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From BoingBoing: "Some China firms outsourcing to USA to cut costs"   
03:20pm 07/05/2008
mood: cynical

To which I say:


As jwz would say, "I for one welcome our Chinese overlords (whether I want to or not)".
Someone is likely to call the SPCA   
09:42pm 20/03/2008
mood: pissed off
So, at the new house, it's been a bit of a rough transition period for the critters. The cat in particular (yes, the cat that I despise but tolerate because She Who Must Be Obeyed has had it for 15+ years), has been far too free with pee dispersal in places other than outside or the litter box. And that's what really gets me. She has a box AND the freedom of the outdoors, but she chooses to piss on the carpet of our beautiful new house on a regular basis. And poop a couple of memorable times.

Anyway, recently this probably has been exacerbated because of... "The Racoons". Who discovered the fact that we have a dog door. Who showed up in a mob of 5 or more to rummage through the pet food. Who caused us to have to lock up the dog door at night. Who caused THE CAT to take this as a sign that she should PISS EVERYWHERE.


I went to the pet store. I bought a package of pet diapers (extra small, for 8 to 10 inch waists). I managed to force a yowling feline into one.

And then I couldn't help it -- I laughed myself sick at the sight of this cat walking really awkwardly around the house. Actually, it was more like she waddled...

I will try and get video so you can share. Or use it as evidence as my cruelty towards animals...

(I just hope the damn things work...)
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Bye, buddy   
06:15pm 22/01/2008
mood: sad
I had my dog Beckett put down yesterday. He was diagnosed with a malignant tumor on his skull last May, and was originally given a prognosis of a couple of months. As he was already 11, and treatment would have involved drilling out a large part of his skull and massive amounts of chemotherapy, I elected to let nature take its course. That course is now run, and he's now hopefully eating an unlimited supply of bacon wrapped BBQ ribs in doggy heaven.

I got him when he was two months old. He and Kira (my other dog) were regulars at the Netscape campus Back In The Day, and have been good-natured participants in many an adventure over the years. Not to mention being experts at happily overwhelming us and our guests with doggy farts.

I'll miss you, buddy...

Beckett(right) and Kira, Tahoe, December 1999

Beckett, San Francisco, May 2007

(This photo courtesy of Dawn Endico)
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The (potential) end of an era   
08:31pm 28/11/2007
  Our sojourn at House of Toothpaste seems to be coming to an end after all. You may recall our previous attempt did not result in actual change, but this time it's looking more likely.

Long story condensed, we need to have a place that the parental-unit-in-law can reside in, as she is entering that time of life where living alone isn't safe. And adding an in-law unit to the House of Toothpaste is more pain and suffering than I want to take on. Doing the bathroom was bad enough.

Anyway, we found a house, we've started the process of putting our place for sale, the in-law condo up for sale, and putting a bid on the new place.


Pray for us.
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I have no words to describe this   
09:38am 20/07/2007
mood: amused
Other than "did they have to draw straws to see who got to dress in drag?"
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come find my name (if you can)   
11:18pm 22/06/2007
mood: cheerful
help me take over a theater for a Ratatouille screening (and yeah, my name is pretty damn hard to spot this time):

08:49pm 09/06/2007
mood: groggy
"Should she be playing with that?"

"Probably not."

"Maybe you should grab it from her..."

"If I grab it from her flames are going to shoot out of her head and pea soup will likely appear."

"Maybe she can play with it a little while longer..."

"That was my thinking, yes."
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10:04am 09/06/2007
mood: aggravated
Right now we're supposed to be at Disneyland, enjoying pre-opening access to the new Nemo Submarine Adventure, a special invitation to Pixar employees and their families. We are not, however, in Anaheim. On Wednesday, I got "stomach issues" that involved running to the bathroom frequently. Thursday morning, She Who Must Be Obeyed woke up with the same ailment. By the Thursday afternoon I was mostly on the mend, but She was not, so we delayed our flight from Thursday night to Friday afternoon. Not a huge deal, and better to be safe than sorry.

And then, then came Thursday night.

The baby started fussing mightily around dinner time, was getting obviously congested, by 2am was screaming hysterically and was sporting a 101+ fever. I think we got, maybe, 2 hours sleep over the course of the night. We finally were able to get her fever down a bit, but we all spent Friday stumbling around like zombies due to lack of sleep. A baby with dark circles under her eyes is a particularly horrifying thing.

And I got the pleasure of calling the airline, hotel, and rental car people to cancel our fun family weekend at the Happiest Place On Earth...

Last night, with new drugs for the baby, we were finally able to sleep the sleep of the dead.

And this morning, we woke up to the baby's cold settling into a nice rattle in her chest, and we both have scratchy throats and runny noses.

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I want ice cream   
10:58pm 05/06/2007
mood: hopeful
From this place:

Someone bring me some, like, now.

Also, She Who Must Be Obeyed graciously accompanied me to the Ratatouille Wrap Party (and I must say she looked fabulous, pics forthcoming), and I was reminded of one of the many reasons of why I love working at Pixar.

The people in this picture are all systems administrators. Yes including the ones in the corsets:

My company RULES.
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10:09pm 05/06/2007
mood: tired
Man I'm exhausted. Work has been hectic, the baby has been regularly kicking me in the head all night, the pets are stressing me out, and I haven't had a real break since Christmas.

For some reason I'm not homicidal (though somewhat more cranky). Guess my "deal with it" ability has gone up. I'm sure She Who Must Be Obeyed is appreciative of this. But man, what a year this has been so far:

* Big dog Kira got "acute pancreatitis". Thirty-five hundred dollars later, she got better. Ugg.

* The cat has had about four rounds of bloodwork. They still don't know what the hell is wrong with her other than "thyroid is too high", but it involves a lot of yowling in the wee hours, little puddles of yuck to step in, and peeing on the bathroom rug at every opportunity. The cat, if nothing else, is ticking my "homicide" button.

* Little dog Beckett has cancer, currently in the form of a bone tumor in his skull. Given where he is and how old he is, we're just going to let that one do what it will and make sure he stays comfortable. Oh, and getting that diagnosis cost about a grand.

* Have hit 60 hours a week a couple of times in recent months. Thought those days were behind me, but our product needs have thought otherwise.

On the other hand, the yard is almost done and it looks fabulous -- will post pictures soon. If we're lucky my uncle the architect will figure out some working plans for us to convert most of the downstairs into more living space, which will make living here more comfortable. I pray we can actually afford to do the work. I would like to get my computer out of the garage. My computer that really needs to be replaced anyway. Boy I hope Ratatouille makes bank in the theaters -- a big bonus would be really nice...
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Rest In Peace Jon   
10:15am 09/04/2007
mood: sad
Last year I performed a wedding ceremony for some friends, the bride someone I have known for many years and the groom a fine gentleman I have gotten to know since they started dating. He is an Army captain currently finishing up his residency in orthopedic surgery.

This past weekend his brother, also in the Army, was killed in Iraq. I was never able to meet him in person -- when I performed the wedding last fall, he had already been deployed. I did meet his wife, a lovely woman who is an Army lieutenant currently on a leave of absence while she attends law school. I can only imagine what she's going through right now.

I can also imagine what my friend is now going though, as her new husband is about to start the last year of his residency before he too is deployed to parts TBD. The reality of our country's current foreign policy is now that much more personal to her.

I hate this war.

"The Noise"   
08:46am 05/02/2007
mood: amused
I have a feeling every parent reaches this point, where their beloved child finally starts doing something that makes the hackles go up, the brain freeze, the hands clench. In other words, the beloved child has found the first button.

That button in our house is, "The Noise"

It's really hard to describe, but The Noise emerges any time the baby really wants something and isn't going to settle for any distractions or alternatives, and isn't going to stop until she gets it.

It's high pitched yet gravelly, and she utters it rhythmically, in place of breathing. If you're not doing whatever it is she wants you to do, she follows you around sounding like a dying bellows. The Noise increases if not dealt with swiftly. It makes the dogs cower on their beds and the cat flee to the safety of the garage.

It's enough to drive you MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD.


(Though she's still pretty damn adorable. Curse her.)
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well, so much for that   
11:06am 02/02/2007
mood: disappointed
We were already to go -- had a temporary living situation lined up and had decided what we were going to do for the next house (namely, buy a lot and put something like this on it -- We thought we had the budget covered and were raring to go.

Then the developer sent us an excel spreadsheet that allows you to generate a reasonably accurate estimate of how much money we would really need to put up, including permit costs, and various fees, and with the added caveat of "have an minimum extra 10-15% above and beyond for emergencies".

Well, when THAT math was all done we saw the grim reality of being at leat $100-200k short. So, given that it was Thursday night before the weekend when we were originally going to move out, we ended up staying up very late, hashihng through various possibilities and backup plans.

What we finally boiled down to was, with the baby around, we're not willing to take huge risks on our living situation, nor do we want to settle on a house we're not totally satisfied with. If we were going to do that, we might as well stay put, and work on aquiring the necessary additional funds so that we can have the house we feel good about having in a year or three.

So we're staying put, and have spent the morning on the phone cancelling all the services we were about to use (like packers and stagers), and restoring services we were cancelling (like cable and phone and snail mail).

To make a really stupid analogy, I feel like I'm laying down pocket aces because I just KNOW IN MY GUT the guy across the table has got a flush going. It's the right thing to do, but it still sucks.

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My own little personal unnatural disaster   
06:23pm 21/01/2007
mood: nauseated
A year plus ago we had our bathroom completely gutted and remodeled. It was a long expensive process but the end result was definitely worth it.

Until today, when I was working on clearing out junk in preparation of our empending move, and found that the contractors hadn't bothered moving some plastic storage crates out of the way when working on the plumbing, had in fact let what was probably 10 or more gallons of water go cascading onto the crates, and then not only not doing anything about, not telling me about it.

One of the crates had my old vinyl record collection, which was a big bummer, but frankly not a devastating loss.

One of the other crates had 15 years (give or take) worth of pictures, some high school, all of college, all of the Santa Cruz house years, including every TaraParty, everything. There wasn't much left but mold and sludge. I had packed them away to make room for baby stuff in the hopes that eventually I'd go through and stick everything into albums or scan them or something.

So much for that.

I want to throw up.
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10:34am 18/01/2007
mood: scared
So, we're doing it. We're biting the bullet and putting the house on the market. It feels really really weird to be leaving the House of Toothpaste after nearly 8 years of occupancy -- longer than either Marie or I have lived anywhere in our entire lives -- but it's really too small for our family and the dogs are starting to kill themselves on the staircase (not too mention kaylia's frequent suicidal attempts to launch herself down it).

In a perfect world we'd have a blowout goodbye party, but that seems unlikely at this point, so come February, sometime when you think about it, raise your glass to the memory gatherings past, and think good thoughts of us being able to buy an even better house in Marin (where we're attempting to head) for gatherings future...
04:04pm 15/12/2006
mood: annoyed
It fucking _sucks_ that I was too sick to have my annual Christmas party this year. It has put me into a funk like you wouldn't believe. Particularly as now we have to figure out how to decorate the damn tree when we've always relied on partygoers to help do it in various silly and original ways.


I'm not bitter. Not at all.
A crazy idea   
03:28pm 15/12/2006
mood: melancholy
My friend Chris McAfee and I were driving to work the other day talking about the fact that he's about to quit his job and how he wants do something other than just go on to the next job. Comments about Central America and India flitted about, then he said:
"I know, in 6 months or something when things start to melt, we should climb Mt. Shasta"

I thought this an interesting prospect, and so I went to the all knowing internet to find out about Mt. Shasta.
Elevation  	        14,162 ft. - 4,317 meters
Climbing Times  	2 days 

Then I think, I have two bad ankles. I am still getting over pneumonia and can't breathe if I walk more than about 20 feet. When I don't have pneumonia, I still have asthma. I think, INSANITY.

Then I notice that unlike a lot of mountains, you can actually walk to the top of Mt. Shasta without having to do things involve ropes and cliffs and other things that routinely kill people. So I think, UNLIKELY.

Then I think I could start by walking to the top of Mt. Tam, then try walking from Walker Ranch to Skyline, then maybe trying to walk up one of the trails at the ski resorts at Tahoe during the summer, see how it goes, and whether or not my ankles and lungs would even pretend to participate. And I think, MAYBE.

At least it could give me something to strive towards for the betterment of my health after struggling with illness and injuries for the better part of two years. Or else I'm just being dumb and should let my body deteriorate into the massive spongy couch potato that seems my biological inclination. Of which totally depresses me as I love nothing better than DOING things, and would like to actually be able to run around with the child rather than just watch her run around on her own.


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Grovel before the power of the cuteness   
06:40pm 16/11/2006
  As promised:

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Nothing quite like probed orifices   
06:54pm 30/10/2006
  I absolutely loathe my annual physical. My doctor is as great as they come, but when you get right down to it, she's still sticking things that Do Not Belong(tm) into places where Nothing Should Be(tm).

Then she tells me that it's been too long since I've seen a dentist, and to get going on that.

Like I'm not uncomfortable enough.

In other news, my daughter is criminally adorable in her pink leopard Halloween costume, pics forthcoming...
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signs I'm looking for a different reality   
08:43pm 05/10/2006
  I'm watching a show on KQED about a guy who's trying to track the migration of humans out of Africa via DNA markers. While in Australia the aborigines he talks to all think he's crazy because they have 40,000 years of oral tradition saying that they originated in Australia, not migrated from Africa. The guy managed to not be an asshole and dismiss the natives as ignorant savages, but I realized a quote from Neil Gaiman was starting to run around my head:

"Heaven knows what’ll happen if they ever actually find the Hopi emergence tunnels. That’ll shake a few things up, you just wait."