Here’s how we celebrate asking to use the potty before an accident happens in the Hamilton household.
A quick followup on my New Year’s resolutions. So far I’m on track. Not buying any games has been easy – my gaming rig died on January 5th, and I just got its replacement up and (mostly) running this weekend. It’s hard to be tempted by the endless parade of Steam, Gamersgate, GoG and other vendors’ daily and weekly deals if you have nothing to play them on . I’ll follow up again at the end of March.
No problems with the beer embargo either – I finished the month with nary a sip, then celebrated on the first day of February with some delicious Dales. Unfortunately the effect on my weight is hard to quantify. Prior to Laura’s birth I had been using an elliptical trainer as many days a week as I could manage while Susan put Brady to bed. That didn’t work anymore (I have to help with bedtime duties) so I bought a compact elliptical trainer to use at work during lunch, but the piece of crap broke after 2 weeks of use, meaning for half the month I was mostly failing to get enough physical activity in. Still, my weight has steadily hovered in the under 175 area, leaving me to conclude that removing the beer helped. My plan going forward is to return to a pattern I used to follow – no beer on the weekdays, but open season Friday and Saturdays. Meantime I’m weighing spending considerably more for a higher end compact step trainer. My kitty continues to grow – it’s at $150 now. I still haven’t decided what I’ll spend it on. I’m dropping the weekly contribution to $20 now that I will be drinking a few beers on the weekend.
So I’m making two this year. I held off sharing them because one of them was impacted by the steam sale that’s ending today.
My first resolution: no beer in January, with an option to extend it through the end of March if it has the effect I hope it does on my weight. Basically, doing what workouts I can has allowed me to get to 170 and more or less keep it there, but no lower. I’m not able to bring more activity into my life with a toddler and baby in the house, but I can experiment with my diet, so I’m going to forgo 300+ calories of delicious beer for a while to see if it works. So far the signs are promising. The goal is to get to 165 if I can. If I do on this no beer diet, I’ll assess next steps at that point. If at the end of January it hasn’t worked, back comes the beer
My second resolution has two parts. First, no buying of videogames until April 1, with 2 exceptions. The first I mentioned – I waited until the end of the Steam sale, and I did buy a bunch of stuff on sale in the first week of January. The second is that I pre-ordered Nuni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch as a Birthday present for myself. Studio Ghibli teaming up with a Japanese game producer to make the jrpg of this generation (maybe…Xenoblade certainly makes a play for the same honor…I’ll draw my own conlusions after I’ve played both) was something I could not resist, nor risk allowing it to go out of print and become ridiculously expensive/out of my reach. The second resolution comes about because my game buying habit has become ridiculous. I have a backlog so long that I could play games all year and not finish all the ones sitting unfinished on my shelf and various hard drives. I’m going to stop buying them for a while, play what I have, and see how things go. The second part of the resolution extends through the whole year: after March, I cannot buy a new game until I have finished one I already have. This year I’m going to try and bring balance to this. We’ll see how it goes.
To help things along, and to make this fun, I’m going to use a trick I learned back when I was trying to quit smoking. I’m going to take the money I would have spent on beer and games and stick it in a jar, then use it to buy something fun for myself or the family once enough has accumulated. I’ve decided that amounts to $30 a week. I haven’t yet decided what I’ll spend the loot on, but I’ll report back here once I have.
Bonus content since I can’t resist hyping Nuni No Kuni – some footage:
Last year around this time I had one of the worst computer failures I’ve ever had, wherein an upgrade process for my server went south and I lost all my database tables, permanently. Some, I had backups for. Others I didn’t, and those included the photo galleries of my son Brady’s first year. None of the photos were lost, but all the comments, photo titles, etc were lost forever. I was so pissed off about this I abandoned Ubuntu and moved everything to other systems; for about a year I hosted everything remotely with site5.com, then when I ran into some limitations with that arrangement, I moved things in house. I also assessed photo hosting software and decided to move over to piwigo instead of sticking with menalto’s gallery, which I had been using for >10 years. I mention all of this because everything is now finally running, and more importantly we’ve been slowly refilling it with content. This includes many of my collections of AGCW photos, and a month’s worth of photos of my new daughter Laura. There’s lots more coming as well. It’s back at its original location, ie www.metamusing.net/gallery.
There’s not much actual video, this is all about the audio. It’s under a minute long. Things really get started at about 35 seconds:
This was the second night this week they showed up. They continually made forays into the yard to try and get at our chickens. I put a headlamp on, grabbed a broom handle, tied my dog Soolin on my waist, then went out to chase them off twice. It worked both times but it didn’t dissuade them from coming back. One of the times I’m pretty sure they didn’t even leave, they just went quiet and skulked around in the high grass and tree line on the verge of my property, this based mostly on Soolin’s reaction. We only caught sight of them once, when my headlamp caught somewhere between 3-5 pairs of eyes looking at us from near my barn. Meanwhile, the idiot chickens’ reaction to this was to burst into agitated clucking and crowing, which only served to further agitate the coyotes.
The video fails to capture them at full throat, but it’s still pretty impressive the racket you can hear. It’s a little intimidating. I wouldn’t say I was afraid, but there’s some primal reaction it caused in me along the lines of ‘caution man, this is not cool.’ I was a little worried for Soolin, mostly if she got off-lead somehow and ran off.
[Edit: update - they Coyotes stopped by 3 times this week - one more time after I posted this]
Just following up as promised. As our first snowfall of the season approaches, I can report that none of our apple trees produced fruit this year. Looks like as speculated the October snowfall last year which took so many of their limbs, killed 2 of them, and left the yard a wreck, also so damaged them that they produced no fruit. There was a spattering of blossoms, literally a handful of small apples that got no larger than golfballs, and that’s it. This from among at least 10 mature apple trees which last year produced a bountiful crop. Hopefully next year is better.
Last political post of this season, I promise. Of course I’m super pleased with last night’s results. I dearly wish Obama was more of the radical liberal the right tries to paint him as, but I’ll take him over any avatar of the racist, faux-faith based, intellectually bankrupt ideology the right is peddling any day. Here’s hoping that set free from the need to run again, Obama turns out to be less of a centrist and more of the lefty the right is terrified he secretly is.
I’m also super pleased to see how quickly and dramatically we’re making progress on the civil rights issue of our time. After going 0-fer something like 25, 3 out of the 4 state gay marriage initiatives passed last night. A decade ago if you had suggested that this would be possible I would have laughed at you. Today I’m proud of how quickly we’re turning the corner on this. If you’re a Republican, pay the fuck attention. Keep running on these ‘family values’ issue, and see where it gets you.
Why then is it taking us so long to turn the corner on pot? My guess is the 60′s still haunt us, but at least 2 of the legalize it ballot initiatives passed last night, so I’ll call it progress. On the way to work I told Susan I look forward to retiring to my small pot farm in my dotage
My observation about Romney that’s not drawing much attention this morning – he ran, and was widely perceived as, a successful businessman who knew how to organize and manage things. He held up his ‘saving’ of the Olympics he managed as an exemplar of this talent. He was up against an incumbent President who had presided over a very difficult economic situation, high unemployment, and no clear resolution in sight. Despite this, when it came to running a campaign and managing a national organization designed to put him into office, with at least $400 million at his disposal and a staggering sum from his ‘friends’ in the superpacs, he still got his ass handed to him badly by Obama’s ground organization. Not only did they lose, by most accounts they truly felt they had won. Florida is still undecided (and OH could possibly still flip to him), but it looks like he also lost in every one of the key battleground states he needed to win to take the election.
Put simply, not only did they manage it badly compared to the badly handicapped competition, they didn’t realize they had managed it badly. I think this says lots about what we could have expected from him as President.
Folks on both sides of the aisle are saying Romney was running into demographics more than anything else, and from my understanding there’s more than a little truth there, but even so, this should have meant Romney’s camp seeing the writing on the wall, not walking into the evening still thinking they were very likely going to win. Maybe they spent too much time watching Fox news and believed their faux-press clippings. I’d actually like to believe this is true, there’s wonderful poetic justice to that notion
Within a year we’ll probably know enough about how the Romney campaign was talking amongst themselves about this, and maybe they knew precisely where they were and my criticism is off base. It sure doesn’t feel like it to me based on the last month or so. In fact much of what you need to form that impression can be seen in the ridiculous exchanges on Fox News last night as the writing was etched on to the wall and they incredulously fumbled their way through their acceptance of the facts. (google it, it’s worth a laugh).
A couple of random other points – first, hurrah for Elizabeth Warren winning. I voted for her. She *is* the liberal lefty the right is terrified of, and she ran a great campaign in MA, with a competent ground game I had multiple interactions with. Here’s hoping *she* heads down to WA and makes waves.
Next, Nate Silver for the win. Google him if you’re unfamiliar. Third election in a row I followed him, and third time in a row he’s more or less been right, emphasis on the more side of that.
Obama and bipartisanship. Fuck that says I. He tried that first term, and the republicans completely stonewalled him, riding on a ‘if we fuck this guy over and say no to everything, he loses the next election and we get to say we told you so’ strategy. That didn’t happen, they almost drove our economy over a cliff, and they have shown time and time again that they have no actual interest in negotiation, it’s ‘do what we want, or fuck off.’ Maybe that will change now, but it seems unlikely. I wish Obama would start publicly calling them out for this bullshit instead of trying to maintain a veneer of civility and repeated attempts at negotiation that just end up looking absurd.
With that, I think I’m done, maybe not to take up this political baton again for ~3 years
I don’t talk about politics much here. The folks who stop by generally know where I stand. It’s Presidential election time though, and once again it’s pretty important in my view. Last time I felt so strongly about it was after Bush II’s disastrous first term, which at that time I thought was a shoe in for a democrat. This time around I’m less optimistic, in part based on that experience – a 4 year disaster to my view was rewarded with 4 more years of even worse disaster.
Here’s hoping that doesn’t happen again.
When Obama ran last time, I had no children and was helping pay a cheap mortgage on Susan’s house – in other words, compared to now I had a lot of wiggle room in my monthly budget, and I gave generously to his campaign. This time it was harder, but even so:
I did what I could. Here’s me hoping my ‘investment’ pays off.
If you haven’t done so already, please get yourself over to your local polling place and vote, regardless of where your inclinations lie. That said, I dearly hope they lie in the same region as mine
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