parents. We keep expecting some time limit to be reached where we have to give him back.

Orion was born at home with two excellent midwives (and a kick-ass husband) for support. The labour was very sensible, starting in the early morning, progressing steadily with the finale taking place a little after 5PM in the evening. No complications. I even got to hold my son's head and 'help' the midwives with the delivery. Definitely one of the most surreal experiences I've had.

Life definitely changes. Mostly a priority shift. He is now a part of this family and has some kind of impact on everything we decide or do. As much as it is a cliche to say how much a baby will change your life, its true... and it is one of those things that I couldn't fully grasp until it happened.

We could sit and stare at this kid for hours. And we do!

Hands Still Sore

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Almost 3 years ago I wrote in my blog about fluid buildup in the middle finger of my right hand that caused pain first thing in the morning. It's gotten worse over the years and it now affects all fingers on both hands. I wake up and have to be very careful not to move my hands in a way that causes something to curl my fingers otherwise I get sharp shooting pain in my knuckles. After a few minutes of slowing curling them I can eventually make a fist and then am fine for the rest of the day. I consider myself lucky that after that initial hand-curling I can continue my typing-filled day without any pain.

About a week ago my wife put her foot down and forced me to schedule an appointment with a local chiropractor specializing in Active Release Techniques. She had had good success with relieving back pain with this process and I was willing to give it a try. I had an hour session yesterday and my arms are still very bruised and tender. The process itself is quite painful and involves lots of pressure on tendons as they are shortened and lengthened through movement. Something about separating joined tendons and scraping off lesions. I'm supposed to try going twice a week for a few weeks and hopefully correct the problem. Right now the idea of going back for more is extremely unappealing. Perhaps when my tendons and tissue mend I'll feel different.

I've also started really looking into ergonomic alternatives for my keyboard and mouse. I have been using the Microsoft Natural Elite split keyboard for about 5 years and I love it except I believe part of my pain is related to reaching away from the keyboard to use the mouse and so to use the Microsoft Elite means using a separate mouse. I also work a lot on an IBM ThinkPad and absolutely love the TrackPoint red eraser mouse embedded in the keyboard. No need to move your hands away, no arm stretches and now that I'm used to it I believe it truly is a better point device interface.

IBM does offer the ThinkPlus USB Keyboard with UltraNav a full-size keyboard with an integrated TrackPoint but the keyboard isn't split like the Microsoft Elite. I'm really worried that I would just be trading the occassional arm-extending mouse reaching for constantly mis-aligned wrists. I've so far been unable to find anyone who manufactures an ergonomic split keyboard that also includes a TrackPoint nub. Many companies offer the split keyboard with a TrackPad but I've just always found that interface clunky and prone to error plus it requires taking your fingers off the keys.

I've been tempted to take apart an old Thinkpad 600E and try to incorporate the TrackPoint into my Microsoft Elite. My wife thinks the idea is stupid. And I quote: "I'm sure it would be fun but you'd just break everything." Nice. Perhaps I've just been reading Hack-A-Day and MAKE:BLOG too much lately. It can't be *that* hard, can it? :)

Smoking

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My mother-in-law has smoked for a long time and is now trying to quit. She quit for a while, a few months even, but has now started sneaking them again. She doesn't realize how blatantly obvious that smell is to a non-smoker. Impossible to mask. Or maybe she does. I've never smoked and can't really relate to the experience. I know Dave quit smoking almost 2 years ago and has posted about his withdrawl and his experiences on a regular basis. I'm passing this fairly complete record of his smoking entries along to my mother-in-law for her perusal. Hopefully reading this will help her quit for good.

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