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Amusing Ethan story

January 11, 2010

Last week I had to take Ethan to a doctors appointment.  This particular doctor is on the 6th floor, and for various reasons we had to run back out to the car before the appointment, so we used the elevator much more than normal.

First time up the elevator, I tried to get out on the wrong floor twice, Ethan yelling at me to stop both times.  On the way down to run back to the car, I almost got out on the wrong floor again.  Again Ethan yelled at me.

After getting what we needed from the car, and on the way back up into the elevator, when the elevator was about to stop on the wrong floor, Ethan stood in front of me and boxed me out like a pro, preventing me from getting out.


Star Wars Lego Creations

January 7, 2010

For those of you that know me and my son you’ll know this: both of us love Star Wars and Legos.  Combining the two just sends us into unmitigated joy and giddiness.

A while back, Ethan built two small ships that he’s been playing with in the bath.  I’ve been meaning to take pictures of them, because I happen to think they’re very cool.  These are entirely his creations, no kits or instructions.  He figured out what he wanted to build, then built it.  The first ship is a Republic Venator Class Cruiser:

It even has it’s own landing… err… thingy.  The ship fits in there perfectly:

The next is a Separatist frigate with landing thingy and docking clamps and all that:

The last, and most impressive in my mind, is General Grievous’ Malevolence.  I suggested a few days ago that he should try and build one, but he said he had had trouble coming up with a way to do the Ion cannons… Next day, he had come up with a way, and here it is:

This is all three of them together to give a sense of scale:

He built them completely from scratch and with no references other than what he had in his head.  He also made a lego Tic-Tac-Toe board today using 3 3 stud pieces with the holes in them and some of those lego pins, and we played a few games on it!

His Lego creativity really does amaze me sometimes!

A little gift from Jocelyn…

January 4, 2010

A week or so ago, Jocelyn was bemoaning her lack of super powers.  I said “whoa there!”, squatted down so I was eye to eye with her, and told her “Honey, you DO have a super power!  It’s your creativity and your artistic ability!”  She chippered right up, gave me a big smile, and a big huge hug.

From that time she’s been making even MORE stuff for me.  When Ethan and I were sitting on the couch watching Clone Wars she was off to the side cutting out snowflakes.  I think she ended up giving me about 20 :).  I helped her write a letter to Santa today, telling him “thank you for baby alive!”.  Unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures of those, but I did get a picture of this one, which I’ll be taking into my office tomorrow:

She LOVES writing, drawing, painting, making up her own songs, dancing, playing the piano, etc.  It’s so much fun (albeit a tad bit messy).

My first attempt at brewing

January 4, 2010

Just what I need.  Another moneysink of a hobby.  Earlier this year, for fathers day I think, my wife bought me the “better basic start kit” from Northern Brewer.  With a donation of a big-ass pot from an experienced homebrewing friend, my first attempt was NB’s Dry Irish stout extract kit.

Today was time to start bottling, so I took a picture or two.  First, the carboy full of lovely fermented beer!:

Next, the bottles, ready to be filled:

I’m sure I made many (currently unknown) mistakes during the process.  Several of the known mistakes/problems: left the lid on the pot during the boil.  Used the wrong size tubing on the auto-siphon first try, so I couldn’t get a siphon going.  So we’ll see!

Next thing: I have another extract kit ready to go, but I want to see how this one turns out first (2 more weeks!).  Oh, yeah, more equipment… an immersion chiller, more bottles, kegging system…. etc., etc.. 😉

My (stolen) thoughts on USF1

December 30, 2009

There’s not going to be anything here that other people haven’t said before.  It’s just that I’m starting to calm down a little bit and think objectively about what’s being said (especially over in the sidepodcast community).  Dan Brunell over at Racing Eagles had a nice post about the 8 things he thinks USF1 should do.  I’d probably buy that toaster.

I _REALLY_ want there to be a US Formula 1 team and I got into a “nobody hits my little brother but me mode” about it.  I was excited about what Peter Windsor was saying.  Better access to the team and the car manufacturing process through social media.  I think a properly run and financed US based team could be competitive (eventually).  Our single seat driver pool isn’t that great because of Nascar’s popularity but that could be helped by a team that supported young driver development, which USF1 seems to at least be thinking about with their support of F2000 in the States.  There are a lot of fans in the States and the support is there.

Whenever USF1 would come up I’d get pretty defensive.  I couldn’t help it.  I don’t think it’s as bad as people are saying but I am worried (perhaps that’s why I was getting defensive, not wanting to admit the others were closer to reality than I was).  It took a long time for the team to get a minimal website going, get pages on twitter and facebook, and start showing off their facility in their recent videos (although how up to date this video is with the car parts is unknown).  They seem to have a bit more than just a nose, but not much.  The only serious driver news is maybe Jose Maria Lopez.  Joe Saward speculates that Ralf Schumacher turned them down (he should be BEGGING for a drive if he actually wants one).  Why talk up the Windshear tunnel but design the car solely using CFD?  Why so quiet for so long?  Peter’s recent post on the teams website sounds like a lot of butt covering to me.

Oh, yeah, their website.  I don’t think the design is THAT bad.  It could be better but at least it’s not Flash driven.  There are links for a “blog” and news but no RSS or permalinks that I could find.  A team that claimed to be more fan friendly from the beginning needs to do better than this.

None of these worries are new, they’ve all been expressed elsewhere.  I’ve liked Peter’s coverage on Speed TV’s formula 1 broadcasts the two years I’ve been watching and I hope he’s successful.  I’m still being patient (and optimistic), but if we haven’t seen a car and had a lot of movement on the drivers front by the end of January I’m changing my tune!

The clones are attacking! (well, they’re practicing, really)

December 30, 2009

I’m messing around with aperture, depth of field, macro, and some forced perspective stuff here.  Just to see.  The crap in the background kinda ruins it, but I just wanted to see what I could get out of the figures.  I have some ideas of what I might want to do, inspired by avanaut on flickr.  The green trimmed one is an ArtFX/Kotobukiya Commander Gree, while the blue trimmed one is a hasbro 3 3/4″ Denal figure.

I may have started this thing again.

December 30, 2009

I’ve moved it to, so the address is different (please update your feeds/bookmarks if you even make it here).  We’ll see if I can keep it going.