The Knob

I’ve ogled this ultimate Mac accessory for a long time. I found myself in the Apple Store today and decided that it was time to put this shiny piece of brushed aluminum on my desk.

powermate.jpg

The Griffin Technology PowerMate has been around for a while. This thing is entirely frivolous. There are a few use cases where it is amazingly useful, mainly video editing. But when you touch it and spin it the feel is just amazing. It has heft, and a superb spin that just makes your spine tingle. You can click it by pressing it down. Want to select a range of video in Final Cut, simple spin, press and hold, spin, release. Done. So much more intuitive, and just fun, than dragging a mouse around.

My Mac Pro now has a knob. Yeah!

Fathering a Puppy is Hard

We had a pretty good Saturday. Even though I was up way too late I woke up at a reasonable time with enough of a gap to get Izzy out before Mazie woke up. We got up and made it through the morning routine pretty well. Mazie was pretty happy this morning and we had some fun playing and getting ready. She was an angel reading her books while her Dad took a shower. Izzy even laid there and took a nap. I think Izzy was pretty tired this morning since she was up much later than usual.

My friend Dan and his son Henrik came over in the morning and Henrik and Mazie stared at each other for a while before finally deciding to play for an hour or so. Mazie showed Henrik her shopping cart and then she took her stroller and they walked circles around the house having a great time. Izzy was good with both kids.

After they left Mazie and I went to Yum for lunch and had some great macaroni and cheese. Mazie was pretty awesome at lunch. She really had a great time. We got a cupcake for dessert which she was really excited about that.

I have come to two conclusions at this point in my Mr. Mom adventure. First, the puppy chores and Izzy are way harder than Mazie. Mazie listens, can entertain herself, doesn’t crap in the house and has never attempted to dig a hole in the rug. I can’t give these same qualifications to Izzy. My second conclusion is that 5-7pm is horrible. Mazie is starting to get cranked up and a bit tired. Izzy is usually wound up like a top. There is a lot going on with everyone eating and Izzy needing to go outside about 5 seconds after eating. It’s a 12 on a 10-point scale in my book.

Izzy only goes out two more times. I sure hope that when she’s a bit older she doesn’t need to go outside so often. Seems constant at this point.  I’m hoping to relax a bit and get ready for tomorrow. Grandma Rosalin and Aunt Alona are coming over and going to swimming class with us and then out for lunch tomorrow morning.

Running the Gauntlet

Today was a challenging day for Mr. Mom. It started right away. Somehow I slept until 7am and woke up to Mazie saying “Get out” over and over on the baby monitor. Izzy was also very eager to get out of her “house” and do her business outside. I got Mazie first, before letting Izzy out, then brought her upstairs and took Izzy out before Mazie got her fresh diaper. This set the tone for the most of the day it seemed.

Granted I think I brought some of this on myself by planning a lot of things and not scheduling it quiet right. We met up with Grandpa Don in the morning which meant a lot of driving, including a trip into my office, and Mazie fell asleep during all the driving — way too early! She did another nap in the afternoon after we made a trip to the grocery store to balance it out.

Today was a hot and cold day. The high point was Mazie cuddling up with me on my lap with Izzy hanging out on the couch. Totally cool. The low point was me on my cell phone for a business call, Mazie demanding yogurt in her high chair and Izzy crapping on the floor — all at once. Ugh! I was getting a bit too frustrated at one point and decided to just put Izzy in her house. Mazie wanted to nothing more than to give Izzy her food. Izzy wanted nothing more than to have it. Dad was right in the middle of it!

A couple of friends came over with dinner, Guiness and cigars tonight along with some much needed relaxation. I’m up way too late, but I wanted to post something before I went to sleep. I’m hoping to wake up before Mazie and avoid the gauntlet tomorrow.

First Day as Mr. Mom

20070329_093141_0464.jpgI’m taking a moment to relax a bit and plugging this post up on the blog. The photos from the day are uploading right now as well. Today was the first day of Tammy’s 5-day trip with her Mom. They are going on a Heifer Ranch’s Women’s Lambing Weekend. Mainly they will be working on a ranch with the animals, and help deliver a number of newborn lambs. They are going to ride a water buffalo at some point. I can’t wait to see the photos from the trip! :-)

I’ve been looking forward to this weekend for a long time. I’m taking today, tomorrow and Monday off of work and Mazie and I have a lot of fun things scheduled. However, the addition of a brand new puppy has greatly complicated things and added a bunch of stress. On the plus side though it will give Izzy and I some good quality time together. Mazie also came down sick yesterday with a high temperature. She did okay today with some medicine, but we’ll be skipping ECFE class tomorrow.

Tammy and Grandma took off at 9am this morning after many hugs and kisses. Mazie and I wished them off from the door and immediately got ready to head to our big event for the day. We headed to the location of her ECFE classes to join the group leaving for the state capitol. She seemed good enough to go on the trip, and unlike ECFE class there wasn’t going to be a lot of playing with other kids so I figured it was fine with her being a little sick.

The event today was the Voices for Children Advocacy Day at the State Capitol. This is a pretty simple event that seems to fulfil two objectives. First is for parents to come with their kids and express their continued support for ECFE and other early-childhood programs. The second is for state legislators to get photo opportunities with young kids for the next campaign brochure. It’s very lightly organized, and mostly Mazie and I just spent an hour wandering around the capitol and having fun.

The main draw of the event really was the bus ride. Mazie loves school buses, or “big trucks” as she used to call them. We boarded the bus and her glee turned to fear. She kept repeating “don’t like” while sitting in the bus, feeling a bit scared. I was pretty worried she would totally melt down when the bus started going but she did okay. She was fine the 2nd time on the return ride. We sang “Wheels on the Bus” about 114 times. ;-)

That was our only big event for the day. We went and got groceries. Mazie was able to have toast for dinner, one of her new favorites. I got a super-great real-bone for Izzy that she has been fascinated by all night, making me happy to have some time to relax.

Tomorrow we are going to make a short visit to my office and then visit Grandpa Don and Rusty!

GPS Track Rant

Why is it that almost all GPS units decide that when you save your active track into memory that they should degrade functionality? Yes, it is true. Nearly all GPS units upon saving do two things. First, they discard the time and date information from the track. Secondly, they remove “unnecessary” points from the track, sort of smoothing it out. This reduces the size of the saved track.

The second item, removing “unnecessary” points isn’t entirely evil, but I do question it. However, removing the time and date stamp upon saving is terribly evil!

I went back into my saved GPS tracks to do some geo-association with photos from Switzerland and the matching program came up with a big clueless expression. The time and dates are all gone. Ugh!

I’m left with only one decent option, writing a program that will associate known times with some number of points in the track and then interpolate the remaining times. Sigh…

Bye Bye iMac G5

It’s been just over two years since the Mac invasion of my house began with my first Mac in over a half-decade, the sleek 20″ iMac G5. I bought it as a toy really — it went on the desk next to the kitchen. I knew I could run Firefox on it and that I could remote desktop to my “real computer” in the office to do “real things”. So it started.

Now the Mac’s outnumber the PC’s in the house. The Mac Pro has taken over that “real computer” in the office. My laptop of choice is my MacBook, leaving the Sony Vaio to run Quicken mainly.

It was time for it to go. My sister needed a computer and the iMac still has a decent amount of life left in it. Plus it was the only PowerPC machine in the house. Apple announced the switch to Intel just months after I got the iMac G5. I’m going to hold out for a couple of months to get the rumored newly redesigned iMac. It should also come with Leopard. Until then my MacBook is going to be chained to the desk by the kitchen pinch hitting.

Minnebar 2007 on April 21st

Spring is here, and along with it is the 2nd annual Minnebar “unconference”. Reserve the date now and block out April 21st on your calendar. Yes it’s a Saturday, and it’s going to be a nice day in early spring, but it’s a great time and you’ll learn a lot and meet some great people. Go to the site and sign up on the wikipage now.

minnebar-logo-med.png

If you are curious, Minnebar is the close relative of Minnedemo. Minnedemo is focused on demo’s and occurs twice a year, just for an evening. The most recent one was the Holiday Minnedemo. Minnebar is a complete conference and is focused on topics, taking a full day.

Apple TV in the house

Yesterday I got one of the first shipment of Apple TV units to arrive at the local Apple Store. The simplest way to think of the Apple TV is to think of it like an iPod for your living room. It lives seamlessly in the iTunes universe, has a 40G local hard drive and interfaces painlessly via HDMI with your high definition television.

appletv.jpg

Setting up the Apple TV was simple and straightforward. It’s amazingly quiet. I am confused though why Apple put a relatively short power cable in the box. Seems to only be around 5 feet long, which seems rather short for a device like this.

The interface is simple and elegant. Easy to find and play the media that you want. I’ve been enjoying it for music, and am now starting to play with it a bit more for photos and movies. My first attempt at encoding a DVD for playback on Apple TV was a mess – the audio was out of sync and the picture looked pretty bad. Need to figure out the right magic to make that work.