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August 10th, 2009


09:03 am - Facebook and business
I have a facebook account and use it, it's fun. I have several magician friends who do as well, and some of them point potential customers to their facebook accounts. So far all very handy use of social media.

One of them keeps posting rather rabid political posts. I don't mean thoughtful ponderings, but the rabid "I'm not thinking much, just spewing hate towards everyone that doesn't agree with me" type of post.

And he points potential customers towards this facebook.

I keep wondering how much business he's costing himself. Should I say anything? Whether you agree with him or not, I'm not sure I'd hire an entertainer who is spewing political ... well, anger frankly. Even if I agree with it, it's just not what I'm looking for in an entertainer, I don't want to think about the real world. So I'm sure he's cost himself jobs. On the other hand, I am afraid if I'll say anything I'll just become a target for trying to quiet what I'm sure he sees as insightful posts, and I have no doubt I'll hear about how he doesn't want the business of folks that wouldn't hire him based on those posts (I personally WOULD want the business of people who disagree with me and I'm sure I'd enjoy meeting those people, but that's just me.)

So I'm not saying a word but am just somewhat surprised at it. And frankly am thinking of removing him from my facebook friends list just because I don't want to read the anger any more.

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08:34 am - Monkey Joe's
My family and I went to Monkey Joe's last night. Lots of inflatable goodness. I ended up with my three year old son, my two year old daughter, and my three year old niece in some sort of inflated ring with a pole in the center. We were running about and tackling each other. At some point two other kids came in, maybe four or five, and they just joined the game. (I looked and couldn't see their parents ... so just figured the heck with it, hopefully they won't sue me for being gleefully tackled by their kids.)

It turns out that having five kids tackle and jump on you is actually surprisingly enjoyable.

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August 3rd, 2009


06:53 am - Frank again
Xander's favorite stuffed animal is a little cat he calls Kitty. We like Kitty. We have several spare Kitties in a drawer so when Kitty gets dirty we can clean it and Xander doesn't know it's been swapped. And if one gets lost we can find another one. Kitty has been his favorite for a very long time now. But Bolt (from the Disney movie) has been sneaking into the picture, and in the last week or so Kitty has been replaced by Bolt.

I like Kitty better. Well, actually I somehow just dislike his favorite being a marketed named animal, I find I just preferred his stuffed animal being more uniquely his. Or, to be really honest, I guess I just preferred the UNnamed marketed animal. I dunno, I can't justify it, I just preferred Kitty.

So in an attempt to rectify this, Kitty has been in the Frank stories lately I tell Xander when he goes to sleep. So this is where I have failed in something. The point of a bedtime story is to get the boy quiet and calm and restful. Frank stories don't do that well, but he demands them and doesn't want to be read to afterwards, so it's the last story. And the Frank song helps but still, I think we need to figure that out.

So to tie all this together. Last night Kitty went on the offensive and attacked Frank, which I demonstrated with Kitty who basically attached himself to my face Alien facehugger style and then proceeded to completely demolish me in many other ways. This made the boy laugh so hysterically he collapsed on the bed unable to breathe.

I totally suck at getting him all calmed down and ready to go to sleep.

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July 29th, 2009


07:52 am - Frank
So a while ago, around St. Patrick's Day, instead of reading a story to Xander I made one up. It was St. Patrick's Day, so I told the story of St. Patrick and his snake removal service. I can't remember if Frank was in the first story or not, but Xander wanted to hear it again the next night, and sooner or later Frank showed up in the stories. Frank essentially carries snakes around and throws them at people. St. Patrick stopped him. The snake throwing thing made Xander laugh, so now the stories pretty much just revolve around Frank.

So now Xander won't let me read to him any more, though he will listen to Piper's stories. But every night he runs to bed, climbs in, and waits very eagerly for his Frank story. So I make up a new one every night. Xander is in a lot of them now which he likes, and I'll ask him questions and take the story wherever it goes based on what he says (he tends to want to shoot Frank with a gun a lot. Frank blocks the bullets with a snake, usually.) The stories really aren't very good, but they make the boy happy. And now they get followed with the Frank and Xander song which also changes every night.

It's kind of challenging to come up with a story every day, but fun - sure they are terrible stories I'm sure, but it's fun. The only problem is that they get the boy worked up and excited, so I'm trying to figure out how to do this without getting him worked up. That's how the Frank and Xander song started, which helps but I'd rather he not get so excited.

On the other hand, for however long this lasts, it's really wonderful to see how much he loves having me make up a story for him every night.

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July 28th, 2009


12:26 pm - Lunch
Karen came by with the kids for lunch. We went to Steak and Shake which is the AWESOME! Plus they gave the kids hats and cardboard cars that we'll put together later. It was really nice seeing everyone, so I was glad Karen swung by. Xander came into my office to go potty, so I walked him around a bit and was told he looks EXACTLY like me which always makes me happy, and he said he liked my office. I think he liked seeing the family pictures on the wall, and he commented on the computers (THAT'S MY BOY!)

So that just made a nice afternoon break!

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July 27th, 2009


08:57 am - R2-D2
R2 is doing well and is running around like a champ. We got into the Star Wars insider this month, which was WAY cool! Mostly due to the boy being just ADORABLE as he has a tendency to do.

But there's a problem. I designed him to go from two legs to three and back automatically, which he mostly can do - but I couldn't get the ankles to lock when in two legged mode, so he'd just tip over. (Trust me in that it's a WAY complex issue, we can get into that later if you like.) So there's a ton of stuff inside that isn't being used as he's always in three legs.

Several R2 builders in Atlanta got together, and I was looking at two other RC droids. They were static three legs, and ... well, there's so much more ROOM inside! Without all that machinery there's just a TON of space! And so I'm very jealous and want to rip out the body of my droid now. Which is a big project. So maybe I will ... but I'm also wanting to build a Dalek and it's started in the garage and stalled out.

I'm leaning towards putting all R2 work on hold and playing with the dalek, but ... on the other hand ... maybe I should go work on R2 for a while longer. I dunno. Too many projects I want to do, and most of my time is on the kids, not projects, so it's very slow progress on everything!

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07:47 am - Library Show
This Thursday at 7pm I'll be doing a magic show at the Smyrna Public Library - 100 Village Green Circle, Smyrna, Georgia - if anyone wants to come! It's in the community center, and should be fun. I like doing library shows!

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July 24th, 2009


02:14 pm - Hi!
I haven't posted on livejournal in too long. I have played with Facebook but frankly the character limit ensures that nothing with any actual thought can be posted. So what the heck.

Since I've posted last ...

I went to Nashville and entered an international Magician's competition! It was at the Gaylord hotel. Looked nice, but Karen decided to stay home. With two very little ones she just didn't want to get trapped there. So OK. I went, got inside, saw the 5 acres of gardened area INSIDE the hotel, saw the waterfalls and fountains and the RIVER with a BOAT on it inside the hotel, and called Karen up and told her to come. I had the room to myself for two days, then my roomate arrived so Karen spent those two nights with me. The hotel area was confined enough that she had a nice time with the kids but I think she was ready to go home after that!

I did not place in the competition but I had a lot of folks compliment me on my act, saying it was funny and very original (which is WAS!) So all in all I was really pleased with it. I'm working on improving it now, it'll be better next year!

What else ... did a fund raiser with R2-D2 for a local museum. He did GREAT, ran perfectly, and was mobbed by kids for three hours. We also took him to the Goddard school for their open house, that's where my little ones go. Xander wanted to show R2 his room so we went there, and had an absolute ball!

Other than that ... kids are getting older and smarter and just being awesome. Xander has discovered the transformers somehow. The new cartoon scares him in places (though for me, it's a great cartoon! Surprisingly so given how braindead I found the movie!) so we've been watching the old Transformers to great success. And Piper tends to do silly things and then pop up and look at you with a big smile and announce "I'm funny!" which cracks me up.

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April 3rd, 2009


08:22 am - Touchsmart
I bought a new toy! An HP Touchsmart tx2 laptop. It's small, but that also made it affordable ... and it's FREAKING AWESOME. This touch screen stuff is just making me giggle like a schoolboy. I am having so much fun playing with it ... !

I've been looking up coding interfaces, but it seems that Microsoft is pushing a .NET interface more than a C++ interface, so ... either I'll have to rebone up on C# or else hopefully find out more about the C++ interface. I think there are more toys in the .NET world for this, but ... I'll stick with C++. I still have time issues ... two little ones mean not much time for playing on a computer.

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March 31st, 2009


08:35 am - ISS
I left Internet Security Systems about six months ago because I didn't have much to do and I saw folks getting laid off and it scared me. My products were all written and mature, and there just wasn't any new work coming for my team. And due to a hiring freeze I couldn't switch to another team. So I looked about and am not happily ensconced at Rainmaker.

I got a call from a friend at ISS and they did a big round of layoffs last week ... and while he made it through that round, he's expecting another round and doesn't expect to make it through that round. (So if you know anyone needing a C++ developer ... )

I am so glad I left right now that I can't express it. I loved working there, don't get me wrong, but ... damn. It's amazingly good to know I made the right decision.

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