Older blog entries for rooneg (starting at number 215)

Counting down...

Joanna pointed out this morning that she went in to labor as early as my Mom did when she had me, it would happen sometime around today.

Guess I better finish up work on that nursery...

Syndicated 2009-06-12 13:23:42 from Garrett

Book Review: Home Game, by Michael Lewis

First, I should make a small confession. I'll read anything Michael Lewis writes. It started with Moneyball, but it's only gotten worse from there. From books to magazine articles, sports writing to the inner workings of wall street, the format or topic just doesn't matter. If he writes it, I'll read it. So, it's no surprise that when I saw that he was coming out with a book about fatherhood (something I'm about to become much more experienced in), I just had to pick it up.

The book is short, just 192 pages, and is generally a quick read. It's composed of a series of short chapters about the time around the birth of each of Lewis' children. The stories are amusing, and the writing is up to his usual high standards. I laughed out loud several times while reading the book, as did my wife. There are a few things you should be aware of going in to it though.

First, this is largely material that's been recycled from the "Dad Again" series of articles he published on Slate just after the birth of his second and third children. It's not entirely old material, there are some new bits, but lets be clear, the vast majority of this is already available online.

Second, this is a parenting memoir, not a parenting how to book. This book isn't going to answer any questions about how to raise your kids. It is going to amuse you with stories of Lewis helping to raise his though, and for me that was more than enough.

So, if you're at all interested in some well written and highly amusing stories about Michael Lewis' experience as a new father, check this one out, either on Slate or in dead tree form. You'll be glad you did.

Syndicated 2009-05-28 01:39:33 from Garrett

A Little Disturbing

We appear to have food in our house with an expiration date that's further away than the kid's due date.

Syndicated 2009-03-28 17:24:59 from Garrett


If you haven't been lately, can I just say that the Boston Museum of Science remains awesome? Joanna and I made a quick stop on Saturday to see some of the newer exhibits that we hadn't seen yet, and it was a lot of fun.

The new Triceratops (Cliff) is quite awesome, well worth seeing if you're into that sort of thing (although he does make the old model of a Triceratops look kind of depressed next to the real one), and the temporary exhibits (Frogs and Mythical Creatures) were both also very cool. They have provided a dizzying array of interesting frogs, and the mythical creatures exhibit does a great job of explaining the root causes of all those mythical creatures you may remember from the Dungeons and Dragons Monster Manual.

Plus, if you go now you'll have the added bonus of not going on the last weekend of February break like we did, so the herds of screaming children will likely be a bit smaller.

Syndicated 2009-02-23 11:43:20 from Garrett

FYI, Joanna and I will be busy from August 10th through 2027...

Figured some of you might be interested in hearing that Joanna and I are expecting a baby sometime on or around August 10th. We just had the first ultrasound today, and everything looks great. Two arms, two legs, a spinal cord, everything you could want from a -6 month old ;-)

Now if only the little bundle of joy to be would stop making Joanna nauseous all the time, then we'd really be getting somewhere...

Syndicated 2009-02-03 01:06:18 from Garrett

Obama's Inaugural Speech

While there are a great many things to love about Barack Obama's inaugural speech, there are two sections that stand out for me.

First, this paragraph:

For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act -- not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.
Second, this one:
For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.
There are few things that please me more than a new President who is willing to both put Science and Education in the place they belong and to acknowledge that not only do some people not believe in god, but that it's perfectly all right that they do not. The contempt that the previous administration held science and atheism in was reprehensible, and I'm glad to see that falling by the wayside as we move forward.

Syndicated 2009-01-20 17:51:54 from Garrett

Welcome to Blogger

Over the weekend I finally found the time to do something I've intended to do for a while. I moved my blog over to my own domain and in so doing switched from TypePad to Blogger.

Let me be perfectly clear, I have nothing against TypePad, I've been using it quite happily for a number of years now, and it's never been anything but awesome. When it comes right down to it though I'm just not blogging nearly as much as I used to, so seeing that charge on my credit card every month really started to make less and less sense. Blogger is free, so that simplified the decision making process.

Amusingly enough, I actually tried to do this for the first time a few months back, but I found there to be a surprising lack of software for migrating a blog from a MovableType style blog (TypePad lets you export your data in MT format) to Blogger. I spent a fair amount of time trying to throw something together to do it, but I ended up never being quite happy with the result, and I eventually timed out on it.

Fortunately, if you procrastinate long enough on a software project it's uncanny how often someone else will solve your problem for you. On Friday I happened to see a blog post announcing the Google Blog Converters project, which lets you convert between the import/export formats of a variety of different blogging systems. Its MT to Blogger functionality worked just fine, and after a little fixing up of some formatting issues (some of which were actually sitting around from back when I converted from blosxom to TypePad) all my data made it over to Blogger quite nicely.

Anyway, I'll leave the TypePad blog up for the next few weeks, since I've paid through the beginning of February, but the cannonical home for my blog is now at http://blog.electricjellyfish.net/, and I'm now a happy Blogger user.

Syndicated 2009-01-12 00:06:06 from Garrett

An Accepted Offer

Yesterday was the first Sunday in quite some time where Joanna and I didn't go out house hunting. The reason, happily, is that last week we made an offer on a 3 bedroom 1.5 bath contemporary style split level in Natick and this weekend we found out that it was accepted by the current owners. We've now started down that fun filled path to home ownership. Next step is the home inspection, which should happen some time this week.

Syndicated 2009-01-11 14:21:32 from Garrett

No Really, This Time For Sure!

After the roller coaster ride we went through with the last house we made an offer on Joanna and I were a bit more careful this time. She started bringing a flashlight to houses we were looking at, and we spent a lot of time looking at the deep dark corners of the basement and other similar locations that our home inspector had seemed to enjoy pointing out problems. Fortunately, this payed off, and the house we decided on had far less trouble with the inspection than the first one did. I'm not saying it was perfect, but lets just say Mike was orders of magnitude more positive in his report with this house than he was with the other.

So yes, this means we've found a house and we're through the inspection process completely. Paperwork has been signed and we'll be moving in on November 1st.

We decided on a lease to own agreement, which means that we put a small percentage of the purchase price down as a deposit, and then lease the house for a year with a percentage of our monthly rent going towards the eventual down payment. At the end of the year we decide if we want to buy or not. If we do buy we get the house at the price we agreed on now, and we've got the added bonus of having already lived there so we know what we're getting into. If we don't buy then we only walk away from a few thousand dollars worth of down payment, which is a nice option to have in the event that the housing market nose dives or we end up hating the place for one reason or another.

Some details on the house. It's in Dedham near the West Roxbury line. That means we're close to Joanna's office, near commuter rail lines to get into Boston if either of us ever needs to do that for work, about half an hour from Joanna's parents and about an hour from mine. The house itself is a 3 bedroom 2.5 bath colonial that was almost totally rebuilt 9 years ago (meaning it was torn down and a new second floor and a completely remodeled first floor was put on top of an existing foundation). The kitchen is awesome, the living room and dining room have these great cathedral ceilings, there's a wrap around farmer's porch in the front and a nice deck off the back overlooking a reasonably large back yard. Upstairs there's a master suite with a loft overlooking it (a spiral staircase provides access) and an office off of the loft.

I'll post some more pictures once we're there. There are some more from the listing, but honestly they don't give you a good idea of what the place is really like, as most of them are designed to show off individual features, not the whole place.

Anyway, we're extremely excited about the whole thing and just can't wait to move in. The house seems perfect for us, and now we're counting the days until November 1st...

Syndicated 2009-01-11 14:20:33 from Garrett

Back from Chicago

A more motivated person than me would probably write a blog post about all the stuff Joanna and I did in Chicago over the weekend. I am not that motivated. Instead of writing that blog post I sorted through the hundreds of pictures I took and came up with these. They don't cover all the stuff we saw, but they certainly hit the high points. Enjoy.

Syndicated 2009-01-10 23:21:21 from Garrett

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